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 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

My New Calling

This past week I was called to be the 1st counselor in the Primary presidency. I feel fully prepared to serve inthis calling as I will now be over the cub scouts and spent two years as a den mother. I also spent the last 6 months teaching primary, so I know a little of how they run things. It will be a good learning experience for me and I love the kids, so it will be a lot of fun too.
The president is on the far right. Her name is Kathy Crosier. She is the mother of my good friend Jen Marx. The second counselor used to visit teach me, so we have gotten to know each other. They are both awesome and I'm super excited to work with them. I hope they are all ready for me to shake things up!
(Note to self...don't smile with the top and bottom teeth. Sheesh, it takes up half your face!!)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blogging Lull

I am at a small stand still for blogging right now. John left the power cord to the laptop in St. Paul. Since I don't know how to add pictures from our normal computer (and not willing to learn), I am stuck to thinking about the things I want on my blog! As soon as the cord arrives, you will see at least these two posts:

Austin's 6th birthday
My new calling

And maybe a couple others. Check back in a couple days.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Go Cougars!

This post proudly presented by John

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Trip to St. Paul

John was asked to speak at a seminar in Minneapolis and since some of my very favorite people in all the world live there, I decided to tag along with him. A million thanks to my mom who let us have a quiet and relaxing trip by keeping all 3 of my kiddos at home with her!
So my very very dear friend Charis and her husband Steve were the main focus of the trip for me. Steve and John were roommates both before and after their missions. We were all engaged at the same time and Charis and I have gotten close over the years. Steve and Charis are both in their residency programs at different hospitals in the twin cities. This makes for killer schedules, little sleep, and lots of stress. They are still two of the warmest and funniest people we know. Charis is incredibly ambitious. She is amazingly smart and compassionate, which is the makings of a great doctor. Somehow she manages to be great mom too! One of the highlights of the trip was going to visit her at the hospital and getting a chance to check out her work and see her in action (well, all I really saw was her answering questions to the nurses, but she used really big words!)
Saturday, John was at his conference and Charis was working, so Steve and I got a chance to bond. He has got the very best sense of humor and is an awesome dad to their 18 month old, Tate. He did have to run to work for a couple hours, so I walked around the Mall of America. It was less exciting than I had hoped (probably because I am still shopped out from California). By the time I was done there, John was done too and we all got dinner together at a yummy Thai place. Monday was mine and Charis's day to be together. She took me to Grand Ave, a swanky little part of the town, for lunch and a little shopping. We also drove around to look at the really old massive homes (which I love). Tuesday the four of us spent the day together and laughed most of the time! It was so so wonderful to see a new part of the country and especially to spend time with the Thatchers. Thanks for a great trip! We love you mucho!!

John and I at the Mall of America
Charis and Me
Sorry, I forgot to flip the picture
Just being weird
At the Macy's Christmas display, which was so cute!
The theme was "A Day in the Life of an Elf." This elf is the kitchen "helping" make cookies
John and me at the Christmas display
Charis and me with our last of many cups of hot chocolate we had over the weekend! It was cold there.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Where I At

The Twin Cities...Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota!! I've never been here before and am so thrilled to be somewhere new (no matter how cold) and even more thrilled to be spending a few days with our dear friends Steve and Charis Thatcher. I will have a new post for you in a couple days about my super fun trip!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama 2008

I'm not passionate about politics. I know I am conservative and I was hoping for another Republican in the white house, as I have been pleased with Bush. I didn't have high hopes for McCain to win and have never been terribly impressed with him anyway. As I watched Obama give his victory speech last night, I realized that I AM passionate. No, not about who lives in the white house, but about the fact that there is still a more powerful being in this world. He is directing this country, as He always has. I know this and find comfort in it, especially at this critical time. I am honored to live in a country where the people have a voice and freedoms. I have faith and confidence that what happens in the coming years is essential to ushering in the second coming of Jesus Christ. So democrat or republican, I like you all because we are all children of the God who is leading us! And I will support our new president!
PS... I am thrilled that Prop 8 passed in California! Way to go all you who put your time and energy (and heart and soul) into helping this pass. I'm so proud!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

More Space for a Growing Collection...

My jewelry collection is always growing and the cheap stands I have been using to store my necklaces and bracelets I have found to be insufficient. Half of them were hidden and if I did find what I was looking for, it took five minutes to get it untangled. Not mention it made my dresser cluttery...
So I recycled some old shutters I had and found some unique knobs at various antique stores around town and on ebay...and made this...
I have to admit, I don't LOVE it, but I like it and I can find things more readily now. So this is it until I come up with something better. I need something good for my earrings now. Any suggestions?

Successful Family Home Evening...

