Friday, December 31, 2010

Oh! How I Missed You So!

I haven't been to Colorado in I don't know how many years.  Probably four.  Maybe five.  But nestled in the mountains of Colorado, in a tiny town named Paonia, live my wonderful grandparents.  On Tuesday morning, the kids and I piled into my parents' van with my dad, Jeremy, and my mom, and took the eight hour drive to see them.  They are my dad's mom and dad.  Grandpa Sharp has Parkinson's disease.  He also has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  He see things that aren't there.  Yesterday, at lunch, he said there was a skunk outside and wondered if it had left prints in the snow.  Grandma doesn't humor him.  It's cute.
We arrived at about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening, and Grandma made us some pizza for dinner.  The kids were ungrateful little scallions and were upset that there wasn't just a cheese pizza.  I told them to pick off the pepperonis.  That made Kaleb pout.  He does that.  It's annoying.  Then we unpacked the car and hung out together.
It snowed all day on Wednesday.  My dad estimates they got a foot of snow.  Twelve inches!  That's crazy!  The kids played all day in it with Jeremy.  They got on top of the cellar and threw things off of it.  Apparently they should not have done that.  Come spring, Grandma is going to have to re landscape the whole area.  Sometimes I am appalled by my children's behavior.  I told my dad to take them with him when he goes back, and make them help.  That would be awesome.  But I didn't know.  I just told them not to throw rocks because I didn't want them to hit Kaleb with them.  My dad was mad.  They all had a snowball fight.  The kids decided their grandpa was not some one they wanted to have a snowball fight with.  He can throw the snow to far, and hard.  :D  That made me giggle.  After Kaleb got tired of having a snowball fight with his brothers, he made a snowman.  It's super cute.  But the next day, Zachary accidentally knocked it down when he threw a snowball at Jeremy, and missed.
Wednesday was also Grandpa Sharp's 83rd birthday.  We had pot roast for lunch/dinner with mashed potatoes and corn and biscuits.  Yummy!  Except for the roast.  I just don't like that much red meat.  But the boys and everybody else loved it, so it must have been yummy.  We had cake and ice cream, and Grandpa tried to tell us that we had already said the prayer on the meal.  Grandma kept telling him we hadn't and he needed to wait to eat.  It made me giggle.  My grandma takes excellent care of my grandpa.  He's hard to handle sometimes.  He said to my mom Thursday, "I can't seem to figure out why my legs don't work any more."  He's so sweet.
Thursday was less exciting.  The kids played in the snow a little bit in the morning, but it was just too cold, so they came in after awhile.  My dad got their tractor started, but felt it was too cold to take the kids for a ride.  But shh!  Don't tell them!  We just didn't mention a tractor ride for the rest of the day, and they forgot all about it.  We're sneaky like that.  We mostly watched TV with grandpa, and watched some movies we brought.  We also played about three or four hands of Go-Fish.  I was tired of Go-Fish after awhile.  I tried to help Grandma as much as she would let me.  She felt like we were her guests so she needed to take care of us, and kept apologizing for always having a list of chores to do when we came.  We really don't mind.  Grandparents are wonderful people.  They are the only people in the world who love you simply because you were born.
 Up Spanish Fork Canyon in Spanish Fork, Utah there is a new state of the art rest stop.  It's awesome.  It has a train.  My parents had heard about it on the news so much that they just had to stop and have lunch at it.  It was pretty nice.

 This is the play area for pets and children to run around.

When we got there, I had the boys get a picture with my Grandpa.  He's so cute.

Here is the house.  It's cute.  I always forget that it is bigger than it looks.

Here is my Grandpa checking out the card I made him.  I could tell he really liked it. :)

Here are my grandparents together.  Grandpa had just blown out the candles on his cake.  I wasn't sure if he would be able to.  Grandma kept prompting him to, but he didn't seem to get it at first.

My beautiful Grandmother played us the song she and Grandpa used to dance to at all the dances they went to.

 You can really see the snow coming down in this picture.

Zach and Riley on top of the cellar.  My dad told them they shouldn't stand on it.  It could cave in.  But I just think he didn't want them up there.

Snowball fight!

Let the wild rumpus start!

You better watch it!

Okay, Zach!  I am tired of you dumping snow on my head!

So I will do something else.

He is pretty proud of his creation.  Two rocks for eyes, and a baby carrot for the nose.  He said, "I need a carrot!"  So I said, "Okay, I will go inside and get you one."  My dad got him one out of the fridge for me.  He did great, and mostly all by himself, too!

We'll just call him "Snow".

This is truly a winter wonderland.

I went outside Wednesday morning to take a picture of Grandma's mountains, but they were missing.

Thursday, they came back.  And they are majestic.

The sun peaked his head out for a bit before it started snowing again on Thursday.

A little patch of blue sky before the storm.

While we were playing Go-Fish, there were so many chickadees outside.  I had to take about 40 pictures of them playing.

