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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Athena!!!

Today is Athena's birthday! I'm so happy to have her in our home and have the opportunity to raise her as my child. On this day 9 years ago I got up really early in the morning and headed to Mountain View Hospital to be induced. My due date was November 25th, but I was 5 days late. It was absolute torture for me! Especially because that day was Thanksgiving and when I walked in to the relatives house for our Thanksgiving day I was huge and miserable. Everyone kept on asking when I was due and I had to admit that I was due that day and was now running into overtime. Yep. Miserable.

So, back to November 30, 1999 - at the hospital I was started on pitocin at 8 am and started feeling contractions around 10 am. I seem to remember getting an epidural around noon. Then Jeremy and I popped a video in and watched a movie until the nurses checked me and told me I'd be pushing soon. At around 4 pm I started pushing and Athena was born at 4:20 pm. Thinking back on the whole experience, there really wasn't much drama at all and it was rather nice. I got the epidural, it worked, I had time to enjoy a movie. Yes, the pushing and actual HAVING her really hurt, but nothing out of the ordinary. So, that's Athena's birth story. Not bad, huh?

I found a few old pictures of her on the computer to show how big she has grown. :)

This is when Athena was one and we lived in our townhome. She loved to knock down the towers I'd build for her.
Here Jeremy and I are with Athena going sledding. This is when she didn't have to share her parents yet!

Athena with her most treasured possession when she was little. His name is Bear. She never let him out of her sight.

I found Athena sneaking into some food. She looks like she got caught.

Here is Athena today! Today she turned 9 years old!! Time has gone so quickly and it really doesn't seem like we have had her for 9 whole years. She seems to be growing up so much and making the transition from kid to pre-teen. I really enjoy the fact that she is able to understand reason and logic a little more and is taking on more responsibilities.

Today was a good day for Athena and I really hope she felt special all day long. We went to church this morning. All afternoon was spent with Jeremy and I taking turns going to choir or meetings, and then preparing for her little family party this evening. Athena spent the afternoon playing. She got lots of time on the Nintendo DS and also played in her room with Samantha.

For her birthday dinner both Grandmas and Grandpas came over. Athena chose everything that was creamy. She picked cream of chicken/cream cheese chicken over rice and cream corn. I made some cheesy drop biscuits to go with the meal. Then for dessert she wanted homemade cookies 'n cream ice cream. It turned out good and we all got full.

Then we had her open presents. She was so excited for this part of the day! She received cards from her grandparents, earrings and barrettes from Jeremy and I, and a gift certificate to Build-a-Bear from Grandma Lynda. It's nice that she can read now. She sat and read both her cards and I didn't have to do a darn thing! :)

There was one thing she wanted in particular, a FurReal Kitty. She has been itching to get this gift and we have visited the kitty several times in the store. During last week I went to our Walmart to purchase her kitty and when I got there, there were none in sight! I came home and called the Springville Walmart to see if they had any. I sat on the phone with them for about 1/2 hour while I got transferred from the service desk, to Electronics, to Produce, then back to Electronics. FINALLY, after all of that, I got to the bottom of it and was told that yes, they had FurReal Kitty in stock. It was on my workout night, so after working out I drove to Springville to get the cat even though it was late. I did go in and buy it and the whole way through the store the cat kept meowing in my cart. Then it meowed all the way home. I put it in my closet and it meowed in there. So we finally put the cat downstairs in the storage room to wait for her birthday to arrive.

Yesterday Jeremy and I took the kids to Toys R Us to look around for gift ideas. Athena went to where the FurReal Kitty was stocked and realized that they were all sold out. She was CRUSHED. She thought we were going to the store to purchase her birthday gifts. I didn't know she was so put out by that. A few minutes later I looked over at her in the store and she was crying. I talked to her and realized the problem she saw, that she wasn't going to get her Kitty because they were all sold out and we didn't buy it in time. I couldn't tell her that I already got her one, so instead I told her that I knew a lot of different things she wanted for her birthday and that whatever I chose to get for her, I knew she would love it and not to worry about it. I also told her that I went to our Walmart and they were sold out too, but not to worry, I'd get her something else that she would love just as much. She started poking around the store looking for other options. I felt so bad for her! It's so hard to understand surprises and waiting for things when you are little!

