Swing and a Miss, Volume II

Today is our last Sunday in Bozeman before heading to Utah for the holidays so I wanted to take Henry and Ruby's picture in front of our tree in their Christmas clothes. We had just gotten home from church and the timing (I thought) was perfect. I had this adorable vision in my head: Henry and Ruby, side-by-side (maybe holding hands), smiling beautifully for the camera (that would, for once, actually focus like I wanted it to), with the Christmas tree lights twinkling lightly in the background. Heck, maybe if I was lucky I could prop the camera up and take one of all four of us.

Well, Ruby wasn't having it. Here's the first attempt:

I didn't like where this was going. (Earth to Henry!)

After a few more shots, I finally get an okay picture of Scott and the kiddies:

But apparently I was just pushing it WAY too far when I tried to get one with Ruby. Where's your Christmas spirit Ruby? Geesh!

A Swing and a Miss

Our ward had its Christmas party last week. I was so looking forward to having a picture with my kids on Santa's lap (I even put them in matching colors, you know, to make my adorable Santa photo as cute as possible) as Henry has never been brave enough to get near the bearded fellow. But we've really been coaching Henry, preparing him for the unequaled joy of whispering your innermost desires into Kris Kringle's ear, hearing the Ho Ho Ho while his belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly, etc.

So, Santa comes into the cultural hall and Henry reacts positively (meaning he didn't burst into tears and run the other way, which is practically what happened at last year's Christmas party):

We wait in line for almost 15 minutes (our ward is not that big so there must have been a few little kids with quite a long list of desired loot) and we get up to him (oh! the anticipation!) and ...

... this is as close as he would get. At least he was sort of smiling. Maybe next year he'll actually sit on his lap. Or at least not make his mom hold him.

My Funny Little Parrot

Tonight I was giving Ruby her medicine and surprisingly she took it eagerly (she must have been thirsty or something because that is RARE!). I said, "Good job Ruby!"

Henry came running over, hugs her, and says with the most dramatic exaggeration, "Oh! I'm so proud of you Ruby-doo!"

He is such a goofball. Here's the proof (as if I haven't provided enough already):

Yes, those are salad tongs. He thinks they're the greatest contraption ever.


My Guilty Christmas Pleasure

Okay, so I love this song. I admit it. Please enjoy, courtesy of the legend, the one and only, George Michael.


Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

It has been an icebox up here in the frozen land of the north. Okay, I guess it's not as bad as the Midwest is right now. Aren't you glad you don't live in the ice storm-prone Midwest? (Sorry Nikell and Cody!)

Anyhoo, we've been decorating!! I love decorating for Christmas (taking it down as an entirely different story). We actually decorated about two weeks ago but I've also been baking, much to Scott's dismay as our kitchen looks like the Midwest after a tornado (aren't you glad you don't live in the Midwest?), so I'm just now getting around to it. Here are some of the latest happenings and seasonally-appropriate decor additions:

One of my favorite decorations -- a limited edition Norman Rockwell plate given to Scott by his Grandma Mary in 1980, when he was but a wee lad.

Look what I found -- a darling little decoration left over from last year!

A few of our Nativities

The Marvelous Moose Mantle

A pleasant surprise was that Ruby was afraid of the tree. She sat on the couch for the first 20 minutes of the tree decorating (only after crying and "running" away from the tree when we got it out of the box). She's still somewhat leery of the tree. I think it's great -- her healthy fear = not having to re-decorate my tree every day when she rips everything off.

Our camera sometimes gets a little temperamental about focusing. If it doesn't feel like it, there's nothing we can do about it. And I'm okay with that. (Santa Baby, oh hurry down the chimney tonight ... with a freaking normal camera that will actually focus when you want it to. For the love!)

Here are Scrooge's (aka Tau's) thoughts on all the activity. I think they speak for themselves.

It was so fun that Henry is big enough this year to actually participate in the tradition of putting the star/angel on the tree (and don't be hatin' on my tree topper -- I've been looking for a new star but haven't found one that speaks to me).

Mele Kalikimaka everybody!


There's Something About Ruby

I don't know what it is but it seems like Ruby has been a stranger magnet lately. And I'm not talking about just any old stranger off the street. I'm talking about the "special" people. A few weeks ago, a female Wendy's employee, one of these said "special" people, came up to us and yakked our ears off about how all babies just burst into smiles when she smiles at them. Well, I guess we broke her streak because Ruby wouldn't even look at her but it didn't phase her, she just kept telling us story after story about kids beaming at her.

