Monday, December 22, 2008

Here's my heart, oh take and seal it

I found this video on my friends site, and had to share it. I have a tender heart this year, and it surely warmed it. I also loved that it uses one of my favorite songs. It's only 5 minutes, and I hope you watch it, all about the reason for the season. Merry Christmas to all of you!

Much love,

Jen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oteno81QzzQ&eurl=http://deseretbook.com/video/embed/5&feature=player_embedded

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 6

Giving thanks...

The sound of the Idaho wind. I'll admit it has been my #1 annoyance since moving here. A lot of times it is so windy the kids can't play outside, you nearly get knocked over walking from car to store, not to mention what it can do to a perfectly good hairdo Sunday morning. But last night as I lay in bed the brisk powerful winds whipped around my house, and it is a sound and force to be reckoned with. It reminded me of the thunderstorms from back home in Seattle that I loved to be lulled to sleep with.

The warmer weather we have been having. Last year this time we surely had snow on the ground and freezing temperatures. I am so thankful for the beautiful sunshine and calmer windless days so the kids can still go and enjoy our backyard for a little bit longer.

Theme days at the elementary school. Today was 80's day for Bailey, and Bear day for Jacob. They were both so elated to do things pertaining to their 'theme.' Bailey went decked out in her 80's outfit, and I still chuckle when I think back to her comments while I donned a side ponytail on her head. "Mom, are you sure this is how they dressed in the olden' days?" I then of course had to clarify that 80's were definitely not the olden days, and had to show her pictures of me at her age with a side ponytail in my RAD outfit and that I was actually going to school like that for reals not just for fun. And Jacob ransacked the stuff animal buckets in search of the perfect bear to bring to school on Bear day. He smugly trudged out with our humongous stuffed bear that sits next to his bed, which is by the way as big as he is and said "Mom, I think I am gonna take this one to school!" He of course is always looking for the opportunity to get a laugh. What a comedian.

For great teachers. I am so thankful for wonderful teachers out there who actually love their jobs and do so well at them. It gives me so much peace of mind to know that my children are in good hands as they now spend the majority of their time away from home and away from my loving arms. It is hard to let them go, but I find so much comfort in knowing they love school and they love their teachers. I know this is because they feel the love their teachers have for them. That is amazing to me and speaks volumes about the special gifts and talents of teachers out there. It amazes me that they are able to make the one feel as special as the group as a whole.

Magic cookie bars. You are good every time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day 5

Giving thanks for...

Visiting teaching. And not just to check it off of a 'to do' list - I feel so lucky to get to know women that live close to me and value those friendships. I have found out more times than I can count that we all have the same basic need - to be valued and accepted and loved. I am often so inspired by what wonderful wives, mothers and women they are, and I leave their homes uplifted and renewed.

Great memories of the past. Days from high school - going to seminary at 5:45 in the morning to make it to my 6 am scripture study class. Yes people, they do still do that when you don't live in Idaho and Utah. My friends and teachers all thought me a little crazy, and truth be told, I don't really remember much of the scripture lessons and stories, I do however remember the friendships made, the games played, and what a blessing it was to start my day with a wonderful spirit. Not only seminary, but the fun times with my friends at youth conference, girls camp, football games, church dances, girls nights out... Days from the Singles ward with all my homies, those were some fun times I am glad I get to remember so fondly.

Sad memories of the past. I am thankful to remember these times as well. I am thankful to be able to remember them now and not have them sting bitterly, but to remember them as defining moments of lessons learned, and experiences that allow me to have compassion and empathy for those around me. I hope my unique experiences will help me to comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and lift another's burdens. I am thankful that I am able to see the world through my own set of glasses, and hope I can fulfill the role and purpose that I am here for.

To be a woman. I love being a girl. I always thought myself a little tom-boyish, especially growing up surrounded by brothers. And maybe I am. Yes, I love a good work-out (When I am FINISHED), I love wearing comfy sweat-pants like clothing, that will never change; I love going make-upless when I don't feel like getting ready, the list could go on. But I also love how I feel when I get dressed up cute, do my hair and make-up, put on a little somethin-somethin to smell good, and the look my husband gets when he sees me that way. I like to look and feel pretty. But appearance reasons aside, I love the attributes that women uniquely and naturally possess. I love and try to be nurturing, compassionate, kind, thoughtful, cleanly, organized, beautify my environment, creative, etc. I love that these things are innate in me, and I 'get' the women around me. I struggle to understand men a lot of the time. It is so interesting how differently we communicate and our own innate qualities. I am so thankful that my husband feels driven to honor, defend, protect, provide, and nurture in his own way. I am thankful that is his role, and that he thinks of it automatically. That way, I can stick to what I think of automatically to fulfill. Makes life easier a lot of the time.

Stephen's mint truffle hot chocolate, found at you local Wal-mart stores. And if you get the biggie can it is like 60 servings or something for less than 10$. This is getting props 2 days in a row. Thank you for all of your comforting mint-truffly-goodness. You better many of my days. Even though you still give this pregnant girl heartburn. It hurts so good.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Day 4

Giving thanks for...

The school day. I love how it makes me rise and shine bright and early to jump start my day into an actual routine. Otherwise, I would definitely stay in bed longer.

Exercise equipment I have at home so I don't have to leave to go to the gym.

Helpful children.

Wonderful women that are in my neighborhood. I admire them and value their friendship and have so much gratitude for all of the help they give me so often.

My washing machine and dryer. Washing clothing by hand or having to go to the laundromat would really suck.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 3

I am thankful for...

Naptime
a comfy bed to sleep in
cold brisk weather, it makes me feel so cozy inside
Stephen's mint truffle hot chocolate, even though the consequences are heartburn
good books to read

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Day 2

I am thankful today for...

A great ward to be a part of - I really felt so much love today
designers who know how to make cute maternity clothes
Christmas music
great friends
my brothers and sisters in law
chocolate chip cookies
sweatpants, oh how I love you
the laughter and innocence of children

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I am following my friend Kathy's good advice and posting things I am thankful for each day until thanksgiving.

A family that loves me
Wonderful friends
Delicious food
Babies
My sweet husband
My beautiful Children
My health
A warm house
A job to support our family
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The gift of the Holy Ghost

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your love and support. I feel so much gratitude and feel so blessed to know so many kind and compassionate women. I sometimes wonder how I got so lucky. I have felt an outpouring of love, and have literally felt my burdens lifted over the past few days. I kind of panicked after posting last time. I wrote that late at night, and was overcome by emotion, and when the air cleared the next day, I started to wonder what the heck I was thinking putting myself out there like that! I hate being that needy girl, so stripped down and broken. I realize though, that at times, we are all stripped down and a little broken. Again, I thank you all for lifting me up in a time of need. I just wanted you all to know, I really am ok. I am going to be ok, I do realize this - and it is up to me to be patient in my life and try to endure - cheerfully if possible. I promise not to be so boo-hooey next time!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Surrender

This post is really more for my own personal journal's sake. It is a time in our life that needed to be written down for therapeutic reasons. My intent is not to complain or bring anyone else down, but sometimes writing down my feelings helps me sort them out. This is lengthy.

Chris and I got married almost 9 years ago. This is the song we picked to be 'our song' and danced to at our wedding. That day I dreamed of seems so long ago. It seems like I was a totally different girl. Full of hope, wonder, dreams, and excited for what experiences would lie ahead for us as we began our life together. I had no idea what lay ahead or what we would go through up until this point. I just knew that this was a life I wanted to choose to have with my best friend. I knew I had nothing to fear in facing the life ahead with the man I had chosen to lift me, inspire me, and encourage me through the good, the bad and the ugly. And although nine years doesn't mean much in comparison to our parents and grandparents, that is our reality up to this point, and I am not here to compare myself to another.

