Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas from

Sam, Cameron, Jonny, and Abigail!
Note: Cameron gives this picture a 'thumbs up'!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My little darlings

Last night, my dad's family did a service project we do every's an annual trip to the Rehab Ward at the V.A. Hospital! We usually just take up gift bags for them, but this year we did a program, too!! Here are the videos of my children performing:

This is her favorite Christmas song. She walks around singing it all day, lately.

He actually wrote this. Very sweet!! I'll have to get a transcript and write down the poem in another post....

I also have to add a little bit about the cute mix-ups Abigail has been having. You may hear her sing such Christmas favorites as:

"Tinker bells" (tinker bells, tinker bells, tinker all the way!)
"I wish you were a Merry Christmas" (...and a happy new year!)

And she'll be singing them to 'Christmas Steve'. You know, the guy who brings you presents on the night before Christmas, aka Christmas Eve?! Not sure how this last one happened, but it's pretty cute, anyway!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Sanderson Family 2009

I was waiting to post this until we had someone take a pic of all of us together on Christmas...I still don't have one, but here you go, anyway:

I've never been one for sending Christmas cards. I know I should be. It just...never happens. Somewhere amid the madness of the holidays, the cards never get ordered. So, you get a blog this year!! It counts, doesn't it?? As long as I send it with a wish to all of you for a very Prosperous year!? (and I do!) So, here we go: a year in the life of the Sanderson Family:

We started the year off great!
1 - In March, we found out baby number 3 was on the way.
2- Also, the lease for our Karate School Expired. Jer formed a partnership with the Pierce's who took over running the school, so Jeremy could focus on just teaching classes, and I could focus on just being pregnant. We moved the school to a new location, and away from our previous crazy landlord. Hallelujah!
3- We also planted a HUGE garden, but first we put in some infrastructure. Lots of work. I'm not gonna lie: Jer did most of it!

4- We had an awesome mini-vacation to Yuba Lake in August. We all had a great time and it was nice to get away from it all. We camped next to the water, and just played in the sun all day for a few days.

Sam turned 6 this year. He started 1st grade with some nerves about being away from home all day, but soon found that he truly enjoys school!! He has been learning so fast I can hardly believe it. He spends almost all his spare time reading, and is currently reading the chapter books by himself. He just finished first book in the Harry Potter series, and is now reading an Orson Scott Card book. Not only is he reading it, but he also understands the story and asks questions about what he is reading. It's pretty cool (if not totally nerve racking) to have such a smarty pants of a boy. He's developing a love for soccer. He recently told his grandma that, "Soccer is my life." He lives to make people laugh...and will do anything to get that laugh. Most of the time he's a crack up just by being himself. (see other posts for more details...)

Abigail is getting so big! She turned 3 last January and so is nearly 4. She and I had a great time spending time together, just the two of us, while Sam was at school and before the baby came. She is all about being a princess. It's all hair bows and ponies and pink dress-ups in Abby's world. She spends her time playing pretend and singing and dancing, and we love watching her have so much fun!! She's pretty sweet. She got a big girl bed this year, and moved downstairs to a room next to Sam's. They're the best of friends and love playing together.

Jeremy is still working for Aculis during the day, and enjoying that. It's a great company, and we feel very blessed that he has a good job in these tough times. He works on a contract for United Healthcare, testing software that helps process claims more efficiently. He is also still teaching Martial Arts at Bushi Ban, but is taking a break to help me adjust to having 3 kids! He's been super busy as the Scout Master for our ward. He really enjoys working with boys, when they show up!! He also officially graduated! Even though he earned his bachelor's degree last year, he had to wait until this last spring to 'walk'. It was very exciting to see him do that, and we're so very proud of his accomplishment!

