Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Countdown is On

I finally just added the widget to my sidebar of my pregnancy countdown.

It's obvious, from my lack of posts, that I have been a slacker blogger for this whole past year. I'm not making any promises for next year, but I hope to make it more of a priority.

So, anyway, my pregnancy is soon coming to an end, and really it wont' be any too soon for me. I just hit my 36 week mark, but compared to my other 4 pregnancies I feel like I am at 40 weeks. My belly is huge, my hands and feet are swelling like crazy and I lack motivation to do much, partly due to trying to keep the swelling down, the more active I am the more swollen I am, but if I sit to rest, I don't want to get up.

Thankfully my children have been great helpers lately. The boys are on dish duty and do a great job keeping the kitchen from mountains of dirty dishes. Charlie is learning to do a great job mopping the floors.  Friday we had a "clean the house" day and I made them badges to wear that held their chore cards so they could move their cards to the back of the badge as they finished.

example of badges we used

clips attached to the badges

They probably loved the badges so much because it is a new thing, we've never used them before, but it was great because the badges clipped to their shirt and on the back of the card that said the job I listed the steps of what was expected for that job to be complete.

For instance Tom was in charge of cleaning the patio. the steps were, pick up garbage, put the big toys in the garage, put the small toys in the toy bin, line up the bikes and toys with wheels.

Tom did a fabulous job and the patio looked great. The chore badges were very helpful in keeping the kids on task. I didn't have picture cards for the girls, so they just came and asked me what theirs said and then ran off to do it and came back to ask about the next one.

One thing I have been enjoying lately is sewing. So far the baby has a couple blankets and burp clothes, my next project is to make a nursing cover. Not knowing the gender of the baby has made it harder in choosing fabrics and such, but I found some fabulous fabrics that i made the rag quilt with.

The other children have benefited from my sewing marathon. They each got a new apron, which actually the boys helped make their own. And I made the girls towel wraps for Christmas which are great for them to wear after baths or after swimming.

Mostly I'm trying to keep myself distracted from wanting to have this pregnancy over now, and rather just enjoy these last few weeks before our lives are changed forever with the addition of a new little one. One thing I have to look forward to is my sister Susan coming to spent some time with us, before and after the baby is born. She will be here in two weeks and stay for almost a month.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wonderful Christmas

Going to see the lights at the Fletcher Farm

We had a very nice Christmas day on Sunday.

Tom got his Christmas miracle. Jeremy was scheduled to work on Sunday and Tom was hoping that dad would get home early and be his Christmas miracle and what do you know Jeremy was home by 8:30am and never did get called back into work.

Since Jeremy wasn't going to be home for the kids to get to open their gifts early in the morning they must have figured there was nothing to wake up for, not one of them was awake before 7:30 am - that was my Christmas miracle, getting to sleep in.

We got up and made a pancake breakfast and daddy showed up just in time to eat with us. We then opened a couple of gifts and then got ready and went to church.

After church, which was only one hour, Sacrament meeting, rather than all three hours of meeting, we opened more gifts. The gift Jeremy was most excited to give was his gift to the girls.

He figured what little girl wouldn't love their own pink bb gun. Becca was indeed very excited, Lydia wasn't sure she wanted anything to do with it.

This is the only picture we took on Christmas, all the rest are videos.

We were invited to our neighbors house (the Wetterlings) for Christmas dinner and had a wonderful feast with them.

Later we came home to Skype with the grandparents, first my family and then Jeremy's family.

Being 8 months pregnant I can't say I feel very motivated to do much lately, I'm big and tired. My wonderful husband had Monday off and he helped clean and get all the Christmas decorations down and put away, it was so nice to not have to do that myself. We usually don't take it down the day after Christmas, but that was when he was available to help and I was very glad to have his help.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Videos you must watch

We love Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson at our house and the Piano Guys are doing a great job making videos that are awesome to watch.

Here are a few favorites:

Carol of the Bells (one of my favorite Christmas songs)

Here is a video from a recent concert - I would love to go to their concert

"Where are you Christmas" - with Jon's daughter singing

This next one is very fun to watch - a favorite of my boys, spin off of Star Wars, and a neat side note, a friend of Jeremy (from high school - Ali Morris) made the costumes.

