About Me

Monday, December 26, 2016

One More Week To Go

Week 1 of Winter Break is in the books, and the boys and I had a fabulous time! Christmas was awesome, and we got to spend time with family. We ate a lot of food, played some games, and chilled.

We accomplished our goal of watching all three Lord of the Rings movies. It was touch and go a few times, but now it’s done. Those movies are so long. It’s hard for the boys to stay focused, but they did great. My oldest really enjoyed them. I’m going to have him give his thoughts, and I will post those later.

The agenda for this week is to go see Assassin’s Creed and hang out more with friends and cousins. It should be pretty laid back and relaxed. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my boys.

How was your holiday? Did you do anything fun over the first week?

Monday, December 19, 2016

FREEDOM!

Today marks the first day of the boys’ winter break. They will be out of school for 2 weeks, and in that time, we have a lot of stuff planned. First on the list: watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

My oldest asked me probably about a month ago if we could watch these. Since they are such a time commitment, I told him he had to wait. Now that the time is upon us, he can barely contain his excitement. I will let you know his thoughts when we have finished.

We also have plans on seeing Assassin’s Creed and Star Wars. We may attempt to see Sing also, but it will depend on time.

There will also be snowmobiling, presents, and hanging out with family. I’m looking forward to the next 2 weeks with my boys. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun.

What are your plans for the holiday?

Monday, December 5, 2016

The End is Near

I can’t believe that it is already December. This year has just flown by! Christmas is right around the corner—and my boys can’t wait!

We’re a little behind in our house this year and haven’t gotten our tree up yet. We have been busy with basketball games on the weekends, so I blame that. However, this Tuesday and Thursday are the championship games, so then we’re done. I assume we’ll be getting decorations up on Sunday.

We have been doing some Christmas stuff. I’ve been shopping, and the boys acquired a flat Elf on the Shelf. My youngest named her Sally, and like a regular Elf on a Shelf, she keeps her eyes on the boys and heads back to the North Pole every night to report behavior. Every morning the kids wake up and try to find her.


Are you ready for Christmas? Do you have your decorations up yet?

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Fun-filled Holiday

I hope all of you who celebrated Thanksgiving had an amazing day. We had a fantastic weekend. My parents came to visit, so there was lots of grandparent time and time to play with cousins.

Our dinner was so good, and we all ate so much food. My oldest indulged way too much and paid for it later in the night. Thankfully, he was fine the next morning. I love how kids bounce back so fast.

In addition to overeating, we also went to the movies. We watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the film. I like Harry Potter, but I haven’t gotten through all the books or the movies. It wasn’t bad. My boys loved it. On the way home, they were deciding which beast was their favorite.

What fun things did you do over the weekend?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I hope that you and yours have an amazing day. My boys took a moment to share what they are thankful for. What are you thankful for?


Monday, November 14, 2016

Fundraiser

For the past 2 weeks, my oldest has had to sell candy bars to raise funds so that the 5th graders can go to Teton Science School. He’s only in 4th, but he has to help out. Luckily, the people at his dad’s work are more than willing to relieve him of his sugary goods.

I had the opportunity to attend TSS when I was in junior high. Back then, we had to be recommended by teachers, so only a select few got to go. If I understand correctly now, all 5th graders get to go—and I think that’s awesome. I had an amazing time there, and I think everyone should get to experience it.

On a side note, when I went, we had the "opportunity" to sleep in snow huts, which I did not enjoy. Our breath made the ceiling drip, and I was scared to death that it was going to collapse on us. I was also right next to the wall, so I froze all night.

Anywho, my oldest sold 2 boxes, and I am incredibly proud of him. As we were selling the second box and I was watching everyone pick and choose what candy they wanted, I couldn’t help but think: “I wish books sold like this.” It would be amazing! How fun would it be to go to your friends and family and be like, “I’ve got a box of books for you to choose from. Two bucks apiece.” Perhaps one day.

I hope everyone is gearing up for the holidays. They are right around the corner!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Some Weekend Fun

One of the best things about where we live is that we’re close to a variety of activities. From outdoor activities that we can do in the mountains to cultural activities. We’re also close to sporting events.

