Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So much to say, so little time!

I am going to make this as short as possible. So, to make a long story short, if I am even capable of that, is that it has been a crazy, hectic, wonderful holiday season.

Starting with Thanksgiving. We all got to go to Salt Lake and spend it with my family. I loved it all. And I seriously loved meeting my two new nephews. They really are so cute you can't stand it. Just being home and spending time with my family made the start to the season fantastic. We were able to do some really fun things. Here are some highlights:

-Temple Square with Joce and Ben and our kids
-yummy Mexican food
-HEAVENLY Thanksgiving. My mom is seriously one of the greatest cooks alive!!
-going to Burger Supreme and Puddin' on the Rice with Jocelyn. Don't ask me why it was so fun. It just was. Maybe because we laughed so much at dinner about old nerdy boyfriends. Or maybe it was because we went to Puddin' on the Rice first because there were supposed to be crepes there, but there weren't. So we sampled EVERY flavor of rice pudding they had and then left, promising to come back. Which we did. :)
-Shopping with Jill, Jocelyn, and my mom.
-Going to the craft fair that Jill told me about. I got the best new diaper bag that I am seriously in love with.
-making toffee with Jill, minus the one that we undercooked. Amazing that it still got eaten. HAHA!!
-watching Uncle Ben play so much with my boys.
-Jackson getting his first be-be gun. I think it is called soft pellets or something. Thanks Uncle Kevin. :)
-The list could go on!!!!

Jason had to leave a few days earlier than me so after I flew back home with the kids, it was a quick couple of weeks before we headed to Oregon to spend Christmas with his family. But in that 2 week span was the Ward Christmas Party. It all turned out great and I am SO glad it is over. I really do have a pretty awesome committee. Thanks to all of you that helped put it together. And YA HOO it's over. :)

I also had to plan and create Jackson's class Christmas party. I totally forgot about it and the teachers reminded me that it was on the 18th, the same day I was leaving for Oregon. So lucky me. . . I got to lose my mind and go have a party right before we headed to the airport. But the kids were darling and it was very fun.

Now for Christmas. We got into Portland on the 18th, to FREEZING cold weather. Driving home through the Columbia Gorge was stress full for everyone, but mostly for Larry (father in law). Chains were required and it was slick! What should have taken us 3 hours ended up taking us 6. Here are some highlights from Boardman:

-watching the boys snow mobile with their daddy and Grandpa Smythe. I even got to go out with Jason on the snow mobile. But he drove. Last time I went my friend Amber and I totaled her dad's snow mobile. :)
-Going to Leavenworth, WA and watching the boys go sledding. They LOVED it. -Christmas morning. That says it all. The magic that is so real for my kids makes all the stress and craziness of Christmas worth it.
-Eating at Taco Time. Crisp bean burrito!!! (Can anyone see that I love Mexican food? Cheap or not).
-visiting with Jason's family.
-an ice machine that CRUNCHES your ice. Oh yeah, that craving is back and it was so good to have so many bite sized pieces of ice.
-This is by far one of the funniest Noah moments ever!! While in Utah he became ADDICTED to Home Alone. Not my number one choice for a 3 year old, but what can you do? (Thanks Aunt Jocey). So, he continued his passion for it while we were in Boardman and our last night there we stayed in a hotel in Portland. He was all fired up about having to take a bath that night and giving us all sorts of heck. After the bath was over and Jackson was out and Noah was still in the tub we all left the bathroom. Noah begins like this.
"When I grow up and get married, IF I get married, me and my family are living alone!! I'm living alone!! I'm living alone!! You hear me? I'm living alone. I'm sick of all these kids running around!" And if you have ever heard little Noah talking, he has the CUTEST little lisp you have ever hear. So re read this and add the lisp. :) I was practically peeing my pants on the hotel bed. It was impressive how similar he sounded to Mccauley. My child has a gift! And while it was very sassy and naughty of him to be yelling like that, we had to laugh.
-pure realization!!

But I do have one thing that is not a highlight for me on that trip. On Christmas morning my mom called and told me that my dad was in the hospital and had a heart attack. It ended up that he needed open heart surgery. (5 bypass). So, I spent many hours consumed in thinking about him and what he must be going through. I was worried about him so I can only imagine how my mom and dad must have been feeling.

He had the bypass surgery yesterday and finally got his breathing tube out today. He is awake, it took him awhile to fully open his eyes and keep them open, but he did. And he his all drugged up. Now he is just going to have to recover and regain much of his strength. Yesterday was emotional for me just imagining my dad there having had such a major surgery. Jason started explaining what they would do and I had to make him stop. It was just too much to take in. Noah made a creation on his plate today with lifesavers of me crying about Grandpa. :) I got a little laugh out of it.

