Monday, September 28, 2009

Relief Society Broadcast

I just wanted to share a couple of things about Saturday's Relief Society Broadcast.  First of all, I got to go with my sister Sharon and my Mom both of whom are Relief Society Presidents for their respective wards.  And second of all, one of my callings is Visiting Teaching Coordinator... and it seemed like at least two of the talks were directly targeting all three of us.  It was neat to be able to discuss our feelings and excitment for what was shared with us.  I really liked Sister Allred's comments and also the talk about "Minding the Gap".  How lucky I am to belong to the great organization of Relief Society!

Maisy's baby blessing

Yesterday we got to go to Jer's sister's daughter's baby blessing... ( I should probably just say our niece...) It was a beautiful blessing and we got there just in time... but after the blessing in less than an hour we had quite the excitement.  A grumpy two year old that wouldn't sit still and had to be taken out twice and hushed several times, a hungry three month old, a misunderstanding about an M&M, a speaker that fainted in the middle of her talk, and having to drag a car seat, a toddler, a diaper bag and open the double sets of doors by myself.   It's a good thing that I know the church is true otherwise I might think it was more effort than it's worth to go.

Potty training update

So I'm not being consistent with potty training though I know it would probably be easier if I would be... Ada gets the idea pretty well though.  I had her sitting on the potty and when she went I praised her and said what a good girl she was....She looked a little taken aback and said, "No, I'm a big boy."  I told her that no, Sammy and daddy were boys but Ada and mommy were girls... and she said very forcefully that "I'm a BIG BOY!"

Corn, corn, and more corn

No... I'm not talking about the corny jokes that I make... I'm talking about the fact that Jer and I took the kids to the Thanksgiving Point Cornbelly Maze on Saturday.  It was a blast... of course the maze itself was a little too frustrating to an almost two year old and a mom with a double stroller, but that wasn't the only thing there.  They had several play areas including a jumping pillow, bike races, "gold" digging, a dress up area, and our personal favorite... the cornbox (you know... kind of like a sandbox but with corn instead of sand). Here are my favorite of the gazillion picture that we took... and it goes against everything I believe to have pictures of me on my blog... but I have to do it sometimes right?

Jer and Ada on one of the three large slides, they're built on bales of straw.

Ada in the dress up area.  They have a princess story time but we missed it.

Not ideal lighting but the only family picture that we took.

My favorite people ever!And yes this the cornbox.

Tickling Ada's toes.

If you look... that's a powder from the corn... When we all got out everyone was just covered in it.

Sammy driving a wooden tractor.

Choo choo all aboard!

Ada driving the train "to California".

Into the maze...

Yes, she's riding an armadillo... I tried getting her to say it, but I'm not quite sure what she actually ended up saying.

This is the jumping pillow...

This was the bike race... check out the neat bikes, and just so you know they are dang hard to turn!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cute girl

So we went to play ward volleyball tonight and there was the cutest little girl... She is Ada's age so we went over so that they could play together... While I'm tlaking to the mom I hear,"Be rude."  I was a little confused... but I think it's a cross between don't be rude and be nice.  She also came up to her mom and said, "Mom, Jesus says be nice."  Cute.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Robyn photos

I'm taking a page out of Becca's book... even though I don't have a seperate blog for my photos... I'm going to post them as I take them... I might even back track and post some of my past photo shoots.  We'll see.  I usually play with them in photoshop after I take them... tweak colors etc... but I haven't with these ones yet.  And when I looked through them with Robyn, these weren't her favorites, but they were the ones that I liked.

Current pictures

Rachel and Ada at Aunt Marg's b-day party...

Sammy and Rocky hanging on the couch...

Sammy playing with cousin  Sophie...

Ada cheering for Daddy at his marathon...  

I think that Sammy and Sophie look like cousins don't you?!

Ada "cheesing it" for the camera... I don't think she looks like a baby at all anymore... she's turned into a little kid already!  When did that happen?

I'm so proud of them!

