Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas

We are definitely having a white Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Random act of . . . pastry?!?

Because of an improperly completed oil change, I was forced to park on the street this weekend. I am not a fan of parking on the street in general and on narrow streets - where people drive to fast and rarely pay attention to where they are going - in particular. I went to bed fearing, a little, for the safety of my beloved minivan.
Sunday morning I woke up to a rather ambiguous warning.
Someone had thrown glazed donuts at my car. Bill cleaned it up before I was able to see (or document) it. When I came out to survey the damage, I found two glazed spots on my windows and a bunch of donut pieces on the ground.
So to you who left me the warning: lesson learned. I have gotten the problem taken care of and will park in my driveway or garage from now on. Please, don't waste any more pastry on me. However, if you'd like suggestions for those who truly deserve a wake up call . . . a have a list.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One Day We Will All Look Back On This and Laugh, Right?

Bill has training in Tucson this week. I don't know if it's because he's gone that things fall apart, or that little things pile up until everything seem like a big deal. Most likely a little of both.
Brianna (2 1/2 yrs.) has decided she is through with diapers and now wants to wear her "big girl princess undies" all of the time. Because it is her idea, things are going well.
Until Tuesday night she decided she could take herself potty all alone. She told me to leave because she "needed a little privacy". I did. All went well until she thought she needed to use toilet paper . . . a lot of toilet paper . . . half a roll of Charmin toilet paper. Lucky for us Grandpa came over for another reason and was kind enough to take care of the clog that I just couldn't.
Then at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday I was woken by a phrase every parent wants to hear in the middle of the night: "Mom, I puked . . . on my bedroom floor." Nice. By 2:30 a.m. I was done and attempted to go back to sleep. Then at 4:30 a.m. the neighbors decided to let their yappy little dogs outside. Apparently some great threat was befalling the neighborhood because those dogs didn't stop barking (a sound reminiscent of a sick rubber ducky) for 30 minutes.
The next day, I decided to help Ellie with her homework. She was assigned to illustrate the lines "With a little old driver so lively and quick. I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick." from the poem The Night Before Christmas. In my sleep-deprived state I suggested that we make a collage. Two hours and one frazzled mom later this is what we had:

And also this:
Well at least it's done. And the week is nearly over. I decided to record this week for history because one day this will be funny. Just not today.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Things my children are allergic to:

They must be. Otherwise they would not have such trouble with the following items:

  • Turning off lights in an unoccupied room. "Hey! I'm paying for that. Do you think I'm made of money?"
  • Closing the outside doors. Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay?
  • Putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket. Although they are frequently found 2 inches away from said basket.
  • Putting clean clothes in the appropriate drawer. Somehow, they end up in a pile in front of the dresser.
  • Locating backpacks and other necessary school items. But only when it is time for us to leave . . . 10 minutes ago!
  • Flushing. Always a fun surprise.
  • Getting both shoes put away in the same location. For some reason, one shoe seems to walk itself into the middle of the room. Backpacks also must be ambulatory.
  • Looking under beds for any misplaced item. The beds in our home seem to be black holes that the children are afraid to go near, lest they get sucked into the bottomless vacuum.

I have been told that children can outgrow allergies and I hope this is the case with my children. If not, I am crossing my fingers for a vaccine.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Andrew the Brave

Andrew has been getting a lot of extra attention lately. To make a long story short, he was given a "stim" test to determine if his pituitary glad is working correctly, releasing enough Human Growth Hormone.
He wasn't allowed to eat anything after midnight the day of the test or during the five hours it took to administer the test. He was given an i.v. where a very kind nurse drew blood samples every 30 to 60 minutes.
Not fun.

The patient, with an i.v. stuck in his right arm

Well . . . the insertion of the i.v. wasn't fun. Neither was the glucose shot he had 2 hours into the test.

Engaged in his favorite kind of multi-tasking, playing game boy and watching t.v.

But for the most of the day, he was able to play game boy and watch t.v. Once it was all over, he said it wasn't that bad. He didn't want to do it again, but he was happy that both his Mom and Dad could be there with him.

His Mom and Dad are very proud of how brave he was and how well he handled himself.