I guess thinking about someone you love so much be so still and bandaged puts a lot of things into perspective for you. Life is so precious. And my life has been so greatly blessed with amazing parents. My dad has been one of my best and truest friends since I can remember. There are many secrets we have shared, promising not to tell mom. I can't begin to imagine what things would be like with out him around. Luckily for us, he will be. I am grateful for the surgeons that took such good care of him. And mostly for the incredible power or prayer and priesthood blessings.

So, I guess I didn't keep it too short, but I tried. Just think of everything I could have written, but didn't. Because trust me, there is TONS! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Round #3 NYC!

I have been home now from 2 trips and need to post about each one. I don't know if it is my pregnancy or just plain laziness that is keeping me from the blogging world, but I am starting to miss it. :)

The second week of November I took my third GIRLS trip to New York City and it was fabulous. Melanie, Brooke, Elise and I all left on Saturday and stayed until Tuesday. It was perfect. Yummy food, great shopping and spectacular shows. We ended up getting to see three shows in all.

1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular

2. White Christmas and. . .

3. In The Heights

I seriously loved them all.

We also got to see our old friend Kim Kitley that used to live here in Pittsburgh and that was great. I am actually going to cut and paste another person's post about it. I think I have forgotten too many details to write them all down. So don't judge me for plagiarizing. :) And a special thanks to either Melanie or Brooke. I let you try and figure our who. :) I did changed several things so it isn't as obvious. :)

This time round I mostly went to New York to be with friends and to see Broadway plays. I didn't feel the need to rush around to all the sites (which I felt we covered most last time we were there). We stayed on the 36th floor of the Marriott Marquee which was right on Broadway in Time Square. It was a great location (we stayed there last time, too, and I just love it).

We arrived about noon, and decided to hit Soho first. We went to a couple stores, ended up purchases some things at a local NY favorite little boutique, Gap (I know, real exotic), eating a really yummy sandwich from Dean & Deluca's, (I wolfed down the hugest apple fritter on the face of the planet) and running off to see the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular (you know, the one with the Rockettes). It was a pretty good show, and put me in the mood for Christmas. I was teary at the nativity and bringing live camels in. While Melanie reminded me how hard it would be to actually keep those animals in NYC. Still, it was touching. :)

Brooke and I both immediately saw the sigh for White Christmas and went to find out ho much the tickets were. The response, $120, was not really an option for us. Bummer. But then the ticket agent mentioned that they do a lottery an hour before the show, we said, 'Yes, please!" So the next day, we went to Union Square for breakfast, stopped by the American Girl Doll store for a quick visit (I know I am an adult, but I was with some girls who are a little passionate about AGDs), and then went to put our names in the drawing for a ticket to White Christmas. The way that the lottery worked was that each person could put in one name for a chance at two tickets for each name. They had 22 tickets to give. If your name was drawn, you could purchase two tickets for 26 bucks a piece.

Now, I never win anything, except I did once win a give away on a blog, so I had little faith in the drawing. But we all ended up getting called and freaking out at the same time!!! The tickets were front row, right dab in the center. Excellent! The play was awesome, with several song and dance numbers added that weren't in the movie and most of the favorites! Being drawn was probably the most exciting part of our whole trip!

After the show, we ran uptown to a really good little pizza place called Patsy's. Thanks to Lisa for guiding us to so many delicious places. So good. Then we hustled back down to time square to make it to another show, "In the Heights'. Elise and I were shoving our faces as we ran down the street. Pregnant girls gotta eat! It had an urban Latin vibe and it was funny and very well done. I loved it I think most of any of the shows. And I loved that I could actually understand everything they were singing and saying. Who says missions don't serve me in the future? :) Just kidding.

Afterwards we went to Cafe Lalo. It is the same little cafe that Meg Ryan waits for her blind date in You've Got Mail. The dessert was good, but I mostly liked the atmosphere.

The next day we met up with our friend Kim (who accompanied us on our last NY trip) for breakfast at Norma's,where I ate a SCRUMPTIOUS egg quesadilla. And the hot chocolate was divine. I got my own bowl of melted marshmallows and whipped cream. HEL-O!! Afterwards we went to FAO Schwartz (the toy store from Big), walked down 5th Avenue, went to the top of the Rockefeller, and saw Kim off at Grand Central Station.

