Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Our Shining Star.....

Today Evan's kindergarten class along with the other 2 Kindergarten classes performed songs that they have been working on in music class. They sang 10 songs! They even sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in Japanese, Spanish, and English with Sign Language. I was very impressed! Evan has been very excited for this day for nearly 3 weeks now. It was extra special for him because Uncle Nate and Aunt Alisa and Uncle Jeff all came to watch him sing! Afterward they had refreshments for the families which was nice. It's always funny to watch the kids performing. Some are really in to it, and concentrating on every word.....others are daydreaming, dancing a jig, or just playing around with whoever or whatever they can. Evan fell into the first category. He was totally concentrating and singing loud and staring straight ahead... Deer in the headlights style! I was very proud of him. Here is a video clip of one of the songs.... American Idol watch out!
video

Monday, April 28, 2008

Wow Moment....

Ok, so I was cleaning my kitchen yesterday when I realized that my oven REALLY needed to be cleaned. Inside it looked as though molten lava had exploded and then hardened in a big pool of black on the bottom of the stove. Im sitting there thinking Im going to need some kind of tool to scrape that stuff off when I notice the words "self cleaning oven" on a sticker...... I guess I kindof knew in the back of my mind that these appliances existed but I have honestly never used one to my knowledge. Of course, because we are renting this house, I dont have the manual to the oven and dont exactly know how to begin the "self cleaning" process. But, it seemed pretty straightforward. There was a button labled "self clean" so I pushed it and off it went.

I sat there and marveled at the fact that an oven could actually clean itself. I think we need more appliances like this. I HATE cleaning my fridge out.....do they make a "self cleaning" fridge? That would be awesome. Then I started thinking (dangerous) how in the world could the oven clean itself without any soap or cleaners? I mean how the heck was the oven going to get that hardened mess off the bottom of itself? Im imagining cats licking themselves or birds picking at their feathers and I just cant seem to imagine the stove doing the same thing. So I looked it up on my trusty computer ( I love my computer) and found out that the oven heats up so blazing hot as to burn the stuff off of it....much like being cremated I guess. Apparently that is why my oven locked its doors upon commencement of the "self cleaning" cycle....so dim wits like myself wont open the door and burn their faces off Indian Jones and The Temple of Doom style. Yes I did try and open it and am truly thankful for the automatic door lock that my oven deployed for my safety....otherwise....well I dont want to think about that!

So, 3 hours later, it finished. I was afraid to open the door. When I did, I was jumping for joy! No more molten lava! Amazing! Although, at first I was perplexed that a few rogue french fries seem to have survived the cremation. They were sitting there intact, albeit powdery white, as if to say HA! You cant get rid of me. Im wondering what have I fed my children that can survive heat like that? Undigestable steel? Then I attempted to pick it up and the poor thing disinegrated the moment I touched it....I dont think I even actually touched it yet. Amazing I tell ya! Ive made a mental note that whenever I get to buy my own house, I will most definitely be purchasing a self cleaning oven. And hey, by the time I am able to buy a house, maybe they will be making self cleaning fridges too! Why not a self cleaning house? Self cleaning laundry? The possibilites are endless and dreamy.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game......

So, today was the boys first baseball game. I havent been to any of their practices so I didnt really know what to expect. Ian hasnt played since Kentucky and Evans first baseball season was mostly hitting off of a tee. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see that my boys are 2 of the best hitters on the team! Go Shannon's! They never had to use the tee at all while some kids after 3 or 4 tries had to use the tee. I was very proud. Of course we cant discount the fact that their coach happens to be their father...... I gotta hand it to Denver, I wouldnt have the patience to coach kids of this age group. They have the attention span of a gnat but he seems to do just fine with them. It was too long though.....baseball can really drag on. But, it was fun and as the weather warms up it will be even more enjoyable. Here are a few pictures of their big game.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Who are you again?.....

So, today marks the first day of Denver's schedule change at Boeing. He is working the day shift! This may not seem like some kind of big deal to a lot of you but it really is. It seems like for the past 7 years we have always worked opposite shifts or something out of the ordinary in the hopes that one of us would be at home with the kids at all times. So far, it has worked. I can happily say that I havent had to give my children over to any strangers....ok with the exception of 2 months in Arizona, which, after Evan cracked his face open and had to get stitches, and the boys began crying each morning that I was leaving them there, I quickly made our schedules work so I could keep them home. It hasnt always been blissful. I can honestly say that there are times when I crave conversation that doesnt include Pokemon. Or times when if I have to change another diaper or listen to crying, whining, and fighting for one more second I seriously might crack.... But, after all is said and done, it has been the best thing for my peace of mind and for my children that we have sacrificed normalcy.

