Monday, December 31, 2007

South Mountain Hike

We had a fun New Years Eve day hiking at South Mountain. The weather was beautiful and it was so fun just hanging out with the family and letting the kids explore. Jayden was well entertained chasing a butterfly and they both got quite the collection of rocks that they begged to take home. Jayden even found a massively huge rock (top middle pic) that he was determined to carry through the rough terrain. I could here him grunting and groaning the whole way up the hills. When that kid sets his mind to something...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Another wonderful Christmas come and was definately a fun one, though. The week before Christmas was a mad rush like always and I was feeling discouraged that we couldn't take the time to just enjoy the Christmas spirit. But we got everything finished on the last day of school and after that we did nothing but hang out and relax as a family, just like it should be. Jason's sister, Jessica, flew in from China where she was doing a study abroad with BYU. She had an incredible experience and it was cool to hear all about her trip. I was surprised to find out that the Great Wall of China is a tad bit taller (more like a hundred times taller) then the cinder block fence in our back yard. Ha, ha, that just goes to show how clueless I am. It was also really cool to learn more about Jason's family. His mom's relatives are a well known family there. Her Grandfather Wu was a general in the army and she was showing us current newspaper articles involving the communists trying to take their family's home (which is a beautiful 3 story home that they built themselves) and turn it into a museum. I hope I'm getting all the facts right, if not you'll have to correct me Jessica. I just think it's so neat that my kids come from such an amazing heritage and I hope that when they're older they'll have a desire to learn more about their ancestors and culture. One of the other perks of going to China is that she got to indulge in all of the wonderfully cheap knock-offs and she was kind enough to share some of her treasures. She got me a totally cute "Chanel" purse and Kylie got a Disney Love Song CD (or as it says: "Disney Love of Songs"), which features such classic hits as, "Two World", "Ka kwna matata", "Go the distanc", "Ture to you heart", "Flying without wing", "Bibbidi bobbidi bod" and "The time of you life". Whoever said knock-offs aren't as good as the originals? Thanks so much, Jessica! So she flew in on Thursday, her boyfriend came in on Friday and then Jason's mom came in on Saturday. It was so nice having family here to celebrate the holidays. We enjoyed going out for Pho, walking around the temple to see the lights,

watching movies each night, picking oranges at the park (grandma's favorite :) and they were
even nice enough to watch the kids while Jason and I did some last minute shopping on Christmas eve. After we came home we had dinner then the kids had fun tracking Santa on the internet. After that we did the "open first present" which happened to be pajama's--surprise! Then the nativity and a chance for everyone to write a goal for the next year as a present for Jesus. Of course the night ended with a plate of cookies for Santa and a trip outside to see if we could spot the jolly old fellow.
I don't know how we lucked out, but the kids didn't wake up until 8:30 Christmas morning, it was great. Well, they did come in our room at 5:00 because Kylie said she heard Santa's sleigh bells, but we convinced them to go back to sleep. They were so excited to wake up and see that all their good behavior had payed off and that Santa hadn't forgotten about them (the picture to the right is of the great descent down the stairs to discover the loot). Jayden scored a bike and Kylie got the pink radio she's been dying to have. She also got a camera and interactive doll that hasn't left her side. We even took our dolls for a walk around the neighborhood and she insisted on bringing it to the temple lights as well (along with her camera where she took about 30 pictures of blackness with an occasional blur of Christmas lights). Jayden also got some pirate gear and legos.
Jason has until Jan. 3rd off and it has just been soooo nice to hang out as a family. Here is my list
of the top 5 favorites (in no particular order) of this Christmas (I stole your idea, Tara :)

1) Sleepovers- every night Jayden and Kylie have wanted to have a sleepover. Jason finally brought the futon mattress up to Jayden's room so that they would have something soft to sleep on, it's so cute to hear them whispering in there as they fall asleep. I love that they are best friends and want to do everything together, I hope that never changes.
2) Innocence-One sad thing happened this year. Kylie is beginning to question Santa and it is so sad. I'm not sure what sparked her doubt, but she was sitting on the couch looking sad and when I asked her what was wrong she said, "I don't know if there's really a Santa". It was so sad. I told her stories of when I saw Santa as a little girl and she had to call my sister to back up my stories because she thought that I was making it up. Hopefully we convinced her, she's too young to lose her innocence and the magic of Christma
s. I saw a Santa suit on clearance yesterday and thought about getting it for Jason to dress up and make a Santa house call next year, but I think that a Chinese Santa probably won't do much in the convincing department. I'm glad to know that she is still innocent in other ways, though, like when the kids were playing in the kitchen and Jason and I were "canoodling" on the couch and we noticed that Kylie was watching us. We thought we were busted when she got this big smile on her face and said "I know what you guys are doing", I was nervous, then relieved when she continued, "you guys were talking about my presents!" Phew!

