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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!