Sunday, December 31, 2006

Life Flight

Well guess what? This is my 200th posting. I started this blog at the beginning of January and today is the last day of Decemeber. So, if you keep your blog pretty current, it should average to about 200 postings per year. Interesting...

This past week has been extremely busy for me. On Wednesday through Friday I worked mandatory overtime of 8am to 8pm at the office. Then Saturday I worked 8am to noon. It was busy and I'm so glad I made it through another "year end" at work. On Friday while I worked, Sam took the boys to the Life Flight hangar to show them the helicopter and airplanes. In case you didn't know, Sam does the purchasing for Life Flight. Apparently one of the engines needed an overhaul so they were doing a lot of work on it and they told Sam he could come hang out while they did it. The Life Flight employees were so nice to my boys, they even gave Carson and Parker knit hats with the logo on them. As most of you know, Sam LOVES helicopters. So, this was as much fun for him as it was for the kids.

In fact, his day could be summed up like this:

RollsRoyce helicopter engine overhaul: $68,000. Rental engine until the other one gets fixed: $32,000. Sam spending the day with the boys at the hangar:Priceless.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas 2006

This has been a wonderful Christmas season for us this year. Here's how Christmas day went:

My Mom and Dad came over before the boys were even awake, so we woke them up because we were all too excited to let them sleep!

Santa came, as promised, and delivered just the right toys for the boys. Carson got the Slurpee Maker he had asked for, as well as a wallet. Now he and his cousin Kevin can both be cool with their grown up wallets!

Of course, the only pop we had was Mountain Dew, so Carson's first homemade slurpee was made from a pop we NEVER let him drink!

Parker was also happy with his Santa gifts: a Rescue Pets dog and a "Cars" ball.
Darren and Susan's gifts to our family were PERFECT! Thank you so much you guys!! Parker loves his car set that goes in the tub and Carson brags to anyone who will listen about how cool his dinosaur head lamp is! Sam also loved his gift card and I'm very excited to learn how to cook using a cast iron skillet. Thank you Thank you!!

After we opened gifts, I made German Pancakes for breakfast, yumm-a!!

Then we all vegged out until 4:00pm. Then it was time to head to my parents house for Christmas dinner. I got lazy and didn't take any pictures but Sam captured this funny one: apparently Nalani was telling a really funny story, but I have no clue what it was about. Sam said it was something about goblets and the drink spilling down her face... ? Later on Fern and Aaron came over to hang out and it was a really fun evening and the perfect ending to a great day!

For those of you who know how funny my dad is, here are a few stories from the past few days:
At Curtis and Shandy's house on Christmas Eve, I was on the phone with Fern and Parker walked up to me and shoved his finger in my face. He usually does this when he hurts his finger, so I just kiss it better and he moves on. So, as I was talking to Fern, I bent over and kissed his finger. It didn't make him happy and he moved over to my dad and did the same thing. Well, after I kissed his finger, I noticed a very foul odor. But, since I was on the phone, I couldn't do anything at the when my dad bent over and kissed his finger I couldn't help it, I said "just a sec. Fern....Hey dad, does Parker's finger smell like poop?" He smelled the stinky finger and then freaked out as he looked down Parker's diaper and realized the source of the smell. Parker had stuck his finger in his poopy diaper and then I kissed his finger and so did my dad!!!!! I was too busy laughing at my dad to be grossed out because he was wiping his lips furiously hard with the sleeve of his shirt! OH man, it was so funny!
While we were at my parents house for Christmas dinner , Parker had a few messy diapers so as we changed them, we put them on my parents porch because it was too cold to go all the way to the garbage cans. As we were saying good-bye to Fern and Aaron my dad saw the white "packages" and got so excited because he thought the neighbors had left him more Christmas goodies on his porch. He happily exclaimed "OH, Santa brought me more goodies!" and he bent over and picked up a poopy diaper. Again, the look on his face was priceless as he realized it was just a dirty ol' diaper and not a sweet treat from Santa. I thought I was going to fall over I was laughing so hard at him! Poor dad, he means well...
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to blog updates from every one of you!! Love ya!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

As far as Christmas Eve's go, today has been real fun. Let's recap shall we?

Oh yeah, yesterday we took the boys outside to get some awesome pictures. Here's one, aren't they handsome??

After church, Carson was eating a corn dog for lunch. He made this design in his ketchup and said "Hey mom! Look, it's like the star when Jesus was born!!" So, even in ketchup we can have spiritual insight!!

