Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry and Bright

Were your holidays merry and bright? Cause my holidays were absolutely fantastic this year!
 We were able to kick off our festivities the Friday before Christmas to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday! It was made even more fantastic because Calli and her wonderful clan flew in from Kansas that same day. 

For many years, my sisters and I have had fantastic ideas of how to celebrate daddy's 50th bday. Inspired by a wonderful episode of the Cosby Show (in which Heathcliff Huxtable turned 50) we compiled a list of "Things That Are Older Than Dad"...
1. Dirt
2. Fire
3. the lightbulb
4. the wheel
5. Stonehenge
6. Redwood trees
7. Michael Jackson (he turned 50 in August...crazy, huh!?)

Daddy loved our little presentation, I'm sure! The whole family then headed to the Temple to check out the pretty lights.

Our whole family (minus TJ who left just prior to this to leave for Utah...and we all know how that turned out!)

Yeah for Calli being home! Did you know her eggo is preggo? So is Lindsey's...but Lindsey went to Utah for Christmas, so whatever!
Have you ever seen a boy cuter than this!? I just cannot get enough of him! Kansas is just too stinking far away!

Christmas Eve we had our annual Fiesta! We always have way to much good food and we all just keep eating until we regret it! 
After we stuffed ourselves to the brim, we played Taboo. Gma and Gpa were hilarious to play with...Gpa only guessed spaghetti, no matter what the clues were...and Gma looked like this every time it was her turn to give the clues!

No fiesta is complete without a pinata! We all took turns whacking the pinata...and either it was very well built, or we are all total wussies. It was really hard to bust that thing open!

Of course we had to have our annual "Who can make the best gingerbread house before someone inevitably smashes it in out of jealousy and rage" contest...I won, hence Calli's menacing knife trying to attack!

Christmas morning finally came, and I was so excited! Last Christmas, TJ and I were beyond poor and had zero present under our tree. This year, I have a real job so we were able to buy each other a couple of gifts!
TJ was not a fan of the whole "lets wake up early and open our Christmas presents" idea...but I really don't think 7:00 am is that early (and, confession, I may have woken up many times in the night hoping it was time for us to wake up and open presents!)
Oh, how I waited for this box to come! I found THE CUTEST red wool coat that I wanted oh so bad and my loving husband purchased it for me. Unfortunately, he ordered a small (which I love him for!) but it just will not work for we went online to order another one in the right size and they don't have them in stock anymore! Woe is me!
TJ got a new MP3 player...this one has a little clip on it so it will be easier to take to the gym than this iPod classic (so now we officially have zero excuses to not go to the gym!)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Miracle

This weekend TJ drove to Utah with his buddy David. They left Friday night, and I was very concerned about the two of them driving through the night in the snow. My feelings of apprehension were calmed when TJ called to let me know they had made it safely early Saturday morning (aside from the fact that David's heater wasn't working so the drive up was FREEZING!). When I talked to TJ Sunday, he and David were planning on having lunch with their mission president so they weren't going to be home until the wee hours of the morning. Around 10:00 Sunday night I got a call from TJ saying they were just outside Flagstaff, so I was excited that they were making pretty good time. Then, around 11:30 I received another phone call from TJ...this time, he opened with "Don't worry, everything is fine, I am okay, but...we were in an accident and the jeep flipped over." I was surprisingly calm as TJ explained that the jeep rolled over about 4 times on an overpass, slamming into the wall at least once, and all their stuff fell out of the jeep and over the overpass wall. Luckily, the jeep did not tip over the edge. I called my dad to see if he would be able to drive to Flagstaff to pick the boys up if they needed him, but soon received word from TJ that David's father in law would be picking them up...but in the meantime they were going to stay at a hotel in Flagstaff until morning. TJ came home this afternoon and proceeded to share with me all the pictures he took with his phone...the jeep wasn't as smashed in as I feared, but when I see how close to the edge of the overpass they landed I realize just how blessed they were. They were very much protected and are very lucky to have been able to walk away from this accident. Aside from some sore muscles, TJ made it home safely (and is never allowed to leave my side again!) 
( I mentioned, TJ took this pics with his phone so forgive the dark blurriness)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Riding in Style

So last night, as TJ and I were debating what we wanted to do, we got a phone call from a friend in our ward, Scott. He told us to get dressed super quick and head over to his house because he had won a limo for the night! So we quickly threw on some clothes (not because we were sitting around naked, but because we wanted to wear something a little better for a limo ride) and drove over to Scott's house.
Sure enough, there is a limo in his driveway. We all loaded up and headed to downtown Phoenix to have dinner at the Compass Room. For those of you who don't know, the Compass Room is a restaurant at the top of the Hyatt Regancy Hotel...and it spins! We were told that it takes about 55 minutes to make one revolution, so we were able to get a 360 degree view of Phoenix at night. It was a great dinner and we had such fun conversations, ranging from work to kids (TJ and I were the only ones without them!) to a debate on who would win in a matchup: a silverback gorilla or a grizzly bear.
After dinner we asked our driver (man, I feel cool just typing that!) if he could take us to see some Christmas Lights. We went to a neighborhood near Country Club and Guadalupe that was completely decked out...every house in the cul-de-sac was done up in festive lights. A couple of the houses had their garage doors open and we saw that they had been converted into bars! What an awesome neighborhood to live in!
It was such a fun night and we are so grateful to the Taylor's for inviting us. Being the horrible person that I am, I totally forgot my the following picture was stolen from Carson and Jen Brown's blog (another couple in our ward that came with us).

