Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not this year Halloween

I love surprises. And SURPRISE! Me and the girls are going on vaca for a week! To include a night with my niece Ally, a few days in Florida with my grandpa--quick side trip to Busch Gardens while we're there, and then to Colorado to hang with the fam.

Originally my two sisses at home had term break, so the 4 at-home bodies were going. But they surprised me into the trip too! (OK, so maybe I begged a little. Hey, I'm a stay at home mom, I don't have to take work off, I can just take it with me! And boy is work excited to go!)

So, sorry Halloween, but I'll be loop-de-loopin' it with some serious thrill rides while you are carrying on without us. Phew. I was nearly in major "I have no costumes for my kids!!" mode.

But don't worry Halloween. We still painted pumpkins. We even had some cameo ghost appearances whilst painting. That sure was fun. And semi-costumizing. And Grandma already sent us plenty of candy. So watch-out airports. Here we come!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


My amazing friend Shayla sent us this.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

And what of the new movie released on Friday that we drove all the way to Provo to see TWICE in the real theater?

Best. Movie. Ever. Period.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Midway-to-'midlife-crisis'-crisis

Luckily High School Musical 3 is opening in theaters on Friday. Otherwise I would have had no good news to pull me out of my annual day after my birthday let down. I'm just such a birthday snob (aka someone infatuated with her own birthday) that the day after is always so boring. 364 days til my next b-day?? How sad.
Traditionally Oct. 14th is a no-good day for me. When I turned 21 I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. So with the early dating days of Eric, he offered me a night to experience the world to over come my down-troddenness. A hockey game for Canada, dinner at Tucanos for Brazil, cute huh?
Then there was the year I skipped my History class with Rachel Sharp on my b-day and got grounded for that weekend. Let's see, that was my 16th birthday. Big time drag.
And that brings me to my midway-to-midlife-crisis-crisis.


Eric and I are very concerned, surrounded and in love with the youth of the church. Did you know that they are surrounded by temptations from all angles? And awkwardness, and developing autonomy, and parents (heaven forbid), and hormones, etc. etc. etc. As we talk about certain youth during the day I will often say "It is so hard to be a teenager!"

And then as a mother, I realized that being a teenager is like having a baby. I know labor was hard, and that it was painful, but I can't really remember the details or how much it really did hurt. I can better remember the joy and the reward of the experience. And so it is with my teenage experience. I mean I was at the peak of my teenage-hood 10 years ago!! I'm already in shock when I hear about what these darling teenagers have to deal with everyday.

Weird. I'm out of touch with the teenager in me. When you forget labor pains, that can mean you're ready to try it again. But when you forget the pains of being a teenager...you can't do that again.

So there you have it. In review: My midway-to-midlife-crisis-crisis simply constitutes my realization that I'm not a teenager anymore. I'm a mother. And give me 10 more years on top of this, and I'll be into Viana's teenage years. Hopefully I'll be in touch with hers so that it won't matter if I'm out of touch with my own.

OK, that feels better. Crisis officially over.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I don't know about you, but my husband went to prison today

To teach the institute class there of course. It is UEA this week (I don't know what that means other than no school Thur. or Fri.) so Eric had the unique opportunity of going to the correctional facility to teach. He had a wonderful and spiritually enhancing experience. I love being a seminary's teacher's wife ("Ohhhhh, you're the seminary teacher's wife." "Yep. That's me." -conversation had nearly weekly by me and Monorovians) It affords for such different and life changing opportunities. But mainly it means I get to be married to Eric.

Now, if any of you know Cameron Anderson or Paul Duersch, you'll know what the Ultimate Male is. And if you don't know those guys, well, let me introduce you to MY Ultimate Male. Because not only does he teach about God's love for each of us to 122 inmates, but he also...

Is a great schnike. See what he was involved with for my birthday here.

Knows how to get down and dirty. Here he is with an axe under our porch pushing out the firewood to put in a tarp so we don't get termites. Manly, I know.
Praises me (and has taught Viana to do the same) on my home cooked meals daily. This meal he was so proud of he made me take a picture of the spread.Serves with his seminary students. Here he is in the freezing cold unloading this truck with Orion and Logan (love these 2 boys).

