Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Emily!

I don't have it in me to post tonight, but wanted Emmy remembered.

Last year, I did better and wrote more about her-- you can read it HERE and HERE.

Thanks for those who sent kind words our way today-- and thanks, Mom and Dad, for the beautiful flowers. LOVED them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Jeremy!

37 Reasons Why I Love Jeremy:

1. He loves the Lord
2. He takes one of our children on a “Daddy Date” once a week
3. He sends me flowers
4. He isn’t a picky eater and will be just as grateful for grilled cheese sandwiches as a steak dinner
5. He loves Disneyworld more than the kids!
6. He dresses up like Johnny Appleseed (complete with a beard and a pot on his head) and visits our kindergartner’s class in the fall. He sings the Johnny Appleseed song, gives out apple suckers, and mesmerizes the children! Jessica just had his visit this week, and she was so so excited!
7. He dresses up like “Zero the Hero” (complete with mask, cape, and spanish accent) and visits our kindergartner’s class in the spring on the 100th day of school. He hands out doughnut holes, holds all kinds of “100” contests, and mesmerizes the kids even more!
8. He has by far the most handsome, perfect hands I've ever seen. And I LOVE holding them!
9. He watches “I Love Lucy” with me, and loves it just as much as I do!
10. He also watches “chick flicks” with me and is even known to cry more than me
11. Lest I totally embarrass him, he also watches action/adventure movies! I love how excited he can get over a show!
12. He performs “Great Balls of Fire” (piano and vocal) as well as anyone in the world
13. He doesn’t yell at the kids
14. He leads our family each morning and night in family prayer
15. He also leads us in couple prayer twice a day—and never leaves for work without praying with me
16. He is very very generous with our finances
17. He assures me every year that the kids do NOT need lots of presents for Christmas, and then completely changes his mind as soon as Black Friday comes around, and shops like crazy for them!
18. He is the perfect cuddler
19. And kisser
20. In my entire life, I have yet to mow a lawn. (I guess I should also thank my dad for that)!
21. He loves hiking and the outdoors
22. His idea of a “guys night out” is taking his boys and going camping!
23. He has a huge heart for orphans
24. He is the world’s best apologizer (and no, it is not because he’s had lots of practice)
25. He loves sports (I don’t know what I would have done if I had married someone who didn’t like to watch college football)
26. He gently reminds me when I need to be more patient with the kids
27. What other Dad in the world would take FIVE children on a seven day road trip so his wife could have a break?!!
28. He always, always smells good. Even in the morning—I love his smell!
29. He loves to take me home to Ferron
30. He coaches our kids in sports
31. He stays up late playing board games with me.
32. He gives perfect foot rubs
33. He will often send me off to take a hot bath when he can tell I need it
34. He gets me
35. He makes me feel beautiful
36. He is, as I’m typing this, putting in a new tile floor for me—YAY!
37. He is my very, very best friend. Ever.

I will note that I didn't have to even pause and think as I wrote these-- and I could write a thousand more. Happy 37th, hon! I am so blessed to have such a wonderful, funny, sweet, talented, loving husband and father for my kids. I love you, Jer! I hope this coming year is your best ever!!!!

PS Happy Birthday, Jen!! Wish you lived closer so we could celebrate!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What happens in Vegas...

Christi and I (and some of our extended family) often comment on the charmed life I lead. It's really true. (Somewhere in my youth or childhood...I must have done something good...although I would be hard pressed to pinpoint what it was!?!) Anyway, here are a few examples of the way things work out for me. If I'm running late to catch an airplane, the airplane will (often, but not always:) be delayed. I got laid off effective April and found a great new job in March (and got a nice severance from Pfizer). The company I worked for paid $10,000 toward each of our adoptions (the final $10,000 being paid after I was laid off!!!) The prospects for our importing business have gone from good to better to ridiculous over the past year and a half. And of course, most important of all, I somehow conned the cutest EFY counselor on campus to marry me 11 years ago! So we often comment on how someone up there is looking out for me. (Poor Christi got stuck with me, so the charm level is somewhat less in her life, but we both agree we really do have things great:)

That's not to say we don't have our challenges. In fact, we often have some pretty big ones. But we work together and we make the best of things. Overall, It's a Wonderful Life (I'm going to see how many movie references I can put into this thing. By the way, for those of you young folks who've never seen Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life," it is perhaps the best movie ever made. I love it, anyway.)

