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

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our Garden is Planted!

We finally got our garden in last weekend. It's so nice to have it all done and growing for the season! This year we planted tomatoes, canteloupe, banana squash, green peppers, onions, and one jalapeno pepper plant. We have grown everything but the canteloupe before, so I guess that's our experiment for this year. I wish we had peas, but we needed to plant those earlier. This is our finished product.

Last year I grew herbs in my windowsill and I just ran out of room in my tiny little planters, so this year I'm giving it a shot in a bigger, outdoor pot. I'm excited to see how they turn out and if I am able to grow enough to actually use. I bought these plants and also put seeds in of the same plants. I am growing oregano, thyme, and basil. I hope to be able to expand my fresh herb garden in the future.

I took these pictures as our project was kind of winding down. The kids all helped with planting the plants and giving them their first watering. Athena and Samantha put the plants in the ground and got them ready for water. Nathan was in charge of the hose and filling up the girl's watering pitchers so they could go and water each plant.

Another new addition to our garden - raspberry bushes! I've been wanting raspberry bushes for several years and we finally put them in. Jeremy did all the work here and he made a really nice little area for our new bushes to grow.

Here is Athena. She wanted me to take her picture while we watched Jeremy work. She was actually a big help this year. It's nice to have kids get older and more able!

Nathan is watering his worm. While I was digging a spot for the raspberry bushes, a worm came out of the dirt I moved. I called Nathan over and he instantly bonded with his little friend. He spent some time taking care of his worm, giving it water, and talking to it. I didn't realize he liked worms so much. I had fun watching him. :)

Here is a closer look at his friend. When we were done with the garden he very kindly made a spot of dirt for the worm to crawl into and sat it down gently. Then he got some water in a cup and poured the water over the worm to soften the dirt enough for the worm to crawl in. Then we watched his friend disappear.

This is a little clip I took of Nathan when he had his worm. Pause my music at the bottom of my blog to hear him talking. :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Things I Know

I know that I have a father who is in heaven who loves me. He cares about me, about what I do, and He wants me to succeed. My Heavenly Father is a real, supreme being. He created this earth so that all of us could come here, have a mortal body, learn to rise above our trials, and prove ourselves worthy to live with him.

I know that I lived with my Heavenly Father before I came to earth. I am on this earth to experience joy, pain, frustrations, love, happiness, anger, forgiveness, and all other emotions I have. I know that when I die, I will rejoin my Father in Heaven and that I will live again with the other members of my family. I will be disappointed in myself if I don't make the most of my life here. I know that I wanted to feel everything there is to feel here on earth and I expected that it would take a lot of work to overcome painful and difficult experiences.

I know that Heavenly Father actually does have a plan for me. He expects great things from me and in return He will bless me more than I can comprehend. He doesn't plan for me to find my path alone. If I ask for his help, he WILL help me because he loves me and he wants me to succeed.

I know that Heavenly Father sent his son, Jesus Christ, to this earth to show me the ultimate example of love and service. I know that Jesus Christ was resurrected, and that He lives. He loves me and also wants me to succeed. He set a perfect example of how I need to live my life in order to live with my Father in Heaven again.

I know that I will be able to live with my family forever and that Jeremy and I will be together even after we die. We have taken the correct steps by being sealed in the temple - not just for this life, but for eternity. Eternity is a long time. It is forever. I will be with Jeremy forever. Heavenly Father has made this possible for me.

I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. He spoke to God and Jesus Christ face to face. He translated the Book of Mormon using the power given to him through God. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I feel it when I read it. The principles taught in the Book of Mormon apply just as much today as they did when the words in the book were written.

I know that President Thomas S. Monson is a true and living prophet today. I know that just as Heavenly Father treated the people to prophets throughout biblical times, he treats us to a living prophet today. I know that we need ongoing revelation that is applicable to our time and that Heavenly Father has a continuing interest in us now.

I know that Heavenly Father gave me special gifts to help me through my life and he expects me to use these gifts for good. As I use my gifts for good, he will entrust me with additional gifts to help his kingdom grow on this earth.

I know that Heavenly Father loves all his children. Every person on this earth is a child of God. He wants everyone to succeed and has made it possible for everyone to return back to live with Him. I know that not everyone will be able to live with him forever. We all have free agency. However, as we seek out the truth, we will find it. He makes it available because He loves us. I know that the missionaries for our church throughout the world speak the truth and those who choose to listen to them, find the truth.

I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His true church and that it teaches true principles. I know that people aren't perfect, but His gospel is.

