Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas in Utah

Our Christmas adventure started off a littly rocky when the stretch of freeway we drive to get to Utah was closed. We wanted to leave on Tuesday, so we didn't want to wait to see if the freeway would open up for Wednesday driving. We decided to head out but had to drive over to Pocatello and then down to Utah. It turned out to be not that big of a deal. It only added an hour to the drive, the roads were pretty much clear, and Elsie was a champ! I think we have trained her for road trips very well. We've done enough, that's for sure!

Christmas was all about Elsie this year and it was a blast. Aaron and I didn't really do a whole lot for each other (I got him a game and an ipod shuffle. He got me photoshop.) Elsie, on the other hand, was spoiled rotten.

Aaron and I ran to the BYU bookstore to look around Christmas Eve day and found this little cheerleader outfit on a major sale. Aaron couldn't even wait to have her open it on Christmas, so this was her early gift. He made the mistake of telling her the gift was hers, and she wanted to open it. She thought she was pretty cool stuff in her new outfit.
Elsie's gift from Santa was a new play kitchen. It was all set up for her when she woke up. The only problem was that she didn't want to open any other presents. We finally had to convince her that she would like the other ones too.


Grandma and Grandpa got her a set of food for her kitchen, some finger paints and a big pad of paper, some puzzles, and some other little fun things...the chapstick was her favorite! She also got some books, a bubblemaker for the bath, some bristle blocks from Jared/Lindsay, and a coloring book and pens from Angie.



There was lots of snow in Orem. Elsie like to look at it, but wasn't very enthusiastic about actually playing in it.


Her face says it all. She couldn't even fake a smile for the camera. She didn't seem to love the sled ride.




She was really annoyed when some snow got on her sled. She's a bit of a neat freak.





Grandma and Grandpa made sure they had a full stock of coloring supplies for Elsie while we were there.

Aaron and I never get any pictures together anymore, so we had Gary take a couple.


What a fun trip! We saw lots of friends and family and ate lots of good food. I missed my family, especially this year, but I'm so grateful that I have another family that I love and enjoy being with. Now, on to another year...we're hoping for a better one!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I thought I'd post some of the pictures from our family picture outing that I blogged about. Like I said, it was not the best experience, but we were able to get a few decent shots.

This was my second favorite because of Elsie's face.

This was how most of them were. Elsie was not in the mood to pose.

Whenever we let her run around on the sidewalk, she was happy as can be. I love some of these pictures. I was tempted to just use one of these for our card, but I've lectured too many other people about only sending pictures of their kids. I like to see the whole family.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

happy mommy, happy elsie

Just a picture of a fun night out with Elsie.

coloring

Elsie loves to color! She can't get enough! She wants to color all the time. I even bought special bathtub crayons. She'll sit in the tub forever just coloring away. I had a small pack of 8 big crayons that she liked to use at home and at church. But recently she discovered my big tub of crayons, and just goes crazy with them. She loves it when we sit on the floor by her and watch her color and also when we draw shapes on the paper for her to color.



I love how cute her little hand looks while she holds the crayons. I think this is one of the few things that we both of us really like to do. I could sit there all day and watch her...plus I love to color too!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Elsie at the neighbors

Elsie had so much fun at the with our neighbors while Aaron and I were at a Christmas party. I'm so glad she feels comfortable over there and they are so sweet with her. She just loves Brad and Seth, Stephanie's two boys. They make her laugh.




I think she had more fun than we did! Aaron and I raced each other over to their house when we got home because we both wanted to be the one to pick her up. She was busy sliding down the stairs with the boys and had no interest in leaving. We finally got her home, but it took her a while to wind down for bed. She's a wild and crazy little girl.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

