Friday, March 30, 2007

Why Harmons Is Better Than Wal*Mart

Clearly, there are a thousand reasons why Harmons is better than Wal*Mart, but here is just one:

This morning Sam woke up and stared the flu right in the face of the porcelin this afternoon I took the boys and headed to Harmons to purchase some Gatorade and Dreyers fruit popsicles (oh yeah, those are good). As I was walking down the aisle I ran into one of the Harmons brothers (it was either Bob or Randy, whichever one is big and stocky). He said "Are these young men being nice to you today?" I confirmed they had been, and he put Harmons aprons on both Carson and Parker. He then said "Thanks for your business, we really appreciate it!" It was so cute, they wore them all around the store and Parker wore his right up until bedtime tonight. As I left the store, I couldn't stop thinking about the comparison of the two grocery stores...Wal*Mart just acts annoyed when you need help and the Harmons owner sought me out to thank me for my business. Boy, it doesn't take much to impress me I suppose....

The kids look like they've had too much to drink here:

I still can't get over Parker's SHORT hair!

Tomorrow is the big "rip out the old counter top" day. Does anyone want to have me over for dinner for the next 2 or 3 nights? Ha Ha Ha! Just kidding, Johnny Carinos has already invited me!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lots of Stuff


We finally finished our bedroom. All that is left now is decorating and I definitely need some accent pillows on the bed. I absolutely love the colors we chose. Check out the framework that Sam put around the bay windows! What a man!
By the way, this picture was taken at about 2:00am on a work night. No rest for the weary!

Carson's First Cavity:
Carson had his first cavity filled a few weeks ago. He was so brave! The Dentist told me he had a special set of names for every tool when the kids were around. I wish I had a list of them, but the novacaine is called "sleepy juice" and the suction tool is called the "thirsty whistle". I asked Carson if he wanted me back there with him and he's like "no thanks mom, I got it". Well, uh, okay...I'll just sit in the waiting room and get caught up on People Magazines. As bizarre as it sounds, Carson loved getting his cavity filled. He thought it was so funny that he couldn't feel his mouth. Strange child...
Here is a picture of him when we got home. His right cheek was totally numb.

Comcast cable notified us in January that they would be digging in my front yard to run some cables. Well, they came right out and spray painted our yard and put gas line marker flags all over the place...then....2 months later they finally show up to dig!! Sheesh! After a month I just let Carson and Parker pull out the flags to play with them. That's just the kind of gal I am!
Anyway, one day I was in the kids room and I heard a horrible racket. I kept calling out to Carson to turn the TV down. The noise continued. Frustrated I walked into the living room and saw Carson like this:

Then I noticed the racket I was hearing was a jack hammer! I had to be sneaky to take this picture, so it's taken from the side window by my door! They totally ripped up the sidewalk, right in front of my house. Carson sat with his nose pressed against the window the entire time. It reminded me of my dad when he got his granite countertops installed!! He just sat 2 feet away from the installers and watched the whole production. ha ha ha

Divine Homemade Pizza:
Just had to share the yummy looking pizza I made from scratch (even the dough) the other night. Oh baby!!

Parker's haircut:
Parker's hair has been looking so shaggy, but I have such a hard time knowing what to do because he looks kind of odd with short hair due to the XXL ears. Sam and I got the bright idea that we could probably just stand Parker in the tub and do a little trim-trim-cha-roo. Here is the before shot:

This is how far we got and had to quit because Parker was having the melt-down of the century!! I'm at a loss on how to describe how it looked. It was sort of like the blonde guy from "Karate Kid", you know, he was the one that got kicked in the face at the end? Well, anyways, it was ridiculous/hysterical looking. Short on the sides and turned into a messy mohawk in the back. I couldn't stop laughing, which made Parker cry harder.

Luckily, my friend Natalie Jones was home because she does hair for a living out of her home. We begged her to fix it and she let us come right over. So, now Parker's hair is cute--short, but cute. I didn't get a very good after shot, but it's short and his ears are still XXL. This picture is fuzzy, but you get the idea! This morning when Parker woke up I told him to go look at himself in the mirror and then I heard him laughing. I found him in front of my closet mirror with his hand on his head, and he just kept laughing. It's good to laugh at yourself so I think he learned a life lesson!

