Arizona Thanksgiving

Yes, that picture was taken last week -- the end of November! Dustin's whole family (less Casey and Sarah -- we missed you) came out for a week to celebrate Thanksgiving and it was so stinking fun. We rented a house so that we could all stay together. It came with a heated pool, but the trade off was that it was all way in Avondale. If you're not from around here, it's reeeaaaaaalllly far away from our house, plus it's in the West Valley and we're snobs out here in the East Valley. The pool was totally worth it though because the kids went swimming at least 3 times a day. Easy entertainment.

So what, did the 17 of us do for 8 days. Everything. We ate too much, stayed up too late, made waaaay too many trips to the store, went to the park, made crafts, had a gift exchange, ate too much again -- mainly cookies and ice cream this time, got manicures and pedicures, swam a lot, went to Build-A-Bear on Black Friday (call us crazy), played the best board games -- Chris always has these really clever, yet obscure games to play. So stinking fun. Ellie was ecstatic to have her only girl cousin here for a week long sleepover. Nate had a little bit of a harder time sharing his toys with Wyatt, but he'll grow out of it as he gets older I'm sure. One thing they could agree on was their love of the movie Cars, their thumbs, and their blankies. They're so stinking cute!

As usual, Jennifer had to show us all up in the gift exchange by getting us all the cutest handmade gifts. She's the Sister-in-Law who gave us all those matching purses one Christmas (the brown one with the dots that everyone loves). This year it was these stinking cute aprons! I don't know if I'll ever use it for fear of ruining it. Ellie's matches mine, so you'll just have to imagine how cute mine is. I won't be posting any pictures of myself :)

And one last picture of Nate loving the Gingerbread house. He mainly loved the candy and the frosting. I ran upstairs to get Ellie ready for bed and came back downstairs to find him on the table covered in frosting and the gingerbread house all over the place. That was fun to clean up :)

I think the older nephews had a good time too. We hardly saw them between the pool, their gamecube, the pool table and soccer in the garage. It was just fun to be together. Plus I got all my Christmas cards addressed (just have to write the letter now) and I read an entire book. I love vacation!



So Saturday I come home to find my lawn COVERED in trees and my windows spray painted. It appears that even though my birthday was over the Thanksgiving holiday, I had been struck by the Birthday lawn fairies. My sidewalk was covered in fake snow (which has since made its way into my house -- evil evil fake snow) and there was even a mini Christmas tree (also covered in fake snow) by door with a bag full of Christmas decoration goodies! If course the batteries in my camera were dead and Nate and Ellie decided to be helpful and picked up all of the trees while I was trying to unpack the car. When I came out I was so bummed that Ellie started putting the trees BACK in the ground. In the end I stopped her, because I didn't really want to bend over and pick up all the trees myself and we all know the kids weren't going to do it again. The trees are now in the office by my LIAR sign from my birthday last year (I told you I kept it Michelle). The best part of getting your lawn done is reading all the funny little things everyone has written. Love that. Of course I'll never live down lying about my birthday, but I can live with that. It was such a fun surprise! Usually you kind of know it's coming, but being a holiday and the fact that I was in sunny Avondale, I figured I'd slide by, but I guess I have FABULOUS friends. So thanks for thinking of me! LOVE you guys.

The tree has since made its home in Ellie's room since she loved it so much. And the Christmas decorations made their homes around my house. I was in such a Christmas mood, I made Dustin get out our Christmas tree on Sunday and we are now ready to go for Christmas. Hopefully you are all out decorating for Christmas now too!



So we're at Costco grabbing a gift and we wandered past the curio case where they keep all the glass statues and all that gaudy stuff that you can't imagine ever buying. Ellie is just in love with the stuff because you know kids can't get enough of kitsch. We keep hearing, "Wow! WOW! Oooooooh," etc. and Dustin and I are just laughing because we can't believe she likes this stuff so much. Then she realizes there is an entire other side to the glass case and she runs over and gasps, "WOW! Even MORE Grandma stuff." OK, sorry mom, she's not insulting you, just the taste most old people have. :)

Her other funny came earlier in the day when she was whinning and driving me CRAZY! Dustin had mentioned the other night he wished there were a fable about whinning, kind of like The Boy Who Cried Wolf. So I decided to make one up on the spot. It was pretty lame, but it was about a little girl who was made of sugar and spice and everything nice, but everytime she whinned she lost a little and eventually she lost it all and she turned into a boy full of snips and snails and puppuy dog tails. Ellie was of course horrified and stopped whinning immediately. After a few minutes of thought she looks and me and asks, "But Mom, what happens to little boys who whine too much? They're already boys." Smart little girl, what would happen to boys? They're already made of everything disgusting. So I told her they turned into toads with lots of warts.

Anyway, enjoy your weekends and holiday weeks! My house is clean, girl's night tonight, company is coming tomorrow and I doubt I'll be around much. Happy Thanksgiving! Gooble gooble gobble

Totally random question

So I was thinking about my girlfriend, Shanna, who is getting married next week and I remembered something my mom taught me when I was little. She told me to never say or write, "Good Luck" to a newly married couple because it would insinuate that they needed luck. Congratulations was always more appropriate. Of course then I've heard the whole adage about "Congratulations" to the Groom and "Good Luck" to the bride. Am I making any sense?

Anyway, I was wondering if I was the only one who had heard of this and what you say. Anyone? Anyone?


Best feeling in the world. . .

