Sunday, December 28, 2008

Highlights of our Christmas Week!

First, Atley starred as a sheep in the Church Christmas Pageant. Okay, so maybe he wasn't the "star" but he is in the picture somewhere.

No, Christmas week is complete without shopping and more shopping. Pictured above are Granny and the boys in Chinatown and Nash completely obsessing over a mannequin with no legs, just a skirt and some boots. He kept saying, "Oh, sad!"

The boys got a little bonding time while they watched TV in our bed.

Christmas Eve excitement made worse by the consumption of vast amounts of chocolate.

Despite all the threats and warnings, Santa came after all and of course, he was quite generous to Atley and Nash.

Capitol and White House Tree!

No, holiday is complete without a little bowling. However, Atley only participates for the dancing!

Finally, a quick/accidental trip to Annapolis, home of the Naval Academy.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Early Christmas

My life long dream has always been to become a ROCK STAR. But, after I turned thirty I saw that dream fading into the distant horizon. After all, thirty is over-the-hill for a ROCK STAR. I think it is a bit funny that it took this milestone to deter me from my path and not the fact that I lack the talent, skill, and the ambition required to become a ROCK STAR. I have spent some days feeling a little depressed since I realized my dream would never come into fruition. I have tried outlets like Guitar Hero to console me, but to no avail. However, one thing has assuaged my battered sole and that is my attempt to live vicariously through my favorite ROCK STARS, THE KILLERS! I have been a fan since the beginning, that's right since way back in 2002 when the band was created, but not until recently have I become obsessed. This obsession stems from my unsuccessful attempts at ROCK STARdom and of course because I never had a poster of Kirk Cameron in my bedroom as an adolescent. What tipped the scale from like and deep affection to love and obsession? I heard a cover THE KILLERS did of an old Dire Straits song, called Romeo and Juliet. In my ROCK STAR schemes and dreams, I was always going to cover that song and in my opinion any band with the good taste to cover Dire Straits should be promoted to icon status. Then to my utter astonishment I learned that the beautiful and talented lead singer, Mr. Brandon Flowers, was a Mormon. Yeah, can you believe it? Trust me this is legitimate, not like the Steve Martin rumors. I don't know if dear Brandon is a good Mormon but he helped me realize that it was possible to a be a Mormon and a ROCK STAR. So, you can scarcely imagine the flood of emotions that filled my heart this after noon when the FEDEX truck pulled into the drive and with a single envelope changed my life forever. At first I assumed this was Scott's paycheck, for this is how it arrives each week-but alas when I opened the envelope it was something far more precious than gold. It was an early Christmas Present from my dear husband. A present to top all presents, the present that will get me closer to my dreams of being a ROCK STAR than anything else-tickets to THE KILLERS sold out concert on January 28th at the Patriot Center at George Mason University. I can't help but think that just being in their presence will somehow supersede my old age and lack of talent and transform me into a rock and roll dream. I thank my husband for his selfless gesture of love and devotion. He purchased these tickets knowing full well he could lose me to the bright lights of Hollywood or a more likely scenario to the esteemed position of roadie for the greatest band in American-no make that World History-THE KILLERS!!!!!
P.S. Do they make those Fathead giant wall sticker things of ROCK STARS? And if so could someone please buy me one with Brandon Flowers? And finally, if I really get my Fathead of Brandon Flowers is it inappropriate to hang it in our room or should it go in the basement or garage or someplace more discreet? Oh, come one girls don't judge me with your Edward/Twilight Fantasies! At least Brandon is real!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nash's 2nd Birthday

Happy Birthday Baby Nash!

Okay, so he is not really a baby he is TWO now! How did that happen! I am still using the "I just gave birth" excuse for my chubby belly. We are so thankful to have Nash! He had a rough start but he is a growing, healthy, strong, funny, and crazy little boy now. He is the light of our life. And although he isn't really a pudgy little guy even his nursery teachers agree with us when we say that Nash just has that squeezable quality that makes everyone want to hug and kiss him all the time. You know the kind of baby you just want to gobble up-that's our Nash. Happy Birthday Baby Nash! We love you so much!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Scooter!

Yes, today is Scott's birthday but I can't tell you how old he is because he is WAAAY past the age that you can still talk about it. We all love you Scott and I am very lucky to have such a great husband! It has been ten years since the first time that we celebrated Scott's birthday together. I remember being so nervous and self-conscious about the present I picked out, and while I was pretty twitter-patted back then, I love him even more now!

