Friday, December 19, 2008

The Ryan Dance

The Ryan Dance
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
See here for the original moves by Ryan himself.

Doing the Ryan dance

Doing the Ryan dance
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
I love my little twinner nephews. The last time they were down visiting from NYC, Ryan (the younger of the boys) came up with this closed-eyes dance, and it tickled my funny bone. Spencer picked it up as a tribute to his cousin. Ryan, Daniel, and Maddie...we miss you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

In case you were wondering...

We did celebrate Halloween...

And Chocolate Day (with the originator of the tradition, Gma Wride)...
('s freezing cold on Chocolate Day so the chocolates will set).
We also had a fabulous Thanksgiving - two, in fact. One with the Cummings clan (complete with apple turkey making)... 
and lots of pie-eating.
Plus a second Thanksgiving Dinner with ALL of Spencer and Emma's Wride cousins and clan (just missing Jorge Luis, and we DID miss you!!!). 


Next week, Emma will be 20 months old. That time has gone quickly. The poor little munchkin is getting two teeth in right now, but between moments where she is expressing her displeasure at the pain that accompanies that process, she sure is cute. I thought others might enjoy viewing a few of our Lovie's many faces.

Some things about Emma I never want to forget:
-She LOVES Boo (from Monsters, Inc.). She pulls out the Disney storybook every day, and says "Boo?" So, we turn through the pages saying, "Is Boo on this page?" to which she responds, "Noooo..." until we reach the Monsters, Inc. story and she exclaims, "Boo! Boo!"
-One day, when playing the above game, Emma pointed at Boo and then at her hair, saying "Boo, boo" until I got the idea that she wanted pigtails in her hair so she could look just like Boo (which she does).
-When Emma first saw Monsters, Inc. she pointed at Boo and said her own name, which sounds more like "Memma!" A little character confusion. So cute.
-She can sing a scale in tune and is awesome at matching pitches in general.
-She loves music and will sit mesmerized for the first 30-45 minutes of an orchestra concert. Pretty good for a toddler.
-She LOVES her baby doll and points out all real babies in grocery stores or wherever we happen to be. Last week, during a violin lesson, the mother of my student let Emma feed a sweet baby girl her bottle. Emma was enthralled.
-She loves to be outside and wants her coat anytime anyone is leaving so she can go too.
-She has had a shoe fetish since the day she could say the word and enjoys carrying a purse - or anything that has a strap - and strolling around in style.
-She loves Christmas trees (anything with Christmas lights is pronounced a "tree" by Emma).
-She looks forward to opening her chocolate advent calendar, but understands that she only gets one piece each day. I'm amazed she is okay with that b/c this girl LOVES chocolate. (That comes from me).
-She teases her Dad by puckering up big time and then pulling her kisses back at the last second but then gets jealous when I kiss him instead and comes back with a huge smackeroo for "Dada."
-She lights up with a huge smile when Spencer wakes up in the morning. These two are buddies.
-She is a champion snuggler, especially when she is not feeling well or just waking up.
-She sings along with any and every song and does an superb job with "Jingle Bells" in particular.
-She loves to give her big brother hugs and kisses - and do anything he is doing. Usually, that works out well, but they haven't yet figured out how to share the computer. (That comes from Adam).
-She LOVES books. If she is upset, 9 times out of 10, reading a book will cure her sorrow.
-She has a binkie and a bear that stay in her crib and are her best nap time/sleeping time friends.
-She carries her clothes to the dirty laundry basket and her diapers to the trash can. I think it's so funny, but she will throw a fit if I try to do it for her. We do a lot of washing hands around here.

Those are just a few of the many things we love about our Emma Marie. I sure love her, and since I don't scrapbook, gotta let her know somehow!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A little gem

I was just filling out our family's birthdates for an online form. The trend goes like this:
Adam - August
Marie - April
Spencer - April
Emma - April

It reminded me of a comment Spencer made last week. "Mommy, when Daddy dies and he lives again, can his birthday be in April?"

Looks like we have a little clarifying to do on the topic of resurrection. :0)

Monday, November 17, 2008


Sitting at lunch, eating PB sandwich with Dad, looking at a book about cars, Spencer remarks, "Dad, remember when we went visiting house teaching, what kind of car did we see?"

Visiting house teaching - translation: home teaching

I love that kid.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

In other news...

