Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years Eve.

Meet Sister.  She is gifted.  She knows how to get tipsy on Martinellis.  If we could all be like her we would be in great shape for all of the festivities tonight (and life in general).  Happy New Years Eve and CHEERS! I know I'm gearing up for tonight. I got all crazy and even shaved my legs.


We had our annual family New Years white elephant gift exchange early this year due to the fact that a few of us had to leave and go back home early. This picture was by far my favorite shot at the gathering. It was a fun night until brother broke his white elephant gift that was full of liquid all over the floor. At least you still have the other gift you got. I hope you listened to all of it on your 11 hour trip back. Oh wait maybe you didn't get a chance to listen to all of it since it was the Bible on CD:-) I once heard the Bible was kind of long. 

My favorite things..

Did you know the word present has more the one meaning? Well it does and I can use it 3 times in one sentence and have it mean something different each time it is said. So without further ado let me PRESENT the best Christmas PRESENT in the PRESENT (with a sprinkle of Christmas past, 6 days to be exact).

Yes, being with family truly was the best Christmas present this year. Thanks to Mom & Dad for the pajamas among all of the many other items.  Top ranking event is always Palestine dinner.   I also loved the house on the corner of Hermosa Vista and Harris that had their Christmas lights choreographed to Christmas music. To whomever lives there sorry if you were spying out the window and saw us dancing on your lawn.  Just trying to spread the holiday love so hopefully we didn't make you mad.


Oh I almost forgot. I got a new camera thanks to husband. I had my first lesson last night thanks to sister. I can't wait until I am a smooth pixilator.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas angels on Sunday

I was home with the sicky boys and couldn't see my girls @ church so I snapped some shots to make me feel better.  I love Sundays @ Christmas time.  I want this next week to go very S-L-O-W so that I can savor every moment.

When I was getting the girls ready, Maren said "I want crazy braids Momma".  That has been a frequent request of hers lately.  She must think crazy means something good.  I guess in our house crazy is good because if you took the crazy away there would not be any little chicks and the nest would be empty.  Being that the nest is not empty makes my heart swell until it is so full it could burst.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A girl and the grouch tree anonymous club, or was it the bubble lamp light anonymous club...

I was thinking about it tonight and I think I should appoint myself as the President of the Bubble Lamp Light Club. I also was thinking how I still have a long way to go on the learning curb. Why did I ever care about a Christmas tree so much that I would be willing to take the fun out of it for my dear darling husband. You see he grew up with the bubble lamp lights on his tree. They make him feel all warm and fuzzy inside with the memory of Christmas in his house growing up. I remember when the first and only time I've ever seen these bubble lamp lights. It must have been the first year we were married and as we gazed at pretty much the same tree Hubster grew up with he said to me, "Aren't those bubble lights the coolest things ever?" Followed by, "If we ever find those I would like to buy some and put them on our tree." In my head I was thinking NO NO NO that's all wrong for our tree and it's a good thing we'll never find any of those 30 year old lights anyway so just smile, act natural, nod your head a little and be agreeable. Not that I have anything against the bubble lights, my vision of course was just a little different on how our tree should look. Well last year hubby was so excited when he came home from an after Christmas sale where he had just scored these very limited edition lights and with it he bought some random little  tree for $30 in which we were never going to use because he promised me some other tree I had been smitten by and just had to have.  I was not going to let him win this tree thing. We didn't have room for two trees so if I got snaked out of my new tree I was going to be just down right ticked.  Seriously I'd rather have no tree than to put that waste of a purchase tree up.  Well I got my new tree even though it is sitting in San Diego but that doesn't mean I won.  In fact, I'm the one who has really missed out until I decided to change my way of thinking.  Once I made up my mind that the bubble lamp lights were the greatest thing since sliced bread and were not only going up on that cheap tree but that they were going to look spectacular, it's amazing what then transpired.  My happiness turned into a game and I then took it one step further by challenging myself to adorning it with almost all items from the Dollar store.  I have never had so much fun.  Wait is all this fun just in my head or is it for real?  Is it possible I could have changed over night?  Well yes it is  and I better get used to making the choice to be happy in my mind more often no matter what because if I love control so much this may be the secret on how I can obtain it.  Happiness is a choice and I guess I shouldn't second guess my little mind and it's power to do so.  After all the mind and happiness has great chemistry as I'm slow to find out.  I'm really loving these little bubble lights and my Dollar Tree tree (I'm imagining a new song in the works that could be sung to the tune of super bon bon super bon bon but instead singing Dollar Tree tree Dollar Tree tree). Don't get me started on the whole song thing because it's kind of a problem. It seems I have a song for everything to where I like to make up words to already existing songs. It may run in the family but I'm not sure. Anyway,  I'm so glad that I don't have to be the President of the control freak grouch anonymous club anymore.

