Saturday, December 27, 2008

Seriously, what kind of people....

... knock on your door and leave you a golden owl with the following message inside a top ramen box?

To those dear neighbors we want you to know we will be bringing our 'A' game and we just wonder, "Can you can deal?!?" or should we say, "Can you Hackett???"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas from the McGhie's

Hey All,

So I was just sitting here, feeling all proud of us for being ready for Christmas, and realized we'd sent out our cards telling people to come check up on us, but I hadn't written a Christmas greeting.

At this time of year we are reminded of the birth and life of our Savior. We want all to know that we know that He lives and loves each of us individually.

With all the events of 2008, we've become acutely aware of how blessed we are to have such wonderful friends and family. So to all of you whom we trust and love so much, we wish you a very Merry Christmas. We pray that you will be protected and looked after in the coming year.

The McGhies

The Charlie Blog

There have been a few people that have requested more frequent updates on Charlie, our autistic and epileptic son.

To address this, we've decided to establish a separate blog where we'll keep tabs on him.

If anyone is interested in following it, you can find it here:

We have two posts there now -- one is a 'what this blog is' post and one is a 'tell all' post to bring anyone up to speed who may be interested in the background. From here we'll start to provide regular updates on the happenings.

Please understand that we're not looking for sympathy or donations or anything else. We are just providing a place where our friends and family that don't get regular updates can stay plugged in. We're going to be pretty straight forward with things, so it may not always be the happiest blog, but it will be real.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Need Addresses...HURRY!

If you haven't already, I need you to email me your address so we can send you a Christmas card. I just sat down to address my cards and realized I don't have many current addresses. So, if you want a card, you better email your address pronto!


Friday, November 21, 2008

We love the Holidays!!!

Let's be honest, we love the holidays. Its busy and crazy and everything, but it is also a lot of fun.

Now, I know that busting out with Christmas things before T-day is technically a party foul, but hey, we couldn't wait to celebrate so we called an old friend, took the kids and went out and had a great time.

There was a guy there with a camera who captured some of the finer moments.

33 days, 13 hours, 23 minutes and counting...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Steff

Yesterday it was Steff's b-day. She is a wonderful wife and mother. I just thought I'd publicly wish a big Happy Birthday to the most wonderful, beautiful, caring, patient woman.

Now, that being said, I figured I would be the only one that realized it, but as we were headed out of town for dinner, I was shocked to see some of the public businesses / churches / schools expressing their warmest wishes as well. We snapped a few camera pics to prove it:

Wow Steff. Apparently you amaze more than just me.

Happy Birthday Hon.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Winston has a crush

Winston's best friend lives across the street from us. They play almost every day and go back and forth to each other's houses throughout the day. Lately, Winston has been talking about his friend's Mom a lot. The other day, he came home and we had the following conversation...

Winston: I told Lynsey (his friend's mom) I liked her door decoration and she said something really nice to me. Then I got shot by an arrow.

Me: Who shot you with an arrow? (thinking one of the kids had some toy arrows or something)

Winston: The little guy with the butterfly wings shot me with an arrow and now I'm in love with Lynsey...but I'll NEVER tell her! (Yes, he was talking about Cupid)

I somehow managed not to laugh in his presence and told him that Lynsey IS a really nice person and I'm glad he likes her. How funny is that? We don't even know how he knows who Cupid is. Where do kids come up with this stuff? I love it!

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm trying to remember who had dinner with Gary Coleman tonight... oh yeah, WE DID!

OK, OK. So maybe we didn't totally have dinner with him... maybe we just saw him at the restaurant ordering some take out, but pretty much it's the same thing, right?

Now, in response to all the comments that I know people are going to make, the answer is no, I didn't ask him 'Whatchu talkin' bout Willis?'

Here's the upside of all this: we found a new, local, really good restaurant. The name of the place is Jaxies and it's on Main Street in Spanish Fork. Our neighbors own and operate the joint. We went in to check it out, a little unsure of what we might find. We were delighted with the food.

They primarily serve Paninis, Salads and Wraps. I had a pesto chicken Panini and Steff had a Turkey/Bacon/Avacado panini. Man they were both good.

