Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reason for the Slacking!

Twas 2 months before Christmas
and all through our house
every person was busy,
even the spouse!

Between Halloween & Thanksgiving
our schedule was crazy.
It got even worse
when Natalie started getting spacey!

Things got neglected,
traditions shoved aside.
All her family and friends could do
was shake their heads with a sigh.

An explanation was needed-
that much was clear,
and why were her clothes getting tighter this year?

Yes everybody, it's hard to believe
that nausea is the source
of my nonexistent holiday energy!

Time to kiss our relaxing summer goodbye,
since Tidwell #3 is due in July!

OK, enough of the rhyming--I'm getting a headache. I feel terrible for not posting all about our latest adventures so in the spirit of busy months past--I'll get it all down in a very massive but condensed way.

1. Jenkins family came for Thanksgiving--an old British bag who couldn't figure out how to drive on the right side of the road hit my car on the way back from the airport--nothing major just added to the "festivities" when I got out and screamed profanities at her, forgetting all about mom and dad in the front seat listening to every word. What should I say, mom taught me everything I know :)

2. Took the kids to Williams, AZ to ride the "Polar Express" train. We came, we drank hot cho, kids cheered, got bells, dreams live on, a new tradition was formed!

3. Were invited to an "ugly Christmas sweater" party. Never laughed so hard in my life--people went all out--who actually designs these things. Everything from cats wearing stocking hats, vintage "relief society president" frumpiness, wives dressing husbands in mock sweater vests and so much more. The food was great, the people were awesome and the photos will go down in history. Can't wait till next year!

4. Hit up the ward Christmas party--here it is tradition to do a Mexican potluck. Was surprisingly good since I kept it simple eating only chips, beans, and that awful but was-what-I-was-craving gas station nacho cheese sauce! Again, saw Santa--Jason was taught by his little friend that this wasn't the real Santa, just a helper while the real one finishes his presents in Paris. He now insists that Santa lives in France!

5. Headed to Vegas for an annual Christmas party--which was fabulous (thanks again Lower fam!). Scott surprised me the night before with dinner at a swanky Asian restaurant (he ate octopus--augh!) and then tickets to Phantom of the Opera. It was fantastic and I'd love love love to go again!

6. Currently cleaning house and packing for a week in Idaho--gotta have Christmas with snow right? Hope the puking subsides long enough to gorge myself on holiday goodness. Until next time, Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

To Tax or Not To Tax???

So, in checking out all my friend's & family's Halloween blogs and chatting w/other parents post trick or treat time, I found that there is a fascinating discussion about "stealing" candy from your children's buckets. SERIOUSLY, are we really having these disgussions? Several parents think that it is wrong, unjust, selfish, childish, irresponsible (and on and on and on--you get the picture). Other's (like myself) think that it is one of the perks of being a parent--especially when your 2 & 3 year olds rack in more candy at the tri-ward trunk or treat than you actually gave out to others that night! I'm talking about 4 lbs worth of tooth decaying goodness--we had to empty their buckets half way through because they were too heavy to carry. But I digress....Essentially it comes back to economics: socialist or capitalist? To tax or not to tax? I bought the costumes, the decorations, the candy to give out, the buckets to put it in, put in all the time, money & effort for the crazy holiday. You better believe I'm taxing you in the form of Baby Ruths! ok, tootsie rolls too (but not the square ones, only the long rolls--the chewy factor is different and I'm strictly a traditionalist!) I distinctly remember forking over some of the best stuff to my parents each Halloween, but those were the rules if I wanted to play the game. Let's go back to the day when parents respect their kids but are still parents--we say no, they listen, they whine--we DON'T give them what they want, they help out around the house and DON'T necessarily need an allowance to do so--they are getting food, room and board etc. Take the stinking candy, don't feel guilty, don't apologize and if your kids are anything like ours (at least for now at this age) sharing w/mom & dad is fun--especially since Jason likes the colored tootsies (AHHHGH) and not the chocolate ones--those all come to me!

A long rant, I know but chocolate makes me do and say crazy things!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Football, Family, Friends, Fall

Like the title shows, life couldn't be better for our little family. We've been busy the last few weeks--here's a run down:
1. Making caramel apples with friends--the missionaries dropped by and joined us for a bit (every little mormon kid's heros!) The boys couldn't stay out of the fridge--constantly checking to make sure the apples were still there. Ryan was the instigator, sticking his fingers in the caramel or picking the mini m&ms and sprinkles off. I caught him (on MORE than one occasion) running through the house with an apple in his hands, caramel and chocolate all over his face--I think he loved it more than me!

