NOTES FROM THE BURROW

NOTES FROM THE BURROW

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holy smokes. Do... Do you know what this is? This is... A lamp!

It's hard to distill almost an entire week of rollicking fun into a single post. I shall do my best to portray in words and photos what a wonderful Christmas was had by the Vos Family.

We kicked off our Christmas celebrating at the ward Christmas party on Tuesday night. Calvin was supposed to be a wise man in the ward's nativity play. Our family found it quite hilarious to see him up there in one of my old lingerie robes and a Harry Potter cloak turned inside out. He looked pretty good, tho, compared to the Ninja wise man on his right. Calvin could not keep a straight face the entire time he was on stage which lent itself to such an (un)spiritual nativity. I couldn't stop laughing either. In defense of Calvin, he said the boy on his left kept whispering things to make him laugh. It worked. The kids, with the exception of Cameron and Emily, sat on Santa's lap and whispered a few things they were hoping to get in his ear.



On Wednesday, we loaded up in the van and headed to Toledo for our usual trip to Ideal Hot Dog for chili-mac. As usual, Ideal Hot Dog and the chili-mac did not disappoint in making our mouths and bellies very happy. Our noses didn't enjoy the smells that came later...for more on this ask Chris about the world's worst smelling flatulence presented by someone you might not guess.
Someone painted our Toledo house a strange teal color.



.
We also stopped at Wixey's Bakery, the very best bakery in all the world and purchased some of the most delicious cream puffs. Cameron especially enjoyed his.

When we arrived home, we prepared to open presents and the kids had fun seeing what they received from Anna and Tony and Lucy as well as from Mom and Dad and each other. Lucy seemed to like her Noah's Ark playset. Emily was excited about her "My Secret World" DS game. Christopher and Spencer each got a new DS and Calvin was thrilled with his "Spore" game. Cameron loved his Little Einsteins toys. I loved the bag that Anna made for my by hand. It is beautiful!! Chris got me the expansion to WOW which I cannot wait to play!





After presents, we ate our Christmas snacks. Most of the snacks we had were new to our rotation. We had two really good different kinds of wraps, some yummy chili puffs, an interesting new mexican dip and some great mushroom cups.


Anna and Tony left around 10 and then we watched "Mr. Krueger's Christmas." It was fun watching it all together and I never get tired of it even though I've seen it a million and one times. Mr. Krueger always gets to me talking to Baby Jesus. I really love that scene.

Christmas morning started early for Cameron who got up around 5am, played with the toys set out by Santa and ate most of everyone's candy out of their stockings. He knows how to do things! The rest of the children joined Cam around 8:30 and were so excited to see that Santa (Grammy) left them a Wii under their tree this year. Their reactions were priceless.



video
We started bowling as soon as we got it hooked up and then played baseball and we are all on our way to being guitar heroes. There is nothing funnier than Mom rocking out to "Living On A Prayer" while all the kids, even the 5 year old, join in singing. We came up with a funny version, "Living on a Prairie." This version includes the lyrics, "Pushing my handcart, I'll make it I swear, OHH OHH Living on a Prairie." Hilarious!

After the sports matches, we headed to Grammy's for traditional egg bake and coffee cake. It was yum as usual. The kids had a wonderful time playing with cousins, Tyler and Morgan. Mom had a great time playing Seinfeld Scene It. I seriously need that game. Chris and I were such a good team that I had to throw some of the questions to give the other teams a chance. We use Seinfeld quotes in our daily conversation. No one stands a chance against us.





Christmas night we came home and played some more baseball and bowling and listened to some more guitar classics. It was super fun!

The next day we spent putting away our new toys and playing. Christopher got Risk from Santa and Chris and I were loathe to discover that 2008 Risk is not the same as 1980 Risk. It was very disappointing. At one point, Chris was refusing to play this new, impostor Risk. We convinced him, however, and we had a really fun game. It was hard for me to take over countries owned by my cute little boys and hear their pleas of, "No, Mom, not Western Australia." It was torture for me. I love games especially Risk, Axis and Allies and Monopoly. Growing up, I didn't have many people to play with me, so I would play with myself. I would have a Monopoly game going with myself and my "friends" for days. No one's feelings were ever hurt. Playing with real people is different for me. (Yes, I am quite the nerd.) Chris and I dominated the game and picked off the boys and then he took me out. It was super fun. We were so upset about the new Risk that we took a little trip over to his Mom's toy room to see if his original Risk game was there. Thankfully, it was and has found a new home in our game closet.