Then today, the white trash in me came out and we went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and then had lunch at their McDonald's (I already said it was the white trash in me rearin' its ugly head!) and while we're sitting there minding our own business, clogging our arteries, one of their "special" clean-up employees comes up to us and launches into this crazy conversation.

She asks me if I did my Christmas shopping today. I say, "No. I've got my kids so I can't spoil the surprise, right?" So then she goes off, and she's almost worried about it, about how I need to leave the kids home TONIGHT with my husband, but maybe I can bring the baby along because she won't know, but for sure I can't bring my boy because it'll ruin his surprise, and I should come back to Wal-Mart TONIGHT to get all my shopping done, and I need to check with my husband to see if he can take my boy TONIGHT because I need to come back to Wal-Mart to do all my Christmas shopping TONIGHT.

So then she says, "So, you just grocery shopped today? Oh [looking into all the bags in my cart]! You got some new shoes?!?"

"No," I say, "they're not for me. They're for my little boy."

"Oh," she bursts, "but these aren't sneakers!"

"No," big sigh, but still trying to be super polite as I respond in between each artery-clogging bite, "they're not sneakers, they're dress shoes for him to wear to church with his Christmas outfit."

"Oh. His Christmas outfit."

"Right, his Christmas outfit."

Then she starts ooohing and aaahing over Ruby (who is still sitting in the seat of the cart, right next to me) and how cute she is and where did I get her headband and her bracelet, and look how her shoes match her outfit!, and does she like Christmas? etc. Of course Ruby is embarrassed and won't make eye contact so she's ducking her head down towards my purse and our "special" friend says, "Oh, you like your mama's purse? What's in there? Look, what's in there?"

And then she proceeds to OPEN MY PURSE and starts shuffling things around to try to grab Ruby's attention.


So Ruby starts going to town, pulling crap out. And as she does, our friend gets this concerned look on her face and says, "Oh here Mama. It looks like she wants this ... wait ... what is this?"

"Um ... that's lotion," I reply with an amazed look on my face as she starts handing me the stuff.

"Here, you better take this. She wants your lotion."

"Uh ... thanks."

"Oh here Mama. She wants this bag of stuff too ...... and uh-oh, here comes your wallet. You probably better hold on to that. And what's this? Oh, your checkbook. Yeah, here, take that."

And it goes on until our friend (because Ruby has lost interest in the contents of my purse) pulls out every random receipt, scrap of paper, penny, lip gloss, gum wrapper, and bouncy ball floating around in the dark crevices of my organizationally-deprived purse. And then finally, she hands me my purse and says, "Here Mama. Your baby took all the things out of your purse. You should probably put those things back in here."

"Thank you," was all I could say.


Santa's "Man Bag"

We have this Santa sitting in the window above our kitchen table.

Today at lunch we were having a little talk with Henry about "avoiding" bad behavior (which is a common occurrence at our house these days). And of course, it seemed we weren't making any headway when suddenly this brilliant thought came to me, "With Christmas looming, we should be milking Santa's influence for all its worth!" So I started singing (and I have a bit of a cold so my voice was super low; I'm talking the G below Bass C low - I went and checked it afterwards on my piano -- that's 10 notes below Middle C people!!!)...

"You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why...."

And you know the rest. Henry was loving it. He was soaking in all the words, smiling, giggling, totally into the "message." So I give him the re-cap, "That means you have to try to be a good boy so Santa will bring you your presents, okay?"

Suddenly, he's staring up at Santa with a confused look on his face and he says, "But ... but Santa Fraws don't have a purse!"


We Came, We Saw, We Ate

Oh, how I love Thanksgiving. Is it the food? Is it the good company? Is it the 8 1/2 hour drive to my parent's house? I just can't decide!!

Last week we went down to Payson, Utah (home of Onion Days) for the actual turkey dinner. And boy was it a feast! Adrienne, Nick, and I were the only kids from our family there but we were joined by the Zimmerman crew (Adrienne's in-laws). We had a great time.

So Thanksgiving is always special for me at my parents' house. I love my parents' house -- it's so beautiful, comfortable, full of family -- but at Thanksgiving, it gets even better. Maybe it's because of my mom's stuffing. I think I'm gaining weight just thinking about it. Here's my mom finally getting herself something to eat.

