Monday, March 31, 2008


Kids and their imaginations are so darn cute. Lately Jackson's been on overdrive. He's believes anything is possible and is never afraid to ask for my help in making his inventions. On Sunday he woke up and was convinced that he needed to make himself into a robot. Earlier in the week he'd seen a Curious George episode where George makes himself a robot out of boxes. So Jackson knew just what to do. We got a box from down stairs and he asked me to cut holes in it. While I was doing that he went downstairs and came back up with a roll of red wrapping paper and told Jonathan and I that we needed to cover the box with it so it would be all red. We helped him cover the box and then he told us that it needed to say xx17 on it so Jonathan wrote it on the box for him. He was so proud of his robot box. Isn't he cute!!!?

Cooper didn't want to feel left out of all this creative fun, so he opted on a simpler approach and decided to be a cowboy for the day.

Who says having to say home sick from church can't be fun.

Easter (a little late)

I know it's a little late, sorry.
We had a nice Easter though. Easter morning we discovered the Easter bunny had come to our house and as you can tell from this picture, Jackson was pretty excited.

This was the first year that our Easter bunny actually hide some of the eggs. In the past they've just been scattered around the floor and on furniture, but he must have decided that the boys were old enough now to actually look for them. The boys had a blast trying to find all the eggs (and mommy hopes we actually did, someone forgot to count) :-)

Douglas was obviously pretty excited about the festivities too.

Later that day after church our neighbor, Donna, wanted to do an egg hunt for the kids outside. She has one son who's 16 but has the mental capacity of a baby, so she was excited to do this with the boys. I took her over some empty plastic eggs and she filled them up with candy she'd bought and then scattered the eggs and all sorts of toys all around the lawn on the side of our building. The boys loved it! Jackson was so busy picking up one toy at a time and showing it to me and then Jonathan and then Donna, and then giving us all commentary about it, that he didn't end up with much loot since Cooper was steadily picking up all the eggs during Jackson's nonstop talking (see picture below).

One of the cool toys they found out on the lawn was a punch ball. The boys loved them, especially Jackson. I love this picture!!!

Along with the candy that the Easter bunny left was a new T-shirt for each of them, which they were very proud to show off.

Oh and I made creamed eggs and coffee cake for dinner. Yummy!

The Jon Gray Family Hospital

I hate being sick!!! Hate it, hate it, hate it!!! (stomp, stomp, stomp) Life here in my house has been a non stop nose blowing festival. Last Tuesday I took Douglas and Cooper to the doctor because Cooper had had a fever for two days and Douglas had been coughing. We found out that they both had an ear infection. So they've both been enjoying yummy pink antibiotics. The next day Wednesday I woke up with the most intense pain in my ear. I jumped out of bed and grabbed the phone book to start looking for a doctor. Jonathan wasn't feeling good and had stayed home that morning and wanted to go see a doctor also. So we dropped Jackson off at school and went to a walk in clinic. The doctor said I had an ear infection. Imagine that. But that I couldn't take antibiotics for it for another 3-4 days since ear infections in adults can many times be viral, not bacterial. Jonathan ended up getting an x-ray done on his chest since he's had this cough that just hasn't been going away. His diagnosis was pneumonia. He was put on antibiotics and told not to go to work for the rest of the week. By the next morning I couldn't hear out of my right ear and everything was muffled in my left ear, and that's pretty much what my hearing's been like since Thursday. My new favorite word is "What?". Well I'm pretty sure that my cold/ear infection has now turned into a full blown sinus infection. So I can't hear, or breath, and now the headaches that come along with sinus infections have started. I started an antibiotic yesterday, so hopefully things will start getting better. Other then becoming a pharmacy, we're doing great! :-)

On a more positive note, in the midst of all this sickness, Douglas has learned how to roll over! He's gotten sooo close for awhile now, but has just had a hard time picking his head up to finish rolling all the way from his back to his stomach. Now that he's figured it out, it's the only position he wants to be in. If you lay him down on the ground he will immediately flip over onto his stomach so he can watch his brother's as they run around the house. Up until now we haven't had to worry about having to buckle Douglas into his bouncy seat every time we put him in, but just after he learned how to roll over I caught him doing this.

The buckle will be used more often now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Who burns their eyes at the pool?!

So, have any of you ever wondered what a chemical burn to the eye looks like? Well, check out my right eye (the left one as you look at the pic). Yeah, I was swimming this morning at the SDRC (Aka the Bubble) when my eye started to feel like it was on fire while swimming. This isn't normally a problem since I get pool water in my eyes all the time, so that's no biggie. Somehow I just got some hyper concentrated amount of chlorine in my eyes (yes, I wear goggles). The eye doc said it's one of the worst chemical burns he's seen. My vision in my right eye is blurry since the epithelium was burned off. Not too much fun, and yes, it really really hurts. Enjoy the pic :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Catch Up

St. Patrick's day was last week, but I never got around to downloading the pictures until today. We had the traditional cornbeef dinner with my family's tradition of green mashed potatoes. The kids thought that was weird. Jackson kept asking why they were green. At Jackson's school a leprechaun came and they had to follow the trail of green glitter dust he left to find a pot of candy. Yum! The kids thought it was great. Lucky for us we all wore green so we escaped Jackson's lethal pinching.

