October 24, 2008

We're Friends

This is my nephew Dylan.

I watch Dylan during the day. He is as firey as his red hair implies and he is a lot like his mom! One thing that I like about Dylan is that he appreciates food more than any kid I know. He doesn't eat anything and everything, but if he likes something, you will hear about it.

One time when Dylan was younger, I was feeding him a "awful" (that's waffle to you) and he literally closed his eyes and said "mmmm dat's good" after each bite. He LOVES awfuls, and it's kind of silly to see a kid get so excited over something he calls "awful."

These are some of the words he uses to describe his food:

Mmmm. I wike it!
Dat's Gooood
Yommy (that's extra emphasis on the long "o")

For the past couple of days I have been planning to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with Dylan, but we have to do it when Taylor takes a nap. Today we finally got to make them. I got the ingredients out on the counter and told Dylan to grab his chair and come over to help me make cookies. He says "we making cookies now? I wike cookies, Angie! With chochwhat chips! Mmmmm goooood!" I laughed inside and got his chair. Just before he hops up to help, he throws his arms around my leg and says "we friends, huh Angie?" Ahhhhhh - doesn't that just bring a tear to your eye? I gave him a big hug and almost cried and said "yep, we're friends."

The rest of the cookie making was eventful too, with a big scoop of flour being flipped all over us, and some eggs getting dumped on the floor. But when I cracked the eggs he told me "good job, Angie!" so I guess that makes up for it.

He also called me "Ang" today for the first time, so I think that pretty much makes us best friends by now. However, as I type this he is sticking a funnel under Taylor's door and trying to look through it to see if he's awake yet, so he's back to his usual tricks.

What a fun fall day! I love you Dylan - your silly words, telling me "good job" whenever you approve of something I've done, and even your all-out spit fire 2 year old tantrums! You did a good job making cookies today buddy! We're definitely friends :)

October 18, 2008

You're It

I was tagged by Angie S. No, I was not tagged by myself, it was another Angie S! My last post is starting to seem real negative so I'm going to put up this instead :)

The first is a one word tag. But, have I ever been able to saying anything with just one word?

Where is your cell phone? Purse
Your significant other? Cory
Your hair? LOOOONG
Your mother? Patient
Your father? Impatient
Your favorite thing? Vacation
Your dream last night? None.
Your favorite drink? Diet coke, with a little bit of cherry Pepsi
Your dream/goal? Many
The room you are in? Living room
Your hobby? I get a hobby?
Your fear? Failure
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Volunteering
What you are not? Skinny
Muffins? Warm
One of your wish list items? House
Where you grew up? Magna
The last thing you did? Dishes
What are you wearing? Clothes
Favorite gadget? Straightener (I'm going to consider that a gaget!)
Your pet? Dying
Your computer? Laptop
Your mood? Okay.
Missing someone? Yep.
Your car? Small
Something you are not wearing? Shoes
Favorite store? Many
Like Someone? Everybody
Favorite color? Lots
When is the last time you laughed? Today (too many times to count cuz Taylor is funny).
Last time you cried? Don't know (the Notebook was on recently and that always makes me cry).

The last part is called 7 things

7 things I can do

Water ski
Be a stay at home mom and work three part-time jobs (these are paying part time jobs - I'm not talking about my kiddies)
CPR - I'm certified and I actually had to do it once.
Spend countless hours shopping for anything and nothing all at the same time
Sew a really cute blanket
Remember you. I rarely forget a name or a face.
Ride in the car for hours - love road trips!

7 things I can't do

The splits - my daughter dared me and I failed :(
Get enough sleep (and not because of the kids)
Keep up
Get motivated
Read for hours on end (I feel guilty that I'm neglecting the house or my kids)
Be on time

7 things that attracted me to Cory:

- The way he loves his mom
- He's tall
- His personality
- He makes up his own jokes (and laughs at them)
- He doesn't care what other people think
- He had his own "radio show." He and Ryan made several tapes with the "ghetto blaster" when they were young. He still has them. I can't divulge any more, cuz I think he likes to keep this top secret. (But I can tell you they are hilarious).
- He waited like forever to tell me that he loved me. He said people say it too often and they never mean it, so when he did tell me I knew he really, really meant it.

