What have we been up to?

LOTS!! With family in for Dad's retirement party on my side of the family, and in-laws staying with us from Dave's side of the family (Dave's sister just had a beautiful baby girl- Kate)we have been busy!! We have found time to build with some blocks, which Jaxon loves to knock down ( I fix, he destroys--- pretty much the story of our lives right now!) Also, Dave told me that while I was with my trainer last night, he was throwing Jaxon in the air... not so bad right? Well, then he decided to throw Jaxon up and flip his feet out a little so he would fly up (AND DOWN!!!!) vertical to the ground, which apparently Jax thought was hilarious... mom...not so much! THEN, Dave tells me, that he thought if he could get Jaxon Vertical to the ground, he could probably throw him in the air and flip him ALL THE WAY AROUND!!! Does this sound like a bad idea to anyone else? Well, Dave did it, and Jaxon has no apparent brain damage thus far...but is this always what happens when moms leave dads and sons home alone? I'm getting a little worried!

(Oh yeah- the word on Jaxon's shirt is an accurate description of him at any given moment!!!)


It always seems so strange to me when I hear people complain about family and in-laws. I love mine dearly, and life is always more fun (and interesting, don't get me wrong) when they are around! This past weekend we had my Dad's retirement party, and all members of the family were present! First on Saturday we had the "Kid's Party" at Jeepers, or Jungle Jim's in Mesa. It was great. They had small rides, lots of token games to win tickets, and definately something for every age from the almost-two toddlers, to the 11 year old nephew, to the older and still childish uncles. (In fact, we had not been there for 10 minutes when Uncle Tyler (25) managed to 'accidentally' bounce a football off the game it was supposed to go into, and have it fly 15 feet higher in the air to shatter a light fixture and 2 long lights inside it.) Also, for the record I creamed both Dave and Tyler twice in the basketball shoot game! They also had pizza and salads that weren't half bad!
Then that night we had an adults only dinner party out at a beautiful BEAUTIFUL restaurant in Scottsdale called Lon's. We had "Cocktails" (Soda time) and appetizers on a beautiful private patio, then had a delicious 3 course dinner inside our own private room with a fire place and a gorgeous table for 14! We all toasted mom and dad, had lots of laughs, and a few tears as well. I don't know about everyone else, but I sure love my fam. I love the times when we can all be together, LONG LIVE FAMILY LOVE!

An Apple a Day...

Who says Family Night can't be fun?? Here is the background information... For as long as Dave and I have been married, he has wanted me to buy Gala apples, and I didn't know I had a preference, so I bought Gala. Well, after a time, I got tired of Gala apples, and I thought to myself, there has to be something out there in this big wide world besides Gala. ***Enter the Superstition Ranch Market.*** This is by far my favorite store, and with such cheap and tasty and fresh produce, you can afford to branch out a little. With much deliberation, I decided that I liked Fuji and Pink Ladies, with Honey Crisp running second. I have tried and tried to get Dave to switch over to Either Fuji or Pink Lady, but he swears by his stinky ol' Gala apples. ***Enter- Ashley's great idea!*** Today I went to the Ranch Market and bought one of every type of apple they had- 10 in total. Tonight for Family night we had a blind taste test for Family night, first Dave, then me. We used a 5 point ranking system, 5 being excellent, 4 being good, 3 was fair, 2 was pretty gross, and a 1 was downright nasty! (yes, I have been planning this activity in my mind for some time now!) Well, wouldn't you know...the only two Dave ranked 5 were Pink Lady, and Fuji. (He gave Gala a 4) I ended up giving Fuji and Cameo a 5. For anyone curious about how the rest of the test went, or thinking about venturing out into the big bad world of apple consumption and just don't know where to begin- here are our results...







A-1 (I thought it tasted like urine....)



Now here's the funny part of the story, even after seeing the results, Dave still swears that he likes Gala best! ARG!!! I told him I will be buying us Pink Ladies and Fuji and he put his foot down. Is this pure stubborness at its finest, or what?

President Hinckley

Our dear prophet passed away last night at the age of 97. I was certainly sad to hear the news, but also so glad to know he is back with his beloved Marjorie. He led a wonderfully productive life and has left a tremendous legacy. When I think of my favorite things about President Hinckley, two immediately come to mind. The first is the overwhelming love he was always able to convey in his messages. I loved his twinkly eyes and the way he always joked around, even at 97. When he was speaking, he always had such a tenderness that made me feel like he was speaking right to me, and not giving a talk prepared for the whole body of the church. The second thing I think of is the way he was always encouraging everyone to be better, but never made you feel guilty about where you currently were. He was so optimistic, that after hearing him speak, I always cheerfully resolved to be better and work harder, because if Pres. Hinckley had faith in me, then I could accomplish great things!!

