Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We look good in 2-D

On Sunday, one of our little 12-year-old boys in our sunday school class was having a great time singing the lyrics to the spider-pig song from the Simpsons Movie (imagine "Spider pig, spider pig, does whatever a spider pig does" every ten seconds) until Chris shut him up with a pretty solid lecture. It was actually pretty funny. In Cameron's honor, I thought it would be fun to see what Chris and I would look like if we were the Sunday School teachers in the Simpsons:

We look so great that they've asked us to guest star on an upcoming Simpsons episode. Hee.

Simpsonize Yourself here!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunday with the Stantons

We were excited to get a visit from our good friends, Ryan and Nicki Stanton, on Sunday afternoon. Ryan and Nicki got married just a week after we did and we hung out all the time when we all lived in the Salt Lake area during the first couple of years of our marriages. They live in Pocatello now with their two cute boys, Jacob and Brody, and we don't get to see them as often as we'd like. It was so fun to see them on Sunday and catch up-- and we made sure to plan a time to get together again soon!

Here are our cute kids having a great time together.

Fun at the zoo

Chris had to work on Saturday, so we thought we'd try to fit something fun in before he had to go. We decided to take the kids to the Willow Park zoo, which they always love. It was an incredibly hot afternoon, so we tried very hard to stick to the shady spots at the zoo. Luckily, there are a lot of trees, so it wasn't too hard to find the shade!

Here are our little stinkeritos being silly at the zoo.

The raccoon seemed to think that the boys were offering food or something. I've never loved these little varmints, I'll admit it.

I like this picture of dad and son. Their gaits are the same!

Here's my little two-year-old sugar pot, being a silly little stinker while I have to wait for a kiss. He makes me laugh!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Makin' Tracks

I love that there are people in the world who give back to the community in neat ways. For example, the people at the Stokes Nature Center here in Logan, put on a fun, free, all-ages-welcome nature presentation every Thursday evening in July and August. The "Ampitheater Series", as it is called, runs for an hour at the Guinavah-Malibu (funny name, I know) campground in Logan Canyon, just 5 miles into the canyon.

We decided to head up to the ampitheater last night for the "Makin' Tracks" presentation. After a brief discussion about how to identify animal tracks on the trail (shape, size, and pattern are key here), the kids had some fun hands-on activities.

Thomas and Gordon practiced making tracks like a rabbit.

The boys made "Track Books" with stamps that they can use to help identify the kinds of tracks they find. Thomas's book turned out really well. Gordon, on the other hand, was more interested in getting ink all over his hands and face. At least he had fun, right?

And a visit to the Canyon just wouldn't be complete unless we got to throw some rocks into the river. I love this shot of Gord-- now there is some serious rock-throwing!

Next Thursday, we plan to head up to the ampitheater again for "Reptile Review". Apparently there will be a chance to meet some reptiles up close and personal... too cool!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It's Wednesday...

... and I'm just now blogging! Almost a week since my last post... tsk, tsk, tsk.

We actually had a wonderful, quiet, low-key weekend. Early, early in the morning on Saturday, I made a trip to Wal-Mart to pick up a copy of the last of the Harry Potter books for Chris. I am normally not a big Wal-Mart fan, but it was the only store selling The Deathly Hallows at 3AM. There were plenty of freaky people shopping there at that ungodly hour, and all of us walked out with a copy of the book.

As previously mentioned, I have not read any of the HP books myself (no offense, they're just low on my priority list of things to read), but Chris has been a fan since my sister Caitlan first talked about Harry quite a few years ago. I think Harry and Caitlan might be the same age? I'll have to check on that. So, Chris was really excited. I think he was also a little paranoid that he was going to hear a spoiler before he had the chance to read the ending himself. Being in the newspaper business, he almost always knows about things at least a few seconds before the rest of the world does, and I think he wanted to keep the ending of the Harry Potter series a surprise. Hence, he spent the entire weekend madly reading the 700+ page book and was happy to finish it late Sunday night before heading back to work on Monday.

