Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Playing at Jenny's & Keira's

We spent a morning with friends last week, and it was well documented! Normally I post 1 or 2 pictures, but Matt is always requesting MORE pictures. So here goes!

Gabe got in on the fun, crawling around to snag his toy of choice from anywhere in the room. He posed a serious danger to the train!

Naomi enjoyed playing with LadyBird.

Here is Naomi, rescuing Luke from the cupboard of the disappearing head. This is actually the second time he needed to be rescued.

A huge highlight was the Cinderella music box. That entertained the girls for quite some time.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Naomi's quote of the day:

"My finger fell in the mustard!"


Naomi had her first corndog today. Along with it, we had ketchup and mustard. Naomi tends to treat condiments as side dishes, and sometimes even the main dish. We're working on that. As you can see from the quote of the day, we're not succeeding. Since her finger "fell" in the mustard, naturally she needed to lick it off. Rather suspiciously, her finger fell in the mustard multiple times.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Fun" winter pops

I found a recipe online for "fun winter pops" which kids can make. So I invited Sammy and Caleb over to join Naomi (they are sometimes our guinea pigs with projects!) in making these tasty treats.

Here's the procedure:
1. Put peanut butter or caramel between two vanilla wafers
2. If using caramel, stick the cookie sandwich in the microwave
3. Insert popsicle stick between cookies
4. Dip in melted white chocolate
5. Dip in sprinkles

Sounds fun for kids, right? Here's how each kid did:

Naomi stayed by the peanut butter jar and ate...and ate...and ate...

Caleb played with toys in Naomi's room until he was forced to pour sprinkles on one

Sammy danced around the kitchen, asking if we were done yet
so that I could teach her how to play the piano


The evening ended well with the kids marching around the house in a parade. (By the way, I wouldn't particularly recommend the recipe listed above. They didn't taste very good. )

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thanksgiving trip to Concord, CA

We spent Thanksgiving in Concord, CA at the home of Matt's aunt Lyn. Lyn & Kevin were terrific hosts, and we had a wonderful time! Today (December 15th) we hopped in the car and Naomi said "I need to go to Aunt Yin's house!".

There were so many great moments not documented with our camera- if anyone has additional pictures (like Thanksgiving dinner!), please email them to me and I'll add them!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Me and my sunshine!


Who doesn't like trains?? Here we are, pictured with our friends the Slivkas at a simply fantastic train museum. It was...beyond cool. Each of the displays had a different train size ratio. The sets were elaborate with incredible details. And the kids got to watch lots of trains, some of them geared towards Christmas and some with steam coming off them. Plus they got to push lots of buttons which made fun things happen (a bulldozer moved, lights came on and off, a trolley car moved, etc.).

This sounds like kid heaven to me. We gotta go back!

Naomi & Adrian

Naomi is not one to initiate physical contact with other children. In fact, she tends to shy away from it. Today at the mall, we were walking with friends, heading toward the play area. Adrian was looking for a hand to hold, and since his mom was holding his baby sister in one hand and pushing the stroller with the other, Naomi was the next best choice!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Visiting teaching at the zoo

Sometimes you just gotta do things a little differently!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cold spell hits Tucson!

That's right, we actually dug out our very lightest jackets a week or so ago and used them once or twice! Being from Utah, thinking about wearing short sleeves to the park during November and playing there for hours seems absolutely nuts. Yet here is the proof (from a distance).

We love going to the park and playing with friends. Naomi enjoys slides, climbing ladders, playing with steering wheels, playing on benches, but her favorites are definitely hanging from bars and swinging!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Naomi baby-sits the Humphries' fish

We watched the Humphries' fish while they were at Disneyland for Halloween. They brought the fish over while Naomi was napping. Later that day, I hadn't reviewed fish rules with Naomi when I realized she was being VERY quiet and was in the same room as the fish. I called out, "Naomi, what are you doing?" She said, "I'm going to CATCH. THAT. FISH." Yup, her hand was in the fishbowl!

I am happy to report all the fish survived the week.

Go Cougars!

Brainwashing your children is an appropriate outlet for pride for your alma mater, right?

Thanks for the idea, Elise. I love them! Gabe may not appreciate them fully yet, but I feel a sense of pride in having made them.

Really? She plays with friends?

Occasionally it does happen! Normally Naomi doesn't really play WITH friends, but here they had an all-out picnic!

Sabino Canyon

I've taken the kids to Sabino Canyon a couple times recently. We love it! We do some hills while they are in the stroller, find a picnic area for lunching, and then Naomi gets to splash in the (cold, cold) water. Fun for all! Last week we went with friends and got a few pictures.

