Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Good Habits and Bad Habits

I always try to be a good example of healthy living for my children. I really dislike formal exercise. I don't like the effort or the time that it requires, but occasional I fell like I need to "get stronger" so I take on an exercise program. I have been exercising three days a week this month, and my kids love it. It does get a little tight when we are all trying to kick-box at the same time.

On the not so healthy side, my kids number one stall technique before bed is "I'm hungry." It drives me crazy, but what kind of mom puts her kids to bed hungry! This is a classic pre-bed scene at our house. Andy eating a hotdog, which is 95% of his diet (disgusting and not healthy, I know). Caleb eating a Peanut Butter sandwich (he doesn't like jam, and adding honey is too much work so just peanut butter on whole wheat bread.) Cara eating a cheese quesadilla. All staples at bed time.

It may be interesting to note that as I type the kids are out riding their bikes. Caleb is in shorts. Yes, it is January in northern Utah, and it snowed today. I think they are ready for spring. I am eating oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough and enjoying every bite. I just noticed Ali is asleep in her high chair with her hands full of pretzels which is strange since she wont sleep in her bed.

Grandma Alice

Grandma Alice turned 95 this month! She is such a sweet woman. She has been living with Josh's parents for almost a year and we have really enjoyed having her so close. I think that it is wonderful for us and the kids to have regular contact with her.

Of course we needed a picture with her name sake . . .

And andy wanted one too. I think he is about as big as she is.

Monday, January 17, 2011

2010 Favorites

I want to start the now tradition of wrapping up the blog for the year by recording everyone’s favorites.

Ali answered by Carrie:
• Food – I only like meat baby food and sometimes sweet potatoes. I still sometimes choke on other solids, but I like to try them.
What are some of your wishes for this new-year? To learn to crawl, walk, feed myself and talk. It’s going to be a big year.

Andy answered by Carrie:
• Cereal – whatever someone else is having
• Food – Hot dogs, in fact this is the only meat I will eat. I really just like drinks, hot dogs and cheese.
• Drink – juice or milk I would really like to be on a liquid diet.
• TV Show – Playhouse Disney (I stand by the computer and say “mouse, mouse”)
• Game – running around with Caleb
• Book – I like to carry around a football book, but I’m not that interested in reading it.
• Restaurant – anywhere with French-fries since I don’t really like eating most things.
• Holiday – All
• Animal – anything I can hug
What do you love about each person in our family?

Ali – I love everything about Ali.
Cara – I like to color with Cara and to throw her crayons.
Caleb – I love to wrestle with Caleb and he takes care of me.
Mom – She gets me milk and starts Mickey Mouse for me.
Dad – He is so fun to play with.
Where would you like to go on vacation this year? Disney Land and meet Mickey Mouse
What are some of your wishes for this new-year? I want to have fun.

• Cereal – Lucky Charms
• Food – Corn Dogs
• Drink – Water with Ice and Root Beer
• TV Show – Ariel
• Game – Barbies and Hide and Go Seek
• Restaurant – McDonanlds it’s so much fun!
• Holiday – Christmas
• Animal – Elephant
What do you love about each person in our family?

Ali – Her can eat different kind of thing, not baby food.
Andy – Give me hugs.
Caleb – Be kind.
Mom – You buy corn dogs.
Dad – Him go shopping to buy chips.
Where would you like to go on vacation this year? To Mexico
What are some of your wishes for this new-year? In the turkey I found the wish bone. I can’t tell. It is a secret. It’s a secret, you can’t tell nobody, (whisper) ton’s of butterflies.

• Cereal – Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Lucky Charms
• Food – Macaroni and Cheese, Cereal and a Ham Sandwich and Mexican food. (Side note: he has a peanut butter sandwich almost every day when he gets home from school.)
• Drink – Milk and Chocolate Milk
• TV Show – Power Rangers
• Game – Lego Star Wars and Wrestling
• Book – Power Rangers
• Restaurant – McDonalds
• Holiday – Christmas
• Animal – Zebra
What do you love about each person in our family?

Ali – She’s cute.
Andy – He’s cool.
Cara – She’s nice.
Mom – You’re nice too.
Dad – He plays with me a lot.
Where would you like to go on vacation this year? Disney Land, Hawaii, and Mexico
What are some of your wishes for this new-year? I want to learn how to do karate.

• Cereal – I wish I could grow out of it, but I really like sugar cereals like Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch
• Food – All Italian
• Drink – Water, but I have always been a Root Beer fan when soda is offered
• TV Show – The only show I watch is Biggest Looser
• Book – I don’t make much time to read anything but the Book of Mormon
• Restaurant – I LOVE to eat out! I’m not sure I have a favorite I just like to go out.
• Holiday – I like them all.
What do you love about each person in our family?

Ali – I love to hold and squeeze her and the way that she bonks heads to show affection. I also like the way she flaps her arms like she is a little bird about to take off.
Andy – I love the way his cheeks bounce when he runs and his happy easy-going personality. I love to make him laugh he laughs so easily.
Cara – I love to watch her take care of her brothers and sister. She is a great helper.
Caleb – I love to help him learn new things and to watch him figure things out.
Josh – I feel so lucky to have found Josh. He is an amazing hard worker and extremely talented. He is so good at making people happy, and he helps me in so many ways. He is working more from home lately and I really miss him when he is gone.
Where would you like to go on vacation this year? We are going on a Cruise in a couple of weeks. I have never cruised, and I am way excited! Cara has been BEGGING me to go to the beach and to Mexico. I don’t dare tell her that we are going and leaving her in Utah.
What are some of your wishes for this new-year? I hope to be a happy mom that doesn’t just tend my kids, but a mom that teaches them. I want to make the most of every day.

