Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Poem 2010

Well another decade is behind us now
And time flies faster every year somehow
It seems that when we get a handle on things
We stir up the pot and with that brings
Plenty of challenges and opportunities through the years
But we wouldn’t have it any other way, so here’s
To the next decade and though it will appear a mess
May it bring more joy, inspiration and a lot less stress.

Our jobs are the same, Joey is still at SUU
And Kristy with her day care, always has much to do

We added to our family, with a puppy in the spring,
At 10 months old we wonder if she will ever stop growing!
Kala’s a yellow lab, which gives us three pets in the home,
Every time we get one, Kristy rolls her eyes and groans.

Maren our youngest is growing and she is learning fast.
She is a momma’s girl, I wonder how long that will last.

Tyler has just turned 5 and he says he is a big boy now,
Just got to figure a way to get him out of our bed somehow.

Kelley is half way through second grade and doing lots of things,
She has tried piano, soccer, ballet, and she even sings!

Well once again we wish you all well,
Hope everything is going swell.

From our family in southern Utah where the rocks are always red,
To where ever your family may call home and rest your weary head,
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
We hope magic filled your home and you could spread a little Cheer.

The DeGraafs

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Family Pictures, taken in June 2010. We're blowing this one up to put above the fireplace.


I've been very busy. Like normal. I've been often overwhelmed. Like normal. But I have felt so blessed. :) We've moved into this house and we love it. It feels so much like home it's crazy. Prospects are looking very good. But we're waiting patiently to see how it will all work out eventually.

I'm so excited for Christmas. Kind of getting close to being ready. But it's less than a week away and I'm probably less ready than I think I am...oh my!

I've been spending less time on the computer, most days. I obviously have not been blogging much, unfortunately. I like blogging a lot. I like hearing comments from people and catching up on your lives through your blogs. I really like having some type of record written down. My blog has taken a lot of the place of a personal journal and scrapbook. But alas, it's just been one of those things I've had to let slide. Anyway, here's a quick recap of the last little bit.

Tyler's taken to taking pictures of anything everything...including himself and his goofy faces. I have about a million more of these pics sitting on my computer. He's especially fond of taking pictures of his eye up close. Go figure.

He's also taken to putting stickers on everything but paper. And writing with markers on everything buy paper. It's a rather frustrating habit that I'm not quite sure how to address. I know he's thinking about it before he does it because he always puts in in places I won't see on the couch BEHIND where the pillow sits. Or on the side of the table, under the top lip. What's the worst part of it is that he's taken to permanent markers. Barring anything that will get me throw in jail for abuse...I'm open to your suggestions.

Taken during one of his daily fits. He can be one grumpy boy sometimes!

Speaking of my little sunshine...he turned 5 in November. He was super excited and had a big pizza party with all his friends. I tried to make a "pizza cake" putting frosting all over a big cookie and decorating it with toppings. But unfortunately when you mix red dye with white frosting it just turns pink. He didn't care.

Maren turned 1 on the 14th. She is crawling everywhere. Her favorite is to go up and down the stairs and it's really funny to watch her do her three point turn to get turned backwards so she can go down. She's not really close to walking, but will finally take steps when we stand her up and help her, which is a big improvement. She continues to sign and is really verbal, probably more so than even Kelley was.

She's a ham and loves the camera. She will say "cheese" and give you a big old grin as long as she gets a peek at the picture afterward.

Kelley was in a Christmas Carol through the Shakespeare Festival's Playmakers program. She was just a little choir girl, but it was a fabulous experience for her. She got to work with an excellent group of directors, stage managers and musicians. I think it really helped her singing and she of course had a fabulous time! They are doing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the Spring and we are all really excited. She will probably just be in the choir again, but it's better for us that way anyway. It's a lot cheaper and not as time intensive.

Oh, so this picture is funny to me. She poses for pictures while she's on stage and supposed to be performing. We have to work on that still I guess!

Joey and I are doing well. We're busy all the time. But we're happy. We've got great kids and life is kind to us at the moment. If I'm lucky we'll get a Christmas Poem written and posted before the end of the year and I'll actually have two blog posts this month. Here's hoping!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Halloween 2010

I already posted these on Facebook, but since one day I hope to make a scrapbook of sorts out of my blog...I will post them here. Halloween turned out to be really fun. Normally it is a really big deal at our house. Our porch is decked out. We have all sorts of decorations for the house. And our costumes are REALLY cool and often coordinate with each other. But this year we were moving and doing flooring and just trying to stay sane. And so our idea to do a whole band of characters from Stars Wars went by the wayside, again. But I had seen a video on A Thrifty Mom about doing quick Tutus. My mom had a bunch of this material from Kember's dancing days and so we whipped two of these puppies out in less than an hour! And with a few accessories from our Halloween box we ended up with:

"The Best Halloween Costume I've ever had!" According to Kelley. She was a Ballerina/Witch thing. And Maren was her cute little twinner, although I'm sad to say we didn't really ever get a good picture of the baby's costume. But you can only do so much I suppose.

