Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This week I've been thankful for the bus. We have had some days of bad weather this week, and I just HATE driving in the snow. On Tuesday morning the snow was so bad that even the bus was spinning out on the bad roads. I would have been a nervous wreck if I was driving myself to work. But since I was taking the bus, didn't have to deal with it. I only had to get as far as the bus stop, and then I could let someone else stress over it all.

Plus, the bus lets me get caught up on my sleep. Every morning, I get on, sit down, and take a little nap on the way to work. On the way home, I usually read for a little bit and then take another little nap. I'm grateful that I get that chance to get a little extra rest, since I never have that chance once I pick the kids up from daycare!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

A co-worker of mine has a nifty little hot/cold pack that she uses when she has a headache or sore muscles. She stores it in the freezer at work, so it's ready if she needs a cold pack. And if she needs a heat pack instead, she just throws it in the microwave for a couple of minutes.

So last weekend when Aaron's stomach was bothering him, he wanted to put a heating pad on it at bedtime. Then we remembered that it's not really a good idea to go to sleep on a heating pad. That's when I remembered Sally's hot/cold pack. It's just stuffed with rice. I have rice at home. I don't have a nifty little chenille cover like hers, but I did have one of Aaron's big tube socks.

Voila, 5 minutes later we had a hot/cold pack of our own. It doesn't look as nice as Sally's, but it sure works well. I've been using it for my sore face after having a tooth pulled and it's really nice because it conforms to my face better than a heating pad would.

So that's what works for me this week! For lots of amazing tips, or to add your own, visit Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Seeing Santa

The kids got a chance to see Santa last weekend. They had fun, and not a tear from any of them!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I love being a mom and I'm thankful for my sweet kids. There are some times that I'm more thankful than others but overall I'm so glad that I have these wonderful kids to love and look after.

But on that note, a collection of the favorite things that I've said (or heard from my friends) in the last few years. Got any good lines of your own? Share them in the comments!


10. Share Baby Jesus or I'll throw him in the trash!!
9. No, Santa is not a sneaky, peeky spy.
8. No one wants to see a booger covered french fry.
7. Yes, I can see she ate the crayons!! NOW will you flush the toilet?
6. No. Not until you finish your Cheetos.
5. Don't put Barbie's foot in my belly button.
4. You can NOT go to bed until you eat your ice cream!
3. Why is the cat covered in baking powder?
2. If you use the potty like a good kitty, you can have a bedtime story.
1. You can drive the car on my face, just don't get it caught in my hair.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Visits

We went to visit Grandma & Grandpa Shields for Thanksgiving...

Haley got to hold her new baby cousin, Coby:

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Brekken also visited with Coby - he stole Coby's pacifier!

Once Thanksgiving is over, it's time to get ready for Christmas! Is it Brekken Claus or Santa Brekken?

We also got to see Grandma & Grandpa Schurz and a lot of Tara's family when we all met up in Salt Lake City to go to a Utah Jazz basketball game. The kids all seemed to have fun:

Afterwards, we went to see the lights at Temple Square:
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Brekken was wiped out by the end of the night!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How sweet...

Haley & Preston go to different daycares on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday because of Haley's preschool. So they don't see each other all day. At the end of the day, I pick up Haley from her daycare, then go to pick up the boys at their daycare.

When Haley and I walk in the door to get the boys, it's like a scene from a cheesy movie. They see each other across the room. Preston cries "Haley!" And Haley joyfully shouts "Preston!" And then they run at each other with arms outstretched until they meet in the middle of the room for a long and loving hug.

Two minutes later they're fighting like cats and dogs. But for that brief moment at night, they're SO happy to see each other. Melts my heart every time.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Yesterday we were telling Haley and Preston that we were going to go to Grandma & Grandpa Shields' house for Thanksgiving and then we would see Grandma & Grandpa Schurz while we're there because we're all going to go see a basketball game. A little bit later, I heard Haley telling Preston...

"We have four Grandmas. Grandma with the little dogs (that would be Grandma Schurz). Grandma with the big dogs (Grandma Shields). Grandma with the curly hair (Great Grandma Curtis). And Grandma with the walking thing (Great Grandma Shields, who uses a walker). And they all love us very much! Maybe they will give us hugs!"

