Monday, December 31, 2012

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEAR'S EVE?

Well, we are just an old boring married couple because I'm not sure we even realized it was New Year's Eve until after 6 p.m. when we were thinking about running out and doing a little shopping. We then realized it was probably a bad idea since most stores had closed for the evening.

Luckily, we had purchased our non-alcoholic bubbly in advance (and we also had a friend drop another bottle by) so there was no shortage of carbonated grape juice. Lol! I made some Chex mix and some homemade fudge and we celebrated by indulging or I should say overindulging in goodies! Ha!

This morning after I got Carly dressed she looked in the mirror and then turned to me and said, "Mom, do I look like a grown up?" Sputter, sputter, cough, cough--Yes, that came from my four year old! True she is almost five but REALLY?! "NO!", I told her, "You don't. You're only four." She looked in the mirror again and said, "I really think I look grown up in this, Mom." She was dressed in blue jeans with a pink belt and a pink long sleeved top--nothing out of the ordinary. I hate to think how old she's going to feel when she's seven!

Well, on to another year friends. Here we go!



Sunday, December 30, 2012

IT'S A GOOD TIME TO STAY CLOSE TO HOME

I've been home all day today. The kids were still coughing and sniffling so I didn't dare take them to church. Rob went over for a bit but came home not feeling well himself. I think he is going to work only part of the day tomorrow if he feels better.

Megan came over tonight for dinner and we watched Men in Black 3. It was pretty good. The language could have been a little more tame. I hate it when they throw in a few curse words to get a rating they want.

I finished my chocolate, chocolate cheesecake today and it was delicious but probably not worth all the time and effort it took to make it. It took two days of my life so I probably won't make that recipe again. Plus, I now have to spend the next four days dieting to get the pounds off it added to my body! That's just not right, eh?!

Grandma and Grandpa are doing good. Nothing much to report there. We are all hanging on just fine. Still have snow on the ground and cold in the air. We are sticking pretty close to home right now. Hope your weather is treating you nice!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

WHO SPEAKS THE LANGUAGE?

I've been dying to make this Chocolate, Chocolate Mousse Cake for a few months now that I found on Pinterest but it looked so time consuming (and caloric) I put it off until today. It has to be done in steps and Carly was asking me about it as I made it. I was only in the first or second step when she was asking. It has a crust of crushed Oreo cookies and then a layer of homemade cheesecake. The next layer is a homemade chocolate mousse followed by a homemade chocolate gonache. Anyway, she kept wanting dessert and I had to tell her it wouldn't be done for quite awhile because I still had a couple of steps left--one being the mousse I needed to make and put on it. She went off to play and in the meantime I decided to finish and serve it tomorrow since it needed to be in the refrigerator for at least four hours.

Fast forward to bedtime ~ I'm getting Carly in her Jammies and she asks, "Mommy, can I have some of the stuff with the horse on it?" Me: "Huh? Stuff with the horse on it? What are you talking about? OHHHH!" Rob looked over at me quizzically at this point. I started explaining to him that I had told Carly I was putting MOOSE on top of the cheesecake and she confused it with a horse momentarily. LOL! We then had to explain to her about how sometimes we use words from different languages that sound the same as words in our language that mean different things, i.e. Mousse and Moose. Life has to be so confusing for little kids sometimes!

In the end, I think she was genuinely disappointed there wasn't going to be a moose on the cheesecake, even though she was glad there was going to be some chocolate on it! Lol!


Friday, December 28, 2012

A VISIT

Tonight we had a visit from our daughter Sara and her husband Stephen. They are living in Portland, Oregon while Stephen attends Chiropractic school. They've been at Stephen's parents in Southern Utah for the holiday and came by to spend a few hours with us. The kids were really excited to see them and had fun playing with them. Megan came by too and we had pizza and made cookies. Grandma and Grandpa came upstairs for our little get together and we all had a nice evening.

MEMORY . . . WHAT MEMORY?

It's funny but I have NO memory of not writing my blog last night. Maybe that's the problem. No memory, that is. Lol! I just noticed it when I logged in to write tonight. I've been staying up way too late and it must be affecting my brain power.

I got up  somewhat early today (for vacation) and did an hour on the treadmill. When I came upstairs Rob was out trying to dig us out of the Winter wonderland that had fallen upon us. It was quite deep. It ended up taking several hours. I had Julie go out and help him and I had forgotten that we got Carly and Jono tiny shovels--so I got them all dressed in their snow get-up and they went out to "help" too.

Rob decided to be funny and built a large mound of snow and stuck Jono and then Carly feet first down in it. They LOVED it! He came in to get me first so I'd be ready with the camera! They also made snow angels and played in it enough to get themselves totally wet and nearly frozen. Nothing some hot chocolate and marshmallows couldn't thaw out~but cold just the same.

Julie had to go back to school today to start work and that made for some pretty unhappy siblings. We had to listen to the "I miss Doolie" sobs all night long. We have got to figure out how to work that darned Skype. Neither of us have been able to figure it out. Everyone says it so simple and yet we've both downloaded it and sent each other invitations that neither one has received. I guess we aren't getting it. Hmmm. We are going to have to have personal tutors, I guess.

Rob got him some new boy toys today and he is still up putting them together. That's why I am still up writing my blog. We seem to thrive in the early morning hours (late at night) and then not be able to function nearly as well in the a.m. when the alarm goes off. I think we need to change our body alarms around a little. ;)

Well, here are some pictures of the kids and their fun in the snow today. Night all.

The boss
The staff

The reward :)

(A closer look)

This should hold him for awhile.

His favorite part of the day!



Wednesday, December 26, 2012

THE MORNING AFTER

Rob is on vacation this week and it is so nice to have him around the house. We stayed home today and with the weather it was a good decision. We have 5 or 6 inches of snow on the ground right now and it is still coming, although, it has slowed quite a bit. We need to get out tomorrow to do a few things so hopefully the roads will be clear by then.