Tyler was a Dead Green Bat. And we had a lot of fun. We went around the neighborhood with cousins from both sides of the family, had dinner with grandma and grandpa, and had a great time, without a whole lot of fuss. It was a nice low key night.

Also, throwing this one in here because I thought it was really cool. Yes, that is real chain mail. My brother made it. It has taken him 4 years (I think) and it weighed either 45 or 70 pounds. Can't remember which off the top of my head.

Why I have not been blogging

Because we have been busy transforming this:

Into this:

And moving everything to a great new place that I still don't have good pictures of because my camera was lost in a box somewhere in plain sight. Now I have finally found the said camera, but the camera battery charger is now lost, probably in the ginormous mess that is our office. But now our old house is FINALLY ready to be rented out and we've already made a lot of progress putting away boxes and cleaning up the new house. And we love it and want to stay here forever! (Working on that right now...)

Oh, and please don't judge me because of the top picture. It really didn't look that way when we actually were living there or had kids there. Well most of the time...ha ha! That picture was taken in the middle of the weekend where we turned everything upside down so we could start putting in the floors. But can I tell you that's what I have felt my life has been like for the past 2 months since we started this process! A giant explosion, but in a good way...kind of like the big bang that started something amazing. I know we'll get there....if we survive in the meantime ;)

Squash as big as young children

This summer I seriously neglected blogging about my garden progress. Which is too bad, because it was a lot of fun this year. And who knows if I will actually HAVE a garden next year. We're still not sure what our situation will be in the spring/summer.

But in my garden this year I had a plant start coming up on it's own, presumably from my compost I had used to fertilize. I let it grow. And it grew at least four or five of the biggest butternut squashes I have ever seen in my life. Have you ever seen butternuts this big?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I'm sorry, Kristy is really busy trying to set up her daycare and fix up her old house as a rental. When her life gets normal again she will post something.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I took the kids into get flu shots today. Didn't tell Tyler before hand what we were doing, but he didn't flip out. I got mine first and then Kelley and then Tyler. I had told them, as is par for the shot course, that they could have ice cream if they were brave. Neither one of them let out a peep at all. Later Tyler was telling me about it and he told me "I scrummed a little in my head, but it didn't come out". It took me a minute before I realized he was trying to put the word scream in past tense. I've been laughing about it all night.

Friday, October 22, 2010


OK, so it's been forever. The reason? For those of you haven't heard, we've moved. We moved to a beautiful house three miles from our old house. Oh, and it's almost three times the size...woot hoo! It is still in our ward and it is PERFECT in every other way, well perfect for us. It is "lived in" and has a few issues, but we still LOVE it! Unfortunately we are just renting it for now. We have put in an offer and are waiting to hear back from the bank. It is a short sale, so it will probably still be a while. We are hoping it's a while anyway. We have to wait at least until our 2010 taxes are done so we can show we make enough money at the home business. We're also trying to tuck away every penny we can. Because even though we've been talking about doing something like this for years, we just barely started saving for it...ha ha! But it's been a really neat experience for us. Joey and I both have felt strongly this is the thing for us to do. We're not sure how it will work out, just that it will work out for our good somehow. And that's all we need to know.

Everyone keeps asking us what we are doing with our old house. We do "own" it. (And by own I mean we owe more to the bank than it's a long shot! Ha ha!) Anyway, we'll be renting it out. We actually have a family member moving in November or December. So we've been able to take our time moving out. Which is mostly a good thing. Both houses have so much to do and so much goes undone. We are also in the process of moving my child care license. Can I tell you it's a PAIN in the butt? When I say process, I mean it's a long process. But that's all the complaining I'll do here. At this point, I'm hopeful my new license will be in place by the time my old license expires in November. And then the FUN begins here. I'm so excited about having space dedicated just to the daycare. One of these days I'll post pictures and give you the visual tour. Maybe. But probably not until my life slows down. So maybe never. Or if you live close come by and I'll give you the real tour!

Maren's 10 months old now. She can sign milk (that's her favorite), more and all done. She says mama, kitty, ty ty, kelsha, daddy and hi. She loves to dance and she can wash her hands. It's just about the cutest thing you've seen. She's seen the daycare kids do it so much she knows just what to do. Oh and I almost forgot. She can do peekabo. It started as the one handed type, but now she'll cover her face with both her tiny hands when you ask "where's maren?" Then she moves her hands and says "de da do!" It's adorable.

