{please vote for me.... it only takes a minute!! ~thanks}

Vote for me @ Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

Well, I hope you all had a great Christmas, filled with happiness, love, and great memories! Ours was wonderful. Christmas Eve morning brought a call from Santa (thanks Michelle and Brian for giving him our phone number) and after we made cookies and a ginger bread house, we had a visitor... Santa actually came to do a pre-check (Thanks to Brother Allen for giving him our address) James stood across the room to talk to him.

Can you see the cute PJ's? They all match. They are blue and have sock monkeys and bananas on them the boys all looked so cute wearing them.
After getting them into bed, which took longer than expected. We were finally able to set things up for Santa to come. And Steve and I open our presents to each other Christmas Eve. After that Steve and I played "Settlers of Catan" for 2 players. If you like the regular game, you'll like this one. It takes some time to understand the directions but once you do it's so fun and it really is like the real game.
Welcome to Christmas morning..... I guess Santa must have had an "in" with Disney's Cars, because that is what the stockings were full of. Tommy loved the flashlight he got (and as you can see... so did Tim) and the slippers. And since we lose Lighting McQueen at least weekly it's always good to have extras.

Tim really just enjoyed watching all of the chaos and getting to open the presents. Not his, he like opening everyone elses.

The favorite gift of the day would have to be the trumpet that James got from Santa. If you asked him what he wanted for Christmas he would say a "trumpet" so Santa heard and found one for him. It's just plastic but it plays fairly well (coming from someone who can't tell one note from another). Steve figured out how to play "Taps" on it. So maybe we have the next great Trumpet player in our house.....All in all the boys totally made out with the gifts....

Another of the favorite gift that we got was some nerf guns... They come with about 2 dozen green balls EACH (just the size for one and a half of them to fit in Tim's mouth) I had an extra gun the closet from a gift that was never wrap, that Steve had and we had one huge ball fight!!!
Thanks mom for the great gift, it really brings HOURS of fun. Because after we are done playing with them we then have to find all the balls.

Well Christmas is the a day that I too take the day off so I made muffins and left out the ginger bread house, and it's the one day that the boys can eat what ever they want, from the goodies in their stocking to the candy canes that Santa left on the tree. So they did.... (and are still doing ok, the next day) James and Tommy 'picked' all the candy canes off the tree and I only found a few left over, so most of those got consumed. I had no idea that they were going to be such a big hit.

The morning completely wasted Tim so he fell asleep were it was the sleep where it was easiest... some where were he is confined.

The boys played and played, we watched the Disney parade, and "The Christmas Story". The boys ate so many goodies and then played some more. It was a lot of fun to watch them have such a great time.

Steve and I were sitting on the couch and noticed something in our front yard. We went out to see what it was, and to our surprise, it was a HUGE tumble weed!

So what do you do with a tumble weed this big? You drag it down the street and let it go down Lezner and watch it blow down the street. So that's what we did.... ok not me I had Steve drag it down the street. I just watched and cheered him on.

We were fortunate to have the missionaries for dinner. We started this year what we hope is a fun family tradition, of making homemade pizza for dinner. Steve really enjoyed making the dough and putting it all together.

So after a hard day of playing and eating and presents and all day in new jammies and family it was time to put the boys to bed. (it took Tommy a little while to settle down after all the sugar he had that day, but we made it)

On one last note...
Unfortunately Steve started having a fever..... Fortunately we had a cure for him before it go too much worse...

Happy Holidays to you all. We wish you all the best this coming year with JOY, HAPPINESS, LOVE, AND PROSPERITY in all that you do.

Friday, December 21, 2007

What the......?

Ok, so I had some last minute shopping to do.... just some stocking stuffers and I wanted to get a gingerbread house for the boys (yes I do the easy thing and buy the kit) So anyway I go to walmart. I know, know......yes it's walmart. Anyway.... They were undoing all there Christmas stuff and setting up for Valentine's Day. Seriously!!! Ok, so I thought it was a little crazy. I mean how many husbands, boyfriends, significant others, and men in general buy ANYTHING before the week of Valentine's. So why Valentine's Day needs almost two months is just ridicules!!! At least the other holidays have a meaning behind them (a good one anyway) What is Valentine's Day?

This is the way holidays get ruined! They don't even wait until the holiday is over before setting u for the next one. And then they skip ones all together, like Thanksgiving. That poor holiday only gets one day. And then it's passed over like nothing ever happened.

Where's the love people????