This is a sad picture of little Douglas with a bad cold. There's been a nasty cold going around the family and Douglas finally succumbed to it on Tuesday. The poor guy was coughing and so congested. I too have finally gotten the dreaded sickness. Guess I couldn't run from it forever. :-(

We dyed Easter eggs last night. As you might be able to tell, Cooper is also not feeling too well, and did not want to dye eggs, that is until he saw us all sit down to do it and then he thought better of his adamant NO earlier and joined in on the fun.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Ok, so I couldn't help adding this one. I had too much fun with it, and hopefully you will at least be mildly amused.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Clover Day

Maybe I should wait until tomorrow to post this since technically tomorrow is St. Paddy's, but what the heck. Emily wanted me to post this picture on the blog so here goes:
Yes, this man rigged up a casket to be a car and entered it into the St. Patrick's Day parade here in Salt Lake. :) The caption on the back of the casket said, "Putting the FUN back into funerals." Too clever! It was awesome. Steve and Emily met us down at Gateway to watch the very long parade, we left after an hour and 45 minutes and the parade was still going. This casket car was by far one of the best entries. :)
Us at the parade. Tomorrow for "Clover Day" and Caleb has named it we will be doing our traditional 4 leaf clover hunt and then the boys will get to eat their "Pot of Gold", aka a cupcake decorated with yellow sprinkles. :) Then that same night we will start on our Easter tradition. Man with Easter so close it makes tomorrow's celebrations kind of weird. But we are looking forward to Granny Gray's Easter egg hunt! We love it! No pressure Granny, we know you are busy but your egg hunt is the best!
Other happenings in life. Caleb is signed up for T-Ball starting in April. He is very excited to play. He has his baseball hat ready to wear and we hope that he enjoys it as much as he did soccer. He is already planning on soccer in the Fall, after we take out trips to Scofield. :) He is also gearing up for Kindergarten. We have orientation in April to find out what we are really doing in the big kid world of school and then, off we go. He is not happy about leaving Miss Margaret's preschool, he likes just going to her house for school. I think the big school will be an adjustment for him, but he will love all the kids and recess, oh boy!
Peter is Peter. Learning more words each day and still suffering from ear infections. Argh! He will repeat almost anything we ask him to say and his prayers are so precious. Oh, and that we know of he said his first complete sentence on Saturday morning, "I want it back!" Nice. A couple of more pictures then I will sign off:
Caleb and Peter were very proud of the tulips they painted for spring. Too bad it snowed three days later. :) The bird feeder actually works!

Random Pics

The new craze around here is the boys obsession with a PBS kids show called Super Why. They run around all day with their blankets on their back yelling lines from the shows. Cooper's even learned a lot of his letters. Thanks PBS!!

Douglas decided to join us for dinner tonight. He had a blast banging his toys on his tray while we all ate. The boys...loved watching him banging his toys while we ate. ;-)

What's up with the camera mom?

Yummy!! This truck tastes great!

The camera again!! Is there no privacy around here?!

Seeing that the new favorite show around here is all about letters and spelling and reading, Jackson's been very interested in spelling is name. He did this all on his own. Lucky for us his name doesn't use any one letter twice.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sick, Sick, Sick, Sick

So my life lately has consisted of just one thing. Sick boys!! As you can see in this lovely photo of my lovely sons doing what they do best, Jonathan is one of those boys too. We've had a nasty case of colds going around here. Some how I've been the only one who's escaped it. Must have something to do with the fact that I'm female :-) since there's no reason I shouldn't have gotten this. I've had enough snot and coughs covering me for the last week to have gotten this cold 3x's over. Currently Jonathan's doing much better (just a slight cough now), Cooper seems to also be on the very tale end of things, and the baby is finally not gagging on his mucus any longer either. But then there's Jackson. His seems to be getting worse. The past two days I've been surprised to not find one of his lungs on his bed when I go in there in the middle of the night. I didn't know a kid could cough this hard or often. The poor thing. It's made for a few long nights here, especially since cold medicine for kids under 6 is getting hard and harder to find. (stupid law)

On a much more happy note. I found an amazingly easy and delicious recipe that I want to share with you all. One of my new favorite websites is . I don't remember how I found it, but she's really into photography and food and can be funny too. You should all check out her food website (there's a link on her original website). So the recipe that I tried was the Apple Dumplings. Here it is