I consider my family extremely lucky to live in a town that has a university so that we can experience all it has to offer—including the sporting events.

If you’ve read the blog at any point up to now, you know that sports are a big deal in this family. The boys are often involved in one sport or another. Right now, it’s basketball. When we get the change to watch the college teams play, we take advantage.

This weekend we had the opportunity to watch the Cowboys take on Boise State. The excitement and energy that runs through the stadium is amazing. We had so much fun. I’m so glad I get to experience these things with my boys.



We had pretty good seats for the game.

The students rushed the field to celebrate the victory with the Cowboys.

What did you do this weekend?

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Halloween Giveaway

October is the time of month for ghouls, ghosts, and monsters.  And to celebrate, I'm going to give away two copies of There's a Monster in Mommy's Tummy!


Here's what you need to do: from now until Halloween (when the drawing will take place), send me a description of what the monster in  YOUR tummy looks like.  I'll pick TWO lucky winners (open to U.S. shipping only) to send a signed copy of the book.  That's it!  Easy peasy!

Here's what the monster from the book looks like:






Monday, October 10, 2016

It’s October!

The holiest of the horror months! But even better than that, CANDY is right around the corner!

I don’t know about you, but my boys love figuring out what they’re going to be for Halloween. Every time we go to the store, we have to go to the Halloween aisle and see what fun, scary, and interesting costumes are there. And they try to decide what they’re going to be.

More often than not, they’ll change their minds a million times. And I learned my lesson last year NOT to buy their costumes too early. They end up wearing them before Halloween and they get ripped. Then, I have to buy them new ones.

Not that I really mind. I think it’s a blast to watch the kids have fun and dress up to play. It was something I wished I could have done as a kid. And with the Internet, it’s so easy to get costumes for a good price.

Have you decided what you’re going to be for Halloween?

Last year’s Halloween fun.




Monday, October 3, 2016

When One Season Ends

Another begins.

My oldest finished his football season on Saturday.  It wasn't the best season, if fact, they didn't win any games, but it's all good.  He had a lot of fun and can't wait until next year.  That's what it's all about: having fun.

Now, we have a few weeks off, then basketball season starts.  Both boys get to play, and this is the first year they've played.  It should be a lot of fun.

The best part about basketball is that it's inside, so I won't have to worry about the snow.




Monday, September 26, 2016

First Snow of the Season

It snowed here on Friday night. The first snow of the winter season. It didn’t last very long, it melted by Saturday afternoon, but it is the start of winter.


It’s not overly surprising that it snowed. I’ve seen it snow on the 4th of July before. Oh, that was a miserable day. We were at a 4th of July concert freezing our butts off. That was the last 4th of July concert we went too.

There was also another time we go a huge snowstorm at the beginning of June. The snow was so wet and heavy, it was breaking tree branches off. I remember driving around town and the streets were littered with broken branches.

It’s just one of those things when you live in Wyoming.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Taking the Plunge

Over the weekend, the boys and I went swimming. They’d been wanting to go for a while, but I’ve been busy. On Saturday, I decided I needed a break, so off to the pool we went.

We were having a great time playing on the kiddie side—the side with the water sprayers and slides—when the lifeguard blew his whistle and said we all had to get out. In a nutshell, they found some yucky stuff in the pool, so they needed to clean it. While they were doing that, we went to the 8-lane pool.

The 8-lane pool isn’t as exciting as the other pool. It’s mainly used for lap swimming. The water is also a lot colder than the kiddie pool. However, it has a diving board, and the boys were itching to try it out.

My kids have had swimming lessons before, so I know they can save themselves if they need to. But at the same time, I never get too far away. Plus, they’ve never been in 12-ft deep water before, so I was in arm’s length if they needed me.

I could tell they were nervous about jumping off the board. On their first trip, they walked to the end, looked at the water, looked at me, wondered if they should actually do it, then jumped in. 

 They were hooked.

They spent the next 45 minutes jumping off the board and attempting different tricks. The youngest attempted a front flip, only to back flop into the water. He only tried that one more time. The second was a bit more successful, but he said it still hurt. The oldest did a front flip also. He only hit his legs, so it wasn’t as traumatic as his brother.

