Monday, August 25, 2008

Oh how I love Virginia!

Well, I am still behind on posts from clear back in April so this post has a bunch of different photos thrown together into my "Love of Virginia" category!

For those of you that don't know, 2 years ago Dave and I came on a trip back to the DC area to see if he wanted to work for a company out here. We instantly decided no. Although DC is awesome, we did not want to work there and in order to be able to afford to live we would have to buy a home 2 hours away from work. 4 hours of a daily commute was definitely not a selling point for us. We had made up our mind but since we still had a couple days left we decided to drive out to Charlottesville because the company had said we could possibly be placed there if we wanted. The whole drive we talked about how we didn't want to live here. Then we drove into Charlottesville--I can't even describe to you the feeling that absolutely just FILLED us up. I have never before or since felt so sure about a location being the right place for us and our family. As we were planning on heading out and even looking at houses, etc...the military gave us a once in a life time opportunity to go to Hawaii. The company in Virginia wasn't sure when they were going to bring us on and so we decided that we better take the Hawaii job in the mean time. I know that going to Hawaii was what we were supposed to do but in the back of my head I knew that we needed to be in Charlottesville in the long run. When our time in Hawaii came to an end we were offered the job that Dave has now for the military. At first they told us that it would be in either Charlottesville or in Georgia. I just started to weep because I knew that we were supposed to be here. Then they told us they wanted us in Georgia. I was heartbroken. I knew that we were supposed to be in Virginia. Then, again at the last minute, it was decided that they did need us here after all. I have never before felt so guided to a single location. I know that this is where we are supposed to be. I sent Dave out to buy the house and I didn't see it until the day we signed for it. But as we drove the windy, tree covered road to our house I just started to cry because I KNEW that this was the place that the Lord had set aside for me. This is really where we are supposed to be at this time in our lives. I mention all this because as we drove back from spending the summer in Utah I had that strong, overwhelming sense of home as we approached Charlottesville. I love it here. I love Virginia. I know that we might not stay here forever, but I am going to stay here absolutely as long as I can!

We live just minutes from the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah National Park. These are photos from the park near the end of April just as spring was beginning and some of the many whitetail deer you will see as you drive through the national park.

This photo below is of the little squirrel that lives in our yard. My parents bought a bird feeder for us when they were here and our little squirrel decided it was for him. We should probably name him. Does anyone have any ideas?
While my parents and grandma were visiting we went to see Monticello. Talk about amazing. It has to be one of my favorite places I've been. The history to be found in Virginia is beyond amazing.
Here is another reason that I love Virgina--MY HOME! This is the after shot of when my Dad and Dave put up the shutters. It looks a lot more finished now but Dave and I think it makes it look smaller. What do you think? It is a great house and every day I fall more in love with it. I will be sad when the day comes that we ever have to leave it.

Now for the most recent historical Virginia adventure. A few weeks ago we went reconnoitering for an officer training day that Dave is in charge of (basically a field trip for the officers!). So off we went to Appomattox. It was so much fun. Dave and I were in heaven. The kids, of course, didn't appreciate it as much. Especially since we had to sit and wait for Dave to get done talking to the Park Ranger about all the details for his special day.

My cute family. I know I have said it before, but in this picture I think my Hubby is especially good looking!

While we were waiting for Dave to finish up with the details I kept the kids busy by taking photos of them. Some turned out blurry (I have a cheap camera) and of course I had a hard time getting Tank to look at the camera.

This house is the MacLean House. It is where General Lee and General Grant had the surrender meeting.
This is the street out in front of the MacLean house. I can't remember it's name. The soldiers for the South had to lay down their weapons along this road as part of the surrender ceremony.
This guy was awesome about keeping the kids entertained and busy with stories about the war and the youngest person that fought and how they had to shorten his gun to make it lighter for him to carry.He even let them lift up the gun to see how heavy it was.
Then he gave us an authentic bullet from the Civil War found at Appomattox! The kids loved it!
This is the actual Appomattox Court House.
Sorry for the long post! I'll try to keep them a little shorter in the future!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Defending my Boyfriend

Yes, Yes...I do have a boyfriend(shh..It's Michael Phelps. Don't tell anyone! Actually Dave already knows because his girlfriend is Dara Torres. We are staying true to our trends--I go for the younger guy while Dave goes for the older woman!).

There are a ton of things dissing "my man" that I have found online but I had to share 2 of them because they just blow me away!

First is our good old friend Jennifer Lopez. Have you guys heard what she said about Michael Phelps getting too much attention??? Okay. I have found a bunch of things written about this but I have to share I certain article because it also mentions a football player that thinks he is better than Michael. So here it is (This is from ) :

While faithful Juice*heads are cheering the good news Michael Phelps brings to the table, Jennifer Lopez is so vain that she thinks she should be getting all the attention, and not some silly swimmer with eight gold medals, according to MSNBC's The Scoop.

