Tuesday, December 26, 2006

just to tide you over....

Just a simple picture to tide you over until I can get enough time together to sit down and post a bunch. Here's a picture of Gabe enjoying his Christmas chair that Santa brought. He's wearing his Christmas PJ's, slippers from his stocking, and one of the MANY books he got.

We had a WONDERFUL Christmas day! Gabe was totally overwhelmed by all the gifts he had to open, but loves everything he was given. He loves climbing up in his chair with a sippy cup, a book and a smile.

Hope everyone's day was wonderful, and I promise, at some later date I WILL post more pictures from this month.

Monday, December 18, 2006

weekend in review

We all had a great time up North this weekend. Gabe LOVED skiing! He took 3 runs up on Grandpa Ellis's backpack and was so sad when we brought him in. When we drove back down the canyon we had his cousin Linsey's carseat next to his and he just jabbered to her forever - and kept pointing to the mountain with excitement. It was almost as if he was saying, "And look up there! I went up there with Grandpa - and next year you can too!" I was glad he enjoyed it.

Then on Saturday Cory and I drove up with Kim, Tammy, and Coby to Logan for my sister-in-law Kori's graduation from USU. Long drive for a long ceremony, but we were glad to support her. Then we turned around and came back to Salt Lake. My other sister-in-law Ashley and Spencer watched all the kids and had a great time with Gabe - those twins sure smother poor Gabe with attention.

Then Saturday night we went to Rodizio Grill (HARDLY WW friendly!) A buffet and all you can eat meat brought around to your table by the minute. It was amazing and hard not to eat yourself into a coma. But I was really careful.

Unfortunately part-way through the meal we realized that Gabe had SOAKED his diaper clear through, and his clothes were drenched. We didn't have a change of clothes so we had to run and get him some new clothes at Trolley Square (where we were eating). The sales lady was trying to show us cute different tops and finally I just said, "Actually we just need something quick and not too expensive - we're recovering from an accident - I don't care what it looks like". Kind of funny.

Then the kids all got their pictures taken with Santa - EVEN Gabe! That was exciting for me! (And of course we also got the picture of Gabe screaming on Santa's lap for posterity).

Sunday morning we got up and went over to the Conference Center for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast. Unlike all the other Sunday broadcasts this one required tickets - which we didn't have. But while I settled down the kids in the children's theater Tammy and Ashley secured us all some tickets. Tammy and Kim stayed in the children's area with the kids and the rest of us were spread out through the conference center. WOW! It was the most amazing performance of the choir I have ever seen and heard. There were dancers in the aisles, bells, the orchestra, the choir - and my favorite part - Sissel (a Norwegian singer my brother Paul introduced us to after his mission to Norway). I am so blown away by her music - it is truly heavenly. Through the concert I would close my eyes and literally feel like I was in heaven and was being serenaded by angels. Since this was a culmination of the concerts they'd been performing through the week they not only performed the 1/2 hour choir broadcast, but then continued afterwards with 1/2 hour of additional music (from the concerts). At the end President Hinckely came out to greet Sissel and it was very sweet. She says she's already been invited back and will be coming again. I only hope I can attend that concert too!

Then we drove to see Grandparents. I wished we had more time! I always wish we had more time. We went to see Grandma Marilyn first, and our visit was so short. I felt bad. But she took Gabe on a wheel-chair ride and he enjoyed that. Then we buzzed over to see Grandma and Grandpa Whisler for a few minutes. Gabe was taken by the chocolate that Grandma put in his pockets, and he was really disappointed that Yogi didn't want to play with him. But he did have fun seeing both sets of his great grandparents. (and actually he saw his Great Grandma and Grandpa Ellis this weekend too!) I hope all of the grandparents understand that we needed to get on the road because of the weather (snow the whole way home). We sure do love them and wish that time wasn't as it is, and that we'd get to spend more time with them. So much to do, so little time.

Well it's getting late for this old lady - but I'll try to post pictures in the next few days. I didn't take tonz, but enough cute ones that you'll want to see.

Have a great week - and good luck with all of your holiday plans and preparations!

Monday, December 11, 2006

GREAT Christmas cd

I had heard from several people how fantastic the Sarah McLachlan's Wintersong cd was. I had put off getting it - thinking that we had enough Christmas music (can you REALLY ever have enough though....?) But today while I was working on some Christmas projects on the computer I thought I'd give the disk a try (I LOVE the instant gratification of iTunes!)