Left to right: Me, TJ, Scott and Fawn, Jen and Carson, Court and Molly


Yesterday, the 2nd graders at Fulton went on a field trip to Rawhide Wild West Town. It was a lot of fun for the kids, especially since we had just finished our unit on Westward Expansion. The kids were able to answer all the questions they were asked on the tour, so it really made their teachers look good! The kids were able to pan for gold, go on burro rides, and ride on a stage coach. But their favorite thing was the gun fight show! The "actors" showed the students how to do fake punches, then they shot each other. Now we just have to keep reminding my boys that they are "trained professionals" and they should not attempt this at home!

Covered wagon (duh)

Here come the gun shots...
And he's hit!

And he's dead (or not).
All in all, my kiddos had a fun time and it was fun to spend a day outside of our classroom.
P.S. only 4 more days of school until my next 2 week break! woohoo!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Deck The Halls...

They say a picture is worth 1,000 here is a 9,000 word montage on how TJ and I spent our Saturday "decking the halls" and whatnot.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap

So Thanksgiving has come and gone. I thanked, I gave, and I gained 10 pounds. Let's take a look through my "Thanksgiving 08" file to see how this Thanksgiving went... At school, my kiddos and I made edible teepees.
(This isn't the best shot I got of our masterpieces, but all my other shots have kids in them and the law says I can't post pics of my kiddos.)
I totally kicked trash in the "who made the best pie" contest with my Pumpkin Turtle Pie
(well, I would have won if they would have had said contest)

Jessica looked fabulous as she made yummy "funeral potatoes"

I was also in charge of the wonderful green bean casserole, but instead of taking a picture of the food I took a picture of me (don't you love that my nails perfectly matched my top!)
I hung out this this cutie-pa-tootie...
and her slightly awkward dad
(don't you people know by now that every pic I take will end up on my blog!)

Jessica was totally digging all the quality family time

And Summer consumed not 1...

not 2...

