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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Nathan!!

Happy Birthday to You Nathan!! :) Today Nathan is 4 years old! He was so excited about it and has been talking about it for the past 2 weeks. Yesterday was especially exciting for him because he only had one more day of being 3. I told him it was his last day to be 3. He said that when he is 4 he will be big, and he won't fight any more, and he won't whine any more, and he will say his words right because he will be 4. (That's what he said.)

This morning he came into our room at about 5 am and said, "I am 4 now?" For his birthday he wants to go trick-or-treating and wear his pirate costume.

I tried to get a good picture of my little 4-year-old this morning, but he just wanted to mess around. Here he is.
Because today will be so busy, we decided to sing to him early this morning before Jeremy went to work and give him his big gift. A bike!!!

Now he won't have to ride that girly pink bike everywhere.

Today will be a really fun day for Nathan. I hope he doesn't mind that we will mostly be celebrating him tomorrow.
I was trying to dig up some old baby pictures of Nathan and I can't find any on my computer! I wanted to write about the day he was born. Nathan is a very special little boy and I'm so happy to have him in our family.

**Birth Story of Nathan**
When I was pregnant with him, we went trick-or-treating on October 30th because Halloween fell on a Sunday. I walked all over kingdom come being hugely pregnant. Samantha was really small and was tired of walking, so I carried her on my big belly most of the night.

The next day, after church, I was sitting on my bed when I thought I had to go into the bathroom. I went in there and sat down on the toilet and felt a big gush. I looked into the toilet and it was just straight blood everywhere! I called Jeremy and knocked on the wall trying to get some help. He didn't come because he was making dinner and was busy. I yelled again furiously and he finally came in and I showed him. He hurried and called Mama on the phone to come and get Athena and Samantha. I didn't dare get up because I was bleeding so badly.

I finally got up when they got here and put a towel between my legs. As soon as I got up the contractions started. Jeremy and Robert gave me a quick blessing that everything would be OK and we hurried to the car to get to the hospital. We had to drive from Payson to Orem (about 1/2 hour) and the whole time there the contractions were coming really hard and really fast. I was having a few contractions a minute, just one on top of the other. Jeremy was scared he would be delivering a baby in the car! It took us about 20 minutes to get to the hospital and thankfully the street lights worked in our favor.

When we got to the hospital, everywhere I walked a trail of blood just followed me. I was really scared and didn't know what was going on. The pain in my belly was terrible - on top of the painful contractions. I was admitted immediately and taken to the birthing room.

Once I got in there it was a crazy place. There were doctors and nurses running all over the place trying to get things together. I don't think we could have fit one more person in that room. I asked for an epidural and was told I couldn't have one because they didn't know why I was bleeding so much. The anesthesiologist gave me a spinal block instead, but it didn't work. I just remember being in excruciating pain laying on the bed and focusing on the light above me just to not think about the pain. I heard the Dr tell one of the nurses (who happened to be pregnant) that he thought my placenta ripped, and she should hope it doesn't happen to her because it's one of the most painful things that can happen when you are pregnant. Gee, that sure didn't seem to help! Thanks doc.

It seemed like all of this was an eternity, but it really all happened in a time span of about 1/2 hour. Then the baby (Nathan) seemed to be distressed because the heart beat slowed way down. The doctor said they might have to do an emergency c-section. That freaked me out even more so then I started to panic. He checked me and said that because I was dilating so quickly they would try to have me push him out. I was only dilated to 8 cm when the Dr told me to start pushing. I pushed for about 5 minutes. When Nathan was close enough for the Dr to reach in and grab him, he reached in and pulled Nathan out - breaking my tailbone.

When Nathan came out he was almost white. I didn't see him because they quickly cut the cord and whisked him away. Jeremy told me he looked horrible. When my midwife came to help me out after they took Nathan away, she looked at the cord and gasped. I asked WHAT? She said there was a tight knot in the cord and she had never seen a baby that wasn't stillborn who had a knot like that in the cord. Then she pulled out the placenta and the top of it looked like it was ripped to shreds, like chopped meat. THEN the spinal block kicked in and I was numb until 3 in the morning - after fully feeling every ounce of pain that was dished out to me. GREAT!

I know that Nathan is supposed to be here in our family. I feel so blessed to have him and am so grateful we both made it through that experience together. Nathan is so much fun and it's been a wonderful 4 years with him. :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY NATHAN - I LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carving Our Pumpkins

Last night for FHE we carved our pumpkins. From what I hear, so did a lot of other people I know. It must be the thing to do!

I cut open all the kid's pumpkins and got them started. Nathan was first and he really DID NOT want to reach his hand into all of that goo on the inside. He just stared at it forever while we all egged him on.

Once I got the other kids started he started digging in his pumpkin too. Athena didn't waste any time, she dug right in and started scooping.

