Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Surprise

I figured that I would do a post to let you all know about our Christmas surprise. We are going to have our 4th baby!! This was a surprise to us as well. We had decided to have another baby eventually, we just didn't plan on it so soon. When we told Garth's Grandma, she stood there in shock for a moment then she asked us if we have figured out what causes it yet. It totally cracked me up. Anyway, my due date is July 2nd. I will spare you the effort of the math and tell you that Derek and this baby will be 17ish months apart. Yikes! I'm sure I will be fine, but right now I am a little nervous! Merry Christmas everyone!

It's snowing. . .

. . .again!

We came home a day early from Canada because we heard there was a huge snow storm in Spokane and that more was coming. It snowed 20+ inches in 24 hours here. Luckily, some unknown snow-removal angel had snow plowed a path down our long driveway up to our garage. We were so grateful we didn't have to hike in! I love the curious way the snow builds up on fences then just folds over instead of falling off. This is my in-law's roof after the one big day of snow!

I love these pictures of Sydney hiking through our back yard while Garth did more snow blowing.

Today with the new snow storm, you can't even see her tracks from yesterday. I think this is a stay at home and sit by the fire with a book kind of day!

Big White - Big Fun!

We just got back from a week-long trip to Canada. Garth's Mom owns a condo at Big White Ski Resort and she decided that instead of presents this year, she wanted to take us all skiing. We had a blast! I am not a big skier (of the snow variety) because I hate to be cold. The temperatures this week varied from -14 degrees to a balmy 5 degrees. Despite the cold, I had a good time skiing. Theresa and I did "Ladies Day"one day (lift ticket, lesson, and lunch) then we took Carter on a couple runs in the afternoon. The next day Garth and I skied together and we found lots of good powder from the snow the previous night. Sydney got to try skiing for the first time too. Big White has this great magic carpet and she rode it several times. I just think she looks cute like a big pink marshmallow.
At the village on Thursday nights, they have a big kid's carnival. It is usually packed but since this is the first week Big White was open, it was pleasantly sparse.

The kids love the gondola ride from Happy Valley to the Village. Carter used to call them the "yellow umbrellas."

Fun carnival games. Carter asked this Australian liftie for a spider on his face. Apparently spiders in Australia only have six legs because this was the finished product.

Our last day there, we decided to get Carter a lesson. He does okay with us but he was a little dramatic (hard to believe). We thought he would work harder for a teacher, and we were right. It was 10 below that day and he still had a blast! He didn't want to stop when his two hours were done. We look forward to our next visit. Thanks Theresa and Tony!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Newest Reindeer

So you've all heard of Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolf. . .but you should meet the newest Reindeer in the bunch. Syndey found this guy in the Christmas boxes and named him "Horny" you know, because he has horns! We are probably immature but it is quite hilarious to hear her playing with him and saying "Horny, come play with me" and "Horny lets do a dance!"

Skeptical about Santa

Carter is getting skeptical about Santa. I think he lost some faith in all magical things when the tooth fairy didn't show up the night he got those teeth pulled. She actually forgot to come for two nights, can you believe it? So finally Friday night we told him that perhaps the tooth fairy only works on weekends. Guess what? She finally came!

While we were decorating the tree Carter said to me "I don't think Santa exists." I said "Oh really?" and Carter said "Yeah, I think it's just someone from the toy store and that guy from the Dollar Tree that come and fill our stockings." Well, he's on the right track but I'm not giving it up just yet.

Deck the Halls

The kids were so excited to decorate the tree this year! Usually Garth and I decorate when the kids are sleeping to avoid crisis and broken ornaments. Last week, we got all the decorations up and the tree put together (yes, I gave in last year and we got a fake one) but it got too late to do ornaments. So the next night while Garth was playing basketball, me and the kids decorated the tree. They actually did a great job. There was very little fighting about who got to put which ornament on, none were broken, and I only had to break up a few "clumps." Since Sydney can't reach very high, lots of her ornaments ended up together. It was a very fun evening trimming the tree with my kids.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful family-filled Thanksgiving as usual. We are so blessed to have all of our family here in Spokane. Occasionally it is a bit overwhelming because we have so many people who want to see us on the same day. Thanksgiving is especially difficult because it is one day, one meal. This year we went to Garth's grandparents' farm at noon then my Aunt Nancy's for dinner at 4. We literally rolled home! I was in charge of apple pies and rolls for Nancy's house. I wish I had remembered my camera because they both turned out perfect! My mom said she might retire from cooking since I seem to have it handled. I think it was the first time I did rolls by myself and I didn't have to start over or call my mom for anything. They turned out just like hers, yay!

