Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gerald the Fourth

Last night was our Gerald the Grateful turkey activity. He's the fourth generation, and I have to say, the most handsome one so far!

We have much to be thankful for this year. Here are the ones we chose for our turkey (with my elaborated version at the bottom):

-A Job

McKINLEY: (she cut out almost all the hands you see & wrote all her own)
-Hot Chocolate (grandma made her famous hot chocolate that night :)
-Mom & Dad

-Jesus (she said this about 4 times)
-Chocolate Milk
-Mom & Dad

-Signing Time (over & over she said this - I'm not kidding.)
-Grandma & Grandpa

-Music. Can you imagine a world without music? I can't. And I'm not even musically talented. But I TRULY appreciate the talents of others.
I can be hard to reach sometimes. My heart gets easily hardened and I tend to run faster than I should. God knows this & He lovingly allows music to reach me during these times.
I have been having a difficult time the past few weeks. Nothing major, but my journal is full of "woe is me"-isms. I have been "kicking against the pricks" as it were - everything seems much more difficult than it should. 2 nights ago, I had a hard night. Lots of tears. I woke up the next morning and turned on Pandora. The first 3 songs were absolutely, without a doubt, directed at ME. They talked about "crying in the night." They talked about God's love for me. Just in the time it took to listen to a few songs, my heart overflowed with the knowledge that I am loved - and that I am blessed - and that I am watched over - and that everything is going to be OK. I am so thankful for music.

-My Family. How can I tell you how blessed I am to go to sleep with the man I love and wake up to the pitter-patter of precious little feet. And to top it all off? I get to also be closer to my mom & dad while we're living here. And my sisters. I don't know what I did in heaven to be able to deserve such an amazing family - my little family, my extended family, my in-law family - but I am truly, truly thankful for each one of them. I LOVE YOU FAMILY!

-The Book of Mormon. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown exponentially the past year or two. I have found that I need this book. Every day. Just like I need to eat & to breathe. When I don't get my daily dose of the Book of Mormon, something happens... it's hard to explain, but let's just say that Satan's hold on my gets stronger and I feel darker. I am so grateful for this book - for the time spent translating it, for the money spent in printing it, for the lives lost in testifying of its truth. I am so very thankful for this book.

-Agency. This is a simple thing that I take for granted. every. day. I have mentioned before how we love to listen to My Turn on Earth. I listen to the arguments of both Satan & Jesus and how logical it sounds when I listen to Satan's plan - everyone will be saved! no wars and no strife! A wonderful life! I admit... it sounds captivating. And, yet... Jesus' plan - leaving the choice to us. Knowing there will be difficulties and trials, but knowing also that it is the only way we can learn and grow. I am so thankful for this gift. It is precious. I am thankful for a country that gives me the agency to worship the way I choose and to raise my children the way I feel is best. You and I may not agree on the number of children to bring into this world, who we should have as our political leaders, or the best way to reduce fossil fuels, but we have the amazing ability to share our opinion on such matters without fear of punishment. I am thankful for the men and women that have sacrificed to keep these freedoms.

-Being a Stay-at-Home Mom. Nope - it's not a glitzy title. Nope - the monetary pay isn't great. The hours are rough. But it's worth it. It's soooooo worth it. Yes - there are days when I feel like work would be easier than this, but a second later, I think about the reality of the work life and realize that I don't think I'd last more than a day. Maybe two. I love my little girls. I really do enjoy them. And I never thought I'd say this, but I'm actually enjoying homeschooling so far. Go figure! It's actually LESS stressful than when she was going to preschool. I'm not feeling rushed to get her out the door in the morning -and then rushed to pick her up. I know what she's learning. I am amazed at what she can take in when she's challenged. She's memorizing scriptures and we're finally getting around to reading all the articles in The Friend. It's so rewarding to watch her learn. I am SO thankful that I am able to stay at home with my girls. It is completely worth the sacrifice we are making financially.

It's hard when you can only pick 5 things for your 5 "feathers" - I have so many more things for which I am blessed & grateful. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Losing it!

We have reached a rite of passage in this household. Yes, that's right... our oldest lost her first tooth today! It honestly took Jason & I a bit by surprise. We didn't think it would happen until she was 6 or 7, but that goes to show you... McKinley is always trying to catch up to the older kids.
Yesterday it was pretty loose. I told her not to keep playing with it - that it would come out when it was ready. She kept saying "I'm trying not to play with it mom, but I CAN'T HELP IT!" It made me laugh seeing her playing with it all the time. Brought back memories.
Today she decided she wanted an orange at lunchtime. We were playing a game with guessing how many seeds would be in the orange. She counted one, two, three. I went in the other room to help Kezia & when I came out, she said "Look what I found!" It was her little baby tooth - she thought it was a seed! She was so excited. She just kept walking around to everybody saying "I can't believe I loosed my first tooth!!"
So- now we have the issue of the tooth fairy. You see, yesterday we were talking about her & I reminded her that when it comes out, she needs to put the tooth under her pillow & the tooth fairy will come & get the tooth & leave her money. She looked at me and said "is the tooth fairy real, mom? I think YOU'RE the tooth fairy!" Ok, well, I blundered through that, but seriously people! We need to go to Disneyland NOW before all the magic is gone! Much too practical little girl... so, um... out of pure curiosity... what is the going rate of the tooth fairy these days?
P.S. Speaking of losing teeth. Saw this video on AFV & it cracks me up!

and this one... :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

October Newsletter & Slideshow

Happy November everyone! This year is coming to a close waaay too fast! the first part of October was kind of mellow because most of us were sick, but we made up for it by the end with lots of Halloween parties and Kezia's birthday. Hope you all had a great one, too!


