"You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experiences." ~Gordon B. Hinckley

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hope everyone had a very happy halloween.

Halloween is a bit overwhelming by the time you make it through the ward trunk or treat, the neighborhood block party, the 2 family parties, and the actual night itself. These pictures all happened long before we actually made it the 31st...
This year by the time we made it to Friday, I think the kids had had ENOUGH---candy that is! We met with our cousins to eat pizza before setting out with full bellies---as to avoid trick or treating snacking-- and then we only managed to go two streets before the kids were begging to go back home. Believe me, I am not complaining, I am just surprised thats all. But because the kids weren't all about the candy, they would take an evaluation of the house, and if its decorations seemed Halloweenish enough than it was worth hoofing up to the front door to get the goods. Last year Laetner was sooooo excited by any and all decorations from Halloween onward through Christmas, and I was so sad to think that by this year he would have outgrown it---he has NOT in any way, shape or form! I hope he never outgrows it. This blown up Frankenstein 'lives' around the corner from us and everyday we drove by it Laetner would exclaim,'Frankenstein is dead!" Thank goodness everynight the inflatables 'come back to life' "Put him in a body bag, Johnny!"

Halloween was the one night we finally got out the black hairspray for our little witch Delainee

They are hard to see, but she is trying to show off little press on nails that had black cats on them!

And of course some obligatory group shots....What a group!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Austenland by Shannon Hale

I just finished this book. I had already read Shannon Hales other books, but they were geared toward the younger reader. I almost did not read this because I really wanted something a little meatier, but I am so glad that I picked it up last night. It was such a fun, quick read, and since I recently TiVo-ed Channel 8's The Complete Jane Austen Series, I had managed to have every single Jane Austen story line and characters in my mind. You do NOT need to be a huge Austen fan in order to enjoy the book, but if you do have a thing for Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy, or anything to do with Pride and Prejudice, then you will get plenty of the inside jokes. And for those of you who know what a freak I am about how nothing has compared to everything "Twilight", this novel was the first one that I have enjoyed as much! Feel free to borrow the book!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Marissa's Halloween Late Night

On Friday, Delainee and Laetner got invited to a Halloween Party hosted by their Aunt Marissa. She was a very brave soul to invite all the grandkids over. They ate pizza, face painted, ate caramel apples, and watched scary movies! Laetner was the guinea pig who got painted first and then all of the kids turned on each other and painted their cousin. Laetner was a skeleton and Delainee was a flower!
We were short a cousin, so Marissa was indeed a good sport and let Delainee paint her face!

Here is the whole clan with their faces all done....

And here is one shot of their very scary movie experience!!!!

The evening worked out perfect for everybody. While the kiddies played with their cousins, Court and I managed to go out to dinner at Cafe Rio. Thanks Marissa, you're the best!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Making it Up to Laetner at Mother Nature's Farm

After our very disappointing journey to Moo-ma-palooza last Friday, I figured I needed to put a better flavor in Laetner's mouth about what a pumpkin patch experience should be. So, since I actually had Court in town, we packed up the family and headed on over to Mother's Nature Farm in Gilbert.The kids had so much fun. There were the cutest piggies, and we were there at feeding time so they let Court show off his muscles and throw a pumpkin into their pen for lunch!
Waverly was in especially good spirits, as usual. She especially was happy since she got to hang out in daddy's arms all day!
He did let me hold her for one quick picture---golly gee, thanks Court!

We figured our way through the maze, high hoofed all the animals, road the tractor/hayride, and Laetner finally got to pick out his own pumpkin and decorate it. Such a smart idea to have foam stickers for the kids to decorate the pumpkins with. It took us forever to find all the letters, but we managed to spell out each child's name as well as the word 'boo'! And then continued to plaster stickers over the entire surface of our poor little gourds...errr squashes?

