Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Closest Thing To Heaven...

"The closest thing to heaven on this planet anywhere, is a quiet Christmas morning in the Colorado snow." --John Denver

All the sudden, it feels like Christmas.  It could be that Gram invited us over yesterday to decorate Christmas cookies and help decorate their Christmas tree (then we watched "Elf").  Then it started to snow and when we woke up this morning there was a beautiful blanket of snow everywhere.  I couldn't wait for the kids to wake up so we could get out there to play.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Here my girls are, all dressed up in their Thanksgiving best. Somehow I was able to get rolls and green bean casserole made, kids all dressed and out the door to aunt Kathie's on time. Even though Adam's ribs were severely hurt during the morning's Turkey Flag Football game and he spent most the day on the couch entirely useless (how could I help but be slightly grumpy about that, but I got over it and now I feel sorry that he got hurt).

My aunt Jane and her three kids: Sarah, Lindsie and Ryan. Ryan is in the Navy and it was a big surprise to have him home for Thanksgiving. They picked him up from the airport and came over to my house. It was about 1:30 and I was trying to get all the kids down for a nap. All the sudden the doorbell rings and someone is pounding on my door. I open it and there stands handsome Ryan in uniform. I gave him a big hug and said if it would have been anyone else they would have been seriously scolded for waking up all my kids. But Kaia and Tristan ended up with a nap anyway and all were fairly well behaved at the party.

They were taking group pictures and Sierra wanted to join in. This is her photo. She moved so much her subjects didn't know if they should squat down or stand straight. Pretty funny.  Pictured: Greg, Scott, Ryan, Aunt Kathie, Kaia, Lindsie and Sarah.

Sierra made her Turkey hat in Kindergarten and was kind enough to make a replica so that Kaia could have one too!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sierra's Kindergarten Thanksgiving Program

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sierra the Fearless

Perhaps you would not let your 6-year-old climb who knows how high to help a grandpa put a cover on his camper.  I only did it because he wanted ME to get up there and Sierra became my replacement (because of my "condition").  No, really, I knew she would be fine and she isn't afraid of anything.  It was quite an ordeal.  Sierra and I were helpful until we needed a snack, then luckily a neighbor stopped by to help so we declared ourselves "off duty".  "Why, O, Why, O Why O does your house have turquoise trim?" you are asking.  The answer: because we don't own it.  In fact there are more than three houses with similar trim on our street.  I think there was a door-to-door salesman in the '80s who successfully walked down Dyanna Dr. and suckered a lot of suburbanites into his pukey paint.  But we have perfect neighbors so we can't complain. 

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mormons and Prop 8

Video by Seth Adam Smith

Jury Duty and Broken Kites

I was summoned for jury duty on Monday.  I'd been avoiding it for years by mailing back excuses, but finally they got me.  The night before a scene from "The Grinch" kept running through my mind.  The one where he is in the mail room throwing jury duty letters into The Whos mailboxes just to make them miserable.  Adam was able to stay home with the kids, with the hope that I'd be home before 11.  It was a long process involving some very uncomfortable chairs, but I'm grateful for what I learned.  I went into a courtroom with a group of 35 other jurors.  The judge said the trial would probably last for 3 or 4 days and I knew I had to get out of there.  One mom raised her hand and said she had a kindergartner that she had to pick up and the judge was rather unmerciful.  He just told her to find some help.  So I knew I couldn't use that excuse, but I was ready with the pregnancy card.  I could have lied and said I was ready to puke right there in his courtroom, but I couldn't muster the courage.  I just told him I was pregnant and nauseous and he pretty much told me to sit tight.  It was horribly nerve racking to communicate with him (me on one end of the courtroom and him on the other, plus my wimpy voice doesn't carry) in front of all those people.  Then they called up a group of 25 jurors (luckily not me) and started asking lots of questions.  The judge and each lawyer got a turn to drill these people to see if they would be qualified for this particular trial.  I sat and listened and wondered how I would respond to issues like illegal immigration, housing fraud, etc.  But when they said a juror would have to be able to say "not guilty" if the evidence was not there to prove guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt" (even if you thought he/she was guilty as sin) I wondered if I could really do that.  I'm grateful for our legal system but I'm more grateful that I don't have to be there to make those decisions day after day.  At noon the judge set me free and I rushed back home to relieve Adam.  

On Tuesday we were walking Sierra home from school and stopped by to visit the Bishop (who lives two doors down).  He and his wife were cleaning out their garage and they gave my girls two kites they no longer needed.  It was a perfect day for kite flying.  

