This is Ethan

Ethan enjoys doing dishes with his Daddy.
We are starting him young. :)

He's a cuddler,

he loves markers,

And got his first set of watercolors last week.

Thanks grandma for my new sunday clothes!


Sea World and Halloween

I was shopping early one morning at HEB when we heard a loud scary voice come over the loud speaker telling us that they were giving away free tickets to Sea World to the first person to bring them something with the word "Jack" in its name. I didn't think much of it, playing it cool, but made sure to pass by the cheese section one more time and grab some Colby Jack in case I saw the guy. I saw a group of people in the produce section and as I got closer I saw:


His costume was scary and freaked Ethan out. I was too late with the Cheese but now they wanted a pepsi product. The adrenaline pumps and we are on a mission. I race with my HUGE cart (the big car kind) dodging people left and right, did a fly-by pass through the soda aisle, grabbed a liter without even stopping and booked it back to where the pumpkin guy was, just before a lady emerging to my left.

totally won.

Freaked Ethan out a little, but we won tickets for Halloween day. Samuel had Regional band try outs (who plans stuff like that on Halloween???) He was there at 6:30 am to register at a school across the street from Sea World.
So while Samuel went through 4 rounds of adjudication,
D, Ethan and I went to Seaworld.

We went on one ride, Ethan's first carnival ride ever!

Here they are waiting in line.

Ethan wasn't even scared!
He'd go anywhere with his Daddy.

"Seat belts! So we can be safe!"
(wink* wink* Dora fans)

Up, Up,...

and Away!

So excited!

Next we checked out the shows.

Ethan liked it, but I'm not sure he knew what was going on.

They did lots of high dives and acrobatics.

This is Val after the show. She's in our ward. She's awesome.

She trains Beluga whales to do stuff like this!

She generously invited us back stage and we got to meet this guy!!
Both him and Ethan like playing ball.

We got super close!

Close enough to touch!!
Thank You, Valerie!

After that show we made our way to watch the sea lions.
I've seen these bad boys in the wild, but never like this.
They were great actors.

I think Ethan liked this one a bit better because of the story line.

This is the Steel Eel.

I was feeling courageous and got in line to ride it.
The entry way looks so innocent, easy getting on, almost cute even! So misleading!!
I'd say I'm a daring person as far as carnival rides go, but this is me on the Steel Eel:

Scared out of my mind!!

We started up the first big hill and half way up I had to close my eyes cuz I got so freaked out! I kept chanting "I can't look! I can't look!" and didn't open my eyes until the end. There were parts when I had to force myself to breath cuz I was so scared. It was a thriller, but I don't think I'll do it again, atleast until I've forgotten what the first time felt like. :)

We picked up Samuel from tryouts and he made first alternate and
will be competing in the Region band in a few weeks.
We went home and I put the kids in their costumes and we all went around the neighborhood.

Samuel was a headless guy. I saw this costume online and was so excited when I was able to put it together. We all got a kick out of it when S tilted his head to the side like this.

Ethan was a monkey and loved the costume. He wore it off and on for two weeks cuz he liked it so much. I think D even put it on him yesterday when it got chilly outside so they could go play basketball. What the neighbors must think! :)


Some of the things we do

We like wearing our daddy's old clothes.

We like running back...

and forth.

We like squeaky basketballs.

We like to suck our thumb and to feel our blankie, and yes it's pink, but it makes us feel better.

We like buses. This is our first official bus ride. Such bliss.

We like breakfast, especially at our favorite Iron Skillet truck stop.

We like cups that look like everyone else's sodas, but are actually water. And we like anything we can hold while also holding our favorite car, cuz we aren't letting go.

We like homemade projectiles made with everyday flammable substances like hairspray and bug repellent. And we like shooting them off in the backyard. Oh ya.

We like painting without paint, no clothes on, and lots and lots of watermelon.

We like rocking chairs and our favorite "choo-choo" dvds.

We like smiles. :)

We like happiness.


Ode to my big brother

Frankie is my big brother.
I can't speak for all big brothers, but mine is awesome!

He's handsome, (all my friends had a crush on him in high school), he's chivalrous and studly, patient but will tell you when you're being a dork, and completely dependable. He used to babysit me when I was really little and take me with him and his high school friends driving around on a friday night. He offered to beat people up for me when I was in elementary school and he's always looked out for me.

He has a wonderful wife and 4 boys. His youngest, Aiden, and Ethan are only 2 months a part. After his mission to Guatemala he moved back to Kodiak, married Shelly and became a cop.

There are so many fun stories I have of him. As a cop, I remember he was on duty one night and came to say hi to me up at the high school on his break. There was a basketball game going on that night so I was surprised to see him. He came up to me and gave me a big hug and we laughed and had a great time till he had to go back to work. After he left a few people asked me if he was my boyfriend, which was kinda weird, but I remember thinking that I definitely wanted my boyfriend to be as cool as my big brother.

I used to have to get up for early morning seminary. My parents had a hard time getting me up, so when Frankie had to work the night shift as a cop he'd take his break around the time that I was supposed to get up, so most mornings I'd jump out of bed to a uniformed, bullet-proof-vested, gun-holstering cop nearly breaking down my door, shouting at me to get up and turning over my bed. There was no way I could sleep through that!

My Junior year in college he got deployed to Iraq for a year. It was so hard for him to be away from the family, but it was hard for him to come home too. He got back just as our brother Troy died and my parents had split up. Things were chaotic for our family, but through it all he's been a constant source of love and support in my life.

He sent me a note this summer that he was going to be in Albuquerque for a training conference and that I should fly up to see him. I got so excited and was able to buy the tickets right away. I hadn't seen him for 3 and a half years and when I saw him jumping up down to see me as I walked down the terminal I started to cry. He's my big brother and I hadn't realized how much I'd missed having him around to watch out for me. He started to cry too and we hugged and hugged.

We had such a great time!! He's so much fun. Of course he rented a big truck and drove fast, blared good music, wouldn't let me pay for anything and took me out on the town. He pulled out all the stops and just spoiled me. What a great big brother. Here are some pictures:

We went to a Brazillian grill, his first time, and we loved it!

Couldn't stop taking pictures, we were so excited to see each other.

He found his dream car. ;)

We did find a costume shop and he just went to town.

He must have tried on a dozen of them and was totally in character

The All-American

Johnny Depp

Bob Marley

I was only there for two days so we took one of them to go up Sandia Peak, one of the longest trams in the country.

It was soo high!
And all of us were hanging there by that cable, going over mountains, higher and higher.

It felt like a Sound of Music moment.

Here we are again.

Frankie climbed down from the trail to get this shot, got me a little nervous.

Look at all the little people down there!

We had lunch at the top, it was awesome.

Waiting for our turn to go back down!

Chill-axin' at the hotel.

We stayed up almost all night the last night and he got to take me to my gate at the airport cuz we were flying out around the same time.
He's awesome.
I love him.
Can't wait to see him again.