Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Watching the video made me kind of nostagic. I remembered the Chrismtas program we put on in our home growing up. My mom did joy school and a lot of the neighbor kids were in it. We did this Christmas program and it just cracks me up. I'm the angel who is too cool to do the actions for the songs and I like to clap for myself. Of course, this was 1985 and I'm a big 6 years old by this point, so I was merely helping out, but it is fun to watch - hopefully some of my old friends enjoy it :) Turn up your volume if you can't hear it well.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Ireland didn't cry or smile or anything - she just stared at him.
McKinley was happy to sit on his lap and finally get to tell him that she wanted a scooter bike for Christmas
Both of the girls with Mr. Claus
Santa - oh why oh why did you give them BLUE candy canes? Apparently I have been a bad girl this year. This picture was just the beginning. By the time they were done, there was blue everywhere! Thank heaven for Oxyclean!
This is a picture of the dress McKinley wore to church today. It was a dress that her cousin had given her. She LOVED it and twirled all over.
Here's a video of her in all her twirling, jingle-belling, ho-ho-hoing glory :)
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
CLARIFICATION - this is not my picture. I got it off MSN. It just gave me some perspective to the messes I have been dealing with. To see more messy kids, click here.
Monday, December 8, 2008
-Austenland. I just finished this book last week. I thought the way she wrote was fantastic - so much like the way I think. I liked the plot and story. It was cute, funny, and romantic.
-Twilight, the movie. I don't think I've posted much about Twilight. I wouldn't consider myself a fanatic, but I did devour the books quickly and for the most part enjoyed them. Here's my review of the movie: NOTE TO SELF - DO NOT read the book before you see the movie. Sorry. I'm not saying it was a failure - it wasn't - and I certainly would have enjoyed it more had I not read the book. My biggest beefs: 1. Nature of vampires. I don't know if they would have to animate it or what, but they are supposed to be so completely alluring - so "suck you in" type creatures. The way they walk is supposed to be like dancing across the floor effortlessly. Their voices are supposed to be so sweet, beautiful, alluring. The movie? Not so much. The movement and especially the speech felt choppy - mostly during the 1st half. 2. Characters. What can I say? It took me most of the movie to truly warm up to Edward and I really didn't like Rosalie. I mean, I know we're not really supposed to like her, but I didn't picture her looking like that or acting like that at all. 3. Bella's thoughts. We heard them a few times, but I almost felt maybe like Edward - trying to just figure out what she was thinking instead of hearing her thoughts and feelings every step of the way (like the book).
The problem for me with both Austenland and Twilight is that at the end, I am left wondering to myself - so... what now? I'm sure it's just me, but it makes me feel like there must be something seriously lacking in my relationship. It makes me wonder where Jane & Henry, Darcy & Elizabeth, or even Edward & Bella are 9 years down the road? Does she still feel lightening in her veins every time he touches her? Is he content to just sit and watch her every move? Does her heart still pound in her chest every time he comes her way? I know it's just a book, but sometimes I feel bad for my poor husband to think that he would have to live up to the likes of Edward, Darcy, or Henry.
2. Fun with grandma. We had the fam over for our monthly dinner. My mom brought her Mrs Claus dress. Can't believe she still has it - she wore it my my class in the 1st grade and dressed and acted as Mrs Claus. She's such a fun grandma. The grandkids LOVE when she gets her guitar out:
Mindy tagged 8 fun things about me, so here goes:
8 TV shows I like (this one is hard - I really don't watch TV - ask Jason)
Little House on the Prairie
Anne of Green Gables
I used to watch so you think you can dance
Ok - that's all I could come up with
8 things I did yesterday
Went to church
Tried to entertain/corral all 4 of the kids (we had 2 of my sisters kids) in sacrament meeting
Took a tiny nap
Got the house ready for family
Had family over - ate homemade HUGE breadbowls & Bear Creek soup
Watched the First Presidency Devotional
Stayed up WAY too late visiting & watching a movie with the Simons.
8 things I'm looking forward to...
Christmas concerts and activities coming up
The Checketts and the Bensons coming into town
Watching my kids faces on Christmas morning
Doing my New Year Resolutions (I'm going to KEEP them next year!)
Jason to be done with school next year
Moving to a small town
Adding to our family (no, we're not pregnant)
Every day (and hour) of watching my sweet kids grow up
8 of my favorite restaurants (I mostly judge on atmosphere, meats, and desserts)
The Lighthouse in Kauai
The restaurant in the Inn on the Creek
La Caille (we've only been there once, but it was great)
Mark Anthony's Italian Restaurant
8 things I wish for...
More sleep (that's mostly my own fault)
Everyone to have a comfortable home, enough food to eat, and lots of love.
The ability to see others and myself as Jesus sees
My kids to not grow up so fast (or me to slow down)
An "Alice" (you know - from The Brady Bunch)
More alone time with my cute hubby
My friends and family to always be close
Thursday, December 4, 2008
You can see the FM100 schedule here - let me know if you want to go to one with me! They start at noon and each artist is a 1/2 hour long. McKinley has preschool till noon, but I may have to sneak her out a little early a couple days :)
Yesterday, we went to see Jim Brickman. It was great! He sings "The Gift" which is our wedding song, so it was really romantic & special. Jason works right down the road from the South Towne Mall, so it's great to see him during the day and join in some holiday cheer. Here's some photos & a video from yesterday. Happy Holidays!
