A whole bunch about us you may have never wanted to know.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Moving to Germany ...

Paul's Christmas break was VERY short indeed. In fact, he only got off half of Christmas Eve, all of Christmas and was back at work the next day. It barely even seemed like a break ... especially since our girls were throwing up on Christmas Eve! In any case, the holiday seemed so short this year. Today Paul is at work, although he does get New Year's Day off. I think after that his next holiday off is Memorial Day!!!

When I worked doing public relations for SAP (a big software company), we worked with a bunch of co-workers in Germany where SAP is based. Needless to say, they get A LOT more holidays there than we do here! It seems at least once a month -- sometimes more -- they said they weren't going to be in the office because it was a "bank holiday." That's right -- if the banks were closed, then they didn't work. And the banks seemed to be closed a lot.

One of the women nearly died when she found out that I was working up until my baby was born, and therefore working AFTER my due date. She said that in Germany they get a year off of maternity leave, and much of it is paid. HELLO! With Tyler I hadn't even worked at the company for a year yet, so the HR personnel informed me that my job may or may not be waiting for me when I returned! Fortunately I knew that my manager wouldn't replace me, but legally she could have. And even at that I had off only six weeks with him, with only 1 1/2 days paid disability. Six weeks! Do you realize how short that is with a baby?!?

When I was pregnant with Zachary they had improved their HR skills, AND I had been there a year, so they said I could take up to four months off (the three required by the Family Medical Leave Act plus an additional one required by the state of Oregon, where our other main office was located). Turns out I didn't come back after the four months, but the company still cashed out my personal time off I had accrued during maternity leave. So, I felt very blessed with that company.

Paul's not so lucky. First of all, he gets no maternity leave at all! ;) I guess that's a given. At his last company he got a week of paternity leave, but he has to use vacation for any paternity leave now. Working for a small company has its advantages, but there are definite disadvantages as well. I guess having to work Christmas Eve is one of them. And seeing as we don't speak a lick of German, I guess we'll stay put for now.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas pictures

This year we decided to have a smaller Christmas than we normally do. It turned out great, and the kids didn't miss a thing. We're thinking we'll have to do that a lot more often.

This is a picture of the boys in the jammies I made. I made two sets, and this was their least favorite of the two:

(They wore their favorites on Christmas day, as you'll see in the pictures.) I was glad they turned out so well, and the boys loved them. They loved even more that I had used the extra materials to make a sleeping bag for their favorite animals.

Becca's main gift this year was to be able to wear make-up. We had told her she couldn't wear it until she was 14, but as a Christmas gift we gave her a certificate to allow her to wear it early. We also gave her eye shadow and implored her to wear it sparingly. So far, so good ...

Tyler and Zachary got a bunch of new Legos, including some that were already put together into various creations. They love them, and they're very excited about each getting a new game for our Game Cube. However, we couldn't have a Christmas without Tyler getting a new piggie. They're getting harder to find (since we already have so many), but here is his newest one, which is called (ironically) Cutie Pie.

Zachary got a bunch of new dogs as well, including one that looks a bit like his cousin's favorite dog, Buddy. Becca also made new pillows for each of the kids, and they loved them. Here is Zachary with the doggie pillow Becca sewed for him.

Shayla was as happy as could be getting twin babies. She had a few other gifts, but she didn't want anything to do with them once she had her twin babies and a stroller. She even tried feeding a peanut to her baby, which was adorable. Our boys had dolls and never played with them like that. In any case, she looks much older in this picture. Maybe that's her "maternal instinct" coming out ...

And now for what you've all been waiting for: Did Paul like his present? And what was it? Well, Paul's favorite computer game is Civilization IV. So, I got him an expansion pack for the game. Am I nuts??? In any case, he FINALLY liked a gift he received. Miracles never cease!!! He also got his anniversary present a bit late, and I think he liked that too ... although it's still in its shrink wrap. However, since it's less than a week after Christmas, we'll give him a break ... for now ...

And as for me, I had the camera, and therefore got no pictures of me opening presents. I got a membership to Gold's Gym (thanks Paul and DirectPointe), a griddle (thanks Hilary) and a trimmer for scrapbooking. When I was doing bills and saw the Costco receipt for a trimmer, I called Paul to find out why he bought a new beard trimmer without telling me. That gave him quite a laugh and kept me very confused ...

Hope your Christmas was as merry as was ours!

What REALLY matters

Hilary found out last week that her husband is being laid off between now and Jan. 7. What horrible news right before the holidays. She's having a great attitude about it and exercising her faith well. They've been very blessed to always have something work out when situations like this have happened in the past.

The day after Lee was laid off I found out that a friend's wife was in the garage of a house that blew up, killing the two people inside. It made me so emotional to think how close she had been and what she had to witness and experience. I called Hilary and say, "Who cares if Lee doesn't have a job! He's alive!!!"

I have these reminders again and again about the preciousness of life, and yet somehow it doesn't sink in enough to really make me be who I need to be. Does anyone else have this problem? I know what I can do to improve, and I want to do it, but then I just don't -- because of tiredness, busy-ness, or forgetfulness (emphasis on forgetfulness)! How do you truly change your heart when you get so busy doing laundry, making dinner and keeping kids happy that you just forget? It's not even that I'm too busy with extra-curricular things that we can cut out ... although I'd love to cut out making dinner most nights! :)

Anyway, I've been pondering for several days how really important it is to live our faith, to serve others and to be the best us we can be. And it is essential to cherish every moment we have with our kids and family members. Of course, it's always easier said than done, especially when the kids drive me nuts!

However, I hope that when next Christmas rolls around that I FEEL like I've done better and improved my relationship with the Savior. After all, that's really the most important thing we can do in this life -- build our relationship with the Savior and teach our children (through words and example) to do the same.

I'm grateful to have so many inspiring friends and family members who love me and motivate me and pick me up on the days I'm feeling down. Thank you. I love you all!!!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Wizard of Ozzzzzz

So, we got to see Tyler in his school play The Wizard of Oz. This was an elementary school production, so I thought it would be a lot of fun to watch the kids. Tyler was a munchkin, so I thought it would be a really cute part. After practices he even laughed for me the way they do when they're hiding in the bushes in the movie.

Well, I think I had my expectations a little high. The munchkins marched in to the song "Celebrate good times, c'mon!" (not sure of the real title), which was cute. They were holding lollipops (which I didn't recognize until I was told), and when they got on stage they laughed just as Tyler had practiced for me. However, that was all the munchkins did (except for stand there looking bored) until it was time for them to march back off to the same music. Can you believe that? They didn't even sing any munchkin songs. In fact, there wasn't a song in the entire play as best I can remember (assuming I didn't fall asleep! :).

