Friday, November 18, 2011


(Brad writing today)
I grew up with five sisters (six at one time, I didn't forget you Kei). And needless to say, my father has had a lot of female hormones to deal with throughout the years. He really has done an amazing job. My sisters make up one of the best group of women I have ever met. But there is one thing my father never quite got down. My sisters love to give him a hard time recounting how traumatic it was the day that daddy had to do their hair for school. I believe most counts include Kristi crying. So, when Ellie was born I decided that I would at least be able to do pig tails and a fair pony. So after may tears on both of our parts, Ellie and I are proud to show off "Daddy's Piggers." Feel free to comment on how great they are...

Ok, so she is just cute regardless of who does her hair.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Teri Had a Little Lamb

A few weeks ago we got a lovely box of hand-me-down clothing from Ellie's cousin Ainsley. To our delight, there was a couple of very cute Halloween shirts that we thought would fit Ellie for the upcoming holiday. One day, not long after, Brad was getting Ellie dressed and pulled out an orange Halloween shirt and asked Ellie if she wanted to wear it. With a big grin on her face she said "Halloween!" Ok. So, how does she pick up on these things? We had hardly even talked about Halloween, but I guesss she just knew she would love this holiday. And she does. She loves her Halloween shirts, she loves loves loves "punkins", she loves coloring Halloween pictures, she loves learning new Halloween words, and of course she loves Halloween candy. She however does not love her costume so much. I found a very cute idea online of how to make a cute little lamb costume, so I went to work. It really only costed me about $6 to make the costume which was just great with me. It turned out so cute, in my opinion, but Ellie didn't care. As soon as I got it on her, the first time, she started tearing the cotton balls off! There was seriously cotton ball carnage after the first fitting. Well, we've worn it a few times since, and she is at least tolerating it now despite the missing cotton balls in some places. We are love seeing Ellie really experience all the fun things about this Holiday. It is so much fun.

The infamous lamb costume. She's super cute in it. And our pumpkins don't look half bad sitting next to her either.
There's Teri and her little lamb. Ever since we put the pumpkins on the stairs at the beginning of the month, Ellie favorite game when we're outside is towalk up the steps and "count" the pumpkins in toddler fashion, you know "one, two, five, ten". She is getting better though. She also just enjoys a good sit next to her pumpkin friends. Her other favorite pumpkin related past time involves her attempting to move them while straining to say "heavy heavy heavy" the whole time. Her attempts are never very successful.
How Ellie occupied her time while we finished carving pumpkins (it's kind of gruesome when you think about it a bit)
It took a while to finish
The first thing Ellie did when we cut open her pumpkin was take the lid and start chewing on it. I guess it's cold, and she is teething. It was just funny. She wouldn't put it down. She also, just in general, has an obsession taking off the jack-o-lantern lids and putting them back on.
And here's cute cousin Ainsley at Grandma and Grandpa's Halloween party. She makes a good bumble bee.

A few weeks ago

A few weeks ago, Brad was lucky enough to receive an Ipad 2 as part of a class he is taking in pharmacy school. He has actually been using an Ipad since he started pharmacy school last year (which he highly recommends for graduate school, by the way). And as much as Brad loves his Ipad, who wouldn't give up an Ipad for an Ipad 2. So guess who got the hand-me-down? Well, if you didn't guess, I did. Unfortunately blogger does not play nice with an Ipad, so that combined with our slowly dying laptop means I have been super bad at doing anything on the blog. Now, I know few people actually read this blog, so it really doesn't matter in that respect, but it is the only semblance of journal keeping that I currently do, so I have to keep it at least somewhat updated so I don't feel overly guilty for my lack of keeping our own family history. So there you have it. You probably don't care, but that is why I have not blogged.

