Friday, January 30, 2009

Weekend Blues

I just wrote the following:

In some ways, I hate the weekends. You people don't blog enough! Here I have more time than usual to read blogs since Richard is home, and you guys return the favor by not blogging! Ugh. I need to be entertained, people! Stop spending quality time with your families and write something funny!

And I seriously thought about clicking the "Publish Post" button with just that. And then I realized that I need some happy pills. Sheesh. Downer!

Here's a funny to story to make it up to you:

Asher woke up from his nap today and called to me in his usual way "Mom! I ready to wake up!... Mom, I ready to wake up!... Mom! {emphasis on each syllable} I rea-dy to wake up!" When I walked into his room the first thing he said {in an urgent tone} was "I need... a snack, Mom." Like he had seriously deliberated on this for some time and come to the educated conclusion that his body was in need of nourishment.

Ok, so that's not that funny of a story. More like just a quirky piece of my life with Asher. But - at least it's not totally cynical, right?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Language skills

I've had a very clever post planned in my head all about how Isaiah's forms of communication at this point in his life remind me of Star Wars. C3PO squeaks and Chewy roars. But instead, you get this cute video of Isaiah and his Dad. Isaiah and his father had just been having quite a conversation for the last few minutes, but of course I only caught the tail end of it and it's not so great.

Basically, Isaiah totally understands I'd say 80% of what we say. And he can make his wishes known very clearly. But he has yet to use any words that you'd find in the dictionary except for a long string of "Mamamamamamamamamama" for me (would you find that in dictionary?). He nods his head and says "uh huh" for the affirmative. He shakes his head and says "uh uh" for the negative. He says "huh?" as in "what did you say?" He points and grunts to whatever he wants. He brings me things that he wants something done with (blocks he wants put together, a cup he wants refilled, a blanket he wants on top of him, etc.). I was a little worried for a while there that maybe he was in some way delayed, but What To Expect says that as long as it's clear he's understanding us, he'll probably start speaking eventually. I just hope it's before he's a Senior in High School.

So without further ado, a short video for your entertainment (it's quite a comedy of errors, really):

video

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ketchup

I've been super busy the last few days so I have several "to blog" ideas in my head. So I'll just throw it all out here for ya.
I've spent all my free and nap times making about 90 of these:

They are baby shower invitations. They turned out really well but they gave me some trouble. I kept running out of random supplies that I thought I had plenty of. And then I had to send poor Richard out today in a snow storm to mail them. I'm not complaining - I'm just sayin', that's what I've been spending my time on. Happily. I'm sure you'll hear more about this baby shower in the next few weeks. I'm very excited about it.
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I've also been busy with the Bloggy Giveaway's Carnival. If you get some time, go enter some contests. And be sure to enter my giveaway at the Chic Made Blog.
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The other day we set up a great, comfy, bed of blankets and pillows and such on the family room floor. Here's what the kids started out doing in it:
But it quickly escalated to this:
And much fun craziness ensued.
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The other week we had a great Enrichment Meeting lesson about how the "decorating" in our home can bring the spirit. The woman who gave it talked about how if you are surronded by things you love, it is sometimes easier to feel the spirit. I think most of the decorating in my home is things that I love - that's why I bought them. But I've always struggled with what to do on the mantel in the family room. Christmas solved that problem for me! The fabulous little arrangement below just sort of fell together. I bought the little blue bird at one of my favorite crafty stores in Plano while I ws there and just love it. I wish I'd bought a dozen to put all over the house. The scent inffuser thing came in my stocking and smells just lovely. And the family picture has been there for a while (as you can see from the outdated photo) but never really looked right until now. So, there you go, a little something that makes me happy.

Have a good day! We're playing in the snow!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Brownies and Beauty Queens

I had big plans for Saturday night. I invited a girlfriend over to watch Miss America, eat junk, and mock Beauty Queens. I know, I know, some of you may be offended that I watched the show with that intent. If it makes you feel better, we actually didn't mock that much. My girlfriend brought her hubby and he was actually complaining that we weren't mocking enough. There just wasn't anyone truly mock-able this year. Now, last year...last year was so mockable it's hardly even funny anymore. If you didn't see it, you should go check out Miss South Carolina's answer in the question portion. Now THAT was mockable. Anyway, we did have fun just being together and dreaming about wearing fancy dresses. I guess there's a part of every girly girl that wants to be a beauty queen.

Here's some pics of the kids "helping" me make the brownies earlier in the day.






(Oh, and thanks for the cute apron, Mom! It's great! Naomi would have worn hers too, but she was too busy being a ballerina.)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thanks Uncle Josh!

The last of our Christmas presents arrived today! My brother, Josh, gave Naomi and I these matching bags. We are so excited about them! (They arrived a little late because he ordered them on Etsy and didn't realize they were coming all the way from Turkey!) Naomi's is just the right size to be a little church bag for her - just enough room for a pad of paper and a pen (which is all she needs to help her sit quietly for hours on end).

Also, in this shot - my updated hair do. It was cut over Christmas by my talented SIL Jessica.

Smile!