Now here we are, about to give normalcy a shot. It should prove to be very interesting. On one hand you have visions of the family eating dinner together and talking about their day. Afterward dad helps with homework and we all watch a show together and then kiss the kids goodnight and spend some quality time together before we hit the sack. On the other hand....which is probably the hand we are holding....it is going to be total chaos. At least for the first little while until Denver gets acclimated to our routine. He is excited to be able to spend more time with the kids and to actually eat dinner with us more than once or twice a week. He gets to be home for all the baseball games and that is exciting in its own right. But, I think he also has visions of sitting on the couch watching fishing shows all night......ain't gonna happen! Like I said, he is going to have to become acclimated.

I think the strangest part of all of this is going to be actually going to bed together. You see, up until tonight, he comes home around 1:00 in the morning. Obviously I am already asleep. On the weekends, I am working until 5:00 in the morning. So...now, we get to go to bed at the same time. (that is if I get all the housework done before midnight....) Weird. I think we are going to have to get to know each other again....in a way. And it is definitely time for Addison to start sleeping in her own bed. Eventually, I think we are going to love the situation. I know Im going to enjoy the help at night! The bonus is that now, I can actually go to activities at night without getting a babysitter or lugging the kids with me. Wow. Its going to be great! Small pleasures = Big returns.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Here is an example of what happens to a phone that is left too close to a hot oven. Would you believe that it still works!?

Monday, April 21, 2008

2 Birthdays....

Whew.....

What a weekend! I am beginning to wish we had actually "planned" my last pregnancy so as not to have birthdays close together. For now, Addison is too young to care about having a big party... but I can see how it will cause me some serious stress in a few years trying to have 2 birthdays in the same month. Oh well.....not much I can do about it now. Of course had Addison been born when she was supposed to be, I wouldnt even be discussing it! Anyway, Saturday was Evan's birthday party. We had it at the Fairmont Aquatic Center which has a fun indoor pool/waterslide for the kids. They have a party room that comes with pizza and pop so the kids had a great time swimming and then eating and of course....opening gifts. Evan couldnt wait to open his presents! I think he was pretty happy with what he got. I let him invite 5 friends so that made 8 kids with my 3.....it was a good time but very stressful too. The boys had a baseball "hit-a-thon" that morning at 10am....the party started at 12:00. By the time they finished the baseball thing it was 11:30.... I didnt think we would make it, but we did. I had to work Friday night so I was rushing around Saturday morning trying to get everything finished....and by the way, I did NOT make Evan a birthday cake this year. Thankfully I listened to my husbands advice to chill out and buy cupcakes. I of course refused at first but then conceded to making my own cupcakes. By Friday afternoon, buying them suddenly seemed like the best thing to do. I had purchased Pokemon rings online and used those to put in the cupcakes so at least there was one personal touch by mom. Happily, Evan LOVED the cupcake idea so I was off the hook. It definitely took a lot of stress off of me....those of you that know how I get with birthday cakes will understand just how much stress this relieved!

So, Sunday we had my brothers and their "wives" over for a small family dinner to honor Addison's birthday....and Evans too. I did make a cake for Addie which almost became a disaster. I got creative and cut the offending section out of the cake and turned it into a display of the "2" candle.... otherwise it would have been caved in on one side! We ate broccoli potato soup, wild rice & chicken soup, rolls/biscuits, couscous salad, Alisa's green salad with apple & fresh mozzarella, fresh fruit/dip, and of course.....birthday cake which was strawberry with cream cheese frosting...mmmmm. It was a lot of fun to have them over....sadly Jeff got sick and so he and Nicola couldnt make it. The kids loved their gifts from Uncle Nate and Aunt Alisa... in fact I dont think Evan has put his Giraffe down yet! Saturday Addie got a package from Gma/Gpa Ries which contained princess shoes/crown/jewels and a play cell phone. She has been in 7th heaven talking on that phone and clunking around in those shoes! They both recieved money from Kentucky relatives.....Evan has already spent his on games for his new Nintendo DS. We are waiting for Addie to play out her new toys before we go and get her some more.

Thanks to everyone that made these birthdays special..... I think next year we are going to space them out somehow!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

First Piano Recital....

Piano Recital.....