2. We headed to Utah for the Tidwell Tailgate 2009 (say that 5 times fast)! Scott's family reunion was hosted by his sister Wendy & her family in P town this year. We played at Rock Canyon Park--I had forgotten how beautiful those fall colors are in Utah. We all carved pumpkins, took family pictures in our matching BYU shirts, had a family "talent" show, decorated sugar cookies (and yes, I made Grandma's recipe so as not to shame myself for generations to come).

We hit up the bookstore and got everyone outfitted with sweatshirts for the game--Jason kept calling the little cougar on his shirt a jaguar. People were looking around like "who's kid is this?" He even managed to steal some flavored chap stick--he got hooked on Aunt Missy's-- but we caught him about 10 yard out of the store and Scott "helped" him take it back. We had a big bbq/tailgate before the game, watched the cougars flop on their own turf, but enjoyed being part of the electric atmosphere in that stadium. Even the boys loved getting bundled up and cheering for the team! After we headed to Aunt Lisa's place w/Summer & Dave & other family for a great visit and hot chocolate. Lisa brought us back some really nice gifts from her trip to China--Scott a tie, me a table runner and silk hand bag. The boys got some really cool chopsticks--Jason calls them his drumsticks and takes them EVERYWHERE--bathtub included! The boys loved getting in a little run around time before heading back to crash at our hotel. Jason's favorite part of all was the hotel breakfast--he thinks there is something special about the cereal that comes out of the plastic dispensers. He wanted to bring them home with us!

3. The Monday after we got home we headed to our great friends for a traditional Halloween dinner. She did dinner in a pumpkin and it was sooo good--just like I remembered mom making when we were kids. I made "bone" bread sticks and we ate jello out of little pumpkins. It was great. The kiddos even dressed up in their costumes for a "trial" run and LOVED it. We can't wait for the real deal--such an easy way for mom and dad to rack in some great treats--all because their kids are cute :)

Scott's pumpkin from the reunion!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Today was a milestone. Today I became my parents! Today I bought my children a movie that I grew up with, hoping they would love it as much as me. I felt like a cheap salesman, talking Jason into picking Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin instead of some pixar film he wanted. But, just like my parents, today was a victory. HE LOVES IT! We have been listening to the Peanuts theme song nonstop for almost 24 hours, the kid is obsessed and that makes me so very happy! I want my kids to grow up with the old Disney's and other cartoons that I had. There is something classic and nostalgic about them. And so today, The Great Pumpkin is alive and well. In the words of my favorite little Peanut, Happy Halloween You BlockHead!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ode To Grandma, Frosting & Halloween!

Some of the greatest recipes I have I owe to my Grandmothers! Every once in a while I get this crazy thought in my head to stray from the tried and true! I did just that when making sugar cookies for the kiddos to decorate while the menfolk were at the priesthood session of General Conference. Actually, I attribute the insane moment of straying to a great coupon and needing to save a little time. I ended up BUYING sugar cookie dough from the store instead of making Grandma Ahlstrom's infamous cream cookies. I know, I know, I can hear generations of Ahlstrom women screaming at me in shame. "Garbage, filth, refuse..." like the crazy bag lady from Princess Bride! Let me tell you, lesson learned--never again will I buy cookie dough. IT WAS AWFUL! Not only did it taste like poo--you know that is the truth when even your "sugar-running-through-his-veins" 3 year old won't eat the cookies right? But they didn't roll out like they should have, got all gummy and stuck to my counters. Ended up having to use waxed paper to bake them on cuz I couldn't transfer them to a cookie sheet without everything falling to a mushy, sticky mess. I pretty much hate you Pil****ury company sugar cookies! Regardless, my friends frosting and our combined candy corn, tons of sprinkles and noninvasive mothering helped the kids have a great time anyway. We topped it off with a little pizza and oreo cookie ice cream. Come on, are you surprised--you know I do dessert first! HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE. It is fall and I'm loving it! and ps. grams i'm sooo sorry, i'll never do your recipes injustice again--promise!