Builds amazing fires in our wood stove. Dad, aren't you proud of your son-in-law? Displays aggressive eating habits at Man Night. Imagine 10 seminary teachers all getting together, each eating this. That's a hoagie roll with two 1/2 lb. hamburger patties, 2 polish dogs, 5 slices of THICK bacon, a can of chili, cheese and thousand island dressing. GROSS.

OK, so true Man-dom would require finishing all of it, but he did pretty good!! More manly to me that he didn't finish it...he'll live longer that way.Shop-vacs black widows and toads out of our turn-off-the-sprinklers-tube, so that he can turn off the sprinklers for winter. Thank you wonderful neighbor for the help...and yes, it's snowing in this pic.COOKS!! He and Viana made cookies. They were great!Keeps up a rigorous schedule...with a smile. I don't know how he does it. Did you know he teaches early morning seminary too? He teaches 4 classes straight...then 2 more throughout the day. That's exhausting. But he keeps smiling...Appears in parades. That's him on the far left next to Bro. Cornelson, the other seminary teacher.Remembers important things, like dating me. Here is our annual first date re-enactment date. 5 year anniversary of our first date to BYU Homecoming with a 7-11 stop on the way home. This year, since 7-11 is 2hours away we had Frazils from The Market instead. :)Is the best Daddy in the world. The words 'Brooke', 'Viana', 'obsessed', and 'you' are often in the same sentence at our house.
So there you have it. The Ultimate Male. And no I didn't forget about Fun Fall Fridays. I suggest you go and think of a few special reasons why you love your sweetheart so much too. Then share it with them. Guarantee it will be your funnest fall Friday. Ever.

Monday, October 13, 2008

It's my birthday!

So, normally people post about other people's birthday...but today I'm posting about my very own birthday. For family history's sake, here are 26 favorite memories that make me love being 26 years! (From now on when people ask me how old I am, I'll just say, "On the downhill to 30" that sounds cooler than 26.)(Viana took this, so I had to duck to get in the picture)
In the last 26 years I have...
1. Gotten married to the most wonderful mate ever. HIGHLIGHT of my life.
2. Had 2 babies!! 2nd and 3rd highlight of my life. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a Momma!
3. Graduated from college...un-hitched. Take that everyone I ever knew growing up!
4. Lived in Iceland. I was only 2, and I can only remember my Mr. Piggy getting bagged at some factory we went to.
5. Traveled to Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Fiji. And 48 of the 50 states (I need Alaska and North Dakota)
6. Been flying...a couple times. One time we even went night flying--very cool. Being a "co-pilot" is totally fun.
7. Traveled cross country with my Grandparents in their motor home. This one time we went to a rodeo in South Dakota and I won a free horse back ride. My horse's name was Zoomy. I decided after that I wanted to buy a horse and name her "Zommy" (because I was 7yrs old and couldn't spell Zoomy right).
8. Swallowed so much water in a swimming pool accident that I had to be rescued and Steve (I can't remember his last name) gave me the Heimlich even. Thanks for saving my life Steve No-Last-Name, HHRA.
9. Ran in the state cross country meet my sophomore year. And got LAST. DEAD LAST. So far last the golf carts were driving beside me asking me if I needed to ride the rest of the course. But when you come in 128th of 128 you get a HUGE applause at the end.
10. Jumped, relayed and hurdled in the state track meet. Went much better than Cross-country. Came away with two 4th place medals.
11. Watching cartoons in the morning and having to leave to get to 2nd grade on time. Saying to my dad as he drove me to school "I love being in the front" when we would be the first to stop at a stoplight, as I sat in the backseat of the car thinking I was so clever tricking my dad like that.
12. Not wearing shoes to church one Sunday and getting totally busted by my mom. Have worn shoes every Sunday since then :)
13. Going to the opening ceremonies of the '96 Olympics and waving my dad in with the United States of America was a huge highlight. That whole Olympic summer was a huge highlight.
14. Dumpster diving with my friend Kathryn for Juice bucks to win tickets to the '02 Olympic opening ceremonies.
15. When I was 5 I watched the live birth of my sister Charina and even cut her umbilical cord. 5 years old!
16. I was always boy crazy, so when my crush junior year dared me to read the entire standard works that coming summer, I did.
17. Dad took me to a UNC game on a Sunday, and I got caught in the folding chair in the dome. Dad didn't care. He was cheering way too much to notice little 7 year old me. Moral of the story, don't go to sporting events on a Sunday.
18. In 3rd grade I was proud of my lack of fashion and non-ability to match. I guess some things never change.
19. Coached little girls softball for 4 years. Now THAT was a BLAST.
20. Performed...dancing, school plays, recitals, etc. Fond memories from all (Mom, "I want me some boy'a eggz" "Button up your overcoat...take good care of yourself, you belong to me)
21. Been so busted from disrespect of my teachers that I almost got left home from our family vaca to Ogden as punishment. Luckily, I have merciful parents, 'cause we got put up in a 5-star hotel by Browning! It was HUGE! (Our suite, that is).
22. Learned to play 8 instruments. Clarinet, flute, piano, trumpet, sax, accordion, organ, and bass clarinet. Still ok in 6. Not bad.
23. I lived in New Mexico...loved it. Too many memories to go with that. Suffice it to say those were some good teenage growing years.
24. Camped A LOT with my family. I miss those good ol' days. Dad could set up the tent in 6 minutes. Mom always had cantaloupe for us in the morning.
25. Marched in many a parade. Didn't think that was cool until Eric just barely marched in his first last week.
26. Made it this far in life. And I STILL have a ZEST for this life of mine. 'Tis what I was blessed with as a babe after all. I am happy to have made it this far with a continued passion for this thing called mortality!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What the snow!