Good times were definitely had by all. It was pretty warm, but next year when we DO go again, we will probably go a little later in the day---we noticed that it is open until 9 p.m.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Backseat Conversations

Driving the kiddies around town is not always the most enjoyable experience. Usually it consists of me yelling things like "Laetner get buckled!", or "Stop fighting, you're gonna wake up Waverly!" But sometimes the kids get lost in their own crazy conversations, and Delainee can get down right philosophical!
We were all on our way to Mesa Peds today to get our annual flu shots. My simple minded children call this the "fish doctor" beacause the lobby has a huge aquarium. (Not to be confused with our Dentist the "train doctor" whose whole office is a train station theme and motif.) Delainee completely understood where we were going and had a lot of concerns about why and what was about to happen. I cut her a deal that if she behaved and did not try and jerk away from the nurse, then we could go to sonic afterwards and get a 'treat'. I then tried to cut the same deal with Laetner, but when I started the conversation with "Laetner, do you know where we are going right now?" he responded that we were going to the fish STORE---which at our house is code for PETSMART. I figured it wasn't worth going any further with the deal making process, he would find out soon enough that it was NOT petco that we were headed to.
So it was actually a quiet ride for a little bit when Delainee asks if she can be more than one "fing." Completely perplexed, I asked for clarification.
"Can I be more than one "fing" when I grow up?" she says.
"Of course you can be more than one thing when you grow up," I replied. "You can be as many things as you want!"
(slight pause in conversation while I patiently wait for her to not continue the conversation)
"What WOULD you like to be when you grow up, Delainee?"
She obviously had thought about this, because she immediately responded with "I want to be a doctor and a school teacher."
"Those are really good goals," I said.
Then she starts thinking and starts putting out ideas like...
"How can I be both 'fings' at the same time,"
"It is not fair that only boys can be football players,"
"Can I go to school during the day and be a doctor at night,"
"There would be no one to watch the kids if I went to work just like a daddy,"
and finally ended up with
"Laetner, what do you want to be when you grow up?"
"I want to be a doctor and Ironman" he replies.
"You can't be Ironman!" Delainee exclaims.
"We-cause?" he asks.
(I love this word--we-cause. He always uses it, and it makes perfect sense. The ever present words of "why" and "becuase" that kids use in response to everything, he has combined into one word-WECAUSE.)
Anyways...."We-cause?" he asks.
"How would you make the suit," she accuses in her 'duh' tone.
"I would use the hammer like THIS (he mimicks a slow, one handed hammer action) and then I would put it into the water like THIS" (he appears to put something in an oven with two hands)

If you have seen Ironman the movie, Mr. Downey Jr actually builds his first suit of armor by melting iron and then shaping it into a helmet with a HAMMER and then dropping it into the water to cool it down to keep its shape. This first suit is a 'first draft' and so of course is a boring grey color and not the signature red and yellow suit of IRONMAN....

"I would use the hammer like this, and then I would put it into the water like this." he says.
"Umm.. that is the grey suit," she again accuses in her duh tone.
To which he matter of factly replies, "I can make the red and 'lellow' that way too!"

I am truly frightened, because I am sure if Laetner did manage to get an inordinate amount of scrap metal, he would indeed figure out a way to meld it down in his room into an IRONMAN suit---red and yellow in color of course!

Flu Shots

So we finally did make it to Mesa Pediatrics to get our flu shots. Waverly actually was the first one to get her shot, and Laetner quickly realized we were not at the fish store when he saw the nurse pull out the first needle. As I start to lay Wavee on the table and he puts two and two together, he exclaims in horror, "What the....you can't do that to her."
What a protective little brother. Even after seeing Wavee wail, he hopped right up for his turn when we explained that it would keep him strong like the hulk.
Delainee was not near as brave and kept pleading "no" with the nurse during the entire process of sitting down on the table to the actual injection. But in under a minute all three kids had their flu shots and we were on our way to sonic!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Yesterday the kids had a half day to kick off their week of Fall Break. We decided we needed a little "autumn" experience. So we headed to a local dairy that was offering a free family event. We saw bunnies, tom turkeys, a donkey, a horse, goats, and LOTS of cows. We took a hay ride around the dairy and made our way thru a maze made out of barrels of hay. At least we got some balloons and a free frisbie---WOOHOO! Delainee went on a field trip to Schnef Farms last week where she got to pick out a pumpkin and go on all sorts of rides. This, unfortunately, did not live up to the hype that she had been dishing out to Laetner all week! The scarecrow and pumpkin display was about the most exciting thing for Laetner.

