Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fit Christmas

Christmas started at 2:00 a.m. for us. Anybody else beat that?
Okay, it wasn't present opening time. It was flooded basement time. Brandon had to move the furniture out of Kate's room, rip up the carpet and pad, and then go outside and bail buckets of melted snow out of the window well. (Thanks hun, for letting the rest of us sleep through all that.) Kate did wake up but was allowed a 30 second view of the goods Santa brought. It was enough time for her to count up how many each person had and figure out which box might contain her new hot pink cell-phone...

Present-opening actually began when the sun came up. (What a blessing when you can make it that late in the day huh?!) There were clothes, and shoes, stockings full of treats and jewels. The box that was supposed to contain a cell phone? Flannel sheets.
When all the presents were opened from under the tree, I observed out loud that none of them were from Santa? We knew he must have come because he ate the cookies and left stockings?! Curious. Dad chimed in that the only reason there wouldn't be presents from Santa is if someone didn't believe in him....everyone's eyes went immediately to Kate.
OR maybe Santa put the presents somewhere else??! The girls immediately went tearing through the house from top to bottom. I had to remind them of the garage because there they were. Three brand new girl bikes all in a row.
A derby started outside on the street. Our girls with their bikes racing against the neighbor girls with their new skates.
Between riding bikes and playing Wii I'd say the kids had a pretty fit Christmas!
I on the other hand, made caramel sticky buns and ate them. Brandon took a nap.

Cannon slept through all the present opening. So when he did wake up it was like having his own special Christmas. He spent a day of bliss roaming from his new ride 'em cowboy horse to his new collection of Cars. He packed them around all day, to dinner, to the bathroom, upstairs, downstairs. He had to recruit help each time because that is sure more than he can carry!

We spent a couple of days before in Salt Lake City! Great place to be at Christmas even if the snow was mysteriously all melted away. We saw and loved the movie Tangled, went out to eat, visited my Dad in the hospital (he's there with pneumonia but recovering well.) Also got to spend time with my mom and played games with family. We shopped at Barnes and Noble, which Adrie declared, "The BEST BOOK STORE EVER!!!" Was it the enormous amount of fun books , the escalators, or both? Brandon picked a book called, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living!" He explained it was to help some of his clients but I think he means to highlight the best parts and pass it on to me. As for me, I couldn't decide out of the Field Guide to Birds or Atlas of the Human Body. I ended up with a map of the world.
Adrie got a book that came with a necklace, Cannon got one that came with trains. Maybe my map should have come with a plane ticket. Brynn and Kate chose to share a boxed set of "Candy Apple Girls" chapter books. Thanks to Grandma and
Grandpa for the wonderful gift of book shopping!

Entertained the whole drive home!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Favorite Products of 2010

1. COCONUT OIL--extra virgin, organic, cold-pressed only. This is an all natural, whole body moisturizer, and it smells lovely. I put it on after the shower and it makes me feel like the tropical princess I was born to be! Plus I can lick my fingers after-ha! Amazing health benefits when eaten as well. Eat it plain, fry with it, add it to smoothies. It's one of those SUPERFOODS.
2. DEE'S CEREAL: I think this is the "pulse" that Daniel in the Bible ate to make him so amazingly healthy. It's made of ground up wheat, brown rice, oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, raisins, flax seed, corn, cranberries, bananas, oat groats, barley, oat bran, garbanzo beans, and spices. A little goes a long way with this stuff; it is very filling. I like to mix in a tablespoon of coconut oil and some honey with it.

3. REDMOND CLAY: This is a local company that harvests and packages this as a natural cleanser and detoxifier. It can be used internally and externally for myriad purposes. Sprinkled on dry it can heal bad cases of diaper rash. It can be mixed with water to treat hives and bites. Taken internally in a glass of water, it can help with digestive problems. When Cannon had rotavirus this was the only kind of water he could keep down.
4.. REAL SALT--Same local company. It was voted #1 best tasting salt in the taster's choice awards. Unlike the stuff at the store, it's not been bleached or stripped of it's natural nutrients--it's real salt!

