Saturday, May 28, 2011

Our Beautiful Home

We are currently living in the most wonderful home that is perfect for us, in the most beautiful location in Utah. Seriously, it's just perfect. Not a thing I can think of that I'd change in the home, but if I could I'd give it's current homemaker a gift of knowing interior design, I really need style help. We're starting with a clear canvas, and I'll go slow, and maybe if I watch a little HGTV, I can make it as lovely as it's surroundings (or Jersh? You or Jared available to come give a consultation?)

So, here is our lovely springtime view of the mountains from the front porch and kid's windows:

It's been a crazy spring, although we haven't experienced most of it. There is still a ton of snow on top of the mountains even though it's almost June! It's very pretty though.

Here is our front yard where Wesley and Abi like to play "Indiana Jones and Cinderella"

fun rocks for climbing and jumping off of - not too high, perfect for creative little minds. That white fence on the right borders on a tree farm.

Here are my boys home from Cub Scouts, you can see the unfinished dead end of the street and the trees that are our lovely neighbors - with it being a dead end there is absolutely no traffic. Nice to not worry about the kids going outside and not hearing it - definitely a major difference from what we experienced in our city apartment in Santiago. It's like you can relax here or something! I love to hear the wind blowing in the trees! And we have so much shade, and it's so pretty during the day, and at night time it's so dark and quiet and still, it seems like we're up in the mountains. We even have a family of squirrels that live in the back yard - we've seen 5 of them, a really big one and 4 average sized ones, maybe a mom and her kids? We've tried to feed them, but they run and hide. I might need to buy binoculars so we can watch them more closely from the kitchen.

My friend Monica was living here before us, and we'd exercise together in the mornings. After our workout and visit, I'd walk home and look up at the mountains and the trees and just sigh and fall in love, this is a little corner of heaven, and now it's my family's little corner of heaven! I feel so lucky and blessed and hope I always am full of gratitude to God for giving us this perfect home and area, I just love it! You know it wouldn't have worked out timing wise if we hadn't done the Chile thing, so I'm really grateful that Corey had that opportunity and that I was willing to go along ;) it was a great experience and I feel this home is my reward for being a supportive wife and doing it with him. It was totally worth it, a win-win opportunity. So happy to be back in Utah and in this lovely home! Come by for a visit anytime! Hopefully we'll have a couch for ya to sit on. ;)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Was I Thinking?

Well, I'm kicking myself and scolding the Tiffanie of September 2010 for her lousy packing job. Cause guess what, I FOUND MY BLENDER!!! I'm glad that I had a goal today to go through the girl's clothes that were all over the bed in the spare room, cause I did it, and when I was done with that I thought I'd really finish up with the unpacking and sort through the last bin of boy clothes. At least I thought it was boy clothes. As I started to go through it, I found some of Corey's clothes. "Why are Corey's clothes in this bin of boy clothes" I thought to myself. Then I found more girl clothes and yelled to Mel to come back in, I thought we were done going through girl stuff but I just found more! I threw those on the floor by the door - too many clothes! I continued to grab boy items and throw them on the bed in their proper pile - 5T, 6, 7, 8, 8-10... when lo and behold, I saw a plastic bag around a black blender lid.

"MY BLENDER!!!!" I screamed to the house! Then I pause for a moment of silence as I wait for Joe to come back with my camera, for this is a grand moment as I think and say to myself "WHAT THE HECK IS MY BLENDER DOING IN THIS BIN?!?!?!? THIS BIN IS NOT EVEN LABELED!!" And I look around it on all sides, nothing.

So I found the base of the blender, dig a little more, yay!