Tyler is loving preschool. It seems to be helping his behavior. But there are still many days when I just want to lock him in a closet....the one in the downstairs basement so I won't be able to hear him yelling at me. On the other hand he's also very free to tell me I'm the best mom ever and he loves me so much when he's getting something he wants. It's a learning process for both of us every day. I think we'll both survive.

Kelley loves school and can't seem to live without her friends. I am not kidding when I say the instant that her little friends leave and daycare is over, she's begging to go play or invite someone over. It just about kills her when kids her age don't come at all to daycare. She lives a deprived life. Latest news...she will be singing in the Christmas Choir for the Shakespearean Festival Playmakers version of the Christmas Carol. It's a much less expensive way to let her be involved in the arts than they ballet we did last year. Don't get me wrong, the ballet was awesome and if it weren't for this house, we'd probably let her do it again, but this is better for now. Besides, I think she'll really enjoy this also.

In any event, I promised Joe I'd finally try to get my clothes put away. They've been sitting in laundry baskets and open dresser drawers in our room since we moved in three weeks ago. With that...good night!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Kelley the Lionhearted

I have a darling girl at my house. Her name is Kelley and she is a sweetheart. She has always been a lovey girl. Maybe it's that she's now 7 and entering the "drama" phase, but sometimes she's more kindhearted and thoughtful than words can describe. She is always careful to think about how others feel and reminding me to be more loving and gentle. She truly is an example to me and I am grateful every day to have her in my life.

Two years ago, when she was still toothless in front, she donated her hair after I cut mine. We talked about how it would help women with cancer.

Since then she's talked about doing it again, because of her librarian who has cancer. She hasn't done it yet, I think she's fallen in love with her long hair and decided it's worth fixing every day.

Kelley is 08 with short hair, no teeth and a mouthful of food...ha ha!
So last week we were driving home from somewhere with her cousin and she bursts out into tears. Her librarian was apparently leaving the very next day and they might not ever see her again. She had to go home and get cancer treatments. She was truly upset. I suggested she write her a note to tell her how much she's enjoyed knowing her and this is what she came up with:

Yeah, I know it's sideways. Tried to fix that, didn't work. But here's what it said "I am sorry that yor sick. I am really sad that you have to go away. I love that you add so much detail to the stories you read to us and you've been so kind to us and our teacher. But I ges it's betr if you stay at hom. I'll mis you so muche.
PS Please visit back. Kelley"

Then she wrote this "You whll find a ltl somtheing on the back"
She also recently got some bath crayons from her auntie. This was her creation using said crayons:
It says: Kelley Tyler {heart} Mommy and Kelsha. Ilastrated by Kelley.

I {heart} you too dolly!!!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

9 months old

Maren had her check up last week. She is 28 inches long and 17 pounds, 11 ounces. That puts her in the 27th percentile for weight and 67th for height. That is about where's she's been for a while. Looks like she might be tall! She is such a joy! Did I mention she's crawling everywhere? She's finally starting to practice standing more. And she is a talker. Today she said Kitty. OK, so it was Didi...but I was not the only one to hear it. This morning I brought her in the living room while a mom was dropping her kids off. Maren saw Princess and said "didi". Before I said anything Breanne said "she just said kitty!" And she's been saying it all day long, very excitedly when she sees the cat. Even though she's number 3 I am STILL blown away by how smart they seem even when they are so little. That happens all the time with the daycare kiddos too. Finally can I just say that this little outfit I have her in here is one of my favorites and has been since I got it with Kelley....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Maren like Chocolate

This was a few weeks ago. Maren was just starting to be more mobile. Kelley had a chocolate cupcake after her soccer game, then we headed over to Tyler's game. She gave me the wrapper, which I just set on the ground next to me. Not thinking I set Maren down in the same general area. I looked over a few minutes later to find her devouring the cupcake wrapper. A girl after my own heart...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Do they really think we are that stupid?

Of I guess the scarier question is are we, as a society, really that stupid?

So I heard on the radio today that the Corn Growers of America (or something like that) want to change the name of High Fructose Corn Syrup to Corn Sugar. Apparently, since everyone found out that HFCS is really bad for you and is a major contributor to obesity, consumption of the stuff has plummeted. So they want to change the name. Really? Because do they really think that people will start looking at the labels and thinking "Oh....this only has Corn Sugar in it....well that's not as bad...." The sad thing is that I can see people, who are probably most likely to be consuming a lot of the stuff in the first place being the most susceptible. I believe there's a lot of research that says that people with lower incomes and in lower socio-economic classes tend to have poorer nutrition. Because the truth is when you can buy a can of Hunts Spaghetti Sauce for 75 cents, why in the world would you buy or grow your own tomatoes and make it yourself. And Hunts Spaghetti Sauce guessed it...High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Another thing that made me laugh this week came off of the Apple Jacks box. OK, so I don't normally buy a lot of sugared cereal. But there was a big sale a few weeks ago and my kids love the stuff. So I buy it occasionally and call it Saturday Cereal...they can only have it on the weekends. In any event on the side of the current Apple Jacks is this quote "Family Life is Better when your kids are Healthy!"