5. BOUNTIFUL BASKETS: So glad to have this food co-op in our area. It's like Christmas in the form of produce every week at our house when we pick up our order. You never know what you are going to get except that it will be a variety of half fruits, half veggies. That is the fun of it. We've tried and liked stuff I never would have bought at the store: eggplant, spaghetti squash, persimmons, plantains. And some things we didn't like: brussell sprouts. We've had the most deliciously ripe pineapples, mangoes, pears, and grapes we thought we were eating dessert first.
I always order the nine-grain bread in addition. It makes delicious toast and sandwiches. We have pretty much entirely converted to this bread and I don't think we'll ever be able to eat white again!

6. LED OUTDOOR CHRISTMAS TREE: Let me just explain--we believe in Christmas but there is no way we are climbing up our steep roofline of peaks and gables and attaching Christmas tree lights every year. Brandon could fall and injure his body or worse his brain. We rely on his brain to provide for our family. Why not be festive the easy way! I found this online at It stands over 5 ft. tall and when you plug it in--viola! It puts on an amazing light show. (I think it's the best show on the street--not that I'm competitive or anything :)
7. ESSENTIAL OILS: I have just started learning about these the last couple of years from friends and I have only scratched the surface on some of the incredible benefits of herbs and oils. We have one blend we use to calm crying kids at night. We use another at the onset of colds/ sore throats to prevent further sickness. I like to put orange oil in my water because it's so refreshing and it helps you absorb water better. We use peppermint for headaches and mint brownies.
8. TREE TOUILLE: Do you see the ribbon like netting cascading down the tree? I don't know what to call it except a lovely accessory to any Christmas tree. I found it at a local decorating store. It comes in rolls, in a variety of colors from brownish gold to bright green to this traditional red/green mix. You just start at the top, roll it down, and nip and tuck it around the branches in a haphazard fashion. I think this was the makeover our tree needed this year. With the extra touch of glitz and oomph, she feels ready to walk down the red carpet. Cost? 10 bucks!
9. LE MYSTERE RENAISSANCE BRA: All I can say is, Hallelujah! I feel like a woman again.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas-gram? Sounds yummy. I want one.

It seems like we've been having a lot of fun lately (wouldn't Cannon agree :) Probably you are too. It's Christmas!!
We had a family party where we were able to visit with extended family and sit on Santa's lap.

We had our ward Christmas party at the church. I didn't take pictures but you can imagine Kate and Brynn dressed up as angels and dancing on the stage for baby Jesus, Adrie crawling across the stage on all fours wagging the lamb ears on her head, Brandon singing "O Come All Ye Faithful" in a male a-Capella quartet, me playing some Christmas tunes with my string quartet.
Not all that was going on simultaneously of course. Imagine Cannon, again not having fun with all the hullabaloo.
This weekend we went to the Light Parade on Main Street and had hot chocolate and donuts with Santa after. *Note to self: never drink hot chocolate before bed even if it is super-diluted. I was up all night with a cocoa buzz.

Tonight is our local production of the Messiah and I get to play in the orchestra.
I imagine I'll come crashing down off my cocoa high about that time.
Brandon and I saw Narnia 3 and later this week we'll go the the Forgotten Carols concert.

The girls have watched Elf, Christmas Carol, made gingerbread houses and written their letters to Santa...
  • Adria wants a new bed (our kindergartner is still in a toddler bed?) with an Eeyore fuzzy blanket. (Do you think Eeyore is a good role model?)
  • Brynn would like her very own bike that was never ridden by a big sister. It would be a mountain bike that's hot pink. Also it would have tires that never go flat.
  • Kate would like a cell phone and lots of cash.
Yeah-- how did we go an American Girl doll last year to that?!
And, what does Santa do for the kid who wants to grow up too fast?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Top Ten

Cannon's in that stage where he's figuring out the language. He's got nouns and verbs down and now he's experimenting with adjectives and adverbs: I ate a snack TONIGHT. I put a TINY poo in there (the potty--THANKfully.)
He is in the process of potty training, ahem, himself. At least he started and now I'm supposed to follow through. We bought some Diego unders for him. He doesn't like them at all --too snug? He prefers diapers, fresh ones that have only been worn for a few minutes.

Anyway, his potty training is at about a 60 percent success rate right now and poo and pee and some other things are some of his favorite conversation pieces. Here are some of our favorite quotes from Bud:

10. "Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle run awaaay."
9. "I like pumas and horsies."