On our way to Curtis and Shandy's house, we stopped at Thomas Sweet's grave. Tom is Sam's nephew who passed away 2 1/2 years ago. We brushed the snow off his headstone and put a Christmas gift bag next to it with a tag that had the following scripture written on it:
"And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind, and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." Alma 7:10-12

Then we ended up at Curtis and Shandy's house for a feast fit for several kings! Every year on Christmas Eve, Shandy's family has a fun tradition: I guess several years ago, Shandy's dad severed his right index finger on Christmas eve and ever since then, they have FINGER FOOD for dinner on Christmas Eve. Shandy, feel free to fill in the blanks here with some gruesome details! Anyhow, it was fun, as always.
Check out the spread!

A Christmas Eve tradition for the Clark family, is the Left/Right story. It's newly written every year to include details on the people who are in attendance at the party. I remember when I was getting my drivers license it said something like "Carrie is learning the difference between the LEFT blinker and the RIGHT blinker...." Everybody sits in a circle, with a white elephant-ish present and every time you hear the word 'left' or 'right', you pass your present that direction. Shandy wrote it this year and it was awesome! She even threw us a few curve balls because if she said "across" we had to pass our presents to the person across the circle from us. I ended up with an IMAX NASCAR DVD, which I traded with Cody because he got an iron! Score for me. Sam got some boxer shorts that said HoHoHo all over them-he acted annoyed but I think he's secretly looking forward to trying them on!! My mom got some HORRIBLE smelling cologne called "sex appeal" which is funny because, well, it's my mom!!

And, of course, the kids got to open a present tonight-matching pajamas. They were pretty excited on the ride home from Curtis' house, talking non stop. Once in bed, they fell fast asleep--I'm going to enjoy these years because pretty soon they will be staying up all night playing games like Curtis and I used to do!! I remember one time Curtis and I were anxiously awaiting 7:00am on Christmas day because that meant we could get up and see what Santa brought. I looked at my Strawberry Shortcake digital watch and was so excited because it was 6:00am!! Then I realized I was looking at it upside down and it was only 9:00pm. Holy, cow that was the longest night EVER!!!

Merry Christmas everybody, I'm sure we'll have some fun updates tomorrow as well!!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sweet Party

Thursday night was the annual Sweet Family Christmas party. As always, there was an abundance of everything: food, people, gifts, people, conversation, and people! This was my 9th Sweet Christmas party and I still can't believe that chaos that comes along with that many people. Don't get me wrong, I love the Sweet family as my own, but there are so many! For example, we set up 4 long church tables and in my head, I thought "that should be enough" and at that same time, Sam said "okay, that will be enough for the kids, now let's set up some for the adults". All I could do was laugh!!

This year, for the kids, they did a gift exchange of either hats, scarves, socks, or gloves. Carson received this sweet fleece hat, homemade by his Aunt Rose.

Instead of doing a gift exchange for the adults, we instead donated money earlier this year to go towards a "sub for santa". We provided Christmas for 2 families with the money we all donated. So, at the party, we wrapped the presents for these families. It was a great experience and I hope to continue this new tradition in years to come. Here I am doing some wrapping. I'm very focused because I take my gift wrapping extremely serious, just ask Sam... Oh yeah, hey Sam, who wrapped my presents this year? Was it you or our neighbor??? Just joking with ya baby, I love you no matter who wraps my presents, just so long as I get presents! ha ha ha

Here are some fun, random shots:

I remember when I was little and we were at a Clark family party at a church one time. Just like the kids here, we all played with the tables on the cart and pushed it all over the gym floor. One time, my heel got caught under the edge and messed me up for quite awhile, of course my parents said "yep, that's what can happen when you play with those." At the time I was devestated because I was SURE nobody had ever gone through the pain that I was experiencing at that moment. I was remembering that painful memory at the Sweet party when my brother-in-law, Rod, said to me: "I remember when I was a little boy and got my heel caught under the edge of one of those carts and tore my achilles tendon" Oh, so I guess my experience wasn't unique and I decided I didn't want my boys to go through it as well, so I promptly grabbed my kids and said "let's put the tables away now".

The brothers: Jeff, Sam, James, and Rod

And finally, even after hours of playing with their cousins, they still had big smiles on their faces! That's the sign of a good party and a wonderful family!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

So Sad

It's so sad that Carson's kindergarten teacher knows him this is a paper that his teacher sent home with him today.

Here is an update on the 12 days of Christmas that is being done for us:

"On the 6th day of Christmas a Christmas story to bring good cheer, to warm your hearts and spirits at this special time of year" With this we received a children's book that describes the story of Christ's birth.

"on the 7th day of Christmas your secret friends give to you, bubble bath the '7 swans' use when they swim the whole day through" A bottle of bubble bath was attached.

