James: February 2005 Archives

02/25/2005 Newsletter


seth is wearing daddy's hat

Big Hat

seth is afraid of Santa

View more pictures from our trip to Virginia
View more pictures from December
View more pictures from Tubing
View more pictures from February


Wow! Time just keeps sneaking up on us and it has been nearly four months since we wrote last. I'm just going to give a month by month synopsis of what has happened and then finish up with the updates on the family.


We spent a lot of time with my family in November. My brother, Spencer and his girlfriend Tammy came for Thanksgiving. It was nice to see them since they live in Wisconsin and can't get out here much. We had a fairly traditional Thanksgiving, we ate lots of food and had about 3 times as many desserts as we needed. My niece Sophia spent the whole dinner saying, "Mommy! Mommy!" at the top of her lungs. I think she was exercising her new found language skills. The girls in my family all did the Kamikaze after Thanksgiving shopping. We shopped for about 8 hours straight. We spent three hours in Target alone. It was kind of out of control, but a fun time anyway. Oh, we also taught Seth how to eat olives by putting them on his fingers before eating them. When he first accomplished the tricky task of actually getting the olive onto his finger he held it up over his head and yelled out "Ah HA!" Now whenever we have olives the first thing he does is stick out his little pointer finger so that we can slide an olive onto it.


I think this was the most stressful and busy December I have ever experienced, but also one of the most fun and memorable.

Trip to Virginia:

We left on the 14th for Virginia to visit James' family. It was Seth's second airplane ride and I was a little worried that he was going to balk at being held in a seat for over four hours since it was hard to keep him quiet for one hour of church. Luck was with us though and he fell asleep as we were waiting in line to take off. After a long plane ride we met Jeffery at the airport and hopped on a shuttle that took us to a train that took us to the subway that took us to the last stop where we met Grandma Debbie and she drove us another half hour to their home. It was a very, very long day. Seth is a good traveler though so it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

While in Virginia our goal was to spend a lot of time with the family and to relax. We only went to D.C. once. We went with Joseph and Jeremy to the train exhibit at the National Gardens and then took a tour of the Capital. Our tour guide was very boring and hard to hear so that was a disappointment, but the capital was impressive. We went to the new American Indian Museum and wandered around until we almost dropped from hunger. We ate in the museum. The food was good but really pricey. I had a buffalo meat Navajo taco and James had traditional Indian tacos with pork and chicken. We finished up at the Air and Space museum and then hopped on the Metro to meet John at Union Station.

We also went to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home, in central Virginia. It was an impressive building with a lot of neat amenities and inventions that Thomas Jefferson added. My favorite thing was that the window went all the way to the floor and they could open them all the way up and make doorways. Seth liked crawling around the grounds outside and riding on his daddy's shoulders. James was impressed with the building as a whole and how it was big and small at the same time. I'll say one thing, Jefferson had a great view!! The house is on a hill overlooking beautiful country on all sides.

Since we were leaving on Christmas Eve and the rest of the family was leaving on Christmas Day Eve we had Christmas dinner early. We ate h'ors doeuvres all day before sitting down to the actual meal. The evening was spent singing carols and talking about Christ's birth.

We drove to Baltimore on Christmas eve. We stopped at Fort McHenry and froze our butts off walking around there. Seth loved the room that had a lighted board that outlined the battle. He pushed the button that started the display about 4 times. Twice for us and then two more times when other people came into the room. He's such a good helper! We had a long wait for our flight home and Seth was ready for a good nap by the time we got on the plane. He slept a at least 3 hours of the trip and was happy to be off the plane when we landed.

Christmas Day:

Luckily this was a year that my dad didn't have to work on Christmas, so we didn't have our Christmas present opening until 11:00 in the morning. It was nice for our family because we were able to sleep in. We opened a few presents at our house before heading over to my parent's. This year was really fun with Seth since he could actually open his own presents and even enjoyed some of what he got. We gave him a train set which I think James and Aaron enjoyed more than Seth did. Seth mostly just Godzilla-ed the whole set-up and took all the trains off the tracks.