3) Batteries- I finally got my supply of batteries up and I love that the kids are just as excited about their old toys that finally have batteries as they are about their new toys. Jayden seriously had a death grip on those Duracell's all through Target and the whole way home because he was so excited that his train would finally work. Maybe next year I'll forgo the toys and just give them batteries!

4) Dance parties- Kylie got a Hannah Montana CD and we've had some pretty intense dance parties ever since. Grandma even got in on a few and we've got some great video footage of her workin it!

5)Webkinz- Kylie has been asking for a Webkinz and so we used the money Grandpa Young sent to buy her one. It's this stuffed animal that comes with an on-line code and becomes a virtual pet that you have to play games to earn "money" to buy it pretend stuff on-line. She loves her little pet kitty, but she's a little too young to navigate the site and play all of the games. I'm very concerned that if we don't keep earning points to feed this darn cat then she is going to die. So I've been spending too much of my free time mastering "Pinata Bash" and "Banana Bonanza". Not to mention the woes of the website experiencing an overload of traffic. Chelsea shares in my pain as we've had many phone conversations discussing the ins and outs of theWebkinz world.

6) Giving- Jayden's school had a little store for the kids to buy gifts for their family. Jayden worked so hard doing chores so that he could earn money to buy a present for Kylie. I was helping out at the store when his class came in and it was so cute because he ran straight to this pink feathery, sprakley princess pen. He was so excited to give it to her and didn't want to wait until Christmas so I let him give her a little sneak peak. He carried it around wrapped up for days and now we can't find it anywhere. The kids are convinced that Santa took it. Kylie also did chores and earned money to buy Jayden a little tool set. It was so cute to see them so excited about giving. But yes, they still are excited about getting presents too and each time Jayden does something naughty he immediately gets this sweet little smile on his face and asks "I get presents still?" Some things never change, but atleast they're working on it...
But most of all I'm grateful for the birth of our Savior and the greatest gift that was given. I'm grateful to be able to teach my children more about his life during the Christmas season and hope that my actions throughout the next year can better reflect my appreciation for all that he has done. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Breakfast With Santa

Our ward had scheduled a breakfast with Santa in the park, but after waking up to a rainstorm (does it really rain here?) some people in the ward were so nice and extra brave to host the event at their house and invite the whole ward to tromp through their house (did I mention there's like 500 people in our ward?) with their muddy shoes and drink hot chocolate on their carpet. Oh, they better get lots of extra blessings for that! It was a fun morning and saved us from standing in the line for an hour at the mall! The kids were so excited to see Santa. Jayden got a little nervous as it got closer to his turn, but the temptation of a miniature candy cane and Scooby-Doo top was enough to do the trick.

We were laughing at this pimp-like hat that they had in their toy box, or maybe it was just Kylie's attitude that made it look that way!

Decorating the Christmas tree (and Kylie)

And finally, here's the picture from Kylie's shining moment as the star student. She did forgive me for forgetting and was so excited that Jayden and I could be there for her presentation and lunch. She looked so cute up there, it was a proud mommy moment.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Love Song

After one of our little diversity ("everyone is special because everyone is different") talks, I overheard Kylie singing this song that she made up:

"Our family is different and our family is special because my mom is the only one that's not Chinese and everyone else is Chinese. But that's okay, we still love her even though she's not Chinese and we'll still play with her anyways"

I'm glad to hear she'll still play with me despite my lack of Chineseness, what a funny girl :)

So I'm bummed, I can't find my USB cable and can't upload any new pics until we order a new much camera drama.

I had a bad mom moment. Last week was Kylie's turn to be the star of the week. This is a huge deal in the life of a kindergartner. She got to bring home "Freedom Bear" for the week and write a journal entry about what she did with him. She also made a poster and the big culminating event was held on Friday where I got to go in and watch her present her poster to the class and then stay and eat lunch with her. I didn't write it on my calendar, thinking that a good mom would never forget an event like this. So come Friday, where do you think I am? Yes, shopping my little heart out at Wally-world when I see that the school had tried calling several times. Of course I was all worried that she was sick and something had happened, it never even crossed my mind that I had missed the star student presentation. When I finally got a hold of her teacher she must have thought that I was such a horrible mom. She was nice to let her do the presentation the next week instead. I felt so bad, hopefully Kylie wasn't too heartbroken. It was fun to go and watch her the next week and I have pics from her cute little presentation that I'll post whenever I get the darn cable.