We've enjoyed having Julie home for a few days. She is working on campus so even though school is not back in session yet, she has to go back tomorrow. The kids are going to be really sad about that. They have loved having her home. Julie has been helping Carly make jewelry tonight from a "Hello Kitty" jewelry kit she got for Christmas. Well, "helping" was generous. Julie has actually been the one making the jewelry. Carly's contribution has been to model it and wear it around. Although, she is really cute about it! She is such a girly-girl. Lol!

We've all been playing with our Christmas toys, wearing our new clothes, reading new books and playing games we received. We definitely enjoyed our Christmas. We also tried hard not to lose sight of the real reason we celebrate the season. We remember our Savior's birth and his life on this earth. We shared those stories with our little ones and tried to help them see a clear difference between the celebration of our Savior's birth and Santa Claus. We hope we made a dent.

Christmas morning with everyone was fun and we have some pictures to prove it. Here are a few of them:

Can I help you open that Grandpa?

Hey everyone, like my new hat and chair?!

Our tree, village and train track

Yes Mom, I dressed myself. What's wrong?

Buddies 
Hello Kitty, Big Sis, Batman

Batman with his morning snack






Tuesday, December 25, 2012

OH, THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL . . .

Wow, it's over. The presents have all been opened. The kids are asleep again. Toys are everywhere. We can relax-at least until morning when it's time to really clean-up.

We bought too much, ate too much, played too much and slept too little. But all in all things are really good. I couldn't help but think about the families in Connecticut who lost their little ones several times throughout the day as I watched my own opening gifts and being joyful. What a day those parents and siblings must have had. I pray they can find peace somehow. I am so sorry for their pain.

I can't tell you how nice it is to have my parents here with us. My kids adore them and love being able to just run downstairs to show Grandma and Grandpa this or that. It is so nice that they are growing up really knowing their grandparents. My grandparents were one of the most important influences in my life and I can't imagine not having been close to them~so it is such a blessing to see my kids being close to my parents--both my older and younger ones.

Well, I hope your Christmas was as nice as ours. Much love to all of you from our house to yours. ;)

P.S. We're in for one heck of a snowstorm if the weatherman is to be believed. Luckily, we have no place to go! So, let it snow. Let it snow! Let it snow!

HE SEES YOU WHEN YOU'RE SLEEPING . . .

We had a nice day today. We finished our Christmas shopping, took mom to lunch for her birthday, finished wrapping presents and -- oh wait, that part went on until, um, just now. It's 2:35 in the morning and we just finished. So, Santa's workshop is closing and it's bedtime. Hope you weren't up as late, er, early as we were. We hope to have some excited little munchkins in the morning! They sure better be! Night all!

MERRY, MERRY CHISTMAS!


Friday, December 21, 2012

ONLY FOUR SHOPPING DAYS LEFT . . .

Lucky for me I am almost done! We found out today that Jonathon loves to be pushed through a parking lot in a speeding shopping cart. Rob was in a crazy mood tonight while we were out shopping. We put Jono in the shopping cart in the parking lot and then Carly and I took off walking for the door. Pretty soon behind us we heard this cart racing toward us and the best giggles ever! Daddy and son seemed to be having a blast. They would run for a bit and then stop and then run some more and stop. Rob was just revving Jono's little engine. They were both a bit wild. Carly and I weren't totally sure we wanted to hang out with such a rowdy bunch but they were both so handsome we decided we would. Lol! Well, at least our Christmas shopping was fun today. Hope yours was too!

P.S. We are starting the countdown to Grandma's birthday tomorrow! We are having the family party at our house with everyone and then after they go we are just going to keep the party going until the 24th (Grandma's actual birthday!) Give her a call and wish her a Happy Birthday anytime!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I'M DREAMING OF A . . .

BALMY CHRISTMAS! WE ARE FREEZING HERE! It is seriously only 25 degrees right now! I am thinking maybe Christmas in the Bahamas sounds good! I hate to even leave the house. But I have to because I still have shopping left to do! Gah! Why wasn't I smart enough to do all my remaining shopping online?! Oh well, into my layers and out the door tomorrow I guess. I sure hope it's warmer where you are! Night all. :)

A NICE EVENING WITH MY SWEETHEART

Rob and I went to see The Forgotten Carols tonight. In case you're not familiar with it - it's a lovely stage performance with beautiful music. My brother-in-law gave us the tickets.

It was written by Michael McClean who also stars in the show. This is it's twenty-first year. We brought it to BYU during one of it's first years and I helped bring the show in but we were so busy helping put it on that I didn't sit down and enjoy it. I didn't even really get to see much of it so I didn't know much about it until I watched it tonight. It was SO nice!

At the end of the show the author just talked really personally with the audience and sang a bit and then he did a really nice tribute song he wrote just for Emilie Parker, the little 6 year old who shot last week in Connecticut who was originally from Utah. It was so touching.

It was also nice to have an evening out with Rob. Mom and Dad kept an eye on the kids until Megan could get there to watch them. Then she put them to bed. THANKS SO MUCH!!

After the show Rob and I went and did a little midnight Christmas shopping. It seems to be the only time we can go together! We are getting closer to getting things done. Yay! We only have a few days left! Hope you are close to being done too! Merry Ho Ho! Night all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

IT'S ALMOST HERE!

Can it be that Christmas is only a week away? I can hardly believe it. Worse yet, my to do list is too long for it to only be a week away. I had better figure out a way to add some speed to my game or I'm in trouble!

I did manage to let the kids have a play date this morning and still get most of the house fairly clean, finish laundry and get a few other things on my list done. That was pretty big. Tonight, Rob's brother came over and we got Chinese food and watch A Christmas Story together. It was pretty funny. We'd never seen it before. I mean, we'd never seen the whole movie. Through the years it's been on the television and we have caught little bits and pieces of it but we had never sat down and watched it. It wasn't one I thought I would enjoy from the little bits I'd seen but I was wrong. I actually liked it.