So I am sure that you all have wonderful families, but Garth and I have the best Grandparents ever. This year we are especially grateful for Norm and Ele Hamilton. This is Norm with Derek Norman in the hospital hours after he was born. We think they are the best for several reasons.
*Constant love/support for everything we choose to do.
*They are the most giving people we know. For example, I go grocery shopping on their farm in the summer. I never leave without bags full of fresh fruits, vegetables, and farm eggs.
*Their unexpected gifts that make our lives easier, like the apple corer/peeler they gave me to help make the process of canning apples easier (of course the 6 boxes of apples I was processing came from their farm.)
*Garth loves that his Grandma is a huge sports fan. She loves to watch "the game" as much as he does.
*They seem to truly enjoy my kids. I can be having a tough day and we will stop by the farm for a visit. They don't let the kids stress them out like I do. Grandpa just laughs at tantrums (he can throw one as big as them, and he likes to see who has the best grumpy face.)
*They introduce my kids to lots of neat things. 3 wheelers (at 3 years old) farming, cool collectible tractors, pressing cider etc.
*Surprise visits at our house. The most recent one, they showed up with jeans for Derek (they have an uncanny ability to know just what my kids need and get it right before I do.) He was busting out of the waist of his 12 month jeans and they brought him a new pair of 18 month Levis. When they left that night, Garth looked at me and said, "Everyone should have Grandparents like that." I have to agree.

Monday, November 24, 2008

November Book Club

I almost forgot to write about book club. I think because I didn't really like the book. However, the meeting was full of good food, amazing ladies, great discussion, and lots of laughs. Even if the book is bad (there were actually quite a few people who loved it) it is still a ton of fun. I love to get out with the ladies and feel like an adult. The book was Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, I give it two stars but there were three ladies there that would have given it four or five. You choose.

New Calling

Yesterday was the first day in my new calling as Primary President. I must have enjoyed the Primary program too much, they decided I would really like to be in charge of it all! I am actually very excited! Sydney will be in Primary in January and Carter is in there so it will be fun for me to be with them. Garth is dreading Sundays now because it means he has "baby duty" for two hours every week. I am lucky to have awesome counselors (Cami Young, Shelli Abrams, and Sylvia Manwell). Hopefully I don't screw too many things up while I get my bearings and decide how I would like the Primary to run. There are definitely worse callings, at least this will keep me out of scouts!

Pulling Teeth

I just wanted to take a second and rant about how expensive EVERYTHING is right now. Especially my kids. Carter couldn't just loose his teeth like typical 6 year olds. He had to have one tooth come in behind the baby teeth and be crazy big. Wednesday I had to take him to the dentist and have 3 teeth pulled! I feel bad for him, I really do. I have had teeth pulled and it is no fun. But I also feel bad for the $375 it cost me. That's more than we spend on all our kids for Christmas! I love my kids and I know this is just the beginning but it still sucks! Carter said the worst part of it was the "oz" or the "gooz" that they put in his mouth. He couldn't quite remember the word "gauze."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

End of the Odyssey

Garth has a real problem. He has not been officially diagnosed, but I think he has something called "Car ADD." We recently celebrated our 8th anniversary and we have had as many cars as years married. About four years ago, I was pregnant with Sydney and Garth talked me into getting a mini van. I think because I drove my parents white with pin-striping Astro Van to high school, I was very resistant to getting a van. He finally talked me in to a new Honda Odyssey. I have been nothing but happy for the past four years. I loved my van (as much as I hate to admit it.) You just can't beat automatic opening doors with little kids. Recently Garth has been talking about trading his truck for a car. With all the downtown driving he does, a car makes more sense. The problem is if we get rid of the truck, we can't pull our boat. Garth's solution? A suburban. Again, I was very resistant to the idea. I loved the convenience of the van. After some arm twisting, we got this suburban. I am hoping that by the time he is tired of it and wants a different car yet again, that I will be in love with it too. I am excited to have all-wheel drive (since we live in the boonies) and I love the extra storage for our Utah trips. See? It's growing on me already!

Primary Program

Last week was the primary program at church. This is one of my favorite meetings of the whole year. I love to see all the different personalities; the kid who waves a million times, the one who won't even stand up, the tone deaf kids who sing the loudest, the kids who can't say their R's, etc. This year Carter's part was at the very end. Derek made it through most of the meeting but just as Carter was getting up for his part, Derek lost it and Garth had to take him out. Bummer. All Garth missed was "I can pray to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere, and so can you!" His class ended the program gathered around the mic saying "I am a child of God, and so are you!" I look forward to next year.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Football Fans

Garth is a HUGE football fan and has tried to pass this on to his children. His favorite team has been the 49ers since he was little and watched Joe Montana on Sunday night football. He is still a loyal fan but with their record the past few years it has been a bit painful to watch. So this is the Sunday morning conversation I overheard.

