- 6 people sharing 2 double beds makes for a very poor night's sleep
- parking overnight in the parking lot of the hotel you're staying at is not always included in the room rate
- one person walking alone can travel from points A through B to C in the same time it takes two people with 3 kids to travel from point A straight to point C
- visiting a huge childrens' museum on free admission day that also happens to be a holiday is like going to Disneyland in the summer- crazyness
- traffic cops in Chicago have no soul (or Christmas spirit) and will not hesitate to give a ticket if you don't have your licence plate on the front of your car because there is no mount for one and you haven't bought one yet
- Christmas Eve is best spent at home, hanging out with family- where no outside influences can work together to ruin the day
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I don't want to use the word hate here- but there are a few Christmas songs that I do not like, not one bit. If these songs come on while I'm listening to the Christmas station on the radio or even on a CD that I love, I will skip them immediately. The offending songs are Little Drummer Boy and Do You Hear What I Hear. These songs drive me crazy! I'm pretty sure I hate them. Even when Josh Groban sang Little Drummer Boy on Oprah, I had to fast forward through it. I tried to like it, for Josh, but it couldn't be done.
My favorite Christmas CDs this year are Bing Crosby (this and every year) and James Taylor (just purchased). Close runner up is Squirrel Nut Zippers' Christmas album (you just can't beat Carolina Christmas- we're chillin' in our underwear). And then there's always Harry (Connick, Jr.) my Christmas music staple. Ahh- I guess I can't narrow it down to just one.
Some questions posed to readers- What is your favorite Christmas album? What is your favorite Christmas song? What is your real favorite Christmas song? Any Christmas songs you hate?
I was thinking today about how fast the Christmas season seems to go by every year. I always feel like I'm unable to do everything I want to during this season and therefore can't enjoy it to the fullest extent that I want to. I feel like I got a good start this year but now here a week before Christmas, I've sort of hit a slump. Maybe it's because I've been a bit incapacitated these past three days but I think it's mostly just that fact that I only really have one more week before Christmas is over. It just goes by too fast.
That's what I've been thinking about about today. Luckily, my ankle is feeling a lot better and I can even walk pretty well when it's wrapped up. So I'm going to try and get back to business tomorrow, the business of getting down with the Christmas season.
p.s. We Arizonans figured out how to make a real snowman...well Jon did, I took pictures.
Monday, December 17, 2007
- One of the afore mentioned hats was recieved today, so check out the pics here or here.
- I injured myself yesterday. Missed the last step walking down off of the stand after saying the closing prayer. (Last time I volunteer to do that!) Rolled my ankle something fierce. I was holding Jonas at the time, but didn't drop him. I now have one ankle and one cankle.
- We got about 8 inches of snow last Saturday. Funny that my injury was not snow related, although Jon took a dive in the parking lot after church yesterday. Those dang slippery church shoes.
- Also of note, Jon had to dig us out with a snow shovel so we could actually get to church yesterday. First time for us Arizonans. He wasn't a fan- his feet and hands got cold- probably because he was wearing flip-flops and no gloves.
- Posted some pics of the snow and the kids here.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
These are a few of the ornaments I received at that party. My favorites are the wooden bead snowman and the wire angel.
These are hair bows I made for Maryn in the past few days. We made the brown clips at enrichment and I got so excited that I made the candy cane ones at home!
One last note- Maryn has left the world of daytime diaper wear forever. We couldn't be happier or more proud of her!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
number of treats I've made this week:
lemon meringue pie: 1
pecan pie: 2
cheese ball: 1
chocolate chip cookies: 9 dozen
Planning on fudge tomorrow. Anyone? Anyone?
Friday, December 7, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
- The freezing rain has not returned (for now).
- A good friend did me a huge favor and actually made my Christmas card this year!
