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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Moms Get Excited Too

I got what I asked for for Christmas . . . CURLERS! :) I know I could have gone and got them any old time, but it's so much better when you get to unwrap it from under a tree! So, I finally got hot curlers and I'm so excited about them.

My hair is impossible because I have SO MUCH of it. This does the trick with curling my hair and me not having to spend an hour holding a hot curling iron to my head. On Christmas I couldn't help myself. I had to run into the bathroom and try them out!

I am amazing. I did, in fact, take all these pictures myself. I know it's hard to tell. It really looks like I'm in a studio with a bed as my background, but no. I DID IT!

Here I am letting the curlers work their magic.
TA DA!!!! The finished product!

And just in case you didn't know what my hair can do when it's in action - check this out!

video

Maybe one day you can do this too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here Comes Santa Claus

This past Sunday we went to the annual Santa party at Aunt Jeri's house. The kids were SO EXCITED and they were even counting the days until we could go. Every year Jeri has Santa come to her house and he brings a special treat for all the kids, we sing songs, and every kid gets a turn on his lap. We all got there early, had a little Christmas program, sang Christmas songs, and then Santa arrived in all his glory - ringing his bells, laughing, being jolly, and filling the room with excitement. When he came in, Alexandra clutched to my shirt and wouldn't let go. She didn't even want me to put her down and that almost never happens. Usually we prep the kids so they ask for the right things. This year we just let it go and decided to be surprised. :)

Santa immediately got to work by having the kids come up to sit on his lap, one by one. I love watching our kids faces as they watch each kid have their turn talking to Santa and anticipating what they will say.


Nathan was the first of our kids to have a turn with Santa. He was so cute! He really surprised me with how talkative he was. He went right up to Santa, looked him right in the eyes, and answered all the questions. He was using his hands while he talked and was quite animated! He told Santa he is four, and yes, he has been a good boy. Yes, he helps his mom. Finally it got to the good part . . . Nathan, what do you want me to bring you for Christmas?
Of all the things! Nathan told Santa - I want a broken pirate ship. LOL! What the? I asked him later and he stuck to his guns. He wants a broken pirate ship!

Samantha was the next one of our kids to be asked to come up.


She was also very good talking to Santa. She surprised us by asking for a lava lamp and a trampoline! I started re-thinking that idea not to prep the kids. Now we have to make another quick trip to the store.


Next was Athena. She asked for a lava lamp too - and a real live pony! Where did all this come from? I guess the pony can live in the backyard and use the trampoline for shelter while it plays with it's broken pirate ship.


Athena told me she believes this was one of Santa's helpers, not the real Santa. This has been my excuse for why there are so many Santa's around at Christmas time. Santa has to use his helpers to gather all the information at this time of year. I told Athena that I believe this is the REAL Santa because he is the same one every year and because he wears the REAL suit that has his initials all over it. It really is a great suit he wears. She seemed satisfied.


Last but not least came Alexandra. As you can see, she still didn't want me to put her down. She freaked out on Santa's lap. I was sure to tell Santa (loud enough for MY kids to hear) that she wants a doll, A DOLL! Alexandra got her candy from Santa and bolted right back up to my arms.


When all the kids in the room had their turn, we sang a couple more songs with Santa and he left the party. We stayed around and talked for awhile, ate a bunch of fattening treats, then left. We drove to see a light show that is close to Jeri's house - one of those cool shows that is choreographed to music.

Athena, Samantha, and Nathan wanted a better view of the show, so this is how they got it.


What a fun Christmasy night!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Magical Wishbone

Today Athena and Samantha broke the wishbone from Thanksgiving. They both closed their eyes and made their wishes, then pulled the wishbone with all their might. It broke and Samantha got the big end.

Athena was disappointed and said, "I wished that we were the impossible family and that we had a trampoline."

Samantha jumped up and down and said, "I wished that we were the impossible family and we had a trampoline too!!"

