Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tonight I have to post a HUGE thank you and I LOVE YOU to my awesome husband, Jack. Tonight is his last night of JOW and being on call as a second year resident. When he comes back to his service he will be a third year! Jack, no one else reading this has a clue the time and stress you have gone through (except maybe Luke) this year. As you shared stories with me last night about the crazy surgeries you have done this year, I couldn't help but feel so much gratitude for you. You're a wonderful husband, father, and friend. I so appreciate how hard you work for our family and the integrity that you work with. Your honesty kills me sometimes and yet its one of my favorite things about you! I can't wait to see you and kiss you tomorrow and know you're not carrying this burden anymore! I love you! Congrats on being done with JOW. Jaima

Friday, December 26, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Friday

One more thing. I despise Black Friday. I've never thought getting up at the buttcrack of dawn was worth a few bucks I might save. Well, I was looking at the ads with my mother, who loves the early morning shopping thing and almost everything on my kids Christmas lists was on these ads and I guilted myself into going. So we got up at four and headed to Walmart. It is no small occasion here, either. Cop cars lined the buildings to keep people from fighting. It was great. I didn't get everything i wanted, but I just wanted to go home and go back to bed. However, after lying in bed for over an hour I woke my mom up and told her we were going again. So we went to kohl's. Between the two stores, I got everything that I wanted to get my kids for Christmas for less than half the prices I intended on paying. It was fruitful, dangit, so no I am going to feel inclined to go every year. Bumber deal.


The day we had Emma's birthday party, my husband got all the husbands together and asked if they wanted to surprise the wives and take us to Wicked. The big surprise accidentally didn't happen. He slipped in front of me one day. Jack is always trying to do kind things to surprise me with and I'm so grateful that he is so thoughtful. I'm a hard person to surprise. I don't know why. I come upon things I'm not supposed to, I'm not actually snooping. I know he has suprised me a couple of times, but the big one was our cruise last year. And he had the help of Jani who is a very clever kind of gal! Anyhow, I loved the show! It was absolutely incredible! The day of it, I actually got sick and my fever was slightly over 104 degrees. I told the group we went with it was worth it to me to get them all sick to see this show! :) Jack and I walked away knowing that we needed to get Emma to see it. We got the CD and she's got all the songs memorized and is constantly asking to go see it. Maybe I brainwashed her, but I told her she could ask Santa for Christmas and we were going to have Jack take her Christmas Day.
Thanksgiving Day, however, in a very thoughtful gesture, he suggested I ought to take her with my mom and grandma. So a four generation group hopped in the sweet minivan and drove to Hollywood at the last minute yesterday! It was so fun! And I felt much better this time around!

Emma was so cute. It was obvious she ahd never been to a show before because she kept asking questions too loudly. She leaned over at one point and said "mom, this show is awesome. I want to see it again someday when I am six!" She was so funny.

For Thanksgiving, my parents brought my grandma and grandpa Smith down to visit. They are 88 and 90 yrs old. We had so much fun. It was WAY too short for my taste, but they have lives, too, I suppose. So they got here Wednesday afternoon and left Saturday morning. Way short. But we accomplished a lot! Of course, the food was fabulous. I only took pictures of my favorites because I forgot on everything else, but I had fun getting it all together.

These were melt in your mouth stuffed mushrooms.
I have the best spinach artichoke dip recipe that I got from my friend Cathy in Kentucky. I could sell this stuff.

I love fruit and dip. It's so colorful and pretty.

I put the pictures on backwards so these next two should have been first.

