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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Honest Boys


The elementary school where my boys attend has a life skills program. Each student is working on one life skill this entire school year. At our first parent teacher student meeting we discussed and picked which one the student would work on. In addition to that the school has a monthly life skill that they focus on. For the month of November it was truthfulness. Each teacher chose one child from their class who they felt displayed the life skill of truthfulness.
Two of my boys were bestowed the honor of receiving this award. I have Eades in the front row, the third from the right. Koen is in the back row, the third from the left. I had to use my camera phone to take a picture so the quality is not very good. I'm telling the truth though, they really did get the award.
We are so proud of them and I didn't want to buy a bunch of copies and cut out the article and mail it out, so I did this instead. Now you can all rejoice in the efforts of my children online.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Little Man, Big Boy

I just can't figure that Brandis kid out. I really was about to retreat from the potty training last week before he went poo poo. After that he's gone days without any accidents. I can't believe it. I still don't trust him at night yet so I've been making him wear a pull-up. He gets so upset because he wants to wear his underwear still. It was just a week ago he was upset when I made him take a pull-up off to put underwear on. It's also funny now to hear him comment about Taygan. I hear him go up to her and say, "You stink TayTay." She would totally have a clean diaper but he just wants to be a typical big brother and tease his poor little sister because he is SO mature now. I'm not sure what finally clicked with him but I am very happy that it did. Now I just have one more in diapers and then that will be it. There are a lot of things I miss about kids growing up, but diapers I cannot foresee as being one of them. I mean, I can't imagine after Taygan is trained crying because none of my kids are in diapers anymore. Who knows though, some of those milestones have surprisingly made me weep, so I guess there's no way of telling till we get there.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Toilet Training

I've had three kids go through the potty training course and graduate but my fourth boy has been giving us some trouble. I was so used to how simple it was for the others. I made a big deal about pull-ups and then showed them how to sit on the potty and flush when done and wash hands and then have a marshmallow party. It would take them awhile to get the hang of it all but one day they mastered it and we were diaper free.
This one though was just taking forever. He should have been trained long ago, but he is being stubborn. This week I was thinking about how many potty training guides say that it won't work unless your child is ready. I started thinking that maybe this one just isn't ready yet. I even mentioned it to my husband today. I was forming a plan in my head on how to deal with this prolonged training. And then my son does it. He says, I have to go poop. We go in the bathroom, he sits and he completes the task. It was totally out of the blue. Tony and I were so proud of him. Luckily the dessert was just about finished baking so we could have a proper celebration. I hope it's smooth sailing from here on out. That was one huge hurdle and now that he knows he can do it, maybe it will continue.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Koen's Nose

Koen Before Surgery
Koen at hospital after surgery
Koen a few days after surgery.
A few weeks ago Koen got his nose banged at a friends house on their trampoline. It bled a lot but there was no bruising so we didn't worry about it. A little over a week later Koen's nose swelled up. It was a Tuesday and I took him to see Dr. Shah. The doctor said Koen has strep throat. I asked about the nose because that's why I was there and he just said that it was unrelated to the strep. I tried to get more info about what I should do about the nose but he wouldn't answer my questions. He prescribed an antibiotic and told us to come back in two weeks. I asked if that would help bring the swelling of the nose down and he said yes. I gave Koen the antibiotic for three more days. Nothing was changing and he was just miserable so I decided to take him to a walk in clinic because I didn't want to go back to the same doctor. The clinic took x-rays and said it wasn't broken but that he had a bad infection and needed to see an ears nose throat doctor right away.
I took him in that same day. It was Friday. The ENT doctor Dr. Reddy said he needed surgery right away. We had to wait until that evening because Koen had just eaten lunch. We went home, made phone calls to arrange baby-sitters for the next day and went to the hospital. Dr. Dumas performed the surgery and said things went fine. Because he had the bad infection for a few days the dr. was worried about the cartilage. Koen stayed in the hospital until Sunday afternoon and Dr. Dumas was very helpful and even funny which Koen liked. I asked him what would have happened if I would have just waited the two weeks like our dr. told us to. He said that I wouldn't have waited because Koen would have been so bad he would have ended up in the ER that weekend anyway. I asked what the damage could have been and he said it would have been BAD being as the nose is so close to the brain. Mom had already told me the same thing.
So we went home and Koen improved. We went back on Tuesday prepared for another surgery. Dr. Dumas said Koen's nose looked surprisingly good and that we didn't need to do surgery that day. He said he will still need cosmetic surgery when he is 14 or 15 years old. We teased Koen that he might have an ugly nose for awhile but he'll get it fixed before it's time to start dating.
We were supposed to see the dr. again Friday but the patient before us took so long with him and we had to get back to meet the other school kids at home that we had to reschedule for Mon. I'm really bummed too because Koen's nose isn't looking as well anymore. It doesn't have anymore infection but it is flattening and widening at the bottom. I'm thinking the doctor might still have to do that surgery he was going to do last Tuesday. He said he would just take cartilage out of his ear and put it in the nose. He said the ear won't miss it. I sort of hope that Koen can have the surgery because his nose looks so strange and he'll be able to breathe better.
So that's what's happening so far. I'll comment about what happens on Monday. And so far it looks like Koen's modeling career will be out of picture. Hardy Har Har.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Some thoughts