The beginning of the countertop destruction:
Our countertops are set to be installed on Monday (finally, it kept getting pushed back) We have to demolition the existing tops and backsplash ourselves (well, "we" really means Sam). Here is a picture of the counter this morning:

And here they are tonight:

By Monday night I should have purty counter tops, which will be great because ever since I moved to Salt Lake City in 1996 I have had tile countertops and I'm ready for a change! I'll be sure and keep you all posted!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Grandpa's Funeral Weekend

Last Wednesday I headed to Washington for my Grandpa's funeral. What a great weekend we had! The funeral was wonderful and everybody did such a great job with all the details. I have so much fun with my immediate family AND my extended family so I knew there would be lots to share on the blog! I'll try and keep this update somewhat short (ha ha ha, I crack myself up!)so I don't bore you all with the tiny details, but if you ever make it to Pasco, WA you have to stop at the Country Mercantile fruit stand/chocolate factory. They make AWESOME truffles! Darren and I liked them so much we got some on the way up to Quincy and got some more on the way back to Utah! Oh...the bumpy raspberry ones were sooo dreamy!!! Anyway, focus!

The funeral was in Quincy Washington, which is a small farming community in the middle of the state. Clearly I have not lived in Washington for awhile because I forgot the number one item you must pack when heading to the great Umbrella!! DUH! So, on Thursday morning the first thing I did was buy an umbrella. Darren thought my dad and I were wussey (sp?) but I have a hard enough time keeping the afro tamed!

While my mom was planning the rest of the funeral with her siblings, Darren, Dad, and I headed north to do some explorin' on Thursday. As a child, I can only remember the small house of my grandparents and not much else. I learned that there is a whole side of central Washington that I wished I would have explored sooner! Check out the BEAUTIFUL scenery!

The nice thing about exploring is that we didn't have any agenda. We just drove until something looked cool and then we stopped. It was also fun being with Darren because he's the photographer-man and it's amazing how quickly he can spot something that would make a great photo. Oh yeah, he also knows a lot about birds so every time dad would see a bird he would yell "BIRD" and Darren would quickly identify it! We saw several bald eagles and lots and lots of ravens (what IS the difference between a raven and a crow??).

As we were driving along the road we saw a sign for some caves. All three of us yelled at the same time "CAVES!!!" and Darren pulled over. We hiked up a cliff and found the caves. They were more like an indentation into the cliff, but it was still fun. Check out how high we were, that is my van in the lower right corner and that is Darren just starting to make the climb.

Here is Darren in the "cave".

Then we drove until we found signs to "Dry Falls". During the ice age, this area had the biggest water falls in the world. It was amazing and majestic looking!

Many of you know about my dad's fear of height. Well, this picture doesn't do it justice, but this little walkway was suspended above a HUGE dropoff! I was quite proud of Carl to let me take this picture.

We also found some cool water falls, but Darren took some "real" pictures of those so I'll wait until he posts them on his blog because he'll put my "point and click" shots to shame!!

We ended up at Grand Coulee Dam. We arrived and Darren told me this joke:
What did the fish say when he hit a cement wall? "Dam"
What did the Dam say? "Dumb Bass"
Ha Ha Ha! Here is Darren in front of the Dam, he was so dam excited!!

Friday was the funeral. I was slightly freaked out when I heard that my uncles used my grandpa's cattle brand to "brand" the casket, but it actually turned out quite nice. My mom would probably know more about the brand than I would, but my grandpa's name is Phil Bell so his brand is a "lazy P with a B" Seriously, I have no idea about brand terminology, so feel free to help me out on this one mom!

Here is a shot of everybody who came to the funeral that was related to Grandpa. We look like we enjoy laughing and being together, don't we? Well, laugh we did!

After the funeral we headed back to my grandparents house and just hung out. It was so much fun, a highlight of the trip! We all took turns having a joy ride on the old John Deere tractor. I seriously didn't want to drive the tractor but Cody MADE ME and I'm glad he did because that is one of the hardest laughing fits I had the whole trip.

Right across the street from my grandparents house is the Quincy Airport. I'm thinking it's mostly used for crop duster planes because it is tiny! Let me put it this way, Darren and I climbed over the fence and walked on the runway and nobody arrested us!
My Uncle Paul has a two seater plane that he was giving rides in. I have ridden with Paul before and I'm queazy even talking about it so I didn't take a ride this time. That tractor ride was enough for me!