A few weeks ago (a few less weeks ago than the above few weeks ago) Brad had a week long fall break. Can we say "GLORIOUS" !?! Yes, it was glorious. I unfortunately still had to work most of the week, but we did get to take a day trip to Salt Lake as a family. The real reason for the trip was to ride the train. Ellie is a lover of trains. Probably largely due a couple of choo choo train toys given to her by Grandpa Winter and a fun song we sing with Grandma Christensen. Anyway, we rode the train down to Salt Lake. At the train station where we got on the train, there was a buffalo statue. These buffalo statues are in random places throughout Utah, and are usually painted in a unique way. This one was black. Pretty boring. I know. But she was mesmerized. And ever since she love to say the word buffalo. Except she just says it so cute, more like "bufa whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa." She just doesn't know when to stop the whoa whoa whoa part, and it is darling. That has probably become the most memorable part of the train riding trip. Who knew the memory we would make would have almost nothing to do with trains at all.

Along with the train ride, Brad did lots of work on the yard. It is looking so much better this year than it did last year, so it is slowly becoming what we want it to be. We loved having him home for the week. And now, there are 6 more weeks of class left in the semester, so we are on the downward slope of the semester, and are anxiously awaiting quite a long break. Which will, of course, be lovely.

These piles are some of the fruits of Brad's yard work. More work! Oh, and along with chopping and pruning, Brad also pulled up a lot of the remnants of our very fruitful garden with the help of his friend Mikey. There were many a squash that we did not eat, so Mikey and Brad took this as an opportunity to make some great compost. They chopped up the squash and other dying veggies with by throwing them at eachother and then slicing them with a machete. Boys.

Ellie having fun working in the yard with Dad.

Just a cute picture of my two favorite people.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


For about two weeks, I was having some unexplained back and leg pain. It started in my lower back and hurt terribly. I was worried that if it persisted I would have to call in sick to work because I could hardly walk. Luckily, it mellowed out after a day or two. Then this stupid pain started radiating down the back of my left leg. I thought it was sciatic nerve pain even though there was no reason for it. Well, I lived with that pain for a few days, then this annoying pain migrated to the front of my left leg around my groin area. It seemed to be feeling better though, so I decided I would just have to wait it out. Well, a few more days went by with this constant ache in my leg. I was a slow walker, and tried hard not to limp. I still had no way to explain the pain, and that was probably the most frustrating part of the whole ordeal. Eventually, by the 8th of September, the pain started to move down my inner thigh, and I even felt it a little bit in my shin. I just figured that the muscles or tendons that were hurt initially were probably connected to the muscles and ligaments down my leg, so if one thing hurt, other things were bound to hurt eventually too. But, I finally decided to contact my doctor's office and ask their opinion. I spoke to them over the phone on Friday afternoon, and they encouraged me to go in and have my leg checked out. I didn't think it was anything serious, I didn't have any swelling or redness, just that pestery pain, so I decided to schedule an appointment for Monday since I had the day off of work. Well, Friday night came along. Brad and I were getting ready for bed after having watched a very stupid movie together. It was at this time that I realized that my leg was, in fact, starting to swell. There were also patches of red all the way down the inner part of my leg. Yikes! That surprised me, and the changes started to really really worry me. I was also worried that I was overreacting, but these signs pointed at the possibility of clots in my leg. Brad decided that we needed to go to the ER. I really didn't want to take this route, but in the end I gave in. Brad's mom came over to our house so we wouldn't have to wake Ellie, and we headed out on a midnight adventure (the last time we headed out on a midnight adventure was the night Ellie was delivered, so of course this was brought up on the drive to the hospital. This time, unfortunately, the circumstances were a little more unknown). We got to the hospital and then played the waiting game. We saw the doctor who agreed at the possibility of clots. He said it was a good thing that we decided to come in. Well, lo and behold, I did have clots. This actually really surprised me despite all the signs. I had one large clot in the upper part of my leg and clots throughout all of the veins in my lower leg. They started me on blood thinners and sent me home with instructions to stay down and keep my leg elevated. The leg continued to swell and be painful for a few days, but eventually the blood thinners kicked in, and I started to see improvements. The instructions to stay down persisted for 2 weeks, but I did finally get to go back to work this Tuesday.
And why did I happen to get blood clots? Well, the only explanation is this......

