Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More Headlines

These are from fark.com's headline of the year contest.  I am deleting those that aren't that funny and that are overly inappropriate.

Also, we had some unbelievers last time, so let me explain how fark works-- it's a news aggregator, with submissions from all over the world.  People find stories, create their own headlines, and then submit the original article.  So the stories are real, headlines are made up by non-journalists.

Here we go:

One armed girl swims circles around competition

Two swimmers dead, Juan Moore missing 

Disagreements shake Djibouti. Shake, shake, shake. Shake, shake, shake. Shake Djibouti 

Now that certain words -- like the other word for donkey -- must be filtered on the Internet: President Abraham Lincoln was buttbuttinated by an armed buttailant after a life devoted to the reform of the U.S. consbreastution

Father of two crushed to death after falling into printing press. This story is continued on Pages 3, 4, 9 and 10

Last German WWI veteran dies at age 107. WE WIN

Four ex-AOL executives reach plea deal with SEC, must surrender stolen money and perform 5,000 HOURS OF FREE SERVICE

General Motors post a $15.5 billion second-quarter net loss. Sales plummet like a rock. Oooooohhhhh, Like a Rock 

QVC to lay off 6 percent of workers. But if you call in now, they'll cut another 10 percent 

Halliburton bidding $3.4 billion for Expro, which is the first time in years Halliburton actually bid on something

Ticketmaster fires 300 employees due to financial crunch, collects 10 percent of their severance in convenience fees

Not ones to deviate from their business model, GM admits that they "wont make a dime" from the Chevy Volt

Stark candy heart plant is closing. It must be a DREAM. This pink slip can't BE MINE. Guess nothing lasts FOREVER 

3M sends 1800 employees pink post-it notes 

Krispy Kreme loss widens in 3rd quarter, hindquarter

Sony makes 8000 walk, man 

Scientists create rubber that repairs itself. Your parents wish they had had this

Schoolboy collapses and goes into convulsions playing World of Warcraft, which inadvertently gives him more exercise than he's had for months 

Alaska's black population says he has felt ignored by Palin

Not one to stall for time, Larry Craig intends to tap out his memoirs

"Obama tax plan will retard growth, job creation" as opposed to Palin's plan of job growth and retard creation

Anonymous package of bacon closes congressman's office, which marks the first time in history a politician ran away from pork 

Suri Cruise named best-dressed tot in show business, just barely edging out her dad Tom 

Supermodel sorry for disappearance, promises to never turn sideways again

"24" executive producer Joel Surnow opts to leave the show after his contract RAN OUT OF TIME 


Thursday, December 25, 2008

A little more of our Christmas
















Merry Christmas to All!

We had a great Christmas this year. Just about anything was going to be better than last year when Owen and I were hanging over a bowl with the flu all day! But it really was a fun, relaxing, great day. And to prove it, I'll even post bad pictures of myself, well maybe just one! Here's us all in our pj's Christmas Eve. My parents were with us and Jack & Owen were thrilled to have grandma and papa stay the night with us.

The boys basically got the same things, it wasn't much but I was happy that they liked their gifts so much. I keep wondering how many more years we can get away with buying them the same things. When will they grow to be different enough that they'll be asking for completely different things for Christmas?


They were excited about every little thing stuffed inside their stockings- even the toy cars they already had down in their toy box that we threw in just to have something else!

Such sweet boys.

And all they kept asking to do was open another present! Something about being allowed to tear something open just lights up their faces! Sometimes it also brings frustration when mom uses too much tape and they can't find anywhere to start from, woops!


None of us really got a Christmas nap but we wanted to make extra sure that we wore out the boys enough for a good sleep tonight so we took them sledding with all their new snow clothes and sleds they got from Grandma & Papa Ward. We kept waiting to go throughout the day thinking it would soon stop snowing and as you can see we gave up because there was, and still is, no end in sight! We all had a blast sledding, which is great because the snow's not going anywhere and we've got to get out of the house to do something!



We hope you all had as great of a day as we did. Enjoy the rest of 2008
and get ready to ring in the new year!





Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mackade William Lowe

My little sister was finally able to have her baby today and we're all so in love with him!





