Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The MBA program has a disorientation week for all those that are graduating but a lot of the activities have to do with bar hopping which is not that conducive to those that are married and have children. So our boys planned some activities so show their appreciation for their wives. Yes, we pretty much have amazing husbands (thanks to Steve, I am not sure Shawn would have came up with the idea.......). So for our last dinner group week the boys made all the meals. Yes, they shopped, cooked and cleaned up and they all did a fabulous job. Shawn made Cafe Rio burritos with homemade tortillas (very impressive). He was quite exhausted by the end of the night.

Next the boys planned a night for the girls. They turned the Gray's house into a mini-spa and gave us pedicures. It was really cute. They all had their list of how to give a pedicure. To be honest, I was not sure how Shawn would do and figured I would have to redo it but they turned out to be great. They even had sparking cider and hors d'oeuvres for us. They found babysitters for the kids (thanks Paxtons) and after the pedicures they sent us off with a gift card to the Melting Pot for dessert and then to a movie with the gals. They seriously went all out. I think all of us girls were beaming the entire night. It really made us feel appreciated. What a delightful, enjoyable night! Thanks boys!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Last Dessert Group

Once a week we have been getting together with our friends for a dessert group. It has been a lot of fun and we will miss our friends dearly. Last Sunday we had a great time eating yummy food and playing games. When Shawn and I went to put Jack down for bed this is how we found his room. I guess the kids had a great time as well because all of Jack's toys and books from his book shelve and floor were all in his crib!

My friend Natalie posted a picture of the kids from the start of the program to the end. I thought it was a cute idea. So this was the first picture of the MBA kids (Carter, Hayden and Wes)This is the most recent picture of the MBA kids (Hayden, Jack, Sydney, Wes, Carter). Man have things changed!
Advent Calendar

Finally my advent calendar is completed! I have been working on this project since November. So it has been a long time coming. I have been getting together with my friends Jonelle and Rochelle once a week to work on our crafts. Rochelle finished her calendar in like 2 days (she is amazing) but Jonelle and I just finished. It is my first big crafty project (other than blankets). I sure am going to miss our weekly craft night or I guess you could call it our weekly chat night. These girls are so inspiring to me and I will miss them so much as well as all my other girl friends here but that is for another post! I think our calendars turned out pretty darn cute (thanks Julie for figuring out how to do them).

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Vita-Mix


We have had our Vita-mix machine for almost 5 years and I am still loving it! When we were first newly weds we went to Costco and saw a demo guy making shakes, soups, ice cream etc using this machine. I think we were there for at least 2 hours watching and tasting everything the man made from this mixer. Usually we never buy spontaneous things like this but we did and for the last 5 years we have used it almost on daily basis. The reason why I am really loving it lately is because I have been making juice for Jack each morning and he loves it. It is super healthy and way better than store bought juice (although he does have that too....)

These are the ingredients that I put in almost every morning:

1. spinach

2. ground flaxseed

3. yogurt

4. some type of fresh fruit (banana, orange, apple)

5. some type of frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches, blue berries etc)

6. some type of fresh vegetable (usually either squash, zucchini, or a carrot)

7. water and a little bit of some type of juice

** I occasionally put lemon juice and/or honey***

The vita-mix does it's job and it mixes everything without me having to do much cutting and there you go! Healthy, yummy juice that my whole family enjoys! Jack seriously drinks 2-3 cups for a mid-morning snack. I put it in his straw cup so that he does not have to suck too hard. The vita-mix is a little pricy but I think it is totally worth it and we plan to use ours for several more years. If you have any good juice/shake recipes please let me know:)

Bissell Little Green Machine


Shawn thinks every family should receive one of these cleaners when they leave the hospital. Shawn actually brought this home one day, which surprised me but we have loved it. The other Jack got a hold of a bowl of gravy and of course it fell on our carpet and splattered everywhere. Normally, I would have had to pull out the oxy clean and scrub away but this little machine did it's work and in one minute the ugly mess had completely vanished. We use this machine often for every kind of spill. The other day we were watching our friend's son and he was in the process of potty training and had two accidents on our carpet but it was no problem because we just cleaned it up with this machine. It is not too expensive but totally does it's job well.

Thought I would share my obsessions right now with you. Let me know if there is anything that you love as well!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Belle Isle

The weather was so nice today we decided to go on a little adventure. Just north of Detroit there is this place called Belle Isle which consists of a 982 acre island park in the Detroit River. It is the largest Island Park in the United States. It is a huge park and reminds me a lot of Stanley Park in Vancouver except that it is not as crowded. I am sure at one time it was a happening place but with all the budgets cuts it is becoming a little more run down:( but still a cool place to see. They have tons of parks, one that is huge, a free zoo, piers to walk out on and the highlight: lots of beautiful cherry blossoms. It was fun because you could also see Canada from the Island. We went here because some of my friends told me about the cherry blossoms. I have to say that this was quite the experience because we were definitely the minority. One guy kindly told Shawn that it was okay for him to be at the park now... but he would not be safe if he came in the summer. After hanging out at the playground for about 20 mins we all started to feel that it might be a little unsafe. I would go into more details but Shawn thought it would be better if I did not.... Anyways good memories and stories! Let's just say we were happy that there was a group of us. It is really sad what has happened to Detroit. There are huge, massive factory buildings, and homes and building of all sizes, that are completely empty. I wish I had some picture to show you. After spending a couple of hours at the park we ventured into Detroit to eat at a yummy Greek restaurant but because of the Hockey game it was super crowded so we headed to a near by town for some pretty good Mexican food. Overall, a very fun day!