- Maryn is a potty-trainee super-star! She actually got out of bed this evening and yelled downstairs to me that she needed to go.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
The following is the story of one 30 minute increment of my day yesterday. I was at the kitchen counter attempting to mix together dough for a pie crust, I was using my hands, so they were covered in flour and butter. Seth was in our adjacent living room making a Christmas card for his friend, Elijah. I was spelling words for him letter by letter (as patiently as possible). He kept getting lost especially on the long words like "Christmas" and "Elijah". Maryn pushed one of our chairs up to the counter so she could watch me and "help" by sticking her fingers in my dough and handing me everything I didn't need. Where was Jonas you ask? Who knows? Hopefully not climbing up the stairs, his new favorite pastime. Maryn said "Mommy I wanna poop in the potty" (this is what she always says whether it's #2 or not) just as she "goes". Her undies and socks are soaked and it's dripping down onto the kitchen floor, Seth is still trying to spell "Christmas", Jonas has reappeared and is heading straight for the new puddle, and my hands are still caked with flour/butter paste. Seriously, It was a moment out of a sitcom, although I don't think any team of writers could have recreated this chaos. I was expecting Ashton Kutcher to appear at any moment. I know you are all on the edge of your computer chairs wondering "what did she do?". Well I'll tell you- I did the following things in a matter of seconds: wrapped up the pie dough in plastic and put it in the fridge, washed the goop off of my hands, stripped Maryn down and wiped up the huge puddle. I then ran upstairs with Maryn and threw her in the bath and asked Seth to watch Jonas and make sure he didn't climb up the stairs after me. Just as I was finishing up with Maryn, my sister called. Seth brought the phone up to me but I made him tell her I would call her back. He stayed on the phone with her for a few minutes and it took me that long to realize that the three of us were upstairs together. Where was Jonas, you ask? Who knows? I left Maryn partially dressed and raced to the staircase to find Jonas almost at the top. So I brought him upstairs with me and finished with Maryn. We now had about 20 minutes before we were leaving to meet Jon for dinner. I'll spare you the rest of the specifics, just know that we all made it to dinner- dry, dressed, unharmed and on time.
And now onto the freezing rain. Last week at playgroup, the other moms were talking about how horrible it is, you can't open you car doors, you can't get your keys into your locks. This morning I left my house at 8 am to go and buy some pecans for a pie I was making to take to a party at 11 am. It was cold and cloudy outside, but there wasn't even any ice on my windshield. Later when I left the house at 11 (I was running late already), I noticed it was raining as I opened my front door. After I took two steps, I almost slipped (in my new boots). I realized that my entire concrete walkway (of seven stairs) was coated in ice. I made it to my van a saw that it too was covered in ice. I got out the ice scraper and started trying to clear off my windshield, remember it's still raining and I'm wearing slippery boots. I finally was able to scrape off a little window, get inside and back out only to feel an unfamiliar sliding motion. I got really scared and almost stayed home, but decided to go ahead. The house I was going to was just down the street and around the corner, how bad could it be? I made it to the party house without causing an accident but almost slipped as I tried to walk on the sidewalk. Inside all the ladies were talking about how bad the roads were and someone mentioned that stake conference had been cancelled for the evening. I have never been so afraid to drive home in my life. After actually slipping and falling on my rear while leaving the house, I made it home without incident.
If any of you readers out there in blog land have made it this far, congratulations. I have one more little story to share. The party I went to was an ornament exchange, the first I've ever participated in. It was really fun and a good way to get craft ideas. I was working on my ornaments (I made cinnamon ornaments and then decorated them with ribbon and beads and stuff) last night while watching Oprah and Howie. Jon came upstairs from the basement and said "Wow, those actually look really good!"
What's that supposed to mean, Jon?
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
On our last day of nice weather, the day before Thanksgiving, I attempted to take picture of the kids for our family Christmas card. I only got 7 shots and as fate would have it, none of them turned out decent. I'm trying to decide what to do because it has been raining and cold since then so there is virtually no sign of vegetation left to use as a backdrop. Below is Maryn after the photo shoot. I wish I could have done that too.
My sister is coming to visit for Christmas and I am so excited! Among other things, we are planning on going to see this exhibit on Christmas Eve. And thanks for the early Christmas present!
Friday, November 23, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
We made sushi. Not the raw kind, just California rolls (sans avocado). Jon did the rice, I did the rolling. Delicious.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
The first time in my life I have ever had to participate in this ritual was last Sunday morning. We're on day three now and my kids still haven't adjusted. They wake up at 6:15 am now instead of 7:15, want to eat lunch at 10 am, instead of 11, and are tired and cranky monsters at 7 pm instead of 8. How do the rest of you cope with this?