I LOVE IT! I encourage anyone who likes her music, or who just likes a soft relaxing Christmas cd to give it a try! (and you can even listen to some of it at the Amazon website)

Ranger Ride

On Saturday we packed a lunch, bundled up and headed out on the ranger with some friends for a fun ride. We drove up towards Brianhead ski-resort from our house and were gone for about 3 hours. It was chilly, but lots of fun! We're excited that our friends Andy and Kelly got a Ranger too and now we can take the boys out on rides - should be lots of fun.

We did see some snow, but not too much. And we even got to see some deer. We're sure blessed to have such a wonderful and beautiful state to explore!
Kelly, Cole, Hayden and Andy


Joanna, Gabe and Cory

Saturday, December 09, 2006

More of Betty's book

Betty's Memory Book

I have been working on this album for a few weeks for my Aunt Sandra. She will be giving it to her mother-in-law for her birthday at the end of the month. It's been a fun project to work on, and I hope she'll enjoy it. I'm posting it so they can get a peek of it before they get it in the mail.

Friday, December 08, 2006

No Santa Pictures

So Gabe and I spent today in St. George for our big Christmas shopping day. I promised him if he was a big helper we could go see Santa Claus and say "ho-ho-ho". I took my camera with me, and I was even planning on purchasing the overpriced picture that they take and sell to you at the mall.

Well we made it down to where Santa was stationed and I was SO excited - there was NO line! I have never walked past a bored Santa in the mall, and in fact I had been dreading the line all day....but for no reason - Santa was twiddling his thumbs and excited for a new visitor.

SO we walk up and "Santa's Helper" says to me, "You can just leave your little guy in his stroller and push it up by Santa, in case he doesn't want to get out and sit on Santa's lap."

I laughed at her (kindly) and said, "Oh I have a pretty social little guy, and he's been really excited to see Santa - I don't think we'll have a problem!" As I said this I was taking Gabe out of his stroller. Instantly he grabs onto the necklace I'm wearing with one hand, and claws into my arm with his other hand. The poor guy was TERRIFIED!

So I set him on the ground to walk up to Santa and he looks up at me with his hands in the air and say, "Up, Up". So I carry him over to Santa. He kept holding onto my arms and reaching towards where we parked our stroller. The closer we got to Santa, the more interested Gabe was in the decorations outside of Santa's little village.

He showed NO interest in Santa. He wouldn't shake his hand, say hi, or even share his, "ho-ho-ho" that we'd been practicing (which he's fabulous at by the way....even if he does think that Santa AND snowmen both say "ho-ho-ho").

So after several atempts we got back into the stroller and left the mall. So no overpriced Santa picture, and nothing to post on the blog....Sorry. Luckily it's only the 8th of December and we have a few more opportunities to try again.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We're alive

Just wanted to post quickly to say that we are alive. We went to Farmington for Christmas with the Rhien side of the family. There weren't tons of people at dinner - but it was nice and relaxed. I am proud to say I didn't even eat myself into a turky and pie coma :) (however, in the days to follow I wasn't so diligent.....)

It was great to spend some time with my cousin Rachel too. We were so close growing up, and I'm so excited that she's back living in Farmington so I can get together with her when we go visit. And she is expecting baby #2 in several weeks, and I'm so excited to meet this new little one!

Last night was our Young Women's Evening in Excellence program. After a few snags (like 1/2 of our YW presidency being sick and not being able to make it) we pulled it off. And it felt like it was a success. Even though I was so stressed before it all happened, I couldn't help but feel so much love for each of the Young Women as they stood up to talk about their YW projects. I have a special place in my heart for our girls, and I LOVE my calling!

Now that we're home (and Evening in Excellence is done) I'm trying to focus on Christmas stuff, as well as a few other projects I have up my sleeve. I always wish at this time of year that I had planned things a bit better so I could spend more time making fun crafts and stuff.....maybe next year huh?

Here is the only picture I took on Thanksgiving. I have found that I have been taking fewer and fewer pictures....hopefully that's just a phase and not something new....

Hope everyone is surviving the holidays so far and enjoying time with family and loved ones!

(Edited to add....I said we'd gone to Farmington for Christmas.....see I'm crazy. It was for Thanksgiving!!!)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Who me? Yeah - I know I'm cute!

"Look Mom - I can do it too!" (I was playing cars with him and I put one on my head. He thought it was pretty awesome that he got one to balance on his noggin too.)

Ok - this is kind of an odd picture.....but it has a point. This past week Gabe has figured out how to stand up on his own. Up to this point if he fell over he would crawl over to something to pull himself up - and then walk. But now he can plop down wherever he wants, and get up on his own. (Its super cute when he does it too!)

Just can't resist this cute little smile. I love how he tips his head back when he really cheeses it - it's so cute! Now this picture cracks me up. I think we may see more poses like this from Gabe. It's the "I'm too sexy" pose. Let's see....anything else???

