Monday, November 9, 2009


If you're going to plan a SURPRISE 30th birthday party for your husband and his best friend, do the following:

1. Dig out the old yearbooks and wish that your Senior picture was half as cute! 2. Keep the SURPRISE element alive until an hour before when your husband's brilliant co-worker calls him to find out more about COLBY'S surprise party. Use all your inner strength not to rip the phone out of your husband's hand to tell the actually-cool-but-recently-named-an-idiot friend thanks for ruining the surprise...that's right, it's for JOE too! Ignore your husband for the next hour as you watch him watching the clock, obviously totally aware now of the importance of arriving to the destination "on time."

3. Put on a happy face upon arrival, and decide that the party will go on, surprise or not!

4. Enjoy the many faces of Joe as he enjoys the spotlight for the night! (Especially the "surprised" face).
5. Be THRILLED that Colby actually is completely surprised! (Especially since moments after it was ruined for Joe, I called Kandis who was in the car with Colby for the surprise-ruiner's phone number. I did call him...tried to be nice...not sure it worked...but we're still friends). Kandis played it off well, even though I was almost another surprise ruiner!!!! Colby had NO IDEA!6. Laugh at the un-planned BYU vs. UTAH attire.

7. Eat some delicious toilet and T.P. adorned cake in honor of the "old farts!"
8. Be grateful for supportive friends and family...yes, even the surprise-ruiner...makes for a better story, no?
9. Enjoy some serious talent from our niece and nephews Sadie, Ethan, and Spencer. I'm pretty sure I could never draw like this:

10. Start saving money in Joe's newest piggy bank from Matt and Erin (for all his failing assets!)

11. Enjoy the next nine months in your TWENTIES!!!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Oompa Loompa Doompety Doo

Oompa Loompa doompety doo
I've got a perfect puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doompety dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me

What do you get when you guzzle down sweets
Eating as much as an elephant eats
What are you at, getting terribly fat
What do you think will come of that?
I don't like the look of it

Oompa Loompa doompety da
If you're not greedy, you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doompety do
Doompety do

Oompa Loompa doompety doo
I've got another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doompedah dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me

Gum chewing's fine when it's once in a while
It stops you from smoking and brightens your smile
But it's repulsive, revolting and wrong
Chewing and chewing all day long
The way that a cow does

Oompa Loompa doompety da
Given good manners you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doompety do

Oompa Loompa doompety doo
I've got another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doompety dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me

Who do you blame when your kid is a brat
Pampered and spoiled like a siamese cat
Blaming the kids is a lie and a shame
You know exactly who's to blame
The mother and the father

Oompa Loompa doompety da
If you're not spoiled then you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the Oompa Loompa doompety do

Oompa Loompa doompety doo
I've got another puzzle for you
Oompa Loompa doompedah dee
If you are wise you'll listen to me

What do you get from a glut of TV
A pain in the neck and an IQ of three
Why don't you try simply reading a book
Or could you just not bear to look
You'll get no
You'll get no
You'll get no
You'll get no
You'll get no commercials

Oompa Loompa doompety da
If you like reading you will go far
You will live in happiness too
Like the - Oompa -Oompa Loompa doompety do

Friday, October 23, 2009


Happy Birthday to...

The one who makes me laugh, The one who makes me run,
And the one who stole my heart!
Happy 30th Birthday, Joe! I love you!!! (Even if you are getting old.....)

Album Review: Harry Connick Jr. Your Songs

When the One2One Network gave me the chance to review Harry Connick Jr.'s new album, Your Songs, I jumped at the chance! I grew up listening to the music of this amazing singer, actor, composer, husband, and father. Your Songs was definitely different than his previous works, but I actually enjoyed it.

On his new album, Harry performs classic songs by some of the greats, along with a full jazz big band and string orchestra! I loved that I already knew most of the songs on the album. I wouldn't say they're my FAVORITE songs of all time, but if I happen to be listening to FM 100 (which is pretty much...never...except maybe on Sundays) and they come on, I'll most likely sing along.

Here's the Album Tracklisting (Originally performed by):

All The Way (Frank Sinatra)
Just The Way You Are (Billy Joel)
Can’t Help Falling In Love With You (Elvis Presley)
And I Love Her (The Beatles)
(They Long To Be) Close To You (The Carpenters)
Besame Mucho
The Way You Look Tonight
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Roberta Flack)
Your Song (Elton John)
Some Enchanted Evening
And I Love You So (Don McLean)
Who Can I Turn To? (Tony Bennett)
Smile (Charlie Chaplin)
Mona Lisa (Nat King Cole)

I probably wouldn't have bought the album if I hadn't received it for free, but it makes good background music. Definitely not workout worthy, and probably not good driving music (unless I'm in the passenger seat and ready for a good nap), but I can see myself turning it on quietly as background music at a dinner party.

For more info. on Harry's new album, check this out. Or find him on facebook.

