Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This year I decided to just skip trying to go somewhere or have someone try and take a family picture. I think it was a wise choice. I thought it was difficult when we had one child to try and get her to smile and then get a shot we all looked ok in. With two is pretty much impossible. We took several sessions of pictures of the girls, in front of the tree and this is one that turned out ok (but we decided to do different outfits for the Christmas card picture). Of course Sophie is not smiling. But if she did...then Sydney made sure to make some awful face or turn her head or something!
Look who figured out how to get up on her knees and rock back and forth. Sophie is checking out a new Little People Nativity I bought online. The girls both love it because of course they can play with it and it isn't going to break.

I think she will probably be crawling in about a month or two. She can already sit up by herself.
So this is the Nativity I got for the girls. We had another one but parts of it kept breaking. I tried several times to fix it with wood glue, super glue, tacky glue, and Elmer's glue...but it didn't work. Because of the splinters we finally had to throw it out. Sydney was devastated so I found this manger scene and it even had the shepherds out in the pasture with another angel to tell them the good news. The star on the creche lights up and sings "Away in the Manger". Sydney has played with it daily and makes sure all the animals are fed and get enough rest and that they pay attention to the baby Jesus!


White Elephant Gifts...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This weekend we attended a few Christmas parties and received several interesting "white elephant" gifts. Needless to say, this is one of my favorite games and always makes me laugh at some of the random things that get wrapped up! I am modeling this eye magnifying thing we recieved called MagEyes. What can I say...absolutely ridiculous...but I had a thought to possibly put them on while I was reading a few scriptures during the talk I had to give today at church. Can you imagine if the speaker in church just whipped out a pair of these and started reading their talk?
Then we recieved a few DVD's. I think some of these might be those DVD's one might find in the $1.00 bins at Walmart or something. The first DVD is "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians", the second one is "Blooper Bananza 1960's" and the last one was "The Karate Kid" (which actually wasn't so bad). I guess the titles say it all! If anyone is dying to watch any of these DVD's we would be happy to let them borrow them.
The next gift we received was this giant porcelain cat that Sydney promptly named "Snowflake". As you can see from the pictures it looks more like some kind of fish or something from far away. If any of you think this might go with your decor...I would be happy to bring it over. Meanwhile...Snowflake is currently out in the dining area until I find an appropriate closet for him/her.
The last gift we managed to bring home was one of those giant universal remotes. Sydney was also thrilled by this because she can easily push all the buttons, plus it lights up. I guess we won't be losing this remote. At least this remote is nice and new and clean (because our other remote is probably crawling with micro organisms that I don't want to know about).
All in all...we had some good laughs over everything! It was sort of a crazy weekend trying to get everything done and get to our parties and prepare talks that we had to give today.



Monday, December 10, 2007

For Thanksgiving we went to St. George to visit Mark's parents. It was fun because his whole family was there. It was also pretty crazy with all the kids running around constantly and two babies to add to the hula-baloo! Sophie made sure she didn't sleep very well during the night and managed to wake up at least six times every night. (We were exhausted by the time we got home.) But it was also really pretty in St. George and we loved all the fall colors and the chilly temperatures. Like any Poulsen gathering, there was lots of yummy food and desserts! On Saturday, we all cheered on the Cougars (well except for Mark's Mom...she is a die-hard Utah fan!) and we were excited for their victory over Utah. Mark and I managed to escape one of the days up to beautiful Zion's Canyon to let Sydney run around in leaves and just explore like any normal kid loves to do. We had to bundle little Sophie up the best we could because it was a little colder than St. George.
Sophie had just her little face peeking out from her BYU hat! We didn't have room for a stroller on the trip up so we had to carry her everywhere...including the short hike we took Sydney on.
Sydney was excited to climb on all the rocks but we were just worried that she would slip and fall. I guess that is pretty typical of us!
We hiked to the lower Emerald Pool and waterfalls with the girls. Then we headed back over to the lodge so Sydney could play in all the leaves on the grassy area out front. She loved running through them and making all the crunching sounds!
At the end, we drove back towards the entrance and just pulled off to the side by the river so Sydney could just explore all the trees and leaves.

She ran down to the river to throw rocks and sticks in the water.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoyed spending time with the whole family. Sydney and Sophie both came home with colds (so that meant more sleepless nights!) and last week Sophie's cold turned into an ear infection (so we are still suffering without sleep). I think all I want for Christmas is some sleep, six hours in a row would be nice!


AZ Science Center

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

One of my friends invited us to go with her and her kids to the AZ Science Center a few weeks ago. It was so much fun and Sydney loved hanging out with her friend Caleb (next to her in the picture). They both enjoyed playing with magnets, iron, different colors on a light box, trying out different instruments and watching the frequency of waves, learning about volcanoes, and all the other things we did!
This was one of their favorite exhibits. It was this giant airplane in some kind of wind tunnel thing. When they pressed the buttons on the joy-sticks it would create different wind currents and "fly" the plane. We had to "fly" the planes several times!