Gotta Love Him

I have been meaning to post some funny things about Atley for awhile but I keep forgetting. Anyway, here goes. The first picture you will see is us eating out with Scott's boss. He encouraged us to take the kids, but I think he probably thought better of it when Atley lit his top lip on fire while making S'mores at the restaurant.
Second, picture is Atley at a Ginger Bread House Decorating Party at the home of one of his classmates. Of course Atley is the only LDS child in his class so I was pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the party,the pizza was served and Atley recommended to the group that they should say a prayer before eating. In my pride, I said, "Oh, great idea honey! Will you say the prayer?" But, instead of exposing them to the good old Mormon prayer I was expecting he burst into an impromptu song that went something like this, "Oh, the Lord is good to me! He gives me food and the apple tree! Oh, the Lord is good to me! Thank you Lord." While the entire group was quite impressed, I was mortified and too embarrassed to tell everyone that we don't actually pray like that at home.
And while I have no pictures I have one more Atley story. Last week for family home evening we discussed the canned food drive our primary is involved in during the holiday season. The children have been encouraged to earn their own money and use it to purchase food for families in need. So, we spent last Monday working around the house and then for Family Home Evening Atley was given the money that he earned from his work and we went to the grocery store. On the way he could hardly contain his excitement. I was sure he thought we were going to buy him something really cool, but he knew exactly what we were doing and he carefully selected his favorite non-perishable food items-such as Macaroni and Cheese, Pears, Spaghettios, etc. We took them up to the register and paid and once again I was so proud of how excited he was to serve others. Well, I was humbled yet again when on the following morning I saw him sneaking into the kitchen and replacing the yummy food he bought with cans from our own pantry filled with things he disliked-such as green beans, corn, and rice. Gotta love him!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fort Butler

About a week before Thanksgiving our neighbor knocked on the front door. "Hey, I have something I want to give to your boys." Not having a clue what it was he wanted to give to my boys I just replied with an, "Okay!" Art, our neighbor says, "It is kinda big. I am going to need some help getting it over here." My reply, "Oh, let me get Scott." A few minutes later Scott and Art the neighbor come across the street with the playhouse of my little girl dreams. Art actually built it for the boys. Of course my boys don't call it a playhouse. It is usually a fort or a shed. However, recently they have gotten creative. Nash will drive his car to the window and Atley will pass him a pretend Happy Meal. I assume it might be a sign that we eat too much fast food when my children want to play McDonald's in their playhouse. Anyway, the boys love their fort and we feel very fortunate to have such a good neighbor. Thanks Art!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Since the beginning of November I have been contemplating all that I have to be thankful for and more importantly how I could express my gratitude. I have found myself making long lists of things I am thankful for and in my idiocy, I actually believed that I had thought of almost everything for which I had to be thankful for, but yesterday something I had never really thought about came into my mind. I ran to the grocery store to buy a gallon of milk and found my cart loaded down with what I would term non-essentials such as candy, a magazine, chips, and a couple of beautiful poinsettias. As I was checking out I looked behind the counter and noticed something strange. I noticed that all of the baby formula in the grocery store was locked inside of a case. It occurred to me that the only logical explanation for baby formula being locked up would be that people had resorted to stealing it. I spent the following few seconds feeling really sorry for people so desperate that they had to steal baby formula and I felt that if their baby was that hungry maybe they were justified in that action. Next, I saw a young mother ask the store manager if he could unlock the case so that she could buy some formula and I watched as she counted out her dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies to buy the formula. I noticed that she had only enough to buy the baby food not a penny more. There were no non-essentials in her cart, just one can of baby formula.
Living in a city like Washington D.C. you have the benefit of enjoying a great deal of diversity. The amount of diversity was frightening to me when we first arrived, but it is now one of the things I enjoy most. In our ward alone there are 22 different nationalities represented. Many of the individuals in this area have sacrificed much to be able to live in this great nation. Most live in small apartments with many family members, few own cars, and many work more than one job, English is always a second language, and poverty is commonplace. As I looked at this beautiful young woman counting her pennies to buy the baby food, I realized something I definitely hadn't thanked my Heavenly Father for and that was opportunity. I have been blessed with great opportunities. I had the opportunity to be born in this country. I have been blessed with the opportunity of being raised by parents who loved me and were able to provide a good home for me. I was blessed with the opportunity of an education and employment. I was blessed with the opportunity to learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ from a very young age. A clear realization came to me as I looked at the mother. I certainly was not smarter, more talented, braver, or more kind than her. It was clear to me through her tired smile that she had a great capacity to love others, something I often lack, yet it was also clear that her life was difficult and the one thing that was different about the two of us was that I had been given opportunities and she was working hard to create some opportunities for herself.
So, this Thanksgiving I am so thankful for the gifts I have been given and for the opportunities that our Heavenly Father has provided to me. I hope that I can make the most of these opportunities and use them in a way that can bless the lives of others, especially those who are struggling like the mother at the grocery store.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Jokes on Me!