It has been a rough year for us. 2 years ago we started our lives over. 2 years ago we left Washington with a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and a new baby. We threw all reason to the wind and left a comfy job, a home we loved, and family and friends behind to follow an feeling of inspiration we strongly had that there was more to our life we were missing. That the possibility of having the family life we so desperately wanted was out there, and was not going to happen in the career we had started. We received some great support by those that love us, but also some strong opposition by others that love us, which was and has been very painful. I am a girl who has always hated change, and has always liked to have a plan for it all, has always liked to have it all under control. It was hard enough then to give up control and follow an inspired feeling bigger than myself. But I did. We both did. We went with it, and although it was hard, we know it was right. I had the opportunity for the first time in my life to face my past, and deal with hard things. I didn't realize how much wounds of the past are truly weights we carry on our backs daily. I didn't realize how much that weight made me so tired. How much it affected my marriage and children and relationships with others. It is so amazing to be free of that. If we had changed our life completely just for my sanity's sake, it would have all been worth it. But it has been more than that; even though it has 100% not been what we had planned or expected!

It's no secret that our business failed. And although that is a HUGE relief to be out of, it is a mess in itself that we are still dealing with. We thought no biggie, let's follow plan B. Chris has a background in law enforcement, a degree and 5 years experience. We tested with Mesa PD back in April, and we were just informed that he passed all of the testing and his background investigation and is qualified for hire. However, it is very competitive, they pick the best candidates to fill positions, and due to the economic situation they aren't hiring a set number anymore. We also just found out the January academy is already full, but they are putting through 30 more officers in March. If Chris doesn't get offered a job by then he will have to go back through the entire testing and background process again because you are only eligible for 1 year from your first testing date - which was yes, April.

We have been praying for the past 3-4 years for direction and inspiration in the choices we make with career so that we can have the family life we so desperately want. We finally decided to have an attitude of asking in faith for the things we want, but only according to his will, not ours. This is something I have always believed, but never really had experience in having things turn out in such a desperate hour completely opposite of what I really thought would fix our problems. Logically, this job in Arizona would completely take care of our financial needs and have a pretty secure future. Deep down, I don't want to live there. It is hot there. I hate 85 degrees, let alone 120 degrees. All my family is in Washington and Utah. I have made great friends here in Idaho, but would love to eventually end up in Utah with most of my family. I am however willing to go wherever my husband can be happy in his job and support us. It has been an excruciatingly lonely and painful year having Chris gone the majority of it, drowning in the leftover mess of our business, flailing with the lack of control over any of the attempts to find other employment, sell our home, make a plan for some security for our children, and oh, did I mention I was on my death bed for 5 months because we are having a surprise baby? We also, by the way don't have any medical insurance this time around, and no doctor really has wanted to care for me without a financial plan in place. It really feels overwhelming some days. Okay, not gonna lie, I ball my guts out a lot of days.

We are now considering plan C. Chris is in his 3rd year as an electrical apprentice, and needs one more year to get his journeyman's license, but that is not really what he wants to do. Unless you own your own business, my feeling is that the job pretty much sucks here in Idaho because you are underpaid and traveling away from your family most of the time. Not to mention benefits suck. We stumbled across this 'Electrical Instrumentation' program at Idaho State University that is a 1 year program, and starts in January (Actually 2 year program but Chris can skip a year because of his previous degree and the electrical experience he has now) but the program is from 8-3 every day. Meaning we have to try to sell our house and find a job that would give him 30 hours a week that can still support 4 kids while he is going to school. And how the heck are we going to pay for school? We then would have an additional year after that to get his journeyman's license because he is so close, and we like to finish what we start. Even though this is obviously a much harder road in the beginning, it has the potential to give us a career with normal work hours, good pay, and options to work and be valuable in his acquired skills pretty much at plants and factories all over the place. Long term, it seems like the right choice to make. Where as a career in law enforcement has great pay and a great retirement and benefits, we are pretty much guaranteed Chris will be gone for every holiday, most Sunday's, and have crappy hours for a good 10 years. It seems like an easy choice to make. But the thought right now of leaving our ward where I have made such good friends, and living in a tiny cooped-up place with 4 children, a husband who will inevitably be absent most of the time for another 2 years, (and having to try and form some sort of support system again) seems a little daunting. I know I can do anything for 2 years, and I know I can surely support my good husband in all his hard work to provide for our little family. I just feel a little overwhelmed right now, it all feels so impossible right now.

This last time Chris left (won't be back until thanksgiving) I pretty much crumbled. I felt completely depleted. For the first time in my life I started to question something I had always known deep in my heart. That my Heavenly Father knows me personally. That my heavenly father loves me. I started to feel so isolated and alone in circumstances we now face, and in the fact that we have absolutely no control in what is happening to us presently. Being out of control is a little hard for me, and seems to be a recurring theme. I have spent a lot of time in my bed. I have spent a lot of time mopping up my own tears and blowing my nose. I have spent a lot of time eating bags of famous amos chocolate chip cookies from Costco. I even ate a whole loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread. After a serious headache from weeping, and a serious tummy ache from 7 months of humongous baby belly and too many goodies masking my woes, I decided it was time to spend some time on my knees. After some time on my knees I read Alma 32 in the book of mormon, and realized that in order to make a garden grow and bring forth delicious fruit, we have to tend to it. My own testimony has not been tended to for quite some time, and my faith and hope in a father who loves me and has a plan for my life was withering away just as it speaks of a tree that will bring forth delicious fruit:

in verse 37 "as the tree beginnith to grow, ye will say: let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye will nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit."

38: " But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out."

This morning I was forced out of bed by the sounds of my sweet 6 year old trying to sweep up the sugar mess that was strewn across the entire kitchen and dining room. I emerged to find popcorn popped and crumbled everywhere, cereal and milk poured and spilled about, sticky handfuls of sugar trailed amidst it all, and a 2 year old covered in chunks of sugar looking all the more guilty as I strode quickly to him. I think I washed him off, swept up the dry spots and hand mopped up the sticky spots, put in a movie and got back in bed. The obvious chaos in the living room was just too much to bear, because that is how I felt inside. Swimming with chaos. I told myself that at 9 am I was going to go downstairs and workout on our treadmill, take a shower, and then clean the house and spend some time with the kids today. Today, I was going to set aside the lack of control and be a present mother, be present in the life that I was living. At 9:15 Chris called to see how things were going, and after the usual cry-fest about what the heck are we going to do, and this is so hard to live with right now, I rolled out of bed and onto my knees and asked for strength to surrender all of the burdens of what I could not control, so that I could try to find joy in the life I was living right now. And you know what? I went downstairs for a work-out, took a shower and put on clean clothes, fed my kids their lunch, and after putting Carter down for a nap, Bailey and Jacob helped me clean up the whole house. They didn't even complain. Bailey asked to organize 3 of my cupboards and did an incredible job. She then learned how to unpack and pack the dishwasher (all of her own asking) and Jacob helped me sweep and mop the floor. We even made sock puppets as a reward for all of their willing help. And although I still ate quite a few bags of chocolate chip cookies, things are looking up. I will try to continue to turn my burdens over to one who has already suffered for them, one who does know me and loves me.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sweetheart post

My friend Kathy aka "Mrs. B" tagged me. Thanks Kathy this was a fun one.