Yep. This little peanut is already starting out to be a trouble maker. Everyone said Ellie's personality is more like me, and boy I better watch out when we get a little one like Brad. Maybe I'm being warned early on. Who knows! Anyway, we are really excited about this little baby even if it is causing a lot of concern. It is totally healthy as far as the doctor can tell, and hasn't been phased by the whole ordeal. I am now 11 weeks along, and we are expecting the addition to officially arrive in mid April. By the time it comes Mommy's belly will be a well worn pin cushion due to the twice a day shots I have to take throughout the pregnancy, but it will be well worth it. We are so excited to see our little family grow!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ellie at 14 months

Ellie, as always, is an ever a growing girl. It is hard to keep up with everything new that she is doing from day to day. It is hard to think that I can't call her my baby any more. She is now definitely a toddler. She started walking a few weeks after her first birthday, and now her signature scoot is gone forever. Now the real exercise will begin. We just about lost her a couple of weeks ago at church. She just walked out of Sunday School class without us noticing. She only made it to the foyer so we were lucky. We can't wait for her to be old enough to go to Nursery just so we don't have to chase after her for 3 hours.

Ellie loves to read stories with Mommy and Daddy, especially stories with lots of animals in them. She is so good at making all of the barn animal sounds and a lot of other animals too like elephants, monkeys, and snakes. The library has become a great resource to keep my sanity from the monotony of reading the same board books over and over and over again. Now we read three or four books for about three weeks and then switch when we take a visit to the library. This last bunch of books we got from the library included the book "Opposites" by Sandra Boyton. Ellie loves all the Sandra Boynton books. She loves the rhymes and all the animals in them. Well, earlier this week she kept walking around the housing saying "Ap-a-sit" and for the longest time I couldn't figure out what she was say, maybe A-B-C or something, but then we sat down to read book the Sandra Boynton book, and she she "Ap-a-sit" again. It finally dawned on me what she had been saying all week long. I'm pretty impressed with a 3 syllable word coming from a 14 month old. Unfortunately her new favorite book had to go back to the library today :(

She has become a little parrot when it comes to speaking. Anything we say, she likes to try and repeat at least one word from what we say. Some of the cute ones lately have been "busy" "cook" "pretty"and "messy". I don't really think she knows their meaning completely, but she is definitely on her way.

Ellie also absolutely loves the gift she got from her cousin, Ainsley, for her birthday, an episode of "Baby Signing Time." She is doing a great job learning the signs in the movie. We have to limit this annoying moving to one time a day, more to maintain Brad and my sanity than anything. The songs on that video are just so so catchy. WE CANT GET THEM OUT OF OUR HEAD! We are singing them ALL the time. But if Ellie doesn't get her fix of the show every day, she walks around making the sign for baby while say "baby, baby, baby" over and over again. What a cutie.

Ellie is a great eater. She was introduced to watermelon this summer and now if there is watermelon within her sight, she will not eat or do anything until her appetite has been satiated. We've just learned to use watermelon like a dessert. You don't get to even know that there is watermelon until the end of dinner. She also was introduced to corn on the cob a few weeks ago. I think she likes it better on the cob than off. She has just enough chompers to make it as a viable option for her. She is only picky when it comes to meats. I don't think she likes the texture very much. But if we disguise them with something else, usually we can get her to at least eat some.

So yep. There's a little update on our sweet Ellie. She's as cute as ever, and we love, love, love seeing her grow up.

This is Ellie saying "cheese" to the camera. This is actually a good "cheese" face. Any time she get her picture taken now she squints up her eyes and makes a silly little cheesey smile.

