Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

We are so excited around here for the big day. In fact, the boys got Santa's plate with cookies and his glass of milk ready for him yesterday because they are so excited. We have fun plans for today and tonight and I can't wait to watch the boys' excitement tomorrow.

I haven't blogged in a while and we have done tons of stuff since then but here is a quick rundown of a few of the highlights.

Last week we had some friends from school (most of whom happen to be neighbors as well) over for a little afterschool party. The kids all got to make a reindeer cookie, color a Christmas coloring page and then just played. It was lots of fun and included a funny face making contest:

Last Saturday some of our friends had us over for a Gingerbread House making party. They had really nice kits for us to use-better than any other kit I have ever used. Jack was my partner and Nathan and Josh were partners. I had so much fun. In fact after everyone else was done decorating I was till going just because I was enjoying myself so much.

This family also lives on "Christmas Card Lane"- a group of streets near us that all go all out for Christmas. Their claim to fame is that they all have wooden cutouts of familiar characters in their front yards along with Christmas lights and decorations. They have everything from Superman to Veggie Tales, Peanuts Characters to Monsters Inc, 101 Dalmations, Star Wars, Spiderman, Wall-E, space shuttles, and the traditional nativity. There are probably at least 100 houses that participate. It is a lot of fun to see.

We have also had fun taking treats to our neighbors and I just had to take a picture because I thought they turned out so cute. I have loved seeing the boys get so excited to deliver them-I think when we do that they can feel that great Spirit of Christmas feeling that we all know and love.

Those are a few highlights of our last week or two. It has been like a non-stop party around here. Josh finally had to make me cut things off of my list of things I wanted to do this Christmas because there wasn't enough time to do everything I wanted to. Thanks Josh! We have also had some nice family time snuggling and watching movies, and things.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays...

I haven't listened the the Carpenters in years, but today is bringing me back. Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...

I can't really say that today is getting me down exactly, but it has been an interesting day.

Not so great things that have happened today:

1. It is raining and cold! I have not seen weather like this in San Diego. It is windy, steady rain, and just downright blustery. (Honestly though, I don't really mind that other than when I have to leave the house to get Nathan from school and when I stepped in a large puddle this morning. Feels kind of cozy.)

2. I found out at about 9 this morning that my website has been down since yesterday afternoon at around 2. OK, things like that happen, but this literally means hundreds of dollars lost probably since it is the very end of the Christmas shopping season and Sunday evenings and Monday mornings are probably my best time for sales during Christmas. Luckily the site came back up about 30 minutes ago. Still no email, but the site is up.

3. Found out today that Target is not going to ship Nathan's Christmas jammies until January. That is extremely convenient since I ordered them October 30th. They could have at least let me know that they couldn't ship them sometime prior to Dec. 15th! I found some replacements on Amazon but the only size they have is 10, so looks like Nathan will have large jammies this Christmas.

4. Jack spilled Cheerios ALL OVER the floor. I told him he needed to clean them up. He refused. I told him he needed to clean them up or no lunch. He refused. I told him he needed to clean them up in the next 6 minutes or no lunch and straight to nap. He refused. So Jack went down for nap with no lunch.

Good things that have happened today:

1. I snuggled with Jack in my bed this morning and read stories. That is one of my 2 favorite things to do with my kids.

2. Dallen is in a really fun mood today and has just been happy and cute all morning.

3. I saved lots of $$ Grocery Gaming again. :) Went to Vons and CVS first thing this morning. Oh ye unbelievers-you should give it a try.

4. This afternoon I am planning to bake cookies with my boys. My other top favorite thing to do with my kiddos.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Recent Funnies

Here are a few funny things the boys have said this week:

Today I was making myself a master list of things I need to do between now and Christmas. I was really just thinking outloud but I said"hmm, Jack, what do I still need to do between now and Christmas" and was suprised when he said "let's see..." as though he was really thinking about it for me. Then he responded "buy more presents!" (Have I mentioned that he prays every night for "toys and toys and more toys, and toys and lots of toys?" I promise we are trying to teach him the true meaning of Christmas.)

On Sunday night Jack came out of his room a while after going to bed and he had a bloody nose. After I cleaned him up and got it stopped I asked him if there was any blood on his pillow. He said no so I asked him how he knew he had a bloody nose. He said" Oh, three drops went into my mouth. It tasted kind of good!" I responded "You must be a vampire!" He got really excited about that. He ran to his room saying "I am a vampire." Then he said "I don't think vampires listen to their moms do they?" Nice try Jack. "Vampires ALWAYS listen to their moms."

Last night I was driving with the boys and one of the young women from church. The teenager turned around and asked the boys if they have any pets. Nathan said "well, not really." I laughed and said "why 'not really?' We don't have any so shouldn't the answer be no?" Nathan said "well, there's the ants..." I explained to him that usually if you don't want it in your house, it isn't considered a pet! :)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

We just got home from enjoying a white Christmas-San Diego style and now the children are nestled all snug in their beds (it's nap time) and by the looks of things all 3 (yes Nathan too) are down for the count for several hours. Ah blessed peace!

