Happy Halloween!

Lila the Goblin

Chloe the Mummy

It’s a….

BOY!

We found out today we are expecting a boy to join our family in March. If there is ever an appropriate time to send out a picture of your child’s private parts – I guess this is it! :) We currently have enough estrogen floating around our house so we are happy to have another male joining Marc. More importantly, he is healthy and right on track for his developmental age. He was also very, very squirmy the entire ultrasound. It looks like we have another wiggly one on our hands! For Halloween, he dressed up as a skeleton. We are very excited to have been blessed with another child to add to our quickly growing family and can’t wait to see him!

Thriller!

Last Saturday my Dad took me to our annual showing of Thriller at Kingsbury Hall in Salt Lake City. This was our 4th time going together, but my 6th year. Which is pretty incredible since this year was the 10th anniversary of the program! It was so good. The primary dancers are usually great anyway, but even the smaller roles were excellent dancers. It is a great way to get in the Halloween mood! Who would have thought that dancers wearing Jason masks would make great dance theater??

It’s Official!

Chloe is walking! I don’t know if I should be happy or sad :)

Picking Up Butch

I like to read Marc’s Sports Illustrated while I’m drying my hair. I know that probably sounds weird, but I have a lot of hair and diffusing it is sometimes a long, boring process. My favorite article is a weekly opinion column on the back page written by Rick Reilly. He’s usually very sarcastic but he likes to speak his mind and I think he’s funny. He also writes great inspirational articles and thought I would share this one. It’s nice to hear stories about people doing service just because.

Extra Credit

For 42 years Middlebury freshman athletes have been Picking Up Butch for football and basketball games. It’s a sign-up sheet thing. Carry the ball bags. Gather all the towels. Pick Up Butch. Basketball players, men and women, do it during football season. Football players do it during basketball season. Two hours before each home game, two freshmen grab whatever car they can get and drive a mile off campus to the tiny house where 54-year-old Butch Varno lives with his 73-year-old mother, Helen, who never got her driver’s license. And they literally Pick Up Butch, 5’3″ and 170 pounds, right off his bed. They put him in his wheelchair and push him out of the house, or one guy hauls him in a fireman’s carry. They pile him into the car, cram the wheelchair into the trunk, take him to the game and roll him to his spot in the mezzanine for football games or at the end of the bench for basketball. Butch always smiles and says the same thing from the bottom of his heart: “CP just sucks.” Cerebral palsy. While his fondest dream has always been to play basketball, it’ll never happen. There is little that he can physically do for himself. “At first, you’re a little nervous; you’re like, I don’t know,” says freshman wide receiver Ryan Armstrong. “But the older guys say, ‘We did it when we were freshmen. Now you go get him. It’s tradition.’ So me and my buddy got him the first week. He’s pretty heavy. We bumped his head a couple of times getting him into the car. He’s like, ‘Hey! Be careful!’ But he loves getting out so much that afterward you feel good. It’s fun to put a smile like that on somebody’s face.” And the kids don’t just Pick Up Butch. They also Keep Butch Company. Take Butch to the Bathroom. Feed Butch. “He always likes a hot dog and a Coke,” says 6’8″ Clark Read, 19, a power forward. “It’s kind of weird at first, sticking a hot dog in his mouth. The trick is to throw out the last bite so he doesn’t get your fingers.” Thanks to 42 years of freshmen, Butch hardly ever misses a Middlebury game. Not that he hasn’t been late. “One day this year, the two guys were calling me on their cell,” says Armstrong, “and they’re going, ‘We can’t find Butch!’ And I’m like, ‘You lost Butch? How can you lose Butch?’ Turns out they just couldn’t find his house.” Nobody at Middlebury remembers quite how Picking Up Butch got started, but Butch does. It was 1961. He was 13, and his grandmother, a housekeeper at the dorms, wheeled him to a football game. It started snowing halfway through, and afterward she couldn’t push him all the way back home. A student named Roger Ralph asked them if they needed a ride. Ever since then, Butch has been buried in the middle of Middlebury sports. Sometimes he gives the basketball team a pregame speech, which is usually, “I love you guys.” He holds the game ball during warmups and at halftime until the refs need it. He is held upright for the national anthem. Once in a while, just before tip-off, they put him in the middle of the players’ huddle, where they all touch his head and holler, “One, two, three, together!” When the action gets tense, the freshmen hold his hands to keep them from flailing. After the games some of the players come back to the court and help him shuffle a few steps for exercise, until he collapses back in his chair, exhausted. Then it’s home again, Butch chirping all the way. And it’s not just the athletes at Middlebury who attend to him. Butch is a campus project. Students come by the house and help him nearly every day. Over the years they taught him to read, and then last year they helped him get his GED. Somebody got him a graduation cap and gown to wear at the party they threw in his honor. During his thank-you speech, Butch wept. “These kids care what happens to me,” Butch says. “They don’t have to, but they do. I don’t know where I’d be without them. Probably in an institution.” But that’s not the question. The question is, Where would they be without Butch? “It makes you think,” says Armstrong. “We’re all young athletes. Going to a game or playing in a game, we take it for granted. But then you go Pick Up Butch, and I don’t know, it makes you feel blessed.”