Well... this weekend was very exciting... Jer and three of his brothers and sisters ran AND FINISHED the Top of Utah Marathon.  It's really neat that they were able to do this together!  We went up on Friday so that Jer could check in early and we got to stay with my sister Janelle and my cousin Sarah (They're roommates if you didn't know...) The most memorable thing about the trip was not the half hour that Sammy spent crying... but Ada parroting the Harry Potter book on tape that we were listening to... Hearing an almost 2 year old try to imitate a giant saying, "Herme where Hager?" was just unforgettable.  Then we went out to eat with my sister, cousin, and their roommate, and Jer's three siblings and their spouses.  We were going to go to the Logan Temple while we were there... but we forgot Sunday clothes... we had our temple clothes with us... I just didn't feel comfortable walking into the temple in our street clothes.  The most exciting part of the day was trying to get Ada to sleep.  She usually sleeps just fine... You put her in her bed and say goodnight and you don't hear another peep... but because we were all camping out on the floor... she kept going from person to person trying to play.  Jer ended up sleeping in her bed and she slept with me so that Jer could get a little sleep.  My favorite was... she kept leaning over and kissing me... then she'd giggle and put her binkie back in.  Saturday... we got up at 4am to drop Jer off at the buses, then I went back to get kids ready to go cheer on dad.

Jer finished in 3 hr. 45 mins.... the same time that he got on the last marathon... but he said he enjoyed this one more... he had Jay to talk to the whole way.  Ada had a break down and was bawling from about 15 mins before Jer came in until about an hour afterwards.  I think she was very tired.  We met up with everyone then headed back for Janelle's place where Jer and Ada crashed...

it was really cute. Then we went and browsed through a toy store and went to the Bluebird for dinner.  We then drove over to Nibley to visit a mission friend that I haven't seen in over a year.  It was fun to catch up and see how she's adjusting to living in the States.  Then we headed home... got there about 11:30pm... 4am-11:30pm... it was a full day. 
This was really cute to see Amy's family all in red and running the last little bit with her... Yay for families!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Ada is just hilarious! Just in the last two days I've had to laugh about tons of things... (it's that or cry...right?) My three favorites...

I was putting on a diaper for the night and she put her two forefingers behind the rails of the changing table and said,"Where'd my fingers go?" Then she pulled them out and said,"There it is!" (I won't correct her grammar quite yet... I'm still amazed that she speaks in sentences and she's not quite two.)

Then during dinner tonight she started copying EVERYTHING that Jer said. First she copied him while he prayed and then when he started to tell me how work was going... but my favorite was Jer took a bigger bite than he usually does and said,"Well, that was a big bite..." with his mouth full of food... and she said,"That a big bite!" Then he said,"I guess I shouldn't talk with my mouth full." And she said,"With mouth full!" The best part is that her mouth was full too.

Then we were at Walmart getting my sister a birthday present. The little girls dress ups were in the same isle as the games... Ada usually ignores them... but this time we passed by a flappers dress and she picks it off the rack, holds it out at arms length and says,"Pretty." Then she carefully folded it into the basket. So guess what we bought her for Christmas?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My favorite things about Jeremy

Now... this one is harder because I have to be a little more selective. Not because of my audience but because there are so many things that I love and appreciate about the man I married... Here are just a couple that I've been thinking about lately.

I love that he works from home... and that he's willing to pause for a couple of minutes to help me if I have a child crisis going on.
I love that he always takes time to say good morning and good night to our kids... it makes them go to sleep a lot happier.
I love that he doesn't complain that I don't like to cook. I promise I try to do it... I just don't like it so it doesn't happen as well as it should.
He is so determined... when he starts something he tries to see it through... doesn't always happen... but mostly because he's gotten distracted by me or the kids.
That he's willing to read to me while I do projects.
That I have my own tech support at home... I'm sure that my mom appreciates this too... it's handy to have someone to call... even if he can't always fix it.
I love that he gets along so well with my brothers and sisters... it makes it easy to justify spending time with them and enjoying the time that we can spend together.
That even though I weigh quite a bit more than him... he never complains...
If I ask him to watch kids while I go exercise or VT or run an errand... he does... unless he has a meeting. Understandable.
That he tries to be positive about things without being fakely cheerful.

Love you Jer.

My favorite things about Sammy

Sammy is only three months old so this list will be shorter than the one I did for Ada, but I sure love him just the same!

I love that he has figured out how to "talk" to you. He tries to shape his mouth the way you have yours shaped and just makes whatever sound that will come out.
He loves to smile, especially when he sees Ada or Jer... I think he has favorites.
I love that he is usually a good sleeper... it makes it easier having a new baby when they learn to sleep through the night.
I love that he likes the blanket that I crochetted for him... he sits and stares at it forever, wraps his fingers in it, and bats at it with his fists.
I was playing the piano the other day, and usually Ada plays and sings with me... but she had gone to bed... Sammy started to coo and stopped every time that I stopped to switch to a new song. I think we've got two singers in the family.
That he doesn't pee when we have his diaper off... it's very convenient... that's one thing I was afraid of when I found out we were having a boy.

