Monday, January 26, 2015

Introducing Oreo ...

I've always been a cat person. Growing up, my folks wouldn't officially let us have a cat, but I adopted a couple of strays. First there was KitsyMittensGhost (I just couldn't quite decide on a name) and then there was WhitneyHouston (I think one of the younger brothers named her, it wasn't my idea!). Little Ms. Houston gave birth to a litter of kittens. Our neighbors adopted one (Bengal ... he was like a child to them) and one of them became MY best buddy. Gurken. 

I was a little surprised I never had a cat as I married and moved into a home with hubby. He's actually a dog person. We did try that ... it didn't go so well. Then came the kids, and I just didn't want my babies crawling on carpet with kitty hair all around, and little kids and cats aren't always a good mix. As the kids grew older, we also wondered about allergies, as they would  have interactions with cats at friends and family.

But this past Christmas, the kids couldn't stop talking about getting a cat or a dog. I said I wouldn't be opposed to a cat. They all stopped, shell shocked. I was giving permission! They scanned KSL and the adopt-a-pet websites, and actually didn't have much luck.  Then, a picture came across of OREO ... a name which fits into our family perfectly. He was a four month old male up for adoption at the Humane Society, Landon took Colton and Cooper and went and picked him up. 

His original family had given him up as he was soiling the house ... not great news, but we didn't really have much trouble.  Oreo occasionally went potty in the tub. I guess if he wasn't going to go in his litter box, that is the next best place. We actually bought the "sitty kitty" toilet training system, but we soon gave up on that.

Oreo is the stereotypical kitty when it comes to computers. As I work at the computer, he ALWAYS comes and sits right in front of it. Such a little helper! Silly Kitty! He is very personable, he loves to be around everyone. He'll usually follow me from room to room.

Originally we set up his bed, food/water and scratching post in the downstairs hallway. His litter box in the downstairs bathroom. That way, we could close him up in a fairly large area if we were leaving for a while. After the room rearrange, the little boys moved into the downstairs bedroom, and we moved kitty's bed and food/water into their room. The little boys enjoy having Oreo keep them company at night. 

Oreo is such a silly kitty, he makes me laugh a lot. As he chases a toy mouse, or just runs crazily through the house, lounges in the bathroom sink (attention ... we have a clog!) or just lays down in the middle of the walkway to relax. He LOVES  freshly washed, nice and warm laundry just out of the dryer, he always "helps" me as I fold it and put it away.  Much of the times he's a very laid back kitty, other times, he's in "predator mode" in which case, you had better watch out!

 He's a silly sleeper too.
 I love seeing all the positions he assumes as he snoozes the day away!

We have had a little trouble with him scratching ... both things (the chair, the couch, my ipad cover) and us! He has sharp claws. I don't think he's every purposely tried to hurt us, but we all have received some pretty good scratches. He'll bite a little at times too, but again, not with evil intent. He IS a shedder ... probably not as bad as some, but enough that we notice. 

So far, he's pretty much just an indoor kitty. We just don't know if he'd stick around and come back in if we let him out unsupervised. He does love looking out the windows at the birds, and when we do let him out, he'll lay out in the sunshine, and explore the outdoors.

Cooper wants to give Oreo a bath, but I don't think bathing him is required ... and I'm afraid of his claws and teeth if we tried! He seems very interested in water though, he LOVES playing in the drinking fountain downstairs. Whenever we walk by, he'll jump up on it and wait for us to push the button and release some water. Then he sticks his paws in it. He often has moist paws! If we leave the toilet seat up (which even in a house of five boys, actually rarely happens) he'll almost always investigate, and much to the goldfish's chagrin, he likes to drink and play in that water too. 

As much as I've known I always liked cats, I'm still somewhat surprised at how much I'm enjoying having this kitty around. I'm always talking to him, loving on him ... tripping over him as he comes up behind me and I don't know he's there. He isn't the most snuggly kitty, although sometimes he does come lay right by me or ON me (or Hubs, much to Grayson's delight ... not). The kids love him too. It's so fun to see how they all interact with him. We love our Oreo!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Gray in Vegas

Every January there is a big builder's convention in Las Vegas. Gray doesn't go every year, but this year, he and a bunch of people from work headed out. Grayson has been quite good at taking pictures and documenting his vacations! Here are a few of his photos ...

 Gray is quite well known for only capturing a "quarter dome" in his selfie shots

Glitz and Glamour 

 The Aquarium

 A handsome twin, and a full head shot!

