Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What a Way to Celebrate!!!

This year I had a great birthday! First of all, even though I don't have pictures from my b-day with her specifically, MEGAN WAS IN TOWN!!! What more could I ask for really? Well, actually I could ask for a lot more, and I did. First of all, I asked for breakfast kolaches. Of all the heavenly foods in this world, kolaches have got to be in the top 10. That is a national franchise waiting to happen. Why is it, I ask myself, that no one outside of Texas has heard of a kolache? I pity the other 49 states and Alaska in particular. (Just kidding, Amber)

I got up super early so that I could buy them and be back before the guys went for work. I felt great all day because the guy who works at Southern Maid donuts has a particular talent for making people feel good. He's just nice and friendly and somehow complimentary without actually complimenting. I love people like that! It makes me want to go back enough to personally keep him in business. But I'm starting to ramble. There were good things about my birthday besides food.

We had a pretty jammed schedule for the week that Megan was in town. That morning, we went to the "water spraying park" to let Brenna and Luke try it out. Luke had been there before and was too scared to even touch the water. He started out that way again.

He would touch the sign, but he kept a wide girth of the water.

Brenna jumped right in (in a matter of speaking). She wasn't in a big rush to get wet all over.

She started dancing in the water pretty fast though.

Luke slowly got closer and closer. In this picture, he was close enough to feel some of the spray.

He still needed moral support to go near the water.

After about 30 minutes, he became comfortable with a few of the water sprayers.
Funny story: You can see the red pole in the background of this picture. At the top it branches out to for a treeish type structure. Also, there are several of the water heads spread around (like the one Luke is sitting by). There are also 2 or 3 more tall water trees. All of these things were turned on by pushing a button on the pole in this picture. Luke wouldn't go near the water when all of the trees were spraying. He cried if the water was falling on his head, and we couldn't even pull him in. Brenna liked it better when the water was low and mellow as well, and you can control how much water is spraying and from where pretty well. Just don't push the button and only the low water comes on. But while Luke didn't like the "big" water, he has a real affinity for buttons. He would walk over push the button and then stand there paralyzed and screaming when the water started pouring down from the "tree." We'd have to calm him down and take him out until the cycle had passed and the "big" water stopped. But after a few minutes playing in his nice mellow spout, he run over and push the button and the cycle would start again. Sometimes he shows true signs of brilliance.

Luke found some bottle lids in the grass, and he and Brenna had lots of fun catching the water in the lids.

Don't you just love little kid cheezy grins? They always look semi-evil.

Once Luke found his niche at the water park, I think we could have stayed all day, but we had other things to get on to. Like a trip to Megan's favorite store of all time (Well, maybe. I guess you'd have to ask her)

It's a used book store. Used books are 1/2 the original price, but you can turn in books of your own and get credit that makes it so you can get lots of books for really cheap. I was happy to find 2 David Shannon Board books for $1.75 each, and they looked brand new!

And later that day my 2nd mother, Debbi, came over to bring me this absolutely adorable birthday cake. It's a giant cupcake. Brenna was drooling over it all day asking when we were going to sing.

And that night my big birthday celebration was a trip to the movies to see Harry Potter #6. I thought it was by far the best movie. It was funnier. I thought you got to see more of their personalities from the book in this movie. And it was just awesome because it was Harry Potter.

Thank you everyone who made my birthday so fun!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mr. Hyde-- The Luke Version

Luke discovered how to fake laugh a while ago. But now he has come up with a whole new fake laugh, and it sounds evil. Check it out in this video, and just ignore my talking.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Birthday Getaway

Jared and I haven't had an overnight getaway in a long time. I was craving it, so I made up a plan and talked Jared into it. We pooled our birthday money for a night away. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for making it possible by watching Luke.

On Friday, we went down to spend the day and night at Kemah Boardwalk-- a cute little touristy type area near Galveston. There are carnival type rides, night programs, restaurants, and the Boardwalk Inn.

This was our hotel (behind the Joe's sign).

The view from our balcony (taken with the zoom lens). We wished we could have taken Luke to the fountain.

We stayed to the hotel most of the afternoon until the temperature cooled down. It was brutal out there! It was over 100 degrees, and then being so close to the water increased the humidity to almost unbearable. We were both sweating bullets when we walked around that afternoon, so we went to the pool for awhile, took a nap, and then ventured out again after the sun had mostly set. It felt good then and was a lot more entertaining. There was a live band playing and a magic act. We rode on the ferris wheel because I think they're fun and romantic (and confession!) a little bit scary because Jared and I are both afraid of heights. It's hard with our camera to do the hold up and snap pictures, so we don't have any pics together. Jared did take one picture of me, but I had a zit and don't know how to photoshop, so I refuse to post it.
View of the ocean

The kiddie ferris wheel. Isn't that so cute?
Most of all, it was great to have Jared all to myself. We got to play together like we did when we were dating. We went to lunch, and even though it was probably the worst dining experience of our lives (Don't eat at the Cadillac Bar in Kemah!), it was fun because we could just mock everything and then go on. We PLAYED in the pool TOGETHER. Usually, we just take turns walking around with Luke. And we had lots and lots of time to talk. On Saturday, we wanted to beat the traffic, and we both missed Luke, so we headed out pretty early. But we stopped at Sourthern Maid Donuts to give Jared his first taste of a down south Kolache. A little taste of heaven? You bet it was! We need to make this week-end getaway a yearly tradition.

