Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Year In Review

I can't believe another year has flown by! (Exactly WHERE does all the time go?) And since there are only a few hours left of 2010, I wanted to take a minute to post about the top stories from the year. No, these aren't the "news stories." These are the REAL stories--things that have been important and made a difference over the past 364 days...

EMBA--Can I tell you how glad I will be when I put on a cap and gown in eight months? There are times that I have felt a bit overwhelmed, but I don't regret the decision that I've made to go back to school. I've learned a ton and as hard as this may be to believe, I know that this is making me a better person. This was definitely the right time to go back to school.

Extreme Makeover: Family Room Edition--No Ty Pennington did not come to visit, but our TV room finally received a long-overdue makeover this past summer (thanks to my mom for taking the kids on a cross-country road trip so I could paint without my two little helpers) And while it might see silly to include "redecorating" on the Tevaga Top 2010 list, we've spent a lot more time together in this room as a family now that it has been redone. So more family bonding time = my new TV room makes the list :)

My Dad's Retirement--I never thought my dad would ever actually retire, but it was just a few months ago that my dad made the decision to hang up his white hardhat for good. And although his resignation involved the words "take this job" and "shove it," I'm very proud of my father and his long career (If you live in the Chicagoland area, I can GUARANTEE there is not a day that goes by that you don't drive on a road that was built by my Daddy :) Anyway, the reason I'm including this on the list is because we managed to pull off a surprise party at the Bolder Ridge Country Club for my dear old Dad. In general, I know these parties don't usually turn out as surprises. But he was surprised (I have photo proof :)Spending time with my family--Norm and the kids and I were able to take a couple of trips to Chicago this year. And Cynthia and her family came out for a long-overdue visit. Add in the fact that my mother flies (or drives) over for random visits anytime she wants and you have Family Bonding Overload (aka FAMILY BONDAGE :) Seriously though, I'm glad that even though we live far away from my family, we're able to spend as much time with them as we do.
Gettin' Schooled--The kids also started a new school this year. I was a little traumatized when I learned that the private school they had attended for the past four years was closing down (you'd be traumatized too--school was scheduled to start in something like four days!) Anyways, they've both adjusted just fine to a classroom that has more then 10 kids in it :) They've both made new friends and I haven't received any calls from the Principal's office--LIFE IS GOOD!
(Oh, and they are actually learning things too--so LIFE IS REALLY GOOD :)
Well, that's about it. What's in store for 2011? Heaven only knows. But I do know one thing, my goal for 2011 is to have fun and to make sure I get all of the important things done on my "To Do List"...
Which means spending more time with the people I love!!

Happy New Year. I hope the next year is even better than the last :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Visit From The Cheeseheads

Yes, Cynthia was born and raised in Chicago but I've discovered that it doesn't take long to turn someone into a cheesehead...

We're glad that Cynthia, Ken and Charlotte got to spend some time with us for the Christmas holiday. I figured that the kids would get tired of having a two-year old in tow but they loved, Loved, LOVED spending time with her (Our poor cat, not so much-Neko spent a lot of time over those nine days hiding out in the basement from a feline-obsessed toddler.)

Kobe says that his favorite memory is being slapped and bitten by Charlotte. (And lest my sister thinks I am making this up, I just asked Kobe and that is all he could come up with--apparently he is a glutton for punishment :) Tehani said she was glad that Charlotte was here for Christmas.
And I say that I am glad my kids aren't two any more...

Even with all of the craziness, the visit was too short--and way too much fun! Thanks for coming to play in the Utah snow with us. We miss you guys already :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

The B Boy

That's B as in B-Day. Yes, my baby turned 11 today (never mind how old that makes me :) And in true Blogger style, here are some little known (and oft forgotten) facts about my lil' bundle of joy:

The early bird gets the worm--or in this case gets to school on time. Kobe is still compulsively obsessed with being the first one to arrive at school. It gets a little old sometimes having him ask if we can leave for school when it is not even 7:30 (school starts at 8:30 in case you are wondering) but I humor him--because I know that one day in the not too distant future it will probably be me harassing him about gettin' to school.

It's all Greek to me--Kobe loves, Loves, LOVES Greek mythology. He asked me once which Greek God I thought he was most like and I was kind of thinking "Are there others besides Zeus?" According to the Koberoo, he has the most in common with Hephaestus, Ares, Hermes. Who knew?

Men at Work--I've decide that Kobe is either going to grow up to be a human beat box or a video game designer. He's got hours and hours of practice at both! I feel like I'm constantly telling him to BE QUIET. I mean really, should one person be able to make that much noise?