They both started jumping up and down, realizing the great fortune that had come upon them. An impossible family can do impossible things and they really want to be able to fly. Then Athena said, "Let's go see if we have a trampoline!" They both ran to the back door with great excitement. Then they looked in the backyard and at the same time let out a let-down "AAAWWWW!"

Now they are in the family room desperately trying to fly. LOL

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Anniversary!


Today is our 11-year wedding anniversary! We were married on December 18, 1997 at 8:20am in the Salt Lake City temple. It's fun for me to think back on that time and remember how exciting it all was with the 2 of us sitting in the hallway waiting to go in to the sealing room together to be sealed for eternity. We really loved each other back then and our love has only grown. We had no idea what kinds of challenges we would face or what kind of blessings we would receive together. We just knew that we wanted to be together forever no matter what was thrown our way.

We have had a lot of challenges in our 11 years together, but I believe we have overcome a great deal and I'm so happy to have Jeremy as my eternal companion. We have been blessed with 4 beautiful children who are all happy, healthy, and have amazing little spirits inside of them! I pray that it works out that Jeremy and I can share many more years together here on this earth and raise our family together. I love you Jeremy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Great Singing Athena!

Athena shared her talents with us last night at her Christmas Choir Concert. She is part of the Utah Valley Children's Choir and last night was their combined performance. She did a great job and it sounded really good! Here she is just before it started.

Athena's choir performed the following songs:

Sleep Baby Sleep (by Marlene D. Bartlett)
Come and See the Babe (by Mary Lynn Lightfoot)
Sing Unto the Lord (by Charles Yannerella)
O Come All Ye Faithful (arr. John Rutter)

She is on the back row with the clip in her hair.


I'm happy that Athena is in choir this year. She really loves it and looks forward to the day each week that she gets to go to choir. She loves singing the songs and learning new songs. It's fun for me to see her developing her talents. This picture below was taken just after her performance. Doesn't she look so grown up?!!


After the choir performance, we came home and I helped the kids decorate their own little Christmas tree to put downstairs. We got all the stuff for half off at Walmart, so we couldn't help but get it! Athena and Samantha have been itching to have their own little tree.


This time I let the kids do what they wanted with the tree and they even got to put their own hooks on the bulbs. They also picked to have rainbow lights on it (multi-colored). They always ask me to put rainbow lights on our big tree upstairs, but I like white lights, so they finally got their wish on their own little tree. They really enjoyed that!


I ended up putting the little tree on the counter so Alexandra doesn't take it apart and ruin all the little bulbs. All in all we had a fun evening with the choir and the tree!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Our New Little Puppy!

This morning Nathan swiped his whole bowl of corn flakes off the table and onto the floor. Thankfully he eats them dry because he doesn't like them with milk, but they were still ALL OVER THE FLOOR! I told him to get down and pick them up because he made the mess.

Alexandra immediately ran to where the mess was. Then Athena looked down and said, "Look Mom, we have a puppy!"



Alexandra scoured the floor until she figured she'd had her fill! It looks like we don't need a pet after all!

Fun for the Kids

Saturday we spent the entire day out shopping and running errands. It was a LONG day! At lunchtime, Nathan had been invited to a party at Chuck E Cheese's for his little cousin, Connor. It was Nathan's first time being invited to a birthday party all on his own. Jeremy walked him up to the door and took this picture of him.
Come to find out, we misunderstood and our whole family was invited to the 2-year-old party! Athena and Samantha were SO excited! We all went in and had pizza and played for a couple of hours.

Nathan and Alexandra really loved this little ride. Nathan had tokens and every time the ride would stop he would pull out another token and feed the ride so it would start up again for them. After awhile Alexandra got the hang of the tokens too and she wanted to feed her own rides.

We sang Happy Birthday to Connor and ate cake together. It turned out to be a fun little party and the kids especially had a blast. :) Connor got so many presents I was wondering if there would be anything left to give him for Christmas! It must be hard to have a birthday so close to Christmas.


Classic Skating
Last night for Jeremy's extended family Christmas party we went to Classic Skating. I didn't really want to put on skates this year because every year I just end up spending my whole time helping kids anyway and not really skating . . . and that's exactly what I ended up doing this time. So I saved that extra $1.

