Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fun with Picasa!

This post is dedicated to Kristine Crosby, and anyone else who has not discovered the joys of Picasa yet.

(Click the Logo to go to the Picasa download site)

Picasa is the free photo editing software from Google that helps make ordinary pictures a bit more fun. I love it because it captures all of my digital photos easily and allows me to make changes, as shown below. You can also blog direclty from Picasa, which is kind of cool.

Here's Tommer normal, Blue, Black & White, and Saturated.

Have fun! Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 25, 2006

Flour Child


Oh, my little Gordon! It's almost as if he watches everything with one thought in his clever little head: "How can I possibly make a mess of this?"

At least that's what he seemed to have in mind when he watched Chris make the crust for our pot pie yesterday. "Ah ha! So that's where they keep the flour!" Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Another Ute Win!

It was another great Ute weekend! Not only did the mighty Utes topple San Diego State 38-7, but #32 Eric Weddle was also named National Player of the Week! The game was at San Diego, so I watched at home and Chris watched at work.

Speaking of work, look how nice my hubby is to (gasp!) a BYU Fan-- he worked on Saturday evening so that his copy editor, Danny, could go to Provo for the game. What a nice boss!! BYU fans should be thrilled with their huge victory over the poor, and still scoreless, Utah State Aggies. But, as we learned last week, routing the Aggies is not really that heroic. We'll see how it goes next week when the Cougs take on nationally ranked TCU. Utah, by the way, will not have an easy week either-- they're set to play Boise State-- also nationally ranked and undefeated this season. Yikes!

Family Pictures

While Nonny and Bob were here, I took advantage of having a couple of published photographers accessible and asked them to take some pictures of us in the canyon. The boys were happy that I will not be dragging them to a studio this year!

Here are some of the good ones (edited with the help of Picasa, of course)...


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Our afternoon with Nonny and Bob

This afternoon, we were delighted to get a visit from Nonny and Bob, before they head back to Washington, California, and next week, South America. They were in Idaho Falls earlier and were kind enough to take the time to come to Logan today. After our tasty dinner here (Chris made his world famous pot pie!), we led them up into Logan Canyon to see the fall colors. The cool afternoon weather was just perfect for our short hike and the conversation was, as always, just wonderful. We wish they could have stayed longer!

Cute Gordon had a fun time with this leaf!

Here we are-- the Hansens and the Mehaffys. ♥

Thomas and Nonny sharing a fun moment.

The beautiful splendor of autumn in Logan canyon.
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Delicious Autumn!

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
~George Eliot

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Sunday Brunch

This morning we went to Salt Lake to meet Grammuh, Grampuh, Emily and Jon at the Little America Sunday Brunch. Mmmm... we love this brunch-- all you can eat deliciousness! Lots of thanks and hugs to Grampuh, who treated everyone and even took the boys out so we could finish eating. It was a fun morning!

Chris's birthday is on October 4th and we won't see his parents again before then. So, they showered him with gifts today. He had requested a copy of the book, Ben-Hur, and they gave him one-- a first edition printed in 1880. They also gave him the Ben-Hur dvd (a classic with Charlton Heston, in case you haven't seen it) and a current edition hard copy of the book. He was thrilled! 

Gordy is such a good little eater-- and how cute that he tries to use a fork!

Our cute boys in their rugby shirts. Never mind Gordon's messy face...

Jon, Emily (with baby Abigail, still cooking), Tom, Grammuh, Grampuh, Elise
Gordon and Chris
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Saturday, September 23, 2006

Happy Birthday, Hadley!

On Friday, the boys and I went to Idaho Falls to celebrate Hadley's 2nd birthday at a family party at Ann-Michelle and Todd's. As always, the kids had such a great time together! They all wanted to open Hadley's presents and she was quite generous (especially for a 2-yr-old!) to share with her sister and cousins. While the kids destroyed Ann-Michelle's house, the adults had a great time visiting. We always love a reason to party! :)

 Here's the outfit we bought for little Miss Hadley Jane. Doesn't she look adorable!?! I have to say, I really do enjoy shopping for little girls. They make the cutest things! Check out the kickin' Nikes from the Flatlands on the slideshow. She's just a cute little track star!

 The Birthday Girl, her new Baby "Brynn", and her cute Mom!

 Everywhere Kristie went, the little kids were sure to follow! Her nephews and nieces just love her, and Kristie is such a great aunt to them. It was fun to watch them flock to her like that.

 Cute cousins! I love the picture of Thomas-- it is so natural! He is at the age where he has to pose every time I try to take his picture. The effect is that I hardly ever get a good one. Here, though, he was in the middle of chasing his cousins around the room and I just happened to snap the camera at the right time.

