Friday, December 19, 2008

Coleman's Christmas Singing Time 2008

Mrs. Cameron's and Mrs. Flethcher's classes teamed up for the singing time this month. It was great to see Coleman having so much fun. He really loves to dance! Here are just a few clips of all the fun. Enjoy!

Friday, December 05, 2008

This picture makes me laugh.

I've got this on my computer as my desktop background. I'd be lying if I said I don't feel like this every once in a while. :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Chef of the Day!

I woke up this morning to a couple emails congratulating me on being Chef of the Day on Recipezaar's website. "Huh?" I thought. So, I went to the site and look who's mug I saw on the front page. Hilarious! Maybe now someone will try the recipes I posted!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tomorrow's Turkey Day!

Well, I made it! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and this will have to be my last thankful post (and probably my last post for a while! I need a blogging hiatus.) Anyway, between the sleep-inducing tryptophan, uninhibited face-stuffing and giddy excitement of upcoming Black Friday sales I'm pretty sure I won't be on the computer tomorrow. Can't wait!
Friends and neighbors: me (sorry, no makeup!) Sandra, Amy, Jenn, and Tiffany

So, last but certainly not least, today I want to give thanks for my friends. I've never been the type of girl who has needed to have lots of friends. A couple close friends at any one time suits me well. However, as I look back on my life I realize that I've been blessed with dozens of close friends that have each been in my life at one point or another, right when I needed them. So thanks so much to all my friends! Life is so much better when you have friends to share it with! Happy Thanksgiving!

"I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul rememb'ring my good friends."
- William Shakespeare

Monday, November 24, 2008

An attitude of gratitude.

Tonight, as the computer was scrolling through our pictures on our screensaver, I saw a picture of a sunset that I took in Cambria this summer and I realized something- that picture in no way embodies what that moment was like. At that moment I was breathless because of the majesty of the earth. It was one of those moments when you realize that you are but a blip on the radar. I felt humbled. There is a reason why a picture never does a moment like that justice. It's because it's not just about what you saw. It's about how you felt. So, today I'm thankful for the beauty of the earth and I vow to find more moments to appreciate it.

3 days until Thanksgiving!

And I'm thankful for the United Way. Ok, this probably wouldn't be high on my list most years but I really wanted to post about the service opportunity we had the other day. A couple of weeks ago I went to a conference for parents with kids with Special Needs. United Way had a booth there and after talking with their representative I asked them if they ever had volunteer opportunities that involve the whole family. (Will and I have always said that we wanted to start volunteering at least once a month once the boys were old enough to.) To my delight, she said that they actually had a Family Volunteer Day coming up the next weekend and even the 3 yr old could help out. Yay! That's just what we were looking for. Upon returning home, I told Will about it and found out that the Michigan/Ohio State game was at the same time! Bummer! But wait! (This will blow your mind!) Will, knowing that the game probably wouldn't go well, welcomed the diversion! This was shocking to me because he says that he hasn't missed a Michigan/Ohio State game since 1985 (and I believe it!) But he knew this would be great way to teach the boys some important lessons.

So, this past Saturday morning we woke the boys up early and headed to the food bank in Provo to receive our assignment. They gave us directions and we promptly headed to Hoofbeats for Healing, a therapeutic horseback riding arena in Spanish Fork. The boys were surprisingly excited to help. We spent the morning cleaning out storage trailers and shoveling and leveling out dirt in front of their indoor facilities. We really did have fun and the boys learned that helping others can make you happy. Great experience and we plan on having many more like it. Here's a few pics from that morning.

Will shoveling dirt. I was too but I stopped to take this picture. No lie!

The boys raking out the dirt to make it level. Well, let's just say they gave it their best shot. What more could I ask?

And here's Cooper hard at work. He was so cute just following everyone elses lead.

Coleman and Cooper both worked really hard picking big rocks out of the dirt and tossing them aside.

Great job, guys! Let's go check the website for another service project!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I'm thankful for the little things!