Eventually we were able to head back into the kiddie pool, but the boys didn’t want to go. They were having too much fun. I had to bargain and beg the boys to go—especially since my youngest’s lips were purple because he was so cold.

All in all, it was an enjoyable day at the rec center. I love that my boys aren’t afraid to try new things. They may be nervous and cautious, but they’re ready to jump in feet first. I hope that’s a skill they’ll carry with them through life.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Puppies!

Earlier this summer, we had the opportunity to breed Floki with another Corgi here in town. And last week, the puppies came into the world! We haven’t had a chance to meet them yet because they are still so young, but we can’t wait! They are such sweet little fluff balls.



This little boy has a spot on his head like his daddy.

There are 5 puppies total--2 girls and 3 boys.

And no, we will not be getting a puppy out of this batch. We already have enough. However, I’m very excited for whoever does get these babies. If they’re anything like their daddy, they’ll be the best dogs ever!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Sweet Dog, New Trick

In our house, we have 4 pets: 3 dogs and 1 cat.

The dogs include 2 Pembroke Welsh corgis and 1 black lab. The corgis’ names are Floki (the red and white one) and Siggy (the tri-colored one). The lab’s name is Ryder. The cat’s name is Alia.

Floki and Siggy when we went fishing.

Floki looking very sophisticated.

This is what I often see when I finish working and get ready to go upstairs.

Me and my babies.

Ryder being super cute.

They are all super fantastic dogs. They have such personality and are spoiled to death. Recently, Siggy has developed a new quirk. She used to always love going into her kennel whenever we’d go somewhere. She was the first one to run down the hall and waited patiently at the door for her treat.

Now, for whatever reason, she doesn’t want to go in. So, I don’t make her. Spoiled remember? Plus, I don’t worry about her. She’s a good girl and isn’t destructive. Floki, on the other hand, if we let him have free reign of the house, he would tear it apart.

Anywho, the first thing Siggy does now when we get home is runs back into the bedroom and waits for me to open Floki’s door. If I’m taking too long, she runs back to find me, then heads back into the room. Once I open the door, she grabs Floki by the ear and makes him yip. It super cute that she wants her buddy to be free, but I wish she was just a little nicer to him when he steps out.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Back in School

The boys started school last week. They had a half day on Thursday and a whole day on Friday. This week, they will go the entire week.

Thankfully, they are excited to be back in school. They really enjoy learning and hanging out with their friends. This year, my oldest is in 4th, and my youngest is in 2nd.

Since my oldest is in 4th, this is also the first year he gets to play tackle football. He was soooo excited about that. Practices started a couple weeks ago, and they will continue through until the first of October. It should be super fun and exciting.


Fall is definitely creeping into the air. The boys and I have been riding our bikes to school, and both mornings we’ve had to wear gloves to keep our hands from freezing. On Friday, we could even see our breaths as we headed out. Thankfully, with the sun rising, it was actually a really nice morning that warmed up quickly.

I don’t mind the cooler weather. In fact, I enjoy the sound of the furnace running first thing in the morning. It means that winter is on its way. And with winter on the way, snowmobiling is on the horizon.

I hope all of you have a fantastic and wonderful school year! Learn lots and put that knowledge to good use!

Monday, August 22, 2016

School Shopping

The new school year is right around the corner, and everyone in this house is excited!

What’s not to like about getting new clothes and new supplies? And best of all, new backpacks!

The boys and I went shopping for supplies last week, and as we were picking out backpacks, my youngest was showing me all the pockets in the backpack he’d picked out.

“There’s a big one here, and another one here. And this small one on the front.” Which he then stuck his nose into and sniffed super hard, then said, “And it doesn’t smell like yogurt.”

“Did your other one smell like yogurt?” I asked.

A serious looked crossed his face and he nodded. “Yeah. I spilled yogurt in there.”

Here’s to a great new year with backpacks that don’t smell like yogurt!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Excerpt from The Ifs

Today, I would like to share an excerpt from The Ifs with you. Enjoy.


