Monday, December 7, 2009

All I want for Christmas

That song, All I want for Christmas is you, was on and Noah exclaims, "What?! She's crazy! She doesn't want anything else for Christmas?!!!" He's such a funny kid!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hypno Dentistry

Okay, this story is a pretty good one. I just heard this for the first time from my mom and it's something about me from my childhood. First, some background on me: I sucked my thumb until I was 10. My parents tried all sorts of things to get to me to stop. I just loved to suck that thumb raw. I remember that they put Anbesol on it and then blocked the bathroom so that I couldn't wash it off. I went into our living room and slowly licked it off and cringed with every lick because that stuff tastes NASTY! Once I had it all licked off, I sucked away!! Anyhow, this thumb sucking thing came up at Thanksgiving dinner and my mom told us that my dad is convinced that our dentist hypnotized me because I had a dental appointment and after that I stopped sucking my thumb. I don't recall this dental visit and I don't have a distinct memory of quitting my thumb sucking. The dentist must have said something to scare me into stopping. I just hope that there isn't some special word that will take me out of hypnosis and cause me to start sucking my thumb at age 27! Ha ha!!

Monday, October 26, 2009


This morning I gave Noah a hug and he looked at and smiled. He then said, "I like the way your face looks." I guess I'll take that as a compliment. He's a funny kid.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Here, Kitty Kitty

Our friends gave us a little kitten on Wed. morning. Noah was a little scared of it. He's afraid of a lot of things. Heidi fell in love with it. I'm not an animal person, but it was pretty cute. Chad made a cat house for our cats that we had last year that ran away. So, we tried prepping this kitten for it. We laid down a blanket, put milk and food in there for him. He stayed in it for a good while. Well, Thursday morning as Heidi waited for the bus, she held Precious and played with him. I was doing other stuff, but then noticed the bus going very slowly after Heidi had gotten on. I then spotted Precious on the road, not moving. The bus then drove away. I was watching to see if the kitten would move and then a van ran over it. I did not want to see that! Well, all day I was worried and wondering how Heidi reacted and wondered how much she saw. After school I asked if she saw what had happened and explained that he died. She said that she cried on the bus. I felt so bad for her. She said, "Yeah, and then another car ran over him really fast." I was hoping she hadn't seen that. She said that a lot of kids on the bus said that they have had their cats and dogs run over by cars. Two of her friends walked with her to her class to help comfort her. What nice girls! The bus driver called to apologize. He said he almost had a heart attack. Noah was not that concerned that we lost the kitten. He just kept saying," It looks really gross up close." I think we are done with cats.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Funny Girl

So, these are a couple of funny things that Heidi did this past weekend. It was about 4 in the afternoon and Heidi had her finger in her mouth, feeling her teeth. She took her finger out, shrugged her shoulders and said, "Hmm. Must've been a dream." I chuckled and asked what she was talking about. She said that she thought she lost a tooth, but she didn't feel any gone, so it must have been a dream. I like how she didn't think to feel her teeth until 4 in the afternoon, instead of after waking up from the dream. Now this one is really good. All of the kids fell asleep in the van on the way home from Indiana Beach on Saturday. When we got home, there was a letter in the mail for Heidi that had a return address on it. I woke her up, but she was still pretty out of it. I pointed to the return address and asked who it was from. With eyes lit up with surprise, she said, "The president!!" I laughed and said, "Whose name is on there?" Still really excited, she said, "Barack Obama!" It was from her cousin, Grace. I don't know why she thought it was from the President, but it was pretty funny.

On beautiful Lake Shafer

We took the kids to Indiana Beach on Saturday. It was so much fun! We had planned to go to the water park too, but it ended up being too cold. It was really windy and only about 67 degrees. This was Owen's first time there and Heidi and Noah were super excited for him to get to go on all of the cool rides that they love. Well, the Frog Hopper is their favorite-Owen, not so much. He wasn't really all that excited on any of them, but he did ask to go again on a couple of rides. I took Heidi and Noah on the Scrambler and Noah was almost crying and asking, "Mommy, when is this ride over?" Heidi wasn't afraid of anything and she even went by herself on some rides. Oh, little Owen tried to be a boat captain. We took a ride around the lake on this big paddle wheel boat. Owen ran up and grabbed the wheel, "I want to drive the boat." Then he kept saying, "Me captain." They are so funny. I'm glad we got to take them!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