The skit tried to include many kids, and even had something like 10 Dorothys. (Does more than one Dorothy = Dorothies?) Anyway, it was no wonder that I heard kids were getting bored at practice. Tyler had practice two times a week for an hour each. All this to march on, stand there and then march off? Sigh ...

I was just glad I had to endure it only once. Mind you, watching Tyler march in so excitedly was worth sitting there through the rest of the "production." He had so much fun, especially since he got to tell Becca that she wasn't the only one in our household who was in a play. This picture Paul got of Tyler marching in is definitely priceless.

Of course, Tyler was the cutest and best munchkin in the whole production. And even better -- it's all over.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Buster

So, I forgot to mention a funny about our visit to Pike Place Market. There is one particular place (right behind the pig) that is well known for throwing fish. Although other places do it as well, somehow this one has become the "famous" one (can anyone say location, location, location!).

You other moms may know about the PBS Kids show Postcards from Buster. On one of his visits to Seattle, he goes to Pike Place Market and sees this place where they throw fish. Anyway, my boys are always excited when they see Seattle stuff, so when that Buster was on they watched intently.

So, when when we were at the place Buster visited, I said to the boys, "This is the place Buster got to throw a fish!" One of the workers must have felt sorry for me and felt the need to set me straight. "You know, actually Buster didn't really come here, just the kids did." How does one react to such news? Maybe I should have started quite an argument insisting that I had seen it on TV, and therefore I knew it was true. (Paul and I use this theory often -- if it's on the Internet or on TV, then it MUST be true!)

Instead I decided to turn the tables and put the pity on him. I whispered, "You know, actually Buster isn't real --he's just a cartoon." I hope this wasn't akin to breaking the news about Santa or the Tooth Fairy. And if any of you wonder what I'm talking about wrt Santa ... well ... huh? What are we talking about? Oh yeah, fish ... Santa usually doesn't throw fish ... at least I've never seen him at Pike Place Market ... :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Santa Visit

So yesterday we made our annual visit to Santa. I give my kids one shot at the big guy (and I get one shot at a cute picture), and then we call it good for a year. Now, Tyler's getting old enough that visiting Santa is fun for him. Sure enough, the only problem we had was getting him to slow down when telling Santa what he wanted. Here he is giving his list:

And although I knew Zachary would be nervous, I figured he'd probably follow Tyler's brave example and at least sit on Santa's lap without problem. I couldn't be certain, though, once he was on Santa's lap whether or not he would say a word. My family gets quite a kick out of how he will just stare you down sometimes instead of talking to you. But he did talk to Santa. I think the following picture is proof. :)

Now the gamble in the whole event was Shayla. I didn't even know what to predict she would do. She's been a little 'fraidy cat for most of her life as far as strangers go, and she was classifying stranger as anyone not in our immediate household. Lately she's been opening up a lot more with other people and has figured out that some of them will even pick her up a lot more than Mommy does. But I figured she'd still be nervous around such a strange stranger. I was wrong. When Zachary was on Santa's lap, Shayla walked right up to him and looked up as if to say, "I think it's my turn?" Of course, when we put her on his lap I think she realized that it may be a little scary, so she went into some unknown "zone" and tuned us all out. I tried to get her attention to take a picture, but we couldn't get her to even look my way until they rang some jingle bells behind me to get her attention. However, she didn't even flinch! I couldn't believe it.

Last year she wasn't old enough to even care, but we have two classic pictures -- one of her pulling Santa's beard while he's looking at us taking a picture, and the other of her and Santa looking each other like they're checking each other out.

This year Santa was wearing a real Santa outfit, too. The past few years we've found several Santas with Christmas-themed shirts and suspenders, but not the whole sha-bang. One year we even looked in three different places, and each Santa was wearing a different Christmas-themed shirt. What??? Anyway, this year's pictures made me happy -- especially since we had to wait in a very short line to get them. And of course the only reason we have to get the annual pictures with Santa is because my scrapbook wouldn't be complete without them!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Perfect Gift ...

So, I think I have the perfect gift for Paul for Christmas. I'm really excited to have thought in my brilliance of this gift. Of course, I can't tell you what it is, because Paul reads the blog regularly (thank you, dear). However, with my excitement comes great doubt. You'd think that I'd know whether or not he'd like it and therefore could subside any doubt.

Little do you know our gift history this year. For all occasions I have thought I had the "perfect" present, only to be met with sure disappointment. He had mentioned that if he had an iPod he could download podcasts and listen to them in the car. So, I bought my sister's "gently" used iPod from her and was excited that I actually was giving him something he wanted. That bum barely even smiled when he opened the gift. It was an iPod shuffle. And he'd need some gadget or the other to actually make it broadcast on the car radio. So rather than buying the gadget and happily listening to podcasts (all while thinking of his thoughtful wife), Paul let the iPod sit unused. (Anyone want a used iPod?)

So, right before Father's Day his company handed out a book/DVD/CD called The Secret. It's something about positive thinking, but I can't tell you since it's a secret. ;) Anyway, he said that he realized that he preferred listening to that to listening to news and talk radio all day. So, his brilliant wife decided that the perfect Father's Day would be other CDs he could listen to in the car. I got the new John Bytheway book on tape, "Supersonic Saints" about LDS pilots and some of their amazing experiences. I thought this was a definite winner. And I knew that he loved the movie "The Other Side of Heaven," so I got that on CD as well. (I had purchased the book a while back for Christmas and that sat there unread until I finally read it.) Anyway, I figured these would be exciting for him. When he opened them, he did smile, although he was definitely not excited. So unexcited, in fact, that one of the two is still in its plastic wrap covering. Can you believe the rudeness? (Paul, you know the password to this blog if you feels the need to defend your actions.)

So, every time I saw the unwrapped CDs, I would ask if he really wanted them or if I should just return them. He insisted that he would get around to listening to them one day. I'm so glad they're loved. Anyway, for our anniversary (#7) last month, I re-gave him the two CDs since he hadn't yet opened them. Why get him a new gift when the last one is still in perfect condition and UNUSED?!??