WHAT IS YOUR HUSBANDS NAME? Christopher Aaron

HOW LONG HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN MARRIED? It will be 9 years this coming March

HOW LONG DID YOU DATE? 2 1/2 mo. before a proposal, 4 1/2 mo. before we officially announced it, 9 mo. before we we got hitched for time and all eternity

HOW OLD IS HE? 31

WHO IS TALLER? Chris. It was an official requirement on my eternal companion list - he had to be bigger and taller than me, and no matter how many children I had I could never at any time out-weigh him. He is so good at keeping up his end of the bargain.

WHO CAN SING BEST? Me. Although Chris knows every word to every song in every genre on the radio, yet getting him to sing hymns in sacrament is like pulling teeth. I like hearing him sing.

WHO IS SMARTER? That is a toss-up. We are both smart in different ways. We compliment each others stupidity.

WHO DOES LAUNDRY? Me. He always dye's something or shrinks something. Totally annoying when he does the laundry.

WHO PAYS BILLS? Me. Not that he wouldn't do a fine job. He is never around, and when he is, he is always good about getting the stuff done that I can't physically do too well or mentally accomplish with little children running amuk.

WHO SLEEPS ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BED? Chris knows I change my mind about what side is more comfortable on a regular basis, and when he is home, he lets me pick whatever side I want. He's so flexible.

WHO MOWS THE LAWN? Chris. I would end up chopping off one of the kids legs while they ran behind me. Plus I know I would hate riding that mower for 3 hours around our acre in the bazillion degree heat here. I just love him for it.

WHO COOKS DINNER? Me 99.9 % of the time. Which is just fine by me. Healthy to me does not include frozen chicken nuggets, or macaroni and cheese and the likes on a regular basis.

WHO'S FIRST TO ADMIT THEY ARE WRONG? Chris. He is so much more humble than me. I am so lucky to have him.

WHO KISSED WHO FIRST? Please, like he could resist this.

WHO WEARS THE PANTS? We both do. I don't even like the term wearing the pants. I think a happy marriage is one that works together for the common good of the family, and husband and wife support each other in their much needed roles. I feel so comforted and happy and at peace when Chris is fulfilling his responsibilities as a husband, father, and provider; and I know that he is happy to support me in my roles as a wife, mother and caregiver. Marriage is so great when we support each other in our pants-wearing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our Pumpkin Night

Our annual pumpkin carving night took place in two parts. Part one, pumpkin gathering/purchasing. I really wanted to find a local pumpkin patch to go to this year. I found a couple that were pretty close, but Chris didn't get back from California until Saturday late-afternoon. He works during the week until 5:30, and since we live in Timbuktu, it would be dark by the time we made it to any pumpkin patch within a week before Halloween. I settled for fake pumpkin patch pictures at Walmart.

Carter, Say Cheese.

Bailey, strike a pose

Jacob, don't be cheesy. Love ya, buddy.
Part two took place the next night. Family night first where we talked about Prayer, and bribed the kids with pumpkin carving after the lesson if they would sit still for 5 minutes. They did pretty good at the sitting still part, we forgot to specify we wanted them to listen and participate, and they thought that our lesson was taking forever. During the opening prayer Jacob said "and I just can't wait to carve pumpkins Heavenly Father, can you please hurry our lesson..."
This girl never has qualms about pumpkin guts
pumpkin guts still make this guy want to barf, ahhhh, just like his Mom.
This one never needs to be asked to help make a mess, nor does he listen when it is time to stop making a mess. But isn't he cute?
We attempted making these. I discovered this morning they may be just for looks, as they aren't exactly edible. I was lazy and bought he Carmel squares you can unwrap and melt. BIG mistake. When they re harden they are really, really, hard. Good thing we will get real treats in 2 more nights.

Ta-da! I always love it when the carving is over.
Happy Halloween, Love the Cooks

Tagged again

I was tagged by my friend Heidi.

10 years ago I:

1. Dropped out of my second year at Edmonds Community College, to work full time. I hated going to school, but now I wish I had finished.
2. Lived with friends Leanne and Kerry (Don't know what ever happened to them)
3. Attended activities with my Singles Branch just about every night of the week, and thought my life was soooooo busy then.
4. Ran 5 miles every day, 10 miles on Saturday's, and thought for sure I was headed for running my first marathon.
5. Had long Blonde hair to my waist.

5 things on today's "to do" list:

1. Clean the House
2. Fold Laundry
3. Prepare meals, serve meals, clean up meals
4. Help kids with homework
5. Go to the temple tonight

5 snacks I enjoy:

1. Anything that is classified as a treat
2. Grapes
3. Nature Valley Granola Bars
4. Celery and Peanut Butter
5. Did I say treats?

5 things I would do if I were a millionaire:

1. Hire a maid to clean my house weekly
2. Go to a spa weekly (namely get a massage at said spa)
3. Hire a personal trainer to help me daily
4. Have a fully equiped home gym
5. Take a vacation with my family

5 places I have lived:

1. Edmonds, WA
2. Lynnwood, WA
3. Everett, WA
4. Blackfoot, ID
5. That is it.

Five jobs I have had:

1. Paper route
2. Babysitter
3. Nanny
4. Dental Assistant
5. Mommy

I tag...Whoever wants to - this is the second tag I've gotten in a couple of weeks. I already tagged a few friends last time, so I won't make you do it again if you don't want.


Rules: Each player answers the question themselves. At the end of the post the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment letting them know that they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person that tagged you know when you've answered the questions on your blog

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rockstars

Sheldon, Aaron, Rich, and Dave - this one's for you. Bob and Dan, sorry, you two won't remember.

Bailey wanted to listen to her favorite band today - the Beatles. I put the CD in and got busy scrap booking while they danced and sang. Next thing I know, they had fashioned their own home-made guitars and informed me they needed strings to tie them over their shoulders. It was just so funny to me. How creative of them. They got out all the fixing's and made their craft unbeknownst to me. When I had stapled on the strings, Jacob declared ' Now we look like Rock star's mom! ' What a crack-up.

This brought back vivid memories from childhood. All the way back to the 'yellow' house - the first house I lived in, and moved from at age 5. My older brothers and I used to listen to my Mom and Dad's records - namely the Beatles and the Monkey's - all the time. There was a bonus room over the garage that was a bedroom for two of my brothers. The back 1/4 of the room stepped up and was used as a stage where the 'band' would perform. Everyone had tennis rackets for mock air guitars, and I think it was the most joyous part of my day if I got to perform with the band. I do remember getting shoved off the stage quite a few times because I didn't quite know the words good enough. Mean brothers. I don't know if Dave remembers, he was only 3, but I bet he does. Those were good times with my brothers. Watching my children re-enact their version of being rock stars was a little nostalgic. Here are some pictures of the rock stars in action.

Friday, October 10, 2008

New twilight trailer

11-21-08

Boo-yah!

My friend Lori has the official trailer on her blog and you can see it here. And it looks really good by the way. So who's going with me?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread

In reading one of my friends post recently, I was reminded of all of the reasons I love the fall. You can read about her reasons here.

It made me think about all of mine, so I decided to make one of my fall favorites, and wanted to share. Your welcome.



Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Recipe makes 10 mini-loaves (That way you can share)
5 eggs well beaten
3 C Sugar
2 1/2 C Canned Pumpkin
2 C Oil
4 1/2 C Flour
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. Baking Soda
4 1/2 t. Cinnamon
1 1/2 t. Nutmeg
1 1/2 t. Cloves
1 t. Ginger
12 - 16 oz. milk choc. or semi-sweet choc. chips. (I like semi-sweet)
Preheat oven to 350. Cream eggs and sugar. Add pumpkin and oil. Add dry ingredients slowly and combine thoroughly. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into greased and lightly floured pans. Bake for 45 min. If you use small loaf pans, place approx. 1 C of batter into each pan. (Or you can use 4 normal size loaf pans).

