Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Hangover


Can I blame not updating the blog on a holiday hangover? We had too much fun and now the kids are spending most of our days playing/fighting over their new toys. Santa now realizes the girls need to get the same exact things for Christmas.

We had a wonderful Christmas, and we didn't take any pictures with our own camera. There are some on Kevin and Sabrina's camera though, so I'll try to get those soon. We also celebrated Grandma Mary's 90th birthday. John took pictures of that one so as soon as I get permission to steal some more photos I'll get a post up.

We went to Sea World last week but yet again, didn't bring a camera. The battery is out and I can't find the charger. But luckily I got a new point and shoot camera for Christmas, so next time I'll be able to use our back up.

Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Holiday Favorites

Our current holiday favorites are:
  • Frosty, the movie. And Frosty Returns. Someone requests it every day, sometimes more than once.
  • Singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
  • Practicing Anna's Christmas dance for her dance class.
  • Blended egg nog (used to buy it at Starbucks but now make it at home by simply throwing egg nog and ice in the blender and topping it with whipped cream). This is my favorite and now I've converted all of the kids.
  • Christmas lights of course. Adam still gets excited about the ones on our own house whenever we come home at night.
  • Shopping for presents. Anna thinks that should mean finding something in the house and wrapping it up rather than buying something new. She wants to give Adam a train that is already his. However, I think she would be sorely disapointed if she got all things she already has for Christmas.
  • Getting ready to celebrate Jesus' birthday!


It's been a few weeks now, but Marlene and I took the kids to the Festival of Trees and Festival of Lights in Riverside. Last year we went on opening day, and this year we went the day after. Just going one day later made a world of difference - it wasn't so crazy busy and I enjoyed it more. Hopefully it will become a tradition.

Adam can be a bit of a scardy cat, so he got his picture taken in front of a fake train instead of with Santa. We've seen Santa numerous times this year and he still won't go near him. Not even for candy.


The girls were perfectly happy to sit with Santa though. And they both told him they want baby dolls. How original! Isabel decided to show us her belly for some reason. Sorry about that.


These were our futile attempts to take a posed picture in front of the Mission Inn. It is so beautiful this time of year! But the kids were not into the whole smiling all at once thing.



Last weekend my Mom and I took the kids to the Norco Christmas parade. I didn't bring the camera that time, it would have probably been too dark anyway. They put lights on all of the horses and carriages and do the parade at night. The kids loved it.

Also, my Dad visited last week and the kids got to open presents from him. So we have a few new toys to tide us over until Christmas.

We hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen





Making Thanksgiving rolls with Grammie - and they turned out delicious!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stuff

As I read this article, I wondered if this woman will ever see the error in these words. She is giving up designer jeans to buy her daughter a bunch of presents for Christmas.
“I want her to be able to look back,” Ms. Hunt declared, “and say, Even though they were tough times, my mom was still able to give me stuff.”
Really? You want her to look back and say, "my mom was able to give me STUFF?"

I don't know where to begin - but that is really sad. How about hoping your kids will say, "Even though they were tough times, my mom was still able to give me LOVE."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

So happy together

A very large living room with plenty of space...



And they all sat right next to each other. So cute.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Middle Child


Do you know who the middle child is in our family? You might think there isn't a true middle child since we have twins. But Isabel was born first, and is technically the middle child. She is proof that birth order means something, even if it is only by 2 minutes.

Isabel is the one who will never let you out of her sight. She is not just a Mama's girl - she's a Daddy's girl, a Grandma's girl, a Grandpa's girl, and an "anyone who will pay attention to her" girl. My favorite thing about Isabel is that she loves everyone she meets. The first time she meets you, she'll give you a kiss goodbye. On the lips. And she won't let you try to give her your cheek.

I love how different Isabel is from her sister. I love Isabel's tan skin. I love her little petite frame. I love it when she whispers secrets in my ear. I love her obsession with chapstick. I love how she can translate for Adam when I can't understand him. I love it when she "mothers" both her little brother and her older sister. I love/hate that she never stops talking. It can drive you crazy, but at the same time it just makes her Isabel. And I love to joke about how crazy she'll drive us with all of that talking when she's 13, 14, 15, 16. Basically forever.


