Friday, December 26, 2008

Scary Old St. Nick

My almost-four-year-old is scared of Santa. We didn't realize this until a few weeks ago at our Ward Christmas Party. Santa came to hand out candy to the kids. Our two-year-old quickly got in line with the other children, but to my surprise, his older brother held back. When I encouraged him to go get in line so he could talk to Santa and get his candy, he ran to the corner and cried.
As Christmas drew nearer, I asked him what he wanted Santa to bring him. He informed me that he didn't want Santa to come. He only wanted presents from me. So, guess what? Santa didn't come to our house. My son made sure I locked the door before we went to bed so he couldn't come in (lucky for me we don't have a fireplace; I would've had to board it up!). I filled the stockings and set out all the presents. But a few days after Christmas, the kid informed me that he is excited for Santa to come next year! What a silly kid.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Rainbow . . .

. . . is strongly shaded yellow.
Your rainbow is strongly shaded yellow.


What is says about you: You are a joyful person. You appreciate optimism. You're good at getting people to like you.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it was kind of fun taking the quiz anyway.

Friday, December 12, 2008

"I Dropped Mine Eggs"

After breakfast this morning, my youngest went in the living room to play. Two minutes later, he came back into the kitchen where I was washing dishes and said, "I dropped mine eggs". He seemed pretty upset about it. I figured he had snuck a handful of scrambled eggs into the living room to eat and then accidentally dropped them (he knows he's not supposed to take food in the living room, and frequently sneaks a handful of his food in to eat on the couch). So I followed him to where he had 'dropped' his eggs, and it turned out that he had actually vomited up his eggs! This was a couple hours ago, and he seems fine, so I don't think he's sick (phew). I just think it's funny that he used the term 'dropped'. It cracks me up!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

He Passed the Penny!

Just a quick update; the penny has been passed. Hooray! I don't have to fish through his dirty diapers anymore looking for it! From now on, I'll be more diligent about keeping money away from him.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Trip to the Emergency Room

A few days ago was my hubby's birthday. The boys picked out some balsa wood airplanes to give him. We were all excited to go to the park and see them fly. While I was getting my youngest ready to go, he put a penny in his mouth. I saw it sitting on the back of his tongue, dangerously close to going down his throat. I quickly tried to scoop it out with my finger, but may have done more harm than good. He choked on it for a few scary moments (I was afraid it would get lodged in his throat), and then swallowed it.

I wasn't sure what to do, so I called poison control (thank goodness for poison control! I've called them many times since becoming a mother). They recomended we take him in for an x-ray to make sure it made it down to his stomach. Otherwise, it could be hanging precariously in the back of his throat, waiting to fall and lodge in his windpipe (this can be the case even if the child can swallow fine and shows no signs of choking), or it could get lodged in the entrance to the stomach and block him up.

So I took him to the emergency room (things like this always happen on the weekends) while my husband and our oldest boy went to fly the airplanes. We spent two hours waiting and waiting and waiting some more. Finally he was x-rayed, and they found the penny in his stomach, which was a relief.

Now we just need to wait for it to come out (checking for it is not my favorite thing, but we need to make sure it passes).

Lesson learned; keep small objects out of reach of children. Easier said than done.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

I pulled out the Christmas decorations Friday morning. I still don't have the tree up, and haven't put up any outside lights, but we have stockings hung, the snowscene up and lots of little trinkets out on shelves. I love the Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twenty-One Pound Turkey

I bought a twenty-one pound turkey yesterday! I'm getting exciting for Thanksgiving. We are not having a huge crowd; nine adults and three kids. It should be fun. My dad and stepmom are coming, which is always fun. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Christmas Fever

I've been getting excited about Christmas lately. It is, afterall, my favorite Holiday. I never pull out my decorations until after Thanksgiving (okay, on Thanksgiving, but after dinnner), but I've been really tempted lately to start hauling boxes up the stairs and start decorating!
Maybe it's because of the fact that we were living with relatives last Christmas, and most of my decorations stayed in boxes. Maybe it's the peppermint ice cream I've been eating everyday for the past two weeks. Maybe it's because I've been our running errands after dinner lately when it's dark and the stores are bustling and it's so cold! Whatever it is, I have Christmas Fever. I've had to restrain myself several times from listening to the Christmas music station while in the car (okay, I admit it, I haven't always used restraint. The other day when there was nothing else on, I did listen to a couple of songs.)

Less than two weeks to go . . . once the turkey is put away in the fridge, I'm pulling out the Christmas tree! And, of course, the Christmas music. I always listen to Christmas music while decorating!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Cute Boys

A good friend of mine took some fall photos of my boys (thanks, Leslie!) I may be biased, but I think they are adorable!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Six Random Things

My sister-in-law tagged me (Hi, Arlynda!). I'm supposed to tell six random things about myself, but I'm having a hard time coming up with six things that are both random and interesting. Oh well, here we go:

1. I hate scary movies. Harry Potter is about as scary as I can handle. No kidding, I was looking over my shoulder for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named for several weeks after seeing the latest one.