Album Review: Joshua Bell at home with friends

When the One2One Network asked me to review Joshua Bell's new album, At Home With Friends, I hesitantly said yes. I love beautiful music, and yes...there's even a time and place for beautiful classical music. And maybe in the chaos of motherhood, I could use more. My children could definitely use more. When I got the CD in the mail, Parker was thrilled. He dragged his boom box into the kitchen, and I decided there was no time like the present to get a taste for the music of this very accomplished violinist. While the CD wouldn't normally be their first choice, the kids actually loved it. They stomped and pranced around the house to the soothing tunes.

The playlist looks like this:
I Loves You Porgy featuring Chris Botti, trumpet
Come Again featuring Sting, vocals
Oblivion featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
Cinema Paradiso featuring Josh Groban, vocals
Para Tí featuring Tiempo Libre, various
My Funny Valentine featuring Kristin Chenoweth, vocals
Maybe So featuring Edgar Meyer Sam Bush and Mike Marshall, strings
Grieg: Sonata No. 3 featuring Sergei Rachmaninoff (Zenph re-performance)
Eleanor Rigby featuring Frankie Moreno, piano & vocals
O, Cease Thy Maiden Fair featuring Nathan Gunn, baritone
Il Postino featuring Carel Kraayenhof, bandoneon
Left Hand Song featuring Regina Spektor, piano & vocals
Chovendo Na Roseira featuring Dave Grusin, piano
Look Away featuring Edgar Meyer, bass and Chris Thile, mandolin
Variant Moods: Duet for Sitar & Violin featuring Anoushka Shankar, sitar
I’ll Take Manhattan featuring Marvin Hamlisch, piano
Left Hand featuring Regina Spektor, vocals
Impressive list of friends and musicians, no? And actually, it wasn't as classical as I thought. There was a great mix of genres and styles. So...while I probably wouldn't personally go out and buy this album tomorrow, if you love any of the featured artists, or love the violin, it's a good one.
Here's his website. Or become a fan on facebook.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Month In Review

If I had updated my blog last month, I would've told you that Avery is the cutest, sweetest, funniest 20-month old I know. I would tell you that I can't get enough of her kisses, her songs, her dances, and her sassy personality. I LOVE this girl.

I also would've mentioned that she and Parker are still partners in crime. Don't leave your kids on the bathroom counter unless you want to clean up a soapy-all-over-the-bathroom mess when you wonder why they're being so quiet!

If I had blogged last month, I definitely would've mentioned the Utah State Fair. The Burnzies invited us to go, and we had a blast (minus Avery's fat lip from a stroller-pushing face plant, and my wasted money trying to climb the impossible ladder!)

I also would've mentioned the beauty of going to the park in the fall!

I probably would've talked all about our fun trip to Lagoon's Frightmares! It was the funnest family day this year. I thought we would last at the park for maybe a few hours. We stayed for nine! Parker liked the rides much more than last year. And Avery loved them right along with him!If I'd blogged in the last month, I definitely would've told you about the Ragnar Relay in Las Vegas. I got to run, eat, and drive 178 sleepless miles with some of my favorite people in the world (minus my 2 favorite that made for a good weekend!) My heart still aches, however, by the death of fellow runner, Jeremy Kunz . I would've had (and still may have) LOTS more to say about that!But since I haven't blogged for over a month, I guess this will have to do! Until next time...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Parker and Avery: Partners in Crime

If I could choose a single moment in time to which I'd like to return, it would be somewhere in July 2009. Yes...I would definitely go back in time TWO months. You see, my angel baby was still my angel baby. She was only 17-months old. What a difference a month makes! She hit the 18-month mark, and something in her brain flipped. Why be an innocent observer to the daily commotion in the house when you can be an active instigator and participant! Parker has been slowly teaching her the ropes, and sometime in the last few months, Avery caught on. She can no longer be a time-out observer. She's officially the time-out queen!Don't get me wrong, Parker's definitely still the king of all kings and queens when it comes to time-out. More minutes are spent in the naughty corner these days than either of us would like to admit. But Parker's slowly trying to make the transition from "baby" to "big boy." In July, we had a "Bye Bye Diapers" party. We made up lyrics to "Bye Bye Birdie," made a cake, and watched as he ceremoniously removed the last diaper that will ever touch his bum.

The next step to becoming a Big Boy was starting preschool! So far he loves it! I especially love the new blackmail verbiage in our house..."Big Boys who go to preschool eat all of their vegetables." "Big Boys who go to preschool don't whine and cry about every dang thing." "Big Boys who go to preschool are nice to their little sisters." Blackmail totally works...he's devastated just at the thought of not being a Big Boy, or not getting to go to preschool.In order to be a Big Boy, Parker's spending his spare time teaching Avery the ropes. He's passing on all of his moves...(and let me tell you...his moves are good...) (Ignore the "water" on the front of his pants...I don't think that's water, buddy)Wherever we go, Avery is no longer content to sit in a stroller and watch the action happen. She has to be in on the action. Wheeler Farm is no exception. Watch out cow poop, Avery's coming through!Parker's also teaching Avery to eat her vegetables...and to prove she's eaten them by showing us her green-filled mouth! Nice manners...Parker's taught Avery that she should be the one in charge of what she wears each day, not Mom. Each outfit should include someone in the family's swimsuit. Shorts on the head are always an option.And as much as I'd like to believe that he had nothing to do with my couches being covered with Avery's marker-drawings TWICE in one week, I'm not sure I believe him. How could my precious Angel Baby do something like that? Oh yeah...she's moved on from that angelic phase. She prefers the partner-in-crime title. This girl's gonna seriously give us a run for our money!

