Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Our Christmas Letter, Wanted to send it out to Everyone but I waited to long!!!

What a year it has been for our family!  I was thinking back to this time last year and I can’t believe all that has happened in this short amount of time.  Most of you know after many interviews and then a hard decision for Joseph we made the move to Maryland, so Joseph could attend the Military Medical School here.  Joseph is glad to be on to this next step in becoming a doctor and is working hard.  The boys and I are starting to get used to not seeing him as much as we did in Ellensburg. But we are very proud of his accomplishments.

Colin has become a little man around the house! He turned 4 in November and has become a Star Wars fanatic. He is constantly pulling Conner into games about Star Wars and running around the house calling him Han Solo. He doesn’t stop talking and always has opinions about everything.  His other passion is playing this guitar video game with Joseph and when Joseph isn’t it around he sings and plays his “air guitar.”  Conner’s personality has really come out the last few months, He is quite different then Colin. He turned 2 in May and is starting to talk a lot more, mostly parroting what Colin says. We went to a friends house for a potluck recently and they had a toy train under their tree, Conner loved it. When we finally set up our christmas tree, Conner expected to have a train under ours too, so he brought his whole train set down and set it up.  That is Conner for you if it isn’t the way he expects he will let you know.  He keeps us on our toes!

Well I don’t have much to share about me that most don’t all ready know. I am pregnant and hoping for a girl but even if we get another boy I am excited. I was really tired at first but that seems to be finally passing.  I have finally finished the stockings I started while I was pregnant with Colin, cross stitching takes awhile and as soon as I find out if this baby is a boy or a girl will start another one.  I was also able to make a tree skirt and finally feel like all like our tree is complete. And as soon as the holidays are over I will be on to making my americana quilt for the guest bedroom.

We hope you are all doing well and Miss you all!!

 Love Joseph, Anjuli, Colin and Conner

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I was giving Corgan a haircut and Emma wanted in on the action. Here's their before and after shots.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Katee, are you out there?

Katee, how are you? And have you had your new baby yet? Well, I know you have by now 'cause it's November, so c'mon!! Details, details!!! Photos, photos!!! I hope you are doing very well and enjoying your baby girl!! Take care and God bless.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Some costume pictures!

Hey, I thought I'd throw some pictures of the kids in their costumes on here! It's been so fun to see everyone's pictures!

Kenna was Tinkerbell, Kayden was an Oompa Loompa, and Kyler was Buzz lightyear!

Kyler at the Trunk-or-treat party

Kenna hanging out during trick-or-treating

Kayden checking out his green hair and orange face!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween Get Together

Hey Everyone,

Some of us went to a little Halloween party the other week and I finally got around to putting some pictures on the blog. They really had a lot of fun getting together and making some fun crafts and seeing each other in their costumes.

Friday, November 2, 2007

So Long Washoe

It appears that I am a blogging fool this week; three posts in two days! But I have some earth-shattering news to share. Maybe ya'll have already heard and Josh and I have been living underneath a rock, but I guess one of the prized chimps at the CWU chimp habitat died. We didn't hear about Washoe's death until my dad called and brought it up. He said that her death has made national news! It's been on radio talk shows and in major news papers. Has it been in The Daily Record? My guess is no. If this is old news to you, sorry! Here is an excerpt from The Seattle Times:

Central's sign-language chimp dies at 42
By The Associated Press
ELLENSBERG — Washoe, a female chimpanzee said to be the first non-human to acquire human language, has died at the age of 42 at Central Washington University.
Washoe, who first learned American Sign Language in a research project in Nevada, was living at The Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute on CWU's Ellensburg campus.
She died of natural causes Tuesday night, according to institute co-founders Roger and Deborah Fouts.
Washoe was born in Africa about 1965. Her memorial will be Nov. 12.
A world-famous chimpanzee believed to be the first animal to learn a human language died at Central Washington University in Ellensburg Tuesday night.
Washoe, who was 42 years old, could use about 250 distinctive American Sign Language signs, said Deborah Fouts, director of the university's Chimpanzee and Human Communication Institute, where Washoe lived.