You can half this recipe, or freeze extra loaves. I wrap each loaf in saran wrap and then foil to prevent freezer burn.

Tagged

I was tagged a while ago by my long lost friend from high school, and I decided it was high time to make good on my tag.


Here are the rules...

1. Link to the person who tagged you:
http://woody'sfam.blogspot.com/
2. Post the rules on your blog:
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.


Six random things about myself? This is hard. I feel a little on the boring-ish side... Oh well, here goes.


1. When I am not pregnant, I usually work out twice a day, just so I can still eat treats. I am a total candy maniac, but am still obsessed with diet and exercise; so I like to punish myself with workouts, yet reward myself with treats. What is wrong with me?! All the while I logically know that if I just cut out treats to an occasional indulgence, I could just work out once a day and still look how I want to. I would have so much more time in my schedule. Yes, I know I should go back to therapy.


2. I am a total recovering germ-o-phob. I worked for 8 years as a dental assistant, and I think that constant focus on killing the germs all day long spewed over into my normal life. I used to wipe down my grocery carts with Clorox wipes before putting my children inside. I also used to deep clean my house almost every-other day. And although I still cut raw meat with rubber-gloves on, and I still cannot bring myself to eat anything other than cotton-candy at the fair, having children has totally interrupted my germ-free world, and made me relax in soooo many ways. Let's face it. Kids are one big ball of germs. I had to face the facts that I can no longer try to live in a bubble without scarring my children for life. I now feed them snacks in the grocery cart just to keep them quiet, even though I totally don't even wipe down the cart anymore. (Ewwww, I know. I swore I never would do that and almost gagged when I saw other mom's doing it. Whatever. Anything for a peaceful shopping trip. I am totally that mom now). And if you come to my house on any given day, you will find that 3 mess-makers rule the roost and are totally faster than me, and as for deep-cleaning my house? Well, some weeks it happens once, sometimes it happens every couple, and well, sometimes it is even longer before the toilets get scrubbed. But hey, don't judge me. You know sometimes there is a ring in your toilet too.


3. I can't go to bed at night. It is a sickness really. I aim to get my kids in bed by 7 pm, sometimes it doesn't all wrap up until 8, but after that, a choir is blasting 'Hallelujah!' in my head and I become wide eyed and giddy at the mere thought of quiet time to myself...(that is, when Chris isn't home). I suddenly get my second wind no matter how sleepy and dragging I may have been during the day, because it feels good to be 'off duty' from my mothering for a short time, and I consider all of the possibilities of what I could do uninterrupted. When I am not pregnant, I work out, then play. These days, I think about all I could be doing, but usually end up laying in bed with chocolate and seeing what is on my TV. If I look like I am getting fatter, now you know why. Dang Chocolate.


4. Chris and I met because we were set up by our best buddies. He had been home from his mission for 4 days, and they brought him to a young single adult dance to meet me. I was walking out to go home, and he was walking in to find them. As I held the door open and he breezed past, I said 'Hi' with serious ga-ga eyes, and he muttered ' Hi' back without so much as a glance in my direction. My pride was immediately wounded as I thought ' What a jerk!!!' I looked really hot that night. Yet in the next moment I thought ' I wonder who that is?!' and of course went back in to discreetly see who the hottie was. And it was him. The love of my life. Who didn't even notice me the first time he saw me. Don't worry, he's more than made up for it. Now he knows how lucky he is.


5. I always wanted to serve a mission, and after getting my patriarchal blessing at age 16, I felt strongly that I should serve one. I even saved up almost all of my own mission money, and swore I would never skip my mission for a boy. Guess what? I TOTALLY skipped my mission for a boy. After Andy and Em introduced Chris and I, we started talking, then because we were at a dance, we of course danced. While we were dancing I casually said, 'so, you just got home from your mission? I am going on a mission soon...' because I wanted to make it clear that I was unavailable, even though he was seriously the hottest guy I had ever met. He wasn't scared. We all know how this one ended up. And I am so glad it ended up how it did. Now I can serve a mission with a companion that I like.


6. I love all things (okay most things) creative and crafty. I cannot usually 'create my own ideas' per-say, but if you show me how, I am a pretty good copier. I love photography, baking, scrap booking, wood crafts, and more. I have always wanted to take classes to sharpen my skills, and learn new things to get better at my amateur attempts, but always have other things that seem to stop me from doing so. Okay, it's my kids and husbands fault. Kidding. kind of. I love em, and they are my first and best priority, and I accept that this is a busy season of life. If Chris's work schedule were different, he would totally be there for me to support other interests. And although I wish I could take pictures like Shelby, bake like Nicki, scrapbook like Angela, and make wood crafts like Emily, I realize that one of these days, I will be able to make time to make each goal a priority. But for now, I will settle for for admiring the talents of some of my friends. But even if I didn't name you, don't think I don't admire you. Because I do. I have some really cool friends. I am lucky to have you guys.


That is it. I am supposed to tag others now. I don't even know who has already done this. Hmmm, I now tag Jen and Dave, Tiffany, Katie, Kimberly, and Jotien. If you already did this, then, I guess never mind. By the way, tiffany, if you read this, I can't link to your site. Did you know your address now goes to some advertising site? Just click on my link.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A coincidental bug

Good news people. Bailey was up until 3:30 last night, burning up with a 103.5 temp. wailing, moaning and crying about her tummy hurting. I put her in bed with me since she was inconsolable and so helpless. I hate it when they are sick and suffering. Jacob did the same thing earlier this week, and it only lasted about 24-36 hours. I now know that Carter really didn't sear out the lining of his stomach and cause permanent damage to his body (which I really was starting to believe because he on the other hand kept up with a temperature and bad tummy ache for about 4 days). Just a freaky bug of some type. I mean, I have never seen a temperature and stomach ache and no other symptoms ever. Weird. But I feel better now.

I am off to bed for once before 9 pm at night. I ended up letting Carter and Jacob sleep on my floor last night because they kept repeatedly coming in to bother me in the midst of dealing with the moaning child. I know I sound so compassionate. I just think compassion is hanging on by a thread these days. I finally caved and told them to zip their dang lips and sleep on the floor, but for Pete's sake, don't wake me up again. Whew. Sleep now is calling my name. Just wanted to share.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Poison Control

My two year old is killing me. He likes to eat anything disgusting and poisonous, and the mere fact that it tastes like crap sure doesn't stop the likes of him. I was out sweeping the front porch real fast this morning, and mistakenly asked the 6 year old to 'watch him' for a couple of minutes. She was doing her hair. Which means slicking it down, headbanding it back, and admiring herself in the mirror. I should have know she was too busy for such a menial task. She totally had better things to do. It is not her fault. I just should have tied him up with some rope before stepping outside. I came back in and heard Carter crying loudly 'It's too hot! IT'S TOO HOT!' I came into my bathroom to find him sitting on the counter by the sink emptying my Mary Kay Acne Treatment Jel into the sink. I assumed he burned himself with hot water until after further speculation saw that his lips were becoming burnt and bright red. I asked him if he ate some. He said pathetically 'Yeah mom.' Whimpering all the while. I called poison control for the bazillionth time on this child and they told me that benzoyl peroxide would not poison him (just for your information) but to rinse out his mouth, and wash his face, give him some milk and or water and he should be fine. Ahhhhh, sweet relief.