The Zoo, Take Two

The weekend of my birthday (known to the rest of America as Labor Day weekend) we decided to finally go to the zoo as a family. We have attempted the trip two other times in the past month, but both times we failed to actually make it to the zoo. Ellie and I went to the zoo back in May with Grandma, Grandpa, her aunts and her cuzzy, but I was so happy to finally be able to go and experience the joys of the zoo with just Daddy and Ellie. It has been quite a while since Brad last went. Brad seems to think the last time he went to the zoo was on a field trip in elementary school. He has only poor memories of that sad journey. His room mother chaperon decided it was important to first see the insects and snakes (probably because it wasn't crowded there), and after that, they had to go eat lunch and head home. He was a little bitter then, and is still a little bitter now. But he had loads of fun on our trip last week, so I guess the zoo experience has been redeemed to some extent. Ellie loved the zoo again this time. She had so much fun seeing the elephants, giraffes, and rhinos, but we think her favorite part of the zoo was probably the elephant slide. Yep. All those cool animals, and she just had a smile from ear to ear going up and down that silly little elephant slide time after time after time. Brad's favorite part of the zoo was just spending time with his girls. I agree with him. I just had fun being with my two favorite people.

Here's our sweet Ellie enjoying the amazingly exciting elephant slide
Ellie had to experience all aspects of the zoo, including all of the flowers and weeds along the path. She is so cute. Any time she see a flower, whether it be a real flower, a silk flower, a picture of a flower, or a weed that has some semblance of a flower, she has to smell it. So of course she had to do this with all the "flowers" seen with our strolling about zoo too.
She though the rhinos were quite interesting. She likes to point to their horns in books, so she pointed to the horn on the statue too.
I don't think she really trust this gorilla next to her.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Family Reunions

We had a family reunion the last weekend in July and another the first weekend in August. The first was with the Winter Family. The latter was with the Frandsen Family. We stayed in a cabin with the whole Winter family. We saw moose, did fun crafts, and just had fun being with family and learning about our family history. Almost the whole Alan Winter clan was in attendance. We were only missing Josh. Ellie had so much fun learning how to move about with all of her on-the-go cousins, and Brad savored every minute he had with his brother. I forgot to use my camera at the Winter family reunion, but we had so much fun. Luckily, our talented sister-in-law took some great pictures of our sweet family. Ellie didn't exactly cooperate, but I think we still got some wonderful shots. Thanks Kristen! Sorry, I can't post them right now though. The last day of the reunion, we went to Jordanelle Reservoir and enjoyed a beautiful day on the lake. It started to rain just as we were leaving, but it was beautiful the whole time we were out. Between the boat, the jet skis and the beachfront, I think everyone had some fun.

The Frandsen reunion was the first weekend in August down at Grandma and Grandpa Frandsen's home in Sandy. Grandma Frandsen, of course, made her famous yeasty root beer. Apparently Ellie is a fan. She couldn't get enough of it. Brad was able to be there for the Friday festivities, but had to work on Saturday, so Ellie and I ventured down with Grandma Winter, Whit and Emm. We had a lovely time, and it was fun to see cousins we rarely get to see.

Ellie sporting some cool shades at G. Grandma Frandsens
Playing under the parachute with the whole Frandsen clan
And Ellie first experience with Grandma's famous burp beer (root beer, boot-legger style)
Some of the Winters enjoying the burps

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Asthma Camp Adventures

First of all, I just want to say that I have an amazing husband :)

Brad got the rare opportunity to go be a counselor at Camp Wyatt last week for Asthma Camp. I'm sure he wishes he could say he did it for some noble reason, but he didn't. Heck, he doesn't even have asthma. He really decided to do it to get elective credit for school. And after the week of camp, he said he deserves those credits. It was definitely an adventure. He got to do some really fun things as a counselor like a camp out under the stars, canoe, swim, teach kids about asthma, alleviate homesick children, eat cotton candy on a churro (you'd never see that at Diabetes Camp[which is this week]), walk sleep walking children to the bathroom in the middle of the night (or 3 times in the middle of the night!),and keep Jeffery's shoes on (not successful). He came home on Friday with so many silly stories to tell, I am glad he had a good time. Unfortunately,Asthma Camp had it in for our family. I think that just about any big event that could have happened, happened while he was away for Asthma Camp activities. Now I don't mean to complain, but let me just tell you all the things that overlapped with Asthma Camp. Training for Asthma Camp was on Ellie's first birthday. Rob, Kristen and family got to Utah the day Brad left. Whitney had her baby. We had our third anniversary. Ellie took her first steps. But we survived. I'm sure this wont be the last time that he will be away from us for long stints of time, so we better get used to it. I sure look up to those Moms who do so much without their husbands around. It's hard work to say the least.
Sorry for the picture-less post. I didn't take any pictures last week, and neither did Brad.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Miss Messy Ellie

