Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas and the Day After

Christmas CAME! We had a wonderful holiday! Christmas Eve was spent with just us. We read the scriptures and sang carols. It was so great. Emily opened her Christmas Eve pj's to sleep in and I got some black ones from Robert. Robert got some plaid pj bottoms. So cute! Lindsey didn't get any cause she has enough jammies. I was so excited to watch Emily open presents. She got the most this year. Especially since Lindsey can share all her toys as she gets older. Oh, if I could list it all it would be amazing! Let's just say her favorites- though she seems to be trading off playing with all of them.

Prince and Princess Barbie and carriage, Cinderella with accessories, Dora back-pack with detachable wings, Candyland, Hooked on Phonics books, Ballerina Barbie, dress up dresses and shoes and lots more. Lindsey got an adorable outfit, cute pj's, coloring tool for babies, stackable cups and toy phone. Robert got a blender- ours was a piece of junk- to make his favorite thing- shakes. Weights, and a white board- he can't stand not to have something for messages. Robert got me an awesome art easel- wonderful!-lotion, foot soak, and the book The Holy Temple by President Boyd K. Paker- the special leather bond edition. Really great stuff. And our families really blessed us with some awesome things! Thank you! And we loved spending the holidays with you!

We woke up and got dressed and ate breakfast. I know, when I was a kid that would have been too much, but it is nice to be all ready before you open presents. Makes it feel less messy. My sister Brittany and my Dad came over to visit, then we headed to other families houses. On the way to my in-laws Wesley and Jill's house Lindsey threw up in the car. We cleaned it all up and then two hours later she threw up inside.

I prepared today, the day after the whole event, for the throw up sickies. She hasn't thrown up since then. I am hoping it was something she ate, though I didn't feel all that hot yesterday, but assumed it was eating a million fattening cookies and truffles. Emily doesn't want to get dressed and has been in pj's all day as has the baby and I have been in grudgies. Ah, its nice to have a day to just play. I have been loving the zero stress thing and no need to go anywhere. Candyland playing, reading, etc. And tonight I am making chicken, potatoes and veggies- lots of veggies. I have got to get some healthy eating in. I am so FAT now and I don't seem to care. I will eventually. I care more about the fact that I feel so sick. Anyway, MERRY CHRISTMAS to all!

No house work today that isn't absolutely essential.

Nicole Came Home!

Nicole and Megan

Left to right: Nathan, Brooke, Heather and Dad

My sister Nicole came home from being away for 8 months in both Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia. She was teaching English there in Ukraine and Russian schools. We missed here SO much! She came to stay at my house for a few days and we really had fun. My brother Michael got married on Saturday to a wonderful, cute girl named Amberly. I am so excited for them! My other 5 siblings who live in Montana came to town and my Dad who lives here, came to play some games. It was a lot of people in a tight crowded place. We had fun. I missed seeing them. We have so much fun as a family!

These are just some fun and weird things we did as a family and as kids together with 10 of us total:

>We used to play card games and Monopoly for hours and hours night and day. We loved War and Gin. I still love to play cards and Monopoly because of the fun I had with everyone. Nicole and I used to make Michale mad because we wouldn't charge each other if we landed on our space if we "didn't have the means". Sorry Michael.

>We loved to watch movies. Probably because with that many kids and limited money we could never go out together so we might as well rent every movie worth seeing and some not worth seeing. I have become a lot more out of touch with actors and movies since leaving my parents house.

>My sisters and I used to "draw girls", inspired by my sister Rachel. We used to use up every piece of paper in the house (much to our mothers annoyance and disapproval) to draw our own hair and clothing designs on our girl creations. Later we ended up just drawing dresses and judging them.

>My brother made a "Capue Mobile" out of an old skateboard and beat up dresser. It was a short blue dresser that we sat in and pushed in the circle by our house. Good times- until it broke.

>We used to make "recipes" out of yucky drinks and spices in the kitchen and make each other try them.

>For several summers we volunteered at a living history pioneer museum and dressed up as 1860 pioneers. We had Civil War battles, made lye soap, beat rugs, bought penny candy at the general store, took our shoes off in the pond, ran holding up our petty coats, climbed trees, danced in the social hall, ate cherries, churned butter, fed the pigs, etc. all dressed as pioneers in HOT western weather.

>We read books all the time. We would sneak novels behind our school text books to make it appear that we were studying.

>My mom started a homeschool choir that we sang in for about 4 years. We loved it and made many friends through singing. We performed for holidays and really enjoyed doing it. We still remember the songs we sang. Though my mom sold the choir after my dad's second heart attack, I have researched it on the internet and it is still going strong as the Heralders of Utah.

>We used to tickle each others backs in church, until our parents noticed and told us to pay attention. We drew on each others feet with pen- mom got mad at that too- wonder why she wouldn't want ink all over the house? :P (A side thing, one time my sister Nicole and I on a rare occasion were the only ones home- that never happens! And we were talking about WWII, interesting thing to talk about. And we drew swastikas on each others feet with pen. Dumb, really I know. We went into the kitchen and walked around the white floor and much to our surprise there were black swastikas all OVER the floor. We tried to wash it up and nothing was working. We freaked out a bunch and then tried comet. Sigh. It is a miracle cure so that kids don't get caught with making their kitchen floor into some psychotic tribute) We put glue on our hands and danced around until it dried so we could peel it off. We were really weird kids I guess, or we were normal and kids are weird in general.

