Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

This was a busy day. After they got all dressed up for the day, we took pictures and then we were off to a party at Nicholas' house.

This costume is made from Deseret Industries clothing and table napkins, with a little it of felt and very sloppy sewing. Hey, I threw it together yesterday in about one hour.

Eli is wearing the pumpkin outfit Raef wore in 2003 sans the hat. I don't know where the hat is. He wouldn't have kept in on his head anyway, so why worry about it.

Tough guys.So scary. Zach can't resist kissing Eli. It is a bit of a problem because he smothers him. While dropping them off, I saw white paint all over Eli's face. Then I asked Zach, "Did you kiss Eli?" He gave me a sheepish grin.
Raef wanted to be an army guy. It was easy to throw his together. The jacket was way too big so I had to readjust it. Believe would never mistake me for a taylor. I am truly lousy at it. Of course, it usually helps if you measure and use pins...but who has time for all of that?
When I went to pick up the kids from the party, I found Raef high in a tree in the backyard. It is like a dream come true for him. He loves to climb. He had so much fun. I was excited that there was a tree available for him to climb. I used to love climbing trees when I was a kid.
After picking them up, we went to Dad's work. They showed everyone their costumes. The two little girls they are standing with is Ally and Camryn. Their dad works at Fidelity. Their mom made their costumes. They looked so awesome.
Plus some pictures from the ward Trunk or Treat. It is a fun party. Cheryl did the cake walk and she rocks. Maybe you are in one of these photos. Take a look.

Rinar's costume. Whoa...

The branch manager's husband actually has a hairdo like this. No kidding. Except his beard is blonder.

There must have been at least 3 Spidermans, but this one was my favorite.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baby Sounds

The funny noises that our baby makes. Enjoy.

Once Upon a Time...

I had a food storage closet.

I worked very hard on my closet: all day Saturday, in fact. It was nice a neat.
But it had flaws.
And then the food storage closet went...KABOOM!

I recycled stuff in my house to make it. For anyone who wants to make a food storage closet, lots of cans on top of a wire shelf thing held together by plastic hinges is not going to work.

I added just one more item: a box of instant potatoes. I closed the door and heard a shift. I opened the door to see what had happened, and it all came out to greet me.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Grand Canyon, Take-Two

Our trip to the Grand Canyon...Take-Two

Rinar's birthday is today.

"Happy Birthday Honey!" He is now 35!

We went to the Grand Canyon and it was spectacular. It sure takes a lot less time to get there when you go in a helicopter. It is only 80 miles from Las Vegas, as the birdie flies. What a great experience.

Here we are getting ready to take off. That is our pilot Scott Ritter. I sat next to him, front and center.A bird's-eye view of Hoover Dam. Look at the by-pass highway they are building. The bridge is going to be massive. You have to see it in person. It is impressive. They actually did a Mega-Builders episode on the Discovery Channel for this bridge. It is going to be so much easier getting to Arizona when it is completed. Right now, it is a major pain.

This is the edge of the Grand Canyon.

We were in the canyon in front of our nifty little helicopter for this picture. It was a perfect day. The weather was delicious and it was so peaceful. Apparently, the helicopter thing is very popular because there must have been about ten of them in the immediate vicinity and quite a bit of helicopter traffic as well.

The birthday boy...

Flying over the Las Vegas Strip.


Rinar took this video on September 7, 2008, but I thought you might enjoy...Notice that he never lets go of that cookie.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Have Gum in My Hair

Doesn't that sound like a great name for a book? In Eli's case, this would be a non-fiction book. We went to the library today and as Raef was playing with Eli, the gum he had been chewing for the past 30 minutes fell out of his month and on to the top of Eli's head. The gum was very sticky. We had to go right home to remedy the situation.

The remedy was peanut butter and ice. After I put the peanut butter in his hair, I read on the internet that you can get it out with baby oil. Oh well. After his bath, his hair still smelled like peanut butter.

So yummy, you could just eat him.

I had to keep him busy while I got all of that gum out of his hair so I gave him cookies. Did I every metion that he really likes cookies? I have a tendency of giving him too many cookies. But he loves them and it keeps him quiet. It is a means to an end. What can I say? And no, there is absolutely no healthy, redeeming quality in any of the cookies I give him. They are not even close to organic. It is just a cookie.

I think I am creating a monster of the Sesame Street-blue variety.

But he is a cute monster, don't you think?