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Also, here are some tidbits from McKinley & Ireland.
-There was a spider in the kitchen sink and McKinley was there watching it. Mom flushed it down the drain. McKinley thought the spider liked that & then she poured her cereal down the drain and said “Look mom! The spider likes to eat my cereal!”
-If you ask McKinley what she’s asking Santa for this year, she will consistently reply “A scooter bike!” One day, we asked her if she wanted the scooter bike from Santa or from mommy & daddy. She thought for a minute and then replied “From Jesus!”
-McKinley’s latest “trick” is to hide under her fitted sheet. She thinks it’s hilarious to hide in there and will giggle and giggle. The frustrating thing is that her favorite time to hide there is when she is supposed to be doing something else – like getting dressed for the day or dressed for bed. She also likes to hide under Ireland’s crib.
-We’re sitting down for lunch and McKinley exclaims “I’m going to grow big and tall like this cup!”
-McKinley wants to know the name of EVERYone – including the little boy next to us in the grocery store, the kid’s picture in the magazine or cereal box, or the little girl in the commercial. If mom says she doesn’t know, McKinley gets upset. So… we make them up.
-McKinley still talks constantly about airports, airplanes, long trips and going to see her friend Zach who lives far, far away.
-McKinley was laying down in the bath. Mom says “McKinley, please sit up so we can wash your hair.” McKinley replies “Ok – but first I’m going to exercise!” and she proceeds to do about 5 sit-ups.
-(background – McKinley is in our bathroom a lot while we’re getting ready and she frequently asks to put on make up, use deodorant, etc and we tell her she can when she’s older) So, Jason was shaving in the bathroom sink and McKinley looks up and asks “Do I get to do that when I’m older too?”
-Most times when McKinley gets up from a nap or for the day, she will immediately ask “where are we going?” – she always wants to be going somewhere or doing something.
-She was laying down on the floor coloring while mommy was on the computer. She looks up and says “Mommy – ya know what I’m thinkin’?” Mom smiled and said no. McKinley said “Mmmm – I’m thinkin’… to color”
-McKinley woke up from a rare nap and mom asked if she had a good sleep. She said “I wasn’t sleeping – I was just resting!” (Hmmm – sounds like her daddy)
-Before mom & dad leave McKinley’s room for the night, every night, we have to tell all the bad guys, monsters, and Swiper to get out so McKinley can sleep.
-McKinley was sitting on the couch. It must have had some static electricity because she said “Mom – this couch is shockin’ me!” and then she walked over to the other couch and said “This one doesn’t have shocks on it!”
-When McKinley doesn’t want to share a treat or a drink, she just says “mom – I can’t share! I have germs!”
-McKinley is big on making up words and names. If I ask what something is, she’ll say “it’s a shnanamacook” (or something just as crazy)
-It was the morning of Thanksgiving. Mom – “Happy Thanksgiving!” McKinley - “Can we go trick-or-treating now?”
-Mommy has been more consistent about Mommy & McKinley time –and McKinley is better, too. If we get to the night time and we have not had mommy and McKinley time, she will “remind” me until we do.
-McKinley made a mess and said “It’s my fault. Sometimes I make faults.”
-McKinley has learned some bad habits recently, including eating boogers and chewing on her toenails.
-Ireland loves to hide under her crib and she will laugh and laugh – especially when McKinley finds her and they both get in there.
-Ireland now says “Love You.” It’s so sweet.
-Ireland also says her name and will point to herself and say “Ireland”
-Ireland is infatuated with my nail polish. Whenever the door to our room is open, she will come in and get into the nail polish. Mommy finds it all over the house. Good thing she can’t open it yet!
-Ireland still loves shoes – especially high heels. Nail polish and high heels – what are we going to do with her?
-When she comes in from the cold, she says “BRRRR! Cold!” and will shake her little hands like she’s freezing.
-Ireland fell backwards on our barstool and now she’s nervous about it.
-Ireland has started to hit. She will say “OW!” and then hits – usually McKinley. The problem is that the first few times Ireland hits her, McKinley will laugh and laugh, so she thinks it’s a game. We have put her in time out once already because she wouldn’t stop hitting.
-Ireland loves to say “hi” and especially “BUH-BYE!” and “NI-NITE!”
-If you say “What do you say Ireland?” She will say “please” or “thank you!” – so cute.
-She can really repeat almost any word and some phrases.
-Ireland loves books and will sometimes wake up and just sit for more than a half-hour reading books in her crib and talking.
-Ireland loves to cock her head to the side and give big smiles.
-She also loves to run around during sacrament meeting and give scowls to people.
-Ireland still loves to get into the bathroom and get into things.
-Our cereal is in the bottom shelf of the pantry. Ireland will frequently help herself!
