Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Blessed Woman

Earlier this month Kurt bought us a new dining room table with 6 chairs. It is so GORGEOUS! I really, REALLY love it. I am trying not to stress it and remember that it is for using and enjoying (the first meal was hard not to have a nervous break down.) I am definitely cracking down on manners!



A week later the same store (Ashley furniture) had a great sale going on: a living room set (sofa, love seat, 2 end tables, & coffee table) for $1500 plus a 42" flat screen TV. Kurt couldn't pass up this deal. It was finally delivered yesterday. I'm grateful for it and still have to do a double take when I walk by, there is something in that room! Austin said this morning when he was eating breakfast, "It looks so weird to see a couch in there!"



Breaking in the new couch!





A new dining and living room set, plus a trip to Cancun all in one month. It's all a little overwhelming! I am such a blessed woman. Thank you Kurt ~ have a told you lately that I love you?

Family Service

When Kurt and I first got married we sat down and made a list of goals we wanted to have for our family. One of those goals was doing a monthly service project together. While I feel like we have been doing service we have not consistently planned out a project each month to do as a family. When my dad asked us to give service for his Christmas present I knew this was the perfect time to recommit to this goal.

Join us throughout the year on our monthly service projects. We gladly accept ideas too! :)

January
While visiting Grandma & Grandma Miles tonight I noticed that their windows were getting a little hard to see through. This will be and ongoing process because we will need to do both panes and it is too cold to do the outside. We were able to get a little jump on it tonight and give the kids something new to do at Grandmas. They loved it. They always have their blinds open and look outside, this will really help.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cancun

Another truth learned: my children are my favorite subjects to photograph.

My children did go to Cancun.

These are the notes Kurt took while we were on our trip. My thoughts are added in italics.

01/16
Drop kids off at 8:30 pm (on the 15th)
Pack until 12:45
Wake @ 2
Flight @ 5:45 am
Arrive in Cancun 3:45 pm
Wait in customs for over and hour
Pick up rental car


Drive into downtown
Get Lost
Check into Radison Hotel


Eat at a hole in the wall (tortas, mole, enchilada verde)


Walk through the downtown market place
Buy 2 ice cream bars and a wallet
Pass out

Thoughts:

We sat by a little 5 year old named Austin on the flight down. He was great. Little kids love to share information. He likes to eat the fat on meat, when he was 3 he ate ants, and he has already heard all of my knock-knock jokes.

It is really cool to be back in Mexico again. I am glad that we stayed downtown out of the hotel zone. The little corner restaurant where we ate was so great. I forgot about real corn tortillas. It was like I was in heaven!! I stuffed myself. We got to dinners with soda and soup, and 2 tortas for $10.

We stopped at a little store and bought food for breakfast and some treats for the kids. It was called Super Karen. Rachel thought that was great. It was fun to remember all the little cool candies they have here.

Look how excited he is to be in Mexico again - so cute!

Our hotel looks awesome from the outside but the rooms are lacking a little. I think the bed is a piece of plywood with no mattress. Linoleum floors. I was too tired to care at that point, SLEEP!

01/17
Woke up and went to church. Very nice building, {the building was gorgeous! nicer than any I've been too!} fun to have it in Spanish {I liked singing in Spanish, I was a little lost beyond that.} 3 other Utah families were there.




After church we traveled to Chichen Itza which was a 2.5 Hr Drive. Bought gifts for the kids. Ate lunch a little store in the town of Chichen Itza.

Major insertion right here: all he is talking about is the food! Which was delicious and all but the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza were AMAZING! It was such a gorgeous, perfect day. The ruins were so extensive, I really had no idea. It was mind blowing how they could build such structures with limited means. Very impressive. I wish I had more knowledge of it before going (you could pay a guide $50 for a tour but we opted not due to the price.)









Dumped off car, went to the Moon Palace resort where the Valley conference was held. Didn’t want to go to welcome reception {that was me - I didn't want to go, sorry honey!}, ate at a restaurant and went to bed.

01/18

I really missed kids in the am waiting for my diving lessons to start. There were kids everywhere. I sat on the beach by myself, no fun without kids. I realized that I would need to stay very busy for this trip to be fun. My diving instruction was at 10:30 at our resort pool. The instruction was easy for me and fun.

Aldo, my diving instructor


They set out the oxygen tanks by the resort pool every day. It always made me smile.

Kurt met me for lunch and after wards we walked over to pier for my first dive.