And now he is crawling...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Primary Program Report

For all of you who might be wondering how it went today...

It was great. The kids did a fantastic job and you could really feel the Spirit at the meeting. I am always so grateful that I get to work with the Primary children. They are so full of love and fun and joy. It warms my soul.

And if you have ever been to a Primary program before, there is always one or two "stars" that emerge from the little "production". And our program was no exception. Usually these stars come from Sunbeams (3 year-olds) or the CTR 5's (4 year-olds). We had a few "stars" from both.

On the right side of the podium were the Sunbeams. Everytime we sang a song, they would stand against the partition so everybody could see them. Apparently, Sophie was so happy to be up there she kept jumping up and down. This caused great consternation for Elayna who was scolding her very loudly to stop it while all of the singing was going on.

On the left side of the podium were the CTR 5's and Justin, Jake, and Halle. They would also step up to the partition when they would sing a song. When the song was done, they would race back to their seats and get into a wrestling match for the best seat. Luckily, there was no blood or hair pulling, but quite a lot of pushing and positioning. It was especially brutal after the second to last song. It was a long program and we limped to the finish line...what can I say?

I got a lot of compliments on how well the kids did. It was hard for me to tell because when you are the creative director of a "production" like this, you only see the flaws and goof-ups. I will have to trust them on it.

I am just glad it is over...until next year.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Primary Program

The Primary Program is fast approaching. I had Grace and Hannah come and practice the violin with Zach and Raef. They will be playing Beautiful Savior and I Am a Child of God. I think it is going to sound very nice and will add a nice spirit to the program. I have only scheduled one practice for the primary and it is on Saturday, the day before the program. I hope it will all work out. You never know what you will get. But, remember...

It is NOT a broadway production.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Is It Really October?

I always seem to forget that it is October in Las Vegas and that October means I should get my decorations out. I never seem to make the connection. Probably because at the beginning of the month, it is still very hot outside. When we left for Albuquerque last week, it was in the mid 90's. However, when we returned yesterday we were greeted with a pleasant temperature change. It had dropped about 30 degrees. YEAH!

After dinner I realized I should get out the darn decorations. I don't have a lot of stuff because I only use the stuff for one month and then I have to store it for 11. As soon as I announced my decorating idea to the kids, they were absolutely thrilled. Raef just loves doing this kind of stuff. He started putting little pumpkins everywhere. I recommended that he not put them on the very edge of tables because they would most certainly get broken. He was able to see the wisdom in my advice.

I have a fall wreath for the front door and he had to be the one to change it out. It is a lot of fun doing this kind of stuff with them. I just felt kind of bad that it was only one box and there were only about 10 things in there.

I guess we are going to have to find some more things so the kids can do more decorating.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The NO Balloon Fiesta

Katie and her girls came to our pool at the hotel to swim. It is so much more fun swimming when you have friends to swim with and they had a lot of fun. I was also able to give her all of the extra food we won't have time to eat before we return to Las Vegas.
This is Zach showing off all of his assets.

I took the kids to Pei Wei for a lunch/dinner and they practiced their violins with chopsticks.
If you must know, they are playing Bouree.

Rinar came home from Denver this afternoon around 5pm and so we headed directly to the Balloon Fiesta once we picked him up from the airport. The weather was lovely and the wind added an extra nice touch, which altered our Balloon Fiesta experience to a NO Balloon Fiesta experience. Apparently, they don't blow up the balloons when there is any kind of wind. The balloon people were nice enough to shoot fire into the sky so that there was at least something to look at. Eli was globbering up a cookie and every time the guy turned the fire on he looked a little more than mildly concerned, but not concerned enough to stop eating his cookie.

There was a wonderful fireworks display at the end. They did traditional ones at one end of the field and then it switched gears and they shot these things off right next to us about 3/4 of the way through the show. The boys really enjoyed it and it was almost as much fun listening to their commentary as it was to watch the fireworks. Zach said that the smoke looked like insects. Hmmm, my mind didn't go in that direction, but I guess I could see his point.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Hole-In-One Day

We seem to be in a holding pattern for "starting slow" every morning. But yes, once again, it was a slow start. It didn't really matter because Rinar went to work really early in the morning. We are talking 5am. He has been really busy. Hence, no car.

We weren't going anywhere.