Here's what Ruby thought of the mouth-watering food:

Another highlight of the day was the presence of a special family visitor: My dad's cousin, Trudy. She's a unique character and one day I'll have to write just about her because she's that interesting. I can't remember exactly how old she is, somewhere around 65 maybe?, but she has Asperger's Syndrome (a mild form of autism). Her parents and closest relatives have died so now my parents try to include her in our family get-togethers. She follows my Mom around like a puppy, much to Mom's dismay, but her presence alone helps keep the laughter coming (we don't laugh at her, we're not those kind of people ... seriously) so she was a welcome addition to this year's Thanksgiving.

I love this next picture. It's my cute pregnant sister, Liz, reading with her daughter Paige (on the right), and Adrienne's daughter, Kate. I love how Kate has just made herself right at home on Liz's pregnant gut-tar. Kate was probably just thinking, "Man, Aunt Liz has a sweet built-in armrest."

On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Scott's Dad gave us tickets to go to the Jazz game. I hadn't been to a Jazz game in probably 10 years -- we had a great time. We even left Henry and Ruby with Scott's family (that's the first time she's ever been put to bed by someone other than us -- and it only took one year to get us this far! We're finally winning our independence back ... slow and steady wins the race; that's what I have always said).

Anyway, the crowd was loud:

And the Jazz dancers were ... still there (what else do you say about them?):

And most importantly, we had a great time:

Now that I think about it, one of the reasons I really love Thanksgiving is because it sort of feels like a "gateway" holiday to me. It means Christmas and New Year's is right around the corner. And what does that mean? More family! More food! And Presents (to give, of course, I'm not really that into the "getting" side of gifts ......)!!!!


My Baby Girl is ONE!!!

Yesterday was my sweet Ruby's birthday. She is growing up so fast -- it's incredible. I think it's no coincidence that her birthday is right before Thanksgiving because by just looking at her I am overwhelmed by how blessed my life is. She is such a happy, cuddly, funny baby that I just can't get enough of her.

I think I'm becoming a true Christensen because somehow I have contributed to the 62,000 nicknames we have for her. Some of them are cute (probably only to us) and some of them are absolutely horrible (I did not give her any of those, mind you). Here are some of the most common:

Ruby-dooby (Henry's personal favorite)
Rubels (yuck, I know)
Rubix-cube (Scott's contribution)
Ruby Begay (Scott's dad's contribution, a real winner)
Rubinha (pronounced Rube-een-ya, gotta love Portuguese)


Ruby truly is one of the greatest blessings the Lord could have given us and we feel lucky to be her parents. She is 50% of our pride and joy (I'll give you one guess who the other 50% belongs to. Here's a hint: It's not the dog.) and we love everything about her. We love you Ruby Jane!

And again, for those of you who have a little more time on your hands. Here's our tribute to little Ruby Jane:


Tagged, Shmagged...

Okay, so here I am. I've been tagged.

I'm such an open book, you probably already know these things about me.

(In no particular order ... drum roll please ....)

1) I was Student Body President of Farmington Elementary School. GooooooOOOOO ROADRUNNERS! Although I can't remember much of my running platform or even my "duties," I do remember both "my" vice-president and secretary were girls. I was such a feminist. See Mom, taking us to meet Gloria Steinem did pay off. Ahhh ... the glory days.

2) I love dill pickles. Sometimes just thinking about them makes my mouth water. See, it's happening already....

3) I loved keyboarding class in 7th grade. I became quite the proficient typer. When I worked at Nu Skin, I used to type over 110 words per minute (sorry I can't beat your 115 WPMs Nikell ... show off). In fact, I became so consumed with typing that I used to (and sometimes still do) type billboards I read. It's a lot tamer now but it used to be so bad, I felt like I had OCD -- I HAD to type everything I read on billboards. It used to drive me absolutely nuts.

4) I've had three epidurals but only have two children. Hmm ... something's a little fishy with that math. Most of my family knows this but when I was 37 weeks pregnant with Henry, I had a false alarm. I went to the hospital with super uncomfortable contractions (which I later found out were just out of control Braxton-Hicks because I was dehydrated), the nurse checked me, told me I was dilated to a 6, she told me I must have a really high pain tolerance, Scott laughed a little too hard at that, we called our parents, they started driving up to Idaho Falls from Utah, I got an epidural, the night nurse came on duty, she checked me again only to find out that the first nurse had checked me wrong -- I was only dilated to a 1. So, I stayed over night, nothing happened, so they sent me home and I didn't have Henry until 2 1/2 weeks later. The best part is, they tried to make us pay the bill.

