Monday, September 29, 2008

What Happens in Vegas...

We are in Henderson, NV right now, which is just a bit outside of Las Vegas. We are staying with Jamie and Ryan in their very cute and VERY spacious apartment, and are having so much fun. During the drive from St. George to their apt., Josh never stopped chanting, "Ry-Ry, Na-Na." (that's over an hour)

Thank you Jamie and Ryan for opening up your place to us and our noisy and busy boys!
(will they still want kids after we are done here?)

We all went to the World Buffet at the Rio hotel & casino for "lunch". (though we haven't eaten since) YUM! Josh hardly stayed in his chair, but kept running to the wall of bubbles. He thought that was where they kept the fish!

A buffet to Josh is as many straws you can fit in your mouth.

Luckily this buffet was free for the boys, since, combined, all they ate was: 2 soda crackers, 3 pieces of fruit, a couple of spoonfuls of macaroni, and 3 bites of a corn dog. Then of course, some ice cream!

What is free on the strip that Josh and Jack would love? The aquarium inside Caesar's Palace. Josh probably is probably in the background of every picture being taken during our visit, since he moved as fast as lightning around the aquarium!

We also happened to be there at the time the really weird show started, you know, the one with the talking ad moving statues. But there was some fake fire that got the boys attention.

Thanks for the food and fishies, Vegas. We'll see you later.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Accepting Fall

I am always a little bummed to see summer go, because that means that the cold and snow are imminent. I LOVE the summer! But, there are some great things about the fall as well and I guess I will let it all come now:

  • Canyon drives with colorful leaves.
  • Home-made doughnuts on Halloween. Mmm.
  • The heat from cooking and baking won't make my house sweltering.
  • Trick-or-treating with my boys. (any costume ideas?)
  • I get to wear my favorite long sweater.
  • Christmas Shopping! (we have been getting that done by November and it's great)
  • Lighting candles again.  (ooh, time for spice scents)
  • Visits to our CA family. (so seeing vineyards' INCREDIBLE colors)
So, bring it Autumn.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kickin' the Bottle

Jack, we need to talk.

We've been concerned about you and your addiction to the plastic containers, and feel like it's time to give it up. Here are some of things we, your loving parents, have seen that have pushed us in this direction.

Your crazy music tastes have been heavily influencing your big brother.

Look at those red-rimmed eyes. Like you can hide from us, buddy.

The worst: passing out in hotel rooms. See, the bottle is even stuck in your hands.

Yeah, we feel that it has gone on long enough. We love you Jack, and this is all out of love!

(Jack has actually been off his bottles for about 3 days now... the transition has been okay)

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I don't mean to be cheesy in this post, and sorry, there are no pics. But I had a great day yesterday! I have to share, in hopes that you will do some of your own reflecting on the state of your contentment.

  • I woke up finally being able to walk on my mysteriously swollen knee, so the day was already starting on the right foot. (HA! I couldn't resist) 
  • The smell of different household cleaners was a sign that we were being productive, and that I won't have to use them again for a week!
  • Although my boys love to yell at me, I was happy to be able to get down and play with them again, realizing I had missed it the last 3 days.
  • I was so happy to be going out with Dan, to the temple and to get some yummy Chinese food.  (I have to say here that I was overwhelmed all day with feelings of gratitude for Dan, our friendship, our marriage, and for just knowing how strong we are together.)
  • I was able to have a wonderfully spiritual morning, on a Saturday!
  • Could the weather BE more perfect?!
I just felt so good, and still do today. I love my family and the things we do together. When a respected woman in our stake was asked how she has kept her grown family so close and happy in the gospel, she replied, "Just have fun together." 

I love that!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Aunt Amanda!

When we met Amanda, we instantly liked her and were so excited that she was joining our family. She is PERFECT for Ben, and has really "helped" him grow in to who he is today. (a better version of himself, and getting better all the time) But isn't that what spouses are for?!

As I was searching my computer for pics of Amanda, I really was at a loss. I feel bad that I don't have more. I know Jamie would, since she is the designated photographer. But, then I realized that I'm not surprised. Amanda has such a gracious, supporting personality that she is happy to not be front and center... like our entire family. (you know who you are!)

