Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to take a moment out of my day to wish a Merry Christmas to all.  We open gifts on Christmas Eve so we can remember Christ today.  He gave us so much with the life that He lived and the example He set for us.  We are blessed as Christians to know Him and His life and His sacrifice he made.  He sacrificed His life so we can return to His presence and the presence of our Heavenly Father.  There has never been a greater man, nor a great example.

At this time, I want to resolve to live my life to be more like Him.  I want to forgive faster and admit my shortcomings.  I want to be humble enough to admit when I am wrong.  Anyone that knows me, knows I hate to say sorry, but I will do it.  I don't think I am a bad person, don't get me wrong, but I know I am not the person I could be.  

I want our Savior, Jesus Christ, to know that I appreciate His life and His sacrifice.  I want to take the time to help others feel His love by the things that I do.  

I want my children to know how much I love them.  They are my life.  I would not want to be here without them.  The smiles they give make each day worth waking up to.  It is always a blessing to see the joy on their faces when they open a gift that they wanted, and I am guessing they weren't sure they would receive.  We are blessed to be a family, even an eternal family.  My children have a quick wit about them.  They make me laugh at things that might not be funny if it were anyone else doing them (if that makes any sense).  

I am blessed to be a wife to one of my best friends in the world.  Sometimes I forget that it is a blessing, life isn't always easy, but no one said it would be.  I sometimes forget the excitement of the day I met him, of the day he proposed to me, of the day we were married, of the day we were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple, of the day we brought each of our children into the world.  He held my hand at all of those times.  He has held me up at times when I thought I couldn't do it anymore,  when life has seemed to be too hard.  

I would be nothing without my family.  My parents, my brothers and sisters, have always been my best friends.  They know me like others never will.  They have seen me at my best and at my worst, and have loved me regardless of what those moments were like.  

Christmas Day has always been a time where we celebrate with family.  Although we can't all be together, I think of them and wish we were.  We have traditions, that although we can't do them together, we do them wherever we are, and know that everyone else is enjoying those traditions also.  

Merry Christmas to all and take the time today to remember why we celebrate.  :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Has It Really Been One and a Half Months?!?

I can't believe how quickly time flies.  Apparently the last time I wrote was October 15, today it is December 2.  So much has happened!  We have celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving.  My whole family came to visit, except for my niece, for Thanksgiving.  My sister-in-law came on Friday, she spent it with her sister in Washington.  My Aunt Georgia came for Thanksgiving as well.  The house was crowded and full of love.  I couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving!  My brother-in-law and his wife also came to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with us.  His wife made the most delicious pies I have ever had.

Starting the Monday before Thanksgiving, someone in the house was sick daily for a week.  My mom got sick Monday, my nephew got sick Tuesday, my 4 year-old got sick Wednesday, my 8 year-old got sick Thursday night/Friday morning, another nephew got sick on Saturday.  I thought the illness had left the house until early Tuesday morning when I woke up at 5 AM sick.  I am hoping that I am the last to get it.  It was a horrid experience.  It is now Sunday and no one else has gotten sick, knock on wood.  My baby has been pooping several times a day, but at least she hasn't puked.  My stomach still hasn't recovered fully, but I am glad that the puking ended 7 hours after it began for me.

I got to spend an hour in class with my four year-old a couple weeks ago.  It was wonderful.  I sat with him while he ate breakfast and then read some books to him in the book area of the classroom.  We then had circle time.  After circle time, I had to leave.  It was an enjoyable time with him and his class.

I still run a couple times a week, when I am healthy.  I hope to get to run more frequently than that.  I need to get back into a good routine.  I feel good when I am running.  It helps me ward off depression and sadness.  It has been hard for me since we moved here to Utah.  I am so thankful that my sister is with me, but I miss being close to the rest of my family.  I miss being able to put my children in my van and drive to my parents' house, or just walk over there.

I have started taking Zoloft regularly.  It was prescribed to me for postpartum depression, but I think I need it for depression in general.  I don't think that it makes me happy, I think it more or less numbs feelings.  As much as I wanted to cry when my family left after Thanksgiving, I didn't.  I don't worry as much as I used to.  I also have to admit that I have a huge problem with anxiety.  I would lay awake at night worrying about things that I really had no control over.

My baby started to walk on Thanksgiving.  She had lots of help with all her cousins and siblings around.  My niece and my daughter were her biggest support to get her walking.  I have never been much to encourage walking, I have always figured that they would start walking when they were good and ready.  It is fun to watch her walk.  She doesn't bend her knees very well when walking so it is quite the sight to see her go.

We got an artificial Christmas tree last night.  My children had a wonderful time putting it together and pushing down the limbs.  I have to admit that it looks a lot like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, but the more decorations we put on it, the better it looks.  I guess that is what I should expect for a $40 Christmas tree.  The children love it, and that is really all that matters.

I hope to blog more in December than I have the past couple of months.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tea Party

"Mom, I'm having a tea party!" 

This is the announcement my four year-old son just made. 

"Do you want to come?"

This was the next question.  Of course, I said yes, so I am having a tea party and will finish this in a little bit.  He runs quickly upstairs telling me he is getting the food for the party.  This kid knows how to throw a party.  He runs downstairs with "steak."

The tea party consists of Legos.  I have a round Lego for a cup and a long red Lego for steak.  He keeps telling me that one of the pretend people is spilling.  My steak happens to be "lemonade steak."  I believe I have gotten lucky!  Although I've never had lemonade steak before, I think it is supposed to be delicious. 

I haven't had a tea party in a while.  I wonder if they do this at his school or what made him think about it.  It is nice to take a moment and have a tea party though. 

The party ends as abruptly as it started.  My four year-old got up and ran out to see his older siblings.  It was fun while it lasted!

On another note, my baby is sound asleep on my lap.  I told one of my friends today that it is hard to believe that my last baby is one.  She is still small, only 18 pounds, so she is still rear-facing in her car seat.  I am sure she looks forward to being able to see out the front window.

My children make me happy. They keep me going. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Daughter, the Narrator

Tonight I got to go to see my daughter perform on stage.  I have to admit, I was incredibly proud of her.  She did something that I could never dream of doing, and she did it without a problem.  I could never stand in front of a crowd, and not want to cry.   It is a horribly stressful time to me. 

She has always wanted to be an actress/singer.  I think her favorite person on television is Victoria Justice from "Victorious."  She prefers to be the center of attention, so this was right up her alley.  When I asked the children if this was something they would want to do, it went exactly how I imagined.  My 9 year-old son said no, and my 8 year-old daughter said yes.  I made the appointment, they gave me the time of her casting call.

My daughter loves the spotlight.  She loves to get makeup put on her.  I am not a makeup artist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do my best.  She needs to get it on before the shows. 

I hope that this is just the beginning of many performances for her.  She seems like a natural. Ever since she was a baby, I knew she liked performing.  She would perform songs in front of us and our friends. 

My other three children went to the show tonight with my sister and I.  They were captivated.  I was so proud of how good they did.  We sat in the second to the last row, which wasn't a good idea, since they had a hard time seeing.  I was holding my baby up so she could see and my 4 year-old son sat on my sister's lap so he could see.

At the end of the show, when the audience came out to the crowd to thank us all for coming, each of my sons gave her a rose.  We surprised her, she didn't know we were coming to tonight.  She was very surprised and happy that we were there.  Her eyes lit up when she us after the show.

Keith and I will be going to the show on Saturday, since he will not have to be at work.  I think he will enjoy it as much as we did.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Visit from my Mom

My mother was here for a visit from Sept. 21 to Sept 27.  She left early on Sept 27 to go up and see my brothers in WA state.  It was sad to see her go, but I knew that my brothers were excited to see her.

When my mom got here, we headed to WY to see my sister and her family.  The time there flew by quickly.  We rented a minivan for that trip, it was super nice one.  We had to get our Guinea pig in there too.  She had to ride in the very back, which she fit in nicely.  We couldn't leave her home.  She traveled well.

Mom had her birthday when we were over in Wyoming.  That day, Saturday, we went and watched Matthew play football.  We had to watch both games, in case he got to play in the first one.  After the game, we went over to a Chinese restaurant.  It was good food.  We celebrated my sisters' birthday, my anniversary, and my mom's anniversary that day.

We had to leave on Sunday morning to get the van back here on time.  We barely made it.  When we got to my house, we had to toss everything out and then continue on to Salt Lake City.  I was so tired, but I had to make that trip so I could drive the car to pick up my husband at the airport after he dropped off the car.

That evening, we watched some football and hung out with each other.  We love our football!

On Monday, we went and bought a baby Guinea pig.  Her name is Elizabeth.  Our other Guinea pig is Grace.  The kids named both of them.  I wanted to go with Disney names, but they didn't.  Grace is a short-haired and Elizabeth is a long-haired.  We brought her home and let her get acquainted with Grace.   Mom, the children and I, then continued on to the indoor playground.  They always enjoy that!  I love getting the Icee's.  I am a glutton when it comes to those! 