Just a little something cute I thought I'd share.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Junie B. Jones

I'm happy that my kids are at an age where they like to sit and listen to an actual story, instead of just the choppy little board books that we've been reading for so many years. There are so many fun kids' books out there. They may technically be written for an older age group (most are around age 6-9), but the kids seem to follow and enjoy the stories. And much more enjoyable for me to read, too!

We've been reading the Junie B. Jones books at bedtime for the last week or so. They're cute books about a mouthy little kindergardener (hmmm... do I know someone like that?). Haley just loves them and is always begging for just one more chapter before bedtime. Part of that is trying to postpone bedtime, of course, but a lot is that she loves to listen to the story. Even Preston will sit still for 10-15 minutes while we read the books. There are almost 30 in the series, so it will take us a while to get through them - even at the current rate of finishing a book about every other day.

Also on the list of books to read are the Bunnicula books and the Super Fudge books. (Both sets should be arriving soon from Haley's Scholastic book order.) They also really like the two Ready Freddy books we own, so we'll have to find some more of those.

Any other suggestions for books at about this age range? I've been trying to think back and remember the books I loved as a little kid, but my memory is fuzzy. =)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm feeling thankful for friends!

I'm thankful to have Rosa and Michelle who are friends to both me and my kids; I'm very grateful that they watch my kids for me and do such a great job.

I'm thankful to my December Mommies group. We all became friends because we were all pregnant and due in December of 2003 - and we have stayed in touch ever since!

I'm thankful for all my friends in the Denver area from back when I was single (Melissa, Heather, Ashley, Mary Alice, Amy...). We met when I went to the wrong ward on my very first Sunday after I moved to Denver and bumped into somone I'd gone to college with. Through her, I met the rest of the group. Even though we don't see each other too often these days, I'm glad to have you all in my life. Looking forward to the annual Christmas Brunch!

I'm thankful for John and Greta. We always have a good time when we get together for dinner and/or movies. We've got to do that more often! The kids had a great time playing together, too. (Preston has a little crush on Amber - in the pink. He followed her around all night and kept hugging her and holding her hand.)

I'm thankful for my ward friends (Melissa, Nicole, Sarah, Rosa and the rest) that I'm getting to know better through my Facebook addiction.

I'm thankful for Holly & Mandy - we've been friends since the 6th grade! We live far apart now, but we still keep up.

I'm grateful for my Utah friend Cristie, too! (She just wrote and reminded me that I forgot to mention her originally.) I'm still sad that Cristie moved to Utah and I miss her lots. =( Thank goodness for e-mail so we can stay in touch!

Most of all, I'm thankful for my best friend, Aaron. He's my favorite person to be with and I'm so glad I have him!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

I do almost all my shopping online - even my grocery shopping! One of our local grocery stores (King Soopers) has a web page where you can go grocery shopping. You click through the aisles just like walking through them at the store and add items to your grocery cart. You get all the same weekly sale prices and club card specials that you would get at the actual store. After you place your order, someone at the store will pick it all up and deliver it to your house the next day (at the time you choose).

One of the bonuses for me is that shopping this way pretty much requires you to make a list, which always helps me save money and avoid impulse buying. Plus, you don't see those little endcap displays that always tempt you to just pick up "one more thing". I can place my order on my lunch hour or on a break and it's much quicker than when I go to the store in person. Add in the fact that I don't have to either drag all three kids through the store or wait and go after they've gone to bed, and it's well worth a $10 delivery charge to me!

If you live in Colorado, check out and see if your store offers HomeShop. Albertsons and some other chains also offer online grocery shopping.

For lots of amazing tips, or to add your own, visit Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer!

My Worst Date

Rosa had this one on her blog and tagged anyone who read it to post their own worst date, so I'm playing along.

