Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"I Have a Fat Belly!"

I've told this story probably 10 times already, but I'll tell it once more here.

On Christmas Eve, Kirk and I were busy wrapping presents at my mom's house (she hates wrapping), and Adam had gotten in trouble several times for trying to sneak into the room where we were wrapping. When I heard a little knock on the door, I was quick to tersely respond.

Me: "Adam... is that you again?"


Adam: [in a much lower than normal voice] "No." [Pause] "I'm Santa Claus."

Me: [Stifling laughter] "Adam, you are NOT Santa Claus."

Adam: [still in a low voice] "But I have a fat belly! Ho, ho, ho."

Kirk and I just laughed and laughed. Later, my brother informed me that Adam had stuffed his blanket up his shirt. I guess he really wanted to get into character.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Earn a FREE "Year in Review" Flip Book from PhotoFinish

What it is: 20 page 6x8 flip book including one page each for the following: Title Page, January, February, March, April, EASTER, May, June, July, August, September, October, HALLOWEEN, November, THANKSGIVING, December, CHRISTMAS, plus 3 PAGES FOR THE SPECIAL EVENTS OF YOUR CHOICE. Choose your favorite pictures from each month/occasion, and I'll put them together in a flip book. This book is a $50 value, yours free if you


What does that take? Just pick day in January to let me show my books off at your house for 2 hours. All you have to do is send invites to 20 of your friends, and provide a light snack. My open houses are just that... an open house. Your guests should only plan to come for about a half hour, look through the books, ask questions, eat a snack, and then they can be on their way. I'll have gift cards available for purchase, or they can start planning their own projects.

The tricky part is getting people to come to the open house when they've never heard of my company. That's why I'll also give you a $30 PHOTOFINISH GIFT CARD if at least 5 people come to your party. You may want to try doing some follow-up phone calls after you've sent the invites, or talk it up in person.


Monday, December 15, 2008

I Want to Learn

I want to learn how to give my family better food choices, but there are several barriers in my way:

1- I really don't know where to start. I'm really interested in cutting down on processed foods, but I don't know how.
2- I am a really picky eater, and I'm pretty sure that when I take out the bad stuff, I'm just going to starve to death because there will be nothing left that I like to eat.
3- I don't really like to cook (although I am pretty good at it), and I'm worried that healthier will also mean more time consuming.
4- Our food budget is very small. I'm pretty sure that eating better means spending more money on food.

HELP ME! I really want to teach my kids to make good food choices, and I really want to help Kirk and I to be more healthy, but I really just don't know how to make it all work. Suggestions, please.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Amazing Custom Jewelry

My friend Becca has been working really hard to take her custom jewelry business to the next level. Today is the grand opening of her new website: She's running some awesome specials now thru Dec. 20th, so be sure to check it out (and tell your hubbies). Becca's gorgeous pieces would be the perfect finishing touch for your holiday outfits.

  • The first three people who contact Becca to order (via web or phone) will receive 30% off their total order!
  • All orders between today (December 9th) and Saturday, December 20th will be entered into a drawing. The winner will receive a $50 gift certificate!
  • All orders over $50 will receive a free gift with their order! The larger the order, the bigger the gift!

If you do order, please put my name in the referral box so Becca knows I sent you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Favorite Fife Family Tradition

Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, and I love my nephews (and niece), but I also love that for about 6 hours each year, I get to hang out with my awesome family-in-law without all the noise and chaos that comes with the kids. We call this heaven-sent chunk of time "The Christmas Party."

I've heard that some people consider their family Christmas parties boring. This is not even a possible classification for the Fife family party. There is always great food, plenty of sweets, fun gifts, and games. We love games! Last night consisted of a VERY long game of UNO Attack, followed by Pictionary, a Fife family favorite. I laughed so hard for so long that my abs literally ached. Props to Mom, who had quite a few good jokes last night (a rarity, according to her two sons).

Thanks to Rachel for heckling me through the whole game of UNO Attack. Thanks to Mark for making fun of his small "deck," much to our amusement. I would say thanks to Dad for the carmel corn, but he let us down this year, again. :) Thanks to Marie for always giving white elephant gifts that seem more like real gifts. Thanks to Mike for joining in all the fun and craziness. Thanks to Heather for not catching's Mom numbering mistake for the white elephant gifts; you've given us future ammunition. Thanks to Kirk for providing such a pleasant aroma for us to smell (remember Mom, no spaghetti next year). And thanks to Mom for such an AWESOME party!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Blaze Ticket Upgrade

We've been Utah Blaze season ticket holders since the very first year, and we have loved it. Here's a brief history of our time with the Blaze:

Season 1: I got Kirk season tickets for Christmas (2nd row upper bowl, kind of in the corner). I wasn't interested in going, so I sold the second ticket to each game to a different one of Kirk's friends or relatives. I ended up going to one game and loved it.

Season 2: I refused to give up my seat to any game I could attend. Due to scheduling conflicts, I made it to 4 of the 8 games and again I loved it. Adam and Alex also came to a game or two, and they loved it. (Okay, Alex was a newborn, and he slept through it).

Season 3: They reduced the price of our season tickets by almost 50%, so we decided to get 4 seats instead of 2. We figured in the future the kids would want to come, and I had already decided I would not be giving up my seat for them. The two seats next to us were not available, so we were moved to the opposite end of our row; hey, 10 seats closer to the 25-yard line is 10 seats closer. Woohoo!

Season 4 (upcoming): I got a call today from the Matt at the Blaze, and he told me that they're doing a promotion on season tickets, and to be fair to those of us who've already paid, they're offering free upgrades. So, for $56 per seat a season (that's 8 games), we'll be sitting on the 2nd row of the upper bowl at about the 20-yard line. (Remember that the 25 in arena football is like the 50 in NFL). Not only that, he says we'll be able to renew next year at the same price!

Don't forget that we have 2 extra seats to each game (except the one or two we'll take the kids to). So start sucking up now!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

If Only I Was This Goal Oriented in Real Life!

Here's how it happened:

Several weeks ago, I finally signed up for Facebook.

My friend, Raini, sent me an invite to join her mob on Mob Wars.

I declined.

Kirk signed up on Facebook and joined Raini's mob.

He sent me an invite to join his mob.

I declined.

He bugged me about not joining. I told him I just wasn't interested.

Yesterday, I was bored and thought, "What the heck. I'll check it out."

Today I am hooked. The first thing I did this morning was check how my mob had fared during the night. How lame am I? But the game is so cunningly crafted. You need money to buy weapons, you need weapons to win fights, you need stamina and health to be a able to fight. You need pieces of the city for residual income, but you need money to buy them in the first place. It all goes around and around in circles, and I am SO HOOKED.

In fact, the only reason I'm on blogger right now is because I am waiting for my health to build back up to 26 so I can attack someone. Wait... Yay! I'm there. Got to go.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Andrea Needs...

Andrea needs to actually write a blog with some substance. But that's not going to happen today. You can check back later in the week for pics of the advent calendar I'm going to make today, but for now all I have to offer is a fun tag I saw on Jami's blog:

Andrea Needs: Basically how this works is I typed "Andrea needs" into a Google search bar and came up with these fun morsels:

Andrea needs me close to her heart (actually a YouTube video... but not worth watching)
Andrea needs sleep… badly (always true)
Andrea needs help fast!!! (hmm... not so true. Life's actually pretty good right now.)
Andrea needs numbers! (here's a stretch for this one. Today I will be making the numbers 1-25 to go on my new advent calendar. So yes, Andrea needs numbers.)
Andrea needs some help coming up with stalker songs. (um...)
Andrea needs a profession in which she can express her inventive and idealistic side (got one, thanks)
Andrea needs needles color pattern by undergroundrailway (again, um... apparently there are some weird Andreas out there)
Andrea needs to revise her paper now (no thanks. Done with school)
Andrea needs a cheerleader outfit with a big “O”, pom-poms and short skirt (though I can't think of a useful application, it does sound fun)
Andrea needs change (quite the opposite; Andrea is loving life right now and is afraid of the changes she may have to make to keep it going)
Andrea needs to know (oh, there is so much I need to know, but I'd settle for knowing how to keep Alex out of trouble)
Andrea needs to be extremely more careful (always true; as my dad says, I'm missing the self-preservation gene, so I always have to be careful)

Well, that was fun. Seriously, though, I'll try for something real next time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Help Settle an Important Debate

When it comes to toilet paper, do you fold, or do you crinkle? Please vote at my friend's site:

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Bit of History

I saw this tag on Christy Henrie's blog, and I learned so much about her reading it, so I thought it would be fun to give you all an insight into Kirk & me.

