Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Card Pictures-- Checked-Off!

Two weeks to go and my checklist seems to only be SLOWLY getting done. Today I finally took some pictures to use for our Christmas card-I know, with having my own photocard business, I should of had this done weeks ago and cards in the mail. Oh well. I had a lot of fun editing them with some cool techniques that I learned on this site. Here are some of the pictures. Doesn't Ashlee look so grown-up. Where's my baby gone?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

No Tears Here!

For preschool I signed up to carpool the kids to visit Santa. Since I would have Ashlee with me I told her of our exciting outing to see Santa. She squealed with delight, smiled big and said, "And Baby Jesus too?" I was happy to realize that she connected Santa/Christmas with Jesus and that seeing Baby Jesus would be just as exciting.

Taking Ashlee with me reminded me of when I took Andrew to see Santa around her same age. When we got to the mall and he got his first glance of Santa from a far distance, in a hushed whisper he said with a look of awe on his face, "look Mom, there he is". To Andrew this Santa was the real deal. This year Andrew was nearly just as excited to see Santa, but he kept asking later as we drove home why we didn't see his reign deer. I told him that they were around the back of the mall. He insisted that next time we drive around back to see them too.

Both Andrew and Ashlee did great with Santa. Andrew had his list that he proudly recited and Ashlee climbed right up onto his lap without hesitation. As you can see from the pics below, they were all smiles!

Faces of Thanksgiving

Silly Faces
A Hungry Face

An Eating Face
Lots of Thankful Faces =)

I was tempted to set-up Christmas before Thanksgiving this year because Thanksgiving fell so late, but I hated to cut Thanksgiving short. It's such a great holiday to kick off the season as we celebrate all that we have been given. Recently, a thought that I heard in church really stuck with me: When you think that you do not have enough to serve/share with others (time, energy, money, talent, creativity etc) that is a form of ingratitude because of course we have been given SO MUCH in all of these areas that we should have plenty to share and should do so to show our gratitude! I know that I often fall into this trap of feeling like I don't have enough of "X" to share, but hopefully thinking of this as ingratitude will help.

The Score

Day 1

Accidents: 4
Successes: 4
Poops in potty: 1

So, We're potty training around here today. After 2 accidents in a row and no success, I definitely was about ready to throw the towel in. Ashlee's only 2 1/2, but I was tired of her telling me that we had to change her diaper EVERY time she was wet! She seems to know how to go when I put her on the toilet and she has even told me a couple of times that she had to go, but then out of no where she will have an accident after she just went pee pee (excuse the lingo) 5-10 minutes ago. So, I'm calling for help! What's your best potty training advise. (We are doing the small treat after she successfully goes in the potty, but is it worth it to have a bigger incentive for no accidents for X amount of time? She seems young for that) Send any great tips my way!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The BIG -3-0-!

Well, it happened, I turned the big -3-0-. Wow, what happened to the last tens years, I swear I'm still 20. My mom always said growing up that she's 29 and celebrating her 10th, 20th etc anniversary. Hard to believe that I will now be past what was her "ideal" age. I had an amazing birthday thanks to Justin, my kids, my family and my great friends!!

Since I'm a twin, I still feel weird not sharing a birthday party with Randy. It feels like WAY too much attention, but this year it was fun getting a little extra.

This was my awesome day: (Celebrations actually started last week when I got a new computer with a 21 inch wide screen and 3 gb of RAM- yahoo!)

~sleep in
~wake to an amazing breakfast and cards from my kids
~time to go grab some lunch and go shopping by myself!
~professional pregnancy massage (LOVED IT!)
~dinner at my favorite restaurant (The Mandarin) with some close friends
~cake and ice cream at my house later!

Thanks everyone! It was a great day-- I really felt loved! I would have to say, so far life is really good at 30.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Extravaganza!

In my family I guess we're big into traditions, if we've done something once and we like it, it's an instant tradition (I guess I can't blame Ashlee for her obsessions with bedtime routines, wearing her swim suit EVERYDAY, having to have all 3 of her purses with her at nearly all times, etc-- these are all of her "traditions") So, with Halloween it's no different. Each year during Halloween week we have the cousin party that my mom goes ALL out for in decorating, crafts for the kids, fun "spooky" foods, homemade donuts.... the list goes on and on. It's amazing!

