Monday, January 24, 2011

Surprise!

So, last October I saw this deal on KSL deals & decided it would be a fun get-away. 50% off the Inn at Snow Meadows in Garden City, UT (by Bear Lake). I thought it would be fun to surprise Jason with a get-away, but wasn't able to arrange everything until this last weekend.
Thankfully, Jason's manager was all for it - giving him the day off, but showing his regular time on the schedule.
So - last Friday, I went to a class at 24 hour fitness, like usual, Jason got up at 7:30, like usual. The girls got up. We had scriptures & breakfast. Like usual. And, like usual, he showered & dressed & got the car running. After I kissed him "goodbye," I casually mentioned that he wasn't going in to work that day. He kind of gave me a half-smile & said "yeah, right!" and grabbed his work bag & headed for the door. It took another 10 minutes and about 3 "are you SURE"s? before he finally realized that I wasn't kidding. So classic! We helped the girls with their morning things, got packed & headed out. I still didn't tell him where we were going, but we stopped at the Bountiful Temple for sealings (SO neat!) & we ate in Loagan (I finally told him where we were headed at this point - after we'd gone about 30 minutes the wrong way - oops!).
It took longer than I thought to get up there, but we arrived at about 6:30pm. Carol, the innkeeper, was just about as sweet as a person can be & showed us around the beautiful inn. The next couple days were just about perfect. From the super-thick towels, to the ultra-comfy bed, to the ginormous tub, to the yummy food, it was JUST what the dr. ordered! We watched movies, ate, played ping-pong, air hockey, checkers (yes, I won!), and x-box in their game room, and took a drive around Bear Lake, which was beautiful, and we saw probably 1,000 deer (not kidding!) and a gorgeous bald eagle. We also enjoyed the drive to & from Garden City - visiting without little voices crying or asking for things every few minutes.
In short, it was just a lovely, lovely weekend. Thanks goes to my mom & sister for watching our darlings! It was fun to get home to them & get overwhelmed with hugs & kisses.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

December Newsletter & Slideshow

Y'all thought I gave up on these things, right? Or - maybe not. Either way, I was sorely tempted this month. They take a LOT of time. And it's not like I have a lot of time right now. But... I truly hope one day my girls will treasure them & appreciate the memories.
Sorry so late, but here's our busy month of December. It entailed gift shopping, the Festival of Trees, a Christmas Brunch, the Ward Christmas Party, FM100's Eclipse Concert, Temple Square, Gardner Village, mint-making, toffee-making, Jason's work dinner, Ireland's preschool performance, decorating our Christmas tree with homemade things (paper chain, strung popcorn, baked gingerbread) since our ornaments are in storage, Cabella's with the Bensons, Christmas morning in Salt Lake with the Potts family, Christmas weekend in Richfield with Jason's family. New Years with the Potts - playing Wii, games & movies.
Whew! We were busy!

video

McKINLEY:

-McKinley continues to really love homeschool – especially with Tiarra. She’s learning so much & has two scriptures memorized: Alma 36:38 & 2 Nephi 19:6. She’s also memorizing the “hook dates” of the Book of Mormon & skip counting.

-At the beginning of the month, McKinley earned a date & went with Michael to McDonald’s. They had fun playing & having ice cream.

-McKinley still has trouble falling asleep & one night she kept having a hard time. Mom was frustrated & said “Go to sleep McKinley!” McKinley, frustrated as well, said “But mom! I can’t! I try to close my eyes to use my imagination, but it’s just black!”

-Santa asked McKinley what she wanted for Christmas this year & she said she didn’t know – that she wanted a surprise!

-McKinley really is thinking a lot about reading & words. She asks why certain words are within words. Like one day she said “Mom – why is bowl (ble) in ta”ble”? And then she said “Wait! I know! Because we put we put bowls on it!”

-Once in a while McKinley will say something like she doesn’t believe that I’m her real mom – especially when I’m mean. One night, she said “Mom… I just don’t think you’re my real mom. I think you disguise yourself every day.”

-McKinley is still VERY much into experiments. One day she put a bunch of things in a bowl & Jason thought with those ingridients, she could make cookies. She was stirring them & mom said not to forget the most important ingredient of all – the one that REALLY makes it taste good: LOVE. McKinley, of course, asked how she could put the love ingredient into her cookies. Mom said that while she was stirring, she needed to close her eyes, stir, & think about how much she loves the people who were going to eat the cookies. She tried it (it was so sweet to watch) – and sure enough! Those cookies turned out great!

-McKinley had the tables turned one day when she ran to mom to tell something bad that Ireland had done. McKinley just stared “Moooom!” and Ireland interjected “Are you tattle-telling McKInley?”

-One day we put Baby Einstein on for Kezia, but the other girls were in the room. At the beginning it says “for babies & toddlers.” McKinley looked uncomfortable & said “mom…I don’t want to get in trouble for watching this.”