I've been busy, too!! I spent most of the year pregnant, but it was a great pregnancy. Jer and I had planned a home-birth again (we had Abby at home, and loved it!) But, our baby boy had other plans! My water broke 4 weeks early, so we headed to the hospital to have the safety-net of modern medicine for our little preemie. Jonathan "Jonny" Jay Sanderson was born on November 6th. He came out just perfect and pink, weighing in at 5 lbs 10 oz and 19 inches. He's growing like a weed, gaining 4 lbs in 6 weeks! I've also been busy as the Enrichment Leader for our ward. I have really liked planning and executing the RS activities for the sisters in our ward. I'm making great friends and just falling in love with our area!

Our sweet new addition, Jonny.

We hope you've all had as great a year as us, and that this letter finds you happy and healthy!

With Love, Tiffany, Jeremy, Sam, Abby, and Jonny

Snooooow fun!

The kids played in the snow with Jer on Saturday. Here is some video of their fun! Pay special attention to what Sam is saying at count 21 sec.(remind you of any movies you watched as a kid??) and to Abby's boogie at count 30 sec. They are my favorite parts!

Snow Man video

Snow Fort video

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The origins of 'Zipdinger'

When Jer and I were first married, we were called to co-teach nursery class to 2-3 year olds, with a man who shall be named "Brother Doe". Imagine Chris Farley doing 'fat man in a little coat', mesh that with Barney, now make him shorter, pudgier, and balder, and you have got yourself a perfect mental image of Brother Doe. He was just about the goofiest man I ever met. Perfect for teaching three year olds, but he drove just about every adult I knew at that time completely crazy.

We alternated teaching. One week it was our turn to teach, the next week was his. His lessons were always a delight to the senses. Complete with flailing arms, bulging neck veins, broad (bordering on insane looking) grins, and a very very loud man-voice. On the particular Sunday in question, we were expecting nothing less than a great show. We settled in at the back of the classroom for the weekly revival. What we got was so much more: the birth of an epic term, to be used throughout the ages.

He began with props. Out of a bag he pulled seed packets,  garden tools, and child-sized snow parka, gloves and hat. He turned to the kids. "Hey, kids!!! Are ya ready for a ZIPDINGER of a lesson??! Today, we're going to learn about the seasons. First comes spring. Stuff grows in the spring. But first, you hafta plant it!" He proceeded to tear open seed packets and dump them all over the classroom floor, and then rake them into the carpet with a hand-rake. Zipdinger.

"Come on, kids! Help me!!" Now they're all on the floor, raking seeds into the carpet with their hands. Zipdinger.

"After awhile, it gets hot, and our plants get big. Then, the weather gets cold." This is where the fat man in a little coat comes in. He seriously squeezes himself into this tiny parka, puts the too-small hat on his head, and pretending to shiver says, " BRRRRRRR!!! Isn't it cold kids??! Aren't you cold??" Of course, the kids all join in. Zipdinger.

"And those, kids, are the seasons!" He ended so abruptly, I honestly expected a bow.

We left church that day sure of a few things: 1- Brother Doe was completely crazy. 2- Never, for the rest of our lives would we see a Sunday school lesson so unequivically awesome. 3- Even if we tried (and believe me we have) there would never be a better description for what we had just witnessed than "Zipdinger."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Once there was a snowman tall> taLL>TALL

This is for all you Jonny-Jay fans and out of town-ers.

We took Jonny to the doc Monday. He measures in at 8 lbs 5 oz. 21 inches long. And...brace yourself: he's in the 5oth percentile for weight and 90th for height. My boy's a-growin'! (He started out in the 5th percentile for both, so this is a HUGE jump!) But, then, he was never one to dilly dally or be out-done in any way! (can I say that after only 4 weeks??)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Inner peace.

I guess I'm jumping on the bandwagon! Time to be thankful. So, I thought today I would share an experience I had a few years ago...(Ok, ok, more than a few. Let me live in delusion, people! It's a happy place to be!!)