7 things I say most often

Have a good day
I love you
Just a minute
Time to take a nap
Good night
Read a book
I need to get some work done

7 celebrities I admire:

Faith Hill - She's a hot mama and she loves her kids!
Tim McGraw - He absolutely adores his wife, and his daughters!
Oprah - Even though I don't watch her show, I think she really tries to help others
Michael Landon (so he's not alive anymore, but he was the best "pa" ever).
Yoda - Do or do not, there is no try! (Cory's favorite quote). He's small guy with big spirit and I don't care if he's not a real person.
Harrison Ford - he chose to grow old gracefully. No fake plastic surgery.
Will Smith - I think he's a good father and he's so talented. I also like that even though he was successful at music, he decided to try television, and then movies. He's always looking to do more and be better at what he does.

7 Favorite foods

Cafe Rio Salad
Cory's spicy chicken dip
Funeral potatoes
Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies
Home made bread
Smothered Bean & Cheese Burrito and rice
Practically anything in the dessert category

October 8, 2008

It's Just NOT Right

Okay, so this has been on my mind for a long, long time - which means that chances are that I'm going to go off like a stick of dynamite, so you have been warned! First off, I loved conference. I felt like so many of the talks were written just for me! I won't go into all of that, but for me it was very touching. During one particular talk I was thinking a lot about something that was said about society accepting more and more behavior that previously was not acceptable, to the point where it is acceptable and then something has to be that much more shocking in order for us to think anything of it. I think the word used during that talk was that we are "deceived," and I think that it might have been in Sister Dalton's talk but honestly after so many sessions of conference, they are now starting to run together. If it wasn't her, I'm sure someone will correct me.

You know how when you were little you said "when I grow up I'm going to let my kids do _____." When I was very young I was always going to let my kids eat as much candy as they wanted to, I was going to buy them whatever clothes they wanted, I was going to let them stay out as late as they wanted, and above all I was going to be the cool mom! Well, guess what . . . I don't let my kids eat as much candy as they want to, I don't let them wear whatever they want to, I don't let them stay up as late as they want to, and most of all I do NOT let them listen to whatever music they want to and I do NOT let them watch whatever movies they want to. Now, before I really get started, let me say that Bailee and Morgan are good kids. Up to this point they have not gotten into any major trouble and for the most part they make pretty good choices, but they are only 10 and they have a long way to go - they are just getting started.

So back to the conference talk -my question is where did society go wrong? I mean REALLY, REALLY wrong. This whole thing was prompted by the song "I Kissed a Girl," which, for those of you who don't know, is sung by a girl. I will be the first to admit that I have listed to and liked songs simply for the tune and the band and for whatever other reason. But, something inside of me got really ticked off when I first heard this song about a girl kissing another girl "just to try it" - - like that makes it okay. When did it become acceptable for girls to kiss girls? This song now forces me to have to have a conversation with my 10 year olds that I never expected to be having at this age - that it's NOT okay for girls to kiss girls. Seriously, I think the song is just as catchy as everyone else, which is probably the reason for the conference talk. Society just pushes the envelope until everyone thinks that it is alright.

So now, for the past few weeks, up until conference I started to think I was probably just over-reacting because this song made me so mad when it first came out and then as time went on I said to myself "but I can tell my kids that it's not okay, and it's just a song." But where do we draw the line?

