Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What Did Robert Bring Me Home Today?

Am I entirely unromantic in admitting that knowing that he got it for free was even better than having paid money for it!?

Answer: a fork

Question: What random object did Robert pull out of his pocket after arriving home today? Ouch.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

More on Our Trip to Utah

If you haven't picked up on it, we took a trip to Utah in November for Robert's baby sister's wedding. We made it short so Robert wouldn't have to take too much time off of work, and so we would have the weekend back home to recover from traveling with 5 kids on 3 different airplanes. It was weird to think that we had moved from Utah almost 9 months previously. Wasn't it just yesterday? or at least last month... Anyways we had 3 people on the must see list (I promise I wanted to see more, but with wedding festivities we had only 1 day left to see friends): Janeece (my massage therapist who is gifted beyond words in her field), the VerHoefs (Sarah is also a great massage therapist, coincidentally), and Samantha (my best friend) & her family.

About a month before we went I called Janeece to schedule an early Christmas present for me in the form of an hour and a half massage. It was wonderful. After that we went to Samantha's and hung out with them for a while and had lunch (from Steak Out which we really miss in Houston). Samantha and her husband lived next door to us in Provo for a while. I remember the first time we met I asked her husband to borrow their drop spreader for weed n' feed. We invited them over for a barbecue sometime shortly thereafter, and became fast friends. Samantha and I are kindred spirits. People would always ask if we're sisters when we would go anywhere together. We got pregnant at the same time twice in a row. Her daughter and Isa have been best friends from the womb, and were born exactly a month apart, then her son and Horatio were born about 2 months apart. We've always had fun with them. So here are some cute pictures. We didn't really do much I guess. We ate lunch, the kids played inside (with toys and watching TV since we haven't had TV in a couple of years now) and
outside (with bikes and just running around in the cold) while Samantha and I talked. Samantha's kids have way too many toys, so the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves, while I immensely enjoyed just hanging out with my best friend from Utah. We'd planned to go over to the VerHoef's for dinner, but ended up going to the Pizza Factory with them, so nobody would have to cook. It was OK, but our waitress copped a 'tude pretty soon after we got there, so that made things a lot less nice in the customer service area. After dinner we went over to their house and the kids and men hung out for a while , while Sarah and I popped over to the church for a Relief Society cookie exchange so I could say Hi to some of the women from our last ward. It was nice to be able to see a few more people than I had planned. We only stayed for a bit more once Sarah and I got home (it was a school night for those kids who weren't homeschooled nor on vacation), but it was fun. After that we actually went back to Samantha's (her hubby had just gotten home when we were leaving for dinner) and were able to play games until much too late on a night before we had to get up early for our flight back home. The younger boys fell asleep, while the girls played to their hearts' content, and Angel and Oliver joined the adults for board games. It was so fun. Samantha is the number 1 thing/person I miss about Provo. I'm trying to convince her to move to Houston, but I think she'd go to California 1st. I can dream. Sadly I got zero pictures from Dinner and games, but I am confident Heavenly Father will have wonderful albums full of countless pictures for me to look at later. You'll have to wait until you die to see them if you really want to.

I love Samantha, and she loves me.

p.s. Samantha has a blog, too. Go over to it and tell her to post more! Please!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another Picturesque Post also entitled Isa's 5th Birthday Party and 3rd Princess Tea Party

This pic is Isa on the phone with "Jasmine" the day of her birthday. It's a service from Disney called "Disney's Enchanted Calls" that sends a recorded greeting for a variety of reasons; it's pretty cheap, but the call is less than a minute and it's one sided(I got it free, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered). She seemed to like it. I'll put up a pic of Horatio getting his (from Mickey, no Lightening McQueen was available), he kept talking over the recording! It was hilarious.

Here she is in the dress Robert & I gave her for her BDay. She picked it out at -You guessed it!- Costco.

Here is my amazing husband at about 2 am, right after I finished the cake Friday night before the Princess Tea Party. He's making "breakfast" for me and the kids, which he does every night before he goes to bed or at a ridiculously early time of the morning before he goes to work. Isn't he wonderful for staying up with me. We watched "Speed Racer" as a distraction while I worked.

Here's Isa by the table all set up for Princesses and their Queen Mothers for a birthday Tea. We used all of our china and crystal glasses.

Isa by her special chair w/ a big bow and tulle draped over the chair.

We served Apples juice, Sprite (both in tea pots), Egg Salad sandwiches (cut into triangles, of course), carrots & celery w/ dip, grapes, cheddar & colby jack cheese cubes, and Club crackers. I got to use this cool buffet server I got at (say it with me) Costco.

Here is everyone seated at the table. Two families from our ward and one that lived with us in Provo (in our duplex) and lives in Houston now, too! Aren't they all so cute dressed up?!

Here's the front of the Barbie doll cake Isa requested. I used my Pampered Chef batter bowl (Yep, I sold Pampered Chef at one time; I would never pay full price for their stuff, even if I could afford it), and added another cake round on the bottom. I wrapped up her hair to start, and wrapped her body and legs in plastic wrap and just shoved her in there. The body I covered in a thin layer of icing, then homemade marshmallow fondant, then some more icing (for the pink part and the swirly flowers). I had some Chocolate covered marshmallows left over from a Chocolate Cooking Club, so I used those for the candles instead of sticking them in my hard-worked-for cake.

Here's the back. If you look really closely you can see where I ripped the fondant, but it looked really good anyways. I added the long white "train" b/c I was too lazy to press out the seam at the back.

And here's Isa's reaction.

I like to keep the cakes I make for the kids a secret until it's time to sing to them. So I stay up way too late the night before, then cover it with a box or something, have all the guests come in and sit down, then lead the birthday kid in with eyes closed. It's more fun that way. They pick what they want, they just don't get to see it until the singing part of the party. BTW, daddy is taking the pic here. My sweet Computer Engineer Husband has yet to figure out how to use a digital camera.

Blowing out the candles (My Love taking pics again).

Cute girls.
We spoiled Isa and gave her another dress (this one)(Do you really have to ask where we bought it?) at her Bday party. The dress EJ is wearing is from a sweet lady at church who swears Elisabeth-Jane was meant to be hers. EJ definitely has a special bond with her. I am positive they were very good friends in their Premortal life.

I'll do more pics from our trip to Utah next post. The Birthday Princess Tea Party was actually after the trip. I didn't even touch on our visit with Samantha and her family while we were there! You're all in suspense now, huh?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

This Post is Worth Thousands Upon Thousands of Words OR Pictures of the Past Monthish in Which I Have Been Sick and Neglectful of Blogging

On the flight to Utah; the airlines finally wised up and gave the kids cups with lids and straws!

