Monday, August 31, 2009

What? She’s 90?

My grandma turned 90 yesterday.  She had a huge birthday party on Saturday.  So for the next few days, just get used to me posting things about her.  For starters today, I wanted to share the biography that was written in the program.


Doris was born August 30, 1919 to goodly parents who raised her to be strong, self-assured, intelligent, happy, generous, kind, and loving - in short - AMAZING. She graduated at the top of her class and at only 18 years old, she left her home and served a mission for the LDS church in Spartanburg, South Carolina and the Catawba Indian reservation in North Carolina. At age 25, she met the love of her life, Parley Sunshine Shuler. Upon marrying him she immediately gained 5 wonderful children to whom she was more friend than mother. She later had two more children and now has more grand children, great-grand children, and great-great grand children than she can count! But somehow, she knows and loves each and every one of them. She spent much of her life working at White Springs which she cherished because she loved talking to and getting to know all the people she met. Later in life, she served another mission for the LDS church at the Atlanta Temple. Her life has been one of service and most importantly love. And she hasn't quit yet! She still has lots of spunk and lots more love to give. Aren't we lucky to have the privilege of knowing her?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Reason #5683

stay at home moms of toddlers SHOULDN’T work.

Yesterday I had a teleconference with my supervisor, two of my peers from work, and three engineering consultants.  We were very intently discussing a facility’s discharge into an Outstanding Florida Water.  As one of the consultants began his argument for why we should allow the facility to discharge wastewater with high levels of specific conductivity, I heard a little beep sound and the very loud sounds of some Layton gibber gabber.  I ran and grabbed the other receiver he had somehow got a hold of and waited for the fallout on the phone.  Gladly the engineer who was speaking, just paused for a brief second and then went right on with his argument.  No one mentioned it when he finished speaking, and I sure as heck didn’t say a word about it either.  All I can say is I am so stinking glad it was a teleconference and not a video conference because my face was so red from embarrassment that my head looked like a giant tomato!  Ack!!!!!!!!!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

The School of Moo

Many have asked what Mandy does during the day while Dallin is at school.  We have recently decided to enroll her in the School of Moo, which was named after none other than Mandy Moo Who herself.

The School of Moo has a variety of classes to choose from and Mandy takes advantage of them all.

The first class she attended was a cooking class.  In this class we prepare a variety of food using the most unusual ingredients.


The next class she attended was a ballet class.  Our ballet instructor emphasizes self expression of movement rather than adhering to a strict regimen of learning specific techniques.

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She then attended a more traditional class where the basics were taught using the good old fashion methods of repetition and worksheets.  This particular class requires intense concentration and reaps the reward of intense motherly praise.

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The last class she attended on her first day at the School of Moo was the audio visual art class.  We studied a number of art techniques employed in different educational videos.


Charlie Brown is educational, right?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A little girly????

Isn’t Layton’s smile so cute?


But notice his wrists.  He has recently taken to wearing Mandy’s ponytail holders as bracelets.  He woke up from his nap the other day and had pulled them off the dresser that sits beside his crib and put all of them on.  And ever since then, he has worn every one he could find.   And somehow even after I put them up and away, he still seems to find at least one to wear daily.  I think he has them hidden in strategic places around the house.


So should I be concerned?  Is he experiencing a gender identity crisis?  Or is he just experimenting with a new manly fashion statement?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School Part 2

Yesterday was the first day of the 2009-2010 school year not only for Dallin by for Nathan also.


Nathan is taking his second class on his road to getting his master’s degree.  It is a little taxing on him to have to work full time and take a college class, but so far he has been handling it great.  From his report of yesterday’s class, things went well and he is excited about learning to “Make Decisions with Data”. 


Dallin’s first day seemed to go really well too.  He was a little sad that only one of his friends from his class last year was in his class this year.  But he was VERY happy that when he went to recess he got to see all of his old friends.  He told me he really liked his teacher but that she only taught “kindergarten work” yesterday.  I guess he was expecting to learn all kinds of new and cool things since now he was a 1st grader.  He didn’t realize that usually the first few weeks of school is review of what was taught last year.


