Saturday, November 27, 2010

i am thankful for...

This year my family did a little movie making activity for our Thanksgiving reunion. We all had to make a movie that was based on what we were thankful for. We decided to make this little video. It is modeled after the LDS church's "Mormon Messages" (but this is not endorsed by the church in anyway...even though we borrowed the ending from one of their videos). Some of the things are inside jokes that only my family would get, but I thought I would put it on, so you could see what we are thankful for right now in our lives. Hope your Thanksgiving was full of love and gratitude for all of the many blessings in life.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sam the Service Turkey

Align Center
Today I came up with a fantastic new Thanksgiving tradition. Sadly I feel Thanksgiving gets majorly skipped over... it's like the stores discount their Halloween stuff and move directly into Christmas. I love Christmas, of course, but I also LOVE Thanksgiving... the food, the colors, the leaves, the cute sweaters unmasked by big coats, the perfect weather, and most of all a time focused solely on gratitude. So today I decided I needed to come up with a fun kid tradition for our family (as well as a sharing time activity for church on Sunday with the kiddies). The answer... Sam the Service Turkey! The idea just popped in my head. Here he is:
How he works: We discuss that people can show their gratitude by serving others. Sam the Service Turkey is missing his feathers and by Thanksgiving he needs to have them all... but he has to earn each one. Each time we do something kind for others we get to put a feather in Sam. On the back of each feather I wrote an idea of something kind to do to help others. On Sunday I plan to have the kids act out the ideas on the feathers and have the others guess and then pass out a feather to each kid to remind them to do service at home this month.

How to make Sam: I went to the craft store and his creation cost less than $10 including tax! Granted his neck and legs are made of 1 toilet paper roll, but I had to be frugal. Obviously by the looks of him all you need is 2 Styrofoam balls, 1 piece of red foam paper, 1 toilet paper roll, a piece of ribbon, 2 googly eyes, feathers, brown & yellow paint, and hot glue. Simple.
(Note: His head/beak is actually carved from a small block of floral foam because it was $2 cheaper than the ball)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Think I Have Alzheimers!

I just realized that I am absolutely, positively horrible. You see last year James signed us up to bring 48 rolls to The Hunger Dinner for the homeless that our church puts on. I had just had MaryKate less than 2 weeks earlier, but went and purchased the rolls at Costco just to get myself out of the house. On the day of the banquet I completely forgot to bring them. No one called, but the following week when I noticed moldy rolls on top of the fridge, I just about died. I forgot to feed the poor & needy! Aaah!
So this year when the sign up list came around I specifically signed up for rolls again as some form of penance for having forgotten last year. But this year I vowed to make fresh, homemade rolls. (That should make up for it, right?!) I wrote it on my calendar and called my friend for her roll recipe. I even practiced making them for my book club earlier in the week to make sure I knew how to make them just right. Then Friday came around, I took James to the airport for his conference, and completely forgot until today at church they thanked all the families for their donations to the Hunger Banquet. Aaah! No! I forgot again...

2nd Halloween Pics

Last Halloween MaryKate was almost 2 weeks old & looked like this:

So little & difficult to get a good picture of. She was a ballerina & a tiger.

This year she was a BYU Cheerleader & although we missed trick or treating because we were in the car driving back from California, we did go to a Church Trunk or Treat party. Here are some pictures from that.

Below is a picture of MK & Anderson(my sister's nephew). He is more than 6 months older!

And this is MK with all of Mary's & Cherice's kids (cousins & pseudo cousins). It was so fun!

Hasn't she grown so much!
This year she didn't really understand the concept of trick or treating. Next year will be the year. She just loved walking with all the kids at the party. The dum-dum she ate changed her life. I don't think 1 little sucker will be all she wants in years to come. Happy Belated Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010

MaryKate's 1st Birthday at the Farm

My sister, Mary's family took us to Del Osso Farms in Latherop, CA to go along with her farm themed birthday. It was crowded, but still fun & worth the drive.

MaryKate loves her Daddy.

MK & the 2 little piggies in the petting area of the farm.

This is my favorite picture! I loved how the goat & goose look like they're about to kiss her cheeks.

MK warmed up to the baby goats because they weren't as huge & frightening as the bigger ones.

This cake was made by my nephew Jordan & my niece Annika. They are "Cake Bosses"! Mary & I helped a little, but I think they did an incredible job. Thanks guys! The kids loved it.

I helped her blow out her candle on her farm cake.

She was so full after dinner that she hardly could eat her cupcake. But she loved the frosting!

We sang Old McDonald's Farm with some animal signs I made.

MaryKate loved pulling her presents out of a box. Notice her 1st piggy tail ever! It's about 1/2 inch long. But her bald head is starting to finally grow hair. Hooray!

James is interning for the next few weeks in San Mateo, California. So we've been having a blast in the bay area, staying with my sister's family. We've gone to the beach and into the city. We love San Francisco & the Lee Family.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Walking & Fair Fun Footage!

Yes! We finally have a film of MaryKate walking. She gets better everyday! So sit back & enjoy her wobbly, wide, stumbling steps.
(FYI- The video seems to work in Internet Explorer but not on my Mozilla.)

My favorite quote about first steps:
"Make up your mind to be happy- even when you don't have money, even when you don't have a clear complexion, even when you don't have the Nobel Peace Prize. Some of the happiest people I know have none of these things the world insists are necessary for satisfaction and joy. Why are they happy?... They glory in the beauty of the earth. They glory in the love of their families, the stumbling steps of a toddler, the wise and tender smile of the elderly... One thing I know for certain: the time we have here goes by far too quickly. Don't waste any more time sitting on the bench watching life pass you by. "
-Joseph B. Worthlin (May 2001, 35)

We also went to the Utah State Fair this month. Here are some of the highlights:

MaryKate was scared to touch the animals but she was so curious she just had to!