Jon keeps asking me why I think it's such a big deal "You act as though you've never changed time zones before!" Yes I have, while on vacation, which usually means there is a grandma around to play with my kids when they get up with the sun. Last evening I was on my way home from the grocery store, with all the kids in tow and I called my sister to complain that it was pitch black outside at 5:30 pm.
In my normal fasion, I wanted to find out everything I could about daylight saving time: Does the whole world do it? Why? When was it first implemented in the US? Like I mentioned in my post about leaves changing color, I feel like I'm the only one in the dark about this. As if those of you who have participated in this time changing thing your whole lives know exactly why you are doing it. As usual, after researching it a bit on the internet, I realize that it's complicated, political, controversial, etc. But this time I don't have the desire or energy to explain what I learned about it, I'm too tired from dealing with my kids' non-adjusted schedules. So I will just say that I don't like it and can't wait until I don't have to deal with it anymore- which means I'll have to live in either Arizona or Hawaii. I'm okay with those options.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Seth was very specific about his costume. He wanted to be Luke Skywalker from Star Wars 6 (Return of the Jedi). So he may look Sith to the uncultured, but to those who know- he's Jedi Master Luke.
In true third-child fashion, Jonas wore the baby dragon costume handed down from Seth. I was excited to take pictures of Jonas in this costume and compare them to the pictures of Seth in the same costume 4 years ago. I was a little bit disappointed to see that they don't really look that much alike. They really are brothers, I promise!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
One of the tags asked for 6 interesting things about me, one asked for 7. So I am going to do 7 to cover all of my bases.
1. Up until about 3 months ago, I had lived in Arizona my whole life. (Now this doesn't count the first 23 months of my life when I lived in Utah- my birthplace. But I don't remember it, so I don't choose to count it.) I had never even visited any of the US east of the Rocky Mountains. And now, here I am.
2. I love Disneyland. I have been there well over 25 times and it never gets old. We used to go on vacation there as a family almost every year while I was growing up. (This may not seem like a lot to some of you, especially those in this camp, but to others- 25 times in one vacation spot is a lot.)
3. I can't swim. (Funny since I just told you that I've lived in AZ almost my whole life.) I'm not saying that I would drown in a swimming pool, I can paddle and tread water enough to ensure safety in that environment, but I can't do any strokes or tread water very long. I actually had to be rescued by the beach lifeguards on one occasion because, unbeknownst to me, I was caught in some sort of rip tide and my body was about to be smashed into some huge rocks. Which leads me to my next fact..
4. I don't like the beach or the ocean. I have never liked going into ocean water, something about sharing your space with other living creatures makes me feel way too vulnerable. I did like going to the beach as a kid and playing in the sand. But as an adult, it's just annoying. When you leave the beach, everything is covered in sand- your kids, their toys, your car, your house...and guess who gets to clean up all of this sand? That's right-me. So I don't like it. I do appreciate the beauty of the beach and the ocean though.
(Thank you, friend, for reminding me of the next two very important skills.)
5. I am constantly picking up things with my toes. I can grab even small things like a paper clip or cheerios (which are always on the floor at my house).
6. I can fit my entire fist in my mouth. (Actually, I don't think this is an important skill.)
7. Mmm...what else? For the few of you who don't know- Jon and I dated in high school before he left on his mission. Our first date was in March 1996. So we sort of count that anniversary along with our wedding one (June 2000).
So there you have it, everything you never wanted to know about me. Now about tagging other people, I don't know....I hate to commit anyone to do it if they don't want to. Actually, I would like to see what my sister says because I'm pretty sure I know everything about her. So Carlie, you're tagged...and any other reader who wants to take on the challenge.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I guess I thought that a tree's leaves all changed color at the same time, but I have noticed that this is not the case. It seems that the leaves that recieve the most sunlight change color first, but why? And why are there so many different colors? Most trees have leaves that are some shade of green, so why do they change to a miriad of different colors- red, orange, yellow...?
I decided to research these questions and was suprised to find that there are not any easy answers. In fact, I was a bit confused at times. This is the simple explanation I came up-
- All leaves contain chlorophyll (green color) and carotenoids (yellow and orange color). Cholorophyll is necessary for photosynthesis (conversion of carbon dioxide and water to oxygen and sugar).