So let me just share a few things that have happened over the past week that are some of the small, but funny, challenges we've had. Last Friday night, Taylor, Parker and I flew to Tennessee to visit some of our many friends there. (You guessed it: the stress level in my life decreased substantially when I found out the flight was delayed 15 minutes:) Anyway, we spent a wonderful weekend there catching up with a lot of people. It was great. The schedule for Monday was this: Christi would drive up to the airport around 10:45 am to get the boys from me. We would have about 90 minutes to sit in the car, eat lunch, talk, and hold Xander before I had to go back into the airport and catch a flight to Las Vegas for a business meeting. (Why in the world would a company plan a business meeting in Las Vegas? But I digress...) When I talked to Christi on Sunday night to verify the plans for pick up, she realized that Elli's school bus would be coming around 11:00 and she had to pick Jesi up from school at 11:20. This was going to cut into our time at the airport, but that was ok.

The next morning, Jesi was feeling really sick, so she didn't go to school. As soon as Christi got Elli on the school bus, she was able to leave to come get us. When they were just a few minutes out from the airport, Jesi says to Christi, "Mom, I have to grow up!" (That's how she says "throw up.") Christi tried to get over to the side of the road so she could find a bag or something for Jesi to "grow up" in, but, alas, it was not to be. Vomit all over Jesi and her carseat. So when she showed up to the airport a few minutes later, poor Jesi is covered in gunk. Fortunately (hey, I said we lead a charmed life) Christi had purchased a new pack of wet wipes the night before and they were still in the car. Christi got Jesi all cleaned up. Although we didn't have a change of clothes, Christi was wearing a cardigan type sweater over her white shirt and was able to wrap Jess in that. (Jesi looked rather cute wearing nothing but her undies and a sweater that, on her, was really low cut--as in down to her belly button:) We get Jesi buckled into another seat (we have plenty of those in our vehicle!) and just as we got her settled, she says, "I have to go to the bathroom very bad." Of course you do, dear.

Her shoes and socks had come off in the clean up efforts, so Christi carried her into the airport bathroom while I stayed with the other kids in the car. By they way, we were still parked in the loading zone at the terminal. Fortunately it was a slow time of day, and no one made us leave. Jesi came back and we all sat in the car and ate the (cold by now) pizza that Christi had brought since I wasn't coming home for lunch. At one point, Christi leaned over the open pizza box in her lap to get the bottle of Sprite from near her feet, and of course she ended up with pizza grease all over the front of her shirt:) As we were eating, Xander yelled out from the back seat his Chinese version of "I have to go to the bathroom." Of course you do, son. So I took him to the bathroom. End result? We had about 15 minutes to enjoy each others' company before I took off for another 4 days.

So I've been in Vegas all week. I don't drink. I don't gamble. I'm a happily married man. That doesn't leave you much to do in this town. But last night, a few of us decided to go to a Cirque du Soleil show. It's called "O". It's the one with a pool for a stage and is quite amazing and very wierd. Prior to the show, we went to a restaurant and had dinner. As we got to the theater, I started feeling sharp pains in my stomach. About 20 minutes in, I knew I better head to the bathroom. WARNING: the rest of this paragraph is a bit graphic. Read at your own risk! I knew I needed to throw up, but it wouldn't come. After about 20 minutes of praying that I would puke, I finally resorted to the "gag myself" method, and oh, did the floodgates open! Something I ate did NOT agree with me. So, picture a poor guy, stuck in a theater bathroom (missing a very expensive show, by the way, which at the time was the least of my worries), and heaving in front of a toilet that is now filled with a very nasty, opaque millieu. Then picture the poor guy as he heaves once more...and his cell phone slips out of his pocket into the brink!!! (Which, by the way, is why I haven't called you to wish you happy birthday this morning, sweet Christianne. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!) I made the decision in a split second and retrieved said phone. Of course having eaten much and feeling so sick to my stomach, I had undone my belt and the top of my pants. So I'm stumbling out of the stall with a puke-covered phone in one hand, holding my pants up with the other hand and reeling like I had been drinking as I go to the sinks. Fortunately, I was the only one there, but I'm sure it would have made a funny picture.

