Monday, November 29, 2010

I knew I loved you before I met you...

When Zeke and I we were dating in high school, we decided that if we ever got married and had a daughter, we would name her Zoe Lace. Zoe, from some vampire book Zeke was reading, and Lace, after me. Zoe is a Greek name that means "life." Her name definitely fits her; she is always full of energy and life. I always dreamed about having a little girl with dark brown eyes and brown hair... and now I have two!

Well, on November 30, 2000 at 9:39pm after 12 hours of labor and
then an emergency C-section here she was:
8lbs 15.7oz! She was a sweet chubby baby with tons of BLACK hair.
The nurses would look at her and then at me and say,
"Did we bring you the right baby?"
Her little face was so round and pink and her hair was so dark,
we thought she looked like an Eskimo baby.
Six Months
18 Months
Gabe dressing Zoe in his clothes, 2003
Sisters: Zoe meets Kaia for the first time, April 12, 2004
Zoe being Zoe, 2006
Zoe with Beck, Summer 2008
Zoe with Pippin, Christmas 2008
Zoe being Zoe, Spring 2009
Zoe and her new glasses, November 2009

Zoe has always been the peacemaker of our home. That being said, if you push her too far or if she has been wrongly accused... WATCH OUT! She is so patient, too patient, but sometimes she gets to the point where she just can't handle Gabe, Kaia, and Beck anymore and she let's them know!

I'm proud of her for standing up for what is right and trying to be friends and include everyone, regardless of what other children at school want her to do. This has been a big trial for Zoe and she has stayed strong, even when some of her "friends" have turned away from her and ridiculed her for choosing to play with everyone. Girls can be so mean sometimes. I hope Zoe can continue to be a good example.

She is very creative and talented. She loves to design and make dresses for her dolls and even herself. She has become a very good seamstress in her short ten years. She has an eye for color and design and loves to coordinate her clothes. She also loves to cook and has learned to make many things in the last few years. She has been singing and dancing with TaVaci for about a year. She is the one who keeps us in tune when we sing songs for family home evening and scripture study.

Zoe's the one who always tells me "Thank you for this yummy dinner, Mommy", even when it's not. Zoe's the first one to stop complaining and arguing and say "Okay, Mom, and then do what I've asked her." Zoe is SO silly! She loves to tell jokes and imitate characters from movies... she really has a talent for performing and making people laugh. "You're a good person!" (that's an inside joke from Zoe... from Shark Tale :) She is amazing in her ability to remember not just movie quotes, but entire scenes from movies, word for word. This is a highly coveted ability in our home!

She has a true admiration and unconditional love as a little sister to Gabe and is an amazingly patient and generous big sister to Kaia. I know Beck has been hard for both Zoe and I to handle. We like things quiet and peaceful (he is neither of those 100% of the time). I love her for hanging in there with me. I don't know why, maybe because she is so good, which doesn't really make sense, but I feel like I am the hardest on Zoe. I push her too much. I get after her for too many little things... I want so much for her.

My promise, Miss Zoe, now that you're 10 years old: I am going to do my very best to be positive and encouraging in all that you do. You are an influence for good in our family. I promise I will let you know that more often. And when you're feeling a bit grumpy or if you forget to put something away, I will try to be more patient and forgiving like you are with me. You are wonderful in so many ways!
Happy 10th Birthday, Zoe Lace, you are my special sweet girl.
I love you so much!
Eleven pictures, one for each year we've been blessed to have you in our family and one to grow on! :)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The yams did it!

There's an old Daffy Duck cartoon where "Tom Turkey" begs Daffy Duck to hide him from Porky Pig who is hoping to kill a nice big turkey for Thanksgiving. Daffy promises the turkey he'll hide him from Porky and never tell where he is. Well, Porky Pig begins telling Daffy Duck about all the yummy things he would have eaten if he had a turkey to go with it. By the time he mentions candied yams, Daffy's mouth is watering and finally he can't stand it any longer and shouts, "The yams did it! It was the yams! The yams did it!" and he breaks his promise to poor Tom Turkey and tells Porky where he is. Anyway, our family always thought this was so funny and to this day whenever we do something we said we weren't going to, we'll say,"The yams did it! It was the yams that did it!" It's one of our bizarre Thanksgiving "traditions" I guess... I love how my Mom says it. Anyway...
Kaia got to have a Thanksgiving Feast at school on Tuesday.
This was the Indian costume she made.
(No our windows aren't frosted... they're covered in SNOW!)

Well, our long weekend started out pretty exciting I guess. On Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for Logan. They closed the children's schools at noon and even closed the University at 2pm in anticipation of the big storm. We sat in the living room and looked out the window and waited... around 3pm the first few flakes began to fall. By 3:15 the wind was blowing so hard it was a total white-out and by 4pm, all our windows were covered from top to bottom with snow. It was very pretty, but kinda freaky at the same time.

