Monday, December 29, 2008

Our simple Christmas at home

Since New Year's Eve isn't too far away, I better get this year done and behind us. Originally we had planned to join up with the family group in Texas, but as some work came Jake's way, we decided it was better off to stay at home. The kids woke up a little before nine. We got dressed and ready to give Jake a little extra sleeping time. Here are some highlights.Kirsten has been scoping out this build-a-bear dog for months. It's my kind of pet for inside. It came with several different outfits.Cruz got some extensions for his Thomas the Train set. We can finally build a fun track. Katanya got a kitchen set (as she played with Hazels non-stop while we were in Texas). Kirsten picked out a doll as her gift to her and that has been her favorite. She eats, sleeps, and rides with it everywhere.

The one benefit for us to stay at home is there is no obligation to visit anyone. We all played all day and enjoyed knowing that we could do whatever we wanted.

Now comes the New Year and Resolutions.......I have such high expectations for next year.

straight a's

Kirsten: Dad, Dad, Dad!

(Jake was in the other room but obviously heard. Finally, after several minutes he walked out.)

Jake: What do you need Kirsten?

Kirsten: Dad, when you were little, did you get straight A's?

Jake: Yes

Kirsten: Then why haven't you learned to listen?

I love how this girl speaks her mind........sometimes.

Better numbers!

I woke up this morning and saw something great!

39 degrees!

I never thought I would love seeing that number but quite a bit of snow has melted already. Infact, this qualifies as jacket weather for me.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve

Christmas this year was spent at home. McKay has mentioned that she hasn't been able to have a Christmas at home yet (this home). It wasn't this year either.Zeb and Daisy just moved into our neck of the woods so we invited them over for Christmas Eve for some snow fun and hot food. Last week when we went up for Jake to help unpack, McKay asked who they were. I explained how they were related to Erika and how we knew them. McKay said, "so they are cousins-ish?"
Yep.Laura and Kirsten hit it off immediately. We all know Kirsten isn't shy.Mateo wasn't too sure of the snow. It might take some time for him to get used to it. (plus the wind and the cold).I loved this picture (minus the van.)Cruz and Katanya found the snowdrifts to be fun sledding hills. The wind has been rather nasty here and has taken the foot plus of snow and made 4-5 foot snow drifts.Cruz first.Katanya next.....and down she goes....With a face full of snow.

Later that night we ate until our we couldn't eat anymore. We enjoyed having close friends over and not having to go anywhere.

Although later that night when it was time to go to bed Jake said to me....."Christmas just isn't the same without McKay." I agree.

Monday, December 22, 2008

kirsten to mckay

Kirsten came to me today and asked me to mail these to McKay. So I'm doing it overnight via "blogmail". The only sad part is.....she's only been gone one day.

where has the time gone?

Our family 2008

-My first idea was to find a metal bench and go out in the ocean, sit on it, and take a picture. What a great idea!!!! We couldn't find a metal bench to buy, but when we found some, no one let us "borrow" them. Didn't hurt to ask.

-I can't believe there are only 9 days left in this year. Only 3 days until Christmas. I look back over the year, and wonder what have I done? I can't believe that we have a nine year old daughter. At times, I wonder if I'm really 29 and already have four children. Jake and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary this year, but what have we done in 7 years?

- 2009? What's to come?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

simply deliciouso

I'm trying to be positive with all the snow and cold so I have to admit that with winter, it brings yummy foods. I enjoy all the soups during this season. Lately, McKay has been begging for split pea and ham soup. So last week, I cooked a ham and saved the bone for the soup. I am one that buys a ham or a turkey just so I can make soup the next day. That's the part that I enjoy.

So, tonight was the night, and it was YUMMY!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Christmas Traditions

This year my goal was to get our neighbors and friends a "more personal" Christmas gift. I think last year I didn't do anything since we were in Texas, yeah, pretty sure. So this year I went back to when I was a kid (something I don't do very often) and remembered the beef "sausage" stick that my mom used to make. I've made it several times throughout the years but only for our family and a few close friends. Everybody has said they like it.....everybody but Jake.
After three days of mixing and kneading up the ingredients, I start on the baking voyage of three days for three different 5 pound batches that cooks 8 hours each. My house smell quite delicious and homey. If you want the recipe click here.
So the question comes down to this....As I was mixing the meat with the spices and kneading it, Jake asks, "Isn't that disgusting to your hands?" I said, "Yeah but what do you do?" He responded, "Use a mixer?" I laughed.

So, is that really possible? I personally don't think so.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You know you are getting old....

(this picture is from a couple years ago....)....when you don't want to go outside at all in the snow.

