Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Unlocking the magic never tasted so good...

Dinner the other night was such a mess, we decided to take it one step further, and Cooper had his first "Golden Oreo."


Friday, December 26, 2008

And To All A Good Night

Merry Christmas!

I have never experienced winter before like I have in the past week. It has been amazing. After a few feet of snow in one day, we have seen consistent snow fall for the past week with temperatures usually in the teens or lower. Special thanks to Matt and Dad for shoveling out the Jetta for us today, I'd forgotten what it looked like. Here are Tim and Steven fulfilling a dare from Tim to stand outside in the cold. This was when Tim was enjoying the snow, as opposed to the next day when he accused us of keeping him prisoner in our house because we wouldn't drive him anywhere.

On Christmas Eve Steven decided he wanted to try his hand at the culinary arts and make his first turkey. He did amazingly well, and everyone came over to share the fruits.

We had a fantastic Christmas day, really low key. We had to wake Cooper up to open his presents, since we were expected at my parents to open presents there. I thought I had the schedule all figured out until Tim started texting me an hour and a half ahead of schedule. So, Cooper woke up very early for his first Christmas morning.

Jackie, thank you so much for Cooper's blocks! He loves them so much already. Love you!

We headed over and opened presents, and we had a blast.

Thank you Mom for Cooper's new toy, he loves it! Since he has come home he's used it more for music and dancing then a walking tool...

I learned this Christmas that gifts are all different, and that they usually aren't the ones that are wrapped or expected. Cooper ended up getting the best Christmas present of all. Tomorrow he's going to get two big brothers and a very fun Uncle. We are so excited to get to have Matt, Kaden, and Mason here with us for a while. How did Cooper score that one?

We hope that every one's Christmas was as happy as ours.

I'm ready for my long winters nap.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

"Spiritual Olympics"

We had such a fun opportunity the other morning to attend the Special Olympic Fundraiser Breakfast. (I believe it was called "The Breakfast of Champions") It was so fun. I don't know why no one ever thought of it before, but I think Tim is going to get involved. After the breakfast we got into the car with Tim, and he told us he was really excited to start with the "Spiritual Olympics."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time out, Steven style.

No children suffered longterm harm in the taking of this photo.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Stromboli Sunday

We've felt a bit guilty whining about Cooper being a grump lately since we discovered that not two but four teeth are coming in on top.
We apologize.

While the Davis boys were here, Mason asked Steven if we had Guitar Hero. During the discussion it came out that Mason wanted to try to play the guitar. So, Steven took the boys upstairs, and Mason played the guitar! The best part by far was when Mason told Mom to go get Grandpa to hear him play, and when Dad came upstairs Mason said, "Videotape me Grandpa!" Guess they know what Grandpa's good for!

We've been having so much fun with Trooper lately. When everyone was over, he of course broke almost every rule, but he was pretty good nonetheless. He managed to take bows, candy canes, and ornaments off the tree, sit on people, and wrestle with little boys. He's the best guy.

After everyone left, Steven and I were watching America's Funniest Home Videos when I noticed that Trooper had gotten a little heavy on my legs. Luckily I had my camera to capture that he had fallen asleep sitting up. Poor guy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Cookies

They're done!
Yeah right.
Okay people, spill.
I have been reading so many blogs lately where people have been making cute sugar cookies. How does that happen?
I attempted today, even called one of my most successful baking sisters for recipes/instructions.
Disaster! So, if you live near us, are related to us, or think you are friends with us, you were meant to get a plate. Alas, you will not recieve one.
I can make some good food, but why does it always look recycled?

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Really cold. Right now my computer is telling me that it's about 19 degrees outside. I get so excited when the weather people start to tell us that big weather is coming, and nothing disappoints me more then waking up multiple times in the night and seeing nothing new.
We've been told the last week that we were getting a huge blizzard this weekend, and we got a little snow, but major cold. Cooper and I were so excited when it started snowing....

Cooper and I braved the cold and took off to Kaden and Mason's basketball games today. Mason's games are fun because it's like watching a continual America's Funniest Home Videos. Most importantly, the parents still accepted that it was funny and not the NBA finals.

Cooper did pretty well, except for the quick throw-up on Grandma. She handled it like a champ, but sadly it was so cold that when she came outside, where she had cleaned up her pants froze.

Way to go Grandma!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Is It Cold In Here?

