Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes--November

11/4--Andrew was sitting on the floor doing something on his laptop when it was time for the kids to go to bed tonight.  Caroline came up behind up, wrapped her arms around his neck and said, "You.  are.  the best.  daddy.  in the world."

11/7--When she woke up (at 5:45 am thanks to DST!), it was still dark outside and Caroline said, "Someone needs to turn on the sun."

11/8--Brandon's financial commentary for the month:  "If I had a hundred and fifty dollars and went to Michael's [craft store], I could buy enough things to keep me entertained for three years.  They have bouncy balls, model toys...everything a boy could want!"

Since he doesn't have $150,
he can have fun for free in the backyard leaves.

11/9--We were at the pediatrician's office today, waiting in our exam room for the doctor.  We were playing a game of "I Spy" (Caroline's current fave) to pass the time.  When it was her turn she said, "I spy an animal that lives on a farm.  It has two legs, two noses, two hands, and two stripy arms."  Any guesses on that one, folks???

11/9--Caroline has reached the age where we can understand almost everything that she says.  But she has one word that we couldn't figure out:  "Stegment."  She would use it at random times and from the context, I could understand what she meant.  I think for now we decided that it is her word for belly button.

11/10--Sitting at the table eating lunch today, Caroline said, "There's a place called Sydney.  And there's a girl called Sydney."  What a smart observation!

 Geography expert.

11/13--Tonight Brandon shared a talent that surprised and amused all of us.  He can suck in his tummy and his belly button completely disappears.  He can play peek-a-boo with it.  Hilarious.  When Whitney tried to see if hers would do the same thing she said, "I can't do it.  Mine just looks like a ninety-thousand-year-old dog."  Whoa.

At least she has the face of a cute six-year-old girl.

11/14--In nursery today, we had a little girl visiting.  I don't think she's used to calling people by Sister Smith or Brother Jones.  When I told her my name was "Sister Sweat," she gave me a funny look.  Later when we were having snack-time, she said, "Sweaty sister, can I have some more water?"  Cracked.  me.  up.

11/14--Care Bear's observation on tonight's dinner salad, "These cucumbers are so cucumby."

 Her smile is so smiley.
And the cake was pretty cakey.

11/17--One of Caroline's cute little quirks this month:  In the middle of dinner, she'll stand up in her chair, raise her arms high in the air, and say, "Everybody raise your hands!"  We play along and cheer with our hands up, then she sits down and we finish our meal.

11/19--Whitney's deep thoughts from the back of the van, "I wish I was a dog...in France.  They live like kings I tell you!"  I think she's read one too many picture books about French poodles.

11/23--The boys made a fire in the fire pit tonight and Whitney asked me, "Mom, why are fires hot?" 

11/25--One of the things I love about vacations is that Andrew gets to change half (or more) of Caroline's dirty diapers.  After he finished changing her today, Caroline was walking around singing this song, "Lucky lucky Daddy.  Lucky lucky Daddy."  I'm sure he'd disagree.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mom Prom

In 1994, there was Junior Prom.
Love that hot pink dress.
(It was on sale.)

In 1995, there was Senior Prom.
My date was taller than me.
Even in heels.

In 2010, there was Mom Prom.
And it rocked.

Our friends, Jamie and Gordon put together this fabulous date night and I'm SOOOO glad they invited us.  Eight couples came.  We played the most hilarious get-to-know-you game at the beginning.  I haven't laughed that hard since I first watched Brian Regan. 

Then we ate a yummy potluck dinner

at tables with linens, china, goblets, and name cards.
I felt sophisticated.

And then...the dancing began.
When we were getting ready at home,
Andrew told me, "You know I don't fast dance."
But when the evening started out with two brothers having a dance-off with everything from Russian folk dancing moves to arabesques,
he changed his mind.
It. was. awesome.

We did the electric slide, the rumba, a little bit of country swing.
Phew.  It was a workout.

And, of course, there was an abundance of slow songs.
Andrew kept me entertained.

We realized that we each have a "dance face"
when we're trying to just wing it on a fast dance.
I get this cheezy smile with raised eyebrows
and flail my elbows about.

Andrew kinda bites his lower lip.
It's cute.

Thanks to Jamie and Gordon for the most fun and memorable date night we've had in a long time.  Let's do it again sometime.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Another year older

Old Man Sweat added another year onto his age this month.  
But he hasn't really been living up to his moniker.
In fact, it was one of the youngest-feeling years he's had in a while:
*no visits to the ER
*no surgeries
*promotion at work
*completing his fifth year as bishop, which he loves
*cheered as the Lakers won another NBA title
*showed off his dance moves with Whit at the talent show
*felt manly at the hunt and fish day with Brandon
*stays in touch with his soft side as he hugs and snuggles with Caroline
*had a blast river rafting with me for our anniversary

Wow, that WAS a great year.

We celebrated with a low-key family dinner here at home.  He took it easy on me and requested Hawaiian haystacks.  I didn't even have to marinate a steak?  I love that guy.

 We enjoyed his yummy chocolate cake for dessert.

I scarfed mine down because I was SOOO excited for him to open his gift:
A photograph of La Portada.