So, here in San Diego, this is how we enjoy a white Christmas:

Yes, that is snow-real snow. I don't know where they got it or made it, but they brought it in to the local park and made a day full of fun out of it. Imagine, some of the kids here probably have never seen snow before. In fact, our neighbor friend (adult neighbor friend) showed up and said "I didn't know we were supposed to bring sliding things, uh, boogie boards." Nope, she didn't know what sleds were called! Love it! And check this out, people even made snowmen:

(No, that snowmen is not more than 6 inches tall)

The whole event was a ton of fun. They had face painting:

Santa visits:

(Love the way Jack is looking at Santa in this picture)

Train rides:

Bouncy castles, carriage rides, hotdogs, entertainment, and even International Folk Dancers:
(Well bummer-I can't get the video to upload but just know that Nathan, Jack and I had some serious dance moves-it was a kangaroo dance)

This video is really long but just a few seconds of watching and you can see-yes, that is talent, pure talent. An Australian dance.

Did I mention that it was in the 70s outside? Ahh, this is my kind of White Christmas!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wat I Wont for Kristmas

My kids have had a great day for making me smile. Here are the things I can remember:

Nathan started out the day by writing his letter to Santa (this was all of his own accord). He had it in an envelope before I could write down exactly what it said, but it went something like this:

Deare Santa
Wat I wont for kristmas is a batman toy Nathan

Then he proceeded to write Jack's letter for him as well. He wrote it as if he was Jack and signed Jack's name (by the way, Jack's said he wants a Superman toy). Then he wrote North Pol Santa on them and I sent them both out to mail them. It was so cute to watch the two of them run out to the mailbox and stuff their letters inside. They were so excited and being such good friends.

Soon after this I found Dallen eating food from our trash can. He was pulling dry bread crusts out and eating them. At that point I decided I should feed him breakfast. :) OK, this one shouldn't make me laugh, it should make me cringe but it was sort of funny.

My grandparents were in town and took us to lunch. At lunch we were talking about Santa and talking about how Santa only brings presents to kids who have been good. My grandpa asked Jack if he has been good. His response? "!" At least he is honest! (Actually he is a good little guy.)

Then at lunch he all of a sudden bursts out with "Mom, you are amazing." Completely unprovoked. That's right kid, and don't you forget it.

There were several more but of course that is all my brain still recalls. I love the things kids do and say!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Thanksgiving

We had the best Thanksgiving weekend. I just love Thanksgiving-I love the warm and cozy feeling of it, the kickoff to Christmas, watching the parade while the food cooks, the feelings of gratitude, the chance to relax and have fun at the same time and this year I loved being with our wonderful friends, the Dickmans.

The boys all hit it off as if we had never been apart (they moved from Madison to the Bay Area two months before we left Madison so we haven't seen them in 6 months). Nathan and Trey (and Jack and Justin most of the time too) played tirelessly. There was no end to their ideas of things to do. Legos, backyard games, Wii, and who knows what else-we barely saw Nathan the whole weekend-he was busy playing with Trey.

On Wednesday we went to the Jelly Belly Factory to see how Jelly Bellies are made. It was funny because we have been to the one in WI but that is just a big warehouse that they drive you around in and show you videos of the actual factory and we never thought we would actually get to the real factory-but now we have! We even got to sample Jelly Bellies at the end and got a free bag. My favorite flavor was 7-up!

Thursday was a nice day just spending time with everyone. I think we cooked a pretty mean Thanksgiving dinner if I do say so myself. The only bummer was that I totally botched the Orange Rolls. Turns out the recipe I was using was supposed to make 48 rolls and I only did 24 so they were way too big and burned on the outside but were raw on the inside. The Pumpkin Cheesecake turned out wonderful though!

We also made turkey cookies with the boys that day. Without talking about it ahead of time, Nanci and I had both bought stuff to make Turkey Cookies but we each had a different style so the boys each got to make 2 different kinds:

Thursday night was our Polar Express party! The boys got in their jammies and all of a sudden from the other room the conductor (Josh) was calling "All Aboard!" and blowing a train whistle. The boys went running too see what was going on. I handed each one a ticket which the conductor punched...

...followed by a "train ride" through the house (ie. holding onto each other's shirts and marching around the house to the soundtrack of the Polar Express). Then they boys sat down to watch the movie with popcorn. When the Hot Chocolate part came along we paused the movie and they all came into the kitchen and had hot chocolate.

Friday we went to the Oakland Zoo. It is a really nice zoo-perfect for kids because it has a huge children's area with all kinds of fun things to climb on and play in:

Josh, what did you think of the Oakland zoo?

On the way home from the Zoo we stopped to see the beautiful Oakland temple:

Saturday we played at a park and then headed home. Luckily the drive home took only 8 hours rather than the 10 hour drive up due to 3 hours stuck in L.A. traffic.
Thanks Dickmans for a wonderful, wonderful weekend. We wished we lived closer-like next door. But at least we are all in California!