Do you know what the first ingredient in AJ is? I'll give you a hint. It start with Shh and ends with -ugar. Yeah, that's before any of the flour ingredients. Ha ha! Anyway, the quote was referring to the benefits of Fiber. Then they have this quote on the bottom "Now Kellogg provides fiber to the great-tasting cereals your kids love!" That sentence doesn't even make sense. I can see what they are trying to say, but the way they said it doesn't sound right.

And I'm going to leave it at that. My kids are currently debating who pushed whom and who was putting sand in whom's pan...and it's dinner time. So the only question left is can I, with all my smartness and wisdom come up with something edible and healthy to put on the dinner table tonight? Or will I simply resort to the Hunt's Spaghetti Sauce I got for 75 cents a can on case lot sale last week. Hmm....

Friday, September 10, 2010

How I'm doing....

So I had my knee scoped on Wednesday. The nurses said that they just cleaned it out, instead of the more extensive surgery. So that's good. It's less recovery time. But on my paperwork it also says they did a Chondroplasty....which might complicate things a bit. From what I can find on the internet that's a procedure they do to resurface a damaged joint. When I went for the initial consult they said that could mean 6-8 weeks on crutches. But I never did get to talk to the doctor after the surgery. I tried to call him and the nurse told me that I could talk to him more at my follow up visit in a few weeks. I pitched a small fit and she talked to him and called me back. She said he said it was just the clean out. So I guess we'll have to "wait and see", which is totally annoying, but what can you do?

Anyway, people keep asking how I'm feeling. I'm doing good, I suppose. The first day was great. I walked out of the hospital on crutches and hobbled around the house quite a bit without them. Yesterday I was up quite a bit in the morning and feeling pretty good. I decided to take it easy that afternoon though and elevated my leg again. About 3 pm my leg (not my knee ironically) started to ache. It was like when you were little and got leg aches or growing pains. But I'm telling you it was INTENSE. It was almost as bad as labor. I took a lortab and then an hour later took 800 mg of Ibruprofen. 30 or 40 minutes later it finally went away, but kept coming back all evening. Joey and a friend gave me a blessing, but I was really concerned I wouldn't be able to sleep. Somehow I finally figured out that when it started to ache I just needed to stand up and the pain went away. Odd eh? In any event I started alternating the Lortab and Ibuprofen in earnest. I was able to sleep all right, but today has been crazy. I got up this morning to help with the daycare for a minute because Joe had to run in for work for an hour. I know, I'm a nut. People keep telling me to milk it for all it's worth, but that is not all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes it's easier to just do it yourself. Everyone has been great, but it's hard not to feel like a nag constantly asking for things and reminding when someone gets sidetracked. But at least I have people here to help. I am luckier than some I know.

Anyway, by the time Joey got back this morning I felt like I'd been hammered in the head and went back to bed. Every time I would try to get back up I would get nauseous again. So I ended up sleeping most of the day. I haven't taken any more lortab since earlier this afternoon (that's what's making me sick...) so I haven't really been sick to my stomach so much. I was at least able to get up and eat dinner with the family, but I still have a lingering drug head feeling. You know that one where it feels like your brain is just sloshing back and forth, kind of like a bobble head? Can you tell how much I like heavy drugs? Yeah....not so much. I hate how they stick with you long after they've "worn off".

In addition to the floating brain syndrome my leg is getting pretty stiff and sore. A lot of it feels bruised and sore. Not so much at the surgery site, although that I'm sure will get worse, but they have me wearing this TED hose. It's a really tight sock that goes all the way up to my thigh. It's supposed to prevent blood clots and pneumonia. But it hurts, especially at the ends of the bandages where it digs them into my skin. I have it off for a little bit, but will have to put it back on before I go to sleep.

And can I just say crutches hurt? My underarms and rib cages are just super tender. But I guess they will toughen up...I hope!

The upsides:

*I can sleep whenever I want without any excuses.
*I got a really cool ice machine from the hospital that I get to keep
*Joey gets a glimpse at what my life is really like
*I don't have to do laundry or dishes constantly
*I've had to wear nothing but my really comfy clothes for the past three days because nothing else fits over the bandage.
*I have a really good excuse as to why I haven't put on make up or fixed my hair
*Did I mention I can sleep whenever I want?

Oh, and I get to take this huge bandage off and take a real shower tomorrow. Wahoo!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And then she was crawling...