I am a cheater and read the last page on my way back from buying the book.

While Chris read, I got caught up on laundry, scrapbooking, grocery shopping, and sleeping. It was a lovely way to spend the weekend. If you read this blog regularly, you know that a weekend doing basically nothing comes few and far between for us, so I try to relish my "weekends off".

This week, I've been back on my regular go-go-go-go-go schedule: working, of course, and swimming on Monday night, dinner with a friend on Tuesday, a baby shower tonight... it's been a busy one. Chris has kept me sane by doing nice things like making me a tasty BLT lunch today. What a great guy I have!

One more event-- and this one is very exciting: our new nephew, Garrett Andrew Myers, was born this morning in Arizona! I haven't seen pictures of the little dude yet, but I'm guessing he looks a lot like his adorable siblings. We can't wait to meet little Gary!

I haven't taken a lot of pictures this week, but I did get this one of Gordon right after church on Sunday. He's just a little sugar, isn't he?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A palate like Dad's

Thomas could compete for the world's pickiest eater. I think it has a lot to do with his (sometimes extreme) sensetivities, and the fact that he is half DeArton. We're a picky lot, though I have to keep pointing out to everyone that I'm getting better all the time. I even tried sushi, so there. Okay, so it was a California roll, but still.

Anyway, our boys are different in nearly every way, so I don't know why it is a constant surprise when I find Gordon willingly eating-- and enjoying-- something that I wouldn't go near until well into my adulthood. Tonight, for example, I made chicken fajitas. I chopped up green and red peppers and some onion to roast, and after putting the veggies in the oven, I turned around to find this:

Yes, it's Gord and yes, he's eating raw peppers. I took the picture with my cell phone, fearing that he might spit it out at any time. But he didn't-- he ate the entire remaining raw red pepper-- there was about 1/4 of it left.

Chris is an adventurous eater, something I've always loved about him. Like father, like son!

Grand Teton National Park

After our bison adventures, we went into Grand Teton National Park and went on a short walk near Jenny Lake. The boys-- and I mean all four of them-- had a great time skipping rocks (or throwing them, at least) on the lake. I guess they never really grow out of that fascination!

The kids had such a great time climbing all over the rocks, trees, and, of course, Bob. He's a good sport!

After a tasty brunch, we took a boat ride across Jenny Lake. It was turning into a very warm day, so being on the water was a perfect escape.

I love this picture of Gordon and Bob!

On the other side of the lake, we went on the short hike to Hidden Falls. I've been on this hike many times and I was reminded how much I really enjoy hiking. Chris carried Gord on his shoulders much of the way, so I think he was a little bit tired by the time we were finished. I think every family who goes on this hike has the same picture.

Maybe it's because Grand Teton is the National Park I've visted most in my lifetime, but it really is my favorite one. The Tetons are incredible and I love that every time I go, I have a different adventure.

Thank you, Nonny and Bob, for such a fun weekend! We were sad to leave, but we're sure we'll head up to Jackson and Grand Teton National Park again soon.

Wild Bison

.Here's some more from our weeking in Jackson...

On Sunday morning, we woke up bright and early to go on a wildlife spotting drive. We left the RV at 7:00 AM, but I think that was possibly too late, since we really didn't see a whole lot of wildlife. But! We did manage to wake up some huge bison! We were pretty close to them-- it was pretty cool.

Thomas was so cute with the binoculars-- he just loved looking at everything up close. Gordon was also fascinated by the bison, and both boys got a kick out of riding around in Bob's big truck.

Even though we didn't see any elk or moose, it was a lovely morning!

The Order of the Phoenix

Last night, Chris and I went to see the fifth installment in the Harry Potter movie franchise, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, courtesy of Harris Research. I really enjoyed the movie and thought that Daniel Radcliffe and crew did a great job. I also love Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter, but Imelda Staunton totally stole the show. It was really great fun and I'm excited for the next one!

... Maybe I'll even pick up the book...

