Thursday, January 31, 2008

1. Brother Brian. How could I not? It's his Birthday today! I really do love this guy a ton though. He is such thoughtful guy. He's the one my Grandma Blanche knows she can ask for help with anything from. He's the one who loves being "Uncle Brian" to my boys. He's the one who slams the break on his car on the way home from a snowboarding trip while everyone's snoozin just for a laugh. He's the one who always calls everyone "just to check in" and never forgets to say "I love you" before hanging up. Yep- I'm pretty lucky to have him as my big bro.

2. A productive day. Both Jake and I have been feeling the cold weather blues- so yesterday we decided to shake ourselves out of it. He went up snowboarding for a couple hours and "busted it" at work. I got all kinds of little things done around the house and ran a few errands I'd been putting off. At night we were both pretty proud of ourselves. Jake was asking "Why do we avoid being productive, when we know its gonna make us feel good?!" Sometimes we just need a kick in the pants to keep us from hibernating in the winter.

3. swimwear sale. Okay, so I'm a little anxious for warmer weather. But I also learned last year that its better to hit the off-season sales if I want a cute suit without paying an arm and a leg! Although I'm eyeing some from their current swim line as well.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

1. Blogs. I've had a few friends recently start new blogs, or start blogging more. It's a great way for me to feel more in touch with people and I love it.

2. American Idol auditions. This is actually my favorite part of American Idol. Isn't it bad that I like to laugh at people making a fool out of themselves?! I guess I'm not the only one though- and that's why its on TV.

3. Hugs. Lately Dekker really wraps his arms around me and squeezes when I first pick him up and just snuggles in. Is there anything more sweet? I'm really not sure.

4. "I love you SO much!" Another sweet thing- this time from Josh. This is a phrase that is said over and over again in our home. Can't hear too much of it if you ask me. I remember when I couldn't wait for the day when he would spontaneously say this to me- and I don't think I'll ever tire of it now that he does!

5. Water. Yep- good old H2O. Can't live without it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

1. Health. My poor pops got sick Sunday night and so had to spend his last day visiting hugging the toilet and laying low. I felt so bad- but very grateful it wasn't me!

2. Safe trips. My brother got stuck up the canyon yesterday. He secretly loved it I think- the adventure of it all. Luckily they finally opened it up for traffic heading down and he made it down just fine.

3. Newman's O's. Have you ever tried these? They're the "organic" version of Oreos and I think they're even better. They were on sale at Target the other day and so I picked up a packaged which has been very much enjoyed.

4. Leftovers. Some things are actually better the second time around- and even when they're not quite as good- its nice not to have to cook a whole meal.

5. Talks with my Sweetie. Last night Jake was the one who came to bed saying "I need someone to talk to..." I had to smile. We chatted it up for an hour or more. I love my guy.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What a great weekend. So many great things to be thankful for.

Thursday night my dad flew in. His plan was late, and then he went over to my aunt's house to go over some of the funeral plans- so I didn't really get to see him much till Friday.

Friday my brother came in. He went straight to Brighton to hit a half day there- and my dad went up to join him. Friday night my sister Sera and step-mom Shaun came in. By late Friday night we had everyone here. Saturday was the funeral. There was a viewing, family prayer, funeral, internment, and luncheon. Everything was done very nice. It was so neat to see SO MUCH family there. Though about 80% of the family is here in Utah already, we don't all get together like that very often, and others came from Oregon, Washington, California, and Arisona. It was a huge testament to the blessings of great posterity that my grandma always wanted. We all cried; but there really was a great sense of peace and happiness as well. Peace in knowing she was now with her mother and other family members. Happiness for an occasion for all of us together. Joy in those family ties that bond us all together, and knowing we will see her again.

Saturday evening we were pretty exhausted. So we ordered take out and rented Amazing Grace (good film) for a relaxing evening together.

Yesterday we left the boys here with my family while Jake and I went to stake conference together. Wow. It was so nice to sit snuggled together and listen to the talks! I forgot how inspiring moments like that can be! We were very thankful we didn't have to wrestle the two boys for two hours in the AF Tabernacle.

Sunday evening we went to Shuan's brother's house in Sandy to celebrate her mother Marie's birthday with her. Marie was cute saying that she kept thanking Mary (my grandma) for bringing her so much family to celebrate her birthday with her.

Its really just been so nice to have everyone together. Sera is so cute with the boys- I can't believe how much she's grown up! She's 14 now, and we're already making plans for her to come up and stay a couple weeks with us this summer. My brother Brian LOVES to be the big brother- always poking and bugging- but in a very loving way. He's up at Brighton with a friend today- and I hope he's loving it.

Its been real sweet to see my dad open up and be so vulnerable. He really loved his mom. I'm glad he was able to come out and have some special moments with her just a month or two ago.

