Friday, March 30, 2007

Books and More

I finished "These is my Words" yesterday. What a great book! I started another book, but my mind keeps drifting back to this book. I want to read it again already. I do want to read the sequel to this book, but I've heard it is not as good (which is the case with most sequels). I'm now reading "At first sight" by Nicholas Sparks, which is a sequel to "True Believer" (Janet, this is the book we have both read and couldn't think of the name). I have loved every book I have read by this author. I hope this sequel doesn't let me down.

And now for some random notes about my children that I'm most likely to forget in the future...
*Eleanor bites her toenails.
*Eleanor loves the book, "Mother, May I" by Lynn Plourde. (When Zoe was about this age, she loved "There's a wocket in my pocket" by Dr. Seuss...I had it memorized at one point from reading it so much!)
*Zach loves to drink milk, he says chocha milk even when he wants regular milk.
*Zach likes to stuff his mouth full of raisins and suck on them for awhile before he eats them...or sometimes spits them out.
*Zach loves to make silly faces (one of these days I'm going to get a video of him).
*Kate HATES to have diaper rash cream on her bottom, but she also gets very cranky when her bottom is sore. She doesn't like a wet/dirty diaper either.

Have a fun Friday!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Don't eat it, read it!

Zoe said this to Emily when Emily was in the "chew on books" stage. Every time I think about reading, I can hear Zoe saying this to Emily.
I am sore today! Luckily I have a good book to read, so I haven't moved much from my chair. I did do something productive before reading, so I wouldn't feel too guilty about ignoring everything around me to enjoy the life of Sarah Agnes Prine in "These is my Words". It is written by Nancy E. Turner. If you haven't read this book, go get it...but warn your family first that they will be fending for themselves until you are finished with the book.
Note to Matt's family: Janet has this book, so you don't need to go hunting for it.
It's time for me to go read now...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Exercise (check)

I had my 6 week checkup on Friday and there are no concerns, so I started exercising today. I actually made it through my entire workout without a peep from Kate...

I had a feeling that Kate would like the swing and I was right. She slept through my hour long workout, a shower, putting some laundry away and some other puttering, and she woke up as I sat down to eat breakfast, but I didn't mind since she had been so good! Matt dug the swing out of the shed and set it up on Saturday and I'm so glad he did.

Monday, March 26, 2007

How embarrassing

I have two week's worth of My Life Monday for you. Last week's topic was to share an embarrassing moment. When I read this topic, I immediately thought of something that happened to me in college. I was taking a class and a girl that went to the same high school as me was in the same college class (she graduated a year ahead of me). I didn't know her well. I knew her first name and that she had won some contest. We sat by each other in this college class and we were developing a friendship. During this class, we had an in-class assignment to introduce the person to our left and tell something about that person. This girl was on my left and at that moment her name slipped my mind, I could not think of her name! I didn't want to ask her what her name was, how embarrassing, but I had to because I needed to know to introduce her. When I asked her what her name was she laughed like I was joking, but then she saw the serious look on my face and asked, "Are you serious"??? Yes, I was...and our friendship just wasn't the same after that. I can't remember her name now!
This experience did allow me to easily forgive the sister at my baby shower a few weeks ago who was saying a blessing on the refreshments and she couldn't think of MY name...she has only known me for 8 years!...but she easily remembered the other Mom's name who she has only known for a short while. It happens.

This week's topic is to share my personal philosophy about something. I've been thinking about raising children, since that is what I do. I am not perfect at it, I find it hard and challenging everyday, but here are a few things that have worked...most of the time.

Bedtime: A consistent routine is a must. Our routine includes getting pajamas on, potty/diaper change, brush teeth, clean up (Zoe & Emily), pick outfits for school (Zoe & Emily), 1 bedtime story, scriptures (we read the stories written for children), and family prayer (we have all the children say a prayer to make sure they are praying daily and Matt and I take turns).
When the children are put in bed, they are expected to stay in their room with the lights off. I don't care if they play or read, I just want them in their room. Matt tolerates them playing less than I do. We have a board that we put up to keep Eleanor in the bedroom when she comes into the living room after we put her to bed (Our bedrooms don't have doors). The board is high enough that the kids can't climb over it, but it doesn't cover the entire doorway so they can see out and we can see in. This is the same board we used for Zoe when she was younger. Zoe used to make a huge mess in her room, but it was worth it to me to have time to myself and with Matt after 7pm.