Lopez was on Good Morning America (they're the home of dirt lately) on Monday to yak about how she's going to be in the Malibu Triathlon, but "couldn't understand why everyone is talking about that swimmer," a source from the show said.

"She couldn’t come up with Phelps’ name, and then she yammered on about how she was the one training for a triathlon just six months after giving birth, and how that was the big story right now, not 'the swimmer.' "

What a priss; Lopez and her ego are just behind Cincinatti Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson, who was quoted in tbt*'s SportsTalk as saying on ESPN that he knows "a couple people who could beat Michael Phelps right now," and that he was one of them. These people need to be thrown into a pit and forced to beat each other with baseball bats.

Who are these people? Don't they realize that right now Michael has made history that is unlikely to surpassed in our lifetime!!!! AUGHHH! I agree with the author of the article--these people do need to be hit in the head with a baseball bat!

Then, while I was looking to see if good 'ole J. Lo apologized for her comment (which I can find no such retraction of her idiotic statement) I found a statement by fellow swimmer Amanda Beard that just made me lose all respect for her--not that she was ever a favorite of mine. This is from but I verified it on a bunch of other sites.

All the shallow people in the world who are making nasty comments about Michael Phelps’ appearance exemplify why the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. Michael has brought joy and pride to the United States representing us in the 2008 Olympic games, he has accomplished feats we can only dream about, he loves his mom, he’s gives back to his community and has a work-ethic we should all strive for, yet all I keep reading about in the rags is how “unattractive” he is.

GROW UP people, not everything in life is about looks. Not all things center around people’s appearance. Not to mention the fact that I think Michael is perfectly handsome, but I tend to value what comes from the inside more than the outside, so I don’t expect everyone to have the same aesthetic viewpoint I have.

As for the Amanda Beard/Michael Phelps dating story, he’s WAY TOO GOOD for any athlete who cheapens her talents by posing for Playboy. Why not let the sluts with self-esteem issues do spreads, and the athletes set good examples for our youth? Yeah I am talking to you AMANDA. I am not sure what’s more disgusting, the despicable way you spoke about a teammate, or or your tasteless visage plastered all over the web?

When asked about whether she’s dating the world’s greatest Olympian, did Amanda really need to respond with “Ewww, gross,” or “I have better taste than that?” All I can say is her taste is all in her mouth.

I understand that my guy doesn't fit everyone's description of HOT, but "ewww, gross" or "I have better taste than that". Give me a break. I mean look at him:
You have to admit that he is a least a little hot--not to mention that he seems to be a nice person that loves his mom and sisters and works hard and seems to be humble and appreciative to all of his teammates for helping him reach this goal! As for me, he brought the most excitement to the Olympic games this time around and since he finished it just isn't as fun to watch. I will miss seeing you daily, Michael! And for all the haters--they are just jealous that history will soon forget them, while Michael will live on forever!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Winter Wheat

Well, the pictures don't do it justice but I FINALLY painted my living room and I LOVE the color!! It is called Winter Wheat. It is a really pale yellow/cream color. Very neutral but it brightens up the room so much. The best thing about having my living room painted is that I can put my new couches in it. They have been sitting in my garage for months! As soon as I get the furniture all set in the room and pictures on the wall (FINALLY!) then I will post the final product. I wish you could all see the color in person. It is so great. I have never been so pleased with how a paint color turned out. (Yes, my life is boring if this is the only thing that I get this excited about!!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

School Days

HOORAY!!! School has started again!! Monday night was back to school night so we had the opportunity to go around and meet the kids' teachers.

This is London at her desk.

London and her teacher.

Teancum and his teacher.

Teancum at his desk.

Ezekiel's classroom (they didn't have assigned seats yet)

Zeke and his teacher.

Then today was the first day of school. I was more nervous sending Zeke off than I thought I would be. He isn't quite as independent as London and Tank and plus he has his food allergies to deal with at school. Then I was even more of a basket of nerves because they changed the bus number that they ride. I had written the old bus number on everything and so I was worried they were going to end up sending Zeke on the wrong bus since he doesn't know the bus driver yet. But it all worked out okay. Kindergarten is all day long here so it was a really long day for Joe because he missed Ezekiel so much. The kids had a great first day and Zeke can't wait to go back tomorrow.

My handsome kids showing off their "first day of school" attire.

London posing like the little model that she is.

Zeke was so excited I couldn't get him to hold still for a picture.

Yes, this is a bad pic of Tank, but he is so hard to take pics of because his eyes are SOOOOO sensitive to the flash. He always closes his eyes in anticpation of the shot!

Waiting for the bus!

