Monday, December 15, 2008

The Flu

So, it's bad when you're so sick that you wish you were giving birth rather than being sick...AGAIN! I know, when you give birth there is a miracle at the end of the pain, so of course that must be better than being sick. But, seriously, as I knelt on the bathroom floor late last night.....I couldn't help but cry and think about how much better it would feel to be pushing out a baby! Crazy, I know. I started feeling nauseous before church yesterday, but I couldn't stay home because I was handling primary by myself because the other lady who does it with me was out of town. So, I felt yucky and queasy and hot and cold, but I made it through church before the full-blown flu/virus hit me. My body was so violent to me....it hated me yesterday. But, even though I haven't eaten anything for a couple of days now, I am feeling better. The worst thing left is the soreness in my back and ribs from being sick and achy....it hurts to laugh or even lay down. I'm going to try and eat some soup and jello this evening while my family gets to eat real food. And, I'm praying that my kids and husband don't get this because it was brutal. Ok, I'm done complaining.....the positive thing is that I had a priesthood blessing yesterday evening and I know it made a difference. I'm so blessed to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Things I'm thinking about....

* I saw the Twilight movie tonight, all by myself, and I liked it. Some of you may think going to a movie by yourself is weird, but it is strangely empowering. Someone told me a while back that I needed to try it -to be comfortable just being with myself. I liked it.

* I have a new goal to get into a routine/schedule. I've been floating through my days for too long. Wish me luck!

*My quads are killing me! A friend of Brad's has been putting us through workouts the past couple of nights after the kids are asleep, and my body has not been properly exercised in so long....I'm feeling it. Again, wish me luck! I SO need to get healthier.

* How can a tiny 2 yr old be so exhausting?? I'm having new mothering experiences everyday right now. It's a good thing she's so darned cute. ;)

* I love and miss my friends. One thing about Facebook and blogging and all that is that I get to feel like I have my friends right here with me sometimes, and then I remember that they aren't here. Kinda sad, but I'm so grateful for the contact. It's so rewarding to catch up with high school friends, college friends, friends from different churches I've attended, and family, too. I'm really thankful for these technological advances. Internet and DVR....two of the best inventions ever!!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I am ashamed......sort of ;-)

I haven't cooked, barely cleaned, slept little, ignored my boxes of Christmas decorations, mothered at less than my best, and been a neglectful and distracted wife this week. Why? Because I finally picked up the Twilight books that everyone has been raving about. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I finished Twilight Sunday night, spent all day Monday trying to find a copy of New Moon (brad tried, too) and finally located a copy to borrow. I finished it on Tuesday night, and my hubby bought Eclipse that day, so I started it Wednesday and finished it on Thursday morning. I had to wait until Thursday evening to start Breaking Dawn because Brad was not coming home until really late that night. I drove with the girls to meet him for dinner, and he playfully accused me of only coming to see him to get the book. I have to admit, it was half of my motivation, but I did want to see him and for him to see the kids. I waited until I got the kids to bed that night, which took great restraint, and then read for 4-5 hours straight. I had no idea how long I'd been sitting there. I took some breaks on Friday, wanting to stretch it out longer, and today I finished it. I loved the finish to the story, but I'm gonna miss it, too. What interesting characters and great writing! There is just some kind of therapeutic release that comes with reading a good book, taking you into another world. Now, I need to get re-focused....post-Twilight series.

Sunday, November 30, 2008
















I know, I know......I'm silly for taking these pictures, but it was so pretty!

Our little getaway...
















I neglected to take any new photos at the temple when we went a few weeks ago, but when we got to our suite that night we were pleasantly surprised. It turned out that we had been booked in the Presidential suite, the Jefferson suite to be exact, and I just had to take pictures before we messed it up. This was definitely the nicest suite I've ever stayed in, and just happened to be the cheapest room I found near the temple. When we came home, Bethany was singing "I Love to See the Temple" and I asked her to do it on camera. After several tries so that I could get the perfect video clip, I settled for the best one and decided to stop being a stage mom. You can see that the first and second verses were meshed together a little bit, but I hope you enjoy it. I cannot get enough of my girls singing primary songs, well - any song, really.





video

Random Things to Share











I just realized that I haven't blogged in like 2 weeks, so here is what has been going on with me....