>Whenever it rained we used to go into out garage and play. We made soft taco "tarts" with jam and sugar and ate them while the rain poured down.

In all we were very weird kids and very imaginative. There are SO many more funny memories that I have and I really miss my 5 other siblings. I wish I could relive some of the old days. I really love my family and am grateful to have been a part of all this. It was so special to me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sweetness of a 3 Year Old

Today Emily and I were listening to Christmas music and the song Mary Did You Know came on. Emily loves that song, as do I. These are the lyrics:

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little boy
You've kissed the face of God

Mary, did you know?
The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Did you know
That your baby boy will one day rules the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy is heavens perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding
Is the great I Am.

After the song was done Emily said to me; "Mom, I wish I had baby Jesus." AWWWW!! What a sweet heart! Children have such a beautiful innocence that just shocks me. I love that she really does pay attention to why we celebrate Christmas. We were also watching A Charlie Brown Christmas and after Linus explained the meaning of Christmas and quoted the scriptures Emily said, "Mom, what is he talking about?" So we discussed more of the story of Christmas and specifically the angel talking to the shepherds. I LOVE Christmas with the innocence of children.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Feels Over Already!

Why does it feel like Christmas is pretty much over? It's not, but it feels like it. I LOVE Christmas time and I can't wait for Emily to open her presents yet I CAN wait at the same time. This is just the best time of the year and I can't help just being so excited every day. My kids are the cutest things out there! I love being a mom. It is tiring, it is hard some times and some days my Emily knows just how to push my buttons and the baby won't let me put her down, but I love it at the same time. Like yesterday was just a perfect day. I was able to get all my house work done early that day and then my house was nice and clean and we could just spend the rest of the time playing and enjoying each other. We tickled and wrestled and laughed and played Christmas music. This is where true happiness comes from. We are not any richer than yesterday, in fact probably a little more poor. Haha! We are still in the same situation as before, but there are the times when I realize just how truly blessed and happy my life is. Especially during this Season I am grateful for all that I do have that so many people don't. If I really could remember that more often I would complain a lot less these days. Life really is beautiful. I shouldn't ask or even want for more than I already have. I have the best husband in the world who loves, supports and serves me. He works hard at his job and school and loves his kids and plays with them all the time. I am happy everyday that I married him. My girls are so precious and we do want more someday, in a couple more years, but if we were never blessed with more we would feel so blessed and happy to have our two sweethearts. Emily is such a good kid! Even when other kids want to pick on her, most of the time she does not retaliate. She is so good and loving to her sister. Lindsey is just all around sweetness. She is so cuddly and soft. What a fun baby to have around! I now know what it feels like to experience joy and bliss.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Snowy, Blowy Fun!

Emily and I bundled up really warm for the first big snow storm last Saturday. We were all stuck inside while it was coming down so we left Lindsey in with her daddy and we played for about an hour and a half. It was really fun actually. I hadn't done anything like that since I was a kid. We tried to build a snowman, but it didn't work with this early snow. It wouldn't hold together. We gave up on that and went in the little play house pretending to be lost girls feeding the deer at the window (I know, I never really did grow up). Emily went down a few of the slides covered with snow. I thought it was a great idea to try and go up the snow covered slide. I landed right with my face in the snow. Yumm... polluted wetness. We walked around some more, threw snowballs at each other and finally went behind the building and found a sled that someone had left behind. This hill is a pretty decent sledding hill and tons of the older kids go down it whenever it snows. They had worn some pretty decent grooves into it when we got up there. I always try to steer it a little to the right so as not to hit the tree or go over the giant bump the kids constructed so you are air born for a time. It is kind of fun going over the bump, but when you hit the ground you bottom isn't very happy. Ouch! It was a blast though! We slid down about 20 times and finally I was wet in my shoes and needed some rest. We went inside and sipped hot chocolate. Its great having kids this age so I have an excuse to play like I am 5 again.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Naked Pancakes

Maple Syrup: I really like 100% pure maple syrup. It is good and because of my celiac disease and the fact that gluten is in all the other processed syrups. It is the one I can have. Why then does it have to be $5 for a tiny bottle?! I can guess why. It is hard to sap out a tree and get all that maple syrup. So much easier to dump junk in a bottle, with loads of high fructose corn syrup and gluten and call it maple syrup. At Costco the other day I got so excited as I saw a tub of natural maple syrup. Then of course I raise my eyes to the price on the tiny sign above to lure you in. $19.95! I sigh and feel very sad. I can on occasion spend $4-5 on a tiny one when we have the money, but at no point do I have $20 to spend on syrup. Course my sadness was compounded when my husband points out that next to it is a double tub of Mrs. Butterworths crap-in-a-bottle-trying-to-pass-as-maple-syrup for $4.95. Sigh. Glad they will be enjoying their pancakes and syrup for a long time to come and I will have to find a way to enjoy mine in their "natural" state.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ah, Junky Cars, How Wonderful

I look at the calendar and realize it is the LAST day of November. Where did the month go? Most likely it went with my sanity after the holiday. We nearly burned our kitchen down with the second turkey. Flames shot at Robert's head as the turkey juices spilled out into the oven in the excitement of it all Robert dropped the turkey with its gravy juices, all over the floor. His hair, eyelashes and eyebrows were singed, but we are thankful that his head was okay. I seriously volunteer someone else to cook the turkey next year. It was pretty good though. Who knew fire could make it so moist and succulent?

