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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


On a happier note than my last post - I'm so excited . . . I'm starting an herb garden! I've wanted to try growing a few of my own herbs for a long time, just for fun. I decided that this would be the year, so we headed on down to IFA and Walmart to get things started. At first I was picking out all the individual accessories I thought I would need, but then I came across these handy little herb kits. It's a cool little planter box that comes complete with seeds, peat pellets, instructions, and recipes! Some of the other items in the picture will be used to create some starters for our garden this year.
This little kit was really fun to use. I've never seen peat pellets before and I now wonder how I missed out on such a great thing. They are so cool! I put 5 of them in the bottom of my planter box, like this.

Then I poured water on them and they grew like magic! They filled up the entire planter box with really nice peat. I had to take this picture after dumping just one cup of water on them because I was so impressed by how quickly they grew. They reminded me of those little snake fireworks that you put on the sidewalk and light.

Both planter boxes fit perfectly in my window sill. Now I just have to wait 7-10 days for them to sprout and start growing. I hope it works and I can't wait. It's a fun little experiment. :)

The kits included Thyme, Basil, Oregano, Chives, and Parsley. I also bought seeds for Dill, Echinacea, and Rosemary. I'll try those later in little pots.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Why Not?

OK, so many of you have been asking me - why haven't you posted as much this week as you normally do?

The answer is . . . because I've been so stressed out this week that any computer time I've had this week has been spent on facebook playing Scramble!!! It's my sanity time.

So, why am I so stressed out? KIDS! My sweet little Alexandra and her accomplice, Nathan, have been wreaking havoc to my home. That's not to mention the every morning early morning fights with Athena & Samantha over not being nice to Nathan, not being on time, not choosing clean clothes for school, sending them down to change 3 times because they come up in holey jeans or clothes that just plain don't match (sorry, I CANNOT send you to school wearing highwater, holey jeans, with white socks, silver shoes, a teal shirt, a red sweatshirt, and a purple scarf!). WHAT THE???

I guess that clearly explains the reason I have gained 3 extra pounds this week without "knowingly" changing my diet or exercise habits. Maybe I'm chomping down loads of sweets while I'm locked away playing scramble and I'm so stressed out that I'm too brain-dead to notice or count. Who says being home with the kids is easy? Working in the office wasn't half bad!

See the outfit Alexandra is wearing? She absolutely insisted on wearing this outfit. It is a onesie, with a swimsuit on top, and her pants on that.

Oh, and here is a picture of Nathan torturing Alexandra by not letting go of her hand when she wanted to. I had the "pleasure" of listening to much whining at the time of this picture.

This is Alexandra's room after she found all the necessary pieces to the outfit pictured above. She went through her drawers, pulled out almost every single article of clothing, and threw them around the room as she sorted, sifted, and selected. SHE IS ONLY ONE YEAR OLD!!!
Frustrating Story
Last Thursday morning, I gave Alexandra a bowl of dry cereal for breakfast with some milk in a sippy cup. I went out of the room to brush my hair and get dressed. While I was out of the room, she decided to shake her sippy cup upside down just enough to barely dampen all the cereal with milk. I heard a bang from the other room and ran in to see that she had thrown her bowl full of damp cereal on the floor, and each and every little piece of cereal was just damp enough to stick in the exact spot where it landed.

I was running late and had to take the girls to school, so no time to clean. I got Alex out of her chair, cleaned her up, gathered up all kids and all things required for school, got in the van and left. When we got home from taking them, I had just enough time to get Nathan ready for his trick class, Alexandra dressed and ready, and we were out the door again.

I dropped Nathan off at his class and hurried over to the school be a mom helper in Samantha's class. I tried to help with the school kids while also trying to keep track of Alexandra who thought it was funny to keep disappearing around the corner in the hallway.

After helping, I raced back over to pick up Nathan from his trick class. Then I was finally on my way home to start the cleanup efforts. I tried to sweep up the 1/2 dried damp cereal but each piece just rolled to and fro as the broom moved across it, leaving a little cereal streak on the floor with each swipe. The 2 little kids had gone downstairs to play. As I'm sweeping I hear them laughing hysterically from downstairs. That's never a good sign. I hurried and finished up the cereal job and ran downstairs to find . . .

