Imagine what you could do if you knew you could not fail.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas Eve

This is the exciting night!!! Here are our kids in the Christmas pajamas in front of our tree. This is when excitement is at its peak! :) The night before Santa comes.

Athena and Samantha always leave milk and cookies for Santa with a note. This year they each left their own notes. Their notes basically instruct Santa to leave lots of toys, and Thank You. Normally we leave Oreos, but we forgot to buy them this year. Luckily, the neighbors brought us some cookies so we had a backup. Pshwew! They don't know that they totally saved our hides.

Here is what the kids saw when they got up on Christmas morning. Unfortunately we forgot to take any pictures of them opening their gifts or the aftermath.

Athena and Samantha are at such a fun age for Christmas. Opening gifts was very exciting. Nathan was difficult and had to be taken from the room a few times. Other than that, I think it was perfect!

Christmas Vacation!!

We have been blessed to have a very good Christmas this year and to be able to spend a lot of time with family. This year Jeremy's work gave them all the week off between Christmas and New Year's. It's been a lot of fun just having time to spend together. I thought by now we would be ready to kill each other off, but we are enjoying the time.

I'm grateful for my wonderful family - my kids, my husband, and my extended family on both sides.

A few days before Christmas we went to Jeremy's family Christmas party. It is tradition for them to do an overnighter where Grandma gives all the kids matching pajames, they watch movies, and play in the snow the next day. We ended up doing the get-together at Mike and Ronda's house because the normal place they go is being remodeled.

We hit a pinata in the basement. It was my mistake to bring mini candy canes to put in the pinata. They were all broken and smashed to smithereens. So, don't do that. I included an action photo of Nathan and Samantha trying to break the pinata.

Later in the night all the kids opened their Christmas PJs from Grandma and Grandpa Slater. I think they all look so cute!

Nathan was the first to tucker out. We laid him on a bean bag and he stayed asleep in it the whole night! Maybe we should have him sleep in a bean bag chair every night.

All the kids laid out across the basement. Here is Athena and Amber.

As usual, Samantha went to sleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.

This is our fun in the snow the next day. BRRRRR! Nathan went down just a couple of times. I think this was his first.

Fun hill, not fun hike.

I was sure glad to get back to warmth after this adventure, but we all had fun!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

For our Anniversary

This is what Jeremy brought home for me for our anniversary. :) They are so pretty!

We went out on a date to dinner at Outback and then we just went shopping at the mall. It was soooo nice to not have kids with us! We considered going to a movie, but decided we would rather spend time with each other. It's such a different and fun experience to shop together when you don't have to be chasing kids down or constantly giving instructions. I got a pair of pants and a jacket and Jeremy got a BYU hoodie. Thanks to Mama and Daddy for watching our kids!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Today is mine and Jeremy's 10 year wedding anniversary. I'm really happy to be married to Jeremy, so today, my posting is going to be for him.

10 Things I Love About Jeremy

1. He opens my door for me, turns back the bed at night, gets my towel ready for a shower.

2. He empties all the garbages and cleans up the messes that make me gag (literally).

3. He likes to hold my hand and put his arm around me.

4. He likes to spend time together as a family doing activities.

5. A lot of times when he gets dressed he asks me, "Does this look OK?"

6. He always says I look good, even when I just wake up.

7. He takes his turn making dinner. Also, he makes a MEAN roast and is good at cooking on the barbecuer.

8. Even though he hates to assemble things and always swears he will never buy anything again that needs to be assembled, he continues to buy things that need to be assembled and tackles those projects with a fury. :)

9. He provides for our family.

10. He loves me.

I don't know why I limited this to just 10 things. I could go on and on and on. Thanks for a great 10 years and I'm sure we will see many more "10 years" come and go together.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Last night we went to Jeremy's aunt Jeri's house for her annual Santa Claus party. She has Santa come to her house and each kid gets a chance to sit on his lap and tell what they want for Christmas. Then we sing some songs and have a telling of the Christmas story.