Tonight the boys both played in their first piano recital. I wasnt really sure how much I wanted them to do it considering I dont really make them practice much. Since they just started playing, I didnt feel like putting too much pressure on them. I want them to enjoy piano and not feel like it is a burden. But, they really wanted to participate in the recital so we went. It was really nice and I am always amazed at how calm the kids seem... I would have been so nervous. Actually, I was more nervous for them than they were. I was so worried about Evan especially....he has never played on such a big piano and he couldnt remember where middle C was because it wasnt marked with a smiley face sticker like it is on our piano.....but once his teacher helped him out, he did great! Here are a couple of video clips of them playing...... I am so very proud of them. (make sure you pause my music playlist at the bottom of the page so you can hear them playing....)


video video

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

As of this morning I have had over 1,000 visitors come by my blog since January! Locals and people from all over the world. Thanks for stopping by......

Birthday continued.....

So, more exciting stuff to report for Evan's birthday.....his first lost tooth! What an appropriate day to lose your first tooth. While the rest of us are coughing up money on "tax day", Evan will be making a profit from the tooth fairy (well, not a huge profit considering the tooth fairy has to pay taxes too!) You can tell from this picture that he still isnt too sure that it felt good to have his tooth pulled. Blood makes him squeamish. :)

I went to his school today to bring cookies for his class in honor of his birthday. He was being interviewed by his peers. I enjoyed listening to his answers even though some of them were questionable (favorite food....spaghetti???? We never eat that.) He was pretty excited when I showed up with the goods.... cookies anyone?

Evan Denver Shannon is 6 today!!

I think this birthday has been the most anticipated one for our Evan. It seems this year, he has been focused on getting older. I believe he is trying to catch up with Ian....as if that will solve all of his problems ;) Of course he has his days too where he claims that he wish he were still a baby.....cant have both! Anyway, here are a few tidbits about our newest 6 year old.

1) Evan is about to lose his first tooth and can hardly wait for it to come out.

2) Evan absolutely adores animals of all kinds. He has numerous stuffed animals which are all named and take turns sleeping with him.

3) Evan is very artistic and spends extra time on each project he is working on....he loves to use color in everything he does.

4) Evan loves Pokemon cards and can tell you every detail of just about every Pokemon in existence....usually while mom and dad stare blankly and nod their head....uh huh....?

5) Evan is very sensitive and sweet and wears his heart on his sleeve. We have to be very careful of this little fact.... He is happiest when all of his family is together and has the hardest time when Alec leaves each year.

6) Evan loves to please and is happiest when mom and dad show that they are pleased. He is a great helper because of this....always willing to do things for me. He is also a great brother to his sister and helps me with her all the time.

7) Evan is a natural athlete. He is playing baseball and amazingly is not afraid at all of catching the ball, which we thought he would be. He also has gotten really good at riding his scooter and his heelies.....he has asked us to take skateboarding lessons next...mmmmm...not sure about that.
Happy Birthday Evan! We love you very much. Party post to follow!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring has Sprung....

Well at least for today.... It was an unbelievable day today! 70 degrees....nice little breeze....perfect. Im so ready for Spring. I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and do some much needed yard work. We have som seriously overgrown vines/ivy along the sides of the yard and house. I spent a couple of hours working but have many more hours to go. The saddest part is that once they are all pulled our yard is going to need some flowers to fill up the space! Im hoping my landlord will share that responsibility with me.....ha! I have to say, in all my life....I have never seen so many snails! I swear its like we are farming them or something. Escargot anyone? Earth worms too....Denver took the boys fishing this morning and I had asked him if he needed any money to buy worms. That was before I realized that we could open up our own shop right here.....blech! Hopefully now that all of those vines and thick ivy are gone, the snails will find somewhere else to breed. I took this picture of a tree in our backyard....popcorn popping!
So, after my adventures in yard work, me and the kids went to the park. Its really the first time that Addison has been when she can actually play! It was a lot of fun watching her explore the playground. Of course she really just wanted to follow her brothers around, climbing up the rocks and riding scooters. We had a nice time though and I took lots of pictures (see slide show below).... Denver fixed us a nice dinner and we commented that we will be having lots more dinners together now that his shift is changing. I guess Im going to have to beef up my cooking skills....:) Thankfully I have lots of good cooking blogs to frequent so I can find some good recipes! Well, Im off to bed...... it is supposed to be 80 degrees today! I cant wait to wake up and enjoy it. Good night!

Spring at the Park!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lables....

Ok, someone asked me the other day if they could search a specific term on my blog to find a specific post they were looking for. Of course the answer is yes but then I decided to add the lable feature as well. It is on the right hand side of the blog and you can click on a specific subject such as "Addison" or "recipes" and it will pull all of the posts related to that subject. It is a work in progress as I have to go back and edit each of my posts since I started the blog and add a lable to it. As of today I have only completed one page of posts......it will probably take me a week or so to get them all done. But, in the meantime, you can still use the search feature at the top of the page!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Brother Snoop?.....