I have a number of bad dates to choose from, but I think I've narrowed it down to one... It started off good. In college I went to the Logan temple to do baptisms. Afterwards, I went to get some dinner in the temple cafeteria. When I went to pay, there was a cute guy manning the register. As luck would have it, the register tape ran out and he needed to change it before I could get a receipt. We chatted while he changed the tape, and by the time he finished the job he had asked for my phone number and a date. A couple of days later, he picked me up for our date. We ended up going back to his apartment, where he proceeded to spend an hour or so demonstrating his voice-recognition word processing program. Woo-hoo, fascinating! Then he decided it was time for dinner, so he microwaved a couple of burritos (mine was still icy in the middle, by the way). He must have enjoyed his though, because as I recall he didn't say a word while he was eating. Just grunted a couple of times in response when I tried to talk. When we'd finished eating, he told me that since it turned out I lived so close (about 4 blocks) it should be okay to walk back to my apartment. He was low on gas and didn't want to drive. That was fine with me - I figured it was a nice night, maybe a nice evening walk would improve the date a little. Of course, it turns out he wasn't planning on walking with me. Nope, just said goodbye at the door and sent me to walk home alone. Needless to say, when he called about a 2nd date, I wasn't interested.

Thank goodness I don't have to deal with the dating scene anymore!!

Now, if you've read this - consider yourself tagged. Post your own worst date and let me know you've done it so I can read your dating horror story!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Addicted to Facebook

I resisted the whole Facebook and MySpace thing for a long time, because I figured it was just something that teenagers were into. But several of my friends that I e-mail with are on Facebook and they use it to post pictures of their kids and things like that. They kept urging me to get on Facebook with them. I finally gave in and set up an account just so that I could look at their photos - I figured that was the only use for Facebook I would have.

I was so wrong! It turns out that there are SO MANY people I know on Facebook. People I know from church, friends from my December Mommies e-mail group, friends from here in Denver, former co-workers, even friends from back in high school and college. Now I'm loving the chance to catch up with everyone and learn more about them from their comments and the things they post. And hey, I've even gotten to know a couple of the teenagers who are on Facebook. I'm now Facebook friends with a couple of the teenagers in my ward and it's been fun to have that connection with them when I see them at a church function. Just from a chance comment I made on Facebook one day, I now get a big hug from Sarah (Mia Maid in our ward) every time I see her. Plus I've learned that she's a really good babysitter who would love to watch my kids - bonus!!

So if you're not on Facebook yet, give in! Set up an account and make me your friend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday

Who would have thought a couple of months ago that anyone could post something happy about gas prices? I never thought we'd see it under $2/gallon again, so it's sure nice to see the prices dropping so much. Who knows if it will last, but it's nice for right now.

Aaron brought home a receipt last night from buying gas and he was able to fill the van for only $30! Since we've been paying more like $60 to fill up, that was a happy, happy moment. =)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

My kids love gymnastics and attend gymnastics class every week. We were going to a local gymnastics studio, and it cost a fortune! $40/month per kid. So in searching around for a cheaper option (after all, I'm not trying to raise the next Olympic stars, I'm just trying to get them some exercise doing something they enjoy), I discovered that most recreation centers have all kinds of dance, gymnastics, sports, arts, and music classes for people of all ages. Maybe this is old news to everyone but me, but I'd always thought the rec center was basically just a pool and an exercise room. The classes at the rec center are much more reasonably priced and they're just as good as the classes at the gymnastics center. The kids love it, and it's much easier on my checkbook!

For lots of amazing tips, or to add your own, visit Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Date Night!

When we were at the talent show on Friday night, our friend Melissa (Sherman) volunteered to watch the kids for us any time that we wanted to go out. We must have seemed like we weren't planning to take her up on it - and we weren't really, just because it never really occurs to us to go out on our own without the kids.

So Melissa could tell we weren't really planning on calling her, so she insisted that we should go out the next day. She basically told us to be at her house at 3:00 to drop off the kids so we could have a date. So we did. We had a wonderful evening out and really enjoyed going out to dinner and being able to enjoy the meal instead of dealing with kids the entire time!

The kids also seemed to have a great time, since they were begging to go back to Melissa's within minutes of leaving.

Thank you, thank you Melissa!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Primary Talent Show

Our ward had a primary talent show last night - we had a huge turnout and lots of fun! Haley & Preston participated in the talent show and even chose their own acts.

Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to post the videos on the blog, but you can see them on our dropshots page:

Sorry for the shaky camera work - I was juggling the baby and the video camera!
And just because Brekken didn't get to be in the talent show but I didn't want to leave him out completely, here's a little Brekken video, too. =)

Monday, November 3, 2008


At fast and testimony meeting yesterday, Haley was listening to everyone bear their testimonies and then turned to me and said - "Mommy, I don't have a testimony!" So I asked her if she knew what a testimony was, and she said she didn't. So I explained what a testimony was and her face lit up and she said "I DO have a testimony!" Then of course, she was determined that she needed to go up to the microphone and bear her testimony.

The meeting time was almost over, so we tried to convince her to wait until next week, but she was determined that she needed to go up right now! So we asked her what she planned to say. She said she wanted to say. "I love Jesus. I know he wants me to go to church. Amen." We finally agreed that she could go, and up she went (with Aaron). When she got to the mike, she stepped right up and said "Hi. My name is Haley" because we had a lot of new people in the congregation, so everyone had been introducing themselves. And then she got a good look at how many people were out there and froze! With a little prompting from Aaron, though, she remembered what she had planned to say and said it well. Meanwhile, Preston had escaped from me and followed Aaron and Haley onto the stand. He tried to climb up to the mike as Haley stepped down, but Aaron wisely pulled him away. You never know what he might decide to say!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We had a great time on Halloween. My office asked us all to dress up (though I was one of only a few who actually did dress up) and bring in our kids to Trick or Treat. The kids were adorable in their costumes and everyone was happy to get to meet them (and Aaron too).

On Halloween night, we had beautiful weather, so the kids were able to go out and Trick or Treat the neighborhood. Haley & Preston wore the same costumes, but we did switch Brekken from a dragon to a bear for the slightly warmer costume. Haley & Preston had a great time running to all the houses and yelling Trick or Treat. Brekken likes riding in the stroller, so he had a good time, too.
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Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend Update

A busy weekend for us. On Saturday morning we had gymnastics as usual - the kids always love that. Then Saturday night we had a ward party and Trunk or Treat. We had a great time! The kids dressed up as Uniqua (Haley), Tyrone (Preston), and a dragon (Brekken). They were super cute and I'll post pictures as soon as I can. They had a wonderful time going around to all the cars and trick or treating and have been working on the candy ever since (when they can convince us to let them into the treat bags, anyway). The party also included a chili cook-off... let me tell you, there are a LOT of HOT chili recipes out there in our ward!!

And speaking of the ward, we had changes at church this weekend as well. A couple of weeks ago announced a suprise meeting for the whole stake with a general authority. Turns out that it's a new church policy that they send general authorities out to meet with all the stake presidents and bishops in a mission for training purposes, then they go out and hold stake meetings with the membership on the following Sunday. We really wished they would have told us that much from the start, instead of letting the rumors of splitting the stake (ours needs it, there's 12 units and some of them are HUGE) or releasing the stake presidency run wild. So we got to the meeting more than an hour early and still only got seats in the cultural hall - and since we were there so early, the kids (ours and Michelle's) melted down pretty much as soon as the meeting started. We ended up leaving early :( But then we had a 2nd set of meetings in the afternoon and they did realign our ward boundaries for the wards in our building. We had 2 enormous wards and 2 tiny wards so they tried to balance that out. We lost only 2 families (unfortunately, one was our good friends) but gained around 20 families. So we're excited to get all these new people in the ward! Aaron is now the only member of the Young Men's presidency left in the ward, so he's hoping some of those new members get called into Young Men's very quickly!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Photo Tag

Saw this one on Melissa's blog and thought it seemed fun. To play along, go to your Photos file, open the 6th folder and then the 6th picture, post it and explain it.

My grandma and grandpa just celebrated their 60th anniversary! This is their wedding photo from back in 1938. I have it on my computer because I was cleaning it up to send the digital version to the newspaper for the 60th anniversary announcement. Congratulations to them on the huge accomplishment of 60 YEARS of marriage!

Okay, TAG... you're it! =)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

I found a great site that lists bunches of tips and tricks that various people have come up with for making life easier. Basically, every Wednesday you post your own tip - something that works for you to make life simpler. I thought I'd give it a shot! So here's my WFMW idea...

