Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Huntington City Beach

So, Michelle got this sudden urge to go to California a few weeks ago. She woke up and said: "Let's go to California today." I said, "If we must." So we did. We stayed w/ her friend Nikki and her husband, John.

Top 10:

10. Getting lost on the way there: then, on the way to the new route, running into a major traffic jam! Uggggh!
9. The weather was heavenly.
8. Their house was merely 15 min from the beach.
7. The kids had a blast...it was their first time at the beach.
6. Lydia played in the mud like there was no tomorrow.
5. Russ loved splashing in the water, but soon got very cold and had to change into sweats.
4. Russ only ate sand about twice.
3. Jordo finally got to try surfing for the 1st time in his life...now he's content to stick to the wakeboard...wow that was a lot of work.
2. Sand castles, hermit crabs, burying our feet.
1. Cruisin' down Pacific Coast Hwy....and really feeling California.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

This a bunch of pictures from our trip to the Grand Canyon over Labor Day Weeekend, 2009.

Top Ten Things to Remember:

10. Too many chiefs setting up the tents in a dark campground the first night.
9. Trying to keep the fire alive w/ only 1 small bundle of wood....mmmm s'mores
8. Breakfast burritos and chocolate scones for breakfast.
7. The motorcade for the Chinese consulate.
6. The nazi bus driver...that lady was seriously out of control..."don't make me use this" (as she points to her walkie talkie).
5. Opa smashing a bumble bee inside the bus w/ his bare hands! (And the animal rights lady that freaked out afterword).
4. Opa talking about the group of Mexicans that were on the bus as if they couldn't understand him (just because they're speaking Spanish, doesn't mean they don't also speak English).
3. Making sure Russell and Lydia don't fall off the cliff.
2. Carrying around the stroller and Russell in our arms (why did we bring that stroller anyway?)
1. The perfect weather, the breathtaking views, the fact that we were in the car for about as much time as we were at the Grand Canyon, seeing Aunt Linda at the fire station. OK, that's a bunch of extra memories rolled up into one, but it would have been lame to keep counting down into the negative numbers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

This isn't Kansas anymore, Toto. . . or Memphis.

Yes, Russell's finger is in his nose and this is the last look at our home in Memphis just before we left town. Unfortunately we left it unsold. We are still praying and trusting that all things will work out for good. Paying our house payment while we don't live there is a major bummer though.

Jordan and I asked both our dads to come and help us move and drive cross-country. We towed one of our cars behind the tow truck and drove the other one with the kids in it. Lydia and Russell were pretty good. . . most of the time! We drove through Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and then into Colorado. After the trailer towing one of our cars had a blow-out we all arrived safely at our destination. We unloaded everything we own into Jordan's Parent's basement. We are so lucky! After a rest-day on the boat, Jordan and my dad drove from Colorado to Arizona and I flew with Lydi-lu and Russ to Phoenix. We are all blessed that we didn't have to spend another two days with our kids in a car.

We are in Az! It's like Oz, but a lot hotter and drier, plus cactus and rocks. We are living with my folks and it's a great thing that they have a pool! We are pretty used to things and we love the new adventures we are having. . . with family!!! It's wonderful living with my Mom, Dad, and Sisters Annie and Chrissy. And Theresa lives down the street and we get to hang out with her too. Family is the BEST!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

So, life keeps happening for us here in Memphis. Lydia got tubes 2 weeks ago and things went great! She has a follow-up with her ENT on Tuesday and we'll see how things look. The doctor did say that she drained "thick mucus" out of both ears and we are so grateful for modern medicine! Bad news is: she has to wear ear plugs until the tubes fall out and the ear drum heals closed (3-18 months). Yes, ear plugs and 3-year-old's do not mix well.

We actually got a real realtor 3 weeks ago and listed our house with the biggest real estate company in the "Mid-South." Our realtor is very positive and we have our first scheduled showing tomorrow evening! Jordan and I have done project after project to get our house ready for this: paint the entire indoors (doors and trim included), new light fixtures, install attic stairs, build a gate, paint the front door, fix some rotted siding, plant sod, and lots of other various projects. I am actually very proud of us! We have attended the temple once a week for the last 2 months to help us sell our home. So, here we go! We need as many prayers as we can get! August 24 is our deadline.

Jordo is going to clinic everyday right now. He sees pediatric, ocular disease, low vision, vision therapy, and contact lens patients. We will move to Arizona in August where he will work in a group practice. So exciting!