I think I had fun, or I tried to tell myself it was fun. I wanted to do it again after wards so I guess that means something. We went to some coral reefs off the Hotel zone (it was an hour boat ride from our resort.) I didn't have a wet suit and was quite cold by the end of the dive. It took me quite a while to settle in to the whole feel of diving - I couldn't get my ears pressurized right when I first when down so that put me on edge a little. I was surprised but you almost feel claustrophobic. That sounds silly since you literally have the whole ocean in front of you. But it felt like your whole world was your mask and the internal battle of wanting to rip it and the regulator off but knowing it would be extremely bad if you did! I finally settled into it and amongst a lot of beautiful fish saw some cool things: a lobster, barracuda, and a string ray! They found the sting ray minutes before it was time to go up. Just before we went up I was looking around wondering where it had gone. I looked down and it was right under me, 6 inches from my foot. So cool! {I couldn't wait to tell Austin about that!}


I returned at 4 pm and Kurt met me. We changed, got a drink, and played mini golf (I won) and then got ready for Valley dinner.

01/19
Today was our day of fun spent apart from each other. We were to have the whole afternoon and evening off to go do fun things. Rachel left early in the morning for her scuba diving trip to the beautiful Cozumel. I had meetings in the morning and then went with Diversified Financial on a fishing trip. We went about 45 miles south of the resort. The first to hours we trolled for sailfish and marlins with no luck. The last to hours we fished of the bottom and ended up catching 2 measly little fish. I hooked one and lost him. The other boat got quite a few fish but that was just my fishing luck. Most everyone was pretty drunk by the time we got back to shore.


I was gone from 7am - 7pm. Most of it was spent traveling to get to the diving spot. It was just me from our resort and we picked up 3 others on the way, one Canadian gentleman who is a certified, obsessed diver (he has been to so many cool diving spots - probably shouldn't have met him - so many places I want to go now!!) and 2 British girls. They were "roomates" but after spending the entire day with them I'm pretty sure it was more than that...but they pretty much let me tag along with them and I was grateful for that so I didn't have to be more alone than I already was. After picking everyone up, we drove to Rivera Maya and then boarded a ferry boat to the Island of Cozumel. Cozumel is just for tourists. I'm not sure there is such a thing as a native who lives on that island. It was intense. We then got on the boat to go to our dock where we changed boats and got our wetsuits. Like I said, most of the day was spent traveling and naturally it all takes 3 x as long as necessary. We did 2 different dives. I was much more at ease and it was so fun! The coral reefs were so amazing with caves and intricate nooks and crannies. We saw an impressive school of fish, more barracuda (who look very mean btw!) and another string ray. I really wanted to see a turtle. Many next time. We dove 25-30 feet for the first and 40 feet for the second. It is a whole new world. It makes me want to study Murine biology! Austin would love it, some day I hope to share it with him. New passion found. THANK YOU KURT for letting me go!


Both Rachel and I got back within 5 minutes of each other. We got dressed up and went to a nice Italian restaurant at the golf course. I really hate fancy resorts and restaurants; it is just not my thing.

01/20
This morning we woke up and went to the valley meetings. The speaker was really boring. I was excited about it because his resume was very impressive. I got my picture taken for the Performance Plus awards and bought a few things from the Valley store and then we were done.




If you look closely you can see Kurt's name on the screen. He was being recognized for getting certified plus he earned the Performance Plus dealership on Monday. Way to go Kurt!

We were supposed to go on a jungle tour with jet skis and snorkeling that afternoon but because of the weather the snorkeling wasn’t going to happen. They never came and picked us up either so we called and canceled it and went with some friends to wet n’ wild. It is a water park owned by the resort. It was small but we had a good time. We got back to the resort in time to go to the last dinner. WE sat by some folks from Montana and Indiana/Wisconsin. IT was good to talk to them about their businesses. I also enjoyed talking to the people we went to wet n’ wild with. It is always interesting to me the differences in how things are done around the US. We went home after the dinner, skipped out on the dancing, and went to bet. We are such party poopers.

01/21
This morning we slept in a little as it was the last day. We went to the lobby to have breakfast. I was the best breakfast we have had on the trip. They had an omelet bar, lots of pastries and smoothie bar, pretty much anything you want. I had an omelet with bacon, chorizo, jalapeƱos, cheese, and onions topped with guacamole, Pico de Gallo, and refried beans. It was great. {Again with all the food talk! But seriously with 13 different resurants and everything was all inclusive we spent the ENTIRE time eating. If we were slightly hungry or not even at all we would go eat. Because we could and it was included. OH. MY. HECK. I have never eaten so much so consistently in all my life. And it was all so good.}

Then we went and played miniature golf to kill some time. While there we saw that there were lots of iguanas out for the say. We didn’t bring a camera so we went back and got it and grabbed some bikes and went on a ride to take pictures of iguanas and things. It was very humid so we sweated like pigs.






We went back to the room and grabbed a cold shower to cool off and check out. While waiting for the bus to the airport we grabbed some lunch at a buffet and away we went to the airport.


