Monday, December 31, 2007


Sledding was always such a fun thing for me when I was little. Fortunately, we live very close to a large park with perfect hills for kids to sled down. Scotty and Daddy were able to go a couple of days ago for their "special day". He had a great time and only biffed it once after which he demanded that Daddy ride with him. It's kind of a funny video because Zack purposely sent him down away from the jump at the bottom of the hill. Here is the video of him sledding and then biffing it:

Today, Zack took the older three boys. I guess Scotty had enough to last him a while. They had a blast and especially loved to hit the jump towards the bottom of the hill.

I was just thinking - what a great idea for a cheap date! I wanna go too!

Their eyes all aglow

There can be no question as to why Christmas really is my Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
First, we had our 6th annual Christmas party complete with our tradition to forget to take any pictures. Argggh!

Then we had a fun, surprise visit from our favorite fat man and his ever adorable little elf.
Our children have yet to wake up early on Christmas morning, so we woke them up at 7:30 a.m. (Zack & I couldn't wait any longer). Our Christmas morning was as magical as ever - eyes bulging out of their heads and mouths opened wide. Santa went a little overboard this year. It's hard not to when we have been blessed with boys that are so dang well behaved (keeping our fingers crossed for the future). Their morning included their new wiggle cars and Mikey's much wanted cactus. Kind of an odd gift, but he had begged for one since mid August!

We then rushed off to Grandma & Grandpa Eldridge's house to visit, open presents, and most importantly, have fun! It was made even better because Erika, her hubby Brent, and super sweet little girl, Mariska, were in town from Texas.

After our too brief visit with them, we went over the river and through the fields to Grandma & Grandpa Church's house. We had such a lovely day and we had such a great time seeing everyone. I can't wait for next year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Picture of the Year

Taking pictures of your children can be one very stressful occasion. I figure, if you can't beat them, join them.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Before and after

We are almost finished. We just need to do a few small things to complete the work.
The counter space is so inviting, I can't wait to make all of our favorite Christmas goodies. We had this installed a mere 24 hours before our annual Christmas party - no stress added at all - wink,wink, sob...
Just like the "other" Amber, the sink is my favorite part. It's like a bathtub!
Thank you again to James for all of his hard work and to all of the other great people who helped us (is this starting to sound like an acceptance speech?)
Anyway, not to "poo-poo" on my past birthdays, but this present takes the cake!

Friday, December 7, 2007

I think I'm going to barf!

I saw this in our neighborhood. Blehhhhhhh.

PS - Everyone needs to read the 4th comment. It's awful!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Newspaper Pg. 4

Kids love an audience. They've been entertaining the janitors for months, and now the kids of the Elementary Choir are ready to take on a bigger audience at an Interfaith Christmas Celebration this weekend. They will be performing Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at the Center and at 6:30 p.m. at the center across the street. They'll follow that performance up with concerts in front of their peers and then their parents the following week at the Elementary. The concert is Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir may not need as many breaks during rehearsal for its members to run around and get the wiggles out, but co-director Mrs. Dever says no one enjoys singing Christmas music as much as a group of kids.

"They have such joy and such fun. I can be silly. I can have fun," said Dever. "You can see the joy. They are feeling the memories of past Christmases and the anticipation of Christmas ahead." Dever said her young choir members have shown more excitement than anxiety about their upcoming concerts. Kids are natural performers. "The thing that's neat about children is that they come with so much enthusiasm, they love the attention."

Co-director Mrs. Jibson said, "Their enthusiasm is just amazing, they are willing to learn and willing to achieve. They are not afraid of making a mistake."

Fifth-grader Zachary Church is excited to be reciting a script in this years performance. A veteran from last year's choir, he said he only sometimes gets nervous to perform. "I just like how I get to sing and got assigned stuff for the program," he said.

Fourth-grader Megan said about choir, "It's fun and exciting and you get to meet new people." The performance will be a mixture of upbeat fun Santa songs and some quiet and more reflective songs.

This year's finale is unique because it is not a Christmas song. "Unsung Heroes" was written post 9/11 and honors the people who serve our communities. Dever and Jibson chose the song because they wanted to teach the children to have gratitude for those who serve us all year round. "We can get caught up in the glitter of the season and forget the people in our community who make the way we live possible," said Dever. She said from the moment they taught the children the song you could see that they felt it.

Zachary said it's his favorite song from the program. "I personally like it because I am going to be in the military when I grow up so it really points to me," he said.

The city fire and police departments have been extended a special invitation to attend the performance. Putting together an elementary school choir takes a lot of time and dedication. These kids have been working on their Christmas repertoire since September and Dever and Jibson have been planning since the summer. Jibson said for an elementary choir you have to choose simpler music, but the kids are very teachable and happy to learn.

