Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Idaho

For the first time since moving to Las Vegas 11 years ago, we Esplins are celebrating Christmas in Idaho! Monumental, yeah? We have my parents to thank, for they made this magic happen.

Btw, this was the only thing on my annual unattainable gifts-that-I-always-manage-to-attain list... and as you can see, I attained it. My good fortune continues.

So, I headed up to Idaho on my own with the kids last Saturday, via Utah, under extreme road conditions. Visibility went something like this:

Still, the drive wasn't too bad until we passed Ogden, and then the snow started coming down and the road got pretty slick, and we almost died. Here's how:

We were on a straight stretch of freeway when the back wheels started sliding out to the right, so I overcorrected it, and then they started sliding out the other way, so I overcorrected it again. After that, the whole car slid sideways down the freeway, until it turned and started sliding backwards (we got a 3 second view of headlights coming toward us), and then it completed two slow, wide spins down the freeway before finally crashing in a snowy ditch off the side of the road.

In the moment, I couldn't remember how to get a sliding car back under control so I just let my foot off the gas, didn't touch the break, and let it slide. Of course, we were screaming the whole time (except for Homer who had only "squeezed his eyes shut tight"), and it took forever for the car to finally land. I had enough time to think about crashing and yell "ohmigosh, we're gonna flip, we're gonna flip, hold on, hold on, hold on," and sing the first verse and chorus of Carrie Underwood's "Jesus take the Wheeeeeel" (I didn't sing it, but I had enough time to) before the car finally stopped. I took a few minutes to calm down, and made sure the kids were OK ("that was awesome!" they said--charight), and then I reversed out of the ditch (eventually), and white-knuckled it the rest of the way to Boise. Only took 14.5 hours. The "only" part is sarcastic.

Anyhow, we were very fortunate we didn't hit any cars or slid off the bridge into the snake river.

Boise got one more night of snow fall after we got here, but I think that's gonna be it.
Too bad, cuz now that we're here and we gots our new snow boots, we wouldn't mind a lil more snow.

I got to attend the infamous annual Bailey Family Christmas Party (white elephant gifts included an emergency identity-change kit with sunglasses a cell phone and a real SS card, these pants expanders that everyone fought over, and an adult-sized onesie). We've had lots of family gatherings, and I got to see my newest nephew in person for the first time ever.

I present to you, Dennis Adorabible Morgan:

He is the sweetest baby, never cries or fusses, just sits there with his widdle eyes open all the time and we all can get enough of him. I want him. Srsly.

If I could be guaranteed a baby this sweet, I would kidnap one.

Tony flew in Wednesday afternoon. He didn't almost die on the freeway like we did.

Boise friends: I know this is late notice, but I'll be here through the week after Christmas, if you wanna meet for lunch at Carl's Jr. I'll call you soon, kbye.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Christmas Carol Rap

This is Cord and his BFF's project for reading class. They got 98%--2 points docked from their score in the category of "dancing" (chip off thy ol' block), which, as we all know, is a fundamental aspect of reading. Ahem.

Just so we're clear, he played this video in front of his whole entire class. I asked Cord, "Did they laugh?" and he goes, "Yeah, but I think they were laughing at me, more than with me." This did not seem to bring him any shame.

I had zero creative input, I only held the camera. Due to computer technical difficulties, Landee actually helped edit this video for us all the way from Denver, CO, and even added a title a credits to the final copy. (Much obliged, lil lady.)

Also, here's a video of a ladybug being adorable.

More updates to come! If I can find some time to spare! Geez!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Random People

What do these people have in common? I dunno cuz I'm not Norwegian. I'm just glad they didn't forget Ricky Schroder from The Champ. Who's your favorite random person?

Also, ducklings blowing away...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cars and Buses Sliding and Crashing in the Snow...

...Featuring really terrible background music dubbed in by someone's teenage son.

Friday, December 3, 2010

24 Perfect Christmas Gift Ideas

After weeks of extensive research, I have complied a list of 24 Christmas gifts that are bound to make someone happy.