And a Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I was tagged so here you go:

8 tv shows I watch:
So You Think You Can Dance
That is my one and only show that I watch. We haven't even turned our TV on in San Diego other than the Olympics and to watch the announcement of the new Pres. of the country. TV just isn't our thing. (We do watch movies sometimes though.)

8 Favorite Restaurants:
Imperial Garden (in Madison)
Chin's (in Madison)
China Lily (in Provo but it closed)
Spaghetti Factory
Olive Garden
Panera Bread
Coldstone Creamery
Texas Roadhouse

8 Things I did yesterday:
Came to Northern Cal to see our friends the Dickmans
Went to the Jelly Belly Factory
Made rolls, cranberry salad and pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving
Got only 3 hours of sleep (driving late into the night)
Relaxed because we are on vacation
Went to the grocery store
Cooked lots of waffles (what we all eat every morning for breakfast and sometimes even lunch)
Went to bed early

8 things I look forward to:
Sleeping in past 7...someday
Going on a cruise with Josh
Going to Disneyland and Seaworld with the boys
Having more babies...but not for a while
Seeing the San Diego temple at Christmas
Visiting Denver on and after Christmas ('s a secret-the boys don't know we are going)
Visiting Oakland or San Fran tomorrow

8 things I love:
My 4 boys (as in Josh and my 3 sons)
Being a stay at home mom
Working on my business
A clean house
Madison bookclub

8 things I can't stand:
Cleaning bathrooms
Computers and printers that don't work
Sitting around and doing nothing

8 things on my wish list:
A house of my own
Seeing my Madison friends again
More dates with Josh
Dr. Mario for the Wii
New jeans and capris
Seeing my newest Nephew Daniel
People visiting us in San Diego

8 people I am tagging: (these are the people I think most likely to do it)

Kristen G. (whoops for putting maiden name initial!)
Kelly M. (again I put your maiden name initial-this is cousin Kelly!)
Natalie A.
Hannah B.
Marin C.
Liz A.
Erin S.

And anyone else who thinks it sounds fun!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Josh found Jack in the bathroom earlier this week. He was picking up stray ants (we have a terrible ant problem) one by one, saying to each one "how about you my little friend" and dropping them into the toilet!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Two little turkeys...

(Glad I spell so well-just realized I had spelled Turkeys wrong! Duh!)

Today Nathan is home from school (for Veteran's day) and since our days with Nathan home are rare I always like to try to do something fun on the days that he is with us. (Sweet Jack has commented twice lately that he wishes we were still in Madison because Nathan didn't go to school then. He misses big brother!)

Anyway, I couldn't think of anything fun to go and do today so I decided we would just stay around here and do Thanksgiving crafts. First we painted their hands and made handprint turkies which turned out really cute and were fun to make. Then we made Turkey hats. I will let the picture speak for itself. Now I have two little turkeys running around yelling "bock bock" (someone should teach these kids what turkeys say!) They wore these to Taco Bell at lunch and were sure that everyone was looking at them thinking "what cool hats." I'm sure they were too...

Monday, November 10, 2008

"I like peaches in heavy syrup...

...they're just good!"

Anyone remember that Geico commercial from like 6 years ago? It was one of me and Josh's favorites! Tonight it keeps running through my head along with "I just saved hundreds by switching to Geico!" (which I did in fact do just a few months ago). But tonight those slogans don't run through my head because of car insurance, they run through my head because I feel like a walking commercial. I have talked about it before, but I am going to talk about it again. I just have to! The Grocery Game

Dear Jen (Riday)-

You my friend are what I call a great friend. There are many reasons why you are a great friend, but tonight it is because you saved me $150 on groceries. Ah yes-several months ago you taught me to play "The Grocery Game" and tonight I scored big! For three months now I have been saving at the grocery store, but tonight was the best yet.

At the first store (of two) that I went to tonight, they were having an amazing sale on all things baking. I bought flour, sugar, cake mixes, brownie mixes, frosting, yeast, vanilla, powder sugar, brown sugar, cream of chicken soup, chips, chicken stock and other great things that I can't even remember right now. Bags and bags of these things-months and months worth of these things. And I spent $73. Total savings of $90.78 AND a $10 gift card for my next trip to the store (which may be tomorrow to take advantage of these sales again before they end). Between that and the trip to CVS and my other standby grocery store, I saved $150 today and came home with groceries galore, wrapping paper, toothpaste and all sorts of great spoils.

So again I say thank you. Thank you for teaching me to play the Grocery Game. This is too much fun!

