Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Well, with teenagers, Halloween takes on a whole new flavor in our house. Instead of trick-or-treating, the kids went to the State high school playoff game then to friends' houses for parties. Dad and I just went to the grocery store. Hid in the basement and had a quiet dinner and watched "Dracula, Dead and Loving It." Then Dad and Bear went to sleep while I waited for our teenagers. No trick-or-treaters. Sorry everyone we missed :).

The three of us spent all day while Dad was at work carving pumpkins. I LOVE carving pumpkins. I do at least 2 a year, one for me and one for "dad", that I carve. This year there was "Dad"'s that said Happy Halloween with a tree. And mine, which was a first because it was my own design, meaning it didn't come off the computer or out of a book as a pumpkin design, and it had a 3-D image. It's a pair of hands holding an apple. It turned out ok for a first attempt, but it wasn't quite up to my standards, but it'll go better next year when I try another design of my own. Lizzard did a lizard design that I found on line. Jeff did a strong guy, computer design. We always roast part of the seeds to enjoy for a while after the holiday is over. We usually just sit on the floor downstairs and watch movies that we've seen a dozen times and play with pumpkin guts. It's the best!

As far as dress up goes, Liz was the most decorated this year. For her dad's work party, she dressed up as a doctor. For school, she and her bbffe were spies and for the game they were Brave ghosts. Tomorrow for a friend's Birthday/Costume party, Liz and Dad and I are all dressing up as doctors. I even have left over blood bags to go with it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Look?

Ok, here's my first attempt at a new look, header and all. Still working on it, but what do you think? Some of the major credit goes to TheCutestBlogOnTheBlock. What they didn't do (which is most of it), they explained. It's a work in progress, but I would love your feedback. Thanks!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Twilight Party

To Team Edward out there, it's was time for a small party! Ok, so maybe some of us like to find any excuse to party. Joleen came up with the idea of a Twilight party, and I ran with some of it. If you don't know yet, or you haven't figured it out, I am a fan of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series of books... and most everything that has to go with them. So while I'm still finding out who else is out there who is with me on the Team, Joleen thought a pre Halloween Twilight Party would be a blast. And I was up to it.

It was small (ok, 4 of us that had read the books) because everyone else backed out on us (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE), but it was a riot!! Girls night in. Bella getting ready for the prom (Elizabeth with her cast on), Bella ready for the prom (Brooke), Bella in her wedding dress (Sarah), Esme with Renesmee (Joleen & Emma) and Victoria all showed up. Victoria was on her best behavior the whole night. I have to admit my hair looked pretty wicked red. If you can't tell, some of us are having fun posing for pictures. My apologizes to Sarah, the only picture I got of her was of her working on her cupcake.

We talked a lot, mostly, and listened to Twilight music. Between Clair de Lune and Stephenie Meyer's playlists and a new album Joleen found, there is really a lot of music out there to listen to that is great and goes with the stories.

But we decorated cupcakes, something I haven't done for years since the kids have gotten older. I bet you didn't know cupcakes could be this much fun when you were this old (or young still). (Old as defined as 21, that's when we stopped aging.) Some were pretty random, but others were pretty good. The pumpkin and the "Twilight" took the cake, as it were. I was partial to the apple.

We played a full game of Twilight Jeopardy (thanks to yours truely). I thought I would never get it done. It took reading all four books again, making notes and then narrowing it down to 12 catagories and 5 questions per catagory and a final jeopardy question. Everyone from Mexico, yes, I finally got it done and got rid of all the sticky notes in my books and put questions actually together from my notebook. If anyone decides to throw a party like this, don't start from scratch, you're welcome to start with my jeopardy. But it was well worth all the effort! By the end, even though we all were pretty well versed in the books, the time started to catch up with us and even the smallest questions got hard.

Joleen made these darling coffins that had little bags of "blood", Alice blood red fingernail polish and Eclipse mints. They were a hit. Then there were apples that said "Bite me". And napkins with fake vampire teeth, like used at St. Marcus Day in New Moon. The treats were so much fun to pull together. Emma, Joleen's daughter, was the most excited about the coffins. They were great for prizes for those of us that came together and had a riot at the party. Thanks to all that came and partied with us. Just wait until the movie comes out next month!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Liz get's her cast :(

Today Liz got her cast on her right foot to take care of an auxiliary bone that was causing her pain when she pointed her foot and went en pointe. Of course it is pink. It is only going to last 5 weeks from the look of things (coming off the week of November 18). Just in time for her to have it off for the Twilight Red Carpet Preview Party with Katie O. Here's a picture for interest sake. Luckily, no crutches, she can still walk on it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Welcome from Sunny Mexico

A week on the beach for school fall break has become a family fall tradition. 29 of our extended family (welcome to Brandon and to Doug, Kaitlin and Spencer) make us quite a crowd. Luckily most of us see each other once a month, so we know each other fairly well and get along really quite well all week, not too much stress.

