Monday, September 28, 2009


While I was going through the pictures from the 7 months I took off from blogging I came across these and I just couldn't resist putting them in here. It was late March and we gathered up all the weeds that had accumulated in our yard over the winter and windy spring and put them all in a big pile just outside our property line in the field. The boys then decided it wasn't quite big enough so they gathered all the tumbleweeds from the neighbors yards too. They then ran around the neighborhood and gathered any of their friends that were home. Even a few adults came over to watch. It was a big pile and it went up in less than 2 minutes. It was so fast and super hot. I, being a bit of a pyro, would love to do this every weekend but I guess that's not very feasible. Anyway, it was pretty cool to watch and alot better than just leaving them in the field to blow into our yard again. (March 2009)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Big Boy Birthday's

We planned it just right so we would be in Salt Lake for Gary's birthday. We went and played (Hollywood Connection) for the day but before we left he had gifts for Dad. Nothing we (I) buy could ever measure up to express our love for him. Gary is the most fantastic man. I don't know how I got so lucky as to find him and then actually trick him into loving me too. His greatest concerns are always how to better provide for our family. Whether it be monetarily, spiritually, physically, time wise or any other way. We love him so much. Thank you Gary for being the strength and back bone to our family. When we got back we had some family come over for a little party for Spencer. He had been asking for a Nintendo DS and in Gary's style he had convinced Spencer that we just didn't think he was old enough for such an expensive gift. I'm not sure if all of Gary's "I don't know about that..." is convincing to the kids or not but Spencer seemed sincerely surprised and genuinely delighted with his new DS.

The next weekend (Friday the 20th)we had a friend party. Spencer requested a sleep-over but me being the ogre I am made him settle for a late night party. They played games, decorated cupcakes, and watched "Space Chimps". They really had to work for the cakes considering an alien came and stole them. They succeeded in the end by following his trail of misleading notes and clues. They even completed their space training in the process. Great job boys.
If you watch the entire slide show you'll notice the boys holding or bopping their gift to Spencer on his head. When I was growing up we always played this game at our birthdays. I had forgotten about it until this party. The rhyme goes, "Heavy, heavy hang over thy poor head. What do you wish this person with a "bump" on your head?" Then the giver bonks the gift on the birthday kids head and the birthday kid has to wish something to the gift giver. We got alot of "You'll be rich" or "You'll be a super-star ball player." As you can see from the pictures they all (even Spencer) got into it and had a great time. We ended up with 8 friends + 1 cousin and 2 little brothers. 12 little boys got a bit crazy but it was great fun none-the-less.

Finally, on his actual birthday (Saturday 21st) We just had a little cake and ice cream. I was watching Nathan and Lindsay for the week while Kat and Tom took a much needed and well deserved trip. We loved having the extra company for the final hurrah to Spencer's 9th birthday.

Spencer is such a joy to our family. He is so much fun and such a big help to us all. We love you Spencer!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Enough Already...

Okay, it's been 6+ months since I have posted. Life got crazy (still is) and I had to make a choice as to what to drop. Blogging was one of the things to go. Well, now with the kids back to school I'm hoping to get back to it. I love having this record of our families life. The kids love to look through it and it reminds Gary and I that we are doing okay with our kids and eventhough we don't do everything the kids want, we do alot and the time we spend is chuck full of quality. My idea for getting the last 6 months caught up was to start current and have a "Flash Back Friday" where I go back to an event I have missed. Gary didn't like the idea. He wants me to just start where I left off and bang it all out and get current in the next month. Maybe I'll do a mix of the two. Catch up on the big stuff and flash-back on the fluff. I guess you'll just have to tune in to see how it works out. I figure either way, If I give it an hour a day I'll get caught up soon enough. So wish me luck...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hollywood Connection

If you haven't been, you should go. It was such a blast. Monday are family days and you can get everything for pretty cheap. It was also President's Day so they opened earlier than usual. I think the biggest hit was the bumper cars. All three boys went over a dozen times each. The younger two really liked the crawly gym thing and the older two went on the dragon coaster a ton. We even tried our hand at rollerskating. That was a bit of a joke. Desirae wanted to stay on the carpet, Andrew cried the whole time and only went around 1/2 a time then took the skates off, Benji and Spencer did alright but they really didn't have fun. I'm pretty sure it took us longer to get all their skates on and back off than they actually used them. Maybe we'll just try the older two again next year. So after that Desi needed a nap so we went to Auntie Kate's house and laid her down while Kat gave me a massage. I love having a massage therapist for a sister ;} I love her regardless but is sure is a nice perk. While we were gone Gary took the three boys miniature golfing. I think they went through the course twice. When Desi and I got back Aunt Tamie had gotten there with her brood and everyone was having a great time. Upstairs they have an arcade so the kids played games, won tickets and redeemed them for useless junk that I threw away the next day but they loved it so that's all the matters, right? We even got free hot dogs with our all-day passes so we had lunch at the diner. fun, fun, fun...

