Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Singing over Apple Crisp

Cali’s birthday dinner was delayed until Sunday. The Peacocks, Josh, and Mom came over to celebrate. We had Chicken Parmesan, homemade French bread, Emmy Lou’s salad, noodles, and apple crisp. Delicious! All in all, I think her birthday was a huge success!

Another Birthday Surprise!

When we got home from our day at Lagoon, Cali’s bedroom had been decorated by her awesome friend, Mendy Peacock. The room looked amazing, and there was a pile of gifts on the floor, including Rice Krispy treats shaped into the letters of Cali’s name. Nyah said, “Boy, I wish I had a friend like that!” Poor Nyah. She can’t get a break!

What's up with that smile?!

We spent quite a bit of time waiting in lines during the day, and had a chance to mull over some things that have been bothering us. Over the past couple of years, we’ve been very worried about Ian’s smile. In most pictures, he looks like a pedophile. Cali always pokes him and says, “Ian do a normal smile.” During one of our long waits in line, I finally figured out what is wrong with him. He has an under bite, and can’t smile normally, no matter how hard he tries! I knew there must be a reason for the strangeness! It looks like we’ll need another set of braces. Fortunately, Ian still has all of his baby teeth (he’s only lost 2 teeth so far and he’s 10 years old!), so we won’t have to shell out any dough for a while. Maybe that’s what he’ll get for his 18th birthday . . . a set of braces!

Brave? Not So Brave!!

Nyah decided to stretch herself a little bit and rode the swings and the Pirate Boat. She was very proud of herself. Of course, Carson and I just had to watch! Those rides were too scary! Carson absolutely refused to get on any rides for children over age 1. This is a picture of him in line for the Haunted Castle. We couldn’t pry his hands off the railing. Once again, I got to sit outside with Carson and wait for the rest of the family to emerge laughing and carrying on about how much fun they had! Being a mom is the best!!

Lock 'Em Up!

We all met back up to walk around Pioneer Park together as a family. The kids were getting a little out of control so we locked them up in the Davis County Holding Jail while we took a few minutes to relax on a nearby bench. Unfortunately, the kids broke out of jail, and I got another shift with Carson and Nyah on the baby rides.


We got to eat a free lunch with the company that gave us the Lagoon tickets. It was free because it wasn’t very tasty. Overcooked burgers, grocery store potato salad, and beans from a can. Not my favorite. Ian thoroughly enjoyed the baked beans. He ate 2 plates full. After lunch Aaron was nice enough to let me ride some “adult rides” with Cali and Ian while he took a shift with the wimps. While we stood in line to ride “The Spider” I suddenly noticed people around us start to gag and stare in our direction. Ian didn’t even try to deny that the odor was coming from him! The beans were a disaster.

Sit & Smoke

I spent my time taking pictures of things that only I seem to think is funny – like the Sit & Smoke Station. My kids loved to stare and point at the people who had to park themselves on a bench to enjoy a good cigarette!

Scaredy Cats

The unlucky part for me is that Carson and Nyah hate riding anything that is remotely scary or that moves over 2 miles an hour. I spent a couple of hours sitting on the train (that I believe was invented for infants and geriatrics) and watching them ride slow-moving airplane rides.


After our delicious breakfast and the gift opening we rushed off to Lagoon. Now we don’t normally treat the kids to a day at an amusement park for their birthday, but this year, Aaron just happened to get free tickets for a company party on Cali’s birthday! Lucky us!

Cali's Birthday Gift

For her birthday gift this year, we decided to surprise Cali with a trip to New York City to visit her Uncle Caleb. Of course the fun part is . . . I get to go along! I made up some gift certificates for her to open (one was for her plane ticket and another was to see Mama Mia). Fake gift certificates are the best, because they are absolutely free!! I figure if we run out of money to actually pay for the trip, at least it was a fun surprise for Cali to open on her birthday! It was so funny to see the other kids’ reactions to the gifts! Nyah stuck out her lower lip and looked depressed, Carson cried, “Who’s going to take care of us while you’re gone?!” and Ian grumbled, “Cali always gets the good gifts! Last year, an IPod, this year . . .” No one was excited for Cali!!

Cali's Big Day!

