Friday, December 10, 2010

Coco Turns 2!

Yes, this post is very late. I get really frustrated with Blogger if it doesn't upload my pictures immediately!

Cosette turned 2 on November 19th! Craziness! Here are some pics from her special day:

Opening up her present, a My Little Pony:

Coco is not a cake eater, so we had ice cream sundaes instead.

The fabulous Dave and Amber braved the snow and came to visit!

The next day, Coco's grandparents came for Thanksgiving, so we did another little party. Here is Coco with her Grandpa Rick:

And birthday girl pictures with Mommy and Daddy:

Some Facts about Cosette at 2 Years Old:
--She is pretty much the same as she has been since 6 months old. Very mischievous but also very affectionate.
--She's been potty trained for 2 months, even at night! I credit the cloth diapers!
--She is very very stubborn, which is probably why she is potty trained. She holds it for as long as she wants to hold it!
--She is obsessed with Scooby Doo, spiders, and monsters. If you ask her to tell you a story, it always involves, "Once a spider crawled up my back, and it was scary...and it went in my ear!"
--She spends a large part of her day gathering various cloths and covering any cat or stuffed animal with a "blankie" to put them to bed.
--She wakes up every morning with a hug for everyone and a loud, "Good morning, guys!"

We love our little Coco and can't wait to see how she does on our adventure to Japan!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Trip to Shoup!

Fox had two days off last week, so we decided to drive to Shoup before the snow came! We haven't been to Shoup in 4 years, and our kids had never been. We are so happy we went and were able to spend some precious time with Grandmama and Grandpapa.

This was the first time we had been since the mill burned down (Grandpa had a huge mill that was used for gold milling and also all of his personal storage). It was crazy to see the wreckage and hear the story of the fire. I begged Grandpa to tell me the story of the person behind the arson--an old business associate. He didn't want to tell me, because he has decided to be very positive about all of this.

Here is the makeshift shack that still contains the tools Grandpa uses in his gold mine tours:

Only a few items survived, like some of Uncle Jeff's Buddhist temple bells he had been storing there:

A picture of the fire. I never realized why it burned down so quickly, until Grandpa explained that all of his dynamite and propane was near the entrance! The fire burned for 3 days.

All of Grandpa's guns that we have shot with over the years were reduced to bars of metal:

Grandma (holding dog food or Kleenex?) outside the cabin, which is fully stocked with logs for the winter! Their cabin stays really warm with their wood stove going.

Cash and his great-grandparents! He loved them so much!

Enjoying the swings!

Beautiful Shoup!

I wish I got more pictures, but, as usual, I forgot my camera charger!
On our way home, we drove over a rock that flew up and busted a hole in the transmission of our rental car! We had to stop to let a huge herd of big horn sheep pass us, and the car started smoking. We knew it was bad. Luckily, everything got resolved, and we got home late but okay. It's not a trip out of Logan if we don't have car trouble! Of course, it was worth it to spend some time with our treasured grandparents!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Punishment or...?

Cash has been quite a handful lately. We love him dearly, but he is growing and learning and testing everything in his path! There are a few instances where we have tried so hard not to laugh as we were "gently correcting" (okay, punishing)him.
Some examples:
Cash has been picking up every word he hears, as is common with curious toddlers. The other day, we were playing legos, and he got frustrated. He yelled, "This is sucks!" Then said, "That's a bad word, right?" Hmmm...yes, but not conjugated correctly. The next day he yelled, "Sucksing!" when he spilled something. And today he yelled, "This sucks me!" So, I am not sure if I should be teaching him the proper conjugation of the bad word or just blatantly trying to ban this word from his vocabulary! I guess Mommy and Daddy should stop saying what we don't want him to repeat?

Another example:
We had 4 inappropriate crayon usages today. 4. And these were not washable crayons--they were cheap mystery-brand crayons. The couch, the carpet, the bedspread...all when we were not looking. Then, I saw the 4th incident occurring from the corner of my eye! Cash was scribbling on his sister's white bedframe. I screamed "Nooooo!!!!" (I try not to scream, but, come on, this was the 4th time in a day).
Cash explained himself: On Coco's bedframe, he had spelled the letters C-O-C-O. Cash:"It's her bed, so I wrote her name!" (and he did!)
Me: "Oh my goodness, Cash, you spelled your first word! That is so awesome! Now get in the corner! For the last time, we only color on paper!"

Parenting is hard.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Boo at the Zoo!

Today was Boo at the Zoo, the annual kids' Halloween day at the local (little) zoo. We went last year and had so much fun. This year was no different!
Here are the kiddos (Coco's is in Cash's costume from a couple of years ago. Free costume!):

As soon as Cash put on his Captain America muscle suit, he immediately became strong enough to lift a trash bag! I should make him wear that suit more often!

Visiting Zoya, the awesome fortune teller, who predicted that Cash would be very nice to his mommy today.

One of the many games for the kiddos. Cash won!

Aunt Kelsy was Coco's chaperone and in typical Coco fashion--spent a lot of time in the art area!