5) I used to want to be a marine biologist. Why? I loved whales. Humpback whales, to be exact. When I was about 13, I bought a "Whale Adoption Kit" from the World Wildlife Federation that included a booklet of different whales (identified by their tales, of course) from which I could choose one to "adopt." I assumed that once I picked a whale, that whale was removed from the list because he was mine. Oh the naivete. I think my whale was either named Onyx or Tika, it's hard to be sure. But he was a good whale, of that I am sure.

6) A favorite family story (one told at my expense, I might add): once my friends and I took dates up the canyon to watch a movie and I graciously offered to bring the tv (which belonged to my little brothers; it was one of those super cool VCR/tv combos). For some crazy reason, the tv kept shorting out. So, some genius figured we just needed to turn up the generator. And what do you know? The tv went up in smoke. Being the responsible 17 year-old that I was, I tried to hide it from my parents and my little brothers and get the tv fixed on my own. I thought I was being responsible. Paying for the repair and all that. But oh no, apparently I was being "sneaky" and "dishonest." I like to think of myself as a glass half-full type of person so let's focus on the positive -- I got the tv fixed AND paid for it myself.

7) In 5th grade, I was reading on a 9th grade level (Mensa-material, I know). Our class was playing some version of "Oregon Trail" (remember that old-school computer game?) where you had to answer questions to progress your team's wagon further along the trail. So when my team's turn came up, we had to choose one team member to go up and spell a word to move our wagon forward. We were debating about who should go and I remember confidently letting my team in on my secret -- I was practically the national spelling bee champ due to my heightened reading abilities. Wow. It worked. They sent me right on up. Surprise, surprise -- I spelled the word WRONG! Oh the humiliation. I thought I would never be able to look my 10 year-old classmates in the eyes again. Moral of this story: 9th graders aren't as smart as 5th graders think they are.

*I tag everyone on my "list" who has not been tagged yet.


Aunt K-Did, Geetlyn, Bun-Bun, or Kate

Okay, we're finally feeling better. Sorry for leaving such a sad and pathetic picture of Ruby up for so long. I was unaware that seeing my suffering child was so hard for you to see Becca. :) I'm so sorry that this post is so long overdue. Anyhoo...on with the show!

So a few weeks ago Henry got a phone call from one of his favs, Aunt Kate. And this was my interpretation of that conversation:

Oh hey! It's my Aunt Kate. I love my Aunt Kate!

As a matter of fact, I DID just have a birthday! I'm this many.

[My mom's probably so jealous over there, watching me just take care of business on the phone. She's probably thinking I'm the smartest kid alive, workin' the deals at such a young age. She's probably already mentally filling out my application to Harvard.]

Wait. Who is this?

Man, girls sure can talk.

I wonder how long I have to wait before I can just hang up.


The Pukes

Man, the pukes suck.

Ruby and Henry got awesome fevers in Hawaii and then came down with colds. To make matters even more incredibly awesome, I came down with a wicked case of the flu yesterday.

I now have much more empathy for poor little ones with fevers. The uncontrollable teeth chattering and burning sensation in my head just about did me in. Add a splash of body aches and puking and I'm a gonner.

Scott even stayed home from work today to take care of the kids. In fact, this is the first time I've left the comfort of my bed all day. I thought I should at least try and pay for the eBay auction I won a few days ago and lo and behold, there has been unauthorized activity on my account. Apparently I bid on and won a Gucci purse and a Fendi bag. Who knew I was so trendy? (And so self-indulgent?!?)

I think I'll go back to bed now.



We're back! And it was quite a trip!

You forget how long/arduous these trips are when you tack on a seven hour car ride before and after the actual thing but we still managed to have a great time.

