Sunday, December 9, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

This year, our tradition of cutting down our own Christmas tree required a little more work, but was a lot more enjoyable. Our 3 1/2 hour drive into the Dixie National Forest in Cedar City, UT took us into the snow where we had access to the entire National Forest to find the perfect Christmas tree. Having lived in warm climates for the past couple of years, our girls were not fully prepared for the cold and we had to settle on a less than perfect tree and a cup of hot chocolate back in the car instead. It was a lot of fun and hopefully they will have good memories rather than just the memories of how cold it was.


Rockin' around the Christmas Tree...

Christmas also means preparing treats, especially sugar cookies shaped like trees, gingerbread men, and stockings.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Celebrations

Grandma and Grandpa , as well as Uncle SuperZero came for Thanksgiving this year. Here we are gathered around the feast.
Because Grandma insisted, we all had the pleasure of watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Unfortunately, Gabby and Claire loved it too and here they all are doing their best at following along with the Rockettes' moves.
And the best part of Thanksgiving Day.... the unavoidable turkey induced slumber that follows.


Here is Uncle SuperZero and the kids playing a game of Hullabaloo. Uncle SuperZero won and got to do a Funky Monkey Victory Dance.

November Birthdays

Claire celebrated her 2nd Birthday and was very excited about the idea of opening presents, especially after watching her big sister doing so a couple of weeks earlier.


What kid isn't excited and happy on her birthday.

Both kids got slippers for their birthdays, Gabby got dolphin slipper and Claire got what she calls "Shamboo" slippers.

Claire's birthday cake with a Dora the Explorer candle.

Since Lisa's birthday this year was on Thanksgiving day, we celebrated with a candle on top of a piece of pumpkin pie. Yes, it is the same Dora the Explorer candle from Belle's birthday, so not only did Tim not have to worry about making a Birthday cake, but he didn't have to worry about finding a separate candle either.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Our New Home

We've settled into our new home and are very happy to be back out West. It's so nice to be near family again, knowing that we'll be able to see them more often.

Gabby


After a rocky start, Gabby is finally feeling at home in her new surroundings and constantly reminds us of how much more grown up and brave she is now that she's had her birthday. She is all girl and all pink. Right now she loves dolphins and both of her dolphin stuffed animals are pink. Her imaginary horse (Princess) is pink. Most of her clothes are pink. And we have yet to see her refuse any type of food or beverage that is pink. A couple of weeks ago, she chose a blue tutu instead of pink at ballet class and I thought she must be getting ill, but she seemed fine. I assume she felt that it was OK to add a splash of color since her leotard, tights, slippers and hair elastic were all pink.

Claire


We've been quite amused lately watching Belle's personality take shape. She loves her big sister and loves to imitate Gabby. Meaning, she loves to be fancy and pretty and dance and sing her way through life. However, her dances usually end with her jumping off of the couch or trying to stand on her head and falling not-so-gracefully to the floor. So Gabby teaches Claire grace, sensitivity, and femininity, and in turn, Claire teaches Gabby to run away when Mom calls and how to do the latest W.W.F. wrestling moves.

Tim

Tim has been busy with work and with trying to find time to play golf. Baseball season ended great, but the excitement only grew after the World Series with the Dodgers signing Joe Torre, Donny Baseball, and more to come (but not A-Rod). Tim spends most evenings laying on the ground and letting the kiddos "Hop on Pop."

Lisa

Lisa is adjusting well to living back in the West. After a brutally hot summer, that was surprisingly not as bad as expected, she is thoroughly enjoying the nice autumn weather (highs of only the upper 70's). Lisa has joined a local choir which provides her with at least one night a week of adult interaction. After losing her beautiful and fruitful garden in the South, Lisa is anxious to figure out what can grow in this area, but so far the only thing that's growing is her belly.

Belly


So far, all that little Belly is doing is making Lisa very tired and a little nauseous. Belly is now 9 weeks old, with a 'due date' of June 10th, 2008.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween, 2007

This year for halloween, Gabby went as a Lion and Claire went as a Flapper. Gabby actually was a princess the day before with her 'preschool' group, but decided that she wanted to be a Lion on Halloween night. They both did quite well and brought in a good haul, which Poppy was able to loot later that night after they had gone to bed.


Here's the ferocious Lion ready for the (candy) hunt.

This little Flapper wasn't quite sure what to think of Halloween. However, it only took one house for her to realize that all she had to do was say "twick o tweet" and people would give her candy. It was all fun after that.

Gabby's B-Day

Gabby celebrated her 4th birthday in October. As you can see, she was very excited about a new pink purse.
What child wouldn't smile after breaking open a pinata full of goodies, although most of them would probably not be able to stop and pose for a picture with so much candy still on the ground. You can't tell from the picture, but Poppy is in the background "strongly encouraging" Gabby to get back to the battle line and get her share of goods before they're gone.

Claire gets her turn taking a whack at the pinata with the perfect whacking stick (Dodgers Bat). She didn't do much damage, but still had fun trying.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sea World

We took a much needed vacation with Grandma Moo to San Diego to visit Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, Tijuana, the beach and other fun things. Sea World was definitely the highlight of the trip, and the dolphin show was voted the best (even after the third time).

Gabby and Moo feeding the dolphins.

Claire holding a starfish, she wasn't quite sure what to think.

Gabby holding a starfish (always with a pose).

Lisa and Claire watching the dolphins

Somehow, Moo manages to get toilet paper stuck on her sunglasses. We won't ask how that happened.

Friday, October 19, 2007

San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo was a lot of fun, here we are playing in the Bamboo by the Panda exhibit.


While looking at the monkeys, Claire decides that she wants to be a monkey too



Here we are looking at the panda bear.



Moo and the grandkids playing in the bamboo.

Tijuana, Mexico

We also slipped across the border to Tijuana for an afternoon of shopping. Lisa bravely ventured off by herself to get a pinata for Gabby's birthday, only to return with a HUGE princess pinata that we then had to lug around everywhere, including the trip back through border control which consisted of a 2 hour wait on a hot bus with no a/c, Claire's very poopy diaper, and no one that spoke English. We also had to leave half of our clothes behind in order to fit the pinata in the car (but it only cost $8.00 she says, and besides, Grandma Moo did all of the lugging anyway).

The Beach

Here we are playing at the beach, it was a little chilly, but not enough to keep us away.

Moo and Gabby looking for sea shells.

Tim and Claire playing in the water.

Gabby on the carousel on the boardwalk, surprisingly she picked the pink horse.

Tim and Claire making faces at the camera-lady.

San Diego Fires

Our fun was cut short due to the fires in Southern California. We were going to go to the Wild Animal Park on our way home, but since the animals were all evacuated, we couldn't go. Our trip was extended a day, since we couldn't get home and after close to 7 hours in the car, we ended up staying the night in Ontario, CA (only about 1 1/2 hours away from San Diego). We were able to get back home the next day after two long days of traveling. There were plenty of adventures, including reaching the highway only to find it had been closed, and not being able to turn around because the road we had just traveled on was also closed. With all stores being closed due to evacuations, potty breaks were very difficult, especially with the dozen or so truckers who had pulled over and were standing around, but desperate times call for desperate measures...

We were surrounded by fires on all sides.

This was taken out of our car window while stopped at a toll booth. The ground was actually still smoking.

Even after we were past the larger fires, the Santa Ana winds continued to supply us with a dose of danger, with wind gusts over 70 mph, and dozens of semis blown over on the side of the road.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Visits from Family and Friends

Our Southern buddies came to visit, and ended up spending a lot of their time reading to the girls.


During a visit from Aunt and Uncle, Gabby blows bubbles to her cute little cousin.

Claire makes sure that Beano is nice and clean during his bath.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Camping

Lisa called Tim at work on a Friday afternoon wanting to go camping in the mountains to escape the heat. After quickly packing the car, we arrived at a campsite in Mt. Charleston in the dark at about 8:30 pm, only to find that the camp ground was completely full (Yes, we did check beforehand, but we wanted to try anyway). The camp host was kind enough to let us use his extra spot and we had a great time. The temperature was about 20 degrees less up in the mountains, so it was very comfortable.


Here the girls are playing in the rocks, this is what camping is all about.

Still playing in the rocks.


Despite the certain mess, camping would not be complete without roasting marshmallows.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Around Town

Here are pictures of some of the things we've done since arriving here in town. This at taken at the Hoover Dam. It is very beautiful, although you may be able to see the very high new bridge being built in the background, Poppy says he won't be traveling on that bridge.
Lisa and the girls standing in front of a waterfall at the Ritz Carlton in Lake Las Vegas.

Gabby playing a red piano at FAO Schwartz.

Claire playing a piano at FAO Schwartz

The girls going for a stroll at Lake Las Vegas.

For some reason, the girls love going bowling. There is a cool new bowling alley where the gutters pop up only when its a child's turn, although Lisa would like it if they stayed up the entire time.