I remember as a kid going out and playing for hours and hours. The cold didn't bother me when it was time to go in, I would get so upset. So now, with my kids wanting to bundle up and go out and play in the snow, am I such a wimp?

So far this year we have about a foot of snow and right now it's -5 (windchill -18). It's times like these I wonder why we chose Idaho? I haven't gone out all week, and today I finally have to toughen up and go to town. Not to mention finish Christmas shopping.

I guess it's another bummer that we are all coming down sick. I've had my share the past couple days and now the kids are all coming down sick.

Winter is just so depressing. Okay, it's not that depressing. It's just that summer wasn't long enough. We are enjoying the Christmas music (still)!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

wrapping, unwrapping, rewrapping .... deja vu

Two different perspectives of today:
For the past week I have had only one present under the tree.
Due to the littlest child, for the past week I have wrapped this same present three times. (I am lucky that I put it in a box and taped it.)
If I had better hiding places and not so curious kids, I would have no presents under the tree until Christmas Eve.
Now that we went shopping there are a few more presents under the tree.
Any guesses on how many I will be rewrapping?

Our first real storm came today. Snow and wind = bad roads and drifts.
For the first time, I am glad we still have our suburban when we traveled out on the roads tonight. Our last snow storm, (in Colorado) Jake thought that when you are not stopping, you should give it more gas and take the turn anyway. Destruction was a new hub and bearing.
The high tomorrow is 18. The low 9. So why does my thermometer say 2?

$ 1.33

Thursday, December 11, 2008

One of our Christmas Traditions

It's taken me awhile to adjust to the cold back home. I think it's been two weeks since I have actually blogged. Lucky for me, Jake has.

One tradition that I started when Jake and I first got married was each year on the tree we would put up two new ornaments a year. The first being a family picture and the second being an ornament that symbolized something great for that year.
IE: 2001 is the Salt Lake Temple for us being married and sealed, 2002 is a carriage for Kirsten's birth, 2003 is the state of Idaho for our move, 2004 is a binkie for Cruz's's self explanatory.
The first three or four years, our Christmas tree was a little bare. Now that this is our eighth Christmas together, it's finally looking like a Christmas tree. Now that my ornament from this year arrived in the mail today, my tree is complete for this year, and I have something to blog about.

Monday, December 08, 2008

can you beat it?

$ 1.39

I filled up with gas today and was shocked by the price ... how ironic is it that when I was burning through nearly 1000 gallons per month the price was over $4 and now when I barely use a drop it is so cheap?

How much did you pay today?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

do you ever get bored while driving?

I do so while I spent time in the passenger seat I got out the camera and took nearly 150 shots of my shadow (moving at 75 MPH) just to get this ONE!

Thank goodness that the DOT likes to make cuts in the hillsides on highways ... they make a great canvas!

So really, what are the fun things you do to pass the time in the car?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I should have known better

I shouldn't have been so proud of how far we had come. With pride comes humility. This is what we woke up to.We had checked the weather the day before and it was suppose to be clear all weekend. It wasn't a pretty sight, but we decided to tough it out. About 30 miles later it was clear and so were the roads. So we kept on going, and another 70 miles the road got to be like this.A blowing snowstorm with bumper to bumper traffic.
With driving eight hours, and a nine hour road trip, we accomplished just over 180 miles. We called it quits and stayed our cousins in Denver for the night. We will try again tomorrow.
P.S. These pics do not deserve being blown up. I am not ready for this weather.
P.P.S. I am enjoying the Christmas music on the drive.

Road trip Reality

  • Last night was Jake's last volcano (for awhile.)
  • This morning was an early (6am) farewell to the beach.
  • Throughout the day was a realization as we watched the temperature drop what we were in for when we get home.
  • After stopping for dinner and having 3 out of 4 kids spill their drink before dinner came, it came to the point where all I could do was laugh as the third one spilled, even though Jake was telling me it's not funny as he is holding in chuckles also. I'm sure people thought we were nuts.

On another note, we drove over 1,080 miles. We went from the southern tip of Texas to the North-western tip, through a corner of New Mexico, and we are now barely into Colorado. Tomorrow we will be home in another 800 miles.

I must say, we are quite the fam to punch out the miles.

I'm actually tired for once. It's now time for sleep.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Ring Toss

Now that the pool is warm (really warm), the adults aren't so hesitant to get in. Here is the new game that was invented this morning. RING TOSS....some were SCARED....some SANK (and popped)....and some FLEW.... really HIGH.

Our relaxed Thanksgiving

(post approved by Betsy)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Turnaround

After our first round up of swimming in the much warmer pool and the hot tub. The grouchy parents got their much needed rest. The kids stayed busy and quietly played upstairs, even though they were ready to go to the beach after getting out of the shower from the pool.
It's not a good combination when you have kids that are energized and ready to play since they were put to bed at 8:30 p.m. and the parents stayed up carelessly past 2 a.m. I guess we will have to work on being more responsible.