"Bye, thanks for the P.B. and J."

This is what Dave said to me as I woke him out of a sound sleep this morning to say goodbye, on my way to an early meeting. Man, I couldn't make this stuff up! Thank YOU Dave!

"Do you think I could sell my artwork?"

Dave is going to kill me for this, but it is too funny not to retell- It is late Saturday night-11:40 (late for us anyways...) and I am still up because I had to finish my book. It is at times like this that Dave sometimes talks in his sleep. I turned off the light and said, "Dave?"
"Will you scoot over and snuggle with me?"
"What do you want to snuggle about?"
(what does that mean exactly...'snuggle about'?)
So I said, "What?"
"What do you want to snuggle about?"
(At this point I realized Dave was talking in his sleep and mistaking the word "snuggle" for the word "talk"...of course every time this happens I seize the opportunity to see what kind of nonsense I can get out of him...so this is how our conversation went..."
Daves last sentence was,
"What do you want to snuggle about?"
"I don't know, the war?"
"Okay, how about the elections, who do you think will win?"
"uhh...I don't know."
"Okay, what about jaxon, he needs braces."
(Jaxon is only 2 and obviously does NOT need braces right now..."
"Oh yeah, I forgot."
"We don't have the money to pay for them."
"yes we do. I have a job."
"But you don't make enough, should I get a job, or will you work weekends?"
"Well, maybe I could sell my artwork."
(I am not an artist, and have no artwork to speak of...)
"Yeah, thats a good idea."
"do you think I could make any money?"
"How much money do you think I could make?"
"Lots and lots"
"Yes but how much exactly?"
"at least $20 a year."

At this point I tried to keep talking but he started snoring and that was my clue that our conversation was over. Man I love when this stuff happens!

Lovely Women and Vacuums

Two of the women I truly love with all my heart! My mom and sister!
And...I would love vacuuming too if I got to do it like this!!!

well dang...continued

Its not just to blogger that they won't upload. They won't upload to the computer period. My camera users manual said that might happen if I had an older computer!

well dang!

Okay, I've got a problem here, and anyone more technically advanced than me (which is quite possibly anyone who reads the blog...or anyone who reads period!) could probably help me. We have this new-fangled internet at our house, but my computer is too old/slow/crappy/mean-spirited (pick any that fit, cause I'm not sure!) for me to upload my photos. I have a 10 megapixel camera, and it just says its working and working and never actually downloads. I'm sure there's got to be something I could add/do/break in my computer that would make it possible to upload photos, so I don't have to blog at one house, and then upload photos at another. HELP PLEASE!!!

Thank you COX!!!!

I am embarrassed to admit that we didn't have internet for so long (6 loooooong months) but excited to proclaim we have entered the HIGH SPEED WORLD!!! YES YES YES!!! I am so excited!!! Ahhhh...so this is what the 21st century feels like!?!

Whenever you're ready baby Kate!

(My beautiful sister in Law- Kim!!!)

Here are a few pictures from my sis-in-laws baby shower. I did all the desserts and I was happy with how they turned out...I made lemon bars (Kim's favorite) fudge brownie bites with whipped cream and a choc. dipped pecan on top, cream puffs, mini cupcakes with choc covered sunflower seeds on top, and tiny heart shaped sugar cookies with a "K" for Kate on them. I was really excited about presentation. I spent about $50 at Big Lots (yes, high quality I know!) and got some really cool serving stuff, which now I will just re-use! Anyway, the table was in a bad spot to get a good picture... at least until my photo teacher extradanaire -Jill- teaches me more!

"When we're healthy we're happy..."

I know the song actually goes a little differently, but thats how it is around our house. Jaxon is back to his energetic healthy self...albeit a little strong-willed (wherever did he get that trait???) anyway...Here are a few pictures we have taken lately...Dave is at work, and Jaxon can't really use the camera, (though he does try to kick it when it's hanging around my neck and then tells me he's funny...) so it's just shots of baby-J!

We probably were not supposed to pick these, but did you ever see a kid get more excited about flowers???

Lets Go Fly a Kite!

