Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wonderful Week at the Whitney's

This past week was so much fun. We had our much anticipated visit from family and a nice vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. It all started on Saturday when we met my family in Gatlinburg at one of the beautiful time shares. It was my birthday so when we arrived they had decorated our room with balloons and streamers. The kids thought that was so cool. We spent Saturday afternoon and evening playing games, doing puzzles, and visiting followed by a delicious birthday dinner at Texas Roadhouse. Yum!

Jackson and Sydney in front of the time share

Grandma Gifford, Jackson, Jared, Sydney, and Jacee

On Sunday we traveled to a neighboring town for church in the morning and then spend the afternoon making treats with the kids and of course taking naps!
Sydney and Jackson in their new Christmas outfits from Grandma Gifford

Grandma helping Sydney make "chocolate bugs"

Jackson loved it when Jacee would wrap him up and hold him like a baby.

Monday and Tuesday were filled with shopping, shows, eating, more games, swimming, reading, and everything else a relaxing vacation has to offer. It was so nice. On Wednesday morning we packed up and headed for Grundy by way of a yummy Tennessee flapjack house. On Thursday (Thanksgiving) we took the family on a tour of the happnin' town of Grundy, VA. That night we made a very simple Thanksgiving dinner and were joined by my oldest sister Sherri. She drove all the way from Las Vegas and will be staying with us for the next several months while she goes to Hair School. We're very excited to have her here!

McKay, Jackson, Mom, Dad, Jacee, Jared, and Sydney in front of McKay's school

Thanksgiving dinner

Jackson and Sydney helping Sherri move her stuff into our house

On Friday we drove to Pikeville, KY (about an hour from our house) and did some shopping. On our way home we went to Poplar Gap and played. This morning we said good-bye to everyone and they left for the airport. It was a great week. I wish we lived close enough to have more visits like this one. We miss being close to our family.

Poplar Gap with the fam

Jackson & Jacee

Jared messing around. (and that's Jacee giggling like a teenager, not me!) ;-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

I looked out the window and what did I see?

Well, it finally came. After a week of freezing temperatures, we finally got some real snow. Now, I know that according to Utah, this is probably not considered real snow, but it was enough for the kids to play in, and have the streets plowed and that's all the real I need!

Sydney could not wait to get out of her pajamas and into the snow!

McKay had a little bit of trouble backing into our icy drive way. Notice the nice zig zags he made while sliding?

McKay said the snow tasted like coal dust...hmm.

Jackson had much more fun this year than last, but he's still getting used to the idea playing in the ice cold white stuff.

In the movie "Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas" Goofy makes a snow angel. Sydney has always wanted to make a real snow angel of her here it is.

Oh, and McKay couldn't let Sydney out-do him!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Are you SERIOUS???

It seems like just yesterday that I posted this picture...

...showing that it was just 11 days until the visit from our family.

Hard to believe that the chain now looks like this...


New Hair

McKay is constantly on my case about not having many pictures of me (on our blog and in general), so here's one for you dear. This is a picture McKay snapped after my most recent hair cut (Thanks Andrea!) Sorry for the strange smile...

This was my first experience with professional highlights. I must say I like them way more than the orangey excuse for highlights I did myself in high school. ;-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Note to self

One of my friends at school called me with an emergency last night. She had a dead battery, but luckily someone with jumper cables stopped to help her. Relieved, she set down her backpack to help this good Samaritan place the jumper cables and start the vehicle up. When it was all over, the person packed up the cables, said goodbye to my friend, and drove away. So why did she call ME if this emergency was seemingly taken care of by this Samaritan stranger? Jumper cables were not her emergency. Her emergency was that the good Samaritan, when he drove away, he drove right over her backpack she had set down on the ground. Her computer was in the backpack. Finals are a month away. Ahh. Now the emergency is evident.

No problem though. Her hard drive was not damaged and we were able to get all her data off and saved to her USB flash drive. (ok, the one pictured is not her damaged computer, but it looked close)

Moral of this story-- back up your data because you never know when some well-meaning citizen will stop to help you with their jumper cables, then subsequently run over your computer.