I really can't put into words all the blessings of this weekend. That's why I didn't try to list or number them out. It's just been a sweet spirit that's accompanied us during this time together. As we heard the news of President Hinkley's passing yesterday my prayers are with his family that the same spirit may be with them. I'm so thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and that it allows us to have an eternal perspective when we lose those we love and admire so much.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

1. Grandma Bybee. My grandmother passed away yesterday morning. It wasn't a surprise almost all her children and her husband were there with her. Her health has been declining for some time- and so its nice to know that she is now at peace. She was a great woman. Mother of five. Faithful wife and mother who often said "All I've ever wanted was a faithful priesthood holder and to raise my children with the gospel" and she did that. She had great talent for making memories. Choosing to set traditions of camping at Lake Tahoe, always having swedish fish for grandkids and pennies for her candy machine. I'll remember her collection of clocks and birds. Her love for artichokes and fresh vegetables/fruits from my grandfather's amazing gardens. She left a great legacy.

2. Dinner out with my sister. Karina came and watched the boys while I went and looked at the house. Jake went to the BYU basketball game with Lou- and so Karina and I went out for dinner (with the boys). It was fun to chat with her.

3. Crazy Polygamist house. Apparently the seller of our dream home thinks that if she holds out she'll make more money on her home- and so she didn't accept our best offer. I'm bummed- but okay with it. We've said all along if things are supposed to work out they will. Since we still have the offer on our house though- we figured we'd better look at the market again and decide if there's another home we want to make the jump for, or decline the offer, take our house off the market and stay where we're at a while longer. I was checking the listings and found a home in our same dream neighborhood, with great square footage for a crazy low price. We found out they're selling it short- and so figured it was a fixer upper- but thought that might be fun. When we went and checked it out though... this place was crazy, creepy! It had three kitchens and all sorts of tiny rooms and bathrooms. I felt like a mouse going through a maze walking through it. It was kinda divided into three apartments, but kinda connected. The outside was decent- but it looked like they put the inside together from things found in a scrap yard. It had mismatched wood, carpet and floor coverings throughout. Seriously the only thing we could guess was that it was a polygamist house! I thought they stayed in their little communities- I wouldn't have thought they'd build a home in a nice Orem neighborhood. The only reason its on my thanks list is because its a fun story. I'm sure some investor will go in there and make a killing because the house is priced less than lots in that area- but it was all a little too creepy and way too much work for us to consider.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1. Play date with Leah! I haven't gotten together with Leah for WAY too long. She doesn't live very far away- but for since we keep in touch via the internet pretty regularly and something always come up when we try to get together in person we just haven't. Anyway- it was fun to have her and her two cuties over to play.

2. A surprise success. I like to cook, but I usually stick to following recipes. I pried myself in my ability of finding/choosing good ones and even altering ones to fit our tastes (sometimes a little spicier than most people's)- but usually when I try to concoct something of my own it ends up mediocre. For the play date lunch though I decided to make a soup (since it was snowing) with things I had on hand. The result was so good I've written it down and stuck it in my recipe collection!

Jaime's Tortellini Soup

1 can chicken broth
1 can chicken chunks (with water)
1 can diced tomatoes w/green chiles (could substitute "w/garlic and onion" for less spicey)
approx 1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach
1 Tbsp prepared pesto sauce
approx 2 cups frozen tortellini

Simmer all but tortellini until aromatic and flavorful.Add tortellini and simmer until warmed through. Garnish with shredded Parmesan if you have it.

3. Robinson Crusoe. Jake's mom gave this to us for Christmas (she always gives us a book to encourage the continued habit of reading). I hadn't ever read this classic, and so thought I'd give it a try. It reminds me of castaway- with spiritual undertones, and I'm really enjoying it.

Monday, January 21, 2008

1. Good kids in sacrament meeting. Josh and Dekker both did so good yesterday!

2. Sunday dinners. Brea and Tom, Karina, Garrett and Garrett's friend Rachael all came over for dinner, games and dessert yesterday it. It was so fun!

3. Apples to Apples. Its a fun game when you've got a big group.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

1. An organized garage! The sun was actually out yesterday- and with no plans, a warmer day and a huge mess of a garage we decided to take on the project. The garage is SO much more organized. Jake's work bench is finally usable again- things can be found- and we got rid of a lot of junk!

2. An organized hall closet! Yet another task completed yesterday. One closet down, a few more to go.

3. The Kearns family. My friend Heather called yesterday asking "What ya guys doing tonight?" With no plans we decided to get together for games and dessert. We saw the Kearns' quite a bit during the summer- but besides Dekker's birthday this was the rare occasion of getting us together this winter. They are a crack up- and though the kids kept us from playing games for very long- we had a great time just chatting and hanging out.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

1. SSX Tricky. This is a snowboarding game on the game cube. My brother Garrett brought the game cube to our house while he's here at BYU and all his game. We're not huge video game players- but its fun every once in a while. Last night we set it up and played "Monkey Balls" with Josh for a while, and then SSX Tricky. I think I like it just because I would LOVE to be able to do all the crazy tricks they do in this game!