The kids and I were quite antsy until Zeke made it home from work. I put a movie on and made dinner. Zeke called around 5pm and said he was on his way. Normally it takes him less than 10 minutes to get home... but he didn't pull up in the driveway until 5:45! It was crazy out there. He got stuck a few times and said at one point a guy got out of his car and jumped on Zeke's back bumper to give him enough traction to get going (this is pretty normal for people in Logan and everyone's pretty cool to help one another). It continued to snow and blow through much of the night. I went to bed thinking we'd be snowed in (this has only happened once in the 9+ years we have lived here). However, we woke up the next morning and it was just another day. The wind had stopped and there was only about 5 or 6 inches of snow. The blizzard itself was the scary part... it came down fast and hard. I'm thankful we're all okay and the power didn't go out or anything.

On Wednesday, Gabe went sledding with some friends, Beck took a nap (THANK YOU!!) and the girls and I made pies. This was a definite highlight of my holiday. Do you remember back in June when Zeke made the portable island for our kitchen? Okay, Wednesday just made it all worth it 100 times over! It was so nice to have room for everyone to work (and play). I really felt like I could get the pies done at the same time I was playing with the girls and teaching them how to do things and letting them do their own thing too. Lots of room and great traffic flow... oh, how I have waited for that. Thanks, honey, for doing it MY way! :)

I made 5 pies (yeah, for 6 people.. you might think that's a bit much, but we are 6 people who REALLY like pies!) And the girls each made 3 mini-pies of their own. We listened to Zoe's practice CD for her TaVaci performing group and we wore our matching aprons and drank hot chocolate. It was really great. They are my little girlfriends in every way. I feel so blessed.

I had a good Thanksgiving really. I'm just one of those silly people who get these great expectations in my mind of how special a holiday is going to be and then when it turns out just normal or a little chaotic or even a bit depressing, I get super bummed.

Right after breakfast, everyone wanted to go outside and play in the snow. I was busy fixing dinner. Zeke helped the kids get ready and went out with them. Zoe came in and was really cold. She was building an igloo and you know when the sleeves of your coat are too short to cover the bottom of your gloves so the snow keeps coming in? Anyway, I figured since I was inside cooking, she could wear my coat and it would cover her arms better.

I dug out my heavy winter coat and started cleaning out the pockets... I found a whole stack of church permission slips from one of the last Young Women activities I went to. We went sledding in February. I started crying. Gabe and Zeke said, "What's wrong? What is it!?" I cried through the words, "It's permission slips!!!" (like that should explain why I was so upset) Oh man, I was a mess! For those of you that don't know, I served in the Young Women's in my ward for nearly 4 years and was just released this May.

It's been a strange grieving process, not unlike losing a dear loved one. Really. The feelings come and go quite strongly at times. Some days I'll be totally fine and other days, something will hit me: like a song, or a fun memory, or in this case, a stack of old permission slips, and I completely fall apart. This was one of those days. Oh how I miss it! I am overwhelmed with sadness sometimes... those youth are so awesome!! I feel rather lost without them. I love them dearly... okay, now I'm crying again. I guess that unexpected event set the mood for my day. I really tried to enjoy everything, but I just felt this aching loneliness that wouldn't go away.

I had to get out of the house. I went to the store with Gabe to get some ice cream (it is NOT okay to eat pie without ice cream at our house!) We can have a lot of fun together. We were just laughing and joking together. I think it was the highlight of the day. I am so thankful for laughter! It keeps me going. We saw a guy in sweats jogging through the store with a can of "Reddi-Whip" in each fist... he was on a mission and no one was stopping him! Actually, he looked like a guy who was in the middle of a really great football game while his wife was in the kitchen slaving away at the big dinner and she said, "Honey, I need you to go to the store right now and get some whip cream, I forgot to get some!" And he was grumbling about it JUST a bit. It was SO funny, really. Gabe and I waited until the guy was about 5 feet away and we just exploded laughing... good times. We tried to imitate him for everyone when we got home, but they didn't laugh too much. Well, you just had to be there!

I really wanted to spend the holiday with some of my extended family, especially my Mom and Dad, but with finals just around the corner, Zeke really needed to be here to study and couldn't spare the time to travel. I sent an open invitation to my family at the Northern end of the state for anyone who might like to come for dinner... homemade pies, people! I couldn't help myself... I kept looking at the clock and looking out the window hoping someone would pull up. I know the weather was bad and people already had other plans... but I just wished this year would be the year someone would come to our house. By 2:30, I had to tell myself out loud that nobody is coming so I'd better get over it. I am a big baby.

Our dinner was good. Zeke and I both worked really hard and fixed all the classic stuff even though it was just for the 6 of us. We waited for the yams to be done and debated about starting without them, but we both agreed we love yams enough that dinner will have to wait for them. We got the table set and all the food ready. I checked the yams and they were pretty much done, so I turned the oven off and left the yams in while we said the prayer and such. And then I didn't even think about the yams until the next evening... (shows you how much I really like them!) Beck was being Beck and well, he's very "flusterating" sometimes... my mind is pretty much gone with this kid.