Nathan and Alexandra in the bathtub downstairs, covered in shampoo and shower gel, skiing, slipping, and sliding across the tub! Are you kidding me?!!! I pulled them out, sent Nathan to his room, and took Alexandra upstairs to change her clothes and get her all cleaned up. I then went to finish my morning cleaning in the house. I realized Alex had been quiet for awhile, so I go in her room to check on her, only to find her sitting in her diaper in the middle of a room that underwent a clothing tornado (pictured above)!

So many of these types of scenarios have played out throughout the week, and so that is why I have not posted to my blog, but have chosen to sit and play mindless games of scramble until I'm ready to break away and deal with reality once again.

For the record, my other dose of sanity is listening to my tunes using my cool new speaker dock. I think I've already listened to it enough to to say I've got my money's worth. Thank you, Jeremy.

Monday, March 23, 2009

My New Toy

Jeremy and I got new cell phones on his birthday. Normally I hate going to get new cell phones because it's such a disaster trying to pick a phone with the kids running around in the store. When I asked Jeremy what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said he wanted to go get cell phones. RRRRR! He totally sucked me into that one!

It turned out OK because as we were driving there, Jeremy's mom called and offered to let the kids come over and hang out at her house for the afternoon! We dropped them off and then went to pick out our phones.

He picked a blackberry flip phone, and I picked this one. I'm so excited about my phone because it's also an mp3 player. It was the smallest phone they had and it's perfect for me!
I immediately came home and loaded some of my favorite songs to my phone. Then over the weekend I would turn on my music in the kitchen while I was working and just listen to music from my phone. A few days later, when I came home from working out, Jeremy surprised me by leaving this new speaker port for my phone on my bed with a nice little note! Thank you Jeremy!

Now I have this little speaker port in the kitchen (where I seem to spend a significant amount of time). I can put my phone in it, charge my phone, and listen to all my music. Surprisingly it has great sound! I love my new toy!! I've already used it a ton. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Awesome Cleaners!

Yesterday I went over to help clean the church in the morning and I brought Athena and Samantha along to help. I'm so glad I did! They had a lot of fun helping me clean and it was a great opportunity for us to do a bit of service.
I also learned that they are very good at cleaning windows. :) Looks like we have some work to do at home this spring!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Our Reward - Extended

We have been working on reading the Book of Mormon individually. When we have collectively finished a book, we go on a family reward. We have now finished 1st and 2nd Nephi. For our first reward we took the kids swimming. For the second we went to a movie. The swimming was a huge hit! We have had a family pass to the rec center through Jeremy's work for a long time and didn't ever remember to use it until that first time swimming. So, since Jeremy had the day off work today and the girls were out of school, we went swimming again - and I ACTUALLY remembered my camera!

Here are Samantha and Nathen enjoying the noodles. Unfortunately we only have 2 swim noodles and they aren't on sale yet, so it's a big deal to have to share them back and forth. I hope they show up in the store soon.
Athena saw the camera and swam over really quick to strike a pose. Lovely!

Jeremy and Alexandra.
I had to post this little video of Alexandra because she is just so cute! She is our newest little fish. She gets in the water and doesn't stop! I'm sure you can imagine how our baths go based on this video in the pool.

One more picture of the pool!

After taking pictures I got in and swam with the kids. When we finish swimming, I get the fun job of taking all 3 little girls with me in the locker room while Jeremy takes Nathan. I think it takes us just as long to get showered and dressed again as it took us to swim. I got all the girls showered, got myself dressed, got Alexandra dressed, and then worked with the girls getting them ready to go. Alexandra decided to keep herself busy while Athena and Samantha got dressed with their hair done.

She realized that she is just the right size to fit inside a locker! She had a ball trying them all out. She just went from locker to locker to locker, getting in, closing the door, and playing peek-a-boo.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hooray For Me!!!

I was a good mom today!

It seems like I've had so many "off" days lately, and today I finally get to sing my own praises!

I got the kids to school on time without any hurt feelings. I gave Nathan and Alexandra a bath. I fed them a tasty lunch that they both gobbled up. Then I put Alexandra down for a nap and went outside and played with Nathan - and it was actually a lot of fun!