We had a fun birthday celebration for Ellie on Saturday. We had a great party with lots of family and a few great friends. I made some homemade bubbles that we were going to play with, but for some reason, the bubble mixture didn't work out. I was pretty bummed because I remember having hours of amusement as a child making huge bubbles with the recipe I used. Despite the bubble letdown, we still had a delightful get together. We started out the party with a barbecue dinner with some of Ellie's favorite foods. After a little bit to eat, it was time for Ellie to have some fun with her presents. It was so fun to watch here open each gift. She did very well, considering a one year old's attention span. She loved each gift, and you can really tell because she hasn't even touched any of her "old toys" since Saturday.
I decided I out try my hand at creating a fun cake for Ellie's birthday. She loves her monkey, so I decided to make a monkey cake. I found the basic idea online, and then adjusted it a little bit. I think for a first time cake decorator, I did a pretty good job. That monkey is pretty darn cute. Too bad the monkey brains got consumed quite quickly. All of my hard work must have tasted pretty good too I guess.

And here's the cutie pie with the chocolate all over her darling face. Oh! I was so happy she got herself good and dirty for some nice first birthday cake pictures. She really didn't eat much of the cake, but I made sure she got plenty of frosting on her serving to make her nice and messy.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ellie's Birthday

Ellie turned 1 yesterday. Holy cow. It is hard to believe that she has been a part of our family for a whole year. I think back to a year ago on the night she arrived, and it doesn't seem long ago at all. It is amazing to watch your very own little one grow and develop. Ellie definitely has her own personality and she showed it early on. She is usually a very content little girl, but whoa! when she doesn't get her way, she knows how to throw a tantrum. Some of her favorite things include her giraffe and monkey toys, balls, her fluffy blankey, books, magnets from the refrigerator, and tupperware. She also seems to like a lot of stuff she knows she isn't supposed to be playing with, but I guess every one year old is that way. Ellie is a very good eater in my opinion. She will pretty much eat anything that is put in front of her, but some of her favorite foods include peaches, sweet potatoes, spaghetti, graham crackers, sloppy joes, and anything sweet. She is accumulating quite the vocabulary also. About two weeks ago, she discovered the word "no" and now that is probably her most used word. It is so funny though, she rarely says the word defiantly, usually it is a soft little nod of the head and a timid "no". She usually says it when she knows she is doing something she isn't supposed to be doing. That of course, doesn't stop her from doing it. She also likes to say "mom" "dad" "tickle" "ee-eee-ee" (monkey sounds) , "hi", "ball", "dog", and a few others. And she loves to vibrate her lips together to make car noises too. I think she is on the verge of saying a lot more because she can sure babble up a storm. She is also learning to point at body parts, and some animals too. She isn't quite walking, but she is steady with just one hand assisting her, so fairly soon we'll have a true toddler on our hands. For now, her primary mode of transportation is still her signature scoot. She has a constant redness on the outer part of her shins from scooting everywhere. We love our Ellie, and look forward to many more happy birthdays with her.

Ellie with my phone (one of the many objects she seems to think is a toy. She does put it up to her ear and say "hi", which is pretty cute)
Ellie on her birthday in her birthday suit