My mom and I did a lot of running around while she was here.  I was hoping to find a baby gate, so I went to the Deseret Industries (it is like Goodwill).  I didn't find a baby gate, but I found a television with a VCR built-in for the kids' playroom.  That led me to buying many VHS tapes.  They were 50 cents each.  I found many Disney movies and Pixar, movies that can't be bought until they open the vault, unless you find them somewhere like this.

I found a rake, which we will need, since we have a giant tree and a couple smaller ones.  The leaves have started to fall off the trees, so the rake will be getting put to use soon.  Mom was patient while I looked around.  I have discovered that I enjoy thrift shops, seems like they have everything (except baby gates).

Mom rode with me to drop off and pick up my 4 year-old from school.  He goes to school almost 4 miles away.  It was nice to have someone to ride with.  The first day, they put up a roadblock on my way home.  Once I took the detour, I got extremely lost.  They didn't have any signs to show us where to go after we took our first turn.  I ended up a lot further away from home than I thought.  I finally knew where I was when I saw the Wal-Mart and the Starbucks.  I love Starbucks, and I loved it even more that day.  I introduced my mom to the Chocolate cookie crumble frappucino without coffee.   They are super tasty.  Since I knew where I was, I was finally able to get us home. 

The next couple of days, I would go home the other way, so that if they did block off the road, I knew where I was.  I have no clue if they blocked it off or not, but I didn't want to find out the hard way. 

My mom encouraged me to start running again.  I started running on Wednesday.  I went back and forth to the school.  It is .62 miles each way.  I would get a break while I waited for the children to come out of the school.  Then we would all run home together.   It is hard to get back into running, but I know I will enjoy it once I build up my endurance again. 

Mom made fried pan stew.  That is my 8 year-old daughter's favorite meal.  It is something that my grandpa and great-grandma would make.  It is so delicious.  It takes a while to make.  I need to get the recipe from my mom. 

On Wednesday, we inherited a bushel of tomatoes.  I have never canned before in my life.  My mom mentioned to the person that gave them to us that we would have to learn to make salsa.  She told us of a mix you can buy and then can them.  She lent us her water bath pot, we went and bought a bunch of medium salsa mixes and canning jars.  I canned for the first time in my life and my mom canned for the second time in her life.  I really enjoyed it.  I don't know if it was because of the company or if it is really fun.  It makes me want to go and buy everything I would ever need to start canning.   On Thursday, we made more salsa and froze it.  We gave my neighbor across the street that kept us stocked up on veggies a pint of salsa. 

We had lunch at Zupas with the people that gave us the tomatoes and gave them a pint of the salsa and all their canning supplies back.  We love them.  We knew them at church in NY, then they moved to this area.  We were happy to move close to them.  It was a wonderful visit. 

Friday came too quickly.  My husband helped get my mom's things into the car and we gave hugs and kisses and off she went.  It is so sad to say goodbye!  I am looking forward to the next visit!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

No More Excuses...

I need to face it, I have been making excuses.  I just don't want to go back to running, because I know there is a lot of time before I am back to where I used to be.  I was never fast, but I was faster than I will be when I lace up my shoes and run out my front door.  I am going to face struggles, such as learning to breathe and run at the same time.  That is the hardest one... breathing is such an important part of life, regardless if running or not.

Time... another big excuse I use.  No time, actually.  Trying to figure out when to lace up those shoes and hit the pavement.  I need to just do it.  There is generally some time in the mornings before my husband has to leave for work.  That would be the perfect time.  I could leave the baby with him and head out.  I have been walking to pick up the kids from school.  I have done that everyday, except one that it rained.It is time to lace up those shoes.

Fear... I am afraid of remarks I will hear as I start running again.  Not everyone is kind.  Not everyone understands that there are some people that start exercising when they are overweight, so they can get into shape.  There are people that think that only people in perfect shape should be outside running.  There have been the people that have "mooed" and "barked" as I have run.  It always startled me. 

I have two more marathon finisher medals that I have to earn.  Almost all of the races in this area are on Saturday.  There is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't be out there.  I want to give each of my children one of my medals.  I only have two medals right now.  I have four children.  I need to get on the ball!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Who Doesn't Love M&M's?

My 4 year-old gets out of school a couple of hours before my older two children.  He goes to school 3 miles away from home.  It was the only school in the area with an opening for Head Start.  My older two children went to Head Start back east, I am a believer in what they do. 

Today I had to go to the grocery store before I picked him up.  It is much easier doing it with one child than with two or more,  especially since the one child I brought with me doesn't ask for everything.  I went to the store this morning after dropping him off at school, but didn't realize that I had enough milk for one bowl of cereal.  The shopping trip this afternoon was for more milk.  It was on sale at a local store for $1.99, so I got two.  I get skim milk and 1% milk.  While I was there, I saw that M&M's were on sale for 50 cents per package.  I thought those would be a great thing for my 4 year-old to enjoy after school.

After finishing at the store, I headed to his school.  I was about a mile away from home, so I thought I would take a different route to pick him up.  Never a good idea to attempt a different route in an area you don't know.  My GPS was confused too.  It just wasn't good.  I finally got myself to a road that I knew and thankfully I wasn't late to pick him up.

On the way out of the school, I told him what treat I got him.  He wasn't really impressed.  In fact, I think he told me he hates M&M's.  This was quite shocking to me.  I thought, "Perhaps he had a bad experience with them lately?!"  Nope, that wasn't it!  He wanted a Beyblade.  He doesn't hate M&M's, he hates that he got those instead of a Beyblade.  Those cost a little more than 50 cents.

Well, I convinced him to let me have a few of his M&M's before I started driving again.  I took several and tossed them into my mouth.  I made sure he was strapped in and away we went.  By the time we got home, he had enjoyed most of the M&M's and announced that they had gotten rotten on our way home.  He set them on the foot rest to our couch when he got inside.

Along came my baby girl.  She is quite mobile these days.  She hasn't quite gotten to the point where she walks, but she is a huge fan of crawling.  She is also talented at cruising along the furniture.  She got to the foot rest, apparently.  I was out in the kitchen making myself a delicious bowl of ice cream.  When I came out, this is what I saw:

If you can't tell, she has blue and orange around her mouth.  She finished off her brother's M&M's.  Thankfully they weren't really rotten!  She held on to that wrapper for several minutes after they were gone.  I think she wanted to be sure that there weren't any extra ones that would come out.  I have to admit, she knows what the good stuff is! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Trip to the Dentist

Yesterday I got to go to the dentist.  I was expecting good things.  A quick cleaning and be set on my way.  Not this time... although I faithfully brush and floss, I managed to get not one, not two, but three cavities.  I missed flossing perhaps three times in the past 6 months.  I blame that on just falling to sleep... I didn't plan to fall to sleep.  It just happened.  Perhaps, I got a cavity each of those nights?!

I have to admit that I was stunned.  My teeth don't hurt.  Well, they didn't hurt.  After getting the cleaning of a lifetime, I think that my teeth have never hurt so bad.  I haven't had on of those metal things run along my gum lines in a really long time.  My dentist previously used something a lot more humane, although I didn't realize until I was returned to the metal thing.

I had never had such a thorough check up.  I had to stick out my tongue and he grabbed it with his hand and felt all over it.  I had to relax my tongue so he could do this and then feel all around inside my mouth.  I am happy to report that I have no signs of oral cancer :)  I do have geographic tongue, but I had diagnosed myself with that years ago, after my little brother was diagnosed.  That wasn't too shocking.

At the end of the day, the good news far outweighed the bad news.  I would much rather be told that I have 3 cavities and geographic tongue, than to be told that I didn't pass my oral cancer screening!  I go back for fillings in October.

I shall continue to diligently brush and floss my teeth.  I took up flossing nightly a year ago.  I used to not be quite as diligent, to be quite honest.  I would floss whenever I felt like it, usually when I had something stuck between my teeth.  I don't know why I was lazy about that, I just was.  I have bought my children the animal shaped flossing things.  They are still not quite as diligent about flossing, but they do use mouthwash and brush every night before bed.  I guess baby steps and someday they will use the flossing things nightly too.

My four year-old is seeing the dentist in 45 minutes.  I hope he has better news than me!  Thank goodness for dental insurance!

Just an update, his dental check-up went well.  No cavities!  He chose strawberry flavored flouride for after the cleaning.  The hygienist was putting that on his teeth when my 9 year-old glanced over and saw 4 year-old's mouth and teeth completely red.  My  9 year-old turned completely white and asked me what happened to his brother.  I realized that he thought it was blood.  I assured him it wasn't and the color quickly came back.  I have a son that is just like me!  I don't handle blood very well...

Friday, September 7, 2012

First Day of School 2012

My two older children started school on Tuesday and my 4 year-old started school on Wednesday.  They were all excited for that first day of school.  Since moving into our new home, my children haven't had the vast array of friends in the neighborhood that they are used to.  We have always lived in apartments that were comprised of many families, so it seemed that friends came built in. 