Today, when I was wrapping her gifts, I wrapped the Kitty I bought at Walmart and it wouldn't stop meowing at me through the box. I couldn't bring it out with the other gifts because she would hear it, so I hid it under my bed. She opened all her other gifts and I asked her if she was happy with what she got. She said she liked all her gifts and seemed pleased, but not bursting with joy. I then went to my room and came back with the box. Her eyes got 3 times bigger than normal and she just burst into a smile that practically went all the way around her head! Athena ripped the paper off so fast and couldn't stop smiling the rest of the night. :) I'm glad I drove to Walmart late. It was worth it.

Alexandra and Nathan just HAD to try climbing in the box after we got the Kitty out.

Nathan looks cute, all packaged up and ready to be bought!
After presents we had our homemade ice cream for dessert. It was tasty! I guess Athena really is getting older. She picked homemade ice cream instead of having me decorate a traditional birthday cake because she said she thought this was yummier. I'm sure she is right about that. Little kids don't care about the taste, they want the pretty cake. She is thinking practical now!
After dessert, and for the rest of the night, Athena played with and admired her new FurReal Kitty.

Happy Birthday Athena!!! I love you!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Family Thanksgiving

I am thankful for my family!!

This year it was my turn to have Thanksgiving with my family and it was also our turn to host. It turned out to be a ton of work, but lots of fun too. :) I did get to sleep in until about 9 am which was WONDERFUL! Then I decided I'd better get to work.

I got up, showered, and went right to the kitchen to start preparing my first turkey ever. It was pretty gross, especially the skin! The recipe I used said to put the oil/seasoning mixture underneath the skin and then toothpick the skin back down into place. BLAH! It sickened me to pull out the neck, and then it was even worse to pull the bag of "parts" out of the bum! Could they make it any worse? I guess it could be worse. At least I didn't have to chase the turkey down, chop off it's head, watch it run around a little more, boil it, pluck off all the feathers, and cut out the guts on my own. So, I'll stop complaining. I like to eat turkey. Let's leave it at that.

After I got the turkey in the oven it was on to the rolls! Mmmmm, homemade rolls. I was in charge of rolls this year because Thanksgiving was at my house. I ended up making over 9 dozen rolls! I don't mind though, rolls are fun to make and so delicious.

While the rolls were rising I cut and peeled about 15 lbs of potatoes and left them in water so they wouldn't turn black. Then Jeremy and I started working on the seating situation. Our guest count for the day was 30, so we had to find places for 30 people to sit (18 of them being children). I didn't want kids carrying their plates of food over the carpet, so we managed to make places for all the kids to sit in the kitchen, and all the adults in the family room. Here is how it looked before it became chaotic.

After setting up the tables and chairs I finished my roll-making. Here are the finished, pre-cooked products. Count them up if you wish, there ARE more than 9 dozen here.

After an entire morning of being on my feet and being worked to the bone, my family started to arrive. :) Before I knew it, hoards of food came pouring in through the front door with each new family who arrived. There were hardly places to put it all!

I gave Jeremy the job of carving the turkeys. There were 2. Mama cooked one at her house and brought it over. Shauna and I put the potatoes on to cook in the pressure cookers, and I started baking the rolls, one batch at a time.

Finally, after another 1 1/2 hours of work in the kitchen, dinner was ready! We ate at about 3:30 pm and boy was it delicious! All the parents got the kid's plates ready. It really helped to cut down on kitchen traffic by having the kids stay seated. The kids were really good about it too. They all seemed to have a good time eating with their cousins.

Here is Alexandra enjoying her Thanksgiving dinner. I can actually get her to smile now for pictures. I tell her, "show me your teeth!" This one didn't turn out so well, but you get the idea.

I realize now that I skipped an entire portion of our day with the picture storytelling! After dinner all the kids ran outside to play for about an hour. It was perfect! That gave us time to clean up and visit a little while the kids worked off some energy. Then they all came in and Jeremy took them down to the theater room to watch Wall-E.

