Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Happy Holidays from us

I hope someday to get a professional picture done. For now we will assign credit where it is due - our mini tripod on top of the mailbox.

Miss Charlotte sitting still for 2 seconds in the rocking chair my grandfather made for me.

Christmas came early for Charlotte, who is giving her new baby a kiss. Thanks Grandma! The stroller has yet to stop making laps around the house.

I can't believe how fast time has gone this year. Last year at this time I couldn't wait until January to find out where we would spend our next 6 years. It is nice to relax and not be anxiously awaiting news or graduations or moving and just be able to focus on fun things like teaching Charlotte what Christmas is all about.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

What's it about?

I am embarrassed to admit that until this day I did not know that Thanksgiving was established in this country by President Abraham Lincoln. Our Sunday School teacher read the speech below, and I felt more than a little sad that only 155 years later, such a beautiful speech has little chance of being delivered today by a national leader.

The following is the text of a speech that Abraham Lincoln gave on the day that he signed the Thanksgiving Proclamation.

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the LORD.

We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to, feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

--Abraham Lincoln - October 3, 1863

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving capers

We had a great Thanksgiving in Houston this year. By the day I left, I had finally gotten over my cold I'd suffered through for a week and a half. I think getting up at 4 a.m. for Kohl's Black Friday sale helped immensely. Nothing like fighting a crowd of 300 cranky people in the middle of the night to clear the sinuses right up! I will definitely not do that again. I really thought we'd be the only ones and it would be a fun adventure. But, we did get the $29 KitchenAid knife set that I came for. Since we knew everything else would be gone after we got that, we grabbed a few more. Anyone need a knife set for Christmas?

In other deal news, we got tickets to Hawaii for our trip in March! I've been watching the prices for a while and they dropped a ton last week. Clicking through to Priceline from Ebates also got us $17.50 cash back - at least enough to pay for one of our bags! Seriously guys - if you haven't signed up for ebates yet, do it! It pays off (not that it costs anything) even if you just use it for the airline tickets.

Charlotte was glad to get out and enjoy a fresh set of books, toys and parents for the week.
Now we're back in Frisco, loving the fall weather that was noticeably absent in Houston. No matter how many Christmases and Thanksgivings I spend there, I can't ever get it in my head to pack shorts and flip flops!Anniversary flowers

Before and After


26 years later...Long live the little people!
(and the Mom who hung unto my stuff that long)

Friday, November 21, 2008

5 Years!

5 years
2 apartments
1 house
2 cruises
1 Bachelor degree
1 D.D.S

1 booger picking cutie

10 seasons of ER watched on DVD
Hundreds of cartons of ice cream

I can't believe it's only been 5 years - I feel like you've always been a part of my life. Happy Anniversary Helaman, I love you!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Uncle Mark

In September, Charlotte had a good time playing with her Uncle Mark.

How quickly they forget... we went to see Mark when he was interviewing in Dallas last weekend and she was a little shy.But, warmed up fast when he took her over to see the "Baaas". She can't say fish, so she always says Baaa (bath) for fish since she has fish in her bath.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

our little lady

At her 19 month checkup, Charlotte recently weighed in at 24 lbs (50th%) and 32.5 inches tall (75th%). She's now feeding herself...

Driving from a choice of no less than four vehicles (is it considered spoiled if I paid practically nothing for them? I've gone a little garage sale crazy lately)...
and stealing Mommy's shoes at every opportunity to practice walking in heels.

What a cute little lady!
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Part I

Halloween Part I because we're only half done with our Halloween activities. We're making up for the fact that last year Charlotte sat out the event altogether in favor of an early bedtime. First we hit up Frisco's "Safety Town" trick or treat festival along with ten thousand other Frisco-ites. Charlotte was the cutest chick there.

