Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Off to...Mutual?

Okay, so a couple of weeks ago I was released from the Primary Presidency and put in as the new Laurels advisor. I had a lot of mixed feelings about the change. After the roller coaster of emotions I've finally landed on excitement. Tonight is my first night to go to mutual. We are making fleece blankets for the presidency and advisors that were released from YW. It feels a little weird to be going back to mutual, but it should be fun. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Enjoying Christmas Adam?

It's the final countdown to Christmas and I've kind of lost steam. I was feeling pretty jolly for a while there and then Jeremiah and Isaac got sick. Jeremiah's finally on the upswing and Isaac seems to be improving as well. They've both had priesthood blessings which made a marked difference in their recovery progress. I've since contracted a cough but I'm doing my best to ignore it. (My sincere thanks to the makers of Nyquil.) Hopefully we'll all feel well enough this evening to deliver neighbors' gifts.

I'm hoping that as Christmas Eve approaches the kids will get excited and it will rub off on me. And I'm hoping that none of use are contagious and can go to my parents house, I have something really fun I'd like to do there.

Anyway, if you have some Christmas cheer, send it my way. For now, I think I'll make myself some hot cocoa and read by the Christmas tree.

Happy holidays y'all!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Revisiting My Childhood

Remember the Christmas specials that used to come on TV. Oh they were great...Garfield, Charlie Brown, BC, For Better or Worse, Iggy? The list goes on. They just don't make them like that anymore. I was unfortunate enough to suffer through watch some "Christmas" specials with Isaac yesterday. I guess that these days for a show to be a Christmas special there just has to be snow and a Santa hat in the episode. I feel bad for my kids.

One of my favorite specials was the Claymation Christmas. It included the California Raisins, a We Three Kings segment and the Carol of the Bells. I've chosen to share the latter since it is one of my favorites. I still think it's hilarious, even as an overgrown adolescent adult.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mom X 3 = Blessed Kids

Jeremiah has been sick since Tuesday and Isaac since Wednesday. Because it looked like niether of them were going to recover before school let out for Christmas, yesterday it hit me that if both Jeremiah and Isaac were going to be home I would never have any time to wrap Christmas gifts (I made only a small dent in the task during my gift-wrapping open house.) I'm not one that can get out of bed before the rest of the family and clean the whole house or stay up late after they've gone to bed and do anything besides veg in front of the TV or computer (curse you Facebook!) so I was doubtful that I would be able to get much wrapping done during those times either.

Anyway, I was venting my concerns to my mom yesterday and she offered to have the kids down to her house so that I could tend to Jeremiah and get some wrapping done. I gratefully took her up on her offer. Jeremiah joined me in the family room to watch "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey" (a fantastic movie, BTW) while I wrapped furiously. During this time my MIL dropped by and asked if Kenley would like to stay the night at her house. I then went down to my parents house to retrieve the children. When I got there Isaac was sitting under a blanket, even more pale than usual (which apparently is possible,) snuggled up against Gammie while she bound a quilt. He was obviously not feeling well. Within minutes he was laying on the floor asking, "Can we go home?" Usually, when it's time to leave Gammie's, he's clinging to the computer pleading, "Can we have a sleepover?"

Anyway, sometimes I feel like a bad mom. I feel bad for sending my sick boy to someone else's house and not nurturing him like I should have. (To be honest though, I didn't think he was that sick. I thought he was in the recovery phase.) Although I'm sure he received love and nurturing from my mom, it really should have come from me. And then I feel kind of bad for sending Kenley to Nana's house. I hadn't seen her all day, I saw her for a little bit at my mom's and then sent her off with Uncle Gabriel.

Although I'm wrestling with my guilt, I'm really thankful that my kids have such a good relationships with their grandparents. It's truly been a blessing for our family to live close to both of our parents. My kids know them and love them and get to see them often. That's something I never had... my maternal grandparents passed away before I had a chance to know them and my father's parents lived 2/3 of the way across the country. Anyway, I'm thankful to know that even though I'm not always the best mother, I have my mom and Jeremiah's mom to help fill in the gaps.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hostess with the Mostess?

Tomorrow night I am hostessing my 2nd annual gift-wrapping open house. I pull out all of my wrapping paper, tape, scissors, curly ribbon, tissue paper, etc. and invite neighbors over to get some of their Christmas gift-wrapping done. I make lots of cookies and something in the crockpot, turn on the Christmas music and the Happy Hearth DVD (it makes my TV look like a fireplace.) Jeremiah is going to take the kids out and spend some time with them so I don't have to worry about their little, spying peepers.

I still can't decide if it's a good idea or not. It's not much trouble for me because I don't have to haul gifts in and out of the house in order to get them wrapped. Last year most of my guests just brought a few gifts to wrap, and I wasn't sure if they came just to be nice since I was new in the neighborhood. Either way, I'm looking forward to it and I hope the people who do make it over enjoy themselves!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Plea (updated)

(I've updated the link)

Please, please, please say a prayer for little Ravyn Finch. She is our cousin and she is in dire need of a miracle. She has been diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer in her brain stem. It absolutely breaks my heart! She and her twin sister Alexia came out for a visit a couple of years ago and they are both darling little girls. Visit her mother's journal at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ravynfinch. Leave an encouraging message with them, even if you don't know them, and pray, pray, pray!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

First Words and Phrases

I remembered being asked at Kenley's 18-month check up how her vocabulary was coming along. I answered 25 words at the time and then wondered if I had exaggerated. I came home and kept a list of words she said over a three day period and was surprised that 25 words was conservative.

Jack had his 18-month check up in October. I anticipated the Dr. asking me about his vocabulary as well so I prepared by making a list of his words (as well as his pronunciations.) Once again, my expectations were conservative. Here they are.

*mommy*daddy*help*up*no*yep*brush (besh)*
*shoes (use - although it used to be pronounced douche... kind of sad to see that one go)*
*Bucka (that's what the kids call my dad)*ball*
*bottle (which he says when he wants a drink)*uh-oh*oh-no*
*here you go (ih-ugo)*out*hold on (oh-dah)*please (peas)*more (moh)*nose*
*apple*this (diss)*mine*cookie (cook)*on*again (nen)*bite*ow*kiss*buckle*
*pretzel (beh-too)*eat*yucky*there it is (deh-tis)*hurt*water*Amen*one*wow*
*bye-bye*poo-poo*pee-pee*baby*banana (nanana)*juice*
*open (ope)*go*yes*house*animal (almo)*look*Elmo*

That was the list I made before the visit. I've added more since then. It seems like he is learning about two new words a day. Even as I've been typing he displayed a new word. He's been playing with a tape measure. He pulls out the tape, lets it go and then says, "Menny" which I'm going to guess is *funny,* judging by the laughter that follows.

My favorite word that he says is blanket, because he says "beddu." I don't know where it came from but I think it's cute. Also, he calls both Isaac and Kenley "Iyat." I love it!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Kenley's Favorite Bedtime Story

As told to her by Gammie.

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Kenley. Kenley loved to play. One morning, when Kenley woke up, the sun was shining brightly through her window and she thought, "I want to play."

So Kenley went over to her big brother Isaac's bed and said, "Isaac? Wake up, I want to play!" But Isaac was so tired, he didn't wake up. And Kenley still wanted to play.

Kenley went into her little brother Jack's room. She walked up to his crib and said, "Jackers? Wake up, I want to play!" But Jack was so tired, he didn't wake up. And Kenley still wanted to play.

Kenley went into her mommy and daddy's room. She walked up to their bed and said, "Mommy? Daddy? Wake up, I want to play." Mommy and Daddy didn't even move.

She climbed up on their bed to get closer and said, "Mommy! Daddy! Wake up, I want to play." But Mommy and Daddy were so tired, they didn't wake up. So Kenley climbed in between them, snuggled down beneath the blanket, and fell fast asleep.

The End.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

C'mon, Let Me Down Easy

As Isaac was getting ready for school yesterday morning he said, "I want to go on a date with you."

I thought it was cute so I told him, "Maybe while Daddy is home for Christmas break you and I can go out on a date."

"As long as we go to a play place."

I'm not sure what he means so I ask, "You mean like a theater? You want to go to a play?"

