Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone

Hello to all our family and friends! Here is our year in summary: (disclamer: if you are dreading reading a whole "letter thing" this would be the time to click the little 'x' up in the corner..  ;) )

Great year for us!!
 Jonny before his first hair cut
 Jonny after his first haircut! Such a cutie...
Jonny, aka the happiest baby alive, turned one this year. His first year with us has been amazing. We joke that if we have a 4th child, they can thank Jonny for being such a good baby that mom and dad wanted another one! After being 4 weeks early, he was pretty tiny, but he's hit all his milestones and is growing beautifully. He has crawled, walked (his fir4st steps were on Nov. 6, toward his uncle Elliot), and even talked a little. He says: Eat, out, kittie, Sam, Abby, mamma, and daddy. He can also show us where his ears are...we're working on learning nose and mouth.

Abby started pre-school this year, and turned 4!  She loves to tell us all what letters she can see in her surroundings, and what sounds they make, and can even write her own name. She is making lots of good friends at school. Her teacher tells us she's a natural leader, always the first the use her imagination and encourage the other kids to join in! She loves to play dress up, and wear dresses and continues to be to prissiest little girl we know! It's very sweet. Her smile lights up the room, and her giggles are so contagious! She's very proud that she learned how to pump a swing all by herself. We have loved watching her grow and learn this year!!

Sam is in 2nd grade this year, and turned 7. On his most recent report card, he scored 4's (the highest mark) on everything but handwriting! (He takes after mom that way!) He has a phenomenal sense of humor, and it's his joy to make others laugh. He's been working hard at learning to play soccer this year. He had a ton of fun playing on the community team this summer, and found he is very good at kicking the ball "really really far!". He also writes books. Comic books, books of poems, today in church he even wrote a recipe book, and can't wait to try the recipes out!! He also lost his first tooth and has discovered the joy of visits from the Tooth Fairy!

Jeremy had a big year! He started the year not sure if he would have a job when the contract he was working on expired in April. Then, through a series of very blessed events, he got put onto a better contract, with a promotion! The only downside is that he has to commute to Salt Lake City every day. More time in the car is less time with us, and we miss him. But, we're all glad he has a good job! He's been doing an exercise program called "tac-fit commando". He's in the best shape of his life, and can do more push ups than anyone I know!! He got released as the Scout Master, and was called as the Cub Scout Master for our ward. That's been fun for us! We're excited for Sam to turn 8 next year and be part of the scouting program!

Jer and I have both been working on remodeling projects around the house this year. About halfway through the year I discovered that there were wood floors under the carpet in the old part of the house. So, we pulled up the carpets! We also added a kitchen pantry, and have been painting away at the various rooms in the house. I figure by the time our kids are all grown, and we have nothing to do, our projects will all be done and we can enjoy them!!

 I've had a great year being mom. Watching my children grow, and making and keeping our home is very satisfying work. I got called as one of the Bear Den leaders in addition to my teaching calling is RS. It makes life busy, but I am really enjoying both callings. Learning to teach adults has been a new adventure, but lots of fun. And, planning den meetings 9 year old's is funner than I expected! I had never done scouts before and was pretty worried about it, but the boys are great and we have good times. I also tried a yoga class for the first time, and I am having lots of fun learning that, and swimming once a week, thanks to Jer taking care of the kids so "mom" can have some "me-time"!

Thank you all for your love, support and friendship. Like I said before, we've had a great year and it's all thanks to wonderful family and friends!!

Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!!

Love, Tiffany and Jeremy and the Sanderson children

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jonny's Birthday: the party!

So, Most of the pics turned out blurry, but I wanted to share what did turn out!

 He was SO cute opening gifts! He got excited about each and every one!!

 Cool stacking barrels from Uncle Alex and Aunt Whitney!

 His first ride on the Fire Truck he got from mom and dad! (I think he likes it!!)

 Even books got him all excited. It was SO cute!!