There's the pitcher too, and I keep saying to myself "What was I thinking? Why in the world is my blender in this bin of clothes?!" Very poor job on the packing there. Maybe I was just running fumes? I guess I thought I would remember? Maybe I would have if we had returned in December like the Tiffanie of September 2010 thought we would be doing, rather than May. I feel like such an idiot! Ethan dug around some with me and found more missing items at the very bottom of the bin, all the measuring cups and spatulas:

I have no idea what I was thinking throwing them in an unmarked bin of clothes. I found some of my clothes in there too - so everyone had some clothing in there, so trying to piece this together my best guess right now is that these were the clothes we were all wearing as I packed our Costa Rica clothes in luggage, so when it was time to go, I did a last load of laundry and threw them all in here? So dumb. Next time, label the bins Tiffanie, EVERY bin! Why would I not label this one? Cause I had packed up the permanent marker and tape? Maybe, I can't remember anything about last fall. I'm very grateful that I didn't loose it, and pretty exciting that I still have mystery and drama in my life back here in the states. :)

So ~Yay! Chocolate protein shake for breakfast tomorrow, I might even add the spinach. Now I'm off to go freeze some bananas! Woo-hoo!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Missing Blender and Motherhood

My blender is lost. I still have hopes we will find it, but don't have any idea where it could be. I do know that there is a box of kitchen stuff out there somewhere that was stolen from storage or misplaced by myself or accidentally donated or did I loan it out to someone and don't remember? The blender is missing, which is the big one I'm sad about, and the rest of the stuff I've discovered is missing is replaceable - a toaster, a set of white Sterlite bowls (realized that was missing when I made a salad on Sunday), my measuring cups, big metal mixing spoons and spatulas. The storage unit where all our stuff we kept was looked through a second and third time, not there. I'm going to check at my neighbor's where she's still storing all my scrapbooks, but I don't think I put it there. Sigh.

What else is going on here? Not much. Monday my goal was to have the side room all cleared out and all boxes unpacked. Did that. Now my goal is to sort through and donate lots of the girl clothes that are in piles upstairs. Didn't do that yet. I did make dinner again tonight, and planned it out several hours before hand, thank you! Yay! I recently listened to this episode of Mormon Channel. I just love Julie Beck. In my blog surfing I also came across these two talks by Sister Beck - One from BYU's Women's Conference last year, and the other from a Seminary and Institute broadcast in 2009. It's kinda hit me lately, or maybe while we were still in Chile and were soon to come home, I thought about what I want my family life and schedule and home to be like. Then after we got home I was visiting with my parent's and read this article, "What's Your Calling In Life", at their house, along with a copy of a newspaper article that was on their fridge about loving your home and housework (Not this article, but close - basically along these lines, and I'm going to order this book!) Reminded me of this that Stephanie Nielsen said. When I read that from Nienie I just sighed cause that's exactly how I feel, on the days that I let myself focus on the house and kids and don't let myself get so busy with the non-essentials.

So all those things have been stewing around in my head lately, and I'm thinking that I have finally discovered my mission: My mission is motherhood! Obviously, I've already been doing it for a while, but always been thinking it was a temporary thing I had to do right now, mostly mundane work to be endured with joyful moments sprinkled here and there, but now, it's like a lightbulb has gone on, or is being screwed in and tinkered with, and it's making my mind and life clear and happy - you know what? I like being a mother and I like to clean my house! Sure it's sometimes a big mess, but that's usually cause I've pushed it aside as a non-essential, but it's not! These are is the things that really makes me in such a good mood - The days that I get up, exercise, and clean the house are wonderful days that I feel really great and in a good and patient mood. I want to be a homemaker! I don't know, it's kinda been a revelation to me for some reason. And it might be kinda hard to be a homemaker when you're renting or traveling and spending months at a time on international soil, but I was so much less distracted there that I think I did a pretty good job there. Like I said, when I was in Chile and thinking about coming back and what our life and schedule would be like, I was worried about being sucked in to the busy-ness of it all. A friend from the US in Costa Rica said it all better than I could on her blog - so there's another link - 8 links! Thus are my jumbled thoughts these past few weeks, hoping to get them processed in my head and working in my life soon!

And hope I find my blender!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Random Junk!

Still unpacking, and I haven't found my blender yet and I'm getting irritated about it. We're down to the last few boxes and they aren't labled "Blender" and I'm pretty sure, since it's my favorite little counter top machine in the world, that I would have written "BLENDER!!!" or "I LOVE MY K-TEC!!!" in bold with pretty hearts around it cause I love it and don't want to live without it. Anyone know where it is? Did I lend it out to someone to share the joy? Think! Think, Tiffanie!