"No. Like a place I can play. You know, a play place."

"Oh, I guess we could do that."

"Um, actually I don't want to do that. I don't want to go on a date."

"Why not?

"I'm too young for you."

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Report

Thanksgiving was a success. All the planning and preparation paid off and dinner was delicious. (Carenna even told me that it was the most well planned, beautifully presented Thanksgiving meal she'd had.) All morning I felt like I should have been doing something (like stressing out) but - thanks to my timeline - I had time to sit and chat with my sister-in-laws. The guys watched football, the kids played and I think everyone had a pretty relaxing day.

My favorite part was playing games, although I think my in-laws saw a side of me they hadn't seen before. I get a little crazy and I think some of them got a little frightened. We were so wound that we didn't go to bed. We stayed up looking through ads and planning our shopping route. Pretty soon it was 3 AM so Kelly, Lynette and I piled into the mothership and started shopping. We hit Best Buy, Kohl's, Wal-Mart (which should be renamed "Pandemonium" for Black Friday), and then split so that I could shop at Staples while Kelly and Lynette shopped K-Mart. My shopping wasn't as successful as last year. Jeremiah and I really hadn't decided what the kids need so all I ended up buying was a flat panel monitor for our computer that Jeremiah and I have wanted for a long time. But still, it was fun, and I had to go because I can't stand it when people have fun without me.

I finally got to go to bed at 7 and I slept until almost 4. Then we went down to my parents' house and played games all night. I had an absolute blast. Playing games with my brothers is one of my most favorite things to do. They get my sense of humor and I always get to laugh tons with them. Plus their wives are fun, too, so we have a good time. We didn't get home until about 1:30 AM. Then we went back Saturday night and played some more. It was just so much fun. We got back late at night (or early in the morning, however you want to look at it) again so yesterday we just took it easy here at home. It was a fun holiday for me but I am looking forward to getting to bed at a decent hour tonight!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Somebody Ring the Dinner Bell

Thanksgiving is still several days away and I'm already salivating. I volunteered to host the holiday this year for Jeremiah's family and my mind has been swimming with ideas for the menu ever since. I think I've finally settled on turkey with fruit and nut stuffing, Yukon gold buttermilk-mashed potatoes with gravy, roasted sweet potatoes, carrots and squash with cinnamon butter, homemade rolls, peas (because they're tradition on Jeremiah's side,) fresh cranberry sauce, blueberry pie, peach pie, apple pie, cherry pie and pumpkin pie. It sounds like a lot of work, but since I love to cook, it sounds like fun to me and I am super excited to make it all. Plus a lot of it can be prepared or even baked ahead of time and my SIL is coming early so I will have someone to share the kitchen with. (That's right, Kelly, I'm putting you to work!)

I really can't even tell you how excited I am! This is my 8th Thanksgiving as a married woman and my first turn hosting a holiday feast. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kissy Face

I don't always make it outside to the corner when Isaac gets off the bus, but the other day I was out there when he got home. I thought he was so excited to see me because he ran off the bus...and then right past me. I was confused as I walked home. He sat panting on the front steps waiting for me. When I was in earshot he asked, "Do you want to know why I was running so fast? Brenley was trying to kiss me!"

Not wanting to make a big deal out of it and make Isaac feel like he did something wrong, I asked him how he felt about that. "SCARED!" He then told me that she tried to kiss him during class and on the bus. He talked for a while about it so I asked if it bothered him. He said it did and agreed when I asked if I should make his teacher aware of it.

Isaac seemed so upset by the whole thing that he caught me by surprise when he came home the next week and said, "Mom? Something's wierd. Brenley doesn't try to kiss me anymore, but she does try to kiss Alex. And it makes me wonder...why?"

"I thought you didn't want Brenley to kiss you."

"I don't."

"So why does it bother you that she tries to kiss Alex?"

No answer, unless you count the coy grin on his face.

"Let me see if this is it: You don't want Brenley to kiss you, but you do want her to keep trying?"

"That's it!"

Really? In Kindergarten? I thought it would take much longer for my innocent boy to be faced with the kissing issue.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Taken by a Hidden Camera

Yes, this is me. This is me at a Demolition Derby. The kids ruined Jeremiah's sunglasses and I thought it would be funny to wears them sans lenses.

Now that I see it captured in a photograph, I don't think it's that funny. Although, me holding Kenley like I just hogtied her is minorly amusing.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Let Down

Just when I'm gaining a greater appreciation for our freedoms I realize that it means we're allowed to be idiots.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Halloween Party

So remember when I said I had somethig fun to post but I needed pictures? Well, here they are. My friend (LaFawnduh) and I decided to have a Halloween Party and have the guests dress like couples. We had some pretty funny and creative pairs.

Plug & Outlet, Milkman & Mistress

Sarah Palin & her moose, Han Solo & Princess Leia, the Homey & the Hillbilly

Kip & Lafawnduh, Nun & Priest
Batman & Batwoman, Knight & Damsel
Everyone brought food to share and then we played some fun games. We put all the men behind a sheet and showed only their feet and the wives had to choose which one was her husband. We Also played Truth or Dare (I have a book version.) Jeremiah was dared to act like part of a boy band. He got pretty embarrassed, but he did it.

My friend's husband put together a Not-So_Newlywed Game. We all had a good laugh about the answers that were shared. It was such a fun night. I hadn't laughed that hard in ages. I love playing games and being a total idiot, it's one of my favorite things. We've decided to make it an annual event (as long as she doesn't move away!)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Oh Well, It's Only the Leader of the Free Nation

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
"A Tale of Two Cities", Charles Dickens

I went to vote. When I actually saw the presidential ballot I was hit by the magnitude of this election. My chest tightened, my hands shook and tears welled in my eyes. While I've always felt it was extremely important, I've never had such a reaction to voting. When I cast my vote I nearly pressed the entire stylus through the ballot, such was my conviction for my choice, or rather, my distaste for the candidate I was voting against.

I'd like to say I rocked my vote but, living in such a small state, it feels more like I whispered into the wind.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Jack-O-Lanterns

We carved out Jack-O-Lanterns Monday night for family night. Nana and Papa had stopped by Sunday night to bring us Halloween goodies and they gave each of the kids little pumpkin cups. Isaac chose to put the same face from his cup on his jack-o-lantern. Kenley chose to turn hers on its side and use the stem for the nose. She's really into circles lately, because she can draw them easily, so she wanted everything on her jack-o-lantern to be circles.

Jeremiah and I had fun listening to the kids' excitement as their pumpkins were carved. Then everyone helped to separate the seeds so that we could roast them for a yummy snack. It was fun family time and the pumpkins turned out really cute. Can you guess which is my favorite Jack-o-lantern?

(Also, I L.O.V.E. this new camera.)

Christmas in October

Because I we complain a lot and I am we are needy, both of our parents have already given us our Christmas presents.

A while ago Jack was sick for about 5 days. Five days of continuous vomit. So we had to borrow my mom's carpet cleaning machine. We still have it and we use it weekly. Anyway, Jeremiah's parents are getting everyone freezers for Christmas, but since we already have one we asked for the same model carpet cleaner that we've borrowed from my mom. Last week they just happened to be on sale and so my in-laws just gave it to us early so we don't have to keep borrowing my mom's. And my mom can actually have the use of her own cleaner without asking for it back. Thank you, Brent and Lynette! (I'm sure my mom thanks you, too!)

Also, have I mentioned I haven't had a camera since May? I've tried to keep quiet about it. Actually, I have not. I have been lamenting it's absence at every opportunity and spreading my misery. In fact I was sharing my sadness with my mom just the other day and she said she could give us our Christmas money early if it would help us. Um...YES! Between our Christmas money and money that I had save from babysitting we had enough to by a new camera. Thank you, Mom and Dad!

And don't worry about our Christmas morning. I will be so happy taking pictures of our kiddos with clean carpet in the background.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Toddler Hazing


This happened a long time ago. (As is evidenced by the fact that I have pictures of it. Ahem.)
I'm always amazed at how loud kids are when they aren't gettting into trouble and how incredibly stealthy they are when they're being mischievious. I didn't even know of this particular incident until Jack started crying, presumably because of the copious amounts of baby powder being dumped all over his face. Why Kenley decided she needed to naked for this ritual is still a mystery, as is the reason for dumping out all the socks and baby powder. Also, notice the horizontal mirror in the background, I wonder if that is symbolic. Of what? I'm not sure. Possibly of the position I'd like to take on my bed after a day of dealing with the toddler twosome.