Zeke told the kids the night before he wanted them to think about something really special they are thankful for. Before we ate, we went around the table and told everyone what we were thankful for:

Gabe -- Thanksgiving (and all the good food)
Kaia -- Heavenly Father
Beck -- POPCORN!! (it sounds more like "Pa-kern!")
Zoe -- doctors and medicine
Me -- the Atonement (where would I be?)
Zeke -- me and the sacrifice I make to stay home with the children
(okay, I was crying again, I don't think I deserved that,
but it was very sweet)

Then, about 20 minutes later... dinner was over! WOW! All that time and effort for 20 minutes?! But I will say, the Rainbow Jello from my friend's food blog was a huge success! It was so AWESOME!! Here we are posing for a picture, while our beloved yams are sitting in the oven completely forgotten:

On Friday, Zoe got to perform with her TaVaci group at the Novemberfest (like a big arts and craft fair thing). It was really fun to watch her. She gets better every time. One of my favorite songs she sang goes like this, "Santa is the man and he's got a plan! I'm his biggest fan and he's comin' on Christmas!" kinda like a rap... it was so cute! And I can't get it out of my head. I was going to put up a little video of it, but I felt a bit seasick after previewing it... I need to have at least a 3 foot barrier from Beck if I'm trying to video anything... he kept bumping me and sitting on me and saying, "Mommy, I want more candy!" (yeah, I was trying to bribe him to sit still)

After lunch on Friday, I declared it was "Christmas decoration time!" I have been waiting! Zeke had to study, Gabe went sledding again... (oh well?) So it was the girls and Beck (aka The Ornament Destroyer). But we had fun anyway... I love to watch my children decorate the Christmas tree. They always seem to gather as many ornaments as they can on just one branch. I love our little old Christmas tree. It's nothing fancy, but I think it's beautiful. Every year, we take turns having one child put the tree topper/spire thing on... don't you love Zeke's face? Kaia does.
We were still putting up decorations around 5pm and I thought I'd better start some dinner. I chose a crowd-favorite: pizza. So while I was mixing the yeast for the dough, I turned the oven on and went about making the sauce, letting the dough raise, and putting away storage bins from the Christmas stuff. Well, about 15 minutes later, I noticed a strange smell coming from the kitchen... something was burning! I ran to the oven and opened it to find yesterday's YAMS burned and yucky. DANG IT! (like Kip on Napoleon Dynamite when he drives over the plastic bowl and smashes it) I should have taken a picture I guess... do you really want to see a pan full of burned yams? I've seen some pretty weird pictures on blogs... like string cheese that looks like jerky (ha ha ha). Anyway, it wasn't anything too serious, but I had to laugh! I cannot believe we forgot all about the yams...

This morning while I was doing dishes, some of the clean ones began to topple over. I tried to grab them, but they crashed to the floor. One of my baking stones shattered and my electric griddle broke in 4 places. :( I was pretty bummed. I was mad at myself. I was trying to hurry and just get them done. I guess I stacked them too high. But I thought, at least no one got hurt. Well, I guess I'll be getting a new griddle for Christmas...sigh.

What I really want for Christmas is for Zeke to graduate. I don't want to feel guilty anymore when I ask him to help me when he should be studying. I don't want to live our lives by the semester calendar anymore and change plans or not make any plans at all because Zeke has a test or a project due. I want to have more time to just be together and not always be rushing through dinner and scriptures and everything. Anyway, I don't want to have unrealistic expectations... maybe it won't be that different. Maybe it will. But I want to be done. Say a prayer for us, please?

Here's a great scripture I found this week:
1 Nephi 18:16: "Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions." (Nephi is saying this while his wrists and ankles are very swollen and sore from being tied up by his brothers and they are mocking him... yeah, I really shouldn't complain!)

One more important thing, last night, I had the yummiest creation: Razzleberry Pie with Spumoni Ice Cream. Okay, I think it beat the Pecan Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. Well, maybe they tied. Mmmmm!

Monday, November 22, 2010

In case you were wondering...

Why I love my children:
They just have so much fun!
We found some stray pipe cleaners in the art cupboard.

I really enjoy cooking:
I made Butter Chicken and Garlic Naan on Saturday... it was awesome! My friend, Jessica, gave me the recipes: seriously, if you've never tried Indian food before, you should. I didn't think I would like it, but I LOVE it. If you want the recipes, let me know. Jessica is so awesome! I was having trouble finding an ingredient and she brought some to my house. FYI, "garam masala" is a spice blend and your grocer probably has it, even if they tell you they don't!

Moments when I don't enjoy being a mother:
My dear son, Gabe, thought it would be funny to get on my Facebook account and post a status as me: "My son wants a phone. Do you think I should get him one?" So by the time I checked my FB later that night, there were 18 public comments and 2 private ones... either cheering me on, "of course, why not?" or condemning me for even considering it!

