Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

I hope you all had a nice Christmas. We had a very nice time with Mark's family. We partied at his grandma's house on Christmas Eve and went to his parents' house for breakfast on Christmas morning. It was all very nice but I did miss my family. Too bad my parents live 3.5 hours away and we can't spend time with both families on the same day!
Anyway here are some pictures of Mark's family from last Sunday when Mark and I had them all over for dinner to enjoy my new table from Mark.

Mark's brother Jared and his wife Katie (their two daughters were upstairs playing with Millie):
His sister Julia with her husband Ryan and son Cooper:
His brother Brad with wife Diane, son Jaden and daughter Elyse:
And my fabulous table that extends to comfortably seat 10 (but we could squeeze 12!). He spent about 50 hours building it and gave it to me as a late-birthday, early Christmas present. I absolutely love it. Thanks Mark! Now he plans to make chairs to match, but I think that will take another 50 hours. Maybe next Christmas :)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Treats

Wow, I am so behind on blogging! We have just been so busy with Christmas stuff and I'm going to have even more things to blog about tomorrow with Christmas and all. I guess I should just be grateful that I have been out doing blog-worthy things, instead of having time to blog and nothing to blog about.
So instead of telling you all about our schedule, I'll just tell you about all the yummy things we made for our neighbors: Gingerbread men, candy-cane cookies, chocolate pistachio Christmas Tree cutouts, and two kinds of fudge (five minute fudge - the only cut corner). Anyway, I made everything but the candy-cane cookies (Mark made those) and we did it all in two days (I like treats to be fresh!). Anyway, I seriously wanted to give a plate to everyone I know, but I limited it to our immediate neighbors and to Mark's home teaching families (I gave my visiting teaching sisters treats earlier in the month). So even if you didn't get to taste these treats I hope you enjoy them and know that I wanted to share. Loves to you all and a very merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

¡Mi Arbolito!

¡Mi árbolito! ¡Mi árbolito!
Qué bello y brillante.
In high school my Spanish class learned Christmas songs and went caroling to the Spanish-speaking community. It was a lot of fun and I still remember the words to some of the songs. Mi árbolito translates to my little tree, sung to the tune of "Oh, Christmas Tree." I sing it whenever I see my (not-so-little) Christmas tree. The (artificial) tree is so tall in fact that there is only one place for it in our house: the two-story tall entry way!
Another problem with having such a large tree is the need for lots of ornaments! I so wish I would have bought more of those over-sized red and orange balls our first Christmas, but now I just have to make the most of them. I put them all on the front of the tree and let Millie decorate the backside with all the other random ornaments we have collected. This year I did splurge and added these to the front of the tree.
Sometimes I miss the smell of a real tree, but I don't miss the messy needles, the endless fight to make it stand up straight, the watering, or the lighting. So, pretty much I love our artificial tree. Even if it's too tall to put in front of a window :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ivy's 1!

We celebrated Ivy's first birthday this past week. It's hard to believe that an entire year has gone by since I gave birth to her and found out I had another daughter. Anyway, here are a couple of pictures from the party.
The woman in the black and white photo on the table is my great-grandmother Josephine Weaver -- Ivy Josephine's namesake. The framed photo was Ivy's birthday gift from my mother.
Ivy got this headband from her Aunt Katie and the stuffed kitty from her sister Millie.
I love my little Ivy girl. I'm so glad that she's part of our family. Thanks to all those who helped make her birthday special.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ba humbug

So since I got a digital camera you all thought I'd be blogging a lot more often right? Wrong! I have lots of great picture that I've tried to post, but a bad combination of slow Internet and large digital files has made blogging painstakingly slow -- to the point that I just gave up for a little while. But have no fear; I will return.
We downgraded to dial-up (gasp!) a few weeks ago to save a little money. It was Mark's idea of course and I don't know how he ever got me to agree. Anyway, it doesn't take much longer to upload a scanned photo, but the digital files are quite a bit larger and I haven't had the time to figure out how to shrink them. So if any of you have the answer that would be wonderful.
I also have this great video of Millie to post -- which I'm sure is impossible to upload on dial-up -- but luckily my sister helped me out with her DSL.
Anyway, I'll do my best to get things up and running again.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saturday night was our ward's Christmas party. At the very end there was a special visitor :) I was glad I had my digital camera handy.