One of them got opened on our long drive to Washington at my prompting. The other still sits in its OEM shrinkwrap, if it can be called an OEM product. :) I told Paul that if he doesn't open the CD before Christmas then he's getting it as his only gift. That would stink, because I think I may have the perfect gift for him ... although obviously I've been wrong before ...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Craziness

One of our Christmas traditions is to get new P.J.'s every year on Christmas Eve. Now as a mom I understand more why my parents started the tradition. 1) We need new pajamas every year, so why not make getting them fun?; and 2) Then you look at least a little better in those Christmas morning pictures.

I decided this year I would try to save a little money and sew the p.j.'s for my boys. I was just going to make p.j. bottoms, but then I had enough extra material to make tops, too. However, I didn't have enough for sleeves, so I had to buy additional material for sleeves. Then I remembered that I had forgotten to buy ribbing for the necks. Turns out the fabric store near us doesn't have white ribbing. I settled for a knit fabric and am hoping it will work.

I think the funniest thing about making these jammies is that as I was cutting out the different prints I noticed again and again the material saying, "NOT INTENDED FOR USE IN CHILDREN'S SLEEPWEAR." I laughed every time I saw it. Obviously I'm making jammies -- and I'm hoping the children will wear them to sleep!

I'm not too worried, though. During a childbirth class when we were expecting Tyler six years ago, a fellow classmate was anxious that she had bought an outfit that said it was not intended for sleepwear. She panicked about putting her baby down for a nap in this clothing. The teacher assured her it was okay, and that children's sleepwear had to meet certain flammability requirements. Then a couple from Europe asked, "Flammable? Do you mean fire?" When the teacher answered in the affirmative, they looked at her like she was nuts.

That was the first time I also realized how nuts we are here in this country. If my baby is in a fire, the non-flammable p.j.'s are sure not going to save his/her life. So, I'm not going to worry about putting my kids in non-flammable clothes to sleep. That would require me to actually put them INTO pajamas every night. I'll focus instead on seatbelts, vitamins and no running with scissors ...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Pictures, pictures, pictures!

Paul was able to download something onto our computer desktop so that it always shows the time, a notepad, a calculator, today's Dilbert comic, and pictures. Not just any picture -- it scrolls through all of our pictures. And we have A LOT of pictures.


Let's face it -- have you ever really seen me anywhere without a camera in hand or nearby? I am a photo freak. I attribute this to Sis. Parkes on my mission. She made me realize that I'd rather throw away a picture I decided I didn't want then regret not taking one. Now, I guess I can call her the real photo freak -- she'd take pictures of ANYTHING! (Yes, Cylena, you are nuts!)


However, the photo bug got in my system. Ever since then I'm the one taking pictures. And the more I take, the pickier I get. So, I take my kids to photo studios to get pics, and I just tell the photographer how to pose my kids and what angle/zoom I want. I can either be a photographer's dream or nightmare -- depending on how well the kids are cooperating. I can't afford the really good photographers, so I'm stuck going to JC Penney. They usually do a good job, but I mostly go there for the high-quality prints. Paul and I dream of buying a Canon Rebel, but we don't an extra $800 to $1,000 around. When we do, though, we're done with professional photos. In fact, one day I hope to get a little professional training and specialize in photos of families and kids.


Anyway, this photo feature on our desktop reminds me of why I take so many pictures. I LOVE looking at them and remembering so many good, happy times. Just while sitting here typing this I have seen pics of Rebecca trying on a wedding dress, Paul holding Shayla on her blessing day, Madison on her baptism day, etc., etc., etc.! What fun memories. I'm not good at writing in my journal, but my photos will hopefully tell enough of the story that you won't miss too much from my life ... except what I look like since I'm usually the one holding the camera. :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Christmas Season ...

Well, we never found our tree stand, but we did get a new one from my sister. So our tree is up and looking pretty. And thanks to Paul's mom and Hilary, we already have presents under the tree! So far no mishaps with an 18-month-old, either ... why, oh, why do I feel the need to jinx myself ...

So, last blog I complained about the traffic during Christmastime. It's true, I don't really like the crowded roads or stores. However, I failed to mention how much I LOVE this season! I love how friendly and giving people are in December. Can you even imagine how awesome our country would be if people were that kind and giving all year round?

We also got our first real snow of the season this weekend. That definitely makes me feel more in the Christmas spirit. Of course, I associate snow with Christmas since I grew up in Utah. However, I am SO grateful that the Savior was born in the spring in the Middle East instead of a snowstorm in Utah in December.

Speaking of this sacred event, I've recently had a new insight into His birth. We've always seen and portrayed the innkeeper as being rude or heartless for turning them away from the inn, which had no room. However, inns at the time were basically just a big room where people gathered to eat and sleep. So could it be possible that the innkeeper actually was a very kind-hearted, good man who offered a place for Mary to be out of the public eye during childbirth? I can't imagine how awful that would be to deliver a baby in front of a bunch of strangers. How much better to have privacy during such a sacred moment.

Of course, I'm not saying a stable is where anyone would want to give birth. And now that I've had babies of my own, I can't imagine how wonderful Mary was to give birth without a midwife or her mom. However, I'm sure she and Joseph were inspired to know how to safely deliver the Savior into the world. What a wonderful, blessed, amazing thing it is that we get to celebrate every year!

By the way, I got this insight from an awesome series of historical fiction set in the time of the Savior's ministry. It's the Kingdom and the Crown series by Gerald Lund -- I highly recommend it. I don't particularly enjoy Lund's writing style, but the insights I have gained about cultures of the time have helped me appreciate and understand the New Testament even more. (I read them years ago and am starting them again now.)

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy all the great things that happen during this wonderful holiday season. And most of all I hope you remember He who we celebrate.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Potpourri

Just a few random items:

** I went to see a movie the day before Thanksgiving. They showed a preview of The Golden Compass, which looks really well done. I was afraid the others in the theater will be tempted by the misleading preview. So, I booed really loud when it was first on. Then after the preview when it was quiet, I said loud enough for all five other patrons to hear, "Well, that's an interesting way to portray killing God." I figured this would let them know why I booed. Too bad more people weren't there on Thanksgiving Eve to hear my courage in standing up against an anti-religion movie.

** BTW, I cut my thumb with the knives yesterday. I once again wasn't cutting, just moving the knife over. Oops. Yes, these are the sharpest knives we've ever had. Maybe we ought to sue Amp and Julie for giving them to us. (Ha, ha ... just kidding!!!)