On a more practical side, Kobe is also my best and biggest helper. Every morning he usually the one that puts the dishes away, packs the lunches in the backpacks, gets the newspaper, and washes any dirty dishes (never mind the fact that he is only doing this because he is trying to get us out the door :)

Other hobbies include writing haikus, picking on Tehani just like any good older brother would do, and correcting other people's poor grammar (he must get that from Cynthia :) He's definitely "One Of A Kind"...

Happy Birthday Kobe! Hope this next year brings you everything you hope for (and no that does not include a new XBox :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shake It Don't Break It

Cynthia and I like to say this to Tehani anytime she is supposed to hula. So yes, these were the words of motherly advice I gave before her dance recital a few weeks ago...

Tehani started with a new teacher a few months back and she loves, Loves, LOVES it. I love the fact that she is learning about her Tahitian culture (specifically from someone else that actually knows how to dance--meaning not me.) I also love that she will now have some new dances to do at my parent's next luau (no offense Tehani, but I was getting a wee tired of the poi ball routine every year :)

So if you are interested in improving your Tahitian dancing skills (and who isn't these days?) be sure to check these guys out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Welcome Back Blog Land! Oh how I've missed my blogging friends (OK, I realize that my mom, dad and sister are the only three people that actually read this thing. But hey, you got to start somewhere :)

Lest anyone think I've been off on a vacay or something fun like that, let me just start by saying that I thought this past semester in school was going to be the death of me! (Though I did manage to sneak in a work trip to France and visit to Chicago since the semester started) I will so be enjoying the two week break of NO CLASSES! And, once school starts back up I have just 32 nights of class until I leave for my Foreign Business Excursion (I know, I counted.) I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel (it's a long tunnel, yes, but the important thing is THE END IS NEAR!

Now that I actually have time to blog, let's hope that lots of fun and exciting things happen in my life so I have things to post about. In the meantime, here are some recent photos of me and the fam (I know it's been soo long that most of you have probably forgotten what we look like) Thanks to my sis for taking these (back in October :) for our 2010 Christmas card. If you didn't get yours yet, your card is "in the mail" (Just send me your address :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

We've Moved

Ok, technically I guess "I've moved" would be a more appropriate title. No, I haven't left my family to run off and join the circus. We finally moved into our new building at work! I'll admit that the whole moving thing has made my life even crazier than normal--This was a good reminder of why I never want to move again!

Then there was the fact that campus was shut down last week right before Thanksgiving for the Blizzard of 2010 (which never arrived, just in case you were wondering :) Anyway, here are some pics that I borrowed from a recent Deseret News article about our new diggs...

And just in case you're wondering whats MY favorite thing about the new building? I have a window. OK, windows to be exact. One whole wall of them. Here's a pic of me hard at work....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another year older and wiser too...

Happy Birthday to the craziest lady I know!! I was feeling kind of sad that I'm not in Chicago to properly celebrate my mom's birthday, but never fear...I just found out today that my parents are coming out for a visit. Like tomorrow. They'll be driving cross country with a van FULL of unwanted stuff from their house. (Most people take their unwanted item to the Salvation Army, my parents bring the junk to me!!)

And people sometimes wonder why we call her Crazy J?!?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Tribe Has Spoken: Happy Birthday Raymond

I'm pretty sure I'm going to get "voted off the island" for this one (either that, or my brother is going to arrest me the next time I'm back in Chicago)

I didn't want to let today go by without loading up the most embarrassing picture I could find to wish my brother a very Happy Birthday!! (Embarassing pictures are plentiful when you're the baby in the family :) And who knew you looked so good in a loin cloth?

Anyway, Happy Birthday from my tribe to you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Before and After

(And yes, that IS a mustache on Kobe's pumpkin. He's been obsessed lately with mustaches--he's actually had me check his upper lip a few times because he thinks he is growing facial hair :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Smells Like Teen Spirit

So we took the fam out the eat the other day. As we were walking back to the car Kobe commented that it smelled. I didn't smell anything so being the good and inquisitive parent that I am I asked, "What does it smell like?" Kobe replied "It smells just like Las Vegas."

Now just to clarify--No, we don't take our kids on monthly gambling excursions to Nevada. And my only recollection of the olfactory characteristics of Sin City involve cigarette smoke and beer. I was still perplexed. I mean, we'd just left a restaurant in Utah--there was not a whiff of beer or cigarette smoke anywhere. Maybe Kobe had simply eaten one too many wings at Wingers? Kobe piped back up and said:
"Can't you just smell all the sweat and anticipation...and luck?"

Was THAT what I was smelling? Who ARE these kids and where did they come from? I'll have to remember this smell for a few years from now when the Koberoo is a teenager (because if I remember correctly, pubescent boys are both sweaty AND smelly)

I can hardly wait. Wish me luck--I think I'm going to need it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why do birds fly south for the winter?