When we arrived last night at 5:30pm, Santa was there, getting out of his car. He thought his time to come was 5:30, but he was supposed to come at 6pm. That was a real treat for our kids. They got to talk to him outside of the house and even walk in with him! Samantha leaned over to me and said very excitedly, "I didn't know Santa drives in a car!" I told her to ask him why he came in a car, so she did. He told her that the reindeer only fly on Christmas Eve. She thought that revelation was so funny! That Santa drives in a car!

Athena still believes in Santa Claus, so this was still a great event for her. She told him she wants more barbies. Princess barbies.

Samantha TOTALLY believes in Santa Claus. She told him that this year she wants a barbie with the magic wand that when you wave the wand over the barbie's necklace, the dress changes colors.

I thought it was so funny. Samantha is not intimidated at all by Santa. He was asking her what she wanted, then talking to her a little bit. Then he got off track and asked her again what she wanted. Samantha started laughing and she said, "You already asked me that!"

Nathan was very star-struck with Santa. At first he didn't know what to say beyond telling Santa that he was 3 (by holding up his fingers). Santa was guessing what Nathan wanted, so I stepped in and told him that Nathan wants a train. Santa asked Nathan if he wanted a train and Nathan nodded his head vigorously. It was really cute. :)

Uh, yeah. She doesn't quite get it yet. I handed Alexandra to Santa for a picture. He held her up at first for a picture and she was fine, but then she glanced over, saw him, and burst into tears. Oh well, maybe next year.

Our Santa encounter this year was a success. Everyone asked for what they were supposed to and we don't have to run out and get any last-minute surprise requests. We all know that you ask Santa for the MOST important thing. Thank goodness our kids asked correctly. LOL!

Here is a little video Jeremy took with our camera as we were singing a song for Santa to leave. Sorry, our digital camera doesn't have sound with video, so you don't need to keep turning up your speakers.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Annual Candy Making Party

Last night we had our annual girl's night where we make our Christmas candy. Mostly we dip lots of stuff in chocolate and the divide it all up to take home to our families. YUM!

We had pizza for dinner, dipped chocolates, and practiced a song that we are performing together at our extended family Christmas party. I had a lot of fun!

Here are Cathy and Shauna studiously preparing their pretzels.

I don't think Teresa likes this activity very much. Don't fall asleep, Teresa! Sorry, she was not feeling very good, but came anyway. I'm glad she came anyway. :)

Don't leave a single drop!

These are some members of my family whom I dearly love. They are beautiful people inside.

Oh fine! I guess if I put in the goofy ones I also have to put in the nice ones. Here is the redeeming photo:

We all practiced our song. I think we all sound nice together. Hopefully it turns out well when we perform on Saturday.

The dividing of the chocolates!!!!

After this I was sent home to eat and eat and eat. I guess a bear needs some way to pack on the fat for winter. We ended up with chocolate-dipped pretzels, toasted coconut, toasted almonds. homemade dipped fondant, cherry chocolates, peanut brittle, and toffee. Thanks family!

Grateful Samantha

It's moments like these that make all the crappy moments throughout the week just seem to disappear.

This morning after breakfast, as I was getting the kids ready for school, out of the blue Samantha came and put her arms around me. She said, "Thanks for taking care of me Mom. I love you." I thought that was so cute!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Tooth!

Alexandra is getting her first tooth! There is just a little sharp line on her gums right now. As a result, she and I are not sleeping and her nose is quite runny.

She is also very close to crawling. She scoots all over the floor and is really good at it. She can get to where she wants to go in a hurry. She keeps experimenting now with getting up on her knees. She is so cute!

These are pictures of her today, she is just playing on the floor in the computer room while I post her cuteness on my blog.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Weird Dream

Ok, I guess I'm kinda known for my weird/eccentric dreams. I think everyone probably has them, I just remember them for some odd reason. So, last night I had a dream that I have to share because when I woke up I was really confused about where on earth this came from!

I dreamt that I, and everyone I know, was a worm. We were all in court because of something bad that had happened. We all had really funky hairdos and were wearing pioneer-like dresses.