Chris has actually read all six HP books, and felt the movie was an incredibly compressed version of the book, so he was not quite as entertained as I. But he did admit that although the movie had to leave out a lot of the detail in the 900+ page book, for 2 1/2 hours, it wasn't bad at all.

I did wish for a magic wand of my own last night, primarily to get rid of the many cell phones and babies in the theatre. The stupid teenaged girl sitting next to me sent and received text messages about every ten seconds through the entire film-- her phone would light up and loudly vibrate every time she got a new message. I'm sure I was a much brattier teenager than I would like to admit, but I would like to hope that I never would have been so rude. Why even go to a movie if you're just going to play on your phone the whole time? So obnoxious!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

We ♥ Jackson Hole!

I love living so close to Jackson, WY! We were able to make a quick trip there this weekend and we had such a great time!

Nonny and Bob are in Jackson to take in the Teton Music Festival for a week, so we took advantage of their kind hospitality and their comfy RV. The RV is at the Virginian, the same hotel Chris and I stayed at on our honeymoon almost nine (gulp) years ago! It was fun to reminisce... we really never could have imagined then that we would be back with two sons in tow!

We arrived in Jackson on Saturday morning after spending the night at my parents' house in Idaho Falls the night before. The weather was warm, so the first thing we did was hit the pool! The kids love swimming so much and they loved showing off for Nonny and Bob. Then, while Gordon (and Bob!) napped, Chris and I took Thomas into town for some light shopping. I really enjoyed spending time with just Tom. He is just a little sparkler.

We had to get ice cream, of course, and Thomas was enjoying himself so thoroughly that I had to document the moment.

After a couple hours of taking in downtown Jackson, we went back to the RV to find Gord just waking up. Perfect timing! We enjoyed a tasty dinner of scallops (for Nonny, Bob and Chris) and hot dogs (for me and the boys-- I'm not a shellfish lover, I'll admit) and yummy banana bread for dessert.

Then we drove to Teton Village where Bob treated us to a ride on the gondolas. It was so fun to whiz up the mountain in the gondola-- the boys really got a kick out of watching frizbee golfers (frolfers) and mountain bikers on the ground below. Once we were at the top, the view was nothing short of incredible.

The gondolas...

Me, Gord and Nonny...
(yes, I know my hat looks goofy...)

Bob, Tom and Chris

The Hansen clan with Jackson Hole below

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hawaii Scrapbook peek

credits here
I wasn't going to show you all my Hawaii scrapbook pages until I gave the final book to Gary and Marilyn, but since it's no longer a surprise (it was taking me a little longer than I had planned, so I had to tell) and since I am loving the way this page turned out, I have to share. I am doing this entire scrapbook digitally, and so far, I am loving it. I can see that this could turn into one of those addictions...

Baby-dom's last frontier

We knew it was coming. We discussed it last week. Chris said he would take care of it. Sure enough, on Tuesday, I came home from work to find this:

That's right, the crib is gone! Gordon is now the excited inhabitant of the bottom bunk. Naturally, he has already discovered a way to scale up to the top bunk, even without the ladder, but has not been quite as successful in finding his way down, except by yelling, "Mom! Mommy! Mom! Momma-momma-momma-mom-mom-mommy...." you get the idea. Fortunately, has has, for the past two nights at least, been obedient at night when I tell him to stay in his own bed.

I realize that Gordon has just one more babyhood milestone to cross before he can call himself a full-fledged kid, but potty training is going to have to wait!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Just like Hawaii!

Well, it was almost like Hawaii... warm weather, tasty tropical food, leis... just minus the ocean and add a few more people and some mountains, and you'd hardly notice the difference!

We had a great time at the luau on Sunday afternoon! We dressed the boys up in their souvenir outfits and Chris in his snazzy shirt and enjoyed a really perfect day with the Hansens. The kids had a great time playing together, and the adults enjoyed a fun game of Cluzzle. Gordon and I, as per tradition, took a nice snuggly nap downstairs.

A fun day just isn't complete unless someone breaks out the camera...

