Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pajama Tradition, Thanks Mom!

After Thanksgiving my mom took all of us out for new pajamas. It is a new tradition she is starting for the Christmas season. It was so fun we felt like little girls again. No little children were allowed, (I guess that only applies to Rachel and me), but it is always a whole new adventure to be children-less sometimes, (you can all relate I am quite sure).

So we all went over and tried on the PJs at Gap in the new Tempe Market Place (If you haven't yet gone, it feels like you stepped out of AZ into California). The dressing rooms in Gap were so cute with all the different colored doors. And everything is so new and clean, which had to have been my favorite thing about the whole place.

After all the shopping, we had to have sweets to keep our sugar levels up, so good thing Gelato is there, which I love!! And you can never pass In-N-Out with out stopping, so my Mom and Candice were happy (love those animal-style hamburgers).

It will always be an ongoing blast, teasing are single sisters when ever we go out, by constantly telling any guy that is around that our sisters think they are pretty hot stuff. (So sorry Candice, Riss and Hayley, but I am the old, married lady of the bunch, and I get a fabulous kick out of it.)

When we got back home to my mom's house, my brother Roman had lots of friends over, and we still pulled him out of watching a movie to try on his cute pj's, and he did it (what a guy!).

We are so lucky to have such a closeknit family, even though we can all get crazy with one another at times, we still all love to be with one another way too much. And this is why my holidays are stressful and great all at the same time. So thanks, Mom and Dad, for raising us to adore one another. And this PJ tradition is definitely a keeper!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bill Simmons

My husband and I love Bill Simmons (when he's not droning on and on about Boston sports). For those of you that don't know him, he is currently a sports writer for ESPN. He started out writing a blog about ten years ago before eventually joining ESPN and starting a column in ESPN The Magazine. His most recent article contains a hilarious story about taking his 2 year-old daughter to an NBA basketball game. In the article, he talks about how easy it is to turn any seemingly mundane activity for a kid into an exciting adventure. For example, Simmons writes:

"I think that kids can be brainwashed to believe anything is fun as long as you seem excited about it. You could say to your child right now, "You know what we're doing later? We're heading to the yard to watch grass grow!" And if you sell it well enough, they'll be counting the minutes until the back door opens. Seriously. So when I asked my half-asleep daughter if she wanted to watch basketball in Daddy's bed, I made it sound more fun than mashing bananas with The Wiggles. In retrospect, I probably didn't need to sell it so hard. She was so happy to get called up to the majors (Mommy and Daddy's bed) and maybe get her head rubbed, too. But that's how she was introduced to basketball: I brainwashed her, lied to her and wore her down. Fast-forward to the Nov. 11 Cavs-Clips game. When I asked if she wanted to go, I presented the offer as if I were suggesting we fly in a helicopter to eat M&M's on the moon. And I sold LeBron as a combination of Santa, Elmo and our UPS guy. After a few YouTube clips, she was hooked, screaming at her mom, " We're gonna go see LeBron!" Her excitement only amplified over the next few days."

Well, Simmons' article really made me think about how often I make some chore or other odd thing for my children into something that they are going to be thrilled to do. It seriously works wonders. For example, I'll tell my kids "Ok, I am going to let you vacuum," or "I have this really fun cleaning stuff for the floor" (even though all I have done is pour tap water into the bottle). Whatever you do, it is all about selling the activity with an exciting delivery. My mom has always been really great at this, so I probably got it from her. And I guess it helps that we are naturally a dramatic family!

Anyway, if you haven't read Simmons' article, you can (and should) read the whole thing right here:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Family Pictures

My mom lined up a photographer this weekend because the whole family was here for Thanksgiving. Emily Nelson was a champ to put up with our wacky family for an hour. Patrick says we will treasure these photos for generations to come (I won't say whether Patrick is being sarcastic or not).

My little brother has always been a big sport to put up with 5 crazy sisters!

We loved teasing the boys while they were getting pictures.

At least one of my kids now has a cousin his age!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Great Thanksgiving! Now Let's Start Christmas!

It was once again a wonderful Thanksgiving. We were blessed to have had such a spectacular day. The Weeds and the Waite family joined us, which always makes for a splendid party. As usual, my Mom outdid herself. I felt like we should have eaten as long as it took to prepare the meal. Following in her footsteps is impossible. When I am a grandma, I just hope I can come close to what she does. I really don't know how she does it all. I get stressed out just watching her!

As usual, most of us participated in the Turkey Trot before the big meal. The Turkey Trot is always a fun, active, social event for the whole family to start out the day (unless you're Patrick or Cash). I loved seeing everyone there. Mesa sure does have a lot of talented runners. My neighbor Cami Jackson is about the greatest runner I have ever seen. She took first place in the Turkey Trot out of every girl and she's just a sophomore in high school. Not bad!

Good thing USC won, or we would have had a very sad Waite family driving back to California. All the boys loved going to the game and watching the Devils lose (sorry ASU fans!!!)

Yes, more pictures...I have to learn how to do the slide show.

Cousins enjoying the feast.

Julie Weed, Melanie Nelson and the Madsen girls.

The Weeds, Donna Waite and the Madsen girls.

Noah loves hanging out with his cousins, Katie and Chloe.

The Nelson Family.

Myles and Cash reuniting.