Whoever is doing this for us is so sneaky. Last night my solid door was open and my glass storm door was closed. I walked outside for a second, turned around for less than a minute, and turned back to the storm door and the bubble bath was sitting there!! Those secret elves are gutsy!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Elf Party

On Saturday night we had some friends over to have dinner, watch the movie "Elf" and have a White Elephant Gift exchange. The white elephant was pretty fun. People were very creative with what they brought and Sam fought hard to obtain his gift--a $5 Quizno's gift card. That was one of the presents we brought, but I didn't tell him about it.

Here is the only picture we (Sam) took from the evening:

From the bottom row, the gifts are: The card game "Slamwich", a tub of puffy cheetos, fake cap'n crunch, and a magnetic note pad.
From the top row: a Mcdonald's Happy Meal, purchased right before the party, a digital camera that I rec'd at the Beneficial Christmas party (it was only 3.2 megapixels and I knew we'd never use it), and a SWEET "low rider" car.
The low rider car totally lights up and bounces up and down like it's got hydraulic lifts, and it plays the song " a low rider..." I love it!

Here is a recap on the "12 days of Christmas" that somebody is doing for us:
"on the 3rd day of Christmas a treat for your delight, red and green M&M's try one or two tonight!!"
"on the 4th day of Christmas an ornament for your tree, to brighten up your holiday and fill your heart with glee"
"on the 5th day of Christams a sweet tooth begs attention, we know it adds some calories but that we will not mention" With this tag we got a big ol' symphony candy bar! yumm-a!

At lastly, Carson has been begging me to let him crack eggs into a bowl so he could practice doing them perfectly without getting shells in the bowl. I finally let him yesterday and he was so happy that he showed me his "happy egg face". What a bizarre little kid...

Carson quote for the day: We woke up to quite a bit of snow and it was still snowing. He said "look at all the sparkling white wonder!!!" At least he is creative, we all know that didn't come from me!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

All In A Day's Work

Today was quite the busy/fun day. Actually all of December is like this so why am I constantly amazed at the full calendar? I know Shandy thinks I'm out of control about Christmas, but it's such a fun time! And, here is the icing on the cake: Some "secret elves" are doing the 12 days of Christmas for us this year! I've lived a long life (32 friggin' years) and I thought I was fulfilled....and then the 12 days of Christmas started----NOW I'm fulfilled! Seriously though, it's so fun. Yesterday we received a can of pears with a note that said "On the 1st day of Christmas your secret friends give to you, some pears from the tree where the partridge did flee!" Tonight we got a 2 liter of Sprite with a note that said "On the 2nd day of christmas a drink we hope is right, to brighten up your holiday and make your spirits SPRITE." Isn't that fun? I seriously am giddy and can't wait to see what the next 10 days bring!!! By the way, it doesn't take much to make me giddy. Ha Ha.

So, back to today...
My kids were looking quite shaggy with their mop heads, so I decided to get their haircuts. They look mighty fine now! Here is a cute picture of Parker. I was a little hesitant to show this picture because it's quite obvious that he needs to brush his teeth, but he has such a cute smile and for ONCE he doesn't have a bruise on his forehead! It's quite a miracle actually, I think I'll call it the "Christmas miracle of 2006".

Then a little later I found Parker in my room, kneeling down, having a testimony-building, spiritual experience.

Oh, JUST KIDDING, he is just enthralled with a Spongebob episode. You know, the episode where nemotoads eat his pineapple house? Yeah buddy, that's a good one!

Tonight was my niece's (Jessica) bridal shower. Here she is:

The shower was held at a place called "Pipe N Tube". Fern's husband, Russ, and his family used to work here. It was a family business. The place is vacant now and is for sale. Here's the crazy thing: This business has a SWEET swimming pool inside! From the road the building looks like your basic construction-type building. Then you go inside and it has the nicest pool! Beautiful flowers and plants all around the pool complete with nice patio furniture! It cracks me up every time I see it. So, Sam and the boys weren't invited to the shower, so they swam while we did girl stuff in the next room.

My wacko nieces, Melissa and Liz, grabbed my camera and took like 20 hysterical pictures. Here's a few.

I like this picture of Carson and Melissa. Check out Carson's droopy eyes! He had been swimming for 2 hours at this point. Melissa was so irritated that I wouldn't swim with them. She wanted to know why, so I said "You've got a Barbie Doll body and I'm the mother of two who hates to excercise!". She said "it doesn't matter! When I'm old, fat, and hairy (is that comment directed at me?) I'm still going to put on a swimsuit and flaunt it"! Yeah right, is all I have to say to that!!

