Thursday, December 20, 2007

No Binkies But...

With each of my boys I've given them a decent opportunity to take a Binky. They have both declined. In the last few days, however, Seth has tried out the ol' thumb...I guess we'll see how it plays out!?!

A Snowed in Sunday

Well, we had our first big snow storm in Cleveland. It started late Saturday after noon, paused during the night, and started up strong during church. Our normal thirty minute drive along Lake Erie to our meeting house took us one hour as we drove 25 mph and took our half out of the middle as not to fall into a ditch or off the road. I'm just happy that Ben was able to drive us was rough.
The nice part about our weekend was that Ben's parents flew into town for a visit. I love for them to come, it gives us all a chance to catch up and for the kids to enjoy their Grandparents. Ben's mom always brings tons of fun activities for her Maxton to work on, which was perfect for our snowed in Sunday. We made two Ginger Bread Houses, took naps, and watch the snow fall. Not only was the snow fun to watch, but we also enjoyed watching Maxton do somersaults in his diaper.
I love the snow while I'm indoors and nice and was truly a "Winter Wonderland" outside.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Dessert Now...

Looks like Maxton's philosophy is Dessert now, dinner later...he obviously likes to save the best for first instead of last by the looks of this picture. And I can't say that I blame the kid. Just a cute moment during our Saturday lunch that I wanted to share. I love little boys!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Cards

It's finished...I can't believe it! Seems like I start earlier and earlier each year on my cards in hopes to have them delivered and in every one's mailboxes by December 1st. It's amazing to me that no matter when I start or how motivated I am in the beginning, they always get finished and mailed out around the same time each year. I think I'm just gonna let up on myself for next year and realize that I'll get them out before the 25th whether I start them in October or December 1st...I know I'll get them done.

The best part about sending out Christmas cards is receiving them in the mail. You know what I mean...the anticipation as you wait for the mail look out the window or drive down your street and notice that your neighbors flag is down signaling to you that the mail has come. You hurry and feed the kids to get them ready for naps. Once everyone is asleep, you slip on your shoes, and run down the drive since you took no time to put on you jacket. You open your box and collect all of your items, but wait till you're safely inside before going through the junk mail and bills to find those few treasured items...your Christmas Cards. You're especially thrilled when they've come from friends and family far from you and glad that your little ones are fast asleep so you can sit at the table to carefully catch up on their lives and enjoy their pictures.

For me, it's all worth it to figure out what to do/make for our family Christmas Card and then to ready near 100 of those little buggers for the mail. So, keep enjoying your holiday...I'm sure each of you have something that you enjoy and love as much as I do my cards...I've gotta run and check the mail!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A new Tradition

It's funny, even though your are considered an adult at 21 years...Ben and I don't really feel like grown up. We've been married now 4 years and have two little boys, both have been through school and work (or in my case use to work)...but we still feel like youngins. Last night though...I kinda felt old...okay not really, but I played a good part.
What did we do last night? Well, we had our first Christmas Party for Ben's office staff. We decided to have the party at our house. Ben did most of the cooking, and was his assistant. I made a nice little drink, ginger ale with cranberry juice garnished with cranberries, and some little quiche hor devours to get things rolling. Once at the table, we all opened our poppers/crackers, which supplied us with a little joke, paper crowns, and small was fun. For dinner we served spinach salad, beef tenderloin, king crab legs, prosciutto wrapped asparagus, pasta, bread, and a chocolate desert of sorts.
We ended things with a surprise visit from Jolly Ol' Saint Nicholas (Ben...I had made him a Santa Suit a couple of years ago), who passed out the presents. We gave all the ladies belgian waffle makers with a few recipes and their bonuses. (Ben has made the girls waffles with our iron on a few occasions at work per their request, and thought they would enjoy to have an iron of their own). I think that everyone was happy. They gave us a night on the town...a gift cert. to Brio (one of our favorite restaurant), movie tickets, and free babysitting. The also gave us the movie, "Blades of Glory" (we love Will Ferrel), and a book of popcorn recipes, since we do most of our dating at home once the kids have gone to bed...very thoughtful...we loved it!
I think for the most part we all had a good time, and it is definitely the first of many more staff Christmas Parties to come...a new traditions for us if you will. But to be honest, even though we have yet another adult responsibility...we still feel like a couple of young kids...I kinda hope that feeling lasts.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Wired Differently