Basically, I was really TICKED OFF!! (Think of Jack Black on "School of Rock") And I guess it wasn't that big of deal... other than it really embarrassed me and put me on the spot and Gabe shouldn't post on my Facebook. First of all, I would never say that... I do my own thing and I would not ask for public advice about that. Mostly though, "cell phones" are a "we're not having a conversation about this topic" topic. Gabe already knows how we feel about it. He was trying to get the sympathy and sway of the masses to change our minds. "Everybody has one, Mom!" Anyway, all is forgiven, but Gabe has lost some computer time. And he's still NOT getting a phone. I don't even have a cell phone. He's only 12! Did you know, "he's the ONLY kid in school that doesn't have a phone?!" Poor baby! I'm sure! (Aren't I mean?!)

Moments when I enjoy being a Mother:
Zeke buzzed Beck's hair; he looks so handsome. It's been getting pretty long... I took him to the store on Friday and hadn't combed it... he was also wearing sweat pants and sneakers... he looked so goofy, poor guy. He looks SO cute now. It really is the best haircut for a 2 year old boy; you know he just loves having his hair combed.
Beck says, "How was dat one, Mommy?"

Why I love Logan:
We had our first snowstorm of the season on Saturday... the girls immediately got on their snow gear and went outside (Beck was asleep and Gabe was at a birthday party, otherwise, they'd be with them for sure.) Snow is just so beautiful. I love to I go outside at night when it's snowing... everything is so peaceful and quiet.

Why I love our neighbors:
Our wonderful neighbors, David and Lora, needed help moving in a deep freeze on Saturday and they gave us the box. THANKS, Guys!! It was the perfect distraction for a stormy weekend. The girls have been making different curtains... pictures to follow... (They told me they aren't done yet and I can take pictures later! These girls are serious about this box! Gabe and Beck just want to wrestle in it.)

My other two children:
I'm having serious relationship issues... with my two cats!! They just do NOT get along. Well, actually Pippin is just MEAN and NASTY to Caspian. Poor Cassie! I talked with my MIL, Patty, about it. She's good with animals and knows everything about them. She has a degree in Biology and even worked at a veterinary clinic for awhile. She says I need to get Pippin's hormone and thyroid levels checked. He is SO aggressive.. and he hasn't always been quite this bad either.
Me with Caspian (I'm not picking favorites here am I?)
Pippin sleeping with Kaia. He's really sweet with people...This is my Mother in law, Patty.
She is the epitome of groovy in my book.
Don't you think Zoe looks like her?

Why I LOVE the Logan Library:
We just watched "Hairspray" for the first time. I LOVED it. A LOT! Zeke and I also watched "The Legend of Bagger Vance" last night. That show makes me cry every time. I love how it ends... nobody wins, nobody loses, everyone just has FUN! Other movies we watched this weekend that I love: "Nim's Island", "Night at the Museum" (Beck keeps saying, "Dumb dumb, give me gum gum!) and "My Neighbor Totoro":
You should really see this movie! (picture courtesy of Wikipedia)

Why Beck makes me laugh:
Beck stood up in his chair during dinner, poked his tummy out, and was straining himself so much that his face was going red. His eyes were glazed over and he was concentrating on something. We were all laughing and I said, "Beck, what are you doing?" He was VERY serious and said matter-of-factly, "I'm peeing in my diaper, Mom!" Okay, we need to get this kid potty-trained. (I'm really glad he had a diaper on... or the pee would have landed on his plate!)

Why I feel old:
Zoe's birthday is next week. She'll be 10! I can't believe it. She was my only baby born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We've got a big party planned, too big, really, but it's okay... Zoe's so sweet and tenderhearted, she doesn't want to leave anyone out, so she invites all the girls in her school class and a few extra special friends. (Okay, so that's like 20 girls!!??) yeah, I'm nuts, but look at this face:
Zeke and Zoe from the Daddy-Daughter Date a couple weeks ago...
Did I already post this picture? Sorry if I did, but I LOVE it.Being silly!

I'm trying to be a good wife (really):
I can NOT wait to put up our Christmas decorations... Zeke always says not until the day after Thanksgiving... now, just so you know, Zeke doesn't really put his foot down about anything with me, he's very permissive about everything. (Paint the walls red, yellow, and green, Why not? Rip out the pantry and remodel the kitchen, again? Sure! What the heck? Yeah.) So I'll wait for him. He just wants Thanksgiving to be Thanksgiving and I can agree with that... but you know how people get up at 3 or 4 am on Black Friday to go shopping? Well, I'll be up digging out all my Christmas stuff... technically I could do it at midnight...hmm, tempting.

I am so thankful for my husband. He likes me even though I'm a weirdo and that's pretty darn cool.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I just wanted to tell you a bit about my 6 year old daughter, Kaia. She is the Queen of "one-liners." She always says really random and funny things and it makes up for her not-so-funny temper and stubbornness. But alas, I have decided she is just too much like me in that department, so I will forgive her. She can't help it, it's genetic, right? I can't help but admire her feisty-ness. It might come in handy when she gets older.