On the last day, we visited Ground Zero, Century 21 (a store, not the real estate agency), rode the Staten Island Ferry and then we divided into two groups- one headed for the Doughnut Plant, the other headed to the hotel to check out and get at taxi. Well, everything took longer than planned, I underestimated the length of the taxi ride to the airport and we ended up making a mad dash to the airport. We barely made it- it ended up with Melanie running through the terminal in just her socks, and the rest of us running behind with our bags and boxes of doughnuts, with "Run, Run, Rudolph" in our heads. We BARELY made it. So, here's me. All fat and pregnant, RUNNING (more like wobbling), BARLEY making my flight because I had to buy 1 dozen doughnuts. :) And I wonder why I am gaining weight so rapidly.

But we made it and the doughnuts were worth the adventure. I think Melanie was shocked to see h ow fast I could eat that first Tres Leches doughnut. One second it was in my hand and then next, it disappeared. I got skills! :)

So, thanks girls for a SUPER DUPER fun trip. I had a great time with you. So many fun memories we shared. Especially just sitting in the hotel room late at night. Speaking of the hotel room, how did the 2 pregnant girls end up in the same bed. I think there was some planning on Brooke and Melanie's part. :)

And especially thanks to my wonderful husband that played SUPER dad with the kids. You truly are amazing and I love you for doing so much for me.

And next I will post about my Thanksgiving trip to Utah. Give me a few weeks. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

We have a winner!

Today I was in the shower just enjoying the nice warmth. When suddenly Jackson came bursting in telling me there was a huge spider on my bed.

"WHAT?!!! Go kill it NOW!!"

Jackson put his hands on his cheeks and said, "No, I don't want to touch it. It is scary."

And in comes Noah to the rescue. "I will do it for you Mama."

I told Jackson to get a tissue and hurry up about it. After struggling to get the tissue out (it seriously kept ripping and making me crazy), he finally handed Noah the tissue and I told them to run. That spider could have been anywhere by now.

While thinking they got it, but not really, I hollered out, "Did you get it?" I was trying to stay calm.

Jackson said, "No, we are looking everywhere for it."

I am mostly sicked out by the thought of a spider in my bed. You can rest assured that I will not be sleeping in a bed infested with spiders. And oh yeah, it was a Daddy Long Leg. . . a white one, thanks to Jackson.

Then Noah yelled back at me, "Ellie has it."

"WHAT?!!! Get it from her!!!"

Imagine me. . .helpless in the shower. I had JUST put my conditioner in and wanted to get all the benefits of a well conditioned head of hair.

Then. . . .Noah was ecstatic. "I got it Mommy. I got it!!! Oh yeah! Oh yeah!"

He came and put it in the bathroom and that was that.

So, it looks like we have a winner from now on with who gets to kill all the spiders around here. I sure as heck know it ain't gonna be me!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A mountain? Really?

Today I went to take the van to get the oil changed. While there, Noah had to go to the bathroom twice. And since I seem to always have to use the restroom as well, I used the bathroom each time he went. While in the restroom Noah asked to see my belly.

I lifted the bottom of my shirt and showed him my ever growing expanse. The first and only response he gave me was, "Oh Mom, your belly button looks like a mountain!"

Imagine what he thinks about my actual stomach? So, first I have chubby arms and now this? A mountain for a belly button? I had to laugh at him. And in all honestly, he's is right. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Mercury vrs. Pluto

This was too funny not to post.

Tonight at dinner Jackson was telling me how much he loved me. (Sigh.)

Jackson: "Mom, I love you so much. From here to earth to Pluto to earth to Pluto to earth, back to Pluto. . . . " You get the idea. He said it at least 15 times. And totally aware that Pluto is the farthest from earth. Yes, I know Pluto is no longer a planet.

Mom: "I love you that much too. But maybe even more."

Jackson: all smiles

Noah: "You know how much I love you mom?"

Mom: "How much?"

Noah: "From here to the cookie, to my plate to my drink and to Mercury and back"

Jackson: "Uhhh, like Mercury is the closest planet to earth. Why does he only love you that much?"

Mom: (holding in all my laughter but not very well) "Well, he loves me all around the dinner table too."

I thought it was so funny how Jackson would call Noah out on the distance from earth to all the planets. Jackson has become pretty smart when it comes to outer space. He has learned all the planets and their line up according to earth. No thanks to me I assure you. I am pretty certain he learned it from his Leapster game Wall-E. Thanks Disney.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another 3 year old for me!

October 5th was Noah's 3rd birthday and we had a great time. It happened to fall on Sunday so we had a simple little celebration with just our family. The Miracle's happened to stop by and join in the song and cake. All day Noah felt like the king of the world. And we let him. It was his day.