It's been a while since we had some random cuteness on the blog - just for the sake of random cuteness. Plus, I find that when I go around trying to catch a cute shot of each of my children I remember all the reasons why I love them so much. ...Which is a good thing for a mother in the mid-week rut.

Naomi is a total poser. Always has been. But at least she knows what works for her!
I love this shot of Asher because of his limbs. His feet look very baby-ish and remind me of the cute things baby's do in their sleep or when they're first discovering their toes. But then his hands look huge! Whose big-boy hand is that?

And finally, here is Isaiah, looking very retro in his brown turtleneck and fluffy hair. The shot is even kinda colorless and faded looking - like maybe it really was taken in the 70's.

Yep. I've confirmed it. They're cute. ... Still.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shameless

Ya know how I started a blog about my jewelry not too long back? Chicmade.blogspot.com. Well, I'm really excited about hosting a giveaway on that site next week and linking it to Bloggy Giveaways Carnival. I hope that will increase my traffic to the blog, and in turn to my shop. But the thing is, right now the blog kinda looks like nobody reads it. I know a few of you do since I can see that on my Analytics, but I need it to LOOK like somebody reads it. To give me some street cred. So if you've got some time, could you please go leave a few comments on that blog? Even if it's nothing creative in the comment, just seeing that "4 comments" instead of "0 comments" will make a big difference.

I know, it's shameless. But really I just want it to look like I get as much traffic as I actually do. Or maybe more. More would be OK, too. ... Totally shameless. [Shaking head]

Monday, January 19, 2009

First Snow

There's gotta be one of these posts every year - the first snow. The kids have been waiting for this day very impatiently. Naomi in particular was ecstatic. Unfortunately my camera battery is dead. So instead you get video from Richard's new, fancy, HD video thingy. Hopefully the video won't be so big that it jams up your computer (if it does, let me know for future reference).

video

Richard is home today for MLK day. So we staged a "cleaning blitz" this morning and got a jump start on my plan for the week to eradicate clutter, remove dirt, and expel dust. Oh, and we finally got the Christmas stuff put away. That's only a week after we got home, so if you think about it, that's like I put the decorations away on January 7. Ya know? Ya with me on this rationalization?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Already?

A conversation between Mom and Naomi as Naomi is being tucked into bed:

Naomi: But we didn't see that prophet guy today!

Me: What prophet guy?

Naomi: The one we talked about in school.

Me: You mean Martin Luther King, Jr.

Naomi: Yeah.

Me: He's not a prophet.

Naomi: What? Yes he is!

Me: Nope. He's not a prophet.

Naomi: Why not?

Me: Because... he was a really great man who helped the world in really great ways, but he wasn't giving us Heavenly Father's words. A prophet is someone who tells us what Heavenly Father wants us to hear and do. On Monday we'll have a special holiday where Daddy doesn't have to go to work and you don't have to go to school and we'll remember the great things Martin Luther King, Jr. said. But he's not a prophet.

Naomi: But we'll see him on Monday?

Me: Well, no. Actually, he's dead.

Naomi: What? Already?

Me: Yep.

Naomi: But can we see him on TV?

Me: Well, maybe we can see him talk on the computer. OK?

Naomi: OK.

After Naomi and I had this chat and I came to write it down quickly before I forgot about the "What? Already!" part, I got to thinking. MLK was a prophet in many ways. He was telling us what Heavenly Father wanted us to hear. I believe his popular speech and much of his life was inspired. But that may be a little deep for a 5 year old. So, thanks Naomi. For helping me have deep thoughts about Martin Luther King, Jr on this oft-ignored holiday.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Strength

Way back "in the day", before I served a mission, my parent's buoyed me up quite a bit by calling me "A woman of strength." They told me I was strong long before I believed them. But eventually, I did start to believe them. Knowing that they thought I was strong, sometimes made me strong. After I served my mission, I believed that I was a woman of strength. I felt that I had been tested in some new areas and had passed the tests. I don't mean to seem arrogant, but that's how I felt.

I still repeat my little mantra of "You're a woman of strength. You can do this." sometimes when I'm facing a tough obstacle.

During our 2-day road trip home from Texas last weekend there was a point where the kids really needed a break. All three of them were kinda loosing it and starting to cry and whine excessively. We pulled over at the next exit even though it didn't look like there would be any great place to let the kids out. We parked in a tiny gas station parking lot. There was a small patch of grass between the gas station and a highway. NOT an ideal playplace, but the kids were desperate (and therefore so were Richard and I!). The kids were a little uneasy about us telling them to run around in such an odd place and it was cold and, like I said, they were all whiny. So I started running around in circles in the small patch of grass. Pretty soon all three kids were chasing me. We kept it up for a good ten minutes and then piled back into the car to keep on truckin'. As I drove away from there I thought to myself "Holy cow. I just ran around in circles for 10 minutes and I feel great. I feel better! I feel invigorated - not exhausted. Wow!"

I am a woman of strength. I figured that out some years ago. But now, I am a new kind of "woman of strength." I am a physically strong woman of strength. And that is something I have never been before. My goal when I started this new exercise regime was to be able to pick up both boys at the same time. Not just hold them, but pick them up from the ground. I can do that now (and I do - often!). My arms have muscles they never had before. I've dropped 2, almost 3, jeans sizes and who knows how many inches. I am a woman of strength.

And I'm not done yet.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

...Polo!

I feel a little like I've been bouncing around the country lately. But we are finally settled back in to our house and our lives. I've even already unpacked (which is only miraculous if you take into account that when I packed for this trip I had to finish UNpacking the suitcase from our summer vacation first). Next step - undecorate from Christmas. After that - mega organization. I've found in the past that when I come back from my mother's nice, clean, organized, everything-in-it's-place house I am totally disgusted by my own residence. And that was the case again this time. So I have some major renovations in mind - but I'll save that for another post. OH, the suspense!

In case you haven't noticed, I've been busily catching up on blogging the photos from our trip. I've been back-dating them to around when they actually were taken, so cruise through the old stuff for some great photo's (if you haven't already seen them in a Reader, that is). One more back-dated post to go and I'll be all caught up. I've got to get caught up and ready for the next Bloggy Carnival. I sometimes wonder if it does me any actual publicity-related good to do these carnival's - but I'm pretty sure I got at least one sale over Christmas because the woman had bookmarked me for her hubby and put me on her Christmas list. I'm also pretty sure that being on someone's Christmas list is an (unknown) wish come true. That is so dang COOL!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What makes a good marriage?

I enjoyed a great talk on TV this morning and was impressed to share it. A BYU Devotional by Elder Robert D. Hales, entitled “Temple Blessings”. One of the sections that really touched me was when he shared 5 keys to marriage success. Here's an excerpt:

I have also observed over the years couples who have been able to maintain strong and vital marriages as they remain true to the covenants they take upon themselves in the temple. […] There is great value in thinking about what makes a good marriage and the kind of person who will be able to make and keep temple covenants. Thinking ahead this way is why successful couples have been able to date and learn to know each other and come to know where the heart of that future companion will be for time and all eternity.

First, these successful couples know individually who they are—a son or daughter of God. They set eternal goals to once again live with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. They strive to leave the ways of the natural man behind.

Second, they know the doctrine and the importance of the saving temple ordinances and temple covenants and their necessity in achieving eternal goals.

Third, they choose to obtain the eternal blessings of the kingdom of God rather than the temporal or temporary possessions of the world.

Fourth, couples realize that when they are sealed for time and all eternity, they have chosen an eternal companion—their courting days are over! There is no need to look any further!

Fifth, couples think of one another before self. Selfishness suffocates spiritual senses. Remember that. Communicating with the Lord in prayer, they grow together and not apart. They converse with each another, thereby never letting little things become big things. They talk early about the “little hurts” with little fear of offending. In this way, when the pressure in the tea kettle builds and the whistle goes off, there is no explosion of bitter feelings. It is so much better to let off a little steam before the top blows off the pressure cooker. They are willing to apologize and ask forgiveness if they have hurt the one they love. They express their love for each other and become closer. Remember, “There is no fear in love.” They lift and strengthen one another.

I especially liked that quote in the last section. “Selfishness suffocates spiritual senses.” As he says, remember that.

The full transcript and mp3 are available at byubroadcasting.org.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nevermind...

My "cut short" trip is now back to it's original length. Turns out the woman who told Richard about those alleged $50 flight changes that you can make 12 hours before a desired flight was full of hooey. Nonetheless, Richard and I decided to cough up the $150 for a flight change and stick with going home this weekend. That is, until I took the boys to the doctor today and they were both diagnosed with sinus and ear infections. No way am I traveling with sick kids again. So, now we're back to our original plans to stay in Texas through the 9th. I probably wouldn't have taken the boys in to the doctor today were it not for the fact that I thought I was going to be traveling this weekend, so I guess maybe that's why we had to go down this road - to force me to take them in. Poor Isaiah has the worst ear infection and it is clearly bothering him. He screamed at bedtime for a good hour tonight. That is so unlike him! And Asher isn't as bad, they say, but I think that's just because he has already mostly gotten over it. They are both good troopers. Maybe too good!

I am excited that this new/old plan means we get another weekend with the Grandones. Tomorrow we'll head to the zoo for some fun. And I haven't even gone to church here yet since I was in Ohio last Sunday so it'll be nice to be around for that. Plus, if the boys' antibiotics kick in I might actually be able to go to the gym this next week. So it's all looking up.

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A couple of days ago I drove to our old house in Plano and then drove from there my old route to my High School. Oh, the memories. I got a ticket there... I had a date there... I went there after that one thing... But the place has changed so much! That side of town is totally more developed. I actually almost got lost because a road that used to dead end, now keeps on going! And the school has been added on to. It was quite a tripy trip. I dreamt a weird collage of memories that night. If only I had been as confident then as I am now... So many of my "problems" were just my own neuroses. I know that's probably a pretty common High School related thought. If only I really could write a letter to myself in my youth like that country song talks about. I'd say things like "the girls in church don't really hate you, they just don't know you - which is your fault." And "just smile at everybody and you'll have loads of friends." And "Don't worry, you'll rock college" Happiness seemed so evasive then and it seems so simple now. Not easy or always present, but simple.