We had so much fun that Christopher and Lizzie were completely tuckered out

The best part of the Christmas celebrating this year was being with my family and having fun with so many people that I love so much. I am so thankful for all of the blessings that I have received this year and the number one blessing in my life is my family. I hope everyone had as nice a holiday as we did.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekly Top Five 12/22/2008

Top Five Restaurants to go for Lunch

1. Maya's Deli

2. Einsteins

3. Panera

4. Cozy Cafe

5. Max and Ermas

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thankful Thursday 12/18/2008

1. Anna's done with radiation

2. Christmas vacation is one day away!!!

3. Christmas cards and letters

4. New winter coat

5. Our bishopric

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Additional Thank You

I just found a box on my porch from some snack food place in Massachusetts. It contained three packages of Stella D'Oro Egg Biscuits. Someone sent them to me for my birthday. Someone didn't say who they were but obviously read my blog because I assume they sent them because of this post.

To whomever sent them to me: Thank you for reading my blog, remembering this about me and then surprising me on my birthday. I love you, whoever you are!

Random Thank yous by Jennifer Vos

Thank you to random grandma shopper in Meijer who bagged my purchases for me. I had two kids trying to escape from stupid cart and one screaming baby. She noticed my need and quietly, quickly filled my bags and set them in my cart as I paid. I thanked her but wanted to give her a giant hug. I didn't, tho, cause maybe she'd think I was a freak.

Thank you to mom in Spencer's class who decided to give all the children a wooden model kit of a boat, requiring not only assembly but sanding and painting as well. I think this was a really super idea! Do you catch my sarcasm because I'm laying it on pretty thick? So much for catching up on laundry today. J/K, Chris.

Thank you to Heavenly Father for creating babies. I could hold, feed, cuddle, take care of, rock, snuggle, change, and love a baby 24/7. Even a crying baby. I love babies more than anything there is.

Thank you to Anna for having such a great daughter. Lucy, I love you!

Monday, December 15, 2008

So, I was talking to Nana on Saturday and her birthday is coming up, but, I don't know what to get her, she's gonna be 88. Get her a coffin.

Saturday was the fifth anniversary of my 29th birthday. My family really went out of their way to make this birthday very special for me. The entire weekend was a big birthday extravaganza!

On Friday, I went over to Anna's and we ate my favorite salad from California Pizza Kitchen and watched "Big Daddy". We had a super fun great wonderful time. I love my sister!

On Saturday, I woke up to breakfast in bed complete with a candle for me to blow out. The kids decorated the house with streamers and posters. They used a lot of yellow which is my favorite color.


Saturday night Chris took me out to dinner to BW3 and we ate my favorite chicken wings and I got to play their trivia game. I love that trivia game. It was so fun! We went home that night and had fabulous lemon pie for dessert. Thank you, Stacie!

On Sunday, Anna, Tony and Lucy came over for dinner. She made a super baked potato bar. It was fun! I even had birthday paper plates. I got several bags of dollar store gifts from the kids. They all know my favorite things to get me like refrigerator magnets and anything yellow. Anna and Tony got me a set of "Little Miss" books and an awesome appetizer cookbook. I can't wait to try it out! Chris got me an entire box of Reece's Peanut Butter Cups. That's 72 cups. I laughed when I saw his gift! He is sweet. And must not care how fat I get.



My cake was so awesome! Chris likes to get me a cake with a picture of something from TV that I am really into. Some previous cakes have been, "The O'Reilly Factor" when I was obsessed with the 2000 Presidential Election and "Law and Order." This year my cake was Simon Baker from "The Mentalist." Almost too pretty to eat!

