Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall is so much FUN!

We have been having so much fun in this warm fall weather.  For the last couple of weeks we've had family night in the canyon before it gets too cold (and have a new baby) and we are stuck inside.
Can't resist throwing rocks into the water

Calem is really good at pointing out fish in the water.  He's surprised us a couple times with how quickly he spots them.

Calem and Penny

All together now

This little kiddo is so fun to be with if you can catch him.  He has so much energy and is always on the go.  He may look like he has a halo, but don't let it fool you!

The famous Calem cheezer.  He shows off his teeth.

Calem has been helping grandpa at the farm a lot lately.  He even gets to go home with grandpa on Friday nights to help him.  Here he is picking pumpkins.  He loves to pick the green ones.  Notice his cool work gloves grandpa gave him last week.  Best thing ever.

Working hard to pull off the vines

Here he is with a truck load of pumpkins.  He is trying to turn the cat's head so he's looking at the camera too.  Poor kitty.

Calem found out how much fun leaves were today.  I may be a bad mom by letting him and in fact encouraging him to jump from the garbage can.  They're LEAVES, and this boy has no fear.
The landing

Ready to jump again

This may be one of his favorite things to do now

We are just praying that the real cold weather doesn't get here anytime too soon, there is just so much more fun we could have. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

This always happens to me...

The other day Colby told me that all throughout the United States, the entire month of March had record breaking temperatures. And guess where I am....not there. I was feeling pretty bummed about not participating, so I guess I'll go here:

and while I'm at it, here:

and here:

and here:

and here:

and here:

I hope all of you are enjoying your warm weather!

p.s. totally ripped all these pics off of google images.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


The last couple of months have been great. We hosted an American Thanksgiving, a Christmas dinner, and a dinner for New Years! That is a lot of food and a lot of cooking in a very small kitchen. But, we enjoyed it (kinda- it's always a bit stressful) and those that came enjoyed it as well. We had people over that didn't have family around, so at least we all got to spend the holidays together. Everyone that was over was actually from another country (hence no family) and could speak English. It was pretty fun and Calem got to show off for our visitors. Also, we got some pretty good games of Pit on. But, I hope not to have to put on dinners like that all by myself anymore. Too much work!
A huge thank you to my MIL Marla for always having a Sunday family dinner. She hosts more people than we did every single week. Oh how we miss Sunday dinners with the good food and the good company! We are blessed with great families!

We also celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. Six great years with my best friend. We celebrated by heading into Paris. It was the first time we had gone there since getting here, and Colby's first time ever. It is quite a big and pretty city. We had a pretty good time and it was great we could make it a day trip and be home at night. The day was a pretty day, it did get cold and rainy in the afternoon, but really it was quite nice.

Hmmm, lets see... life I guess just seems pretty normal now. That is a good thing because it means that we are really pretty comfortable here now. We have accumulated all the furniture and appliances that we will get. It's really hard to spend money on things that you know you will just leave behind in a couple of months. So, we go without a lot of the conveniences we are used to, but we make do and we are happy!

I think the hardest thing about living here is not having a car. But, the money we save in gas and insurance each month we are putting toward traveling and seeing new things. I guess that is a good trade-off. It makes us not feel as bad going on short trips. So, we have quite a few planned in the next couple of months. It also helps that everything is so close. In a 3 hour drive, we can get to about 4 different countries and different areas in France. Not bad, huh? I'm excited anyway.

Calem is still growing like a weed. He is just a happy and agreeable kid. When you ask him something, he gets these big eyes and nods his head. I know he doesn't understand everything that we tell him, but it is much better having him say yes when he doesn't mean it than to always saying no. We went through that stage about a month ago- and that just made Mom mad.

Anyway, life is good and we are happy around here. Who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's the best time of the year!

Reims puts up a Christmas village every year. It's pretty neat. They have a big pedestrian zone in the city where they have set up long rows of Christmas cottages that sell anything and everything. There are specialty cheeses, meats, dried fruit, and treats. There are also all sorts of little trinkets, ornaments, handiwork, etc. to look at. Vendors sell roasted chestnuts and hot wine (we are in France). The streets are decked out with all sorts of lights. Even though there isn't snow, the lights make it seem like Christmas anyway.

They have little scenes set up of moving toys, Santas, etc. My favorite is the nativity scene. It was very educational.

Check out Joseph. I had no idea he was a Chinese warrior guy with a sword. I may be a little afraid for baby Jesus right now.

I thought the Christmas village was pretty crowded for my tastes, especially pushing a stroller in the crowd, but look at the contrast. This is one of the many Paris Christmas villages on Avenue des Champs Elysees (just down from the Arch of Triumph). I don’t think I have ever been surrounded by so many people- not even in the Sao Paulo subways! I think I’ll stick to the small-ish town festivals from now on.

We bought a small Christmas tree and some other small decorations to make our home "Christmas-y" It is starting to feel that way too. We have made sugar cookies and have enjoyed lots of chocolate from our advent calendar and watched lots of Christmas movies. Even then, holidays without family around can seem pretty empty and we miss everyone at home, especially during this time. We did wake up to a small skiff of snow this morning, so it may be Christmas time after all!

Very excited about all the decorations!

Helping Dad put them on the tree

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!

You just gotta lick the beaters!

Enjoying the cookies first thing in the morning!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

We've already been here a month?

What? Where did the time go? We have been loving it here and loving being together as a family again. Life seems pretty much "normal" again. Life is definitely different here, but it seems more and more normal as each day passes. We are adjusting to the public transportation system. Although we both really miss having a car (to see the surrounding countryside and to make errands A LOT easier), it doesn't make sense to buy one for such a relatively short period of time. Unfortunately :(
Calem is a trooper on the tram and the bus. He always wants his own seat and sometimes we aren't allowed to sit next to him. Obviously, he's all grown up! Some trips are very long and we make use of a small mp3/video player while he is in his stroller. It turns a lot of heads and it is not unusual to have a few kids (and adults) next to Calem trying to watch Toy Story, or Bug's Life while surviving their ride. We also get a few disgusted looks because we are ruining/spoiling our child by letting him watch movies while on the go. To tell you the truth, it has been the best money we have spent- it gives us a little peace :).
We use the transportation system everyday. We usually have a tram and a bus transfer to get anywhere from the grocery store, to other stores, to church, and Colby's school. Calem and I always look like we are homeless. I am pushing a stroller and carrying bags of groceries, household items, etc while trying to cram on the bus with other passengers. And we have to do that almost everyday. We have a small fridge but it doesn't have a freezer compartment, so we have to buy meat in small quantities and that means shopping more. Heaven forbid we have a meal without meat :)! I just have to laugh sometimes because it is pretty ridiculous. So thankful for cars!

We live in a town called Reims. If you take the high speed train, you can get to Paris in 40 min. I think it's about the distance from Logan to SLC. And although we are so close, we haven't been able to visit yet. When we talk to ward members, they say this town in really small (especially those who have moved here from elsewhere). To us, it's really big. There is about 240,000 people- so, plenty for our taste.

Our apartment is quite small. It has quite a big living room and one bedroom. We are slowly collecting furniture and we just got a washer! No more laundromat trips for me! The bedroom has become Calem's bedroom and Colby and I sleep in the "living room." It is nice to be able to put Calem to bed and have some time to just veg while watching a show or reading or studying French. I think I would go crazy if there wasn't that bedroom. Our kitchen is small but bigger than the one we had in Logan. We have a bathroom with a sink and a tub and then a separate room with just a toilet in it. It's weird. Also, I think we have a chain-smoking ghost that lives in there because every night it smells so bad of stale cigarette smoke. Awful! The ventilation system must be really messed up. We'll leave here with lung cancer or something. Add Image

Right outside our front door, there is a tram station. Calem loves the trains that stop there. Probably 20 times a day, I see him like this. He screams (yes really screams) when the trains come. He loves it
Mom and Calem hanging out on the tram.Waiting at the bus stop.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The past nine days have been a whirlwind of adventure. We covered some serious ground, saw some amazing things, and even had time to play on lots of playgrounds. Needless to say, we are all exhausted and the hours before getting "home" in Poland were about as unbearable as could be.

We are so glad we took some time to see some surrounding country, but we are so glad that it is over! :) We now have 4 days left before going back to our real home. Yay! How has the time passed so quickly?

Colby has the camera at work, so I'll have to put up some pics later, and I promise I won't put up too many. No one likes to see a slideshow of someone else's vacation. That might be about as unbearable as being coerced into watching a movie of your grandma's cornia transplant. And yeah, that really happened.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I'm pretty much in love with Krakow

We had a fantastic weekend! We went to Krakow and had the best time. It was perfect. It is probably one of the prettiest cities I have seen. Like Prague, it was a city that escaped the war unscathed. This city is so old. The first written recording of this city was in the 900's and it was a thriving city by then. It's cool that nothing was destroyed.

We had a lot of adventures and saw a lot of cool things including a castle, dragon bones, street dancers, cotton candy, a cool salt mine, got contacted by the missionaries, and great food! One of the best parts was when we checked into our hotel, there was a garden patio of their restaurant right next to our door. So, we put Calem down for a nap and got to hang out in the garden and have a peaceful meal all by ourselves. It was the best just to relax and enjoy some great food and not have to worry about anything. Awesome.

Here are some pics of some of the things we saw.
So these are in no order whatsoever. We also have so many pics that it would be impossible to post all the cool places we were, so here are a scattered few.
The streets are awesome! Cobblestone and look at the buildings! It is so pretty here! The Wawel castle is behind us in this pic. I'm pretty sure this is the street Pope John Paul II grew up on. There are a million memorials around this city for him. I guess they love their pope!

This is a big courtyard inside the castle walls. Calem was in heaven with so much space to run around in. I couldn't resist just letting him run. He is the small speck in the sunlight :). The courtyard was huge and it made you feel so small. This pic probably just shows about a third of it.

This is Cloth Hall, although renovations have been made over the years, this marketplace dates back to the medieval times. Inside this hall is about a thousand little vendor shops with all sorts of things from amber jewelry, crystal stemware, wood carvings, to fur clothing. Also we found cotton candy! Maybe it is rodeo time after all!

We took some time to just play on the grass near the river. It is a hillside that has a bike/walk trail at the bottom. Calem was drawn to the bike path and we would snatch him up before he could get hit. Unfortunately, this became a game and we just ran up and down the hill for a couple of hours. We had to switch off because even though we were pooped, Calem wasn't!He was having so much fun!
This was the restaurant we ate at in the evening. Polish food is so good, especially the potato pancakes and the type of gulash they make. YUM!

Here is another pic of the streets. I love it. This is Sunday morning and after deciding to wake up at 3am, Calem is out. Our poor umbrella stroller is on its last leg. It will be a miracle if it lasts till the end of our trip. I sure hope it does 'cause that kid is heavy!

On a side note, Oscar Schindler is from this town, but we missed seeing his factory. Also, there is a woman who is sort of the female version of Schindler and helped so many Jews escape. She also went into their ghettos and treated their diseases and such. She was caught and her legs were broken so badly she could never walk right again. After she was released, she changed her name and went right back saving people. She died this Spring. Also, a few years back she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but its a good thing Al Gore won it that year, because where would we be without global warming? What a crock!