Caleb and Sydney are hard at work transferring rock from one side of the box to the other! Sydney loved the child sized shovels.
There was another exhibit about airplanes and a miniature plane we could go in and pretend to sit on the seats. Shauntel and I laughed because there was way too much leg room...maybe these were supposed to represent first class seating!
It was a fun day and Sydney loved all the interesting exhibits.


Sydney's First Haircut

Monday, November 26, 2007

I took Sydney in a few weeks ago to get her very first hair cut (well really it was just a trim). I guess I just got tired of the daily battle with her tangles and curls. She loved having her hair washed in the little sink. Later when she was at home she asked if we could get a sink like that to wash her hair! She was very good while the lady cut her hair.

And the final result....
I still have so many posts to catch up hopefully by the end of this week, everything will be mostly updated! I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. We just got back from St. George where we spent Thanksgiving with all of Mark's family. I'll post more on that later!


Very Cool New Shoes!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I love new running shoes!
After way too many miles logged on my old pair of running shoes and recurring knee pain every time I wore was time to buy a new pair. I also discovered that the air pocket on one of my old shoes had been popped (which could have been causing my knee pain). Finding the perfect running shoe is never an easy task. First of all, the only stores in the entire valley that carry a large selection of Saucony running shoes are about 45 minutes away. I waited with great anticipation all last week to go get my new shoes. When I first tried these (they are Saucony Pro Grid Hurricane's) on in the store I started laughing at the difference between my old shoes (that I had worn there). Then last Saturday I took them out for their first run on the Tolleson high school track. I love these shoes! I have gone running several times in them so far...and I haven't had any knee pain and they provide the best stability for my ankles! Right now, my favorite place to go for a run is on the high school track, at night. Usually the lights are on and no one is even on the track so I get the whole thing to myself. There is a club soccer team that practices on the field (which is probably why the lights are on) but they never bother me. It is definitely something I look forward to.


F is for Farm!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This past week has been filled with lots of activities and just a bit of stress (not like parents ever experience that)! First, Mark and I want to wish all our family and friends that live in Southern California the best, and that they are all safe and their homes are ok. Sometimes watching horrible disasters on the news makes you very grateful for all the blessings of a safe home and a place to live. We are so blessed to have our beautiful little girls and a home in Phoenix. Maybe it is not always "heaven on earth" but as long as we have each other...I guess nothing else matters too much. Our weekend started off with great anticipation for the rare night off and plans to stay home and do nothing.
Well...that didn't happen. Sydney and Sophie were playing in the living room when Sophie rolled onto her tummy. This is not a new occurrence and neither is Sydney helping Sophie roll back over once Sophie starts to squeak (because she is done being on her tummy). However, just as I was in the middle of making dinner, I heard a scream from Sophie. Sydney had flipped her over but somehow Sophie's arm was still pinned under her at a weird angle. I immedietly unpinned her arm and picked her up...but she was still crying and cried for awhile. After Mark got home we decided to take her to the pediatric urgent care because she was still crying and would not move her arm. The doctor was very nice there and looked at Sophie right as we arrived. She was also concerned that Sophie would not move her arm so she sent us into Phoenix to St. Joseph's hospital (which is known for excellent neurological care). They did all the x-rays and everything came back ok. Plus since it had now been several hours since the incident she was acting a bit better. She would at least move her fingers and smile! The doctors told us she would probably be ok...and she was. Saturday afternoon she started moving her arm like normal and grabbing for her toys. Thank goodness things are back to normal.
On Thursday last week, Sydney's pre-school class took a field trip to a farm. Here she is with one of her best friend's, Maddy.
Sydney is grinding lots of corn to feed to the chickens. She also tried to feed this duck that was wandering around. Sydney kept chasing the poor duck (and trying to feed him corn too) all over until I finally could catch her and make her stop.
She loved all the animals and was not afraid to pet or feed any of them.
All the other kids were scared to try and feed this burro or donkey (I don't know which it is) but Sydney stepped right up and let it eat out of her hand. Then the other kids decided that it was ok to try to feed the burro/donkey as well.

This little pig kept sliding underneath the fence and running around. Sydney was delighted and tried to catch it. Then it ran back in the pen and hid underneath the trough that the goats were eating out of. Sydney ran right into the pen, pushed the goats out of the way and was trying to crawl underneath the trough to get the pig out. I went to stop her from getting THAT dirty and instead she is just trying to pull the poor pig out. The pig was kind of cute so I don't blame her for wanting to hold it... And if anyone was wondering, Sophie slept calmly in her stroller the entire time, which is a good thing since I spent lots of time chasing Sydney all over.
We got the girls all dressed up in their costumes to go to the ward "trunk-or-treat" activity. Sydney was excited to be a witch.
We dressed Sophie up like a little black kitty--to match with Sydney of course. So Sydney and her "kitty" went to their party!


