game night

Our ward holds an annual "Game Night".

The idea is to come and just play games.

And eat too.

And if you're really talented, eat while playing games.

There is usually a good turnout.

And I think most everyone that comes has a good time.

Even the kids.

My boys watched a movie.  I think they were part of the few that stuck it out for the entire movie.  They're a little deprived...

The big deal is the Ping Pong tournament.  It's hard to see, but the chalkboard in the background has the winner's bracket and the loser's bracket all mapped out.

Our ward takes it seriously.

Once the Ping Pong tournament is complete, the night is finished off with a couple rounds of "Lightning" (a.k.a. Knock Out).

It's a fun night, and we always enjoy it.

And our kids have a license to just be goofy for a night.  Take note, however, that they're not alone...


the boys LOVE their dad

Although I'm home with them every single day, Drake and Graham have definitely picked out a favorite parent, at least for now, and it's not me.

Maybe it's because I'm home with them everyday that they choose their dad over me in most instances.  I'm okay with it, because I'd pick him over me too.  Sometimes it would be nice to feel a little love though.

If you're thinking "It can't be that bad," the following picture is exactly what happens after I set the table for dinner.  I set the plates evenly around the table, and the boys move them next to wherever Dad is going to be sitting, almost every single night.

Guess which plate is mine...

mirror update

When we first moved in, this was the bathroom on the main level.

Beautiful, I know.  So we put on a splash of nice blue paint.  Take note of the cabinet.

When it comes to the cabinet in the bathroom, I liked having the easily-accessed storage.  But that's about it.  Most soap dispensers were too tall to go under it, and it just didn't lend much to making the counter space look "nice".

So, I finally picked out some wood, we removed the cabinet, and Shad put his skills to work to make me a nice frame to go around the mirror.  Voilá!

And we replaced the light fixture... not that we didn't appreciate the home-made one that used to be there, of course.

The cabinet will end up in my "craft room" downstairs, where I will appreciate it much more.  Once I have the counters clean, I'll take a better after picture so you can see how much it opens up the bathroom.  All in good time.



It's been years, literally, since either of us have been skiing, but we both enjoy it.

So finally, mid-February we took the opportunity to go night-skiing with a big group from our church, and we brought along all the kiddos too.

This was the view of the valley looking out from the parking lot when we first arrived.

Drake and Graham thought it was great to just play in the snow (sorry it's so dark).

We rented skis for Drake because he wanted to try it.  I think he enjoyed it, but only for one or two good runs.

Graham didn't go skiing, but he loved to be outside anyway, just walking around in the snow.

Although Graham refused to take off his coat and snowpants, the kids mostly hung out in the lodge while Shad and I traded off skiing.  They were educated on maps and various other things. 

At one point, we left all three kids with some friends and got to go down a few times together.  We had a great time and I'm glad we went.  Much thanks to everyone who helped make it possible!

brothers, for better or worse

Drake and Graham are the best of friends.

Most of the time, they get along pretty well.

Not always, but most of the time.

They enjoy the same things.

And like to do whatever the other person is doing.

So you can be pretty sure that if one boy starts doing something...

...then very soon there will be two boys doing it.

Graham really looks up to Drake.

And Drake is very good with Graham.

A little weird sometimes, but still good (that's a tomato cage in case you're wondering).

Drake enjoys teaching Graham new things.

And they always enjoy the same ol' things.

Even if Graham wakes up from a nap crying, Drake can usually find a way to make him happy (in this case it involved eating hot cocoa mix with a spoon).

So here's to my two boys.  I love you both!


love is in the air

Shad and I celebrated Valentine's Day, a few days before the actual holiday, with dinner and a movie and no kids.  Weird, huh?  Thanks again Tiffany for watching them (and cleaning our house)!  On the actual day, we just hung out as a family.

Earlier in the week we made valentines for each other.  Graham was very proud of his.

Drake still hasn't stopped making valentines...

I just love this guy.

Happy Valentine's Day!

weekend in utah

The beginning of February, we drove down to Utah for several events.  The first was the wedding reception of my cousin's son, Josh, who married Morgan.  The reception was really fun.  We got to see a whole bunch of family from my mom's side.  I don't get to see them very often, so it's fun to stay in touch in person once in a while.

Another wonderful thing about the reception was the ice cream bar... need I say more?

Sunday, we went to church at my Uncle Bob and Aunt Catherine's ward.  They just got home from a two year mission in the Oakland Temple Visitor's Center, and they loved it.  It was neat to hear of some of their experiences.  The choir that sang during the meeting was made up of about two dozen women who had served with Bob and Catherine at some point.  Very cool.

Unfortunately, for the "homecoming" fun, I left my camera in the car, and it was quite the walk to go back and get it, so I stole this picture of "the cousins" from one of my cousin's blogs (Thanks Deborah).

Aside from those two events, the rest of the weekend was spent just hanging out with the siblings.  With our car parked just a few feet from the apartment, it was easy to grab the camera.

Ah, brothers.

We had a good time just watching the two of them go at it.

Drake has been introduced to wrestling, and likes it, but he usually gets a little carried away, in the silly sense; either that, or he gets tired of Graham beating him.

Yes, that's right, sweet, silent Graham can "win" a wrestling match with Drake.  He's often the first to initiate it.

I think Jayden wanted in on this match.  Check out those bright blue eyes and hypnotic stare.  I love it.

You are getting very sleepy...

Jayden is Nathan's little boy, and he's growing up fast.  He's a cute kid and he loves to smile.

Trent decided to get a haircut from Adrienne (Nathan's wife).  His wife, Amy, took mental notes.

Amy was also in charge of wetting his hair.  I think she's got it down.

We played a fun game that involves a whole lot of dice and whole lot of randomness.  It's called Dicecapades.  One of the things my brothers had to do was arm wrestle, and whoever won the challenge got to advance their playing piece.

Neither wanted to lose... I think they finally just called it even.

We had a fun weekend.  On the way home we stopped at Shad's grandparents house to say hi for a bit.  Shad's grandma adores Avery and looks forward to seeing her any chance she gets.

Whenever we're with family, on either side, it always makes me wish we were closer.

But I don't usually mind the drive home, and apparently neither does Drake.  Nothing will stop that kid from sleeping when he wants to.  Nothing.