(from left: top row: Elise, Gary, Marilyn, Jon, Emily, Amanda ((and 7/9 baby!))
bottom row: Chris, Gordon, Thomas, Tyler)

You'll notice that a little Hawaiian princess was sleeping during the group picture, but I did manage to get a cute shot of Miss Abby. I love that little dress!

Aloha! Just looking at these pictures makes me want to go back to Hawaii... well, to tell the truth, everything makes me want to go back to Hawaii! I think I'm going to watch my slideshow again...

Hawaiian Paradise...

Summer fun in SLC

We had such a fun weekend hanging out with Chris's family in Salt Lake City! His sister, Emily and her family were visiting from Fort Collins, CO, and his brother's wife, Amanda and son Tyler, were visiting from Milwaukee, WI, and we were thrilled to see everyone! (We did miss Heidi & fam, and Andy, who stayed in WI.) I always love it when cousins get together.

Our first stop was Grammuh and Grampuh's pool-- the perfect place to be on a hot Saturday! We had a couple of fun surprises: first, we tried some water wings on Gordon and he absolutely loved them. It was so hilarious to me to watch his tiny little body kicking around the pool. He really got the hang of it and I think he enjoyed the independence. I enjoyed not having to hold onto him the whole time! The second surprise was trying snorkel masks on the boys-- and them loving the masks! Both boys wanted to wear the masks almost the entire time. Thomas especially loved being able to see under water. So cute!!

Be sure to visit Grammuh's blog for a cute video of the kids-- including our little Gordy-fish!

Next up, Gramm and Gramp treated our family and Amanda and Tyler to a fun trip to the Museum of Ancient Life (ie: The Dinosaur Museum) at Thanksgiving Point. The Dinosaur Museum is always a big hit with the kids-- especially since they can run around pretty freely and there are plenty of hands-on activities. Aside from a small episode from the one kid who is old enough to behave himself (Thomas), it was a really fun trip.

Despite his one incident, Thomas really is a great kid to have around. He was so cute with Tyler-- look how cute they are going into the museum together!

I really don't blame the giant shark at all-- these boys do look sweet enough to eat!

Three cute and mischievous little guys: Tyler, Gordon & Tom

After the museum, we gave Chris and Gary a break from the kids so they could enjoy some sushi in peace. The girls went back to the house and enjoyed some tastiness from Cafe Rio... so yum! What a great way to end a great day!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

We had an awesome weekend...

... check out Gramm's Blog to get a preview...

More from me tomorrow...

Friday, July 06, 2007


Chris forwarded this AP photo to me a while ago and I thought I'd post it on the blog. Happy Friday!

Not much more than meets the eye

A movie review by Chris

After six months of anticipation, I finally got to see the movie based on my favorite childhood toys ... Transformers.
I am not recommending this movie to anyone. Unless they are willing to sit through 2 hours of mediocrity to see about 10 minutes of really cool stuff. Explanation: The majority of the film, the human story and even the parts with the robots fighting and talking and walking around, was a disappointment. When the transformers actually transformed, I was blown away. Even the sound was really cool. There was a lot of inappropriate stuff too. I know there was some controvery over the rating but I didn't expect it to be due to nastiness, if you know what I mean. So, basically, the movie was a let down except for the transforming ... and there were two A-10 Warthogs in the movie and I have always loved those. They are just the meanest things on the planet and in my opinion the reason no army will ever fight the U.S. in the open ever again. Just this insurgency hide and seek stuff ... an I.E.D. here, a suicide bomber there. Warthogs. So cool.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Our Independence Day

It must be a rare person who has lived in Idaho Falls for any number of years who does not like the 4th of July. Growing up, the 4th in Idaho Falls was one of my favorite holidays, so it was a great pleasure to take my family there this year.

The fun times really started on Tuesday night, when we drove up to visit the Flatlands in Pocatello after Chris got off work. We met up with my family and some friends for a night of games-- well, night and morning if you consider the fact that we stayed up playing until 4AM! Incidentally, we missed the Idaho Falls parade the next morning. We had a great time at the Flatland home, and even got to try the Wii (see below).