Alexandra didn't skate either, she mostly just hung out and did her own thing.


I spent most of my time helping Nathan learn to roller skate. He was so excited to put on his "wheel shoes" (that's what Curious George calls them). I was happily surprised by Nathan's perseverence in learning! He didn't want to stop, even though most of the night was spent with him being a noodle body and me trying to hold him up.


Jeremy rented scooters for Athena and Samantha. This was a fun, new experience for them. We don't have those kinds of scooters. At first they were a little shaky riding them, but soon got the hang of it. There is Athena out on the skating rink with her scooter.

Here is Samantha on her scooter.

By the end of the night, Nathan was feeling confident enough to try skating by himself. His sense of humor kicked in and every time he fell he would giggle, roll around on the floor for a minute, and then get back up. :)


Everyone brought treats and there were plenty of choices in the party room. Too much junk food for me! I tried to avoid the room for the most part, but did catch myself munching on a few treats. Some were just too good to pass up!


Jeremy took a few turns throughout the night helping Nathan, but mostly he would get frustrated and have Nathan sit down for a break. Nathan wouldn't smile for this picture, so this is what we get!

Alexandra is sitting on my lap in this picture.


Every time there was a little kid scooter that was unoccupied, she would run over and claim it. She did get a few good rides. We have a little princess scooter like this at home, but I forgot to bring it. Next year I'll try to be better prepared.

Overall the kids had a fun night. We got home late and they were all worn out. I enjoyed helping Nathan and watching him try so hard.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Beautiful Creche

Jeremy's calling in our ward is the Ward Mission Leader. This year he was asked by the bishop to head up and organize a Creche display at our church for our ward, the wards in our area, and the other local churches in our town. Jeremy has been working hard with his committee for the past month and it finally paid off. The Creche was held last Friday and it was full of very moving and beautiful displays!

When we first walked into the church lobby, we had hosts there to greet us and give us some information about how to find all the displays. They also had comment cards for people to fill out as they left.


As a nice added touch, this room was used for a coat check. I appreciated not having to keep track of all the kid's coats!

This is Jeremy and his good friend, Mike. Jeremy spent the evening as an usher - helping people and answering any questions.

This is what the main Creche display looked like. Isn't it beautiful??? A girl in our ward has a wedding business and she headed up all the decoration. She did an amazing job. Overall there were 174 nativities on display in 4 different rooms and they were all donated for the evening by ward members. I loved walking through and seeing all the different nativities and reflecting on my dear Savior, Jesus Christ.

At the end of the display time our ward choir performed a Christmas program. Most of the songs were from the Greater Than Us All program. I had the opportunity of performing in the choir with a lot of my friends and it turned out really well! Jeremy's parents, my parents, and Lisa with her kids came to listen to us sing and to admire the displays.

I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for sending His son to the earth for my sake. I think of the amazing person Jesus Christ is and I wonder what it must have felt like for Mary to hold such a perfect being as a baby. I know that Jesus Christ lives today and that through Him I can live with my Heavenly Father again. I love the Christmas season and the reminder it brings to me of that sacred night when Jesus entered our world. I hope we all will remember the reason why we are celebrating Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What a Gag

What do these items have in common? These are the wonderful gifts Jeremy and I had the pleasure of taking home from our Christmas white elephant gift party with our neighbors! :) I received the bobble-head Christmas pig. Jeremy received a bag full of empty CD cases and some very old internet security software. THANK YOU neighbors! I love gag gifts! It's so funny to me to see what everyone comes up with!

Last Wednesday Jeremy and I went to a couples party at our neighbor's house for Christmas. We both had a lot of fun eating fattening, yummy food and playing games. I'm grateful to have some really great people in our ward who we enjoy associating with.

This is Cory and Jennifer. They are are gaming guru friends. We get most of our game ideas from them - they have cost us a lot of money! Every time we play a new game with them we have to go get it because it's so much fun. We know them through the many game nights they have held and we always love to go play at their house.