1. Where did you meet?
On the internet. Yep.

2. What was the first thought that went through your head when you met?
I'm going to go with when we met in person here... I was so flustered because there had been some issues with getting the date going. We were supposed to double with my friends, but they had car trouble so I had to go pick them up. Kirk beat me back to my parents house, so he was already chatting with my parents and sister when I got there. I mostly remember thinking, "Ok, stop talking now so we can go..."

3. Do you remember what he was wearing?
I don't. I know he looked good, but I have no clue what he was wearing.

4.Where was the first time you kissed this person?
On my parents' front porch (on our first date)

5. Where did you go for your first date?
We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory (or something like that). We've only been there once since, so I'm not sure if that's what is is called. We also went bowling. Again, I don't know the name of the place. Wow, I'm not that great at this!

6. How long did you know this person before you became a couple?
About 48 hours. The day after our first date, he came with me and my family to a region conference at the conference center, then he had Sunday dinner with us. On Monday, I met his family, and he told me he loved me. It was pretty much over for us by then. :)

7. How did he ask you out?
He didn't really. I said to him (via IM), "So when are you going to ask me out." Then he asked me out. Kinda lame, I know.

8. Has this person ever proposed to you?
Unofficially, he proposed one week after we met. We were up in Logan visiting some of my friends, and we were just kinda hanging out. Ok, we were making out. He asked me to marry him, and I didn't really answer him. About an hour later, out of the blue, I said, "Yes."
Officially, he proposed 3 weeks after we met. We were on our weekly Thursday lunch date at my parents' house. I was making Ramen Noodles. I turned around and saw him kneeling down. I thought he was making fun of my height (I'm pretty short), until I saw the ring.

9. Do you and this person have kids together?
Yes. We specialize in boys. Adam is almost 4, and Alex is 1 1/2.

10. Have you ever broken the law with this person?

11. When was the first time you realized that you liked this person?
Probably the first time we IMed each other. We had so much to talk about, and he seemed so witty.

12. Do you get along with his family?
Yes! Even though it sometimes seems like we have very little in common, we all get along great. The Fifes have welcomed me in as one of their own.

13. Do you trust this person?
Obviously. I mean, he knows where I sleep.

14. Do you see him as your partner in your future?

15. What is the best gift he gave you?
Besides the obvious (my kids), the best gift is one he actually hasn't even gotten me yet. We recently decided to not get each other gifts for Christmas this year (to save some money), and later we were talking about what we had planned to get each other. I was so proud of myself because I was going to get him a GPS for his car (he's been talking about wanting one). He asked me if I wanted to know what he was going to get me. I was honestly surprised he was even thinking about it yet. He then told me that he was going to get me a cedar chest. I've only mentioned it to him once or twice that I would love to have a cedar chest, and I was floored that he'd even remembered. Not only that, but he had talked to my mom about it, and had even discussed that maybe someday my mom would pass down her cedar chest, which belonged to her mother. Just knowing that Kirk wanted to get me that means just as much as actually getting it.

16. What is one thing he does that gets on your nerves?
Only one? J/K. Kirk is actually really easy to be around. It does get on my nerves when he leaves things on the counter, but he's been a lot better about that lately.

17. Where do you see each other 15 years from now?
Hopefully we'll be in our dream home with some financial stability including a retirement fund. We'll be getting ready to send Adam on a mission. Hopefully, Kirk will be getting close to his dream of teaching high school math.

18. What causes the most arguments?
Stupid stuff. Like "What was the name of that actress," or the meaning of words, or who said what and who didn't listen. Fortunately, the internet solves most of our arguments.

19. How long have you been together?
Almost 8 years!

20. Are you Married?

21. Who do you tag?
Anyone who wants to partcipate.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


We've always joked that Alex's middle name is Trouble. Now I'm considering having it legally changed. Right now he's really into the idea of washing his hair. Here's a list of things he's washed it with lately:

Bath and Body Works hand soap (from my guest bathroom)

Conditioner (from my bathroom)

Ranch dressing (at dinner)

Oil-based white paint (Uncle Tony had been painting downstairs)

Blue paint (while I was painting my bedroom)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why Do I Always Argue?

I'm pretty sure some of my friends are going to start blocking me from their blogs, and I'm pretty sure my husband might just stop talking to me all together. Why is it so hardwired into me to have to argue every little point and to always have to be right? I remember when I was a kid that it always drove my mom crazy how I would pick stupid little arguments with my sisters all the time, and I've carried that annoying trait right on into adulthood.

I guess the point is, if you post something political/thought provoking/philosophical on your blog, I'm probably going to argue your point. Not because I think you're wrong, and not because I'm trying to be mean. I just like to argue. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Straight Into Winter

It only took a half hour to get all the kids bundled up and ready to go outside. They'd been out there for maybe 5 minutes when Kaleb said, "Hey, Aunt Andrea, can we make a snowman?" My first answer was, "No." I had no shoes on, let alone snow gear. He persisted, "Why not?" "Well," I answered lamely, "I'm not even sure I can find any gloves." The words sounded hollow even as I said them. I had no good excuse to not put on my awesome snow bibs (yeah, they look JUST like the kids') and get out there to make a snowman. Adam helped with the base, Ryan did the belly, and Kaleb made the head all by himself. We are always swimming in suckers here, so we used tootsie pops to create the face and buttons. Have you ever seen a snowman with purple eyes?
I knew I better take a picture quick, because I'm pretty sure these kids will have just as much fun knocking him down as they did setting him up. But if you ask me how this snowman will meet his demise, my money is on Alex tipping him over while trying to eat his buttons.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ripping the Band-Aid Off

There's a lot to be said for ripping the band-aid off quickly, thereby combining the pain of fifty hairs being ripped out into only a moment of suffering. Unfortunately, my day was like painstakingly pulling the band-aid off one hair at a time.

It started when I left this morning to go work for my dad. I got into my truck and couldn't help but notice that my passenger window was shattered. I wasn't sure whether I should suspect foul play or if it was just some crazy thing that had happened. I stopped to get the mail, and I started to notice the static noise coming from the radio that indicates that I'm trying to listen to my iPod but haven't actually turned it on. (Side note here, I notice things very slowly. I'm sure any normal person would have noticed everything at once). I went to push "play" on my iPod and discovered that there was no iPod in sight.

Ok, so foul play it is, and my iPod, its adapter thingy that plugs into a cigarette lighter, and my car charger for my phone are gone. Great. Well, I think to myself, I really shouldn't have left my iPod in the truck in the first place, so there's really no one to blame but me.

Then I start to realize that what's strange about my shattered window is that my truck doors were unlocked. I'm not one much for routines like locking vehicles. Apparently, the theif didn't bother to even try the doors before smashing in my window.

Fastforward several hours to when I'm talking to my brother about his costume. (Another side note, my brother went as Hitler, and his costume was made from an old US Army shirt and his scout shirt. I hope he didn't get struck down by lightning tonight.) He asked about Adam's costume, and I told him I could show him some pictures on my camera... "which is sitting on the front seat of my..." My heart sinks. I go out to the truck and search for what I know I won't find. My camera - complete with pictures of Adam putting a spider ring on the finger of his brand new "cousin" Brielle's hand - complete with a little video I took of Adam singing at his school yesterday - complete with irreplaceable memories (though thankfully not too many of them, since I am diligent downloader of pics) - is gone.

Later, I start to think that it was really weird how Adam & Alex's shoes were sitting on the backseat. I swear they had been in the diaper bag. And I swear I had put the diaper bag on the backseat. And I swear I didn't bother to take it in the house last night. And I swear, the idiot who didn't bother to check for unlocked doors stole my diaper bag. Whatever. At least he was kind enough to take my boys' shoes off the top and leave me those.

