Friday, December 2, 2011

So Much to Say, So Much to Say, So Much to Say

November came and went so fast. Here it is in a nutshell:

Glen survived a blood clot in his calf after breaking his ankle. I'm thankful it was discovered early and he's alive.

I have overcome my fear of needles by injecting Glen's medication twice daily in his stomach. I was green the first few times, but now I could be a home-care professional. Maybe I will finish that Medical Assisting degree.

Thanksgiving at our house was Friday instead of Thursday. (Funny how national holidays can change just like that when Dad is in the hospital, right?) 

We shared our feast with my friend, Tahany and her kids. It thrilled me to know she experienced, and enjoyed, stuffing and gravy for the first time. I'm thankful to have a friend to share Thanksgiving with.

The wind has blown here for two days straight and all the beautiful leaves are stripped from our trees. Not to mention it gusts at night and keeps us awake. Fall was short and lacked color.

My parents cancelled their trip in November because we were so ill. I missed seeing them.

Kandy from Sandy (it's a great rhyme) made a last-minute trip to visit us in November and didn't just make my day, but my year. She also taught me recipes that require cases of butter. They were delicious!

Ethan is learning to play drums at school in Drum Circle. (no hippies or Rastafarians) He taps a beat on everything wherever we are. (car, kitchen table, you get the picture) It's so exciting to see him embracing an important part of music. No drum set at home yet.

Both boys are losing teeth right and left. (and in front for that matter!) Thankfully, there was no punching involved, because I explained the tooth fairy doesn't reward teeth lost in fights.

Emma is in all-day Kindergarten and her lack of presence is felt. I don't like the quiet noises (oxymoron) in my house during the day. Our daily separation hasn't affected our relationship, though. She told me tonight, "Mom, you are the best Mom ever. I love you." I had tears in my eyes because she must have known I needed that today. I'm thankful for the children God blessed me with.

Our family has endured record sicknesses in our household every other week for 3 months straight. No flu, (so glad we had the flu shots) but anything else that doesn't require a doctor visit, however is inconvenient and uncomfortable!

I have started attending a LDS Zumba class (not an oxymoron) with a friend from Mexico who can really dance! One day I will be able to keep up with the footwork. Let's just say it's an exercise in body awareness, self-consciousness, acceptance, and being carefree. 

Tomorrow Glen swears an oath to become an official U.S. citizen. The kids are coming too. I promise pictures. I continue to randomly break out in song "And he's proud to be an American, where at least he knows he's free!" So far he hasn't joined in singing with me.

I'm thankful for you, my family & friends too! Love to you all! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Halloween!

 Eager to go!
 King Tut
 Darth Vader
Alice in Wonderland

Friday, October 21, 2011


I've had it. We are always waiting on our computer to process... The "dinosaur" is slower than well, the slowest dinosaur! Now we are taking action, but we need your help with the great debate: PC / MAC? ...leave your comment!

Monday, October 10, 2011

To comment, or not to comment?

There is no question. Comment on my posts. It is more fun for all of us when you do. Love you!

Family Reunion

My mom pulled us all together for a family reunion that centered around an extended family picture. It was shocking to see how much we've all grown and watching our children play the same games I swear we were just playing (okay, but 25+ years ago) at our Grandpa&Grandma's. (minus the Xbox and Nintendo, of course) I'm glad we got to see each other. What a fun time!

Ethan took some pictures of us on picture day. (also 1 I took that he's in!)

 "handsome" and I
 our little wriggly worm moved in every picture!
 "my boys"
my parents and sisters and I

Monday, July 25, 2011

Garbage Day

(Matthew's explanation when I found him in the garbage can... "I do this to get the trash bag to stick on the sides of the garbage, Mom!" He was so proud of his cool idea. I told him to stay there while I dashed for the camera. I'm impressed he could get in and out by himself!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Oh What Do You Do in the Summertime? 2011

We do 300-page workbooks, chores, educational and service activities at Red Rock Canyon, the library and the Children's Museum. No "summer slide" in the Smallman household!

We also... swim, hike, walk, bike, read, and watch movies together. (in case you're worried I'm a drill sergeant!)

Until, Ethan broke his foot. Fortunately, it was a small break and didn't require a cast. Unfortunately, he was instructed not to wear closed-toe shoes and to stay off it as much as possible. We're almost done with the 3-week sentence from the orthopedic surgeon and cannot wait to return to our active lifestyle.