Positive Parent-Teacher Pow-Wow

Alternate Title: Forgive Me for Bragging.

Last night was my first parent-teacher conference with Isaac's Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Z. I have to say that it was a wonderful initiation to the whole experience. I was very curious to see what she had to say about Isaac and she had some curiosity of her own.

She started by showing us his report card and saying that he is performing at grade level - then explaining that "the grades only go up to grade level: He's way ahead of us." She also let us know that she has suggested him as a candidate for the G.A.T.E. program - Gifted And Talented Education. I was actually a little surprised. I've always known he is bright, but I figured maybe I exaggerated it a little bit in my head because I'm his mom.

Mrs. Z. also said she was very curious to know how we've taught him to read so well. I'd love to take credit for it but Jeremiah and I both conceded that he'd taught himself and just loves to learn.

She showed us his first attempt to write a full sentence, with which she was very pleased. We also saw how he wrote all his numbers and she said that she would be very pleased if all the children did that well by the end of the year. His numbers did look pretty good, even if his 7 was backwards. but she said that was common and that they hadn't even learned to write the numbers in class yet so he was doing really well.

All the academic progress was very pleasing to Jeremiah and I, but we had to ask how he behaved in class. This was a concern for both of us since Isaac likes to talk and play a lot. Mrs. Z. reported that Isaac was very obedient to all her instructions and very patient. PATIENT? Isaac? Apparently...at school. She let us know that Isaac was also very kind to a child who had been having a hard time and that now the boy considered Isaac his friend. She was impressed at his compassion and stated that usually kids at his age were "all about me." (We see more of that side of him at home.) Jeremiah also told the teacher that she was allowed to humble him a little bit if he ever became condescending with her or the other children.

Anyway, we were all very pleased at his progress and behavior in school. Mrs. Z. said that she was a little concerned about keeping his attention, but that there are enough activities (i.e. singing, P.E., and free time) that she felt like he was engaged in the classroom.

My biggest question is, where did this little smarty-pants come from?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vanity Thoughts

I have something really fun to blog about. But since it has to have pictures with it I will wait until I can get down to my mom's.

In the meantime...

I've been thinking about vanity license plates. Not because I would actually pay to have them, but what would I put on them if I did? Think about it: 7 characters to sum up a person. What aspect of myself would I want to portray?

The best I've come up with is 5FT2 QT. But then I realized the plates would be on a minivan and so then I thought MTHRSHP, because really, that's what it is.

So I'm curious, what would your vanity license plate say?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Great Expectations

I don't know about the rest of you, but I check my own blog. Not to see if someone's left a comment, but to see if there are new posts. It's kind of wierd, I guess. I'm the only author on this blog but sometimes I hit my home page wondering if there will be something new, as if someone else will suddenly be writing my posts for me. I anticipate that there will be something fresh, funny and full of wit. Each time I'm a little disappointed when all that shows up is my last post.

Is anyone else feeling let down?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Year of Plenty

I don't know that I've mentioned how much preserving I've done this summer. It started with the cherries. My mom stopped by one day in late July and saw the cherry tree red and ripe. So we started picking and before we knew it, we had done 28 quarts of cherry pie filling. Then someone else had a tree to pick and we did another 60 quarts or so.

Then peaches came on and I did a bunch of peaches and peach pie filling. Then I had beans and peas in my garden and froze them. Then 40 quarts of corn fell into my lap. My mom made me some applesauce and apple pie filling. Just today I canned 18 quarts of tomatoes and I have more coming.

And now my shelves are pretty much full. They were near empty at the beginning of the summer. And the best part is that a lot of the food was grown in my own garden or free. It cost me more this year to buy canning supplies than it cost to buy the food I was putting away. Not to mention that I got to spend a lot of time with my mom and sister-in-laws canning it all.

I've also had the opportunity to go to the cannery a couple of times this year and put away flour, sugar, rice, oats and other dry-pack items. I'm planning to go again early in November. And last week my mom and SILs and I did tons of dry-packing with a rented canner, although I only put away flour that time.

I'm so thankful that our family has been blessed with this food storage opportunity. You never know what the future will bring, but for us, it looks like lots of pie.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blackmail Opportunity


I took this incrim- inating picture of Jeremiah at Tanner's wedding reception. I assure you that there is only sparkling cider in the glass...but that doesn't explain the look on his face.

See what the scriptures mean about avoiding the very appearance of evil?

...at least Jack turned away.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

3

Happy birthday, Kenley! I can't believe that you are 3 years old already. You are so sweet and dear to me. I love you so much!


We had your birthday party yesterday with your grandparents. You were so cute all day about your birthday. (We just let you think yesterday was your birthday since we won't really be celebrating it today.) Anyway, all day you'd yell to Isaac and Jack from wherever you were and say, "Come over to mine birthday party up here guys!" Then when everyone got here for your real party, you hardly said a word...except when you made a point of asking Isaac if he had eaten all his birthday cake.


I love the way you sing to yourself. It's so telling of what is going on in your little mind. You sing whatever comes into your head and you get very dramatic about it. I've caught you singing happy birthday to yourself all week. Your singing makes me laugh and it is truly one of my favorite sounds.


You're quite the climber. And you're very sneaky about it. I've always wondered how you get onto the corner cupboard - the one up really high where I keep the treats. Yesterday I found out, by watching from around the corner, that you open up the bottom cabinet, climb the shelves like a ladder, and then when you get onto the cupboard, you reach down and close the cabinet door. I guess I need a new hiding place for the candy. Because you can climb up there, you eat way more candy than I'd like. But, I'm comforted by the fact that you are thoughtful because you always grab candy for Isaac and Jack.


I've been babysitting recently and every morning you get up and say, "Are mine friends here?" You love it when Carson and Morgan come over and you love to play hostess - showing them around the house and making sure that everyone follows you. It makes me laugh because Carson is Isaac's age but you boss him around just like everyone else.


I love the way you talk. Your words are so deliberate and you have a little bit of a drawl. You speak slowly and clearly and your face is very animated when you talk. Yesterday morning I made blueberry muffins for your special breakfast. You came in the kitchen and said, "What are you cooking, Mommy?" I answered blueberry muffins and you cocked your head to one side and said, "I don't want blueberry muffins for breakfast, Mommy." It made me laugh (inside) because you weren't rude about it, but you were not going to "settle" on your birthday.


You are definitely a girl who knows what she wants, and my heart truly hopes that you get it all. I love you, baby doll!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

8 Things

I was tagged for this post by the lovely and oh, so talented Lady Katie.

8 TV shows I love to watch
1. Pushing Daisies
2. The Office
3. Frasier reruns
4. Eli Stone
5. Wipeout
6. My Big Redneck Wedding (this show really makes me feel good about myself)
7. Jeopardy (only with Jeremiah)
8. Seinfeld reruns

8 favorite places I love to eat
1. A local American/Mexican restaurant that my mom has taken me to since I was a child
2. Johny Carino's
3. Texas Roadhouse
4. My mom's house
5. Mongolian Grill
6. At Delis
7. Grandma B's house
8. At my dinner table with my family

8 things that happened yesterday (I really have to remember that long ago?)
1. I worked on the Primary program for our church
2. We went on a rare trip to Wendy's for school night
3. Jeremiah and I folded laundry together while we watched Pushing Daisies
4. The kids and I went for a 2-mile walk
5. I received heartbreaking news about a miscarriage (not my own)
6. I vacuumed my kitchen floor about a million times (you still can't tell the difference)
7. I tried to take a nap to no avail
8. I babysat 2 extra kids

8 things I look forward to
1. Retiring ..to bed each night
2. Date nights with Jeremiah
3. Having my living room painted
4. Payday
5. Trying new recipes
6. Having company
7. Kenley's birthday on SUNDAY! She'll be 3...holy cow...
8. Jack's nap time

8 things I love about Fall
1. The crisp, clean smell in the air
2. The colors
3. Cooler nights
4. Falling leaves
5. The harvest
6. Halloween
7. Thanksgiving
8. The day after Thanksgiving shopping

8 material things on my wish list
1. A finished basement
2. A new bike
3. A trip to CA to visit relatives
4. Money to bail someone out of financial difficulty
5. A beautiful evening gown and an event where I can fashion it
6. A 90-minute massage
7. Money for more food storage
8. A van with automatic doors

8 people I'm tagging
1. Alisha
2. Kelly
3. Gammie
4. Caroline
5. Deanna
6. Paradise
7. Lani
8. Tammy

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Memories

Some of you left memories of me on a post a while ago and so now I'm going to share my memories of those who responded but didn't copy the post on their own site.