  • My brother, Daniel, and his family spent the last several days at my house for Thanksgiving and we had a GREAT time with each other and the rest of our family who came together for this holiday. I LOVE to see my kids playing with their cousin, Jaxson, and the patience that my nephew, Matthew, has with the little ones.

  • I baked an apple streusel pie from the Pampered Chef cookbook, and it turned out yummy! I wish I'd taken a picture.

  • We had tons of snow on Tuesday. I'll include some photos. Notice the ruler that I held above the snow, and then the ten inches that were covered up when I put it to the ground underneath! We got a couple more inches after that. Brad and I actually enjoyed shoveling our sidewalks and steps and putting down salt. That may change by the end of winter, though.

  • I went shopping with my mom on Veteran's Day, with Brad last Saturday, and with the whole family on Black Friday. I think I'm finished. Unbelievable, huh? Now I can wrap and enjoy the rest of the season. Maybe I'll bake goodies this year....

  • Because we've been visiting with our family I haven't started Christmas decorating yet, and I'm SO ready to do that tomorrow. The question is, how will I get everything up from the basement while Brad is at work? I'll let you know how that goes.

  • I talked with a friend of mine last night who has been having major struggles in her life, and I was reminded of some very painful experiences from my past. I'm grateful to know that I've come through to the other side after hurt, pain, grief, fear, and so much more and am truly happy. Without my Savior, none of that would have been possible. When people say I'm strong, I truly cannot determine where my strength really exists amidst all that has been given to me. I have felt the love and support of my Father in Heaven through prayer, the hugs and tears of friends and family, words of wisdom, priesthood blessings, and in so many more ways that I won't list here. Thank you to so many of you who have loved me and allowed me to struggle and fall short yet continued to be my friends. I am so blessed! I feel so humbled to know that I have the responsibility now to share my own life and lessons with others, and maybe somehow help in even the tiniest way. Isn't that what our trials are really for, anyway, to help us grow and then be able to better understand the trials and tribulations of others? I am even thankful for those trials, now.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Favorite Place on Earth


I get to go to my favorite place on earth this weekend!!! Brad took tomorrow off and we're going to drive to DC tonight with the girls so that I can go to the Washington DC Temple tomorrow morning, and I'm so excited. Isn't it sad, though, how you know you're sacrificing to do something wonderful, but this little thing inside of you tries to convince you that it's not worth the trouble.......I woke up this morning with this lazy feeling and thoughts like, "the kids aren't going to sleep well, and the gas and food will cost more than we can afford, and I'm not going to be able to do very much because of the long drive, etc., etc." You-know-who wanted me to feel that way and think those things, but he did not win!!!! I have not been able to go often, and every opportunity that comes available, I need to take it. I feel so amazing and loved and safe and special when I'm in the temple. Not only do I get to do some pretty great work for somebody else, but I get to feel wonderful while doing it. And my favorite part is sitting in that celestial room afterwards, praying and feeling the love and peace offered me there. Plus, our girls get to be on the temple grounds and visit the Visitor's center which I feel is so important for them. I want them to love the temple and want to attend long before they're old enough to actually go inside. And, on top of all this happiness we get to visit with a treasured friend of mine, Erin, while we are in the area and her two little girls who we love. Tom is running a marathon that day, so we won't get to see him, but we love him, too and will miss him!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jumping Ahead......???

For some reason, I'm wanting to just skip over Thanksgiving and move right into Christmas this year. I've been tempted to break out the Christmas music early -I usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving- and shop and wrap and finish it all right now! I don't know what's going on with me. I just LOVE Christmas, and guess what?! This will be my first ever Christmas Eve and morning in my own house - just me, Brad and our little ones!!! Maybe I already mentioned that in a previous post, but I am very excited about it. Just thought I'd share my excitement. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

6th photo in 6th folder TAG????


Here we go, Deana.......this is a photo of Brad and his brother, John, and sisters Shellie and Anita when we went to the beach a few years ago. I was pregnant with Mallory at the time. He'll love me for posting this one....;) I'll tag whoever would like to do it.

I love my Veteran..........


