Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Too many cookies!

Damon was tucking Cru in on Christmas Eve and Damon asked if he wanted him to put some cookies and milk out for Santa. He said, "Yeah but not too much or he won't fit in the chimney."


While telling the story of the First Christmas with our nativity, we had the kids bring up Mary, baby Jesus and etc. when it came to that particular part of the story. They seemed so eager to place them gently by the manger when it came to be their turn. Well as Damon read from the Bible Corbin seemed more eager than the others and was hovering over the manger with the camel. He had already placed Joseph in the manger and was listening to every word coming out of Damon's mouth so that he was prepared for his turn. Damon, speaking of the shepherds, said "And they came with haste". At that point Corbin piped up and said, "Is this Haste?" Holding up the Camel with a quizzical look. We all started laughing but he just put the camel by the manger anyway.

Christmas Craziness

This year we spent Christmas at home in Utah and had the privelege of having Carl (Damon's brother) and his wife Jinger and their family come stay with us. We started the festivities off by eating and ended the festivities by ...yes EATING! It was great food (loved the spinach dip Jing). Anyway we had a great time. We had fun decorating ginger bread houses but the boys spent most of their time asking us to transform their cars
into robots and vise versa. I have found that I have mad skills when it comes to folding, bending and morphing these decepticons and autobots. Cru and Corbin also got G.I. JOE Snake eyes stuff. They are as Cru put it, "real ninjas now". We also got a Wii game system. It's been a lot of fun... I think I have a bit of tennis elbow. The boys played
all together (boxing, baseball, tennis). It motivated them to really box one another which was fun to watch. But it proved to be too exhausting for the dogs. Overall it was a great day!

New Chompers

Ava is now 15 months old and is on her way to having a mouth full of teeth. Her gums are bulging because all the teeth decided to come in at the same time. Although she is CRANKY and unreasonable she is hanging in there and will soon be able to chew up and take down beef jerky just like her mom...teriyaki please! This picture depicts the trauma we are all experiencing here at the Andreasen household. If you click on the picture it will enlarge and allow you to see the many teeth coming in.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Princesses and Armies

I got home from work today and asked Cru about school. He told me that today he played Princesses and Armies at recess. When I asked about the rules of this game he said, basically the Armies chase the Princesses and then the Princesses turn us into things. I asked if he got turned into anything....."I got turned into a Toad."

I thought this didn't happen until Jr. High!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Worst Day of 2007

