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!