Saturday, February 28, 2009

Worth posting a blog for:

Happy 34th Birthday

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to the best man I know.





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(Yeah.  We realize how lucky we are.)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Old Habits Die Hard

I am woken up by Faith crying in the dark of the night as Jessica gets up to go feed her.

... a short time later, waken again by Faith's familiar sound. I realize groggily that this is one of those rare nights that Faith is demanding some company after already having her middle of the night feeding but well before morning.

Feeling bad for my tired wife, I try to gauge if Jessica would rather have me bring Faith to her so she can feed her again in bed or if Jessica is trying to teach Faith to get back sleep by herself.

... crying.

"Faith needs to learn get back to sleep on her own," Jessica yawns.

... more crying.

Jessica gets up mumbling something about notifying Faith that she needs to go back to sleep.

... loud crying.

Jessica and Faith come back into our room as my wife informs me, "She tricked me."

Apparently she was too cute crying to leave in her crib.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Morris tries to go to school

You know you’re a Pacific Northwesterner if…


your kids get “outside recess” cancelled because

there is a moose on the loose.

(No joke:  apparently it charged the fence surrounding the play area and the yard duties were all in a panic trying to get the kids inside ASAP—according to Gabe)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Top 10 things we love about our new 10 year old.



(the author and the birthday girl)

1.) Emma has creative flair. She loves being elbow deep in beads, glue, ribbons, tape, string, scissors, paper or anything that she can use to create her works of art.

2.) Emma knows how to give a thorough scrub. She can turn any pile of debris into a pristine space. If I need a job done thoroughly, I turn to Emma before anyone else.

3.) Emma is active. She loves riding bikes, scooters, sleds and her wave. She is one of the 1st ones out the door on sunny days, and is surprisingly coordinated and agile.

4.) Emma believes in Jesus Christ. Emma has the faith to choose to live Christian principles even when it would be easier not to.

5.) Emma is thoughtful of others. She consoles her younger siblings when they are sad and is sensitive of the feelings of those around her.

6.) Emma has pizzazz. She loves to style and accessorize. I love seeing how she adds boots, belts, and bows to boring outfits to make them “pop.”

7.) Emma is uber-capable. Need your kids watched, your breakfast cooked, your oil changed? We got your girl. If you can explain it, she can do it.

8.) Emma gets to the bottom of it. Whether reading a book or eavesdropping on mom and dad, our girl doesn’t miss a thing. Her comprehension of social situations, scripture passages, or anything nuanced is unparalleled.

9.) Emma loves music. She brings music into almost every room. She can easily be caught tuning in her favorite radio station (103.1 KCDA), singing a song, playing the piano or listening to her mp3 player.

10.) Emma makes me happy. She begs me not to leave in the morning and cheers when I get home at the end of the day. She is generous with her affection and eager to please. I love her for being such a perfect mix of loving attachment and curious independence.

Happy Birthday Emma!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday Summary with (a few) pictures

Last Sunday we started the 14 days of Valentines with a few boxes of sugary cereal…on Fast Sunday.  Everyone, surprisingly enough, decided they would be “fasting lunch”.

Monday everyone got their Valentine’s shirts, but you’ll have to wait till they wear them for Valentines day for a picture, as we hadn’t received the camera yet.

Also on Monday, Jane and Seth played this awesome new game.  It goes like this:Picture 037

yeah.  They’re playing “Dead”.  I’d highly recommend it.  They 1)don’t mess anything up 2)don’t fight about anything 3)are completely quiet. 

On Tuesday the kids got haircuts for the third day of Valentines.  (Little Tip:  delay any basic purchases – hair, underwear, socks—until you’re doing the 14 Days of Valentines.  You save effort and money and they think it’s a big present.) 

Usually I have the presents/certificates ready when they wake up, but that day I didn’t.  Each child asked me approximately 12 times when they were getting their present.  Because I was just lazing around, doing nothing all morning, you know.  The last time they asked me (I was walking down the stairs to print it out), I totally lost it: 

“Do you know how rude it is to ask for presents?!!  Did you think I was just piddling around the house with nothing to do, forgetting about your thing?!  It makes me not even want to give it to you!!” 

And then I threw the paper at them:  “Here.” 

It’s a really sweet tradition.

On Wednesday ( Valentines treat: Airheads …is there a single cheaper thrill for kids?  It never ceases to amaze me.), Seth had a grocery store field trip.  When I got there, he had won the distinction Kid Who Ate Every Sample They Handed Out At The Grocery Store.  My kids:  they might be shameless Present Beggers, but those kids’ll eat anything.