Nathan wanted to throw a ball back and forth, but he isn't very good at catching, so it soon turned into a game of chase where we tried to hit each other with the ball. The one-on-one time was great and he really was living it up. I loved seeing him giggle so hard and just run to his heart's content. After we played chase I pushed him on the swing for a VERY long time. He couldn't get enough of it.

We finally had to go inside because it was time to go pick up the girls from school. When we came home, I made banana bread, visited with my visiting teachers, made stir fry for dinner, and then took Athena and Samantha to their SEPs (parent teacher conferences). Again, it was great to have some focused time with each one of them as they got to listen to praises from their teachers.

When we came home, again I went outside and played with the kids before it was time to come in and get them ready for bed. Then I went to work out.

I have to document this day because honestly, there aren't very many days that just seem to go great. Sure we had a few fights to break up today and little corrections here and there, but overall it just went really well. I'm also so excited to have nice, warm weather. I'm sure we still have a few cold spells to make it through, but for now I'm not complaining!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Helping Others

Friday night we took the kids to eat at Jason's Deli. We really like this place because it is good food and affordable for our family. The kid's meals are big enough that we can split them up and order just 2 meals for our 4 kids. Their normal sandwiches are so big that Jeremy and I always split a sandwich too. Then we get free ice cream for dessert! You can't beat that!

So . . . we were there Friday night and when the food came it was all just not as good as usual. We were very disappointed. Athena and Samantha's sandwich was dry as a bone and looked painful to eat. Mine and Jeremy's sandwich was also very dry and there was hardly any meat on it. We ordered a club sandwich and it was like eating a big pile of dry toast connected by a toothpick! We both had a hard time finishing our food. Nathan had macaroni and cheese. It was all in one big ball - no kidding! It looked like it had been sitting around all day and once it was ordered, they balled out a clump, and microwaved it. He wouldn't even touch it and I don't blame him. Alexandra wouldn't eat the macaroni and cheese either. In fact, she pushed the dish across the table as far as her little arm would reach.

It's frustrating to me that the food was so bad because we really like going there. I don't understand why the workers don't make food the way THEY would prefer to eat it.

Jeremy happened to notice a manger walking through the restaurant and he called him over and politely told him that we eat there often, and tonight the food was very disappointing. He told him our complaints and said, "We just wanted to let you know that the food wasn't good this time." The manager said he would pay for our meal. We refused and told him that we weren't trying to get a free meal, just to inform him that we weren't happy with the food. He again insisted on charging back our meal. No! We seriously weren't trying to get free food because we actually did eat it, we just wanted him to KNOW. I was looking at the manager, then I noticed him glance down at the table and see our receipt sitting there. Before I could grab the receipt, he reached down, picked it up, and took off to the register. Jeremy and I just sat there dumbfounded. A few minutes later the manager came back with a charge-back receipt and offered to make us new food. We declined his offer, but thanked him for the meal. Jeremy then saw him go and talk to each one of the workers who were making the food.

I feel bad about not paying for our meal (even though it really was bad) because we did eat the food. However, I think if I ran the restaurant I would want to know if there was room for improvement. I guess the good part about this story is that because of us, I'm sure everyone else who ate at Jason's Deli that night had excellent food. So . . . YOUR WELCOME.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nathan's Trick Class

I recently put Nathan in a gymnastics class to help him get rid of some of his excess energy. Turns out he LOVES it! I first got him to go to the class by telling him that he could do tricks there. It has now become his "trick class", not gymnastics. Every Thursday morning I take him to his trick class. He asks about it every other day of the week. I'm happy to see him enjoying it so much!

Here he is doing his warm-ups.
Now a little bit of work on the bar.

Now he is receiving instructions.

This is a really cool trick!

Today when I went to pick him up he was hanging upside down from the bar holding on with his feet and hands. It was so cute! He is learning all kinds of things and he looks so grown up when I see him using his little body in strength and coordination exercises. I think for Nathan, this is exactly what he needs!

I took this video of him with my digital camera so there's no sound. Just be patient and keep watching, the action is the last 4 seconds. He thought I was taking a still photo so he kept just smiling at me instead of doing his trick.

