Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Close to five years before "Vern" and I became BFFs, we happened to be in the same college class. Though we never so much as exchanged words, she created a nickname for me; "Know-It-All-Head." I think it had something to do with how I used to correct the idiotic grad student with a Savior complex who taught the class.

Anyway, as I was strolling down the beach last week, I happened across this little baby.

I KNOW!!! It's like it was made for me!

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Just two days before we left on our cruise we had close to two feet of snow. So we left this:For this: (a nice trade dontcha think?)

We flew into Miami the night before the cruise left. It was so great to get out of the cold and enjoy the city together:

Fifteen years ago Diamond took me on a cruise for our Honeymoon. Just as we did 15 years ago, we again left out of Miami. We had to recreate the moment.

Leaving on our honeymoon in 1994:

Leaving on our 15 anniversary cruise 2009: (Seriously, this was SO much fun to do!)

Diamond was thrilled to find a basketball court on the ship:

We also enjoyed watching the sunset during the formal dinner:

We stopped in Freeport, Bahamas only to find rainy, cloudy and windy conditions. We were hoping for some great snorkeling, but settled for mostly sitting by the beach:

Nassau more than compensated though. Diamond found this place called the Blue Lagoon on Paradise Island. There were hammocks hanging from palm trees, clear blue waters, a white sandy beach, and a little bar to get tropical drinks. This was a good day!

My view:

My very favorite thing to do: reading a good book on the beach. Ahhh...
The next day we went to Great Stirrup Cay, a private island owned by the cruise line. Though the beach was a bit crowded they kept the staff busy asking me things like "would you like a drink Madame?" or "would you like something to eat?" Uh, YEAH!

I insisted on staying as long as possible. We had to be back on the ship by 4:30-and most people started packing it in around 3:30. Not us! We got on the very last tender out.

The snorkeling was amazing! We saw all kinds of cool fish like parrot fish, neons,yellowtail snappers, angel fish - Diamond even saw a Sting Ray. (This picture is us taking the tender back to the ship)

It was a fun, relaxing vacation. On the last night we found this guitarist who plays rock/blues music. It was so great to just sit and listen to him play. We even started playing a defacto "Name That Tune" game with him. So my kind of fun!

We had to get off the boat in the morning, but our flight didn't leave until 5pm. We had the better part of the day to hang in Miami, so we opted for South Beach. Unfortunately, we couldn't talk anyone into holding our luggage, so we ended up taking our suitcases out on the beach with us. (Such a redneck moment!) The upside was that a suitcase isn't so bad to lean against while you're hanging out on the beach.
One little warning, should you ever find yourself in Miami and are looking for a beach. South Beach is, um, shall we say, very, European. As in, men in speedos and women in bikini bottoms. Yup, from the grandma next to us, to the young thing frolicking in the water, there was a fair number of sunbathers that opted for bottoms only.

Not a bad way to use two free plane tickets:

Friday, April 17, 2009

In Memory

It is with sincerest regret that I announce the passing of Red Window III. A beloved but often neglected beta fish of Big Boy #1, Big Boy #2 and the Caboose.

Red Window III comes from a long line of red Beta fish. Red Window senior was poisoned when Big Boy #1 decided to give him a "bath" by adding dish soap to his bowl. Red Window Jr. died while being watched by a neighbor.

It appears Red Window III died of natural causes - he was several years old. It's either that or starvation.

While three little boys rarely noticed him and never, ever fed him, they did enjoy listing "fish" as their pet on various school papers.

Red Window III is survived by his life companion Blue, another Beta fish. Interment will be in the powder room toilet. Please send money in lieu of flowers.

(Nana, if you are reading this: please don't buy them another one, we still have one good fish and I am kinda curious as to how many days it will take for them to even notice he's gone. To be honest, I'm not sure how long he's even been dead.)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bunny Business

Easter has always been a holiday in flux. Our traditions aren't nearly so entrenched at Easter as they are at Christmas. We've really tried to incorporate both Smith and Green Easter traditions - with mixed results.