Aaron and Katy had their baby EARLY yesterday morning!!! Here's a little sneak peek 'til Katy is back to her blog.

Announcing the arrival of Reuben James Cummings!

Parents couldn't be prouder, and that baby couldn't be cuter.

A little news from DC...

The topic of today's post is: MEETING THE PRESIDENT!!!! That's right, folks. Mr. President himself. My brother Aaron has a way cool job where he works on the President's Speech Writing Committee. As a perk, he gets special access to the West Wing of the White House (he gives an amazing tour, by the way) and to el presidente himself! Last Wednesday, Aaron took the family along to get a photo and brief audience with President George W. Bush. Dad got pretty excited about the opportunity and flew the college kids from UT to join in the fun. We were only missing Melinda (and OH how we missed you, Lin), who was kept hostage by a choir director who did not want to lose her for their dress rehearsal.

As we waited to meet Mr. President, the anticipation grew. By the time the door to the oval office opened for us, I honestly was more excited than when I was a kid and it was my turn to see Santa. I caught a glimpse of President Bush from the back of the family line, where I stood with Jenny and Dan. We watched him greet each member of our family. He first shook Aaron's hand and then exclaimed, "Where's the mother?" (He had been briefed that there were 11 kids in this fam). The president then gave Mom a warm cheek-to-cheek hug. She was glowing. Two aides (probably Secret Service dudes) moved the couches in the oval office back so the photographer could fit our family in the photo. Then they told us to spread out a bit, which was a bit of a surprise. (We're used to cramming together to fit in a Sears Portrait Studio - habit, I guess). The President, looking at our group, exclaimed, "Well, if you're a fan of family values like I am, this is heaven!"

Mr. President was very warm and folksy. He took the time to shake hands and speak with each member of our family. We even got a "You betcha". Toward the end of our visit, he called Mom back into the oval office (she had exited to the Rose Garden) and made the following statement: "People ask me what it's like. I tell them some days are happy, others not so good, all of them are joyous." I've been thinking about that and how it can apply to pretty much every role from President to parent.

I got the sense that President Bush is a truly good man. He has a tough job, and I continue to pray for him and the rest of our leaders.

Here are a few fabulous photos from our day at the White House:

CJ - How random that you would see my sister in the airport on her way home!!! Thanks for the encouragement to write up this post. :0)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Looking at the world through rose-colored glasses...

My computer screen is pink. There is something wrong with our poor little Mac. It is older than any of our children and has performed well, so I suppose we cannot complain too much. For the record, looking at the world through a rose-colored computer screen...not all it's cracked up to be. I can't see links if they are merely of a different hue instead of underlined - that's kind of frustrating. There are all sorts of other issues. Strangely enough, red looks like it might be blue in my pink computer screen. There's my latest excuse for being absent from the blogosphere. My own pictures look weird, so I don't feel a strong inclination to post them. Who knows if they have red eye or not???

That said, we went TOTALLY red yesterday (everyone in the family in red coats) to attend the Palin rally. It was within walking distance from our house, and we were politically motivated enough to brave a little wind to see Sarah herself. It was great fun! Spencer and his buddy "the other Spencer" from our ward hung out in the double stroller, pausing from their play to shout "U-S-A" and wave their red pom-poms. Emma loved the music and was rocking out. I thought it was pretty funny to hear Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" as Palin's theme song when she came onstage. Adam found lots of people with which to engage in politically charged conversation. We all had a good time.

A few photos from our going RED.

Emma and me
Spencer and "the other Spencer" (their title for each other)
Adam and Spencer
Sarah Palin and "Tito the Builder" - VA's version of Joe the Plumber

Sunday, October 12, 2008

jellyfish from finding nemo

jellyfish from finding nemo
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Some of Spencer's art work. First time his drawings have a real face. =)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Need some input

Hi folks, this is Adam. I hope Marie doesn't mind too much that I hijack the blog to mix in some business.

Just need to decide on a look for TimePoke, a time utility, and on a blog theme for my company's blog and thought I'd get some input before going forward.

For the TimePoke design:

For the Cellar Labs blog theme:

If you wouldn't mind just adding your thoughts to this post, I'd love to hear them.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

July Roadtrip

I've tried twice before to upload these pictures, but blogger stalled on me. Here are a few photos of a VERY fun road trip up to see my college roomie, Katie, and her cute family in Rochester, NY.