- When the days become shorter and there is less light available for photosynthesis, trees start to conserve energy by decreasing the rate of cholorophyll production in the leaves (keeping it from doing photosynthesis, basically killing it). This makes them turn from green to yellow, orange.
- The red color in leaves is sugar that was made inside of the leaf by photosynthesis but then trapped there because the cold weather closed the leaf's veins and made it unable to send the sugar into the tree. That's why the leaves on the outer part of a tree's canopy turn color first, because they get more sunlight but then get colder and "die" faster that the leaves that are protected inside the canopy.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The jack-o-lanterns that we carved last week didn't make it. (Although, they look way more "mooky" now!) Thank you pyscho Illinois weather: pouring rain one day and 80 degrees the next.
Monday, October 22, 2007
For those of you haters who try as hard as you can to get out of speaking in church, I have a few secrets to share with you. I am in no way an expert on public speaking. All of these were either taught to me at home or learned from my very limited experience.
- You don't have to be an expert on a subject to give a good talk about it. Use the link on lds.org called "prepare a talk". Type in your topic and voila! You will have a huge assortment of information to chose from. I like to stick to quotes from the apostles and scriptures.
- Don't give those listening to you in the congregation a reason to tune you out. Don't start off by saying how nervous or scared you are or how much you wish you weren't standing in front of them. Act like you are a expert on the subject because for the next 5-10 minutes you will be if you've stuck to the afore mentioned material (quotes from the apostles and scriptures).
- I like to type up every word I am planning to say. That way I can keep myself from saying anything dumb and making myself look stupid. I can't think on my feet very well, so I write down every word and try to memorize the sentences (as best as I can). Even if you just stand up there and read from your papers verbatim, if the talk is well written then you've delivered your intended message. No one expects you to be witty or funny or the perfect orator.
- Most importantly, pray for help. That is a given, obviously. And remember no one is going to come up to you afterwards and say your talk was terrible.
P.S. The topic I chose was "how to make the most of each day". So I just basically paraphrased Elder Oaks' talk about "good, better and best".
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
- Mom cut the tops off of the two pumpkins.
- Seth and Maryn each scooped out maybe two handfuls of pumpkin innards then turned the rest of the yucky scooping work over to (you guessed it) Mom.
- Dad carved the scary tree and Mom carved the ghost into the pumpkins.
- Everyone went outside to admire all of the hard work.
Monday, October 8, 2007
I love conference weekend. When is there another weekend in which you could justify spending 8 hours watching TV? But more importantly, when could you claim that watching 8 hours of TV could give you even close to the same amount of spiritual upliftment (is that a word?- spell check says no)? Conference weekend is important to me because it always causes me to take a step back and evaluate every aspect of my life and recognize thing that I need to change. This doesn't always leave me feeling that great, but those unpleasant feelings are balanced by good feelings that stem from the hope that I can make necessary changes.
Some of the blogs I have read today cite Sister Beck's talk on Mothers as their favorite. I also enjoyed this talk because I feel like it helped to give some much-needed accolades and dignity to the work that we stay-at-home moms do all day, everyday. Only those who do it or have done it really understand what a hugely difficult job it is. There is no vacation, no calling in sick, no "leaving your work at the office".
That said, it was not my favorite talk. My absolute favorite talk was the very last one in the very last session on Sunday; Elder Oaks' talk about good, better and best. I was truly inspired by his words and they have stayed with me since I heard them yesterday. I definitely identify with his explanation that most of us face choices everday; not necessarily between right and wrong but between good, better and best. I want to be better about judging the daily choices I make regarding what I do with my time using this scale. Yeah sure, taking a nap in the afternoon is good- if I'm tired, my body needs rest. It would probably be better to sit a watch a movie with Seth (because my other kids are sleeping). But it would probably be best to take advantage of this one-on-one time and spend it with Seth doing some sort of fun activity. This example actually happened today, except that I did "D"- none of the above. I spent the time making some phone calls to get some bills figured out, which is not a bad thing- it's gotta get done sometime- but it probably wasn't the best thing I could have chosen to do during that particular time period. So I didn't quite make it up to the (raised) bar on this one today. Hoping, praying that tomorrow will be better.