2. I'm seriously considering home-schooling my children for many, many reasons, but am not sure if I'm cut out for it. Quite frankly, the thought scares me to death. But I truly am considering it for the sake of my children.

3. I'm pretty good at keeping up with washing, drying, and folding the laundry, but I have a hard time putting it away. I'm not sure why, but it will sit clean, dry, and folded in the basket for a week before it gets put away.

4. I prefer natural child-birth to using an epidural. In my experience, the side-effects of an epidural are not worth the relief, and I think it's better both for the mother and the baby (mom has faster recovery time, baby is born alert and undrugged). But that's not to say I think women shouldn't use epidurals. If that's what suits your fancy, go for it. 5. I used to be able to leg-press a thousand pounds! The key words here are used to. I'm ashamed of how I've let my muscles turn to Jell-o. That was back when I lifted weights three times a week and ran the other three (I rested on Sundays). These days my idea of a workout is chasing my toddler up and down the aisles of the grocrery store. 6. There are a few things I'd like to do but never have: earn at least a purple belt in karate, graduate from beauty school, and become an awesome photographer. Is that random enough?
I tag: Heidi, Laura, Heather, Andy, Jefferson, Marie, and Leslie (I'm supposed to tag ten, but don't know that many bloggers).
Copy and paste the cute graphic below, write your six random things, and then tag ten people!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Proposition 8

I've been hesitant to write about this subject because there's so much to be said and I've been afraid I'd say it all wrong. Lucky for me, my husband's cousin (my cousin-in-law?) said it all right. He posted this on his facebook page, and I hope he doesn't mind me posting part of it here.

. . . . how will legalized same-sex marriage affect you? Here are some things to consider (see for full details):
1. Children in public schools will have to be taught that same-sex marriage is just as good as traditional marriage. See

2. Churches may be sued over their tax exempt status if they refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public.

3. Religious adoption agencies will be challenged by government agencies to give up their long-held right to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father.

4. Religions that sponsor private schools with married student housing may be required to provide housing for same-sex couples, even if counter to church doctrine, or risk lawsuits over tax exemptions and related benefits.

5. Ministers who preach against same-sex marriages may be sued for hate speech and risk government fines.

6. It will cost you money. This change in the definition of marriage will bring a cascade of lawsuits.

Please thoughtfully consider this issue, and remember these points (from

1. Proposition 8 is about preserving marriage; it’s not an attack on the gay lifestyle. Proposition 8 doesn’t take away any rights or benefits from gays or lesbians in domestic partnerships. Under California law, “domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections and benefits” as married spouses.

2. If Proposition 8 is defeated, the sanctity of marriage will be destroyed and its powerful influence on the betterment of society will be lost. The defeat of Prop. 8 would result in the very meaning of marriage being transformed into nothing more than a contractual relationship between adults. No longer will the interests of children and families even be a consideration. We will no longer celebrate marriage as a union of husband and wife, but rather a relationship between ‘Party A’ and ‘Party B.’ The marriage of a man and a woman has been at the heart of society since the beginning of time. It promotes the ideal opportunity for children to be raised by a mother and father in a family held together by the legal, communal and spiritual bonds of marriage. And while divorce and death too frequently disrupt the ideal, as a society we should put the best interests of children first, and that is traditional marriage. Voting No on Proposition 8 would destroy marriage as we know it and cause profound harm to society.

"New" Couch

Would you believe me if I told you I got a brand new couch for thirty-three dollars? If not, good for you. I didn't get a brand new couch for thirty-three dollars. I got an old couch for free, and bought a brand new slipcover for thirty-three dollars, and . . . voila! It's like a brand new couch! I love it!
The couch came from my sister-in-law's garage. She got it from her sister-in-law, who, upon getting a new job across the country, decided to get rid of all her old furniture and buy new stuff. Score! The upholstry was all ripped up (the obvious work of a cat), and the color didn't match my existing furniture.
The slipcover came from Ebay. It is a pretty blue slate color, and so soft! It retails for around sixty-five dollars, but I paid only 24.99 plus shipping. Don't you just love Ebay?
The couch is a little funky. Instead of a regular backrest, it has these huge pillows, which make it a little hard to get the slipcover to fit snugly, but it works.
Here are the before and after photos:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Little Daydreaming Never Hurt Anybody

I was running errands the other day with both boys in tow. We had to make a trip to Fred Meyer, which happens to be my three-year-old's favorite place ever since he found a ride-on airplane there. He has his heart set on it for Christmas, but he's not getting it. For starter's, it's too small for him (though he doesn't think so). It's really more geared toward a toddler, not a preschooler. Secondly, it costs fifty bucks and looks like it would break after about two hours in our house. But I figure there's no harm in letting him "look" at it when we go there. He actually does a lot more than look. He drives it up and down the ailes like there's no tomorrow. My one-year-old loves it, too. Luckily, there are several there, so they each get to "look" at their own.