Previous Cakes


2008 Edition

This truly was one of the best birthdays I have ever had! Thank you, Family, for making it so great!

Weekly Top Five 12/15/2008

Top Five Favorite Cookies/Treats to Eat that I Associate with Christmas

1. Baklava

2. Frosted Cutouts

3. Church Windows

4. Hungarian Fruit-filled Cookies by Ann Gasser

5. Homemade Caramels

Friday, December 12, 2008

WHO STOLE MY SUCKING THING? I NEED MY SUCKING THING!



Lizzie turned two months earlier this week. It's hard to believe that she has been with us for two months. Sometimes it feels like two days and sometimes it feels like she has always been here. She is such a little joy! She gives the sweetest, shyest smiles especially for Auntie Anna. She coos a bit, too. She is always studying us, giving us the most inquisitive looks. She weighed in at 9lbs. 10 oz. at her check up. This is only one ounce less than Calvin weighed at birth!

I'm still sleeping with her in my bed most nights. I'm having a hard time breaking myself of the habit. I do wish she would love her binkie a little more than she does. She's not completely hooked on it. If she wants her thumb, I say go for it. Right now the only form of soothing she is completely sold on is being held and rocked and snuggled.

I'm a big fan of the binkie and the thumb. When Emily was born, she took to the binkie right away. She was such a good baby and pretty much gave it up by the time she was 9 or 10 months. Christopher had a harder time taking to a binkie. I tried and tried to get him to take one. It wasn't until he was about 6 weeks that he really took to it. And took to it he did. He could not be without it. When he got older, he would carry two or three around with him. He had to have spares when he went to bed. When we decided that 3 was too old for a binkie, Chris took all the binkies away and the poor little guy had to go cold turkey. I was a little softer and kept sneaking binkies to him in his bed. I was found out and finally all the binkies were confiscated.


Christopher attached to his binkies.

Calvin wasn't quite as attached as Christopher but I tricked him when it was time to ween him off. I cut the binkie and when he tried to suck on it he said it was broken and threw it away. That was the end of the binkie for him.

Spencer is my first thumbsucker. He never took the binkie and started sucking his thumb around 6 weeks. He would use one hand to hold in the other hand and sometimes looked like he was playing a trumpet. He is still sucking...I'm still a softie. Cameron is another binkie boy and sometimes carries around a container of binkies. He loves them. The only binkie that Lizzie will even consider taking is the ugliest binkie. I think it looks like she has a flying saucer on her mouth. Maybe she will transfer to the thumb.

quod non me interficit me confirmat

Today I went to school to help the boys do their shopping for Christmas at the school's Secret Santa Shop. I dropped off Cameron at Anna's and took Lizzie with me. I had to park across the street because all the parking close to the school was taken. I made my way to the school, Lizzie on arm, got my "Visitor" sticker and then toted Lizzie out to the portable classroom where they had the shop set up. I helped Calvin choose a variety of presents including a very heavy, metal C-clamp (That's going to you, Tony, you big lucky!). Then the presents had to be wrapped and labeled. The whole system was not very well organized. Moms were wrapping and taking money and helping kids and presents were all over the place. It was a little frustrating. Calvin got his 20 gifts in a box and we set them aside because I said I would take them home. Next comes in Spencer's class. He picked some great gifts but passed on the c-clamp. Again with the wrapping and labeling only this time there was a crying baby involved. And about 5 mothers who must disapprove of letting babies cry a little because they were all clicking their tongues and giving me worried looks. So we get the gifts wrapped and labeled and bagged. I head out...crying baby in bucket on arm, box under other arm, diaper bag and two other bags of gifts slung over various arms and shoulders and neck. I shuffle out of the portable classroom to the school because I need to drop off a letter to Christopher's class for them to take home regarding their class party. WHY DID I SIGN UP TO HELP WITH HIS PARTIES????? Moment of temporary insanity, I guess. So I get to the closest door. Locked. I know its for the kids safety but, man, that box of presents was so heavy and now I was going to have to go around to another door. And I was freezing because my winter coat broke two winters ago and I haven't replaced it. And it was really slippery. But I continue on, shuffling around the school to the only unlocked door. As I make my way to Christopher's classroom, Lizzie is in full-blown scream mode now. I give the teacher the notes and he looks at me and says, "Could you close the door behind you?" I wanted to throw the box of presents at his head. I honestly expected him to ask Christopher to help me carry the stuff to my car but I guess chivalry is dead. I pick up my stuff once again and shuffle off to my car which is across the street. My arm, seriously, I thought it would break off. I kept saying in my head, "You can make it one more step...ok...one more, just one more." I made it to the car finally and just sat for a minute, relieved to be done with that chore. I was dreading coming home because I had left the house in a tornado mess getting ready to go. Luckily, I am blessed with a husband who anticipates my needs because not only was the house all picked up when I got home but he organized my "nursing basket" that I keep beside my bed. What a gem he is! Now, I need a nap.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thankful Thursday 12/11/2008