The other day around dinner, we were asking the kids questions about things they're learning in school. Not sure if the kids are actually studying the migratory habits of birds or not but this is what we learned...

Norm:"Tehani, do you know why birds fly south for the winter?"

After thinking for a really, REALLY long time she replied "Because they can't afford to take the train."

She may not get a good grade in science with an answer like that but her reply had Norm laughing so hard, I thought he was going to fall off his chair.

That's my Hani Bani--if you don't know the answer, make something up!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ice ice baby

Things I learned from taking my kids to the ice rink the other day:

  • I {heart} pictures where my kids look like the actually like each other Pics like this can be rare so I figured I'd better post this one as proof that they do get along sometimes.
  • Two hours is a long time to sit and watch your kids ice skate (especially when all I can think about is the hours of homework I have waiting for me at home) I'll remember to bring my laptop the next time we venture back to the rink.
  • Crazy J is not fond of the cold ice rink She had to go sit outside in the sun most of the time, which I'm assuming means she was freezing like I was (either that or she was just pretending she's back in Tahiti)
  • I really need to put my kids back in ice skating They took lessons at one time--which was my attempt to have them not be afraid of skating after I broke my arm in front of them at the roller rink :)

Growing up, I had an ice rink in my back yard. I realize this was not normal but I have come to find out that most of my childhood fits in the "not normal" category. I was taking ice skating lessons at the time which apparently meant I needed my own personal rink...

...On second thought, maybe we'll have to pass on skating lessons for the kids (I'm pretty sure our lil' backyard is not big enough for a rink :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

If I could turn back time...

I figured this would be a fitting post for the day (it is my birthday afterall!) I got this idea from a friend's blog a few weeks ago and it got me to thinking...If I could turn back time, what do I wish I had known? What would I do differently? Here's my letter to me at 18:
Dear "Girl Who Thinks She Knows Everything But Really Knows Nothing,"
  • You don't need to make your hair that big--or that curly. (And the aerosol hairspray that you plaster your hair with is causing a giant whole in the ozone!)
  • On a related note, standing in front of the bathroom door when applying said hairspray is also ruining the finish on the door (Your dad will thank you later :)

  • Help out around the house more often. And tell your parents thank you. They gave you an amazing childhood--which means you shouldn't roll your eyes every time your mother asks you to help with something (She is correct in that you are NOT a guest in that house--you actually do live there)

  • Spend less time worrying about boys. Don't get serious. None of these boys in high school is the one you're going to marry anyway (Thank Goodness!)

  • Also, don't be mad at your mom for inviting all of your ex-boyfriends to your surprise Sweet 16 Birthday Party (How was she supposed to know that they all hate each other?!?)

  • Be nicer to your sister. It's not her fault that you guys have to share a bedroom. One day when you are older, she will be your best friend.

  • This includes your brother too. You may find it hard to believe, but the three of you will actually choose to be roommates at one point in time (weird, I know)

  • Enjoy your time at home. Once you move out after high school graduation, you may come to visit from time to time (ok, a lot) but it will never be the same. You don't need to count the days till you leave for college...

  • Take better care of your body. Stay away from the tanning beds. Exercise every once in awhile. And don't eat so much junk food. One day you will wake up and wonder what happened. (It takes a lot more work to take the weight off than it does to keep it off in the first place)

  • Spend more time with your grandparents. Some day they will both be gone and you will wish you had spent more time with them.

  • You should also pay more attention in the kitchen. Your mother is a great cook. As hard as you find this to believe right now, you will actually want to know how to cook one day...

  • Guess jeans and Z Cavarrici sweatshirts will go out of style (who ever though up the idea of acid washed jeans anyway?) Don't waste your money-- You could be a very rich girl if you had just put all of your clothes money in the bank...

Basically, take care of yourself and your family, and everything else will take care of itself. Don't be in such a rush for "life to start." Enjoy the life you have right now. One day you are going to have an incredible life--a career you enjoy with a wonderful husband (I'm not sure how he puts up with you sometimes) and two crazy kids (it's called karma--what goes around, comes around :)

A wrinklier (but wee bit wiser) YOU

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School Daze

My kids have officially gone "Back To School." This really is a major accomplishment (no, not because I want to get my kids out of the house) but because 5 days ago we found out that their current school was closing.