Today I called my aunt about something about Taylor and the topic quickly turned to our older kids (her youngest is about the same age as my girls). I told her that I was already "worried" about my girls and what they are being exposed to and all of the issues kids face today. Her first words to me were "you should be worried." As we got talking she starts telling me that her kids know other kids, in junior high, who come from very good LDS families who are having sex and they think it's okay. Two disclaimers here - (1) I am NOT judging ANYONE! I am simply discussing the fact that kids face a lot of problems these days and so many of them are having a hard time making wise choices. (2) I am NOT, NOT, NOT saying that just because these kids being raised in LDS homes that it makes any of this any better or any worse, but I bring this up only because in our religion we try to teach our kids that it is not okay, in spite of what the world says. So, if we are trying to teach our kids these things and even a lot of them still think it's okay, what does that mean? Is this really socially acceptable to the average 13 year old?

My kids probably think that I'm not cool sometimes because I stress a lot the importance of modest clothes, and I won't let them wear bikinis that show off their stomach, and because I won't let them watch PG-13 movies because they are either too violent, or the girls in those movies spend all of their time worrying about boyfriends (heck this is even the case with most of the shows on Disney after school gets out). I want my kids to use good judgment. They are only 10 and I do not want them to think that it's okay to have a "boyfriend," because having a "boyfriend" when you are little is not as innocent as it used to be. I want my girls to enjoy their childhood which means, for now, that we don't need boyfriends, and I certainly don't want some 12 year old checking them out and the pool already, so no skimpy bikinis! Does it mean that I won't have a teenager who ends up pregnant? Nope. Does that mean they will make every decision the way I want them to? Nope. Does that mean that because there is all of this crappy stuff that is going on these days their lives will be ruined forever? Nope. We all make mistakes and that is the purpose of free agency. And, hopefully we all learn from our mistakes. I know plenty of people who committed serious sins, even in junior high, who turned out just fine, but that does not make it okay. And trust me when I tell you that there are lots of kids out doing things that their parents would be totally shocked about. I just don't want to be that naive parent who does not know what her kids are up to. I don't want them to think that just because other kids do it, that I think it's acceptable. I want them to know where I stand. I want them to know that I expect them to make better choices than that. Isn't it the goal of every parent to give our children more than we had? That doesn't mean we give them more candy, let them stay up later, buy them better clothes or any of those other trivial things that don't even matter. It means that we try to educate them more, so that they make better decisions than we made. It means we try our hardest to tell them what is right and wrong and then just hope and pray that they make good choices, but we have to start now - not when they get into junior high, because then it's already too late.

The other part of me doesn't want to over do it - I don't want to hound or bark at my kids every time they do something wrong, because they are going to make mistakes. That's what life is about. That said, I told my aunt about how my poor kids get the 3rd degree every time they go somewhere or come home (where are you going, who will be there, there has to be a parent home, what are you going to do, or what did you do? - all put in a nice, I'm just interested in you and love you tone), but my aunt reassured me that this is how it has to be. She told me how blunt she is with her kids about life, and it gives me courage to say what has to be said, even if it just means telling them that it's NOT okay to kiss girls, even just to try it, because IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT!!

P.S. - Thanks to a very long conversation with my very cool aunt, I feel so much better now!

September 23, 2008

Mission Accomplished!!!

After 4 long years of studying and countless prayers, Cory is finally done!! He passed the Utah Bar exam and will officially be sworn in as an attorney in late October. Wheeewwwwwwwww! Yes, that is one big, Big, BIG sigh of relief. I am so thankful that he can now spend all of his extra time with us, and not at the library! This year he took ALL 3 WEEKS of his vacation to study for the Bar, and needless to say, that really, really sucked!

We did learn a whole lot about our family through this whole thing, and the best lesson learned was that we could survive! We lived three long years in another state, without help from extended family. Let me tell you, if you haven't done it, that can be very tough, especially at first. No grandmas, or aunts to babysit when you have to take an unexpected trip to the hospital, missing family traditions (unfortunately Michigan does NOT celebrate the 24th of July), family reunions we could not attend, and we missed a wedding and a couple of babies who were born while we were gone. We were able to come home maybe 4 or 5 times, but flights between Utah and Michigan are not cheap so we didn't fly too often! It's a 24 hour drive between the two states, and Cory even drove it once without me and only 3 hours of sleep at a rest stop. I'm glad we won't be doing that again. We even drove home one Christmas just in time to surprise everyone at my sister's house for dinner on Christmas Eve, and then showed up at Cory's mom's house on Christmas Day. Bailee and Morgan love to tell that story, because everyone was sooooo surprised. I will always remember how we made it home in record time with perfect weather in December, only to drive home in the absolute worst blizzard I've ever seen. I think we were one of probably 10 in 100 cars who did not slide off the side of the road. I think it took us 30 something hours to get home. Most of the drive we were going under 20 miles an hour on the freeway, but since we arrived safely we can say it was worth it.