My mom and her siblings all had a big meeting to discuss the details of my grandparents farm, so the rest of us decided to play "I've never". Darren said "I've never been to a cat funeral". Who do you think had to put a finger down?? It was one of our Bell trademark cackle-laugh moments!!

As we drove away that afternoon, I realized that I would probably never go back to that house in Quincy again...heck, I'd probably never go back to Quincy at all! My grandparents have lived in that house since 1958 and raised 8 children there!
Here is my nostalgic black and white photo...

Overall we had such a fabulous time. Some quick memories of the trip: Getting sick on truffles, having the "cha cha cha's" so bad and everyone laughing about it, sharing a hotel room with Darren and falling to sleep while he was explaining "Lost" to me, playing Dominoes, going to the excellent Calzone place two nights in a row, Darren making fun of all my toiletries when he only brought a toothbrush, listening to Quinn talk with a British accent, watching Quinn run across the cemetary to catch the train, the irreverant stories my Uncle Paul told of Grandpa at the funeral, my mom dropping her cell phone into the toilet, Robin almost throwing Amanda and I off the tractor because she popped the clutch too fast, taste testing all the different funeral potatoes to determine the best recipe, and finally, I learned how my dad proposed to my mom...something about a grand piano??

Lastly, here is a sweet shot of Darren at a rest stop on the way home:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Saturday Is A Special Day...

It's the day we try to finish our bedroom...but, alas, it's not done yet. We're (Sam)trying to do all this fancy moulding and it's taking forever!! We're (Sam) almost done, I can almost feel myself sleeping in my own bed again. Yep, that's right, for over a week Sam has been on the upstairs couch and I've been on the downstairs couch. Why you ask? Well, I put my foot down and won't move our furniture back into our room until we are 100% finished with this project. If we move everything back in, those last details will never get done. Trust me, this will be worth it! My Bishop found out we've been sleeping on separate floors and threatened to call us into his office because we're not "sleeping together". Of course he says this in front of tons of people at church so I can't wait to hear it through the grape vine that I'm getting divorced...maybe it will get me out of this calling...hmmm.... JUST KIDDING!

Anyways, what was I talking about? OH yeah, Saturday....but before I go into that, please remember to write your favorite memories of Grandpa Bell in my comments on the previous posting. They may get used in the funeral so act now and I'll send you the second mop absolutely free!

Saturday was a beautiful day. It was like 73 degrees or something nice like that. We (Sam) worked on the room and I (with mom's help) tried to keep the kids from driving each other (and me) crazy. I had this great idea that I should teach Carson to ride his bike, but then I got in way over my head. So I did the next best thing, I asked my dad to help him!!

Carson still needs lots of practice so feel free to come over anytime dad! Then I had this bright idea to let Carson paint a piece of wood. He joyously went to work on his masterpiece:

After spilling the paint, getting paint all over Parkers skin, hair, and clothes, a few tears were shed, and one board covered in gooey paint, Sam said "hey why don't you guys go somewhere"? So, the kids, the parents, and I, glady obliged (after a few feebly "are you sure"s).

We headed to Little Caesars, grabbed a few pizzas, and went to Wheeler Farm. I love this place! I took a loaf of bread for the ducks and geese. It was gone in about 10 minutes and those birds were stuffed!

Then we found a saddle for the boys to pose on. Dad said Parker looked like John Stockton in his short shorts. He's right, what was I thinking??

My favorite moment of Wheeler farm: All four of us had our faces up to the fence next to this insanely ugly turkey. Well, he knew we were making fun of him because the turkey FREAKED out and slammed his body into the fence, right where our noses were! We all screamed and Parker did the death grip on my leg! I wish I had a picture right when it happened, but here's dad and Carson still laughing about it.

And finally, Carson climbed this tree and said "look, I'm a sloth!" THAT is the oxymoron statement of the year! If that child had any more energy I'd have to have a mountain dew IV just to keep up with him!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Phil Bell

Today my Grandpa Bell passed away. It's been bitter-sweet, but mostly sweet. Bitter because we'll miss him, but sweet because almost 2 years ago he had a stroke which left him unable to care for himself. Also, 7 months ago my Grandma passed away, so now he is re-united with her. Here is my favorite picture of my grandpa, this was taken on his 80th birthday, 8 years ago.