Enjoying some halloween pjs from Grammy Jean

Loving sweater weather

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Last Day of Summer

Tuesday we headed to Lake Havasu where Scott had a work meeting. When we left Kingman it was 91 degrees at noon, when we arrived in Havasu it was 106--the joy that is Arizona weather. The boys and I "hung out" at Michael's Craft Store (can you guess who that was for:)? I had a great time doing a little shopping and then we met up with Scott after for some water adventures. There is a great movie theater/shopping complex with a fun kiddie fountain & play area. The boys were a little hesitant at first but after about 5 minutes they were soaked and loving it. Good timing too since we woke up this morning and it was 67 in our house. Jason put on jeans, a turtle neck, a hooded sweatshirt and still told me it was "chilly". My poor boys who have never known anything other than Las Vegas & Kingman, AZ weather. However, it has changed and I'm sooo ready for fall, hot chocolate & sweaters. Yehaw!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Did I really just do that?

As you may know, I have had quite the enlightening experience living here in Kingman! Most of the time things happen that make me laugh till I cry, once in a while I've simply cried, well this last weekend--I coughed! Cough you say? That's right people-our little family went to a drag race! We saw the downtown streets all blocked off and were curious enough about all the old cars that we headed on in for a look. Turns out Kingman hosts an annual drag race, tire burn-out competition and massive car show. I sat in those bleachers watching muscle cars burn rubber on the road in front of us pondering the conundrum that is "wife-beater" tank tops, daisy dukes, mullets and cold beverages. I would panic slightly and wonder if you take the girl out of Kingman, will you ever be able to take Kingman out of the girl? Much to my surprise--and chagrin--I actually enjoyed myself. The custom built cars that they raced were pretty impressive and the boys (all three of them:) loved every minute. Scott kept me happy with snow cones and kettle corn! All in all it was a fun afternoon--don't worry I won't be headed to see anything Nascar related and I do still have a full head of teeth! but I enjoyed the old cars a lot (made me feel like I was the star in CARS sitting in my own little Radiator Springs city. I did find myself wanting to go home and listen to some opera just in case I needed to balance out the "culture" levels in my life :) As always, Kingman continues to ewww and ahhh me--in good ways--but if any of you send me tickets to La Boheme I won't argue with that either!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Welcome Fall!

"You can travel fifty thousand miles in America without once tasting a piece of good bread." Henry Miller

I once shared your perspective Henry. There was a three month period in my life where I lived to walk the streets of Ecuador with fresh, warm bread in one hand, fresh fruit in another, and the thought in my head "how can I go back to the States and leave this culinary perfection behind?" And yet, home I went and a baker I became! Oh Henry, to have lived so long but not long enough to try this moist, spice-filled bit of heaven! Close your eyes, open your mouth, taste the nutmeg, cinnamon, clove--usher in the fall season. It is almost impossible to imagine eating this delectable, savory pumpkin manna without a fireplace, sweater, good book and some rich, creamy hot cocoa--falling leaves outside the front window would simply be a bonus.

Food is life, it is love, I am inadequate at describing it and without it I would be empty. Welcome fall, welcome crisp mornings and evenings filled with pumpkin bread!

*I started an all-things-food-related blog--I post recipes, tips, projects etc on there if anyone is interested :) Just visit An Edible Life!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Game Day Fun

(yes another football post!) get used to it people, it is that time of year :) Saturday we hung out with our good friends eating some fantastic food, watching BYU smoke Tulane and letting the kids pretty much run wild for a solid 4 hours. Every parents dream right? I can still taste the mozzerella sticks, wings, brownies, chips n' dip--totally all fat free--ha ha! Just thought I'd include a few photos to document the day. Enjoy!

Jason sporting Uncle BJ's hat that got left here during his visit. I know I'm biased but that is one cute kid!

Ryan taking a half time break--don't ask me why behind the sofa. The kid has a mind of his own!

Nothing special about this one except to show you that Scott has TV envy and I wouldn't be surprised if one of those 52" beasts found it's way to our house by Thanksgiving!

Jason with his friends Gracie and Emily--two of the cutest girls we know!

Short story: Ryan has a knack for finding the one potential mess in a thirty mile radius that you don't want him to find. This time it was a partially empty kiddie pool. Of course he jumped in fully clothed during the 1st quarter. Sooo what is a mom to do (when she refuses to miss the game to take care of her nutty 2 year old)? She strips him down, lays his clothes out in the sun and lets him "air" dry. I don't think he minded do you?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ryan is 2!

Yesterday Ryan turned two. It is fun celebrating milestones with your children. I think I tend to get more excited than they do--at least at this age. The day was spent at the park for play group, shopping the "case lot sale" at Smiths, decorating cupcakes, opening presents, cleaning up from cupcakes and reading stories (thanks to the GREAT gifts from Grandma Judy!)

And now, a moment for the traditional birthday blog reminiscing....