+She is getting really good at feeding herself with a spoon – especially breakfast – and she will drink the milk out of the bowl without hardly spilling it!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I have officially decided to make this a Thanksgiving tradition. We did it last year and it was fun to do it again this year. I just trace McKinley's foot for the body of the turkey and then we trace our hands for the "feathers." We write on each finger the things we're grateful for. Gerald didn't turn out quite as cute as last year, but it was still fun to create and do. Here's the things we're grateful for this year:
-Scooter Bike (this is what she's asking Santa for this year and obviously she's so sure she's getting it that she's already grateful for it)
-People that love me
-Cow (I have no idea...)
-Jesus (wants me for a sunbeam)
Heidi (I'm going to expound a little more on mine)
-My Health. This is something I take for granted every single day. I've already been under the weather twice this season and I'm really learning to appreciate my health. And my illnesses are so insignificant compared to so so many others suffering truly horrible things. I am so thankful for my health and my body. I can see, I can hear, I can taste, I can smell, I can feel, I can run, I can breathe, I can sleep. I am so extremely blessed with my health.
-My Hubby. I take him for granted so much as well. I take for granted that he goes to work every day and strives to bring home a paycheck. I take for granted his sweet comments of gratitude about meals I make, errands I have run, or a clean home. I take for granted his smiles, his laughs, his fun and sweet and supportive interactions with our beloved children. I take for granted his cuddles, his smell, his touch, his love. I am SO thankful for my wonderful husband.
-My Daughters. It still amazes me EVERY day how powerful and deep the love I have for my children runs. Every single emotion that can be felt seems to be magnified a thousand times after you have a child - fear, joy, frustration, worry, love. And I am so thankful for them all. I'm so thankful for my amazing McKinley and my beloved Ireland. They are TRULY more precious than anything in this wide, green earth.
-A Comfortable Home. After reading the Acadian Song series, I have begun to really realize how blessed I am to live in a comfortable home. Not TOO many years ago, people truly lived different lives because they had to deal so directly with the weather. In the summer, they had to endure heat and humidity with fans, shade, and cool water. In the winter, they had to have someone constantly feeding the fire - night and day. They lived their lives at home around the fireplace just trying to keep warm. And here I am in my home - summer or winter - comfortable and able to walk all over my house and not give it a single thought. I am SO thankful for a comfortable, clean, wonderful home.
-The Atonement. I saved this one for last not because it was the least important, but because I wanted to end with it - It is truly the MOST important thing. As hard as it is for me to fathom, if all the things above this went away, I could still be happy because of my Savior. I have to constantly remind myself of this because He is the only one that can bring lasting happiness. He is the ONLY one who can truly understand my thoughts, feelings, frustrations, weaknesses and sins. Other people can try, but I often get frustrated because they really don't know. If I want true succor, true understanding, I need to get down on my knees. My Redeemer, Jesus Christ, has ALWAYS been there. Sometimes I have been to hard-hearted to feel His love, but I KNOW He is there. In my life I have wandered many times from His path, but always, ALWAYS I have felt Him calling me back to Him. Helping me remember and feel His love for me. He has never, never, never forgotten or forsaken me. I am so eternally grateful for Jesus Christ and the ultimate gift of sacrifice that He has given to me.
In that light, I wanted to post a video I saw that touched my heart. I believe a Seminary teacher put it together. I hope everyone has a wonderful, and thank-ful Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly wrapping (especially for the kids), but some bags as well.
2. Real tree or Artificial? My entire growing up years we had an artificial tree - my dad thought it was the most logical way to go. So, after I married, I was determined to throw logic out the window and we have gotten fresh trees every year since - for 9 years. I've been tempted to buy a fake one, but I really do love my fresh trees - especially when we go cut them down.
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? Usually just after New Years
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes. Not a lot, though, which is good. That stuff is like 90% fat.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably my Cabbage Patch Doll. I was SO excited that it had a birth certificate & everything. Although... the year I got skis was truly awesome as well.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Aunt Al Thea - and Jason.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes- a few. I've decided to try & buy one every year. This year I got a kid-friendly cloth set that I'm excited to let the kids play with.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? For about 5 years now, I have put together a webpage of our years' happenings and photo highlights. Then, I'll send personalized e-mails to everyone with the link.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Probably MY favorite is How The Grinch Stole Christmas - the old cartoon Dr. Seuss movie. We'd watch that a million times growing up. We can't go through a season without seeing Christmas movie and Christmas Vacation, though. And I do love Home Alone (the first one)
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually November. My goal is to have it done & wrapped by Dec 1, but I think that only happened one year.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I'm sure I have, but I can't remember anything specifically.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Aunt Deb's toffee. That stuff is addicting & sinful!
16. Lights on the tree? White
17. Favorite Christmas song? How can I pick just one? I love rock around the Christmas tree, jingle bells (McKinley will sing that one with me), and Silent Night (I love it when Jason sings the Spanish version)
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Home for Christmas Day - Richfield - Christmas weekend.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Of course!
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star.
21. Open the presents Christmas eve or Christmas day? We open one on Christmas Eve night & the rest on Christmas Day.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Foremost the emphasis on worldly things instead of the birth of our Savior. In addition commercials, store lines, stress with finding the right gift for the right person at the right price.
23. Favorite ornament theme and color? We have a rustic tree - I love the canoes and bears.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Turkey or ham. We really don't have an "official" Christmas dinner usually - just snacking on stuff throughout the day.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I'm asking Santa for a carpet cleaner - and my honey for cookbooks, a bookshelf, and some clothes.