Meals: My children eat a lot, but they don't eat a lot at mealtimes, and that's okay. Children snack, especially younger children. It is rare for us to have junk food in the house, so my children can eat whatever they want, whenever they want throughout the day. I think children eat better when they are hungry, so I let them eat when they feel the need to eat. As I write this, Zach and Eleanor are eating bananas. Now don't get the wrong impression that my children are super healthy eaters all the time because my Mom keeps them well fed in the sweets department!
When I make a big meal for dinner, that is it, I don't make anything else to please any of the children. The children are expected to eat what's on the table or get something else themselves. Eleanor is always the first one done, eating next to nothing, but I know she's not starving so I don't stress about it. I think kids try more foods and eat better at mealtime as they get older.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Report cards came home this week. Zoe and Emily are both doing great in school! Zoe loves school, so she is self-motivated to do homework and to do her best, which is very nice. It is setting a good example for her siblings, which is also very nice. Emily told me the other day that she likes recess and choice time at school, but she doesn't like doing work. But last week Emily made homework for herself because she doesn't have real homework yet and she sees Zoe doing homework most days after school. I have discovered this week that Emily is becoming a great reader. She does a great job sounding out words. I was reading to Emily and Eleanor the other night and Emily started reading along with me. I let her read the book to me (until Eleanor got tired of listening to Emily and wanted me to read again) and I was quite impressed at how well she is reading.

Here are some comments from the report cards...

Zoe always tries to do her best and produces quality work on time.
Zoe has excellent reading skills when reading aloud. She also demonstrates an excellent understanding of what she has read, in her comprehension lessons.
Zoe continues to develop as a talented writer, writing stories that have great use of voice, and show great imagination!
Zoe continues to make excellent progress in math!
Zoe has made excellent progress in these areas (Social Studies/Science/Health). She participates in class discussions and her classwork is excellent!

Emily enjoys school and is eager to learn. Her positive student behaviors are reflective not only academically but with peer relations as well. She readily engages in small group conversation and is becoming more of a risk taker in whole group settings.

Keep up the good work girls!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Oh Crap!

Literally. Eleanor and Zach took a bath together this morning. I closed the curtain and let them play until they were ready to get out. They splashed each other and had a great time. When I opened the curtain to wash them up, I discovered that Zach had pooped in the tub. Gross. How long had they been playing in poop...hopefully not long! I got them out of the tub, took the toys out, drained the water, cleaned the tub, refilled the tub, put Eleanor and Zach back in the tub, and washed them up.
Replace No more monkeys jumping on the bed with...No more toddlers pooping in the tub!

It's great to be 8!

After our blessing/baptism events on Sunday, we focused on Zoe's birthday. We invited Matt's parents over to my parents' home to eat dinner, have Zoe open her gifts, and have cake and ice cream. Zoe enjoyed every minute of it!

And we ended this special day with an Ice Age cake?...I guess the water theme fits.

And here's a cute picture of Kate with my Mom.

This is the end of the birthday, blessing, baptism update...until 2009 :-)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Birthday, Blessing, Baptism Part 2

Let's back up a bit to start my "Senior" moment #2. During church, a couple of the children made the Primary Presidency some cute mice made from different foods (the body was a half of a pear, the eyes were raisins, the tail was a piece of licorice...). They were really cute and I wanted to get a picture of them before we ate them, so I went to get my camera...where's my camera?...I looked in my church bag, Kate's carseat, another camera, this is not a good day to lose my camera! At this point of the day, I am starting to feel like the people in the Book of Mormon who hide their possessions and treasures and never find them again. When I went to feed Kate in the Mother's room a little while later, I looked in the diaper bag...and found my camera. Yay! "Senior moment" # 2 complete. When I went back later to take a picture of the mice, they were gone.
As I go over the events of yesterday in my mind, I realize that I had way too much stuff to keep track of!