Lately one of our family goals has been to trim our family budget so that we can improve our food storage/saving/debt situations. Fun, I know. So, when looking at the budget as a family Steve saw our utility bill and was completely shocked. I explained that the bill wasn't extra high, that's just what we pay to heat our house in the wintertime. A few days later I read an article teaching that you can save a lot of money each month in the winter if you lower your thermostat by 5 degrees and instead choose to bundle up a little bit more.
The more I thought about it, the more valid it seemed. I remember lots of times growing up using a blanket as a warmth cape, or always having socks and slippers on, sweatshirts, etc. So, we decided to try it. We've been going strong for about a month now, and it's honestly not so bad. There have been a few moments when I've experienced something and thought, okay...too cold.
For example, we are just starting to introduce sippy cups to Cooper at meals.(The ones that change color when they're cold) Coop's sippy cup had been sitting on the table while I prepared dinner and we waited for Steve to come home. When I finally got around to picking his cup up, my hands were so cold that it changed the cups color. Whoops.
I usually have some butter at room temperature for toasted breads, and yesterday I tried to spread some on my toast only to have my knife rebound off the frozen solid block of butter.
I've noticed lately that Trooper is not panting and laying on the kitchen floor like he used to in our warm house, he's laying on my feet and snuggling up to the couch. *I appreciate this*
I'm so proud of us. We are not torturing ourselves, or the baby. By some miracle his room is some sort of sauna, always way too warm for me. But, it's been really fun to make a choice and stand by it. Plus, I think the pioneers would agree that 5 degrees less in the winter...not so bad.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why are there some lessons in life that we have to learn over and over again?

I have one lesson in particular that I relearn monthly, daily, even hourly.

The less selfish I am, the happier I am.

Just give in, make someone else happy. It's worth it.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Project Day

Why does it seem like all the fun stuff happens around Christmas? There is so much to pack in, here's what we did the last few days.
Yesterday we all headed over to Spokane to view a really amazing collection of nativities. It was quite the experience as there were hundreds from all over the world. We were so grateful to all the volunteers who made it so amazing. There were different types of hangings and trees and activities for the little kids. We had so much fun with hot ham and cheese sandwiches beforehand, and the Christmas broadcast at the end. I'm so glad we went!

Today was one of those days when you try to pack every odd errand you've been waiting to do in the same day. We did some banking, job errands, returned things, etc. On top of it all we decided to put up our Christmas tree today. I'm personally having to learn to relax about how things end up. I've found that I'm much happier watching Steven put on lights then I am putting things on and constantly backing up to make sure I didn't create a "hole". Also, the past few years we've had blue lights and glass ornaments on our tree, but this year since Cooper's gotten so mobile we decided to just do lights, bows, and candy canes. It wasn't until I got our decorations out that I remembered that last year Mom gave me some stuffed ornaments. Perfect.

Last but not least, we put together some gift baskets. It was really fun to grab all the stuff from the car and walk in and see this guy. (Notice the Candy Cane...)


Happy Busiest Time of Year!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sounds of Christmas

Last night we attended Tim's Christmas concert at NIC. We had such a great time, it was great to be out of the house. Tim did an excellent job, as he always does.

The beginning of....
The end. This was the best we could do for a group photo considering that all the little boys were asleep, and Tim was frustrated that I was putting a hamper in his social style.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 5, 2008


I somehow managed to marry into the most amazing family in the world.

(Apparently Steven thinks that Jarom is extra amazing...)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Is the Picture Doctored?

Please sleep!

Enough with the teething, crawling in your bed, and pulling yourself up and hitting your head repeatedly. Your parents never dealt with lost sleep when you were a newborn, and they aren't so great at handling it now. There has been some discussion about grudges against you.

So, if you want to date, drive a car, go to college, get married, etc...

Go to sleep!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Deep Thoughts

Monday, Monday....
I am one of the few people out there who blissfully believe that The Hills is not scripted. I love thinking that all those people just exist out there for me to watch. However, this guy takes his role a bit too seriously. He is one of two things to me.

1. A really horrible actor who WAY overacts his part
2. The biggest jerk in the entire world

For my part, I like to believe it's the first.

So, this lady is completely insane. Who's with me?! Steve and I watch week after week and we can't believe how crazy she is! Why have people kept her around? It keeps it pretty entertaining, but I must say...she's insane.


Ah, Colicchio. I love Top Chef. Wait, what I actually mean is that I love to eat whilst watching Top Chef. I think Colicchio has emerged as one of my favorite tv characters. There isn't getting anything past him... I love it.

On a side note, my day totally brightens whenever I find out Rocco is going to be on any of the shows we watch. He seems to pop up often. I know, I know, let's all just forget Dancing with Stars. It was just a small lapse in judgement.

(I forgive you Rocco)


Are Steven and I the only ones who long for the good ol' Office days. The days of awkward comments and less serious storyline? We love you, we will always be loyal, but come back to us!

Steven and I watched this and were torn between laughing and just being horrified for this kid.

Bring on the rest of the week!

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Unsuspecting Manger

Completely innocent, right?


Thank you Grandma and Grandpa Daines for a pre-school nativity set. Cooper loves to terrorize the manger, while of course learning about the meaning of Christmas. I love feeling like he's appreciating the true meaning of Christmas, on some level....

