Sunday, December 27

Christmas letter

I think if you double click it will come up in a bigger, more legible window... ;)

Thursday, December 24

The stockings are hung!

The children were nestled all snug in their high chairs

and fell right asleep because we thought we'd skip their afternoon nap.
They usually stay up giggling every night until 10, so we figured...


Well, anyway- Merry Christmas Eve! Thanks to Grandma for our Christmas pj's and SNUGGIES!! (Zach had- not an hour earlier- been lamenting the fact that he didn't get me a Snuggie for Christmas. Yeah, I'm one of THOooooose wives. Always messing with the thermostat. :)

We're so excited for our first Christmas at home! We'll miss everyone- but man it has been nice to not worry about packing up and shipping out.

Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 16

Christmas all over the place

So it's been a while since the last one. Everything seems to hit at once, doesn't it? My busiest shooting weekend was followed by a week of the family flu.

Anya started, Bree and Mia followed, and then, after they had spent all week inside doing nothing, they got healthy enough to be bored out of their minds while Mom and Dad sat incapacitated on the couch (between trips to the bathroom.)

I still haven't been sick from morning sickness- just kind of mnyeh.

We visited the Santa at Alum Creek Fantasy of Lights. I wondered if we would meet any surprise fears of bearded dudes in red suits. The girls waited so patiently, and when they finally got to go into Santa's "house" they weren't scared at all. Mia jumped up onto his lap and Anya followed suit. Bree got stuck on the reindeer next to him, but seemed happy as anything. I figured we wouldn't try and do them individually this year- seeing how Mia is the only one who can ask for anything. She asked for a Dora mermaid whose hair she can "do," and makeup on her face. We had already gotten her toy from Santa, and so I had to return it and get the Dora with the hair. It was pretty much exactly as she described- only not a mermaid. It's just a bust of Dora for the tub. I hope she isn't disappointed there's no body...

Our preschool put on a nativity program for a senior home nearby. Mia was the shepherd on the right.

And then performed again for our preschool Christmas party last night. Mia asked if she could be Joseph this time. Nobody in the preschool group wanted to be the angel (Hey! I made that costume! Is it that bad? SOMEbody'd better wear it!) Anya was begging to dress up, so she got to do it. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 15


We finally got around to taking our family picture. It was so warm that day after having been chilly for weeks. I ran home after a sitting, we piled the kids into the car, and raced against the setting sun to get to the field behind Dairy Queen while there were still leaves and light.

We'll have to enjoy it while we can- it will be outdated in July.
Which is nine months from now. :)

Saturday, October 31

Treated and Tricked

Monday we called our landlord and told him our fridge was dying again.

Thursday he called to say that we would be delivered a new fridge on Saturday, because he wanted "to take care of you guys."

We didn't hear that Columbus celebrates Halloween on Thursdays when the 31st falls on the weekend, until Thursday around 6. Zach was knee-deep in homework, so we didn't go. We figured we could just go to the Trunk-or-Treat at the ward party the next day, and that would have to do.

The next night the girls didn't quite understand what they were supposed to do- so we worked on saying Trick-or-Treat, thank you, and polishing their bag-holding technique. After about fifteen minutes they were done, and on the way home Mia said from the backseat, "that wasn't very fun." Anyone from the ward reading this- don't worry, the activity was very fun. We just talked up the Trunk-or-Treat way too much.

The next day we waited for our fridge to be delivered. While we waited I read a comment on my Facebook page- Westerville still believes in Halloween on Saturday! We can go Trick-or-Treating after all!

At 2:30 the appliance truck rolled up. We joked about how it would be a used fridge that was smaller. They rolled it in. Looooove at first sight. Huge, shiny and white with an ice dispenser in the door. A DIGITAL ice dispenser! On a side-by-side vertical door! My favorite! Zach and I joked- "wow, he really is trying to take care of us." We were planning on dropping off our rent check while we were across town for our friends' party. I wrote a thank you note that started with "John! Are you kidding me?! This is the best refrigerator we've ever seen!" All our food fit with plenty of room to spare! Zach went to Lowe's to get the parts to hook up the water hose, while I played with the digital controls in awe, thinking maybe the kids would start drinking more water now!

While we were at the party John the landlord called. The company delivered us the wrong fridge. Ours was supposed to be tan. Hmmm.

After the party our cell phone battery died. Hope John didn't mean tonight when he said he'd call us when he found out what he was going to do. We went to dinner.

And then we went Trick-or-Treating! We drove to a well-lit neighborhood, popped on their costumes and headed out. Mia led the way, said Twick-O-Tweet, and the twins followed giggling. By the end, they were saying "Ticka Tee!" and other variations of the beggar call. Anya polished her "Tank you!"
I was herding the twins when Mia ran up and said "Mom- that's my job! C'mon baby cows!" They were happy as clams until time ran out. On the way home Mia piped up from the back again. "That was really fun!!" We set out to have an enjoyable time with the kids, and they actually enjoyed it! And we did, too! Amazing.

When we pulled up we realized we had definitely missed a call. John was loading Shiny White onto his trailer.

Tan fridge with a top freezer was sitting in it's place.

We sad-faced, and Zach promised me someday we'll have a digital ice dispenser. Instead of a trick fridge.

Meanwhile though, we have cold food again.

And I was happy with our treat:

Thursday, October 22

The BEST Halloween activity!

We had a BLAST this morning! DeMonye's Greenhouse is providing fun-packed time for kids.