** I LOVE scrapbooking, especially when I can tell a story on my page. I have a friend who is a phenomenal scrapbooker whose style I idolize! In any case, I've posted a few pages I've done on Simple Scrapbooks Magazine's Reader's Gallery. If you'd be interested to see my pages, Paul created a link at the bottom of the left column. I'll try to post regularly so you can see my "hard" work. :)

** Oh, and is it just me or is traffic worse than usual and stores busier than usual in preparation for Christmas. Good thing I'm done shopping so I can stay home!!! Love the season, just not the crowds.

** We tried to put up our tree last night but have misplaced our tree stand at some point during the year. Anyone seen that around?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sharp Knives

So, we had some friends give us a really nice knife set. (Thanks again, Amp & Julie, for giving us a gift we don't deserve. :) Anyway, it is a really nice set from Cutco. Well, we've never had knives this sharp in our house.

I gathered the kids and told them that they are not allowed to use or touch the knives. I told them that one of the knives is even meant to cut through bone. Now, although this scared the boys a bit, it also intrigued them. Tyler asked if they could see the "bone knife." I obliged. They were fascinated while being scared out of their skin. So, later that evening I pulled out the cleaver (see below) to cut right through frozen chicken. I heard Tyler yell, "Zachary, she's going to use the bone knife!" I thought it funny until I realized Tyler was really nervous. When I was done cutting the chicken (without any problem, I might add), I heard Zachary yell, "Tyler, you can come out. She's done with the bone knife." Tyler asked, "Did she cut off her finger?" I assured him that I had not, and that I was really careful when I used those knives.



Well, apparently I'm not careful enough. Sure enough, Friday night when I was using a knife (not the "bone knife") I totally cut my finger. Now, just to clear myself, I was very careful while I was cutting with it. However, I wasn't quite as careful when I was washing it. Oops. That took off a chunk of my fingerprint. Anyone know if your fingerprint grows back the same?

Too late to matter now. I had to really make sure I didn't panic, because I'd already scared the kids enough with my little chat. Becca saw a lot of blood, so she said, "I'm glad you told me I couldn't use those knives!" (And then she watched me very carefully next time I cut something.) Tyler came in shortly after I had already bled through two band-aids (one on top of the other), so I had to non-chalantly tell Paul that I had cut my finger pretty bad. No chance of sympathy when you have to act cool so your kid doesn't freak out!

The cut actually is healing very quickly. Paul says it is because I made a nice, clean cut. Anyway, when our friends gave us the knives, I told them that now that I had nice knives I'd have to learn how to cook. I suppose I better learn how to cut things other than my fingers, first! (Or else buy A LOT more band-aids than we have on hand. :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Shayla Loves Kitties

During our trip back from Seattle, Shayla found a new best friend. Shayla enjoyed petting this cat and the cat returned her love by rubbing up against her legs. The only problem was that the cat pressed hard enough to throw Shayla off balance especially when the cat went behind her. As you watch the video I am sure you will see what I am talking about.

video

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you all had as great a holiday as we did. The only thing that went wrong was that it went by so fast. Sigh. Oh, that and getting locked out of our house ...

So, we came home from a family Thanksgiving celebration to find that we were locked out of our house with no spare key. A friend had unintentionally locked us out after borrowing the key and locking it inside. (Don't worry Hil, I said friend instead of your name so nobody knows it was you.) Anyway, upon first discovery, Zachary nearly started to cry, "I don't want to sleep in the garage!" We assured him we would definitely not sleep in the garage.

We tried to figure out the best option to get in, but we're just too safe, I suppose -- all doors and windows were locked good and tight. When Zachary saw that we weren't going to get in quickly, he came up with the obvious solution the rest of us had missed: "Well, I guess we'll have to live in the garage." That's it! Forget the rest of the house. This garage IS nice. I mean, it's got more toys in it than I allow into the house, so why not? It's where we keep our food storage, our space heater and our sleeping bags (not to mention the tent), so why didn't we think of it sooner? Forget the warm house with comfortable beds. :)

Oh, the innocence of children. He seemed to accept it quickly and realize that his life was about to change. Little did he know that his daddy would get us inside just a few minutes later. (Of course, I can't divulge HOW we got in or it would compromise our safety if YOU tried to break in! And I won't mention how easy it can be to break into a house with a screwdriver and pliers.) I'll remember the garage, though, next time Zachary wants to go camping. Sure -- set up your tent in the garage. And don't wake me up when you come inside in the middle of the night after changing your mind!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Little Things

I'm always so glad when little things make me happy. Mind you, the big things (family, friends, health, etc.) are always something to be grateful about, but it's great when something small makes your day.

I had this thought this morning as I saw some construction on an intersection near my home. Grateful for construction? No, I'm not that crazy. But it reminded me of an experience I had last year -- something small and probably even stupid -- that made me giddy. That's right -- not just happy, but giddy!

A road near my home had been closed for altogether too long for construction. It was really inconvenient for many of us in Spanish Fork. I looked forward to the day they re-opened the road, and I even told people maybe I'd hang out at the construction site just to be the first one on the new road.

Okay, I have four kids. No hanging out anywhere I want to hang out ... as if I really WOULD want to hang out at a construction site. However, one day as I was driving home from the park with my boys, I saw a construction worker standing near the "Road Closed" sign. I figured out very quickly that he was going to stick it in the back of his truck and re-open the road.

I seriously could not believe my luck. My friend was coming home a few cars behind me and missed the whole thing, I later found out. Anyway, I turned on my blinker and waited a few seconds for him to get that sign into his truck. Then I turned onto the new road and was the first person to drive on the new road! I couldn't believe it!!! What luck! It was such a dumb, small thing, but I was giddy -- my kids and I were yelling and cheering, and I was laughing my head off.

I came home and called Paul immediately and shared the "great" news. He was happy for me. I also called my friend to see if she had noticed the open road (although only one person could be the first person to drive on it, and I had taken that privilege). She was excited for the open road, too, and I think she even got a kick out of me being the first person to drive on it ... or at least a kick out of how giddy I was about it.

Experiences like that make me wonder how many times Heavenly Father gives us little experiences and blessings just to make our day. I know I've done small things for my kids that I know will make them happy, so I don't know why He wouldn't do the same for us. Most people had no care in the world whether or not they were the first one on the road -- they just wanted it open. I thought it would be so cool, but I realized it would never happen. And then it did. Who says all miracles have to be spiritual and life-changing? :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Amazing Race

Okay, say what you will, but isn't this the best TV season in a long time? Paul and I are not big TV watchers in that there are very few shows that we watch regularly. We sometimes watched Supernanny when we could catch it (we have never known its regular day or time) in hopes that it would inspire us. You know, help us see a few ways we could improve as parents, and also help us feel grateful that our kids aren't so bad.