After I looked at the date and saw that it was the last day I realized that CRAP, I need to pay rent. Now we have two cars. One is a Crown Victoria police interceptor we got at an auction. Robert is tall and really the big car makes sense. The second was his Grandpa's car that was given for free. I am really grateful to have it because when I need to go anywhere, Robert leaves me the Crown Vic and he takes the other one. The "other one" is a red-ish Buick that is falling apart. Weather stripping problems, turn signal not working for turning left, the body is rusting away, etc. However, it gets much better gas mileage than our Vic. Seriously the Vic gets about 16-18 mpg! It is a hog! We have put $ in to try and fix it and nothing works. Drives me batty and I think it is getting worse.

Anywho, I don't drive the red junk because it is pretty unsafe for carseats. Well, today I had no choice since Robert forgot to leave the other car. I had to use an old car seat of Emily's and walk up the hill with Lindsey in the baby seat and carrying Emily's seat in the other. It didn't help that my neighbor saw me walking to the car parked on top of the hill with both seats in hand, and asked me if I needed a ride and why I was walking to my destination with two car seats. "Ummm,.. no I am trying to get to that tin can over there so I can pay my rent."

I put the baby in and strap her to the seat belt that doesn't work and watch as she can easily slide from one side of the back seat to the next. Okay, I sure hope there are no wrecks and I don't kill my children today. With the baby safe... uh, strapped in, I put Emily's seat in and try to strap her in too. "Suck in Emily, really hard. Are you sucking in?" "Mommy this is too tight, it hurts." "It's okay, it won't last forever." Next I try to shut the door. Great, it doesn't shut. Well, if I scoot the baby's seat even more towards the other side I can shut the door. Good, it worked.

Now to get there without having to turn left and use that blasted broken turn signal. I get there and can't pull into the skinny stalls at the apartment office. Why do they make these visitor stalls so tiny? Probably to deter people from visiting I guess. Someone is trying to park next to me and can't. I have to pull in and out twice just so they can park and they finally give up waiting for me and find another stall. THANKS! "Emily can you wait for TWO seconds with Lindsey. I will be right back." "No mommy, I don't want to be alone." I stare at her for a minute and think to myself, taking them out, putting them back, squeezing them in, shutting the door. Waaahhhh... I don't want to. Fine. Out with the baby, then Emmy, write the check, out the door, back in the car, tight again, slam the door. Ugh!

Finally back to my messy house where I wish I that if I stared at the mess long enough or twitched my nose it would some how get cleaned on its own. I stared as hard as I could and made my nose sore and my eyes bugged out at the end of the day, but you know it just didn't work. Some days I wish I were Samantha Stevens with the magic twitch.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Christmas Already?

Yes, I admit to being a nutt case. I can't help myself. We bought a new tree since our old one had a large family of earwigs living in it from some mildew in the storage closet. Gross. So we threw it out. Eh, it was a cheap tree, I wasn't all that broken up about it. So now we needed a new one. As a kid my siblings and I used to BEG my mom to continue buying real trees for Christmas. We loved the smell. She wanted to buy a fake one and I think sometimes she would have been just as fine having no tree and nailing our presents to the wall instead. It was so much work just to get out and get the blasted thing. And often she did it pregnant, in the cold and took one of us kids to help. Which we couldn't really do. She hated vacuuming up the pine needles and watering it, but she did it anyway because we all wanted it. Years later, the younger kids relented and they bought a fake tree.

Now that I am a mom I see what a hassle real trees are! I am completely on the side of fake is better. Less of a fire hazard, no needles, no watering and you buy it once and you can use it again and again, instead of having to throw away money year after year. And hey those pre-lit fake trees are even better! So even though I was one of the ones hounding my mom to "Please, please, please get a real tree!", I love having fake.

I bought another cheap fake tree. It is skinny, but perfect for our little space. And it is pre-lit, though I prefer colored lights, it isn't bad. Most years I put my tree up before Thanksgiving and this year is no exception. I am a lot more sad about there being no snow because I can't fully get the experience it seems without the snow. I love Christmas! It is my favorite time of year. Even though it is hard to not have my family around, it is still something I look forward to. I have built my own traditions with my kids and want to keep doing it. There are a few we are starting new this year. Emily is older and I want her to feel the true meaning of Christmas through serving others. That is my goal for this year is to find service opportunities. In the past my most memorable Christmases and memories have come from the service I have been able to give to others. I just love everything about the holiday. The treats, the lights, I do love the songs, but I have to admit there are some that I feel like shooting the radio when they come on, but in all I love them.