Amy's Farewell:

The day after Christmas was Amy's farewell. She was called to the Columbus, OH mission. Church was early and we had to be there before it started to practice the song Amy wanted us to sing. Amy's talk was nice. She compared the Wisemen to missionaries and it really brought out a lot of things I had never thought of before about the wisemen. The whole family sang With Wondering Awe and I think we sounded ok. We had an open house and served breakfast to everyone that came. It was a good day for meeting with family and friends.

Jenni's Wedding:

After much doubting that it would ever happen :), Jenni finally got married. We had a busy time of getting everything ready. I was surprised when Debbie called me two days before the wedding and said that Jenni told her that I was in charge of the reception. That was news to me, but since Jenni had discussed all her plans with me, I was able to get everything pretty much the way I think she wanted it. We set up the reception really quickly thanks to all the helping hands that we had around us. I spent the rest of the morning running around Bountiful trying to find a spotlight to light the cake with. Luckily I had gotten ready for the actual wedding earlier that morning so I just had to get Seth ready. During the day I kept telling Jana that I would be able to put her hair up for her, but I kept running into other snags and never got around to it. So my deepest apologies to Jana for that. The wedding ceremony was nice. Jenni had a cheesy grin plastered to her face the entire time and Justin looked just as pleased as he could be! The reception was nice. Justin was pretty eager to get out of there once the recpetion was over. There was some contention over the decoration of their car and James had taken it an gone to the car wash to wash it before decorating it all over again. Justin kept coming up to me and asking me where James was. I told him that he since he had been able to wait this long to get married, that he could wait a few more minutes for James to get back. After the bride and groom made their get away we made quick work of disassembling the reception and hurried home to our beds for a much needed nights sleep.

New Years Eve:

We spent New Years at my parents house. James' brother John came with us. Everyone was expecting a lot more people for the evening and we had about 4 times the amount of food than we needed. We played games and watched Napoleon Dynamite. At about 11:30, my dad, James and John went on their "Beat the New Year" 5k run. It was cold and snowy and the ground was pretty slippery. At 5 minutes to midnight we went out to welcome them back, but they didn't come and they didn't come. At about 10 after midnight, Amy hopped in the car to find out where they were and to make sure no one was hurt. It turns out that John and my Dad had come in right after we went in the house and since there was no one there to greet them, they turned around and met back up with James and finished again about 20 minutes after the New Year. They all said it was a really nice run, quiet and cold and beautiful. James is training up a bit this year so that he can be more competitive next time.


After a few crazy things at the beginning of January we were finally able to take a much needed rest.

Soldier Hollow Tubing:

The whole Lance clan (at least those who were in Utah at the time) went up to Soldier Hollow for some tubing. It was James and my first time up there and we really enjoyed ourselves. Seth wasn't allowed up the tow lines so we towed him around at the bottom of the hill. He had a cold and a little bit of a fever so we didn't keep him out long. He cracked a smile for the first time that day as we ran down a short incline with him in the tube behind us. When we got to the bottom he would say "again, again". So we'd pull him back up and do it again. We took him back into the Lodge to spend the rest of the time with Gma and Gpa Lance and Aunt Laura and James and I headed for the tow ropes. We were able to get down the hill 5 times in the hour and a half that we had left. It was fun, we got going pretty fast and ran into the barriers a few times. Once we ran into James' dad as he was trying to stop us from running into the barriers. There were also several snowball fights between family members too. After they kicked us off the runs we went back to the lodge for treats and family chat time. We think that a trip up to Soldier Hollow is going to have to be an annual event for us now. It was definitely an activity worth repeating.

Lane leaves for Iraq:

The night before James' dad left for Iraq we had a nice family dinner and family counsel. Everyone got a father's blessing from Lane and in turn James gave Lane a blessing too. The spirit was so strong as we listened to the counsel that Heavenly Father had for each of the family members. When it came time for Lane's blessing the spirit in the room was the most powerful that I have ever experienced. Lane was blessed that he would do a great good in Iraq and that he would come home safely when his time was done there. It was a moving and relieving experience for all of us to know that he was going to be okay over there. The next day we all woke up early, James took Lane to the airport and the rest of the family packed up their stuff for the long trip home.