Jason got to go with some friends to the Suns game and had such a fun time. I was so jealous because I wanted to go and see Jenny (if you didn't know that she's my girl from "The Bachelor" who is a Suns dancer, then you're probably not my true friend :). I tried to convince him to atleast take the camera and get a picture with her for me. For some reason he didn't think that would be considered cool in front of the other guys. I'm not sure why...

Hope everyone is enjoying getting ready for the holidays, I can't believe it's so soon!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Will You Go to Prom With Me?

I know that most people probably dread the annual company Christmas party, but I have seriously been so excited. I haven't had an excuse to get dressed up since prom and a chance to hang out with my honey doing something other than dinner and a movie (and of course a Home Depot or Wal-mart run)--count me in! We seriously had such a fun night and we were laughing about how we felt like we were at prom again. It was held at a nice hotel/resort where we were served a fancy dinner then had dancing. I convinced Jason to dance with me for a slow song and bust a move for one fast song, but after that he was done. So you better believe I went out their with the single chicks and tore it up on the dance floor! I hope I didn't emberass you too much, babe :) It was such a fun night and they even had a photographer there to take pictures, just like the prom days. All that was missing was a whoppin' huge wrist coursage. Maybe next year...

PS-in the picture on the top right I know that it looks like I've got sweat rings or something by my arm, but my "underclothing" was showing, so I tried using a black marker to cover it up and instead it looks like I have a little persperation problem, oops! Oh, and I can't talk about prom without posting some back-in-the-day pics!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Quotes of the Day

-Jayden saw someone being pushed in a wheelchair down the sidewalk and he yells out, "wow, cool shopping cart!"

-Kylie informed me that my wallet is "a magic money fairy"

-Jayden started spitting and when I told him to stop he replied "no mom, I'm a rain cloud"

And my favorite....

-as we pulled into the parking lot at Target, Jayden pipes up from the back seat and asks, "we live here mom?"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Turkey Time in Indiana

I seriously could not have asked for a more perfect Thanksgiving (okay, I lied, it would have been more perfect if all of my brothers and sisters could have made it as well). My mom went all out and created a menu to die for. We spent the morning cooking up a storm with my mom and sister while dancing and singing to "Grandma Got Ranover by a Reindeer" (a family classic :). Snow started falling for the first time that morning and as we sat down as a family in a warm cozy house with a delicious meal and snow flakes out the window, it was one of those perfect moments where you just sit back and realize that there's no other place that you'd rather be at that moment. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for making it such a memorable Thanksgiving! Here are some other memories of our 7 days in Indiana.....
-It was my parent's 30th wedding anniversary, so all the kids pitched in and sent them to a bed and breakfast. They had a great time and we were glad that we could be there for such a special event. Happy anniversary!
-Having dance parties to "I'm a Barbie Girl" and making treats all night with the kids while mom and dad were away (Mom, if you're reading this, the kids were in bed by 10:00 :)
-driving the kids to early morning seminary at 5:45 since my parents were away--how did I ever do that every day in highschool???
-helping Todd with his Algebra homework--it took me forever to freshen up my skills, but I can now master the point-slope intercept equation!
-Waking up at 6:00 (yes, we accidentally slept in) to hit the day after Thanksgiving sales. Even though I had no room to bring anything home, it was just a blast hanging out with my mom, sisters (and Todd :).
-Falling asleep with Julene and Jessica on the bags of dog food at Wal-mart while waiting for my mom and Janess.
-Going to breakfast at Panera Bread and getting the most delicious bagels after our big shopping trip. It was one of my favorite memories of our trip. It's been so long since we've been together, and it was so fun to just talk and laugh. I wish we could make it an annual tradition!
-The boys playing basketball almost everynight and helping my dad finish a room in the basement.
-Having "cooking classes" with Grandma
-The boys got together for pizza at the church and watched the amazing BYU vs. Utah game--go BYU!!
-Going to dinner with my parents and the Caziers and the conversation that Mike the waiter overheard--ha! ha!
-Jayden wanted to check their mail and when we came in we noticed that he had someone else's mail. We go outside and find all of the surrounding neighbor's mailboxes opened--oops!
-Jayden had no concept of snow and so when I was packing for the trip I told him he needed to wear a jacket so that the snow wouldn't fall on his head. The rest of the day he walked around the house with his hat on so that "snowmen wouldn't fall and hit him on his head". He also informed Kylie that "snow smells nummy".
-Driving with Janessa and singing at the top of our lungs to Deana Carter, just like in the good ol' days. We almost felt like we were carefree back in highschool again--until we looked back and saw all six of our kids screaming in the back.
-All the girls wanted to always dress the same so that people would think they're sisters.
-Jayden was taking forever doing his duty in the airport bathroom and when I knocked on his stall and asked him if he was done, he yelled: "No way, I can't talk now!" It got a few chuckles from all the people patiently waiting in the long line.
-movie and pizza parties all night (and staying up all night working on the anniversary gift that we're giving my parents for Christmas).
-having girl parties with Kylie's aunts.

