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

Friday, April 30, 2010

My Other Baby is REALLY Growing Up

Athena is definitely hitting her "tween" years. Can you guess what she is into now?
Lately she has this idea that the mall, or just shopping in general, is the greatest thing ever. She put together a shopping trip with her Grandma and came home with all kinds of things. The greatest finds? New Moon T-shirt, New Moon book bag, and New Moon soundtrack. She definitely is developing her own tastes and the shopping trip was a huge hit. I'm happy that she was able to go with her grandma and they had a great time together. It's just fun to see her having all these "older" interests and being less interested in the little kid things she used to love. It's an interesting transition.

Jeremy and I keep having the problem of Athena not getting to bed when she should. She goes to bed at about 8:30pm when all the other kids do, but ends up coming up several times for this or that. We end up getting mad at her because it will sometimes be 10 or 11:00 before she FINALLY gets in her bed.

Yesterday I found this list of things to do in one of our notebooks. The poor girl! It's no wonder she gets to bed so late. She has a LOT to do!! I think maybe I need to cut her some slack and maybe praise her for being so organized! I think the note is so cute. :)

In case you can't read it, here is what it says:

Get before bed
music player (round chair)
art box (round chair)
Ipod in pants (before game)
earings out and checked in duck bathroom
leg band
all CD's by computer
max hug and kiss
mom dad hug kiss (cheek) mom lips
game with Samantha *bonus
That's just AWESOME! Who knew she had so much going on?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Baby is Growing Up

Alexandra is amazing me with how much more grown up she seems all of a sudden. She is 2 years old but acts like she is 4 or 5. Her latest thing to conquer is building things (with blocks and legos) and doing puzzles. I usually help her do the puzzles, but yesterday she actually mastered this puzzle and did it several times all by herself!

I think it' so cute to watch her concentrating so hard and finding all the right pieces. It also keeps her quiet for a good amount of time. :)

Notice the recommended age for this puzzle? 5+  

I hope I can keep up with her smarts as she goes along. For now I'm having a good time just watching her and her interest in pushing herself further to learn more. Kids sure are fascinating!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Oh! Max is the Dog!

I try to walk to school to pick up the girls about once a week. It's always a special treat for them all. Nathan usually rides his bike and Alexandra and I walk Max on his leash. Then when we show up at the school, Athena and Samantha are all excited and they take turns walking Max on the way home. The other fun thing about it is the playground on the way home that we stop at for a little while.

This week we walked to school on Monday, when the weather was really nice. As we arrived at the school grounds I went to pick up Max because dogs aren't allowed on school property. I said, "Max, come here." He wouldn't walk over to me so I said again, "Max, come!" From behind me I heard, "Huh?" Max still wouldn't come over to me so I could pick him up so I said more firmly, "MAX, come!!" Then I heard from behind me, "What?"

I looked behind me and there was this kid (probably 11 or 12) turned around just looking at me with a puzzled look on his face. Then it hit me. I said, "Is YOUR name Max?"   "Yeah."   So funny! I started laughing and told him the dog's name is Max too and that I was talking to the dog, not to him. He just turned around and walked away, but it gave me a chuckle! Poor kid.

Friday, April 23, 2010

New Fear Realized

This past week the weather has been really nice and we have been able to spend more time outside. With that comes a whole new world of fears. This adorable little girl whom I love very much has decided that she is petrified of ANTS! This is a tough one because ants are EVERYWHERE. Even in our house. I probably shouldn't laugh about it, but it's so funny to watch her. It started so innocently . . . she saw one of those massive ant piles on the sidewalk at our neighbors house. We stopped and watched the ants for quite awhile. Then I sent Nathan home to get a piece of dog food that we could feed the ants. He hurried home on his scooter and came back with a big doggie treat.

We took turns breaking the treat into little tiny pieces and watching the ants dismantle the food and carry it away. Alex was utterly fascinated by the ants.

A few days later an ant pile popped up in front of our house. She looked at them for a little bit, but then was scared they would get on her feet so she moved away. Then, this week the weather was nice so we walked to the school to pick up Athena and Samantha. On the way home there were a few ants on the sidewalk. She absolutely refused to walk on the sidewalk. I told her to just walk around them, but she wouldn't even cross their path. She stood in the grass and just bawled until I came and got her. The second I put my arms out to pick her up she boinged onto my hip and lifted her legs as high as they would go.

Oh it hasn't stopped there. A couple of days ago she saw one ant on our kitchen floor. She went and got Max's doggie sweater, stood on it, and shuffled her way across the kitchen AROUND where she saw the ant to make sure it didn't get on her. She also was complaining that there were ants in her bed and on her legs. I checked her bed thoroughly for her and showed her that there are NO ANTS.

I have a fear of spiders, but come on, that's a REAL fear. :) They have 8 legs and build webs and stuff. Yes, I know her fear is real too, but how do you avoid ants? Maybe I need to invest in an ant farm and let her immerse herself in the fascinating world of ants. I think that if this continues, I'm in for a very interesting summer.