I've made a list of other MIA items, hopefully things will come together soon. I do enjoy unpacking more than packing. I laugh that I keep finding mystery boxes labled like this:

Makes me think I got to de-junk more. I've already donated 3 garbage bags and a box of things to the DI. Hope to get more and only have things in the house that give me joy when I look at them and don't drain my energy. No more junk!

Best Apple Around

I just wanted to share my 2 cents here and give you a delicious apple to look for next time at the store in case you haven't tried them before: Pink Lady apples (aka Cripps Pink) are the most delicious apples around, and the prettiest! They are always such a bright and shiny pink and yellow, they taste crisp and tart, which I love - love sour fruits. Go and buy some today! Last night I went shopping for the first time since we've been back and I saw these and yay! Pink Lady Apples! To quote my children as we've been unpacking "I remember these!!!" I didn't see all the exotic tropical fruits at the store, but have enjoyed finding the old familiar stand-by's again ~ Nice to be home. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Family Dinner with Macadamia Fun

Yesterday we had our very first sit down dinner at our folding banquet table - we sold our dining table on craigslist when we moved to Costa Rica last year. But hooray for me for making dinner! Woo-hoo! But I have a long way to go. I want to be a good cook and to have lovely looking dinners for my family and a nicely decorated table, but it's never seemed to all come together, even when we weren't moving or packing up. It didn't tonight - we did it, but it wasn't domestically pretty and or an exotic cuisine, but someday. Once I finish all the other stuff on my too long to-do list, right? As for now, the kids are happy with mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets, so we'll start with that and work our way up.

I also received a package yesterday from Cutter - we found each other's blogs through BodyRockTV. After she saw our sad excuse for lunch sacks in Chile, she sweetly offered to share her sewing and creative talents with us and send us some lunch bags she makes - Cutter, thank you so much, you are the cutest!

Ketchup faced Abi holding her pink and yellow lunch sack - she held it up but put it down as the camera flashed...

The kids love the lunch sacks, although Melodie's been walking around with it as her purse today and Ethan took his with him camping tonight - it's been raining the past 9 days but did clear up this afternoon, I hope they don't get rained on!

Anyway, in each sack was a can of Hawaiian macadamia nuts or Hawaiian tropical jam or some other island treat. I am grateful that she didn't send more than one can of the chocolate and toffee covered macademias, cause I am ashamed to say I ate the whole thing of 4 servings at over 200 calories each (oh, the lack of self control I have, but they were so tasty!) in less than an hour and would have probably eaten another can by myself had there had been another. Yes, my tongue loves chocolates and thus why I've gained 20 lbs the past year. Well, I guess the pregnancy and crazy hormones might also be to blame a little for that. :)

So, and here I'm finally getting to my story to share - there was a can of Hot Mustard Wasabi Macadamia. I ate two for some variety as I work my way down to the bottom on the chocolate covered nuts can, then I thought it would be fun to save them and share with the kids and see their reaction... then came dinner time. As they dined on mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, and Mickey Mouse chicken nuggets (from Costco! such a big bag!!) I put out a little bowl of the nuts on the table and shared with them where they came from and the sweet package we received from a friendly stranger, with the invitation "Who's brave enough to try one?" Dad went first, and while he did chew it, he didn't swallow. Corey's 2 cents "Those nuts have no redeeming qualities."

Of course the kids interest was piqued after seeing their father squirm. Who's brave? Ethan and Melodie licked a nut and freaked out laughing and screaming, which made Wesley and Abi laugh at this game. Wesley volunteered "I'll try one!" and he didn't lick, he bit it and in an instant was freaking out. We helped him to the sink to spit it out and gave him some milk.

Look at those sad little eyes, "I don't want to eat those again, Mom."