So tonight I told Bethany that in the morning we're going to meet Grandma to go shopping because she doesn't have school tomorrow. Then, I remembered why she doesn't have school...VETERAN'S DAY! I asked her if she learned anything about Veterans in school today,and she said yes, but couldn't give me anything specific. I started thinking about my dad and told her that her grandpa is a veteran because he served in a war and that many of her friends' daddies are veterans. So, I tonight I'm thinking of many of my friends who maybe read my blog....some of you are married to veteran soldiers, in or out of the military now, some of you have sons and daughters serving or other family members, or maybe your dad and/or grandpa - maybe even your mom or sister - served.....I'm thinking of all of you who sacrifice for and serve in our armed forces today. I am grateful for our Veterans, and praying for them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Child's Prayer

Tonight, Bethany said our bedtime family prayer. She always has very thankful prayers and rarely asks for anything, but tonight was so honest and innocent. I want to share it with you. Here is some of it....."Dear Heavenly Father, We thank thee for our good day. I'm thankful for my sister, my mommy and daddy, and all of our friends and family and my toys and my fun times and my heart, and I'm thankful that you will help Mallory to never lock us out of the house again when our backs are turned....." So, I have to stop right here and explain. The girls and I made our weekly WalMart run after school today, and when we got home I took the girls, my purse, and half of the groceries up onto the porch, unlocked the door, put my purse and keys on the chair by the door and set the groceries just inside the door. Usually the girls play around on the porch while I finish up, but Mallory had stayed in the house this time. The car is about 10 yards, if that from the front door, so I go to the car with Bethany to get the rest of the stuff out and as we get back to the porch I notice that the door is closed. I think, "OH, NO! I hope the keys are still in the lock." But, they're not. Then I think, " Well, it should be unlocked because I just unlocked it." But, it wasn't. I must have turned the key back around to the locked position. My 2 yr old had locked us out of the house! I didn't have my phone....it was in my purse, or my keys, obviously. And, she is too small to reach the door knob and doesn't even know how to work a round door knob, so now what???!!!! For a while I talked to her through the door and tried to coach her to open the door. I made suggestions like, "go get your stool from the bathroom and turn the knob, honey!", to which her response would be , "nope." I realized this must be pretty fun for her. She has complete access to the house AND the groceries which I'd just set inside the door including a carton of eggs. I start to hear the bags rustling, and I KNOW she is playing with the eggs. Oh, well....what can I do? Finally, a guy from up the street comes by on a bike, and I asked if he had a phone so I could call and try to get my spare key from my in-laws. At the same time, I'm thinking "HOW AM I GOING TO GET BACK INTO MY HOUSE???" because I knew that they were out of town shopping today. I had to track down my brother-in-law to see if he could find a key to their house (because we're the only ones with keys to their house - mine was in my purse and Brad had his at work with him) so that he could go see if he could find MY spare key and come to rescue us. How crazy is this situation?! Shortly after I send him on this errand, Mallory starts crying inside the house. I'm trying to console her, and starting to get a little panicked. Did I mention that Bethany had been saying she had to use the bathroom since WalMart and I told her to wait until we got home? Then, my hero, Ed - or as Brad likes to call him - Champ, comes around the corner with the key. I open the door to my crying baby and step over the broken eggs to pick her up and check for eggshell injuries and...... all is well. Not hurt, just scared and messy. The whole thing lasted about half an hour I think. Bethany and I had stopped at one point during this ordeal and prayed that Ed would find the key and we would get to Mallory quickly and that she would not be hurt. Our prayer was answered, and I found it so sweet that she thought to mention it in her prayer tonight......and kinda funny, too. ;)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

More Halloween
















Halloween Pics






















Okay, as I uploaded my photos from Halloween tonight I saw, as I'm sure you noticed, that I have zero pictures where both of my kids were making picture friendly faces. So, some are good ones of Bethany and some are good ones of Mallory. Mallory was not happy to dress up or pose for pictures. I do love the heart on her bum, though. Bethany was so composed and graceful in her "Fairy Godmother" costume. She walked in those shoes the whole night.....wow! And, you won't believe this, but my kids have not asked for Halloween candy since Friday night after Trick-or-Treating. Crazy, I know, but I'm not complaining.

Grateful to be an American.....