Fastforward again several hours to a time when I'm managing to ignore all the hairs pulled from my arm throughout the day... I'm getting my kids ready to go trick-or-treating, and I start gathering Adam's clothes. At this point I realize that his pants and shirt were in the diaper bag, because he'd worn them to school yesterday and changed at Aunt Marie's. The idiot who stole my diaper bag stole half of my three year old's costume.

As far as the costume was concerned, all he needed was black pants and a white shirt, which we were able to borrow. But beyond the scheme of Halloween, those black pants were part of his church suit, and the white shirt was his dress shirt. So I'm now left with an adorable black-on-black pinstripe suit, sans pants. I can't for the life of me remember what Alex was wearing yesterday, but whatever it was is gone, too.

I am fairly certain that the last few hairs were ripped from my skin with the discovery of the missing suit pants. I really hope the band-aid is off. I really hope tomorrow will be a better day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Update to Gorgeous Pics

Thanks to Jami Stensrud of Life in Moments Photography for these gorgeous pics of my family. I've turned these into a 5x7 album that I plan to give to the kids' grandparents and greatgrandparents for Christmas.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Halloween

Here's our family's jack-o-lanterns. Thanks, Uncle Jack & Aunt Michelle for helping the boys. Michelle drew several options of mouths, noses, and eyes so Adam could pick each feature of his jac-o-lantern, and then she helped him cut them out. Alex loves the pumpkin I carved for him and calls it his "kiki popo" (kitty pumpkin) or his "meow."

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gorgeous Pics

Thanks, Jami, for these gorgeous pics of my family. About a week ago, we headed up to Wheeler Farm, and Jami took these pics for us. My kids were a total pain (par for the course for photo sessions), but she handled it well and got all these great shots. Check them out on here photography site:

I think she's still offering free sessions to help increase her portfolio, so have her take some pics, and then have me make a flip book to give as Christmas gifts!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Things of Eight

I've been tagged for "Things of Eight in No Particular Order..."

1. Criminal Minds
2. So You Think You Can Dance
3. Life
4. Chuck
5. American Idol
6. Big Brother
7. ER
8. The Office

1. I digi-scrapped with Kris
2. I watched my kids talk to their Aunt Lisa on the web-cam
3. I talked to my sister Lisa for an hour and a half
4. I finished my flip book for my grandparents wedding anniversary
5. I cleaned my office. Seriously. It's spotless.
6. I finally finished folding last week's laundry.
7. I ate oatmeal for breakfast with the kids.
8. I worked on long & short vowels with Kaleb (my nephew) on the way to dropping the 3 year old's off at preschool.

1. MeKong Cafe (Thai restaurant in Sandy, UT)
2. Chili's (cinnamon apples... mmm...)
3. Olive Garden
4. Tepanyaki
5. Sizzler
6. Arby's
7. Ruby Tuesday

1. Adam in school all day, five days a week (also known as 1st grade, and won't happen for 2.5 years)
2. Visiting Brett & Lisa in Georgia some day
3. Going to Arizona for Christmas
4. Kirk being done with training at the IRS (next summer)
5. Bed time
6. Kirk getting back in town from Denver (in about 2 hours)
7. When I've had all my children and they can all dress themselves and buckle themselves in the car
8. Disneyland with Kirk's family (next summer)

1. To be out of debt
2. To never lose patience with my kids
3. To find the balance between diet and exercise (I hate both!)
4. To feel caught up and balanced in all aspects of life - as a mother, wife, homemaker, business owner, church member, etc.
5. To be able to afford to buy whatever I want at the grocery store, like chips and snacks
6. To raise my children to responsible and respectful members of society
7. To get to read good books often
8. To find the trick to getting Alex to sleep at night

1. Kris
2. Heather
3. Martha
4. Jami
5. Raini
6. Kirk
7. Brandy
8. Steph

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thinking Ahead to Christmas

I know, I know... it isn't even Halloween! But if you happen to be an early shopper like me, I wanted to make sure you have this info now.

PhotoFinish (my business) is now offering Gift Cards. I have some standard ones that can be given as wedding, baby shower, and graduation gifts, but there are also customizable ones that would be GREAT for Christmas.

Is there someone on your list that has everything? Give them the gift of memories, beautifully compiled in book form! The gift certificates range from $30 to $200, or create your own. There's more details at my company website:

Monday, October 20, 2008

Forget Feng Shui

I'm personally a fan of houses that can be played in. Thanks, Mom, for creating a nice, open living room for this... (only 11 seconds long, so go ahead and push play!)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Trip to the ER

Back in March, I was diagnosed with an ulcer (moral of the story there is don't treat Ibuprofen like candy). I took the prescribed medicine for about a month, started to feel better, and just kind of stopped taking the prescriptions. In June, it flared up really badly after I ate some chili, but I threw everything I had at it (Tums, milk, Zantac, Prilosec), and got it under control pretty quickly.

This past weekend I was in Idaho, and Saturday night right before bed, I ate two pieces of banana bread. I don't know why this affected my dormant ulcer, but I woke up at 6 am Sunday morning in all sorts of pain. I started throwing medicine at it and somehow managed to sit through the drive back from Idaho. At about 3 pm, I took some Zantac, and at 4, I headed out to Kirk's parents for dinner. I tried to eat, but I was in way too much pain.

Kirk's parents watched the kiddos while Kirk took me to the Urgent Care clinic. About 45 minutes later, I was the proud owner of a prescription for Lortab and instructions to see a Gastroenterologist about the ulcer. I didn't want to leave Grandma Tess with the kids for too long, so we headed back to the house where I laid down and asked Kirk to wait until 7:30 (when his sister Heather would get there) before filling my prescription. I took a Lortab at 8:15, and at 9:00 I didn't feel better at all.

So, we headed out to Jordan Valley hospital. After all sorts of tests (including a CAT Scan) 3 doses of morphine, and one dose of a very strong antacid given through my IV, they sent me home with instructions to follow up with a Gastroenterologist. We arrived home at 4:00 am.

I've since been taking my prescriptions for the ulcer, and I haven't been in any real pain since. I have an appointment with the GI Doc on 11/10, and I guess until then I just maintain with my ulcer meds.

What a way to spend a Sunday night!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to Catch Wild Pigs

I've been trying not to take my blog in a political direction, but as the election approaches, that's what's on my mind. I'm still an undecided voter, and I'm weighing everything out really carefully in my mind. One of my major concerns about Obama is his "the government will" attitude. I do not want my children to grow up in a country where we expect our government to give us things that we did not earn, or things that are really not in the best interest of our country. Because this has been on my mind lately, I found the following story really interesting. Check it out:

There was a Chemistry professor in a large college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Prof noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back and stretching as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government. In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question.

He asked, ‘ Do you know how to catch wild pigs?’ The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. ‘You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how To forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America. The government keeps pushing us toward Communism/Socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedoms- just a little at a time.

One should always remember "There is no such thing as a free Lunch!" Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I've heard more than once that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. Lately, Alex's overwhelming grouchiness (we're blaming it on teething) has been more than I can handle, and I've felt such a need to really be able to enjoy him again. I decided to dump the pics from my camera to the computer and realized that despite what has seemed like a terrible couple of weeks with him, there have been more beautiful moments than I could ever ask for. I post these today for you to enjoy, but more importantly as a reminder to me of the beautiful boy that is my son, Alex.

Alex in the dryer:

Alex in the laundry basket:

Alex asleep in his crib (we recently took the front off):
Alex at Adam's soccer game... just cheesin' it:
Alex trying to PLAY at Adam's soccer game:
Alex and his Grandma Casdorph at the piano:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Good Daughter... For a Daughter

For those of you who've ever met my dad, you'll find this hilarious. Even if you haven't, I'm pretty sure you'll still enjoy this. My sister Lisa got married back in July, and this is a clip of his speech at her wedding dinner. A quick note for those of you not truly acquainted with my family, Lisa's husband Brett was, at the time, working for my dad. It's helpful to know that little fact. I've let it play through to the end, even though he does turn it serious for a sentence or two. I thought I'd let him redeem himself at least a little.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Kind of Interview

Okay, so I thought the library card interview was funny (see previous post), but at least Adam was awake for that one. Last night, we heard him coughing outside our door, so we invited him in. He was acting kind of strange, but Kirk just grabbed him and laid him in between us. He immediately closed his eyes and went to sleep.