Birthday girl

Happy Birthday Anjuli!!!

trick or treat

ok---so i'm posting pictures of our halloween here as well as on our own blog!
tinkerbell-mr. smee-peter pan
trick or treating downtown eburg: blake smith, corgan smith, cash hajny, adrianna foxx, lily smith, connor shoenwald

More Star Wars

Well great minds think alike!! We too did Star Wars except Joseph and I didn't dress up, to much time went into the boys outfits. Conner also didn't like his hood he kept saying "itchy" even though I sewed in a liner that was in no way itchy. But I got him to stand still for a few pictures and once he got a sucker at the church he completely forgot about the hood. More pictures on my blog!! Can't wait to see everyone else's even if they are on your blogs, post them here!!! I found a website that will make books out of blogs so years down the road I wanted to have this blog printed up for everyone, so post pictures!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

May the Force Be With You...and Hooah!!

The Ramsey's with Darth Vader. A little piece of trivia: Darth is actually a Japanese foreign exchange student volunteering at Boo Central. I know, weird. We didn't know that either.
Leia, Yoda, and an Ewok
Our little Yoda!

How was everybody's Halloween? We hope that you all had lots of fun with your families. How did your kiddos fare? Joanna and Jaclyn did better than we both expected. When you consider all that we adults subject them to on this holiday, they adapted and went with the flow pretty well! Joanna hated her Ewok costume in the beginning. She screamed and squirmed to take it off before we left the house. I think she was uncomfortable from the itchy material. And the hood was creeping her out. Jaclyn didn't like her long sleeves, I think because it made it hard for her to crawl. Then we added insult to injury and took them to chaotic and loud places like Trunk-or-Treat and Boo Central. Joanna was scared of half the costumes she saw and clung to me like a leach. Jaclyn gave everyone dirty looks! But once we arrived and showed Joanna that the prize for enduring such public humiliation was CANDY!!! Needless to say, she came around and enjoyed herself!

Both Joanna and Jaclyn got lots of compliments on how cute they looked in their costumes.

Okay, now for a little explanation about Josh's costume. Our intention was for all four of us to be Star Wars themed. Josh was to be Han Solo. He didn't try on anything that he'd bought from the Goodwill until, say, five minutes before we were supposed to go, and when he looked at his ensemble in the mirror, he screamed, "I look like a gay Han Solo!!!" And sure enough, the pants were way too tight, the shirt showed off his chest beard, and the vest looked like something from the BeeGee's wardrobe. ;-)

So we panicked for a split second, then decided that he could go as a member of a different alliance...the Army federation!! Hooah!!!!!! (If you didn't know, Josh used to be in the Army Reserves, so he still has his uniform.) We just told everyone that he was a Jedi soldier serving in the U.S. military. You know, top secret covert ops. ;-P

Monday, October 15, 2007

not so ghetto anymore

For those of you who no longer have the privilege of living at Crestview and Terrace Manor.....Mark the Maintenance Man has been quoted saying that we were finally bought out by another company and they will be doing renovations to ALL the units....kitchens, bathrooms, and maybe washer/dryers and dishwashers in the 3 and 4 bedroom units. YAY!! They are supposed to begin in December and finish in October. Just in time for some of the rest of us to move. But the bad news is that we'll be changing over to different housing rules so everyone living here will be paying rent regardless of income. (i think for 3 bedrooms it's around $450...but don't quote me) I don't know all of the details but it's exciting.

So what are everyone's kids being for Halloween? I've been looking forward to Halloween since about August. Corgan is going to be Peter Pan and Lily will be Tinkerbell. Haven't decided on Blake. Don't forget to watch Hero's tonight!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hello everyone, just wondering, but have any of you experienced false labor with your pregnancies? We have practically gone to the hospital twice now, but then the contractions ease up and go away. Ugh. What on earth do I have to do to get this girl to come out?! I think I might try acupressure next...we have tried all the other "natural" labor inducers, aside from castor oil and strange herbs. I just can't bring myself to do that. Any fun stories or advice? I am having the daily crazies at this point!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hi Everyone

Hey just wanted to let everyone know that I started a Hall Family blog. It is So anyway I hope everyone is doing well. Congrats Anjuli I was very surprised and very excited for you when I heard! Talk to all soon!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Never say Never!!!