Chicken Guts

Today has been one of those know the kind. Nothing major is going wrong, just lots of little things. Here is my experience from just after lunch:

Taking Dal upstairs to put him down for nap. I get to his room and the phone rings. Since it is in his room I decide to grab it. It is a business call and stupidly, I decide to answer it. It's a customer wanting to place an order-Great! I place her on "hold" (laying the phone outside of Dal's room on the landing) so I can lay the baby down for his nap quickly. But, Dal's crib is full of toys that Jack loaded into there earlier. I empty it as quickly as possible so that the customer isn't on hold too long. Lay baby down, close door, grab phone and head downstairs.

Sit down at computer to take order. Computer won't work. Grab crayon and piece of paper to write down her order so I can enter it into the computer later. She starts giving me her information, Jack starts singing. Jack continues to sing at the top of his lungs "chicken guts, chicken guts, la la la la chicken guts." Agh! OK, really the situation was funny and that is why I am writing about it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Camping Rewards and Date Night with Dal

There can't be anything better in the world than two boys, sitting on their dad's lap by the light of a campfire on a Friday night telling stories, eating smores, and singing songs about "Grey Squirrels" shaking their bushy tails. Nathan and Jack earned a daddy camping trip for their good behavior rewards charts, so Friday night Josh paid up. He took them to some lake I think (I don't know where it was or what it was called) and they did the whole camping thing. They had a wonderful time and I so glad they have a daddy who does such special things with them and I am so glad that I get to stay home and not be part of the camping thing (I am not really interested in sleeping on the ground thank you very much.) Me and Dallen had a little date of our own which involved dragging him around town doing some Christmas shopping (I am almost done!), getting me dinner at Panera (yum!), him going to bed, me watching the recorded version of the SYTYCD finale and then going to be by 9:30. Really exciting.

I thought I had other interesting things to post about but can't really think of any. Let's see. Here are the highlights of our week: Nathan and Jack were both sick or something on Thursday (Nate stayed home from school but was feeling better by about 9:30 so we ended up just having fun doing things together at home), we had some friends over for dinner tonight-a girl I met at the library who is also LDS and also just moved to the area and her family, a certain proposition passed here and now we are getting to hear about all of the lovely aftermath (good thing we have strong testimonies and now that what we are standing for is what the Lord wants us to be standing for), Monday night was a big Stake FHE which involved 135 people from our ward standing on a corner waving signs (for that certain prop) which actually was a lot of fun, yesterday I had a Super Saturday enrichment with crafts and classes, and it rained all day here today! (Loved that!)

Everyday when I pick Nathan up we stay at the playground and play for a while. This week I decided to take some pictures. I didn't get too many great ones but here are a few that are pretty cute!

Jack with his cute little friend Caleb:

Nathan the monkey with his friend Joshua (Caleb's brother-convenient that they have kids the same ages as mine and I really like their mom too!)

Jack Swinging:

And my funny little Dal who is so happy to hang out in the stroller and eat crackers and charm all the moms with his cute dimples:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

From the mouth of Jack

As bedtime rolled around tonight and it became apparent to the boys that tomorrow was the sabbath Jack asked "Is tomorrow Sunday?" When Josh responded "Yes" Jack responded with a fierce "Stupid!" followed by an "I'm sick!" I didn't know 3 year olds knew that trick already. :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Timmy's Trip

Meet Tim, my cute little brother who graced us with his presence in San Diego this week.

My boys love "Uncle TT" and have had a wonderful week full of wrestling, Wii playing, fine tuning their sports skills and showing Timmy San Diego.
Tim got here Wednesday and that night, at his request, we made pumpkin shaped sugar cookies. Thursday morning we went hiking at Torrey Pines which was wonderful (expect the part where I figured we would save the $8 parking fee and hike into the park, not realizing that would mean a huge hike up a mountain just to get to the actual trailhead). It was gorgeous:

Poor Tim ended up carrying one or both of the boys (at the same time) for a lot of the hike.
Thursday night we carved pumpkins. I don't know if I have ever seen white pumpkins before-we thought that was pretty cool!

Friday we went to the Zoo. And this is why I just love my Dallen. All I have to do is say "Dallen" and point the camera at him and this is what he does:
He was a trooper at the Zoo. We saw most of it that day and it is huge! By the time we went home everyone was hot, tired and hungry. But, we had a great time. We saw the Wild Ones show-the boys thought it was really neat to see a Cheetah up close.
Saturday morning we went to the beach. Yes, we went to the beach in November!! It was wonderful. We went to a different beach than we had been to before and it was very pretty. Tons of people were out surfing that morning-too bad we didn't have a surf board so Tim could try. The boys loved playing in the sand and water, like always. These are my favorite pictures from the beach trip. Once again, I caught the many sides of Jack on camera: (all I did to get this response from him was say "Jack. He was mad at me for saying his name.)

And then 10 seconds later there is that cute little smiley guy that I love so much!

Last night Tim watched the boys so Josh and I could go on a date!!!! We haven't been on a real date I don't think since maybe July. We used to date swap in Madison fairly regularly, so it feels weird to have gone so long without a date.