After I got over the initial shock, I got the kids enrolled in a local charter school. I broke the news to the kiddos while we drove to "Back To School Night" for their new school last week. And while I'm happy about the prospect of not having to pay for school (the kids have been going to a private school for the past four years) I was worried how they would fare in classes that have more than 10 kids in them :)

I am happy to report that the kids both gave a big "thumbs up" after their first day at school. Kobe was already asking for a "play date" with a new friend. And Tehani decided that she likes her class--the day before, she told me that there was no way she going to be able to remember the names of all the "new kids" (I didn't have the heart to point out that SHE is the new kid, not them :)

1 day of school down, only 179 days left to go!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pass the croissant

I made the mistake of promising Tehani that we would redo her room. It's been all that she's talked about since coming back from Chicago so I decided that this was the project for the weekend (basically I was tired of listening to Tehani talk about bedspreads and paint colors :)

Anyway, after trips to JC Penny's, Sam's, WalMart, Koh'l, Ross, TJ Maxx, Target and a few others we finally found our new bedding. (I normally wouldn't go to so many stores but I was not about to shell out a lot of money to redecorate an eight year old's room) Let's just say I have a new appreciation for the clearance rack at Target!

Anyway, Tehani and I were getting into the car tonight after purchasing a new comforter set when she leaned over and said "Wow. Look Mom, a croissant moon." I made sure not to laugh out loud as I explained to Tehani that it' s actually called a "crescent moon." Crescent, croissant--I'm sure it all seems the same when you're eight years old (Though I suddenly have an unexplainable desire for some light and flaky butter flavored pastries)

Thursday, August 5, 2010


The kids are now back from Hawaii. I'm starting to think that my Mom should have packed more sunscreen...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Flashback Friday

I figured this was a good photo to put up this week--kind of a before and after with the "Wordless" photo that went up on Wednesday. This family pic is from a past Annual Anderson Luau. I don't recall the exact year but you know it was while back when one of the "kiddies" in the pic has since graduated from high school and is now off to college!

Other things to note:

My parent's still have the arch that we are pictured in front of in their backyard. My dad loves impatients (the flowers the he still grows in this archway) and he even has a whole watering system that he's jery-rigged so these plants water themselves.

Just last weekend I actually made Kobe try on the exact shirt that my brother is wearing in this pic. What can I say, my family is into recycling! (Especially since this was originally my father's shirt) I went through a whole box of my Dad's vintage Hawaiian shirts and found a few that are almost the right size for Kobe (Either my child is large or my mother must have shrunk all of these shirts years ago :)

The Luau's are always a lot of work but we have fun (I mean, we are still smiling in the photo) I'm glad that my family makes the trek back to Chicago each summer to take part in all the craziness.

So here's hoping that everyone has a Happy Aloha Friday today! And if you're going to be in Chicago next summer, let me know--and we'll see you at the Luau!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A cut above the rest

Kobe's got a new do! Being the smart mom that I am, I figured out a sneaky way to get the Koberoo to cut off all of his hair...

Every week or so my brother busts out the clippers to rebuzz his super short cut. Ray Ray is a cop (and a Marine) so it's not like he can run around with long hippie hair like he used to! Anyway, I mentioned to Kobe that we should shorten up the sides of his long mop. As suspected, he wasn't buying it. Then, I pointed out the fact that if cut his hair as short as Uncle Ray, Grandma would HATE it. My mom loves a man in uniform but everyone knows she can't stand Raymond's short short hair.

Anyway, Kobe couldn't get his hair cut off soon enough!! I have to say that I do actually love his new hair (or lack thereof.) And Kobe does too--though part way through the cut Kobe said that he had changed his mind (but it was a little too late to turn back unless we were going to go for a reverse mohawk :)

So here's thanks to Uncle Raymond--the best barber in the whole world! Thanks for the buzz!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Just a post to let everyone know that my blog "sabbatical" is now officially over. I apologize for the break in posting. I mean, you'd think I was on vacation or something...Oh, wait. I WAS on vacation! For some reason I just didn't have the desire to post. So I didn't. But I will try to go back and update with some of the better pics (and stories) from our escapades across Wisconsin and Illinois.

Speaking of Illinois, my kids are having so much fun, I'm not sure if they will ever come home. When I talked to Kobe earlier today, he told me that he he gone to both the hobby shop AND the go cart track.

All in a days work!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy

Nothing like celebrating two holidays in one week! My dad has the unique pleasure of enjoying both his birthday and Father's Day all in the same week. And as a special present for my most favorite Daddy in the whole wide world, I thought I would share a little video I made for him a few years back.

Disclaimer: Please remember that although I work for a TV station, I'm a fundraiser--not an editor--so my apologies in advance for the jumpy video and inconsistent transitions. (I made this all by myself 13 years ago :)

Good thing it's the THOUGHT that counts!!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A bushel and a peck

A bushel and a peck--those are the words I'd use to describe how special my dad is to me. I've always been a Daddy's Girl--always have been, always will be. And I've always known--even from the time that I was just a small child, that my daddy loved me...