Well guess what??? I am pregnant!!! Who would of thought!! We are excited, me about the baby not being pregnant. I am lamenting the 10 lbs I lost over the summer!!! We are hoping for a girl though Joseph isn't holding his breath.  He came from a family of 4 boys so he doesn't think it is going to happen.  I really want a girl, someone to put cute clothes on and buy pink things for. Well we will see what happens.  Check my blog for some random photos of the boys!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

couch potato

So who else is excited for watching t.v. this week? I totally am. Here's what I'm going to be watching (i know you're all wondering...) Chuck, HERO'S, Law & Order SVU, Rules of Engagement(the married couple are hilarious), CSI Las Vegas, 30 Rock( i've cought a couple of reruns over the summer and i think it's going to become a regular) THE OFFICE!!!, Mad Men(it's on AMC) Those are to name just a few of the highlights. I don't want to add up the hours that I'll be sitting there watching t.v. But really it's relaxing to me, the kids are in bed and I can just sit there and not have to do anything. Who wants to read, clean, sew, and sometimes even sleep, when you can just sit there and be entertained with the push of a button? So to Philo Taylor Farnsworth, the father of television, I say thank-you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

fun weekend....

I no longer have an appendix. But I'm doing well and am still alive. ;) You can read a bit more about the story on our blog. Here's a picture of Blake taking a nap at the hospital.

Friday, September 14, 2007

local news...

Corgan started pre-school this week. Liam Wilson and Emma Erickson are also in his class. And to update those who don't know, Cindy Erickson had her twins on Wednesday, Sept. 12th. Benjamin was first to be born at 3:34p.m. 6lbs7oz 18inches; then Claire came at 3:42 5lbs5oz 17 inches. All are well and doing fine!! Claire is on the left and Ben on the right.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Audrey turned three! She is obsessed with pink and princess everything. Hence, the decor and the "pink" castle cake.

Friday, September 7, 2007

home again...

We survived the family vacation. It always feels so good to finally sleep in your own bed, no matter how old and crappy it is! So how's school going for those in school (husbands) and how are all the kids? Corgan starts preschool on Monday. (back at Terri's) HALLEJUELAH!!! Is that spelled right? Anyways, hope you all are doing good! much love...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hey everyone~

So i've finally been able to figure out this blog thing. What a great idea Anjuli, thanks for setting this all up. It is so fun to read and look at all the pics everyone has posted. It is a lot of fun knowing how everyone is doing. Yesterday a bunch of moms got together at the West Ellensburg park for the afternoon and I must admit I missed seeing everyone that has moved. WEll we are doing well as a family. It has been a wonderful summer. We have been enjoying the nice weather and staying busy. We have been visiting both families, gone camping, competed in triathlons, spent time with my sister and her soon to be fiance(very exciting for our family that she has finally found "the ONE") painted and redecorated my other sisters bedroom, went to the Kenny CHesney concert for our anniversary(my fav. country singer and a concert I would recommend to anyone) and most importantly celebrated Dalans FIRST birthday!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

hey all

So we're leaving for Idaho and Utah early Friday morning. I was wondering if any of you could give me ideas on how to keep the kids completley silent the whole way. Ok...well maybe that's asking too much. But you know what I meant.
Jamie--I couldn't believe that Teri wasn't going to be doing pre-school next year! Corgan LOVED going. Yeah, some mornings he wouldn't want to go, but that was only because a new 'Little Einsteins' was on and he would miss the ending. ;) We do have him enrolled at the new ECEAP place at the old Kittitas HS. I'm going to go with him a couple days and if it's not what I want then we'll just pull him out. It really is frustrating, because now that he has gone to pre-school I don't want to just not have him go. What about you? What are you going to do with Kyler? Corgan loved the pictures of him on your blog. Super cute, all of your kids.
Hey Anyone---how do you add other people's blogs on your own? And how do you change the layout? Those are probably stupid questions; but it is me asking them, so not really. ;) Hope you all are doing well in your new homes.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My sister takes amazing photos...Matt and Audrey are at the reflecting pool at the Portland Temple, and I am standing on the Oregon coast at sunset a couple months back.