Valentine's Day

I'm glad Valentines was on a weekend this year. We got to go to Salt Lake and play for the weekend. Gary and I went out with My sisters Tamara & Kathryn and their husbands Shawn & Tom. It was really fun. First we headed to the Rodizio Grill for their awesome Brazilian buffet and then when we were all so stuffed we could hardly walk out we went to the Desert Star Playhouse and watched "Homeschool Musical". It was really funny and hit home a little more than it would have a few months ago. I hadn't been to a playhouse for years and I had forgotten how fun it really is. Gary even mentioned that we should look into getting season tickets for the whole family. They only have between 4 to 6 different shows a year so It isn't as bad as it sounds. After that Tamie & Shawn needed to get home and We went to look for a place to go dancing. That was a bust so we were home by midnight. It was great to visit with my sister's and their spouses. We never get together without the kids so we were actually able to talk. All-in-all a great night. Thanks guys for spending your evening with us!!!

The End of Cancun

The final post for our Cancun trip. It has only taken me a month, sheeez. We did have a couple days where we didn't have anything imparticular to do. We spent these days laying around the pool, walking down the beach, shopping, we even got up extra early one morning to catch the sunrise. So here are the bits and pieces to try and tie up all our loose ends.

Sunrise on the beach was really beautiful. It was a little cool, windy and cloudy the day we got to go see it but it was still worth getting up early for.
The resort we stayed at had some fantastic on-site restaraunts. And since it was all-inclusive we were able to eat at each of them. This pic is from the night we went to the Asian one. There were also an Italian, tex-mex, Caribbean, patio lounge, and a buffet. The food was divine. Each of the theme restaraunts were so elegant and the service was supurb. The food was excelent and the portions were perfect. Each plate was a work of art. Some I "almost" felt guilty eating.

Here we are at "Pina Colada's" for lunch on our beach day. It is open toward the beach and offered great views while we ate.

Hangin' out as the beach was great. The sun was out but it wasn't too hot. I can never sit still long enough to get much sun but it felt great just having the option.

Everywhere you looked there were fabulous views of the ocean. These swings are the seats for the beachside bar. On the otherside of the bar is a hot tub with "swim-up service". Pretty sweet digs if you drink. We still enjoyed the bars, we both drank virgin pina coladas, daquiris, and soda till we couldn't drink any more.Here's the back side of the bar. The "hot tub" was not hot at all. Just luke warm. Someone told us that because of the warm weather they just don't have real hot tubs down here.As we took a walk down the beach we came apon these guys hanging around this dock...As we got a little closer we realized why. The fishing boats bring their fish in and disassemble them right there. They were tossing the scraps to the pelicans.Further down the beach we came upon these dinner boats. You can go out for a dinner cruise on the ocean. These boats look really cool so we took pictures for the kids to see.
The resort was beautiful. Our room was on the ground level so we had a walk-out patio that went out to the grass.
Here's the view from our patio. You can barely see the ocean in the background.Finally, we went shopping. One shopping center was on the bay. It was all outdoors and you wouldn't know you weren't in the US due to how modern it was.The Hard Rock guitar.My big splurge was this purse. You can see the kid in the background making them. It is made out of old chip bags and candy wrappers. Anything with the metallic wrappers. The guy said it takes him about 5 days to make one the size I bought. I remember making the chains out of gum wrappers but I don't know how they make a solid sheet. I love it. We also got a bracelet with Desirae's name woven into it.

There is a world-famous dance/night club here. It has 2 dozen+ superstar impersonators. It was quite the show. We got to see everyone from Michael Jackson, Madonna, Mick Jagger, Elvis, you name it. It was so crowded and most everyone was drunk but it was great fun.

So that does it for our trip. We had a great time. 9 days was a little long being away from the kids and I know Grandma & Papa were totally whiped after watching them. However, It was a once in a lifetime trip and after 9 or so years we really desered some time alone. It was great for us to get to be alone together and rebuild our relationship.If you ever gett he chance to go to Cancun, do it. It was well worth the time to plan it and money to go.

Friday, April 3, 2009

To Sleepover or Not to Sleepover...

