Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Images of Christmas 2008

For our annual Christmas Eve Pageant, the Caboose and his little cousin did have a moment or two of playing a bit rough with our "baby Jesus". Nevertheless, the pageant was a success - Diamond even pulled out his old trombone for a rousing version of The First Noel.

One of our favorite Christmas Eve traditions is tracking Santa on NORADs computerized system. Even Big Boy #1 was fully engrossed in where Santa was last spotted. (Maybe that magic still has some life in it after all...)

Christmas Eve wouldn't be Christmas Eve without setting out cookies & milk for Santa, and carrots & water for the reindeer. We also always lay out towels so Santa's snowy boots don't get the carpet dirty.

One the favorite gifts this year were Bronco's uniforms for the Big Boys. They both wore those helmets for the better part of Christmas day! (Thanks Grandma and Grandpa Smith!)

Christmas afternoon we went to my parents house. Nanna bought Grandpa "Guitar Hero" for Christmas - not that they really intended to get much personal play time, but they thought the kids, ahem, grandkids, would enjoy it. (Yes, they are that cool!) They did give it a try though, and even rocked out a bit!

This is what the boys have spent MOST of their break doing. They are thoroughly enjoying having a Wii, and have been spending waaaay too much time playing computerized football, basketball and baseball.

I personally have been relishing in all the family time we've had this past week. Diamond has taken several days off from work, the boys are home from school, and even the phone calls from church have slowed down. Now THAT is a Merry Christmas!!!


Confessions of a Shopaholic is a really funny, light, entertaining read. Perfect for Christmas break. This book tells the story of Rebecca Bloomwood, a writer for a financial magazine who is seriously unbalanced when it comes to controlling her own money. She schemes and lies and tries every crazy way to afford the latest pair of shoes, but finds herself in more and more trouble. It's the kind of book where I was cheering for her, and yet totally annoyed by her at the same time. Loads of fun!

The good news is that this book began a series of Shopaholic books. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Shopaholic and Sister, Shopaholic and Baby... I've already ordered up Manhattan and Ties the Knot. I'll let you know about those.

Apparently Hollywood found this novel worthwhile and is making it into a movie. But for me, I always prefer to read the book first.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Stupid Blog! -or- The Truth, Part II

Do your kids read your blogs??? Apparently mine does. I knew that he would occasionally look over my shoulder, but I didn't realize he would comb through it. No problem, right? Wrong. Especially when I had recently written a post all about whether to tell Big Boy #1 The Truth.

This afternoon, he came to me asking if Santa was real. He had just read my blog and was trying to figure out what I meant when I said "Big Boy #1 recently turned 10 years old. And he still believes. And I'm not sure what to do about it." Right next to a big picture of him sitting on Santa's lap.

So I came clean. BB1 is totally fine. You could see his mind working a million miles a minute. He kept asking questions like "Did you make that grocery store thing?" "Do you eat the cookies?" "Is that why you always stay up late on Christmas Eve?" After each answer he would get a little smile and say "That's so cool!"

But it's killing me. I want the magic just a bit longer. I was on the verge of tears, and BB1 was smiling. Of course, we made him swear to the Universal Law of Secrecy, and I'm pretty sure he's good. We're going to let him stay up late tomorrow and fill stockings. He's thrilled. Me? I just hate this part of growing up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa Baby!

What's adorable about seeing Santa:

What's less-than-adorable about seeing Santa:

(Yes, that would be Diamond, second elf from the right at the company party.)

On the way home, Big Boy #1 pointed out that Santa, and the guy that sat next to us at dinner, sure seemed to look and sound a lot alike. That, and the drunk lady who said "Steven!!! You were the BEST Santa EVER!!!" in front of the kids.

Maybe The Truth won't be such a relevation??? (Or not. He stopped buying the whole Mall-Santa thing years ago.)

Princess Academy

I {heart} young adult fiction. Shannon Hale's Princess Academy is no exception. Her story is a quick read about a young mountain girl who is sent off to the Princess Academy, along with all the other eligible young ladies from her town. The joy of this book is that Miri, the main character, uses her brains and fierce determination to improve the lives of everyone around her. It's uplifting and fun.

For whatever it's worth, Shannon Hale also wrote Austenland, about a single women who visits a Jane Austen resort in an attempt to get over her Mr. Darcy obsession. Maybe it's just because I'm not Pride & Prejudice fan, but that book didn't do much for me. Nonetheless, give Princess Academy a try, and let me know what you think!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Look Who's Forty!

Today, my sister turns 40! I have had the pleasure of knowing her for 36 1/2 of those years. I knew her back when she looked like this:

And when she looked like this:

(Really, I couldn't let this momentous occasion pass without at least a couple old, embarrassing pictures!)

So last night, Vern and I decided to kidnap her for dinner and a movie (Australia: two movies for the price of one. But really? I only wanted one movie.) It was a fun, frolicy, snow-filled night - complete with Ginger's husband calling in the middle of the movie to tell her that he was about to be prosecuted for accidentally shop-lifting milk from Wal Mart. Let that be a lesson to you!

