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?