Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Play

Sorry, I posted the wrong video the first time I published this post. If you read this on google reader, you may have to go to my blog to view the right video.

Anyway, I mentioned before that for part of our Christmas service we visited the widows in our ward and did a live nativity for them. It was so wonderful to be in therir homes, get to know them and have them get to know our family. These are each such amazing women who I admire and am glad to call them my friend. I hope this can be a family tradition.

By the way, Bailey is supposed to be our angel, but isn't very cooperative. Still cute as can be!!

video

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Does This Count?

I get on my treadmill almost every day. I actually love it and crave it! (Ok, sometimes I hate it too). I have various workouts that include both walking and running. In the year I have had my treadmill, my running stretches are longer and faster.
Usually, I have a good book and can crank my incline all the way up and speed walk while I read. This is always a great work out and makes the time go fast. I try to run for a few minutes between chapters too (that's where the Ipod comes in). Having finished my latest book and not gotten into a new one, I am kind of bored with my exercises, so I decided to try something new...

Motivated in part by my holiday eating habits and in part by my friend Michelle, who just ran a half marathon, I thought I'd try out my stamina at running the WHOLE time. My goal was a "5K" (3.2 miles).
I DID IT!!
In 30 minutes, which was the other goal. Ok, Ok, so I was in my climate controlled house (with a fan blowing on me), water at my finger tips, and an incline of 1, but does it count? Can I call this my first 5K? HAHA
Let the compliments fly!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tis the Season to be JOLLY!

A few weeks ago I announced to my family "Mom will not do anything this Christmas season that is stressful. So who wants McDonalds for dinner tonight?"
I just didn't want to get all caught up in buying and wrapping a million presents, making a million treats (that I eat and then feel guilty about), sending a million cards, delivering a million gifts, etc, etc, etc. Not that I didn't want to do these things, I just really didn't want them to stress me out. Maybe just making the decision has helped, but my season so far has been completely jolly. I still hand made 75 cards and 35 jars of hot fudge (my neighbor gift), decorated my two Christmas trees...
One family tree with all the kids fun decorations


And one for me to have in the front window with all white decorations




I also went to "Scrooge" with my family. This is a tradition of ours that my Grandma Marilynn and Grandpa Jerry started about 100 years ago. This year was extra special because it was Adeline's first year (Austin's second). It is so neat to pass this tradition on to a new generation. They talked about it and even played "Scrooge" for days after. This really brings Christmas into my heart and the holidays just wouldn't be the holidays without it. Cami said it best "If you don't know this story then shame on you!"
Here's half the group
And the whole group. We had a few new comers this year.
Adeline loved all the "princesses" When we were little, we loved to sit on the end and touch all the puffy dresses as they walked by.

The best thing we have done this year has been to go out of our comfort zone to bring joy to others. We practiced for weeks to have our children reinact the nativity. Austin was Joseph, Addie was Mary and Bailey was an angel. They acted it out as I read from Luke 2, then they sang this years new primary Christmas song. We took this "performance" along with some treats and poinsettias to the widdows in our ward. It was so neat to get to know these strong and faithful women and to let them get to know our family. They have been through trails that blow my mind, yet are still happy, functional and God fearing human beings. Although it took a lot of time this has been a real blessing to our family and hopefully we are teaching our children to lose themselves in the holidays. Because we all know what it's really about...
PS I'll post a video of our homemade nativity soon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Apricot Smiles

My very cute and talented friend Harmony started a little business that I think you should all check out. It's darling bows, binky clips, tutus, etc. for little girls.
She has a special offer running right now...free 2" pinwheel bow in pink, black, or white. You just need to pay for shipping and email the code GIVEME with your order. Shipping is combined so if they order any other bows there won't be any additional shipping charges! Her prices are very reasonable and she does such a great job! Here are a couple pictures from her site.

Check it out at http://www.apricotsmiles.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Free Christmas Kittens

It's finally time to say good-bye to our kittens. It's very bittersweet. It has been so much fun for our children and even for John and me, but now that they are big and running everywhere, they need to go to new homes. These kittens have been played with from the very beginning and are so sweet and gentle. I read online that taking a kitten from it's mom too early makes mean cats. A mother cat naturally scatters her litter at 12-16 weeks. These kittens are about 12 weeks now, so they will be perfectly nice! They are completely litter box trained. We have never had an accident with any of them.
Tinkerbell is our runt. She loves John and will come lay on him whenever he's downstairs. She also loves to be cuddled by the kids. She just fell asleep in Austin's lap.

Here's Shadow enjoying a belly rub from Adeline. He laid there like that for about an hour while she just played with him
I have been running an ad on KSL for about an hour now and think they all may be claimed. I have a few people coming by today. If you want one, call me quick!