Anyway, the only show we have watched regularly in the past few years in The Amazing Race. Isn't it the best?!? It's on Sundays, so we record it and watch it later. However, last year we recorded every episode except the finale! Can you believe it?!? We had been invited to someone's house for dinner and forgot to record it. That was a huge bummer. This year the first two episodes happened while we were out of town. My parents' DVR has never been so welcome! They have it set to record every week, so we were able to catch up. Hooray for technology!!!

So, we're also actually watching three other shows this season, which is a first. We're enjoying Chuck and are excited for the recent twists thrown in. (This is another one we have to watch later since this one is on Monday nights. However, no TiVo necessary since NBC plays full episodes online. FINALLY, a network that gets the power of the Internet ...) It's one that doesn't require a lot of brain work, and Paul enjoys watching a geek who gets to drive around a "Nerd Herd" car.

The other two shows we're enjoying are Bionic Woman and Life. Neither one of them give you all the info in the first show, so it's interesting each week to see what else we can figure out. In any case, we're having fun with them. And we're glad to watch something together other than the news, which is usually not exciting or discussion-worthy.

Okay, and I nearly forgot to mention another favorite we have this year: BYU football!!! Thanks to Hilary we get to see every game instead of just hearing the scores the next day. Go Cougs!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Golden Compass

Have you heard of the movie The Golden Compass? It's set to come out in a couple of weeks, and it has anti-religious themes. Apparently the writer, an athiest, wanted to write a trilogy to combat the Christian theme of The Chronicles of Narnia. This movie (The Golden Compass starring Nicole Kidman) is based on the first book, and in the third book the kids actually kill God. (To verify the facts, visit snopes.com.)

Now here's my question for you: If you're an athiest, how do you kill God? Isn't that an oxymoron ... emphasis on moron? If you're athiest, you don't believe in God, so how can you kill Him? Just goes to show how even those who profess to NOT believe in a sense believe.

Reminds me of a quote from LDS prophet Spencer W. Kimball: "One theologian indicated it was impossible for man to find God or know God. This is like saying: 'I have never climbed Mt. Ararat -- no one can climb Ararat; or, I have never bathed in the clear warm waters of the Adriatic -- there is no Adriatic Sea; or, I have never seen the wild life in Kruger Park -- there is no Kruger Park; or, I have always had health -- therefore, the pain which people claim, must be a figment of their imaginations. I have never astronauted into space; therefore, no one can speed through space.' How different then is it to say I have never heard nor seen God -- therefore, no man has ever seen nor heard God nor walked with Him. How presumptuous and arrogant for any man to say God is unapproachable, unknowable, unseeable, unhearable because that one himself has not prepared himself for the experience."

President Kimball also said, "The skeptic will some day either in time or eternity learn to his sorrow that his egotism has robbed him of much joy and growth." (Both quotes in 'Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, p. 239-240.)

I urge you to boycott seeing this film and instead make all those around you aware of its intent. Let's stand up for Christianity, right and good by saying that we won't buy into anti-religious movies and messages -- no matter what Hollywood star is promoting it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Where's the treat?

Okay, so I've never been a big fan of pets. Sorry, but I always feel like I have to wash my hands every time I touch them. (I won't tell you how I cleaned them as a child to save time -- it's just gross ... but at least I spit afterwards.) Okay, TMI.

Anyway, I'm fine with people liking their pets, and I'm definitely against animal abuse. However, they're not your kids. Seriously. I couldn't believe when I got my first professional job and a dog was in our office daily. When he ate a wrapper out of my garbage can, I got into trouble for leaving a choking hazard for the owner's dog. When he had gas in the conference room during a LONG meeting, the owner just laughed. And when he barfed on a co-workers' feet and she screamed, she was told it was no worse than baby spit-up. (Let's not mention that babies were not allowed at the office ...)

Anyway, I had a moment recently when I realized the dog love has gone too far -- when I visited the bank. Now, my kids love going through the drive-thru at the bank, because they always get a sucker. What more could a kid ask for when just sitting in the car? However, they now have doggie biscuits at the drive-thru!!! And my sisters' bank doesn't even have suckers for the kids -- only doggie treats for the dogs. Hello, what am I missing?

Ok, my sister Rachel does have a really cute dog that Shayla loves. However, even she thought it strange that the bank offered the puppy a treat and none of her kids got one. As long as I never have to encounter Gabe the smelly office dog again, though, I think I can handle some doggie biscuits at the drive-thru, even if it is ridiculous.

To end on a positive note, here is a cute pic of my sister's dog Daisy dreaming big ...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sleep

We're home now and very much enjoying sleeping in our own beds. (I say beds, because the kids -- especially Shayla -- are happy to have their own beds. Thought I better clarify lest any of you be concerned for me and Paul ...)

So, it just makes me wonder: How is it that while sleeping I can hear any of Shayla's coughs, whimpering or sneezes from her room across the hall, but I don't hear Paul's alarm clock in my own room every morning???

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tissue Paper

So, misunderstanding stink. Anyone care to disagree? Paul and I realized a bit too late on our trip to Washington that we had a misunderstanding with some friends, which meant we ended up not being able to see and visit with them. We were bummed since we haven't seen any of them for more than two years now. Sigh ...

I wish misunderstandings didn't have to be so frustrating. I know when Paul and I have misunderstandings, it usually results in an argument of some kind until we realize that there is a misunderstanding.

I have had one misunderstanding, though, that was the perfect misunderstanding -- perfect because it wasn't frustrating at all, and ended up being rather hilarious once we discovered it. Let me explain ...

After Zachary's birthday party two years ago I started cleaning up when the doorbell rang. It was my dear friend Julie. I had just folded down the gift bags he received and folded up the tissue paper to put away. When I invited Julie in I set down the tissue paper as I walked into the other room. She looked over and said, "Oh! I just bought some tissue paper from Costco, too." I told her that I really hadn't purchased any for a while, because I just re-use it. She asked in a surprised voice, "You re-use it?" I said yes. She looked puzzled and said, "How do you re-use it?"

Well, this didn't seem too strange for me, especially when I knew Julie wasn't any more into spending money than I am. So, I explained that I just folded it up and put it away until I needed it again. She again looked puzzled and asked how I folded it. I said I just folded it however I wanted to and stuck it somewhere until I needed it. Anyway, I could tell this was not getting through to her, and I was confused about why this was so puzzling. Whatever. We dropped the subject and went on w/our playdate.