On the way, we stopped at Sunset Ice Cream, a Wride family tradition and the inaugural visit for Spencer, Emma, and me. It was definitely worth the minor detour.
We went to the Hill Cumorah Pageant and took a moment to pose with some warriors from the cast.
Here is a cute photo of Annie, Spencer, and Cameron having a SPLASH PARTY in Katie's backyard.
We went to the most AMAZING Children's Museum in Rochester. Each area has a different theme: fairy tales, Berenstein Bears, Sesame Street. There is so much to explore there!
Spencer loved playing with both Annie and Cameron. Here he is sneaking a look at that cute girl. Annie and Spencer were being "mailmen" in the Clifford area, wearing their uniforms and delivering all of the mail to the appropriate puppy mailbox.
We had a BLAST up in Rochester, Katie! Thank you for all the good times and good food!

Monday, August 18, 2008

EFY Water Song

Time to upstage myself. We had a family party yesterday to celebrate my parents' 30th wedding anniversary, and at the party we figured out what hymn the tune for "Bip the Bee" came from (Hymn 144: Secret Prayer...knew that tune rattling around in my brain had come from somewhere good). We ALSO convinced my EFY Health Counselor brother Dan to record his VERY clever lyrics to the music of "Enchanted," encouraging EFY particpants to hydrate. And now for your viewing pleasure...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bip the Bee

This post is for our sweet little friend, Lucy. It wasn't too long ago that Spencer was absolutely terrified of bees too. They like to buzz around the swingset, and Spencer found them to be unwelcome visitors (in other words, screamed when he saw them). However, one day he presented a challenge to me while swinging. "Mommy, tell me a story about bip and bees." What came out was this little ditty. It is no great masterpiece, but it is just silly enough to have made bees our buddies.

And current solution to childhood fears and other angst? Music. It has proven to be a calming and motivating influence in our home. I am always making up songs about bath time, brushing teeth, washing hands...whatever seems to be a dilemma in our household. It keeps both the kids and me in a good mood. We hope you like this song too, Lucy.

Disclaimer: Spencer's outfit is of his own choosing, and Emma's face is covered with chocolate chip cookies. No shame in that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Are Mormons Christian?

I love this book.
I love how I feel when I read this book.
I love what I learn from this book.
And I am amazed when asked the question, "Are Mormons Christian?"

For my answer, I turn to page 100 of the Book of Mormon and review a favorite scripture.

"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins." (2 Nephi 25:26)

Are Mormons Christian? Absolutely. 100%, as demonstrated by page 100 of The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

I am grateful for the clarity of the words in the Book of Mormon and how they, along with the beautiful accounts in the Bible, help me learn more about my Savior.

For more thoughts on 100%, see my good friend Lori's words here.

Cellar Labs

Check here for an update on our years as basement dwellers and how that serves as inspiration to Adam.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

National Building Museum

My friend Janna took her boys to the National Building Museum and posted a few pictures of it on her blog. (Phew! Got that hyperlink to work, I believe). Ever since reading her post, I have wanted to go. We took the trek when my sis-in-law was down for a visit with her 3 kiddos, and it was the perfect museum for when you have 5 kids aged 4 and under. We had a blast!

The building itself is gorgeous. Here is the courtyard. Spencer and his cousin Maddie (best buds - Spencer was SO sad the day Maddie left) are posing and showing it off.

There were these giant K'NEX type things, which were great fun (and magnetic to boot).

Naturally, the grown-ups had about as much fun because we got to act like kids. Adam was in his element building with the foamy/rubbery giant LEGOS. (He was a legomaniac growing up).

Adam, Spencer, and Maddie built this tower just big enough for one.

Here is Spencer all decked out as a " 'struction guy".

And a picture of Daniel and Ryan helping Aunt Katie knock down some big building blocks.

Bowling Time

Yesterday, Spencer had about the best time of his life. We went with Adam's coworker and his girlfriend to a bowling alley. Spencer was AWESOME! His first frame, he got 8 pins down (without any help). On later attempts, his little 6 pound ball got stuck in the gutter a few times, so we moved up to an 11 pounder and one of those handy ramps that help youngsters bowl straight. He would lug the ball over to the ramp (quite comical, since it is a third of his weight), but he was insistent. He placed the ball at the top and then superhero-shoved it down the ramp and awaited the result.