-One day at lunch, McKinley was telling Aunt Cindy “Well, I’m going to be a queen when I grow up because, well I’m really beautiful and queens are, too.”

-We were supposed to go to Koda’s (a boy my mom taught guitar & the gospel to) baptism & mom could NOT find the stake center. She was getting really frustrated & even returned home. McKinley said a special prayer while mom went inside to find her phone (unsuccessfully) and it WORKED – we drove right there after her prayer! What faith she has!

-McKinley likes to sing Book of Mormon Stories… except her version is “givn this land, if you be righteously.”

-One day we were having a hard time trying to coordinate everyone’s schedules in helping to get Aunt Althea’s things out of the garage. Cindy & mom were talking & getting discouraged as they realized that they wouldn’t have enough help. McKinley was listening in the background & piped up “But Aunt Cindy, It’s OK - I’ll help!!”

-McKinley was so sweet one day, she just sat down & played with mom’s hair for a while. There’s almost nothing better!

-McKinley’s thing lately is to say “super” in front of almost any word, as in “I’m SUPER-tired or SUPER-sad, or my doll is SUPER-lost!”

-One day dropping McKinley off at preschool, mom said (as she does every day), “Remember who you are & have fun!” McKinley responded “You have fun, too, mom. And remember, I’ll always be right by your side.”

-McKinley’s preschool sent home a form for a cookie dough fundraiser. Mom wasn’t too happy about it because she was PAYING for the preschool & didn’t think there needed to be fundraisers. McKinley wrote on her cookie dough form at the top “I’m not having any because we don’t have enough money.”

-Mom helps at McKinley’s preschool twice a month & McKinley was always excited to have her be there. She asked every day that was preschool if mom got to help.

-McKinley has been SOOO cute with her little love notes lately. She has written numerous “I love you mom/dad” notes and one time when Ireland was having a hard time & crying, she wrote an “I love you Ireland” note & gave it to her & said she could keep it forever.

-We were sitting on the grass outside & McKinley asked why it was brown. Dad explained that it was the fall-time & it didn’t grow as much & mom said “yes, it’s going to sleep for the winter.” McKinley said “Well, I’d better not step on it or it will wake up!”

-McKinley can count to 30 + well, but every time she gets to the next 10 numbers, she wants to say 90…38, 39, 90!

-One day McKinley said “I sure love Kezia. I hope she doesn’t grow up too fast like me.”

-Mom came home from the grocery store one day with a pomegranate. She asked McKinley if she knew what it was. McKinley said “Yes – it’s a big radish!”

-One day mom & dad were “discussing” something & McKinley interjected “Mom! Dad’s older than you and he knows more!”

-McKinley sometimes makes random comments about Aunt Althea, who passed away last month. One day she said “I sure hope Aunt Althea is having fun.”

-One day McKinley was so sweet & saying “Mom – you’re the nicest mom I ever wanted.”

-McKinley had her last day of preschool on October 29th. After much pondering & praying, we’ve decided to homeschool McKinley for the time being. Her current preschool isn’t the best academic or moral environment (even though it was a tough decision because she got a better teacher the week before she left). We looked into private schools as well, but we’re hoping to be in a different job in the next couple months & it just would be hard to put her in & pay all the fees & then take her out again. McKinley was sad to leave her preschool pals & her new teacher, but she’s excited about staying home with mom & learning new things - and we feel peaceful about the decision right now.

-We were doing a FHE & McKinley was repeating a verse that her dad was telling her. He whispered “Unto the children of men…” into her ear & she said out loud “Unto the Chilly Men…”


-Ireland has really gotten on the “reading” wagon this month. She will sit & turn pages & make up stories based on the pictures in the book. So cute!

-One night Ireland came to mommy saying her tummy hurt & she needed medicine. Mom said “hmmm – I wonder what kind of medicine I should give you?” Ireland said “The pink one!” Which was funny because she was talking about the ibprofin & mom was thinking about Pepto.

-Ireland’s prayers are still mostly short & sweet (Thank Heavenly Father – she says this instead of Dear Heavenly Father – thank you for the day. Thank you for blessings. Jesus Christ, Amen), but once in a while she will really talk about the things she’s thankful for. One day she said “thank you for heaven. Thank you for church.”

-Ireland is still eating with her hands instead of her utensils way too much. Mom was really getting after her one morning because she kept eating her frosted shredded wheat with her hands. Mom kept saying “use your spoon!” Finally, mom realized what she was doing. She would scoop up the mini-wheat onto her spoon & then turn it over so the frosted side was up.