Audrey - I remember watching a movie at your house with J.D. and Kendall. I had been flirting with Kendall all night and when they were about to leave I was thinking of kissing him. You came out, all hysterical, saying, "You don't kiss Kendall!" Then you wanted to kiss him because you'd never been kissed. I don't think either of us ever did kiss him. Poor Kendall!

Carrie - One time Scott took you to a dance and you two 'dined' at our house and I got to be your server. I felt really silly because I was only like 8 years old. But I remember thinking you were so beautiful!

Kelly - I already left a memory for you on your blog, but for the other reader(s?) I have another one. I think the first time I met you Evens brought you over to my parents house while a lot of my family was there. I thought you were a good sport for meeting a bunch of strangers. Also, I remember wondering, "What is she doing with Evens?" I'm super happy you stuck with him though. :P

Alisha - Thanks for sharing so many memories (and for not sharing so many as well.) We were kind of crazy, huh? Here are some of mine:

The day we became instant friends when you came and talked to me in choir because you thought I "looked like fun."

Hanging out at your house and talking boys with Audrey.

You telling Joe that if anything happened on my/our first date, I had to make the move.

Picking out songs on the piano and the guitar together.

Throwing mud at each other after moving pipe because we were about to go see Seth and I thought he'd think it was "hot."

The time we asked a worker at Smith's to escort us to our car because there were about 5 scary looking guys that followed us around the store.

Eating Grasshopper cookies like there was no tomorrow.

Making a certain bet about a certain hot guy at choir clinic. I maintain that I won, even if I did ask him if I could kiss him.

(I'm kind of hoping my mom doesn't read this post...and my husband...)

The look on your face when I made you get out of the car to retrieve the garbage you had tossed out the window.

Man I wish you lived closer!! LYLAS

Lani - I don't know what energy you are talking about. I feel like a zombie most days. Anyway, I remember how all my nieces think you are the coolest aunt - even though you're not technically their aunt. Doesn't matter, you're still part of the family and I think you're the coolest too.

My memory of Blake is that I hated him as a kid. For some reason he was always laughing at me and it always hurt my feelings. I'm pretty sure some of my earliest memories are of Blake. My dad was trying to teach me how to blow my nose in the bathroom one time and Blake walked by and made fun of my efforts. When I got older I called him "Blank" because I didn't want him there. I think he's great now though. I'm so glad you are my parent's neighbors.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Simple Faith

Alternate Title: Not Now!

At our house we have a Family Home Evening board. It has a peg for the song, prayer, scripture, lesson, activity and treat. Each of us has a tag with our name on it hanging from each of the pegs. Except one tag is blank, because there are only five of us. There are also 6 chairs at our table, which, if you can do simple math, means there is one empty chair.


Isaac has always been a little OCD and is very particular about everything. (He is going to drive his wife crazy someday, as I'm sure Kelly can attest.) Anyway, every once in a while Isaac will point out that there's a blank tag on the board or take note of the empty chair at the table. Last week both items seemed to hit him at the same time. I happened to be watching him as his attention alternated between the tag and the chair several times before he looked at me and asked, "Can we have another baby?"


I know I want another child, but I'm not sure now is the time so I deferred to a Higher power, "Ask Jesus," I answered.


Isaac took that to heart and immediately folded his arms. "Everyone do what I'm doing. We're going to say a prayer...


"Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for this day. Please bless Mommy to have another baby. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."


Please don't tell me that I have to another baby just to strengthen his faith!

Coincidentally, Jack has been walking around all week saying "baby."

Are all signs pointing to "yes?"

The Photos That Almost Never Were

Well, new camera donations are just pouring in. Oh wait, those aren't donations, those are Corn Flakes. Either way, I do have some pictures from this summer thanks to my mom. She let me borrow her camera even though I clearly can't even take proper care of my own.

Our family at "The Big Hole" (aka The Grand Canyon)

Isaac on his first day of school.
Kenley preparing for the baglady convention My attempt at a portrait with my "baby."
Somebody get some pants on that kid
I think they're doing the Hokey Pokey
I console Kenley after some embarrassing moves on the dance floor.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's That Time of Year!

I love sugar cookies. I have always loved sugar cookies. But for some reason I only think to make them in the fall. Perhaps it's because I have a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter, or because I like to make candy corn sugar cookies. Anyway, I thought that I would share my awesome sugar cookies recipe that I got from a coworker a few years back. I love this recipe because it doesn't require any chilling before rolling and the cookies always turn out delicious and moist.

Sugar Cookies
4 cups flour
1 heaping cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix on medium speed until well blended and dough starts to make large clumps. Roll on a floured surface until 1/4-inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes. Let cool 1 minute before moving to wire rack.

I like the separate the dough into thirds and color 1/3 yellow and 1/3 orange, leaving the last section "white". Then I form each section into a thin rope (sometime I divide each section in half and do this part twice for smaller cookies.) Line the ropes together with yellow in the middle. Gently press the ropes together and then roll lengthwise to make stripes. Cut into triangles to resemble candy corn. Bake as directed. Dip tips in melted chocolate if desired.

Happy fall!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Death of a Camera

You may have noticed the lack of photos on my blog. I am mourning the loss of my camera. It died in April and I have truly missed it all summer. I'm sorry I took it for granted. Whenever I needed it I just grabbed it without bothering to ask if it was busy or if it was a good time for the camera. I supposed it killed itself just because it couldn't stand the abuse.

All too often I toggled between taking pictures and viewing them. I didn't give the camera any notice. Just flipped the switch and on I went.

Sure, I had a case for it. But did I tuck it in every night? Did I make sure it's memory card was full of happy memories? Did I keep fresh batteries on hand in case the batteries lost power? How could I not notice it's sadness?

Even now I miss it only because I wanted to take so many pictures this summer. This summer we went to Yellowstone, Oregon, Arizona...had a family reunion, went to the American Idol concert and did lots of fun things with lots of fun people. Each time I wished that my camera were there. I realize now I didn't treat it like the part of our family that it really is.

Now the world will never see the photos that would have been: Kenley and Jack doing the Mexican hat dance on my kitchen table amid a layer of Rice Krispies; the time Jack ate a chocolate chip cookie and his face looked like he lost a fight with a poopy diaper; Isaac as he climbed aboard the bus for the first time; me on the day I actually left the house before noon, showered and everything. All are now distant memories captured only in my head.

I've borrowed others' cameras, but it's just not the same.

Why me? Oh, goodness. Why?

(Anyone wishing to donate to the Shut-Up-Already-And-Buy-A-New-Camera fund is welcome to do so.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

What Can Make Me Feel This Way?

My Girl

I notice Kenley doing "the dance." Do you need to go potty?
No.
What happens when you pee in your pants?
I get a pinch.
Do you need to go potty?
Yes.

*****

F, G, Y & Z. Now I know mine ABCs. F, G, Y & Z. Now I know mine ABCs.

*****

One. Two. Three. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Sixteen. Seventeen. Eighteen. Nineteen. Twenty!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Group Insanity at it's Finest

Our family just returned from a 6 day trip to Arizona (read 4 days in the car, 2 days in AZ.) And when I say our family, I mean Jeremiah's entire family. From the 8 kids, ages 5 and under, to Grandpa, age 88, there were 20 of us total in 2-twelve passenger vans and Grandpa's Tundra. I have to be honest, I enjoyed myself far more than I anticipated. Not that I was dreading it, but I'm not really a road tripper. I like to drive as long as humanly possible before stopping - which obviously was not possible with 20 people travelling together. But it was not as bad as I thought it might be, all things considered.