10 little things I'm thankful for:
  1. Spanx.
  2. Towels right out of the dryer.
  3. When husband does the dishes.
  4. The popcorn setting on the microwave.
  5. Clorox wipes. (I love bleach!)
  6. Clearance sales.
  7. Hoodies.
  8. A good laugh.
  9. TiVo.
  10. Online shopping.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

5 days until Thanksgiving

And I'm thankful for the fine arts! Here's Cooper's latest contemporary dance number. He was very serious about this performance. He kept chasing Coleman out of the room because he was laughing at him. You may not catch it but in the middle of his dance Will says, "There's a lot of expression in this piece." Misunderstanding what his Dad said, Cooper proceeds to pretend to brush his teeth.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thnx fr th Mmrs

I'm so thankful to my parents for lots of reasons. One of those reasons is because they gave me 4 amazing siblings. The kind that love unconditionally and laugh hysterically at all the same nonsense. We know each other in a way that is really rare. An understanding meant only for siblings. I love that we are all so different. It makes our family so fun and interesting! Another reason I'm thankful for my parents is because they worked so hard to make my childhood special with lots of fun traditions and lots of family togetherness. This post is dedicated to my Mom and Dad, my 3 sisters and 1 Barbie-playin' brother! Love you guys! Happy Thanksgiving!

That was then:

This is now:

Chad and I dancing with Beeper at the children's museum. Chad's an awesome dancer, obviously.
Celeste, Briana, and me at a baseball game in West Virginia.
At Dad's wedding last summer. A rare photo of all of us together.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What do I have to be thankful for? Everything!

And I'm thankful that this collection of photos is now a book, DVD, and CD just in time for Christmas! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Today, I'm thankful...

...for my health! Will and I just watched Biggest Loser and while I really enjoy the competition aspect of the show I think what is most striking to me is watching people begin to believe in themselves again (or sometimes for the first time ever!) People let themselves get so downtrodden and beat down by life that they just stop caring for themselves. In a sense, they stop living. I know what it's like. I've been there. You see, after Cooper was born I found myself terribly overweight with debilitating post-partum depression. Coleman was handed an autism diagnosis at right around the same time and I was lost. I was plagued by nightmares every night and I knew that something had to change. The stress was getting to be more than I could bear. Here's a pic of my mom and I around that time (Nov. 2005.)

Oh man. I honestly remember that day so clearly. I wore a girdle under that sweater just trying to suck it all in. Wow. Anyway, I finally decided to start caring for myself so that I could care for my kids the way they needed to be cared for. We bought a treadmill and I started running. It became my stress release. The nightmares went away. My confidence came back. Even the autism didn't seem quite so scary!

Today, I'm still running at least 3-4 times a week. I don't run to get skinny. It's certainly not about fitting into a size 2. I run to survive another day. Well, that's a bit melodramatic but you get the point. I run to keep my mind clear, my body healthy and what I huge difference it's made in my quality of life. So, I can't help but feel blessed and thankful for my health this Thanksgiving. Who knows where I would be if I hadn't decided to start caring for myself a little.

Monday, November 17, 2008

11 Days and Counting

I'm posting really late. It's almost midnight so I'll make it short. Okay, something that I'm thankful for. (thinking) Well, I'm thankful for my 700 TC down comforter and my big poofy pillow. I know it's lame. I'm sorry! I'm so tired it's the only thing I can think about! I'll think of something good tomorrow. Nitey-nite!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

12 Days 'Til Thanksgiving

Michigan's record is 3-8 this season and if you know my husband, you know that means some very contentious Saturdays at my house. So today, I'm thankful that football season is almost over! All I can say is- phew! It's about time! (By the way, Will says he's glad it's over, too.) Go blue! And please play better next year!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Countdown to Thanksgiving (cont.)...

It's my 2nd consecutive Countdown to Thanksgiving blog post! And today, I'm feeling thankful for something that I'm not sure I could live without- Google! (These are in no specific order, by the way. Google is great but not necessarily a close second to my husband and kids, knowumsayin?) Anyway, I use it at least two dozen or more times a day. I am a Google dependent. Pretty sure that if I had to live without it people would ask what happened to me. "Alicia always seemed so creative and informed. What happened?" In reality, I don't think I've ever had an original thought pass through my head. Everything I do is some form of something that I saw on the net. I need a recipe- google it! What the heck is a fartlek? Google it! What time is the movie? Google it! Need ideas for a lesson handout? Google it! You get the idea. I'm not necessarily a bright lady but imagine how much dumber I would be without Google! Ever had to live even just a day or two without the internet and felt completely paralyzed? I have! It's so sad but true. What an amazing thing to have all this info right at our fingertips! Yay Google! Yay computer! Yay fartleks! (Google it.) ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Countdown to Thanksgiving...

