Thursday, August 28, 2008

Two weeks in!

So, school is IN!!!! Our boys go to the local charter school here in our town, and they started school on August 18th. So far, we've been very pleased with this school. Canon just started morning Kindergarten and Andy is now in 2nd grade. I can't believe they're growing up so fast! CRAZY! This is them on the first day as they were heading into the school!

As you can see, they have to wear a uniform, which makes school shopping and getting dressed very easy in the morning! On the first day, I asked Canon if he wanted to wear blue shorts or tan shorts? The answer was blue. Then I asked, "do you want to wear a red, white, or blue shirt?" The answer was again... blue. Whenever there are enough clean clothes to actually offer a choice, he chooses blue on blue. Thankfully, with uniforms, I can be safe that whatever combination he chooses, he will look just fine! So far, the daily report on "how was school?" comes back with a "good." I love how descriptive boys are! Anyway, I'm happy they are happy and ready to learn!
On a totally unrelated note, I just started weight watchers today... heck, why not tell the world so I'm accountable to more than just the random stranger behind the scale every week! I've been very frustrated that I've been running all summer and haven't lost ANY weight! COME ON!!!! Obviously, for me to get rid of my baby souvenirs (and we WON'T be sharing just how many pounds worth of souvenirs that is!), it's going to take exercise AND eating right... go figure! I've also recently gotten some blood work done to make sure nothing metabolic is going on and to be sure my thyroid medication is at the right dosage. Here's hoping that with some focused energy, I will finally find the right lifestyle to help me be healthy and have enough energy for my rowdy boys (with looking like a hottie as a nice side effect)!
'Til later!

Monday, August 25, 2008

stamps... rubber style

So, because it's a big part of who I am, I'm going to talk about stamps. Not those increasingly expensive stickers you put on envelopes, I'm talking rubber stuck to foam, stuck to wood, pounced into some ink and stamped onto paper making pretty things! During the last week of July, I got to go to the Stampin' Up! convention in Salt Lake City. I know it's inconvenient for the other demonstrators all over the country, but I'm super grateful they hold it in Salt Lake every year from now on. It's the only way I'd be able to go! Here are some photos from that event:
These are my new friends, Rachelle and Zola, a mother-daughter team from the Palm Springs area. Randomly, on the first day of convention I ended up standing by them on the way into the make-n-takes class. I was attending convention all by myself, so it was fun to strike up conversations with total strangers (I know, very out of character for me!) and how lucky I am that I struck up one with these two lovely ladies! Rachelle has 6 boys (and I thought I was busy!), is LDS like me, and has been a demonstrator for 10 years! She made her mom sign up so she could bring her to convention every year! In this picture, they are holding up the projects we made the first day. I had so much fun with them during make-n-takes, that I hunted them down the next day during lunch. It's a good thing Rachelle is tall and I was able to spot her in a crowd of 6,000 women! I spent the remainder of convention meeting up with them, making this convention so much more fun!!! Can't wait to see them there next year!
This is Rachelle and I super excited about getting some free stamps from UPS! I've always loved seeing that beautiful brown truck pull into my neighborhood, but now I have an even deeper appreciation for my Mr. Brown! He gave me free stamps... he'll forever hold a special place in my heart!
At convention, I set a goal to start TWO stamp clubs (I already had one a little over halfway full). A stamp club is a group of stampers that all agree to spend a certain amount at each other's parties, allowing everyone to earn free hostess benefits, without all the work of typical in-home workshops. We get together and make 3 items (usually all cards) and eat yummy treats. I was able to fill up a "stamper 10" where we agree to spend $15 each month. Well, we had our first party this last Saturday and we had almost everybody there! I know this isn't everybody's "thing", but I think it is SO MUCH FUN!!!!! In fact, I told myself that I would keep being a demonstrator as long as I was still having fun, and here I am, 6+ years later. Here are the cards we made with the ingredients to make them.
first card: I cased this from a girl named Robin Tufts. I don't know her, but she made this pretty card! We used some new In-colors (Kiwi kiss, riding hood red, pink pirouette), the bella rose designer paper, a stamp set called 'wonderful words', and my favorite new toy, the scallop edge punch.
second card: This I copied from a lady named Mary Brown. I changed the colors though. This card uses Baja breeze (another new color) and white vellum cardstock. We stamped the grass and flowers from 'Inspired by nature' in versamark, embossed the flowers with white embossing powder with some glitter mixed in, used some silver brads in the corners, created our own key tag using the small oval punch, and tied it on with some white grosgrain ribbon. I LOVE this new silhouette style of stamping. So many cool techniques!
third card: idea from Dena Griffin. I took her design and changed the colors. This card uses Pumpkin pie, whisper white, and summer picnic DS paper, the 'Classic Backgrounds' and 'it's your birthday' stamp sets, bashful blue and old olive ink, old olive poly-twill ribbon, and the large star punch. I love how SU! (stampin' up!) designs stamps that you can use with their punches!
If anyone is dying to get their hands on the tools to make these cards, you can check out my demonstrator website to see the full catalog. Coming soon (but I don't know when), you'll be able to order directly from my website if you want to place a customer order. Later!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Witnessing history

