Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Grandkids....

I am in love with Picassa right now... I was playing around with the kids today and took a few pictures, nevermind their classy attire! I was looking for a way to make a collage instead of a slideshow and downloaded Picassa 3 from Google for free. So far I love it....hopefully our love affair will last. Sometimes these programs get boring after a while. I'll let you know....
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Goodbye Friends....

Well, we have had such a fun time with Kevin and Angie this weekend. They are really wonderful people and a lot of fun to be around. Oh and I was wrong...Kevin is Denver's 3rd cousin. I can never keep his family straight. Today we drove around SLC and showed them a couple of places they would be interested in. We would really love to see them move here someday....I think it would be a lot of fun for everyone! They have 3 daughters....Hannah who is 14 and Savannah who is 12 and Reannah who is 8. We were so happy to have them stay with us and hope that they come again really soon. They are talking about coming back out this summer and we will surely look forward to it. I didnt take anymore pictures but I did high-jack this one off of Angies Facebook! She took a bunch of pictures and will email them to me so I may post more later.... Addie really took to Angie. I wasnt sure how she would react having strangers in the house but it only took a few minutes to realize that these strangers were special!

In other news, I received word from the Veterans Administration that I am still eligilbe to recieve GI Bill education benefits! Apparently they have extended those benefits to 10 years after an honorable discharge so guess who will be enrolling in school this fall!? Me! Im very excited about it.... I help Denver type his papers for school all the time and it makes me want to go back. Denver graduates in May of next year. What a great year that will be!

General Conference for our church is next weekend. There are many people that we know coming into town for it. It looks like we will be receiving a visit from our Kentucky Bishop - Ken Carriere and his daughter Staci which we are looking forward to. Also my little cousin Sarah who I havent seen since she was just a little girl has mentioned possibly getting together for lunch on Friday so hopefully she will have the time for it. I would sure love to see her again! Lots of visits and reconnecting going on in our lives this past year....I have Facebook to thank for it! In fact I think I will end this post and logon to Facebook right now! Goodnight all!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring is Never Coming....

Okay...now I'm almost convinced that Spring is not ever going to be here. We are being hit with back to back snowstorms! According to the weather it is supposed to snow for the next 3 days. We received 3 inches just today. It made for a really sad site down at Temple Square today. We have visitors in town staying with us and spent the day driving them around and showing them the place. Kevin and Angie are here from Kentucky. Kevin is Denver's 2nd cousin but they are the same age so they are good friends too. They had been here once before but it was 8 years ago! We are hoping they will relocate eventually ;) I'll introduce them more in a later post.

So we get to Temple Square and get out to walk around so Angie could take pictures and it was FREEZING! Not only was there snow everywhere but the wind was blowing and it was just almost unbearable! All the flora on the square had been starting to bloom from the warm weather last week so everywhere you looked were colorful flowers peeping out from under the white blanket of snow. I sure hope they survive the week! Poor Addison had to go to the bathroom desperately...we tried to walk into the Joseph Smith building but it was locked and so when I turned around to tell her, she was already going....right there all over herself. We had to run to the car before she froze to death because she was soaked. We went home and changed her and then drove around some more. We went up to the Salt Lake Cemetary to see President Hinkley's grave and also to show off the gorgeous view of the Salt Lake valley. It is truly beautiful and I love living here...in spite of the awful snow.... Then we drove them out to see the Great Salt Lake. I found out today that the Great Salt Lake has enough salt in it to supply the ENTIRE world for 1000 years. Can you believe that? We ended the day at Tres Hermanos for dinner....mmmm Mexican food. Cant beat it. So, all in all is was a great day....cold, but really nice to be out with great company! I will post more pictures later but here is a quick slide show of our day today.....

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another Fun Performance....

So today was Evan's turn! His class put on a literacy fair today. They have been working on this for a while and for at least 2 months Evan has come home every day saying "Mom are you coming to my literacy fair tomorrow?!".....and then I would find out that it wasnt even scheduled yet. So finally....after months of anticipation, I got to attend it! Evan was so cute, when he walked into the auditorium and saw me and Addison and Soren....he was BEAMING. There is no other way to describe it. He loves to have his parents' adoration and attention and I just get all choked up seeing his smiling face and knowing how happy inside he is.

