Sunday, December 20, 2009

Five days to go...

I know this is cliche, but I really can't believe it's almost Christmas! We're so excited and have been so busy getting ready for the big holiday. We went to the Nutcracker yesterday (something Bri and I try to squeeze in every year if we can) but this year it was extra special because we got to take Chase! His favorite part was the mouse king, and the soldiers, and the Chinese dancers, and the Russian dancers and... :) I'm so glad he loved it because we always do.
Today was great for many reasons. We got a bench in Sacrament meeting - yay! And Clara just about fainted when she saw that her Christmas dress cam with a mini version for her dolly! She carried it everywhere all day. The Christmas program at church was just beautiful; I can't say enough about it! I really love this time of year, but having an amazing Sacrament meeting celebration is just the best. We also made our traditional Rice Crispy Wreaths this morning and took them to some of the kids' friends. It's always fun to do things with my kids that I did when I was a kid!

This week Bri only has to work two days (spoiled!) so we'll be hanging out with our little family doing our own Christmasy things until Friday afternoon. That's when we'll join the rest of the Eberts for Christmas dinner up at Bri's parents house. In the meantime I will be wrapping, delivering, and getting those last little gifts that always slip through the cracks somehow, and hopefully I will find time to get this house cleaned up too! We'll see...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Thanksgiving was delightful. Most of the DeFrancis clan came up for the holiday and Kim and Brad were kind enough to host (amazing since she's having a baby in a month)! Me and the kids made our traditional turkey treats which I've been doing since I was a girl - fun! We played games, had a baby shower for Kimmy, talked and watched football and ate and had a great time. My favorite part was Kim painted little pumpkins for each of us and put them at our place settings. She also had written a little note to each of us on our placemats about why she was thankful for us. It was really sweet. After leaving Kim's house on Saturday all the cousins (and their parents) went to the Discovery Gateway museum. It was a blast! I am grateful for so many things, but family is definitely up at the top. During such incertain times it's great to have a support system that you can always count on. Happy Thaksgiving!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Sleeping Booty Tinker Bell Princess

Clara is crazy into all things girly right now. She LOVES getting into my make-up, wearing at least sixteen 'outfits' a day, clomping around in my high heels, wearing pretties (jewelry), brushing her hair, painting her toes and 'ingers' and smearing gobs of lotion all over the place. I am pretty much used to her appearance, but I always get a kick out of peoples faces when they come to the door and see her wearing three frilly skirts at the same time and running from room to room singing and dancing like she's in a fairytale. She often grabs Chase by the hands and says 'Dance with me Chase!" followed by twirls and spins and leaps. Chase sometimes goes along with it (when I remind him that she plays star wars with him on a daily basis) but usually laughs at her and says dancing is for girls. Nothing makes him laugh like hearing her say "I'm a sleeping booty pwincess!" I have to admit it does sound pretty funny when she walks up to me with mascara smeared across her forehead and says "Look Mom, I'm booty!" The downside to all this is my makeup is getting absolutely destroyed (I end up wearing a little less every day) and so are much of the textiles in our house; from clothing to throw pillows - they all seem to be smeared with some sort of greasy lip smacker substance. I hope this is a phase, or I have one seriously vain daughter!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Great kids!

My friend Jill hates blogs because she says parents just gush over their darling kids all the time. So I'm just going to prove her right!
My two sweeties decided to bring me breakfast in bed last week all by themselves (Brian had already gone to work). I was spoiled with orange juice in a sippy cup (so it wouldn't spill Chase said) and Rice Krispies cereal and three large graham crackers. What an unexpected surprise! And just to keep things real for Jill, I'll add that the cereal and milk were knocked over and soaked my bed, and the kitchen was an absolute disaster when I went downstairs to assess the damage from their culiary preparations. It didn't even come close to putting a damper on how happy I was about their little surprise though. Thanks kids!
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Chats with Chase

Chase: "Mom, do you know where my school skating party is next week?"
Mom: "No."
Chase: "Oh great, I knew it."
Mom: "What?"
Chase: "Parents are supposed to be smarter than kids, but you're not!"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Welcome Casper

After last years' puppy fiasco (summary: we got a pug for Chase, only to find out Clara was allergic, then had to find the dog a new home, causing Chase's heart to break, and he has been writing her love letters ever since), we again took the pet plunge. We researched 'hypoallergenic' dogs (thank you Obama for making the world aware of such breeds) extensively. Then we narrowed it down to the breed we wanted; Mineature Schnauzer. I also threw in my own requirement: no puppies. I don't do potty training, or obedience training, or chewing, or hyperactivity; I have children to keep me busy with all of those things! Finally we found the perfect dog, and we brought him home just before Halloween. In honor of the holiday, and because he's a shiny white/silver we named him Casper. He honestly couldn't be a better dog, and we're SO happy to have him!
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Monday, November 9, 2009