We're alive!

Hello Everyone,

Sorry it took me so long to do this...our move has been crazy and we had no internet access for quite awhile. Plus, a day after we got here, we went to a family reunion in Lake Tahoe for a week. I am still not unpacked.

Anyway, we really love Portland. Not to rub it in, but the weather is so much more moderate here. It has been between 65-80F almost every day! Very nice...especially as I get more pregnant. We had a scare and were in the ER last night (all night) but all is well--false alarm-- and we are still planning on making it all the way until Oct. 23ish for baby #2. For those who might not have heard, we are having another little girl and naming her Avalee Mae James. Audrey is excited, so we will see if that sticks. She loves her new nursery because there are several girls her age who will will dress up with her and play princess. :)

Wish we actually knew some people here though. You don't realize how great it is to have friends nearby until you have to go to the hospital and wake up your toddler at 3am or want to plan a birthday party but have no one to invite! :( Anyway, we miss all of you. I really would love to post more pics, but I am still in the market for a digital camera, so if any of you photo-savvy people have suggestions, throw them our way! Good to hear about everyone's adventures!

New Layout

I hope you like the new look!!! I just wanted to have it be unique to us!! Any suggestions just let me know!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Miss you all!!!

Well we made it to Maryland and so far the humidity is killing me. I know you warned me, Emily! We haven't had a chance to go to church yet but our neighbors seem nice!! I feel a little crowded when I go outside because we live in a town home, with people on either side and right across the street. Inside the house is fine, I actually feel like I can breath unlike our little crowded apartment in E-burg. I miss you all so much and so do my boys. Love you all!!
Check my blog for more photos!!!

Mt. Rushmore!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

it's a small world after all

hey anjuli--making a long story grandpa died last week, went to the services with my mom and dad yesterday. my mom's old piano teacher was there. and guess what? joseph's grandma was my mom's piano teacher growing up!!! isn't that funny? maria fry was my mom's piano teacher! it really is a small world, especially in the church. well, hope your move went well!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I love the pictures! Your kids are so cute, I just love how tiny Lily is!!! And Blake is so cute! Man, I totally admire you for even thinking about when your next one will come, after 3 I was pretty much good! And so far, I'm still feeling that way...I'll let you know if things change! :) Yes, I must admit, I am LOVING the washer and dryer! I'm pretty sure I teared up the first 10 loads! It is plenty hot here, but it's monsoon season, and so when the rain comes in, it cools down to about 75-80 degrees, so that's nice, but it is only that cool while it's pouring rain! I'm surviving (and I use that term loosely!) with Stan gone, it's definitely an adjustment over CWU! But he does make it home for lunch sometimes and he's home for dinner...but I have to admit, I've been very spoiled and it's just not the same! But our ward is nice and there are quite a few young families, so I'll have to scope out the ones with kids the same age and have pitty parties together! j/k, it's really not THAT bad, and we just have to survive this first year and then everyone says that it gets a LOT easier! (At least on the time aspect of things!) Other than that...spread the word that some more chicas should post on here! It would be fun to hear from everyone! Hope you're doing well! Are you going to send Corgan to the same teacher for pre-school? I got the letter before I left that she wasn't going to be the ECEAP teacher anymore :((((, that sucks! Well keep the posts and pics coming!