Seriously, is there anything better than counting down the minutes until you pick up the sitter? I'm completely antsy waiting until I can leave! tick. . .tick. . .tick


Ho ho ho

Beth's Starbucks cup post got me thinking about the holidays and how much I love them. I wish I could start celebrating Christmas in July. Dustin just doesn't get the fuss, however, so we compromise and do our decorating the Friday after Thanksgiving. It's one of those days that I look forward to all year. This year Dustin's family will be here for Thanksgiving, so my tradition isn't going to happen this year. I suggessted to Dustin that we should decorate the day after Halloween this year instead. He vetoed the idea and told me could wait until his family left which means DECEMBER! Gasp! How could I wait that long? I end up whinning Kerry about the whole situtation and plotting to secretly sneak Christmas decorations in one day at a time.

Fast forward a few weeks and it's two days after Halloween. I'm driving home from picking Ellie up and I notice something funny on my wreath. When I get out of the car, I realize it's a Christmas Ornament! Kerry had "Ho-ho-ho-ed" me! And so that is my one and only Christmas decoration up right now. I'm sure people are confused when they come by, but I feel like I've won a victory over my Scrooge of a husband.


Ah, the irony

So the other day after taking pictures, I ran into the computer room to download the pictures. When I came out, I found Nate asleep on the living room floor. I'm sure it was because he was sick and hadn't been sleeping well for almost a week. Of course yesterday he and Ellie start feeling better. They both had lots more energy and Nate even slept through the night without waking up. Buuuuuut, wouldb't you know how it works. I couldnt' sleep last night because I was starting to feel sick. And sure enough I feel like crud this morning. The kids however are as active as ever.

Seriously, how does that work? Why can't we all get sick at the same time so we can all lay around and be lazy together??? Anyway, just thought I'd post the picture because it's EXACTLY what I wish I were doing right now.

PS On a more upbeat note, I couldn't be happier with the election results. I'm almost giddy. If only I had someone to celebrate with. . . darn conservative friends.


Weekend Update

So Thursday morning I get a call from my Aunt and Uncle in Idaho. They’re on their way down, but they’re only staying until Saturday morning. This led to a frantic Thursday, mainly because I needed to wash and fold the 2 weeks of laundry piling up in my room. Seriously – how do we have that many loads of laundry sitting in baskets and still have closets full of clothes? Nate helped out by lounging on me with his 103 degree fever.

Friday was a whirlwind of fun. The kids loved the dog, Disney Princess (I’m not kidding that’s her name) and giving her treats. We played and played and played some more. My Aunt brought down my Grandma’s cedar chest for me filled with little goodies including a bunch of dresses that she and my mom wore when they were Ellie’s age. I’m completely sentimental, so I love that sort of thing. I made Ellie try on all the clothes. She loved the petticoats the most, followed by mom’s robe. Ellie also fit perfectly in the black velvet dress my mom wore, so Ellie’s wearing it for Christmas Eve. Kristine had one in a smaller size which I tried to get Nate to put on, but he wanted nothing to do with it (maybe there is hope afterall)! She also brought down my Grandma’s doll, which Ellie has named Mely. Mely now sleeps with her every night.

We also went to Joe’s for lunch, visited my Grandma’s brother and his family up in Mesa, Dustin took Dave to look at some property he was looking at buying, and we did Chino Bandito for dinner. By the end of the night my kids were WIPED out, but it was totally worth it.

Saturday I spent all morning at a Stake Meeting while Dustin cleaned the carpets. YEAY! Then that afternoon we headed out for a barbecue with some of Dustin’s mission companions. They were all sweet enough to switch to Saturday when we had to cancel for Friday. The barbecue was fun – all of the kids were the same age as ours (and all four wives were pregnant) so they did their own thing. Once again we wiped our kids out with no naps and a late bed time.

So you’d think I’d let the kids relax a little bit this morning. But nope, we went off shopping for winter shoes for Ellie and then I forced my kids to take pictures for our Christmas cards. UGH! What an ordeal. It always is, but at least last year I didn’t try to take the photos myself. I got them to sit still at the park for about 10 pictures. In half of those Nate isn’t looking at me and in the other half, Ellie is staring at the grass. So after coming home and trying to sweeten them up, I decided to put them in front of the door for one last attempt at anything halfway decent. It’s not amazing, but it will do. I put in the order at Costco because I can’t go through the torture again, so no mocking the picture unless you want to deal with my wrath!


Halloween Hangover

I can't be the only one experiencing this. The kids are cranky, my house is trashed, and of course Joy School was here this morning. The day after. UGH! Nate has been searching for his pumpkin basket all morning. He still hasn't forgotten his stash of candy.

Last night was a BLAST! As always, we tried to pack too much into one night. We had a whole Halloween themed meal for dinner at our friends house. I brought the Wicthes Brew meatballs and Monster Eyes deviled eggs. There was also skull shaped pudding, blood punch with an ice cube hand, monster finger carrots, monster toe hot dogs (complete with red ketchup toe-nails), spider bread, intestine pasta, mashed potato ghosts. . . and I don't think the kids ate a bite of anything.

So after realizing we weren't going to get the kids to eat, we headed out trick-or-treating. Ellie is at such a fun age! She and the older kids ran everywhere and were so excited but still polite. Nate was adorable. At first he wasn't sure about the whole deal, but once he got the first candy bar in his pumpkin he was good to go. He walked the entire night. Just toddling along with his pumpkin. The big kids hit 2 houses for every one that Nate and the 2 year olds made it to, but they didn't care. I think the 2 year olds actually got more candy because they were so stinking cute. Everyone kept giving them more and more candy.

After over an HOUR of walking (please note the glazed over expression on the little ones' faces from pure exhaustion), we hurried back because we had to run over to another firends house to watch a Halloween movie -- during which the kids broke into their candy baskets. Always what you want to happen at 8:30 at night. We stayed there way too late, but it's only once a year right? So we now have waaaay too much candy and some badly taken pictures because I was too busy having fun. Luckily the kids got really yummy candy (lots of chocolate) so whenever I need a jolt I can just dip into that.