Zoe's baptism went very well. I put my Mom and the Primary President in charge of the light snacks provided after church/before the baptism. So people munched in the kitchen while Zoe and Matt changed their clothes and we took some pictures.

I had Zoe unwrap a gift from my Aunt Tonia that she made for Zoe. They were 2 white towels for Zoe to use after her baptism. One towel had "CTR" written on it and the other towel had Zoe's name and baptism date on it. Zoe loved them! She couldn't believe that my Aunt Tonia had found a towel with her name on it!!
I also put the bracelet that she wore on her blessing day in her hair to wear on her baptism day.

Other last minute details were done after church like setting up chairs in front of the font where we had the baptism, moving the piano near the font, setting up the tv to show a short video while Matt and Zoe changed after her baptism, and handing out programs. We showed the video of President Hinckley doing a Sharing Time with children and it was perfect. The timing was right and the message fit.
Zoe was more excited than nervous about her baptism. She was ready. Matt's Mom gave a great talk on baptism, which Zoe commented on later. She said it was long, good, and the best part was when Matt's Mom asked her some questions and she answered them right!
After her baptism, Zoe was excited to wear her new dress, slip, sweater, and necklace from Matt's parents that she had unwrapped in the morning before church.
Here she is with one of her best friends.

And her siblings.(not as cooperative)

And her family.

And here she is with Matt's parents and Kate.

What a special day for Zoe. I think because she was born and has been raised in the same branch of the church her baptism day was even more special. Everyone who participated in her program has known her for a long time. It was very personal and sweet. Matt's Dad confirmed her a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and gave her the ability to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
I hope Zoe remembers this day always and I hope she has the opportunity to see her own children get baptized. What a great experience! As my Dad pointed out yesterday, we will now have a baptism in our family every 2 years. I look forward to that and Emily is already anxious for her big day :-)
To be continued...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Birthday, Blessing, Baptism

What a day! It went fairly smoothly except for a few of my "Senior" moments. I put Kate's blessing dress on her at church before Church started and then went to get her binky that I had last saw on a nearby table, but it was gone! I checked the diaper binky, I checked my church binky, I checked the floor, behind the chair, under the cushion of the binky. What happened to the binky???(Kate is crying by now). I wonder if Zach took it off the table and hid it somewhere. Well with no binky, our before Church/blessing pictures looked like this...

Somehow I did manage to get this cute picture...

Isn't Kate's blessing dress adorable?! Matt's Mom picked it out and it was perfect.
Have I mentioned yet that today is Zoe's 8th birthday?! When we were in Utah, Matt's Mom took Zoe shopping to pick out a CTR (Choose The Right) ring for a baptism gift. Zoe was very anxious to have her ring, so she was able to open it before church and wear it all day...

It looks a lot like the CTR rings the children get in Primary, but the band is fancier.

I got Kate asleep at the start of Sacrament meeting and she was asleep when I handed her off to Matt to bless her. It didn't take Kate too long to wake up and start crying during her blessing. I wasn't surprised. But I was surprised that she didn't cry for long and she was quiet through most of her blessing. It was a beautiful blessing. Matt said a phrase kept coming to his mind as he was giving Kate her blessing, but he didn't want to say it so he would push the thought into the back of his mind and then say something else. But finally he told Kate that she would be a help to me and she would take care of me. Matt and I discussed this during our ride home and we're thinking that this referred to the future when Kate is 68 and I'm 100 (one of my goals is to live to 100).
Kate slept through the rest of Sacrament meeting and most of the rest of church which was nice. Of course she woke up to eat right before Sharing Time (my one responsiblity during Primary for the day) so I gave my Mom instructions for Sharing Time and she took charge (thanks, Mom!) I took advantage of a full, content Kate and took this cute picture...

The Primary children, teachers, and leaders sang Happy Birthday to Zoe...I assume since I was feeding Kate...and she got a present from the Primary. She opened it after church with some of the children looking on...

A puzzle!
I was doing some things after church to get ready for Zoe's baptism when I felt something in my pocket...Kate's binky! When did I put the binky in my pocket??? Obviously sometime before church, but I don't remember doing it and I never thought to look in my skirt pocket for the binky because usually I don't wear skirts that have pockets.
Senior moment #1.
To be continued...