I love my Father in Heaven. He has given me everything. I love my family and will continue to strive to live worthy to enter my Heavenly Father's kingdom so that I can be with my family for eternity . . . forever. This life will not be pain-free for me. It isn't supposed to be. I know that as I do my best to rise above difficult situations, He will always help me to see the light.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Her Birthday Celebration

On Alexandra's birthday morning, Athena gave her a cute gift. It was a bag with a bunch of dress-ups in it and a note that said Alex gets to be "princess for a day".

I also included this little rainbow shirt in Athena's gift bag. Here is Alexandra showing how old she is. She is SO PROUD to be 3!

For her birthday dinner, Alex really wanted to have pizza. We were gone most of the day on her birthday because we drove up to dad's work for lunch and stopped to get her some birthday shoes for the summer. I ended up getting her pizza at Papa Murphy's and she was happy as can be.

I spent the next afternoon working on her birthday cake. She wanted a barbie birthday cake. It took me about 2 hours to decorate the whole thing with kids hovering over the cake watching the process. They wanted SO BADLY to partake of the many little different bowls of colored frosting. I told them all they had to wait until the end to make sure I had enough to finishe the cake. Of course there was some left over, so what did we do with it? More decorating!

This is the finished product. TA DA!

In the evening, Grandmas and Grandpas came over to watch her open presents and enjoy some cake and ice cream. Alexandra was so funny to watch! She certainly knows how to cheese it up for the camera. After every single gift, she would hold it up for all to see and pose for the camera. Basically I have a whole lot of pictures of her smiling really big and there is just a new gift in her hands. She is so cute! Here are just a few of those pictures.

Barbie scooter from Grandma

Princess dishes

Pretty dress that Dad picked out for her

Little people castle that she can't quite see over

Here she is before we sang Happy Birthday to her and cut into the cake.

I'm happy to have Alexandra in my family. She brings a lot of joy into our household! I'm especially glad she had a great birthday. :)

Here are a few videos of her in action - opening gifts. Also, Samantha reading her birthday card to her.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Alexandra!!

My sweet little baby turned 3 today! :) I just love her so much! She has such a cute personality and I'm really enjoying watching her learn and grow. We are having her birthday party with grandparents tomorrow, so I don't have all those cute pictures and experiences to share yet, but I will. In the meantime, I'll share a what I do have.

Alex is learning to play the computer. Here she is playing on Sesame Street.

Alex enjoying her dinner. :)

I noticed Alex bouncing up and down in the family room. She had dressed herself up all pretty and realized that she could see herself reflected in the glass. I filmed her in her own little world just enjoying herself.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Check Out My New Blog!!

Studies have shown that kids who regularly eat with their parents are happier, healthier, and better students. I really enjoy working in the kitchen and creating happy, healthy memories for my kids through what I am able (often with their help) to create. There is nothing better than making a great dinner and having the kids come into the kitchen and ask, "What smells so good?" I hope I'm creating a lasting tradition of good eating, healthy eating, and great family memories.

So . . . in keeping with what I try to create in the kitchen, I decided to start a new blog. I call it Family Eats Together. My main purpose was to catalog our kitchen memories - recipes we really like, experiments, how our dinners turned out, etc. That way I can look back and see what worked for me and what I want to do differently the next time. I hope that whoever chooses to read it will also be able to find ways to create great food and memories in their kitchens. Seriously, I'm not about fancy - just real family cooking with the real foods I keep in my kitchen, and it works. :) So check it out and feel free to let me know what you like (or don't)!

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Mother's Day

I've always been a little sour towards Mother's Day. I don't think I can pinpoint it to just one reason. I think Mother's Day is frustrating because I hate that I'm not a perfect mother and that I mess up with my kids. I yell at them sometimes and we have a lot of bad mornings when the kids don't listen, etc. I think it's a little silly to set aside one particular day to "celebrate" mothers when all of the other days of the year mothers seem to be generally unappreciated, disobeyed, given dirty looks, and on and on and on. All the work we do for people who really don't seem to care. I think that if mothers are to be celebrated, they should be appreciated every day, not just one day out of the year.

That said, I also feel guilty because I need to allow my children to celebrate their mother. I appreciate my own mom and Jeremy's mom for all that they do. I need to let my kids have the opportunity of celebrating the person who gave them life. I tried extra hard (which is a stretch for me) to enjoy this Mother's Day and to let my family feel like they celebrated their mom.

Jeremy really is a great husband and he spoils me too much, I fear. Being an imperfect mom, I really don't deserve it, but he insists on celebrating me anyway. He helped immensely to make it a good day!

