Monday, June 30, 2008

"IT" worked

Whatever "It" is. Josh has been working on it for weeks with nothing but long hours and frustration. But today "It" worked!

I don't pretend to understand what exactly "It" is. It has something to do with quantum computing (which again, I don't really understand) and making small chips with tiny wires that require multiple steps described with words I hear thrown around including: acid, etching, masks, clean room, fab, etc.

I do know that my husband is rather excited and has been working himself ragged trying to get "It" to work and today it did!

But "It" has yet to proove itself in the refrigerator (that isn't a refrigerator but supposedly a little box with vacuums that can get colder than I can comprehend). Our fingers are crossed that "It" will perform well this coming week when it is cooled down. If anything amazing comes of "It" I'm sure you will hear about it. Here's hopin'!

Balls of Fun Food

Dinner came together tonight quite by accident. The plan was to make cream cheese wontons and fried rice. That quickly went into the garbage when I found that my wonton wraps were moldy (I swear they hadn't been in my black pit of a fridge THAT long). Soooo, on to plan B. But I bearly had a plan A let alone a B.

Anyway, I eventually scrambled up everything (well almost everything, I was a little shy on the grape jelly) to make Spicy Meatballs in double crunch time. I already had made the rice preping for my flopped fried rice when it dawned on me I could have some fun with this. Thus enters one of my favorite kitchen tools the ball scoop. Great for making cookies all the same size with little mess, I wondered what this little gadget would do to warmish rice. Turns out it makes a crumbly yet recognizable little ball or rice, better when squished in a little bit.

Now I had meatballs and rice balls, there seemed to be a trend going here. Why not carry it even further. Presto, out came the brussel sprouts from the freezer! And there you have it, a Ball of a Dinner.
I will say it was a hit with the boys (though the shortage of grape jelly resulted in overly spicy meatballs. Poor Sam couldn't figure out what to do with his little tongue on fire) They even both ate a brussel sprout! Elijah's was leaf by leaf, but he admited he liked it.

Overall a great sucess that wasn't planned at all!

Time saver (or Not)

I had heard a lot about GoogleReader through fellow bloggers (I admit I'm sometimes a blog stalker) and a Family History Conference I went to last year. A couple weeks ago I decided to try it out. I am here to tell you it is amazing! It had gotten to where I was checking 20 or so blogs regularly to see if they had posted anything new and was frequently disappointed when they hadn't. But with GoogleReader I subscribe to whatever blogs/websites I want to keep tabs on and Google notifies me whenever there are new posts. I know instantly if someone has posted something! Now some might say this is a great time saver, saving me from physically searching each blog myself. And though it does save me from doing that, I find that I am spending more time reading even more blogs now. Oh the irony.

So, just so you know-
I 'm keeping up and I enjoy reading your blogs!

Potty Training Saga ... Continues

It was a rough weekend as far as potty training goes. Elijah had more accidents this past weekend than almost the whole month. He's struggling getting to the potty fast enough. He waits too long and then does a scatterbrain potty dance in the bathroom trying to get his pants down and onto the potty before it's too late. And then yesterday, while Josh and I were resting (okay, napping) and Sam was asleep, Elijah made the toilet overflow all over the bathroom floor. He comes in and tells us "I've had an accident" with his sopping socks and pants, not to mention the bathroom rugs and puddle covered floor. Oh the fun things our children do!

But there are some good things happening with potty training too. This morning when Josh got up (at 4:30 am to get to work early, the poor guy is working so hard to get his chip working and it is not cooperating) he found Elijah curled up on the bathroom rug again with his pants down. Who knows how long he slept there. The poor boy made it to the potty but was too tired to pull his pants up and make it back to bed.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What am I getting myself into?

Lately Sam has had interest in the potty. He will strip off his diaper and run into the bathroom to plop his little bum down on the potty. It's gotten to where if he isn't wearing pants I have to be extra aware or I have a naked bum running around the house. Well, tonight he did this routine while getting his jammies on and was actually successful! Peepees in the potty! Keep in mind, this little boy is not even 20 months yet. I'm not sure I'm ready for this.

