Wednesday, December 31, 2008

You-know-where must have frozen over

Tomorrow, January 1 2009, we are moving to a place I said I would NEVER move to. Can you believe I am actually a little excited about it? (And a little bit dreading it, too.)
Let you know how it is when we are standin' on the corner in Winslow, Arizona...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Just had to share this little experience I had with Mase today at the grocery store. Christmas Eve at the grocery store is no fun. So maybe I threatened him a little that Santa would not come if he did not behave...

He looked at me with big eyes and said, "Santa brings gifts to everyone, the rich AND the poor."

I contemplated this for a moment and said, "And what are we, Mason?"

He said, "Hmmm.... well, we are happy... so we are rich!"

The hug I gave him was maybe a little too long for the busy grocery store but I felt so proud of the wisdom he already has in his short four and a half years.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Blog neglect has led me to allow that wounded pic of Mase to be up for too long. So here is a silly one just to be at the top of the blog. We had our pics done and Mase really delivered some great photos... but THIS is the one he was dying to have in his new room. So he will have an 11x14 of this in his new room in Winslow.
Oh, by the way, did I mention we are moving to Winslow?
Next week?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Up and down

Our week started with a little of this:

(Mase jumped off a chair and had a fight with the sharp edge of the trash can)

And also had a little of this:

(Ava in the ER at 1:00am-- she is fine now)

And our week is ending with me frantically cleaning the house on a Friday night at 9:30 just so I don't end up feeling even MORE depressed tomorrow on my 30th birthday... Is that pathetic or what?

On the bright side, our we also did a little of this:

And one more day of this: (Our annual pass expired yesterday)

Life really is full of ups and downs. We'll see which category tomorrow fits into...

Monday, December 08, 2008


Inspired the nickname "Fuzzy"...

Needs no detangler...

Softened Daddy's heart (and opened his wallet) to accept many purchases of cute hairbows...

Makes us feel like we still have a baby in the house...

Looks a lot like MY hair at this age...

Creates the CUTEST bedhead on the planet...

Probably invites strangers to think she is going through chemotherapy... ??? Really, as much as I think it is adorable, when will it grow???

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The event we anticipate all year...

No, I'm not talking about Christmas. Not exactly anyway.
I have a big family. Okay, kind of a HUGE family. Now that all of my eight siblings are married and (almost) everyone has kids of their own, it's very hard for us to get together for Christmas. All the traveling and having commitments with in-laws make Christmas Day pretty hectic. For the past few years, we haven't gotten together in December at all. We end up grouping holidays together and do a weekend of celebrations all at once. This year we did the 70th Birthday Party of my parents/Thanksgiving/Christmas all in two days and all very early. (I'm just late writing about it...)

Our favorite thing ever is to have a weekend with family, fun, and food and LOTS of cousins, so here is my abbreviated recap:

A fun surprise pizza party for my mom and dad, who each had an important Fall birthday...

Finally took a big family photo... (Thanks for cooperating, guys!)

Had an eventful family talent show, including the above group called SABBA. For more information on this exciting performance, see here. If you are really in the mood to make fun of some people, you can watch the Youtube video after we put it up.

It was A LOT of fun and I'm so glad everyone came! We missed the few family members that couldn't make it and can't wait for you to be involved next year!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Last time we were at Disneyland, we had KINGPIN seats for the parade. My kids (and their adorable cousins) enjoyed the close view so much, including special attention from characters and even a hug from a beautiful princess! During the grand finale of the parade, the float that held the highest character royalty possible, Mickey and Minnie, paused for awhile directly in front of our seats. Then the most amazing thing happened! Minnie Mouse took a special interest in my little boy. For about three minutes (the longest three minutes of his life maybe), they exchanged a silent but loving interaction...
She waved at him; he shyly waved back. She blew him kisses; he smiled in pure flattery. When he would not return the kisses, she put her hands on her hips and tried to demand more attention. He loved EVERY second of it. Finally, as the parade resumed, she blew one last kiss, and he could not help but blow one back. She looked back in amazement and jumped up and down at her victory.
Now- I know that she probably has this kind of interaction every evening. How amazing to be able to make a child's... uh, LIFE, in just a couple of minutes! Well, Mase told me later in a small voice that she was now his "girlfriend". (Where do they get these titles so young?) I couldn't help but adore his enthusiasm.
The next night we were not planning on watching the parade. However, we saw it from afar and ran to catch the last bit. This time we did not have great seats; in fact we did not have ANY seats. We stood in the distance as the Minnie and Mickey float approached. I glanced at Mase and could see the eagerness on his face. Before I could warn him that she may not see him from so far away, he yelled, "MINNIE!" My heart stopped as I prepared for a heart-broken four-year-old. Again, "MINNIE!!!" I started to say something and then I watched in slow-motion as she turned our way.
Her gloved hand waved through the air and looked in our general direction. A wave of quiet relief washed over his face. "She heard me mom!" Yes... she did babe. How I loved Minnie at this moment! (:
I am writing this little story in the hotel across from Disneyland. Tomorrow we will go there and he cannot WAIT for all the excitement of being with his grandparents, seeing his cousins, going on the rides... But this morning he pulled me aside and said, "Minnie will be happy to see me."
Pray for us...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The exhausting events called Halloween