More Halloween

Looking back at these Halloween pix, I can't believe how much we did! As the kids get older, holidays get even more fun. We had a great time carving pumpkins with our neighbors on Thursday (Brian did most of the carving). Then on Friday I put on a Halloween party for Chase's class after the school 'Costume Parade'. It was a little stressful (I didn't sign up to be the head room mom, but I'm doing my best), but Brian helped a lot. Clara was SO sad that she had to go home when the party finally got started. And on Saturday our ward put together a really fun 'trunk-or-treat' carnival. The weather was perfect which was a miracle considering it had snowed most of the week. Chase's favorite part was the doughnut on a string contest and playing Star Wars with all his buddies who were also dressed as Jedi's. Clara's was the cake walk and eating all the candy she could get her sticky hands on!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween Carnival

Our neighborhood had a really fun Halloween carnival the Saturday before Halloween, which was awesome because our kids were dying to wear their costumes and couldn't wait any longer! :) Of course Chase's Luke Skywalker costume wasn't finished yet, so he had to put this makeshift one together himself.

They had pony rides,

lots of yummy treats, (I'm not a big frosting girl, but even I couldn't resist the Kneaders famous sugar cookies)

Halloween Bingo, face painting,
pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating and more!
The weather was beautiful and we all had a great time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Picking Apples

We decided to go to a cute little apple orchard near our house and pick apples for Family Home Evening. It was FREEZING!

We all had so much fun!

Especially Brian who wasn't satisfied picking the apples within his reach. Apparently the ones at the very top of the tree taste much better!

Delicious! Now what do we do with all of them? :D

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St. George... Again!

Just as the weather threatened to get cold we escaped to St. George. It's becoming one of our favorite 'short trip' places, and thanks to friends and family members who have vacation homes down there it's funner than ever! We hung out at two awesome parks, played Bocce Ball, shopped and golfed and swam (the usual) , and most importantly relaxed. There were a few things that threatened to disenchant our vacation; Clara threw up all night the first night and was a little grumpy the next day, I biffed it hard on Chase's scooter - totally embarrassing myself in front of my kids, Brian (Mr. sunburn) forgot his hat and had to pick up a total trucker hat at the Maverick on the way to the golf course (it was hilarious!), but we couldn't help but have a great weekend anyway.

Happy Birthday Brian!

Brian turned 32 at the beginning of October! We celebrated at our house with all of his family. It was a Mexican themed party/planning session for our upcoming Ebert Family Christmas trip to Cancun. We had quesadillas (thanks to Heather and Dan for bringing the amazing quesadilla maker), 7-layer dip and our favorite limeades. I made a 'Mayan Ruin' birthday cake for dessert. It was fun! Happy Birthday Bri, we all love you so much!

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Clara's Buddy

Meet Jaden, our next door neighbor. He and Clara have developed quite a bond, and she asks to play with him almost every day. Usually Jaden comes walking over in his UGG's with his stroller, and his diaper bag, and his purse, and two or three babies. Clara absolutely loves it!
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It's coming...

Pulling out the halloween box has never been so exciting! We can't wait for Halloween!
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I was fortunate enough to go to Yellowstone National Park with my mother-in-law Diane, and my two sisters-in-law Michelle and Heather. It was Michelle's 30th b-day bash and it was a blast! We saw 8 bears and a bunch of other wildlife too. I think the weather was perfect, and the changing leaves were beautiful!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sandy City Triathalon

Bri competed in the Sandy City Triathlon for the second year in a row, and did a great job!

The weather was absolutely gorgeous...

And he made it look effortless!
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

First Day of School

Chase was thrilled to start school again this year. He has a wonderful teacher and has made some great friends already. The most exciting part of his first day was 'Frederico', a little boy in his class who didn't speak English. No matter what else I asked him about, he always came back to Frederico. Chase was absolutely fascinated with him! And almost every day since then Chase comes home and reports on the new words Frederico is learning. His favorite part of school is recess, where he plays freeze tag almost every day.
As for me, I have quite a sweet set-up now that school has started again. I hang out with the kids in the morning doing our morning routine which consits of breakfast, our daily devotional, chores and play time or running errands. Then we eat lunch and take Chase to school. After dropping him off Clara and I come home, I put her down for a nap and I have two and a half hours to do whatever I need or want to do before Clara wakes up and Chase comes home. It's a dream! I'm also Chase's room mom this year and am surprised to see how excited he is to have me there. I love it.
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Primary Talent Show!