This was the day of Jamie and Ryan's wedding. Any wedding is exhausting, so don't think that Amanda isn't a smiley person. Plus, look at the huge favor she was doing me by taking Josh!!

Josh was pretty sneaky on Amanda's lap. He figured that no one would ever hear the chip bag as he tried to steal the contents within.

See, in this pic, I am almost positive someone who is biogically a Goates is telling some sort of (long) story! Just look at those patient faces.

We miss Amanda so much. She is a wonderful Aunt, and my boys LOVE her. We miss the way she pronounces certain words differently from us Utahns! She is a great example of patience, faith in the Lord, and sacrifice.

Happy Birthday!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Last 5 Days...

We love to be busy, and this has been the best kind - family busy. In just the last 5 days we have been to the zoo, stayed in Park City, and had fun at the Utah State Fair. Whew!  I have to admit that we lucked out on discounted prices every where we went. For some reason the zoo was closing early and tickets were 1/2 off, the Alpine Slide prices are down for the season, and the fair tickets were also discounted for whatever reason. Yay for discounts!

Josh LOVED the reptile house. This was a poor, little lizard with only 3 arms that ran right to the window when it saw Josh. He thought that was the coolest thing ever!

Jack also got some attention from this cute little monkey. (totally forgot the name) They were giving each other high-fives!

Josh is loving elephants right now, and we were lucky enough to go during lunch time. He can re-enact for anyone how an elephant eats grass.

I will let you narrate this pose by Dan. Leave it in the comment box!

We took Josh up the ski lift to the top of the mountain to ride down the Alpine Slide. Nothing phases this kid. He didn't even notice, or care that he was 80 feet up in the air. It was just another normal day...

This was Jamie's b-day weekend, and she came to spend it with us! 

Josh would not let Dan touch the brake stick. So those two ended up going full speed the entire way, because they kept up with me and I never put on the brake. He kept yelling, "more, more!"

Every time we would get on the elevator, Jack would hold on for dear life! This was the most thrilling ride of his stay. (although, he would have loved the slide)

We couldn't just walk past the ponies without putting Josh on one. For those who know him, he LOVES animals. This pony is Thunder, and in this pic Josh is trying to get him to go faster.

For any other kid, the pony ride would have been the hit, but for Josh being able to walk right up to the goats and sheep and PET THEM was the most exciting thing ever. Even with tons of people-noise, Josh's "more" and "yeah" was heard above it all! He was in heaven.

We headed to the rodeo area, where teams of riders were racing time to gather 3 cows at a time (with the same #) and getting them to a pen. I have no clue what the term is. (Do you know, uncle Ryan?) But both boys, and even Dan and I, had fun watching it. 

I only include this pic to show what all the families were doing tonight at the fair: gorging themselves on "All you can eat ice cream." There were twice as many strollers along the other side. We did not partake.

The boys have VERY talented parents, who won them some stuffed prizes: Dan threw some balls for Josh's monkey, I threw darts at balloons for Jack's frog. Lucky boys!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I've Been Tagged... you're IT.

20 Years Ago: 

1 - My family moved to Dana Point, CA. (for a year) We went to the beach almost every day!
2 - My 2nd grade teacher (in CA) went to jail for buying cocaine from an undercover cop. (a kid doesn't just forget something like that)
3 - I had a crush on John Pilkington, who sadly, I moved away from.

10 Years Ago:
1 - Senior year of high school; need I say more?
2 - I made the comment to my mom: "I don't want to marry anyone I know now." (hmm, came to pass)
3 - First gained a true testimony of the Book of Mormon.

5 Years Ago:
1 - Dan and I were making some awesome friends in Sugar House, have had fun watching their families grow.
2 - I was getting closer to graduating, and getting ready to be a teacher!
3 - I was diagnosed with PCOS, which answered a lot of questions.