I'm not officially tagging anyone, but if you haven't done it, DO IT! I'd love to see your answers!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I just finished the 5th book in the Song of Acadia series of books by Janette Oke. I read them about 4 years ago & I really never re-read a book, but I remember how I loved them the first time around & it didn't disappoint. I cried, I laughed, I felt the spirit intensely. These books are Christian novels set in Revolutionary War times. If you are in need of a great read, I highly recommend them.
Another book I have recommended to a few people lately is Return from Tomorrow by George Ritchie. This is an incredible TRUE story about a man's journey after he died. It is a short book and will definitely put your life in perspective.
I have been thinking a lot about how many GOOD things there are in this world. About 8 years ago, I remember walking into a Deseret Book, looking around, and it truly hit me that I could spend my ENTIRE life reading GOOD THINGS. Why do I take so much of my time reading/watching/listening to things that are meaningless - or even harmful to my spirituality - when there are SO MANY things that will uplift, inspire, and bring me closer to my Savior? And not just LDS media - the 2 authors above are not LDS, but they have so much insight and have a way of making me tangibly feel my Savior's love.
So - here's my commitment - to seek better, more uplifting things that will make me happier and a better person! If you have suggestions, pass them along!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
After shopping, we headed into town to watch the new 007 movie - Quantum of Solace. I'm not a movie buff, but I would say I didn't like it as much as Casino Royal - too fast, no real romance, and so much violence. Next time, babe, I get to pick the movie!
After the movie, we went over to the Ericksons to hang out with Vic & Molly and Dan & Darcie. They were so sweet to let us just pop in. We had a great time catching up, eating goodies, and playing games. We first played Loaded Questions - great getting to know you game - girls were way ahead, but somehow lost in the end. Then it was Apples to Apples - more fun and laughter. But we really let it all down when they brought out the Rock Band gear - it was my first time playing...and you could tell. I started with the guitar. Wow. That was scary. The drums were a bit better, but not much! I thought the singing was fun, but I wasn't terribly good at that either. It was a lot of fun, though, and the best part was being with friends and just having a great time. Thanks guys!
Today (Sunday) we went to church (a bit late after our midnight jam session) and enjoyed a nice nap afterwards. We picked our girls at around 3pm - they had so much fun with their Aunt Trisha. She is so good with them and even took them to church by herself - during naptime - without Darren (he was sick) - you're awesome Trish! Thank you - We love you!
After leaving the theatre, we were driving down the road and I looked over and this sight took my breath away! It was amazing! This picture is truly lame compared to the actual sight. It was larger than life!
Anyone need a cute, pregnant, amazing drummer girl for their band? Molly was pretty good!
Our Park City band
More rocking out!
Mrs Multitask - covering for her husband's (cough, cough) lack of self-proclaimed vocal skills :)
McKinley couldn't stop talking about the fun they had on the way home. She loves her Aunt Trish!
This picture really has nothing to do with anything - other than I couldn't help but laugh at her face. She really loved my Taco Soup tonight!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Anyway, it's a chance to slow down and take care of myself. Jason has also done a great job of that - he took the day off yesterday and is helping me today, too. I am so blessed. It's also one more reason to be thankful for the days I'm healthy.
Hopefully by Friday, I'll be in top shape again - the Z-pack usually does its job pretty good.
Monday, November 3, 2008
As usual, here's some highlights from the adventures of McKinley & Ireland:
McKINLEY: Here’s some of McKinley’s latest antics:
- McKinley got a farm puzzle for her birthday and we have been so impressed. Within a week she was putting together the 25 piece puzzle together all by herself! So smart!
- Mom was in her study and McKinley was playing on her computer. She figured out an online puzzle and was excited. Mom said “you’re so smart McKinley!” McKinley responded “Yeah – I am smart!”
- McKinley loves to talk on the phone lately, but at the end of every conversation, she says “My mom/dad wants to talk to you!” – we have no idea why.
- The other day McKinley was singing Oh My Gosh to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle little star.
- Mom flashed the I LOVE YOU sign to McKinley. She hasn’t quite mastered all the signs and happily flashed a peace sign back at her.
- McKinley has been into signs lately and will ask what the sign for something is – or she’ll make up a sign with her hands and ask which sign it is. -
When McKinley comes in from playing outside or downstairs – or when she get’s done with something, she’ll say “SHOO!” (like whew!)
- Mom asked McKinley what she wanted to eat for lunch. McKinley replied “A parrot!” mom was a bit confused, but after a minute realized she meant “pear”
- We were putting McKinley to bed one night and she looks up and asks “Dad – did Jesus make my room?”
- If something falls or she makes a mistake, she say “Whoopsy Daisy!”
- McKinley wanted to help Ireland with the prayer the other day, so she told her what to say – it was funny because she said it in this soft, high-pitched voice.
- McKinley prays in almost every prayer “Thank you for (Mommy, Daddy, Ireland, McKinley) to share”
- When we left for Tennessee, McKinley was worried about Dezi the fish missing us. She also still talks about how Dezi is missing her mommy and daddy.