For anyone with young kids:

Tonight was one of those nights when Keresa had a book she wanted to read, and I had a new piece of software I wanted to figure out, and we both just wanted to work on our stuff and have the kids watch Nemo and sit still. Well, when you WANT the kids to do that, they have more wiggles than at any other time of the day. So we tried something that seemed to work: Rug Wars!

We made the kids clean all the toys, shoes, pillows, etc., out of the family room so there was a big space in the middle of the floor. Then I told them we would play a game called Rug Wars. I was sitting in the rocker at one corner of the big rectangle rug, and Keresa was sitting at the other corner on the couch. I had my computer and Keresa had her book. I told the kids the rules were they had to run around the rug making sure to stay on the outer edge of the rug, and if they could run fast enough, they wouldn't suffer a spank from Mom or Dad. So they went to running! Every other lap or so I would reach down and offer a spank. Keresa did the same. The kids had TONS of fun, and all we had to do was swing a hand every 20 seconds. It was like parenting on auto pilot :) After every 20 laps or so, they would stop in at the rocker and "take a rest" while I would show them how to relax and take deep breaths, and I would blow cool air into their scalps. Kind of nasty or weird, but they liked it. Then they would get charged up again and play more Rug Wars.

After a solid half hour of running, they were both so tired we threw them in the bath, then in their beds, and we haven't heard a peep. Maybe we'll play Rug Wars more often.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


This morning we made a chain to help count down the days until Grandma & Grandpa Gifford, Sherri, Jared, & Jacee come to visit! 11 DAYS! We can't wait! We'll see you soon!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Guess What We Did?!?

You got it! We set up our Christmas decorations this past weekend. I was handing Halloween boxes to McKay in the attic on Saturday and then he started handing down Christmas boxes. He claims it's because he doesn't want to make an extra trip up there, but we all know he just LOVES Christmas!

After hanging the porch lights we realized only 28 of the 72 lights actaully work. I guess it's time for some new ones. So sad.

Sydney thought it was so cool to help "fluff" the tree. She went around with a very serious face pulling and pushing the branches here and there. This is her first year helping us set up the tree. We usually do it while the kids are taking or nap, but this she got to help. Lucky!

Here's a video of Sydney in action, working on the tree.

We told Jackson that he isn't allowed to touch the tree, only look at it with his eyes. We've walked into the front room several times to find him standing with his hands to his sides, leaning as far as he can forward just staring at the tree. I think he likes to see his reflection in the glass balls. He, along with McKay, think it's pretty cool that Spider Man hangs on our tree every year. (you can see part of him on the very right side of this picture.)

Once all the Christmas decorations were set up we went out into the front yard to play in the new yellow leaves on the ground.

The kids thought it was fun to cover Dad in leaves.

Here's a video of us outside.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What you learn at preschool

Today while we were eating our dessert, Sydney started telling us about her day at preschool. "While we were sitting in a circle today, our teacher made us say Rock Obama!" When Keresa and I reacted with surprise, Syd asked me, "Daddy, is he a nice man? Or a not nice man?" I told her we wouldn't know for a while, and we would just have to see.

"Rock Obama" in a Sydney voice sounds a little different.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Flash Back

I was looking through some old family videos this morning and decided to start doing a monthly (or maybe weekly) Flash Back Post. Because I also use this blog as my journal, this will give these old videos a chance to make an appearance. I hope you enjoy!

This video was taken in December of 2006. Jackson was 2 1/2 months old and Sydney was a month shy of her second birthday. (Remember to pause the music so you can hear the video)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Always Pretending

While I was making dinner the other night the kids decided to use the garbage can lid as their pretend toilet. They would take turns sitting on it and then cheering for each other when they would "go pee pee". (Kinda gross I know) Sadly, it all ended when Jackson went a little too far with the game... he was confused when his legs were all wet. When he came to me all I could do was laugh. In his little voice he did a nervous laugh and said "Eew mommy...not funny." Sydney in her grown up, scolding voice said, "Ugh! This is not a real toilet Jackson! This is a pretend toilet! Ugh!"