Saturday, November 13, 2010

Where to Begin

 Really, I am not even sure where to begin so I guess  will start with what we have been doing since May.  Erik got accepted into a Nurse Anesthesia program at Midwestern University in Glendale Arizona.  So, we decided a change would be good and we begin our journey of 2 years of medical school.  We dropped Erik off in Arizona in June just when the temperatures started to rise to a smoldering 115 degrees.  He started school and we went back to Utah to wrap up things on our house and to begin the daunting task of packing our stuff by myself.  Our life has been crazy ever since.  Erik studies and is in school about 14 hours per day and we do what we can to occupy our time.  So, here are a few things we have done so far this summer.
 We have gone to the wild animal park where a deer decided it was lunch time and Markus' shorts looked appetizing.
 We have sent Alta off to preschool where she goes with 5 of her little friends and she absolutely loves it.
 Roxy has found herself in a few predicaments.
 The pool has been a lifesaver and pretty much an every day event.
 Roxy got curious about the barking dog behind us so she decided to take a look.  This is her mountain lion pose.

We also said goodbye to our good friends in Utah.  That was a very hard time for me.  I have met so many wonderful people over the last few years and it was hard to leave such a great neighborhood where I wasn't afraid where my kids rode their bikes to or who they played with.  We will miss our red house and the soccer field in our front yard where the kids and the dog spent countless hours running and wearing themselves out.

  But we are so proud of Erik and his hard work and look forward to wherever life takes us next.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Sun.....Finally!

First off, let me begin by apologizing for a long overdue post.  Not that there really is that great of an excuse but, I was totally bugged by the layout of my blog.  I couldn't figure out how to enlarge my pictures so I gave up entirely.  Luckily, a year later, Blogger finally got their act together and made it much easier.  So we are back but not without a lot of catching up to do.  So for starters, here are a few pics of what we did today.  This is the closest that we have gotten to a beach in a while.  Luckily Alta, being 4, doesn't know the difference.

Friday, July 10, 2009

4 Wheelin' in St. Anthony Idaho

At the end of June we met my brother, Jason, and his family at the sand dunes in St. Anthony Idaho. Erik and I have been aquiring our 4 wheeling equipment over the last 6 months and we were way excited to try them out on the sand. It just isn't the same taking the kids for rides around the block.
Libby has her own 4 wheeling but she was much more comfortable on this trip riding in the Teryx with her cousins and their dog. I am afraid that she has inherited my cautious DNA. And, like me, doesn't want to miss a social event with her cousins so she opted for hours of gossiping sitting down rather than riding.
Markus on the other hand wouldn't miss the opportunity to scare his mom to death with worry as he takes his 4 wheeler as fast as it would go. He had a couple of narly wrecks which resulted in a mouthful of sand but no broken bones, luckily.
We didn't have the correct tires on our ATV's so Erik was constantly getting off his motorcycle to pull Markus out of the sand. Sweet little Markus. With all of this gear on you can only see his eyes and it was so hard to tell if he was having a great time or if he was tearing up a little bit. We went one day for about 4 hours and his little thumb was numb from pushing the throttle for so long. At one time, I had to take him off his bike and cradle him in my arms while he cried. He was such a tropper though. After a little bit of water and a granola bar, he was set to go again.

We can't wait to go again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Alta's First Dance Recital

Alta was so excited for her first dance recital.  They danced to the song "Stray Cat Strut" and their outfits were absolutely darling.  When I first received her $60 dance outfit (ouch!) I was a  bit disappointed.  Even though if anyone can pull off wearing a spandex one piece cheetah outfit, Alta sure could.  But it obviously was adorable.  She did great at her performance.  It took her awhile to find her "tail" that was pinned to the back of her outfit but I loved every minute of it. 

She, of course, was way excited to wear makeup.  I am happy that all of my kids inherited their dad's long eyelashes.  I wasn't so blessed. 

She is also very proud of herself for being able to cross her eyes, unlike her brother who can't cross his without touching his finger to his nose.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Me and my terrible blog

Yes, I realize that I have been terrible on updating my blog. I knew it had been a while when I noticed that my wallpaper still says Happy New Year. Alot has happened lately so I will try to update as much as I can, after I change my background. :) I got a new camera and I am at a loss on how to use it properly so that is a huge reason for my slacking. Anway, I will try again to get better.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Miracle of DNA

I got a call from school the other day saying that Markus was in the office and wasn't feeling good. When I got their to pick him up the office ladies had little smirks on their face.  They said that Markus was complaining that his DNA hurt and he probably needed to go home.  I had a nice little talk with Markus and amidst hugs, a few tears and a compromise of ice cream if he would stay in school, off he went back to class.  I still am not sure where he came up with this fabulous excuse but being the good parents we are Erik and I make sure everyday with Markus that his DNA isn't giving him any trouble.

Our New Four Legged Friend

Meet Roxy.  Yes, we broke down and bought the kids a dog...sort of...  I say sort of because, of course, the children had great expectations, as did I, of their overwhelming desire to take care of the dog.  I heard many promises like, "I will walk the dog every day" and "I will play with the dog and feed the dog and...."  Obviously, after 4 days of playing rock paper scissors to see whose turn it was to take the dog out into cold morning air to go to the bathroom wasn't as much fun as it was the previous 3 days.  The novelty had worn off.  Luckily for us, she is a fabulous dog.  We researched dogs alot to make sure we got one that was small, didn't shed, loved children, didn't need a ton of exercise and was cute, of course!  She is 10 weeks old and we love her to death.  She thinks that she is one of the kids and loves to cuddle on your lap and be held.  
I often find her here, snoozing away with one of the kids

Or here, snoozing away on Erik's favorite blanket.  That might take a little getting used to...sharing your favorite blanket?  She is cool if Alta wants to carry her around the house by just her neck or carry her upside by her back legs.  She doesn't mind if Libby makes her ride Markus' giant dinosaurs and she surely doesn't mind going down the slides at the park with the kids.  She is everything we wanted (except for the occasional accident in the house).  

Saturday, March 14, 2009

California 2009

Erik's dream has been to suprise the kids and take them to Disneyland. We have often gone to California in the summertime and stood in line on the rides with the rest of the United States in the blazing hot sun. Now I know that I am from Arizona and California weather doesn't compare, but it is still hot just standing there. We were so excited to go in the offseason hoping to avoid some of the crowds. We are also looking forward to escaping the snow. I absolutely love California weather and couldn't help but get excited when the temperature in the car rose above 65 degrees. The day started out by grabbing the kids from school at about 2:00. Calming them down until about 2:05 with all the excited screams. An overnight stay at Stateline in Nevada because we booked a hotel for $6.00 a night. Free all you can eat breakfast in the morning because the hotel initially gave us a room with the headboard falling off the wall, no comforters on the bed and all the lightbulbs missing. And then off to Disneyland once the bags were unpacked.
We spent 4 days between Disneyland and California adventure. The kids' goal was to see as many characters as they could. As you will soon see, Alta was not at all excited to see the characters.

Erik's mom grew up in San Pedro, California so we took her with us so that she could spend a couple of days with her mom and a couple of days with us. We didn't tell the kids this surprise until Cathy and her aunt met us at Disneyland the following day. Cathy opted to fly to Cali rather than spend the 11 hours in the car. Smart move for her. :)

Markus was sooo excited that he was tall enough to ride all of the rides at both parks. He did have to wear his hiking boots sometimes just for that extra inch.
What would a day at Disneyland be without a huge turkey leg for lunch. Actually, we have laughed at these turkey legs for years and decided to try them out.

Here is Libby and I waiting for the boys to return with our Disneyland tickets. This trip was a much needed vacation for us all and we had a great time. I think that I am ready to go again.

In Memorium: David Kay Engen 1944- 2009

In December of 2008, Erik's dad was diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma that had metastisized ( forgive the spelling, you all know what I mean...) to his brain, lungs and liver. He has had a slew of health problems over the last 15 years but still maintained a pretty active life. At the end of December he was given chemo and radiation to see if they could at least stop the progression of the cancer taking the risk that these procedures could cause irrepairable damage to his other vital organs. In the middle of February, he found himself in the hospital with dehydration and within the next two weeks, never quite recovered from that. He passed away in his sleep on February 26, 2009. Though Erik's dad had made some choices over the last couple of years that placed a huge strain on their relationship, it is still hard to lose a parent. Especially at times like these, we are greatful for the power of repentance and the knowledge that our faith gives us that we know we can someday be with our loved ones again.

Catching UP

Here are just a few things that we have been up to since I last posted. I can't believe that it has been almost 2months. Where has the time gone. Libby was so excited to get her picture taken with her American Girl doll and their matching pajamas.
I had to post this after the girls had asked if they could borrow my makeup. I didn't realize that they were going to go "tribal" on me.

Markus lost his 2 front teeth at the same time. It wasn't without lots of tears and bribery and "C'mon Markus, just one pull!" They can be so dramatic when it comes to their teeth. There are a few times that I tried a couple of wiggles while he was sleeping. Much less painful for me when he doesn't even know what I am doing. And yes, his teeth were brought to school that day for show-n-tell.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First white, then yellow and now.........

ORANGE!!!  The kids passed their orange belt test.  They were soooo excited!

"Is it time for my dance class Mom?"

I signed Alta up for ballet/tap combo class about a month and a half ago.  The dance studio is right next to the Karate studio.  Alta has been asking me ever since when it was finally time.  We were a little early and she still patiently waited for her own class to begin.  But not without a sneak peak at the class before her.

When it was her turn, she did fabulous.  She absolutely loved it.

OH! What do we do in the Wintertime?

We are lucky enough to live right in front of the community sled hill.  It is also the best sled hill for miles around.  The kids love to bundle themselves up, make jumps on the sled and sled down.  Libby and her friends spend hours out there.  

Friday, January 2, 2009


This post is a little late but... Happy Birthday to my husband who makes me laugh everyday, makes a great T-Rex, teaches me patience (boy does he know I need it), always washes the cars, makes the kids a more nutritious meal than my Fruit Loops, can make up a song about anything, great golfer but not so great roller-skater, plays a mean game of Monopoly even though he should have lost before I felt sorry for him and gave him a few properties to keep him alive, is compassionate,  is ALWAYS early, you can always count on him, is strong, determined, can watch Kung Fu Panda and Peter Pan with the kids every day for weeks at a time, particular about his pens, faithful, trustworthy, supportive and just plain fabulous.  We met at a time in our lives when we weren't particulary looking for each other but knew right away we were meant to be.  I knew 15 years ago he was special and many laughs and great times later, he is still that wonderful person who makes me smile everyday.  Happy Birthday Honey.
I couldn't resist.  Alta had climbed on the island to watch Libby playing games on Webkinz and I guess she got a little tired.  She doesn't need a blanket and a pillow like her mommy to fall asleep.  And just in case you were wondering if this was summertime because Alta is wearing a sleeveless summer dress, you are wrong.  They must have dreams of living in Arizona instead of living in Utah under 2 feet of snow.  

Never leave a 3 year old alone for more than 2 minutes!


Christmas Tradition

Our tradition each Christmas is to let the kids open one present on Christmas Eve.  I started this because I remember every year begging my parents to let us open a present on Christmas Eve.  Obviously, that was not a tradition in my home growing up because the answer was always no.  To Markus' shagrin, his present is never a toy or a video is always pajamas.  New pajamas make great pictures on Christmas Day. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Does bribery really work?

I have to start by saying I love Christmas especially all the suprises that surround this Holiday Season.  My kids love gifts and quite often feel they deserve everything and anything they so desire, despite the constant groan from my checkbook.  Markus was overcome with the desire for us to buy him Nightvision goggles for Christmas.  He was so cute about how excited he was giving me, of course, a fantastic idea on what to get him for his last and very special that I had been contemplating on what that "special" present was for days.  Anyway, Erik and I decided to not let him off that easy and to explain to Markus that although it sounded like a great idea it just might be too expensive for us to buy for him.  We suggested he ask Santa.  Santa ALWAYS has more money.  He wrote a note, all by himself (mostly) to Santa with his heartfelt request, and set it on the fireplace where Santa would be sure not to miss it.

Fast forward 2 hours later. Erik and I had already shuffled the kids to the neighbors, gone to Sams Club, purchased the coveted Nightvision goggles, and tucked them away safely in the truck to be removed after the kiddies had gone to bed.  While I was warming myself by the fire, it is awfully cold here by the way, Markus again pleaded with me for the goggles and then happily exclaimed that he had already peeked in the trunk and RUINED MY SURPRISE!!!!!  I was so upset.  Why do they have to peek?  I never even saw him go to the garage, that little sneak.  Well you may guess the rest of the evening.  Markus knew that mommy and daddy had to take back the goggles because he peeked and that if he was good then we could try again at his birthday.  Poor little guy, but I am not going to let him take away my enjoyment of seeing a little boy sooo excited on Christmas.  So I have wrapped the item and will find a way to give it to him around noon on Christmas Day, some 6 hours after all the other presents have been opened.  Argh, so early!!!!

To our pleasant surprise, Erik and I awoke Sunday morning to breakfast in bed by Markus.  Who wouldn't want to wake up to frosted cheerios with a fork (because all the spoons were dirty) peanut butter on toast ( the bread somehow didn't make it to the toaster so it was really peanut butter and bread) and a glass of milk.  I'm still not budging, but it was a good effort.  He is such a sweet little boy and he constantly makes me smile....even if he is a sneek.  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thank Goodness for Beans

I won't say that I frequently get head aches but it does happen occasionally.  I am not sure if my over indulgence of Diet Coke has anything to do with it but when I do get a headache, they tend to be the kind that makes you queezy and want to lie down in a dark room with no light or sound.  A few years ago, I was given a bag full of beans from my Relief Society President that I could heat in the microwave and then place on my head like a heating pad.  This bean bag has become a very close and dear friend.  It is a great listener but a terrible conversationalist.  But nonetheless, it is a coveted item around our house.  The other day Libby was complaining that standing on her head too much, something that she has been working on and has almost mastered, has made her head hurt.  She knew that immediate relief would come once she found "the beanbag".  I couldn't resist taking a snapshot of her relaxing on the couch with my fabulous pillow and my ever so dear bean bag.

Family Photo Shoot

I have a great friend, Laura, who graciously offered to spend hours with us and take our pictures.  I have mentioned before that I live in a very great neighborhood that boasts fabulous landscapes; and great backgrounds for photos.  So, one Saturday we spent a few hours canvassing the neighborhood for the best places to take pictures while walking off my lunch at the same time.  Here are some of my favorites.  I will mention that my friend Laura is somewhat new at taking photos of this magnitude but she did a fabulous job.  We were very happy.  I am still waiting for her to photoshop 10 pounds off me, but other than that, she did a great job. :)