Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Lights

Last night we went to the local botanical gardens to enjoy a little Christmas light festival. Other than being quite chilly, it was really enjoyable. Here are our attempts to capture the festival.

A maze of lights

Romantic gazebo

Our festive friend Kathi

Lots of model trains...by far the hit of the night!

Good Morning Sunshine

I usually don't make it in the shower until after Christian leaves for work. I shower quickly and Daniel usually entertains himself while I jump in. As I was finishing up in the shower I heard a lot of clanking. I poked my head out of the door and asked what was going on, to which Daniel replied "busted"! I didn't even know he knew that word.

I went on to investigate what had happened and found this...

Daniel had dumped our spare change cup out and was playing with the coins. I explained we would need to clean this up. I went to hang my towel up only to come back to this...

He remembered the clean up part! After I brushed my teeth I stumbled upon this...

Maybe a little Sesame Street while I shower would help.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Great Friday

Yesterday turned out to be a great family day. We drove up to DC and I got to go do some work in the LDS Temple while Christian and Daniel went to the National Zoo which is just down the street.

After Daniel and Christian picked me up from the temple, we ate our picnic lunch in the car while Daniel told me all about the elephant taking a bath and how he got to touch a piece of dried out elephant dung. As I handed a piece of peanut butter sandwich back to Daniel, which he grabbed with his hand and stuck in his mouth (fingers included), I asked Christian if he had washed his hands...to which he gave a blank stare. Oh well!

Christian had an area meeting for work in the afternoon so Daniel and I went on a walking adventure. That evening, we went to NI's Christmas Party. We had such a great time talking with all the other NI people (maybe it is the Austin connection, but they almost feel like family). We had a fun dinner at Dave and Busters and afterwards a little friendly video game competition was organized. DDR is much much more difficult than I thought, but Christian did great at skee ball and shooting hoops (surprisingly). Overall, it was a great day!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Caroling

Last night for our family night, we decided to go Christmas caroling. We caroled at the homes of the families we visit teach and home teach (Mormon lingo for the people in the congregation you check in with on a frequent basis as a way of help and support). So in the Mormon world, we got three huge check marks in one night (family home evening, home teaching, and visiting teaching)! We also stopped by a couple of friends homes to try and spread some Christmas cheer. I don't know how much Christmas cheer our singing spread, but hopefully the treats we brought did some good. Here are a couple of pictures from the evening.

Daniel helping with the "clean-up"

On our way out!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Family Pictures

Saturday we tried again, for the fourth time, to take a nice family picture. Our failed attempts were

1. at an apple orchard
2. at Monticello
3. in Central Park

Finally, on Saturday, we got a couple good ones at a park close to our house. Here are some of my favorites.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Poof

Both Christian and I have semi-naturally curly hair. After being married a couple of months we saw a little boy in the grocery store who had hair like this...

We joked that our kids hair would end up looking like that. Well, this is what we got...

We call it "The Poof". Even Daniel refers to his hair as "The Poof"!

Family Slumber Party

Last night I was supposed to watch another little boy for my friend who just had a baby, and Christian was going to help some older ladies move. As the evening approached, both service opportunities were canceled and we suddenly found ourselves with a completely open evening. So we had a family slumber party.

We rented "Meet the Robinsons" and started the evening eating pizza while watching the movie. We have only tried eating in our family room one other time with Daniel. We had pizza that time too, but Daniel stepped in the pizza in an attempt to escape from our friend Brent who was chasing him. This time, the pizza in the living room was much more successful.

Then we moved on to the popcorn and Twizzlers.

After the movie, we got out the blow up mattress and all the pillows and blankets we had for our slumber party. A pillow fight broke out.

After the wrestling, we built a tent to sleep in.

And finished off the evening with a story in the tent.

None of us ended up sleeping the night in the tent. We went back to our comfortable beds. There was no way we were going to be able to calm Daniel down enough in the tent to fall asleep. I think we made the most wonderful evening for a two year old boy. He was so excited about everything. In return, a fun evening for your child makes a wonderful evening for the parents.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Texas Tornado

Neither Christian nor I were born in Texas, but we both claim we are from Texas. Daniel is a Virginian by birth, but quickly got the nickname "Texas Tornado" once he started, crawling, walking, running, and exploring. So, we claim Daniel is a Texan too. Besides, don't you get dual citizenship when your parents are from one country but you were born in another?

Here are some of the latest and greatest pictures of Daniel (since my last post was completely narcissistic).

I don't know how Daniel learned to open the gamma seal lids, but I caught him playing in the beans the other night.

Daniel had to stand on the couch to build this tower. We used all the Legos!

It snowed the other day, but it didn't stick for long.

Yes, those are my shoes!

Dusting is one of two of Daniel's chores.
The other chore is "helping" to take the garbage out.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

4 Years Married and Still Dating

I love dating my husband! I think he is the most wonderful husband in the world! Friday night we went to Handel's "Messiah". We have gone every year since we have been married and it is one of my favorite traditions (maybe it is our only tradition so far since it seems we travel to a new place each holiday...it looks like traveling is another tradition).

I think Christmas is the most romantic time of the year and I love going to the symphony. I'm mathematically minded so I look at the whole experience this way:

Most Wonderful Husband + Most Romantic Time of Year + One of My Favorite Activities =
A Wonderful, Exceptional, and Memorable Evening

Instead of a "+" I think I should insert a "*" and the whole equation should be exponential for every year we have gone. In this case the whole thing would be raised to the 4!

I guess that is my nerdy way of explaining how much I enjoyed the evening. I enjoy the production more each year I see/hear it. This year I was particularly impressed with the production and the thoughts I had while listening.

