Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Matthew's Photo Shoot

My friend Ashlee Jenks does photography...isn't she great? I'm so lucky to be in a ward with so many talented people! So, I took Matthew over to her house to have his one year pictures taken...they turned out so cute. Here are some of my favorites. (if you click on the pictures, they will enlarge to full-size)

I love this closeup that shows his cute chubby face and little baby teeth

I thought Matthew's expression was too funny in this one...so I had to add it in!

Ahh....all snuggled up in his blankey

This is one of my favorite expressions that Matthew has. He does it all the time, and it's just so funny...it makes us all laugh.

I love Matthew's eyes in this shot...seriously, click to enlarge it and check out those crystal blues

Here he is with his football...he likes to chew on it, can you tell?

Okay, and on this shot I love the little hand dimples...so cute!

I know I'm biased...but he's such a cute little guy!

Thank you Ashlee! You did a terrific job!


Okay, so I was entering in the invites to make our blog open to invited readers only...and then I realized that I have more than 100 people that I needed to invite. I couldn't just pick and choose...that just seemed kind of mean! :) So, hey, we're still open! Too bad it wasn't April 1st today, I could have just said "April Fools!"

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Plug Looks More Like...

What can I say? Apparently, the computer thinks that this electrical outlet is a face for one thing (it was in a picture behind Andy and Taylor, and the computer recognized it as a face) and for another thing, apparently my face carries a resemblance to a plug. Either that or it is an extremely beautiful electrical outlet... HA! This was too funny NOT to post. Andy and I were
laughing so hard! Note: After the computer recognized this outlet as a face, we thought it would be funny to see which of us our cat, Zippy, resembled the most, but the computer wouldn't recognize his face as a face. Sorry Zip...

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

Taylor Looks More Like...

More than meets the eye...so, this computer program looks at facial structure rather than hair and eye color...and the results are pretty interesting. :) Suprising results for Matthew and Brooklynn, but a good whopping "that's what I've said all along" for both Taylor and Rachel's results. Note: Because so many people still seem unconvinced that Taylor actually does look like his mama, we entered in three entirely different set of pictures and the results were different. Instead of just looking more like Sherrie by 15%, they were that he looked more like Sherrie by 50%. hmm...you have to look past the blond hair and blue eyes. :)

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Ancestors - Family reunion

Rachel Looks More Like....

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

Brooklynn Looks More Like...

hmm...our of all our children, Brooklynn and Matthew are the two that I think look so much like Andy! How funny that the computer doesn't agree. :) HA!

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

Matthew Looks Like...

Okay, can I just say "Whatever!" Out of all of our children, Matthew looks the MOST like Andy! How funny!

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celeb - Collage - Morph

Friday, April 25, 2008

Modest Prom 2008 "A Walk in the Clouds"

So, I get a lot of questions, such as "why have you been missing so much church lately?" and, "you have a calling? I didn't know that, what do you do?" My comment: I'm in the stake young women. "Oh, which counselor are you?" My comment: I'm not a counselor...I'm the personal progress specialist. "Oh, I thought you were in the presidency. So, what do you do exactly?"

Well. To answer a couple of those questions. I've been vacant from my family's spot in the Mayfield ward since January because I've been attending all of the ward conferences in the Stake. We have one more left...Mayfield's...this Sunday. I'm so excited to be able to attend church in my own ward with my family!

What do I do with my calling? hmm...how to answer. Too much to get into details. I teach lessons, speak at mtgs, plan programs, create online newsletter/blogs, oversee personal progress in the stake, train ward presidencies, have a ton of fun with the sisters I serve with (seriously, we have so much fun) and among other things...help to put on a "Modest Prom" for our stake's youth each year.

Our Modest Prom began as a laurel project, and has turned into one of the biggest things in this region. This year we had three other stakes who joined in: Cleveland, Akron, and Youngstown. We were supposed to have a Pittsburgh stake, but they had stk conference and couldn't come. As the host stake, we do everything and the others simply pay us a check to contribute to the budget. Whew! It is a lot of work, but it truly is an amazing thing to watch these kids come together in an uplifting, fun environment where they don't have to worry about alcohol, violence, immorality, etc. And we do our very best to make sure that it's at least as good as their own high school proms. I'm here to say that it's better than any prom I ever had...especially the food. Who had chocolate fountains at their proms? Not me...and I was even one of the students planning my proms!

So, Andy is so great that he comes with me each year. To dance? Not really. Usually we're way to busy to dance. This year we got in two dances...yippee! And I had one cream puff and a strawberry, which I dipped in the chocolate fountain...that was it. The rest of the time, we were both going back and forth from the picture foyer, to the DJ, checking hallways, I was pinning some dresses and attaching shawls, and directing other chaperones. But it's always a highlight in my year that I look forward to. I love my calling! Here are a few pictures of the evening.

Here's a shot of the gym. We had strung white plastic to make a false ceiling, along with white lights.

Me and a few of our senior laurels in the stake. These three were at Laurel's Academy this year...and you grow really close.