Laetner was to scared to touch any of the animals in the petting zoo--not like him at all. I especially could not get him to go anywhere near the "roaming cows"....
And it was HOT! Poor Waverly had some very red cheeks.
I am gonna have to make it up to Laetner somehow. The whole time he kept asking where the pumpkin patch was because he wanted to decorate a pumpkin with stickers just like he had seen his cousin Crew Bob do at his own field trip this week.
Poor Spiderman! We will think of something!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Following in My "Finger"-Steps

When I was pregnant with Waverly, one of my little Let's Play Music students told their mom that they bet my baby would come out of my tummy being able to sing MI RE DO. Although I have not heard her sing it YET, I have definitely seen her flashing her "DO is HOME" fists from her very first moments. But at 7 months she is already practicing her piano.

Pardon our nakedness!

Premature PMS

My little Delainee was born 3 months premature. Although crazy at the time, we made it through such a scary time without hardly any of the threatened issues or complications. There is one ailment that I do think we suffer from, and I might have the exact terminology wrong here, but my little Delainee has Premie-PMS. That girl is an emotional basketcase. Quite often, Lainee will be seen sniffling and wiping away big crocodile tears that just cascade down her cheeks. Tonight was a perfect example....

I love, love, love Pride and Prejudice. The book by Jane Austen is one of if not my favorite book of all time. But the recent movie remake with Keira Knightley is indeed my favorite movie. Even though Miss Knightley's hair is HIDEOUS for the entire movie, and I have a huge crush on Colin Firth from the A&E version as MR. Darcy, I just cannot get enough of this movie. I do not know how many times I could watch Mr. Darcy walking across the field at Dawn with his overcoat blowing in the wind and still get "hiney-tingles" as Pioneer Woman puts it. Plus the soundtrack is the BEST---which is why it is all over my playlist. Anyhoo, Delainee has watched this movie with me at least 6-8 times since we got it on DVD. She definitely has the gist of the movie down, and will even ask me if I want to watch Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth. Tonight she really started paying alot of attention and was asking A LOT of questions. It's halfway through the movie, I was sitting next to Delainee on the couch, when Waverly crawls over and pulls herself up. I pull Waverly onto the couch and set her between Lainee and I, when suddenly Delainee starts crying. Mind you if you don't see it, you might miss it, because she is not a sobber, just a huge cryer. I was afraid that she must have got her feelings hurt that I put Wavey between us, or that maybe Wavey had scratched her or something. So I ask her, "Delainee, what is the matter, is Waverly hurting you?" And she replies, "Mr. Bingley left." I really had to try hard not to laugh. Not that Mr. Bingley leaving isn't a little disappointing--at least for Jane it was-- but Delainee has watched this movie many times with me. It wasn't like she didn't know how it was going to end. The only thing I can figure is that she really didn't follow along during the previous viewings, and was really getting the story (outside of just Darcy and Elizabeth)this time around.