We have had a storm watch in place for the last several days. We were supposed to get lots of snow but we haven't seen ANY. It's been cloudy and we've had little bits of moisture but no sign of any measurable snow. It is pretty cold out. It's only 29 degrees right now. Brrr.

Grandma will be turning 29 again on Sunday. We are having a big family get together to celebrate on Saturday. Sarah and her family are driving from Idaho and Susan and her family will here also. Feel free to call and wish her a Happy Birthday!

Well, that's about all the news from here! Hope you are closer to ready than I am!


Monday, December 17, 2012

THAT'S MY STORY . . .

I took Carly shopping with me tonight and when we got home and were on our way in the house she stopped and asked "Mom, why does it smell like soy beans out here?" I nearly laughed out loud. "What? Soy beans?" I said, "You don't know what a soy bean smells like! "Oh." She said, with a cute little laugh. And then we went on in the house. And that was the end of the discussion. By the way~there was no funny smell. I think sometimes four year old's just like to make random comments to see if you are paying attention. At least that's my story and I'm sticking to it! :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

THE REASON FOR THE SEASON

Rob nor I made it out of our house today. Unfortunately that meant we missed going to church. Rob's been on-call this week and was out till nearly 3 a.m. with a call. I was up until he came home because I have a hard time sleeping when he is not here. I made myself busy going over things that needed done for Christmas until he came home.

I got up early with the kids while he slept in and then I napped this afternoon while he took care of them. Neither one of us were good for much today. Though tonight after dinner we had a nice Family Home Evening with Carly and Jonathon to talk about the true meaning of Christmas. We read them a storybook about  Joseph and Mary and Christ's birth and then let them watch a kid's movie about it, too. We tried to really impress upon their young minds that while Santa Claus is really fun and presents are too, the whole reason we celebrate this time of year is because of our Savior's birth.

It's hard at that age to understand much beyond the glitter and toys but I am going to try really hard to find some little way each day to help remind them of the real reason for the season. :D

Saturday, December 15, 2012

SAFELY IN HIS ARMS

A little a bit ago I heard my three year old, Jonathon, crying with a cry I've learned he only does when he is really hurt. His cry got louder as he ran from his room and jumped into my arms and with tears told me what had happened. As he was crying, I asked him if I could kiss the spot where he got hurt. He shook his head "yes" as tears rolled down his face. I bent my face down and kissed the spot where he'd hurt himself and he instantly stopped crying. If you're a mom or a dad -- or even if you've spent much time with little kids, you've done this for one of them. It's one of those miraculous healing moments. It makes everything in the world better. One minute . . . they are devastated and the next they are off to play again.

As I had that moment with Jonathon, I had a thought come over me. I imagined the scenario yesterday at Sandy Hook School in Connecticut. I imagined the terror, pain and devastation, not only of the little children~but of the big ones--for aren't we all children really? (We are HIS children.) I saw the horror, pain, confusion and incredible sadness ~ and then in my mind's eye, just as an earthly parent would~ I saw our Heavenly Father gathering up each one of His injured, dying children~ and tenderly holding them safely in His arms . . . comforting them and making it all better so they could be off to do whatever it is they have gone on to the next life to do. I know they are all in a peace-filled, love-filled place where they will never have to face this kind of terror again.

Even as I write, I have to remember that the shooter is our Father in Heaven's child, too. While what he did was horrible and evil, I believe our Father in Heaven loves him and expects us to forgive him. I did not say it would be easy. He took so many lives and stole so much innocence from this world. Yet, I do not know what demons he had to deal with in his life. I was not given his specific trials and don't know how I would have handled them if they had been mine. I am going to make an effort to pray not only for his victims, among whom are his family, but for him as well. 

I pray our world will get more peaceful, but I believe we are only going to have to learn how to love and forgive in a world that is becoming increasingly more angry and violent. I believe moments and places such as these filled with tragedy, where our hearts, faith and true Christianity are challenged can eventually, if we are faithful, prove to be the most rewarding experiences for our soul. God Bless . . .


IN RAMA WAS THERE A VOICE HEARD,


Lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping [for] her children, and would not be comforted,  . . .  Matthew 2:18 

I don't know any mothers who didn't weep with the mother's who lost their innocent children in Connecticut today. I am heartbroken for them. I cannot seem to put it out of my mind. I won't go through all the things that are going through my mind as they aren't things that will bring anyone peace. I will just say I feel so deeply for those parents who are not able to hug and hold their little ones tonight. I hate the evil in this world. I don't know how I will ever have the courage to send my little one's off to a school without me there to protect them. I pray with all my heart the Lord will encircle those parents in his loving arms of peace and comfort and help them walk through these dark, dark days ahead. I hope you are praying for them too. They are going to need more prayers than we can begin to imagine. 

 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

SOMEONE THROW US A ROPE . . . WE ARE GONNA NEED SOME HELP

We went out for dinner tonight and took the munchkins. I can't decide if Jono is a bigger ham or a bigger flirt! While the music played he was doing his own version of Saturday Night Fever dancing (mind you he's never seen that movie). He just seems to know a lot of disco moves. Frightening isn't it! He kept checking to see who was laughing at him - and he had a few takers.

Then I keep catching him smiling big and squinting (his version of winking) at the ladies. Now the ladies can be anywhere from 2 years old to any sweet old Grandma's age. He doesn't care--he loves everyone! Then every once in a while a cute little girl 3 or 4 years older than him would come over to our table and tell us how cute he was. I knew then he had been smiling at her--maybe trying to get her to laugh at him. Wow, we are totally in for it when this kid hits junior high! I'm not sure there is any stopping this kind of charisma! Someone better throw us a rope! We're gonna need a lotta help! Geez!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

EARLY TO BED . . .