Rehearsals are an hour and a half each week. The kids meet after school.

Zachary's mom Amber Church is happy to make the extra effort to make sure her two sons are there. "The best thing [about choir] is they get involved with music which gives them something more to life," she said.

Principal Jeanne says the choir is a source of pride for the students. "It gives them more school spirit," she said. She also said the choir gives students an opportunity to learn skills and work as a team. She expressed gratitude for the PTA who runs the program through volunteers. Dever gave up running a performing group out of her home to have time to work with the school choir and on the spring school musical. Her daughter is a member of the choir. Jibson continues to work with the choir though she doesn't have a child who participates. "Something about the kids brings a smile. They brighten my day," she said.

***Mikey & Zacky will both be performing Monday, December the 10th at 7:00 pm at the Elementary School***

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wrap your head in duct tape before you read this...

Everyone wrapped up so your heads don't explode?
A couple of days ago, a friend and I were talking about our children's teachers and elementary schools. We both discovered that we have similar frustrations and satisfactions. For us, now that Mikey has changed teachers, we are not as upset/concerned for him and his success in school and we are happy with the other boys' situations. I know that many of you have heard of our absolute disgust with the Investigations method of teaching math. Well, today, I have learned of a new "rule" imposed on the children at our kids' elementary school. I don't know if it is just our school who does this, but I am so discouraged.

They get in trouble now for dunking their cookies in their milk. They can even be sent to the Principal's office.

Oh, no! How dare those little 5 year olds! Who do these children think they are?
Does anyone else find this absolutely ridiculous? From what I have discovered, it was making too many messes. Well, anything they eat or drink at the school could do that. DUH!!!
Don't our taxes cover napkins? Don't our taxes pay for janitors at the schools? If not, let me know. How many kids go to this school? I will buy their napkins at Wal*Mart so that they can enjoy their cookies and milk. Let our children be children!

I nearly told the boys to dunk all they want, but I didn't want them to learn that just because it is a DUMB rule, they shouldn't follow it. Does anyone else think that this is way over the top?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oooohhh, Aaaaahhhh

I never thought that having a kitchen to the front of a home would be a good thing. However, I love being able to watch our children play together and with friends in the cul-de-sac and every once in a while I am dazzled by the sunsets. Just thought I'd share.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gobble - gobble!

What a wonderful holiday! I love having a full day set aside to spend time with our families and to focus on our gratitude to our gracious Father in Heaven. We are so richly blessed. This year we were able to have our celebrations twice. On Wednesday we all gathered at the Eldridge home for an early Thanksgiving. It was a very yummy, fun time. If I remember correctly, there were 6 different types of pie! Now, that's my kind of Thanksgiving! Then, early Thursday morning, we traveled to Zack's parent's cabin in Eastern Utah. It was so peaceful and we had a great time visiting with his siblings and their families. The boys had a blast going on hikes and discovering new things like what it feels like to be "bitten" by cactus and that deer poop everywhere! Grody, dude!

After Zack and his brother, Lincoln, put in the new floor of the great room (only about 30' by 30') we had a very tasty Thanksgiving dinner. I guess that instead of singing or dancing for our dinner this year, we only had to do construction work - just kidding Mom & Dad!

We went around the table saying one thing that we are thankful for and Zack said that he was grateful for his parents and their invitation to the cabin and a stable job - to which his dad said, "I didn't know you worked with horses." *GROAN* Then Zack said, "No, just some horses behinds." *DOUBLE GROAN* We all had a great weekend especially Scotty. He refused to take off his coat, mittens, and the helmet all weekend - he even fell asleep using the helmet as a pillow.

Never before seen footage!

This is for you, Dad (Lewis)!
Zack was cold ! Zack is never cold. He even turned the heat up. Usually, we keep it at 60°, but last night he turned it up to 65°!!!
I had to take a picture of him all covered up so that people would believe me. He was even wearing sweats under the blanket. Who are you and what have you done with the real Zack?

I think he tought that Emily was cold as well.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fear of the unknown?

One of the most fun ladies I know, Suzie, tagged me last week. I have to tell five things about me that may not be known. All weekend, I have been fretting over this. I am such a blabber mouth that I couldn't believe that there would be anything left about me that people may not know. Please remember that I apparently have no shame or dignity.

So, after much thought, tossing out the boring and the wild lies, I came up with my fab five.

