Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011


I had an AHA! moment today. Quite honestly, I think it was something I read here , and it's just now making its way to the front of my brain. Or whatever part of my brain is in charge of this type of information.

 I can spend the morning cleaning the house and you really wouldn't know it. I think this is a just a phase of life, and I have to accept that my house will be kind of chaotic and messy 90% of the time. I think of a little sign/plaque I saw once that reads: EXCUSE THE MESS, BUT WE LIVE HERE. I found something though that gives me a sense of accomplishment, and it leaves me feeling less hopeless about the crumbs and toys. When I am feeling like the house is in disarray, I am going to just focus on the dishes...empty the sink completely, and then scrub the sink till it shines. It feels so good to do that. And if I accomplish nothing else that day, I will just go over and look at my empty, shiny sink. Sounds silly, sounds simple, but it's was a wonderful moment for me today as I discovered this little trick.

Jansen has started a blog. If you need a good laugh, head here:

And a few little pictures that I'm just going to throw in. 
Emmy thinks it's time to get out of the tub. Dad does not.
Emmy is at such a sweet and innocent age. No tantrums yet, and not a lot of naughtiness. She can now say "ball" and doggy" and "wa wa wa wa" which means Wild, Wild, Wild Kratts. She is still waking up hideously   early, and my stomach hurts when I think about daylight savings time coming up. 
 Natalie went to the same pumpkin patch two times this year. Once with friends, and once on a preschool field trip.
We got some Honeycrisp apples from Washington that we have been enjoying. This actually isn't one of them. I feel like I have to point that out in case someone tries to call me on it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Family Pictures

My dear friend Monica has a sister out here in Las Vegas...and she happens to be an awesome photographer! Melynda took our pictures about a month ago, and I love them. I love the moments she captured. Here are a few:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Starting Off Our Halloween

We went to an event at the Springs Preserve called Haunted Harvest. The lights were neat, but the crowds were a real turn off. We must need more family friendly events out here, because it seemed like everyone in Las Vegas was there that night. Here's a preview of the kids' costumes this year:

 This afternoon there was a Trunk or Treat at Jansen's school. Natalie, Emmy, and I came to watch the parade of kids. Jansen's teacher gave Natalie a bag, and she gathered candy along with him.
 Jansen and his teacher Ms. Roach:
 Digging in to the candy on the ride home:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Adult Halloween Party

I  must say, I don't love to dress up. I have been really stressed out around Halloween for about half my motherhood years because I've had a colicky baby around that time. I'm not one of those people who plans out a costume for months...and most years I don't do anything, really, unless we have a party to go to. I think I am starting have a bit of a change of heart though.

And we did have a reason to dress up last Friday night. It was a Halloween party with friends. We stole this doctor/pregnant woman idea from Annie and Bryan. Sorry, bad timing, Nate was having a contraction when this picture was taken. 
There were some really fun costumes and some really fun people. 
Scary isn't it? 
The girl in the blue is dressed as a contestant from the show that used to be on Nick, Legends of the Hidden Temple. I loved that idea because I totally watched that show.
This picture makes me laugh out loud, without fail, every time. Nate looks like Tarzan or something. I kept telling him that now he knows why my hair is always up in a ponytail so often. Oh and tiny Tina (the baby) was born during the party. We played a lot of games that night and earned points, and one time anyone who could produce something that started with the letter "T" got some bonus points. So that's when we welcomed Tina to the world. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011


 And to think I've completed two posts, but we haven't even gotten to our actual destination...Boise, ID!

11+ hours in the car with Emmy was so worth it to see Nate's grandparents and some of these other fine folks...

Some highlights of our trip are the two museums we visited. I get such a kick out of the fact that we were able to visit museums that had jets and birds. For Nate and Jansen, it doesn't get any better than that.

Here are two kooky kids at the World Center for Birds of Prey. Jansen has taken a fairly sudden interest in birds of prey. As you can see, he brought along his binoculars. Natalie on the other hand, brought along her strangest and silliest faces. Phew, I'd hate to have any pictures of her just smiling. :)

 It's difficult to say what Natalie is holding. There were all manner of things in the room designed for kids.

Emmy was particularly vocal when she saw the birds. It was really cute. Although one of the museum employees warned me that she would probably be asked to leave during a live demonstration we were planning on attending because she might frighten the bird. That Emmy!

 Tim's decision to look down at the last minute proved to be his demise. Only he and Emmy (who is a mere 13 months mind you and not well trained in picture taking) are looking away from the camera at this special moment.

I'm going to have Nate take over the reins from here. It's refreshing to hear someone else's "voice" on this blog besides mine.

To echo Jessica, it is awesome that within 25 minutes of my grandparents' house there is an Air Force museum and a Birds of Prey museum.... I think there were higher powers at play in that.  Needless to say, I had a great time watching Jansen and Natalie solidify their interest in two of my passions in life.  

The untrained eye looks at the picture below and sees a family enjoying a quaint historical museum.  A closer look might reveal two rambunctious children enthralled in a video about the Army Air Corps' involvement in World War II (the Air Force did not exist as such just yet).  But an Air Force eye notices the wing of a P-51 Mustang nicknamed "Hell 'er Bust" flown by the famous Capt. Ed Heller, who was responsible for sending many an Axis pilot to meet their Maker.  I think he named the plane after his vision of his enemies' meeting with God.  

The man you see below is Col. Von "Chris" Christiansen, AKA my Grandpa. The average man would not have survived a shower of large pulmonary emboli blocking the all major arteries in both lungs, and the massive strain that places on the heart muscle.  But then, Grandpa is no ordinary man.  Just as he fought through numerous life-and-death battles in the skies over Korea and Vietnam, he is now coming out of another battle for his life.  And as always, he found a way to come off conqueror.  It was great to see him again, and hear from Grandma how much progress he is making each day as he recovers.  The silver airplane just behind Grandma is a T-28, in which my Grandpa received tactical training shortly before commanding the F-86 jet fighter over France and Korea.

Grandpa could literally spend days reading through all the accounts and journals on display in this museum.  I would have loved to spend more time there too, but surely all these airplanes and notebooks and uniforms bear added significance to a man who was alive at the same time and fought in the Air Force not long after they did. He probably heard of and admired Capt. Heller as a young man during WWII.

Four generations in one picture.  In front of one of Grandpa's airplanes.  Now that is one great photo.

This little boy was in heaven at the Warhawk Air Museum.  For the last couple months, he has been keeping his favorite book right by his pillow so he can read it every night.  The title:  "The Encyclopedia of 20th Century Air Warfare".  And if you know Jansen, that won't surprise you.  He will tell you he prefers books about "facts, not fiction." Today during dinner he was talking about what his favorite word is.  He was trying to decide between "aircraft," "war," "weapon," and "destroy."  I think my Grandpa loved witnessing Jansen's fascination with airplanes.

Sorry if I bored you with my ramblings, I am definitely not as witty as Jessica!  Well, over-and-out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

On to Salt Lake

After the Sunday morning visit with my grandparents, we zoomed to Salt Lake to attend the rest of church with Steve and Jody. I'm really proud of my kids for happily attending Primary in a ward they have been to maybe one other time. 

The rest of the day was spent gathering crab apples and running in the yard with cousins. We also had soup and bread for dinner, the perfect pair for a fall afternoon in Utah.

 I honestly can't remember why you were mad at me in this one Julie. But I'm sure I deserved it. Maybe I made you stand in the front row like you've had to for your entire life?
 There are a lot of birthday this time of year, so we celebrated with cupcakes. And fire. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

First Stop

We recently returned from a trip to Boise, ID to visit Nate's grandparents. Apparently there are a couple ways to get to Boise from Las Vegas, going through Salt Lake being the longer way, but I'll take a couple extra hours in the car to be able to see this group any day! We spent an evening and a night in Orem and after spending some time at my Aunt Robin's (which is like a second home to me) we all headed to dinner at Zupa's. 
Emmy was surprisingly well behaved. 
I just love the unique feeling of coming "home" that can only be experienced by living away.
Before continuing onto Salt Lake, we stopped at my grandparent's on Sunday morning. Excuse me for being  nostalgic again, but I felt flooded with memories during our visit. A part of me wanted to go through and take pictures of their whole house because I spent so much time there. We even lived there for a short time while our house was being built.
One of my favorite things about my grandpa is his hearty laugh. It's the first thing out of his mouth after saying hello. He and my grandma have a lot of singing flower pots, and they let Jansen and Natalie each take one home.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Natalie goes to gymnastics on Tuesdays. I hesitated to sign her up because it's about a 20 minute drive, and we have to hurry home afterwards to get her to preschool. Her first day ended in tears, so then I was really wondering if we should continue. 

This is how she feels about it now though:
 She loves it. I don't get to watch her much though because I am chasing Emmy around.
 That would be this girl. We like to go watch the old men fly their airplanes in the gym. I can't even describe the nostalgia I feel when I smell or go in a gym like this.
 Me and the muppet.