Saturday, December 29, 2007

I-t's c-o-m-i-n-g!! Oh no...it's c-o-m-i-n-g!! (Tune in January 1 to find out what Naomi knows
and you don't). :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

claim to fame

I can't believe the tsunami in Thailand was three years ago today. It seems like forever since that happened and since we were there. This is our claim to fame: we left Phuket 2 days before the tsunami hit. Our original plan was to stay there until New Year's but had changed plans just before leaving. We are definitely grateful we didn't end up staying. We stayed on Patong Beach and it was one of the hardest hit beaches. I remember where I was when I saw the tsunami on the news. I felt a sinking feeling and said a silent prayer. I had never felt more of a purpose for my life than I did that day.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6790977/

Monday, December 24, 2007

'tis the season to have the flu

With Christmas almost here families gather together to share a Christmas feast, sing Christmas songs and enjoy one-another's company. Unfortunately, my mom, brothers and myself all have the stomach flu. We were up last night making good use of the toilet. It has been awful and I pray that no one else comes down with it. Being sick on Christmas eve is bad enough...can you imagine puking on Christmas?? Let's hope not. Poor Dan spent his day off taking care of the kids and I. His Christmas eve feast consisted of a burger and fries from Burger King...one of the only places open tonight. I know things could be worse. I definitely am grateful for my health and all that I have available to me. We did sit down and read the nativity story out of the scriptures and watch Christmas movies. I'm watching Elf right now (gynormous is my favorite word) and then will hit the hay. God bless us, every one. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

o holy night

I want to dedicate this post to the two cute, little old ladies at Village Inn who endured an impromptu singing by Mason. He was singing O Holy Night, with all his heart, to himself. He squeaked out a couple of the high notes too. It truly was a melt-your-heart moment and I'm grateful the two ladies sitting next to us didn't mind. At least, they seemed to not mind. They watched and smiled during his little concert. Then returned to their lunch when he was done. I'm sure they would've loved an encore but he was too busy giving me high-fives. :)

happy, happy, happy




I want to wish my sister Therese a happy birthday today. No worries - I won't dispose how old you are. I will just say she is my oldest sister. :) I often get compared to her. She loves to call me her "mini-me". We shared a room for years and years. Oh - the stories I can tell...
I will definitely tell you I cried like a baby on her wedding day, in the sealing room...loudly. She would soon be leaving for Australia and I didn't know when I would see her again. Now she lives in London and it is going on four years and 5 months since I last saw her. But really, who's counting. ;) Love you, T. Hope you have a most extraordinary birthday.

Monday, December 17, 2007

that's how i wanna be

Traci, Traci, Traci!! SO excited you now have a blog. You are the best. I know Dayna already gave you a shout-out but I wanted to give you one too. Plus I have these cool pics of us and can you believe they were taken 7 years ago?!?! Time seriously flies and I don't know where it goes. It was AWESOME to meet up with you in Thailand. I'm sure you will agree it was the bomb. You are pure joy and I love that I can call you my friend. :)


find the almond - win a prize


My grandma Anderson's Christmas party is the best. We always have loads of food, visiting, laughing and fun. Most of all, I look forward to her rice pudding. She makes it every year and always adds a little love (everyone sigh). But she also adds one tiny almond to the batch. You see...not only does she make some tasty rice pudding that almost melts on your tongue, she turns eating it into a game. One lucky person will get the almond in their bowl-full of pudding. And that lucky person wins a prize (typically candy). I remember many Christmases examining the pudding and asking myself, "If I were an almond..."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Watch a Show


Recently, we've been working a lot with Mason in terms of time-outs and tantrums. He LOVES to watch Little Einsteins. When he is good, he gets to watch one show in the morning and then one in the afternoon (they are about 20 minutes each). He has learned that if he throws a tantrum and has to have a lot of time-outs, then he doesn't get to watch his show. He is starting to incorporate that into other things. For example, when we are reading books and the character in the book looks upset he will say, "He didn't get to watch a show and have a sandwich". It makes me crack up every time.