#1. From ThinkGeek, temporary tattoo hand puppets.

Stuff those in your stockings, Santas!

#2. Also from ThinkGeek, a real live working guitar shirt.

I saw the video. Seems legit.

#3. For that person who has everything, unicorn meat.
Magic in every bite, you say?! Again, seems legit.

#4. Next, plush Star Wars figures... that make sounds!

I cannot. Resist. Chewy. Must. Buy.

#5. Speaking of Star Wars, these adorable, movable LEGO Star Wars alarm clocks are selling out everywhere, and now they're going for about $50 to $100 on Amazon.

But I happen to know that they still have some at Toys R Us stores for only $25. Better hurry!
Scale to size:

#6. Limited Edition Garden Gnomes are at Costco for a limited time only, I assume.

^If you know anyone who loves gnomes and I know you do.

#7. I like this coloring book because it teaches kids the many shades of white (snowball white, polar white, frost white, igloo white, and the popular Arctic white).

#8. This is a good gift for someone who has hundreds upon hundreds of Boise State shirts cluttering up their closet:


Did you know Goodreads gives away free books? The program is called "first reads," and it's a mash-up of two things that thrill me like nothing else in the world: free stuff + sneak previews.

How it works is, publishers and authors give away a certain number of free books before they are released to the public (ARCs) to spread the word about the book and get some early reviews up. You can sign up for as many as you like and winners are picked at random. And then you can rub it in peoples faces that you read it before it was released, = gift that keeps on giving.

#10. Amazon has a new Kindle cover with a built-in light. It's a bit pricey, but if you're a rich person it's perfect!

Kindle Lighted Cover (Fits 6" Display, Latest Generation Kindle)

#11. Speaking of, did you know that the Kindle price has dropped to $139? That's after tax, and shipping is free. For the price of about 2 kindle covers with built in lights, you can buy an actual kindle. And it's new and improved!

#12. I'm sure you've already seen these, but I love that Hasbro came out with a new twist on 5 classic games.

And they are cheep! Only $10 at Walmart! And Hasbro has a $3 off coupon, so it's actually only $7! Print it HERE!

#13. I'm also loving all the LEGO boardgames.

#14. Fish bowls that hang from walls or keep your books from falling over, cuz everyone appreciates short-term pets.

Wall Mount Fish Bowl Aquarium Tank Beta GoldfishFish Bowl Bookend Set of 2

#15. A charming couch pillow shaped like a house.

You can buy it from uncommon goods for $155, or you can make one for free out of scraps of fabric from around the house and a magic marker. I recommend the latter.

#16. Mustashe pillow cases from Urban Outfitters.

::insert guttural French laugh::

17. Because it makes me absolutely sick when people throw away their ticket stubs:

#18. A reusable ziploc baggie (as it is made of glass).

Not just for iPhone lovers. It would be the perfect ironic gift for someone who hates iPhones.

#20. That thing from the mall that you've always wanted that gives you the chills in a good way but you never bought cuz it was a total rip off. Well, it's only $6 on Urban Outfitters dot com. Stocking, meet stuff.

Discovery Rainbow In My Room
For more intensity, get two of these gadgets and make a double rainbow all the way across the sky. The sky in your room.

#22. They're cute, they're zany, they're Sing-A-Ma-Jigs! And they are highly addictive. Tony and I once stood in the isle at Smiths and played with them for a good 30 minutes. And I think they are hard to find these days. Get 'em quick!

#23. A rubber slap bracelet watch from Hot Topic. Most of the fun will come from taking it on and off, cuz who really cares what time it is, right?

^^Comes in pink and black and green, too. It's BoGo, too.

And finally...

#24. A Fushigi ball, because (according to both the commercial and Homer), anyone can do it, you don't have to be a magician. Plus, since they've been advertising it like crazy on TV, your kids probably want it very badly on a subconscious level, even if they didn't ask for it.

Anticlimactic ending, I know. I should've put the unicorn meat last.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just Another Middle School Play

It's been ages, I've much to say. I'm not gonna say it all now since that would take forever.