Paul's work schedule just got switched to working four 10 hour days, leaving his fridays open for some cool outings. Since school was staring the next monday, Paul planned a day up in Salt Lake City because he had heard that the Declaration of Independence was going to be here for 2 days only. We arrived at the capitol building at about 3:30, thinking we'd have enough time before they closed it down at 5:00. HA!!! Boy, did we underestimate the patriotism of Utahns and the line that would be ours to tackle! After standing in line for 1.5 hours, finally in view of the document itself, they moved the Declaration (and the line) downstairs, where we continued to stand in line for another hour! Phew... that's dedication! This collage of pictures is from the event.

1st picture = Canon's looking for landmarks in the capitol for his BINGO scavenger hunt,
2nd = Paul manages a smile with Charlie after running around the capitol with the boys while Diana holds our place in line,
3rd = a picture of our family in front of one of 25 remaining copies of the Dunlap Broadsides (200 copies originally made and taken around to the colonies to spread the word for ratification). This is the only copy of the Declaration touring the country and only going to 12 states. This document was found after a guy bought a painting from a flea market for $4 because he liked the frame. Turns out, sandwiched between the painting and the frame was a document older than the signed original.
4th picture = Diana and Charlie... still in line!
5th = Andy and Canon when we first got there. Behind them is the roped off area where the Declaration was sitting before they moved it downstairs. 2.5 hours later, we got to stand in front of it just long enough to take a picture and look for the words, "all men are created equal."

As we were leaving at 6:00, we both asked ourselves if that was worth it. Though it was disappointing how long we waited for how short a time we got to look at it, we decided that it WAS worth it. If for no other reason, I had taken the time the day before to actually read the words in the Declaration of Independence for the first time. Paul read it while standing in line. Turning our thoughts to the birth of our nation as a free country, independent from the rule of a tyrannical leader, claiming rights and priveledges that mean so much to our daily life... that's got to be a good thing overall. God Bless America!

A new smile for Canon

When we were in Burley for the Spudman in July, we had the opportunity to hang out with our good friends, the Harris family. Three Harris siblings live on a bunch of land surrounding "Harris Pond," and our kids were swimming with their kids while the big folks sat around and gabbed... it was a perfect afternoon! Canon was enjoying himself while jumping off a diving board, with Jared Harris (age 13) catching him and helping him out of the water. Canon slipped on a board and knocked his tooth. His gum was bleeding and the tooth was a bit wiggly... GREAT!
It wasn't a big enough deal to worry about it while still in Burley, but we took him to the dentist when we got back to Springville. They did some x-rays and saw that the root was mostly dissolved anyway, so the dentist opted to just pull it out. Canon was so brave as he sat there mesmerized by playing Lego Star Wars on the PS2. He made a short little whiny sound right after he pulled it out, but then resumed his master video game concentration skills and got over it quick. So here's a close up of the new landscape of his mouth:
And one of his new smile, the one he'll be sporting for another 2+ years if he's anything like his brother!
I think it's funny that, so far, out of all 5 of the teeth lost in the Croshaw household, a doctor or dentist has pulled out 3 of them. I guess that's what you get in a house full of boys! Canon now speaks with the smallest of lisps (of course, it's something I would notice and care about), but it's pretty sweet! Just for history sake, here's the pics from when he lost his first front tooth in January 2007 at the age of 3 1/2 years.