My favorite things about Ada

I want to focus a little bit about each of the very important people around me. This post is about my almost two year old (three weeks!). I absolutely love...

That she laughs and says "Silly Mommy" every time she can tell that I'm being sarcastic.
That she calls Samuel "Sammy boy" and says it in a really high voice while she pats him and tries to give him the binkie that he doesn't necessarily want.
That any time you tell her you are going to do something she says "I want to... (what ever you said you were going to do)... too".
I love that she randomly says words that you just don't hear from a two year old... eighteen, thunder, decepticon, autobot... etc.
I love that she likes to read books both with you and by herself.
I love that when she actually lets you do her hair she looks in the mirror and says "I'm pretty!"
I love that she asks me if she can brush her teeth every morning.
I love watching her jump off the couch, look up at me and say "Again!"
I love watching her do all the actions to the songs that we sing in the car.
That she just recently learned how to sing "Happy Birthday to Ada".
That she says "Ahh-ohh" every time she hears a siren.
That she says "I made a mess" whenever she eats lunch.
That she likes to dance and twirl.
That she chooses her own clothes... but only if you give her two choices... three is just too much and takes way too much time to decide between.
That she calls her buggers and her earwax "monkeys".
That when she wakes up from her naps she goes to her door and knocks on it until we come get her.

Friday, September 11, 2009


When you walk into the home of an older couple it is not uncommon to see a collection of eclectic likes and experiences. Most of the time we are too engrossed with the task that brought us there to take the time to see what the significance of these possessions are to those living there. When you walk into my grandparents home you are immediately confronted with a plate collection in the kitchen, the musty smell of old paper, a rug from Egypt, several framed charcoal drawings on the wall, extra pantie hose and yarn in every available space, inlaid boxes from different locales, and several books covering anything from the gospel, education, WWII, or Tahiti. And while my grandma likes always to be seen as classy and sophisticated her house looks nothing like what this day and age considers classy or sophisticated as it encases the record of their lifetime experiences.

Grandma Val was born and raised in part in windy Chicago during the time of the gangsters with toothpicks and spats. Her family fled Chicago because they wouldn't pay for protection against these same thugs. She grew up with three sisters and became a reporter for the newspaper during WWII. After the war she met and married my grandpa at the age of 27. They had a hard time having kids... they finally had a little boy and after 4 more years of struggling they had the next three... all boys. Grandma is a poet and artist. She was the President of a National Poet Society, has been published several times, wrote lyrics with Janice Kapp Perry and was the proud teacher of a second grade elementary class for many years. She was a downwinder and as a result she suffered from breast cancer. She served a mission to Georgia with my grandpa and after her hands started to shake too badly to draw anymore... she still concentrated and concentrates on writing on her ancient type writer... refusing the computer in her study... and crocheting leper bandages while watching BYU football on TV. When her companion and love of 60 years passed she was absolutely devastated... and still mourns. She still watches football and passes the time as she can. To be honest... I was not close to her as a child. Her upright posture and insistence that we always be ladies doesn't mesh well with children. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I grew to see and love my grandma the way I do now. Childhood memories of her consist of me sitting on a crate in her kitchen because I got in trouble, her teaching me how to properly lay a table, and walking with books on my head so that I learned good posture (which of course I never did). After I grew she drew caricatures of me and my friends, made my temple apron, and always made a point of being available to help go over English papers and poetry assignments.

My Grandpa Ray grew up in a family where physical disciple was prevalent. He joined the army early and was sent to build the Burma road. He became the clerk for his unit. They had a camera so he learned how to use it and carried it from that point forward. His attention to detail and orderliness served him well. After the war he was called as a missionary to the Tahitian people where he was sent to an island by himself to learn the language and set up the church. He was called to be in the mission presidency and finished his mission by translating the D&C into Tahitian for the church. He returned home, met my beautiful grandmother and they were married in the Salt Lake temple. They honeymooned by taking a car trip. By the time they reached Lake Louise they had run out of money and had to call to get some wired to them for the trip home. The first twenty years were busy and fulfilling. They had their 4 boys, he became a full professor at BYU, he set up and studied classrooms around the world including living in Ethiopia and visiting classrooms in places like Easter Island and India. He went through skin cancer diagnosis and treatment. Was told that he would die at the age of 40 from heart failure... and lived for another 40 years. Knew what he wanted financially and faithfully accomplished it. Continued to photograph and develop pictures from his own home. Learned to play the organ only a couple of years before he died and faithfully became to mascot at the local gym... his exercise gave him the mobility that his arthritic body would have lacked otherwise and the stregth his heart needed to keep going. Did genealogy and temple work for over 10,000 people and loved everyone that crossed his path. My favorite memories of him were ironically when he tutored me in math. We would talk about math and then pull out his pictures of the places and people he knew and talk about stories and composition of pictures. When he could no longer take pictures he gave me his ever present sidekick... a Nikon SLR.