I quite enjoyed visiting with my family while the kids were occupied. We even had time for my favorite part - a couple of games with the adults!

Pretty soon the kids were back upstairs asking for more food. They all knew pies had been brought into the house and were putting on the pressure pretty heavy to cut into them. Reluctantly the adults split and we were back to work in the kitchen making whipped cream and cutting pies. We had so many different kinds of pies that I don't even remember all the flavors to list here. Basically, everyone was overly satisfied and had their fill.

I was so proud of myself at dinner because I only ate until I was full, not overstuffed. Well, I made up for it with the pie. I ate 2 pieces which put me OVER THE TOP. I had to sit on the couch and try to not move for fear the pie would come right back up again. The pie was really good, though and thankfully Alexandra is still little enough to share off my plate. I had one piece of Pumpkin Chiffon and a piece of Lemon Buttercream. They were both excellent!

Jeremy took this picture of what the husbands did for most of the time. They holed up in my living room and conversed. :) Doug is hiding his face with a pillow. Would we expect anything else? I thought it was funny, they took all the leftover chairs and used them all as foot rests.

It seemed to me that everyone had an enjoyable time at my house and I'm glad that we could provide a place for the party. By about 9:30pm everyone decided it was time to head home and thankfully, when all was said and done, everyone pitched and to help clean up my house that had been literally destroyed with toys by all the playing kids.

It was almost 10pm by the time the last car pulled away. Our kids were exhausted so Jeremy and I set about the task to get them to bed. Nathan was sent downstairs to find pajamas and never came back up. When we went down to check on him, we found him at the bottom of the stairs. He was in only his underwear completely knocked out! He played himself out! Jeremy got him to bed and I got Athena and Samantha to bed.

Michelle brought these little Pooh bear chairs for Nathan and Alexandra because her kids have grown out of them. The chairs were a hit! They love them! As we were getting the kids ready for bed, Alexandra went and settled into her chair happy as a clam.

Jeremy and I settled in front of the TV with Alexandra to watch our favorite Thursday shows, The Office and Survivor. Much to our dismay, neither of them were new this week. What a super bummer! Instead we fell asleep in front of the TV watching the news. So that's the end of our Thanksgiving day. It was a good day and I enjoyed having everyone over. Now we will move onto the next big event . . . CHRISTMAS!!! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Hope You Enjoy This as Much as We Did!

I am copying Cynthia by putting this on my blog, but it was so funny that it had us all rolling around the computer! (scroll down and pause my playlist at the bottom of my blog before you start the videos)

I was watching it last night and Nathan was with me. He started laughing out loud and the contagious music soon drew in Alexandra. She hurried and crawled up on my lap to enjoy the show. Then Samantha came in to see what was going on. She started laughing so loud that Athena could hear her, so Athena came running in. Pretty soon all 5 of us were sitting around the computer laughing our heads off. It made me laugh to see the kids laughing so hard together. So cute! Of course Jeremy had to see what all the commotion was about so he peeked in. Then when it had died down and the kids were off doing their own things, Jeremy snuck into the computer room and privately viewed these videos. LOL! I hope it makes your day just a little more cheery!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Does This Mean I Have to Cheer?

Jeremy insisted that I finally break down this weekend and purchase my first article of clothing that actually says BYU on it. He has been wishing, fantasizing, dreaming about, and practically begging me for YEARS to get something with the BYU name on it so I could wear it on game days. On Saturday we were in Costco and they had a whole table full of BYU hoodies. He decided that this was the day it would happen - for him to actually see me wear it. Fortunately the table was for juniors and none of the hoodies fit. I figured it was a wonderfully close call and I could put it off a little longer.

Nope, out of the question. Jeremy decided he was on a hunt and it wasn't going to end until I was wearing the desired clothing. We ended up driving around to a few different stores only to be disappointed that it wasn't the right size, color, or style.

FINALLY we went to the Shopko in Spanish Fork. We were tired of loading the kids in and out so I ran in to scope the store. Within a couple of minutes I had found THE ONE!!!! I called Jeremy and told him that this store had what he wanted me to have and I'd be out in a minute. He actually told me, "Just wear it out and have them scan the tag!" Well, I brought it out in a bag, but just to satisfy him, I put it on in the car for all to admire.