We made a lot of our own Michigan traditions with just the four of us like going to the pumpkin/ apple farms, attending the holiday parade in November in downtown Lansing, and going to Sleeping Bear Dunes. These are things that the four of us can remember and talk about, and it's special because it was just us!

On that note, fall reminds me a lot of Michigan. First off, fall reminds me of school, and the girls had a fantastic elementary school in Michigan. It was far above and beyond what they have had here. I just never realized how much more education our kids could be getting. In Kindergarten Bailee and Morgan came home one day and told me about their art class. They learned about Van Gogh and told me all about him and could name some of his paintings. They would also tell me about how they learned about Bach in music, and they could name pieces that he had composed. In Utah, where there are many more children, and everyone is so focused on kids, we could be doing so much more. I'll stop there, because I could write several pages on why I think Michigan public education is better than Utah's, at least on the elementary level. Needless to say, I miss Pinecrest Elementary!

There were so many historical church sites within a day's drive of Michigan, so we were able to go to Palmyra, Kirtland, and we stopped off at Nauvoo during the move home. It was so incredible to visit these places. When I was younger I always thought that it would be such a testimony builder to see the places where such magnificent church events took place, and it definitely was. There were so many good people that helped fulfill the goals and missions that the early prophets, and especially Joseph Smith, was inspired to fulfill. We went to so many homes and farms and churches, but each one had it's own spirit and I knew that each place was sacred for a different reason, but that it was all done for the same purpose. It was so nice to see Bailee and Morgan react to the different sites, and to see their little testimonies grow.

In Michigan we lived very close to the MSU campus and every Saturday the band would practice at the stadium just a few miles down the road from us. They would start early in the morning and I miss the band waking me up on a sunny Saturday. The drums rattling, and the horns playing. One might think it would make a person upset, but I loved waking to the sounds of the band. I loved the excitement in the air on game day, and the kids would always come home on Thursday after school and tell me that they HAD to wear their MSU shirts on Friday for green day. It was fun to have that college town atmosphere so close.

We also made so many great friends that have become family. We had Thanksgiving & Christmas dinners together, went on camping trips, had date nights together, tons of fun at ward parties, and did so many fun things. We will always have a special bond with all of our Michigan friends. One family is especially important to us, the Liles, because our kids became best friends. They live in Last Vegas, but we spent a few hours with them a few weeks ago when they came for a short visit, and and the kids loved it. They played at the park and then we went to Training Table for lunch, and then to Millcreek Canyon to hang out. They all picked up right where they left off and had a blast. They also have a baby, Crew, who is just a couple of months younger than Taylor so we all had a good time watching the babies play together.

Here are some pics

Crew & Taylor - already buddies!

Morgan & Chase playing in the water at Millcreek

Brett & Bailee getting their feet wet

All the kids had a blast!

Bailee and Morgan absolutely loved their time with Chase and Brett and before they even left the kids were trying to plan another time to meet. Hopefully we can meet up again soon because we always have a good time together. One funny thing I have to mention is that Cory is very, very big on journal writing. Me - not so much (he bought me a journal for Christmas 2 years ago and it's still empty-thus the reason I try to blog). But I LOVE that Cory has so many journals, and he makes the kids write in theirs on Sundays. One funny entry that I read in Bailee's she had written we first moved back from Utah. She wrote that when she turns 16 she is getting a car and she is going to drive down to Las Vegas to see her friend Chase. Someday she'll thank her dad for making her write down these little thoughts!