my angels (I would say true love but he's not the one leaving the gifts) gave to me 3 French Hens, 2 Turtle Doves and a Partridge in a Pear Tree.  You see it all started Saturday night when we came home to find dried pears with a saying and a special drawing of a pear tree.  I was a little bugged that they didn't put who it was from on the tag.  How was I going to be able to recognize them and give them a gift in return.  The next day when we got another anonymous package that followed suite with the 12 days of Christmas, I finally realized this was going to be a pattern up until that glorious day we call Christmas.  Now I'm not sure if the culprit or shall we say little angels read my blog but I would like to somehow get my thankfulness out there.  I'll have you know I had a tear in my eye first when I got the phone call that said "Don't make dinner", click, then onto the next tear when I opened the door after you knocked and ran only to find the most delicious homemade Chicken soup, rolls and gargantuan grapes.  You really made my families night.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Flavor of the week

There is a certain little boy of mine who is just so jolly..In fact I think he would look good with a wreath hanging around his neck.  When searching for pictures of wreaths (not really to put around his neck) I came across this picture of a wreath hanging on the London Bridge in Lake Havasu and I thought about how Bridger came to be and how fitting it would be to write few of my thoughts down during this season.  Now my husband frequents Lake Havasu as it is part of his territory for work.  About 2 years ago when we were coming up with the boys names we easily had solidified 2 of the 3 and were just stumped on the third one.  Well I must note we had the middle name but not the first name.  Oh and I could think of names but not just any name that sounded good with Waylon as the middle name.  So one night as the birth of these boys got a little closer, I was talking to Waylon on his phone as he made his way home from a long business trip to Las Vegas.  We were again trying to figure out a name for this baby and no joke hubby was driving over a bridge when he said, "What about the name Bridge?"  After a few hahas we both stopped and said wait a second here, what about Bridger?  I thought that's manly enough and after all there is a Bridger National Forest (beautiful place where my Dad ran a business) and that's kind of sentimental.  There was also a notorious mountain man/explorer named Jim Bridger (ok that's a little further from being sentimental, but still.)  Waylon and I were feelin' it but still secretly I had a fight inside that his name still wasn't sentimental enough for there wasn't enough meaning behind his name.  I mean come on what am I supposed to tell him when he wants to know where we got his name....well one of your brothers is named after a really great stalwart man named Grandpa another one after our other great Grandpas and well you, we just couldn't figure it out so Dad drove over a bridge and we settled.  Well I can finally confirm that I've made peace with his name.  This name fits him perfect.  I can tell he is going to make great meaning out of his name because he was articulately constructed to be strong like a bridge.  In fact I'm just throwing this out there but I think he is strong enough to weather all that life gives him.  He is such a Bridger Baby and I simply adore him.  He came to us as the runt of the litter (well that's what I had a litter) and quickly became my biggest boy. This boy is a cheesy, compulsive door slamming chunk-a-bunk.  He was the first to clap and give Momma kisses on demand.  He loves to say, "I'm done", "cheese" & "buh day " (buddy).  Also I will be really surprised if you don't pursue some sort of musical something.  You are the best singer and take every opportunity to tickle the ivories (or pound them).  Let's hear it for the boy that makes Momma want to gobble him up on a daily basis like 60 times a day.  Bridgey Baby you are one strong but contented little soul.  That is why I nominate you for the flavor of the week.  Love ya!


I'm not embarrassed!

I came across an article in the New York Times here, that made me think about how I am becoming obsessed with finding online coupons.  It pains me to have to pay full price for anything.  It's amazing what you can find on the internet.  Some lady in the NYT article even got 40% off from her purchase @ Saks Fifth Avenue.  I have a friend who buys coupons on Ebay and then somehow works the system to where she can almost get things for free.  Recently I bought my boys coats @ Old Navy which retailed for $41, for just $7 a piece (and they weren't even on clearance).  Just thought I'd share.  Is anybody else bargain/coupon shoppers or has any tips?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Just plain thankful. Thanksgiving in Richfield.

I'm thankful for the collaborated effort made by husband and his parents on my behalf to send me up to see friends and family by myself.  Oh that 24 hours was so much fun.  I finally got to see one of my favorite cousin's new baby.  We had so much fun going to the movie, eating out and shopping.

I'm so thankful that my husband and I got to finally try out this cute little restaurant in Monroe, UT.  The food is just as good as the restaurant looks.  We thrive on finding new dining establishments off of the beaten path.

I'm so thankful for these rug rats.  Seriously 9.5 hours up and 14 hours back in the car.  Hardly a peep.  I just want to eat these boys for breakfast,lunch and dinner.  I'm in a habit of telling them that on a daily basis.

I'm thankful for Waylon and his high fashion photography skills and for Grandmas sweet hat that she let me borrow.

I'm thankful for the new scooter Grandma let us ride on.

I'm thankful for the beauty school experience.  I wonder what my girls thought about their hairdresser...

Seriously and most of all I am especially thankful for Papa and Grandma (not that I'm not thankful for the other above mentioned items but truly we are blessed to have such great parents so thus we get to the real purpose of this post with the below pics).  We had so much fun with you for Thanksgiving.  Papa is so talented with those grandkids and so is Grandma.  Just look @ her go with those gingerbread houses.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

This week my girls were very fascinated by crickets. We had one that sang for three nights in a row. My girls could hardly sleep because they wanted to go on a hunt to find Mr. Cricket (he was a Mr. you know because only the male cricket can make a noise to sing). The next day I have never seen two girls more excited to tell their Dad about the crickets. I thought, "Wow, if only I could find something like those crickets to get excited about". Then the next day...