A few months ago, my Primary class was struggling through the lesson. They were just really silly that day; having a hard time sitting still and keeping quiet and such. So I gave them "3 strikes" each and then I would have to get one of their parents. Guess who was the first one to get 3 strikes? MY DAUGHTER, Kaia, of course! oh man! I was pretty flustered and I was like, "Okay, I'll have to go get your Dad!" ha ha ha

Last week I overheard Kaia telling Zoe, "Look! It's my first chest hair! You gotta come see this!"

Kaia (with a large crepe in her mouth): "I have a cigarette and I know how to use it!" Then she proceeded to take a HUGE bite with powdered sugar puffing out everywhere.

Kaia (with hot pink plastic vampire teeth in her mouth): "You know, Mom, I bet vampires must bite their tongue a lot with these fangs." And Zoe added, "Yeah, maybe that's why they have snake tongues because they bit off the sides..."

Kaia came upstairs crying one day telling me that Gabe was pushing and shoving her out of his room. I went downstairs and asked Gabe what the matter was. He promised me he didn't even touch her, he just wanted to close his door. I didn't realize Kaia was standing behind me and suddenly she said, "Well, it felt like he was pushing me!"

Just the other day, Kaia smiled mischievously and said, "Now I'm going to do some art, but I wish I had some boys to chase..." WHY? "Because that is art, the art of chasing boys!!" Oh man, I'm in trouble.

Kaia was in the bathtub the other night and she was really thinking about something. She sat up and said, "Mom, I want to do something different for my next birthday. You know, something unusual! I want you to fill the bathtub with whipped cream and I want to jump in naked and eat all of it!" I was laughing and said, "Well, I don't know about that." She gets really excited and yells, "Oh yeah, not whipped cream, let's do cake batter!"

Kaia bore her testimony in sacrament about our lost cat, "I pray every night for him to come home and when we find him (with hand on her hip and shaking her finger) "I'm gonna say where have you been and then I'm gonna kiss him until I just can't stop!" As a side note, we had SO many people from our ward tell us they prayed for our cat after hearing Kaia's testimony and we found him after he had been missing for 7 weeks!

The other morning at breakfast, Kaia asked me why our country's bird is the bald eagle. I told her maybe because they are so powerful and majestic. She said, "Well, I think it should have been the turkey, like that Benjamin guy said." She continued eating breakfast and after some deep thought looked up and said, "You know, Mom, maybe he was drunk when he said that!"

And my personal favorite:

Kaia (after seeing her older brother throw up): "Mom, "throw-up" is kind of like salsa, except it has germs in it, right?"

I was taking "beautiful bride" pictures of Zoe and Kaia.
Just as I was about to take the picture, Kaia roared at me!
That's my girl! She is an imp and she is a spit-fire...
oh, how I love her, but she is a handful!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lessons from my refrigerator -- Part 2

Ok, I found another great quote on my refrigerator that I want to share with you today:

"It takes courage and commitment to follow the promptings of the Spirit because they may frighten us as they lead us to walk along new paths, sometimes paths that no one has walked before, paths of the second mile, of acting totally differently from how worldly people act. For instance, we may be prompted to smile when someone offends us, to give love where others give hate, to say thank you where others would not find anything to be thankful for, to accept jobs that others would be too proud to do, to apologize where others would defend themselves, and to do all the seemingly crazy things that the Spirit prompts a righteous, honest, listening heart to do." (From "The Only Real Treasure," New Era, Dec. 1979, p. 5)

This one really gets me thinking and I try to focus harder on what the Spirit is trying to tell me and then the really hard part -- to actually obey those promptings regardless of how I feel about it.

A great quote that has been passed around our ward, but I'm not sure where it came from: "Never suppress a generous thought."

I'm trying to do better this week and love and serve others no matter what I get in return or how others may react to it. I'm struggling a bit as the end of the semester is approaching. I'm tired. Zeke's more tired. I hope it will all be worth it. The time all of us have sacrificed for him to graduate can never be given back to us. By then end of a semester, I look at him and wonder, "Who is this guy? I think I know him... but I'm not sure." It's almost like getting to know him all over again. But this time will hopefully be the last time. He has been in school off and on basically since we got married nearly 15 years ago. I get really lonely and I feel so isolated. I feel socially inept... I'm just out of practice. I wish I had some of my family close by. With 4 children going every which way, it's hard to do anything other than just take care of them and the house and such.

Yesterday, Kaia told me, "I hate you and I wish you would go away so Daddy could take care of us." Okay, my skin must be thinner than a slice of pickled ginger on a piece of sushi, but that made me so sad. :( She was upset because I didn't want her to change her clothes again before she went outside. Heaven forbid she wears just one outfit each day!

Sometimes I wish I could go to work all day and come home fresh and new so the kids would be excited to see me. I feel like things are out of balance in our home and I know there's really no other way to do it right now. I just need to get through it.

Sorry for whining, but to end on a positive note: "When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed. When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost, Count your many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done."

I am SO thankful for a husband who loves us and works so hard to provide for us. I am thankful that he wants to follow the counsel of our Prophet and "obtain as much education as possible." I am thankful when he plays with our children and reads books to them with crazy voices, even though he's been so sick. I am thankful for my children, especially Gabe and Zoe. Now that they are older, they really are my friends and I don't know what I would do without them. They sense how tired I am and how hard it is. They are such good helpers. I am amazed at how responsible and caring they are.