Every year for Halloween, I buy candy to hand out. And every year, we have leftovers from what we hand out, plus the extras from the kids' trick or treat bags (the stuff they don't eat Halloween night). It always ends up just sitting around for months until we finally throw out all the hard, stale wasted candy. So to minimize that this year, I'm not buying candy to hand out to trick or treaters!

Instead, I went online and found a good deal on lightsticks. I bought 100 lightsticks to hand out instead of candy. Every kid I've known loves to play with lightsticks, so it should go over well with trick or treaters. And if there are leftovers, my kids will love to play with them! (And unlike extra candy, I won't feel like it's bad for the kids if I hand over the leftovers ;D )

For lots of amazing tips, or to add your own, visit Works for Me Wednesday at Rocks in My Dryer!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Festival

On Saturday we met up with Michelle (our sitter), her husband Joel, and their son Taylor and went to Anderson Farms for their Fall Festival. They have a huge corn maze, and some smaller hay bale mazes, a barrel train, petting zoo, food, pick your own pumpkin patch, all kinds of stuff! We were obviously not the only ones to think it was a good day to visit the farm (75 degrees and sunny, it was great!) because the place was packed! There were hundreds of cars in the parking lot and long lines for about everything the kids wanted to do. We had fun anyway =)

We loaded the boys into the double stroller - not so much because Preston couldn't walk on his own, but because we can't keep up with him if (when) he takes off running!

Haley & Preston wanted a picture with their heads and hands in the picture board, but Preston couldn't reach the head hole - so he improvised. =)

The kids desperately wanted to ride the barrel train - it was kind of like Disneyland; a long, long wait followed by a 3 minute ride. But they had fun. Aaron was a good sport and rode the train so that Preston could go - we were afraid if Preston went without Daddy he might decide to jump out halfway through the ride.

Brekken didn't get to go on the train and looked terribly bored while we waited for the others to come back.

Haley enjoyed feeding the goats.

Haley, Preston & Taylor in the pumpkin patch.

The kids all wanted their faces painted.

Aaron & I got a kick out of the signs posted around the farm - seems like an effective threat to me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Catching up...

Well it's been about a week since I last posted, and what a week it's been! Poor Preston was sick for quite a while and had us pretty worried for a day or two. But he's bounced back now and is back to himself. Luckily Brekken was only sick for about 1 day and Haley never got sick at all!

Unfortunately, because Preston was sick we decided we couldn't make the trip to Idaho for Logan's baptism. =( We were sad to not be able to see everyone - especially since Laura had her baby on Friday morning and we were going to detour down to see her and the new baby. So meeting Coby will have to wait, but we're eagerly waiting for pictures!

For my birthday on Monday, Aaron and I were both off work, since we were supposed to have been in Idaho; it was nice to have the day off! I got to go get a massage and then Aaron and the kids and I went out for lunch. I got several books and CDs I've been wanting (and some cash, which is always fun!). Aaron also got me the DVDs of a BBC comedy series I love, so we've been watching those at night and really enjoying that. If you ever get the chance to watch "My Hero" on PBS or BBC America, it's hilarious!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Not a fun couple of days at our house! Preston started throwing up Friday night and the poor kid is still throwing up this morning. Brekken started throwing up on Sunday, but seems to be over it now. Knock on wood, Aaron, Haley & Tara have not come down with whatever this is.

Luckily, Preston doesn't seem to be much bothered by his illness. Most of the time he doesn't act particularly sick - he'll be running around playing, then stop to throw up, then go back to playing. I don't know where he's getting all that energy on a diet of plain toast, applesauce, boiled rice, and ginger ale (most of which comes back up anyway!).

Here's hoping he gets over this soon and no one else comes down with it - this could put a real crimp in our plans to drive to Idaho on Friday!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Brekken started eating some solid foods this week - he doesn't really have the hang of it yet, but he's enjoying himself.

And here's a picture of Brekken in his Iowa jersey. It was originally Preston's and he thinks Brekken should give it back to him! But we were finally able to convince Preston that it didn't really fit him anymore.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Starting Out in October

Here we are in October already! Time has flown by this year. I'm sure that being out of work from January until July helped with that! It seems like just yesterday that Brekken was born, and yet here he is almost 5 months old. He's so big and starting to do things like sit up and play with toys and grow up on me already!

