Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tech Pro

Landon hard at work -- about 5 days old :)

We have been amazed at how normal any kind of technology is for Landon. A videochat with Daddy mid-air on Jordan's way to New York - nothing strange about that. Playing music throughout the house from our computer with the airport express - that's just how things work. ipod touch screens or Jordan's android are easily enough maneuvered, unlocked, phone calls made... playing super nintendo in the van on the road trip to California - haven't all kids always had such great entertainment? So far the only time I've seen Landon amazed at technology was when he got to play a Clifford game on the computer which made a cool little picture and he was able to print it. Printing? Amazing!
(Ellie has caught on pretty quickly too. We skyped with April on Christmas morning while we all opened presents together - the next day someone asked 'where's April?' and Ellie answered quickly "In the computer!")

This morning, Kathie was talking to her Dad on the phone and let Landon say hello to Great Grandpa. She passed him the phone with something like "Do you want to talk to Great Grandpa?" to which Landon responded with a bit of surprise. "Is he in heaven?" Apparently no distance is too great in Landon's mind for a cell phone to reach. :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

This time last year

This time last year, we were searching the world for the best place for our family to live. One thing we did often is open a map of all of the temples and search the areas surrounding those. Here were some of our top choices -->

Although we did do some searching around Provo, we felt like we were ready to say good-bye to Provo and try out a new adventure.

Like Curitiba, Brazil?? The time zone difference would have given Jordan a work schedule of noon to 9:00 pm which seemed like it would be just too hard for our family. Still, maybe someday this adventure will be for us.

Maybe Manhattan? How would our family do in the hustle and bustle and energy of New York life? We've grown to love New York but for now we are happy to keep visiting a few times a year and instead enjoy our spacious Logan home and Jordan's walk-down-the-stairs commute.

We spent part of our Christmas vacation last year searching google maps and checking out homes around Brentwood, CA (near the Oakland temple)- trying to envision what life would be like with such warm, green Christmastimes.

A week in Lubbock, TX convinced us that the people in Texas really are some of the nicest and friendliest around. We found our dream home here, but decided that proximity to grandparents, aunts and uncles and some beautiful canyons were top priorities. (More than once we were asked something like 'you could choose anywhere in the world to live and you're thinking about Lubbock?!?' It was crazy even to us but we really did like it. :)

And now we're happily settled in Logan, UT - a happy little city that I fell in love with during college. We realized somewhere along our deliberations that we probably could and would be very happy and could do good in any of the places we were searching, but that we really just needed to make a decision. And now we are just happily enjoying our life in the lovely Logan!

Merry Christmas!

Here's our animoto version of the year :)

Mostly, right now we are loving our family and feeling so grateful for our wonderful children, for the gospel and the Savior of the world so tenderly born, and for all of our abundant blessings.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Deer Country

(not our pic -- we haven't yet captured a great pic ourselves :)

We've been seeing deer all around our neighborhood in the past few snowy weeks - more and more frequently in the last few days. Since we don't yet have a garden for them to be eating up, we've just been delighted to see them.

"I will tell mommy the amazing thing we did!!"

This evening Ellie and I went to the fabric store while Jordan and Landon went on a snow-shoeing adventure across the street at the park. They took their flashlight and spotted some deer tracks then followed them until they 'found lots of reindeer!!!' (Several deer meandering around the park -- Landon's favorite song this season is Rudolph, hence the reindeer confusion :)

It seems so magical to me for a little boy to go snow shoeing with Daddy, to search for reindeer, and to find and watch the deer so close.

Other magical moments today --

Jordan and Landon sitting on the front porch just talking after naptime today. I came home from visiting teaching and saw that happy sight as I pulled in the driveway. Jordan is taking this week and next week off from work and enjoying some happy family time.

A Christmasy picnic lunch on the living room floor. We spread out a cheery tablecloth and had peanutbutter sandwiches (cut into fun shapes) clementines, and crackers and cheese (on toothpicks!) Not such fancy fare, but all set out in Christmas-y dishes that amazed Landon ("Wow! Wow! Look at this! Wow!") and delighted Ellie (eating her whole lunch by toothpick was just so exciting)

We're having such a happy Christmas time with our little children!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Winter time fun

We were in Salt Lake today for a wedding and were amazed at how warm and how snow-less it was compared to our new home in Logan! Here are some fun pics of our winter wonderland adventures lately -->

The view out our back door for a long while

One of the last clear green-grass-viewable days of the season (I must admit I had hoped for snow this day to cause a change of plans...) Jordan, Landon and Grandpa went shooting with an Elders Quorum Activity.

Intermission at the Nutcracker Ballet with Jordan, Kathie, my mom and Jenny

Remember all the talk about the crazy blizzard coming on Thanksgiving weekend? Jordan and his brothers decided to take advantage of the chance to try out their winter gear mid-blizzard and do some extreme sledding at the park across the street.