The older children were also excited to start school because the school provides netbooks for the children to use during the school year.  That would be quite exciting for a child.  I was worried about the fact that they might bring them home and break them.  I was excited to learn after the first day of school that the netbook is not permitted to come home. 

My four year-old was sad to see his older siblings leave for school.  I had to go to a meeting at his school, so he got to go with his aunt and cousins for several hours, so that helped to make the day more bearable.

I forgot to set up a place to meet after school to get the children, so I got to wait in a long line of cars at the school.  As soon as I got all the children, I showed them where we would meet daily.  That has made the pickup a lot easier!

School started the next day for my 4 year-old.  He was not quite as thrilled to head out the door.  He was excited to start school until he found out that I had no clue where his Pokemon cards were.  I haven't seen them since we moved.  I didn't know that Pokemon cards were a must have for the first day of school...  I had to do everything short of drag him out of the door to get him to go.  Thankfully, by the end of the day, he forgot all about the need for Pokemon cards. 

All of the children seem to like their teachers, which is always a wonderful way to start the school year.  I met the teachers of the older children yesterday.  I met my four year-old's teacher before school started.  I have to admit that the children seem to be in good hands at school. 

As a parent, I hope the children pick up on what they are being taught quickly.  I hope that they make many good friends and good memories.  I hope they treat all the others with the respect that they deserve.  I hope they will take the children that look lonely and without friends under their wings. Most of all, I hope they have a wonderful year at school.

My baby turned 11 months on my four year-old's first day of school.  We got a picutre of her as well...

Friday, August 31, 2012

Some Memories of Grandma

My grandmother returned to our Heavenly Father 25 years ago today.  I was 13 when she left this earth.  The world lost a wonderful woman this day 25 years ago.  I have many wonderful memories of her. 

My first memories include a trip to Lake Havasu to visit her.  I thought that the lake was hers.  I was really young, I wasn't even in Kindergarten yet.  I rode with my Dad and my sisters to Arizona from Houston.  It was a very memorable trip.  We still talk about it.  I don't remember a lot of the trip, of course.  I remember we stayed in a hotel that had a vibrating bed.  Dad put a coin in the bed that my sisters and I were sharing and the thing started vibrating.  I remember arriving at my Grandmother's house the next day.  She had cookies.  It almost seems like they were Thin Mints, but I can't say for sure.  She also had cans of soda pop. 

We went out on her lake.  We rented a paddle boat.  My grandmother and I rode in it together.  I couldn't reach the pedals, so in all my wisdom, I got down on my knees, and tried to do the pedals with my hand.  That was a horrible idea...  my life jacket got all tangled up in that thing!  Good thing paddle boats aren't known for tipping over!

There was a little shooting gallery there by the lake.  You would shoot little targets and different things would happen.  The thing I remember the most would be the piano starting to play.

My Grandma would come to visit us every so often.  I can't really remember how often though.  It seemed like once or twice a year.  When Grandma would come to visit, she would perm my hair.  I always looked forward to the perm.  She gave me the best perms going.  I do remember once, a brush or curler, or something got stuck in my hair.  It definitely wasn't a good thing.  It did get out and I got to keep all of my hair.

The year before she died, we all went to Bridgeport.  It was the last time we would all be together.  All of my cousins, my Aunts and Uncle, and my Grandma and Grandpa.  We have a picture of all of us together.  My sister uses it on her Ipad as the desktop photo. 

The following summer, Grandma was already sick.  We had made plans for me to go out and visit her for the summer.  I was young, 13 years-old.  I left my family and went to Albuquerque to stay with my Grandma and my Aunt.  We went on a trip to Lake Powell where we met my Aunt, Uncle and their children.  We stayed on a houseboat for a couple days (I really have no idea how long we were on that), I do know I slept on it for a night or two, at least.

We would fish off of the boat.  We would swim.  We would nap.  We would get off the boat and go on dry land.  We had grilled walleye and catfish, which we caught. 

My cousin was reading the map one day.  Grandma asked where it was.  He looked out the window and upstream from where we were.  Grandma got a big laugh out of that.  We still made it back to where we started from.  I'm not sure if we had another map.

I was in Albuquerque for the Fourth of July.  We had a little party at my Aunt's house.  She had some of her friends over.  It was a really nice get-together.  There was watermelon.  I was shy.  I hate watermelon.  They gave me a slice and I ate it, very slowly!  I helped to get everything put away.

While I was there, Grandma and I would watch "Three's Company."  She had never seen it before.  I was a regular viewer.  I didn't understand what was going on at that age, to me, it was just a funny show.  It still is a funny show, but I understand it now.  My grandmother would just laugh and laugh. I would lie in bed with her and just watch TV during the day. 

This was during the Iran-Contra hearings.  I can remember that Grandma didn't like that those were taking place of all the shows she enjoyed watching during the day.  We had to find alternate viewing.  There was lots of leftover watermelon.  Whenever Grandma would get up, she would bring me a slice of watermelon.  I, being the shy, and polite person that I was, would eat it.  Very slowly, I would eat it.

My Grandma had cancer.  I was blessed to spend some of the last days that she was healthy enough to go out and have some fun.  She was an amazing woman.  I was blessed to be able to know her.  There are a lot of people that never get to know their grandparents. 

My Grandma was always quick with a joke and she had an amazing laugh.  She had a great sense of humor!  I remember her saying, "Are we having fun yet?"  I would have loved to be able to have her around much longer.  I would have loved to have her meet my children, hold my children.  I would not wish her to have lived another day with the cancer and the pain and sickness she had though. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My Daughter's First Audition

On Saturday, August 25, 2012, my 8 year-old had her first audition.  I saw on Twitter that my city was having a play in October and there was going to be auditions.  I asked my two children that are old enough if they would want to do that.  I knew that my daughter would and that my son would not, but I had to give them both the option.  I was right.  I made the appointment for the audition, several days before, and we were set to go. 

My daughter was looking forward to this audition for the next several days.  She would ask me how many days until the audition.  There was no way that she would let me forget what was going on.  This opportunity was the highlight of her life, since we moved to this house.  That morning, she woke up, got a shower, had her outfit picked out and ready to go.  She woke me up, a couple hours early, to be sure she wouldn't be late.

The audition was set for 10 am and she had to be there by 9:45 am to read over the lines.  We got there about 9:35 so that we could be sure that we found the right place.  I am still getting used to where everything is around here.

We went in and she let them know who she was.  They gave her a number.  She was number 41.  I had to fill out a form and we both had to initial it and sign it.  After we were finished, we went into the hallway so that she could start reading lines.  Since she has no background in theater, I had to explain to her that she doesn't just read the lines, that she has to add emotion.  She did a great job reading, I thought.

The children had to line up in numerical order to go in for the audition.  Away my daughter went...  I went on a walk with my baby in her carrier.  I figured I should do something for that half hour.  I got back a little early and waited for her to come out.  She didn't get a "call back" slip.  I told her that was okay, and we came home.

On Tuesday, as directed, we went back to find out if she got a part.  She is going to be the "Narrator 1" in the Pre-show Show.  I was very happy with that.  She wanted to be in the "real" show.  I told her that there were many children that are not going to get to do anything.  I also told her that this is a stepping stone.  Since she has no experience in theater, to this point, it is nice that she got a part.  This will give her experience.  She was happy with that explanation.

My son has decided that next time he is going to audition too.  I guess the thought of actually being in the play sounds like a good idea to him.  The thought of trying out wasn't quite as enticing. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Peach Tree

Today was a big day in our life as homeowners.  On Saturday, I went to Lowes and bought a bunch of things.  The things include a hose, oscillating sprinkler, sealant for our roof, a brush to spread it, mulch, soil and fertilizer, grass seed, grass seed spreader, cherry tree, and a peach tree. 

The cherry tree is going to make a return visit to Lowes.  My husband has heard that birds eat the cherries and then decide to poop on the house, which will leave stains, according to him.  We certainly don't want red, bird poop stains on our house or cars.  We don't want to stain our neighbors' cars either.

My husband and daughter borrowed a shovel from our neighbor across the street.  Then my husband went in the backyard and started digging.  My husband apparently found an underground anthill.  I would dare say there were thousands of them.  Since he already had a good hole going, he just kept digging.  Our peach tree went into that hole. 

It is a cute little tree.  We put the soil and fertilizer around it.  We watered it.  We followed the directions.  I am excited to see what happens with our peach tree next year.  I was told that it would be producing fruit next year.  It is a little tree, so I imagine we might get 2 peaches next year.  I am not sure how much the tree will grow in the fall, winter and spring. We shall see!

The grass seed got spread in the front yard on Saturday, shortly after I got here with it.  My 4 year-old had gone to Lowes with me.  He was very excited to spread the seeds.  We wanted to do the front yard first because everyone sees that.  The backyard needs the seeds too.  We will seed that this weekend. 