(Below) Our 2 rows in the plane; I hated that Robert & I couldn't sit on the same row, b/c we had to have an adult on each row with the kids. Btw, the kids all loved the plane rides, except on 1 flight Isa's ears wouldn't pop and she was very upset. :(

It snowed a bit on the day of the wedding... Isn't Marissa Hot!?

Cute newlyweds... just out of the temple.

(Below) We also said "See you later" to Robert's parents on this trip as they were leaving for their 1 1/2 year mission to Brazil in November/December. Katie collected pictures from all of us and made a calendar for them.

All the Lewis kids: Robert (#2), Laura (#3), Rachel (#5), Katie (#1), and David (#4).

Cute girls. Blushing bride and the little Princess...

Post some more later, all that formatting has tired me out... (that and a bunch of 9 year olds...)

Friday, December 12, 2008

I Want to Post, Really I Do!

But I have to
bake Oliver's birthday cake for his party tomorrow,
clear the kitchen table,
clean up and rearrange the living room,
start truffle-making,
cool and trim Oliver's birthday cake,
go to the store for more cake mix when I run out because Oliver's wants 5 layers,
pick up AAA batteries for my mouse (I hate this stupid touch pad!),
pick up goodies for the goodie bags (why did I start this? B/c everyone should feel special at a birthday party!),
put together goodie bags quickly and efficiently while allowing Oliver to help,
vacuum the living room again,
put away laundry,
put away dishes,
cut up truffles,
make Visiting Teaching calls since it is already the 12th!,
stop reaching for my mouse which doesn't work,
drink more water,
read with the sifties,
get dinner ready,
plan the actual party,
get a hold of more than 1 of the Moms of the boys invited,
and still get some sleep!

We shall see.

btw, these are not the droids you're looking for...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Hate Being Sick or Why You Should Get a Flu Shot Even When You Live in Houston, Texas

So... it started on Monday afternoon. Horatio threw up at Debbie's house, only a couple of hours after he'd peed on her carpet upstairs (2 for 2!). I figured it was 2 year old excitement.

Tuesday afternoon, Angel started complaining that his stomach hurt, really hurt. He was moaning and whiny and I could think of nothing to do except tell him to drink water and take a bath eventually. He took a bath and proceeded to throw up all over my bathroom floor. I assumed that was the end of it.

See how wrong one person can be!

I went out to a friend's house for a Girls' Night at the Movies from just before 8 to about 10:30. I got home to find Robert still up, and asked him why he had not gone to bed. Turned out Isa and Oliver took turns throwing up all over the upstairs. If I remember correctly Angel got up and threw up again, as well as Oliver after I got home. Then the Storm of the century rolled through last night, keeping most of our household awake despite the respite in vomit.

I woke up this morning with stomach pain and that wonderfully gross desire to throw up.

Robert took off of work today. We all sat around in varying degrees of pain and/or throw-upyness, watched Kung Fu Panda, as well as the bonus DVD that we bought with it, and all of the special features. Then we played an exorbitant amount of wii. And now I am up while Robert is starting to feel it, and I have not finished.

You know what is getting me through this? Besides Sprite and a heating pad (b/c my back is also hurting like the Dickens for some reason; early period maybe), I mean...

It dawned on me as I was laying on the bed after I think my 2nd bath and before my shower (at least I'm really clean today) that my body was designed by God. He made it pretty near perfect. When I take care of it, it treats me well and I am hardly ever sick (probably one of the reasons I hate being sick, b/c I'm not used to it). Then (no matter if it's my fault or the random kid at the playground, etc.) I get sick and my body fights. It gets rid of whatever it feels is not good in whatever disgusting ways it can. But it's doing its job! How cool is that? Just as I learned with Hypnobabies how a woman's body is so wonderfully designed to carry, grow, and birth a baby, I learn with each sickness that this body is also made to fight illness. Sometimes (just as with giving birth) when we fight back, it tenses up everything and makes it harder (i.e. more painful!), but when we relax (not saying this is easy at all here, but we can do it!) and let our body know we trust it (and Heavenly Father that He will take good care of us and whatever happens will be good for us in the long run), we will be OK pretty soon.

This "painful" feeling in my back and stomach is just pressure. I told Robert today as I was laying on the bed being pressurized, "You know, it takes pressure to make diamonds." I can do this. I can. It's just pressure.

I still hate being sick.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My 6 Unspectacular Quirks

Here are the rules: 1. Link to the person who tagged you and comment in the comment section on their original "quirk: post. 2. Mention the rules on your blog. 3. Tell 6 unspectacular quirks about you. 4. Tag 6 bloggers ( or more) by linking to them. 5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

OK, Claudia, this may be TMI, but we'll see...

1) I am a spelling and grammar freak. It bugs me to no end to see spelling errors (especially homonyms) on blogs or any printed material. I spellcheck and edit all of my blog posts and emails. And I've been correcting my mother's grammar since I was a kid (she hates that, btw).

2) At Wendy's I dip my fries into my frosty (my kids do it, too, now), and my chicken nuggets, and my burger, and especially my Spicy chicken sandwich. I know it sounds gross, but mmmmm, it's good!

3) I am a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Many members think I have been raised in the church (don't ask me why), but none of my family are members. I got baptized when I was 18, and actually moved out of my parents' house to do so.

4) My husband is my best friend. Maybe this doesn't sound too quirky, but many people I know really would rather take breaks from their spouse and children regularly. Not me (or us really). The thing we like most is being together. We will not take a trip without each other to go anywhere (weddings, funerals, nada!)! And we have never spent a night apart, not counting nights Robert has worked through the night.

5) I am an Excel freak. If it is possible I will make a database for anything (which means I will make a database for anything)! I plan parties, make contact lists, create checklists, make DVD/book lists, do my budget and checkbook -you name it!- all using Excel.

6) I love to read, especially young adult fiction (much less PG-13 to R-rated material than adult books). 2 of my all-time favorites are the Harry Potter series and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe series. I have read all of them at least 6 times; they get better each time. I believe that is 1 of the things that makes a great author: the ability to read their books over and over and still discover new things and nuances to the characters, storyline, etc.

So, that's a tangent about me. Who can I tag? How about Roman's Mom, Molly, Tiffany, Vanessa, Brittany, Angela and Samantha. Play with me!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some Stuff I Said I'd Post About

-The kittens getting fixed (who knew being able to have babies meant you were broken?), and the subsequent visits when Nightia did not do well...