Of all the kids, Isabel is the most delicate. If she gets hurt, she'll cry on the shoulder of the first one to comfort her for a minute, and then she'll ask for someone else. Just one comforter is not enough. She is not coordinated, and is the worst driver I've ever seen. We have one of those battery-powered cars that goes 1.5 miles/hour, and she doesn't steer. She just pushes on the gas, but goes in circles or runs into things because she never moves the steering wheel. Shouldn't a 2.5 year old have figured that out by now? I have a feeling she may have inherited my driving skills.

I have to give Isabel props for being a super speedy potty trainer. She basically forced us to potty train her at the beginning of the summer, and she did it in just a few days. She wants to be like Anna, and this was just the beginning I'm sure!



I love Isabel's relationship with both Anna and Adam. In the past few months, she and Anna have reached the stage of really playing together. Now that Isabel can talk, she'll say, "Wanna play dollies Anna?" I love that she'll tease Anna when asked to play by saying no. After Anna begs and pleads, she laughs and says yes eventually - all so she can have a little bit of the power. She and Adam have a special bond, and I love to listen to them chatting in their room. I love how she looks for Adam when she wakes up, and gives him a hug if he's sad.

Most of all, I love how much Isabel loves me. I can just feel it in her squeezes - and because she is literally always by my side!

I'm Yours

This song has been out for a while now but I'm finally getting around to posting it. I love this song - when I listen to it I can actually visualize sitting on the beach with my sweet husband. Just wanted to share it in case you have missed it!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Remember Halloween?

I thought about doing the all about Isabel post next - but she's been a complete stinker. If I did one right now, it would say, "I love how Isabel screams every night when we put her to bed. I love it when she throws a fit because she can't have a piece of candy." You get the idea.

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On Halloween, we got the kids ready and I took some photos...but the camera was on the wrong setting and they didn't come out. I was going to put their costumes back on one day, but I haven't yet. So I'll just post what we have so far.

First, Anna had her first preschool parade! She walked with her class and they sang some cute Halloween songs.


Here is the posed picture on Halloween that didn't come out right, but you can still see how cute they are.


We went to our church trunk-or-treat, and they had lots of fun. Actually, Isabel had an ear infection and was running a very high fever when we left. I basically forced her to put on her costume, she just wanted to lay down and go to sleep. But the fever broke soon after we got to the trunk-or-treat, and she had fun after that.

When we got home and realized the camera dadn't worked right, we tried to take a few more. But the kids weren't looking quite as cute - and they were so hyped up on sugar it was impossible to get them to pose together.



Here we have the happy twins after they woke up way too early the next morning and had a sugar hangover.


Happy Halloween, two weeks late! We still have Halloween candy, I need to get rid of it. I'm ready to move on from the kids asking for a piece five times a day. Maybe right now I'll check to see if there is any chocolate left...

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Buddy


I don't write enough about the kids individually, so how about a post all about Adam? We'll get to the girls next.

Adam is the one I have a hard time resisting. No matter how bad he is, his little face just melts my heart. And, even when he's being bad, its so hard not to laugh. He likes to steal things from the girls and run away as fast as he can - and he's faster than them. He's also stronger for the most part. But when he apologizes it is so heart felt - he says a great "I'm sorry" followed by a kiss and a hug.

I love his blue eyes and his pale skin. I love his obsession with trains. I love that he could be entertained for half an hour by driving a matchbox car on my arms and legs. I love his mad scooter-riding skills. He is also great at puzzles. Oh, and I love/hate how good he is at ignoring me. It's funny, but frustrating. He'll just keep playing and totally ignore it when you ask him to do something.

Of all the kids, Adam is the hardest to understand. His words all run together - but I can understand what he's saying. My favorites lately are, "Mmmm, delicious!" and "You play with me, Mommy?" He has also turned into a great singer, and knows the words lots of songs including Twinkle, Twinkle, I Am a Child of God, and he is pretty good at his ABCs. He can count to at least 10, sometimes more, but he usually forgets the number 2. And if you ask him how old he is, he says either 3 or 4. He must hate the number 2.

Here is his precious face at less than 6 months old.


And again now.