It was definately an amazing trip and we loved every minute of it!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Party in Iowa

I'm still recovering from all the crazy late night parties in Iowa, so that's why it's taken me so long to post this :). The Saturday before Thanksgiving we woke the kids up at 5:30 to catch our 8:00 flight. After being on the plane for 3 1/2 hrs. we landed in Chicago, then met my parents and we caravaned another 4 hours to my sister's house in Iowa. It was a loooooong day, but so worth it! The kids were quite the troopers, I was proud of them. We were in a rush to get to her house because my nephew, Taylor was getting baptized that night. We were so excited that we could be there for the special occasion. Janessa is my absolute best friend and so we were dying for a chance to hang out, not to mention that our kids were so excited to play together too. Janessa is an amazing host--we ate way too much, stayed up way too late and laughed way too loud (just ask the husbands-they complained that they couldn't sleep because we were up all night laughing :) We stayed at her house until Wednesday morning and she had a fun-packed full agenda planned for us. Thanks so much, Janess for an awesome trip! Since pictures say a thousand words (and I don't have time to type a thousand words), here it goes: (okay, so I lied--I just got finished and I think I typed way more than a thousand words and I know I posted way too many pictures, but for the journaling sake I didn't want to forget anything from our fun trip, so feel free to skim through)
Pizza Tour:
In Janessa's ward they have a "lunch bunch" and while we were there they happened to have scheduled a tour of a pizza parlor so we got to tag along. The kids had fun making their own pizzas (Jayden took this job very seriously), touring the kitchen and then we all had fun eating pizza for breakfast (the tour was from 9-11 before the restaurant opened. Who knew pizza could taste that good that early in the morning!)

Children's Museum:
They have an awesome Children's museum here that my kids absolutely loved last time, so my only request while we were there was that we could make a return trip and Janessa was nice to make that possible. It did not disappoint. We could have spent all day there, the kids had a blast! We were sad that Taylor and Abby had to go to school that day, that Ricky had to work on his disortation and also that Jason had to stay and get some stuff done for work (although I think he did that on purpose in order to avoid an estrogen overload)

notice every picture of Jayden is the exact same profile view, just a different background. Unless I have something worth bribing him with, then this is the result.
Raptor Reserve:
After the museum we picked up Taylor and Abby from school and went hiking around to see this cool raptor reserve (mind you, all these activities are in the same day--did I or did I not mention that this was an action packed couple of days). It's a place where they keep injured birds while they nurse them back to health. We saw a one-eyed owl (pretty freaky if you ask me), a one-winged hawk (ditto on the freakishness), a vulture and the coolest was a bald eagle. I've never seen one up close and I was a little disappointed when the kids were more fascinated with the unidentified huge half-eaten rodent that was for his dinner. It was so fun to see all of the fall leaves and we even saw several deer close by. It was beautiful scenery, but was starting to get a little creepy once the sun started going down and we were husband-less out in the dark woods. It didn't help that as we were walking up to our car there was another strange vehicle parked right next to us and we hadn't seen anyone else the whole time we were there.....hmm, just glad we made it back safe and had a fun little outing.
Tot Time:
The next morning we went to their Rec Center where they have open gym time with lots of toys for the kids to play with. It was a fun way to spend a cold morning. After that we went to Abby's pizza party at school and even got to eat some of Taylor's Thanksgiving feast with him. Kylie loved going to see what their school looked like and even got to play with Abby at recess.

Ice Skating:
Janessa and I were so excited about this, but the boys on the other hand were a little skeptical about taking 6 kids under the age of 8 ice-skating for the first time (maybe they had good reason to be), but in the end it was a unanimous decision that, yes, the wives are always right. Everyone had a blast (minus a few falls, of course) and Taylor, Abby and Kylie really picked it up good (Kambry may have been good if she ever managed to let go of the side and Jayden would have had a chance if he managed to peel himself off of me :)

Okay, this picture cracks me up everytime I see it! As we were walking up Jayden was watching all of the ice skaters gracefully twirling on the ice and turned to me and said "I really good that, mom". His cockiness got the best of him as he ran out ahead of me on the ice and took a major fall. After that it was pretty much like the picture above, or at best gripping on to both of my hands.

There's something about ice-skates on Jason that just look, well, dainty. I think he was a little offended when they asked him if he preferred figure skates. Don't worry, hon, you still look hot :)

Jayden thought it was so funny to scoot around on the ice--for about one minute. Then he freaked out because it was so cold.