Monday, September 22, 2008

ABC's

video

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!


BEFORE PICS:




AFTER PICS:





I

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




video

Friday, September 12, 2008

O Possums

We had a run-in with a rodent the other night. It's a long story so here we go. It was 11:45 Saturday night and I went on a cleaning spree for the Sabbath because my house was SO close to being clean clean clean. So close. And I just long to have a really clean house. So I was just about there and went to grab my vacuum which I stash in this corner when I'm too lazy to put it away. But when I moved the vaccum I saw something furry underneath the dresser next to it.

Emma has this hand puppet that she got from Denise a couple years ago and it, too, is furry. However, I specifically remembered asking Emma to put the puppet away just a couple of hours b efore this. So I walked outside to Jack and told him there might be an animal in my house. It most definitely was so he grabbed a broom and started to shove it.

This is what I saw.
These things play dead, by the way. So it is lying there, lifeless, but whenever Jack hits it, I see it's tail come out the other side of the dresser and then it runs back in to play dead. I told Jack I was going to our neighbors (Ben/Carrie who is Emma's violin teacher) to get a broom and ask for help.
Ben was very willing to come over. He was already armed with gloves, but all he had was a push broom because they just moved in and their broom was still at the other house. And Carrie jumped right in and said she was grabbing her camera (otherwise I would not have these pics).




I make my stories way too long. Anyway, we made this barricade so that it could only go one way, straight through the door. So Jack whacked this thing out and it started running right for the door and then changed its course. He turned around and ran right back for Jack and jumped over our barricade, ran through my dining room and into my kitchen where it found alittle nook where I keep my broom. mop, and stepstool. So here's the video of the little sucker making its way out of our house.

video

He ended up not going out the gate to freedom, but under a different gate into our backyard and into a tree. So from there Ben whacked it and it jumped onto ou fence and ran over into their yard. I didn't get my house clean. It was around 1 am when this whole thing finished.


video

Jackson fell asleep on our computer chair and his head just got too heavy. Poor kid even whacked it on the wall next to him. Once again...sorry for the nasty coloring. I gotta have Jack take a look. I'm not so good at that stuff. Yes, he is naked.

video

Sorry about the nasty coloring. Jackson changed a setting on my camera that I can't figure out how to get back.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tribute to Jami on her 29th B-Day.

Jami,

This is a list of a few (29) of the things that I love about you. I hope you've had a wonderful Birthday.




1. When you make a decision, you are fully committed, I have long since learned to watch my step when you are determined to clean the house, there’s not a dust might that’s safe.
2. You have an amazing spiritual sensitivity. I believe you have saved us from many a challenge in our lives because you have followed the spirit. Thanks Jaima
3. In each of our various houses you have quickly made them a home, not just in accoutrements, but in attitude and spirit as well. Thanks Jaima.
4. You are ever patient with me, anyone who knows our situation knows I have signed on to 12 years of training/school and you have patiently taken care of myself and our kids through it all. Thanks Jaima.
5. You are always very attentive to our children’s needs. I’ve never once worried about the needs or progress of our kids because I know you have that covered. Thanks Jaima.
6. You have always been supportive of my crazy ideas and hobbies. Climbing wall in the basement of our KY apt. – need I say more. Thanks Jaima.
7. For the past year you have been essentially a single mother since I really have not been around too much. Q3 call at one of the largest Level 1 trauma centers, need I say more. Thanks Jaima.
8. Five years ago I drug you from your comfort zone and family in Id and you have thrived in spite of many hardships. Your a real trooper. Thanks Jaima.
9. You have a wonderful musical ability. Your talent is impressive and it is such a blessing to have your music in our home. I love that our kids favorite past time it dancing to their mothers piano playing of some crazy song. Thanks Jaima.
10. I love that you have done such a great job over the last couple of years at keeping your “journal” by blogging. You probably doesn’t realize it but I often go to the blog to find out what’s up with our family. Thanks Jaima.
11. You have always had a deep concern for your parents which shows great character. I have no doubt that you will take care if them if age ever requires it.
12. You have a wonderful, enviable relationship with your mother, and you are most certainly her best friend. But best of all I can see the same strength of bond between our daughters and you, a gift they will cherish throughout their lives.
13. I have often had many strange, some may even say stupid ideas, (such as purchasing a car on the internet that can not be licensed) that most folks would think I am crazy for but you have enthusiastically been at my side more supportive than one might expect. Thanks Jaima. It means a lot to me.
14. Long ago you urged us to carefully monitor what media was brought into our home and it has been a true blessing in our family to keep out so much of the filth of the world. Thanks Jaima.
15. Over the past few years you have dove into many books and I’m always impressed with the love you have for reading. Having said this I by no means want a new “twilight” to hit the shelves any time soon.
16. You have a unique connection with our children, from the day they were born you have served them so much they love you to death. Thanks Jaima.
17. I recently have enjoyed seeing the mother hen instincts come alive in you in protection of your little ones. Just as it should be. Thanks Jaima.
18. I love that you always insist on having healthy delicious food in our home. I am sure that any set of missionaries who have been to our house could attest that no matter what day they stop in they are going home with bags of fruits, vegetables, breads, condiments, and yes even prune juice. Thanks Jaima.
19. Speaking of bread and your quest in life to be a fantastic bread maker, even though I thought you had arrived at that point many years ago, I was so very wrong. The bread you make now somehow is sooo much better. Thanks Jaima.
20. Since we were married I have made you try out many various types of food (Vietnamese tonight) and I love how you so often bring home what we tried at some restaurant and begin making it at home. Especially Indian food. Thanks Jaima.
21. Your beautiful, naturally. I’ve always thought that and you only get more beautiful every day. No artificial flavors added. I guess I ought to thank the man up stairs for this one.
22. You laugh with me, even though I am sure most would cringe in embarrassment. Thanks Jaima.
23. Jami, I love how outgoing and personable you are, and that you quickly put our family in the “Social Pipeline” in each place we have moved. Thanks Jaima.
24. I gratefully am kept up to speed and informed by you on political issue’s and I love that you are about as conservative as they come. Thanks Jaima.
25. Jami, your a wonderful friend and I think its great how you not only keep in close contact with, but also seem to be up to date on each one of your friends at any given time. Its quite incredible.
26. You are surprisingly tough for a little lass. You have taken head on 3 c - sections with such strength, no complaints, and very little pain meds. Way to go Jaima.
27. It is awsome how very personal you are with your church callings and how you make a calling much more than a duty or task to accomplish but a personal mission. Case in point, your YW love you.
28. From Day one Jami, you have seen potential in me that I don’t know I would have ever seen in my self and you most certainly have inspired me to be more than I had planned. Thanks Jaima.
29. WHAT A MOTHER / WIFE !!! You are always praying for, thinking about, caring for, nurturing, loving, helping, teaching, kissing, hugging, playing with, worrying about (and on and on) your children and myself. Oh how grateful we are that you are our wife or mother. I LOVE YOU JAIMA!!!