I'm gonna start by posting this video of my adorable child performing in his adorable middle school play. It's a long scene. I don't expect you'll watch it all. But at least get to the part when he switches to a French accent at the beginning of Part 2. I was rather impressed.

The play is called Just Another High Middle School Play
In this scene, Cord is Romeo, along with various other male voices.
The puppeteer is played by his BFF, Michael.
Juliet is played by his IRL drama club nemesis.

Coming up...
1) Pictures of the freakishly good Mac 'n Cheese I had on mine and Tony's anniversary
2) Unique Christmas gift ideas
3) My annual unattainable Christmas wish list that I always manage to attain
4) You Tube videos I like
5) Things I saw on the Internet
6) A Very Merry Shedersplin Thanksgiving
6) Our photoshopped family pictures that may or may not be ironic, by the very talented Memzy Shederton

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Praying Mantis Test

videoTwo goals. First, to show you this weird praying mantis we spotted at school today, with his arms in the air like he just don't care. And second, to see if I can email video to my blog via my phone. Lemmeknowifitworks,kthanksbye.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Few of my favorite things

I love it when Tony puts the laundry away and a few days later I find Cord's jeans hanging in my closet. He must think I'm super la petite! He holds up a pair of size 12 boy's jeans and says to himself, "These'll definitely fit my wife, they must be hers." And then he hangs them in my closet where my shirts go. Isn't that nice?

Other nice things include real-life glee clubbers...

...the return of candy cane Hershey kisses (aka, my breakfast for the next month)...

...and people who think they are bigger Harry Potter fans than me just cuz they've read them over 100 times and have a lot of drawings and permanent tattoos and junk:


Get this and other HP countdowns at

Saturday, November 13, 2010

These people got into Harvard.

Huge Harry Potter fan, here. Quidditch is easily my favorite sport, second only to competitive drama. But watching muggles play makes me giggle/secretly wish I could run around with a broom betwixt my legs.

Only 5 more days til Deathly Hallows, my friends.
5 days, something minutes, and something seconds.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Things I've been meaning say about Ragnar...

2010 Las Vegas Ragnar Relay Team
"Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt"

Ages ago, my cousin Anna (seen above in the white hoodie) invited Tony and I to join her 12-person Ragnar relay race team, and I said heck yeah, even though I really didn't know what that was. It turned out to be the most painfully fun thing ever!

Anna took care of all the arrangements, all the rest of us had to do was learn how to run good. And I tried. I really did. I ran a lot.

(Actual picture of me running not suitable for Internet)

Our team ran a total of 195 miles, uphill both ways, over barren desert terrain, and it only took us about 37 hours.

We had two vans, carrying 6 runners each.

Van #1:

(BIL Dwight, Me, Memzy, Shed, Uncle David, my home-turf BFF Ally)

Van #2:

(Cousin Kerra, Tony, Dave, Hotpants, Trent, Anna, Anna)

Our van (#1) got up at 4am, after getting to bed late the night before, to make it to the starting line on time, and it was during that early morning ride that I realized that what we were about to do was actually physically impossible. And when you find yourself in an impossible situation, with a group of people who also find the situation impossible, the whole thing suddenly becomes hilarious!

"What were we thinking??? We can't do this! Hahaha! This is silly. We're already exhausted and the race hadn't even started. That's hilarious! Hahaha! More cowbell. Hahahahaha!"

Believe me, it was 37 hours of funny. You had to be there.

And it turned out, it wasn't completely impossible, because we did finish the race. We placed 251 out of 256 teams. I feel sooo bad for whoever got in last place. Pathetic!

Much thanks to Anna for including us on her team! Both Tony and I had a ton of fun.

Anyhow, you can see more pictures and read more about the race HERE and HERE (if you haven't already). I'll (fingers crossed) also have a Ragnar video montage for your viewing pleasure as soon as I can get Anna's video clips formated correctly--technical stuff only I understand, etc.