I remember as a little girl when my dad took me to see the musical "Annie." I think I was about Tehani's age and I'm pretty sure my dad had tons of other things to do that would have been more enjoyable for him (oh, I don't know--like maybe getting a root canal?!?) But this Daddy Daughter Date Night is one that I'll always remember. (I should point out that this is also one of the only times I've had a "date" fall asleep--My dad kept nodding off so I had to nudge him every so often so he would stop snoring so loud :)

I remember my sophomore year in high school when my dad took me shopping for my first prom dress. I'd been asked by an upperclassman to go to the dance and I don't remember if my mom was just busy or how my dad got stuck with the task of dress shopping. I was apparently fond of green back then because we settled on a stylin' emerald green taffeta party dress--perfectly appropriate for any self-respecting 1980's teenager. The dress also earned my date the nickname of "The Frog"--My dad has a bad habit of making up nicknames for people. He had a different name for every guy that I dated through high school and college: Beady Eyes, Side-of-the Mountain Mark, No-Neck, and The Big Dummy (these are just a few of the "nicer" nicknames :)

I remember the summer before I left for college when my dad made me change a tire on my car. By myself. I'm pretty sure that it took me all afternoon. And when I was done, I had to take the spare off and put the good tire back on (it's not like we had a flat to practice with.) It was not a fun day. But when the whole thing was finished, he told me that if I ever got a flat I should just get out of the car, pop the hood and wait for someone to stop that would change it for me. (This was 20 years ago--back in the "olden days" before we had cell phones. Now if I got a flat, my other "Daddy" (aka Norm) would be gettin' the call :)

I also remember all of the other things my dad did that let me know he loved me--calling me his pretty, pretty princess, telling me that he "loved me a bushel and a peck" and everything else he did to make my childhood a wonderful and magical time.

On this Father's Day, I want my dad to know that I am STILL your pretty, pretty princess and that I love you a bushel and a peck--and more!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Will hula for food

Here is our very own Tehani "Tahitian Hips" Tevaga showing off a few of her hula moves. Anytime there's a graduation party, luau or any other festivities of the sort, Tehani gets to put on her dancing skirt and show the natives how it's done. I'm glad to see that she was smiling in this photo (occasionally, she will "concentrate" a little too much when dancing--and forget to smile :)

Anyway, if you're ever in need of a smiling hula dancer, just let me know.

PS--Thanks to my sister Cynthia for randomly posting pics for me (so I at least have some idea of what the kiddos have been up to on their escapades across the Midwest!)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

My first time

Yes, I had my very first video chat today. Can I just tell you that I love, Love, LOVE technology! Me and the hub are used to just talking to the kids on the phone when they go to visit Grandma. That is sooo last year--video chatting is the new way the Tevaga's will stay in touch from here on out!

It was cool to actually see the kids (surprisingly, they look the same as they did when they left 12 days ago) The only bad part was that it made me miss them even more. Luckily, I've only got two weeks left of class before the hub and I head out to Chicago for a visit. Till then, feel free to give us a call Skype!

PS--Thanks to my co-worker that talked me into loading Skype on my computer. And to the head of the IT Department at my parents house (Uncle Raymond :) Those of us that are technomologically challenged need all the help we can get!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Where's a pocket protector when you need it?

Though I've never actually owned a pocket protector before, I'm starting to think that perhaps I might need one. Turns out my cell phone has a bad habit of pocket dialing my sister (I want to point out that it's not my fault my cell is dialing her--my darn "smart" phone is just too smart for its own good :)

Anyway, I'd like to think that my sister has been the only victim of my Pre's oversensitive auto redial feature, but I know this is probably not the case. So as I said to Cynthia the other day after she got done yelling at me for yet another phantom call... "How do you know my pocket doesn't have something important to say?"

My apologies to the victims of my unprotected pockets :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Here's a pic of the roadtripsters when they left on Wednesday morning (I figured I better take a picture in case they get completely lost and we need to put out an APB to find them :)

Anyway, in talking with my mom the road trip is going great. The kids are behaving (that was the last thing I said to the kids before they left--forget the "I love you's and "I'm going to miss you." It was "You had better listen to Grandma in the car or I am going to spank you when you get home!" :) And as far as I can tell, my mother has not gotten too lost--that was the last thing I said to my mom! They visited Yellowstone on Thursday and they were about an hour away from Mt Rushmore last night so she can't be too far off course (Though I did find out last night that Kobe is the "navigator" for the trip--he's got the map with him in the back of the van and tells my mom which way to go.) I mean, how much can go wrong when you have a ten year old leading the way, right?

