Monday, December 29, 2008

Coastside

The day after Christmas we headed out to Oceanside, CA to visit Troy and Becca. We stayed in a timeshare and enjoyed the short visit. This met our goal of going to the beach, though it was too cold to do any wading:) But we saw some interesting animal life, including a seal and huge pelican.

Here we are on the boardwalk.



Cade enjoying the ride! His facial expression is worth noting.

Christmas Eve & Christmas Morning

Christmas Eve was an exciting one. We were all eagerly anticipating Shane's return! He actually walked in the door several hours before we expected him- so it was a great surprising reunion. Oh, we were so glad to see him. As you can see from the picture below, Cade was in the tub when he walked in, thus the towel:) It was a wonderful Christmas Eve.
Of course we had to do the traditional Nativity reenactment. Brinly HAD to be Mary, and enjoyed playing the part. Cade was Joseph- for a minute or two- but he looked really cute:) Lynds and Kate helped as well. They were great sports to do this with the kids.







Look at that cute couple!






Christmas Snow

Well, if you haven't heard, Las Vegas got snow- like 5 inches of solid sticking snow mid-December...quite the novelty here (30 years since it last snowed like this in LV). We were grateful to be here to enjoy it b/c we miss true winter! It so happened that just two days prior I had gone to Good Will looking for snow gear for the kids b/c we were traveling up to northern Utah a week later, and found snow suits! So, they were set, and played for a good couple of hours in the beautiful white wonderland. It made for a great memory- the only missing component was SHANE! But he was getting plenty of snow in Denver:)

Please ignore the snot on my son's face-- this was the only picture I could get of all of us.



Brinly making snow angels- she loved it! I think it spawned a few Virginia memories. She would have stayed out longer if I would have let her:)




Cade truly enjoyed the snow- except for the few times his mittens fell off and his hands were touching bare snow. He is warm blooded you know- he has lived in the heat most of his life. We was really cute...he's pick up snow and show it to me and say "See, see!" in a super high-pitched excited voice.








The snow kept falling all evening and into the night. By morning, about a third of it had melted and by the end of the day it was all gone except for in a few shadows. Loved it!


Christmas Festival

We tried to keep really busy while Shane was gone just to keep me from going too crazy. One weekend we went to the Henderson Christmas Festival. It was fun, but so windy that we didn't get to do as much as we had liked, but it was still fun for us.


Brinly and Cade both enjoyed the petting zoo IMMENSELY. Cade kept calling everything a doggy. Fun.


They also had a snow pit. Even though we were seriously lacking in proper snow gear, the kids enjoyed the ice mess:) I did get nailed in the face by a lovely strange child once.

Brinly enjoying the snow- she still remembers Virginia winters.



This was so humorous. Cade's first experience sitting on Santa's lap. I knew it would be rough b/c he was having serious stranger anxiety ever since Shane left, but it was shear horror for him. Brinly looks cute as usual. She was very excited to have the experience. This was at the Ethal M. Chocolate Factory, and they passed out free chocolates to all the kids after their photo.




We have enjoyed decorating a gingerbread house every Christmas. This year I wasn't up to making my own, even if that usually consists of graham crackers...so we went the Walmart route:) It turned out better than any of our previous houses...though it didn't quite taste as good. The kids definitely had a good time...mostly sneaking licks and candies.





Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One more

One more picture from the Children's Museum. This wind-tunnel was a popular place for the adults- we all had to try it. The winds went over 100 mph!


I would never have posted this picture- it is awful of me, but Brinly is super cute. Shane made me:)

FOREVER

I know, I know, I am so behind in blogging! It has been a crazy month. Shane left for Denver the day after Thanksgiving and returned on Christmas Eve- all for his first rotation (basically a condensed residency). Both of my kids were sick when he left, and seemed to get sick every week he was gone--making it a super long month! We were definitely glad to be reunited!!
So, now for catch-up:) At the beginning of November, Shane's sister's family came to visit. While here, we went to the Children's Museum. It was expensive, but the kids had a good time. That's why we went. Here are a few pics.