Anywho, any locals should go check it out and support the neighbors. Plus, we found out Gary Coleman gets food there about once a week, so you just might be as cool as us and get to eat in the presence of movie stars... er...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I tri'd

Last Tuesday some friends told us about a local triathlon that was a couple of days away. Steff told me about it so I thought I'd give it a shot. It was a 'super sprint' triathlon so it wasn't really too bad.... right? Hey, it shouldn't matter that I haven't swam since June, only run twice in the last year and haven't ridden a road bike for like 8 years... why should that bother me?

Holy crap. I thought I'd just breeze through it and get a feel for how these things worked. Let's just say that it hurt. I could barely drag my keester out of the pool, wrecked on my bike about 200 yards after I got on it, and thought my legs were going to fall off on the run. At the end of the day, I finished and actually achieved my goal of doing it in under one hour (I guess I don't set my sights too high goal-wise). I did it in 54 minutes and took 37th place!!! Yipee!!

Here's the proof:

The Pre-race

Entering the Pool

Riding the bike off

Off on the run

Coming up on the finish line

P.S. Um.... only 40 people participated. I just couldn't lead you on like that....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trick or Treat on Main Street

Just wanted to remind all our fellow Spanish Forkians that the Trick or Treat on Main Street is tomorrow...Saturday, October 25 from 1pm-3pm. We've done this the past three years and it has been really fun. Hope to see you all there!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Matt's 6 quirks

grumble grumble Tagged by Wendi. grumble grumble grumble.

Let's get this over with.

1. I'm pigeon toed. If you google 'pigeon toed', the second link down says "Pigeon Toed is not normal.' Thanks a lot, jerk. I'm thinking of writing the author of the article a letter telling her that her face 'is not normal.'

2. Peanut butter is the nectar of the devil himself. As the holidays approach, please be courteous and keep any PB treats far far away from us. Especially (cardinal sin) don't mix a plate of perfectly good treats in with PB treats. PB pollutes everything. The whole plate becomes worthless.

3. Speaking of treats. I like them. Fact is 6 out of 7 nights a week I end the day with a snack while winding down. Steff makes CC cookies and makes the dough into balls, then freezes them. Each night, I take three or four of them out and cook them. I toss them on the cookie sheet, set it to 350, set the timer for 15 mins (that accounts for the pre-heat, which I just consider defrosting time) and put a glass of milk in the freezer to start chilling. I like my cookies goooey, and my milk almost frozen. Yum.

4. I wish I could have my hair shaggy but apparently that's not 'grown up.' If I had my druthers, I'd have my hair like this:

5. I've met and hung out with a few musicians in the past. My favorites were Sting and Jack Johnson. The lamest, mostly because I expected it would be cool and it wasn't, was Gwen Stefani and No Doubt. They were lame. I don't do autographs, although Jack Johnson gave me a poster that said, "Thanks for helping me get my start in Utah," but that's another story for another time.

6. I'm not sure whether to say I have a high pain threshold or that I'm accident prone. I sorta think one leads to the other. I've had my head sewn shut by a buddy with a needle and thread, I've got screws in various places in my body that hold bones together, and only half my nose works because I've broken it so many times. I've also got a couple random protrusions on my body caused from bones pressing against skin.

That's me. Tag whoever feels so inclined. I'm not one to carry these on endlessly...

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Perfect School Picture...

Let me preface this post by saying we really don't want to brag or make any of you who may've not got the best picture jealous, but we thought we'd share our story and Charlie's school picture.

Now, I don't know about you guys, but we look forward to getting our kids' school pictures. Now, when we say 'getting' them, we don't necessarily mean taking them, but rather that moment when your kids bring them home from school for you to see. It's exciting. Sorta like a mini, early Christmas.

And why is it that getting the pictures is exciting? It's because you put so much darn effort into getting that kid ready, hoping he doesn't screw it up, expecting a good picture so you don't have to take them to some photo place later in the year. At least that is our take on things.

It was the typical 'first ever school picture' scenario. Total first child antics here (even though Charlie is not the first child, this was our first experience with official school pictures).

It started with the pre-order. The packet came from school full of choices. Did we want the 8 X 10? What about wallets? Would Grandmas and Grandpas want 5 X 7s? All the questions... After significant consideration, we went for the B packet with the 'Amber' background. Pre-order - Check.

