Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just an idea

I have been keeping a journal for both kids since before they were born. I try and write in it once a month, and surprisingly I have been able to do that consistently. I write about how they are growing and new things they are learning, vacations and outings we take as a family, and I like to jot down the cute and funny things they do and say.

This is what I do with my pictures. I back them up in three different places. If our whole house burned down and we lost our pictures that is what I would be most upset about. We put them on our external hard drive, I burn them on a cd and just to be safe I make Jared take another external hard drive to work with him.
I usually print my pictures each month. I go through and choose just my favorites. If I do it once a month it is easy to not fall too behind and doesn't cost too much. I take those pictures and slap them in a photo album and call it good. Yeah, I have at least 11 photo albums which is a little excessive, so one of these days I plan on whittling those down. One day...

The other day I had this great idea...I probably read about someone doing it and copied it, but I thought I would share. Although I love writing in the kids journals, I wish I could include pictures. And since I can't keep up with scrapbooking the perfect solution is a blog. I set up two different private blogs, one for Adalynn and one for Devin. It will be a lot like the journals I keep now, except now I can include pictures. The other thing I like is, say we go on a family trip or outing. Instead of writing about it in each journals separately I can do it once and cope and paste. Then if I want to make it a bit more personal I can just add to each one individually. I can't tell you how many times I have written the same thing in both kids journals.
The last thing I am excited about is, when I am done, or as often as I like I can have the books printed in a nice hardbound book. I know there are a few companies out there that take blogs and turn them into books. Blurb.com is one I have heard a lot about. I honestly haven't done one yet, so if you have you will have to let me know.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Utah


We just got back from another fun weekend in Utah. We left Wednesday night and stayed until Sunday afternoon. And since I'm a little tired and have a ton of things to do, it feels like a bullet day.

DAY 1--Drive to Utah.
  • The dvd player stopped working at about St. George which is when the kids started fighting and whining. I probably heard, "We at Parker's house yet?" a thousand times. Then they feel asleep for a good couple hours. Got to Justin and Michelle's at about midnight. Michelle told me Parker stayed up until 10 to see Devin which I thought was so sweet.

DAY 2--I turn the big one nine (plus 10)

  • We woke up and took the kids to get some pictures from her.
  • Once we were back at Michelle' s we packed everyone up and went to Sam's for some groceries and lunch.
  • The kids just played and played. Devin and Parker were so excited to see each other!
  • Jared's dad, Kristi, Andrea (Jared's sister), and Brandon (Andrea's fiance) arrived later that day. We finally got to meet Brandon!
  • We celebrated my birthday with some really yummy chocolate cake.


While we were at Sam's Devin said to Parker, "You're my best friend ever!" It was so sweet!






 Excited about eating dinner outside
 DAY 3--The Wedding
  • The wedding was at the Draper Temple. Aaron and Laurel looked so happy and Laurel looked beautiful.
  • It was freaking cold! Which is typical Utah since the day before and the day after the wedding were super nice. But seriously, it was so, so cold. I think they got like two pictures of families and we were outta there. Of course, Devin and Parker didn't seem to notice. They were dancing around and playing in snow so at least they were happy.
  • It was a long day especially for the kids. They were married, the luncheon was at 4 at the Old Spaghetti Factory and the reception was in Salt Lake at 7.
  • The reception was at an art gallery in Salt Lake. There were hundreds of VERY expensive and VERY breakable glass art. Which was beautiful and different...but as you can imagine was a little stressful for parents with little kids. They did okay though.








DAY 4--
  • We woke up and took the kids on the train. I think we have started some sort of tradition because we do this very time we visit. The boys really enjoy it.
  • We looked at wedding dresses for Andrea. She tried on some really beautiful ones and I can't wait to see what she decides on. She, of course, will look amazing in what ever she decides.
  • I took Andrea's and Brandon's engagement pictures which was a lot of fun. We started at this really stinky, old warehouse/plant. We thought we were going to get in trouble when the owner pulled up (he had been having problems with animal rights people) but when he learned we were just there for pictures he drove us to his grandma's house which had a cute old house and old barns and sheds. People in Utah are so nice! 
  • Again, the kids just played and played. Usually when we get them together after a while they start to get annoyed with each other. But they seemed to love every minute. Even Adalynn played with the boys and seemed to fit right in.
  • The kids had their own version of American Gladiators. They were like little wild animals running around and wrestling and having a great time climbing up the air mattress. I wish we had video taped it--it was hilarious. And I have never seen kids play that rough for that long and not have one of them get hurt. (Someone always seems to get a bonked head or fall or something). 

 DAY 5--Sunday
  • We got all ready to go to church today. Kristi bought the girls matching dresses and they looked so cute. Thanks nana!
  • We left after lunch and made it home for The Amazing Race. Go Cowboys!!

 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Laughlin

Two weekends ago, Jared had a softball tournament in Laughlin. We went last year and had a great time and even though we didn't stay in the same hotel with this cute little beach, it was nice to get away. At first I wasn't sure about going, but Robyn and I decided it would be fun if we both came. We packed stuff for lunches and the kids played together while the guys played softball--four games to be exact. All Devin wanted to do was go back to the hotel to go swimming, so even though we had already checked out, we snuck back to go swimming before the drive home.





Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Just a little conversation I had with Devin this morning

D: I not want to go to school today.
V: Why not?
D: My teacher mean to me
V: She is? What does she do that is so mean?
D: (Very Serious) She bites me........and gives me wedgies

Monday, April 12, 2010

Photography

Two things I am really excited about and want to share...

It has been a dream of mine for a while now to have a little studio...nothing fancy, just something where I can take even more pictures. About a year ago I took a lighting class where I learned all about studio lighting and I've had one of these on my wish lists ever since.

Now all I have to do is convert this bedroom into a studio, which I hope I will be able to do in the next month or two. I will totally keep you all posted!
And I also started a photography blog. Actually I started it about a year ago, but it has been private because, it was more for myself to take notes and see how I could improve. Again, it is nothing fancy...just a little place I can post pictures of my friends and family.

http://valeriechristensenphotography.blogspot.com/
Yeah, that might be the longest blog address ever!

I really do love photography---I don't think I am that great and I know I have a lot to learn, but I am enjoying the journey. I am such a firm believer in getting out there and learning new things. I love being a mom, but sometimes I want something else to do in my life, which I think makes me a better momma. I was kinda inspired by my grandpa's friend. She decided one day she wanted to learn how to paint. So she took some classes and practiced a lot and you should see her work. It is beautiful. She has to be in her seventies. It made me realize if I wanted to do something or be better at something to just get out there and do it (even if you are 70!)

This past weekend...

was busy, busy....but I better get used to it because every weekend this month is going to be.

Friday I took the kids to the Clark County Fair. It is always fun to just get away and do something different, right? I called my friend Robyn last minute to come and I'm so glad she was able to make it.
They had quite a few of your average fair animals---goats, pigs, cows, rabbits, and chickens.

Devin and Lucas...Robyn and I always joke that they are like two crazy peas in a pod.
 They also had a few random animals--snakes, a camel, and a monkey. Adalynn lately has been obsessed with this stuffed monkey (see below) so she was excited to see a real one. She kept trying to give her monkey to the real monkey and the real money was crawling all over Addie, Devin and Lucas.







After seeing the animals and eating lunch we finished the day off with some carnival rides. Devin seriously has such a one track mind. He knew there were rides so the whole time he kept bugging me to go there and kept trying to sneak off. Sometimes I get so frustrated when he does this because he wont even enjoy all the other things we did because he is so obsessed with what is on his mind. So, I don't think he cared about any of the animals or dogs. And then once we made it over to the rides his one track mind switched gears and he decided he wanted cotton candy. Sheesh!




Adalynn was having a good time UNTIL the ride started and then she was freaking out. The guy had to stop the ride so I could get her out--



Saturday was Devin's friend Layne's birthday party. Layne was in Devin's preschool in Henderson and he hasn't seen him since we moved so he was so excited to see him and give him a present. They had his birthday party at a Red Rock (Calico Basin) which we had never been to before. It was really pretty and the perfect place for a little boys birthday party. The boys climbed rocks and went on hikes with their binoculars where they found lizards AND a mountain lion.



 Devin with the world largest turkey baster. Thank you Dollar Tree for providing him with hours of entertainment.

Just a few random pictures...
 Adalynn and her monkey. She still loves her babies. She is just taking a break from them right now.



Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter

Hope everyone had a happy Easter.
We had fun doing the usual Easter stuff and listening to conference.