1. Zack & I have very seriously considered living on a farm. Unlike Suzie, it's not for the love of animals. We are always worrying about if our children are learning to appreciate the value of hard work. Sure, they have chores, but come on, cleaning out stalls, milking a few cows, and harvesting crops - now that's hard work! I guess the only thing that is stopping us, is that I don't want to have to do all of the work either!

2. I would love to have a natural disaster. Preferably a huge blizzard. I know, I know – what a nut, right? Well, maybe not something that would kill people or destroy homes, but something like Buffalo, NY gets every year. I would love to have a time where everything closes down and we are all left to our own devices. Electricity out for a couple of days and no one able to go anywhere . I am so ready for it (so I say). The only conditions I have are – I need to know about it before it hits, we all need to be in our homes when it arrives, and our water supply has to be unharmed (at least for the toilets – Ewwww).

3. Every once in a while, when life gets too out of control and overwhelming, I like to sneak a few drags off of my thumb. I sucked my thumb until I was 12. It was never in a public place, though. It's just so yummy and comforting. I just can't allow it to become a habit again or let it ruin my teeth.

4. I'm a road rage –aholic. I am not ever obviously mean or anything, I just excel in the art of subtlety. If I see a moron speeding and weaving through cars behind me, I'll take matters into my own hands. I will match my speed and position to the car next to me to box out said moron. Or, if someone is tailgating me when I am already going too much over the speed limit (and not in the left lane) I slow way down gradually to about 10 miles per hour under the speed limit - this way they don't see any brake lights. I love it and they get so mad. Sometimes, when I discover that I have picked on the wrong moron - you know the kind – they appear "criminal" looking, I yell to the kids to rock back and forth as fast as they can. A moving target is harder to hit, right?

5. This is awful, but so cool. Whenever the kids are in another room and Zack and I are eating something like pretzel sticks, French fries, or candy canes, we look at each other and pretend to smoke. I know – we are going to be thrust down. It is so funny and very taboo. It almost turns into a little competition to see who can look the most realistic. Flicking the "ashes", blowing smoke rings, stepping them out when we're done all adds to the effect. Classy right? Just kidding about the so cool part. I wonder if this will get me released from my calling. I guess not if the 2 nd counselor of the bishopric is also pretending to smoke with me.

So I am now tagging Jessica E. , Erika, Jeana , Sarah, Devony, Shaunell, and Brooke & Matt.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Am I the only one?

  I think I'm either overly needy or just plain nuts. You see, my computer is my link to the "outside" world. Sure, I go grocery shopping, carpool everyday, take care of my calling, go out with family, - all that kind of stuff, but when it comes down to it, my computer is my lifeline. Whenever I put up a post on my blog, I almost instantaneously hit F5 expecting a comment to be waiting for me. The disappointment is pathetically real when "0 comments" shows up. The same goes for my emails. I probably check my inbox and my blog about 30 to 40 times a day. It's embarrassing that I'm even telling you this. I'm trying to cut back - I'm sure that it isn't very healthy. Every once in a while, the thought will cross my mind that if I hit F5 too often it will break or wear down to a useless nub and panic always sets it. Am I the only one who waits on pins and needles awaiting the feeling of validation from others? By-the-way, Zack is mortified that I am actually posting this, but who cares?  
Oh, wait, I do !!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boo !

Halloween is one of my top two favorite holidays. This year I convinced the older boys to dress as the Three Musketeers. Scotty loves Mr. Noodle from Elmo's World, so here he is living out his dream. And Emily is so dang cute as Raggedy Ann. We will do her make - up tonight.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Smoochie, smoochie

A friend of mine challenged us to make up our own "list". The premise is this: "Ten Literary Characters I Would Totally Make Out With If I Were Single and They Were Real But I'm Not, Single I Mean, I Am Real, But I'm Also Happily Married and Want to Stay That Way So Maybe We Should Forget This."
Here is my own list, but there are only 5 and they are not necessarily from books, but they are from my favorite topic. They are in no particular order.

1. The Pillsbury Dough Boy - Light & tasty even if a little flaky.
2. The M & M guys - I like the yellow one best. He has a better sense of humor.
3. Willy Wonka - it's all about the chocolate.
4. Tony the Tiger - he's great! but is that legal?
5. The Dunkin' Donuts 24 hour a day Baker man - He is the man of my dreams (or at least memories)

Picking the bugs out of our teeth

This past weekend was quite exciting. First, my 40 - count 'em - 40 burning bushes arrived. So far, they are very skinny tall things, but if I'm patient, they will be gorgeous someday. About half way through the planting we stopped for a day of fun with the family. We went 4 wheeling. It was my first time, but Zack has been many times. I was a little nervous when we first got there because of all the bullet casings and shotgun shells. Apparently, this area is also used for target practice. Anyway, we had a great time and the best part for me was when I was the driver and Zack was the passenger. It's a rough ride back there and I certainly pushed the limits of his back strength. The boys had a blast and even discovered a lovely carcass. No, we can't take it with us!
Oh, yeah, we did wear helmets, just not for the pictures - not to worry!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The warm fuzzies...