I'm obviously not a big sports fan and have never bought any BYU attire because it just plain isn't high on my agenda of MUST HAVE items. Oh well, I guess if Jeremy will be so easily pleased on game days just to see me sport something from his team then it will be worth it. It just might be the saving factor of our relationship. :) (You know, if there is a problem or anything - I'll just run and put on my hoodie to show how much I love him.)

So, here it is.
Jeremy was so proud of me wearing it that he wanted a picture of us together wearing our BYU clothes. So . . . here WE are.

So now that the purchase is done and out of the way, will he expect me to cheer? Well, it DID take almost 11 years for him to get me to wear a hoodie, so don't expect too much too soon.

What is lunch?

Today when I was eating lunch with Nathan and Alexandra, I had this conversation.

Nathan: "Mom, we are eating lunch?"
Me: "Yes."
Nathan: "Oh! I thought we were eating food!"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Good Morning MOM!!!!

This was my attempt to sleep in yesterday. First one, then another, then another, then another.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

French Bread Pancake

I made french bread for my first time yesterday. I was quite excited to try it because I LOVE a good, hot piece of french bread fresh from the oven. It was easier to make than I would have thought, but then I really messed up. I let it raise and it looked perfect, then I brushed on egg whites and used a knife to make cuts across the top. I didn't realize I was supposed to perform these actions BEFORE raising the dough. OOPS! My dough fell and looked like a sorry little lump in the middle of the cookie sheet. I had planned on using the bread to make garlic bread, but you can't really make garlic bread when there isn't a surface to spread the garlic on!

I cooked it up anyway and it smelled and tasted WONDERFUL! The picture doesn't truly reflect the flatness of the finished loaf. It only stands about an inch high and is about 5 inches wide. At least the mess-up didn't affect the flavor. I'm going to have to try it again with my newly found knowledge of what order I should complete the steps in the baking process.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lip Gloss Queen

Yes, I AM the lip gloss queen. I love lip gloss and am utterly addicted to the stuff! I have lip gloss in a wide variety of brands, colors, scents, and mediums. At any given time I can go through any one of my jackets, new or old, and discover a lip gloss that has been there for any length of time and apply it in a snap.

Recently I found that I have a little follower who is now competing for my newest flavors. I was sitting in the office by the computer when I heard my bedroom door close ever so quietly. I got up after a minute to go check why my door was being closed. When I went in, there was no one in my room. I walked around my bed only to find no one on the other side of my bed. Then I heard a little giggle.

I looked UNDER the bed to find Alexandra! She was hiding there and peeking out as I walked from side to side. She had one lip gloss in each hand and was alternating which one went into her mouth!! Smart girl. She had to climb up my vanity to get it in the first place! Looks like I'm going to have to be a little more protective of my lip gloss.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tagged for a Photo!

I got tagged for this a long time ago - but I just wasn't ready to do a tag. :) I'll do it now.

I am supposed to post the 4th picture from the 4th folder and tag 4 people. The problem was that I don't have any pictures in my 4th folder. So I went to my picture folder and found the 4th picture instead. Here it is!

This is a really random picture. It is at our family Christmas party last year when we played Fear Factor. Jeremy is holding Alexandra (then 7 months old) and Lisa's bum is in the background. Woo hoo!

I will tag Aprilyn, Cynthia, Dena, and Wendy. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cutting the Christmas Tree

Is it really that time again? Yesterday we went to cut down our Christmas tree. This is an annual tradition that we carry out with Jeremy's family. We have been doing it since we were first married. I did tell Jeremy that because we now have our tree, I can officially begin to listen to Christmas music (he disagrees, but we'll see when I pop in that CD!). We got up early, packed up the stuff, and met our group of people at the mouth of the canyon. Then we drove up to a place we've been before by Daniel's Summit.

