Monday, June 30, 2008

It's time to clean out my car again...

You know, I thought by the time my kids hit this age, I wouldn't have to clean my car out so often. I was wrong. Very wrong.

I usually have several pairs of flip flops, various action figures, dehydrated French fries that fell under the front seat, a couple of expired coupons, and a blend of crushed dry cereal from those mornings when we're "on the go".

Here's a little comic that adequately represents this cleaning process:
(Click on it to make it larger.)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

WALL-E, good 'clean' family fun

Today we took the kids to see the new Disney Pixar film WALL-E. While we were watching the previews munching our popcorn, I leaned over to Zachary and told him how our family didn't go see many movies when I was his age. Without missing a beat, he asked,

"Mom, did they even have movies when you were a kid?"

Yes, yes they did, Little Man!

In fact, I remember clearly the time my sister and I went to see the movie E.T. with our friends Laurel and Chari Flack from around the corner. Our parents made us pay for the movie tickets ourselves by selling homeade suckers to people in our neighborhood.

Boy, that does make me sound old, doesn't it?

Well, I guess I am, particularly because E.T. came out in 1982, and Drew Barrymore, who played Gertie in the film, was only 7 years old at the time.

Also, I still remember the older brother, Michael, calls the younger brother, Elliot, "Penis breath". It was shocking then, and it's still a little shocking now!

Here's a little E.T. trivia for you. Steven Spielberg originally contacted the Mars company about using M&M's candies in the film but was turned down. He then contacted Hershey's requesting permission to use Hershey's Kisses, but they opted to use Reese's Pieces instead. After the release of the movie, sales of Reese's Pieces increased by 80%! (Take THAT Mars!!)

And did you know Reese's Pieces are a candy coated, peanut flavored, sugar penuche, not actual peanut butter, AND they don't actually contain any chocolate? Yup. They're what helped me make it through the year I went without chocolate on a dare. (1991, in case anyone's interested. And I did it, too!)

But I digress. Back to the movie we saw today. It was pretty good, as are most Disney Pixar films. The main character, WALL-E was quite charming and cute (kind of like E.T. but without the inherent creepiness. Remember those long, freaky looking fingers?! "Owww-ch". Sends shivers down my spine just thinking about it.)

WALL-E had a funny sidekick, an indestructible cockroach. (There was some creepiness for me there, living in Texas for a while, I had plenty of experience with larger than life insects. ) There's also a sleek, tough robot named Eve who leaves WALL-E enamored, and shaking in his boots at the same time.
The animation itself was, of course, pretty awesome. The first part of the movie was full of laughs for both children and adults alike. The middle of the movie dragged a little and I'm not sure anyone under the age of say, 12, understood the environmental message or social commentaries of the film. Heck, I'm not sure half the audience got that hint judging from the massive amounts of trash left in the theater as we left. But I guess throwing my own soda cup away doesn't exactly make me 'Miss Eco-friendly ' either, does it?

All in all, I'd give it a B+. Not a bad way to spend a hot afternoon, sitting in a cool, dark theater eating Reese's Pieces, coincidentally. And no spooky glow in the dark heart to scare all the little ones, either!

Friday, June 27, 2008

My laugh of the day...

Yesterday the television was on and Merv Griffin's Crosswords game show was playing. Zachary watched for a minute, then asked with a confused look on his face:

"Mom, why are there grown moms and dads on this show spelling words? Didn't they go to school?"

It was really hard not to say something like:

"Well, Son, I guess it's time you knew. The truth is, if you don't do well in school or if you stop going, then when you're an adult you will be forced to appear on a television game show to spell words in front of a live studio audience for all the world to see! Scary, isn't it? So that's why you need to stay in school...and uh...don't do drugs, okay?"

Bwah ha ha ha ha!

You know, it's not a bad idea, though, is it? A reality show called, "High School Dropout" that is totally mandatory for anyone who doesn't graduate from high school? Talk about being scared straight!

Stay in school, Kids!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Nate's shiny, new bike!