It was so much fun that today in church, Spencer turned around and told an unsuspecting 14 year old boy all about it.

BIG News!!!

Tonight, we went over to a friend's house to have dinner, and their daughter Anna Sophia is our new hero. She is a month younger than Emma and, with the help of her two sisters Macy and Marley, demonstrated to our little Emma that it IS possible to walk without clutching onto a finger or furniture. Emma has been SO stable for some time, but would arch her back or sit down and sob if anyone tried to coax her into making a go of it alone. So long as she has a finger to hold onto, she could walk forever, but take that finger dice. (It's been compared by many to Dumbo's magic feather...remember how he "needed" it to fly?)

Enter the power of example. Anna Sophia walked quickly from sister to sister and back again, Emma observed the goings on, and this time when I put her up in the standing position and backed away, she tottered on over to my outstretched arms without hesitation. Here is a movie we took of her when we got back home and had her practice walking from Mommy to Daddy and back again. There's nothing better.

We're so proud of you, Lovie!!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008


We had a great Stake Conference this weekend. The focus of the adult session was Teaching the Gospel in our Homes. I am always impressed by the foresight, or shall we call it inspiration, of our Stake President. Here are a few things he said that stood out to me:
-Give children chores around the house; children devoid of responsibility fail to learn about serving others.
-Do not keep peace in the house by avoiding interaction with each other; the home is the greatest laboratory for learning how to resolve conflict.
-Our homes must be safe places for us as we stumble and fall.

It is on this last point I wish to comment further. Emma is learning to walk these days. I am delighted to note that Spencer, her elder and more experienced brother, wants to be involved in the process and help her along. Emma certainly has her share of "stumbles" and "falls" as she makes progress towards this next stage of her life; I want her AND my little Spencer to know that we are there to support and love them as they try new things and make their way through their own journeys in life.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Proof (movie)

Thank you, Auntie Celeste, for introducing Emma to the water. Spencer is not a HUGE fan of being TOO close to the water because the waves are a bit unpredictable, so I didn't think Emma would be so elated. (That's the risk of having more than one child - I tend to think one will react the same way as the other, but let's hear it for individuality!)

Watch Emma walk TOWARDS the water as each wave recedes. We have a beach babe on our hands!

Emma LOVES the beach!

Emma LOVES the beach!
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Here is today's photo update. This may be my blogging style for a bit. A picture a day.

Last year, Ems was just 6 weeks old for our beach vacation. This year, she was old enough to understand just how marvelous it is to put your toes in the sand. She LOVED walking around the beach and, to our surprise, even loved the chilly H2O. Video proof in the next post.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sandy Spencer

In past years, Spencer has experienced some hesitation about the sand. He LOVED the digging part, but did not like getting sand between his feet and his sandals. (Who does, really?) This year that phobia seems to have found a comfortable seat in Spencer's past...wouldn't you say?

5 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kid Do

I'm trying not to be a "wuss" dad. Here's someone I agree with. Get ready Spencer and Emma!

In case you don't have 10min, here's what he covers (if I have first-hand childhood experience with it):
Play with fire (check)
Own a Pocketknife (check)
Throw a spear (check)
Deconstruct appliances (check)
Break the DMCA (check... wait...)
Drive a car (definitely, ask me later)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Both Kids Looking

Rather than do a completely fluid, well-written post with sundry pictures showing our glorious time at OBX over this year's Memorial Day Cummings Reunion, I am taking the copout and using Flickr. Iphoto is not cooperating, and if I put it off any longer NOTHING will get written.

This little photo captures the best of our attempts to get Spencer and Emma looking and smiling at the same time. We settled for looking. Notice the shovel in Spencer's hand. We couldn't convince him to drop his "tools" for the photo shoot. Too much digging to be done with all that sand.

More to come...keep checking back!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Which Austen Girl Are You?

I found this online quiz through a friend's blog. (Thanks, Chelsea!) As much as I might wish I were the glamorous Emma Woodhouse or the sharp-witted Elizabeth Bennet, I am, quite predictably, Elinor Dashwood. It comes from being the eldest sister in a large family, I think.