Ryan was born at 7:19 pm in Las Vegas. I was only in labor for about 8 hours (I say only because it was 26 with Jason--blah!) My water broke just as we were walking out the door to head to the hospital--some say it is just a little trickle, but not me. We're talking Niagara Falls bursting! Then after a few short hours, he was here. Even while pregnant I could tell he was going to be very different from his brother--always calm, not a ton of movement--as opposed to Jason who was nuts--when I would go for ultrasounds they always asked if I had been shooting up caffeine! Ryan is my snuggler--he is often content to just sit on my lap, read stories, give his stuffed animals hugs etc. But he turns on a dime and can be the most adventurous, rambunctious, "no-fear", STUBBORN child I have ever crossed paths with. We love Ryan and the "diversity" he brings to our family :) Glad he is here!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

DIY & other things!

Just as a quick preface, I fully recognize my football background as being completely over the top however, I just couldn't help myself! This week was a fun one. We are trying to be more "active" as a family. That is a nice way for saying I'm gaining weight because of all the baking I do and when a handicapped boy at church asked me when I was due, I decided something needed to be done! Sooo....I got new running shoes for my bday and Scott got a tennis racket and soccer ball for his--we have been outdoors much more! We are terrible tennis players but that suites our purpose since we spend most of our time chasing the balls around the court--makes for some great cardio! The boys love it and I am sore in places where I didn't realize muscles existed. Jason was my little worker elf one afternoon as I refinished a set of dressers for the boys room. Ryan managed to completely destroy the cheap hand-me-down they had so it was time for something a little more "sturdy". Jason was given a stern lecture about where paint does and does not belong. He did pretty well for a three year old boy in mess heaven. He was sooo excited when Scott came home from work and he could show him what he did. We even found some great sports wall stickers that he put everywhere. Finally, a very "boy" bedroom for the kiddos! Last but not least, my favorite part of the week: when I was little I had a Sesame Street book featuring the blue little monster Grover. It was called "Monster at the End of the Book" and is all about Grover being afraid of the monster. He nails pages together, tries to tie the book closed, builds brick walls etc only to have the reader continually turning pages. Finally he throws his hands in the air and screams "YOU TURNED ANOTHER PAGE". I LOVED it and my mother, being the wonderfully inspired woman that she is, gave the same book to the boys last time she was here. Jason enjoys it too, usually it is the first book chosen for story time and it is generally read more than once. The other day I peeked in Ryan's room where he is notorious for hiding out and playing for hours at a time. There he was, flipping pages in this infamous book. He gets to the page where Grover becomes frustrated and suddenly Ryan throws his hands in the air, face turns beet red and he screams "THE PAGE" which as the afternoon wears on evolves into "OH NO, THE PAGE". He has been obsessed ever since. He lays in his bed at night and we can hear him muttering "oh no, the page" for at least a half hour. I finally caught it on camera--for posterity's sake :) enjoy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Time For Miracles

It is amazing how another's struggle hits so close to home. Yesterday we found out that our friend's baby girl was born 3 months early. She was only a little under 2 lbs and was air evacuated to Phoenix right after birth. Little Sharon's parents are inspiringly optimistic. I know they are strangers to you but prayers are appreciated from any source right now and I sometimes think they are heard best when offered unselfishly on someone elses behalf. You are welcome to get to know them and follow their story: Ammon and Caitlin. As a mother I can't imagine many worse case scenarios. As a faith-filled believer in Christ I can't imagine a better opportunity to pray and believe in miracles!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"millions of peaches, peaches for me..."

I think I'm dating myself with that title! Anywhoooo, I finished bottling my first set of peaches yesterday. I did the whole messy process:

1. Buy peaches & let them ripen because I live in Kingman where fresh, ripe, tasty produce is a foreign concept!
2. Blanch the little buggers, peel the skins off, slice and pit them--not so easily done when the peaches are a little on UNRIPE inside. Several turned to mush as I twisted and squeezed to get them open since they didn't want to let go of that stupid pit!
3. Pack them in warm sterile mason jars, fill with syrup water, wipe clean, put lids on & start up the ole steam caner (actually it is brand new, works like a charm and is tons faster to heat up than a water bath--LOVE it, thanks mom!)
4. 36 min later VOILA I have bottled peaches, a sticky kitchen floor, huge mess of skins and pits ALL OVER THE COUNTER--and thanks to Ryan all over my floor--and a vow to NEVER EVER EVER do this again!
5. Wake up this morning, realize all the lids sealed correctly and feel a little proud. Decide it wasn't THAT bad (like having a baby right?) and that I need to follow the prophets council on provident living, stop being a baby and find myself at the store buying more peaches so that I can repeat steps 1-5 tomorrow.