1. Santa Secret Shop

2. Dollar Wish and the friendly Indian man who owns it

3. A full shelf of toilet paper

4. Finding lots of binkis

5. The First Presidency Message in the December Ensign

I care

Well, Chris thought my post yesterday was a little harsh. He reminded me how many people love their BYU and Stephen Covey and that I might offend someone. I couldn't sleep well last night with worry that someone was offended because of my list. It's not that I hate any of the things on the list or wish them ill-will...they just aren't in my sphere of care. You can love them and care about them. Just so you know, here's a list of things I care about.

Cancer
The Handicapped
The Unborn
The Born
MSU
Toledo
The car companies
Crocs
Khaled Husseini
Christmas
Halloween
Thanksgiving
Professional Baseball
Ellen
Fringe
Roger Whittaker
Facebook
St. Ursula
Willow Tree Statues
Wades
Spongebob
Oswald
James Bond
Katie Holmes
Tom Cruise
Jennifer Garner
Any board game
Candy bars
People who have the flu
Voting
Tornados
Alzheimer's
The Beatles
Chicago
Japan
Harry Potter
Paul W. Smith
Kwame Kilpatrick
The Lions
The Daily Show
90210
You

Ok...I feel human again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I don't care

Thanks Mark Brown for this idea.

List of things I don't care about:

Space exploration
Peanut allergies
Animal rights
Richard Paul Evans
Nicholas Sparks
France
Sex in the City
Grey's Anatomy
Dancing with the Stars
Heroes
Lost
Professional Football
Professional Basketball
Professional Hockey
Madonna
Jessica Simpson
Brittney Spears
Jason Bourne
The Joker or Heath Ledger or Batman (Other than the 1989 Batman--Does this mean I have no taste?)
Having taste
Any kind of shoes worn for any purpose other than covering your feet and being comfortable
Anyone with Lil in their name. (Other than Lil Ellsworth.)
BYU
Platinum
Rhodium
Sweetest Day
Fundraisers
Global Warming
Emissions
Cafe Standards
Starbucks
Pilates
Yoga
Core Training
Avatar
Going green
Stephen Covey
Tony Robbins
Deepak Chopra
Scrapbooking (Could I get disfellowshipped for that?)
Kate Spade
Oprah
The View
Katie Couric
MSNBC
CNBC
CNN
Shopping
Coats
Boats
Country Clubs
Keens
Whiners

Monday, December 8, 2008

Two roads diverged in a wood...


I often wonder about my life and choices that I make and how my life would have been different if I had made different choices and had different experiences. Does everyone do that? I think we all wonder, what if?

What if my parents had never joined the church? I certainly would not be doing what I am doing now. I probably would have made it through school and college and gone on to medical school and I might just be done with a residency now. I'm guessing maybe I'd be married but my career would be first before children. I doubt my sister would be here because without the faith and inspiration that she was supposed to come here and the priesthood blessings she received, she may not have survived her first few fragile days. Would I know true Joy? I don't think I would.