Kaia did a great job, but lost interest after a few seconds. She spend most her time on the swings pretending to be a kite.

I thought I'd capture a Sierra meltdown for posterity's sake. Somehow a vitally important piece of her kite became lost and she was beside herself.

Mom saves the day by using a stick to fix the kite. Moments later Mom is the enemy again because kite broke while Mom was flying it. Sierra grumbled that she wished Kaia's kite was broken too. Moments later it was. And that was the end of that.

My favorite blog post of all time: here

Weekend Adventures

We had a fondue party with the Laws and Purcells last weekend.  The Laws just got a new puppy and on the way to their house Tristan said his first sentence.  He said "I'm excited to see the new puppy."  Just like that.  We all had a great time.  I just can't get enough of the fondue cheese recipe we got from Meagan.  We had it a few nights earlier with Gram and Pop (we even set our table on fire that night, but just a little).  In fact, I think I'll go have some right after I finish this post (I have some stashed in the fridge...hummmmm).

On Sunday, Mom invited us over for elk chili and a party for Sierra.  Last time we visited it was near Sierra's b-day and she was heart-broken that Grandma Shelli didn't have chocolate cake for her.  So my sweet mother felt so bad she made a cake and reenacted the birthday.  Sierra was blissfully happy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

You Too

Listen to this:

Then read this:
A few weeks ago I called Jeni, the midwife who helped us birth Tristan at home. Adam said he wasn't comfortable having another home birth, so I wanted to ask her if she would let me have appointments with her and then we would just have this baby at the hospital. It took about a week for her assistant to call me back. During that time I already made plans to go to St. Joseph's hospital and use their staff of midwives. After explaining all this to her, she ended the conversation by saying "well, OK, have a nice birth". And I replied, "You too!" In my defense I was walking Sierra to school, pushing the double stroller, talking on the cell phone and it was slightly windy. I just assumed she said "have a nice day" or something. It wasn't until I hung up that I realized I had just pulled a "Brian Regan".

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Iron Rod

The other night I had a dream that scared me. I was in a city that appeared to have been destroyed by war. The buildings were mostly made of cement and not one of them was intact. I was holding hands with Sierra and she was holding hands with a beautiful little girl with dark hair and a red dress. I looked up and noticed the sky was filled with dark clouds. Through the crumble of buildings I could see the ocean. Suddenly a huge bolt of lightening struck the ocean and a giant wave formed. I grabbed Sierra and the dark haired girl and ran to a tree. During the first wave I was able to hold onto both of them and the tree trunk. But as the second wave crashed upon us both girls were pulled out of my arms. I was in complete panic. I ran around screaming, "The children, the children!" But no one stopped to help me. I kept running and searching. Finally I looked down and in a deep puddle I could see Sierra holding onto a pipe with one hand and the little girl with the other. I reached into the water, pulled them out, and we ran off to safety.
I woke up thinking that was the scariest dream I've ever had. The ocean and I do not get along (she's tried to drowned me before) and movies like "The Day After Tomorrow" (with scenes of "the ocean heaving beyond it's bounds" similar to my dream) really, really freak me out. But as I continued to ponder my dream over the next few days I received precious insights. The waves crashing on us felt like a symbol for the influence of evil. I could only protect the children from its influence for so long. I was overjoyed to find Sierra holding onto a pipe (which resembled a iron rod and in LDS theology this is symbolic of the Word of God, see here) which kept her safely in place. I was so grateful that she tightly held onto the dark haired girl with the red dress (if we have a little girl we want to name her Ruby, could this be who I saw?) and I felt that symbolized her good example and influence on others. This dream was a gift to me. I used it in my Sunday School lesson and I felt the Spirit there. I think of it often as I worry about my little ones turning into teenagers facing waves of evil influence in Junior High (and certainly before then, but I'm particularly worried about that infamous Junior High). I see Sierra and Kaia in emotional meltdowns, temper tantrums, random spouts of "I don't want to say family prayer tonight" or "I don't want to go to church anymore" and I wonder if I'll be hearing the same 10 years from now but I won't be able to hold them in my arms and lovingly talk to them.
I heard some very comforting words in Church last week. Someone was talking about how the Lord will step in and fight our battles for us and for our children, if we are righteous (see 2 Chr. 32:8 and D&C 98:37). I have faith that if I do all that I am inspired to do as a mother, when the time arises I will feel the Lord helping my children and I through our battles (and if I work on it, I will feel Him with us every moment of every day).
Today during Stake Conference I was blown away by how much I needed to hear the talk by President Eyring (does anyone know how I can get a copy of that? I guess I can look on He talked about President Kimball speaking to a group of youth. Afterwards he asked President Eyring, "Do you think they could hear me or was I too tough?" He meant that it isn't always what we say (when trying to admonish or correct), but if others hear love in our words that matter. President Eyring says that every morning he prays to have the Spirit guide him in conversations with others. Then he tells of an experience with a friend where "the call to repentance (from President Eyring to his friend) felt loving enough to not offend." I recently offended a treasured friend by being judgmental and not seeking the Spirit to guide my words. I felt so terrible about it. I decided to dedicate my upcoming Sacrament meeting talk to the commandment to not offend nor be offended (see Perry M. Christensen's talk , Psalms 119:165, and John 16:1 ).  I've learned a whole lot and President Eyring's talk was extremely helpful (although I couldn't take notes fast enough while trying to also entertain and keep 3 kids quiet during the meeting).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Birthday