Next we needed to find the perfect cute little outfit. Steff wanted something that brought out his eyes, Matt wanted him to look tough. Steff wanted this, Matt wanted that... and on and on it went. Finally we decided to set him up with a striped blue sweater, styled hair, etc. The Look - Check.

Finally picture day came and the morning was spent keeping him from smearing syrup on his clothes, bloodying his lip or anything else that could foil our plans for the perfect picture. As the clock ticked closer to the time when the bus would arrive, final primping and styling took place. At long last the bus came and we sent Chuckles off to school having done all we could to set the stage for the perfect school picture. Execution - Check.

Then we waited. Waited and waited.

This morning we were pleasantly surprised when Charlie's teacher sent the pictures home in his backpack. Finally the time had come. Our mini early Christmas was here.
We opened the pictures and....

-- Wait for it --

-- Suspense building --

-- Now you're starting to know how we felt waiting --

-- Ta Da!!! --

What the? Are you serious? Was Stevie Wonder taking this picture? Good grief people.

Stupid mini early Christmas present....

Saturday, October 04, 2008

6 Quirky Things About Me...

Tagged by Tammy

1. I feel the need to brush my teeth for long periods of time. I usually brush between 10-20 minutes at a time. If I don't, I always think I will get a headache. Matt can't understand why I brush so long and I can't understand how he can brush so fast.

2. I LOVE to eat salt. I add extra salt to everything. When I make things like salsa, I add the normal amount to make everyone else happy and then sprinkle more on each chip dipped in salsa for myself. When I was little, I remember my sister making a mixture of salt, water and flour in her hand and we would hide behind one of the chairs and eat it. I love to suck on rock salt and I love to eat salt on lemons. Matt and I have an ongoing debate about putting salt or powdered sugar (gross!) on your grapefruit. I'm sure you can guess what side I am on. ;)

3. I love the rain. I like the sound of it and I really love to listen to it as I'm drifting off to sleep. It makes me feel cozy and safe in my house. I remember being little and laying in my Mom's bed (we took turns sleeping there when my Dad was on trips...he was a pilot) and watching storms through the sliding glass door. She would always talk about how lucky we were to have a nice, warm house and bed. Now I do that with Winston and I think he loves them too. Plus, you get to cook yummy comfort food on cold, rainy days and it's fun to eat!

4. I have the same two recurring dreams. One is that I discover I can breath under water. I am always in huge, deep, beautiful swimming pool. I am swimming under water and realize that I can breath. In the dream, I am always so excited and feel like I always knew I could do it, I just had to figure out how. Then I swim around for hours and play in the water. Whenever I wake up from that dream, I feel really happy and relaxed. I love it.

The other one is that I am in school and it is near the end of the semester. I suddenly realize I have forgotten to go to one of my classes the whole semester and now I am not going to pass and I will not graduate with all my classmates. Sometimes it's college, sometimes it's High School. Either way, I hate it and I'm always so relieved to wake up. The funniest thing is that Matt has this same dream. What does that say about us?

5. I'm a fidgety person. For some reason, I just can't sit still. There always has to be a foot moving or a toe tapping. I play with my hair and touch my face or wiggle my leg. It's not from nerves or anything, I just have a hard time sitting still. Sometimes I think I got this from my Grandma Smith. We always laughed how she could never hold her feet still while she was sitting. Sometimes, while we are watching tv on the couch, Matt will have to ask me to stop moving my foot against his leg because I am rubbing it raw. I never even realize I am doing it. Oopsie.

6. I love to read. With a lifestyle where there aren't many breaks, it is a way to escape and forget all my worries for a bit. Unfortunately, the only time I have to do it is at night and I end up staying up a bit later than I should sometimes. Fortunately, Matt loves to read just as much as me (we both love Louise L'amour) and we can occasionally take turns watching the kids while the other one reads a book in the bath. It's the best when it's raining or snowing and you can open the bathroom window (but keep the blinds closed!) and let a nice stream of cool air in while you are in the steaming hot bath water. Heaven!

I hope these made sense and fell under the quirky category. It was kind of hard to concentrate while Charlie climbed and jumped repeatedly on me. He actually climbed on the back of the couch and jumped on my head several times. Seriously. I finally (gently) pushed him off the couch and said "go away!" and he laughed and climbed right back on. Why do they always have to be right where I am and in the middle of what I am trying to do?! Grrrrr!