So, we got all 3 kitties "fixed" (we have 2 boys and 1 girl already, and the amount of people that allow their pets to reproduce then "can't" find good homes for them is appalling!) about a month or so ago now. All 3 were fine, though I was really nervous as I had read a recent blog post by a friend who had just gotten her female dogs fixed and one of them had stopped breathing during the surgery... We dropped them off and picked them up the same day. We had them sequestered in our bedroom/bathroom for a day or 2, so the kids wouldn't overhandle them, then we let them loose. We also told the kids they could not pick up the kitties for a few more days. All 3 appeared to be doing fine until Friday (exactly one week after the surgery) when Nightia threw up the entire contents of her stomach right after she ate. We actually weren't worried at this, b/c she's thrown up before (before the surgery), and we just didn't want the kitties to eat it (like they do, yuck!), but when Robert picked her up to move her away from it he noticed a big drop of clearish reddish liquid on the ground. He thought she had lost control of her bowels, then we discovered more and realized it was coming from her wound. We packed everyone up ASAP and ran to the vet's after calling them and telling them we were on our way.

They checked her over and made us wait an interminable amount of time (I couldn't go home b/c I was too nervous, so we wandered to Pier One to look at nothing), and eventually told us she was OK, just reacting a little to the stitches and that we could take her home. We headed to the store to get something, then as we were getting back in the car (about 45 minutes later) I picked up Nightia's carrier and noticed something whitish and blobby sticking out of her wound! I totally thought her bowels were coming out! We ran back over to the vet's which was close by, calling them again so they wouldn't leave without looking at her (it was close to closing time by now). This time I went in with her and waited to talk to the vet himself (he had done the surgery, which was nice). He explained that he had seen much worse, and it was not her intestines, just some fat coming out, and that her body had basically dissolved the inner stitches and they needed to open her up again to restitch her up with thicker sutures. Apparently this is not uncommon with females. You know, put something foreign into a healthy living body and it will fight it, in this case dissolving the stitches before they should have dissolved. I lost it and started crying in the vet's office. How stupid did I feel (?!), even though I know he must have seen this before (the client crying thing), but I felt like somehow I had done something wrong to my cat and I hadn't done enough research and didn't take good enough care of her or something! The doctor calmly explained again that he had seen much much worse and that she would be totally fine and that they were going to do the surgery again right then, and we might even be able to pick her up again that same night.

To make an already long story shorter, we were able to pick her up a couple of hours later, take her home and sequester her in the bathroom for a couple of days (which she did not like!), then put a big stupid-looking collar on her for a few more days (which she also did not like), then get the outer stitches out over a week later (she really didn't like those stitches and showed us so by peeing all over the house). Whew, and now we are back to semi-normal. We are planning on potty training the kittens after out trip to Utah next week. No more scooping kitty litter! Yay!

-Fun happenings while we waited out IKE

Some of Robert's side of the Family from Baytown got to come stay with us. They came right before Ike hit, so we started our hurricane party Friday night (this was before the kitties got fixed) by watching a movie on the projector. Just as we got to the climax of the movie, the power cut out. This was just about 10:30. No flicker, no warning. So we all went to bed. The boys slept in our room, Isa and H slept in their room, and EJ slept in the porta-crib in our closet, since the full-sized crib is in the guest room. Robert's Aunt and Uncle stayed in the guest room, 1 cousin slept on the futon in the library, and the other cousin tried to sleep on the monstersac (not a good idea, since the monstersac raises body temperature exponentially from the point that you lay down on it!). We all lived through the night, but R(cousin #2) and I could not sleep (too hot!)(and loud!). I tried reading my scriptures in the kitchen by candlelight (I cannot imagine people staying up at all after dark before the advent of electricity and the light bulb) and eventually got an ice water bottle from the freezer for me and R, which helped a bit to sleep with. I was very grateful to not be pregnant during that time b/c I would not have been able to stand it! The next morning we waited out the rain. The family helped move some trees and stuff -mostly stuff that had fallen on their car and gave it a few good dents and broke a small window(!)-, then we played some games in the afternoon (and learned what our 8-year old does not think his parents should do). We ate as much perishable stuff as we could, and the fam' left the next day. I think we were starting to get on each other's nerves (as everyone does, right?), but overall it was fun to have them and dulce (their doggy).

It turned out they had power at their house, and a bit of cleanup to do, but their house was fine. We waited the longest almost 3 days of my life for our power to come back on. We prayed a lot for those 3 days. We got to stay with some friends who had a generator for a night with fans! We were envious of friends we know who had power back 6 hours after Ike, and felt horrible for those we knew who still had no power over 2 weeks later! We offered help to anyone we could communicate with, but phone coverage was sketchy, too, limiting our outside communication. It felt really cut off from the world. Very weird. Robert got to take a few days off of work, with pay! And it was wonderful to have the time with him.

-Huge tree almost falling on our house and paying an exorbitant amount of money to have it (mostly) removed

Here is the before picture. You can't see it very well, but this tree was literally at a 45-degree angle to the boys' bedroom window. The root ball was half out of the ground, too. See the window in the middle right of the pic almost totally obscured by leaves and branches?... that is Angel and Oli's room. Scary to see, and scarier when you have no idea how strong the darn tree is being held into the ground! We had no idea if the tree would stay up or continue to fall, so we tried to get it removed ASAP. We were blessed to be on the "current client" list of a good tree service, since our problem was not an emergency. If I had known how strongly it was still in the ground I might not have paid to have it done, but now I know for next time. And it WAS a huge tree that was still pointing at my house, so I was not going to mess with it. The next pic is after we had it removed. Also, after helping cut up and remove fallen trees from lots of friends and neighbors houses (and ours), I am no longer so eager to pay someone to remove the 2 small (I mean not even 8 inches in diameter), dead pines in my backyard. Just loan me a chainsaw, somebody, and I'm all over it.

And the last thing I have time for before my children rebel and start cooking something for themselves for dinner...

-EJ learning to talk and sign

I am amazed at how each of our children is talking sooner and better than the last. Angel waited to speak until he was older than 2, and Oliver was finally diagnosed with a "speech delay" right before he was 3, but since then (and since we started signing ASL with them), all of our subsequent children have spoken and signed quite early. EJ started signing milk, more, and please recently. She'll say momma, daddy (her favorite), please, more, Oli, Angel, and some more I don't remember. She will just grunt or scream for attention, but if you calmly ask her to sign or say please, she'll do it. It's also funny to see her mouthing words and making little puffing sounds like she's trying out her mouth. It is so cool to be able to ask what she wants and get an answer.

So for next time, maybe I'll get to these things I listed a while back.

-My parents (who live in Florida, we haven't seen in 8 years, and who have never even met their 3 youngest grandchildren) DROPPING IN with about 3 hours notice
-Women's Conference (President Uchtdorf is awesome!)
-Church with 5 children and no husband (he was out at Galveston on a Sunday "mucking out" houses), NEVER AGAIN (knock on wood!!!)
-General Conference with 5 children and a husband out with a work party for the 1st session.

Monday, October 20, 2008

NOT ME, Monday!

The following, entirely charming post is brought to you in the McMama spirit...