Well, I was so confused by the situation that when Paul got home I told him about this weird conversation I had with Julie. He just started laughing, and again I was felt clueless. I asked him what was so funny. He asked me where I had set down the tissue paper when Julie came in. I said behind the couch. He said, "And what is behind the couch?" I went and looked, and right behind the couch under my tissue paper was a huge pack of Costco toilet paper, which they call tissue paper. OH! Oops. No wonder she was confused when I talked about folding it and putting it away until I needed it again. Gross!

I called Julie to explain, and even when I tried to clarify it took her a little bit to understand what I was talking about. Finally I made it clear that I don't re-use toilet paper, just tissue paper for gift bags. To this day I laugh whenever I think of our tissue paper misunderstanding. Paul says that is waht you call a perfect misunderstanding. Why can't they all be as fun as this one about tissue paper?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Change

We're still here in Washington, and to Paul it feels like we've stepped back in time. So much has happened in our lives in the past couple of years (new job, new home, new baby) that he says it feels like things here were so long ago. Mind you, things here have changed quite a bit. Covington is growing a lot commercially, which only makes it more convenient.

One thing that hasn't changed: TRAFFIC! It's horrible here. We had forgotten that part and weren't too happy being reminded of it. Maybe it has changed and is actually worse. Could I have forgotten it being so bad? I think yes ... and I'm so grateful I'm not commuting from Covington to Bellevue everyday in stop-and-go Seattle traffic, emphasis on stop!

One of the coolest changes we saw was that of our old house. From the front it looks like nothing has changed, except for a potted plant we didn't own and one tree missing. However, inside it is now perfect! The only thing that really stunk about our home was our small kitchen. (A friend referred to it as a one-bum kitchen.) Those of you who had been there know what I'm talking about -- the kitchen was the width of the refrigerator door. (I know, because I opened the fridge door daily and it barely cleared the counters on the opposite side of the kitchen.)

So, we loved that house, except for our small kitchen. The people who bought our house intended to live there for six months and then turn it into a rental. However, they ended up loving the neighborhood (it was great!) and staying -- but they fixed the kitchen. They added on a small amount to the house to make the kitchen and dining room bigger. Now it is perfect! It is such a beautiful kitchen. I'm so glad we didn't make that improvement ourselves, or it would have made it that much harder to move from Washington to Utah.

Here's a pic of the new kitchen:



Isn't it beautiful? The new owner was very gracious to let us come see it w/o any notice. (That's her on the right.)

This trip has reminded me of how much has changed in our lives. I am also reminded of how beautiful Washington is and how few trees Utah really has! In any case, Utah is home now, but we will always love Washington and the people we know here. So until our next visit, adios.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Road Trip Lessons

So, we've made it to Washington! We spent hours and hours in the car with kids, and thought we'd share the wisdom we've gained on our road trip thus far, even though we're not even half-way done:

1. TV trumps the family. When we arrived at the hotel in Baker City, Oregon, Becca discovered pretty quickly that the TV had the Disney Channel. Needless to say, that was the last we heard from or saw her. She decided she'd rather watch her shows (Hannah Montana, etc.) than come swimming with the family. Hope those memories last her for years to come ....

2. McDonald's is the only way to go. Last night we made the mistake of trying to eat at Taco Bell. The kids promised they'd eat their tacos and were excited about the goofy glasses that came with the kids' meals. So, we sat down to eat and neither of the boys wanted to eat their tacos. So, we told them we couldn't leave until they had each eaten one. Tyler thought we were torturing him. He was crying and rubbing his tummy and going on and on about how he was already full and didn't want to eat the taco. I guess his act worked for others, because they were staring like we WERE torturing him. How did we react? We took pictures. :) This is Paul's favorite:


3. Denise doesn't handle road trips well. I'll admit it -- I get irritable and impatient. Probably enough said on that one ...

4. Your tallest finger is your middle finger. How cool is that? (This discovery was made by Tyler.)

5. Google Maps isn't the end-all. That's right. As much as I LOVE Google and all they do, their map led us astray. In fact, it created quite a "disturbance" between me and Paul in the front seat as we got lost and honked at. Afterwards I got reprimanded by my six-year-old.

6. Portable DVD players (especially with headsets) are the best thing since sliced bread! That and Baby Einstein. We plan to put on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on the drive home. Usually it seems a lot too long for us (the kids love it), but we think this long road trip may actually make it seem short, if that's possible. At the end of the first day I commended Tyler for being good in the car, to which he responded, "That's because I can watch movies."

7. Hotel rooms are not sound-proof. Our room in Wenatchee had a triple-whammy: parking lot on one side, stairs to the exit on one side, and vending machines outside the door. Fortunately the one room we shared a wall with was quiet.

8. Actually, make that a quadruple whammy. We discovered after leaving our stuff in the room for hours that the door didn't require a key to enter. Fortunately nobody else realized it, or if they did they realized we had nothing worth stealing.

9. Gas prices in Utah ain't so bad. We realized very quickly in Oregon that gas cost more there, and we figured it was because by law an employee has to pump it for you. (We always forget this and start pumping ourselves -- that gets them out the door in a heartbeat to come pump for you.) Anyway, when the guy handed me the bill I realized it was $3.09 per gallon. The other side of the freeway was $3.15, so we actually fared well. Apparently it isn't just that they have to pump it for you -- here in Wenatchee the gas is $3.19 per gallon, and of course we're on empty.

10. Prayers are answered. In addition to not killing any of our kids yet, we made it farther on a tank of gas than we probably should have. We saw signs saying there were a few cities between us and our destination, so we were in no hurry to get gas. However, these cities consisted of a few cows, from what we could see. One did have a gas station, but it was closed. (It also looked like it hadn't been updated since the early '70s.) In any case, we were watched over and got to Baker City without running out of gas, which we didn't think was possible.

11. Our family likes to have more than one room to sleep in. Shayla isn't used to having anyone in her room when she's going to sleep, so that's been an adjustment. She had just quieted down the first night when Zachary turned on the lights to fix his blanket exactly how he wanted. That was the first proof that Denise doesn't have patience on road trips.

12. Shayla can be quite cute in the middle of the night. As mentioned, she isn't used to having anyone in her room when she's sleeping. So, during the first night (I'm guessing somewhere between midnight and 2 a.m.) she woke up and saw either me or Tyler and started saying, "Peek-a-boo!" and "Boo!" It was really cute, but I kept my eyes closed to make her think she needed to go back to sleep. Then she grabbed my hand. It was hard not to give her a big kiss, but I just patted her hand and turned over. What a cutie!