And i didn't take a close up of our table. I should have because it looked awesome and I have the prettiest china that I finally used. It stayed boxed up the whole time we were in KY and I LOVED pulling it out to use!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just practicing at home. She did fantastic today during her recital. Jack has a conference to day and tomorrow that is from 7-6. He drove an hour back and missed her performance by three minutes and was totally bumbed and turned around to drive an hour back. I felt bad for him cause he felt really bad. However, I had the thought that I needed to get Emma roses for her performance and dad was able to give them to her and say sorry and that made them both feel a little better. Emma asked for 45 minutes before she performed when dad would be there to watch her so she may have been secretly disappointed, but she was pretty excited that dad got her flowers. All is well!

performance day

after the concert, he got up on srage to sing a little hsm2.

Emma and Carrie
(her teacher)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yesterday I took Emma to Walmart to let her spend some money grandma judy and diana gave her for Halloween/birthday. She said she wanted crafts so we got scissors, paint, 12 statues of trains and ponies, and paintbrushes. We had so much fun painting when we got home and decided to do it again today. I got all the stuff out and on the back patio and ran in the house to fill a cup of water to rinse the paint. When I came back my little Emma nonchalantly told me she cut her hair.

I flipped out the first thirty seconds. There was some shock factor that came into play, and then I just started to laugh. I totally did that as a kid. Who didn't? So i explained that to her and told her we would have to cut it all short now which was a realy bummer to her to lose her princess long hair.
The Del Sol Salon was kind enough to squeeze in an emergency appointment because tomorrow is her violin recital.

Her hair was so long. i'm going to miss it, but it will be fun to try something new.

Great natural highlights! She has the prettiest color of hair.

It's a very cute finished product. She said she likes it, but is still a little sad about her long hair being gone. I thought the gal did a great job leaving some length and just layering it in there. It so could have been much worse. I doubt she tries that one again. Now I just have to keep those scissors away from Jackson.
The floral decor on the side table is a steal from Michael's. Regularly $80. I got it for $13. I was pretty happy!
Just had to show the nativity up close.
Pay no attention to how messy the bookshelf is. This is the full shot of the nativity up top. I want to get a big, beautiful wreath to put up above at the after Christmas sale for next year. I have such a hard time waiting for things like that.

Are those trees on each side ugly? I like them, but i don't trust my judgement very well. I guess if I like them that's all that matters, though, right?

And my tree, of course. The only thing I would do differently is put on WAY more lights, but it turned out nice.

Christmas came early this year. It's my favorite time of year and I'm always so sad to take it down so I just thought I would set it up a bit earlier. So the week after Halloween I got everything out and set it up against the wishes of someone in my family. He didn't have to help put a thing up so I figured there wasn't much leverage on his part. :) Actually, I don't think he cares all that much.
So I don't feel like being a woman comes by me all that naturally. I am by no means one who can keep a clean house, have dinner on the table, have kept the TV off to play with my kids and color and teach and go to the get the idea. It has to be a half A job at all of them to survive. But I do feel like this room turned out really pretty. It's my favorite room in my house because it has so much character. My whole house has a lot of character. It is SO old, and it is falling apart. But all I care about is that it lasts 2 1/2 more years.

O Possum Part II

So come to find out the stupid o possum is back and living underneath the grill in the cupboard part in our backyard. Retard. That's just gross. Jack swung in like it was a baseball and whacked it out of our yard and I haven't seen it since.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'll post on this later.

Just a Few More Pics

So we were at the park today and I had Sades in my arms and was pushing Jackson in the swing. I forgot that that has always made my babies giggle. She was laughing her head off. Jack was on the phone and recording at the same time so you can't hear as well as I want, but I'll take it anyway. She cracked me up!

A Little Love Note

Happy Birthday to Brandt! I'm happy you made it to this one! We sure love you here in California and can't wait to see you whenever we do! I love you so much! You rock!

Friday, October 24, 2008

More of my girl

these are mostly for grandma and journal videos. Nothing too exciting! Just love my girl!

Sadi Jade

I love my boy!

Another video!


Jackson sings high school musical and does limited choreography. I just had to post a few videos.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A More Serious Issue

I stole this from Jamie's blog (apparently I'm stealing a lot tonight). This is exactly what I was going to blog about tonight so I'll post this post and write my feelings tomorrow. They're pretty much here, though.