Some of my favorite childhood Christmas memories and traditions have been:

-- Making fudge and cutting off little slivers until it appears that half the pan is gone. :^
-- Giving 12 days of Christmas to the sweet old widow lady down the street. We would knock on her door and run and hide behind her bush. When she came out and looked around, we would huddle in the snow and wait for her to leave before running home.
-- Sitting by the tree with the lights down low listening to Amy Grant Christmas songs and the Tabernacle Choir.
-- Going with mom to get the Christmas tree and having her read Christmas stories to us.
-- Going downtown to temple square to see the lights and freezing our feet and limbs off
-- Doing sub for Santa for less fortunate families. In college helping buy the gifts, make ornaments and wrap presents to deliver to the kids on Christmas.
-- Reading Christmas stories over and over again and watching A Christmas Carol with the family while eating oranges.
-- Painting Christmas ornaments and putting tinsel on the tree.
-- Dancing like the Nutt Cracker ballerinas (not very good at it too) in my dress with my sisters to Manheim Steamroller.
-- Sitting on Santa's lap
-- Opening Christmas Eve pajamas and trying so hard to sleep before Christmas morning.
-- Reading the Bible story of the birth of Jesus while we acted it out with my dad always as the donkey.
-- Waking up with my brother and sisters and waiting for our parents to finally crawl out of bed so we could open presents.
-- Playing all day with our toys and games until we finally realized that Christmas was over and now we had to wait a whole year for it to come again.

I love Christmas. Those are my most favorite memories as a child and Christmas time was usually the happiest time in our family. I guess with all that has happened, it is what I choose to remember when I remember the times that were happy. It is what I want to give my kids and it is why in every way I want my daughters to be focused on family and Christ during Christmas. I don't want her to remember only Christmas morning when she got presents, but the whole season as a special time. We make sure she knows the real Christmas story and knows why we celebrate it. I do love seeing her face on Christmas morning too. :) No matter where she is I want her to remember the Christmases she experienced with her family.

Our Thanksgiving

From the very start of our marriage I decided I was going to go all out and cook our thanksgiving dinner. I wanted to see if I could do it. Be the mom or wife that could stick my hand up the butt of a cold turkey and stuff it full of stuffing. Our first thanksgiving, I did just that. Course, I wasn't very bright because I had Robert buy the turkey. What did he come home with? A 25 lb turkey for the two of us. Let me tell you that thing didn't finish cooking until 10:00 that night. We ate without the turkey- and the stuffing. It was still good.

Ever since then we have decided that even though we go and see family for the holiday, we want to have our own thanksgiving dinner with just us and our own Christmas time to open presents. Even if we do it on a different day than the holiday. That way we still have time to build our own traditions. This year is kind of hard with Robert's sister have radiation treatment for thyroid cancer. She can't be there for the dinner since she has to be isolated for a week or more because of being radioactive. We still wanted to make sure we had our own holiday.

So I cooked a 21 lb turkey (plenty big for a family of 4), stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, blueberry pie, jello, gravy, corn. YUMMM!! It was SO good. And we freeze a good portion of the turkey for soups and casseroles. Lindsey got to share in the goodness with little bits and pieces of her own turkey and sweet potato.

University Housing

We have been living in University married student housing for 3 years now. It is cramped, it is tight, the walls are cinder-block, it is dark, moldy, yucky carpet, 30 years old, old pipes, etc. etc. The apartment itself leaves so much to be desired that there are times I have wondered how we have possibly made it this long.

It has been a blessing too though. We felt really good about coming here and have not regretted it. Really. Being some what away from both families has given us a chance to really pull together as a family and rely on just us. It has made us stronger and we are really grateful we have moved here. This has been especially helpful with the break up of my own family. I know it would have been much harder on me were it not for the lessons I have learned here. The community is awesome! Especially in the summer time when every kid and mom is outside all day long. Where else can you get constant interaction like that? This is a good and bad thing though. When one family gets sick it seems to just pass from building to building. And there can be the tendency to hear "chatter" about each other, but in general everyone is close. Which makes it hard to home school when every one is so close.

This is a place that has so many wonderful things about it, so much support for those attending school and so much available to us. I know I will look back on this time with fond memories, even of the cramped dark apartment (if there were an earth quake tomorrow we would all be dead) and the people I have gotten to know here. We will be leaving any time between a few months from now to August of '08. In a way I am excited, but also scared since I have no idea where we are going and where we will end up. We are trying to see if we can stop renting, but it may not be possible. Robert has just applied for a promotion that won't make us much more a month, but it is something and has the possibility of a large raise in the future. We may be renting again and I am okay with that for awhile. I am not spoiled, I just want an actual kitchen, not a small area that molds together with a non-existent dining area/living room. Another bedroom and another bathroom! I can NOT potty train again with only one bathroom. It just seems impossible.