Anyway, whats a literacy fair you are asking? The kids have been really ramping up their reading over the past few months and they had prepared skits to go along with their favorite books. They sang Songs that they made up and helped compose. And then, all around the auditorium were displays of the artwork and different projects they had done with regard to reading. For example...they made books in a box which was really clever and too difficult to explain here. They also made self portraits of themselves reading a book which was a story that they made up. They designed their own T-shirts based on their favorite book....And my favorite project was their actual book that they wrote. Evan's was titled "My Trip to Kentucky" and he wrote about our trip to Kentucky last summer for a family reunion. It was pretty focused on his cousins and all the love that they have for each other. It was so sweet. The last page was the author description page and it had an actual picture of him on it with facts about him..... "Evan is thoughtful" "Evan is 6" "Evan is Kind"......oh and his favorite snack.... "A Doughnut".
Thanks for inviting me Evan...it was awesome and I love you so much! Here is a little clip of one of their songs.....

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The Piano Man....







Yesterday was Ian's piano receital at his school. Their music program provides actual piano lessons for each student beginning in the 2nd grade. It is really awesome because we are one of the only schools in the state that has the funding for it. Anyway, Ian already had piano lessons last year from someone in our church and I know he could have played a more difficult piece but they try to keep the kids on similar levels....he did great though. Notice his head.....its the human metronome! Even the girl in the front row gets her head going....too funny!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring! Is not here yet......



Well, Im up this morning getting the kids off to school and guess what? Its snowing! Ugh...March/April are the worst months of the year in my opinion because they tease you with warm weather but wont hesitate to throw a snowstorm in to keep you on your toes....or in your boots! 70 degrees on Saturday, snowing this morning. Oh well..the good news is that the temps today should be warm enough to melt it all away and Spring is truly just around the corner. Even though Fall is really my favorite season, I love Spring too. The smell of fresh cut grass and fertilizer....the new blossoms on the trees and the birds seem to chirp more than in the summer. Its just a renewing of life and that part is so cool. Denver complains about the snow a lot and when we lived in Arizona we both complained about the heat a lot. But you know, I just dont think I could stand living somewhere that you didnt have all 4 seasons. Ok, maybe Monterey, California...but even then I think I would miss the snow. If only the snow season could be a little shorter :)

We are excited at the prospect of going to Reno over Easter weekend to see my parents new house and to celebrate Easter and Addison and Evan's birthdays with them. Addie's actually falls on Easter Sunday this year. We are going to drive and it should take about 7 hours...it will be a fun experience.

Ian is about to start his spring break...2 weeks off school. And just when his ends, Evan's begins! Although his is only 1 week long. Sure would be nice if they were at the same time. Ive got to figure out something for them to do the whole time so we can avoid the "youve been on the Wii for too long" fight. Since I have been off of work I have been trying to organize my files and get our house in better order. So far I have been successful enough to get our taxes filed, sortof...there are some issues. And, file for review of a debt that Denver owes which should save us about $6000! As nice as it has been though, Im going to have to find another job soon. Unemployment is treating me kindly for now but it will run out eventually.

