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

Friday, May 29, 2009

Less Devoted Attention

Having Max around the house means I have a little less time to keep a perfectly watchful eye on the goings-on inside the house. I took Max outside to go potty and run around for a little bit. Little did I know, Alexandra (our monkey), had used the kitchen drawers as a ladder to get to the top. She had found the cheetos, a bowl, and managed to fix herself a "little" snack. Can't you just see how proud of herself she is?

She dumped almost all of the cheetos that were left in the bag into this heaping bowl for herself.

I decided while I was in the act that it probably wasn't the best idea for me to do a photo shoot about her proud moment. Even though it was funny to me, immediately after pictures she was taken down and I emptied more than half the bowl of cheetos back into the bag. She was ticked!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Athena's Choir Recital

Athena has really enjoyed being part of a choir this year and I think it's been really good for her. We went to her choir performance a couple of weeks ago and they sounded great! One thing I like about her choir is that she sings very uplifting songs, including some of the hymns. She is learning different arrangements and she even sings them at home when she is just doing her own thing.

The pictures we got aren't that great due to lighting and where we were sitting. This is her choir when they were finding their places and doing a last-minute rehearsal. Athena is right in the middle wearing a black dress. Here they are during the performance. Over all there are more than 200 kids in this children's choir, but they are broken into smaller groups than that. Her class has only about 25 kids.
She is out for the summer, but next year I expect she will pick up where she left off. This is definitely her thing! I'm proud of her for learning all her songs and working so hard.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Welcome Max

We have a new little puppy at our house! His name is Max. He weighs 2 pounds.

No, I'm not crazy. Well, at least not in THAT way. I've been thinking about it for a couple of years now and have stood my ground in saying no way will I have a pet that is MY round-the-clock responsibility. I've thought of all the ins and outs of having a pet in the house, and in my thinking, I have come to realize that Jeremy really NEEDS a pet, and the kids really NEED a pet. I knew it was going to happen sometime, just didn't expect it so soon.

Two Saturdays ago we were at Walmart when we saw a lady outside on the grass with puppies. Just like always, Jeremy said, "Do you mind if I take the kids over to see the dogs?" I replied, "Whatever. Go take a look real quick." Turns out the puppies were these tiny little Chihuahuas. We started holding one of them and talking to the lady about her dogs. Then Jeremy asked her how much she was selling them for. She said $50! No way! Usually they are around $250 - $600. Well, this little puppy was too darn cute to leave and the kids couldn't put him down. Even Jeremy was completely taken by this little dog. My mind was racing as to how I could get away from this situation without having a new little animal. In my racing mind, I realized that now was the probably the time it would be (not later) because for some reason it just felt different with this little dog than with all the other ones we had held and admired, so we agreed to get the puppy. So now, here we are! We are now a pet's family!

On the way home from Walmart, we asked the kids to start thinking of a name. Samantha yelled out, "How about Max?" Hm, that was kind of a cute name - and not too long. I said, "Does anyone have a problem with him being named Max?" Everyone yelled out, "NO!" So I said, "Do you want his name to be Max?" Then they all yelled out, "YES!!!" So that's how he came to get his name. Simple.

All the kids love having Max in the house. I have blocked him off in the kitchen while he house trains because I don't want all the accidents on the carpet. Athena and Samantha are really good about taking Max out to go potty. We got a crate for Max and he immediately took to the crate, which has turned out to be really nice! He goes in there when he wants to be alone, or to sleep, and the kids are not allowed to reach inside his crate. He seems to like it in there. :)

Last week Jeremy got the special puppy shampoo and gave Max his first bath! All the kids were so intrigued by the process. It was so crowded in the bathroom that there was barely enough room for Jeremy to give Max his bath. I had to stand in the tub with Max to get pictures.

Here he is getting all dried and cozy. It took him a couple of hours to stop shivering after his bath! Poor little dog.

Of course, I also had to bring Max for show and tell! I did get pictures in Samantha's classroom, but didn't get any in Athena's. Just picture same scenario, different kids. Both classes were ready when we arrived. The teachers had the kids make a circle on the floor and we let Max play in the circle for a little while. It got a little rowdy, but Athena and Samantha were so proud to show off their new little puppy! He was a big hit!