On a different note, Sam has been picking up my books and walking around mumbling to himself like he is reading them while flipping through the pages. He knows they are books and have letters in them. It's rather cute.
He's definitely turning out to be more of a Curious George than Elijah was. I think I'm in trouble.

A Sad Farewell to Primary

Today was my last day teaching the CTR 5 primary class. It was sad to say good-bye to my class (two of which weren't even there because they are on vacation). I just found out yesterday. It's a big change, really fast. I will miss the energy and smiles of my class; I'll miss the primary songs and being able to watch Elijah in sharing time; I will miss teaching and learning with these amazing kids.
My new calling is in the Relief Society as a co-enrichment leader. I am excited to be doing enrichment (though I'm not exactly sure what I've gotten myself into). It will be nice to be able to attend Relief Society regularly, something I haven't done for almost 5 years.
I am grateful for a church that gives us callings and assignments. Every member is given the opprotunity to serve one another and the assignments change from time to time. I know that these callings are directed by the guidence of the Holy Ghost to our priesthood leaders and that they come from God. I am grateful to be able to serve where ever I am called.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Family History Friday: 1880 Census

Federal Census Records hold a wealth of information and give a great peek at a family in 10 year intervals. Federal Census Records are available from 1930 back every ten years with the exception of 1890 which was destroyed by fire. The further back you go, the less information you will find until eventually all you are getting is the name of the head of household and tally marks.

All of the census's are available online for searching but require a membership to do so. The two biggest places I do census searches are and Heritage Quest. As mentioned last week, Ancestry is a paid membership whereas with Heritage Quest you can get access through the BYU library with your student/alumni log in (I imagine there are other ways to get in though this is the only way I know. Heritage Quest not only does census's, it has a large collection of family and local histories with original images online).

The 1880 census is an exception. It is available for FREE through Ancestry and also through

What will you find in the 1880 Federal Census Records?
You will find full names of all people living in the household, their relationship to the head of household, their marital status, race, age, birthplace, occupation, father's birthplace, mother's birthplace, who their neighbors were (this is useful for establishing family relationships) and more.

Because the 1880 is free on Ancestry you should be able to follow the following links (that is if you are interested) and view the actual census records online. It is helpful to zoom in once or twice (150%) in order to be able to read the names. The names will appear in list form down the left side. Sometimes the surname comes first, sometimes it does not, depends on the census.

My ancestors in the 1880 census:

Charles Everette Condon with parents Jacob and Sarah Condon

William and Sarah Garvin with two of their children

William Wesley and Isadora Alderson with child and Mother-in-law Sarah Winders

If you have your own name you want to search, follow the links above. Type in as much information as you have, if nothing comes up take out some of the information and try again. I've also found many times that my ancestors have given their nicknames to the census taker and that the ages are often incorrect.

1930 Census of Arthur T. Daniels and family

I've mentioned before that I am trying to find all of my ancestors in as many census's as possible. I have a few that are still proving elusive but have found a majority of my ancestors in the census records throughout their lives. It has been very interesting to see where they have moved (which proves very helpful when looking for other records) and what occupations they have held as well as what children were living in the house and when. Census records are an easy door for opening up other research possibilities. I'm excited about the many leads I have found. There's always something more to do.

Have you done any tree climbing lately (that is family tree climbing)? I would love to hear what you are doing and/or if you've found anything in the 1880 census etc.

Happy climbing!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Camera

Thank you for all your comments about your cameras. I decided to go for the Lumix TZ4 (pictured in my rambling post) and see if I liked it. Costco really sweetened the deal by giving me a $70 coupon which I ended up getting a raincheck for and then an extra $30 off when the camera was back in stock. It was a great package deal with a case, sd card, and 50 free prints. Overall too hard to resist.

I have had the camera a few days now and I am still learning how to use all of it's many features. I'm excited about all of it's capibilities (and sad I didn't have it last weekend for all our fun excursions). So far, I'm liking the camera a lot and happy with my purchase. I find myself taking the same pictures over and over with different settings trying to figure what exactly they do. It's been great fun! I can't wait to take it to Southern Utah for our anniversary trip next month.

