Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jeff turns 31!


Since Jeff has a December birthday, I did a snowflake theme cake. The snowflakes are melted white chocolate. My favorite was seeing Jeff's surprised and delighted face.



A little out of order, but we had potatoes and pot roast for Jeff's birthday dinner. Sienna really liked the potatoes.

In honor of Jeff, I had a list of 31 things you may or may not know about my muffin-scruffin.

1. He is fabulously handsome.

2. He loves being a dad.

3. When he comes home from work, instead of wanting wind down time for himself, he immediately gives me a break from mommy chores. He scoops up the kids and plays with them while I sneak away for time to myself.

4. For the first 3 months after Ethan was born I was getting up at night to nurse Ethan and help him go back to sleep (every 2 hours). Jeff got up with me and sat next me just to keep me company.

5. He gives the best foot rubs.

6. He gives the best head scratches.

7. He builds snowmen every year with Ethan.

8. The other night, Ethan was up crying with an ear infection all night. I think they were finally able to sleep from 6:30 am to 9am. Jeff held him in his arms the whole night while I slept on and off. Jeff's back ached, but it was the only way to comfort Ethan and help our son sleep.

9. Jeff was once an ice cream man and drove a 3-wheeled ice cream truck.

10. He is an excellent marksman.

11. Jeff has great snow-driving skills.

12. After a big snow-storm hit Seattle. Every time Jeff passes someone who is stuck, he stops to offer help.

13. He swoons me by playing his saxophone.

14. The only way he can practice his saxophone is by letting the kids jump around and dance around him. They enjoy throwing bananas and Cheerios into the horn.

15.He loves doing secret service. When we were living in Utah in an apartment on campus, our cars were under a layer of snow and ice during winter. He would not only brush off the snow and chip off the ice on our own car, but our neighbors' as well. Then sneak away and make me promise not to tell.

16. Jeff loves fireworks. A little too much.

17. When proposed to me, he took me to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, reenacted our first date, read a list of 100 things he loved about me. He proposed; I said yes!

18. He lets me cut his hair, even though he often hears, "oops" and "uh-oh" frequently.

19. Ethan was never motivated to potty-train until Dad was home for a few weeks. Attention and time with Dad was way better than all the toys and candy I had previously tried to bribe him with.

20. Jeff once stood between me and an angry, charging buffalo at Yellowstone National Park. If you want the full story, just ask.

21. Jeff is really humble. He'll be embarrassed when he reads these.

22. Jeff's a really good gospel teacher (he thinks he's average, but I know better). Jeff taught a lesson once during ward conference, when two members of the stake presidency were present. Jeff did a great job. He was humble and really just let the gospel teach itself. The Spirit was strong. Afterwards, one stake presidency member leaned over to the other and said, "That's how we want our teachers to teach!"

22. Jeff can eat a whole pumpkin pie in two days.

23. Jeff is very complimentary of my cooking.

24. Jeff treats his mother well and loves her dearly.

25. Jeff loves and respects his dad.

26. Jeff is very patriotic and loves his country. Not always so crazy about some of the politicians, but loves our freedoms.

27. My first time snowboarding didn't go so well. After falling down for the 15th time, I sat on the edge of the run and cried. Jeff sat next to me and held me for a while until I felt like getting up and trying again.

28. Jeff is very honest.

29. Jeff is a great kisser.

30. My pregnancies have been pretty rough. Whenever I've been complaining, he always tells me how much he appreciates what I'm going through so he can be a dad.

31. Jeff loves the Lord and the gospel. He does everything he can to ensure that we can be a forever family.

Christmas Cookies and Tree Trimming

So for Family Home Evening, we decided to do Christmas cookies. Sounds like a good idea on the surface, but there are two underling problems a more seasoned parent would immediately notice. First, lots of sugar just before bedtime. Second, what were we thinking doing baths before cookie decorating? Anyway, we will be smarter next year. Aside from that, we did have a lot of sugary, sticky, colorful fun as a family.




On a side note, these are Ethan's favorite pajamas. It is often hard to get him to take them off just so I can wash them. I've had to convince him that even Superman has to slip into his "Clark Kents" occasionally. I know that one day I will miss having a 3-ft tall superman darting around the house with a cape waving behind him. I soak it up while I can.

DSC_03212008-12-08_20-08-11 DSC_03202008-12-08_20-08-01

Sienna figured out a game called "Oops! I dropped my pacifier in the frosting - guess I have to lick it off."

DSC_03192008-12-08_20-07-43 Ethan decorating the Christmas tree. Whenever I start something new, my first question is "How do I do this?" I research, read, look at pictures at what others have done... I love how children just do whatever comes to their mind. We let Ethan do the garland and this is how it turned out. We could have fixed it, but we had more fun watching Ethan express his creativity though garland styling.


Thanksgiving Trip to Spokane

We ran over to Spokane for Thanksgiving and got to see family! Although I enjoy spending time with Jeff's side of the family just because I enjoy visiting everyone, but now I love see our kids interact. 