BLOG LIKE YOUR FAMILY DEPENDS ON IT BECAUSE IN FACT IT DOES...One year ago yesterday we moved to beautiful California. I love it here! When I started this blog I thought I would blog about all of our fun adventures here, but this post today takes a very serious issue that I hold so close to my heart: my family. Earlier this year, 4 judges overturned what 61% of the voters in California voted for... to keep marriage between a man and a woman. It scares me that just 4 people can change the will of a majority, but what's done is done and now we have a chance to vote again! As many of you know, California is engaged in an unprecedented battle over the definition of marriage... Proposition 8! Many people don't understand or don't take the time to find out why this is the most important thing we might ever do to protect our family! PLEASE HELP!I make a simple but urgent plea for understanding. What will really happen to society and especially the family if Proposition 8 does not pass? There are many places to get the facts. Won't Gay people loose their rights?In California, the law provides for marriage-related benefits to be given to civil unions and domestic partnerships. Proposition 8 does not diminish these benefits. This is NOT the real issue here. Although if you live in California the ads against Prop. 8 seem to make that the issue. (read your voter guide!)Failure to pass Proposition 8 will affect children.If gay marriage remains legal, public schools will put it on equal footing with traditional marriage. Children will likely receive “age appropriate” information about sexual relations within heterosexual and homosexual marriages. (Click here to to see...)Failure to pass Proposition 8 will hurt churches.The court’s decision will inevitably lead to conflicts with religious liberty and free speech rights. Society will become more and more hostile to traditional beliefs about marriage and family. Having tolerance without condoning.We can love others while still maintaining and advocating our standards and beliefs.Proposition 8 will allow us to continue to teach our beliefs and standards.This is my belief:"All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." The Family- A Proclamation to the WorldWe have family members and friends who are gay. We love them. I say to them... if this amendment does not pass you will be given the right to call your "partnership" or relationship a marriage, but I lose the rights that I hold so dear- what my children learn in school, what our society values, what churches are able to discuss. Homosexuals will not be given or lose any rights by this amendment, but the outcome of this not passing will effect the society in which we live. Take the challenge to get the word out, especially to your friends in California, Arizona, Florida...Another way to support this cause, is to join a nation-wide fast with much needed prayers on October 12. Check out the information here.Doesn't this just involve California? NO!!, the decision made will effect other states and our society as a whole!California is only the beginning...(click here to see) If you live in California: What can you do?? REGISTER TO VOTE!! and educate yourself on Prop. 8YES on Proposition 8....WHY??? (click here to read more)

I was a good mom today!

Let me tell you why! For those of you who remember my plea last March 6 ( I don't know how to link this or I would. Go to archives), I have "part two" this evening. Today I was at Albertson's picking up a few things when lo and behold the magazine in front of me was of three women in lingerie (thongs, actually) with their rear ends toward me with the seductive look. Oh please. I'm so tired of this. Anyway, a worker walked past me and I stopped her and pointed to the magazine and said it was offensive and I didn't want my kids to see these things. She informed me that the store just got all of these brand new magazine racks for every aisle and they were all over. So I went on to tell her that a bunch of moms and I were on the hunt for stores willing to help us out in this cause to get crap off the shelf and I asked who I needed to talk to to get them off. She said she didn't know but could maybe find out and walked away. I thought it was a fruitless attempt.

Fifteen minutes later I have kids strapped in the car and groceries in when the manager came running out after me. She told me that this girl had told her what I said. She told me she just had to meet me and then actually thanked me for saying it. I asked what I needed to do to get the ball rolling and she said to go in and show her the magazine and then went on to say how the family unit in this country is falling apart and she was just talking to her husband last night about how they didn't want their grandkids to grow up in a country like this and isn't it ridiculous that we can't teach children about church in school, but gay and lesbian marriage we can? I was thinking "is this for real?" She got in my car and talked with the kids and we chatted for a good fifteen minutes and then she carried Sadi while I carried Jackson (cause he had no shoes) and I showed her the magazine which I had actually covered up with a different magazine. So she took the entire stack and promised I would never see this magazine in the store again. AND if there was ever anything inappropriate that I could personally come find her and she'd take care of it.