Last Saturday we took Max to Petsmart to get his shots, so after all this, we are fully immersed in the pet world now. I think over all it will be a good experience for the kids to have a pet in the house who they can love and take care of. Yes, I do most of the taking care part, but I believe it will be worth it in the long run. Max is very loving and he seems to be in heaven with all the kid attention. He even lets Alexandra hold him and she is learning how to treat him kindly. We are still working on some of the friends getting used to him. That will take a little time. And yes, Jeremy is in heaven having a little dog friend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sweet Song

So, for the record, I loved Jon Schmidt long before he became wildly popular! :)

Actually, one of my best friends and roommate at BYU introduced me to him because she was in love with his music. She heard him performing in a mall in Salt Lake City and bought his album. We were both hooked! I've been to several of his concerts and always love watching him perform. I'm sure you will enjoy this song as much as I did. He is amazing!

Also, if you are on YouTube, if you haven't listened to his song "All of Me", click on that and listen. It's my very favorite of all his songs.

Note: Remember to pause the music on the bottom of my blog before you watch this video.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Our Garden

A few weeks ago we got up early on Saturday and planted our garden as a family. I tried to involve all of the kids in the planting process and they actually had a lot of fun! I'm so happy that it's summertime again! Here we are working together. Nathan is working on watering all the tomato plants.

Samantha and Nathan working in the garden.

Athena and Samantha helped me take all the plant starts out of the containers and get them ready to be put in the ground. Jeremy did the actual digging in the dirt for most of the plants, and Nathan did the follow-up watering.

Alexandra walked around trying to follow us, but she kept standing on the plants. Mostly she got sent to play on the playset for a while. It must be hard to be a toddler!

So, for this year we ended up planting tomatoes, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, carrots, peas, beans, onions, and garlic. We'll see how it all turns out!

We also put in a few fruit trees this year on the north side of our house. We planted 2 peach trees and one apple tree. I'm expecting we won't see fruit on these trees for a few years, but I'm excited to see our trees get bigger.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

We've Had her 2 Years!


Ok, so this posting is a little late. Alexandra turned 2 on May 13th, so we officially no longer have a baby in the house. She is so much fun to have around. Alexandra is a very bright little girl who has lots of examples to follow. She catches on quickly and is happy most of the time.

For the kid's birthdays, it is a tradition at our house for me to make them a special cake of their choosing. I took Alexandra to Michael's to pick out a cake pan and she set her sights on the Wall-E cake. I tried and tried to get her to pick a more "little-girlie" cake, but to no avail. She wouldn't hear of it! Finally I told her she could have a Wall-E cake for her birthday and she happily hugged her pan all the way to the checkout counter. So, on her birthday I spent all afternoon working on her special cake and here it is! It actually turned out really cute and she was extra proud of her cake. :)

We invited grandmas and grandpas to come over for the gift opening and cake eating party. When it came time to open the presents Alexandra was excited. We got out her present opening chair and as soon as she was seated, she noticed everyone was watching her and she decided to pop into shy mode. She has never done that before! She covered her eyes with her arm and refused to budge even a little. It took a bit of coaxing and convincing her that she was really wanted to sit there and open presents. Here she is working on the first gift.

It really didn't take long for her to get the hang of it. She opens presents by ripping off a teensy little piece of paper and handing it to me. Then ripping another teensy bit of paper and handing it to me again. I kind of helped her speed up the process on a few gifts. She was excited about each present and it was cute to watch her unveil each new item.

Here our guests.

I gave Alexandra 3 new shirts for her birthday. She was so cute about it! I've never seen a 2-year-old get so excited about receiving clothes for their birthday! She picked up each shirt and held it up to her with big smiles. Then she carefully set out the shirts together in this pile.

Last of all, Jeremy surprised Alexandra with this little tricycle. It's a vintage tricycle that he bought from someone online. It looks perfect! It didn't take long for Alexandra and Nathan to figure out that this toy is great for giving rides.