Now I tag Lorri, Wendi, Gayle and Becca. Have tons of fun.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Spanish Fork Kite Festival... waaay later.

A few weeks ago we went to the first annual Spanish Fork Kite Festival. The kids had a good time. Spanish Fork is a really cool city. They do some pretty awesome activities. So here was our evening at the kite festival:

They had a bunch of huge kites flying for the kids to watch.

They also had a fun activity where they let the kids decorate their own kites and then they could go and fly them.

Winston thought it was pretty awesome.

His kite actually got up in the air and we flew it for a while.

Even Mom had a grand old time snapping pictures and cheering on Winston. What a trooper. Good old fashion family fun.

Monday, September 29, 2008

We think this commercial is hilarious...

Don't know if it just caught us at that time of the night when everything is really funny, but we got big laughs out of this one:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mom's 2 cents

I just have to add a few fun facts about our little Winston.

-He goes by the nicknames Win, W, Dubbs and the occassional Winnie (which Matt DOES NOT approve of)

-His current favorite song is "Apologize" by One Republic

-Favorite color - Green

-He's very smart and loves to learn. He has been so excited to learn to read this year in preschool.

-He has such a good little heart (most of the time) and really cares about people.


*He always pats me when I'm having a hard time with Charlie and tells me "it's okay Mom".

*One time I ended up getting a fat lip in one of my daily struggles to change Charlie's diaper. It hurt really, really bad and I admit I had a few tears. He came up and hugged me and said "Don't worry Mom. When I get big like Dad, I will hold Charlie's legs down for you so you can change his diaper.

*Out of the blue one day he said "when I get big like Dad and you and Dad are gone, I will take care of Charlie and I will make him scones." (Scones are one of Winston's favorites)

*He prays every day that Charlie's seizures will go away and that Steven, Blain and Grandmas and Grandpas will be safe on their missions (I don't think he understands my parents are done with thier mission but it still works)

These are just a few of the sweet things he has said and done

-He loves anything Star Wars

-There is no shortage of "I love you's" or loves and kisses when it comes to Winston. He can be very affectionate.

-He loves little babies and would love nothing more than to have a baby sister.

-We love him to pieces and we're so thankful to have this wonderful little person in our family.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Winston's B-day

On Sept. 12 our oldest little turkey turned 5. Oh good grief.

So Steff decorated the bottom of the stairs and laid out the fun. When he woke up, he found a surprise.

Here's the photo reel:

The setup

The wakeup

5 yrs old

Rockin' Jumping Jacks

Opening the gifts - our little Star Wars addict

10am: Wearing the gear

8pm: Still wearing the gear

Guess what he's going to be for Halloween...

Catchup time....

So we are a bit behind. Hang on to your britches.... here we go.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Is it just me...

Or are some of these cards REALLY funny?

Monday, August 18, 2008

What's left after Sharkfest... hmmm..... Olympics?

Hey all, as many of you know, Steff and I recently participated in an challenging swimming event called Sharkfest. We let the news spread far and wide that we were doing that. All went well and we appreciate all your support.

What many of you don't know, is that we've also been training for another event. We weren't sure how things were going to turn out, so we've been keeping it under the radar until we knew more. Well, we recently finished up the event, and we're happy to say that things went fantastically. So now we are proud and happy to share with all of you, our 'special' day at the Olympics....

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Monday, August 11, 2008

4th of July

The fourth of July was perfect this year. We had a nice BBQ with neighbors followed by lighting off fireworks in the street. It was nice, laid back and fun. Here are a few pictures from the fireworks...

Cute little Cassie enjoying the show

Some of the Dads

Matt let Winston light off some of the fireworks this year. Still not sure how I felt about that.

Some of the Dads ended the evening by playing Rockband at our house. It was a happy holiday.

(Hey, if you could just pretend not to notice we still haven't finished painting our back wall, we would really appreciate it. Things have been a little busy...cut us some slack, man!)