It was in November, but they are sporting their Halloween shirts from Grandma & Grandpa Merrell, which came in super handy since they don't have many cold weather clothes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Star Wars Halloween

(Check out Naomi's eyes)

Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch with Richie and Angie and Miley. Had a great time, saw some animals, got some pumpkins. Aside from the long, windy, bumpy road there, it was great.

Naomi got to feed and hug a sheep.
Inspect a goat.
Climb hay bales.
Pick a pumkin.
And ride in a wagon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gabe's antics

Gabe: Hey, Mom! How's it goin'?
Mommy: Sweetie, will you do your newest trick?
G: Hmmmm...(munches on bottom lip while he thinks)

G: Nope, I'm going to play with this ball instead.
M: Please??? (Wheedling)

G: Okay, here goes! I'll even look at the camera if I can play with toys afterward.
M: It's a deal. Wow, look at you! Good job, Gabriel!
(If you can't tell, he's using only his feet and hands and has some serious clearance under his tummy.)

Matt the Handyman (just like Bob the Builder!)

On Saturday, Matt pulled out the work gloves and put in new kitchen countertops. We had gotten approval from our landlords, and I was SO EXCITED! The old countertops were beyond ghetto...I probably won't believe if you say yours are worse than those ones. Matt started by ripping out the old ones. Wow, it looked like a disaster area!

Unfortunately, the stock countertops that are supposed to fit everything didn't fit...most things about our house are uneven or installed oddly (like the bedroom fan which has no inside switch, so it has to be turned on and off from the breaker outside), so it shouldn't have been a surprise. That meant a lot of extra work for Matt as he custom fit the counters. He did a fantastic job!

I LOVE my new counters! I can't count how many times since Saturday I have walked into the kitchen just to admire them. Even more exciting is the fact that I can put food on the counters without paint flaking off and attaching itself to our food! (Yeah, I told you they were ghetto before!)

Love those toes!

Julie, I hope this post doesn't drive you away from our blog forevermore!

Quite possibly my favorite part of a baby's body is the foot, or more specifically, those darling toes! They are teeny tiny and perfect. Even when they get bigger, they're fun. I love cleaning between Gabe's toes! (How does he get dirt there, by the way? Perhaps when I think he's napping, he has secretly hopped out of bed and is running around outside.)

Who needs Disneyland...

...when you have laundry baskets? Our neighbors are heading to Disneyland for some Halloween fun, and I was wondering what age is a great age for taking kids to a place like that. For now, Naomi is thrilled with a carousel. And Gabe...well, Gabe just likes riding around in a laundry basket!

Friday, October 10, 2008

We sold our car!

We sold our Ford today. I've never been a huge Ford fan, but it was really a good car for us! I am not an emotional person, so I was surprised to feel a surge of emotion to see someone else drive it away. We've sure had some great memories in that car (both Naomi and Gabe got their first car ride in it!) and in places that car has taken us. Of course, we have the bad memories too (paying to fix something expensive RIGHT after we bought it, having two screaming kids in it, etc.)!!

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, we are thrilled it's gone and we can pay a chunk off our new car loan! Matt's just excited to be able to park his car in the carport again.

Pumpkin fun!

October is pumpkin-carving time! We had a fun evening carving pumpkins with Angie, Richie & Mylie. Thanks, guys! Matt's pumpkin was really cool (should have done a close-up; it's a haunted house with a tree by it). I went with basic triangles - can't mess those up, right?

Naomi had her own pumpkin-decorating event with friends, using stickers, paint, glue, and other random materials to create her masterpiece. She was happy with the outcome...and I am happy with whatever keeps her entertained!!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Powdered sugar addiction

Naomi has a powdered sugar addiction. She discovered the canister with powdered sugar and has learned how to work the latch on it. One morning we were scrambling eggs (or I thought "we were", but apparently "I was") and turned to see her chowing powdered sugar...for breakfast no less!

The first picture shows Naomi at the end of a piano lesson. While I was teaching, Naomi escaped the babysitter and delved into the powdered sugar. The second picture shows Naomi immediately after she informed me that yes, she was aware that we only use powdered sugar for cooking. Then she stuck her hand in the container again and pulled out another heap of powder to shove into her mouth.

Hangin' with Gabe

Here Gabe is displaying his sitting skills. He's occasionally a tad wobbly so I like to have the pillows around him. And of course the picture wouldn't be complete without the drool on his chin. We don't go for picture-perfect here...we're all about how it really is!