Millie asked Santa for an Ariel doll, which she will be getting ;) Seeing things through Millie's eyes has really made Christmas fun again. Here is some great footage of Millie and her friend Hailey as Santa enters the room. Enjoy :)
video

Friday, December 5, 2008

Out to Lunch

I have been blogging for more than a year now and I've decided it's pretty cool. I've learned a lot of new computer skills, my family and friends stay in-the-know, and I have a great online scrapbook/journal! But one of the best things about my blog is that it has put me in touch with long lost friends! I absolutely love it when people find my blog and leave me a comment so I can find their blog. Then we get chatting and catch up on each others' lives. It's beautiful! Anyway, this very thing happened with a couple of girls I grew up with, who both happened to be going home for Thanksgiving, so we decided to meet up for lunch. It was so much fun.

Aren't they beautiful.
Anyway, I really noticed that conversation has changed since high school. From school, dances and ballgames to weddings, husbands, and babies. I guess in 10 years the conversation will go back to the school, dances and ballgames of our teenagers! And 10 years after that it will be the weddings, husbands, pregnancy and babies of our children! Now I feel old and it hasn't even happened yet :)
Marcee and Katie it was so fun to hang out with you! Let's do it again soon. And I hope more long lost friends will find my blog and say 'hi.'

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Picture This!

While we were in Manti for Thanksgiving my mom had a mini-birthday party for everyone with a winter birthday. She gave me my very first digital camera! It's a purple (that's important) Kodak EasyShare M893 IS (I don't know what any of that means, but I thought some of you might). Millie wasn't very excited as you can see, but I sure was.
Yesterday was my real birthday. I have officially been alive for a quarter of a century! We went to lunch at the Iron Gate Grill with Mark's parents. Do any of you remember that I wanted to eat there last year for my birthday but it was closed because it was Monday??? Anyway, the food was really good and I had such a nice time.
Later I blew out candles, put Ivy to bed and left Millie with Aunt Mandie while Mark and I went to a movie (Twilight). It's been a long time since we've gone to a movie. Mark said it felt weird not to have kids with us. Thanks Mandie.
After the movie Mark and I ate birthday cake and ice cream in bed :) Don't tell Millie; she isn't allowed to eat food outside the kitchen. Happy Birthday to Me!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Mayhem

Only read this if you are really bored. It is from a super long email I wrote to my sister-in-law.

Mark and I went to Manti for Thanksgiving this year. Ivy got a fever Wednesday night as soon as we got to Manti. And was only worse by Friday so I took her into an IHC clinic in Ephraim. My mom came with me since Mark was helping my brother pour cement. Millie stayed at my parent's house and played (that was nice!) Anyway, we waited forever at the clinic and then when we finally saw the doctor she seemed to be more interested in Ivy's small size than her fever! Anyhow she thought it looked like another ear infection and prescribed more antibiotics. And since I didn't have my insurance information I ended up paying $20 for the prescription! But what do you do when your child is sick? Say 'No, I won't pay for it'? Anyway, now the meds have given her a rash and suppressed her already non-existent appetite. And she is still pretty lethargic and sleeps a ton. Poor baby. I hope she's feeling better for her birthday next week.

Other than all that, we had a good Thanksgiving. The food was delicious and surprisingly Millie stayed at the table long enough to eat some of it :) During dinner I invited my family to celebrate Thanksgiving at my house in two years (I didn't want to do it on Barbara's year because I like going to her house). They all agreed to come. That will be fun to get out all my flatware and extend my new table (which is only 3-coats of lacquer away from being finished). Now if I only had 12 matching plates, napkins and place mats!

On Friday after taking Ivy to the doctor I went to lunch with a couple of girls from high school (girls who found my blog and wanted to meet up). I left Millie and Ivy with my mom and just enjoyed myself.

We drove home on Saturday morning, but had to backtrack after Mark realized he'd left Ivy's $20-bottle of medicine in my Grandma Nora's fridge. Then we stopped and had lunch at Roy's pizza in Ephraim before heading out again.

We got home around 3:30 p.m. and headed over to Mark's parent's house for a second round of Turkey dinner. That was fun and yum!

