Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Resolutions

I am going to post lots of fun Christmas pictures and stuff in my slideshow in the next few days, but I wanted to focus on the new year.

It's hard for me to fathom that 2008 is all but gone and 2009 starts tomorrow! We have so much hope and anticipation for this new year - we hope to finally move to a small town! That's been a goal of Jason and I since we met and not that we haven't been "joying in the journey" but it will be nice to finally feel settled in a place where we can have some land and build the home that we want. Jason has been working on getting his MBA, so that has kept us in the valley, but he should graduate in May, so we are so excited!

I have been thinking about my new years goals for a while now. What I've decided to do is create a blog specifically for new year resolutions. I've invited a few people already to contribute and I'm hoping that it will keep me more accountable this year. If you want to be a part of it, e-mail me -! I will add you to the blog and we can all help each other better ourselves in 2009. Just post your resolutions and try to update it every week with a progress report.

This year I've really tried to narrow my resolutions down. In years past, I've had 3 pages, typed, of resolutions that I want to accomplish. Obviously it's too overwhelming and I end up giving up. This year I've narrowed it down to priority A, B, & C. There's 25 total, and I know most of you still think that's rediculous, but hey - it's a lot better than like 100! I've also tried to use my Patricarchal Blessing, prophetetic counsel and prayer to help me make sure I'm focusing where I really need to focus.

I've decided to share a few with the world, for added accountability, so here's a few:

-To be able to see myself and others as Jesus sees us.

-To serve others more often and more cheerfully

-To pray and read my scriptures every day

-Prayerfully attend the temple no less than 10 times

- Stay out of debt and Pay tithing and generous fast offering every month

- Write in my journal once a week (doesn't include blogging)

- 1 anniversary vacation, 3 family vacations (includes camping), 1 "lovers get-away"

- Write at least one "love note" from God every night

- Get our food storage and 72 hour kids up to par.

- Appreciate my loved ones more.

- No more than 1 hour computer time each day (except on newsletter/slideshow days).

- Keep Word of Wisdom: Bed by 10pm, eat fruits and veggies and each meal and for snacks, exercise 4x a week

- Stop being so sarcastic

- Meal plan for each week.

- Plant a garden.

- Put up a picture of the temple, the prophet and Jesus in our rooms

- Keep up with the FLY lady - keep our home ready for visitors and keep the routine

- Make Birthday Books for the girls

- Transfer all camcorder tapes to DVD

- Date night w/ sweetie 3x a month
- Read 3 LDS books, 4 novels, and 3 "self-help" books

Monday, December 22, 2008

2008 Hamilton Holiday Newsletter

Those of you who I have e-mail addresses for should have already recieved the link, but I'll post it on here, too. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Preschool Christmas Program

Last night was McKinley's preschool program. It was in our basement and it was fun to have the daddies there and McKinley's Grandma Potts was even there and made her yummy hot chocolate. For some reason, McKinley chose to sit down through most of it. I have not idea why, but overall I thought they did pretty good for 3-year-olds. Jason forgot the camera was on for a bit, so forgive the shaky part.

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

Santa & Sunday Dress

We had a fun weekend. Saturday morning, we went to the ward breakfast with Santa. Cindy's family came along too. It was a great breakfast and then we were off to Santa. McKinley dropped off her gift to charity and then walked right ahead of everyone to go see Santa. We had to bring her back in line to wait her turn. Jason was taking a final that morning, but came right at the end. He's done with this class, semester, and year of school! Hooray! Good Job Babe. Here's some pics from yesterday morning:

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

You think YOU'VE had a rough day

I just had to post this picture. Wow. I had a few big messes to clean up today, but I will take them now, thank you very much.
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

Reviews, Fun with Grandma, and 8 things Tag

I should have probably broken these up into 3 different posts, but hey - killing a few birds with one stone never hurt anyone (well, actually, now that I think of it - I guess it would hurt the birds).

1. Reviews:
-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:

3. Tagged.
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
Biggest Loser
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)
Al Fornos
The Lighthouse in Kauai
The restaurant in the Inn on the Creek
La Caille (we've only been there once, but it was great)
Cheesecake Factory
Mark Anthony's Italian Restaurant
Olive Garden

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

FM100 Concert Series

I love the FM100 Concert Series that comes to the South Towne Mall. They have amazing artists, it's free, and you get to see them up close and personal! Not to mention there is the food court with the DQ with the peppermint chip shake that you can only get this time of year :)MMMMM
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

November Newsletter & Slideshow

November was another fun, busy month. Our family newsletter link is to the right and the slideshow for the month is below. Enjoy!

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!