On Sunday, I did not abandon my youngest daughter to her Father who had to teach a lesson in church simply b/c I could not handle feeling completely conspicuous sitting in the front of Relief Society with her trying to pull down the tablecloth again!

Today I did not wallow and allow my children to watch hours on end of DVDs (including the classically violent Tom & Jerry) while I stalled reading my scriptures...

then I did not send all the kids outside for "recess" BEFORE feeding anyone lunch...

I did not get in the car leaving my 5 children at home alone (with the baby sleeping) to drive down the street and retrieve the almost 5 year old's shoe that her brother threw over the back fence b/c I am too lazy to figure out how to get it otherwise...

also I did not tell my 10-year old we could make sausages for breakfast then conveniently forget until after lunchtime...

I am a wonderful mother who never makes my children run away crying and always nurses the baby within seconds of her signing "milk"...

And I did not emotionally blackmail my sweet husband into coming home an hour early because I DON'T hate Mondays...

and I did not already repost this twice b/c I keep remembering how horrible I can be...

whew, glad I'm not that mom!

(tomorrow will be better, as usual)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today Is a Special Day

Today is a holiday, and by that I refer to the old sense of the word: a Holy Day. Today is the National Day of Remembrance for pregnancy and infant loss, including stillbirth, miscarriage, SIDS, etc. I have never had a known problem with any of my pregnancies, but do have many friends who have. My heart goes out to you all.
Light a candle, say a prayer, call a friend today; do something that shows you can reach outside of yourself and forget your problems just for a few minutes. Go here to show some support and here to learn a little more.
Now imagine yourself getting a huge hug from me (or somebody else you'd much rather have one from).

Monday, October 6, 2008

Life Since Getting Engaged (part 3 of the Life Since High School Chronicles)

The summer before the wedding:

The summer after we got engaged, I had a job at Cloth World in Orem (Provo's "sister city") and decided to stay at BYU to work and get some classes in before we got married. The best thing for Robert was to go home to California and live there and work, so he could save money. It was probably one of the hardest things we've ever had to do, to be apart for 3 whole months. Luckily we both kept busy, and we had much preparations to do for the wedding. Robert got a good job in California and I was able to pay the bills and get groceries b/c of my part time job, while the VA paid for my schooling. The best part about that summer was that Robert's parents got a great deal on airline tickets and I got to go visit them 3 times. Every month I looked forward to that trip. When we were apart we talked every night on the phone (and this was when you paid by the minute for long distance!), and wrote each other most every day, too. The invitations/announcements were really nice. We chose a simple one with a pencil drawing of a girl and boy holding hands in a field with the caption, "This day I will marry my friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, love." It was perfect. It described exactly how we feel about each other, and how much we look forward to sharing our life together. I don't remember much more about that summer, except Katie (Robert's big sister) taking me to get groceries (I didn't have a car), hand-addressing 500 wedding invitations in double envelopes (pre-printed addresses are for wimps!), planning with friends and family about the logistics of the wedding stuff, including my first time going to the temple for Endowments, and general impatience. Robert and I also went to the temple in LA and did a very special baptism there, and when I went to the temple for my endowments, Robert was proxy for that person's endowment also. Oh, and my best friend, her sister, their mom, and another very good friend threw me a bridal shower 2 days before the wedding. It was a blast.

the wedding (bittersweet):

Weddings are a beautiful thing. A sweet couple who are at least trying the best they can comes together a pledges their love and devotion for the rest of their lives. In our church, it is even better. Not only do the couple pledge their love and devotion to each other, but they also make sacred covenants with God that they will do their very best to continue loving each other forever. They are sealed together forever. It is not "'til death do you part", it is for time and all eternity.

The catch is, you must be a baptized member (for at least a year) and be in "good standing", meaning you are doing your best to keep the commandments and repenting as needed. My parents are not members of our church. Robert and I could have chosen to have a wedding ceremony outside of the temple, then get sealed later in the temple. We did not. We chose to do what we know was right, not a counterfeit. Maybe THAT was the hardest thing we've ever had to do. It was a beautiful wedding. And we know that our marriage will last forever, because we have made that choice, and we make it again every day.

Who wouldn't want to be together forever with their best friend and soul-mate and the cutest sifties in the Universe?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I Should Be Charged With Neglect

In my defense a hurricane did come by for a visit. So, here is a tantalizing list of things I need to blog about soon.

-More of the story of our wedding and our life together
-The kittens getting fixed (who knew being able to have babies meant you were broken?), and the subsequent visits when Nightia did not do well...
-Fun happenings while we waited out IKE
-Huge tree almost falling on our house and paying an exorbitant amount of money to have it (mostly) removed
-EJ learning to talk and sign
-My parents (who live in Florida, we haven't seen in 8 years, and who have never even met their 3 youngest grandchildren) DROPPING IN with about 3 hours notice
-Women's Conference (President Uchtdorf is awesome!)
-Church with 5 children and no husband (he was out at Galveston on a Sunday "mucking out" houses), NEVER AGAIN (knock on wood!!!)
-General Conference with 5 children and a husband out with a work party for the 1st session.

Good night everyone.

... let's just say I have really muscular arms, OK?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

We Don't Like Ike

We are fine, healthy, and have food and water. We never lost our water pressure or hot water, and have a gas stove, so we were able to cook. We went without power for almost 3 days, lost most of the food in the freezers and fridge, but have plenty of water and shelf-stable food. We have many friends and neighbors who have not been as blessed as we have. The house nor any of us sustained any damage, except we do have a tree at a 45-degree angle to the boys' bedroom, which we need to take care of soon. We've even managed to clean up most of the yard, and put the net back on the trampoline, which survived! Robert was also able to go to Costco yesterday morning (bright and early!) and get us milk, gas and a few other essentials (like Hot Pockets!). We are very blessed and have learned a little better what to do next time, but overall we feel extremely fortunate to have church leaders who urged us to have supplies (candles, flashlights, etc), water, and food. I will post more details and even a pic or 2 soon; for now we need to run to the store and see if we can buy a chainsaw, b/c they are in short supply around here. Cross your fingers for us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Little Tangent Today

The Spirit guides us in the mundane parts of our lives.