Sunday morning, Mark stayed home from church with Ivy, because she was too sick to go. I had to speak in Sacrament Meeting so I was glad that Barbara could sit with Millie. I only had a week to prepare my talk, but since it was a busy week I didn't spend much time on it. I chose to talk about Elder Perry's conference talk about simplifying your life. It went well and I was glad the other speakers chose different talks to talk on.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bath Time

Ivy is still small enough to bathe in the baby tub, but that's not much fun for her, so I've let her graduate to the regular tub so she can play. Millie joins her occasionally and they play so cute together.
Millie looks pretty funny, but I just loved Ivy's expression.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A "Reel" Lawnmower

We received our utilities bill from the City this week. And our water overages (yikes!) reminded me to blog about Mark's nifty lawnmower.
Mark loves to take care of the yard . . . or the grass anyway (that's all we have at the moment). I'm sure eventually we'll fill the planter areas and garden spot with something more than dirt. He put in the sprinkler system last fall and put down sod at the beginning of the summer. Mark purchased this lawnmower shortly thereafter (I think it was his Father's Day "gift" to himself). Anyway, it's an environmentally friendly Brill 38 Push Reel Mower -- meaning it has no motor. It's cheaper, lighter and quieter (much quieter) than a regular mower and it also saves money because it doesn't use gasoline nor need its blades sharpened as often. Also it keeps the grass healthier because it cuts differently. Brill is a German company and is known as "the Mercedes of reel lawnmowers." True it may take a little more elbow grease than your average lawnmower, but it's a million times easier to use than the hunk-of-junk mower I grew up pushing. Cutting the grass would be easier now, but I'm glad Mark loves it so much I'll never have to! Mark has gotten tons of compliments on his well-groomed grass, one woman in particular said that our grass looked better than her carpet :) I hope those compliments will buoy him up when he's writing out that check to the City.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Fairytale Halloween

Princess Millie:
And the dragon who guards her castle:
Joined by the Prince and a wicked fairy:
A close up of the characters:
And a change of costumes for the princess (at the Pumpkin walk):

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yellow Bucket

My sister-in-law Katie is so talented! She makes the prettiest jewelry ever. I own at least a dozen pairs of her earrings (don't tell Mark that). Anyway, I noticed today that she named a pair of earrings after me on her website. You should all check them out at www.yellowbucket.etsy.com but I warn you, you'll be tempted to buy everything you see :) Talk about great Christmas presents! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Scare hair

OK, so I know I should be blogging about Halloween, but that film is far from being developed so we'll just have to wait on that. Instead I thought I'd post about some scare hair! Miss Ivy always has some crazy thing going on with her hair. I love that she has hair, but sometimes I think it would be a lot easier to get out the door with a bald baby. When your baby doesn't have hair you can just throw on a headband and you're out the door, but hair is a whole other story.
No scare hair here. I just love this picture of Ivy; she looks so grown up. I took it while she was looking at her sister. And since I shared 5 things about Millie I wanted to do the same for Ivy.
1. She is a such a good baby! After Millie I'm sure any baby would seem easy, but Ivy really is such an easy-going kid, but watch out . . .
2. She does have a mean streak. There are a few things that Ivy won't tolerate, one of them is my being on the computer. I have to blog while she is napping :)
3. She is learning baby sign language but only uses it in dire circumstances, i.e. when I gave her to her Aunt Katie and she wanted me, she did the sign for "father" but I know she meant me. She can also wave "bye-bye" but only does that one for daddy.
4. She's a smiley baby but rarely laughs. I guess that goes along with her even-kill attitude. It takes a lot to upset her but it also takes a lot to impress her (unlike her sister who has always laughed a lot but gets upset easily too).
5. Ivy will be 11 months old on the 11th. I can't believe she is nearly a year old!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tag: Millie's it!



Five things you may not know about Millie:

1. Millie has two sides to her. She's either ultra-sweet and ultra-happy or quite the opposite . . . a demon of sorts :) Most people only know one side or the other. It's funny when people who have only known Mr. Hyde, finally meet Dr. Jekyll and comment in amazement, "Millie was so nice today!"

2. Millie is obsessed with being a princess. And lucky me -- I get to play the prince all day, at least until daddy gets home.

3. She's a fashionista. I'm not allowed to help her pick out her clothes. She's also picky about whether or not I can do her hair.

4. One of her legs is longer than the other (by a few centimeters). I only noticed because she has had unexplained knee pain for a year now. So our best theory is the mismatched length.

5. She's a mama's girl. Ever since she was a teeny-tiny baby Millie has preferred her mommy to anyone else. She's getting better now, but I am so thankful that Ivy loves her daddy; it sure makes my life a lot easier!