I have seen a few other moms that celebrate the first day of school with a little party, so I thought it would be fun to copy that idea and do it with Dallin too.  So last night, he got to choose what we had for dinner.  He picked shrimp, melon, donuts and pop rocks.  Oh so balanced, I know.  We had a lot of fun.  I think this is one tradition that we are going to hang on to and do every year!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Schools In


Dallin met his new teacher Mrs. Barfield last Friday.  She seems really sweet and energetic and happy to be a teacher.    Today is the first day of school.  Dallin seemed ready and happy to be there.  Seems strange to me that I am now the mom of a 1st grader! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Friday, August 21, 2009

The wrong lyrics that were just right

I love it when little kids sing.  They almost never get the lyrics just right.  You know the song “Oh, My Darling Clementine”.  Mandy has recently begun singing part of that song over and over all the time.  Only she changed the lyrics up just a little.  She sings it like this:

I’m a darling,

I’m a darling,

I’m a darling,

I’m a darling……


I think she got it just right.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I would be crying too…

if I was stuck in a toilet.


A couple days ago, I was in the kitchen getting the kids some breakfast (cereal, their favorite) when I heard some whining coming from the direction of the kid's room. It sounded like Layton’s whine when he climbs onto the top bunk and then can’t get down. So I went walking that way fully expecting to see Layton looking down at me from Dallin’s bed. Instead I found him standing in the toilet. Dallin had gone potty and left the lid open and Layton took that as an opportunity to climb in.


So what did I do? I went and grabbed the camera. Because, well, that’s just the kind of mom I am. By the time I ran back in there he was screaming and I was laughing so hard I cried too. He went straight from the toilet to the bath, where he was much, much happier.


And cleaner.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A two day Birthday

I know you have just been DYING to know (note the sarcasm), what I did for my birthday, right? Well here you go, this is how my two days of birthday celebration went…

I started out the day of my birthday by going to the grocery store. The kids (*cough* I) wanted to have some cupcakes, but we were out of eggs. At the store, Mandy decided she wanted to get me something for my birthday. So she picked out these beautiful flowers, which I then paid for myself. She has good taste though, don’t you think?

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Then we made our cupcakes. Mandy and Dallin insisted that before we could eat them, I HAD to put a candle on one and blow it out.


Then I did a load of laundry.


Then this cute baby came walking up to me.


And I took a few minutes to kiss on him. (Dallin was my photographer)



Then I did another load of laundry.


Mandy decided that she needed to wear her bathing suit “just in case”. So I enjoyed a few minutes of laughter at the panties sticking out from beneath her suit.


Then, surprise, surprise – I did yet another load of laundry.


That evening we were supposed to go to Dallin’s soccer game to watch him play. But because of this:


It was cancelled. So instead, I watched him bounce around the room like a crazy person. This is a normal daily occurrence.

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Then I made dinner, which included this yummy creamed spinach.


Nathan surprised me with some delicious chocolates, which we opened and we all enjoyed them.


Then I gave the kids their bath and sent them off to bed. Nathan and I curled up on the couch and watched two of our favorite shows, Monk and Psych.

Despite the laundry, it really was a wonderful day! But the fun didn’t end there. The next day, Nathan arranged for his mom (aka Nana) to babysit. Then he took me out for a little pampering. I convinced him to join in on it with me. We got pedicures.


And manicures. (Thanks Aunt Beck for providing the funding for this pampering :))


It was the first time I had ever had a manicure. It was nice, but the pedicures were much more enjoyable. Even Nathan agreed. He told me that he would be happy to go with me again to have a pedicure. Sounds like another date night coming up soon to me!!!