This is Brinly pretending to be an airtraffic controller. It was cute b/c they had all these different stations of make-believe and the kids really enjoyed the pretending aspect.

Another make-believe station. I thought Shane looked pretty darn handsome in that fireman uniform! Brinly is adorable as well.


Cade loved this just b/c he could play in water- getting himself entirely too wet for a November afternoon. It was to meant to build waterways to teach current and flow, etc.



Now, these peaked my interest- large bubble making equipment. Brinly is standing inside a ring of soapy bubble-making liquid and she can lower and raise the ring to form an enormous bubble around herself. We actually never got this one to work, but she had fun trying.






Another bubble thing. This one worked well. Shane seemed to enjoy it more than Cade- he liked popping it though:) It was a fun day!



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Additions

So, a few things have been added to our family. Last Friday we added a 2008 Nissan Sentra! Hooray for two cars! It is a a nice one and Shane is happy to have a car, as am I:)




AND... we are adding another little life to our family June 8th, 2009. His/her first pictures were taken last Thursday. We are excited, an anxious to get this pregnancy on the road--I've been pretty sick for the first two months, but it's getting better and better as time goes by. Brinly was really cute after we told her. We explained that it was a secret for awhile, and a few days later she came up to me (while sitting next to Shane) and sweetly whispered with excitement, "Mommy, is it okay if I tell Daddy you have a baby in your tummy?". I LOVED IT! So cute. Of course I told her yes, that was fine:) Now, if I could just figure out what to wear that fits around this pudgy looking/feeling belly! This inbetween point of regular and maternity clothes is hard for me. I am almost 10 weeks...






Happy Pumpkin Play

We enjoyed carving our pumpkin a few days before Halloween. It is the first time we've actually carved a pumpkin in in a few years (we've painted them in the past...just easier and safer with the kids). Nonetheless, this was fun. It turned out better than I thought:)




Brinly and Cade enjoyed lighting our witch-on-a-broomstick-jack-o-lantern

every night prior to Halloween. Very fun!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Hats...


So, Cade has really enjoyed hats lately...and this shot was so dang cute, I had to include it. He is wearing Daddy's hat, and looks just adorable.

Zion, Beautiful Zion

We had another unique camping trip this week...our first to Zion National Park. It was actually quite enjoyable. The kids slept well and the weather was just perfect. The mountains and scenery are breathtaking. Mom, Dad, Lynds, and Katie joined us for a drive up the canyon and were very satisfied by the experience. I think they'll go back soon.



We saw more animal life than we anticipated, including the turkey's above. We also saw a deer, elk, a ram of some sort, squirrels, and many lizards. Interesting.

We managed to complete one 1.2 mile hike up to the lowest of three Emerald Pools. It was interesting hiking with two small children...as you can see, Shane got quite the work out:) The entire hike took us about and hour and 1/2. It was quite the trek with these kids, but fun.

Afterwards, we found a large grassy area with an enormous shading tree to rest under. It was beautiful.

This is at the peak of our hike--the lower Emerald Pool and falls.




We utilized the free shuttle--we are waiting in the shade for it to arrive.




The famous arch in the canyon. The picture doesn't do it justice. Much of the canyon was just majestic.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Things Learned

So, as you know from my previous post, my sister and family have been directly hit by the effects of the latest hurricane, Ike. In her communications with me, it has reaffirmed my belief that being prepared is the only way to be...we never know when we will reap the rewards of that preparation, and even if we have a few days to prepare..many things will be out of reach.

Two days before the hurricane, she drove for an hour before finding a gas station with gas. Only days later, her neighbor explained how they waited in line for gas for 9 hours.
She didn't even attempt to buy boards for her windows, two days prior to Ike hitting, b/c the stores were mobbed and running out of supplies.

