Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A little bit of this....

Lost in Translation
Monday, December 26, 2011
Day 211

Adam got a remote control helicopter for Christmas and the warning printed on the blades gives us hours of entertainment.

In case you can't read it:
"Warning! If blade damage. don't be fly. otherwise it will create the human body or blade damage."

Coasting through life
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Day 212

Have I mentioned enough times that I could totally get used to winter being warm? Because I could.

We took the scooters and coaster cars out around the neighborhood today and the kids found this little hill that they went down over and over and over and over and over again.


Full of Hot Air
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Day 213

Look closely and you will see two hot air balloons in this picture. Do you see them?


We see hot air balloons from our back deck at least once a week. And that is not an exaggeration. I have seen more hot air balloons in the 3 months we have lived in this house then in my entire life beforehand. Crazy, eh?

Jingle Trains
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Day 214

We headed out tonight to our favorite train park to experience their Christmas lights.


I was under the crazy impression that it would be less busy after Christmas, and that if we went on a Thursday instead of a Friday or Saturday it wouldn't be crowded.

I was wrong. It was an hour and a half wait to ride the train. (a 5 minute train ride.) When we went to Disneyland for Christmas last year we didn't wait that long for anything! Seriously.

But we left Mike in line and I ran around with the kids and took them in the model train building so it wasn't so bad. Well, for me. Ask Mike how much he liked standing in line.

Here we finally made it on the train. Going through the tunnel reminded me of the crazy psychedelic tunnel on Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.


Creating order from Chaos
Friday, December 30, 2011
Day 215

In my old house I had a pot rack for my pans and lids. So I've had to figure out a different want to store my pans in this new house, and so far nothing was working. So a few weeks ago I bought a few of these and spent an hour today doing this.


There is still a LOT more organizing to do. But it's a start.

Ring in the New Year in style
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Day 216

We are such party animals at our house. I spent my New Year's Eve folding laundry.

And we went to bed before midnight. See, I told you we were party animals!

Sunday, January 1, 2012
Day 217

If you've been reading my blog for awhile you'll know that this post is WAY past due. I'm very behind. So when I sat down to try and catch up I was going through the pictures on my phone and this was the only picture I took on January 1st.


And I'm sure it had a story, something witty or thoughtful I was going to write about to go with it....but I honestly don't remember. Guess I shouldn't get so far behind again, eh?

Christmas comes this time each year

Now THAT was smart!
Monday, December 19, 2011
Day 204

Today at running club I was running across the blacktop to record the kids' totals for the day. Somebody's water bottle had been knocked over and I stepped right on it and rolled forward and fell down on the blacktop. I tried to just jump up and shake it off but my ankle hurt so bad I couldn't walk on it. So I crawled back over to where the kids were starting to gather.

I sat there thinking I was going to have to call Mike to come pick me up because I wasn't sure I'd be able to even walk home. Luckily after sitting for a few minutes I could get up on it again-but I had to sort of limp home.

I iced it and stayed off it the rest of the night hoping it wasn't anything serious. I had TOO much to do and no time for a sprained ankle!

(Since I am writing this weeks later I can tell you that I hobble around for about 2 more days but I did manage to get around. Not really sure what I did to it since even today if I turn it too far one way or if I try to sit cross legged on it it still hurts, but not so much that I can't walk on it. So I'm still mostly just choosing to ignore it and hope it will just heal completely on it's own.)

Winter Fun Run
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Day 205

Today was the Family Winter Fun Run at school. Since I was still hobbling around from my mishap yesterday I chose to be a spectator only.

Here is Adam nearing the finish line. He's the one with the blue shirt on and the yellow sweater tied around his waist.

And here's Zoey rounding the bend-blue shirt, black pants, and daddy carrying her pink sweater for her. What a good daddy.

All I want for Christmas is....
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Day 206

Zoey lost her second tooth day! Tooth fairy is going broke and hope she doesn't loose any more for a while now!

The two front teeth on the bottom are the two she lost this month, but as you can see the permanent ones are already mostly grown in. So no gap-toothed smiles here.

Too Grown Up!
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Day 207

I helped Harrison wrap gifts for his siblings and dad today and he filled out the gift tags all by himself.

When did he get so big?????

Reserved Seating
Friday, December 23, 2011
Day 208

Our Christmas guests arrived today and I still didn't have enough seating for everybody. I've been eyeing some of these saddle stools for awhile now but didn't buy any because, we were moving and it was just more stuff to move.

But now that we are settled in (mostly) and have guests coming to actually use them I talked Mike into some.

What do you do on Christmas Eve?
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Day 209

We went swimming.

Since the community is still fairly small we had the pool to ourselves. They have a nice sound system at the pool so we cranked the Christmas tunes and enjoyed the sun.

Merry Christmas!
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Day 210

Santa found us! The kids were worried he may not know where we moved, but looks like he has good change of address elves working for him.


Silly Santa didn't put names on any of our gifts. Instead he taped puzzle pieces to each gift. Each kid had the picture of what his or her puzzle looked like when put together and had to figure out which pieces went to their puzzle in order to figure out which gifts were theirs.