Abi wanted to try one and took a bite and then she freaked out, all the older siblings were laughing, Corey was laughing, and I was trying to mend the damage done to my innocent toddlers from this experiment I started. I still wanted the older kids to try one. The kids would trick each other and us by eating a honey glazed nut pretending it was a wasabi, then fake freaking out. Melodie finally did really try one, and I got a good picture of her going for a glass of water for some relief.

Pretty funny stuff, we had a fun family dinner laughing and trying something new, thanks again Cutter! The fine dining will come someday, but as for now, we're pretty good and fun and crazy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hello Chloe!

The kids had talked about this day for many months - and the day finally arrived on May 8th. After church was over, we went over to see our puppy named Chloe, who is now a big dog named Nikita.

She loves attention and is always excited to have visitors - we gave her lots of love and she made us feel loved and missed too.

That's Chloe getting a hug from Abi, and Joe is petting Ruby, Chloe's Best Friend Forever

Chloe didn't lick Abi as much as Abi thought was appropriate for such a joyous reunion as this, and went over to the car to sulk. I thought she looked so cute crying with her little hands around her knees, it's okay Abi! Chloe loves you, we promise. I think Abi was also sad that she couldn't pick Chloe up and cradle her like a baby. I think a very small dog or a rabbit might be good for this little blossoming mother.

Abi continued her sulking at the car and wouldn't come over for the official reunion photo, so she's not in this shot:

But we took one more picture after she was over her pout.

You're a good dog, Chloe, we love you and are excited to be neighbors with you! We are sorry we had to leave you, but are glad you have the Nelson's and Grandma Ruby, she was there for you during the whole transition when we left... you two girls need each other. Once it stops raining here we'll try to come over more and take you on walks and such, okay? :)

Bye Chloe!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sleepovers at Grandma's

We stayed with Corey's parent's after we arrived and all had a fun time playing with cousins, board games, legos, and watching movies.

Alexis and Abi in their matching pink frilly skirts out picking flowers in the backyard.

Hyrum's big pay day - Hogwarts Castle was his bribe/reward for going to school in Chile (last video on this post.) You did great, buddy!

Corey and I slept in the bedroom downstairs, and the kids were all set up with a pull out mattress on the couch and two air mattresses. Here's what they looked like at night time - reminded me a little of Chile :)

I wonder what the kids will think when they each have their own bed! We've moved into our own house now and are in process of getting things set up - the boys and Mel have their beds put together, but Lily and Abi are still on the floor with sleeping bags. But it's all good.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Updated with Pictures

These past posts are now updated with more detail and information and pictures:

Last Day of Church in Chile


The Adventure Continues: the day I was supposed to leave Chile but we were held back by the PDI

Moved In with Sick Kids

We are officially moved in - most everything is in the house or in the garage, and most of it is still in boxes. Except the Legos, boy were the kids excited to see all their Legos. They got right to work, and I'm grateful they've all been busy and entertained for the past 72 hours. I love Legos!

Except for Lily and Abi. They've needed their mother and father and have been very clingy, cause they just feel rotten. We had a terrible night last night - Abi and Lily are really miserably sick. Lily's been looking and acting like this

I'm taking the two little girls to the pediatrician in a half hour, along with the middle 3 boys that I kept home cause they don't sound so good either. Coughs mostly from them, Abi woke me up at 4 a.m. saying she needed a bandaid for her ear - she's been really congested so I think she's got an ear infection. Lily is just miserable. At 6 a.m. I decided to take them down for an unhealthy breakfast, hoping the marshmallow cereal would tempt them enough to make them put it in their mouths and stop their crying that had been going on for 2 hours.

Didn't work. Abi was so exhausted she went to sleep again their at the counter, after she put on a coat cause her fever made her cold. And Lily's screaming brought her father to her rescue again and he took her upstairs and she fell asleep with him for a few hours.

