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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

1. My snow boots. Ordered them from Landsend overstock in the early fall- and man have they come in handy- super warm and easy to pull on.

2. My Tahoe. I guess I should say "our" Tahoe- since it is the family vehicle. But seriously- I feel so much safer driving around in all this snow in such a nice, big, snow-worthy car.

3. A warm home. Weather like this will help you appreciate the basics. Brea's fiance Tom is working/studying to be a lineman (one of those power company guys) he said they had to go turn power off on some homes the other day- what a depressing day that was, he explained. I really am thankful we have a roof over our heads and a working furnace!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

1. Girls' night. Jake left with a group of guys to go to the BYU vs UNLV game in Vegas this weekend. With all the snow, and Jake taking the Tahoe I didn't feel much like venturing out by myself. So Josh and Dekker and I holed up here at the house Friday and Saturday. I might have gone nuts except dear Becca (aka Trish) came to hang out with me Saturday night. She brought Kneaders for dinner (yummy!) and we watched Mama Mia and Hairspray! I hadn't seen either. Both were good, but I loved Mama Mia.

2. Josh's Primary performance. Yesterday day at church they had the primary go up and sing two songs as part of the program. Since I'm in senior primary now as a teacher, I walked up there with Josh and all the other kids in both junior and senior primary. Josh was down in front and I was standing about two rows behind him. I started to notice one child's voice practically yelling the words- it wasn't long before I realized it was Josh! He was singing his little heart out, and when he didn't know some of the words he just repeated the ones he did know. I looked out at the audience and realized about 1/2 the congregation was smiling and waving at my son- who was of course waving back. As we were walking back to our seat (way in the back) there were several people who gave Josh "5" and complimented him. When we got back to our row Jake said he could hear Josh all the way in the back. I must have had at least 10 people come up to me and make comments like, "Wow- Josh sure is a performer" or "Josh sure likes to sing" and "What a cute/funny little boy you've got there!". Yeah- my son Josh totally stole the show. I wish I'd had a camcorder because it really was funny.

As a side note, the last time they had a primary performance in sacrament meeting Josh didn't sing a word- although he did do plenty of smiling and thumbs up signing- and because it was an entire program- got tired and fell asleep on his teacher's lap at the end.

3. A new Christmas tradition. Last night Trish introduced us to a new holiday tradition. She brought over Keebler's Grasshopper cookies. We made hot chocolate and she showed us how to bite a little piece off of two sides of the cookie, hold it in your mouth while you dip and then sipt hot cocoa through the cookie and then quickly pull the entire cookie into you mouth where it melts into heavenly goodness. Wow- it is quite the treat. It will definetly be a Christmas time treat for us from now on.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Joshua's Birthday

I am so ever thankful for my firstborn son who was born FOUR YEARS AGO TODAY! I can hardly beleive it. Because he is my oldest I do often expect maybe more than I should from this guy, and sometimes get frustrated when he isn't perfect- but when my perspective is in check I realize what a sweet, smart, helpful little guy he is.

1. Josh is very in tune to people and their emotions. I can still remember when he was not even two yet and he was watching a kids movie, Jake and I were in the next room and first we hear him cracking up at the show and thought that was cute, but then as the mood of the film turned sad we heard him sniffiling- we went out to check and sure enough he was crying. I couldn't believe he was so sensitive at such a young age!

2. Joshua is very smart. He can get on the computer and knows exactly how to navigate to Nickjr.com - his favorite website where he finds games and video clips of all his favorite cartoons. He learns very quickly- from the alphabet to numbers, to his right and lefts and even some navigations ("east is mountain, west is towards the lake and north is up between the two"). He's also good at getting what he wants- never giving up! Jake and I call him the "negotiator" these days because he will NOT let us say "no" to anything- anything he wants, if not possible at the moment is quickly negotiated for later, tomorrow, or we'll see.

3. Josh is also my good helper. He loves to help me put away the silverware, sweep the floor, make dinner and get me this or that. He's also taken on the chores of letting Roxy out and in each morning and evening and making his own bed. Sometimes he needs a reminder, but he doesn't usually complain when he's been reminded- just makes sure to collect his sticker and/or quarter.

I love you Josh!!!!! Thank you for being part of our family.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

1. Snow gear. Yep- got lots of the white stuff the other night. Luckily I'd just finally found waterproof mittens to fit Josh the day before and that completed his snow gear. He went out and litterally rolled around in the snow- and later I went out in my warm snow boots with him. Had to do it while Dekker was taking a nap though since Dex isn't too keen on the whole Jacket and cold weather thing yet.

2. Hot chocolate. Stocked up on a variety of Stephen's flavors at Costco the other day. Love that stuff.

3. Haircuts. Josh and Dekker both had hair hanging in their eyes and so I sat them down and gave them both a cut. Josh's is the shortest its been in a long time- and while I miss the long curls, you still see the waves and he looks pretty handsome. Dekker has the ever popular "bowl cut" still- but at least its not in his eyes anymore.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Perhaps redundant

1. I just posted this on my photo blog- but I'll post it here too. This has been my favorite Christmas song since I first heard it 4 or 5 years ago:

I love the, "Why (I would say How) in all this anger do you fill me up with love?" I love that that is the central point of the song. God's love, even in a world where it seems so impossible. Never thought I'd say Dave Mathews was "inspired" but man- that's what its all about if you ask me!

2. Goodnight moments. Jake and I often argue who has to put which kid to bed, it's often Josh just because he can get out of bed and fight us on the whole process a little more- but the last few nights I've really tried to stop and enjoy bed time with Josh. Once I get him tucked in I lay on his bed and we just talk, sing and give each other face tickles. I love it because Josh will just ramble on through all of his thoughts and its a nice time to just listen to what's happening in that little mind of his. He really is a smart and thoughtful little kid.

3. Christmas cards. Got the bulk of mine out- and I've started getting some in the mail. I love getting all the cards, poems, letters and updates. I look forward to the mail every day now in hopes of getting more.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Christmas Spirit

1. Pandora.com A great site where you can put in an artist or song that you like and it will pull up similar music for you to approve or disapprove and begins tayloring a playlist of favorites for that sound. I'm especially loving this for holiday tunes as of late. Some favorite "stations"? Jewel (holiday), Dave Mathews Band (holiday)(Had to skip the first couple suggestions before it figured out what I was looking for), and my everyday favorite is John Meyer, the Weezer station is pretty good too.

2. Pecan Tassies. My mom makes these for the holidays. I made some for Thanksgiving and they were a hit- also made some for the RS Christmas party last night.

3. The Relief Society Christmas Enrichment activity. They did a really beautiful program. It was really nicely put together.

4. "UWannaPieceThis?" One of Dekker's first full sentances! Last couple of nights during Dad wrestling time with him and Josh he started repeating this- even pointing at you and then himself with a really serious look on his face! So cute to see these boys tackle each other! I was laughing hard.

5. Feeling better. Josh got sick Sunday night and threw up three times. I felt ill the next day- but it was probably just the hangover from cleaning up his messes because this morning I think I must have woke up with the real thing since I felt REALLY ill all morning and finally hung over the toilet for a bit to get myself on the upside. By dinner time food finally sounded good again, and now I'm feeling much more myself.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The last couple of weeks

Since the start of this blog I don't think I've gone so long without a post. The last couple weeks have been busy to say the least- and I'm just now finding the time to recap. There have been some difficult moments the last couple weeks for sure- but with those moments there have also been many blessings and tender mercies.

1. The GRE is done! This is probably the number one reason I have not written on my blog lately. Through all that I've been keeping up with, if there was ever a spare moment I was trying to squeeze in some studying. I've been wanting to post about why I'm doing this and all that- but I think that will have to come with more details in another post. Basically though I'm trying my luck at getting into the CIDE program (under the education department) at BYU for a MA degree. Historically I've never been much of a test taker- and since its been 7 years since I've had to go to school or study, and10 or more since math it was a major review. I didn't have a ton of time, and the time I had was cramped with a lot of activities- but Saturday from 8am to about noon I sat in a testing center and took the test. Didn't do fabulous- but not horrible either. I'm hoping that it'll be enough to not hinder my acceptance into the program since I really don't want to take it again. I'm most thankful that its over. Saturday when I got home I finally took down my fall/thanksgiving decorations and put up some Christmas ones, and even started compiling my Christmas card list and addressing some envelopes. It felt good to have time for things like that.

2. My first time hosting a big Thanksgiving dinner. The only other time I've hosted Thanksgiving was when I was in Guatemala- but I don't really count that because it was just me, Rebecca, and two sister missionaries- and there were no turkeys to be found- so we did whole roasted chickens- and everything was pretty simple (boxed mashed potatoes, gravy mixes, canned corn, etc.) Jakes whole family pretty much came- his mom, brother and sister and law with their daughter, sister brother-and law with their two kids- and then Brea and Tom are already here. Jake's mom did stay with Brea to help ease sleep space and shower times here- but everyone was here during the days. I did all kinds of searching to find the best brine and basting recipes and cooking methods I could. Also searched for the best rated rolls and appetizer ideas. Then of course there was figuring out how to seat everyone in our small dining area and setting the tables to look somewhat festive. It all turned out pretty well. Jake's family helped out of course- preparing the cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, yams, and rolls. It truly was a fest. They are a fun and crazy bunch, and the whole weekend was full of lots of activities- and when we weren't busy I tried to cram in a little studying.