8. Everything he sees me do, from buttering toast to peeling an apple is, "AMAZING!" "Good job Mom!"
7. "I SO handsome!"

6. "Daniel was a lion in the Latter Days...follow the prophet, follow the prophet..." (sung of course.)

5. "Mom! I wanna flush your pee!!"
4. "I'm hungry. I need ice cream."
3. "Mom, I'm tiny. You're so BIG!"
2. "I wanna go to worky wif you Dad. " and "I want fifty dollars."
1. "I saw a poop-horse wif Dad!" That's right. We don't know what this means either. Apparently he had a very specific memory of seeing a horse poop? wif Dad? He likes to tell this to anyone who comes over. He also likes to shout it into the intercom so everyone can hear it again again. I guess it's his punchline because he pauses after as if waiting for the roar of laughter from his audience. We did laugh--the first few times...
*Thanks to my talented neighbor for taking these pictures !

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Three R's

1. RECITALS Adrie danced on the stage at Christmas Tree Lane with her troupe of swirling snowflake princesses.

Brynn played on the stage at Christmas Tree Lane with an ensemble of vivacious violins.


We all went to try out the new local skating rink--lots of falls and fun! Ouch!3. READING
Sometimes I too just want to skip all the festivites and plop down in the beanbag by the fire and read all day... But I guess that's what January's for.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Gathering

This year we enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday with the C. side of the family in sunny St. George. The men talked sports
The women shopped the ads.
Kids ate pie for dessert, and dinner, and breakfast, brunch and elevensies. Cannon just ate the cream on top.

Trevor and his vegetarian turkey--frui-turkey would be more accurate. We have him and Weston to thank for the fine napkin folding. We enjoyed a beautifully browned turkey hot out of the turkey fryer. It was too bad little Adam went out and touched the still hot fryer, burning his hands--not severely --but enough to cause him a lot of pain and screaming for the afternoon. Poor guy and it was only his 2nd Thanksgiving.

Dads doubling as playground equipment.
T and I made our plans and headed out for the Black Friday sales. I never thought I could freeze in St. George but standing in a line outside the bigbox at 3 a.m. was FREEZING! We didn't get there earlier enough for a big screen or even a 3-dollar sandwich maker but we were still able to make a significant dent in Santa's shopping list.
Brandon and I headed back after the insanity had dwindled for some birthday shopping. He hit the big 40 last week and I think he's better than ever.
Before heading back home we stopped at the cool euro-park where the kids got out and played. I would have taken pictures but I was passed out asleep in the van.
Happy Thanksgiving to all!!
p.s. a photo of our race. Brynn ran her first 1 mile race and did great! Brandon ran his first ever 5K just for fun. He just tumbled out of bed that morning and decided to see how he would do at age 40. He did great and easily passed me although I in contrast, have been pounding the pavement about 12-14 miles/week for the last 2 years!? 3 cheers for 3 sweaty ... folks.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Mom + Sisters + Beach = JOY

What would we do without sisters?! Only a sister can tell you that you really need a new bra or that it's time to for a brow wax. Only you can tell a sister not to wear that shade of gray because it washes her out or that those shorts accentuate her hips. By the same token, if a sister tells you that the outfit you just tried on looks stunning then you really must buy it because she is telling the truth!-- Or she just wants to borrow it later. Sisters are brutally honest and that's why you want to hug them one minute and strangle them another.
There was almost no strangling this week as we all met together with my mom in California for some "beach therapy." What a wonderful time we had: Great people, shopping, food, and in the best location ever--Laguna Beach, CA!! We were loving every minute of it!

THE BEACH: After picking up my mom and sisters from the airport we drove along Pacific Coast Highway stopping whenever and wherever we felt like: Huntington Beach, Crystal Cove Beach, Newport Beach, until we made it to Laguna.
Our hotel room was right on the ocean. When we walked into the room we were stunned by the beautiful ocean view. We went to bed looking at it. It was the first thing we saw when we woke up. At night we opened the windows so we could hear the waves crashing all night. BEAUTIFUL!!! My mom was overjoyed. Every morning we walked along the beach. And every morning we got wet from an unsuspected wave.

In the afternoon we flew a kite, tossed a football and a frisbee. We took turns boogie boarding. "You went boogie boarding in the winter???" Brynn exclaimed when I told her on the phone that night. The water wasn't cold at all--well maybe at first but you quickly got used to it.