So, here's to you sis! You have been my friend from the beginning. You are talented, generous to a fault (think pizza in college) and you have watched out for me my entire life. I can't imagine life without my big sister. Happy Birthday! I love you!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I'm addicted already.

I just opened my Facebook account Friday night, and I have already found:
- The girl I worked with at the mall in high school - she's now a doctor.
- The boy I had a crush on from birth to age 12 - he has three kids.
- The kid I sat next to in homeroom for three years - he's gay. (no surprise there!)
- I've found a college roommate, an old student, and a ton of people from the old neighborhood.
- The boy I dated my junior and senior year of high school - ???
(OK, my techo-savvy friends; How do I lurk on Facebook? I found Serious Boyfriend #2, but I don't want to be recognized - and yes, you are seeing a pattern. How do I look at his page without asking to be his friend?)

They get you with the "See Friends" part. It's like solving a mystery you didn't even know existed. "You mean, I can find out if Kate from high school still has Cam as a friend??? How COOL is that!" It's kinda like a class reunion, minus the crash diet.

I find myself checking my Facebook account with a regularity that exceeds my blogging addiction. I've managed to get in a snowball fight and gain 27 friends - all in the last 24 hours. (So far, excellent for my self-esteem.) Problem is, I don't have the time for this!

So, wanna be my friend???

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Truth?

Big Boy #1 recently turned 10 years old. And he still believes. And I'm not sure what to do about it.

I found out when I was a wee seven year old. My neighbor, Missy, told me. When I confronted my parents, they came clean.

Monday, my 7 year old asked me for the truth. I answered his question with a question; "What do you think?" Apparently, that was enough to stall him - hopefully for at least a couple more years.

But my 10 year old? Really, it's about time. Sure, he's had his doubts. I almost lost him when he was in kindergarten. He had all sorts of tough questions. But somehow, he always comes up with some explanation.

(Pictures taken in 2004)

There is a big part of me that wants the magic to last just a little longer. I selfishly want to put it off as long as possible, but I also don't want him to be the last to know. I don't want him to feel foolish. Then again, I don't want him to be devastated once he's told, I want it to be a positive thing. Any suggestions???

Sunday, November 30, 2008


What I'm thankful for?
My mom cooked Thanksgiving Dinner!

What my family is thankful for?
My mom cooked Thanksgiving Dinner!

That said, there were a few other things we are thankful for:

The Caboose: That Santa will bring toys.
Big Boy #2: His family.
Big Boy #1: That Heavenly Father made everything that we use.
Diamond: A healthy family and a good school year for the boys.
Me: Modern medicine, Diamond's job and Diamond and my parents support in my calling.

While I didn't make much more than mashed potatoes, at least I helped with the dishes...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monkey Business

The Caboose has been ALL about his Monkey lately.
Everywhere the Caboose goes, Monkey goes.
Everything the Caboose does, the Monkey must do as well.
Everything the Caboose eats, the Monkey eats.

My other boys were never all that interested in stuffed animals. I will admit that setting an extra plate at dinner, or buckling up Monkey when I'm in a hurry can tax my patience, but it's worth it. I think it's ADORABLE!!!

Yes, he did briefly name his Monkey "Jesus." However, we encouraged him to find a less blasphemous name, so he has since opted for "Santa." I was hoping for something like "George." Whatever.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Twilight: The Movie

I have had a strange love/hate relationship with the Twilight books. They drive me a bit crazy, and yet, I can't help but love to read them. And of course, after reading all four books, I had to go see the movie. On the first day.

It's always a little disorienting to watch a movie after reading the book. The mental picture I had of Edward, Charlie, Jacob, Rosalie, etc. didn't match what I saw on the big screen. While I was a bit disappointed with that feeling of disconnect, the music and breathtaking scenery pulled me into the story in a way that that only film can manage.

What did I think? I liked it. In fact, I really liked it. One of my big issues with the books is that I am not a big Edward fan. Their relationship always seemed so, um, unhealthy, to me. But I liked him a whole lot more in the movie. When I read Edward saying "you are like heroine to me," I rolled my eyes. But when I heard it? It made me melt just a little. OK, maybe it made me melt a bunch - which really just leaves me feeling plain ol' silly!

The theater was packed last night, so I know I wasn't the only one who saw it. What did you think?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Shoes

Whatdayathink? Time for new shoes?

I have NO idea how in the world my shoes ended up looking like this! I swear I don't walk around like the humpback of Notre Dam.

Nonetheless, it was a great excuse to head to the outlet mall with my sister. And, while I was just trying to replace my black loafers, who was I to resist those really cute boots that were a total steal???

Monday, November 17, 2008


Every other year BYU comes to Colorado to play Air Force. It's such a fun game to take kids to. The jets do a fly-over- complete with parachuters, the cadets do push-ups, and the crowd is generally well-behaved.

This year the boys were able to tailgate before the game. Here they are are with BYU's mascot, Cosmo:

They even managed to talk the cheerleaders into a picture. (BB#1 wanted to say that he "hate, hate, hate, hates those cheerleaders.)