Atribute Game

A couple months ago I mentioned a game idea I found at The Crafty Crow called The Attribute Game. It requires that you collect a lot of random stuff in order to play. Well, my mother-in-law was here this past weekend and she surprised us with a large shoe box full of items to play the attribute game with. I was so excited and Josh thought I was nuts. The kids imediately went to digging through all the random things and playing with them.
This afternoon Elijah and I pulled it out and actually played the game. It was a great talking game for Elijah and watching him think and make connections was so interesting. We ended up with a big line of objects circling our living room. Great fun! I'll be looking for a zipper bag, preferable clear (like a large makeup bag or something) to keep all of this fun stuff contained and mobile.
Thanks Grandma Strong!

Sam's growing up...FAST

Sam is eating his oatmeal most everyday for breakfast and is growing up so fast. He's such a smart little man and a charmer to boot. I sure love that kid and his big brown eyes.

I changed his diaper this morning and he was fighting me so I grab a pair of Elijah's underwear that was close by to distract him. When I was done throwing icky diaper away I noticed Sam walking into the room wearing Elijah's underwear haphazzardly. Obviously he did it himself and he was rather proud of himself. I couldn't help but capture it on camera. He was distracted watching his favorite show Curious George so I was able to get a good number of shots of him in his big boy pants. He is Elijah's little shadow and wants to do whatever he is doing. He even wants to sit on the potty! They grow up too fast!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Crazy Hair

Yesterday we went to the zoo with my in-laws and then we picked up Josh at work on our way home and stopped at the Pearl Street Mall. If you haven't experienced Pearl Street you haven't experienced Boulder, Colorado. It's a great place to shop and explore (especially people watching).

Cuyler wanted to stop at the cool kite store there called Into the Wind. They sell amazing kits from little to HUGE! They also have a wide variatey of fun little toys and games. They have many displays out of the toys they carry. It's a great store to play around in.

Josh found this crazy hair and put it on and came up and kissed me. We then put it on Elijah. It seemed quite fitting for a three year old who loves green.

It's a First!

I was watering my garden this morning and found....

a baby cucumber!

I'm very excited. I've never grown anything that lived long enough to produce anything. There are now flowers on our zucchini too. Everything is looking big and healthy (if not bigger than expected).
It's probably a little early to be patting myself on the back. But the signs are lookin' good!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sam's Oohhs

I couldn't get this to upload with my previous post but I had to post it. It is the cutest thing of Sam.

A day of FUN!

Grandma and Grandpa Strong and Cuyler are visiting us for a long weekend. Saturday we went out for a grand day of fun. In the morning we had Elijah's favorite green whole wheat buttermilk pancakes (and yes green food coloring is part of the recipe). After that, Allan, Chris and I went out and hit some garage sales. Then we were off to the Butterfly Pavilion.

We love the Butterfly Pavilion! We have been there a couple times but this time was especially fun for Sam who is really into noticing bugs. The pavilion has a room full of exotic bugs including an indoor beehive, multiple varieties of tarantulas, scorpians, cockroaches, stick bugs etc. They also have a tarantuala named Rosie that you can hold. Elijah wasn't interested but Sammy (with a little help) had the huge spider walk on his hand. He was then the proud recipient of a "I held Rosie" sticker. He wore his badge the rest of the day.

It was then on to the small aquarium section. They have a tank with Nemo and Dory and some open tanks where you can touch a horseshoe crab, sea urchin, and starfish. Again, Elijah wasn't interested but Sammy was very involved in getting his hands wet.

Then the main attraction --the butterfly garden. The pavilion has a large, very humid, tropical garden in which the butterflies live. There are pathways throughout the garden and you are actually walking amid the butterflies as they flutter around, eat of fruit and blossoms, and rest on leaves. Sam was full of "oohs" (for those of you that have heard his repeated sound of interest). This is where I really wish I had a better camera. I was unable to catch any good pictures of the butterflies. Oh well, maybe this week.

The pavilion also has a hands on play area. They boys had great fun climbing around the huge honey comb, doing crayon rubbings of bugs, watching other kids climb the spider web, playing with microscopes and mechanical representations of various bug functions (chirping legs, mosquito and butterfly noses, termite talk etc.) They also have huge, larger than human robot insects. Elijah steered clear of them but Sam would stare and point at them.