This was one funny conversation I had with Morgan within the first week of living in Michigan. She was almost 6.

Morgan: "Mom, what is dad going to school for again?"

Me: "To be a lawyer."

Morgan: "Oh . . . I get it - so he can loy?" (pronounced like soy, with an "L").

What exactly does it mean to loy? Well, I think to Morgan it means practicing law.

Here's another little memory just off the top of my head. One Saturday Morgan and I were cleaning our townhouse and I was about 4 months pregnant with Taylor. Well, you know how after you have that first kid you start showing lots earlier with the next ones. She had been watching me for several weeks and every now and I then I'd see her checking out my belly and she'd come touch it just to see what was going on. On this particular Saturday we had been cleaning and I had on a tight undershirt, the kind you don't wear without something over the top, but it was hot and we were cleaning so that's what I had on. Morgan comes around the corner and just stops and looks at me for a minute and I can tell she wants to say something. Then she says "Mom, I hate to tell you this, but you're really starting to get pregnant now." I just laughed. I was starting to show, especially with tight clothes on, but I had been pregnant for several months. I thought it was funny that she would say I was "starting" to get pregnant.

Morgan always has little gems to share. Now that they are older, the funny little remarks are few but I love thinking about the little things they used to say and I'm glad we have to many videos of them. I wish they could go back to being 4!

I have some other funny things, but I'll save those for the girls' birthday post. They'll be 10 in less than 2 weeks! Man, that just makes me feel very old!!!

September 3, 2008

The Fruits of our Labor Day!

It's that time of year again when I look forward to school starting, new beginnings, leaves falling, football starting, and Cory looks forward to . . . bottling SALSA! He likes making the homemade fresh stuff when tomatoes first sprout, but he really freaks when the end of summer is near and he can spend an entire day bottling salsa. Even he admits to being a little "obsessed" with it.

After 12 years, I am still convinced that the Sumsion family is at least half Mexican. (Sumsion is Spanish, right?) Boy, do they like their salsa. And, Cory once told me that he could eat Tacos every night if I would let him. I love tacos, but not for every meal!

On Labor Day Taylor woke the house up at his usual early time, and Cory hopped out of bed ready to run out and grab tomatoes. He goes to a little vegetable stand because he needs at least a bushel. Next, off to his mom's house to visit for just a bit, grab more extra large bowls and the pots. Not just any pots, but large, large pots. Then off to Walmart to get the peppers, garlic, onions (and whatever else he puts in salsa - I really don't know because it's a secret recipe), along with tortilla chips (of course) jars, lids, etc.
By about 1:00 p.m. he's home and we are in salsa making mode. This was the first of what seemed like 50 pots of tomatoes we blanched.

After blanching and peeling the tomatoes, they go into the blender. This is Taylor's reaction to the blender. . .

Actually, this was his reaction the second time around, because the first time I didn't have the camera in hand, so we did it again - - cruel and unusual punishment, I know! See him grip his high chair. After he calmed down he turned around and tried to exit off the back! None of my children have ever liked the vacuum, but issues with the blender??

Back to salsa. Most of the peppers and onions are blended with the tomatoes, because the girls in this house (me included) hate chunks in our salsa, but we allow dad to put some diced stuff in too mostly because he likes it, but it's really good.
So this is what he does next. . .

Dice, dice and dice! My mom bought him a food processor a while back for Christmas specifically to help with his salsa making efforts, but he says he doesn't "believe" in that. Sorry mom!!! We use the food processor for other stuff.
Next is the phase where we let the salsa "cook down." I have no idea what that actually means, but I think it's a fancy way of saying the salsa thickens and the flavors soak in. Check out these CAULDRONS!