She is insanely sensitive. This isn't the first time this has happened either. When I explained to Delainee that her Aunt Jill had a bad day, she wanted to make her a card. I knew I could not tell her the reason Jill was having rough day, because I was was afraid that Delainee would be crying and say something when we dropped off the card with a treat. After we got back into the car, I explained to Delainee how Aunt Jill and Uncle Kevin had really hoped to have a baby in her tummy, but for some reason, Heavenly Father wasn't letting it happen yet. Lainee lost it and literally cried the rest of the night. About three weeks ago we tried to watch "No Reservations" with Catherine Zeta Jones. Definitely not the best movie I have seen out there. But in the first 10 minutes a mother and daughter are in a car wreck and the mother dies. Delainee was very distraught and even had Laetner crying. We had to turn the movie off. The next morning at breakfast Delainee brought it up again and they were both crying AGAIN. Then just this week in the car I catch Delainee crying in the rear view mirror and when asked why, she brings up the movie AGAIN. While we were at the cabin for a family reunion, Uncle Jaron actually removed a mole off of Court's back. This prompted the statement of "Lily's Daddy is stabbing Delainee's daddy in the back!" Of course Delainee came running, only to see a small amount of blood on Court's back while Jaron stiched him up, but she just stood there and cried and, cried, as if she really thought her daddy was being murdered before her eyes. I don't know why I am surprised, really. In High School I was constantly crying. I could be talking about the weather and I could be crying. But Delainee is 6! I am so nervous for when we transition about of P-PMS into PMS!
**Update 10/14/08**
We just finished watching Biggest Loser, Family. A mom got sent home, while her daughter remained on the show. Not only did Delainee start crying, but she got so upset that it caused her to throw up. Maybe I should not let her watch anything that can tug at the heart strings in any way shape or form.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Parker Turned 1

Meet Parker.....

Parker is my little 'nunch' of a nephew that belongs to Court's baby sister Alecia. I say nunch, because the cute little feller is barely taller than Waverly is, but yet he is walking everywhere. Parker just turned 1 on Monday. His mom, Alecia, did a whole cowboy themed party. They had stick horse hoof-races, and candy horse shoes, and all sorts of cute cowboy decorations. Of course he needed a cowboy cake, so I decided to try my hand at fondant for the first time and make Parker a little cowboy teddy bear cake...

My goodness, it is hard to tell who is who! I think Parker truly appreciated the time and energy I put into my edible masterpiece, because instead of just digging in with his fingers into the frosting and cake like any normal crazy kid would do, Parker just calmly sat and admired the bear as if it was a piece of art.

It was Parker, it was!

Official Statement of Apology

Dear Waverly,
The law offices of Julie Jo Fuller Fischbeck wish to issue a formal apology on behalf of our client "mommy", for physical interaction unjustly deserved. In the short time that our client was away from you on her 5 day trip to New York, "mommy" had no idea the swiftness and speediness that your little legs had acquired in the artful skill of crawling. Our client had no idea that by leaving you in the t.v. room for five minutes while she jumped through a much needed shower, that your life could be in mortal danger. Our client was completely unaware of the skill in which you were able to maneuver across the tile, around the corner into the master bedroom, over the unfolded treadmill that happened to block the entrance into the master bathroom, and right up to the shower door. Said "mommy" insists that she even listened when she turned the water off to see if you were squawking about anything, and claims all was quiet on the western front--or for our intents and purposes , what is known as the t.v. room. Our client still remembers in horror the moment she opened the shower door right into your little forehead while dumping water on your upturned face in the process. Please believe, from the bottom of our hearts, that we are so sorry and do hope that this conflict can be resolved as quickly and cleanly as possible. There is no reason that this issue need be brought before the "Court" and we want you to know that our offices are willing and able to accommodate you with any demands--whether they be monetary, nutritional, or even affectionate in nature. Please be assured that our client is more than willing to just sit and hold and cuddle for the rest of the day, if that will make you feel any better.
Again we are deeply sorry for any short or long term issues (either mental or physical) that our client's behaviour may or may not have elicited.
Thank you for your time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New York Get A Way

Okay my flight left at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday night. Don't know why it was considered first class because it was seriously the most uncomfortable seat. I couldn't get it to recline and I got NO sleep. It took me to Charlotte, NC where I had an hour layover and then on to Newark, NJ for another two hour flight. This flight WAS first class, and at least I managed to get 2 hours of sleep because as soon as my plane landed at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday morning it was go, go, go!
Court picked me up at the airport and then we headed to his hotel (that he had been staying at since Tuesday) just so I could "freshen" up a bit and then we immediately headed out for Liberty State Park--which is on the New Jersey side of the harbour. From here we got on the ferry that took us to Ellis Island and then onto the Statue of Liberty. The whole day was insanely windy--as you can see by my hair. We climbed stair after stair after stair until we reached the top---or as close to the top that is possible right now. Due to safety regulations we were not allowed to actually climb the spiral staircase that takes you to the top of her crown. Our guide said that they are thinking about opening it back up soon.