We finished the pavilion trip by watching one of their daily butterfly releases. The pavilion imports cocoons from around the world and then release the butterflies into the garden when they emerge. It was pretty cool to see the new butterflies up close, learn a little more about them, and see them flutter away when released.

After our visit to the Butterfly Pavilion we went to see the new animated movie Kung fu Panda. We had all heard great things about it and were not disappointed. The story was entertaining, the kung fu was amusing and silly, the music beautiful, and the message was good. A great movie for the entire family (though Sam did get a little bored in the middle, but Elijah was interested the entire time).

With all this playing the boys were exhausted and the rest of us were hungry. We decided to take the long road to an amazing resturant in Golden called Ali Baba Grill. It is probably a good thing this resturant isn't closer to home. I dream of this food! They serve middle eastern cusine, have the most heavenly hummus, excellent kababs, and fresh pita bread. Oh my, my mouth is watering! It is well worth the trip to eat there.

Overall it was an amazingly fun day spent as a family. Thanks, Grandma and Grandpa we all had a great time!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Frances England

I just came across this artist through someone's blog and now my fingers are inching to get ahold of her cds. Her sound is fresh and fun. The songs are geared towards kids but entertaining for parents too. I found a video of one of her songs on Youtube "Tricycle". If you want to hear more of her songs she is on Amazon or CD baby (which lets you listen to two minutes of the songs). Her albums are Facinating Creatures and Family Tree.


Does anyone have any child approved music they enjoy listening to?

Garage Sale Rug

I have been looking at rugs off and on at Walmart and such for a few weeks now. When I saw a garage sale with large rugs out I was all there. I got two rugs, a large and a small, for six dollars! I've wanted a large one to put in our living area where the carpet has become rather spotted from my children and the fact that it is nasty old apartment carpet. The big one is actually a bit larger than I need but I think it works fairly well. It's a light brown burber with a dark brown border. The little one (pictured below with spaghetti noodles all over it) has now made its way into the kitchen to replace the old, rather dirty one I had. The great thing is, if I get sick of them I have no guilt throwing them out because I only spent 6 bucks on them.

Family History Friday: Ancestry and FTM

I've been thinking that blogging has helped me get involved and excited in other areas of my life why not carry it over into family history, my chosen field of study. This is my second week posting on family history and I have now dubbed Fridays "Family History Friday". We'll see how long I keep it up, but for now I hope you find it informative and interesting.

I absolutely love family history and the amazing application of history and people combined in one. I love a good challenge and checking off all the possibilities. I love the thrill of finding something I didn't know and putting records together to bring people alive. Our ancestors are not just names and dates on a page, they lived full, happy and often challenging lives and I love putting the pieces of the puzzle together and seeing as much of the picture as I can find.

Doing family history with children has proved a little challenging. It tends to be all engrossing (at least for me) and Josh will come home to dirty kids still in their jammies and the house a disaster because I've been on the computer finding dead people. I'm doing better at finding a balance. Someday I dream of traveling to the locations where my ancestors lived and diving into the old libraries and court archives but for now I spend time gleaning stuff off the Internet (there is new stuff just about everyday, it's amazing) and cleaning up the files I have; making sure all the information is correct and citing sources where possible. has become my number one source for finding information from the comfort of my home.

Ancestry is adding new records to their online database regularly. Many of them include images of the original records. Lately I've been doing extensive census searches (more on that next week) and ancestry has all of the years available with multiple options for searches and viewing. Most of their databases are available to members only but a few are available for free.

A year ago I bought the Family Tree Maker 16 Collectors Edition (FTM) which is a computer program for compiling all your family history information (similar to PAF with more capabilities). The program came with a 366 day trial membership to and only cost me around $30 (if I'm remembering correctly with rebate). It's a total steal when you calculate in the fact that a year membership to costs $155!