And finally, we got the kids home and put them to bed. I walked out of their room, counted to 40, and walked back in and they were FAST ASLEEP! I need to take my kids swimming more often!!!!

Well, it's late and I still need to watch my TIVO'd episode of The Office, but I wanted to share with you a cute "neighbor Christmas gift" that I got. Attach a roll of christmas wrapping paper to this poem:
Before you know it we'll "WRAP" up this season
for the holiday's go so fast.
Remember to "WRAP" your arms around loved ones
for relationships are what last.
When you're busy "WRAPPING" presents and wonder
if something's been missed...
"WRAP" warm feelings around each other and
seal it with a kiss.
But before this holiday season "WRAPS" up,
we wanted to say something, too...
We'll be "WRAPPED" up in warm, happy feelings
because we have friends like you!

That's a "WRAP"!!

Isn't that a great idea? I love creative people because then I can re-use their ideas!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Crazy, Fun Month!

Wow, every year I forget how insanely busy this month is! It's kind of like having a baby-when you are going thru the agony of pregnancy, you tell yourself "I will never do this again!". Then after a few years go by, you forget the constant nausea and have another baby!
I always tend to bite off a little more than I should try to chew. That's a really gross analogy....
This weekend I wrote and mailed my Christmas letters, I made 4 different kinds of Christmas candy/goodies, I almost finished my Christmas shopping, I made birthday cakes for women in my ward, I attended a wedding reception, and I took the kids to see some real reindeer! I'm exhausted, but very happy about the progress I've made.

Tonight we hung out at my parents house. Curtis, Shandy, and Dexter were there so that's always fun. My boys got to spend some quality time with Dexter. Today in Primary, Carson got a cool book that his teacher made him. It's a bunch of pictures of Christ and explanations that go along with them. The lesson was about thinking of Christ during the sacrament so this is a book you bring to church with you to help you remember why you take the bread and water. Very impressive I think! Carson was so excited to teach Dexter about Jesus, it was a tender moment!

Then Parker tried to teach Dexter the meaning of "tummy time". Dexter did pretty well!

I'm excited about this Saturday because we're having friends over to watch "Elf" and then we're doing a White Elephant Gift Exchange. Does anybody have any funny/creative ideas for a white elephant gift?? My creative mind has officially given up on me!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Fun

The last few days have been full of Christmas details...lists of things to do....lists of things to buy....and lists of who has been naughty or nice.

Fern has been extra nice this year so I thought I'd go help her make all the Clark Christmas Candy that has been a tradition for as long as I can remember.

We made Toffee, Peanut Butter Cups, Nougat, and White Chocolate Popcorn in a matter of a few hours. We had leftover chocolate so Fern dipped Ritz Crackers. At the time, I thought she was a crazy lady, but then she pushed one into my mouth and DANG they were really good!!

Fern even taught Parker to stick his tongue WAY out when licking chocolate off a spoon so you don't get your face all dirty. Fern's determination to become the world's "Best Aunt" is certainly working with my boys!

She even gave us some basic stockings and all the glitz and glory to decorate them with. Last night Carson and I made his stocking and here is the result. Now, this may be shocking and I don't know if anybody knows this, but glitter is really messy! Holy crap, the whole time I was working with the glitter I was muttering all sorts of stuff under my breath. Carson was just so happy that I couldn't bear to tell him "I will NEVER use glitter again. Cross my fingers, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye!"

Monday, December 04, 2006

FHE At The Clark's

Tonight my parents invited us over for Family Home Evening to set up their nativity. When I was a young'un we used to do the same thing. All the regular christmas decorations would go up after Thanksgiving, but the nativity would wait until family night. My parents have a ceramic nativity set that they made early on in their marriage. Each piece is wrapped in old newspaper and is packed away in an old box. As a child, we each would take turns picking up a piece out of the box, unwrapping it, and setting it on the piano. Whoever unwrapped baby Jesus was so lucky!!

Carson really got into it tonight. One of the first pieces he unwrapped was Jesus and he was so excited! I was so glad we were able to carry on this tradition tonight because I constantly struggle with teaching my children the true meaning of Christmas and activities like this really leave strong impressions.

My mom also read the story of Christ's birth to us, via a childrens book. It was great and the kids loved every second of it!

My parents have a train that chugs around the base of their Christmas tree so of course, my kids were attracted to that like Sam is to football, er, I mean, to me! Here's a frame-able photo of my dad with my boys.

And last but not least, I found some tape and had fun with Parker. Does anyone have a tissue?