Then the following Wednesday we had the full blown party. And I loved it every bit as much as the kids. We did it total Halloween style and I even decided to embrace the "cool mom" and dress up. Oh yeah, a witch. How appropriate right? For the ward party I am going to try add a wart to my nose. But the night of the party my time was running out and I barely had time to spray my hair purple.

All the kids dressed up in their Halloween costumes, or whatever their mom's could pull together and we had a spooky party. Even my yard turned a little white trash with all the decor. Please see "cool mom" above.

We played Pin the Eye on the Jack-O-Lantern, Spooky Halloween Twister and decorated Halloween sugar cookies. I decided to do a cupcake tree instead of a cake since I made a birthday cake for Noah on his actual day. And it was so easy and fun. Spider webs. So easy.

So, to my crazy little 3 year old. . . I love you more than you will ever know. Even on the days when I want to pull all my hair out and go to a hotel all by myself (or just the bathroom would be nice), I wouldn't trade it for the world. You make me laugh harder than any other child I have ever known. You can also make me a bit nuts. :) But that is what we love!!!! You always know how to make me smile. I love you little Noah. Every single thing about you!! I am so proud to be your mommy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

And the news is. . . .

Well, I guess it is time to officially announce something that most of you already know. And for those of you that I haven't told yet, it is purely out of laziness and being severely over occupied.

Today I had my ultra sound and we got to see the little baby in motion for about one hour. There was a tiny little calcium deposit on one of the babies heart muscles, but not to worry. The Dr. came in to take a look at it and said that it is totally fine and not to stress about. But of course, I will be googling it later.

The baby looks great. Everything is where it should be and working how it should be. What a relief. Last night I didn't feel the baby move and it started to stress me a little. I got up to go to the bathroom around 1:30am and laid awake until 2:45 praying a worrying that the baby would move and everything would be fine. It was a serious concern for all you that think I am a little worry wart. (Jason included. He had the nerve to even tell me that I probably wasn't really awake all that time).

So, when the tech asked me if we wanted to know the gender of the baby, I got very excited. But I told her to wait a little. I wasn't quite ready for the anticipation to be over quite yet. And then I was ready.

It's a boy!!!! And we couldn't be happier. Really, at this number of child, I am thankful for either. If Ellie never was born and this was my 4th boy, yes. . . I would be so sad. But now that I have each, I am set. So, boy it is. I am very happy and excited to start all over with boy things. My sister Jocelyn just had her first children. Get it? Twins. :) And she had little boys so I gave her all I had. Jason is worried. But I am ready to go shopping. :) As a side note. If I do decide to have a 5th child, it better be a girl. Ellie needs a sister and someone to fight about scrunchies with. Didn't we all hate it if our sister touched our scrunchies?!! :)

So, congrats to me! :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Boston and Vermont