Seattle Pics

Yummy Seattle

We have just returned from our trip to Seattle and we had a blast! We went up to visit Eric and Paige Blaser (Marc’s brother and sister-in-law) as they were blessing the newest addition in their family, Sommer. She’s beautiful! She was so fun to hold and cuddle. Paige was great to let us all come and invade her house. Marc’s parents, Ed and Lynne, and his brothers, Chad and Todd were also there. I hope that we were a help more than a hindrance. Their house was so cute. Paige did a great job of decorating. In every room there was an extra touch – a cute light fixture, painted accents on the wall – something that gave each room a special look. I wish I was that creative! Paige and Eric’s other 3 kids (Ridge, Cannon and Laine) were so fun to play with too. Laine usually avoids me, but I finally broke through on this trip!! We played “Skater Girl” together and formed a bond. Hopefully she will remember that the next time I see her.

Ed flew down with us and we arrived on Friday afternoon. Eric kindly picked us up from the airport, with Chad and Todd following behind in another car. We all went to lunch together, then Marc and I went off to explore downtown. We went to Pike’s Place Market and looked at all of the shops. They had everything you can think of! I wish we had our camera, but we forgot. Pike’s is the place where they throw the fish around as they prepare them for buyers (as seen on the opening of Real World: Seattle, for those reality TV buffs out there). They also had a booth where they make mini doughnuts fresh. You could watch the doughnuts being made from start to finish. And they were yummy! (Yummy is the theme for our trip because we ate way too much food…..)

Saturday morning we all went to Chinook’s for breakfast. Chinook’s is this cool restaurant that is located right on the water. You can see all the fishing boats at the dock behind me in the picture. They serve baked scones with every breakfast and again, they were yummy. When we were finished, we walked out on the dock and looked at all the boats. It was interesting to see the names of the boats and wonder where they had been. Some were really beat up. It was amazing they even made it to the dock in the first place. After breakfast, we went downtown to check out more of the sites. We saw the Space Needle and went to the EMP/SFM (Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum). It was really cool. They had a bunch of exhibits with different music and movie memorabilia, along with some interactive sections where you could learn to play instruments, scratch a record or watch a movie. They had this large tower made of guitars that were programmed to play on their own. It is the only picture we have of the museum because we were quickly chastised by security – no pictures allowed. After the museum, we took the monorail over to the mall. This mall is the location of the very first Nordstrom’s. They also had a Sephora, one of my favorite stores. Hooray for shopping!
Sunday was the blessing and Eric did a great job. It was beautiful and Sommer stayed awake for the whole thing without making a sound! After church Paige made an elaborate dinner of salmon, pear and feta cheese salad, rice and rolls. Of course, she did this in about 30 minutes without breaking a sweat! Marc also surprised me with tickets to the Seahawks game! We walked about 2 miles to get there, but once we were there it was so cool. It’s hard to describe the energy at a pro football game. It was mass hysteria! There were people painted head to toe with dyed mohawks of green and blue. Before the game started, we went to Safeco Field (the home of the Mariners) and watched the Cowboys/Patriots game on the big screen. It was awesome that they opened the stadium for a little pre-game BBQ.

The view from the stadium is gorgeous! The skyline is so pretty with all the lit up buildings and the clock tower. Even though I cheered for the Seahawks, I still privately cheered for Reggie Bush :) The Seahawks ended up losing, but it was still a great experience. I was able to witness a few animated fights between some drunk Seahawks’ and Saints’ fans. It was pretty entertaining.

Monday morning, we were on our way back to Utah. It was too quick of a trip, but I was ready to see my girls again. Lila and Chloe were able to stay with Sara (Marc’s sister) while we were gone. Thanks again Sara – they had a great time! When I get some pictures from Sara, I will post about their weekend too!

Faith

Marc sent me this email a few nights ago while I was out shopping and he was putting the girls to bed:

Lila came downstairs and said she was hot. I went to open the window. She said, “daddy, there’s no wind.” I said, “I can’t make wind, only Heavenly Father can.” She said, “how does he make wind?” I said, “I don’t know, why don’t you ask him in a prayer?” I walked out to the hallway and she got on her knees (not knowing that I was spying on her) and in her sweet prayer voice said: “Heav-ly Father, How do you make wind? Please make some for me, cause I’m hot. Just try, I know you can do it. Name a Jes-s Chris-, Amen.” Then she started to get back in bed and said, “I hope it works!” Daddy was proud!

Lila’s Quilt

Mama, Lila’s Great Grandma, sent Lila this beautiful quilt. She was so excited to get it! It’s pretty pink, Lila’s favorite. As soon as Lila opened the box and saw it was a quilt, she marched it right upstairs and put it on her bed. Mama is a master quilt maker. She does everything by hand. I’m sure this quilt took her a long time to make. I was studying it and I can’t believe how even the stitches are! I’m not sure I could make the stitches that even with a sewing machine….. Thank you Mama for passing on such a beautiful treasure!

Lila’s Official Soccer Pictures

Could she be any cuter???