Well, my days are numbered, my account is due to end, and I'm not about to spend $155 though it really could be worth it. I went on a hunt for another version of FTM specifically for another trial membership. FTM 2008 costs more and doesn't come with a huge trial membership. I ended up finding the same version 16 in a standard edition that includes a 6 month trial membership for $15.00 on eBay. Thanks to my amazing husband and his new log in I now have another 6 months of

Anyway, the point is if you are in the market and interested in family history buying the 2006 version of FTM (which I am very happy with) with the trial membership is definitely the way to go. If you aren't sure if you would use it much or are curious what ancestry has to offer this is well worth the money. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh Sam

This morning the boys slept in til almost 8:00. Lately they have been getting up at 6:30 or 7:00 so when they were still sleeping close to 8 I was a little surprised. Well, Sam apparently wasn't sleeping. He was busy in his crib making a mess and hasn't stopped since.

I went in to get Sam to find a naked bum and a poopy diaper and sheets. oh yay! Sam ended up in the bath tub while I attacked the poopy laundry. I went back into the bathroom to find that Sam had discovered the nasty toilet brush and was swishing it in the toilet water. Fun! So I had to drain the tub and lather him down for a good wash down from his bath.

Shortly after that, while I was getting breakfast done and cleaned up, Sam comes up to me with liquid all down his front and on his hands (he's still only in a diaper). Turns out the liquid is not water and has a cleaning smell. He had discovered the Shout bottle I used to spray down his sheets and blanket before throwing them in the wash. Oh goodness!

This is all in a matter of an hour! Currently he is emptying the dishwasher and playing with the dishes. Luckily I have already pulled out the knives.

I have a feeling it's going to be a mess of a day!

Update 11:00am:

I thought the kids were well and safely distracted so I jumpped in the shower. When I got out I was greated by this scene.In case my new garage sale rug hides to mess too much let me describe the scene for you. Sam climbed up on the brown chair and reached onto the ledge where I keep a tall glass jar full of spaghetti noodles. Before I got in the shower I found him with another jar full of cornmeal, luckily I caught that one before he spilled it. With the spaghetti I wasn't as lucky. Just imagine hundreds of noodles broken into various sizes all over the chair and floor.

Anyone want a 19 month old for a few days/years?


I'm looking at how many visitors I've had since my last post and feeling bad that there is nothing new to read but I'm not sure I have anything particular to say so I might as well ramble.

This week has been a hot one. Our little apartment on the third floor gets hot rather fast and I find myself breaking down and turning the air conditioner on. My patience runs really thin when I am hot and uncomfortable so I've found for a happy mommy its better to have the air on than sweat it out.

This week I am grateful for my ward family. We really love the church members that we get to associate with and they truly have become our surrogate family. I love that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we all have the same foundation of what we believe and our goals in life and beyond. It makes making new friends easy and I love getting to know new people. The mommy friends are particularly wonderful. We have been busily active with our friends this past week and has been wonderful for the boys and myself.

Josh has been taking the bus really early in the morning (5:30 am) and I have suddenly had access to the car on a regular basis. This has enabled us to participate in the free activities around town with our friends. Monday there is free pizza lunch at the elementary, Tuesday is free movies at the movie theater, Wednesday is parkdays with the ward, and Thursday is library time (though we haven't made it to that one yet and I'm not sure it's going to happen today. We'll see). Then on Saturday I get to go garage saleing with my friends too (sometimes without the kids even!)

So I think I have convinced myself I really want a new camera. I've been studying all the reviews and trying to find the perfect model for all my needs. Any suggestions or help to offer? I would like to stay in the $200 range which means a point and shoot camera (someday I want to make the jump to DSLR). I'm looking for a good zoom (5-10x), comfortable size, image stabilization, face recognition, short flash delay, preferably SD card, easily accessible and maneuverable menus, and good movie capabilities. Is that too much to ask in one package?

I'm looking at the Panasonic TZ4 but there are a few (just a couple) mixed reviews that I have found that make it hard for me to commit (which isn't that hard of a thing to do. I'm far from a decisive person on stuff like this). But the camera has an amazing 10x zoom in a larger but still compact camera. I've played with the TZ5, a big sister model to the TZ4, and liked it in store but I'm afraid that opinion will change when I get it home and try it out on my bouncing of the wall boys.
So at the end of all this rambling I pose a question:
What camera do you use? Would you recommend it? Pros and Cons?
I'd love to know!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2000 visitors!