Just wanted to share the jewelry that I got on this trip. They made you put on a bracelet for every single activity you did. This is definitely the type of jewelry I prefer. :D

Adios Cancun! Thank you for the experiences and memories.



Comments need to be added about the trip home. Mainly because it didn't go like clockwork. Our connecting flight was to Phoenix. Kurt booked our flights through Phoenix knowing we wouldn't have to deal with any winter weather problems. California was getting amazing amount of rain causing mud slides, flooding, etc...The same storm was moving through Arizona. The plane couldn't land in Phoenix due to 60 mph cross winds over the airport. So we landed in Tucson. Since we were an international flight we need to clear customs. Tucson was not big enough to handle our flight (plus the 4 others who were in the same situation.) The weather in Phoenix finally calmed down but all the custom employees voted to go home instead of help us. So we had to get off the plane after waiting on the runway for 5 HOURS, clear customs and then reboard the same plane. We landed in Tucson at 7:30pm, finally got off at 12:30am got back on and arrived in Phoenix at 2:30am. Obviously there were no flights at the point and the airlines didn't refund or put up in hotels b/c they can't control the weather, not their fault. Our flight to Boise was now at 11:30am. We had 8 hours. There were 6-7 flights we similar issues. People just passed out everywhere. It was so comical or maybe it was the hour of the morning. But you walked off the escalator and there was someone right there, sleeping all over their bags, snoring. Hundreds just passed out. I really wish I would have taken a picture. We found the airport art gallery and it was less crowded in there (only 5 or so sleeping in there.) I passed out while Kurt studied the art for 2 hours. After we rechecked our baggage we found a more comfortable sleeping spot so Kurt could snore. LOL Thank goodness I had bought an over priced copy of "The Host" at the resort gift shop before we left. It seriously saved my life. We finally got home. 12 hours later than planned. I was beyond itchy to see my kids at that point! I didn't complain once but I think Kurt was ready to thump me cause I was SO antsy! I love my family.


Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible! We LOVE You!

Souvenirs

I was so emotional to see my kids again. It was a very sweet reunion. I am so grateful to Bill and Cindy for watching them - THANK YOU x million! Not to mention everyone else that helped. Anytime you need another honeymoon or just a date night I'm ready to return the favor ;)

We found some great Mexican gifts for the kids when we went to Chichen Itza. We also got 3 Mayan figures made out of rock (sold by children - I learned that Kurt is a real sucker.)

Marble Chess Set with Mayan calendar carved on the surface for Austin.


Handmade dressed for the girls


Wooden Drum with small carving of Chichen Itza for Spencer

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Truths Learned in Cancun

~ I do not make a good resort person.

~ You can never drink too many strawberry daiquiris sin alcohol.

~ 6 days is a VERY long time to be apart from your children.

~ Just because you are at a resort doesn't give you the right to wear a bikini.

~ Mexico makes Kurt happy.

~ EVERYONE looks better with their clothes on.

~ I would have nothing to talk about if I didn't have kids.

~ Being alone forces you to make friends fast or embrace your loneliness.

~ Scuba diving makes Rachel happy.

~ Complaining is never attractive (especially when you have no control over the situation!)

~ I live in a bubble called Vale.

~ The trip would have been an entirely different one if the kids had come.

~ 2nd honeymoons are awesome.

~ I do not tan.

~ Honeymoons end quickly when you get home.

~ I can sleep on an aluminum floor. Kurt cannot.

~ We don't fit the Valley mold.

~ Kurt will never get tired of pivots.

~ A good book can save your life.

~ Not showering for a day because you are stuck in an airport will make your rash itch.

~ I would go on a 3rd honeymoon.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Joining Emma's ranks (kind of....)

Austin lost his first tooth today! I feel like this is a huge moment but then again I tend to feel that way about most moments because I'm sappy like that.

We really didn't want to have to pay the dentist to pull it out. Plus the permanent teeth back behind it are getting progressively huger (and yes I know that is not a word but totally fits 1st grade.) Austin wasn't too motivated to wiggle it or any other method to speed the process along even after I added the Star Wars LEGO of your choice (with price cap of course) incentive.

The first thing he said when he got off the bus, "Mom. I have good news but its kind of bad news too." As he was talking I could see there was a hole in his mouth.

"Did you loose your tooth???" I asked before he could even tell me.

He cheesed out so I could see the new smile. It's not the same because there are already permanent teeth back there but they are back far enough (wow he's really going to need braces) that it still gives a good gap. That lost-a-tooth look. Aaawwwwwwwww. Tugs at the heart strings. My baby will never have 22 teeth again. LOL

So the "bad news." Austin didn't even realize he had lost the tooth until he tasted the blood in his mouth and the tooth really was lost by that point. He was at recess when it happened. nough said.