That was until about an hour later when he started screaming and writhing on the floor in pain. He kept repeating loudly 'I'm gonna frow up! My tummy hurts!' and kept laying on the floor. I finally got him calmed down and he took a little nap, but then came into my room about an hour later in extreme pain and repeating the same things. I went into the bathroom and upon further inspection, found a bottle of microderm abrasion open and drips coming down the side (It was behind my big basket of face-wash type stuff on the counter). I then assumed he must have ate some of that too. Of course, why not taste test another disgusting thing? Well, then I freaked, because it was 4:30 on Saturday afternoon and I didn't want to end up in the emergency room tonight. Chris is out of town, and I would have to pawn off kids on unsuspecting neighbors and then there is the sad fact that we currently don't have medical insurance and large unpaid accounts at the hospital, and doctors office. I of course don't want to add to them. So I donned my baseball hat, and made all the kids get in the car.

There is only one word to explain our appearances. RAGAMUFFINS. The whole lot of us. I was in my sweatpants and some retarded mickey mouse shirt that barely fits over my big pregnant belly. Carter had no shoes on. Bailey and Jake had been playing out in the dirt for the past two hours. We looked like homeless people. I just panicked and ran. When we got there, they called poison control about the other stuff he ingested because now Carter had a fever of 101, but they found out the fever should not be related, and good news is, he would not die. Hopefully he is just starting a little flu bug or something. I just hate it when stuff like this happens.

I am so tired today. Jacob has so many medical problems right now, and as many of you know is a serious spontaneous barfer. I feel so bad for him. And I feel so bad for me. It is so embarrassing sometimes, and I don't think you ever fully embrace the cleaning up of barf. I will just say this: I love my hardwood and tiled floors, and even more, I just could kiss whomever invented plasticized mattress covers. I could just kiss you whoever you are out there. We ran out of one of Jacob's medications this week, and when that happens he gets on this non-stop coughing kick and literally cannot stop around the clock. He then of course, barfs because of all of the coughing. Nothing helps. He plays outside, which makes him cough and barf, and it is hard to send him to school, and even worse, no one sleeps at night between Carter coming in to get me, me having to go pee fifty million times, and Jacob's incessant coughing and hurling. I am so tired of changing sheets and washing out barf bowls.

Don't get me wrong, I love my 3 little ones, I really do. They are the greatest joy in my life, and my biggest challenges some days. And some days, I just want to pull the covers over my head and not have to face the hardships that come with being the mom of little ones. It has been one of those weeks that I so badly wish our work situation and life situation were different, and I am so tired of being a single parent. It has been months of this now, and I am seriously worn out some days. Physically, yes, they are so busy and into everything and so messy; but emotionally it is even more wearing. How can I possibly give them all the attention, love and encouragement they need? How can I be patient and gentle and kind, keeping in mind they are just little, and will make lots of mistakes? (Don't we all?) I just appreciate my husband so much. He does so much for our family. He is my rock, and I realize it all the more when he is gone and I don't have someone to buffer my impatience and bad moods with my kids. I bet they really miss it when Dad is gone because Mom is mean and annoying!! Poor kids!

Bill 1738

Senate Bill 1738 the protect our children act passed yesterday! Over half a million people wrote their senators in support of this bill.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Protect our Children Act

Did anyone catch Oprah yesterday? I tape the shows, and watched it this morning. The show was very explicit, and I was horrified to know the awful truth. The show was about Internet predators, the rampant occurrences daily of traded child pornography, molestation, and rape actually video-taped by these evil individuals; crimes committed and documented against children as young as newborn babies, on up. I wept as I watched, and feel driven to speak out. As a victim of this type of abuse, and as a mother, I feel the need to do everything in my power to support all efforts in protecting children out there. This abuse is occurring in horrific numbers daily, and shared by Internet for other predators to view. The problem is multiplying. And the real problem is that most of us don't realize that these predators are our next door neighbors, our family friends, our family members. If your child is being molested it is probably by someone you know and that is the hard truth. If you haven't seen the show, go to Oprah.com and please get informed on the gravity of the situation.

A bill is going before congress this month, Senate Bill 1738 The Protect our Children Act of 2008. This is a historic bill. There has been software developed that actually tracks these predators to their homes, but the actual money has not been there to fund law enforcement to keep up with the amount of activity happening. Unless we support this bill which actually puts the money behind law enforcement to catch these predators and protect our children they cannot be rescued. "These children are out there, they are waiting to be rescued, they need an army of mothers across this country to unmask, storm the U.S. Congress and tell them to pass 1738." The bill was originally 1 billion dollars that passed of resources for law enforcement to protect children, to rescue them from predators, and put them behind bars for a very long time. We need to put pressure on our U.S. senators to pass this.

If you go to Oprah.com there is a link to click on - "pass the Protect our Children Act". You can then look up your two U.S. senators if you do not know their names, and you will be provided with their e-mail addresses, their phone #'s and office addresses. There is also a sample letter you can use; you can also add too it or write your own. Please urge them to vote yes on Bill 1738 The protect our children act. Ask them to pass this bill before they recess on September 26th. We only have a few days to act, so please do so. It is a bipartisan bill, and regardless of which party we support, we should all be able to support this in protecting our children.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ultrasound

We had our ultrasound today to find out what kind we were getting...

Drum roll please...

It's a Boy! And yes, that makes three in a row! Thank goodness I got my sweet little girl first. Heavenly Father threw me a bone on that one. I am now joining the ranks with my friend Nicki, my sister in law, and a couple fun girls in my ward at church. I resign myself to leave out the blue stuff a little longer. Only sucky thing is all my baby clothes are summer stuff because Jake and Carter were born in June and July! Doe! Oh well, another excuse to shop for cute baby stuff that Chris can't get disgruntled over. C'mon, baby clothes the second time around is never as fun as the first, let alone the third.

The 'Nichols' family curse is following me (my maiden name) and the boys seem to be piling up around me! At first I hated growing up in a family with 6 brothers all around, but as I got older I accepted it, then embraced it, and now really feel like a lucky girl and love all those dear men in my life. What would I do without them? They are all amazing men of great integrity, honest and sincere, compassionate, all are men of strong faith, and they have influenced my life greatly. They are my hero's, my best friends, and my biggest cheerleaders. I really think the reason I ended up with such an amazing husband, is because between all of them and my dad, they set the 'bar' of expectations high for how I should be treated, and what qualities I really wanted in my husband. I hope to raise boys as wonderful as my brothers. I guess I should call my mom and get some advice... never thought I would say that out loud. Oh well, Hooray for boys!

I told Chris on the way home:

"Now we have to have another baby after this one."

C: "Yeah, right."

Me: "Yeah huh! You were supposed to get me a girl this time so we could be finished! Now we have to do it again so you can get it right!"

C: "And what are you going to do when we get our fourth boy?"

Me: "Well I guess then it would just be kinda funny... because I draw the line at one last try..."

Who knows. We're still young right?!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

First Day of School!

A new chapter at our house has officially begun. I now have a child in school all the live long day. I never thought this day would come, and now that it has it is kind of, well, bittersweet. Not only is one in school all day, #2 is starting school half-days. I can't believe I will only have one kid home for half the day. It was so quiet yesterday with just the boys here. Jake and I had fun during Carter's nap doing kindergarten 'homework' and we made Chocolate Chip Cookies to surprise Bailey when she got home from school. It makes me feel like I can do 4 kids. Thank goodness for the school day! It surely eases the madness. It gives my children a break from me nagging them, gives them a sense of independence, gives them a chance to miss me, and of course for me to miss them; after all absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? All you teachers, I love you!
Here is my big first grader. I forgot to take her picture before she left the house so I of course ran out to the bus stop to get one. She was kind of embarrassed.