Heterochromia

Heterochromia is a virtually benign trait where either the eyes are two different colors or one eye is partially different. Bailey was born with blue eyes. They started to change after a few months. The process slowed, then stopped before her right eye had completely changed. I researched it to see if it could be a problem that is presenting itself this way. Turns out in very few cases, it can effect the hearing, but hers is fine. I came across this picture where her eye color is very pronounced and thought it would be interesting to post.
Another interesting tidbit about my Bailey is that her second and third toes on both feet are almost completely webbed! Mine are partially too (apparently it's genetic). We're just a bunch of freak shows here!
And here are some celebs I found with the same trait...
Kate Boswell
David Bowie
Elizabeth Berkley
Dan Aykroyd
Jane Seymour

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Watching "Home Alone' for the first time

WARNING!!! This is posted by John with strong disapproval by Kim!!!

Last night we went on a date.

We left the kids (with a babysitter) to watch "Home Alone."

Tonight when we asked what their favorite part was, Austin said:


video

All we could say was, "Yep, that's a super funny part!"

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Thanksgiving Post (finally!)

Thanksgiving this year was near perfect. My mom scheduled their church, so we would have plenty of room to eat and play. The night before, my mom had these little projects for the kids...napkin rings and a turkey roll basket.





John was in charge of the camera, which means we got NO pictures. So these pictures are from my dad and Cami. This is a creative shot of Todd and Alexis


What would Thanksgiving be without a texting teenager?










Cami had a little craft for the kids to make turkeys out of cookies and candy.














Good job B!












We set up a TV for the kids to watch a movie in a quiet room. It was so great! The kids also played a lot in the gym and gave the adults plenty of time to get whooped in boggle by my dad.






Other great things about 2008 Thanksgiving:
  • My mom, Cami and I divided the labor and no one felt over-whelmed
  • We ate at 1 which forces you to finish your cooking early and play the rest of the day
  • The weather was nice enough for me to rollerblade with Austin and Adeline outside
  • Once the church was cleaned up, everyone came to my house for more food (Duh), football (for the boys), and flipping through Black Friday ads (for the girls, minus me)

Friday, November 28, 2008

My Black Friday Morning

What did I do this morning? I woke up just after 8, after a little quiet time in my bed, I got up and got on the treadmill. 45 minutes later, all the kids were up and hungry. We made pancakes and hot chocolate for breakfast.Now, I have gotten the kids to help me take down Thanksgiving decor, John is reading Bailey a book and I think I will jump in the shower. What a nice morning!
Black Friday is NOT for me. I do love a good deal, but only during mid-day and not when the rest of the world is on the hunt for the same deal. It's just not worth saving $5 to me.
So to my trooper friends and family who woke up early to brave the cold and crowds...
I feel so sorry for you!
(Please leave me a comment telling me about your great finds and unavoidable fights. The next best thing to me finding a great deal, is YOU finding a great deal!)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Thanksgiving Thought

I love this time of year when my thoughts are more focused on my blessings as well as helping fill the needs of those around me. As I was laying in bed the other night and going over all I have to be thankful for, I remembered a lesson I learned a few years ago...
...John and I were always blessed financially and as long as I budgeted correctly, I could usually buy the things I needed and a lot of the things I wanted. There came a time, when John was starting his business, that money became really tight. We had to cut back our budget quite a bit. I was down to buying only necessities and feeling pretty sorry for myself about it. One night I stayed up late and had a pity party! I made a list of all of my wants and stared at it longingly, wondering when I would ever get any of it.
Just down the street from us there was a darling family with 5 little boys. They were not very well off, but refused to accept assistance from the church or anyone else. However, they were in church every week in their Sunday best. Their Sunday best was what most people would not consider "best" at all. I specifically remember one of the boys wearing sandals to church in the dead of winter (they walked to church). I asked him "Why are you wearing sandals in the snow?" He said "They're the nicest looking shoes I have." My heart pumped in pain. I noticed that his yellowing shirt was ironed and his shaggy hair was combed. He looked his best.
A day or two after my little pity party, was testimony meeting at church. The mother of these 5 boys got up to bear her testimony. She was wearing the same dress she wore to church each week. She said "I am blessed beyond measure." "You?" I thought. She went on, "Every night my children go to bed in a warm home with full bellies." I started to cry. "I have a loving husband and the true Gospel of God in my life," She finished. At least, that's all I remember because that's all I needed to hear.
You better believe I marched right home and tore that list apart. I decided then and there that I would never feel sorry for myself again because "my children go to bed every night in a warm bed with full bellies." And I too, have a loving husband and the true gospel in my life. And if I continued to count my blessings, I could never ever stop.
I hope that this Thanksgiving, we can all recognize that we are blessed beyond measure!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday...

...To the most amazing woman out there. Of course, we all know that I'm talking about my mom. If you know her, this means you have been served by her. It's well known that she is the most selfless woman you will ever meet, but I thought I'd tell you a couple things that are less known.