Hi, Everybody!
Aaron and I are now the proud parents of a new . . . TEENAGER!! Yes, folks! Cali turned the big 13 on Saturday. Normally I try to be SUPERMOM and make the kids a birthday breakfast, but this year I decided to stop pretending to be something I’m not. As a result, Cali’s birthday breakfast consisted of . . . cinnamon rolls from a can! She even iced them herself. What a proud moment.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Beautiful Phoenix, Arizona

Thursday, July 24th -Tuesday, July 29th
I was lucky enough to get away this summer for a “Girls’ Week” with my mom and her best childhood friend, Biehly. It was an almost alien experience packing up ONE suitcase for myself, buying ONE plane ticket, sitting by MYSELF on the airplane without anyone calling my name . . . basically feeling like a girl again instead of a mom. Don’t get me wrong, motherhood is my life, but I guess that’s my point. It was nice to escape life for a few days!
When we got to Biehly’s beautiful home in Phoenix, Arizona, she showed us to our rooms. Yes, we each got our own room!! On my bed was a purse filled with pampering gifts. Unbelievable! We ate delicious meals of gourmet salads, fruits, cheeses, specialty crackers and breads, and I drank all the Diet Pepsi I wanted. We shopped to our heart's content. I slept as late as I wanted, and even took the occasional nap. Yes, I was spoiled!
Since I’m training for the St. George Marathon, I still had to get up early in the morning to run. The sun comes up at 6 a.m. there, so I had to run before the rooster crows. One evening when I was setting out my running clothes, my mom said, “Vanessa, please be careful tomorrow when you run.” I told her I would, and went to bed.
The next morning, I thought about Mom’s warning, and stayed on the busier roads where there was plenty of traffic. I kept my eyes peeled for any suspicious looking characters. While I was crossing a busy intersection, I heard someone coming up beside me. I heard a man’s grouchy voice yell, “Watch out!” I quickly moved over as a man came barreling towards me on an old bike. He was unkempt looking and appeared extremely angry. As he rode passed, I noticed the back of his shirt which read in large, bold letters, “Don’t Mess With Me. I’m Running Out of Places to Hide the Bodies!” Let’s just say, I headed for home after that one!
I got in touch with my high school friend, Jay Syler, and his beautiful wife, Jennifer. They came and picked me up at Biehly’s and we went out for drinks (non-alcoholic, of course!). It was so fun to catch up on their lives. We ended up getting kicked out of the restaurant (Because the restaurant was closing! Why, what were you thinking?!) My how time flies!! I can’t believe it’s been 16 years since graduation. It feels like yesterday, except for delivering 4 babies, the whole going to college thing, soccer games, PTA meetings . . . Okay, I guess it doesn’t feel like yesterday!

Mom celebrated her birthday while we were in Phoenix. It was fabulous. A full day of shopping and eating. What could be better than that?! I posted the picture of the three of us enjoying cupcakes and the most fantastic restaurant. I must go back!
I would be remiss if I were to skip over our day at Ruthie’s house. She is one of Biehly’s dearest friends. We were invited to her home for dinner and got to shop in her closets. Mom and I each went home with 2 boxes of clothes and shoes! It was fantastic. I also had a Rum and Coke while I was there. Well, let me explain. I had been drinking a Diet Pepsi in a red Dixie cup and left it on the counter. When I came back to sip on it some more, I took a swallow and then yelled, “Okay, who spiked my drink?!” Once we got all the sordid details figured out, I realized that my Diet Pepsi had been disposed of and I was drinking someone else’s Rum and Coke!! The sip went to my head and I was drunk the rest of the day. Ha! Ha!
I missed my kids terribly, but I’d certainly do this trip again. In fact, I think I will make it a yearly – perhaps, bi-yearly tradition (does that mean twice a year, because that’s what I meant!).

Nyah Gets Baptized!

