Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sage's Birthday and Mesa Verde

For a while now, Sage has had her heart set on a chicken-themed birthday party, so as May rolled around, I found myself trying to figure out how to create a chicken birthday cake and a chicken piñata for her party. One of the sweetest and craftiest ladies in the ward volunteered to help me make invitations, so she popped over one morning and created the funniest rolling chicken cards. I still can’t get over them. Another friend owns the Baskin Robbins in town and invited me over to the store so she could help me with decorating the cake, which turned out pretty cool. We found pictures of chickens from coloring books, put a sheet of wax paper over them, and then traced them with buttercream frosting. Then you put the frosting pieces in the freezer. When the cake was frosted and ready, I just took out the frozen chickens, flipped them over onto the cake, and peeled off the wax paper. I think I had the most fun of all with that cake.
Bright and early on the morning of Sage’s party, I heard some rustling in her bedroom. When I finally got of bed, I came into the kitchen to find Sage ready for the big day, dressed in her homemade chicken shirt and a tiara on her head. While we were planting the garden a few days earlier, Sage had disappeared into the house. Come to find out, she was creating her own chicken shirt. If you look closely, you can tell she has glued or taped chickens onto the shirt out of macaroni noodles, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, anything she found on the craft shelves. She even wrote “chick” on the top of the shirt. Too bad the shirt was pretty thrashed by the end of the day. I’m glad she hasn’t asked anything about where it has disappeared to.
Sage’s party turned out to be really fun. The kids got into the chicken theme. It was hilarious to watch this row of 10 or so kids doing the chicken dance and shaking their tail feathers. We made chicken bags out of paper plates for the piñata loot and had a chicken egg hunt in the yard. Whenever anyone asked Sage what she wanted for her birthday, she would reply, “Two cotton balls glued together to look like a chicken.” Well, her request was taken seriously, and she received quite a few cotton ball chickens from friends at the party, as well as chicken cards, chicken stuffed animals, even a chicken-shaped sucker. Funny, I know, but I was actually really touched by the thoughtfulness and kindness of everybody. We’ve been blessed with really good friends here.

We spent Sage’s actual fifth birthday camping in Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado with Grandma and Grandpa. What a cool, new place to explore. The park is full of ancient cliff dwellings formed by the Anasazi and later inhabited by the Pueblo Indians. We saw all sorts of ruins and took a neat hike to some petroglyphs, where Jacob saved Keiger from stomping over a baby rattlesnake. Keiger insisted that some an old cliff dwelling was actually a sandbox and was not happy when we made him leave. Sage had a great birthday. There was one “stuffed animal chicken falling off a REALLY steep cliff and getting lost forever even though we warned her not to dangle it off the edge” incident, but I don’t think she’s ready to talk about that yet. And we did get poured on as we hiked out of one site, which was pretty funny. Both kids did great camping, and I had to go the bathroom all the time, but what’s new?
Justin and Maile’s family came for a visit from Arizona this weekend. I LOVE that the cousins have so much fun playing together, so it’s great for them to have time to visit. We drove up to an Alpaca farm in Mora, which actually turned out to be really fun. The kids got to feed the alpacas and watch them get sheared. They got to take home a little baggie of the fur, and Sage is convinced that I’m somehow going to make a blanket out of it. We also explored a new state park and let the kids fish for a bit, but no luck. We had a really good time with them visiting and are excited for the family reunion in just a couple of weeks.

P.S. I think we have a new little pet living with the chickens!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring activites