Here are Dede and Russ. They threw the party and invited us all. Thanks, it was fun! We just recently started playing with them and have found we get along really well. :)

This is Mike and Kristi. We hang out with them quite often. Mike is proudly whispering an answer he knows into Kristi's ear. I remember because he wouldn't let us forget about the fact that he KNEW the answer! LOL
Here are Erica and Vince. We have recently been hanging out with them too and their daughter babysits our kids for us. We get along great and Erica inspired my most recent game purchase! Our kids always beg to go hang out with their kids even though they are all different ages. I guess we just play the same so we are all comfortable - it's nice.

This is Matt and Trudi. They are a great couple in our ward who we haven't hung out with much, but need to get to know better. Our paths haven't ever really crossed, but I've been meaning to get to know them better. I had to take this funny picture because for Trudi's gag gift she received the book Everyone Poops. She was SO PROUD of it! LOL I'm kidding, she probably wasn't too proud but the book gave us all a good laugh.

Then Matt showed us how truly proud he was of her gift by reading the book to us all. It is so funny! Thanks Matt. We needed to learn a little more about the art of pooping.
I feel blessed to have the privilege of associating with such wonderful people and that I feel like I'm surrounded by friends where I live. Thanks for the party Dede and Russ!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Popcorn and Tire Shop

Yesterday I was popping popcorn with my air popper in preparation to make caramel popcorn. Alexandra was so scared and would NOT come near the popcorn popper. I wanted her to see how the kernels pop and then come flying out into the bowl. Instead she ran across the room in fear and hid right here.
Yesterday afternoon it was finally time to get new tires put on our van. We had some errands to run while we were out so it became a family outing. The kids were absolutely fascinated when they saw our van in the garage with no wheels. They practically glued themselves to this door in anticipation of what would happen next!

I love to look at how my kids react to the world around them and imagine, once again, what the world must look like from their perspective. They find fascination in the littlest things and things that don't seem to be a big deal really become something to talk about in their little worlds.

What Alexandra thought the popcorn popper would do to her? I don't know!

I cringed at the thought of having to pay for 4 new tires for the van. On the other hand, the kids saw it as an exciting opportunity to watch our car get taken away, stripped of the old wheels, and made all new again. Then they admired the tires when we went to get back in the car.

Thank goodness for kids and the fresh perspective they give me. :)

Itching to Be in Snow

On Monday it finally snowed enough here to look like Christmas and actually cover the ground! Athena and Samantha have been so anxious for it to snow so they could use their new snow gear that we got them this year. As soon as they finished their homework they got themselves bundled and ran outside, even though it was dark by that time.

They both had a ball playing outside and just walking and rolling around in the snow!


Here is Samantha playing with the ball in the backyard.

Jeremy and I looked outside a little later that night and realized that half the backyard was filled with snow angels the girls had made. I think it's cute that they just relished every minute of "snow time". I also found footprints from them in the front yard where they simply walked around the trees for fun. :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

SURPRISE!!!

This past weekend was wonderful! Cathy and I flew to California to visit Cynthia as a surprise! We wanted to be there to help her with and be there for Matthew's baby blessing. A couple of weeks ago Cathy and I bought our plane tickets and made arrangements with Brett to be picked up from the airport and stay with Cynthia and Brett.

Last Friday, Cathy (with Abbie) and I boarded the plane and flew to Long Beach Aiport where Brett was waiting to pick us up. When we were driving to Cynthia's from the airport, she called Brett on his cell phone to ask where he was and he said, "I'm on the freeway - somewhere." I thought that was pretty funny. They were supposed to be going to a wedding reception that night together for which she had made the cake. She was disappointed when Brett said he didn't think he'd make it home on time to go with her to the reception and she went over there alone. It was sad to know she was frustrated about that, but little did she know the reason he was going to be home late! When we got close to her house, Brett called home and was told Cynthia was still gone, so we drove over to the church.