The oscillating sprinkler has been put to good use.  The children like to run it all over the yard.  They also like to run through it.  Ever since we lived at our last apartment, the children have enjoyed sprinkler parties.  It is very fun if they can turn the sprinklers on and have their own sprinkler party, on their own terms.

If it weren't for the poisonous spiders that seem to inhabit this area of my world, I think I would really like it here!  I killed a black widow spider today.  It is not something I ever envisioned myself doing.  I never associated them with Utah.  I came to college here.  I lived here for a couple years before I moved back east.  It is not something I want to deal with :(

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Black Widow Spider (August 24, 2012)

I was told before I bought a house here that Black Widow spiders are not uncommon in the area.  I was also told that I should buy some chickens to keep them at bay.  I was all about buying a herd of chickens.  I do not suffer from arachnophobia, much to the contrary, in fact. 

I think that I might be the reason that my two younger brothers do suffer from arachnophobia.  I had absolutely no problem, as a child, grabbing one of the eight legs and chasing my brothers around the house.  I did it to be mean.  I thought it was funny.  Looking back, I could have thought of better things to do, but I was young.  I liked to hear them scream and run away.  I am thankful that we didn't live near snakes, because I am sure they wouldn't have had a problem grabbing one of those and chasing me around the house. 

Well, I can't buy chickens, because the city council members decided that citizens could not have chickens, unless it was in an agriculturally zoned area.  I am sure I am not in an agriculturally zoned area.  I live a block off of the main street that runs through here and a block from the interstate.  There went my dreams of having chickens eat the spiders, and having fresh eggs.  The chickens would have never become meat, I couldn't do that to an animal, well, unless I was starving to death.  Then I am sure I would cry the whole time... I cry when my goldfish die.

Well, my husband was at work on Friday.  My 9 year-old came inside and told me he was sure he found a black widow spider.  I asked him how he knew that it was a black widow.  He said, "It has a red hourglass on its back."  That made enough sense to me.  My next question was, "Where is the spider?"  I was hoping that he located it down the road a ways.  He told me, "It is under the mailbox."  Too close for comfort!

I got up and went to explore.  The spider was about 2 to 3 feet below the mailbox.  It had something red on its back, clear as day.  I didn't get close enough to make sure that it was an hourglass.  I guess that a black spider with anything on its back should be considered a black widow.  I went to my neighbor's house.  We have become friends.  I rang his doorbell and asked him if he would know a black widow if he saw one.  He kind of giggled and said yes.  I told him that I thought we had one, but I wanted to be sure.  He was in middle of cooking his dinner, so he said when it was done he would be right over.  I told him I was sure it wasn't going anywhere.

While he finished his supper, I put mine in the oven.  We were having pork chops and mashed potatoes.  He came over and brought a stick and spider spray.  I showed him the spider and he said it certainly was a black widow.  He squished it with his stick and then used the stick to take down the web.  The web crackles when being removed. 

I told him how my 9 year-old was the one that spotted it.  He said he was glad that he didn't mess with it.  I am too!  I am glad he noticed it.  I go out to the mailbox daily.  I don't need to upset a black widow.  We walk past it several times a day.  I would never want my children or anyone visiting to get bit by a black widow.  Needless to say, I pay very close attention these days to any arachnids in the area.  I will not let my children see me remove some outside.  I don't want them to think they should do that, because they might not know which ones aren't safe.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Backson

My sister came upstairs last night, after my 4 year-old came up, trembling.  He had just finished watching a terrifying movie, a movie called "Winnie the Pooh."   It is a rated G movie.

She came up to tell me that he was scared to death of something in the movie, "Winnie the Pooh."  I wasn't sure I heard her right, so I repeated it back.  She confirmed.  Who would think that "Winnie the Pooh" would have anything that could be remotely scary?!

He woke her up to let her know.  He came running up here, scared to death, and lay down beside me.  He was not able to talk about it for a few minutes.  I kept asking him what was scary.  He told me that it had horns and a triton.  So, I was wondering if Piglet had a pitchfork or something.

Tonight, we fast forwarded the movie, so he could show us what was scary.  The thing appears to be a bull, with a ring through its nose.  I haven't watched the whole movie yet, but I needed to see the scary thing.  Seeing through the eyes of a child is difficult.  I can't figure out how it is scary.  He was hiding under a pillow while he pointed it out.  He truly is afraid of that thing, referred to as "Backson."

I am going to have to watch the whole thing, to get the full jest of the Backson.  My sister said when she woke up, the credits were running.  So, I am guessing that it comes back toward the end of the movie.  I will be watching it soon, when he isn't in the room.  I don't see the point in scaring him.  I want to understand though why that thing is scary.

We are sitting here right now watching "Tangled."  Another rated G movie by Disney.  He asked to watch something else so he wouldn't have "that dream" again.  "Tangled" is something else.  "That dream" was probably a nightmare about Backson last night.

I know as a young child, I was scared to death of a rocking horse that was in my room.  I would hide under the bed when I would wake up.  I still remember some of the nightmares I would have about it.  I am sure if I would have told my parents, it wouldn't have remained in my room, but I was scared to death of that thing.  I know that although things don't seem scary, they can be. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Breaking Glass

This morning, that is what I woke up to.  The sound of breaking glass.  It is that kind of sound that just makes you sit right up and try to figure out what is going on.  It made me really hope that it was something on the interior, not someone breaking in. 

I got up and went on a search.  I guess I should have been a little more careful since I didn't really know what was going on.  I started hearing the children.  Then I knew that it was at least something inside the house. 

First, I need to explain a part of our house.  The playroom was added on to the house, it is virtually an enclosed patio with walls, carpeting, sliding glass door.... It was added on many years ago.  There is a window that leads from the playroom to the downstairs bathroom and another to a bedroom. 

My oldest son was trying to open the window from the wrong side, from inside the playroom.  The glass ended up popping out and shattering on the bathroom floor.  I was so thankful that the children weren't injured.  I am also thankful that no one was in the bathroom when that happened! 

Now the children understand why we told them not to play with the windows.  They liked to open the windows and climb in and out of the rooms.  I am glad the lesson was learned without injury! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is It Exercise?

Is it exercise if you enjoy it?  Or is it just a good way to have fun and burn some calories?  Well, I have discovered that crawling around is what brought up that question.  My baby is a very good crawler.  She enjoys having the whole house as her playground.

I decided one night to get down on the ground and crawl around with her.  As I got down there, on my hands and knees, and started chasing her around, something very interesting happened.  She got the biggest smile possible and turned and started crawling toward me.  She would get really close to me and then lie down. 

Later that evening, when my sister got home, I told her what happens.  I showed her too.  I got down on the ground, the baby got a big old smile and started crawling toward me.  I started crawling away, then she got close to me and down she went to her belly.  My sister realized what she was doing.  She wanted to go under me.  I then got up higher and under she went...like a boat going under a bridge.

I have daily been getting down there and playing with her.  She will follow me all over the house.  I never realized how painful crawling on tile can be.  I will definitely be keeping the thick carpeting until she is well past her crawling and falling phase.  When I go from the family room (thick carpet), to the kitchen (painful tile), then to the dining room (thick carpet), I look forward to the carpet again.  I am glad that we have the carpeting now. I wanted hardwood floors, I will get them when the baby is a bit older.

It is a good workout.  I had been trying to figure out why my arms have been hurting.  It is the crawling and going up and down to be at her level and then let her go under me.  It is well worth it, I love the smile I receive when I get down there and she knows what is about to happen.  She is my little crawling buddy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Black Eye

My four year-old was playing around on Thursday and "slammed" into my daughter's dresser.  I heard crying like I hadn't heard in quite awhile.  The children brought him upstairs and I saw a big old knot next to his left eye.  I asked what happened, and they said, "He slammed into a dresser."  I immediately put a package of frozen peas on the knot. 

The knot next to his eye on Thursday, turned into a black eye by Friday morning.  I am starting to wonder how long it can last.  Here we are on Monday and he still has a black eye.  I do believe that this is his first black eye.  I am also hoping it is his last. The poor fellow!

I am thankful that he hit the dresser where he did... a little further to the right and he would have gotten his eye, a little further to the left he would have gotten his temple.  So, if this had to happen, it happened in the right place. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Are Two Front Teeth Really Worth It?

My ten month-old daughter seems to get her teeth in pairs.  Her first two teeth, the bottom two in the front, popped out around July 10th.  There wasn't much of a fuss with those.  You wouldn't even know she was teething, except you could see them cutting through the gums.

She is now getting her two front teeth.  You can see the whole things through her gums, they just haven't broken through yet.   They are not coming quite as easily as she would prefer.  To the creator of Orajel, thank you!  To the creator of Baby Acetaminophen, thank you!  My baby seems to be having some anger issues with these teeth.  I think that she is trying to tell them to either pop out, or stay forever embedded in her gums, but to please stop hurting!