We love our little elephant!

I'm glad we went, even though Fox and I have recently decided to purge the kids from sugar as much as possible. We just made sure to hide the candy they got today! They have just been so crazy lately, and we wanted to see if it would make a difference. We started this week, and it has made a huge difference! Specifically, the kids have not had huge energy crashes and so have not been whining to watch videos. Instead, they have been calm, focused, and playing well with each other (as much as two toddlers can play well together)! We are excited to see if this keeps up. They weren't eating candy all the time, but all the fruit snacks, chocolate milk, potty treats, and random Halloween candy does add up!

Monday, September 27, 2010

We're Going...

to Japan!

Yep, we are moving there in January. Last week was a difficult one of discussing and deciding, but when we finally stopped to pray about it, the answer was incredibly clear. Immediately, we knew we were supposed to go to Japan, and every shadow of uncertainty instantly vanished. It has been so nice knowing what we are going to do, and we are so excited!

We are especially excited to have our kids experience another culture (Cash was 17 months old when we left and doesn't remember it). We will also be able to jump into everything without spending months trying to figure out where to go, what to buy, and how the heck to recycle. We will even be in the same prefecture, so we'll know where to go for emergency sort-of-Mexican food!

So time to break out the textbooks--I am determined to master basic conversational skills this time! Thank you for all of your love, advice, and support. We really appreciate it!

P.S. Here is what we are really looking forward to:

Best chips I have ever had--

--and yes, the best ice cream in the world!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Decisions, Decisions!

It has been a while since I have blogged! We have been carless for about a month now, so we haven't been doing much. My mom came to visit a couple of weeks ago, so that was really fun! It was so good to see her.

The big thing lately with our family is that we are faced with several decisions to make very soon about jobs and living. It is really anxiety-producing. Luckily, the weather has been gorgeous here, so we can ponder our problems while enjoying a beautiful day outside, which makes everything better. Anyways, the decisions we are faced with all come down to Fox choosing a career path. He has finished all of his course work in his graduate program and is just waiting on taking his final exam. After that, well, here is what we can do:

1.) Join the National Guard. Fox wants to join so that he can be placed in the linguist program to learn Chinese. He loves languages and also has to be fluent in 2 other languages if he decides to get a PhD in Folklore eventually. The cons of this are that he would be away from his family (us) for months at a time with possible deployment for a year when he finishes his training. Also, the Utah National Guard has so many people lining up to join that they have taken away all bonuses (so no student loan reimbursement or sign-on bonus).

2.) Go back to Japan. I never thought I would ever type that! Our friend Brandy is looking for new teachers in January, and she is ready to hire us on the spot. It would be just like our last job there, except better curriculum, more money, bigger house and car, close to the beach, and vacation time. In fact, we would be on the same island and in the same ward. There are so many pros and cons with this one--we don't even know where to start. The biggest con is isolation (it's a very small island and our friends in Marugame would be about an hour away)and the weather (extreme humidity in summer, homes aren't insulated for winter). The pros are--of course, Japan! It's awesome. The people are amazing. The food is delicious. Cuteness and culture abound! We have to let Brandy know by the end of this week.

3.) Sticking it out in Logan until Fox finds a job elsewhere. He's been applying to a ton of jobs, but it is the academic field, which is very competitive. Basically, he's qualified to teach high school or community college English/Composition.

4.) Moving to someplace in the U.S. that we love and hoping Fox finds a job there. Probably not the best idea in this economy!

Hmmmm...decisions! Of course whatever is best for our family will eventually be revealed, but any input is definitely welcome right now. We have been stumped and anxious all week.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Conversations with Cash

Saturday night, bedtime:
Cash: Mom, where does God live?
Me: God lives in Heaven.
C: No, where does he live right here?
Me: Well, I guess God lives in your heart.
C: Oh...(ponders this a few minutes, grabs his foot)...Jesus lives in my toenail.

Cash is almost 3 1/2 now, and I feel like he is becoming a different child lately. He asks a lot of questions, tells stories, and seems a lot less tormented than earlier this year. He is a really curious kid who still loves his naps and especially likes imaginary play. He has also started having conversations with himself where he asks himself questions that only he can answer. Example: What do you want for lunch today, Cash? Oh, grapes? Okay. (I am thinking this is normal, right?)

Cash is in just his undies 70% of the time, so it's hard to get a picture of him dressed. I wanted to show this picture to illustrate how Cosette can not get enough of him. She calls for him when she wakes up. Here, she had a lot of space to choose from, but she climbed up on the couch and sat almost directly on Cash's lap. He was annoyed, but she loves him so!

Most of the time, Cash is good-natured about Coco wanting to do everything with him, like here:

These kiddos definitely keep me on my toes and do end up slap-fighting if I'm not watching, but most of the time they play so well together. I feel like they are experiencing toddlerhood at the same time, which is so fun. They are actually the only kids in the nursery right I hope they stay good buddies for a long while!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Coco's Collarbone :(

Cosette had her first trip to the ER last night after she broke her collarbone falling off a bench at church softball. :( No fun, but she is being a little trooper. It is just a small break, and the sling is there to just make sure that she doesn't try to swing her hand up. The funny thing is that she is definitely a lefty, and she injured her left side. So, we are trying to train her to use her right hand more!