-McKinley was having a difficult night & mom suggested that she read a book because that usually makes her happy. She said “But I don’t LIKE to be happy when I’m SAD!”

-Even in the wintertime, McKinley loves to hunt for night-crawlers. Her daddy taught her how to find the best ones & she told mommy all about the techniques. One day, muddy, wet & cold from snow, she came in & said she had found one but let it go.

-The night after Grandma Stewart’s birthday, McKinley had a dream about her. She said she was hiding behind a picture, but afterwards she got a big hug from her. It was a special dream since Grandma Lulu passed away in Sept.

-We talked a lot about Santa this month & how he always knows what you’re doing. One day mom overheard McKinley saying to Ireland “Santa sees us all cuz he has like a million eyes!”

-McKinley had an accident at 5:30am on Christmas morning. She took care of it, but couldn’t get back to sleep, so she came to sleep with mom & dad. Every ½ hr she asked if it was time to get up yet. Finally we got up at 7:30am. McKinley was SO, SO excited to open her stocking & gifts this year. She was just so enthusiastic about everything!

-We were trying to build a robot with McKinley’s new magnet builder set that she got from Santa. McKinley wanted to build a REAL robot & mom tried to explain to her that it is difficult & requires a REAL smart person to build a real robot. She said “I know! How about daddy?” (apparently mom wasn’t quite there in the smarts department J

-We were walking back to the car after going to the store & it was really cold. Mom reminded McKinley to be thankful for what we have. McKinley said “yeah! Cuz there’s all the people who are alone & cold & have to throw snowballs with their BARE HANDS!”

-We all got haircuts at the end of the month & McKinley was kind of fascinated. She says she wants Trisha to teach her how to cut & style hair. Hope she has a lot of mannequins that need hair cuts!

-One morning, McKinley looked outside & said “I’m thirsty for an icicle!”

IRELAND:

-Ireland is still loving her preschool & did SUCH a great job in her preschool Christmas program. She was so cute & did the actions so well!

-Ireland was singing the VERY familiar tune in our home “He sees you when you’re sleeping…” (but here she added her own variation) “He knows when you have scissors!” She also sings “…jingle all the way! Old McDonald had a ride in an open sleigh!”

-We have been trying to be better about Family Council on Sundays. Everyone gets a turn to say an agenda item. It was Ireland’s turn & we said “What’s your agenda item Ireland? What’s been on your mind?” She thought for a second & said “Umm…I like cheese!”

-Ireland is REALLY looking forward to the time when she can crack eggs. She keeps telling everyone “I turned 5! I can crack eggs!”

-One day Ireland decided she was going to try the trick where you put something under the cup & move it around & have someone guess which cup it’s under. The only problem with her trick? She used see-through plastic cups J

-We were trying to see if Ireland knew her vegetables one day. She did pretty good except she says “cumcuber” and “red kepper”

-Ireland is still mom’s BIG helper when she’s cooking. The minute she sees mom at the stove, she’s grabbed a stool & is by her side with “I want to help mom!” Mom is good about letting her help usually. One day she let Ireland put the box of noodles into the pot & half of them spilled on the stovetop. She slowly looked up at mom & said “Yay! I did it mom!” (in true Mike Wasowski – Monsters Inc – fashion) Mom responded “yes….you did J

-Ireland is still our PJ MANIAC! The MINUTE it starts to get dark (usually about 4:30) she yells “Mom! It’s dark outside – it’s night-time –time for bed! Time for pajamas!” and she RUNS to her bedroom & back again with PJs on – quick as a wink.

-Ireland has been doing these half-smiles lately. Kinda cute – and kinda quirky J

-We were at Cabella’s with the Bensons & looking at camping tents and dressing tents. One tent had a porta-potty-bucket thing. Ireland took one look at it & before we knew it she had her pants down & was ready to do her business. Thankfully Brent caught her before she was able to succeed!

-Poor Ireland had a rough Christmas morning. McKinley woke her up at 5:30 & then at 7:30 she drank too much water & puked it all out before we could go downstairs & open presents. She sat on her daddy’s lap & was pretty miserable most of the morning. Thankfully, she perked up by late morning & felt better, but she missed the excitement of the stockings! The only thing that really brought a smile to her face was her new black boots. She LOVES boots!

-Ireland has been using a silly voice a lot lately.

-Ireland earned her first date with mom & dad this month! She decided she wanted to go to McDonald’s with mom & dad. The day came when we were to go & she was SO excited…she was running around everywhere & jumping up & down. We all had a great time talking & she had fun playing on the play area. She’s already talking about the next date!

-Ireland says “last day” instead of “yesterday.” Upon contemplation, it makes sense. She’s just using the parallel of last night.