This is a landmark off the coast of northern Chile that is a symbol of Andrew's mission.  I knew it meant a lot to him and tried to find a painting or photograph of it a few years ago.  I figured the internet would make it easy.  But I was wrong.  I couldn't find what I wanted and gave up.  This year I decided to try again and came across this gorgeous photograph by Juan Contreras.  I e-mailed Juan to inquire about purchasing a copy.  When he learned that Andrew had served his mission there he said, "Please accept this as a gift from me.  I think if your husband served the Church then he has already paid."  Isn't that awesome?  I was so grateful for his generosity.  

Now the beautiful photo hangs above our mantle.
It makes me happy.
Oh, and I think the birthday boy likes it, too.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Random tidbits

*Andrew has been playing a new game with the kids called "Red Zone." 
I don't know the rules, but they love it.
Neighbor kids have joined in and even Whitney has been out playing
football, which I never thought would happen.
She is adamant about her hatred for the pigskin.

*I love my ipod.  A few years ago, Andrew spent fun money he had hoarded saved for a LONG time on an nice video ipod.  Since I promptly spend my fun money each and every month, I bought myself a refurbished ipod shuffle for twenty-four dollars.  A few months ago, before the road trip, Andrew offered to trade with me.  What?  He said he only ever listens to podcasts on his (which is true) and a shuffle would work just fine for him.  True again.  I hurried and accepted his trade proposal before he could change his mind.  I love having playlists, seeing the names of songs that are playing, AND
it came in handy during soccer games when the girls could watch episodes of Dora or Hannah Montana.

*Caroline has become a big fan of Wal-Mart, just like her mother.  Mainly because she loves to check for samples in the bakery department.
This doughnut was a little more than she could handle.

*Andrew and I went on another little overnight getaway in October.
We are forever indebted to Mary Topp.
I think she has a first class ticket to heaven solely based 
on the service she has given to our family.
We went to the temple.
And the Cheesecake Factory.
Two of my very favorite places on earth.

*We saw these four parallel sky scratches when 
we were out driving around the other evening.
We thought they were pretty darn cool.

*The kids tried on some alternative costumes
when Halloween was over.

*Andrew roasted pumpkin seeds this year.
They were really good.
He loved them and wants to make more.

*We took some family pics with the tripod 
while we were at Pilot Mountain.
I find it hard to believe that Brandon is harder to 
photograph than Caroline.  But he is.

*We installed a new kitchen faucet.
I am in love with it.

*We don't get a whole lot of good sunsets in NC.
This one was gorgeous.
I drank it in.
And grabbed my camera.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Fall Break

The kids had a couple of days off of school at the end of last month.  Yippee!  We took full advantage of the time off and played as much as we could.  Brandon and Whitney planned out the first day:  Chuck E. Cheese's and the Natural Science Center.

We got to Chuck E's right at 9 am, when they open.  We had the whole place to ourselves.  It was wonderful!

Caroline challenged her big sis to air hockey.
She could use some practice.
And a longer reach.

At the science center,
Brandon made friends with Darth Vader,
the black rat snake.

It was another gorgeous day.
We danced

and jumped around the fountains.

Hung out with the gibbons.

Lounged around with Axle the tiger.

Posed on a bench with a bit of fall foliage in the background.
(I couldn't believe how difficult it was to get a decent
shot of these three cuties!  I think I took fifty.)

The next day, I was in charge of the itinerary.
Andrew took the day off from work and we made
our annual trip to Pilot Mountain.
We love this place!
Caroline and her Daddy.
This was our first chance to break out the winter coats.
It was COLD!
Like 43 degrees, friends.

 I told Whit she looks like a supermodel in this pic.
Lots of supermodels are still getting their permanent teeth.

 We went on a little hike around that pinnacle you can see in the back.

We climbed on rocks.

 Pondered the meaning of life.

Explored little caves and crevices.

 Played in the crunchy fallen leaves.
It was somehow relaxing and exciting at the same time.

 After a disappointing lunch at Taco Bell,
we made a quick stop at SciWorks in Winston-Salem.
The kids got to watch their first laser show in the dome theater.
Thanks to the school system for scheduling some teacher work days
so that we could have a random family fun day in the middle of the fall.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Halloween 2010

We couldn't come up with a good theme for a family costume this year, so we all did our own thing.  Here's what we ended up with.

Caroline insisted on dressing as a dragonfly.
Not quite sure where she came up with that one.
I did my best.
Luckily, she would look cute even in a burlap sack.
(See last year's Dobby costume.)

Princess Whitney.
I tried to convince her that she would make a FABULOUS Snow White.
But she just wanted to be A princess, not a Disney character.
She looked very regal.
(I found this dress on clearance at Target for $6 a few weeks ago.
I COULDN'T leave it sitting on the rack for that price!)

Brandon, the Mad Scientist.
I loved this costume idea.
He came up with it on his own and it is SO him.

The three cuties at the church Trunk or Treat.

I thought if we weren't going to do a family costume,
at least Andrew and I could do some sort of couples theme.
We thought about going as Katniss and Peeta.
But I thought it would require too much explaining.
So we did our own thing, too.

I threw on the polyester bell bottoms that we
got at DI about 10 years ago.  I'm not sure exactly
what I was supposed to be dressed as.
Halloween was just a good excuse to put on some crazy clothes.

Andrew dressed as a Chilean miner.
It was very fitting since he served his mission
in northern Chile, and lived in Copiapo twice.

The trunk or treat was great and the kids got their load of sugar.
 I've got the candy wrappers all over my house to prove it.