Thursday I went to my parenting class.  Yes.  Taking Love and Logic again.  This time my perfect parent sister in law, Heather Daines, is teaching it, and so maybe it will last more than the duration of the class.

On Friday Gabe had his potlatch (the culmination party for the Indian unit he’s been doing).  I took this picture of all the stuff he brought home and he asked if I could put a video on the blog with him explaining each thing.  I told him no.  You’re welcome.

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We also had the Daines girls spend the night and true to Daines form they slept from 1:30 to 6:30.  They made “gorilla poop” and “slept”  on mattresses on the floor.

Saturday for the Whatever Day of Valentines, I took the kids to the children’s museum for their “Blood and Guts” presentation.  I got to hold the 10 lbs of fat that I’ve lost in my hands, and frankly, I was quite impressed with myself.  Faith and I had a traumatic fall down the stairs (Faith, seriously flew through the air…hideous) but she’s no worse for the wear.  

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Seth wouldn’t leave the water area Picture 010

and Faith tried to row the Filipino boat out of the Filipino  village.Picture 013

For our date we headed over to the Paul Mitchell school’s fashion show.  We are friends with the owners and thought it would be something different and we had a lot of fun.  Ryan looked especially fashion-forward with his beard:

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We also got our camera on Saturday and have been making up for lost time with the Faith pictures:

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Faith in her new (borrowed) Bumpo chair.  






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Faith sucking on her bottom lip…which is her favorite thing to




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Faith with her leg warmers on.  I know:  Out of Control Cute.







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Faith, pinked out, for our Sunday walk. 






The end.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Quick Quote #31: Could it be…Satan?

Silly JaneJane, saying a prayer:  "Thank you for the whole weeld (world) but except for Satan and Satan's plan and Satan's people who do his bad sings (things)."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset

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Monday, 10:30 am

Jane comes running in…without her bottom left tooth

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 Monday, 12:10 pm

After months of trying, Jane actually ties BOTH shoes without help






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Monday, 5:30 pm

Jane announces:  You know what Mom?  I don’t weally think I need my blankies anymore.  I just don’t cawe about them.

Apparently, they DO grow up overnight.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

It’s not what I would have chosen…

I was reading Denae’s blog tonight about her calling.  And I left a super long comment about how much I love callings…and thought I’d turn it into a post.

Our church is run by unpaid members.  We are “called” (asked/offered/requested) by our church leadership to serve in various capacities throughout wards and stakes.  We do not ask for these callings (at least we shouldn’t) and often are not necessarily qualified for the callings we are given.

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(Some pictures from callings in Primary, Cub Scouts and Girls Camp)

I have a deep belief that these callings come from God.  I believe He inspires the men and women in charge of our church to place people in positions where they can grow and change and where they specifically can bless lives. 

I have been deeply blessed by every single calling I have received.  There are some that I have been excited about and would have chosen myself (Young Women’s advisor/teacher) and some that scared me to death (Ward Choir Director, anything to do with Girls Camp). 

And that is the beauty of callings.

Heavenly Father knows we are creatures of habit and comfort.  He knows that we, mostly, are happy to do what we enjoy and think we are good at.  But where is the growth in that?  How reliant would we really be, if we only did what we had time for/were good at/enjoyed?

I have never had a calling that I didn’t end up loving.  And I have never had a calling that I couldn’t, with Heavenly Father’s help, complete in a manner pleasing to myself and Him.

Today in Relief Society, our teacher told a story   about a young boy who sneaks away from his mother at a famous pianist’s concert.  He ends up on stage plunking out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  As told by Elder James E. Faust:

“His mother gasped, but before she could move, Paderewski appeared on stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And then, leaning over, the master reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side, encircling the child, to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized.

“In our lives, unpolished though we may be, it is the Master who surrounds us and whispers in our ear, time and time again, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And as we do, He augments and supplements until a work of amazing beauty is created. He is right there with all of us, telling us over and over, ‘Keep playing.’ ”

This is my testimony of callings.  As we accept those callings that come to us and try our very, most prayerful, most diligent best, He will encircle us and make of our work a masterpiece.

I am so grateful that I have been able to try my hand at Teaching, Girls Camp, Activities Chairperson, Cub Scouts, Primary Presidencies, and even Choir Director.  If I had said no because of fear or busy-ness or pride, I would have missed out on amazing friendships, incredible experiences with the Spirit and witnessing the Father’s love for all of His children.

I am so happy the He has confidence in me.  I am so happy to be called.