Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 2015 on FB

January 1: Finished the New Year's Eve puzzle at 12:30 last night. Does that mean it took two years to complete since we didn't get it done by midnight?!!?

January 2: Kanyon's been begging to play the game "Things" all winter break, so finally last night we did. It was so funny playing with our boys. For the card "things firemen do in between fires", Micah wrote down "drink beer". When we finally discovered who'd written it, he said "I wanted to say something that sounded more grown-up-ish!" (we were playing with other adult family & friends). We all got a good laugh from that one! And then of course "drink beer" was an answer for every "things" card after that!

January 3: That was the first earthquake I've experienced in my life!!

January 5 (From Meriah Baker): This picture made my day, I love teaching your boys, Kala Tolman. They are so special to me.

January 9: Swish! I've loved watching Ammon's 3-point shots go straight into the hoop at the last 3 home games!!

January 10 (From Tawna Glover): My parents were so excited to get their late Christmas present!!

January 11: 15 years ago today I became a mom for the first time to the biggest-headed baby in the hospital's nursery (and there were a LOT of babies born during our few days' stay in that hospital since it was the start of a new millennium!). Here's 5 photos to represent the stages in his life so far (as an infant: 1 week old, as a toddler: 3 years old, as an elementary student: 5 years old in Kindergarten, as a middle schooler: 10 years old in 5th grade, and as a high schooler: 15 years old in 9th grade). Happy Birthday Ammon! We sure love having you as our son!  

January 12: Since I didn't make my weight-loss goal yet, I won't be going to Mexico any time soon like I'd originally hoped. BUT....I did just purchase tickets for me and Ammon to visit my sister and her family in Virginia instead!!! I've wanted to go for years, and I'm so excited that it will finally happen this year! Only 6 more weeks!!

January 15: I have weaknesses, and the more I try to steer clear of them, the more I can't stop thinking about them: Cheetos Puffs, Zesty Salsa Sun Chips, Roasted Sweet Potato Triscuits, and Smartfood's White Cheddar Popcorn. And the problem is, once I start eating one of these, I can't stop until the whole bag or box is gone in one sitting!!!

January 16: I cried myself to sleep last night after watching the "Parenthood" episode. I've never been this attached to a TV series before, and I am in mourning that there's only 2 shows left!!!
January 17: I'm in the process of writing a blog post about my Grandma's funeral from December, and I was reflecting back on my Grandpa's funeral in 2002. I was looking at pictures from both, and I suddenly realized that my sisters and I are standing in the same order both times. I like comparing them side-by-side to see how much we've changed! It kind of reminded me of the movie "Little Women": at the start of the movie, Amy is so young and small compared to the older 3 sisters, but by the end of the movie, Amy is suddenly all grown up and it appears as if she's caught up with the age of the older 3!

January 18: Don't be peanut butter and jealous! (to which Josh replied: "Don't hate us cuz you ain't us!" And then  I replied: "haters gonna hate, ainters gonna aint.") [they're lines from a movie we had just watched]

January 19: Our family was just sitting around eating cookies tonight, when suddenly 7-year-old Kanyon exclaimed, "OH! I just remembered how to spell reptile! R-E-A-P and then 'tile' after that". We all look at each other with puzzled faces. Jonah says "there's no 'A' in reptile", and Kanyon emphatically replied "YES, there is!". No one disputed it after that. Because, he is, after all, the baby of the family!

January 22: After having a rough day yesterday, I was delighted to come home late last night to find that the garbage can had been taken down to the road (it's quite a trek to get it there), because today was garbage day. The first thing I said when I walked in the door was "WHO took down the garbage can?" Micah quietly said "I did". And my whole heart melted right then, to know that he thought of it and did it all on his own. It's the small things in life that make such a huge difference, and it was truly the highlight of my day!!!

January 24: One of Josh and I's 2015 goals is to take one of our boys out on a date each month. Tonight was Ammon's turn, and he picked to eat at the Chinese Restaurant. I've only eaten their lunch buffet before, but dinner there was a great choice! It was super filling and delicious, and the take-home boxes are full of tomorrow's lunch, too!

January 26: I have struggled with my Educational Psychology college class the last 2 months, and I am SO relieved and glad and proud of myself to have passed the final exam today!! So since I don't have to study tonight, I'm rewarding myself by assembling a piece of furniture that I ordered online (and have been anxiously waiting for), which finally arrived today!

January 28: [posted by Josh] You know you live in Salmon when traffic on the highway is backed up in both directions while someone gets out of their truck to shoo the ducks off the road.

January 28: I hate that Salmon doesn't have a Redi-Care! Im pretty sure I have strep throat, and they can't even fit me in to do a swab! Ive got a fever of 104, and cannot swallow and I'm dying I swear! Although, in comparison, this is nothing compared to what the guy went through in "Unbroken"! Rant over and out.