3. My family's surprise visit to town. Unfortunatley it wasn't under the best of circumstances- but it was a neat experience anyway. My mom called me Saturday morning and told me my cousin Eric (age 31) had passed away during the night- What??? About a year ago he was diagnosed with colan cancer- but as far as I knew- though treatments had been difficult- he seemed to be doing okay. She told me that she would be riding back to Utah with my brother Garrett the next day and then ride home with my uncle Mike (who's already left) after the funeral. It worked out well that all of Jake's family left Sunday morning/afternoon so that I could quickly wash sheets and get everything ready for my mom and grandma to stay with me. All of my aunts and uncles came to town for the funeral- and several cousins. It was really neat to see how the whole family came to support my aunt and uncle through the difficult time. There were many tender mercies surrounding the passing- the greatest one being that he had been able to spend Thankgsiving (prepared the meal almost single handedly) with his dad, mom and sister (the only one missing- his brother in Washington. They were sweet moments apparently- him trying to show them how much he loved them and telling them of the dreams he'd been having of grandpa coming to visit him. Though it was still a shock of course to find him Saturday morning- those last moments really did make his passing much easier. They all felt very lucky to have been with him his last few days.

Well- this is a very quick overview- there have been many other fun things as well.
Monday we got our Christmas tree, Thursday we took the boys on the "Polar Express", I got a girls night out to see Twilight and Jake and I went on a date to see the new Bond movie. We had a fun ward Christmas party Saturday evening.

Josh got sick and threw up 3 times last night- but fortunatly seems to be doing better this morning- and though now I'm not feeling too hot- I'm sure we'll all survivie!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Missionary opportunity

It's late and I can't sleep. Got lots of stuff running through my mind- so I figured I'd stop tossing in bed and hash out some of my thoughts.

First, want to share a missionary experience I had the other night. It's pretty cool because in our ward we've been talking about missionary work a lot this month and I've been thinking- how am I gonna find opportunities here?! Well, the Lord answers prayers.

Friday night. Jake's on a young men's camp out and I'm at home with the boys. Just got done cleaning up dinner when I hear a knock at the door. Open the door and see a young guy standing there with the "salesman grin". "Great." I think, "Doesn't he see my NEW 'no soliciting' sign?" but I open the door and he says, "I'm not here to sell you security systems or pest control..." and so I start to listen, but then find out he's really selling me a newspaper, now I'm not a fan of papers (they just pile up and I can get my news for free online) but I don't know if its his pitch about coupons that I'll get and how I can just get the weekend paper and blah, blah, blah, but I agree to the free trial (I'm a sucker). Then he pulls out his pad to collect my information and I'm realizing how cold it is and I'm standing there with the door open, and I remember my days as a missionary and so I say, "Why don't you come in to fill that out so you can warm up and I don't get cold?" He's asked me if I'm LDS and is telling me how I can get the Church news with my trial, and so I've assumed he's LDS too- but as the conversation continues I realize he's not. Some how it come up about how there are so many big families around here and he asks, "Why is that? Is it a religious belief or something?"

Okay here it goes. Don't think I've ever been asked this one before:

"Well, we do believe that God commanded us to mulitply and replenish the earth, and so that is part of it. But I think its for our benefit really; children teach us about love, patience, and selflessness in a way nothing else can- and I believe that that's what Heavenly Father wants- is for us to learn those things."

That was the highlight. I was thinking later that there's a lot more to answering that question- the plan of salvation, the Abrahamic covenant, etc- but I feel that this answer was the one the Spirit wanted me to give. I think most of the time missionary work is about giving simple answers people can understand, and having a positive conversation with them that they can feel good about later when they think about Mormons.

The whole conversation was good. He told me that he was from New York and had come out here randomly to live with an aunt and uncle who told him they'd give him free room and board for a year to get him going in school. He said that he grew up AMISH (wouldn't have guessed it since he was total "imu" style and well, you just don't meet many Amish) and explained that in their society when you turn 18 you are free to choose if you want to stay or leave the community. He chose to go live with a protestant uncle for a while and hasn't been home since, although he's hoping to return to visit soon. He's been living here about 2 years now- and the whole conversation just showed me that just because someone lives here in Utah doesn't mean they already know everything about "the Mormons" and a that sometimes they really do want to know more.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The right stuff

1. New Kids On The Block. Okay- I have to qualify this one. Yes, I went to the NKOTB concert, and yes it was pretty fun, but mostly funny, and NO I did not pay for the tickets! My friend Becca's brother works for SmithTix, and so when she found out the concert was being held on her friend Lisa's birhtday (who I also know from back home in the Kent Stake) she called her brother- who said of course he could hook her up with 6 free tickets, and suite tickets to boot (he can't always get such deals- but this concert wasn't sold out- surprise, surprise). The boys were such sports to go with us. We all went to dinner first, and then to the concert where The Block performed all their own hits with a few new ones thrown in. It was pretty cheesy- but pretty fun too.

2. Tylenol and NyQuil. I've been fighting a cold the last bit- so these are a couple things I'm very grateful for, along with sleep, vitamin C, and lots of liquids.

3. Family and the holidays. Jake and I decided that after last year we were going to try and do both Thanksgiving and Christmas at home from now on. Mostly because it gets harder and harder to travel as the boys get older, we want them to remember Christmas traditions at our home, and traveling is expensive- especially during the holidays. We weren't quite sure what we were going to do for Thanksgiving- because it looked like it was just going to be the 4 of us- then we found out Dot was coming to town to help Brea with wedding plans (have I listed that as a best thing yet??? That Brea is engaged to Tom and they'll be married Feb 7 in the Mt. Timp temple?) and then with a little this and that it just made sense to invite Jakes sister Leah's family and his brother Ricks family to all join us here. I'm of course nervous to host such a big event, but it will be nice to have all the family around- and its given me an excuse to invest in some good cookware, utencils, decorations etc. Fun, fun, fun!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

3 best things

1. A visit from my girls. My laurels came by last night with cookies and a card. They even sang a little "we miss you" song. I got a little teary. The card was so sweet- with a personal note from each of them. Oh how I love those girls! As a side note though, I've received a new calling as a primary worker working with the valient 10 class. I got to meet my new class last week and will begin teaching this Sunday. I'll admit that primary is very foreign to me, and younger kids kinda scare me (even though I have little ones of my own) but I think it will be a great learning experience for me.

2. Made it through a couple of days without Jake again. Jake left Tuesday morning for St. George on business and got back last night. It was really just one night without him- but we still missed him and are glad he made it back safely and had some good meetings while there.

3. Opportunities for Jake. Jake's new calling as young men's president has him learning and worrying a lot. See, Jake grew up in a tiny branch where he was the young men's program. He really never had all the scouting, and young men or youth activities/programs these kids have. I think this will be a great chance to see how it all works and prepare him for when our boys are teenagers, and at the same time give him a chance to have some of those missed experiences now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I've been doing some research.

from Clinical/Therapeutic Issues

Gay Parenting Does Affect Children Differently, Study Finds
-- Authors Believe Gay Parents Have "Some Advantages"
Taking issue with 20 years of research conclusions that say there are no differences, two University of California sociologists recently re-examined data from 21 studies on gay parenting dating back to 1980.

The new study by two University of Southern California sociologists says children with lesbian or gay parents show more empathy for social diversity, are less confined by gender stereotypes, and are probably more likely to explore homosexual activity themselves. Writing in recent issue of the American Sociological Review, the authors say that the emotional health of the two sets of children is essentially the same.

Leaders of national gay-affirming groups said they welcomed the article, according to an Associated Press story. "I'm thrilled that they're tackling these issues," said Aimee Gelnaw, executive director of the Family Pride Coalition, who is a lesbian parent raising two children with her partner. "Of course our kids are going to be different," Gelnaw said. "They're growing up in a different social context."

Openness to Gay Relationships
Met With "Elation"

Kate Kendall, head of the San Francisco-based National Center for Lesbian Rights, also is raising two children with her partner. "There's only one response to a study that children raised by lesbian and gay parents may be somewhat more likely to reject notions of rigid sexual orientation -- that response has to be elation," Kendall said.

But Amy Desai, a policy analyst with the group Focus on the Family, said the new report is alarming in its suggestions that children of gay parents might be more open to homosexual activity. "Kids do best when they have a married mother and a married father," she said.

A Home With No Dad is Better?

The study's co-author, Judith Stacey, is a professor of contemporary gender studies. In addition to pointing out the gender differences in the two groups of children, she states that there are in fact some advantages to an all-female parental team without Dad living in the home: a female couple tends to be more involved in the children's lives and is in greater harmony in terms of parenting approaches.

Among the findings cited by the authors:


1. Compared to the daughters of heterosexual mothers, the daughters of lesbians more frequently dress, play and behave in ways that do not conform to sex-typed cultural norms. They show greater interest in activities with both masculine and feminine qualities. They have higher aspirations to occupations that are not traditionally female.


2. In terms of aggression and play, sons of lesbians behave in less traditionally masculine ways. They are likely to be more nurturing and affectionate than their counterparts in heterosexual families.


3. One study examined by the researchers indicated that a significantly greater proportion of young adult children raised by lesbians had engaged in a same-sex relationship (six of 25 interviewed) than those raised by a heterosexual mother (none of 20 interviewed).


4. Those raised by lesbian mothers were also more likely to consider a homosexual relationship.


5. Teen-age and young adult girls raised by lesbian mothers appear to be more sexually adventurous and less chaste than girls raised by heterosexual mothers. Sons, on the other hand, were somewhat less sexually adventurous and more chaste than boys raised by heterosexuals.


6. The studies indicate that sexual orientation has no measurable effect on the quality of parent-child relationships or on the mental health of children.


"These studies find no significant differences between children of lesbian and heterosexual mothers in anxiety, depression, self-esteem and numerous other measures of social and psychological adjustment," said the authors.