He told us the tooth fairy is invisible and she is always around so she would know why he didn't have a tooth under his pillow. We were joking that he should write a note, "Dear Tooth Fairy, I lost my tooth but I lost my tooth." We were cracking up over that one.



He did end up putting a note under his pillow for the tooth fairy...

"Dear Tooth Fairy, I'm sorry but I lost my tooth. Can you give me money for free? Love, Austin."

Meanwhile the tooth fairies are debating tooth prices with 23 years of inflation....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Construction Zone

Before Christmas we had a some mild flooding in our basement when all the snow started to melt while it was raining. It is a slushy, slushy mess outside. The pipes to drain the water were frozen and it had no where to drain properly because the cement pad outside the preschool room door (old garage, carport area) was cracked. That's how the water was getting in.

Well this problem started again on January 11th. We would shop vac up the water only for it to fill up again hours later. Kurt and I were scheduled to get on the plane that Saturday for Cancun. Kurt really didn't want it to flood while we were gone. So he came home from work, cleaned up the water, again, and immediately got on the phone with my brother-in-law Dan (the man.) The conversation sounded very expensive as Kurt threw around words like, "rip out," "new pad," and "cement."

As soon as Kurt got off the phone he said, "On Thursday after you finished preschool Dan and Doug are going to rip out the cement pad and pour a new one. It's a perfect time because no one will be around for a week and it'll have lots of time to dry while we're in Cancun."

WHAT?!?!!

I was at least expecting to discussion this! But no, it was already a done deal. Plan set in motion. Okay. Apparently we needed to add some excitement as we headed out the door for our trip so we turned our yard into a construction zone. The kids loved it! Rooster the most. She watched the longest and most frequently, "Dan, Dan, Dan" she kept repeating as she pointed to Dan in the backhoe.

The BEFORE picture


The problem area


So I obviously don't have enough construction knowledge to give an accurate verbal account of each step. But here is the process through pictures (that I understand!)









Austin helped with the work after he got home from school.


(Day Two)












The kids took a corner of the fresh cement to capture time.




The FINISHED product!


This picture does not even slightly do it justice. Dan and Doug did such a nice job, it looks fantastic! It's even, flat, smooth and beautiful. Both vehicles can easily fit onto it and it'll be super nice for the preschoolers too. We also had 2 truck loads of gravel hauled in. Thanks Ruf Excavation!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fashionista

During the past month & a half Rooster has become very passionate and opinionated about her fashion.

It started many, many months ago with a shoe fetish. She is constantly wearing everyone else shoes but her own. Especially Emma Lynn's brown boots (thus the reason she received her own boots during my Black Friday shopping deals.)



Then it moved to anything that was Emma Lynn's. She wants nothing to do with her own clothing. As long as it's Emma's it's perfect! Who knew clothing issues would start this young?!?! But luckily Emma Lynn is nice and gracious and loves sharing everything with her (pray this continues through the teenage years!) She finds it quite hilarious actually to see Rooster sporting all her stuff. I am so thankful for her sweet attitude about Rooster's current passion otherwise this post would be singing a completely different tune.


Showing off Austin's shoes and Emma Lynn's skirt.

Most of the time Rooster manages to pull off the 3 sizes to big look which still amazes me! There is great money saving potential here! But there is always going to be that one skirt or pair of jammie pants that will NOT stay up no matter how I try to rig it. And then the drama. She HAS to have that exact outfit - even though it is utterly ridiculous b/c it is beyond close to fitting and staying up on her almost 2 year old body. So then the internal battle waged for all to see starts: I HAVE to wear this right now VS. I-can't-walk-I'm-tripping-AGAIN-on-these-mile-long-pant-legs-I-think-I-hate-this-outfit! You can't please her once this battle starts. I have hidden 2 such items of clothing deep within the depth of my closet after a battle broke out 2 days running over one skirt!





The latest phase is that of pure creativity. The more eccentric the outfit the better. It is so fun (and amusing) to see what she comes up with.

This creation was from last Sunday after church. She wanted to keep the black tights on from her church dress. Added Emma Lynn's pink polka dot jammie shorts on top. Picked out a new striped orange shirt for the top. To finish her look she added 2 different socks (one Easter and one purple sheep both which are Emma's, of course.)

At least her bow matched her tights! :D

This past week she has also discovered that the fashion world extends to outerwear. Mmmmmmm, the possibilities!

I LOVE that she has the model pose down too!


I have no doubt that life is going to be very colorful with my little fashionista around!

Family Time VS. Scout/Girls Camp

July 23 - 30, 2017 It was bizarre to only have 4 kids home this week with Austin at Scout Camp and Emma at her first Girl's Camp. It w...