He's my little "rough and tough" little rascal and now he has the smile to prove it!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What goes around, comes around.

I think Paul was a little hurt that I commented on his funny smile at the end of Spudman, so I thought I'd get even for him and post one of the ugliest pictures I've ever seen of myself! Starting in the spring, out of some undisclosed location within myself, I decided to start running. I got some good, new running shoes, and with a program designed by my chiropractor, I headed over to the track. Within a week, I recruited my friend Emily to run with me. It's been humbling to train with Emily... she's a natural, she's fast, and she's a pusher... she's also about 4" shorter than me and pregnant. So when she kicks my butt running, it takes some positive "self-talk" to still be okay with myself :) It's been a big blessing to me to become such good friends with Em.

Anyway, my initial goal for running was to be able to run a "family fun run" 5K at the Burnett reunion on July 4th. Paul and I were in charge of it, so I wanted to be able to participate fully. It was in Mapleton around my in-laws neighborhood (which is pretty hilly, I might add) and though I was embarassingly slow, I finished the dang thing in 36 minutes without stopping.

Emily was supposed to run it with me, but she had just run one the week before... and then forgot. Since we'd been training together, we wanted to run one together (not that we run "together" since I lose sight of her after the first mile!), so we signed up for the Mapleton 5K on July 24th. Here are some pictures of the event.
This is a pic of Emily, Liz, Sonia (friends from the ward), and me before the race. Yeah, they all beat me by a long shot!
This is the before shot of Emily and I...
And here's the scary after picture. Just as a disclaimer, I made this ugly face on purpose, but you can't fake that red face!
I finished this race in about 35.5 minutes, so not much better than the first one, but at least I didn't stop. Paul ran beside me, pushing Charlie in the stroller and having a full and lengthy conversation with Sonia's husband, Jonathan (who didn't intend to actually run the race), as I was huffing and puffing with full concentration! One time Paul told me, "focus Diana, let's pick up the pace." With what breath I could spare, I think I did tell him to shut up! I haven't done another race this summer, but I may sign up for one as the fall starts and the weather cools off a little. I'm now working on actually speeding up a bit... I shouldn't be this slow!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gonna brag about my sweetie, now!

Let me tell you a little about my husband, Paul. To put it mildly, he's a sports FREAK!!! He's never met a sport he didn't like. But ever since his little sister, Tara, married a cool guy named Luke, we have become a triathlon supporting family. Paul is now in his 3rd triathlon season and he just keeps getting better and better. Part of that is because I make an effort to be one of the coolest wives on the planet and just let him get a new full carbon frame triathlon bike. This supposedly makes him wicked fast. Okay, because I know you are dying to see it, here's the bike: (don't worry, Megan, we paid cash for it!)
This would be a cuter picture if he were sitting on it. Anyway, this season, Paul has done 3 triathlons and is registered for two more in the next 3 weeks. His first tri was the Salem sprint, which actually should be called a "bi" because they cancelled the bike due to some rain and wet roads. Here's a few pics from that:
Charlie, Andy and Canon waiting for the swim to start.
Paul coming out of the water.
and then running by with a serious look on his face, but it's hard to tell... hey, it's hard to take good triathlon pictures! He's almost done at this point. He did well in this race and even beat his little brother, Spencer. (I had to throw that in there!)

The next triathlon he did was the Provo Olympic distance (which is twice the distance of a sprint). Paul was doing GREAT on the swim:
GREATER on the bike: (he's the middle one of the 3 in this pic)
then tanked on the run:

He had to walk for a bit right before we took this picture, but when he saw me with a camera, he started running again. His stomach was giving him a TON of grief, so the end time on this triathlon was very disappointing for Paul.

But about a month later, Paul redeemed himself at the SPUDMAN, in our old stomping grounds of Burley, Idaho. He raced so well that I didn't get a single picture of him racing... he just kept going by me way before I was expecting him! So here's one of him right after he finished with his best 10K time EVER! He finished the whole race in 2 hrs 16 min. Awesome job babe! I guess it's harder than it looks to smile normal when you're this exhausted.

