Monday, November 24, 2008

Keeping Busy

We got lucky a few weeks ago when Ez was told that he has too many hours built up for vacation and he needed to take another week off of work by the end of the year. Bummer. Since he already had the week of Thanksgiving off, he took off the week prior as well, giving us a good 2 weeks with dad on vacation.

It has been really nice to have him home. The kids have loved seeing him so much! Joe has particularly loved it and has been Ez's little shadow much of the time. Ez had to actually go in one night last week and poor Joe cried himself to sleep on the couch because he missed dad so much.

Another rather important reason we've been thankful to have dad home is that there has been a long "to do" list around the house that we have finally started to whittle away at. Forget the time off work to relax, right? Time for work at home!! All of our pictures are officially re-hung (from when we repainted 6 months ago). Our curtain in our room is up, which we bought about 4 months ago! Things have been moved and tidied that mom couldn't do on her own. We spent two days last week cleaning up the yard--trimming trees, cleaning up the annoying apples that fall into our yard from our neighbor, the general kind of stuff you do before the weather gets too cold and rainy.

Joe had a great time helping in the yard. We found a cute little lizard that he enjoyed chasing and holding and scaring for a little bit. He passed Ez the branches we had trimmed so we could chop them and put them in the recycling bin. Evie was less helpful. She mostly had fun running around with no shoes on, making her socks and dirty as possible--and hanging on to a random pair of goggles!





Friday, November 21, 2008

A Visit from Grandpa


Keri's dad had some business not too far from Vacaville last week, so he came a few days early and came to visit. It was really nice to have Grandpa Brant here. He was here for the Primary Sacrament Meeting Program, and then on Monday we took a trip to Apple Hill where we enjoyed Apple Cider Donuts and delicious cider. I haven't had a cider donut for about 20 years, and it was just the way I remember them smelling and tasting. YUM! We all enjoyed them.

On Monday night the kids curled up around Grandpa for some stories. I made sure he read some of my favorites he read to me when I was little, so we heard A Giraffe and a Half, Where the Wild Things Are, and One Monster After Another.

We had a great visit, although it was short! Hopefully Grandpa's job will bring him back around again soon!


Lily and Grandpa snapping our green beans


Everyone enjoying the cider donuts












Bedtime stories with Grandpa Brant

The Big Game



David has been waiting all season for the Stanford vs. USC game. He was so excited when that day finally arrived last Saturday! Ez and David each brought a friend and they had a fantastic day out. The weather was perfect, they never even needed their sweatshirts. The crowd was great--sold out, and about as many USC fans as there were Stanford. The best part? USC won! Final score USC 45 Stanford 17.


A cool college job!


David and Nathan








Celebrating their victory

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Randomness

We've been feeling like things are busy lately, but as I look back on our weeks, not much seems to be going on. I think I shall blame it on the time change. Evening seems to come too quickly now! Here's a few of the random things going on for us, plus my random thoughts for the evening!

The kids are busy with school and homework. I am thankful that the homework is not too hard and not overly time consuming! There is nothing I dislike more about homework than having homework that is just busywork nonsense!

David is still playing flag football, but has only 3 games left. He played his first late game last week, it was not an easy one for me since it didn't end until 8:30 and I had some fairly tired kids! The next two games are late too, fun stuff. Perhaps it will be worth getting a babysitter...


Discussing the play


The other night Alexis, Lily, and Joe had fun stamping and making fingerprint animals. Joe spent a great deal of time trying to draw "chi-angles", or triangles.




Alexis went to Grandma Jane's for the weekend. Jane and I often meet halfway between Sacramento and Vacaville to make the switched easier. We met up at Wendy's parking lot in Davis on Friday around 7 p.m., and Lily, Joe, and Evie were asleep! David and I enjoyed a nice, peaceful mom and son night together.

On Saturday David and Lily went and stayed the night at my friend Sarah's house. Joe fell asleep at 7 (he usually doesn't fall asleep this early, but I will take it!), Evie was out around 8 p.m., and I had such a quiet night to myself! Sadly, I was tired so I wasn't as productive as I could have been. That is my downfall these days.

Evie got the sleeves of her dress wet prior to dinner this evening, so I just took her dress off and planned to let her run around in her diaper for a bit. She ran out of the room and came back a moment later with a pair of pajama bottoms! So, I put them on her. She came back a few moments later with a onesie--so I sent David to help her find a t-shirt she could wear. The rest of the evening Evie kept bringing out random articles of clothing from her room and was trying to put them on. My favorite was when she walked in to the room with this shirt stuck on her head, which she was very proud of and left on for a while!