Cello Wars

This one is Tom's favorite and we bought the single and he listens to it over and over and over.

Michael Meets Mozart

The most awesome thing about watching these guys, beyond their talent, is watching the joy they experience as they play their music, I love listening to their songs, but I also love watching them, it inspires me to want to improve my talents and take joy in what I do.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A few Funnies

Here are a few fun finds from Pinterest. They bring a smile to my face.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

and bears, oh my!

We had an uninvited guest trying to take up residence in our neighborhood.
Yesterday I got and email about a bear sighting in our neighborhood.
I didn't know there were bears in Florida, alligators yes, bears, no.

I figured he was just passing through the neighborhood so I didn't worry about it too much.

Then this afternoon the neighbor kids (carpenters) who were over playing were walking home and soon came running back telling me they saw the bear.
I drove them to their house and just then the bear came lopping across the street.

Wildlife control had been called so we hung around watching the bear, thinking the wildlife control would be there soon. The bear seemed content munching on nuts from the tree and didn't seem bothered by the people cautiously gathered on the opposite of the road.

 Over an hour later the bear was still passively under the tree and wildlife control finally came.

They weren't shooting bullets, just pellet bags (or some such thing) that would be enough to cause the bear to run off and not want to come back again (hopefully anyway).

All this caused for an interesting afternoon, but I'm really not wanting to hear of bears in our neighborhood again.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Charlie  - Obi wan Kenobi   Tom- magician
Lydia-Rapunzel with butterfly wings   Becca-Rapunzel

Group of kids that came to the halloween party at the clubhouse and then we went around the neighborhood trick-or-treating together.

Lydia heading up a walkway to got trick-or-treating.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

News and fun

It's been awhile.

We got back from Utah at the beginning of August and have been busy homeschooling since then.

My news is that I am pregnant, 20 weeks, so not really new news, but haven't really been spreading the news.

It's been raining a lot, we didn't get any effects of hurricane Irene, ironic since we live in hurricane territory, yet all up the east coast is where it hit.

Lydia turned 3 last week.

Since I'm not too full of words I'll share a few funny's.

Is this not so true.

Do you need ideas for pet costumes?

Sometimes you have to think outside the box and use the same materials, but get a different result.

this isn't really funny, it's a sad but true

way to look on the bright side

a fun way to go

I always wondered what they did on their time off

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Meal time

Being a good parent isn't an easy task. It is easy to slip into "easy" mode and let kids get away with things because then there is no resistance when the kids are getting their way, but it isn't doing them any favors.

The past few weeks I've really let things slide and I've been a lazy parent letting my kids get away with sloppy behavior and attitudes. The past couple days I've come out of lazy mode and my kids did not like it. But today has been a really good day. My kids know I won't put up with their laziness any more and after rebelling against me for the past couple days they are realizing it is better for them if they just obey and cooperate and then life is happier for us all.

Becca decided to test my resolve today. Lately she has been wasteful with her food at meal times and I have been letting her get away with it. Today I decided that was the end of that and told her she had to stay at the table until she finished eating her breakfast. I don't think she thought I was serious.
At first she poked at her food, then she sat back and tried to ignore her food. One time I caught her trying to spoon some of hers into Lydia's bowl. Once everyone else left the table and she was all alone she became angry and started crying and screaming. She carried on for almost 2 hours.
She must have finally realized I was not going to let her leave the table until she was done. Once she finally started eating it took her ONE minute to eat. All of her antics for one minute of eating. And surprisingly she was happy when she finally finished and I praised her for eating her food and she went on her merry way to go play.

I am so glad I followed through. There were a couple times I wavered and considered telling her she only had to eat a few bites or thought about offering to rewarm her food. I'm glad I didn't interfere and just let her deal with her own problem.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spending the summer in Utah

Six weeks ago I was laying on my bed, in Florida, realizing I didn't want to spend the summer in the Florida muggy heat. I checked plane tickets, which up to that point had been fairly pricey, and found a good deal and booked 7 weeks in Utah. For the month of July Jeremy was assigned clinicals in Davenport, which is 4 hours from our house, so he wasn't going to be around, which made the decision of leaving even easier.

