Monday, December 08, 2008

Modern Revelation


Welcome to the wonders of having a living prophet who receives revelation! They are adding a new value to the seven Young Women values - Virtue will be the eighth value, with the color being gold. Wow! Exciting! And they will be changing the YW theme and adding requirements for this value into Personal Progress.

I think this is a great addition - but some of me is thinking, "Wow, I have a hard enough time motivating the girls to do PP for the seven values, let alone eight!" I know the YW will rise to the challenge and in the end, it will strengthen their testimonies and give them more tools to help them live in the world, but not of the world. Any suggestions on how to jump-start the excitement for this value? I'd like to have a special lesson and activity to really help them understand and be excited about it!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

PJ's Big Day!

I have a backlog of drafted posts. Seriously. I need to write a book - How the Grinch Stole My Blogging Ability - because I haven't finished any of them... After I publish this one, maybe I'll backtrack for the heck of it. Of course, I HAVE to publish this one today!


Author's Note: December 2, 2007 contains all the necessary background information. Read it. And then read it again. It's that good. And if you like it, you can download a copy for FREE (just pay $19.99 shipping & handling).


I just LOVE LOVE LOVE my little princess! I can't believe she turned one today! With the Thanksgiving holiday and then our family being a bit under the weather, it wasn't the perfect day I had envisioned. But we managed to get in some shopping, food, presents and cake, so it works, right? We plan on continuing the celebration in a few days, hopefully with my sister and her family :)

I have seen people write a little tidbit for every year of the birthday person's life, but if I followed that trend, I'd only get to write ONE thing. I am way too verbose and way too much of a proud mama to stick to just one. So I'll try one for each month she's been alive :)

  1. Contrary to the appearance of this picture, PJ has always been a complete and utter Mama's girl. Most of the time I'm overjoyed - it's endearing to see your child scream and reach out their arms for you when someone else is holding them! I partially contribute this to the fact that I've made it the whole 12 months nursing! (The other two stopped at 9 and 6.5 months.) Anyway, I love love snuggling her and don't mind too much that she always wants ME. She'll grow out of that WAY too quickly.

  2. PJ is named after her great-grandma. Well, just her middle name. She is the first of great-grandma's descendants to carry her name. And it is just a perfect fit for her - I hope she can live true to the name she's been given. We miss Grandma so much now that we're in Texas!

  3. She had a hard first couple of months. She was born, we had Christmas, we sold our house, we moved across the country, we put our things in storage and lived in an apartment, we moved again in our new house... She really was a trooper for those first few months, although she did spent quite a bit of time sleeping in her car seat in one of many bathrooms with the exhaust fan going to drown out the excess noise.

  4. PJ is my little roller. Neither the Bubbs or Simster ever really mastered rolling, they both despised tummy time, and both made me feel like less of a mom at our four and six month doctor's appointments... But not PJ! She started rolling before she turned four months and has been rolling every since! (When we still had her in the PackNPlay, she started rolling underneath the changing mat thingy...)

  5. PJ loves her siblings. And her siblings love her! I have really enjoyed watching the Bubbs and Simster learn how to be gentle and play nicely with their little sister. Now that she's more mobile, they do squawk when she takes their toys, but overall they all love playing together! Just today, all three of them played in E's room for half an hour together. It's a beautiful thing.

  6. Of course, how could this be complete without a swimming picture? We do live in Texas, after all. PJ already loves the water. She would splash around in her floaty in the pool until she got tired, then I would tuck her in her stroller or car seat and she'd nap in the shade until we were done. And just look at that cute hat! :)

  7. PJ (with me on the far right - don't ask about my choice of head attire...) joined me for an interesting week at Girls Camp. We had three babies with us that week - I'm sure it's a Girls Camp the YW won't ever forget. She did get the nickname "Onion baby" because she would pretty much cry when any of the girls held her. Mama's girl. :)

  8. Look who's smiling! And look who decided to finally like her swing! She's just so adorable and has a smile to melt your heart!

  9. PJ doesn't really play with other kids yet. Mostly she just lets them attack her. But when we visited with my friend's son while we were in Utah, she had to show him who the boss was!

  10. Mom's prerogative - the no-clothes-on-baby-bath picture. This one's going to be on her wedding video. Hee hee. Another thing to note - have you noticed she looks about the same size in many of these pics? She is very petite - we went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago and she's just over 14 pounds. She eats like a piglet but isn't gaining much weight. The doctor was concerned so we did some blood work. Results came back with some anemia and elevated liver enzymes. Nothing to freak out about, but we'll be monitoring it a bit. And on Thursday I'm going in to have a "Feeding Evaluation" at the hospital - they'll evaluate her oral motor function feeding skills to see if something could be involved there. I'll keep you posted. Maybe. If I blog again :)

  11. She loves crawling. She's been doing the army crawl since she was about six and a half months old. She is just starting to crawl a bit on her knees instead of scooting, but she's not really trying to walk yet. Her favorite thing to do is to make a beeline for the electronic equipment in our living room - pull out cables, tip over speakers, generally wreak havoc. And I think also in this picture she's treating me to a present in her diaper. Just in case you were wondering.