Rainforest Cafe

On Thursday we had a fun little girls day out (with Luke). We went to lunch at Rainforest Cafe because I thought Luke would love it. Debbi was worried that he might be scared because the animals inside move, and there is a "rainstorm" every 20 minutes.

Luke was definitely NOT scared! Nor was he quiet or calm. He would not stay in his high chair. In fact, he screamed when we tried to put him in. He wanted to run around non stop. We ate in shifts to keep him happy.

A short break to try a french fry

Luke by the big elephant.

(You can see in this picture my new haircut. Which turned out to be a mistake. I wanted to get "swoop" bangs because they looked so good on Sarah, but mine don't look good like hers do. And they drive me crazy. So in a retrospect that will take a long time to grow out...oops. Oh well. It's only hair, right?)

This is at the bar, and it was Luke's favorite part of the restaurant. The bar stools had tails that Luke could play with, and the bar itself (the part in front of your legs if you were sitting) had bubbles floating up in colums. Luke loved watching the bubbles! There was also a big fish tank to the left. He's looking towards it in this picture. It was not the relaxing lunch I had imagined. I thought Luke would have so much to look at that he'd sit happily and eat his food, but it was still fun. I'm glad we went.
Later that night, we had a girls night out. Mom, Debbi, Debbi's mom, Jennifer, and I went to see My Sister's Keeper. I thought it was really good, and I would recommend it. My mom had read the book, and the ending is different than the book. But from how the book sounds, the movie ending is MUCH better.

The Destroying Angel

Luke has become better and braver at exploring, and his curiosity is unsatiable. He manipulates his body and objects around him in new ways. It's fun to watch, but it's also dangerous for the house.

I took pictures of some of the things he broke.

When climbing on the window seat, he used the curtains to help him get up.

If you look closely, you can see the doll chair is tilted to the right.

He broke off 3 of the wheels. I'm not quite sure how he did it. My guess is that he sat in it.

The block box that is no longer useful. Luke sat in it and tried to stretch out.

The train car that Luke ripped the hook out of. It is now the new caboose.

Travel Guess Who that is much limited on who you can now choose. Luke has broken off so many prongs that about a 3rd of the people are permantly detached.
He also broke a glass water pitcher, but we were too busy cleaning up the shards off the kitchen floor to take a picture. He broke a metal off a plaque (no picture because we didn't want to get him in trouble with PaPa. Hopefully the fact that I fixed it will placate him.) Luckily he hasn't broken anything expensive or dear to our hearts, but man! You have to watch that kid every second!

A Birthday Party For WHO???

On Tuesday this week we went to a birthday party for Grandma Debbi and Grandpa Terry's little baby.

If the cake...

and the decorations...

didn't give it away...

Their baby is a little weiner dog named Annabelle.

The excited birthday girl

Poor Annabelle had to spend most of the party in her crate because Luke followed her around and drove her crazy. She growled at him once and Grandma Debbi got nervous and put her up. In order to get Luke away from her, we had to block off the room where the crate was. Luke was so fascinated by her that until we did this, he would go in and poke his fingers into the cage.
Actually, Luke spent a lot of the night trying to make trouble. He stole someone's fork (with a strawberry still on the prongs), snuck into the office and typed on the computer, made it almost all the way up the stairs, stole Annabelle's chew toys. Was there anything else? Jennifer offered to watch him while I ate and after about 10 minutes she asked, "Is this what your day is like?" What? Chasing Luke from one mess to another? Yep!

Time for presents!
(Notice Luke to the right trying to wiggle his way down to steal the presents)

I think Annabelle got 3 gift cards to various stores.

Happy 4th Birthday, Annabelle!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Jared's Article is in the LA Times!

Jared is an official published author. His research study was published in Healthcare for Women International this month. He did this study in Mexico during May and June 2007. His psych professor helped him do some of the statistics and prepare for application, etc.

That's not all! He has been mentioned in lots of newspapers, etc. And this week he was contacted by the L.A. Times. Wow!!!

This is the link to the LA Times blog story on Jared's article about how husbands' migration affects wives in rural Mexico. There is also a link there to the full text of the article if you feel like some interesting reading. Feel free to post a comment there and disagree with the first comment posted.

A little warning before you read: Jared (and I) are very pro-immigration, so if you are anti, you might not want to read anything and just tell Jared congrats for getting published regardless. Actually, his newspaper debut is pro-immigration. The article itself you would be more than welcome to read. It doesn't offer an opinion on immigration at all. It's just the findings of his research. Hope I didn't offend anyone, and I also hope you forgive me for rambling...

If you want the BYU press release on his article, here it is too!

We're so proud of Jared!