We have been staying with Jeremy's parents in beautiful Pine Vallley and we go to St. George about once a week and visit other family and visit my parents. My parents live in a small house and now that my sister lives in their only extra bedroom, there is even less room to stay, so we usually just do day visits with them. Plus it is much hotter in St. George than in Pine Valley, and I prefer staying out of the heat.

The kids are having fun spending lots of time outdoors, and I don't even have to take them to the park so they can run and play (in Florida we don't have a yard, I have to take my kids to the park so they can play).

I grew up in Idaho on an acre an a half, we had lots of room to run and play. I have always wanted the same thing for my kids. For now this comes as close to my ideal as possible for now. The one thing I wish we had was bikes for our kids so they could ride around while we are here in Pine Valley.

The first weekend after we arrived in Pine Valley was Jeremy's family reunion at a State camp ground near Manti Utah. It was a beautiful place and the kids had a wonderful time playing with their cousins.

Last week was Tom's birthday, he turned 7. For his birthday he wanted to go see Cars 2, which had just come out in theaters. We invited the grandparents and some cousins to join us. It was an awesome movie and the graphics were incredible. After the movie we went back to my mom's house for pizza and cupcakes. My mom made Tom a fun cupcake snake, using skittles to put the snake pattern on each cupcake. It was cool and Tom thought it was cool.

I'll have to add pictures after we get back to Florida, I don't have any way to do it here.

I glad my in-laws have Internet, when we lived with them 2 years ago, before we moved to Florida, they didn't have Internet and that was a long 6 weeks. I would take my kids to the parks in St. George that had wifi so I could search for apartments and do other online tasks while they played at the park.

I try not to be on the Internet too much, but those few weeks were an eye opener as to how dependent I am on the Internet. I pay all my bills online, do all my banking online and when ever I have a question or need to find a recipe I look online.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Amazing talent from such a young girl - she has a beautiful voice. Her name is Jackie Evancho and she is 11 years old.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Digital Scraping

I enjoy digital scrapbooking. A few years ago I learned how to digiscrap using PSE (photoshop elements) and made many wonderful scrap pages. As fun as it was, it still seemed to be too time consuming, I spent too much time in the design (which I love doing) and lately I haven't been doing anything.

I just found out about scrapbooking with Picasa, free online from google, and it has been so easy to do. I completed the above four pages in a short amount of time, this gives me hope to be able to get more of my pictures off my computer and into books where the kids can look at them.

At the top of my blog there are tabs, one is labeled "Digi Scrap" and I have listed in there links where I found out how to use Picasa for digiscrap and also links for free supplies. Digital scrapbooking can be completely free, except printing the pages out. I have never paid for any of my supplies, I just look for the free stuff.

The key to using picasa is layering. Make a mosaic collage of photos then create a new collage with multiple papers and the photo collage. Then add the words and viola a completed page.

The hardest part for me is to get an idea, I usually look for other people who have the design style I like and use their stuff for inspiration. The two blogs that I learned how to use picasa (clover lane and persnickity) had wonderful examples of their scrap pages andI looked to their stuff for inspiration.

For anybody who has been intimidated by digital scrapbooking because it seems to hard, complicated, intimidating, time consuming, costly or whatever other excuse, you no longer have an excuse.

Go for it

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

My Fairy Tale Wedding

 It was a beautiful wedding, the marriage of Kate and Prince William, a real life version of a fairytale. Everything was so beautiful and well put together. The wedding dress was stunning, the bride was beautiful, and the Prince was very handsome in his regal uniform. I loved that they rode away in a horse drawn carriage.

The thing that struck me the most was the high contrast between this "perfect" wedding and my very simple wedding -- they spoke the words "till death do us part" whereas my wedding included the covenant of "eternal marriage" that death cannot break.

A family is forever

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, of which I am a member, Christ's priesthood has been restored with all the blessings and ordinances, including the ordinance of eternal marriage which takes place in a Temple.

This life is the time to prepare to meet God. God has a plan for us and part of that plan is for us to be happy here on earth and also in the eternities. My family is my joy and the covenants I've made bind me to God and to my husband and my children. They are a reminder of what is most important so I don't get distracted by the lies the world teaches.