She is a very happy baby, so it is sad to see this pain, and to have her temperament change.  It is amusing to see her chew effectively with only 2 teeth.  She can eat quite well, using her gums for most of the chewing.

She has become very talented in feeding herself.  I don't think a parent realizes how well the baby's hand-mouth coordination is until you spot a foreign object in a dirty diaper.  Today, for example, there was a red piece of paper in her diaper, which turned out to be a label, that wasn't chewed very well, that said "Made in ...."  Not quite sure where the label was made.  Just reminds me that I need to pay closer attention to what is on my floor.  I guess that I need to vacuum several times a day!

It was a wonderful Sunday, my husband, baby and I went to church.  My sister and children came back from Wyoming.  It is always wonderful to be back together again :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hard to Say Goodbye

Yesterday my three oldest children went on an adventure with their Aunt Brenda and cousin.  They went to Wyoming to bring their cousin back to his parents after he visited us for a week.  It was a wonderful week they got to spend together.  There was a lot of playing and running, and I didn't have to worry about them bothering the downstairs neighbors with all the noise, since we no longer have downstairs neighbors.  Sometimes I forget we don't have downstairs neighbors anymore and I tell them they have to be quiet.

My youngest wasn't originally going to go with them on the trip.  I worry how he will do without me.  I recalled earlier yesterday, how sad he was when his brother left to come out here with Grandpa, Uncles Jim and Bob.  My daughter drove out with her Aunt Susan.  They drove out here and my two younger children and myself flew home.  When it was time to say goodbye to his brother, my youngest son cried and cried.  He wanted, with all of his heart, to go with him.  He kept repeating, "I am going to miss Caleb, I am going to miss my brother, I want to go with him."  Tears streaming down his face. 

I wanted them to be together, but I worried that they would get several hundred miles away and he would want me and there would be nothing anyone could do to fix it. I don't think that would have happened.  He has always been one for adventure.  There is the off chance though that it would have.  Yesterday, as I remembered that scene in Erie, I sent my sister a note and told her that I was going to pack him a bag, just in case it happened again. 

When it was time for them to get going, my sister said goodbye to him.  He said he was going with her.  I told him that he was going to stay home with me.  He had that sad/hurt look on his face.  He really wanted to go on this adventure.  I couldn't hold him back this time.  The furthest away he would be is 4 1/2 hours.  If worse came to worse, I would make that trip and get him.  The only reason I didn't go this time is that I am not sure my van would make those mountain passes.   It has a hard time on hills, and those would be mountains.

As they got ready to leave, I told them each I love them, gave them hug and kiss, and waved and blew kisses.  My youngest son wanted to tell me something, and I couldn't hear him.  I got close to the car, and he said to me "I love you and I will miss you," I said it back and away they went, I watched them get to the corner.  I watched my sister get out of the car and check her tire, then get back into the car and drive away.  Then I came inside, I saw the older children's suitcase sitting on the floor.  I called them.  They came back and got it, took a potty break, and headed off.  I gave them each another kiss and waved goodbye.  My heart broke as they drove away. 

Goodbyes are hard for everyone.  I always look forward to getting together again.  Saying goodbye to family and friends has always been difficult for me, but I know that my family knows that I love them no matter where we are.  I hope my friends know that as well.  Getting together again is always the most joyful of reunions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

If It Weren't for Bad Luck, I'd Have No Luck at All

I fully intended to start running this week, I want to get back into shape and get at least two more marathon finisher medals.  I want to have one to give to each of my children.  I have 2... well, I know that at one point I had two.  I haven't seen them in a while, so I might get to run 4 more, we shall see...

Anyway, I got ready for church Sunday.  I found a skirt and a top that would go with it.  I had to hold my breath and zip (to be honest). I need to wear a skirt and top since I nurse my baby and wearing a dress is impractical.  I found some shoes that I hadn't worn in a long time.  As I walked to church, I remembered about 3/4 of the way there why I hadn't worn those shoes in a LONG time.  The back of both of my heels were bleeding.  The shoes have straps that criss-cross in the back.  I loosened the straps once I was sitting down.  The damage had already been done. 

After church, I came home, took off the shoes, and the skirt.  So, I was able to breathe again normally and my feet could begin the healing process.  They have not healed yet.  Therefore, I am not lacing up any running shoes, knowing the pain I would be in.  I imagine that I will be able to start running again on Monday.  I'll keep this updated!

Monday, August 13, 2012

First Sleepover

Tonight my daughter is having her first sleepover with someone outside the family.  The girl that is sleeping over is the only other child that is living on our street right now.  There are a couple other children that will be back soon, they are away visiting family, so we haven't met them yet.

My daughter had that little ray of sunshine in her eyes when she asked.  I remember when I was young and I would have a sleepover.  Half the time, I would end up back at home in middle of the night.  I started to pretend that I was at home as I would doze off to sleep.  That made the homesickness go away.

We had Family Home Evening tonight.  It was on miracles.  I know that miracles still happen today.  I have seen them happen for myself and for others.  Each of my children are a miracle.  I was once told that I would not be able to have children without fertility treatments.  I never had to have fertility treatments and I have four wonderful children.

I had made brownies and bought ice cream so we could have brownie sundaes for the treat.  My daughter asked if she could invite her friend for the treat.  I told her that she could.  So, her friend came over for that.  She was then invited to go running with my husband and children.  I had her find out if her family wanted the rest of the brownies.  When she asked if she could go running, she found out that they would take the brownies.  The brownies were delivered on the way to the park.

It was at the park that I was asked if the friend could spend the night.  I tried to think of several reasons why she shouldn't stay.   In the end, I thought it would be nice for the girls to have this time to spend together and forge a good friendship.

As a mother, I have always wanted my children to have good friends.  That is what enticed me to go with my children to find friends.  They didn't want to go by themselves to see if there were children.  I didn't really want them to, because I didn't know who lived around here.  So, we went on the adventure together and found a child.  You would think that in a neighborhood, there would be more than a few children.  I think we doubled the child population here!  I remember when we moved to NY in 1983, my family doubled the child population there.  I realize now that the older neighbors probably weren't so excited!

Well, the children are off to bed.  Morning will come early!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Things I Wish for Now That I Own a Home... And Blessings of Owning My Own Home

I have a small wish list since I now own a home.  They are things you never really think about...

1.  I wish it would rain for at least 10 minutes every morning and every evening, preferably around 7 am and 6 pm. 

2.  I wish that unpacking was a fun, joyous event.

3.  I wish that my vacuum sucked better than it does... (this is the only thing I think I will ever wish sucked, and it doesn't). 

4.  I wish I had unlimited funds to decorate (okay, perhaps it is something I have thought about regularly in the past).

Blessings of owning my own home include:

1.  Not needing to pay rent for months/years and getting nothing back (except security deposit) when I leave.

2.  Being able to decorate the house as I choose.

3.  My children being able to run around and make noise without worrying that it is imposing on someone else's solitude. 

4.  Having storage areas

5.  Having extra room so when family visits they will not be crowded together.

6.  Having a flat top stove so I don't have to clean drip trays :)

7.  Being able to meet neighbors and knowing that I won't be leaving in a year or so.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Just a plug for a great concept.  Last I knew, it wasn't available in the Southern Tier of NY.  I am living in UT now and I absolutely love it. 

Today I was able to give some items away, completely free, to someone that could really use them.  I have received things from Freecycle, but today was the first time I gave something away.  It is nice to be able to receive items, but it was a much different feeling to give. 

I think the payment is the appreciation that was given. 

On Freecycle, I see things being offered daily.  I see things being requested daily.  I see things being received daily.  I think that it would be a great idea for every community to adopt.  It is an organized "FREE" community yard sale.  People pick up the items, you don't have to deliver them to the recipient.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Feeding Herself

My baby never ceases to amaze me.  Today she was being awfully quiet so I went to check on her.  She had been playing with her older siblings.  When I came from the family room to the kitchen, this is what I saw:

my baby was eating a cookie.  It was a cookie that my sister brought home for me last night, quite large, and very tasty.  It was completely chocolate.  I had broken it into pieces to get the middle of it, which looked like it had a melted Hershey's kiss.

Somehow. she had managed to get it to the floor, still in the box.  She was enjoying each bite she took.  After watching her enjoy the cookie for a few minutes, and having my children take pictures, I decided it was time to bathe her.  She was quite the chocolatey mess, something I would like to someday say about myself!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

How Old ARE You?

I went to Wal-Mart today, it isn't an unusual occurrence in my life.  In fact, I have been doing that quite regularly since my move.  I need to buy things that didn't make the packing cut, or things that I need that I have no clue where to find.  Of course, I find it shortly after purchasing a duplicate.

Well, today's trip consisted of a high chair, some fruits and vegetables, some washcloths, a bath rug, a bath towel, and a few other odds and ends.  My two daughters and my sister joined me for the shopping trip.  My ten month-old was in her car seat, which rested on the part of the cart where children usually sit.  My 8 year-old was wondering around trying to find something at the checkout stand to buy. 

