Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snow day

A snowgirl named "just Sue."

Sledding down our own personal hill.

Friday, December 26, 2008

blog catch-up

My blog has been very neglected lately as I've been busy getting ready for Christmas. (So have the inside of my eyelids). But then, I can sleep when I retire, right? Except, it occurs to me that I don't know any old people who ever sleep in. Bummer. Just when I have time to sleep in . . .

Why was Christmas preparation so stressful, you ask? I got an early start on shopping. But then came the Christmas cards, all 70 hand-cut wonders.

Then there are the Christmas treats. Which are fun until you make 150.

I even got Tom in on the act this year.

And then there is the wrapping, the parties, etc. etc., and pretty soon I am REALLY ready for a Christmas break. So, it has come just in time and we are really enjoying our lazy days at home. (Except, I wouldn't call all that shoveling lazy.) In any case, I finally have time to catch up on my blogging and I've given you some serious reading material. I hadn't posted since December 3rd, so anything since then is new. Happy reading! Hope you are all having happy holidays.

a White Christmas

We got dumped on Christmas day in this western corner of the valley. Everyone prays for a white Christmas until you have to go out and shovel. And shovel. And shovel. It was beautiful, but today we still haven't caught up with it all. It keeps snowing faster than we can shovel. Our neighbors are gone, so we are trying to keep their driveway clear too.

This (below) is after a couple of hours of shoveling today, and see? There is already more snow to shovel. And it's been snowing for 3 or more hours since I took this. Not that I'm complaining. I mean, the more shoveling, the more holiday treats I can eat guilt-free, right? My muscles are sore and weary. (Wimp). That is my subconscious talking.

Do you like how I got down real low when I took this to make the snow pile look like its as tall as the rooftops? In real life its close. I'm serious. The girls are going to have a sledding hill right in our front yard. I should have gotten down real low for this next picture too, but that would have meant getting my tooties cold and disturbing the pristine snow on my back porch.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

The thing about Christmas is that everyone wakes right up out of bed and runs to open their gifts. Which means, they are looking pretty roughed up for pictures. And then their is that dark living room lighting. That is why you won't see any pictures of me here.

The day was a little bittersweet, being our very first Christmas morning with just the four of us, but we still had a wonderful morning.

Here is Abby enjoying one of her new gifts, and wearing a crown Aunt Amy made. Thanks Amy! Amy has the handmade Christmas thing down to a science, and we always love what she makes.

Mike and Diane Buhler (brother-in-law Justin's parents) were so nice to invite us to Christmas dinner at their house. Here is Justin with his dad:

The girls had a great time playing with their cousins. We are looking forward to more time with them next weekend in West Yellowstone!

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

X-ray paraphanilia

This is a picture of Sarah. Notice anything odd?

Let me help you. I zoomed up and added some contrast (oh yeah, and a subtle arrow):

Yes, that is a flower/butterfly something or other in her stomach. She came to us complaining that her chest hurt and informed us that she had swallowed a Barbie shoe. I'm not sure that is what it is, but it definitely should not be in her stomach. We were relieved a week later to get another x-ray and find it gone. We weren't very good at sifting to find it as it came out the other end . . . even though that is what the doctor recommended. Guess we missed it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tom's job

I thought I'd give you a little update of what Tom has been up to. He has been traveling every week to Page Arizona for this job:

The project he is working on is a fancy resort. That's about all Tom will let me say :)

This picture shows the terrain of the area. This resort is truly out in the middle of nowhere, but it is beautiful I think.

Page has gotten a rare snowstorm this year and it got quite cold for Tom in his trailer. A couple of weekends ago he battled the bad roads back to Arizona where he found his pipes frozen and his water heater burnt out. Not a pleasant thing to deal with in a brand-new trailer. Bummer.