Collarbone breaks are really common, and she should heal within a week. She thinks her dinosaur sling is "pretty"!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Homemade Udon!

If there is one thing Fox and I miss about Japan, it is the food, especially udon. Kagawa prefecture, where we lived, is famous for its udon. You can buy it here for $3.50 a little pouch (yikes!), but we decided to try our hand at making it from scratch.

Coco rolling the dough out, before we put it in a plastic bag and smooshed the heck out of the dough with our feet. You alternate kneading and then smooshing several times. Very fun!

Fox sliced up some big noodles. The finished product:

Yummy! When the noodles are done, you can put them in hot memmi broth, which you might find in the Asian section of the grocery store, or cold broth. Fox likes cold. I like hot. Either way, udon is delicious! Oh, the things you can make with water, flour, and salt!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fun in Victorville!

My little family and I just got back from a trip to California to see my parents and siblings for our annual reunion. We had so much fun! Perhaps the most surprising part of our trip was how much fun the kids and I had in Victorville (otherwise known as "the ghetto", "Victimville", and "the armpit of California"--yes, it is not the safest place to visit). Before I left, I swore that I only wanted to spend a day in my boring hometown, but we stayed there four days and loved it! I think we were all just in awe of my dad's huge and beautiful backyard, coming from our tiny apartment. The weather was perfect there, too. And of course, seeing old friends is always the best!

The real reason the kids did so great on the 9 hour car drive: Reminders that they would soon be loving on Cookie, the family dog. I guess that bump/tumor/cyst on her back is just more of her to love?

Catching up with my very first bff Lisa, whom I hadn't seen in 7 years! She moved back to her childhood home and is marrying her very first boyfriend from fourth grade!

My dad has a little swing on the patio. As soon as Cosette would be ready for a nap, she would ask to swing, and I would push her until she fell asleep. Every day, without fail!

Dave and Mom next to some pretty pink flowers.

Backyard fun! My dad, who works so hard on his yard, was kind enough to let the kids ruin his grass for a few afternoons of slipping and sliding!

We had a lot of fun with Grandparents, sisters, brothers, and cousins on our trip. I love my family!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

18 Months Old!

This past month has been a month of change for Cosette, who is such a toddler these days!
Yay, I'm in nursery now!

Coco is still our cuddly and violent child. We are still trying to figure this one out. She is a cuddlebug but also loves to attack her brother and the kitties...and baby dolls! She has been sawing away at her baby doll for the past couple of weeks. Uh oh--I think we should be worried!

In the last few weeks, I weaned Coco and put her in a big girl bed. She has done great, except that she wakes up earlier in the mornings. So, she conks out often before I can put her down for her nap. Her toddler bed has been great! She loves it and never gets out of it unless it is morning and time to get up.

The best change for Coco: Auntie Kelsy is back! Kels babysat for quite a while the other day, and Coco didn't even realize we were gone (unlike Cash, who was searching for us...)

We love our crazy Coco! And yes, I will cut her mullet (eventually)!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Family Time!

*This post is way late, but I have been having trouble uploading pictures on our computer!*

A few weeks ago, I got to see four of my six siblings--yay! Tommy, Megan, Kelsy, and Dave...and even my mom! We had so much fun with them. I got to meet sweet baby Dax and do some fun stuff: chocolate factory, movie, dinosaur museum, Kangaroo Zoo, and of course, Target! (Come on, Logan...2 Walmarts and no Targets...really?)

Here are some pics:

Cute and cuddly Dax. I love this baby boy! He is all baby pudgy and yummy!

The cousins!

Aunty Amber meets Dax!

Aunty Megan catching up with Cash:

Mom, Dave, and Amber at the Dinosaur Museum.

I already miss everyone, but luckily we get to meet up in California in a few weeks. Yay!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Cash has been blessed this year with making some new friends--his sister included! Cosette has always been in love with Cash, but now he is finally coming around to thinking she is pretty special, too! They have their occasional moments where he threatens to throw things at her head and she sneaks up behind him to pinch the skin on his neck...but for the most part, they follow each other around, copy each other, and give each other the giggles. It is a mother's dream (that I probably just jinxed)!
Getting ready to play outside in April:

Having fun at an Easter egg hunt at Matthew's house:

Cash has also made great friends with another 3 year old in our ward, Matthew. They are great buddies and hang out a few times a week. When we don't see Matthew, Cash talks about when we can see him again! They also have their violent moments, but they are pretty equally matched, which means no bullying and less bruises!

We took a little trip to the Ogden Dinosaur Park the other day. My camera died after a few shots, but the kids had fun!

We are so grateful to have such good kids in our area. It makes life much more fun!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Spring!

April Fools! (said Mother Nature, as we looked out the window this morning). Boo.