Monday, December 22, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Performance Ever!

Four of the five Christmas' that Chris and I have been married, we've attended a Christmas program at the Bradley's (Chris' friends) house. This program is performed by the infamous Paul Prindergast (?). If you know Paul, you know why he is infamous!!! He does such a good job and I get so excited for it every year.

This year was NO let down! He started playing a few Christmas songs on his accordian. (I didn't get a picture of it!) He also reads some poems he wrote and some that were written by others. For this poem entitled "Freedom," Cadence held a flag.

One of my favorite parts of the show is when Paul performs "Can Christmas" or something like unto it! For this part, he dances, tosses/flips a can of food and uses fancy footwork to a Christmas song. This year, he tossed a blue can around while dancing to some Elvis song. He actually performed TWO tossing objects songs!!!!
Another favorite song he dances and acts out to is "I Just Go Nuts At Christmas!" His faces are the best and I laugh at this funny song!

A more serious song he acts out is "Mary Did You Know?" He chooses one person to act as Mary and mouths the words to her. Very touching!
He added a few games to this years performance. We went in a circle with each person saying one sentence and then the next adding onto the story. Our story was all over the place and went around the circle 3 or 4 times until Paul ended us. So Funny!!! I have to say this is my most favorite performance of Paul's yet!
After the performance, we ate dessert and Cadence danced around in a tablecloth (becuase she didn't have a little blanket) with the Bradley's grandkids. She LOVES to dance!!!
I hope for as long as I live in Logan, we will be invited to Paul's Christmas show! It is one of the Christmas events I look forward to the most!!!

Santa's Lap

Cadence and Cooper got the opportunity to sit on Santa's Lap at Smith's Marketplace. Last year Cadence screamed and cried when she got near him. This year, both kids enjoyed the experience. Cadence walked up the isle to Santa and tried to shake his hand. He picked her up, put him on his knee and asked her what she wanted for Christmas. Her answer was music to my ears. "Presents." Santa then followed up by asking, "What kind of presents?" Her answer again was more music. "Green and blue ones!" There you have it! Santa has the easiest job of all at our house. Boxes and gifts wrapped in green and blue paper. Good thing he already has that on hand. This will be the easiest Christmas ever. Next year will be more tricky! As Cadence was walking away, she ran back and gave Santa "five" and told him, "Merry Christmas."

The Joy of Wrapping Presents

We went shopping at the dollar store for presents the other day. With my ideas, Cadence bought a present for Dad and Cooper and Cooper bought a present for Cadence. At this age, it is so easy to buy presents right in front of the kids without them noticing - as long as it's not too big. Next year will be a different story, I believe.

When we got home, we starting wrapping the presents. Wrapping turned into so much more! At first Cadenced enjoyed assisting we with taping the paper, but she quickly discovered the roll easily converts into a sword. She took the paper off the roll (since there wasn't much there) and starting fighting the tree and then turned to Cooper to slay him in his swing (which doesn't swing anymore because he reaches the side bars and stops himself.) The silver metallic-type wrapping paper she crinkled up and gave to Cooper to crinkle and use as a shield while she was bonking him with the sword.
When I told her to put the presents under the tree, she put them IN the tree. She found nice little branches towards the bottom and inserted the presents. It actually looks quite neat! Maybe that will be a new tradition - hiding presents IN the tree.
After I finished wrapping the rest of the presents by myself, she unrolled the rest of the other paper and had two sword with which to conquer the world. She has used them around the house for the past couple of days as her toys. I love how creative and easily entertained kids are!!! Thanks for the gift wrapping adventure Cadence!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Calling All Returned Sister Missionaries In Cache Valley

A year ago a sweet older sister from my ward invited me to join a group of returned missionaries. I thought it sounded like fun. They have quarterly meetings/activities. I skipped out on all 4 activities my first year. Then I went to one this fall. I was the only RM under the age of 65!!! Seriously! It was fun to hang out with those more experienced in life than me, but I still yearn for someone relatively near my own age to come to some of these activities with me. In fact, many ladies came up to me and asked me to bring my friends so life can be brought back into this program! If you or someone you know is interested in joining, PLEASE call me!!!