Oh and I am so thankful for our beautiful (messy) yard.
It makes me happy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lessons from my refrigerator

This week I'm trying to focus on my yard. We've been so sick... and our good weather is running out. I might not be blogging so much.

I just wanted to share with you a beautiful quote from Mother Teresa. I have it on my refrigerator (isn't that where all good quotes should be?) It helps me keep going in spite of opposition.

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway."
Mother Teresa

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Un-crafty, Un"scoped", Undaunt-ed?

I am feeling a bit better today as far as my anxiety and that "sense of impending doom" feeling I was having on Tuesday. I talked to my Mom and my niece, Angee, on the phone and I took a bath. But I still felt anxious all day Tuesday. I went to a Relief Society Craft Night and I just could NOT focus. Just ask my dear neighbor, Lora, we stood around the food table and snacked and talked. ("Don't ask me... I'm just here for the food." hee hee) And she says, "Well, I didn't sign up to make anything, did you?" And I did! Lots of stuff... more than I could possibly complete in 2 hours even if I was focused! I was hoping to make some inexpensive Christmas presents for friends and neighbors (Shhh, it's supposed to be a surprise!) Why in the world do I do stuff like that? Anyway, Lora helped me cut out my felt nativity puppet thingies, is she cool or what!? uh huh! We had fun, but I sure didn't get much accomplished.

Ok, so remember back before Halloween and I was supposed to go to the urologist? Well, I did and it was a surprisingly good visit. (If you want details, I put some in a comment on this post.) Very helpful and informative AND I was able to remain fully clothed. Well...

Yesterday I was supposed to go see the urologist again and have a "bladder scope". Um, I do NOT think those two words should be in the same sentence together. Especially when it's referring to MY bladder! However, I woke up yesterday feeling yucky... like I was getting a cold or something. Who knows? Maybe I was being a chicken baby again... I really didn't feel good, but I was also REALLY freaked out about having this procedure done. (No, they do NOT numb you and YES, I would be awake!) But I rescheduled for the first week in December. Basically the urologist, Dr. Pitcher (like a pitcher of water? hee hee), says I have Interstitial Cystitis. It's very embarrassing, but there it is! It's kind of like an ulcer in your bladder, sort of. He needs to see if the lining of my bladder has any actual holes in it and how bad the lining is breaking down among other things.

Why on Earth would anyone want to be a urologist? Have you ever asked a child, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And they get all excited and say, "Ooh, I want to be a urologist and look inside people's bladders!" Nope, I've never met a child like that. Oh, I would laugh if one of my children becomes a urologist! I wonder when Dr. Pitcher decided to be a urologist. He's actually really nice. He uses the word 'barbaric" a lot when referring to the pain and discomfort I've been going through. I like people that use dramatic words like that. I feel like he's sympathizing with me. We'll see how much I like him after my "bladder scope".

The best quote from Sister Hinckley:
"If you can laugh at it, you can live with it."

So anyway.... I'm changing the subject!
Here's a family photo from our Halloween Party at church
(Thanks, Stoddard family):
You know that Primary song, "A Happy Family"
(sing along if you want!)

I love "Luna Lovegood" she loves me.
We love "Princess Leia", yes siree; HE loves us and so you see,
We are a crazy family!

I love "Zoe the Blue Fairy" she loves me.
We love Beck, even though he refused to wear a costume;
He loves us and so you see,
We are a crazy family!

I love "Kaia the Rose Princess" she loves me.
We love the "Orange Mummy",
even though he REALLY didn't want his picture taken,
He loves us and so you see,
We are a crazy family!

P.S. I will triumph!
P.P.S. Happy 15th Birthday to my beautiful great-niece, Jayden!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Do you ever have that feeling like something is wrong? I have no idea what is is, but I just feel this strange anxiety and uneasiness. I feel like the Spirit is trying to tell me something or warn me about something, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what it is. I woke up at 3am feeling this way and I've been praying ever since to know what I need to do...

I told Zeke about it before he left for work this morning and we said another prayer together. I love him so much. He is such a great friend and support to me. He said maybe it's not something you can prevent, maybe you just need to be ready for it. Okay... scary. Whenever I feel like this, I turn to the scriptures.

One of my favorite scriptures says, "Yea, I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak. Therefore, I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God. For in His strength I can do all things." Alma 26:12 (I found this one when I was in college.)

And I love this one, "Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God." D&C 101:16 (I found it when Beck was in the NICU)

I just want to feel at peace. I hope that I can relax today and everything will be okay...