We are bringing Denvers mom out here this summer to stay for a little while...she says 6 weeks and Denver wants 6 months....I am happy to have her for as long as she wants to be here. The kids will love it and hopefully she will enjoy it too. We love her and know that she is going through a lot without Don. Alec may or may not be here also. This changes daily and although Denver has tried to get to the bottom of it, there are no conclusions other than Alec is angry and is under the impression that his dad has never tried to see him all these years. Isnt that crazy! I have the pictures to prove that Alec has been with us every year... sometimes twice a year! He doesnt remember the fact that he spent months at a time with us before he started school...one month at our house one month at his moms... not to mention the summers that he spent at least 2 months with us. He was young of course and so he doesnt remember. You'd think his mom would help him remember and not let him believe such a thing... that his dad didnt try to see him! But I guess that really wasnt her agenda. She seems to spend so much time concentrating on what Denver HASNT done that the stuff he has done is like dust in the wind. All Alec is left with is the impression he gets from her, combined with his desire to see his dad more often and it ends up leaving him feeling empty. But what it doesnt mean is that his dad hasnt wanted to see him! He thought he was doing a good thing by letting Alec live his life...not interfering....letting Alec come when he wanted or leave when he wanted. All it has done is backfire on him. She always made it clear from the beginning that she would never support me as Alec's stepmom and she has certainly held true to her word there but thats really OK. His anger is misdirected right now but he is only 14...teenage hormones and all...one day he will realize whats been going on. I have pulled out all the pictures we have from every visit he has ever made to our house. If he does end up coming this summer, I believe we will have a little history lesson. I wonder what he did with all the pictures I sent him home with year after year.... I was hoping to get him here this year because I wanted a new picture of the kids done. Addie was little the last time and it is time for a new one. Hopefully he will decide to come and work things out with his dad and I. If his mom will stay out of it and let him work things out with Denver on his own that would the best thing. We had to block her email....and drop her blog which does nothing but cut Denver down on almost every post. Alec is old enough now that Denver will just go through him alone from now on.

Well, Im being summoned for dinner...I'll end this long post now. Hope everyone has had a nice Monday in spite of the snow. And if you didnt have snow today, well Lucky You!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

How Does One Celebrate 11 Years of Marriage......?

By going fishing....of course! Today is the first day of Spring (yay).... and my parents anniversary....and OUR anniversary! March 21st, 1998.....hard to believe. What better way to celebrate than to take our 3 children fishing on the warmest day of the year so far. We went to a little pond in Draper and although we werent very successful (only caught one fish), we had a lot of fun and the kids really enjoyed themselves. Afterward we treated them to Burger King and Addie wore her crown proudly, albeit crooked. Our kids really come first at this time in our lives so it seemed appropriate to have some fun with them today...besides, we have a date tommorow courtesy of Nate and Alisa. We are going to see the movie "Duplicity"....hopefully its a good movie! Here is a little slideshow of pictures we took today at the pond.

Allergy Season is Upon Us.....

but it isn't bothering Ian one little bit I am happy to report! Seems the allergy shots are doing their duty. Ian said today that even though the shots sting a little, they are "totally worth not itching my eyes out!"..... As of Monday, he will officially be on the maintenance dose which means he is going from having the shots once a week to once every other week. This will last a month or two and then he will start having them just once a month. Not sure how long he has to do it after that but they are really working and I am so happy that he is not suffering like he used to! He hasnt cried from the shots in quite some time but Monday was a tough one...it was the biggest dose yet and so they had to give it to him in two shots.... one in each arm. The syrum had a lot of "Cat" and "Grass" in it and apparently it is the most painful one to receive....big crocodile tears dripped down his face but he held it together and didnt sob. Poor little guy.... Im so proud of him. He is very brave! Here is a picture of Ian being comforted by Addison and the requisite sucker that he gets each time he is stuck!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Date Night....Sunday Misc.

Denver and I had the rare privelege of going out on a "date" together last night. No kids....just us. Big thanks to Jeff and Nicola for hanging out with our kids! They love it when you guys come over. Anyway, I had planned on taking Denver to dinner for his birthday. So, Saturday night we went to Z-Tejas at the Gateway. It was soooo good. Denver ordered Barbacoa Green Chile enchiladas....Oh my, they were amazing. Mine was good too but his definitely took the prize. Afterward we walked around the Gateway just window shopping....then we stopped at Haagen Daas for a treat. Dulce de Leche ice cream with sliced bananas, hot caramel and whipped cream. Hello! I could have bathed in it..... I didnt even think to take pics of the night. Oh well.....