Well, today was super fun, but there is a chance that I may will an award for Monday's worst mom! Jaxon woke up at 5:30 and I gave him is bottle to drink in his crib (about 1/2 the time he will go back to sleep) no such luck today, and as usual, he ate no breakfast. So we went to the gym, and then to Amber's house to play and fly a kite (it was a very windy day) At Amber's, Jaxon said he wanted an apple, but got too excited that Kalle went outside without him and chucked it into Amber's living room onto her recliner. He ended up only eating a cookie (Right there, im already in the running for M.W.M. ...) anyway, when Oakley woke up at 11 we all drove to the park to fly the kite. So, as a recap- it is 11 am and Jaxon has had a 5 ounce milk bottle at 5:30, and a cookie at 10. We flew the kite, and the kids played on all the play ground stuff until noon. At which point Jaxon told me he was stinky, which he was...so we decided to go home. Amber offered a diaper so I could change him at the park, but I said No... I would just do it at home. (Offense #2 ...making Jax sit in a stinker for a 20 minute car ride home) On the way hom Jax started screaming bloody murder for a Hamburger and a juice bottle. So, I had no bottle (offense #3- totally unprepared with food for my very skinny boy) so he screamed until we pulled into the Wendy's drive through and he heard me order. He was shouting "Hammy Hammy" to which I was trying to tell him I was just about to get it for him. When I pulled up the window I realized, I didn't have my purse!! So NO MONEY!!! (offense #4-even breaking the law with this one, no money, and no license!) I had to tell the guy sorry, I forgot my money, and drive through with no food! Jaxon was hysterical! He cried the whole way home and I felt like a real shmuck of a parent! By Cried, I mean, could hardly breath he was crying so hard. When we got home I knew how hungry he was, but he was so tuckered out from hysterics that all he could muster was drinking his juice while I changed his diaper, then he just wanted to go to bed. So, at 12:45, Jaxon had had 5 ounces of milk, one cookie, and one juice bottle...and I wonder why he's so skinny...

Flattered or Patronized?

Um, I'm pretty sure that none of you who saw that picture in the previous blog ACTUALLY thought that it was recent...if you did, BLESS YOUR HEART!!!! It was 6 years ago! Oh yeah, and am I really that short? I've never thought of myself as a short person, even around all my really tall friends...it's just in pictures... I'M SHOCKED!!!

The Best Birthday Present!

My little sis knew I had a bit of a crappy birthday, so she posted this birthday ode to me on her blog. It was definately my best present, so I decided to put it on mine. Thanks sis!

Happy Birthday Ashley!

Ok, so this post is over a week late, but I just wanted to give a shout out to the best sister in the entire world!!!! It was my sister Ashley's birthday on January 2nd, and she turned 29. We haven't always gotten along great (we were the only daughters in the family and five years apart... what do you expect?), but now she is one of my very best friends, and I am so excited that we can hang out together now that I am back in AZ. Here are 29 of the things I love most about her...

1. She always made sure I looked my best when I was little... she always wanted to do my hair (of course I rarely let her) and she even let me chop it to ears length (even though she had specific instructions to only let me have a trim at the mall) when I was about 8... nice, but bad idea.
2. She loves me even though 2 or 3 of her many black eyes from childhood were my fault.
3. She’s smart, reads SO fast, and can kick my booty in jeoparty.
4. She can go off drinking soda for months at a time... I have tried- it is impossible.
5. I love her thick, black hair (especially when it is super long)- she could be a hair model.
6. She’s loyal and she will always be there for her friends.
7. She is always encouraging me to try new things... like when I was little and she encouraged me to take a lick of the hand lotion because it smelled so much like cream puffs... it didn't taste like it.
8. She always let me borrow her clothes, even when she didn’t know it :)
9. She didn't yell at me too loud when I would spy on her and her dates... how could she, my parents might have heard and then asked me about it.
10. She made Jaxon and works so hard to be a great mom.
11. She introduced me to Brandt... and almost ruined any chance I had with him by bragging about test scores... how embarrassing!
12. She would wear matching vests with me and let me play 4 square with her friends in elementary school.
13. She is one of the most well spoken people I know... this is a big deal to me since I feel like a dud most of the time when I open my mouth.
14. She is one of the only people I would want to drive across Germany with for 3 days straight sharing one bench of a utility van. But next time I would prefer her not to have a bladder problem and have to stop for the bathroom every 20 minutes.
15. She is VERY QUICKLY becomeing an excellent photographer... you should see some of her stuff!
16. She is probably the most creative person I know.
17. She wore a bright pink dress to my wedding without argument because thats what I wanted.
18. She is funny and tells great stories.
19. She tried out for who wants to be a millionaire with me... we both still want to be millionaires!
20. She's ambidextrous
21. I can still remember when I was about 3 and I would refuse to go to bed unless I got to lay by her for a few minutes first- she let me.
22. She tells a great joke about Jackie Chan and Burger King... you should ask her about it... but not in public.
23. She can laugh about almost getting eaten alive by a giant german shephard on Christmas Eve.
24. She is not embarrassed to tell a lady that her four year old daughter has a nastily stinky diaper at the play area at the mall... we had to leave because I was about to throw up, and the girl kept running past us.
25. She does not hold it agains't me that I asked her boyfriend (now husband) if he would play with my hair when they were dating.
26. She let me rip hairs out of her big toe with tweezers after just putting ice on it (for any of you who don't know... do not put ice somewhere you are about to tweeze... it closes pores and hair folicles). I think she actually cried.
27. I learned how to flirt from the best (her)... I have pictures of her sitting on Brandt's lap hugging him, and of just their feet hanging out of a toilet stall from the day before I met him.
28. She is a good listener and a very good communicator.
29. She is a wonderful example to me of service, an excellent YW president, and I couldn't as for a better sister!
Happy Birthday, Sis.
We took this picture together... yesterday...