How's that for an awesome experience? I can't tell you the high I was on as I left the store thinking I was doing something!

So now I might be up on a soap box, but I've got to ramble. I recognize that conservatives get that name because that's just what they are. We tend to silently have our opinion and don't want to be pushy with anyone. I am done being quiet! With this whole Proposition 8 (gay marriage amendment) going on here in Cali, I have felt such an urgency to go out and stand up for what is right. I do not think that when I stand before the Lord someday and He asks what I did to prevent this from happening, I will feel justified in saying that I was shy about those kinds of things or just busy being a mom. As a member of His church, I have been asked to stand up for what is right. I don't think God is taking this issue lightly and I am feeling Him push me out of my comfort zone to stand up for him.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!! Vote "yes on 8" on November 4!

And if you happened to me at Albertson's on Las Tunas, find Janet and tell her thank you for taking crap off the shelves!

An Extended Family Recipe

So these are seriously the best pumpkin yummy cookies EVER!!! And I think I have good taste in food! They are much better cold or frozen than not, though. Seriously, folks! You gotta try these!

Hoopes’ Pumpkin Cookies

Wet Ingredients:
1 ½ C. shortening
4 ½ C. sugar
3 eggs
1 lg. Can of Pumpkin
Dry Ingredients:
7 ½ C. flour
3 t. baking powder
½ t. soda
2 t. salt
3 t. cinnamon
3 t. nutmeg
1 t. cloves
1 t. allspice
1 t. ginger
AT LEAST 1 bag of chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Once they are cooled, top with cream cheese frosting: 2 blocks of cream cheese, 2-3 C. powdered sugar, and a little milk. Beat together with mixer.
* Note: This recipe makes a TON of cookies!! Like over 100!
PS I copied this blog from my cousins ! Thanks Lisha~!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

On a different note...

To help me calm down so I can sleep I should share a quick Emma story. Tonight:

me: "Emma, what time is it?"

Emma: "Party time!" (habit from watching HSM)

me: "Nope. What time is it?"

Emma: "8 o'clock?"

Me: Nope. 8:30-which means it's past your...."

Emma: "Gas!!!"

And then she laughed so hard at herself she had tears rolling down her face.


i'm really tired and want to go to bed. but i have to tell someone, everyone! I killed 31 black and brown widows TONIGHT!!! About once a week, I go around at night and kill anywhere from 6-12 widows. I've even found one in my playroom in the corner where my kids played hide and seek. Would you say I have an infestation? And if you have read one of my past blogs and know my absolute skin crawling awful experiences you should know MY SKIN IS CRAWLING AND IT WON'T STOP!!! Tomorrow the termite folk are coming, yes I have those too. Oh and fleas. I can't wait to be done renting old houses. I want out!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Recent conversations

1. Mom: "Emma, will you put the wipes away? You and Jackson go through those like hotcakes!"

Jackson: "Hotcakes?!!? Mmmm, yummy, I want some!"

2. Emma: "Mom, I need some milk or water. I'm sweating like a...."

Jackson: "Hotcake?"

......Does it sound like he hears that word a little in our home?
3. The other day we were getting the kids down for bed and Jack wanted to hug Jackson and said "come over here!"
Jackson reply: "Daddy, what did I do?"