Just a random rambling about something I have been thinking about lately...Spencer has really been asking alot lately about participating in sleepovers. We haven't really had to deal with this until more recently. When we lived in Kanab there was a "late night" standard that most of our friends all agreed on. Our kids could get together and have a fun night but go home for bed. It worked great. However, as kids get older they think more and more that they need to have the same rules as "everyone" else. I found a great article from LDS Living that states just how we feel toward sleepovers. Just click on this post title if you'd like to read it. I would love any input y'all might have as to how you deal with this issue, no matter what side of the fence you are on. I don't want anyone to think that I don't trust them or their kids but I strongly feel like it is our responsibility to protect our kids and their innocence. It's just another one of those times when the few are making it harder for the many. I loved sleepovers. I grew up in a small town where sleepovers were the norm and we slept outside all summer long. We never had any issues. But the world is not the same place and I have heard so many horror stories. My inclination is to assume boys don't need as much "protection". But they do. I hate this side of parenting. The fear and apprehension. Feeling like I can't let my guard down for a second. I started having more specific stranger-danger conversations with Spencer two years ago and have reiterated them every six months or so since. Now it's coming up on Benji's turn. At least we have a couple more years before the big one...and that is all Gary's. Sorry I've been rambling and thanks for taking the time to try and decipher my blithering.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Not very often will I create anything for our wonderful blog. Valerie does too good of a job herself. However, I cannot let her Birthday pass and not share just a few photos of her growing up.

Valerie Jean Anderson was born Monday March 31st, 1975. She was born at 2:41 PM at the West Valley Utah Hospital. Of course she was a beautiful baby weighing 7 pounds 10 ounces and 21 inches long. She grew up in Grantsville, Utah until she was 10 then her family moved to Kearns, Utah. After a short time in Kearns she moved with her Mom to Murray for one year and later she lived in Medford, Oregon and went to North Medford High. She moved back to Salt Lake City after graduation and that is when she and I met in 1993. If you don’t know how we met…check out our Anniversary blog coming up in June!



Sadly as I tried to create this surprise blog for Valerie I was only able to find one picture of her before she was 5 years old. I will be getting some from her mom…so watch for updates! It was also hard to find pictures of Valerie by herself while we were dating and after we were married. (I’ve got to save all of our couple and family photos for our Anniversary blog.) There are some cute AND fun photos of her too! As you can see some of the photos I scanned are not in the best shape but these are the only photos I could find of her. Valerie used all of her photos when she created a photo album for her Mom.

Valerie's first car and our first home lot in West Valley City, Utah.


Valerie is truly the love of my life. She does all she can to make our children and me happy. Valerie is independent and self-reliant. She can cook, dance and make, design or create anything! She is smart, loving, giving, honest and I could go on and on… I could type so much about Valerie’s accomplishments and things she is good at…. most who read this know of her many talents and more then likely she has shared them, taught and grown with you. However her one dream in life is to be a mom and homemaker... and she truly is the best!

Happy Birthday

my beautiful wife!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Chichen Itza

Our final outing was to Chichen Itza. This site was recently added to the "new 7 wonders of the world" It was so amazing. We began on a big tour bus. One of the guides talked the whole 2 hour drive. He gave us all sorts of information. We stopped on the way at a little shopping center. We got a few Mayan statues for the kids and Grandpa and I also got myself a necklace that says "MOM" in the Mayan alphabet. It is pretty neat. We finally got to the Chichen ruins. As we walked in there were over a hundred vendors there selling all sorts of souvenir stuff. They totally lined the paths. Our guide was awesome. He spoke 5 languages. He told us from the beginning that he was going to walk fast because there was so much to see and that he would just keep talking the whole time. He made the open offer to feel free to leave him whenever you wanted. So we chose to book through it with him. He had so much information to share. First he took us to to the older part of the city. There were some amazing buildings. Homes, an observatory, lots of churches. The Mayas had several gods, so they had building dedicated to each of them. Most of their buildings had intricate carvings and amazing astronomical correlations. If you want to know more I have linked one site to the title of this post. Another great informational site is . Alright enough of the technical stuff. The buildings were amazing and the entire area was huge. We couldn't even go to some of it because it was closed due to being a current archaeological site. The main building or the castle was so incredible. It almost looked fake. It has 91 steps on each side and then one all the way around on the top to equal 365 total to equal the solar calendar. It also has 28 sections on each face to correlate with the lunar calendar. On each solstice, the sun hits it just right to make the snakes that run down each side of the building look like they are slithering. There are a couple cenotes and one of them was used for human sacrifice. They would generally shoot the person with an arrow and then throw them into the water. Pretty creepy. It was all so interesting and educational and really, really neat. I would love to learn more about the lives and culture of all of these ancient people but I guess that will have to wait.

After the tour we went back to the same little shopping center for lunch. It was really yummy and there was a mariachi band playing and dancers tapping around. When we got back to the hotel they were having some dancers perform on the patio. It was fun to see the different varieties of performers. They had a guy dressed up like he was old and doing a mute comedy act and even had a guy doing lasso tricks. We got a picture of the two of us dressed up like bambidos and sitting on a donkey but it is pretty bad so I'm not posting that one.

Even with the rain, this day was definitely the highlight of our trip.