hey Jamie--Things are good. The kids are fine. Blake is growing into a little longer a newborn. Usually at this time I feel like I could handle having another one, but that's not the case this time around. I'm thinking of waiting until Blake is 2 before we start trying again. :o} So how are things for you? Adjusting to Stan being gone all day? If you're like me, you won't be. I don't like it when Aaron is gone all day. It's just so much eaiser with someone else there to handle things. But I guess somehow we manage without them. I'd complain to you about the heat, but I know that we don't have anything on the heat that you get to enjoy down there. I do have to say how JEALOUS I am over your washer and dryer. What's that like? I dream about it every time I do laundry. Ahhhh.... I really wish we had our own because I'm going to try and potty train Lily soon and I know what kind of messes I'll be cleaning up. Having a washer and dryer at home would make that process a lot eaiser. much love--rachel

Friday, July 27, 2007

I just want to say Thanks!!!

Well it is our last night in E-burg and I just wanted to Thank Jolie for getting together a small girls night at the last min. Joseph was over gaming with Josh one last time and I was sitting admist boxes after bathing the boys and putting them to bed, when Joseph called and said Jolie wanted to come over with a few girls to play games and hang out. So her, Natalie LaVanway (Julie it was almost like you were there, miss you), Rachel Smith and Jordan Hayter came over. We ended up talking and eating Ice Cream and didn't even finish one game but it was alot of fun. Thanks guys I really appriecate it, We will miss you all! It was just what I needed, what a great way to spend the last night here surrond by friends! I love all the girls here in E-burg and will miss all of you!!! Emily, I had such a great time getting to know you and will always remember all our fun talks while Ethan and Colin played. Julie, even though you moved before all of us, you have been such a great example of long distance friendship, I had a hard time with that growing up but I am glad to have found that it works, thanks for the example. Jamie, what will I do with out all the laughing and teasing our husbands. It was easier to get through all of their long hours studing when we could just sit outside with the kids playing and talk. Jordan, I don't think I ever saw you without a smile on your face, I love your honest and loving heart, good luck in New York. For those of you in 3rd ward, Rachel, Cindy, and Becca, I may not know you as well as I would liked but thank you for always being there, I love each one of you and hope you share photos of your families as they grow. Natalie, you have the same spirit as Julie and I wish I had taken more time getting to know you since you moved here but I hope we can continue that through blogging. Katie, I hope you are doing well in Portland, I always enjoyed talking to you, you seemed to call for V.T. whenever I needed an adult to talk to. (3 year olds don't hold the most interesting conversations) Thank you, for the many times when you and Laurie, sat and talked to me! And I want to see pictures of that new baby when it comes!!!! Lore, you are the sweetest women that I know, take care of yourself and let us know how getting in to Dental school goes. I know Dustin is putting a lot of hard work into it but I know that they can't do it with out our support. Love you lots.. And Jolie, I don't know what I would have done without you this week. Thank you for watching the boys and feeding us Dinner, I don't think I would have made it through the last couple of days sane with out you. I know we will stay in touch because of Josh and Joseph but I hope you start a blog so I can see pictures of your girls as they grow up.
Again I wanted to say thank you to everyone, it has been a truly amazing couple of years and we have had such a great group, I hope we continue to stay close through this Blog!!! I love you all!

Monday, July 23, 2007


Yeah! Rachel, thanks so much for posting on the blog! It's good to hear from some friends! How is the little one doing? What are you guys up to? Stanley started school today, so I'm pretty sure that I'll be in shock for a while because I'll never see him. Plus my mom's been here for a week, but she's leaving tomorrow so that will really slap some reality into me! Oh well! Hope everyone is doing good! And I'll harp on this some more, c'mon guys post some info!!!!

i got it...well sort of

I'm finally on this blog thing. It's probably going to take awhile before I master it, so excuse my lame attempt at posting something. But hey, it's something. Thanks, Anjuli for getting this all started. Time goes into warp speed after having kids and this will be a great way to stay in touch. -rachel

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pretzel Recipe!!