But I will just show you these two.
The horses didn't really like my hanging around.  But I love this shot.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Festivities!

Well, we had a really wonderful Christmas.  Chock full of presents, baby Jesus, and even the good old argument with you sister.  Can't pass that one up! ;)
Our Christmas Celebrations began Christmas Eve.  I was asked to be in charge of the Nativity play for our Annual Day Family Christmas Party.  That was unexpected, but I rocked it.  I took the text from the Bible (shocker), and stuck in a few songs.  Three to be exact.  I made my family sing two of them together, and just listen to one.  We experienced some technical difficulties due to my cd player deciding not to play the cd (yes, it worked the day before!), but all was not lost, and my little sis lent us her laptop to play the cd on.  She still has it.  Oh, well.  She can keep it.  I have all the songs on my computer.  The other difficulties were simply that no one wanted to be Mary and Joseph.  Finally, I got my sister who I had originally asked to be my blue-haired angel to be Mary after begging and pleading.  My brother was Joseph, and the other parts were a little bit easier to cast.  My cousin Taylor decided being the angel was okay.  It was the only character with lines!  You would think walking into the middle of the room and sitting down would be easy, and totally doable, right?  Yeah.  I did, too.  My family is full of punks.  We sang Away in a Manger, Silent Night, and just listened to this song.  Thank you, Rachel for pointing it out to me!  It's meaningful to me.  After the party, we came home and read this book, and the kids got to open their pajamas.  Excellent story about miracles.
Christmas Day we opened presents.  I don't like to have piles of presents under the tree because Christmas is not about the presents.  It's about the Savior, but who am I kidding?  It's totally about the presents!  At least, it is when you are a kid.  Riley had been asking us for a camera ever since I let him use mine one day.  I told him it was too much money, and I didn't think he would get one.  But I looked for one any way.  I found a decent red camera online, and decided the price was right, so I ordered it.  I mean, Santa ordered it.  It was totally Santa.  Santa and I are tight, so sometimes, I pretend to be him, and use I instead of Santa.  When it arrived in the mail, I was so excited!  I was finally creating some Christmas magic I had blogged about earlier.  Woo-hoo!  I tore back the package, and pulled out the wonderful, bright pink camera!  What!?  I knew I should have ordered the black one!  When Riley opened it, he was delighted, and wanted to start using it right away.  He didn't care that it was pink.  "There are no girl colors, and there are no boy colors."  That's what Riley told me once.  He took pictures with it all day.
Zachary got the xbox game Castle Crashers that he had been asking for for a very long time.  He was super super excited.  Grounding him from the xbox until Christmas really worked in our favor because Santa could only download it off the internet from xbox live.
Kaleb got Star Wars the Complete Saga xbox game.  They have been begging us for that game since it came out.  I didn't really see the point in getting them that game because we already have the first two.  But Santa can't say no to that cutie pie, and we caved, and told him it was okay for him to finally have it.
Santa brought Kurtis and me the expansion for World of Warcraft.  We think it's awesome!  He also brought the whole family Lego Harry Potter for the xbox.  Kurtis also got Fable 2.  We are such gamer geeks in this house.  It's awesome.  We don't really mind.
After the present opening was over, we went to my mom's house so we could get a chance to talk to my brother who is serving an LDS mission.  He was supposed to go to Belem, Brazil, but due to issues with getting is visa on time, he went to the MTC in Provo, Utah for six? weeks.  Now, he is serving in the Pocatello, ID mission.  He said it was cold and snowy there, and sounds really upbeat and positive in spite of not being where he was originally so excited to serve.  He's like that, though.  It was nice to get to talk to him.  We conferenced in my sister in Minnesota, and so we all got to talk to her, too.  It was a happy day!  After we talked to him for about half an hour, we let him talk to his girlfriend alone.  They talked for like two hours!  Ha ha!  So cute.  Have I told you I really like her?  My kids really like her too, but she bribes them with presents. ;)  Like a good (some day she will be) aunt should!  It was really cute when she was done talking to him because her face was all red like she was blushing!  Love is such a great emotion!
Sunday was the annual D.I. party with Kurtis's side of the family.  We all go to the thrift store and buy gag gifts.  The only thing I really hate about it is that Ryan thinks underwear is funny.  I really do not.  Next year, when it is my turn to pick, and Kayden says, "Hey!  That's my dad's present!"  I will pick another one.  I mean I pick out funny stuff like Millie Vanilli cds and My Little Pony DVDs.  Come on, people!  I really can't use the size small coral pink underpants!  Oh, I know I looked sexy in them over my jeans, but they are just going to go back.
Today, we finally made it to the lights on Temple Square.  I am so glad we finally went!  I have been wanting to do that since they lit them the day after Thanksgiving!  Zachary loved it.  He said it was so beautiful, and that he wanted us to go there every year.  I think that is a great idea.  I asked Kaleb what he thought of getting to touch the temple doors.  He said, "The door was big!"  And someday he wants to go inside it.  I bet he will.  The boys really enjoyed it.  Even though they got too cold.  Zach said he didn't care that he was cold.  He was excited to be so close to the temple.