So if you see a van with a couple of tahitian ladies and two crazy lookin' kids, be sure to ask them..."Are we there yet!?!"

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Ugly Duckling

In my attempt to be a good mom, I am now trying to wade through the 9,000+ pages that the kids brought home from school yesterday. I keep the usual stuff any good mom would--awards, certificates, artwork, journals, etc. And since I can only fit so much stuff in my favorite paper storage containers that I use for school moments, regular homework papers usually end up getting tossed in the trash. Good thing I took the time to read this worksheet of Tehani's... Hans Christian Anderson would be so proud :)

Make Believe Message: Pretend that you can send a letter to your favorite fairy tale character

Dear Ugly Duckling,
I do not think you are that ugly.

You are just different from your friends and family.
Not every duck hates you. Your mother loves you.
Love, Tehani

Monday, May 24, 2010

Deep Thoughts

Just in case anyone is keep track, I am back from Austin. It was a good trip and I really had intended to post more (It's not like I was on vacation or anything like that, but I guess I just expected to have more free time :) Anyway, here are some random thoughts for your Monday:
  • It's the end of May and it was full-on SNOWING this morning!! And I'm not talking about some little wimpy flakes that melt when the hit the ground. This stuff was sticking. I would've taken pics on the way to school but we were in a hurry for...
  • Pet Day. I'm pretty sure this event is so much more fun for the kids now that they have a pet to bring along. I was much smarter this year and did not get dressed for work before taking our little scaredy cat to school (I'd be scared too with a room full of 3rd graders all coming over to pet me with their dirty little hands :) How a cat can shed so much after being brushed, I don't know.
  • I've started packing the kids for their cross-country roadtrip. Leave it Grandma (the lady who flies for free) to decide that she would like to drive across the country. The grandma caravan will be stopping in Yellowstone, visiting Mt Rushmore, and any other scenic/touristy places that they can find between Utah and Chicago. If you have any ideas/suggestions of other sites to see *along the way, let me know.

*"Along the way" is a relative term. I found out the other day that my mother is also taking the kids to Hawaii...on their way back to Utah. Apparently, once you are in the car--or on the plane--along the way refers to anyplace in the world:)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Deep in the heart of Texas

So I am in Texas for work. I've been here less than 24 hours but I can already tell that Austin is a very happening place. My workshop didn't start until 1pm so I took some time this morning to walk around the town (ok, it's really because I was too cheap to pay to use the gym at the hotel that I had to walk to get my exercising in) Observations so far are:
  1. You cannot live in Austin unless you own a dog. EVERY person I passed was walking--or carrying--a canine (except for the 3 different people that I passed that were being walked by gigundo great danes:)

  2. You cannot live in Austin unless you are fit. Joggers and cyclists were all out in full force this morning. If they weren't jogging or cycling, they were walking a dog.

  3. I've decided that Austinites must need to walk so much to burn off all of the calories they consume at restaurants. There must be thousands of restaurants here (I'm and not exaggerating)

Anyway, I promised the kids I'd post (and sorry Tehani but I haven't taken any pictures yet) so here you go. I'll be sure to post another travel update as soon as I can.

Note to kids: I am still waiting for the two of you to post. What else will I read while I am gone?!?

Monday, May 10, 2010

There's a new blog in town!

Technically, there are two blogs. I'm happy to report that Kobe and Tehani are now official members of the blogging world! I have to admit I was pretty surprised when Tehani asked the other day if she could start a blog. I tried to dissuade her and even offered to let her "guest post" on mine. Luckily for the kids, my sister got wind of the request and has been extolling the benefits of "kiddie blogging" ever since...

"Letting your kiddies have their own blogs would be an amazing teaching opportunity for you and an amazing learning opportunity for them.

Since it is their own blog, they will take ownership over their writing and they are writing for a real life situation to a real life audience (as opposed to an imaginary situation constructed by their teacher with a one-person audience).

They will want to write more because they will be writing about what is important to them when it is important to them. Their blog can act as their journal as well, and you can print it off so that they have a "published" book that they can keep forever.

You can help them improve their writing by giving suggestions along the way as they are writing. That way, you are correcting mistakes that they made (or suggesting ways to make their writing stronger) rather than them practicing for mistakes they might make, like they often do in school.

They will see the real, life application and will be more likely to remember the correction/suggestion in the future. You can also give them suggestions of what to write about, thereby broadening their writing experiences.

The best way to improve their writing is by having them write as much as possible, and a personal blog will help them to do that."

