Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bossy Bosserson

Why does he think someone was going to? Geesh.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Our Christmas Kardashians

 I don't know why I titled this post that.  I couldn't even name all the Kardashians if I had to.  Poor attempt at cleverness?

Anyway, this year I was in a bit of a quandary.  I couldn't decide between two Christmas cards (colorful & fun or black and white & chic??)  so I sent them both out.   Then, today I had about 20 left that needed to go out and then Beebs accidentally pushed them off the kitchen counter and into a sink full of soapy water.  They didn't survive.  But believe me when I say this is just as good.  It's not like I write a little handwritten note in my cards or something.  I don't hand address them either.  It's strictly printed computer labels.  I don't even write a letter of any kind.  So really, this is better!  And, if you got one, here's the other... if you got none then here is TWO!

We here at the Landerson household wish you & yours a very Merry Christmas!!  

And a Happy Festivus while we're at it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Landee's Andes Mint Deliciousness

I don't want to sound bossy or anything, but you need to make these today.  Or maybe go to the grocery store for the ingredients today (if you don't have them on hand) and then make them.  Either way is fine, I guess.  But they do need to be made.  In your kitchen.  By you.  And then write me a thank you note, cuz you'll want to (Wondering about that cute pedestal plate?  More on that later).

Chocolate + subtle mint = taste bud heaven.


3/4 c. butter
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. water
Melt above ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat until melted and then add:
2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips, stirring until completely melted.
Cool for 10 minutes. Pour into a mixing bowl and beat in 2 eggs.
2 1/2 c. four
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix together and chill for about 45 minutes (do NOT make the dough the night before and think you can put it in the fridge and do the rest in the morning.  The chocolate chips reconstitute forming a chocolate dough BRICK.  You've been warned). Roll into smallish balls (like 1 – 1 1/2 inches big), flatten slightly, and place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.
When cookies come out of the oven, place an Andes mint on top of each cookie and allow to melt for a few minutes. Swirl the melted chocolate like icing. Allow to cool.
Just FYI, this is a fabulous basic chocolate cookie for just about everything.  It's perfectly soft & chewy, firm but not crunchy.  I tried THIS recipe from Pioneer Woman last year (can you tell I enjoy the chocolate/mint combo?) and the chocolate cookie part was disgusting.  I like the idea though.  I may try again this year with this recipe.  

Anyway, as I was looking in the baking aisle for some other confections, I happened upon these little puppies.

What?  Yes.  Yes.  And yes.  They looked like the perfect way to make these delectable cookies a bit more festive.  As Beebs said, as she ate these out of the bag, "I think I like these too much." Agreed, my padawan learner.  Agreed.

This time I melted some white chocolate (it's basically an adhesive here) and put it on top and then sprinkled on the Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips.  


Are you noting the adorable plate they are on? I thought you might be.  My awesome, amazing SIL showed me these when we were at her house over Thanksgiving (that link is to her business website, btw, she does the cutest stuff).   If you're looking for a fun way to deliver goodies around to friends and neighbors this holiday season while, at the same time, giving them a little gift, this is the answer!  And it can be very inexpensive if you do it right.

  1. Find a plate.  Preferably adorable and on clearance.
  2.  Find a cute pedestal...this could be anything from an upside-down ice cream dish (pictured above with the original Andes mint cookies) to a candlestick.  Thrift stores are literally overrun with possibilities.  I saw some candlesticks at Wal-Mart for $4.
  3. Gorilla Glue the found pedestal to the bottom of the plate.  Hot glue pops off fairly easily though it might work in a pinch.
  4. Tie cute ribbon/tulle/whatever around it!

Imagine the possibilities with these, people!  You could tier them like nobody's business.  Large plate on bottom, stem, cute coordinating smaller plate on top.  Do cream colored plates and switch out the ribbon to change it up for any decor.   Whatever.  The world is your oyster with these babies.  

PS I told you I was now a food blogger.  But I bet you didn't see that craftiness comin' did ya?  I'm full of surprises.

PSS Here is my "haul" from the cookie exchange aka The Reason I Go.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Diversity: White, White & Super White

My SIL sent me a link to this.  And I thank her.

That Time of the Month


Not THAT time.

It's time to clean my wood floors.

I'd rather have the other time of the month, to be honest with you.

Even with my patented-no-bending-over-or-using-a-mop technique, it is still a royal pain in the butt.  

And I hate it.

So I want this for Christmas.

Here is the LINK to buy it for me.  I know it's a skosh pricey but if someone takes the reins and organizes this it wouldn't be so bad.  You only need 10 people to kick in $20 or 20 people to donate $10 each.  Or even 40 people to contribute $5.  FIVE DOLLARS!  That's nothing.  Please.  Someone.  Make this happen.

Thank you in advance.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Look What I Made!

In related news, spray adhesive and glitter are the devil.

The end.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Too School for Cool

For all the amateur and professional photographers out there,  everyone's desire to be creative and artistic in their photography and to "capture the essence of the person," there's still nothing quite like the classic school photo.   

The mottled, multi-colored background.  

The sitting straight on a stool.  

The head tilted just so.  

It's all perfect.  

This year's crop of photos did not disappoint.  They also happened to have arrived about the same time as parent/teacher conferences.   

Allow me.

5th Grade

Model student.  In the advanced reading and math groups.  Loves school.  Is loved by his teacher.  She put her hand over her heart and let out an audible sigh when attempting to describe what it's like to have him in class.   One thing he could work on: Not socializing so much during class.  It doesn't help the situation that his BFF is in his class, but he promises to work on it.  Conference ends with more accolades and descriptive words such as "joy," "adore" and "amazing kid."  

3rd Grade

Doing well in all subject areas.  Mrs. Teacher is aware that, despite his two trips to the principal's office this year, he really is a good kid and just had some unfortunate circumstances (and reaction to those circumstances) come his way.  He is fun & creative.  "What's his room like at home?  Because his desk is atrocious.  You can't walk past it without something falling out of it."  Needs to work on organization skills.  Mrs. Teacher recommends a large exercise ball for TBone to sit on during class (rather than a chair) to help with the "extra energy issues."  She would much rather have a little bouncing all day than large outbursts of energy later.  I walk out grateful for a young, energetic teacher who really seems to "get" Tbone.   I know I won't always be this lucky.  ::writes "exercise ball" on Walmart list::

Beebee Girlerz
4K Preschool Class

Her teacher called for a telephone conference a couple of weeks ago to check in and let me know how Beebs was doing.  She is great with her letters & numbers.  She's in the early stages of spelling (she can spell the names of everyone in our family plus the pets and has my & Gty's cell numbers memorized). She plays with everyone and is kind.  She loves "school days" (Mon-Thurs) and loves her teachers.  One thing that Mrs. PreschoolTeacher said that she can work on: helping clean up after their various activities.  Apparently she & Sarah try to get out of cleaning up all the time by "needing to go to the bathroom" or hiding in a different room until the clean up is over.   When I mentioned this to her she gave me a look like "Um, how do you know about that?"  and then could not get over the fact that her teacher knew her telephone number and could call her house.  She promised to help from now on and it's her goal for Mrs. PreschoolTeacher to deem her The Best Cleaner Upper by the end of the school year.  We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Smashing Pumpkins

Every Halloween I walk a fine line between what I want to do (not celebrate Halloween/pretend it doesn't even exist, not find costumes for the kids, not carve pumpkins, not buy $50 worth of candy to pass out to the neighborhood brats, not pick up wrappers for weeks afterward because my kids think the space between the couch and the ottoman is a garbage can, etc.) and what I really don't want to do (cause permanent psychological damage to my children surrounding the celebrating of this pagan holiday).

I think this year I managed to balance it out pretty well.

Due to Gty being out of town the week leading up to Halloween, and my extreme to intense hatred of carving pumpkins, I figured out a way to do pumpkins this year with out having a sore arm afterward.  We painted pumpkins and then the kids stuck on some foam pieces in the general configuration of a face.

(Note: We don't get the paper.  So I had no newspaper to put down on the table.  I decided to stick a couple pieces of Press-n-Seal down in front of each kid.  Yeeeeah, no.  I still have some residue on the top of the table from that stuff.  You've been warned.)

Here are the final products.  

You can't see but the "pumpkin princess" does have a nose that you can't see (pumpkins are heavy, you gize!).  That balloon is supposed to be her blowing a bubble gum bubble.  Oh, and that line of circles is a necklace.  I'm sure that was obvious though.

I'm guessing we will be doing this again in the future.  The kids loved it seeing as I can count on two fingers the number of times I've let them paint something in the kitchen.  And no scraping out pumpkin guts.  Ding!  <---- bonus sound.

Some People Wait A Lifetime...

... for a moment like this.  

--Kelly Clarkson, American Idol Champion, Season 1

Some facts to consider:

  • The last time the Giants won a World Series it was 1953.  They were the New York Giants at that time.
  • The Giants moved from New York to SF in 1958.
  • They hadn't won a World Series since.
  • Gty was born in 1971.... so, you do the math here.

Other items of note:
  • Gty's email address (since email first came out) has been gagiants.
  • Every year, Gty, his dad and the boys go to SF to see a couple of Giants games.
  • Last year, JBird was Tim Lincecum for Halloween.  
  • Gty's grandma (now 93 years old) has loved the Giants FOREVER and has missed watching very few games.  She's the reason his entire family are huge fans.

So, that is why there was much whooping and hollering in our house on Monday night.  The boys acted like they too had waited 39 years for the Giants to finally win a World Series.  Tbone was particularly boisterous in his cheering even though he had been rooting for the Phillies in the the series before just to tick Gty and JBird off.  Thank goodness he came around for the last 20 minutes of Game 5.

Here is what they wore to school the next day.  Tbone earned it, I think.  Those twenty minutes when he cared were stressful.

A re-enactment of the aforementioned whooping and hollering.

Any guesses on who our favorite player is?

Gty wore his jersey around today too claiming he had waited his whole life to wear his team's jersey the day after a championship win.  He felt he had earned the right to collect congratulatory remarks from passersby.  The older people volunteering at the voting place today did NOT disappoint.  They were very impressed by Gty and his ability to wear a Giants jersey and hat and laid it on real thick.  He could not have been more pleased.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Hallow's Eve

So have you all tried the Pumpkin Crunch recipe?  Cuz apparently I didn't want to do another post until every. last. one. of you had tried it.

So you loved it?


I figured I'd better post what the little goblins dressed up as for Halloween this year.  We had an eclectic gathering of characters & time periods.

First, Al Capone:

Next, cowboy/TBone's Frontierville Character:

That's his "This town ain't big enough for the two of us" look.


And finally, Dorothy:

The Toto in the basket prop was the deciding factor in what she wanted to be.

Due to Halloween being on Sunday this year, we had less candy this year than we've ever had which is perfect.  They had their class parties at school, of course.  Then we had the ward Trunk-or-Treat on Friday night.  We also went around to a few members' homes on Saturday night.  We thought the kids would complain about not being able to go out on Sunday night but they actually really liked handing out the candy to all our "customers" (as Beebs called them).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm Now A Food Blogger

You know I don't usually post recipes, but what I like to do is keep this blog fresh.  Keep you on your toes.  What will Landee do next?  You just don't know.  Today I am doing something CRAZY and posting a recipe.  So there.

Mother of Stands casually mentioned this recipe she had seen on her SIL's Facebook.  Pumpkin Crunch, you say?  My ears perked up and my back straightened slightly.  There may have even been a raising of the eyebrow, not sure.  Sounded delicious.  Just from the title.  So I quickly copied it down in my handy-dandy Family Organizer and went about my business.  "My business" being heading straight to the grocery store to get the ingredients for this and then going home and making it.

It's a fancy (and EASY) twist on the ole fall favorite, pumpkin pie.  I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie myself.  I'd much rather have some banana cream.  But this, THIS, my friends, will be added to the Thanksgiving feast.  And will probably be made weekly from about mid-September to the end of November.  It's my new "Fall Is Officially Here" treat.


1 15oz. can pumpkin
1 12oz. can evaporated milk
1 1/2 C. sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 t. cinnamon

Combine above ingredients and pour into greased 9x13 pan.

1 Yellow Cake Mix
1 C. melted butter

Sprinkle cake mix on top of pumpkin mixture and pour melted butter over top.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

This is what it will look like fresh out of the oven.

Your house will smell amazing and the second you taste it you will realize, fall is officially here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fall Mentionables

  • We just finished up Day 4 of "Fall Break," otherwise known as two weeks of torture.  This break is so completely unnecessary that it makes me angry.  The kids had JUST hit their stride in their routines and schoolwork and then BAM! Two weeks off.   And my house is trashed.  It looks like I've got toddlers again.  Except without the added benefit small children give you of never having to leave the house.  I miss the days of no practices, no extracurricular activities, no annoying friends over to play.  I'm rambling, but to sum up, Fall Break is for the birds (who should be flying south by now).
  • Fall TV:  Glee and I are about to break up.  The songs haven't been amazing and they are soooo pushing it.  The religion episode was highly offensive to me.  They basically spent an hour mocking religion.  I wouldn't think too much about it except for the fact that this show is very appealing to and geared toward teenagers who are right in the midst of trying to figure out what they believe.  Glee is using this "power" they have for evil & I'm hating it.  I'd much rather have an entire show dedicated to trying to make underage drinking seem cool rather than a whole show whose end goal seemed to be to shake a person's core beliefs.  Couple that with this week's scene of Britney S. Pears and Santana making out on the bed and I about threw the remote through the TV.  That's two strikes, Glee.  Two.
  • Fall Decor:  Due to the fact that I've completely redone the color scheme in the living and dining rooms I've had to tweak my fall decor a bit.  Gone are the reds and golds in there.  It's all now turquoise blues, greens and pale yellows.  The orange pumpkins and fall foliage looked gaggy.  So I had to go with these types of pumpkins this year:

Pumpkins are kind of "my thing" as I'm not a fan of the cheesy Halloween decor.  I'll put a little porcelain skeleton guy and a sign that says BOO on my mantle for Halloween week, but that's about it.  Plus who has the energy to change all your decor every month between September & January?  Not me.  No sir.  This is it until I have to psyche myself up for pulling out all the Christmas decor.
  • Tbone got sent to the vice principal's office last week.  It was for, get this, singing in the bathroom.  Wha?  Yes.  According to him he was "excited Fall Break was getting close & singing Dynamite in the bathroom cuz it was fun."  According to the school's secretary he was being super loud, slamming doors, and not stopping after a few minutes so she called to him to come out and told him they were going up to the vice principal's office.  Mmmmmkay?  My questions are 1) was he asked to stop and refused?  2) Was he hurting another child? 3) Was he being disrespectful to an adult? 4) Are you TRYING to make my kid label himself as a trouble-maker?  
    • Answers: 1) Not asked, thus no refusal.  Give the kid a chance people. 2) No.  He was alone. 3) No. 4) Apparently.   I went along with it this time, apologizing and saying I'd talk to him, etc. but I promise you, if they attempt to punish him for something this ridiculous again there's gonna be a meeting betwixt myself and the VP and it won't be pleasant.  No one should be punished (he lost two days of recesses, btw) for singing their favorite Taio Cruz song.  The acoustics in the bathroom are amazing.  Everyone knows that.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

TBone's Favorite Holiday

Someone was more excited about it being 10-10-10 than anyone else I hung out with today.

Here is a pic of my computer screen at 10-10-10 at 10:10 pm and 10 seconds.  (Psssst....Flem, I forgot the key strokes to do a screen shot.  Do you remember even though you've gone PC again?)

And this same someone insisted I take a pic of him by the clock and holding the family calendar.

How did you all celebrate this momentous occasion that only happens once every 100 years?

I'm going to have to top this next year on 11-11-11.

PS Two week Fall Break starts now.  We have no travel plans.  No plans of fun of any kind.  I want us to all clean out the basement.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Jammie Church Activity

Here is what Jack and I did during General Conference this year. I felt like I was back in 5th grade again.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Depressing, Things I Find

  • People who buy things simply because they are on sale.  They’re going broke saving money.  It’s sad.
  • Watching young stars flush their lives down the toilet, thus proving everyone right.

  • Walmart
  • When my Costco membership is due & then added onto my already large-ish total at checkout.
  • Seeing old friends on Facebook and seeing how much our lives have gone in completely different directions.
  • Anyone over the age of 19 standing on street corners, twirling signs and advertising for a pizza place or a “HUGE CLOSEOUT SALE!” at the nearby electronics store.  If I do see an older person doing this I pretend like they are the owner/manager of the business. See, they just wanted a break from the doldrums of their office so they told the 18-year-old-or-under kid whose job that really is to take an extra break that day and he’d take over for a while. You know, just to get some fresh air.  I have to pretend this or the tears start to well up. 
  • Seeing I have less than 1/3 of my Chipotle burrito left and I hadn’t been absolutely savoring every bite.
  • Phone calls from the vice principal.
  • Purchasing toilet paper, deodorant, tampons and other non-fun necessities.  Such a waste of good, hard-earned cash.
  • Driving by the new Ikea that is being built 5 minutes from my house,  reading the huge sign that says "COMING FALL 2011," doing the math and realizing that is still an entire year away.  I go even further and imagine the insane crowds that will be storming that place day & night for the first year (at least) it's open as well.  That makes a good two years before I'll be able to handle going and purchasing all the cheap but stylish things my little heart desires.  

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Exercising, My Internal Dialogue While

5 minutes in: This isn’t that hard today.

10 minutes in: Geez. This sucks. How much longer? 

15 minutes in: Ugh. Slow down. I’ve only done 15 minutes. Shoot. Pace yourself. No one knows how much resistance you have on your bike. Simmer down. 

20 minutes in: ::start thinking about other things and don’t realize 8 minutes have gone by almost painlessly:: Sweet! 

30 minutes in: K, half done. But I’m gonna pretend I’ve only done 15 minutes because then when this ends ‘15 minutes early’ it’ll be awesome.

35 minutes in: Nevermind. I’ve got 25 minutes left and now we’re in countdown mode. I’ve done more than I’ve got left.  I've earned every minute of this.

36 minutes in: ::imagining myself walking out of the gym after it’s all over:: That’s gonna happen here in just a bit. Keep going. 

37 minutes in: I don’t have to be here, you know. I can leave whenever I want. It’s not like this spin class is for college credit or anything. 

38 minutes in: I could just look at my phone, act like I got some super important/shocking/gotta-get-outta-here news and then take off in a hurry. 

40 minutes in: There’s only 20 minutes left. Maybe I won’t die. ::abort Operation Cell Phone Frenzy::”

45 minutes in: Only 15 minutes left! 

46 minutes in: Only 14 minutes left! 

47 minutes in: Only 13 minutes left! 

{continue this pattern} 

55 minutes in: Only one, maybe two songs left. Ooooh, and I like this one. 

60 minutes in: I did it. That was so easy.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Zip Codes

I've lived in my fair share of zip codes over the course of my 35 years.  

83706- Boise, ID  Birth-1991

While I lived in a few different zip codes in Boise, this is the main one I remember.  It's the one in the Lakewood area of east Boise otherwise known as "the place I grew up" in my mind.   We moved to Lakewood from "the bench"  when I was in third grade.  Jefferson Elementary to Garfield Elementary if you're in the know.  I was devastated at the time but quickly made friends, got my first crush (John King) and fell in love with my new neighborhood.  It was one of these planned neighborhoods with trails, small ponds, parks and "secret passages" galore.  Absolute heaven for a kid on a bike.  Not to mention the sheer numbers of kids roaming the neighborhood at all times.  We lived there until we moved to New Jersey the summer before my junior year of high school.

07869- Randolph, NJ 1991-1993 (my parents continued to live there until 1999)

If I thought I was devastated when we moved across town in third grade, it was nothing compared to the despair I felt at the move to New Jersey.  First of all, I had never been on an airplane before this OR been east past Wyoming at this point in my life.  Not to mention the life long friends I would be leaving behind, including my best friend Jill but also including some of the cute boys we ran around with.  I also had an athletic "career" I had been working on since the 5th grade.  The coaches knew me.  I knew all my teammates.  Junior year would have been a huge year for me in both basketball and volleyball.  I distinctly remember, shortly after learning we were moving, attending a girls varsity basketball game with some friends.  As we were leaving my Sophomore coach sees me as I'm going down the stairs and he's going up.  He turns to me and points and says "That'll be you next year, Jeppson!"  I turned and ran down the rest of the stairs bawling and continued to bawl for about an hour after that.  

But, as with most things in life, it all worked out for the best.  Moving to New Jersey was an amazing experience.  I went from a place where being a Mormon what everyone was or what the other people hated to a place where no one even knew what a Mormon was.  I don't think I had ever met a Jewish person before moving there and ended up having several close Jewish friends.  And I quickly learned that just because someone's last name was Cohen didn't mean they were related to all the other Cohens at my high school. Duh.   One thing I didn't expect when moving to Randolph was how welcoming everyone would be.  Most of these kids had grown up together and had been in the same classes since Kindergarten.  A new face was something of a novelty and everyone was beyond kind to me from the second we got our boxes unpacked.  And, of course, with my "street smarts" outweighing my "book smarts," there would have been absolutely NO WAY I would have gotten into BYU had I applied from Boise, ID.  New Jersey definitely gave me an edge there.  

84602- Provo, UT 1993-1994

Freshman year of college at BYU.  Deseret Towers.  S Hall.  2nd Floor.  Room 211.  Right side of the room.  And who occupied the left side?  None other than my amazing best frousin, Memzy.  What a year of learning and growth that was.  I loved every second of it.  I weep for any freshman at BYU who opts to not live in the dorms.  It is such a unique opportunity that you can never re-create after your freshman year is over.  It's also where I met my life-long best friend, Flem.  Unmeasurable happiness bubbles up inside when I think of room S-211.

84604- Provo, UT 1994-1998

Sophomore year included a move to "the Riv" and into Apartment #8 (also known as the coolest apartment ever, to us).  Imagine Memzy, Flem, Colleen and I all living under the same roof....and now we have a kitchen and a family room!  It was magical.  The fun of my Freshman year paled in comparison to the fun I had my Sophomore year.  Roommate Sunday dinners, surprise birthday parties, boys allowed in the apartment!, our bead curtain leading back to the bedrooms, Hart's next door,  getting people to loan us their cars, watching Conference on wall-to-wall mattresses in the front room, dance parties/cleaning checks (Holiday drum solo anyone?), and on and on and on.   Also, as an added bonus, this was where I met the love of my life.

We also did some time at "The Hood" but I won't go into that.  Ugh.

Gty and I were then married in April of 1996 leading us to live in a variety of places around the Provo area.  A condo owned by some family friends in New Jersey for the first few months of marriage.  A little one bedroom apartment waaaaay south of campus which required an elaborate car pooling system with our friends who lived there to get us all to campus every day.  A short stint in some other friends' condo up in Orem while they were trying to sell it (they sold it a month later).  Then finally, we had a good year in the cutest brown house ever on 500 West.  During all of these moves we were working at Covey Leadership Center (Gty was), attending school (that would be me), applying to business school (Gty again) and loving hanging out with other newly married couples (both of us).  Again, it was a time in our life never to be duplicated again. 

47906- West Lafayette, IN 1998-2000

Gty is attending The Krannert School of Management at Purdue University at this time.  We were so excited to move out of Provo and see what the "real world" had in store for us.  I became the family bread-winner working at Great Lakes Chemical as the admin for the LINX team there (that college degree sure paid off, huh?).  During these two years we acquired a dog (Maggie) and a baby (that'd be JBird).  I needed to go back to work a bit after JBird was born in order to keep our benefits so Gty was able to work his classes to take care of JBird while I went to work.  It's funny to think about that now but we somehow made it work.  

12211- Loudonville (Albany), NY 2000-2002

Gty accepted his first job out of graduate school with Owens Corning and we head out to Albany for him to work in the management of one of their plants there.  This is where we bought our first house for $150,000 (seriously??) but never furnished the living room or dining room.  It had the squishiest, softest blue carpet in there and made for a perfect ball field for JBird to run around on.  We also added TBone to the family there in January 2002.   9/11 happened while we were there which made it feel a little too close to home.  

43551- Perrysburg (Toledo), OH 2002-2004

After paying his dues in the plant and on a sales rotation, Gty got transferred to the home offices of Owens Corning located in Toledo, OH.  Now, obviously, Toledo isn't exactly at the top of the list for places people want to move to, but, as with all places we have lived, we learned to absolutely love it.  We purchased our 2nd house here and it was my DREAM house (as my dreams were at that time).  Brand new, gorgeous bright kitchen with an island, amazing master bathroom (the Albany house had no master bath, if you can believe it), huge backyard, and on a cul-de-sac where JBird would eventually learn to ride a bike. In stark contrast to Albany where no one would even make eye contact with anyone else, we could not get out of our new neighborhood without at least ten waves.  Perrysburg is a classic mid-west town. Happy & humble people.  Nathan & Annalisa moved to Michigan (about 3 hours away), and hated their apartment, so we saw them all the time on the weekends.  We loved our ward there which always makes a huge impact.  I will always remember our years there fondly. 

29803- Aiken, SC 2004-2006

Wow.  Talk about a culture shock!  Not only is Aiken in the south (a place I never dreamed I would live) but it's a small town in the south.   The confederate flag is still waved proudly in front of homes and bumper stickers with sentiments such as "Happiness is a northbound Yankee" ran amok.  Our realtor's accent was so thick we often needed her to write things down so we could understand what she was talking about (example: "heeding an eyelighter" really meant "heating and air letter" See? Yeah.)  Despite having an "interesting" ward, we loved our time there.   I meant one of my dearest friends there (Heather) who, being from Ohio herself, ran up to my Ohio license plate sporting car in carline at the boys' preschool and explained her desperate need to have a fellow Yankee to hang out with.  I agreed we must stick together and a life-long friendship ensued.   With both the boys in preschool, Gty and I met often for lunch at our favorite restaurant of all time, Malia's.  That is, until Beebs was born and then the three of us met at Malia's a little less often.  We owned three palm trees and a hot tub there. And the wisteria just dripped from everything during spring and summer. 

COLORADO  2006-Forever, hopefully

Before Colorado, we averaged about two years in each location.  At the end of those two years I was always ready to move.  I can honestly say that these past four and a half years have FLOWN by here.  I have never felt more at home in a place as I have here.  It scratches us right where we itch, as Gty loves to say.  Weather?  Perfection in all four seasons.  Our ward?  Dreamy.  So many fun people to hang out with.  Big city nearby but we live in a smallish town.  Proximity to family?  We can finally drive to visit family rather than fly!  I can see us being here a long, long time.  I want my kids to go to college and be able to say they're from Colorado.  

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Habits are like a superpower that can be used for good or evil.  

I have my fair share of villainous habits.  That 3:30pm dose of Dove chocolate, for example.  Also my need to have a beverage in the car at all times isn't helping stave off osteoporosis either (no, it's not milk I'm drinking).  My hand just gravitates toward the cup holder several times during any given drive.  When nothing is there I feel disconcerted, disgruntled and suddenly thirsty as heck.  It's just better for everyone is there's a giant drink there, trust me.

Other habits of note (good, bad, and neutral):

  • Checking my back pocket several times an hour to make sure my phone is still there.  When I'm wearing yoga pants or other pocketless apparel and my phone is stuck in my bra (another habit I s'pose) it causes several fast & furious panic attacks as I check my non-existant back pocket again & again.
  • When I take off an article of clothing I think I might wear again later that week (before laundry day), I drape it over the side of the dirty clothes hamper.  I want to keep it aired out.  If it gets bunched under some nasty, sweaty work out clothes then forget it.  It's dead.  The problem is, at the end of the week the tallish laundry basket is nearly falling over due to the fact that I've piled about 20 things on the edge in hopes of wearing them again.
  • Bedtime routine: hair back in headband & pony tail.  Brush teeth.  Wash face.  Get in bed, plug phone into charger (it's usually nearly dead by then), and proceed to check Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader and go my turn on any waiting Words With Friends games.  Once I decide to go to bed (anywhere from 10:30pm to 2am) I rarely vary from this.
  • I make my bed every morning.  I have to.  I'm not sure what drives me to do this, other than the fact that I love getting into a made bed at night.  If, for some freaky reason, I don't make it in the morning, I will make it at some point through out the day.  Even if it's 10 minutes before I go to sleep at night.  Crisp sheets = my own personal heaven.
  • Lists.  I make lists about everything.  I can't shop without one.  I don't even get how people can do that.  If I have more than three errands to do I have to make a list or else I'll most likely forget one.  
  • I always put my sunglasses on top of my head.  There have been many times that I'll go up to do my aforementioned bedtime routine only to realize my sunglasses have been on my head since early that morning.  
  • After I laugh at something, I'll usually tag on this strange noise at the end.  It's like a mix between a heavy sigh and a light moan.  I have to believe it's some kind of a "wind down" I need after a big laugh.  I really can't explain it any better than that.  But it is annyoing, no question.  "Hahahahahahhahahaha....::sigh/moan wind down::"  See?
  • When I drive I drive with my left hand.  My right hand is usually resting on my gear shift or tucked under one of my legs.  Apparently I'm not a "10 & 2" driver.  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Last Maui Post, Pinky Swearz

I figured I'd just post the rest of the trip and then we can alllll be done with it.  I'll forever have the memories & will cherish them always.  But no need to drag you along for what must be the most boring walk down memory lane.  I realized today that this is equivalent to the olden days when people would get slides made of their photos, invite you over, and force you to look at them up on their family room wall while they commentated.  Torture.  And I apologize in advance.  But since you're here...

More cute pics of Gty boogie boarding.  

But lookie what he did to his super expensive boogie board we got at the local grocery store.

This may have had something to do with it?  (Plzthanks ignore my super annoying laugh, but it was really funny)

This here is a pic from Big Beach.  Around the corner is Little Beach which is also the unofficial nudist beach of the island.  Gty & Cal "accidentally happened upon it" whilst snorkling.  Shya right.   Anyway, the waves get so big at Big Beach the lifeguards make scary announcements as soon as whiteys like us walk onto the beach.  Things such as "If you don't have experience in the water, DO NOT GET IN." and "We will send a swim team out to get you if you get in the water right now."  and "Srsly, don't get in the water.  We aren't kidding."  It was fun to watch the local guys boogie board in these waves though.

Taken with the timer.  Don't I look like I was casually reading my magazine rather than having just ran back to my chair after pushing the button?  We had many a beach days.  Typical schedule...wake up.  Go to beach.  Get lunch.  Go to different beach.  Take shower.  Go out to eat.  Go to bed.  Best vaycay ever.

On the last day we had to check out of our place at 10am and then we were all scheduled on the red-eye back to the mainland that night at 9:30pm.  We didn't really want to be all "beachy" on the red-eye so that day we did what is called the "Road to Hana."  It's this all day "adventure" where you drive on this jungly, curvy, lush, beautiful drive on the other side of the island.  The road TO Hana is fun with stops along the way and fun things to see & do.  The road BACK from Hana (same road) is a bit annoying, however, as you don't stop, you've seen it all already and you're in a rush to buy souvenires and catch a plane.  I dry heaved from car sickness.  That's all I'm saying.

But again, the Road TO Hana = super fun.   First stop.  Some overlook thingy place.

Can you imagine living here?  I mean, reeeeeally living here?  People do.  It's gorgeous, no question, but LIVING there?  I don't know if I'm the type.

We stopped at an arboretum along the way.  I LOVE these Rainbow Eucalyptus trees.  I HATE the jags who carved their initials in them.  HATE. Who does that?

[sparing you some intense amounts of photos of scenery, us in various poses, upclose pics of vegitation, etc.  You're welcome]

We then went a little beyond Hana (one lane roads at times, one lane bridges all the time) to some state park I will look up later, where we hiked to a freakin' waterfall!  Aren't we adventurous??  We weren't really "dressed for hiking" per say, but we managed.

Loved these tree roots we hiked over.

Gty enjoying one of the overlooks along the hike.  It was a good 2 miles up, and 2 miles back btw.  My glutes were talkin' the next day.

Huuuuuge Banyan Tree.  Photo op!  I got up ok.  Kim had "issues" getting up.  Gty racked his family jewels pretty good getting up.  And Cal spared the poor girl waiting to take our pic some time and opted out of getting up.  Totally worth it though. Obviously.

Cool bridge leading to the bamboo forest.

Bamboo forest!

And the big pay off!  Waimoku Falls.

Can you see my little Gty just a sittin' there contemplating life?  He didn't mention but I'm sure he had some deep thoughts.

Me + watefall

We then looked at our watches, ran back down the trail and had to skip seeing the Seven Sacred Pools.  Here is what they look like from the road though.  I'm sure they are lovely upclose too.  Freshwater pools right there on the ocean.  But again, we were in a rush.  Tshirts to buy and stuff.

So we then flew all night long.  These $6 neck pillows I bought at the BigK there were an absolute life saver.  I slept the entire 5 hour leg from Kahalui to LA.  I barely even moved.  I drooled.  But didn't really move.  Then I slept for goodly portions of the LA to SLC and SLC to DEN legs.  Good thing too because we went straight from the airport to JBird's football game.  And then straight to a team party at Five Guys.  

Loved every second of this trip.  Side note:  You never really know what it'll be like to travel with another couple.  I mean, you can assume it will be fun because you have fun together in other circumstances but travel is a whole different ball game.  Needless to say, I think the Landersons and the Mr. & Mrs. Aweeyum are the perfect traveling match.  Similar ideas on how to spend our time & money.  No drama.  Wives have fun together.  Husbands have fun together.  It was, literally, the perfect vacation.  

I wouldn't change anything.  

How often can you say that about an 8 day trip?