Emma's First Day

It was actually yesterday. She is so laid back that she wasn't scared or jumping off the wall excited. Whenever I told her school was starting soon she would tell me she was excited, but that was it. Yesterday morning she climbed into my bed and when i told her she had to get ready for school she was very excited. When we got to the gate she told me goodbye and she wanted to do this herself which is very typical. She loves to be the big girl. I told her I had to actually sign her in and she was okay with that. It will be a sad day when she is embarrassed of me. Hopefully not too soon.



We got a new van, by the way. Isn't she a cutie? I can't believe how big she is!


Cute again!

Jackson hugging her goodbye. He talked about her the whole time she was gone and kept asking if we could either go watch her or pick her up.

Instead we went to the grocery store and her decorated himself, Sadi, and me with the stickers the clerk gave him.

Sadi took a nap, but not near long enough because of having to pick up Emma. This could be tricky, but she's so awesome I'm guessing she will be just fine. When we got home from picking up Emma, I laid Sadi down and she slept 4 1/2 hours. She must have been beyond herself tired.

Emma came home excited about her day and can't wait to make more friends. She told me she played with a friend (who I think she names herself because she never asks them, but calls them by this name. This girl is "Shyla.") and someone else was mean to her but she kept playing with her. I think she was trying to tell me she was sticking up for her by staying playing with her. However, I hope that didn't happen. IT's the first day of school. Those kids better not be mean to each other already. We'll see what she thinks about her second day tomorrow.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy Birthday Shout Out to Jana!

I don't think my sister ever reads my blog. She's not a real computer gooroo (sp). However, if she ever does read this, she ought to know I love her to pieces! She's always been a fantastic sister, friend, and example to me. She's got the most incredible family and has even taken them to Brazil for a year where they were able to change the laws to adopt children from Brazil for the rest of the United States. She's so awesome. I love you, Jana. It's so fun being grown up sisters and realizing I still love you because we're great friends. You're so fun and inspiring! Jami











Camping at Buckhorn

This is Mike and Lilian.


We finally went camping. Jack has been wanting to all summer, as have I, but with a newborn I wasn't so sure I wanted to nurse in the middle of the night on the floor of a tent. The weekend before Labor Day, we went with Mike and Lilian, and Jorge and Diane (Lilian's brother and his girlfriend) up the mountains.





It was so refreshing to get away from LA and watch my kids play in the dirt and push each other in the hammock and go exploring. I love watching them throw rocks in the stream and take me to the place they went on a hike together to show me the pine cone forest to throw them into the valley below.




We did a fun little hike and went to the top of a woosy waterfall. Sadi slept the whole time and my back was pretty dang sore by the end.
We had some dang good food. My favorite, though, was fruit and that cream cheese, marshmallow cream, and orange zest dip. Also, can I just say that I LOVE that Costco is selling uncooked tortillas?!?! They're so dang good. We had some great breakfast burritos out camping and felt so cool cooking our torts in the wild!!!
We have become such good friends with Mike and Lilian. I work with her in the Young Women and she is awesome! A few weeks ago they came over to swim and Lilian gave me a pedicure. I'll take a friend like that any day! (I love you Lilian!) We hope they don't get too sick of hanging out with us. Jack and Mike are so much alike, coming up with all sorts of random trips and activities that Lilian and I just watch the dollar bills add up while they talk. I'm so glad, though, because Jack doesn't find too many men like himself!...with random crazy interests always searching for something fun to do...like build a climbing wall in his basement. I love his manliness!