Rob and I tried something new last night~almost revolutionary for us. We got in bed, lights out, before 10:30 at night. Really, I can't think of a time since the kids were born, other than when one of us was sick that we have gone to bed that early~especially at the same time. I actually woke up this morning almost rested. It was an unbelievable feeling. We liked it so much we have been racing around getting the kids down tonight and I am now hurrying to get my blog done so we can do it again tonight.

Grandma has been wrapping Christmas presents today. She and Grandpa have had quite the little workshop going here. They've been cranking out Christmas cards like no one's business. Now they are busily getting Christmas bought and wrapped. I keep expecting to see elves helping them.

We had snow at the end of last week but it is all gone now. The kids were sad to see it go. They wanted me to make some snow ice cream for them and it started to melt before we got any made so they are really hoping there will be a big storm again soon. I'm hoping maybe Santa will ride in on it and it will only last long enough to get him here and gone.

It's finals time at the university. That means we will soon have our Julie home with us for a few days. The kids will be so happy to have "Doolie" home! She is going to stay and work for a few days after finals but will come home for several days during Christmas. That will put some big smiles on some little kids faces!

Well, better go for now. I'm nine minutes late and hubby is going to start snoring without me if I don't hurry! Lol!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ALMOST HALF WAY THERE . . .

It's the eleventh of December and while I am farther ahead than I usually am this time of year I'm pretty sure I'm still behind. I can't seem to even complete the simple things on my list every day. I guess that's what happens when you have a 3 and 4 year old wanting your constant attention. I'm not complaining really~since I happen to adore the 3 and 4 year old. I am just starting to stress and have a feeling if I don't get things in gear I'm going to be making a mad dash on the 23rd or 24th of December to get things done! 

My little ones both have colds. Thankfully, nothing serious-and I do mean THANKFULLY. I have taken Jonathon to the doctor twice with this one and had him checked for strep and it has come back negative. Whew! At this point (I am crossing my fingers and toes--and this is tricky, but I'm crossing yours too!) he and Carly just have sore throats and really snotty noses. But we've been blessed that he has not gone into his horrible breathing like he usually does. We are so, so happy about that! We pray it stays that way.

Well, nothing earth shatteringly interesting happened in our neck of the woods today. That's probably good. Hope you have the same kind of blessings in your neck of the woods. ;)


Monday, December 10, 2012

WE AIM TO PLEASE . . .

YOU AIM TOO PLEASE!

So, I walked in the kid's bathroom tonight to find Jono on his tippy toes spraying his urine across the top of the toilet seat, hitting the lid and basically making one giant mess. "NO! Buddy, No!" I yelled, "What are you doing? You're not tall enough to pee this way yet!" "Yes, I am Momma, I a big boy!" He didn't hesitate one moment to defend himself and he stood (literally) his ground. I couldn't budge him. All I could do was clean up the mess. We discussed (argued) back and forth for a few minutes but I finally gave up after Rob came by and reminded him that he had to stand on a step-stool if he were going to attempt that little feat.

I'd asked Rob a few weeks ago when the appropriate time was to teach him standing vs. sitting as I didn't want him to be doing "it" differently than other kids his age when he gets to school. I did, however, think we could wait until he was tall enough to see over the toilet bowl. (Okay kidding. He is that tall.) But, you'd think we could have waited just a bit longer. After Rob suggested the step-stool Jono insisted on continuing to try so I worked with him for twenty minutes. "Aim, buddy aim."

It's not going to help, is it? I'm just going to have to make him clean the bathroom himself, right? Just tell me now, Mom's. I can take it. Really, I can. I mean, we may never be able to use it as a guest bathroom but . . . Oh man, what is wrong with guys? They can learn to be sharp shooters but they can't hit a huge toilet bowl. C'mon! My little man is going to practice, practice, practice! Lol! Poor kid. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

BEAUTIFUL SNOW

We woke up to beautiful snow this morning. It's only really beautiful when you know you aren't planning to leave the house so you don't have to shovel it. Lol! There were too many sore throats around here today to go to church. (Luckily none of the victims of sore throats were Grandma or Grandpa.)

The snow wasn't too deep either, probably and inch and a half or two inches--just deep enough to cover the ground and the trees and look lovely! The dogs always get an extra burst of energy when it's snowing. They like to act like snow plows so they were out the door fast this morning and running around the yard like someone had lit them wound them up.

Well, since we didn't go anywhere or do anything I don't have much to report. All is well here except for a few sickies--and we are trying to keep the illnesses to a bare minimum. We aren't letting any kidlings out in the snow and they can't play with friends until they are better. (Such mean parents!)

Have a great week! Ta Ta for now!

TOO MUCH, TOO LITTE, IT'S TIME TO COZY!

We spent the day out shopping and trying to get ready for Christmas. So much to do still. There are crowds everywhere and all I can think is why, why, why are all these people in my way?! Why didn't you finish your shopping earlier so this time would be free for just me? Lol! Kidding-of course. Near the end of the evening we decided to come home and take a chance of finding some of the things we were looking for online--so we didn't have to stay caught up in all the bustle with everyone else.

It was snowing by then and just seemed a better idea than hanging out in long lines in the cold weather. So here we are - shopping from the warmth and coziness of our home and computer. I even have time to blog now. Yay!

I got the CD of our JCPenney shots from September in yesterday and just got them loaded. You've seen several of them before but they've done some cute vignettes with them so I am going to put a couple of those up tonight.

Anyway, here they are~enjoy!  Now back to cyber shopping for me!