Now, the toys just happen to be right next to the baby clothes; Carter's, to be exact. I love Carter's baby clothes (but rarely buy them because they are overpriced). So while the boys have fun with the airplanes, I drool over baby clothes. Baby girl clothes, to be exact. Carter's new Little Denim collection for girls is adorable! I found the cutest red ribbed sweater. I couldn't resist taking it off the rack, carressing the soft cables, and imagining a baby girl in it. A sweet little bundle of cuddly softness. I could almost smell that new baby smell that I love so much. I could almost feel the warm softness of her baby skin against mine. I imagined the peacefullness of nursing her at night, the moonlight falling on her cute little face. . . I was in baby hunger heaven.
I was suddenly jolted out of my heaven with a high-pitched scream from my toddler- my boys were fighting- again!! In no time at all, my thoughts switched from cuddly softness to red-faced screaming baby. From sweet baby smell to the smell of baby puke that's been on my shoulder for two days because I haven't had a chance to shower. From peacefullness to absolute exhaustion and sleep-deprivation.
My baby hunger heaven didn't last long. I collected my now crying kids and dashed away from the baby clothes as quickly as I could without looking back! Another baby? Now? Are you kidding me!?! I made a mental note to stay away from the baby girl clothes for a while.

But sometimes I think back to that sweater . . . and once again imagine my little bundle of sweetness. Maybe not any time soon, but someday. Someday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Bale of Fun!

We took the kids to a local corn maze the other evening, and we all had a great time. Aside from the corn maze, they also had a string maze, a straw pyramid, and a bonfire.
The kids loved the straw pyramid. It was made of over 200 bales of straw and had tunnels all through it. I got scared a few times going through those dark, narrow tunnels because I am a bit of a claustrophobe, but I had to put on my game face to keep the kids from being scared. It really was a lot of fun.

Me and my boys sitting on the pyramid.

A close-up.

My three-year-old running out of one of the tunnels.

After playing in and on the straw pyramid, we braved the corn maze. After going in circles for about ten minutes, my three-year-old started begging to go back to the pyramid. My one-year-old was enjoying wandering through the corn, so we split up; I took our oldest back to the pyramid (via the entrance to the maze), while my husband and the little one continued to search for the exit. We met up later and decided to try our luck in the string maze. It was harder than it looked. I was totally lost, but my conscience kept me from jumping the strings and just getting out. Not that it would be morally wrong; I just like to stick to the rules (which drives my husband crazy when we're playing games*). He made it out first, and then coached me to help me get out.
After that we sat around the fire for a while, played on the pyramid a bit more, and then headed home. We all had straw all over! In our hair, our pockets, our shoes, and in our clothes. I was itching like crazy. I wanted to put the kids straight to bed because it was late, but the sensible part of me (okay, my husband [did I honestly just call him the sensible one? wow, that rarely happens]) said we should give them a bath first. So they took a bath and after not too much protesting (they were really tired) went to bed.

It was a fun family night. We've been to corn mazes before, but this was by far the most family oriented . I think we'll make a tradition of it!

*Take Monopoly, for example. He (like so many others) seems to think that when you pay money to the bank, you should put it in a pile in the middle and then when someone lands on Free Parking, they get to keep it all. You can't do that! It's not in the rules!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Getting Settled

Well, we made the big move. We had a lot of help loading the truck from members of the Elder's quorum, and help funloading from neigbors and my brother once we got here. Now it's just a matter of getting all our boxes unpacked. I've made a pretty good dent in it, but there is still a lot to do.
It's great to be back home and to be living in a house rather than an apartment. I'm so excited to plant a garden in the spring! But for now we are enjoying fall. It is a beautiful time of year.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Some Thoughts on Spanking

I'm a long-time beleiver in not hitting your kids (though I'm the first to admit that I have hit my kids in times of anger and weakness, after which I always feel extremely guilty for not living my own convictions).
I found an article discussing scientific evidence that shows why we shouldn't hit our kids. Whether or not you beleive in using corporal punishment, check it out. It may just make you think twice the next time you raise your hand to your child (I know it's strengthened my resolve to not hit my kids, no matter what they do).
What do you think?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Packing... again!

