Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!

I've long since given up on sending out Christmas cards. There's too much going on in the beginning of December to add that to my list. So this year we're sending New Year's cards. And since I'm far too cheap to send one to everyone who reads my blog, you all get to look at it here. Think of it as saving the environment, all that paper, etc. So here you go, the family photo card and obligatory yearly summary (last name has been changed to protect the innocent):

This year was full of fun, adventure, and change for our family.

Anton graduated with a degree in Air Traffic Control. He completed an internship with the FAA and is currently in the process of being hired by them permanently. He continues to run and do anything outdoors he possibly can.

Amanda still works from home editing court transcripts. She continues to work on decorating cakes and tries any other crafty thing that strikes her fancy. When she’s not working or crafting, you will probably find her buried in a book.

Ella turned five this year and started kindergarten. She loves school. She also took gymnastics and ballet, which she greatly enjoyed, but declares gymnastics her favorite. She’s into all typical girly things: Barbies, dolls, playing house, etc.

Alex has done nothing but grow this year. He went from a two-year-old baby in diapers to a three-year-old big boy practically overnight. If he doesn’t slow down he’s going to be a teenager in no time at all. He is into all things boy, from trains to Legos and more.

As a family we moved yet again this year from Washington to Utah. This was to save on rent until a training slot opens for Anton with the FAA. What was meant to be a temporary thing looks like it’s going to last well over a year.

We hope this coming year will bring all sorts of excitement. Hopefully, Anton will start his job which will take us to Oklahoma for a few months before finally going back to Washington. Ella will start first grade and Alex will start preschool. Amanda just hopes to keep everything as normal as possible while all this is going on. Who knows what other adventures await us!

We hope your year is equally fun!

Anton, Amanda, Ella, and Alex

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Christmas Compendium

It always seems to be the case that when you have the most to blog about you always have the least amount of time to blog. So as per tradition, you get a giant overview of our Christmas activities in one ginormous post. Grab a mug of hot chocolate. You're going to need it.

The week before Christmas we rode the train up to see the lights on Temple Square.

It was a cold night, but we came prepared with a Thermos full of hot chocolate.

And we managed to get one of the only family pictures of the year.

The kids liked riding the train the best.

The next day we had the annual family gingerbread (graham cracker) house building party.

I made a little stone cottage.

Complete with thatched roof...

Wood pile...

And stone walls.

Then the next day we went and made sugar cookies with the nieces and nephews/cousins. Alex spent most of the time shoving cookie dough and sprinkles in his face and then wearing this expression of illness. It was that night the puking began.

Ella's school did a Christmas program. When it was her class's turn to sing, the teachers so nicely propped this giant poster in front of her class so no one could see them. Oh well.

Anton got an early Christmas present of a set of snowshoes. We haven't seen him since.

On Christmas Eve day it was beautiful and sunny and we took advantage of it by going sledding.

Alex went face first into the snow once, was run over by other sledders once, and went through a giant pine tree once. He still had fun.

Then it was Christmas day. The kids got everything they wanted, and then way too much more. It was a crazy day of fun with all the family.

And now we are going to spend a week recovering. We still have that weird stomach bug floating around. Ella threw up the night before Christmas. It's a tradition for her. She's been sick on more Christmases than not. I felt yuck yesterday. And today grandpa is feeling sick. Merry Christmas to us!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas is Coming

I have all sorts of Christmas festivities to post about. But after the puking fest we had last night, I decided it was just going to have to wait. We decorated sugar cookies yesterday and Alex ate waaaaaay too many. Last night around 11 he threw up all over his bed. It was the nastiest, stanky puke I've ever encountered. I was gagging the whole time I was cleaning it up. He threw up a bit more in the toilet then we put him back to bed with a puke bowl. At 4:30 a.m. he came in and woke me up because he'd thrown up again, on the opposite side of the bed from where the bowl was. So I got to change out the sheets all over again and scrub the carpet. I kicked Ella out of her bed so I could sleep in there with Alex so as to avoid any further sheet changes, and let me tell you, she has the most uncomfortable bed in the whole world. After just a short while laying there my whole body ached. Alex was up and wide awake at 7:30. We sent Ella off to school, put Alex in front of the TV, and I went back to bed. Alex threw up again while I was sleeping, but Anton took care of that one. I didn't even manage to shower and get out of my pajamas all day. So needless to say, after all that I'm not in the mood to post all about fun Christmas stuff. You're just going to have to wait.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Magic or Technology?

So I'm a bit of a sci-fi fan, and I enjoy a bit of fantasy on the side here and there as well. One day in a random moment of day dreaming I began to wonder, would I rather live in a world of super advanced technology with space travel, seeing other worlds, and all that cool stuff? Or would I rather live in a Harry Potter-esque world with magic?

I picked technology hands down. I've dreamed about going to space since I was a kid. Anton chose magic because he could magic up anything that technology could do otherwise.

So what about you? Magic or technology, what will it be?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Calling All Cooks

I love to cook. Making dinner is usually my break for the day. And I don't just rotate the same meals over and over again. I'm always trying new things. But that means that making my menu can take a long time. I shop for two weeks at a time, so that means I usually need around 12 meals to get us through the two weeks. Well, I'm running out of ideas. I need to go grocery shopping tomorrow and don't have even the beginnings of a menu. So here's where I need you. Could you all give me your favorite recipes? Link me to them, type them in the comments, whatever, just please, help me! Save my mental sanity!