The tires on our car are pretty bald and need to be replaced. We turned to go up a steep, dirt road and thought we could possibly make it because it was dry and had no snow on it. Then we turned the corner, into the shade, and the entire road was covered in snow. We stopped as the car in front of us took the snowy corner. It was Jeremy's aunt Geri and she was driving a 4-wheel drive vehicle. As she turned the corner, the car slid in the direction of the cliff. We watched as Geri put the car into 4-wheel drive and get out of her predicament, but her car just slid further to the edge. Finally a bunch of the men in our line-up of cars jumped out and pushed her to safety. After that I told Jeremy NO WAY are we attempting that road in our VAN. We stopped right there on the steep, narrow road, unpacked the kids and all of our stuff for lunch, snow, chairs, and whatever else we needed, and shifted to other cars. Jeremy parked our car on a wider part of one of the switchbacks.

Once we got to the top of the mountain, the ground flattened out and it was time to go on a tree hunt. This year was a little easier because Alexandra isn't a new baby anymore, and Athena and Samantha are old enough to actually find enjoyment in the activity of hiking all around in the snow. Jeremy and I worked quickly to bundle up all the kids, and ourselves, so we could set out to find that PERFECT tree.

Here is Nathan all bundled and ready to go.

All of us together.

Jeremy and I broke down and bought new snow bibs for all the kids this year. They were all very excited to get to break them in. The snow ended up being very hard and packed down because it hasn't stormed for awhile and has been sunny. Nathan was the funniest to watch when we were hiking. He was reveling in the novelty of wearing "puffy clothes". As we hiked, he kept falling (on purpose) and diving all over the place, even though the snow wasn't soft. I would laugh at him and ask if he fell on purpose. Then he would just lay there and giggle.

We hiked the opposite direction of the rest of our party because we wanted to get good pickings for a tree. Turns out everyone else went the other way because there were actually trees to choose from! LOL We hiked and hiked and hiked before we came upon any trees that would even close to qualify for being cut down and placed in our front room. Finally our direction panned out and we came upon what seemed to be the perfect tree. We stayed by that tree for a good 5 minutes (it feels longer than it sounds) stewing over whether or not this one should be chopped.

Jeremy took this picture of Alexandra while we were discussing the first tree. She was being cute just standing there in her own little world being puffy and warm. She is looking at me and refused to look at Jeremy, who was holding the camera. I kept telling her to look at Dad and she just wouldn't.

Jeremy decided against the first tree because he thought the boughs at the bottom weren't wide enough. We had to move on. We hiked and hiked and hiked some more. After about a total of 25 or 30 minutes of walking seemingly aimlessly through the snowy forest we found "IT". The tree that will be honored in our home for this Christmas season. Hooray! Actually, we did stand around and analyze this tree too. Here is what the kids did while they waited for us to come to an agreement.

Once it was decided upon, Jeremy left to go back to the group and hunt down the chainsaw. He took Athena and Samantha with him and I stayed by our tree in the forest with Nathan and Alexandra. Nathan was being really cute while we were together. He fell several more times (on purpose) and then found a poky branch on a quaking aspen that was really good for breaking hard pieces of snow. He went about finding crunchy pieces of snow to stab through with that poky branch. It was quite entertaining for him. I could see that Alexandra was tired. I held her and rocked her while listening to Nathan humming and the wind rustling through the trees. She finally relaxed enough to give in and close her eyes. No more than 10 minutes later, Jeremy and the girls returned with the chainsaw and he revved it up. That was the end of our peaceful alone time. Alexandra woke up with a start and started crying because she was scared of the chainsaw.

I put her down, held onto the trunk of the tree, and Jeremy ran the saw through the trunk. Athena and Samantha took great joy in yelling, "TIMBER!" as our beloved tree fell to the ground and bounced a little.

This is it! Our tree for this Christmas season. It's kind of hard to see because of the lighting, so if you want a better look, feel free to visit us anytime between the day after Thanksgiving and New Year's.

Jeremy hauled the tree back. Athena and Samantha helped him carry it too! Jeremy really appreciated the help. He held the heaviest part, the bottom, and they helped by holding the top of the tree together.

When we got back to our group we all enjoyed a hot bowl of soup with crackers. We also ate chips, doughnuts, hot chocolate, and cookies. We ended up sitting around for a very long time because some people in the group had a harder time finding their perfect tree.