This is the photo backdrop. It's amazing what a little bit of tulle can do...

Here is part of our presidency...Jeni (Pres) Me (What does she do?) and Sarah (2nd Couns)

Ahh.....young love....

Here's a closeup of us two crazy kids. What a fun night!

"YW Leaders On Helium"

(This picture was taken at the end, after we had taken down the photo backdrop...it was late, and we were a little crazy! But now we're on a rotating schedule...which means Kirtland Stake gets three years off!!!! Whew Hoooooo! All we have to do is pay a check and show up!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

High Maintenance

We got our cat, Zippy, aka "Sir Zip" nearly two years ago and he has fast become a permanent member of our household. The kids all love him, but Rachey has a special soft spot for the feline.
When he was a tiny kitten, she would get his kitty bed and put it onto the foot of her bed and snuggle him up in his little blanket. Well, it didn't take Sir Zip long to figure out that her bed and her blankets and her pillows were much better than his. So...the cat bed has long since been tossed onto the tree lawn (if you're wondering what a tree lawn is...be looking for mine and Loralee's book entitled "All Things Cleveland").
Since Zippy's transition into a "big kitty bed", he has tried without success to claim a spot on both Taylor and Brooklynn's beds as well. He long ago gave up on Taylor's bed. Taylor kicks. Not nice. So, he tried Brooklynn's bed, only to find that she is the real life princess in "The Princess and the Pea" fairytale, and he is the real life "pea." The second he jumps onto her bed you can hear "NO ZIPPY!" The shrill yell is accompanied with a series of well-placed kicks, punches and out of control wriggles under the covers--Zippy quickly jumps down.
So, Zippy knows his place...

Last night I was up late doing some painting and I went in to check on the girls before I went to bed, only to find this...

Seriously...felines are so high maintenance.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Summer Bubbles

Isn't Spring beautiful here in Cleveland? Spring and Fall are a tie for me in this area. I love them both. I love Spring because during the day it's the perfect temp, sunny, not so humid, and then it cools down at night so I can sleep nice and comfortable! I LOVE all of the flowers and trees that are in blossom! Then we have fall...I love fall because during the day the temps are perfect, the humidity goes down, and again at night it cools off making it easy to sleep well. And I LOVE all of the trees turning colors...there's a huge maple at the end of our block that turns a beautiful deep red...it's my favorite.

What does any of that have to do with this post's title? Absolutely nothing. I was just rambling.

But for some reason this morning I woke up remembering the funniest day last summer. It was the end of August, and I was getting ready to put our swimming pool up for the year, so it needed to be cleaned and scrubbed. Andy told me he'd take charge of cleaning the pool. WOW! Gladly, I gave him the go ahead on that project. What did he do? He simply called for our three older kids, gave them an entire bottle (new) of dishsoap with three big sponges, and told them to go clean the pool. Um...I think that's the most fun they had in the pool all year. Andy and I were watching from the window as suds would go flying, kids sliding everywhere. They used the entire bottle of dishsoap, and the pool actually did get squeaky clean in the end...so did the kids I think. At least, they smelled like Palmolive for a few days...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nap Time?

So, Matthew is such a busy little guy that he frequently falls asleep in his high chair. He'll be in the act of putting a handful of macaronis into his mouth and "CABAMM!!!" Instant sleep. So, I have a lot of funny pictures of him completely zonked out...but today I caught him on video drifting off...I get a kick out of it...hope everyone else does!


Monday, April 14, 2008


Okay. We've all experienced it before. That moment in our life that somehow we've already experienced. We're walking down the sidewalk and see that person whom we know we've seen somewhere before...we go to the store, stand in the check-out line only to have someone say something to us, or have something happen and we get that eery feeling that tells us....this has happened to me before...

But...have you ever met Dejavu? I know, Dejavu is NOT a person, it's a word that desribes that illusion of remembering something that has never really happened to you before. Well, what would you do if you actually ran into Dejavu?

Andy did. Yes, he did. He met Dejavu. Not in the store, not in a weird dark alley...nope. He met her in the dental clinic. Yep. No kidding. He met "Daisha'vu". Try that one on for size...imagine trying to check in a person by that name. With a straight face.

So, I can't get into details because I guess what I've already shared is against some ridiculous school rules...but they (the details) are pretty funny and I laughed and laughed about it all. Apparently, a lot of people that day thought that Andy was kidding when he introduced this person to certain clinic personnel, and he had to convince them that he was, in fact, very serious.

For those of you who live in the area...you'll know that names like "Daisha'vu" are really not all that strange...they're just part of the culture. So, Andy and I came up with a few of our own.


I challenge each reader of this post to come up with at least ONE more name to add to this list!

Friday, April 11, 2008

I've been tagged!

