Monday, December 03, 2007

Sometimes you find something that really works-- Hanes socks

Sometimes, stuff actually works the way it's advertised.

The girls are really hard on socks. REALLY hard. They stain them, wear them down, everything imaginable. Not to mention it's hard to keep matching pairs clean when they take them off and scatter them all over the house where I don't find any given sock's mate at wash time, especially when each pair in the pack has a different color, accent, or cute little design.

They are now both wearing the same size, so we had to buy more socks. I bought a pack of Hanes girls' ankle socks, which are advertised as "repelling more dirt" or something like that. (They were $0.50 more than the Target brand socks so why not?) After one load of wash, I bought two more packages!

While we will still probably buy the odd package of "pretty" socks for dress-up wear, these are our new everyday socks for the girls. They are thick enough that they aren't getting weird worn spots after a couple of wears like the other socks do. They really do release dirt better in the wash (other white socks would get sprayed and sprayed with Shout and still come out looking slightly dingy. These get one light spritz of Shout and come out looking pristine, even when Bridget stepped in caramel, chocolate, and macaroni and cheese, then ground them in.) Emma is very particular about the way her socks sit on her feet; these seams are comfortable for her and the socks are well-shaped for her little feet, meaning no crying about "My socks are not right and I can't deal with it!" No fancy doo-dads and patterns means never not having a mate to a sock as long as we keep up a decent supply. And when Emma grows out of this size and moves up to the next one, the color coding will mean we will know whose socks are whose.

I'm seriously thinking of never buying another kind of socks (other than fancy socks for the girls and dress socks for Jeff and any boys we may have.) Just keeping a list of who wears what color heels and gradually replacing all our non-special white socks with Hanes!

AND there was a coupon in the paper this week for $1 off any Hanes socks. Score! I will totally be using THAT coupon!

Good Grief (or, if that's fat, I don't want to know what I am)

Okay. So apparently Jennifer Love Hewitt was photographed in a bikini, and people started calling her "fat" around the internet. They were making fun of her rear, thighs, etc. She responded that she's happy with her body.

WHY SHOULDN'T SHE BE? Good grief, the woman has a wonderful body! (Here is a link to the picture, with very unkind caption, for those of you who are interested. Warning: some language, especially if you click the picture to get the rear view.) I would LOVE to have that body! What the heck are they thinking? The woman is SKINNY! So she has a bit of stuff in the rear, and some thighs. They're still smaller than mine! Sure, her choice of swimsuit could be more flattering. But she looks better in a swimsuit than I ever will, rear-end fat notwithstanding.

People who think JLH is fat: you're crazy, and possibly sick. Would YOU look that good in a bikini or out of it?

Saturday, December 01, 2007


I can count on one hand the number of times we've made it to church in the past 4 months. Literally. (A few times Jeff and Emma have been well enough to go without Bridey and me.) And tomorrow, we're not going to make it again.

We are all sick. We have an annoying post-nasal drippy thing going on that was so hard on Bridey last night she kept waking up from coughing and choking on snot. We finally gave her Sudafed at 2:20 am, thankfully it didn't make her hyper, or she was exhausted enough to get over that, because after that she dried up and went to sleep for the rest of the night. We did go out to the store today (thrift store, yay! Jeff STILL HAS NOT FOUND MY MATERNITY CLOTHES so I had to pick some big t-shirts and maternity pants up at the thrift store to hold me over. Hopefully he'll find my maternity garments before I have to buy new ones-- at best estimate I will last three more weeks before the regular garments just absolutely do not fit. Jeff found a t-shirt for me that says, "I'm PREGNANT, I'm UP and DRESSED, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?" I love it! I also got books and videos for Christmas presents-- part of our reduced consumption Christmas is that we buy gifts at the thrift store. The kids get one new gift each from Santa. Oh, and a beautiful wool coat for Emsie.) But we were careful not to touch things unnecessarily or, you know, breathe on people. Or let the kids do so. We don't want to spread this thing. And we're definitely not going to church like this, there are elderly people, immuno-compromised people, and premature babies in our ward. Not going to be responsible for making them sick!

Jeff is supposed to be studying for his EA exam right now (he's taking it-- well, part 1-- the 17th of Dec.) but I think he's watching tv or playing a game (he got a laptop for a graduation present. He's thrilled.) Oh, no, here he is, EA study guide in hand. Guess he's being good! (Now the kids have made him read one story before he gets to study. I guess that's allowed. ;) )

We had my appointment on Monday afternoon (after Bridey's Monday morning exam, and her SIX SHOTS-- what I get for postponing her vaccinations because she was always so sick and it didn't feel right to give them to her before; thankfully she had one day of fever from the MMR and it was over, and didn't freak out every time she saw the band aids like Ems used to.) The heart rate was good, the weight gain was good, I got a new prescription for phenergan (yay!), this time with 3 refills-- which should last, at the rate I take the stuff, until I'm 8.5 months pregnant, so I sure HOPE the morning sickness will be done with by then! I have settled into a routine of taking it every night before bed, and that keeps the sickness away until the next evening. I forgot last night and almost threw up before I took a half dose this morning. Then I slept, 'cause it makes me tired. So I just need to remember to take it before bed so that doesn't happen! He also confirmed that Zantac is just fine when I have severe heartburn.

My Uncle Bob is doing somewhat better with his therapy. (They have confirmed, it is ALS. :( ) He is home and receiving daily therapy and assistance from a home care worker. He has a hospital bed in his room and that is where he stays mostly, except during therapy. We went over the other day and we all stopped in his room to say "hi." He is very excited to find out the gender of the baby.

Oh, that's right-- the gender of the baby! I forgot to mention that we'll find out at the ultrasound, which is scheduled for Dec. 21. If, that is, the baby cooperates! I hope for Uncle Bob's and Jeff's sakes that it does. They'd go crazy! But I personally don't really want to know, never do. Jeff and I finally compromised when I was pregnant with Bridget that we'll keep finding out until we have at least one boy; then, with each gender covered, he's willing to let the one after that be a surprise.

I have had some seriously weird cravings lately. Last night I HAD TO HAVE black olives. And water chestnuts. And dill pickles. But that was only after I got over the craving for an ice cream sundae with (get this) vanilla ice cream, chunky peanut butter, strawberry jam, dill pickles, whipped cream, and tuna... I decided to pass on that one so as not to make Jeff and Emma sick. Previously in this (and other) pregnancies, I've had cravings, sure, but they were for things I already liked-- curry, tater tots, Chinese food, etc. The bizarre cravings of the last few days, the fact that I like peanuts this time around (aversions with the girls, very severe with Emma) and don't like pineapple pizza (which I have never liked EXCEPT while pregnant with the girls and occasionally while severely PMSing) have Jeff convinced this baby is a boy. We shall see!

So, um, that was pretty much our week. Not much else going on, save the, you know, tiredness and business and did I mention tiredness? Hope you are all well! Sorry I haven't been blogging much, I just haven't often had the energy!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, I am thankful for phenergan and Zantac, which will enable me to actually eat Thanksgiving dinner.

Dinner's at my Aunt Linda's, at 5:30.

I'm bringing the green bean casserole (whoever's hosting gets to "assign" food. I got volunteered for this because it's easy and I'm pregnant.) Since I do not generally like green bean casserole (nor does my mom, nor do several other family members) I will be bringing petite peas with green onions in butter sauce as well.

Mmmmm. Someone around here is cooking sweet potatoes and I can smell it. If I opened the door I bet I would smell turkey, too.

Dang, I'm hungry. Time for my breakfast (microwave "baked" potato.) Yum, I can't WAIT for dinner!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Shopping: the good, the bad, and the painful

We had a shopping day today. USA Baby was having a sale; we didn't end up with any big-ticket items. We did end up with $60 worth of small ones, including things I'd been meaning to buy online but couldn't justify the shipping for; the sale price made them as cheap or cheaper than online prices, so I got them. We also got a very nice calming CD with instrumental arrangements of hymns and gospel songs that put the kids right out in the car and calmed my crankiness, and some cute and cool little pacifiers that snap closed to cover the nipple part when baby drops them (like this; we got two Bugsy Beetle patterned ones, one Lola Ladybug, and one Ethan Penguin.) Everything in the store WAS on sale, but unfortunately it was almost all only 15% off, not the higher-end discounts they had advertised so heavily, and most of it was overpriced to begin with. We did pick up some training chopsticks just because I have fond memories of learning to eat with chopsticks as a kid and even though Ems already knows how to eat with chopsticks, Bridey gets jealous and would like to learn too. And the price wasn't atrocious after the discount, so we figured why not.

Then we went over to the "Holiday Tent" at IKEA. We got all our gift wrapping stuff for Christmas.

Then since Macy's was right there and my aunt had given us some old Macy's scrip they never used for Jeff's graduation, we decided to do Macy's too. We got Jeff two dress shirts (one on sale, one on clearance) and a tie, then went downstairs so I could eye up all the baby stuff. The Christmas dresses were soooo cute. I really liked a few of them, but I knew we couldn't afford them (we had about $35 left after the shirts and tie, and that was before tax.) But then Jeff told me to choose the ones I liked, and buy them anyway; he said it was okay that it was a little more than I had budgeted for both dresses this year, that it was worth it to see me happy. I went and looked at the ones that I had loved the most-- and noticed a green notation on the tag. They were already marked down to $25 from $50, 50% off! With the additional 30% discount, that meant that both dresses would be $35 together, not $35 each, and just paying the tax was definitely within our budget! Then when I checked out, it turned out that the clearance shirt was on additional sale as well because of the brand it was, so it was $10 instead of $15 as it had been marked. So we walked away from checkout with two dress shirts, a nice tie, and two Christmas dresses for an out-of-pocket cost of $2.38-- less than the total tax on the items we bought!