Our date was fantastic! I said to Josh that it felt like the kind of date that you go one when you are dating before you get married. More exotic than our typical trip to Chili's and maybe Target on the way home. We went to La Jolla to a little Thai restaurant. It was fantastic! The ambiance was perfect-sort of fancy-feeling, with nice, relaxing music playing in the background. Josh said he felt like he should be reaching across the table stroking my hand because it felt so romantic. The food was great too! This was just a random restaurant we found on google when Josh decided to search for Thai food in the area on a whim. (For those of you in San Diego, it was called La Basil-you should go!)

Then we went to La Jolla Cove and walked around on a little pathway up above the ocean. We saw a seal and some pelicans and just enjoyed the beautiful view of the ocean. It was very nice!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Things I am Grateful for...

I have had a nice day on the good news front:

1. My mother in law, who we found out about a week and a half ago has cancer, had an appointment with the oncologist today and it appears that the lump that was already removed was the only cancer in her body at this time! We couldn't have asked for better news on that front.

2. I got a $44 check in the mail today out of the blue! Apparently we overpaid a bill in Madison so they were reimburing us. Or maybe it was a deposit we originally made or something, but whatever it is, I like it! Don't you wish you got random checks in the mail everyday?

3. My 3rd bit of good news for the day I just realized I really can't post. It isn't my news to share, but for the people out there whose good news it is, yay!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


It snowed in Madison last night I am told. I miss my friends dearly, but I don't miss that! Still, I think I could put up with a little snow to see my friends again!

No complaints about the weather here though. Last night we had the ward Trunk or Treat. First of all it seemed almost silly to be having corn bread and soup or chili because it was warm outside! Of course I love it because it is a perfect fall meal, but it just seemed a little unfitting with the weather. Then, it seemed wrong to be going outside to trunk or treat and not wearing a heavy coat, hats, gloves, boot, and the works. I think probably all but 1 year of the trunk or treat in Madison it was freezing outside for it. I will admit, the warm weather was nice-oh and the palm trees around the church swaying softly in the breeze, the sound of the ocean in the distance... Am I making any of you Madison friends want to come and visit? We have a very comfortable couch. :) (You couldn't actually hear the ocean in the distance, but you could drive 5-10 miles and be there-am I tempting anyone?)

Anyway, the boys had a great time at the trunk or treat. We took our neighbor and her son who is Nathan's age and that was great. I think she had a really fun time. The funny thing was that when we pulled up to the church she said "I have been here before-I came to church here with a friend a couple of times!" Apparently she had a Mormon friend who invited her to church a few times years back but she didn't realize that it was the same church till we got there.

The boys were Batman, Superman and Robin. I made the costumes, I always do. But this year I put thought into it-why do I make the costumes? I probably could have bought all the costumes for less $ than I spent making them. My mother made all of my costumes, Josh's mom made all of his. So perhaps it is just the tradition. But then, as I was sewing them last Sat. afternoon the real reason hit me. Nathan sat next to me watching me create Batman from nothing and my "cool mom" factor increased dramatically as each part of the costume came together. He was enthralled at my ability to turn a pair of grey sweats and a pile of black fabric into a genuine Batman ensemble and it was fun for me to watch the magic of it all through his eyes. Both Nathan and Jack have spent quite a bit of time in their costumes already and I know they will use them for years to come. But most importantly, I am a cool mom.

Dal's little friend was batman and we thought it was too cute that we had a little batman and robin so we got a picture:

And I found this picture on my camera. I think Jack was complaining about something so I snapped his picture. This is the Jack I know and love, the Jack's whose attitude I get to bash heads with everyday. This picture just sums up Jack so well. I love him (maybe in part because he might get some of that stubborness from you know who...)

I'm the lucky one really...

Tonight I realized that I never write much on my blog about Josh. So this post is dedicated to him. When Josh called his mission pres. 8 years ago to tell him he was engaged, his mission Pres. said to him "well, you are a lucky man to have her" or something along those lines, and Josh, getting confused about what his Pres. had just said responded with "Well President, she's the lucky one really." We still laugh about that today, and truly, I am the lucky one really.

Today I am grateful for Josh because:

1. He cooks! I know not all wives can say that about their hubbies but this man can cook and loves to cook. He made us dinner tonight-Thai Peanut Chicken Skewers and potato salad. And all this while I slept!

2. He is such a fun daddy to the boys. They love to play "daddy knock over game" with him and to wrestle him and I just love to see them doing that. He has a role to fulfill with his sons that I just can't do-it is his alone and he does it wonderfully. Chest thumps/high fives before bed, long talks about science with Nathan, Hubert the Traveling Monarch Butterfly stories at bedtime, snuggles with Jack (who actually calls out for daddy in the night which I really love), belly tickles for Dal, the list could go on and on.

3. He treats me like a queen. I know that sounds so cliche, but how else can I put it? He sent me an email the other day when I was feeling sad and just reading his words I could tell he was willing to do anything to help cheer me up. Josh never gets angry at me (well, if he by chance gets a little irritated it is short lived and he treats me well in spite of it) and he should probably get mad at me more often, and he is so willing to help me out in anything. He lets me sleep in on occasion-a rare priviledge around our house, makes Nathan's lunches in the evening, helps do the dishes and clean up our thrashed house after the boys go to bed at night, you get the picture.