How ridiculous is that!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Go by Boat, by Plane, by Car...

The last few weeks have been busy ones. First we headed to Utah making a quick stop to visit Scott's sister Wendy and her fam. They just bought an amazing house up in the hills east of Provo--amazing views of the valley! Then we drove north and hit up the Salt Lake County Fair. The boys loved the rides, I loved the food (you know me!) and Ryan did some serious bonding with the 4H sheep (lots of slobbery kisses :) After the fair, on to the Ahlstrom family reunion. Some of you may know that I have a rather LARGE family on my mother's side--large meaning mom had 10 kids in her family. Those 10 kids had 60 grand kids and about 2/3 of them are now married with over 80 great grand kids. Sooo needless to say we always have 100+ people at these things and it is always fantastic. You would think it would be hard to keep in touch and truly get to know everyone in a family that large but each time we get together it feels like time hasn't passed at all. Sure there are a few more kids or new people who have gotten married but we are a tight-knit family who LOVES spending time together. This year we all stayed at the same hotel, had swim parties, went to a water park, mini-golfed, did mass dinners together, had a major dance party--all around a ton of fun.

After that, my brother Bryan--who just got back from his mission in Houston, came back to hang out in good ole' Kingman for a few days. We took him to the beach in Havasu, ate some great food, had some serious movie marathons, and even dragged him to play group Wednesday morning. He was a good sport--he brought along his golf clubs and a few balls and taught the kids "proper" technique. The moms all thought he should come more often--we loved the free entertainment! You can visit anytime brother.

It is great spending time with family--sometimes it is a pretty big sacrifice of time and money but each time we get together it is completely worth it. Love you all, you can visit us anytime!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Life changing event!

It is drawing closer, I can sense it--I can sense it the way you can sense someone watching you from behind. Each day I grow more anxious. I can feel the knots in my stomach moving closer to the base of my throat and I swallow loudly, even now, hoping to suppress the growing tightness in my chest. This time of year, late summer, always brings on this antsy, itch-I-can't-scratch, time is dragging on, sort of feeling. What might be the cause of this unusual behavior?

It is almost COLLEGE FOOTBALL TIME! It is that time of year when it is ok for grown men to cry and sweet old ladies to punch the lady next to them for wearing the wrong color or cheering for the wrong team. You may think I'm crazy--one too many sleepless nights, a few too many chocolate brownies for breakfast. But let's be honest, who can ignore the feeling you get watching throngs of excited fans walk into a college stadium during a fall afternoon. The best is when the sun is just beginning to lower in the sky and the autumn leaves are shinning in the dull light. The air is crisp and so electric that the hair on your arms stand up, you almost can't help but run to your seat--even though you are an hour early--because you just can't wait to see the green of the field. The smell of grilling burgers hangs sweet and heavy in the late afternoon air and you feel the swell of pride as the band beats out your fight song. Complete strangers stand in unison, chanting as your team screams confidently out of the tunnel. It is a religious experience.

I've teared up a few times when the fight song is sung or an incredible, unbelievable, almost impossible catch is made. The best is watching the shear, uninhabited joy that grown men get from seeing messes of pads and helmets crunch together with jarring force. There is something to be said of the effort athletes give to their craft, the sacrifice, energy and soul with which they work and the simple pleasure derived from doing it well. Kids rightfully worship 19-25 year olds like they were war heroes and to those kids, watching those men exert every once of strength left on that field of battle, they are! College football is every metaphor, every cliche, every emotion, every everything. If you have never been to a game, a college football game played not for money or endorsements but for the sheer glory of the fight--REPENT NOW--go, cheer, let loose, eat great food, be inspired, learn to truly feel. It is an experience all it's own!

You can sense it can't is coming and you will never be the same again!