So, yesterday when I emptied the washer, the towels in it were still soaking wet. I figured this was due to the large pillow I washed with them, and I just dried everything (3 times!) anyway. Well, today I found the latest load had done the same thing. I'm going, "Hmm, not good, and who has hundreds of dollars to fix this darn thing?" So I messed with it a little and realize the mechanism that tells the machine the lid is closed is not working right, a piece appears to be missing. And I recall that I found a little piece of plastic yesterday when the machine was seriously unbalanced b/c of the aforementioned pillow, and I set it aside just in case. So now I'm thinking, "Great, I have multiple magpies in my home that collect little things like that and I will probably never find it now!" but I search the floor anyways on the off chance it just got knocked off the machine, and -Lo and behold- there it is. I tinker with it a bit and finally figure out how to get it on correctly, all the while I am guided to be very careful, b/c if I push too hard I will knock it behind the drum and never be able to get it back, so even though I am impatient b/c I need to go to the store, I go slowly. Sadly, after the piece is on (I know it's on correctly), the machine still doesn't register that the lid is closed. I examine said machine and find that the little post that pushes on the lost-then-found piece has had its tip broken off, so it's touching the mechanism but it's not long enough to push it all the way down, telling the washer that the lid is indeed closed. Now I'm thinking "Crud, it's this tiny piece, I know exactly what's wrong, it's plastic for heaven's sake and probably cost pennies to make that little piece, but if I can't fix it at home, I'm going to be paying someone a lot of money &/or special ordering it and be without a washer for weeks, ugh." So, I'm praying and thinking I must have something I can jerry rig: clay, toothpicks, something to super glue to it. The problem is it is tiny, and I'm worried it won't stay stuck. When out of nowhere I think, "I might have something in my jewelry making box." Please note: this thought obviously did not originate from me, there is no way I would have thought this. I need manly tools here, not jewelry. I look anyways. As I open the box what I discover is a few odds & ends and I am reminded of some fun stuff I have left over from my jewelry making class at BYU: little plastic "beads" (Thank you, Carolyn!). If you boil some water and put these beads in it, they will soften, then you can mold them however you wish (very cool for making your own beads or jewelry pieces). At this point I'm going, "This could work. I can at least make a mold using clay then make a new plastic tip and super glue that on." OK, I admit at this point, I may have lost some of you, b/c not all of us are as crafty goddesses. But my mother always said, "You can do anything you put your mind to." If some handyman can fix this, I can, too. It just takes me a bit longer. So (and note Angel is intrigued at this point and is following me around) I boil a little water and toss an old piece of this plastic stuff into the water. It starts to soften up quickly as I stir it around, and I pull it out and go over to the washer and kind of mold it onto the end of the broken piece. I give it a little help to get it to the right shape and it starts to harden quickly. After a few minutes, it is totally hard and I can close the lid and test it. It works! No super glue, no negative molding, just squish it on there in the relatively correct shape and let it harden. Some of you naysayers may say this was just coincidence. But I don't believe in coincidence. And I came to this solution much too quickly to believe it was chance. I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide me. I am doubly grateful that Heavenly Father sees fit to help me with my silly everyday problems, reminding me that He loves and cares for us individually. This doesn't happen quite so perfectly all the time, but when it does I am reminded how mindful He is of each of us. And that is cool to me.
And now, I'm seriously going to Costco.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I Promise to Post Tomorrow

Next in the timeline:
The summer before the wedding, and preparations,
the wedding (bittersweet),
and maybe the beginning of our life together if I can write all that in a reasonable amount of time.

Good night, sweet friends.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Life Since Meeting Robert (Chapter 2 of the Life Since High School Chronicles)

To be completely honest, Robert proposed to me about 2 weeks after we met. I had decided that we were getting pretty serious pretty fast and there was one tiny detail about my life that I knew I needed to share with him, in order that we would both know how far we wanted to take our relationship. Those of you that are family or knew me in High School, particularly senior year, already know of the "tiny detail" I am referring to. I don't really want to make it completely public (especially since there are members of my family who do not know to this day), so I won't tell you what I mean here, but if you are a good friend, rest assured you do know or will know one day. The point is I needed to tell Robert at that time, so I told him I had something important to discuss with him, and we met & talked in a quiet spot in the Cannon Center (the cafeteria where we met in the dorms). He wasn't very talkative, but listened carefully and intently. I was scared to death that his opinion of me would be forever tainted, yet he did the most wonderful thing. He told me he wanted me to be his wife. He expressed how he was glad I had told him and that he know knew me better and loved me even more for having gotten to understand who I was now.

The times after that were nice. Robert would get up and meet me to walk me to my 7 am classes every morning. I purposely scheduled 7 am classes my entire 1st year to make myself get out of bed and to give myself plenty of time for shows (theatre) and work in the evenings. We would see each other between classes as often as our feet could make it across campus in time, meet for lunch whenever possible, study together in the evenings, stay out late together, then stay up on the phone for hours on end. Robert always tells people who think it seems like we got married fast, that we spent so much time together that we both felt like we crammed in years of getting to know each other. We became best friends, and who better to marry than your best friend? There were many times that Robert would come meet me at work, and my boss, Jen, would gush over how cute and sweet he was. Think here how neither of us had a car, so he had to walk or take the bus to come see me... and campus was a good few miles from my work.
The time after the 1st proposal to the "official" proposal was interminable for me. I even had to endure one couple (friends of ours) who met after we did and got engaged before we did! Also for those of you who did not attend BYU, engagements are very common.

I skipped our 1st kiss, didn't I. That's a funny story, so let's rewind....
Robert had a date to Homecoming with another girl. He made the date before we met and we had just gotten serious, so he kept the date to be nice (with the express idea that this was just a friendly date). I waited in the common room of my dorm, and when he got back (much too early for the other girl to have had a lot of fun) we sat on the couch with other friends of ours completely ignoring them and enjoying each others' company. I remember him telling me how the entire time he was thinking about how he just wanted to be with me and not out with this other girl. I also remember him touching my face. When it got to curfew time in our common room, I walked him to the outer door and tried to use my feminine charm on him. I'm pretty sure I was totally unsuccessful, but he leaned in to kiss me anyway, with quite a few of my girlfriends watching! It was very sweet, and I was embarrassed about people watching and ran up to my room to avoid the inevitable barrage of girls wanting details as to this very quickly formed relationship.

"I love you" came soon after that. I am proud to say he said it first. I don't know why, maybe because it is such a hard thing to say knowing your heart could be broken. And, so you don't think he was totally fearless of his heart breaking, he told me on my answering machine. Slick, huh?

At Halloween, one of his many "Hispanic girlfriends" did his makeup and dressed him up as a dead clown. It was gruesome. I kissed him anyway. Gross.

For Christmas, we were both going home (Him to California and I to Houston; me thanks to the generosity of one of the friends who helped me financially get to BYU) and dreading being away from each other for so long. (I know we are so lame! Stop reading if you have to go throw up now, you don't want it on your keyboard). We exchanged gifts before we left. He gave me a BYU sweater (I still have it) and I gave him a picture of me in front of the LOVE sculpture that used to be outside the BYU Museum (He still has it). Then we stayed up until 3 or so in the morning, hanging out in the HFAC (the theatre/arts building on campus) the night before he left. We called each other long distance (this was when you payed by the minute!) every night at the same time, and somehow got through all the fun holiday stuff without each other. Charlotte took me to see the Nutcracker that year, I got to spend Christmas Eve at the Haines annual Xmas Eve dinner and program, and I surprised my mom while caroling that night; She thought I wouldn't be home b/c they couldn't afford to fly me out.