Where ever we end up, I am glad to have had the time here that so many have had. One day these places will be condemned and the slums will be upgraded. Maybe it will be better than they are now, or not the same. Either way I will tell my kids, "We used to live there. All four of us stuck in 625 sq ft."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Baby Food and Lindsey the Vaccuum

Last year I got very sick and I ended up limiting my already limited celiac sprue diet (for anyone who doesn't know what that is, spend a good half hour looking up the symptoms and then another hour looking up all the foods I CAN'T eat and you will know why my diet is limited- I don't blame you if it doesn't sound appealing) and my diet was limited even more. I dropped 60 lbs in a year and was SCARY skinny. It was NOT a fun year-though everyone else thought my body looked amazing, I felt like garbage. And 112 lbs is not a good weight. Now I am back to being not as huge as I was, but chubby and happy and back on gluten-free staples.

Now what does all this have to do with baby food? Well, I got very health contentious when all this was going on and when we were finally blessed with our second child I swore I was going to be a wonderful mom who was going to make all her baby food. Freshly cooked and pureed and organic as much as possible. I started it like that and then suddenly Lindsey turned into a sucking food machine! I can't get the spoon in her mouth fast enough. Robert and I joke that it is like getting an arm work out every time we feed her. In it goes "WAAHH!", okay more, "WAAHH". I am serious, my arm HURTS after feeding her. And she eats 3 jars in ONE feeding and other whole foods on top of that like apple bits, banana bits or tiny pieces of a bland pancake or she will much a whole carrot.

There is no WAY I could buy and make my own baby food with how much she eats! I would be at the store, cooking, pureeing, doing dishes, freezing, thawing ALL day LONG! She is also so skinny. You would think with all this she would be a balloon like her sister was, but nope, tiny little thing. We have a check up in a few weeks, perhaps I should address this with her doctor. "My baby is always hungry, but weighs as much as a newborn- WHAT DO I DO?" She is always hungry! We feed her about 3-4 times a day with snacks in between.

And speaking of baby food. Why is it SO expensive. I shop at Smith's or Kroger store and they give you "baby points", like some sort of consolation prize for ripping me off just to feed my starving baby. "Spend $20 on baby food- that's a LOT- and get $3 back". WHAT??! Then I tell myself, "At least it is something. I could spend $20 and get nothing back." I use every coupon I see on baby food to lower that bill. Won't it be nice when she can just eat with the family? Course that all depends if she didn't inherit my lovely disease. Then that will be another disaster of trying to find something for me and her to eat every day. I already hate this chore that some days it is easier not to eat- or eat gluten-free cereal all day.

Oh, and have they decided to make the packaging more irritating for a reason? Why must they add another thing to throw away like the cardboard packing around the outside of the plastic containers? Instead of unscrewing the death grip jar lid, now I have to take it out of the cardboard, but I have one left so I have to throw the card board part out, otherwise it hangs around and I have 5 empty cardboard pieces in the pantry. And for some reason I can never quite get the plastic part off the container (biting nails does that I guess). I am always trying to avoid shooting it across the room when I open it, so now I have started to use... my teeth, so what squirts ends up right in my mouth. Squash in a jar with corn is NOT good. EW! I really thank the makers of baby food for making food that my baby will eat so I don't wear myself out all day trying to do it, but apparently, something isn't sticking right because she is still hungry after 3 jars! And thanks for the grocery bill too.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fort Dazed

It was a cold day and so I decided to help Emily pass the boring day inside by building her a fort. She loved it. She would run underneath and pretend it was raining. She quickly decided to plug up all the holes to not let the "water" get in. She started to sing "Drip, drip, drop, little April showers" from Bambi as she hid. Soon she pulled a book in with her and sooner or later, I was pulled in too. I played to daughter who would get caught in the rain every time I had to get out to get the baby, answer the phone or whatever. Finally, mommy was getting bored, though Emmy was having a blast.

Since that one day Emily has asked me every day we have been stuck inside from cold weather, to build her a fort. Usually when I am on the phone and just want to give her some sort of entertainment. Just so all of you know who have been on the phone with me recently, I have probably talked with you at one point in the conversation from under a blanket-Bambi-thicket. And been told to keep my arm in so "it won't get wet." Good thing phones can't really get wet from pretend rain.


Let me explain the title of this post. I come from a family who is obsessed with giving every member of the family a weird nick name. Often they stemmed from a sibling being unable to pronounce a name and it resulted in an odd nick name from there after. Nick names like, Tachow, Daddo- my sister Rachel's, Bean (my brother picked that one himself), Pooh (Nicole in behalf of Mr. Winnie the Pooh), Weeny (yes, I am admitting this in my blog- THAT one was mine. :< I did not choose it and luckily I wasn't called that one near as often as Heika or Jessa- those I can handle). There are a few that didn't turn out so nice. Ahem, Putz for one. It turned from Nathan, to NAfuts, to NAputz- Putz. We are so nice aren't we. Oh AND even the DOG has several nick names. His name is Boaz and we have affectionately nick named him, Bo, Bocutis of Borg (yes like Locutis from Star Trek), Beyudldorg, Beyudelaz, etc. You can think of it, it has probably been used.