I won't go into all the gruesome details as a trip with this many people is bound to have but here are a few of the highlights (okay, and a few lowlights):
  • Playing with the kids on the beach (Henry loved the waves -- phew! That could have been a long trip otherwise.)
  • The Halloween Parade in Lahaina (We had so much fun! Our kids looked adorable in their costumes, the Air Force Band was rockin', and the people were skanky -- what more could you ask for?)
  • Blair's belated birthday dinner at Outback Steakhouse (I don't know what was best about this night -- Blair and Spencer's jokes, people blatantly gawking at our table of 18 peeps, Max throwing up, or Henry pooping his pants under the table. Sigh. I'm afraid that last one is sad but true. Obviously, we have yet to totally master the pooping part of potty training.)
  • Going to bed at 8:30 p.m. and waking up at 6 a.m. (Gotta love the time change)
  • Eating, eating, and more eating (I figure I almost gained the whopping five pounds I lost for this trip. Don't knock it -- that was a hard five pounds!)
  • 5 of the 8 kids coming down with wicked fevers two days before coming home (It started with Kate, then Ava, then Ezra, then Henry, and then wee Ruby bit the dust. Flying the red-eye home -- on a PACKED flight -- with a delirious Henry and a lethargic Ruby was awesome!)
  • Laying in bed texting Blair at 6 a.m. (It was our first morning there and I woke up before my kids so I started texting Blair, who is the earliest bird I know, who was staying at another hotel that first night. The higlight was one of his texts, he said: Kim's not quite awake yet. I want to go down for a long walk on the beach. I love those. That's why I'm such a great catch. Oh Blair, maybe we ought to talk to Kim and find out how great of catch you really are. I think most women like long walks on the beach at sunset, not sunrise.
And just a few video highlights for those of you out there with almost as much time on your hands as me (p.s. my video quality is not great and uploading it made it even worse but heck, it'll have to do):

Ruby Hanging Out on Kaanapali Beach

Bathtub Nose Pickin'
(Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone when an 11 month old is picking your nose? Well, Henry has. And boy it doesn't look easy!)

Halloween Henry and Ava Gettin Their Grooves On


Mele Kaliki Maka

Well, a sad note to all of our blog readers out there (all one of you -- Hey Mom!), we will be taking a short hiatus from blogging for a week or so. Tomorrow the kids and I are off to beautiful Maui, Hawaii with my family. It should be quite an adventure -- everyone in my family is going except for Liz's family and Nick (and Adrienne's and my husband). Which brings me to my next point: Hawaii in two children without husbands? Hmmm ... not sure this is the ideal way to take a trip (rather swap the kids for Scott) but this isn't his "kind of trip" so he's rock climbing in Southern Utah with some friends.
No, we are not staying until Christmas, as the post title might imply, but I didn't know how to say "Happy Halloween" in Hawaiian so Mele Kaliki Maka will just have to suffice.
So without further ado, we're off.


FHE Mishap

So last night Scott was in charge of Family Home Evening. Lately we've been into scripture story reenactments (aka the only thing that keeps Henry's attention for longer than five minutes) so Scott chose the Bible story of Daniel and the Lions' Den.

Things were going along fine, Henry was getting into the story and actually enjoying playing the part of Daniel.

So we're building, building, BUILDING the excitement as the wicked king (yea, we forgot his name) decides to toss old Daniel into the Lions' den. Henry was up on his bed looking down at us ferocious lions (which consisted of me, Scott, a very intimidating Ruby, a stuffed lion, and a stuffed tiger cub -- very convincing crew).

Apparently our ferocious growls were a bit too realistic though because suddenly Daniel (aka Henry -- wink, wink) was a little hesitant to come down into the den. So Scott and I start encouraging and coaching by saying stuff like, "It's okay. The Lord promised to protect Daniel for choosing the right." "Don't worry Daniel, you were a good boy so Heavenly Father said He wouldn't let you get hurt." "The lions won't hurt you. Just come get in the den."

Yay! Our positive reinforcement worked! Henry comes jumping off his bed, eager to be enveloped by his new furry friends when don't you know, his excitement causes his jumping to become a little unbalanced and WHAM! He smacked his face on the foot board of his bed! And the crying began...

So much for being protected. Hopefully he won't have bad memories associated with the story of "Daniel and the Lions' Den" for the rest of his life. Hopefully he won't think that the Lord (or worse, HIS PARENTS!) lied to him.

As my dad always says, "No good deed goes unpunished." We were trying so hard!

Our little Daniel pulled through after all. He even pet his ferocious lions after all they put him through!


Night of the Living Dead

So I am pretty sure that I become a zombie every night when I fall asleep. Seriously, I become totally delirious and unable to cope if awakened. I am just SO tired that my body must completely shut down.