- McKinley was eating ice cream. We asked if she was cold. She said “Yeah… It’s freezin’ me up!” - We got the Knuffle Bunny book from the library. It’s almost the only book she wanted to read for 3 weeks. She called it the daddy book.
- One morning after waking up and going potty, McKinley announced “Daddy – my pee matches the sun!”
- McKinley was watching Dora on the plane – she had headphones on. I’m sure half the people on the plane heard her yelling “BACKPACK!” and “MAP” and “ARREBA!”
- McKinley is having problems keeping her seatbelt over her shoulder. She likes to put in under her armpit. We’re constantly reminding her that it’s not safe.
- McKinley had a lot of fun in Tennessee. Her and Zach became best pals and they especially loved to play with Zach’s toads.
- McKinley had a GREAT time enjoying Halloween this year. She was a pro at knocking on doors, saying trick-or-treat, and saying thank you! She kept saying thank you until the person said you’re welcome. Everyone loved her cute cheerleading costume and light-up shoes.
- McKinley already knows what she’s asking Santa for – a scooter bike and a car she can drive. I guess we’ll see!
IRELAND: Ireland is a constant source of joy and amazement to us. She is so beautiful & smart! Here’s some of her latest activities:
- She likes to play the game where I turn my head away and she grabs my face & pulls it back to her. She laughs and laughs!
- Ireland has really gotten into little games. She LOVES ring around the rosies. She doesn’t even need anyone to play with. She’ll just turn around in circles and fall down. It’s so cute.
- Another thing Ireland has learned is the word MINE. And she uses it quite frequently. She obviously assumes everything is hers and has not come close to mastering the concept of sharing yet. Especially with Sam, Joshua and Sienna this past month.
- Ireland can point to and say EYES, NOSE, MOUTH, TEETH, and HEAD
- Mommy sneezed the other day and Ireland said bless you! - Ireland is really down to 1 nap a day now. It’s been hard, but nice to coordinate so that McKinley & Ireland take naps at the same time.
- Ireland loves to say and look at the moon. She likes to see it before she goes to bed. - She loves Old McDonald and will say EYA-EYA-O!
- Ireland loves to color. On everything. Walls, cabinets, the pantry shelves. We finally got some color wonder markers and that has been a life-saver.
- Ireland is really progressing in her speech. She can mimic almost any word and is really starting to use 2 words together now.
- Ireland likes to chase after McKinley – they chase after each other and laugh and laugh.
- When McKinley has a friend over, Ireland likes to tag along. She gets upset if they don’t want to play with her.
- Ireland had fun on Halloween, too. She was a bit ornery until we left, but she LOVED to walk around (though mommy had to keep her from the road) and she was great at saying “Thank you!” It was so cute.
- Ireland continues to LOVE shoes – especially high heels. She saw someone at church wearing heels & promptly started taking off her shoes so she could put them on. She has a love/hate relationship with her own shoes. She wants them on, but takes them off after about 2 minutes.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Reading their blog for the past 5 and a half months has been awe-inspiring. Truly, they are one of the most humble, faithful, amazing people I know - and I LOVE that they have shared this journey of heartache, knowledge, joy, and peace with us. They have NO idea how many people they have touched and inspired.
You should really read the entire blog, but I just had to include a few of my favorite posts. She is such an articulate, animated, amazing writer. Here they are:
THE ANATOMY OF OUR TROUBLES
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
So - over 2 years ago some awesome friends of ours (The Bensons) moved away to Tennessee. Mindy Benson was my roommate at Snow College for 2 years. There's something about living with someone and knowing all their quirks that helps you get real close. By some twist of fate, our husbands also get along fantastically. If you could see us hang out, you might think we're more family than friends.
Anyway, we've been trying to get out to see them since they moved - waiting for the right availability of time and money to get out there. Well, Jason had a few weeks off school and also had gotten a couple deals in, so we thought, hey, lets try. It was such short notice, I didn't think we'd get tickets. I did find some cheap ones, but by the time Jason got home to decide on it with me, they were gone. We had pretty much given up hope, after checking Priceline almost every day and making numerous bids. So, last Tuesday, I put in the typical bid & walked away. When I came back it said that our price had been accepted - and it was for the next day! So, you can imagine that it was a pretty crazy couple days getting everything ready to stay in Tennessee for a full week.
Since they were the bid-get-what-you-get tickets, the times were not fun. We flew out of SLC @ 2:30 on the 22nd and after a 3-hour-layover in Chicago (they actually had a really awesome Children's Museum there), we arrived in Charlotte, NC just after midnight. Brent met us there & off we went to Johnson City, TN. We got to their home about 3:30am and after getting the kids adjusted and the bags in, we got a few hours of sleep.
The ensuing 7 days were full of fun and memories. Some highlights include:
- Playing games (UNO, Phase 10, Scategories Cranium, charades, etc) EVERY night till 1 or 2 in the morning
- Eating like 2 gallons of their halloween candy.
- The Hands-On Museum with the kids
- Date night when we went out to eat at FATZ (yes, that is why there's an overweight problem down south) and tried fried green tomatoes for the first time and Brent decided to "splurge" and get some lemonade (of the pink persuasion :) - we also went and played a hilarious game of miniature bowling (we decided to try some variations to regular bowling - backwards, eyes closed, spin around 3 times, left-handed etc - Jason & Mindy almost inflicted collatoral damage on the eyes-closed version) - girls won! (hey guys- you still owe us!)