Excuse the long journaling. I don't do this often but am having a little success and want to share...
We have recently decided that we need to be really great about Family Home Evening. We always have it, but sometimes it's just something like...we are out on an errand and say "this is family night" or just play a game and say "this is family night." We really wanted to take advantage of this night set aside to teach and bear testimony to our children, also to talk about problems and successes in our family. We also want to have fun as a family. Starting this now will make it easy for us to do as life gets busier and the kids get older. My family growing up followed this council to a T. I'm so thankful for the memories and lessons I have from FHE as a child and youth and want my children to have the same experiences.
Three weeks ago we had a movie night (a personal favorite of mine). I let the kids pick out treats at the store and a movie at blockbuster. This was a total hit and great fun time for the family together.
Last week we talked about jobs in the family. Dad's job is to make money, Mom's job is to cook and clean. Kids job is to do chores, clean their toys, eat their dinner, etc. It was nice to teach them that everyone has to do their jobs to make the home and family run smoothly. We also touched a bit on entitlement; you don't get something just because you want it. They were very receptive. Addie kept saying all week "I'm doing my job by being kind."
Tonight we talked about safety. Now that Austin rides the bus to school, I thought it would be important to talk about not getting into anyones car or talking to strangers. We talked about what to do if you get lost at the store. I heard something a while back about "stranger danger." We teach our kids that strangers are scary and people we know are safe. Some strangers aren't scary and some people we know aren't safe. So I told them, if they get lost in a store, they need to find someone that works there or a mom WITH kids and ask for help. We also had to go into not letting people touch you inappropriately. To continue on the safety theme, we practiced what to do in case of a fire and earthquake. That was a fun game for them. We put the kids in bed to pretend like they were sleeping and set off the fire alarm. They practiced crawling down the stairs and getting out the front and back doors. We set up a meeting place and told to them run to the neighbors and ring the doorbell if they can't find us.
Other plans I have for the month are "giving thanks," "being healthy," and I think we'll make a Christmas count down at the end of the month.
I am feeling like a responsible parent and confident that my children are a little more informed than they were this morning. I can't begin to name the blessing I know we will receive from keeping this council. I know it is guidance from God and I am feeling more and more urgently the need to protect my family from everything evil. This is one of my attempts to make my home a safe place where my children can always come and be guided, taught, and loved. I want them to know that this is a place where the spirit dwells, that mom and dad have testimonies of God, and that these things we are teaching will lead to happiness. We need this to SAVE our children!
Good luck in your own endeavors!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My Halloween Post

I haven't kept up on posting our Halloween doings, so here it is all in one shot...

A few weeks ago Cami and I took our kids to Vineyard Pumpkin patch. I didn't get any pictures of the boys because they just ran through everything and had such a blast.
Clay, Bailey and Cami part of the jack-o-lantern Addie going down the big blow up slide
This week for FHE we craved pumpkins. Austin is awesome and does it ALL himself. He loves it.
Adeline wanted a care bear one. How do you do that? I'm not artistic, so a big smile a heart nose later, we've got a happy girl! I did this one and I HATE to clean them out, so I did a very mediocre job of that.
Austin with his creation
On the front porch
The next night we went to my parents ward Halloween party (the party we were late to due to my stew tragedy)
Captain Hook
Clay was a skunk. It was so cute!
Peter Pan. Didn't get a picture of Tinker Bell for some reason.
My parents are awesome and always dress up. This year they were Hawaiian tourists
Pretty cute!
Cami and Brandon are also less bah-humbug than we are, so they dressed up too. Groovy...
My little brother Jonny and his friend Chaz are dressed up, just not sure what they are. 80s? At least they look funny.
They had a cute little program. The drama teacher of the ward told a funny Halloween story. Bailey sat on Papa's lap to listen to it.
Addie, Koby and Austin doing the cake walk. Funny side story- John was telling me about the cake walk at our ward Halloween party (which I missed since I was in California) and was describing "this game where they have numbers on the ground and they play music, when the music stops you have to stand on a number and if they call your number, you get a cupcake. I can't remember what they called it." " A cake walk?" I said. "Yea how did you know?" What the? Doesn't EVERYONE know what a cake walk is? Apparently not!
And they had a parade
Now to Halloween night...
We had a great night, even though we were w/o gma and gpa. We had dinner at Cami's house and trick or treated her neighborhood.
I didn't ever get a great picture of all three of them together
Then we headed to our neighborhood and to check out this awesome haunted house put on by a family in our ward. It was totally pitch black and I couldn't even see if I was getting a good picture, not to mention if everyone was looking and smiling! (sorry Cam) This is the welcome committee to the haunted house. Pretty cool
After our bags were full and we were being rained on, we all went to my house for hot chocolate and donuts. It's been a great Halloween season and I am so looking forward to the rest of the holidays!!