It's the age old discussion...Man vs. Woman...Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus...nothing has changed. So, let me just be honest...Ben enjoys a good blog. I can catch him at least once a week at our computer checking the scores on ESPN, and then as I walk past the computer again...he is reading blogs. This last time I caught him, he found it comical how everyone had pictures of food on their blogs, whether they were sharing a recipe, or telling about their Thanksgiving Feast. I responded with a comment like, "What do you expect?...we're women...we write about things we like...what would you rather see on our of tools!?!" So...this entry is for all the men out there that read it's more than just about's about a good drill (which I've used every night to replace outlet covers after we finish painting a room)! Frankly, I'm glad we're wired differently...most of the time!
P.S. Yes, I made those's the easiest roll recipe ever...thanks to a good make them in the blender (yes...the blender you use to make your milkshakes)...let me know if you interested.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Paint, Paint, and more Paint

Well, we finally pulled the trigger...we're painting the house ourselves. We started upstairs and will work down from there. I'm excited to finally do a few home projects to make it feel more like home and personalized. I'll post some before and after pictures far, we've painted the bathrooms and Maxton and Seth's room. Even though it's hard work, we're enjoying it...we obviously wait until the boys are in bed and then we tackle one room a night...we usually fall in the bed a little after midnight, but it's worth it. Sherwin Williams has become our favorite store these days, and frankly we've become their favorite customers.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


There's nothing better than an oven full of yummy side dishes. We had a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful Feast. Along with our turkey, we had...sweet potato casserole, stuffing, rolls, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, asparagus, and pumpkin pie. We spent Thanksgiving with my folks down in Akron, OH, and we all helped to put the meal together...everything was so great!
Every year, we seem to learn a little bit more about cooking. Last year, I was learning how to make rolls. I didn't realize that you were to not only allow the dough to rise, but also let it rise again after you place the rolls on the cookie sheet. Lets just say that I cooked dozens of bite size nuggets...Ben liked to call them. Lesson learned, this time they were normal size and very enjoyable.
This year, Ali, my little sister, was the cook in training. After opening seven cans of cream of mushroom soup for her green bean casserole, she thought something was not quite right. She realized before she opened another three cans, that it was asking for one 10 ounce can, not 10 cans. So, my Mama was left with a container full of unused cream of mushroom soup. Yes, we all had a nice laugh. The thing that I thought was the funniest was that my mother had exactly ten cans of soup...I could see how Ali was a little thrown off. And among all of my many blessings, I'm indeed grateful for our sense of humor and a good funny story!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'm still here...somewhere!?!

I know what you're all thinking..."Where is that Tara girl...has she forgotten about the old blog?!" Okay, lets get one is thinking more than likely haven't even realized that it's been a little bit since I've posted something new. The truth is...I've missed you guys...all your great comments and tid bits that you leave at the end of my posts. Yes, I'm still here...somewhere...we are in the midst of cleaning and doing home projects. You would think it's spring around here (spring cleaning), we have been busy sorting through the kid's toys, clothes, cleaning out the basement, and doing small projects around the house like hanging pictures, installing back up sump pumps, etc.

The project I'm most excited about is the basement. We are not able to finish our base anytime soon, so we've trashed and good willed the items we don't use and put the rest up on shelves. We purchase a 12 X 20 piece of carpet and will be laying that down and putting most of the toys down stairs. I'm so excited to get my family room somewhat back. I'm hoping Max will enjoy his own space this winter and that I can enjoy not having to pick up every little toy when visitors come over, and be able to relax on the couch and not be over whelmed with chaos.