Every boy needs a faux fur hat! (right?!) Well, this boy does, anyway!

 Jonny's first Birthday Cake
A good time was had by all. Big, big thanks to everyone who came! We were so excited to share his Birthday celebration with the people we love best!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The best thing I have ever seen!!

So, my mom is officially my hero. This weekend, I went to see her perform in front of at least a hundred people, in a belly-dancing show. It was, without a doubt, the absolute best thing I have ever seen in my entire life! Not only did she perform, she shook her junk like a kid shaking a present on Christmas morning. Mom, you are seriously my hero!! I love you.

Mom is the one on the end of the row. She was wearing all white, so with the lights shining on her, it messed with the camera a bit. But, I think you can still see what she's doing pretty well.

...We're taking a belly dancing class together in February. I'm SO excited!! And, you are all invited to join us.

Jonny's Birthday: the invitation and decorations!

Here are some pics of Jonny's Birthday, pre-party! I have to do this in 2 parts, because Jer took all the party pics with his phone, and he's at to have to get those later! We had SO much fun putting this party together!!

The night of his Birthday, we celebrated with just our family.
 He LOVED the red balloons we blew up for his party!

 He was so darling, laughing and smiling, and just totally amazed that we were singing to HIM!

 Abby and Sam both picked out some very cute cars to give him!!
 He also got some very cool new sippy cups! Man, this kid can get excited about anything!!

The next day we celebrated his Birthday with our extended family. I decided to go with a "Red Party" theme, for our favorite little red-head!
 The table-scape, pre-food.

 It turned out so cute!!!

 The cake was my favorite part! My mom and I master-minded it.

 A little flourish in the family room.

It's not a Birthday Party without a banner, right?!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Jonny Gets Around!

Today, I noticed Jonny was pushing the wipes around on his hands and knees. He was so pleased with himself he was laughing hysterically. So, I decided to get out this cool little toy from babies past and let him try it out for the first time. Thankfully, I had the fore-sight to prep the camera first!! Enjoy:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Not long enough!

Our engagement photo July, 2002

I love the 4th of July! What a beautiful time of year!! The best part: this weekend marks 8 years of marriage to the best person I know. In honor of that, I though I'd share a story from our first year of marriage:

My Aunt once told me a story about her first days of marriage to her first husband. They were so poor that, one day she opened the cupboard and all the food they had was a loaf of bread and some ketchup, and no money to buy other food. She decided to make the most of it. She set the table with their best dishes, lit some candles, turned on romantic music, and set the 'meal' upon the table. Then, she got all fixed up and dressed up. When her new husband came home, she and he feasted on ketchup sandwiches. They laughed until their sides ached. It's always been an inspiration to me, this story.

On Jeremy's first Birthday since our marriage, I wanted to do something special for him. We were never ketchup-sandwich poor, but we came darn close. Jer was working 2 part time jobs, and going to school full time. Despite all his hard work, the ends of the month barely met. There was no extra money for a Birthday gift. I managed to pull together a few dollars for a cake and a frosting mix, thinking that I would make him a special cake, and put some candles on it, and surprise him with a celebration when he came home the evening of his Birthday. Despite the humble gift, I was super excited to do something special for him. I made the trek to my mother's house in Alpine that afternoon, to use her oven (ours was not functional!). The plan was to bake the cake, decorate it, and return home to American Fork before he did.

I lovingly spread the chocolate cake with German Chocolate, the coconut kind of frosting. I wrote the letters, "Happy Birthday Jeremy," across the face of the cake, and decorated the edges with chocolate icing. It took longer than expected to decorate it, and by the time I headed home it was already dark outside. But I knew if I hurried I could still beat him home and get ready to surprise him! I had set the cake carefully on the passenger seat, and was racing down Highland Highway as fast as I dared,  when I suddenly saw a blur run in front of my car. Slamming on the breaks, I barely missed a raccoon and watched in horror as the cake I had worked so hard on, my only gift for my sweetheart, fell face-down on the car floor. Blessedly, I had wrapped the cake in plastic wrap, so it was still intact. Sadly, where the letters had once read: "Happy Birthday Jeremy," they were now smeared and unreadable. The entire cake was a smooshed mass of frosting and crumbs.