October is about the perfect time to go, not many tourists and the weather is about perfect. With our digital camera and four photographers, we only took about 480 pictures during the 7 days we were there, so some of them, hopefully the best, I will include here in the blog. We enjoyed days on the beach and ocean. shopping in town (about 40,000 people and lots of building), and eating... at the beach, at the house and in town. Probably the best food we had was lunch on Thursday when we ate at a roadside Chicken stand that cost about $4 per person including drinks, chicken, tortillas and some salad. It was delicious.

The best place to shop is the grocery store. They have such fun things to buy down there. Spices and sodas that we can't get in the US (or at least not for a good price). Lift Manzana, Apple Soda, is my absolute favorite down there in a glass, cold bottle. Nothing else like it. Most meals we split up and make at the house. Everyone takes their turn for dinners and lunches, and everyone helps out for breakfast. La Curva is our resturant of choice. We went there twice this year and at least once every year since I have been going, which was the summer after I got married (1990). They have the best Garlic Shrimp! The other places to shop are the beach front. This year we found a velvet painting of Joseph Smith (picture to be included) along side Elvis and Jimmy Hendrix. We also found some Lizard earrings and a blanket for Jeff. We also shop the Zapparia, the shoe stores. The have some killer deals on some decent leather cowboy boots (my favorite). I wear them to death in the winter.

We were down over full moon this year so we saw really high and pretty low tides. Which gave us great sand to play football/volleyball/frisbee in, swim in, kayack in and then good low areas to wade through tide pools in and enjoy the low lands. We even saw some porpuses. We all gather around one area of the beach, put up our umbrellas and chairs, and lay out the towels, and just hang out. We mostly spend our time watching the kids and the day go by. The peddlers come by with all sorts of wares. I actually bought a cheap ring from them this year. It's cute but barely fits on my middle finger since my fingers are so skinny.

The cousins have so much fun together. The boys build sand castles, and holes, and motes. The girls mostly play with the littler cousins and Liz does homework and take naps. They all get along so well. I have the cutest necies and nephiews in the world!! Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters in law are pretty good, too!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday in Puerto Penasco

Hola, and happy Sunday from beautiful Mexico. Here's a picture of Liz, looking beautiful for a Sunday in Mexico, working on the computer. I am sad to be missing the snow at home and Bear at the Doggie Resort, but we spent 16 hours (including 2 long meals) to get down here to enjoy sun and sand and warmer weather. We left Friday at 4pm after school and work and got here at about 8am. We took a break in Fillmore at this great car hop for burgers, and just outside Phoenix for breakfast at 3:00 local time (I wonder if there really is a ballet studio on cactus street in Scottsdale, never mind). We hit the border just about 6:30am, border opens at 6, so we were just waved across and we were the first ones to the beach house, and a nice long nap. We actually hit the grocery store and the ocean before everyone else started to arrive. We have three beach houses this year: the one we're in, the old one and Doug's. Doug's is on the beach, beautiful and huge. We're going to spend most of our family time together here. Dinner was hot dogs, mac & cheese, chips and pop... perfect beach fare. Bed and sleep came pretty early.
This morning almost everyone of our crew of 24 joined the local LDS branch for Sacrament meeting, in Spanish.
The family rule is on Sunday, no one plays in the ocean. But play is not prohibited. The bar in the kitchen has turned into the computer bar. Russ' brother Doug's house that is one of three houses we are staying at, has wireless web. Our family only has 5 laptops for 29 people. I had to check news and other blogs, and Liz had to check her web stuff. Megan is totally enthralled with her book (the correct Sunday activity). Jeff is actually reading his book in a little alcove, bench area.
Grandma's and Bessie enjoy the outside weather and shade overlooking the ocean. 4:00 pm local time is about perfect temperature today for just sitting out and talking or reading on the deck.
Dad is down on the beach, laying on a beach towel soaking up the sun. One of the nephews, who will remain un-named, is sneaking up on him, with the suggestion of Grandma, to put some grass on his bare back. He was successful. (Unfortunately, the computer ate my really cute pictures of him doing it). Luckily for him, the tide was out, Dad is in a good mood and there is still that rule about getting wet on Sundays.
From standing on the deck, not only do you get cute pictures of nephews and Dad, but of other nieces and nephews, too.
Every night, someone is in charge of dinner, tonight is our night. So while I sit here and get you caught up, I am cooking lasagna, waiting to put on corn and warm fresh garlic bread and make punch for dinner. It's the first year for us to do a dinner because I've been sick in years past, so we've gone out to dinner on our night, so I forgot the dessert. Oh, well. Next year, I'll remember the dessert, too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Saturday's Driving Success

Although we are not 16 yet, Elizabeth and I got up bright and early Saturday morning and headed off to the high school to endure (I mean, enjoy) our driving test. After hours of driving practice, stimulators and another early morning of "the range", Coach Harrick finally took Elizabeth for her final driving test. Even though it was raining and the sun was not quite out, we endured the round about, a variety of neighborhoods (including driving past our own front house), a U turn and parallel parking. Now Elizabeth just has to turn 16. We are proud to announce that we are official... we are ready to get our drivers license. Dad and I just have to figure out how to pay for one more driver on the insurance. I'm so proud of her. She's a good and cautious driver, and will be ready when her birthday and snow comes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lovely Lizzy Legs: Jeff Photo

Proud mom time! These are Lizzy's beautiful legs en pointe back lit and photographed by her brother. It was for an assignment, but I thought it turned out so COOL :)! Although she'll tell you all the problems with her position because she had to hold it so long for the extra long exposure, I think the photo is just beautiful. He was suppose to do a face that was in shadow, but he convinced his teacher to let him take this picture, and I think his teacher will be pleased. Yes, you get to see it here first. All of those hours of ballet and photography are paying off.