After a fun morning of bowling (I scored a 171, thank you very much), we drove up to Idaho Falls to hang out with my family. Nonny and Bob are there now, so we took advantage of their hospitality and took the boys swimming at the pool at the RV Park. We knew they would have a blast, but we were all surprised at how much Thomas loves the water. I guess it's time to try swimming lessons again! It was very hot outside, so swimming was a perfect activity for the afternoon. Here are a couple of cute clips of our little jumping boys.

After swimming, Chris went to the movies with Todd Freed, my dad and sister. I'll try to get him to post a movie review tomorrow, or at least write one that I can post. Meanwhile, my mom, Nonny and I took the boys for a walk around the river. It was uncomfortably hot and not as shady as we would have liked, and we were all glad to finally make it back to the car.

We met up with Chris a little later and enjoyed a delicious dinner with Nonny and Bob back at their RV. Chris and I then took the boys to Freeman Park where we met the Freed Family to watch the fantastic fireworks show.

Sometimes it takes a few tries to get a decent picture of this little fam...

Todd and Ann-Michelle trying to look excited...

Even though the real highlight of the night was the amazing fireworks show, the close runner up were these funny blue light sticks that the kids got at the park. Our kids are still fighting over them!

We really had such a great time this year! I am sad that I really didn't run into anyone I knew in IF, but I think that just speaks to planning those run-ins better! Happy Independence Day!

Wii love it!

My sister, Kristie, and her husband, Todd, bought a Nintendo Wii a few months ago. While visiting them for the holiday, we had a chance to play it for the first time. I am not normally a big fan of video games, but this one is actually very fun! We played tennis and bowling and we were all jumping around Kristie's media room with our little hand-held controllers. Of course, now we think we need our own... we'll see about that!

And here's a quick action shot taken by Thomas of me (in my pajamas, no laughing)bowling with the Wii. I was pretty dang good, if I don't say so myself!

Monday, July 02, 2007


It has been a long-held understanding at my house that, with very few exceptions, bedtime for children is 8:00 PM. Although bedtime is 8, it has also been a long-held understanding that the kids rarely go to sleep right away. As long as they stay in their room with no screaming, I don't have a problem with them staying up. Some days, this is the only time that they actually get along.

Last night, for example, I heard Thomas and Gordon playing in their room well after 9:00 PM. They finally quieted down, and after he came home from work, Chris went in to tuck them in. This is what he found:

I'm not sure if Gordon climed out of his crib by himself or if he had help, but this little scene is too cute to care! I love that they are such cute brothers!

I do think it's time to face the inevitable: Gordon needs to move to a big boy bed.

Tee Ball and a Dinner Party

Last Thursday, Thomas completed his first season of Tee Ball with the Logan City Leaugue. He was on the "Rockies" team and had a great time. The games were held every Tuesday and Thursday in June, so the season really flew by quickly. Since I've decided that we can only handle one sport per month at our house, the timing couldn't have been better!

Thomas loved hitting the ball, trying to catch, but mostly, he enjoyed messing around with his little friends on the team. There were several instances where the kids were having more fun filling their hats with grass and throwing them in the air than they were in actually playing the game. But, I think that's kind of the way tee ball goes!

Meanwhile, Gordon did all he could to entertain himself during the hour-long games. On Thursday, we made a couple of funny videos that he enjoyed watching over and over again. I decided to post them for the benefit of Gordon's little cousins, who will probably also enjoy watching the wild antics of a bored two-year-old. He's a crazy kid!

On Saturday, we had some friends over for dinner and bocce ball. Chris made his amazingly tasty teriyaki salmon, rice, and stuffed mushrooms. I made a salad and an inside-out strawberry ice cream cake. We also had some refreshing limeade and bread from Crumb Brothers Bakery with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip. Doesn't that just sound summery?

I had to take a picture of our table because it looked so pretty. And of course, my handsome cook!