Boston. . .
We have been back for almost a week now, but I just figured out how to do that grid thing so it has taken me awhile to post this. Our trip to Boston and Vermont was great. In short, here is what we did.
Marriott Residence Inn. We got into Boston around 11pm. I went to pull the sofa bed out and found no mattress. One little call from your truly and off we went to the PENT HOUSE. Hello two story hotel room. That was wonderful. We love the Residence Inn because it is like staying in a house. Especially when it is bigger than our actual house. :) And the yummy breakfast each morning. Mmmmm.
Whale watching. This was AMAZING. Whales were 20 feet away from our boat and it was so close you could see the white under belly. Loved it. Luckily the weather was prefect this day. Breezy and cool, but nice. By far one of my favorite days of the trip.
Freedom Trail. I loved this. Paul Revere's home was pretty neat to see. The boys were B.O.R.E.D. to say the least.
Trolley tour. It was POURING rain so this was really our only option. Too bad the vinyl windows were covered in steam so we saw very little. And to be honest, I really didn't care. :) I just wanted to sit and be dry. We were dripping with water. Ellie was out of control at one point so we decided to get off. In the rain. With no appropriate gear. Drenched. And in the theater distract too. Bor-ing. And when we went to board the next trolley, there weren't 5 seats available. So we waited another 25 minutes in the rain. So fun.
Quincy Market. YUM-O is all I have to say. I could have spent several hours in there. Me and food. . . together at last.Ben and Jerry's was tons of fun. Our tour guide was a little strange, but made us laugh. Did you know how unsuccessful Ben and Jerry were destined to be? And who doesn't love some free samples of yummy ice cream? The boys loved it there. For obvious reasons.
Salem. The scary witches. We had a fun time there. And that is a really cute little town. We even found a bit of Mormon history there. But I don't remember what. I know, I was really fascinated by it.
The boys bought swords that make "clanging" sounds when they move. Like metal on metal. And they are the WORST swords EVER! They went off NON-STOP the whole drive home. I ended up shoving and wedging them in the back of the van under all our luggage, hoping they would break. But no. They win the award for the world's most durable toy. SERENITY NOW!
Vermont. . .
I loved every bit of it. We spent 3 nights there in a beautiful resort town called Stowe. Check it out if you are ever heading to Vermont. It was prettier than I ever imagined. And we hit it at a perfect time. The trees were all rich with color and the weather was so fall like. It was everything I was wanting it to be.
We rode the Gondola to the tallest peak there and although there were too many clouds to see the bottom, the ride up was breathtaking. We were all a bit freezing once we hit the top. :)
Each day we ate at different local restaurants and each day we ate a ton. The food was so delish!
We stayed at the Green Mountain Inn and it was perfect. Jason took the kids all swimming in the "nicely heated" pool and they loved it. Especially Ellie.
We spent a lot of time driving up mountains and getting out to take scenic pictures. Something I actually think is lame unless you are a good photographer. But it was just too gorgeous not to capture. Unfortunately, I am no photographer so the pictures will never do ti justice. And I stand firm on believing there should be people in pictures. (Unless you are skilled like I mentioned earlier).
We also drove to Burlington, Lake Champlain and spent a few hours walking and shopping on Church Street. Very fun. And apparently we ate the world's best chicken fingers. Coated it Kellogg's and almonds. I had mine in a wrap with sweet potato fries and get this. . . horseradish honey mustard dip!! It was heaven. I think I need to use "the Google" to find the recipe. (Did anyone get that?)
Then we drove half way back home and stayed in New York for the night. Panera in the hotel room. And a little bit of Gossip Girl for me while the boys went out to get dinner. (Stop judging me. I am not perfect).
It was one of the best family vacations we have taken. We loved every bit of it. And I highly recommend taking the time to go to Vermont in the fall. There really is nothing like it.

I had to add some extra pics that are already in the grid but for some reason heads are cut off. I guess I didn't really learn how to do it all that well after all. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I had heard from a couple of my friends here that Wicked was doing a lottery for tickets to Wicked. A bunch of my friends actually went to the show and I decided not to go since I had seen it awhile back. But hearing all of them talk about it made me sad to have missed it. So Libby and I tried to do the lottery and got in!!

Our seats were front and center and it was awesome. I actually loved it so much more than when I saw it in NYC. Thanks Libby for leaving your new born and coming along. It was so fun and totally worth it.

And THANK YOU lottery man. I love you for picking me.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The first day!

It has been awhile since I have updated, and I have no excuses other having nothing too interesting to tell. But today I have a blog worthy entry.

Jackson and Noah started school today. And for Noa
h, it was his FIRST day of school ever. Jackson has already been to two years of pre-school so this was no big scary thing for him. He was just so ready and excited to start school. Noah did great too. He was a little shy, but still kept asking me when I was going to leave. I asked him, "Why? Do you want me to go?" And he said. "Yes. Leave." :) But when it came time to actually talk to his teachers, he wanted me RIGHT there. They both looked so cute in their back packs. Noah was LOVING it. I really liked the teachers, their classrooms and all the fun things they have planned for the kids. I am glad there are people that love their job so much and love all these (MY) kids so much. It gives me a lot of comfort knowing they are in good hands with people that really do care about them. But please don't mistake me for the crying mom out in the parking lot. I am glad to have them go and experience new things and build their character. And I am seriously glad to have a little less noise in the back round for 2 1/2 hours. So, here's to another fun and wonderful year of school.

I took a picture of Noah with his teachers, but they weren't on the camera when I went to upload them. So, I will be taking another next time. And I had to promise Noah a piece of candy to smile in his. All for nothing.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My friend Brooke did this with her 4 year old daughter and I thought it was pretty funny. So I decided to give it a try with my boys.

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Do naughty things.

2. What makes mom happy?

3. What makes mom sad?

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
say, "stop laughing!"

5. What was your mom like as a child?
I am a pirate.

6. How old is your mom?
I can't know.

7. How tall is your mom?
this tall. Stretches his arms high and can barely get the words out he is stretching so hard.

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
not let me have candy.

9. What does your mom do when you are not around?
be naughty at me.

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
I can't know.