Once we got there we were able to relax at the condos that my in-laws had reserved. Jack had a fever the first 3 days of travel and was extremely irritable so we didn't get much sleep. The first day at the condo he finally napped and Jeremiah and I laid down and snuck in a siesta as well. Most of the rest of the family had already headed off to go sight-seeing, but I'd had enough of the car and wasn't about to drag Jack around in his less-than-charming condition.

It was so nice to stay in the condos. We roomed up with Evens and Kelly and my sweet niece Kara. I hadn't seen Kara in ages so I was really surprised when she warmed up to me quickly. Every time I turned around she was at my feet reaching her arms up to me. It felt great to be loved.

Jeremiah and I went with Lucas and Carenna's family to some cliff dwellings before the wedding on Saturday. I was kind of bummed when I learned that the main trail was closed due to rock slides, but once I saw how many stairs we didn't have to climb with 7 kids in tow, I was relieved.

Tanner and Caroline had a really lovely wedding. The wedding was outdoors in the afternoon and they had a...an...interesting ceremony. I could barely hear them as they shared their vows, but I didn't have to hear them to know they love each other.

Isaac was the ring bearer and he looked super handsome. I told him to hold the pillow like it was a plate of food that he didn't want to spill. He did really well walking down the aisle, but became a little distracted by the ribbons on the pillow during the ceremony. I couldn't look away as he dinked around, putting the pillow on top of his head and burying his face in it. He accidentally untied one of the rings and it dropped to the ground. Luckily he retrieved it quickly and there were no more incidents before the rings were actually exchanged. Guess we should have made it to the rehearsal...

Anyway, it is so great to see Tanner happy. His once omnipresent scowl never made an appearance over the weekend, not even on the dance floor. I know he loves Caroline immensely - I never thought I'd see the day that Tanner would get out on a dance floor and dance, to country music no less. Their reception was very family oriented and kid friendly, which we greatly appreciated. Everyone had fun at the dance following the reception. I even got to bust out some old-school moves on the dance floor, courtesy of Kelly's dare.

The day we left Flagstaff we headed to the Grand Canyon, which I was really excited about since I'd never been there. However, as I mentioned before, I'm not much of a road-tripper, and was less than thrilled when the venture took about 7 hours. Luckily we ended up stopping to stay the night earlier than planned and got to come home at our own pace on Monday.

All in all it was a great trip. And barring some hugely childish and selfish behavior from a certain in-law I really didn't have any issues with anyone during the trip. I do think, however, that next time we will make our own arrangements, and I'm pretty sure that everyone else came to that conclusion.

It's so nice to be home and in our own beds. Jack's mood has improved dramatically and things are back to normal. This was our final hoorah for the summer and it was a great way to end the summer of a million activities.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Before Alzheimers Kicks In

"Leave a Memory"
Here are the directions:

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you.

It's actually pretty cool (and funny) to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.
If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My Best Man

So my husband is freakin' awesome. And I mean A.W.E.S.O.M.E. I've kind of been mopey lately, not sure why, other than I'm a female with hormones. Anyway, I really haven't had anything to complain about, the kids have been pretty well behaved and all our needs are met and stuff like that. Still, I've kind of been sad.

Last night after putting the kids to bed Jeremiah called me downstairs. He had some comfy pajamas ready for me and propped me on the couch with a pillow, under a blanket. He put on one of my favorite movies - Just Like Heaven (a comedic chick-flick) - pulled my feet out from under the blanket and started filing them using the Ped Egg. After that he gave me a nice long foot rub. It was so relaxing and such a sweet gesture of TLC.

I think I'll do something nice for him too. Who knows, I may go crazy and actually cook dinner tonight!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Going... Going.. Or-Eh-Gone!

I promised myself earlier this summer that we would make some good family memories before Isaac went to school. And boy did I make good on that promise! This summer has been so filled with activities that I don't know now if I can remember all that we did. I had hoped to give each outing its own post, but since we were so busy, I never had took the time to actually do it. But I really would like to, at least, post about our vacation.

At the end of July we went to Oregon to visit relatives and pick blueberries. We had such an enjoyable time. Jeremiah's mom came with us and we all just had a blast. We stayed with Jeremiah's aunt (who actually isn't his aunt anymore) and she and her husband were so hospitable I wondered if I had died and gone to heaven.

While we were there we toured the Tillamook Cheese Factory where they had yummy cheese and the most incredible ice cream I've ever had. We also went in to Oceanside and played at the beach. That was where Jack thought he had died and gone to heaven. We stripped him down to his diaper and he wallowed in the sand, rolling in it like Ebeneezer Scrooge in his money. Isaac made quick friends with some boys there and they worked on a sand castle. Only Kenley had the courage to brave the water with the adults. She loved it when the water splashed her feet and she ran all over kicking up sand along the way.

After the beach we stopped at little hole in the wall restaurant for dinner. At first I was a little nervous because it was obvious it was an old home, barely renovated enough to be called a restaurant. But the home-style food was delicious and we even got to write our name on the wall, leaving our mark, as it were, on the little diner.

We also got to visit Jeremiah's Great Aunt Georga. We sat out on her deck overlooking Mount Hood and sorted through the berries that we had picked. She spoiled us with a delicious dinner and had little gifts for the children. She showed us some pictures that her kids had put together for her 50th wedding anniversary. It was fun to see her and Jeremiah's grandma as young girls. It was so great to get to visit with Georga.

After dinner at her home we all went to her daughter Kathy's home and had ice cream and an incredibly enjoyable visit with Kathy and her family. Their property includes some woods and the kids loved the charming, old, board swing hanging off the branch of a beautiful, much-coveted maple. We all had such a great time and we spent it with some of the nicest people I've ever known.

We were only there 2 days but we were able to squeeze in enough time to pick about 50 pounds of blueberries . The kids had a blast running around "Blueberry Valley" and eating blueberries while we picked. Kenley took on the responsibility of making sure Jack's mouth never emptied and I wished she were old enough to change the steady line of BLUE diapers that never seemed to empty.

It was a fun trip and our only regret was that it couldn't last longer. Oh, and that we didn't have the tires checked before we left, because it turns out that the front tires were bald and needed replaced. Luckily we found out not long after leaving my brother's home along the way, so we had some place to hang out while Jeremiah headed to the nearest Big-O. It was a bump in the road, but it was preferable to having a blowout in the middle of nowhere!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Kindergarten Kid

Yesterday was Isaac's first day of school. I took him inside his classroom because he had told me that he was a little nervous. But he walked in and quickly forgot about me. This was very evident this morning when I told Isaac what yesterday's daily greeting was in his classroom. He looked at me incredulously and questioned, "How did you know?" I reminded him that I was in his classroom for just a few minutes and then he stated, "I didn't see you. I had to keep my eyes on the teacher." Although I was sad at how quickly I was forgotten, I was happy that he had already begun to learn good listening manners. That had been a concern of mine.

I really like his teacher. She was very enthusiastic without being gaggy and seemed to truly enjoy her career. It appears that Isaac likes her, too. As he got out of the van this morning he said, "I wonder how my teacher is going to be dressed today!" I'm wondering if he's got a little crush going on. When I picked up Isaac his teacher made a point of telling me what a nice boy he is.

He came home and was very excited that he got to have a snack at school, "Crackers...but only two." They had colored a school bus and he said that there was a moth in his classroom that wanted to see what they were learning. He played on the swings and the climbing wall during recess and ran along the black line 3 times around the gym during P.E. Isaac had a great first day and he was very eager this morning to go back to school.

Kenley had a hard time leaving Isaac at the school yesterday morning. She was very reluctant to leave the school without him. By the time we made it to the car, she was in lament. "I miss Isaac." After we got home it didn't take her long to realize that she was the biggest kid around. When she picked out a movie I was pretty sure that she was happy Isaac wasn't home exercising his veto power over her selection. That suspicion was confirmed today when, immediately upon our return from taking Isaac to school, she said, "I want to pick a movie."

