Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Life

We've been having a lot of fun the past few weeks. We went to Vegas end of June/beginning of July, then the kids and I went to Idaho for a few days right after that, then Lindsey, Stu and Tate came to hang out with us for a weekend and we got to go up to see the Amazing Alec. Then we partied all day for Pioneer Day. Sadly, we only got pictures in Vegas (already posted) and on Pioneer Day (below).
We're getting all ready to move now! Our front room is growing with boxes by the day and I'm right on schedule to get everything done as stress free as possible. Adam's been doing an amazing job of getting up with the kids in the morning, studying, working, getting all the paperwork done on the house, fixing up the scooter to sell it, and finding the best deals on insurance for us once we move to Vegas. He's super amazing. The big day is next Thursday and Adam starts work the following Monday. Real world... here we come!!

Hallie and I getting ready to play the Joseph Smith Tug of War game (I'm sure it has a more official name, but I think Joseph Smith would appreciate this game being named after him, he was the best at it, after all)

Hallie desperately trying to beat Mommy.

Mommy wins this time! Maybe next time, babe.
(look at that tricep!! ow ow! all thanks to a 25 pound 9 month old!)

What would a post be without this handsome blondie? Especially with a piece of grass hanging off his chin :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sugar and spice and everything nice?

I challenge that little nursery rhyme...

I have scientific proof that Children are not made of sugar, nor spice, nor everything nice. They are made of love and crumbs.

Thursday, Whitney had a haircut appointment, and I had some errands to run, so I took the kiddos with me for a few hours. I transferred the car seats from Whit's car to mine, and we commenced our car-fixing, scooter-fixing, car-washing, Hallie-inhaling-a-McDonald's-cone-watching, once-there-was-a-snow-man-listening, afternoon. It was grand. And the best part, the kids were great, I didn't have to bribe the kids with anything while we were driving around (not one piece of food...especially nothing that produces crumbs).

[sidenote] Since we got the second car, it is amazing to me how clean my car has remained. I don't ever have to vacuum it, unless something crazy happens, like having to take Cookie Monster to the store, because he wanted some Oreo Cakesters[/sidenote]

So, the day was over. We unloaded, went home, saw our beautiful mommy/wifey and had some scrumptious dinner. The next morning, I unsuspectingly went out to put the car seats back in Whitney's car. To my surprise, after returning the car seats, I went back to close the doors and lock up the car, only to find that my ever-immaculate back seat was now full of CRUMBS! Tens and hundreds of little specimens! Yeah, I know what you're probably thinking...well, you're wrong. My kids really ARE made of crumbs. Ashton is always trying to gnaw on Hallie's delectable little fingers, not to mention his constant efforts to afford himself a few strands of her hair. Who needs the scientific method?

So, Hypothesis: Children are made of crumbs. Proof: my kids shed crumbs like dandruff, and yours do too...and dogs like to lick little kids' faces, because they are delicious.


Last Monday night we had a couple over after FHE. We got to talking about homes and they told us that the average home price in Detroit (where they are from) is $10,000! That's right, my friends, I did NOT forget a zero... ten thousand bucks, that's it. I didn't believe them at first, but I googled it, and it's true!! Now, with the Federal Tax Credit of $8,000 for first time home buyers, that puts a person at $2,000 that they would owe of their own hard earned money for the house. Most people could pay off their house in a month!! So then I decided that I needed to check out these houses. So I went to the old trusty and looked them up. Sure enough, the cheapest house I found in Detroit was going for $25... and the REALLY funny part is that they wanted a $1000 earnest money deposit!!!!!! I found that ridiculously hilarious (for those of you who don't know what EMD is... it's a check you sign over to the bank that indicates you're really serious about buying the house, even though the check is never cashed... it's their way of not letting you back out after the bank works with you on the whole closing process. If you do back out last second though, they can and will cash the check).
Then I decided it would be fun to look at houses there in our price range. Now, my absolute favorite houses in the world are really, really, really old houses. They have so much character and history, I just love them. So when I stumbled across this house, I almost died. Take a look...

I think the decorating could have been done better... in an old house, you HAVE to go all antique with the furniture, but I LOVE the house!! Even BETTER, it's actually a 2 unit house, and you get BOTH units, all for less than $730 a month! Too bad we're not moving to Detroit!

Addage:, yeah, too bad...


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Living the Dream

It's official!! One of the homes we made an offer on a bazillion years ago (or 3 weeks ago that feels like a bazillion years) was accepted!! We paid a little more than we originally anticipated, but the home was first purchased for $279,000 and we're paying less than half that! We now have 2 kids... a girl and a boy, an SUV and a home (pending inspection pass). All we need is a dog and we'll be living the American Dream to its fullest! Below are some pictures of the cute little thing we're moving into. I'm sure there will be plenty of before and after pictures once I let my decorative capacities explode all over the place, but for those itching to see what we got, here she is.

We're not real sure what this rock river is in the back yard, but it has SO much more back yard than most of the houses we've seen, so we'll take it... and take OUT the rock.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Trip to Vegas

Sorry for such a delay in posting... I'm actually leaving to go up to Idaho this week, so I knew I had to squeeze something in before I left again. We were in Vegas the past 10 days looking for a house and visiting family! The house hunting was insane and basically, we still don't know if we have a house yet, but we should be finding out this week. Basically it's a bidding war housing market, so after the first two days of looking around, we had to look for cheaper houses so that we could bid them up 10-20 thousand. Insanity. Then we decided to stick around for the fourth since Taylor and Stasi were coming down. Hallie loved all the swimming and jumping and hanging out with her aunt and uncles and grandparents.

Then yesterday (the 4th) Hallie was super excited about these fireworks that everyone was telling her about. We put a blanket down and watched them together, and Hallie laid down right next to me, putting her hands behind her head just like I was. We talked about what colors the fireworks were and ooo-ed and ahh-ed over the big ones. It was a great mother-daughter moment :)

Here's some pictures we took while down in Vegas... they're growing up!

Hallie picked about 82 of grandma's flowers this past week... and here's what happened almost every time...

Hallie picking her flower

Hallie admiring her flower

Hallie "picking" her flowers

Hallie suffering the consequences and looking for more flowers


A few last minute additions to the Vegas-trip blogness. I must say, the older I get, the more cherished my family becomes. I've never disliked my family, or been bothered by them, but it's like each time we visit, I experience a new level of joy and a greater appreciation for the wonderful family that I've been blessed with. That includes Whit's family as well. I could not ask for a better bunch to be related to. My family is one of the spiritual constants that God has given me in life. One of the guiding stars, if you will. I know that I can always count on them to support me and help motivate me to become more Christ-like. Let's face it, I love my family!

While we were down, the extended family that was in town came over for Zach's ordination to the Melchizedek priesthood, it was a wonderful occassion. Here we are, minus Jessica of course (...she's playing broom hockey with tumble weeds, in the big TX):
From July 2009

Last but not least, Whitney and I were able to immortalize our little hippo man, the Tank, the Hungry Hippo, Porky-Boy...the list goes on. This picture sort of reminds me of Han Solo, when he was solidified in Carbon Freeze. It's a humorous little snapshot of the Ashtonat0r (if you can't quite make it out, shrink the image, or stand back a few feet):
From July 2009

That's all for now, just going to spend the next month or so admiring my beautiful wife and re-learning financial accounting for the CPA exam.

Oh yes, and sadly I must part with the little Harley, if anyone wants a scooter that goes 60 mph, gets ~85+ MPG, and pops wheelies, let me know. =]