It looks like we'll be dealing with Tom's travel schedule for a while longer. I am trying to keep my chin up and be grateful he has a job.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ogden Specials

This is what it looked like on our way to Ogden for a Special Meeting (for our church). Whew! Glad we made it through that one.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Jr. Jazz girl

We signed Abby up for Jr. Jazz (basketball). She is the only girl on her team, but we are so proud of her! In her very first game she broke away, dribbled down to the other end, and swished her first basket.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The first weekend in December, before the Christmas stress kicked in and while I blissfully and naively thought I was ahead of the game this year, we had a visit from the family of these freckle-faced beauties:



I didn't get a picture of the rest of the Raineys. Well, I got a few, but I thought they would appreciate it if I refrained from revealing their bed heads to the rest of the world. We've upgraded the Raineys to family now. Friends might come and go. But sorry Raineys. You are here to stay.

I learned a few things this weekend.

1) We love this family. Actually, we already knew that. But it was reaffirmed. Why else would we be begging a family of 6 to come stay with us again soon? Seriously, their kids are so well behaved and got along with ours brilliantly.

2) Settebello has amazing pizza. They serve authentic wood-fired Italian pizza. After a tip from Tiffany (who lived in Italy for 2 years) and Casey (a genuine foodie), how could we not try it? I can't wait to go back.

3) I love to shop. (OK, so I already knew that too.) But Holly and I can shop. Like madwomen.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

sweet remembering

I was browsing through some old photos this evening and ran across these gems of Abby and Dad (Grandpa Rog to her). Some would say Abby and Sarah don't look that much alike, but I must simply beg to differ.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

another project

I tackled another project this weekend. This one is a little different. Do you think I'm crazy? I mimicked the pattern from the new wallpaper in my entry and hand-painted it on the wall.

We had a great Thanksgiving complete with the usual pumpkin pie and traditional dishes, with a kick of Chinese mixed in. (Huh?) We had Lois, Audrey, and Alice over and Alice brought a yummy Chinese dish. And we have a pile of leftovers to enjoy for the next month. Yeah! No cooking!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Sometimes it would be nice to be rich

Row 15 is just a bit better than our usual view. Compare to our post a
couple of weeks ago.

Monday, November 24, 2008

weekend project

The basement bathroom was my weekend-ish project (I say weekend-ish, because as weekend projects go, they always bleed over into Monday.) I painted it a warm gray color. Tom insists that it is brown but he is clearly wrong. If it looks brown in these photos it is only because they are lousy photographs.

I received this vinyl for free as a reward for my contributions in helping to launch the line. I finally put it up. It looks great on the gray walls.

And as weekend projects go, everything else gets neglected. So, my next project will have to be to play catch up and clean my house and get ready for Thanksgiving. Mmmm. My mouth is watering for Pumpkin Pie already.

dinner guest

Cinderella came to our house for dinner. Aren't we lucky? She was a lovely guest.

Abby made these placemats for the grand occasion.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sin City

They don't call it Sin City for nothing. Even I was a sinner, I confess. I had a bad attitude. I kept chiding myself for it and tried to look on the bright side. The bible says "In everything give thanks", but I couldn't do it. I just couldn't be thankful for the accomodations, for starters.

Let me tell you about it. Tom had to be in Vegas for a conference in between business trips to Arizona. So, instead of facing the weekend home alone, I decided to pack up the girls and meet him there. We had decided to stay at the Tropicana. It is conveniently located on the strip, and even though it is probably one of the oldest hotels left, it was really something in it's prime (or so they say..... In fact, Tom remembers his folks really loving it there.) That didn't sound so bad, and for around $70 a night, it was pretty reasonable. After dragging our luggage through the casino, up the elevator, down a long hall, down another long hall, past a few cigarette smoke smelling rooms, we arrived at ours. It was big! And it had a balcony! And.... no sheets on the beds. And the beds were a bit small. That's okay.... except the carpet is really dirty.... and so are the bathrooms... is that soap scum on the counter? And HAIR? Tom calls the front desk, "My wife says this room is just not acceptable". (He blames it on me. The gall!) "Do you have anything else"? They reply, "Well, we would be happy to upgrade you to a delux room for just $30 more a night." Apparently the $70 rate did not cover maid service. Tom did kindly remind me that I was a bit spoiled. After all I had just stayed a night that very week at the Ritz Carlton in Pasadena, CA. My expecations were a tad high. So, with my chin up, we packed up and went back down the long halls, down the elevator, through the casino (everything funnels through the casinos in this town), up another elevator, down another long hall, and to our new delux room. The room was clean. I'll give it that. The beds were hard as rocks. And small. So was the TV. Oh well. I tried to remind myself to see the world through the eyes of a child. They were delighted. The hotel had a POOL!!!!