Diamond grew up with a "jelly bean trail" - so we have tried to work that in:

Diamond's family had put together baskets, so we have baskets too:

My family always had to find hidden "nests" - with each kid having a different color to find. We tried to incorporate that as well by having the kids find plastic eggs:

Somehow they each ended up with TWO baskets!?! One basket they had to find and one basket to collect the plastic eggs.

The boys never know what to expect when they wake up Easter morning. Go figure. I'm never sure what's going to happen either.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pinewood Pressure

Last year at the Pine Wood Derby, Big Boy #1 had a less than ideal experience. Between a couple of computer glitches that didn't work in his favor and a car that didn't race so well he was in tears the whole way home. Trying to avoid a repeat of last year, Diamond got on line to find some Pinewood tips and with a ton of help from Grandpa Green, Big Boy #1 made "The Patriot Missile"

With Grandma's funeral, BB#1 didn't have a chance to finish his car before we left - and the Derby was going to start at 6:30pm on the day we drove home. We got into Colorado about 4:00pm, headed to Grandpa Green's house at 4:15, finished up a bit before 6:00 and got to the Derby by 6:15.

We weren't going for a win - I just wanted a boy who wouldn't be crying at the end of the night.

Early on I could tell that The Patriot was performing well, but I had no idea how it was ranking until they announced they winner.


Thanks Grandpa for all of your help! We couldn't have done it without you!


Though the boys had only been back in school for three days we left for Grandma Smith's funeral last Thursday. We tried (unsuccessfully) to time our drive to hit the mountains between snowstorms.

Despite the harrowing drive, we had a great time in Utah. The big boys had a couple sleepovers with their cousins leaving the Caboose to be spoiled by his grandparents.

Ann cooked with him, took him on a walk to feed the birds, played the piano, etc.

The big boys spent just about every waking moment (and quite a few sleeping ones) with their cousins. The Smith clan has five boys between almost 8 and 11 years old. They went swimming, played video games, played baseball in the backyard, went to a bounce house, etc. It was boy heaven!

We were also able to fit in a BYU Men's Volleyball game. Diamond used to take me to their games all the time when we were dating. Back then the spectators could barely fill the first few rows. Last week there were well over 3,000 cheering them on. I guess more co-eds figured out how much fun is it to watch gorgeous, broad-shouldered, tall men jumping while wearing shorts. (Diamond, I promise that when you took me here on dates I was (pretty much) TOTALLY focused on YOU.)

The Caboose adored his older girl cousins and managed to get them in some kind of competition over who could hold his attention the longest. Two very cute teenage girls doting on him? Yeah, the Caboose was in heaven too.

Of course the reason we came out was to honor Grandma Smith. The funeral was lovely. (And yes, the casket was pink - apparently Grandma's favorite color. I wonder if caskets come in aquamarine...)

It was amazing to see all her posterity. She had 5 children (4 who lived to adulthood) 19 grandchildren, 89 great grandchildren and 8 great-grand children. It was quite a crowd. We had a great time reuniting with so many cousins - many of whom we hung out with during our days at BYU but who now have five, six, even seven kids. Makes me think I'm a wimp for settling on just three kids!

All of Diamond's siblings were able to make it. It was a great celebration of family and Grandma's life. 'Till We Meet Again...

Spring Break

One of the perks of working for the Canadian government is how they are required to compensate their employees for any overtime. While they no longer pay out in cash, they do give Diamond the time back in vacation. So with the fiscal year about to close, Diamond had a full week's worth of time he was able to spend with me and the boys over Spring Break. We didn't go anywhere, but we had a great time playing around home.

We also took the boys swimming. It was a great way to burn off some energy!

Why do they call it SPRING Break in Colorado??? We had a big blizzard move in and were stuck at home for a full day. A day at home with nothing to do WOULD have been fun, had the alternative been school, but when we had a full day of fun planned, I was suffering from cabin fever about three hours in! But once the sun came back out the boys had a ball making a snow tunnel/fort.

I think by the end of the week we were all ready to return to our regular schedule.