Can you see the Manhattan skyline in the background?This was called the old fort and was how you exited the statue of liberty. Really cool old rickety stairs.

After the Statue of Liberty we took the ferry over to the New York side of the harbor where it dropped us off at Battery Park. From here we stayed on the southern end of Manhattan exploring the financial district and south street seaport. We saw the NYSE and the Brooklyn Bridge near Pier 17 and what visibility we could see of the once World Trade Center. This whole first day we stayed "above" ground using our own two feet as our mode of transportation.

We had a little bit of a hiccup when it came time to head back to Liberty State Park. It took us forever to find North Cove where we could catch a water taxi that would take us back to Liberty State Park where our car was parked. Once the taxi dropped us off in the marina, Court decided to make a run for the car. He must have been leaping like a gazelle as he gracefully made his way across the parking lot, because when we had made it all the way back to the hotel and showered and got ready for a long nights sleep, we discovered that his wallet was nowhere to be seen! We back tracked the rest of the night searching hotel parking lots and the entire Liberty State Park in the freezing wind and rain TO NO AVAIL. The wallet could not be found. We left phone numbers with every place we had been, just hoping and praying that some good samaritan would actually turn it in, but realistically began the painful process of cancelling and putting holds on every card that was in that wallet.

The next morning we took a shuttle back to the Newark airport where we then took a train into Manhattan where we would stay for the duration of our trip. The train took us to Penn Station where we hopped on the subway and headed for TIMES SQUARE. We were to early to check in yet, but we dropped off our luggage at our hotel--the Courtyard Marriott Times Square South. Miracle of Miracles we got a call that the wallet had been found by a maintenance worker--minus the cash that had been in it, but everything else was in tact! Unfortunately we wasted most of this day heading back to North Cove to take a water taxi back the Liberty State Park, just to pick up the wallet and hop right back on the taxi back to Battery Park. Then our weekend finally began.

It was pretty much pizza the whole weekend, but our very first stop was to Lombardi's in SOHO. Yum, yum. The best pizza by far of the whole trip. Courtney could not get over the tiny, tiny, very, very, old bathroom that of course due his OCD could not use, but he at least had to get a good look at. We walked around SOHO a bit, but then headed back uptown to TKTS in order to buy tickets for Little Mermaid that night. We finally could check into out hotel and both immediately crashed for a little nap before heading out for the evening.
We saw The Little Mermaid. I was disappointed, but Court enjoyed it. The boy who played Flounder was amazing, the way they made it look like they were swimming was pretty cool, it was neat to see Sherie Rene Scott as Ursula, but I do have to say that King Tritan was cree--ee--py! Lots of new music was added to the original score of the cartoon, so it was nice to actually have Prince Eric sing. Our visibility on our seats was horrible and the theater felt like a high school auditorium. Definitely not the NY Broadway experience I wanted for Courtney, but he doesn't know any better and I think he really enjoyed it. After the show we hoofed it over to Carnegie Deli for "the experience". Hello ROAST BEEF! I cannot believe we did not take a picture of the plate of meat, er, sandwich that Court ordered. The cheesecake was okay, the establishment did not live up to the hype I had heard. --sorry Chris!
Saturday morning we got up @ 5:00 a.m. to go stand in line for SNL tickets at the Rockefeller Center. (Bear in mind that that would be 2:00 a.m. Arizona time.) We were given our ticket #'s of 64 and 65 and were told that there might be a chance that we could make it into the 8:00 final dress rehearsal. We were already there so we meandered around 30 Rockefeller Plaza and did the NBC Studio tour as well. We wanted to do Top of the Rock, but it was raining the WHOLE weekend and there was no visibility--bummer!

Do you see the Rainbow Room sign in the distance? Yeah that is where the front of the line was!