As for the results: his HGH levels are good. But his body is deficient in a hormone called IGF1. The treatment is two injections a day until he reaches puberty. When given the choice between two shots a day for 6 years or being shorter than his mom, he picked "short". Once he had time to consider it, he thinks the shots won't be so bad. Of course, he may change his mind when we come at him with a needle.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Obligitory Halloween Post

I would be a (more) sorry blogger if I didn't include Halloween photos.

Waiting to hand out candy to fellow moochers. . . er . . . trick-or-treaters
Andrew was Superman with muscles. Ellie was a bumblebee. Brianna went as a ladybug (or in her words laid-a-bug). Caious (look closely, he's hard to see) was a pilot. Kaiti dressed as Ivy from "My Sister the Vampire" but by the end of the night, she told people she was "goth".

The school had a costume parade for the younger grades. Only two of the children participated. One more willingly than the other. Can you guess who?
In the evening, we went house to house - in the pouring rain - asking friends, family, acquaintances and total strangers for goodies. They obliged and we ended the night with enough junk food to fill a warehouse. Luckily, a local dentist buys Halloween candy ($1 per pound) to send to troops overseas. Even if we had to pay him to take it off our hands, I think it would be worth it.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Love Story

by Favorite Aunt Cheryl

The happy couple
Once Upon A Time . . . there was a beautiful young lady who worked for a large home improvement store. While toiling away in the light fixtures and plumbing supplies, she met a handsome young man who shared her passion for home improvement products - or just thought she was cute and fun to be with.

The chose an absolutely beautiful day to get married. Everyone enjoyed the sunny weather.
A friendship developed. A few months later the handsome young man gave the lovely young lady a ruby red engagement ring.

One of the lovely flower girls preparing the way for the beautiful bride.
A few months after that . . . they gathered together with family and friends from far (Tennessee) and near (Lehi) to celebrate the start of their new life together.

The very cool wedding cake. It was tasty too.
They had a wonderful party to celebrate the beginning of their life together. And they lived happily ever after . . . (or most likely had ups and downs, good times and bad times, but weathered it all with grace and humility.)

Congratulations Callie and Richard!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Abby Fest

The birthday girl.

Because of my nice Callie's wedding, my brother (Crazy Uncle Tony) and his family came to town. His delightful daughter, Abby celebrated her 10th birthday with the whole family.
The doll cake. (The little cake in the foreground says 'Happy Birthday Abby'. It was just the right height for Brody - the cake lover - to reach.)

Grandma Kathleen put together an incredible party. She made a complete meal for 50, a doll cake and homemade root beer.

Crazy Uncle Tony dolling out advice to his young and impressionable nephews.

Everyone was encouraged to wear costumes. All of the children did. Crazy Uncle Tony, his wife Aunt Kiwi and Grandpa Buddy were the only adults who dressed up.
Karlee the witch and Emmy the monkey.
We even got to have the party in the new garage. It was the perfect place to break the pinata and have a great time. Abby said is was a great party.
Tyler as Zac Efron. Hey, get a haircut and I will stop saying you look like him . . .
. . . and you won't have to deal with the paparazzi.

. . . And more about Andrew

Andrew attended his first pack meeting as a cub scout. He was awarded the rank of bobcat. In this ward, the tradition is to turn the scout upside down and place the pin on the scout right side up. Once he has done a good turn, he can spin the pin around.

I'm not sure if the pin has been turned around yet. He better work on his helpfulness.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why I Love UEA

When I was little we had a a break from school in mid-October. School would get out at noon on Friday and return for classes on Wednesday. It happened to co-inside with the beginning of the deer hunt in Utah. Hmm . . . Luckily for me my family was pretty much finished deer hunting by the time I came along so we only had to suffer through one or two really awful hunting trips with me along. (After the "Vienna sausage incident" I was never involuntarily taken hunting again.)

Go Broncos! Ellie helped me paint the sign. Can you tell?

Now the state teacher's union (Utah Education Association) conveniently plans their annual convention for the opening weekend of the deer hunt. The children had no school Thursday through Monday. Our original plan was to accompany Bill on his sales calls in Montana. For a lot of reasons - including a flag football game we had to coach - that didn't work out. Friday morning we packed up our bags and hit the road. To where? We hadn't decided.
The children with Abner and Elliot at the zoo.