We couldn't leave until everyone's tree was cut down and secured on the trailer. The weather turned out to be perfect for me. It was near 50 degrees and sunny. In years past it has been snowing or below freezing. I stayed bundled up and was able to be comfortable and not shivering for 4 hours straight. That part was nice. It also kept the kids happier because they could play instead of whining that they were freezing.

Here is a picture of Athena enjoying some time with her friend, Adrianna.

I think everyone ended up having a good time going to get the Christmas tree. To be honest, this isn't my favorite tradition of the year because I detest the cold and don't enjoy listening to kids whine for several hours straight without a break. However, given the fact that a couple of our kids are older now, and the weather was nice, it didn't turn out to be that bad and it will make a fun memory for the kids. We also had the privilege of seeing a bald eagle flying high above us. That was a real treat for me!

There were a lot more things that I wanted to take pictures of, like Alexandra making friends with Sid (Mike's yellow labrador dog) who is almost as tall as she is. I also would have liked to have a picture of Athena and Samantha playing on the little slippery hill they made out of snow. I wouldn't have minded having a picture of Nathan trying to enjoy a doughnut that was almost as big as his face, so Jeremy had to cut it into little pieces for him. My camera ran out of batteries, so I had to cut the picture-taking short. Thankfully we did get a few pictures to document this occasion. :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Time Out Fun?

This morning, as I was driving the girls to school, Nathan wouldn't stop spitting in the car. I told him if he spit one more time he would have to sit in time out when we got home. He spit one more time.

I put him in time out. He has to sit with his back against the wall. Apparently it was so much fun that Alexandra just HAD to join him. She gathered together all her things, sat down, and had a ball! That kind of ruined the whole time out thing, so Nathan got to be done and come talk about it.

Alexandra is into the copying phase, and she makes everything a party. Today in the car, when I told Nathan "no", I heard a perfect little "no" echo me from the back of the car! Yes, it was her.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Happier :)

So, things seem to be looking a little better. :) The sun has finally come out today and I'm so happy about that! I could never live in a place that is cloudy or rainy most of the time. I need my sunshine.

I've been going a little crazy lately because my mind has just been buzzing and I've felt the need to create ANYTHING. I finally put that to rest and wrote a fun little children's story yesterday. The kids LOVED it and asked for it again and again. I've been at a creative standstill and just needed to do something to get it out. I'm happy that I wrote the story.

Tonight I will be teaching step aerobics again. Last week it was cancelled because the room was being used for something else and it was such a disappointment to me. I ended up teaching a circuit training class in the creepy basement. This week will be much better and I'll get to use music again. Hooray!

Saturday we are going to chop down our Christmas tree. The weather is supposed to be nice. There will be snow where we are going, but at least the sun will be out!

I thought I'd better write this update to my last post, which was such a downer. I also changed the quote at the top of my page to one that really inspires me.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nothing to say so I might as well Say Nothing

By the title of this post, you can see why it's been so long between postings! Really, nothing has been going on here that is picture worthy - just a cold day, we make it through, eat dinner, and have an evening. Night after night after night. I've actually been pretty bummed since last Tuesday when I found out Obama won. I'm working on bouncing back, but I have to be reminded of this for the next 4 years! So, for this post, this is how I feel.
  • I wish it were warm again and I didn't have to bundle up myself in the house.
  • I am not happy that Obama won.
  • I'm happy to have my kids around me, but wish they wouldn't fight so much.
  • I'm running out of dinner ideas, but making do. We have been eating lots of rice because it goes with everything.
  • I've been working out on my usual schedule, but would rather do less circuit training and more aerobics even though I know I need to work on my upper body strength.
Wow, so, my title is definitely correct on this post. I have nothing to say really! LOL. On a more positive note . . .
  • I am so happy for my sister, Cynthia. She finally was able to bring her new little baby home this week that she had on November 2nd.
  • I'm also really happy to start seeing progress with Nathan. Ever since he turned 4 he has been trying REALLY hard to whine less and act more like a "big kid". He has even had a good report the past 2 Sundays from his primary teacher. That's a biggie!
  • I've started helping in Samantha's classroom. I love her teacher and I really enjoy being there around the kids and seeing Samantha absolutely light up with pride when I walk in the door. :)
  • I am trying to play the piano better and have decided to start practicing the hymns. I just started today and it was really nice. I've never played them because I like playing other things better. Today I realized that they are pretty easy to play and have a real calming effect.