I was driving down the road yesterday and saw a house with all their Christmas decorations out. Come on, people! It's not even Thanksgiving yet! I mean, don't you think that's skipping ahead a bit? So, in order to give Thanksgiving the attention it rightly deserves, I've decided to do a blog countdown to Turkey Day. Everyday from today until Thanksgiving I'm going to post something that I'm thankful for. So, here goes!

Today's is a no-brainer. It's what I'm most thankful for- my 3 boys. My life would be much less exciting without these guys. What would I do with my time if I wasn't yelling at them to wipe the seat or to turn down the TV or eat their veggies? (And that's just Will!) Sure, maybe I would have a lot more sleep, a lot less wrinkles, and the pre-baby body back. And maybe I would've have finished college and gone on to be a famous book-writing psychologist and maybe I would be traveling the world right now and competing in ironman triathlons. And maybe, just maybe, I would be the first woman on the moon (has a woman done that yet?) Hmmm...Wait! What was I talking about again? Oh yeah! (So sorry. I lost my focus for a bit.) Anyway, what I was saying is that none of that would ever be worth not having the loving support of a sweet, hard-working husband or the treasured soft kisses from 2 beautiful sons that the Lord created just for me! I am so blessed this and every Thanksgiving if they were the only thing I had to be thankful for! I've learned to love in a way that no other people or things could have ever taught me. Thanks guys! MMMWAH!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Church Halloween party '08

Saturday night we went to our ward's annual Halloween party. Needless to say, with Michigan losing a big rival game only moments before the party started, some of us were not in the greatest mood (...ahem, William) but I somehow still got him to dress up and go. What a good sport!

Will and I went as Napoleon Dynamite and Deb. We watched the movie the night before for a little inspiration. Here's our official picture pose that night.
Will was so good at keeping in character. Really funny stuff. Here he his doing his Happy Hands Club bit.

We were actually surprised at how few of the adults actually dressed up. Who says the kids get to have all the fun?

Speaking of kiddos, Coleman and Cooper got to pick what they wanted to be this year. Cooper wanted to be Iron Man which was a $20 costume at Kmart. Simple. But Coleman, bless his heart, was dead set on being a Cog, which are the bad guys from the Disney online game Toontown. And no, they do not make Cog costumes so I scrambled to find him a suit and warned him everyday that he'd have to wear make-up, which he was okay with once I told him it wasn't the kind that girls wear. I was so worried that he wouldn't like the feel of the make-up all over his face. But he surprised me and didn't complain a bit. He was so thrilled when he saw himself in the mirror. I caught him impersonating his favorite Cogs throughout the night. Just totally off in his own world, channeling the Cog energy. He's so funny. Here's a pic of the boys with Madi (she was Cinderella.) By the way, this was the only pic I got of Cooper with his mask on. I don't really blame him for not wearing it. I'm pretty sure he couldn't see a thing when he had it on.
And a pic with their next door bud, Colby.
We had dinner and then played some Halloween themed games with the kids. There was also a pumpkin carving contest that I somehow managed to win. That was the cherry on top for me. I was really surprised because it was such a simple design. Here 's a pic of me and Cooper with our winning pumpkin and our prize, a pumpkin pie and can of whipped cream. Yum! We still have trick-or-treating coming up this Friday and school parties that both boys are excited about so the fun's not over yet. Will is scheming a way to scare the kids that come to our doorstep to trick or treat so just a warning for the neighbors. ;)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Scarecrow Festival '08

Well, we headed to the Scarecrow Festival again this year. We've gone every year for the past 4 years so it's kind of a tradition now.

The boys started out by playing several fun Halloween themed games. Here's Cooper cheating in the throw-the-spider-into-the-web game. He really wanted to make sure that it would stick.
Rather than tossing them, Coleman carefully placed the rings around these animals necks. I learned that my boys really like to play by their own set of rules.
Cooper looked SO uncomfortable when he and Will wheeled up after their turn on these pedal cars. I don't blame him for the grimace. Just look at that split!
After a ridiculously long wait in line, Coleman got freaked out by some backfire from the train. We were worried that he'd jump off the train before the ride even got started but he was fine after a couple minutes.
Here they are coming back from their trip around the fairgrounds. Hey, where's Coop?! We thought he had jumped off the train or something but he was just (not so cautiously) leaning over the side. He is always doing something crazy. Little monkey.
The boys were excited to ride the ponies at Farm Country even though they've ridden them many times before. Coleman chose the smallest one and I teased him that he was so big that the pony wouldn't be able to move. The look on his face told me that he actually believed me until the ride got started. Speaking of the look on his face, I have got to stop telling Coleman to say "Cheese!" because I always get this look--->
This pic was taken right before we left so I was lucky to get a good smile out of both of them. Had to get a pic of them with some scarecrows.