So that's me and my soapbox, I'll get off it and take the box with me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

4 Years Old!!!!

Can you believe it! James is 4! It really doesn't seem that long ago that we were in Monterey and I was holding my first baby. His big eyes looking up at me and taking in everything that he saw. My Sweet Baby James. Now he's no longer a baby or even a toddler. He's a kid. He is getting so tall and growing out of everything. He is in size 5 in the regular boy section. His body is doing what he is wanting it to do and is able to climb and jump like he wants too. He figures things out by watching others, and by just being fearless enough to try it. (as long as everyone else is doing it first) And my heavens this boy is DRAMA. But it keeps everything very interesting. He loves school and loves to play with his friends. His imagination is blooming and so is his artistic side. He is getting really good at coloring and drawing shapes, and even a few letters. He is so smart, and memorizes easily (so much for skipping pages in our books) He counts and know his letters and the sounds they make. He loves to talk.... more so to hear himself I think.... I wonder where he got that from :) He likes to argue and debate and surprisingly he really good at debating his point. He loves music and singing and dancing. He loves to help with anything. And he loves to help Steve with what ever he is doing.

It's been amazing watching him grow and he has taught me so much. His love is so unconditional and true. His love to learn has given me the opportunity to teach him. His questions are never ending but I don't ever want to see that sparkle for knowledge to go away. He loves to laugh and smile. He wants everyone to be his friend and doesn't ever turn anyone away who wants to play with him. I was blessed with an amazing first child who will go on to do great things.
Happy Birthday James.... I love you!!!
I did a questionnaire with James after his birthday and this is it.
-What do you want to be when you grow up? a Soldier and rich (didn't have the heart to tell him you usually can't have both) He also wants lots of trucks
-Favorite Book of Mormon story? Lehi's Dream (it's got to be because of the trophies)
-Favorite color? Orange, black, green and yellow
-Best friend? Steven Badger and Davy Hunsaker
-Favorite sport? Likes to run jump and play
-favorite toy? Cars and trucks
-Favorite outside toy? Sand Box
-What do you like best at school? Playing with the playdoh
-What do you want to do before you turn 5? get the Priesthood. (had a talk about his and that he had to wait so..) be a Soldier.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

What you didn't know about Lehi's dream

Ok, so in 1 Nephi of the Book of Mormon there is a story in which Lehi has a dream (1 Nephi 6) We were reading this last night for family scripture reading (this is a favorite in our house hold - "please mom can we read about the fruit!") So we start reading it and James proceeds to tell us that he wants to go to the building. For those who don't know the building represents those who turn away from the Church and the love of Christ. Well here is our conversation....

James: I want to go to the building.
Dad: Why James? Mom and Dad are going to the Tree
Tommy: I'm eat fruit
James: But the building is fun.
Dad: You'll be all alone because mommy and daddy, Tommy and Tim are going to the tree.
Tommy: I don't love the building
James: Look, the building is big and tall.
Dad: Ok, James, we'll miss you.
James: But dad, the building has trophies

Ok, so what do you say to that. How can you beat trophies? So there you go, the building has trophies, and apparently that's what draws the 4 year olds in.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bonding and Cleaning

So I took James and Tommy with me to get Christmas presents for Steve, and because it was rainy and windy I left Tim at home with Steve. Well when I came home Steve had shaved his head! I knew he was going to I just wasn't ready for how funny Tim would look. His baby hair was getting all matted in the back so it needed to come off, well here you go.

Here's the before..
and here is the after... It grows on you after awhile.
Here's another good one, it's kinda blurry, but I love Tim's expression in it. He's got the prettiest blue eyesI guess this is Steve's way of bonding with the boys. Good thing his head is round and not cone shaped.

Here's a question for you.... what do you get when you "Rub-a-dub-dub, three boys in the tub?"
You get a wet floor, and somewhere in there you end up with three clean boys. But I guess that what I was going for. I figured if I filled up the bathtub eventually they would be clean. I don't know about anyone else, but I usually end up with 'little boy soup.' It's kinda gross, the water turns a yellow-gray color. So I just wash them up and empty the water and fill it back up. Because heaven forbid they don't get to play in bathtub.

Clean kids are great, and better than that, clean sleeping kids are the only thing better.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Learners permit gone... I got my License!!!!

Of Cooking that is. Ok, so when I was like 14 I totally ruined Rice Krispy Treats. How do you do that? I don't know but I remember the the black crispy balls of burning marshmallows. Since then I have boiled out water and ruined a pot. It wold have been so bad but there was a cinnamon stick in it and it was burned to the bottom of the pan. I've messed up bread.. pretty badly. Screwed up dinner, and many deserts. So how did I get my license?

I turned this....

In to this......