Unfortunately, things then took a turn for the worse. As we were exiting, I slipped on a spill on the floor. (A "wet floor" sign was up, but on the other side of the walkway from the spill and behind a sign, not easily visible.) I cried out in pain as my back pain was immediately eclipsed by hard, painful contractions. My husband managed to help me limp over to a chair they pulled up for me. They gave me some water, took my information, and immediately cleaned the spill up better (apparently it had already been mopped, but not well) and moved the sign, as well as posting an employee to warn people away (which I was glad to see.) After a while the contractions were less, and I was able to walk out to the car. But they didn't stop on the ride home, or when I got home and put an ice pack on my back. I was worried, so we called around until we found someone to help with a blessing (our home teacher works late most Saturdays, and most every other night, unfortunately; he's a full-time student and has a full-time job as well to support his two kids and pregnant wife. I don't begrudge him supporting his family, of course, but it can be hard to reach him, so we often end up calling someone else for immediate needs.) He came right over and after the blessing, the contractions finally stopped (I had one during the blessing and then no more.) The pain in my back also got better (helped as well, I am sure, by the Tylenol and ice pack.) But all in all, it was a scary experience. Thank goodness, no bleeding, although I did have rather heavy cervical mucous discharge. If the contractions had not stopped, I was nearing the two-hour deadline I had given myself before I was going to have to call the doctor and probably go in. Instead, I laid back on the ice pack and we watched Evan Almighty (very funny, not at all disrespectful to religion, and really quite entertaining.) So I'm hoping this is pretty much the end to the incident, but we'll see.

Monday, October 29, 2007

First Prenatal Check-up

We went to my first check-up today. Emma was in preschool; Bridey stayed with Abba until time for the ultrasound. The doctor did both trans-vaginal and external ultrasound, for greater accuracy. I am a few days further along than I had guesstimated; my official due date is May 1, 2008. Looks like this baby is going to have a birthday VERY close to Bridey!

The baby (yes, just one baby!) seems healthy, did not like being disturbed by the u/s passing over (I think s/he was sleeping; the u/s passed over and the baby just scrunched up and flailed in protest!) Not nearly as active as Ems or Bridey were on their ultrasounds at this stage, but that's OKAY BY ME!

And I got phenergan, to curb my nausea! w00t!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I just talked to my aunt.

My Uncle Bob has been sick for a while. They haven't figured out what has been wrong with him. Last night they got a tentative diagnosis of Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS.) This is really bad.

They're still waiting on some more tests. It is not a definitive diagnosis yet. I would really appreciate everyone's prayers, for some kind of miracle that it is NOT ALS, for him to have a long and healthy life even if it is, just for him to be well, for his doctors to figure out what to do for him, and for my family in general.

Uncle Bob is really special to everyone who knows him. He has been a Catholic school teacher for many years (interspersed with some principaling and some consulting.) He has touched the lives of his students and their families as well as our family in so many ways. He is just one of the most wonderful people I know and we are not ready to accept this diagnosis until it is definite.

Please, any prayers you have for him and for us are much appreciated. His name is Bob Grossi. Thanks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Do I REALLY have to change it?

Bridget has a poopy diaper. I know it's poopy. It's a really stinky one and I can smell it from across the room. She did it about 5 minutes ago.

But I also know that it's gonna smell WORSE when I open it up to change it.

And I'm gagging just smelling it in the closed diaper from across the room.

And I just managed to eat a little food and drink a little juice.

And I really don't want to throw up again.

And she's not complaining. Yet. She's happily playing "throw sister's stuffed animals on the floor, pick up, repeat."

But I'm probably going to throw up anyway if I don't change it soon.

I guess I'd better suck it up.


*goes to change the diaper*

Anyone want to help plan a menu?

It's for 10 to 60 people, a few of whom may be vegetarians, most of whose likes and dislikes I don't know, for dinner and dessert.

Yeah. That's what I thought. We're planning the menu for Jeff's graduation party-- invites went out a while ago-- the RSVP deadline (we specifically asked people to respond whether they are coming or not because you know how people are) is this Friday, and guess how many responses we've gotten, out of 50 invites? About nine. Nine. I'm going nuts trying to figure out-- can we have nice food, or are we going "feed the masses cheap"? I'm doing my shopping on Saturday and all I can say is they had better respond soon or I'm going to start making follow-up calls. And I'm not sure I can be polite.

But I do have some thoughts on the menu. I'm assuming we'll probably actually get between 30 and 50 people. Here's what I'm thinking so far:

-A crockpot roast dish. Either corned beef with veggies, a traditional pot roast type beef roast with veggies, or maybe pork roast with apples and potatoes (because pork roast is on REALLY cheap right now.)
-A chicken dish. Probably thighs and/or drumsticks because they are also cheap. Possibly deviled (we used the recipe for Emma's first birthday party and it was delish.)
-Salads. Probably a green one-- maybe this one, which can be made ahead of time and then everything tossed together at the last minute-- and several others, like a fruit salad, a three-bean salad, and maybe one more, I don't know what kind.
-A kind of macaroni-and-cheese, dressed up; little shells, tossed with a cream sauce with some garlic and herb Boursin melted in-- maybe I'll even use a jar of pre-made Alfredo sauce to make it easier-- dumped in a casserole, topped with bread or cracker crumbs, and baked. I'll give it some fancy French name that means "shells with cheese sauce" (I think I know how to say that but need to check my spelling.)
-Rolls. Because rolls are easy.
-Punch. Probably a container of cranberry juice cocktail and a bottle of Sprite dumped over ice. Maybe something else if some other kind of juice is on sale and I come up with something good.

I figure that should make everyone happy, right? Something for everyone. I will of course make signs telling everyone what is what, what was cooked with meat, what is vegetarian, and what is vegan, as well as any potential allergy alerts.

For dessert we are having a make-your-own ice cream sundae bar. We may or may not have a cake as well (which my aunt has offered to buy) depending on how many people come.

But this is all dependent, of course, on how many people are ACTUALLY coming.

If only 20 are going to show up, I will make something, you know, nice.

And if no one replies despite reminders, I'm going to have to smite them.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The up side of having a red couch and orange dining room chairs

When your 18-month-old eats your Baked Doritos and gets cheese hands, she doesn't stain the furniture-- only your pants.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A quick post of congratulations

I am still not up to my regular blogging schedule-- but I just wanted to post that Jeff is officially done with school! Yay!

He finished his last classes (they ended officially on Saturday), has his grades (he pulled off a 3.41 GPA! Yay for Jeff!), and on October 13 the graduation ceremony will be held at which he will officially be given his B.S. in Accounting. (Of course, we won't be there; he probably won't even bother to view it online. But it's good to know his name will be read out for everyone to hear.)

He is very happy, we are all happy, I am very proud of him. And we are planning a fun party on the 20th to celebrate.

Yay for Jeff, who finished school while working full time and being a full-time daddy and husband! It's the end of a long road for him.

Now to begin studying for the EA exam...

Monday, September 24, 2007

I have been derelict in my blogging duties.

I admit it. I'm sorry.

We had a wonderful time in Vegas (Emma wants to go back!) but I came home sick.

Not just pregnant sick, really virusy sick. And got over that one and got another.

I haven't been to church in, like, 3 or 4 weeks. I had to drop out of the quartet I was supposed to be in for a stake event because not only was I too sick to make the practices, I completely lost my voice for about 3 weeks. It's just now starting to come back.

So I haven't really had any energy for blogging. I am reluctant to admit I haven't even been reading other people's blogs much.

Besides me, the kids have been sick. Emma missed preschool about 3 times, and Bridey is having trouble sleeping at night because of the coughing and congestion.

So. I suck, I'm sorry, but I will probably not really blog again for a while, until I'm feeling better. It will be at least another week.

Feel free to tell me how awful I am.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

So Long for Now

We're heading off to Vegas! Jeff is preparing for his EA exam and there is a seminar there (the one in L.A. was on Sat.-Sun., which is obviously a religious conflict. So his work, which is awesome, is paying for him-- and us-- to go to Vegas instead, where it is held Thurs.-Fri.)

I'll tell you all about it when we get back (we are staying at Circus Circus and meeting someone from the Nauvoo forums, both of which I am sure will be fun.) So so long until we get back!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Sooooo hot.

The last four or five days have been sweltering. I'm talking 113-120 degrees F. Even at night it's not cooling down like it usually does. And of course, the air a church has not been working properly. I went for Sacrament meeting and then had to come home (Bridget's nap time anyway) because between the nausea and the heat, I almost passed out in the bathroom.

Emma apparently told one of my friends that "the baby in Mommy's tummy made her feel sick." Hmmm, I may not HAVE to figure out how to break it to my dad and Sheri (they're coming over tonight for a Labor Day barbecue-- they have no a/c on the first floor of their house, and the swamp cooler is not working, so they're bringing the food they are feeding us over here and will grill the steaks and corn they're bringing on the big community grill out by the pool, then we will go swimming.)