Come February and I was dreading Valentine's day. Granted I had a sweetie, but I knew he couldn't afford a ring yet. Add to that years of bigger sisters getting flowers, candy, gifts galore and me getting nothing and you can imagine how I did not like the thought of Valentine's day.
Robert changed my opinion that year.
At each class I attended that day, I found a friend of ours with a flower. The 1st was a white carnation. the 2nd was a pink carnation, the 3rd was a red carnation, and the 4th was a rose. Each was supposed to have the stanza to a poem on it, but only one made it, so I didn't get that until later.

Will You Love Me When I'm Old?

I would ask of you, my darling,
A question soft and low,
That gives me many a heartache
As the moments come and go.

Your love I know is truthful,
But the truest love grows cold;

It is this that I would ask you:
Will you love me when I'm old?

Life's morn will soon be waning,
And its evening bells be tolled,
But my heart shall know no sadness,
If you'll love me when I'm old.

Down the stream of life together
We are sailing side by side,
Hoping some bright day to anchor

Safe beyond the surging tide.
Today our sky is cloudless,
But the night may clouds unfold;
But, though storms may gather round us,
Will you love me when I'm old?

Robert met me after my evening class with a huge long stemmed rose that was almost as tall as I am, and walked me to my dorm to put my things away. Then we walked to Viva Spaghetti at Brigham's Landing (the spot where companies go to die, as Robert says. No business can survive in that spot for long.), with me blindfolded the whole way! At our table was another red rose. Then we walked to the Provo Temple, walked around the grounds, and sat & talked until the night watchman told us they were closing (this was about 11pm). Robert can tell you the dirty trick he played on me there, if he dares! I refuse to tell it.

On the walk home I was subdued. I had spent weeks and then all day telling myself he wasn't going to propose tonight and now our night was over and I had to admit to myself I was right. Darnit! Didn't he still want to marry me? Did I do something wrong? Will he ever propose? These are my thoughts as we are walking home. He declined walking me to my common room saying he promised his family a phone call and he needed to get my present (some wool socks I needed, which I don't still have). I dejectedly sat down on the common room couch and chatted with some friends who were playing cards. Some guys Robert and I knew who were in a band were hanging around our common area, too. Tania asked me about borrowing a cd, and we went up to my room to find it. For some reason by the time I had gotten to my room (the 2nd to last from the end), half of the girls on my floor had followed me. When I walked into my room, I found I had been "Heart Attacked!" This is one of those BYU dating things. You put up hearts all over someone's room and a sign that says something to the effect of "You've been Heart Attacked," except my room was also filled with gifts. And Robert had used hearts I had used in his room earlier in the year when I had filled his room with balloons (did you understand that sentence at all?). That was fun. Anyways!

The wool socks were there, a print by Bouguereau, and more things I don't remember. When you come to our house you can see that print, framed in our entryway. He even stuck one of the small hearts to my Elmo doll. Then Tania asked me if my stereo was on. I was confused. What was she talking about. The she started fiddling with my blinds. What is this crazy girl thinking? But music was coming from somewhere... We opened the blinds to see Robert and the guys from the commons room outside playing and singing "More Than Words." Note here, I lived on the 3rd floor, so even though Robert and the guys were not expecting it, they had 3 full floors of spectators that night. It brought my depressed state to an abrupt end, and I was glad he chose to end our Valentine's day that way. Then he disappeared, and someone said he was coming up the fire escape stairs. I was glad he came up for one last good night and a kiss.

I hugged him at the door to the fire escape and he pushed me back, and proceeded to gag me. Then he got down on one knee and recited the last stanza to the poem.

When my hair shall shade the snowdrift,
And mine eyes shall dimmer grow,
I would lean upon some loved one,
Through the valley as I go.
I would claim of you one promise,
Worth to me a world of gold;

It is only this, my darling,
That you'll love me when I'm old

Then he asked me if I would marry him, reached behind me to Tania holding out a box, and opened it with my engagement ring inside! I, of course, said yes, and to the chanting of Besa! Besa! Besa! (I've already told you we had a lot of Spanish speaking friends) we kissed. And he left me to be bombarded with my girlfriends for all the rest of the evening's details and to ooh and ahh over my new ring. Oh, and one of our friends was clever enough to have a camera, so I have a few pictures.
p.s. For those of you wondering, the gag was b/c we were getting "engagged." Robert is very corny.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

We Started Young

I have been blog-hopping tonight and came upon quite a few friends whose firstborns started kindergarten or first grade this past week. They are all adorable, and made me feel old! My oldest is 10, and starting 5th grade this year. Then it dawned on me, that I am actually younger than at least half of said friends, and I was simply blessed to have found my Robear sooner than most people get to. I was 18 when we met and 19 when we married (after an interminable 6 month engagement!). Then we were blessed to be pregnant by our 1st anniversary...
And I haven't forgotten that I need to continue my life since High School story, but it is ridiculously late and I have used up my time checking up on you!
I love you guys.

Don't you love the suspense!?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Life Since High School (Wasn't High School Life?), chapter 1

Let us begin during the sunny summer of 1995... High School graduation was long past and I was living with some friends planning my trip to Utah in the fall to attend BYU. I truly had basically no money, but had many Angels taking care of me as well as a new job at Cloth World, so I was doing ok. Early in the summer the family I was living with (the Molen Family) told me they were driving to Utah for the Deaf Symposium at BYU, so I could hitch a ride with them. Subsequently I lived with 2 different families after arriving, as school didn't start for a while and the dorms weren't available. I stayed with Lee, a friend of the Molens, for a couple of weeks, then moved in with Brad and Amy (if I'm remembering the order right). I did have a home when school started, but had to wait until the dorms were available to move in. While I waited, I puttered a lot, until I discovered a Cloth World down the street from where I was (with Brad and Amy; thanks, guys!) and walked over to apply. Meanwhile Christine got to visit, that was fun, and I worked on my tie skirt (that's just for my info and I'll explain if you really want later). Getting the job at Cloth World was really funny and wonderful, b/c I walked in and asked if they had any jobs available and the manager, Jen, asked about my experience and I told her I'd worked at a Cloth World in Houston. She said, "So, you're already trained?" "Yes." "You're hired, come back later and fill out the paperwork." Jen was awesome, I totally loved her. She had a daughter she named Serendipity, and called Seren. How cool of a name is that? I wish I could remember her last name. I worked there for years (Angel took his 1st steps in Cloth World), through several managers, and a buyout by Jo-Ann's, until I got a job on campus in the costume shop (but that's later in the story).
I was fairly set after that as I had the VA benefits my dad set up paying me a monthly stipend after school started. I absolutely loved the dorms. Some people hate them, not me! I wish we could live in dorms always, seriously. My neighborhood in Heaven (provided I make it) will be set up like the dorms! I had a great roommate, Armine, who only spoke Spanish, but we got along really well anyway. In retrospect, that would have been a great year for me to learn Spanish(!), but I was busy with other things. I adored all the girls on my floor and we had so much fun. They even elected me floor president the 1st semester. And Jeanie was the coolest RA in the universe!
Late in October I met Robert. If I remember correctly, we met in the Cafeteria (the dorms we lived in had a cafeteria, no kitchens). I was being my High School exuberant self and invited him to sit with us. I was also being totally myself b/c I figured he was no threat romantically and I didn't have to impress him, b/c (if any of you remember him without the beard) he looked like he was a freshman, so I knew I would not get involved with him, b/c he was P.M.: Pre-Mission. I was not getting involved with a guy, then send him off on his mission while I was lonely for 2 years. Turns out he was Post Mission. Tiffany sat with us and she'll tell you how we hit it off pretty quickly. And as any of you with relationship experience know, it's when you totally let your guard down and are yourself that you tend to impress the guy or girl, as the case may be. A couple of days later, he asked me for my phone number, and we were basically connected at the phone or hip from then on. I regret that I didn't get to become as close with a lot of the girls in my dorm after I met Robert, but I wouldn't do it any differently.