Little Joe felt left out today so I had to include a picture of him too!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

9 Crazy Years!

This month Dave and I celebrate our 9th wedding anniversary! We are almost to double digits! I can't believe how much has happened in the past nine years. By my count (which might be inaccurate) we have moved 13 times in those 9 years--and that is not counting the 1 or 2 month stays at my parents' home in between moves. In these nine years--actually in the first 6 years--we have had 4 children and now we are waiting to get our little girl from China (which is taking forever, for those that were wondering). Dave and I have both finished our Bachelors and Dave has finished his Masters degree since we have been married. Dave was deployed for a year and a half--actually with all his trainings and deployments we have been apart for about 1/3 of our married life! It seems that change is the only thing we can count on since we have been married! The one thing that has remained constant is how I feel about Dave. He is honestly my favorite person on Earth. He is the only person that ALWAYS knows how to make me laugh. I have fun with him whether it is watching TV or even doing the dishes. He just makes life enjoyable for both me and the kids. He is the best dad I have ever seen. He is always the dad that is out in the mix, entertaining the kids while the other adults sit around and talk. I love that he is already teaching our boys to have respect for women. I love that his way of showing me that he loves me is by quitely doing the dishes or the laundry or helping out with the kids because he understands that being a stay at home mom is not easy. Dave is the hardest worker that I have ever met. He is always looking for something to do to help me or the kids out. I love that he is a worthy priesthood holder. This week he gave the children Father's blessings to prepare them for a new school year and listening to him during the blessings made me realize how wonderful it is to have him as the patriarch of our family. Enough gushing--sorry, I have to let him know how much I love him at least once a year! I am so glad that he is my eternal companion.

Our announcement photo.
(It has holes in it to tie the ribbon through.
For some reason this one didn't scan in well)
Bridal portrait
Just after the ceremony, outside Mt. Timpanogos Temple.
Cutting the cake.
(I love this picture because of Dave's HUGE smile--
He always smiles like this but it is rare to capture it on film!)

Dave decided to take advantage of our family while in Utah and used his dad as an overnight babysitter for the kids. No matter how hard he tries to surprise me I always figure it out because I ask too many darn questions. I'm a planner and always think ahead--I guess it is one of my many weaknesses. Well, this time he was able to plan a night away without my knowing. And so he surprised me with our Anniversary celebration almost a month early (Note: Dave will miss this anniversary due to a training event) So we went to the Anniversary Inn(the one on 5th South in SLC) in the Sultan's Palace Suite. It was too much fun. It was a great surprise.

This was our bed that was on the top of two elephants' backs.

Our bathtub/shower was a crazy dragon type animal.

The yummy breakfast they brought us the next morning.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Opinion Poll

Well, I am going to try something new and set up a poll on the right for everyone to take. We are trying to decide whether or not to cut the boys hair for school. We would love to hear your opinions. We know a few of you are adamant about the short hair while others are sure that the long hair is better. So this way we can see who is in the majority and we will either try to keep it as is, cut it short or grow it longer.

If we cut the boys hair short it will look like the picture below. The pros for this haircut is that it is clean cut and doesn't get tangled. The cons are that I have to trim it every 2 weeks in order to keep it looking good and Jonas has a cowlick that makes the back of his hair stick straight out unless it is shaved super short--if it grows out at all it is a disaster.

The shaggy-skater-surfer look is what we are finally entering into now. (see below) The pros are that it is a pretty messy look so it doesn't required a lot of combing, it is finally long enough that Jonas's hair lays down in the back, and Tanks hair is finally starting to curl in the back again. The cons are that when we do get it trimmed to try to keep it this length the person always does a horrible job and we end up cutting it short anyway and Zeke has a cowlick at the base of his neck that pushes all his hair to one side so it looks like he belongs in the 80's because of the "tail" he has (that is uncentered, by the way).

Sorry for the hats in the last picture. It was the only one with all of the boys where it showed their long hair--all the others were at the beach with wet hair. Cons: They look like girls, hair in their eyes, has to be combed now and again. Pros: Never really needs to be cut, reminiscent of my Native American heritage, and all cowlicks are conquered.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Birthday Party

Ezekiel's little girl friend missed him terribly while we were away in Utah. I guess her parents had a hard time getting her to go to primary without the incentive of seeing Zeke! She had made him an invitation to her 5th birthday and brought it every week to give to him and then would be disappointed when he wasn't there. But we finally made it home and Zeke received his handmade invitation and he LOVED it. He asked me to please save it for him. So here it is (keep in mind that the only thing they know how to write is their names):

Zeke told me every day that we had to buy her a present and he was starting to get really worried that I wasn't going to get her anything. The other kids tried to give suggestions for presents but he was adamant that he got to choose because it was his girlfriend. And of course no one else was allowed to carry the present.
The whole family was invited over to a BBQ with her family. It was lots of fun. Unfortunately, I couldn't get her to smile for the picture--she was actually having fun though! They were both really excited when we figured out that they are going to be in the same kindergarten class! How fun will that be. I asked Zeke if Maryn was his best friend and he said "Yes. And I'm going to marry her!" Too cute. I think they are going to have a blast in Kindergarten.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Hooray!! I am officially done!! Commencement exercises only happen once a year at EOU, hence the June 2009 date. But I actually graduated as of Summer term 2008! I can't tell you how happy I am! And I think that Dave and the kids are even happier!