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Big Little Boy

As some of you may know, Ryan has decided to crank up his charm lately and not sleep through the night. About 2 months ago he realized he could climb out of his crib and refused to stay in it. We first realized this when I woke up one morning and the fridge door was open, the ketchup, soy sauce and an open Yoplait were sitting in the middle of the floor. He started waking up around 4am and just didn't want to sleep anymore. He would come in my room, I would take him back. He would come in again, I would change his diaper and take him back. He would come in AGAIN, I would get him a drink or food, some Benedryl and take him back. By the time this process was done it was 5:30 and he wasn't going to go back to sleep. We would both end up falling asleep to Baby Einstein around 6:45am. MISERABLE! I was trouble shooting everything from teething to hunger trying to figure out why he wouldn't sleep through the night. I tried being nice and rocking him to sleep, reading him a story, singing songs. When that didn't work, I was a little mean and "painted his back porch red" a few times. Nothing worked. The kid is as stubborn as can be--seriously--Scott and I have never seen anything like him before. Right as I was about ready to throw in the towel, declare I was never having anymore children, and was going to camp out on his floor just to keep him in line, we had a break through. Actually Grandma Judy came to our rescue. She told us how my little brother David used to constantly climb out of bed and they could never keep him in his room. Finally they tied his door closed (there wasn't a lock on it so they just tied it from the outside to the bathroom door across the hall.) She said it was rough for the first little while--they would find him asleep on the floor by the bottom of his door--having cried himself to sleep. Sooo, we started locking Ryan in his room. I put the monitor in there, locked the door after he fell asleep and let fate happen. We would find him playing with his toys at 6 am (probably had been awake for hours but at least he wasn't wandering the house by himself in the middle of the night). Then 3 nights ago I go to check on him before we went to bed and he was nowhere to be found. Not in his crib, not playing with his toys--NOWHERE! I FREAKED out for about 5 seconds, ready to check the window to see if someone had broke in and then Scott starts laughing. He had opened the sliding closet doors and there was Ryan, fast asleep on the floor INSIDE HIS CLOSET. The next day I took his crib apart and turned it into a toddler bed. What was the point of a crib when he wouldn't use it. "Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles" he sleeps through the night now. Apparently he just couldn't get back in after climbing out and that's why he would stay awake. Now he hops right in bed, goes to sleep and I don't hear a peep until 6:45am--even then he is totally content playing with his toys until Scott checks on him before heading to work. (we keep the door locked still just in case).

Moral of the story, when dealing with a STUBBORN boy who won't stay in his crib, do the exact opposite of what logically should work. Take away the crib and suddenly he wants to sleep. AHHHH!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer Days...

My cousin just had a new baby and was writing about all "those" adventures. Her positive, grateful nature reminded me of a favorite quote. It is something I have always struggled with and am happy for the gentle nudges I get in this direction.

“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. … I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Playing Catch Up!

We have had a few REALLY busy weeks so I'll summarize my favorite way...
1. Went to Beaver, UT for 4th of July.

2. Camped with friends for the weekend & LOVED it!
3. Tried to keep Ryan from eating anything wilderness related--he did manage to lick the grill of our friend's car. Don't ask me why he does this, we have no idea!
4. Ate, played games, went golfing, fished, made smores and lots of memories (Jason was stung by his first bee--he refuses to watch the "B" movie ever again and now refers to bees as "naughty guys"!
5. Scott went back to Kingman and the boys and I drove to Idaho to see my brother BJ get home from his mission last Wednesday.

6. Hugged & cried at the airport--he looks 2 inches taller and even skinnier (not possible right?)
7. Ate TONS of good food, went boating, swimming, shopping, even hit up Snow Shack (can't believe they don't have those in Vegas and AZ...what's the deal people?)

8. Visited Grammy Jean & Big Papa (Scott's parents)
9. Had an open house for BJ Saturday night--chatted with people I haven't seen in years--again, more good treats!
10. Played the piano so Missy could sing in church Sunday. BJ gave a great report. Ate the traditional mashed potatoes, gravy & roast beef for dinner & then drove to Provo w/Dave to crash at his place on our way back to AZ.
11. Kid-proofed Dave's apt in lightening speed--my kids make fast work out of destroying people's homes. Ryan's new & well deserved nickname is STEALTH. Gotta love that mental picture!
12. Visited Auntie Wendy & the new house Monday morning on our way out of town. The lady has a walk in refrigerater in the basement--oh how I COVET!!! Drove the rest of the way home & love having a bigger car to travel in, don't know how people make long trips without a dvd player, Ipod and chicken nuggets!
13. Gave Scott big hugs when we arrived (house was totally clean, laundry done, dishes put away :)I was so very impressed. Sooo happy to be in my own house again where I don't have to constantly chase Ryan around making sure he isn't licking the wrong thing, chewing up valuables, pounding on the baby grand etc. He keeps me on my toes!
14. Just really grateful for friends, family and all our great blessings lately. We have it pretty good.
15. Well done BJ--can't wait to hang out some more!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

One of these things is not like the other...