Mommy documentation time! Maren's 8 1/2 months old and started crawling everywhere within the last week. What's funny is I feel like I have been way more laid back with her and happy to just let her reach her milestones on her own, but she is crawling sooner than either of my other two kids. Kelley was 10 months old and Tyler was 9 months old. I don't think she'll walk for a while though. She doesn't have a whole lot of interest in standing at this point. My other kids loved to stand up on your lap and were all over by the couches and other things at this age, but until very recently she really wouldn't let you just stand her up and play with her. She tries to just sit back down. Now that she's a little more mobile I think she's starting to see how standing might be more beneficial for her and has started to do it a little more.

She really does love books. She gets really excited when you pull one out to read with her. She also can say mama, dada and hi. I think mama and hi she says with intent and understanding. I think she's still in the process of connecting "dad" with Dad. Oh and she can sign "more".

I have to pick a new pediatrician and am not happy about it. Ours moved away. I am trying to decide between staying with the current practice he was with or moving to a family practice doctor I've been seeing. It's to the point now I have to schedule her 9 month exam. (((Sigh))). I hate making decisions. I mostly want a doctor that cares and will listen to me. I want someone who is more interested in helping my kids be healthy verses just treating the symptoms. But I don't have time to think about it and where can you actually find that information anyway? Most parents are happy with who they have, but for no particular reason.

Anyway, back to Maren....

I love this picture because you can kind of see the scrunchy thing she does with her nose. She does it all the time, and can show you different expressions by varying details slightly. She does it when she's really happy or excited, but also when she wants something or if she's about to cry. She scrunches up her nose and then breathes in and out of her nose really fast. It's hard to describe. I know it sounds like I'm talking about a bull or something, but for some reason it still melts my heart every time!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

You should have seen the looks on people's faces...

For the 24th of July our ward did a float in the Cedar City Parade. Maren and I rode on the float and the rest of the family helped pass out candy. It was really funny to be in the float and watch people as they tried to read and process our sign which reads: A New Pioneer Face Born Every 8.8 Days, Cross Hollow Ward doing their part to populate Cedar City.

Hard to believe...yes. But the week Maren was born, four other women in our ward also had their babies. That happened again less than 6 months later (five babies born in one week). So when you add all the others in between...that equals a lot of babies. We have 3 nurseries and 3 sunbeam classes. I think the number was close to 200 kids under the age of 12 in our ward at last count. Welcome to Utah. However in all the wards I've lived in here, I don't think one has equaled the craziness that is our birth rate. Maybe we should adopt a rabbit as a mascot....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Family Pics

So we got family pics done a while ago. But of course we bought the CD and so haven't done anything with them since then. We are busy like that. Here's a sneak peak. I'm really happy with the pics we got, but it might be a while until our favorites make it off the computer and onto our walls, or even our blog. So here's one for the moment...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm a triathlete and I have an injury to prove it!

So this is a little late. It's been over two months since Joey and I swam/biked/ran the Utah Summer Games Triathlon. But I'm here to say now I finished... and I wasn't last. Those were basically my only two goals. However I guess I thought I might be somewhere in the middle of the bottom half. I've gotta set my sights higher next time. I wasn't last...but only barely ahead of the 72 year old woman that was! Kidding...there was also a 50 year old behind me too. (((Sigh))) Oh well. I did have big plans to do another one in the fall and improve on my times. I had all sorts of plans in place. I was going to do the Cedar City Relay race that is coming up this weekend with a group of 5 girls from my ward. Then in September Cedar City is hosting a 1/2 marathon and I was going to do that. I even had a 12 week training plan. I was going to become a runner over the summer. I was so excited. Not that I really love running, because I don't. But I love the idea of being an athlete and being in better health. The week after the race I even jumped right back in at the gym.

But my knee wouldn't stop hurting. So I decided to give it a rest at the gym. And it still didn't stop hurting. After a few weeks I went to the doctor. He told me that I might have a small tear, but that the main problem was likely patellar femoral syndrome. So he sent me to physical therapy to learn exercises to improve my knee functioning and told me to come back in four weeks if it didn't stop hurting. Of course I put off going to PT for a few weeks because I'm so dang busy and it's expensive. Even with insurance it costs me $25 a pop. So I was hoping it would just go away. Well it didn't and I finally broke down and went to physical therapy. Two weeks and $150 later and my knee was worse than ever. The doc agreed to send me over for an MRI.

And not only do I have a torn meniscus (cartilage in the outside part of the knee), but I also have damage to the joint - which the surgeon informed me is a type of arthritis and that my knee will probably always bother me. Fabulous. So anyway, now I get knee surgery. Depending on what they find when they get in there the recovery will be 2 - 4 weeks or 4 - 6 weeks. But they won't know which until the actual surgery. Most like it will be the shorter's hoping!