I was reading The Cat in the Hat Comes Back with Lily this evening. I haven't read it in a while, and it struck me at just how old the book is because the children were stressed out when the pink ink got all over dad's $10 shoes! Can you even buy shoes for $10 any more?

Joe left tonight to have his first solo slumber party at Grandma's. They were less than a quarter of a mile away when Joe said he missed us! How cute is that. He fell asleep before getting to Jane's, which I think will actually be good. Now he won't be too sad when it is time to sleep, which might make it all more fun for him tomorrow!

Alexis, David, and Lily were all tired from slumbering and partying, so they were all off to bed nice and early. Ez is completely wiped out from only getting 3 hours of sleep last night, so he was asleep even before the kids! Tonight I am hoping I can make better use of my time--blogging, reading, and being smart and heading to bed on time myself!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hooray!



I couldn't feel happier today! Our family is so thrilled, along with many others, that Prop 8 has passed! We are especially greatful to have had the opportunity to support it--financially, physically, and in our prayers. Ez and I had the opportunity to walk doors and talk to people about the proposition in August, we made phone calls in September, we stood on street corners in October, and we hung voting reminders on doors and made a few more phone calls in November. It has been a great experience to stand up for things we believe in and to go out of our comfort zone a little bit to do it. Hooray for a Yes on Prop 8! Hooray for my family!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Childhood stories

I feel like I have a pretty good memory of my childhood. I remember friends, parties, different toys and vacations, all those sorts of things. Some of the memories that have stuck with me the longest have had to do with reading stories. I remember listening to my Grandma Carroll read stories to us on a casette tape since we lived so far away from her. I remember my mom reading stories out of two books that were hers as a child--I am pretty sure one was orange and one was green, but that's about all I remember! Oh, how I loved all those stories!

My dad read stories to us, though, in a way that has changed stories for me permanently. I loved Winnie the Pooh and he would read me those stories in the best Pooh and Eeyore and Tigger and Roo voices. There was a way that he read One Monster After Another, and Where the Wild Things Are, and A Giraffe and a Half that I can still hear in my head today. I know I would still love to curl up with my dad and listen to him read those stories. Of course, it has made it hard for me to read those stories to my kids because they just don't sound right when I read them!

Certain stories and books just stick with you and when you find them, you make certain your kids get to experience them too. David's scout troop was doing a book exchange at their last pack meeting. I was browsing the books before the boys got up there and stumbled upon one of those books. It was the Noah's Ark book that I loved as a kid! There are really no words, just amazing illustrations that I remember looking at so many times in my childhood. The very best part of this particular copy is its smell. It has that musty "I have been packed up in a basement on the east coast" smell. Having grown up in New York, that smell alone made this book feel like it was actually my old copy!

David was a sweetheart and made sure he got it in his exchange, and now I get to sit and pour over these fantastic illustrations with my kids and feel like one all over again!

Good Snackage


We ate a lot of air popped popcorn in my house growing up. It was simply a very typical evening snack food. We had a large metal bowl that was pretty much only used for two things--popcorn and making roll dough. As a kid we popped the popcorn, buttered and salted it, and all tryed to squeeze in around the bowl to enjoy the fresh treat. Of course we had large cups that we could fill and use for snacking, but there was just nothing that could beat grabbing a few pieces of popcorn and then rubbing it in the bowl to get some extra butter and salt. YUM.

For the first 8 or so years of our marriage, we did not have a beautiful metal popcorn bowl, but we did have a good sized glass bowl that worked just fine--until the day a small child grabbed it off the table and it came crashing to the floor...but I still had not found a good "popcorn" bowl, so we made due for another year or so with other bowls, but they weren't as good. You simply can't rub the butter and salt off the inside of a plastic bowl the same was you can a glass or metal one. I finally found the perfect bowl just after Evelyn was born, and popcorn has been delicious ever since!

Everyone likes their popcorn their own way, but we have become rather particular in our house. I can only use the white popcorn kernels. They are a softer, tastier, smaller "puff", and you get much less of the yucky hull thing that gets stuck in your teeth and throat. Of course I can only buy it in the bulk bins at Winco, but at least it is in town! The greatest debate in our house is the topping. We all love butter and salt, but the kids especially love it with butter and Parmesan cheese. Both are delicious, so quite often we split it into two bowls for optimal snacking enjoyment. The other great thing is when the leftover popcorn isn't tasting so yummy and buttery, you toss Parmesan cheese on it, and it is tasty all over again!

We made some yummy popcorn last night. It was delicious. I could, and nearly do, eat it every day!