I try to think back when this all started because I have not always been this way. I was never a super crazy night owl but I used to be quite the morning person (I was the baker at Einsteins Bagels in Logan -- 4 a.m. starting time means serious morning person commitment). I think I can narrow my fall from the graces of the morning gods to my mission. Seriously, I was just WAY too tired. You hear about those people who after their missions cannot sleep in past 6:30 or 7 a.m. Well, I think that's a big fat lie.

So, the point is, I'm a total zombie at night. My mother-in-law said it would change as soon as I had kids. Well, it didn't. I'm still a wreck. Sometimes when my kids cry in the night and on the rare occasion that it breaks through my drug-like state, it turns my dreams into nightmares because I tense up and know that the sound is something bad and needs to be attended to but I'm not quite sure what it is. So much for waking up and rushing to their aid -- I can't even process the sounds of their cries! I'm pathetic.

For instance, early the other morning, I was just sleeping away (probably with my mouth wide open -- poor Scott) and turned to roll over and I head-butted Ruby as Scott was handing her to me to feed her. It was almost 6 a.m., she had been crying in her bed, I failed to hear it (even though the monitor was on MY side of the bed), AND I didn't even wake up when Scott left to go get her.

Oh well, maybe it's a blessing in disguise. At least I don't have to walk up our 27,000 stairs to get Ruby out of her bed in the morning. Sorry Scott.


Reason #87 -- Why Henry is The Wackiest Kid I Know ("The Human Babygate")

Today I asked Henry to watch Ruby while I ran downstairs to get something (Ruby never goes near the stairs and Henry's pretty vigilant when it comes to her whereabouts so I wasn't actually worried about her even getting close to the stairs) so as I'm running back up the stairs, this is what I stumble across:

Henry is so responsible, isn't he? Of course, I'm sure he thought the only logical thing to do to keep Ruby from tragically catapulting herself down the stairs was to attempt this make-shift babygate maneuver.

Ruby, on the other hand, was probably thinking, "What in the H-E-double-hockey-sticks is he doing?!?"

Reason #163 -- Why Henry Is the Wackiest Kid I Know ("Keeping One Eye On")

Sometimes Henry does this while we're saying our family prayer at night and after we're done he says, "Hey Mama...

"...I'm Keepin' One Eye On."

What? Yeah, we don't know either.



Some Sweet Swag

So I'll admit it, I'm a blog stalker -- loitering and nosing around through random strangers' blogs (are you proud of what you've done to me Adrienne?). I don't know what happens ... I click on Adrienne's blog, then on one of her friends, and then one of her friends, then on one of her friend's favorite blogs and suddenly I'm reading about some "Pioneer Woman in Texas" (which actually is a very good blog, if you have time. Thanks Ali!).

Anyhoo, I did benefit from my blog stalking this past week though and I'm forwarding the benefit on to you (perhaps you've already heard of these sweet deals).

First, have you heard of
Dale & Thomas Popcorn? Apparently they were one of Oprah's favorite things and now they're all huge but the COOL part is, they're giving away free* popcorn.

(*=you have to pay for shipping, which is something like $6 which seemed like a rip-off because it took over a week to get here but it turned out to be well worth it because .... well, read on....)

So we got the popcorn tonight and it was delish! It seriously tasted like a super-fattening dessert crammed into a little puff of popped corn -- very tasty. So check it out if you feel like a little free* popcorn.

And the next item of business is e.l.f.

I don't know that I'd really even heard of it but apparently it's been in a bunch of magazines (including "O" -- pssh, like Oprah wears $1 lipstick) but I guess it's actually pretty good. Maybe you've all been wearing it for years and I'm just catching on or maybe the $15 I just spent ordering this stuff is going to go down the tubes when I realize it's only pretend makeup, or excuse me, the more "PC" term, "cosmetics."

Point is, most of their stuff is only $1 and they're having a 50% off sale right now which means that you can get most of their stuff for 50 cents! The one catch is, the sale is good for orders totaling $15 or less but it's still worth checking out in my opinion. So go shop your brains out.

I almost forgot, the coupon code is: CAROLINA.

Happy shopping.


Sorry boys. I couldn't help myself.

Just a little video of my dad and brothers at their absolute finest.


Pumpkin Pickin at the Patch!