So, that's what I've been up to. Any questions?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Another Kid Conversation

I was in my room getting ready to go work out. I overheard Samantha and Nathan having a conversation in the bathroom. Samantha was giving her doll a bath in the sink and Nathan was watching her.

Samantha: You'd better watch close, Nathan. When you grow up and have a little baby you will have to do this.

Nathan: Oh.

Samantha: You need to play with dolls so you can practice for when you have a baby.

Nathan: OK then. I will play with dolls.

LOL! Listening in is one of the highlights of raising kids!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Keep God in Schools

I was thinking today about our freedoms that we enjoy. Then my thoughts turned to the schools, and how my kids are unable to enjoy a lot of the freedoms that I enjoyed in my classroom when I was younger - prayer, Christmas songs, discussion of ALL the religions, etc. Then I thought how sad it is that kids can't even pray in school. I need to remind my kids that they can still say prayers anytime anywhere, even when they are at school, and no one can stop that. Then I remembered this cute thing that Samantha's teacher told me at the last SEP conference:

Samantha's teacher was trying to explain to the kids at the beginning of the year different words that were not allowed in the classroom. They were things like, "I can't" and mean words. Samantha's teacher called them "dead words". So the class was coming up with a list of dead words. Some of the kids weren't quite grasping the concept of a dead word, so the teacher asked the kids what "dead" means.

Samantha raised her hand and explained to the class that when you are dead, your spirit leaves your body but your body is still here on the earth. She said that your spirit goes to heaven to live with Heavenly Father and it waits there until you are resurrected. Then she went on to explain a mini version of the plan of salvation, right there in the classroom.

I'm so proud of Samantha for listening well when she is taught and for not being afraid to share what she knows to be true! I need to teach my kids the correct principles in the home. Even if the law doesn't allow this kind of discussion in the school, there is nothing they can do when a wonderful innocent child chooses to respond in the classroom with her knowledge of what is true. Through correct teachings, I still don't believe that God can be kicked out of the schools.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Celebrating Nathan's Birthday

Saturday we celebrated Nathan's birthday by having a little family party with Grandma and Grandpas coming over. I decorated a pirate cake for him to go along with his pirate costume he got to wear for Halloween on his birthday. See how it turned out? I think it looked really cute.
Nathan was also very proud of his cake!
We started out by letting Nathan open his presents. He was just being silly the whole time. He sure does like to be the center of attention.

Jeremy and I gave him his bike, a pirate ship to replace one he loved that broke, a pirate ship to play with in the tub, a star wars light saber, and a super cape.

From his Grandmas and Grandpas he received cards, money, and a gift certificate to Build-A-Bear. That's not a bad haul for a 4-year-old! I love watching the kids open birthday presents. It's so fun to see the excitement on their faces. :)

After presents we all headed to the table sang to him and let him blow out the candles. He had been rehearsing this for a week! Even before his birthday he would sing "Happy Birthday" to himself and pretend to blow candles.

Great shot of the BLOW!

We all quite enjoyed the cute pirate cake. It was very tasty. Nathan got his pick first and he picked to eat the pirate flag. I'm sure it tasted better than all the other pieces.

When cake was done, all that was left to do was for the kids to play with the new toys! That's the good part. It freed up some time and Daddy and I played settlers while Athena and Samantha played salon on Grandma and I.

Grandma hasn't had this kind of treatment in years! She was eating it up! She let Athena put in every last barrette that Athena could find. I remember doing this when I was little. :)

Finished product from the front. It's just beautiful!

This is my work in progress, taken by Athena. Thanks Samantha for the fancy do.

That ends the night! We had a fun birthday celebration for Nathan and now he can go on being 4.
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