NARTH"s Joseph Nicolosi offered the following comments: "This paper was authored by a professor of gender studies, so it is not surprisingly that the differences on which she focused have to do with a rejection of gender conformity. Indeed, what she found makes sense -- lesbian mothers tend to have a feminizing effect on their sons, and a masculinizing effect on their daughters.


"But the question is, are these differences healthy? More research is needed to understand how a rejection of conventional gender roles can have not just a healthy and expansive, but also a constricting and negative effect on identity and psychological health.


"And despite what many gender researchers claim, research tells us that the absence of a father in the home is not, on balance, good for families."




(Source: The Los Angeles Times, "Professors Take Issue With Gay-Parenting Research," April 27, 2001, and "Report: Kids of Gays More Empathetic," by David Crary, National Writer, Associated Press)


(linke for this article)

It is difficult to argue this issue without beinging in religious beliefs. I thought the brief points made at the end from a pro-traditional family perspective were interesting. It definetly struck me how many of the findings in this article were portrayed as postive- while I found them very negative.

Ultimatly all the points show that children raised in such an environment will move towards and promote similar lifestyles. While they make it seem that this is a good thing because "The studies indicate that sexual orientation has no measurable effect on the quality of parent-child relationships or on the mental health of children", but the problem is that this promotes a lifestyle mimicking a "family" where if such behaviors persist a family is not permitted. I'm sorry- but it comes down to my Christian faith. There is a reason why man/man and women/women relationships do not result in children. God created it that way. This is Satan's subtle ploy to slow/hault God sending more spirits to this earth to receive bodies. I also believe that Satan knows that if he can get one alternative definition of marriage accepted, that there will soon be many more. If we say that marriage is simply a declaration of love can't a pedifile than say, "Well who cares that I'm 50 and she's only 16. We love each other." Wouldn't incestual crimes come forth and say, "but we love each other!". You may say this is a slippery slope argument- but the fact of the matter is that gay and lesbian behaviors were not long ago recognized as just as wrognful acts as these. When we begin to say, "its their choice" we begin to say that society can impose NO NORMS.

Another interesting article on the studies being done in connection to such topics:

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2002/olrdata/jud/rpt/2002-R-0879.htm

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sobering times

I just had a very sobering conversation with my brother Garrett about politics, specifically the war surrounding proposition 8. Despite all that I've heard and read, I am very grateful for:

1. Hope. Garrett reminded me that the very timely general conference that was held at the beginning of October (and was just sent out in the semi-anual conference report issue of the Ensign) repeatedly emphasized HOPE. Though things get rough- we can continue to hope that truth will prevail.

2. Inspired leaders. Our church leader's responses to this issue are humble, yet powerful, understanding, yet unashamed, loving and inspiring. They are great examples of how to respond under such attacks.

3. The big picture. I'm so thankful that I have a vision of what God's plan is for us- that I know why morals and values are important. Agency WITH accountability have been the two principles that keep coming to my mind over and over. It is not easy to defend moral issues, but a believe that our government asks us to do so because we know that as a majority we CAN choose what will strengthen our society and nation. We must not let the minority disrupt the safety of the majority.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A season of thanks

1. Ashlee's comment. It was a great compliment to hear that Ashlee took the time to read my thoughts on politics. Ashlee, please feel free to read my blog anytime. I've also checked out yours here and there! After you're comment I went back and read what I wrote. It certainly would need a little more thought and editing, but its nice to know someone thinks my thoughts are valid (especially because right now I'm preparing to take the GRE and have been questioning my ability to think and write critically anymore- hanging out at home with a couple kids all day can do that to you). Anyway, I really appreciated the comment.

2. A girls' outing. Tonight Jake and are going to a "black tie" charity event that his business partner Lou bought us all tickets to. I just found out about it Thursday, and so Saturday Becca went shopping with me to try and put together a suitable outfit. Shopping can be exhausting- but it was nice to have a girl with me (and no kids) in order to get it done. I walked away with FABULOUS patten (sp?) leather red shoes, some jewelry, fun hose, and a super cute dress. When putting it on at home I decided it might not be quite dressy enough- so I may just wear the shoes with a black pencil skirt and a silk red top that I already own- but the other stuff will be kept and worn regardless of what I decide.

3. Funny Josh moments at church. There were a couple of good ones yesterday! Dekker was sitting on Jake's lap, and Josh was sitting right next to them during the beginning of sacrament meeting. When Dekker "let one go", Josh snickered and said outloud, "Oops. That was my Dad!" Jake's response? "Josh, I can't believe you'd sell me out like that- and it wasn't even me!" Towards the end of sacrament meeting Josh started wiggling in his seat saying, "Mom, I gotta go pee!" I was trying to move all our stuff to clear a path for us to get out as he repeated this and then finally said, "MOM- I'M DOING THE PEE-PEE DANCE!" I laughed out loud! A lot of the time when Josh has to go, but doesn't want to he'll start dancing around and so we'll ask "Josh- do you need to go to the bathroom? It looks like you're doing the pee-pee dance." But this is the first time Josh has ever made reference to it.

-------

Last night when I was laying in bed I was thinking of TONS of things I wanted to write in my thank you blog, but alas this morning it seems most of them are escaping me... oh well. Guess that's what I get for not writing them down then.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Voting and a couple other things

1. The right to vote. Election day has come and gone. While the candidate I voted for did not win, it truly has been an historic election year. I do think it is neat that an African American can win a presidential race- I just wish I agreed more with his policies. I do have hope though that he, as an american president, will have our best interest at heart, and I do pray that our government so wisely set up the way it was with its different checks and balances will move out nation in a postive direction. I do not believe in magical "cure alls" or quick fixes, especially when it comes to such giant issues as war, health care, and the economy. I will not blame the adminstration if things are not transformed and perfect immediatly. I will however continue to do my part. To vote and have my voice heard when possible. To act as I feel as an honest moral person should.

Jake and I were talking last night and he was saying how important it is to stay positive as a country, and to support our president. I see his point, and like I said- I will do my best to stay positive and supportive- but I have to say I am somewhat fearful. I'm not fearful of Obama. I am fearful of a what I would call "consumer society" which more and more seems to want to "buy" security and freedom. They say they want good education, and so they tell the government to fix it. They say we need to pay our teachers more, but dont get involved enough to say which teacher really deserve that and trust the government to know better than them how to distribute it. They say we need affordable health care for everyone, and so tell the government to fix it and then go on living unhealthy, overmedicated lives. They do not think about the fact that the money for such programs has to come from somewhere, and so say that at the same time government must cut and lower taxes. They think that by voting for a certain candidate they are "buying" all these promises. They say that these are the "important issues" but when it comes time for them to pay for it they complain. They get upset when dishonesty in politics or Wall Street causes problems- but are we not all responsible for who we put in charge? The kind of people we raise up and then turn a blind eye to what they are doing....

Okay, okay. I'm using the word "they" quite a bit. And that is where the problem all begins. We cannot buy politicians to fix our nation and problems. We elect officials to represent us, not to do it all themeselves. If we are not informed, if we do not pay heed then we are the ones that we must blame. I think its really easy to say that there should be more money in education, that health should cost us less (but still maintain our current lifestyles), and that we should stop spending money to protect this country that provides us with all this stuff, and oh- by the way stop asking me to contribute to the cause (taxes)- and you'd better use any money I do give you wisely even thoug I won't pay that much attention- and if you don't I'll get really upset. Instead let us vote for officials who will protect out land and our people, and really consider what else they can truly do better than we can as individuals or even communities. If we think education is important, why don't we get more involved and pay for what we think is important? If we think that the elderly and poor or unhealthy need affordable care- why don't we reach out to our family and neighbors in such situations and lend them a hand? If we think there should be more honesty on Wall Street why don't we start being more honest with ourselves on what we really can afford? And are we really ready to say we will sit in our own homes and houses and expect protection while not trying to fight for freedoms in lands where ours, or others freedoms are being threatened? Can we really expect to continue to live a life of peace and abundance without having to fight for it once in a while?

These thoughts are extreme I know. I really AM thankful to hear that we had such an historical turn out for voting this year. Perhaps that is a sign that people are willing to stop and listen, to educate themselves and cast their vote. I just PRAY that it is not because people went to the polls thinking that if I vote for the right candidate than I can buy all that I want and not do anything else. If we really want "change" and "hope" than we've got to start with ourselves and stop expecting "the government" to fix things. THE GOVERNMENT REPRESENTS US- WE ARE THE PEOPLE- WE MUST ACTIVELY TAKE PART.

2. Freedom of speech? Thanks for letting me get on my soapbox.

3. The USA. I really am gratefull for the country we live in, I think the freedoms and morals this country were founded on are truly inspired. And I do believe that if we remember our individual responsibilities that we can do great things.

Monday, November 3, 2008

1. Jake is home! Jake left Friday morning to go visit his high school friends in Colorado for the weekend. He tries to do it once a year. This year he decided to go this weekend since the BYU/CSU game was on Saturday. He had a good, safe trip- but the boys and I missed him very much. It's nice to have him home. Even though I'm home most of the day without him, it really is nice to look forward to his company in the evening, and certainly I realize all the more JUST HOW MUCH he helps on the weekends.

2. "Tick or Treat'n". This is what Josh said as he went house to house instead of "Trick or treat" I guess because all day long I'd been asking him if he was excited to go trick or treat'n!

3. Relief Society. Because I was released from young women's I went to Relief Society for the first time in a very long time on Sunday. I have to admit it felt a little strange at first- but the sisters are very kind and it wasn't long before I felt the Spirit and once again part of this great sisterhood.

4. Treats??? We didn't have as many trick or treaters as I'd expected, and of course Dekker and Josh got quite the stash of goods- and so now we have lots of treats around. I'm not quite sure if I should be thankful for these constant temptations- but they sure do taste good!