My Boy!

Today Dooper the prairie dog made his 2008 debut at singing time at the mall, to Jaxon's eternal happiness. Jaxon got a free (shrill) whistle and a t-shirt to boot! Jaxon calls him "dooky" which to anyone who grew up in the 90's should be pretty funny, especially when he is running through the mall like a mad man yelling "DOOKY! DOOKY!" at the top of his lungs. Between his favorite past-time (Dooky) and his favorite friend (Kalle) it was a red letter day for sure!!!
Also, a picture of Jaxon when he crawled into his cousin Kalle's baby doll crib...something Amber said Kalle has never thought of in all the time she has had the toy... you gotta give him credit for creativity!

"Bummy Rubby"

Jaxon's creative interpretation of "bunny rabbit" ~I thought it was pretty cute. He was also looking at an animal picture book yesterday and said all the names correctly except hippo, for which he said, "mommy" well...there's really only one way to interpret that, and it's not good...

Good ol' Friends!

These were my first friends here in Gilbert over 10 years ago and we are still going strong!! We missed you Mindy and Rachelle!

"How was your birthday Ashley?"

"Pretty crappy to tell you the truth."
" Well darn,maybe 30 will be better?"
"I hope so."


29!!!! I can't believe it, that sounds so old! So, I just saw on a friends website that for her birthday she chose one word to describe the previous year. My word, as absolutely cheesy/lame romance novel as it sounds is "awakening" On Feb. 5th, my view of pretty much the whole world changed fantastically for the better! Although Im NO WHERE NEAR perfect, I have really focused on seeing the brightside, thinking positively, and not sweating the small stuff! HURRAY!!!! FOR 29- even though it sounds old, I think its going to be GREAT!!!!

Ode to 2007

What a year! I have to say, I think this has been one of our best, and I hope I can still say that every year from here till eternity! So, here is my ode to 2007, and whatever else my ramblings lead me to!
In January the ward split, a new ward was made, and I became YW pres. of Hawes ward. I got one of the hardest and most rewarding challenges of my life! LOVE LOVE LOVE the ladies I work with!
FEBRUARY- JAXON TURNED 1!!!! On the day of his birthday, my (until then very secret) postpartum magically lifted, and for the first time since Jaxon was born, I was able to experience what it is to treasure the moments, love the mishaps, and not be scared all the time. It is one of the happiest memories of my life.
From Feb. on out, life got better and better. I realized how fun, yet still ridiculously challenging it was to be a mom. I began going to the gym on a regular basis and that helped with general wellness inside and out. From here on out there were great highs, and not too many or too difficult lows. I love being a mom, and a wife, and although both are pretty hard to master, I am understanding the phrase “one day at a time” from a brand new perspective.
My goals for this year are to make dinner more often, keep the house looking nice, be more organized, look presentable almost every day, be kind, forgiving, and patient, finish losing the rest of my weight, and to get my mind and body for another pregnancy about a year from now. On that note,…how do I put this nicely??...if I want you to know I am trying to have a baby, I will let you know. And if I am pregnant, I will let you know, otherwise, don’t ask about it!
All in all, 2007 was a fantastic year for me, my family, and my relationships.
HAPPY 2008 to all, and to all a good night!!!