Some cute birthday moments:

Hadley was so excited to get her new baby doll from my mom and dad. Of course, Dallis wanted it, too, and kept trying to "trade" Dallis's old baby for Hadley's new one. Hadley can speak pretty well, and she certainly knows the word "MINE!" Dall was a bit jealous, but she'll have her own party in just a couple of months. Until November, they're both 2! Todd and Ann-Michelle certainly have their hands full-- good thing they're good parents!

Hadley immediately began feeding and hugging her new baby. She named her "Brynn", after her baby sister. So cute!

When Ann-Michelle brought out a cupcake with a candle on it, Hadley tried really hard to blow it out. She got so close, in fact, that she felt the heat of the candle on her lips and quickly withdrew. Luckily, she had her mom to help with the candle!

Happy Birthday Hadley!

RockYou slideshow Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

More videos

I love this clip of Gordon reading a book about Thomas the Tank Engine! He loves to make "choo-choo" sounds, and even starts singing a little bit here. I love it!

While I've been trying to get Gordon on film saying his cute little words, I can't forget about my other little guy, who is a very willing participant! So, here's a fun interview with our favorite five-year-old:

By the way, the best place I've found to upload videos is on Google Video where you can create an account (free, of course!), then upload your videos. It takes a little while, but the quality is way better than YouTube. When you're finished, just click on the "Embed your video on your website or blog" link and it will give you the code to cut and paste onto your blog post. Fun stuff!

"I'll say something!"

Gordon has been saying so many cute words lately! I've been trying to capture it on video, but have't been able to get the perfect "interview" yet. Here's one from a couple of days ago-- we were doing pretty well until Thomas interrupted. You'll notice that Thomas does know how to say "bye-bye" just fine. Well, they're funny kids.

Kids at the Park

We're fortunate to live very close to a park. On Monday after dinner, the boys and I walked over to Bridgerland Park and they had a fun time running around in the fresh air. Thomas loves to slide and Gordon just loves to run on the sidewalks. This park has a small hill near the playground and Gordon ran up and down it as many times as he could. It was a fun evening. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Ute Domination

When the Utah Utes came to Logan on Saturday to play the Utah State Aggies, a Ute win was expected. However, I don't think anyone, even the cockiest Ute fan, anticipated the total 48-0 blowout that occured. The tone of the entire game was set during the second play of the game, when an Aggie turnover resulted in the first of two defensive touchdowns by the Utes. I actually felt a bit bad for the Aggies and wished they would have scored at least once. But, I'll admit, it was great fun sitting on the metal bleachers at Romney Stadium, watching the Utes annihilate the home team.

Gary and Marilyn came up from Salt Lake to spend the afternoon with us and my sister, Kristie, came down from Pocatello to watch the boys while we went to the game with Chris's parents. Our section of the stadium was full of Ute fans (in fact, by the fourth quarter, the only people left in the stadium were Ute fans!) so we had a blast cheering and singing the Utah fight song. We even had a visit from Swoop, the Utah mascot. Even though it was a chilly night, we were packed close enough and standing up to cheer often enough that we didn't even notice the cold. Once again, it was a great night to be a Ute!

Oh, and lest I forget, BYU lost to Boston College in double overtime 30-23. Too bad. Hee hee hee...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Hot Dogs

One night at the Herald Journal, the people in the newsroom got into a discussion about how great it would be to have a hot dog cooker continuously warming hot dogs for them while they worked. Well, a few weeks later, while on the return flight from Seattle, Chris found the very machine in the Skymall magazine. About ten people in the newsroom went in on it together, and it came to our house today. Look how excited they are about their hot dogs! Hilarious...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My little reader

Tom and I read books together every night as part of the bedtime ritual, but up until the last week or so, Gordon wasn't really interested in participating. He does get excited at the prospect of ripping the pages out of the book, but not so much about sitting and listening while I read the story. In the last week, however, he has stopped his running around and started to get more interested in what Tom and I are doing. Last night, he even sat on my lap and looked at the books for two of the stories before he got restless. This morning, I found him sitting on the couch, looking at last night's books all by himself. Isn't he the sweetest little reader?

Handy Dandy Notebook!

Lately, Tom's favorite TV show has been "Blues Clues". He gets really excited about the episode and it's hilarious to watch him get so involved. He even answers all of the questions the characters ask and tries to figure out the clues. Then later, I'll catch him playing in his room and acting out a clue scenario. It's pretty cute.