And if you need a translation to her cute language, here are a few Avery-isms. This girl does not stop talking!


LOWN--lay down

I LULLOO!--i love you



WADA ON--turn the water on

CHEW ME--excuse me (when she or anyone else burps...including Shrek during the movie)

BESS YOU--bless you

I DO IT!!!!--stop helping me! i'll do it!


HANN--hand (as in--stop carrying me...put me down and hold my hand)

MY SHEET--my seat

SUH-SHINE--(don't sing twinkle twinkle, sing you are my sunshine!)


FROGGG--frog (heavy emphasis on the G)

FWY--there's a fly!

DAMMA B--grandma b

NANNU--call nannu


I NONNEE--i'm naughty

POTTY--i want to go potty!

ELMO ON--i want to wear parker's elmo underwear

TEEN-TEE BUM?--stinky bum?

CHANGE A BUMMIE?--change my bummie?

NO DAMMIES--i don't want to wear jammies!

I TUM!--don't leave me...i'm coming!

I LIGHT A MATO--i like tomatoes


FUSH IT--flush it

NONNEE DURL--naughty girl

Monday, September 14, 2009

Letter to Parker in the Year 2020

Dearest Parker,

You have just reached the glorious age of 14. Yes, you've reached this wonderfully awful age when you're too young to drive and date, but too old to be seen in public with your (still 28-year-old) parents.

If you're anything like your (once 14-year-old-with-no-concept-of-frugality) mother, you have an unfortunate taste for expensive clothes. You can't stand the thought of being seen in the same clothes you wore last week. Hopefully you're more like your dad--great taste, but you realize that the number of times a shirt's been worn doesn't determine whether or not it's still a good shirt.

I assume you're still as social as ever. Starting when you were born, you lived for the next party or social gathering. If I told you "no" because I didn't want to spend the money, you'd whip out your penny-filled money jar as the solution to every problem. By now you probably realize that the 200 or so pennies won't actually get you very far. That's right, the fun activities you long to participate in cost money. The clothes you HAVE to have cost money.

Let me take you back to your 3-year old days. The FUNNEST days in the world were the days when I LET you help me clean. Pouring COMET in the bathtub brought exclamations of sheer joy. Actually getting to help scrub and rinse the tub was even better. And what could beat dumping a teaspoon of baking powder into the cookie dough mixture? You were quite the helper. Do you remember the first time I let you help me mop the tile floor? I cringed as you left puddles of icky water all over the floor, but to you it was THE. BEST. DAY. EVER.

So sweet little teenage Parkercito, get that grumpy look off your face, and get to work. If you want my money, you're gonna have to work for it. And no, that REALLY FUN MOPPING EXPERIENCE 11 years ago doesn't count. You were sure cute, though.

Love you,
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fishing, Hiking, and Jet Ski's, Oh My!

After Michael and Anne's wedding, we decided that they shouldn't be the only ones who got to go on a little vacation. The rest of the family needed a week off to recover. I mean, being the groom's sister is a lot of work, after all! (Any excuse for a vacation, right?!) We got to stay in a house big enough for all eleven of us in Midway, UT. With the few pictures I actually took, I'll let you in on some highlights...
  • Fishing with Grandpa at Jordanelle Reservoir...the fish weren't very hungry the first day. Parker reeled in his Sponge Bob fishing pole every 3 seconds just to make sure.
  • But at least one fish was hungry later that night in the pond by the house...and the Sponge Bob fishing pole caught him! Parker couldn't sleep all night because he was worried that his fish was in his room "wiggling." A poor, dying fish was almost more than Parker could handle.
  • But that didn't stop him from going again. The next day, all the kids caught fish. We cooked all TEN for dinner! (They were yummy...but we had rotisserie chicken just in case!)
  • We saw Park City and the Wasatch Mountains from way up high on The Flight of The Canyons gondola ride.
  • We rented a jet ski at the windiest reservoir ever...Jordanelle! Luckily they let us come back another day after the weather turned for the worst on the first try. We tried to brave it out, but after Joe took me for a joy (death) ride through the choppy waves, I was done. Round 2 was much better...even Parker loved it! (But it didn't beat standing on the beach throwing rocks with Blake!)
  • We cried, we laughed, we played lots of "Heck, Fire and Darnation," we went on morning walks and bike rides, and we ended the week even more sleep deprived than when it began (darn kids who don't know the meaning of sleeping in!).
  • For me, the week was a solid reminder of just how much I love and need my family. My kids loved playing with their cousins and Grandpa and Nannu...and nothing made me happier than watching them play. (Too bad the newlyweds missed out and had to spend their time on a dang cruise!)

We love you guys! Come again soon!!!