Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Spencer: When I look at myself in the mirror, I even feel old!

I hear you, buddy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Our Little Princess

We have our very own royalty! Yes, it's true. When our University had their Homecoming activities a few weeks ago, Sadie was selected as the Little Princess on the Homecoming Court. It was a fun week from Coronation to riding (and throwing tons of candy) in the parade. Here are a few pictures from the events of the week:

Sadie and daddy during Coronation

Making her appearance at Homecoming Family Fun Night

                                                  Riding in an open Jeep during the Homecoming parade                                    photo: J. Grabiec
After the parade, with the rest of the gang.


Friday, October 26, 2012

What Everybody Needs

As I was tucking the boys in last night, Sterling was still unsure what he was going to be this morning for his school Halloween Parade. Looking at the stack of Calvin & Hobbes books on their floor, I had an idea...

Calvin & Hobbes

Sterling is the perfect kid to play Calvin! :)

This might be my favorite costume yet!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Les Mis

We celebrated my birthday* last night. I used all my birthday money and then some to buy 7 tickets to see Les Miserables. Soren and Sadie stayed behind with "the world's best babysitters" (Sadie's words) - two young adult girls in our ward. The rest of us got all gussied up and drove 2.5 hours to the Fox Theatre in St. Louis.

Arriving at The Fox Theatre in St. Louis
The theater is amazing with elaborate carvings and decor everywhere you look. It is no wonder they call it the Fabulous Fox! Built in 1929 and used for years as a movie theater, it opened for stage productions in the 80's. I'm glad we arrived early enough to soak it all in!

The play itself was simply amazing! Savannah pretty much cried through the whole thing. The music, the scenery, the voices (especially the voices!) - it was all so hauntingly beautiful! I wanted to just stay there and have it go on forever, even from our "cheap seats" which turned out to be much better than I expected. I first saw Les Miserables in 1993 in Edinburgh, Scotland. I took Jeff when it came to Salt Lake City in 1995. I love the story and I'm glad I was able to take my family to see it with me this time around.

Now if only I can find a way to justify tickets to Wicked in December...

*My birthday is October 8th. This was worth the wait!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Attempt at Halloween Decor

I admit it, Halloween is not my favorite holiday. I don't hate it, I just don't see the point in spending a lot of money or time on it. We manage to throw costumes together every year mostly with stuff we have around the house (see a few of last year's costumes here, here and here), and we have had a total of approximately 7 trick-or-treaters come to our house in the past 13 years. It's kind of hard to get excited about that.

However, I finally put up one Halloween decoration for the benefit of our mailman and the 4 other people that might come to my front door between now and the 31st. (I didn't even design it myself. The Doodlebat can be found here.) Voila.

I feel much better now. :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I just stumbled upon this great graphic and I'm determined to keep the message in mind as I plow through my to do list. All too often I get caught up in doing something just so, spending too much time and energy, only to find that all those little details didn't matter in the end. Sometimes, to be done is enough...especially when that nagging quest for perfection keeps me from starting in the first place!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Making A Difference

Simply amazing! (If the video won't work for you, you should be able to watch it here. Make sure you turn the captions on!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

For What It's Worth

My friend, Karey, has a new book coming out in December. I can't wait! I love the trailer and wanted to share so you can get excited, too...

The song is by Lenka and Karey's daughter drew the darling illustrations. What a fun way to introduce her book. You can pre-order it here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Am I a nerd?

Don't answer that.

I just had to post something today because it's ten-eleven-twelve and I love things like that!

Soren and I got to spend the day together because he is "sick." I laugh as I write that because he isn't sick at all, but technically he wasn't allowed to go to school. He came home early from school yesterday with a stomach bug. He was feeling pretty crummy for a few hours there and it's a good thing he was home, but it was clear that he was fine by dinnertime. I know that many (most?) parents would have sent him back to school today, but not me. The rule says that children are to be symptom free for 24-hours before returning to school so I see it as a legal day off! Yippee! I'm all-too-happy to comply with this technicality.

We've had a fun day together and Soren is the only one around here who even cares that it's 10-11-12 so we got to be nerds totally awesome and cool together.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

General Conference

I love General Conference!

President Monson started the conference off with a bang with this historic announcement: Missionary ages have been changed, effective immediately. Young men can serve at age 18 as long as they've graduated from high school and young women can serve at age 19.

WOW!! That sure caused a happy stir around here!

Sam's wheels are turning and he's on the hunt for a job so he can start saving. Savannah is thrilled! This announcement pretty much eliminated any concerns she's had about serving a mission. I can't wait to see all the good this historic change will bring about. It's an exciting time to be a member of the church.

We loved hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing. Each time the camera panned to the center, we saw what looks like a grown up version of my brother's little boy, Tyler.

Seriously. This man looks just how we imagine Tyler in about 50 years! :) 

It was an awesome conference. A couple of my favorite talks can be found here and here, but really there were so many good ones. I'm always sad to see Conference Weekend end. Looking forward to April!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Absa!

It's Sweet Sixteen for Absa today!

We had a party for her last night at the University Bowling Alley. So fun! A big group of her friends came and they sure know how to have a good time! I've mentioned before that Absa loves to bowl on the wii and she said that bowling is something she enjoys in Senegal as well. I don't remember her final score last night, but it was right around 50. Woo hoo! Okay, that might not sound so great, but it will sound a lot better when I tell you that after the 4th frame her score was, um, one. I'd say she made quite a come back! :)

And so, to one of the sweetest, calmest, most low-maintenance people I know, we wish you a big Happy Birthday, Absa!

I hope this is your best year so far.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Dunk Tank and a Good Game

Jeff is a pretty good sport! One of his students asked him if he'd volunteer some time in a dunk tank to raise money for charity during a campus event. The day was pretty chilly, but Jeff suited up and endured the cold, eventually getting dunked 4 times during his 15-minute time slot.

The next day, Jeff, as a member of the faculty senate, was invited to bring a guest to the football game and enjoy a pre-game meal in the President's tailgate tent. Sadie went as his date and they had a great time. The game got pretty tense at the end, ultimately going into overtime. The other team had first possession and scored a touchdown with the extra point. When it was our turn, we squeaked out a touchdown on a fourth down. Then we decided to go for a 2-point conversion and the win instead of the extra point and a double overtime. It was so close! Fortunately, our guy was there and managed to catch the pass and land with one foot in the endzone just before he stepped out of bounds. Yes!!