Where has October gone?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I can't believe October is here and almost done with! Now that it is cooling off some, we have been trying to plant trees and other plants in our yard. We are also getting ready to put in sod, in a few weeks. In between all that yard work we have been busy with soccer practice, swimming lessons, and the usual activities that always pop-up on the calander. The other day, one of our friends invited us to go to the zoo with them. I gave in and purchased a season pass to Sydney's "new favorite place to go"! I figured it was about time we started zoo trips again. When we first moved to Phoenix I had a pass and I went to the zoo to walk around almost every week. However, it has been over three years since I have been there and I noticed several changes. They have made so many improvements amd I was pleasantly suprised. We started off our zoo adventure with a picnic inside the park, by a giant tree house (that's not featured in my picture). I don't know if Sydney was more excited about the picnic or the zoo. She LOVES picnics!
Doesn't Sophie look elated to spend an entire afternoon dozing in her stroller underneath her hat...and occasionally watching with some mild interest all the kids running around.

Here is Sydney with her friend Katie and another little girl Skyla who came along too for the fun. We all tried to get some cute pictures of them but they would not stay still or look at the camera that day. Sydney and Katie are also on the same soccer team!
Of course one of their favorite places to stop by was the farm where we could pet all the goats.
So as a reminder, one of my favorite holidays is only a few weeks away....Sophie cooperated and gave the camera a cute smile. I just had to try on Sydney's old pooh bear costume, from when she was a baby. Actually Sophie is going to be a black kitty this year...because Sydney is going to be a witch! I'm sure I will take about a million pictures of them in a few weeks.
Happy Halloween everyone!
I have been feeling a bit busy lately as I'm sure most everyone is experiencing. I still love to squeeze in just a bit of blogging (even though I really should be working on some other stuff right now)! I have started another blog site 4 Tablespoons which is just a blog of my favorite recipes and food! Most of you probably already know how much I love spending time in the kitchen making yummy food. So if you're interested you can check out what's cooking at our house! I love cooking blogs and websites and so this is just my point of view (I guess) on what I like to eat! Maybe some of you will find something yummy to try out for the holidays!


Sleeping through the night...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Well once about three weeks ago....Sophie slept through the night! She did it for three nights in a row. However, I think those particular three nights she must have communicated to Sydney that she would not be available to wake us up, so it would be Sydney's job to be sure and get up several times to remind us that monsters and dragons do sneak into the house after hours. Unfortunately there has been no repeat performances of sleeping through the night. Instead Sophie wakes up anywhere from 3-4 (sometimes even more) times a night. And then there is the occasional night or two when Sydney comes in to wake us up...because of the above mentioned monsters and dragons. We are so behind on our sleep!
Sydney likes Sophie to just hang out with her while she is playing...and of course Sophie loves to just watch. Sophie is just waiting for the day when she can start crawling and following Sydney all over the house. They are two little peas in a pod! One day I put Sophie down for a nap and went to crash myself. Sydney decided to sneak into Sophie's room and climb in the crib with a stack of books. She woke Sophie up and then read books to her. I'm sure Sophie was excited for the attention. At least that lasted for about a half hour (so I could try and nap)!

Well on Friday, someone from admissions at ASU called and left a message for Mark letting him know he was accepted into the MBA program for next fall. We are so proud of him for the hard work he has done to prepare for this next big step. He will be attending ASU's evening MBA program and continue to work full-time for U-Haul. He starts school in August and Sydney will start Kindergarten as well. We are still waiting to hear back that she has been accepted to the school we want her to attend. This means that we have about 10 months left to enjoy our time together before it gets pretty busy around here.


Seashells in the Backyard?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sydney loves seashells. She is always talking about how she needs to go to a beach to find some. Once we were over at a friends house and she saw a vase full of seashells (probably from a craft store). She was so excited and just wanted to play with the seashells instead of with all the toys or her little friend. I just laughed. Consequently, she found this seashell in our backyard yesterday while I was digging a hole for one of our new trees. I was a little surprised. If anyone could find a seashell in would probably be Sydney. Mark and I were discussing how a seashell could possible have ended up in our backyard.
1. A neighbor threw it over the wall.
2. One of the construction workers dropped it while working on the house or sprinkler system.
3. Possibly, this part of Arizona was actually prime beach front property millions of years ago.
However it ended up in our dirt...she is thrilled. She carried it around all day yesterday and told just about everyone all about her seashell. One of her friends came over after pre-school to play today and I wasn't surprised when Sydney ran to her room to get her seashell to show off! I'm not sure her friend was equally impressed or interested but Sydney didn't seem to care. She loves her seashell!
Unfortunately, it was not a very large seashell! I guess it is perfect for her to carry around.


Robyn's Baptism.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Robyn was baptized on Saturday! Congratulations Robyn. Before she was confirmed, all the cousins and Robyn sang "I am a Child of God"...or at least stood up there and smiled!
Here is Robyn in her pretty dress and the girls!
Silly girls...they had so much fun socializing afterwards.
I couldn't decide which picture was I posted them both.
While waiting for Robyn to finish talking with other family members the girls decided to dance.
This is Tori's cutest smile!
The girls with Justin...although he would only stand by them for just about one picture and he was off!
They also played "Ring around the Rosies".
"We all fall down"!
And then get back up and play it again!


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