I got on the phone for 2 minutes only to hang up and find the boys in the one and only room they are forbidden from. I usually am OCD with doors being shut in my house as you can imagine a pack of boys or a baby gang on exploration expeditions. Well apparently the bathroom door had been opened by one of the girls in my band and she not only forgot to shut the door but she forgot flush the toilet. You pretty much know the rest of the story...
Mom turns back for 2 minutes,
Boys bathroom radar goes off,
Boys give each other the gang sign,
Boys cruise to the bathroom,
Boys think yellow toilet water is pretty,
Boys put all 6 hands in and splash around,
Mom finds boys having the best time of their lives,
Mom trying to decide if she is mad, sicked-out, or wants to get camera because if you can't win, then join in.

(I'll post real picture later, camera difficulties)

Honestly I've never seen these kids have more fun. Now if only I could get excited about something as simple as crickets or playing in beautiful yellow toilet water. I used to get really excited about the ice in Basha's fountain drinks but I don't drink much carbonation anymore so that couldn't be my simple pleasure. What could it be then? I was bound and determined to find at least one simple thing to get excited about this week. I really was trying to let my kids help me rediscover how to live my life. Time was running out, the week was winding down as the calender flipped to Friday, I had to find something joyous fast. That's when it happened. I went to fill my car up @ Chevron (I have a thing for Chevron gas) and as I looked @ the price I almost jumped for joy when I saw that the price had dropped under two dollars. Seriously I almost smiled out loud (or something like that). To think it almost happened naturally and may not have even happened if I didn't have my kids to teach me how to live better and find joy in the simple things.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Coming out of the pantry..

We've got trouble here, it's not even Christmas and I've already gone through 2 boxes of these last week.

I love every cookie but Oreos , so why must I fancy you.  Well no more, I'm breaking up with you Joe-Joe's.  It's been a fun fling while it's lasted.  I'm ready to move on.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More and Less Freedom at the same time...

I love the above van and used to have it in model form. To me it always symbolized freedom. I always imagined traveling in it cross country with no regard to a clock. I'm kind of a free spirit who really has to work hard to have structure. Kind of a hippie at heart. (Don't tell my husband I wrote that, he's not so much a fan of hippies)  Most people would never guess that looking in from the outside because I really love lipstick and some other finer things. Speaking of lipstick makes me reflect on an experience.

{Image via Sundance Catalog}
In my younger years I went to a photo shoot for the Sundance catalog and they pretty much asked me to wipe off all of my lipstick because I wasn't fitting the "Sundance" mold.(ok they didn't actually say that)  As I left the photo shoot I somehow was left feeling like a ninny so of course I call the first person that always makes me feel better..Mom.  We sat and laughed @ the whole experience of me annoying the photographer. Moms have a way with helping you feel good enough and even better than good enough.  Fast forward to the point of life where I am now, about 9 years after the Sundance days and five kids in 2.5 years later.  When some people find out they look @ me like my crash course calling as Mom is like serving time in the big slammer.  The truth be known, in some ways I have never felt so much freedom.  I still day dream about taking off  with no ball and chains but also I've had enough experience to know that real happiness and freedom comes through serving and being molded, shaped and refined for a bigger purpose, none of which could come from living a life in a VW bus and always running from things that seem hard and restrictive.  Another thing that has been freeing is coming into my own and feeling more secure with myself. I still love my Mom to tell me that I am good enough but love that I don't need her to tell me as much.I guess you could say that a combination of finding myself and forgetting myself through this journey over the last 10 years is what has made me feel more freedom than I've ever felt.

Well there is actually one of my children who is reflecting on why he is actually experiencing less freedom.
Is there anything wrong with early snow board training?
I can't think of a better child to have to overcome a foot issue.  Out of all of my children he is the most determined thus far and that is why he is walking first despite his crooked foot.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Score 6 - 5

Score has been a tie @ the Vance household until todays announcement.  The arrival of baby She-Vance will give the girls the edge for now.  We couldn't be more excited for this lovely couple.  Congrats!
Weird that brother will be a Daddy. Better let auntie live her dreams of having another girl through you because heaven knows I don't need another kid that sleeps here @ night. I am only excepting resumes for girl babies that go home and sleep at other homes for now.
Oh the funness with dressing and decorating for girls.  I just put in another order to make some girls items so I hope you know what you want Whits.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Halloween was great. It's a tradition to go to Nana and Bacca's neighborhood party. They always have homeade root beer, chili, soups and scones.
As you can see I have this thing for the islands so of course the girls were fancy hula girls. The boys rode to the party in Santa's sleigh (stroller adorned with battery operated Christmas lights and garland) as elves.

One of my favorite neighbors growing up sported the cool ride below. He thought he was only going to tote his grandkids for the night but all of the other kids had to have a ride too.

Wouldn't be Nana fashion without holiday packages.

Here are the elves!