We came home and had to finish preparing Ian's talk for church today. He gave a talk in primary about obeying your parents. Hopefully it sunk in...ha ha. He looked so grown up in his suit and tie. He did a great job of course. Denver stayed home with Addie and Evan who weren't feeling well. I cant wait for Spring to get rid of all these viruses. So it was just me and Ian at church today and Ian seemed to really enjoy that. He said "church was more fun than usual" when I asked why he said "because it was just you and me mom"...... I thought that was sweet. Now I am off to prepare a pot roast and rolls for dinner....at Ian's request. Hope everyone enjoys their Sunday..... :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Can I just say how much I love Alison Krauss? Her voice is so incredibly soothing and I just dont think she could sing a bad song. I added a couple of her songs to my playlist...in addition to the ones I already had on there. I found my very favorite song....The Scarlet Tide...which comes from the movie "Cold Mountain".....incredible. You should play it and listen to it....it is beautiful and the movie, although it is gut wrenchingly sad, is equally as incredible in my opinion. If you feel like a good cry then rent this flick and just listen to the music if nothing else. Awesome.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

If You Knew Ian.....

....then you would know that this picture did not need any explanation. Apparently the Chess Instructor felt that she should explain the picture for fear that someone might misinterpret what Ian was doing..... She posts pictures of Chess club each week on Picassa and has NEVER written personal comments about any of them but this week I saw that one of them had a comment and when I clicked on it, this is the picture that came up.....


Her comment read: ( "he is not really yelling at his partner, just pretending..." ) Thanks for clearing that up....as if Ian would ever actually yell at his partner LOL!!!!

Evan made me feel pretty important today and a little sad at the same time. His class went on a field trip to the zoo and he had asked me a couple of weeks ago if I would come and help by being a chaperone. Unfortunately I cant really do stuff like that very often because I have Addison and Soren at home with me and normally they dont allow the chaperones to bring siblings. Anyway, today when I picked him up from school I asked him if he had fun at the zoo and he looked a little sad and shook his head. I asked him what was wrong and he said "it wasnt fun because you werent there." Awwwww.....I feel badly that I couldnt go but am very appreciative that he missed me so much. Here is one of my favorite pictures of Evan. He was so excited to play baseball the first time. The shirt drowned him and his little ears poking out of his hat....love it. Evan is a mischief maker and sometimes Im not quite sure what to do with him but I sure love him! He has had to learn a couple of hard lessons this week....hopefully its the last time we will have to deal with that type of thing.

Ok I found these funny videos that I took at Scott and Stacys house the week we were in Kentucky for Don's funeral. They have a playstation with the game called "Singstar"...its hilarious to watch these kids sing. I think Ian thought he was live on "American Idol" or something...I was cracking up. Unfortunately I filmed it with my camera so it is sideways...sorry:

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That took way too long to load...Im going to post the other one of Evan singing on Facebook so if you are my friend on Facebook you can check it out there. Evan's rockin version of Daniel Powters "had a bad day"....he took it very seriously too :) I love my boys.

Addie, Addie, Addie.....I could fill up 3 pages of stories about this little one. Lets just say that most of the time she is convinced that she is the only child that exists in my world. Or maybe its that she wishes she was. She is all over the place with her song and dance....and she loves to show off. Oh and she really hates wearing clothing. She strips down whenever she can...she even tried to remove her clothes on the airplane recently. She has decided that she is in charge of her cousin Soren. She lets me know when its time to feed him, change him, and she is especially vigilant when it comes time for him to take his nap. Sometimes she will announce that it is nap time for Soren within 5 minutes of him arriving in the morning. She has kindly taught Soren how to NOT share, and how to scream when things are taken from him. In spite of all of these "lessons"....she loves him and kisses him all day long. We enjoy having Soren at our house...he is so dang cute. Saying words left and right and when he gets excited he just blurts out all the words he knows in random order....cracks me up. Just be careful when he says "eye" because he will literally jab your eye out trying to show you!

Denver and I are both enjoying the fact that I havent had to go to work this past week. It is nice being home together and helping each other with dinner, homework, baths...etc. Normally the only night we have together is Thursday nights between my work and his school. I guess we will just enjoy it while it lasts because I have to find another job soon. We are excited to report that due to errors by others and not us for a change one of our debts is going to be reduced by almost $6000 ! How great is that! Its nice to have it work in our favor for a change..... Im sure there will be others that wont be so happy about it but, it is what it is..... Here is a picture of us that I found and I am posting against my better judgement.... Just ignore my triple chin...and the stain on my shirt.... I just love how we are so comfortable and happy, swinging on the porch swing in Kentucky last summer with our little girl.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Denver....