He loves it!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Way To Go Mom!

I know this is kind of long, but check it out. My mom has been working so hard to get this program moving. It's so amazing, and it's really happening! Congratulations Mom!

Homes for helping hands

By PATRICK O'BRIENStaff writer
COEUR d'ALENE -- School teachers, firefighters, food service workers, workers in manufacturing -- the very people working in the community beside you -- now have increased opportunity for that fundamental piece of the American dream: home ownership.
The North Idaho Housing Coalition, in partnership with Copper Basin Construction, has created a program to assist families that have good credit and a steady income with the up-front money necessary for buying a home."If there is anything that comes out of this discussion, in my mind, it is the business of holding hands," said Linda Davis, Copper Basin sales director and NIHC board member, "It's a tremendous cooperative effort that is pretty unique in the country."Davis explained that the collaborative program helps the community in an ongoing cyclical nature. Beyond the empowering benefit for individuals and families purchasing their own home, employers benefit from having a local and motivated workforce. Home purchases further increase the demand for new home construction. Perhaps most importantly, potential homeowners are required to give back to the community through volunteering with a nonprofit or charity of their choice."It's not a handout, it's an opportunity to make this community a better place by doing this community service called 'Deeds of Distinction,'" Davis said.North Idaho Housing Coalition began back in 2006 and early 2007 when executive director Lori Isenberg, together with Kootenai Perspectives, facilitated several workshops with city and county officials as well as prominent business members to address the problem of workforce housing in Kootenai County. From the beginning, Copper Basin Construction founders Steve White and Greg Gervais were committed to the cause."It was really the willingness of Copper Basin to put some money in and put some homes in and come up with these ideas," said Lori Isenberg, executive director of NIHC. "This is a priority for the community ... we have got to get people in homes, home ownership is important."Gervais agrees
"The ability to provide workforce housing for the community and the businesses that are here, helps make a more stable and economic climate for the whole county," he said.North Idaho Housing Coalition, which registered for its 501 (c) 3 status in February 2008, will see its first participants, Steve and Michelle Bowen, move into a new home in February of next year."It's going to give us ... the security we have been looking for, for the past eight years," said Michelle who added that it had been a long and frustrating process to find an affordable home for her family of five.Monies donated from Copper Basin Construction to North Idaho Housing Coalition assist buyers with the cash needed to purchase one of the Copper Basin homes. The expense is recorded as a "soft" second mortgage against the property, but no interest or payments are required.Homeowners have three ways of paying off the loan: By refinancing the original mortgage, buyers can pay off the loan directly as soon as they are financially capable.For homes purchased between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009, a $7,500 first-time homeowners tax credit, available from the federal government, can be claimed on the purchaser's income tax return. Davis said she was particularly excited about the credit, as it would allow repayment of the second mortgage in a matter of months, thereby recirculating cash back to NIHC to assist other families.In the third scenario, owners sell their homes, repaying the second mortgage to NIHC, in addition to a ratioed share of the equity."The idea is simply so that when the money comes back to the coalition, they can help somebody in the same way that they helped you," Davis said.While not everyone may be at the financial juncture to qualify for the second mortgage program, Davis and Isenberg said NIHC is committed to aiding people wherever they may be on the journey to home ownership. In addition to the community service component, NIHC requires participants to take a first-time homebuyers educational program.Mountain West Bank and Panhandle State Bank are also partnering with the North Idaho Housing Coalition to set up the mortgages and can work with people who have imperfect credit."The lenders from the different institutions ... are collaborating on these loans so that no one gets lost. If there is a better program at another institution, send them over there," Davis said.Additionally, NIHC works with the lenders to get people into mortgages with a monthly payment similar to their rent. Based on a six percent, 30-year fixed loan for a new home costing $129,900, payments could be as low as $780, according to information provided by the coalition."We want this to be a positive, positive, positive experience," Davis said, "positive with your loan, positive with your counseling, and positive with your education.""I think one of the things that we've certainly liked about (NIHC's) approach and why we're willing to step up and support it is, it's not just you either fit or you don't," said Copper Basin President Steve White. "It keeps (potential buyers) engaged with somebody ... to get them there. If it's not today maybe it's six months, maybe it's a year," he said."We don't want 'no' to be an option," Davis said.For more information contact Lori at (208) 665-9922 or Linda at (208) 755-3637 or go to www.northidahohousing.org.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Steven's Around

We have been so excited to have Steven around the last few days. Since starting at Paul Mitchell he's been working 6 days a week, and we miss him a lot. So, we stuffed everything we could into 3 days of having him home. And of course by stuff, I mean decorate for Christmas and do little else.
Cooper must have been waiting for his daddy because he started crawling today! He's not getting far before he falls, but he's doing it! It's so bizarre to think that this is something that he has completely figured out on his own. By the way, Cooper started when Steve and I were sitting on the couch and Steven got so excited he said, "Hurry take a picture, It's crawling!!" Thank Tim.