- Going to Pidgeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Spent about 3 hours at Ripley's Aquarium there - it was fun, huge, and amazing! Then we walked the streets in the freezing cold and got some shirts at a shop. There are some amazing things to see there!
- Going to their ward - watching Zach in his primary program, sitting by a woman who was an investigator. Lots of sweet people in their ward. McKinley went w/ Zach to his primary party.
- Driving up to a lookout point by Asheville & seeing the gorgeous fall colors.
- Jason, Brent & McKinley went to the Bristol Motor Speedway to check it out.
- Going to the Lollypop shop and reading the history of that store.
- Carving pumpkins.
- McKinley & Zach finally had a sleepover after about 4 tries.
- Staying up and talking about the economy.
- Fun to watch and play with their 5-year-old Zach, 10-month-old Sienna, and their dog, Trixie
- McKinley & Zach playing with his toads
- Games in the car to keep entertained on the long drives (especially Gatlinburg) - I SPY, WHO AM I?, ONE WORD MEMORY, and NAME THAT TUNE
- Watching Brent's "I'll go" line in the award-winning Brokeback... I mean Handcart movie :)
- Driving to Hickory & barely making it to the car rental place. Eating at O'Charly's.
- McKinley & Zach's kisses good-bye.
- Staying at "roach motel" that night - all sleeping in the same bed - waking up @ 5am the next morning for our flight.
Thanks for hosting us Bensons. Love you guys - We miss ya!
P.S. Brent - did you notice that your "check engine" light is on?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Yesterday, my neighbor and good friend lost her twin babies at 20 weeks. Her baby girl was born first and as I understood, lived about an hour and a half. Then her precious baby boy came and he lived a little over an hour. My thoughts and prayers are SO much with their little family right now. I'm sure they could use your prayers as well. It's breaking my heart to hear this news.
It's times like this when I plead "Dear God - send her my angels." Surely, I do not need my guardian angels at a time like this, when she so desperately needs comfort, help, understanding. I wish SO much I could take away the pain and the loss and the why's. I feel so inadequate and helpless.
This event also adds to my wondering about people we know have lost a child or almost lost a child:
- 1 family member and 3 friends lost their babies - all about or after 20 weeks.
- Our friends lost their little almost-2-year old little girl.
- 1 family member and 1 friend who had true scares with choking & had to go to the E.R. recently.
And so I can't help but ask myself why. Do we just happen to know more people that have lost children or is it that more children are actually dying? Is it that these sweet, beautiful spirits are too pure and righteous for this increasingly wicked world - and so they come to get bodies - for however brief a time? I can't help but wonder if I will have a trial that will utilize these amazing parent's wisdom and peace through trials.
Those reading this that have gone through such a trial, please help me know how I can help her and her family. It's so hard for me to imagine - to comprehend such a trial. And again, please pray for her.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I have thought about this post and how I can say the things I need to say without offending anyone. Unfortunately, I don't think that is going to happen. Not that it's intentional, but I'm sure not everyone reading this will agree with me. And that's perfectly OK. That's why our country is so amazing. We have the right to our own opinions.
I don't want to offend anyone, while at the same time I don't want there to be any question where I stand. Or what I think is important. Or what my values are. Even if my children are too young to really understand, I want to write this for posterity.
I was somewhat surprised with my poll on this blog. Maybe I should have worded it differently. It probably should have read "What issue would make you vote for one presidential candidate over another?" As it is, there are NO votes for abortion. For me, this is the clincher. No - I have never had an abortion. I don't even know anyone that has. But I am against it. Our church is against it. Obama is not against it. There is a great, informative article about abortion in the Ensign this month. I encourage you to read it.
I did not list gay marriage as an issue. I should have. Again, I know only a few people who are gay. I love them as individuals, as family members, as children of God. I do not agree with their choice to act on temptation and give in to sin. I especially do not agree with changing the "traditional" definition of marriage. I put "traditional" in quotes because to me it goes beyond "traditional" - I would say more like sacred, eternal, true. I think this oft-quoted verse from Alexander Pope truly reflects our society's views on homosexual behavior: “Vice is a monster of so frightful face, as to be hated needs but to be seen; but seen too often, familiar with her face, we first endure, then tolerate, then embrace.”
Again, there is only one candidate that most encompasses my own and my church's beliefs. From John McCain's website: "The family represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society and John McCain believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation."
There are SO many important issues going on right now. Most people in my poll voted for the financial crisis. While I absolutely feel that it is a very important issue to deal with, I hope we don't overlook the CRITICAL ones.
The first video below is from CatholicVote.com. I LOVED it. I am thankful that we are not the only church standing up for important, crucial issues that NEED a voice. The 2nd video is from our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). I believe it says all that needs to be said about gay marriage.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Her website is - www.strikingimagesalon.com
Call her @ 801-759-2154!