When we were watching this little video on the computer I was rewinding the part where he does the trick and we were watching it forward, and backward, and forward, and backward. Nathan got a real kick out of that!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thank Goodness It Came!

Today our state tax refund was deposited in our account. HOORAY! Now we can breathe easy! We received back a whopping $3!!!

Jeremy and I think it would be best to spread it out over time and not spend it all in one place. We would rather have a reserve than nothing at all. We came up with a few ideas to use it on.

1. I was thinking that maybe we could take the kids to the bowling alley and let them look at the people bowling. Then we could go upstairs and look around where eat dinner, then we could take them somewhere and let them each get a gumball from a machine.

2. We could also go to the pool and let the kids go in and see the water, then walk around outside, then go and share a big family ice cream cone. A King Kong Cone is only $1.69. We could get one of those to share as a family and still have money left over.

3. Jeremy wouldn't mind, if there IS still some left over, taking the kids to the outside of the stadium when there is a football game going on inside. Then when the crowd cheers we could hurry and turn on the radio to see what is going on in there. Then we could have a family cheer. The kids would be welcome to scream and cheer as loud as they want to at this time. As long as we don't have to pay for parking, this plan should work out OK.

4. I think we could also go the miniature golf course and walk around on the course. I'm pretty sure we can walk around the course without having to get the ball. After that we could watch kids play games in the arcade.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Heard of a MIG?

Jeremy and I have a long-running inside joke that has become a very normal part of our outings together. It never gets old and it always applies. It also keeps us quite discreet as we enjoy our own little laughs together.

Here is the story:

Around the time the movie Men in Black (MIB) was popular, Jeremy and I were walking through the mall when we saw this very odd sight. There was a man walking towards us, in the mall, with sunglasses on and he was wearing an all-gray suit. He was walking very stiff and quick with his hands down to his sides. We had our own little laugh because what the heck?? We talked about the oddity of it for a little while and forgot about it. We turned around at the end of the mall and started making our way back down the hall where we had just been, when we looked up and here came that SAME odd fellow! Still wearing his sunglasses, walking quickly, hands to his sides. The only explanation for him was that he was a Man In Gray (MIG) - and so it was born.

We soon found that the expression "MIG" could be applied to many different oddities because we were the only ones who really understood it. For instance, we would see some punk kid walking down the sidewalk with bright pink hair, chains, piercings up his face, and wearing his sister's skinny-legged jeans and we could just call out, "There's a MIG". Immediately we knew what to look for and could enjoy the strangeness together.

Over the years, a MIG has developed into pretty much anything super out of the ordinary that we wouldn't be caught dead in. It has become quite convenient to have coined the MIG phrase because we can share our MIGs with each other even when we are standing right next to one! It has become a game - who can get the most MIGs at the mall. Or who can call the BEST MIG on our day out together. If I'm standing next to a good one, and I don't want to call out attention, I can just say to Jeremy, "That's mine!" and he totally gets it. I get dibs on that MIG and he has to find his own. No harm done. No one really knows they were called out, and we have still enjoyed the moment.

The important thing is to not overdo it. If you call out too many MIGs, you run into the problem of everyone becoming a MIG in one way or another, because we are all different, and then it loses it's savor. No, you have to call only the BEST MIGs. There have been times when we have called MIGs in a hurry, trying to get first dibs, and when they turned around they weren't actually a MIG at all. You don't want to have to retract your MIG call. That's embarrassing.

It's really painful now when I run into a MIG, or a group of MIGs all on my own because I have no one to share it with and you just can't describe it later.

For the record, it is unfair to call out an entire group of people as MIGs when you can't see them all individually, to confirm that they are, in fact, a MIG. Jeremy will try to call out an entire store in the mall by saying, "Everyone in that store is mine", meaning, his MIGs. No, that doesn't work. It might be one of "those" stores Jeremy, but you still can't call the whole establishment.

So now you know what a MIG is! I anticipate that we have many more years of fun ahead of us with our MIGs.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Last Friday we went to the MC Hammer /Vanilla Ice concert. All I really NEED to say about it is that it was free. I seriously would have been disappointed if I had paid to get in!