After making few stops along the way (Hill Air Force Base Museum, dinner . . .) we ended up at the Hilton Garden Inn in Boise Idaho. Thanks to Bill frequent stays with the Hilton family of Hotels, we had enough points to pay for two adjoining rooms. Yes, our family is big enough that we need two rooms.
Children with some cousins playing in the Boise river. They caught a few crayfish by hand!
It was a good choice. Our good friends Rob and Karissa moved from Boston to Idaho two weeks after we moved from Boston to Arizona. They are much less nomadic then us and are still in Idaho. They were gracious enough to let us stay with them for two nights.

This isn't really from our time in Idaho. But I like it and I don't anticipate creating another fly fishing entry anytime soon. This seems like an appropriate illustration.
Bill went fly fishing with his cousin Brian, Caious and Rob. The rest of us went to the Boise Zoo, played outside, ordered pizza, watched a German cartoon (the kids) and took a nap (me).

Kaiti hitching a ride. She was spun, pulled, reversed . . . and kept her balance through it all.

We also got to see Bills' Cousin Brian and his family. It was a beautiful day so we had a nice picnic at a park by the river. Kaiti spent a lot of time being "towed" by Taylor. The jury is still out on whether those heely shoes are a good idea. So far, she has only had one major fall. It resulted in ripping a hole in the knee of her favorite jeans, a nasty scrape and lots of tears. But she was undeterred, she got right back on them and has been rolling around the neighborhood.

By the river. Brianna hugs are few and far between some days. She was especially affectionate this day.
After this weekend, I am more grateful then ever for the wonder friends and family we have. I a so happy that Rob and Karissa put up with us for two whole days. We hope they will be able to visit us in November.
This was to precious to leave out.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


We woke up this morning to this. It's only October! This is a far cry from the 80 degree temperatures Tuscon enjoys in October.
Luckily, we were warned well in advance of that a "cold spell" was headed our way so Bill and I (mostly Bill) covered the tomato plants in an effort to get a few more of the 1000 green ones to ripen on the vine.
Only two days earlier, it was a beautiful 75 degree day. Now we have snow, snow! It melted quickly, which is a good thing because we can't find our snow scrapers. A must-have item if we are going to survive a winter here. The warm weather is scheduled to return for a while. I am glad because I am not ready for winter yet.
The children's Halloween costumes will definitely include thermal underwear this year.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Conferences and Me

Living in several different states through the years, I have never been able to attend a church meeting in the Conference Center. This year, I was doubly blessed.
A little background: I have been lucky enough to have a group of really wonderful friends. We go waaaaaay back to junior high and even elementary school. So every year, all of the members of the group are invited to go to dinner and watch the broadcast from some one's stake center. I have always been invited (at least, that's what I choose to believe) but I have never been able to come.

Marianne, Donna, Heather, Me and Laurie. We missed the people who couldn't be there with us.

All those years I sat alone in watching the broadcast I felt a little less lonely knowing that these women were listening to the same messages I was. This year, we were lucky enough to get tickets to attend the broadcast live. So after a great dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, we headed off to Salt Lake to watch the broadcast. We had fantastic seats and sitting with such wonderful people made it even more fun.

Andrew was thrilled to be at such an important event with his dad.

My very smart husband also got us tickets to attend the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference. Because Andrew was baptized one week earlier, he was old enough to attend. The tickets came in packages of six, so we let Andrew invite a friend. He chose our neighbor Isaac.
I brought everyone a notepad and pen. They were given instructions to take notes, draw . . . whatever they wanted as long as they were quiet.

All of us before the session began. We arrived an hour early and got great seats. Unfortunately, the children were ready to leave an hour into the broadcast. Oops. I guess two hours is their limit for a sit-and-be-quiet church meeting.

My plan worked well. The children all said they were glad they went. We had good seats. The children thought it was really cool to be so close to the prophet.

The rain seemed to keep people away. Seats were available for both Saturday sessions.

