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...


The haircut

So after 2 years of baldness, all the sudden Preston's hair has started growing very fast. Fast enough that it was getting a little wild and needed a trim. Aaron has a beard trimmer with adjustable length guides so I thought that it would work pretty well to trim Preston's hair... how hard could it be?

Yep, that would be a bald spot that I managed to create right at the top of his head. Luckily he doesn't mind.

We also had adventures with Brekken's hair this week. He has a bit of cradle cap, so I was trying to treat that. Unfortunately, the treatment makes his hair just a bit stiff - so we decided we might as well have some fun with that. He even wore the faux-hawk to church yesterday! =)
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Starting a Blog

Okay, so I went to a dinner party this weekend where we ended up talking about everyone's blogs and bulletin boards and Facebook accounts and by the end of it I had been convinced that I need to have a blog so people (especially people who don't see us often) can keep up with what's going on in our lives. (Assuming you want to keep up with what's going on in our lives, of course!)

So I'm going to give it a shot. Sign up (over there on the left) if you want to be notified when the blog is updated. Or you can just check in occasionally. And leave a comment or two so I know you've been around!

Interesting side note on the dinner party... it was at Brian and Melissa Howell's (yay! they've moved up to our neck of the woods!). Strangely enough, my sister - named Melissa - also married a guy named Brian Howell. So we actually know Brian and Melissa Howell in Firestone and Brian and Melissa Howell in Vernal. What are the odds?