I'm really feeling loved! Thanks for dropping in a checking up on me and my family. Thank you for all your comments and support.

Here's to happy blogging!

My New Garage Sale Bag

I found this bag at a garage sale on Saturday for 75 cents! It's a bit funky and odd shaped but I've been using it the past few days and it has been growing on me. It's cheerful and has a lot of personality. It's the perfect size for a couple diapers, wipes, my wallet, cell phone, and keys. What more could I need?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Lesson Learned

Our garden is thriving. The boxes seem to be doing their job. I can go days without watering them and then just fill the resevoir and I'm good to go for a few more days. Our cucumbers are blooming and we have one zucchini plant that is taking over the world.
Lesson learned: Zucchini needs more space than I provided for it. Probably a box all of it's own. I think we are going to have to make due this year though.
In the picture you can see our hot pepper plants in front the massive zucchini in the middle back dwarfing out our two basil plants on the right and a smaller zucchini plant on the left that I will have to pull out. Our second box isn't quite as impressive because I had to restart most of those plants.


Up until this year I have been allergy free and loving it. But apparently it has caught up to me. I have had the nose tickles, runny nose, and scratchy throat for days now. I would think it was a cold except it goes on and off at the drop of a hat. Blehh!!! I got so sick of blowing my nose today that I took some Benedryl which helped with the symptoms but has made me rather tired. I'm not exactly happy to be joining the club but I guess I've been initated.

So what drugs to you take to help control the uckiness without getting knocked out?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Vacation Plans

With Josh adjusting his schedule to put more hours in at work and my suragate family moving away, I've been in need of a vacation. We have been trying to pull together our plans for a trip to Utah in July. Today I solidified when we are going and made reservations for Josh and I at an inn in southern Utah.

The plan is to drive out to Utah July 16th, drop the kids off and spend the 17th and 18th at the Slot Canyons Inn outside of Escalante. I'm very excited about the inn and their property and I hope it is not too hot for us to enjoy the great outdoors, just the two of us. After that we plan on spending time with our families and staying through the 24th, probably leaving Saturday the 26th.

It's still a month away, but I am so ready and very excited! I know that the grandparents are building up lists of what they want to do with the kids while we are out there and Elijah and Sam are excited to see family.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Family History: Death Certificates

I have been working a lot recently on getting all the census and other information off of Ancestry before my membership expires later this month. (I'm attempting to renew without actually paying the annual fee online, I'll let you know if it works). I've been filling in the sources and completing families along the way, working mostly on my mother's line and focusing on solidifying the information I already have with sources.

Mind you this might not be terribly interesting to most of you, but I know that my immediate and extended family also read this blog and might enjoy seeing some of what I've found.

The state of Missouri has a project to get a lot of their death certificates available online. Their extensive database includes images of death certificates from 1910-1957 and is easily searchable. If you happen to have any Missouri ancestors be sure to check it out. They also have an incomplete birth record database and pre-1910 deaths but they do not include images of the original documents (which is the really cool part).

Last week I found some death certificates for Condon's and Corwine's living in Missouri (St. Louis and Jasper County) including the following:

Charles Everette Condon (my great-grandfather)
Margaret Ellen Short Condon (wife of Charles)
Jacob Condon (father of Charles)
Sarah Alice Corwine Condon (mother of Charles)
Paul Corwine Condon (brother to Charles)
George D. Corwin (brother to Sarah Alice)
Charles W. Corwin (brother to Sarah Alice) his wife's is also available
Bertha Condon Budlong (sister to Charles)

I love it when I find death certificates. A lot of times it will give birth information, parents, informant, addresses, occupations, cause of death, etc. Just a load of interesting information.

Unfortunatly I can't easily share all the census information I have found. It is not all freely accessable online. The 1880 Census though has been made readily availible to everyone. I am not done with my census searches but will include links to the 1880 Federal Census in a post to come. If you are interested in all of my family census images I can burn you a CD (or it might take multiple CD's) and send it to you, let me know.

If anyone has any family information or questions (pertaining to my family or your own) let me know. I love a research challenge!

Happy tree climbing!