I'm heading to Washington on Wednesday to attend his funeral, which will be held on Friday. My favorite memory of my Grandpa started when he wrote in a birthday card for Curtis when I was in Jr High, or maybe it was High School. Usually my grandparents just wrote something like "Happy Birthday, we are so proud of you" but this time my Grandpa wrote "Happy Birthday Curtis, you have some fine brothers to look up to." I was so shocked that he forgot to include ME in that statement. I let him know how I felt too because every time I have seen him since that infamous birthday card he has made SURE that I knew I was special as well!


I'm completely changing subjects here, but since tomorrow is St Patrick's day, I wanted to wish everybody a happy day with this photo:

Fern may recognize the hat, it's hers! I stole it from the dentist's office where she works when I had my wisdom tooth pulled. Oh yeah, the tooth pulling went just fine, I wanted to take a picture of the tooth but it was too nasty, I guess I'm turning wimpy in my old age! Fern, I'll give the hat back to you when I see you next!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Climbing Higher

At Carson's school they reward good behavior and academic accomplishments with a program called "Climbing Higher". For the past month Carson kept talking about kids in his class who were climbing higher and I kept saying "higher than what?" and Carson just rolled his eyes at me...but I wasn't trying to be funny, I honestly didn't know what the schmell he was talking about! Now I get it because Carson was honored today!! Even after all my stress of getting him to finish his worksheets, he was honored because he's had 100% on all his math papers! What a champ!! So, we went to his school this morning and they announced his name over the PA system, he was given a certificate and school pennant, and they took his picture to display on the main lobby's wall. It was a really fun experience. Carson was BEAMING from ear to ear.

As I type, Sam is busy trying to finish the baseboards in our room. All that will be left is caulking (he hates that part)and the framing around the bay windows. I'm very happy about that!

Tomorrow I get a wisdom tooth pulled, that should be fun for me. Don't worry, I won't take a picture of the bloody tooth and put it on my blog, I would totally wash it first before taking a picture!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Happy Birthday To You, You Live In A Zoo...

Today is Sam's 31st birthday! Happy birthday ya ol' geezer...wait, I'm older than him...Happy Birthday you sexy young thang!!

Today was so great because Sam took the day off work. You'd think he would want to go snowboarding or something fun like that, but instead, he hung out with the kids and me all day. It was so awesome. He walked Carson to school with me and even worked on our bedroom project (get your mind out of the gutter!). More on the bedroom in a second.

First of all, I TOTALLY surprised Sam and gave him a Dewalt cordless drill, which he loves, can you tell?

Tonight Sam decided to eat his birthday dinner at Fuddruckers (Nalani, remember when I said that word backwards???)and it was dreamy good!

So here is the progress on the bedroom:
We (Sam) have painted the ceiling and walls, the crown moulding, and we (Sam) have gotten a great start on the base boards. I have filled the nail holes with everything that is hung so we're so close. We bought new blinds for the windows and Sam is going to hang moulding around the windows to "frame" them. So we just need to do the windows and the rest of the base boards. Then, of course, we need to decorate it so it looks real purdy (Thai Pan here I come!) and get a new duvet cover for our comforter because our comforter is green and that would be too much green for my brain! Enjoy our "progress report"

We started painting the room at 8:15pm on Friday night...

And, we finished at about 2:15am on Saturday!

On Saturday evening, mom and dad came over and helped Sam hang the crown moulding. I think I'm so funny in this picture!

Look how PROUD Sam and my dad are of the PERFECT cut they made! Fits like a glove!!

Check out Sam's face here. That nail gun was LOUD and surprisingly, the kids slept through the whole thing.

Tonight after Fuddruckers (careful...) Sam nailed in one piece of baseboard--beautiful!!

Now, I know this blog entry is HUGE, but I have to show a few cute shots of my boys. Saturday morning Sam and Fern took the boys to their Uncle Jack's cabin in Moroni because Uncle Jack turned 80 and they wanted to have lunch with him. The kids love going to the cabin, as you can tell.

Sam: Parker, what are you doing?
Parker: Jus watchin' some bugs!

The pond was frozen solid, but that will never hinder a 6 and 2 year old from throwin' rocks! I totally want to frame one of these pictures...priceless!!

There you have it, one huge update!