"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hooray

Yes, it's true.  We are now the proud owners of a brand new mortgage!  Okay, and there is a house attached to it as well.  We officially closed this morning and are finished with all the stressful financial and paperwork stuff.  Now the hard work starts.  We are starting to move tonight when Brandon gets home from work.  So much to do, but I'm super excited.  Mason and Ellorie are thrilled.  They are most excited that the new house keys are "golden".  They are really in to keys and very disappointed that they don't get their very own keys.  Mason is very excited about the unfinished basement, specifically the space under the stairs which he has dubbed his new hideout.  Ellorie is thrilled about her new bedroom with the big closet.  I am most excited about having a master bathroom (hooray!).  Brandon is really looking forward to all the yard work ahead of him... um not really... he is excited to have a garage to park his truck and motorcycles. 


The internet connection is going in just a minute, so I thought I'd get in one more post.  It might be a week or more before I will have the new one set up, so I expect to see dozens and dozens of comments when I return (All you sneaky blog readers that never leave me comments, I know you are there...)  Our phone numbers are staying the same, so you can still get in touch with us.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A better idea






Today is hot!  Our rental house is hot with no A/C, so it's a good day to play in the water.  We found a better use for our tiny pool.  I was buying some more packing tape at the store and the kids spied these water cannons.  Sweeeeet.  Four bucks CAN buy you happiness, or at least hours of entertainment.  


I'm still packing...  We had the walk through with the contractor today and pretty much everything is ready to go.  They are installing the A/C today, and fixing a couple of tiny things.  We are really excited to move.  I'm so sick of packing boxes.  Now it's time to clean like crazy.  Not my favorite part, but at least that means it's close.  I'm super excited to move in, especially after seeing the house again today.  I'm getting the decorating bug already....

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Think we need a bigger pool?


And there were two more kids just minutes before I took the picture...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Busy Sabbath and a big load of dirt...

I have been a serious blog slacker!  Too much to do.  I have a few more days before I am unplugged, so I'll have to squeeze a few more entries in this week.  We had a very eventful day today.  Somehow the bishop got wind of our moving, and so we received a call a few days ago asking us to speak in Sacrament meeting today.  Brandon also taught the deacons and I substituted teaching Ellorie's primary class, and Mason had a talk in primary, so I had to write that one too.  And as if that wasn't enough to squeeze in, we had to do it all over again at the senior citizen home in our ward boundaries a few hours later.  (Just the talks, not the lessons.)  Whew!  So I figure we're done with talks for at least another week or two until we are asked to speak in our new ward.  No complaints, things went well.  I actually like giving talks after the preparation is over.  just a little more on the pile makes little difference at this point.  


I'm in boxes up to my ears, but the packing seems to be going well, and we will be out by Saturday!  It's pretty exciting now.  We drove by our house again today.  They installed a back porch this week and graded the lot.  I didn't really realize how HUGE a naked acre is!  What are we going to do with all of that bare dirt????  I'm open for suggestions.  We are putting in a sprinkling system first, and then planting grass.  But beyond that...  We're thinking a largish area on one side of the house for kids to ride bikes/basketball court.  Probably some fencing, a fruit orchard and garden area.  I'll have some flower gardens, but I'm not a huge garden-for-the-sake-of gardening person.  Nothing high maintenance.  We are definitely putting in a swingset play area for the kids.  I also want to get a small pony for the kids, but Brandon, not so much.  He wants dogs.  Me, not so much.  Maybe a chicken coop.  Who knows.  We'll see how ambitious we are after moving in.  And how much money we have left, which is really the largest deciding factor in most of our landscaping adventures.  We have plenty of time to decide.  A bit overwhelming, but exciting.  Here is a snapshot of the house:
Keep an eye out for my change of address postcards...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Two Averie Videos...

Averie is getting so big!  She is almost walking, but not quite.  She can stand up on her own in the middle of the room and then she isn't sure what to do next.  She was taking one little step at a time, and then of course she wouldn't do it once I got out the camera.  I just love this video because she is so pleased with herself for standing up.  
  video
And another new trick.  Averie watches us play the drums on the Rock Band video game, and thinks she's a drummer too.  She will do this for ten minutes at a time.  She actually has decent rhythm...
video

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Tagged

I've been tagged by Hilarie:

Some things about me... (photos courtesy of www.flickr.com)
1. Birthplace: Logan, Utah
2. Favorite vacation destination: (dream vacation that is) Italy!
3. Favorite color: purples, especially plum and periwinkle.
4. Dream career: Olympic Equestrian
5. Guilty Pleasure: Video Games
6. Favorite Hobby: Well, I already mentioned riding horses, so let's say pastel painting.