I get pregnancy symptoms REALLY EARLY. I'm about 2.5 weeks past ovulation, and I've been sick about 2 weeks. I'm talking "morning" sickness (not necessarily in the mornings only!), dizziness, food aversions, cravings, severe fatigue, chestal swelling and soreness (already my nursing bras don't fit right, grrr), frequent urination, swollen feet, mood swings, crying at commercials, and general snappiness. Also, salty food tastes way more salty and sweet food tastes overly sweet. Luckily, instead of craving junk food this time (how I gained almost 60 lbs. with Bridget), I seem to be craving fresh fruits and veggies, salads, and whole grains. For instance, the other day I went to the store thinking I wanted chips and dip-- and ended up gagging at the sight of chips and dip, and getting 12-grain crackers and soft cheese with herbs and garlic (pasteurized, of course) to dip them in. I may have a repeat of some of my Indian food cravings I had with Emma, though, and man am I going to miss the Lebanese grill we loved in Richardson this pregnancy. I am also trying very hard to drink water before and after I eat-- this seems to make me less hungry and more satisfied, and helps with some of the "morning" sickness as well. It is looking more and more like I have a window from about 3 PM to 10 PM wherein I can eat, as long as I do it carefully, without losing anything I get down. Hooray! I do, however, have heartburn during that time. Grrr. But I am hoping my weight gain will be more sensible this time, considering I started with 18 extra pounds to begin with. *sigh*

Also-- and this is the saddest part-- ketchup does not make me gag, but it does seem to give me heartburn. I am having to severely limit it. Wah!

Well, I have to go make some mango sorbet for tonight. We were going to make home-made ice cream but I gagged at the thought of all that fat and sugar, and decided to make sorbet instead. Hey, at least the kid's keeping me straight on my diet!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Even though it's a little early-- ovulation was the 12th-- I decided to test last night. I've had several negatives already (I can't help testing early-- that's why I buy my HPTs at the dollar store or in bulk online.) But tonight, POSITIVE! It's faint (because it's early) but it's there!

*does an excited happy dance*

I'm a little nervous, of course, since the last one was a loss. So your prayers would be appreciated, as always. But this one feels good. It feels right. It feels... sticky. ;) Yay!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to Flybaby Giveaway!

If you like giveaways head on over to Growing a Life where the ever-adorable Flybaby is going to be giving away some great gifts (some for kids his size or who will be his size, some that big people will enjoy, too!)

(Now, I think his mommy, Damselfly, is helping a bit, but that's just me. Don't tell Flybaby 'cause I don't want to hurt his feelings! ;) )

Happy birthday to Flybaby from the Ketchup Family!

Monday, August 20, 2007


EMMA DID IT ALL BY HERSELF!!! And wiped herself, put on her dry panties, flushed, and washed her hands. She got FOUR quarters to put in the M&M machine (gumball machine with Giant M&Ms in it; dispenses 3 at a time, the perfect number, lives on the back of the potty) AND we are going tonight to get her the Curious George coloring book we promised her when she did it the first time.

She is very proud and is calling everyone she knows to tell them.

That is all. :D

Friday, August 17, 2007

Heavenly Father Loves Us-- And Our Kitties, Too

Some time last night Emma let the cats out. Roli came in an hour or so later, of his own accord, but Patrick was out all night and all day. We've been calling and searching for him, and I was really starting to worry. Every time we set foot out the door Emma would call worriedly, "Patrick! Patrick!" I think she felt bad that she let him out and now he was lost.

Tonight we went out to get some dessert (mainly just for me to get out.) While we were on our way, Emma was calling for Patrick as we stopped at every corner. It was rather heartrending. Jeff said, "You know what we haven't done and should try? We can pray for Patrick to come back." Well, it worked with my cell phone!

So when we came in, before we had our dessert, we had a family prayer and included a plea for the safe return of Patrick. Emma was not behaving very well during the prayer, and while I went in the bedroom with my cake, she and Abba had a bit of a talk. He reminded her of how we should behave during a prayer and she said, "I will say a nice prayer now." So she did. She prayed, "Heavenly Father, thank you for George [her Curious George movie she watched today, or her Curious George shoes? I'm not really sure], please take care the cat, he will come home. Name Jesus Christ, Amen."

As she said her prayer, Jeff felt he should open the front door. He's not really sure if he heard a "meow" or if it was just an impression to go to the door-- but Patrick was at the front door! After hours of worry, calling, searching, fearing the worst, he was returned to us unharmed, immediately after we prayed. "Ask and ye shall receive!" We were overjoyed and explained to Emma what had happened, that Patrick came home because Heavenly Father watched over him and answered our prayers. We then knelt again for a prayer of thanksgiving. My heart is so full that my eyes are welling up as I write. I am truly, truly grateful that he is safe-- and that Emma is learning of the value of prayer.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Good Imagination and Dinner Tomorrow

Emma has a great imagination. Always has. Jeff told me he overheard this conversation between her and a roll of packaging tape this evening:

Emma as Emma: No, that is not very nice! You're on time-out!
Emma as roll of tape: No, I don't like time-out!
Emma as Emma: Yes, you do, now go sit on the couch!

I couldn't stop laughing for about three minutes when I heard that one.

Later this evening, my mom and sister stopped by. Megan is going to Ohio, leaving this weekend. She's been accepted for a graduate school program in ceramics, which she really is very enthused about. It's kind of her dream field and she's been stuck in a dead-end job for years; hopefully this will open up new avenues for her. She wanted to see us and the new place before she left. They brought over ice cream and cookies for dessert and she also brought a bunch of canned and dry and other shelf-stable goods that she had no desire to move and hadn't used up, of course we always accept free food! She and Emma chased each other all over and had a blast. Of course, later Ems got into the ground chocolate Megan left (she and I both use it instead of cocoa in many things) and mixed it with water and gave it to her sister with a spoon... *head in hands*

The Watermelon Festival is this weekend but I think we are going to have to skip it because we all have sore throats and it would just be too much. We'll run a few errands but be back in time for a nice long nap before I have to fix dinner for the sister missionaries (we got all our shopping for the next 4-6 weeks done Thurs. night so I don't have to do that tomorrow; I spent $131-ish and saved $80-ish, including the "chicken deal" dinner for dinner that night, a pretty standard trip for me, including getting loads of stuff free or nearly free, and I will not need to get anything more in the next few weeks except maybe some bread or milk.) I'm feeding them chicken sour cream enchiladas (recipe follows), canned refried beans, and Spanish rice (recipe follows.) Oh, and a salad, probably. Or maybe just cooked veggies, I even have some fresh corn... But I don't know if I will be up to that, so if I do veggies they will probably be frozen. Dessert will be pineapple upside-down cake (I assume you all know how to make that, using yellow cake mix, canned pineapple, etc., but if you don't I'll happily post the recipe.) Not really Mexican food, more Mexican-influenced American food, but I enjoy it (although since I have to use mild stuff for the kids, there will have to be hot sauce on the table for sure!)

Chicken Sour Cream Enchiladas

About 4 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (I usually poach it; frozen thighs will do, and you can add a little more if you want to make more enchiladas from this)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 Tbsp. cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 jar green salsa, any heat you desire (I use La Victoria, mild if the kids are eating it, medium if they're not-- would be hot but Jeff prefers medium!), divided
Flour tortillas
cooking spray
3/4-1 cup cheese, grated or shredded
additional sour cream, cheese, black olives, cilantro, and/or green onions, for garnish

Lightly grease a casserole dish or tempered glass pan with cooking spray (I often use a lasagna pan or a 9X13 baking dish.) Mix chicken, seasonings, sour cream, and 1/2 the jar of salsa in a bowl. (If desired you can add onion and/or garlic as well but since the salsa has them I generally don't bother.) Place a few Tbsp. of this filling in each tortilla, spread evenly, and roll them into cylinders. Place the rolled and filled tortillas seam side down in the baking dish. When it is full, pour the remaining salsa over the top (if you've made a large amount of enchiladas or used exceptionally chunky salsa you can thin it down with a bit of water to make sure you have enough to at least partially cover the enchiladas and that you have the right consistency.) Top with cheese. Bake uncovered in a 425 degree oven until the enchiladas are quite hot all the way through and cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with toppings just before serving or on the plate, or let your family/guests add their own.

My Mom's Spanish Rice

Long-grain white rice (I guesstimate the measurements, sorry; I usually do about 1 handful per serving and count on about 8-10 servings.)
1-3 cloves garlic (or more according to taste)
1/2 large or one small onion, diced
olive oil (doesn't need to be EVOO) to cover bottom of pan
1 jar red salsa, preferably chunky (again, I use La Victoria)
1/4 cup stuffed green olives, sliced (use more or less according to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté garlic and onion in oil in a deep skillet or sauté pan with a lid over medium to medium-high heat, until they are just beginning to cook. Add rice and stir just until it is coated with the oil. Add salsa, then stir in olives. Add just enough water to make sure the rice is well covered. Cover and reduce heat to low to medium-low. Simmer, stirring periodically and adding more water as needed to prevent burning, until rice is cooked and all liquid is absorbed. Fluff before serving. (For a richer flavor you can use vegetable or chicken broth or stock instead of water, but I almost never do.)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Generous of Spirit

Emma very occasionally has a problem sharing now that she is 3. But usually, she is very generous about sharing and giving.

A while back we mentioned that her cousin Jaden was going to be turning 3. (It was this Sunday.) Emma said, "I will get her a birfday pwesent." I said, "Will you buy it yourself?" "Yes, I will work and buy it." So she has been doing extra helping and extra chores to earn quarters. She earned five so I took her to the dollar store and she picked out a present herself, and paid for it herself, with money she earned. She was very happy.

Tomorrow I am going to pack it up, with our gift and card, and send it (it would be today but I accidentally left it in the car.)

