Monday, June 30, 2008


Our longtime friends and fiercest Speed Scrabble competitors, Kipp and Ashlee, are selling security systems (Do you feel that your home is unsafe? Click here and leave a comment.) in the Baltimore area so we get to see them often. Last weekend, we visited Baltimore with them. This week, they came and toured the Jefferson Memorial and the Holocaust Museum. We love hanging out with them. Ethan and Ryan are posing for the camera in the Baltimore harbor and Kipp is ready to bomb someone.
Kipp touching the sky surrounding the Washington Monument.
Remember that rare black squirrel I spotted at the National Cathedral? Well there's an albino one near the Jefferson Memorial.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Please help our little McKay

Our nephew McKay is a miracle child and a blessing in the lives of everyone around him. For detailed information about McKay (and a chance to cry your eyes out), click here.

This is from his Web site, Miracles for McKay:

McKay Roe teaches us everyday and continually reminds us of that which is most important. For not being able to speak, McKay has an uncanny ability to always draw attention to his beautiful blue eyes calm expressions, and the magical gift of life. He is such a sweet boy and has a special influence on all who meet him.

McKay was born with a severe medical condition wherein a brain malformation has caused cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, seizures, hearing loss, cortical blindness and other physical disabilities. He does not talk, has never cried, but will randomly coo. He is fully dependent on others for his personal care and is confined to a wheelchair. McKay lives at home with his mom, dad, two brothers, and a sister.

This year, McKay celebrates his 8th birthday. Due to his growth and physical development, his needs are becoming greater. He is growing out of his car seat and his wheelchair is too heavy for his mom to lift in and out of a vehicle. As friends, we have noticed the family’s need of a handicap accessible van which, due to high expense, is a purchase difficult for them to acquire alone. It is our goal to raise enough money to help this family afford what has become to them a necessity, a full size handicap accessible van. McKay and his family all deserve this miracle.

If you are interested in donating, please send to:

Davis Education Foundation
Miracles for McKay Fund
PO Box 588 Farmington, UT

All cash and check donations to the
Davis Education Foundation
must specify the
Miracles for McKay Fund.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lauding the little

The upside to spending 12 hours a day every day with someone who poops his pants is that small things are magnified. Things that are so simple to do every day, like say, turning off the light or saying the word, "please," are crowning achievements for our little guy. We have become praisers. "Good job, Ethan," is uttered probably more than 50 times a day in our house. I get excited when he zips up a zipper or gets his shoe halfway on his foot. Or when he points out a big truck.

The only problem is that when I am with people taller than 2 1/2 feet, I forget that these tasks may not be so monumental. Like last week when I pointed an airplane in the sky out to Ryan and he muttered, "Yeah, an airplane. Thanks." Or last night when Ryan turned the switch on the lamp and I exclaimed, "Good job!" and had to hold myself back from clapping.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I heart the Olympics!

I got so into the gymnastics Olympic trials on t.v. this evening that I teared up while watching some of the routines. (OK, so I also sort of cried watching a weird preview of American Gladiators and I have never seen that show, nor intend to ever watch it, so crazy hormones may be partially to blame for my emotional gymnastics-viewing experience).

I can't wait for the Olympics. And I decided that the U.S. and the rest of the world are in serious need of some wins right now - even if they come only in sports.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gladiator woman

I would feel cute - and able to hold my own - in any of these shoes. Which ones would you buy?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A great week

The day after my little brother left on his Mormon mission to Philadelphia, I cried in front of my editor and lost my appetite completely. I had never felt that blue before and have not since.

So seeing Al (he was technically still Elder Maughan) for the first time in two years was so great. He's not so different and seemed a little more mature (only a little, though, Al).

We traveled up to meet him and my parents, who flew out to pick him up. We had so much fun seeing the good and the really bad of Philly, meeting some of the awesome people he taught and served, eating fabulous food and touring a little bit around D.C. with my fam. Don't tell Mrs. Obray from my AP United States History class, but I really didn't know what the Liberty Bell was when I went to visit it. I did pass my AP history test though, so there.
Here is a completely abandoned building with graffiti all over it. The letters on the side said, "bone thugs 4ever" (wink, wink to those who saw it). I took this photo to show how most of the area in Philadelphia in which my brother served, looked. Unfortunately, I didn't get more photos of some of the places we went. At one point I was sure we weren't in the U.S. anymore, but in a third-world country across the ocean. I have never seen anything like it. Apparently Philly is surrounded on all sides by miles of slums. In Al's apartment building, the elder before him found a murdered body in the elevator and another elder saw a murdered body being wheeled down the hallway. Surprisingly, Al was never mugged (most elders he knew were) and he said he was never scared (Apparently he picked up lying on his mission; he also said walking around in high-90-degree heat plus 100 percent humidity in his church clothes didn't bother him).
The Smurf car my parents rented and the amazing city hall in the distance.
Against my brothers' wishes, we went to Geno's cheese steaks while he and my parents visited an elder in the hospital. I guess the cheese steaks at Geno's are not up to par with Al's tastebuds, though it is a tourist favorite (trap, as Al calls it). We think the food would have been good had we been able to taste it. Unfortunately, we put some of the hot sauce on it and couldn't feel or taste anything for the rest of the night.