5. Aunt Trish. She came to help/keep me and the boys company Halloween night, and also came over early on Sunday to help prepare the Sunday meal. Always a good friend and sweetheart!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Halloween time!

1. Carvin pumpkins last night with the boys. Always fun!

2. Glad I'm wrong sometimes. Along with the pumpkins carving... I wasn't too sure about Josh having his OWN pumpking to draw on and carve- but Jake said, "Aw- let him have at it. At least let him draw on it and I'll help him carve it!" So we did- and Josh's pumpkin is my favorite! When I realized I hadn't bought candles to light the pumpkins Josh said, "It's okay Mom. We can use these.." and ran to the kitchen drawer and pulled out some birthday candles. I, laughing said, "Thanks Josh- but I don't think those will work." Jake, again the hero said he could make them work- and found a way to secure them in the pumpkins and make them last long enough to do our test lighting ceremony and pictures! I guess its a good thing I'm not always right!

3. Cornbelly's with the Barrands. We had lots of fun. We ate all the fried foods we could (corn dogs, PB&Js, pickles, fries- and yes the PB&Js were the best!) and ran from activity to activity until it got too cold and dark for more.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Busy is good

It's not because I don't have much to be thanful for that I haven't written as much lately. In fact, it's quite the opposite. We have so many things that we are thankful for keeping us so busy that I just haven't sat down to write as much. Still, not a great excuse perhaps, but it is an excuse.

1. Rick's medical school interview. Rick's interview at UofU brought him, his wife, and McKyla for a two-night visit this week! He felt that it went really well- which is a huge blessing since its one of his top picks (his other being University of Washington).

2. Saturday. Jake made the huge sacrifice of staying home where he could only listen to the game so that he could use the beautiful fall day to get some needed fall chores done. He greased up our garage door (which always gives us problems when the weather turns cold) and cleaned out the gutter (we haven't done that since we moved in more than 3 years ago!). Later that evening we went to the mall to get him some needed new church clothes to go along with his new calling.

3. Bitter sweet goodbyes. Sunday I taught my last laurels lesson. I was released, and the new advisor called. The girls were all so sweet, saying how much they'd miss me. I will also miss them very much! It was neat though, because this last week I was thinking about who I would pick to replace me if I could; who would I feel good about leaving "my girls" with? Vikki Gonzalez, the mother of one of my Laurels who graduated this last Spring just kept coming into my mind and I was thinking she would do such a great job. Guess who was called on Sunday?! I met with her this morning to pass on the manuals, binder, and go over some of the basics and she is such a sweetheart! The girls are going to love her.

A few of my favorite new things:




My mom very nicely reminded me that I haven't posted a lot of pictures lately on either blog. So today I took pictures of the new fence as well as a few other things that are new and on my favorites list these days:
My KSL leather loveseat find that I mentioned a while back, my new Autumn wreath, and my new boots!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Full of love

That's how I've been feeling lately! Especially towards my sweet household of boys. I don't care what the world says- I AM TRULY RICH!

1. "Way, way more than you know!". For a very long time Jake and I have been telling Josh that we love him SOOOOO much. It was all we could think of to try and express that overwhelming love a parent feels for their child. Well, I little while back one of Josh's favorite books became "I love you so" (by Marianne Richmond) and it starts out; "I love you." "How much?" "SO much." "How much is 'so'?" " WAY,WAY, MORE than you know..." Now one of the things I love about our home is that the words "I love you" are heard OFTEN, but I love it that the "Way, way more than you know" is usually added on to every exchange lately as well. Josh is just a big sweetheart.

2. My body as a train track. I must have spent at least 20 minutes lying on the living room floor last night while Dekker conducted a train car up my arms, down my legs, across my back and then up and down the other side. He can drive cars and trains around like that for a long time and be self entertained- but it was fun to be LITERALLY part of his game- and it was kind of a nice massage at the same time!

3. A wise husband. Well, as we all know- our nation and world is going through a bit of a financial crisis as of late. I think most of us on a day to day basis don't feel the full impact of it. Several people have asked me if Jake (and referring to his work) have seen the crisis impacting them. I always respond that fortunatly though they have seen several of their clients have to downsize (and that therefore cuts back on the payroll/health insurance Magellan processes per client) they've also had enough new clients and growth in other sectors to offset it. However, yesterday Jake came home a little discouraged as they lost two major clients completly. He was telling me about the frustrating details, but then later very wisely said, "I don't want to sound negative. It's not as if even these losses will have a major effect on us- but it is very comforting to know that we live so frugally, that were it necessary, we could take a pay cut and be okay." We then talked about our responsibility to continue to "prepare every needful thing", and how blessed we are to be in circumstances where we could help our "neighbors" were the need there. I'm so thankful to be a member of the LDS faith, where we have inspired leaders who have forwarned us of times such as these, and who continue to give us guidence that brings our home peace and order dispite worldly turmoil- and so thankful for a husband who follows such council.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It's been a bit.

1. Cousin night at the Dixon home. We haven't had "cousin nights" as often as we used to- guess that's what happens as everyone has more kids and busier schedules. It was fun though as we all brought a different course for the fondue night- and the kids wore their costumes while running around playing together.

2. Jake's new calling. Jake was called as the Young Men's President yesterday! He's nervous and excited. I'm excited for him- but sad that this means I'll be released from my calling with the young women (with 2 little ones we can't BOTH be at Wednesday night activities very easily) but that was probably coming anyway since I've been in there over 3 years now. It is kinda funny though because Jake has been wanting to work with the youth. When he was in meetings and they started talking about upcoming changes in the young men's he was secretly hoping he might get moved there. He even felt a little guilty when his name was mentioned by one of the counciler's and the Bishop said, "But Brother Runyan is a bit too much of need here as the executive secretary" and Jake responded jokingly; "Aw, I could do both." He felt guilty because he didn't want to "vie" for a position. He mostly just wanted the Bishop to know he wouldn't feel hurt if he was released as exec. secretary and he really just wanted to be one of the councilors in the YM presidency, or one of the advisors- but I guess you'd better be careful what you wish for! Though he's a little shocked and nervous- he's excited and a little grateful to have a change (he's had all administrative callings since his mission).

3. Beautiful weather. We've had gorgeous fall weather lately. Cool evenings and mornings with sunny warm afternoons. It's supposed to get cooler again this week (we did have snow one morning already) and so I figure I'd better be thankful for the warm fall days we have had.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's been a good day

Nothing spectacular- but its just been nice.

1. Getting errands done. I have an hour and a half twice a week while Josh in preschool to go and run little errands and only have to worry about unloading, hauling around, and reloding ONE kid instead of two. Plus it gives me a little one on one time with Dekker.

2. New fence going in. Saturday we tore down our old cedar fence along the back (which bumps up agains a pretty busy road) and this week we're having a cement fence put in. We're starting to get an idea of what its going to look like and it'll be such a huge improvement! Not only will it look nicer, but it will be safer (protect agains any cars that might go off the road), and should help absorb some of the traffic noise.

3. My FHE lesson. We did FHE tonight instead of last night because last night we had people over for "family dinner" since Sunday we went over to the Barrand's for dinner. I was proud of myself because I actually prepared a pretty good lesson. We've been really trying to make it more meaningful, yet still fun for Josh lately. Tonight we talked about working as a family to keep a house of order. I cut out pictures of each of us and put them in columns on a white board. Than I cut out pictures to represent some of our different jobs (Jaime- dinners, laundry, grocery shopping etc. Jake- working/earning money, fixing things with tools, taking out the trash etc. Josh- Letting Roxy out each morning, making his bed, putting toys away. Dekker- learning to take care of toys, saying prayers, learning to share.) Josh would help decide who the task primarily belonged to and then stick it in their column. Then we talked about fulfilling our tasks and helping others with theirs and how this is how we help keep a house of order. Josh liked and seemed to get something out of it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Last night

1. WEEZER CONCERT!!! I haven't been to a concert for a long time- but Jake bought tickets to last nights Weezer concert at the E-center and it was SO MUCH FUN! They were very entertaining, and played a good mix of old favorites and stuff from their new Red Album.

2. Pizzaria 712. I heard about this new restaurant in Orem and wanted to check it out. they have a very simple menu- but all the ingredients and flavors are wonderful for making delicious traditional style pizzas and such. It was very tasty and had a very cool atmosphere.

3. Charity. What else can you say when Tio comes and watches the boys for the evening? Feeds them dinner, plays with them, puts them to bed, and does it all for free just because he likes spending time with his "nephews". How very kind!

Friday, October 3, 2008

1. Berry picking. Thursday afternoon I took the boys to a farm in Payson to pick berries. If you pick your own fruit, they let you buy it at a discount. We picked lots of raspberries and some blackberries. I had to pay a little extra though since Dekker just ran around picking and then eating the berries. It was fun.

2. Mission reunion. Tonight Jake and I went to our mission reunion (yes we served in the same mission, NO WE DID NOT MEET IN THE MISSION). It was with the president that I only served under for 6 months- so I didn't know a ton of people there- but it was still fun to see President Christensen and his family and a few familiar faces.

3. Temple mornings. I've set a goal to attend the temple weekly again- and with our busy schedule that means that most weeks it's an EARLY morning session while Jake and the boys are still in bed. It's been really nice to start off my day once a week within those quiet, sacred walls!

As a side note- when I got home from the temple this morning Josh was up, and seeing me come in with a skirt on said, "Mom, where did you go?" When I answered, "To the temple." He asked, "Did you get married?" I had to laugh. I mean, I guess its good that he knows that people get married in temples- but it makes me wonder if he's thought that Jake and I are getting married every time we go to the temple.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

1. Family photos?! It had been a busy day and both kids had crashed out in the car on the way home from running errands, and so I had to wake them BOTH up to get ready and go take pictures- so needless to say they weren't feeling too cooperative. It WAS beautiful up the canyon though- and Brea was such the good photographer and actually got some usable shots. You can check out some of the funny but cute mishaps on our photo page.