Well Gabe has been OBSESSED with reading lately. He has always loved stories - but his limit was maybe 3 stories and he was done. But just the last several days he has actually been wanting to read like 10 stories at a time! The only way he gets off my lap is to get a new book. And when I try to put him down for bed, or a nap - he gets upset and points to the chair we read in and cries until I read some more. (I actually don't know if he loves to read, or if he knows I'm a pushover for reading and will actually stall his nap for a good book....) It's exciting to share my love of reading with him. I'd love to hear any recommendations for children's books if you have any.

Gabe also loves puzzles. We have a couple of the little wooden ones with animals on them, and a couple other wooden ones - he loves them. He matches up all of the pieces (although doesn't always get them into the spots...since you have to line them up just right) and then he'll dump the pieces out and do it again. I found a cute farm animal puzzle the other day that had animal noises when you put the pieces in. He knows all the sounds of the animals on the puzzle and he loves to tease me by putting the wrong piece on the wrong spot - and laughs. Almost like he's saying, "Ha-ha, a cow that sounds like a sheep - that's so funny!" He's quite the character!

And lastly - since I'm on a kick with bragging about my genius child (every parent thinks that right?) - another one of Gabe's favorite things lately is flash cards. We got these Baby Einstein flash cards that have pictures of things like apples, fish, cows - different words to teach kids. Yesterday he kept wanting to get them down to play with them. I'll show him the card and he'll either make a noise or a gesture that represents each item. It's so awesome to watch the wheels turning, and see things click - like he really gets it. SO awesome!

Anyway - that's our life right now, animal sounds, books, and flash cards. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Cruisin in the Caribbean

Well we're back! We had a good time on our cruise. The weather was lousy for most of the cruise....but we had fun getting away, and doing something different. We ate, relaxed at the pool (proving that you don't have to have sun to get sunburned....), ate, watched shows, ate, and ate some more. I swear - I gained at least 10 lbs while we were gone!

The highlight of the trip was by far the "Sexy Legs" contest. Cory was not only a fabulous contestant - he won the coveted "Chicken Legs" award. He went all out for the contest - borrowing a blond wig, wearing my swim suit and skirt, shaving his legs (the smoothest legs on the ship!), painting his toe-nails, and wearing my sandals....it was quite the look for him. I wish I had some better pictures - he really strutted down that pool deck to show his stuff.

We also had a great time getting to know the people at our dinner table. There were 2 other couples, about Cory and my age - and they were lots of fun. They really made dinnertime fun.

And we loved spending time with Cory's parents! It was fun to get to relax and have fun with them, and for them to spend some time together alone - we were glad we got to bring them with us!

Now it's back to real life....catching up on laundry and the real world. It sure was good to see Gabe - we really missed him.

Oh - and thanks Mom for taking care of him! We really appreciate your help!

Zip Line Canopy Tour

Our first port-of-call was Ocho Rios, Jamacia. We booked a Zip-Line Canopy Tour - WOW! I had never been on a zip line, and it was quite the experience! I pulled my knees up right as high as I could (trying not to hit into any trees) - and apparently that is what makes you go faster...I was going SO fast! But it was quite a rush, and worth every minute of it (and even worth the 27 mosquito bites I got on my lower legs and feet!)


The 2nd port of call we had was Georgetown, Grand Cayman. The weather was....lousy.....it was rainy and windy. But that didn't stop us from going out and swimming with the sting-rays at Sting-Ray City. The boat ride was a bit scary, and it was a little scary at first to get in the water with the sting-rays, but it was really fun once we got used to them. We got to hold them, kiss them, feed them (for the brave....) and touch them. It was amazing how soft they were - it was softer than silk! And their tails were so bony - kind of like sand paper. Even though we didn't get to stick around for long (because of the weather), we had a great time!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Our Lil' Pumpkin

We took Gabe to the local pumpkin patch on Saturday. He was cute with the pumpkins - he really seemed to like them. We ended up picking one out, but didn't end up having time to carve it as a family. I guess Gramma and Gabe will have to work on that while we're gone (We're leaving on a cruise and Gramma Rhien is coming to play with Gabe).

Hope everyone has a GREAT Halloween!

Our big boy

This picture makes me laugh. We have been teaching Gabe some songs with actions. This is one he's caught on to really well....or at least his version of really well....This is, "I looked out the window and what did I see?" (he's looking out the window). He knows about 1/2 of the actions to this song - my favorite is when he smells the popcorn ball so sweet - it's hilarious!

"Yeah, the chicks dig me in these jeans - they say I look HOT".

We cut his hair shorter this time - so it can spike. It's great until he starts combing it himself....then it looks silly. (and yes, he is trying to grab the camera)