I love watching Adam and Ben together. If you've seen them in person you know how much they are alike - both in their mannerisms and their looks (except for the pale skin and light hair).



And to think, I thought I wanted all girls.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Anna Ballerina

I need to do a Halloween post, but we'll start with this one. Anna is taking her first dance class - a basic class called Creative Movement. She loves it so far - they practice turns, chasse, first position, and other basic steps. Here she is right before her first class a few weeks ago.


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hello? Anyone out there?

This blog is dying.....a.....slow......death. Haven't had the time lately. And then I went to use my fancy new pink laptop to upload some pictures. I took the memory card out of the camera and put it in my laptop, I was so excited that it had a memory card reader. But the next day, my laptop went kaput. So it seems it could not handle the memory card.

I think we are going to return it. I just can't keep a computer that is already having problems. I depend on it too much. Anyway, I might have to get a Mac because Ben thinks they are better. We'll see. They don't come in pink and that might be a deal breaker. BOO on Dell for sending me a computer that didn't work, then sending me a replacement that already doesn't work a few weeks later.

Our updates:

- We had a night away in San Diego last weekend. Our friend Brad tied the knot, congrats Brad!

- Anna is taking a dance class. Isabel won't stop talking. Adam is obsessed with trains.

That's about it - see, you aren't missing anything! I'll try to get a hold of some pictures and start updating again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

For My Kids

Soon I am going to have to change the name of the blog to "Mom on a soapbox."

Today, its about Proposition 8 here in California. When I first heard about it, I'll admit, I supported it, but I wasn't very passionate. But as time goes on and I've learned more about the repercussions if Proposition 8 fails, I have felt more inclined to take action.

Proposition 8 would add an amendment to the California state constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. It does not take away any rights for same sex couples (i.e. health insurance, domestic partner status).

I hope to teach my children tolerance and love for all people. But the fact remains, I value the institution of marriage and I believe a traditional family structure, where children have a Mom and a Dad, is ideal. We don't live in an ideal world, but does that mean we should just throw in the towel?

Today I read this article, and it made me cry. I looked at those little faces in the photos, and it made me sad that they never had a chance to form their own opinions. If you read it, read it to the end. Towards the end, when the sweet six-year-olds are talking about what they think marriage is, it makes me scared for my kids. If marriage was simply about "people falling in love," I think we would be in trouble.

I want them to know that we believe marriage is sacred. We believe marriage was created to join a man and a woman, to allow them to have children and grow together as a family. We believe this institution should be preserved. I believe that Moms are important, and Dads are important. And I don't think children should be denied the right to have both a Mom and a Dad. And while I would never deny friendship or love for anyone based on their personal beliefs, this is a slippery slope I'm just not ready to go down.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debt, debt, and more debt

So, the markets are down and everything on the news is gloom and doom.

The U.S. National Debt is $10 trillion.

U.S. corporations are who knows how much in debt, at least $700 billion, a lot more I'm sure.

And U.S. consumers are in so much debt ($2.5 trillion NOT including mortgages) that they can't keep up with their homes, their cars, or their lifestyles. They are in SO much debt that borrowing is actually down for the first time since 1998. What a novel concept - if you can't afford it, don't buy it.

There are two things we try to do, and although we aren't perfect, I think the world would do some good to follow the same counsel.


Live within your means.

Stay out of unnecessary debt.



Two simple rules. Common sense, right? Obviously it is not that common anymore.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Animal House

It's been a while now, but Matt and Alex and fam were the last visitors of the summer.

One day we went to the San Diego Zoo for a few hours. 3 adults + 5.5 kids = outnumbered. It was exhausting, and fun. Poor Matt held Izzy on his shoulders for a while, and I don't know how Alex walked as much as we did with a baby on the way. I think we'll take the bus for part of the time when we go next.






Sunday, September 28, 2008

Time Flies

I felt like I had been keeping up with the blog, and then I realized the last post was 12 days ago already. Time is going by too fast lately.

So, to at least keep you updated on the exciting happenings in my life, I got a shiny new laptop. My last one died but my new one is PINK and I love it. It took two months to get here and the first one they sent didn't work (thanks Dell) but hopefully it was worth the wait.