Is this not the most hilarious picture you have ever seen?! Im sure someone photoshopped that in..... How would you like to be the missionaries called to his home? Wow......

My Baby is 2 !!

Addison Jayne Shannon was born 2 years ago today! I can hardly believe she is already 2. It has all been a blur but a very enjoyable blur. Although she came 5 weeks early, she has never seemed very fragile. I suspect she is going to keep us on our toes until the day she leaves home. She is so very precious to me and I just could not imagine life without her. I feel really blessed each time she hugs me or calls my name.....here is a little about our baby of the family.

1. She is a girly girl.....always choosing pink, or flowers, orprincesses.

2. She LOVES music and dancing. She is a big fan of Miley Cyrus....she squeals when she sees her on Tv and no matter what kind of music is playing, she is moving or singing.

3. On the above note, she watches American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance with me!

4. She adores her brothers. But likes to smack them around too....

5. She loves to climb things. She will climb up the boys' bunkbeds without using the ladder! It is frightening and amazing at the same time.

6. She is very dainty and and loves to kiss her self in the mirror. Usually after gettingher hair done or watching me put on makeup....

7. She is still nervous around strangers but loves to show off from a distance.

We just love having her in our family and are looking forward to watching her grow up! Happy Birthday Addie.....We Love You!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Good News.....

Mom's doing great! One artery was 90% blocked but it was a small enough artery that they are using medicine to break down the plaque. So, no major surgery. Thanks for your well wishes. It is a big relief!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mom.....

Im feeling really anxious right now so Im using my blog as a way to get my feelings out hoping it will calm me down a little bit. I found out this weekend that my mom has some blocked arteries in her heart. That she has heart disease is a shock in and of itself. That she may be having a bypass surgery tomorrow was enough to floor me. As some of you may know, my dad had a heart attack at age 47 followed by triple bypass that same week. He has heart disease and was told he would have another bypass in 10 years time. Thankfully it has been nearly 20 but there have been symptoms so I was expecting to hear this news about him, not my mom. She is very nervous about tomorrow....which makes it worse for me. I feel like she is going to be just fine so I am trying to focus on that feeling and not the others. What is so scary about it is that it means that I am hit from both sides with the "heart disease" risk. To top it off, I have been seriously overweight for nearly 10 years now. That isnt helping my cause. Im feeling very vulnerable for so many reasons...... I'm just trying to breathe and I am hoping my mom is doing the same.

Love you mom.

Life is Changing.....we need a Vacation!

So, I am wondering what really qualifies as a vacation? You know those emails that get sent around and you have to answer questions about yourself such as, "when you cried last" or "whats your favorite food"...... yes, well the other day I participated in one that had a question "List 4 vacations you have taken." Seems pretty straight forward right? Well, I couldnt really come up with even one! That is so sad. Granted this past weekend counted as a vacation for me.... first one really! I enjoyed it immensely. However, it was more like a mini-vacation....and considering the fact that my parents live in Las Vegas and I have been there like a thousand times, not to mention the fact that I actually lived there myself for one year, it still didnt feel like an official vacation. So, I have come to the conclusion that my family needs a real vacation. We have just purchased (with the help of angels) plane tickets to Kentucky for Memorial Day weekend......however, this cant count in my book either because we are staying with family and visiting family....in fact the whole point of going is for a family reunion. Dont get me wrong.... I LOVE going to visit family. When we go to Las Vegas, it feels vacation-y because my parents have a pool and anytime I have left my own reality for a time no matter where we go, it feels vacation-y. Next summer though, this is going to be the year of the VACATION! I think we are going to attempt Disneyland/Sea World......

So, enough of that, we are very excited to be going to Kentucky next month. We havent been back since we moved here and I know Denver is really happy to be going. In order to save money on plane tickets we are flying out of Las Vegas to Detroit and then driving down to Kentucky with Denvers' family from Michigan. I know it sounds like a huge pain but we are saving over $200 a ticket x 6 tickets.....that is a lot of money.....so the driving will have to be. We werent sure if Alec would be coming due to an excuse of some sort having to do with football. Turns out he is going to grace us with his presence for the week in Kentucky but after that he needs to go home for football practice. What does this mean? It means that since it is not our year to have him for Christmas that we only get to see him for 1 week out of the whole year. Some people may not think this is a bad thing but I assure you it is. My kids will not understand why their big brother is not coming to see them and of course Denver does not appreciate it at all. But what can you do. He wants to play football and clearly he has his priorities in line which do not include us. I am venting here of course because there is nothing we can really do about it except exercise Denver's right to have him for the summer and insist for nothing less.....this will of course cause more grief than it is worth because who wants a moody teeanger in the house when he is being forced to be here....no thanks. Anyway, I knew it would come to this eventually. He has a life there and doesnt want to leave it even for just a month. We all know this is not really his fault. A child can only fight brainwashing for so long before he believes everything he is told by an ill intentioned parent.