It seems Christmas is padded with a lot of "cultural fluff". I enjoy a lot of the mystery and glamor of the "cultural fluff", but I've been a little frustrated recently with the fluff as well. Handel's "Messiah" is the only traditional/cultural thing I can think of that we do as a society that is purely about Jesus Christ. I enjoyed watching a choir full of different racial, gender, and age groups singing about Jesus Christ. I also looked out at the audience for a while a noticed what different walks of life were represented, but all had come to be uplifted by this musical testimony. I'm grateful for this Christmas tradition (even though it was originally produced around Easter).

One of the other thoughts I had was the awesomeness of the production. At the time Handel wrote the music for the lyrics (which are all biblical verses on the life of Jesus Christ), his career was failing and he was depressed. The music and lyrics combined express to me that Handel had felt the relief and hope available to us because of the life of Jesus Christ. Rumor is Handel himself was found crying after finishing the Hallelujah Chorus composition and when asked what was wrong stated

"I have seen the face of God."

I think it is difficult to express my feelings in words. They just can't capture all the emotion I feel. While listening to several of the pieces in the production, I was reminded and experienced again some of those same feelings I have about Jesus Christ. I am very grateful!

I'm afraid I am getting way to personal for a family blog!

Friday, November 30, 2007

New York City

In my "Food, Fun, and Family" post I mentioned forgetting to pack the digital camera for our second day visit in NYC. We ended up buying a disposable camera (for $11...which I thought was a rip off) and developing the pictures the old fashioned way. The pictures didn't turn out as good as we had hoped, but at least they will help us remember some of the things we did. Here are some of the highlights.


NY Pizza

Our Budding Little Capitalist

Times Square

Fall Fun

When we moved into our home, one of our 4 retired neighbors said,

"You can tell you are in an older, retired neighborhood because the trees are fully grown."

We definitely live in an older neighborhood. We have 4 huge trees and 10 smaller trees between our front and back yards. In fall, the trees translate into...

A lot of fun!

And, a lot of clean up!

One of my friends mentioned paying her daughter a penny for every leaf she picked up. I would love to have a penny for every leaf I picked up!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Food, Family, and Fun

Thanksgiving is such a great holiday! Who doesn't enjoy good food with friends and family? We were able to spend the holiday in New Jersey with my Aunt and Uncle.

I would not recommend traveling North on I-95 the evening before Thanksgiving. Google Maps said the trip would take 5 hrs 19 min. It took us 7.5 hours! Luckily the trip home wasn't that long.

With my Aunt and Uncle living so close to NYC, we were able to go into the city a couple of times for some good 'ol city fun. We went in to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. We did not arrive 2 hours early as is recommended and so our view of the parade was 2 blocks back and looked something like this...

I realized the huge crowd the parade draws must have something to do with the reason the huge balloons were added to the parade. We were only able to see the balloons from where we were standing and they passed by rather quickly. Shrek, in the picture, caught us off guard; hence the banana in Daniel's mouth and the water bottle in my hand. Does any other parent of young children know a good trick to get their children to look at the camera?

On the way to Central Park we passed a respected news outlet.

Central Park was crowded as well, but it was a great stop for Daniel. The weather was unseasonably warm and we were able to have a little picnic before heading back for the Thanksgiving feast!

We really enjoyed spending one on one time with my Aunt and Uncle and appreciate their kindness. We couldn't have asked for a more wonderful Thanksgiving.

You'll have to stay tuned for the details of the rest of the trip. I forgot to pack the digital camera for Friday's trip into the city and so we bought a disposable camera to document Friday's excursion. Now I have to get the film developed the old fashioned way. I think I mentioned my gratitude for digital cameras in my previous blog. I have to second that again!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


On Monday we get to find out if we have a boy or a girl cooking in the little oven. We asked Daniel what we should name the baby and he said "Odelay" so that's what we've been referring to it as. He knows that there is some type of connection to tummy's and baby's but I don't think he really gets it. Occasionally he will lift up his shirt and say "baby?", pointing to his tummy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Few Of My Favorite Things

As this is the week of Thanksgiving I wanted to list some of the things I'm grateful for. I'm extremely grateful for my family, friends, and beliefs. All those things top my list but don't make for a very interesting blog. So here are some of the many things I'm thankful for.
  • A good pair of running shoes
  • A washer and dryer (any mom can appreciate this, but after living without a washer and dryer for 18 months in Brazil, I would rather go without a car)
  • Nerds who go crazy over things like this...and then buy them!
  • Quicken
  • The way your hands smell after you peel an orange
  • Digital cameras to take pictures like these....

  • The beach
  • Books (I am finishing up Alan Greenspan's book. I highly recommend it, but I get excited about economic stuff)
  • Classical violin music
  • Disposable Diapers (Especially Pampers because they are the only ones that don't leak for us!)
  • A lawn mower that saves us hours of racking time
  • A warm shower
  • Austin, TX
  • This ridiculous video clip Christian found because Daniel is into Buses!
  • My electric toothbrush
  • My new tile kitchen floor

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Waldo and Pinky

Daniel has never been a huge sleeper, but on one rare occasion, I walked into his room and found him like this...

Even Waldo pajamas don't get Daniel excited about sleeping...

Besides the child, there is one other thing that is consistent in both pictures..."Pinky". It is the pink and brown blanket that Daniel does not go to sleep without. When I was a kid, my mom had a white, silky blanket kind of like pinky. It was the most comfortable blanket to sleep with and my siblings and I would call dibs on the blanket.

When my mom and sister were visiting this summer, we decided to make each sibling their own silky blanket. I chose the pink and brown fabric for myself. Daniel has since adopted the blanket and now I find myself needing to make a more masculine silky blanket for him. That is my next project, but I'm afraid switching the blue silky blanket for "pinky" is going to be difficult seeing he is awfully attached to "pinky". He even asks for the blanket by name!