Who knew blogging was so edumacational? Does this mean that I will get better grades in my EMBA class since I have a personal blog? And yes, the above text is from an actual email my sister sent to me. (Cynthia was an English teacher, remember? :)

Anyway, if you are interested in what goes on in the mind of an eight or ten year old, just let me know and I can send you an invite (Due to the fact we don't want to be friends with ALL of the crazies on the web, Kobe's and Tehani's blogs are private:) Happy reading!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day... the best mommy in the whole world!
Your Favortie Daughter Laura :)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flashback Friday

Here's hoping your have an INCREDIBLE Friday!!
(Pic is from Dec 2004--Kobe's 4th Birthday--Papeete, Tahiti)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hope of America

Kobe likes scouts--but he's definitely not a fan of singing. So the thought of having to go with his fellow cubs to sing is not really his idea of fun. This year, our troop decided to participate in the Hope of America event that was at the Marriott Center tonight. I don't think Kobe realized how big of an event this was going to be... Don't ask me which blue dot he is. I'm pretty sure that he still hates singing (though he did at least say that the whole thing was pretty cool :) Two thumbs up to our little songbird Kobe!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


The kids just brought home their school photos on Friday... ...and good school pics are always a reason to smile!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

22 Days and Counting

So I just counted this morning and the kids only have 22 days of school left. This means it's that time of the year again when my mom starts planning for all of the different places she might like to take her traveling companions (aka, Kobe & Tehani) over the summer. While this may seem like a strange idea to most, I should point out that my family comes from a long line of "grandparent sponsored" traveling excursions...
The year was 1978 when my Grandma and Grandpa decided to take my cousin and I to Florida. And while I was a little young to have a lot of memories of said trip (For example, I've no recollection of the groovy pantsuit I was sporting in this photo) I remember having fun at both Sea World and Disney World--and getting a super cool Donald Duck souvenir hat! (I also remember getting a couple of spankings for not listening but we'll leave that out of this trip down memory lane!)

Flash forward to 2010. Will the kids be spending time in Boston this summer? Or does a nice long train ride to Canada sound like the ticket? With Crazy J as your travel director, there's no telling where you'll end up!

All I know is that I'm glad for all of the great experiences that I had as a child with my grandparents...and for all of the fun times that the kids have with my Mom and Dad. Pack your bags, summer vacation is almost here!!

(PS--No need to "pack your bags" if you are over the age of 18. Cynthia and I drop hints about wanting to tag along for trips all of the time--but my mom only wants to do vacations with the grandkids now. Go figure!)

Friday, April 23, 2010

That's the way the cookie doesn't crumble

So I've been trying for awhile to find a recipe for chocolate chip cookies that I like. I'm a fan of chewy cookies and it seemed like every new recipe I tried turned out batch upon batch of super flat or extra crispy discs. Don't worry though because I would never let a defective cookie go to waste (which might explain why I still have an 25 extra pounds to lose:)

Anyway, I was in the mood to bake the other day (probably trying to get out of doing homework or something of the sort) when I stumbled across a new recipe that I decided to try. The cookies were fabulous and we gobbled them all up that very night (notice I said WE which means I did not eat all 4 dozen by myself!!)

However, the real test came tonight when my inner-Martha Stewart got the best of me and I decided to bust out the instructions for another run. Would the recipe work? Or had I just gotten lucky last time?

The verdict? I'm happy to say that these cookies pass the test. I LOVE THESE COOKIES!! And although I'd love to whip up a batch up for each of you to sample, you'll have to settle for the next best thing--access to this "Laura Approved" recipe. Enjoy!!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  • Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  • Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday

I'm not quite sure of the year on this (or why Cynthia is looking at me instead of the camera) but here's a pic of us Anderson's kids ready for an Easter morning egg hunt. Since it's a flashback photo I don't really know:
  1. Why Cynthia is carrying a flashlight (Maybe it was her job to look for eggs in the crawlspace?)
  2. If Raymond always wore such snazzy pjs or if this was reserved for special occasions like holidays?
  3. If the siblings are going to be mad at me for posting this pic?
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Crazy J's got a new 'do

Thanks to my hairstylist Ashley at Metropolitan Salon for squeezing an appt in for my mom. (I'm assuming they don't have hair salons in Tahiti 'cause Crazy J came home with longer hair than I've seen in a long time)

I just had to post a pic of Crazy J's new 'do because it would be a shame to pass up an opportunity to aggravate my sis! Cynthia had planned to come out to Utah with my mom but had to cancel last minute. And I'm pretty sure that the ONLY reason my lil' sis was coming here was to get her hair done by Ashley (which means apparently they don't have hair salons in Wisconsin either) OK, the truth is that Ashley is really just that good :)

Anyway, if you're ever in need of a new 'do too, just let me know and I can give you Ashley's number (You just have to promise not to get the same cut as me 'cause I don't do the whole "twiners" thing...) And I'll be sure to post another pic (for Cynthia) after my cut on Saturday!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Typical Boy

So I came home from class last night to find Kobe sitting on the couch like this...