On Saturday he took me shopping and we got a food processor for me. I have been wanting one to make my kitchen work easier. I had to laugh about it because why is it that women always get gifts that encourage more work? He also wanted me to get a new dress, so after we picked my kitchen gadget, we headed over to JCPenney to find a dress for me.

When we got there, we discovered that all the dresses were 50% off! Great news. :) So, um . . . . . I ended up getting 3 dressed! I had a coupon too, so the last one was really 75% off and we ended up paying what he had budgeted for 1 dress. I was only going to get 2, but was having such a hard time deciding and he told the lady at the counter that he was getting me all 3 of them. I thought that was really nice!

Yesterday before church he surprised me with the corsage pictured above. I usually don't care about wearing a flower, but what a nice gesture! The kids loved that I was wearing the flower and Alexandra was even careful when I had her on my lap not to smash "the flower".

Athena and Samantha gave me some special little things they made at school. Actually, Athena's is still in the works. She didn't finish it yet, so I'll probably get the rest of it today. She did give me a really nice note. Samantha made a 2 cute little books for me and a coupon flower basket. She told me it ONLY took her 2 days to make them! Kids are wonderful!! They have an amazing amount of patience and I know they made these things out of love. It melts my heart to know they were sitting there in school, thinking of their mom at their desk as they did their very best work to make me happy.
After church I wanted a low-key day instead of a day running around visiting everyone. I had a relaxing afternoon. I played a game with Athena and Samantha while the 2 little kids took a nap. The whole time I was playing games with them do you know what Jeremy was doing? He was working hard in the kitchen making dinner and dessert so I didn't have to do a single thing! We had a barbecue with tasty burgers, chips, and corn on the cob. After playing with the girls, I even went and laid down on the couch and attempted to take a nap. LOL! I say attempted because I never actually fell asleep. I couldn't because Max kept jumping on my head with his toy, wanting me to throw it. Then Alex brought a stack of books and sat on my hips and kept asking and asking me to read to her. Then Athena came in "just to say hi". After about 40 minutes I just got up and had to appreciate that I at least got to lay.

We ate dinner and walked to the park after. It's so nice because all of our kids are finally old enough to play a game together. We were the only ones at the park and we played monster. One person is it and they have to tag the people on the playset. If you get tagged, you are the monster. Even Alexandra got into that game and ran around the playground growling when it was her turn.
We came home and ate strawberry shortcake - made by Jeremy, with love.

Oh, this video is of the kids when we got home from the park. They were all being so cute. :) And yes, it WAS a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Asking for Suggestions

Believe it or not, with all the cooking I do - I still sit and chop all my veggies myself.

I want to get a food processor that will slice, chop, and dice vegetables and will also grate cheese. Does anyone have any great recommendations? Please tell me what you have and what you like or don't like about it. Also, I don't want to spend a fortune.

Thanks! I sure do appreciate it!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Doing Better Now

I have to include these pictures of Nathan because they are so cute! He likes to play DS and when he plays in the afternoon, Max comes and just settles in next to him and they enjoy being together. Every once in awhile Nathan will reach over and pat Max's head and ask him how he is doing. Or I'll just hear him say, "I love you, Max."

Nathan has his fair share of buggy moments too, but I honestly don't know what I would do without this little boy. He is full of charm. :)

Last night we had a scare because Nathan developed a cough, lost his voice, and then developed croup within a couple of hours. I don't really remember dealing with croup with any of our kids and I have to say it is really scary! I thought maybe Nathan had allergies, so I gave him a little antihistamine/cough syrup and sent him to bed. He woke up a couple of hours in a panic because he couldn't breathe. That was pretty much the start of our VERY long night.

Jeremy took him outside for awhile and let him breathe in the cold air and it helped for a bit. Then I spent 2 sessions during the night with him in the bathroom with a hot shower running to make a steam room. We put a cold, wet rag on his throat and I also rubbed VapoRub on his chest. All of that seemed to help a little. He ended up sleeping with us in our bed because I was so worried about him not being able to breathe. Several times during the night I lay there just listening to him struggle for air and then sitting him up really quick to help him breathe better. I thought to myself, I just CAN'T IMAGINE if I lost him. I don't know how parents make it through something like that.

We didn't have a humidifier, so Jeremy ran down to Walmart and got one. We then put that in our room with us too. I don't know if it helped or not.

Somehow we made it through the night. I don't know if either Jeremy or I got even as much as 2 hours of sleep. Then today I took him to the doctor. The doc gave Nathan a steroid and it has really seemed to help. So, thankfully he is doing much better now and is in his bed sleeping. Here's hoping for a better night. I'm so grateful to have him in our family and for all the joy he brings to me.
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