    Mom & Carly           Dad & Julie             Julie & Mom       Dad & Jono


    Carly & Jono  Daddy & Carly    Carly, Julie    Mom & Jono   Dad &Mom
                                                          & Jono

Friday, December 7, 2012

THE POWER OF PRAYER, BLESSINGS, SMALL MIRACLES

We took the kids to see Santa tonight and then grabbed a bite to eat. They loved Santa and Jonathon wasn't the teeniest bit shy. He walked right up and talked to him and got on his lap. Carly was a little bit shy but didn't hold back too much. I don't think either one asked for much. Jonathon only asks for candy and Carly told me she asked him for one thing. Of course, it was the last thing she'd seen on a commercial on the cartoon channel. She asks "ME" for everything she sees on every commercial on the kiddy channels. In fact, earlier in the day she asked me if she "could have that" and I said "What is it?" and she said, "I don't know but it's on the TV right now!" Lol! Sheesh!

After Santa and dinner we ran a few errands. At the last store we went to, I distracted Rob by accidentally spilling his drink as he was getting out of the car and he locked the keys in the car. It was not a good thing. We lost the second set of keys to our car a while back and haven't had a new set made yet. Gah! Had NO idea what we were going to do but he sent me and the kids on into the store and said he'd try to figure something out. I was thinking we might have to call a locksmith or the police -- or at the worst be there for hours. Rob appeared within a few minutes later and retrieved a flashlight I had in my purse and told me he still didn't know how he was going to get them out but needed to see if he could see them. In under five minutes he found me again in the store with the car keys in his hands. I couldn't believe it! When he told me how he did it I was dumbfounded.

He said he had the keys to his work vehicle in his pocket and went out to our car and tried putting the door key of his work vehicle in the driver's side door of our car--no luck. It wouldn't open. He said a prayer. He decided to try it on the passenger door. He tried it again--and voila--it opened. (He told me he said a big  prayer of thanks then!) When we went back out to the car to get in he tried the same key in the passenger door lock 3 times to see if he could get it to open again--and it wouldn't budge the lock. I love the power of prayer and our mighty God who is always with us and watches over us.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A TRUE BLUE MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I used to work in the Alumni Association at BYU and I got a call from them a few weeks ago. They were looking for some cute kids to star in their Christmas Card video ~ the one they send out to their Alumni each year. Lucky for them I just happened to have two little cuties. I took them on the scheduled date and they played their parts. Today I got the finished product. I think it turned out really nice.

I've tried to load it so you could see it directly on here several times but I think it is just too large because I have had it loading for a couple of hours and it's not finished yet. So, I will just put the link below and if you are interested you can click on the link and view it. It's only a minute snd forty-two seconds long. Hope you enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvIGJtZAVuM&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

DOES IT REALLY MATTER?

I don't know why I bother to make a "To do" list anymore. You would think I would have figured out by now that motherhood is three steps forward and two steps back. That's how my days go. Seems like even on days when I get up raring to go and charge out of the gate something sends me flying backwards. Today, it started with my neighbor who had a fender bender and needed a ride to take her car in. I thought that would be simple enough but the place we took it was at one end of our city and then she needed a ride to pick up a loaner car and that was clear at the other end of a neighboring city. I really didn't mind taking her and I know she would do the same for me in an instant, it's just these little time consuming things that eat up a day before you know it. By the time I got back it was time to start lunch.

Rob was out of town today for work. He sometimes travels long distances and comes back the same day. That's what he did today. He got in late this evening and we had both had long days--me with whiny kids and him with a long, tiring drive. It was actually nice that the kids were almost ready for bed when he came in. We let them get candy from the train and brush their teeth and then put them in bed. Now it's our turn. Yay! Hopefully, we will get more done tomorrow than we did today! Or, if not, maybe it doesn't matter that much anyway. After all, who's keeping score?  ;)

Monday, December 3, 2012

I LIKED THIS. FEEL FREE TO NOT. JUST SAYIN'.


I received this as an email and I think it is a great explanation of how many of us who are conservatives see things. If you tend see things more to the left or have a more liberal view of life-you may want to skip my blog today. Consider yourself warned. Love you all. N. ;)

Absolutely FREE HOME in Sunny Florida!!!!
 I was in my neighborhood restaurant this morning and was seated behind a group of jubilant individuals celebrating the successful passing of the recent health care bill. I could not finish my breakfast. This is what ensued:

They were a diverse group of several races and both sexes. I heard the young man exclaim, “Isn’t Obama like Jesus Christ? I mean, after all, he is healing the sick.” The young woman enthusiastically proclaimed, “Yeah, and he does it for free. I cannot believe anyone would think that a free market would work for health care. Another said, ‘The stupid Republicans want us all to starve to death so they can inherit all of the power. Obama should be made a Saint for what he did for those of us less fortunate.” At this, I had had enough.

I arose from my seat, mustering all the restraint I could find, and approached their table. “Please excuse me; may I impose upon you for one moment?” They smiled and welcomed me to the conversation. I stood at the end of their table, smiled as best I could and began an experiment.

“I would like to give one of you my house. It will cost you no money and I will pay all of the expenses and taxes for as long as you live there. Anyone interested?” They looked at each other in astonishment. “Why would you do something like that?” asked a young man, “There isn’t anything for free in this world.” They began to laugh at me, as they did not realize this man had just made my point. “I am serious, I will give you my house for free, no money what so ever. Anyone interested?” In unison, a resounding “Hell Yeah” fills the room.

“Since there are too many of you, I will have to make a choice as to who receives this money-free bargain.” I noticed an elderly couple was paying attention to the spectacle unfolding before their eyes, the old man shaking his head in apparent disgust. “I tell you what; I will give it to the one of you most willing to obey my rules.” Again, they looked at one another, an expression of bewilderment on their faces. The perky young woman asked, “What are the rules?” I smiled and said, “I don’t know. I have not yet defined them. However, it is a free home that I offer you.” They giggled amongst themselves, the youngest of which said, “What an old coot. He must be crazy to give away his home. Go take your meds, old man.” I smiled and leaned into the table a bit further. “I am serious, this is a legitimate offer.” They gaped at me for a moment.