Celebrating and Indecisive

Our friend Laura was kind enough to watch our boys last night so Josh and I could go out to eat (mmm Red Lobster!) and visit some antique stores to celebrate our anniversary. We were hoping to find something for an anniversary gift for ourselves along the line of furniture (maybe-- we're having a hard time deciding) but came home empty handed except for a cool little book we found at Rose Buds on Main St. It was a darling little store, that happened to be in shambles because they were getting ready for a show. They had all kinds of vintage knick knacks, books, furniture, and a load of cool vintage clothes. The people were really nice and the little touches around the store were quaint and tasteful. After we bought it they wrapped it up in an old sewing pattern (instead of tissue paper) and put it in a cute bag. I was impressed with the nice touch of using the pattern in such a cute way.

The book we found is A Week on the Concord by Henry D Thoreau, which alone would warrent me wanting the book. But it is a nice green leather bound book from the year 1900. It just feels so good in your hands. I can't resiste old books!

We are having a hard time deciding what we want to get for our anniversary. I guess tradition says that the fifth anniversary is the "wood" anniversary. We would love to get something that would last for years to come and have the money to buy something more substantial. A piece of furniture would be great and there are things I want except that we are tight on space in our apartment already and we will probably be moving in the Fall. We would love a flat screen tv (to replace our well used 13inch) but that doesn't cry anniversary to me. Looking at the picture of the book, and my inability to get the outdated lug of a camera to focus right, maybe we should get a new camera. Unfortunately that will be outdated in a matter of months.

Oh the curse of being indecisive!

Any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Potty Break

Last night we heard Elijah get up around 11:30 pm and go into the bathroom. We didn't hear him get back into bed and I got up to see what was up. The poor kid had used the potty and instead of pulling his underwear back up had curled up and fallen asleep on the bathroom rug. I guess we are half way there with the going potty in the middle of the night thing. He's only had two accidents this week. We're just about there and I'm very excited!

Played out

We had a playdate yesterday and ended up staying most of the day. The boys were playing so well and having so much fun, the didn't want to leave. When I finally pried them away and went home we were all tired. I let them watch Dragon Tales for some down time while I cooked our anniversary dinner, Spicy coconut shrimp with mango basil salsa. Dragon Tales went off and the news came on but no one jumped up to turn the TV off. I peaked in to see what was up and found Sammy slumped in his little chair fast asleep. The poor kid had played so hard and long without a nap all day.
I pulled him out and put his jammies on but he woke up and got his second wind by the time Josh got home.
That kid just make me happy. I sure a lucky mommy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

5th Anniversary

I have been so blessed to spend the last five years married to my best friend. It is hard to believe that it has been that long. They have been wonderful years and I am excited for the many years to come. I couldn't ask for a better companion and friend. He makes me laugh and takes me as I am while making me want to be better. I can't imagine who or where I would be without him. He has become such a part of who I am.

I love you, Josh! Happy Anniversary!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Letter Doodles

Sam has been enthralled with letters and pencils and paper. Whenever I'm sitting at the computer he will pull out a piece of paper, beg for a pencil, and insist on me writing some letters for him. He is then content to go off and do his on meticulous doodles on the paper all the while jabbering different sounds. Today I was able to catch it on the camera which says a lot because usually when I pull the camera out he stops whatever he is doing to grab at it.

The doodles are in light pencil and kindof hard to see in the pictures. If you click on the images and blow them up you will be able to see them better.

Blokus Game Review

I was really excited to find this game at a garage sale. I've been watching it at the stores for months and months wanting it to go on sale enough to justify me buying it. I jumped at it when I found it on Saturday for $5.00 and I'm not disappointed that I did.

We immediately pulled it out when we got home. Josh, Elijah and I played it together. The game is good for 2-4 players. The object of the game is to get as many of your 21 pieces onto the board. You can only place your pieces off of ones of your own color already played and none of the sides can touch, only the diagonal corners. The strategy comes in when you try and block the other players from putting their pieces down and try and sneak your way into their territory while defending your own. At the end of the game you add up how many squares of area you have played. Each is worth a point, the player with the most points wins and you get extra points if you played all your pieces.