11. What is your mom really good at?
putting us in the tub. I can't take credit for that. I let Jason have tub time. But I am probably better at it. :)

12. What is your mom not so good at?
not talking to me.

13. What does your mom do for her job?
go to work. I asked him what my work was and he said having a baby.

14. What is your mom’s favorite food?
chicken. Not so. I love tacos. I think Noah loves chicken.

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
I can't know. Sad. Maybe when I am not being naughty to him? :)

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
that's funny. A pirate. Totally a pirate. He is still laughing.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
go outside. He wishes. It has been so hot and humid. I send the boys outside for peace and quiet.

18. How are you and your mom the same?
we're bigger. Your clothes are not getting soggy.

19. How are you and your mom different?
I can't know. We are working to teach him correct English.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
I can not say it. I asked why and he said he is too little.

1. What is something mom always says to you?
Ahh, make my bed.

2. What makes mom happy?
mmm, helping Ellie.

3. What makes mom sad?
uh, not helping her.

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
by tickling me.

5. What was your mom like as a child?
you liked having a doggy. I did. If you can believe it.

6. How old is your mom?
39. Are you 39? You're 31? He knew the answer to this a few days ago. What happened?

7. How tall is your mom?
really tall.

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
help Ellie.

9. What does your mom do when you are not around?
look on the computer. Nailed that one!

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
I don't know.

11. What is your mom really good at?

12. What is your mom not so good at?
fixing the TV. It's for convenience purposes.

13. What does your mom do for her job?
go to the gym. That's a good one.

14. What is your mom’s favorite food?
vegetables. Again. I like TACOS!!!!

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
You know what makes me proud of you? When you turn on Monster Trucks.

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
Sponge Bob. Help me.

17. What do you and your mom do together?
you and me go to the store. And go to school.

18. How are you and your mom the same?
We both like hugging each other. I'll take a hug any time from my kids.

19. How are you and your mom different?
I don't like going to Baby Gap. He didn't even hesitate on that one.

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
By showing me how to make my bed. I think I might be a bit of a drill sergeant.

Friday, August 8, 2008

In a nutshell.

I really haven't been up to blogging the last few weeks, but we have done some fun things.

Two weekends ago we went camping for our first time as a family and had a great time. We went to Raccoon Creek State Park and had so much fun. We
bought all the gear needed to be campers and off we went. The boys LOVED it. And that is putting it mildly. We had hot dogs for dinner, jiffy pop, smores, and treats. And for breakfast we made scrambled eggs and sausage. And pancakes!!! We went all out.We hiked around a bit, rented a boat for the lake and just had a fun time spending time together. The boat ride didn't last as long as we thought since Noah had to go to the bathroom SO bad. I wanted to let him go over the side of the boat, but Jason isn't quite as white trash as I am apparently. :)

The only complaint I had was that Raccoon Creek gets its name som
ewhere. There were TONS of raccoons during the night that scarred me to death. I made Jason check outside several times. I was sure there was a bear. And the boys were all bunched up in the corner of the tent and those dumb raccoons were sniffing hard into them. It was making me sick! But the sun came up and all was well. We are planning on going back next weekend.And last weekend we spent the day at an amusement park here in Pittsburgh called Ildewild. LOTS of fun for the kids. It is the #2 largest theme park in the world for children. And Jackson and Noah loved every second of it. The splash lagoon was my favorite part. I made sure to do the big slides and Jackson even did them with me on an inter tube. We were both laughing so hard at how fast and dark they were. Great memories.And that is it. Other than those two things, there isn't a whole lot to blog about. But HELLO!!!!! I was freaking out that Joshua won!!!!! I knew my votes would pay off. I loved him so much. Does anyone think or know if Katee and Joshua are dating? I really want that to be. That is Noah giving a "thumbs up!" :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Break is over

Hello!!!!!!! I am finally trying to get back into the blogging world. I had to just delete my google reader and start from scratch. I just didn't/don't have it in me to read 140 new posts. But I am making my way down the list and getting all caught up. Now to update my own life.

We got back from our 1 month trip to Oregon and Utah and it was a great time. ALL of us flew to Oregon to spend a couple of weeks with Jason's family and then Jason went back to Pittsburgh and the rest of us flew to Utah to see my family. Everyone had a wonderful time seeing family and friends and I have to say I loved the extra help with the kids. :)

There are just too many details so I am going to put the slide show in and the pictures will pretty much sum up how much fun we all had. Thanks to our families for having us home and doing so much while we were there. I am sure it can get a bit exhausting have 3 small children around and their parents. But we plan on doing it again next year so too bad! :)

Jason and I were able to visit Spokane for a couple of days and we both really liked it there. If only it was sunny all the time. Why does there have to be so many cold months!!!? We'll see where we end up. We still have plenty of time. But the closer it gets the more I feel like I am really going to miss Pittsburgh.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

8 Years!

I am a couple of days late in posting this, but I always love this time of June.