I got the fortunate job of scraping the insides of all the pumpkins to get them clean enough for candles. Jeremy had a ticket out of this job because he was cleaning the kitchen for me after dinner. Alexandra had a ball getting into trouble while we were all busy with the pumpkins. She wanted to be involved, but she is too little to be around the knives while we were carving. Most of her time was spent climbing on things and being told to get down.

Athena is doing a nail check here. Another drawback to long fingernails - everything gets underneath them. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, read my post about the
fake fingernails.

Jeremy did clean out his own pumpkin. He ate most of it and put the rest into the bowl. OK, so he just did this for the picture, but whatever.

I didn't take any pictures of the actual carving of the pumpkins because I had a knife in my hand, goop all the way up to my elbow, and was trying to keep kids out of the way of my swinging knife, but here are the finished products.

Nathan's is the scay face on the end. Samantha's is the BYU pumpkin. Athena's is the face that is supposed to be a pirate (the big part on the bottom is the beard). Jeremy's is - you guessed it - the Go Jazz pumpkin.

I tried a few times to get a good picture of everyone on the porch behind their pumpkins. Don't worry, that isn't Samantha's underwear. She is wearing a skort and those are the shorts.

Another try - this time with Alexandra in the picture.

And finally, we got it! The perfect one!

I love my family. They are a lot of fun. :) After pumpkins we all went inside and the kids got ready for bed and had root beer floats. It was a fun evening! I still have to carve Alexandra's pumpkin. I did get it cleaned out but ran out of time to make a face in it. I'll do that tonight - along with roasting our pumpkin seeds.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ooh La LAAA!

Athena has been asking me for months if she could get some fake fingernails. She thinks they are just so beautiful, especially because she always bites her real fingernails and they never grow past the tips of her fingers. I have been trying to talk her out of wanting fake nails for months. So I finally came to terms with the fact that I need to just let her try it out and see for herself what they are like. I told her I wasn't going to buy them for her and if she wanted them bad enough she would have to use her money to buy them.

Well the long awaited day came and we went looking for fake nails. The ones we found at walmart were $4 - $6. I cringed at having her spend that much of her own money on fake nails! I talked her out of them and we went to check at the dollar store. Thankfully they had some and she only had to pay $3. She got 2 sets of nails and a little tube of glue.

Last Friday when the girls were out of school I finally found the time to sit down with Athena, cut and file the nails down to size, and attach them to her real fingernails. She was so excited about it that she waited patiently and watched while I carefully shaped each nail. Here she is with the finished product.

A little bit closer view.
Even though I think it's cute that she desired to have these nails so strongly, I'm crossing my fingers that this will curb her fascination with fake nails and when these die, then we will be done with the whole thing.

Still Playing

For those of you who saw my earlier post about Settlers and the dream I had, don't worry. Settlers is still going strong over here! :) I had to take this picture just to prove it. Daddy and I played last Thursday.

While I'm on the subject, Daddy - for the record - I really enjoy having you come over and play. The kids look forward to having you over too!

Daddy and I play Settlers once a week for an afternoon and it's been a really good thing for us. Not only do we get to enjoy a game we both love, we have grown closer as friends and I appreciate that. Daddy gets worried that he will become a burden on me by coming over once a week, but I don't look at it that way. I enjoy it. Yes, it is difficult sometimes trying to take care of the kids and keep a game going at the same time. That doesn't mean I am annoyed at him being here, it just means we have a crazy busy house like everyone else. I can still go on enjoying other people's company. Did that make sense? LOL, it made more sense in my head, I think. Anyways - Settlers goes on and I'm happy about it! It didn't get covered in water and sink. You get the gist.

One more thing, the kids have created a tradition for themselves with Daddy coming over all the time. When it's time for him to leave, he gets in the car and revs up the engine. The kids all go stand at the end of the driveway in their starting positions. As soon as Daddy starts to drive they all take off running for the corner of our neighborhood and try to race him to the end of the street. Then they all stand at the corner and wave goodbye to him as he drives off. It's so cute and fun to watch! Alexandra has even started to get in on the fun and she lines up with the rest of them to make a run for it and try to "beat" grandpa to the corner.

Friday, October 24, 2008


We have been quite festive this Halloween. :)

I was walking past my neighbor's house the other day and I happened to comment to her that I thought her ghosts in the yard were cute. She told me how her kids made the ghosts and then promptly ran in her house to get me some of her garbage bags. I told her it wasn't necessary, but she insisted I take them. That was very nice of her. She said they have so many of these little white garbage bags that she didn't know if they would use them all anyway. I took the garbage bags home and made ghosts with the family that night.

Here are the supplies we used.