There are a million more little things I love about him but he said that I should not stay up and blog too late. I just wanted to say: This guy is great!

This is me...

This is me, standing on a street corner, holding up a sign while some happy cars drive past honking and waving and showing their support but far too many flip me the bird, tell me things about my mother and call me a biggot. (Thanks Liz for the great picture.) Honestly, I have a new understanding of the Mormon pioneers and what it took for them to stand up for what they believed in, and for that experience at least I am grateful.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mr. Dallen

I just had to record this. This is what Dallen does literally every single time he sees a mirror-he waves at that adorable baby that he sees. The video is a little hard to see. I walked from the hallway into our bathroom so that you could see how he does it as we approach the mirror. If you look close you will notice that he starts waving (opening and closing his hand) the moment we are in sight of the mirror.) I just love this kid-he is so much fun!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Splash Park and Pumpkin Patch

Two fun things we did this week: on Monday and Wednesday we went to a splash park that we found nearby. Wednesday we went with some friends from Nathan's school which was really fun both for the boys because they love to play with all the kids and for me because I really like the moms. We have found sort a little group to be friends with there. Four moms (including myself) each with kids in kindergarten and then a handful of other kids-two Jack's age and 1 Dallen's age, so it works out well. Two of the three live right near us (one of them just 2 doors down).

Dallen really enjoyed the splash park. I think part of it was that enjoyed being mostly naked. I got some really great pictures of him but this was my favorite because of his bright blue eyes:

This one just cracks me up. I told the boys to sit down and let me take a picture of them with their arms around each other. Now normally on a blog you would just post the lovely picture of the two smiling boys lovingly wrapping their arms around each other's shoulder and grinning at the camera, but I just had to post the picture that captures the reality of their relationship. In this picture Jack is yelling "he's choking me!"
Then moments later they have worked it out and have that sweet brotherly love thing going. I love the looks on their faces here:
The other great thing we did this week was our annual trip to a pumpkin patch. In Wisconsin on any Saturday in October you could find us at a local farm on their pumpkin patch. So we wanted to try to keep the tradition alive and after a quick search on Google found that there is in fact a pumpkin patch just 15 minutes from us up in Escondido. So we hopped in the car all rallied up and ready to pick some pumpkins. When we got there we thought "surely that can't be the pumpkin patch" so we kept driving until we finally realized that the first thing we passed my have really been the pumpkin patch. So back we went to the small farm nestled right next to the busy I-15 with the small field with scattered pumpkins. So much for the corn mazes and kettle corn, barns and petting zoos of the Wisconsin pumpkin patches. There isn't a lot we miss about Wisconsin weather, but a nice fall day in Wisconsin, especially if you are visiting a pumpkin patch, just can't be beat.

Anyway, we really had a great time at our California pumpkin patch. It was a cool day actually-we were even in long pants for the first time since moving here and I got some really great pictures. Here are just a few:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Me and My Bubble

I am not a person who likes all. And I like to live in what I lovingly refer to as my bubble. I don't watch the news or read the news because I don't want to hear about all of the bad or controversial things going on in the world. I tell Josh the same thing when he comes home and wants to tell me the latest story he read about on don't want to hear it. I want to live in my happy little contented bubble and keep seeing the world through my rose colored lenses.

But alas, this time I have to come out of my bubble-like it or not. Many of you know, in fact I have talked at least via email to many of you, that marriage is being threatened in California currently. On November 4th the state of California will vote to amend the constitution to state that marriage is defined as between a man and a woman.

I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and is central to his plan for His children. I truly believe that we must protect the institution of marriage.

In California we (we being of course those of us in favor of marriage between a man and a woman) are working hard to do what we can to protect the institution of marriage. I have personally made phone calls to registered voters to tell them about Proposition 8-to give them the facts, find out how they plan to vote and do a little persuading where needed. Not something that I like to do in my spare time but I am doing it because I know that it matters. Josh has walked and knocked doors to do the same. We have a bumper sticker and a yard sign proclaiming YES on 8. We have donated money, we have prayed, we have fasted, we have talked to friends and we will continue to do these things.

Tonight I attended a fireside about this effort. Elders Ballard and Cook of the Quorum of the 12 and Elder Clayton from the 70 spoke about the importance of this amendment and, here is the fun part, asked the young people of the church to use the internet to spread the word and help gain support for this cause. I can do that and so can you! I haven't posted about this on my blog before because pretty much everyone I know who reads my blog already agrees with me on this issue and hardly any of you live in CA. But as I listened to Elders Ballard and Cook tonight I thought of a plan. I am posting this on my blog and "tagging" ALL of you to post it on yours. In your own words or use mine, I don't care but it could have a ripple effect if you all post about this on your blog and then ask others to post on theirs too. Or use your facebook or myspace accounts or email or whatever you can do.