As excited as I am about moving back to my beautiful hometown, I have to say that I do not like packing. I got an early start, so maybe it won't be too bad. I've already done the easy stuff (bookshelves, blankets that have been sitting in closets the entire time we've lived here, the boys' toy net, food storage), but now I'm getting to the harder stuff. I was going to pack a lot today, and guess how many boxes I packed . . . ONE! I'm not sure where to go from here. I feel like everything else is stuff we still need (food, clothes, the computer, toiletries). Maybe I should just pretend we're going on a week long trip (we move one week from tomorrow), and pack a bag with all our essentials, and then put everything but that into boxes. Any suggestions on packing would be great. Though I've done it twice in the past year and a half, I'm still not very good at it. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 15, 2008

And there was much rejoicing

I found us a house to rent! I signed the lease and paid our first month's rent and our deposit today. I'm so glad we found something. It is a three bedroom house with a fenced backyard and a garden plot. It is an older home, but has brand-new carpet and tile. Hooray!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A massacre

My bangs were getting too long for my liking, and I couldn't bring myself to pay ten bucks just to get my bangs cut, so I decided to do it myself. Not a good idea. I cut them wet, and though I took into account the fact that they would shrink up when dry, I didn't realize how much they would shrink up! Needless to say, they are way too short. I look like a little school girl, and not in a good way. I take solace in the fact that they will grow, and in the meantime, I'm pulling them back with a hairband every day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Movin' to the country . . .

. . . gonna eat me a lotta peaches."

Plums, actually. We found a cute little house that we love in a small town about 20 miles from where my husband got a job. It is a 1952 country cottage on more than a third of an acre. It has plum trees, a nice lawn, a huge area for a garden, and we love it!
We just got the inspection report back, and there are a few issues of concern. We will have to do some research before we decide for sure if we still want it. It all depends on how much it will cost to do some remedial work (maybe we could get the sellers to get it done).
In the meantime, I've been browsing paint colors. We are going to paint and carpet it before we move in. I'm thinking olive green and cream in the kitchen, light yellow in the nursery with Noah's Ark stick-ups, and sky blue in my three-year-old's room - complete with airplane and helicopter stick-ups, of course!
I look forward to owning our own home. Here is a photo:
Isn't it cute?!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Moving Back Home

Due to a long chain of unforseen events, we have decided to move back to our home town. We've been here for a little over a year, and it has been good, but I personally prefer my home town, and look forward to moving back. It is a very nice place, and my husband has been offered a good job there.
We are still looking for a place to live, and haven't really decided if we will buy, build, rent, bum, or a combination of the above options. We would really love to own our own home, but haven't yet found anything we love that is in our price range. Building would be nice because you can get more bang for your buck with sweat equity, but do we really want the stress of building a home? Renting is okay, but we really want a yard and the freedom to do whatever we want with our house (not to mention it's a good investment). Bumming off someone else is not actually on my list of options; I was just kidding about that.
I'm not a good decision-maker. I agonize over which shade of lipgloss to buy, for Pete's sake! How am I supposed to make a big decision like this? I have the feeling we're going to have a lot of ups and downs before we really get settled, so wish us luck.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"Doing, Mama?"

That's what my eighteen-month-old would probably ask if he were here now. He is so inquisitive lately. If my husband is about to walk out the door, he asks him, "Going, Daddy?" Then once he's gone, he'll turn to me and ask, "Daddy going?" If we're watching a movie, he asks, "Watching, Mama?" Whenever we are driving somewhere in the car, he asks, "Going, Mama?", about every two minutes.
But his most common question is "Doing, Mama?" He asks me what I'm doing when I'm taking a shower, doing the dishes, folding the laundry, or fixing his lunch. It cracks me up. Surprisingly, I never tire of this questioning. He is just so cute! He has such a cute little voice and an innocent face; I can tell he's genuinely interested in my actions, and I love it when he calls me "Mama".