I then of course followed the school bus to her school to make sure she knew where to go. It kind of freaked me out just sending her to a new school on the bus. I found her on the playground and made sure she knew how to get to her classroom. For which I received an eye roll and a 'Mom, I know where my class is.' And I was officially forced to let go.

I did however snap one last picture of her with her friend Miranda, who is in second grade. I was so glad she had a friend to be with on the first day to help her.


When she got home I forced her to take a couple more pictures of her Hannah Montana outfit she had to wear on her first day. It brought back memories of when I was little. Remember your 'perfect' outfit you stressed out over? This is starting entirely too early.

When she got home I excitedly asked her about her day, and she immediately pulled out her lunch box and began eating. She was not prepared for how quickly lunchtime goes, and only got through her sandwich and a couple of grapes before it was all over. She was starving. I felt bad. She then went on to tell me forlornly " Mom, I didn't make even one friend today." Me eyes still well up just thinking about it. As a mother you want your child to feel as loved as they can as they go out to face the world. I felt so sad that her little 6 year old heart was so heavy. It made me sad to hear her question her self-worth already. It broke my heart to hear her talk about how she felt lonely, and ate lunch by herself. " I don't want to go back to first grade mom!" she lamented. "I miss you, and I was gone all day!"

We discussed some things she could do to make a new friend in her class. And she informed me that she had tried already. Apparently another girl in her class was wearing the same shirt as her. Bailey told her she liked her shirt and that maybe they could be friends. In Bailey's re-iteration of the story, the girl curtly replied 'thanks. I already have lots of friends though, so I don't need you play with me.'

Where are these little 6 year old monsters being reared?! I can't believe how mean some girls are, and it starts so young! I have 6 brothers. Boys just aren't like that. I still don't get how some grown women are still like that! I hope Bailey never resorts to excluding and belittling. I felt so bad! What would you tell your little ones in this situation? I hope her sense of self-worth is never hinged on the opinions or lack of inclusion from others. I want her to be self-confident and find myself struggling to instill this sometimes; raising a little girl has been so hard for me as she grows and changes, because I find myself reliving the insecurities and discouraging feelings I also had when I was growing up. The last thing I want is for history to repeat itself; I want to protect her from having the childhood I had. What would you do?

At 10 AM I headed over for Jacob's Kindergarten orientation. We had to make a scrapbook page for the class book telling about Jacob, so we took some pictures the night before. I just love your pretty blue eyes Jake.

And here he is, all ready to go for his first day. I can't believe how fast the time goes. He was so excited.This is his teacher Mrs. Crane. Bailey had her last year, and we love her. I am so happy Jacob is in her class this year.

Here's is Jake hitting the playground real fast before going home to get Carter from the Nelson's. He is here with our neighbor, and his friend Bryce. They are in the same class. I am so glad he has a buddy to ride the school bus with.

Here is the big 2 year old, ready to wreak havoc on his first day as the center of attention. It is a good thing he's so cute. It makes his dual personality of destructo-man bearable.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back from the Dead...

About a month ago we made a quick decision to go and stay with my parents in Seattle. Chris works out of town currently and comes home every few weeks on a Sunday, then back off again for work. (It sucks.) I was too sick for too long and the poor kids were suffering with no parental supervision. I had been going in to get shots of Zofran everyday for a few weeks, and they are ridiculously expensive. (And on the down side, they didn't really work all that well for me.) Chris came home on a Friday night and we discussed the situation, while I cried my eyes out, and Saturday morning he called my mom to see what we could do to call in for reinforcements. Since Chris would be working out of town for another month, we decided to go to Washington for some help. We packed up the car and drove all night, getting there at 6 AM on Sunday morning. Chris flew back out that night to go to work.

Poor Carter got sick and barfed on the drive over, and Bailey and Jacob got the stomach flu the next day while Aunts, Uncles, and a slew of cousins were up visiting Grandma and Grandpa that week. Bailey was up sick all night, and of course, as if I didn't barf enough the previous 8 weeks, I got it and was sick the whole next day, and about wanted to die. Chris of course called me to inform he got it too, and left work early to spend the rest of the day sick at the hotel. Barf. Thank goodness I was at my mom's.

The next day, I woke up and was actually able to hold some food down and get out of bed, which is really not normal for my pregnancies. Not that I was complaining. But I am usually flat on the couch wanting to die until about 18-20 weeks. Because I have had a number of miscarriages, I knew something was not quite right. I had a horribly painful experience when I miscarried with my first pregnancy at 13 weeks, and if it was happening this time at 11 weeks (then) I really wanted to catch it and get some medical help. So I decided to try to make an appointment to get an ultrasound and check for viability. I was shocked when I tried to make an appointment with my OB that had delivered all of my kids. The women in the office were extremely rude and basically did not want to help me, because I lived out of state and wouldn't be there for the duration of my pregnancy. When I called back and tried to make an appointment to be seen anyways, they basically said because I did not have medical insurance, they wouldn't make me an appointment until I spoke with the billing woman, who by the way was out of town for a week and they would have her call me (which she never did). I felt totally discriminated against. I couldn't believe it. I had the same experience contacting several other offices as well. I ended up going to Steven's Hospital, where one office informed me they had a "Walk in Clinic." Wrong. It was the emergency room, which I naively took for a walk in clinic upon arrival because I was the only one there. I kind of caught on though once 8 or 9 people who showed up after me were taken back before me. I was almost ready to go ask for my money back, when they took me back to my room. I spoke to the nurse and told her I was about to leave because I really didn't want to wait hours to be seen, but she informed me I had already signed in, and if I left now, they would not refund my money because I would be leaving AMA (against medical advice). I wanted to say,'what medical advice? I have been waiting 2 hours and haven't gotten medical advice from anyone yet.' They did an ultrasound and saw a heartbeat, but there were complications. The placenta has pulled away 30 percent or so, and there was a moderate sized bleed between the placenta and uterine wall. They also said that the yolk sac was over sized for development at that point and most likely would end up in miscarriage, but if not, would cause severe abnormalities with the baby. But to go home and be on bed rest for a week until I could be seen by another physician.

It is amazing what goes through your mind when you are told you may have a baby with abnormalities. I have never done any of the blood testing you can do to check for down syndrome or any other abnormalities because we always said we would love our baby no matter what, and we would never have an abortion no matter what the problems with our child. And truth be told, we would love our child no matter what. But being told this while pregnant, I think, can be a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you have time to prepare yourself, time to grieve the loss of the life you expected to have for your child; on the other hand, your mind goes crazy with the unknown, thinking of how hard it will be, if you will know how to be a good mother to a child who has special needs, and how it will affect the children you have already; the life you thought you would have for your family, and selfishly, I worried about life after my kids grow up, not knowing if this child would be dependent on me indefinitely; and so on. The only comfort I felt was thinking of my good friend Jenny. She has a 5 year old daughter with a rare syndrome, and they do amazing. Taylor just melts your heart. She is such a great mom with her, her brother and sister do so well with her, and it eased my mind at the thought of how we would make it; if she could do it, we could too.

I was finally able to be seen by my mom's bishop who is an OB and took mercy on me. We scheduled an ultrasound for a few weeks out. I got a priesthood blessing, and felt some comfort that things would be fine. When I went in for my Ultrasound, they told me that they don't see this very often, but that the bleeding had completely mended itself and reabsorbed, and the placenta had completely taken over the yolk sac (Which is how it should have looked at that point) and everything looks pretty normal now. The only problem is that the placenta has pulled away some, so not to pick up children, or lift, push or pull over 10 pounds; but normal daily activity is fine. Chris and I are so relieved, and feel so blessed to have made it to this point. The nausea is a lot better now, I am only sick for parts of the day, and am totally functional now. I am so thankful the past few months are behind us! I seriously don't know if I can go through this again. Plus, you know that four weeks or so when you are in between looking chubby and pregnant? Yeah, that's me. Isn't it awful? I usually make it to 20 weeks before busting out the stretchy tummy pants, but I broke down 4 weeks early this time. Oh well, I guess that's not too bad for my fourth child.