Eight years ago, on June 21, 2000, I entered the M.T.C. for my mission to Neuquen, Argentina. And I can honestly say it was the BEST 18 months of my life. And by far the HARDEST. Much harder than I thought it would be. And far more REWARDING than I dreamed of. I honestly think I would go back in a heart beat if given the second chance
.The M.T.C. was such a wonderful place for me. I had a great companion and awesome district. For those that don't know, I met Elder Smythe there. Wonderful District Leader. :) It was a long 9 weeks and also some of the funnest times. Then it was off to Argentina. Jason is standing right next to me.I remember meeting all my family and friends there in the airport, (pre 9/11) and having a final chance to say good bye. It was HARD!!! I can remember crying my heart out to my mom and telling her that I didn't want to go anymore and that I had changed my mind. She may not even have heard what I said as it was probably impossible to understand me through all my sobs. And I distinctly remember her saying to me, "Oh what? You want me to take your luggage off the plane and cancel everything?!!" Telling me in a sarcastic tone. And I immediately said, "YES!" She gave me a last hug and encouraged me as a mom does. Even the Elder in charge of traveling got off the plane to make sure I was going to board it. My dad told him, "Yes, she is coming. And help her with her things." It's funny to think back on that day and all those crazy emotions I went through. I now see that was only the beginning. I arrived in Argentina as the only sister, and was very anxious to meet the President and his wife. Presidente George y Hermana George. WONDERFUL WONDERFUL people. He taught me some of life's greatest lessons. And Hermana George taught me priceless principles of motherhood. I will never forget them or the impact they had on my life as a woman, mother, wife and child of God. They were prefect examples of the life I want to live. It's amazing to be such an intricate part of building the Kingdom of God. Something I need to focus on more often than I do.I could obviously go on and on about my mission experience and how it was incredible, amazing, life changing, challenging, strengthening, etc. But I won't. :) That is what my mission journals are for. I just wanted to document this special time for me to remember and think about. It never hurts to have reminders of the things that make us who we are. And for me, I am still learning from my mission. I can't imagine my life without that experience. Especially without Jason. :)
Ahhh, June 21st.
(I aplogize for the horrible quality of my pictures. I have no clue how to work my scanner. Just pushing the button isn't seeiming to work. So, these are pictures of pictures). And proof that I can get dirty when for a good cause. For all those that find it hard to see me as a missionary in South America. Give me some credit! :) I would do it over and over again.

Monday, June 16, 2008


I am sitting here setting up this awesome thing my sister Jill told me about called, "My Rewards Board" and Jackson is loving it. For all you that have children that are ready to start helping out, this is great. And it is free for the first 15 days. Depending on how well he does, I just might buy it. I mean come on. I have made the charts plenty of times and know good and well that I hate having them up in my house. Messing and ugly. So, maybe this is the key to my success. But here is the reason I am posting.

All the sudden Jackson was feeling my upper arm. Then rubbing it. Then out of nowhere he said, "You have a little bit of chubs on your arm." WHAT!!!!

I laughed and said, "I do?" He said, "Yeah, a little." I told him, "No I don't." He said, "Yeah, you do."

Well, excuse me for having three kids in 3 1/2 years. And for loving chocolate chip cookies and delicious mint brownies. (Thanks a lot Jocelyn. This is all your fault!!). And for not being as serious as I should about my work outs. WAAAAAA!!!

Then he asked me if he had chubby arms. I told him no. And then he asked about his legs. And his face. And then his buns. LOL! So, I told him he didn't have any chubs anywhere. Then I took the scary step of asking him if I did. And bless his heart. . . I only have chubs on my arms. :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Too scared to hike?

Me: "You guys want to go hiking tomorrow?"

Jackson: "Nah. I'm too scared of wolves and bears."

Noah: "Yeah, I want to go hiking."

Jackson: "The bears can scratch through our tents Noah." (Telli
ng him in a warning voice. . . like he better think twice).

Noah: "Yeah!! Bears!"

And there is the personality of my boys.

On another note, I got a new stroller and I can't wait to get it!! I have been coveting many a stroller the last 6 months or so and just can't seem to find one that I am happy with. Why can't someone design the perfect stroller? It doesn't seem too hard to me. Is a mom
ever involved in it? Ever?
~cup holder for both parent and child. Like bigger than a bottle of water.
~napper bar

~good storage basket

~fold easily

Is that too much to ask for?