A Trip to Park City

Last weekend we got to go to Park City and spend some time with the Christensen family. It was so nice for Brad to have a whole weekend off of work, and it was so nice to just get away as a family. We did some shopping at the outlets. Holy cow, a mom can just go wild at the outlets. I think there are more children's clothing stores there than any other kind of store. Along with shopping, we did some swimming in the pool. This was Ellie's first experience with "swimming". Like many things that we put her through, I think she tolerated it, at best. She didn't want to splash around and play like we were hoping she would, but she didn't really cry either. Well, then again, she did cry the second time we put her in the pool, but that we soon alleviated with the appearance of a ball to play with. And since Ellie didn't want to splash in the pool, we got to go see other people make splashes in a pool up at the Olympic Park. Those aerial skiers are pretty amazing to watch. I hope we can catch the show they do sometime, we only got to see them practice. Brad and I also did some biking around the city as well. There are so many trails in Park City. It was fun to ride just a couple of them while we were there. I would love to explore some other trails in the future. It is so scenic up there, it really makes for a pleasant ride. I wasn't the best at taking pictures, but here is one of Dad and Ellie in the pool.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fire 'n dirt 'n girls

Fire and dirt and girls. What a great combination, right? When all these combine, it equal Girl's Camp! Woot! Okay, you really have to add in a few other things too like braiding hair, and makin' crafty things, and spiritual upliftment, and lots of laughing. I had the opportunity to go and spend 3 days with the young women in our church group last week. I left Ellie and Brad home alone overnight for the first time, but they came up the second night to keep me company. Actually, they really needed priesthood brethern to be there, so Brad offered to help out last minute. And of course, if Brad is there, Ellie had to come along too. There was no objections from the young women with this arrangement, so it worked out well. Ellie did really well with her first camping experience, if you even want to call her experience camping. We really got pampered. They let us have the room in the cabin while everyone else slept in tents. Brad had fun chopping wood (and has a big blister to show for it) and just enjoyed being away from the pharmacy for a day. I also thought it was nice to get away from work for a couple days, and I also had fun getting to know my girls on at a different level. I was really impressed by all of our young women. There were 17 girls at camp for 4 days, and there wasn't a single quarrel, everyone got along, and everyone was included-no cliques. Impressive? Yes. Although it was fun, it was still nice to get home and sleep in my own bed.

Ellie chillin' by the campfire
Dad and Ellie exploring the campground

Friday, June 17, 2011

About a month ago on one of Brad's days off during the week, he decided to surprise me by picking up a children's bike trailer that he found on KSL. It was the weekend of Memorial Day, so he thought a bike ride would be a great family activity over the holiday weekend. Well, he got it home and started setting it up so it would be all ready to go when I got got home. This is when he realized that the hitch was not included with everything else. So we didn't get to hook it up over Memorial day. Instead we had to wait a couple days to get the hitch from the previous owners. But about 2 weeks ago, we decided to take it on its maiden voyage, so on a beautiful Sunday evening we rode it out to visit Grandma and Grandpa. I don't know how Ellie felt about the whole experience, I think she tolerated it-at best, but I realized that I have really missed riding my bike. It was just lovely. I hope we can get out a lot more this summer and use this trailer quite a bit as a family.

gearing up for the ride
All buckled in
Daddy and Ellie lookin' good

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Well On Our Way

We are well on our way to finally having a garden this summer! Hurray! Thursday was Brad's day off so after I got home from work, we set to the task of getting the garden planted. Brad's parents had quite an assemblage of strawberries growing in yard that were about to overthrow all the other plants in the garden, so we happily took some of the plants off of their hands. In addition we were able to plant quite a few tomato plants and some peppers. We still have to plants some squash, cucumbers, carrots, and corn. That is our goal for this evening. It would have been nice to get it all done on Thursday, but despite our attempts at distracting Ellie from the dirt with enticings such as cheerios, graham crackers, and toys, she decided that dirt was ore interesting. And as probably most parents know, you don't just dirty yourself with dirt when you are 10 months old, you must taste the dirt. So once Ellie discovered dirt, we had to end the project for the time being. But! We are well on our way!