All you need is LOVE... and a fat policeman in your photo.
I'm not even sure what river this is, but the Philadelphia Museum of Art (think Rocky steps) is behind us.
Looking down on the museum from the top of city hall in Philadelphia.

Feeling the brotherly love in the city of brotherly love. Don't be alarmed by the orange fuzzy thing on the left-hand side of my photo. Most of my childhood photos have my mom's fingers in them. ;)
Al's favorite Philly cheese steak. It was delicious. And it was in Delaware.
Ryan in a rare moment of reflection.
Where to get Al's favorite Philly cheese steak sandwich.
We went to Ocean City en route to Salisbury, Md., another place where Al taught the gospel.
My favorite thing about Ocean City was a new (to me, at least) treat called "water ice" (pronounced "wataeyes."). To my relief, there is a water ice joint in Alexandria!My 'rents at Mount Vernon.Fam at Mount Vernon.
Ryan played in a basketball tournament in downtown Washington Saturday and we went and watched a couple of games. His team ended up finishing in the top twelve (there were around 96? teams) but the tournament was canceled when it started to rain. We are sure his Crystal City Ward team would have taken the tourney! lol.
I have a new appreciation for sports photographers. I couldn't get a photo with both Ryan and the ball in it.
If you look really hard, you can see Ryan dribbling the ball.Pulling Ethan faces at the National Cathedral.Sitting in the Bishop's Garden at the National Cathedral.
A black squirrel. Very rare. I know, it looks brown in the photo. It's black though, I promise.
Aren't we just soooo cute?
My mom is hoping to have her backyard look like the Bishop's Garden by some time next year.
Ethan and Uncle Rob.Al at the World War II Memorial. This is right before my camera battery died. I'm sure you are all devastated that you won't see any more photos of my awesome week. ;-)

Thanks Mom and Dad, for the awesome trip and for visiting us way out here. Thanks for waiting to go home Al, so you could hang with us for a few days! We love you and are so proud of you!

Four years

Monday, June 9, 2008

Surprise cupcakes

As per Raelynn's request, here is my favorite cupcake recipe:

Mix and set aside:
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 c. sugar
a pinch of salt
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a separate bowl, make a devil's food cake mix according to instructions on the box (I know, that's cheating).

In cupcake cups:
Fill half full with cake batter
Spoon 1/2 T. of cream cheese filling on top of cake batter
Cover the filling with more batter

Bake at 375* for 15-20 minutes.

Cool and then frost with this:

1 8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. powdered sugar

Not really sure what to title this one

My aunt Susan and her darling family visited Washington this week and we got to hang out with them! The kids kept Ethan's attention and pushed his stroller the whole time, so I had such a great time visiting with Sus! It was so fun to see them!

Ethan and I decided to bail out of touring with them early Friday and go home and take a nap. We stopped at the corner of 15th street and Constitution because police officers were blocking the intersection. Then, after several motorcycles and black SUVs drove through, I noticed the flags - one American, one presidential seal - on two large black cars and realized it was the president en route to the White House. As the second car slowed around my corner, I saw President Bush in the back. Though the windows were tinted, I could tell he was looking at me (also because there was no one else in my vicinity). And then he waved. Then I waved. We totally shared a moment! ;-)

I know people who loathe George W. Bush and I know people who adore the guy. I'd have to say I'm somewhere in the middle (I know, what a stance to take, huh?) of those two positions. And I know some of you fellow bloggers see him all the time, so this is nothing to you. But it was pretty awesome for me to see that controversial man so close up.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


While I was shopping at Costco today, Ryan called to ask how the weather looked. He was considering hitting some range balls after work.

"It's sunny," I assured him.

I walked out of Costco to clapping thunder and pouring rain. Ryan called to tell me that the power was out at work and all he could see out of the windows of his high-rise office building were black clouds.

Then I happened upon this:

This sizable tree is about 100 yards away from our apartment.

And now we are under a "tornado watch." I've been watching and there is hardly a breeze right now so I'm not too worried.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I'm expecting...

... to get some pool passes soon! ;)

Apparently we were not denied pool privileges because of my tirade regarding pool rules - or because no one wants to see me in a swimsuit (though I wouldn't blame them if that was the case). It seems that my landlady's condo fee didn't go through last month. She assured me all is taken care of now.

If you are confused by this post, read the last part of the previous post.