Sunday, February 21, 2010

Man Food

So, its been a long standing joke in our family that the only meals that I can get everyone to eat happily is when I make "Man Food", i.e. meat and potatoes, etc. No one is happy about salad and soups except me! So, anyway, My little Jory, not even 1 year yet just joined the team of man food eaters; he ate a whole twice bake potato all by himself, for the second time in his life!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February So Far

Link in front of Hyrule Castle.

Eli likes to build these barricades out of toys to keep Jory away from whatever he is doing. But it usually ends in a lot playing together, so I'm good with it!

February has been an exciting month so far! Eli is all signed up for Kindergarten in the fall, and now that he is past the apprehension he is very excited for it. Jory has picked up more words: it, and something that sounds like "light" and also "book", and yes. Jory also took his very first steps today! But he doesn't have the courage to do more than that. Renton has been learning about George Washington and Valentines day and made several wonderful valentines for the family that he was very proud of. Also, I have rededicated myself to teaching him piano and he is currently learning to read the music to Mary had a Little Lamb.
Valentine's Day is an anniversary for Ryan and I. Its the anniversary of our official first date. On that day, 15 years ago, Ryan and I picked up some subway sandwiches and hiked up to Sacred Falls on Oahu, Hawaii. We picnicked and he did a bit of showing off for me by cliff diving! Then as we hiked back it got dark and we scared the bejezes out of each other as we listened to the wind in the bamboo and couldn't see anything because we didn't have a flashlight with us. The rest is history. So, this year Ryan gave me the best surprise ever! He came home with flowers and then sent me to get a surprise massage, it was a hot rock therapy or whatever its called, and I totally recommend it! After that he had a wonderful candlelit crab dinner waiting for me. It was amazing! It was my Valentine surprise a week and a half early. On Valentine's Day I made everybody's favorite food: roast, chocolate dipped strawberries, shrimp with cheese and crackers (we tried Yancy's jalapeno and habanero cheese, its amazing!) And I guess there is something about reaching a man's heart through his stomach because they all felt loved and happy!


My Three Sons

January found us home with a gift of frogs from for my boys from my sisters. How they concocted to find a pet I would be OK with, the boys would be wild about, and happiness would prevail, beats me. Huzzah for my sisters! So, yes, Christmas was still happening for us because I had told my family not to worry about our presents until after we got back. Boys and their Frogs: Charlie and Skeleton Frog

We had gotten the boys a Wii for Christmas, and that is what they do in any spare time that mom lets them. Even Jory likes to be included for a little bit. I can see its a guy thing. Even Jory is getting into the Wii

Playing Wii Together

We came home to lots of snow and cold. So, the boys and I did this fun little snow craft, its an ice sun catcher. We had lots of fun putting it together. And while we were putting it together it was winter enough for such a thing. HOWEVER, within 3 days the sun catchers made of ice were no more as it started RAINING in JANUARY(!?!) even at NIGHT!!!! Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. And while we have had bursts of cold, we've had a lot of rain considering it is winter time in Utah! So, with all that fun weather (I really do love the rain), we've made our own fun indoors.Renton's Sun Catcher

Jory and Mama's Sun Catcher

Eli's Sun Catcher

Making S'mores
(Why not?)

Playing in boxes in always the thing to do after Christmas!

Ryan grew a goatee after Christmas that I absolutely loved! But he tires of said things quickly and it is no more, now. He can't understand why I love hair on men, I told him its what separates the men from the boys... he doesn't care. Ryan also stopped working late nights like he had been doing, and it is good to have him home!My Handsome Man

Renton has been given lots of aptitude tests at school and he has passed them all with 100%! We have been reading Charlie Bone together and he loves the books. He even named his frog Charlie after Charlie Bone.
Eli is learning his letters and starting to read 3 letter words. He is excited to learn to read. He has been making new friends through preschool and loves to play with them. He enjoys figuring things out for himself.
Jory made a major breakthrough during Christmas. He has been a mama's boy, even rarely going to dad happily. Over Christmas he started going to dad happily most times and even to a few others! He is still cruising around and not walking on his own. But he has picked up a few words! Mamama, Da, and this. He is very fun to play with.Jory Playing with his toys

I don't remember what he ate, but its a fun picture!

Jory's new skill, closing his eyes, and he is so cute when he does it!

I've been busy tending to the executive affairs of house and home, as well as tending to the sick. Someone was ill with a cold from the time we got back until well into February. Yea, fun for me!
The get big so fast!

December in Arizona

Eli Swimming in Sedona

Jory and Daddy testing the water.

Kids playing in the pool.

Eli and Allysa riding trikes around Grandma's house.

Playing Chase

Samantha helping Jory ride the trike.

We made our way back to Arizona for another week of fun. We stayed at Ryan's parents' house in Paradise Valley. Ryan's dad is a bishop in Sedona, however, so we all got ready early to go to church up there on Sunday. It was amazing, there was ICE on our car in Paradise Valley, and then as we headed 2 hours north, we only saw more of it! There were several frozen over fountains in Sedona that were gorgeous. After church we all headed to Ryan's parent's place in Sedona to celebrate my niece's 8th birthday. As you probably know, when my nieces turn 8 I make them a pretty dress. It gives me the chance to sew for a girl, and as I have none, the chance is playtime for me! When my nephews turn 8 we usually get them a game or a book... if I could think of something that I could make that they would want I would do that, but I haven't so I don't. Anyway, my latest creation was very fun to make! Happy Birthday Courtney!

Jory singing Happy Birthday

My latest creation.

