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