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sunday Drive

We went for a nice Sunday drive today. We drove to a nearby lake (or, resevior... I'm not sure what it is exactly, but it is a body of water). It has a nice park nearby with several playgrounds. We played for a while and then walked around the, um . . . body of water. It was a lot of fun, but not nearly as adventurous as last week's Sunday drive.
We hadn't planned on being gone six hours, but my husband's sense of adventure took over and none of us were sorry about it. We ended driving up through the Palisades area, then over to Wyoming, and then made a loop back home.
Our first stop was at a rest area between Ririe and Swan Valley. There was a beautiful view of the Snake River below. The valley carved by the river was so lush and green! It was breathtaking. At that point I was ready to turn around and head back home for dinner. It was 6:30 and we hadn't had dinner yet. But we had a late lunch, and I had brought some snacks, so I gave in to my husband's pleading to continue on.
I had never been to the Palisades before. It was absolutely gorgeous! I had no idea we lived so close to such an amazing place. The scenery was beautiful, but what was even better was the smell. It smelled so fresh and clean, and the air was deliciously cool. We plan on taking a camping trip up there sometime.
We continued on and were just passing through Etna, Wyoming, when my three-year-old threw his coloring book out the window. Luckily, we were going slow since it was through a small town, so we turned around to pick it up. That's when we spotted a park. We decided to get out and let the kids run around for a while. It was a fun park with old-school equipment made mostly of steel and wood. My three year old love the "tator-tots" or, rather, teeter-totters. They were huge! At the highest point, he was sitting at least five feet in the air. It's too bad they don't make them like that anymore. The park had a little garden area with various trees and bushes all labeled with both their common and scientific names. We found a current bush and helped ourselves! It took me back to my childhood days when we ate currents in my grandma's backyard.
It was getting dark when we started back home. We drove near a swampy area, and almost hit a big crane (the bird, not the construction truck) in the middle of the road. About a half an hour later, we came close to some deer, and half and hour after that, we kept coming across cows in the middle of the road. At one point, we almost hit a big black one that seemed to pop up out of nowhere! The cows were scary. They were as big as our car, and their eyes glowed... kind of creepy.
We finally made it home at around eleven o'clock at night. The kids fell asleep only half an hour before. They did surprisingly well for such a long drive. I enjoyed the beauties of the earth, and I think my husband's need for adventure was met.
All in all, it was a good Sunday drive (though I wish I had taken the camera!).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Boring Blog?

It seems that my blog has been rather boring lately. Not that my life is boring, it's just that whenever I sit down to write, I have so many different things on my mind, I can't decide what to write about. And then, once I decide what I want to write about, I can't seem to get it out in the right words, so then I just decide to forget it. I started a post on Monday titled "Sunday Drive", but I only got less than halfway through before I felt like I was rambling and going off on tangents all over the place, and I just didn't have the time or the patience to finish it. Maybe one day I will finish it and you all (yes, all three of you!) can read about our six hour drive. Until then, just hope and pray that I'll be able to get my writing together.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Shopping Spree

I was on my way home from work yesterday when I spotted a big yard sale. I dedided to stop and look around in hopes of finding a microwave and a sewing machine. Unfortunately, I didn't find either.
I did, however, find some great movies and I couldn't pass them up. They had Disney Classics in good condition for three dollars each! Even though they are on VHS, that's still a great deal. I ended up getting five: Dumbo, The Great Mouse Detective, The Rescuers, Robin Hood, and Lady and the Tramp. I also got Harry Potter and the Prinsoner of Azkaban for one dollar. I got six movies for sixteen bucks! We now have quite a large collection of Disney movies, though there are a few I would still like to get, including The Sword in the Stone and Sleeping Beauty.
You just can't go wrong with Disney Classics!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Missing My Mom

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. She would have been 55. She passed away five years ago, just a few days after her 50th birthday. She had suffered many health problems from a genetic disease of the liver (type I Hyperoxaluria).

I've been thinking about her a lot today, and I miss her so much. She was, in all honesty, my best friend. When I needed someone to talk to, she was there to listen. When I was sick, she cared for me like only a mother a can. And when I needed to cry, she held me and let me cry as long and as hard I wanted to.

We also had great times together. She is in most of my best memories. She took us camping for a full week every summer when we were young. As a single mom of four kids (now five, but back then she had four), I don't know how she did it. Taking my two kids camping for one night is a huge production, and I have a husband to help me! Those summer camping days were filled with adventure, laughter, and love.

She made Christmas absolutely magical. She spared no expense when it came to decorating the house. It was so beautiful at Christmastime. The tree went up the day after Thanksgiving, and stayed until New Year's Day. She was meticulous is her method of hanging Christmas lights; whether it was on the window, the mantel, or the roof, the lights were perfectly spaced and in perfect little rows. None of this "wrap a string of lights around the tree and call it good". Oh, no! Each branch had lights carefully wrapped around it from the center to the outer edges, and back to the center again. Her method of wrapping presents was meticulous also. I've never seen anyone wrap gifts as perfectly as she did! Each one was complete with fancy ribbons, bows, and a little gift tag to match the paper. And the amazing part is she enjoyed every minute of it!
She gave me such a wonderful childhood and taught me so much. It breaks my heart to think that she can't be here now that I am a mother. Oh, how she would love my little boys! I think of how much fun she would have with them, and how she would love to watch them grow. She loved children, and especially babies. She had two grandchildren before she died, and she adored them. I know she would adore all nine (soon to be ten!) of them now if she were here. I'm so sad that my kids are missing out on having thier Grandma here. How much fun they would have with her!! But I know that families can be forever, and we will be with her again one day.
Of course, every time I think of her, inevetably I start to feel regret and guilt for not being better to her while she was here. She suffered terribly the last few years of her life, and I wish I had been there more for her. Much of her time was spent in bed, and I was off with friends when I should have been by her side so she wouldn't be alone in her pain. She loved to read, but had trouble with her eyes and was unable to read for long periods. I should have read to her. I should have talked to her. I should have been with her more to comfort her and hold her and love her like she loved me. I'm sorry, Mom.