I was concerned, because he almost never gets out of his bed at night, so I figured something must be wrong. I'd ask him questions, but he mostly just ignored me. Then this:

Me: Adam, is something wrong?

Adam: I can't see.

Me: [stifling laughter] Honey, maybe you should try opening your eyes.

Adam opens his eyes.

Me: Is that better?

Adam: Yeah.

I continued to try to ask him if anything was wrong or if anything hurt, but he just kept looking at me with a really far-off look. We finally concluded that he was sleep walking, and Kirk carried him back to bed while I laughed hysterically.

I hope he does that again some other night! It was way more entertaining than TV.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An Interview

The other night, I filled out an application for Adam to get his own library card. (Side note: I now know he can't get one because he isn't 5, but that's not relevant to this story.) Here's how the application process went:

Me: What is your name?
Adam: Adam Lawrence Fife

Me: Where do you live?
Adam: At my house.

Me: What is your phone number?
Adam: 49

Me: What's your email address?
Adam: [pause] [pause] Um, I don't know.

Me: What's your mom's maiden name?
Adam: Andrea Fife

I guess we still have some work to do in case he ever gets lost. At least he does know my name.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I'm looking for some guinea pigs to help me develop a new branch of my business called Photo Finish Gifts. Check out the details at I think the offer is going to fill up quickly, so hurry!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Tickets to Rocky Mountain Raceway: free
Hot Dogs: free
Drink & Fries: $6.00
Meeting Lightning McQueen: PRICELESS

That's right... we got to go to RMR for free using our "Good Neighbor" passes. They send these to us every year, but we've always been too busy to go. This year, we made a night of it, taking advantage of the free hot dogs, too.

Since Adam doesn't like loud noises, we were a little worried about how he'd handle it, but we gave him some earplugs, and he survived. Actually, he loved it.

I had told him we were going to go see some race cars like Lightning McQueen, but that Lightning McQueen would not be there. Naturally, it surprised me when, during the first race, Adam pointed to the track and shouted, "Mom! There's Lightning McQueen!" At first, I just figured he'd seen a red car, but after closer inspection, sure enough it was Lightning!

After the races, we got to go check out the cars. Lightning's driver, "Lightning Cody," was kind enough to let the boys sit in the car (which, btw, is about half the size of a Nascar car). They had a blast.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Creative Outlet

Now that I've turned my creative outlet - digital scrapbooking - into a business, I'm finding that I need a new creative outlet. I've always been interested in beading, but as the mom of boys I rarely have a need for beads. However, now that there are 4 little boys living in our house, I find that I can never keep the cups straight. Did Adam have water in the red cup today... or is that one Ryan's? So, I came up with this solution and had a little creative fun along the way.

These charms slip right over a straw, and now the boys can reuse their water cups all day long without the threat of sharing germs.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Return from Hiatus

I actually haven't been anywhere... just busy. So here's a recap of life since I've been a total blog slacker.

Last week of August - My sister Michelle and her husband Skye decided they're moving back to Utah! Yeah!

Sept. 1st - Kirk's sister Heather, her husband Tony, and her two boys Kaleb (5) and Ryan (3) became the most recent inhabitants of our revolving door basement. It's been a little noisier and messier with the addition of the two extra kids, but it's also been a blast for Adam. We're happy to have doubled our family size for awhile.

Sept. 3rd - The death of a car. Yeah, our blue piece-of-crap car threw a piston, which is apparently synonymous with death. Considering it would cost more to repair than what we paid for the car in the first place, we are now in the position of looking for a replacement vehicle. Thanks to Michelle and Skye, we'll be borrowing Michelle's Alero until we figure out a permanent solution.

Sept. 4th - Adam's first day of preschool... again. Technically, Adam went to preschool last year. But he was just downstairs at the same school where I was teaching, so it feels totally different this year to just drop him off someplace. He is going to Jacque's Preschool on Tues & Thurs afternoons, and his cousin (and current housemate) Ryan is in his class.

Sept. 6th - I put the finishing touches on two guest books that absolutely had to be finished last week. I love the work, but I hate it when it encroaches on my family time, and last week I felt like I had to work a ton! But I can't complain, because that means my business, well, has business.

Hopefully I'm back in the blogsosphere this week, but with a houseful of kids and a new business to run, we'll see if I find time or not.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Saw Butt!!

On days that I do not have appointments I take the bus to work. Because of this when it is time to go home I have to walk about a block or so to the bus stop or trax station when it is time to go home. On Wednesday this is what happened. I was making my way to the trax station to make my way home and enjoying the day. It was a little warm but there was a little wind to help keep you cool. I was standing on the corner of 100 south and State street waiting to cross. When I started walking an older lady (I would put her in her late 50's) who was a little over weight was walking in front of me. She had a skirt on that came down to about mid-thigh. As I looked down I noticed her skirt blow up a little in the wind. I thought to myself she needs to be careful or that skirt is going to blow up higher than she wants. Just as I finished that though it happened. A short gust of wind and the skirt blew right up. Come to find out she was going commando and I saw her but. Correct me if I am wrong ladies but if you are going commando and wearing a skirt I would be a little cautious about the possibility of showing stuff I didn't want to show. Anyway, I saw her butt and I really wish I didn't, it wasn't a pretty site. What I do find interesting is she never made an attempt to push the skirt back down and continued walking as if nothing happened. Moral of the story, if someone is in front of you wearing a skirt and it is windy. Don't look down unless you are ready to see what lies beneath.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Political Confusion

A post from my good friend Jay Tucker has renewed an interest in something I've been thinking about for a while. You see, I tend to suffer from what I call political constipation, a condition involving an overall understanding of what's important to me coupled with a complete inability to translate that information into a clear answer to a seemingly simple question... who should I vote for? I read an idea awhile back, though, about forming a research/debate group of sorts to help sift through all the available information about different candidates, then get together and discuss it.

My biggest concern is that someone (or multiple someones) would get too personally vested in an issue to give an unbiased, fact-based report, or even scarier, that they would take offense to the unbiased, fact-based reports given. I am pretty sure, though, that all my friends are mature enough (politically, only... I I'm not referencing what you do in your spare time here. Yeah, you know who I'm talking about) to handle an unbiased, fact-based discussion about politics, right? Assuming that such a thing exists, of course.

So the question, then, is three-fold. Part A: Would you like to be involved in my little research/debate project? Part B: What issues would you like to see researched/debated? Part C: Would you rather do the debating in person (I'm seeing major benefits to this when in comes to keeping our tact-filters, well, intact. Yes, the pun was intended) or via a specially designed blog forum (obviously better for gas prices and potential out-of-state participants)?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Growing Up

I'm not quite sure how it happened. I swear that last night I tucked a small boy into his bed and kissed him goodnight. Somehow, overnight, he seems to have suddenly grown up. I was working on the couch this morning when he came around the corner wearing a big boy's body. It didn't help that he announced to me in an appropriately disapproving voice, "Mom, you made a big mess of the couch already. Now I have nowhere to sit. You need to clean up all this mess right now." There was not one pause or stutter in his stream of plain English. Perhaps I need to stop sleeping; it seems every time I do, my boys grow up a little more.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Give That Guy a Klondike Bar

On Friday, I had asked Kirk to stop at the store on his way home to grab a few things. When he got home, he'd also picked up these beautiful flowers. He told me he wanted to wish me good luck on the bridal show I'd be doing on Saturday (click here for more on that), and - here's the kicker - "I know you said your booth was going to be decorated in fall colors, so I thought these would look really nice." Seriously, give my husband a Klondike Bar for listening well enough to even remember what colors my booth would be decorated in. Thanks, honey!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Can Billy Play (Part II)

Thanks for all your help with part I of the neighborhood friends mechanics. Here's part II...