Cory stirs frequently to avoid burning and takes small amounts out of each pot every now and then to cool and taste test. Who knew that you can't test it while it's hot? Oh NO, it has a completely different flavor once it has cooled, so cooling is vital to the taste test. He adds a little of this and a little of that, and otherwise the cauldrons boil for like 3 hours and I don't have to do anything!!! Ha ha! WHATEVER!! This is the time where I start freaking out at what a disaster my kitchen has become despite the wonderful aroma that lingers clear into the garage, and I start to frantically wash, wipe, and mop everything I can get my hands on.

I don't know what time it is when we start bottling, but by around 11:30 p.m., this is what we have . . .

I doesn't look like it, but that is 40 something glorious jars of salsa. We also had two large tupperware bowls, one bowl for work and one for immediate consumption! MMMMM mmmmm :) Is this considered food storage, because Cory could eat nothing but salsa for months if necessary, even for drink - - I think he would chug it like milk if he had to.
People have told him that he should start botting it to sell. He'll challenge anyone, any day to a salsa cookoff. I think I'm going to call the Food Network about having a Showdown with Bobby Flay - (YES, I had to ask Bailee and Morgan exactly what the show was called because I forgot and they are obsessed with the Food Network).
Cory hoards his salsa more than anything, so if he offers to share, consider yourself lucky. If you've ever received a jar, consider yourself family.

August 27, 2008


First off, thanks to Dawn for talking me through the tips and tricks of blogspot, and for chatting and catching up with me. It was great to talk to you!

I am by no means an expert at this blogging business, but oh well here it goes.

My big 4th graders!!

Like most everyone else in Utah, our kids went back to school this week! I took the kids to school the first day, but my camera had issues, so these are from day #2 at the bus stop. I'm sad every year because they prefer to ride the bus so they can talk to all their friends. It usually takes me half an hour to talk them into letting me take them the first day.

They were definitely ready to go back! We had a decent summer and I thought I wanted them to stay home with me forever. . . . until August rolled around and then I changed my mind. The worst part about about school starting is that I lose my two best babysitters. No more "Bailee, can you please keep an eye on Taylor while I (insert a variety of daily mundane chores here. . . load the dishwasher, vacuum, etc.)?" Or, "Morgan, can you feed Taylor his waffles while I jump in the shower?" Nope - now I get to chase after the little guy all by myself again, and while he's not on a dead sprint yet, he can definitely walk from here to there and he gets around quickly. He's still a little wobbly, and while I love the wobbly walk, he looks like I've been slipping a little something into his sippy cup.

On the other hand, I think the girls are probably relieved because going back to school will be a break for them. I'm sure they are thinking "what's a little homework at night when I don't have to listen to my mom nag me all day about picking up after myself or watching my little brother." Actually, Bailee likes to clean, and Morgan likes to watch her brother - so the complaining only starts when Bailee has to watch her brother and Morgan has to clean.

On the plus side, I get to start going to the gym again! I've only gone a few times all summer and I miss it. I love the classes, and if you are on the equipment, they have tvs with a channel to the play area so you can see what your kids are doing. If I'm having a day when I'm frustrated or tired of chasing Taylor, I pack him up and take him to the gym just so I can have time to think.

So back to the daily grind!!!

August 19, 2008

A Little Update

Hi family and friends. I finally got our blog moved - that's not to say it's any better. I have to do some major work on this thing, so check us out ofen and I'll try to keep up! In case we haven't been in touch with you for a while, I'll give you an update on our family. If you see us all the time, I'll try to get keep this updated at least every couple of weeks so check back, and sorry about the whole story of our lives thing!

I'll start with Cory, who sometime in 2004 had what I refer to as an early midlife crisis. After 7 years he decided he did not like his job (he'd been working at Sundance Catalog as a computer network administrator) and he did not want to be in the computer business anymore and he wanted to go to law school. Yeah, I know - all of you who know Cory are surprised. I could not imagine my hubby with his hilarious sense of humor and easy going attitude as an uptight, do everything by the books, attorney. I had several good attorney friends (who were not your typical attorney types) that tried to talk him out of it, to no avail. So, we packed up and moved to Michigan for 3 years. Cory finished law school last September and has been working at Zions Bancorp in the Corporate Contracts Division. I am very proud of him for even making it through. Law school is TOUGH!!!