So, all of us worms were in court and it was my turn to go up and testify. The trial was about several worms who had died recently and were found in a house (the house was our size - for worms - and had worm beds in it). In my dream, I thought back on the events that had transpired and I told the jury that I remembered that right before bed, I mixed up a batch of hot cocoa for all the worms and told them to come and get it. I mixed in some poison and then watched as the worms all sat around chatting and drinking their cocoa. Then they all went to sleep in their beds for the last time and were all found dead.

And that's the end of my dream. What the heck? LOL

Monday, December 3, 2007

Athena's Birthday Party

Friday was a very busy day. I spent most of the day getting ready for Athena's party. I baked her cake in the morning and decorated it all afternoon, then cleaned as much as I could. Here are the fruits of my labor.

I guess all my hard work paid off for the cake, because when I brought it out and placed it in front of Athena, there were many ooohs and aaahs from the crowd. :)

We played most of our games down in the family room. This picture is when the princesses had all arrived and I was explaining our first game.

The kids all had a lot of fun. This is the game where we rolled the dice and if the kids got doubles, they had to put my socks on their hands and try to unwrap a gift. It got pretty crazy!

Upstairs, opening presents. Now that Athena is a good reader, she stopped to read every card and note. Cute. :)

Opening the presents. Athena got so much cute stuff! She was really happy with everything she received.

This is the anticipation of the cake!!!!!


Athena's party turned out to be a lot of fun. I'm glad the kids all enjoyed their time here. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I feel like a freakin' faucet

I thought my cold was on the downside and was feeling much better yesterday. NOT TRUE! I woke up this morning with a raging headache, my eyes are killing, and I think I've gone through an entire roll of toilet paper just this morning blowing my nose! I don't understand how one little nose (my nose ISN'T that big) can create soooo much havoc. Wish me luck on getting rid of this thing (I mean getting rid of the cold, not the nose).

On a better note, last night Jeremy brought in our Christmas tree from the back yard and we decorated it. I put the lights on it for 1 hr 15 min and then we let the kids put the decorations up. By the time we finished it was almost 10pm. They had a blast decorating, though. This morning when I woke up, the kids were up too. Instead of getting ready for school, they were in by the tree decorating it some more. They were putting strings of beads all over the tree to SURPRISE me. Yes, I was surprised - and now I get to remove them all.

This isn't my favorite tree ever, but it'll do.

Also, last night we got our first snow! Athena and Samantha were soooo excited! It isn't much, but it's some. Unfortunately there won't be any left on the grass when they come home from school. It's melting. They had elaborate plans about what they were going to do with the snow when they got home. Their plans included throwing it up in the air, eating it, putting it on the slide and sliding down on it, making a snowman, throwing it at each other. Funny!

This is all we ended up with by the end of the storm. I'm sure they will be able carry out their plans later in the year. Sorry girls.

Thanksgiving Deer

I forgot we had these pictures on the camera. When we were driving up to Woodland Hills for Thanksgiving dinner we saw this deer and buck by the side of the road. It was really cool to see them both together. The buck was following the deer around. It wasn't huge, but big enough that it was neat.

Here is a little closer shot of the buck.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Birthday Party

This Friday I am throwing Athena a birthday party. She has invited 12 of her friends, plus her and Samantha. So there will be 14 little girls there if everyone shows up. I asked everyone to come dressed as a princess (just for fun) and we will play games. If any of you have any EASY and fun game ideas, I'd love to hear them. I might need extra stuff to take up the time. :)

Here is what I'm going to do:

Book Relay Race: Princesses use books on their heads to teach them to walk with their backs straight. So we will have a relay race walking with books on our heads.

Kissing Practice: All princesses have a prince to kiss in all the stories. Since we don't have a real prince here, and girls don't want to kiss girls, we will just practice without touching. Everyone will have a toothpick in their mouth and they will transfer the lifesaver from one toothpick to another all the way down the line of their team to see who can get the lifesaver to the end of the line first.

Open Gift with Monster Hands: Each girl will roll 2 dice. If she rolls doubles she will put on gloves and attempt to open a well-wrapped gift. You can keep trying to unwrap until someone else rolls doubles. The girl who gets it open first gets to keep it. We will do this with several different gifts.