Monday, October 13, 2008

This is why I pay for school pictures.

Because no other photo session can bring out this real kind of emotion. Can you say deer in headlights?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

My Itty-Bitty Athletes.

This past week brought a couple firsts. Cooper's first extra-curricular activity, itty-bitty football classes, and Coleman's first tae kwon do class. Cooper has taken to football like a fish to water. No surprises here. He's always been very coordinated and seems to take to sports just naturally. Here he is playing running back. Go Coops!

Coleman really seems to enjoy tae kwon do! I just love that he approaches everything he does with the pure intent of having fun. No competitiveness. No feeling silly or embarassed. He just goes for it. Makes me wish I were more like that. I continue to learn so much from him. Funny boy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Office season premiere is tonight!

How about a game of murder checkers? Anyone?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Now that I'm a mommy...

1. I know the meaning of the word "ouch." (Delivered rugrat #1 with no epidural. Ouch, indeed. Makes me ashamed that I ever used the term before.)
2. I only decorate with items that can't be broken.
3. I have a new appreciation for abstract art and I display it all over my fridge.
4. Exercise and "me time" have to go hand in hand because I have no time for both.
5. I learned I can take a punch to the face. Who knew?
6. I had to buy a steam cleaner.
7. I will sometimes stay up way past my bedtime no matter how tired I am because it's quiet! Ahhh, I love those nights.
8. I went from thinking that I'm a kind, patient person to thinking, "I've really got work on being more kind and patient."
9. I can ignore crying, whining, etc. for hours on end. Doesn't phase me one bit.
10. I get it! I get why everyone says, "It's the toughest job you'll ever love." Wouldn't change a thing about my life or my boys. Just to hear those little voices call me Mommy. What a blessing!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dreyer's Ice Cream Social

Back in April, I entered this contest that Dreyer's Ice Cream was holding. They were looking for neighborhoods deserving of a free ice cream party. I entered my 2 short paragraphs on a whim and didn't think much more about it. Lo and behold, a couple of months later they informed me that I had won a grand prize which was an ice cream party for me and all my neighbors, enough for 100 people! Cool! I never have won anything before and it was great that it was something I could share with all my neighbors! Here are a few pics from today's party.

My freezer in the garage was filled to the brim with ice cream! Here I am waiting for the party to start. My neighbor Sandra was so sweet and brought brownies because she really loves warm brownies with ice cream. Apparently, she's not the only one because they were gone quick! The neighbors hanging out in the front yard.
Cooper, Joshua, Kyle, Madi, Coleman and Nathan. The nametags had a spot to write your favorite flavor of ice cream and Coleman's said "french fry." Better get a patent on that one, bud!
Will fixing an ice cream cone for Spencer. We were trying to keep the ice cream out of the sun but it kept creeping back on us.

Some neighbors found a shady spot under our tree out front.

The whole party was really laid back and easy. I'm so glad that so many neighbors came. We really do have a great neighborhood! Many of us have become great friends over the last 3 years!

What great fun! And all because of 2 simple paragraphs. This is what I wrote-

Sandra came over yesterday to borrow my oven cleaner. She's looking for something to clean her iron with. That pesky build-up doesn't have a chance against her! And Madi, the sweet little girl across the street, called to see if she could come over and play with the boys. She was just a toddler when they moved in 3 years ago and my oldest, Coleman, was only 3 so they've now known each other for the better part of their little lives. Having moved 10 times in 5 years before settling here, we had no idea what we were missing out on. Neighbors can be a fantastic blessing!

You see, my husband and I are both Eastern transplants that ended up in Utah thousands of miles from our families. We've always made do, relying on our "tag-team" parenting efforts and never needed anyone's help. But what does a young mother do when she is as sick as a dog in bed with the flu and her husband has one of those "can't miss" days at work with no family close by? In my case, I called a friendly neighbor who gladly took my kids to her house so I could rest. That day, to me, was the day I learned how important it is to nourish relationships with our neighbors. It's been 2 years since then and there have been meals made and shared, birthdays remembered, tools borrowed, driveways shoveled, and plenty of shoulders to cry on when needed. It's no coincidence that we've moved into such a caring and charitable neighborhood at this time in our lives. We needed a family and we found family right out our front door!