We explored tide pools and saw mussels, anenomes, a sea star but I was especially excited when my sister found what looked like a big football sized slug--a purple Sea Hare! That was the only tide pool animal I had learned about but not yet seen. ( They squirt out purple ink that enters the predator's system and tricks it into thinking it's already eating while the hare quickly crawls away.) Awesome! We didn't get squirted or tricked.

SHOPPING: Never have I seen so many fabulous clothes and everything on sale! It was a fashion lover's dream. Weird how we could all try on the same outfit and have it look completely different on each of us. Usually Rayanne looks good in EVERYTHING which was true this time too but we were all able to come home with our own dream outfit. My mom has a favorite store there called "Bardot," run by the most fashion-saavy French woman you've ever met. We all pitched in to buy my Mom this really great jacket which we surprised her with that evening before dinner...

FOOD: We ate out once a day and usually shared a couple of meals between us. Every restaurant we tried was SO good. Mom's patronage of the Chocolate shoppe will probably keep them in business for the rest of the season. Here we are enjoying Creme Brulee-- from a French Bakery --with a view of the beach-- in our new clothes!! Does it get much better??!

JOY! JOY! JOY! If you know my Mom then you know that this is one of her favorite phrases. We were all exclaiming it throughout the trip. Luckily, I missed my kids and husband and was ready to come home at the end of the week. We drove through L.A. traffic to get to the airport. I put in my CD mix I made just for the trip. If everyone on the road had been in OUR van they would have had a lot more freeway fun. We jammed on our air guitars to the music of Queen. We belted out our best versions of "I Need a Hero" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart." And we busted out some pretty good Michael Jackson moves while in seatbelts. After some hugs ( and no strangles) we dropped my mom and sister off at the airport then my other sister and I made the long trek back to UT.

We have a treasure trove of good memories stockpiled to last us a good while.
Thanks to the powers that be for a wonderful, safe, soul-recharging trip. And thanks to a wonderful husband for being Mr. Mom for a week--some of it while having a stomach bug.
It's good to be back home, because as Brynn later told me when I asked her how the week went, "It's harder than you think not to have a Mom."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Call Me

I've finally joined the ranks of millions of Americans, no-- world citizens --and bought myself a cell phone!!! (cue the applause and cheering) The girls were so overjoyed when I brought it home they shouted, "Now we're not the only people we know without a cell phone!!!"
I've been so carried away with excitement I almost posted my new phone number!

Why did I not get one earlier?? It has already come in handy twice in the last two days. Once, to report that I was coming home late from book club. The other when I left Kate in charge so I could run some errands (which she said felt like 5 hours worth). This new-found sense of freedom peace of mind is fabulous.

This purchase had to be. I'm driving to CA to join my mom and sisters for some "beach therapy" and you just HAVE to have a phone when you are on the road, also if you're in charge of picking them up from the airport. You also HAVE to have a GPS. That was last month's purchase. The title for this post should really be, "Technological advances that make life so much better--how did I live without them for so long." or " !!!!!! " for short.

So, I'm ready for my trip and so excited. Brandon's testimony of cell phones is not quite as strong. He doesn't even think he'll ever need one?! --but I know why he will--So I can make those phone calls that go like this, "Have you been in a car accident or are you on the golf course and if it's the latter could you pick up a Redbox on the way home..." also a myriad of other scenarios which I'm sure are already as familiar to you as your daily cup of joe.
Brandon IS excited to be a stay-at-home Dad for a few days. Bless him for doin' all that.

Here I go, Au Revoir.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fish Lake

I never thought I'd say this but as much fun as we have at the beach we had just as much in the mountains. We headed up to Fish Lake for a day trip. The scenery was gorgeous! I love being able to live in a place where we can enjoy Autumn in it's glory...and I think I say that every year.
We had fun exploring along the lake trail. We saw a beaver dam, collected aspen leaves, threw rocks into the water, and imagined what it would be like to float on a boat in the middle of that beautiful lake. A herd of cattle made their way down the road just 30 feet away from our trail. That was pretty exciting. But the most exciting thing was when Kate almost stepped on a snake!
She was pretty jumpy from that point on. I think that running around in the crisp mountain air did the girls in. They were quiet in the backseat the whole drive home--even while Dad sang along to John Denver.