We arrived at the concert at about 7:15 and the doors didn't open until 8, so we got to wait outside in the freezing cold for awhile. BRRRR! Jeremy won 4 tickets to the concert from a radio contest, so we brought along our friends, Mark and Erin. We took a few pictures of us out in the cold, waiting to get in. Here I am with Mark.
Jeremy and I trying to look cool for the camera (we were REALLY cool).

This is Mark and Erin. Mark is long-time friends with Jeremy - since high school. We have recently hung out with them and have found they are a lot of fun!

While we waited outside we found our own little ways to entertain ourselves. There were so many people dressed in super funky 80s attire. If we would have known we would have joined in the party! It was so fun to see what other people came up with. I don't know how we survived the 80s, those fashions are among the ugliest! Jeremy and I taught our friends what MIGs are and we had plenty of fun calling and claiming our own sets of MIGs.

Once we were inside we realized we were going to warm up real quick. Our tickets were for general admission on the floor. When we first got inside we could walk right up within about 10 feet of the stage. Then people kept coming in behind us. Before we knew it we were packed in so tight we couldn't even move our arms! A few idiots in the crowd started pushing back and forth and I just kept thinking to myself, "stay on your feet!" I don't think I've ever been in a crowd that tight before where I didn't have even the slightest control over which way I was moving. It got so tight that I finally put my arms up in front of me to make sure I had breathing room. Finally one of the security people came to the front and told everyone to knock it off with the pushing because people were almost getting crushed into the stage. It mellowed out after that, thank goodness.

The opening group to perform was a local group called Love Me Long Time. They were a punk rock band and were actually quite interesting to watch. Even though we didn't know any of their songs, we all had fun jumping around and being together. At one point the lead singer had all of us packed-in bodies open up into a circle. He then jumped down and was singing and dancing. I realized that I'm not really that tall because all I could see was from his eyes up. Jeremy had to take over the camera.
After that group performed everyone was hyped up for Vanilla Ice to come out on stage. This is where it got really, really, really lame! He didn't come out to perform for over an hour!!! The promoters had been throwing hats and T-shirts into the crowd before the concert, and as people got more and more anxious, they would come out and throw more stuff and try to entertain the waiting crowd. About 55 minutes into the wait people were chanting for Vanilla Ice to come out on stage. After about an hour people were booing. That's pretty bad to have people boo you at your own concert! I was so annoyed at having to wait so long, especially when we had someone babysitting our kids. Anytime I have a babysitter I feel like I'm not on my own time and waiting is even worse! This is why I was so glad I didn't pay for our tickets. I would have been ticked! We took some pictures to help the time pass.

During this huge break, I managed to catch a T-shirt and a hat. Jeremy caught about 5 T-shirts! He started just handing them out to people around us. Finally, after about an hour and 20 minutes (ridiculous, I KNOW!!! What the heck was he doing backstage?) Vanilla Ice came out to perform.

Once he was on stage the concert was OK. I don't know any of the songs he was singing, but I was with Jeremy and friends.

Here we are with Vanilla Ice in the background. I have to explain because you would never know it if I didn't tell you.

Same with Mark and Erin.

Near the end of his performance a bunch of confetti came flying down everywhere and stuck to our hair. Woo hoo!

So, overall, I felt like the Vanilla Ice portion of the concert was a huge flop. He seemed to be trying to relive his glory days that are now gone. He still knows how to perform, but it just didn't seem to be as hip to me as I would have thought. He also only performed for just over 30 minutes! We waited 3 times that long just for him to come out!!!

During the break, the promoters came out to entertain and throw more free stuff. The following picture may not seem significant to you, but to me, I had to take it because this guy was DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!! He was RIGHT in front of me and he wasn't very tall, so every time a T-shirt was being thrown from the stage he would jump and jump and jump. Several times when he would land it was right on my foot! HELLO!!! Does that feel like the floor to you!!! To make it worse, he had a piece of confetti stuck to the rod on his glasses! LOL Get a clue, dude.

The wait for MC Hammer wasn't quite as long as for Vanilla Ice. The stage crew cleared off the stage to make room for his dancers and he was out in about 1/2 hour. He was definitely the better part of the show, but unfortunately by the time he got out there we had already been standing for 4 1/2 hours in a super crowded, confined space. It was about 11:45 when he started.