Here are a few facts:
Proposition 8 (vote YES!) does not remove any rights from the gay community. It simply defines marriage as between a man and a woman. This truly isn't anti-gay. We aren't condeming them, we are simply stating that we believe in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. We can still love the people out there who are gay, but we don't have to embrace their lifestyle choice.

Should the amendment not pass, children can and will be taught in public schools about gay marriage and worse, homosexual sexuality.

Churches who refuse to support gay marriage could lose their tax exempt status and the churches with adoption agencies could be forced to adopt babies to gay couples. (Or quit adoptions altogether.)

(All of the above statements were said tonight by the General Authorities.)

What you can do?

Remind anyone you know in CA to register to vote and vote YES on prop 8 on Nov. 4th

Spread the word on your own blog, facebook, myspace, email, anywhere-you never know where the ripple could go and how it might help

Donate money to the Protect Marriage Coalition here: They are working on commercials currently that the polls are showing ARE affecting voters in a good way! But they need more money. This is an easy way for people outside of CA to help.

Pray for the amendment to pass.

If you want to educate yourself more on this issue, the church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has set up a website with vidoes and information for everyone:

In fact, read their words there because I am sure they said it better than I can.

At the close of the meeting tonight we sang a hymn. I thought the choice of hymn was a wonderful and powerful reminder of why we do what we do. We sang "Let us all Press On" and the words struck me in a new way:

Let us all press on in the work of the Lord, That when life is o'er we may gain a reward;
In the fight for right let us wield a sword, The mighty sword of truth.
Fear not, though the enemy deride; Courage, for the Lord is on our side.
We will heed not what the wicked may say, But the Lord alone we will obey.

It felt great to sing that among my fellow Californians and feel the strength of a group of people willing to stand up for what is right.

Vote YES for Prop 8

Monday, October 6, 2008

I think I am sick!

Thanks to Jen-my friend from Madison, I have a new sickness. Hi my name is Amber and I am totally and completely addicted to Grocery Gaming. I blogged about it once before but just couldn't resist doing it once again. Hey, it's my blog right? I can write about it again! I am just loving this game of saving money! Here is my picture (yes, I took a picture because I was that excited!) of what I bought last week:

I got 3 things of Tide, enough makeup to last me at least a year (4 lipsticks, 2 mascaras, 1 foundation all in the brand I usually use), 2 things of Ziplocs, Scrubbing Bubbles, 2 of my very favorite cookie dough (Pilsbury), pasta, spagetti sauce, Halloween Candy, 2 boxes of pancakes, 2 kids toothpastes, Reese's Puffs (me and Josh's new favorite after the boys go to bed treat), hand soap, dish soap, and anything else in that picture that I forgot to list all for the low low price of $59.62! (The makeup alone might have cost me that at regular prices. At CVS I was watching the total as she rung it up-$69. Then as she entered coupons and deals it went down to something like $23. Nice! I think my total savings was something like $80. I look forward to Mondays every week (my shopping day) just because I have so much fun doing this. And no, I am not buying things that I would not otherwise buy so yes, this is saving me hundreds of dollars.

Today I got 1 Children's Tylenol, 1 Children's Ibu, 1 Adult Ibu, 1 Adult Tylenol, 2 toothbrushes, 1 tube of toothpaste, 4 bags of Halloween Candy, a bar of soap, a pack of razors, a bag of candy corn, hmm, and I think that was everything for I think it was $24. Plus I have $2 in extra care bucks to use next time.

OK, so now you all know, I am sick-I get totally and completely excited about going to the grocery store!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

What a weekend!

I would love to say that this weekend was everything that we so excitedly looked forward to. That we gathered in the living room surrounding the computer watching General Conference while the spirit filled our home with peace and love. That the boys sweetly and happily played in the backyard and picked up leaves in the front yard as I watched the morning session of conference on Saturday while contentedly beading beautiful bracelets. That we enjoyed the afternoon sessions while all three boys simultaneously slept. That we decorated our home with fun Halloween decorations between sessions. That we made yummy homemade donuts and enjoyed them with chocolate milk while Daddy told us all about the Priesthood session talks. That the lasting effects of watching conference left us all feeling happy and contented and treating each other with sweet kindness while love filled our happy home after a nice, relaxing weekend of conference. At least that is what I foresaw as I looked forward to this weekend.

As I was "watching" conference this weekend I thought back to 6 years ago this October conference-it was that Sunday night that we found out that we were pregnant with Nathan. I am sure that in our minds that weekend we thought "maybe, just maybe, next year we will have a sweet little baby with us next year when we watch conference." And then things spiraled out of control and 5 years later we can't even sit peacefully and hear what is being said. At one point this morning Josh and I looked at each other and said "why are we even bothering to try?" And then when President Monson spoke about houses strewn with piles of toys and laundry piling up we looked at each other and wondered if he was at that moment having a vision of our home. We appreciate the words he spoke-about finding joy in the journey and loving the piles of toys (although I admit-loving them may be a struggle for me, I can at least appreciate that someday I will miss the trains all over the floor, the crayon marks on my carpet and Jack's little voice that at this moment I am hearing loud and clear even though he was told 20 minutes ago to lay down and go to sleep.) I do enjoy the journey and I did enjoy this weekend, in spite of the less than idyllic circumstances.