“I’ll take it you old fool. Where are the keys?” boasted the youngest among them. “Then I presume you accept ALL of my terms then?” I asked. The elderly couple seemed amused and entertained as they watched from the privacy of their table. “Oh hell yeah! Where do I sign up?” I took a napkin and wrote, “I give this man my home, without the burden of financial obligation, so long as he accepts and abides by the terms that I shall set forth upon consummation of this transaction.” I signed it and handed it to the young man who eagerly scratched out his signature. “Where are the keys to my new house?” he asked in a mocking tone of voice. All eyes were upon us as I stepped back from the table, pulling the keys from pocket and dangling them before the excited new homeowner.


“Now that we have entered into this binding contract, witnessed by all of your friends, I have decided upon the conditions you are obligated to adhere from this point forward. You may only live in the house for one hour a day. You will not use anything inside of the home. You will obey me without question or resistance. I expect complete loyalty and admiration for this gift I bestow upon you. You will accept my commands and wishes with enthusiasm, no matter the nature. Your morals and principles shall be as mine. You will vote as I do, think as I do and do it with blind faith. These are my terms. Here are your keys.” I reached the keys forward and the young man looked at me dumbfounded.

“Are you out of your mind? Who would ever agree to those ridiculous terms?” the young man appeared irritated. “You did when you signed this contract before reading it, understanding it and with the full knowledge that I would provide my conditions only after you committed to the agreement.” Was all I said. The elderly man chuckled as his wife tried to restrain him. I was looking at a now silenced and bewildered group of people. “You can shove that stupid deal up you’re a** old man, I want no part of it” exclaimed the now infuriated young man. “You have committed to the contract, as witnessed by all of your friends; you cannot get out of the deal unless I agree to it. I do not intend to let you free now that I have you ensnared. I am the power you agreed to. I am the one you blindly and without thought chose to enslave yourself to. In short, I am your Master.” At this, the table of celebrating individuals became a unified group against the unfairness of the deal.
 

After a few moments of unrepeatable comments and slurs, I revealed my true intent. “What I did to you is what this administration and congress did to you with the health care legislation. I easily suckered you in and then revealed the real cost of the bargain. Your folly was in the belief that you can have something you did not earn; that you are entitled to that which you did not earn; that you willingly allowed someone else to think for you. Your failure to research, study and inform yourself permitted reason to escape you. You have entered into a trap from which you cannot flee. Your only chance of freedom is if your new Master gives it to you. A freedom that is given can also be taken away; therefore, it is not freedom.” With that, I tore up the napkin and placed it before the astonished young man. “This is the nature of your new health care legislation.”

I turned away to leave these few in thought and contemplation and was surprised by applause. The elderly gentleman, who was clearly entertained, shook my hand enthusiastically and said, “Thank you Sir, these kids don’t understand Liberty these days.” He refused to allow me to pay my bill as he said, “You earned this one, it is an honor to pickup the tab.” I shook his hand in thanks, leaving the restaurant somewhat humbled, and sensing a glimmer of hope for my beloved country.

Use reason, Clifford A Wright
Feel free to share.


Sunday, December 2, 2012

OH CHRISTMAS TREE, OH CHRISTMAS TREE

Ah well, all good things must come to an end. So ends Rob's vacation - if we can call it that. He spent most of the week recovering from dental surgery or working around the house but it was so nice to have him home. I am one of those wives that truly loves having her husband around. We are going to miss him while he is at work this week. Although, it might seem like a bit of a break to him after all he got accomplished this past week.

Today after church (and after we all had a nap) we put up our Christmas tree. It was fun to see how excited the kids were to do it. This year they were much more able to help than in past years--although, I do admit it did get a bit tedious after awhile watching them put the ornaments on the same few branches ever so slowly. I kept trying to get them to fan out and put them on more of the tree but they seemed to have a cluster mentality--especially Jono. Carly was the same last year. It's hard when you know you could finish in ten minutes what is taking them an hour to do but you don't want to take the joy out of it for them.

We still need to put the train under the tree. That's been a tradition in Rob's family for years and the kids love it. So, hopefully tomorrow night we will get that done. They always put candy in the train cars and run them each night until Christmas and each child gets to choose 2 pieces of candy a night. With the candy being in the train, we've had to fence off the tree area so the dogs and toddlers wouldn't get to it without us knowing about it. Last year Jono kept sneaking behind the fence and knocking over the train and all the villages and people and stealing candy when no one was looking. He's no dummy; that's for sure--and he has a wicked sweet tooth just like his mommy!

We had some high winds here today. As far as I know they didn't cause any damage but they did get up to 35-45 mph. It was a good time to stay inside. We had rain start in tonight and it's gotten a bit colder --in the upper 40's. It's actually stayed pretty nice here the last little while and I think it is supposed to continue to be fairly warm (for Winter) for the next little while. It's been nice enough the last week or so the kids have been able to go out and play on the swing-set in the back yard and they have been loving it. It seems kind of strange for December.

Well, better get to bed. More later.




Saturday, December 1, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEAUTIFUL 19 YEAR OLD BABY GIRL!

Dear Julie,

I am never going to let you grow up. You know that, don't you? Okay, Okay ~ maybe in a few years. Just not yet. Love, Mom ;)

So today Julie is nineteen and I am not sure where the last eight years went but they flew by. I am now the very proud mother of a beautiful nineteen year old college student who is a real sweetheart. We went to visit her today and took her out to dinner and then had birthday cake with her and her roomies. The little ones thought that was a great treat. They really miss their big sister. Here are some cute pictures of them clowning around together. Happy birthday Julie. I love you so very much!