Note to my Herriman neighbors: Trisha comes to my home to do my family's hair. If you have hair needs, let me know & we can coordinate!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Every year (note to female family - let's start making it twice - Tiff that includes YOU!) around conference time, my sisters, mom, grandma and I get together to work on memory stuff. It's the time that I usually print out a year's worth of pictures (this year was about 800 pictures) and put it in an album. I also work on transferring VHS tapes, making slideshows, backing up newsletters & photos, even some genealogy, etc. There's a lot to do, but it's a lot of fun, too. I hosted it at my house and I think we all had a great time - eating pizza, talking, watching movies, doing nails & hair (thanks Trish!), eating french toast the next morning - oh and the memory stuff, too. We actually stayed up till 3:30am on Friday. Yeesh - I don't think I'll be that again any time soon! I'm still feeling it. But - it was a lot of fun. Every time we have one of these, it makes me realize just how much TIME it takes to stay on top of memory stuff. I need to do more maintenance so I'm not so far behind.
We missed Tiff and Grandma. Thanks everyone for a fun weekend. Just looking over pictures makes me realize anew how truly, unconditionally, undeniably blessed I am.
A "work in progress shot." Just a note to anyone printing at Walmart. I ordered the "True Digital" prints which are supposed to make the photo just a bit smaller, but it won't cut off the top or bottom like regular ones do. Well, they don't tell you that to make it smaller they put a 1/2 inch white line on the left side. I spent probably 2 hours cutting them off. Ug. Won't do that again.
Cute toes that Trisha painted. You probably can't see too well, but mine have pumpkins on them, hers look like candy corn and my sister Cindy (not pictured) got butterflies. Thanks Trish!
Our projects that we were working on. Aren't we a cute bunch! I LOVE my family!
Monday, October 6, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
2. How long did you date before you were married? Let's see - it's a bit complicated. We probably started "dating" (In Ephraim, you don't really "date" - you hang out) Dec of 98. We got engaged April of 99. We called it off about Oct of 99. Got back together Jan of 99, Married May of 2000. So - a year and a half - give or take a couple months.
3. How long have you been married? 8 & a half years!
4. What does he do that annoys you? Probably the most annoying thing is when his "in a minute" turns into many minutes and sometimes hours. I also really don't like going to sleep without him - whether it's because he's studying, playing a video game, or watching Lord of the Rings (extended version) for the umpteenth time.
5. What is your favorite feature of his? I have always loved his beautiful dark brown hair (I even think the gray sneaking in is sexy, too) and his gorgeous green eyes.
6. What is your favorite quality of his? So many, but probably his lack of defensiveness - which is totally opposite of me. He usually readily agrees when he's messed up. I appreciate that he is frugal. I also LOVE his laugh - his good, heartfelt, giddy laugh will lift my mood anytime.
7. Does he have a nickname for you? Babe usually - or sweetie. Or hun.
8. What is his favorite color? Maybe green? Yeah, I don't think he has a set favorite.
9. What is his favorite food? CHOCOLATE. His children inherited that gene as well. He loves Italian. He loves seafood (which I NEVER make so he has to eat it when we go out).
10. What is his favorite sport? Football -he played in high school - although he's not a die-hard fan of any one team.
11. When and where was your first kiss? Everyone will think less of me, but it was our first "date" (I say date again, but it was more like just hanging out at his apartment & watching a movie)
12. What is your favorite thing to do as a couple? We are big cuddlers - always have been. I will lay by him and he will play with my hair as we watch a movie. I LOVE that. We do like to the theatre & see movies. We love camping and the mountains, although we haven't been much since the girls.
13. Do you have any children? Our girls McKinley (3) and Ireland (1). They make us laugh and cry and smile and grit our teeth and thoroughly enjoy life.
14. Does he have a hidden talent? Hmm - he is a GREAT pancake-maker!
15. How old is he? 31. Wow - yes, he's getting old! :)
16. Who said I love you first? Jason. We're on the phone only a couple weeks after we started hanging out. I was at my parents for Christmas. He was at his parents. At the end of the conversation, he blurts out "Ya know - I love your guts!" Hmm - how does a girl respond to that?
17. What's his favorite type of music? He grew up listening to Metallica. He loves them. But - maybe in his old age or through my discouragement with our young 'uns, he has listened to country more & more.
18. What do you most admire about him? SO MUCH! I admire and love that he will help a friend in need at any time. I love that he really cares more about his family than climbing any corporate ladder. He's not one of those dad's that retreats to the TV or back room when he gets home. He enjoys the kids and helps a lot. I admire his determination. In school, I was all about the shortcuts - gimme the Cliff Notes. He stays up reading ALL the chapters for school.
Yup - I don't tag anyone specifically, but if you haven't done it - do it!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
(DON'T FORGET TO PAUSE THE BLOG MUSIC - ON THE LEFT) Again, I'm sorry for the poor quality and small picture. It's the best I can do while still being able to burn my own DVDs on my home computer.
To the left is the newsletter and below are some highlights for the girls. Sorry there's so many, but that's how it is when you're a mom, right?
-Daddy & McKinley were looking at a book one evening & McKinley was just turning the pages. Daddy said “will you read out loud McKinley?” So, boy did she read LOUD!
-We were reading McKinley nursery rhymes one night. We said “there was an old lady who lived in a…” McKinley said “BOOT!” (she’s right – it did look more like a boot in the picture).