I'm kinda proud of the kid. She didn't want to choose it and have us pay for it, she wanted to work and earn the money herself, not to get something for her, but for her cousin.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Musical Mondays: Be Thou My Vision

I still haven't got those pics off the camera! So I'll post them and a quick summary of my trip later. In other news, the baby gate we bought on eBay (an Evenflo Wide Spaces Swing Gate with two extensions; the opening is 91 inches, very hard to find a baby gate for that!) came today and we will be able to close off the kitchen so we don't have to keep re-shelving the things in the pantry cupboard, yay!

For now, I'd like to tell you a bit about another of my favorite hymns, "Be Thou My Vision." If you don't know it or would just like to hear it and read the lyrics, the Cyber Hymnal has it here.

Those of you who know me know that I am very into my Irish heritage, and Irish music as well. So it is only natural that I love this very Irish tune and hymn. The music seems somehow ancient and harmonious with my soul, there are several folk tunes that I can think of that do that to me, but this is one of the only hymns that do it. The words are an ode to God, a song of praise and joy and somehow longing at the same time, of a man (or woman) striving always to be better, to do what we should and what we can, to embrace the Light of Christ that shines in the hearts of all men if we but listen for it.

I heard this hymn several times throughout my childhood, the tune probably even more than the words, but the first time I know it was really called to my adult attention was (and this is rather embarrassing/amusing) when it was featured in an episode of Without a Trace! A transgendered individual sang it in one of the flashback scenes, although we didn't know until later that this person was transgendered... Yeah, I know.

In any case, I recalled the tune from my childhood but not the lyrics, so I went to look it up, and fell in love with the hymn all over again. This hymn ranks high whenever I see a thread or hear a conversation about people's favorite hymns, which is kind of interesting to me. Do I hang out with a lot of Irish-American nuts (well, I know at least some of my family are) or is it just a really beautiful tune and/or words? For me, I think it's a little of both. The tune strongly evokes emotions about my heritage and connection with the past, and is also a beautiful tune and gorgeous, meaningful words. Also, I just like music, hymns, and Irish tunes and poetry. So, yeah, this one's got me on all counts. :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

On hiatus, I guess

Sorry, no Musical Mondays today; hopefully back next week. I'm finished with Harry (finished it in about 7 hours total; would have been less but I kept getting interrupted and having to re-read the page I just read! Dratted kids! ;) ) But I'm not feeling my greatest, and every spare moment I feel okay I've been unpacking and putting things away (when I'm not taking Ems swimming! She loves her pool!) Ems is going back to preschool tomorrow so hopefully I'll be able to get stuff done, and Thursday, too, and this weekend we'll blitz the boxes together, and then hopefully next week I'll be able to get back to blogging. I just don't even have energy to get pics off the camera right now. Sorry, all. But coming down from the trip and into a house that needs unpacking and organizing, I guess I just don't have it in me to blog right now. :( I still love you all, though!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

We're back.

We're here, we're safe, I'm reading Harry Potter, which came to my aunt's while I was gone and I started late last night.

Sorry, blogging= not as important as finding out the end of Deathly Hallows.

Will write more later.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Having fun!

Hello from Tulsa! We're having lots of fun and went to the zoo yesterday. Pictures when I get back! The trip was rough but it was worth it. :D

Jeff, if you're reading this, shouldn't you be doing something else?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

So Long Until Next Week

We're leaving for the airport in an hour and a half! We'll be back a week from today (plus a couple of hours.) I will be checking my e-mail once in a while while I'm gone, so if you need to contact me, you can e-mail or call my cell phone if you've got it.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Musical Mondays: Wayfaring Stranger

So we went to Emma's developmental clinic evaluation today. I'm not emotionally ready to talk about it right now. At least not to blog about it. I think I want to talk it over with my husband and friends first.

Instead, here's Musical Monday. Today I'll be sharing with you "Wayfaring Stranger", because it fits my current mood and I can sing it with soul today.

Download an mp3 here to listen. Sorry my voice is a little rough today; I should probably drink something but I just don't feel like it. I had a little trouble with some of the fricatives, too, not good with my mic control today, but Bridey is kinda fussy so I don't really want to re-record it in case it bothers her.

This song is an old one; it came out of the camp revivals held in the South. This particular song seems to be a result of a combination of "Negro spiritual" and "Appalachian spiritual." It probably began as a song that was sung by Black congregations, then was used in a few white revival meetings and grew from there into its current form (according to people who study these things.) It certainly has that bluesy feel; the words are not quite cheerful, though happy enough. They speak of salvation, but they speak of salvation coming at the end of a long, hard road. They speak of meeting those departed and the Savior with hope, but with weariness. Life can be tough, and I think this song acknowledges that, while still not losing perspective that life is still good, that after death there is still life.

Lyrics, as I sing them:

I am a poor wayfaring stranger
Traveling through this world of woe,
But there's no sickness, toil, or danger
In that bright land to which I go.

I'm goin' there to see my father,
I'm goin' there no more to roam,
I'm just a-goin' over Jordan,
I'm just a-goin' over home.

I know dark clouds will gather 'round me,
I know my way is rough and steep,
But beauteous fields lie just before me
Where God's bright band their vigils keep.

I'm goin' there to see my mother,
She said she'd meet me when I come,
I'm just a-goin' over Jordan,
I'm just a-goin' over home.

I want to wear a crown of glory
When I get home to that bright land,
I want to shout salvation's story
In concert with the blood-washed band.

I'm goin' there to see my Savior,
To sing His praise forever more,
I'm just a-goin' over Jordan,
I'm just a-goin' over home.

Do you know, I don't actually remember learning this song? The tune, anyway. I remember reading the book Come Sing, Jimmy Jo when I was in 5th grade or so. Part of the lyrics are used in it, and I remember humming a tune as I read without consciously thinking about it. A year or so later my dad's band was rehearsing it, and I was at one of the rehearsals. I remember being shocked that it was the exact tune that I had hummed! The words that weren't in the book were familiar, too, and I found myself singing along. So, unconsciously, somewhere along the line I must have heard this song and remembered it, at least once. I did have to learn additional lyrics when we decided to do the song as part of our set after I grew up and joined the family band, but the tune has always been there.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this installment of Musical Mondays! Next week I will not be posting Musical Mondays because I will be in TULSA!!! (Look at that, I'm cheered up already!)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Lost and Found

Yesterday we went out and somewhere along the way I lost my cell phone. The store I was at when I noticed was kind enough to call it-- someone said hello, realized I wasn't one of his friends, and hung up. He didn't answer again. I called my husband, let him know that I'd lost it and we would be at the park, and he continued to call a few times (he also called T-Mobile, and they added 50 minutes to each line so we wouldn't go over, and gave us options for what to do if we didn't get it back.) When he got to the park we discussed it, and he decided to call a few more times. I prayed that my phone would return to me, and afterwards felt that I should send a text message to call my husband's cell if found. A few minutes later, while he was again on the phone to T-mobile, another call came in. Someone wanted to return my cell phone! He said, "Where are you, so I can come get it?" "Sunland Park." They were right in the parking lot 100 feet from us! He went and got it and thanked them (it was missing its cover but I didn't care!), then I went over and thanked them. It was a grandfather and his two teenage/preteen grandsons. I found out that the younger grandson had been the one to find it. I offered to buy him an ice cream or something to thank him and he broke into a shy smile but refused. I guess that the constant calling made the guy who initially found it nervous. He decided to take the cover and ditch the phone. Right before I texted my phone (hmmm... right after my prayer?), this honest young man saw someone take the cover off a phone and drop it on the ground. He picked it up, and saw the message, and made the call. Hooray!

Only five short calls were made, and nothing important was lost (I can get a new cover! It's the phone numbers that I've been too lazy to store anywhere else reliable that I don't want to lose! And I wouldn't have been too thrilled to pay $100 for a new phone, either.) Hooray for another answer to prayer!

I'd love to hear your stories of lost things that were returned in unexpected or special ways. :)

And speaking of lost and found, my uncle used to be a locally-famous record producer and DJ. (This was a loooong time ago, in Phoenix, AZ.) I was idly googling my maiden name and came up with this CD (I'd heard that there was a CD out but not seen the blurb for it yet.) Apparently he is still rather respected by aficionados of the music of his heyday and they keep making compilations of the music he produced. I don't remember which one but one of them has my dad's name on the back for one song, too; he tells the story as such: "One day when I was about 15, my brother Mike, your uncle, came in and said, 'Hey, I wrote these words and I need music for them. Write me some music to go with them and I'll give you half-credit for writing it.' [My dad is a self-taught guitar player, got a guitar at age 12 and taught himself to play by listening to the Beatles. He's always been very musical. He now plays at a semi-pro level, and can listen to almost any song and immediately play it.] So I strummed a few minutes, set down some simple chords and a melody, and the cover read 'Words and music by Mike and Bill Lenaburg.' When we had our school dance at the end of that year, the band who was playing covered that song, and they said, 'I hear one of the guys who wrote this song goes to your school. Bill Lenaburg, will you stand up? Let's give him a hand!' It was the only dance I ever went to where there was no shortage of girls wanting to dance with me all night!" (I guess my dad was kinda a skinny kid. ;) ) I didn't actually know all of this until a few years ago; when they started coming out with these compilations my dad started telling all about his big brother Mike and how he idolized him growing up. I guess Mike was a really big influence on my dad, and one of the reasons he's stayed into music all his life is time spent with my Uncle Mike as a teenager.

How about you guys? Got any cool family stories you discovered in the last few years or so?

