January 28, 2009

Olympians for a Day

We got a phenomenal deal to take our cub scout group cross-country skiing at the Olympic venue, Soldier Hollow. What a great workout! I think all the boys were beat by the time we got them home. At the very least, they had a new appreciation for people who cross-country ski on a competitive level!

This post authored by Amber

January 26, 2009

Time for a Haircut

When we realized we could get enough height out of Garrett's hair to form a curl for his cross-dress disguise, we decided it might be time to give him a more masculine look. Thanks to Brevin's assistance, we got the job done quickly and without much complaint on Garrett's part. Have a look at the final results.


Now, it doesn't get much more boy than that!

This post authored by Amber

January 24, 2009

I'd Like You to Meet Gretta

I was recently asked to be a participant in an activity that our ward's Young Men and Young Women do annually called "Where's Waldo." The premise of the game is this: A number of ward members disguise themselves and hide-out in the mall while groups of youth search the stores to find them. I've been incognito before for this game as well as participated in locating the "Waldos" and I've learned a few things that work well (and some that don't work so well). The goal is to look different without looking abnormal. Wigs are a bit of a giveaway because, unless you invest a small fortune for a good one, they can be spotted from great distances. Hats and sunglasses also have a tendency to draw immediate suspicion. Being alone is another red flag, 'cause who wants to shop at the mall alone? (Unless, of course, my other option was to go shopping with all of my boys, in which case I would rather be alone)!

My solution to these concerns was to spray my hair to create a subtle color change and style it in a teased ponytail that covered my ears. I never do my hair like that (and will likely never again. It's painful to tease!), and by covering the ears I could hide facial features that might be familiar. Another facial feature alteration came in the form of cotton balls that had been stuffed up my nose, under my upper and lower lips, and in my cheek area. Add lots of makeup, false eyelashes, and a trendy outfit and, viola! I looked like I would actually be someone who would shop at the mall. To remedy being alone, I asked my darling sister-in-law to come "shopping" with me. I also was trying to avoid getting a babysitter so I brought Garrett along, disguised as "Gretta" in clothes borrowed from my other darling sister-in-law. Here is the final outcome:

And, no! I do not think that I have caused any long term gender identity crisis for Garrett. And, yes! I think he makes an adorable little girl! At any rate, it was entertaining for the youth, which is what it's all about anyway!

This post authored by Amber

January 13, 2009

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

I know I could easily say a thousand words about Garrett, especially now that he is eight months old (as of January 12th), but I'll let the pictures do the talking. I think you'll enjoy that much more!

This post authored by Amber

January 6, 2009

Can I Handle Doing This 18 More Times?!

I tell you, it was like pulling teeth to pull Brevin's tooth this time around! I thought I had gotten off a bit too easy with his first one. Our second experience was more like the traumatic episodes I remembered from my childhood. I knew exactly how frightened Brevin was to sit still while I tried to tie floss around the dangling tooth--a feat made nearly impossible with him thrashing, screaming, and crying. But this time, I experienced the same frustration that my mother must have felt as she tried to assure her crazed child that it wasn't going to hurt that much and it would only prolong the emotional suffering to put it off any longer.

What a dilemma! I tried to simply reach in and pull it out with my bare fingers (yes, it was that loose!) but Brevin became wise to my intentions and pulled away, causing the gum to bleed. Well, I'm sure you can imagine how well that was received!

The bargaining commenced. "I'll let you wiggle it with your tongue and try and get it out on your own while you distract yourself with your homework. If you can't get it out by the time you are finished, I will either pull it out using the floss, or let you pull it out using the floss." (Should I have been surprised when he dawdled with his homework?)

Well, it took a shot of Children's Tylenol, a vocal prayer offered on his behalf, and an ultimatum ("You can't play in the snow until we take care of this!") to get him calm enough to tie the floss around the tooth. He had opted to pull it out himself, but there was no need because the dang thing came out as I tried to work the floss down around its base.With a slight pop sound followed by an abrupt, piercing scream that was cut short by a calm "Oh," from Brevin, I was able to announce, "Here it is!"

Brevin's demeanor instantly changed as he proudly claimed, "I faced my fear, just like I faced my fear of the dark!" Now, you might see that the tooth coming in is quite a bit farther behind the socket of the baby tooth and quite crooked, I might add, and so Brevin has essentially insured that he will face yet another fear in the future...braces!

Click on the picture to enlarge the last image and you'll see exactly what I mean! Oh, and don't you love the red, puffy eyes from all the crying!

This post authored by Amber

January 5, 2009


I love birthdays, especially as I get older. "Why?" you might ask. Well for one, there are more people in your life to join in on the celebration, and each year I figure out more about how to enjoy the passing of another year. For instance:

*Take time to get all "gussied-up." You'll always have to see yourself in your birthday photographs for years to come.

*Don't fight the evening rush for birthday dinner-go out to lunch (you get better service and more food for your money).

*Take your kids along. It is always more entertaining to watch them try to eat BBQ ribs.

*Oh, and relish every moment of a Sunday dinner prepared in your honor by your in-laws (thanks Steve and Judy)!

We even decided to spread the jubilee over the course of two days by going to lunch at the Goodwood Barbecue Company on Saturday and then having all the formalities of presents and cupcakes on the actual birth date. And with every year's passing, I have just one thing to say...Life is good!

This post authored by Amber

Happy 2009

Is it too late to say that? Perhaps one of my resolutions will be to post things when they are a bit more relevant...or then again, maybe not!

At any rate, we had a great time on New Year's Eve. Our family went out to Brick Oven for lunch and Chili's for dinner. The boys were made ready for bed, they donned their homemade 2009 hats and blew their party horns from the porch at 8:30 pm while shouting, "Happy New Year!" (albeit a little early), and then they went to bed so Mom and Dad could watch Iron Man. Then Mom and Dad went to bed. No need to watch the ball drop. I remember it from last year!

This post authored by Amber

January 1, 2009

"Family Orchard" Dip Party

I know it may be difficult to believe, but we fit all of these people into our house for a Christmas party! As it turned out, our home was the most central location to accommodate everybody's holiday travel agendas. We met on the Saturday following Christmas (December 27th) for sledding, an assortment of foods and dips, gift exchanges, and the annual Grab Bag. Let me just say, it was a whirlwind of excitement! I suppose you wouldn't want your home to feel big and spacious at Christmastime. That was certainly not the case-ours never felt so small before! When everyone left, my house suddenly felt spacious and quiet (not to mention, a tad bit messy), and it seemed to all be over so soon. And just like that, Christmas had come and gone! Boy! I'm glad we took pictures to capture the moments.

If you'd like to see a few more pictures of our holiday festivities, click here. If you'd like to have a good laugh, click here!

This post authored by Amber