Saturday, this group had a lunch. I invited Melissa Rodemack, a RM from my ward, to come with me. We brought our husbands. There was only one other man there and I thought maybe I had made a mistake by bringing a male as my guest until I realized almost everyone I knew that was there was a widow and can't bring their husband. I felt much better!
The lunch was at the Bluebird. My favorite part was the program/performance of a bell choir! Cadence enjoyed listening to the bells and was such a good girl! Their were little jingle bells on the table and she only shook them when everyone was clapping! After the performance was over, the nice bell ladies let Cadence ring a bell!

I will attend a bell choir concert in the future! Very Cool!

This Is SNOW Fun!

Winter is finally here. I can't believe it didn't come until the middle of December. When in the past 30 years has winter not started until mid December - especially in Logan!!! Like I've thought many times this fall, if this is a result of global warming, I am a fan (but only here in Utah. I really don't want the rest of the world to have it due to the problems it would cause.) I loved this fall!!! It was so warm and mild!Saturday we woke up to snow. Cadence was so excited to make bootprints in it. She and Dad got dressed in snow clothes and boots and clomped outside to shovel snow. Dad had his big shovel and Cadence had her little garden shovel. After Dad pushed the snow OFF the sidewalk, Cadence would push it back ON the sidewalk. She had the time of her life shoveling snow onto the sidewalks at our house and those around the neighborhood. SUCH A CUTE HELPER!!! Cadence loves to put snow in her mouth and say, "Yum. Water." I encourage her not to, but she doesn't really listen to me. She does it anyway. She really loves to see her bootsprints. She walks around in fresh snow and powder and then turns back to see where she has been. Cooper and I have walked around in the snow too and he seems to enjoy the fresh, crisp air. I bundle him up very well when we explore outside. Going to and from the car the past couple of days has been interesting as Cadence makes her tracks around the yard to the car in just her shoes while eating snow!

Welcome winter. We are glad that we will get a white Christmas. It didn't quite seem like the Christmas season when the weather was so warm.

A Late Birthday Present

Chris surprised me with a late birthday present last week. He took me to the Kurt Bestor Christmas Concert in SLC. The concert was great! I loved the music, his arrangements of Christmas songs, his humor and being with my husband. The mile walk to and from Abravenel Hall in the cold, snowy air was NOT so great! Finding a parking lot around Temple Square on a Saturday night in December is IMPOSSIBLE!!!
I can't believe I left Cooper for about 5 hours (at my sister's). I missed that little guy! I been away from Cadence for that long before, but this is only the second time that we have left him at a babysitters. Oh the sweet attachment to a baby! The good news about leaving him is that he will drink from a bottle. The bad news is that he throws up formula!

I left him again today for 3 hours to attend the temple. Tangi went through for the first time! Way to go, sweet friend!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Campfire Inside!

Ever since we moved upstairs, Chris has been determined to get the fireplace to work. We were told it didn't work when we bought the house. He has looked at inserts (too expensive), tried to find one that fits (they are too big) and now is experimenting with what we have. Experimentation has been very interesting!!!

Some days, our house smells like we had a campfire inside. He puts paper up the flume and lights it. When it burns, then he starts a fire in the fireplace. On occasion, the smoke goes out the front of the fireplace instead of up the chimney - thus the campfire smell throughout the house. He opens the windows and front door. The house goes cold (thus negating the reason for having a wood fire in the first place.) I want a gas fireplace for MANY reasons (open flame, kids, messy, inconvenient, Cadence is freaked out by the popping, etc). Chris insists on wood. So he keeps making fires. Some of which the smoke makes it up the chimney and some of which the smoke fills the house. We have unhooked the fire detector (not smart).