The scenario: Billy has invited Adam to play at Billy's house, and Adam has been gone for over an hour. I totally trust Billy's family, and I really don't mind if Adam keeps playing. What should I do? Keep in mind that I don't like to meddle if I don't have to.

1. Assume that Billy's mom will kick Adam out when she's sick of him.
2. Go over to Billy's house and take Adam home with me.
3. Call Billy's mom to check on Adam and let her know to send him home whenever she wants.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Charlie Bit Me

When one of the members of Kirk's fantasy football league chose "Charlie Bit Me" as his team name, I just had to investigate. Here's what I found. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Does This Look Like My Boys?

According to this website, this is what our boys should look like. It's a cute enough kid, I guess, but I think I'll keep Adam & Alex.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Can Billy Play?

Sometimes I'm reminded of the fact that, although I didn't know it at the time, my childhood wasn't "normal." My mom taught at (and I attended) a private school about 30 minutes from our house, and we spent a lot of time at school. We were very family oriented, and as a result, my sisters were always my best friends. As a result, I'm sometimes a little lost when it comes to the unwritten rules of neighborhood play. I'm hoping those of you with "normal" upbringings can help me out.

1: If a neighbor - let's say Billy - knocks on my door and asks if Adam can play, and I answer "yes," at whose home should I expect that the kids will play?

2: Does Adam & Billy's age factor into the equation in any way?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I know, I know, you're already married, but...

... if you have a minute on Saturday, August 23rd to check me out at the Bridal Extravaganza, I'd sure love to see you. I'm going to be there promoting my new business, PhotoFinish, and it would be fun to see a few friends. Even better, I'd love it if you send any brides you may know who'd like a unique guestbook or a professionally scrapbooked wedding album. Link them to my page ( or link them to the Extravaganza ( Either way, I'm sure they'll find something they'll love!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ralston Hot Cereal

Lately I've been revamping what my kids eat for breakfast, and I nostalgically remembered one of my childhood favorites: Ralston. I asked Kirk if he ever had it as a kid, but he hadn't. He missed out. Ralston is sort of like oatmeal, but lots smoother, and it's made of wheat. It cooks up instantly, and it is SO yummy. Anyway, I wanted to be able to share this wonder with my kids, but I remembered that my parents stopped buying it when I was a kid because the stores stopped selling it.

I decided to check it out online. There are a few places that sell it, but it isn't always available. One store says they'll have some available on August 22nd. It costs $2.75 per box, and I'm just assuming (could be wrong here) that I'll save on shipping by buying more. More importantly, though, I can help impart Ralston to anyone who misses its yumminess. So if any of you grew up on Ralston and want to order some, let me know, and I'll put in a big group order as soon as I can.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ban on Ice Cream Trucks

I have no problem with ice cream trucks driving through my neighborhood, American folk-songs blaring, causing my three year old to whine incessantly about wanting ice cream (which, by the way, he doesn't even like). At home, we are protected by walls and fences, and Adam doesn't have to watch as other children (with apparently nicer and richer parents) purchase and eat their treats. When an ice cream truck pulls into a child-laden public area -- like a park -- however, I have a problem with it.

Now I do realize that it is good business. If you want to sell ice cream, go where the kids are. But at best it is unkind, and at worst - unethical. If I wanted to buy fun for my kids, I'd be at McDonalds. The park is where I go for my kids to have good, clean, FREE fun. I really just don't appreciate our fun time being interupted when I have to tell Adam no.

I wish there was some sort of a city ordinance banning ice cream trucks from parks.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fantasy Sports

So we are quickly approaching one of my favorite times, football season. With the start of football season comes another great thing, fantasy football. I know what you're thinking, there are many different fantasy sports besides fantasy football. Yes there are and I usually take part in them. I have been in fantasy hockey, basketball, golf, basketball, and more but I truly love fantasy football. In addition to doing fantasy football I also love to do weekly pick 'em leagues. For those of you not familiar with that it is when you go in and pick a winner for the games that week. Well I have set up a college football weekly pick 'em where you pick the winner's for the teams in the AP top 25 (unfortunately this means I will have to pick BYU) and an NFL pick 'em league.

So if any of you reading this did not get an invite to be a part of the league and you would like to be in it please let me know. Also I am thinking of setting up another NFL pick 'em league where you rank the games for the week. It is called a confidence interval. What you do is pick the winner for each game. Then if there is 16 game you rank them from 1 to 16, you put the games you feel you are most confident you are correct on in the higher numbers. Then if you picked the winner of the game you get that many points. You are not penalized for getting the game wrong you just don't earn the points. Anyway if you want to be a part of that let me know and I will get it set up.

That is all I have to post about for now. Who knows in another couple of months I will post again. Peace out.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Who would have thought?

I realize that slides do get hot when the sun beats on them, but seriously... hot enough to blister? Poor little Alex discovered the hard way that apparently the heat of a green plastic slide at high noon is in fact enough to cause a second-degree burn.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wedding Advice

I saw the advice cards from Lisa's wedding sitting on my dad's desk and decided that if Brett & Lisa didn't want them read, they'd have put them somewhere else. I came across one from my cousin's husband, and he definately had the best advice I've ever heard. So here it is:
  1. Tortina's Pizzas are only 99 cents and never get old.
  2. Sneeking up on your wife never gets old... ever.
  3. When your wife says "it would be nice if..." she fully expects you to do it.
  4. Getting your socks into the hamper doesn't count as "cleaning up." Trust me.
  5. Everything you will ever need to know about relationships can be found in chick flicks.
  6. Always let your wife dress you... its just easier.
  7. Driving through Wendy's won't count as "going out" to her.
  8. Fixing what's broken is your job. Pointing out what's broken is hers.

Dave - you are a very wise man.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hogle Zoo with the Vassels & Grandma Tess

We had planned to go camping last weekend, but for various reasons we ended up just staying home. Well, sorta. We didn't camp, but we did have TONS of fun at Hogle Zoo last Friday. (Thanks, Mom for spoiling us rotten) The kids handled the heat really well, and we were able to see just about everything we wanted to. Alex loved the elephants while Adam favored the tigers and giraffes. Take a look!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Employment Change

I guess maybe life has been a little too easy for us lately, and it must be time for a challenge.

The internet really isn't the place for the details, so I'll make a pretty complicated story short. Last school year, my mom, my sister and I were all teaching for the same school, but I was at a different location. Through a crazy turn of events, my mom was unfairly fired, and in the aftermath, my sister quit. I decided that since I was at a different location and a little farther removed I could at least make it through the school year.

After the parents threw a fit, my mom was rehired, but it was too late for Lisa to do anything. She worked at various schools to make enough money to pay her rent, and she got through it.

At the end of the school year, I decided the best option for my family was for me to continue teaching there. I worked very few hours, and the pay was very good. I no longer felt any loyalty toward the company, but I felt I could go to work, do my job, and go on with life.

Over the weekend, however, I learned that one of the people directly responsible for everything that happened with my mom has been transferred to my location. I do not agree with the ethics this person has diplayed, and I cannot be in an environment where I would have to work with her. The school's administration has been showing an ever-increasing lack of morals and ethics, and though I've tried to turn a blind eye in order to make it through one more year, I know that I cannot do this anymore.

So, today I quit. Life could be a little interesting around here for awhile, but at least I know I will not have to face a stressful work environment every day. I can finally walk away and just be done with it.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Home Again!

After a very long trip (or so it seemed), I've now been back home for a few days, gotten unpacked, and found a spare minute to blog. The boys and I spent last Sunday with Grandma & Grandpa Nelson up in Boise, ID. Adam loved to "fish" in Great Grandpa's pond, and Alex loved to paint with splenda.

Monday, we headed up to Garden Valley to see Skye & Michelle in their shows. We enjoyed all of them, but my favorite was Oklahoma. Jack and I also enjoyed rafting down the river, and I jumped off a bridge.

We visited Skye & Michelle at "the compound," which is where they and the other actors live. It has great access to the river with a nice sandy beach. We played down there for awhile, and we even caught a frog and a snake as well as some mussels, which we later ate.