We are finally home now - we left 6am Sat. and arrived at 11 pm that night. And although it was so good to be taken care of when I needed it most, it is nice to be back in my own home, back to life as usual. The kids are so happy to be back to sleeping in their own beds and in familiar surroundings.

Now we are back to flying by the seat of our pants with the rest of our life... the good news is, we received a call from the detective working on Chris's background investigation and he informed us we should know if we got hired by the end of August. We are hoping everything works out. And on another positive note, a family is very interested in our house and is coming to look at it tonight. So cross your fingers for us. There is hope yet.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Blah

Sorry friends, it may be a while before I return to the blogosphere.... as I presently wish this period of my life were all a distant memory. I spend my days lying helplessly on the couch while toys are strewn, cereal flies, and pajama-clad uncombed hair-type children run amuk; barf bowl close by. I seriously don't know how I forget how SICK I get every time and totaly want to poke my eyes out and puke my guts out. Not that we exactly were planning on my being totaly incapasitated at this point in time. But somehow, miracle of miracles, I continue to breathe in and out, and yes, the world around me manages to go on just fine. I wish it would go on just fine a little bit faster, thus ending my misery. Yes, Woe is me.

By the way, my house is still for sale for any of you that might have friends that can appreciate the beautiful weeds outside, the free snacks on the floor, the toys to play with, the laundry room they can try out; they are even welcome to see if the dishwasher works, how well my counter-tops clean up, and yes, how comfortable the jetted tub is in the master bedroom once the ring around it has been scrubbed off. Yes, our beautiful home is awaiting their viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The latest

Only because inquiring minds want to know...





So, we still haven't sold our house.





We still have no idea where we will even be living there. Do we rent? do we buy? No wait, if we rent we have to move twice in a couple of months. AGAIN. In the middle of the school year. No, wait, I have never even been there, so if we buy, how do I know I am getting what we will be happy with (especially because the housing market there is so crazy we will probably never be able to sell it again).



We still don't even know if we got the job we want in Arizona. Even though training starts in like, oh, 7 weeks.



Chris has been gone for over 2 and 1/2 months now, coming home for periodic 1-2 day visits, but don't worry, I will see him now for a couple of days because he is getting surgery now. They are taking out his Gallbladder on Thursday. Great!



And to top it off, we just found this out...








Yeeeeaaaahhhhh... for reals.

As if we didn't have enough going on. I should totally be freaking out (about all of it, not just the aforementioned picture). So should Chris. But strangely, we are fine. It's all gonna be fine. And we are sure of it.

Usually we don't go blabbin about our pregnancy's so early on, because I always miscarry at least once before one decides to stick for a whole 9 months. But at this point, it is really just too funny to keep quiet. By the way, the kids don't know, and we'd kinda like to keep it that way for a little while, so if you see us, or them, no spillin the beans to them, please.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

My cute Ladybug

Gotta love Kindergarten.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Breaking in the riding lawnmower

We finally got to break in our riding lawn mower and cut the Grass for the first time since planting it last fall. Woo-hoo!

Or should I say, cut the weeds. Lets be honest here.


Holy crap, we've got an acre of weeds.

But we sure had fun playing out in the yard on the trampoline and playset while Dad buzzed around. It brought back memories from my childhood with the smell of the fresh-cut grass and the sound of the lawnmower. Those are some of my best childhood memories with my family, staying up late on those long summer days, playing in the yard, not having a care in the world.

We had a fun day together. Dad even gave everyone rides on the lawnmower. (Too bad there was no one to take a picture of Mom getting a ride on Dad's lap!) Anyway, here are some of the kids:




Thursday, May 1, 2008

Winter in May

We woke up this morning to this:


A chickenspot you say?


Jacob: Mom, look, I gotta chickenspot.


Me: You mean a chickenpock? No Jake, I don' think you have a chickenpock.


Jacob: Yep huh. Yep I do. Look right here, a chickenspot.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm having a moment...

Ever have periods of time pass where you feel like you are being stretched pretty thin, but know that you need to be thankful anyways and try to maintian a positive attitude just to get you through? Well, I am having a moment tonight. The positive attitude is a little shaky and I'm just starting to crumble...

Chris has been gone for two weeks, (the kids are killin me) the house is up for sale (the kids keep demolishing it) I feel really overwhelmed with my responsibilities at church; it's sorta hitting me that we are completely changing our lives again 'for reals', We still have no word on the job situation and that may take a while to hear back, and Chris just called me tonight to tell me he will be home on Saturday and Sunday, but will be leaving again for two more weeks. I just feel a little lonely in my trials at the moment. I guess I just feel so stressed out and wonder when we will be settled somewherefor once in our marriage. It feels like we have just been through the wringer for the last 6 years! I know I could complain more, but I will spare you all.

Not to sound like I am going to jump off a bridge or anything, I just know that it is fine to let down our guard sometimes, and reach out for support by letting friends know you need it.
So BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

(sniff) Ahh, now I feel better. Thanks for listening.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Emily!

This is My BFF and probably yours too!
Em, I have never met anyone like you. You are so much fun, the party always begins when you arrive. I love your spontaneity, your sense of humor, and your genuine love and concern for others. You really are the "BEST" friend to everyone and I want to be just like you!
Happy Birthday !!! Wish I were there to celebrate with you!

Friday, April 25, 2008

What do you say to taking chances?

I am a dreamer. I am a survivor. I believe anything is possible. If you can dream it, and believe it, you can make it possible. We don't know what life holds for anyone of us. I believe what allows us to survive, and even thrive, are our core beliefs and our support system.

Moving to Blackfoot was the hugest leap of faith for us. Small miracles occurred and we took a chance not knowing what lay ahead. We uprooted our lives, and our children, and began a new life. We thought we were coming to take a chance on a new career, but what took place for our family in the last year and a half was so much more than we could have ever imagined. Moving somewhere where we didn't know anyone allowed us to rely on each other and have faith in each other; it also gave us the chance to know for ourselves the kindness, generosity, and goodness of others. Not having our regular support system close taught us to reach out to those around us for support. We have found our lives have been so richly blessed by the many families we met here. We feel our cup has overflown with friendship, humility, and love. I learned that we have more to offer others than we think we do. None of you will ever truly know how much I have been touched by your friendships; this goes out to all of you in my life past and present. You have all touched my heart and inspired me to be a better mother, a better woman, and a better friend. I know that there is a plan for each of us in our lives, that is so much bigger than we can comprehend. Our family feels inclined in a certain direction, and things seem to be falling into place in this regard. We have put our house up for sale, and will be moving to Arizona as soon as it sells. When we came to Blackfoot, we thought this was where we would be for quite some time, having no idea it was only a pit-stop, and a place for me to heal the wounds of my past.

I went to counseling while I was here, to address abuse from my childhood. Chris came for part of it as a support to me, and it is the best thing I have ever done. A heavy burden I had carried for over 25 years was lifted from my life, my marriage was greatly enriched, and I am living a truly joyful life for the first time. A life that was deserving to experience, because my old one was tainted and taken away from me so many years ago. I am so thankful, and didn't know it was possible to be free from the anxiety, depression, and insecurity that plagued me. But for anyone who is burdened by similar feelings, I want you to know that not only is it possible, you are entitled to be free from such feelings. They are not God-given. He wants us to have joy. I love my life now, and see it through a whole new set of eyes. Not as a victim, not only as a survivor, but as the dreamer I am, and a hero in my own life; surrounded by the many 'angels' I find in the friendships I make. Although it is hard to keep leaving those I come to love dearly behind, You are all apart of me, you all have enriched my life. You all are incredible people I will never forget - and if you're ever in Arizona, you know you are welcome in my home!