She was an amazing person. I could go on for hours, but I should probably call it a night. Here are a few photos of my wonderful mother.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Apartment Gardening Part II

I've been meaning to write this post for a week now. Life gets a bit crazy sometimes. With work, kids, plasma donation, applying for foodstamps (yes, sadly, it has come to that), and trying to dig myself out of the pile of laundry and dishes and toys, I hardly have time to post anything! But my kids are sleeping and the housework is waiting for a few minutes so I can sit and write about my flowers.

I planted petunias in April and have been anxiously waiting for them to bloom. I 've been watering and watching them grow (I would have been weeding, but they are in planter boxes). We went out of town over the weekend. When we left on Friday, there were two small blossoms on them. I gave them extra water so they wouldn't dry out during our trip. When we got home, I was happily greeted by this sight!:

Hooray! Finally, I have blossoms! This photo is a bit dark because it was late when we got home, but I just had to take pictures. These are my biggest success in my garden. My carrots were coming along nicely until my 3-year-old picked and ate all but 2 of them. It was partly my fault, though. I had him help my thin them last week, and we ate the little ones that we pulled. I told him not to pull any without Mommy's help, but the next day when I came home from work, Hubby said to him, "Tell Mommy what you did." He smiled and said, "I ate your carrots, Mommy!" He got in a lot of trouble for that. Here is a photo of the ones we pulled while thinning.

My cilantro was actually quite successful, but it didn't last long. It is now going to seed, which I guess I'd better harvest. Though I've never used coriander in cooking, I'm sure I can learn how. My tomatoes both died; one due to frost, and the other I think may have drowned. My parsley suffered the same fate as my carrots.

Here are some more photos of my pretty petunias!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Biking to Work

On Friday, I started riding my bike work (it's not actually my bike. It is my father-in-law's. I would be riding my husband's bike, but it got stolen a couple weeks ago, so his dad let us borrow his). Though I have to get up about 20 minutes earlier (my alarm is now set for 4:40 instead of 5:00), it feels great to get the exercise and fresh air. It's also nice to know I'm saving money that would be spent on gas, and doing my small part to help the environment. Hooray for bikes!

Lunch at the Park (or, Maybe This Place isn't so Bad)

Despite how much I complain about moving from beautiful Cache Valley to this dumpy town, there is one thing here that my home town doesn't have, and that is . . . (drumroll please) . . . Lunch at the Park! It's a summer lunch program sponsored by the school district. Every Monday thru Friday during summer break, kids (under 18) can get a sack lunch at the park absolutely free!
Here's how it usually happens. We head to the park (there are about 10 participating parks in town, we choose the closest, which is only a mile away) at around 11:00 am. We play on the equipment, eagerly awaiting the arrival of "the lunch truck". We hear a honk on the horn and turn to see it coming around the corner. As it drives to the pavillion, throngs of children (most of them quite young, with parents in tow) gather and form a crooked line, eagerly awaiting thier lunches. My kids squirm and wiggle as I try to keep them in line (the kids themselves have to get thier lunches- you can't stand in line and get it for them while they play). We finally make it up to the front. My three year old proudly gets his brown paper bag and opens it up himself. I hold my one year old and his paper bag in one arm, using my free hand to grab the goods and drop them into each boy's bag. They each get one carton of milk (chocolate or white), one carton of juice (to my delight it's 100% fruit juice, not the corn syrup-filled Tampico I was served in school), one bag of chips (usually Sun Chips or Baked Cheetos), one side (applesauce, fruit leather, or pudding) and then the main dish (choice of a hot entree like chicken nuggets, corn dog, cheeseburger, or old reliable cold ham and turkey sandwhich). We thank the lunch workers and take our now bulging brown paper bags to find the perfect spot to eat. Sometimes we choose a table in the shade; today we chose a sunny spot on the grass to sit and have our picnic. Once the kids are done, I finish off thier left-overs (wouldn't want to waste food, would we?), and then we go play some more. If ever I'm really hungry (like I was yesterday), I shell out $3.00 and get a lunch for myself.
We've gone every day this week, and plan on making it a regular thing throughout the summer. It's perfect: free food, fresh air, exercise, and the best part, no dishes! Maybe this place isn't so bad after all . . .