The oh so lovely fireplace!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Advocate for Insulation... and Other Things

Last week, the insulation people came and... insulated our attic. After 90 years of existence, this house finally has some insulation. When I look at the insulation it had, I realize there was nothing there!!! . (Before)
The insulation has made a huge difference!!! We don't freeze on the top floor where the toy room and kids bedrooms are located. The rebate was almost half of the total cost! I figure it will save us tons of money over the next 30/40 years because we won't have to use space heaters as much. We won't have to wear our coats and hats up stairs either! If you have an older house and it costs a lot to heat, check into new insulation and the rebate. It is definitely worth it!
This is one of the closets we expanded. It is about 2 1/2 times bigger than it used to be. You can see the where the old hardwood floor meets the new OSB. Cadence's closet is about 10 times bigger than it previous was!

In addition to advocating for insulation, I also endorse peppermint ice cream:), garage sale/thrift store shopping, boneless skinless chicken, current gas prices ($1.45), sales at JoAnn's fabric, and being parents to two sweet kids!

I Can See Clearly Now!!!

I can see clearly now, my glasses are gone!!!

After wearing glasses for over two years, I finally got my contacts out of the drawer and put them in! What a difference it makes to my sight! My glasses were so scratched on one side that it always seemed foggy. For about the past 6 months, I was constantly taking them off to see things up close because I didn't want to see it through the scratches. I would put them on to drive and see things far away. How many times did I "lose" my glasses in the house? Too numerous to count. I don't have to worry that anymore. Why did it take me so long to put my contacts back in? Adios glasses. Hola contacts!!!

(I haven't told Chris that I been wearing contacts for the past 4 days and he hasn't said anything. I'm waiting to see how long it takes for him to say anything. I guess I will get to see how long it takes to read this!)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Newborn is FIVE Months!

I'm in disbelief that my newborn baby is 5 months old. OK, so he is NOT a newborn, but he is growing way too quickly. With two kids, time goes by so fast! Not to mention that he weighs much as Cadence did at a year - so it seems like he is even older! I'm grateful for him being in our family because he is such a joy. Such a good baby!!!Cooper has started sitting. He stills falls over sometimes to the side or back, if he jerks around, but is getting more strength in his trunk. He likes to play with little toys that make sound or paper when I put it in front of him. When we hold him up in standing position, he likes to jump. Consequently, we got the jumper out and put him in! He loves it! He's not going wild with jumping, but does like to move up and down. His neck is strong enough that I am confident he is ok using it!
Besides sitting, he has started eating (but doesn't love it), reaching up for us when he wants to be picked up (even to Cadence), arches his back when he is being picked up, and puts so many things in his mouth!!! His favorite thing to put in his mouth is the little blue chew toy on the exer-saucer. Cadence loves Cooper. She enjoys that he is getting better at responding and reacting to her. He laughs, smiles and flaps his arms at/towards her. She still likes to wake him up or not let him sleep. When I am hiding him (so he can sleep uninterrupted), she asks "Where's Cooper?" and tries to find him. They are best friends!!!

Cooper loves baths and kicking in the water. He likes watching his mobile. He is getting too big for his swing because he leans forward and grabs the side to stop himself. He is so big, smart and capable already!!! We havee thoroughly enjoyed Cooper being in our home the last five months!!!!

Church Christmas Party!

Last Saturday was our ward Christmas party! I always like attending church parties because I don't have to cook a whole dinner and it is fun to watch Cadence be a "big girl." She is so social and knows everyone by name! I love that about her!!! This year we dressed Cadence in a Christmas dress (She says she looks like a present - especially with the bows in her hair) and Cooper in the Santa outfit he wore for Halloween (that won him $30). He has grown so much that I can't get all the buttons to close!!! Oh well, he still looked cute! We ate bbq pork, funeral potatoes, salad and dessert! Cadence loved the pork!!! I fixed my yummy peppermint poke cake! It was a hit! Instead of topping it with peppermint patties, I crushed peppermint candy cane and sprinkled it on top! Cadence just ate the frosting and left the cake part for me. Super fabulous!!!