A package arrived yesterday afternoon from my in-laws. Since no one was around to stop me, I opened it a day before my birthday. Inside was a wonderful apron and a much needed cookbook. Thank you!

The kids and I had a little enforced silliness time singing into wooden spoons.

Gram and Pop showed up with a brownie cake for me b/c Gram knew I wouldn't get one at the resturant (not the homemade kind, anyway). Whew, that's a lot of smoke.

Sierra takes a few licks from the candle ends.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chicken Nuggets, my Watch, and the Milk Man

I really like the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets from Costco. Can't get enough. In fact, I had to wipe crumbs from said nuggets off my hands before sitting down to type on my new laptop (early b-day gift from beloved hubby, apparently it is the new "family" computer, but I'll always call it mine).
Anyway, what I really want to blog about is my watch. Today the infamous little gaget decided to start to s-l-o-w-l-y slow down. I thought I had 15 minutes to get Sierra to kindergarten so I finished the vacuuming. Then I glanced at a more reliable time piece and it shouted "Sierra needs to be at school right this very minute!" Arrgghhh. I threw some graham crackers in a bag for her "lunch" (before you feel too bad for her, it is "early release day" so she gets out at 1:15 and I promised if she could survive that long I'd share some dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets with her--which she is currently eating happily) and we jumped in the new Jetta TDI. Adam pre-ordered this car before we knew another baby was going to bless our family and it arrived at the dealership two months sooner than expected. We've had the car for over a week--and even though it is supposed to be the car I now drive--this is the first time I was able to drive it (Adam is a new car hog). Whooo doggie, it is n-i-c-e. We even made it to school in just the nick of time, after I realized I didn't bring along a coat for Sierra on this very cold November day. So I rushed back home to get the coat and Gram stopped to chat on her way to lunch with Jane and Kaia (it was a BIG deal to Kaia to go on this special date and exceeding helpful to me also). I told her that I'm such a ding-bat I took Sierra late to school without a coat. Gram said I could blame it all on being pregnant and she offered to take the coat for me since she was headed that way. Reason #453 why I love living next to Gram.
I was able to get the house almost entirely cleaned up today, read a bit of "Enjoy It!" the book I ordered as a b-day gift to myself which arrived today, and start some bread. I have committed myself to making homemade bread again in order to off set the costs of signing up for a milk man. Well, how could I resist? This guy rings the door bell in the middle of nap time the other day. I wasn't going to answer it because I was still in my pjs (my excuse there? I was learning how to use iMovie and iDVD and had spent the day turning home movies into DVD treasures). But Kaia woke up and started yelling to get the door so we opened it together. I don't know that I've ever met a better salesman. In a matter of minutes he had me convinced that the milk I buy at Costco is nothing better than "white chalk water". He let us try the milk, chocolate milk and the OJ then gifted us a quart of each. It was delicious and I could actually taste all the important enzimes he said were in there, but not in store bought stuff. He got my info, put a fancy Royal Crest Dairy cooler on our porch, handed me an order form with all manner of delicious dairy products I can have delivered every Monday before breakfast, and shook our hands. I took the order form to Costco with me to see how much more it'll cost to have the milk man take care of our dairy desires. If my math is correct (and it probably isn't) I'll be down $5 to $10 per month in the food budget. And I figure I can make that up by making our own sandwich bread, which is better for us anyway (I don't really know that, but if the milk man would have said it, I would have believed him).