"Landon moved fast. He jumped over a fallen log and crashed through the trees. There wasn’t a clearing in front of him, but the trees were far enough apart that he could run safely through. Luckily, there weren’t a lot of plants and ferns on the ground. It made his escape a lot easier. He ran as fast as he could, not taking the risk of glancing over his shoulder. He heard the huff and pants of a wild dog right behind him. He was afraid if he looked, he’d trip and the wild dog would jump on top of him. He was glad he had his motorcycle gear on. Even though he was pretty sure a wild dog could still bite through it, it would give him a little protection before the teeth sunk into his flesh and give him time to fight the creature off.

The thought of battling a wild dog sent a surge of fear and adrenaline through his body. He really hoped he didn’t have to confront a wild dog. He didn’t think he’d be able to do it. His first choice was to keep running. Maybe they’d eventually give up. Or maybe he’d run into some hikers in the woods. There always seemed to be people on the trail. If he could just hold out a little longer, hopefully he’d be able to reach them. He knew a wild dog wouldn’t want to confront several people, and he was positive the Ifs didn’t want others to know they existed. It was his only chance.

He turned to his left, sure that was the way back to the trail. Footsteps loped behind him. They weren’t close, but present nonetheless. He ran harder, desperate to get to the trail. He risked a glance over his shoulder. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw three wild dogs coming after him. They panted, their tongues hung out of their mouths. He faced forward. The stream was ahead of him. The stream! It flowed underneath the bridge. If he made it to that, he could get back to the bridge. He was so close to help!

His feet splashed in the trickle of water, and he turned to his left. Landon had a moment of sheer terror. Was he going the right way? He was scared and didn’t have time to figure out which way the water flowed. Still, he needed to take a chance. Even if he went the wrong way, he’d eventually run into someone, he was sure of it. His only hope was that it happened before the wild dogs and Ifs caught up to him.

He continued on, droplets of water hitting him in the face as he tried to run in the water. The wild dogs splashed behind him. The mud from the bottom of the stream pulled at Landon’s shoes, slowing him down and making his leg muscles hurt. Stepping into the water might not have been such a good idea after all. The effort wore him out. He wouldn’t make it to the bridge. Panic set in. Was he actually heading toward the bridge? He wanted to cry. His lungs burned, he couldn’t get enough air. The panting of the wild dogs grew louder, the footsteps drew closer. Sweat formed on his forehead. What was he going to do?

He should scream, call for help, but he didn’t think he had enough energy. His other option was to turn around and face them. The stick was still in his hand, but would it do any good? If he was lucky, he’d hit one of the dogs, but what about the other two? No, his best chance was to keep running."

Monday, August 8, 2016

Summer Isn’t Over Yet

But, man! Is it getting close.

Is anyone else surprised that it’s the second week of August already? Where does the time go? In 2 weeks, the boys will be heading back to school. I’m excited. I don’t know if they are. My oldest is excited because he gets to play football, but for school...I’m not sure.

Last week was his last week of summer school. He really enjoyed it. He got to build a rocket and go on a field trip to learn about invasive species. He said his favorite part was that he didn’t have to take tests. And I can’t blame him. Tests can be nerve wracking.

I’m glad he enjoyed his time at summer school, though. He had a lot of mixed emotions about having to go. But in the end, I think he’ll benefit greatly from a little extra help.

Even though summer is drawing to a close, it’s not quite over yet. Does anyone have any exciting plans for the last few weeks before school starts?

Monday, August 1, 2016

Our New Pet Plant

For Christmas, instead of getting the boys a whole bunch of toys that would get lost in their rooms/toy box, I decided to get them a terrarium.  I got the youngest one with weird plants, like brain plants, some space things, and Venus fly traps.  For the oldest, I got carnivorous plants, so there were Venus fly traps and some other kind of bug-eating plant.

They were supposed to grow from seeds, so we planted them according to the directions, and the youngest's started to grow, but when they reached a certain stage, they withered and died.  We were bummed.  We figured maybe it was because of the cold weather.  After all, plants know the different season.

They've been asking me to get another Venus fly trap because they are fascinated by them.  I knew we didn't want to mess with seeds, we wanted a bigger plant, but I didn't want to have it shipped in the winter.  I kept forgetting about it, but thankfully, the boys reminded me.  We finally ordered our plant.


It's pretty cool.  We've already fed it several time (freeze dried bloodworms), and it's fun to watch the traps snap shut. It's kind of a high maintenance plant, so I hope we can keep it alive for a while.