Then Nathan took me to a nice steakhouse where we enjoyed a yummy meal. It was a wonderful two days spent with the people I love most. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A little adventure

Life is certainly never boring around here.  Last Wednesday, I woke up to a day like any other.  Got the kids breakfast, blogged, did a little cleaning, did a little work, ran some errands, got the kids lunch, and then I got a phone call that threw my normal little day for  a loop.  My cousin Gretta called and said that two of her boys, Bronson and Bailey, were stranded at the Jacksonville airport.  They had been flying standby from California back to Utah, but due to a completely full flight they were unable to return home.  They had been planning on coming to Florida the following week to visit family, so because of some rules that minors were not allowed to stay overnight at the airport, she just went ahead and made arrangements for them to fly to Florida now.  She had thought that one of her sisters that live in the Tallahassee/Bristol area would be able to come over and pick them up that day, but none of them were able to.  So she called me.  And I went to pick them up.  Which was interesting to say the least because I had never actually met them before, so I didn’t know what they looked like and they didn’t know what I look like either.  I had to circle through the passenger pick up lane a few times before I found them because apparently you aren’t allowed to actually stop your vehicle unless your party is waiting, but since I didn’t know exactly where they were waiting and what they looked like it took me a couple passes before I found them.  But I did.  So they hopped into a stranger’s vehicle and I took them to get something to eat because the poor things had run out of money.  Then I brought them home where they crashed.


And crashed hard.  They had been up most of the night on flights and they slept right through all the noise of three little kids playing with no problem at all.  It was amazing.


They spent the night with us and then we drove them half-way to Tallahassee the next morning to meet up with their aunt.  It was a fun little adventure and it was nice to meet some of our Utah cousins.  It really does make it nice to have such a humongous family.  If anything ever happened like that to me or my kids, we have cousins all over the US that would help us out just like we helped them.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The bubble.

Dallin thinks that he is so cool because now he can do this:


















I love how serious he looks.  Blowing a bubble requires extreme concentration!

Friday, August 14, 2009

32 isn’t that old after all…

After 32 years of life experience, I have very gratefully learned a few things…

1.  When I was 23, I thought that when I was in my 30’s I would be really old.  Now that the numbers are reversed, I find out that 32 really isn’t that old after all. 

2.  While having a clean home certainly does bring me peace of mind, sometimes it’s OK to have a messy house.  Sometimes life takes precedence. 

3.  Children can make you feel happy, sad, joyful, depressed, impatient, loving, angry, and peace.  Sometimes all within the space of 10 minutes.

4.  Laundry is the true labor of love.  It is never ending and piles up at an alarming rate, but having lots of clean outfits for your kids to change into after they have smeared chocolate across their shirt, spilled their drink in their lap, covered themselves in dirt from head to toe, or decided that their plain white shirted needed stripes just shows them how much you love them.

5.  You can still type pretty fast with a baby sitting on your lap.

6.  Regular exercise makes me feel great, but sometimes it is hard to squeeze it in to a schedule revolving around kids.

7.  Heavenly Father blesses me not because I deserve it, but because He loves me. 

8.  Heavenly Father blesses everyone differently.  My blessings may not be the same as others blessings.  But in the end, we are all blessed.

9.  A baby’s laugh is one of the best sounds in the world.

10.  Men are SOOOOOOO different from women.  But some of the differences are what I love most about Nathan.

11.   Life normally does NOT go as planned.  But it’s ok, because things have a way of working out for the best.

12.  You can choose to be happy.  Today it’s my birthday and I’m going to make it a happy one!

I have learned many many other things as well, but frankly I have gotten tired of listing them.  See another lesson learned.  It’s ok to stop when you’re tired!   Hope your day is as happy as I’m planning on mine being.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Christmas in August

Sometimes cleaning up can be just like Christmas.  I finally went through Dallin and Mandy’s OVERFLOWING toy boxes.  We threw out all the broken ones and I made each of them pick a few things to give away.

At the bottom of Dallin’s toy box he found his train set.  He was overjoyed and has now played with them everyday since then!  Mandy and Layton have enjoyed the “new” toy too!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Speaking of Hair-dos

Mandy did her own hair. She often likes to wear it up in a little pony-tail or partial bun, but I wasn’t getting to it fast enough so she did it herself.


I thought that it turned out surprisingly cute. Very in vogue.


Artistically off-center. With the rough un-brushed look that seems so popular right now.


Regardless, just like Layton, even if she had done something really crazy with her hair, I would still think she was beautiful.