Let the race began. Rachel, Donna, Natalie, Hayley, Candice, Willie

My Dad and Willie showing the boys inside of there first BIG RIG! Now what little girl would not get excited over that?

Cousins and their sons.

All of the fathers and their sons.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bottled Water Is Evil

I thought I'd interrupt my party to mention that bottled water is an expensive, environmentally destructive hoax. Unfortunately, our family had to learn the hard way by drinking contaminated bottles of Kirkland water over the past few weeks. I'm not sure why it took me so long to figure all of this out, but it looks like I'll be investing in a water filter this weekend.

Anyway, if you're curious, here's a recent article in the Seattle Times about the growing opposition to our $10 billion bottled water industry.

And here's a report from 1999 that I must have missed because I was busy trying to hook up with Natalie:


Party at the Halls' House!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I Love to Style Hair........

I had so much fun styling the girls' hair. They went from straight hair, to big, bouncy, beautiful hair! It is all about that darn aerasol hairspray! I can not emphasize it enough! Just spray that bottle girls, until it is empty!

I Think I Have Come to Like Long Sundays.......

The pictures are just random but it is always fun to read a post sometimes when new pictures are added. And I do love my Aunt Julie Weed and Cousin Melanie Nelson, so why not showcase them? Noah and Cash also got thrown on the blog today because they were behaving well and were my favorites.

I have not always had the best attitude toward 8 a.m. church, but now I am going to really miss these long Sundays. I will credit the fact that Cash has become older and started developing a better sleeping habit, so waking up has a new light, (even if last night was not one of his best), I can still say I love Sundays. We have finally learned with trying really hard how to make this day work peacefully for our family. It took about a year, but we got it down. The kids slowly learned how to direct their energy into better, useful activities. Not saying they do not still have their throw-downs, but it has shortened. Patrick and I have loved our Sunday drives, scouting out where we wantour next move to be. Car rides without the kids are always priceless, it sounds boring but I think some of our greatest conversations are Sundays in the vehicle, (date night) yippee! The kids have also learned they do not get to roam the streets on this day, so that cut out half the battles that we had with them. It's just too bad I did not have all this down a year ago, sure jealous of all those mothers that did, that's for sure. I am a bit of a slow learner, but when I do get something learned I can be quite good. If we ever get stuck with the early church schedule again, all I have to say now is bring it on!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Finally, a Little Rain.

I can't remember the last time I smelled rain. I think I got spoiled three years ago during my first winter in Arizona. It was so much fun to see the whole desert turn green. Wish it would happen again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Long Lost Friends Start Blogging!!!!

Tonight I went the gym, not wanting to of course. It was late and I just wanted to get in my ugly old rob, sit around and let that crazy mind of mine think of nothing. But I knew If I just went I would be a better mom that next morning. Anyways its a good thing I did end up going, because I saw one of my great friends from my ward growing up.( I will not say any names,) so if she is reading this she will not be embarrassed, or any of her family as well. Anyways we started talking about blogs and how great they are and how they have connected so many people. I told her she needs to start a blog. She is still quite hesitant. So this post is directly dedicated to her and all of those long lost friends that we would just LOVE to here about. There are those who say (I am not into the whole blogging world,) Or (I would not know what to post about). That is the beauty of this there is know right or wrong blog. And you know you find them all interesting and fun if you are checking out everybody Else's blog. So THANKS to my cousin, Aryn Sampson I started one, and the domino effect she has had on family friends to start their own blog has been HUGE! So don't be shy just get on that computer and start at it. we will be waiting.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Could My Children Resemble Their Father Any More?

Cash has got to be their LOST triplet... He just decided to come down latter.

The photos by any means are not professional, but I am sure you get the point. Sundays are a fun day for my "Random Post Day." We have lots and lots of bonding time together since church is at 8 a.m. It is a treat being the only girl in the family. My boys actually think it is pretty cool that the boys RULE the house. Maybe one of these days we will have a little girl and will be able to play dress up instead of having boxing matches, but until then I feel completely blessed to have all of these rugrats with me. I do find it's a bit crazy how much my children keep looking just like their Dad. Am I having the same child over and over?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Little Riss Alll Grown Up....

Cute cousin Christy Weed, almost 16. And Marissa....
Marissa and Alex....
Marissa and friends...

My sister Marissa is the last of the Madsen bunch at home. She had her first official dance last Saturday. It is crazy to think once she graduates there will be no more hair to do for those high school dances and no one left at home, so sad. (It's ok Mom you you will always have my crazy family around, ha, ha)... I had some great times watching my little sisters get ready for those anticipated dances. It is all about that outfit and the hair, has to be perfect. Julie, just wait Christy has just one more year and then let the dating began. Oh those fun carefree times of when we were young and nothing really mattered.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Why Did I Move to Arizona?

I wish an angel would have visited me back when I was living at Snowbird to warn me that my future wife would conspire to bring me to Arizona for the rest of my life.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Sophie!

Aryn and Nate Sampson have the sweetest little doll, Sophie. She is so kind and tender. I love being around her because her disposition is always happy. Aryn, I wish we were all there to wish her a Happy Birthday in person, I guess the blog will do for now. Have a wonderful day! Love, the Hall Family

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy 8 months My little Bumble Bee!!!!!

I know I know it is a lot of pictures. I just can not get enough of this BIG MAN!!! Each month brings a whole new excitement to this household.