7. Favorite Restaurant: Sushi
8. Favorite Actress: Kate Bekinsale
9. Favorite Actor: Movies- John Cusack, TV- Hugh Laurie (Have you seen the old Jeeves and Wooster? So funny.)
10.Favorite Vehicle: I don't really know. Something that has a few more seats and gets better gas mileage than my current ride would be stellar. We've been looking at these (Toyota Highlanders):
11. Favorite place to shop for myself: Scrapbook stores ( I can't help it. The stuff is just so much fun to buy...) Wish this was my scrapbook room.
12. Favorite flower: Tulips!

Fun tag. I tag Sharee!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

So much to love...

Yeah!  I have a new computer.  I'm so so so happy.  This means I don't have to wait for 20 minutes for it to warm up, 10 minutes to close down all the viruses, and another five minutes to open up the internet.  Nor do I have to wait for three minutes for each page to load.  I just have all kinds of time on my hands now.  Now I have no excuse for being a blog slacker.  It's a Mac by the way.  I totally love it.  It took about three seconds for me to turn it on and to be on the internet.  Super! It has all kinds of bells and whistles that I know nothing about, but hopefully will figure out soon.  


Things are going great with our new home purchase.  We will probably close in two weeks or so.  I should probably be packing, but instead, today I had a crafty day with my lovely sister-in-law.  We made this stunning project:



It's a date calendar that you can use year after year to remember birthdays and anniversaries.  I need this.  I am a terrible birthday rememberer, and if I have ever forgotten YOUR birthday, I apologize profusely, but please take no offense-you are not alone.  I forgot my own anniversary once.  Brandon did too.  We remembered a week later and both felt a little silly...  Anyway, this was our project today.  
Well, we apparently were not being the best parents (though all four parents were present and accounted for when the mishap occured).  Um... would anyone care for a dip?  Ellorie had three baths today.  [sigh]
 
  
The back patio...
The garden area...
Nice.
Brandon and Chad got to play their favorite game online with Bryce as well, so it was a pretty enjoyable and eventful day for all.  Guess I should get packing...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Under Contract!

Whew! The last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. After looking at every single house in our price range in the surrounding areas, we found one. It's brand new on an acre, which means we have to put in a huge yard and finish a basement, but I'm super excited. It's in a great neighborhood, good schools, not too far from Brandon's work, and did I mention it's brand new? So we are officially under contract. Oh boy, now the hard work starts... I'm starting to pack and have been on the phone non-stop to take care of all of the many "moving/home buying" things. Financing, negotiating interest rates, insurance, getting quotes for various things, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera... I'll post some pictures next week.

On a completely different subject, it's FREEZING today! There was an inch of snow in our yard this morning. I'm ready for summer. My kids are wearing thier winter coats today. So do I pack up the snow gear or hold off until later? Well, gotta go, tons to do!...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

House Hunting

We have decided to get serious about the house hunting. Wow, I forgot how much time it takes! So far this week I have spent hours and hours looking up houses online, a full tank of gas driving around to look at them, and walked through dozens of just-not-quite houses. It is a bit frustrating. There are so many houses for sale in our price range, but all of them have tiny bedrooms, have really strange basement layouts, and/or needs an entire acre yard de-rocked, leveled, sprinklered, and planted. It makes me feel tired just thinking about it. Almost all the houses for sale here are brand new, which is both a good and a bad thing. My kids have been super patient with us. We know it's time to quit looking when Averie starts screaming. Mason is quite into the process. He is keeping a notebook with a list of his favorite things about each house. One house we looked at had a cat that ran out of the garage door into the house when Ellorie opened the door. That was of course number one on the list for them because they insisted that the cat came with the house. They both really want a pet. Hopefully soon. We'll just keep looking. We have more to see tomorrow, so wish us luck!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thursday Riding Report

I had a really fun lesson today. I rode "Red" again, though he wasn't nearly as energetic this time. We practiced a level 4 dressage test pattern in the arena. We've done some basic patterns before, but never an entire test. It's a lot to remember! This is a diagram of a dressage arena. The letters are marked on the walls. This is how the test goes:

{Trot to A, turn and continue trotting to X. Halt and salute. Trot to C, around to M, then serpentine from M to X to F, continue to A. Canter right lead at K and continue to E. Canter 20 meter circle at E, then continue around to C. Trot to M, walk from R to B. Extended walk from B to K, regular walk to A. Trot to F and serpentine to X and M. Canter on left lead at C. Continue cantering to E, then canter 20 meter circle. Continue cantering to K. Trot around to F and from F to H, begin a 20 meter circle at an extended trot at H. Continue trotting to B. Turn to X and face C. Trot to G, halt and salute. The end. }
Um you got that? I have it memorized now, but when Terie was giving us the directions at first it was a bit much to take in. It took me a few tries to get it down. I can totally see why you need a really young energetic horse to do well in these tests. You aren't allowed to make any sounds or verbal cues whatsoever, or break stride, or do the wrong thing in the wrong place etc. It's all about precision. I had to keep my legs really active to keep Red from breaking stride or changing speeds. It's a totally new way to think about riding. I love it.
I must have done alright, because after my lesson Terie invited me to ride "Legs" in the Sport Horse Nationals this September. I don't think she usually lets random people ride her show horses, but she needs a rider that can handle him in the amateur classes, and she has given up on my buying him. WOO HOO! I'm so excited. I don't know what I'm going to do with my kids for a whole week, but I'm going to see if I can manage it. Any volunteers?
By the way, swimming lessons have been going smoothly. Mason is doing awesome. I don't really think Ellorie is learning anything, but she is having fun. No more rule-breaking for me. (really! I promise!) Now if it would only warm up a bit, summer would be on a roll...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Swimming Lessons and Brittany the Rule-Breaker