I was minding my own business, talking to my baby girl and my sister.  The female cashier asked me how old the baby was.  I answered her truthfully.  She then asked me, "How old ARE you?"  Once again, I answered truthfully, saying I am 38.  The line of questions began...  I didn't know where the questions were coming from, or what the purpose was.  I would guess the cashier was early to mid-twenties.

The next question was, "So, did you wait until you were older to have children?"  To which I answered, "I waited until I was married, I didn't get married until I was 27, then I had my first baby when I was 29." 

The following question, "How many children do you have?"  To which I answered, "I have four children, two boys, two girls."

Then she volunteered that she had her first baby when she was 19 and that she has 2 daughters, her baby will be 5 months soon.  She said that in some ways it is smart to wait until you are older to have children, because we know what is going on.  I'm not sure I know what is going on all the time, but I know that I know more than when I was younger, so I agreed. 

After I finished paying for all my stuff, I was kind of dumbfounded.  I think that what I learned is that I should always expect the unexpected.  The cashier was being friendly, in her own way.  I could not imagine carrying on that line of questions with a stranger. 

The other thing I have always known, is that I am proud of my age and getting older.  I have always said that it beats the alternative!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The New House

As I mentioned previously, my husband was busy packing and signing closing papers on a house while I was back east.  We had located the house that we wanted to buy before I headed out.  He was blessed to sign the closing papers on July 31, which was 5 days after we were supposed to.  Thankfully the family we bought the house from signed the papers to extend the closing date.  It was quite stressful having that out of our hands.

On Saturday, several men from my church came and helped load our stuff out of the storage unit into the UHaul and then unload it into our new house.  We have a TON of stuff to do.  We have to unpack all of our stuff.  Thankfully, the men brought the heavy stuff in.  We have a couch in our family room, beds in the bedrooms, desks and dressers where they should be. 

As I look around, I see a lot of boxes.  I know that eventually they will be empty, and I look forward to that day.  I am thankful to know that this is likely the last time I will move for a long time. 

My children have been very helpful.  They enjoy unloading boxes and discovering what is in each one.  It is almost like Christmas.  My 4 year-old found a box full of whiffle balls today.  He had a blast with those.

It is wonderful to have doubled our space 2 1/2 times over.  It is nice to be able to put things away and not have the clutter associated.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Fastest Four Weeks

This year I went back east to visit family and friends.  We left Utah on Independence Day.  We meaning myself and my four children.  We were dropped off at the Salt Lake City Airport and spent the next 9 hours either on a plane or in an airport.  It never fails to amaze me how flying to Buffalo can mean a stop in Washington DC.  I love DC, but it is a bit further east than Buffalo. 

My children were amazing on the flights.  We flew with only one DS.  The children shared it well.  They read or just talked when it wasn't their turn.  My daughter, being the outgoing child she always has been, made a friend at the airport during a layover.  Her friend's name is Nina.  She ended up flying the second leg of the flight with Nina and her mother.  That made her time in the airport and the flight go quicker. 

We arrived in Buffalo a little before 9 pm.  We hadn't checked any bags, so we hurried to roadway to be picked up.  It was wonderful to see my mom, sister and bro-in-law waiting for us.  We hoped to make it to my hometown in time to see the fireworks.  My bro-in-law adjusted the carseat for my baby and off we went.  My three older children with them, and myself and my baby with my mom.  On the way home, we had to make a pitstop at a Burger King for potty time. 

We missed the fireworks by about 10 minutes.  We met the rest of the family at a local ballpark.  My sister had bought the lantern balloons (whatever they are called, as seen on "Tangled").  They set them off up in to the air one at a time.  I wondered if some of them would clear some electric lines and trees, but they all did.  It was amazing to watch them lift off.  It was beautiful.  They flew away into the sky, where they would turn into little lights and then fade away.

During those four weeks, we got to watch some softball games, and tournaments.  We were going to participate in a kickball tournament but it ended up being the last day we would all be together.  There was a UHaul that had to be packed, as my sister and her family were moving to WY the next day. 

We spent many hours in the backyard on the swings.  We would laugh and talk like old times.  Any time we get together, it is a good time.  Dad grilled some food, which is always delicious.  We watched the birds.  The squirrels came around to scare me.  I have a horrible fear of them.  They are fine if they stay 10 feet or more away from me. 

My baby warmed up to the family within 48 hours.  She took an instant liking to her Uncle Bob.  I warned him before I gave her to him that she will probably cry.  Not a peep out of her mouth.  She was content.  I was amazed. 

The children got to get re-acquainted with some of their friends.  My son got to see his closest friend several times, for which I am thankful.  The children spent a lot of time with their cousins.  I miss those times.

My older brother came into town for a visit for a few days before he had to go down to Pittsburgh for a conference.  We got to watch all the boys play in a softball tournament together.  That was awesome.  The next day we went up to the Rock.  It is where my dad grew up.  It is a special place to our family.  My poor baby was a little sweat ball by the time we finished the hike, since she was in a baby carrier. On the way home, we stopped and got a few buckets of ice cream, as tradition would have it. 

My mom, two younger brothers, my sister, her son, my kids and I all went to Palmyra, NY, to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant.  We got to visit the Joseph Smith Home and walk through the Sacred Grove.  We went up and walked around the Palmyra Temple as well.  It was a wonderful time.

I was blessed to get to visit with some of my dear friends.  I saw some of them at church and some stopped by my parents' house to see me.  I enjoyed getting to visit with each of them.

28 days flew by.  There were many people that I wanted to see, that I didn't get to.  One day quickly became the next, and one week, quickly became 4.  Time flies when you are having fun, right!?

On Sunday, July 29, my little brother and my sister and her family, moved out of New York.  My brother was headed to Washington State, and as mentioned before, my sister was headed for Wyoming.  They drove out west and took my two older children for the trip.  They arrived here on Tuesday.

My two younger children and I flew out of Buffalo and arrived in Salt Lake on August 1.  It was a good flight.  I had never flown during a storm.  It was quite amazing to see the lightning below us.  It was late, so my children slept through it.  There was at least an hour of turbulence, so that was for the best.

I came home to a new house.  My husband closed on a house while I was on vacation.  He packed up most of the apartment and did a great job.  I did some packing before I left.  Now we face the task of unpacking.  I plan on this being our last move.  I really hope that this is the house that I grow old in, that this is the house that the children call home, even when they no longer live here.  My parents' house will always be home to me.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Let'em Rip...

I have heard that statement more times in the past couple of weeks, than I had in the previous 38 years of my life.  My children had been asking for Beyblades for quite a while.  I had no clue what they were, to be honest.

They are these little toys that I can't explain better than saying they are tops that come with a thing that you put it on, then pull a cord, and they spin incredibly fast.  They are little tops that battle with other ones.  I guess the last one spinning wins.  The children spin time with their friends letting them rip.  You have to say "3...2....1... Let'em rip."  Then you pull the cord, and away the go.

My children play with their Beyblades with their friends.  It seems like these are one of the more popular toys around.  It has come to my attention that there is even a cartoon called "Beyblades."  My 4 year-old enjoys watching it, when he can.  I haven't really paid any attention to it.  I am much more into "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Victorious," when it comes to children's shows.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Walk to Target

This evening, I took my two youngest children on a walk to Target.  It was a nice walk.  I had the baby strapped into the baby carrier.  This always helps her to fall to sleep.  I just think the movement and the sound of my heartbeat is soothing to her.  She has not popped out a tooth yet, so we are still waiting for that.  She has been a little miserable lately, so I imagine that big event is right around the corner. 

As we were walking, we walked past the school which had its sprinklers on.  My 4 year-old loved every second of that.  I kept track of him as I didn't want him to try to run out of them and dart into the road.  The road is one of the two main thoroughfares through town.  He didn't get very wet on the way there. 

We walked there because we needed dishwasher tablets.  We ran out last night.  If I want clean dishes, I need those.  I don't have time to go and wash dishes, and it is easier for the children to load the dishwasher, and I don't have to worry about how well they washed them

When we got to Target, we went looking for the dishwashing detergent.  I finally had to ask someone where it was.  She brought me right there.  My son wanted a new Beyblade.  When we were there earlier today, I bought him one.  It keeps him occupied while I try to get some of my work done.  He loves the thing.  To me, it is just another thing to be sure I don't step on, because a- it will hurt and b-it would break, which would lead to much sadness.

After we got the detergent, I ordered 2 Icees from the little dining area.  I ordered one large and one small.  I intended to have the large, but my son announced that he wanted a large too.  I gave that to him.  We filled it up with a mix of blue raspberry and cherry.  I had cherry.  While we were walking home, he looked up, and noticed for the first time that I had a small one.  He asked me why.  I told him because he wanted the large one, so I let him have it.  He gave his to me, and told me I could have a taste.  I thought that was sweet of the little guy.  Mine was to the point that makes you realize why they are also called "slurpees."  I was trying to get the last drops out.

We walked through the sprinklers on the way home too.  He got soaked this time.  He knew that we had already accomplished going to the store and looking like we didn't wet ourselves.  The baby was still sleeping, until she got a few drops of the cold water and quickly woke up.  She just kept looking up at me, wondering what I was doing.

It was nice to get back home.  To walk into the A/C... except for the A/C was off.  I promptly turned it back on.  As I sit and write this a few hours later, it is very cool again.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Where Did the Time Go?

I am pretty sure that today, the baby has been alive longer than I was pregnant with her.  If only my pregnancy went this quickly!  If you read my blog while I was pregnant, you know that I have/had a rare pregnancy rash.  Yes, I still suffer from Pemphigoid Gestationis.  The longest someone has had it post pregnancy is 7 years.  I am hoping that I don't beat any records.  I have been off the prednisone since March.  I am learning to deal with it.  It isn't as severe as when I was pregnant, thank goodness!

As I write tonight, my baby girl is sleeping soundly on my lap.  She was 16 lbs 2 oz last Sunday, when we went to urgent care.  She was diagnosed with Bronchiolitis.  That is the first time she had a fever, that wasn't shot related.  She must be near 27 inches by now.  She grows like a weed. 

She is my biggest fan.  She loves being with me.  She prefers me over everyone.  The only thing I can come up with, is she knows that I am the one that feeds her most often.  If I had someone that I depended on for food, I think I would want to stay close to that person also. 

I have a 9 year-old... I can't believe that it has been over 9 years since I first became a mom.  My 9 year-old is wonderful.  He is a sensitive little guy.  He likes to please others.  He likes to see people happy.  He is a loyal fella.   He is a great big brother to all his siblings.  They are lucky to have him.  He loves all his siblings.  He likes being tucked in at night and say his prayers with his baby sister there.

13 months and 13 days after the birth of my 9 year-old, we welcomed my daughter into our family.  She came into the world, making some whimpers and crying.  It was a most welcome sound.  My son didn't make any noise, which I learned is because he wasn't breathing.  He was ran immediately to NICU.  When I heard her cry, tears welled up in my eyes.  She is strong-minded.  She knows how she wants things, and she doesn't like to budge.  She is a protector.  She will not allow anything to happen to her siblings if she can prevent it.  She is a lot like me in that way.  She is a very outgoing child, she has never gone without a friend.  Since the time she was a toddler, she could make a friend, even if we were hours from home.

We welcomed my son when the children were 3 and 4 years-old.  I gave birth after they went to sleep one night, so they found out in the morning that they had another sibling.  They stopped by and met the baby after school.  My 4 year-old looked at his baby brother and stated "I think I love him."  That was good news :)  My daughter wanted to hold him, he was a living doll.  He has grown to be a funny little fellow.  He enjoys telling knock-knock jokes.  They aren't really ones that make a lot of sense, but they are funny because he tells them.  One of them:  Knock, knock.  Who's there?  Mommy?  Mommy who?  You are mommy!  :)

When this little one I was holding was born, I had a 3 yr old, 7 yr old and 8 yr old.  My sister brought them to the hospital to meet her, before they went to school.  They were at the hospital when she was born.  They got to meet her when she was still less than an hour old.  They each got to hold her, sitting down.  In these months that have passed, they can hold her standing up. They adore her.  They watch out for her.

It seems like yesterday that I became a mother for the 4th time.  It doesn't seem like more than 4 years that I became a mother for the first time.  Where does time go?

I am so thankful for the blessings I have in my life.  My children make me so happy.  I, like most mothers, would do anything for then.  As I watch them grow, I see the people they are becoming.  I hope that they will always respect others and treat them well.  I hope they have good friends that lift them up and they do the same in return.  

Thursday, June 21, 2012

First Love

I remember the first person I thought I was in love with... I thought we would be together forever.  I was 4, in preschool and thought he was the best thing that could have ever happened in my life.  Well, I might have thought that, I don't remember.  I do remember that I was "in love."  The lucky boy... well, he lived close by.  He was a neighborhood boy.  Why am I reminiscing....?

Well, it has recently come to my attention that one of my children has found a lucky someone.  The lucky person also lives close by.  My heart breaks knowing that this will likely not last forever, that I am going to end up having a sad child.  My husband and I have explained to the child that there is no dating until the age of 16, and then it is only double dating.  We expect this child not to be holding hands or kissing.  This can be no more than a friendship. 

As easy as it is to say these things and for the child to agree, from my own memories of my "first love," I know that it is something the child will always remember. I hope that when this child grows up that this "friendship" will be a good memory.  I hope that my child will be able to remember the wisdom that was gained and be able to pass it on to my grandchildren (that is still a long ways away!). 

I still remember the name of my first love, I have no idea where life has taken him.  I lost track of him when I (my parents and siblings) moved to New York from Houston.  I am so thankful for how things turned out.  I am thankful that as life went on, I was blessed to find my husband.  I am thankful for the blessing of my four children. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Orbeez vs Arbys.. My 4 Year-old Wins

There are these little toys, not sure if that is the right word, called Orbeez.  When you put them in water, they are supposed to grow. 

My children that range in age from 4 to 9 came inside and grabbed some of their coins.  I stopped them and asked what they were doing.  My 4 year-old announced that one of the neighbor children were selling Arby's.  I know I made a confused look, I may have even went cross-eyed.  He said he was going to go buy some.  At this point, my daughter had already run outside with her money, so I had my husband call her in.  I asked what she was doing.  She told me she was buying Orbeez.  I asked what they were, she explained they are things that grow in water.  The neighbor was selling them for a penny each, I saw no harm, except for the fact that they could spend their money on something useful.

They re-appeared, grabbing zip-loc bags, and other things, filling them with water.  They were watching these things grow.  They don't grow quickly, but they do grow.  They are blue, red, green, and maybe a few other colors. 

My 4 year-old continued to call them Arbys, I would continue to correct him and call them Orbeez.  I never, in a million years, could have guessed what would happen in a few minutes after they were placed in the water.  He started eating them.  He ate at least one, before my sister noticed what was happening.  I don't know what menu item he might have thought it was, but he honestly thought he had Arbys.  This led to a frantic internet search... "ORBEEZ."  I didn't know if I should call Poison Control or not, and if I did, if they would even know what I was talking about.  I really know nothing about the things, at that moment. 

In my search, I found that Orbeez are non-toxic, and will pass through the digestive system.  That is something to be thankful for.  These things look like they could be little candies.  Perhaps they can be mistaken for those little ice cream balls,  I don't know. 

By the next morning, much to the amusement of my two older children, his Orbeez shrunk.  We don't know what might have caused it... maybe they saw what happened to their little friend, and they are trying to disappear?!  (I do know that isn't possible).  We did joke about that though, that my four year-old won that fight.  My older kids couldn't stop laughing for a little while trying to figure out why they would shrink.  Who knows?!

At the end of the day, I think it is very important to distinguish Arbys from Orbeez.  Maybe we should make the trip to Arbys more often, and try all menu items, so there is no chance of confusion!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Baptism of My Eight Year-old - June 2, 2012

June 2nd was my 8 year-old daughter's baptism.  This is a very special day in the life of a child that has been raised in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Children are baptized at the age of 8, because we believe at this age, children start really understanding the difference between right and wrong, and can be held accountable for choices they make.  We believe that we are will be punished for our own sins and not for Adam's transgression, therefore, we don't have children baptized at birth, or shortly thereafter.  We believe that they should be able to choose whether they want to be baptized or not.

My mother gave the talk on baptism at the baptism.  There were 2 other girls baptized the same day.  Mom made a ladder for each of them as a gift to remind them that it is steps that need to be taken to return to our Heavenly Father.  Everyone loved that.  I gave the opening prayer at the baptism.  My dad baptized her and my husband confirmed her a member of the Church.  A family member of the other two girls gave the talk on the Holy Ghost following the baptism.  It was a truly enjoyable talk he gave as well. 

After she was baptized, she changed into the dress that I was baptized in.  She felt like a princess.  It had the faded look that would happen after 30 yrs, so we didn't think it would be appropriate to be baptized in. 

Some of our friends made it to the baptism, and then we had a picnic at a park afterward.  It was so nice to get to visit with them.  It was wonderful to have my parents in town for this special occasion.

I loved seeing the happiness on my daughter's face.  After the baptism, my 4 year-old was telling everyone that his sister had been baptized.  When mom and I brought the two of them to the pool, he was even telling complete strangers.  He has been looking forward to being baptized since his big brother was.  He will be able to make that decision in under 4 years.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

I am thankful for all the soldiers that have given the ultimate sacrifice.  I know that I wouldn't have the freedoms I have today, if there weren't soldiers that have fought for it.  I am grateful for the sacrifice all soldiers have made.  They leave their families and friends and go out and fight for freedoms. 

This morning I woke up, knowing that I had to get a run in.  I haven't run in almost a week, because the longer I put it off during the day, the less likely I am to actually do it.  So, I went in, put on some running clothes and announced I was heading out for a run.  That was when my kids and husband announced that they wanted to go also.  So, it turned into a family event.

My two older children, my husband and I ran 4 miles on May 12 for an event.  It took us 52 minutes, but we did it.  I was proud of my children for doing this.  That was the furthest they had gone.

I ran around 2 1/4 miles today.  It was a nice run.  My daughter ran a little bit with me.  I did a little more than 1 mile pushing my baby in the stroller, then my husband took over pushing the stroller.

I came home and did some work and hung out with my children.  I had to get my sister in Salt Lake so my three youngest kids took the trip down there with me.  On the way back, we stopped at BK, and got $1 smoothies. It was good :)

We spent the evening with some family friends we met when they lived back east.  We all live in this area now.  There were a couple that were visiting from back east as well.  They made shish kebab and grilled it outside.  It was so good!  My oldest son even enjoyed some of the vegetables that were on it.  We have made plans to see them again this Saturday.

We put an offer on a house on Saturday.  I am waiting most patiently to hear anything back.  It is not easy to wait to hear anything. 

We had a great day overall. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

My 8 Year-old Daughter

Eight years ago today I met one of my best friends.  I gave birth to a beautiful little girl 8 years ago today, shortly after noon.  I had gone into labor the night before while I was at work.  I waited to go in and see my doctor until the next day, when she announced I was at 3 cm.  I was ordered to go to the hospital and prepare to have my baby girl.  I had to get my husband from work. 

I picked him up and then we had to figure out who could watch my 13 month-old son while I gave birth.  Since he was a C-section, my baby girl would be born via C-section as well.  I called everyone I knew.  Everyone was at Womens Conference except my visiting teacher.  Although she had a young child herself, she came to the hospital and sat with my son so my husband could be with me. 

She has grown a lot since that day.  She loves to read.  She is an outgoing child with many friends.  She is protective of her brothers.  She reminds me a lot of myself.  Her favorite colors are pink and purple.  She enjoys cooking.  She is still in the beginning stages, but she can make a good bowl of ramen noodles.  She loves those!  On more than one occasion, she has asked for Ramen noodles w/ chicken, corn and peas, as her meal for the week.  She has recently made chocolate chip pancakes (a favorite that her grandma makes), macaroni and cheese, and Rice Krispies treats.  She even prepared the dough for oatmeal cookies one day.  She has developed a love for Food Network.  "Sweet Genius" and "Chopped" rate high on her list of favorite shows.

Tonight we went to an indoor playground and had supper and let the children play.  Saturday was the birthday party.  My two oldest children had their party together, they went to see "Chimpanzee" with their friends.  Needless to say, I didn't get to see much of it, but I am glad the children had a great time!  We got a cake from Costco and I bought ice cream and strawberries from Wal-Mart.  That was a fun day as well.

I am so thankful that my daughter was born 8 years ago.  It was a wonderful day in my life and I thank our Heavenly Father daily for her and my other children.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

It Will Be Like Getting a Shot...

Today I had a great idea, so I thought.  It ended up being one of the worse ideas I've had in my life, I think.  I thought it would be a good idea to get my baby's ears pierced.  I thought it would feel like getting a shot, that it would hurt for a moment and then be over with.  Nope, it was very painful.  Painful to her to have happen, and painful for me to hear and see. 

I keep telling myself, "At least she won't remember it when she is older...."  It doesn't seem to make me feel any better.  I have never heard such a sad cry from a baby.  It is one of those things that I wished there was one person doing each ear at the same time.  She was crying in pain after the first one... and then she had to get the other.  I didn't want her running around with one hole in her ear.

My husband and my sister both pointed out that I could have just had them take the first out and not do the other.  Wish I would have thought of that!  Now she has two holes and two beautiful earrings, but I am sure she wants me to feel her pain.  Every time she has nursed today, he has bit me.  I think I deserve that.  When she gets her first tooth, I think she is going to try to single-handedly pierce her food supply.  I can't say I'd blame her.  My sister pointed out though that once her tooth comes out, it won't bother her much, since she knows the pain of ear piercing.

So, to any one that reads this, and is contemplating having a baby girl's ears pierced.  It isn't like getting a shot.  It is like the most painful thing you could ever imagine happening to a healthy baby girl.  I wouldn't do it again.  I wish I didn't do it this time. I will advise my children not to do it to my granddaughters.  I thought I was doing her a favor so she wouldn't remember it when she was older, but I think she would have taken it a lot better.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Guest of the Day

My sister got a hotel room for us all to go down to on Friday night.  She thought it would be a fun time for the kids to be able to go swimming and meet a friend to go to dinner with.  She was right.

It made the children's day when we got into the room and there was something on the table announcing her as the guest of the day.  There was a small package of Pepperidge Farms Milano cookies, a little ziploc bag of samples and a couple bottles of water.  There were also two bedrooms, a family room/kitchen, a fireplace, two bathrooms, and 3 flat screen televisions.  It was as if we landed in the lap of luxury.  The rooms were beautiful!

The kids went swimming twice.  Once on Friday night and once on Saturday morning before we had to check-out.  They also left their swimsuits at the hotel.  Keith called this morning and thankfully they were still there.  He will pick them up tomorrow before he comes home from work.

We ate at the Chinese Gourmet restaurant.  It was good food and good company.  My children seemed to love the mashed potatoes, shrimp and all-you-can-eat dessert.  I love salad bars.  Perhaps, when dinner costs as much as it does these days, I shouldn't fill up on salad, but it what I prefer.  Nothing like a good salad with a lot of yummy, fresh toppings and ranch dressing to top it off.

It was wonderful to get away for a night.  I tried to work, but the internet connection was too slow, so it was probably meant to be.  I can't deal with slow internet.  We hung out and had a wonderful time. 

Thanks Sis!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Six Months Ago

Six months ago, I gave birth to my little girl.  It is hard for me to believe that it has been 6 months since I was blessed with her in my life.  I am so thankful for the health of all four of my children.

It is amazing how fast they grow up.  They are born being completely dependent on someone they don't even recognize.  She wouldn't have known me from any other woman in the world.  A baby's life literally depends on their family.  At birth, a baby is a spastic, uncoordinated, very flexible person.  There were times she would hit herself in the face, or kick herself in her bootie. My older children found it quite hilarious that she would kick herself.

Today, she knows who I am.  She isn't a fan of me leaving the room, let alone the house, without her.  She will often break out in a full-fledged cry. Perhaps it is because she sees her buffet leaving.  Who knows?  You can already tell that she has an amazing sense of humor.  Sometimes she will laugh so hard that she has to stop to take a breath.  She likes to figure things out too.  Yesterday, my husband came home from work and fell asleep on the couch.  She was in her Bumbo seat sitting next to me.  My husband started to snore, and she was leaning over in his direction just looking at him.  She couldn't figure out what was wrong, or right for that matter, with her daddy, but she certainly wanted to.

My children still love to hold her.  It is the first thing they want to do in the morning when they wake up.  Even if she is still asleep.  I love to see them with her.  You can see complete love in their eyes.  When she is awake, it is reciprocated.  She will sometimes look at them, and they don't know it, and she will just smile so big.  I enjoy seeing her, and my other three children, growing up. 

As a parent, I have always wanted my children to be happy.  For the most part, they always are.  There are definitely those moments when they want something that they don't need, that they aren't too happy when I say no.  There is also chore time which is not always a joyous time.  Those are just small moments, compared to the eternal perspective.  

Life is good :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Running Again

Last week I found a Couch to 5K (C25K) program online.  I had started to feel that I was trying to do too much, too soon.  I guess that I had been driven by pride, trying to get back to those days of running miles at a time.  I had to finally breakdown and admit to myself that I was just overdoing it.  My body was hurting and it just wasn't too much fun.  It was actually quite the opposite... depressing.  I thought that I should be able to run miles at a time in no time flat... since I have run a couple marathons.  It just doesn't work that way.

I asked my daughter if she wanted to do the C25K with me.  Then I asked my 9 year-old son.  My 4 year-old also wanted to join in.  So, I had my crew and they wanted to join in.  My husband also decided that he would like to give it a try.  My sister has a bad knee, so she stays home with my baby.

The plan for running is quite easy, and it is nothing I have done before.  I have never done a walk/run plan.  It seems to be working for all of us.  I don't feel like I am doing more than I should.  I am enjoying the time with my family.  I enjoy being able to share my love of running with them.  My daughter started to show an interest in running with me right before I found out I was pregnant with my baby.  We had gone out running a couple times before that.  I would let her lead the way, she would pace the run. 

I am so excited to be doing this with the children and my husband.  I hope that someday they will be running the long distances with me.  It takes a lot of time and a lot of training, but I would love to have someone running a half-marathon or a marathon with me.  Someone that I can talk to and have motivate me to keep going.  I believe it would go a lot faster with someone beside me.

We are currently in the second week of our nine week program.  I will keep updates on here.