When we got there, she was sitting at a table visiting with friends, her back was towards us. Cathy and I snuck into the room and I went over and put my arms around her. She said, "What the heck? Who has their arms around me?" Then she tried to turn around and she didn't see me, but she saw Cathy. Then she started laughing, smacked me in the head, and said, "What are you guys doing here?!" Cynthia was so happy she almost started to cry and she said, "I'm so glad you came!" :) While we were there we got to hold Matthew for the first time and taste a couple of her delicious cakes she made for the wedding. Matthew is so tiny, and perfect, and CUTE!


When we got back to Cynthia's house I brought her the gifts that I packed down from Mama, Shauna, Teresa and I and we had an informal family baby shower. Here is Cynthia holding Matthew and the blanket I brought for him.


I had to take this picture because Shauna gave Matthew a cute little outfit that was size 9 months. He is so tiny that we were laughing at the size difference. Here he is with his new pants! They will look really cute on him when they fit. :)

Ok, I didn't look in the gifts beforehand and I can't remember if the next two are from Mama and Teresa, or Teresa and Mama, but here is Cynthia enjoying them!

The little Mickey shirt was a big hit! Of course you can't go wrong giving Cynthia some Mickey attire.

Here are Abbie (3 months) and Matthew (1 month) on the floor together in their PJs making friends.


Saturday was spent cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, and preparing for the blessing. Cathy and I helped Cynthia to get on top of the house (literally! jk) with the cleaning. Later in the afternoon we left to go shopping. We did make a stop for me to get some jeans that fit (which I desperately needed and it was amazing how much better the shopping experience was without kids!) and we went to get groceries for the blessing lunch. Cynthia, Cathy and I ate dinner together at TGI Fridays. Not my favorite place, but the company was wonderful. We stayed there and talked for about 1 1/2 hours! It's so nice to get together with sisters! After our late dinner we stopped at a couple more grocery stores, then home to start preparing soups and desserts. This part didn't go so well. Cathy and I started on the food preparations, but it was getting late and I was done for. I sat down on the couch and zonked. Cathy was really tired too and had to go to bed. Sorry Cynthia! Cynthia ended up finishing cooking 4 soups and a batch of cookies.

Sunday morning we got up and went to church for Matthew's blessing. All of Brett's siblings and mom were there. Brett gave Matthew an amazing blessing, better than any other I've heard. I'm truly grateful I was able to be there to hear his blessing and it touched many people in the congregation. Matthew is really a special little boy and I love him! Afterwards we finished church and headed to Cynthia's house for FOOD.

This picture is all of Brett's family and Cathy and I. Cynthia had a few of her close friends come, but they aren't pictured because they are taking the pictures.
Cynthia holding Matthew in his blessing blanket.


Just Cynthia's immediate family (nice pose, Callie).


We all ate our yummy lunch and played lots of games. I especially enjoyed playing games with Brett's brothers. It was just like old times! It was fun to meet some of Cynthia's close friends, too. She has a great support system around her with very good people. Sunday was very relaxing, finally! All of our hard work paid off and we got to just sit around and enjoy being there. After everyone left, Cathy, Cynthia, and I didn't want to go to bed because we knew Cathy and I had to leave early in the morning. I held Matthew for a long time while we talked and he just snuggled into me. We stayed up WAY TOO LATE talking and finally stumbled to bed. I laid down at about 1:30 and tossed and turned. The last time I looked at my clock it was 3:30. Then at 4:15 my alarm went off. No point trying to get any extra sleep, so I got up, showered, and got ready to leave.

I did get hold Matthew one last time before we left. He has a very special spirit and you can feel it when you hold him. This picture was taken at 5 am Monday morning, before we left for the airport.

Cathy, what the heck??? :) She did this on purpose, and it was the only picture I got of us all together before we left, so it's going on my blog!

I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to go to California and spend time helping and being with Cynthia and her family. I'm also grateful Jeremy was willing to let me go and have him stay home with the kids for the weekend. He had fun with the kids and then took Monday off work to pick Cathy and I up from the airport. This weekend was a great experience for me and I love my family!
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