So surgery was scheduled for this week, but Joey's really busy at work. So it's set for the 8th and he should be able to take at least a few days off then. In the meantime I will survive. It really stinks. It hurts to bend down. I can't put any pressure on that leg to stand up (so my left leg is getting really strong ;). I can't plant my foot and turn. I can't run, I can't play soccer with my kids. When I sit or bend my leg for more than a minute it gets all stiff and painful when I do stand up. The worst pain has come when the dog has pushed up against the side of my leg. But I can walk without pain and so that's a blessing.

As a side note (and back to the point) I'm including the nitty gritty details of the race. For posterity sake. You really don't have to look at them. It's kind of embarrassing. But here it is anyway.

Joey and I did the Sprint length. It was a 1/2 mile swim in open water at Sand Hollow, a 14 mile bike and a 5K run. Going into it I was pretty confident I could complete all that in 2 hours. I did that length of swim earlier in the week in 30 minutes at the pool, the bike would probably take me 40 minutes or so and I could do the run in 30 minutes. Two hours still left me time for transitions and such. And I did better than I thought I would last year when we did the "mini" one at SUU, completing a 3 mile run and 12 mile bike (or was it 10?) in under 30 minutes each. My swim was slow, but I've improved a bit so I figured my expectations were realistic. I did it in 2 hours and 22 minutes. Joe did his in 1 hour and 54 minutes. Just for the record, it was a lot harder than the mini one at SUU, even though it wasn't THAT much longer. SUU's was a 3 mile run, 10 mile bike and 1/4 mile swim. I did that one in an hour and 15 minutes. But the bright side is if I ever get my knee working right again there is a TON of room for improvement...ha ha!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Copy Cat Explanation

Kristy and I were early to Cats at the TUACAHN so we sat on the lawn and chit chatted while we were waiting. I noticed this guy who was sitting with his leg and posing for a picture. I thought it would be kind of funny to copy him. What do you do when you are bored?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Anderson Family Reunion 2010

We had great family reunions growing up. I remember other kids hating their reunions. I always loved ours. They were huge....all of my grandpas siblings, their kids and all the grandkids (that was us). We traveled all over the western US - Yellowstone, Lake Powell, Lake Tahoe, Bryce Canyon and occasionally back to Oak City for Oak City Days. We always camped. Every year was a different place but there were traditions that remained in place: the talent show with yearly renditions of Rindercella and the Dead Kitties Song. The All Night game of Rook. The Sawdust Pool. White Elephant Gift Exchange.

They went strong for a good 20 maybe even 25 years. Then my Great Grandma Macel Anderson finally passed away several years ago when she was almost 100 years old. And the family reunions basically ended. They had been dwindling and just didn't survive after she passed away. We talked about getting just my dad's family together with his siblings and our cousins, but the interest wasn't there and I don't have the time or power to push the issue. So instead we have continued the tradition with my immediate family. For the third year in a row my parents and siblings have gathered once again to keep the fun alive. This year we went to Yankee Meadows above Parowan. It was a really nice spot with fishing, biking trails, beautiful scenery and lots of good times! Here's the recap in pics:

This is my ammunition picture. Joey gets after me when I very occasionally wash his wallet (which he leaves in his pants on the floor....hey, I'm in a hurry, I'm lucky to get anything washed. I can't empty the pockets...come on!) Anyway, a post for another day I'm sure....BUT on our first day there Joey took the dogs to the lake and was throwing the duck in the water to Kala. She was doing great, but then got tired of the game and wouldn't go get the duck. Joey didn't want to waste the $5 he had just spent on the toy, so he waded waist deep into the water to get it. Forgot his phone was in his pocket....

We put it in a bag of rice in the sun when we got back home and it has survived without any major brain damage. But still...I'm not the only one who makes dumb mistakes honey buns!

Love this picture of Kelley. She is describing how the wind lifted up the canopy and carried it clear across two campsites...

Traditional sawdust pool. The kids dive for coins and small trinkets. At OUR reunions, the adults get a shot at one too. Fun times!

Kelley and some of her loot from the sawdust pool.

Mom's haul from the white elephant gift. Now THAT is what we're talking about! In case you can't tell it's a toilet seat dedicated to Texas. It opened up to reveal even more interesting things inside. What do you want to bet that comes back next year....

At our family reunions growing up there was always this baby blue polyester pant suit. If you were lucky enough to snag i, it was like a crime if you didn't contribute it back into the white elephant gift pool. Or maybe it was so hideous that it was simply a cruel joke to bring it back every year. I wonder what ever happened to that....