If you want to know where our team name came from (Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt), see the following obscure YouTube Video:

Notice that dude was clearly hit by a lightning bolt ball multiple times, yet he didn't flinch until that girl prodded from behind with a stick. Cheater.

Obscure YouTube videos are a great place to find a team name. Don't argue with me.

Take for example, this video:

I'm confounded at 1:08. Not by Lil Markie's voice, but by the entire congregation, who are just sitting there. Watching. Who ARE these people? I must name a team after them.

"Lil' Markie's Enraptured Audience"

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Various things...

On behalf of Nevada, I'm sorry we're sending Harry Reid back to Washington, but the GOP candidate, Sharon Angle, was too extreme for Nevada, too extreme... for America. She srsly needs to try out for the X-Games, she's that extreme.

Here are my kids+BNFs (Best Neighbors Forever) on Halloween:

Aren't my kid's costumes interesting/creative? Homer is something the color white, Gus is something the color black, and Cord is something the color orange.

I sent my kids out Trick-or-Treating with Tony, and I stayed home to pass out candy. At about an hour into the night, I started to wonder at the fact that no one from our ward had come by our house yet. Half our ward lives in our neighborhood, practically. Then Tony sent me this text:

(see last bubble)

Yeah, so, no ward members came by our home. Oops.

I made this crock-pot lasagna:

Hmm. It doesn't look as good as it tasted. Trust me. I got the recipe from watching Oprah, but it's no different from making it in the oven. I just didn't know you could make it in a crock-pot. I'm a nube.

Speaking of Oprah, in case you aren't watching her final season cuz it's too cliche, or because you wrote her a nasty letter one time and now you can't watch anymore, or because you're busy being busy, here is her interview with JK Rowling. Who doesn't love JK Rowling? Who doesn't want to listen to her talk? Hear her rag-to-riches life-story? I never get tired of it. Sigh.

You might also like Oprah's interview with the whole cast of Sound of Music. Single tear!

I've been watching lots of old movies on Netflix with the kids lately (movies that stream instantly to your TV, which is awesome/addictive), and I thought I'd remind you of a couple sweet movies that you might have forgotten about:

Young Sherlock Holmes
The Journey of Natty Gann

And I also wanted to warn you not to talk/beg your boys into watching the documentary Babies with you, because within the first five minutes you'll realize that the women in Namibia don't wear tops, and sometimes that hippy mom from San Fran goes topless too, and you'll have to shoo the boys out of the room immediately.

Speaking of Sherlock Holmes... Have you seen the cool, modern BBC version of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes airing on PBS's Masterpiece Theater, simply called "Sherlock"?

I recommend. There are three 90-min programmes (with an extra m and an e--so cute.), and the best part is, you can watch the programmes that have already aired right here on the PBS website.

Side note: Notice that Dr. Watson is played by Martin Freeman! Tim, from The Office! Not Jim, Tim! From the BBC version of The Office! Duh! He's also cast to play Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit!


iLike this song:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hot water is romantic, compared to cold water.

Did you know that water heaters cost about $1,500?

^^in cursive, like they did on checks back in the day
so there was no confusion.

Our water heater broke.

Ironically, we happen to be broke too.

Ideally, only one of us would be broke at a time.

Alas, twe're both broke at the same time.

In an effort to stay positive and not stress-out and save our hairlines from receding anymore than they already have, I had a conversation with Tony that went along these lines:

Me: "Hey, you know what? Our anniversary is coming up next month. We could count the water heater as our gift to each other."

Tony: "Yeah. Sure, OK."

Me: "This is actually kind of perfect because, we're so broke, we probably wouldn't have gotten ourselves an anniversary gift this year!"


Me: "We've never spent so much on an anniversary gift before! Wow. Fifteen hundred dollars."


Me: "Quite the splurge, but sometimes you gotta go all out."


Me: "Happy anniversary."

Tony: "I'll try to pick up another shift next week."

Anyway, it's not so bad, spending all that money you don't even have on a water heater when it's actually an anniversary gift.