So what do these three pictures have in common? husband Scott is actually the key factor. You see, we've been craving sea food and seeing how we live in the middle of the DESERT, Joe's Crab Shack was about as good as we could find. We had never been before but COME ON, crab is good no matter what right? We go to order appetizers and he insists on calamari--I'm not a fan, ever since dad tried to tell me "it's just an onion ring, try it" when we were in Spain, I've never liked the chewy little buggers. The meal was delish! Crab galor: crab cakes, hot cheesy crab dip, crab legs, coconut shrimp...mmmmm good! We get home around 8pm and by midnight Scott is kissing the porcelain! That's right people, the calamari that I REFUSED to eat gave him food poisoning and he has been miserable for at least the past 12 hours.

Is it twisted that I want to call up Joe's and demand a gift certificate instead of a refund (Scott would never go again but I loved my food--might as well get more right?)

The moral of this story is not to avoid sea food or Joe's Crab Shack, JUST DON'T EAT CALAMARI! Hello, yuck!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My Nose Knows

I woke this morning expecting our typical 90 degree weather but something was different. I opened the front door to walk Scott to the car, took a deep breath of cool, WET air and did a little jig in our driveway! The scents that hit my nose were vaguely familiar--a little dust, wet pavement, a damp musky blend that left me euphoric. You see, we don't get rain here--EVER--and this morning I opened all the windows wide as I could, inviting this welcomed smell to permeate the house and stick around as long as it pleases. And now I sit here, wishing I could capture the plinking sound of the tiny drops I hear tapping on my tiled roof, the water running down the rain gutters. It is refreshing and invigoratingly unique for us. Even Jason knew something was different as he crawled up on the couch watching and listening as our dusty little town is being given a much needed shower! I love the smell of rain!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Christmas in May???

In case you haven't heard (I hadn't) there is a new Christmas movie coming out in November--Dickens' A Christmas Carol. It is created similar to Polar Express (has the same director)--and you all know what a huge Polar Express fan I am. Jason would watch it year round if I didn't show a little restraint. Back to Dickens--Jim Carrey plays Scrooge and many other characters the same way Tom Hanks played the conductor etc.

Sooo, Disney is hosting a "train tour" to advertise for the movie. It was totally free--here's a link to the tour web page (you'll probably have to copy/paste) They are stopping in OGDEN on June 16!

My friend Morgan knew about it, invited me and the boys and we headed out for an all day Christmas adventure--just what we needed in the middle of our 90 degree weather! The tour stop was in Williams, AZ at their Grand Canyon train depot which was completely decked out for Christmas--carolers, wreaths, big red bows--the whole shebang!

We got to tour a train that they had turned into a "rolling museum" all about how the movie was created with movie clips, costumes, figurines, scale model buildings etc. We even got to take our pictures and then morph them onto pictures of the characters (put our faces in place of the characters). Disney is having them printed and will email you when done so that you can pick them up at any Walmart! After the tour we headed on an actual 40 min. train ride. The kids were in heaven! We went up into the mountain--pine trees and all--we even saw deer. The conductor came around and took pictures with the kids. They let everyone roam around the train during the ride, we even could walk out the back door onto the platform and watch the tracks zoom behind us. Last they had a mini-theater set up in a hotel meeting room next door to the depot. The kids all got 3D glasses and watched a 15 min. intro & trailer for the movie. It looks like it will be great. We can't wait.

We wrapped everything up by letting the kids play under the fake snow machine--actually we moms realized it was just blowing clumps of suds into the air but the kids thought it was snow (it was meant to be snow) and so they all got their Christmas in May. Now I just need a cup of Stephen's Hot Chocolate (mint truffle please) and I'll be all ready to wait up for Santa and open presents in the morning.

Merry Christmas Everybody

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wedding Weekend Photos

Just a few photos to document the weekend. There were so many I wanted to show--hope the collage style works out!




Every Party Has A Pooper...

This last week was an amazing brother David was married on Thursday in the Timp Temple. It was such a fantastic weekend with family and friends, especially those we hadn't seen for so long. It was wonderful meeting Summer's family and learning first hand how uniquely talented & fantastic they are. Here are the order of events (since you don't want me to write them all down in paragraph format--trust me!)