Scott took the initiative and organized a family outing this week to the Rocky Creek Farm so Henry could pick out his own pumpkin. It was windy as all get-out but the hayride, hay bales, and plentiful swings were everything (and more) that Henry could ever want. As for Ruby ... well, she's always just along for the ride so she doesn't care where we go as long as she doesn't get left behind.

A good time was definitely had by all!


Weekend Update

It almost seems like we go somewhere every weekend. Okay, maybe not every weekend but it feels like it. We love road tripin' around but it can get a little crazy when kids are involved. This past weekend, Scott gave a presentation in Jackson Hole to the American Bar Association; so we decided to go with him.

We didn't get in until late Thursday night so we didn't get to see all the beautiful Fall scenery as we drove. Bummer. The night got even better when Ruby suddenly forgot how to go to sleep, or at least that's what it felt like. She screamed and cried for over 30 minutes (that might not seem like a very long time but when you're in a hotel knowing your neighbors are laying wide awake, hating your guts, 30 minutes seems like a VERY long time). We tried everything. Finally, she zonked out on my shoulder and I slowly, oh so slowly, sat down and even slower, laid back on the bed. Phew. She stayed asleep.

So the next morning, Scott went and knocked 'em dead while I got the kiddies ready for the day. Here's my favorite photo (Remember those curvaceous, white buns I was talking about? Here they are in all their glory!):

So after Scott picked us up, we went and toured the cute little town for a couple of hours. I love Jackson. It is such a great little town.

Scott and the kiddies under the "antler arch":

Did you know that all of those antlers come from the National Elk Refuge? No? Well, they do. And if you have a hankering to build an antler arch of your own, you better get on over to Jackson in May when the Boy Scouts auction them off. Like more info? Please, read on:

Me and the kiddies (Check out the ski hill on the far left. I can't wait for the snow!):

Cowboy Carl (I'm actually not sure what this cowpoke's name was but "Cowboy Carl" does have a nice ring to it):

And did you know that Jackson is home to the World's Ugliest Pair of Sandals? Well, it is. Scott found these beauties in a high-end outdoor store. Guess what the price tag was for these hot items? $245! I don't know about you, but I wouldn't pay two dollars and 45 CENTS for those freaks -- I don't care how comfortable they are! Crazy Jackson Yuppies ....

Even though we missed the scenery on the way to Jackson, we got to see some INCREDIBLE fall colors on our way to Idaho Falls. I'm not kidding, every time we drove around a corner, we'd both say, "That is incredible!" This is the best picture we could get because the kids were asleep so we pulled over on the side of the highway, came to a complete stop only for a few seconds so I could snap one off. Oh well, it gives you the idea. I love Fall colors!!

The reason we made a detour to Idaho Falls was for one reason: to break the law, or just merely stretch it a little. A song comes to mind that Scott often sings, "I fought the law and the law won," except I've changed the words to, "I fought the law and I WON!" Here was my problem: I let my driver's license expire the month we moved from Idaho and in order to renew it here, I had to take both the written and driving tests. I also had to present two forms of ID; one being a birth certificate, which I don't have because somehow, it's been lost and a little challenging to replace because I was born in Germany. Anyhoo, I found out how to get a new one but it requires a copy of a VALID driver's license. Hmmm ... I need a driver's license to get a birth certificate and I need a birth certificate to get a driver's license. Interesting problem. So, I side-stepped all the red tape and bureaucracy and went and renewed my license in Idaho Falls. 10 minutes and $25 later, I had a shiny new one. Problem solved. Just don't tell anyone I'm a fugitive on the run, okay? (Especially my parole officer. Wait ... what?)

So for old times' sake, we decided to drive past our old house to see if Henry remembered it. Of course he did. In fact, he said, "My house? Fischer (one of his best friends in IF) come and play with my toys?" I almost cried. I felt so bad for taking him away from his little buddy! Anyway, the house looked good (I'm sure you were all worried):

Then after fighting the law, we headed up to the cabin for a few quiet days with Scott's parents. The fall colors were incredible up there too and we even got to see our first snow storm of the season. If I were a true photographer, I would have been outside snapping away at the huge flakes with the fall colors in the background, but I couldn't because I was cozily huddled in a ball on the couch, making sure the fire didn't go out. I took one for the team there for sure. So even though my picture taking suffered, I had to get Henry in action helping his grandpa. He seriously followed Hal around if he knew there was a project he could help with. It was so cute! Here's Handy Manny helping his grandpa fix a heater: