Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A tiring week . . .is it really only Tuesday?

It has sure been a week already, work has been very busy and demanding leaving me physically drained. It has been good in other ways though. The first year I worked at my hospital we gave out 12 units of blood in the entire year. We gave out 12 in 4 days to 3 different patients this week. That is not the norm but the need has certainly picked up. It is always an adrenaline rush when the ER or L&D calls all in a huff to set up units STAT. I have done it enough times I just go into auto-pilot and crank them out but there is always a fear when we are dumping units as quick as we can into a patient. When you know they are in the OR being treated by the best docs but you still never know when a wicked side effect could kick in and matters turn very poor very quickly. Luckily for the 2 patients I was working on, this was not the case. The blood was received in a timely manner, boosted them up, the bleeding was stopped, and they are even both home today just a couple of days later. As trying as situations like these can be, they also have a level of satisfaction. The satisfaction of doing what I went into this job to do, to help people and in these cases, to save lives. I consider myself a "back-stage" performer--the lab runs essential tests in treating and diagnosing nearly everything patients come in for, but only with issuing blood do I get a little more center stage action. I prefer the back but it is good to know the years of schooling and the Lord's prompting to this field can be beneficial to others. My mom will be the first to tell you I have "cooshiest job" around but I can tell you once in a while I really work for my money. Anywho . . .that has been the satisfying side of work--there have been some less satisfying parts but they mostly involve me being so OCD in my lab. At home I am not a perfectionist at all, but lab people in general are very nit-picky or as I would say accurate. I don't handle change well in my little world here to the point that if a binder is flipped the wrong way or a pen is not where it belongs I get a little disgruntled and of course have to fix it immediately. For the entire 6 years I have worked here, I have worked with the same staff. We understood each other and shared the same OCD. Everything was almost always as it should be. In the last 6 months, 2/3 of my little team have moved on leaving me alone with new people. Some days I just don't do well with it. Things are just . . .different. Not necessarily wrong (of course my OCD mind thinks so) but different. I need to learn to relax, let it go a little, and give the new people a little leeway. We'll see.

On to a very different topic (well, maybe not all that different) we are finally having a little bit of potty success. My does it seem like it is over due. The boys are only wearing diapers when they sleep now and the accidents are steadily declining. Lowell's had a few good days with no accidents at all. I took the bubbas to the zoo today with my cutie sister Cyndel and it was a lot of fun. The weather was great (for almost January) 40 degrees and sunny. As always in the winter the zoo was deserted so the kids got all the time they wanted with whatever they wanted to play with. They really needed the chance to run, I am so glad we have gotten a break from snow for a couple of days. The best news was Davis stayed dry the entire trip--woohoo! Carter wasn't quite so good, but oh well, work in progress. Here some shots, which I actually did take the time to flip but it didn't stick. Sorry.
Davis being a monkey in the lights
Davis singing row, row, row your boat in a boat--yep we've done that before.

A good shot of Carter from Cynni's phone
We did reach melt down stage as we were leaving, but we were an hour past lunch and already at nap time so it was to be expected. I have to share Davey boys cute line to me today, we had watched a commercial for DisneyLand and he said he wanted to go there and give the princesses a hug. I said that would be nice, and he thought a minute and said, "I wike you too mom". I think he was afraid I would think he liked the princesses better than me, it was just a cute thing to say. When I tell him I love him, now he answers with "I love you too mom", melts me every time. And today as we snuggled on the couch he wanted to hold my hand and told me I was his friend. I am a pretty special mommy. Carter says the funniest things and is such a card but I can't think of anything specific just now. He's my lover boy too though.
Going backwards to Sunday, we had Lowell's whole family over for a goodbye dinner for his sister as they headed back to Texas. Their visit was much too short and we grieve the loss of my only nephew who is now so far away again. Sigh. Anyway here's some pics:

Cousin! Big Dylan, Hannah, and my Davis

The whole family--so cool to get us all together for once (and that my kids are looking and smiling--I have trained them well :)).
Well enough rambling for one day. I wasn't going to do another post until after New Year's but my work has swung the other way tonight and I had some down time, so there you go. Wishing you and yours a very happy new year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I just (finally) had the opportunity to listen to Elder Eyring's talk from the Christmas Devotional and wanted to record some thoughts in this, my children's journal, about our legacy. In his talk, Elder Eyring speaks of a Bishop Sellers in Rexburg, ID and how he was always willing to take in a stranger and feed and clothe him. Bishop Sellers, to me, is Great Grandpa Sellers, the father of my grandfather. I have heard a few stories of my grandfather's youth, how he has many siblings--he came from a large farming family, and how they survived through the great depression, often sleeping with many children in the bed to keep warm but that he had fond memories of those times and that was thanks to the good family that he had. Honestly, even my mother did not know the story of her grandfather that Elder Eyring told, we wonder where he heard it. My mom used to babysit for Elder Eyring many years ago so he is familiar with her family but her grandfather's story is from far before that time. I just hope my children will grow up to know that our family is built upon the legacy of strong men and women of faith that came before them. Be it my great-grandfather serving the people of his community following the great depression or another of my great-grandfather's (Bernardus Theodorus Dodenbier) who was a branch president around the same time but a world away in war-ravaged Holland. He helped to rebuild the church in their area after many years of want. There is a story about him in the Church News, it tells of how he received a lot of coats from the US to be distributed to those in need. In the pocket of one of these coats was a silver dollar. My great-grandfather's counselor was leaving for the US and he gave him the silver dollar, saying-now you will never be penny-less in America. Years and years passed and so did my great-grandfather (he brought his family to America as well following a prophet's call to gather) but somehow my Dad ran into this man and friend of his grandfather. The man's name was Johann Derchmott (sp?) but had changed his name to John Dickman and it turned out he lived not far from us in California and a reunion was arranged with my grandfather. Now even my grandfather has passed but I still think of the stories he told me about escaping from a Nazi work camp. He spent a period of his youth in confinement by the Germans, but a letter to the editor in a local paper stands out to me about his character. Someone was complaining about the Germans and that we should not help nor forgive them and my grandpa wrote in telling how he of all people should want to agree, but he had learned years before as they had grown potatoes to send to the starving people in Germany that it helps no one to hold grudges and it is best to forgive and move on. He too leaves a legacy for my children. Down to my own father who faced with the prospect of 3 years in prison away from us or lying to free himself, chose to maintain his integrity. How we missed him, but the legacy of faith continues in my family. I hope I too can live up to what has been passed to me--there are many more examples, we have family that was in Nauvoo and crossed the plains, those who joined in England and crossed the ocean, many examples of leaders and faithful followers. I hope as my children grow I can teach them of their ancestors and we can all remember their lasting imprint on our lives and our history.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Chrismas to all and to all a good night

Okay, so now on to Christmas day. What a great Christmas we had! Very full on fun and family and of course, we were all spoiled. I always take pics of the trees, so here is the first one, our little tree: The boys woke up at their normal time (not early risers yet thank goodness) and walked out blinky eyed into the living room to see Santa had in fact come. Davis will tell you "Santa came down down (the chimney I guess) ate cookies and brought Rockstar to me". They both were amazed at the cookies being gone and thrilled with the gifts Santa brought. They are getting quite adept at unwrapping, but even though I stayed in budget this year, we still opened their gifts in stages as they just wanted to play with the new toys and not keep opening them. Here is the Rockstar Davis will tell you about, little guitars:
And the after shot . . .lots of paper and boxes. Lowell and I did well too, most notably Lowell got a Blu-ray player and I got an Ipod.

We then got dressed and headed over to my parents to open gifts. That went well as well and I got to eat sausage, a love of mine that is normally a no no with my diet.
Finally we made it over to Lowell's mom's house and repeated the gift opening process. Man those boys get a lot of presents!

I then went to see "Bedtime Stories" with my family while Lowell and the boys napped. It was cute--I enjoyed it. We then got the dinner on, finally my ham!, and all that was left was to play with the toys!
The boys playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with Uncle Robbie--Carter is GOOD at this game, he smokes me every time!

Davis playing with his laptop--they call it "puter" and have taken it everywhere with them. Works for me they are learning!

Carter's Christmas shot

Both boys (I was bribing them with Martinelli's cider)

Mr. Davis

Davis with his Nerf gun and glasses

Carter and his remote control car

Carter in his tent from grandma

And finally a look at what all these storms have left in their wake, i.e. my yard. This is the boys' little tikes car . . .man I am tired of the snow already! We had such a struggle Christmas day getting everywhere, we had to get out and push the car several times to get out of snow drifts and didn't get the neighbor's treats out because it was just too deep to walk in and too hard to drive in. Is it too weird to send New Year's treats?
I hope all of your Christmas's were equally merry and bright and you could feel of our Savior's love as we celebrated his birth. May the Lord bless you and yours in the new year. Loves!

Twas the night before Christmas . . .

I have SO many pics to share that I will do Christmas in 2 parts. First, Christmas Eve! I was excited because I had the day off and lots of family fun planned. Unfortunately planning can only do so much and the day did not follow the plan. Every year since the munchkins were brand new we trek up to see the lights at Temple Square with Lowell's family. Even last year in a blizzard we made an attempt, though we had to follow up New Year's Eve to actually see the lights as poor weather conditions kept us from getting there. So I had grand plans of the same this year, considering that is what we do every year. But Lowell's fam had other plans (??) so not only would they not be joining us but we would have to be excluded from their plans as well. It was a pretty big bummer for me but oh well I think the best lesson we have learned this Christmas is that it is our little family that means the most--we are creating memories for our kiddos and ourselves and sure had a fantastic day together even if we missed the rest of the crew. In the morning we went sledding, hooray! We did a mini trip last year with mixed reviews but this year the kids were all over it! Carter especially couldn't get enough, I think Davey boy got a little scared by the speed and all the people. We went to the ampitheater at Silver Lake in Eagle Mountain, they have a great hill! My lil sis just invited us to do the hill at the gardens at Thanksgiving Point--I am so excited! From the first time I saw that hill I said it needed to be tubed but I never imagined that we'd actually get to do it. Stay posted on that next week. For now, pics from our first trip this winter. Trudging back up the hill, the tubes bigger than Davis
My little sledding man Carter
Lowell and C-man

Cutie (and cold) Carter
My fav Davis picture
Holy double sledding batman, you can just barely tell that Carter's snow pants are a little short on him . . .they are size 12 months! Davey's are 18 months . . .it may be time for new snow pants.
Me and my Davis

So after nap we headed up to temple square and decided to take a ride on Trax (local transit, for the kids, train!) for our Polar Express obsessed children. Next year I think we'll do the Polar Express on the Heber Creeper but this worked well for this year. Here's my wiggly men onboard.
Lowell and the boys in front of the light tree

And finally the quintessential family picture in front of the temple. I have one of these for every year.
We finished up the night by putting cookies out for Santa and off the kids went to dream land while Lowell and I stayed up past midnight wrapping.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm (or someone) is dreaming of a white christmas . . .and good will toward men.

We sure have been pounded with snow the past couple of days. Sheesh! We got a foot in just a few hours yesterday . . .and silly me insisted on going to the gym in it. Then I thought I'll get lunch in the same parking lot as the gym as that will be safe. Wrong! We spun out trying to get out of the parking lot and got utterly stuck. I couldn't move forward or back and was more than a little worried as I was alone with the munchkins. I put the car in Neutral and tried pushing it (ha! futile attempt) but thank goodness for the kindness of strangers! 2 different men stopped and came to my aid. It still took us a while and a lot of backs and forths and one guy taking over for this loser California driver but they finally got us out. I was SO thankful! It just warms my heart to know there are still people out there who will take time of their busy day to help someone in need. We'll just forget the people who ignored Lowell when he did a 180 trying to turn and the others who blew past him almost hitting him (and the ones who swore at him for being stuck).
The big day is quickly approaching! Today the boys and I had a good snuggle watching The Polar Express. It's safe to say they are fans and since I had never seen it or even read the book I quite enjoyed it as well, but not as much as just snuggling my wiggle bugs. We attempted visiting teaching again today but not with good results. I think I am really just going to have to find a time when Lowell is home to go, it's just hard when Lowell and I get so little time together as it is. Oh well, the ham has been picked up, the presents all purchased, all that is left is to wrap, bake, and spend some quality time together. Can't wait! Here's the pics I mentioned in the previous post: That looks safe doesn't it?
They love their "blocks"
My diet is failing miserably this week I hate to report. I actually did lose those stupid off again on again 5 lbs but I am already scared to get on the scale next week. What can I do--I am surrounded by treats! In my defense there is a box on truffles sitting on the analyzer in front of me with a serving size of 5 pieces (20g of fat!) and though they have been there at least 3 weeks they aren't gone yet and I haven't even gotten to a full serving yet. I can't say the same for the beef log and Easy cheese with crackers I got as a gift yesterday though. And I have my doubts about making it through the shift without dipping into the bread and jam I got today. You have to live a little during the holidays right? I just have to make sure it stays "a little" and hit the gym hard next week. Oh well--there are worse things to be worried about.
I just want to wish everyone the merriest of holidays as you celebrate this joyous day with your families. May the magic of Christmas shine in your children's eyes, the warmth of good friends and family burn in your heart, and your belt loop have to be let out one notch ;). I'll take this quick moment to say how grateful I am that so many years ago (not really on that day but you know) our Savior was born and that he fulfilled his mission and has saved us all. May we all take a moment in the hussle and bussle, eating and unwrapping to remember that tiny babe and that amazing man who continues to impact our lives. Loves and blessings from the Penrods!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful . . .

You know I am not going to run out of Christmas songs for titles, especially with only one week left until the big day. The drive in to work today was not pleasant. One of those moments when time stands still and you can replay it over and over. Like last summer when I watched a semi hit the overpass and the backhoe come tumbling off of it. I was the very next car. If you live in Utah county you know the overpass I am talking about because it is now gone--one too many hits by semis. Today driving to work I was on an icy road and watched the car in front of me skid and turn perpendicular blocking both lanes. The car coming the opposite direction skid to miss him and slid into the ditch. I tried to break and was just slip sliding away but was lucky enough to have enough to space to ease myself to a stop without hitting either car or sliding out. It's just little moments like those, and this one was likely not even life threatening, that leave you grateful to get out safely and still make it on to work. I can't say I care for it though. Early in the fall I planned for cold days and haven't had to use any of the goodies I got until this week--it has been so cold and wet. Yesterday our drive to the gym took 25 minutes (usually 15) and then the boys had stinky bums within 20 and we got to drive 25 minutes back, white knuckling all the way. Yep, I don't like driving in the snow. Here's hoping I get home okay (after a very early morning stop at WalMart for the last of my shopping, stocking and their fillings).

In better news, Lowell had a good day today. He has been promoted at work. It is the type of jump that is unusual in his profession but does not surprise me. He is very well liked and respected and his work has been getting a lot of attention. The promotion comes with a raise which is never a bad thing and a bit more respect as well as more people beneath him (read he can actually take a day off) so it is a very nice blessing for our family. I am proud of you hon, you certainly deserve it. Davis was so cute--we went and got him some pizza, Dr. Pepper, and an ice cream cake and when Lowell came home Davis was very proud to tell him, "Con grat u lations". He said it slow but just right and just beamed with pride.

No new pics today, I didn't bring my camera, but I do have some fun ones of the kids building towers out of "blocks", i.e. wrapped presents from under the tree, and sword fighting with empty wrapping paper rolls. Why did I buy them actual presents again? Anyway . . .the real reason for this post, a tag from Jess:

Christmas Tag
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? More paper than bags--takes longer to unwrap and the kids can't look right into them.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial--I swore I would always do real but the price tag got the better of me.

3. When do you put up the tree? I start thinking about it Thanksgiving and get it up mid-December. Last year I think it was the week before Christmas.

4. When do you take the tree down the tree? After New Year's. I am a procrastinater getting it up but I do enjoy it and insist on keeping it around until the next year.

5. Do you like egg nog? NO! Ick, blech, ugh!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My memory is really lacking but I know I got Cabbage Patch dolls and Care Bears that I loved and of course our trampoline.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yep, pics in the previous post plus a new resin one this year that the kids are allowed to touch.

8. Hardest person to buy for? My sisters, they want clothes but no chance of getting the right stuff. Or my mom.

9. Easiest person to buy for? The boys--they'll love everything and I could spend all my holiday money in a day just on them. I love buying them toys!

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, they are all out today, hooray! I think this is the first year I will have them done before Christmas.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? as Lowell would say, that is a loaded question and I am not going to answer it. . .but something about a vacuum comes to mind . . .

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Tough one, I love a Christmas story but also the original grinch.

13. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I can't think of a time.

14. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Breakfast Pizza and a big fat glazed ham.

15. Clear lights or colored on the tree? I like colored, but ours are white.

16. Favorite Christmas song? This year, I'm getting nothing for Christmas.

17. Travel at Christmas or stay home? We stay home, meaning in Utah, but go to both in-laws.

18. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Let's see, You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen, Comet, and Cupid, and Donner, and Blitzen . . .then Rudolph. Is that all of them?

19. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We do Christmas morning.

20. Most annoying thing about this time of year? That it drags on for months, the budget crunch and stress of planning, and stupid Christmas songs and books meant to garner emotion.

21. Favorite ornament theme or color? Kid, does that count as a theme? I like silver.

22. Favorite food for Christmas dinner? As previously mentioned, I love ham!

23. What do you want for Christmas this year? I am starting to get the scrooge in me like my dad so I am tempted to say his perennial answer, for it to be over. But I think I will stick with the new camera I picked up on Black Friday from Lowell to me. It'll be such a surprise! ;)

Well, there you go--anyone who wants to join in, tag you're it. I am sure I will be on again before the big day--I work Monday and Tuesday, but I do hope you are enjoying this lovely holiday season and that if the weather is where you are as it is here that you are inside where it is "so delightful". Loves!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hip Hip Hooray, we finally got the tree up!

The Christmas festivities continue and I have to admit I am ready for the end already. Almost done shopping, a few more small gifts and the stockings to still knock out. Last Friday we had the twin club playgroup at our house to make gingerbread houses. What a zoo, but also a blast! There were 6 sets of twins, all between 2 and 4 and 10 of the kids were boys. My kids are so lucky to have so many boys their age to play with. I was pleased with how the gingerbread turned out and Lowell was awesome to help me finish them and clean the house. We had tons of fun candies to decorate with and it was nice enough that the kids could play outside too. It was just a fun day. Here's Carter's creation, he was eating the candy off as quick as we could put it on.
Davis--his is still in pretty good shape now, mostly because he has just been eating Carter's. He has frosting on his face in this pic because, well, he liked to get into the frosting . . .a lot.
Is there anything more fun than playing in a laundry hamper with your brother?? I don't get it but it kept them entertained for a half-hour.

So last night finally we got our tree up--we kept planning to get it done and other things came up but it is now done. Let's see how long it lasts (3 glass ornaments were broken before I put them away to try again next year and Oscar (the dog) has eaten probably 5 5 year old candy canes [his breath is minty fresh])

One of our nativities
Another one (the rule is absolutely no touching either of them, please survive the season!)
The boys adding ornaments, they really got a kick out of having the tree up.

Adding the angel to the top, take 1
Okay . . .take 2

I'll do it myself!
For some reason this is the "chosen" corner of the tree, 90% of all the ornaments the kids put on ended up right here.
Carter with the somewhat finished product. He is sporting the consequences of the "who can gargle fruit punch and get it all over themselves the best" game.

Finally this year's rendition of I'm getting nothing for Christmas in three parts. I guess I'll lay off now, Lowell says the boys are going to get a complex--those who know me will know for certain the kids ARE getting toys for Christmas, way more than they deserve for sure. Though Davis did inform me that he was good at the gym today and that I should let Santa know . . .maybe this Santa thing will yet pay off this year. (P.S. If you don't already know, to turn off the music already playing, scroll to the bottom and hit pause, then you can hear the video).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

'Cuz I ain't been nothin' but bad . . .

It has been another one of those days. Where you're glad at least you have your sense of humor or you would just lose it! You know what I mean! Here are my top 3 "favorite" parts of this morning, yes these all happened in the 4 hour period between breakfast and lunch:

1. Davis headed outside to play and I was in getting Carter dressed so he could join him. We have a fully fenced yard so I often let them out on their own, always keeping a door cracked so I can hear them yadda yadda. So Carter and I hear a knock at the door, foolishly I think maybe a package has arrived, but no it is my Davis . . .knocking on the front door. . .from the front yard obviously! I got him inside and freaked out, I guess I should just be happy that his first thought was to knock on the door, not wander to the park . . .So I followed him out back to see how this came about, worried the dogs may get out and him again. Turns out he pushed a chair to the gate, pulled the gate lock, and pushed the door open. Sounds simple enough but I was still pretty surprised he figured it out. Note to self, never be surprised! Lowell brought home some locks for the gates, so hopefully that will be the end of that problem, unless they learn to dig like the dogs.

2. Last night we took the munchkins to get their hair cut. Yes I pay someone to do it when I could just shave it myself. I don't know why other than they have crazy cow-licks (sp?) like their Dad. We tried the new Cookie Cutters in AF and I have to say it was really fun. More expensive of course, but Carter is obsessed with the game they had to play and they both told me getting their haircut was fun this morning. An added bonus, they both got a balloon with a sucker and a cookie cutter. Cute. It was until I was preheating the oven this morning to make some gingerbread and heard a loud pop. You guessed it, an overheating balloon exploded and filled the kitchen with a lovely melted latex smell. I am not even sure how to clean that up . . .

3. I finally got the laundry put away, yes this has been weeks in the making. When your first instinct when you are getting dressed is to trapse downstairs instead of to your chest of drawers, there is a problem. Of course house work has its consequences. . . I heard the boys giggling in the bathroom only to discover they had poured their bubble bath into the toilet and were now "making bubbles" by swishing the water around with paint brushes. I don't know where they come up with this stuff!

They were just buzzing today. It turns out that when my kids are tired, they just get more hyper. Hyper children think of much more interesting ways to torture their mother, as if staying up until midnight wasn't bad enough! We got them up early hoping to get them back on track but they were just crazy instead. Oh well, at least I have a record of it so one day when the "mother's curse" comes back to bite them I can say, yes dear, you were that bad!

But dang aren't they cute? Carter bundled up to head outside with his "pack-pack". They have a weird thing for back packs and they stayed dry in undies at WalMart yesterday so they scored some cheap Brobee packs, that yes have to go everywhere with them and are carrying nothing.

Davis, he has a crayon behind his ear and he thinks it is so funny. With the hair cut and back pack he looks like he could be heading off to school, so grown up! Probably fall they will do preschool so the "pack packs" may just come in handy.

My mischievious pair at the end of their evil doings and very near nap which thankfully was not too big of an ordeal. And yes they are nakey, our house is clothing optional after all.
And this one is just to get back at them for today :). And because it is oddly cute to me and also so picturesque of my life. I loathe potty training. Will it ever end?
One side note, we went to see a light display put to music last night and it was really fun. It was on the Lindon hill by the "Noni castle" if anyone knows what that is. You just park, tune your radio to the station on the sign, and watch. The kids (okay it was me that wanted to keep watching) really loved it! The website is www.holdman.com and there is directions on the site as well as video of last year's display so you have a clue what I am talking about. It's worth the stop, and besides, it's free! :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

It is certainly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, and not just because of the giant snowflakes (snow-nose as Davis would say) that were falling on us on the way home from the gym, but also because we have been all a flurry with exciting winter things to do and the boys are eating it up. It's safe to say that is why we are doing them. First, we had our first attempt at a gingerbread house, or as Carter would say, Christmas cookie house. I'll let the pics do (most) of the talking. :)