Lydia was playing with Jordo the other day and he wasn't 'cooperating' with her exact plans and she states, "Daddy, you are making me frustrated!" Then she used it again another 5 minutes later. She's 3! She had a birthday party with friends 3 weeks ago: her 'cupcake birthday,' and then we celebrated her actual birthday as a family: her 'cake birthday.' Our daughter is a bonafide fat kid. . . her life revolves around food.

Russell refuses to walk, but he does love to squeal and dance. He says, "Dada" and "muh" for milk. He also signs "all-done" and "milk." He is so fun! At story time last week they read stories about birds and had a woman bring in her parrot. Russell had a squealing war with the parrot, Tango, during the stories. Russell finally had someone who he could speak with!

I am pretty consumed with the house business. Plus we have to move in 7 weeks. Our A/C went out for 2 days a couple weeks back. Now one of our upstairs toilets is leaking - again. This never ends! Oh, but the bright spot in my life is working in the nursery with Lydia each Sunday. Eleven kids in our senior nursery! But I will take nursery over RS Presidency any day!

We are doing fantastic!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


So, Lydia has been battling w/ water and mucous in her inner ear for months now. It has caused her to be hard of hearing, which is frustrating to all involved. The doctors tried antibiotics for a couple of weeks and that cleared out the mucous, but there was still water in there. They discontinued the antibiotics for a month or so, hoping it would resolve on it's own, but instead it has flared up to the way it was before. The funny part is, she doesn't complain about ear pain or infection, but the infection is there. Anyway, the doctor decided to put tubes in her ears on June 22. It is a very common and safe procedure and will fix the problem immediately. The benefits, greatly outweigh the risks. We look forward to this time with nervousness and excitement. I am going to take that day off of school to be w/ her...my heart goes out to her. We are praying and fasting that all will go well and that we will get a good result.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


We went to Colorado to visit with Jordo's family during the first week of May. Well, the real reason was mostly so that Jordo could start networking since we will be moving there in January. So, Jordo worked and the rest of us played! We saw Joey on his mission since it was Stake Conference, we saw friends, and we went to drop-in gymnastics, the butterfly pavilion, the zoo, and to the pool and rec center in Golden. What an amazing week! Highlights were running into Joey at a burger joint (his face was priceless!), feeding the giraffes at the zoo, seeing some of our best friends (the Finley's, the Stahlecker's and the DeShazer's), having a dog around to entertain my kids, playing blocks everyday, enjoying 'dah-fulls' (donut/waffles) for Mother's Day, making Cafe-Rio salad and salsa, and of course seeing our kids adored and loved by family. It is hard living so far away!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Movie Star

So, this happened a while back, but I haven't posted about it yet. We went to Home Depot to get some paint (Lydia and I). When we walked in the door, the greeter lady stopped us and had to oggle Lydia because she was so cute. She had her big turquoise sunglasses on and the lady said she looked like a movie star. As I walked away I was thinking to myself, "Wow, I must have one good-lookin' kid...if someone has to call to me as I walk past and make me stop and turn around just so she can bask in my daughter's cuteness...yeah."

So as we're in the paint section another employee stopped us and started raving about how cute my movie star daughter was. I went along w/ it this time and told her she signed autographs. She held out a piece of paper and a pen and Lydia scribbled her John Hancock on there (or is it Herbie Hancock?--Idunno) :-)

Then I took a picture of her to capture the moment.


Boards and Birthday

Last week was a blur. It was filled w/ optometry for me. I took Boards on Tues and Wed. It was an exhausting mental marathon. I'm glad it's over. Tues was Saint Patrick's Day and we ate corned beef hash & carrots and drank green 7-up. In the morning, Michelle ate green pancakes w/ the kids (which I missed out on). That's OK, she made me a spectacular lunch w/ a lucky shamrock in it. She's the best!

Michelle had her birthday on Saturday and I sent her on a shopping spree at Dillard's while I stayed home and watched the kids. She was on cloud 9 the rest of the day. Oh, and we also went to Cracker Barrel to eat breakfast and it was yummy. We had philly-cheese-stake sandwiches for dinner w/ an angel food cake and strawberries and cream.

Lydia thought it was her birthday all day too and she had to blow out the candles alongside Michelle.

Russell is a pro at the army crawl. He scoots all around the house and he has started trying to climb the stairs--there's trouble. He sometimes gets in the crawling position and tries to take a step or two, but quickly reverts back to the army scoot. Oftentimes he scoots right out of his pants and leaves them behind--oh well, who needs pants anyway?