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We took the kids to Poly's homecoming parade on Saturday. Afterwards, we went to the pep rally. Anna's favorite part was the cheerleaders and now she wants to be one someday. I tried to point out the colorguard girls and said, "but don't you want to be one of them like Mommy was?" Hmm, she said no thanks.

Isabel is also well versed in "Go Poly Bears" so we are now not only (top 10 ranked) BYU fans, but also Poly High School football fans this season.



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I'm off to play catch up for work this week. Our babysitter had walking pneumonia last week so I'm way behind.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I love technology

I used to scrapbook. I have one for my high school years, the beginning of our marriage, and for the first two years of Anna's life. I'm not very artistic, but I liked scrapbooking. Then, when I found out I was pregnant with twins I knew it was over. I didn't even try to pretend, I knew I wouldn't get back to it for a very long time.

And, I haven't. Alex is into digital scrapbooking and got me some CDs, which are very cool. But I still haven't taken enough time to do that either! I've looked, but haven't really done any pages yet. I promise I will, someday.

But luckily, technology always comes up with a way to replace the fun of good old fashioned hobbies. So although scrapbooking has gone out the window for a few years, I have been blogging. And now, this blog can be turned into a scrapbook.

Isn't that cool?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Still Looking

We're still on the house hunt. It has taken longer than we planned, but in the long run I think we'll be glad we held out. Prices....are still...falling. In fact, we are to the point where I think we have to accept that fact that we are going to overpay and buy anyway (hopefully the steepest drops have already happened). Or rent.

I like this blog, which focuses on the real estate market specifically in the Inland Empire. They posted the other day about this house, which is around the corner.

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It's hard to wait, my KitchenAid misses me. So does my dining room table. And my dishes. Maybe I should just go out to the storage shed and visit them.

Hello dining room table.


Speaking of this picture, it was taken in our Bountiful house. Hello Bountiful house, I miss you too. Ben was there this weekend, getting it ready for the next tenants, who I'm sure won't appreciate it as much as I did. This is where I would be sitting right now if we lived there.


Hopefully one day I'll have pictures of a new office to post, and until then I'll keep telling myself it has been smart to wait. Smart to wait. Smart to wait. I'm trying, Ben.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rise and Shout the Cougars are Out

Our kids are being fully indoctrinated. You can hear a random, "BYU, BYU, BYU" chant from their bedrooms at night, and anytime they see football on TV they burst into cheers for BYU. We are also starting to practice the Cougar fight song. I think its time to do a little online shopping so they have t-shirts and jerseys.

It was a great weekend for the Cougars, as they routed UCLA, 59 to 0.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cousin Love

We've had lots of family visiting here in California lately, and we went up to Utah last weekend. Unfortunately we only had one of our favorite foods while we were there. Actually, it wasn't on our original list, but we also had Tucanos, which was fantastic. They need to bring a Brazilian grill to California.

Our drive back took a little longer due to Labor Day traffic, so we were in the car for 11 or 12 hours. So I want to give a shoutout to Ben's laptop that plays movies. Now that the kids are all old enough for a movie to keep them occupied, we had absolutely no crying on the entire drive.

There has been plenty of cousin love, so here are some pictures!


Anna and Zach at the Peanuts exhibit at the Riverside museum.


Everyone eating dinner at a park in Taylorsville.


The three oldest playing on the slide.


All of the cousins minus Baby Kaleb.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Summer Foliage


In the midst of 100 degree summer temperatures, a tree in the backyard decided to drop all of its leaves in the past week. The kids enjoyed helping Grandpa "clean them up," and John captured some fun pictures.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Summer Visitors

We had lots of fun when Kevin, Sabrina and Kaleb came to visit, and we went to Corona del Mar for a picnic. It was beautiful, except for the long trek down 112 stairs to the dirty public beach bathroom since both Anna and Isabel (who is doing great at potty training) had to go.





We'll see you guys again in Utah in a week!

Happy Adam

This picture is a little old but I haven't blogged in a while - and the kids are surpassing the two hour mark on all three of them being asleep. When three kids sleep for two hours I think you are obligated to blog something.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Wild Animals

We used our zoo passes for the first time on Friday - at the Wild Animal Park. It was fun, but hot!