After returning home, I had a few more gut wrenching episodes in the bathroom, including one in which I didn't quite make it to the toilet and threw up in the sink. I got it mostly unclogged, but still had to call maintenance for help. (What's the problem sir? Uh, well, you see, I um, lost my cookies in the sink and, um, I need you to unclog it. Sorry!) This morning I feel somewhat better, but am still pretty queasy. I guess this is one way to lose a little weight.

So, the moral of the story? Vegas' new theme is at least somewhat true for me: "What I ate in Vegas, stays in Vegas!"

Have a great day, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Christi. Congratulations on reaching 29, dear!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ferron, Sweet Ferron!

As a postscript to previous entry: I would suffer the stress of trying to clean a very messy house EVERY DAY in return for the amazing dinner that followed! At the suggestion of my dear friend Heather (you're my HERO), we went to "The Roof" restaurant-- which is housed on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. The view is incredible-- looking out over the Salt Lake temple and surrounding valley. The food is possibly even more incredible!! It's a buffet like you've never experienced-- every single dish was perfectly scrumptious. There were at least twenty amazing desserts!! If it wasn't so expensive, it would be my new very favorite restaurant. Everyone should go there at least once in their lifetime, and they should all have a big bowl of their potato bacon soup-- mmmmmmm. (: So no need to feel sorry for me for the cleaning stress, (though I wouldn't cry if we did get that raise and cleaning woman Teri mentioned). (:(: Oh, and by the way, sweet Teri-- it is SIX, count them-- SIX children we are cleaning after! (:

We had such a great Labor Day weekend in Ferron. I had a bad cold, and if there's anywhere you want to be sick, it's at my parent's house. They really take care of us!!! We had the perfect combination of sleeping in while Mom and Dad got up with the kids (THANK-YOU), staying up late talking and watching hilarious Tim Hawkins clips, going swimming, church, relaxing, hanging out at Millsite (beautiful reservoir), visiting, playing Scrabble, and most importantly, eating Grub Box fries. (: We love Ferron. It is the most peaceful place-- everything seems to slow down there. Sigh.

Now we are back to school, homework, house, yard, garden, projects, church stuff, scouts, sports-- you get the picture. And you know what-- this is great too!!! I really do have such a fun, wonderful life!!!! Xander continues to amaze us with his adaptability-- we just feel like he's always been here! He is so so so very cute and very LOVED!


PS-- We can't find our camera. This is no surprise, as all sorts of things have gone missing, and then been found again in various odd places (cell phones in fridges, scissors in sock drawers-- you get the drift). Most times Xander will know exactly where to find the missing items (go figure), but he claims he doesn't know where the camera is. Just explaining why there are no pictures attached to our recent posts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today's musings

Jeremy's boss's boss is coming over tonight to meet the family before taking Jeremy and me out to dinner. Let's just say our house needs some serious help in order to be presentable. So this morning as Jeremy and I knelt to say our couple prayer, I (only half-jokingly) prayed for a magic cleaning fairy to come and sprinkle her pixie dust throughout our home.

When the prayer was over, Jeremy got up, went over to our dresser, swiped his finger across it and said, "bummer."

"What?" I asked.

"She only sprinkled dust."

Jeremy and I spent the majority of the evening last night tweezing roughly 300 (no, I'm not exaggerating) tiny slivers out of Jessica's feet and toes from the new bark dust we put under our swingset. Um, ouch?!!!

Xander tells me "I love you!" about 40 times a day. I like to think it's because he really does-- not because it's the only English phrase he knows.

The same Xander that loves me so much has gotten into every drawer, every nook, and every cupboard in the house (just this morning) and made various messes, spills, and "creations" with the found items. And, I know I should be somehow happy about this, he will not watch TV. Which means no glorious moments of "mess-free" Xander.

Being as how the cleaning fairy sprinkled the wrong kind of dust, I really, really shouldn't be online right now.

But I'm scared of my own house.


But boy do I love my little guy!

Oh, and just so I'm sure you understand, the dust is the least of my problems. It's more the piles of dirty clothes, toys, dishes, etc. that I'm a little concerned about.

I wish I could fast forward to 6:30 p.m., when I'll be enjoying a nice dinner regardless of how the house turns out.

It will come, right????

That is, the evening-- not the fairy. I've come to grips with the fact that Tinkerbell will not be visiting.

OK, I'm really going now.