I'm only just recovering from boards and I'm going to focus my energy on getting the house ready to put on the market as that is long overdue.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lydia's "scrictures"

I don't have much time to write tonight, but I this is my first feeble attempt to start writing on this blog each Sunday--big goal, I know. Y'all will have to hold me to it.

I started realizing that if we don't write down the little "aha" moments that happen each week w/ our kids, we'll forget them all, so here goes.

This week we started reading the children's Book of Mormon with Lydia. It has all the stories from the Book of Mormon in comic book style w/ 6 pictures per page and little blurbs below each one.

She loves it.

She sits bolt upright the whole time, her eyes darting from picture to picture, riveted to what I have to say. Each night when I pick up the book and flip through the pages to find the spot where we left off she is so excited that she says, "talk, Daddy, talk!" I can't get to the spot fast enough!

Every time there is a conflict between people in the Book of Mormon she points and says, "they're mean." We just taught her in Family Home Evening (FHE) about obedience and disobedience and how one makes us happy and one makes us sad and she really keys into that when we read the Book of Mormon stories to her.

We told her that they are "Lydia's scriptures" (she pronounces it "scrictures"). She really likes owning a set of scriptures like her parents do.

So, the other night we were reading about Lehi's vision of the tree of life and she learned that eating the fruit of the tree of life makes us happy. That night she said the family prayer (also something we've been working on with her) and she said something along the lines of, "thankful for eating the fruit and we be happy..." I was so PROUD of her!

She never ceases to amaze me.

Also, one time we went on a walk and she saw one of those green cable boxes sticking out of the ground and this one was cracked near the bottom and she said, "Look, Heavenly Father broke it."

To which I replied, "Uh, maybe...or maybe somebody else did."

Then she said, "It's part of Heavenly Father's plan."

So, I have no idea where that dialogue came from, but I thought it was really cute.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Alright, so one of my New Year's goals is to exercise. I've got quite a fan/support base:

This video is priceless (note: Sometimes when Lydia wakes up she has the most wicked, bed-head / rat's nest action going on. The day I got this video happened to be one of the worst/best of those days, depending on how you look at it.). Check her out:

Chrreeees-mas 2008

We spent much of our Christmas break painting the inside of our house, but we did get in the essentials: caroling and cookie delivering, Santa visit, Christmas dinner, etc. Lydia's kitchen was the favorite gift item and now she has a kitchen "just like you, Mommy!"
I felt like Russell got cheated since I didn't get as many things for him. I could only justify it by reasoning that I only got Lydia few things when she was his age as well. Good thing he's not old enough to care. I know I was more distressed about it than anyone else was.
Unfortunately we were not successful with potty training this time around. . . 6 days of almost zero success means we should try again later (I say almost b/c I caught her just as she was bearing down to go #2 and she did a token little gem in the potty and then did the real deal in her diaper 10 minutes later). Yeah, our house didn't smell so good with the painting and soiled clothes hanging everywhere (I refused to do more than 1-2 loads of laundry per day!). Yeah, I'll try that some other time when I get up enough "fight" in me.
Another year and no Christmas card out. I gave Jordo the job of Christmas cards when we got married and he says it's my job. Maybe it will get done one of these years. . . soon maybe.
We had a wonderful Christmas and Christ's Spirit was all about us. What a wonderful season! Lydia loved singing hymns and carols. Her favorite? "Oh, you better not pout, you better not pout, you better not pout, I'm tellin' you why. . . Santa Claus is comin' to town."

Thanksgiving and getting

So, Thanksgiving 2008 was one of the best ever! We drove to Texas to spend our week vacation with my Aunt Diane and Uncle Andy on their ranch. Seven of their eight children were there and my family all drove and flew in also. It was a packed house/dome/horse trailer! We rode horses, checked cows, fed goats and chickens, did a little rooster crowing, slid down slides at the 'park,' rode a wagon pulled by two ginormous horses, played 9-hole frisbee golf on a homemade course, rode ATV's, milked a cow, sang Thanksgiving songs, had a bonfire, and of course, celebrated Thanksgiving with ALL the trimmings. We also read the official declaration of Thanksgiving by Lincoln. One word: FABULOUS! We are so blessed for all we've been given in our lives and for opportunities to give back. We can never be too grateful for all we have been given. We just keep on trying to give and serve in return and keep on loving, living and thanking God along the way.