I cried the entire way home. When I say I "cried," what I mean is that I sobbed like a 5 year old who lost it's puppy, like teenage girl who just got dumped, like a pregnant woman get the picture. I bawled all the way up to our apartment, where I discovered Jeremy had beat me home after all.  Which only added to the tears. Sobbing, I got out of the car, disheveled cake in arms. He had heard the crying, and imagining something horrible, he raced out to see what the matter could be. Had I been in an accident? Was I hurt? I presented the cake to him and managed between hiccups to choke out the words "raccoon" and "car". Supressing a smile, Jeremy tenderly put his arm around me and led me into the house.

He sat me on the couch with a tissue in my hand, went to the kitchen and got a fork, and proceeded to eat his Birthday cake. He told me, "It's so yummy! Never in my life has a cake tasted so good!" Tears became laughter and laughter became tears, as I watched him shovel mouthful after mouthful of chocolate mush into his mouth, vowing with every bite that it was delicious. That night, we laughed until our sides ached.

I've learned some things since then. First, is that Jeremy strongly dislikes anything with coconut in it, including German Chocolate cake frosting. Second, he would do anything rather than to see me cry, including eating coconut. Third, I love him more than anyone or anything in this world. He has taught me to love more deeply than I ever knew I could. That is why, when people ask me how long I've been married I always reply, "Not long enough!"
One of many married pictures July 5, 2002
(notice his squinty eyes....that's a funny story for another time...)

Happy Eighth Anniversary, Jeremy! I love you!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Last Night, I got to see my best friend Angela...from when I was in the 9th grade!!!! SO cool. She was competing in a Roller Derby bout at the Salt Palace, and visiting all the way from Colorado...

Then: We were 14 in this picture, and spending the weekend in Palm Springs, at her grandparents' condo.

Now: we're 28, both red-heads, and still full of as much mischief as ever!!

It's so great to see someone you haven't seen for years and years (13, to be exact), and find that you're still as close as if there had never been a separation at all...

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Natural

Upon getting out of the shower today, this is what I found in our family room:

Apparently Abby felt her Barbies would be more able to enjoy the cartoons she had put on for them, if they were wearing their birthday suits.....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Slow Roasted Garlic and Lemon Chicken

                                                       picture cred: 
warning: you will smell strongly of garlic all day, the day after you eat this!

What you will need:

1 whole chicken, cut into about 10 pieces 
Small handful fresh Thyme (or a few teaspoons of dry will work, too!)
1 head Garlic, unpeeled (or more, if you're like me!)
3 Tbsp Olive oil
2 un-waxed lemons cut into chunky eighths 
10 Tbsp. white cooking wine (found in the grocery store, by the vinegar)
Preheat oven to 300. 

Arrange the chicken in a 9x13 inch  pan.  I like to use all drumsticks, because my kids are more likely to eat drumsticks! Yes, they do eat this meal. I know: AMAZING! Any chicken will work as long as it is bone in! Breast tend to get a little dry with this recipe, and dark meat portions of the chicken will work best!!

Add the cloves of garlic and chunks of lemon; roughly pull the leaves off of the thyme, directly into pan. (Leave some intact for garnish.) A note on the garlic: pull the cloves apart and arrange them in the pan with the peel still on. They will roast and become really sweet and butter-soft. When you eat the chicken: squeeze the garlic out of the peel and eat it right alongside the chicken!! Also, I usually use 2 large heads of garlic, because it's my favorite part of the meal...

Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken, and using your hands, mix everything together. Turn all chicken so the skin side is up. 