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Pilot and Me

My husband's cousin, Heidi had this cute hubby questionaire on her blog, and since I've run a blank lately on what to blog about, I decided it would be fun to fill out and post. Now you will all know about me and the pilot.

1. How long have you been together?
Almost 5 years (my memory of life before marriage is already fading... it's like it was a whole different world).

2. How long did you date?
Hmm... depends on who you ask. He would say we'd been dating for 4 months when he proposed, but it was actually only about 2 weeks (we have very different definitions of "dating"). I said no, and we dated for another 2 months before I said yes, and then we were engaged for about 3 months. So... I guess according to me we dated for almost 6 months, according to my husband 9 months.

3. Who said I love you first?
I'm pretty sure I did, but he claims he didn't hear me (I whispered it in his ear-guess I whispered too quiet).

4. Who sings better?
That's a toughy. He is better at making up lyrics and his own harmony, and he has a pretty good voice. I can sing parts by reading the music, and have a decent voice (as long as I'm not solo). I'd say it's about a tie.

5. Who is smarter?
Another toughy. He is definately smarter when it comes to anything mechanical and logical. But I am better at math, english, and putting the right clothes on the right kid (he's been putting size 3T shorts on our 16 month-old lately).

6. Who does the laundry?
Moslty me, but he's been doing a lot more since I started working part time

7. Who does the dishes?
Same answer, I've always done them, but he does them now too, since I started working.

8. Who pays the bills?
I do. Not my favorite job.

9. Who mows the lawn?
The landlord. But when we rented a house, he did it most of the time.

10. Who cooks dinner?
That would be me, except on very rare occasions.

11. Who drives when you're together?
Mostly him, but I do sometimes.

12. Who is more stubborn?
We are both very stubborn, and therefore butt heads a lot. But I am usually the first to say "I'm sorry" and I have to beg him to say it too.

13. Who kissed who first?
This one's kind of funny. He asked, "Can I kiss you?" Instead of responding verbally, I just leaned in and kissed him, but he didn't kiss me back. I guess he was too nervous. So I ended up kissing tightly closed, motionless lips. He'll never live that one down.

14. Who asked who out first?
He asked me. We went to see a double feature at the theater (Spider Man and Men in Black 2). We danced outside in the rain during the intermission.

15. Who proposed?
He did, but the better question would be how many times? Too many to count. Okay, in his defense, he only got down on one knee and actually said "Will you marry me?" once, to which I replied, "Can I think about that?" It was honestly the biggest shock of my life. I said no a few days later, and after that he just kept asking, "So, when are ya gonna marry me?" Obviously, I said yes after a while.

16. Who is more sensitive?
Me. Well, I show my feelings more anyway.

17. Who has more friends?
Friends? What are those? Just kidding. We each have a handful of good friends who we talk to about twice a year.

18. Who has more siblings?
He does, but only by one.

19. Who wears the pants in the family?
We both do, but his are bigger.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Secret Shopping

There's good news and there's bad news (for us). Our neighbors moved. The bad news is we were just becoming good friends with them. They have two boys, ages 3 and 5, whom Westley loved playing with. And I loved talking with the mom, JoLynn. We will miss them. The good news is before they moved, they sold us their car (a 1995 Honda Civic) for only $300, and they gave us thier job as mystery shoppers at a local buffet (which shall remane unnamed). It was kind of funny, Tyler (the dad), pulled us aside to tell us about the job and the car one day when we were all outside. He told us that he could tell we were doing it on our own(as in going to school and trying to get ahead in life), and that he respected that and he wanted to help us out. I guess it's pretty obvious that we're "doing it on our own".

So, here's the deal. We are supposed to go to Unnamed Buffet once or twice a week. We pay for it, have a nice meal, and take mental notes. Then when we get home, we fill out a survey (only takes 10 minutes) and send it to our boss, along with the reciept, who then reimburses us for the bill. So basically we get to go out to eat twice a week for free! Which is great for us right now since there is no way we can afford to go out to eat. Ever. Right now we are barely making enough to pay the bills and put food on the table. Which is fine with me; it's the life we've chosen in order for Andy to follow his dreams as a pilot. He could go out and get a decent-paying job, like with the railroad (the reason I mention this is because we've seriously considered it) and I'm sure we'd have enough money to buy a house and live comfortably. But that would mean he would have to quit his job as a flight instructor, which means he wouldn't get any more flight hours, which means his flying career would pretty much be at a stand still. And it would be really hard to go back to being a poor flight instructor once he got into something else. So, suffice it to say, we are happy with selling our plasma to put food on the table (seriously... we both donate plasma twice a week, and that is our grocery money).