One last note about apple pie. Before conference began on Saturday morning, we went to a farmer's market/swap meet. We have been once before and the fresh produce we bought there (straight from local farmers) was so good- I can't even begin to describe it to you! Also the last time we went, we walked by a long table stacked with pies begin sold by 2 teenage girls in dresses and sneakers- Amish. (I guess we live only 30 minutes away from the largest Amish community in the state. Who knew?) By then, we had run out of cash so I told Jon that next time we came, we were going to that table first. If you didn't know this about me- I love pie. I am not necessarily picky about the type, I love all types of really good pie. But a really good pie, with excellent crust and not too sticky sweet filling, is really hard to come by. I had faith in these Amish girls that they could bake a really good pie. So back to last Saturday morning, we went to the farmer's market and I made a beeline for the Amish table. Blueberry, peach, blackberry, pecan and of course apple pie. My mind was reeling with the choices! I finally settled on apple, a standard. It was a little more pricey than I expected ($10) but I absolutely had to have it. Later that day when we cut into it...ahh, heaven on Earth. It was so good, better than any pie I have ever had. Ever. After the first bite, I told Jon that next week we're going back for the peach.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
We are enjoying beautiful fall weather right now. You'd think this would help to improve my mood, and it does- a little bit. I'm excited for the leaves to start changing colors. With all the trees everywhere, it should be really beautiful.
Also, I am still pluggin away on the previously mentioned craft project endeavor. I have finished some parts and will post pictures soon. As for now, here's to hoping for a better week.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
So here is something I have been thinking about recently - church marquees. We don't quite live in the "Bible Belt", I think we're a little bit too far north. But there are more different kinds of churches in my new hometown than I have seen while living in the West: Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catholic, just to name a few. There is literally a church on almost every corner. Most of them have marquees displaying some sort of phrase meant to either uplift or chastise, usually in rhyming form. I always chuckle when I drive by and see a new one. For the life of me, I can't remember any of the funniest examples right now. Lucky for me, my brother is currently serving a mission in Oklahoma, just a few states over. He wrote a few examples of this in a letter to our family this week. I'm going to share them here because they are representative of what I see in my city.
"Stop drop and roll won't work in hell"
"Be ye fishers of men: you catch em, He'll clean em"
"What are your eternal reservations: smoking or nonsmoking?"
"Forbidden fruits create strange jams"
We drive by one particular church on our way to church every Sunday. This past week the marquee read "Does my creed show in my deed?" After I smirked at the rhyming, I really thought about what it was saying. Basically it poses the question, do you have integrity - are your actions consistent with your beliefs? Profound, even for a church marquee.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
(I managed to not get a picture of Mindy, but here's Mayzie and Jonas.)
~ I purchased a new toy and have started an at-home exercise regimen with surprisingly great success so far! (And, no-I didn't pay that much for it!)
~ Seth started preschool. He goes for 2 hours, 45 minutes three days per week. He loves it, Maryn hates it. She cries whenever we drop him off and asks me when she gets to go to her preschool. I would do something special with her at home, but he is gone during her nap time, so she's sleeping.
~ I have been consignment and garage sale shopping like crazy. I have found some awesome deals that I'm pretty proud of and have splurged on some things that may prove not to be worth it. But that's the fun of it. My favorite purchase is these sneakers I bought for Maryn.
~ I have started a new craft project. It's something I've never done and I'm really excited about it. I hope I can pull it off. Thanks to Mindy for the inspiration and advice. I will post pictures of my progress.
~ One last funny note, tonight we went to a grand opening of a restaurant here in town. There was a clown there painting faces and making balloon animals, etc. She was standing outside right by the front door as we entered. Seth was petrified and didn't want to walk anywhere near her. I have heard that kids can be afraid of clowns sometimes, but I was still really surprised at his reaction. I don't have any idea where this fear came from, I can't remember the last time he saw a clown in person. Anyway, after watching her out the window while we ate, Seth decided that he did want a balloon animal and his face painted. Hopefully his fear was cured. Here's what we came home with:
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
We wanted some quick documentation, but our digital camera is really lame and doesn't take videos with sound. (We're still in the silent film era as you can see.) So, Jon added music to make it more fun to watch.