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Monday, May 5, 2008

HAPPY Birthday girl Emma

HAPPY Birthday girl Emma
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Emma reached her one year mark on April 18th. We had a FABULOUS day, starting with making a cupcake-cake (in the shape of a flower). Emma loved licking the bowl (mmm...chocolate) and "helping" to frost the cupcakes. Then it was off to the library for some bum-scooting/crawling amongst the shelves, another favorite pastime for our lovie. After a good nap, all the family arrived for a BBQ and a birthday party. We sang "Happy Birthday" many times throughout the day, and each time Emma would get her big grin; she knew this was her day. After staring at her lit Tinkerbell candle for a while, Emma allowed big brother Spencer to help her blow it out. (Incidentally, now she has figured out how to blow candles out - just a little after the fact. It was the same with Spence. The milestone seems to occur just a year after the first birthday. Ah, well). Then it was time for presents. Emma was thrilled to receive Baby Einstein books, a new swimsuit (pink - the color of her first year of life when it comes to clothes...Mama was excited to have a girl), a Fisher Price phone (Emma LOVES to talk on the phone - cute now, by age out), a Disney t-shirt (also PINK!), bowls, a fork and spoon (for a girl who LOVES to feed herself), and a lion-shaped walker/bike combo. (If I haven't mentioned it before, Em enjoys roaring like a lion. Often that is the first sound she makes when she wakes up or when she first sees Spencer. Always ready to play!)

We had cake and ice cream, said goodbye to the family members who had to rush off to curtain call time for the Pickwick Players production of "Little "Women" and then took Ems out to the swing to finish her big day in her favorite spot. That's when we snapped this photo of one HAPPY birthday girl.

Emma - we love you! You bring such joy into our lives. You have the cutest crinkle-nosed smile, the sweetest temperament, the best hugs, the sweetest kisses, and such good snuggles. We are so proud of the sweetheart you are and the big girl you are becoming. It is a joy to be your parents. Every day, your Daddy and I look at each other in wonder and thank our Heavenly Father for our wonderful little ones. You are our sweet girl, lovie munchkin. Here's to many more wonderful years with our Emma Marie.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Conversation on the way home from church

Spencer announced on the way home from church today that he was going to sing the "Lamoni song."

"We're all dead...Soon we will be dead..." he began.

Adam and I quickly interjected the more upbeat lyrics of "We're alive...Don't you know that we're alive."

Thank you, "Liken the Scriptures" series. I'll never think of Lamoni's servants and their conversation with Ammon (about the perils of tending the king's flocks) the same way.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Little Women

Professor Bhaer proposes from Adam Wride on Vimeo.

Today was wonderful for so many reasons. My "little woman" Emma turned 1 today (more on that later). We had a fun and festive celebration with lots of family, then got the kids in their jammies and headed off to see "Little Women", a musical put on by a local theater company. Adam's sister and my brother were in the cast - and both put on spectacular performances. While I figure I need to get Laura's permission before I put video of her on my blog (she was a FABULOUS troll in one of the scenes...hard to explain unless you've seen the show), I did warn Dan ahead of time that I was going to blog tonight about the performance. Let's put aside the fact that "Little Women" is my all-time favorite book and forget the fact that I bawled all through the song Beth and Jo sing just before Beth dies (and all through the second act for that matter). I would have gone just to see my AMAZING little brother sing this song (see above video). If you only have a moment, skip ahead to 1:30 in the video - that's where Dan (as the professor) and" Jo" start to harmonize. It is - lovely! I was so proud to be Dan's sister and kept glancing up the aisle at my mom and dad, who were pleased as punch. We congratulated ourselves just to be related to him. It reminds me of when the girls in our high school chorus class (the teacher included) started to cry when Dan sang a solo because his tone was so pure, clear, beautiful!

Dan - I'm SO proud of you!

p.s. If you watch to the end of the video, you can see Dan fake a stage kiss. That's just good fun!

(written April 18, but the post wouldn't upload until this morning)

Monday, April 14, 2008

A week in Hawaii

Waimea Bay
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Adam and I just returned from a week-long trip to Hawaii - an early celebration of our 5 year anniversary (which is in June). Gotta go when the timeshare swap is available. :0) Thanks to Grammy and Grandma and all their helpers who took care of our kiddos while we were gone.

Hawaii is nothing short of amazing. It's midnight, so I'll not blog about all the wonderful times to be had on the island of Oahu, but check out our flickr pictures for a general idea. We LOVED it and cannot wait to go back.