My fairytale wedding didn't exist in the details of the wedding, my fairytale wedding exists in the covenant that I made and that I truly will live "happily ever after".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Things kids say

Becca got a bag of clothes from a neighbor. My kids love hand-me-down clothes. Lydia was feeling sad because she wanted some "new" clothes too.

I said, "Becca, will you share some of those clothes with Lydia".
Becca responded, "Ok, I can give her all the weird clothes that I don't want".

Problem solved.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy helpers

I love happy helpers. The other day I was fixing lunch and turned to see Lydia (age 2) unloading the dishwasher, towel in hand to dry the ones that were still wet. No one had asked her to, she just wanted to help. I stood watching her for a few minutes than went and found my camera to take a video.

The thing that is nice about having many kids is that the younger ones learn by watching the older ones. Lydia has seen her brothers do the dishes many times. Now, being short like she is she can't reach the cupboards to put the dishes away, but she was able to successfully unload the whole dishwasher and set all the dishes on the counter and put the silverware in the drawer

Then, after finishing the dishes, she and Becca wanted to help make sandwiches. The only problem with small helpers and jam is the stickiness that gets on everything.

I found this photo on my camera. Apparently the boys gathered all their toy cars and trucks together for a photo shoot.

This photo is from January when we made our surprise visit to Utah. Christmas day we decided we were missing family so much that we hopped in the car and drove non-stop to Utah from Florida (a 40+ hour trip, left on Saturday night and arrived there Monday midday). Jeremy flew back to Florida to finish the semester that ended the fourth week of January and the kids and I stayed in St George for the month.

We very much enjoyed spending time with family and friends for a whole month. The kids particularly enjoyed playing in the snow, in Pine Valley. Coming from Florida we had no snow clothing, so we bought and borrowed warm clothes. I didn't even own a jacket and had to buy one, and some sweaters.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Waking up, swords,

I read other peoples blog, have thoughts and ideas I want to remember, so I am going to make my own blog post with links to those posts I want to remember and be able to find in the future.

Scripture study. I keep a scripture study journal, and I found a blog that gives great references and resources for scripture study time. One great idea I gleaned was to format talks to print out and paste in my journal, it shows how to condense a long talk and be able to print it out on one page. This is great because I like how it puts it right there in my journal for easy reference later on, rather than trying to find it in my stack of print outs.

Learning to listen. Moss Moments is one of my favorite blogs. Today her post particularly was what I needed because I often wonder how I'm supposed to do it all and her post reminds me that I am not supposed to do it all. One child at a time, one project at a time, one moment at a time. I need to ponder and listen and then act on what I come up with.

My brother Myke is funny and quirky and I enjoy reading his posts.
One of my favorites was his post "weather go home" about winter weather in Rexburg Id. He posted lots of great pictures illustrating the ridiculous winter weather one must endure in Rexburg - the post was so funny to me because it brought back all kinds of childhood memories.

I want to remember his post about the secret of waking up the first time the alarm goes off. I had never heard of this idea, but it makes sense

- practice and train yourself to wake up when it is not the actual time, like the night before, run through the scenario a few times and after a few nights of this see if your practice doesn't pay off.

Sword Play - totally cool "toy", that allow boys to be boys without the shedding of blood.
     I love movies that have sword fights and I think it would be cool for my boys to learn how to sword fight.

Battle Swords in Action from Douglas Phillips on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ukraine Temple

I served a mission in St Petersburg Russia in 1997-98 so I have a personal connection to why I feel so thankful that the Russian people have a Temple in Kiev Ukraine. posted a video clip from the dedication and the multicultural presentation that the youth performed.

As I watched the video I felt the Spirit and gratitude and Love for the Russian people and hope for the future and wished I could have been there to watch it all in person. One elder from my mission was able to go back for the dedication and it made me wish I could have had that opportunity too.

Temples are part of God's plan for us and are vital to eternal salvation. What a blessing it is for us to live in these days and watch as Temples spread across the land and dot the earth and come closer to the people of the church so that each may have the opportunity to go to the Temple.