The box suggests it for ages 5 and up but Elijah was interested in the game too. It was actually a good game for him. He understood how to place the pieces on the corners and he did a great job taking turns. The game is excellent for spacial awareness and figuring out how the pieces can fit together- great skills for a three year old to learn. And after we finished playing the game Elijah spent a good while placing all the pieces on the board in a big puzzle.

Josh and I played it alone, without Elijah, last night. With two players you play two colors each. I really enjoyed it. It was challenging, but not complex. It made me stretch the way I look at the board to try and figure out new ways to go and place my pieces. I'm excited to play it again and figure out the strategy even more.

This game deserves all the awards it has received and I would recommend it to old and young.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Garage Sales

Yesterday was a crazy garage sale day. There were hundreds of them in town, HUNDREDS! There just wasn't enough hours in the morning, enough gas in the car, or enough one dollar bills in my pocket to meet the massive amount of stuff availible for the taking.

Josh and the boys joined me yesterday and we ended up at a community garage sale on the East side of town. I love community sales because it means there are a lot of houses in the same neighborhood selling stuff and you can walk from house to house (thus saving the ever growing cost of gas). Eventually the boys ended up at the nice park in the middle of the neighborhood and I was off on my own. When I finally picked them up again, Josh was a little taken aback by all the stuff I had crammed into the car. Can I say... it was a great day to be garage saleing.

I didn't buy anything massive but I bought a lot of fun stuff: 5-6 puzzles for Elijah including a cool Thomas the Tank Engine Clock puzzle and a large dinosaur one; books, books, and more books-garage sales feed my need to be surrounded by books and surround my kids with books, I can't seem to get enough; a pottery barn twin size quilt; the game Blokus (review to come); a nice wood set of Tangrams for four people (unopened when I bought it, Josh and I have been racing to solve the puzzles); clothes for the boys; and the movie Dead Poets Society.

The boys were worn out and Josh was hungry, otherwise I could have spent every dime that I had. I'm excited and iching to get out next week.

I gave Elijah 4 quarters before we left so he could find something at the garage sales to buy. The first thing he picked out was his motorcycle and man. He was digging through the box looking for something for 10 minutes or so (while I was busy picking up all the great books and clothes they had). It was so cute when he dug in his pocket for his quarter to buy it. The next thing he picked out at another sale was the blue elephant that cost 2 quarters. His last quarter was spent at the end of the morning on some YoGo's snack. He was quite proud of himself and what he bought with his hand full of quarters.
We asked him what he wanted to name his elephant and he said Daniel. We'll see if we can convince him to pick another name -he has 2 or 3 other animals named Daniel (not to mention our dead fish). He seems to really like the name. He a silly, cute kid and a great garage sale buddy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

More of Angie's Amazing Pictures

I am just blown away by the amazing pictures that Angie took. The hard part is deciding which ones to print and plaster on my walls. I love them all! She captured my boys being their cute selves. This is just a few of the hundred+ she gave me.

Thank you again Angie!

I Spy...

I was getting ready to attack the playroom, which has been buried in blocks for a few days now, when I spied this:

Apparently Elijah did it all by himself. As much as I dislike cleaning up all the wood blocks, they are wonderful and keep Elijah occupied for many,many hours. They make trains, words, food, boats, rockets, etc.. Elijah is quite creative with them.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Potato Pirates

Yesterday, Elijah pulled out the Mr. Potato Heads and put together a pirate family all by himself.

He's a cute, creative kid.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Last night for Enrichment my ward did painting classes. We had the choice of doing watercolors, oils, or faux painting. They were also painting blocks for the LDS Church humanitarian effort. Anyway, since I have spending a lot of time with a three year old who likes to paint with the cheap-o kids watercolors I have been interested in learning how to do the real thing. I was excited to have the opprotunity and enjoyed the class last night.

We worked on washes and playing with the brushes and the paints, learning how to control the amount of water, etc. I learned that it takes a lot of practice to figure it out. We did a quick dry brush piece to play around a bit. I was pleasently surprised with how mine turned out.

I'm excited to play around with it some more. Last night I was dreaming about sketches I could do and then paint. We will see how it goes!