Saturday, August 2, 2008
Nyah got baptized today. She was so nervous that she’d have to be “dunked” again because an appendage would sneak out of the water. However, after she got baptized, the first words out of her mouth were, “I want to do that again!”
She got baptized with her best friend, Elissa Prestwich, who came back to Spanish Fork to get baptized, and another friend and neighbor, Valerie Nelson. The girls all looked beautiful. They sang a trio of “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus.” I thought I’d be in a rubble of tears, but I couldn’t even cry because Nyah was just beaming from ear to ear. She is the happiest little girl.
One of the Primary counselors gave an awesome talk on baptism, and then Grandpa Markie gave a talk about the Holy Ghost and gave some great personal stories. After Nyah got confirmed, she told me it was a little bit too dark being in the middle of such a big circle of men. There were a lot of hands on her head. It was so nice to have so many friends and family there.
Since the baptism was at 9 a.m. we went to the Library Park afterwards with all our friends and family for “breakfast munchies”. We had bagels with cream cheese, muffins, donut holes, Shirley’s cinnamon rolls, juice and milk. The food was yummy, but the best part was, I didn’t have to clean my house!

Caron's Birthday Bike

Grandma Joannie bought Carson a new bike that is just his size! I am so excited not to pull him around behind me in the bike cart. He would sit back there yelling, "I'm bored!"

I wanted to yell back, "I'm the one busting my fanny here. Put a cork in it!" but I didn't!

Carson Turns 5

August 6, 2008

I let the kids decide this year whether they wanted a friend birthday party, or presents from us! Unfortunately, Carson couldn’t be conned out of his first ever “friend” party. We decided to do water games – water balloon fight, water gun fight, run in the sprinklers fight – basically lots of water and lots of fighting!! We also used a bat to whack a piƱata! More violence! I’m sure the parents loved me!! I sent the kids home after eating candy, sugary cupcakes, and drinking Kool aid jammers. And this was all before lunch!! This picture is of the kids with their rotten teeth after eating all the junk food!

Ian's Birthday

August 15, 2008

I’m working backwards because I haven’t written in my journal since before all the traveling this summer! Ian had to celebrate his 10th birthday a week early because his Aunt Kristin had her Rehearsal Dinner the day of his actual birthday. Ian was fine with the whole thing, because the Rehearsal Dinner was at The Spaghetti Factory, one of his favorite restaurants.

Ian requested seafood for his birthday. He got a shrimp platter, since I’m not good at cooking fish! He also had pork loin and some other side dishes to make it a real meal. His dessert of choice – plain cupcakes with no frosting. He still isn’t a dessert guy! His presents – some cool Adidas tennis shoes (I bought them 3 sizes too big so they’ll last for a few years!), and a gift certificate to go golfing and rent a golf cart. I went along for the golfing adventure. Ian drove the cart. Let’s just say, I know now why the age for getting a driver’s license isn’t 10 years old!

Trip to Idaho

Saturday, September 6th-Sunday, September 7th

We just got back from a quick trip to Jerome, Idaho to visit Grandma LaRue. The kids were overjoyed that it was only a 4 hour drive (after our drive to Houston, Texas this summer, it seemed like a walk in the park!). When we arrived at 1 p.m., I was starving! I hadn't eaten much for breakfast, and the pretzels in the car hadn't curbed my appetite. When you walk into someone's house (even a relative) the polite thing to say isn't, "Do you have any food?" so I was overjoyed to see homemade chicken noodle soup on the stove and homemade rolls just coming out of the oven! What could be more perfect?

Grandma took us to a Reptile Show at the college where the kids got to hold snakes. Cali wouldn't get near them, but everyone else took a turn!

We went to Aunt Sonja's and Uncle Marty's house where the kids got to feed the horses, the dog, and the cat. They all want to move to a farm! I think the novelty would wear off after the first early morning of chores though.

We went to Chili's for dinner. Ian got an extra large portion of chili cheese fries. Luckily he didn't have to share a bed with anyone that night. Grandma let us sleep in her bed. Best night's sleep I've ever had! She has a Memory Foam on the top of the mattress. I thought I was in heaven.

The next morning at church, Carson was a little antsy during the service (as usual). When the bread was being passed around during the sacrament, I tried to distract him by saying, "Carson, do you know what the bread is supposed to remind you of during the sacrament?" He didn't answer at first so I said, "Jesus' body." I looked at him to see if he had been listening to me.

After another few seconds, he looked up at me and responded, "The bread reminds me that I'm hungry!" So much for a learning moment!

We had a great dinner after church (I was starving again since I'd fasted for breakfast!): roast, red potatoes, gravy, steamed veggies, salad, rolls, and chocolate chip cookies. I just can't make food like Grandma! We had a great visit!!