Garth: What is your favorite team?
Carter: I like the Bengals. (he has always loved their helmets)
Garth: They haven't won a game yet this year.
Carter: I like the Bengals because they won some games last year. But I also like the 49ers because they win like ONE game EVERY year!

So What

The other day we were driving somewhere and I was absentmindedly listening to the radio. "So What" the new song from Pink came on and about halfway through the song Sydney said, "Wow, this is a angry girl!" No kidding.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Star Wars Halloween

I am neither a Star Wars fan or a Halloween fan but this year I had a really fun Star Wars Halloween with my kids. This summer we bought a trampoline at a garage sale. While Garth was diligently taking apart the trampoline (that he didn't even want) the kids and I killed time browsing the tables. Carter found a Darth Maul costume and just HAD to have it. I thought since Sydney has the long hair already, I could make her Leia pretty easily. My mother-in-law Theresa caught wind of that and went nuts! I am so grateful to her for these awesome costumes. It started with Leia, she made this great costume (it even had a hood).

Then when I told her I wasn't going to dress Derek up (because I'm too cheap to buy costumes). . .She showed up one day with this! I am so impressed with her sewing skills and the funny thing is, she actually thanked me for letting her make these fun costumes and said all she wants for repayment is a picture of the kids wearing them. I am so spoiled!

Halloween was busy with Carter's kindergarten party, a visit to Dad's office, party at Beneficial (my mom's office), then pizza and trick-or-treating with some neighbors/kindergarten friends.

Happy Halloween! Watch out Theresa, I might "hint" what my kids want to be every year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Curly Hair

How is it possible that I have this crazy curly hair and Sydney's won't even hold a curl? I sometimes covet the curls on my friend's daughters hair. I know Sydney would like curly hair sometimes too. She always wants me to curl it with the curling iron but I don't do it very often because it takes so long and it doesn't stay. Anyway, this brings me to

a quick quote from Sydney. . .

One morning she wakes up and comes into my room. She has slept crazy because her hair is in a huge mat. She looks at me with a big smile and is stroking her hair and says "Mommy, did I wake up with curly hair?"


So like every other woman in the world, I decided to give the Twilight series a go. I hate to admit that I was completely enthralled by this teenage/vampire/love story. What does that say about me? I read the first book in 3 days, the second and third books took me a week each and I am currently halfway through the fourth and final book. So last week we had an "extra credit" book club for the Twilight groupies. We met at Niko's downtown in a private dining room. There were some very funny T-shirts (Nicole's said "Edward prefers brunettes" on the front and "Boys in books are just better" on the back. I also think there was a "bite me" on there somewhere.) Lisa was in full vampire attire with leather, bite marks on her neck, and pale makeup. Nicole did trivia with prizes (I won a Barnes and Noble gift card). Even though Garth totally teases me about being obsessed about a vampire book, I realized at this book group that I am on the tame end of the obsession. I got a kick out of hearing people's stories about neglecting their kids and husbands while they delved into this series. One of my favorite parts of the night was when everyone shared "their Edward" there sure were some handsome men being passed around the table.
My Edward was this picture of Johnny Depp. I know he's too old to play a 17 year old but I think he has the right face and mannerisms to play a great vampire. Not to mention, he's totally hot! I am going to stop before I completely sound like a lame obsessed teenager (oops am I too late?) but the pictures and the funny quotes of the night are on our Novels and Nibbles blog.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

6th Birthday

As of yesterday, Carter's week-long celebration of his 6th birthday is over. I am exhausted. I feel like I just went 8 rounds with a heavyweight champion.
Round One *Ding*
Grandpa John and Grandma Lori came to Carter's soccer game last Saturday and cheered him on and spoiled him with toys.
Round Two *Ding*
Saturday afternoon we went to the farm to press apple cider, eat Grandma Ele's chili and open more presents. Grandpa Norm and Grandma Ele got him some necessities and Keith and Karyna spoiled him as well.

Round Three *Ding* Sunday dinner at my mom's with cupcakes to celebrate Carter, Paige, and Payton's October birthdays. Grandma Julia got him this great suit.

Round Four *Ding* Cupcakes (had to be store bought so I had to make a special trip to the store) to Carter's Kindergarten class.

Round Five *Ding* Grandma Theresa surprised Carter during Syd's kindermusik. He had a birthday brownie and opened presents. Who needs lunch?

Round Six *Ding* The suit was adorable but didn't have a lot of growing room so my mom took Carter shopping to pick out another one (on his actual birthday). They found a great one and had fast food shrimp (really sad I missed that one!)

Round Seven *Ding* Finally some family time right before bed, Carter got to open presents from his family. The $7 General Grevous toy was the big hit.