The activities committee prepared a slide show of all the activities for the year and we exchanged names to do a service for a different family in the ward. The primary sang a few songs. I sent Cadence up with older kids. She didn't know the songs, but figured out part of the chorus of two songs by the end. She is so smart!!! We love our Christmas kids (even with frosting on her face). We love Christmas parties!!!

Time with Mimi's Family

Cadence and Cooper have been adopted by a family. "Mimi" and Carl act like an extra set of grandparents, and their kids act like aunts and uncles. Cadence absolutely loves all of them and their house!!! She often asks if she can go to Mimi's to play.

Last Thursday, Jen - who is one of my heroes - invited us to hear her sing at a Christmas program. She did well and I loved going to spend time with my special friends. While we were there, Thomas asked if he could take Cadence for the day on Friday to play with her. She wanted to go and so we agreed for the play date.
The following day, we met Thomas and Sharli at (Old) McDonald's for lunch. Jen works there and Cadence loves the playland, hamburger happy meal and a hot fudge sundae. After eating and playing, she left with Thomas. Cooper and I went home. I actually got a few things accomplished, which included sewing some items for a baby shower/party for my friend KimberLeigh. Later that evening, we drove to Mimi's for the baby party and found a very happy Cadence. She had had a blast! One of the favorite things she had done was play the drums with Rock Star(?)
Even though Cadence is so much younger than many of the kids she plays with, she just acts like one of the big kids. She loves Mimi's house and all the people there. Thank you for being part of her life!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cadence Funnies

Cadence is so funny. These are just a few of the funny things she has said or done lately.

When Cadence wakes up in the morning, she stands at the top of the stairs and calls for me. I walk up to greet her and assist her in getting ready. As we go down the stairs, she tells me her rules for them. I have to stay on my side (the north side), and I have to traverse them how she says (walking, on my bottom, backwards, etc.) She gets upset if I don't do as she says. It's nice being a slave to my beautiful daughter!

Cadence has this really cute pajama outfit. When I put it on her the first time I called her a "Chickeemonkey." She said, "I'm not Chickeemonkey. I'm Chickeemonkey Cadence." Whenever she wears those pajamas, she takes on a new persona.

Cooper started eating baby food. At first, she said he can't eat because "he doesn't have teeth." She got this from me because of the many times I have caught her trying to share something chewy or hard with him. At Thanksgiving, somebody asked if Cooper wanted a plate of food (obviously joking). Cadence said, "No. He eats Mommy's booby!" She understands the facts of life!

After church on Sundays, she loves to run around in the gym. Her shoes on the floor are just musicv to her ears. We were running around when an older man walked into the gym. She turned to me and asked, "Is that the prophet?" I told her that she should ask him that question. So she ran over to the man and asked, "Are you the prophet?" He said no!!!

Since Cooper's been born, she has regressed in potty training. She won't poop in the potty. But if she gets up and runs out of the room suddenly, chances are she is running into the bathroom. She shuts the door, puts a can behind it (so I supposedly can't get in) and goes poop in the bathroom in her diaper! I'm glad she knows what the bathroom is for!

I love my Cadence!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Treat

For Thanksgiving this year, my family went to my sister's house in Ogden. The Canyons condo was too small to fit all of us at the same time and we would have had to eat in shifts. Sandy has a large kitchen an house and fit all of us at one long extended table (minus Chris and Russ who wanted to sit at the island where the food was eing served so they didn't have to get out of their seat to get more food!!
Thanksgiving dinner was perfect. Everyone brought a food item and, of course, we gorged ourselves. My favorite was the jello-cream cheese-pretzel "salad." I love that people call it a salad because that means I get to eat dessert twice!!!!
Sandy's, Jeff's, and Natalie's families were there as was my mom. It was nice to be with my family for Thanksgiving. The last two, we spent in Louisiana and Texas with Chris' family.