HAPPY birthday boy (the movie)

HAPPY birthday boy (the movie)
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Have you ever seen a happier birthday boy?

Happy birthday to you (the movie)

Spencer is THREE years old! I can hardly believe it. The whole gang (both sides of the family) got together to watch him blow out the birthday candles. The fire engine cake made a reappearance this year by popular demand (Spencer was insistent when we tried suggesting something different from his cake last year). We go with what works. We did have Lightning McQueen plates and napkins (note the #95 on Spencer's bday hat, courtesy of Uncle Joel).

Here's a little video of all the action.

(posted by Marie via Adam's flickr account)

From bum scooting to crawling!

Emma crawling
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
Emma turns one on Friday, and in the last week she has decided to CRAWL! Her bum scooting is so funny to watch and has proved quite adequate a means of transportation, but now she's investigating all her options. We'll let you know when those first independent steps are taken. Right now she will walk if holding onto something and then lunge towards the couch for her last step or two.

In the meantime, she sure is figuring out how to communicate. She'll scoot over to the trash or dog food and wave her finger back and forth, saying "Doh Tuh" (for "don't touch"). Wonder who she's imitating there...
(posted by Marie via Adam's flickr account)

Friday, April 4, 2008

bad macaroni put to good use

bad macaroni put to good use
Originally uploaded by Adam W.
We had some (terrible) macaroni and cheese in our cupboards and an unsuspecting father cooked it up for his children. As you can tell, we have raised our children well. Spencer knew what to do.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Geeky birthday

When Marie married me she knew I was a bit of a geek. That has upsides and downsides. Hopefully she will forgive me this (though I think this will be fun). Tonight, at 7:15pm Eastern (5:15pm Utah, 4:15pm California/Pacific) you can join me and some family (at the link above) as we sing happy birthday to her and have her blow out some candles.

By the way, she doesn't know I'm doing this... (you knew that - there's no way she'd do this willingly with prior knowledge)

Hope you'll see us soon,

p.s. I'll turn it on a few minutes early ~7pm...

UPDATE: Also, this is a one way broadcast (unfortunately) so you don't need a webcam and we won't be able to hear you sing (or not sing).

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Valentine's Day

Grammy wanted to take her "sweethearts" out to lunch for Valentine's Day, so we met up with Gpa (now called "Papa" by Spencer") at Red Robin. Grammy had cards for all of us, and the envelopes were stuffed full of chocolate kissables. We felt so loved! Thanks, Grammy!

Emma was thrilled to open her first Valentine's card.

*Special note: We started the day off by opening a bag left by Adam's mom. Inside were CUTE shirts for both kids and other goodies. Both kiddos are sporting their new duds. Spencer's shirt reads "Little Man of the house" (SO perfect, since we call him "little man" and there are tools pictured on the shirt), and Emma's shirt read "BEE mine" with a little bumblebee).

Chocolate Face

To validate a friend's question about whether it is a common practice to doorbell ditch treats on Valentine's eve, I thought I would post this little clip. Spencer got a treat from his friend Avery through just such a method. (Yep, already getting goodies from the girls). Of course, her mom was raised in Utah, and this is the first I have ever heard of this tradition, so that still may be the point of origin. That said, check out Spencer's cheeks. This munchkin had a GOOD Valentine's Day.

Voracious Reader

My kiddos are not the fast movers when it comes to crawling. Spencer was a roller basically until he took his first steps (THEN he decided crawling was pretty fun and fast). Emma is a bum scooter - hall advisor friends will remember since Melanie's little Julianne employed this same tactic. However, when it comes to talking, the Wride kids are ultra-interested. Emma has her first real word (besides "mama" and "dada"). She says "buh" and will point to books. Amazingly, it is not just imitation (although we cajole her into it often enough). The other day, I came across her in the midst of a slough of books left from Spencer's earlier ventures. She was sitting in the middle pointing at each book and saying to herself, "buh...buh...buh." Of course, we think our children are geniuses, and this English major mama could not be prouder. Nevermind that Emma tries to eat the book at the end of this clip...