While we were in Salt Lake City, Ellie and Brianna were at grandma's house, eating lots of good food, coloring, watching t.v. and playing games. We all had a wonderful time. Living in Utah has lot of advantages.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

But That's Not All!

Andrew's exciting adventures continued with his very first Cub Scout meeting on Wednesday. He is now a Wolf Scout. We have until Oct. 15th to earn his Bobcat so he can get recognized at his first pack meeting.

The final event on the Week 'O Drew was his baptism and confirmation. Bill preformed the baptism (with running commentary by Brianna) and Grandpa Buddy confirmed him. We will have to see how he adjusts to being a regular kid next week.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Patti's Punkin' Pickin' Party

Brianna and Ali swinging in the back yard

In the midst of the week-long Andrew festivities, we were invited to Aunt Patti's to pick the pumpkins from her pumpkin patch. It was a great day. Not to hot, not to cold. We ate lots of really good food and played in her back yard. Getting good and dirty in the pumpkin patch.

Ali, doing her best racoon impression

We picked the entire patch clean. Patti waned to make sure we got everything so uprooted every plant and left the patch with no plants in it at all.

Erin, Brianna and Ellie gourd washing in the fountain

The children were very fastidious, washing the produce clean in the newly-installed fountain. (Located over the spot where Grandma and Grandpa Lott had their well.)

Brody, riding on one of many wheelbarrow loads of gourds Lee hauled home for Megan.

Everyone left with more than enough pumpkins and gourds to make this the most festive fall we have ever had.

Bud holding Emmy. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Celebration Continues . . .

The Drew-fest continued on his actual birthday. He went to the doctor for a check-up and two shots (not his favorite part of the day). Next, he got to go with Grandma and Grandpa on a special date to buy his birthday present. He got to open the rest of his gifts.

THEN he got to get dressed up and go out to a special dinner with just his mom and dad. He picked Thai food. My favorite. After he ate all he possibly could, he wiggled a little and mode room for icecream. It was fun for him to pick everything out and have them freeze it right before his eyes.
All in all a pretty good day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Drew-fest

We included this in the party invitations. It could have been the whole invitation, if I had the skill and creativity of certain members of my family, it would have been. But I'm not, so it wasn't.

For a week, our house was all Andrew all the time. He turned 8 years old. Monday, Sept. 22. We began the celebration with a birthday party at the Hardway Ranch the Saturday before his birthday. Grandpa Buddy saddled up the horses and built a bonfire. So a few of Andrew's friends and their parents could have some good old-fashioned fun.

Most of the boys around the fire pit. Andrew is wielding his "fire stick". Notice the other boys are keeping a safe distance. Andrew makes smart friends.

Andrew was delighted to feed his inner pyromaniac. He spent more time in the fire pit than riding horses. Luckily, we had cake and a pinata to distract him . . . for a while.

Caious attacking what was left of the very cool horse pinata I found. It held more candy than I expected. Oops. I sent those boys home full of sugar.

Also the presents kept him busy. I know he loved the gifts, but he was also very happy they were wrapped in flammable materials.

Showing off some of the goods with his friend Ethan.

It was a great time and we are very thankful for Buddy and Grandma for hosting the best party ev-er. I don't think we will be able to top this adventure.

Where's Tanner? On the horse. I'm not sure he ever got off. He could still be there today. In fact, if Grandpa would let him, I sure he would.

Everyone got stinky (smoky) and dirty. We even got rained on a little bit. It was a very memorable day.

It's hard to tell in the photo, but as my dad put it: I did a "crappy" job on the cake. An inside family joke that stems from a cake my brother (Crazy-Uncle-Tony) had when he was little. He was grossed out by it. My boys think it's hilarious. No horse cake is complete without a few droppings.

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Year Older . . .

and wiser too?!? Well . . . probably just older.
Happy Birthday to me!

Bill arranged a surprise party for me at our house. It was great. I got lots of wonderful stuff (including, - but not limited to - a t-shirt from my favorite t.v. show)

Bill made pizza like a man possessed. He says he made 10, they were all gone.

I wish I had taken better photos of the evening. It was a beautiful night and a good time was had by all ( I think.)
Thanks to everyone who came and those who sent well wishes from other parts of the country. I am very lucky to know you and be your friend.