So, dear family and friends, if I call each and every one of you today to check on you... I just love you and want to make sure you're okay :) I keep thinking about my sweet niece, Angee, she just had a miscarriage last week and I feel so heartbroken for her. And my Dad, whose health is very fragile. And my wonderful brother, Jody, a stay-at-home Dad to 3 small children, ages 4, 2, and 3 months. And my sweet husband, Zeke, I don't think he even went to sleep last night... he's trying to finish this semester and work full-time. And my son, Gabe, who isn't feeling well this morning. And my nieces and nephews, especially: Angee, Brintton, Brooke, Jake, Jacey, and Jaxon. They are so amazing. And I pray for them everyday to feel happy even though their Mommy is in heaven. I love my family so much! I pray that I can be an answer to someone's prayers today.
This is a picture of my family from 2007:
(minus Beck, Oskar, Samantha, Tyler, and Brendi)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fish Curry and Fishy Currency

My awesome babysitter, Gabe.
This picture is from "crazy hair day" at school. I love you, bud!

So, Zeke and I went out on a date Friday night! Yes, just the two of us and it was so wonderful. I enjoyed every other minute of it (because every other minute I was worrying about the kids, I just can't help it.) Gabe, our awesome almost 13 year old, offered to babysit for us. YAY! He does a really good job, especially with Zoe helping him with Beck. But I still worry, one time when a babysitter was here, the kids got in a pudding fight (them against her!) and over-cooked an egg roll in the microwave, filling the house with smoke and setting off the fire alarm. Yes, I think you might worry too. Thank goodness for cell phones!

Zeke brought home Little Caesar's pizza for the kids. I even curled my hair for the big night. (I should have taken a picture, dang!) We decided this was Zeke's Belated Birthday/New Job celebration date. We went in my Dad's old truck (Zeke's new truck). That was really fun!

We unanimously agreed to eat at the "Tandoori Oven". YUMMY! This was our second time eating there and we will definitely go back for more. Their fish curry is so delicious! My mouth is watering for it even as I type. We also got some garlic naan and tried the lamb curry. The first time we ate there, we also had some excellent "Butter Chicken". Seriously, don't knock it til you try it! I didn't think I would like Indian food at all and now I love it so much I've been trying to make it at home.

Saturday was fun too. Zeke and the boys stayed home, while the girls and I went shopping! We went to a "Cents of Style" party at my friend, Teri's house. I love that stuff! I got a few Christmas presents for my family and a pretty blue scarf for myself. I've been wanting to get a scarf for forever. Some how it makes me feel really old, but I've decided that's okay. I wore it all day Saturday and to church on Sunday. FUN!

Ever since Zeke got this new job, we have been looking for a new table. The one we have is WAY too big for our little kitchen and it has grooves ("Beware the groooves!") They aren't the best for a family that has 3 out of 4 children who like to draw ALL the time. I'm sure Beck will join them when he stops eating the crayons and scribbling on my windows! Grrrr!

Anyway, Zeke and I went looking Friday night and we found an awesome table on clearance. So on Saturday, I decided to go get it. I had everything all budgeted out (even the sales tax), so I knew exactly what the total should be. When the salesperson entered it into the computer he gave me a total that was $25 more than what I figured. Some people might say "It's only another $25, in fact, that's what the salesperson tried to tell me." But that $25 is MY $25! He said that I have to pay sales tax on the ORIGINAL price, not the clearance price. What?! Have you ever heard of that? It sounded pretty fishy to me. He kept showing me how he got the total and I was like, "Yeah, I get your math, but this is wrong!" I told him there was NO way I was paying extra sales tax and if he wouldn't take off that $25 I wouldn't buy the table. I was ready to walk away and then he said, "Well, I guess I can try to enter it into the computer a different way and hope my manager doesn't notice...I guess just this one time it might be okay... I don't think I'll get in trouble, but you never know." Oh brother! I don't think he planned on me figuring that one out... I've been really bothered by this. Not only is it dishonest, but I'm sure it's illegal isn't it? Zeke and I are going to call the manager and find out their policy. Maybe it's just that particular salesperson trying to take a little bit off the top for himself? or maybe it's the whole store and they're trying to get ahead.... gosh, I hope not.

But on the bright side, I got an AWESOME table for an even more awesome price! :) I won't actually get it until the 19th... just in time for Thanksgiving. Zeke and I are staying here with the kids this year so he can study for finals (aka get caught up and hope to pass!) We are going to make some Indian dishes too.... anyone for some turkey curry maybe?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Have you seen her?

I always have a song going through the back of my mind. Today it's "...Have you seen her? Tell me have you seen her?..." It's an old song by some band called "The Chi-lites". But I remember hearing a remake when I was in high school. My "googling" revealed it was Mr. MC Hammer of course! I was thinking him or Bobby Brown, New Edition, Boys II Men, or maybe Rick Astley? (OH KILL ME, Please NO! Not him!) It's kind of a cute song. It popped into my head when I was trying to think of a title for this post. Anyhoo...

Every night before I go to bed, I check on each of my children. I want to make sure Beck and Kaia have covers on them and they're actually in their beds. I also check on Gabe and Zoe to make sure their lights are off and they're not reading anymore or playing chess (I've found them around midnight once or twice in the middle of a game!) I like to see my children sleeping, it reminds me how precious and beautiful each one of them are to me.