A big TA-DA for me. I didn't use the can pumpkin at all and to top it off it was really good. So there you go. And during it all we only had one mishap.... James wanted to smell the ginger. Well instead of smelling it he blew it, and I had powdered ginger everywhere. Al of a sudden James started crying. He go it into his eyes. So trying to clean them out was fun.... I though of calling the McCormick company and asking them to put a warning on the label that ginger is not to be used for applying to eyes, and suggestions on what to do if you get it in your eyes.
Anyways..... There you go. I'm happy to say that i feel like I can call myself domestic, because I baked a pie!!!! Hooray for me!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Well, another holiday is over. Does time seem to go by faster to anyone else? Last year at this time we had just brought Tim home from the hospital and here we are again.

For those of you who have forgotten we live in Sierra Vista, Arizona. We traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah. That's a 15 hour drive. Doesn't sound so bad. Add in three kids under three and one of them who HATES to be strapped in and it seem like an eternity. We are very lucky to have a fabulous aunt who lives in Vegas and took all five of us in for two nights (on the drive up and back).
After 3 movies, one stop and a lot of screaming we made it to Utah. We stopped and Larry and Valerie's house (Steve's parents) to say hi. While we were there the boys were able to get a ride on Grandpa Johnson's motorcycle. The boys had a blast.

We went on to my parents house to have family pictures. Oh, the joys of digital cameras, and tripods.....
Then as a last thank you to the Army, we stayed on post up at Hill Air Force Base. We have used the fun perks from the military more in the last two weeks than we did the entire 6 years Steve was in.

Ok, so here is a shout out to Jen Hunsaker. She is amazing, everyone should have a Jen. We spent 2 days with the Hunsker clan and as always had a blast. Here's a little back ground. We met Adam and Jen in Monterey thanks to EmilieAn. We spent a brief time living together in Utah. (4 adults, 2 just found out they are getting deployed, the other 2 pregnant (Jen and I, just to clarify) one child under one, and a dog in a 2 bedroom apartment that is less than 1000 sq ft.) They have since moved in to a house tha can hold a party of people. Jen is pretty much Martha Stewart, only cuter, oh, and without the criminal record.
Tuesday night we had "Thanksgiving" with our Roy City family. Here's a little bit about some of our friends. The Hunsakers.... They have two boys, Davy, and Jon. Davy is between James and Tommy and the three of them are the best of friends. They play so well together, and can usually figure some way to all get into mischief together. When the three of them are around each other and it's quiet, usually trouble is a brewing.

On Tuesday we had our Hunsaker-Grammer-Taylor-Edwars Thanksgiving. (the only thing better would be to add the Kempers in there too) and because the turkey was still frozen Steve had to give it a bath. I was really hoping that Steve would get in with it, but he didn't think that was a fun idea. We had a great time with everyone. There were of course the Hunsakers, and there two boys.... Us with our three... the Taylors with there twins. Then there's the Edwards, no kids currently, but Kip acts as if all the children are his. You got to keep an eye out for this fellow. While he looks all sweet and innocent, there is more than meets the eye. Well... he left Tim to roll off the couch, and then because of his playing James ended up with stitches. So we had a trip to the hospital and James had four stitches put in his chin. (we love you Kip and James is fine). Anyway, were you counting up all the children during that? There were 7 kids under the age of 3 and all of them were boys! We are over loaded with boys and we love it.

So as we ate, and ate we just talked and talked. Children screamed, and played, then we ate some more. Steve got to fry a turkey (you all should try it!!!! It's so good) and we had a Cajun turkey that was baked. And three pies made from our good friend Sara Lee.

As the day ended we gathered up the kids, well only two because James was at the hospital, and said good bye. At least for another year. we'll be back up again next year to celebrate with more fried turkey and all the boys.
So Thanksgiving just isn't the same unless you are able to have two days of gluttony. On to the parents house. My little brother came home from his mission in September and so we were a whole family. (well minus my other brother who got a job drilling and ended up having to leave but his wife and baby girl were there to represent)

So before dinner we went on a walk to let the children wear themselves out. Well I think the parents ended up needing a nap more than the children did. During our walk in the neighborhood, we found a beautiful lawn that had just been rake up, well.... when we left they probably had to re-rake (what do you expect with kids and leaves.... ok, well it was more like Brant's(brother-in-law) idea, it's just easier to blame it on the kids)

We started out as a family of 9 and we have grown in to a family of 24 and only going to grow more. Once again the chaos is around and I love it. It really takes a pro to be able to handle all the noise and I think as we were growing up and brought boy/girlfriends over for the first time it probably scared them. I have a great family and it only gets better with all the new people being thrown in and kids joining us.
Back to reality..... We can't ever leave Thanksgiving without our game of cards. We played Rooks (fun game you should all learn to play) a game of skill and speed, and points.