After our Garden Valley stay, we drove to Tremonton, UT for the Nelson Norris Family Reunion. We had a birthday party for my Grandpa, who is turning 80 on 08-08-08, played in a bounce house, and had a flag retirement ceremony among other things. Adam was so worn out that he fell asleep within 3 minutes of getting into the car.

All in all, it was an amazing week, but I sure am glad to be home!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Public Service Employees Read On!

Kirk was recently informed of a program where it is possible that after 10 years of payments on student loans, the remainder of the principle and interest is simply forgiven. As a government employee, he currently qualifies for this plan. I just read the details, and I think that several of our friends may also qualify. Here's the official info from the site:

Public service jobs include, among other positions, government, military service, public safety and law enforcement (police and fire), public health, public education, public early childhood education, public child care, social work in a public child or family service agency, public services for individuals with disabilities or the elderly, public interest legal services (including prosecutors, public defenders and legal advocacy in low-income communities), public librarians, school librarians and other school-based services, and employees of tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations. Full-time faculty at tribal colleges and universities, as well as faculty teaching in high-need areas, also qualify.

If you are currently employed in a public service job and intend to be so employed for the next 10 years, check out this site: Be sure to read the section "caveats." I did find that interesting.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blog Review: Bishop Higgins 3rd Ward

I stumbled upon this blog via a link from a friends blog. The link was posted under the header, "read at your own risk." Of course, intrigued by the header, I clicked and read on.

My first visit to the site caused several initial reactions including:

1. This is hilarious!
2. Is this for real?

After a few visits to the site, I finally decided that this blog is the most elaborate joke ever. The details are so... detailed. Anyway, if you're a Robert Kirby reader, or even if your just open to poking fun at your own religion, check this out.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Amazing Jewelry

One of my very best friends has started a custom jewelry business, and I just checked out her stuff. WOW! Girls, give your husbands this blog address and tell them this is where they should shop for Christmas. Check it out!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Brief Hiatus

The boys and I are off to Idaho for a week to visit Skye & Michelle. I told Kirk it's his job to keep our readers interested this week, so keep checking back for his posts.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

America's Got Talent

Okay, I meant to post this forever ago, and now it probably isn't even relevant. Oh well. I don't know if any of you watch America's Got Talent. We DVR it, but most of the time I sleep through it and don't really care, because this show generally annoys me more than entertains me.

I did catch this audition a while ago, though, and I wanted to post it. I always complain about little girls who have been taught to sing like they are 20. This little girl is not one of those. If you have a few minutes to watch something adorable, check out 4 year old, Kaitlyn Maher.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Only the Poppers and the Sticks

This year we extended the 4th of July by a day and did fireworks again with the Vassels on Saturday. Unfortunately, after attending the ReAL game on Thursday and being scared by the loud fireworks, Adam wanted nothing to do with the fireworks either day. He chose to stay inside instead. He did love the "poppers" and the "sticks" (sparklers), though. Hopefully he'll get over his fear soon.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Ramen Noodles Ad

My boys love ramen. Adam asks for noodles for lunch (and breakfast...and dinner) everyday. Yesterday, I told Adam if he wanted noodles, he'd have to go downstairs and get more. He invited Alex to come with him. 10 minutes later, Adam came up with 5 packages, then he went back down to get the 1 he'd given Alex to carry. Alex was apparently upset by this, so he crawled back into the grocery room, got a package of ramen, and carried it all the way upstairs. He was so proud of himself.

We made the noodles and fed the kids dinner. Adam got distracted and didn't quite finish his noodles. A half hour or so later, we heard a strange slurping sound. It was Alex, face down in Adam's bowl of noodles.

So if Maruchan Ramen is ever looking for poster children, we've got them right here.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

...Unfortunately, this happened during Sacrament meeting, so I don't have one. Bear with me through the thousand words.

Picture Alex sitting on the pew during the closing song. Adam is standing directly in front of him, and the boys are face to face. Alex has a storybook open on his lap, pretending it is a hymn book. If you've ever heard Alex "sing," go ahead and think of that, too. Now pan over to Adam, who is waving his arms about in something that resembles a seminary-style 2/4 pattern (for those of you who may not have gotten that... he was leading the music).

I really don't know if that made any sense, but if you ever meet the people from the pew behind us, they'll tell you it was hilarious.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


If you have not had an opportunity to watch Wipeout then I highly recommend it. Wipeout is a new "game show" where people compete in a serious of event to win $50,000. The events are made so that someone cannot possibly do without falling, and it usually is not a pleasant ride when they fall. As we all know it is funny to watch someone fall especially when it looks like it hurts, unless of course that someone is you. The best part of the show though if you ask me is the commentators. Andrea and I laugh so hard at the things they say. The show is on Tuesday nights at 7 on ABC (channel 4). If you get a chance watch an episode, you will not be disappointed.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cheesy Balls of Goodness

Leave it up to my adorable husband to take something as innocent as cheese balls and turn it into a running gag. While we were camping, Kirk taught Adam to call these "Cheesy Balls of Goodness," and he does. The other night after Kirk's graduation party, Adam came in and asked me for some cheesy balls of goodness, then took them out to the backyard and offered to share with everyone out there. "Does anybody want any cheesy balls of goodness?" Yes, there were laughs all around.
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Friday, July 4, 2008

Don't Ever Let a 3 Year Old Pick Out Your Outfit

The other day, I was getting Alex dressed when Adam noticed I was still in my PJ's. He decided I needed to get dressed and announced that he would go get me some clothes. I said, "OK. Just make sure you get mommy pants and a shirt." I guess this was his interpretation of high fashion. I particularly like the Granger High cheerleading skirt (borrowed from my sister in law for a Halloween costume a few years ago) mixed with the Jordan High sweatshirt that I stole from my sister's closet. I myself am an Alta grad.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A New Venture

A year or so ago, I dove into the world of digital scrapbooking, and it has pretty much consumed me since then. Besides making my own personal scrapbooks, I've had the opportunity to make a couple of custom guest books, my sister's wedding album, Kirk's mission memory book, and soon I get to work on a really special project for my Grandpa Nelson. My mom's mother, Kirma Nelson, passed away when my mom was 16. Grandpa has asked me to make a memory book of her, and I am really excited to get to work on that project.

Anyhow, I have digressed. The actual point of this blog is that after making these books, I've had quite a few people tell me that I ought to be doing this professionally. I argued with them for awhile about how I really wasn't sure I could make any money at it, and blah, blah, blah. But after talking through some marketing strategies with me, they won. I have agreed to at least try it out and see what kind of business is out there. If it goes well, then maybe in a year or so I can convert to just doing that. We'll see.

In order to keep my prices low, my marketing is pretty much going to have to be word-of-mouth. I'm going to take business cards and sample books to some bridal shops, photographers, cake decorators, etc. to try to get my name where the brides are, and hopefully that will be a start. But these books are really awesome for all sorts of things besides weddings. I can do vacation memory books, family reunion books, missionary memory books, 'in memory of' books, custom baby books, personal history books, etc.

I realize that those of you who read my blog are probably not in the financial stage of life to be wanting one of these books, but if your grandparents have been on a mission or a really great vacation or something they'd like memorialized, please pass my name along. Or if you have a sister/friend/whatever getting married, the custom guest books really are cool.

Anyway, check out my new "website" -- okay, it's really just a blog, and keep me in mind for those really special projects.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

An Exciting Weekend

Like I said in an earlier post, we went camping last weekend with Jay & Raini. I wish I had pictures to post, but I forgot my camera! Arg. Raini took some good pics of the kids, though, so when I get them I'll post them.

Our trip was a little short -- just Friday night to Sunday, but it was a lot of fun. We kind of crashed the Holbrook (Raini's family) party, but the Holbrooks are awesome, so it was great.

Friday night we set up camp then hurried off to the hot pools at Lava Hot Springs. Adam loved it there and just kind of hung out in the pools. Alex, however, hates to hold still for any reason so I spent most of my time chasing him around. He finally found a ramp down into one of the pools and decided to play on that. I just sat at the bottom and watched him.