In a matter of a few weeks, I went from living in my own apartment with a great job, lots of "friends" and a generally pleasant quality of life to: living in my parents basement. Car broken down. No job. No friends outside my immediate family circle. Steadily gaining weight. It was a very dark place to be at 18 years old, and I was so awfully depressed. I kept asking questions like, "Why me?" and "Where can I find peace?" My amazing parents helped me fix my car, so that I could look for work and get my life together. In a moment of inspiration, I found peace in the least likely of places: within myself. Here's how:

I can still see that moment in my minds eye. I was driving up the point of the mountain towards Draper, Utah, with the radio blaring the latest one-hit-wonder. All dressed up for job hunting. But, I still felt like crap. It occurred to me as I drove that stretch of road, that I had done that everyday for several days in a row. I had spent at least an hour in my car, driving between Alpine and Draper and then back again, everyday for a week. And I had spent that time tuning in to the radio so that I could tune out my emotions. 5 hours!! That's not to speak of the time I spent going other places! How much time do you spend in the car (or on the train, or on your bike, or...)? I realized I could utilize those wasted moments. So, I began right then and there. I turned off the radio, and turned on my mind. And started making a verbal list of things I was thankful for. I thought if I could spend 5+ hours a week surveying my blessings, I may feel differently about life in general.

At first, it's tricky to spend that entire time being thankful. You find yourself being thankful for the trees, the grass, the air... . All good things, of course, but sort of superficial. But, the more I did it, the less redundant my list was. The more I was able to find the hidden blessings in my life that brought me to a new sense of self awareness and awe in to good I had in my life, even at that difficult time...Often I found tears in my eyes as I looked closely at the many ways I had been blessed. I was able to pull myself out of a very dark emotional place. I found the peace I was looking for in the blessings I had all around me. All I had to do was look!

At this time of year, when we're 'supposed to' to thankful, I hope you all find a little inner peace in looking for the hidden blessings life has to offer! Not because you're 'supposed to', but because when you do, you realize this life and this world are so much brighter than we realize.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pumpkins A-glow

Our very spooky carved pumpkins.

On the left, a skull. Middle: Frankenstein. Right:a snake.

Close-up of the snake.


We think it looks more like John McCain than a skull. Totally inadvertent!

Our scare-crow got a goofy new grin, too!
Not very spooky, but still so fun!

Where were the kids? Weeping, wailing, and gnashing teeth in their beds, because they couldn't go a consecutive 30 seconds without doing something awful...maybe we'll take more pictures tomorrow. When (If?) they're happy then...

Birthday at my mom's house

Hopefully this doesn't look self-absorbed...
The pictures are all of me.
In my defense, I was not holding the camera. Jeremy was. The pics he took are great!
But they're all of me! *sheepish grin*
And, fair warning: I was very spoiled this year.

Cool new clock from Danny. One of a kind!

Lamp for my little cherub's nursery! It looks very nice, too.

Candles from Alex and Whit. They look great in my family room, and make it smell nice, too!

A mirror from mom and dad, perfect for above my dresser. Also pictured: I am wearing the leaf necklace Sam and Abby made, and the awesome necklace Wirth and Pat gave me!!

Birthday cake!! Mmmmmmm.....

It was a great day! I got spoiled, for sure...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Getting the girls"

Since when...

did I get so out of it? If you've been reading my blog, you've guessed by now that Sam is kinda the comedian in the family. Yesterday was no exception:

Mom: "You look nice today, Sam"

Sam:"Thanks. Me and my brah made some rules to help us get the girls, cuz we're just not getting them."

Mom:"Oh yeah? Like what kinda rules?"

Sam: "Well, first of all, you hafta dress good. The ladies don't like ugly clothes."

Mom: "That makes sense. It's always good to try and look your best. What else?"

Sam:"You gotta brush up your teeth real good in the morning. No girls are gonna want to be close to a stink breath."

Mom:"Nobody likes smelly breath. That's true!"