After eating over priced terrible foods like funnel cake & looking at amazing art, vegetables, etc. we then went to the free "Boys II Men" concert. James got a 2nd row ticket, but it was too loud for MK, so we stood back on the bleachers.

She loved to dance & seriously loved her first concert! She couldn't stop clapping & smiling.

You can tell, she loves her Daddy. DaDa is the word she says night & day!

The fair wore her out and I'll be honest... I think it wore us out too! But it was so fun!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Our Pink and Blue Walk

Last year at this time we went on a red and yellow walk when Kathy was very pregnant and in need of distraction. Today we went on a pink and blue walk, inspired by MaryKate's pink dress and bright blue eyes (not inspired by our next baby, which is still a while off :). Hope you enjoy.

Monday, August 30, 2010

First Steps & Green Chili Sauce!!!

I'll begin with the biggest news of the month:

#1- MaryKate took her first steps tonight! She's been walking holding on to walls & such but tonight she walked from me to James without touching anything! Crazy. Who would think a girl with such a large cranium would find enough balance? This means trouble. We'll try to video it soon.

#2- We are finished with ElderHostel tour guiding. Below is a picture of us moments before hot air ballooning during our final week of the summer.

#3- The day we finished, James & I went with a group of 8 others to hike Havasupai Falls for our 2nd time. Mary & Becca watched MaryKate for the 4 days we were gone... thank you to them! It was hard to be without her, but we did have a great time!

(It rained & flash flooded our first night there, so hence the brown water for a day.)

(Zoom in on this sweet pic of Ryan & Evan doing a simultaneous back flip off the new waterfall)

(Our entire group of 10 minus me jumping through the falls)

(After the hike out... we earned all that sweat!)

#4- MaryKate is eating just about everything! She loves food and scavenges for it all day!

#5- Last but not least- GREEN CHILI SAUCE!
All summer we had zero food in our fridge due to tour guiding. So on a Saturday we came home from Park City and picked up some dinner at Costa Vida. James loves green chili sauce so he got a few containers of it. We took it to go & drove home. James got MaryKate out of the car and picked up the plastic bag of Mexican food and headed upstairs while I started unpacking the car. When upstairs, James noticed the green chili sauce had leaked out of the container and out of the bag onto his arm and because he had his arms full with MK, he quickly licked the dripping chili sauce off his arm. Sadly it wasn't green chili sauce! MaryKate had been having some bowel troubles and had exploded out of her diaper something that looked very similar to green chili sauce. After gagging & spitting the pooh out, James washed out his mouth multiple times. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy Birthday John!

My brother, John passed away this February and today is his birthday. So in honoring him, I made this video that celebrates all the good he has brought our family over the years. Because his birthday is on the 25th of August, it was often overlooked by the excitement or dread of the first day of school and the hustle & bustle of back to school shopping. So this year I wanted to do something special for him to prove that I remembered.
I remember last year all he wanted for his birthday was to see his daughter, Megan's first day of Kindergarten and somehow he miraculously managed to get leave from Iraq so he could be there. This year for his birthday we are all wishing for him to be here with us and although he physically can't be, maybe again he will miraculously manage to get a short leave so that he can.
This movie was so fun to make because it felt like reliving my childhood with my family. If you watch it, pay close attention to our outfits and hair styles. Maybe your family had similar photos taken... but probably not the one of everyone in bathing suits though! I still can't believe my mom took us to the photo studio in our swim suits. Ha! Enjoy!

(If you have a slow internet like mine, you may want to push play & then pause, let the movie load, then watch. It's much better than starting & stopping. I also suggest clicking on full screen. Enjoy!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fun in California Sun!

James, MaryKate, & I took a needed vacation from ElderHostel tour guiding to relax in Cali with my sister's family, the Lees. We had so much fun. MaryKate is growing up so fast and so are Mary's kids.

We went to gymnastics with all the kids and had so much fun. I've always wanted to fall into the pit of foam!

We went to the Jelly Belly Factory to meet up with my friends, Lindsay & Julie. The kids came too and Tanner even ate Rotten Egg Flavored Beans! Yuck!

Julie, Lindsay, Ada & Me... it was so nice to see the girls. I just love them!

The girls!

James surprised me with a date to the city to see Wicked & to dinner at Basil. It was sooo awesome! I loved the surprise. We sat very high, but it was perfect! My first broadway show!

Cambria had her 3rd B-day party and MaryKate helped set up the tables... or should we say unset the table!

Happy Birthday Cambria! We loved your pink party!

Cambria convinced Mary to buy her and MaryKate matching dresses. Because they were on sale and Mary is MK's name sake she was a sucker for the darling dresses! Thanks Mary!

MaryKate & Cambria are so darling together. Notice that MK is standing, crawling, & walking with a walker much better!

Fun at a lake in Pleasanton... the paddle boats there were a blast too!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lee's Make Me Smile

Here's a little music video we made with the Lee's, while we visited them. Get ready for awesomeness and a lot of cuteness.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Adventure At Every Turn

This week working in Park City as a family went very well. We had a super nice group of people, good weather, & no poop explosions. The kids loved MaryKate so much that I fear she's like a squirrel in a crowded state park. She's being fed very well & very often with not just food... also lots of attention and love. Here are just a few of her great adventures with us this week:

MaryKate at the Heber Creeper
Hiking Timpanogos Cave with our great group

MK & I inside the cave (she slept 1/2 of the tour...must enjoy the cool, dark)

MK at the ropes course

MK at the Park City Museum

James, MK, & friends at the Resort Pool

James & MK at Seven Peaks Water Park (in the lazy river)

MaryKate is exhausted from so much fun & so are we!
We can't wait to go relax in San Francisco next week!