2 Granny Smith apples cored, peeled and cut into 8 pieces each
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 sticks of salted butter
1 tsp of vanilla
2 cans of crescent roles (i used the super generic brand and they still turned out great)
1 can of Mountain Dew

Butter a 9 x 13 pan with one of the sticks of butter
Unrole the crescent rolls. Put one piece of apple in each one and role it up and put it in the pan.
Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a pan. Add sugar and vanilla and only stir slightly. It should still be lumpy and grainy.
Pour over rolls/apples in the pan making sure everything gets coated.
Now take the can of Mountain Dew and pour around the edges of the pan (and I did it down the center too since I had two extra rolls there.) I didn't use the whole can, but almost.
Then just sprinkle the top with cinnamon generously and bake at 350 for 30-45 min.

Honestly takes only 10 mins to put together and they are soooooo good. Not the lowest calorie, but soooooo good. They're even good the next day. We put a few in a container in the fridge and had them the next day warmed up with ice cream and they were still great. My favorite part...It's like eating apple pie with crust in every bite!!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008


So it may not look as bad in the pictures, but NE Ohio is currently under siege from a snow storm that started last night. I took these this morning around 11am, right before I shoveled the driveway. It hadn't stopped snowing yet, but I decided that shoveling it now while it was only 10'' deep and then shoveling it again once it snowed another 10'' was better than shoveling 20'' later.

Mindy mentioned that I shouldn't have uncovered my car at the time, that way once the storm was over, you wouldn't be able to see my car at all. If you look close enough you can see the snow covering the front-right end of my car. It's going to be fun digging it out. Oh, and I should say that it's a good thing that Mindy has a 4Runner; despite all the taxes we pay, Cleveland Heights still hadn't got around to clearing the roads (except for the major ones), even over 16 hours after the storm had started.

We had several things planned today, but all of them were canceled. It has been nice staying in today while the storm rages outside. We had to make one venture to the post office, but other than that we've just been sitting inside updating the blog, working on the Jackson family videos, and playing Guitar Hero on our Xbox 360. Wish this could happen more often, and on days other than Saturday so we could get more days off from school or work!

Elders Quorum Pinewood Derby!

Last week we started a new tradition in my ward: the Annual Elders Quorum Pinewood Derby! I can't say who it was that came up with the idea, but it was a huge hit. Our Elders Quorum president announced that we would have a pinewood derby and that it was going to be more grown-up. There were only a few rules: 1. No weight limit; 2. No artificial propulsion; 3. No impeding other cars in adjacent lanes. I think there was in all 18 or 19 total cars entered. I was the only first year that participated (due to a extremely busy week) and I only had one night to make it. Considering that my lack of resources left me with only sandpaper, I think it turned out pretty good. I didn't win, but I learned what it takes to win and have already made plans for next years model. Here are some pics:

My car

Setting my car up for a run.

The stage became a work-bench where
everyone would continually add more weight
to their cars (often in very interesting ways).

Peace and Plenty here abide

Ahhh, the sweet quite that is in my home right now, how I relish it. :) It is only quite here after an hour and a half of Caleb and Peter playing, jumping and fighting in their room when it should have been "QUIET" time for them. Figures, huh? But after a few shrill shrieks from Caleb I decided to split them up. Caleb came in my room, Peter in their room and I told them both not a sound until I was done with my bath. As the story goes, of course they both fell asleep and for the moment there is peace in the Gray home.
We also have some pictures on our computer again after a freak electronic breakdown in our home. So, I will show you all what these two sweet tempered boys have been up to lately. :)

Peter and Caleb both received Cowboy hats from PA for Peter's birthday. They are such cute kids!
Our heart tree from Valentine's Day had the names of all the people we love and some of Caleb's friends. Yes, these boys also love each other, they just have an interesting way of expressing it sometimes. :)
And in an attempt to entertain we have been coloring Easter eggs, making leprechauns and bird feeders for our back yard.

I, Diedre, am doing well. The doctor says I am doing well and in no time at all I will have to go in weekly for visits. Ugh, that is always a drag to have to go every week to see the doctor. I am in my 29th week and we are just doing good.
Peter and Caleb will hopefully stay away from the doctor's office for the next several months. Just yesterday Peter went to the doctor to find that he has yet another ear infection. That big bad mean sickness monster needs to stay away from our home.
And finally, a big shout out for Rob. He came home yesterday from work with news that they named him Employee of the Month at VCBO Architecture! Yeah! I am not sure if he will mention this but we are so proud of him. He has been putting in so many hours and hard work for them, he deserves the recognition!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


So everyone keeps asking if Douglas is still a red head. So I thought I'd take a picture of him on a white sheet so everyone can see for themselves. And here's another cute one too.