The ghosts took all of about 5 minutes to make. The kids liked the part where they make a ghost face on the bag. I think the eyes on Nathan's ghost are cute. One is huge and the other is practically a dot.

Athena made her face out of green marker. She accidentally drew it on the bottom of the bag and we had to flip the bag around and have her do it again. So her ghost has 2 faces!

Jeremy made me laugh. He couldn't figure out how to get the bag open. Actually, neither could the kids, but it was funny to see him sit and fight with the bag.

Samantha copied Jeremy by putting BYU in the mouth of her ghost. Jeremy actually put U of U in the mouth of his ghost because he wanted his ghost to be eating U of U. Samantha didn't quite get that concept and thought she was showing team spirit. It's ok. We get the idea.

Here are all the completed ghosts, ready to be hung outside.

I was trying to take pictures of the ghost hangings. Samantha discovered how fun it is to try to get in the camera shot. Here she is, ruining my picture!

OOOOOH! Our house is haunted! I took pictures of all 6 ghosts hanging in their various locations.

That's the end of it. Did you count all 6? :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Love My One Year Old!

Last night Alexandra woke up in the middle of the night crying. I didn't want to get up so I laid in my bed hoping she would go back to sleep. She kept crying, so I got up and went in her room. The poor little girl was laying in a huddle with no blankets, more than half asleep, crying because she was cold. I felt so bad for her! I picked her up and brought her into my bed to warm her up and help her fall back asleep.

Then it was the usual story. Once she was in my bed she wanted to play. She was climbing all over the place and talking in her little baby chatter. I tried to keep her calmed down so she would sleep. I laid her by me and started rubbing her head and her face, and running my fingers through her hair. My arm started getting tired because I had it arched up in the air so I could reach her head, so I stopped rubbing her head for a minute. I thought it was so super cute because right when I stopped, she felt around for my hand. Then she took my hand and put it back on her head! I rubbed her head a little while longer and then took another rest. She did the same thing, took my had and put it back on her head. After she was in my bed for awhile, I could see she wasn't going to fall asleep with me so I said to her, "Do you want to go night night?" She said, "mHM!" (that means yes, she says it all the time) I put her down and she ran straight to her room. I put her in bed, covered her up, and she went to sleep without any fuss at all.

I was actually glad I took her into bed with me, instead of being frustrated about losing sleep. It was nice to spend some quiet time just with Alexandra. Because she is the last of 4 kids, she doesn't get a lot of attention sometimes. I just love her!

After thinking about last night, I began to think just how grateful I am for my little one-year-old. She is really such a great example to me! She is always happy, jumps into every activity with so much enthusiasm, laughs at the drop of a hat, she is so forgiving, and she shows so much love. She brings a littlle more joy into our home. She is the only kid who hasn't learned to fight yet, she is easy-going and just goes with the flow of the household.

Since I am doing a little ode to Alexandra, I dug up a few pictures to display. Here she is at Seven Peaks. She LOVES to swim and already puts her whole face in the water to blow bubbles. Then she comes up all excited and rubs her little eyes.

Here she is after she played really hard.

Who says clothes don't belong in the bath? I'm having fun!


What a happy little girl!

This morning on the way to school I was teasing the kids. While I was driving I was mildly rocking the van back and forth with the steering wheel (don't worry, we weren't in any danger and I was staying inside the lines). Alexandra started laughing up a storm, like she had never experienced anything that was even close to that much fun. She had the whole car laughing. All the kids were asking me to do it again and again so they could hear her laugh about it again.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How to Host A Murder Party

Last weekend Jeremy and I went to our traditional How to Host a Murder party at our friend's cabin. The theme of the party was "A Murder on the Grill" and was staged in Kansas City, Missouri in 1959.

This is the cabin we stayed in. It's bigger than our house! We have come up here several times, but still, when I think of cabin I think of a little log structure big enough for a bed and a small bathroom. So to me, this is a house that is made to look like a cabin. :)

The room we stayed in was nice. It's on the 2nd floor - so those were our windows. It had it's own bathroom, walk-in closet, gas fireplace, deck, and sitting area.

Here is the bed we slept in. It was cozy.

For the party, we were all given specific instructions on who are characters were and what we were to wear to the party. We had a barbecue dinner that followed the menu that comes included in the game. It was really tasty! Then we started our party.

This is Russ and Dede. They came as the characters Ivan Spudnik (a Russian rocket scientist) and Tiara Diamond (the newly crowned Miss Kansas City).

Here are Jeremy and I. Our characters were Johnny Angel (a mechanic who likes to cruise for chicks in his '57 Chevy) and Barby Q (a blond divorcee with an IQ of 140 and heartaches by the number).

Our friends who hosted the party are Mike and Kristi. Their characters were Chubby Cheddar (a Rock 'n Roll musician who finally made it big) and Bobby Sox (National hula hoop champion of 1958).