13. Anniversaries are best when you are NOT on a road trip. Yup, yesterday was anniversary #7. Hooray. Seems like a lot longer, actually. :) Anyway, we did get to sleep in a hotel, we just shared the room with four kids ... not our best anniversary celebration, but at least we're enjoying each other's company.

14. Seeing Aunt Velda was as wonderful as we had hoped. Poor Velda is in so much pain with her cancer, but she is still a delight at the same time. We love her, and that made the drive worth it all.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween pics

It's November? Really? Where did October go?

Okay, at least Halloween was a blast! Our boys are old enough to really enjoy it, and they both wore their pirate costumes all day. (BTW, did you know pirates HAVE to wear boots? I didn't know until I was informed yesterday. Tyler was worried that his boots have some blue on them, because pirate boots are supposed to be completely black. Too bad. However, these "snow" boots also double very nicely as fireman boots, which are also supposed to be completely black. In any case, we get our money's worth out of "seasonal" boots!)

Becca had a really cute idea to be the tooth fairy, and I ended up getting some stuff cheap at Kmart yesterday. If you could stand to make your kid wait until the day of Halloween to get what's left, you could get some really cheap Halloween stuff! She already knew what she was going to be, but I picked up a couple of things to accent her costume (fairy skirt and tiara).

Shayla LOVED Halloween! I put her in her dress all day, because it was just so darn cute that I wanted her to wear it as long as possible. And she LOVED it. She loved seeing other people dressed up. She loved all the decorations. And most of all she loved being given candy for no reason at all.

Anyway, here are our cuties all dressed up:




Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Mom

So, I think I had some poor teenage boy at wit's end yesterday. Obviously he hasn't had a lot of experience with women, or at least with snippety moms ... I'm guessing he was a teenager, because he worked at a call center and sounded very young.

Anyway, he asked me who my employer was. I said I guessed it was me. He asked, "So, you're self-employed?" I said, "Well, I don't get paid." He said, "So you don't work?" I said, "I'm a mom -- of course I work!" He said, "So, your a stay-at-home mom?" I said, "Well, I don't really stay at home much, but I am a mom." At this point I could tell he had no idea what to ask or write down for his "standard" question.

I said, "You haven't really talked to a lot of moms, have you?" He said no. I said, "Well, I'm a mom, so obviously I do a lot of work, although I'm not home much, and I don't get paid." He finally acted like he got it. However, maybe he just figured he'd move on and skip all of the other "standard" questions to find out why I was calling. Poor boy!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Primary Programs ...

Since having kids, I love the annual primary program at church. This is for two reasons:
  1. First and best reason of all: It gives me a one-week break from trying to keep my kids quiet during Sacrament meeting. Love that!
  2. Oh, and the second reason: It's fun to watch my own kids try to sing the songs, especially when they don't know all the words.

I had plans for both this year, and both backfired on me badly. Okay, I guess I did get a break from trying to keep MY primary-aged kids quiet during Sacrament meeting; however, since I had Hilary's little girl I wasn't free. Of course I still had Shayla, so I wouldn't have been completely free even without Brynne, but with only one child there are no fights to break up. I discovered quickly that it was best to keep these two separated. But that was easy enough. Now on to my second problem ...

I couldn't see either one of my kids! Tyler was just an unfortunate event -- he sat right behind the podium. I had gotten there early enough to get a center seat (which is impressive since my ward is an early-arriving ward). I was happy about this since I have the knack for always choosing the wrong side to sit on to see my kids during programs. So, in the middle I thought I was safe. Not so. I even moved over five seats and still couldn't see him. Sigh ... so I move on to see how Zachary is doing.

I was a little worried about Zachary, because Tyler left him in the dust going up to the stage, so he was too scared to go up alone. I asked Becca to walk him up while the kids were still going up, but she just took him to the aisle and pointed to the stage. He got up on the stage but got scared and came back down with the saddest look on his face. So, Becca took him and pointed out his Primary teacher so he would get the courage to go up on stage. And he did. So, how was he doing now? WHO KNOWS?!? I don't know who planned the seating chart, but why on earth would you put 11-year-old boys in front of the 4-year-olds?!?

Needless to say, I spent the first half of the program just annoyed! I mean REALLY annoyed. Then I got a bright idea -- I could go stand on the side holding Shayla and probably see at least Tyler. So I did. I guess having Shayla to look after DID come in handy so I didn't look like a pathetic parent just trying to see her kids. Bingo. I could see Tyler. He spotted me pretty quickly and started doing a YMCA-song type thing with his arms. (He later told me that he was spelling Mom with his arms. Thanks, son!)

Eventually Zachary moved a little to the left and the 11-year-old boy in front of him moved a little to the right, so I could see Zachary. Boy did he look cute doing his sign language during that particular song. Tyler did, too, now that I could see him.

Zachary was very flushed by the time the program was over, but he did it. And I even got to see some of it. I guess that'll satisfy me for another year.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pumpkin Carving

Halloween is almost here ...




Carving pumpkins is always fun. It seems that every year I think somehow I'm going to get away with just using a spoon to get out the seeds, but it always turns out that I have to ditch the spoon and just dig into the gooey mess with my bare hands. Maybe I'm just old if I don't WANT to dig it out w/o a spoon in the first place.

I love that Zachary drew hair and a goatee (or as he calls it, a go-a-tee) on his pumpkin. Tyler had drawn out a picture of what he wanted his jack-o-lantern to look like, and he had me cut it just like the picture. Becca messed up on hers, which made her a little grumpy. She got really grumpy when Paul fixed her error with a couple of toothpicks. Now she no longer had a reason to be grumpy, which made her even more grumpy!

Anyway, we haven't cooked the seeds in a while, but our kids have survived w/o eating them once again this year. However, Tyler did save several seeds so he can plant them and grow pumpkins in our back yard. Hmmm ... I guess there's no harm in trying. I did hear someone who said their best-grown watermelons ever were from their kids spitting out their seeds in the dirt. Tyler took his seeds to school in a Ziploc to show his classmates. I found them the other day growing mold, so I tossed them without him seeing (which is not easy to do in this house! Sometimes I feel like the kids have "garbage patrol" to make sure I haven't tossed anything "important"). So, for now we'll stick to buying pumpkins from Maceys when they go on sale for 9 cents a pound. :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Jury Duty

How is it that two small words can create such distaste and/or fear in people? Well, my letter came in the mail this week. Jury duty. On Halloween. Halloween?!? Don't ruin a perfectly fun holiday for me! I have to miss Tyler's class carnival (I signed up to help) because I don't know how long I will be at the court ... they even specify to bring something to do so you don't get too bored.