So, Im thinking this means that maybe Seattle will work out after all. Im not really going to expound on that subject as there is nothing set in stone....well its not set in anything but theory just yet. However, Alec being here for the Summer was an issue we were thinking about. Maybe this is a sign that things will work out since there are no issues now other than getting the job in the first place. Since I am on the subject of jobs, on April 25th Denver begins the "day shift" at Boeing. Why is this news? Well, for the past 10 years Denver has always worked a night shift (with the exception of Kentucky).....We rarely eat dinner together. My night routine is going to change drastically. I will now have someone to help me with the boys endless homework, baths, baseball/soccer games.....are you getting the picture? It is going to be strange at first.....but it is a great thing. Denver will be able to participate so much more in the kids' and my life. Plus it means that I can actually do things at night without dragging the kids with me... Yahoo! Due to this shift change, he is going to change schools as well. Westminster College is a liberal arts college and therefore does not offer many night classes. So, he has decided to take the summer off and start in the fall at University of Phoenix. The best part about this is that he will finish school a lot sooner than if he had stayed at Westminster. Our family is changing quite a bit this year. All for the better I am happy to report.


I was purusing other blogs today and heard a song on Adam and Cami's sight by Trace Adkins. This last paragraph is about to get sappy so for those of you not interested you ought to sign off now. Anyway, the song is called "your gonna miss this" and it is about enjoying the little moments of life. All the things you take for granted until they are gone. It is the first song playing on my playlist right now. Kids grow up so fast these days you can hardly keep up anymore. I was just talking to my friend Linda yesterday, who just had her fourth baby, and we were talking about how life moves too fast. Everyone "schedules" play dates for their kids because nobody just PLAYS anymore. What ever happened to the days when the kids just went outside after breakfast and knocked on friends doors to see if they could play? I personally refuse to participate in the "play date" game. When my kids want to play with someone, I tell them to go ahead and then they knock on doors. People are just too busy. I was kicking myself the other day during the kids' spring break. I had been asked what fun stuff we were doing for Spring Break. I allowed myself to feel bad for my kids because we werent "doing stuff"......then I realized that I cannot afford nor do I have the energy to constantly entertain my kids. Then they come to expect it and are constantly "bored". It just isnt healthy in my opinion to run run run. Kids need down time. They need to be bored so that they can appreciate the fun times more. Anyway, my point of that rant was to say that we need to take a break from our "schedules" and spend time with our families. I mean time as in conversation, a good meal, play games......RELAX. Pretty soon the kids will be in their 30's and worrying about us. And we will be thinking, why didnt I take more time to enjoy them. The song is a tear jerker for sure.....but very wise and I have enjoyed a good cry this morning while thinking about my funny kids. I just cant get enough of them really......and I dont want them to grow up.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Back to Reality....

So I have returned from my Vegas trip. It was a great success and I really enjoyed seeing my friends again. It didnt feel like nearly 12 years has passed since I have seen these girls....time really flies. I was happy that we just fell right into having fun and it was like old times (Ok maybe a few things have changed) ;) I was a bit nervous before going....worrying about things that really didnt matter, but those fears and worries were gone the minute MK got off the plane. The highlights for me were my FABULOUS steak at Mon Ami Gabi. Wow.....cant say enough about it.....Im sure I'll never have another like it! Also, the Limo ride was quite the experience....from seedy bars to scary strip clubs.....and Roman, our friendly driver. It was very fun although I got quite car sick by the end! I won $20 playing video poker at the pool tableless bar across the street from our condo....that was great! Im not much of a gambler or a drinker much to the bartenders enjoyment ( he made us all shots and then had to drink the one he made me....on the job, only in Vegas!) . He thought I was strange because I didnt drink but I saw a look of understanding when I mentioned later that I was from Utah.....Ah but of course. It was a little weird being away from the kids considering it is really the first time in 7 years that I have been able to be away for longer than a few hours. I had fun but it was a real JOY seeing them today when I got off the plane. Addison ran to me and wouldnt let go for almost 15 minutes. LOVED that.

Well, girls, if you are reading this......lets make this a yearly thing!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Viva Las Vegas.....


I leave very early tomorrow and wont be back until Monday afternoon....I'll post again when I get back!

Ciao!