Thursday, December 31, 2009

The favored one

Max informed me that he likes Aunt Rachel better than me.

(notice she is wearing a Toy Story sweatshirt and he is clutching his Buzz Lightyear, a gift from Uncle Scott. Another reason for the attatchment)

She spent Christmas with us and Max barely left her side, even sitting on her when she tried to take a nap. But when JB and I were leaving to go see "Sherlock Holmes" that evening, he was like "Wait a minute! I want YOU to put me to bed mommy!" Hmmm, now I'm the favorite again?

Rachel is lots of fun. I made these flowers for her hair, and then we made tons more together.

Max now wants to go to Provo more often because Aunt Rachel and Aunt Sarah are there and that means tons of fun.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Visions of trains, cars, tools and trucks danced in his head....
Good thing Max got a nap on my bed on Christmas Eve, because the next 3 days were quite full!

We spent some time at JB's parents' house on Christmas Eve night for our tradition of homemade pizzas and singing carols. Max and Benny got new pajamas from Aunt Sarah, and they haven't wanted to take them off since.

On Christmas morning cars, trains and cooking gadgets were a theme in our gifts to each other. Notice the BBQ spices sent from my sister in Kansas City for my chef.

We were back at the Richards at noon for more gifts and a dinner of smoked ribs (by JB. Yum.)

Benny is excited:

Max and his cousin Emily share a hug (the boots to the left belong to my little sister Rachel. She spent Christmas with us and my boys adore her).

The day after Christmas was Max and Benny's cousin Jane's first birthday party (details here, including pictures of my boys playing with all her new toys). Then that afternoon was the annual Patten white elephant gift exchange at my Grandma's house. I owe a big thank you to my second cousin's wife (I think) for pointing out a present Max would like! He unwrapped a toy canoe and man. Why am I thankful for this? Because another family member unwrapped bricks.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas crochet

There was definitely a theme to my Christmas gifts this year. I made hats for just about everybody, until I ran out of yarn, time and patience.

Below is the golf cap I crocheted for my brother James in Texas. JB is modeling it (I know he must secretly love it although he kept teasing me about it).

I made the hats and flowers below for my sisters-in-law, Collette, Suzanne and Sarah.

Each one is a different stitch and pattern.

Not pictured -- beanies (sans flowers) for my brother Joe in Texas, my brother Seth in the MTC, and one for my soon-to-be sister-in-law Emily (Scott's fiance). I also crocheted headbands (like the ones pictured in previous posts) for my sister Bekah in Kansas City and my little sister Rachel in Provo.

No such luck for the brother in Seattle and my 4 other siblings in Missouri, sorry guys. Again, I ran out of time, yarn and patience. But if you read this blog and want one, let me know.

To the rest of you, yes, I really have that many siblings.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Early Christmas couches

I received a new Christmas present during my nap time last week -- new couches!

Max looks thrilled to take another picture, but look how handsome they are in their white shirts and ties for church.

Friday, December 18, 2009


I miss my mother-in-law.

Pauline can do anything. Make anything, fix anything, etc. Look at this I Spy quilt she made for Benny's birthday.

(Can you spot Benny's little cafe-au-lait birthmark above his outie belly button?)

I miss her because she is in Phoenix visiting JB's little brother Jeff, and I really need her help to finish, oh, probably way too many projects I started for gifts this Christmas. Come back.....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Family Christmas Cheer

Family and friends far from here should be getting their Christmas card in the mail this week. I had all these thoughts of dressing fancy in a new sweater, maybe with one of my crafty flowers in my air, and having the boys match each other. But when we were at Temple Square 2 weeks ago we had such fun taking a family picture that we just knew we had to send one to everybody.

Here is a sampling of the experience:

As Deb says on Napoleon Dynamite, "That was the one. I think that's gonna come out really nice."

Our one we picked is close to this final one, just because it summed up the night. Max exasperated with the whole process, Benny in his own happy world, Mary and JB still smiling while saying through our teeth, "Sit up! Say ice cream!"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Busy Bee

Sorry I haven't called or talked to you in a while world. I've been busy making stuff.

I think JB's growing concerned. I bought a small glue gun for crying out loud. But I tell him not to worry; remember the time I read Lord of the Rings and watched all of the extended versions of the movie in a row? Then I watched every episode of The Office for 2 weeks. This too shall pass.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A shiner

Two nights ago before bed the boys were running around -- either chasing each other or going after the same toy, they crashed. Totally bonked heads. Loud Crack. Both were howling. I got Max an ice pack and soothed Benny and then put them to bed. JB called me early the next morning at work to say Benny had quite the black eye:

Poor boy! It has turned some interesting colors today. The next night in the tub I was washing Max's hair when he cried out. He had a huge goose egg above his ear from their collision. With two boys I'm pretty sure we will face worse as they grow up. I cringe for their teenage years.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A new Elder

My little brother Seth went into the Missionary Training Center yesterday. He's headed to Indiana at the end of December for a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are so proud of him.

Here he is with our sister Rachel, saying goodbye at the curb at the MTC (they no longer have families come inside and watch the video with their Elder then say goodbye. Swine flu and other concerns I think).
(It's a cell phone picture. They really aren't that pasty white.)

Seth flew in from Missouri on Tuesday night in the middle of a snowstorm here and a snowstorm there. I'm glad he made it safely. And I'm glad Rachel now lives here too so we could both send him off.

On Wednesday morning we hunted for a proper black nice winter coat for him. We also went to visit our little brother's grave in the Provo Cemetery. Enoch passed away 3 years ago but Seth and Rachel moved out of the state with the rest of the family and never saw the headstone. We searched for up to 40 minutes through the snow in the wrong area (my bad), and finally after some tears and prayers, we called our other brothers on the phone. They told us to go 50 feet to the right to the OTHER tree. And there it was!
I brushed it off with my car windshield brush and we were able to, despite our frozen toes, stay there for a little while. Seth won't be reading this because blogs and such are now off-limits to him as a missionary, but I hope he knows how much I deeply appreciate his care of Enoch over the years.

Phew. Getting misty again.

on to the rest of the day. After saying goodbye to Seth at noon, Rachel and I went to the Brick Oven for lunch. Benny was with us while Max was in pre-school, and boy was Benny glad I got the Brown Cow rootbeer float freeze.

Very yummy. And for the record I took the leftover chicken artichoke pizza home to JB and Max so they would have a treat too. JB loved it; Max not so much.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Benny Boy

My Benny turned 2 years old this weekend. It snowed again, just like on the day of his birth. JB made pizza and I made a football cake and both turned out very nice.

Benny got a new shirt, quilt, and lots of toys with wheels. Here he is below sorting them at Nona and Papa's house while Max sneaks closer to see if he can have a turn.

My sweet Benny is just so much fun. He's all boy. He loves trucks, trains, cars, footballs, baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls -- you get the idea.

He'll throw himself on the ground and yell "Touchdown!" He'll hurl a ball at you, then he'll yell "catch" if he remembers. At night when I tell him it's bedtime, he will run and climb onto JB on the couch and say "Watch ballgame with daddy!"

He loves to play with Max but also will fight for something if he thinks it should be his. He still has kissable cheeks and I wish he would stay my baby even though it's fun to watch him grow up.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A gift of BBQ?

Here are JB and our friend Tim, holding their Thanksgiving creations. One deep-fried, one smoked bird. Very very good stuff. Max loved our dinner guests too.

I know it's a very late post for Thanksgiving but it brings me to my current thought -- should we give the gift of BBQ this year? We want to get our holiday neighbor gifts out soon, but can't decide what to give.

Here are the thoughts I had:

a) JB's homemade BBQ sauce or BBQ rub in a jar
b) Cookies
c) Homemade jam (courtesy of JB's mom)
d) Soap
e) Peppermint bark or other candy

I'm getting hungry thinking about it. Except for the soap.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Images of me

I was in the newspaper almost twice. Here's me below, covering the opening of a road that had been under construction for a while. I'm under the yellow arrow I added in Paint. I'm holding my work camera and microphone at the same time.

Then here I almost am, also in the Deseret News, at the bottom of the page, also under the yellow arrow. This is when Real Salt Lake came back from winning the MLS cup. It looks exactly like me -- and it looks like I'm holding Max or Benny in my arms, too!

I had to convince a friend that the woman in the picture isn't me. But she has my nose and everything. I should meet her someday.