When he did get back, he packed up his stuff and we took him to the airport. That's right. Rinar is out of town, even though we are out of town. He is in Denver meeting with really important people. No, I am not in Denver too. I am still here in Albuquerque.

I decided to take the kids to the children's museum called Explora! This is the third one we have been to this year: Boston and Santa Ana, CA were the other two. I have to say that this one is really good. I think it is probably as good as the other two. It is probably a close tie for first with Boston. While we were there, we met an old friend from Atlanta: Katie and two of her three girls. It was fun to see her and I swear she hasn't changed a bit. She doesn't look a day older than the last time I saw her 6 years ago. And she still looks like a teenager. It's her youthful complexion, what can I say?

We had a lot of fun and she is going to bring all of her girls over here tomorrow to go swimming. The weather has warmed up a bit and we have not utilized the pool as much as we should have. Plus, it is much more fun to go swimming when there are other kids to play with while you are there.

After an afternoon siesta, I decided to try and go see the Glowdeo at the Balloon Fiesta. Unfortunately, there was a lot of traffic and no balloons in the air. We are really going to make a full commitment to do this thing tomorrow and Saturday but I was hoping we would be able to see something froma parking lot. We did take a lovely tour of the Target and I got some adorable shoes for Eli and some cookies. Eli loves cookies.

On the way home, there was a Putt-Putt Golf thing and so we made a pit stop to play a round. The kids had a lot of fun and Zach actually hit a hole-in-one on the 8th green. It was quite amazing. I got a hole-in-one on the 9th. Raef was close several times. I have to say that Zach is very competitive. I am just so stymied trying to figure out where he gets it from. {chuckle, chuckle}
And for the record, Eli now has 4 teeth: 3 on the bottom and one on the top. He is very close to crawling. He will get on his knees and start rocking back and forth. I expect the new gait to come any day now. And when he gets hungry he will say either Mama or baba. Or he just alternates between the two. This is not a coincidence because he has done it several times. But I am not counting as his first word yet. However, I am feeling very confident that he first word will NOT be Dada.

Sorry, Honey.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bandelier National Monument is a Gem

Rinar worked all morning, but he was home by 11am. It was perfect timing because Eli was just waking up from a very long morning nap. Everybody is happy when the baby gets a long nap. Then we were ready to go and we hit the road for Santa Fe and all of the surrounding areas. We didn't know what we would find, but we were ready for the adventure.

On the way, Rinar and I got into a discussion about hot air balloons and what they actually cost to own. I was thinking $10,000 - $20,000, but Rinar said $250,000. That made me up my guess to $50,000. Then I told him his guess was completely ridiculous because a Lambroghini costs that much and a balloon is just fabric and a basket and some sandbags, basically. I had to look it up and see who was right. Luckily Rinar has a Blackberry, so I was able to have instant satisfaction with his internet connection. For the record, a commercial made balloon costs $20,000-$30,000. Plus, if you put a business banner on the side, it would probably lower your cost by about 10-20%.

But I digress.

Santa Fe was okay. We ate lunch at a little place called the Atomic Cafe. It was really good and I had a classic enchilada dish with the famous New Mexico red chile sauce. It was delicious.

Afterwards, I went and looked in some shops. If you love jewelry, especially Southwestern style, this is the place to go. Of every store, approximately 60% were jewelry shows. It was really crowded and pretty much the same store over and over. We didn't stay very long because we didn't want the meter to run out and get a parking ticket. But when we got back to the car a ticket was waiting to greet us. We had enough time left, but apparently Rinar had double-parked. Sound familiar Melanie? $27. The lines for the parking spot were practically invisible and it really ticks me off and I should fight it, but I am not going to. It will probably just drive me more crazy than I am willing to go.

We got out of there quick and then headed north. Luckily my obsession with getting stamps in my National Parks Passport led us to an amazing find... Bandelier National Monument. This place is AWESOME. It has pueblo remains, a beautiful trail that is very easy to just a little bit challenging to navigate, and beautiful foliage. There were lots of hardwoods, classic cactuses, and wildflowers. It smelled a little smokey, piney, and fresh. You can climb up ladders to look in some of the pueblo dwellings stacked up on the side of the canyon wall. It was so relaxing and rewarding. We just loved it.

If you are ever in Santa Fe, take a little drive to this place. You won't be disappointed. Bandelier is near Los Alamos so we drove through the town on the way home and it is a very pretty little city. I think I would love to live there, but I know that will never happen.

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