At least there was lots of good food!
Happy UTE Fans!
So, diplomatic! An equal number of BYU and U of U Cupcakes!

Okay, so I have spent the day eating crow or humble pie or whatever it is you eat when you are prideful like I was this week as I made fun of the Utes. Actually, I am eating University of Utah cupcakes which is definitely the nastiest humble pie I have ever consumed. But, hey, there is always basketball season and while BYU's basketball team is looking great, the Utes lost to Southern Baptist last week-how sad! Jeez! I really can't let a dead dog lie. Quoting my mother, "Let it go Melisa. Just let it go." Anyway, we had a great party despite a devastating Cougar loss. Our Ute friends won gracefully and we are still able to call them friends. We had almost 50 people at the house and I am convinced our living room was louder than Rice-Eccles Stadium. Scott made a bet with one guy and ended up having to wear a U of U tie to church today. It was truly a humbling experience.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another Day, Another Joke

A ventriloquist is working in Salt Lake and during his show a Utah fan stands up and yells,"HEY YOU! ONSTAGE! You been making smart-butt remarks about us Utes being stupid all night long! We're not all stupid ya know!" -"Relax" said the ventriloquist, "They're just jokes!"- "I'm not talking to you, sir!" The Ute replied. "I'm talking to that little jerk sitting on your knee!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ute Joke of the Day


A man from USU, Utah, and BYU are all standing in the restroom taking care of business. The man from Utah finishes first. He shakes, zips up and heads to the sink. He uses an obscene amount of soap to wash his hands and pulls all kinds of paper towels to dry them. He goes on to say, "At the U they teach us to be really clean." Just about that time, the man from Utah State finishes. He shakes, zips up and heads to the sink. He only uses a little bit of soap to wash his hands, and only one paper towel to dry. He says, "At Utah State they teach us to be clean, but economical." At that time the man from BYU finishes his business. He shakes, zips up and just walks out the bathroom. He says, "At BYU, they teach us not to piss on our hands."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thankful Turkey's

Tonight we made turkey's out of construction paper. We then wrote what we were thankful for on each feather. Next we placed our turkey's between two pieces of wax paper and ironed them. Now we each have our own personalized Thanksgiving placemat. As a side note Atley was thankful for America, and his name. Nash was thankful for milk, blue, night-night, and puppies.

Let the trash talk begin...

It is rivalry week. That's right, it is almost time for BYU to take on the Utes from the University of Utah. This football game is more commonly known as the Holy War. In fact, if you type in Holy War on Wikepedia it actually talks about the BYU and U of U rivalry-forget the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, we are talking college football here. This game is played for the highly coveted trophy- "The Beehive Boot." This being the most anticipated game of the season it becomes my privilege and opportunity to make fun of the Ute's as much as possible throughout the course of this week. This year effective trash talk is especially important because we will be dreadfully out numbered by Ute fans at our football watching party on Saturday. However, we will attempt to compensate for our few numbers by being louder and more obnoxious than our Ute friends and neighbors-and if you know anything about University of Utah alums being louder and more obnoxious is going to be a difficult task. Please check back daily this week for a new University of Utah joke. Here are the first jokes of Rivalry Week 2008!

1. Q: What does the average Utah player get on his SAT?

A: Drool.

2. A woman received some bad news one day. It seems that her husband had been in an accident and was brain dead. However, the hospital had perfected a new brain transplant procedure and luckily there were two brains available. A Cougar brain transplant would cost $10,000. A Ute transplant would cost $100,000. Curious, she asked why the Ute brain was so much more expensive. The reply...."The Ute brain has never been used."

3. Q: What do you get when you breed a Utah Football player and a groundhog?

A: Six more weeks of bad football.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies...yummm!

1/2 cup Butter
1 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
Cream first three ingredients. Add pumpkin and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture. Add chocolate chips. Drop from teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 35o degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Day in the District

Today the boys and I went into the district. I really wanted to go to the National Archives. Each time we choose to go into town our experience is full of ups and downs! It is actually an emotional roller coaster. Here is a synopsis of the "ups" and "downs" of our day in the district.

Up #1: The tourist season is officially over, until Thanksgiving weekend that is, and we actually found a parking space directly across from the National Archives. This is exciting stuff!

Down #1: While in the National Archives, Nash had a melt down when we were told by the security guards that he could not carry his sippy cup near 250 year old documents. I guess we kind of knew that.

Up #2: We saw them! Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence and we only waited for 30 minutes.