Sage has started her first season of soccer! It was cute to see how anxious she was about her first practice. “But I don’t know how to play,” she said. “I won’t know anyone on the team!” Well, that’s why you go to practice, we told her, to learn and meet the other kids. She has had a very fun time at practices, probably because she gets such yummy snacks. Her first game was on the Saturday before Easter, and it was sooo cold. It was a bit funny to watch her team play. Basically, wherever the ball was, Sage wasn’t. Except for kick-ins, when her coach put her in front of the ball and said, “Kick.” She was a bit timid, but she liked frolicking (that’s the best way I can describe her little jog/skip) across the field. It is fun to watch how easily the kids on the team have made friends.
Easter time has come to mean chick time around our house. Once again, we got three baby chicks, and they are pretty cute. The kids love to harass them. I think we’ve trained Keiger to quit picking them up by their necks. Our big chicken is still laying eggs, so if all these chicks survive, we should be good to go on eggs.
So Jacob finished his famous stint as a Roman Soldier in the stake’s Easter pageant. I took the kids down to Espanola to watch him in it one night. Apparently, they paid very good attention because the other night Sage comes running into the family room wearing a football helmet and a blanket draped over her shoulders. She’s carrying a tee-ball stand. Keiger prances in with underwear pulled over his head, a blanket over his shoulders, and a baseball bat. They had dressed up as Roman soldiers with helmets, cloaks, and spears. “Roman soldier, Roman soldier,” cried Keiger. Pretty funny.
I still cannot get over this next story. It is the hand of the Lord in our lives so evidently. I have been very anxious about Sage starting kindergarten in August, particularly since the baby is due August 15, so that is probably going to be a crazy time for all of us with lots of changes. And Taos does not have the greatest reputation for its public schools, especially in the higher grades where it gets a little scary. Sage is such a sweet, bright kid, I wanted her to be in a positive, nurturing environment where she’d be helped to grow and reach her full potential. So I was a concerned about where she would attend school. Anyway, there are 2 charter schools in Taos where admission is based on a lottery. Sage did not make it into the first school’s lottery held last week and was placed on a waiting list. I’d been praying about this a lot and just trusting that whatever happened, the Lord would help it work out best for Sage. So I was prepared for whatever may come, though still concerned that I would not be able to help at the school as much as I’d like if she ended up in the public school since we’d have barely had a newborn. Well, Friday was the lottery for Taos Charter School, and I called that afternoon to see how it went. I got a call back from the sweetest lady who was so glad to tell me the good news that Sage got in. Apparently, siblings of students already attending the school get some sort of priority in the lottery, so after that was taken care of, there was only one spot left and 54 applicants. And Sage’s name was drawn. I cannot express how overwhelmed with gratitude I was and still am. It’s just amazing, and I am so thankful to the Lord for providing us with this opportunity. I know He loves Sage and our family and knows our needs. This charter school is just minutes up the road from us, and I believe there is just one class for each grade. And now Keiger will receive a sibling priority when he gets old enough for school. I just can’t get over it. It’s amazing, and I’m so thankful.
Here’s a picture of what we woke up to Friday morning! Happy Spring! I had to pull out the snow gear that I had packed away. Sage went straight to the snow angels! And last of all, check out the sweet sandbox Jacob constructed in the backyard. I know this thing is going to get endless hours of use from the kids, especially our little digger, Kei, this summer, so I’m super-grateful to have it. Best of all, it didn’t cost anything to build! We just have to buy a permit from the BLM to go get some sand from somewhere by Dixon. A ten-dollar sandbox! I’m all about it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Just thought we would tell you all, since no one really seemed to know we were pregnant, that no one really knew - except family. In fact I was cussed out - well not cussed, but you get the point - for not telling some friends in our ward just last Sunday. We just kind of told people if something came up, so needless to say if you didn't know, sorry, but neither did anyone else. ;-)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Funny kids

As I write this, the kids are currently “hunting” around the house. They are shooting wild chickens and dogs with pencils. And they have emptied all of Sage’s toy boxes to make grinders to grind up all the meat. Lovely. Jacob has taught them well.

We headed in for our ultrasound this week. The kids were excited to go see “pictures of the baby in mommy’s tummy.” Sage has been expecting a baby sister for a while now, claiming that if it was a boy, she wouldn’t play with it. So after some searching, it was pretty obvious that we are having a boy. When the technician told Sage that the baby was a boy (she wouldn’t believe us), she was the picture of dejection. I wish I had a camera to capture the way her face fell and how she dragged herself out of the hospital. On the drive home, we decided to make pancakes for dinner since it was late. Sage remarked that when the baby is born, he could never have breakfast for dinner. She’s gotten used to the idea of a baby brother now, though. We’re just thankful that everything is healthy and well. The due date is still August 15th, right as Sage starts kindergarten and just before hunting season. I can’t imagine how crazy all that is going to be! Any suggestions for boy names?
Here’s a little Easter story. So the kids have been playing with their stuffed animal dogs a lot lately. Sage’s is named Emily, and Kei’s is named Puppy. One morning last week, they were playing vet with their dogs while I was getting ready in the bathroom. Keiger walked down the hall holding Puppy and said very somberly, “Puppy dead.” Sage then emptied a toy box, and they put Puppy inside and took him onto my bed. I then overheard Sage pull out some gadget that she said measures heartbeats. She told Keiger, “This will measure Puppy’s heartbeats, and when they come back, he will be resurrected.” Intrigued, I go into the bedroom to see what would unfold. Unfortunately, Emily, who had been keeping watch over Puppy, died too. So she was placed in a toy box as well, and we had two dead dogs on my bed. Suddenly, Sage grabbed both dogs and raised them above her head saying that they were lifted up to heaven. She then tossed onto the ground and said that we would see them again sometime. So funny. From the mouths of babes.