Sam:"Yeah, and you've gotta comb your hair up nice. And wear some cologne. The ladies love that stuff."

Mom:"Makes sense to me! I know I love it!! Is that all?"

Sam:"I also made the rule that you have to wear 2 shirts. Layers look way better than just one shirt."

Mom: " are these rules working out?"

Sam:"Oh, it's only been a few days. We'll have to wait and see."

Mom:"I see. And, what will you do with the girls, after you 'get them'?"

Sam:"Mom, there are some questions you just don't ask. Nobody knows the answer!"

(Not sure if I should be alarmed by this last reply...)
One thing is certain: he's a lady killer through and through!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Best Soup Ever:

I don't know where my mom got this recipe, but it makes my life worth living:

Mom's Minestrone
you will need:
1 pkg polish kilbasa
one yellow onion
2 large cans (undrained) stewed tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans
3 cubes beef bullion
1 pkg 'Birdseye' brand garlic chicken viola
(veggies, noodles, and chicken in garlic sauce)
basil, to taste

Dice sausage and onion. Put in dutch oven pan, and brown until sausage is pink and onions are clear. Add tomatoes, beans, and bullion. Bring to a boil. Add chicken viola. Return to boil, and cook until veggies, etc, are heated through.

Last night I served it with this bread:

Pull apart biscuit bits
you will need:

1 package regular biscuits, any brand
6 Tbsp butter
garlic salt to taste
2 Tbsp dehydrated onions

Heat oven to 425. Melt butter in the bottom of 9 inch pie plate. Sprinkle with garlic salt and onions. Cut biscuits into fourths, and lay in pan, in separate pieces, so that pieces are touching but are in a flat layer. (note: pieces will be pretty much swimming in butter at this point) Bake for about 15 minutes, until tops of biscuits are browned. For those of you with big families, make more than one pan. One recipe was barely enough for my little family of 4!! YUMMY, YUMMY!! Experiment with what you put in the bottom of the pan. Tasty variations are: parmesan cheese, dried tomato, herbs, anything you like on other breads!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Jer and I were watching one of our favorite shows last night. It cut to commercial, and the station narrator seriously said:

"This episode of Criminal Minds brought to you by: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

What he did NOT say: "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, THE MOVIE"
Really? So, you're telling me that:

This girl

and these guys

paid for this for our viewing enjoyment:


If you say so, station narrator guy. Pretty sure I laughed til I cried....

Next thing you know, Snow White will be singing "With a smile and a song" to a cereal killer in an interrogation room. Yeesh!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sam's Lesson

Sam made a request last week, that he be allowed to teach the family night lesson this week. Jer and I thought that was a great idea, so we made a family home evening chart, hung it out for all to see, and waited for the fun to begin! With my kids, you never have to wait long:

Sam's lesson materials: a 'Santa's elf' doll, a skeleton hand he got from Uncle Matt, some pennies, and a clacking noise maker toy.

"Once, there were two boys who always followed the commandments. And Heavenly Father blessed them. So, if we want to be like them, we should follow the commandments."
Then, using the doll, and holding the skeleton hand on the end of the doll's arm, he scooped up the pennies and told us, "If you do, then Heavenly Father will scoop you up to Him, and hold you close to Him forever and ever."

It was very Rastafarian.
I thought it was actually pretty brilliant.

But, the fun didn't end there. He still had segment 2: the noise maker. As he swung it, and it clacked, he asked us, "Is this what the Holy Ghost sounds like? NO! It's NOT!" Then whispering, "It sounds like this!" Then yelling, "SO YOU BETTER LISTEN!"

But the fun still wasn't over. He then proceeded to pass out papers, so we could all write a poem. Sam's poem was especially nice: "My Eternl famly will bee with me four evr."

He wrapped it up with the ever traditional, "Amen."
Amen, Sam. Amen!