Today is Denvers 38th birthday. He asked me last night if deserves to go out for his birthday on Saturday and to that I say....Yes!! He is a great father to our children. They love and adore him like crazy. They cant wait for him to come home from work each day and love spending time with him. Denver is one of those guys that took some time figuring out what life was all about and what was important but I have to say that, especially lately, he has really put an effort into being a great husband. He loves me and puts up with me and my quirks and is willing to do just about anything I ask of him. I love you Denver and hope that you have a wonderful birthday today. If it were warm I'd tell you to go fishing.....oh well, Happy Birthday!

Ian....

Couldnt resist posting Ian's newest school picture. It frustrates me actually that the schools do pictures twice a year. The first part of the year is their official school picture that they print with the class pics but then in early Spring, they do them again for fun and use cute backgrounds and everything. They dont make you pay in advance....they take the pic first then send it home knowing that parents cant resist another picture of their kids! Its very sneaky. I have told them not to take pictures of the kids during this time before and they tell me that all kids have to take the pictures if they are at school and that I can just send the photos back if I dont want them. Once again...they know most of us will buy them. Ian's turned out so good that I am going to keep them.....of course!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Swoosh....

Today we went to the church to watch Denver play basketball. Our church team made it to the finals and today was the first game. I'd say that our team is made up of half "seasoned" men and the other half "younger" men.... I have missed most of the games this year because I meet with a personal trainer on Saturday mornings which conflicts with the games. Today however, I didnt have a session so I was able to go. Im not sure how they made it to the finals but it was exciting nonetheless. The game was pretty tight....neither team was more than 2 points behind the other until the last 3 minutes of the last quarter! It was nerve wracking to say the least.

The kids enjoyed playing around while I watched and believe or not, our team WON! But just barely....their next game is on Tuesday evening so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully it wont be so close next time. It would be fun to see them win the whole thing! Oh, and of course I have to give props to my husband who made a few really nice 3 pointers and never missed a free throw. I marveled at the fact that he didnt even hesitate or take time to prepare for his free throws....he just stepped up to the line and tossed it in with little effort at all. For a 38 year old man, thats pretty impressive......Now if only he didnt have to run..... ha ha. (he asked me not to post these pictures but we made a deal that I could, as long as I mentioned his mad skills.)

After the game we went to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. I love that place and so do the kids. It's nice to be able to get healthy choices that the kids enjoy too.... Denver and I are about to put the kids to bed and enjoy a movie together that we rented. I love weekends like this....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Longest Post Ever....

Well, we made it home. Not without a few bumps of course. The trip was obviously last minute but thanks to a handful of generous family members and friends, we were able to go without it financially breaking us for life. Thank you so much to all of you....you know who you are :) So, Denver had left Tuesday morning to be there with his family right after Don passed. Me and the kids had to wait until Thursday to go because Ian had an opera that he had to perform at his school on Thursday morning. It was so cute....the kids wrote and composed the opera all by themselves. It was about Africa since that is what they are studying this year and involved aliens landing and disrupting natures balance as well as ruining all their food. Ian was an alien. Too cute. Here is a picture of Ian the alien and the 3 kids outside the school afterward.