Monday, September 22, 2008


Does it get much better than the abc's in your underwear. Elmo underwear, actually.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A new kitchen

should have posted this forever ago, but haven't got around to it. When Jack took off work in August, I talked him into repainting and tiling my kitchen floor. If you haven't been to my house you don't understand how badly this needed to be done. When we moved in, it needed to be done. After arguing over sereal color schemes, I gave in and let Jack choose. It was school bus yellow. It was vile. That was last November. I instantly wanted to change it, but I'm not tackling that with alone with kids and I couldn't talk him into doing it again until August. I wish I had a pic of the nasty old vinyl flooring (it was 20 year old vinyl). Anyway, he was awesome and tiled it for me, too. Thanks, baby, you're awesome! I love you!




Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Emma!

So I know every mom thinks their kid is the greatest and I am not exempt from being such a mom. My baby turned five years old on Monday (15th). I can't help but look at her with this incredible pride because she is has been the best little girl and is growing up to be such a beautiful person.

Here are several characteristics that make her incredible in the eyes of her mom:

Genuine kindness. I have watched this little lady go to a park and she will ask me if she can go make a friend. She walks right over to some other little lady and introduces herself and asks if she wants to chase her or swing or slide. And she is so good at including the one that has been left out. I like that.
She tries to help others be happy. On my birthday, Monica and I hiked with the kids to a waterfall (it was only 3/4 mile so not a huge feat), but her friend Dillan was not impressed as soon as we got out of the car and let us all know about it the first half up. It was quite funny to me, but I'm sure that's because I'm not his mommy. Anyway, I just watched Emma watch him and observed her several times attempting to get his mind excited over the upcoming tree that had fallen or inviting him to be the leader. She's watched her mom try the distracting technique, apparently. Actually, I'm just really impressed that she was that kind of a friend that she wanted him to be happy.
She has such a soft heart. Last night was a rough night as far as getting the kids down. It was Jack's turn to be with the bishop during interviews so he was at the church. I was out of patience, also. Sadi was crying and so ready to nurse and go to bed, Emma was wiped out tired and had school the next day so she needed to go to sleep, and Jackson hadn't had a nap and was beyond tired so he was irrational and we could throw logic out the window. After several attempts to get Jackson calmed down to say prayers and get in bed, I used a very frustrated motherly tone (i.e. yelling) that didn't bring good feelings into the home. As I walked in to check on the kids later, Emma peeked over her bed and asked why I was crying. I wasn't crying. But I looked up at her and could tell she was about to lose it. I gave her a huge hug and she broke down bawling and didn't like that Jackson had felt so sad and that I had yelled at him. I love that she has empathy toward others. I really think she has a gift to feel what another person is feeling and show empathy toward them. She is just awesome.

She LOVES being a big sister and is fantastic at it. Sadi's individual space is violated 50 times a day from her sister getting in her face to kiss her and say "hello sissy, how are you?" in her talk to a baby voice that I'm sure she perfected by watching her mother. She is also so good to entertain Jackson when I ask her to by inviting him to play trains or play with their babies or play something princess. Her brother adores every bit of attention she gives him, also.

She is brave. This list could go on and on. Emma has the ability to face her uncertainties and insecurities and work on them. Jack and I have often commented on how hard o a worker she is in making herself a better person. We have watched her learn to control her emotions. We can visibly see her closing her eyes and doing her best to stay calm until she is under control and then she will open her eyes and PUT a smile on her face and say she is calm or happy or something. But she recognizes that she is what she chooses to be and then chooses to be happy. I still don't have that down. I have also watched her take on violin and love it as well as doing crazy tricks her father dares her to do in the swimming pool and getting up on stage in front of tons of strangers at karaoke and singing. She used to be nervous up there, but has gotten way past her fears and loves it now.
She is responsible. She makes her bed every day, keeps her own room clean, and is always getting better at doing something I ask the first time, which I so appreciate.Her laugh is contagious. She is so happy and energetic and fun to be around.

Hey Emma, I love you to pieces, my princess. You've been such a great daughter and friend. I just think you are awesome! Happy Birthday, Sis. Love you, Mom