Now that the kids are riding bikes and scooters, we've been trying to go for rides around the neighborhood as a family. Nate needed a bike of his own, so we stopped at Dick's Sporting Goods last night and bought a new, flaming red bike. It's pretty basic, but for all the miles Nate is going to put on it, (ha ha!), it'll do just fine.

So far, the hardest part is keeping the kids from running into each other and us. I'm still not sure how often it's purely accidental and how often they're doing it on purpose, you know? (They really got a kick out of darting in front of me on their Big Wheels while I was learning how to use inline skates last summer...)

Right after this photo, we went for a little ride and got about halfway around the block before Noah blurted out, "I'm done. I'm sweating and I want to go home."

Oh please! Just because it's 110 degrees outside?!

What a wimp!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bigfoot lives at our house!

I know my friends are probably getting tired of hearing this, but I'm amazed by how big my 7 year old son's feet are! Here's a comparison:

My foot on the left, Zachary's on the right. See how his toes are already longer than mine? (But then, whose toes AREN'T longer than mine, right?!)

This photo is of ME wearing his new Pokemon shoes.

He definitely gets his feet from Nate, who wears an 11. (Nate's brother wears a 14! I could use those for skis!)

I wear a 6 - 6 1/2. I think if I had normal toes instead of my freakishly short ones, I'd be more of a 7 1/2. Zachary's shoes are a 2 - 2 1/2. Sure, they're a little snug on me, but had I known I could have been wearing character shoes this entire time, I would have picked some of my own out long ago!

After I realized I could put his shoes on, I started scoping out the children's section at Target and found that I wear a child's size 4 1/2 and there are some super cute shoes in the girls' department. I picked these up a few weeks ago:

Did they even HAVE shoes this cute when I was a little girl?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

12 years, and counting...

It's almost 2 weeks late, but here's a post I started on our anniversary, May 25th. I've been holding off posting it until I could get the photos scanned and attached, which actually involved buying and setting up a new scanner.

Today is our 12th anniversary!

It was 12 years ago today that Nate and I got married in the Manti Temple.

May 25, 1996

We had a pretty non-traditional LDS wedding. After seeing my sister get married a few months earlier and all the work that went into it, I really didn't want all the fuss. (I keep telling people I'm 'low maintenance'!) I wore a simple dress to the temple and Nate wore khakis and a white shirt and tie. (Here's a little trivia about Nate - he has never owned a suit in the entire time we've been married. The one time he had to wear one, he borrowed it.)

We spent the night before we got married with Nate's grandparents in Richfield and had to get up super early to get to the temple on time. Nate's grandmother was shocked that I left the house with my hair still wet, but back then, that's pretty much what I did every day. I think I even put my make up on in the car. While driving to the temple, we had to stop and wait for a large herd of sheep to cross the road, which seemed pretty silly at the time, but it was memorable.

We changed into more formal clothing inside the temple, and changed back into what we were wearing after the wedding ceremony for a small family reception and luncheon at a church. We didn't even hire a photographer, so all the photos we have were taken by family members and friends.

One of the funniest parts of the day came right after I'd gotten married. I went back to the changing room to change back into my outside dress and a woman who worked at the temple looked at me funny and said, "Oh, I guess you could wear that dress THAT way too.'' Apparently, I'd worn the dress BACKWARDS when I got married! How no one noticed this before, I'll never know.

This photo was taken at a little reception we had a week later at Nate's family's house in Mesquite, Nevada.

This is a picture we had taken by Nate's sister's friend before we got married. We hired her to follow us around the golf course where we worked for a few hours snapping pictures for our wedding invitations. We were so proud of our matching shirts and at the end of the session I commented how pretty the pictures we going to be with the red rocks, the green grass, and the blue sky. She looked totally confused and said, "Oh...I thought you guys wanted me to use black and white film."


Apparently she thought a backdrop of the power lines in Mesquite was quite captivating.

Needless to say, we didn't use her photos for our invitation. In fact, we never heard from her again.

This is 1997, when we bought our beloved "Sammy Saturn". I don't know if they still do, but back then, the dealership had a tradition of taking a picture of you in front of your new car and printing up calendar for you with the picture.

This was taken on a trip to San Diego, in July of 1997, I'm guessing. (I don't really know because I've blocked that time out from my memory due to an unfortunate haircut.)