And, it wouldn't be Christmas without our traditional dinner of Costco Lasagna and Pesto.

I decided years ago I didn't like spending all day in the kitchen so this meal is a festive red and green and is SUPER easy!!!!! And delicious. What more could you ask for?

You better not pout....

Oh How Times Have Changed
Monday, December 12, 2011
Day 197

The note the kids pulled from the advent stocking tonight was that they could stay up 10 minutes extra to play Santa Coaster on their iPod. This shot of my boys just completely entranced in their games was just classic.


It's moments like this that I can't really tell if I'm a really good mom or a really bad mom......

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Day 198

It has been raining cats and dogs for the past several days. The rain finally abated and we discovered why the big empty field behind us is called the flood control zone.

We typically see and hear cows behind the house. This morning we woke up to the sound of ducks. They apparently really like our new river.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Day 199

Dropped the Mazda off today to have some items installed that were pre-negotiated when we bought they car but that they didn't have in stock in their parts department.

This was the loaner car I drove off the lot with.

Bonus points for anybody who can tell me where I am parked in this picture.

I should be Cinderella....
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Day 200

Zoey was playing dress up today and was dressed up like Sleeping Beauty when I asked her to hang up some of her laundry. She sighed and said, "I should be wearing my Cinderella dress because you make me work ALL the time."

I should be Cinderella

She has such a tough life!

Run, run as fast as you can....
Friday, December 16, 2011
Day 201

Today was Zoey's holiday party at school. All the kindergarten classes have been reading different versions of the Gingerbread Man story this week and talking about character and setting and such. So they finished off the unit by making gingerbread houses.

there is a house under there somewhere under all that candy

I promise there is a gingerbread house somewhere beneath all that candy.

Arizona Snow
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Day 202

Tonight's activity from our Advent stockings was to make paper snowflakes, since they are likely the ONLY snowflakes they will see this year for Christmas.

After doing a few out of regular typing paper we discovered that tissue paper makes really nice BIG snowflakes and the thinner paper is WAY easier for little hands to cut.

Silly x3
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Day 203

Tonight on our count down to Christmas our activity was to take a picture in our Santa hats, which the kids interpreted as an invitation to be downright silly.

Ho Ho Ho, isn't Christmas Jolly?

Maiden Voyage
Monday, December 5, 2011
Day 190

Since our old car was dying a slow death and we knew that buying a new car was inevitable we debated for a long time about what to get. We liked a lot of things about the Mazda5 but were worried that it didn't have enough cargo space for a Costco trip.

So today I ventured to Costco for the first time in the new car. And I'm happy to say everything fit!

maiden voyage

Of course 2 of the kids were at school and so I was able to leave their car seats home and fold down the seats, which is the ONLY way it all fit. But it DID fit!

Santa Baby
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Day 191

We ventured to Bass Pro Shop tonight to pay a little visit to Santa. We have actually never done the whole sit on Santa's lap thing but it was one of the activities I put inside our advent stockings so we gave it a try. This year. 

dear Santa

Although nobody actually sat on Santa's lap. Guess they are already too big for that.  

Baby, it's cold outside
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Day 192

The weather has been getting progressively colder these past weeks and since it has actually been below freezing the last few mornings I finally went to the garage and dug out the box that had coats in it. But hey we made it clear into December before needing coats!

baby it's cold outside

Happy Birthday!!!!!!
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Day 193

Today was Mike's birthday, and I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't plan anything special for him at all. Things have just been so chaotic that it snuck up on me. He kept telling me it was no big deal and he was happy to just have a low key day hanging with his family. But I felt guilty all day and kept trying to come up with something fun for us to all do.

In the end he won and we really did just have a quiet, low key day as a family. We did at least go out for dinner.

I couldn't find any of my birthday candles, though. Nor did we even have a cake to put candles in.

So I got 3 of my little tea light candles and we lit them for him to blow out.

happy birthday!

Make a wish!

Santa and the tooth fairy in the same month!
Friday, December 9, 2011
Day 194

Zoey lost her first tooth today, and it was about time. It's been wiggly forever. In fact the permanent tooth had already grown in behind the baby tooth long before it fell out.

first tooth

The tooth fairy didn't have any small bills in her wallet. Only $20's. So the tooth fairy raided Zoey's piggy bank after she was asleep and pulled out a couple of $1's, leaving behind some loose change.

Somebody PLEASE assure me that this isn't the first time the tooth fairy has had to resort to such measures.  

Saturday, December 10, 2011
Day 195

Rain is in the forecast for the next several days so we decided to spend today trying to clear out the garage so we could actually park the new car in it. I'd say we were successful!


Just don't ask me to show you pictures of what the other garage now looks like.....

Oh, Holy Night
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Day 196

We ventured out to the Mesa Temple tonight for their annual Christmas Light Display.

oh holy night

The best part was that it was 68 degrees and the kids wore only sweaters. When we used to visit the lights at Temple Square we really had to bundle up.