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ho Hum...

...what to do, what to do? Matt and the girls are out in our rainy weather with Matt's parents, and I am home with Zach and Kate. I can think of plenty to do, but I can only do so much while holding Kate. I did do a little bit of decluttering this morning. I enjoy decluttering and organizing and I could do it all day long. People wonder how our big family can live in such a small, 2 bedroom has a lot to do with decluttering and organizing...and the lack of money to have it any other way right now. But anyway, here I sit at the computer. It's actually nice to have an excuse to look around on the internet, but it's not too productive.
I keep thinking of Matt's concerns about the flooded roads from the rain we are getting, if the roads stay wet and flooded and they freeze tonight, what condition will the roads be in tomorrow to get to church? Did Matt's parents fly here for nothing? No, we will dunk Zoe in the flooded street if we have to.

Zach is wearing me out with his constant wanting me to put dress-ups on and off him. Head on over to Matt's blog to see pictures of Zach in are some more pictures I just took.

Zach just discovered these Tinkerbell slippers this morning and he is loving them!
I have been ignoring his plea to put this tutu on, but I finally gave in...

He just loves to dress up. I'm hoping it's just a phase. Zach doesn't understand me when I tell him that boys don't wear dresses, especially princess dresses. He just whines louder for me to put the dress on him. Matt tells me he's blaming me if Zach turns out to be gay. I AM getting to the point where I want to hide the dress-ups for awhile or get rid of them.

Kate is asleep on my chair now, so my excuse to be on the computer is least until she wakes up again...could be in 5 minutes, could be in a few hours.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Party Time

Matt's parents arrived by plane yesterday from Utah to be here for Zoe's 8th birthday and baptism on Sunday and for Kate's blessing. They came over for a visit last night. Usually I'm the kid magnet around here, but Matt's Mom replaced me when they got here...

My feelings weren't hurt at all, it was a nice break :-)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A big part of me

A little late again, but better than never, right?
The topic this week is to tell about a side of myself that people might not know about. Some of you may know, but some of you may not know that church is a huge part of my life. As my sister-in-law, Janae writes on her blog that her life revolves around her family, church, and the treadmill...well my life revolves around my family, church, and aerobics. I have a calling at church...a position or assignment in which LDS Church members have been asked to serve or perform a specific duty. I LOVE having a calling. Right now I am serving as the 1st Counselor in the Primary Presidency. Children ages 3 through 11 are enrolled in Primary. Children ages 18 months through 2 years are enrolled in the nursery class, which the Primary Presidency is over as well. I love to think about my calling and talk about it. I was talking with the Primary President on the phone one time and I was going on and on and on about ideas and things going on in Primary and she stopped me and said, "I thought you didn't like to talk on the phone!"...I don't, but I get talking about Primary and I can't stop. One of my challenges as a counselor is to suppress my desire to plan everything and do everything. I often wonder if I was Young Women's President for almost 5 years because the Lord was waiting for me to learn how to delegate, but then finally gave up on me. I love to go through the Primary handbook to see what can be improved in our Primary. Not only do I want to do everything we're supposed to be doing in Primary, but I want to do everything by the book, do it right. On Sunday afternoon/evening, I often think about Primary and plan for the next Sunday's Primary. During the week I work on what I have planned...although this too often gets put off until Saturday evening. I enjoy going to Stake ( Stake means a designated geographic area of inhabitants. A stake is divided into wards and branches.) meetings to get new ideas and to gain new perspective on things in my calling. It is a rare Sunday for me not to be at church. I like being there and I like serving in my calling. I was reminded in our last Stake meeting that callings are not just about going by the book, we need to be focusing on the individuals within our organizations...something I'm not so good at, but I'm working on it.
P.S. It's fun to wonder what my next calling will be :-)

Monday, March 12, 2007


We're starting to see real smiles from Kate :-) On Saturday Kate was smiling at my Mom, but she was pouting by the time I got the camera, but tonight I was in time to catch her smiling at Matt.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Welcome Party

The two newest babies at our church.

Kate is 1 month old and the baby boy is 2 months old.
The sisters at our church gave me and another mom a shower this morning. It was fun having a pink and blue party. Kate's presents were on the pink table and the baby boy's presents were on the blue table. There was a pink cake for Kate and a blue cake for the baby boy.

It was fun getting presents for Kate. Zach had fun helping...something he has learned from his sisters!

Zoe's class put on a short play this afternoon so I planned on going from the shower. We did go, but we ended up being late for the play, which meant we pretty much missed it since the plays her class put on are only 5-10 minutes long. When we got there, I realized that Zoe had already done her part and I was bummed. But I think because of my volunteering at the beginning of the year so Zoe's teacher knows me from that, and dragging 3 kids into the school with me she had the kids do their reading parts over again for me. Very sweet of her and I appreciated it. Zoe's class has been learning about the Chinese New Year so they went through the Chinese calendar characters. Zoe was the Snake.
Here is a picture of her costume and lantern.

Yesterday, Zoe's class went to our local Chinese restaurant for a field trip. I was bummed to miss that adventure!

I saw Emily in front of Zoe's school looking at a very impressive ice sculpture with her class as I was walking into the school, but I was in a hurry so I didn't get a chance to say hello. I think both girls had a fun Friday at school.

Kate is wearing her first 3-6 month outfit today!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Be Happy

Kate only woke up once to eat last night...we went to bed late and woke up before 6am, but we got long periods of rest in between :-) I'm not feeling tired, so why am I in such a bad mood??? It's still morning and I'm already at the point of easily being annoyed by my children. There seems to be a constant need for me to do something for Zach and Eleanor...while I hold Kate, who wakes up and cries when I put her down. I think it's time to come up with 10 things I AM happy about...before I read a book to Zach that I'm sure I have read a hundred times in the past few days.

1) I am in a warm house on a cold day
2) I have no place to be, so a no-shower day is okay
3) I paid the bills and still have money for food and gas
4) We have electricity, so I can use our computer while holding Kate
5) I can hear Zach sing the alphabet
6) Eleanor is in her room playing
7) We are all in good health
8) We have one car that works*
9) I'm not Relief Society President
10)Matt's parents are coming to visit next weekend

Thanks Cindy for this idea to focus on the positive. I needed it today!

*Matt's truck has died. We are back to both of us using the Yukon, which means I am home a lot more...mental note to self ~ be positive, this could result in our house getting cleaned more often now...probably not.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Tupperware & 2 Years Old

Does your tupperware stress you out? Can't find a lid?...disorganized? you dread saving leftovers? I used to feel this way, but not after I received this...

There are 3 different container sizes and the one-size lids fit all 3 containers :-)

I also have a few other tupperware pieces AND lids to go with them, but only a few. The purple bowl is good for mixing tuna fish in, the clear round containers are good when we have a lot of leftovers to store, and the green square containers are good for sandwiches and other leftovers.

There are no more unnecessary, disorganized tupperware containers in my cupboard :-)
Happy Birthday Zachary!

He woke up this morning to this new wheelbarrow filled with a few presents and cards.

Zoe was anxious this morning for Zach to open his presents, so she did most of the unwrapping...and Zach wondered what he was getting.

Zoe did let him open one present by himself.

That was the excitement of Zach's birthday for us today, but that's okay because he is very content to spend the rest of the day playing with his new toys.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

1 Month Old

Kate enjoys being held, she is learning to like her binky, and she doesn't like a dirty diaper. She has a clogged tear duct, which seems to happen to all of our infants.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Celebrating early

Zach is going to be 2 on Wednesday, but because of a Stake Leadership training that Matt & I are going to Wednesday evening, we celebrated Zach's birthday yesterday at my parents' home. I don't like celebrating birthdays on a day other than the actual birthday, but we figured Zach wouldn't know the difference and it will make Wednesday evening less hectic. Here are some birthday celebration photos...

The soon to be birthday boy!

The sisters who were willing to help open presents at a moment's notice.

The only 2 year old excited to receive clothes!

An alphabet toy for a boy who LOVES to sing the alphabet.

Yes, a Dora cake and party...he loved it!