yep, 3 whole plates of food!
But Thanksgiving didn't end there, folks. Every other Thanksgiving, my fam does a family reunion and this was THE year. My family is huge...I'm talking "first name basis with my 12th cousin twice removed" huge. Lunch was at Gpa and Gma Knights, followed by volleyball tourneys. Thursday night was, of course, the traditional FAMILY DANCE (which of course I have no pictures of because it is definitely something you have to experience for yourself!). Then Friday afternoon is the bbq. Basically, we ate all weekend then threw in some activities to laugh about later.
And, just to make this long post even longer...let me tell you about my Black Friday '08 experience. It went like this...
TJ needed a laptop.
TJ found a smoking deal on a laptop at Best Buy.
TJ drove past Best Buy at 8:30 THURSDAY night and saw the line had already formed.
TJ calls Lisa and says to bring chairs and drinks.
Lisa shows up with chairs and drinks, leaving a short time later to get 5 more sweaters, blankets, and HOT drinks (because it was FREEZING!)
TJ and Lisa sit outside, in the cold, from 8:30 pm to 5:00 am...and didn't get the laptop they wanted.
TJ and Lisa end up getting the 2nd best deal on a laptop and slightly curse those who were at the front of the line saving spots for people who just barely showed up at 4:59 am.
TJ and Lisa went home and slept until noon.
The end.
I hope your Thanksgiving was as lovely as mine. Now go hit the gym in preparation for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Thanksgiving is always a special time of year. Not because of the turkey or football or parades (even though I do love me a good turkey day parade!). But all of these are diminished by one very special event that I look forward to all year long. Calli's birthday! That's right, my fabulous sister Calli turned 26 (holy cow!) on November 26. Calli always delayed thinking about Christmas because Thanksgiving is a much more special occasion in her book. As I prepared to do my "26 things I love about Calli" post, I flipped through my pictures to see which ones I could post along with my list. Unfortunately, Calli lives in Missouri (or is it Kansas now?)...Oh yeah, its Kansas now. Anyway, Calli lives in Kansas which is too far away for the pathetic zoom on my camera! I found a few (and some others that Calli would probably HATE me for posting, so I won't). So without futher adieu, here are 26 things I love about Calli (in no particular order):
1. She let me hang out with her in high school.
2. One time we got in a fight (probably about something silly) and Calli bought me colorful daisies to make it up to me.
3. She made us paint our bedroom Princess Pink in high school (if you ever want to know what it feels like to live inside a bottle of Pepto Bismol, just ask!)
4. When we didn't want to sleep at night, we would play games such as "Guess what song I am humming" or "What movie is this line from"
5. And one time, she told me to put my feet up on my headboard and grab the bottom corners of my mattress (oh, ps, we had waterbeds at this time) and lift the corners up as high as I could then let go. It felt like you were surfing or flying or something equally awesome.
6. When she got married I stole a lot of her clothes, so that was cool.
7. She had friends like Tyler and "Gay Gary" who could fit their whole bodies through a hanger.
8. She was always up for a run to Sonic or Bahama Bucks.
9. Remember that infamous Christmas in which everyone (including Mike and Brendan) slept in Summer's room and you made us play "How many syllables does this word have" and "Catch the light from the flashlight as I shine it around the room."
10. You are the mom of 2 1/2 of my favorite nieces/nephews.
11. She never really got too mad at me over the whole "I stuffed a brownie in the couch and didn't say anything when dad blamed it on you and yelled at you and made you cry" thing.
12. She has always been crazy-psycho-overprotective. Even when she KNEW the doors were all locked at night, she would still go around and double check, just to make sure no robbers or rapists could get in.
13. She is oh so creative! She totally got all the creative genes from mom cause I sure got none!
14. She is the funniest person I know. Since she has been gone (in Missouri...or Kansas...) family functions are just never the same. I often think, "This would be funnier if Calli was here."
15. She has an ongoing competition with Mike about everything...even gingerbread houses!
16. She wishes she could be hooked up to a Mountain Dew IV her whole life.
17. She would always tell mom lies about us (like that one time when you said Lindsey had a boyfriend) and mom will believe her and start to get after us, and Calli would just stand in the background laughing.
18. She was always up for a good "lets see what stuff we can stuff through this hole in the wall into Lindsey's room" game.
19. She introduced me to the concept of judging boys by the shoes they wear...such as Troy and the hiking boots!
20. She once asked Karl to "Pass the Peas!"
21. She hosts rando parties for the Olympics, Lost, whatever!
22. She is always willing to do my hair for me (color, cut, anything I want) as long as I tempt her with a Mountain Dew.
23. She will watch musicals and sing along!
24. She is raising a little diva, just like herself!
25. She dated a lot of guys with "J" names, therefore dooming any future relationship anyone in our family could have with a J (which is funny, because Summer is dating a guy named Jay!)
and last but not least...
26. She is coming home for Christmas and I couldn't be more excited!

Happy BDay, Calli. I love you to pieces!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

From Search Parties to Craft Parties

I bet you are wondering how our day went from this:
To this:

Well, it all started when dad said, "Let's take the quads out on Saturday!" So bright and early Saturday morning we load up the quads and head up to Saguaro Lake to ride for a couple hours. We got there at about 9:20 (like I said, "bright and early") and around 9:35 my brother in law Mike took off on one of the quads. My family doesn't ride hard...we usually take the quad out on a trail or two for about 10 minutes, then head back so someone else could have a turn. At this point, I should mention that this is the one time we forgot to bring walkie talkies to attach to the 

 Anyway, around 10:00 we start to wonder where Mike is...he's been gone an awfully long time. We assumed he was just off exploring different trails and whatnot. Well, when we still hadn't seen Mike by 10:30 my dad jumped onto the other quad to go look for him, thinking that maybe the other quad at died or whatnot as it was prone to do. 30 minutes later, dad comes back with no Mike. So TJ jumps on the quad to go look in another area. When TJ comes back without Mike, we all start to worry a little bit (and Lindsey was worrying a lot!). Just as dad was getting in his truck to go chat with the Sherriff, the rangers truck rolled in. So we ran to catch the ranger, he phoned the sherriff's office and pretty soon we had not one but three Sherriff's Department guys pulling up (including the K-9 unit...just in case Mike was smuggling drugs, I guess).

Questions were answered about Mike, what he was wearing, how long he had been gone, whether or not he had been paying his tithing (because of course Mike was last seen sporting BYU and Utah State paraphenelia so it wasn't hard to assume that we were LDS). 

Just as the Sherriff's guys were putting in a call for a helicopter to search the area (because by now Mike had been gone for THREE hours!), a Suburban rolls up with Mike in the back seat! Apparantly, Mike had been out riding around, lost all sense of directions (therefore driving in the wrong direction for quite a while), and eventually was able to find some people who could help him out. 

We were so glad that Mike made it back safe and sound, without any of the broken limbs we were all assuming he had! So after our crazy morning adventures, we headed home to make these adorable Countdown to Christmas magnet boards. The little containers will be filled with candy for TJ to eat each day as we countdown the days until Christmas.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Just 8 more days until Summer comes home!