And now EJ is awake, needing a diaper change, and we get to run errands with a friend, so I'll start a new chapter tomorrow or when I get to it. Are you so excited!?

p.s. Robert, feel free to add to the story when you want to. Just highlight what you add or something.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Stuff to Post About: The Shortest Ones (Sorry, Life Since High School Will be Started Soon)

Ringworm... yuck. It hurts! Why has noone told me this before? Would it have made a difference? So, after treating Oliver's sad head for over 2 months now (it started as Ringworm and turned into another infection), I finally got it. At least it is clearly Ringworm. I hate not knowing what is wrong with me. At least I have a name for it, and it's not pretty. Well, I suppose it might be depending on your definition of pretty. It is a quarter sized circle on my upper right arm. It alternately itches, stings, and aches. Now that you know way more that you wanted to, it's time for a subject change...

Speaking of changes, did any of you notice that my Valiant Announcements section changed (look to the right sometime, people!)? Sunday morning a member of the Bishopric of our Ward called and asked if he could come over to chat with Robert and I. I was literally out the door to choir, so we decided on 12:30. I got home from choir and immediately had a dress in my lap that Isa was dying to wear to church, but needed serious mending, so I was working (on Sunday!?) on that while scarfing down some dino nuggets, when our sweet Bishopric Brother showed up. We relocated to the living room, and he asked if I would accept a calling to serve as the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society presidency (the Enrichment counselor)(Hey, believe you me, no one was more surprised than me!); Of course, I said yes, then I promptly asked if I would have to stop teaching "my kids." Sadly, he said yes. I am proud to say that my class was unhappy about it also; oh, to be loved by a class full of 11 year olds, how cool is that!? Now I am vacillating (the one SAT word I remember and love to use) between sheer terror at the magnitude of this calling and awe at the trust Heavenly Father has placed in me to do it (even though I know He'll be doing most of the work all along the way). I am also going to miss seeing my kids in class, although I have promised them treats if they will challenge themselves! And for those of you scratching your heads going, "She done started talkin' in Mormon-speak ag'in" (you know I love you and am just teasing, right?), quick translation: Relief Society is the women's organization (or as we like to think of it, the people that really run the church by keeping our sweet men in order and in the loop) in the church, and Enrichment is short for "Personal, Home, and Family Enrichment", which is a quarterly meeting of all the women in our ward (medium-ish group that meets together in an area). We usually have a meal, learn something Enrichment-y, have a spiritual lesson, and generally enjoy our sisterhood for a few hours. While I have you here, let me tell you how much I love Relief Society. I love Relief Society! I really love it! It so nice to feel like a part of a huge family. It's indescribable.

Insert appropriate segue here.
Today's UNFinished Crafts Day was wonderful. We had our 1st Sister not from my ward come (thanks, Megan!), probably b/c I don't really know too many people outside of church yet, but that's neither here nor there. We got lots done, even though I ended up doing mostly stuff my kids wanted (they'd been asking me to mend the snaps on their capes for a while). It's always fun to have a group of women over to share in the creative spirit that haunts me. The bad news is, it ended. Hours after it started, people started going home, until it was just me and my kids again.

And I had an epiphany.

People think I like entertaining, which is true, but the whole truth is -and the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem , right?- it's my drug. I totally get high when people come over or I have a big social gathering to do/go to/plan. Downside is I crash when it's over. So, like those pitiful people on real drugs, I keep having to find bigger and more often social gatherings to plan/attend/do. Sister Johnson has no idea what she's gotten herself into... (insert maniacal laughter here)

And the last thing I wanted to record for posterity and whoever is brave enough to have kept reading to this point is my latest crafty stuff (honestly I did work on a little of my crafts today). I am slowly faux etching the windows in my front entryway. I'm just using painter's tape to create a 1 inch border around each smaller frame and curving the corners a bit. It just takes a little while to get the tape up, then spray paint the "frosting" spray on the window (takes like 10 seconds), then I have to move the ladder so Horatio doesn't climb it, and work on it more later. For those of you who have visited our new home, you know our 1st room is a formal dining area which I use as my office/craft room. It has one wall that is all mirrors from halfway up the wall to the ceiling, and I knew what I wanted to do with it since we moved in. I'm going to do faux etching on it. I created a stencil out of contact paper today, which I will stick on and cut out the letters for, then spray with the "frosting." It says "Have you received His image in your countenance?" and a related scripture from the New Testament. (the pic to the left is my stencil) Perfect, right?

...and here's a shot of what my robear and EJ are doing while I've been blogging
Good night all.

Just a List of Blog Posts I Will be Adding Soon

-Ringworm, yuck.
-Social situations as drugs
-life since High school
-my latest crafts/projects on the house
-changing callings at church

I'm tired now and need to get my family's dinner on the table before 8. Think of me, please.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

He Makes Me Happy

I apologize to all one of you who stalk our blog for being so long in posting again. I stalk many of you and am always disappointed when at least 2 of you don't post something new each day!

Many of you know that Robert and I happily celebrated our 12 Anniversary last Friday (August 15th for those who want to remember to send us an expensive gift next year, a cruise maybe?). This was the 1st year that I have been able to tell Robert to buy me something; you know a nice something. Robert is good at creative, homemade gifts, but when he's not working he's with me, so he has no time to make something without me knowing about it generally! Anyways, who wants to guess what my husband gets me for our 12th Anniversary? Jewelery? Lingerie? Extremely sharp weaponry? OK, so not weaponry in so many words, but extremely sharp, yes! Shun sharp, to be exact. My sweet husband, who knows my great ambition to attend 2 more years of college at the Arts Institute (in the Culinary Arts Program), spent more money than should be spent for pressed steel and bought me a wonderful starter set of knives. Did I mention these are Shun knives, the kind Alton Brown uses? Wanna see? You know you do!