What if I had stayed at BYU instead of returning home? I wouldn't have met Chris and have the six wonderful children that I have now. In this same vein...what if I had married someone out there? I did like a boy at BYU. I loved him from afar for 7 years and never let him know. We were great friends and if he liked me back, I didn't know it. He was everything a young man should be before his mission...just friends with girls, not serious, etc... I hope my boys are just like him in that regard. But what if he came home from his mission and I was still single and we got married? I would live far away from Michigan now. Far away from my sister. I would have gone through the years of my father's declining health unable to assist. One of the things that I cherish most about my husband is the way he takes care of my family. When he graduated from college, his didn't really care much what job he had as long as it was in Toledo near my dad and sister. He wanted to be integral in their care. He would not consider anything that wasn't in Toledo. He hired my brother-in-law after he graduated from BYU in part to bring them back to Michigan because he knew how important it was to me to have my sister close to me. I am so glad that I left BYU, that I met Chris and that I decided to marry him. Best decision I ever made.

What if we had decided to limit our family to two children? I think about this all the time. What if Emily and Christopher were all we had? My life would be less hectic, less stressed. Yet, I love the hectic-ness. I love the stress and the noise and the craziness of our 8 member family. I am so happy. I have so much joy. We made the right decision to have the children we are having.

Sometimes I wonder how I would have turned out if my mom hadn't died. I think I would be much better without alot of the weakness that I have because she compelled me to be good. However, I think I would have weaknesses in other areas. I wouldn't be able to endure trials and heartaches as well because I wouldn't know loss. I wouldn't be able to comfort others in their times of need and trial because I wouldn't know how they feel.

I am thankful that I have made these good decisions for my life. I hope that as my life continues to unfold that I will continue to choose wisely.

Seven? Yeah, I guess I could see it. Seven.

I liked this tag post on Danette's blog. The top seven quirks of Jennifer Vos.

1. I always start my day on the Internet in the same way. Look at LDS website. Look at IMDB.com and vote on their daily poll, weather.com, yahoo.com, check obits on Toledo Blade to make sure no one I know has died, googlereader.com, Suzy's blog, Mark's blog, Danette's blog, Stacie's blog, Plymouth Library's site, Facebook and then the bank website. I can't do it out of order.

2. When eating candy bars, I try and nibble all the chocolate off before I eat whatever the center is.

3. When doing any chore, I will do it til it's almost complete. I always leave one little thing left to do before I move on. It drives Chris crazy.

4. I can't stand skin. I can't stand looking closely at people's skin. It makes me nauseated. Skin is completely disgusting. I could have never been a dermatologist.

5. I can't serve corn with spaghetti. I must have a green vegetable with spaghetti.

6. Like Danette, I am completely anti-hype. If there is anything at all that is popular, I go against the grain. I am not interested in Oprah's book club. In fact, I purposely do not choose her books. I do not want to see the movie that everyone else is rushing out to see. Still haven't seen Batman Begins or Dark Knight. Probably never will. Still haven't read Twilight. Probably never will. I hate it when something obscure that I love becomes popular. I was buying books on Amazon.com 13 years ago before they were huge. It bugs me that they are huge now.

7. I am totally annoyed with germaphobes. In my house, the five second rule is king.

Weekly Top Five 12/8/2008

Top Five People that I haven't talked to in at least over five years and would really just like to know how they are doing.

1. Amy Jasinski

2. Tiffany Cameron

3. Kathy Faiella

4. Becky Carter

5. Sheridan Richey

6. Paul Abegg

Friday, December 5, 2008

And in this country it is not only permissible to question our leaders it's our responsibility!

Dear President-Designate Obama, (Technically you are not the President-Elect until the Electoral College casts their votes on the 15th)

Well, you got me. I almost drank the kool-aid you were peddling.

I was ready to buy in. I listened to your acceptance speech and watched your cute little girls and I started to like you. I heard what sounded like common sense coming from your mouth. And I'm a sucker for a man with dimples. And Oprah was crying. Who can resist it when Oprah cries?? I started to get annoyed when I would hear Rush and Sean still ripping you to shreds after the election.

To set the record straight, I did not vote for you. I knew you were pro-choice, which is my test of a person's character. Deep down inside, I knew you couldn't possibly be a man of character if you were unwilling to protect our nation's most innocent citizens. But you energized me. I wanted to see what you would do.