She checked into the hospital early Monday morning but by the next morning she had barely dilated to a 4, poor thing. Then all of a sudden things sped right up and after just a couple more hours and two pushes there he was! 8 pounds 2 ounces. The whole family family is so excited to have him, and the boys know it's Christmas because we kept telling them Jessi's baby couldn't come out until Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Our Helpers

We never take the cans downstairs to the pantry.  The boys always do it, and they love to help.  Here's a fine example of the results. (EDIT: These were undented cans prior to the boys taking them downstairs).

A taste of what's to come...


There's still a lot of work ahead.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Inside Outside Upside Down

video
Mom brought home a big box!

No tricks here.  Honest.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Shout Out to Ashlee!


For all of you who may not know, my amazing sister-in-law Ashlee is having a big birthday today! I've only know her for a little over four years now but she has undoubtedly been a great blessing in my life. She's been through quite a bit in her young life and has helped me get through a few trying times of my own. Although she's only done my hair once (it's not like I'm around much for her to do it!) she's a very talented hairdresser, I also know that she seems to always be doing fun things for friends and family members, helping them out however she can, and she remembers everything! We always get birthday and anniversary wishes as I'm sure you all do, too from her. More than anything else, though, she's an incredible mom; definitely someone I will always look to for guidance and inspiration in motherhood. Her happy kids and husband will attest to that! She's the kind of person that seems to have everything put together but is able to remain "real" and doesn't act like life is always perfect. I've grown to admire her so much and love her like a sister. I wish we lived closer, especially when there's bowling birthday parties with cake!

Ashlee, I hope your birthday has been great, that your party's a blast, and that you look forward to each new year of life!
Happy Birthday!

Friday, September 26, 2008

WaMu Failed


We're no longer Washington Mutual customers.  Neither are you.  WaMu failed this evening, marking the largest bank failure in the history of the US.  As far as our finances go, nothing has changed.  The FDIC brokered a deal and sold off everything WaMu to JPMorgan Chase.  So now we're Chase customers.  But the transition will take a few months.  And I'll still go deposit my paycheck in the local WaMu branch tomorrow.

This is kind of sad.  Washington Mutual has been good to us.  We've liked them.

Bonus for Alan Fishman, though.  He was hired as Washington Mutual's CEO on September 8, 2008.  Seventeen days ago.  He was awared a $7.5 million signing bonus and now presumably gets a severance package of $3.65 million.  Yes, you read that right, the man gets over $11 million for seventeen days of work.  Had he stayed on board, his annual salary was $1 million a year (plus options).  It would have taken him years to earn with a successful business what he earned in two weeks with his own bank failing.  No conflict of interest there, right?

Anyone want to recommend a good bank for us?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Run the Gap


WooHoo!!! I did it!

Never in my life did I think I'd be a "runner" (and I'm still not sure if I'd classify myself as that) but I ran my very first 5K this weekend and it was fantastic! I'm torn because even though I'm just so proud of myself for actually doing it I'm kind of disappointed in my performance....I really wanted a trophy! I finished 7th in my age group, but there were only 10 anyways. Oh well. I've been super nervous about the whole thing and very glad that
I survived!


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Skating

The boys were so excited to go skating for their first time ever.


The above picture was taken at 7:06PM, immediately after their skates were strapped on.
"Daddy... these shoes have tires!"--Owen




The above picture was taken at 7:11 PM.



And this final picture, taken once they decided they were done skating, was taken at 7:18 PM.


Friday, August 08, 2008

Twins

I remember with clarity the day we found out Kara was pregnant with twins. We were sitting there in the ultrasound room when the doctor came in to confirm what the technician thought she saw and said, “Congratulations! You’re having two!” My first reaction included a skipped heart beat (not the good kind) and an incredulous, “Are you serious?”

The trials associated with having twins are dynamic. It’s this competition where you constantly work to outsmart your own children. And they usually win, and then you have to invest in more tools and more time and more purchases to install more locks, gates, barriers, etc. You have to tell yourself to relax when you see the rug being melted from the hair dryer, the dirty diapers being smeared into the carpet, the toys already disassembled, the pages torn out of the textbooks, or one of the other endless list of ways they have managed and continue to manage to destroy things.

Once in a while we get a break, usually from grandparents watching them. Sometimes it’s planned out. Usually it includes us going to bed relatively early and sleeping in pretty late. We have unconsciously learned to use those occasions as a chance to catch up on lost sleep.

So it strikes me as odd that at those times we do get some time without the boys, our conversation is all about them. We talk about the funny things they have said or done, and even fall asleep laughing about their antics. It’s hard to not mimic their behaviors, like leaving to go to the store and fake-arguing about who gets to “sit by Costco!” on the way, or suggesting, “my feet broken! Daddy/Mommy carry me!” when we’re tired of walking. We get sentimental just hours after they’ve left.

It’s true: we miss them when they’re gone. It feels weird going to bed without reading their chosen four books to them—and for that matter, not dedicating an hour to bed time. I sort of miss having one of them (but not both of them) climb into bed with us after “it’s no more dark outside” but before the alarm goes off. I miss hearing those random 6AM whispers to me like, “Daddy make Owen waffles and ice cream please.” Or the excited announcement, “Daddy! Dad! Dad! Daddy! Daddy! Dad! Nick! NICK! I built a boat!” and his boat, made of those large Lego blocks, is indistinguishable (to me) from his tower, his truck, his “dinner I cooked,” his computer, or his doggy.

They come back home tonight. Getting them to go to bed will probably be a fight. And I’m confident I’ll wake up tomorrow morning sometime between 5AM and 7AM with an urgent, “Wake up! We go Lowe’s, do project!”

It will be fun to have them back home.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

More interesting than rocks

Owen stopped throwing rocks for a minute because, "I want to watch the sun go to bed."

We love Saturdays


Three times a month (first Saturday at Home Depot, second and fourth Saturday at Lowe's), Jack and Owen get to do a kid's project. These projects vary with the season but all involve some hammering. We just started about three months ago and have built
  • a Mother's Day planter (complete with wooden flowers)

  • an actual planner (and we grew real flowers in these but they died)

  • a bird house

  • a dune buggy (with working wheels)

  • a baseball stadium toy

  • a catamaran (kudos if you know what that is without looking it up)

  • a sailboat

  • a tape measure

  • a miniature toy of that game you play with the pole that has a rope attached to the top and a ball attached to the end of the rope, I can't remember the name of it

We usually take it to the next level by letting the boys pick out a color and buying a can of spray paint to colorize their project afterwards. Fortunately (and, at the same time, unfortunately), Jack is happy with painting everything purple.


Saturday is also the day that Mom and Dad do other projects around the house, which this past weekend included painting the two remaining walls in the boys' room, installing a ceiling fan in our bedroom (haven't finished), some landscaping work, and replacing our front porch lamp. The last lamp busted somehow and someone cut it off at ground level. So replacing it means digging up the entire concrete foundation and putting a new one in. I'm halfway there. The concrete is too heavy for me to take out myself and I have no concrete breaking tools.


Anyway we also built a shelf for Jack and Owen's room, as pictured below. Plank: $7, supports, $21, wall anchors, $2. We routed off three edges, stained it, and glued it all together. Also we had to move Neptune and Pluto to a different place in their orbits.


So the picture above demonstrates our painting efforts, our shelf-building efforts, and most of the boys' projects to date (one of each-- in most cases one of the two toys is destroyed within 12 hours).

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pet-sitting

It really is the best way to have a pet, I think. I imagine it's similar to being a grandparent- it's fun while it lasts but it's always nice to send them home afterwards! This is "Plumber" Ellie's hampster and we're watching him for 10 days while they're having some fun in the sun in San Diego- wish I were, too! He's staying in the laundry room and all we have to do is feed him before we go to bed, not too bad. The boys love him and always have to say hi to him every morning and night but they really don't care to touch him. That's probably a good thing, though, since I don't have to worry about them squishing him a little too hard- if you know what I mean.


And yes, Jack's wearing Christmas jammies because they're just about his absolute favorite ones- even though they're tight as can be on him!

Monday, July 28, 2008

You can call me Betty


There have been several occasions that I've taken little goodies to work since I started full time a few months ago. Well, it didn't take long for the girls in the office to start calling me "Betty" whenever I'd bring something in. I made these oreo truffles this morning for a guy that's leaving us. They may not be that spectacular looking (I'm working on that) but they are definitly spectacular tasting! The only thing the girls at work don't know is that the only cooking I excel at is sweets, you should see what we had for dinner tonight- cheese sandwhiches and peas, interesting combination huh?

Monday, July 14, 2008

They LOVE to talk


Lately Owen and Jack have been so funny to listen to. I absolutely love that they can talk so well and never before have I been more thankful that I have twins because I would be expected to answer a whole lot more than I have to! It's pretty funny to go through all these phases with them. They'll get set on a few different words and that's all you'll hear for a few days. Last week was awesome because suddenly they asked for everything instead of just assuming they can do whatever they want (which they're not back to doing)! "Can Owen..." Can Jack..." EVERYTHING! This week they say "actually" a lot. On the way to the pool they were talking back and forth trying to decide what color the pool was. "Actually, the pool is blue" "No, actually, it's red" "No, Owen, actually it's white". So funny, where do these things come from? Then when we got home I was in the kitchen cleaning up and they came up to me like this...




"What color are my eyes mom?" "What kind of eyes does Jack and Owen have?" They're at such a fun age where they constantly come up with all these questions that I would never think to ask them. They also have an explanation for everything. For example; we always have to drive by the hospital and look at the life flight helicopter (which tyey call the sick helicopter because we told them it helps sick people get better). Tonight on our way home from the pool it wasn't at the hospital and very matter of factly Owen says the sick helicopter was tired and went to bed and that's why we couldn't see it. It's nights like tonight that make me so grateful I get to share my life with such sweet souls. I'm so thankful to my father in heaven for being so persistent in getting them to our family. I wish we lived closer to all our family so that you could all experience these same sweet memories along with us.

Sum sum summertime!



With how the previous two summers have been I was beginning to lose faith that my boys would ever enjoy being in the water. Every time we'd try to get them to swim or play in the sprinklers it end in with the boys in tears and Nick and I frustrated and annoyed! What kid doesn't like the water? Once again, this year hadn't been going very well- no interest in the blow up pool I brought home for them, they lasted less than ten minutes in a three foot pool at their cousins house, and I practically had to throw them in the sprinkler out at my parents' house! The other day the girls at work were talking about the local pool being half price Monday nights and that happens to be one of the nights Nick has school and I hate being home all night trying to entertain the boys. So, I finally did it, I took them to the pool tonight and amazingly they loved it! I am so excited to know that they actually liked being in the water today and neither of them threw a fit about it! It's the funnest little wading pool for kids with a slide, squirt toys, and tire swing. You know where we'll be every Monday night!

We've had a birthday!


Okay okay so it was over a week ago now that we had this birthday but you know how it goes. My hubby turned 28! Yay for birthdays! Even though the special day landed on a Sunday we managed to have a pretty great day and Nick even got to enjoy two of his most favorite things to eat. Can you name them? Both of them are pretty obvious things- and they really were great! Steak for dinner and pineapple upside down cake for desert. Yum! I just had to show off my cooking skills- especially since I only make this kind of cake once a year :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

More weekend fun

We had such a blast this past weekend! It didn't hurt that I had a four day weekend from work, either. We mostly hung out with friends and family at Bret & Ashlee's beautiful new home.




It was great to relax, let the kids play, and spend some time with people we don't see very often. As you can all see, I'm no great photographer and half the weekend I forgot I even had my camera with me!

Holiday Weekend

Great food

Great people

Great fireworks



Friday, June 06, 2008

Another week another adventure

We haven't done a whole lot this last week, it's been pouring most of the week. We did take the boys mini-golfing the other day, though. Nick found a fun little place with an indoor play place, arcade games, and mini-golf. I think the boys liked it pretty well but they got bored after a while. It was a cool course, though, it was really dark with lots of neon glow-in-the-dark paint everywhere.


The highlight of Jack and Owen's week was getting an awesome package from non other than Grandma Ned! They think they're so cool wearing their Batman shirts! True, they're a little bit big but they don't seem to mind one bit!





The highlight of my week? Haircuts for the boys! First of all, I just adore those little boys with the longer "beach boy" hair, but of course my boys have such fine straight hair they just look homely with long hair. So sad. I still hope to one day have a little boy with curly locks! Second, I'm not into the super short buzz cut look either, but after cutting, and cutting, and trimming, and fixing, and fixing again....that's what I ended up with! Ahhh! This is why I'm in such need of a trip to Oregon! You promised to teach me Ashlee!

Before & After

Here's my hairy monsters...



And here's my bald little boys!