Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Hi. So my computer is busted. Well "my" computer got busted in the luggage trip to Costa Rica, then I took Corey's computer upon "my"self, so I guess now it's not my but Corey's personal laptop that is now busted too, so now I'm sneaking in in the mornings to use Corey's work computer so I can break this one too. All my photos are uploaded onto the other one, so Corey's gonna get those off sometime when he takes it in or tries to fix it. So nothing new to post for photos. But thought I'd just check in. Life is wonderful, we're excited for a new year. I was making some goals for myself yesterday, one of which is to keep working out. My time to do that is in the morning before the kids wake up. It's just past 8:00 so I better get out the door before one of them wakes up and gets me first. I'll try to post more tomorrow about what's going on here. Nothing too new and exciting, just getting into a routine. The kids are loving their legos and being creative. Abi and Lily like to go downstairs and play on the slide and in the dirt, and I like to go down there with them and read. I brought the 2010 June Ensign with us to Costa Rica and thus on this trip also, and I'm finally reading it - don't know why that one didn't get read before or packed, but I have just been eating it up - GREAT STUFF, all of it is like right in line with my thoughts lately, like on page 44 - live as if for years (D&C 51:16-17). Elder Bednar's CES talk is excellent, or on page 29 - We're living in a busy city, but feel like our life is so calm and simplified right now - it's great, I like not being in a hurry, great having a simplified life, love having time with the kdis as we're enjoying our third summer vacation of 2010. Did I tell you that - the last day of school for the year for Chileans was December 9th, we arrived on the 10th. Had a summer vacation in Costa Rica pretty much, and then in Utah before we left too - minus the two weeks of school they attended before we flew out. School will start in March. Until then the kids are doing good playing with the local kids and we're watching lots of Spanish TV. Gonna go get the 3 dvd pack of Toy Story today and have that play all day - get some of the Spanish repetition flowing in their heads and see what they learn. Ok, that's all my rambling, gonna go exercise. Love to you all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

City Laundry

So I think living in this small apartment is kinda like living in a really really nice deluxe motorhome! Or in an executive suite of a cruise ship. Small, but functional. And it's so easy to clean!!! I can clean the whole kitchen - wash dishes, wipe counters, sweep and mop - in 10 minutes. Although it's usually longer cause kids are still in there eating.

On Monday night I moved half of the dining room chairs downstairs into the small storage room we have and it's made the space here feel lots better - more room for the kids to play, less worried about dinging the walls. They are usually standing when they play anyway.

Another part of daily living is laundry, and I'm doing great at that. We do a one load everyday, whites or darks usually, and then hang it up, cause there is only space on the line dry for one load, I realized after having too much the first week we got here when I hadn't done laundry for a week cause of the trip down here and the time in Vina. So when we moved in I did too much laundry and didn't have room to dry it. So it helps me keep on top of it. Of course the kids like to help.

And here's how Melodie helps - she provides the entertainment.

On her lips, nose and ears - Ouch?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Brian Regan Lego Minifigure!

Look what my creative kids did! Some background - I got an email from saying that a download of his new CD "All By Myself" was available. We went and saw this show at Symphony Hall and saw this, said they were recording for a cd, so I've been looking forward to this. Great stuff. We love Brian, I thought it'd be a good Christmas Present for Corey and the kids, since they all love him too. I downloaded it in Costa Rica before we moved to Chile, we listened to it a few times there but not here so that it would be a surprise for Corey. (I can tell not all of these tracks were from our show, slight difference in pronunciation and emphasis on words. I'm sure they did several recordings.)

So Christmas morning, after opening presents, Joe says "Hey Mom, can we listen to the other gift?" "Yes! We can now!" so I turn it on. The kids were playing with their legos as they listened. An hour or so later, Joe tells me to come look - And there he his - a Brian Regan Lego Minifigure, complete with his microphone and glass of water, telling jokes to all the other minifigures that came to see his show!

Telling Jokes

The Minifigure Audience
A View of Brian on the Stage
I started to list my favorite parts, but then realized I'd listed every track, so just listen to it - it's all hilarious. I'm laughing again!

"Tuna fish Sandwich!"
"I'm gonna hear myself a Caribou"
"Wow, she looks great! I wish I had a body like that!"
"Everyone's head exploded, except for mine..."
"Do you think you're hero? No..."
"Did you see the footage of that plane coming in?"
"...with luggage and dry socks!"
"It does seem rather precarious..."
"Knock that smile off your face!"
"Well, it does! It truly does..."
"Ah! Macaroni and Cheese! I like checking the mystery box"
"There's a J and a C. Good Luck!"

Track 10 - Crime and Vampires!! This was the minifigure shouting out to Brian from the balcony seating.

Buy it here for only $12.99 - funny stuff!