So sadly I think I have inherited that nack of making psychotic nick names for my children. They are going to love me I am sure. So far with Emily we have Emmy- not too bad. Mily, Mily-puff and Puff of the Mily. Poor Lindsey, here are hers. Lindsey-kins, Pindsey, Pindsey-kins and sometimes I just shorten it to Pins. "Isn't that nice, your daughter is named what? Pins" As they turn and walk away rolling their eyes. Anyway, I was getting "Pindsey" ready for her bath when I left to go get a towel and came back to this: She just thought she would take a light read while she waited. You guessed it, my kids are so brilliant I have them reading before they turn a year old. Too bad I can't get them to crawl before then, but you know... its hard being a mom. lol


Okay, maybe it will break the ice if I just admit this here and now. I haven't been comfortable blogging yet. I LOVE to read other people's blogs. I think they are wonderful, creative and so spontaneous. And I think "But my life isn't like that. I have fun, love being a mom, have the greatest husband and the two most beautiful and wonderful girls. But it isn't exciting." How do others turn their lives into something so fun to read?

You may not believe this, but before I gave my heart and soul to being an artist and a mother, I wanted to be a journalist. I wrote and wrote. Stories and poetry- that I still have and I have read them and laughed my guts out that I ever thought my pointless stories could ever be published, but hey I was a kid. Then I went on to get A's on all my college papers, mainly because I practiced at writing. Now I feel so rusty. I used to write in a journal nearly every night. I filled up at least 10 large journals through my childhood. I can hardly find time once every 3 months to journal write. This is probably why I love the idea of blogging.

There is my confession. I figured I should get it out in the open so you aren't wondering why I didn't say more about Halloween or our cute turkey-lurk hands. I guess just joining the blog world by frequenting more and more of everyone else's will aid in strengthening mine. And get me to see that what I see as boring or "usual", is much more than that. Besides, I love being a mom! I just need to practice writing about what I love doing more than anything else in the world.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thanksgiving Crafts

Emily and Lindsey and I went to her cousin Kara's house to make turkeys. We used foam paper, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and feathers to make our very own turkeys. Emily took hers home and this is what it looks like. It is really cute and Lindsey loves feeling the left over feathers.

Then at home we traced our hands and made hand turkeys. Isn't Lindsey's little hand adorable? We stuck them to our front door to wish all a Happy Thanksgiving! We LOVE turkey dinners! :D

Halloween and Fog

My sister-in-law Lori had a party at her house and we had a yummy apple juice drink in dry ice. It makes fun fog for the kids and they all wanted to blow it and catch it in their hands. It was a lot of fun and it tasted really good too.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Emily Dreams

Emily is just like her mommy. She has very vivid dreams. She tells me every morning about her dreams and they are just a scream. Here are some of the ones I remember her telling me about.

She had a dream that she pushed Lindsey down the stairs and in her words Lindsey "brokeded". She woke up and asked me if Lindsey was "brokeded".

Another dream was that her cousin Andy was chasing her and wouldn't let her get to her mommy.

And the last one I can remember is her telling me about breaking the house when she karate kicked it. She told me said "high ya!" and it broke and I was mad at her. She is sure silly.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Finished Painting

I have recently finished this painting of Emily. My paintings usually take time to be completed because I put them away, pull them back out, put them away again, start a new one. My creative juices don't always go the way I would have them. I can't finish a painting if I am not feeling creative enough to do it. Plus being a mom of two kids and having so many daily tasks take up my time it is hard to get a chance to paint. I do it mostly when the kids are in bed, but even then I end up with dishes that have to get done or laundry up to my ears that has to be folded. Our place is also unbelievably small. It is driving me batty to have every corner stashed with something. Perhaps that is another reason I don't paint as much as I want to or should. I have NO room! My paintings are tucked away in a closet and I have no studio to paint in. I paint in my front room, using my coffee table. I had to get rid of my art table because... you guessed it NO ROOM! I can't wait to move into something bigger in a year.

The paintings I am currently trying to work on are: A watercolor of children's blocks. Just something for me and it will look cute in my kids room. An oil on canvas of my daughter and her cousin as flower girls at my sister-in-law's wedding. I love the painting, but because of my limited space I have no where to paint and the fumes are bad for me and my kids. I need a circulating fan, but that costs money and in the winter... someday it will get done. I itch to paint it. :( I am painting a picture of the Salt Lake Temple, my favorite temple. The problem with this painting is people are much easier for me than buildings. They drive me crazy! So many straight lines I could die. So when that one gets to me, I put it away. And another oil painting of my brother and my nephew. See, that is a lot of in the stages paintings. Sometimes I have so many I forget what I have and what I was previously working on.

In a few years I want to get my portfolio filled up and start advertising to art galleries. I want to find a way to make prints of my paintings and sell those as well. My dream is to become a free-lance artist and have my work and my name known in the art community. (sigh) I paint because I love it and I am truly artistic in thought. I want to do the things I love to do and find what other people love as well. I am always a work in progress in everything.
So I thought I would add some things about myself that my sister Rachel started. So here they are:

What I Was Doing Ten Years Ago:

Humm... 10 years ago I was 14 and I was going to art lessons and piano. I had my group of friends that I hung out with all the time. I remember this age being a very confusing time for me though. I was trying to figure out just who I was and who I wanted to be.

