December 31, 2009


Last night we got back (and I was worried for a while there that we wouldn't.... ran into a snow storm, icy roads, several car accidents/road closures) from spending a few days in Pinetop for some adventures in the snow.

I'm not sure why we wanted to leave our gorgeous desert winter and go freeze, but it was fun.

The kids (and Jay) had a great time sledding (I decided to forgo the sledding and just take photos).

I crack up at these photos because of our mismatched, ill-fitting, "vintage" show gear. Since we are desert dwellers we don't own any, so we have to make due with whatever we can find. Beggars can't be choosers. Jack's coat had a ski lift ticket attached to it.... from 1984.

December 27, 2009


Last night we went to the Zoppé Family Circus! It was so much fun! This is what you think of when you hear the phrase "The circus is in town," and what you see in old movies. It is a traditional Italian family circus, started in 1842. It's just a single big-top tent, intimate seating where you can see everything, lots of audience participation, hilarious clown antics, great talent, and tons of fun. I was very impressed.

If you have an opportunity to go, you really should! They are in town until January 4th (Chandler) and there are still tickets available ($15 for kids 12 and under, and $20 for adults). I think this is an experience my kids will not forget.

I had fun playing with my camera.... took a bunch of cool photos without a flash, lots of experimenting.

December 26, 2009

'Twas the Day After Christmas

On Christmas Eve we went to Jay's parents' house for dinner with his family and a visit from Santa. The food was great, and my in-laws brought back lots of fun stuff from their recent trip.

Then we made a stop at my parents' house, where my youngest brother, who spent two years in Germany as a missionary, taught us some German traditions, including looking for the "Christkind" and singing "O Tannebaum" and "Stille Nacht" in German. (To German speakers we probably would have just sounded like we were mumbling.)

Christmas day was fun and crazy. Jay finally woke the kids up at 7:00 because we couldn't wait any longer. Of all days, this was the one day in the whole year they decided to "sleep in."

After opening gifts, we went to my parents' house for a delicious breakfast of my dad's omelets, pancakes, and bacon, and lots of visiting. And my brother gave me a beginning lesson in using my Christmas present.....
Then we spent the rest of the day playing with our toys.... I took about a thousand photos. It's so much fun! (But I have a LOT to learn!)

My awesome parents....Mary at Grandma's house...
I tried to take a photo of Jay with his present from me.... a Fender Guitar (and lessons)... but this was all I got.Jack wearing the "Yoda" hat that Mary made for him. You can't tell from this photo, but he loves it. Then we played some basketball.
Today the house is still a wreck, but what the heck. I went running with my new iPod Shuffle that the kids got me (with their own money, they were sure to let me know). Hooray! It was really frustrating taking along my old classic iPod that seemed so small when I got it several years ago but now seems gigantic. Funny how that happens.

December 14, 2009

Be the Change

Well, on Saturday, after one month with "Race Day Training" I did something I thought I would never do..... I ran a race! It was only 5K, but that was enough for me! I didn't feel even close to being ready for it, but I survived. Thankfully it was a small race, so not a ton of pressure, but there was a small group of die-hards.

My devoted friend Jenni, who happens to be a serious runner (she does big-time races like this one, at high altitude, even though she lives in the desert), did it with me, just for moral support! She stayed with me the whole time, bless her heart, even though she could have easily run it in half the time I did (an embarrassing 46:36, though at least there were a handful of people who came in behind us). She kept encouraging me and pushed me on (in a nice way). I estimated that I ran (well, jogged, but for me it's "running") about half of the time.

Oh, and by the way, there were little hills all over the place! What's up with that?

Jenni could have walked faster than me (actually, my jog is so slow that I think I could have walked faster than me). My knee was (no, make that "is") killing me. (A knee-replacement is in my not-so-distant future.*) I think I might have given up if Jenni hadn't been there.

Jay and the kids showed up to cheer me on (and video me! Ugh!). I'm doing all this for them, though my kids think I'm crazy.

So, I ran a race. And no, I don't want to run another one.... at least not in the foreseeable future.

Thank you Jenni! I owe you big time! Thank for Jay, for encouraging me to join "Race Day Training." Thank you Diane, for being my inspiration. And to Dixie, for making me do this... thank you... I think. :)

*My knee was crushed in a car accident 10 years ago = multiple surgeries, bone grafts, plates and screws, damaged cartilage and ligaments, etc. My orthopedic surgeon gave it 10 years before it would need replacing, so I'm running on borrowed time anyway.

December 10, 2009

Jedi Don't Dance

I spent the afternoon yesterday helping my SIL who recently gave birth to these 2 sweet Beanie Babies. It was so fun! (Yes, I'm a little baby hungry, but it will have to stay that way.) She is probably exhausted and frustrated and overwhelmed and sleep-deprived, but you would never know it..... she looks gorgeous and skinny and acts calm.

I kicked Sarah out of the house to do some shopping sans kids, and after the babies were changed and fed, and sleeping soundly, I folded some laundry while Jack played with Owen. They were running around with lightsabers and yelling stuff. I wasn't paying much attention until Jack stopped in front of a large mirror and said, "Hey, look at that mirror!" Owen obviously wasn't impressed since he sees it every day.... he said nothing.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Jack doing a silly little jig while admiring himself in the mirror. That made me smile. Suddenly Owen got a really intense look on his face and said in a very serious Jedi voice, "Jack! There's no time for dancing! We have a mission! Remember General Grievous?"

I busted out laughing... but I covered it OK with a cough.

And they were off once again on their "mission" to defeat the "big 4-armed robot" (Jack's description).

It's really too bad that Jedi don't dance.... I mean, they would if they could, but they just don't have time for dancing.

A Weird Side-Effect of Working Out

I have discovered that lately any time I do some repetitive motion, whether it's grating cheese, stacking dishes, scrubbing something, etc., I find myself subconsciously counting, as if I'm doing reps.... sit-ups/push-ups/squats/lunges, etc. Weird.