Knowing this about the people that have lived for so long in that old red brick house I would never judge them to be any less than they are. I have even come to love the little nickknacks that they have brought together and so forgetfully display every day. The house wouldn't be the same without their collection of eclectic trinkets.
Last night was the first time that we've had Sammy cry himself to sleep... he just wouldn't be consoled no matter what we did... so we let him cry. I was so frustrated and I felt like I wanted to smack him and make him stop (though I know that smacking him would only make it worse... temporary outlet). I felt like an awful parent the first time that we made Ada cry herself to sleep... With Sammy it was just frustrating because he is just a good sleeper period... except for the last three nights. After he was finally down I decided to catch up on some blogs so that I'd be near by if he started up again. Two or three of them made me really think and appreciate more what I have and diffuse my frustration over something as trivial as Sammy not wanting to go to bed when I want him to. Do you remember in the middle of the summer when the 8 year old girl fell in the river and was technically dead and they revived her after she had been under water for 15 min? She was in critical condition last I heard and I don't know anything after that. I don't know if she lived or if she had brain damage or physical issues. I don't know if her family is still struggling with what happened or what... I have a friend whose husband was going through chemotherapy all summer which meant that she had to work and take care of their one year old and take care of him as much as he needed. I know if something like that happened to me, I'd be okay... it would be hard as heck and it wouldn't be enjoyable... but we'd be okay. There is a beauty given to those that struggle. A love of life and a humbleness and joyfulness that touch any that are willing to see it. There is a Savior to guide us through and to make sure that we don't loose our course. No one wants to invite these struggles into our lives, but it is good to know that it will be alright. It does remind me that a crying baby for an hour is nothing and that it's going to be a better day tomorrow... if I make it one. That's one thing that I don't know if I'll ever get over. It's up to the parents whether or not their kids childhood is magical or not. Do I want my children to remember the hours that we sit together and sing and play or the hours that they sit and watch movies while I get my projects done? How do I make our time together fun and memorable? This morning I decided to make time to read and play with my kids even though I have a list a mile long to do... here is the result...

Would I want to miss any of this for anything in the world? Do I have to sometimes... yes, but I need to remember that this time is better spent than any other.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I know... it's still two months out and I'm usually the kind of person who thinks of a costume the day of... but something's gotten into me this year... I don't want to spend a lot of money but I want to dress my kids up... Here are a few ideas that I've had... we'll see which one of them if any I end up with.

I thought these would be fun since Jer is such a cute geek... And when else would our kids let us dress them up like this than now? I Could make the Yoda or Leia costumes... my favorite is the R2D2. Jer thought it would be fun to all show up together as a bunch of storm troopers... As long as Ada gets to hold a blaster she'd love it.

This would be cheap and Ada would have fun. We'd borrow the toy car from Judy and Ada could be the UPS driver and I could make Sammy's suit out of felt.

This one isn't really connected but they were my two favorite random costumes... I should make the superman one but I'd have a hard time with the Mulan one... so this is a moderately expensive option.

This is another one the whole family could do... I have a princess dress from Halloween several years ago that a friend made me... I'd just need to make Fiona ears...Ada would love being Puss'nboots and I could make ears for Jer to wear as Shrek and Sammy could be the dronkey baby... Or Jer could be a donkey, I could be a dragon and both kids could be dronkeys.

This one is probably what we'll end up with... I could make the money sack out of felt or burlap and Jer and I can be robbers and Ada can be the Sheriff. This would be the cheapest option because Ada has a stick horse already and I have a cowboy hat in our dress ups... we'd just need a badge and the time to make Sammy's costume.

We could all go as Kisses...Or one go as a kiss and the other as a hug...

Ada's favorite fairytale character is The Big Bad Wolf so I think she'd love this one... She could go as the wolf and we could go as the three pigs... I could make the pigs... but I think I'd have to buy the wolf costume.
I've asked Ada a couple of times what she wants to dress up as... each day it changes... so far we have milk, a car, a pig, and Rocket from Little Einsteins. I'm not entirely sure she'd notice whether we dress her in something that she asked for or not... especially two months after she asked for it.
If anyone would like to put in their feed back I'd love it. Thanks!