family pictures

I finally was able to come up with cute enough and nicely coordinated outfits that Aaron would agree with, so we ventured out yesterday afternoon to have my friend Stephanie take our family pictures. I was already stressed before we even got started because I forgot to check the camera battery, and it was totally dead. So, we were all ready and looking nice and had to wait to get some charge back to the battery. Then Aaron decides that he wants to bring Wrigley and attempt to get him in the picture. (We know from past years, this doesn't work...well, I know.) We went to this little park in Caldwell that has a little stream, rocks, a bridge, and so on. Wrigley was wandering all over the place, Aaron and I were getting frustrated with each other because I couldn't care less if Wrigley was in the picture, Elsie did not want to sit and pose and was fighting us every second, and I knew I looked fat. (Not searching for any compliments here...just keeping it real. As I've said before, food has been my friend this year!!) Oh, it was not the greatest moment for our family. Elsie kept wanting to get down and play and stomp around on the sidewalk. Stephanie's boys were doing all they could to get her to smile and laugh, but she is too stubborn. We caught a couple pictures where she is smiling, but Aaron and I look a little awkward. Needless to say, Wrigley did not end up in any of the pictures. After a few attempts, I finally convinced Aaron to put him back in the van. Anyway, I settled on a picture. I suppose we could go out and try it again another day, but what's the point? Elsie will be Elsie, Aaron HATES getting family pictures taken (I blame this on you, Gary and Sylvia!), and I need to lose 20 pounds and get a boob job. (Yes, I said it!) There's always next year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

they found her

Just before midnight, a couple women from our ward found her in a field not too far from our neighborhood. They heard her crying. A majority of the people looking were looking in the complete opposite direction pretty far from here (sugar beet factory area) because the police dogs led them that way. Thank goodness she was found!

Monday, December 8, 2008

searching

It's 11:30 p.m. Aaron has been gone since 8:30. He's with a bunch of men from the ward searching for a missing girl from the ward. She is a 20-year-old girl with down syndrome. She has a habit of escaping from her home and wandering around. Normally it's not a big deal, but this is the second large scale search we've had to do for her in the last couple years. The first time they found her a few hours after beginning the search. She was in an empty irrigation ditch sleeping. I guess this time she was last seen at 5:00. No luck yet. It just makes me sick to my stomach. It's so scary.

just me checking in

I am sitting here on my comfy couch, listening to Christmas music while Elsie takes her nap, getting some laundry done, and thought I would write a little post since it's been a while. I don't even have any new pictures or anything, but I guess that means I can still write something...you know how much I hate that! (Warning: this is not very exciting stuff, but there is a little video of Elsie toward the end if you want to just skip to that.)

I made it through my first mutual activity last week. It was just an activity planning for the upcoming year. I only have 3 miamaids and one turns 16 in January, so she didn't really care. One of the other girls is such a sweetheart. She's just a good girl, very involved in school and activities, so nice to everyone. The other one is a bit of a challenge. Her attitude is not the best. I'll leave it at that. (I'm being way too nice.) Anyway, the girls were able to come up with some good ideas. Thankfully the nice girl was willing to do whatever the other one wanted. Fun times dealing with teenagers! I also had to teach the lesson on Sunday for all the young women. I think it went pretty well, but I was SO nervous. I have no problem teaching kids. In fact, I love it! But teenagers and the adult leaders make it so much harder for me. I only cried (very mild cry) once, so I consider that an accomplishment.

While Aaron was doing some work last night on the computer, I watched this Hallmark movie on TV called Front of the Class. It was about this guy who has Tourette Syndrome and wanted to be a teacher. (He was on Oprah a while back.) It was a SUPER cheesy movie, but I still secretly liked it. Whenever I watch movies about teachers, it makes me want to be in the classroom again. I really enjoyed teaching. I miss it. I wish I would've done more of it...but it just didn't work out that way. If only I had known it would take six years to have a baby and stop working!! I hope someday to be able to do it again. I substitute taught here for a couple months a couple years ago. The school district has this really lame, boring reading/writing program that they are using that takes all the fun out of learning. It made me really sad to see that. They don't even teach science, art, social studies to anyone before fourth grade. Well, unless it happens to be a story about dinosaurs or something. It's all focused on reading, writing, and math. I want to teach, but only if it's fun for me and the kids. There's no challenge in what they were doing in the classrooms I was in.

Friday night was our ward's adult christmas party. My neighbor, Stephanie, watched Elsie for us while we went. It was nice to get away...although Aaron said he still would've rather been at home with Elsie instead of at the party. Stephanie took some cute pictures of Elsie and her boys while she over there. I need to have her email them to me. There's one of Elsie holding the guitar while they were playing Guitar Hero. That's my favorite.