Oh, big step for Keiger this weekend. We took him to the store and let him pick out a new toy: a Mater book and a Lightning McQueen race car. When we got home, we threw his binkee in the trash. Keiger was pretty excited about this until we put him down for his nap. He pretty much cried all afternoon. And he cried for a good while before going to sleep last night too. We’ll see how today goes. As tough as it may be, I’ll be so glad to be rid of the binkee!

Ok, I can’t resist adding this. Right now, Sage is playing with a stuffed animal cat that moves and meows. She’s saying stuff like, “Ok girl, tell me about your universe and how you had kittens on Sunday.” Honestly, these kids crack me up.

I almost forgot! Exploding MILK! You’ve gotta try it (Don’t worry—nothing really explodes)! Pour a little bit of milk into a cookie sheet, just enough to cover the sheet. Then put a few drops of food coloring around on the sheet. Then put a drop of liquid dish soap onto a drop of food coloring and watch what happens. It’s so cool—you can see how different colors combine to make new colors. Way fun.

Monday, March 23, 2009


We are so loving this spring weather! It’s been nice and warm, and the kids have been sleeping in, probably because they’ve been running around outside so much! I love it! Jacob did drive up to meet us in Utah last week. We went with Grandma & Grandpa and Mackenzie & Lance to Salt Lake to see Disney on Ice. Ever since we got the tickets, Sage and Keiger have been quite excited to see Mickey Mouse ice skate. They were both a bit overwhelmed to walk into the huge arena with all the lights and people.
Sage loved every minute. She insisted that we stay in our seats so we wouldn’t miss the any minute of the show. Keiger pretty much cowered in Jacob’s lap the whole time. He did perk up when he saw Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan.
He’s remarked several times since the show that the monkeys from the Lion King segment “scare me.” I don’t blame him; they were spooky-looking. He’s such a goofy kid. The stuff he comes up with is crazy. We seriously need to make him a t-shirt that says, “HUH?” in huge letters right across the front of it because that is his trademark saying. One day while we were in the car, Sage started singing the words to “Mama Mia.” So now every once in a while Kei will sing what he knows of the song and ask, “Good song, Mama? Good song?” Yes, good song.
We also rode the Railrunner from Ogden to Salt Lake so the kids could have their first train ride. They loved it.
We also drove up to Idaho Falls to see Jacob’s Grandma and Grandpa for a couple of days. The kids had a great time playing with Alan and Mary’s kids. Who wouldn’t? Jacob and I still can’t get over how much those kids have grown!
Yesterday we went hiking with some friends down the bank of the Rio Grande where there are some natural hot springs. Both kids did a great job hiking. Sage is a wonderful, uncomplaining hiker as long as you tell her stories, so she knows just about every story Jake and I could come up with about our childhood pets. Anyway, Kei hiked down and rode the backpack up. The hot springs were so neat; I’d never been to one before. One pool was comfortably warm so we stripped the kids down to their undies and plopped them in. They had a ball! Kei, on the other hand, didn’t want to get in. Next time we definitely need to pack swimsuits and towels. We had a fun picnic lunch and even tried to fish for a bit. All of those kids were beat by the end of the day. It was soo nice to get outside! We’ve been trying to figure out what we want to attempt to garden this year. Jacob is planning to construct a greenhouse—there always seems to be a project to do!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Chicken Songs and Bunk Beds

Sorry, no pics to post right now. I'm actually in Utah with the kids for a few days until Jacob comes up to meet us next week. You can tell I'm used to small towns because I was so stressed driving the busy freeway from Orem to Ogden. So stressed. I like little roads, even if they are dusty and full of potholes. One of the reasons we were shying away from the mini-van was because we weren't sure if it would be able to make it over all the roads in Taos. I still need 4-wheel drive to do my visiting teaching until all the snow and mud goes away...even then I'm a bit unsure. Anyway, Nani & Papa and Shayla came for a visit last week, and we had lots of fun exploring the town and hanging out. Dave and Jacob put up the new bunk bed, which has become the best new toy for the kids. They play all over it, and Kei has only fallen from the ladder far! Sage is truly growing up. I can't believe she's sleeping on the top bunk. The other night, I was trying to come up with some ideas for storytime at the library the next day. The theme was on chickens, I asked at dinner if anyone knew any poems or songs about chickens. Sage came up with this great song about a chicken. It went something like this, "A chicken was jumping on the trampoline. She fell off!" The kids laugh. Then Kei adds, "Bump head!!" The kids laugh even harder. So the next morning, as I'm starting storytime, Sage jumps up in front of all these people and sings her chicken song, with Keiger's addition. All those cute storytime kids thought it was funny. We have been able to meet some really nice people through storytime. So that's what's new with us, unless Jacob has anything else to add from Taos.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Our fun