So here is to being Thankful. I have so much to be thankful for. I have a great life and a great family. I have a wonderful husband who takes such good care of me, and three of the most beautiful children!!!!!

James who is so loving, and has such an imagination. It's so fun to play with him and talk to him about everything that he is thinking. He comprehends so much and memorizes things so easily.

Tommy who is so funny, and always willing to brighten your day. He is quick to give a hug and say that he is sorry but will never fess up to something he didn't do. He is so full of mischief and innocent trouble.

And my baby boy, Tim, who in his short 14 months on earth has definitely given me a run for my money! He is defiantly his own person and is so stubborn. That stubbornness and will to deify what the world says he should be has helped him so much. Going from a tiny NICU baby to out weighing those that were full term. From having some minor problems at birth to having no noticing effects on him now. He is also a daddy's boy, and defiantly prefers him to me.

I have been blessed to have born in country where freedoms are enjoyed by everyone, and the pursuit of happiness is a real and achievable dream. I have husband who was willing to give his life for this country we live in, and while we are no longer part of the military family it is something we honor and have respect for and will continue to for the rest of our lives. I'm thankful for the wonderful friends that I have. The ones who love me even with all my crazy faults, on my good days and on my bad days. Thanks to my Yaya's who alway know I'm needing breakfast and letting me know that it's ok to hang out at there house until noon and for helping me know that I'm ok just the way I am. I'm so thankful for the beliefs that I have. Knowing that I am a daughter of God and sealed to the wonderful family I have been blessed with is a great thing. I'm thankful for the knowledge I have that life goes on after this. What more can I say. I AM BLESSED!!!!
(ps. if you didn't catch that.... yup we are done with the military, we are "civilians" now. Steve is really happy, but I have mixed feelings.... we are now on the outside, what are we going to do? Probably the same thing we already are, or maybe... just maybe we'll get a farm, or a vineyard)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's in a name?

I saw this as I was looking through some other blogs and thought I would do this. Really for no other reason than I thought my Ya-ya's would get a kick out of this. (Ace of Base is playing on the radio right now.... just thought you would want to know.... they still get played on the radio!)

1. My rock star name (first pet and current car): How about Jasper Odyssey kinda a bad rock star name. But I guess that's what you get when you drive a minivan.

2. My gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor & favorite cookie): cookie dough and snickerdoodles. Boy can you feel the fierceness that puts out! "Yo, whz up CD Snickerdoodle?"

3. My "fly guy/girl" name (first initial of first name and first 3 letters of last): L. Gra (I don't think this works for me...) How about L. Gram that better...

4. My detective name (favorite color and favorite animal): Green Panda

5. My soap opera name (middle name and city where you were born): Aline Vegas... Ok that's dumb... I don't even get a hyphen.... like Teresa Lopez-Fitsgerald-Crane...

6. My Star Wars name (first 3 letters of last name plus first 2 of first name): Grale, ok that's not so bad. I could at least pretend that's a really name from Star Wars...

7. My super hero name (2nd favorite color and favorite drink with a "The" in front): The Blue Rootbeer (seriously, what s wrong with me....)

8. My Nascar name (the first names of both your grandfathers): Raymond Daivd, ohhh better yet, David Ray. FINALLY I get one that's kinda cool, or at least makes sense.

9. My stripper/porn star name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne and your favorite candy): TommyGirl Milk duds (What is wrong with me Aahhhh). I too have heard the other version of pet's name and the first street where I grew up: Captain Martha. It sounds like a dominatrix version of Martha Stewart.

10. My witness protection name (my mother & father's middle names): Lorrain Hale. Oh, that one is good - at least somewhat normal....

Well there you go. I hope you all have much more interesting names than I do. I really hope I don't ever become a gangster, I don't think I would last long in that career choice with a names like CD Snickerdoddle.

So what's in a name? Me... not much I guess....

Saturday, November 10, 2007

SeaWorld with the family

Before we begin, I wanted to share a "before" and "after" with you. I cut my hair. I really like it, but I think next time I'll go a little shorter, not too much, but a little bit shorter.

So what do you think? I really like it, it's been awhile since I've had bangs, but we'll see how it goes.

Ok, on to SEAWORLD......
After Steve was on an FTX as an instructor for the past 2 weeks he was given a week off, so it was decided that on Wednesday we were going to go to SeaWorld. So we packet up the car and after my dentist appointment (I'm getting my wisdom teeth out December 7 (happy Birthday James and EmilieAn) we hopped in the car and off we went.