So, I don't know why race is such an issue. It really shouldn't be. This is something that has bothered me for most of my life. I've been thinking about it more recently as I hear of interracial adoptions. Some parents have experienced criticism for adopting a child of another race. This is crazy to me. Tom Cruise has adopted children of a different race and he made a statement saying that we are all part of the HUMAN race. Okay, I know he is a little crazy now, but I wish more people would look at it that way. People often take issue with interracial couples too. They give you some bull about how it's because there are often cultural differences. There may be a small amount of truth to that, but if you are in a relationship and you discover that the cultural differences are too much for you, you won't date that person anymore. People work out all sorts of issues when dating. Society doesn't seem to think anything of a white American marrying a white Swede or a black American marrying a black Kenyan. I guess people just like to see what they are used to seeing, which usually is people of the same color together. I married someone from a different social class and culture. Nobody was protesting our marriage. We are both white with German and English ancestry, so we must be a good match. Trust me, the culture of Sandy Utah is quite different from my South Whitley Indiana upbringing. I grew up driving down dirt roads and Chad couldn't believe that people had unpaved driveways. He has since become accustomed to our strange Indiana ways-especially since we now live on a gravel road.
People try to make things about race when they aren't. I was watching Oprah once, which I rarely do because I usually end up angry with her comments, and they had interracial couples talking about the differences in their family backgrounds. Most of the things they said weren't race related, they were just differences in personalities. One couple was a black man and white woman. He was talking about how when they get together with her family it's laid back and quiet and when they are with his family everybody is loud and laughing. That's not a black or white thing. I have two white parents and he just described my family- The Staller's are pretty laid back and the Gradeless's, well, we get kind of loud when we are all together. I wish things would stop being about race and start being about people.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Have I seriously not blogged since February?!!

Well, I guess I haven't blogged because we were busy getting things planned for our trip to Italy. It was so much fun. I didn't miss the kids as much as I thought I would. We were pretty busy, so I didn't have a lot of time to dwell on missing them. We did get to email them some, and they sent us emails via Mom, who was kind of enough and brave enough to watch them for 10 days. We've been home for a week and we've just been catching up on everything. It was so good to see the kids when we got home. They were so excited and so cute. I could probably write 10 pages worth of stuff about Italy, but I won't. We had a heck of a time reaching Rome. We had a 7 hour lay over in Chicago, which ended up being 8 and then landed at JFK on time, but taxied forever-seriously, we taxied so long that I thought I would pee my pants and I had to get up and use the lavatory while taxiing,even though they say to stay in your seat. We missed our flight to Rome. The American Airlines workers were less than helpful. We ended up taking a flight with a lay over in London. That flight left late also. We were 60th in line for take off, yep, 60th! So, we get to Rome, and we are all excited that we finally made it, find an ATM to get the cash we need to pay for our Bed and Breakfast. Nothing. We tried 3 ATM's and none of them worked. We needed to get on a train to meet the owner of the B&B because she doesn't live at the B&B. To say the least, I was stressed. Then, we walked around Rome for an hour and a half looking for the B&B. My arm was ready to fall off!! Things went better after that, but we were not without incident. We had ATM issues almost every day. It was really cool to see all of the famous sites in their surroundings that you don't ever see in the photos. All of the stuff in Rome is right in the city. I thought it would be more preserved or set back from streets and traffic. The weather was great every single day. It was around 73 degrees and sunny every day. Rome and Florence were crazy busy. If we hadn't had the ATM issues, which stressed me, I probably would have enjoyed those cities more. The leaning tower of Pisa totally leans more than we thought it would. I heard others around us say that same thing. Stephanie was a such a huge help. She told us what sights to see and gave us really good tips and she even called the B&B in Rome to let them know we would be 9 hours late because of our flight junk. There were some beautiful places everywhere we stayed. We got lots of great pictures. We didn't get pick pocketed, which I was sure we would. We were in Rome, Venice, Florence, Sorrento and Rome again. We took a gondola ride in Venice. That was fun. A lot of the places we saw I recognized from movies. I didn't know what Piazzale Michealangelo was, but Steph said we should go. We went, and it's totally in movies. It's the highest point above Florence and it was gorgeous. I'm glad we walked up the huge hill and then the million steps-it totally was worth it. Sorrento was a smaller coast town and it was so relaxing. Italy was great! I was sad when we came home and Chad and I didn't get to spend every minute together like we had for the past 10 days. We had a such a great time!!!!! I wasn't too sure about traveling to a foreign country, but it was really cool and not as difficult as I thought it would be. Even though there were times when I was cursing the scooters and alleys that they call streets, I'm glad we went and feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to take such an incredible vacation. Thank you, Mom, Stephanie, Chad and Rick Steves.

Pictures will be on Facebook, hopefully, soon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What would you say if you were about to die?

We were reading scriptures and talking about Moses before he died. I asked the kids, "What would you say if you were about to die?" Heidi said, "Oh, no I'm gonna die." Noah thought for a while for his answer. He finally said, " A prayer." It was pretty funny.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Heidi is a sweetie

Heidi picked out Valentine's for her classmates. She asked if it was for the boys too. When I said yes, she stopped looking at the Hannah Montana and Barbie Valentines. She didn't think the boys would like those. She picked cats and dogs. Then, she said she was going to ask each kid in her class if they have a cat or a dog, so that she could give them the right Valentine. She is a very thoughtful little girl.