"Millie" now tags: Jaden, Marcus, Ellanie, Grace, and Paige.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Birthday bed

I'm finally getting around to blogging about Millie's "birthday bed."Mark built me a bed for Christmas last year and Millie named it the "Christmas bed" (and no it's not a sleigh bed). So when he built this bed for her birthday in July we named it after the occasion. You probably can't see it very well, but it's a pretty intricate bed, modeled after the Pottery Barn's Tristan Platform bed. They don't sell a twin size, but since Millie's was "custom made" that wasn't a problem :)
We had the bed against the wall at first and I think Millie fell out a few times but now she doesn't have a problem. The platform is a great step stool to help her get in and out and it's the perfect height for her to kneel and pray (knees on platform, arms on mattress).
Just as a side note: The green color of Millie's walls is much prettier in person!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hives

After having a low grade fever off-and-on for a few days, Ivy woke up looking like this (several weeks ago): Note the swelling in the face as well!
The poor thing had broken out in hives! I promptly took her to the pediatrician who said the fever was caused by a double ear infection and that the hives were likely an allergic reaction to the infection. (I didn't even know that was possible.) I felt so bad that I didn't take her in sooner, but I used to take Millie in for every fever and it was usually nothing! Although she had a fever Ivy was still a pretty pleasant kid, so I thought she was OK. Even with the hives itching terribly, she never complained. She is such a good baby. Luckily a little Benadryl and a round of antibiotics cleared everything up. Now she is doing great.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dress ups

I loved playing dress ups as a child . . . I still do actually. Whether for myself or my girls, I love any occasion that calls for ribbons and curls.

My sister-in-law Katie Weston, celebrated her birthday last week. This is the second year that she has held a tea party in her honor. I love it! And what's a tea party without hats? Katie inherited these vintage numbers from her grandmother. So fun.
Back row L to R: My mother-in-law Barbara, sisters-in-law Katie and Diane Weston, and Elyse.
Front row: me and Ivy.
Millie went to a friend's birthday party a few weeks back. I thought she looked so cute (ignore the weird smile). And I just love those gold sandals.
This was a Sunday afternoon in our backyard. I thought Millie and I looked like twinners, so I wanted to get our picture together. She was trying to put her hand on her hip like me, but didn't quite make it. LOL. Millie is such a sweetheart. (You can't tell in this picture, but my shirt is purple and one of my favorites.)
Oh, this is totally unrelated but I wanted to share a funny thing Millie said this morning. I had put my hair in a ponytail and Millie was asking me about it, and then told me, "You look so stylish." It sounded so stink'n' cute coming from a 3-year-old!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Seven Random Things

My sweet cousin Heather just tagged me to tell seven random things about myself. So here it goes:
1. I love to shop. For the house, for me, for my girls, for my husband, for anyone I can possibly think of who needs a gift . . . yeah it can get a little out-of-hand some times.
2. I studied Spanish for 5 years and now rarely find opportunities to use it. Isn't that sad. And not only did I study it, but I was pretty good too. I got good grades and compliments from my Mexican-born profesora! I think I really would have enjoyed a foreign exchange to Spain, or serving a Spanish-speaking mission.
3. I am a chocolate lover!
4. Two of my best friends live on the other side of the globe. Maria Bergane from Norway and I met in high school when she was a foreign exchange student. And Melanie Rauscher from Germany, lived with my family during her senior year of high school and my freshman year at Snow College. I wish I could go visit them all the time. It's just so expensive. But in reality we're only a phone call (or an email) away :) I also have several other wonderful friends from around the globe.
5. After giving birth to Millie I lost 30 pounds in addition to my pregnancy weight. I was happy but it was sad that I couldn't wear a lot of clothes that I loved.
6. I am a paranoid driver. I always think other drivers are cussing me because of the stupid things I do (i.e. not turning when I obviously had enough time). So I'm always saying "sorry" and Millie asks me, "Why you say sorry?" She thinks I'm crazy too.
7. I am a quality-time girl. If you don't know what I'm talking about you have to read "The Five Love Languages," by Gary Chapman. It's genius! Anyway, I basically feel loved when people hang out with me, or make an effort to spend time with me.
Love you all. And now I guess I tag 7 people. I tag Hayley, Katie M., Marcee, Joni, Traci, Diane and Julia.

Friday, October 10, 2008

My Grandma Nora

I failed to mention that my sister's baby was named after our 97-year-old paternal grandmother Nora Rust Mickelson. Baby Nora is my Grandma's 101 or 102 great-grandchild and the first to carry her name. Probably because Grandma used to threaten anyone who considered using the name, since she never liked it while growing up -- silly Grandma. But now that someone has defied her wishes, she doesn't think it's so bad. She was thrilled to meet her namesake and told Alexis that she was flattered.
My grandma is an amazing woman. She's such a hard worker and a devoted disciple of Christ. I hope I grow up to be just like her.
Baby Nora's middle name, Jane, is also my mother's middle name and my maternal grandmother's middle name and the middle name that all my sisters and myself wanted as a child since none of us had a middle name.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Nora Jane Dase

My sister Alexis gave birth to a beautiful baby girl yesterday. Nora Jane Dase was born at 2:13 p.m., weighed 8 pounds 3 ounces and was 21 and 1/2 inches long. It was a bit of a traumatic birth. Nora was partially posterior, with the cord around her neck and her hand on her throat - choking herself with each contraction! She was blue at first, but is doing much better now.
Look at this chubby kid. She sure is cute. I think she looks a lot like her daddy. Can't wait to meet her. Congratulations, Alexis and Brandon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What a night!