Yesterday I happened to be browsing through our old family photos, when I came upon these. Ever since then, I have been really teary eyed. Maybe it's just because I know I'll never get to clean Zacky's slobbery binky strap again, get to squish Mikey's chubby cheeks again (right), find Tommy asleep with his beloved soft sock draped across his eyes, or dress Scotty as a lop-eared Batman again. Or maybe I'm pregnant. Hah, Hah, Hah, Hah - just kidding, Zack!!! Anyway, I've been an emotional mess. I know that I am blessed to have these moments to love and cherish. I am also excited to see what awaits us with Emily and the boys as they grow. Thank Heavens that I live in a time when cameras let us share those memories.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The super cutenesses of Gorilla

Anyone knowing Zack will understand (is understand the right word?) the evolution of the nicknames in our family. Gorilla Breath is her most recent name. Or, at least I prefer it to the full nickname - Rancid Putrid Gorilla Breath. Oddly enough, the nickname "Gorrilla Breath" has nothing to do with her breath or her size... it just so happens that "Gorilla" is an evolution of the word "girl".
Emily, who is so dang cute, wants to share 3 of some of her cutest things.

1. Her wild and crazy hair

2. The toupee that doesn't quite fit

3. Way cute shoes on even cuter feet

Friday, October 19, 2007

Our hero!

This morning when I came out to the van to take the kids to school after Zack left for work, I heard Mikey yelling about another bee in the van. Zacky was standing next to me and the first thing I said was, "Zacky kill it because you're the bravest one." This almost comical look of fear and then stubborn determination to prove himself the warrior came over his face. He took off his shoe and smooshed it up against the window where the bee was. He yelled, "I got it!" I yelled, "No you didn't, you missed!"  He screamed (in a manly way, of course) and tried again - this time successfully. He got a napkin and put the bee's corpse in the garbage. By the time he left to put it in the garbage can, he was shaking and breathing very hard. It was hilarious. We all laughed pretty good. I know that if he wasn't there to protect us all, I would have had to do it and if I had missed, I would have needed to get a clean pair of shorts!  To make Zacky feel the true extent of our appreciation, Zack (Sr.) made up this special certificate for him.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hangin' out with the guys

Today, Scotty's play group met at our home. The house is still in shambles due to the flooded basement, so I was a little worried about what we could do to fill the time. My fantastic mother-in-law suggested that we cook something. So, we made warm, soft, chewy, chocolaty, chocolate chip cookies. Perfect for a beautiful, chilly, fall day. Two bags of chips - no less! They had a blast and I did too ! Plus, getting whatever was left over is always a good thing ;-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things . . .

There are actually two reasons as to why this is a beautiful (although blurry) picture.
The first reason is an obvious one. The Bee is dead !!!! Rumor has it that I'm afraid of bees. This, by-the-way, is totally unfounded.
The second reason is that it means that winter is coming !
Autumn & winter ROCK !!!!


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Great Family Night

Last night we went up American Fork Canyon for our traditional autumn F.H.E. We had a great time and hope to go up again very soon. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful area and we try our best to take advantage of it. Being with family and friends makes it even better.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Zack's new career

Zack's work decided to use him as their model for their ad a little while ago. I thought you would like to see it. He was also in a commercial on their website some time ago, too.

I think that it was the first or second year that he was working there that they used him in a flier that was sent out nation wide to all of the dentists that use a different product called "Easy Dental" that his company also makes...

All I want to know is, is where are our royalties?

Saturday, September 29, 2007 number 5 !

The other day, Scotty (just turned three) hurt himself. When I asked him where his "owie" was, he said, "On my number five." Not having the foggiest idea what he meant, I asked him to show me. He pointed to his big toe. I kissed #5 better and then laughing to myself, I asked where his number 3 was. He immediately pointed to the middle toe. Apparently, he counts in the same direction on his other foot, as well. I think it is so interesting that he thinks this way. He's so yummy, I just want to eat him up !!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

While the cat is away, the mice will play...

Demolition began in our kitchen today. After all of the "fun" of our basement flooding, I decided to take care of the job while Zack was in San Francisco for work. I figured that this way, Zack would miss the stress of it all. Thank heavens my dad and a few friends from the ward were available to help me out with the job. Finally, my kitchen is getting larger!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Boohbah look-alike

Our version of "Boohbah".