Here is the beautiful Wall-E cake that I worked on for 3 hours all cut up. Amazing. It took me all of about 45 seconds to slice it all and make it unrecognizable.

Last of all, Alexandra thoroughly enjoyed her cake - sideways! Dumb blogger. It keeps loading my pictures sideways and no matter how much I mess with certain pictures, they still will NOT load correctly. I included this one anyway because I think she looks so cute - so just turn your head to enjoy it please. (If any of you have a fix for this, please let me know.)

I love having Alexandra in our family and cannot imagine family life without her. Thank you Heavenly Father for blessing our lives with her!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Eyes

We have had so much going on at our house that I have not even had a minute to get on the computer and actually have enough time to write out a paragraph! I've had to sign off of blogging for the past little while and believe me, I have such a backlog of pictures that we might still be talking about my summer activities into December! May is a hard month with all the year-end recitals, appointments, etc.

My biggest news is that I had LASIK surgery just 2 days ago (on Monday) and can now see 20/20! I am amazed and grateful that our loving Heavenly Father has given us such great technology that we can improve our eyesight to perfect and not have to deal with all the problems and inconveniences that bad vision gives us. :)

Jeremy and I have been talking about getting my eyes fixed for several years now, but the time was never right. Well, finally the time became right. I'm not pregnant, or nursing, the money was available, and to top it off, we got a coupon in the mail for $800 off! 2 weeks ago I made an appointment at Hoopes Vision for my initial exam and was told I needed to have my contacts out 5-7 days prior to having the surgery. I took them out the day after Mother's day and it was so hard for me! My glasses were about 3 prescriptions too old so my whole world was very blurry. I even questioned the safety of me driving the kids wearing those dumb things. Somehow I made it through the week and went in last Friday for my initial appointment. To my pleasant surprise, after my eyes had been examined thoroughly, the Dr. told me that they rate LASIK candidates from a 1 to a 10 (10 being the best) as far as how eligible they are for the surgery. They take into account the eye health, shape of the eye, current prescription, thickness of the cornea, and I'm sure several other things that I can't think of right now. Anyway, there are some people that just plain aren't eligible for LASIK. I was worried that for some reason I wouldn't be a candidate, but he told me that my eyes looked great and he even told me I was a 10!!! GREAT NEWS! Jeremy had no idea he was married to a 10, so it was great news for him too!

I scheduled my surgery for the following Monday.

I really can't believe how quickly my eyes have gone from horrible, to perfect. When I went in on Monday, I was given all the final instructions and they gave me a Valium to keep me calm while in the laser room. All the lasers are kept in the same room and the walls are glass, so Jeremy was able to sit outside and watch the whole thing. They even made a DVD of the surgery for us. Anyway . . . I'm getting off track . . . I met Dr. Hoopes - he is the one who performed my actual surgery - and he answered any last minute questions I had. I was mostly quite eager to get on with it after waiting so long. Then I had to put a little hair cover on and cover my feet. We walked over to the laser room where an assistant put in numbing eyedrops and an antibiotic eyedrop. Then in I went!

For the first part of the surgery the Dr. used a laser to create a flap on my eye. They create a little flap and put in air bubbles so that they can raise the flap later and it will be seamless. They put a little suction thing on my eyeball and my vision faded out to black for 45 seconds or so. Then they used the laser to cut the flap and insert the air bubbles. Then same thing for the other eye. After that was done (total of about 5 minutes) I got up and the assistant led me outside the laser room to a massage chair. I sat in the massage chair for about 10 minutes while all the little air bubbles merged together to form one big air bubble in my eye under the flap.

After about 10 minutes, she came and got me out of the chair and led me back into the laser room. I laid down under a 2nd laser, the one that corrects your vision, the Dr. secured my eyelids back, lifted the flap they created, and let the laser run over my eye to correct my vision. That part lasted less than 10 seconds! The weird part is that it had a burn smell. But I didn't feel anything, just a little pressure. Then after that 10 seconds, the Dr. closed the flap on my eye, smoothed it out, put oxygen on it to help seal it, and put in eyedrops. Next he did the same thing on my other eye. And I was done!