Last night (around 2:30 a.m.) Millie woke up with a scream and started crying. When I went to get her she was terrified and told me that she "heard the wicked witch." (I guess she won't be watching Snow White again for a while.) After calming her down, I put her back in bed. But minutes later the smoke detector started beeping with a low battery and scared her again. So Mark got her and put her in our bed, and then the noise woke up Ivy, so Mark brought her to me as well, while he went and took down the smoke detector and took out the battery then he got back in bed with us. Millie was really cute and snugly and kept saying the cutest things (of which I can't remember because of the hour). I remember telling her that she was cute and she replied "I know I'm cute." Then Millie decided she was hungry so Mark took her down to the kitchen for "breakfast." It was pretty funny. I think we were all finally back to sleep by 4 a.m. What a night!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Baby Gunnell

Mark's sister Julia and her husband Ryan had their first baby over the weekend! Cooper Ryan Gunnell was born in Georgia at 12:08 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19. He weighed 8 lbs. 8 ounces and was 21 1/4 inches long.
Grandma Barbara flew out to help. She says Cooper has Julia's nose and lips, and has big hands! I assume those are from Ryan.

Mom and baby are home and doing well. Congratulations you guys. Cooper looks so precious! I can't wait to meet him!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apple Days

So while Mark was riding his bike to Jackson Hole, I was trying to enjoy the weekend's festivities in town. I took the girls to Apple Days here in River Heights. It would have been a lot more fun if Mark had been here to help, but we made the most of it without him.Millie enjoyed getting candy at the parade, but she thought she had to eat each piece as she picked it up. She didn't grasp the concept of collecting it for later.

Hailey is our next-door-neighbor and such a good friend to Millie.

Here is River Heights City float and royalty. I help with the Miss River Heights pageant each spring, so it's fun to see the girls out and about during the summer. I did not, however, help with the float, so it's not my fault the girls' dresses don't match the magic carpet :)

At the park they had a number of festivities including pony rides. This pony's name was Sunshine. She/he had a bit of an attitude . . . perfect for Millie.

As you can see, Millie rides like a pro. That's because this is her third pony ride of the summer, but unfortunately the first one we actually got a picture of.
Apart from the tantrums and the head/backaches of taking two kids to a festival by myself, I tried to have a good time. I thoroughly enjoyed a caramel apple and two bites of Millie's sugar cookie . . . mmm.

Monday, September 15, 2008

My handsome husband

Last weekend Mark participated in LOTOJA — a 206-mile (331.5 kilometers) bike race from Logan, UT to Jackson Hole, WY. This was his fourth year doing the ride and his fastest yet! He finished in 10 hours and 20 minutes, taking first in his category. I am so proud of him.
Here are a couple shots of him at home before the race. He still has sleepy eyes. But doesn't he look great in spandex?! :) LOL.
Mark wanted to keep warm before the ride but didn't want to wear a jacket during the race, so he cut this sweatshirt up the back so he could remove it at the starting line without having to take his helmet off. He's a thinker! :)
I'm so glad Mark has found a sport that he enjoys. He played soccer and football in high school but when he got home from his mission he blew out his knee playing soccer. And since he doesn't want to repeat knee surgery, he refuses to play any high impact sports. So biking is a perfect fit.
This year Mark rode with his brother Jared who placed second. To see more pictures visit Jared and Katie's web page by clicking here. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sisters

My greatest wish for my girls is that they will grow to be best friends.
I read somewhere that siblings are part of each others' lives far longer than any other family member. So in my opinion, if they are going to spend that much time together, they had better love each other.

Millie hates this shirt, but only because I like it. Ivy's shirt was Millie's. It says "Cutie Milly" on it. I have a fetish for purchasing things (usually books) with my girls' names on them.

They both look silly in this one. Ivy isn't the most photogenic baby. I usually only show you the good ones :)

I find it funny that when you ask children to feign affection you can always tell it's artificial. They seriously need to work on their acting skills.

And here you can tell it's genuine. True, they don't always get along . . . but they have their moments.