I'm actually pretty relieved to have Isaac in school. It certainly is different without him home in the morning, but his excitement and quick adjustment helps to confirm that school is the right place for him.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Shining Moment

Isaac was asked to give a talk in church on Sunday. The theme for this month is "Because I know we are all children of God, I will share the gospel with others." So Isaac and I wrote the following talk.

Heavenly Father wants all young men to serve a mission. I need to be strong and faithful to the gospel. I can prepare to serve a mission now by choosing the right. I can be a good example to others. I can be helpful at home. I can read the scriptures and be a part of Family Home Evenings. I know that I can be a missionary now and tell others of Jesus. I hope I serve a mission somewhere that has a beach. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

He helped dictate what he wanted to say and I wrote it down on a piece of paper. When it came time for him to give his talk he walked right up to the microphone. He didn't look for Jeremiah or me, waiting for us to come and help him. He stood up confidently and read his whole talk.

I was so pleased with him. I happened to look around the room and every adult in there had dropped their jaw in surprise that he could read so well. I was just happy that he was so excited to give his talk.

After he finished he took his seat with the rest of his class. He looked at his paper, raised an arm in silent triumph, and then kissed his talk.

Oh Yeah...I'm a Genius

I have a pie cherry tree. Last year I pulled off a couple cherries and tasted them, but I never did anything with all the cherries. The other day I was looking over my tree and thinking what a waste it was to let all the cherries just sit there so I decided to pick some and make a pie. As I brought them into the house and started to pit them I just kept thinking, "These look so much like cherry tomatoes."

DUH, Gwen! Do you think that's where cherry tomatoes got their name?

If you see my common sense, could you tell it I miss it?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Spoiled and Blessed

I've really been feeling like the Queen of the Castle lately. After our camping trip Jeremiah and I got the house ready for company that we thought would be arriving on Sunday. Apparently, we're morons and can't look at a calendar and really had to hustle when we learned that Uncle Aaron and Aunt Mary were coming Thursday night. -I think we pulled it off all right.

Also, because of our inability to communicate dates I had already made plans to go out of town with my parents for my SIL's baby shower. So I took off the morning after our company arrived and left Jeremiah at home with the kids and the company. It was a fun, carefree weekend for me as it included the baby shower, shopping and a rodeo. Although it was speckled with oddities and sadness as another SIL's mother passed away.

I came home to find my MIL and Aunt Mary cleaning my kitchen and talking about how hot it was out on the deck and "oh, you should feel how hot it is on the deck." I know my deck gets hot, and I was, in all truthfulness, annoyed that there were telling me how hot it was on my deck. Like I don't live there? But once I got out there, I understood what they meant. It was a ploy to get me outside to see the new canopy covering the deck, the new porch swing in the new shade under the canopy, and the new picnic table/bench set from Mary and Aaron.

(BTW: I've asked that they not do things like this, but that only seems to be a challenge to Aaron to do so. So instead of protesting I think I'll just embrace their generosity and continue to express my gratitude no matter how over-the-top and unnecessary their gifts are. But I did tell them that if they wanted to say thank you for letting them stay with us, we would have been happy with a box of Otter Pops.)

Then the next day my MIL showed up with a Maple tree for me to plant in my backyard. (I guess everyone was telling us that our young landscape was in desperate need of shade.) I got the tree planted - thank you, Lynette - and then Mary took my picture in its shade. I really love it and I can't wait for it to grow big and tall and turn red in the fall.

I'm really grateful for all the improvements to my yard. The deck now feels like more of an extension of the house and I love seeing the new tree in the yard. The only problem is that now I don't go past the deck!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

We Went Camping

"For reals!"


So in an effort to force Katie to hang out with me I decided to prey on her weakness and suggest we go camping together. She took the bait and we found a charming little campground that was good enough for us.


Generally Jeremiah and I will set up the tent in our backyard and tell the kids we're camping and that gets us out of a lot of work that actually is camping. But because Isaac is heading to school soon, I decided that this would be a good summer to really do fun things. So we loaded up the small amount of camping gear that we own (i.e. a tent and a cooler) and headed up to the hills to find the cute little campground with a creek.


We got there first and got the fire started and dinner ready. True to form, Kate's family showed up just in time to eat. :^) Jeremiah and I made tin foil dinners and they tasted quite good. Even Jake ate all the food on his plate, which Katie informed me was a rarity.


My kids were so excited to be camping "for reals." Isaac thought it was great to sleep in a tent, Kenley loved to be in the mountains and Jack inspected every ounce of dirt in the camp site and kept a great deal of it with him in his clothing. It was good for me to just let go and let the kids get as dirty as possible. (Although when we got home and it was time to do laundry I may have had a little aneurysm.)

Josh and Kate cooked us breakfast on their camp stove and then we let Alli and Kaden lead us on a hike up a lovely hillside carpeted with yellow wildflowers. After the hike we stripped off our shoes and froze off our toes in the creek.

We only camped overnight, but that was perfect for two families with young children and no toilet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Boy That Made Him a Father

On Father's Day I got the kids to church a little late so we had to sit in the foyer during the passing of the Sacrament. There were 2 missionaries sitting across from Isaac and me. Isaac looked at them, cuddled close to me and announced, "I want to be a missionary someday."

I was swelling with pride at his intentions, put my arm around him and said, "Oh, buddy. I hope you do."

"Yeah. I already have lots of cool ties!"

*****

Jeremiah and Isaac play paper games to keep Isaac quiet during Sacrament meeting. They play that game where you draw a line between dots to make a square and claim it with your initial (does that game have a name?), Jeremiah makes dot-to-dot puzzles for him and they play tic-tac-toe.

They were in the middle of their game playing when Isaac came over to me just beaming and said, "Mom, I'm giving Dad lots of Father's Day gifts! We were playing tic-tac-toe and I let him go first, TWO TIMES! That's lots of gifts!" Followed by a laugh so high-pitched it sent dogs outside on a barking frenzy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Long Overdue

Jeremiah and I have been talking about having some family portraits done for a long time. The last time we went in was when Kenley was 6 months old...she'll be 3 in 5 months...Plus we hadn't had any pictures taken of Jack. I'm a We're procrastinators.
Well, Jeremiah took Friday off of work and I thought, "Hmm, if we try to schedule a day for pictures we'll probably put it off even longer." So I called the JCPenney studio to see if there was anything open that day. I called at about 1:00 and scheduled an appointment for 3:20. I know, crazy. So then I went through all of our t-shirts wardrobes and found a color scheme that would work for everyone. We went with black and gray because Kenley and I had black (and I needed it's slimming effect) and all the boys had gray that were clean...or close enough. I'm pretty happy with the result.

Monday, June 09, 2008

What the Fly on the Wall Heard

Him: Man! What's all over the mirror in here? I just noticed how dirty it is.


Me: Feel free to clean it whenever you'd like.

Him: No, I wasn't saying that you don't do a good job...that you don't keep this place clean.

Me: I know. That's what I'm saying...about you.

Friday, June 06, 2008

We Got Plans

Last week Jeremiah came home one night and asked if we do anything on Thursdays. When I answered that we don't he took a permanent marker to the calendar and wrote, "We Got Plans" on every Thursday in June, but he never told me what they were. All he said was that I needed to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to laugh. I was committed to go out of sheer intrigue.

Isaac read the calendar and inquired of Jeremiah just what our plans were. Jeremiah told him that he couldn't tell him because it was a surprise for Mommy. Isaac seemed placated and didn't bring it up again until Sunday night when Jeremiah's family was over. We all sat around the table for dinner when Isaac piped up, "Guess what everybody? Every Thursday night, my mom and dad got plans!" Everyone exchanged curious glances at Jeremiah and I and all I could do was point to the calendar, plead ignorance and blush.

So last night was the first Thursday of the month and I was certainly surprised when Jeremiah met up with a group of friends and took us to a Ballroom Dance class! The comment about comfortable shoes and laughter suddenly made sense. I did get a lot of laughs while Jeremiah and I tried to find our way through the Swing. It was a blast and I am so looking forward to Thursdays this month!

Whahoo for my guy!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh, Jack

You make me laugh. Even when you wake me up before the sun is even thinking about showing itself in the horizon. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't love it if you would sleep just a little later.

You are trying so hard to talk. When you hand me something you say, "Ih-ugo" and I'm certain you are saying "Here you go." You've added "ow" to your vocabulary and because you are extremely active we hear it quite often.