Also, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving...and good luck on any shopping adventures you plan to go on this Friday. We will be spending Thanksgiving with my folks, and we hope to sneak in a trip to the movies while the grandparents watch our children...we could really use a small date. TTFN!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Well, we survived our trip to Utah with two small children. I think the only thing that saved us, was buying Maxton his own plane ticket and strapping him down in his car seat...that way if he was going to have a fit, it wouldn't be in our laps. Honestly they did very well, we were pleased.
So, we went to Utah because it was David's last Weber State Home Game (Ben's little brother). It was a big deal for the whole family. All four of the brothers have played football for Weber State over the last 17 years and have also been season ticket holders. All seven of the brothers and sisters have worked hard and received they're bachelors from Weber...what more can I say...they all bleed purple! The local newspaper there in Ogden wrote up a nice article about the family and their love and commitment to Weber State and the Football team. It was nice to be at the game and to celebrate with family and friends. We enjoyed a nice dinner after the winning game and talked and reminisced over the passed years.
While in Utah, Ben and I were also able to see and visit with most of his brothers and sisters, along with their beautiful children. It's always nice to attend the temple while in town...there are plenty who are happy to watch the boys and it's so easy to get in and out at one of the many temples there in Utah.
One of my favorite things about coming home from Utah is that the kids sleep in so will take them a while to get back on eastern time...and that is just fine with me.
I'm sure the Hale family will still keep up with the Weber State Wildcats, but one thing is certain, they will never forget the fun and memories that were made these last 17 years. "Weber State, Weber State, Weber State, Great, Great, Great!"

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Best Baby Tender Ever

So, last Saturday night Ben and I decided to go to dinner on a whim...It was 7pm and our plan was to leave the house by 8pm (we were taking Seth with us since all he does is sleep and would not interrupt our date, besides the fact that I'm not ready/comfortable leaving him with a sitter yet)...I lucked out...Ol' Alex B. just happened to be sitting at home with nothing to do and was happy to come over and watch Maxton. He's been over before and Max has really enjoyed him, so I didn't leave much instruction, just told him where to find the diapers and about what time to put him to bed.

When we got home, it was a little after 10pm (yes, Ben and I had a great time) and I asked Alex how things went...he said that it was a little hard to get Maxton to go to bed and that he kept getting out and that he would have to put him back to bed. Of course I jumped to attention when he said, "he kept getting out," Max is still in a crib! So, I asked the obvious..."He kept getting out of his crib?" Alex replied, "No, his bed at the end of the hall, I assumed that Seth was in the crib (Seth is still in our room in the pack n' play)." I then asked, "Is he asleep?" Alex, "Yeah." I was so shocked and impressed with this 17 year old, I informed him that I would be calling when it was time to potty train.

Even though we were happy that Maxton had reached this milestone and was sleeping in his "big boy" bed for the first time, we were a little nervous about how the night would play out. He did pretty good for the most part, he did wake up a bit after 5am (which it was really 4am since the time was changing that night) and we heard the little sounds of small feet running across the tile. Ben was a sweet heart and got up with him and let Seth and I sleep a little longer. Needless to say, Maxton fell fast asleep on the way to church and was tired most of the day. And Yes, we put Max back in the crib on Sunday...I think we'll revisit the "big boy" bed in another month or so...Ben and I aren't quite ready to wake up at the crack of dawn with Maxton when Seth is still getting up a few times during the night. We're just satisfied to know that he can sleep in the bed and thanks to Alex we know how to get him to sleep in his new bed.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Time...don't we all wish we had more of it?!? I wish I had more time for the following:

1-Holding and rocking my sweet baby boys.
2-More time to sleep between feedings with Seth.
3-Extra time to scrapbook and blog the memories that are made each day.
4-Time to get my laundry done in one day.
5-Time to sit and relax with Ben after the boys go to bed.
6-More Summer Time for swimming and playing at the park.
7-Time to take longer showers.
8-Time to exercise.
9-A little longer nap time.
10-Sometimes, I wish Time stood still when I think about how fast they are both growing.

