Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Thanksgiving weekend

This year was the 'family year' for Thanksgiving, as Nate's family calls it, meaning the year that everyone has Thanksgiving in Mesquite, Nevada, with Nate's grandparents, the Wurstens, instead of staying home or visiting the in-laws.

We left Tuesday morning to drive the 400 or so miles to Mesquite. It should have taken about 7 hours. Instead, it took nine. One of the reasons it took so long was the traffic at Hoover Dam.

(No, I did NOT take this picture. That's what 'Yahoo Images' is for.)

It's always been a tradition of ours to make up as many 'dam' jokes as we can while traveling over Hoover Dam - you know, stuff about how the whole 'dam experience' wouldn't take so long if there weren't so many 'dam tourists' and so much 'dam traffic'. I never really thought the kids were listening or even understood what we were doing until we'd passed the dam this time and Zachary blurted out,

"Mom, you're a 'dam good driver'!

That's my boy.

Nate's extended family has gotten so large that they hold Thanksgiving dinner in the church cultural hall. 40 people were expected this year.

Nate walked around snapping photos of everyone, most of which turned out pretty crummy. He has a knack for taking pictures of people looking ticked off or having their eyes closed. This was the fourth or fifth picture of me, so I have a cheesy, strained smile going on.

Here's Zachary and Noah with Nate's grandparents. This was the second shot Nate took, so the kids started pulling faces.

Nate's grandparents had 12 great grandsons born in a row, and this is a picture of 3 of them that are fairly close in age - Corbin, in the red shirt, who turned 4 while we were up in Mesquite, Noah, who turned 5 in October, and Chase, who turned 5 in June. We found it amusing that Corbin is barely 4 and is so much taller than the other two. He is one tall kid!

Nate's family is very musically talented, so after Thanksgiving dinner, it's a tradition to have the family Christmas party where each family performs. Over the years we've heard many numbers from whichever children were having instrument or voice lessons, and for a while, there were even Wursten family band performances. The night always ends with Nate's grandfather, an award winning opera singer, performing 'O Holy Night' with his rich tenor voice.

Despite Nate's show choir experience, our family is never organized enough to have anything prepared, so this year, our boys got together with some of their cousins and sang the chorus to We Wish You a Merry Christmas. It was hard to get the four of them to stand still long enough to do it.

This is a photo from the party two years ago when Noah, who was barely 3 at the time, was standing on the table blurting out his own rendition of Jingle Bells. (He's not shy, in case you wondered.) I love that his cousin Caitlin, who's standing behind Colin (the boy in the green and blue striped shirt) can clearly be seen covering her ears!

One of these years we're going to prepare our own nice little musical number. I promise.

And, because it just wouldn't be a traditional Wursten family Thanksgiving dinner without a big old platter of celery with peanut butter and processed cheese, I made sure to snap a photo during the festivities (and to have proof in case no one believes me!). Click here to read about the delightful tradition.

We had lots of fun this year and want to thank everyone for the great trip we had. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving, and we know we are blessed!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The big BYU/Utah game

Okay, I can't even believe this is making an appearance on my blog, because I struggle to even pretend I care about this stuff.

I despise football. I really do.

But my husband Nate is quite possibly the world's biggest football fan, AND he loves BYU. He never attended the school, but loves it still the same. I, on the other hand, actually did attend the University of Utah, and have to do this just to tick my husband off:

I posted this photo I took of Thelma on Nate's Facebook just to irk him.

He later took these pictures:

He pointed out that Thelma looks much happier in the BYU gear than the U of U sweatshirt. I suppose she does, but I'd like to point out that the final score was Utah - 48, BYU - 24.

Nanny nanny boo boo.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I was looking through the December/January issue of a magazine I get and I found this tasty looking recipe for homeade marshmallows.

They look pretty yummy with that toasted coconut, don't they?

Well, they did look yummy, until I read the recipe description, which I've cropped here so it can be seen better:

Don't you want to rush into the kitchen and start making these right away?


Why ever not?

Friday, November 7, 2008

I've been tagged - for the first time EVER!!