The party was really a lot of fun. We played the murder game until about 10:00 pm and it was revealed that Dede was the murderer. It finally wasn't me! I've been the murderer the past 2 out of 3 games. It was nice to get a little break. :)

After the party we played a couple of games. One game we played is called 25 Words or Less. You have to try to get your team to guess a series of words in as few clues as possible. Jeremy had us all rolling on the floor with laughter. I have to give him a little credit because it was late and none of our brains were working at full capacity, but he did give us a good laugh! An example: he was trying to get us to guess the words, "rain check". He thought for a good while and then wasted 4 word clues by saying, "no . . . food . . . in . . . store". OK, maybe you had to be there, but we were laughing so hard! The other team hadn't a clue what he was trying to describe. He also used 3 words on "blue blank bow". That was his clue to get them to guess "ribbon". Sorry Jeremy, I had to write it down so I can remember it for later. It was a classic!

After the games we tried to watch the movie "Clue", but everyone fell asleep within the first 15 minutes.

In the morning we enjoyed the luxury of sleeping in until 8:30! Then Jeremy and I got up. He went to make french toast for breakfast and I took a shower. Then after breakfast we played a fun game of dodgeball with everyone. Half of the people stand up in the loft and half stand below in the family room. You have to throw these little soft balls at each other and try to hit the other team. If you get hit or if someone catches your ball you are out. We were running around and up and down the stairs like mad. After about 35 minutes of dodgeball we were all worn out an burning up, so we headed outside and rode on the 4-wheelers for an hour.

Jeremy and I had to leave the earliest to pick up our kids, so we cut our 4-wheeler ride short and went back to pack our things.

It was a really fun little party. I like this tradition. I'm hoping we don't run out of murder scenarios and have to stop our annual parties. We have done 4 of them now. I don't know how many there are in circulation. Thanks Mike and Kristi for the party!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Crazy Hair Day

This week is Red Ribbon Week at school for the girls. They love this week because they get to do all kinds of fun things including dressing up and having assemblies about saying NO to drugs. Today is Crazy Hair Day. It makes me laugh to think about how many moms got up today trying to rack their brains for something creative to satisfy their kids and help them take part in the Crazy Hair Day. Athena and Samantha kept talking about it last night because they were so excited. Here is what we came up with.

A side view of just how tall their hair is.

I'm hoping it lasts until the end of the day. They both thought this was pretty neat!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Collecting Leaves

Last Friday Jeremy took the day off work to spend with the family. It was really nice to have us all together on a weekday. :) It just feels different, like a vacation at home. We planned to go up the canyon to collect colorful leaves - like we do every year. This time we went up the canyon to Maple Lake. It has a nice trail that goes all the way around the lake. We are just starting onto the trail in this picture.
Samantha looks cute here. I think it's funny how she refused to wear her jacket. We made her bring it because it was a little bit chilly. She definitely sticks to her guns.

Ho! I am Jeremy! I found a cat tail!

Jeremy was the only one brave enough to lean way over the cold water and fetch a couple of cat tails. I have been wanting to show the kids what cat tails are and let them play with it. I used to play with them when I was little and I thought they were completely fascinating. Athena and Samantha loved the cat tail, and I still think they are fascinating. They sat and pulled and pulled and pulled out the cotton until Athena had the great idea to have Samantha spank her with it. The cotton stuck all over the back of her coat. After that I told them they were done.

We used the timer! Jeremy just now realized that our camera has a timer! It made me laugh because it was the typical "Dad trying to use the timer" experience. We sat there FOREVER in our pose, until our legs were killing while he tried to set it up. He had the camera sitting on a picnic table and it was pointed too low for where he wanted us to be - up on this hill. He sat there trying to balance the camera on little fishing egg containers that someone had left up there. The camera kept on falling over and pointing the wrong way. Finally he thought he had it right, so he ran up and joined us, only to have the camera not click. He had to go back and adjust it some more and actually turn the timer on (it wasn't really on the first time). Then he ran up again and we got this picture. He wanted to try it one more time, but I told him we were done sitting there. I think it turned out cute, though.

This stream leads to the lake. We thought it looked really pretty with the sun shining on it. It was much more sparkly in person. :)

Pretty view of the lake. The water was so perfectly clear that we could see the fish swimming around underneath.

I took this pretty picture of all the fall leaves decorating the mountainside.

When we were driving home we passed this point where we could see all the way down into the valley. I love this view.

Just as we were about to come out of the canyon we had to slow down for this flock of wild turkeys. I didn't even know they lived up there! I'm sure there are tons of animals up there, they are usually just hiding in the brush.

The kids all collected their fair share of pretty leaves to bring home and I even got some to decorate our table with. I came home and put them all in a vase on our table. Now we have a little bit of fall at our home.
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