We're looking forward to this month in our family. We have a trip planned to Idaho for our nephew Logan's baptism, Tara's birthday, and of course - Halloween! Haley is really looking forward to Halloween this year. She already has her costume and wears it often. She also spends a lot of time looking through the Oriental Trading Company catalog planning the treats that we should buy to hand out to trick or treaters. Preston also enjoys dressing up in his costume, though he doesn't get what it's all about. Brekken will be along for the ride. I'm looking forward to the Halloween party at work where I get to bring in my cute kiddos and show them off to everyone!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Schurz!

Happy birthday to Grandpa Schurz from all of us at the Shields house!

Haley & Preston colored cards for Grandpa.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cake Lady Em

I don't know what made me think of it this morning, but I browsed out to my sister's website to look at her latest cakes. She makes wedding and special occasion cakes and they are so impressive! I'm amazed at how talented she is! I love to watch Ace of Cakes on Food Network and I always look at the cakes and think "I bet Emily could do that." I sure wish we lived close enough to have Emily make birthday cakes for our kids, they would be such a hit!!

Pictures of Amazing Cakes!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Fun

Preston and Haley had tons of fun at gymnastics...

Preston was utterly fearless and practically ran across the balance beam, did forward rolls without any help and generally had a great time. Since this is a class that has a parent attend to help each child with the activities, I was doing all this with him. By the end of the class I was exhausted! But he loved it.
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Haley really enjoyed her class, too and did great on the balance beam.
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On Sunday, Aaron's good friend Chris (from Iowa) came to visit us for a few hours. She was in town for a conference, and luckily we were all able to coordinate schedules long enough for a short visit. Since we haven't seen Chris in several years, it was wonderful to have a chance to catch up a little!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Preston's Prayer

Preston decided that he wanted to say his prayers without any help last night. For a 2-year-old, he did a great job! But I had to stifle a laugh a time or two. There were a lot of toddler words that I couldn't understand, but what I could get...

"Heavenly Father... Thank you day... bless Mommy, Preston, Haley, kitty... I like cookies... I want go play...I need drink water... okay, I done, Amen!"

Memory Lane Tag

Melissa (the one in Firestone) tagged me for this. It made me start feeling old to think back through all these years!
20 years ago...
1. I was 14
2. I was living in Vernal, Utah
3. My best friends were Mandy Hatch & Holly Remington

10 years ago...
1. I had just finished my Master's degree and was getting ready to move to Twentynine Palms, CA to work for the Marine Corps
2. I got my two cats George and George (no that's not a typo, they're both named George!)

5 years ago...
1. I was married to Aaron and 6 months pregnant with my first baby
2. I met my December 2003 Mommies friends (who I still e-mail with almost every day!)
3. I was living in Lochbuie

3 years ago...
1. I was 1 month pregnant with my second baby
2. I was working at Aurora
2. I can't seem to remember anything else about 3 years ago!

1 year ago...
1. I had just had a miscarriage
2. I was still working for Aurora
3. Haley started preschool

This year so far...
1. We took a trip to Disneyworld (and lots of other places back east) with my parents (while I was around 6 months pregnant)
2. I got laid off from Aurora
3. My third child was born
4. I started my new job at NFP

1. I almost missed my bus - but got there JUST in time
2. Aaron had to go to the Young Men's activity (he's in the presidency) so I was on my own with the kids most of the night
3. I was too tired to cook anything (for us, the kids ate earlier), so Aaron & I just got hot dogs and went to bed as soon as we got the kids settled

1. I am really enjoying my work and I'm proud of what I got done this week
2. I'm looking forward to time to read or take a nap on the bus home
3. I am planning to make chicken parmesan for dinner
4. I'm hoping that Haley and Preston's Halloween costumes have arrived in the mail - I won't make them wait until Halloween to play dress up with the costumes
5. Mandy Hatch Merkley and Holly Remington Mold are still two of my best friends after all these years!