We are also well on our way to a happy, clean, and newly painted piano. I am using a lot of guidance on this project from Allthingsthrifty. This week we got some paint stripper to finish the job that elbow grease just couldn't cut. We took off all the panels to show the innards of the piano, and vacuumed the lovely instrument out. We also took off all the keys to the paino. That was an adventure! Who knew so much stuff was hiding underneath those piano keys! We found 3 earings, who knows how much loose change (mostly pennies), stickers, and mouse poop. Pretty gross to think that mice were once upon a time tickling the underside of those ivories. Yuck! Anyway, the piano is now in the garage awaiting some paint stripping and some final sanding. Then it is onto paint! Oh, and I don't think it will be done by May (Brad just tells me to have faith).

And our little Ellie is well on her way to being a one year old. That's right, she is going to be 11 months old on Monday. Only one more month until we reach that milestone. She is so much fun to have around. This past week I have really noticed how much fun she his having putting stuff in things. She loves to play with the little red bucket in the picture. She pulls it out of the bottom drawer in the kitchen and dumps everything out of it. This is followed by attempting to refill it, but most often she gets distracted by one thing or another that she is putting in it, and forgets about the task. This of course means I am left to clean up the mess. That's okay though. She now has 4 pearly white teeth. I think another is wanting to pop through too. She is saying all sorts of words too. When it tickle her back she says "ticka ticka." She points to the window by the neighbor's house and says "da" (dog). She points to Dad and says "da." She picks up her monkey and says "ee-ee-oo-oo." She doesn't say "ma" when I'm around, but Dad said she says it when I'm gone. Anyway, as usual, we are loving her.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Piano Project

Back in February I was perusing KSL when I came upon this beauty. Ok, so it isn't exactly a beauty, but I had been toying with the idea of wanting a piano, and this one fit into the budget. It has definitely seen better days, but Brad and I have spent the last month trying to strip the layers of paint that have accumulated on it and we are almost done with the task. It is looking better...... sort of. Now the task at hand it to decide how to finish this wonderful instrument. I originally wanted to just stain the wood after we stripped it, but I don't think this is a viable option after seeing all the different types of wood there are. I am considering the idea of staining the flat top surfaces of the piano, and antiquing the rest, similar to this table refinished by Miss Mustard Seed

I can use all the help I can get. So if you have ever painted a piano, or refinished a big piece of furniture, or know a little something that might help me in this endeavor, I would greatly appreciate a comment. This project, according to our summer project outline, is supposed to be done by the end of May (we'll see if it really happens). Wish us luck!

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Zoo, the zoo! A Trip to the Zoo!

On Saturday, like about half of Utah, we decided to enjoy the sunny weather while visiting the animals at Hogle Zoo. It was so stinkin' crowded, but it was a super fun experience. Ellie and I drove down to Salt Lake with Grandma and Grandpa Winter. We met Aunt Aubrey and Ainsley at the zoo. Unfortunately, both Ellie's dad and Ainsley's dad had to work, so Grandpa got a day with his girls. And what a fun day it was! I was very surprised at how much Ellie reacted to the animals. The first animals that I think she really saw and noticed were the ostriches. She just kinda looked at them hesitantly, but didn't really want to take her eyes away from them. We then saw giraffes which was so fun. Ellie pointed at them and waved at them and said her cute little "hi" to them. Oh, it was adorable. And as we walked away, she did all she could to just keep looking at them and wave and say "hi" to them ("hi" is both hello and goodbye in Ellie's world). She was so interested in all the animals, it just really surprised me. This interest was not always an excited interest, but interest nonetheless. The other animals that she really enjoyed seeing were the camels. She once again just pointed and waved. Oh, and she loved the point and say "OOO" in a very excited tone whenever she saw something she liked too. We had a good hour and a half in the zoo before we booked it for the car because of a rainstorm. We got to the car just in time for the storm to really hit hard. We had so much fun on our first to the zoo. Thanks for taking us Grandma and Grandpa! Hopefully Daddy can join us for our next trip to the zoo.