It's crazy how quick the entire procedure was! When Dr. Hoopes finished the whole procedure, he told me, "Congratulations! Now you have new eyes!", then he turned around and gave Jeremy the thumbs up. When he came out of the room, he told Jeremy that it all went perfectly.

The Dr and all the assistants were so helpful at Hoopes Vision and talked me through the whole process so well that it really wasn't even scary. I thought it would be worse. I would highly recommend it based on my experience. For the rest of the day Monday I pretty much just kept my eyes closed and used a ton of eyedrops. By Tuesday morning my eyes were a little bit hazy still, but I could see perfectly. When I went into my day-after appointment Tuesday to have my eyes checked, I was told that I'm now free to go about my normal activities and that my vision is 20/20 now and will only get better. I have to use a lot of artificial tears to keep my eyes moist and put in antibiotic eyedrops and anti-inflammatory eyedrops every 4 hours for the next week. I also can't swim for 2 weeks. Everything else is fine. Oh, and I get to sleep with these cool goggles on my eyes for this week so I don't rub my eyes.

I'm so happy with my results. Again I'll say, it is absolutely amazing that in such a short period of time I can have my eyes back! This has been an odd week and a half getting ready for and having the eye surgery, but definitely worth it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Greatest Fears Realized

Yesterday at school it was Career Dress-up Day. This is when the kids think of what they want to be when they get older and dress up for the day.

Tuesday night I quizzed Athena and Samantha about what they want to be. Samantha has her mind set on the fact that she will be an icee maker when she grows up. I keep telling her there is no money in that and it's better to be the icee shack OWNER. Regardless, when I asked her this time, she said she wants to be the girl who makes the icees. I asked her how she was going to dress up for that and she put her hands up in the air and said, "I guess I'll just go dressed as me again!" I told her, maybe you could be the icee OWNER and dress up in a business suit. Nope, didn't work. So then I offered that she could wear an apron, so she doesn't get the sticky all over her clothes. Alright, that worked. So Samantha's outfit was all planned.

For Athena, she said she wants to be a ballerina when she gets older. One that actually dances on her toes. I told her she could wear one of her dance suits to school and that she could BRING her ballet slippers to wear inside only. Sweet, so it was all worked out.

Wednesday morning the girls got all dressed in their designated outfits. For Athena I also put a tight bun in her hair, like what dancers often wear. Then I took them to school.

At the end of the day, when I picked up the girls from school, I asked them how their day was and if the kids liked their outfits. Samantha said her day was good. Athena said not good. Her problem? She was the only kid in the 3rd grade who was dressed up! And why was she the only kid in the 3rd grade who dressed up for Career Dress-up Day? Because it was only for the 1st grade! Poor Athena!

Do you ever worry on Halloween that somehow you missed the mark? You get up early, get all dressed in your costume for the day, and the whole time you are hoping like everything that you aren't messed up, and Halloween is really tomorrow, and you are the ONLY one who shows up in a costume for the day? That's how she must have felt!!! She said she was embarrassed. I didn't see anywhere on the note to parents that it was only the first grade! Thankfully she recovered quickly and things seem to be OK now.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Leopard Lawn

I am a great wife. I decided to help out a little outside because I'm just that nice.

I was so tired of the stupid dandelions and clover taking over our yard that I figured I'm done waiting to see if Jeremy will take care of it, I'll do it myself. I went outside and mixed up a spray bottle of 2-4-D. I put in 1 part poison, and 4 parts water. Actually, I couldn't find any instructions on the 2-4-D, so I called Jeremy and had him look up the proportions on the internet, and he came up with a 1:4 ratio. So, 1 cup of poison, 4 cups of water.

After mixing up my little concoction I proudly went and sprayed any weed in sight, plus a lot of clover. By midday the weeds were starting to wither and die off. Woo hoo! Well, after talking to Daddy about the proportions he uses on his weeds, it turns out that I really should have put in about a tablespoon of the poison. My mix was so potent that it killed a lot more than just the weeds. It pretty much destroyed anything the spray touched. Now our grass looks like this.
Just let me know if you would like me to render my services for you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Grandpa Time!