The punch was a real hit this year. She put small scoops of ice cream in cranberry juice with dry ice. The ice cream was suppose to be eye balls in blood!

Here are all of the cousins in their costumes

My Princess has returned! (No more beard!)

Here's Andrew-- giving his toughest look. He's such a tender-hearted sweety, I don't think he could ever scare a fly!

Then we have the 'pre-Halloween' dinner at my sisters. We always have Chili, breadsticks, apple cider and donuts for dessert. This year I braved it and made Chili for the 1st time.

This year we added a new yummy tradition, gourmet caramel apples.

Okay, so the kids' apples don't look so gourmet, but still yummy. I've made lots of combinations, but my favorite is a layer of caramel, then white chocolate on top of that with cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top of that. Sounds simple, but really good.

And of course-- trick-or-treating. Flying has been REALLY slow for Justin, but of course he had to work Halloween night. I wasn't very excited taking on trick-or-treating on my own (and the putting to bed my overly tired, sugar high children), but they did great. Ashlee was just in awe that everyone was just handing out cany (her dream come true. She asks for "cany" about 10 times a day.)

I've noticed the list of traditions are quickly growing as my kids get older. I personally think that Halloween is a bizarre holiday, but the kids absolutely love looking forward to these fun things, so I'm a fan.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Some pre-Halloween "dressing-up"

So, apparently Ashlee changed her mind and wanted to be a pirate instead of a princess this year for Halloween. While I was at work and Dad was ...? Ashlee had a great time doing a pretty darn good job making a mustache and beard on her face with my eye liner. Oh, this little angel.... I know if I haven't seen for for more than a minute or two she is up to something!! In the last week or two alone she has managed to squirt Purell in her eyes and mouth, bite open a glow bracelet that we were handing out for Halloween (I would have called poison control on that one, but I have been there and done that with Andrew when he was this age-- despite how it looks, that glowing stuff is non toxic), she dumped an entire bottle of frog food into the small fish bowl and an entire bottle of fish food into the large fish tank. (She also drank some insect repellent while we were in Hawaii a few weeks ago, did call poison control on that one and again- no worries!) Hopefully she and Mommy survive this "phase"!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Check out my Precious Prints photocard site to see what my sister and I have been up to. As my sister put it "we've been busy little elves". Hard to believe that Christmas is really just around the corner!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Palm Trees to Pine Trees

I feel like we've hit all extremes in the last week or so. Conference Sunday we took the moment and drove up near Snow Basin Ski Resort. It was beautiful! The pine and aspen tree covered peaks were freshly snow capped and the leaves were brilliant colors. Even Andrew said they were "butiful". It was a perfect interlude between morning and afternoon General Conference. I thought conference was especially recharging this year. I appreciated Elaine Dalton's thought: "In the Lord I can do hard things!" I'll have to remember that when the "back breaker" 3rd child comes.

An autumn outing wouldn' t be complete without a few snapshots of the family and the leaves:

While yesterday we were bundled up in coats and jackets, a few days earlier we were roasting in the sun on the coasts of O'ahu Hawaii admiring palm trees and crystal clear blue waters. Justin's parents are serving as LDS missionaries at BYUH and the Polynesian Cultural Center and of course we couldn't resist taking the opportunity to visit them. The kids anticipated it for weeks and after shopping for seemed like Christmas (for things to occupy the kids for the 6 1/2 hour flight), we made the plunge.

The flights went amazingly well, however, I was surprised at the challenge of jetlag for the kids. Ashlee was up around 4:30am for the day, everyday! So that made for early trips to the beach (Justin's parents condo was right on the beach),

lots of great sunrise pictures,

mostly taken by Justin as he took the kids out so I could catch a few more moments of sleep. Justin's parents were amazingly patient with our "jetlagged" kids and just loved them to death. They were real troopers! We were in a studio apartment, so when the kids were up, they were up and the same at night.

Justin's parents also made great tour guides. We checked out the famous Waikeikei beach, Pearl Harbor, the Dole pineapple plantation,

the Polynesian Cultural Center,

several beaches for swimming and surfing--go Justin! (Unfortunately 6 days in the sun wasn't enough to help our skin blend in a little better with the locals.)

We also had many wonderful homecooked meals back at the condo. Most meals we enjoyed eating out on the lanai listening to the waves crash just yards away.