What I Was Doing Five Years Ago:
Five years ago I was a newlywed to my sweety. We got married in July of 2002. I was also working and going to school. It seems like ages ago when I was married and didn't have children.

One Year Ago:
I was pregnant with Lindsey and so happy! I was just glowing. We had wanted another baby for awhile and it was such a good pregnancy, I hope my next is that good.

Was Sunday so we were at church in the morning, then we came home and relaxed most of the day. That is until I couldn't stand being in a very dirty house anymore and went crazy cleaning.

Five Snacks I enjoy:
Hormel sandwich ham
Potato chips
Chocolate anything

Five Things I Would Do With a Million Dollars:
Invest it and make it grow into two million
Put a down payment for a house
Go on a family vacation to Disneyland or Disneyworld
Buy a bigger car
Go to Italy

Five Places I Would Love to Go:
Italy to see the Sistine Chapel
France to see the Lourve
Ireland and
Travel the country going to historical and church historical places

Five TV Shows I Like:
What Not to Wear
Star Trek
The Office
Anything on HGTV
Flip That House

Five Things I Hate Doing:
Laundry, laundry and more laundry, probably because there is ALWAYS laundry to do
Dishes, though it is better than laundry
Scrubbing the tub
Changing the sheets on the bed
Organizing the filing cabinet

Five Biggest Joys of the Moment:
My two beautiful kids
Nice sunny days
My supportive, wonderful husband
The holidays
Life in general

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Halloween Party

We had 3 Halloween parties. Lots of fun and both girls were so cute I had to get their pictures! This was for a trunck-er-treat party and chili cook-off. I wasn't able to go because I had an appointment I couldn't cancel, but Robert took them and they had a great time. He said Emily over stuffed herself. Every time he looked he found she had swiped a piece of candy or a dough nut. Robert has to miss Halloween because his school professor won't let anyone off that night. Sad. So at least he got to do something with his girls. Emily was so sick the next day she hardly ate and was exhausted. She doesn't nap any more, but she put herself down for a nap and told me she didn't want to play outside! What is up with that? She ALWAYS wants to play outside. That usually means she is pretty tired. So she took a nap on the couch with mommy. It was so nice to be cuddled, she never does that.

Halloween Cookies

YUMMY! Emily is helping mommy make cookies. Cats, Frankenstein, pumpkins and ghost cookies with green, white and orange frosting. They were fun to make and tasted great too. Lindsey couldn't help, but sat in her chair munching on her carrot. It was so much fun and boy did they taste good too!

The Band

Robert's job has days where they try and boost moral during the busy times in the company. Well, he had a friend and other co-workers who put a band together and Robert was the one on the keyboard. The pictures are poor because of bad lighting, but he wore shades and I sprayed his hair up and crazy and then sprayed it with temporary white dye. It was pretty cool looking! He did awesome! They played about 8 songs and he did really well. It was fun and I took the kids and his parents came to watch. Lots of fun!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pumpkin Soup

My sister-in-law gave me a wonderful pumpkin soup recipe. I made it tonight and yummy is it good! It is like a pumpkin chowder with onions and garlic. So delicious! If anyone is looking for something new to eat this fall and wants a warm soup that is perfect for fall, give this a try.

Pumpkin Soup
3 Cups Chicken Stock
1/2 stick butter
1/2 pint of wipping cream
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 tsp thyme
1 apple chopped
1/2 tsp salt
3- 3 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
pepper to taste
1 minced garlic clove

Saute' onions, chopped onion, celery, garlic and apple in 1/2 stick of butter until soft. Take and blend in food processor or blender until a little smaller, but not pureed. Mix chicken stock, wipping cream and pumpkin puree in pot with spices. Heat on medium high until nice and hot, stir often so it won't burn on the bottom. Serve with any other fall foods, corn bread or biscuits would be really good. Enjoy!

Lindsey and her cousins

Lindsey and Lilly

Lindsey had two cousins born right around the same time. Lilly was born 5 weeks before and her cousin Sienna was born two weeks after her. It is so great to have been pregnant with both my sister Rachel and my sister-in-law Lori. Now she has two cousins close to her age. All the girls are so adorable and cute and all so different in personality. Wonder what they will be like as they get older. We just love our baby!

Ballerina Emily

Emily has started ballet this year. It is one day a week and she loves it. She has three friends that are in her class. This is part of her homeschool to take a class at a time and see what she likes and she can learn something new. Her ballet has a performance coming up in June and she is so excited for it. She shows me all the new things she has learned. She learned the hop, to pounce like a kitty and to be a flamingo. She is really cute when she does it. In the summer I think we will try gymnastics. It will be nice to give her a taste of many things until she knows where her interests lie. It is wonderful to search together to see just what her passions in life will be. I am such a happy and excited mommy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Fall leaves and happy girls

The girls were so cute playing on the playground and jumping in the leaves. Lindsey keeps sucking on sticks and peeling the fallen leaves apart. Aren't they cute!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


I painted a portrait of Robert's Grandparents for his mother's birthday one year. His grandpa had been dead for a little over a year and I really wanted to paint it for her. I have taken about 10 years of private lessons and for 3 of those years I studied watercolor. That is really the one I am better at. I have never actually taken an oil class, but I have kind of figured it out a little. This painting is an oil on canvas.