2. The gym daycare. Okay so I have a hard time getting my bum out of bed for the early morning classes at the gym- but I don't have a VIP pass so I didn't really want to pay extra money to take the kids to the dacare there- but Jake's been bugging me to find out if I can just use his VIP pass for the daycare- and guess what?! They do. We don't both have to have one- they just need one VIP ID number to register the kids under and I can be the secondary person on the daycare account! So I've already gone twice this week. The kids love it, and I feel great! Its so nice because before I was trying to make the evening classes- but our evenings always get busy too- so I was only making it to the gym once a week.

3. A small Runyan gathering. Rick (aka "Ditch"- jake's brother) is applying to medical schools. They're living in Idaho right now, and last night drove down to stay the night with us before flying out of the Salt Lake airport this morning to go to one of his interviews. Brea's birthday is tomorrow so we all got together last night and went to Wingers for dinner.

Monday, September 29, 2008

1. Fall. We drove up the canyon yesterday before church to appreciate God's creations (a.k.a let Josh and Dekker get all their wiggles out). It really was beautiful seeing all the trees starting to turn color.

2. Yummy Sunday dinner. The menu last night was pulled bbq beef sandwiches, corn on the cob, and baked potatoes. For dessert- warm peach cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream!

3. Visiting with the Barrands. Our good friend Bryce recently had a herniated disc operation and so he's really out of commission for the next couple weeks. Saturday we took him season one of Lost and some zucchini muffins. We sat and visited with the till pretty late just swapping stories. It was fun.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

1. Chelsea Newsome. One of my newer Laurels. She's always chatting with me and complimenting me. Last night we went to the BYU annimation studio for a little presentation from the professor over that department (and it was very cool). I drove the girls and on the way back and this was an exchange between Chelsea and I:
"Sister Runyan's cool cause it was only like 5 years ago that she graduated from high school!"
"I WISH!"
"Well, I can't be too far off... how old are you 25? 26?"
"Oh Chelsea, I love you! I celebrated my 30th birthday this year!"
"No way! I would never have guessed you to be older than 26!"
How sweet is that?!

2. Neighbors. Angela drove me to pick up my car from the body shop (we had a softball dent that had been fixed, and the rim around the wheel well wasn't staying on right after the repair) while Jessica watched her, Angela's, and my kids. Then later Jake's softball games and my young women activities overlapped by a little bit and so Amy Adams watched the boys for about a 1/2 hour and last minute notice. Thank you for such a kind neighborhood!!!

3. Dark chocolate peanut butter. Jessica told me about this find from Target. Very tasty and less sugar, calories, and sodium than your standard Skippy or Jiff!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

1. Rachel. I taught Rachel when she was a laurel. Even though she's been graduated for more than a year now she still keeps in touch with me. She called me the other day to let me know her grandfather had passed away, and then when she got into town (from Cedar City where she's going to school) she came by to hang out with me and the boys for a while. She's become a woman of great faith, and is a good friend.

2. KSL finds. I got a cool, armless, leather love seat for $100 the other day- brand new! I moved my black hope chest upstairs to serve as a seating bench when needed- and I set up the love seat where it was for more comfortable extra seating downstairs for those often times when we have several people over to watch a game/movie/etc.

3. Prayer and inspiration. I've been getting subtle answers and guidance lately that has been very needed and very appreciated. It pays to look and listen.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Costa Rica Notes

This is more for myself for future reference... but I post it here in case anyone else is interested.

Rental car- would have waited to use a rental car until after leaving SanJose. While driving in Costa Rica was definetly an adventure, it was nice to come and go as we pleased and not have to always worry about finding a taxi, or catching a bus.

Transportation in general- Would maybe look into Nature's Air flights to the major destinations and just rented a car/moped once in the area. The distances weren't all that far, but driving took forever since the roads are so narrow and turning. I was hesitant about small plans in a different country- but they actually looked pretty reputable.

Hotels- Definetly stay in a hotel closer to the airport (I hadn't realize the airport was 15-20 minutes from SanJose even though its called the SanJose airport. And it would have been really nice to just have a shuttle service to/from the airport. When traveling in the green season (not as busy) it might have been better to not have reservations to allow for more flexibility- to instead have a list of a few reputable hotels in our price range and just check in/out as we pleased. Although it was reassuring to know my mom knew where/when we'd be places so that she could get in touch with us in an emergency. Definitely loved LaPosada at Manuel Antonio and would stay there again in a heartbeat!!! Would stay closer to the volcano and more outside of LaFortuna if returning to the Arenal area (I picked a hotel in LaFortuna thinking it'd be good to be close to everything- but everything we wanted to do was closer to the volcano).

Food- I did pick hotels that included a breakfast, which was good and I would do again. But I would also make sure they had refrigerators (most did anyway) and would go to the store and buy basic things to make lunches to save on costs, especially since the food was not only expensive, but not very good. I would also have looked up reviews on restaurants in the areas we were visiting in advance- so we might have increased our odds on a good experience/cost.

Money- For Costa Rica we found no need to change money at a bank. Most all the restaurants, and certainly hotels and tourist attractions/activities took credit cards. Where we used cash we could almost always use dollars, and got back change in colones that we could use where we needed local denominations.

Catching up

1. Costa Rica obviously. Check out the photo blog for a run down. So much fun. Missed the boys, but it really was a treat to just be with Jake. We enjoyed sleeping, coming and going as we pleased. Arenal Area was fun. Hot springs AMAZING, and the zipline- very cool. We both could have spent more time in Manuel Antonio. Beautiful beach, hip town, cool vibe, and better food. So many funny memories too- Jake's scary face, our laughable rental car, "pura vida" cheesiness, and Jake almost getting eaten by a large fish while body boarding.

2. Being home. While the trip was fabulous- its always nice to return home. I have just been loving and appreciating Josh and Dekker so much the past few days. Little moments that just melt my heart.... like yesterday morning when I came downstairs and found them both sitting on the kitchen floor with a box of cereal- just taking turns dipping their hands in for a treat. Or the way Dekker is always pretending to say goodbye and then to return overjoyed as if he hasn't seen me in days.

3. Family time. Friday night we had a family jam and dance session in our room. We were all singing, dancing and playing instruments- it was pretty fun. Saturday morning we went to the Lehi pool with the Barrands. THANK YOU Barrands for introducing us to such a fun, kid-friendly pool! We had a blast.

4. Peaches!!! Peaches came on while we were gone and my sweet Mom canned peaches, made freezer jam, and baked peach pies and such as well as accumulated a pile for me to use... I made my own creation of oat/peach muffins, which we topped with homemade (and light, yet incredibly delicious) peach ice cream, and then a little caramel sauce. Everyone raved. I was graciously pleased.

5. Too many to count. I really have felt overwhelmed with blessings lately... I just can't even begin to list them all. This is just the briefest of overviews. Maybe now I can get back into the habit of writing them!

Monday, September 8, 2008

1. Stake regional conference. I particularly liked Elder Jensen's remarks.

2. Mere Christianity. I'm reading this for the second time- with Jake this time (it being his first time through it). C.S. Lewis just has a remarkable way of placing things in perspective and explaining what could be complicated, very simply.

3. Park City with the Bush family. They had access to a condo and invited us to join them playing in the pool and such. It was a fun little escape. Best of all their kids shared their "floaties" with Josh- and Josh LOVED them- he totally felt safe just floating and kicking around the pool by himself (us watching from nearby of course) but he did great!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Randomness after some major slacking

I've been really bad about this blog lately. Just hasn't been a priority I guess. Sorry.

1. Garrett's Birthday. This was this last Sunday. As per his request I made green curry with chicken, sweet potatoes, etc. over rice. I make this more often in the winter- and withe the cool weather that blew in that afternoon it was a tasty meal. Garrett also admitted to not being the biggest fan of frosting loaded birthday cake (understandable) so I made and apples crisp that we topped with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel topping. MMMMMM! lots of things to be grateful for on that day- not only did we enjoy great food, but celebrated the birth of one very cool young man. Seriously, Garrett is a very real and naturally cool cat (which I mean in a good way, despite the fact that I despise real cats).

2. Family drives. Monday was labor day- and absolutely horrible weather- cold, windy, rainy and all. To top it off Josh woke up 3 times during the night before throwing up- so made us extra hesitant to expose others to him on Moday. What do you do? Pack snacks and cartoons for the kids and hop in the car for some cruising. We drove around our favorite neighborhoods in Pleasant Grove looking at real estate (as much as we try to stay committed to this house we can't help but look). Our thoughts as of late are actually turning to finding a building lot that we can pay down as well as our current home over the next 3-5 years and then build on.... Land prices have gone way down so it could be a good investment?!? Then we drove out to Midway- ahhh so beautiful and found some actually conceivably affordable lots in our favorite neighborhood there.... hmmm.... something to think about. And then had a late lunch at our very faborite Mexican restaurant Tahahumara before heading home.

3. Dekker's latest facination with shoes and lines. Lately Dekker is always pulling out shoes and putting them on. His, which are the right size, are too hard for him to get on though, so after pulling out and going through all of HIS, I then find him pulling out mine, or Josh and walking around with them on (usually different ones from different pairs on each foot). He also loves forming lines these days- often with shoes, or trains, or toys... Hope that's not a sign of OCD??? In any case, both things never cease to make me snicker.

4. KSL. I know many who are a fan of creigslist- but here at least I prefer the much better, and free classifieds listing on KSL. You can post and browse listings for free, and they have pictures and are more easily searched/sorted. This week I found a battery powered riding GO DIEGO GO! Jeep. Asking price $60 and I got it for $50. It was just up the road in PG and Josh loves it- so do all the neighbor kids- which is good because before Alexis was the only one with motorized power and it was passed around a lot. Now there are two to share in our cul-de-sac of fun!

5. Vacation planning. Our Costa Rica trip is coming up quick (next Thursday!!!) So I've been busy pulling together the last of the details. Pretty exciting!!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

1. Yoga on Thursday. With vacations, guests, and the rest I haven't been to yoga for way too long. Thursday was a GREAT class!!! It just makes me feel so much better.

2. First official day of preschool. Josh loved it.

3. Golfing with a pro. So Jake is pretty much a pro golfer these days- and me? Well, I've never even completed 9 holes. Last night we took the last tee time at Cascade Golf course (where Jake has a corporate pass) and had a fun time. I still didn't complete 9 holes (we were too slow to beat the sunset), but Jake was so patient with me and very complimentary of my efforts. He's a pretty good teacher too. I actually think golf is a lot of fun- I just need a lot more practice!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Yikes!

I have been not too great at keeping up with my blog lately!

1. Zucchini. It's kinda gone nuts in my garden- but that's okay- I've been finding all kinds of new recipes and ways to use it. It really is versatile- it goes in pastas, casseroles, muffins and breads- even brownies! And it tastes good in all of them!

2. Preschool! I CAN NOT believe "my Joshers" is starting preschool! Yesterday was the open house and tomorrow is his first official day. His teacher is a woman from our stake just a few blocks away who has been doing this for 18 years. She is SO SWEET with the kids and Josh is ubber excited. It's only 1 1/2 hours Tuesdays and Thursdays- but it still makes me sigh and think "my little boy is growing up". I am looking forward to time for running errands with only one little one to tote around.

3. A jewelry party?! My cousin Kate sells LiaSofia jewelry. I've dodged all her invitations to host a party for a while- but finally caved in. I'll confess I did it only as a favor- and they're really not my thing- BUT it WAS fun to have a "girls night". Very cool that my friend Sonnet who lives in South Jordan came down with a friend for it- she's lived here in Utah for 5 months and this is the first time I was able to see her- it was good to catch up and decide we need to get together more often. My friend Heather who I haven't seen much this summer (life just gets crazy) came too- and she is such a crack up. So it was actually pretty fun- and I got a cute free bracelet out of it.

4. A great day on the lake. Saturday we went boating with a coupla friends (we try to rotate through a list of people who we know like to go). I always worry about going on Saturdays because it seems like the lake can get really busy and choppy- but it was beautiful! I don't know if its just because all the snow is melted- or if they actually slowed/closed a dam that runs into the lake but it was much more flat. There were a lot of boats- but besides a few rollers it was really nice. The weather was not too hot and the water was the perfect temperature. I actually skied - (most of the time I just wakeboard cause the water isn't nice enough for skiing).

5. Garrett! He's back in Utah- and while we miss Karina terribly (she left for her internship at Disneyworld) its good to have Garrett back. He's such a cool "kid". I love that he can chat it up about all that's going on with him!

6. Land of a Hundred Wonders. I finished this book last week. It was a fun and entertaining read. Not too addicting- but not boring either.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

1. Catching up with laundry- yep one more load and I'll be caught up!

2. Boating with my Laurels. We took six of my eight laurels (the 16-18 year old girls that I teach at church) out on the boat last night. It was such a blast. These girls were all pretty gutsy out on the tube and the wakeboard. They were seriously so much fun. I love those girls to death. Jake even said how impressed he was with them- not just for all being "gutsy" but because they were all so kind and fun- not pettiness or cattiness. I'm so lucky to get to know these girls.

3. Education week and BYY mint brownies. Jake's Dad and stepmom are staying with us this week while they go to education week. Its fun to get a report every night on the highlights of the classes they attended- oh and the brownies they brought us home last night were pretty divine as well.

4. My sister Karina's adventures. My sister Karina just got to Florida yesterday to start her internship at Disneyworld. She seems to be loving it so far. It's exciting to watch her go through such a fun adventure!

5. Blessings for friends. My friend Becca, who's been staying with us this summer is staying at another friend's house this week while Jake's dad is here. She called last night though to tell us that she's found a room to rent starting in September. Becca's been such fun to have around that we really will miss her! She's always so helpful with the boys, and she's a great one to have around when I need "girl time"- yet we knew this was temporary. Luckily she won't be too far away- just a few minutes away in Lehi. I'm excited for her because I could tell she really felt good about the house, roommate, and location that she found!

6. Josh's curls. I just LOVE Josh's "surfer" curls. Now that his hair is longer and it shows off his curls more he gets compliments all the time. Of course, with longer hair it can get pretty crazy looking too- but I think its adorable. I've wanted to grow out his hair for a long time- but when he was younger his finer hair would just get too frowy and tangled- but now that its thicker it grows out better.

Monday, August 18, 2008

1. A great trip to Colorado for the anual "Run-hardt" reunion. See photo blog for a quick overview.

2. To be home. It was a fun trip- but we all sleep much better in our own beds, rooms, and when following a regular routine.

3. Car rides that go relatively well. We had the Tahoe packed to capacity, all three kids in the backseat. The kids had fun and were mostly good to each other and to their parents. I think back to our family trips when I was young in an old station wagon that would over heat, or in a big suburban with no AC- an somehow those are great memories for me. I guess its true that family time simply is good times. I don't know how my parents did it though!

4. Lots of love for my little ones. Its so fun to be around so many people who love your kids- honestly- is there anything better than having everyone tell you how cute your kids are?! And not just tell you, but scoop them up to go and play with them in the toy loft, on the trampoline, or push them on the swings?! Only problem is, now my kids are used to having someone to play with them and give them one on one attention all the time!

5. My kids still love me. Okay, so its kinda silly, but I was secretly SO THRILLED that despite there being tons of people around to love them and kiss them- when my boys got bumps, owies, or were just a little extra sleepy or sad they still came running to ME! That's the best thing about being Mom- they really do love you most, and I KNOW its because they know that I too love them even more than all the rest.

6. White water rafting. People come from all over to go to Jake's home town for white water rafting- but even though we've been to Buena Vista tons of times it was not till this trip that I was finally able to take the wild trip. The river was actually much lower and therefore slower- but though not incredibly fast it required more guiding technique and still held some big surprises/splashes. It was lots of fun.

7. Skydiving crazies. Becca and I stayed home with the kids while everyone else went skydiving. They came back with crazy stories and videos. They tried to tell me that I would love it and should try it sometime- but while I'm so glad they all had fun- it just isn't appealing to me at all for some reason.

8. The Monkey Head. So at these reunions we have all kinds of competitions that you get different points for- whichever team wins takes home a wood monkey head that they have to put on display in their home for the next year. This was our first year winning the first place title!

9. Bunko, Sequence, mafia, Cards. Just some of the games we played to keep us entertained when it was raining or between activities.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

1. The Olympics. Jake and I watched part of the opening ceremonies last night. With all the bad stuff you hear in the news all the time, and with all the troubles that go on in the world- its pretty cool to see the world come together and celebrate greatness! And WOW- you forget just HOW MANY countries and people there are in this world.... it gets my travel bug revving. *sigh* It is cool to think that Jake and I MIGHT get to go to see Beijing at the beginning of next year though (if Magellan signs on enough new business for certain health car provider they pay for the airfare and accommodation!

2. Disney Movie Club. I decided to sign up for this and finally start building our kid movie collection a little more (I was planning for our upcoming road trip to Colorado- and figured I might as well get a few movies for less at an attempt to keep the boys entertained). Today we got all of our "free" ones plus a discounted one. I broke my own rule and pulled out Tarzan tonight for us to watch. The music in that is SO great- which is probably what led to....

3. Our family jam session. After the movie we had about an hour to kill to bedtime. Josh recently got a new toy guitar that is pretty dang cool. So when I suggested Josh go find it so we could play with it, he came up with a better idea! He found not only his guitar, but his toy drum, microphone, and keyboard too. We each took turns with our instruments and rocked out together. Dekker was even bobbing his head! It sounded horrible of course- but WE had fun!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I started this book on Monday and finished it today. I'll be glad to have my life back! Not that I totally got absorbed into the book like I would have liked to have. I mean, I would have read it in less time, except Jake HATES me reading these in front of him (or any book really, when he's around he likes my attention) and I have two little boys with me all day that are basically the same- so I read whenever I could- and only did the basics around the house (I have some cleaning to catch up on).

I really liked the book- in fact it was my favorite of the four. Now if you haven't read it beware- because some spoilers follow.

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I liked it because I was worried I'd be reading 750+ pages of is Bella going to REALLY marry Edward, and will she REALLY become and immortal vampire- and frankly, while I've enjoyed the series I didn't know if I could handle so much more of the same... so I was pleasantly surprised that she started off the book with a wedding right at first. I thought the plot was great. I unlike most readers who's reviews I've read DIDN'T see the pregnancy coming, but DID see Jacob's imprinting (once we found out about the pregnancy).

There were things that bugged me of course... but mostly I was able to overlook them.

I didn't think Jacob's voice came through quite as I'd imagined- but I loved his "book".

I REALLY liked the new Bella. Much stronger, and less annoying.

I even liked the ending- it was perhaps too much of a "happy ending" and so might not make as good of a movie- but it was what I WANTED to happen.

I won't go on and on.... but I just had to briefly write about it since it DID take up many of my hours this week!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

That's right- yesterday was our 5 year anniversary! How lucky I am to have my sweet husband of mine.

1. Babysitters- Karina came to watch the boys for us. Becca helped out when she got home, and sent Kari home when it got late and the boys were in bed. How thankful I am for these two girls who continue to watch the kids for us!

2. The Melting Pot. We'd never been there before last night- but it's one of the splurge kind of places that everyone says is fabulous. Jake got the reservations for us and it was not only delicious, but FUN! We did the whole 4 course meal- cheese fondue appetizer, salad, broth cooking entree, and the yin yang chocolate dessert. A fun experience for sure.

3. We couldn't find much going on in Salt Lake on a Tuesday, and so had planned on going to see either The Mummy or The XFiles at the movies- but both were NOT getting good reviews. We settled on seeing Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3-D at the Jordan Commons. I cute, simple show- but it was very entertaining and so cool to see and entire film done in 3D.

4. Yesterday early AM I also had a chance to go with the Laurels that I teach to do baptisms at the temple. It was a great way to begin the day.

5. When I got back I was hungry for some breakfast, and figured it'd be nice to do something fun for our anniversary- so I tried a new "crispy french toast" recipe from the breakfast recipe book my mom got me for my birthday. It simple but very yummy- just crush up some Corn Flake and mix with cinnamon and sugar. Dip your favorite bread in the classic egg/milk mixture and then in the cruncy mixture before frying in a little vegetable oil. It was a fun twist on an old favorite.

Monday, August 4, 2008

1. Saturday morning we decided to go to breakfast at Mimi's Cafe... it was FABULOUS!

2. Cousin night! We pulled together a last minute cousin night on Saturday evening. We pulled out the blow up toy for the kids and us Runyans, Dixons, Bushes, and Knights had a great BBQ and hang out time. Oh- the guys played a round of 9 holes at Cascade golf course beforehand.

3. Dad and sons play time. Jake and the boys were wrestling and playing last night and it was so cute. I was on the couch watching them roll around on the floor- but after a bit Josh came up to me and said, "I'm protecting you Mom!" and then Jake would pretend to be a monster coming after me and Josh would shoot him with arrows or attack him to keep him from "getting me". Each time that Jake would collapse to the floor "dead" Josh would cross his arms proudly across his chest and say, "I'm so brave, huh Mom?" It was pretty dang cute. Dekker was running around playing with them too.

Friday, August 1, 2008

1. Local fruit/vegetable stands. We are lucky enough to have a few of these here in Orem and they've been filling up with more of the local produce. Yesterday we had some local grown corn and it was so YUMMY!

2. Storms. We had a couple rain and/or thunder storms this last week- and I just love 'em.

3. Done with government paperwork. I finally got all the paperwork together and taken care of for Jake and my passports!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dishwasher nightmare

OK- so you KNOW you're a stay at home mom when you start dreaming about dishwashers!

Have you ever had something trigger a memory of a forgotten dream? Well, tonight while I was loading the dishwasher I remembered I had a "nightmare" where I accidentally put soap for hand washing dishes in my appliance rather than the required detergent! I had to laugh at my sad, and obviously bored little mind.

1. I Am David. Got this movie from Netflix recently and I really liked it.

2. The Red Tent. I started reading this at my dad's, bought it when I got home, and finished reading it this weekend. It was a good book. Really explores what it might have been like to be a girl, woman, mother and wife during biblical times/customs. Since the book is told through the eyes of Dinah and tells a biblical story its a little strange at times since its not scripture (nor does it pretend to be) so I had to get over that- but it did give me new insights into reading the old testament. Mostly what I enjoyed though was just the celebration of being a woman. It made me appreciate all the more my husband, my children and my birthing experiences and what it means to ME to be a woman.

3. A non-eventful Saturday. Saturday we didn't do much. Jake worked on our plane (for the Bernhardt reunion competition coming up soon) and I read while the kids played and napped. It was kinda nice to have such a laid back Saturday. I think we felt okay with it since we'd had Thursday to play and since Jake took off Friday a bit early as well.

4. Sunday dinner. It's only been one week that we missed this tradition of ours but it really did feel nice to have everyone over for dinner again. We ate ham and pineapple kabobs outside, did our 3 best things from the last TWO weeks, and then played bocce, password, and just hung out. I feel so lucky to have so many close friends and family nearby to spend Sunday evenings with.

5. Music. I finally broke down and created a playlist for my blogs. I've kinda avoided it, because sometimes when I'm on the computer and I'm looking at people's blogs there playlists start without me realizing and kinda disrupt my "gig" if I'm listening to my own music, trying to watch a video on their blog, or just don't like their songpicks- but at the same time I've liked hearing what others listen to and have even found some new favorites myself from there playlists.... so I jumped on the bandwagon. It was fun picking out songs... its just a start but I love how songs can represent your thoughts, feelings and memories. So if you DO like listening to other people's playlists you can listen to mine and know that you're also getting another little piece of me at the same time- because these first song pics really are part of me as well.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pioneer Day

We thought about trying to do something Pioneerish to celebrate- maybe crack our own wheat, or go for a long walk. Instead we headed up to the canyon for a picnic and tubing/rafting down the Provo River. It was us with my friend Becca, my sister Karina, and our friends the Barrands. We ate a yummy lunch- then the boys (Jake, Bryce, Sam, and Josh) went down the river while us girls watched the Lucas and Dekker and played cards at the park. The boys got back and then it was our turn. Marcia and I took the raft, and Becca and Karina had the tubes. The river is a pretty chill ride and we only did a small part of it- but it had its moments (there are guys that sit there and wait to jump in or swing right over the top of you just to scare you!) Apparently Josh didn't like it too much- I think mostly because he was pretty tired- but he had fun playing at the park with Sam- and the rest of us had a blast.

1. My sister Karina. Becca (who is living with us for the summer) called me while I was in California asking if I wanted her to water the garden (another thing to be grateful for) and said, "Yeah- someone cleaned the house today. I came home and things were picked up and cleaned up all over the house?!" Jake was already gone at this point and so I knew it must have been Karina since she'd called me earlier that day asking if she could stop by and pick up the game cube stuff even though I wasn't home. Not only that, but she watched the boys Wednesday night so Jake, Becca and I could go see Batman, and then she joined us on our trip of the canyon the next day as well - and as always- was very helpful with the boys.

2. "Trish". AKA Becca. It's nice to have her around- she's always willing to do last minute babysitting gigs for us in the evenings, she goes to the gym with me, and I have a girlfriend to chat it up with in person around!

3. Old videos. Jake has been trying to go through and edit/capture our old home videos. It's been fun to go back and watch them. I can't believe how fast time goes by!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

California Trip

1. Slalem ski course behind my dad's Natique. I forget how much I love the challenge of the slalem course and how incredibly tiny the wake behind my dad's boat is. The two things get me racing across the wakes and smoothing out my turns. Its one of the things I feel pretty confident doing and just love so much.

2. The beach. I figured I couldn't go all that way and not go to the beach. So, Sunday Dad, Brian, the boys and I drove out to the beach (its only 15-20 minutes form my dad's house). The water is cold, and it was a little chilly, but it was still fun to hang out on the sandy shore, listen to the waves, smell the air and stick my feet in the waves. Josh and Dekker weren't too sure about it at first- but had lots of fun after a few minutes of observing everyone else there exploring.

3. Talking with dad. My dad hasn't always been the easiest person for me to talk to, but on this trip he really opened up to me. Its kinda strange when you get to that point where you start having adult to adult conversations. It was nice though to hear his honesty, his struggles, his excitements, and his opinions. I think my dad really needed my brother and I around for a bit.

4. My brother. Brian is such a cool big brother. Everyone just loves having him around. I felt like when he got there (Thursday night) "the party" could really begin. He was so sweet with the boys too. On Friday he took Josh by himself (while I stayed at the house while Dekker took a nap) down to the lake and out on the canoe. They took fishing poles and pretended to fish, rowed out to one of the islands and got off there to explore. Brian even got out his pocket knife and carved them a couple of spears. How cute is that?!

5. Blackberries. While we were there it never got real hot, but apparently the week before they had 100* weather- so some of the blackberries had been ripening earlier than usual. Blackberry picking is kind of addicting- once you start its hard to stop because you're always sure there are even better ones just around the corner. We picked a TON and the boy were helping (well, kinda- Dekker just ate them- even out of the basket- and Josh mostly ate his too) but we still had PLENTY for cobbler and topping off homemade tapioca (I'd never had it warmed and homemade before and actually liked it prepared this way).

6. Saturday was my favorite day of the trip. Saturday was my dad's birthday. EVERYONE went down to the dock TOGETHER and had fun boating. Shauna and Sera even tried wake boarding. We had yummy sticky buns for breakfast that my brother picked up at a local bakery and for dinner we made my dad yummy grilled racks of lamb, garlicky mashed potatoes, and a fresh salad. For dessert- blackberry cobbler of course!

7. Josh and Dekker's first modeling gig. My sister Sera did her 8th grade project on photography. She's been learning and practicing a lot. One of her freinds' parents started a mineral makeup line and asked Sera if she would want to do the marketing photography. She was working on that a lot while we were there and asked if she could use Josh and Dekker as models for some ideas she had for the bronzing and shimmering powders. It was lots of fun and pretty darn cute. I'll have to post pics on our photo site...

8. Cute kids. Josh and Dekker were always busy and exhausting as usual- but they did relatively well for being out of their element and routine. There were lots of cute/funny Josh and Dekker moments. The one that I remember most was while we were picking berries:

Josh: Mom, Dekker has boogers!
Me: Thanks Josh, but I don't have kleenex, it'll have to wait till we get back to the house.
Josh: But Mom, he's TASTING it!!!!

9. Small town wards. I went to church there on Sunday. Everyone was so friendly!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

California

So I'm here in Sebastopol California visiting my dad. Jake was going to "Manzilla" (yearly guy trip to Jackson Wyoming) and so I figured since it was the same weekend of my dad's birthday I'd bring the boys on a little trip. We got great flights on Southwest, and though I was nervous about taking the boys by myself, they actually did pretty good. Josh got to see the cock pit and pilots of the plane and thought it was pretty cool.

1. The boys did so well on the plane. I brought treats and new coloring books/crayons to help- and they had their moments- but it really went pretty well.

2. The air here. I just love the smell of the air here. Much more humid than the dry dessert air of Utah and full of smells; ocean, plants, trees.

3. The property. My dad's property truly is beautiful. The vineyards, the gardens, the lake. Today I took Josh and Dekker exploring. They loved seeing the chickens, spotting jackrabbits, frogs, birds, etc....

Monday, July 14, 2008

Busy, busy

I've been bad about posting lately... I've just been really busy. Jake and I are going to Costa Rica in September, and so all this last week when I've had time on the computer its been spent researching all about Costa Rica and trying to figure out where and how to spend out time- not to mention how to get around and all that. Plus, getting the paperwork and stuff together to renew my passport and get Jake one.

It's been a good week though. I'm thankful for many things but here are a few highlights of the top of my head:

1. Jake not only came home about an hour early from work so that I could get my hair done- but when I came home I found him in the kitchen making his famous breakfast burritos for dinner.

2. I pulled out Jake's baby book looking for his birth certificate- which then got us looking through his, Josh and Dekker's and reminiscing...

3. Jake had a big sell for Magellan this week- and to celbrate we got take out from Bombay House!!!!

4. Going to the VERY BUSY Timpanogos Temple this week. Apparently the Provo, Jordan River, and Salt Lake Temple were all closed this week for cleaning and so it took us longer to get into a session than to actually do a session. Though it was unexpected it was kinda nice to spend so much time just hanging out with my sweetie and talking quietly with him there.

5. My friend Bri had her baby this weekend. They had WIFI in their hospital and so were sending out updates during the whole thing- so it was really neat to feel so a part of a moment so special. Bri is a champion 16 hours of labor with no pain medication, then an additional 20+ more with an epidural followed by 3 hours of pushing for their first 8 lbs 14 oz boy!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

My new do

 

 

 

 

Yesterday I got my hair colored and cut. Kinda a fun change... not sure I want to post pic on our photoshare page yet... I feel I can be a little more forthcoming on this one.
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Monday, July 7, 2008

Favorite stuff from the weekend

1. Josh dressing Jake. When we got home from church Jake was trying to get Josh to change out of his church clothes before running around (so his little suit doesn't get trashed) and I guess in trying to get him to change he told Josh that he could pick out "play clohtes" for him too. What did Josh pick? Of course a BYU Tshirt and some "fast shorts" (Jake tried to put on some cargo shorts and Josh quickly corrected him and pulled out Jake's athletic shorts). They came downstairs saying "Look Mom!" and were dressed practically the same.

2. Josh falling asleep outside on our patio chair after only a couple of bites of his popcycle. See photo here.

3. Josh doing "the dolphin" in the Lake with Jake. We're trying to get Josh over his water hesitations. It seems to be mostly from the latest "submarining tube incident". So the last couple times on the boat we've had to push him to get out on the tube or into the lake swimming, but we try to always make it fun and then get him out of the water while still on a good note. Saturday "Tio" (aka Jesus) taught Jesus how to the "the dolphin" (push your self up out of the water and make a squeeking noise while bobbing your head). Josh thought that was pretty cool and actually requested to get back in the water at one point so he could do the dolphin dance with Jake.

4. Dekker poking Josh. Dekker is getting to be mischievous... On the boat he kept getting this smirk on his face when he'd be close enough to stick out his index finger and reach in Josh's vest to give him a poke on the side... I had to try hard to not let him see me laugh.

5. "Peter Pan Josh". So when we have the boat turned off we sometimes let Josh pretend to drive and I was calling him "Captain Josh". He quickly corrected me- apparently because his only "captain" reference is to Captain Hook from Peter Pan. "Mom, pirates are mad. Peter Pan is happy! I'm Peter Pan Josh!"

6. Brett Dennen. We were listening to this music artist a lot this weekend, and I think he's fabulous.

7. Chipotle chicken salad from Costa Vida Saturday.

8. Pizza on the grill Sunday.

9. Sea Salt Pretzle Caremel Ice cream for dessert Sunday. Introduced to us by Bryce and Marcia. This Target Creation might sound weird (sea salt should not be said in and ice cream flavor) but it is delicious!

10. New rope for the tube. Lou (Jake's business partner and the one we share our boat with) bought a new rope for the tube- this thing is AWESOME! It has some spring in it so it works almost like a sling shot across the wakes and creates quite a ride!

11. FREEDOMS AND LIBERTIES OF THIS NATION!!!!! Wandering the booths at the Provo Freedom Days I saw t-shirts made to recognize all those who protect our nation. I may just have to look them up online because one that said, "Thank you for the freedom I enjoyed today!" just rang so true to me. I guess all the fireworks, parades and stuff are cool too.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

avoidence and procrastination

Just to be honest- right now I'm checking blogs and writing a post just to avoid all the stuff I should be doing:

2 loads of laundry to fold
A MESSY kitchen to clean
Cherries to pit and dry/freeze (ALL the cherries get ripe at once and I try not to let too many of them go to waste!)
A garden to water and weed
A couple of bills to pay
and a dirty car to wash...

If it weren't so dang hot out I'd do the "good mom" thing and take the kids to the park or something fun that can sometimes be another form of procrastination- but right now we're all staying in doors as much as possible.

1. Dinner at Tucanos. We celebrated my birthday on the 28th- but my actual birthday is on the 30th- so on Monday Jake and I went to dinner at Tucanos. They give a free meal to you during the month of your birthday if you bring at least one other person in with you- so it was a nice treat.

2. Costco. Jake disagrees with me on this one- he thinks Costco is inconvenient and overrated- but I like being able to go and stock up on some of the things that my family goes through so quickly; goldfish crackers, yogurt, nutrigrain bars, diapers, etc.

3. Neighbors. I had to renew my drivers license this morning and my neighbor offered to watch Josh and Dekker while I went to do it!!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Such a fun birthday party!!!

So the big 30th birthday party was lots of fun!

The blow up toy for the kids got here just in time (few! It got here late afternoon the day before).

Food was great.

Ice cream cake was great.

The company was AWESOME.

And planting flowers and decorating the back yard turned out fun.

And of course there was Rock Band happening too.

I was really glad my friend Rebecca was able to come. She's the one I spent a semester with in Guatemala. She's been living in California and recently moved to Reno. She happened to be in town this weekend and so was able to come with her cute family to the party!

Our friends the Petersons who live in Farmington now and we haven't seen for almost 2 years came too.

There were so many others who came as well. My sweet little sister Karina and Garrett's girlfriend Kristen picked up the cake and brought it over - but also did the majority of the clean up for us, and helped watch all the little ones running around. How nice is that?! I think we had a total of close to 30 adults and 20 kids.

Jake also picked out a beautiful piece of art, "Gardening in the rain". Not only did it go with our party theme of "growing" but it is by one of our favorite local artists.

I'll be posting some video clips and photos to our photoshare website soon.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Things you LEARN to love about boys...

1. Just how dirty their high chair/booster seat can get. Today I was cleaning off Dekker's chair and I was once again at just how filthy this thing gets! I'm always shocked at how much hides under that thing until I lift it up to clean it out.

2. Sippies, sippies everywhere. These things get lost and then found and then lost and then found again. I made a rule that only water goes into these things for Josh. If he wants milk or juice I give it to him in a cup at the kitchen table, and if Dekker wants milk or juice I have one dedicated sippie for those drinks that is kept in the kitchen at all times. Finding sippies all over the house is fun enough, why add opening it up to find rotten milk or fermented juice?!

3. A "preferred stander". I remember the days when I thought having a potty trained boy would mean less mess for me to clean up! HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

4. Cars, trucks, trains, motorcycles and anything else that goes "VROOM!". There's no limit to the crazy places I find these favorite toys stashed away! Mostly trapped between the side of Josh's bed and the wall, or under his pillow- but lets see...? In my shoes, in Jake's socks he leaves by his bed at night, cups, and always at the bottom of the stairs (why is it so fun to launch them off the stairs?).

5. Sense of style. Everything has to have numbers, racing stripes, elastic wastes, or some sort of sports or vehicle on it in order to be cool.

6. Climbing, jumping, running. Its just the way they move. Forget sitting still.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

1. BYU-Hawaii alumni. I was at Home Depot the other day, and I was talking to one of the workers trying to make sure I was getting what I wanted when all of a sudden he asked me, "Did you go to BYU-Hawaii?" "Yeah." "I knew I knew you from somewhere..." He then went on to show me a photo of his wife who I also recognized from BYUH and pics of his two kids. I love that BYUH is such a small school- because if you were there for more than a semester you really start to know pretty much all the faces around you- and I love that even years later they're friendly enough to remember and reminisce with you.

2. My sister Karina. She came and watched the boys today so I could run some errands. She's always so willing to help out, and the boys just love her! The more I get to know her, the more I love her. I finally got connected to the blog she recently started, and her honesty of thoughts are great, but not only that, she has an incredible voice in her writing, and her desire to learn and grow are inspiring. Thanks for being such a good lil' sis and sweet Auntie Kari!

3. "Chastipk". Josh tries so hard to say chapstick right, which just makes it all the cuter when he doesn't!