I was Miss Idaho and living in Boise, Id. I was busy with school appearances, service projects, speaking assignments, parades, pageants, and orientation for the new Miss Idaho contestants preparing to compete for my crown. I was also engaged to Andy, and making wedding plans for our June wedding. I was attending school part-time at BSU, working as an intern in the State Capital Bldg., and living with my host family, the Bucks! Those were wonderful, busy, fun-filled, crazy days!
1. Atlantic City, NJ
2. Washington D.C.
3. Church Sites in upstate NY
4. Niagra Falls
5. Orlando, FL
1. Paint the boys room this week.
2. Prepare handouts for stk. aux. training mtg.
3. Make dessert for same mtg.
4. Read to Brooklynn today
5. Finish sewing my skirt
Lifetime Goals
1. Serve a mission with Andy
2. Read scriptures and have individual prayers daily
3. Be a good mother to my children
4. Write, write, write
5. Continue learning new skills
1. I don't floss everyday. :) hee hee
2. Staying up way too late so I'm tired in the morning
3. Returning library items late. :) ahem.
1. I really love rock-climbing, and being up in the mountains...really rugged mountains like the Rockies.
2. I'm afraid of heights. (I know, a bit contradictory to previous fun fact...but nevertheless, true)
3. I'm left-handed for writing, but use my right hand for cutting, throwing, batting, etc.
4. I've been a judge for BYU-I's piano scholarship auditions.
5. I really want a chocolate lab when we're done with school and have some room for a dog!

I tag: Audrey, Tacie, Melissa, and...Sabrina!

Which Jane Austen Character Are You?

I am Elizabeth Bennet!

You Are...Elizabeth Bennet!

You are Elizabeth Bennet of Pride & Prejudice! You are intelligent, witty, and tremendously attractive. You have a good head on your shoulders, and oftentimes find yourself the lone beacon of reason in a sea of ridiculousness. You take great pleasure in many things. You are proficient in nearly all of them, though you will never own it. Lest you seem too perfect, you have a tendency toward prejudgement that serves you very ill indeed

Click on the image to take the quiz! It's fun!

My sister-in-law, Katie, and I share a passion....Jane Austen. Someday, I believe we'll be able to take that trip to England...make it a double date! So for those of you who are familiar with Austen's writings....take the quiz! Which character are you?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Great Entertainment


While we were at Great Wolf Lodge, Matthew discovered something in the hotel room that was fascinating to his little mind...the Kleenex Dispenser! WOW!!! That thing was awesome! During this video, he had sticky fingers...and that provided some entertainment for all of us as well...enjoy.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Splish, Splash, We Had A Blast!

Last week we were able to go on our Great Wolf Lodge trip. It was awesome, a great time away from schedules and responsibilities! Our older three kids had waited a long time for this trip. We went our very first year out here during Andy's spring break, and we all loved it so much that we decided we would go every year. Well, Matthew was born last March...and going to a waterpark with a newborn wasn't really my idea of a vacation...so it had to wait until this year.

It was worth the wait. Tay and Rachey stayed together the entire time, racing from slide to slide. They were so fun to watch. Andy and I took turns playing with Matthew and Brooklynn on the smaller slides and racing the older two on the big slides. Then every so often we would all take a break and float around the lazy river. Well, Andy and I would float with Matthew and Brooklynn, while Taylor and Rachel would pull us around.

We took a dinner break, and then after an hour went back down to the waterpark to swim again. While Andy played with the older three, Matthew and I floated around and around and around the lazy river. Ahh....now that's what I call relaxation. He fell asleep, and I was pretty close to it. So, when 10:00 rolled around, we put the kids to bed. The greatest thing about Great Wolf, is that it completely drains my high energy children. When they hit the pillow, it is instant sleep. And not just a light snooze...but a deep, heavy, not going to wake-up if you yell "ice cream!" sleep...which gives mom and dad alone time to order out and watch a movie. Nice. When can we go back???

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Pinewood Derby 2008

Taylor is not 8 years old. He is not a cub scout. He does not own a scout shirt. He does not know the scout promise, the oath, or the scout law. Why then, is he making a pinewood derby car? Because when your dad is the leader...then you get to "unofficially" participate in the derby, and that's just what Tay did this year.

So, even though Taylor knew that he would not be running any official races, that he would not be winning any awards or ribbons, Taylor threw himself wholeheartedly into this project. He could care less about the awards, he was just so excited to design his own car, and to help Andy with every single step. He did most of the sanding all by himself. In fact, there were several nights where I found him under his covers with his flashlight busily sanding away. I had to take his car, sand paper, and flashlight away with the promise that he could work on it before school the next morning.

He also came up with the colors by himself. He wanted his car to be red, with blue windows and yellow lightning going down the sides. They didn't get finished with the lightning, but his car turned out really nice with it's cherry red paint and blue windows. They both had graphite on their fingers though, and so the final coat has a silver metallic look to it...which I really liked actually.

On the day of the derby, he got a big surprise when they awarded him the "Hottest Car Award". He received a ribbon, and was so proud of it. :) He was a super-sport, and claimed a front-row seat right by the track for the duration of the derby. No running around the gym for him, he was just so engrossed by all the cars racing down the track. He was so fun to watch. He had a blast, and is already talking about what his car is going to look like next year when he is a "real cub scout".

Enjoy the slideshow!