His Grandparents were married almost 60 years before his Grandpa died. He was almost 93 years old and died about a month after Emily was born. They were blessed with only one child, Robert's mom and they were always kind, loving and sweet to others.

Monday, October 8, 2007

How we met

I thought I would give a little background about how we met each other. I saw Robert for the first time in my English class. I remember looking across the room and seeing this really handsome guy smiling and thinking how cute he was. I thought to myself that I could see myself married to a guy like that. I saw a picture in my mind of us walking arm in arm together and it made me a little nervous to be thinking that way. He looked much older than me and I thought that perhaps he was married, so I checked to see if there was a ring on his finger. Huh, no ring. :) I didn't actually meet him for another month.

The weekend after September 11th we went hiking with friends to watch the sunrise. Robert even brought his camera so we now have a picture of me the day we met. He remembers looking over at me and thinking that he didn't doubt he could marry me. He was drawn to talk to me and we became fast friends. We started dating and in fact our two very good friends started dating after we did also. They got engaged quicker and the day after their wedding, Robert proposed to me in a special place for both of us. We were married 3 1/2 months later and a few days after our one year anniversary we learned we were expecting our first child.

It has been a marvelous ride and we both can say we love one another more now than we ever could have imagined we could on our wedding day.

Lindsey Brooke

This is Lindsey Brooke. She likes to climb up to her mommy's shoulder and bite it. She slobbers all over herself and those holding her. She sucks on her two middle fingers on her right hand. She hates mooshed peas and anything that doesn't taste just a little sweet (Hummm...). She jabbers away and kicks her feet. She loves her big sister and hates to be on her belly. She is a mommy's baby and would be quite content to have only her mommy hold her. She is dainty and petite and very squishable. She has an infectious laugh and the softest cheeks you could ever kiss. She is the love and joy of her family. Everyone was so happy when they found out she was coming that we still can't contain how happy we are to have her around. She is a blessing, sugar from heaven and we couldn't be happier than to have her with us. We love you Lindsey!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Emily the Princess and Lindsey

Emily loves to dress up. Especially as a princess. She wears her Halloween costume all day long and little crowns and dress up play shoes. She tells me that she has a prince she is going to marry named Toxin. She wears her church shoes for her dress up and she dances and sings at the top of her lungs. She is a beautiful girl with a very vivid imagination.

Lindsey and Emily "play" all day and Emily asks to help feed her sister and hold her. The feeding usually results in food in the babies eye, but she feels like she is a big sister helping.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Swing fun!

Emily and Lindsey both love the swings. Emily loved them so much that when I was pregnant and it was a hot summer she would beg me to push her over and over again. I just couldn't do it in the hot sun. So she taught herself how to get into both the little swing and the big swing and pump her legs. Sometimes when we play outside, all the other kids will run and play together, but Emily wants to swing, over and over again. Her friends start off swinging with her, but they can't do it by themselves and they eventually get bored and leave her there.

Lindsey just started enjoying the swings. I put her in and grab her baby toes. She laughs and giggles. It is so much fun to see her get excited about it. Emily loves seeing her sister enjoy something she likes also. She is always asking me to put Lindsey in the swing.

Meet Emily and Lindsey

Emily and Lindsey, peas in a pod

Emily and Lindsey are two very sweet and beautiful girls.

We were so excited to find out we were expecting our first baby. And though I thought for sure it was going to be a boy, Daddy felt right away that it was a little girl. Pregnancy was kind of rough, but new and exciting. We couldn't agree on a name for the longest time and finally narrowed it down to Alice and Emily. When Emily was born with a sweet little cry and that dark black hair, we knew she was our Emmy. Emily Jean. She weighed 7 lbs 2 oz and was 19 inches long. We had such a great time with her for 3 wonderful years it was 3 peas in a pod. Then we found out that we were blessed once again with another baby on the way-

It had taken some time getting her to come, but Lindsey was on her way. This time mommy knew it was a girl, thanks to two vivid dreams of a girl 3 years younger than Emily. Lindsey was different from her sister, in that she was so content to just be squished inside her mommy. And she was too. Lindsey came very suddenly in the middle of the night when my water broke. She had a fast birth starting from 2 a.m to 4:04 a.m. I guess when she decided she was ready she wanted to come right then! We also had two names to take to the hospital, Lindsey and Ariana. We decided on Lindsey because it seemed to fit her more. Lindsey Brooke. She was 8 lbs 13 oz and 21 1/2 inches long. She has been so sweet ever since.

Lindsey little baby

Emily age 2

It has been wonderful having two of the sweetest joys a family could ever be blessed with. They are happy and giggly and bring sunshine into our hearts and our home. We thank the Lord daily for the blessing of rearing and guiding these precious children.