Round Eight *Ding* Yesterday was the big friend party. I talked Carter into doing a Japanese celebration at our house. I really have a problem with Chuck E Cheese and those other kid places. Uncle Jordan came to help out. We made samuri headbands and Jordan wrote characters on them for the kids. The boys chose things like "power" and "warrior" both the girls chose "princess".

Then we went outside for some games. Pin the dot on the Japanese flag.Relay races with chopsticks.Japanese dancing bears. With authentic Japanese Christian Rock music!And of course, cake, ice cream, and presents.*Ding Ding Ding*

The winner is. . .

We made it! Now we can recoup and get ready for Halloween this week!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

First Hair Cut

This is Derek before his hair cut. Completely happy and content in all his shagginess.
This is Derek during his hair cut. Don't be fooled, it may look like a smile but he was actually crying. It started out just as whimpers then escalated to full blown screams. Sorry to the other five ladies in the salon getting nails done, pedicures, and hair cuts. I'm sure it was a relaxing day at the salon listening to Derek.
Here is Derek after his hair cut. He was still very unhappy. It took him quite a while to calm down. My sister said it was the saddest first hair cut she had ever done. Hopefully his hair grows slowly and we won't have to go back very soon.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October Book Club

These were the two books we read for October book club. 32 Third Graders was a hoot. It was a very quick read and as a substitute teacher I got a real kick out of his stories. Elaine's Circle was a lot harder because of the subject matter (4th grader with terminal brain cancer.) I really liked them both, but what was more fun was our meeting. I got to hostess this month and I went with the school theme. I borrowed lunch trays from one of our members who happens to be a principal. I made Freddy Burgers (the Frederickson version of sloppy joes), roasted veggies, and fruit. I made apple pie for dessert and bought chocolate milk cartons. I thought it was a lot of fun. When Nicole posts pictures on our Novels and Nibbles site I will steal some pictures to post.
I stole these pictures from our Novels and Nibbles blog. Thanks Nicole for remembering your camera and snapping a couple of pictures. Carter wrote out the menu. Everyone thought it was a nice touch.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Present Predicament

Carter's birthday is rapidly approaching and as I was shopping around trying to decide what to get him, I was reminded of this funny situation from last year.

Carter had started to read so I bought him a bunch of begginer reader books. My mom, who was being a great help, bought him a much needed snow hat and a very cool down vest with two adorable shirts to go with it.

We have dinner at my mom's and proceed to the present portion of the evening. When he opens the previously mentioned presents he reacts with a very disappointed look and some choice comments about them not being cool toys. After a nice heart-to-heart with me, he apologized to my mom.

Next day we are heading to Chuck E. Cheese for his friend party. I decide we better discuss the proper way to react to all presents, even if we think they are low on the cool radar, or if we already have one of the toys we receive.

Carter cuts me off mid-speach and says "Don't worry Mom, friend presents are always cool."

Derek's New Tricks

Derek is growing up way too fast! It's hard to believe he is nine months today! I thought I'd post a couple of pictures of his latest "tricks." He loves to pull himself up. It makes me a little nervous on the table with pointy corners and the stone fireplace (apparently we weren't thinking baby friendly when we built and furnished our house). Once he pulls himself up, he trashes anything he can get his hands on. We have to be careful about the library books.

He is also very mobile. He is a scooter. He pulls with his hands and arms only. At first his legs were total dead weight. Lately he uses his toes a little to move faster. If he is really screaming and angry, he does a traditional crawl. He is very slow at it and never happy about it.

Toothless Wonder

I remember when I was little, every time I lost a tooth my dad would call me the "toothless wonder." I'm not sure where that came from but I remember liking it. Carter is officially a toothless wonder! A few weeks ago, Carter kept complaining about his tooth hurting and I was afraid we were going to have to visit the dentist. Finally, I looked inside his mouth and he showed me where it was hurting. I was so excited I said "Carter your tooth is loose!" Which of course sent him into a fit of worrying and crying. Garth and I tried to reassure him that this was normal and exciting (because the tooth fairy brings money). We all picked a day on the calendar that we thought would be the day. We were all wrong about the dates and on October 4th (during Uncle Keith's wedding) Carter pulled his tooth out. He told us since it was a tiny tooth, it was probably worth 25 cents. So when the tooth fairy brought a whole dollar he was thrilled!

This is Carter and his new buddy, Dawson from Kindergarten. They are twin toothless wonders.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Best Ever

Sydney has started this new thing where she adds "ever" to the end of everything. Like this morning she had the "ymmiest breakfast ever" or she did the "highest jump ever" on the trampoline etc. etc.

I got her these Gymboree sandals at a garage sale and she wants to wear them every day (even in the cold and rainy October weather) because they are the "prettiest flip flops ever" I don't know where she got it, but I think it's the cutest thing EVER!