Matthew has been our comic relief and kind enough to help Ethan. Emma has been giving him lots of hugs to cheer him up. How cute!

I found the best activity (besides T.V.) for the 8 year old with the broken foot: a 620-piece 3D puzzle! He had it completed in just over a week. What now?!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

Admittedly, we didn't plant a tree. But we plan to tomorrow...

We went to Zion national Park yesterday. (a short day trip from LV, so no camping required) Hiking, hiking and more hiking with the promise I gave the children that they would see something GRAND! Ethan argued that the Grand Canyon is bigger. He hasn't even seen it, but it must be massive in his mind, because he was awestruck with the size of Zion's mountains.

My favorite was our last hike of the day, The Canyon Overlook Trail, which we finished just in time to watch the sunset and head back down before it was too dark. It's varied landscape kept our attention, not to mention the adrenaline-pumping steep drops along the way. We safely positioned in front of a rock for a picture.

My cute kids picked up litter in at Zion National Park. I'm so proud of their efforts.

Glen went green well before Earth Day. Recently, he changed all the lightbulbs in the house to energy efficient bulbs. Those spiral bulbs are definately not a decor statement, but they're using less energy. And supposedly only have to be changed every 7 years. We'll see...

I came across this website today. What a nifty idea with a huge impact. It's easy to donate soap, so do it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Red Rock Canyon

The children and I celebrated the first day of Spring Break with a scavenger hunt in Red Rock Canyon hosted at the visitors center. They had to find all the bronze statues of animals hidden in the Discovery Area. Boring, right? Not really... they hid many of them and Ethan was so loud when he found one you would think we had won the lottery! The kids each earned a pin to wear, then we headed out for a fun hike to find Pine Canyon Creek. (Yes, there is water in the desert!) About 200 ft in, we found a shady spot to rest under some pines where the sand meets the water. Emma was busy mixing sand and water to make primitive sand castles while the boys counted innumerous frog eggs and caught frogs in the shallow pond. I enjoyed the peace and quiet of watching them create and explore independently. It was only 80 degrees and lovely.

We ran into quite a bit of wildlife, this time not bronzed:

A Ladybug that was kind enough to crawl across all our hands without flying away

A Wild Burro that met us on the trail and kindly moved off so we could pass

The few Chorus Frogs Matthew wanted to, but didn't, take home

An evasive Painted Lady Butterfly that stayed by for only a moment

A teasing Side Blotched Lizard that hid when the boys tried to catch it, then came out to show us he was still there

A huge Tarantula...

A Scorpion almost as big as the Tarantula...

(Thankfully, the last 2 were behind glass at the visitor's center! Eesh. )

The funniest part of the day was on the return from the hike. Matthew was leading the group. I stopped to pick up Emma and turned when I heard Matthew scream at the top of his lungs. A big dog had come around the corner on the trail and stopped in front of Matthew, who is terrified of dogs. The dog looked curious and kind, and wasn't growling. The dog stared for a minute, then turned around and ran away from us. I laughed off our shock and told Matthew he probably scared the dog more than the dog scared him! Minutes later, we met the owner who had a good laugh with us about the whole thing.

Next time you visit us in Spring, Fall, or Winter we would love to take you into Red Rock Canyon!

Friday, April 15, 2011


At the grocery store today, Emma had to "go," and while we were in the ladies' toilets, the woman in the stall next to us (doing her bathroom business) started talking "Joe, you can return the jacket that I bought if you won't wear it. Keep your shoes, you need something comfortable to wear to work. Please don't return my shoes, because I plan to keep them. Okay, talk to you soon. Bye Joe." We then heard the close of a phone. Emma quietly said, "Mom, what was that noise?" Umm... a woman confused about the term multi-tasking?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wish you were here! Well, no, actually, we don't!

Glen and I had to most amazing trip to the Bahamas where he received a Top Branch Manager Award from his employer. We stayed at the infamous Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, Nassau.

Since Mrs. Doubtfire never turned up, (anyone know how to contact Mary Poppins?) we arranged for our each of our kids to stay with different families in our new ward. I'm so fortunate to have a supportive community in our new area!

I promised not to spend my vacation worrying about the kids. (The stressed questions in my head... will they be comfortable at their first sleepovers, various playdates, did they get to school ok, what if they don't like the food, what if they get ill, will Matthew survive the kids in the dreaded after-school program? etc) They were fine, and surprisingly so was I. Which gave Glen and I time to:

*Deep Sea Fish for Mahi Mahi

*Dress up fancy for beautiful evening receptions, dinners and galas

*Stay up late eating all sorts of delights

*Learn to be laid-back like a local Bahamian

*Swim with Dolphins (More pictures to follow, when we get them developed from our waterproof camera)

*Have our cake and eat it too (3 desserts a piece each night!)

*Evening walks at the beach and resort

*Sleep in (no room service today, please.)

*And other unmentionables, but if you know Glen, I don't need to mention them. ;)

I'm shamlessly bragging since it was the trip Glen deserved after a tough year of many changes in which he proved his work ethic and dedication. I'm so proud of him. I'm already planning for next year's trip...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance

Last weekend, Glen invited his branch over for game night. We treated his co-workers to some good old fashioned English Nosh. Chips & Curry with Sausage Rolls. They were a huge hit. To burn off the calories, we danced the night away to the wii. The boys absolutely loved it so much, that they climbed up on the shelf to dance! (Besides, the adults were hogging all the floorspace) Glad the retro mirrors are good for something!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sitter Needed

WANTED: One sitter for 4 days at the latter end of March. (while Glen and I are in the Bahamas where he is receiving an award from his employer for being one of the top bank branches in the nation!)

Will need to:
care for 3 amazing children
cook (cereal, pb&j and mac n'cheese)
do dishes
play with Emma
read books
drive kids to and from school
laundry and housecleaning optional

We will provide:
financing to Las Vegas (fly/gas $)
babysitter to assist at bedtime
comfortable bed in master suite
private bath suite
free cable and internet access
pool and spa facilities on site
Please contact us by phone or email.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Matthew is learning about time and schedules in his 1st grade class. He showed me one he created for himself in his diary:

at 3:33 woch penguins of madagascar

at 10:15 run arond like a hedlis chicin

I love that kid. He always has a joke up his sleeve! Here's a picture of him making us laugh in Disneyland.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ethan's baptism

Between Disneyland and Valentine's Day was Ethan's baptism. We all loved it. Ethan is now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! The best part for him was the next day when the Bishop invited him to sit on the stand during the entire sacrament meeting. He felt very important. Thanks for all the support from our family and friends who made it a special day!

All you need is

(to go see Beatles) LOVE. By Cirque de Soleil. My husband and I did this weekend and it was amazing. It was the perfect Valentine from mine. And the Beatles were right. All you need is love. Glen still shouldn't get naps without me, (see earlier post) but I love him and am thrilled we are together here and hereafter! Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I HAVE to go to the Happiest Place on Earth?

Recently, we told the kids a surprise: Tomorrow we're going to Disneyland for Ethan's birthday!

And... nothing.

No jumps, no shouts, no hugs, no thank you, oh, thank you's.

I wonder if I should have used jazz hands and confetti to announce the big news?

Ethan said, "Oh. (pause) I really wanted to open a present on my birthday."
Matthew was quiet.
Then Emma shouted, "I get to see Jack Sparrow!"

On the drive, Ethan was concerned because he didn't want to miss school and work.

(At this point, I'm wasn't sure who these children were...)

Once in California, it was all fun and photos at the Happiest Place on Earth. Enclosed are a few.


I love that Ethan and Matthew can use the camera. They have such a unique view of the world that their pictures reflect. Matthew got ahold of the camera a few days ago and here is what I found when I downloaded them. Pictures of Glen snoozing on the couch. I should probably title it "My sweet husband taking a rest." I prefer "Glen is busted getting a nap in without me." Hey, we're a partnership, right? Life isn't fair... (but M's self-portrait is darling)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Cone of Shame

Matthew's Statement of the Week:

We stopped at the mailbox the other day and Matthew suddenly yelled out, "LOOK! THAT DOG IS WEARING THE CONE OF SHAME!" We saw the poor dog across the street who indeed was wearing a cone, which thanks to the movie UP, Matthew thinks is a bad thing. Naughty dog. He must've done something really bad.

Glen and I are still in stitches about it, and think it will rival my infamous childhood statement that killing buffalo for the buffalo wings is serious animal cruelty!