  12. Enjoying playing with GeoTrax at her cousins' house over Thanksgiving. I wish I had a picture of it, but she absolutely adores animals - cats and dogs mostly, and they have both. She squeals and tries to pet them and crawls after them and is the opposite of fearful. It makes me a little sad we don't have our dogs anymore...


So that's a PJ update in a nutshell! I am so blessed to have her in my family. I can actually see why people have tons of kids. I am enjoying watching each of my children grow. They are each individual spirits with their own personalities and strengths and weaknesses and each contribute a piece to our family puzzle. I can not imagine life without my little girl! Some final pics of her bday...





Friday, November 14, 2008

Dispelling the Myths

Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead. I have not been abducted by aliens. I am not lying in a coma in a remote hospital somewhere. My husband and I have not packed up and taken off with the kids to hitchhike through Europe (although that does sound like an adventure - anyone want to recommend us for a reality show on TLC?)...

I am alive. And well. And still poking around in my very own house in Texas. I hope that anyone who has been wondering will now be relieved. Or disappointed, whichever fits. I have just been REALLY busy. I started a new part-time job (using my mad German skills and working from home) at the end of October and I love it, but it's been replacing my web/blogging time. Plus, I just have so much to catch up on, I don't know where to start!

So I thought I'd start by sending you all over to 5 Minutes For Mom. They have great ideas and noteworthy posts, but best of all, right now they're doing some rockin' Christmas giveaways! Check it out while you wait for me to post something substantial :) Hope all is well with you!

Christmas Giveaway Stocking 120x240

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tagged

So somebody (not mentioning any names... AHEM! Coolwhip!) seems to think I'm not blogging enough. Yeah, well, she's right, I have been so boring lately and so wrapped up in stuff that I haven't blogged much. So tagging me seems to be the cure. We'll see...


I am- so blessed! I have everything I need and many many many of my wants.
I want- a playset/swingset for the backyard to help with the kiddos' energy levels.
I have- a wonderful supportive husband.
I wish- to have more hours in the day.
I dislike- feeling inadequate. Lately I've been feeling like I'm falling short in all aspects of my life. And I don't like it.
I fear- the economic collapse of the universe and not being able to provide for & take care of my kids.
I hear- silence! The ceiling fan and the typing of the keyboard. I LOVE nighttime. That's why I always stay up way too late. I'm addicted to the time when the house is peaceful and I can relax/get stuff done.
I search- the scriptures but not as regularly as I should.
I wonder- what my kids really think of me.
I always- worry about what other people think. Not so much because I have a need to be popular or trendy, I just want people to like me. I want everybody to like me. I'm pretty likeable, right? :)
I usually- watch something on TV or some of a movie before getting ready for bed. It's a habit I got into when DH would travel all the time and I wanted to hear adult voices that weren't speaking baby talk. Now I just relax with some fruit or a bowl of cereal and unwind.
I am not- very good at many things. I'm still searching for my talents.
I dance- to my old school music in the kitchen with the kids. I don't think it's old school music, but apparently it is, thanks to my YW for the heads-up on that. Sometimes I dance with DH in the kitchen. Or at the youth dances when we're chaperoning.
I sing- mostly primary songs. We have a primary CD and the primary program is in two weeks, so we've got to practice.
I never- get through a day without doing something I need to apologize for. Like yelling at the kids because I'm tired or forgetting something or bumping into the counter. I like to apologize though because it clears the air and my conscience.
I rarely- get everything done that I'd like to.
I cry- more than I'd like. Mostly when I'm pregnant or tired (which seems to be 98% of my life). But mostly in secret. I HATE other people to see me cry (with the exception of DH).
I am not always- punctual. I always have good intentions, but it doesn't pan out all of the time. Sometimes it's unavoidable (like a huge blowout or major trantrum right when I need to leave), but often I just get going a little later than I should. I am, however, almost always punctual when it comes to church and church activities (unless I have to pick up the YW... they can be doddlers).
I lose- hmmm... this is a toughy. I lose to DH whenever we box or play baseball on the Wii. And I lose my sanity on a regular basis.
I'm confused- about how people can say there isn't a God or a higher power. It's so evident to me in everything around me. And if there isn't a God, what is the purpose of life?
I need- to get someone to watch the kids tomorrow night while I am at Young Women.
I should- call my Grandma. I miss her and miss talking to her.
I dream- of a perfect mix of my Colorado life, my Germany life, my Utah life and my Texas life. I just want to combine all the good things about each one and create a perfect Utopia. And I dream of victory Thursday night against TCU.
I TAG- my sister Good Life, Emily, Carrie, bilingualandmore, and Jordan Family. Have fun!