2. An offer. Yep- we got an offer on our house. Not as high as we'd hope for- but enough to get us to put an offer in on our dream home.... We'll wait and see how it all pans out. Honestly- its not looking like things are falling into place quite right now- but it could all be for the best. It's a long story... but hey at least its something.

3. Visiting teacher. Mine came the other day and shared a message that I was really needing. Funny how that works.

4. A thoughtful husband. That same day my hubby came home early from work to help "de-stress" me. Very much appreciated.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

1. Baby sign language. I don't think I've been as good as I was with Josh in teaching him signs- but he's really picking them up all of a sudden. Just the last few weeks he's really started using the signs hungry, milk, sleepy, and bye bye. I'll have to see if I can sneek a picture of him making the "sleepy" sign- its my favorite.

2. First steps. I can't believe I forgot to mention that Dekker took his first steps on his first birthday. I'm definitely not pushing the walking thing (the less mobile the better really) but he's been wanting to attempt and practice it more and more.

3. Shelter from the storms. Windy, snowy, COLD!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

1. Almond Butter. I bought this because almonds are supposed to be a much healthier nut than peanuts and so I thought I'd give it a try... oh my! so delish! I'd pick this over peanut butter any day.

2. Winder Farms milk+ delivery. It's nice to not have to run to the store for the basics all the time. I mostly have milk delivered, but occasionally have them send eggs, bread or other things if I'm short and don't want to treck to the store.

3. FHE. We had a good one last night thanks to a lesson by Jake, Hungry Hippos for our activity, and oreos and milk for dessert. Jake said Dekker needed an Oreo too- which resulted in a big mess and bath time as well. So fun!

Monday, January 14, 2008


I am very thankful for my best little friend- Josh. When I think about it, he's the person I spend the most time with (Dekker sleeps more). Sometimes I forget how lucky I am that that's the case. Earlier today while Dekker was taking his morning nap I was hurrying about getting myself ready, cleaning the house, doing this and that. I sat down at the computer and was writing my thanks for the day in this blog- not a bad thing. In fact- I think its a good thing- but I realized not the BEST thing. I was in the middle of my post when Josh came and stood by my side:

"Mama, I finished my granola bar!" he said.

"Good Josh." I responded without looking at him. Type, type, type.

"Banana please?"

"In a minute. Can you be patient? I'm almost done."

"Yes." He laid down on the floor behind me and I got back to my post. I almost forgot he was there when I heard, "I'm being good Mom. It makes you happy?"

How sweet was that?! Of course I quickly finished my post, spun around to give him a big hug and told him that Yes, he makes me very happy. That I was thankful he was being so patient and asked him to remind me what it was that he'd wanted. Instead of a banana he said, "Play hide with me?!" So we played a couple rounds of hide and seek. Then he remembered he'd wanted a banana- so we went to the kitchen for that. Dekker woke up in the mean time, and we all went down to the play room to play and have some "learning time" with Josh.

Now that Josh and Dekker are both down for afternoon naps I'm back at the computer checking bank accounts, emails, setting Dr. appointments and such- but I had to take a moment and reflect on how thankful I am for this little friend of mine. I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately. Maybe its because he's getting older and so better able to communicate and play- I see his personality more and more all the time. I've mentioned before I'm not the best with little kids. I don't always know how to play with and entertain them. But Josh is always so forgiving and loving towards me. He really does just want to "make me happy". I hope that with all that he teaches me, I can also teach him where true happiness comes from. To love others and share life.

So know that if I don't post EVERY day- its because I'm trying to choose what's BEST, and sometimes that means forgoing things that are good.


1. My One-year old! Has it been a year already?! I can't beleive it. Dekker is such a special part of our family. Always so loving. I'm so thankful for him.

2. Party time! I think everyone showed up for the birthday party. I've never known such a popular one-year-old :)
It was great to have so many people together at once. Its been a while. It was fun to see everyone, visit, play ping pong, etc... thank you to everyone for celebrating the birth of our youngest one with us!

3. Ice cream cake. We had YUMMY ice cream cake from Cold Stone. I was sure to pick red velvet cake (that's a Grandma Bybee birthday tradition).
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Friday, January 11, 2008

1. Potty training success!!! I know I've mentioned it before- but Josh is doing so well. He's stayed clean and dry all day for 3-4 days and as of yesterday is finally not waiting for a diaper at night to do his BMs!

2. A car that's good in the snow. The Tahoe does so well in the snow- and its a good thing since all the snow we've gotten hasn't melted much- and today its snowing again!

3. Computer learning games. Josh has a couple of these and is getting pretty good at them! It's fun to seem him practicing his colors, shapes and numbers and learning some computer skills along the way- all while having fun.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

1. Staying dry. Yep, Josh is getting pretty good at staying dry. He even tells me now and then when he needs to pee. He still likes to hold in the bms till I put a diaper on him at bedtime- but once in a while he breaks down for that one too. Horrah for "big boy pants" stayin clean and dry.

2. Rotisserie chickens at Costco. I pick one of these up every time I go and get 3-4 meals out of them! Sandwiches, soups, casserols, fajitas, etc... Jake HATES dry chicken- but these are moist and easy to pick apart and throw in just about anything.

3. Snow shovel. I think we'd be snowed in right now if it weren't for this- AND it was my form of exercise for the day!

Well, I guess its time to break down and commit to a few resolutions/goals for the new year. I've compiled a short list in my head- but I know that if I actually write them down I'll be more committed- so here goes:

- Keep up with the Relief Society lessons even though I go to young womens every Sunday.

- Keep up with the Sunday school lessons.

- Continue Family scripture study with Josh and more structured FHE lessons aimed toward him.

- Go on an international or tropical vacation just Jake and I.

- Have "learning time" with Josh each weekday.

- Wean Dekker by end of February

- Recommit to a workout routine (can alternate yoga, bicycling, weights, etc)

- Read at least 6 books (not to include scriptures or other church materials)

- Go to temple at least twice a month

- Plant and harvest at least 4 fruits/vegetables this year as well as herbs.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

1. "Cafe Rio" dressing. (This ones for you Bri). This is one of those, a friend got it from a friend who got it while working there- not sure if its the ACTUAL recipe or not- but it sure tastes like it! Its good on salads, as a dip, over enchiladas, nachos- pretty much anything.

"Cafe Rio" Dressing

3-4 Tomatillos (mexican green tomatoes found in produce section)- quartered
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. mayo
1/2 c. sour cream
1 pkg. buttermilk ranch dressing mix
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 garlic cloves (or equivalent jarred minced garlic)
1 c. cilantro

Dump in blender and puree. Absolutely fabulous as a dip with chips, dressing on salad, over burritos, nachos, enchiladas etc.

2. Catching up with Bri and Dan. We finally got together! After a few years of keeping in touch via the internet it was great to get together with the Hoopes in person! Thanks for coming over. Best of wishes as you head back to Cali, find out about where you'll be for residency, and as baby arrival day approaches- you guys are awesome.

3. A few lookers. We're finally showing our home! Now that the holidays are over we're finally getting a few people looking at our house. We'll see what happens!

Monday, January 7, 2008

1. Baby blessings. We went to Nora Bush's baby blessing yesterday. Love those little ones and the sweet blessings they're promised at special moments like these!

2. Garrett and Karina. Last night was the first of many Sunday dinners with my little bro and sis. It was fun to hear about their first Sunday in a student ward. Love these guys.

3. Unique spirits. Jake and I were talking last night about some of the gifts, differences, and talents of our two little boys. Its neat to see how even at such young ages their own little spirits begin to stand out. Dekker LOVES water, where Josh never really has. Dekker is VERY "in tune" to music- always dances/sings when he hears it. Josh is very sensitive to people's feelings- always saying "sorry" or, "it's okay!". Josh is very busy/active; Dekker seems more "chill" or "go with the flow". We think both are pretty persistent and good problem solvers. I love my little boys!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

1. A family Saturday. It was just us- hanging out doing the usual- and I loved it.

2. After Christmas sales.

3. Friends with a Wii. Last night we went to the Barrand's for dinner and Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution on their Wii. It was lots of fun!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

1. Garrett and Kari babysitting.

2. The Happy Sumo. Vegas Roll anyone?

3. Settlers of Catan game night.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

1. Massages.

2. Improved potty training attempts. I took a break from potty training Josh over the holidays, but kept telling him that after Christmas there'd be no more diapers. So since we've been home we've been working on it. We've had good days and bad days- but this time around has been much more successful than previous attempts. This morning he even when poo on the toilet without any nagging (that has been the biggest hurtle)!

3. Airborne. fighting the colds. This stuff seems to help.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

1. Bombay house. New years Eve dinner. Yum.

2. Chocolate Croissants. My dad sends these delectable frozen treats to us every year for Christmas. New Year's Eve we pull them out to thaw and rise and have them for breakfast New Years day.

3. Reflection and goals. Its fun to look back on the past year and look forward to the next year. I love seeing what I've done and making goals for the new year.