Fruit Basket Upset: Yes, the usual game. I haven't modified this yet for princesses. Maybe it can be that they call Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Belle instead of apples, oranges, and bananas.

Please let me know if you have any other ideas. I'll post on the outcome of the party when all is said and done. :)

Sharing Time

I had to do sharing time last Sunday. I teach Athena's class, the 7-8 year olds, and it was our turn to present the sharing time lesson. I don't know if it turned out well or not. I got so many blank stares and I wonder if the kids are always like that or if they were just bored to tears with MY lesson. The truth is, though, I don't really care - I'm just glad it's over!

For sharing time I prepared a "Thankful Basket". The kids had to come up to the front and pull an object out of my bag, then read what it said on the back and tell how they can show gratitude for that particular blessing from the Lord. Then we would sing a related song or read a related scripture and place the item in the thankful basket.

The good news is, I'm off the hook for sharing time for at least another 6 months. Pshwew!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Borders - FINALLY!!

Last night Jeremy and I stayed up late and added the kid's borders to their rooms. I'm so glad it's finally done and now the kid's rooms are complete, like we meant them to be. Despite some of the crooked pictures, the borders really are straight and look really cute in their rooms. I'm happy with them. :)

This is Athena's border. It seems to me like a border she can grow up with, not too little-girlish.

This is Samantha's border. Yes, it is quite little-girlish, but TOTALLY Samantha.

Here is Nathan's border. From the very beginning, when he found out he was getting a room downstairs he wanted a dinosaur room. I love how it turned out!

I found all of these borders online for much less than they were at Wallpaper Warehouse, where we originally started looking. It's fun to have the kid's rooms all decorated now and they are all quite happy with them.

Thankful Towers

We played a fun game for Family Home Evening on Monday night. I made it up and the kids really liked it. :)

I used Jenga blocks and gave each kid a book for a hard spot in front of them. For the game, we went around the room and placed one block on our book so the block was standing up tall. As we placed the block on our book, we had to say one thing we were thankful for. The rule was: You cannot repeat what someone else had said. We went around until everyone had one block. Then we went again and stacked the 2nd block on top of the first, again, saying something new that we were thankful for. We had fun building our Thankful Towers. When your tower fell down, you were out. We kept going to see who could get the tallest tower before it fell.

We played this game a couple of times because the kids had so much fun with it. I really enjoyed hearing all the things they are thankful for. It's cute to hear how many things kids can come up with. It was a good game to keep them entertained and focused on the subject of being thankful.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Proud of Nathan

I'm so happy with Nathan. He has slept for 2 nights in his new bedroom downstairs - in the toddler bed! The first night I spent an hour with him trying to get him to stay in his bed. I ended up sitting next to his bed playing my light-up tetris game in his dark room while he fell asleep. The next night (yesterday) he was anxious to sleep in his bed. He went right in and went to bed. Let's hope it continues to be that easy.

Athena and Samantha are also doing well in their own beds. Samantha said she really likes it because Athena doesn't talk to her all night and keep her awake. It's turning out to be a nice arrangement.

Oh, and a followup to last week - on Saturday we went to Home Depot and got an indoor pesticide spray and I sprayed around every baseboard in the whole basement, even in closets. Let's hope that helps the spider problem. I'd rather see a dead spider than one coming at me in a frenzy.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged and I am officially "IT". So, now that I am "IT", I have to share 6 facts about myself. Alright, FINE! Here goes . . .

#1 I am a hoarder. I like to hold on to things. It's unfortunate for Jeremy - especially because I like to hold on to money too. I don't like to spend it and it makes me anxious when I spend too much. I do go through "get rid of" sprees and it feels really nice, but for the most part, I keep lots of things.

#2 I am brutally honest in my dealings with all men. I don't like to be left with a feeling that I have cheated someone. If I am overcharged, I'll let someone know. If I'm undercharged, I'll also let someone know. I don't cheat at games, not even a little bit. I don't like to cut corners, it makes me feel cheap.

#3 I am a compulsive exerciser. This is how I relieve stress and I love it. :) Right now I go to the community aerobics class offered at the high school in the evenings. I go 3 times a week and join the other moms who are there. We do step aerobics, kick boxing, or spinning. I also love to walk.