I've been really good about going to the gym and am even getting to the point that I look forward to it. Elsie does really well in the day care there. Half the time she doesn't want to leave when I come to pick her up. My aerobics instructor is in love with Elsie because she's spunky and reminds her of her daughter. She talks about Elsie all the time. I think it's funny. I had to skip out on aerobics for a few days last week because I think I had shin splints or something. I'm feeling better now, but it really hurt for a while. The last time I had shin splints was in high school when I attempted to become a runner and tried out for track. I was never very successful, but the shin splints went away.

Elsie and I went to the library again last week. For some reason Elsie wasn't really into the songs as much. I think it's because the lady didn't have as much music to accompany the singing. Elsie likes to hear the music. I did get this video of Elsie dancing and shaking her instrument (can't think of what it's called). This was her favorite part of the whole day.

video

Thursday, December 4, 2008

videos from thanksgiving

I've been trying to get these videos from Thanksgiving uploaded and have been having all sorts of trouble. I finally just uploaded most of them to YouTube, but I don't know how to get those videos onto here. Anyway, you'll have to check them all out...they are all pretty funny! (Oh, and please try to tune out my horrible sounding voice. I guess that's what I really sound like...sorry, people!!)

Elsie had Carson and Kaiya helping her up and down the stairs, and so they showed her how to slide down. She loved it, of course. They kept doing this over and over again...getting louder and louder each time. Elsie was in heaven having her older cousins to play with and help her.
video


Links to YouTube:

Check out this video on to see the beginnings of the dance party.

Carson was definitely the star of the night. Check out his face!!

Yes, he just had to take his shirt off. He was getting serious. He's got some skills, don't you think?! Here it is.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Moments from Thanksgiving

We had Jared, Lindsay, Carson, Kaiya, Chloe, Angie, and Qiana here for Thanksgiving. We had so much fun, cooked a great meal, played, danced, ate more food, watched football, shopped...and kind of slept.

It was our first holiday without Mom. It felt very weird, almost not like a real holiday. I guess the one advantage Aaron and I have is that we weren't always in WA for the holidays. I missed her. I did have a couple Mom moments throughout the day...worrying that everything was going to be just perfect and sweating all around my hairline (it was super hot in the house...and I was stressing). Two wonderful things about mom that, apparently, I inherited.

Elsie and Chloe had fun playing...when Elsie wasn't being bossy.

So, nobody warned us of how disgusting it was going to be cleaning off the turkey and pulling out the neck. While the turkey cooked, we had a litte picnic appetizer party on the family room floor.Jared, who refuses to take a normal picture, carved the turkey for us.Our new kitchen table all set for dinner. Don't you love the centerpiece?We had a nice dinner. Elsie, of course, ate hardly anything. We all got to talk to Mitch. The kids had fun blowing air at each other with their straws.Elsie loves playing with Gigi's cell phone. She would take it over to the stairs and sit and have long conversations with herself. All the cousins. Elsie, Kaiya, Carson, Chloe, Qiana.



As you all know, one of Elsie's favorite things to do is dance. That works out very well for our family because none of us can resist movin' to the beat. After our meal, we turned on some music while we cleaned things up. The kids were totally into the dancing, and we joined in as well. I've got great video of it, but I'm not able to upload it now. I'll keep working on it. Even Qiana joined in on the fun.


Jared and Aaron watched a lot (they would claim differently) of football and checked fantasy scores all the time. Carson was totally into it, too. He knows all sorts of stats and who is good and all that. Then he knew a bunch of stuff about college football when they watched that on Saturday. Oh joy!

Elsie doing another one of her amazing dance moves.

Lindsay and Carson snuggling on the couch.


Who could resist that face?! Chloe has got the best smile. She scrunches her face and shows those big teeth. Oh, I love it!! Elsie got so much attention while everyone was here and loved it.



Angie and I had to get pictures of Elsie and Qiana in their argyle sweaters. Cute cousins!


Elsie could not get enough of Gigi while she was here. She insisted on snuggling with her, sitting by her, following her around, and holding her hand in the car. Thank goodness, Ang was a good sport.