As described in my previous post, we've begun to venture outside into the cold. We met the McCoy's at Riverside Park to watch them ice skate. I didn't think I should skate since I'm pregnant, and Steven didn't think he should skate since the 3 elements of ice skating are
1. Something Cold
2. Something Hard
3. Something Sharp
We were so happy to get a chance to see the McCoy's! We miss them so much since they are in Arizona at Medical School. We are so amazed at you guys!

Back to work Monday!


Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a peaceful and happy day.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, during which we were totally able to relax. Steven and I left the cooking to my mom, (who left the cooking to the Resort), and we left our Spokane dinner to Dan, Sydni, Staci, and Marsha. We started over at the Davis household. We had a great time with the kids, and watching various sports and the movie Wall E. Cooper had a rough day with teething and cried most of the day. It was difficult for me, if I have a preconceived idea of how I expect or want something to go, it's difficult for me to change that idea and feel fulfilled if it doesn't go that way. So, in this situation I had imagined Cooper lovingly playing with cousins and family, which happened about 10% of the time. So, I was frustrated.

Then, when the food arrived at the house, we all dug in, it was amazing. It wasn't long before I watched Steven quietly walk to the diaper bag and take some Benedryl. Poor guy had a reaction to something, not even sure what, and while the rest of us had Thanksgiving dinner together, he was busy trying to make sure he could still breathe. So, again, I began to feel bummed that things weren't necessarily going to plan. Steven was okay after a while, but he was so sweet. His main concern was not to ruin anything, and later told me it was one of the worst reactions he's had.

So, we packed up and headed to have dinner with the Spokane Clan. Dinner was amazing, (Steven got to eat!), and it was so fun to be with more family. I learned an important lesson that night about all my frustrations. That morning my mother-in-law (hereafter referred to as Marsha) opened her turkey to prepare it for dinner, only to find that it was rotten. With I imagine no complaints she jumped into her car and drove around all Thanksgiving morning looking for a new one. When I heard this story I was first disgusted, and then impressed. What an awful thing, but she handled it. After hearing this story I resolved to do better with adapting.

(The 10% of the time, Mason took this picture)

Watching the movie, lots of hard work happening..

So. Friday morning rolls around and I think...I'm going to start fresh today. So, I pull out all of the Christmas decorations and get to work.

It was really fun. I got a lot done with some interspersed help from Steven. He instead chose to Unleash the Force. I was trying to hurry so we could meet Mom and Dad Davis downtown Cd'A for the Christmas Parade and Fireworks. I was so happy to see that as I decorated it started to snow. So classic right? So, I was working on wrapping the banister, which seemed to take about 5 million years. I finally get everything down, garland, lights, bows, and then when Steven finds the extension cord and plugs it in for me, half of it doesn't work. (Beginning of my downhill) So, I quickly think "Adapt", so I outwardly say, I'll fix it later, and inwardly say, Crap. Onward!

So, we get everything loaded and downtown. When we get there we unload stroller, blankets, and coats and mittens and boots for Cooper. As each layer gets put on, he gets unhappier and unhappier. We don't even make it halfway to our destination before Steven is carrying him, and I'm frustrated because he isn't all toasty in the stroller.*Note: At this point it isn't snowing, it's raining and snowing. So, cute mom trying to make the best of our extra time which is usually spent with hot chocolate blankets and laughter, suggests all kinds of fun things, and each bombs in it's own way. Coopers losing it, so I bend down to make him a bottle from the WARM water I packed (amazing right?), and I discovered that I forgot the actual bottle at home. Not adapting. Not adapting. Steven suggests everything under the sun, including him driving all the way home and back, so that I can stay for the fireworks. We're soaked, hungry, and I'm frustrated that things aren't going according to my plan. Needless to say, it was a pretty miserable elemental experience, but I learned something from Dad towards the end. We're trying to get to the park, and Dad says, "Why are traditions important? We've been coming to stuff like this with you kids forever. It's hardly ever been enjoyable for your Mom and I, but all you kids remember in the end was that you were a little cold, and that you saw fireworks and had hot chocolate. Meanwhile, all we heard was that you were hungry, cold, and had to go the bathroom. But, it's the tradition, you remember the hard ones more fondly when you're older."

So, I thought back to our family traditions and recalled a dropped Thanksgiving Turkey, a knocked over Christmas tree, Abby marching up the Clarkston hill Christmas Eve, and so many others. It's totally true. I remember the difficult ones more.

I learned such an important lesson this weekend. Even though the experience was absolutely miserable, I will always remember it. Always. Thanks Dad.