Yep, SO exhausting, in fact, that it took three weeks to even get around to posting about it! (: By the time October 31st actually arrived, I was SO over Halloween. Here is a summary of the many things we did to celebrate this usually satisfying holiday.

See pics in last post. An AWESOME annual party at a friend's house. I'd like to say we had the best costumes, but you should've seen some of the others. My personal favorites were a couple dressed as Juno and Bleaker. Didn't really enjoy sitting across the room from the shiny gold shorts that were scandalously short (on the male of course) but they fit the part PERFECTLY!

The pumpkin patch. Kids had fun. Parents enjoyed watching.

Went on a hayride...

Tried to play ringtoss, but someone kept taking all of the rings for vain purposes...

CAUGHT red (but beautifully adorned) handed!!

Trunk or Treat. This event was what I considered the real Halloween this year. This is where they got most of their candy and actually kept their costumes on.

Sharkboy and Lavagirl get together for the evening-

I love this one of Ava and her friend comparing costumes...

It always amazes me that they collect ALL kinds of candy and eat a few pieces and then I hide it away when we get home and they never ask for it again. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess...

Halloween carnival at preschool. I actually have adorable pictures of this, but they are not on my computer, and what the heck do people do with hard copies of photos anymore (when they do not have a scanner)? I actually dressed up as a witch on this day because the kids really wanted me to. Helping at their school was really fun and they had a blast.
That night, we had event #4...

Trick-or-Treating at work. I invited some kids I knew as well as kids from church to come visit the assisted living home where I work to trick-or-treat. I know most of the kids were nervous, but I helped "the grandmas", as I affectionately call them, to dress up in witch hats we made to make everyone feel a little more festive and comfortable.

By this time, I was tired from my head to my feet (princess shoes and witch shoes are not made for comfort). And we hadn't even hit Halloween night!

So needless to say, event #5 was a bust for the smaller, more easily fatigued member of our family.
One more trunk or treat and a FUN party at a friend's house.
Ava slept through the trunk or treat, so we only stayed for 10 minutes. When we got to our other party, she was VERY tired and grumpy, so Ro ended up taking her home and Mase and I stayed out late to party some more. Edna and Chris sure can throw a party! Hot dogs and hamburgers in the driveway, complete with a Halloween movie projected onto the garage and LOTS of friends in costume. So awesome!
We did actually trick-or-treat down a couple of streets and it was hard keeping this wild group together.

More to come on Hall reunion fun, family pictures, and upcoming events... I just KNOW you are on the edge of your seat with anticipation...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Six Weird Things

I have been tagged by two great people. Thanks Tina and Alison- you probably know most of my weird things, but let's fill the public in on my little secrets. (:

1. I have had a fear of clowns since I was a kid. I used to think it was unique, but now I think they've actually created a phobia name for it... there I found it- Coulrophobia. My friends in school thought this was so funny they sent a clown to my house for one of my birthdays. Nice. And created a book called "Nat's book of clowns" (Thanks Tia- I found it the other day!), not to mention all of the teasing my older brothers enjoyed involving the painted villains. I don't know if it started with Poltergeist or It or some scary guy at the circus... but really, does that face above really look harmless to you?
I just don't get why someone would LIKE a clown. Not cool.

2. I cannot STAND cell phones that are not flip phones. I always feel like I am not actually talking into the speaker when I borrow someone else's phone. Then I end up talking way too loudly, like I do at work when the oldies can't hear me.

3. I hate juice. It tastes all wrong to me. I also don't like most smoothies. The tart and sour tastes really don't agree with me. The only juice I like is fresh-squeezed OJ... that my dad makes.

4. I have an overwhelming fear of breath. Yes, I said "breath", as in used up air. Even if it's good breath, I don't like it near me. This fear is behavior-altering and sometimes feels like it could take over my life. Close-talkers beware: I will avoid you at ALL costs.

5. I love the smell of pipe smoke. Some college professor years ago used to smoke a pipe and I followed him around (at a safe distance, mind you) just so I could smell it.

6. I have three different costumes for Halloween this year. That's right- ME, not my kids. They get one each. (: Okay, I will admit that one is a costume I am making for a family talent show in two weeks, but it counts because it is around Halloween. I love to dress up.