I worked as a paralegal/legal secretary for about 13 years, until we moved home from Michigan last Spring. At that time I was pregnant with our third baby (Taylor) and we decided that I should stay at home with the kids. In Michigan our kids were in school all day and Cory was out of school when the kids got out, so I continued to work and between Cory and I we were able to take kids to field trips, go to all of the class parties, etc. When I quit work last year the kids were out for the summer and it was a lot of fun hanging out with them. However, when they went back to school, I realized that I missed work A LOT. I could not imagine sending my baby to child care, but at the same time, I really missed going to work, meeting those deadlines, preparing for trial, and feeling a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. In September I got a call from my friend who knew someone who needed someone to do some part time legal work from home. I was very happy and excited. Two days later a friend of mine who worked at the firm I was with before we moved to Michigan, called and she said they needed someone to help the medical malpractice department out and that I could work from home. I am now a stay at home mom with two part time jobs. I still miss going to work but so far this has been an ideal situation.

Being a mom is hard work, but I love my kiddies. I don't like the fact that I spend hours picking up after children (all of them, and husband) only to turn around 5 minutes later, and have it a mess again. I don't like that my girls are almost 10 and getting too old for their britches, and maybe they don't do everything how I want them to do it, or when I want them to do it, or the fact that one is exactly like me (yes, I have now apologized to my mom) but as all kids do, they bring a smile to my face when I need it the most and I love them more than anything.

Bailee is our oldest by 25 minutes. She and Morgan are starting 4th grade this year. Wow, where does the time go. I can't believe how old they are. They started Kindergarten the year we moved to Michigan, which seems like yesterday. Bailee has the best memory of any kid I have ever met. She can tell you were everyone was sitting at Thanksgiving dinner 3 years ago, and what they were wearing. I have no idea why she remembers that stuff, but she also can recall details in books and other things that surprise me. Of course, she's not nearly as good at remembering to clean her room or make her bed. I hope the memory comes in handy with times tables and division. She just started cheer last week and is having tons of fun. They will do a lot of performances and competitions this year. I'm really exicted for her.

Morgan was the baby for 8 1/2 years. She is a pint size little thing and is about as petite as they come. She is a sensitive little mom and is constantly fussing over her little brother. She's definitely the mom of the two. She still wants to pick out Taylor's clothes every day and checks in when she's outside playing, just to see what Taylor is up to. She is also in cheer and is very excited. Believe it or not, I had nothing to do with the whole cheer thing. Cory wanted them to do soccer, and they wanted to until their cousin joined cheer, and they saw what fun it was. I can't blame them.

Taylor is our baby. He just turned 1 a couple of weeks ago, and we love him sooooo much. I always wondered if it was true that boys and girls, even as babies, are so different. I'm here to tell you that they are - and this kid is all boy. He is probably more tough than Morgan and could probably take her in a one-on-one match. No kidding. He's very big and tall for his age (people cannot believe he's barely one), and Morgan can't hold him while she's standing up. He gets into EVERYTHING, which is something our girls did not do and he eats EVERYTHING (electrical cords to the computer and play station are his favorite, followed by flip flops - absolutely disgusting) which is something our girls did not do. Because he's soon to be the only kid under 10 in our house, he gets way, way too much attention and he knows there are 4 people at his constant beck and call. He never went through the stranger stage, and smiles from ear to ear at anyone who will look at him. He'll jibber to people behind us at the grocery store and I can't go anywhere without someone commenting about what a cutie he is - the problem is, he knows it.

So, that's us in a nutshell. I'm off to shuttle kids around, so in the next day or two I'll post some pics from Taylor's b-day, some from our vacation to Jordanelle, some days on the beach at Pineview, and I'll see what else is on the camera. It'll be as much of a surpise for me as it will for you!!