And I'm actually a little excited! Somehow, I've never been tagged before. Maybe nobody really cared to hear what my answers would be?

Anyhow, here it goes:

8 shows I like to watch

1. The Office
2. Chuck
3. The New Adventures of Old Christine
4. Life
5. Lost (though I can't remember much of what's happened)
6. ER (though, after 14 seasons, I must admit my interest is waning...)
7. Project Runway
8. The Big Bang Theory

8 Restaurants where I like to eat

1. PF Chang's
2. Baja Fresh (black bean and cheese burrito)
3. Red Lobster
4. Nicolina's Italian Kitchen (a little 'mom and pop' restaurant here)
5. Sconecutter (when in Utah...)
6. The Olive Garden
7. Taco Bell
8. Coldstone (yes, I'm counting that)

8 Things that happened today

1. Was awakened by my son sticking a frozen Go-gurt on my face.
2. Shampooed dog poop out of my carpet.
3. Mopped my kitchen floor.
4. Found Thelma had eaten an entire block of cheese she got off the counter.
5. Cleaned up the bag of Tostitos Thelma had also gotten off the counter.
6. Drank waaaay too much Diet Coke.
7. Ate waaay too many pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
8. Spent $62.70 at the grocery store and saved $102.21.

8 Things I'm looking forward to

1. Thanksgiving
2. Christmas
3. Going back to school someday
4. Wearing my 'skinny' clothes again one of these days
5. The kids going to bed tonight
6. The kids going back to school tomorrow
7. Both kids being in school full time
8. Both kids growing up and moving away to college ;)

8 things on my wish list

1. A new floor in my kitchen
2. A hybrid vehicle
3. A weight bench, and a place to put it
4. A house with a basement
5. A functioning garage door
6. A nice grill
7. A jet tub in my bathroom
8. Kids who clean up after themselves

8 people I'm tagging

1. Tilleea A.
2. Jera F.
3. Alisha T.
4. Heather P.
5. Nancy T.
6. Matthew T.
7. Lance P.
8. Shanae A.

I guess the idea is to do it only if you want to, to post the answers on your blog, and then to post back here when it's done. Am I right?

And I'm a little confused. When it's "8 Things..." aren't there usually 8 questions? But that's just me being picky.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My first 5K

I'm not much of a runner, really.

(Try not to look so surprised, will you?)

In fact, one day, when I was in 9th grade, our gym teacher promised an "A" for the day to anyone who ran the entire mile and a half. Apparently, I really needed that "A", because I did it. I hyperventilated afterward, and practically threw up, but I did it.

And in the years since, I've dabbled a little in running. Although, what I do probably can't be considered 'running' exactly.

I shuffle.

Very, very slowly.

In fact, I prefer to 'run' at night or in the privacy of my home so I can't be seen and mocked by others. When I run during the day, I get a lot of strange looks.

And offers for help - because I must really look like I need it. I can practically see people in their cars dialing 911 to report a disoriented looking purple-faced woman lumbering around the neighborhood.

But, I set a goal to run a 5K, and today, in celebration of my 36th birthday, I did it.

My goal was to run the entire time, which I accomplished. Part of the way into it, just when I feeling wiped out and thinking I must be nearing the end, I saw the sign:

"Mile 1".

I actually turned to someone else and blurted out, "You gotta be KIDDING me!"

After that, I kept anticipating the Mile 2 and Mile 3 signs, but I never saw them which made the race feel like it was going to go on forever.

Finally, I rounded a corner and saw Nate and the kids cheering me on.

My finish time was 33:51.

Told you I was slow.

I swear, people with babies in strollers were passing me while chatting on their cell phones.

Okay, that may have been a bit of an exaggeration...but just about the cell phones.

The proceeds from today's race benefited the TGen Foundation for pancreatic cancer research.

And for your enjoyment, here is one of my favorite Seinfeld clips. It's the episode where Kramer is harassed for choosing not to wear a ribbon while participating in an AIDS benefit walk:

And I wore the ribbon.