Watch out world! Our ever-talented son performed his 'Robot' dance moves at the primary talent show, with precision that would have made the silver painted street performers in San Francisco green with envy! I have no idea where Chase actually picked up these skills, but he's been entertaining us with them (along with a couple other break dance moves) for a couple years now. I'm proud that he did it in front of such a large group!
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Sunday, October 11, 2009


One of my favorite parts of the summer was the debut of our first ever garden! It took a lot of preparation; attending gardening classes, reading up on the subject, getting our garden area ready, the grow boxes built and divided, etc. so we were a little late planting. I have to admit I was overwhelmed at times (did you know a zucchini isn't called a zucchini on the seed packet, it's called a summer squash and there are a gazillion varieties?) and I was very skeptical that anything would really grow. But come what may I was thrilled to be giving it a try. Just like the book promised, we started to see little sprouts in about a week! We had so much fun checking on the progress every day, but the real excitement came when we actually saw fruits and vegetables growing! Now I must confess that we made some mistakes (we seriously underestimated the actual size of a tomato bush for example, and how many tomatoes it would produce. And aparently you can't pull a radish out to check it's progress and then stick it back in the ground) but everything we harvested tasted delicious. The convenience of getting fresh lettuce and tomatoes out of the back yard for my sandwiches never got old. We learned SO much from our little garden this year and can't wait to make some modifications and do it again next year!
Although we didn't grow these apples, we also attempted our first ever apple pie this summer. I guess the garden got us in the mood to try new things! Thanks to our handy dandy apple corer/slicer/peeler and the pre-made pie crusts from Pillsbury, it was a breeze! And oh so delicious.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

For the Beauty of the Earth

Albion Basin in July is one of the most beautiful places on earth! The snow finally melts and there are wildflowers everywhere. I took the kids up for a picnic one afternoon and we had a great time catching dragonflies and chasing chipmonks. Unfortunately a developer wants to build out the whole area (devastating I know), but in the meantime it will be one of our families favorite picture taking, hiking and picnicing spots!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chats with Clara

Mom: What do you want for breakfast Clara?
Clara: Sugar.
Mom: We don't eat sugar for breakfast, what else do you want?
Clara: Chocolate chips.
Mom: No, we can't have that for breakfast either. What else do you want?
Clara: Honey.

Obviously I'm asking the wrong questions! Instead of "what do you want for breakfast?" I need to ask "do you want eggs and toast or cereal for breakfast?"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

SIX years old!

Chase turned six in July and wanted a LEGO themed birthday party. We had just the family this year (I'm trying the every-other-year friends party) which was so much easier and so much fun! Chase wanted me to make a LEGO cake - which he was delighted with (thankfully) and I was less than delighted with (I wanted to cry by the time we were done). At the party we played 'Guess how many LEGO's are in the jar' and 'hot and cold' with a hidden LEGO guy. We also had to create something with LEGO's and then guessed what each other had made. Good times. Thanks everyone for making Chase's birthday a success! And thanks to Chase for making me smile every day for the past six years.

For Grandma Jodee

I know I was supposed to post this months ago, but here it finally is!
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San Francisco!

Somehow my pictures got out of order, so here I am playing catch up again. Here are some pix of our super fun trip with Dave and Jill, to San Francisco, for the fourth of July. Unfortunately in San Francisco, Independence Day is freezing cold and the cloud coverage makes it near impossible to see any fireworks so we had to go shopping instead... shoot. :) The trip in a nutshell: we rode across the Golden Gate Bridge on tandem bikes to Sausalito, ate, shopped, visited Alcatraz, the MOMA, saw Wicked (always a treat), ate and shopped some more, rode the trolleys and overall had a blast! I met Matthew from HGTV's 'The Stagers' which was cool too.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Zack!

So my Baby brother is turning into an old man!

We had a little painting party at his new apartment in Provo, but took a break to celebrate his birthday too.

This is my second experience making a cake with fondant icing, and I'm learning more about it each time. This time I learned that it turns to super glue when wet, so don't assume you can put a little black 'soccer patch' on and move it into position. Oh no, once it's made contact it's not going anywhere.

His cute wife Kylee helped pretend to blow out candles... because I forgot to bring a lighter. And a knife to cut the cake (we used forks) and cups (we passed the pop around and took swigs from the bottle - we're all family right?). Happy Birthday Zack!
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Fo Kimmy

Aunt Kimmy is always finding cute things for her neices and nephews. She got this red dress for Clara at least a year ago, but Clara's finally big enough to wear it. So Kim, here's a picture of how it looks on her... and thanks again!
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Growing Up...

This summer Chase hit a big milestone: losing two teeth! He feels extremely proud and grown up. Now I have to confess that loose teeth and all the gore that goes with them makes me ill. I got weak when I saw Chase wiggling them and couldn't even look when it was tooth brush time! I was really hoping the dentist would yank them (we coincidentally had a check-up scheduled while they were loose) but no such luck. The first one fell out at a friends house and was knocked into the carpet where it was officially declared 'lost'. So we wrote a very nice note to the tooth fairy pleading our case. Luckily she was feeling generous because she left him a paper dollar and a silver dollar in his tooth pillow! The next tooth fell out at home the following day so the tooth fairy was on duty two nights in a row. Unfortunately she was all out of silver dollars so she had to go to Smiths Marketplace where each and every cashier searched their tills on Chase's behalf. No silver dollar turned up, but apparently there are gold dollars in circulation now and one was found in the very last till! FFHHEW! I have no idea why the tooth fairy set the precedence of a coin dollar but once she started it she had to continue it! And here's a picture of Chase's new 'big' teeth that are coming in.
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Funny picture!

I thought this was hilarious!
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