October 29, 2008

'Builders of Catan'

My Mother in law Chris, Andrea, and I developed a bit of an obsession with Settlers of Catan while in Charleston. We played at least 3 times a day! If you have ever played the game, you know that sometimes you have to wait awhile for your turn. So we developed a game within the game and named it Builders of Catan. The objective: Built a creative and/or elaborate structure with building pieces. Rules: Players must use all available building pieces, players must modify structure as building pieces are used. Each structure must be of the players' own design. Players may not use other players building pieces. To Win the Game: There is no winning in Builders of Catan. Only the satisfaction of creation. Unless Andrea decides your structure is picture-worthy, then you have the added satisfaction of being documented. You can also consider yourself a winner if your Mother in law does not knock down your building with her roll of the dice, which I still think was intentional ;) just kidding mom...
Here I am, lips pursed in concentration. (Please disregard the coke can, candy wrappers and hot tamale box! I was on vacation!!)The finished product. This is the old town that Scarlett O'Hara lived in, the one where she owned the lumber yard. Andrea and I spent a lot of time discussing which businesses to place near the saloon. Mom did not appreciate our city planning skills. My most intricate structure...Lexi one-upped me!Dane and one of his many creations. Dane and Lexi are so creative! They were building some awesome stuff.

New Stats

Brynn is nearing 5 months!! She's 18 lbs, 26 inches long. Still not much hair, but it is slowly coming in. I found a few longer hairs in her crib the other day and nearly cried. Why can't she keep the hair she has?! Apparently infant baldness runs in the family; my mother in law was a bald baby and I was pretty bald too. When my hair did start to come in it was in the form of a mullet, short on top, longer on the bottom. I suppose if I had to chose a mullet or baldness for my little girl I would chose baldness. Mom, why did you make me suffer the indignation of a mullet??
She's a sweetie
"uhh, Mom, I'm about to wail..."
I love this idea for a pocket photo album. The 'album' is a card holder from Target. The pictures are of Eli, Brynn, and my favorite things. I made if for Jake, that spoiled husband of mine. I thought I was really spoiling him with packages and all these crafty projects, but when I asked him if he got more packages than the guys he works with, he said, "No, some guys get a lot of packages!" SO ungrateful! Just kidding...he knows I love putting his packages together.
This is scrapbooking at it's simplest...the simpler the better for me! All done!
Here are some of our favorites:
Snuggling...
Eating...
Mickey Mouse...(it's the Mickey Mouse clubhouse, come inside, it's fun inside...)
Licorice!!

Happy Fall Ya'll!

I love the fall season, when the leaves change and the weather gets cooler. It's nice being in California right now because I actually get to experience these things, unlike my friends in TX and FL who are still running around at the beach! Here's a bit of what we've been up to...
Spending lots of time with Grandparents. Eli loves his Opa (my father-in-law)
Golfing in Oma and Opa's backyard! Eli has his own putter and.....some other club....that Oma and Opa had cut down for him.Eli loves reading. We have been going to Storytime every Monday, I'm sad it's over now.
The occasional nap...but as you can tell, when Eli crashes, he crashes hard! Not without a fight though...as you can tell from the thrashed crib...
Brynn has a boyfriend and his name is Elmo :) She can't take her eyes off him!
We're at A Bark in the Park here, a festival for dogs. It was a lot of fun!! Brynn loves to hang out in the sling
Train rides at Disneyland with my brother Dan and Oma
The Halloween decorations at Disneyland are so cute right now! I love the candy corn at California Adventures.

October 15, 2008

Guilty!


Eli insisted on wearing his socks with his sandals tonight. What a fashion faux pas! And no pants at that!!

October 14, 2008

No!! Don't say it!!

Before Jake left, people liked to say, "Time will go by so fast!" I didn't really believe them then and three months in I am convinced it just isn't true. I even had friends' who have been through deployments before tell me this. Maybe they were trying to spare me the truth for a little longer. Because really, there is no way to prepare for it. I can see myself going easy on friends who deal with deployments in the future too, but I hope I never say "time will go by so fast!"
There is a new phrase that I want to add to my 'never say' list: By the end of church this Sunday I think I heard "time is going by so fast!" at least 15 times. Time is going by fast for....you? Certainly not me. Of course I smile and push that response back down my throat. I know they are trying comforting, in the only way they can. Each night I put a big red X through the day on my calender and feel like it's a big accomplishment. I try not to look at the weeks ahead or count the weeks passed. It seems like we have been apart for so long, but when I stop to count the weeks I realize we have so much more to go.
I have such a newfound respect for women that have been through this before. I can't believe there are families that have to endure it for 15 months. The single-mom thing is hard, the displacement is hard, not knowing when you'll see them again is hard, but the hardest is definitely just being away from your companion for so long.
I really miss just talking to Jake. We do get to talk almost everyday on the web cam or phone which is such a blessing...BUT...it's not the same as having hours a day or even just talking to him whenever I want to. I miss you so much Jake!! We're getting through it...

October 11, 2008

Fun Twist on the Old Game

Post the 4th picture in your 4th folder and tell about it. Here goes:
I spared ya'll. I posted the 5th picture. The 4th was a man on the operating table due to a stab wound that made his intestines COME OUT. As in sitting on top of his belly. Anyway, this picture was taken in the Philippines when Jake went on a medical mission with a bunch of doctors he got to know pretty well. While there, they worked in a clinic doing operations for free. This family's daughter was born with a unilateral cleft palate (& lip), Jake and the other doctor's closed the gaps between her lip and nose. It was one of many gratifying experiences for the doctors...in the words of Gordon B. Hinckley, "My talents may not be great, but I can use them to bless the lives of others."
I tag...Andrea, Jocelyn, Amanda, Tiara, Lauren

October 1, 2008

This is BLISS


TWO sleeping kids. Need I say more??

A Project

I have tapped onto my crafty side. With so much time on my hands (ha! not really. The kids keep me busier than ever. I just mean so much time a lone after they go to bed) I have started a bunch of fun projects. One was a 'mini-book' that I sent to Jake. I think it turned out pretty good!! Stay tuned for other completed projects (thats the tough part...I can start them easily, but finishing them is a little harder!)...




Another Disney Adventure

I feel like my Orlando friends...lots of posts about Disneyland! What to say? We love it there!
I love this picture! Eli is very independent these days, so this little act of security warms my heart!

"I'm having so much fun, Mom!"
Goofy boy
Amazing! There is no one behind us!
You might not know this, but my family knows that I have once pulled the sword out of the stone. Eli has inherited my brute strength, he pulled it out RIGHT before we took this picture. You'll just have to take my word for it...

Celebration #2

We recently had our 2nd celebration of another month being down! That means Jake has been gone for 10.35 weeks, 72.42 days, 17,38 hours, 104,291 minutes, and 6,257,473 seconds. We had the party at the Camp's this time, ate a delicious bbq and enjoyed the beautiful sunset that takes in the valley below, the mountains, and Eli's favorite...the trains passing through.
This time around I made a cake I had seen on the Food Network, a coconut layer cake. It was soooo good but very rich. I cut the filling and frosting recipes in half, but made a full recipe of the batter so I could make Jake the cake jars. I made it in 2 8 in. cake pans and still cut 6 layers. The original cake is made in 2 10 in pans. The filing reminds me a coconut cream pie and the frosting is very good, a vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. You can find the recipe here.
Chef Robert Carter owns the Peninsula Grill in Charleston, SC and this cake is the desert of choice for restaurant goers.
yum, yum, yum. I love toasted coconut!