Sunday, December 27, 2009


While at Disneyland we all had the chance to sit in a big "Beauty and the Beast" chair and take a computerized personality quiz to find out what Disney character we were.

Ian was Timon, the meerkat from Lion King. He is energetic.

Jared was Sheriff Woody. He likes order.

Kudi was Tinkerbell. She is sometimes a little jealous.

Tara was Ariel. She likes adventure.

Sophia was Mulon. She fights to protect her family.

Scotty was Mushu, the little dragon from Mulon. He sometimes speaks without thinking.

Friday, December 25, 2009


This year Santa gave our family a week-long trip to Oceanside, California for Christmas. Because that was our big family present, Santa stuck to filling the children's stockings for the rest of our Christmas presents. We only took what we could fit in our stockings. I actually loaded the stockings a couple of days before we left, and we packed them all in a copy paper box. "Christmas in a box" we called it. It felt kind of funny, but I think it was mostly a hit. The girls got scarfs and make up and money and pop tarts and chocolate. The boys got ties and something, (uh-oh! I always forget!)

I thought it was cute this year how the boys actually put some thought into their gifts for others. Jared gave Ian a Spongebob cd, Kudi a badly needed wallet, Tara a necklace, Papa some earphones an ammo, and me some red mixing bowls. Ian gave Jared cash toward the laptop he is saving for, Kudi a hat, and Tara some ear rings, shared Papa's present with Jared, and got me badly needed socks. They did well.

The girls' presents were sweet, too. I got an apple timer, some red spatulas, and a wisk, and Scotty got some tools he really wanted. They threw in some treats as well. Notice the picture of us with our "memory mints" as we are getting a little forgetful.


I just want to jot down some ideas I had that might make Christmas away from home more Christmas-y, if we ever decide to take a Christmas vacation again.

Put the itinerary for each day (and any necessary tickets) in a gift box and open it each morning. Write on the outside of the box what day and what time to open it. Or open it the night before. But keep the trip and activities secret and only reveal one day at a time.

Remember the plastic wrap.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I am so glad we bought our Trendwest timeshare. It is sooo much nicer to stay in a 3 bedroom condo than a hotel room with a bed. We were able to compare the two back to back, since I messed up and we came on vacation a day early.

Travel Lodge - or - Trendwest. Hmmm.

Of People, Piers and Pelicans

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Comedy of Errors

Another title for this blog entry could be: AAARGH!

Or how about: I am so confused.

Or: I have never sworn so much in a single day.

So, we made it to Oceanside and, no, wait - let me tell you first how frustrating it was getting to Oceanside. Our directions were clear, printed from Mapquest, but the California Highway system was not clear. There was a point where “I 215 becomes I 15" and we were supposed to drive for 15 miles and take an exit. But there are no signs. I mean, California never tells you the name of the highway, or at least hardly ever. GRRR. And then, their exits make no sense. In Utah and Idaho the exits are the number of the mile marker they are on. So if you are at mile marker 72, then that is the number of the exit. But California seems to randomly number their exits. Exit 46 is at mile marker #2. What is that?!

And traffic is terrible. Even when it is moving it is terrible. Even the boys looking out the window at the ribbon of cars moving off to the right toward a different highway said, “Wow, look at all the cars.” I thought, “I sure hope I like Disneyland because I hate California.” (Oh, there’s another possible title for this blog.)

Okay, so we get here, and guess what? NO reservation. We pull up my account and my reservation starts TOMORROW. Are you kidding me? What can you do but laugh? The girl at the desk tells me it happens all the time. Tara said she worked at the hotel in Springdale for 8 weeks, and it happened 3 times to her. I’m grateful I am not the only idiot out there.

So here we are in the Travel Lodge. The boys said, “Whoa, I think we downgraded.” That is a colossal understatement. However, the bed is really comfortable and there’s free (if monumentally slow) internet. What more could you ask for?

And the beach is nearby. It is lovely. Ian and I went running on the beach last night, holding hands, racing toward the surf. As the waves crest, the normally foamy white part glows florescent green. It is cool. We laugh. We are happy. It’s been a rocky start, but Ian hugs me and says, “I love this vacation!” (I guess there’s another title for my blog.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Doozey of a Morning

Some days things just don't go smoothly but DANG! today was a record breaker.

I slept through my alarm (for the second day in a row, which also makes it the second time in my life I have ever done that.) So, I'm a half an hour late... only time for the essentials. No make-up, no making lunch. Then as I'm putting my coat on, I realize Jared has also slept through his alarm and now he is running about 45 minutes behind.

I wish him luck, ask Scott to make his lunch, and dash out to my car. Only to remember, my car is OUTSIDE because the garage door broke yesterday. Soooo.... my windows are covered in ice. I live in St. George; I park my car in the garage. I don't own a window scraper. I wait for the defroster (kind of), and zip off to work where---

Someone is blocking my parking space. They pulled in diagonally, blocking two spots, and left their car running. I honk several times because I know it is one of those darn choir students, and then finally, Mr. Proffitt, the French teacher comes running out! GRRRR!!!

It's 10 after 7 am and I already need chocolate. The good news is: I know where to find it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas Newsletter 2009

I don't know why I am so tickled about the whole thing... but it makes me smile that my newsletter turned out so cute. I don't know if you can read this very well. If you click on the image it gets bigger, but I was trying to be creative and chose a funky font. It looked beautiful on the silver paper I bought. And the labels had cute little silver ornaments. Simple things are simple pleasures.

The Candy Bar Memory Game

Here is a fun party game that we like to play. I made up a little tote bag and filled it with the candy and a copy of the rules and plan to give it as my "White Elephant" gift at my work Christmas party.

Click on the picture and it will get bigger, so you can see the rules.