A couple of people asked me for the Pretzel Recipe, and I didn't want to forget anyone so here it is. If you have any questions just ask. I suggest reading all the directions first so you have a clear idea of the steps.
Dough Ingrediants:
4 C. Milk
3/4 C. shortening
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. warm water
2 packages. or 2 scat Tablespoons Yeast
12 cups flour divided.
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 Tablespoon salt
Water solution to dip pretzels ingrediants:
6 cups cold water
1 3/4 Tablespoon Lye *****Check note on Lye at bottem of the recipe.

Here it is: 4 c. milk, scalded but do not boil (I do mine in the microwave)
3/4 c. shortening (not oil)
1/2 c. sugar
Heat the milk first.
Next, add the shortening and sugar, stirring to melt the shortening and the sugar (this is one reason to make sure the "milk" is hot but not boiling.
Pour the mixture into your mixer and cool to lukewarm. (You don't want to kill the yeast.with the water too hot.)

1/4 c. warm water (if milk mixture is too hot you can add cooler water)
2 pkgs. (2 scant T.) yeast (add after cooled)
6 c. flour

Mix well in the mixer and cover for 30 min. until light and bubbly.

1 1/2 t. bkg. pwd.
1 1/2 T. salt
6 c. flour (more if needed for correct bread consistency)

Stir down the bubbly dough and gradually add the above ingredients until the dough is the correct consistency. Let rise in a greased bowl until doubled. About 1 1/2 hrs.
Knead dough down & divide into six equal parts. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest about 10 min. (If you don't cover it the dough will get dry quickly and be difficult to roll out. Leave all sections under the damp cloth until you shape them into pretzels.)
Have your pans greased and in a saucepan deep enough to dip pretzels in, measure approx. 6 c. cold water and 1 3/4 T. lye ***stirring to dissolve lye. Heat on simmer (again, don't boil) as the lye could "pop".
While that's heating, you can begin to roll out the number equal to a sheet of pretzels to about 16" or so and twist into shape. You'll see how long to make them once you do it. Let them rise a several min. and then gently (so as not to squeeze the air out of them) lift one at a time and slip it into the lye water. I use two flat metal pancake spatulas to help. The better you drip them off, the less they'll stick to the pans. Give the pan a cursory greasing each time you put more pretzels on it. (I use a pastry brush.) Bake at 400 for approx. 12-15 min. It depends on how dark you all like them. Opa likes albino so that's what I'm used to. This should make roughly 5 doz.

****A small note about the Lye my mother in law uses Red devil Lye you find it in the plumbing section. I know it says poison on it but you use such a small amount that it won't hurt you. She has been using it for years and her mom before her. If you don't dip the pretzels in the water/ lye solution they won't brown they stay white. And they don't have that pretzel taste.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

hey everyone!

Hey guys! Well, we officially live in Arizona now! It's way too hot here for me this time of year...but I DID know it was going to be like this! I am praying for October however! :) Well, I just wanted to add a post and see how everyone is doing?! Some more of you need to post and add some pictures so we can keep up with all the cute kids and families and what everyone is up to! Hope you're all doing good, and hope to see some posts up here soon!
Love, The Cox family

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Fun Pics of the Boys!!!

These are pictures from Kyler Cox's Birthday!! I thought they were so cute of all the boys together that I couldn't resist posting them!! There are alot more pictures on the Cox's blog (just click on link to the right). I am taking pictures like crazy right now because of the short time we have left here, I am sad because I won't be able to be at the Carnival thursday night So I hope some one will take lots of photos and post them for me.
Anjuli Fry

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Welcome to the Ellensburg Mom's Clan blogspot!!! Some of us were able to get together for a night out and decided on a name for our site!!! I hope you all decided to join us in sharing fun times and memories throughout the year!! If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to ask by emailing me or by clicking on the comment link below. I know this site is empty right now but we will get it up and looking great soon!! If you have any photos of the kids that you would like me to put in a slideshow, please post them or email them to me. Also any favorite songs that you would like on our play list please let me know. Also if you have your own blog or website that you would like me to put a link on here so others can see it just let me what the address is. I hope you will all enjoy this and find this as a great way to stay in touch!!!!