Snow?!

So I heard that the first snow of the season hit Utah on Saturday/Sunday. The beginning of the Rocky Mountain winter. There's a part of me that's sad, missing the soft white flakes, the frozen temperatures, staying home and building a fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate, shoveling, scraping, slushing through it all... and singing "Let it Snow!" at the top of my lungs. But then there's the part of me that didn't mind so much, since we were enjoying this...

And this...


DH even got out the skateboards for a little driveway training...


And of course, PJ had to get in on the action...

Notice the shorts? PJ without socks or shoes? Yep, we're talking 78 degrees, a nice breeze, and a beautiful October Saturday. Are we missing the snow? Nah. At least not yet! (Of course, we're getting a ton of rain today and it's in the forecast for the week, so we're not out playing much now. But now I'm getting my hot chocolate. This whole Texas thing isn't so bad...)

Monday, October 06, 2008

What the Youth Need to Hear...


Anyone feeling suggestful?

We are having a youth Standards Night at our church on Wednesday. This is basically a night to emphasize moral values and eternal goals to the youth ages 12 to 18. It is to encourage them to live the standards that will bring them closer to the Savior Jesus Christ. Our particular take on it this year has to do with keeping standards in all our relationships (with family, friends, the community, in dating, etc).

As we prepared for this activity, we decided to ask six adults to sit on a panel and answer questions the young men and young women submitted about relationships and standards. Of course, we only had a smattering of questions from the young people. So now we are filling in the gaps with some of our own questions, questions we think the youth need to hear answers, issues that are on our minds and the minds of all the adults who love and care for teenagers in a scary world.

Overall, we have enough questions. I think we're pretty much set. But as I have been pondering this, I thought I would ask you if you can think of an issue/circumstance/question that the youth of today might benefit from hearing more about. What tugs on your heart strings as you watch kids grow up today and strive to stay close to the Savior?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

New Undertaking: Sewing!

All right, this post is very late. I mean, I meant to post this in early September. But somehow September has gotten away from me. I've spent most of the month being sick. I'm not sure how this is happening, and it's annoying. And I don't want to dish out any more money to our friends the physicians because there's a 97.654% chance they'll tell me it's a virus, so buck up, go home and wait it out. I can tell myself that and save the time and money, right? Anyone a budding doctor? Let me know and I'll tell you my symptoms...

But I digress. Back in early September we had a Super Saturday activity at my Church. Basically, we get together as women and learn new skills, make things, and eat. It's always an enjoyable time. This time around I decided to brush up my sewing skills (and believe me, they needed brushing! And so do my teeth for that matter...) and with the help of my friend Rachel, I came home with this...

Cute, huh? It's a reversible bag, and believe it or not, I've been using it to hold some YW stuff when I'm at church! I felt pretty proud of myself, even if some of my stitching was a little non-straight. I also came home with this...

(No, not the Bubbs, she was already here.) Do you see this cute dress? Wow, am I a great seamstress or what? Okay, yeah, I didn't make it. It was Rachel's handiwork, but her cute daughter didn't like it much and the Bubbs is about the same size, so she passed it off to me!

The awesome thing about this dress? It was made from a woman's dress shirt Rachel found at a thrift store!! You can see this one and another one she made and read about it on her blog. I think it is just the cutest dress! I am hoping to make my own for the Bubbs soon, and another project I'm trying to tackle is the making of pajama pants for all three kids!

I really enjoyed the sewing. It's my goal to really get going on it when DH is out of town... Throw in a chick flick, make sure I have a cold beverage, and break out the sewing machine! Thanks to Rachel for the motivation and if any of you have links to patterns you love, leave me a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm All About the Workout!

Remember my last great workout? Well, check this out...

While she was doing this...


I was doing squats, lunges, ladder-climbs and working my arms with a roller to do this...



Halfway done and getting exciting!

E is for Elephant


Monday, September 22, 2008

Halfway to 8!

September 22nd is one of my favorite days of the year for two reasons:
  1. It's the First Day of Fall! Yea, cooler weather! Yea, sneakers & jeans & hot cocoa!
  2. It's the Bubbs' Birthday!




So my baby turned FOUR YEARS OLD today!! She is growing up so so fast! We are so blessed to have her in our family. She's a wonderful older sister (most of the time) and such a joy to watch as she grows up. She's starting to create her own make-believe world (and Simster joins in the fun). She's starting to sound out words and knows what letter most words start with. She loves going to preschool, primary, the library, and hanging out with the family. She waffles between saying she's a "Mommy's girl" or a "Daddy's girl" and enjoys spending time with each of us on her own. She's getting old enough to help with PJ and for the most part, she likes to. She picks her nose a lot. Pretty much constantly. Just an FYI - and yes, we're working on it. I'm trying to find her a NPA meeting to go to (Nose Pickers Anonymous), but they seem to be all booked with other kids her age. :) She enjoys singing primary songs, especially "I Am a Child of God" and "I Love to See the Temple". She loves to play house, swim, play with trains, dance, jump on the bed, torment boss around play with her brother, and draw (both pictures and write letters). Her favorite foods are cereal, tortillas with cheese, broccoli, chicken, and apples, although she's pretty good about eating most everything. One of the cute things she says "Mom, do you remember when you were little and I was the Mom and I had to make dinner for you? That was nice of me, huh? And you have to say thank-you or I would be grumpy." Gotta love what comes out of her mouth! We've been fortunate to this point, but now that she's four, she is really turning in to a...

PRINCESS! She got a set of dress-up clothes today and was THRILLED! We probably didn't have to get her anything else! Simster also had fun trying on dresses, tutus, tiaras, and high heels, but Dad put a quick stop to that one... We spent a busy day today, with lunch at McDonalds

and several stops to pick out supplies so we could do this...

I think I was insane when I agreed to redo her room as part of her birthday. Well, at least I shouldn't have attempted the project ON her birthday! We just finished up the primer stage and I'm going to work on the colors tomorrow while the kiddos are at preschool. We also have some gifts still to open and a party in the future... Hey, who said birthdays can't last a week? :)


HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUBBS! WE LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Long Overdue

(Update: It looks like the hospital bill will be lower because they are going to bill it as a participating provider - Whew! Thanks for the info on that, Carrie!)

So I was just going through our pictures and realized I never posted about my "business trip" back in August. So here we go...

On the way out to Utah, I had about a three hour layover in Denver, so my Mom and my brothers came to see my at the airport. This is my baby bro A, who will be leaving on a mission in October. Gotta love the shirt, huh?

Of course, PJ had to pose with her uncle before we left. She'll be talking and such by the time he gets home!

The time in Utah was spent primarily working. It was full of mixed emotions - overall, I am sad my stint working there is done, and I will miss the associations I have had and the contributions I have made to the Center. Before I started there in 2003, they had one or two computerized testing programs, so 95% or more of the current testing system was created and supported by me. I will definitely miss it. However, I am sure my replacement will do great things, and it's time to start a new chapter in my life.

PJ and I at work. This is one of the only shots of the lab at work. This is my co-worker Inna and her cute son Sasha. He's two months younger than PJ, but definitely looks bigger! I will miss Inna a ton and am crossing my fingers that her hubby decides to go to law school out here in Texas!

Another cute kid picture. They just sat there on the floor jabbering to each other in Baby-nese.

PJ with her great-aunt J. My uncle & aunt were kind enough to let us stay with them while on our trip. Aunt J even watched PJ a few times while I was working. They have always opened up their home to members of my family and it's been greatly appreciated. I lived with them my freshman year of college.

We got to spend a lot of time with Gma as well, which was so much fun! PJ loves hanging out with her beautiful great-grandma! And I know Gma misses me and the kids, so it was important to visit with her.
PJ cuddling with Gma. Isn't my grandma so cute? Hard to believe she's 93, that's for sure! I miss her a ton!
Hanging out on campus with Gruncle (great-uncle) C. He's such a good grandpa to my kids... I hope he has some of his own in the not-too-distant future!

We also got to meet up with DH's family for lunch on one of the days we were there. Here's PJ with Aunt S.
This is a picture of the little gathering coolwhip threw together. It was fun to see old friends and to eat and visit and chat and etc etc etc! I only have this picture because my camera died! And along these lines, it was so nice of coolwhip to let me stay at her house! It was like old times again and her kids are so fun and cute. I had a great time - closure with my job and visiting with family and friends, most of it at the university's expense :)

This is for DH's benefit - his old primary kids on sk8boards. Gotta make him proud!

On the way back home, we again had a layover in Denver. This time, my Dad met us and we were able to visit with him for a while.

It was really a fun trip! I wish I had had more time to visit with friends, but I hope to be back not too long from now. On the plane ride over, a couple of passengers were discussing all the perks of Utah (national parks, skiing, boating, hiking, and more) and I was feeling very sad that we left. But on our last day and on our way back, all I could think about was getting HOME! We are definitely starting to feel like this is our home! I will always miss family and friends that are still in Utah, but our home, right now, is in Texas!