Prez Day at Massanutten

We joined my fam for a fabulous mini vacation over President's Day. We drove a few hours south to meet up with them at a timeshare. It was FREEZING after the first day, but what a blast. We went go-cart racing (wish I had pictures of when Adam sped by my little sister (age 10), swimming (daily), played arcade games (Mom and I tied for the air hockey championship since the puck refused to come out of the table for us to finish our tied game), and spent two hours sledding down a series of hill (thankfully, there is a moving walkway that takes you back to the top so it is all good fun). I tried water aerobics - a blast. Although I was the youngest person there (the next youngest lady being my mom), I am SO a fan of working out without sweating. I could get used to that. A surprisingly good workout too, since the water provides so much resistance.

Here are a few pictures of our time there. Spencer keeps talking about it and for the first few days just wanted to go back to "the condo". (Massanutten is a little harder to say).
Marie, Emma, and "Papa" bundled up against the cold

Spence checking out the arcade games

Emma the beach babe in her cute pink suit

Adam and Joel on their tubes, ready to conquer the 3-humped sledding hill
Adam and Spencer with skiers in the background

Marie and Emma - from this vantage point we could watch them make snow. Yes, Utahns, that is right. We have a little trouble in that department here in VA - particularly this year.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Master Negotiator

Spencer: Daddy, can you read me a story before bedtime?
Dad: Do you remember how I read you TWO stories at naptime? I will read you ONE story, and then it is time for bed because it is getting late.
Spencer: (Runs over to his bag of library books and looks over his shoulder to announce...) I'm going to choose one with a LOT of pages.

This leaves Marie chortling in the background.

LOVE snow days

I look forward to snow days as much now as I did when I was a kid in school. It is amazing what a gift that time becomes when things you have regularly scheduled are cancelled due to inclement weather. This morning, for example, we usually go to a stake institute class - and it was my week to bring a craft and watch the kids in the nursery. When I checked the computer and looked outside (yes, in that order) to see what was happening with the weather, I confirmed that the schools were closed, and since we follow the school schedule, that meant no scripture class. Don't get me wrong - I love going to the class and really like the kids who are in the nursery. But something about snow days feels like Christmas. And, I suppose I should clarify, we here in VA didn't get snow so much as ICE.

This photo was taken just before lunch, when it had started to melt. At 6, the whole neighborhood was a skating rink and each individual tree branch was enveloped and glistening. Poor Mack, the family dog, had a rough time making his routine outing in such conditions.

Snow days give me the leisure to do the things I can never seem to get around to on a normal day. Here's what I did with this morning's gift of time:
-Slept in
-Pilates (ask me the last time I did that...)
-Organized the DVDs
-Organized the CDs (and found "The Secret Garden," which is a soundtrack I LOVE and have been missing for several years - it was hanging out with "Les Mis")
-Looked for a missing DVD from the library (to no avail)
-Pulled up all the couch cushions and rotated them
-Vacuumed under the couch cushions (last time I did that...never in the year and a half we've had these couches, actually)
-Vacuumed the floor (might as well while I have it out)
-Did the dishes (twice)

The rest of the day is back to routine (although Spence and I are going to make cookies after naps in celebration of the snow day), but tonight's String Workshop is also cancelled, so I plan to challenge anyone who is interested to a game of "Ticket to Ride." Maybe we can give Laura, who is a CHAMPION at this game a run for her money.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

President and Sister Hinckley together again

I thought this video was very sweet. The first picture shown got me crying right off. I love to think of the reunion President and Sister Hinckley must have had and am grateful for eternal families.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bum Scooter

Clever Kiddos

First off, the cutest expression EVER was captured during bath time the other day. I'm sure our children will be thrilled when, later in life, they discover that some of their bath pictures have been posted on the world wide web. For now, this is too cute to pass on. Emma is the girl of a thousand faces. What a cute little sneaker!

Next, we have a sweet moment with our baby girl. You would never know that when this picture was taken we were just about to rush out the door for church; Emma has been a very calm baby girl with a sweet temperament and has grown accustomed to the joyful noise and at times quick pace that comes with being in a family.

Our Spencer bubs (who - by the way - is NOT allowed to turn three this year since I'm not ready for him to grow up) is an inventor of games. Today's idea was to have a "ship" (laundry basket) FULL of toys for Emma to sit in. Spencer climbed in to keep her company, and she LOVED it. I had little luck catching the smiles that this game inspired since my camera battery was dying...but you get the idea.

For a time, the kiddos were in separate "ships", but Spencer opted to rejoin his sister in the end. They like to be together. In fact, when Emma first sees Spencer in the morning, she starts jumping up and down with excitement. These two are buddies.