61" rear projection LED


You might be wondering why I have a picture of this girl on my blog. I don't know her...though she kind of does look familiar. Have you ever stopped to look at picture frames and realized the models featured look a bit familiar? This is actually a picture of our new TV. Three months ago I wouldn't have had a clue what LED rear projection whatever meant...I still kind of don't. All I know is it is huge, the picture is amazing and HD is the best. It doesn't hurt that we got it for free.

London

Now that my sister and her family have safely arrived in London, I'm trying to plan a time when I can go for a visit. England has always been a favored destination and unfortunately, in my 27 years of life, I have not yet set foot there. Of course, that doesn't mean I never had the opportunity to go. Would you believe, since I still don't believe it myself, that I was offered the chance to go and I turned it down!??! 'Tis true. I turned down the chance to walk the markets of Notting Hill, see the Buckingham Palace, eat authentic fish and chips with malt vinegar, visit Liverpool and walk across Abbey Road. Why? Honestly, I ask myself that question now and then (if we are being honest, it is more like everyday). Answer: dumb, naive and homesick. Or just lame, lame and lame. Yup...I think that pretty much sums it up.

Treats, treats and more treats


With Christmas season in full swing, I'm reminded of how it is truly the season of giving. Several giving trees have been up in supermarket entry ways and church foyers, asking everyone to give to those less fortunate than us. There are the advertisements asking for donations to the Utah Food Bank so everyone can have a delicious holiday meal. There have been stories featured on the news about people helping one another out in an extraordinary way. And, more close to home, our neighbors are dropping off gifts and goodies, wishing us also a very, merry Christmas. I'm wondering, since there are so many others in need, why do I have so much? And why, when people are hungry, am I having a hard time resisting another piece of homemade chocolate fudge or hand-dipped pretzels and find myself considering to join Weight-Watchers?! Do others not live in a neighborhood where treats and gifts are planned six months prior to December 1?! How is it that some people can give so freely and others simply cannot?? Charity and kindness are addicting when others around you are exuding it from every pore. I hope I can be better this year and the next and the next...and not have to join a weight-loss program January 1.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Birthday Dan

I am a total slacker in posting this late but I wanted to be sure and wish my hubby a happy birthday. Do I dare tell you it was almost three weeks ago?! We had a great day of celebration. I just want him to know how much I appreciate him. He is such a good father and a great husband. It also doesn't hurt to post this super cute photo of him. Love you babes. :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dubai

My sister is moving with her family to London from Australia. Since it takes 24 hours of flying to do such a move, they have stopped in Dubai for a two day rest. I had heard of Dubai before. I have seen it showcased on the travel channel and also saw pictures of this megahotel (is this the one where Agassi and Federer played an exhibition match on the rooftop?) but wanted to learn more. I had no idea where it was located or the history behind the city. Pretty darn interesting.
It is all very new and an up-and-coming city. One of the richest in the world. A lot of foreigners are now living and working there. It sits on the southwest side of the Persian Gulf. Northeast sits Iran and northwest is Iraq.
Apparently it is very hard to find native Emiratis because of the surge of foreign workers. They are a tiny minority in their own country. Women who live in the United Arab Emirates have a more open life and don't have to conform to the traditional Islam. They have more choices and options and can be very modern.

This, dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, also resides there. It is a man-made resort to resemble a palm tree. Whomever was motivated to create such a wonder is crazy. I can barely motivate myself to clean the bathroom. I guess this is much, much cooler than cleaning a toilet.
Hope you have fun, Therese and Alan, and enjoy your last of 80 degree weather for a while!! :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Birthday

Happy birthday Dayna! You've always been such an amazing friend. Do you remember going to the Cranberries concert many years ago with me on your birthday? Good times. I remember being on the dance committee with you back in the seventh grade and I felt so cool because you talked to me. You have a way of making whomever you are talking to feel like they are the most important person in your life. You are the most beautiful friend, inside and out. You are always so thoughtful and always thinking ahead. I hope you have an amazing day of celebration and get everything on your wish list. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Day of Thanks