A few weeks ago I bought the Peg Perego double side by side. No good. I own the Combi side by side and have loved it, but seriously need a new stroller. Just for the look of something new and not abused. It has been almost 3 years. I am ready! The sit and stand sounds like a good idea, but I seriously dislike pushing that long of an object. And the nicest brand I could find was still not that nice. I returned the Peg Perego (thanks Libby) and bought this:

I hope it will be prefect. Or at least closer to perfect than any of the rest. Noah refuses to sit in the stroller so I bought a nice single. PLEASE BE GOOD!!! I will let you all know for future stroller purchases. (To my sister. They make a nice double side by side).

And I am posting random pictures just so grandparents can get SUPER excited for this little clan to come soon. :)LOVE this little addition to our back yard. Perfect for Ellie and the boys are enjoying it too.Shoving her mouth full of blueberries.Noah, Nora and Jackson at the Mt. Lebanon pool this week. The weather here has been so hot! We went to Nora's pool (a country club) last week and now the community pool seems like a total dump. Bring on the country club for me!! Post to come. Libby found out where the nearest Nordstrom is from here and we decided to take a day and scout it out. I had a great time. Minus my CRAZY and out of control children the last 2 hours. Next time I go, it will be without kids. I still managed to spend plenty of money. No worries. Poor Melanie was stuck in the middle of the van with small children surrounding her. You are strong Mel.

The UPS man delivered my stroller an hour ago and it is AWESOME!! And since I forgot to tell you the name of it. . . Baby Planet Solo Deluxe. I am loving it. But I have only pushed it around my house. All 12 feet of my house. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Just to remember

This is simply for my own memory.

Today, while driving to the mall I asked Jackson (and Noah) if they knew what religion we were. A friend of mine and I were talking today in her car and her daughter repeated us saying "I'm a Mormon" and I wondered if Jackson would know to tell someone that if he was asked. Nope.

So I said, "Are we Mormon?"

Jackson said, "Oh yeah. I am a Mormon." (Noah repeated him).

Then I kept on driving. Baby Einstein was blasting in the back round and I was enjoying the quiet in the front of the van. :)

Then Jackson asked me, "Mom, when is Jesus going to come again?" I said, "One day He will come again and it will be wonderful. But no one knows when that will be."

Then he said, "So, I guess he will just land then? Maybe fly?" (I am pretty sure he was talking about taking an airplane). I smiled. And then had no clue how to explain His "arrival" so I said, "Almost like He is floating."

Jackson just stared out the window and I could tell he was trying to picture it. For him, I think it was fun to imagine Jesus flying. And I thought it was so sweet that he wanted to know more about Jesus coming again. I know Jason and I try to talk about those things often, but never often enough. I am thankful for primary teachers that teach him so much. He is at such an impressionable age.

This was just a simple little memory that I wanted to have forever.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

About time!

I have been seriously out of it when it comes to blogging. I guess I just needed a good break from it. And my mom has been asking faithfully for a new update. She misses my kids. Not my stories. :) So, I am going to just post a few pictures and say we are all good.

The weather is great. The kids are as cute as ever and we are getting ready to go on vacation in a couple of weeks to Oregon and Utah. The boys are really excited to see their grandparents.
I took this tonight because I loved how she was laying in her crib. Those pj's won't stay snapped right there on the thigh because they are so juicy! :)

This was taken right before we left for the ward Memorial Day Party. It was a lot of fun and I have a super committee that does so much to help me. THANKS! It turned out wonderful.
Just eating donuts in the front yard.
A nice day at the park with some friends. Jackson and Jack were loving it!
We went to dinner with some friends a few nights ago and before we ate let the boys run in the water. We did change their clothes after. :) Jackson loved it. Noah didn't want to get wet.
Ellie and Jack eating dinner together at the Cheesecake Factory.
Last night we had a Girls Night at my house that was a lot of fun. I couldn't find a babysitter and Jason was on call so we decided to just do it at my house and wear our comfy clothes and eat treats. What could be better than that? I always love my girl time and the friendships that I build and strengthen. These girls here in Pittsburgh really mean a lot to me and I am so grateful for the friendships we have. (Sniffle, sniffle). :) Getting to church by 9am was rough this morning, but totally worth the 2am late night!!!
(Back row: Linda, Melanie, Gina, Mary Jane. Front row: Elise, Debi, Rachelle, Jana, Jodelle, Libby)