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I hate this. :(

I am two days late for my period. I took several pregnancy tests and, in frustration, went out and got an early pregnancy test (supposed to be 99% accurate on the day of your missed period.) Negative. So that means one of two things: I'm waiting for a period I don't want, and my body has decided not to cooperate (most likely) or (less likely), I'm pregnant but my hCg is so low that it's undetectable by a urine test-- which probably means I'm going to miscarry early, again.

This stinks. Really bad. I'm sad.

But I AM going to see Rayann next week. Yay for that. That cheers me up some.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First Blogiversary

Today is my Blogiversary-- it's been one year since I started this blog! I had a big long post but Blogger ate it.

So I'll just say, that the best part of blogging is the friends I have made. I can't believe I have stuck with any form of journalling for a whole year; I think the feedback is definitely what has kept me going. And it's just been a great experience. Here's to many more years in the Ketchup Bottle!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Musical Monday: Bringing in the Sheaves

Today I'd like to share with you the hymn Bringing in the Sheaves, by Knowles Shaw, music by George A. Minor.

This hymn has a special place in my heart. A lot of people think of it as a "harvest time" hymn, often sung around Thanksgiving and such. But really, the hymn is much deeper than that, and appropriate all year 'round. It's both about having a joyful demeanor, that you may reap joy in return, and about missionary work. The simple words are accessible on several levels, and that is why it has remained a popular hymn since 1874 when it was written.

I have many memories of this hymn. The repetitive, bouncy, rhythmic chorus and the sheer joy of this hymn made it a favorite around our house, whatever we were doing. I remember singing it while cleaning growing up, especially the "pre-holiday-guests" cleaning before Thanksgiving, but also in the summer. The chorus makes for excellent "echo" singing, so often one of us would start and the other would bring in the echo (which, traditionally, would probably be sung by the bass, but we didn't have a bass!) The rhythm would carry us through scrubbing floors, polishing furniture, cleaning mirrors and windows, or whatever we were doing.

As I get older, I have often found myself humming it to myself while I walk along, and a bounce appears in my step. I find it almost impossible to be sad while singing or listening to this song, and it is excellent for banishing angry or depressing thoughts; I find it re-focuses me on the feelings I should be giving my time to, rather than wallowing in sadness or anger, it re-purposes my thoughts. The hymn acknowledges sadness: "Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master/Though the loss sustained, the spirit often grieves." But it also reminds us that "When our weeping's over, He will bid us welcome." Life is full of trials sometimes; it is supposed to be. But at the end of our lives we will go to a place of joy the likes of which we can barely conceive of. And a loving Judge and Friend will then let us know our mistakes are forgiven (if we have repented), that the most un-lovable parts of us are loved, and that our work is just beginning.

A new place to live-- an answer to prayer!

You all may have seen me complaining about this apartment and the troubles we have with it and the landlord and such. Well, we're moving.

I'll be further from the park and Sun Thrift (although closer to another park and the library), and we'll have to work out a way to get Emma to and from preschool, but we will figure something out. It is in our ward still (important because it provides a sense of stability to Emma), only a few blocks from my dad's house, has a pool, gated entry, underground parking, two bathrooms, and is just a nicer place to live. We will only be paying about $250 more per month-- within our budget-- we won't be paying an illegal water bill or a sewage bill, and we will be able to start moving stuff in a few days. They're not even charging us a full month's rent as a deposit, or a pet deposit for the cats.

We're giving our thirty days' notice today. (Or maybe Wed., when we sign the lease.)

I've got mixed feelings. I'm not thrilled about moving so far from Emma's preschool that she has to go all day, but I think we will both adjust. And you can't put a price on feeling safe in your home. (We will NOT be giving CPS our new address!)

We have been praying for a new place to live, and this is just an answer to our prayers. We are excited to be moving!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My Independence Day Tradition... to re-read Common Sense. It's my favorite work by Tom Paine, and Tom Paine has always been my favorite of the "founding fathers" of our nation (even if he wasn't technically one of them, more of an "influence.") His way with words was incredible. I've been re-reading this short work in celebration of the Fourth every year since I was 9 or so. It's a good tradition, and I always catch something new that makes me re-think some things.

If you'd like to join me in this, full text is online at Bartleby, or it's downloadable in e-book form at Project Gutenberg (I don't recommend the online format at the latter, it can be hard on the eyes.)

You can also access his longer works online, if you decide you like his writing and haven't read enough of him.

Reading Common Sense is important to me because it sets out in plain words the importance of good government, the things that we consider basic human rights, and provides thinking points which we can apply to our own country and government as well as the situations of people all over the world-- are we being properly governed? If so, how can we ensure that it continues? If not, what steps should we individually take to change that? Do we have a responsibility to those who are not being properly governed? What is it, and how do we best execute it? (On that note, one of the best websites I know for humbling myself when I think we (as a global people) are doing pretty well is Human Rights Watch; there are still parts of the world where our brothers and sisters are suffering in unspeakable ways because their government does not guarantee their rights or actively suppresses them. Warning: that site contains very specific content about atrocities, although not on the front page. Consider the consequences before allowing children to access it.)

Anyway, have a safe and happy Independence Day, those of my friends who are Americans, and to those who are not, you might enjoy the reading anyway. ;)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Gonna Rock this Town...

Well, thank you, Guinevere!

I've been chosen as a Rockin' Girl Blogger.

I have to say that while I do not rock in the traditional sense, I most definitely do have my strong points, and I have it on good authority that I should be proud of who I am. So that's me, rockin' the ketchup, murder ballads, and nursing dresses. :D

As per RGB tradition, I will now pass on the award. Here are my choices of Rockin' Girl Bloggers:

1) Awesome Mom at Adventures of an Awesome (Sometimes) Mother. From the style of her writing to her grace under pressure to her innate humor to her AWESOME parenting skillz, she rocks.

2) Kira at Aerin Amelia: Our Miracle Baby. Kira has turned her daughter's struggles into advocacy for preemies all over the country in the form of her work for the March of Dimes. She always has a kind word when I have troubles and she has an impeccable sense of style, both in clothing and in actions; she always thinks before she speaks and is never crude, vulgar, or inappropriate. In other words, she rocks because she cares.

3) Mean Mommy (known to some of us as "Euphrasie") at Guess What the Kids Did Today because anyone with kids that smart who doesn't go completely crazy, rocks. (Also, they're adorable.)

And most of the other Rockin' Girl Bloggers I would nominate, already have the award. So kudos to all of you-- may we rock long.

Button is on the sidebar (it's actually just a picture), pick it up and put it on your own blog, then pass on the honor!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Musical Mondays--starting this week!

I thought since Mondays often get me down and music tends to lift me up, I'd start a bit of a new tradition. I'll choose one folk song or hymn that I love (there are lots!), which is in the public domain, of course, and share it with you (either posting the lyrics here and singing it for you, available to download in mp3 format, or linking to a page with lyrics and music.)

I'll also share with you my memories of the song, what it means to me, why I like it, etc.

Hopefully you will either get to enjoy a song you already know, maybe learn something new about it, and share your thoughts about it, or you will get to hear a new song.

We'll see how long this lasts. :)

So here's today's song:

The Leather-wing Bat

"Hi," said the little leather-wing bat,
"I'll tell you the reason that,
The reason that I fly in the night,
It's because I've lost my heart's delight."

Howdy-dowdy diddle-o-day,
Howdy-dowdy diddle-o-day,
Howdy-dowdy diddle-o-day,
Tull-o-leel a diddly-do.

"Hi," said the woodpecker, settin' on a fence,
"Once I courted a handsome wench,
She got saucy and from me fled,
Ever since then, my head's been red."


Then said the blackbird, settin' in a chair,
"Once I courted a lady fair,
She turned fickle and turned her back.
Ever since then, my head's been black."


"Hi," said the bluebird as she flew,
"If I were a young man, I'd have two;
If one got saucy and wanted to go,
I'd have a new string for my bow."


"Hoot," said the owl with her head so white,
"A lonesome day and a lonesome night;
Thought I heard some pretty gal say
She'd court all night and sleep all day."


"No, oh, no," said the turtle dove.
"That's no way for to gain your love;
If you want to win your heart's delight,
Keep her awake both day and night."


This children's song is from the Appalachians, as far as I know. It entered my consciousness at a very early age, via a Burl Ives record (we had two of his kids' records, and yes I do mean records; I think this was on The Lollipop Tree, but I'm not absolutely certain.) The version I sing now is mostly his, but with a few minor variations and a verse or two that he doesn't sing on the record.

An interesting tidbit is that when I was a bit older, maybe 11 or so, I heard an Irish group (can't remember who) on a radio show called The Thistle and Shamrock that we used to listen to just about every week. They were singing a song about a miller, which I have learned is "The Old Man at the Mill," thanks to the wonders of Google-- I remembered the chorus down through the years and from that was able to find the song. (Part of that song also became a play-party game called "Miller Boy" in America. I'm not sure whether "The Old Man at the Mill" actually originates in Ireland and was carried over to America, or the other way around; there has been a lot of cross-over of folk songs going both ways.) I was struck that it was the same melody! (I have since learned that many versions also share many of the same/very similar verses.) I have also since heard a song entirely in Gaelic, using the same melody, although I for the life of me can't remember where or when. (This does not necessarily indicate that the tune originated in Ireland. Like I said, tunes and songs were borrowed freely on both sides of the Atlantic.)

In any case, it's a tune that's fascinated me since I was a young child, and I now sing it to my girls, especially when they need to be distracted; the almost hypnotic rhythm is perfect for bouncing a baby on a hip to, and older toddlers like the names of birds even if they don't understand the "courting" lyrics. (Notice that the final advice is given by the turtle dove, a bird long associated with love and courtship in Appalachian lore.) It's very rhythmic, even unaccompanied, and you can see why it made a good play-party song. (Play-party songs were dances done only to their own singing and clapping by groups of young people on the American frontier and in parts of the South and Midwest even until the 1930's, by teens and young adults whose parents had forbidden dances as "of the devil" or musicians as "bad influences"; apparently if there were no instruments and it was seen as a "children's game", then it didn't count as dancing. Most of the dances were circle dances, although there was the occasional "figure", "promenade", or "thread-the-needle" game.)

I hope you enjoy it! You can download an mp3 of me singing it here.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Guess what?

I'm going to TULSA! To see my extra special friend and her extra special kiddos! Yaaaaay! *happy dance*

My aunt is helping to pay, so that we can go on the trip I had planned before Jeff lost his job and that I was so disappointed to lose out on. And we are going to stay almost a whole week! We're getting there around noon local time on the 18th and will be coming back in the afternoon of the 25th. And I'm just so excited! I don't even care that I will miss my husband and will be traveling alone with 2 kids (luckily they are good travelers, I don't really mind that.) I am gonna have SO MUCH FUN and I am gonna SEE MY FRIEND RAYANN! I haven't seen her in more than a year now-- almost 2?-- and I have missed her HORRIBLY. Much more than I have missed anyone else I moved away from, I think. We talk on the phone a lot but it is just not the same!

So yeah, I'm excited.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Summer Sling Giveaway

It's a giveaway at Adventures in Babywearing! I'm a big fan of ring slings and baby wearing, I wasn't able to wear my first, sensory-challenged baby, but this second one is a cuddler and still loves the Maya Wrap. KimzCreations has donated a neat sling made out of fabric that provides UVA/UVB protection! Go on over and check it out!

Kira and Aerin need your prayers

My friend Kira's daughter Aerin needs surgery on her hemangioma. They discussed it last year but it was put off to see if it would get any better and allow Aerin time to grow and gain some weight. Kira is having a really rough time emotionally right now, she's scared (rightly so! Surgery on your baby is scary!) and needs comfort, love, and support. She and her husband Andrew are just wonderful parents, they're a wonderful family, Aerin is so sweet and cute, and it's a miracle she's even in the world with us. So if you could all send your prayers and good wishes to Kira, Aerin, and also Andrew, who I don't hear as much from but who must also be anxious, you know how it is with daddies, they have to feel as much as moms but feel they must be the strong ones, it would be a good thing. We love them so much and we want Kira to know we are always with her and praying for her and thinking of her and her family.

Ooooh, book giveaway!

Overwhelmed with Joy is giving away a copy of The Memory Keeper's Daughter and it looks like a great book! Hop on over to check it out and enter!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sick Day

We all have a virus. Jeff would normally have gone to work anyway, but I'm having a really rough time (I don't want to talk about it) and he didn't want to leave me with the kids sick in the state I was in this morning. (He ended up sleeping an extra 4 or so hours, which he NEVER does, so I know he was really sick too.) We were feeling a lot better this afternoon (although Ems still has a snotty nose like nobody's business; I've had to give her Sudafed just so she'll be able to sleep at night.) So we went to the thrift store (I got Ems a Sesame Street rain coat for this fall and a few rash guards for when she gets a few sizes bigger, I believe in planning ahead, and also one of those loungy armchair-type pillow things.) Then we went to Target to get a few things we needed (like plastic bags and spoons and new shoes for Emma.) We got the bags and stuff, then headed over to the shoes. Well, they did not have any Sesame Street shoes except sandals, and we needed tennis shoes. The horror of not having what she wanted! Finally I spotted Superman pjs with a cape that velcroes on and everything. Emma had a pair of Superman pjs from the thrift store that she has outgrown and they were too warm anyway. I just packed them away. Since they were only $13, I told Ems that if she could be a big helper and choose some shoes she would wear, and throw away her old ones (which are falling apart and STINK), she could have new Superman pajamas. Yes, I bribe my children sometimes. But it stopped the tears threatening to make us leave the store, and she picked some Curious George tennies out. THEN while Jeff went to get toddler toothpaste and hair gel, I found the clearance clothes. Uh-oh! I found two shirts and a pair of pants for Ems, and a maternity/nursing dress I just had to have. It is so cute! And it was 50% off the original price-- $14. But when I tried on the large, it covered my chest, covered my knees-- and my garments showed under the arm! Oh, no! So I looked at the material, and decided it was really stretchy and cut pretty generously. So I went and got a medium, and it fit! It's not too tight and the arm holes aren't so deep that my garments show, so it's all good. :) And it's so stretchy I think it will fit until at least the 8th month of my next pregnancy (which we're trying for right now.) Plus the top has criss-cross parts so that I can nurse in it if I have to (although I do not like that style as much as the Motherhood dresses with the over layer over the vertical slits, because I don't use a cover when nursing, but Bridey is down to not much now anyways, most days just one time in the morning, so I don't always wear nursing tops, just tops I CAN nurse in in an emergency.) I tried it on for Jeff when we got home and it is so cute! I could wear it to almost anything, you could dress it down or dress it up, it could go to church, a casual party, a cocktail party, dinner and a movie, or the theater. It all would depend on the shoes, jewelry, and hair. It's so hard to find a MODEST, garment-covering "little black dress" that will work while pregnant or nursing! So I'm very pleased with it.

In other news, Emma can now sing the entire "Winnie the Pooh" theme song, and Bridget can hum it (and will if you say "Winnie the Pooh"-- she even said "Pooh Buh!" before humming it the other day!) Emma is trying hard to learn to hop on one foot, and Bridey can sign "more". (We weren't understanding her when she said "muh, muh!" the other day, because that means so many things, so she broke out the sign! And I thought she wasn't paying attention when I signed to her! Actually, I think it was really Emma who actually taught it to her. She is much more patient with things like that than I am.)

We are looking really hard for a new place to live. We hope to buy but are not sure yet whether that is an impossibility; we are applying for the state-administered first time home buyer program. We are hoping to find that we can get a manageable payment through them (since renting a place big enough is apparently going to cost us in the $1600-$2000/mo. range anyway.) I just cannot stand the situation we are in any longer. We desperately need to get out. We'd appreciate prayers on the home-finding front, as well as for our general well-being and sanity.

So that's pretty much it. Life can be really crazy sometimes, seems like this is one of these times.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Four Years

It was four years ago today that Jeff and I were sealed in the Los Angeles Temple, for time and all eternity. We have had ups and downs, but even the downs were bearable, because we were together.

After becoming pen pals through, we felt a connection. He gave me his phone number, I called (his mom picked up! He was sick! And I scolded him not to eat cookies when he was sick!) A few months later he came out to visit. And the rest has been not about him or me, but about us. Us apart, then finally together. Soon us and Emma, then us, Emma and Bridget. And through it all it just gets better. We have both changed, but I can honestly say that he, at least, has changed for the better. More mature, more responsible, but still hard-working, with a sense of fun, still attractive and gentle and loving and lovable and wonderful. I love to see him with our girls, the way he cares for, teaches, plays with them. I am prouder than ever of him for working to support us while simultaneously working to finish his degree-- and maintaining a B+ average! I'm proud that he has learned to do things for the girls and even a little bit of cooking; he's also taught me a lot. He's helped me control my temper better, helped me realize when I need to curb certain behaviors, and he's even taught me a few sports terms. ;) So we've grown together instead of apart, and our love has grown too, encompassing our children and still increasing toward each other every day.

What a good choice it was to write him back when he e-mailed me-- even if he was tired and I thought he must be a bit dumb at the time! (I was so very wrong on that count.) I'm so glad to have him in my life.

Happy anniversary, darling.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Jeff got an ice cream maker for Father's Day. (He also got socks, which Emma picked out despite me trying to steer her toward the Land's End shirts, so this was to make up for that.)

Last night we made ice cream as part of our FHE lesson. (It was Jeff's turn for the lesson, so he related everything we were doing to how we should function as a family, and the recipe as the plan of the gospel, etc.) We used Alton Brown's recipe for chocolate ice cream (except we used Ghiradelli's Ground Chocolate instead of cocoa.) We ate some "soft serve" last night but I just had my first scoop of the "fully ripened" product. It is incredibly delicious! I am soooo glad Jeff wanted an ice cream maker for Father's Day. We will probably end up making more sorbets than ice creams, but when we do make real ice cream I am going to just be in heaven. Fattening, fattening heaven.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bridget's First Shoes

We had a little milestone today. We went out to do errands and Bridey ended up getting her first pair of shoes. (I don't count the ones she's had that were just for decoration, before she was even cruising in them.)

When we got Emma her first pair, it was a big deal finding ones that fit. Bridget's feet are longer (she's 14 months and wears a size 4!) but she doesn't have quite the high instep that Ems and I have so she didn't require Stride Rite shoes for her first pair (luckily for us!)

To backtrack a little, Ems was cranky so we went out. We stopped for lunch (we got an order of hummus with pita and a mango smoothie, and all shared it), then went to the thrift store (I found Jeff a navy blue Hugo Boss suit in excellent shape, the only defect being a name marked on the waistband and inside label, for $10. I also got Ems a pair of Gymboree pants, a Hannah Anderson dress, and a Land's End sweater for when she is a little bigger-- $0.75, $1.99, and $0.49, respectively.) Emma wanted a pair of thongs that she found but they were grody. So I said we'd go to the shoe store (Payless is right there) and look for some. They didn't have thongs in her size but we did find water shoes that fit her (amazingly!) so we got them. While I was there I measured both their feet (Ems is now almost an 8, which is what size we got; she'll need new tennies and church shoes soon, those are both 7.5s) and since Payless was having their BOGO deal (second pair 1/2 off), I decided to look for some for Bridey. I found the cutest little jellies. I know that's not really the recommended first pair of shoes, but I have my reasons. See, I've been observing her, and found that she walks better on firmer surfaces, she hates trying to walk on carpet. So I surmised that she might need a firmer sole. And it's so hot and she hates socks, I wanted to get her some sandals. But the leather ones would just get completely scuffed up if she decided to crawl around in them. So jellies were perfect-- no scuffing. Anyway, with tax my total was a little more than $12 for the two pair, not nearly so bad as Emma's first shoes!

I put them on her in the stroller and she spent an hour shaking her head no, grunting, and trying to pull them off. When she was resigned to them (and after a cup or two of apple juice/water and a snack) we headed to the park. She was thrilled to finally be let down to play at the park! (Our rule is no babies on the ground outdoors until said babies wear shoes.) She promptly sat down and tried to pull the shoes off, but being unable to do so, decided to stand up and try them out. So she took a few hesitant steps, fell down, did it again, but in a few minutes got used to them-- and went crazy walking around! Apparently the shoes were exactly what she needed for a little extra stability. They have vastly improved her walking. (Goes to show that the experts don't quite know everything about baby shoes, I've read so many times that flexible soles will help baby walk. Every baby is different! I'm glad I'm confident enough to trust my gut where my gut differs from the experts' advice.)

And she looks so cute walking around in her little shoes! Now I can't WAIT to see them in their matching swim suits...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Pictures from the Game

A few were taken by Emma, if you were wondering. ;) And they turned out really dark but that's what we get for forgetting our camera and having to use a disposable.

(BTW, CVS has REALLY CHEAP photo developing. It was about $8 for single prints AND a photo CD, one-hour service!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Today at work Jeff was given tickets to the Dodgers-Mets game. The boss is a season ticket holder and couldn't use them so we got them, rather late in the day (afternoon, very short notice.) We called everyone we could think of but no one was free on short notice, so we used all 4 for ourselves, which ended up working out well. We stopped at the store on the way there and picked up a picnic (you can take food in as long as you have no thermoses, cans, glass bottles, opened plastic bottles [they must be factory-sealed when you bring them in], coolers, or bags/purses larger than 14" square. So I got a big ol' sandwich from the deli, single-serve potato salads for me and Jeff, rice puddings for dessert, two bottles of water, a pack of apple juice boxes, and a Gatorade for Jeff, and we put some in the diaper bag and I carried the rest in a grocery bag.) We got there at the bottom of the second inning, and stayed for the rest of the game (it was a short game.) We grabbed the travel booster that we keep in the trunk and were able to strap it on to a seat so Bridey didn't have to be in our laps the whole time-- and she loved it! We were right over the press box, in the center front row of the reserved section, both kids were able to see the field and just adored it. It was Flag Day so we all got little flags going in and the kids had a blast waving those, too! And we had a preferred parking pass (comes with the season tickets, apparently) and it was a breeze getting in and out, at least compared to how it usually is at Dodgers Stadium (which is not the best designed, parking-wise.) And it was so warm that I actually only needed one of the blankets we brought, Ems and I shared it, and I didn't put on my sweatshirt (the girls put theirs on at the end.) We forgot the camera but since it was Bridget's first baseball game we decided we really needed pictures so we bought a disposable. Therefore we will have to get them developed and scanned before I can post them, but I will get them up when I can. Everyone around us thought the girls were just so cute, especially when Emma sang along with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and when Bridget clapped (she claps whenever everyone else claps, the polite child.) Emma asked all the way home, over and over, "So, did you have a good time at the baseball game, Mommy?" "So, did you have a good time at the baseball game, Abba?" And we would reply, "Yes, I did!", to which she would add, "Me, too!" And we really did. It was so nice to get out together for something other than dinner or just going over to relatives' houses, it was really a nice time.

The only down point of the day (other than my cramps, which luckily a combination of Advil and Tylenol is helping) was that apparently Emma decided to decorate herself and her sister in festive Dodgers blue and got hold of a blue Sharpie. I came out and she had colored everything in the playpen-- including herself, her sister, and their clothes. Ay. So we have two pairs of jammies that probably will never be the same, and they had to spend about 40 minutes in the bath tub getting scrubbed as I could catch one or the other of them. Parts of them are still faintly blue and probably will be for a few days. Oh, well, it has to happen once or twice in every family, right?

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I was at the computer and Jeff came out with Bridey to have her say good night to me. I said, "Night, night, sweetie!" and blew her a kiss-- and she crossed her hands over her mouth and blew me a kiss back!

Oh, my goodness, that is so precious! That's the first time she's ever blown a kiss, and for once we were BOTH there for a child's "first!"


So it's been a fairly quiet weekend, some good, some bad. Emma got sent home sick from preschool Thursday. She is finally just now getting really better. That's good, it means she'll get to go back on Tuesday. Bridget and I haven't been feeling so hot, either; Bridget didn't get a fever like Ems but she is fussy and just generally not good. I have just had a bit of general bleh, on top of my still-aching back and neck. So we didn't go to church today; there are prematurely born babies and older people and a kid with a compromised immune system from an organ transplant in our ward, we don't go when we have something we might spread.

Yesterday was my last day of class for the session. We had fun. We did architecture, and built a castle out of boxes, then one out of cake, then ate the cake, then tore down the boxes. I found out I am teaching this summer; I had been asked about fall by accident, instead of summer, but I guess I am starting in July. Oops. I told Claire that I can do this summer but I will need to have a few weeks off for vacation!

We went to Sun Thrift and I found a $500 Maclaren double stroller for $3.99. It needed a lot of cleaning and the shades have some fading but it's cleaning up pretty darned good for $4. There was no structural damage or anything, just a lot of dirt. Emma and I went out and washed it with Simple Green and water, then rinsed it with a hose, after I had taken off the seat covers to wash. I was going to sell it but decided to keep it; we will put the big double stroller, which was getting hard on my back with the girls getting so big, in storage, and I have promised Jeff that if I really really love this one I will sell off the other one (if I decide I don't like it I will sell this one off.) I will have to e-mail them for instructions since it is a discontinued model, so there are none on the site, and it needs a little WD-40, but that's not a big problem. It's navy with light blue seats, so good for whatever comes along next. I love Sun Thrift.

I am having awful heartburn. Pretty much whatever I eat either gives me heartburn or makes me queasy. No fun.

We have the tower fan out in the hall, set on "high" and "rotate", and Bridget loves to crawl or walk up to it, stand in front of it, and giggle as the air blows past her. It's pretty hilarious. She's such a goof.

So that's my life this weekend. Some good, some bad, and some mediocre, like most weekends, really. They go by far too fast now that Jeff is working all week. My consolation is that it's not as bad as it will be during tax season. I'm not looking forward to that...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Stake Conference and My New Most Embarrassing Moment

So Stake Conference was this weekend. It was great, as always. We had 3 GAs attending: Elder Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve, someone from the presidency of the Seventy whose name unfortunately escapes me, and another member of the Seventy whose name I also can't remember. (I'm rotten like that. Sorry.) The reason was that the Glendale Stake was discontinued, and they joined our stake. We used to be part of the Glendale Stake, but split off 37 years ago. Now people keep moving out of their stake, while ours is rapidly growing (two new wards and a new branch in the past five years or so.) So the La Crescenta Stake began as part of the Glendale Stake, and now the Glendale Stake has become part of the La Crescenta Stake.

In any case, we had wonderful talks. For the Sunday morning session, we had brief testimonies from all the released leaders (they did some shuffling in the presidencies and such.) Then a rest hymn, then President Packer spoke, then we sang our choir number. (We also had the opening hymn.) President Packer spoke on "the only true and living church of Christ", and it was wonderful. He also poked some gentle fun at our stake president, who served in his mission when he was a mission president. My favorite quote was, "Satan will try to trap us, and say, 'I have you now!' But he never has us! The Lord will not rest until all of His children are safely home." Powerful stuff.

Anyway, after our closing piece was the prayer. I started to get a little bit dizzy, and caught myself on the bench behind me. But I thought I was okay, so I stood back up and bowed my head again. I then proceeded to pass out (I get these low blood pressure episodes, it happens.) That's right, my new most embarrassing moment: I passed out on the stand, in front of the whole stake and 3 GAs. I fell forward (because I was leaning that way because of the bowed head) and came back to consciousness just in time to throw out my hands and stop myself from hitting my head. Then I couldn't get up right away. The sister next to me was a nurse, and made me lie down. Everyone had been asked to remain seated until the GAs left, as they had a plane to catch, so they got to see me passed out on the floor as they went by. Our wonderful stake president, who is a doctor, asked if there was a paramedic present (of course there was; he came right up) and waited to make sure that I was attended before leaving with the rest of the presidency and the guests. I had my pulse taken and was fine, and was eventually able to get up to a pew to sit down, but couldn't immediately stand. The sister who had been next to me went to get my husband, who moved the car closer (we had parked at the school above the stake center) and got the strollers and kids in the car before helping me out. But, yeah, embarrassing. I'm never going to forget that stake conference, for more reasons than one!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

That was NOT how I intended to spend my morning.

So Sister Stoll picked me up, another older sister was already in the car, we were on our way to the Storehouse to work for the morning-- and we got rear-ended out of nowhere. The guy apparently fell asleep at the wheel after his graveyard shift and hit the accelerator. I was in the back seat. The others were shaken up but unharmed; I have a serious case of whiplash. (Thankfully, the paramedics found my glasses.) I can't raise my right arm up hardly at all, can't lift my left over my shoulder, my head is throbbing, and I don't have full range of motion in my neck, especially to the right. I let the paramedics convince me to go in and get checked out because I was kind of dizzy. So after a rather disconcerting (and nauseating) ambulance ride and a chat with the kind-of-cute paramedic, I wound up in the ER, where I was exposed to rubbing alcohol (in the room across from mine) and promptly got an asthma attack. They sent down a respiratory therapist, I had a breathing treatment, and then had to go get x-rays. (They double shielded me, just in case.) That hurt. Somewhere in there Jeff showed up (Sister Stoll called him) and Bridget started screaming. I could hear her all the way in the x-ray room. Once the doctor checked to make sure that I didn't have a spinal injury, they let me go. They gave me a prescription for Ultram, which is great, I have taken it in the past for menstrual pain, but I can't take it because I'm nursing. So I'm stuck with moist heat, Advil, and Tylenol.

So we just got home. Ay.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Coupons, Duggers, sales, spaghetti, and etc.

This is my catch-all post for the day, so I can't really think of a title. Sorry. :)

We went to the grocery store this evening and between club prices, sales, and double coupons, my "verified total savings" was $80.82. But that doesn't take into account that I also qualified for $15.99 in rebates, which will be mailed to me in the form of checks, after filling out two forms, providing photocopies of my receipt, and allowing 4 to 6 weeks to process. It was our once-every-two-months stock-up-on-canned-goods-and-staples trip, and we also got a few luxuries and special treats, as well as some lotion ($0.50 after the coupon and club sale price) deodorant for Jeff ($1.50 after the coupon and sale), and things of that sort. My favorite deal of the evening: free baby/toddler food. I was in the baby aisle and was going through my coupons (I have a mondo coupon sorter and my mom saves her coupons and I save mine and every two or three weeks I go through and clip the ones I want to keep and file them, sorting by category and expiration date, then I pull the ones we are likely to use and any that are expiring soon before a shopping trip but keep them all with me just in case (this also familiarizes me with all the coupons I have) and prepare to get some great deals!) If I'm not going to use coupons before they expire I try to pass them on to someone else in the store. (Like, I decided against buying another deodorant for me since I had already stocked up, so I passed it on to a woman in that aisle and pointed out that she could get a Dove deodorant for $1.50 with the coupon.) Anyway, I had clipped a bunch of Huggies and Pampers and Pull-Ups coupons for no reason I know of, and there was a family there with a baby and a toddler. So I offered them to them, and in return they gave me two Gerber Graduates coupons they would not use-- buy any two Gerber Graduates products, get $1 off. I had one of these already myself, and so I now had three. I eyed up the Gerber Graduates products and spotted some little containers of soup, a food both my daughters adore. Well, the soup was on for buy one, get one free, and the price was $1.35 per container (which is why I would normally not buy it.) But my coupon was for $1, and Ralphs doubles coupons up to $1, so that meant... they would be FREE! I promptly chose six and used all three coupons to get 6 FREE serving-size containers of soup that Bridget OR Emma can eat! That just made me happy. :) In all, we got about 2 months' worth of supplies (excepting tortillas, bread, milk, diapers, and fresh produce) for $146.16-- and some luxuries to boot. Thank you, mom, for teaching me how to sale-, coupon-, and comparison-shop!

When we came home we made dinner and I settled down to watch "Family Night" on TLC. After Little People, Big World (which I love), they showed the special about the Duggars going on vacation (On the Road with 16 Children, I believe.) I love the Duggars. They are awesome, they work together well, they are effective homeschoolers, they are smart, funny, loving, really great role-models. I especially admire that they happily live their faith every day, while not criticizing others around them who are different from them. I love to see them interact with families and people who do not share their same values or world view and see the love, respect, and courtesy they offer those people. We can all learn a lesson from that. So this was a really fun special to see, and I enjoyed watching it again. However, one thing bothered me. Actually, it bothered me the first time I saw it, too. But this time I noticed it more 'cause there were no babies in the room to distract me. They retrofitted a big 'ol RV with seats and seat belts to hold all their kids. So far, so good. One problem; they had the little ones in forward-facing 5-point harness seats (that's what they should be in, that's appropriate for their ages, weights, and heights) but several of them were installed in side-facing seats. That is a NO-NO! Those seats are approved for forward-facing use only! Also, I noticed at least two of the little boys were not buckled into their 5-point harness correctly! I guess that guy who helped us check and install our seats is right; I should become a car seat technician. I just have that kind of mind, and I notice it, even when it's not my business. Anyway, it's a fun special to watch, other than that safety concern.

This morning we hit the Memorial Day "everything in the store 50% off" sale at Sun Thrift. They do this about 3 or 4 times a year and I love it. Despite my resolution, I DID come home with a little more inventory for eBay. I also came home with a maternity dress for me, a dress for Bridget to wear this fall, and two dresses for when Emma grows into size 6/6X (I try to buy things ahead of time so I can just switch clothes out as she outgrows them.) Oh, and Jeff found a fondue set. I remember fondue when I was Emma's age being fun so maybe we will do that soon. :) And I kept it to less than $25, even with the fondue set! I was so good.

This afternoon we went for a late lunch at my uncle and aunt's house, to finally celebrate all us girls' birthdays. (My uncle has been unwell, but he's doing better now.) My Uncle Bob made his grandma's spaghetti sauce and some big Italian meatballs, and noodles of course, and we had some salad. It was delicious, then we had cake and ice cream and the girls opened presents.

I put some ranch dressing on my salad and couldn't finish it, it almost made me puke. Hmmm... I've been experiencing some queasiness and a few other things lately, time will tell if that means what I hope it does or if it is just a bit of early PMS or a virus (Emma puked on the sheets Saturday morning but I had what I think she had earlier last week and should be over it by now.) OPTs showed that I was almost certainly ovulating last week and we, um, took advantage of that knowledge, so we are crossing our fingers and will have to wait a few weeks. This is the first month since the bleeding from that miscarriage finally stopped, so I am hoping that I am back to normal and that everything "takes."

Anyway, that was my day. I am going to get up early tomorrow to go work in the Bishop's Storehouse (I love working there!) so I had better go get some rest while I can.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Price of Rice in China

...or rather, the price of apple juice in Los Angeles. I guess there must have been a bad crop or something last year because all of a sudden I went to Ralphs for a quick juice and bread run (the girls went through both at more than the usual pace this past couple of weeks and I couldn't wait until Monday's normal grocery trip), and store-brand apple juice was the cheapest but was $1.99 a bottle. This is not normal! I ended up wandering over to the frozen juice instead, where store-brand concentrate was on for $1 a can, not bad. So I picked up five of those, instead. But I was a little stunned, store-brand juice hasn't been that high in my recent memory and all of a sudden it just got hiked! While I was in the freezer section, though, I picked up an Edward's chocolate cream pie, a rare luxury in our house; regular price $9.99, sale price $5.99, I had a coupon for $1 off and Ralphs doubles coupons so it was only $3.99. At 60% off I figured we'd get it and have a treat. (They are actually pretty high in protein and I cut them in tenths, not sixths, so the calories aren't quite as bad per serving. Not a horrid dessert when compared to some other favorites.)

We also stopped by the library in the afternoon and I scrounged for ideas for tomorrow's class (I know attendance will be light because of the holiday Monday) and came up with On the Same Day in March: A Tour of the World's Weather and a "weather" theme. It's kind of a neat book and talks about weather all over the world on one day, how different parts of the world have different seasons, things like that. We'll read the book, talk about the weather, paint a big huge group painting of what the outside sky looks like, then make kites out of paper bags (a favorite when I was little. I'll just have them decorate the bags, I'll do the rest for them.) Next week we are doing architecture, I've had them bringing in cereal boxes and such for a while and we will build a castle together after reading about great buildings and talking about architecture as art.

We've been trying to clean and I am amazed at how messy Emma can get one room while we are cleaning another. Grrr. Also, my girls have entirely too many toys. If you know anyone who needs some... ;)

So, that's what's been going on today, pretty much. Potty training has run into some difficulty; I've decided to take my mom's advice and let Emma be completely in charge of changing herself and everything, and see how that goes. I'm going to have to bite my tongue not to give her any attention when she wets herself and only pay a lot of attention when she uses the potty but I'm gonna try! After all, it worked pretty well with us, for the most part.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Birthday Dinner

We went to Outback for my birthday dinner (I'm 24 today.) It was very nice. Jeff got me a book that came out 4 days ago that I have wanted (the latest Falco book from Lindsey Davis.) I had thought my dad would get it for me but he forgot (he even forgot it was out!) So Jeff picked it up this morning while he ran errands with the kids and I slept. Then we went to Target.

We had our Family Evening (Not at Home because of the Special Occasion-- FENAHBOTSO?) tonight, and Jeff gave a lesson on manners, we did opening prayer and calendar and stuff at home and then the rest of the lesson in the car and at the restaurant. It was fun.

At Target we got conditioner, which I needed, and also some stuff for the girls (including training panties for Emma-- we decided to go gung-ho this week while Jeff still is home before he goes to work and train her the next few days.) Target is always fun. Then I dropped in Ralphs for a few things I needed (we're feeding the sister missionaries tomorrow night.) Then we came home and watched TLC's Family Matters programming; well I did, and the others were in and out between cleaning up the living room. All in all, a happy birthday!


Here are some of the shots from our portrait session Saturday. If anyone would like an invitation to view the entire session and didn't get one, you can e-mail me.