I did know more of MC Hammer's songs and he and his group were quite entertaining to watch.

Finally, around midnight, I wasn't feeling very well and thought I had better hurry and sit down. Jeremy and I made our way through the crowd and ended up leaving during MC Hammer's performance.

I felt bad about leaving because his performance is what I really wanted to see - with all the dancers. If stupid Vanilla Ice didn't take his own sweet time coming out we could have seen the whole concert. It was really late and we still had to pick up the kids from Jeremy's mom. We heard from some of our friends that the concert went another 1/2 hour after we left and finished at around 12:45am. Sheesh! So, after all was said and done, I'm glad we didn't pay for the concert. It was a disappointment.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

For My Own Sanity

Things at our house just seem to be crazy lately. I think everyone has spring fever and is tired of being cooped up in the small confines of our house with all the same people day in, day out, day in, day out, etc.

Nathan has been getting on everyone's nerves because he just can't keep his hands to himself. He is constantly jumping up and down on furniture, driving his little cars over people's heads, flying his airplanes into my face, and just being so loud.

Alexandra has learned that our home is a world of discovery. For instance, a few days ago I accidentally dozed off on my bed. I woke up after a few minutes and realized it was quiet. I jumped up and ran into the family room to see Alexandra sitting there holding something big up to her mouth. My eyes weren't quite focused yet, and when I got a closer look, she had managed to find a stash of giant Hershey bars we keep in the pantry. She had one of them opened all the way and was just sitting on the couch enjoying it to the max. There were 4 full bite marks across the top and she was getting ready to take another bite. I grabbed it away from her and went and put it back in the pantry (a little higher this time). I went into my bathroom to do my hair and put on some makeup. When I came back out, she was eating that darn chocolate bar again!! I took it again, washed her up, and this time put the bar into the fridge so she REALLY couldn't get it. She started crying because I took her HUGE chocolate bar. I gave in and gave her one square to eat. She walked out of the room happily. I turned around and walked out of the kitchen, only to glance over and see her sitting on the couch with a big piece of slobbery, melted chocolate in her hand. She grinned a big brown grin at me. I flipped out and dove for the messy chocolaty girl sitting on my couch. She took this as a challenge and crawled as fast as she could, giggling, across the couch leaving brown handprints from one end of the couch to the other! It also turns out that when she got the bar a second time, it wasn't the same bar, it was a new one that she fully unwrapped.

Athena and Samantha have started flipping out at the drop of the hat. Happy one minute, and if one thing goes wrong, they flip the switch and turn into time bombs!! Is it a girl thing?

OK, so I didn't mean for this to turn into a big old complain fest, but I am seriously having a hard time with all the craziness and contention! Today in testimony meeting a lady in my ward was talking about how she has to try really hard to be happy every day because for her it doesn't come naturally. I've never felt this is a challenge in my life because I consider myself to be a happy person by nature. I had to think to myself that I hope I'm not changing in that way and that I need to start to appreciate what I have instead of feeling so trapped and frustrated.

One thing I love about my blog is that I can look back at all the cute pictures of my kids and appreciate them all over again. It reminds me that my kids, as difficult as they can be sometimes, are really the loves of my life. They are little people who are trying their best to find their way in this life and need the direction of their parents to lead and guide them to the truth. I took a few pictures this past week to try to bring me back to the reality of the blessings I have.

This is Alexandra. She loves to explore the pantry and dump out the boxes. This week she finished off the Nilla wafers.

Grandma got these new jammies for Alexandra and she was really proud of them!

Grandma told us later that it is really a playsuit. We have been putting her to bed in them. OOPS!

Athena has been working hard to teach Alexandra to help. She had her help with the dishes for the first time this past week and it was really a joy to watch!

Alexandra was so proud of herself for being able to take all the dishes out and hand them to Athena.

Athena taught me that patience can go a long way. She waited for Alexandra to take out each dish one at a time and hand it to her. She didn't tell her even once to "hurry up".

I will work harder at appreciating my kids and not letting life's frustrations pick at me so much. I also am looking forward to Spring when we can go outside and let out all of our energy!
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