Thanks to Dreyer's and all my wonderful neighbors!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

6 quirks tag

Cami tagged me, so here goes! Six quirky things about me.
  1. I am a bit particular (some might say obsessive-compulsive) when I do the dishes, which is probably why I hate to do them! I basically wash them and then use the dishwasher to "sterilize" them. I always separate all the spoons, forks, and knives in the cutlery basket. Weird, I know.
  2. I'm usually not a "gaming geek" but two nights ago I spent 2 hrs playing Disney's Toontown online. It was completely cathartic- earning jellybeans, fighting Cogs, completing Toon tasks- I loved it all! Ha!
  3. I sometimes sing with the songs on my MP3 player while running on the treadmill. Pretty breathy and really terrible. What can I say?! There are some songs that just beg you to sing along! Will finds it pretty hilarious.
  4. I check my weight every single morning and it can easily affect my mood, probably why I've been in such a bad mood lately...
  5. I really dislike "parties" that aren't really parties at all. Just once I'd like to be invited to a real party just because someone likes me and not because they want me to buy Tupperware! (Sorry to anyone that's invited me to a "party." It's not you, it's me. It's just one of those Utah things I've never been able to get used to.)
  6. I really, really love those cutesy style aprons like you find on Etsy. I wish I had a billion of them. They are so dang cute!

Ok. I tag Jenn, Jenny, and Jennifer!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A couple cute things...

There are always these little moments when the boys do or say something funny and I think, "I need to write that down!" So, I'm going to finally write a couple of them down.

Today, the Young Women taught the children's primary classes at church. When I picked Coleman up the young woman who taught him, Summer, said "Coleman is so smart!" Of course, as his Mom I already know this but I asked her,"Did he answer some questions right?" She said she had asked him what he could do to help his Mommy at home and he said, "Clean up my toys." When asked if that would make his Mommy happy, he said yes then paused and said, "Umm, no, she would be surprised!" Yes I would!

Also, a couple of weeks ago, Coleman's little friend Madi was coming over and he was so excited to see her. He plays with her nearly everyday but for some reason this day was different. He thoughtfully dressed himself in some basketball shorts and a polo shirt and when the knock came at the door he quickly tucked in his (polo) shirt into his (basketball) shorts in order to look his best for Madi. It was so sweet! It was really just funny to see that he was aware that he needed to look his best in order to impress the fairer sex.

And today, Cooper and Coleman took turns performing song and dance numbers. Obviously inspired by Coleman's rousing performance of his original song "Ketchup," Cooper took the stage for his very own performance. We have no idea what he was singing (although I think I may have heard him say "hot dog" in there somewhere), but the dance was pretty impressive. His right leg was jerking like he was trying to shake something off of it and his arms wiggled all around. And at the end of every performance he'd always get down on one knee and gives the thumbs up with a huge smile on his face just waiting for the adoring fans (Will, Coleman and I) to applaud. Kudos, Cooper! I'll always be your biggest fan!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First things first for my first first-grader!

Coleman started 1st grade and we are so thrilled about how his first week has gone! He loves school and is excited to get up and go every morning. I really was not looking forward to having to wake him up in the morning (he's a heavy sleeper) but he's gotten up every morning so far without any struggle! Yay!

He came home the first day and told me that he got lost after lunch and a girl with a brown shirt helped him find his class. "I think she was a third-grader," he said. And apparently he's been playing at recess with more than just his classmates. He comes home everyday and says that he played with "a boy with red hair" or "a boy with a blue shirt." I told him he needs to start asking them their names! :) It just didn't occur to him. My silly boy! I love that he is making new friends so quickly.

He's been learning a lot of new songs and he comes home everyday excited to share them with us. I have a feeling this is going to be a great year for him! Here are some pictures from his first day.

Holding cookies for his bus driver and aide.

Running to the bus.

Sitting in the very back seat of the bus.

Getting off the bus after a full day of learnin'.

All smiles means he had a great day!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday, Cooper!

What a joy it has been getting to know you better in this past year! Thank you for being a total Mama's boy! I don't know what I'd do without your daily hugs and kisses. And you've really grown into that little personality of yours! You are a total ham, always the center of attention and never afraid to have a little fun. Happy Birthday, Pumpkinhead!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Making Friends (some pics)

My brother saw my last blog and decided to give me a sneak peek of some of the pics he took on Friday. My fave is the one on the swingset. There is just something so sweet about his face in that photo. Those are eyes that say "I am a Child of God," don't ya think?

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