(The only reason I'm not tired is I got 7 hours of sleep, or in other words, Jake got up with the kids.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving week of paradise

At this time, I would like to say, I'm so happy we're here and not home in the (high) 41, (low) 17 degree weather!Yay for hot tubs, pools, the beach, family and sunshine! This is how we kicked off our first real day at the beach.Old habits never die for Jake. He built his "volcano" for the kids to play in. (For examples click here (Hawaii 05). McKay loves hanging out with Aspen, so they were off in the waves and seashell pickings.Kirsten loves the water just as much. Unfortunately she had some minor jellyfish encounters. And of course, the volcano was a blast for the little (and bigger) kids.And as we said good-bye for the day, I'm am thankful there will be many more. (For another version click here.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

When will he ever learn?

Being married to Jake will always keep me smiling.... and laughing. Tonight I wondered when Jake will realize what that little yellow light means in the corner by the gas gauge.So in the middle of Austin, in the middle of the evening, in the middle of the road. We ran out of gas..... we all remember Moab right?Luckily, we pushed, parked, and walked just down the road and down a block. We weren't so stranded this time. As Jake said on our walk to get gas, "This never happens to me, the last time was when I was in college......"

(We all remember Moab.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm thankful for....

when all my loving children are asleep so I can give my mind the "reset" that it needs.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

There is a First for everything....

This trip was a FIRST in a lot of ways. I originally was going to get a picture of the trailer and how packed it was, but I forgot, and it's unloaded, so I'm out of luck.
  • time Jake over packed. I always over pack. I think Jake has more clothes than any of us here this trip.
  • in the way we took a different route to Texas. Wouldn't advise it, longer and well, just longer.
  • time in a long time that is only took $23 dollars to get to Salt Lake City in gas. Wow, and Ya!
  • that we stayed both nights on the road in a hotel with three beds. The best part is we didn't spend more than $75. I don't know if the price is because 1-Jake is always wanting a good deal, 2- travel coupons, 3-because we travel til 1 or 2 in the morning and then are trying to find a room.
  • time we saw wolves along the roadside in Arizona.
  • ever hearing about Jonestown and the tragedy that went on there. There was a special on CNN that we picked up on satellite radio that was very interesting. This leads to the next one....
  • trip with satellite radio. Big bonus!
  • trip to Betsy's that we spent less than $240 in gas. And that is adding extra hours of driving on.

Now that the firsts are over there is one thing that we have realized. In all the times of us driving to Texas, we have ALWAYS driven through Albuquerque (and most of New Mexico) in the dark. Always.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Our new Journey's Journey

I guess I have to brag, just a little. He deserves that much. This is the trailer that Jake built.
It's just the perfect size for our upcoming road trip. I'm really stoked because it opens from the top. Easy access makes all the difference.

I must now admit that Jake can be a genius sometimes. He's always asking me that. He is one of the handiest men I know. (That's the bragging part.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The instigator.....

I admit. I was a slacker. There were many of times I thought to myself, I need to register. I need to make it downtown and register. Then there were many of times I thought, it's way downtown and it's out of the way. I don't want to because I'd have to take all the kids in and chase Katanya around. Although the past couple of days, I really had meant to do it.

McKay started last week by asking about the election, the candidates, and voting. She then asked if we were going to vote. I had told her yes as my intentions were good. This year, I actually paid attention and followed the politics and watched two of the three debates. My thoughts switched several times as I liked some things more than others. But my (what I think) crazy, busy, lazy world didn't get me registered.

Then when McKay asked tonight while I was ironing if I voted, I had to look at her and tell her no. So Jake went to the Internet and found our precinct and that we could register there and we still had an hour left. Thank goodness we live out in the country. We had to go to good old Ririe. There were no lines, no waiting, and basically no one else there. So for the first time in my life I voted. It's the first year of many to come.

I gave my sticker to McKay as she was the inspiration to get there.

And yes, I am thankful to be an American too.

Our contribution to the economy....

We finally got our stimulus check from our taxes. (Just in time as the cut off was Oct.15th.) Since our food storage had depleted, we put a big chunk back into it.
In case the pictures doesn't do it justice, we had over Jake's "portion of the stimulus" as a grocery bill (yes we took a FULL OVERFLOWING two carts to the checkout, and had to have three carts to take out). The non-food items added up to less than $20. I feel a little bit better now but I still have a ways to go. This week I only got food items. I still have all the soaps, and paper items, etc.
For those of you that are environmentally friendly, the girls take the bags to school for their recycling contest.