Jono and JuJu

Kissy face with Doolie

This is what we lovingly call "Stink Face"

Aww! Julie and Carly ~Sister Love

Friday, November 30, 2012

A GOOD TIME TO PREPARE FOR TROUBLE IS BEFORE IT SHOWS UP

I received this in an email and think they are some very good insights. Given where our country is headed I thought I would share this. It is a good time to get prepared, even if you can only do a little at a time. Pick up a little something extra each time you go to grocery store. Every time you empty a 2 liter bottle of pop, clean out the bottle and fill it with water and store it. That costs you nothing extra! Just an idea. Well, here are some great ideas by Frantz Ostmann who lived through the Hurricane.

Something to learn from someone who has been there.
Things that I learned from Hurricane Sandy

by Frantz Ostmann on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 7:13am ·

1. The excitement and coolness wears off around day 3
2. You are never really prepared to go w
eeks without power, heat, water etc. Never!
3. Yes it can happen to you.
4. Just because your generator runs like a top, does not mean its producing electricity.
5. If you do not have water stored up you are in trouble.
a. A couple of cases of bottled water is “NOT” water storage
6. Should have as much fuel as water
a. Propane
b. Gas
c. Kerosene
d. Firewood
e. Firestarter, (kindling, paper, etc)
7. Even the smallest little thing that you get from the store should be stocked up.. (spark plug for the generator, BBQ lighter, etc)
8. If you are not working, chances are nobody else is either.
9. I was surprised how quickly normal social behavior goes out the window. I am not talking about someone cutting in line at the grocery store.
a. 3 people were killed at gas stations within 50 miles of my home.
b. I did not say 3 fights broke out, 3 people were killed.
10. Cash is king (all the money in your savings means nothing)
11. Stored water can taste nasty.
12. You eat a lot more food when you are cold
13. You need more food than you think if your kids are out of school for 2 weeks
14. Kids do not like washing their face in cold water.
15. Your 1972 Honda civic gets to the grocery store as well as your 2012 Escalade… but the Honda allows money left over for heat, food, water, a generator, fire wood, a backup water pump, you get the idea..
16. The electrical grid is way more fragile than I thought.
17. Think of the things that are your comfort, your escape, a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of milk and a ding dong before bed, tequila, etc. Stock up on those too. You will need that comfort after day 3.
18. You quickly become the guy in the neighborhood who knows how to wire a generator to the electrical panel, directly wire the furnace to a small generator, or get the well pump up and running on inverter power or you are the guy whose Master’s degree in Accounting suddenly means nothing. (Love you Steve!)
19. A woman who can cook a fine meal by candle light over the BBQ or open fire is worth her weight in gold. And women, whose weight in gold, would not add up to much, usually die off first. Sorry skinny women.
20. It takes a lot of firewood to keep a fire going all day and into the evening for heat.
21. All the food storage in the world means nothing if your kids won’t eat it.
22. You might be prepared to take care of your children and their needs, but what about when the neighborhood children start to show up at your door?
23. Some people shut down in an emergency. There is nothing that you can do about that.
24. Your town, no matter how small is entirely dependent on outside sources of everything.
a. If supply trucks stop rolling in due to road damage, gas shortages or anything else you could be without for a long time.
25. In an emergency Men stock up on food, Women stock up on toilet paper.
26. I was surprised how many things run on electricity!
27. You can never have enough matches.
28. Although neighbors can be a great resource, they can also be a huge drain on your emergency storage. You need to know how you are going to handle that. It is really easy to be Bob the guy who shares on Day 3, not so easy on Day 11. Just reality.
29. Give a man a fish he eats for that day, teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry again.. Now I get it.
30. All of the expensive clothes in the closet mean nothing if they don’t keep you warm.
31. Same goes for shoes… Love you Honey!!!!
32. You cannot believe the utility companies. They are run by politicians!! Or so it seems,
33. Anything that you depend on someone else for is not avail anymore.
34. Quote “A man with a chainsaw that knows how to use it is a thing of beauty” hahaha
35. Most folks don’t have any emergency storage. They run to Wal-Mart and get water and batteries and then fill their tubs with water. That is it. A lucky few will get a case of Ramen and a box of Poptarts. That will be your neighbors supply. (especially if you live outside of Utah)
36. Fathers, all the money you have ever made means nothing if you can’t keep your kids warm.
37. Mothers, everything you have ever done for your kids is forgotten if your kids are hungry.
38. You really do not want to be the “Unprepared Parents” The kids turn on you pretty quick.
39. Small solar charging gadgets will keep you in touch. Most work pretty well it seems.
40. Most things don’t take much power to operate.
a. Computers,
b. Phones
c. Radios
d. TV
e. lights
41. Some things take a ton of power to operate.
a. Fridge
b. Toaster
c. Freezer
d. Hot plate
e. Microwave
42. When it gets dark at 4:30pm the nights are really long without power.
43. Getting out of the house is very important. Even if it is cold. Make you home the semi warm place to come home to.. not the cold prison that you are stuck in.
44. Someone in your family must play or learn to play guitar.
45. Things that disappeared never to be seen again for a very long time.
a. Fuel, of all kinds
b. Matches, lighters of any kind etc.
c. Toilet paper
d. Paper plates, plastic forks and knives
e. Batteries, didn’t really see a need for them. (flashlights??? I guess)
f. Milk
g. Charcoal
h. Spark plugs (generators)
i. 2 stroke motor oil, (chainsaws)
j. Anything that could be used to wire a generator to the house.
k. Extension cords
l. Medicines (Tylenol, Advil, cold medicine etc)
46. There was a strange peace to knowing all I had to do each day was keep my family safe, warm, and fed, but my peace was someone else’s panic.
 
There were also many things that were not learned from hurricane Sandy, but reinforced. Those things were the importance of my family and their love and support, especially my lovely wife, that my Heavenly Father is really in charge, period, and finally that I am very thankful for the upbringing and experiences that have taught me and brought me to where I am .. Wherever that is…God Bless!!! (Frantz Ostmann)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

UP ON THE ROOF TOP . . .