We stayed at the San Diego Navel Base billeting. James and Tommy were pretty tired and went right to bed. Tim on the other hand decided that it was funner to keep everyone awake. He's a really good sleeper, once he's asleep. So after about 30 minutes of nothing working we put his pack'n'play in the bathroom and that is where he slept. The next morning we woke up and saw a boat that they had pulled out of the water to work on, and we also saw that it was over cast...

Who checked the weather report..... No one. Ok, fine... who packet pants, sweaters.... socks? No one. So off we went to the PX to get a couple things. Boy, oh boy.... The "Navel Exchange" was over whelming. I walked in and just stood there! It was like walking into a Dillards or ZCMI! HOLY COW! PX's for the Army are like going in to a K-mart.

So we got the things that we needed resisting the temptation to go shopping and made our way to SeaWorld. We got there and pulled out the things that we were going to need that day. Including a stroller that I borrowed from my neighbor, Priscilla, thinking that it would be easier than the double stroller that we had. Boy was I wrong.... and 15 minutes later we felt confident that it wouldn't collapse when we put Tim in it, we were off.

So we arrived right when it opened (minus the whole stroller thing) and thanks to Anhiser-Bush and there "Here's to the Hero's" we were able to get into SeaWorld for free. Yeah.... FREE I bet you all want to joining to military now -huh-

So first we went to see if James was tall enough to ride the Atlantis even though it wasn't open yet. He was, but when it started sprinkling that afternoon we decided not ride it and, we didn't want to drive back to the hotel with wet children.

So off to the penguins. I don't know if Tommy wanted to touch them or if was just climbing the fences. After a closer look he just wanted to climb on, cross over, and go beyond every barrier that was set out for him.

After the penguins we went to see the polar bears. We saw one sleeping. We also saw a walrus. Have you seen one of these for real? They are so big. I had no idea. We only were able to get one picture of a polar bear. No I know what you are thinking.... It would look more real if they had taken the sign off his neck.

After we saw the polar bears and walrus, we went outside to get our strollers (we decided that we could see more if we got a stroller for James and Tommy too) Tommy took off. He wanted so bad to catch the seagulls that were around. The funny thing is, those dang seagulls were so use to people Tommy came so close to actually getting one!

We saw the dolphin show and that was really neat, but I'm horrible at taking pictures like that so all I got were splashes in the water.

We went to see the seals and Tommy really like barking back at them and egging them on.

After that we started getting hungry so looking for a place to eat. On the way we passed by a really big fig tree. That had been there from the beginning. Tommy and James were so excited to get a leaf. (Whales, dolphins, seals, and sharks and they were excited about the leaves)

We found a place to eat, and I swear with what they charge.... that's what keeps these parks in business. I understand now why when I was growing up and we went on family vacations why my mom always packed us a lunch. I can't imagine feeding a family of 9 at SeaWorld. My parents would have had to take out a loan to do it.

So after lunch we went and saw some more dolphins and they came right up to you, I got to touch one! It was so cool! They are really rubbery, but a smooth, slippery rubber.
We stopped at the sting ray pool and got to touch these. They are not shy, they sucked Steve's fingers a couple times.

And I've decided that poor James has my funky smiling problem. You say "James, smile" and he totally cheeses' it!

Here we are waiting to see Shamu and didn't even think how many other people have done this until I saw the pictures... but that's kinda gross....

(the one picture that we were able to get together)

After that we went to go and see the whole reason for SeaWorld.... Yup... Shamu!!!!! We sat in the last row of the splash zone. To be close enough, but not to get wet. Just as the show was starting ..... Tommy fell asleep! That's right... laid down on my lap and fell asleep.

Well, Tommy wasn't the only one to fall asleep. Tim drifted off after the show (at least he waited until after the show) After Shamu, we went over to see and touch the star fish. The first thing the announcer said was "you can touch the starfish but please don't pull them out of the pool" So of course that's the first thing James did. He picked it up and brought it over to me "Look mom, a starfish!" Poor starfish.... I'm sure it happens all the time, thankfully he didn't drop it.

We were getting close to being done but we had to see one last thing. We had to see the tropical fish exhibit (Steve's and James' favorite part.

Well the park was closing at 5pm (I can't believe we made it the whole day!) and after catching Tommy again after he ran off to have one more try at catching the seagulls we were finally done.

So we bid farewell to SeaWorld and a great day as a family. With stuffed Shamu's and lunch buckets we were off.

one quick click will help me get into the top 25!!

Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory