Monday, December 22, 2014

 I always say there's nothing quite like taking Christmas pictures to drive away the Christmas spirit.  I was so upset with how these pictures turned out; I didn't even want to post them.  My mom has pictures of each of us girls sitting on a rocking horse in front of a Christmas tree when we were two.  I took a picture of Brad when he was two, and here is Stella's picture.  Of course my phone took extremely blurry pictures, and Stella was having a hard time smiling.  This was the best of many pics.  Oh well.  I guess some traditions are worth giving up.   
This was the best of all of the kids.  Blurry too. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Squigz, Medusa, ETC.

 We have been waiting, not so patiently, for Christmas to come.  My kids wake up every morning asking if it's Christmas morning yet.  Yikes.  It's getting a little old after 20 days of it.  We have been trying to distract ourselves with silliness.  Stella made a bunch of necklaces out of Squigz yesterday.  We then decided  she needed more hair-Medusa style.
 In honor of the coming holiday, we decided to make a star out of Magformers.  Brad decided he needed several pictures taken along this theme. 
 After he saw his "little button nose," as he put it, he had a lot more ideas for photo opportunities. 
 I made him stop after this one.  He decided he looked like a superhero.  Really? 
I have three little oranges on my dwarf orange tree that are getting so close to being ripe.  I don't think they will quite make it into Brad, Stella, and Bronson's stockings, but I did think it would be super neat if their Christmas oranges came from our own tree. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Removing Pen Marks from Baby Doll

     I really wish I had taken before and after pictures with this baby.  A few weeks ago, Bradford applied black pen on this baby's forehead, around her eyes, and on her knees.  The pen marks covered the baby's ENTIRE forehead.  It was bad. 
     After my initial rage, my first thought was to use magic eraser on her.  I have had HUGE success with Magic Eraser on just about everything (including pen marks on different objects).  Unfortunately, I was out of Magic Eraser, so I decided to try hair spray. Hair spray gets pen out of clothes, so I figured it was worth a try on the doll.  The hair spray turned the pen marks a dark purple color, but didn't remove the ink.  I was feeling okay about things because I knew the Magic Eraser would work once I made it to the store to get some.  Wrong.  The Magic Eraser did absolutely NOTHING. 
     I went to the Internet and tried everything suggested online.  Nothing worked.  I came across an article somebody had written about using acne cream to remove pen mark from vintage vinyl dolls.  I figured I would give it a try.  The person writing the article applied acne cream (the kind with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide) to ONLY the affected areas on the baby doll.  She then covered the rest of the baby in a cloth and let the baby sit in the sun for about four hours.  She said the temperature outside needed to be about 90 degrees for the cream to work. 
     I was anxious to try this method.  However, temperatures never reach 90 degrees in Laramie (especially not in December :) ).  I decided to place the baby on the dash inside my vehicle and rely on the good sun we get here in Laramie.  Of course the clouds covered the sun the minute I set the baby out to bake.  I left her outside anyway.  When I removed the acne cream from the baby, the pen marks had visibly faded.  I was really excited.  I decided I would try one more time on a sunnier day to see if I could get the marks to fade more.  The next day was beautifully sunny.  After applying the acne cream again, I put the baby on the dash of the car and let her sit for four hours.  When I wiped off the cream, all the marks were completely GONE.  Not a trace of pen anywhere!!! 
     I'm sure the neighbors thought I was crazy with a mummified looking doll on the dash of my van, but it was worth it.  For the record, I used the Equate brand Spot Treatment Acne Medication with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide.  Yay!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Christmas Tree 2014

We decided to get a real tree this year.  I think we found a pretty nice one.  It is nice and full if not a little short and stubby looking. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

San Francisco Trip + Thanksgiving

 We traveled to San Francisco a little over a week ago.  Phillip had to present some of his research at two different conferences, so we decided to make a family trip of it prior to Thanksgiving.  We left on Tuesday and made it as far as Salt Lake.  Bradford threw up in the car four times on the way there, and Stella threw up twice.  It was lovely as can be imagined.  The above picture is the view from our hotel room in Salt Lake City.  I was able to do a session at the temple; it was a neat opportunity.  On Wednesday morning, we ate breakfast with Phillip's mission president.  They seem to be such nice and amazing people. 
 We traveled all day Wednesday.  I was thankful we didn't have any repeat performances with the kids throwing up.  We stayed the night in Carson City, Nevada.  I thought Carson was a neat city and a lot prettier than I expected.  On Thursday, we made it into California and stopped by the Calaveras Big Trees State park.  We got to see some awesome giant Sequoias. 
 This tree stump was amazingly huge.  I think it was over 30 feet in diameter. 

 The kids by the roots of a fallen sequoia. 

 This tree was hollowed out, and the kids and Phillip were able to walk inside it for about 50 feet.
 Bradford was so excited to see this tree.  It was pretty neat. 
 Rural California was so beautiful.  After we saw the big trees, we passed through a lot of beautiful countryside that had orange groves, walnut groves, vineyards, etc.  It was so fun to see. 
 Phillip spent all day on Friday at one of his conferences.  The kids and I didn't have the car or much to do, so we went on some long walks.  The kids were excited to see the boats docked in San Francisco Bay. 

 On Friday, we went to a museum with Phillip's Aunt Sonia and Uncle Wendell.  It was so nice of them to take us around to so many neat places.  Bronson liked looking at the fish above his head in the Aquarium. 
 The museum simulated what a rainforest would be like.  This was one of my favorite parts.  Butterflies and tropical birds flew all around our heads.  It was beautiful. 

 Our view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the beach. 
 The kids had never before seen the beach.  They were so excited to see the water and find seashells.  Unfortunately, no seashells were to be found.  Maybe next trip :)

 The kids loved climbing the rocks. 

 They loved playing in the water.  Unfortunately, Bradford tripped and got a feel for how cold the Pacific Ocean can be in winter. 

 Phillip was so excited to get to ride in Uncle Wendell's Model T.  The kids loved bouncing on the seats in the back.  I was only a little worried they would topple out of the vehicle when Wendell made sharp turns :)  Wendell took us to see a WWII aircraft carrier-the Hornet.  It was BIG. 
 Phillip also took a spin in Wendell's 1960s MG.  Needless to say, he was loving life. 
 Wendell let the kids drive around at the park in his push pedal car. 

 This is how we were all feeling when we traveled to St. George on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. 
 Here are several pictures on Thanksgiving Day.  We ate dinner at my Grandma and Grandpa Bundy's house.  There was a lot of really good food to be eaten, and I did my best to eat as much of it as possible. 

 It was just us three girls home for Thanksgiving.

 Me with Grandma and Grandpa. 

 We went to the temple on Friday night to see the lights and the nativity. 

 Bronson tried on Grandma Bundy's glasses while we were waiting for our ice cream after going to the temple. 

We had a really fun trip.  As Phillip said, we have gone on one family vacation, and that will probably be enough for us for the next 30 years or so.