Friday, February 26, 2010

High Five

Our local news station honors outstanding citizens... and the custodian at our school is outstanding in every way. My wonderful friend nominated him and invited us to be a part of the festivities. Liv and Coleman were lucky to be on TV as a part of his special "High Five" celebration. You have to look hard for Liv (she's shown at 1:38) and Coleman is shown throughout... if you look hard, you might even see ME lurking in the background :).

Oh, and please don't judge the cute boy with the orange striped boots and grey pants... it's obvious his mother was not paying attention when he put his boots on the wrong feet :).

Video Courtesy of

Monday, February 22, 2010

Embrace Life

One of my OCD tendencies has everything to do with seat belts and car seats... nothing grates on my nerves more than seeing a little kid in the front seat or kids buckled together (sharing a seat belt) or not buckled at all. I loved this video that Ryan found... it's such a great reminder of the importance of buckling up, every single time you are in the car.

Please, buckle any children (and adults!) that ride in your car correctly!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Prenatal Photos by Ryan

Ryan took some fun pictures of me and the kids while we were in St. George... I only have a handful of photos when I was pregnant with Liv and Coleman, so this time around I wanted to make sure to get some good ones. He did a GREAT job!

Olivia was the aspiring the photographer that clicked the remote in the picture of me and Ryan... and Coleman just loved this fishy face photo and he wanted to make sure to post it on the blog.

Thanks Ry!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Night of Culture

We try to have Harper Family Fun Night on a pretty regular basis... which usually consists of getting a Redbox movie, making some pizzas, and eating treats while we hang out together. Tonight we decided to take our Family Fun Night on the road for a night of culture... not the kind of culture you'd find in New York City or San Francisco or Chicago, because let's face it, it's pretty hard to come by in our neck of the woods... but we had a great time together and got out of the house...

Our first stop was for dinner... we experienced the southern cultural cuisine and consumed tasty fried chicken--sandwiches for the grown-ups, nuggets for the kiddos, and lots of lemonade and fries for us all (hooray for free sandwich coupons).

Then we got to the heart of our evening and saw the BYU Cougarettes in concert... it was so great to watch 20 young women with creative dances, great music, fun costumes, and very interesting uses for props. I loved that we didn't have to worry about immodest costumes and suggestive dance moves... it was great!

Our last stop embraced the culture of obese America as we stopped at Krispy Kreme for the kids to redeem their report cards... did you know that Krispy Kreme gives kids a half-dozen donuts for a good report card? It was so funny to see Coleman... he was excited when he thought he'd be getting a free donut just for showing his grades... and the sheer delight on his face (jaw-dropping happiness) made me smile inside and out. The donuts were warm and sticky, just how we like them.

Our Night of Culture was a great success... we might have to take our show on the road more often!

**As a side note, I probably should go easy on the fried foods... several people have kindly told me that I look "too small" to be this far along in my pregnancy... one even went as far as to say I was "tiny" which has never been a word that applies to me... but Coleman brought it all back into perspective this morning as I was going through some clothes my friend gave me... I held up a cute jacket and told Olivia how much I liked it... Coleman didn't skip a beat and said,

"You're going to have to get MUCH smaller to fit into that, Mom."

(Somehow I don't think Chik-Fil-A and Krispy Kreme are going to help me with that!)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Little Bit of Sunshine

I have spring fever.

A couple of weeks ago I told Ryan I wanted to go somewhere warm.

While dreamy locations would have included Hawaii, Mexico, Southern California, or anywhere else with an ocean, those places were all out of our reach for various reasons... but I still wanted to go somewhere warm.

I didn't even care if it was MUCH warmer than here, just that it was warmer.

We lucked out and Ryan's parents helped us get a condo in St. George for a couple of days (despite it being Valentine's Day, Presidents Day weekend, the Home Show, and about 43 Girls Soccer tournaments).

It was clear and sunny and 65!!!! We relaxed and ate good food and I was thrilled.

The kids thought it was warm enough to go in the outdoor (heated) swimming pool.

I was content to sit in the beach chair and watch them, soaking in the rays (with several towels piled on top of me to keep me warm). I'm pretty sure that if I looked hard enough I had a tan line on my upper half, but it disappeared within hours :(.

We went to Pirate Island for dinner one night (pretty fun atmosphere, over-priced and under-tasty food and service, but the kids loved it).

Ryan secretly wants to be a pirate, I know it.

Look at those blue skies and darling kiddos on Valentine's Day (in front of the St. George Temple).

They have a cute dad, too.

I ended up in the shadows, but I was there too.

One of the best parts of the weekend was getting to see my Grandma and Grandpa Cole who have been there for several weeks. We had lunch together... and the cute baby in Olivia's lap? That's my newest nephew, Jaxton, who belongs to Lindsey and Chad and lives in Arizona but was also in St. George for the weekend.

Grandpa, Lisa, Jaxton, Linds, and Grandma...

The kids had a great time playing with Jaxton's brother Jonah. He didn't want his picture taken too often, so we were glad to get this one.

...and this was just too funny not to post... not to worry, Jonah jumped right up, brushed himself off, and went back for more.

Coleman was so excited to zip off the bottom of his pants to make shorts... and he was a little bit obsessed with palm trees (let's admit it, I was too).

We loved being with Chad and Lindsey and their cute boys!

We also fit in a quick trip to the outlet stores (have I ever mentioned how I LOVE outlet stores?), a maternity photo shoot (will post photos later), had lots of fun family time in the condo playing games, finished the book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and watched the movie projected onto the wall (the truth: Ryan and I slept through most of it, but the kids loved it), watched the Olympics, worked on cards and crafty projects, read, and relaxed.

I miss the sun already!

**Do you have spring fever too?

338 Down...

...86 to go.

I'm not counting down how many more injections I have to give myself or anything.

This sign made my day...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ukraine's Got Talent

This video is amazing... check it out:

The email message that Ryan received with the link to this video said the following (keep in mind I was unable to verify all of the facts, but it's a moving story nonetheless):

This video shows the winner of "Ukraine's Got Talent" Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II. Her talent, which admittedly is a strange one, is mesmeric to watch.

The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears and she won the top prize of about 75,000 Euros.

She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy scene is obliterated.

In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man stands outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying goodbye.

The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine, resulted in one in four of the population being killed with eight to eleven million deaths out of a population of 42 million. The total death estimates between 50 to 60 million people - approximately 1/3 of the world's population at the time. (WikiAnswers stated that around 72 million or 3.70% of the world's population died during the war as the total population was around 2 billion before the war began.)

This is why we should study and know history - to prevent an unimaginably bloody future.

Kseniya Simonova says, " I find it difficult enough to create art using paper and pencils or paintbrushes, but using sand and fingers is beyond me. The art, especially when the war is used as the subject matter, even brings some audience members to tears. And there is surely no bigger compliment."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Silly Hat Dinner

Tonight we had a silly hat dinner... a tradition that used to happen with much more frequency than it has lately... it all started because I'm a sucker for a bargain, so when I saw lots of funny looking hats (that we'd never wear for any other reason than to be silly) for mere pennies, I couldn't resist. I was thrilled to come home from work today and find that Ryan and the kids had planned a silly-hat-breakfast-for-dinner event!

**Any silly traditions up your sleeve?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Are you LOST?

We didn't watch the first season of "LOST" on ABC when it first aired... but I'm pretty sure we watched all of season one within 72 hours once we started it... and we've been hooked since. Each episode leaves us with more and more questions, but they have promised to answer them all this season since it's the last.

Our friends invited us over to watch this season's premiere with them which we were so excited to do. Ryan and Dan got into it and plotted a whole menu of LOST-related foods... labels from the Dharma Initiative and all.

Ryan even shared the LOST joy with his coworkers and gave them some Dharma Initiative cans of soda...

...and he sent around a quiz to the people in his office and gave Dharma Initiative chocolate bars as prizes.

For our gathering we had some cake mixes to share, candy bars, water bottles, and Hurley's ranch to go with vegetables from Sun's garden.

Dan hand cut LOST symbols out of dough--there was the four-toed foot, several fish, LAX, 815, the SWAN symbol, the Hydra, etc. Quite impressive!

For our main course we had boar kabobs, hunted fresh out of the island jungle, the above mentioned biscuits (Sawyer's favorite: Dharma polar bear cage fish biscuits), Hurley's chug-worthy ranch dressing with island veggies, and finally for dessert we had Locke's "best mango ever" smoothie (although we didn't get a photo of this).

Thanks, Calls, for a great night!

So, what does this all tell you? Yes, it tells you that we are all big dorks, but it was fun and yummy :).

**Do you watch LOST?
**Did you end up with more questions than answers after watching the premiere?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Anger Issues

I'll be the first to admit that I have major anger issues.... just ask Coleman (who in his prayer the other day said, "Please bless mommy to not be angry at work...") or Olivia or Ryan who live with me and see how easy and often I fly off the handle.

I'll also be the first to admit that most of the things that I get angry about are small and insignificant and not worth the energy that I expend in feeling and/or acting angry. Of course there are some things that make me angry that I can totally justify (at least in my mind) but those are few and far between.

Today at work there were repeated small things and a few big things that happened that made me really, really angry. None of these things was consequential in any way and will not affect any other part of my life other than to make my work day stressful. I still chose to feel angry and express it to anyone who will listen to me--this of course results in my feeling even more angry than necessary. Even while I am ranting and raving I realize that it's not necessary to feel so angry, and then I get even more angry that I have felt angry at all in the first place. It's an ugly cycle I tell you.

Imagine my delight to find this gem in my mailbox when I got home from work today:

**What do you do to deal with your anger (aside from attending ridiculously expensive day-long conferences that teach you how to understand anger, understand anger-related disorders, manage anger, and explore more about forgiveness and the healing process)?