Monday, July 25, 2016

So Many Paperbacks!

I was going through some stuff in my office, and I found a whole bunch of paperbacks that are taking up space.  I am willing to part with them for $5 (mainly to cover U.S. shipping), so if you're interested, please shoot me a message.

The books I have include both The Ifs books and my picture books: There's a Monster in Mommy's Tummy and Mr. Chocolate and the Magic Js.  I am more than happy to sign them and send them.





Monday, July 11, 2016

Good Times at Grandma and Grandpa’s

Last week, the boys had the opportunity to spend some time with their grandparents and cousins. This is fun for everyone because we all get a little break from one another and the kids get to do something exciting while we work. Us parents got to spend a few days with them, then we turned them loose for adventure.

They had such an amazing time. Aside from having fires and making s’mores, they went to the aquarium and the zoo in Salt Lake. They stayed the night in a hotel and got to go swimming—which is something the boys always look forward to.

They watched the fireworks on the 4th of July and got to go to International Days (I’m not really sure exactly what this is, but they apparently have lots of delicious food, and my oldest made himself responsible for taking care of any leftovers).

Now that they’re back, the oldest has to go to summer school. He’s not overly thrilled, but he needs a little extra help. We’re also starting karate, so that will be something fun for all of us to do and get us out of the house for some exercise.

How’s your summer going? Are you having a great one?

Enjoying the fire and making s'mores.

They tried to convince my youngest not to get this sprayer at the zoo, 
but as the day got hotter and hotter, it turned out to be a great purchase.

My oldest finishing what was left of everyone's food.


Vacation ends, and it's time for some much needed Zzzzzzzs.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Still Spending Time in the Mountains

One of the best things about where we live is how close we are to outdoor activities. It only takes us about half an hour to be in the mountains. In the winter, that means we are close to snowmobiling. In the summer, that means we are close to hiking and fishing.

One of our favorite spots to go to is the Snowys. There’s a reason they are called that, and it’s because they usually have snow on them year round. When we headed up this weekend, that was definitely the case.

It’s amazing how different the mountains look during the different seasons. When snow covers the landscape, it’s a completely different world from when everything is in bloom. During either time, however, it’s still a wonderfully magical place to be.

We had the opportunity to head up this weekend for a little fishing. A lot of other people had the same idea, so we wanted to go somewhere secluded. We found that spot and had to hike in. Let me tell you something: I am not in hiking shape. It doesn’t help that we were at, like, 10,000 feet either.


The boys only caught one fish, and there were troubles with the fishing line breaking, but we had an awesome time in a beautiful area. We took the dogs with us, and they had a blast running around and swimming. If there was a downside, it was that the snow was melting—a lot!—and everything was muddy. The dogs were coated when we got home and needed baths.


As a parent, we spend most of our time fixing broken rods.

Yes, that white stuff in the background is snow.

These two sweeties had a blast swimming and getting muddy!

video

What fun things have you been doing this summer?

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Season Is Coming to an End

Baseball season is coming to an end. It’s been crazy! The boys are in two separate leagues, so for at least 4 days a week, we’re running around getting to games. On some days, they even had games on the same night. The tournament is the last games they have to play--and they are happening this week.

They’ve had a blast playing baseball this year. My oldest even had a chance to pitch in one game, and he was thrilled! He threw several pitches, including two strikes, then the game was called because of time. After the game, he said he got to play his two favorite positions: pitcher and catcher.

video

My youngest has also been growing throughout the season. He’s still in pitching machine, but he’s doing great at hitting the ball and making plays. He’s so invested, he’ll chase people across the field so he can tag them out, and he’s made diving plays to catch the ball or get people out at the base. As you can imagine, he looks like Pig Pen when the game is over because he’s covered in so much dust!

I really enjoy that my boys have so much fun playing baseball. It’s a huge commitment, but they’re willing to put in the time. Besides, it’s summer. Isn’t playing baseball America’s pastime?

What kinds of fun and exciting things have you been doing this summer?

Monday, June 13, 2016

Inspired Learning

My oldest struggles with reading and spelling. It first came to our attention when he was in 2nd grade, and his teacher recommended he attend summer school. It wasn’t possible at that time because we were going to be on vacation. Instead, when he started 3rd grade and was still struggling, we got him into tutoring.