I think he has a future in teaching....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RIP Patrick Swayze

Last night, we were watching a tribute to all things Swayze on the news, and as they scrolled through pictures of his life, I found myself letting out a sigh. I was shocked that, at the precise moment I was sighing, I heard Jeremy (who was sitting on the couch behind me)also let out a sigh. I turned with a puzzled glance to meet his eyes. My sigh = wonderment at the man who gave us 'Dirty Dancing', 'Ghost', and many girlish fantasies of a hot boyfriend named Patrick. Jeremy's sigh = when is this gonna be over??? I had to smile at our differences.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Making Tracks

Went to the Big'O for new tires today, which you'd think would be uneventful...but it gave me quite a story to tell. Going to try my hand at being a play-write. FYI, NONE of their associates look like the guys on their website...everyone I interacted with was at least 20 years older, that many pounds bigger, and not a single one smiled at me...To avoid confusion, I have settled on a picture I found online, and doctored it to convey a certain emotion about my experience. Meet:

Big'O Guy:
Other characters include:

leggy blonde:

Other Big'o guy

and me:

Act 1, Scene1: The front 2 tires replaced on my Malibu, and the front end aligned.
"$179 for just the tires...if you want them aligned, it's another $74."

"Wow! Really? I sort of thought alignment would be included in my purchase of tires? No? Well, then let's just be sure it needs to be aligned. Go ahead with the tires and give me a call after you've checked the alignment."

"Sounds super!!"

Act 1, Scene 2: Phone call while window shopping
*ring, ring* "Hello? Oh hi, Big'o guy! The tires DO need to be aligned? Well, to be honest, the price seems a bit steep, considering I'm spending $200 on tires in your store. I'm on a tight family budget. Can you give me a discount on the alignment?"

"Well, I already gave you a $10 discount. It's originally $79. I can't go any lower than that."

" quoted me $74. That's barely a $5 discount....and it's definitely not $10"

"Oh, uh, *sputter, sputter* $74 is a $10 discount after sales tax...Plus I have to pay a tech and run a $35K machine."

"Well, I'll be there in a few minutes to get my car. Don't worry about the alignment."
at this point, feeling a bit 'taken' by Big'o guy.

Act 1, Scene 3: The plot thickens
"That'll be $179.99 for the tires."

"OK. Here's my card." *pay, pay pay, lalalalalala*

Enter stage left leggy blonde at next cash register:

"Oh, my front end needs aligned? How much is that gonna cost?"
(please note that she has only asked for cost. NOT discounted cost, like I did...)

"Well, it's normally $79, but I can do it for $59."

"Oh, gee *giggle* that is so great! See you in a few days! *teehee!*"

?????????????"Um, excuse me other Big'o guy"


"Did you just tell leggy blonde you would do a front end alignment for $59????????"

"Yeeeeeeeeesssss. Yes I did."

*sheepish grin*

What I should have said: "What the CRAP????!!!! If I grow 10 inches, put on some heels and lipstick, and get hair extensions, then do I get a discount? It's not good enough to be on a family budget and asking for for a discount? I have to be (said in Ben Stiller voice) 'really really gooood loooking', too? Screw you, Big'o guy! I intend to write a strongly worded letter to corporate Big'o! Hmph!"

What I actually said (while staring down Big'o guy): "Nice." Then I just left.

The End.

In hindsight, it's just possible that saying less was better. Big'o guy knows he got caught trying to hustle me. Maybe, just maybe Big'o guy feels bad? Maybe.

Monday, August 31, 2009

I had a glimpse last night

of what it will be like to grow old with my sweetheart...

We were getting ready for bed, me spreading Vaporub over every inch of my neck, Jeremy plugging in the humidifier and then caking aloe-vera gel all over his sun-burnt shoulders.
"Dear, have you seen my liniment cream???"

And even though we'll both be covered in various smelly creams, and various wrinkles, and probably too tired to move or even think at the end of the day...
I wouldn't want my future to turn out any other way!