Saturday, we headed into "town" to a park right on the river. The plan was to float the river and eat junk food all day. We put life jackets on the kids and inflated our newly-purchased river rafts and headed out into the river. Adam was with me, and Kirk took Alex. Alex hated the cold water and cried the whole time. Adam actually liked it for a while, until we capsized. The funny part was that he was far more concerned about the fact that his shoes had fallen off than anything. Amazingly, I managed to catch the 3 year old, both shoes, and the raft, and get everything to a nice calm spot in the river. Unfortunately, Adam had changed his mind about enjoying the river and simply wanted, as he said repeatedly, "to go home." I explained that the only way to get "home" was to get back in the raft and continue down the river. Finally after a quick prayer, I was able to convince him to get back in. He cried the rest of the way, but we were able to safely get ashore. Although the experience was a little scary for him, I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss the power of prayer with him as we talked about how Heavenly Father helped us get back safely.

Next, we pawned the kids off on the people not yet ready to go down the river, and we headed up a little higher to try out a couple of the water falls. Raini, Kirk, Raini's sister Jacy and I all headed up together. Raini and Jacy have done the falls before, so they explained to us that you're supposed to stay to the right on the first one, and to the left on the second. We all made it down the first with no problems. Jacy was first down the 2nd falls. I followed after her, flipped out of my tube, and lost my sunglasses. As I recovered, Raini came down the falls. Although she had been lined up to come down the left side, someone had kicked her tube, sending her the wrong direction. Instead of just flipping out of her tube, she managed to catch a rock with her foot.

She swam over to the bank of the river and announced that she thought she'd broken her ankle, but she sounded so calm that Jacy and I didn't take her very seriously. We watched Kirk come down (also on the wrong side of the falls, but he was fine), and then started to realize that perhaps Raini was serious. The three of us reached her at about the same time, and Kirk asked her what was wrong. She showed him her ankle, and it was pretty obviously broken. For a detailed account of the rest of that story, check out Jay's blog about the ordeal I'll just give a quick outline:

Kirk, Jacy, Danny (Jacy's hubby), and I took Raini a little farther down the river to a bank with less of an incline. The guys carried Raini up the bank and back to the park while I supported her ankle. We loaded her into the back of our Jeep, and Jay, Danny, Raini and I headed to the emergency room in Pocatello. Raini's parents and Grandma followed. Raini toughed it out through the x-rays with no pain medication and was finally informed that she'd broken her ankle in 3 places and done quite a bit of damage to her tendons. They put her under, set the ankle, and braced it, but she'll have to see an orthopedic doctor this week.

Sadly, that was the end of Jay & Raini's weekend. Once we finally got back to camp, they packed up and left. Fortunately, the Holbrook clan made us feel very welcome, and we were still able to very much enjoy the rest of the trip, even though our friends had gone home. We stayed up WAY too late playing Bang! and discussing Family Guy episodes around the fire.

WOW this post is getting long! Sunday morning, we had breakfast at a Soda Springs restaraunt, and after breaking up camp, we decided to try the river again since some people never even got a chance to go down it on Saturday. Kirk and I had one successful run, then headed up with a slew of Holbrooks for another run. This time, Raini's brother Riley went under and hit his head on a rock. He is just fine, but the experience was a little much for an 11 year old. At that point everyone decided they'd had enough, and we headed home.

We cleaned up our filthy kids and got them in bed. I guess they were worn out because Adam slept until 9:30 and Alex until 10:45 the next day. This post kinda makes it sound like a bad trip, but we actually had a blast. Hopefully the other trips we have planned this summer will but just as fun but a little more safe.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Just Sittin' Around

So Andrea is out with her mom looking at stuff and the kids are both in bed. Normally I would take this opportunity to do some homework. The only problem, yeah right problem, is that I am done with school. I can honestly say I don't know what to do with myself. It always seem like there was homework to do. Now that I don't have class I don't have to try to find stuff to keep me from doing homework. That said Andrea and I had a little get together yesterday to celebrate my graduation. It was really great. My family and Andrea's family where there of course. There were also some friends from the neighborhood. It was really nice to see everyone and to feel their support for a job well done, or at least a job done I don't know about well. I really do not have much more to say so I will stop rambling.

Blogging is Great...

...especially for those of us who suck at maintaining personal relationships. Some would say that technology (email, text messaging, blogging) is responsible for the demise of interpersonal communication. For those who have replaced a face-to-face conversation, or even a phone call, with an email or blog post, I guess maybe that's true. But since I was never any good at the face-to-face conversations or phone calls in the first place, blogging fills a huge social void and allows me to actually be somewhat proactive in maintaining friendships. For example:

We adore our friends Jay & Raini, but ever since they moved to Layton, we only see them once or twice a year. This last weekend was our annual camping trip, and we had TONS to talk about, because we all read each other's blogs and still feel connected to each other's daily lives.

My sister and her husband Skye recently moved to Idaho. While he was living with us, Skye and I became very good friends, often boring Kirk to death with our conversations that would frequently last past midnight. When Skye left, he said, "Make sure you call me all the time and let me know what's going on with the kids." I let him in on our little secret, which is that no matter how much Kirk and I like someone, we're probably not going to call. I've talked to Skye once in the 2 months since he's been gone. But if he REALLY wants to know what's going on with the kids, all he has to do is check the family blog.

I recently got a comment on my blog from a friend from elementary -- someone I haven't seen since like 1992. She's married and has two little boys. (Sound familiar?) Blogging now provides me with an easy opportunity to get to know someone who otherwise would have been completely lost to me.

Okay, having written three paragraphs to support the topic outlined in the introduction, I feel like I need some sort of a conclusion here. (I thank Challenger and the University of Phoenix for that.) But I'm pretty sure I lost all my readers by about the 3rd paragraph anyway.

Monday, June 30, 2008

What I've Been Up To Lately

I feel like every waking moment of the last few weeks has been dedicated to digital scrapbooking. My friend's sister asked me (ok, paid me) to make her a custom guestbook for her wedding, and as a gift to my sister I offered to scrapbook her wedding pictures. Between the two, I've scrapped about 45 pages in the last 3 weeks. If you're interested, take a look at my work below. **Tip: you might want to pause one while the other plays.**

Alisha's Guestbook:

Michelle's Wedding Scrapbook:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Good Inside Joke

One of my favorite things about being married is that I have this person who goes through (or at least hears about) the same experiences I do on a daily basis. He sees the same movies and commercials, participates in the same conversations, judges the same poorly dressed people, etc. So after 7 years together, we've developed our own set of inside jokes. "Do you remember the time I almost ate all that chili?" "Hey, honey... Utard." The list of things only Kirk and I laugh at goes on and one. But here's one I'll let you all in on.

I recently read that in an effort to curb whining, one mom implemented the following rule: if a person asks for something and the answer is no, asking again will never change the answer. The exception? If the person puts the back of his hand on his forehead like a maiden in distress and repeats the phrase, word for word, "Alas, I fear I shall perish without it," then maybe -- just maybe -- the answer might change to a yes.

Go on... try it.

Husband: "Honey, I'd really like to get that new golf game for the Wii."

Wife: "No, we just don't have the money."

Husband: "Alas, I fear I shall perish without it."

Okay, you'll probably still say no, but at least you'll both be laughing.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Graduation Shindig

Hey, all. So, I'm pretty much a slacker and didn't get the invites in the mail in a timely fashion, so here's the scoop.

We're having a little get-together, barbeque style on Monday to celebrate that Kirk is finally done with school. Yeah! You're all invited (at least, if you live in Utah, you're invited), and here's the info:

Monday, June 30th at 6:00 p.m. at our house (not posting the address here or Jay would chastize me... ask if you need it)

Bring a salad, dessert OR side dish AND a lawn chair
Burgers, dogs & drinks provided

We hope to see you there.

**Cute postcard to follow via snail mail**

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

For Blogger Members Only

Hey, if you aren't doing the new "blog list" yet, I'm telling you to take the time to set it up. Kirk did it on ours (thanks, hon), and I'm loving it. Now all your blogs display according to who has most recently updated, and I get a little snippet of your most recent post right on my blogspot. I can now get quick updates without having to actually enter each blog just to find out that it hasn't been updated recently. I highly recommend this new feature!