January 29: The strangest thing happened to me in the middle of the night: I woke up at 3:30, used the bathroom, and went to the kitchen to take my next round of ibuprofen. I wanted to check my temperature first, so I picked up the thermometer and turned it on, then I took 2 steps to open the fridge door so I could have enough light to see what it said. As I was taking those two steps, I felt strange and thought I was going to puke, but then I realized it was actually the feeling I get right before I pass out. And 15 minutes later, I woke up on the kitchen floor. I couldn't get up, so I tried calling to Josh, but because I don't have much of a voice right now, he couldn't hear me. I thought I would just reach to open and shut the fridge door, because that would wake him, but when I opened my eyes, I realized my hands and face were in front of the dishwasher--5 feet away from the fridge (where my feet were). I apparently passed out sideways! I waited about 10 more minutes before I could sit up, and finally took my temp (I was still holding the thermometer in my hand), took the medicine, and walked back to bed. Although I don't understand why it happened, I feel so lucky that I didn't fall straight back and hit my head!

January 30: I loved the movie "Into the Woods" so, So, SOOO much!!! The music is brilliant, the storyline is genius, the actors were amazing, and the production was both hilarious and tear-jerking!

Christmas Eve Party

We had such a fabulous Christmas Eve at the beautiful home of this amazing woman, who not only is a terrific hostess, but also a kind and dear friend: 

And to make it even more special, it started snowing heavily that day!!! I dislike brown Christmases; white Christmas just feel so much more magical! We were all SO happy to see the white stuff falling from the sky! As soon as we arrived at Linger's that afternoon, the boys immediately went out and started sledding with Wyatt on the hill right below their home. They wanted to take advantage of the heavenly gift!

At the top of the hill--notice the tractor in the background?
That's Jim plowing the driveway.
At the bottom of the hill--it goes to their driveway and then drops off
to a steeper hill

When Ethan and Garrett arrived, they played snowball with Ammon--
he pitched a snowball to them, and they swung a snow shovel to hit it!
As the other guests started showing up, the kitchen became overflowing with a variety of delicious finger foods! A party is not complete without the delectable delights!

When it started getting dark, the kids all came in and went downstairs to play (I love that the Linger's have a basement!!), and the grown-ups stayed upstairs and naturally segregated themselves into groups based on gender!
The women gabbing

The men conversing

After everyone had eaten several rounds of food, the games began! We played Mad Gab...
...which the men won. I know the picture is blurry, but look how excited they all are!!

Then we mixed it up and played Catch Phrase. It was so much fun to play games with such a great group of people. I really enjoyed it immensely!

At one point, one of the ladies was trying to explain her word by saying "it's when you twist the lid on a can", and I quickly shouted out "Opening up a can of Whoop-Ass". Everyone paused, and then simultaneously burst out in laughter. Just a tad bit embarrassing (especially since my bishop, and members of bishopric and stake presidency were present), as that was not even close to the answer (although I can't even remember now what it really was).

After the games ended, we lingered for a bit longer, talking as we cleaned up. It was after 10:00 before we left to head home to put the kids to bed. Kanyon was so tired, he fell asleep on the drive! I can't think of a better way to spend Christmas Eve than eating, talking, laughing, and playing with friends, and the snow was an added bonus, too!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cracker and Candy Houses

On the last Monday before Christmas, we made gingerbread houses--well, technically graham cracker houses, and decorated them with candy. The boys had been asking for weeks, and finally I obliged. Usually we buy a gingerbread house-making kit, but I never bought one this year, so I stocked up on the graham crackers and made frosting using every last bit of powdered sugar we had in the house, and I purchased a whole bunch of small candies from the Dollar Store. After we started constructing them, we realized it would take longer than the ones we'd done in the past. It took a couple hours to complete the entire project that night because the frosting needed to harden on the house as we built it before we could add candies to it, and the candy-adding process required much patience for the same reason. 

Waiting for the houses' frosting to set up.
Ammon was at basketball practice that night, so he didn't make one, but surprisingly, Josh did. I don't think Josh has ever helped us make gingerbread houses before, and when I told him as much, he said "that's because you only ever buy enough gingerbread houses for the boys"! It was fun to have him join us in the decorating!

Every house was different, and I liked the finished product! It was a cute little village! I told the boys they couldn't eat the candy off their houses until Christmas day, and since we waited so long to make these in the first place, that meant they only had to wait 2 more days before they started tearing them apart and eating the sugary treats!

Kanyon's single-wide trailer

Jonah's cottage

Micah's sloped house
the back of Micah's

Kala's love shack
the back of Kala's

Josh's miniature house completely decked out in candy patterns!
the back of Josh's

Everyone who came to the house seemed to like Josh's best! His was the smallest of them all, but it was the one with the most candy coverings. I think we should do graham cracker houses again, because I liked how they were all so unique! The boys's houses didn't even last a week before every bit was eaten, but I just barely threw mine and Josh's away this week: they lasted a whole month displayed on the countertop!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Holiday Hoopla

I decorated the house pretty minimally for Christmas this year. As in, besides the Christmas tree, there was no decorations. I think that's a first! I didn't put out any nativities or santas or advent calendars (thankfully my mom bought the boys each a chocolate advent calendar, though, so they still had that. Also, the 3 younger boys still put up their own small artificial trees in their bedrooms with lights and their special ornaments). When I went down to my Grandma Rose's funeral at the beginning of December, I stopped by my Grandma's house first, where my mom was staying at. She'd talked about getting one of Grandma's homemade wreaths from downstairs, but she didn't want to have to go down to the cellar and get all dirty in her nice dress. I willingly went down and made several trips carrying up lots of Christmas wreaths and swags. After my mom and Aunt Connie picked out what they wanted, I grabbed one swag and a wreath. So, I guess I did have one other decoration in the house besides the tree!!! Thank you, Grandma!