In my prayers today, I've been so grateful for the right....the freedom to vote for our leaders, and so thankful for those who fought and suffered and even died for me to have that right!!! Race, gender, economic status.....it doesn't matter - as Americans we have this sacred right. I don't share who I vote for as a personal rule, but know that I VOTED today, and my girls will hopefully remember going to the polls with Mommy and choose to exercise their own right to do so in the future. I can't believe that there was a time when women in my own family did not have the right to vote. We're so fortunate.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Our baking project for this week...




Yesterday was the first time since last Thursday that I felt like doing much of anything, so Brad helped me clean house and then I decided to get some of my baking projects marked off my list when he went to work. Bethany and I rolled out sugar cookie dough and cut out Halloween shapes, decorated them and baked them. Mallory even helped a little. (I'm putting a short video clip of her in this post, so you can hear her little voice. I'll try not to start going overboard with the videos. Sorry.) It is so fun to do this with my daughters! Bethany decided to come up with a pattern for each cookie sheet which is a total kindergarten thing. After the kids went to bed, I decorated the cooled cookies with orange icing around the edges. They are yummy!

(Oh, and after the cookies I went ahead and did my triple batch of banana bread. I was tired by the end of the evening, for sure, but it's done! Yeah!)

video

First Snow....







On Tuesday we got our first snow. It was very light, but it did lay on the roofs and tree branches. I didn't mind it, though a lot of folks around here complained. It wasn't too super cold yet, and it just made me think of the miracle of seasons. I LOVE seasons! I took the pictures above from Bethany's window which is at the back of our house....they're not great, but they show what I saw and liked. :) (by the way, the next county over got several inches of snow and didn't have school on Wednesday.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Do you ever....?

Do you ever look at your children and just want to cry because they are so beautiful and amazing? (I'm sure you do, I just need to remember how it felt tonight so I'm posting it.) This evening I sat on the livingroom floor with Bethany and Mallory and our Happy Meals....we were starting to watch the movie Enchanted together for Mommy/Daughter time. Brad was at work, and I've been feeling pretty yucky today....so, I took some DayQuil and decided to just be with my girls and not try to get anything done while we enjoyed ourselves. As I was sitting next to them, I would hear Mallory laugh at a cute part of the movie and hear Bethany sing all of the words to the songs and I found myself watching them watch the movie instead of watching it myself. I was in awe of them. I look at Bethany and see how much she's grown in what seems like such a short time. I can't believe I can hear her picking up the harmony in the songs, and I remember how absolutely incredible every minute was when I was expecting her and then after she was born. I would spend every minute of the day looking at her and kissing her cheeks and loving that I was at home with her. Sometimes I forget what that felt like, but tonight I remembered as I looked at her. I love her so much! I looked at Mallory and thought of how much joy she brings me everyday with her huge-toothy smiles and her bouncy curls as she runs around the house and dances. I seems like I've had her in my life forever, and I love her more than I could have ever imagined. I got out my camera when they started dancing tonight.....here they are.....
video

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More Trees.....the last bits of color.




I'm trying not to get sad that the color is fading and the leaves are falling.

The peak has past.....





On Friday, I took a couple of pictures from Mallory's window of the pretty tree across from our house. I planned on taking pictures all over town, but didn't have the time. By today, most of the leaves have fallen, and I couldn't find very many pretty pictures around town. Just within the last several days, we've gone from peak color season to hardly any color left, except yellow and brown. The reds have faded, as have the oranges. So, now we're focusing on our jack-o-lanterns and such. I'll take pictures and post my front porch sometime this week. The first two pictures above are the tree last week, then the rest are from today.

After-School Activities





I've been trying to come up with activities to do with Bethany after school, so that we get some Mommy-Daughter time and to distract her from watching TV as soon as she arrives. (Taking away TV has become a pretty reliable consequence for her, but it can drive me crazy in the meantime.) So, I finally did something with all of my blackened bananas.....we made Banana Nut Bread. Bethany helped with most steps, and Mallory sat and watched us while she ate her afternoon snack. I think we've got enough bananas to do another double batch tomorrow evening. Below is my first-ever attempt at taking video on my camera, and then posting to my blog. I'll get better at it. :)

video video

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tag!

Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others.
1. Where is your cell phone? purse
2. Where is your significant other? relaxing
3. Your hair color? brown
4. Your mother? inspiring
5. Your father? provider
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? Huh?
8. Your dream/goal? celestial
9. The room you're in? office
10. Your hobby? blogging
11. Your fear? scary
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? here
13. Where were you last night? friends'
14. What you're not? motivated
15. One of your wish-list items? thinness
16. Where you grew up? hills
17. The last thing you did? sing
18. What are you wearing? comfy
19. Your TV? lots!
20. Your pet? none
21. Your computer? blessing
22.Your mood? stressed
23.Missing someone? You!
24. Your car? green
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? bedbathbeyond
27. Your summer? busy
28. Love someone? yes
29. Your favorite color? red
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? today
I tag....Bonna, Heather, Shannon, Deana, Erin, Tricia, Rebecca.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Memorable Moments

So, yesterday I gave Mallory all of Bethany's MyLittle Pony's to play with for a while as I cleaned and did other things. She had been awfully quiet for a long time, so I went to peek in on her. She was holding this tiny little pony, probably a McDonalds toy, and rocking back and forth with her cheek against it. It looked exactly like what I do with her. Then she put the pony down carefully and picked up another one, kissed it and started rocking it the same way. My heart melted! Barely two and already mothering!
Another thing happened later on that I want to share, too. We were sitting down to have Family Home Evening, which surprisingly Bethany seemed excited for. Probably because it was her turn to choose the activity. I chose the song for the evening, which was If the Savior Stood Beside Me - probably my new favorite primary song. It's beautiful, and I get chills almost every time the children sing it. We got out the sheet music so Brad could sing along and then the three of us, with the exception of Mallory -who was running from couch to couch repeatedly- started singing. Bethany and I know it pretty well because of primary, and she knew her Daddy didn't know it, so she sang out really well. By about the end of the first line of the song, Mallory ran over and climbed up on Bethany's lap and started singing along. So, the four of us, my entire little family, were sitting together singing this amazing song together and I thought to myself, "this feels like heaven...right now" because we all know how rare it is for little ones to sit down together at all during FHE and for all of us to be singing together was just a miracle. I want to remember that moment forever. No, this didn't last throughout the lesson - in fact Mallory resumed her race around the furniture and Bethany started hanging upside down off the couch and teasing Mallory as she ran by. The moment passed, but at least we got in that song. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mountain State Forest Festival - Elkins, WV






The first weekend of October is always the end of the Mountain State Forest Festival here in Elkins, West Virginia. The leaves are in the middle of changing into autumn colors, the kids are sick from the carnival rides and sweet carnival treats, and the parents are looking forward to another year before it comes back around. Just kidding, we enjoy our candy apples and funnel cakes, too. ;) I do actually enjoy festival time, and this year it has been especially fun because we don't have to find a place to park.....we live right near all of the action. We're about 3 blocks from the carnival and talent show stage, 2 blocks from the parade route, and about 2 1/2 blocks from the City Park displays and the crafts fair at the college. We were able to walk with our kids to all of these events and they loved it! The kids enjoyed the petting zoo in the park where Bethany spent about half an hour feeding a piglet a bottle of milk. Aunt Anita (Brad's sister) was helping Mallory take her turn with the piggy....these animals could be quite aggressive when hungry. I watched the sheep and goats surround children who held cups of grains. (Scary for us non-farm folks.) The air would cool in the evening and we'd wear our sweatshirts and jackets and coming home, to OUR home, would feel especially cozy. One of my favorite things about this weekend was that my brother and his wife and boys stayed at our house for the Festival...our first over-night guests in our home! I had motivation to finish the guest bedroom and office and some other things. Well, except for what is hiding back under the desktop and in the closets of the guest bedroom.....;) I'll get to that stuff soon, too. It was so fun to spend time with people we love in our own home....it's been a while since we could do that. The pretty young lady in the pictures above is our niece, Katie. She is 21 and in pharmacy school at WVU, and was a Forest Festival princess. Our girls love cousin Katie.

My livingroom...






I was just looking at my new blog background this morning as I held my laptop on my lap on the couch....and I noticed that the brown on the page matched my walls. So, I'm posting these random photos of my living room. Can you see the color? I think it's brown with gray in it, sometimes it looks kind of purpley depending on the time of day and lighting, which was not my intention, even though I do love purple.