KEZIA:

-Kezia was strapped to her high chair, but it wasn’t strapped to the barstool. She fell face first into the slate & screamed & had a sad bruise on her face for a while L

-Kezia has gone from walking to running this month & is CONSTANTLY on the go! Upstairs, downstairs, on stools, in drawers, in cabinets. She’s really gotten to the “destructive & dangerous” phase & we really have to keep an eye on her.

-Kezi is also speaking VERY well! She knows probably close to 40 words, including a lot of the family - mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, McKinley, Ireland, Sydney, Tiarra, Aunt Cindy, Parker (she calls all babies Parker now), Joshua. One of her favorite things during church is to look at the A, B, C book that Grandma Potts made with pictures of the family with each letter of the alphabet. She loves to say all the names. And she knows so many other words, too. Such a big girl!
-Kezia is also doing well with signing. This month she learned some new signs including eat, flower, shoes, more, ball, cereal.

-She is starting to get into the tantrum phase as well. She will sit down, scream & put her head on the ground in front of her.

-Kezi likes to help put the dishes away (whether they’re clean or dirty). She will hand you a utensil & say “Tank You!” in her adorable little voice.

- We found out this month that Kezi LOVES eggnog. We put some in her sippy cup & she downed that thing so fast we had to fill it up again quickly before she got upset!

-When you get Kezia out of her crib after sleeping, she sometimes will pat your back when you pat hers. It’s so cute.

-Kezia is drawn to magnets. She LOVES to get them & put them in her mouth. We try to keep them out of her reach, but she sniffs them out.

-Kezi is so cute when she says “ni-night!” as she goes downstairs to bed.

-Kezia is so cute with her cousin Parker. She says “Parker! Parker!” & goes to give him a big slobbery kiss on the mouth. She also likes to stick her fingers in his mouth.

-Kezia didn’t really care about the presents so much this year as the CANDY. She was SO excited to just walk around & stick candy in her mouth all morning.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Looking Forward...

Yes, it's that time of year again. Time to do my "New Year progress ideas" list.
Yup.
Not resolutions. Not goals. Just "progress ideas." Kind of takes the stress out, right?
Well, this year I actually have a lot of things I want to undo - almost as much as do. You see, I have some mindsets that are really holding me back. They are detrimental to me achieving peace, happiness and joy. And I want to change them.
Here are a few things I hope by this time next year I will have significantly shifted my perception:

1. ALL or NOTHING. Right now I get trapped in the mentality that Personal Study only counts when it’s quiet and I can spend a lot of time. Family time only counts when it’s planned and executed. Exercise only counts when it’s 30+ minutes of consecutive time. Cleaning only counts if the whole house is looking great. CHANGE THAT! Everything counts! Just because I didn’t get my 30 minutes of personal study in first thing in the morning, it doesn’t mean that I missed the window for the rest of the day & can’t make it happen. Just because I didn’t get an hour workout in first thing or don’t have time last thing, it doesn't mean that the day is a goner. I can MAKE IT HAPPEN! EVERYthing counts – every act of service, every minute spent in personal study, every minute spent being active.

2. I need to have a plan, have goals, but sometimes I think I try so hard to accomplish my goals, to set new heights, to aspire to new ideals that I forget that the present is called that because it’s a gift. I’m going to wake up one day & my kids will be grown. They won’t WANT me to play with them anymore. They won’t WANT the hugs, kisses, and songs. Instead of endless chatter, they won’t WANT to talk to me. LORD – help me to remember to live in the here & NOW. To play, to listen, to talk, to kiss & hug. These are sometimes difficult, but precious, precious times. I want to cherish them.

3. I’m tired of just being “fine” or “O.K.” or even “good.” Why do I live my life in mediocrity? Because fear pulls me back. I’m afraid to admit that I’m “GREAT!” “WONDERFUL!” or “SUPER-BLESSED!”. I’m afraid because the minute I admit that then something bad is going to happen. And then I won’t even be mediocre. I’ll be terrible. This next year, I want to start answering “GREAT!” or “WONDERFUL.” Of course, it won’t happen all the time – and I’m not going to blatantly lie, but I’m going to try & let go of the negative stigmatisms & start to be optimistic. Besides, even if I’m not feeling wonderful, if I say it I may just start to be wonderful!

4. God loves me. I never doubt that God loves my children. Or my mom. Or my husband. Or that lady in church that is always on time with every hair in place. Often, though, I struggle with really knowing that He loves ME. Heidi. I am making this a daily affirmation as I get ready in the morning. There are times (especially during priesthood blessings) when I think I understand a tiny portion of that love. But I want to make it more real. More personal. More powerful.

I'm structuring my other New Years progress ideas from President Uchtdorf's talk "Of things that Matter Most" - and have 5 things under each category - Relationship with God, Relationship with Family, Relationship with Fellowman, and Relationship with Myself.

We're still doing our "progress not perfection" blog, if you're interested.

2011 is gonna be a great year!