So, today I had a brilliant idea ... If I show up in costume, do you think the judge would immediately dismiss me? What costume would be the best to get out of there quickly? A robber with a plastic gun? An escaped convict in a jail costume? Actually, either one of those might get me thrown into jail. So, let's see ... how about a protester? You know, hold up a sign saying something like, "Guilty unless proven innocent, but probably guilty!" Or maybe I should just dress as a judge with a clown wig ...

In any case, I am excited for Halloween. Isn't it a fun holiday?!? I am so excited for Shayla's costume. She's going to be a witch, and the orange and black costume actually match her hair pretty well. When I took her in for professional pics, the photographers were oohing and aahing over her like they'd never seen a girl so cute, which I'm sure they hadn't (says the mom).

My boys are going to be pirates again. They were pirates two years ago as well. They debated about firemen (which they were last year) and pirates, but when the dollar store had weapons for pirates, well, then it was obvious in their minds what they should be. Let's face it -- the dollar store just doesn't carry rubber hoses, fire hydrants or stuffed dalmatians. But I'm guessing this may not be our last year of fire fighters and/or pirates. Becca's costume idea is a cute one. She's going as the tooth fairy. I told her she should give out pennies to kids she passes while trick-or-treating.

In any case, I don't know how anyone doesn't just LOVE Halloween -- cute kids, yummy candy and awesome Halloween scrapbooking paper and embellishments. And it all boils down to scrapbooking once again ... :)

Pics will come on Nov. 1 ... as well as juicy details about my jury duty experience, which I'm hoping end up being not so juicy and more like non-existent.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Forgetting again ...

I forgot to mention (HA!) that my memory problems aren't helped by Shayla starting to walk. I forgot how much of a difference it makes when a toddler all of a sudden has both hands available while moving around instead of needing them to crawl. So, we're missing all sorts of things now -- my hairbrush, the remote, etc. Good thing she's got us wrapped around her little finger.

A friend mentioned that she noticed no pics of Shayla on the blog. Funny considering she's our main photo subject. So, to appease the masses ... ;)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Forgetful

Really. How is it that I can be so young and yet so forgetful?!? I am painfully reminded of this often. This week already I've forgotten a dentist appointment (Becca's), a friend's plan to come visit (I stood her up!), and probably countless other things ... I just haven't yet remembered what I forgot.

The best explanation that I've heard as to why moms get so forgetful is that they're the brains for so many people. You know, their husband and all their kids. Let's face it -- how many kids know where they need to be and when? And how many dads schedule or take their kids to doctor appointments, parent-teacher conferences or soccer practice? And how many husbands remember to make or go to their dentist appointment w/o their wife reminding them? If you are male and don't need any dental reminders, you are in the minority! So, according to this theory I'm now the brain for six people instead of just myself. That means I have A LOT more to remember, which sadly means I also have a lot more to forget.

I'd like to think once the kids are out of the house my brain will return to its normal "small size" and function properly. But I think by that point my brain will be worn out and just not work as well. (You know, like an old sock with a few holes in it.) That's what I'm guessing happens when you get old (not a hole in the brain, just the not working as well). I'm guessing no amount of brain exercises will fix that, but let's not get hasty and give up Sudoku.

For now, I'll try to write down a lot more and check the calendar more often -- if I remember!!! :) I remembered about the dentist appointment until the day of, and then things happened and I forgot. So sad, considering I was annoyed when they called to remind me and wanted me to call back to confirm. I didn't. Maybe that's why I forgot? It'd serve me right I suppose.

Anyone have any better theories as to why I'm losing my mind?!? :)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Freezing cold BYU game

So, we braved the forecasted weather to attend the BYU football game on Saturday. Hilary's parents had given her tickets, so we planned to enjoy a game and some reminiscing about our college days when we went to ALL the BYU football games. However, then we were blessed by our friend Jack Jenkins to receive additional tickets, which allowed my boys (Paul, Tyler and Zachary) to join us. (Hilary's boy was in Boston and therefore unable to attend and none of our girls wanted to.)

Anyway, the game was great! BYU won 42-7, so we got to sing the Cougar fight song seven+ times and watch the Army do lots of push-ups. However, at the end of the third quarter the snow started down. We were brave. We held on for at least another five minutes. And that's five minutes football time. But at the beginning of the fourth quarter we ran for it -- us and about 30,000 other fans. Needless to say, by the time we made it back to the car (with Zachary crying half of the way), snow covered the ground everywhere and it was FREEZING! It was so cold we didn't even take any pictures. (Yes, THAT cold!)

Anyway, we recovered quickly and figure it was all fun and game. We have some fun pictures of Zachary trying to hide from the snow while also trying to catch a snowflake on his tongue. And of course, there is me and Hil having our fun like we did in the good ol' days ...

Oh, I almost forgot. I thought Paul and I were true BYU fans, but I do have to embarrassingly admit that we have NEVER carved a pumpkin into a BYU football helmet to wear at any time. Maybe one day, but don't count on it!!!








Saturday, October 20, 2007

Brown PR

So, what's up with the BrownPR address, anyway? Is it that I plan to open a public relations company one day called Brown Public Relations (or Brown PR for short)? Possibly so, but I guess you'll have to stay in touch with us to find out if and when that happens. Paul actually set up the address based on his initials: P.R. Brown. Mind you, it makes me happy since PR is in my blood. :) Had we chosen my initials, it just wouldn't have been the same: BrownDNoMiddleInitial.blogspot.com. I guess I could have put my name and b-day, which would have been quite fitting since my b-day is 411, and this blog may have a bit of information in it. Of course, it may also be full of hot air or sweet nothings ... I'll let you be the judge.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Blog Mania

So, blogs got really hot about five years ago when I was working in PR. Our agency kept telling us that we needed to be watching certain editors' blogs so we could see what they're thinking about products and services and such. You know, their "behind-the-scenes" thoughts when they didn't have to act unbiased. I thought blogs were the dumbest thing I ever heard of. (Okay, maybe not as dumb as a TV show based on Caveman commercials I didn't find very funny.)

Anyway, I still think they're kind of dumb. However, why not own a little slice of my own on the Web? I'd like to think I'll be humorous and witty like other blogs I've seen, but I doubt I will be. If nothing else, I will be real. As if you thought I'd be anything else ... :)