After the feast, the cousins had fun dressing up and making up plays which they performed for the adults. Some of the grown-ups played "Setttlers" which is a must at family gatherings. We ate birthday cake and talked. I love Thanksgiving.

Playing in Park City

Last week, my mom had a timeshare at the The Canyons in Park City. We stayed Tues. and Wed. night as a family and Cadence had a sleepover with the cousins and Grammy on Thursday night while we stayed in Ogden to go shopping. It was lots of fun and very relaxing!Cadence was so excited to go swimming! She talked about all the way down there. She still doesn't like to get her face wet and holds tightly to us, but she loves it!!! Cooper is a fish. He was in heaven - Kicking, splashing, floating on his back, laughing for an hour. Water in his face was joy!!! They are going to love next summer. One time Cadence wanted to go swimming, but I didn't want to get chlorine all over our bodies again. So we filled the two-person jet tub in the condo and swam in there. Nice and warm!!! Unfortunately, Cadence didn't like the jets!!!
While in Park City, Cadence painted ornaments with her cousins, Syd and Cole. She LOVES to paint!!!
We also shopped at the factory outlets, watched Kelsie play basketball at North Summit, were extra silly, put our feet up and relaxed!!! We love mom's timeshares so we get mini-vacations!

Birthdays Galore!!!

There are so many birthdays in the end of November. It is a really fun time for us to celebrate and sing "Happy Birthday" in our obnoxious way. If you've missed our birthday song rendition, you have missed out!

Cadence went to her first friend birthday party. Bridget turned 3.
She was probably one of the youngest kids there and I think she really enjoyed all the activities (and ice cream)! They played with balloons, did limbo, the hokey-pokey, opened presents, danced to music, and got a PEZ dispenser with candy. Cadence thought her PEZ tiger was the bomb!!! She loved the blow-toy thing. (I don't know what you call it.) Cadence picked out a little stuffed animal from Monsters Inc. to give Bridget and I gave her some leg/arm warmers. Thanks for inviting us. Tina, you are an awesome mom!

That evening, I'm sad to announce, was a birthday dinner for me. Chris knows I dislike celebrating my birthday so he usually takes me to dinner and has a few friends join us there. I'm not sure if I should call them a surprise party or not because I usually figure it is going to happen. This year, he took us to the Olive Garden.
Our downstairs tennants, Frank and Miranda, the Gutkes, Fredricksons and Denny and Claudia were there. The dinner was yummy! Thanks for the dinner and not making too big of a deal out of that "special" day! I can't believe I am 32! It sounds so old!

On Thanksgiving day, my family got a birthday cake for my sister, Natalie, and me.
Chris' mom and sister-in-law also have the end-of-November birthdays too! Happy Birthday to all of us!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Demolition progress!

We decided to demolish and enlarge Cadence's closet too. (Thanks to Bersjo's for letting her and Cooper come play so we could get this done!!!) Her closet was about 4 ft wide, 3 ft deep and 5 ft tall. We told her it could be a new playroom and closet. She's exited about the playroom part and keeps talking about it!!! We obviously weren't ready by Friday and delayed the insulation people from coming.
Chris had to update the wiring in the bedroom and add lights and outlets to the inside of both closets. There was no electricity/lights in the closets and they were very dark. Since the hall closet will be more than double its original size and Cadence's will be 10x as big, we needed to be able to see in them. Chris is amazing! He has learned how to do most of the electrical work from a book. He wired the whole basement from what he learned in that book!!! I love my hard working husband. He is my rockstar!!!

I don't know when the insulation people will come. I don't know if we need to sheetrock it before they blow the insulation in or after.