Time is definitely something I'm starting to cherish!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

We've had some fun this Halloween. We kicked things off with going to "Boo at the Zoo" at the Cleveland Metro Park Zoo on Oct. 19th. It was so fun. My dad came along, and we were able to see a lot of the animals, jugglers, people on stilts, the energizer bunny (along with a other dressed up characters), and don't forget the treat bags. It was the first time Maxton was old enough to realize there were animals beyond the cages and fences. He loved it and loved growling like a lion whenever he saw a new animal.
Last Saturday night we went to our Stakes Fall festival. We dressed both the boys up in their costumes...Maxton is Elmo this year and Seth is a Pea Pod. Maxton has had a few issues putting on's a perfect fit, okay, maybe a little tight, but he is so cute in it...and I don't think he understands that it is just a costume (we did not skin Elmo, he is still on sesame street with the rest of the gang)...once he gets all situated and busy doing something, he stops fussing about wearing Elmo. Seth is young enough not to talk back or fuss...thank goodness. They had hot dogs, games, made crafts, a costume parade, and of course lots of candy.
Sunday, we went down to my mom's house in Akron and ate dinner and carved pumpkins. It was so's been awhile since I carved a pumpkin. Last year we were about to move into our house (Nov. 1st will be a year since we moved in), so we didn't decorate at all.
Tonight, we will be turning on the porch lights, lighting the Jack 'o lantern, and dressing the kids for "trick or treating"! Like always, I just went out and bought my candy for the trick or treaters because I have no self control...this way I eat less candy and spend less money trying to replenish all the chocolate I've devoured. Happy Halloween!

P.S. So I received an anonymous comment on my last post entitled "To all my Lurkers"...they forgot to add their name at the end of their to that individual...first-Who are you? and second-You are still a lurker because I have no idea who you are!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

To all my Lurkers

So, I don't know what was going on with my blog, but the layout has altered from it's original format. It use to be easy to read, but the brown background has disappeared making it hard to read the light colored lettering. So, I decided to change the layout and see if that helps. The funny thing is, my lurkers have informed me of know what I'm talking about...those who enjoying reading from afar...driving by very slowly and not stopping in to say hello...letting it ring until the machine picks up and then never leaving a message...going in for that high five and leavin' um other words, reading the ol' blog and not leaving your comments...waiting till you see me face to face and telling me what you think...I need not mention names, you know who you are. Let me know if my blog is easier to read...leave a comment...stop in for awhile...hang up after you leave a brief message...give me some skin...peace out!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Not a bragging session

Ben is always complaining about how I need to send more pictures to our family out west...he says there are not enough on the blog, so I either need to put more pictures of the kids on the blog, or upload some photos to Costco so they can view them. So, please don't feel like this is a bragging session for me and my kids, just trying to get a few more pictures of the boys in our blog for the family members so far away, but very near to our hearts.
A few pictures of Seth during General Conference Weekend

A few pictures of Max and Seth dressed like twins

A picture of my Boys

Friday, October 19, 2007

So much for my new thing

So I saw this show on Oprah the other day...yes, I watch of life's simple pleasures...the show was about Jessica Seinfeld's new cookbook, "Deceptively Delicious". It teaches and gives you recipes on how to slip vegetables into everyday meals, by using purees. The reason I wanted to try it, was more for me than my family...I'm not the best vegetable eater...Ben and Max are great with most foods. The day after Oprah's show, I took a trip to Target and bought the book. I went through that day and made up my grocery list, and went shopping the next day. That morning after shopping, I peeled, cut, steamed, pureed (with my Kitchen Aid blender), bagged up my purees, and placed them in the fridge so they would be ready and easy to put in the recipes I had outlined to make. That afternoon, I was able to make some muffins, which I put 1/2 cup of yellow squash in, and I thought they were pretty good. After that, I started to run into some problems...Ben, is a little resistant when I suggest one of my recipes, so I have to make things when he is not home or aware...and the major issue that I'm having now, is that sweet little Max got a hold of my blender and dropped it on the tile floor...need I say broke into many many tiny pieces. So now I don't have the equipment I need to make any more purees. What I thought would be a wonderful idea and more importantly get me eating my veggies, crashed right before my eyes on the kitchen floor. The good news is not only will I be off the hook when eating my veggies, I won't be able to make any milk shakes...that should balance me out, right?!?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