Turns out that 4th grade gym class is more dangerous than you would expect. Kobe's never broken anything before so I was glad when he told me that the doctor said it was only a slight sprain--whatever that means. I guess that's one way to get out of gym class for awhile...

Anyway, when I asked him what happened Kobe reminded me of the date.

I can't believe he got me! Who knew I had such the little practical jokester on my hands?!? Turns out Kobe spent the whole day at school telling the teachers that he had a sprain. I can already see that I am going to have many, many years of April Fools jokes to look forward to!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Your epidermis is showing

That was yesterday's "I can't believe I just heard that" comment--courtesy of Tehani.

(At least I know she's been paying attention in science!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm in love...

...with my new food storage containers! A recent lunchtime fiasco involving me, my desk, and an old leaky tupperware convinced me that it was time to invest in some new containers.

After reading the reviews online (yes, there are crazy people that actually take the time to review their food containers) and a quick trip to Target, I am now officially in organizational heaven!

I've gone from two drawers of lids/containers down to one. The containers all stack. The lids snap onto the bottom so you can actually find them. And EVERYTHING matches :)

My life may be in complete chaos...but my container drawer is not!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

One of the great things about a Saturday morning is you never know what the day has in store. Granted, I do have homework that needs doing but when I woke up this morning (at 6:30am) I had great plans to be uber-productive and clean the house, organize our linen closet, get on the elliptical...and all of the other stuff I've been putting off this week. Unfortunately, that was before my inner-Martha Stewart took over and had the bright idea to make homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast...

Please keep in mind that I've never made cinnamon rolls before. But I do have a new cookbook and figure it can't be that hard, right?...

7:00am--Take out ingredients for Food Nanny Cinnamon rolls on page 236 (the two pages of directions should have been my first clue to just pull out cereal and milk and call it good:)

7:15am--Start mixing the ingredients for the dough and then read down to item #4 that tells me that I now need to let the dough rise for 60-90 minutes. Start to wonder what I am going to do for the next hour and a half when I look down to see that the hand mixer is smoking. Don't worry though, the "POOF" that it made when it shorts out blows all of the smoke away...

7:30am--Finish mixing the last cup of flour into the dough by hand. Wonder if it is too late to throw everything away and just make pancakes (our usually Saturday fare)...

7:45am--Explain to hubby that I am going to the store to buy a new mixer. Drop hints about wanting to buy a Kitchen Aid and receive the expected two thumbs down for the purchase. Hubby also reminds me that he has to go to work...

8:00am--Wake up and dress kiddos so we can go to the store. Decide that if I am going to the store, I might as well go grocery shopping. Make list. Get in car. Listen to whining from kids about having to go grocery shopping. Yell that "I am trying to be a good mom and make them breakfast!"

8:05am--Realize that car is almost out of gas. Contemplate making kids push the car if we run out as punishment for complaining. Stop for gas.

8:15am--Stop at Sam's. See that they do not carry handmixers--only Kitchen Aids.

8:30am--Stop at WalMart.

9:15am--Hurry home because my phone beeps that I'm supposed to be watching something on TV for work (its pledge drive time :)

9:30am--Unload groceries and try to determine if dough has actually risen at all. Roll out dough anyway. Also mess up filling by not reading far enough ahead in the recipe to see that I'm supposed to spread butter on the dough and then sprinkle cinnamon sugar (I'm too excited to try out my new mixer that I beat the butter into the filling)

10:00am--Try to find dental floss for "slicing" dough log into rolls...

10:10am--Decide that mint dental floss is a bad idea and keep looking...

10:14am--Use plain dental floss to slice dough roll. Explain to Tehani that the dental floss is unused and therefore makes it "not gross" to cut with...

10:15am--Read that I am now supposed to let this sit to rise for ANOTHER 30 minutes. Contemplate yet again whether homemade cinnamon rolls are really any better than the ones that come in a can...

10:45am--Put cinnamon rolls into oven. Am pleased to read that they only need to cook for "10-15 minutes" considering that everything else has taken so long...

10:49am--Realize that I still need to make the frosting for the top. Curse when I see that we are out of powdered sugar. Wonder if naked cinnamon rolls (without frosting on top) would be bad? Find tip online about blending white sugar in your blender as a fill-in for powdered sugar...

11:00am--Remove rolls from the oven. BREAKFAST IS NOW SERVED!

The rolls were good--though I am not sure that they were 4 hours worth of work good. I do know, however, that I am now too tired to cook (or do anything else) for the rest of the day so I am going back to bed.