 My Uncle Danny was a lamb.  Zach, being the good shepherd that he is, decided pulling on his ear was a good way to make him behave.

 Zach got pajamas covered in game controllers and joy sticks.

 Riley's has tigers and Chinese symbols on them.

Kaleb's are my favorite.  I love the pirates! :)

Such a good day!

Santa put a picture of his present in a box and wrapped it!  Hee hee!

He didn't waist a minute once we got the batteries in!

Oh, thanks so much, Santa!  We told the kids we were not getting this for ourselves.  We were waiting a bit.  Guess Santa knew we really didn't want to wait! :D

I have the best husband ever!  He got me Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Beauty and the Beast dvds!  It's what I've always wanted!

Oh, he's pleased as punch!

The damage of the day.

Listening to Ben on the speaker phone.  He was hard to hear.

My mom is pleased as punch to hear her baby!
(I'm gonna use that phrase a lot more.  It's freaking awesome!)

My mother-in-law got my gift.  Those are so much more awesome than mine!

Even Ryan's Playboy sheets are better than this:

But my Santa hat is pretty dang cute! :)

As we were walking up the street to the temple grounds, I saw this, and thought a picture was needed.

Kurtis and I were married here.  This is a special place to me.  The lights only add to its beauty.

"Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are sacred structures in which eternal questions are answered."  (President Gordon B. Hinckley).  Why do Mormons Build Temples?  Find out here.

"I wonder how many in Bethlehem knew that right there, close to them, the Savior had been born? The Son of God, the long-awaited and promised Messiah—He was in their midst!"  (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf).
I really enjoyed this video.  Maybe you will, too.

Brothers forever.  They'd better learn to like each other! :D

Some nice man took a picture of all of us!  Temple Square at Christmastime rocks!
I truly hope your Christmas was magical, and that 2011 is full of good things to come!
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And I Even Do It For Free!

Yesterday morning, I got up at 2:30 a.m.  It's not something I really, really love.  It's hard to get up so early when you just fell asleep.  I went to bed at nine, but I couldn't fall asleep.  Kurtis kept the boys quiet by letting them watch TV until midnight.  Not a good plan, but, hey.  It worked!  That's when he came to bed. though.  That's when I finally was able to fall asleep.  The boys didn't really let me sleep in this morning, either.
Why, you crazy woman, would you get up so freaking early?  Well, because I am an actress, and a lot of the time, actresses work weird hours.  I got up so I could do my hair, and make it all pretty.  I got up so I could get to the set that is an hour and a half away.  I got up because I love to act.  To me it is worth it.  This time, it was so much fun because I got my bestest friend Nicole to come with me!  She was a featured extra.  Which means she is noticeable on camera. :D  She played a waitress.
My student director friend is shooting a web series.  It's about time travel.  He's cast my 21 year-old sister as his niece (he's supposed to be 30), and she's playing a 15 year-old girl.  She can totally pass for that.  She's tiny.  I am playing his sister, and her mother.  Who is dead.  My character died when her daughter was 7 (I think - pretty sure).  This episode, I had no lines whatsoever.  It was nice.  A lot less pressure.  When he gets this web series done and posted, I'll let you know.  Look for me.  I'll be the girl being seated in a booth at a restaurant, and looking through the menu.

 My daughter, Dez.

Yes, she's tired.  But somehow, she's still smiling.

Being stand-ins while the cameras get set up.  I didn't take more pictures.  I wish I would have. :P  That guy in the back is my film student friend.  He's setting up a light.  And, no.  Nicole is not in costume yet. :)  Neither was I.  Hee hee hee!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


In our neighborhood, there is a family that puts lights on their pine tree at Christmastime.  A couple weeks ago, the boys got home from school, and Tyler informed me that Zachary and Riley had smashed some of the lights on this tree.  He also informed me that Kaleb had smashed one.  Now, seriously, I don't blame them for wanting to do this.  When light bulbs break, it's pretty cool, but those light bulbs did not belong to them, and therefore that is unacceptable.  For doing this, I told my boys they were grounded for two weeks, and had to replace the light bulbs.  Today, I finally made them do this.  I drove the kids to the home on our way to run some errands, and waited for them in my car while Zach and Riley went to the door with their new lights.  They were gone awhile, so when they came back to the car, Kurtis and I asked them what happened.  Zachary said, "The lady opened the door, and we gave her the lights.  She said, 'Oh, I needed some of those.'  Then I said, we have to tell you something.  She invited us into her house, and I said we smashed some of your lights, and this is us repenting."  He said she thanked them, and they came back to the car.  When he said that to us, we couldn't help but laugh.  I am happy that they understood what they did was wrong, and that they were willing to go up this woman, and do the right thing.  I think they were nervous, but they knew they should.  I don't think they will be doing that again (hopefully).  They should be ungrounded just in time for Christmas.