Though the camera may not reveal the true intensity of our little snow storm, believe it. First snow of the year before my birthday!! I don't know how feel about that...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fun Fall Fridays

Seeing as how summer is usually the time for movies, we had a lot of fun sneaking this into our fall schedule:

That's "Beverly Hills Chihuahua". Do I recommend it? If you like really cheesy Disney movies with talking animals, then YES.

And if that doesn't work, get a tire swing in your front yard!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

"Next time you are tempted to groan, laugh instead" -Elder Wirthlin

"We do not know everything, but we know enough" -Elder Neil A. Anderson
"Heavenly comfort is available today in our dark and dreary wilderness." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
"Life is hard, not the Gospel." -Elder Lawrence Corbridge
"Meaningful morning prayer is the spiritual creation of our day." -Elder David A. Bednar
"No friendship is better than your own clear conscience." -Sister Elaine S. Dalton
"This is a great time to live." -Elder M. Russell Ballard
"Find joy in the journey now." -President Thomas S. Monson
"In troubled times the Lord has always prepares a safe way ahead." -President Boyd K. Packer
"That's our prophet's counselor! He's our friend." -Viana Carter (sent to bless her mother with her sweet spirit, one of my angels, no doubt.)

From the notes of my General Conference experience. My fav recap is here (p.8-9).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fun Fall Fridays

I think it's so nifty when bloggers have theme days on their blogs (anyway, aren't alliterations alluring??). I'd like to say that I have the dedication to do that, but I can't quite committ. But in an effort to try, I present Fun Fall Fridays! (Who knows, maybe it will continue into Wacky Winter Wednesdays!) I love Fall (mostly, except for the tiny detail of the forthcoming cold) and think it's a lovely time of year to celebrate!

For FHE this week we dressed up a couple spots in the house. Instructions: Get construction paper and string. Create Fall decorations. Hang in your home!

I went for seasonal. Eric and Viana went for Halloweenal.

(aren't those the cutest ghosts you've ever seen??)
SO FUN! And now we're festive!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Of movie recomndations

So, for any Napolean Dynamite, Nacho Libre, or even UHF fans out there, have we got a movie for you.Eric read a tagline from this movie, "A story about nerds and turds." And that sums it up. We've watched it about 4 times now, and it just keeps getting better. PG-13(we were surprised such), there is no swearing or sex. Just some amazing foam and duct tape weaponry and a shirtless family (refer to movie poster), and yes, a little bit of turds.
You may have never heard of it, and that's because it was only in 9 theaters for 3 days. We don't know why. It's pretty hilarious, in a very stupid way. (And it stars the live-action Peter Pan from 2003 not to mention the big guy from Pride and Prejudice: A Latter-Day tale, also Uncle Rico, and a cameo by Napolean.)
Keep your expectations low, and if you ever stumble upon this movie (especially during the camelleon or water lizard scene) give it a chance. Guarantee you'll have several new quotables the next day.