1. Haley & Preston have gymnastics, and we'll follow that up with our new tradition of Orange Julius smoothies after gymnastics
2. Aaron is at EFY for most of the day
3. I am cleaning the house in preparation for company... maybe... maybe Chris will see our house as it really is most of the time!

Next year...
1. Haley will start kindergarten and Preston will start preschool
2. I plan to still be working at NFP
3. I will have been married for 8 years
4. I will feel baby-hungry as Brekken becomes a toddler... but I will restrain myself!!

Now I tag... anyone who reads this!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Moleman Mornings

Anyone watch The Simpsons? Remember the old Mole Man?

I take the bus to Denver for work and then walk 4 or 5 blocks to my office. Along the way there is a retirement home where a nice old guy (who looks just like Mole Man!) lives. He likes to hang out on the street corner nearest the retirement home and almost every morning he stops me to tell me a joke.
They're not really very funny jokes - in fact, some of them make no sense at all. But it's still a nice way to start the morning!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rock on...

Busy, busy day on Saturday! We started off with a check-up for Brekken at 8 a.m. - but when we got there, somehow they had a note in the computer that he would be coming in, but no actual appointment scheduled. So they had to squeeze him in and dashed our hopes for a quick in-and-out appointment. Luckily we'd planned ahead and brought 2 cars to the appointment, just in case; so when the appointment ran long, Aaron took Preston and Haley and left for gymnastics and Brekken & I got there as soon as we could.

Haley did great at gymnastics! She was one of the only kids who could do her donkey kicks all by herself, she did a flip over the low bar of the uneven bars, and she walked across the paralell bars by herself, too! Preston is jealous and desperately wanting to be in the class, too. He starts in October. Brekken doesn't care.

After gymnastics it was off to the rock show. Apparently we were an unusual sight with all our kids along - Haley in a stroller, Preston in a backpack (Aaron) and Brekken in a front pack (Tara) because people kept commenting on it. But Haley and Preston enjoyed looking at all the pretty rocks that Aaron pointed out to them. They LOVED seeing the giant walking dinosaur (Mr. Bones) who wanders around the show. Unfortunately, when I tried to take a picture of them with Mr. Bones, I discovered that the batteries in the camera were dead. It was really cute, though - you'll have to take my word for it. We also visited Aaron's favorite rock dealers, who we've been seeing at these shows for many years... they always like to see the kids and see how they've grown.

We finished off the day with a stop for Orange Julius smoothies... yumm!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dinner Time!

I made Swedish Meatballs (almost from scratch!) last night. I was pretty proud of myself for actually cooking for a change. It was actually pretty easy and yum-o (as Rachel Ray would say). Even my picky kids ate it!

My usual method of cooking is actually Supper Solutions... it's a great place where you sign up online for the meals you want to make, thenwhen you go in they have all the ingredients prepped and ready for you. All you have to do is assemble it, then take it home and stick it in the freezer. When you need something to fix for dinner, you just pull out one of the meals and heat it up. SO EASY and good food, too. I love Supper Solutions - without them we'd eat a lot more junky fast food, that's for sure.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


We got a fun surprise last night when Aaron's cousin-in-law (is that a real word?) Clark was passing through the area and came to stay with us for the night. It was great to see him, since we last saw him when Preston was just a couple of months old.

Haley & Preston had a great time playing with Clark:

Plus, Clark brought flowers and helped with the dishes after dinner... he can come visit anytime!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

For Labor Day we took a road trip through parts of Southern Colorado - you'd have to ask Aaron for the exact details. I just get in the car and go along for the ride!
We spent a lot of time looking for playgrounds in various cities, since we've discovered that it works well to let Preston and Haley run around at the park with Aaron while I feed Brekken in the car.
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Preston is fearless when it comes to slides... the bigger and twistier the better!

We visited a little town called Creede - that was my favorite area of the trip. Just an old mining town with lots of funky little shops and restaurants. It was only about 4 streets wide... but they had a nice playground! The also had some fun restaurants. Haley really wanted to eat at the Mermaid Cafe...

But it turned out to not be very kid-friendly, so we just took a picture of the mermaid for her instead.


I just wanted to post a couple of my favorite pics of my kids' smiles...