Ok- so it’s been a little bit since we’ve updated this blog. It hasn’t snowed for a while and the weather’s been warm—I was so hoping for spring! Then it snowed 4 inches today, and more to come this week! We were able to take a little trip to Arizona in January to see Justin and Maile’s family. Jake had actually been planning this for a while since he wanted to be able to hunt with Justin, and the kids and I were more than happy to go! The other day, Sage told me it must be warm in Arizona and that if she were in Arizona right then, she would probably be jumping on the trampoline with Kelai. It was a really fun trip.
So we have been on the hunt for a larger vehicle. And from the get-go, I have been adamant that I am not a mini-van person. I have the mini-van stigma. So we have been looking into the crossovers, which are very nice, but also pretty spendy. And, seriously, all this car shopping has been giving me such anxiety! I worry too much. Anyway, we finally did find a great deal on a very nice new car, but I figured the Prizm needed a little tribute. I’ve driven that car since high school, and it has been a great little car for us. As I was driving it over to the dealership to trade it in, I thought about all the crazy stuff we’ve driven it through, and I was almost sad to see it go…almost. I will miss the 38 miles per gallon though!

So we ended our search for the new Young family car by getting a….mini-van. Yep, a Town & Country….mini-van. I can hardly believe it myself. And no one who noticed the car at church today would let me forget it and told me to start slicing oranges for the soccer games. What can I say? We decided to just test drive the van simply because they were so much more affordable than the crossovers, and the van actually grew on me, especially after we figured the price. So I told Jake I’d be happy with the van since now we’re able to save enough for Disneyland so he doesn’t have any excuse for us not to go! And the kids think it’s so cool that we could all sleep in the big black car if we needed to! And through all of this crazy car stuff, we are really just grateful we were able to get a larger vehicle that will fit our family’s needs.
Jake and I had actually had a date night this past week—our first in a while! We decided to try our hand at homemade sushi rolls. I heard they could be pretty tricky, especially the rice, but things worked out pretty good. I was surprised. This is what we called our sushi burrito since it turned out so big!
So I got the family to help me make a volcano just for kicks. The kids were freaked out of it at first—can you see it in their eyes? It took them a while to figure out what on earth was going on when the thing started fizzing.
Sage had a tea party with some of her friends the other day. They had a great time—any excuse for cupcakes and Jello!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chistmas/Winter Fun

What a fun Christmas we had! And we have loved receiving the darling Christmas cards and updates! I was too lazy to send any cards out this year. December seemed to be sooo busy, that I was so grateful for the holiday to come so we could just be at home. I stayed in pajamas for most of the time following Christmas, and it was heaven! We loved having a white Christmas, and have had plenty of fun in the snow already. We’ve received about a foot of snow today! It’s going to be hard to get back into the swing of things after the holidays and having family around.
Jake attempted to make tamales for Christmas Eve, and for a first try, they weren’t half bad. We’re almost real New Mexicans! And, yes, Sage did get a stuffed animal chicken from Santa. In fact, she ended up with 3, so there’s enough to share with Keiger. Here they are hugging their “chickee-bawks.”
We took Sage skiing again this year. On New Year’s Eve, we took her up to the practice hill at Sipapu where me, Jake, and my Dad just jogged beside her while she learned her balance and how to turn…sort of.
Then on New Year’s Day, we all headed up to Angel Fire and took Sage up the quad to the top of the mountain. The lift made her nervous at first, but she got used to it. She skied in between our skis since she hasn’t figured out the whole stopping thing yet. We had to keep close tabs on her! But we had so much fun! Sage loved it and kept asking to go faster and faster. I think we’ll hook her up to one of those ski leashes next time we go.
We got made fun of for missing out on the ward New Year’s Eve party, since I was half-asleep by 8:30 pm, but what’s new? Oh, Jake and my dad did end up finishing gate for the new fence. It looks great!