Pheww! Glad that's over!

Have I mentioned that I LOOOOVE Heroes!

Court in front of Rockefeller Plaza

This is right across from where they record the Today show every morning!

After we finished the NBC experience we headed up 5th avenue towards Central Park. On the short walk from 50th to 60th street, we passed FAO Schwartz, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Trump Tower, H&M and all sorts of designer shops. Court was utterly amazed by Central Park. Because of the rain there was hardly any body there, but it was still so amazing to step out of the hubbub of the city into the serenity of the park.

A shot in front of St.Patrick's from across the street.

Court just got FIRED!

In front of Bethesda Fountain

Bridge overlooking "the pond". I thought that the buildings disappearing into the mist was cool! I did mention it was raining ALL weekend right????

After Central Park we headed to Greenwich Village near NYU to John's Pizzeria. Along the lines of Lombardi's but not near as yummy. After lunch Court wanted to see Madison Square Garden. A hockey game was just starting while we were walking around, and it was frightening to watch the scalpers in action. I seriously thought a guy was gonna get beat up if he didn't buy from the guy. The Empire State Building was close by, so even though we knew there would no visibility, we still wanted to see it and take the escalator up. Just like Central Park it was almost eerie how there weren't any people ANYWHERE! Just a bunch of ropes where people should be standing in line. I guess we were the only ones brave enough to just walk around in the rain and deal with it. My hair did pay the price the whole weekend I must say.

After being warned to expect disappointment, Court's luck pulled through and we did manage to get in on the 8:00 SNL show. I was a lot of fun. They do quite a few more skits than the official live performance, and the actors break character and joke around with each other and the audience alot more than the live performance. After the show we headed back to Times Square where I am sad to admit that we ate at the Olive Garden. We had made a pact to try and NOT eat anywhere that we could at home, but alas, it was late, we didn't want the Carnegie Deli experience again, and I had a $50 gift card on me! They sat us up on the third level by the glass wall, and it was so fun to see Time Square and all the people just getting out of their Broadway Shows laid out down below.

Sunday morning Court actually let us sleep in til 8:00. Court headed out on his maiden solo journey on the subway all the way up to the Bronx in order to see the old Yankee Stadium while I wandered around Time Square and did some shopping for the kids. We met up at Grand Central Station and headed down to Greenwich Village again for the famous Papaya Grays Hot Dogs. Not sure what they were famous for since I couldn't handle more than one bite of Courts hot dog and could not finish my Papaya Drink, but at least it was located close to Waverly Place, so we got some great shots for our baby girl.

I had a matinee and an evening show lined up for the rest of my day, while Court watched football. Tale of Two Cities was my matinee and it was AMAZING! I balled my eyes out. My friend Stephen Gruse lives in Manhattan and I had heard that he was working on Grease. The theater for Tale of Two Cites was literally around the corner, so I stopped by the theater just to see if by chance we has working. Luckily for me he was as I was able to chat with him for a little bit. I forgot to get the camera out. Before the evening show, Court walked with me through Times Square on his way to yet another pizza joint and I begged him to take the shot of Hiro from Heroes in Time Square! My evening show was Spamalot. Clay Aiken was starring as Sir Robin, and the show was so, so funny, but it did not hold a candle to Tale of Two Cities. Did I mention that I used my discount website and got 5th row center for Tale and 3rd row center for Spam? At Tale of Two Cities I was even sitting next to one of the Producers' of the show and she invited me backstage after the performance.

Just me and the knights of the round table!

Monday morning we got up and slowly worked our way back to the Newark airport to catch our 10:00 flight. We managed to take this horrible picture on our way out, just to prove where we stayed!

We had sooo much fun. This was my third trip to NY, but it was Court's first. Anytime I have ever gone it has always been, shows, shows, and more shows, so it was fun to do the touristy thing. I don't even think the kids missed us because when I picked the kids up from school on Monday I thought they would be so excited to see me, and the first thing out of Laetner's mouth was "Hey, where's Alecia?" ....ahhh well.