This year we were able to spend Thanksgiving with the Anderson side of the family. It is always such a blast to get together. It turned out to be a beautiful day but still very, very chilly. We enjoyed loads and loads of food and visiting. My grammy always wants each one of us to share something we are thankful for. This year we had to come up with something that starts with the first letter of our name. We are such a creative family and love to laugh so you can imagine how that turned out. I cannot brag about my family enough. Today I'm so thankful for a wonderful husband and kids who fill my life with joy. I love my family and extended family and in-laws. I'm amazed at how lucky and blessed I am. Thanks for a great day of family fun grammy and grandpy!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy, Happy, Happy Anniversary

Today Dan and I celebrate our six year wedding anniversary. Seems crazy to have been six years already. We had a stellar day of celebration. We were able to attend the temple and then treat ourselves to a fancy, schmancy dinner. It was so wonderful to have an adult conversation without interruption! What a blessing to have each other and to also be blessed with two beautiful children. Our lives are definitely rich. I remember a particular stake conference when I was still in the student ward. President Batty was speaking about his wife and how he loved her more than he did on their wedding day. I can totally relate. I love Dan more and more each day. He still treats me like gold and, most importantly, he can still make me laugh so hard that I feel my stomach will explode. He is the best.

Here is a picture from our first date. We had met once before and barely knew each other. I asked him to a girl's choice institute dance on a whim. It was the most fun I had ever had on a date.
Here are a couple pictures from our wedding at the Bountiful Temple. It was the most gorgeous day.




Isn't this the coolest? We saw this car as we were walking through the parking lot to our car. (The license plate says "JAN-DAN"). We knew it was meant to be. :)



Bridal Shower

I had to post these pictures from one of my bridal showers. It was so much fun!! We all look so different now and have so much going on in our lives compared to then (i.e. marriages, kids, new jobs, new cities, etc). This was our "serious" picture.





This one was our "crazy" picture. Good times...good times...:)


(L-R back row: Jody Campbell Long, Mauri Larsen Winder, Alecia Fredrickson, Dayna Kidd, Brittany Peterson, moi, Kristen Olsen Thompson, Cami Brenchley Archer.
L-R front row: Ashley Blanch Steele, Jackie Hart VanZanten, Mindy Scmidt and Lisa Murray)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

AM 1390



YEAH!!! The holiday season has OFFICIALLY begun. Yesterday I turned on my favorite AM radio station to find they have started the annual tradition of playing holiday music. I was so giddy. It made me almost want to pull out all the Christmas decos and get started...

almost. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nicknames Part Deux

I'm sure no one cares but since posting Nicknames I have come to realize how my world is FULL of nicknames! I failed to mention a few. My friend Nate Bryan is the whitest person you will ever meet (at least when I last saw him). He could make my sister and I crack up over his little lingo. He had his own way of talking...more like rap-talking...hilarious! So he was knighted the nickname Nate Dawg (I realize this isn't totally original). We have since shortened it and just call him Dawg.
After going to Russia, Clint adapted the name Clintchik...which has morphed into Clintkins.
Dan adapted the nickname Dumble. I know, I know...you can all roll your eyes. Everyone has a pet name for their spouse, which usually makes everyone else vomit (the clip from The Family Guy comes to mind) on the spot but you need to know the background for his nickname. There is a Finnish chocolate called Dumle. VERY tasty and rare in these parts. For the longest time he would call it Dumble and I couldn't figure out what he was talking about. Therefore, Dan was knighted Dumble. We have even nicknamed my mom's cat...more like her sixth child. His name is Tabby to which we usually call him Tabster. My dad would call me his little skittle (am I going to find out this wasn't singled out for me and me only?!). Mason has even joined the bandwagon and calls Naomi - Omi. I think it is really because he cannot pronounce it quite right but it is so cute and will definitely stick.