Happy Birthday Charlie! (late post)

I'm trying to catch up on a few posts from the last month or two. We'll see how far I get tonight... :)

On July 2, Charlie turned the big 3 years old. It was fun this year to think back to when this funny little guy came into our lives. We had about a week to spare after moving into our new house before Charlie made his debut. I was so happy to bring him home to a roomy house with a yard (well, dirt) where Winston could play. Charlie was such a fun baby. He smiled all the time and loved to play and snuggle. He has been such a blessing to our family. Even though he can be a little frustrating at times, there isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't make me laugh out loud. He's a very funny kid. He gives fantastic bear hugs and loves to do "steamroller" with Mom, Dad and even Winston. We love you Charlie and we are so glad you are part of our family!

I made him a bunch of cupcakes for his birthday but he still didn't quite grasp the whole birthday thing. He was squirming too much for me to get him right up in front of the cupcakes with the candle. So, this is the best picture we could get. Hey, I tried!

The morning of his birthday, I decorated the downstairs with balloons and a sign that said "Happy Birthday". We put his present a the bottom of the stairs. As you can see from the picture, it was a hit!

He loved it. He didn't even care if it was moving or not. He just loves to sit on it.

He still hasn't figured out how to push down the pedal and turn the handlebar to get it going but Winston is more than happy to help him out. Everybody wins!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Charlie Update

It's been a while since we've given an update on Charlie. There's been a lot going on with him lately. The long and short of it is that we had Charlie evaluated by a child psychologist and she determined he has autism. Apparently, it is very common for a child with autism to have seizures. It's not news that we wanted but it is good to know what is going on and to have some ideas of the direction we should go with some of his treatments. We are seeing a new pediatrician who deals with a lot of children with autism and we are hoping he will be able to help us. We just keep on trucking with hope and faith that things are going to get better for us and our little boy. Thanks again for all the prayers and support all of you have given us. We couldn't do it without you.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Our Garden

This is our little corner of country living (please don't look at how yellow the lawn is -- I over-fertilized).

Currently the harvest is good. We're pulling spaghetti squash off the vine in handfuls, the strawberries are so thick we're needing to pull every other plant out of the ground, the corn is on the brink of picking, the tomato plants are heavy with bulbous green melons, and I have no idea how I can possibly eat any more zucchini.

There have also been a few surprises along the way: despite Charlie mangling all our onion plants, they've actually produced quite well. Another addition we found, as we pulled out our pea plants, is that we've got some potato leftovers from last year. Sah-Weet!

Anyways, anyone in the neighborhood who wants tomatoes, give it another week or two and we'll have more than we can handle... Big boys, early girls, cherry and roma varieties.

tomato plants in front, corn behind

onions, spaghetti squash, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, chives, basil, zucchini, oregano

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Maple Canyon with the Boys

This last weekend our awesome friends the Smiths came into town from Phoenix to visit. We used the occasion as an excuse for the guys to get together for some camping, jeeping and climbing -- or as someone I was telling about the trip put it, "A bunch of has-beens trying to go out and re-live their youth." Yeah, that about sums it up.

So Friday afternoon we piled in the jeeps and took off to Maple Canyon, a canyon renowned for its unique rock structures.

The camping was swell, the Jeeping was adventurous, and the climbing was exactly what you'd expect from a bunch of desk jockeys, few of which have even touched the rock in the last 2 years.

Among the much heckling, ribbing and harassment, we managed to even throw a practical joke into the mix. Let me start this by stating a rule that every good scout should know: 'On a campout don't ever be the first to sleep or the last to wake up.'

Now, as a prelude to our story, let me provide some background. A couple years ago in Moab, we had a supposed raccoon sighting from Zane. To this day he swears a raccoon was climbing around in the Jeep while he slept. There wasn't. But, since he was so convinced, and still a bit scared by the incident, we decided to have a little more fun this year. I brought along our stuffed mink (don't ask why we have a stuffed mink) with the intention of messing with Zane a bit. Turns out, Zane stumbled onto the mink in the middle of the night, so we couldn't do much with it, and we missed out on the fun of seeing him run into this thing at 3am, groggy with sleep. That would've been fun.

We were disappointed. Then we noticed there was a late sleeper with us... Mr. Lonnie Corbridge. We delicately placed the mink about an inch from his face and sat back to wait for the fun. We weren't disappointed. When he woke up, he sorta jumped, wriggled and swatted all at the same time. While we were all over by the fire, getting a good laugh at his expense, he was trying to figure out what was going on...

At the end of the day, we all had a great time and got to reconnect with friends.

Looking forward to 2010 guys trip somewhere....