Lessons Learned:
1. When gingerbread comes in a box with a "good by" date, the good is used rather loosely.
2. Royal icing must be made by a subsidiary of Elmer's glue, but I think I like the taste of glue better.
3. The boys love gum drops but will spit out anything peppermint.
4. My boys are all goof balls (okay that wasn't a newly learned item).
Since the first attempt tasted so awful, I am going to try my hand at real gingerbread this week for our twin club's play group. Wish me luck!
Friday night I took the night off (hooray for me! This will be a sparce occurence for a little while as my dear friend and co-worker has abandoned me for another job) and we went to Zoolights, it was the free night for Zoo booster members so we took advantage (but yes it was busy). For those who haven't been, they put up all varieties of lights at the zoo including quite a few animated animals. The boys were enthralled even if we were all freezing. Grandma D came along which was nice. They had cocoa but we passed on the deep fried s'mores this year. The kids did score a little light up elephant wand thingy from their sucker Dad (only because I was in line for cocoa or I would have bought it!) which I would recommend for anyone going, it was only $4, less for members and the kids have gotten a lot of use out of it already. Anywho . . .here's us at the zoo.

Why do I always lean like I'm not going to make it in the shot? I always do! But Lowell always looks great, what can I say he is handsome and the camera loves him.
Friday was also Sinterklaas Eve which involved a frenzied stop at the Dutch store and a thankful heart that we made it in time (along with a handful of other people darting in the store and a less than thrilled check out gal). See I am 50% Dutch, my Dad's parents grew up in Holland and came over after the war. My Dad is the first American citizen in our family. So even though the boys are now merely 25% Dutch, it is still enough that Sinterklaas stops by our house on December 5th. As legend goes, you put your shoes outside on the 5th and Sinterklaas comes on his flying white horse and fills your shoes with candy and small gifts. It is the Dutch version of our commerical Christmas and they save the 25th for the religious celebration. My favorite difference is for the bad children. Here if you are bad you get coal, but in the Dutch tradition if children have been naughty Black Pete comes on his flying black horse and takes them away to be slaves in Spain. Sadly, my children were still safe in their beds with shoes full of treats on the 6th ;).

Those little brats always score! :) They are big fans of their new toys so all is well except they think Santa is going to come every night. Saturday I braved the mall and lived to regret it. The boys were actually excellent but the prices were not and I just got claustrophobic after a while, just too many people. So shopping is not done but I am not going back. I am retreating to the safety of my quiet little lab and online sites with free shipping. Saturday night we had the UVMOM couples only Christmas party. I just love those gals and it turns out Lowell is pretty rocking at name that tune. Good times.
Feeding the kids' obsession with Santa Clause, Lowell and Grandma P took the munchkins to see Santa and the reindeer at Thanksgiving Point tonight. Tip: the photo is free, but free stuff brings Utahns out in droves, so plan accordingly and come early. They will be emailing me the official pic (very thoughtful) but here is a preview.

The bubs think reindeer are super cool this year, every night they watch the skies to see if they can see any. And their other, odd to me, obsession is The Nightmare before Christmas. They can't get enough of "Jack" and can sing along with all the songs. We thought it may have been too scary for them, but I guess not. The bummer is they keep asking to go on the "Jack ride" when we go to Disney but as those of you who have been during the holidays know, the Haunted Mansion is only decorated with Jack in December. Hopefully all the other rides will suffice. Also think stretchy thoughts, we need 3 inches in 2 months to get the kids on the good rides, I think I can I think I can. . .
Well, there's all my holiday cheer for the day, upcoming this week: putting up the tree, getting cards sent out, and the lab Christmas party, hooray! If you want a card and I don't have your address, put in a comment! They are moderated and I will remove them so the whole world won't see it, just me! Kristen gets the prize for first card this year, and a lovely one it was. One last funny, the boys both sleep each night with a stuffed giraffe names Daddles. We got some spares as soon as they became attached to them. I was rocking Davis and just picked a Daddles but he quickly informed me it was the wrong one, the string that represented Daddles' nose had come loose and was dangling and thus could not sleep with Davis because it had a "booger". Good to know.