At Peace

Do you ever have those moments where, amid all the chaos, peace sweeps over you like a breath of fresh air??! I had one such moment the morning of Naomi's baby blessing. Of course, the house was packed and so much was going on. Mason was not, and I mean NOT, having a good morning; crying and being difficult. Dan and I were rushing to get ready just to be on time. Realizing Naomi was not yet dressed, I started to panic and rushed her back to her room to get her dressed. Just as I was slipping on her little dress, everything stopped, she looked at me with those sweet little eyes and I was filled with peace. It was a split-second but the feeling has lingered. One can guess how that affected me since I'm still thinking about it two weeks later. I have been pondering of other times this has happened to me in my life...
The whole day of our wedding I felt totally at ease. But I had a moment when my mom and I were in the bride's room at the Bountiful Temple. She was helping me get ready and peace swept over me. I also had a moment when Dan and I walked hand-in-hand into the sealing room and were greeted with the warmest smiles from all our family and friends. I had a moment when my mom told me we would be moving to Russia (after much crying, of course). I had a moment when I walked across the stage at my high school graduation and my parents were halfway around the world. I had a moment when I gave my twin brother a foot massage when he was in the hospital. I also had a moment just after having Mason and then again with Naomi. I have had many wonderful moments like these and will spare you the long list but I'm grateful for these moments.

Load on the Cheese

Cutest dang kids on the planet. Of course, every mom feels that way about their kids, right? Mason and Naomi are the best. I love their little faces, personalities, the way they smell, everything. So perfect. Mason has the best little laugh and Naomi has the funniest facial expressions. Which leads me to the next picture...


"Do I offend?" (via Ducky on "Pretty In Pink"). Naomi cracks me up. I love the look on her face in this picture. This is definitely not a face only a mother could love.



First of many photo shoots





Cute, cute, cute!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Missing Green M&M

Tonight Mason went to the store with me. To ensure good behavior, I told him he could pick out one num-num at the checkout. He chose a little bag of peant M&M's which he ate on the way home. When we were almost to the house he kept saying, "Where'd the green one go?" I looked earnestly for the missing M&M after I got him out of his carseat. I couldn't find it anywhere and figured he must have thought he had dropped it but didn't. As we were getting Mason ready for his bath, we pulled off his diaper to find the missing green M&M. He saw it and excitedly yelled, "There it is!" Dan and I laughed and laughed.

Nicknames

I remember at a very young age, sitting on the school bus, dissecting my name to see what nickname people could call me. I had a friend named Brittany whom we called Brit. I had a friend named Ashley whom we called Ash. I had a friend named Tonilyn whom we called Toe. I also had a friend named Jacquleyn whom we called Jackie but mostly Jacks. But when referring to me, they called me Janelle...boring, nicknameless Janelle. I always felt so left out. The first nickname I do actually remember being called was Penelope, mainly by my oldest sister Therese. She always called me Penelope. I remember Jared Smith started calling me Penleope too which turned into Parnell and ended up just being Par. He still to this day calls me that. Then Brynn Miller would call me J. She too still calls me that. Then Jared Pulham started to call me Nell-O (i.e. "There's always room for Nell-O"). That has stuck. It actually goes really well since my married name starts with an O. Now I'm mainly known as Nells. I was thinking today how cool it is when people I've known for years call me the nicknames they came up with. I notice I usually shorten people's names as well and wonder if they like that or not. Dayna = Day...Lara = La...but the nickname I'm most proud of coming up with belongs to my sister Sarah whom I call Boog.

Gym

This morning I decided I was motivated enough to go to the gym. I haven't been there since having my baby. I have mainly been walking and working out on our elliptical. But I have been wanting to get back into the step classes, which I thoroughly enjoy...at least I should say until this morning. I felt like a football player in a ballet class. What happened? I wasn't out of commission THAT long. All of the sudden there were choreographed steps coming from out of nowhere! The Snowboarder? The Waterfall? Sheesh! Not only was the class PACKED but there were two men in the class who were actually doing these steps while I stood on my bench watching, flabbergasted.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

chocolate

How could something so tasty be so harmful to my child? I am currently nursing
our 2nd child and have found that when I eat chocolate, it makes her gassy and very fussy. I have been in denial but am currently in the process of trying to give up my favorite treat. I'm thinking the rubber band method will be perfect in helping me to break my chocolate addiction.