Off the topic - I had to include this cute picture of her when she fell asleep beside Max in the sunspot, with his toy in her hand.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

So Many Reasons

I have a lot of reasons for not posting lately - the biggest being that I like to focus my blogging on more positive energy and I haven't had a whole lot of that floating around lately. We have just had one difficult thing after another after another around here and I think that Satan is working extra hard on our family.

The hardest blow (of all the blows) for me has been Jeremy's new calling. I know it should be a happy thing, but I'm thinking it is possibly more a test of my faith than his. He got called to be the 2nd Counsellor in the Young Men's program and along with that comes the additional calling of assistant scout master. I truly believe that he will learn a lot and hope that he will grow greatly in this calling. On the other hand, I have never had a great testimony of the scouting program and it irritates the heck out of me that they require SO MUCH of a time commitment and expect the leaders to abandon their families for these boys.

Piled on top of that, Jeremy has been gone all this week on a business trip - and before that, he was so busy the past couple of months at work that it was practically like he wasn't here anyway. I am having a very hard time with this abandonment and have been left feeling very alone and disconnected.

We have always been a couple that does pretty much EVERYTHING together, and to suddenly be alone and know that it's going to be this way for a long time is very hard on me. I feel like a single parent and sometimes wonder if actually being single would be easier because you don't have the added expectation and hope that you will have extra help and someone to connect with.

I know that so many people go through this same thing and wonder if it is just as hard for them or if, for some reason, I'm the only one that can't seem to handle these kinds of things. I usually tell myself "this too shall pass" and kind of just move one, but this time my little phrase just isn't helping much. Hmph. I guess the only thing to do is to keep pressing forward and have hope that, uh, this too shall pass.

There have been other blows that I won't write about. Thankfully, for me, I feel like I have a decent understanding of the Lord's plan and that this life wasn't meant to be easy. That's why it's called a test. It is a test of our faith and our willingness to move forward even when it isn't easy. I just have to try to find the path that will give me a way to pick myself up and keep going. For my sake and the sake of my family, I just hope that I find that path sooner rather than later.

Monday, April 12, 2010

My Cheap Discovery

For most of you this might not be any new revelation, but I found something I'm happy about. :)

I introduced myself to the world of brushing my teeth with baking soda!! I keep on seeing these dumb little ads about the stay at home mom who "discovered" a tooth whitening secret. I decided, why can't I figure something out for me? Well, I don't know what she uses, but I found that the baking soda really works and isn't as bad as I might have thought. After reading more about it, I learned that baking soda breaks up the plaque on your teeth and between your teeth and whitens too. However, I also learned that if you use it too much, it will weaken your enamel (your teeth need fluoride). So, if I use it in spurts then I can feel a little better about my teeth without having to pay super high whitening prices. :)

I have been using the baking soda on my teeth just in the mornings and then I follow up with my normal toothpaste because of the fluoride and to freshen my breath. It was kind of harsh on my gums at first, but I learned to be careful around my gums. Overall, I can really feel a difference for the better! I recommend it for sure.

I haven't tried the next step, which is to make my own paste out of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. I guess the hydrogen peroxide REALLY whitens, or kind of bleaches your teeth. It just sounds gross to me right now, so if I decide to use that in the future you might notice that my teeth just radiate from a block away. In the meantime, I'm happy with the baking soda.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Go Get 'Em!!!

YIPES!!!! Robert, you SCARED me! LOL!

Pshwew, now that I got over that, let's get on with this post. The week before Easter, my ward choir performed our Easter program. The choir director asked me to invite my sisters to sing with me in sacrament meeting, so we decided to make a party of it. :) We sang in church, then came to my house afterwards for dinner and an Easter egg hunt. I didn't get pictures of the singing (of course), or the dinner . . . but here is the great fun we had finding eggs.

This is the beginning. I love the excitement of all the little kids pouring out the door.

I had a lot of fun watching the kids get all excited about finding their eggs. Most of the kids are old enough now that they get the idea of what is to be found. It didn't take as much coaching this year.

Here is Nathan on the hunt.

I had to include this picture. This is the inside of Nathan's bag. I think he picked certain colored eggs on purpose. I saw him look at several "girlie" eggs and just keep on running! He is so into picking everything BOY lately. Who cares if it has candy in it, if it's girlie - I DON'T WANT IT!

Alex found most of her eggs on her own. :)

Our tradition is that we let all the little kids go hunting for eggs first, then unleash the older kids to make a clean sweep. Christopher and Samantha have just been let loose and are racing to the back yard.

Athena is usually less aggresive with these types of things, but she managed to find her fair share as well.

Looks like she is shocked to see eggs in her bag! Funny.

Amanda found her fair share of eggs and was kind enough to keep throwing out a few eggs to the other kids.

Here's a happy kid!

More happy kids!

Benjamin, where is your bag? Hang onto those eggs!

After all the eggs were found, all the kids carried their little stash of eggs around the yard while they played, which left the adults free to visit. It seems like everyone had a great afternoon and I'm happy my family was able to come together this year. HAPPY EASTER!!!
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