It is good to look at the world through the eyes of a child. They were wide-eyed with delight at the whole experience. When we sought out the closest restaurant, they didn't mind at all that their $10 kids meals were greasy and tasted like cardboard. The pool and the M&M store. That is what life is all about.

See Sarah looking up adoringly at her sister? She wants to be just like her and copies everything she does. 2 seconds later she smiled at me and held up her bag of M&M's. My shutter timing wasn't so great.

I couldn't hope noticing how everyone dresses in Vegas (or doesn't dress, rather). The skimpier, the better, apparently. I didn't notice this until I was looking at these pictures later, but even the green M&M is showing a little too much leg.

I would have had an adorable picture of Abby just like this too, but seconds after this picture is shot, Abby's bag splits open and M&M's cover the 4th floor of the store. Oops.

Good thing Mom and Dad are really nice and let her get more. Nothing tastes like pink and purple M&Ms.

Posing with Daddy and the M&M's Nascar.

Notice the robotic alligator in the picture above? It isn't a great picture, but this is Sarah trying with all her might to make distance between her and that alligator. She didn't like it a bit when it snapped it jaws. Her reaction generated quite a few chuckles from the crowd.

However when we saw the very real lions (yes, this close...that is his nose) through the glass, she didn't even cringe. They were sleeping and looked all soft and cuddly.

I had made reservations at the fabulous Thai restaurant that Tiffany and Tawnya and I discovered, and I was really looking forward to eating there again. It was the one that got me hooked. But even that wasn't quite as good as I remembered it. Maybe my taste buds have refined (after all, since then I've hit nearly every Thai restaurant in Salt Lake, and my favorite one at least 4 or 5 [or ten] times) or maybe they were just having an off night. In any case, I was really starting to wonder if it was all me.

Now that we are back home, I've reflected on the trip and I've decided that I AM thankful for these times that really make us appreciate the finer things when we have the opportunity to experience them. They make the sweet times sweeter. And no matter where we were, I was happy to be with my family and see their joy. Tom moved over to the Mandalay Bay where his company was putting him up during the conference. He sent me an e-mail today with some pictures to assure me that there is a good side to Vegas. Marble counters, fluffy beds, clean carpet... isn't he sweet to remind me that Vegas isn't all bad? Or is he rubbing it in my face? :)

Mike and Amanda, we thought several times about looking you up, but the weekend passed in a quick flurry and we didn't get it done. How I wished we would have now because we surely would have left with fond memories. Next time we won't the the opportunity pass us by!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Apple geeks

This is what it is like hanging out on press with a bunch of
designers. We are trying hard to blow a circuit.

Monday, November 3, 2008

bird convention

There was a bird convention near our house. This picture doesn't show it well, but I'm sure there were millions of birds, flying in hoards from one end of the field to the other over and over. Occasionally a few of them would pop up to the power lines and take a break. Their warble filled the air. The convention happened for about a week across from the girl's daycare, and I puzzled over it every day when I drove by to pick them up. What do you suppose they were convening about?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

halloween fun

Time to do what the entire blogoshere is doing and post about our Halloween.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies.

....with maple glaze. A little sweet with the glaze, but yummy. Recipe courtesy of Bakerella.