And then you started doing. After your announcement of your intention to appoint Hillary Clinton to the office of Secretary of State, my momentary lapse of good political judgment was over. In my opinion, Hillary Clinton and her morally bankrupt husband are the worst examples of role models and leadership that our country has encountered in my lifetime. Perhaps even longer. Allying yourself and your administration with the dregs of the Democrat Party makes me question every comment, every promise, every smile you made during this election.

Thankfully my Obama-induced coma is done. Hillary Clinton and her lying, cheating husband are the reason why I and many Americans distrust politicians. They have done nothing in their political careers to inspire trust. They have, however, brought oral sex to the forefront of mainstream media and helped countless youth believe that it isn't really sex. They are just fantastic.

Congratulations, Mr. Obama, you did just what they said you would.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Vos

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful Thursday 12/4/08

1. New shoes for Spencer

2. An even cleaner basement

3. Christmas decorating done

4. Carol Vos

5. Liz Lemon Swindle's painting of Emma Smith and her children entitled "Time to Laugh"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas Tag

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial :(
3. When do you put up the tree? early December
4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime in early January
5. Do you like eggnog? only from Caulder's Dairy
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Merlin
7. Hardest Person to buy for? Husband
8. Easiest person to buy for? Kids
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Several
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Both
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Clothes that don't fit
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? A few days before Christmas
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? :)
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chili Mac
16. Lights on the tree? White
17. Favorite Christmas song? Anything by Roger Whittaker
18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? stay at home
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Yes
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Morning? Both
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Too much traffic and stores so busy
23. What theme or color are you using? No theme
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Appetizers
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Sit and Stand Stroller, Sewing Machine

Weekly Top Five 12/1/08

Top Five Favorite Picture Books

1. The Country Bunny and The Little Gold Shoes


2. Leo the Late Bloomer



3. The Little Black Sambo



4. The Story About Ping


5. Millions of Cats

Friday, November 28, 2008

I can't forget it. I am sorry. I had no idea it was your cab. Let me make it up to you. How about a nice hot dog and a beer?

Happy Thanksgiving from the Littlest Turkey!!


I've been thinking about this post all day and I know I am going to have a lot of trouble writing it. Our Thanksgiving Day was so perfect that I don't think there are words in the English language to express how I feel about it. I am so thankful for every blessing that we have been given this year especially my wonderful family. Without them my life would be terribly empty.

We carefully planned the menu. In our household, snacks are the most important feature of the meal. Anna and I both agreed that we were going to do mostly snacks and we were going to skip the turkey and just get a chicken and the fixings. However, we were blessed with a free turkey so we changed our plans a little bit. We still did the fixings...stuffing, potatoes, rolls, squash and green bean casserole. But the snacks were really the star of the Thanksgiving show.

In all, we had fourteen different kinds of appetizers. Some of them I didn't even get to eat. They were all soooooooo awesome!! Here's the awards:

Best Newcomer: Boneless Buffalo Chicken Fingers
Returning Favorite: Cranberry Puffs
Fan Favorite: Pigs in Blankets
Best Use of Balled Cheese: Crab Ball Dip
Best Use of Pickled Bologna: Pickled Bologna


Snack Eating.


Lucy's right...we all need to go for a swim to work off all those snacking calories.



After we let our stomachs rest from the snacking, we took some family photos. Here are some of my favorites. I wish I had a video of us taking the pictures. It was hilarious!

Just the gals.









Lucy's not a fan of this pose.


Four little Indians.

Emily made the cutest place cards for our table. Vos' are the Indians and Onofrio's are the Pilgrims. Aren't these the best?!






Funniest part of the meal was when Tony noticed that Spencer was molding his mashed potatoes. We were sure to get a shot of his hands.




Other favorite things about this Thanksgiving: not having any stress, not having a timetable, being with my dear sister and her dear family all day long, not having to get dressed up, the food was so good, being with all my children and having them get along with each other, having Chris home. It was a glorious day!!



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