Monday was THE worst day of 2007 for me...I hope. The year isn't over yet. I'll share my experience of that day with you so it makes you feel better about how your day is going.
What launched this snowball of catastrophes was a small mistake actually the night before. I set the alarm on my watch to wake me up, only I accidentally set it for PM rather than AM. I woke up to the sound of the school bus compressing it's brakes and opening it's doors for the kids to get on. "CRAP! Cru wake up you missed the bus!" I let him take his time eating his breakfast and catch a little bit of "Clifford The Big Red Dog". In the mean time I was getting ready and realized I couldn't find my car keys. I thought no big deal, they'll show up. But after searching high and low I finally gave up hope and began the dreaded process of putting snow clothes on all my kids. (It was like 19 degrees outside and the wind was blowing) Once that process was done I loaded the two little ones in the stroller and gave Cru a few words of encouragement before we headed out the door for the mile walk to his school. We realized after about 20 steps that we couldn't go our regular route because of road construction so we went an alternate route. We made it to the swinging bridge that crosses the river but it was rough going. The snow from the previous day had made it very difficult. After struggling our way over the swinging bridge we came to our intended path but were frustrated to find it had been gated off! That was the second "CRAP!" of the day. So the only option at this point was to ditch the stroller and take a huge flight of stairs up the hill. So that's what we did. Once to the top a blast of cold wind hit us...but did we stop? NO! because we came this far and education is important RIGHT! We could do it! (That was my optimistic attitude talking) So the pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked ...AND walked. The kids were really good until this point. Corbin's little legs had a hard time keeping up and they were all getting cold. Corbin began to cry. But once the school was in sight everyone felt like the torture was over....But was it? We did make it to the school and Cru was only 30 minutes late! But there was no way I was getting Corbin to walk back down to the stroller. He hung onto the handle of the school door and kept saying, "I want to stay at school with Cru". I put him on my back with Ava in the front and started to head out but Corbin couldn't hang on tight enough so I knew a piggy back ride wasn't going to work. So I knelt down to let him off and must have let go of him too soon because he didn't have his feet under him and he fell and bonked his head on the sidewalk. Keep in mind during this scene the lunch ladies in the cafeteria had a great view and saw the entire thing. So Corbin is screaming, I have mascara under my eyes from the night before so I look like Rocky and Ava realizes she needs to cry because she has to do everything her brother does. That's when the third "CRAP!" of the day was said. I finally gave up on my optimistic attitude and walked to my spectators inside the cafeteria to ask for a ride home. Luckily Sister Howell (Cru's primary teacher) worked there. Two other women were gaping at me and I think wondering if they should call Child Protective Services. Bless Sister Howell, with no hesitation she grabbed her car keys and took us home, picking up the stroller on the way. When I got home I looked on the table and there was a note with my car keys sitting next to them. It said, "Merry Christmas! They were in the garbage downstairs" AAAAHHHHH! Damon, bless his heart, had drove all the way home from work to give us a ride to the school but we weren't there so he started searching for the keys. Needless to say I had exhausted myself emotionally and physically by 9 a.m. and was useless the rest of the day. Well there you have it. I hope you feel better about your day now. If you do my mission is accomplished! Oh and at 6:50 PM while I was cleaning up the kitchen my alarm went off. I started laughing hysterically.

The Dentist

So I went to the dentist Monday. I think the dental assistant that cleaned my teeth ate at our local sandwich shop, BIG MOE'S. She had the worst breathe in the world and by my judgement ordered the pastrami burger with onions. I sat in the reclined chair for 30 minutes laughing to myself and trying to concentrate on breathing through my mouth so I wouldn't smell anything. That's really hard when you have a set of metal tools jammed inside your gaping mouth.

Friday, November 30, 2007

4th and 18

This Thanksgiving season caused some marital issues between Shawna and I. We had planned (and I agreed) to spend Thanksgiving in Glenns Ferry. The only problem was the BYU vs utah football game. The game fell the Saturday after Thanksgiving! Most any other game and I would have rescind and just watched on TV...But not the Utah game. BYU could win every game this year and lose to Utah and I would be disappointed. I know pathetic...

There was no way I was going to miss this game! In the end we compromised we left a day early to come home a day early and see the game. The real saving grace was my mother (THANKS MOM!!) who agreed to watch the kids while Shawna and I went to the game together...Now that's my idea of a date!!
One piece of advice I would like to give: If you are expecting an emotionally charged event involving a great deal of yelling, avoid at all costs the combination of hot chocolate and nachos!!!! Enough said.

The game was a defensive battle. Luckily our hometown hero Jan Jorgensen (from Helper, Ut) had a great game. Utah scored to take the lead with about 1 min 30 seconds left on the clock. The score 10 to 9. This may not seem like much to you, but that one stinking point would haunt me for the remainder of the year. Church members, co-workers, etc.. would harass me for this for the entire year, especially if it was by one stinking point. I was already planning inactivity in the church due to the harassment I would receive.
Three horrible plays later We (and I mean myself and the BYU football team) were looking at 4th down and 18 yards to go! The pressure comes and Max Hall (quarterback) Launches the ball into the air!
It is an amazing sound hearing 65,000 people dead silent and all simultaneously standing up and inhaling. The change in air pressure alone from all the inhaling could probably start its own weather pattern.
Austin Collie (receiver at byu) catches the ball to keep the game alive! The explosion of sound was so great I could not hear my own voice yelling. (this may be due to being so loud, or my vocal chords exploding, I am not sure which)
Harvey Unga (running back) scores the winning touchdown, and Collie catches a two point conversion to seal the game!!!
At the moment the clock ticked 0:00 We grabbed our stuff and rushed the field! It was a great game and great Thanksgiving!