Rob has been on vacation this week. He took it off so we could get our Christmas shopping done, our tree up and take care of a few things around the house. So instead he began the week with some dental surgery that's taken him a few days to recover from and we are just now starting to think about anything closely related to Christmas.

Today he got lights for the outside of the house which he has been wanting to put up since we moved in. I think it would look nice but I am not near energetic enough to make it happen. If the weather holds he will get it done tomorrow. The kids are really excited about seeing him put them up--not about seeing the lights but about seeing Daddy get on the roof! Lol! It's funny what children get excited about.

I am really good at taking pictures but terrible at ordering them. I've taken pictures with my camera and my cell phone camera for a year now and I am trying to actually get them printed now. I LOVE the convenience of having digital pictures and not messing with film--especially when you can post them on a blog or facebook or even in a digital frame so easily. It's just that it is such a chore to order them in print. At least, I think it is. It always seems to take me hours and hours -- running into days and days to do the ordering and editing of them. I don't know if I'm making it harder than it is or if it really is this hard. If it is this hard--it's just wrong! If it isn't and I'm making it too hard--someone save me from myself--Puh-lease?!

Well, it's late and my munchkins want me up early so I'd better get some sleep. Night all.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

CREDIT CARD FRAUD - OH NO!

So, today I went to pay bills like I normally do and decided to check my online credit card statement against my paper one just to make sure the amount was right. Turns out last Friday we were miraculously in two states at the same time and in the second state we weren't aware we were in "we" were making rather large purchases on our credit card. In case my tongue in cheek speak wasn't clear--they call it credit card fraud!

I guess I was lucky to catch it so quickly since I don't always do a double check like that. It actually happened on Rob's card and the good thing (if there is one) is that we were here using his card at the same time it was being used in another state. The credit card company told Rob when he called to report it that the criminals have gotten really clever now. If they can get your number and your 3 or 4 digit code off the back or front they are actually making their own look alike credit cards now. They told Rob this because Rob still has his card but it was showing up as having been "swyped" in the systems where it was used. That means someone has an actual card. They also said that these same criminal types aren't even concerned much anymore whether they use the correct name with the number they've stolen as long as all the numbers are there and the right expiration date.Think about it, if they can make a fake card, they can make a fake ID.

I saw a show once on credit card safety that said try not to let your card ever leave your hand, if possible. Of course, there are high end restaurants where the waiter comes and gets your card and then brings it back to you but they said it's actually times and places like these where opportunities present themselves to criminals and your card is in the most danger of being stolen. They mentioned even if you hand your card to a clerk and they bend down behind a counter with it to key it in or run it that they could be copying it. They showed a group of credit card thieves using the old style credit card readers to make an impression of your card and then running it. Others put it on a copy machine or used mimeograph paper--while still others just plain old copied it down.

The other nasty trick that is happening are thieves with cell phone cameras. Too often when we are paying for something we get our money or credit card out and stand there with it until it's our turn, never thinking there may be someone at our side or over our shoulder who's entire goal is to get the numbers off our card. We are so used to people being on cell phones or even taking pictures with them that it would be easy enough to be fooled into believing someone was motivated by a call or taking a picture instead of actually after our card number.

After we reported Rob's card today, he and I went through our credit card statement and looked at every purchase he made and figured out where he had personally swyped the card and where a clerk or waiter had done it for him. That is feedback we can give our credit card company to help them track this criminal. It is also feedback to help us avoid a similar situation.

I thought this would be a good story to share as we go into this busy holiday season. Keep a tight hold on your credit card.  Swype it yourself  EVERY CHANCE you get! Don't hand it off if you don't have too. Also, when you pull it out of your wallet to swype it, keep it in your palm covered and even when you go to swype it keep as much of it covered as you can. There are eyes all over the place who would love to know your business. Trust me.

As for us, I think we will be handing our cards off just a little bit less in the future. This was a good lesson. I am very grateful we found it so quickly. My best wishes and high hopes that you never run into this type of problem!


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ONE TOO MANY ROB . . . OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, LOL!

This morning I took my husband to have some dental surgery and they put him completely under. I have to tell you he is quite comical coming off major drugs. His brother has had a couple back surgeries and so we've seen him in similar form and he is so funny we've named him Drunkle Steve. I'm thinking Rob should have a similar nickname.

It was one of those things where the nurse is giving you the aftercare instructions and tells you in detail what you can and can't do. Then every two minutes Rob would ask the same question over again. We answered him like he hadn't asked it before--being the polite, nice people we both were and all. Lol! He did it all the way home, too. Then about an hour after we got home, he turned to me and said, "Did they give us any written instructions for aftercare or say anything about what I could or couldn't do today? I said, "Yes, Honey, they gave me a pamphlet and they listed off several things." Then, with that nose-out-of-joint-sneering-kind-of-tone he says to me "Well, it sure would have been nice if they'd told me what was going on!" Lol! All I could do was laugh as I explained to him that they had--about forty times. ;)

Monday, November 26, 2012

SPEAK TO ME

Okay, it's that time of year again when I ask if anyone is out there? Is anyone reading my blog? Am I writing to anyone besides myself? If I am writing for myself and my kids, I am OK with that but it would be nice to know.

So, if you are out there will you just shoot me a note, make a comment on something I write or post? It's just nice to have some feedback once in a while.

Rob and I just finished watching a Jackie Chan movie. We love to watch his choreography. He is so amazing.

Hey, for any headache sufferers--big news-EXCEDRIN IS BACK! Yay! I can't' believe they were off the market for almost a year. Not good for migraine sufferers.

Well, I obviously don't have anything of major import to say today. So, why don't you speak to me? Good idea. Night all.