Yes, I think I am going to like winter Christmas in the desert.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Half Way to the Goal

As I sat down to write this post I started counting back and realized that this week marked the exact half way point of my little picture project. I set out to take a picture a day for one year. Since we are coming up on a leap year that means 366 days. Which makes day 183 the exact middle.

It's hard to believe we have been in Arizona for 6 months already!

Mike said to me the other day "I was looking back at some of your past posts and you do a good job of making our life seem pretty exciting. I mean I was there for all of it, but you make it look even better."

Here's to 6 more adventurous months!

Monday, November 28, 2011
Day 183

I tweeted a few weeks ago that cows were mooing outside my window. My friend Melissa asked if we had become farmers. The answer to that question is no, but there is a dairy farm behind our house situated on the opposite side of the flood control canal, and so frequently cows will graze just behind our home. The weather is so nice lately that we often sleep with the windows open, hence I often awake to the sound of mooing cows.


Why is it so hard to take a self portrait?
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Day 184

I recently decided I wanted to become the kind of person who wears scarfs. So I bought a couple. And today I wore one for the first time. But since I don't frequently wear scarfs (yet) I wasn't sure if I was pulling it off. So I decided to take a self portrait and ask you, my faithful readers, if I was in fact pulling off the scarf look. But taking a self portrait is hard!




Christmas comes early
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Day 185

We aren't huge tv watchers at our house, but I am a huge movie buff. I LOVE watching movies.

So, we have had the same TV for 8 years. I'm not complaining. It works fine. We have enjoyed many movie on it's small screen. But it's just that. It's small, and yet at the same time bulky. It's not HD, it's not anything fancy in fact. But it works so we keep using it.

But Mike gets Amazon gift cards at work sometimes. When you do something exceptional or just help out a co-worker you can nominate each other for these gift cards. So we've been saving them up for 2 years now and finally had enough to indulge in a new TV.

It's not super fancy, according to today's standards. It's plasma instead of LED/LED backlit, it's not 3D, no apps (i.e. Netflix and youtube and such are not built in) but it's big and it's flat and after what we've been using for years to me it's beautiful!

But that wasn't the only beautiful new item for the day. (It was a BIG day)

Our old Audi has been on it's last leg for a while. If you have been reading our Arizona adventures from the beginning you'll remember that it was having serious problems this summer. We finally broke down and got the issues fixed. (Repairs that cost more then my new tv. Seriously.) And then shortly thereafter the check engine light came on. And then the front air suspension sprung a leak. We are a one car family and so having one that I didn't feel confident in was starting to worry me. It felt like a ticking time bomb sitting in my driveway.

So we listed it for sale, being very upfront about all known problems, just to see if an Audi enthusiast wanted to take on our issues. We had a few calls but everybody wanted to know what code the computer was reading that was causing the check engine light. So we finally took it to Auto Zone just to have the computer read. The outlook was bleak-it was transmission problems.

We were hoping to hold out until Feb or March to get a new car but after discovering we also had transmission problems we decided to pull the plug.

This is Harrison waiting at the dealer. Mike had pre-neogotiated the whole deal online prior to walking into the dealership so it was SUPPOSED to be a quick, smooth process. We were still there 2 1/2 hours. (A LONG story for another time.) Why does it take so long to buy a car????? I can close on a new house in less time that it takes to buy a car!

But at the end of the day we drove home in this.

Our very own Mazda5. Base model, no bells or whistles. But the transmission works, the AC works, and anything that breaks is still under warranty!

The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Day 186

I realized yesterday that it was almost the first day of December. We have never really done any kind of count down to Christmas at our house, but moving feels like a time of change and especially now that we are away from family I thought we needed to have a few more family traditions of our own. So I decided we'd do a countdown to Christmas.

I had a bunch of tiny stockings from years of my SIL giving the kids $2 bills for Christmas. So I strung them all up and numbered them. (I was a few short, but Dollar Tree filled in the gap!) Each night the kids will pull something out of the stocking. Some nights it's a small treat like a candy cane or a pair of Christmas socks. Some nights it is an activity like put up the Nativity or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.


And, if 1 countdown to Christmas is good then 2 is better, right? So I found the box in the garage that had all our Christmas books in it and started wrapping. The idea being we'd read one Christmas story each night before bed. I was worried I wouldn't have enough. Turns out that I had more then enough! Clearly we have a book buying problem at our house.


Where are all my girlfriends when I need one?
Friday, December 2, 2011
Day 187

My Realtor is a member of a charitable organization that puts on a fundraising event each year called The Christmas Idea House. She called me earlier this week and said she could get me a ticket. So after I picked the kids up from school today I slipped out to check it out. It is basically a BIG Christmas boutique set up in somebody's big custom home. Totally the kind of thing you are supposed to go to with your girlfriend or mom or sister. I was there alone.

But it wasn't a total waste because I found this and had to have it because it was quirky.


Let there be lights
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Day 188

The note in our Christmas Advent stocking today said to put some lights up in the yard. So we did just that.


Jack Frost
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Day 189

The temperatures actually dipped below freezing last night and left some small patches on the deck this morning. (Of course it was all melted by 10 am, but still.)

We even turned the furnace on for the first time today. And I'm happy to report it works just fine.