Friday, January 25, 2008

Deep Freeze

Brrrrrrrrrr. It has been "freaking cold" here, as Haley would say. Last week we saw highs at 15 below zero, with wind chills at 45 to 50 below. That's darn cold, you might think, but as we've said many times, we've come to realize that 50 below doesn't feel that different from 20 below. Darn cold is darn cold. It didn't help that this came after 2 days of temps in the 30's, which felt like spring to us. Combined with the kids being sick again, you could say that cabin fever is setting in a little. Painting, play dough, and boogeying to Jack Johnson will only get you so far....


Butterscotch really should get her own post, since she's now a member of the family, but I'll just go ahead and announce her arrival here. Despite being at the top of the kids' Santa lists, she did not arrive for Christmas. However, she was clearance-priced when we got home from our trip and so we used Christmas money from one of the grandparents to "adopt" her. The kids are in love and have been true to their promise that they would actually play with her "a lot." She whinnies and turns her head and chews her carrots and even makes clip-clop sounds when they ride on her. Welcome to the family, Butterscotch!

Thawing out in St. George

On New Year's Eve we finally made it to St. George, where Haley was happy to be re-united with Grandma Wood and Aunt Katie. (Poor Grandpa got the cold shoulder from both kids.) It was wonderful to be able to walk and play outside and I attempted to get us to the park every day. It was also great to visit with everyone, playing games and hanging out - and enjoying Grandpa's fine cooking; we also spent more time than we should have at the Ralph Lauren Outlet Store.

We drove up to Cedar City to see Rob's sister Anna's family and their new house, where Haley and her cousin Natalie spent the entire time playing dress-up. One day we had a girls-only outing to see the movie Enchanted, and Haley loved it just as much the second time. We must have been busy because apparently I only took 4 pictures while we were there. Here are the kids "playing" at the park in Cedar City before we dragged them home out of the chilly wind. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone, especially knowing the sub-zero weather we would be heading back to...

Rob's ??th Birthday

On December 29th, we celebrated Rob's XXth Birthday (number withheld). He's not usually a big fan of birthday parties, but has relented a little since seeing how much fun it is for the kids to participate. Months before, Haley and I had come up with an idea for his party based on an ongoing joke they have between them.

For years whenever Haley saw anything SpongeBob-related, Rob would say "SpongeBob is stupid! We don't like SpongeBob!" Pretty soon she was pointing it out all the time to tease him. So this year she came up with the idea of teasing him and having a whole SpongeBob Birthday. We picked out an under-the-sea cake, got matching balloons and plates and napkins, the works. Haley impressed me so much with how well she kept the secret, and she laughed and laughed when he walked in. He was pretty surprised and pleased that she had put that much thought into it.

We'd found out that our friend Marc Farmer has the same birthday, so together we enjoyed Wii-playing, steaks, and birthday cake. All in all it was a great day, and almost made up for the fact that Rob is another year older.

Christmas 2007


There was no shortage of excitement at our house on Christmas Eve. Rob and the kids spent some time wrapping gifts before we went out to look at Christmas lights, which many people take very seriously here. After dinner Haley and Jake opened their Special Christmas Eve Present and once again were surprised and excited to find new pajamas and slippers. I'm not sure how many more years they'll react that way...or how long we can get away with matching pajamas. Once they were finally asleep, Rob and I got to work on the assembly and battery installation. Some time after midnight we all settled down for a (not so) long winter's nap.

Here are the kids preparing Santa's milk and cookies - well, Haley prepared them and Jake ate them!


Christmas morning was perfect this year. Haley didn't have the stomach flu (like last year), and Jake was old enough to catch on to the excitement. After opening our stockings together on our bed at 5:30 am, the kids ran down the hall to see if Santa had come. Haley's face said it all, she was stunned. Jake ran straight for the guitars, and then the play shopping cart. Haley made a beeline for the ENORMOUS Dora tent that had topped her list. She and her new (slightly disturbing) Island Princess My Size Barbie spent the rest of the morning trading clothes in the tent - we had to keep reminding her to finish opening gifts.

Left: Look at that face! And notice she's on her tip-toes. Below: The big, huge tent; Jake went straight to the bathroom when he opened his set of toy tools - the bathroom was the latest home-improvement project we'd worked on; Jake is thrilled with his new puppy - now this is a pet that I can handle!

One of my favorite moments, though, was seeing Haley literally hop up and down with anticipation as she gave Rob his present from her (the book, Pirates Don't Change Diapers). It was wonderful to watch her experience the joy of giving in the middle of all the receiving. All of us were truly spoiled by family and friends, and we wished we could have shared the day with you.


Once all the gifts were opened, we hurried to the Fargo airport (an hour away) because we were hoping to fly to St. George, Utah that evening to see Rob's family. We had purchased stand-by tickets from his cousin and the ridiculously cheap fares made the stand-by anxiety seem worthwhile. Unfortunately what looked like an open flight filled up at the last minute and we didn't make it out that night. Instead we wound up having Christmas dinner at a convenience store in Fargo, the only place we could find that was open. Haley was terribly sad to not make it to Grandma and Grandpa's that night, but perked up when she remembered all her new toys at home. We watched the flight loads all week for a promising opening, but didn't end up flying out until after Rob's birthday...