... and of course, the food.

While the Hubs is away, back at home, the mice will play. 
Well, what do you do if you have mice? 
You'll have to check back and see ...

Friday, January 16, 2015

Maga's Move

It was several years ago, when Maga moved from the house on Linden (The Last Supper). The home Gray and his brothers had grown up in. The home that all of us newlywed couples had called our own (in the basement apartment). Maga's house to the Grandkids. Maga moved up to a nice new house in Farmington, but then the time came to sell and move from there.

It was actually two moves. As the Farmington house sold, Maga hadn't found a new house yet. She and Ana moved into a basement apartment there in North Salt Lake. It was furnished, so just the essentials were moved ... all the rest went into storage. Aunt Jackie said Pammy could use a big truck on their property in Payson. Gray and the boys made several trips and several Saturdays to get everything there.

Then, Pammy found her new house. Just a few doors down from Uncle Clay in Riverton! So once again, the boys were called upon to move. To pull everything from Payson, and the remaining items from North Salt Lake.

But now, Maga is moved! And it's a lot closer ... especially for Clay!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

B&N, Books and Beats

I've often despaired that my boys didn't love reading the way that I do. It's always been a school assignment for them, not something they actually enjoyed. But low and behold, as Landon finished up his senior year, he started to actually LIKE reading! Still not really for enjoyment, he wasn't reading novels and such - but nonfiction to gain information. He started buying books, he wanted a Kindle, he joined GoodReads.

He even got a job and Barnes and Noble!

This was after working the summer/fall in construction. He was ready for a bit of a change, especially as winter was bearing down. He got hired on as part of the holiday staff, working the last couple months of the year, and through January ... which actually worked out almost perfectly with his mission prep plans. Barnes and Noble was only five minutes away, over in Jordan Landing. Not much of a commute (which was nice, as construction had him traveling over 30 minutes each way each day).

Landon enjoyed his work at Barnes and Noble, made some friends, bought some books. There was a contest among the employees, I can't remember exactly what for (signing people up for the B&N Club or something) and Landon won. His prize. A set of Beats headphones! Those are nice, with a price tag of over $300!

Those few months before Landon left on his mission, will be remembered for B&N, books and beats!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Farewell to the Phones

In this day and age, it isn't surprising to hear about people giving up their home phones. I just never thought we would. We'd had our same number for so many years now, I couldn't imagine giving that up. I just liked having a HOME phone. Multiple cordless phones. Although I had a cell phone (Gray, Landon, Callahan, Keaton too) what about when the little boys were home by themselves? Just one phone where you could reach anyone in the family, or leave a message (and I could screen calls with the answering machine).  Rather than going through Quest or Comcast, we used Phone Power, (a VOIP) and I would definitely recommend them. We had pared down our service, as we really didn't use the phone that often (in this day of emails and texts). It was a pretty minimal charge, just under $10 a month.

But then ... we had our problem with Comcast last year and ended up replacing the modem. The phones just never worked right after that! We could still receive calls, but outgoing calls? Once in a while they would work, but most of the time, we couldn't break through the dial tone. I spent a long afternoon on the phone (cell phone) with Phone Power customer service but we just couldn't figure out the problem. 

For a long while ... we just put up with it. We'd receive the few calls that came in, and remember we couldn't call out the times we'd try (and have to go grab one of the iphones). 

Then something else changed. When a call would come in, it would ring and we'd answer it, to hear no response. We'd hang the phone up and it would RING, RING, RING, RING and not stop! The phone was possessed! It was so very annoying.

That was the straw the broke the camel's back. We canceled our phone service. I unplugged all the phones and put them in a box for DI  and ... no more home phone. It's the end of an era.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Welcome 2015 ... we had our usual game night on New Year's Eve with my folks. We had our usual New Year's Day with pastry wreath at Pammy's house. Landon will miss the pastry wreath the next couple years! We will miss Landon the next couple years!

Pammy actually gave us a bit of a scare saying she might give up making pastry wreath. It is a HUGE job. But it's tradition! She isn't fully moved into the Riverton house, which made some things a bit tricky. After running back and forth borrowing things from Clay and Courtney down the street, she gave up and made due. Not finding a rolling pin, she used a bottle to roll out the dough. Funny!

The boys had fun playing with cousins ... 
as usual, Amare is the center of attention!

What will 2015 bring?
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