All you Hibberts, get listening so we can all laugh as we quote him at Beka's wedding.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Best Christmas Ever!

Here we are on the kids final trip to the Lego store on Wednesday to give them one last chance to get excited about the presents they were sure they would not receive. After reading a friend's idea, I suggested to the kids that we have an imagination Christmas. The benefits would be great. There'd be no limit to the Christmas presents they could receive! All the accessories would be included! The toys would never break! The gifts would be economical and good for the environment! Wow! Of course they shot down that idea, ...but at the same time I could see in their faces that they feared we'd follow through on delivering it. (insert evil laugh) Hahaha!

To help us more in our deception, last week Corey had to get 4 new tires for the car that our friend has lent to us - $300 each. Corey has since told the kids many times "Don't you love our new tires! Don't they drive so smoothly! Aren't you so happy we got new tires for Christmas?! We'll wrap each of the tires with a bow for you all on Christmas morning." We'd also been able to set expectations low by letting them in on the fact that StartUp Chile hasn't reimbursed any of Corey's expenses yet, things like our airfare down here, mucho dinero which, as of last month, we hadn't planned on spending, leaving little room to breathe in the budget.

So yesterday the kids went to a movie with Corey while I took Lily with me shopping. I bought the big presents first, and then put them in the car, then bought a few other small things. When they were done with the movie I met them with only two small bags in my possession... "What's in the bags Mom?" "Oh, one is a present for Dad, the other is a few things for you guys..." We really had them fooled.

So the stage was set, and now it's Christmas morning. Having very successfully set their expectations waaaay low, (I dare say almost non-existent!), Corey and I are now reaping the benefits.

Here they are opening their presents - score!!!

I love Wesley's little face - he was super excited, he's such a cutie

Hyrum and Wes sharing the Star Wars AT-AT

Mel and Abi (mostly Mel) got City Corner - I didn't get a before picture of her with her box, but here is her set finished 4 hours later:

And Joe and Ethan -

- these two were so surprised, they were jumping up and down screaming "THE BURROW!!!!" Huge thank you to W&J for sending the Harry Potter Legos that aren't available here - I really should have had a hidden camera somewhere recording it. (If I have the camera out in the open, they switch into drama reality tv mode and act way abnormal.) But they were being pretty hilarious.

Here they are 4 hours later - still in the same spot, but not in their underwear anymore - finished building the sets

As they were all busily at work putting their sets together, they'd randomly shout out to each other when they remembered their excitement

"Mel! I thought this was going to be the worst Christmas ever, but it's really the BEST Christmas ever! I can't believe I got the AT-AT!!"

Hyrum 4 hours after:

Still got a ways to go - this is a set for 14 year olds ya know.

UPDATE - 8 hours later -
I'll post the pictures in a sec. (corey's uploading something) the kids are still at it - they've been at it all day! Love legos. They're worth every cent!

Not a Creature Was Stirring

Except for Mom... aka Santa's helper. My better half and Lily came up from playing outside and went straight to bed. I think Corey was taking enjoying holding Lily while it lasted and she was calm. It's a rare occurrence.

Aren't they adorable?

I got the hidden big package of purchases from the car and the package Wayne and JeNeal mailed and went to work wrapping them up. We had a few red packaging sacks from purchases, for the rest I used grocery and shopping bags.

The presents under the tree on the table.

Stockings moved from the balcony onto the couch with the following instructions:

Ready so that when the kids wake up they know what they can touch and will hopefully leave us alone to sleep in for a bit. Instructions for the tree presents:

And for this one I was going to put "until your father says so" or "till Dad says you can" but then I thought better of it while my brain was still functioning, thinking that in the morning in our sleepy state and the kids alert state, they'd somehow come pester us and get Corey to say "So" or "You can" somehow and then go open them. I had to be very specific and clear for my young kids who are as clever as teenagers.

1:00 a.m. - done wrapping and setting out presents. Checking to make sure no one spied on me...

Looks like they're all still out cold. Good.

See you in the morning!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Reason for the Season

As a gift from kids to parents this year, me and my siblings are all sharing our favorite picture of the Savior and our feelings of Him and His divine mission.

I love this picture of the Savior. I also love the actor Tomas Kofod's portrayal of the Savior in the clips shown on these two videos - ONE and TWO. His eyes seem to be able to see through others to the very center.

I believe in Christ. I believe that He created the world. I believe that he lived, that he died, and that he rose on the third day. He lives now. I know that he will come again. It is a truth I know more then anything, not because of anything I've seen with my eyes, only what I feel in my heart. My faith in Him gives my life meaning. Everything I have, love and enjoy I know is a gift from Him and I wll use it to praise and glorify him - I can praise him by being a good mother, by being happy, by being kind. He has blessed me beyond measure. For that I will ever praise His name.