Meet the Family: Dad with Bear

Ok, here's Dad.. well, with Bear. They are hanging out on the bed listening to Conference. The lovely thing about conference in the fall is the weather is always unpredictable thus raining on Saturday. Because of the rain, the house was cool, overall a good thing. So out came the blankets. Whenever the blankets come out, Bear decides it's time to hang out on the bed. He loves to lay on his back and get his stomach scratched. Dad was a good sport and let me take his picture to go along with the new blog. We all love conference, Dad listens to it in the bedroom on the old, soon to be out-dated, TV, Jeff streams it over the internet, and Liz and I watch it downstairs on the good TV. We are so lucky to get to actually watch/listen to it live, then read it the next month. It is always so uplifting.

Along with all his other hobbies, cooking being the best of them, he loves to do the Sudoku puzzles lately. Here he is doing them with the dog on the bed while listening to conference and ignoring the rest of us. It is one of the only times he has to himself, sort of.

What doesn't come through here is that we have the best dad and husband in the world!! He takes care of the rest of us both through work and at home. He cooks, cleans and even does laundry. He takes care of us when we are sick and even puts up when us when we are not. He is the most loving person in the world! Bear loves him because they go on nightly walks to get the wiggles out. He loves to ride his bike, although he really doesn't get the time for it recently, but we'll get him back on it. He would much rather get to work that way, all 15 miles of it. Winter is kind of rough, though. It mostly makes me nuts to think he is on his bike in bad weather. Cooking, as mentioned before, is a huge hobby. He loves to cook. Bread is his specialty. He does it all by weight not by measurement. I think that's partly the engineer in him coming out. But the bread is great. He loves to try new things, so do the rest of us. Someday we will even have a kitchen he can cook in. Bare necessities: his scale, his stones, his peel, his cutting boards that he uses as mixing surfaces and his patience, that is what makes him a great cook. Well, garlic goes a long way, too. We love you Dad!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Meet the Family: Bear the Puppy

Dufus Rufus Bear, commonly known as Bear, is our almost one year old Rottweiler puppy. These pictures are a few months old. He's now full grown and as heavy as Liz is, about 95 lbs. But he's all puppy. He's an inside dog who is usually well behaved and protects us very well. As a Rottie, he doesn't bark much, unless he feels threatened (which isn't often), or at sirens (we live down the street from the local police station... this can cause a problem at times).

He's a pure bred male with outstanding bloodlines and we hope, if things work out in the future, to stud him. He's a beautiful dog and a big part of the family. At nights when I stay up reading, instead of going into the bedroom to sleep where he usually does, he stays by the couch with me until I go to bed, just to make sure I'm ok. He's the best. His favorite person to watch for is Lizzy. When she calls me on her way home from school, he climbs up on the couch to watch for her. It's really cute.

Meet the Family: Elizabeth the Sophomore

Hello, Elizabeth... or Liz to her friends. Lizzy or Lizzard to family. She is our beautiful and brilliant sophomore. Although this picture is a little old, it is still pretty accurate as far as how she looks. She loves school, especially math and science. But her true love is DANCE, specifically ballet. She has danced since she was 4 and now dances/teaches 4 days a week... and loves it. She has a magnetic personality which draws people of all ages to her, she has lots of friends. She loves being in high school, more people, more interesting classes, except that drivers ed teacher ;). She loves going to football and volleyball games (go Shar)! She's a leader in her Young Women's program and has received her Young Women's Recognition Award already. She's a great friend to me, her mom. And, as a 15 almost 16 year old, she is starting to learn to really like them Mormon boys!

Meet the Family: Jeff the Senior

Jeff, the one in glasses with the Saxophone in the band during the Bountiful High Homecoming Game, is a senior. He's independent... ok, maybe that's an understatement. He's intelligent and loves gaming and the computer. He's a genius on the Mac. His pictures, you'll see in the future, are excellent. He's 17 with a birthday in December. He loves Mt. Dew, pepperoni pizza and anything else he can get his hands on to eat. Normal teenage boy. His favorite book is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and he LOVES Bond movies. He loves hanging out with his friends and night games. He'll kill me for putting all this in, but oh, well... he'll get used to it. He's great!

WOW, welcome to the electronic age!

After following the blogs of a couple friends, I've decided to actually try it out. So here's the first. This is mostly just a test to see if I am doing it right, but I thought I would publish something. Welcome to my blog, hopefully it will become much more entertaining. By the way, GO UTES!