Some of the highlights of the trip included watching Justin catching a wave surfing, Andrew overcoming great fears of the water and playing for hours in the waves of the ocean,

seeing Andrew and Ashlee adore their grandparents (and vice versa),

doing a session at the Honolulu temple,

eating at the famous Ted's Bakery (actually famous for pies)-- the only hamburger that has come close to In 'n Out Burger, watching the kids fall fast asleep on the red-eye flight home and sleeping even through the landing (not to mention luckily getting on the flight, flying stand-by with 50 other stand-by passengers!)

It was paradise! Thank-you Grandma and Grandpa Hogge for everything!

Friday, September 19, 2008

"Somethin' in your eyes makes me Smile"

This song (Smile, by David Gray), caught my attention as it was playing on my ipod and my sweet and so spunky little girl came and gave me a big hug and smooch on the lips and said "I wu oo" (I love you), mid twirl as she was dancing through the kitchen. I couldn't help but smile big. What a perfect moment! She just started returning the "I love you". I forgot how sweet that was when Andrew started doing that. Although my family doesn't always bring a smile to my face, there have been several moments over that last few weeks that have:

Andrew's first day of preschool:

Ashlee posing for the camera in her princess dress-up that Grandma made for her 2nd b-day:

My hubby canning lots of peaches with me...Mmmmm! (Here are a few of them)

One thing to not smile so much about.....

...our new pet "spiderman", a taranchula that my hubby caught and lovingly brought home as a pet for Andrew. Man, I'm a good wife to put up with that! He's staying until next week when we go out of town because I'm pretty sure we won't be able to find someone to feed this scary creature! (Then we will be let go very far from our home!)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

So, I haven't done a tag in awhile and thought this one looked fun and that I might have something interesting to share:

I am: Pregnant!!
I know: that this is a weird way to share the news
I want: (hoping for) a singlet (not twins, I am a twin and it definitely can be a genetic thing!)
I have: 31 weeks to go (I'm nine weeks. My first appt is tomorrow)
I hate: morning sickness- it sure is here
I fear: having twins (refer to above)
I feel: a little sick to my stomach
I crave: salsa, pickles and gazpacho
I search: for pickles in my fridge often
I wonder: if it's a boy or girl or both
I regret: nothing, here we go again!
I always: go early (nearly a month early has been the norm)
I believe: that these little babes are a blessing from above
I can usually be found: at the computer, half awake, or napping on the couch
I wish: April 8th didn't sound so far away (my due date)
I forget: constantly-already have placent brain. I just bought a day-planner to hopefully help in this department
I am scared: of having twins-- you're probably getting that feeling by now.
I am happy about: my life!
I tag: anyone who wants to do this, or make a similar announcement!!

**Update: I had my first appt this morning and looks like I am having ONE healthy baby!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Great Outdoors

I was going to combine the Flaming Gorge post with this one, but as you can see, Flaming Gorge alone got VERY long. So, this summer has been a fast and furious one and here's a recap of some of our other outdoor adventures.

In efforts to finally start using our tent trailer, we took the short ride up to Pineview Reservoir to camp and LOVED it. We fished up at Causey dam and then spent some time at Pineview Reservoir at the beach. We thought about renting a canoe to play in, but opted against the steep price and in the end found this floating plank instead that provided great entertainment.

One evening we made to trek up to donut falls. The surroundings were beautiful! It was a short hike, perfect for the kids. Unfortunately the river was a little high still so we didn't make it across to actually see the donut falls, but the way up was so pretty and worth it. Next time hiking with the kids, I'll remember to bring the first aid kit. Andrew fell (a couple times) and cut his knee pretty good and rubbed against stinging thistle. Poor guy.

We loved going to Pineview so much earlier this summer so, we took the kids up to Causey dam with my Sister Emilie and her family and camped near the river on the lawn of their friends cabin. (It was the 24th of July with no reservations. They took pity on us when they saw my brother-in-law at the store getting ready to go and invited us over.) There was green grass to play on and a bathroom to use!

I love this face, even when it's filthy dirty!The cabin by where we stayed was always swarming with humming birds. It's amazing that there little bodies can stay so still while there wings are flapping like mad.
We spent one afternoon picnicking and playing at the beach at Pineview. It's actually really nice sand and water to play in.

Summer's almost over. Kinda sad, but I'm looking forward to getting everyone back on schedule. Andrew starts preschool 3 days/week. It will be kind of weird to have him gone (nice too). I know he'll love it.