Mason and Ellorie started swimming lessons yesterday. It is a first for both of them. They were so excited. I was watching my friend's little girl, so I loaded up the stroller with 40 lbs of babies plus all the swimming gear, towels, shoes, etc, and headed in to the facility. When I walk in the door the lady says, "Mam, I can't let you bring that in here." The stroller? Are you kidding me? I have two babies here! She said I could take it up two flights of stairs to the observation deck (This is a HUGE stroller). No elevator. So I unload my 40 lbs. of babies, and all the gear, and fold up my stroller and try to get it up the stairs. NOPE. Love all the strangers that sit there and gawk at me like I am a crazy woman. So one of the workers has a little compassion on me here and allows me to stow my stroller in a storage closet until the lessons are over. Meanwhile, Mason and Ellorie are whining and waiting very impatiently for Mom to figure it out so they can go in to their lessons. Good thing we arrived early. I send Mason in alone with instructions, and take Ellorie (and 40 lbs. of babies) in to shower and head into the pool area. The nice lady at the front desk told me that if I folded up the stroller I could sit in the chairs by the side of the pool. The babies were very content watching all the kids splashing around and we were having a lovely time. Mason and Ellorie were loving their lessons, though Ellorie wasn't really listening to her teacher. Once she was walking away from her class while her teacher was helping someone else, so I yelled at her to get back to her class and listen to her teacher. Big mistake. They booted me out. I guess it's a big "no no" to talk to your children while lessons are in session. I had to go out to the observation deck with both babies and all of our gear for the last fifteen minutes. Oops. I guess I'm just that rule breaker Mom everyone rolls their eyes at.


So today I was determined to do better today as I had only one baby to lug around. I left the stroller in the car, packed minimally, and I even remembered my camera. We were on time and everything. So I got the kids to their classes, snapped a couple of pictures, and headed up to the observation deck like a good mommy. I took a bunch of pictures from the deck and Averie played on a blanket and ate snacks. It was so much fun to watch the kids faces as they learned new things. Mason has totally amazed me. He's always been a little hesitant in the water, but he loves his teachers and has just had a great time. I should have had him in lessons before now. Right before lessons were over one of the employees came up to the deck to talk to all the parents. She said that SOME of the parents had gone out on to the deck with shoes, and that was another bit "no no". GUILTY. Excuse me for being a little too busy to read the tiny sign painted on the wall. Also, she handed out a paper of more rules that parents should be aware of. Number 1: No cameras or picture taking until the last day of class. ummm... So just call me Brittany the Rule-Breaker. I guess I'll try again tomorrow. Maybe they'll have me trained by the end of swimming lessons. I hope the kids learn something too...

Look how intently Mason is listening to his teacher. I need to take notes.

Even Ellorie was listening today...

Mason's first back float. He even floated without help for a few seconds. I'm so proud...

Ellorie tried a back float too, but she is still a little nervous.

They both had huge grins on their faces for the entire lessons. I'm glad they are having fun...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Fun Family Weekend

We had family here from out of town and then we all went to Brandon's sister Melissa's house for the weekend for my niece's baptism. It was a fun-filled few days. I didn't get adequate sleep for sure, but it was worth it. The kids had a blast. Brandon went golfing with the guys. Twice. We all had a great time.

Friday night we played a fun board game called Imagiff... It was a huge laugh. It's a great game for a crowd. We even got Clint (Brandon's Dad) and Brandon to play- shocker, I know. It was a lot of fun. We also got pulled over Friday night for not turning the high-beams off on the car quickly enough. Weird. No ticket though. We were on our way to Darren and Tessa's nice apartment. They were fabulous hosts...

Saturday was a beautiful day. The baptism was perfect. Ellorie was so excited to watch her cousin be baptised. She had a huge smile on her face. Afterwards she told me, "That was really cool, Mom. Will I be big enough to go in that water when I am 8?" She was really thinking about it. Afterwards we went to the house and relaxed for the day. The ladies and kids played volleyball, badminton, and croquet outside. The men were golfing again. Mason is a mean croquet player. I was seriously impressed. The volleyball and badminton skills on the part of the ladies left much to be desired (mainly referring to myself here), but it was really fun. Averie was teething and extremely clingy, but she even enjoyed the sunshine.


The flowers and the bees were beautiful. Ellorie and Jenna had a great time watching the bees buzzing around the flowers. It was fun to be outside.