#4 I usually have either a rhythm or song going through my head. When I am walking somewhere, I count in eights because that's my favorite number and works with most rhythms. I'm pretty weird that way, but it makes me me. I also have been known to break out in song and dance randomly. This is why. I can't help it.

#5 I have become boring at nights and just love to watch TV. In fact, I savor my TV time when the kids are in their beds because it's the only time I get to just sit and be entertained without having to answer to someone's needs. It's nice for me to just plunk down and get a good laugh. I really like King of Queens, Survivor, Lost, Biggest Loser (Jeremy started that one and now I watch it too), Dr Phil, and Oprah.

#6 I play settlers at least 2 times a week in the afternoon with my Dad. I love games and I especially like this game because I have to use strategy to win and it's different every time we play. I haven't gotten tired of the game yet. I also enjoy the interaction with my dad and the extra adult conversation in the house. It keeps me from getting too crazy just dealing with kids all the time.

Now I am supposed to tag 6 more people to do this same thing - share 6 facts about themselves. I'm anxious to read the replies. :) I will tag . . . . . .

Jeremy (you can post it on my site, Jeremy)

Thursday, November 15, 2007


The inspector came on Tuesday to inspect the basement and make sure it was all done right. It passed with flying colors, so I started moving stuff in right away on Tuesday and have been working on it ever since. It's a big job to move half the family downstairs! It's a nice feeling to have the building be done and the contractors gone.

I've been trying to sort and clean out Athena and Samantha's upstairs room and it is unbelievable to me how much stuff they had in that one little room!! I still have some work to do in there, but it's almost done. This will become Alexandra's room. Right now they have the remnants of their bunk bed and their chest of drawers that are emptied out.
This is our reading corner downstairs. The kids already enjoy using it. I still have a lot more books to add - this is a start.
Athena is all moved in. She immediately discovered and made use of the window well for a shelf.
Here is Samantha's room, all moved in. We still have to put up the borders in both of them. Oh, and Nathan just HAD to give me a big cheeser. Why couldn't he have done that on Saturday when we actually got his picture taken?!!
Nathan's room. He tried sleeping in his bed last night, but got scared and ended up in his crib upstairs. I'm sure it will take some work for him.

Athena and Samantha were so anxious to sleep in their new rooms and have done so for 2 nights now. They LOVE IT. I thought they would be more scared, but they are really excited to be down there.


I do have to share what happened this morning. I was in my bed, not wanting to get up, when I heard nonstop blood-curdling screams coming from the basement. I jumped up as fast as I could and Samantha met me at the top of the stairs. She said, "Athena's in the bathroom and there is a spider and the door is locked!" I hurried and gathered the necessary tools, still in a daze and not completely awake. Then down I went, armed with one of Jeremy's shoes (can't use my shoe for a spider) and a knife.

I raced down there, all the while listening to Athena's torturous screams. In an effort to protect myself, I yelled to Athena through the door to tell me the location of the spider. She said it was behind the door, so I unlocked the door with the knife and pushed open the door, much like a SWAT team member would have done it. There sat Athena, on the toilet, with her legs straight out in front of her, screaming. I instructed her to hurry and get off the toilet and join me in the hall, where there was safety. She hurried and ran out, but then I told her she needed to flush and wash, so she went back and did that and scurried out of the bathroom. Then it was just me and the spider. I hadn't even seen it yet and was fearing the worst.

I WILL NOT kill spiders if I have any other options, but if it is going to get my children and I am the only protector - only then will I make an attempt. They freak me out like nothing else. I slowly opened the door all the way and there it was sitting on the floor. It was BIG! A big black spiny spider, about an inch and a half wide with a meaty body (cold chills right now as I'm explaining).

Without even thinking, I slapped the shoe down on it and it half-shriveled. So I smacked it again - got a huge wad of toilet paper - scooped it up as quickly as I could - threw it in the toilet - flushed - and walked into the hallway to breathe.

What an experience. I hate that experience. I told Jeremy today that we are going to get a pesticide on Saturday and are spraying the basement ASAP. I can't handle much more of that.

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