Josh and I unfortunately missed our Ward's Christmas Dinner Party because it was the same day as my Grandma's funeral in Utah, and we didn't make it back in time. However, I did get to go to my friend Gina's annual Ladies Christmas Party at her house the next day, and I look forward to it every year because of her delicious stuffed mushrooms. They are seriously the best I've had ANYWHERE--even numerous restaurants! I can't rave enough about how much I love them! Anyhoo, the ladies who come all bring some kind of food dish, we sit around talking and eating, and then we play a gift exchange game. I brought a gift of a box of dark chocolates and a sheet of lottery tickets (unfortunately none of them were big winners!), and I took home a few Christmas signs (which I hung around my home to make it look just a tiny bit more festive since I didn't put out the decorations).
Gina and her mouth-watering stuffed mushrooms.

The boys talked about decorating cookies for a Home Evening like we did last year. I did not have the desire to do the whole sugar cookie process, so instead, I bought some peanut butter M&M's, and had the boys each decorate some peanut butter cookies with them! They were yummy, and I liked seeing the variety of their handy work, although it wasn't quite as fun for the boys as frosting and sprinkling sugar cookies!

I had no idea what to do for neighbor gifts this year. My mom sent me a cute picture of an idea that her neighbor had done, and I was happy to finally have some direction! However, the gift needed some clear cellophane wrap, and I couldn't find any anywhere! We looked at all the local stores and at Walmart, too, but didn't have any luck. I was beginning to think that we wouldn't be doing any neighbor gifts after all, when I decided to go check out the store Bri-Easy Shipping in town on the last weekend before Christmas. They are in the building where Hallmark used to be, and were selling some of the inventory left over from the gift store. There was ONE roll of clear cellophane there, and I was giddy with excitement to find it and purchase it. I bought some toilet paper at the grocery store, and got to work making about 25 toilet paper snowman. I already had all the rest of the supplies on hand in my craft stuff: all the ribbon, craft pom-poms, googly eyes, and orange felt. I bought some vanilla tootsie rolls and stuffed each core with them before wrapping them up. It was a fun little project; I haven't been this crafty in a long time! I liked how they turned out, but the boys thought they were dumb and wouldn't go with me and Josh to deliver them.

I came up with a poem to go with each snowman (my mom had sent me a different poem that came with the one she got, but I didn't like it as much). I think it took almost as long for me to make the poem as it did making all the snowman! I had a few different versions, but Josh didn't approve of me using the word "shat" or "wipe your bum" in the poem, so this is the final G-rated version! 

I look forward to the Library's Pajama Party with Santa every December. This might be the last year we go to it, however, now that my youngest is growing up. I love listening to Mrs. Casterson read books, and singing alone with Anne as she plays the guitar, and being around the little kids and seeing their excitement when Santa enters the room! It's always a magical night, and it makes me sad to think that these young childhood experiences are ending as my own children age. 
Kanyon is wearing the skull pajamas that Aunt Lisa gave him for
Christmas last year. He loves these pajamas the most! 
Santa gifted all the children a brown bag with an orange,
some peanuts, some candies, and a frisbee gift inside.

Ammon's Holiday Band Concert was in the high school commons this year, due to the lack of gym space available now that the high school has added 6, 7, & 8 grades to it. There was a swing night in conjunction with the jazz concert. He had a solo with his trumpet in one of the songs, and the band concert lasted about an hour. It was super fun! There was a challenge by Mr. Anderson to give extra credit points to any student who's family members were photographed dancing during the concert, so of course Josh and I were happy to oblige!

I think it's funny that you can see the lady videoing us at the same time
this photo was taken! 
I didn't realize until recently just how often I purse my lips together!!
I like dancing with this man! He's a fabulous dancer!

The second graders did a unit on different cultures, and worked for weeks researching and writing sentences and making colorful signs, and they had a presentation day to show parents their hard work. They also worked with the Salmon Arts Council making Christmas ornaments of the country's flag they worked on. Kanyon was in the group that had the country Australia. The other members in his group were Rudi, Ava, Gary, and Brylee. Each member of the group talked about the part they individually wrote during the presentation. I liked seeing all the different displays and hearing each child talk about what they learned. Kanyon also gave his portion of the presentation at a school board meeting a couple of weeks ago, and he did a great job!!

Kanyon speaking during the demonstration.
In Australia, Santa surfs (as noted by the picture on the board)!!

Kanyon, Rudi, Brylee, and Gary (Ava was absent that day)
Kanyon with all the ornaments he made at school this year:
the glass ball he painted inside, the Australian Flag, and the
wreath made from painted puzzle pieces with his picture inside!
(that one was part of his gift to Josh & I for Christmas)