I think this picture is funny. HD cameras are great except that sometimes you just get details you don't really need. The dirty buggery nose...the drool. But oh how those baby blues shine!

Maren had a blast hanging out in the spare tire. Who knew? Apparently she liked it because she started sitting up on her own within a week after this trip.

We'll end with this one. What a funny boy I have. He wore this pirate costume the entire last day. I brought it for our portion of the talent show, but he thought it was perfect camping attire. Notice the two wands he has stuck in the back of his shirt. For what I don't know! That is also a glow in the dark baseball cap he has on. What a hoot!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

About what I expected

So you have heard of "cleanses" or "detox diets" I'm sure. They usually involve uses of sometime of laxative and eating nothing but grapefruit juice and lettuce for 10 days. They are supposed to clean your body of toxins and restore life and vitality. From what I've heard they aren't really healthy for you at all, you get a severe case of the runs and grumps and your left weak and tired by the end of it. Well that sounds fun...ha!

I read something in a magazine though that got me thinking I should do a "cleanse" of sorts though. So this last 10 days I've been cutting out all processed foods, anything with preservatives, all white flours and refined sugars, all dairy (which I don't eat anyway right now, usually...) and all red meat. I tried to really limit butter and salt and used mostly olive oil when I added fat at all. I've eaten a lot of fruits and veggies, lots of chicken and rice, some eggs, beans that type of thing.

Well dang it all, you wouldn't believe the difference it has made. I have lost 4 or 5 pounds. I have been less distracted and able to focus more. Amazingly my house is cleaner and you can see more of the floor in my bedroom than you have been able to in months. My friend told me my skin was "glowing" and I feel really pretty good. I kind of hate it when you ask questions that you don't really want the answers to. It's like the whole dairy thing with Maren. Dang it all I didn't want it to WORK when I cut out the dairy, but it did.

Of course I knew it WOULD work - this whole nutrition thing. But I guess I didn't expect to see such a pronounced difference. It's like with the weight loss. Twice in the last year and a half I have trained for a triathlon for 5 or 6 weeks at a time. I was working out three times a week at least and lost maybe a pound or two the whole time. And here I was able to loose two or three times that amount it less than half the time just by limiting my calorie intake and eating healthier. Do you have any idea what this means???? It means I have to change my eating habits for good if I want to improve my health and well being. Not only has it helped with physical health (I mean who doesn't want to loose weight!), but apparently I'm more focused and in a positive frame of mind when I eat better too. ((((Sigh)))))

I mean it is good. But there are things that are a little sad. First of all, when I'm eating like this it can be a little difficult to keep my calories up to where they need to be. I've tried to keep them around 1600 a day, which is pretty moderate for someone my size, but you have to remember I'm also nursing Maren still, so I have to be careful not to go TOO low. But it was kind of hard. Whole grains and veggies just don't pack the calorie punch that crackers and canned chili do. There were a few days where I had to sneak a few cookies in at the end of the day just to get my calories up for the day. (You can see I'm not very good at keeping inner commitments sometimes... ha ha!)

There's also this kind of persistent hunger you have to get used to. It's not bad, not like my stomach is growling or anything. But most days I was a little hungry for most of the day. And food just isn't nearly as fun anymore. I mean, you can still make really good stuff with lots of goodies from the garden. But as yummy as that type of food doesn't elicit the same type of excitement for me as say cheese enchiladas or carmel popcorn. And it's hard to focus on the yummy aspect of it when your dissecting your dinner for the purpose of making sure each calories is recorded in your food journal. And when you do sneak a big bowl of tends to just make you sick instead of happy. And you break out the next day.

So here's the verdict. I think you should try it. You might just like it. I will continue it I think, but won't feel guilty about cheating a little and having a steak for date night or something. It is a little addictive...this weight loss thing. I think the first 5 pounds is probably the easiest. I have about 10-15 more to get to my ideal goal. It's quite satisfying though to see actually progress, so the drawbacks are worth it I think.

AAAND....I think I need to try something like this with Tyler. Oh boy...If you don't know Tyler is...well he's just Tyler. But about every other minute of our life I think he might have serious issues. He is one passionate, dramatic little boy. But I've wondered for a long time if improved nutrition for him might not really help improve his behavior. We do eat better than a lot of people I think. I try really hard at the daycare to do fresh, homemade stuff. But we have our share of crackers, mac and cheese and the occasional chicken nugget. And so one of these days I'm going to gear up and go head to head with the monster and see if it doesn't help him out a little also.

Wish me luck on that one please...