Cousins Sienna and Maya - they look so much alike!


Video games with  Grandpa and cousins!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Turkey Piñata

So it seems like an odd Thanksgiving tradition and one PETA might not approve of, but we had a lot of fun anyway. Most of the time when it comes to traditions, I start them and never really carry them forward to the following years. I think this one will stick, though.  Candy, baseball bat, aggression -yep, all the makings of a wonderful family tradition. 





Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Days Are Here Again

My mom and dad came for a short visit. Okay, it was two weeks, but any visit is my opinion is too short. My dad does all sorts of home projects that Jeff and I never get around to doing. My mom and dad love spending time with the kids doing activities, and when the kids are otherwise entertained, they are doing dishes and cleaning my neglected home. During this glorious time, I sleep in, take naps, go on real dates with Jeff and go shopping by myself! Did I mention sleeping?




Ethan is getting to the age where any pictures of him smiling normally is a rarity. However, these photos do capture his blossoming "entertainer" personality.

Sweet Sienna

I just had to post this cute picture of my darling bunny pie. We are proud to announce she has found her belly button, ears and nose.  She really likes finding my belly button too. My favorite, though, is that she loves to give hugs. Ethan is a kisser, she's a hugger. Either way, I am one happy mommy.


Halloween Pictures

Again, a little late, but here they are. Ta Da!


Jeff the dodgeball player


Ethan the racecar driver - he was totally "green."  His tank ran for hours on sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.



Our little flower loved that pumpkin and worked so hard to pick it up!


All the Halloween cheer knocked our little flower out! Snuggling with papa.


A friend in our ward threw a Halloween party after the official "Trunk or Treat" had ended. Mostly I wanted to post this picture because I was so proud that Ethan went to the refreshment table and amidst all the treats, he took a (drum roll please...) a cauliflower!  I was so proud!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch (okay, okay, better late than never)

On October 18th, we went to the Washington State Pumpkin Patch in Marysville, WA. The owners sculpted a giant corn maze the shape of Washington State, complete with replicas of the Space Needle, ferries, the Peace Arch (on the American-Canadian Border) and the major freeways (complete with construction and closures, of course).

Although it was tempting to leave Ethan in the corn maze for a couple of hours, we decided to just do the hay ride, barn maze, pumkin patch, petting zoo, rope swings, donuts and apple cider.



The petting zoo had a special toddler area where the kids could hold animals. We were so impressed how tenderly Ethan held this little kitten! We were also glad he's not old enough to want to bring it home.


Boys and tractors. Inseparable.


What can I say, I have a darling little boy.DSC_06740606

Better than a tire swing - a horse tire swing.


This experience we had in the hay barn documented in the following photos made Jeff and I seriously consider moving to a farm, buying a barn, stuffing it full of hay and turning Ethan loose. It reminded me of the visa credit card commercials.

Camera: $600

Admission to farm: $15

Pictures of joyful, care-free childhood : Priceless DSC_07220654



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The hay ride. Ethan looks scared in this picture, but he was actually munching on Kettle Corn. Hmmm.


Ethan is a picky little guy. Here, he was on the search for the perfect pumpkin.


Found it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jeff's trip to San Fran

Jeff recently went to San Francisco to visit a few jazz alleys, photograph some of the gorgeous views and a little training for work (but who wants to hear about that?). Here are two of the pictures he took of the views.

Sorry for the delay...

Well, on Sept 25th, I turned the big 30. Jeff snapped this picture moments before the children dove into the cake. Jeff was a wonderful husband and bought a delicious cake and a pair of excerise shoes (he guessed the size and everything - they fit perfectly!) Jeff surprised me with a Cinderella -themed party. I loved Cinderella as a kid. Of course, this year, unlike my 6th birthday party, I actually have my Prince Charming (but don't worry, he didn't dress up or anything).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Meal Time Manners - 8/26/2008

If any of our friends are wondering why we haven't had them over for dinner's why. We are still working on meal-time manners.  Usually Jeff and I barely have a chance to sit down. Sienna will not stay in her high chair (she prefers to sit on the tray) and loves to test the law of gravity (yep, still works) by throwing her food. Ethan loves to wipe food in his hair (why dirty a napkin?) and climb on the table (why let Sienna get all the attention?). Dinner time can be quite a law enforcement exercise for Jeff and I (but it burns calories, right?)


That's a cucumber seed on her nose.


Sitting on her dinner.

All By Myself - 9/14/2008

Ethan is always extraordinarily proud when he gets dressed all by himself. He usually hops around acorner and exclaims, "ta da!" Here he is, all ready for church: shirt, tie (inside his shirt)and of course, "pikey hair" (a.k.a. spikey hair). We're proud of you too, Ethan!


Richmond Beach 8/30/2008

So we recently discovered Richmond Beach in Shoreline. It was quiet and beautiful. We even let Sienna crawl around and experience  the texture of sand for the first time - she loved it. 224





Ethan found some burnt wood in a fire pit and decorated himself like a warrior with the ashes - ahhh...little boys.