Now isn't that pretty next to the nice bowl my best friend from High School (Christine) gave me forever ago?

It's really only 4 knives, a honing steel, and some kitchen shears (the best kitchen shears ever!), but to a would-be chef it is the gift of knowing that my husband believes in me and wants me to keep learning and honing (pun intended) my talents in whatever venue they may be in.


Now that we've discussed the sordid present details (no, I didn't forget to give Robert his present; I'll tell you about it when it's done: computer problems... and he reads my blog, too, and I don't want to ruin the surprise), I want to record what we did for our anniversary. Robert's sweet cousin Marissa was home for a short time (they live in Baytown), and we got to have her stay with us for 2 whole nights (Thursday and Friday). Isabelle enjoyed immensely Marissa letting her sleep with her. Isa kept saying thank you in her prayers for her "sleepover" with Marissa. It was so cute. Our kids LOVE their cousin Marissa. Possibly b/c we spent so much time with them in Provo. For quite a few months, it wasn't a proper Sunday without Michael, Marissa, Ally, Tim, & Jodie (or some combination thereof) over for dinner, dessert, or games. Our family misses them all very much, and we are glad their parents live close by. Soooo, Marissa babysat Friday morning (you all remember Robert works 10 hour days M-Th, and takes Fridays off, right?) while we got to go to the temple and do some sealings. Other people renew their vows on their anniversary, well, to those of you who are not "Mormon", this is essentially the same idea. The main difference is we were being proxies for someone else who needed that ordinance done. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to be baptized and sealed to their family for Eternity, but some people die before that can happen. In these cases the family of that person can submit their names and information to the temple and other people can come in and go through the ordinance in their place. You can only submit names of people in your family line generally. The ordinance is exactly the same as when you get married, so in essence we were renewing the sacred covenants we made the day we got married. And, as an added bonus, we had the great privilege of having as a sealer one of the men in my life who is like a father to me, was at our wedding, and helped me a lot when I was getting ready to be baptized. His sweet wife was also there, but she was doing other important work, so we only got to see her briefly. I won't mention names here b/c I don't know how they feel about privacy issues on the web, but it was wonderful. That was definitely the best part of our day. We stayed for almost 3 hours, and enjoyed some quiet, contemplative time in the Celestial room afterwards.

We had planned on only taking about an hour and a halfish in the temple and having lunch "out" before 1:30, but work needed to be done, so we stayed longer than originally planned, and Marissa was gracious enough to watch the kids some more so we could go out to eat. We had a wonderful lunch at Salt Grass Steakhouse (if you go, have the shrimp and chicken embrochette appetizer, YUM!), then went to the mall and got my present at Williams-Sonoma, and headed home from our 5 hour date. I don't think the kids would have noticed we were gone if we hadn't said good-bye before we left. They adore their cousins. Thanks again, Marissa!

Later in the evening we went to Barnes and Noble to find a book Robert really wanted (and found out a new edition is coming out in October, so we're waiting on that), then went to Doneraki for a late dinner. I think we were all disappointed there. Cultural icon yes, good eatery not so much. But it was good time to hang out with Marissa before she goes back to Provo, away from us again. Have I mentioned we love Marissa, Michael, Ally, Tim, & Jodie? They should all move here.

And now I think I will rescue my husband from the sleeping arms of Isa and probably Horatio so I can keep him up to watch a movie with me. If you have any questions, especially about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and temple work, please ask away, and I will answer to the best of my knowledge or point you to a better source.

p.s. UNFinished Crafts Day was another rousing success. If you missed it, come next time, we missed you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

LDS Church Online Tech Talk

My sweet, albeit computer geeky, husband has asked that I post this on my blog. The church is doing a live streaming video conference tech talk. Follow the link for more info. I believe you need to register for the event and you can submit questions early for it.
Come on guys, we're in the 21st century now. I for one am glad the church is keeping up while maintaining the timeless standards the Lord has set for us.
On another slightly related note, here is a cool site dedicated to helping us to report and manage said reports for our Quorums, Relief Society, and other groups in the church. It's called
I'll do a personal post later.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Month in Pictures: Some Fun Tidbits of Our Life or Stuff I Meant to Post About But Kept Putting Off

I won't worry about dating any of these, except to let you know they are all July and August pics.

I was nursing Eliza-Jane when Mew decided he needed some snuggles. EJ didn't seem to mind, and was even very obliging. Cuddles all around. They both fell asleep this way, and I was lucky enough to have my camera within reach.

Playing in the sprinklers; ah, childhood!

Isa sewing for the first time! She's just sewing some buttons (very badly, I might add) onto some scrap fabric, but I was thrilled she even wanted to. I am a crafty person, so to those of you who are not, think baby's first steps, or even the birth of your first child. To those of you without kids, think about the best thing you've ever accomplished, now imagine teaching that to someone else and imagine/remember the 1st time they "get it". Cool, huh?

Oliver had this weird stuff on his head, so we went to the doctor, got some meds, and he took them for a month -with no change! So, the Doc decided we should take a "sample", which here means scalp my cute 8 year old. He got a little scalpel and scraped some gunk off while Oli waited patiently. Oliver was a very good patient and I was extra proud of him, and never posted about it. So here's a pic of Oli being silly before the scalping and the little sample with hairs still attached! Update: apparently it was a fungus like the Doc thought in the first place, but the meds killed that and left behind an infection which Oliver now gets to take "only" 2 weeks of meds for. We have no idea how he got it in the first place. Oh, the joys of parenthood. Wash your hands!

Horatio slept the whole visit, and was lucky enough to have this monkey to nap with.

"Mommy, won't you please open this even though we are at the Doctor's brand new office, and no food nor drink are allowed...?"

We finally took the Kittens to the Vet for their first shots. Here is a pic of Mew not enjoying getting his ear gunk sampled. We deal in gunk a lot around here. All the Kits did really well.

"They're coming to take me away, HAHA, they're coming to take me away!" Maybe I can get some sleep finally...

A very big, very fuzzy caterpillar I found in the back yard while trimming one of those huge bushes that look like tropical weirdness. When he curls up you can see he has these orange stripes. I'm betting that it's a defense mechanism to scare predators into thinking he's poisonous, but I didn't take any chances and only touched him with gloves on.

The Kittens have grown so much in the monthish we've had them. Aren't they cute deciding that my computer chair is theirs? NOT!

I think we may be overwatering a bit. That, or we have fairies.

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