Amy goes into the MTC:

Amy went into the MTC on January 5th. She didn't want anyone to be at the MTC but my mom and dad, but then everyone ended up going instead. It was sad and happy at the same time. I tried not to cry, but everyone else was and I couldn't help myself. We made our goodbyes short and Amy walked bravely out of the chapel and into her next adventure. She has had some rocky times so far, but seems to be doing much better now that she is in the mission field and getting into the work. I am going to miss Amy, but I know that she is doing the right thing and that she is going to be blessed in so many ways while she is serving the Lord.

Time to Relax:

The MTC was the final event in a long string of family and friend gatherings and when it was over James and I sat down and took a deep breath. The rest of the month of January was spent doing normal stuff. James started working normal hours again and I got back to cleaning house, cooking meals and enjoying Seth. We did almost nothing the rest of the month and enjoyed every minute of it.


When February rolled around we wondered what happened to December and January. It seemed like they were just a blur of time. This month, especially the last few weeks have been so spring-like that I have really caught the spring bug and I want to go outside and play and work in the yard. I am very ready to have grass put in so that Seth will have a place to go and play and so the neighbor boys will stop using our yard as their BMX playground. We have tire tracks all over our yard from them racing back and forth over it. I even caught them riding through our side yards into the back and around the whole house over and over. I'm not sure why they think it's okay to ride in someone else's yard, but they don't seem to have any qualms about it.

Valentines Day:

Both James and Seth had colds on Valentines Day so we didn't do much. We went and got Togo sandwiches for dinner and I had purchased a bottle of Martinelli's sparkling cider and some strawberries so we had an fun dinner at home with sandwiches and angel food cake, strawberries and whipped cream. It was low-key, but nice to just celebrate the love that we have in our little family.

President's Day:

Everyone in my family had president's day off. We took the kids to the Treehouse museum in Ogden and let them run around and do all sorts of activities. Seth's favorite thing was to climb up and over this little footbridge that they have there. It's quite steep on the inclines and he found it very challenging to get over it without falling on his face. He walked over it using the ropes, but thought that it was more fun to crawl over it, sprawled out so that he didn't slide down it too fast. He got pretty good at it by the time we left. We had dinner with my sister Marrisse and her family and we were going to go swimming after that, but James and I were too tired and Seth didn't seem to care very much so we headed home.

That pretty much brings us up to date so now I'll give the update on Seth.

Seth's Update:

Seth has been walking pretty steadily since Mid-December. He really practiced a lot while we were in Virginia. He is getting pretty fast now that he is starting to bend his knees when he walks. I even lost him in Shopko one day because I didn't think that he could get very far, very fast, but he proved me wrong by taking off and getting out of my sight before I noticed. Luckily he was fast, but not too fast and had only gone a little way away. He is constantly improving his vocabulary and loves to read stories with me and that helps him a lot. He definitely knows how to make himself understood now. We are working on teaching him to say please and excuse me. He loves to take things apart and put them back together. He is always trying to figure out how things work. When he was sick at the beginning of February all he wanted to do was sit on my lap and snuggle. That week he learned the words "T.V." and "movie", luckily he doesn't really like to sit and watch either now that he is well.

James taught him how to give the "Indian" greeting "How" with his hand raised. He also has learned the hand actions to several songs, one is a song about monkey's and an alligator and the monkeys tease the alligator by sticking their thumbs in their ears and wiggling their fingers. Seth does this very well and has also mastered the alligator action by putting his palms together in front of him, but instead of moving his hands back and forth to show the movement of the alligator he holds his hands still and moves his body. It's pretty funny to watch. He has also discovered the art of the pout. His face is so expressive that you can always tell what's going on just by looking at him. This morning he was being pretty cranky and I asked him if he had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, he pulled the grumpiest baby face that I have ever seen and I knew I had gotten the answer to that question.

He has just started to notice that there is a world outside of the house and he likes to look out the windows. Yesterday we took him to the park and he slid down the slides and played on the swings. The swings were his favorite and he laughed the whole time he was on them. This morning when James went out for a run, Seth didn't want to be left inside so he cried and pleaded until I got his jacket on him and we went out for a walk. He's fascinated by dogs as long as they don't come too close and we saw two as we walked. He waved at them from a distance and barked his hello to them. It is so fun to spend time with him and to see him learn and grow and discover things. This summer is going to be a blast and I can't wait.

Love James, Miekka and Seth