This seems to be my theme song, and a lesson for this girl who has always hated change, avoided change, feared change. I better learn to embrace these changes if I ever want to stay put somewhere!

'What do you say to taking chances? What do you say to jumping off the edge?
never knowing if there's solid ground below, or a hand to hold, or hell to pay?
What do you say?'

I say that life it what you make it - no matter what twists, turns, or stops you make along the way. And you all have made my life so worth it.

Where's Pooh Bear when I need him?



Some days I want to poke my eyes out and lock myself in my own room. This was a sealed bottle of syrup!!! Carter, you are going to be the death of me!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Granny Bunco

It was Bunco night at JG's a couple of weeks ago. If you weren't there, you are invited for next time - we are always scrambling to fill all 12-16 spots on the last day anyways. I have had so much fun since she started this up a few months ago. We have had a (mostly) different group of girls almost every time now. I have never lived in an area with so many fun girls around to play with. I feel so blessed to have met so many of you - you all inspire me and touch my life by the way you live yours. You all have big hearts and such warmth.

This is most of the group - a couple of girls had to duck out early.

These are the Granny's that dressed up according to the theme. We all thought they were pretty funny,and looked so great. Some even went for that "Hot Granny" look that I will sure be aiming for when that time in my life actually arrives.

Shelby won the prize for having the traveling Bunco at the end of the Game.

I was so happy I won the prize for the most Bunco's for the night (4) because I usually win nothing. You can't tell in the picture but they are 3 brightly colored ceramic bread pan's. And yes, I am holding the traveling Bunco, because I really did have it at the end of the game, but since I was the BIG winner of the night it went to the person who had it last (Shelby you go girl! You deserved it!). But who's keeping tabs? Certainly not me. And yes, I am totally lame and did not partake in the dress-up portion of the night due to a very busy week.

Shelby and JG.


Michelle and Shelby - Showing their similar necklaces. Michelle went all out and we thought she was the Hot Granny of the night. For the rest of the events you will have to go to Shelby's blog because she keeps up on the festivities better than me. Thanks for sending me the pic's Shelby. I knew I could count on the professional to get the job done!

I'm gonna knock me out


So, I gave myself a black eye. I seriously almost knocked myself out. And yes, I know I look especially hot here.
I was playing outside with the kids, and got talked into doing a flip on the trampoline by my 4 and 6 year old children. And feeling the need to deliver on my claims at knowing professional acrobatics I over confidently complied...
But everything went horribly wrong. And my brain thinking I was in my 16 year old pre-birth-of-three-children-body went for it, while my softer post baby body couldn't retain the memory needed to complete such acrobatics landed quite awkwardly smacking my knee into left cheekbone/eye socket. I for reals almost knocked myself out. I seriously couldn't move for like 2 minutes. When vision returned to seeing 3 children instead of 9, I scooped up the littlest one, went inside and applied ice for about a half hour, sure I had broken my cheekbone, yet happy my eye was still in its socket. This was yesterday, and although my face is still quite swollen, the bruising isn't too bad. Yet. It's a good thing Chris is outta town. He has an alibi. I am so lame.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New "do"

So I gave Chris and the boys a haircut; well with Carter, it was more of a hair war. When all was said and done, I discovered I had cut Carter's hair so short, that I could have just used the clippers on a #4 and it would have expedited the battle. Which is what I ended up doing at the very end anyways. BAH! Chris and Jake are so easy, I got a wild hair and decided to do Bailey's as well, since the last time I cut it was before Kindergarten started last year.


Here the little monster is, all tuckered out. It's a good thing he's so cute. And the wild blond Mohawk is no more.

Jacob, you are the sweetest, cutest, sneakiest little boy, and I am so glad you are mine. I love those deep blue eyes of yours, there always seems to be a sneaky little glimmer in them...
You look so much like that handsome daddy of yours!!

I'll have you know that I don't know how to cut "girl" hair. I have observed many a haircut given by my friend Jen, and convinced myself that I could do it. Cutting Bailey's hair last year was a seriously stressful event in my life, I was so afraid I was going to ruin it, but it still turned out pretty cute. Why I forgot the sickening feeling in my stomach accompanying "girl" haircuts, I'll never know, but all hyped up and armed with scissors I got a wild hair yet again and impulsively let the scissors fly. My intent was definitely NOT to cut her pretty long hair so SHORT!!! But after the first cut it was a little too late. I had to finish then. Oh well, it's a good thing it turned out so cute! Bailey, you can pull off any hairdo! You are such a cutie! I love you!
Bailey Before



Bailey After



Look at her posing - yeah, she knows she looks good. Bailey, you're so funny!

That's how you know

If any of you out there still haven't seen the movie Enchanted, you don't know what you're missing! I am a seriously tainted-by-all-things-disney hopeless romantic, and like most little girls truly believed that I would one day be rescued by prince charming, galantly riding in on a white horse, sword drawn, waiting to defend my honor. He would swoop in, save the day, swing me up by one arm onto the back of his stallion, give me the kiss I had been waiting for my whole life, and ride off into the sunset to live happily ever after. C'mon, most of you believed it too.

But of course, one day we all grow up and realize that just isn't reality, but I still believe we hold onto most of those ideals as we go through our romantic relationships. We expect deep down to be cherished more than anything, to have our honor defended, to be protected, and want to be treated like the princess we are inside.

That is why "Enchanted" struck such a chord! This movie made me laugh right out loud, and I told Chris, if he would just memorize the words to the song "That's how you know" that he would forevermore know how to make me happy. Don't you remember being 16 at a dance and hoping to get asked for a slow dance by that one boy you really liked just so he would hold you close? And wouldn't you swoon to have a song dedicated with words that are just for you? I may mock Chris when he buys a CD and tells me a certain song made him think of me, but inside I really like it; And what really rings true for me is this : "You've got to tell her you need her, not treat her like a mind reader..."

Here's a link to the clip from the movie. Enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRYU4cqUAUs

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Come Thou Fount

I mentioned in an earlier post how much I love the song "Come Thou Fount." It is a hymn composed by Robert Robinson in 1758 and has graced the hymnals of many different Christian Sects.

Music has always been an important part of my life. There is something about good music that can affect you right at your core. As I read the words (posted below) I feel so much gratitude and love for my Father in Heaven and His Son. I feel so completely indebted for what His sacrifice means for all of us, and the magnitude of love that has been, and is poured out in our behalf. He knows us personally, and as we come to understand him and all he has done for us better, we recognize the scope of that great love. The words in this song really touch me as I contemplate my own history and trials my family has endured; as well as the life changing decisions we face at this time. No matter what, I know we are not alone on this earth. I look forward to General Conference this weekend where we can listen to words of a Prophet and his apostles.

Here is a link on youtube of the song being performed by the Tabernacle Choir.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uslytyVrWFw

Come Thou Fount

1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

2. Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

3. Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

4. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Eight is Great!!!!!

Eight years and three kids later, you still are and always will be the love of my life, among other things...

A totaly hot stud muffin (He really can't help it)

Worlds greatest Dad

And most definitely my best friend.
Happy Anniversary Honey!
I'm so glad you picked me!
Note to self:take more pictures of us together.