So we left a couple of hours after the performance and flew first to Phoenix then to Louisville, Kentucky. I was a bit nervous flying with all 3 kids by myself...but Addie slept the entire flight to Phoenix and the boys were occupied by their games. Then the long half of the flight from Phoenix to Louisville was a nightmare. All 3 kids awake and wired and restless....wow. Still, no major problems until we started the descent into Louisville. It was awful. Bumpy and rolling and dipping and shaking....seriously, I was feeling sick. I noticed that the boys had become really subdued and then fell asleep in the last 5 minutes of the flight so as we were pulling up to the terminal, I woke them up. Addie was already crying that her tummy hurt and then Ian woke up and was really crying that he was sick. I kept thinking please wait til we get off the plane.....well, guess what. They didnt. Ian was the first to start projectile vomiting....all over the seat and Evan, which caused Evan to then join the puke fest. It was the most unbelievable nightmare you have ever had. The whole plane was screaming since no one had even gotten off the plane yet. Then heres the mom, me....with my head turned, laughing nervously and trying to hold back my own vomit. I dont do throw up....I can handle just about anything but throw up. The guy who had sat next to Evan and Ian during the flight was giving them air bags...although it was really too late at this point. I seriously thought I would start crying. He offered to stay and help me clean up....what a guy, I wish I had gotten his name so I could send him an apology/thank you note. He was so kind....I just told him to go before he got sick too! So long story short, we had to walk through the airport covered in puke to get our bags and our rental car. Then it was straight to the bathroom to change. By this time is was after midnight and we still had a 3 hour drive ahead of us. Needless to say we did not go to bed until 4:00 in the morning and then got up at 9:00 to get ready for a funeral. It was an exhausting trip.

The funeral was beautiful. I was blown away by the number of people that loved my Father in law. What a testament to the kind of life that he led. Barry Spurlock hit it on the head when he said something to the effect that although the world might not have considered Don a rich man, this funeral has shown that he was indeed wealthy beyond anything the world could imagine. I missed the viewings on Wed and Thurs but heard that it was standing room only on both nights. Don's niece Kim gave the eulogy Friday and it was so touching. She did an amazing job.....
Don looked peaceful and healthy too and it was comforting to see the care that the funeral home gave to him. We went to the funeral home before they took him to the church. Just me and Denver and the kids with Carlotta so we could have a minute with him alone and Ian struggled with this a little.....he was crying and said "it looks like he is sleeping" and truly that is what it looked like. Im glad that he didnt have to see Don sick....that his memories will only be of Don teasing him and loving him...and sleeping.
The rest of weekend was nice and chaotic. There were so many family members there that had traveled from Michigan. So much food had been provided all week that nobody really had to cook much. Just lots of visiting and playing. The kids enjoyed spending time with their cousins
and just taking it easy.
We went to dinner with 2 of Denvers best friends from high school and their wives....without any kids. What stories I got to listen to.....and some very hilarious video of an infamous basketball game fight.
We left Monday around noon....and that was difficult. My Mother in law has a struggle ahead of her as does everyone else that saw Don everyday. Now that everyone is gone and the house is quiet, its going to be hard. We barely made our flight in Louisville. In fact if it hadnt been delayed by 25 minutes, we would have missed it. Denver flew out of Lexington so we had to drop him off first then drive another hour to Louisville (3hour drive total)....thankfully no throwing up on the way home! Both our flight and Denvers had a layover in Chicago (pic below is of the boys at the Chicago airport)

so we had planned to meet up there and eat something before going separate ways again....Denver called me when he landed (his flight had been delayed an hour so we ended up there before him) and walked to our gate to meet us but we couldnt find each other. Turns out Chicago has 2 different airports, Midway and O'Hare and he was at one and I was at the other. Oops. So my flight left Midway on time, and Denvers left O'Hare 3 hours late. I guess someone was looking out for me because if it had been me with all the kids having to hang around an airport for all those hours of delay I think I would have gone completely mad.
Unfortunately our original arrivals in SLC should have only been 25 minutes apart so we could all go home together but because of the delays me and the kids went on home at 10:30 and had planned to come back at 12:45 A.M. to pick Denver up. Thankfully, when I got home I got on Facebook and ended up chatting with a guy from our church who plays basketball with Denver...he wanted to talk to Denver and so I explained why he wasnt there and that I would have Denver call in the morning. This man graciously insisted on picking Denver up so that I could put the kids to bed and not drag them out at one o'clock in the morning. Thanks Ned for being so kind.
So, thats the trip report. Unfortunate circumstances but still very enjoyable and left me very greatful to be a part of the Shannon Family. Love you all.