I think I need a vacation to recover from my vacation!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tag - 6 things you don't know

My good friend Becca Renfroe tagged me. And in this game of tag she related 6 things that her friends didn't know about her. Now that she has tagged me it's my turn to divulge the unknown to you.
1. - When growing up I always ate "hot-lunch" at school. My mom never packed lunches for me and I don't blame her. I pack my husband's lunch now and it's not very fun. I can't imagine packing lunches for my kids too. The school lunches are priced really well anyway. I did however have a "herself the elf" lunch box with matching thermos. I can still remember the smell of it. (weird I know) It was kinda milky. I got to use this sweet lunch box on field trips and outings with my family. I have to say my favorite school lunch was chili with crackers, cheese sticks, chocolate milk and drum roll please.........maple bars! Thank goodness for lunch-lady land!
2.- I love my bed. Sometimes I watch my dog, Skadi, prepare to sleep. She turns in a circle and paws at her bed and then plops down and curls in a ball. Then she rubs her nose into the fabric and lets out a big sigh. That's how I am. Only I like to get a running start before I jump on my bed. My philosophy on beds is that they are the closests things to our mothers. We as grownups don't have anyone to dress, feed or bathe us. But we do have something to hold us and keep us warm every night!
3.- I own 5 pairs of bright colored, warm, fuzzy socks. My husband bought these for me after I continually put my toes in the crook of his leg (behind his knees or like my nephew use to say...leg-pit) after climbing into bed at night. Needless to say, I use a pair almost every day.
4.- I have a thing for pasleys. I didn't realize this until recently. I got to looking around my house and noticed a pattern forming. My wardrobe, curtains and bedspread all have some form or color of pasleys on them. I'm just drawn to that type of pattern for some reason. It has an earthy, artistic, comfort feel to me. But don't get me wrong I'm all up for tye-dye and polka-dots too.
5.- I like riding my bike. Although I don't do it as much as I would like to. It allows me to be independent. I remember one day I was loading my groceries and (at the moment) whining kids in the car after a long and frustrating trip to the store. My hands were full, my back hurt and I had a headache. A girl road by on her bike at the exact moment that I was feeling totally consumed by my kids and duties as a mom. I thought to myself, "Man I wish I could have my own little bubble right now and ride by myself on a dirt trail in the mountains" I wanted to be alone and get out all of my frustrations through peddaling the heck out of my bike. So now when I do get the chance that's exactly what I do. That experience has made me appreciate that time alone much more.
6. - My favorite Disney movie is "Cinderella". And my favorite Disney character is Gus Gus the mouse. I'm always quoting the movie to my kids and they're always telling me to stop it. "Raker Reasy Cluck Cluck" "Duh Duh Happy Birfday Cinderelly"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

BYU Women's Football Camp

I think all of you know by now that our family are avid BYU football fans. This blue blood, I am learning, is hereditary and comes through the Andreasen blood line. At the beginning of each season the football organization at BYU holds a women's camp. Damon's father Gary said it was the only time he would be willing to dress up like a girl. This was my first time attending the camp. I have to say it was the most fun I've had in a long time. My two sister-in-laws and mother-in-law went to this fun filled event with me. It was pretty much a riot. Now think about a riot on the news. People running around hitting each other and things flying everywhere. That's pretty much how it was. Over 400 women trying to get Max Halls autograph (which I did by the way). It was pretty sweet though. We met the players and coaches, toured the facilities and played on the field. Unfortunately my mother-in-law suffered a knee injury during the drills she was running and had to have her knee scoped...but no fear she caught the ball! (I guess the doctor looked at her funny during her appointment. When he saw her age and the cause of the injury on the paper he thought there was a typo). She's doing much better now and is the central pride of all her sons. The thing that was surprising is that all these players are amazing upstanding young men. They work extremely hard in the community and in school and not one of them was a snob. I was impressed. They're on their way to becoming conference champs...once again! We'll be going to the Utah game next weekend! GO COUGS!