1. Wednesday: mad rush to make our flight in Las Vegas to SLC--Scott forgot his wallet & phone in the car, had our ride turn around and bring it back to the airport (thanks Whitney). Got to our gate just in time to take Jason potty and board. Big sigh of relief!
2. Wednesday night: went to a prewedding dinner in American Fork--absolutely delicious. My cousins Steph & Noah watched the boys (found out Jason & Ryan knew how to operate the microwaves in the hotel room after Jason melted several plastic cups--they unplugged the machines until we got home!)
3. Wednesday LATE night: Dave sticks his keys, wallet & cell phone in the microwave thinking it is a safe hiding spot from the boys. We hear a ding and YES--Jason has officially fried Dave's phone, Summers key less entry clicker (which shorted the alarm on her car so that we couldn't get in without it screaming at us for HOURS--the car wouldn't start either.) This all resulted in various people working on it for hours before the wedding and a few after trying to turn off the alarm/start the car so the happy couple could actually get from place to place. Papa Jenkins finally figured it out, got it running and us on the road after the wedding. WHAT A DAY! (thanks Jason--this will be the wedding story remembered for years--everyone has one!)
4. WEDDING DAY: Thursday Dave & Summer were married by President Samuelson. It was a very spiritual and fulfilling afternoon. A few of us met for lunch at Little America afterward, Dave pulls out his wallet and sees that a few credit cards & his student ID have sever burn marks on them--now totally useless due to the previous night's microwave incident (we got a good laugh) as I shook my head and apologized for my child's behavior YET AGAIN FOR THE 2,000 TIME THAT TRIP) and then hit the road to Idaho. We got in around 11pm. I was just happy for a little sisterly bonding time in Lisa's car. At least Ryan (the only boy with us 3 sisters) didn't spoil the girl talk!
5. Spent lots of great time with Big Papa & Grammy Jean (Scott's parents) and the rest of the Tidwell clan. Jason got to ride four wheelers and the lawn mower with Big Papa. We had a family dinner at Scott's sister's house and it was great seeing everyone!
6. We went wake boarding with my fam on Friday (I know, I know--I watched, Lisa & Dad wake boarded but I still consider it participating lifting the orange flag when they wipe out!) We followed up with a BBQ and fire in the backyard--wrapping up the night roasting marshmallows and waiting up for the Judd's to roll into town.
7. Reception was Saturday night: absolutely beautiful, tasty food, lots of hugs and catching up with friends & family. We ended with some serious dancing by Judy Booty and then my Aunt Barb had an encore to Dancing Queen! They've still got it--if only someone had recorded it!
8. We finished the weekend with a last minute game of knock knock at my house, eating the traditional peanuts & M&M's. Myrna took us to the airport, we had plenty of time--you gotta love the non busy Boise airport! We flew home, got compliments on how "good" the boys were (hallelujah), were picked up by our great friend Phil and then headed to Kingman.

Needless to say we are tired, already miss the Idaho, it's green landscape & beautiful farmland and our families, can't wait to go back, inspired to do better in life and just all-around-love-everybody (I think that is the Claritin & lack of sleep talking). There are photos to come--you'll just have to endure them cuz there are lots! :) Love you SUMMER & DAVE!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nothing like a new puppy?

Well...we didn't really get a puppy--but we did potty train Jason and I figure that is pretty much the same thing. He scratches at the door, whines, waggles his tail and I come running to open the door, let him out, and then check to make sure the deed is done. The first day was nuts--urine EVERYWHERE! So I gave up, took a 5 day sabbatical for sanity sake and when he started begging to have his big boy undies back we tried again. It totally clicked and has been a breeze ever since. Only one accident to speak of and that was because we were at the park and he was completely distracted--probably my fault. Oh well.

As for the last several weeks--we've had lots of visitors, which we love getting out here in nowhereville. First my parents & mimi came for a visit followed by Scott's parents. The kiddos were spoiled rotten, especially Jason with pre & post birthday surprises. We hit up lots of cool touristy things, especially the Grand Canyon and had a great time!

Last item--I met BJ's mission president's daughter. She lives here in Kingman with her husband and almost 2 year old little boy. What a small world. Ashley was kind enough to invite us over for a Cafe Rio dinner (pulled pork, lime rice & the works!) She headed out to Houston to visit her mom & dad and took some treats to BJ for me. Nice to have door to door service for that stuff sometimes.

Riverboat ride in Bullhead city

Papa and his shadow

Keepers of the WilD (wildlife refuge)

Grandpa's idea of babysitting (animal cage at the refuge)

Hualapai Mtn Park

Old Route 66

Lake Havasu Paddle Boat

Lake Havasu

Birthday shoes from Grammy Jean

Freezing at the Grand Canyon

more Grand Canyon

Riding a train at Ashley's house