rubber band method


Have you heard of the rubber band method? In my classes at the university we would discuss this method. Not much to it. Basic principles are this: if you want to break a habit, slip a rubber band around your wrist and when you feel the urge to do whatever you shouldn't (such as break your diet or lose your temper) then you snap the rubber band. Usually, it takes two weeks to break a habit and this is supposed to be a way of helping that. I've taken it upon myself to try this out. Since having our second baby, I lose my patience a lot faster than normal. So when I'm about to break, I snap that puppy and it helps keep me in check. Sometimes I don't even have to snap it -- by merely looking at the rubber band on my wrist is a good reminder.

one


For all who know me, what I'm about to say is nothing new: U2 is my all-time favorite band. I was very happy when they decided to start performing again back in the state of Utah (which happened to be the year I was out of the country). But I vowed to never miss another U2 Utah concert again and have kept that promise. So, as you might guess, anything to do with U2 I love. Bono is noble in his cause to fight AIDS and poverty in Africa. He has been awarded many times over for his work and his efforts. The ONE organization is awesome and this is my next purchase.

Monday, November 5, 2007

magnetic art



As I was putting the clean dishes away this morning, Mason was playing around. I noticed it got quiet all of the sudden. I found him at the fridge lining up the magnets. It looked like a piece of art and I had to take a picture. I know every mother feels this way about their child but Mason truly is such a bright kid. He is gifted in so many areas and exhibits this giftedness in new ways every day. I just love to brag about my kids! They are perfect and I am grateful to have been entrusted with them.

baby blessing



On Sunday, November 4, we blessed little Naomi. It was wonderful. Dan did a great job. We had so much family support. They are amazing and I'm so grateful. We had a big lunch afterwards and visited the rest of the afternoon. Basically, it was a good excuse to all get together.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween




Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year! It is the one night where you can be anyone you want AND are allowed to go door-to-door to ask for candy. We loved taking our loot to my grandma's house, dumping it all out on the floor and sizing up our portions.

Birthday







My twin brother Clint and I celebrated our 28th birthday this week. Here are some pictures of us celebrating our 2nd birthday and pictures from this year. The Smurf big wheel I'm on was one of my favorite gifts I got from my parents. I still remember riding it up and down our street. I also loved this cake from our 2nd birthday. I was cute back then!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Humphrey the Bear

video

Here is a clip of my all-time favorite Disney cartoon.

Mason loves it too. When he wants

to watch it, he will say, "Mason boom-boom?"

Apples



There is an apple tree in the backyard which has been producing massive amounts of apples this year. Usually the birds or worms get to them first but we have found some that are untouched. Mase and I were outside the other day picking the good apples. Rather, I picked them and then handed them to Mase to put in a bowl. I realized too late that he had taken a bite out of each apple I handed to him. I guess I can't blame him...they are some of the sweetest apples I have tasted! Hard to resist.

He-Man







Mason had his first dentist appointment today. Of course we were a little anxious at how he would react. All week we have been talking about how cool the dentist is. We told him it is so much fun to have your teeth cleaned. We even had him practice opening his mouth and show us his teeth. The pediatric dentist was awesome and made Mason feel so comfortable. Would you believe there were TV's in the ceiling so kids can watch movies while they get their teeth cleaned?!?! I'm thinking Dr. Blanch should have added TV's to his office a long time ago! Afterwards, he gave the dentist two high fives and the dentist gave him a new toothbrush. He carried it around for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Extreme Makeover

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is one of my favorite shows. I love that it is a reality show that actually changes lives for the better. Usually I'm already in tears by the time Ty and the gang show up to surprise the home owner. This time was no exception BUT the reaction this family gave millions of viewers left me in tears from laughing so hard.

Here We Are

I'm definitely not original for starting a blog. EVERYONE is doing it...so why not me? I like to be an original. I am not a lemming. Lately though, I have felt a push to do this. I already tried twice and gave up. My title wasn't original enough. My postings were lame. My ideas not worth sharing. Whatever. Here we go...