She explains:

"The camaraderie of the people in an emergency situation is amazing. Going into a grocery store and seeing nothing on the shelves in the produce, meat, frozen (anything requiring refrigeration) and bread sections is very humbling. Having certain things on hand are ESSENTIAL to survival….food storage is a must. Living in Houston without Air Conditioning is not really possible. We can live without electronics, computer, tv, and the INTERNET. Life is truly about family, not about where you live, what you have and how much money you make. 5 Gallon gas cans and generators are golden. We rely more on gas than you would ever realize until you don’t have it. And that is just to name a few."

Fortunately, they evacuated to a friends house 4 hours away and did not endure the horrifying experience a hurricane can be. Her neighbor described it as, "being in a tornado for 9 hours straight- it was hell." This neighbor and another affirmed their strong desire to evacuate the next time. Their house faired with minimal damage compared to many, but still damage that will take some time to repair (walls, doors, roofs with water damage).

In our area, we most likely will not ever see a hurricane, BUT any disaster would apply to the following list. This is a list put together by my sister, throughout the hurricane Ike experience. Many of the things listed, I would have never thought about--take note and PREPARE your own families: (these are in no particular order)
  1. extra 5 gal. gas canisters- fill them up even if a hurricane comes remotely near; also propane (their neighbor spent $400 to run their generator for a week and a few days w/o power) (and their were shootings over gas cans) ***Gas stations CANNOT pump gas without electricity--even if they have gas--the ones w/o electricity w/ gas were running on generators


  2. emergency binder with all important documents and identifying papers (identification, insurance policies, pictures of home, etc.)


  3. generator- w/o electricity, life can be very difficult


  4. have camping essentials- stove, grill, etc.- even if you are not a camper


  5. food storage-- have essentials-- people were literally going hungry, and others were living on their food storage.


  6. cash on hand ($500+)- b/c the electricity may be out for extended period of time--that means no debit, electronic transactions-though some stores would not take cash for some reason (probably security)--be prepared for both


  7. pictures of property (normal conditions)


  8. run disposal and take trash out before you evacuate!


  9. Never leave whole bananas in your freezer w/o putting them in a bag (b/c if electricity is lost when you are evacuated, they are very messy):)


  10. turn off water and gas before you evacuate
  11. have a chain saw- people were literally stuck in their homes due to down trees in front of their doors, driveways, etc.


  12. prepare boards for windows (this is an expensive feat- my sister quoted $500 for their 4 bedroom house)


  13. a corded phone land line- your cordless phones will not work w/o electricity


  14. hand wind radio and flashlights- b/c D batteries are impossible to find prior and post disaster


  15. have gun and a dog-- Alarm systems do not work w/o power; and they slept w/all windows open b/c it was too hot.


  16. keep every receipt that you pay for repairs, or extra expenses during the disaster- things that you wouldn't necessarily


  17. keep extra produce on hand--that is the last thing to return to market


  18. WATER-- have plenty on hand- the stores ran out before the hurricane even hit


  19. always take your prescriptions and medical info- your Dr's office probably will not be open.


  20. car charger for your cell phone, even though many people couldn't get through to anyone for three days, this was the main type of communication; at first the cell phone companies suggested to only text.


  21. if you evacuate, leave a house key with someone

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bowling Bonanza:
A few weeks ago, we took the kids bowling for the first time. It was a hoot. Brinly and Cade LOVED it! Cade could hardly carry the ball, or Brinly for that matter, but they were entranced by the return-the-ball machine. While we waited for their ball to finally meet the pins, our neighbor bowlers took about three turns--literally! It was too funny to watch how slowly the ball rolled down our alley. It was definitely memorable!
Brin taking her turn while little brother soaks in the technique of his all-knowing big sister:)

Cade's victory! (I LOVE it when he does this...it is just makes me melt.)