One of Grady's Ladies

Hello all! I know, it's been a bit since my last post. I've been busy watching our Cleveland Indians kick some butt! It's been so exciting around our house going to games and watching them on t.v. until all hours of the night. A few weeks ago, Ben came home and said, "Don't be mad at me, but I need to be honest...I bought all the playoff tickets for the Indians?!" How could I be mad at him, he was so excited, and I was excited for him. He told me that as a boy he dreamed of going to an ALCS game, and now he can say that one of his dreams has finally come true. So, I found a sitter and got things ready around the house so that I could attend one of the games...this was our first date night since we had Seth mind you...and we were off. It was pretty amazing, seeing all the fans and the Jake packed...there was definitely a buzz in the air...the best part was that we won...4-2 Indians. The quote of the night said by Ben was, "I love being close enough to smell the grass (sec. 129 row G seats 1 &2)." Ben is truly having the time of his life, what more can I say..."It's Tribe Time Now". As for the favorite player is Grady Sizemore...I tried to name our second born Grady. Who knows...maybe you'll see me on TV while you are watching the World Series...Let's Play Ball!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Busy Boys

It's amazing how much Max can do in a matter of minutes, he's truly entertaining to watch. I love to see him discover new things, and learn how to do tasks all by himself. He has really grown mentally in the last month. I was watching him the other night and within a fifteen minute window, he read a book, played in a box, drank some bottled water, jumped on the couch next to Seth, and played in the dishwasher. On the flip side, Seth just sleeps, enjoys a nice bath, and likes to look around and watch all the crazy things Max can do. It's funny how I thought infants/babies were so much work. I look at Seth in a whole new light...he's easy, he stays right where I left him, and he never gets into anything. I actually kind of enjoy the midnight feedings, because it's just Seth and I with no interruptions. I guess what I'm saying is...I really love my boys and enjoy all the stages of their life.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Over the Top

Since life has become a little more crazy these days, I try to make things as easy as possible. For example...When I was half way through my pregnancy, it was just too much to carry the laundry basket down stairs to the laundry room, so I started throwing all the dirty clothes over the top of the banister and kicking them into the laundry room. Since Seth, I've continued this tradition and Max enjoys this game right along with me...however, if there aren't any dirty clothes to go down, he just starts opening up the draws in each of the bedrooms and throws our clean clothes over the top. But here's the moral of the story...Since I throw diapers in the garage garbage, I don't keep a garbage can know where this is going...I just collect all the diapers from the night before and throw them over the top. Up until now that hasn't been a problem...then yesterday, after nap time, I changed Max and threw his diaper over the top, and realized there was a saturation limit for two stories...yes, the diaper exploded and tons and tons of little saturated diaper crystals covered my tile floor. What started out as a convince, tossing stuff over the top, become a major clean up.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Fall is in the air

One of the great things about living in Ohio is all the great farms that we can visit. Last week, I took the kids to a farm near Vermillion, OH to pick apples. We went with a few other moms from our area and their kids...I think between the five of us, we topped out at 13 little ones....either we're crazy or brave...probably both. It was lot of fun...Max is just now getting to the point where he understands what's going on and can somewhat praticipate with whatever the activity might be. He loved walking down the appletree rows with his personal apple picking bag (he loved it even more holding hands with his friend Sadie). Of course, Seth was easy to have there...all I had to do was keep pushing the stroller around and he was happy to enjoy one of his many naps during the day. We spent most of the late afternoon there, and then played in a small area where they had pumkins, and hay mazes setup. It's really starting to feel like fall.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A whole new Ball Game

There has been lots of excitement around our House...we've had our second baby boy, the Indians are in the playoffs (and yes, Ben is much that he bought playoff tickets from our neighbor who works for the Indians), and I'm now blogging (thanks to my good friend, emily, who I have been making fun for blogging....she now has her first blogging that is), which I have no idea what I'm be patient as I get all the bugs worked out and figure my way around this program.

Hopefully our family and friends that are far from us, will enjoy seeing what's going on in Avon Lake a little more regularly (as long as I post something during the week...we'll see).
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