Oh, this list could go on... But I will leave it at that and tag Renelle, Tia, Linz, and Crystal.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

We DID actually come back...

Okay, so we've been back for two weeks and I still haven't posted pics from our trip. Fun times were had by all! Cousin time has always been special to us- I love watching the kids play together ALL day and sleep together at night. So sweet to make those kinds of memories. Here are some photos of what we did:

The "Daddies" went to a USC football game. Here they are watching another football game on TV before actually GOING to the game...

That left me and my sister to lounge around all day and watch the kids play. We didn't even get most of them out of their PJ's until dinnertime. Did they care that we didn't leave the house? No- not with all of those cousins to play with!

We even let them wear costumes at the dinner table...

Here are a few photos just for grandma:

We went to the Getty Museum the next day and enjoyed the perfect weather and beautiful gardens.

I just noticed this "protective and WAY too intense boyfriend" pic of Mase... That kid is so funny!

The kids were all pretending to be statues right here...

They even had this beautiful fake bed area for kids to read books. I could not get Ava out of there!

We topped off our fun trip with a little Disneyland on the way home. Can't wait for the next road trip!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Car fun

One of my favorite things about living back in AZ is the close proximity of fun places to go and people to see. We built our early relationship in a car (no, not like you are thinking!) when I had car troubles and Ro would pick me up at 6:30 every morning to take me to work. Our car trips almost always included the Mamas and the Papas, good conversation, and a big Diet Coke. (Wait, it was still Dr. Pepper back then- remember, we didn't have kids yet, so I had no need to give up my sugary bliss). My mom said she knew that we had a future together when I bought a brand new car and yet we STILL rode to work together. (: I, however, had no idea that we would be happily married someday.
After we got married, we enjoyed nothing more than a spur of the moment weekend trip to San Diego or Vegas or... basically anywhere that involved a road trip. Now our car experience is a little different. They still include the necessities of our earlier times, but now we just have to include a few more things... snacks, kids' music, bathroom stops, the essential Mickey Mouses (I guess in our case it would be "mickey mice"), etc. The road trips now are a little more work but ALSO more fun! (:

This trip will include meeting a beautiful new niece, going to a USC football game (for Ro and my sister's husband), letting six cousins enjoy LOTS of playtime, having sister bonding time, and maybe hitting Disneyland for a few hours on Monday. (annual passes rock!)
I don't know what I am thinking, sitting here reminiscing instead of packing up our car. Here we come, LA!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bummin around

If you would have talked to me at 7:00 this morning, I would NOT have been very optimistic about my day. I woke up with what my family refers to as a "bum neck". You know, that lovely feeling when you are unable to turn your head in either direction without severe pain shooting down your body. Nice. Then I realized today was preschool day. The kids go two days a week while I go to my part-time job. At the same time I was thinking about preschool, I realized that teaching exercise to senior citizens was NOT going to happen today. My day started to look up...
I painfully got the kids dressed and forced the brushing of the teeth, drove them (quite unsafely, I might add- it helps to be able to turn your head when you are driving) to preschool and said goodbye. Then I made the phone call that rendered me a free woman for the day and headed home. Four Advil and three hours of sleep later, I was sitting on my couch eating Ben and Jerry's and flipping through the Tivo list for some guilty pleasure that I NEVER have time for. Bingo! I watched an entire (sort of painful but also fun) episode of "the new" 90210. I found myself longing for Brenda and Dylan instead of these new anorexic drama queens, but I must admit that I enjoyed it.
Ro's phone call telling me he would have some time to try to fix my neck before his work event tonight made my day even cheerier. And we might even have a second to grab a bite to eat together before I need to pick up the kids.
So it turned out I had so much time on my hands today that I could actually write a blog about... well nothing! I need to call in sick more often...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A trip to remember

This post is a little late, but it is something we will never forget!

We feel very fortunate to have two sets of parents that love our kids SO much! We were both almost in tears when we got to see the pictures from the camping trip Ro's parents took with the kids when we went to Hawaii. It was so cute to see all of the things they did, how happy they were, and it was especially nice to see them doing the same things Ro did when he was little and went camping every summer.
How lucky are we that we sent the kids off for a week to have SO much fun and got them back safe and sound with clean and folded laundry?! Thank you to some amazing grandparents! The kids will NEVER forget this trip! (They have looked at the picture books you made for them OVER and OVER again...)
The highlights they have mentioned were:

Helping Grandma cook...

seeing "HUGE" elk and deer!

Playing a TON of games and sports...

GETTING nice and DIRTY (:


GETTING lots of HUGS...

Visiting Great-grandma and going to the park by her house...

Reading stories...

Sleeping in the trailer...

And lots more like roasting marshmallows, going on walks, swinging "to the MAX!", picnics, and just being kids!
Let's do this again next year! (: