Thursday, May 29, 2008

Excuse me

So my husband went to Utah this week to get our rental house ready to sell (please buy it) and he took the computer because supposedly he was going to work (but he only called in sick) and so he was assigned the task of writing the Sunday Summary but he was fasting and not funny so apparently it is lame and so now he's back and I was so overwhelmed at the idea of reading blogs and emails and updating my Goodreads and library list that I avoided the computer and now it's almost the weekend and a million things have happened so you'll all have to wait until Sunday for the oh-so-exciting Romney wRap-up.

Try not to die with anticipation.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

On the Occasion of her Fifth Birthday

Five things that make Jane...Jane

her crooked smile

her white blankie

the way she talks

her muscley little body
(she was actually diagnosed with Hypertonisity as a baby)

the way she just BURSTS with love and energy

Happy Birthday, Janey Cakes!

The Home Office

Why it's not good to have your husband working from home while he waits for his company to lease an office space:

1. He uses your laptop all day, every day and only lets you use it at night when he knows you are not a night person and cannot come up with decent blog posts at night.
2. He's distracting. You walk by the room and decide that he looks like more fun than the laundry you were about to do.
3. You are very aware that he can hear all aspects of your not-so-stellar parenting.
4. He knows about the amount of napping that goes on at home by you.
5. No clean-up-right-before-he-gets-home-so-he-thinks-you-have-it-all-together.
Why it's good to have your husband working from home while he waits for his company to lease an office space:
1. Gas prices. Sheesh.
2. When you are potty training, he cleans up the poopy underpants while you clean up the poopy 2 year old.
3. When you are making a hugely difficult castle cake on the same day you are potty training (I have been doing lots of hand washing, okay?), he helps you transfer the huge crumbling mess to a more stable surface AND keeps telling you how good it looks.
4. He watches the kids during naptime so you can buy the stuff for the princess party you are having tomorrow.
5. You can walk into his "office" 14 times while you are trying to find something that you can actually fit your 4 month pregnant self into, crying, and he'll tell you you look great EVERY time.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Listen to this!

**disclaimer: While I think David Archuleta is an extremely talented singer, he's not my favorite. He's a little boring and awkward. I am a David Cook fan, all the way.
Kay. In honor of American Idol's season finale this week, I wanted to share this very interesting bit of truth.
I have a friend in another ward who knows David A's dad REALLY well. They talked on the phone last week.
So you (if you follow American Idol at all) can guess what my first question was...
Is he really the bad Stage Dad the media says he is??
Rik and his wife adamantly told me "No." They said he is a great guy and super laid back and that it is a complete lie that has been simply made up.
Which I think is so tragic. Can you imagine if the whole world thought you were this damaging, awful parent? There isn't anything I work harder at than my parenting, and I can't imagine having everyone think I was horrible.
So I'm using my forum to share what I believe is the truth. Pass it on.

Quick Quote #22

Jane got out Emma's headphones to listen to a CD. She grabbed the Sound of Music soundtrack and, after a couple of minutes, took the headphones off and, with disgust, yelled: "Hey dis stuff is OPEWA!!?"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Summary

After the longest winter of our LIVES, this week it turned into Summerish Spring and we could have died with happiness. We each celebrated it our own ways.

Ryan celebrated by taking his boys on the ward Father/Sons Campout. Seth was apparently very thirsty, and Ryan, not taking into account the constrictions of tents, sleeping bags and diapers, allowed him to drink his fill of soda and Capri Suns. And paid for it in the middle of the night. They had fun chatting (do men chat?) and swinging on-fire sticks around, and came home smelly and exhausted.

Seth celebrated by running through the sprinklers (with the rest of the 47 kids in our court). He came up to me, stuck his face in mine and said, "Hey mom, I having a gweat time now." How cute is that?

Not so cute: Seth beside himself with exhaustion brought on by camping out and nap missing. He had a complete melt-down on Saturday night and we could do nothing him but plop him in bed. When I tried singing him his previous bedtime song favorites, I kept getting, between wails, "Not that song, mom. It's too broken."

Jessica celebrated by buying her first batch of hanging flowers ever, and can't get over how pretty they look. See:

Jessica also celebrated by purchasing 25 lbs of asparagus because it was .50 a lb. Good thing I'm feeling better, because we have a lot of cream of asparagus soup and asparagus quiche in our future.

Emma (and Jane) celebrated by going summer clothes shopping, all alone with Mom. Emma was so excited that she was dancing and snapping her fingers and head bopping to the teeny-bopper music they were playing. We had a great time and picked out some fun outfits:

Jane celebrated by graduating from preschool. It was a pirate-themed graduation (as you can see by the awesome mast, sail, cannon and ship the teacher constructed around the stage). Jane, after buying her new summer clothes, could NOT be persuaded to wear anything slightly pirate-y, but she Yo-Ho'd her little heart out and was darling.

She also protested mom's asparagus purchase by telling her first big old sneaky whopper. Last night, as we were eating on the patio, I told the kids they could have some lemonade to drink, as soon as their asparagus was gone. Jane scarfed those things down. We were all seriously impressed. In order to reinforce her good behavior, I hurried to the kitchen to fetch her lemonade. As I proceed to her seat, I look down and see this:

She'd simply emptied her plate onto the floor! I was amazed at the naughtiness. Needless to say, she joined Seth in the early bedtime. (And ate all of her asparagus at Sunday dinner today.)

Gabe "celebrated" by helping us plant our garden for FHE. Check back later this week for a recap of the love that abounded.

Because I live in the Inland Northwest, after a 90 degree Saturday, Wednesday's supposed to be 55 and rainy. Don't expect any Summaries celebrating that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Story Corner

(The Official Engagement picture)

I only have time for one part of my marrying Jessica story tonight, because five is too daunting and this one can really only be done justice by itself. Before I begin, I need to set the stage. I love my father in law (I love my mother in law too, but that really isn't germane to this story ... just making sure the bases are covered).

In some things I am very observant (i.e. plot in a story, scientific facts, peoples moods, etc.), however I like to think that in an effort to conserve brain function (I love conservation of almost anything) I unconsciously filter things that don't strike me as very important. Therefore, there are also areas where I am not very observant (i.e. what date various holidays and General Conference fall on, what people wear, other people's lives,etc.). I also never really knew that it is customary in our culture for the male to ask the female's father for her hand in marriage. I had never even heard of this. So I was shocked when Jessica came to me and told me that her dad was expecting me to ask him to marry her.

"HE IS!?!?"


"Why do I have to ask him?"

"It is just what people do when they are getting married and this is important to him."

"So if he says no then will you still marry me?"

"Of course I will."

"Then what is the point of asking him?"

This discussion continued until I finally understood the gravity of the situation and agreed to do it. I was kind of terrified to do it though. I felt so awkward. Now, knowing my Father in law better, I wish I could go back and do it again because I "get it" way better now. I think I could really wow him.

So I met him at work one day. I hadn't really thought through my sales pitch on this one so I started off by telling him how much I loved his daughter and all the reasons why I wanted to marry her.

After my first volley and a short pause I began to worry that maybe this exercise wasn't to test my devotion, but rather to qualify myself as a viable spouse. So I started in all over again this time emphasizing that I would take good care of Jessica and be nice to her and telling him that I thought I was smart and would end up providing well for her. The pause after this second attempt gave me time to wonder if I should be convincing Jessica's dad that she wanted to marry me.

So off I set for a third round. This time I went over the fact that I thought Jessica loved me too and wanted to be married to me and that I was confident this would be something she would want too ... etc. etc. etc. After this pause I was out of good lines of reasoning so I went back in with any random thought that could possibly help my case. Mercifully, it was at this point that my father in law interrupted me and began to manage the conversation much better than I had up to that point.

So as my father-in-law began to direct the conversation, he got very emotional. I didn't know this at the time, but he is an emotional guy. This behavior was very foreign to me. I wasn't sure what to do. Should I console him? Should I pretend like there weren't tears coming out of his eyes? I just didn't know. Then I started getting worried that maybe HE EXPECTED ME TO CRY TOO!?! Oh great ... now he'll never let me marry Jessica, because obviously I am an unfeeling oaf.

I managed to make it through an hour or so of this. And then I could tell things were wrapping up. I got the vibe that things were going well and I wouldn't have to elope after all, despite my stony heart. Towards the end my father in law paused and I could tell was getting ready to give me a compliment. It was then that the most memorable word he ever said to me were spoken;
"I want you to know that if I could choose anyone to marry my daughter, you would be second." He then kind of eased back in his chair to let the full weight of his words sink in.

It took me a second to gauge if he were joking, or being subtlety malicious, or what? I quickly realized that NO ... in fact he felt he had just paid me a very sincere compliment. It kind of made me laugh a little. I wasn't used to coming in second to anyone. I am not saying that I never lose at anything, but growing up in the "Haytown" ghetto, I was beloved by every parent I ever came across. I couldn't believe that I had just been ranked by my soon to be father in law number 2.

So I met up with Jessica and gave her a full debriefing. Towards the end I swore her to secrecy and told her what had happened with her dad. I found it funny and kind of ironic. Jessica went ape. Her promises to keep the discussion between me and herself immediately went out the window. And she stormed off to battle with her dad.

We have long since worked through that event. My father in law has bent over backwards to show me that he loves me and holds me in highest (or maybe it's second highest) regard.

**NOTE: Be sure to read Jessica's dad's rebuttal in the comments. He's anonymous and about 6 comments down.**

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Summary in which I rave about Ryan (move on if you don't want to hear about it)

Monday we got back from Utah. Ryan was in Toronto (where his new company is based). I was so sad to come home to an empty house until I opened my bathroom drawer which was completely organized (along with all the cabinets underneath). Emma came running into my room: "Dad cleaned the closet and hung my pictures!" It was like a treasure hunt, running around the house, seeing what he'd done: organized game closet, linen closet, etc., a new garden box, waxed was out of control. I know, I know, he's unreal and I'm the luckiest girl ever.

Tuesday was the day I started to feel better!! I am not all the way out of the nausea, but it's SO MUCH BETTER and the exhaustion is gone. I actually cooked an entire meal from scratch for us and the missionaries.

Thursday, Ryan got home. We'd been apart for 9 days and it felt like forever--are we newlyweds? I don't know how military wives (Ellie) do it. At all.

Friday we went swimming at the YMCA. The kids had been so excited. This is what Jane put on as soon as she realized it was Friday night:

It was fun being with the Hunters (they'd invited us) and Seth loved loved loved loved loved the kiddie pool.

Saturday we had a great time at the Shock game with the Nebekers. They are part-owners/managers of our local arena football league team and they invited us to sit in their box with them. It's such a show at those close-up, fast paced football games and we had so much fun. Next week, guys?

When we got home from the game, our babysitter had all the kids in bed. I went to check on Seth a half hour later and couldn't find him. I looked around the dark room...and this is where he was:

This is Gabe's bed, in the boys' room, which Gabe never sleeps in because he loves to sleep with his sisters. Poor Seth, as the fourth child, he apparently can't get anyone to realize he's growing up, so he's got to potty train himself and decide when he's ready for a big boy bed (which he's been in ever since).

Sunday was a great Mother's Day, because I have a great husband. Here are some picture of the food I was served (breakfast, dinner and dessert).

The kids gave me all their cute school presents (totally the best kind) and I loved sleeping in and reading blogs in the middle of the day without worrying about it. We also had the BEST talks in Sacrament meeting and I was able to push away the Guilt enough to enjoy my family.

Okay, that summary was not funny at all. Sometimes you have it, sometimes you don't.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Mother's Day Post

Ryan and I thought we'd honor our mothers by finding scriptures that best illustrated their lives and teachings.

Dorrie Sherrill

Psalms 91: 2, 14 &15
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust
Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

My mom, while blessed with a multitude of talents and testimony, has had many trials in her life. Through it all, and starting as a little girl, she has always turned to the Lord and stayed close to his Gospel and his Church. She always knew that doing what was right, trusting in Heavenly Father and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and serving in her ward and stake callings would bring her more peace, wisdom and joy than giving up. She is the truest example to me that, no matter what, the Lord is our refuge and our fortress.

What greater lesson could a mother teach her daughter?

Karen Romney

Proverbs 21:26
but the righteous giveth and spareth not.

My mom is someone who gives all. As I was thinking about her, I kept thinking of a quote from Marjorie Hinckley that says:

"I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk’s lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived."

I have been blessed to be allowed to closely observe the life of someone who is ever ready to help and serve others. My mother went to bed after midnight and woke up before 5 am almost ever day. When I picture her in my mind, I see her stationed in our family room sitting on the floor folding a pile of laundry more than 3 feet high. She was the kind of mom who read stories to us on the couch as the seven of us kids compressed upon her from all sides. She worked long sandwich assembly lines as she prepared our lunches every morning. Yet, as busy as she was with 7 little hoodlums running rampant, she made time to help the lady who unexpectedly called her with a random request for help or a sympathetic ear. Today I am thankful for her capacity to give and spare not.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


So my friend, Carie (private blog, wah!), who is one of the coolest girls around, has posted a few times about how people keep telling her she looks like Kate Hudson. She doesn't see it. (I kind of don't either. Both very pretty, just not the same pretty.) What do you think?

The other day, someone I'd just met came up to me and said, "You look just like Wonder Woman."

So Carie wins the Hottest Lookalike prize, but who'd you rather have with you in a dark alley? Hmmm?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Family History Stuff I need to highlight, so I don't forget

Here are some things that have happened to our family during my blogger slump that I wanted to make sure I'd remember (seriously, this really is probably to boring for my non-family readers):

Seth takes Potty Training into his own hands:

(Obviously nothing to do with potty training...just a good example of Seth's do-every-crazy-thing-that-comes-into-his-head personality. This is a bike rack we found him on.)

Yesterday, I came back from the gym at 6:15 (I'd done a Body Pump class) and I could see Seth standing in his crib looking at Emma (I'd had her go in there when I left, in case he woke up, as Ryan is still away on business). I went in to tell him to go back to bed and he was completely soaked. I was surprised that it was so bad, but I couldn't have him go back to bed like that, so I told him I'd change him and put him back. As I took his ( Jane's girly, cherry he insisted on putting on and wearing last night) pajamas off, I saw that he was wearing one pair of Cinderella panties and one pair of High School Musical panties--and that was all. He slept all night in just panties. Which would explain the ocean of pee in his crib. So Seth has officially slept through the night without diapers. I'm very proud.

Jane's does the Itsy-Bitsy spider:

Jane had a little pre-recital a few weeks ago. She didn't get to wear her recital costume (to her major dismay) but looked so cute in these little gray shorts and T-shirt. That little girl's tiny, muscly body looks cute in ANYTHING. We loved watching her dance around the stage to a rapping version of the Itsy-Bitsy Spider.
Soccer Stars:

Our Saturdays (like everyone else who's dumb enough to sign multiple siblings up for this sport) are taken up by a lot of soccer. At Emma's last game, someone called out: "Who are Emma's parents?" I indicated myself. He said, "She has gotten really good." I said, "Thanks, she seems to have figured out what to do." Another dad chimed in, "Yeah, she's tearing it up out there today. She's just SO fast." That kind of my-kid-who-came-out-of-body-is-awesome feeling is so surprising and fun.
Gabe does well, too. He'd probably be better if I didn't forget his soccer practice every other week.

Job blessings:

This up and down job situation has been completely crazy, wearing and full of twists and turns. Without a lot of gory details, I just wanted to take a minute and remind myself (Years-down-the-road-Jessica, listen up!) that Heavenly Father always takes care of us.

We had 2 times in the last month, where we have felt through the Holy Ghost that we should turn down stable jobs with pay increases. Within a week of turning down both jobs, the jobs we had picked instead fell through. We were completely mystified, but tried not to get to stressed out. In the end, the job Ryan ended up with has been financially WAY better than either of the jobs we turned down, puts him 1 mile from our house and will give him great opportunities to stretch and grow in experience.
I'll just keep saying my prayers, and listening to the Spirit, because obviously the Man Upstairs knows a teeny bit more about what's best for me than I do.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Pictorial (or not)

Oh man, we just got back from a great trip!

I drove the kids by myself and the kids were great. I listened to a really interesting book on my MP3 player ( Crashing Through ) and the time flew by. See?:

My mom watched my kids. She took them to the Aquarium, the Zoo, the Bean museum, on four-wheelers, and to get haircuts. Here's the evidence:

(The only picture I got of my children at my mom's was this one, where Jane needed a couple toys to complete her bath experience.)

My Super Hostess sister-in-law Meridith let me crash on her couch and fed me food. We had a great time at the Fun Run for Kids in Provo Canyon with ALL the Utah sisters-in-law. Look at this fun picture of the event:

I loved Women's Conference and got so much out of it. I really needed the "Nice Try" talks on mothering, reinforcement of stuff I am doing, ideas for what I can do better. I'm mostly thankful for the Spirit that makes me want to and to know I can. Want to see pictures? Here you go:

(Celia, with the blog brownie she bought me for the opening session of Women's Conference)

The Blogapalooza Party O'the Year was everything I'd hoped it would be: women I didn't feel like I'd just met because I read what they do every week of their lives, lots of laughing, screaming and complimenting, and some fun, long talks with incredible girls. Here's a picture that totally encapsulates it:

(Bloggers taking pictures of the decor. Go here for a waaay better run down.)

(You know you had a good time, when you simply could NOT stop and take any pictures.)