We started out by going through a "Haunted" house. It was a little on the scary side for Mia- she wouldn't go through at first, and when she finally did, she had to plug her ears to get to the end. But the twins were young enough not to know what some of the scary stuff was, and enjoyed petting the spiders and blow-up toys.

It takes about ten minutes to go through- just packed with Halloween stuff. There are some pretty scary masks and characters, but nothing startling and not full of gore.

At the end of the haunted house, there is a pumpkin patch where they each got to choose a pumpkin.

Next it was time to make a witch hand out of popcorn and candy corns

They got juice boxes, popcorn bags, and treat bags with little toys and bags of candy and an activity sheet...

Then they chose a gourd and some Indian corn

And planted some flowers!

And THEN it was game time!

Bean bag toss

Kid basketball

Umm- the Toss the ping pong ball into the eyeball man and knock him over on purpose and get put in time out game...

Digging for bones

You don't even have to dress warmly- it's about 75 degrees in there!

The staff there is SO friendly- we couldn't have had more fun. They let us stay as long as we liked and go through the maze as many times as we wanted. I guess they didn't have any appointments after us- we were there for two hours.

DeMonye's Greenhouse!! It's on 2500 Airport Drive in Columbus- right off the freeway by Gahanna. The activity is by appointment only, but it's easy to get one- (614) 252-6046. $5 per kid and they will be open until Halloween! I had no idea it was going to be such an involved, well-planned, kid-friendly activity- so glad we found out about it. :)

Saturday, October 17


We went to pick our Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins from a farm today for the first time. I figured now that we have three kids who can say "punkin," this is the year to start. What was really funny- the lady at the front desk also called them "punkins."
We were the only ones in the field, and it was right off the road. Pretty convenient. And cold! Bree kept getting caught in vines on the ground, but somehow Anya and Mia were navigating the field just fine. We're pretty excited to carve these things. Mmm- okay- Mia's excited.

Poor Bree didn't get a hair clip this morning and looks like Wednesday's child.

Anya actually was more excited about the rocks- surprise, surprise.

Sunday, October 11


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Sunday, September 27

5th Bite

On our third day we had an easy time using the subway to get to our 9:30 reservation for the ferry from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty.

We had opted out of spending money on the audio tour, so were pleasantly surprised to see free tour times posted- the first of which was only ten minutes away. Rangers who work for the National Park Service give them, and ours was very friendly and knowledgeable. Before the tour started we were the only ones waiting, and she told us some interesting things about Ellis Island. I hadn't thought about it until then, but talking with her reminded me that my grandma Ella went through when it was active.

We learned a lot about the statue- I recommend that tour to anyone. I was pretty eager to see if I could find my grandma's manifest, so we skipped the pedestal part of the tour (we were told there wasn't really much to see in there, but who knows) and headed over to Ellis Island. I bet my great grandparents were even more excited to see it.

We looked all over the building, watched a National Geographic movie they had playing, and then went to the Family Immigration History Center. We were met by an LDS missionary couple and learned that the church is largely responsible for the center.

I found my grandma! She was 5 when she went through. She is listed with her family, and there is information written on there, like how much money they were traveling with, the address they left and where they were headed, skills they possessed. I just sent the copies we printed to her, I hope she likes them.

When we got back to Battery Park, these guys were putting on a show. They could do ANYthing! Run up trees and flip off them, stand on any appendage- it was like gravity had given them the day off. Here is one guy jumping over a bunch of people.


Like I mentioned before, we went back to the Met. Here's one pic I forgot- the sculpture on the roof. Reminded me of "War of the Worlds."

After the Met, on our way to the subway, we passed a crowd watching the filming of something. We asked an excited-looking woman what it was and she said in a French accent, "Sex in zee Citeee Two! Just inside zat building is Seghah Jessica Pahgckeh! So exciteeeng, no?!" Actually, no. But I nodded enthusiastically for her as we left. Sorry- to all you Sarah Jessica fans...

I forgot to mention- somewhere in here, we got stopped by a news crew and were asked what we would do with a million dollars. We couldn't say anything practical like a house or school or anything. I said I would pay for a lifetime of massage. I guess my aching legs and feet were all I could think of. Zach said he would pay off student loans. Then they asked us to show our reation to winning a million dollars. Zach shook his long hair and screamed and I just stood still and looked like I was about to faint. Haha- I bet we didn't make the cut on the show, whatever it was.

We went down to Little Italy in search of arancini, my favorite snack when I was on my mission in Sicily- which I have never tried to replicate. It took some doing, but we found a place that had them.

They were cosi-cosi. ;) You can tell how enthusiastic I am...

Then we hopped over to the Brooklyn Bridge just after the sun set. It was quite a walk.

Our last night in New York.

A few blocks away was Ground Zero. We found walled-off construction, and advertisements for the building to come. There is a memorial in the church just west of the site (if I remember the orientation right,) but we were there way past the tour hours. A plaque informed us that George Washington had been in that church on the day of his inauguration.
So much has changed.

The next morning we took advantage of all our earlier window shopping and did the actual buying with exactly what we wanted in mind.

Back at the Hershey's Factory. No, they don't sell cheese. That was just us.

Saw some nice cops and horses- not exactly what you think of when someone mentions the NYPD, is it? I didn't expect to be petting a horse that morning, but there you go.

We boarded another shuttle, and met yet another interesting driver. This one had Superman paraphernelia plastered on every inch of his dash. It was through his windshield we waved a fond goodbye to the Big Apple. And prayed we'd make it to the airport. Those guys drive like maniacs.

The End.