Our family's funny faces...

Our Reptile Friend

I caught a reptile for my kids. A lizard, in fact. I was so proud. Emma wanted nothing to do with it at first and Jackson never wanted to touch it.
We were nice to it. We only kept it a couple of hours and provided leaves and water for it.
He was a fast little bugger.


I haven't done this nearly enough.

Sadi is growing so big so fast. I swear she was born three weeks ago. I can tell she is the third child because I don't near the selection of pics to choose from.

She has been the sweetest, easiest baby. I've been saying that I get a little credit because maybe I'm getting better the third time around, but it's not true. She's just awesome. We had Mike and Lilian over again last night for dinner. When they got there at 5:30 Sadi Jade was beside herself. She was wiped out tired and can't sleep unless she is bunted. I put her down at 5:45. She woke up to eat at 11:45, then at 4:30, and then
7 am she was awake for around a half hour and wanted to go back to sleep. She is so easy.

I have several favorite things about her, but mornings and nights are my definite favorites...probably because we're alone most of the time. First is waking up to her in the morning. As soon as my face comes into view, she gets a huge grin on her face and starts to giggle. I love that. That's something I need to get on video. Stay tuned. In the evening, she gets a bath at the beginning of bedtime routine. Sadi loves her bath. She does fantastic. just hanging out in the water. The best part is right after the bath. I have baby lotion or essential oils on hand when she gets out and I lay her on the bed and say "are you ready for your lotion rub down?" She's already smiling by this point just knowing what is coming, but gets so excited when she hears my hands rubbing together. She loves getting massaged and it's a favorite of ours. Anyway, she is so patient and sweet with the hundreds of kisses she gets from her brother everyday and the constant picking up from her sister, even though Emma knows she's not supposed to!

the other day

I was driving home from church and when I turned around, this is what I saw...

I laughed pretty hard.

I H--- you!


Jackson has been using this special phrase against his sister a lot lately. I believe he learned it from his cousins over the summer, although, I can't say I ever really heard them saying that. He just began using it on the way home so I put two and two together. Anyway, this is, of course, unacceptable. Hate is not a word we say in this house; at least not being used in that way toward a family member, but who is going to go into detail with that? After trying several methods over the past month to rid him of his potty mouth, we landed on the soap method. At first I thought not even this would work, although I really put soap in his mouth. He would willing stick it in his mouth and leave it there for five seconds and then walk away like it was no big deal. However, we chose to stick with it. On the evening of the third day, he was really testing his boundaries. After we put the kids to bed, Jack stood next to the door and had to go in five times to put soap in his mouth for telling Emma over and over again that he hated her jewelry box. Dumb, I know, but he was testing his limits so he got what we'd been telling him. So he is finally screaming and not impressed with what's going on and after a few minutes Emma blurts out "Jackson, stop screaming. I hate it." Of course we all wanted to say that, but what could we do? So on that nanosecond that you have to think about it, Jack said "uh-oh! Alright Emma, come into the bathroom." Emma had never had that choice experience before and she was so sad. We felt horrible, but had to follow through with what we had been saying. Needless to say, I went in a few minutes later and re-iterated that we should never say that word and if they ever caught mom or dad then they would put soap in our mouths, too. The next day, Jackson heard me say it and got to put soap in my mouth. He liked my reaction enough that he asked me to say it again.

Cinnamon?


A couple of weeks ago we had some friends over for Indian food (Lilian and Mike). She and I were in the kitchen cooking chicken korma and discussing spices and a new indian grocery store I found in my neighborhood after looking for a year. I happened to have an overload of garam masala, which is a spice you put in a whole lot of indian recipes, and told her she could empty some into an old cinnamon spice can that had recently run out. We did not put the sprinkle lid back in place. Well apparently, Lilian forgot to take this home. Saturday morning came and Jack got out of bed with the kids to make us breakfast (cinnamon french toast) (can you see where this is going?). So Jackson got ahold of the cinnamon and started dumping on a piece of the toast. Jack grabbed it and thought, "this will be his piece." Unfortunately, we are going through a stage with Jackson where he gets up and walks around during dinner so the rule as of the last month has been that he gets buckled in his seat until he has finished his plate. So of course we are all eating breakfast and he's telling us his is yucky and he refuses to eat it to which we reply that he has to stay in his seat until it's gone. Well, it had been about 45 minutes and I was done cleaning the kitchen except for washing the counter tops...there's this strange spice all over the counter and Jack went on to tell me how Jackson dumped cinnamon all over and that was the mess. To which I replied "that is not cinnamon." Poor kid. Needless to say, we didn't make him eat it. Can you imagine butter, maple syrup, and garam masala french toast?

Nicole Bright

I'm trying to track you down and can't get ahold of you. Leave your blog or email address, please. PS I hope your organ playing is more lovely than mine.