Yes, we did watch conference, yes the boys did listen to President Monson speak and did in fact act as though they felt the spirit, yes the boys did go outside and clean up the yard while I watched and made bracelets (they were earning money to use at the school bookfair this week), yes we did make donuts and drink chocolate milk, its just that none of it went as smoothly as I would have hoped. During our donut making there was fighting, Dallen's head hitting the tile floor, cinnamon sugar all over the floor, Jack licking sugar off of the donuts, arguing over who gets to help with what part of the process, tired Dallen continuing to cry and want to be held while I tried to flip donuts in hot oil. But I hope that the boys will remember the good moments-the traditions of making donuts with mommy and decorating for Halloween. That mommy and daddy cared enough about General Conference to do their best to listen in spite of it all, and that we have love in our home, even when they do color on the carpet.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dallen Crawls

I have been promising this videa to my mother in law for a while now and have had a really hard time getting it to upload-giving You Tube a whirl now. Let's see if this works.

You will have to copy and paste the code if you want to see it. I seriously hate hearing my own voice on that! UGH! But at least you get to see a cute little Dallen face.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Funny Story

I forgot to write a funny story from my trip to Las Vegas a few weeks ago:

On the way home in the airport I had to get me and Dallen through security. I walked up to the lady working there and handed her my boarding pass and driver's license and she looks back and forth between the confused and starts reading the names-one has my current name and one my maiden name. Turns out that my new CA driver's license has my maiden name on it instead of my married name! (The CA DMV is a whole other story-ugh!) I had no idea-I hadn't noticed and apparently the airport in San Diego hadn't either. So there I was trying to explain that I am really Amber the name on the ticket and that the DMV made a mistake. I ended up having to show them credit card with married name on it and then they let me through.

Then I get to the actual checkpoint and have to take Dal out of the stroller, put it, my diaper bag, my shoes, etc. up on the conveyor belt. Someone helped me with the stroller but they put it on upside down so a toy went flying out of it to the wrong side of the conveyor belt so someone had to grab that for me. Then I got to walk through the metal detector and realize I left my boarding pass in the diaper bag that just went down the conveyor. So they had to call someone over check that after I got through. Then the whole line stops and they are yelling “bag check!” and I realize it is my bag they are talking about-or more particularly, my stroller. I had half a bottle of cranberry juice in the bottom of it that I forgot about and you can't go through with liquids. But, while they were taking the stroller off the conveyor belt, because it was upside down, everything that was in it fell out all over the floor! (Toys, papers, pacifiers, etc. At this point I just started laughing-there was nothing else to do!

This entry is brought to you by the letter F

It was F week for me and Jack-meaning our letter of the week was F this past week. There is so much you can do with that letter and we had fun (see-fun starts with F) doing things like finger prints, finger painting, coloring fire trucks and farms, and eating fishes (gold fish). But the real fun (Fun) came when we had our Price Family Fun party Friday night.

We had no plans this weekend so we improvised. Josh sent me a list of wacky ideas of things to do Friday night and I decided to run with it and planned our little party. (I have to say, my favorite on Josh's list of ideas was to watch the Presidential debates as an exercise in recognizing half truths, lies and distortions.) Anyway, after dinner (Food) we had Four Fun activities. First we drew pictures with our Feet of our Family. Then we played Find the Shoe, followed by a Wii Fit competition and then Cookie Frisbee (throwing cookies at each other to see if we could catch them in our mouths.) During all of this if we said any word that started with the letter F we emphasized it-such as f-f-feet. I am not sure whether you are all now thinking we are really cool or really big nerds!!

Other than that the week has been good. We spend most afternoons outside in our front yard because there is a wonderful breeze that is always blowing out there, we have shade in the entire yard and the boys have a fun friend 2 doors down that they love to play with. Our yard has become sort of a gathering place for people in the neighborhood which is great! At times we have 7-8 boys in our front yard playing (from babies up to 6 year olds) and I have gotten to know a lot of the neighbors better than I ever knew any of our WI neighbors the whole time we were there. I got some great shots of Dallen enjoying our "fall" weather (meaning that the temperature cooled down to 72 degrees and 20 leaves fell off our neighbor's tree).

Here he is in Nathan's "space man" hat. Nathan put it on him.

And here is my crazy kid just hanging out in the grass. (Jack was asleep-that is why there are no pics of him.) Nathan puts on these ridiculous navy blue sweats every single afternoon because they are a part of his costuming-some days they are racecar driver pants, some days they are space man pants, you name it, they can be it. He goes into crisis if he can't find them.