Lastly - another video HERE - mostly I love this song. It's a song that makes me travel back in time to my mission in Arizona. It also makes me cry. I love the Lord.

Okay, one more - track 3 from 1984 Mannheim Steamroller cd - get the cd if you don't have it. It's a Christmas Music must have. Just beautiful. Makes me cry. I love the lyrics. I love the music. I love the Savior, I hope to be more like him and pray that He will call me friend.

Bring a torch, Jeanette, Isabella
Bring a torch, to the cradle run!
It is Jesus, good folk of the village;
Christ is born and Mary's calling;
Ah! ah! beautiful is the Mother
Ah! ah! beautiful is her Son!

Hasten now, good folk of the village;
Hasten now the Christ Child to see.
You will find Him asleep in the manger;
Quietly come and whisper softly,
Hush! hush! Peacefully now He slumbers.
Hush! hush! Peacefully now He sleeps.

Softly to the little stable.
Softly for a moment come;
Look and see how charming is Jesus
How He is white, His cheeks are rosy!
Hush! hush! see how the Child is sleeping;
Hush! hush! see how He smiles in his dreams.

Christmas Eve

The paper stockings were hung in the balcony area with care

In hopes that presents and cookies soon would be there.

I did our shopping today, I love shopping sprees. We're all ready for the big day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Corey Games

Corey had a good laugh yesterday as he had a group of kids that didn't speak the same language team up and compete. He made them do all sorts of silly things that they wouldn't do under normal circumstances, but if you add in an element of competition, it's game on!

They took turns the Spanish teammate having the gringo do something or the gringo telling the latino to do something, such as:

- You have to teach her how to do Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny woops Johnny woops Johnny Johnny Johnny Johnny
- They have to walk backwards with their eyes closed around the playset and back
- Go Dip their left foot in the big pool
- They have to ride on your back with their arms out flying singing "You gotta friend in me!"
- You lie down and he has to do steamroller you

Corey was loving seeing the kids look silly and act silly and they did the silly things he told them.

I know I'm biased, but I just love his smile when he's really laughing hard.

I'm glad the kids are making friends with the Chilean kids here. :) Excited for them to make friends at school when it starts in March.

Freeway Rules

1. No Horse and Cart
2. No Bikes
3. No Tractors
4. No Handcarts

Don't know if all of those are really necessary for them to post, but who knows.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

Our Christmas goal for today was to get a tree. We found our perfect tree at Falabella for 70% off, making it a bargain the US would be proud of at $2 bucks.

Melodie got to work making the decorations.

Look at that little paper ornament present! Isn't she good?

Ethan wants me to make sure and say that he did the star.

Melodie also made the tree that is on our door.

Hooray! We're getting in the holiday spirit! Not a moment too soon.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

They're Dreaming of a Lego Christmas!

On Saturday, I took the kids to the Jumbo Mall in Las Condes. This mall is amazing. Huge. Jumbo is a store there, and it's jumbo huge. Before we got to the store, we happened upon this in the display window of another store at the mall...
Can you see the stuff in there? It's Legos galore. They've got the Taj Mahal, London Bridge, the Death Star, the walking AT-AT, the Space Shuttle...

I'd like to buy that one for my Dad and he and my kids could make it together. Anyway, lots of huge sets of Legos at this store. The kids were practically drooling. Or atleast they looked like all the kids staring in the window in the movie "A Christmas Story".
So instead of going to Jumbo for our errands, we spent 45 minutes in the Lego store so the kids could fantasize of receiving $2000 worth of legos on Christmas morning.
The Death Star - very cool, 24 minifigures. $800. Only costs $399 on, but I think Corey said they don't ship to Chile. So yeah, any Legos here are double what they cost in the US. Doh!
Still, a great selection. Lots and lots of Legos - took up a whole wall.
Joe and Ethan in awe.
They've got Lego City Corner. That's the one Mel requested in November as her payment for coming along to Chile. $140. $60 on The prices here are killing me slightly. It's about the same as Costa Rica, so feels normal. We are going to be loving it when we go back to the Promised Land of the blessed US of A.
Hyrum, looking at me with the face that all of my children will probably be giving me for the next 5 months as they talk about the Legos they want. Hyrum wants the set with Captain Rex. That one was only in the display window, so I didn't see the exact price for sure, but my guess is $200.

Ethan, dreaming of the big Atlantis set. $200 at the store, $100 on
"Look at that one! Wow! Look at that one! Mom, Mom! Look at that!!"
I want I want I want!!!

So my kids are dreaming of a Lego Christmas. We'll try to make it a bit of a reality, but I hope their expectations aren't way out of reach. We're going to try and keep their expectations really low.
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