You like to get on the couch, hold on to the back of the cushion and JUMP! You think it is hilarious and it is extremely fun to watch, even if I can't breathe or feel my heartbeat for fear that you'll fall. Still I let you do it because I can see the pride and joy on your face. And I'm always close by to catch you if you fall...or jump off the couch.

You are quite mobile for your age. Just this weekend, while we were in Yellowstone, complete strangers were snapping pictures of you because they couldn't believe someone your size could be running.

I love to see how smart you are. When you want to come down the stairs you throw your bottle to the bottom, crawl down, and pick it up at the last step so that you don't have to bother carrying it down with you. You are also very playful and love to steal toys away from your siblings while their back is turned and off you go. You never get upset when they catch up to you and take them back, but you always have a smug look on your face like you know someday you'll be able to take them.

I have to admit I quite adore you. Your smile is so crooked and sweet and you have a shy side that simply makes me melt.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Of Course My Camera is Broken

This would have been a weekend to fill the memory card for sure.

Friday night Jeremiah and I went to a Night of Mystery party. I had a blast! (I think Jeremiah did too, but I really had a great time.) Our party was pirate themed. Jeremiah was a treasure hunter and I was a merchant. It was so fun to dress for the party. Jeremiah bedecked himself with a sword, guns, a treasure map, a compass, a bandana and an extra large money-clip earring. I dressed in a peasant-top, a bandana and several layers of jewelry as my "wares." There were about 30 people at the party and it was so stinkin' fun. Jeremiah and I have never done anything like that, we didn't even really dress up for Halloween last year. Maybe someday I'll be cool and host one of those parties myself.

We also visited Yellowstone National Park this weekend. My in-laws had reserved a condo for the weekend and invited us along. I was so glad that they did! Jeremiah and I have a wish list for the summer and we were able to check-off "Visit Yellowstone" right off the bat. I hadn't been there since I was a kid and it was a fun experience to share with my kids. We saw over 80 head of bison, about 10 elk, some geese, a couple of chipmunks, 2 grizzly bears and 3 wolves. (Although we had to wait to see the bears and wolves in the reserve.) We even had to stop to let a small herd of bison cross the road. Isaac warned us not to get too close ,"or the bison will try to head-bonk us!"

We drove along Firehole River and checked out the Falls. We also stopped to walk along the paint pots on the boardwalk. I loved seeing the bubbling mud, the deep-blue pool surrounded by orange deposits and trying to sound scientific as I explained to Isaac what was happening. (I'm super glad that there are diagrams posted nearby!) Isaac clung to Gabriel and Clarissa the whole time. I'm so thankful that they were willing to put up with that and help out with the kids.

We also, of course, watched Old Faithful shoot an impressive fountain of water into the sky. Kenley kept saying that she was scared and would smash her face into me, only to peek out half a second later. After it was finished all she could say was an astonished, "Wow." The thing that was most fun about the trip was seeing the joy on the kids faces as they marveled at God's creations. Many exclamations of awe erupted from their little mouths.

They of course were also very pleased to return to the condo, which Isaac dubbed "Home Faithful", to swim in the pool. And I was more than pleased that the condo had a generous wading pool that kept my how-to-swim-ignorant children safe and happy.

On Sunday we made cakes in mugs to celebrate Gabriel's birthday. (That's a great little trick. Mix one box of Angel Food cake mix [it has to be the kind that you only have to add water] and one box any other flavor cake mix. Put 1/3 cup of the blended cake mixes in a mug and add 3 tablespoons water. Mix until frothy and then microwave for one minute. They pop right out and viola! Single serving cakes!) Then we went to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. We got to watch while they hid food for the Grizzlies. There were two bears out and we had fun watching "Sam" knock a bird feeder out of the tree on his hind legs. Then we watched a wolf gnaw on a elk hide for a while before finally heading to the city park for lunch and then getting on the road to go home.

The party didn't end though. We ended up staying up until 11:30 playing games at our house. It really was the perfect weekend!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Reality Check

We had been lacking for warm weather in our area. Winter had made a mockery of Spring so one day when the air was relatively warm I jumped at the opportunity to go to the store - sans kids. I rolled down the windows, looked at the stereo. I realized I could actually listen to it, as loud as I wanted, sing along without my kids harassing me about my singing voice. I turned it up and started dancing and singing along as I drove.

Then I had to stop at the traffic signal. A little sports car with a couple of teenage boys in it pulled up next to me. They looked over and then looked back ahead, obviously unimpressed. I instinctively reached for the mirror on the back of my visor, checking to see what was so unattractive about me. As the mirror folded down I saw reflections of the empty car-seats...in the back of my minivan...no wonder I couldn't hold the interest of the younger generation: I'm no longer one of them.

All I could do was laugh at myself out loud, turn down the too-loud 80's music that was, in all truthfulness, giving me a headache, roll up the windows and finish driving to Wal-Mart where all my purchases reflected both my age and my role as a mother. Which was okay, I was getting a little cold anyway.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Little Smarty-Pants

Kindergarten, I've decided, is going to be a formality for Isaac. He's taught himself how to read and do math. I'd love to say that I've sat down with him over the course of the last few months and imparted bits of my knowledge. But the fact is, he is just smart.

I will take a little bit of credit though for encouraging him and giving him learning opportunities. We've bought some work books for him and he has games on his V-smile that have helped him learn. And I try to make games for him like making patterns with M&Ms during snack time.

I do hope that Kindergarten will help him learn how to sit still and develop some social skills. He likes to play with other kids but they generally initiate the friendship and he just goes along with it. He'd be just as happy playing computer or watching TV as he is playing with friends.

I also hope he gets a little dose of humility. Yesterday we played 'school'. He was working out of one of his workbooks. He reads the instructions to himself, completes the page and then says, "Teacher, time to 100% me!"

My sympathy already reaches out to his Kindergarten teacher.

A Moment Worth Remembering

This morning Kenley woke up while Jeremiah was getting ready for work. I was still snoozing so he got her a drink in her sippy cup and laid her in bed with me. When I woke up and rolled over I saw a grinning, adorable face that announced, "Mom, I'm so happy!"

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Graduated Darling

Kenley seems to really be maturing, for a 2-and-a-half-year-old, anyway. Her vocabulary has exploded and she is stringing together her own thoughts, forming complete sentences and communicating quite well. I love to hear her display her knowledge and yet I'm a little sad that I no longer hear some of those words that made sense only to me.

Here are a few of the things I miss.
Noise = chocolate milk (Not sure how she drew this connection)
Igik = Isaac
And...others that I can't think of right this moment...

And while she's maturing there are a few things that still escape her grasp, like knock-knock jokes. She loves to tell knock-knock jokes. Here is an example of her comedy.

Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Orange*.
Orange who?
Orange eat your face or don't.

*Any word may be substituted here, the rest of the joke always ends the same.

She also has a cute pronunciation of Cinderella: Snirwehuh.

And our favorite is to have her say her name. We have this exchange quite often.

What's your name?
Tenny.
Tenny?
(Adamantly) No, not Tenny. TENNY.
Tenny?
(Even more sternly and highly exagerated) NOT TENNY. TENNY.
Kenley?
Yeah, Tenny.

That old cliche about kids growing up too fast has stuck around for a reason.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

April Was a Blur

So much happened last month. I had every intention of blogging each event individually, but it all happened so fast! We had Jeremiah's, Isaac's and Jack's birthday parties, Kenley took a trip to the emergency room, Jeremiah's aunt, uncle and cousin visited from Cali, Jeremiah helped his brother move, and Jeremiah and I had our 7th anniversary. All in less than 30 days!

May seems to be zipping by just as quickly. I went to Women's Conference and was gone from Wednesday until Sunday. Jeremiah and the kids joined me in Utah on Saturday where we stayed with Jeremiah's brother in his new (beautiful) home and then we had a baby blessing for our sweet niece on Sunday. We were also pleased with a "surprise" visit from another of Jeremiah's brothers and his fiance from Arizona. Monday I did nothing so that I could be well rested and wake up with the flu on Tuesday, along with Isaac, Kenley and Jack. Poor Jeremiah stayed home and cleaned up after all of us. I think we all got sick just so we'd slow it down.