3 Years Ago:
1 - Dan and I were headed to Hawaii for the first time!
2 - I was in love teaching kindergarten.
3 - All of a sudden, I was 10 weeks pregnant with Josh. (though we didn't know boy/girl until the end)

1 Year Ago:
1 - Baby Jack was almost 2 months old, and we were the parents of 2 boys!
2 - Dan, Jack and I met BEN HARPER in Boulder, CO!!
3 - I made the very hard decision to stop teaching for a while and be a full-time mom.

Last Week:
1 - Dan and I were flying in to Denver, Co for an adults-only getaway. 
2 - I made the goal to get back in to journaling, especially to recognize the Lord's hand in my life each day.
3 - Dan's sis got married! (well, a week and a half ago)

1 - I started my 3rd year in the Salt Lake Symphonic Choir.
2 - I chatted with my sisters and some friends on facebook! (1st time I've ever chatted on facebook)
3 - Got some warm, fall clothes for skinny, little Josh.

1 - We all went to the zoo, which was 1/2 off, then to Barbacoa for lunch. Mmm.
2 - Got tagged by Emily.
3 - Started on Amanda's b-day present.

1 - Cook one dinner for night in Park City, (yay!) and one for Dan's grandparents. (that sounded so check-listy)
2 - I will spend my hour at the gym, away from my noisy boys!
3 - Try to catch up on some Office episodes. (I'm a whole season behind)

Next Year: (whew, already?)
1 - Goates Family Trip. (we don't know where yet - maybe Bear Lake)
2 - We will say goodbye to Uncle Thomas, as he leaves for his mission.
3 - Our little family is gonna rent a house in Hawaii for a few weeks. Anyone wanna come?

The 3 that I tag are: 
Amanda Goates, Jamie Turner, and Natalie Shurtz. But I say everyone should take a bit of time and do it. It's kinda fun reflecting, and realizing (for me anyway) that it's easier to remember 10 years ago then what I did last week. I wonder what that means...

Happy Birthday Jamie!!

(I am posting this a day early, in hopes that she will see it before coming to Utah)

We all love Jamie. She is a very sweet girl, who is always thinking about others and doing what is right. We miss her tons! She is such a fun aunt for my boys, and they love her.

We spent a fun week with Jamie and Ryan in California in March. Our boys must not have done them in, because they are letting us come see them this month!

She shocked all of us, in a good way, when she got married a couple of years ago. It wasn't that she was young, it was that she was just never interested in dating during high school! She would fill her time with more productive things. We love Ryan to, and can't wait to see him in a few weeks.

Jamie's 1st skim-boarding lesson!

I added this picture because it made Josh giggle. This shows how silly Jamie can be, and we love her lots! See you on Saturday!
Happy Birthday, tomorrow!!

Monday, September 1, 2008

No Kids Allowed!

Hello Denver.

Over the weekend, Dan and I took a little retreat to Colorado. Strictly for fun, not for any certain convention! We left the boys in VERY capable hands, (thanks Cat and Richard) so we didn't have anything to worry about ever. They had just as much fun without us as we did without them!

I have to admit that I kinda like down town Denver. We did a lot of walking around the day after the convention, seeing Denver in it's hung over state. Very interesting.

We found refuge from all the petitions and vendors at Riverside Park, where we actually came upon 'Rock the Vote.' It was held at the skate park within the park, so of course we had to stop and watch. Dan regretted not having his board with him. We left as soon as 2 bands started playing at the SAME TIME. Too loud.

Without the boys to entertain, we had moments to sit.... read.... write.... talk.... be quiet.... 

There were signs of patriotism everywhere.

I can't remember the name of the theater, but these 2 figures are as tall as the building. I thought they looked fun.

We tried to see a Rockies game, but were misinformed, and there wasn't one. So instead, we found a comedy club to attend. It turned out to be a great evening, with surprisingly clean comedians. (the club is across the street behind me)

One day Dan, you'll get to get inside Coors Stadium to see a ball game.

Even though we only took 1 picture, we spent a lot of time in Boulder. This is our new favorite place, up there with Jackson, WY. (for those who know me, that's saying something) They have the greatest Farmers' Markets and kids fairs, and it's just so darn cute. We went 2 days in a row. Who knows, one day that might be our address.

Oh yeah, Dan thought riding a fake pig would be awesome... for Josh to giggle at. (right)