Sprinkle cooking wine over top and add pepper to taste. Cover tightly with foil, bake for 2 hours (so, be sure to plan ahead!). I usually put the chicken in at about 2:30, and it's ready to eat by 5:30. Remove foil, increase heat to 400. Bake for 30-45 min, by which time the skin on the meat will have turned golden brown. Add remaining thyme, serve hot.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Miscellaneous Mumbo Jumbo

Jeremy is making a job transition. We're not sure what it is, except that it is a transition. He has been working on a contract for United Health Care. But they are canceling their contract. So, he is either going to work for them directly, or else going to work on another contract, or else going to find another job. We won't know which until the end of this week, when everything plays out. We do know that we do not want him to be out of work in this economic climate, which is a slim chance, but still possible. Prayers are appreciated! It is pretty stressful having everything so up in the air. At least if we knew where things were going, we could start planning....

Jonny is not sleeping at night. For several weeks, he has been waking up every hour all night long. (except for a few days when he has gotten up every few hours instead of every single hour) It is exhausting!! It seems the reason for his waking is that he wants his binky. He might be teething. But, he's definitely not sick! I know for sure that I would like to get more than 1-2 hours of sleep at a time!! I need some serious insipiration, because my sanity may be riding on getting him to sleep better. Again, Prayers are appreciated!!:)

There is a sister in our ward who is a teacher. Every week during the "good news" portion of opening the meeting, she updates us on how close school is to being out. Today, she said 26 days. We have gone from counting weeks to counting days. Am I looking forward to seeing more of Sam, not rushing through the morning, having someone around for Abby to play with, and all the fun activities that summer break will bring: yes! Will those things make up for  the already constant fighting between my kids that can only get worse with added time together, the "mom-I'm-bored's", and the inevitability of Abby's naps (and my daily quiet time) becoming ancient history: time will tell!! Once again, prayers are appreciated! Also appreciated are summertime tricks/ideas for keeping my kids entertained....

On the upside: Spring is here and my flowers are blooming, Jonny rolled over last week for the first time, Jeremy finished our new pantry (pictures to come), all our started seeds sprouted and are on their way to being food, the spraying we had done for wasps worked: they are no longer building nests in the yard, and we are all healthy and happy.....

Now a deep breath and let's see if I can get through this week with a smile on my face.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ode to Hippos

By: Sam

 "Hippos: Very big dangerous tusks"
 "A Hippo has very dangerous tusks. Sharp enough to kill you like THAT. 
If you see one bite, call the hospital right away."

"Hippos are about 2 fully grown men! And weigh up to 500 pounds! Enough to blow your pants off"

The end.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

When I grow up

I want to be a fabric designer. I stumbled upon this fabric store:

Sample of one gorgeous print

while perusing a friend's blog today. What can I say? It was love at first sight!! I have been sucked into a world of cosmic fabric fabulosity, from whence I may never return. The only questions now are: how much can I get away with getting, and what will I make first??!!

Monday, March 15, 2010


This weekend was very eventful. Jeremy and I went out to lunch on Saturday at JCW's. Can I just say, for the record, that their mushroom cheese burger is the best thing that has even happened to food? Well, it is. Then, we went to see "Alice in Wonderland, 3D". Also awesome. A lot of people have said the cinema aspect of it wasn't all that good (and the only part worth seeing was the 3D), but I really enjoyed it all. Then we came home. And almost lit our house on fire.