Hailing a cab home
As successful a group shot of the ward kids as we could muster
Eyeing the cute shark next to her
The next night we hit up the ward "Fall Festival" and Charlotte went as a poodle. This costume didn't fit her last year (too big) and didn't really fit her this year either (too small!) but we stuffed her into it and she was super cute but her attitude wasn't as good, at least until the pumpkin pail filled up with candy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Take your family to work day

Helaman had some patients in Gainesville, Texas to visit. It is about an hour north of Frisco, where the gas is $2.50. Charlotte and I went along to keep him company and visit the local outlet mall and zoo. The outlet mall, or what was left of it, had seen better days. Nothing is more depressing than a food court devoid of vendors except for a Gap Outlet with nothing on sale - are you kidding? I give it two weeks to live.
The Frank Buck Zoo was fun to enjoy on this cool day and just our size. Charlotte loved the petting area and got to know some goats pretty well.

We thought this camel had died but it was just asleep. Looks comfy.

Our family shot - look closely and you can see a giraffe between the fence.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dallas Arboretum Punkin Patch

Today we went to the Dallas Arboretum and their pumpkin patch with some friends. As you know we are huge pumpkin fans and will always remember our Pumpkin Festival in Boston in 2006. It was not the New England picturesque cool and crisp fall day we enjoyed there (think super humid and warm instead) but we had a great time playing in the pumpkins and seeing the petting zoo and gardens. We'll have to get carving soon.

sippy cup action shot by the lake

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Breakfast of Champs

You don't get to meet an Olympic gold medalist every day, so today we went to our own Kroger where Nastia Liukin was signing Wheaties boxes.

The Frisco Rough Riders baseball team mascot, Deuce, came for the festivities too. Everyone in line was telling Charlotte to grab his tail in this picture. She did but I missed the pic! Kroger had cookies and water out for everyone which was nice. Having shopping carts with TVs in them would have been even better. I discovered these yesterday at Tom Thumb (Safeway or Randalls) and literally had to drag Charlotte away from the store when we were done. No wonder they get away with higher prices...! The kiddie carts at Kroger are these ten foot long BOATS in the shape of a car that make a roaring sound when you go around the store.

Since Charlotte was so good standing in line she got her name on the box. Hopefully someday she'll appreciate it!
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Sunday, September 28, 2008

18 Months Old!

Charlotte kept handing me bows to put in her hair. Remind you of anyone? That's right - Uncle Phil who would request the same thing of me.

I had been feeling like our yard wasn't too exciting for her. For her 18th month birthday, I scored this slide structure at a local garage sale for her which she is enjoying thoroughly. It looked terrible when I bought it since it was all in pieces and very dirty, but I think it came together nicely after a good hose-down and construction job.

She only stayed in the nursery at church for about 5 minutes today... but collapsed and fell asleep on my lap due to sheer exhaustion. I'm counting down until we get a new meeting time...
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Monday, September 22, 2008

Plano Balloon Festival

One of the balloons had a crash landing.
Not really - that's how they blow them up.
Lift off!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

just another day in the life of a miniwheat

With Aunt Amy and Uncle Mark at their open house in Houston over Labor Day weekend.
Thinking the party was for her.

Getting some love from Grandma.

Doing some reading before bed on the glider we stole from Grandma.
Going for a spin.
Getting hijacked.Drinks with a friend.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Random updates

  • The other day I was pretty distracted coming out of the grocery store. I wheeled up to the car, hit the remote to unlock, opened the door.... and realized this was NOT my car. What a weird feeling! I thought, this person must have left their car unlocked. Then I noticed it was also a Hyundai. Hmmm.... I mentioned it to Helaman and he said he can unlock one of his friends' Hyundais. Seems like a huge glitch to me....
  • We really enjoyed watching the Olympics this year using DVR. Seeing 8 hours of coverage in 30 minutes is fabulous! You get to see all of the cool stuff with none of the commercials or athletes milling about. Congratulations to our neighbor, gold medalist Nastia Liukin, who trains less than a mile down the street. We would have gone to her parade, but it was too hot.
  • Helaman is done with his round the clock service at the hospital. He now is a med student moonlighting as a traveling dentist, visiting nursing homes to help out the elderly with dentures and tooth extraction. It's not as glamorous as he would like - but is any job?
  • Charlotte's favorite word is "car". It's pretty cute when she points out the cars in her videos, but when we're in a parking lot - watch out. Car? Car? Car? Car? Car? Car? Car?