-Ireland is big on opening the car door, strapping her seat belt, and opening her car window ALL BY HERSELF.

-Ireland still loves headbands. She loves to get them from the back of the bathroom door & put them on her head. One night she had one on & she pushed it over her eyes. Mom asked what she was doing & she said “so I don’t see the monsters.”

-Ireland has really gotten better with her drawings this month. She can do a face, eyes, hair and a stick figure body. One night she was making a drawing & mom asked what she was drawing. She said “I’m drawing dad with gray hair!” Dad wasn’t too happy about that J

-Mom put a jumper on Ireland one day & said “Do not take off your jumper. We have to go!” So Ireland went jumping all around the house & said “it’s my jumper!”

-Ireland just LOVES cereal. And she LOVES her PJs. It’s not unusual to find her in her 3rd set of PJs by 3pm. And it’s also not unusual for her to put on her PJs, go to the cereal cabinet, pull out her favorite cereal & come to mom & say “I just woke up!”

-Mom was working on her downstairs computer one day & Ireland came down & said something about eggs. Mom didn’t really think a lot about it till later & then she walked upstairs & saw eggs broken on the floor. There were only a few on the floor & she didn’t know where the rest were… till she looked in the fridge & saw a huge container full of eggs. She cracked 2 dozen eggs into that container (with a few on the floor). We had to strain the egg shells out, but it did make a tasty breakfast the next morning!

-The girls love to do “experiments” and we will find evidences of all over. One day mom opened the fridge to find a shot glass with play-doh in the bottom and 2 dice.

-Ireland loves to give fishy kisses. She makes a cute fishy face & you have to make one, too for the fishy kiss. The only problem is that you make the fishy kiss & go to kiss her & she gets the giggles. And more giggles & more!

-We call daddy “daddy-o” sometimes & now Ireland has incorporated that into everyone else’s name – “I don’t want to go in time out mommy-o!” She even uses Kezi-o & McKinley-o.

-Ireland also likes to say “silly goose!”

-Joshua & Ireland are still little partners in crime when they get together. One day we found them in the bathroom. They had gotten into the hand sanitizer & had gotten it all over their clothes & hair.

-At the end of the month, it snowed one night. Mom opened the blinds to show the girls. Ireland said “Wooow. Snow! That means we gotta get our boots!” and off she went. And wore her boots to breakfast.

-Ireland’s had a harder time going to sleep lately. She wants to stay up and come out of the room. When mom take her back to the bed & tuck her in she said “but YOU need to go to bed mommy!”

-Lately if we ask her to do something she doesn’t especially like, she will say in a naughty voice “I don’t want to!!”

-Ireland has had a fascination with rolling up papers lately. Any artwork she makes gets automatically rolled up so she can look out her “telescope” or use it as a megaphone.


-On October 3rd, Kezi took her first step! She’s up to about 7 now! Great job big girl!

-Kezi can oink like a pig. It’s so cute!

-Kezi is so cute with talking on the phone now. She loves to put it to her ear & say “hi!” and when her daddy calls at lunchtime, she gets so excited & says “hi! Da-da!” over & over.

-Kezi can also say “Thank you!” and “Signing Time” and “Amen”

-Kezia loves to crawl around with this fake, but big knife. People do double-takes when they see her with this huge knife & putting it in her mouth.

-Kezia can sign: hot, grandma, & all-done!

-She can do the actions for eensy-weensy spider. So cute!

-Kezia likes to get her foot up on her high chair tray.

-She’s doing this hilarious face right now. Mom gets out the camera & says “cheese!” and Kezi will open her mouth & crinkle up her nose. It’s so funny!

-Kezia was really sick for a couple weeks this month. It started out as a runny nose, but then she got really miserable. She was teething, had the flu, and we found out had a bad ear infection. She certainly wasn’t herself & it took a while to get better, but we are all grateful that we have our sweet Kezi back.

-Kezi is tall enough now to get on her tippy tippy toes & play grandma’s piano.

-One day, mom was on hold with the credit card company. It was an system that would recognize your voice. The recorded lady was saying “which menu option would you want…” Mom had Kezia on her lap & she was gabbing away while mom was talking on the phone. It got to another prompt & Kezia was talking & the voice said “OK, I’ll get your right over to the fraud department. Thank you!” Looks like we need to get one of those voice recognition systems!

-On October 26th, our beautiful, sweet baby girl turned ONE! It’s so hard to believe that she’s already a year old. We sang to her in the morning (grandma played guitar the best she could with an injured wrist from a Kayak accident on her vacation), she got to wear her sparkly crown (well, Ok – that lasted for about 5 seconds) and she had her special tablecloth. She opened up her gift from mom & dad which was an alligator that you can stack things in & pull around. She got to let go of a balloon later that afternoon and open more presents. Grandma Devenish got her cute new shoes & Grandma Potts got her a book & some money which we used to pull her a sit-on toy. She had cake & ice cream that night & got some new bath letters & numbers, too. On the 29th, the Bensons came over & we celebrated her birthday & Kezia’s birthday. Everyone wore their costumes & got to decorate cupcakes. It was so much fun! Happy Birthday Kezia!!!