We have a little tradition where Grandpa comes over once a week and he and I play Settlers together. It's really fun to just have some time together and the kids especially look forward to his visits! On the days when I tell them he is coming, they anxiously listen for any sound of a car and continually check out the front window.

Grandpa decided that he didn't want his visits to be all about our game and leave the kids feeling left out because we just sit down and play an adult game all afternoon, so he has been coming over a little early just to spend a some extra time with the kids.

Last time he came, he brought a neat new truck with a trailer for Nathan. I enjoyed watching them just play together and have a ball pushing the trucks around. :) Here are a few pictures I snapped of the play.

Thanks, Grandpa, for coming over to spend time with us. We enjoy it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm So UGLY!!!

Yesterday I spent a lot of time outside with the kids. I did some work in the yard, then I walked to the school to pick up the kids, walked back home with them, and played with them in the yard for a couple of hours. It was windy all afternoon, but felt really nice outside.

Last night I went to work out and was doing the usual - turbo kick - when my eyes started to feel a little weird. They were aching and felt really tight. I kept closing my eyes while I was working out thinking maybe my contacts were really dry. It wasn't helping. Finally I realized they might be a little swollen, so I ran to the front of the room and looked in the mirror and sure enough, my eyes were swelling up.

I only had about 15 more minutes until our routine was finished, so I continued with my workout thinking I could just press through it. Then my eyes really seemed to be bothering me, so I went to the mirrors for another look and my eyes were swollen even more than the first time. I took a quick drink of my water only to realize that not only were my eyes swollen, but my throat seemes really small. In fact, it was starting to feel like my throat was closing up too! Weird! Probably it wouldn't be the best idea to keep working out if I couldn't get any air, so I grabbed my stuff and hurried out of the room to head home.

I could feel it getting worse and worse by the minute as I drove home and finally I burst through the door and told Jeremy I needed some Benadryl quick! He came over, looked at me and said, "What the heck happened?"

By the end of the night, my eyes were almost swollen shut and very painful! My throat was all raspy inside, and I was pretty loopy from taking Benadryl. Jeremy said when he first saw me it looked like my entire face was swollen and red, and even my hands were swollen! He must've really thought he married a monster! Darn spring allergies!

This morning when I got up my eyes hadn't made any improvement. After much searching on the internet for home remedies on eye puffiness and swelling, I settled on trying cucumbers. I laid out on the couch and told the kids not to bother me while I kept these cold cucumber slices on my eyes. Ooooooh, that felt so good! The kids were absolutely fascinated with me laying there with cucumbers on my eyes and couldn't help but stay right by my side and keep a continual conversation going about how much they would love to have cucumbers on their eyes, asking me how it felt, wondering if I was going to eat the cucumbers after my treatment, etc.

Surprisingly, it did help with my puffiness - after 3 sessions of cold cucumbers on my eyes for 10 minutes at a time. Athena and Samantha were absolutely DYING to try it for themselves, so I told them that after school, when all their work was done, they could try cucumbers.

Today there was no hassle about getting homework and jobs done. The girls were very quick to gain their reward. Nathan had to jump in on the fun as well.

They all agreed with me. The cucumbers were very soothing. I've never seen all three of them lay so nicely together for such a long period of time (10 minutes). I'm going to have to search the internet for more home remedies like this to help free up my day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Poor Little Boy

So so sad. These pictures are actually from last week. Nathan was outside on our playset. He laid on his tummy on the swing and was twisting around and around and around. He got really super dizzy, and when he got off the swing and tried to walk, he walked sideways - right into the side of the wooden playset and swiped it with his face!
It's actually almost healed now and looking much better, thankfully! I guess we have hit that season - when kids go out to play and the injuries come pouring in! We have already dealt with slivers, stubbed toes, scraped knees, and now a cut-up face!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Man Cold

For those of you who haven't seen this before, this is purely for your viewing pleasure! LOL, I love it!! (Before you hit play, pause my music at the bottom of my blog.)

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