Ellie and Grandpa discovering the ostriches
The souvenir giraffe
An attempt at a cousin picture. Ainsley was much more willing to look at the camera than Ellie was.
Hurray for giraffes! Ellie doing her signature wave.
Miss Ainsley and Grandpa

Friday, May 13, 2011

An Ellie Update

First off, I want to say how nice it is to have a summer break! Brad finished his finals the first week of May. We still don't see him a lot because he is now working full-time at Shopko, his new working "digs." But since he doesn't have to catch a 6:30 train, we do get to have Daddy home in the mornings which we love, and it is so nice while I am trying to get ready for work. Dad usually has the task of dressing Ellie in the morning, and this morning he put her in the cutest little outfit. I didn't realize until I got home after work that he put it on backwards! It made me laugh, but it doesn't matter. I so appreciate the help in the mornings, and Ellie looks cute however she is wearing her clothes.

In Other Ellie news, she is just being an all around doll! Okay, maybe not all the time (like earlier this week when she was trying to break those nasty two top teeth), but for the most part, she is just so cute. She has started to love waving her hand and saying "hi." She started doing that the last couple days in April and during sacrament on May 1, she was sitting down the isle from us with a couple in our ward and she just looked down the way at us and with a big smile, and with a big wave she said "hi." We had seen her do it before, but it just was so cute! And last week at church, I think that's all she did during sacrament was wave and say "hi." She waved to all the primary children as they walked up to sing the Mother's Day songs, and she waved to them as they went to sit down. She waved at the cute little boy across the isle from her, and she waved as we walked out of the chapel. It was rather darling.

She also learned to make kissing sounds about the same time she started waving. She couldn't quite figure out how to make the noise, so she resorted to sticking her finger in her mouth and pulling it out to make the noise. Once again, it is very cute.

Ellie does not like the idea of crawling, but she really wants to get around. So, she scoots everywhere. It is so funny to watch her, and she has become quite proficient at it. This is a video of one of her first "long distance scoots" down the hall. Sorry, the movie switches directions half way through. She is super fast now, and we came to the conclusion this week that the stairs cannot go unprotected anymore. We now have a gate in front of them.
Isn't that funny! She puts all that energy into getting to the train, and then all she does is spin the top a couple times and tosses it away. Ha! Kids are silly, I often wonder what is going on in their minds.

In other mobility news, Ellie also like to hold on to our fingers and walk around the house with our assistance. This, unfortunately, has led to the creation of many a tantrum when she wants to keep walking and Dad or Mom need to be done. Oh dear, I've not had tantrum before this, and I must say, she likes to throw them when she doesn't get her way. Now she throws tantrums when she doesn't want her diaper changed, when she doesn't want to get out of the bathtub, and when she can't play with the thing she wants. Any advice on curbing the tantrums?

Despite the tantrums, we love this girl. She just keeps growing and growing, and she seems to have made drastic changes in her personality and growth in the past two weeks. Here are a couple cute pics of the fast growing lady.

Mommy and Ellie on Easter morning. Aren't her piggers adorable?
This is Ellie playing with her musical toy. She loves to pull herself up off the floor, push the buttons to get the music going, and wiggle her little bum and dance.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I love spring. It has been so nice to get out of the house and enjoy the lovely weather. Last week we ventured out into the yard for the first time this season. Dad mowed the lawn, I raked up the grass, and Ellie moaned while she sat on a blanket close by. She just wanted to be more involved. She finally settled down for a bit when I gave her a rake, . She should enjoy her blanket while she still can. Soon enough we'll be using those little fingers as weed pickers in the flower beds.

With spring also comes Easter. I don't know why, but I love to dye eggs for Easter. I love to search the internet for new and fun ways to decorate them. Yesterday BriAnn and Isaac came over for the day and we colored some eggs in the afternoon. Dad got home a little early from school so he became the baby sitter

Our pretty Eggs
Daddy being a great sitter. His hitch hiker thumbs made for great pacifiers.
A cute idea I remember doing a hundred years ago with egg shells


Conference was a couple weeks ago, but I haven't had time to get these silly pictures uploaded. I spent Conference Sunday at my parent's house while Daddy helped the pharmacy moved again. Uncle Lee must have been bored during conference, so he had fun with Ellie's pants. He started with this...

And it morphed into this....
He stuffed them full of paper. I have no idea where he came up with this idea, but they make for cute pictures.