Anyway, this mystery shopping job is great because on nights when I am too burned out to cook, or the fridge is empty, we just head out to Unnamed Buffet, put it on the credit card, and we get reimbursed before we get the bill. How cool is that? Love it. So, though we will miss our neighbors, we are glad they chose us are their benefactors when they moved.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Apartment Gardening

I love spring, and I love gardening. Though I don't consider myself to have a green thumb, I like to pretend I do. Getting out in the dirt and sunshine feels so good, and I love waiting and watching things grow. Yardwork is definately one of my favorite chores.

When we were renting a house in Logan, we gave the front yard a major overhall (with permission from our landlords, of course). We got rid of some huge juniper trees that were overtaking the front of the house, and put in bushes and flowerbeds. It was a lot of work, but it was fun, and it was gratifying.
Cutting down the trees (most of them were already gone when this was taken)

Building the flower beds

The finished product

When we lived with my sister-in-law, I helped her do some weeding in the spring, and also planted tulip bulbs last fall, which are now blooming.

Since we now live in an apartment, we have no yard for flower beds or a vegetable garden, so I improvised. I bought two planter boxes to put out on our balcony. I planted carrots, petunias, cilantro, and tomatoes. Sadly, the tomato plant froze, but I now have one inside, along with some parsley. Now that the weather has been warmer, I can really see my garden growing. The carrots sprouted last week, and the cilantro seems to get bigger every day. The petunias are growing, too. I can't wait to see them bloom!
Petunias and carrot sprouts


Parsley sprouts and cherry tomato plant

When we have our own home and a piece of land, I hope to have a large vegetable and herb garden, and definately some flower beds. Fruit trees would be nice too. But for now, I'm grateful for my little container garden.

Monday, May 5, 2008

New Job

I started my new job at Mrs. Powell's Bakery this morning at 5:50 sharp. I am not used to getting up that early, but I was surprisingly awake and alert, despite the fact that I did not sleep well due to restlessness (I am always restless the night before something new or exciting is going on- especially if I know I have to get up early).
There is a lot to learn, but it's fun. I made cinnamon rolls, raspberry rolls, orange rolls, pizza rolls, calzones, breadsticks, mini-bread loaves, cookies, cinnamon twists, and pull-aparts. Yeah, that's a lot of baking. And it is all from scratch, with the exception of the cookies.
The time flew by. I work a 4-hour shift, and I was amazed at how quickly it went. I was hungry, though. When I got home at ten, I felt like it should be lunch-time (because I got up so early) Lucky for me, it was snack time (I was starving!), so I sat down and had a snack with my cute family.
I like my new job! It is fun, and the schedule allows me to still be with my kids during most of the day. It also makes my husband get up and take care of the kids while I'm at work, which I think is good for him.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Why don't potty-training boarding schools exist?

Okay, so maybe this will gross some people out, but I can't figure out why my 3 year old absolutely refuses to poop in the toilet. He has been peeing on the potty for at least 6 months now, and he does great- even stays dry during naps and at night- but getting him to poop on the potty is like trying to fit an elephant into an eggshell without breaking it! He poops his pants nearly every day, and I'm getting tired of cleaning it up.
I try to catch him right when he needs to go and then run him into the bathroom, but he will usually just hold it until he finds a chance to sneak into a corner when I'm not looking and make his move (he won't poop in his pants with someone watching). Tonight, however, I kept a close watch on him because I knew he needed to go. I had taken him to the toilet several times, but again he had refused to do anything while sitting there.
Then when he was in the bathtub, he got this look of urgency on his face and said, "I need to go potty!" But as soon as I sat him on the potty, he started yelling, "NO! NO!" and tried to get back in the tub. I was determined not to let him poop in the bathtub, so I just held him (rather forcefully) on the toilet while he screamed and kicked and cried until finally, he relaxed and let it go. He was so proud of himself for pooping in the potty- which I find rather funny since he really had no choice in the matter.
I have to wonder if I did the right thing or not. I hate to force him to do it, but I don't want to be cleaning up his poopy underwear when he's 25, if you know what I mean.
If someone opened a potty-training boarding school, they'd make big bucks... but it's not gonna be me!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Tuna Adventures

I've been trying to incorporate some less expensive and healthier proteins into our diet, like tuna and beans. Tonight I made tuna burgers for the first time, and they turned out really good! I mixed the tuna with cracker crumbs, eggs, bbq sauce, garlic, and black pepper, then fried them on my Lectro-Maid. I served them on sesame seed buns with alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, and pickles. My boys, unfortunately, refused to eat them, but Andy and I liked them. Go, tuna!

First Blog

So, this is my first time blogging. My brother and sister both recently started thier own blogs, and I decided to follow suit. Maybe I will blog frequently, maybe this will be my first and last blog. Only time will tell