Now I'm off to the doc, and hopefully some antibiotics will make these kiddos feel much better by evening.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Hello Beautiful Utah and Beautiful Spring

Well, we are all back in the US and alive and whew, the fun just hasn't stopped - spring is in the air - the weather was beautiful and perfect for my sister's wedding yesterday. It was a great day and now it's Mother's Day and we're home from church and I have a few moments to blog - I don't think I'll be able to catch up with the last days of Chile, but I will try in a few weeks after I have a home and a computer to upload them all onto. Here's a few pictures of our weekend though that I am leeching off my sisters:
We arrived on Thursday and had a little party for all the Hibbert siblings so Beka could see us before the busy wedding day cause after that she was off on her honeymoon and wouldn't have time to visit before the Indiana Hibberts all headed out. So Thursday we had a little party at Noah's - I took some pictures, but for now I'll refer you to Jerusha's blog and her and Patrice's facebook albums to see those. We're thankful to the Bride and Groom, who gave us a really good excuse to come home a little early from our world travels. We decided to take family pictures while we waited for the bride and groom to emerge from the temple - Here's Corey and I with our crew

Almost all the grandkids in front of the Jordan River Temple's fountain - I loved this pictures cause you can see the beautiful Wasatch mountains - Look at those beautiful snow covered creations, I love Utah and the Salt Lake Valley - absolutely wonderful to be home.
Our "Let's go tallest to shortest photo" (who are we kidding - we're all short, except Grant.
Mom and Dad with all 24 of their grandkids! Wow!
Corey dancing with the kids as we tried to keep them entertained until the dinner party started.
My pretty Lily
Dinner done, everyone's ready to dance!
Ethan caught the garter belt! (He's so excited that he's getting married next!)
We had a great time - so happy we made it home to share in the memories!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Departure Take 2

So, after being denied passage by the Chilean PDI, we got our luggage again and took the kids to Gabriel and Angela's house where Gabriel made them pancakes and they were eating and watching Madagascar 2 at midnight. Corey worked his magic on Skype with Delta and got me and my crew tickets for the next day, same flight, same time. While Corey did that, I rummaged through a bag of stuff that we hadn't packed but in a rush had just thrown in a garbage sack. Thankfully I found all the room keys for the apartment - they had been in Corey's junk drawer of misc. items. (Each bedroom had it's own key, even though we never used them cause the doors didn't close cause the door frames had been misaligned slightly by the earthquake in 2010.) So with all the keys in hand, Corey and I headed back to Las Condes to sleep in our apartment again with the owner who slept in the kids room, with plans to finish packing and to go to the Notary in the morning. We went right to bed and were asleep by 1:30 a.m.

Next morning, we got up around 8:00. I loaded up then pushed the apartment shopping cart down the street as I took the left over groceries and random toys to donate to the church nursery over to some friends. Corey and I finished looking under beds and in drawers and we left while the owner was still in bed, but I don't think she was sleeping, maybe just wanted us to leave. I felt bad cause I hadn't finished cleaning and the master bathroom was pretty disgusting with all the dirty magic erasers I had used as I worked my way back through the apartment. When we got there the bathroom was all cleaned, so I felt bad she had seen it like that and hope she didn't think we were totally terrible tenants. And if she does, oh well, it's over now. Off to the Notary!

We walked to the Notary, since there are Notary offices everywhere - it's quite the business racket down here. You have to have a law degree to be a Notary. There were lots of people there. Corey had some great comments as we waited which made me laugh, I'll write them when I find the paper I wrote them all on. We were a little annoyed that we had to jump through this hoop to go to our home country, but were also humored by it. We had a fun morning laughing at the whole situation.

Here was another situation - in Chile, you have to go cancel your internet and tv cable in person, so we had another errand to run after the Notary, it was almost 10:00, Corey's plane left at 1:10, we still had to drive to Los Cerrillos to get the boys that were flying out with him - hurry hurry! We go to Parque Arauco so he can run in and pay the bill. I stayed in the car to write down some of the cars info so we could pay the tolls we've been collecting - we had only recently figured out that the occasional beeping sound in the car when we were on the freeway was not any warning from the car to go in for a check up, but happened whenever we passed under an automatic toll booth that somehow scanned us like a UPC code. The mystery beeping is solved! And that you can pay that one online. So as I was waiting in the car, there was a tap at my window. Paula, our friend who had babysat all the kids after school yesterday and who we had said adieu to at that time, was looking at me with confusion in her face - "Either you are Tiffanie or you are her twin sister!" It's me. I told her how they didn't let me on the plane, she said her sister has trouble every time she flies cause her sister is black haired Chilean but her son is very fair skinned and light haired, they always giver her a hard time. Oh the joys of regulations. So we laughed and said goodbye again. She has a sister that lives in Utah and is coming to visit in June, so as we said bye she said "See you soon! But not here!... There!"