Shawn and Jack at the Pier (Canada is behind them)
This was at the massive Park. Jack was having so much fun!

Cherry Blossoms (so beautiful)

Just having fun! Jack and Hayden are really cute with each other. They loved scooting and rolling down the hill.

My boys
The first animal to meet us at the park (my mom's favorite pet:))

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter 2010

We had a wonderful Easter weekend. On Sunday we had an Easter brunch with some friends and then in the afternoon we went to my brother's house for BBQ. We enjoyed listening to church conference (listening to talks from our leaders), reflecting on what Easter is really all about and spending lots of family time together. Shawn made is annual cinnamon rolls (yummy!) and the Easter bunny visited our house. What a wonderful weekend.

Jack riding his car over to our friends for brunch. He was totally posing, he was making us laugh.

All the boys. They have so much fun together. We will really miss our friends.
The boys (older ones) hid eggs at the park. I think there were 91 eggs for four little boys. Jack really surprised us because he totally got the whole Easter egg hunt concept. He was searching for eggs (with a little guidance...) and would put them in his basket. He loved the egg hunt.

and then they played at the park because it was such a nice beautiful day.

The Easter Bunny came during Jack's nap. Jack loves, loves, loves playing with pots and pans. He will seriously play with my kitchen stuff for hours. So the Easter Bunny surprised him with a stir fry set. He loves it, he cuts up the food (or tears it apart, I am trying to teach him to cut), puts it in his pot and stirs, stirs, stirs. It is cute. He also got a little farm set but he just puts in all the animals in his pot.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

SLC Trip

Over winter break Jack and I headed to SLC for a little visit. Our friends from Michigan also came to Utah to ski and visit. It was so fun to have them around! I hope they come to visit again (hint, hint....). Actually, they will be in Texas with us for a year before moving back to Japan. We are excited to have them close for another year. Jack and Hats love to play together, although I think Jack was a little jealous about having to share the attention:) We went to This is the Place Park, Temple Square, Cafe Rio, The Porcupine, and of course skiing. Our friends also spent a couple of nights up in Park City. We played games, wii, went on walks and just enjoyed our time away from cold Michigan. I was super impressed with our friends skiing abilities. They were amazing! My brother was our little guide for skiing and he took us down some tough trails but they did great. It was a perfect ski day, warm and not very crowded. I miss being so close to good skiing! Jack stayed with my mom, while I went and met up with Shawn in Texas so that we could find a place to live and luckily we found a place! So please feel free to visit us, we will have a room waiting:)

Skiing: it seriously was an amazing day. It was nice to have my brother there because he knows Snowbird so well, we just all followed him.

They were both fascinated by Cafe Rio (yum, yum!)
Exploring the back yard with Auntie Rachel. They loved seeing the horses, cows, dogs and cats.
Jack and Hats love to play with each other. They play at least once a week together.
My family and friends. Steve is actually doing law school with my friend's husband but I met my friend in a toddler class. Small world!
Hats loved all the attention she got from my family. She was so cute. She would just walk into my mom's bathroom and love being with all the girls while we got ready to go out. She would put on my sister's jewelry and walk around with a big smile on her face. I think she felt like part of the family. Too cute!
We went to This is the Place Park. It was an interesting experience to say the least. I had never been there but thought it might be good to take our friends because I had heard good things about the park. Well, I am sure it is great in the summer but in the winter it is not a very 'happening' place. The little town was shut down but they still gave train rides. I think the tour guide was so happy to have people who were not from Utah, that he opened up some of the houses and gave us a 40min tour. There were a bunch of people waiting for him to return but he still took his sweet time with us. That part was great. The funny part was that the tour guide turned to my friend and said, "you know I always wanted a Japanese wife because they just say, Yes sir, Yes sir." Luckily, my friend has a good sense of humor and just said, "well I guess I am the first Japanese wife that you have met that is not like that" and laughed. But can you imagine that he said this. He then continued to say that he use to want a Chinese wife but then he saw one hitting her husband with her umbrella and then decided a Japanese wife would be better. Oh my, our tour guide was a character to say the least! He said some other totally inappropriate things but I don't think I should post about them. Anyways, we got a good laugh and stories to remember. He made our tour very entertaining and interesting!