He continues to struggle with these two areas, and it’s been recommended he attend summer school again. He’s also continuing with summer tutoring. As you can imagine, he’s not exactly happy about the situation. There were a few times he broke into tears and proclaimed he didn’t get a summer at all.

I get it. He wants to be lazy and play with his friends and watch TV and play video games. He doesn’t want to be stuck in a classroom. Even with me explaining to him that everyone has problem areas and need extra help, which he understands, he still has moments of being upset.

Last week was his first week of tutoring. He only goes for an hour and a half 4 days a week. I could tell on the first day he wasn’t thrilled about being there. Again, I get it. If I didn’t have to work over the summer, I wouldn’t either. However, I was surprised at how quickly that changed.

He gets to do a project, and he got to pick the topic. He decided he wanted to focus on the Civil War. I’m not exactly sure what they do during their sessions, but it’s working. My oldest can’t wait to go to tutoring. He’s excited to learn, to research, and put all of his information together. One of the teachers even brought in artifacts for him to check out—musket balls and a sniper bullet (as he called it)—things that are right up his alley and interest him. He’s even been watching videos online at home.

Every day last week when I picked him up he told me about all the cool stuff he had learned and was looking forward to the next day. On Thursday, he was bummed that he didn’t have tutoring on Friday. His enthusiasm is catching.

I love that he’s having a great time learning and gets to focus on something that interests him. So often in school they are told what they need to learn (understandably), but it’s great that he gets a chance to branch out. He gets to see that there’s so much out there and that it’s okay to pursue his own interests and passion.

That, of course, will change when he goes back to school, but I hope he continues to take that enthusiasm with him. I hope he realizes that learning doesn’t always have to take place in the classroom, but that it happens constantly. It’s something I try to instill in both my boys.

It will be interesting to see how summer school goes. I hope he finds it just as engaging.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Why Yes, We Went to Hawai'i

I don’t consider myself an adventurous person. But at the same time, I want my family to be able to experience new things and see the world. And, if I’m honest, I usually have a lot of fun once I get to our destination.

Last week, we had the opportunity to go to Hawai'i. The boys and I had never been there, but their dad had a while ago. I wasn’t looking forward to the long airplane ride, but once we got there, it was awesome.

It was a short trip, but we crammed as much excitement in as we could. We spent a lot of time at the beach swimming in the ocean. We even got to see sea turtles. One of them popped up right next to my oldest. It was really cool.

We went to see Pearl Harbor, and that was an incredibly emotional trip—especially for us adults. I think the boys might be a little too young to fully understand the meaning of the place, but they will one day.

We also went to the Dole Pineapple Plantation to see where pineapples come from and had some amazing pineapple ice cream. We went on a train ride to see the fields and learned way more about pineapple than I thought was possible. It actually has a pretty interesting history.

All in all, it was an fantastic trip. I’m glad I was able to push my fears aside so that my boys could have an amazing opportunity.

This was the view from our hotel room.



These three pictures are from the first day in Hawai'i and the boys falling in love with the ocean.

This is the memorial at Pearl Harbor that sits over the USS Arizona.

This is the list of names of the people who died on the USS Arizona during the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

This is a model of the USS Arizona memorial.

This is the pineapple maze at the Dole Plantation.

My oldest just couldn't get enough of the ocean!

Monday, May 23, 2016

The End is Coming

The end of the school year, that is. Can you believe it? Where did the time go? I can’t believe my boys are almost through another school year and will be getting that much older!

It doesn’t feel like the end, I think mainly because it’s still cold here. Yes, that can be normal for this time of year, but I don’t like it. When we left the house this morning, my phone said it was below 40 degrees. Brrrrrrr!

With summer (hopefully) right around the corner, that means we’re going to get busy. Since we’re trapped throughout most of the winter, summer is the time we make up for not being able to visit people. Plus, we have baseball and other fun things to do.


These two pictures were taken on a rare, warm day. It was awesome!

This is more representative of how it is sitting at baseball practice or a game.

What are your summers like? Are you super busy or do you get to lay back and relax?