I'm hoping things do slow down. I'm pretty sure April was this busy last year, and it probably always will be. But at least we had lots to celebrate, and celebrate we did!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Memoir Tag

Katie tagged me to do a memoir in six words. I'm always telling jokes without receiving the hearty laughter from others that I think they merit. My memoir explains why that is.

My humor is over your head.

But let's not forget my 1st runner-up: I'm a princess, not a maid.
(That one might better serve my posterity.)

I won't tag anyone else, because no one really reads this blog. But if you want to do this, leave me a link in the comments so I can read your six-word memoir.

Friday, April 11, 2008

When Moms Get in Trouble

Kenley has a bit of an attitude. Generally she's very sweet, but, frankly, she can be a beast. She likes to antagonize Isaac and then when he retaliates she storms off with the threat, "I tell Mommy." (A method that doesn't really work for her because I'm usually within earshot and am already wondering why Isaac has tolerated her as long as he has.)

Last night our family congregated in the family room just before bedtime. Jeremiah and I sat tiredly on the couch as the kids ran circles around us. Kenley pulled out her doll stroller, with which wasted no time mowing down Jack. I promptly took the stroller away from her, which did not set well with her. She noticed the phone laying on the floor, picked it up, threatened, "I tell Nana!"

Classic Kenley

(in which I claim no resemblance)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Fortunes Forecast

Once while on a trip I got stranded in a city 4 hours from home. My car overheated on a Sunday so there were no mechanic shops open. It was hot outside so I walked to a nearby Chinese restaurant to get some water. I was obviously distressed and the waitress brought me some water and tossed in a fortune cookie. I laughed as I read the ironic fortune contained inside: "What has been sufficient to take you this far is insufficient to take you any farther."

I kind of feel like I've reached a similar point in my life. I don't have a bad life and I am truly grateful for the many blessings I daily enjoy. What I mean is that I feel like I've not been doing enough, or anything for that matter. Kind of like I've assumed that simply by existing I've been doing my part. I'd like to change that, but I don't know exactly where to go from here.

I'm a young mother with three small children at home and I feel like my reach probably won't extend too far past my own front door. I suppose that I'll just have to start big in a small, albeit important, place. I'd like to act, instead of react, to my children. I'd lke to keep things in perspective. I'd like to take time to develop my talents, maybe even discover that I do have a personality. Changes will likely be gradual, but if you don't see me for a few years, I hope I'm different then than I am now.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Hope It's Not Contagious!

Last weekend Jeremiah and I went bowling with some friends. As we walked into the bowling alley one of them said, "Now, after you touch the bowling balls, don't touch your face!" Then she went on to explain that she had watched a news segment where someone had tested public surfaces for bacteria. The results showed that the finger holes of bowling balls contained copious amounts of bacteria. Makes sense since you never spray Lysol in your bowling ball before or after bowling, right?

So as we started to bowl, my fingers started itching. I mentioned it to Jeremiah and our neighbor overheard us. "Oh, are you a germaphobe? he asked.

Before I had a chance to answer Jeremiah chimed in, "No, she's a suggestaphobe."

I am very affected by the power of suggestion. At least now I have a diagnosis. Too bad no one suggests that I'm rich.

But there is good news: I out-bowled Jeremiah by 30 in our 2nd game, thankyouverymuch!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Potpourri

Mr. Jack is walking. He's still in his Frankenstein phase and often falls, but it's official. He stands up in the middle of the floor unassisted and takes those few steps with confidence. Even though he doesn't walk too far at one time, he's very pleased with himself...and so am I.

He's also said his first word - "Uh-oh." I guess he also says "Mama" and "Dada" but he doesn't associate them with anything. But he's got "uh-oh" down. This morning I found him scavenging through the bathroom garbage can. I said, "Jack! No!" in my stern voice, to which he repeatedly replied, "Uh-oh. Uh-oh." I'm sure he was trying to convince me it was an accident.

*****

Speaking of words, Isaac's had a few interesting interpretations/pronunciations of words lately. While Blue's Clues was on the TV the other day they were playing with Magenta. Isaac excitedly informed me, "Blue's writing an note to Vagenta!" After I regained consciousness from laughing to death, I corrected him.

Also he was talking about an election - I have no idea why - but instead of "election" he said "erection." Jeremiah was quick to correct him on that one....

Are you sensing a theme?

*****

Kate asked a few days ago on her blog what I would spend money on if I had any to spend. Yesterday, while blog surfing, I found this post. I absolutely fell in love with this laundry room! My laundry room is in the basement, which is not finished. If I had the money I would finish the basement. My laundry room is fairly large and I envision it as a storage space as well. I would put in some large tile for the floor and shelves for food storage around the perimeter. I have created in my mind a multi-functional folding/laundry table with enough gadgets to rival a Swiss Army knife.

In the other room in the basement I'd like to put in a den/library. I'd like a built in desk and built in bookshelves. I'd like track lighting in the ceiling and a sleeper sofa in case we ever need an extra bed for non-existent guests.
I'd also pay for a gym membership and a hot personal trainer - because, let's be honest, if there's no food or hot guys involved, I'm probably not interested.


I have to admit that the ways I would spend money are not quite as classy as Kate's dream-purchases. But I'd probably also plan a great family vacation to make some memories for my sheltered, underexposed kids.

*****

While I'm talking about money, I went to Target Tuesday night and spent $50 on summer clothes for Kenley. I didn't even look for anything for Isaac, in spite of the fact that his birthday is in 3 weeks. No excuse other than girls' clothes are more fun to buy. I bought 2T shorts and 3T shirts because I wanted the shorts to stay on her little bum and I wanted the shirts to fit for a long time. In retrospect, that was stupid. Now her shirts are going to be long and cover her shorts. In which case I should have just bought 4T shirts and called them dresses for the next two years.

Don't feel bad for Isaac though he's getting a red bike for his birthday and some other great gifts...that have not yet been purchased...or decided.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Baby Got Bling!



She obviously hasn't heard of the "less is more" theory.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Getting to Know the Kids

Katie did this for her kids and I thought it was a great way to take a little snapshot of each of my kids. (Sorry for the post piracy, Kate.)

1. Something you do well.
I: "Eating mac & cheese"
K: "Four"
J: *Tugs at ear & yells*

2. Something you wish you could do better.
I: "Helping Jack"
K: "Happy"
J: *Pats table*

3. Your favorite food.
I: "Mac & cheese again"
K: "Mac & cheese"
J: *blinks*

4. 3 words that tell about you.
I: "Silly, goofy & happy"
K: "One, I'm two, three"
J: *Yells, puts fist in mouth & whines*

5. What makes you happy?
I: "Because you always just let me do good things"
K: "Three"
J: *Makes noises while pressing wrist to mouth*

6. The most important thing in your life right now.
I: "Um...you?" (I appreciate that it was in the form of a question.)
K: "Three"
J: "ma ma ma ma" (SERIOUSLY!)

7. Your favorite movie.
I: "Aristocats!"
K: "Tats!"
J: *grins*

8. Your favorite book.
I: "Spider likes matching pairs" (He can read it by himself)
K: "Dog book"
J: *blank stare*

9. Your favorite thing.
I: "You making mac & cheese"
K: "Princess"
J: *scratches head and sighs*

10. Your favorite place to go.
I: "Grandma & Grandpa B's"
K: "Dora, Boots"
J: *Makes noises while pressing wrist to mouth*

11. Your favorite thing to draw.
I: "Scribbles"
K: "A washcloth"
J: *Bites fingers*

12. Something you want for Christmas.
I: "Two more 'Engine' Turtles"
K: "Crackers"
J: *bites thumb*

13. Your favorite color.
I: "Red & White"
K: "Mommy & Orange"
J: *smiles & rubs eyes*

14. What do you like to play?
I: "Like, games...like shooting" (N64)
K: "Hullabaloo"
J: *cries*

15. What do you like to do when it's raining?
I: "Just stay home"
K: "Two"
J: *rubs eyes*

16. Your favorite animal:
I. "Ooh! That would be a elephant!"
K: "Bear"
J: *rubs nose and gazes across table*