We stayed with my lovely aunt Sharon, hung out with some of our best friends there, enjoyed the triathlon event and went to church at our old ward. How fun it was to see everyone.
The weekend would have been perfect except for a seriously tragic occurance at the triathlon, where an athlete ended up drowning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Donald Morehouse family of Provo. Hearing the siren of the ambulance drive by right after I saw my husband ride by on his bike, sunk my heart. I cried as I walked to the finish line and thought of the possibility that someone wouldn't be watching their husband finish this race.

Paul didn't have his new bike for the Spudman, so he signed up for a Sprint on Aug 30th to break it in before he does another Olympic the next weekend. I'm excited to see how he and his new bike do on these races! I sometimes give Paul a bad time about his obsession with triathlon, but in all reality, I'm very proud of him and what he's accomplished. Plus, all this working out stuff has transformed him into a total hottie... and who can complain about that!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer recap... starting with the reunion!

This could take a while, because we have had a fun summer! Ah well, who cares if it's long... this is my blog, right?!? I'll have to do this in several different posts, mostly for the sake of time. Okay, the beginning of the summer began with family reunion preparations in June. It was my turn to plan my family's reunion. We have reunions every other summer and so far, they've been great. My in-laws built a lodge in their backyard, and two years ago, before it was even built, Paul and I asked to reserve it for my family reunion. It was great because we could all stay there on the Croshaw's property (actually, we had one sister opt to stay in a hotel, which then allowed enough space for everyone!). I think it was a successful reunion, though, I have to admit, I know I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked to... I guess that's usually the case when you are in charge of a big event.

The reunion itinerary included such events as family pictures (of course), where some great pictures were taken... take a look! This first one is of my entire family. There are eight kids in my family with 6 girls and 2 boys. My parents now have 16 grandkids with #17 on the way. I'm so glad we were able to get everyone there for the reunion to get a picture with everyone in it.
Here's one of all my sister's families. Aren't they such pretty ladies?!?
Here are my brothers, their lovely wives (who I love like sisters), one nephew, and a whole bunch of cute & awesome nieces! So far, my brothers have been the only source of granddaughters, where my sisters and I have only produced boy-types. Thankfully, we're all pretty thrilled with what we've got and we do have that cute William in the bottom picture to pass on the family name!
Other events included an afternoon at Salem pond where we split into teams and competed against each other. We did canoe racing,
bike racing,

and frisbee golf (no pics). Things got a bit competitive, which you would NEVER have suspected with my family... hahaha! One very exciting event (for me anyway) of our time at Salem pond was this...
Yep, that's my Canon riding his bike for the first time without training wheels!!!! His training wheels were broken, but we needed to use his bike for the racing, so off they came. Well, he didn't like everyone else getting to ride his bike and not him, so all it took was me steadying him long enough to get his feet on the pedals, and off he went. I guess when you're ready, you're just ready! Way to go, Canon!

After dinner we had a movie night at the lodge with an obscene amount of goodies and popcorn! The adults watch "Dan in Real Life" and the kids watched "Enchanted". Lots of fun.

The next day we hung out a bit and went swimming at the Spanish Fork pool in the afternoon. When we got back, we got some babysitters to deal with the kids outside, while the adults enjoyed a catered dinner. It was fun to sit around a big table and chat without a million kid interruptions! After that, we had a talent show with some great numbers from grandkids and some of the old folks as well! Late night activities included a bunch of card games and, you got it, more talking! The only remaining activities of the reunion included cleaning the lodge down to a spit shine that next morning. All in all, the Anderson family had a great time and really appreciated the use of the Croshaw's property. Thanks again, Rhyll and Steven!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Okay, here I go!

In the last month, I've had two friends tell me that I should be blogging. I checked out their blogs and both of their first blogs were titled, "to blog, or not to blog". I've been hesitant to start because of the idea of adding another activity/hobby to my "things I'm neglecting" list, but what the heck, why not? Maybe by blogging, I can take 'writing in my journal' off my "things I'm neglecting" list... and that must be a good thing! So bear with me as I learn how to make this work.