• Cereal – Cracklin Oat Bran
• Food – It is hard to narrow it down, but I really like Nutella.
• Drink – Pina Colada
• TV Show – Lost, Seinfeld, and Office
• Book – The Magazine Fast Company or Mac World
• Restaurant – Macaroni Grill
• Holiday – Christmas
What do you love about each person in our family?

Ali – I love her smile and giggle and that she bonks foreheads.
Andy – He is so funny and happy! I love his facial expressions.
Cara – She has a great sense of humor.
Caleb – He is a good negotiator and a good competitor when playing sports.
Carrie – She is a great, loving, smart wife. She has many talents even hidden talents.
Where would you like to go on vacation this year? Disney World
What are some of your wishes for this new-year? Loose 30 lbs and be a better person.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Christmas Highlights

I love the Holiday season. It just goes so fast! I am trying to enjoy every moment with my little ones as I am often told that the time with small children is gone so quickly. I do fall short in taking pictures, but I wanted to take a moment to record a few of the fun things we did to celebrate the holidays this year.

We kicked off Christmas the day after Thanksgiving with a trip to Salt Lake (after shopping of course) to see my cousins who were in town from as far as Japan. I love my extended family and have a closeness to them that many people don't enjoy with their cousins. We spent the evening at Temple Square. I think taking the kids to Temple Square is a wonderful tradition.

Our ward did a "Polar Express" Christmas party. It was a breakfast and the 150 kids in the ward were invited to come in their pajamas. Josh was asked to narrate the "Polar Express" book. After breakfast Josh got on the stage in his robe and sweats and started yelling "all aboard." I was choked up as the children darted through the room. They were rushing to their tables to get their tickets to get on the Polar Express. The excitement in the room was awesome, and I felt the spirit of Christmas. Josh also read stories at the elementary school. I am grateful to have a husband that is willing to be actively involved in the lives of his children. At the school he read The Night Before Christmas in his many many voices. I understand he was a real hit although Caleb says he was a little embarrassed.

One of the highlights of each December is the formal Christmas Gala that our friends host. It is a wonderful party. We feel fortunate to be surrounded by so many fantastic friends that influence our lives for good in so many ways. We also went caroling with neighbors and enjoyed other parties and get-togethers with friends. Somehow I thought that friends wouldn't be such a part of my life as an adult. Now I realize, how would I ever survive without my wonderful friends.

On the 23rd we took the kids to Salt Lake to see Christina and Ross who couldn't come home for Christmas. We love seeing them. Sara came all the way from Plentywood Montana and we met up with her in SLC too. It is nice to be with family. Each year we express gratitude that we don't have to spend all of our vacation time and money to go to family at Christmas. It is a blessing that we live near both sets of parents and that our siblings usually come to us. While we were in SLC we took the kids to Zoo Lights at Hogal Zoo. I didn't know what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised. The lights were great, and we got to see many of the indoor animals.

Christmas Eve is always spent with my family. It was fantastic as always! What more can I say. I love to be with my family. This was the first time that Cathie and her kids haven't come home for Christmas and we REALLY missed them.

Christmas morning was awesome. The kids were so excited. Fortunatly they slept in until about 6:45 and we were able to hold them off while Andy and Ali slept a little longer, but by 7:30 we were opening presents. Caleb had the great idea to take turns. (Yes, we will just give him all of the credit so that the tradition can continue.) The kids were excited, but they took their time and took turns. They were very interested in each others gifts.

Caleb got a remote control helicopter, which he loves, and a giant nerf gun.

Cara got an American Girl Doll look-alike and matching cloths for her and her doll.

Andy got a remote control truck, which everyone enjoyed playing with. He got two packs of 10 match box cars and he was so excited when he opened them. He was yelling, "open them! open them!"

Ali got a Stand and Sit Giraffe Ball thing. Andy really likes it. Ali was just happy to be a part of the excitement.

Between Christmas and New Years we spent a few nights with the Lows at their Condo in Bear Lake. It was nice to get snowed in with friends to whom we are so close that they are practically family. We were literally stuck at the condo with our two wheel drive but luckily the Lows suburban could take us skiing at Beaver during a big snow storm. Caleb and Cara both seem to be getting the hang of skiing. It has been a long time coming with Caleb. He was finally starting to catch on when he had a bad fall and twisted his knee. He has been quite gimpy this week.

We celebrated New Years with our dear friends and neighbors - the Campbells. We played games and ate way to much junk food. Life is good!!!

One final journal item before I "close the book" on 2010. Caleb played his first season of Basket Ball this November and December. I can see how having kids involved in sports can fill up the lives of parents. It was fun to watch the first graders as they are learning to dribble, pass and shoot. I wouldn’t say that Caleb was awesome by any means, but it was fun for him. I enjoy having an excuse to get out too.