Corey came back to the car, we tried to leave, but our 15 minutes in the parking lot required payment, so we had to back up and go pay at their little parking pay machines, Corey came running back to the car. Okay, now can we go, Chile? Please?

We drove to Angela's house, and couldn't find it again, Gabriel came and found us and we followed him to his house -

Corey and the kids each grabbed their backpack, one small carry on suitcase to get them by during their one night in Costa Rica, and Corey's saxophone, then they were off to the airport. And most important: Do you have your notarized letter? Yes. With no luggage to check we hoped that would help them make it to the gate on time.

At the airport they scolded Corey for not being their 3 hours early. They had started boarding the plane at 11 for some reason. He called me and said he made it past the PDI okay to give me hope for my turn tonight. Good news! So he was off.

I stayed at Angela's and the kids watched movie after movie while I went through all of our too much stuff and gave a lot of it to Angela to use or pass along to others as she pleased - our DVD player, CD player, lots of clothes, an infant car seat, lots of school books, and miraculously after several hours of work, I had widdled things down to 8 checked bags, two small carry on suitcases, and 3 back packs and my bag with all my important documents: passports and don't loose the notarized letter!!!

The missionaries stopped by while we were there, one from Utah and the other from New Mexico (but to save explaining it everytime to Chileans who don't know where New Mexico is, he just says Texas) - the Elder from New Mexico had just received a package from the US and shared his peanut butter cups with the kids -

They are Joseph's favorite and they don't sell them here. (You can find Snickers, MnM's, Twix, and a few other US candies.) It gave us all hope that this land of the USA does indeed exist and yes, we can, we will make it there to the promised land!

I loaded up the luggage - can you believe it all fit!!! 6 bins, a big duffle bag, a big suitcase, two small suitcases, 3 backpacks and my bag, a stroller, a carseat, 4 kids and two adults - gonna make it!
The kids jumped on the mattresses outside while Angela and I loaded up the car with our 3D puzzle.

Took a picture with Angela's girls - they are angels and were so cute with Lily and Abi during the day (since we kept them up late they stayed home from school)

Lily doesn't want to go? She was tired. Hopefully she'll sleep well on the flight - 9 hours 45 min to Atlanta, I can do this!

We left around 6 to give ourselves plenty of time. Joe held Lily on his lap, Mel held Abi, the four of them scrunched into one seat, hope the police don't stop us!

With three carts we loaded the luggage again for take 2 of our attempt to depart. Joe pushed a cart, Mel pushed a car with Abi riding on top, Angela took a cart, and I pushed Lily. Good system we got going, gonna make it!

Checking in the baggage - Can you see Abi? She's there in the background, look above Lily's head - Abi is laying on the floor with her hands behind her head, like she's out on the grass gazing up at the clouds, pretty funny. Our baggage was checked by the same lady who helped us yesterday, luckily I had an infant pass for Lily this time thanks to our run yesterday. Ok, here we go to the PDI, notarized letter in hand. The lady told me to go to the office, I gave her a slightly panicked look, she said not to worry, something something I didn't understand, so I go over there and the officer takes my notarized letter and the kids ID cards to verifiy that in face the said man Corey Wride is indeed the biological father of said children. Corey didn't have to do this step, don't know why I did, but after a 20 minute wait we were through and gave a big hug to Angela for all her help - we love you!

We made it onto the plane! It was a nice big plane - 7 seats across. I had an empty seats besides me, so Lily and I had space and she was able to sleep there, it was very nice. US, here we come!!! We're gonna make it! Yay!!!
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