It went like this:

It was snowing sideways and threatening a blizzard outside. At about 5:30, the power went out. I made some dinner, (thank goodness for gas-lit stoves), and we ate and watched as the fire truck, ambulance, and work trucks made their way up our street, to repair a power pole that had been blown over. The neighbors lined the sidewalk to see what the commotion was all about. It was very exciting, apparently! And, it was all only about a lock away from our house. Figuring it was going to be a long wait for the power to come back on, I suggested to Jeremy that he start a fire in our wood burning stove. He agreed that it was a good idea and went to work. About 10 minutes later, we had a blazing fire. I was taking Abby back to the bathroom to give her a bath, when I noticed the smell of smoke. Shining my flashlight back down our hallway, I could see smoke billowing down the hallway. I thought maybe Jeremy had forgotten to open the flu, and dragged Abby back up the hallway to tell him. When I got there, Jeremy was standing in the front room, baby in arms and Sam next to him, staring at the stove with this look:
On his face. Not only was the room full of (and continuing to fill with) smoke, but the stove pipe was glowing bright red. (Think of the tail lights on a car). Panic ensued. I went and opened the front door to let in some air, and upon turning back to the room, couldn't breath for all the smoke. That's when I took the baby and the kids and ran bare foot and non-coated to the car, whilst Jeremy called the fire department.

Then we watched as, a block away, the fire truck did a 3-point turn, and drove around the block to our house. Then we watched as the neighbors all lined up on the street to see what was going on, again. It was high-drama in our neighborhood on Saturday night! My kids were excited that the "Rescue Heroes" got to come to our house and save it. Anyway, there is some debate about what actually happened with the fire. Because, originally it was burning just fine. It appears that either the wind blew something down the chimney, which blocked the heat and smoke in, or else the wind itself was blowing down the chimney and not allowing for heat and smoke to go out. Either way, very scary! The Firemen 'cleared' the house for fire and safety, and then we had to get our things and sleep at Grandma's so it could air-out all night long. Quite the adventure!!

There is no smoke damage to the house, and were are all ok. But, I'm sure my kids will someday tell their kids about the night the house (almost) burned down.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm going there someday

Last night, I took the kids to a friend's wedding in Sugarhouse. On the drive back to Lehi, it was dark, and the city lights were glittering. The kids were fighting, and around Midvale I had had just about enough "Mom, he's touching me!" 's to last a year. To get them to stop I told them to watch for the Jordan River Temple.

Sam saw it first, all glowing white and beautiful. He pointed it out to Abby. We started talking about how cool it is to get married there. We tried imagining how beautiful Abby will look in her wedding gown, and what her husband will be like. She said, "I already know what he will be like! I'm marrying Sam!!" Well, of course you are, Abby. How silly of me!

Then, we tried to imagine what Sam's wife will be like. He said, "I hope she's hot." Then as an after thought, "but, I'll try to like any girl. Even the weird ones."

I told him, "Hot is important, bud! You need to like the way your wife looks. But it's also important that she have a good heart. Can you imagine living forever with a woman who you don't get along with?"

"Yeah, good point mom," came his reply. "You and dad get into some pretty good fights sometimes." (This is particularly hilarious because I think we've had like 2 fights in nearly 8 years, and never in front of the kids.)

"When did we fight, that you can remember?" I asked.

"Once, you were late getting home, and Daddy got pretty mad."

Having no recollection of such an event, but still wanting to reassure him, I said," You're right, Sam. Every normal married couple has some disagreements. But, Daddy and I love each other. So, we always make up!"

"Oh, you do?! Well, that must have been what you were doing in your room when you wouldn't let us in. That makes sense now!"


That's what I get for trying to talk to my kids! Next time, I'm letting him play his DS.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Apparently Apples...

Only kill some Princesses.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Abby's Birthday

We had a great day yesterday!! I let Sam stay home, and we played all day long, then went to see 'The Princess and the Frog" matinee. Then pizza for dinner, presents, and Birthday cake. Here are the pics we took:

Her new dress. I told her I made it, and she gasped, "With your magic???"
Not sure where she got the idea...Sleeping Beauty, maybe!

Her new stuffed puppy, which I also made.

Her new 'princess crown', which Sam made. I was so afraid that she wouldn't know what it was, but when she opened it, she exclaimed, "Wow! A new princess crown!"

The dress, again.

Blowing out the candles on her cake.

Happy Birthday, sweet Abigail.