We spent most of the rest of the week visiting with family, swimming, playing wii, watching football, and working on puzzles. One day Uncles Jeff and Jake along with Sammy and others launched off a few rockets in the vacant lot next to the house. Renton was rivoted to the scene. When they asked him to help launch the last rocket he nearly flew over the fence to get there! It was definitely the highlight of the week for him!Renton getting ready to launch the rocket.
(Check out his Han Solo/ Indiana Jones smile he has been working on!)

The rocket Renton launched, with Uncles Jake and Jeff.

One night we ventured to the Mesa Temple to check out the lights. I tried to get pictures, but most of them didn't turn out. It was a gorgeous sight to behold!Our family at the Mesa Temple

Grandma and Grandpa with the kids.
L-R: Courtney, Sammy, Allysa, Jocelyn, Abby, Katie, Grandpa Sam, Grandma Ali, Jory, Mikey, Samantha, Renton, Eli

On New years Eve Jake put together a family Olympics that was very fun. Later that night we stayed up playing games until the big countdown to a new year's kiss. We flew home on the 2nd, one of the busiest flying days of the year, I guess. We missed our flight due to the sheer volume of people flying that day! But we caught another (along with most people, apparently) and got home fine, if not exhausted. It was a great trip! Renton built his own lightsabor at Disneyland, just like a real Jedi.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

December in California

Ryan's family were all getting together for Christmas, sort of an impromptu family reunion. It was a lot of fun. We flew into Arizona, rented a car, and then drove out to California all in one day. We drove with Ryan's parents and his sister Sheri and her kids. Most of his family who live in AZ were already out in CA and then his sister Rose joined us the next day. We were staying in the Palm Springs area because that is where the Christensen's have their time shares. The first night we celebrated Ryan's brother Dan's Birthday.
Jory and his cousin Chase

The next day we took off to see my Grandma who also lives in the Palm Springs area. The kids had a blast playing and swimming. Grandma and I mostly caught up with each other. Eli at Grandma's pool

Renton making a fountain in Grandma's pool.
Jory having the time of his life in the water.

Jory and Grandma Steinkuhler

The next day the whole family headed out to Disneyland. It is a family tradition for Ryan's family to go to Disneyland on Christmas Eve. We had a lot of fun. Renton and Eli are just the right age for Disneyland. Jory even handled it quite nicely too! Some of the time we did things with Ryan's family, some of the time we did our own thing, and some of the time Ryan and Renton took off to do older kid stuff while Eli, Jory and I did the younger kid stuff. It worked out perfectly. They have this program for families where not all the kids can go on a ride called parent swap where the parents go individually but don't need to wait in line twice, but the parent swap card is good for 2, so Renton would go with dad, and then go immediately again with mom! He discovered that he loves roller coaster rides! Eli discovered that he didn't. He was very apprehensive at first, but with some help we got him on some rides that he enjoyed. His favorite was Peter Pan. I think Renton's favorite was Indiana Jones. Jory even had a favorite, he was mesmerized by the lights and sounds of Its a Small World. It was a great day!Just before heading in.

First ride of the day!

Jory checking out the wishing well and the 7 dwarfs.

Check out this great suit of armor Eli found!

We checked out Tom Sawyer's Island, just to find that it is now a pirate island. This is in the tree house with the treasure map!

They also had this awesome cage of bones.

Of course we found the hidden treasure on the island!

I guess no King Arthurs today.

Outside Its a Small World

The next day was Christmas. We went to spend the morning with Grandma Steinkuhler and Ferman. We opened presents, had breakfast, and let the kids play as we visited. Then we went back to the time share and had lunch with Ryan's family. After taking a family picture we opened presents and also celebrated Rose's, Kristen's and Lorrelle's birthdays. It was a very fun family time. Jory helping me get pulled together for Christmas day.

Saying Goodbye to Grandma.

Family Pictures

Family Pictures

The next day we packed up and headed back to AZ.

December in Utah

December was very exciting and full, so I'm braking it up into 3 parts! We celebrated my birthday on the 4th. It was nice to be with my family for that. Once again I decided that I wanted a birthday pie, and made it way too late so that it didn't get eaten until the next day. This year I made a delicious recipe I got from my sister in law, Michelle, for Pear Pie. We had it for breakfast the next day, and it was fabulous!
Jory cracks me up! This is his solution
to how to carry things while crawling!

We went to the Annual Gundersen Sing Along, our friends who have this fun tradition of sharing the musical delight of Christmas without freezing yourself to death going from door to door. We had a great time singing and playing. Music is amazing.
Christmas was coming quick for us, as we were leaving town and didn't want to tote all the gifts with us! So, while I was the envy of all my friends in how early I was prepared for Christmas, really I was just barely ready in time. This year, however, I wrapped presents as I bought them so that prying eyes wouldn't find them... and that meant no huge wrapping fest the night before Christmas... and I didn't miss the wrapping fest. We opened presents the Saturday before we left on our trip so that the boys would have time to play with their toys before we left them at home for the holidays. And even though it was early, there was the same excited "can't sleep" and early morning that comes with Christmas. It was great! The boys felt loved, and that is what really counts. Renton and Eli loved it, but Jory had a blast!
Christmas is finally here!

Renton handing out gifts.

Opening presents.

New Sword. Its amazing how quickly we go through those things!

Can't wait to play with it!

The aftermath is fun too.

Later that night we went to see my brother who had decided last minute to come out to Utah to spend Christmas with some friends. I was glad we got to see him and his family before we left! The cousins got along famously, as if there had never been any time between the last time we saw them! I love that.
My kids and David's kids. Jory and Emily, their baby, are only 1 month apart.

But, pretty much as soon as Christmas at our house was done it was packing time... and we were off to catch an early morning flight to AZ.