-McKinley is ever more sly in her bedtime aversions. Here are a few of her latest ploys: 1. One night she was crying & mom went in & asked her what was wrong. All her stuffed animals and dolls were in her bed. She said “I can’t go to sleep! There’s no room for me!” 2. She will go through all the blankets on her bed & ask who made each one (GG, Grandma Potts, Grandma Devenish, Aunt Cindy). 3. When we give her kisses and hugs, she’ll ask “do you want a big hug or a little hug?” then, “do you want a big kiss or a little kiss?”
-On her birthday, McKinley kept saying “I’m the birthday girl ____ (whoever was by her)! And “Happy Birthday to Me!”
-McKinley has loved her little doctor kit. She’ll follow Ireland around and try to listen to her heart and check her ears. Most of the time, Ireland isn’t really in the mood and she’ll yell “Ireland – you don’t feel good!”
-Mom said it was time for naps & McKinley said she wasn’t ready. Mom said “when will you be ready?” McKinley: “One day mom…”
-One rather annoying thing she’s been doing is saying “Huh? I can’t hear you!” Even after repeating multiple times, she will still say it.
-Dad’s been watching more football & McKinley says “Daddy – they’re hitting each other & hitting is NOT NICE!”
-When we sing I am a Child of God, McKinley sings “…with parents kind OF dear…” instead of kind AND dear.
-Mom was telling McKinley she needed to come to the table to eat breakfast & she came back with “Mom, that’s not a good idea.”
-McKinley has loved her new fish Dezi. In fact, she never calls her just Dezi. It’s always Dezi The Fish. She has had fun feeding her, “tickling” her and talking to her. One day she was getting a drink out of the fridge. Mom asked what she was doing. McKinley said “Getting Dezi some water!” The other funny thing was when she was watching her swim around and she said “Don’t worry Dezi – there’s no sharks in there!”
-For some reason, McKinley now thinks she hates tomatoes and whenever mom puts them in anything, she says “tomatoes – yuck!” and makes all kinds of disgusted sounds.
-Another frustrating thing she is doing is saying “____(whoever she is mad at), you’re rude!”
-Mommy heard McKinley come in from playing outside and looked over. McKinley sighed loudly and said seriously, “I’ve had a long day.”
-McKinley has been wanting more help with going potty and saying her prayers lately for some reason. One morning, she said “Will you please help me with the prayer? I’m not a mommy yet.”
-McKinley CONSTANTLY is saying “I don’t feel good.” Especially when we sit down to eat.
-McKinley came in from playing outside and was all dirty. She said “Mom, I’m not little dirty, I’m BIG dirty!”
-McKinley put on panties with cats on them one day. Mom was trying unsuccessfully to get her pants on. McKinley finally explained “The kitties don’t like pants on ‘em.”
-She has been big into writing letters to people. One day she wrote one to Alyssa Hook and cried and cried until we could take it to her in her house. She kept saying “Alyssa will be so excited! She really wants this letter!” She also wrote one to Jack Matthews and Grandma Potts.
-McKinley keeps asking who makes things – “Mom- who made this?” – even with things like car seats, computer monitors, and books.
-She is had her Barbie car shoes on one day and said “I talk to them all the time!” pointing to the barbies on her shoes.
-McKinley is VERY much into computer games now-days. The Matthews gave us their launchpad for the internet, which she loves. She will ask mom constantly if she can get on her computer. She also constantly asks to get on “PBS Kids dot KORG”
-She asked one day out of the blue “Mommy, where does Jesus live?” and then “Mom – where does Christmas live?”
-Mom is in the kitchen and she hears the following conversation with Grandma Potts: Mc: “Grandma, do you like Swiper?” Grandma “Umm…I’m not sure what swiper is..?” Mc: “Grandma, Swiper is a bully!”
-Ireland has said a lot of words this month, including: Jesus, Nana (banana), Sydney, Tundra, Thank You, Grandma, Please (she can also sign all of these – except Tundra & Sydney) She is probably up to almost 30 signs and words.
-You can tell Ireland is REALLY tired when she stands by her crib and shakes the slats, trying to get in.
-Whenever Ireland is hungry and passes yummy food, she says “MMMMM”
-Ireland likes to find any kind of paper (TP, paper towel, wipie) and wipe the floor and walls. It’s cute – except when they’re dirty.
-Ireland has a fascination with toilet water and T.P.
-There is a picture hanging in her room of the 2 great-grandmas she was named after (they have both passed away)– Grandma Hamilton and Grandma Potts. It’s right by her changing table and when we sit her up, she will point to the picture and say & sign “Grandma!” We without a doubt know she recognizes them and knows that they watch over her.
-Ireland is a BIG fan of shredded wheat. We are not big fans of changing shredded wheat diapers, but she likes it better than sugary cereal so what can we do.
-Irealand has been so cute during prayers. She will fold her little arms and then start talking like she’s saying a prayer in her cute little voice.
-The other day, mom was in the kitchen on her computer and Ireland comes into the kitchen dragging a big bag of cereal, saying & signing over and over “pease, pease.” It was right before dinner, but mom couldn’t resist. It was so cute.
-Ireland LOVES getting tickled from dad’s beard. She LAUGHS and LAUGHS.