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Why does is seem like I have to yell at my kids so much more when I don't have a voice to yell? I've got a crummy cold that Alex was so nice to share with me and my voice is barely hanging in there. And maybe it's because I'm less patient because I'm sick, and maybe it's because it's been too cold to go do anything, but I feel like I've done nothing but attempt to yell at my kids. It really is a pathetic attempt because not much comes out. So then I resort to dragging them to their rooms and other such things that don't involve a voice. Anyone want to rent a couple of kids for the winter?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Hero

Anton hasn't had a haircut in a long time. His hair is probably longer than it has been since before he joined the military. And since it is so long, he has taken to combing it to the side like so:

I don't like it when he combs it like this. I think he looks like a goody two shoes. But not only that, I also think he looks like Sylar from Heroes (which I realize is the exact opposite of a goody two shoes).

Do you see the resemblance? It's unnerving to look over and think you have a psychopathic serial killer living in the same house as you. And in case you can't see the resemblance, I helped him out with a little Photoshop.

He even has a sinister look in his eyes in this one. So if I abruptly stop posting some day, you may want to call my house and ask for Sylar.

Friday, November 20, 2009

They're Addictive

What is it about Marshmallow Mateys that can have you eating bowl after bowl after bowl without feeling a bit of guilt? Good stuff.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It begins.

Well, we sent off for our passports yesterday.

They are expensive little buggers. Anton and I both needed to renew ours and the kids needed new ones. This will be my third passport in life.

I've been debating on whether to start a new blog dedicated to all the planning and goings on with this trip or just keep it all here. What do you think? Would you read me in two places, or is that too much to ask? :) I think I would put a lot more detail on a new blog for those who may be interested in the process, but I would leave the details off here. Then again, I may not have time for a new blog. Who knows!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Would you?

So I think we've almost decided that we're going to go to Thailand and live for a year. Anton will get a job teaching and I'll keep up my scoping. But since deciding this, I've been getting flack from people about how stupid I am to take my kids overseas. So what do you guys think? Would you live overseas in a foreign country where none of you speak the language and it's a bit dirty and crowded and traffic and driving is a nightmare (which I wouldn't drive)? I know some of you have lived abroad with the military, but we won't have that support group behind us. Although, there is an English speaking LDS ward in Bangkok, so we will have them. I guess I want reassurance that I'm not going to win the worst mom of the year award by doing this. Either that or you guys will all tell me I'm nuts and we'll change our plans.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Needing Suggestions

So from the rumors running around it sounds like Anton's job may not start for over a year. That's a long time to be living jobless in my parents' basement. So I'm looking to you all to help us. What would you do if you had a year and you were completely unattached to jobs, homes, etc.? It can't be something expensive, like traveling the world, because we are jobless. But it could involve traveling if we were being compensated, liked teaching English abroad. It could involve school, since we both get military education benefits. We've looked at teaching English, which we're not really qualified for, but would love to do it if we could. We looked at sending Anton back to school to get his BA, but we're not residents of Utah so the tuition is more than the G.I. Bill will cover. So does anyone have any suggestions? Something less than a year and not expensive. Help me internet friends; you're my only hope!

Updates per people's comments:

We would only want to go to school if it furthered our careers in some way. We don't want to use up our military benefits just to get a job for less than a year. All Utah state sponsored schools are out, too expensive. BYU has already rejected Anton in the past, so no go there.

I do already have a job. I am still scoping part time. So I don't need a job, unless of course it was handed to me on a platter as something I would love to do that would make me more money than scoping, but that's not going to happen.

Also, we kind of want to do something meaningful, as in service or volunteering or something like that, but we would want a sense of adventure in whatever it is and the kids would have to be able to do it too. I realize this is asking for things that probably don't exist, but there it is.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Happenings

We had a fun Halloween. This was the first year both kids really understood what was going on which made things more enjoyable.

We started out the festivities the night before by carving pumpkins.

Neither of the kids were too sure about sticking their hands in the pumpkin goop, but they warmed up to it.

Both kids picked what they wanted on their pumpkins and mom and dad helped them cut it out.

Ella's was a self portrait. She was vary particular about how everything looked.

After hers was done, Ella moved on to help Daddy with his and Alex's. I love the look of concentration with the tongue hanging out.

Next year we might just stick with 2 pumpkins until the kids can carve their own.

And since my pumpkin looks better in the light, it gets a picture all its own.

I wanted a witch hat to put on it, but didn't feel like hunting one down.

And in all their lit up glory:

Alex's is the monster and Anton's the peeping Tom, which I thought was completely appropriate per his known habits (fourth picture down).

On Halloween itself we had mummy dogs for dinner:

Ella dressed up as Annie wearing a dress my mom made me when I was her age, and Alex dressed up as a knight.

Their favorite part was grandpa setting up the Great Pumpkin.

He makes a new face for it every year, and it glows in the dark.

At the end of the night he lets the grandkids climb inside of it and make pumpkin shadows. Such fun!

But before all that, we got the pumpkins set up:

Ella was acting really lethargic all night long. It's no surprise she woke up this morning with a barking cough and talking like a frog. This is what she looked like all night:

Poor thing. She wanted so badly to hand out candy and go trick-or-treating with her cousins, I just couldn't send her to bed.

The kids had fun trick-or-treating, even though we didn't go to many houses since it was too cold for the parents outside.

And that's about it. Fun times.