(This has got to be my favorite picture. Jinger and Max leading the pack through the tunnel to the field!)

(This is Harvey Unga, RB, I beleive he has the leading yards rushing so far at BYU)


I thought this was a pretty typical Sunday morning picture, facial expressions and all. Cru gets himself ready for the day now and came pretty darn close concerning his tie, but not quite. He's a lot like his dad...he hates restrictions around his neck.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Video games are fun but.....

I love playing video games, especially my college football games....But one day I came home and saw this. (This is all 3 kids and SHAWNA!)
I guess the glare from the windows was a little too much for the avid gamers in my home. Needless to say we needed out of the house.

We decided to go bouldering (climbing on large boulders with no ropes) up Huntington Canyon. It was interesting driving up the canyon due to all the flags honoring the lost miners and rescuers from the recent collapses.

We finally found our spot but it was quickly getting dark so we climbed a little and then got the kids going.

We hooked the chalk bags on each of them and talked them through the first part, they still didn't quite catch on.

Next came the explanation that climber's chalk was the same stuff that Spiderman used when shooting his webs. That's all it took! We climbed till dark.

Virtual reality is fun, but ACTUAL reality is so much more!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Happenings

Finally my children are as interested in the holidays as I am! When our first child was born I thought to myself, "YES, now I have someone who will get as excited as me!" Little did I know it would take 5 years for that child to grow and actually understand how absolutely rad Halloween and Christmas are. But this year is the one...the one where Cru and Corbin are counting down the days and hours. I can see it now... them filling their bags to the brim with candy and sorting it out on the floor into categories. (Corbin doesn't need preschool he just needs halloween every other day) This year Cru decided to be a storm trooper. Corbin followed his Star Wars stricken brother by being Jango Fett. And of course I had to follow suit with Ava as Princess Leia. It's been great fun. It's amazing what you can make with paper mache', yarn and a hot glue gun. We had a family Halloween party with an "Out Of This World" theme. Damon went as an ASStronaut. We put a name tag on him that said "Jack". (I'll let you figure that one out) He also wore a "180 IQ" patch on his he was also a smart a%$. His hat said "nASSa". I decided to go along with the kids' star wars theme and was Chewbecky. (The female version of Chewbacca). It was pretty darn gross but way fun. We also have taken the kids to a couple carnivals already. Tonight we'll take them around the neighborhood. They're just as excited for Christmas. A Hasbro toy magazine came in the mail and they already have it circled and worn to bits. I knew I could count on these little guys to make things exciting again! We hope you all have a Happy Halloween and enjoy the remainder of the holiday season! Let us know what you're costumes were this year!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Not in front of the GUYS!

Well when Cru was eating breakfast this morning he said, "Mom, maybe before we go out to the bus you can kiss me in here so that those boys don't see." I wanted to cry. Cru has now become aware of others and is now concerned about what they think. Oh man! A very small portion of his childhood has been washed away. So I did away with our routine kiss on the sidewalk and gave him a big hug and kiss inside and then walked him out to the bus stop where the other BIG boys were waiting. What's next? ...Mom give me the keys, I'll drive. AHHHHH! He's growing up too fast.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

4 Keys to Happiness

Deep thoughts by Dimmer Switch:

I recently attended a training where one of the speakers discussed the 4 keys to happiness. Most of his research was done in a cancer ward in the hospital. His research was generally on happiness and treatment responses. I don't think he prioritized the list as #1 is the most important, I believe he tried to emphasize it takes a combination of all 4. I will list his 4 keys but add my own ideas to reasons why its important and/or leads to happiness:

1) Feeling a Sense of Control: In counseling and therapy I work a lot in this area (anger management, stress, relationships, etc.) Basically things happen to us for 3 basic reasons: Ourselves, Others, Fate. I don't really like the word Fate but can't think of a better one yet. OURSELVES, According to our choices we receive our consequences. This is the area with the most control. OTHERS, we have much less control (if any) with others, but their choices do effect us for good or bad. I would say rather than control we have influence, and I often counsel that the other thing we can do is protecting ourselves from others. As in many of the business books I have read a common theme is surround ourselves with successful people and they will influence us into success. The opposite is also true. FATE, we have no control here. No one asks for natural disasters, or accidents, but sometimes life throws us a curve ball. Here, though we have no control, we can choose to be survivors or victims of what comes our way.
From a gospel standpoint. One of the key foundations of the Plan of Happiness is agency! It is one of the greatest blessings given to us from our Father in Heaven.

2) Feeling a Sense of Connectedness: In my days working in the nursing homes in Orem and Rexburg I remember (generally speaking) that those with involved family got better much quicker and went home. Those without struggled.
It is comforting to know that no matter where you go in this world, we can be connected with others through the church. Genealogy connects us with our ancestry, and the priesthood connects us to heaven.

3) Have a Sense of Hope and Humor: One of my favorite quotes is "What makes the desert that somewhere it hides a well." From "The Little Prince", by Antonie de Saint-Exupery.
In counseling I always try and impress that happiness is not a destination or found in the future or past. I find myself saying "I will be happy when.." "I will be happy if..." Even if we finally reach these points there will always be a new spot on the horizon to long for.
True hope comes through the Atonement. I think the hope spoken of here is finding the positive in situations and events. Look for miracles and you will find them! Humor...In many situations we can laugh or cry...we may as well laugh.

4) Feeling a Sense of Meaning or Being part of something larger than yourself: In counseling I think this is why groups like AA or NA are so effective. Helping and service to others provides in their own treatment. Others look for this in charities and organizations.
One more reason why the church is so great, knowing we are part of the plan of salvation, plan of happiness is fantastic and gives us meaning fills us with hope, connectedness, and control.
Another great quote is from Cicero a Greek philosopher in his story "The dream of Scipio, "Look upwards then! Contemplate this place which is a habitation for all eternity! Then you will not need any longer to be at the mercy of what the multitude says about you! Then you will not have to put your trust in whatever human rewards your achievements may earn."

On the opposite side is "The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment." author unknown.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ava's 1st Birthday

Ava turned the big #1 September 22. She seemed to enjoy the birthday festivities. Grandma and Grandpa Andreasen were here for the fun. She had an audience to perform in front of so she decided to finally start walking. A video of that can be seen under "Infant To Toddler" blog. This video is of her birthday. Take a look at the mean look she gives me when I start to take her cake away. Wow! watch out world here she comes.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Infant To Toddler

It's amazing how much a child changes in it's first year of life. They come into the world curled in a little ball and sleep almost all of the time. A good 12 months later and they're
aerating potted plants

and eating wood chips two at a time.

Along with these new skills Ava has mastered the sad puppy dog look. It works on her dad every time.

These last couple of weeks I have gotten glimpses of Ava becoming a toddler. Her neck and legs seem longer and she is beginning to show her attitude during our daily interactions. That first year seems so slow when I think of all the exhausting late nights and "I don't know why she's crying!" moments. But it seems to have gone too fast when I think of all the cradling and cooing. Here is a short video of Ava's first go at walking. She's a pro now, with shoes and all.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bruised pride and sore muscles

Many times throughout our marriage I have stood in full support of my wife and her desire to run in races. I stood cheering at the finish line, Pepsi in hand while she ran two half marathons, a relay full marathon, and various other races.

I felt a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I managed the kids all by myself with only minor amounts of bribing with sugar substances and toys.

This weekend I entered a new phase of running support (and no I don't mean size of jock straps). A local organization called Active Reentry sponsored a 5k race. All proceeds went to helping those with disabilities acquire the tools they need to succeed in independence. So I reluctantly agreed to run (and I use the word run sparingly) in the race. The race was called the run/walk/and roll so I felt safe in entering.

The first three steps of the race went well for me, then suddenly Cru (age 5) easily separated himself and gained a nice lead. Luckily the fact that Cru had to take 3-4 steps to every one of mine came into play and I caught up.

Unfortunately at about the 1/2 way point the two ladies in motorized wheelchairs caught up and passed me. I smiled and waved, but deep down my competitive spirit burned with hatred and I wished to slash their tires and rip the little orange flag to the ground!

In the end I controlled my bruised pride, and we finished the race as a family at about 55 minutes. I only had to take one Ibuprofen and suffered two minor cramps, one to my left butt cheek, and one to my right hammy......Next year those two motorized wheelchairs are going down!!!! Or maybe I will go back to the Pepsi and finish line support.


I do all my own stunts

Okay, I know you've all seen them, those shirts for little kids that have those funny sayings on them. Well we found a perfect one for Corbin. It says, "I do all my own stunts". A week after we got this shirt for Corbin my brother, Mike, sent me the exact same shirt in the mail for him. (reaffirming that this kid is a lethal himself) I'll elaborate on why this phrase fits Corbin so perfectly. His first crucial accident was at his grandma Andreasen's. He climbed up on the window seat and managed to fall face first onto the leg of the rocking chair right beside it. This accident took us on an adventure to the hospital. Eight stitches and an hour of howling later we were home.

On a nice day this summer the boys were out front playing some baseball. Corbin, on Cru's command, was the pitcher once again. Corbin got a bit too close when letting loose of the ball and Cru popped him in the eye....if you're about to scroll up to check and see if it is the same eye, save your energy. It's the same eye.

Just this week Corbin was distraught with boredom so we went to the playground by Cru's school. We played for a while on one side of the playground. I watched Corbin as he locked is sights on a dinosaur slide across the way. He took off running, looking at how fast his feet were going (a family trait huh Mike!). Anyway I turned to get Ava out of the swing and I heard a vibrating BONG! Corbin ran into a metal bar that was stretched across his path. I turned and he was flat on his back. A huge goose egg right between his eyes formed right away. I don't have a picture of it yet...the bruise is still forming. (I'd like to have the full effect before recording it with the camera) I should have had one of those shirts back in my day of farm stunts.
He's had many other accidents but I'll save you the "Yikes" and "Ouches". Although I laugh about his stunt skills I shudder every time I hear that cry...the one that is different than all others. I hate seeing my kids get hurt. I'm just happy to know that my hugs and kisses can help now. Later in life I don't think I'll be able to soothe them so easily.
March 26th 2008
Corbin was doing a superman pose while swinging on the swing and must have underestimated his balancing skills and fell head first into the gravel. Once we got the rocks out of his nose and the blood and dirt washed off I was grateful to see all his teeth were still in the right places.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Playground Skills

Well Cru started kindergarten last month. It lasts all day, unlike most kindergartens. But he seems to not know the difference. He rides the bus like a champ and gets up almost every morning eager for the day.

His first friend at school was "birthday boy". He referred to him as birthday boy for a couple weeks. We encouraged him to find out "birthday boys" name several times. Our persistence paid off and we now know his friend is Christian and his birthday is August 28. Another reason why kids are so don't need to know your friend to be a friend.

His other friend is Kendall. A girl from his Sunday school class. I asked if he played with her on recess and he said "no because I didn't know her because her hair was like this..." He then made a strange face and stuck his fingers out and twirled his hands in a circle. After talking to his mom at church I found out they did rollers in her hair the night before.

Yesterday was parent teacher conference. Our first opportunity for this splendid event. Cru was asked by his teacher to attend. We learned that Cru needs to work on his listening skills (He's a social bug as Mrs. Matekovic put it politely) Other than that his teacher let us know that he's doing great! After the conference he took us all out to the playground to show us his "playground skills". He proceeded to climb to the top of the oldest looking piece of playground equipment (you know the old metal bar ones that make me thankful we have health insurance). After climbing to the top he straddles two bars and then jumped off the top!...landing safely with a look on his face like TADAH! We played on this playground throughout the summer and he never attempted something like that. Just within a matter of weeks his playground skills have improved dramatically, that is...become more dangerous. I guess that's what happens when you get 5 or 6 kindergarten boys trying to see who can do the coolest trick. If he doesn't win for coolest trick, I give him the award for the most pea-gravel in his shoes when he gets home from school.