Blogger Buzz: Show off your favorite blogs with a Blog List#links

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Father's Day

The best Daddy in this world (Kirk) got Mario Kart for Father's Day, and you can see that the whole family is enjoying it!
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Monday, June 16, 2008

The Water Party

The other day, Adam had a "water party" at a neighbor's house, and he's been dying to repeat the fun. We thought he'd enjoy the fountains down at the Gateway, so when Jay & Raini made an open invitation to the festival sponsored by the Utah Foster Care Association, we were quick to join them.
As you can see, Alex didn't love it, but he didn't hate it either. He became very attached to me though; he was afraid I was going to leave him in the water.
Adam watched other kids placing cups over the holes and watching them spray into the air. He thought it looked like fun, so we donated Alex's sippy cup to the cause.
In addition to playing in the fountain, Adam got his face painted, watched his mom get her pigtails painted orange, got a balloon sword, ate at McDonalds, and got to ride the train (TRAX). All in all, it was a fun day. Thanks for the invite, Tuckers!
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Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Computer

Alex will climb on anything, and lately one of his favorite spots has been at the computer. At least once each day, I find him in the office on the chair, just typing away.
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Friday, June 13, 2008

One Step at a Time

As many of you know, Alex is now 15 months old and still not walking. This wouldn't concern me that much, except that his feet have always been pretty turned in, and we've been worried that this has caused the delay in him learning to walk. When he was 9 months old, his pediatrician & I tried to get him in to see an orthopedic doctor, but we were told no. Now that he has reached 15 months, his pediatrician suggested trying physical therapy. So, off we trudged to the PT at 7:30 this morning.

If I had realized that PT for kids was like a big playland, I would never have taken Adam with us. He proved to be a bit of a challenge, but we got through it. The therapist had Alex try a few different activities, but he was mostly grouchy because I had to wake him up too early. She was able to tell me, though, that his biggest problem is that he has a larger-than-normal range of motion in most of his joints, but particularly his hips. This causes him to be very wobbly, and actually allows his feet to turn in. Most kids have developed tighter joints by this time, but Alex has not. In part, this is apparently due to "W" sitting. (Picture a child sitting on his knees, but with his feet out to the sides forming a W.) So, no more W sitting for Alex.

The therapist said that there is no real reason to worry; many kids don't walk until 15-18 months. Beyond that, they don't really take not walking seriously until a child is 2 years old. She said the best thing for him right now is to try to develop muscles to compensate for his joints, and for us to try to keep him standing as much as possible so he can wear the grooves into his joints that will eventually make him feel stable. She said he'll just need to spend a lot longer than most kids in the "pre-walking" activities until he has built up his muscles and refined his joints.

She also prescribed taking him to the kids play center at the West Valley Fitness Center. She suggested that I get some knee pads and get right in there with him. Since he loves to explore, she thinks this will really help him build his muscles and his confidence.

I feel better after the appointment, because at least now I understand what is going on with his little body, and I have some ideas of how to help him. I will also have answers for the MANY people who constantly ask why he isn't walking. I'll just tell them he'll get there one step at a time.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Change/No Change Situation

Honey, the title was for you. Everyone else can start reading here. --->

Two Sundays ago, we got the news that our ward would be splitting. The meeting that evening revealed that it was more of a realignment than a traditional split, but the short version is simply that we, and many of our Hunter Village friends, are now part of the previously existing Hunter 4th Ward. Any members from the old Hunter 4th still retain their callings, while those of us imported from Hunter Village each got a fresh start. That's where this blog's title comes in.

My part is the "No Change." Although I got to enjoy Monday, Tuesday, and most of Wednesday last week with no calling, on Wednesday evening I was simply reinstated to my same position: Ward Music Chairperson, or whatever that calling is called. I'm still in charge of selecting hymns for Sacrament meeting, arranging special musical numbers, organizing the organists & choristers, and leading the ward choir. I'm neither excited nor disappointed. Something new may have been fun, but at least with this I know what to expect.

Kirk, however, gets to claim the "Change." On Sunday, he will be sustained as the Ward Mission Leader. I think he has a better idea than I do of what this is going to entail. All I know is that he will have meetings every Sunday, that he'll probably end up doing quite a few exchanges with the missionaries, and that he'll need to be out visiting people a lot. Oh, and I know he'll be awesome at it. He hasn't come to that conclusion yet, but I know that his way with people will be really effective in this calling.

All in all, we're excited about our new ward (although we'll miss seeing some of our old friends each week), and we're ready to embark on this Change/No Change journey.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Do Those Lyrics Go?

I know I have not posted in a long, long time but here I am with a post. Okay so I cannot count the times I have been singing along with a song in the car when I get a weird look from Andrea. Then she says what did you say? That's not how the song goes. Well here is a video my sister sent me that cracked me up with the wrong lyrics to a popular Creedance Clearwater Revival song. Enjoy!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hauling Rocks

I've decided that I'm just not a gardener in any way. I don't like dirt, I don't like weeds, and honestly, I don't care that much about flowers. So this year, we're ripping out our flower beds and putting in rocks. You don't have to water, weed, or otherwise maintain rocks. Rocks are rocks without any outside influence. But, rocks can be expensive, so we're systematically moving them from an empty lot in our neighborhood into the back of our jeep and then into our dirt.

This process is quite an adventure for Adam, who loads up dump trucks full of the rocks and helps put them in the back of the jeep. Tuesday when we were getting a load, little Alex even helped. I laughed so hard when I saw him crawling through the dirt, one small rock clenched in his fat little fist. I wasn't sure he knew what he was doing until I saw him pull himself up using the bumper, and then he placed his treasure among all the other rocks in the back of the jeep. He then lowered himself down and crawled off to find another rock. I am just always amazed at how quickly a one year old can figure the world out.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Updated Pictures

In 3 separate sittings, we managed to capture the faces of our family as a whole, as our two little boys, and we got Alex's one year pictures. Check them out. Thanks, JCPenney Portrait Studio!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

RSL Game

I know the team name is technically "ReAL Salt Lake," but I've never been a big fan of that. So, on Saturday, Lisa and Brett treated us to our first RSL game. I honestly thought I'd be bored to tears, but since Lisa and Brett are moving to Georgia in a couple months, I wasn't about to pass on the experience. Turns out, it wasn't too bad. I've learned a lot from going to the Blaze games that sports isn't just about scoring. Often, it is about all the work that went into even getting a decent attempt. That, combined with my recent experiences playing a version of indoor soccer with my ward, helped me to enjoy watching all the mid-field action that rarely even ventured near a goal. The fun part, though, was the few moments when the ball actually neared the goal. You could feel the excitement at the prospect of a goal. It didn't hurt, either, that RSL won the game 3-1.

It was also really interesting to learn a bit about soccer fans. Lisa had been telling us on the ride there that soccer fans get really annoyed if a fan does anything to mess with the game. Since the clock doesn't stop for anything, the fans get really upset with any delay of game. She explained that you're not allowed to keep a game ball if it goes into the stands, and that if you try, the fans will turn on you, because they need that ball on the field to keep the game going. Well, sometime during the first half of play, a fan in the section next to us threw a cowbell onto the field. Security came to handle the situation, which turned out to be pretty easy, because all of the surrounding fans were pointing to the guy who did it. When security escorted him out, the fans in that section sang very loudly, "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye," and everyone cheered.

Another thing I really liked was an advertising campaign Lisa told me about where individual RSL players shared a list of their accomplishments and ended with, "Who am I? I'm a ReAL Salt Lake Player," never calling attention to their individual identity. I've often ranted about the current trend in the NBA where the players seem far more interested in themselves than in their team. It gave me hope to think that maybe a sport still exists where the team comes first. Lisa commented that this attitude is one she'd like to see in her future children, and that she considers most of the RSL players to be worthy role models. It's nice to know that still exists.

All in all, the weather was great, the game was well played, and the company was fun. It was a great way to spend our Saturday.