Last night, I went to check on Kaia and I couldn't find her anywhere!! It really scared me for a minute. She wasn't in her bed. I couldn't see her in her room (granted it's a total mess right now, anything could be in there!) I checked everyone's rooms and the couch... no Kaia! I went back to her room and noticed a strange lump on the floor:
I pulled back the blanket to reveal Miss Kaia fast asleep! Not sure what she was doing with the ice cream bucket on her head. She colored a bunch of flowers and taped them on top of the bucket. I wonder what she was dreaming about...
This is so Kaia! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'd like you to meet my daughter, October...

Gabe told me when he has children, he wants to name all of his daughters after the months of the year. He said, "Somewhere out there, I think there should be a girl named October, wouldn't that be awesome? If I knew a girl named October, I would go out with her." He was totally serious. October is kinda cute... maybe we could call her Toby?

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Greatest "Hallowasn't"

Thanks to my dear friend Winnie the Pooh,
"We'll celebrate a Hallowasn't instead!"

Friday was the costume parade at the girl's elementary school. Zoe went by so fast (on purpose) I made her pose for a picture after school. She looked so beautiful as "The Blue Fairy". I often look at her and wonder if she wouldn't mind dating until she's like 20 or so? yeah, I'm okay with that.

Kaia came waltzing in with a giant migration map of the world she found in the "National Geographic" the night before. I had so many people come up to me, "So what's the map for? What is she supposed to be?" I said, "I have no idea, she's Kaia, I didn't even know she brought the map to school!" It actually looked quite cute.

Beck absolutely REFUSED to wear a costume. So he was "Beck" at the Halloween Party. I did get him to wear his race car driver costume for about 5 minutes after the elementary costume parade.

Friday night was our church "Fall Festival" (code name for Halloween Party). It's always so much fun! Fishing Pond, Bean Bag Toss, Face Painting, Cupcake Walk, Chili cook-off, etc. My kids always love the donuts on a string game.

Gabe helped Zeke with the Duck Pond Game. I had fun coloring his hair and wrapping him up too:) I love that my children want to do their own thing. Gabe had to have bright orange mummy wrappings. White? nah, everyone dresses up like a white mummy.

They always give out crazy awards for the best costumes and the best chili. Zeke got the "Real Man" award for his engineering attempt at Princess Leia. Yes, those are real cinnamon rolls! He is a bit whacked and that is precisely why I love him!

I spent the entire night chasing Beck around... but I still had fun. I really enjoyed my "Luna Lovegood" costume. Only a few people knew who I was and even then, they were like "Okay, so you're like some Harry Potter person or something?" It's okay, not everyone is obsessed like me! I tried to explain the radish earrings, the butter beer cork necklace, the Quibbler advertisement, the wand behind my ear... their eyes would glaze over. True to Luna, I knew who I was and I was darn proud of myself! And for me, that's what makes it fun. By about 7:30 though, I was done. I was TIRED. I couldn't wait to get home. I think I overdid it. My friend, Peggy, said she was surprised to see me since I've been so sick (and I'm thinking, yeah, I know I'm crazy.) I'm just like a kid, I don't want to miss Halloween! We all came home feeling blah.

Gabe got up early Saturday morning and went to the best of EFY. (yay, Gabe!) Zoe went with a friend to decorate sugar cookies at their church. Kaia and Beck woke up with fevers. Yep, leave it to us to be sick on a holiday. It's TRADITION! Just ask our family. After the ibuprofen kicked in, Kaia had fun playing with the Halloween makeup. Zeke had to work for awhile that morning. I didn't feel good and wanted to get some laundry done. Later that morning, it started raining a LOT and even a skiff or two of snow. The girls said this must be the worst Halloween ever.

Anyway, later that day, we carved pumpkins. Beck grabbed a knife faster than you can say "RATS!" and cut his finger pretty bad. Zeke put pressure on it for awhile and Beck fell asleep while he was holding him (coincidence?, I think not!) While he was sleeping, we were able to put some "New Skin" (liquid bandage) on it. (It stings like no other and yet he slept right through it) I think we were spared from a trip to the ER. I started thinking the girls might be right.

Around 4pm, we thought we'd better load up the kids and take them trick or treating for a bit. Kaia and Zoe didn't even want to go. WHAT?! yeah, they must not feel good. Gabe went trick-or-treating with some friends, but came home early and said our neighborhood gives out better candy than "Cliffside"(the fancy schmancy rich people area). Some of our friends stopped by and I really enjoyed seeing them. Thanks, Amelia, Curtis, Jen, and family! Things were looking up.

We decided to go trick-or-treating in our house. The kids went from room to room while Zeke and I hid behind the doors. Zeke had on a different costume (and personality) every time: Rastafarian, Mullet-topped Nascar fan, Cowboy, and Cheerleader. I wish I was cool like that. I kissed him at every door, except the cheerleader... a little too weird. I think I like the Rasta guy. Yeah, mon! That was my Halloween treat! By then, the girls decided this was the best Halloween ever and I really had to agree.
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