Monday, February 28, 2011


Sometimes I have to wonder about my general apathy to dangerous situations. I remember when Benjamin was a baby, I somehow instinctively knew that he was the cautious type, so I never worried about him falling off of tables or other high surfaces...Yeah, I know I'm crazy. Paul also reminded me of my unnatural calmness as I debated whether to use baking powder or baking soda to put out a small kitchen fire this past Thanksgiving.
So we live in Tornado Alley now, and we hear sirens go off pretty frequently. If I were a better person, I'd of course rush my children into the basement each and every time, because you never know! A few months ago, the sirens were going, and I was raking like crazy because I knew that those leaves were going to sit there until Spring if I didn't. And where was my overly-cautious Benjamin? Inside, freaking out because we weren't in the basement. 
And here's how things looked here last night around 11 p.m. I had just recently fallen asleep, so the sirens just became part of my loopy reality. Paul watched out the window as the wind whipped through trees then became deathly silent, and as the never-ending flashes of lightning would suddenly turn green, then fall into total blackout. Yeah, even I was a little scared. Not scared enough to do anything about it mind you, but I briefly thought about how it might be wise to get the kids out of bed and head to the basement. 
I am a little too relaxed about some things. I am. And I need to fix that, if not for my sake then for my children's well being. 
But I do think I'm getting better at not purposely putting myself into risky situations. For example, I'm pretty sure I would never ride a bull, no matter how much I got paid (I actually hesitated when I wrote that last part, debating if and what my amount would be...). Paul and I got to go to a Professional Bull Riding Competition this past weekend (we got great tickets through his work), and it was really fun! I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but it was exciting to watch and was a lot more humane than I'd always assumed it to be. I'd go again...but only to watch of course.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Neighborhood Fauna

One of the things I love about where we live is how many different animals there are. This hawk was eating a squirrel in our front yard this morning. The boys wanted to believe it was eating grass. I'm pretty sure it was this same hawk that flew just ten feet away from my head last week. It's bold, and it's BIG.

I remember a few years ago during a very cold wet Spring, having to explain to Benjamin what had happened to the tiny bunnies that drowned in a burrow in our yard. Heaven to him at that time existed under our giant holly tree, because that's where we had to put their remains. Even without that batch of bunnies, we've always had a ton that just run around the neighborhood. They're fun.
Then there's the raccoons. Shifty was the creepiest, with one pale blue eye and a very fluid, graceful walk. Sometimes you'd go out in the backyard, an he would be peering down at you from one of the neighbors' trees. Even though they're a nuisance and often dig into our garbage bags, they're interesting to watch.

Of course we have lots and lots of squirrels. A few of them have gotten brave enough to come right up to the window to eat peanuts while the kids watch them. The chipmunks are a lot more shy, but you can still see them darting around the yard. And there are many different varieties of birds, some of which are nesting under the awning outside Nora's window.

Gardening in our yard has been largely a joke with all these animals. Sometimes the chicken-wire cages are effective enough where we'll get a nice crop of strawberries, but we've never been as vigilant as we need to be to keep them entirely out. I guess fresh dirt is just too tempting for a squirrel with a nut to bury. But gardening woes aside, it's nice not to have to own any pets and still be able to give my kids frequent exposure to animals. Just so long as they don't wander out there today to examine that leftover squirrel...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


The snow that has been sitting on our lawn for the past month or so is finally melting, thanks to a wonderful warm spell we've been having. Hooray! It was getting really dirty.
 Look! Bare toes! I think we're all happy that Winter has finally let up its icy grasp. And guess who finally cleaned out the van after maybe 8 months? It was time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Meet Me in SLC

Paul left this morning for a Breeding Conference in Las Vegas. I'm still not sure why Las Vegas was the cheapest global hub, or why they picked Valentine's Day of all days, but that's where he is. I've never been a huge Valentine's Day fan until I got married and got to share our anniversary with Christmas and Paul's birthday. Because of our non-anniversary, Valentine's Day has become a big holiday around here, and I love it!
We celebrated all weekend. We had a delicious dinner at Brio, lots and lots of chocolate, beautiful flowers, and cute decorations. What's not to love?  Paul will be gone all week, but we're meeting up in Salt Lake this weekend. I decided to keep my plane ticket even though my sister's wedding was cancelled. I'm pretty excited!

Oh, and I painted this for Paul. I just need to find a good frame. 

And because I love you all so much, here is the final product of the Star Wars Movie we made. I know you've been on pins and needles in anticipation....or maybe that's just my Mom. :) 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lucky Seven

Another month, another progression shot.
I think six to seven months is a very fun age! 
 Lots of rolls...
...and on the verge of crawling. Love this girl.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sunday, Sunday

First off, I need to announce that my little brother David just got his mission call to Oaxaca, Mexico on June 22! I'm so excited for him! He's going to be a fantastic missionary. 
 Paul and I got to go on a little date to a Blues Hockey game the other night. His company hooked him up with free fancy pants box tickets. We had a great time!
With the start of a new year comes an adjustment to new church schedules. I didn't mind 1 o'clock church so much last year. It gave us nice leisurely mornings together, and Peter would often take a morning nap before we went. Now that we start at 9 o'clock, we are all trying to figure out the best routine. It's a lot more difficult for Peter to sit through meetings, and he's had more meltdowns in nursery than ever before. He'll adjust though. They always do.
After refusing to take a nap after lunch when we got home, this is where we found him. I think they were watching Daniel and the Lion's Den. 
I do love all the unstructured family time in the afternoon. Benjamin loves playing with his baby sister!
And he loves using the force to play Star Wars Guess Who against Daddy.  Speaking of Star Wars, we're making a Star Wars movie with the kids, and it's just missing an ending. I'll have to post it when it's done. It's really funny. 
 While I was making dinner, Peter found this huge pot and sat down in it. He's the perfect size.
 We tried Nora in it, but Peter wanted it back.
 Benjamin was just a little too big...
 A squirrel came by the window after dinner for a visit. The kids all watched as he ate the peanuts we left him. 
For FHE, we made teddy bear Rice Krispy treats and talked about miracles, specifically, the miracle of Jesus walking on the water. I love Sundays. It's so nice to take a break from normal life and focus on the things that matter most. 

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Ice Storm of '11

Ah....I remember when it reached a balmy 46 degrees on Saturday. We had Paul's cousins Maddy, her husband Seth, Adrea and her kids all here. Abby and Patrick joined us, and we headed out to the Science Center and the Zoo. Here's Benjamin, Henry, Nora, Ari and Peter. We're just missing Gloria in this picture. They had a blast playing together. 
I think Henry has a baby crush on Nora.
Nora liked checking out the penguins.
And here's today, with a thick layer of ice, topped off with about 4 inches of snow. I think the high may have gotten up to 20 degrees. It's actually much better than they had predicted, which was more like ice and then two feet of snow. 
Cold, but pretty.
Paul's been working from home these past few days, and we haven't gone out at all; the roads are still pretty bad. Luckily we still have power, health, and everything we need! Thank goodness for a warm house!
I guess my only complaint is that everyone seems to have cabin fever. Anyone else glad that January is finally over? I can almost smell Spring...