Aerobic Adventures:
So Brinly has a great little dance class she attends each week- last week, we were without a car, so we biked. It really was very refreshing, even with heat of almost 100 degrees outside! I enjoyed the exercise, and the kids fell asleep-helmets and all- on the way home...great bonus:)



Dress-up Dude and Diva:

Brinly enjoys dress-up immensely--Cade is now succumbing to his sister's endless efforts to join her:) Introducing...Cowboy Cade!


...AND snow princess Brinly!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike

The storms of these days are amazing! This hurricane is huge and is hitting my sister's home in the outer skirts of Houston. We are hoping and praying that their home will be protected from the incredibly strong winds and the torrential rain and flooding.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Our Musician


Brinly is amazing...she dances, she sings, and now she plays the piano:)

Cade's Chatter

At the Westover Family Reunion, just following Shane's father's sealing to his parents (very neat by the way), we had food and fun at a park in Dayton, ID. Cade and Brinly enjoyed playing with their cousin, Jaydon, while the adults mingled. Cade also became quite the chatter box, as displayed in the video. Pretty cute:)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Brinly's First Dance Recital


Brinly was adorable at her recital! Watch and enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

And then there was one....


About a week and a half ago, we found out our little 14 year old Geo Prizm needed some serious work...more than we would be willing to dish out for our faithful commuter. We weren't quite sure what to do- run it to the ground, try to sell it, or save up for repairs. Shane posted it on craigslist just to see if there would be any interest. He also took it to Carmax for a quote-- they offered him $300. I honestly thought there was no way that anyone would buy it for more than $500 max with the knowledge of it's needed repairs.
Well, Shane had TONS of calls on the car--like 3-4 every day! The first guy came to look at it last night and HE BOUGHT IT for $850!! I was quite surprised, but feel really good about it. Now, we'll start saving for our next car...in the meanwhile, Shane's getting to know the Henderson Public Transit:)
Brinly is sad that the "Baby Car" (as she calls it) had to leave and now we only have the "Big Car".

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Odds and Ends

This picture is too good to pass up. After Shane's school day of "surgery prep" he came home with some fun equipment. Shane didn't want to miss out, so with the help of their dad transformed into Dr. Brinly:) She was thrilled.




EVERYDAY, this is what I find in the living room! At first it drove me crazy, but I am now more laid back about it. Brinly and Cade have so much fun tearing the couch apart.




My camping boys a few months ago. We went camping with Jami, James, and Addison up in the mountains of Fairview, UT. It was really pretty...though, camping with kids doesn't allow you to enjoy the experience as much as you would like:) We're just going to day camp from now on...that is until we have OLDER than 1 1/2 yrs. old:) We'll see how it goes next time.




This is a little outdated, but I had to document our 4th of July at Grandma and Grandpa W.'s. They invited us to do some fireworks and sparklers. The kids enjoyed them, that is, until Cade grabbed a burning sparkler. He burned his had pretty good. We'll wait a few more years before we do sparklers again...they are just too little still. BUT we still had a good time and the kids really enjoyed watching the fireworks.



I LOVE this picture. Cade's adorable eyes shine through.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Prepare and Ye Shall Not Fear...

This is a litte outdated, but I wanted to record the efforts made on starting our food storage. I started collecting rice, wheat, and beans for a number of months, as you can see from the following pictures. They became mountainous! So, what did I do with all that rice, wheat, and beans? Scroll down and you'll see:



(Don't mind Cade in this picture, not sure what he's doing:) But his belly is adorable, I think.)
I borrowed the sealer from the church cannery and pouch sealed hundred's af pounds of life supporting dry foods:) It was actually very satisfying and quite the simple job.

It did take me several days to complete the task, but I did get it done!





This is what my hallway looked like for a week, until we secured a place to store it all. I have had strong feelings for a while that I needed to work on my food storage (I had NONE), so I took that feeling seriously. I'm still working on it, and am now collecting other items and will probably repeat this adventure in a few of months. Happy Preparing:)