Yesterday, Tom told me that he really needed a "handy dandy notebook" to record the clues he finds around the house. So, we went to the store and he picked out his very own notebook. He was so excited. As soon as we got home, he began drawing clues-- a picture of Gordon, his "Thomas" puzzle, a cup of chocolate milk. I asked him what the clues meant and he had to go sit in his "thinking chair" to figure it out. He didn't ever tell me what the answer was, but he did let me know that he's really smart. I agreed, of course!

The Power of Positive Parenting

I am posting about our latest Book Club selection, The Power of Positive Parenting by Glenn I. Latham, to give yet another recommendation for a good read. This is a great parenting manual that applies to any parent with children of any age. I even think you can use the principles taught in this book with any relationship, be it parent-child, husband-wife, co-workers, etc. The main point of the book is that by encouraging positive behavior and looking for ways to praise and empower your children, you are setting them up to be more successful people than if you focus only on changing negative behavior. I don't say it as eloquently as Dr. Latham, but hopefully you get the point. Anyway, this is a great book to have in my personal library, and I plan on turning to it often as new situations arise in raising my kids. By the way, Thomas has been telling me at least once daily, "Mom, I love it when you're happy!" Cute, huh?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"How come?"

It has become a common question at our house: Tom's version of "why?" is "how come?" I'll admit, I've been a little annoyed-- he has to ask this question after almost everything I say. But, I know this comes with the age, and a part of me is proud that Thomas actually cares about the reasoning behind the things he hears. I've tried to be as honest as possible in my explanations, including telling him that sometimes I don't really know the answer. This, of course, prompts another "How come?" and to that I reply, "Because Mom just isn't as smart as she looks."

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Remembered

I can't let today pass without sharing some sentiments about the events that took place only five short years ago. I remember sitting on our bed with my dear husband, watching the news with shock and horrow, our tiny baby, one day shy of one month old, sleeping peacefully in my arms. As with most Americans, my life changed that day, and my heart still breaks a bit when I hear about the people who lost their loved ones in those terrible attacks.

When I visited Ground Zero last month, the surprising but overwhelming feeling I felt as I stared at the silent rubble was peace. Though there are many negative emotions associated with this day, I try to remember the powerful life lessons that were clarified in the wake of tragedy: that life is precious, that heroes exist in unknown places, that the only true power is love.

Cute little jammers!

While Daddy and Grampuh were at the game, the boys and I went out to dinner at TGI Friday's with Grammuh (yum yum!) and watched "Chicken Little" at the house. I bought the boys some new jammies, so after taking a bath (which, by the way, is so much more fun at Grammuh's!), they got dresed and proceeded to run around the house, slipping and sliding on Grammuh's wood floors. The boys love that they can run from the living room to the kitchen and through the hall in a complete circle-- and they did just that until it was time to go pick up the men from the game! I especially love Gordon's new jammies-- isn't a rocket just fitting? Posted by Picasa


The blood runs Crimson in this family!

Saturday marked the first home game of the Utah Ute's football season. Since I left for Park City early in the day, I didn't see the boys until later that afternoon, but I wasn't the least bit surprised to see them decked out in their Utah gear. Thomas was really cute singing "Utah Man" and doing a "Go Utes" cheer in the yard.

Chris and his dad were thrilled to go to the game at Rice Eccles stadium and were even more thrilled with the result of the game: Utes 45 to N. Arizona 7! It was really fun to see them heading to the game together. It was a great night to be a Ute! Posted by Picasa

I ♥ Shopping!

On Saturday morning, my mom, my sisters, and I went shopping at the outlets in Park City. I hadn't been for a long time and I forgot what great stuff you can find there! I bought some new running shoes and some new clothes from Eddie Bauer. Even more fun than spending money (a tight race, though!) was being able to spend time with my mom and sisters on my mom's birthday. We got her a couple of really cute bracelets from Sundance and we all enjoyed hanging out together. It was a fun morning and it really did end too soon!

  Caitlan, Ann-Michelle, Kristie, Kim, and Elise in Park City Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 08, 2006

Willow Park ZOO?

This afternoon, I took the boys to Willow Park Zoo here in Logan. Thomas visited the zoo last year with his pre-school class, but this was my first time. Although the zoo is very well kept and the animals appear to be well taken care of, I had to wonder if this should actually be called a zoo, or an aviary? Aside from the little bobcat, a couple of wolves and foxes, and a lemur gone MIA, every other animal at the zoo is covered with feathers. I'm not complaining-- after all, admission was only 50 cents-- just wondering if the zoo shouldn't be called the Willow Park Aviary! Posted by Picasa