Down #2: Nash refuses to ride in his stroller so I end up carrying a 30 lb. baby, pushing a 50 lb. stroller, and yelling at a 35 lb. four year old to keep up with us before he gets kidnapped or hit by a car.
Up #3: We went to the National Air and Space Museum for the 38th time and ate at McDonald's in the museum for the 38th time. (Yes, Atley is wearing his pilot costume.)

Down #3: We went to the National Air and Space Museum for the 38th time and ate at the McDonald's in the museum for the 38th time.

Up#4: According to the moon scale at the Air and Space Museum I only weigh 20lbs. on the moon.

Down #4: According to the Mars scale at the Air and Space Museum I weigh 80 lbs. on Mars. This is great but 80 lbs. on Mars equates to 240 lbs. on earth. I am hoping that the scale is more than a little off or we will not be going back to the McDonald's at the Air and Space museum for a very long time.

Up #5: A visit to any museum is always educational.

Down #5: A visit to any museum always culminates with a a trip to the gift shop and a temper tantrum for another toy.

Up #6: The fall weather was beautiful and the trees are gorgeous.

Down #6: I picked the day that Obama went to visit Bush at the White House. So, upon returning to my car that I parked so proudly on Constitution Avenue next to the Archives, I realized that Constitution was closed for Obama's motorcade.

Up #7: While sitting in traffic waiting for Obama to make his way to the White House I took a lot of random pictures of some pretty cool stuff, such as crazy D.C. protesters, our country's great flag waving proudly next to the EPA building, and of course Washington Monument behind Washington's Autumn trees.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm officially scared!

My reaction to the results of yesterday's presidential election "looked" very similar to the reaction of Obama supporters in Grant Park last night. I am referring to the individuals with tear streaked faces clinging to their loved ones. However, I wasn't crying tears of joy. My tears were more of the panic and pain variety. I am actually not joking. I am officially scared. Have we reached a time in American history where the majority of the people are choosing evil instead of good? It certainly seems that way. Forgive me for being an alarmist, but we will soon have an executive and legislative branch controlled by individuals who are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-big government and pro-socialism. Obama will most likely also have the opportunity to appoint three new supreme court judges, which means that the same type of individuals will also be controlling our judicial branch. Why am I feeling like the end is closer than I had been anticipating? I listen to many Obama supporters and they honestly feel that he is going to save them from all of their problems and despair. People are so lost and confused. Everyone is looking for a Savior but no one is turning to Christ, they are turning to the democratic party. Are we going to take four years of this nonsense and then regain our moral compass and elect people who also have some principles? Or are we going to be mislead further by Satan and his minions who currently have the majority of American's thinking that all of this feels good? I don't know the answer to these questions, but I know I am going to take the counsel of our church leaders a little more seriously. I am going to work harder to be physically and spiritually prepared. I am going to pray like crazy that this country is protected from the debauchery of our elected officials. And to quote our new president-elect I am going to "cling to my guns and my religion."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


The only thing I hate about my mom coming to visit is the inevitability that she is going to have to leave. When she goes home I feel like I am in a funk for a few days. It takes me awhile to get back on track. I hope she realizes how much we all love her and how thankful we are for all that she does for us. We wish we could convince her to come live in our basement but we haven't been too successful with that argument. I hope those of you who live close to your family don't take that for granted. My childhood was spent very near my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and lots of cousins. It was a great environment in which to grow up. My children will most likely never have that same experience so visits from family and friends from far away are so important to us and so important to the kids. Thanks for coming mom. We miss you and we miss all of our family members who are so far away from us.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Anything to get more candy...

Well, it is finally over, but not until we managed to collect at least a year's supply of candy. Does this count as food storage? After the ward trunk-or-treat, a party at Atley's school, trick-or-treating at the mall, (yeah, that is what city kids do) and trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, we all became very hyped up on sugar. We are currently in a downward spiral as our bodies attempt to return to some semblance of normalcy again. Please note the mound of treats obtained by the boys triple it and you will understand how much candy was consumed by our family this day! I have noticed myself returning to the traditions of my fathers as I participate in another parental conspiracy claiming the great need to check each piece of candy for razor blades or traces of cyanide before the kids can eat the pieces themselves. As a child I remember thinking how selfless and loving my parents were to risk their lives for me by tasting my candy first especially the chocolate pieces. I realize today that it was just a scam to get candy and I am now a willing participant in the same con. The boys had a great time in every aspect of the Halloween festivities. It was especially fun to trick-or-treat at our own home and find granny behind our door handing out candy.

Ghosts from Halloween Past!

Nash's First Pumpkin-2007
Halloween 2007-The Crayon Brothers
Atley's first Pumpkin-2004! UMMM! Tasty!
Atley and his buddies in Arizona-Halloween 2006
Atley's first Halloween 2004.
The Pink Pig.