1. She is so funny. It's very common for my mom to start a fit of giggles, that will spread to most of the people in the room (this usually happens during prayer too). She has a killer sense of humor. Almost everything has some kind of humor in it. She even makes jokes to a man in her ward that has had both legs amputated (She, of course, has plenty of time to tease him about his legless body while she is in his home a few times a week to help him with physical therapy or taking in a meal)
2. She is fit. It's obvious that she has a killer bod, but she is also very healthy. She is always in the front of any family hike (and usually carrying a grandchild). She eats right and exercises everyday. Don't get me wrong, she eats chocolate like the best of us, but she knows where to stop (a trait I did not get)!
3. She is an incredible wife. I am so lucky to have an example of how to be a good wife. Before all her service to everyone else in the world, she takes care of her husband. They have been married for over 30 years and are still blissful. It is so refreshing to see and so has been a huge factor in my healthy marriage.
I could go on, but won't (here's another tidbit- she doesn't like attention. It kind of embarrasses her). Hope your birthday was a happy one! I love you Mom!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Modestly Chic

My darling sister-in-law Emily and her friend have started a blog about being modest and fashionable. Check out http://modestlychic.blogspot.com/. It's two Mormon moms who are fashion forward and want to look great in all areas of life. Now they are passing their knowledge, fashion sense and modesty on!
Emily has lived all over the world. She was born and raised in China and went to school in Australia (where she met John's brother who was a missionary at the time). Through keeping in touch a visit Steve (John's brother) made to China, they fell in love and were married. She came here to the United States for the first time just weeks before they got married. So her style is eclectic, modern, and classy all together! She puts a lot of effort into looking great always, even though she's a stay at home mom.
The site covers everything fashion from date wear...
to bags, purses and clutches...


to the lateset beauty products...
to the latest beauty treatments...

to must have shoes...

And then some.

Add it to your google reader. You won't regret it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

November 12

2002 I gave birth to my perfect baby boy.
We found out earlier that year the gender of our first baby. I was sure it would be a girl, but really, truly didn't care either way. When we walked out of the doctors office, John was walking about a foot taller than normal with his chest puffed up. He gave me a big hug and said "I would be just as excited if we were having a girl, but I am so so excited we are having a boy." I was beyond thrilled, not only for my baby boy, but for my husband to have a son!

My water broke at 10pm on November 11 (3 weeks early! I was due Dec. 2) and I had him at 6am November 12, 2002. He weighed 6 lb 12 oz.
One of my greatest memories was taking him home, pulling him out of the car seat, then John and I just sat on the couch and stared at him and cried. We were smitten!

When he was 3 days old, he had jaundice and had to be under the billi-lights for 3 days. I thought the world was coming to an end! I cried the ENTIRE time. I made myself a little bed right by him and just laid there for 3 days (Oh the freedom of the first child!) It broke my heart, but now I can laugh about it.

Here's our first family picture when he is 6 months old. I know, my hair is so dark! We were poor and I could do an all over color on myself for $5!

Here he is reading a book naked on his first birthday 2003.

This is his second birthday 2004. I am just a few months prego with Adeline.
Austin and my brother Jonny on Austin's 3rd birthday 2005.
Here's his 4th birthday, with his CARS cake in 2006
This is just last year in 2007 at age 5
And here's this years birthday boy! 6 years old! We got in from our trip to St. Paul super late the night before. Thank goodness my mom kept the kids for another night, so I could decorate in the morning. I had already made the cake and frozen it and had all the presents wrapped. So I was completely prepared.
He loves Nacho Libre and always wants to wrestle because of it. I found this awesome cape and mask at the swap meet in California!
Each year he wants a BYU football cake, since his birthday is in the middle of the season. Last year I got a Costco one that was so yummy, but so big that I (and only I) was eating it for days and days. Trying to avoid a similar disaster, I decided to make my own. I got Easter egg shaped cake tins (in an effort to make the tins useful for more than one occasion) and just frosted them up to look like footballs. Not sure if you can see the B-Y-U written on them. Unfortunately, the cat got to the bottom of the U cake. Oh well.
Since we did a big friend party last year, this year we took him on a special date. I, of course, forgot the camera, but it was so fun. It worked out that John's dad was in town, so he got to meet up with us for dinner. We went to the Mayan to see the cliff divers. Always a hit! Then to Sports Authority to pick out new roller blades. Everyone meet us at our house after for cake and ice cream. It was a fun day to celebrate our wonderful boy!
Allow me ooze my feelings on this child for a moment. He is the ideal boy and always has been. He was a perfect baby, a joyful toddler and has grown into the sweetest and most agreeable boy out there. I wish I could claim great parenting (but have you met Addie? JK), but he's just naturally good. He wants to obey and be kind. He is so concerned for others and their feelings. This makes him the perfect big brother! Adeline and Bailey both just idolize him and want to follow him everywhere. He is charming, playful, obedient, smart, funny and hard working.
Since I had him 6 weeks before Christmas, I bonded a lot with Mary, Jesus's mother. Not that I am comparing either of us to them, but in my own little way, I felt like I had brought a prince into the world too. Thankfully, my son didn't have to die for the sins of the world, but I felt that in his own little way, he will save people too. I had my first experiences of "motherly love" with him. WOW! That turned my world around and changed my life. He is just amazing, incomparably, perfectly, and absolutely amazing. He has brought nothing but joy to me and to our home. I am completely humbled that Heavenly Father would send a spirit so righteous and so noble and so pure for me to look after. What a true blessing he is to our family! I couldn't imagine life with out my oldest child, my only boy and the very best son a mother could ask for.
Happy Happy Birthday
Austin Michael