June 30, 2009

Hallie learns to deflect

Sometimes the best defense against criticism is returned criticism. They learn so early.

June 23, 2009

Waffles and CNN

Two quick things:

I've been asked so many times about this I figured I would explain. Lessley and I were the feature of a recent CNN article (http://www.cnn.com/2009/...) and everyone wants to know how CNN came to find/pick us.

I wrote a blog post well over a year ago about how I'm a cheapskate and how Lessley has had to adjust (to the point that now she's the cheapskate). Anyway, the CNN writer said she liked it and wanted to do a story on finances in a couple's marriage. So there you go.

Also, I want to add a shameless plug for something delicious. My brother has a booth at the Provo Farmer's market where he sells Belgian Sugar Waffles (top picture).

Now, these aren't the kind of waffles you're used to. They are a desert. Imagine the best bread you ever ate mated with carmelized sugar, and that's what you get. They are, in a word: addicting. They also sell Stroop waffles (bottom left), which are two waffled cookies with a cinnamon sugar drizzle in the middle. They are also divine.

Lessley and I both have cravings for them all the time. So go to the Provo Farmer's market on Saturday and treat yourself. You won't be sorry.

June 17, 2009

Eli Rides

It brought back painful yet nostalgic memories of my Dad (this is Ryan writing) teaching me to ride a bike in the elementary school parking lot as Eli learned to ride his bike un-aided this week. He has a unique strategy for takeoff, but he's got the gist of it.

He simply took off, and loved it. Then immediately lost his riding priviliges for throwing a fit when it was time to come in.

So Eli now has a new favorite activity, and we now have a new effective tool for obedience. Enjoy the video.

June 12, 2009

Trippin' to Costco

Admittedly, we are not the typical Costco family. We have just two kids, and we don't buy stuff in that kind of bulk (except burritos and toilet paper, in that order). Plus, Lessley is such an amazing coupon and clearance shopper, we end up saving much more shopping elsewhere.

That said, I love going to Costco, even though I hate shopping. Most of it has to do with eating at their food court, but for some reason I really enjoy a good trip there, especially on Saturdays. Lessley, however, doesn't like eating at the food court there (what's wrong with her?), so when she's out of town (all this week at girl's camp) I take the kids to Costco for an outing!

So Wednesday when I asked Eli where he wanted to eat, and he said "Costco," I was happy to oblige. As we were heading there, I laughed to myself that my kids see Costco as "a place to eat" rather than a place to buy pickles in 5 gallon jars.

Something you have to know at this point is that our Costco Membership is expired. We don't buy enough stuff there to justify renewing it, but that hasn't stopped us from going. You simply show the old lady (who is dressed like she's trying to be a 16 year-old) your card and waltz in. Since you don't have to show your card at the food counter, you're golden!

In fact, before we had a membership to Costco (2001-2006) I would simply tell the lady at the gate that I wanted to find out about memberships, grab a brochure at the counter, then follow my nose to the polish dogs.

Or, I'd simply slip in through the "out" door while the lady with the pink highlighter was mulling over a 3 foot long recipt handed to her by a lady whose three carts were filled to the brim with the items that were free samples that day.

You have to understand at this point that my love for Costco food is founded in these foods, in this order: Polish Dog (and drink: $1.49), Hot Dog (and drink: $1.49), Churro, Chicken Bake, everything else, then Pizza.

I just don't understand Costco Pizza. The kids and Lessley get it a lot, and I have to admit, it almost always fools me. But in the end, it's ALWAYS disgusting!

If a pizza with a tasteless sauce and insufficient cheese somehow mated with the box it's served in, the resulting offspring is what Costco pizza tastes like.

So while the polish dog, with its moistly shining surface layer of grease and supple bun is absolutely divine, the over-cooked yet somehow still soggy pizza is the pits.

Am I the only one that thinks that? People eat it all the time, and some even buy a whole pizza and take it home! I had no idea so many people lacked any taste (capris on guys aside).

Anyway, after we ate, we wandered around the store checking out the electronics while the kids enjoyed a rare berry smoothie treat (which tastes like the berries were washed in an industrial-grade soap that didn't all come off).

In the end, we headed home full and fulfilled. But still missing Mom!

June 02, 2009

Stuff we been doin'

Lessley's been slacking on the blog thing, so I (Ryan) thought I'd let you all in on what we've been up to since the last post. 

Arrrrren't they cute?

For reasons I never learned, one day Lessley dressed the kids up as pirates. They looked awesome! I've always been somewhat obsessed with pirates (gotta love booty) so for me they were as cute as can be. They loved it too. 

Viva, Las Vegas

Lessley was able to accompany me to a financial conference in Las Vegas in May. It was a short trip (2 nights), but fun nonetheless. We stayed at the Luxor in the pyramid (not near as cool as you'd think), and spent time at the pool, admiring overweight Euros in Speedos. 

Soggy but Fun Arches

Memorial Day weekend we headed down to Moab with a group of friends. It was a little rainy, which actually was probably good, as it kept the crowds away. It didn't rain much during the day, but oddly enough, each night it seemed to pour from the second we laid our heads down until the moment we woke up. The first night, Eli just wanted to go to the tent and listen to his MP3 player by himself. Weirdo, I know. No idea where he gets it. 

We hit Arches National Park, where we had lots of fun and got lots of excercise. We also got to listen to the kids whine most of the afternoon, but in their defense, with their little strides they walked a lot and were probably pretty tired. 

Here's a video of Eli getting buried. He really wanted to do this for some reason. This is at Sand Dune Arch. Don't skip it. It's a really cool setting. The rain made the sand the consistency of beach sand, so it was fun to play in.

Here are some more pictures. Sorry if my kids are too cute.

Don't I know you?

After we got back from Moab we had a reunion for the LDS Stake I grew up in in Santa Maria, California (if that name sounds familiar, it's the town Michael Jackson was tried in). 

I got to see old friends I hadn't seen for over a decade. It was a good time. Hallie and Eli had fun on the slip and slide. The video below is long, but about half-way through Hallie is pretty funny. After that, it's even boring to me. 

And some other stuff...

Lessley then took the kids to Park City for a few days where her parents had a week in a condo. She'll have to tell you what they did, because I have no idea. But I bet it was fun! I missed them, and did nothing but mope around the house missing the noise of frolicking children. What? You don't believe me?

Here's a picture of a Moose they trapped and graffitied while there...probably.

My youngest brother, Marc, trod into the great unknown as he graduated from High School last week. Despite man's many astonishing accomplishments (moon walk, Internet, Easy Cheese), we still have yet to find a way to make graduation ceremonies remotely interesting and entertaining. Despite that, we're happy to see him moving on to bigger and better things. 

Then, Lessley broke away from Soap Operas and Bon Bons to take a girls trip to St. George with my sisters and sisters in law. I'm sure they had fun, and be sure to ask Lessley to show you her "tan stripe." (And just kidding about the Bon-bon comment. She eats Peanut M&Ms and watches Oprah).

Here's a picture of the lovely lasses enjoying not being with the kids...err...I mean...missing their kids.

We all know the men in my family married up. At least that's what the women tell us.