Landon working on a snowman

Just a funny site Jordan caught - a santa bike ride through Central Park

Setting off on our first adventure of Jordan's Christmas vacation: snowshoeing in Green Canyon (about 8 minutes from our house- amazing!!)

And two cute Christmas-y kids!

(Ellie happily obedient just standing by the wall :)
(Landon excited and dancing through the pre-church picture taking)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Welcome Home Daddy!

Jordan returned yesterday from a week in New York and we are so happy to have him home. Kathie and Winslow stayed extra long to help me while he was gone which made things immeasurably more happy. (Super low stress kid taking-care-of with two helping hands and a million times less lonely with such good company!) Still, it is always hard to be missing each other so!

April and Nathan spent the week there too, so Jordan got to spend some of his after-work time with them doing the fun New York City things (all bundled up in Times Square above).

Jordan always has a great time seeing everybody and getting to spend some time with the Animoto guys face-to-face and experiencing the fun of New York life. It is also always so wonderful to be home sweet home together again!
(A crowd gathering to see the excitement while all of the Animoto employees get a group shot on the way out to their Christmas party)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tree House Museum

Kathie made a great animoto (above) of our fun trip to the Treehouse Museum in Ogden. This was one of my favorite children's museums that we've visited -- I was so impressed with all the great exhibits they had and Landon and Ellie had a super time. Everything was geared very much toward imagining and pretending which was just perfect for Landon.

Views from a Tree House

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Happy Birthday

From Landon on my birthday (to a visiting Aunt or Uncle):

"I need to tell you someone who is REALLY old! ... Mommy! She is turning Twenty-Seven!"

Opening gifts at the end of a lovely day -- A waffle breakfast in bed, going to see the Nutcracker Ballet, browsing at a Christmas craft fair, and having a pizza party with family.

Jordans lovely butterfly cake creation - Jordan asked 'why are we making a butterfly cake for mommy?' and Landon said "Because she's so beautiful!" :) Jordan carved the cake (with his electric turkey slicer...) and Landon helped decorate (frosting, sprinkles, nuts, powdered sugar, oreos, swedish fish... 'we're making it so beautiful for mommy!')

Curious George

I had an ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and we are having another little boy! We're just absolutely thrilled -- so fun to know and start making plans.

We started some baby name brainstorming -- when we asked Landon what we should name our new baby boy -- he said "George --then with his sly 'I'm telling a joke' voice -- maybe we could call him Curious George!" So, that's been our official until-we-find-the-right-name name. (Landon was Felix Fernando DelaVega Brough (sp?) for quite some time and Ellie was either Susie or Sally until we found her real name. :)

We are so excited for Landon and Ellie to have a baby brother!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kelly and Josh Kimball!

We had such a happy time at Kelly and Josh's wedding. Such a happy sweet pair. A beautiful wedding. Fun festivities and a lovely reception. So fun to remember what it was like to be just-married not so long ago! And wonderful to see all of the aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas and friends there to celebrate and share their love. Congrats Kelly and Josh!

Me and my sisters :)
Josh is the youngest of 14 (!) children and has 10 sisters -- I met several of them at Kel's shower and they seem like the sweetest group of women you could find. (And, super talented too from all of the great gifts they made for Kel!)

Beautiful Bride!

Beautiful Ellie Anne!

And a funny story --
Our car was having trouble just before Kel's shower, so I left Jordan and the kids at the hotel and drove hurriedly there, sad to be running a bit late. When our GPS couldn't find the address, I thought I'd be fine to find it on my own. After wandering quite a while, I called Jenny and got directions. Then called for more directions. Finally, I thought I'd found it. I parked the car, unloaded my gifts and etc. and went to the door -- only to be greeted by a late 20's guy with a confused look and a "uh..no party here..." Sadly, when I went to leave, our car wouldn't start. So, I was on my own on a cold cold night -- lost -- and with a broken down car. I called Jordan in tears and called Jenny at the shower. She sent my uncles for me who came to my rescue. They came and found me with my mixed up directions, took me to Kelly's shower, then spent their evening checking out our car, buying a new part and repairing our car and bringing it back for me so I could get back to my family that night. Such sweet kindness. I'm still so grateful!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Things have been happily busy lately. Some things we've been up to this past month or so -->

An anniversary trip to Salt Lake while April stayed with the kids. Some fun pre-holiday shopping, yum dinner (accidentally at the same spot and in the same seats where we had our wedding luncheon!), and just a lovely time. And, very happy children with so much Aunt April playtime too!

A trip to the Emergency Room -- our little Hawaiian princess Ellie dislocated her elbow on Halloween evening. After about an hour of an inconsolable Ellie with the doctor trying to get her arm in back in place/waiting to see how it was and checking x-rays, another doctor came in and moved her arm around a bit -- 5 minutes later Ellie was a perfectly happy little girl again. Phewph!! After that we had a calm evening of sitting on the front porch with cowboy Landon passing out candy to the trick-or-treaters with a "Howdy, howdy, howdy!" for each group. (Landon also brought some Halloween candy to the hospital for the doctors to tell them thank you for helping his sister to get better. Such a good heart!)

A new calling as the Relief Society activities leader (the Party Planner as April said :) - I'm excited to have a calling and get to know more people better that way. Jordan is the Elders Quorum Secretary (apparently Jordan is excellent secretary material -- he was the Elders Quorum Secretary for about 4 years in our Provo ward, then an assistant ward clerk for the past 2 years till we moved, now the secretary again!)

A new van! We've been saving up and watching and searching for the past year or so and found a great van for our family last week. (We knew that we'd have a pretty hard time squishing three car seats side by side in the back of our Corolla!) It's not new, but just being new to us and in such great condition, we feel like we're driving in luxury these days.

Prepping for company. Starting tomorrow we'll have visitors close by through the first week or two of December or so. Hooray! We're so excited to get to spend some great time with our families.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From my desktop

Just cleaning off my desktop... here are some fun photos. :)

Jordan and Ellie coming in after a lunch break sledding trip at the park across the street. We got maybe close to an inch of snow the week before Halloween and Landon was super excited to take advantage of our parks great little sledding hill.
A spent a few days in super-crafting mode and made over 60 of these clippies and similar others to donate to the Festival of Trees for their gift shop (all of the money made there is donated to Primary Children's Hospital, and it is just one of my favorite Christmas activities)
The view out our frontroom window after our first snowy day.

I almost threw this pot away when we moved in and I found it in the shed. April said she thought it was something that would grow so we set it outside and let it get some rain and sunshine -- then one day we had this beautiful surprise!!

This is the new scene of what 'coming home' looks like for us.
(Greeting us as we drive into Logan)

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Jordan and I just celebrated our 6 year anniversary! We spread out the celebrations over a few different occasions. First, we took advantage of a beautiful Autumn day and had an afternoon campout day with the kids. We drove to one of the nearby campgrounds up Logan Canyon, set up camp - and then spent the afternoon and evening doing all the fun things campers do -- hiking, exploring, river rock throwing, log climbing,
building a campfire, running, jumping and diving through the tent,
(This pic is actually from another day when we had a backyard campout day :)

cooking and eating tin foil dinners and yummy campfire biscuits,
(Jordan's great mid-river dinner spot for the boys)

playing UNO by flashlight, and roasting marshmallows for yummy smores. And then, delightfully, we just packed everything up, drove 10 minutes home and all went to sleep in our soft warm beds. Such a wonderful campout day!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

First Duets

Landon likes to sit by me at the piano and play along with whatever song I'm playing. He'll choose a note and play it a few octaves higher whenever I tell him or nod my head. "I want to play all the C's" etc. We're quite the duo with our primary songs. :)

Play Space

(Landon playing with his newly made race car crayons at the kitchen counter)

A few weeks ago, I finally got some shelves put up in Ellie's room and got all of the kids toys put away and organized. I even made a lovely little hat rack for all of their dress up hats that haven't had a home before. Hooray!

Now, a few weeks later - amazingly almost all of the toys are still organized and neatly put away, sorted out, and stacked. The floor is pretty much clear. The hats are still hung. The only problem is that the kids never actually play in there.

My suspicions were confirmed with this from Landon -- One afternoon we asked him to go play in his room for 5 minutes so Mommy and Daddy could talk and make some plans. Crying, he said "But I don't want to be away from you!!!"

Although I do sometimes wish they'd love to go and play on their own, I really do love this time when my sweet little children just want to play and be close by.

Ellie enjoying the backyard view and a yummy marshmallow from one of her favorite hang out spots - our Recycling Box under the kitchen bar)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

FHE Hike

A few weeks ago, we spent another Monday evening on a hike in Logan canyon for FHE. It was so beautiful along the way we kept stopping to take pictures and finally had to just put our camera away and enjoy the gorgeous fall day. Ellie was happy to ride with Jordan in the pack, Landon was super excited again to throw rocks in the river along the way, and we were loving the trail lined with fallen leaves, plus all the gorgeous views around each turn. Here's our little spot we stopped at for a lesson, songs, etc. (and then a try at a family picture -- balancing our camera on a tree, Jordan running to get in the pic -- Ellie not quite sure what's happening... but what beautiful surroundings!)

Landon's new favorite

Landon loves to play around with photobooth on my computer - making silly movies and crazy pictures with all of the different effects, riding the rollercoaster... Here are a few of his favorite shots. :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall Morning

This is the scene out our front door this morning. Before yesterdays rainstorms, the front yellow tree had only lost a few leaves.

It is so beautiful here. Jordan and I were watching a bit of Anne of Green Gables and it showed a scene of the Autumn hillsides. Jordan said his first thought was something like 'wow - do places that beautiful really exist?' and then his next thought was 'oh yeah - that's just like where we live!'

We have snow in our forecast for today and tomorrow and the mountaintops are snow capped after the weekend storms. We'll just hope for some more beautiful Autumn days ahead before the snow comes to stay. We are sure enjoying these lovely days.