Meanwhile, while they were out freezing in the cold, I stayed back with the Caboose, took a nap and then grabbed some of my favorite:

Should I have gone to the game? I considered it, but a nap?? Chipotle??? It wasn't even close!

Everyone won! The boys had a blast at the game, I had a relaxing afternoon, and even BYU beat Air Force. Go Cougars!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Book Thief

Set in Munich during the height of World War II, this fictional story follows the life of a young girl surrounded by both the best and the worst of humanity. The beginning of the book was fine enough, but by the end I couldn't put it down.

It was a book that left me bothered. How can such evil exist? Is death really as random as it appears? What kind of impact can one person really make?

One of the most bothersome aspects of the book was witnessing the senselessness of war. Seeing so many lives shattered in the name of the Fuhrer was devastating. And somewhere in the back of my mind, I kept thinking "Please, not my boys." I am beyond grateful for all of those who willingly sacrifice for the interests of our nation. Yet, I feel almost physically ill at the thought of my boys being called upon to serve in a war. I know it's selfish, but I don't want to lose them - ever, for anything. Maybe when they are old enough to play outside without supervision I'll feel differently, but honestly, I doubt it.

While there are countless non-fictional accounts of WWII, which I tend to prefer, this book was still well worth the read. It's a longer book (550+ pgs.) and it had a bit of a slow start, nonetheless, I did enjoy it and would recommend the story.

Oh, and if you have preteen readers, Number the Stars is another excellent, fictional story of the Danish rescue of the Jews. BB #1 just finished that one for school, and it was a fabulous, kid-appropriate read.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mini Me

Yesterday, the Caboose was sitting in his crib, playing with his bears. I overheard him sternly saying to his bear "YOU LOSE COMPUTER!" then he promptly threw the poor stuffed animal out of his crib.

Hmm. Maybe I need to reexamine my discipline techniques? (But I swear, I don't throw my kids out of anything!)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hut, Hut, HIKE!

Big Boy #1 had his 10th birthday party this past Saturday. Since this was our sixth consecutive sports party, we had it all figured out: Boys gather at the house, we walk to the park, Diamond runs a few sports related games, then they play an actual game.

After the game we walk back home for cake and presents.

Though only two and a half, the Caboose SOOO wanted to play.

He would get on the field and do his best to keep up. (He is CONVINCED that he is seven, if not eight, years old!)

However, we had to bench him - we were too worried that he would get hurt. The Caboose was NOT pleased...

I'm no psychic, but I see another very long stretch of sports related parties for this one!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Third Party?

Why I Can't Vote for Obama:
* He is risky. While he is a very impressive man; Harvard Law Review, a family man, etc. that's not enough. His track record is more liberal than I am comfortable with.
* He has bad tastes in friends. I certainly don't hold him accountable for the beliefs of every associate he has ever made, but Reverend Wright? William Ayers? I'm not OK with that.
*Two words: Income Redistribution. HUH? Thanks, but I'd just assume NOT follow France's example in ANYTHING.
Why I Can't Vote for McCain:
* He makes me crazy. If he says "my friends" one more time...
* Buying up all the mortgages and reselling them at their current value??? Are you SERIOUS? I've already bailed out Wall Street, now I'm supposed to bail out the idiot who gambled on his house?
*I'm kinda over the GOP. I thought they were supposed to be the small government, fiscal responsibly people. Yet, when we had a Republican President and Congress they were spending money like a freshman with daddy's credit card. I feel ripped off. If the Republicans aren't going to act with discipline, why should I give them my vote???
* I adore Palin. I want to take her out to lunch and then go see Mama Mia! with her. She's bright, witty and fun (or is that Tina Fay?) However, I simply don't think she is ready to assume the role of President. She's just not.

So what should I do? I'm seriously considering this man. He is running for the Libertarian Party.

Why I MAY Vote for Bob Barr:

* He means it when he talks about fiscal discipline and small government.
* He believes in letting the economy work itself out. He's opposed to earmarks and incentives. He wants alternative fuels, but doesn't want to subsidize ethanol (a product sure to fail.)
* Libertarians are generally more conservative than I am, however, maybe this will send a message to the GOP - that they need to control their spending, reduce the size of government and nominate a better candidate.
* He's not McCain or Obama.

A third party candidate in Colorado, a toss up state? Am I throwing away my vote? Quite possibly. However, I just can't bring myself to vote for McCain or Obama.


The Caboose went as Napoleon Dynamite.
I figured he already had the hair...

(We had some glasses for him, but they were misplaced.)

Pumpkin carving at Nanna & Grandpas. Grandpa even grew the pumpkins in his garden!

At the Trunk or Treat.

The Big Boys were Denver Bronco's players: Cutler and Bailee.

Last year they were both Colorado Rockies players, and the year before that BB2 was a Denver Nuggets player. Any bets on next years costumes???

The weather was so warm that the big boys went out for almost TWO HOURS! They certainly had the candy to prove it!