I had some hairdresser someone recommended who seemed to think I'd look good with a pixie cut, but didn't get the okay from me first before lopping it all off. When I arrived home shaking, sobbing, and swearing up a storm, a bewildered Nate held me trying to figure out what was going on through my blubbering, then asked if I'd crashed the new car.

When I was a little girl in the 70's, I had many a pixie cut. My mother wasn't much of a 'hair person', even though she had four daughters. Instead, she'd send us next door to get our hair cut from the mother of five boys. Despite trying to be a girly girl, I never had pretty braids or cascading curls, so it was pretty traumatic and I remember sitting in the hall closet and crying after my hair cuts back then.

In fact, I was just showing my boys pictures of me when I was their age and Noah said, "Hey, you don't look like a girl, you look like a BOY!"


But back to my story. It was a good thing I had some time off work, because I cried for 3 days straight before returning to work sporting a baseball cap. I can see this picture was taken several months after the butchering because my hair would finally lay down instead of sticking up from my head, and it was finally longer than Nate's - barely.

November 1999
Nate is wearing a BYU sweatshirt and I'm wearing one from the U of U. I gave him a hard time about it, because I at least attended the school whose shirt I'm wearing!

November 2002

Since it's been 12 years, here are 12 things I love about Nate:

1. Nate is a positive thinker. He looks for the good in pretty much every situation, and is a great balance to my normally negative thinking.

2. Nate is awesome with kids. Seriously. It's one of the reasons I married him. As the oldest of 10 children, the man knows his way around a diaper. And, all kids love him, from babies to teenagers. People always think we have more kids than we do, and we finally figured out it's because wherever we go, other people's kids come over and sit on Nate's lap or hang out with him.

3. Nate helps me with my church calling, even though he isn't obligated to. Nate isn't an official Primary teacher right now, but he comes in each to week to help me teach my lesson and control the pandemonium that is my Primary class.

4. Nate likes to have fun. He thinks up fun games to get the kids motivated when there's something they don't want to do, like brush their teeth or clean up their rooms. He's always got a trick up his sleeve for helping the kids stay busy and happy.

5. Nate thinks I'm pretty, even when I'm not. (Did you ever see me pregnant? If you did, I rest my case.)

6. Nate is an awesome teacher. He's been asked to sub various classes at church at the last minute, including Gospel Doctrine, and he manages to pull it off effortlessly.

7. Nate is a good provider for our family. He works hard and is good at what he does. He's always coming up with new ideas to make his website better.

8. Nate is a people person. He gets along with pretty much everyone. He'll talk to someone he just met, and the next thing you know, they've set up a tee time and are best buds, even if he can't remember their name!

9. Nate is a great listener. Not in the traditional sense, but if I complain that he's not listening to me while he's watching sports with his eyes glazed over, he can usually repeat back verbatim what I just said. It's uncanny, and sometimes a little annoying!

10. Nate isn't picky. I think this also stems from his big family. He doesn't care whether dinner is a fancy new recipe I'm trying out or Kraft macaroni and cheese with peas - he's just grateful there's something to eat. (Besides, he has a huge stash of candy bars and chips hidden that he can snack on later!)

11. It sounds silly, but Nate does a great job taking care of our cars, which I love and greatly appreciate. I've never had to worry about taking Holly Honda in for an oil change or to have the tires rotated because Nate always takes care of it for me. Believe me, I'm quite relieved not to have to drag two kids into Jiffy Lube to sit for an hour while they climb the walls.

and finally...

12. Nate rocks my world! Over the past few years, I've learned a lot from Nate. He's taught me that I sometimes take things too seriously or care too much what other people think. He's taught me to occasionally let go of my inner cheapskate and splurge a little when it really counts. He's taught me to forgive, and to be forgiven. And best of all, he's taught me to have fun and enjoy the ride.

I love you, Nate! Happy Anniversary!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Mary won!

Did you hear the good news? MARY WON! Here she is warming up for Kenny Chesney on May 31st! How awesome is that?! Woo hoo, Mary!

A special thank you to everyone who voted and supported her! She's very grateful!