Monday, July 5, 2010

A blessing and a curse

For those of you don't know, I run a daycare out of my home. With a helper here I am licensed for 15 kids. Kelley and Tyler are old enough that they don't count, so technically I can have 17 kids here at a time. So this summer we are FULL at the daycare. I have as many kids as I can have. They are not all here all the time, but we are BUSY. Which is good. It's very helpful as we try to pay off our debt, make improvements to the house/yard and not have to live so much paycheck to paycheck. It's a wonderful HUGE blessing.

But my life is a mess. My house is a mess. My bedroom is BEYOND a mess - it's more like a massive tornado shoved into the tiny space that we sleep in. My bathrooms only get scrubbed down when we have company coming or the grossness just can't be ignored anymore. My files for the daycare are...well, they aren't really files. They are kind of a mass of papers waiting to be filed and then I have to make sure I even have everything, which I probably don't.

My desk is covered with papers, probably several bills that I could pay if I could find them...(((sighhh)))

This happens every time. When I get more kids, even though I have more help (my employees are here more) I get further and further behind. I just have to keep telling step forward, 3 steps back, but eventually maybe forward progress will happen...maybe?

Don't get me wrong. My life is good. Just busy and parts of it are overwhelming. I just keep repeating the mantra: Do what you can do...

With that, here's a list of blog posts I'd like to write sometime.

On hair dye and fake nails
Boys and their toys
Anderson Family Reunion
Garden Update
I am a if my knee would stop hurting

But right now, it's off to clean my room. And when I say clean my room I really mean make tiny dents in the massive mess that inhabits it :) Good night.

Monday, June 28, 2010

More to come

But in the meantime enjoy a sweet pic of my little dolly!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some Things I'd Like to Do

1 - Get a degree in Music
2 - Run a full triathlon
3 - Learn to do digital scrapbooking and do it well
4 - Learn to take really good photos
5 - Get my life in order, feel like I have good balance
6 - Run the perfect daycare
7 - Start a scholarship fund
8 - Build my dream house
9 - Do ballroom dancing with Joe
10 - Go on a cruise
11 - Tour Europe
12 - Live in New York
13 - Live in the middle of nowhere
14 - Become a "minimalist"
15 - Write a book...maybe...might just be content with an entertaining blog that people enjoy reading
16 - Learn to sing
17 - Play the piano again
18 - Learn to play the guitar
19 - Decorate my house
20 - Go on a mission
21 - Get enough sleep on a regular basis
22 - Practice Yoga at least weekly
23 - Read more
24 - Make meals my husband really likes every night
25 - Become Thrifty
26 - Visit all 50 states
27 - Keep my room clean
28 - Do community theatre
29 - Pay off our debt
30 - Get a masters
31 - Keep learning n growing

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pom Poms Up The Nose

My son experimenting with his nostrils, decided that the craft pom poms my wife had for a day care project fit perfectly in his nose. Obviously he didn't think this one through and ended up in the doctors office.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Messin Around

Kelley was having fun with the camera and wanted to get a picture of the kiss sandwich. It was making Maren really happy. She's so easily pleased!

Maren's got this cute little peach fuzz that sticks up all the time now. She has two or three hairs that are about twice as long as the rest of it, which makes me giggle. I'm just excited because this means she'll have "real hair" before we know it. I can't believe she's almost 6 months old!
Sisters :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Happy Birthday my man!

Joey turned 34 last week. I have a hard time coming up with great gifts, so I wanted to do something special this year. I had it all planned out to steal him away from work for a whole day with just us doing things he enjoys (golfing, being outside, maybe a movie). I even had the poem and scavenger hunt laid out. Well, my plans were foiled when the golf course was closed for a tournament that day....bummer. Then I got caught up reading The Hunger Games the night before and you all know how I get when I'm reading... So needless to say, the day came around and I was caught unprepared. I finally got everything together, grabbed some balloons and snagged him away from work. When I told him my plans, he suggested we go grab the kids. So we did and headed south to Red Cliffs only to find it CLOSED until August 1st...bummer #2! But it turned out great anyway. We drove up around Leeds down towards old Babylon trail and played in the river for a few hours.

The kids had a ball with their dad!
We even took the dogs. You see that big yellow lab...yeah, that's our four month old PUPPY! She's officially outgrown Koko....
I love this picture...our Mare-Bears is growing up. As a side note, in case I don't get to blogging about this anywhere else...she is now rolling over, both ways. She started rolling about 5 months old. I think she will crawl sooner than my other kids. She's still as sweet as can be and just is EASY to love! I'm her favorite person, but she's usually really sweet with anyone that wants to hold her. She loves being toted around in her carrier and is starting to enjoy toys.

Finally....snapped this photo simply because I feel incredibly lucky to live in a place like THIS:

We had to head back for Kelley's T-Ball game, but then left all the kids with a sitter and had a great time together at The Garden House for dinner. I'm a lucky gal to have such a great guy. Happy Birthday Joe!