My sister is doing something interesting on her blog where she is representing each of us with a color. As I was reading about the family in that way I realized how great of a family I come from. I remember when I was little I thought my family was so funny that we should have had a tv show. Now I see that there is more to us than just our Miller Sense of Humor. We are all so different from each other though. I mean, we do have a lot of things in common, but there is something so special about each one of us.
We each have different gifts and personalities. Now that we are all grown with our own families I can see what kind of people we really are. I was surprised with the things that my sister Emma said about me. I didn't know that she viewed me as such a positive person. It's always interesting to see how others view you. It made me take a closer look at how I view myself. So I figured I would take some time to some up the each member of my family in a few words. Maybe some of them will surprise them, and maybe not.
Dad- Brave, Smart, Righteous, and the owner of the best grin ever
Mom- Strong, Determined, Charitable, and Full of Life
Naomi- Cool, Brilliant, Talented, and a Great Example
Emma- Honest, FULL of Love, Clever, and the Best Story Teller of all Time
Rachel- Dependable, the Greatest Friend, Non-judgmental, and can come up with the best ideas just like that
Samuel- Kindest, Loyal, Uber-Friendly, and he'll give you anything and act like it's no big deal
EJ- Always brings a smile to my face, Sweet, Never gives up, and he's the coolest dancer ever
Ruth- Great Listener, Competitive in the most fun way possible, Confident, and Full of Information
I appreciate all of them for who they are. I couldn't imagine not having them just a click away. I still think we'd make a good tv show though. It might just be footage of us sitting by our computer screens laughing and crying as we read what the others have written. I would actually love to see some of my sisters sitting there laughing to themselves as they type some genius thing down and they crack themselves up. Then they get a comment laugh again, then madly type a witty reply.
What a blessing it is that we all like to write and we are computer savvy enough to keep in contact the way we do. I get updates all day long on my cell phone. It cracks me up some of the things I read. Sometimes I might be having a trying day and then I get a message of some song lyrics that we all love. I smile and feel better. I really love my family and I'm honored to be a part of it. I just want everyone to know it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Please Vote

I have a friend from the stake who has a daughter with special needs. The last time he came to visit my ward he told me a little more about his daughter. He said he couldn't believe my one year old daughter who was able to do so much stuff and she is just at level. His three year old can't even eat food. She is fed through a tube. So his wife is involved with this Facebook voting thing. The top two highest voted groups get the money. Right now her group is ranked number 5. They have four days to reach one of the top two positions. They are so close and that money could do so much good. The money will be used for research for the disease that the little girl has. It's called Rett Syndrome. There are thousands of girls affected by it. My friends daughter's name is Evalyn. I know the family would appreciate it so much. All you have to do is text 100842 to Pepsi (73774). We have four days. Please ask others to participate.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Preacher

I found out yesterday that cousin Jacob is a preacher. Rebecca explained to me how it came about and I thought it was so interesting. Here's how it happened. First they had sort of a secret ballot nomination thing. Everyone wrote down the name of someone they respected and who they'd like as preacher. Then they take all the names who got at least two nominations. She said some people might have gotten nine while others maybe only two, but they don't tell who got more. They ended up with about seven men. Then they took seven bibles and had one scripture note that they placed in one of the bibles. They tied all seven of them up and then laid them on a table. The seven men went one at a time and picked a book. She said they might do this by age or in some order but it doesn't have to be that way. Anyway, at the end the Bishop goes down the line and opens all the bibles. The one with the note is the new preacher.
I asked about how Jacob does at it. Rebecca says he gets up there and talks just like he would having a conversation with anybody. He uses his hands and makes all the gestures as usual. She told me that he says he would rather sit and listen to the other preachers but because this is what he's asked to do, he's going to try his best.
She then told me about once when he was teasing Aunt Elva about women in the bible. He stumped her when he asked her what the name of Noah's wife was. She was stumped then but she went home and wrote him a letter. She wrote that her name was Yessah. Noah and Yessah. Isn't she funny?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Silverhawks Game


Taygan eating some hot dog.

People getting dizzy running around bats.

People running and falling over because they're so dizzy.


Taygan Cheering.

And the Pitch.

Swing batter batter swing.

Brandis taking a big bite.


Taygan being adorable.



The wind up.

Marin's Produce getting ready to race.

They start.

We were rooting for Carrot but he didn't win.




Cotton Candy


Monday, May 31, 2010

Hot Times

The weather is getting warmer and warmer. We've been enjoying ourselves. We went to the zoo and saw every single animal. We went to the beach and got our toes wet and found lots of shells. We even had a water balloon fight. I should have taken pictures. It was actually really funny. Mostly Koen and Eades and I were getting each other and then Brandis would toss one at us. Then Dougan would sneak in and grab one and then throw it. He was the only one who didn't get wet. We're planning another balloon fight for their birthday party. I'm sort of not looking forward to filling all those balloons. My fingers were sore from filling the ones we used and now I'll have to triple that to have enough for the party. Ugh.
School is out. What will we do this summer. We'll have lots of fun whatever we do. I sure hope everyone has a happy summer.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pinky

My little sister I named Pinky. She is the youngest so pinky fits plus she is a little bit pink. Seriously, she has pink tones in her skin. The name is also cute and that fits her too. She and I always shared a room growing up. She knew pretty much everything about me. I am a very private person so Ruth knew more about me than my closest friends. My sister and I are a little different but I think when we're together we are magic. It's fun hanging out and I wish she lived closer. Before I was married we would go out on our days off. One week I would pay and the next time she would. It was nice having our weekly outing even though we lived together. That is just the way we were. Ruth and I loved adventures and doing things spur of the moment. One time we saw a Rally's commercial on tv. We decided we had to have some Rally burgers. We got in the car and drove 45 min. to the closest Rally Burger. It was worth it.
In high school we ate lunch together in the cafeteria. That was fun to sit with each other. We also had a club with some other members of our church who went to school with us. We did silly things and had fun doing it. She was a great little sister, not annoying like some other little sisters I would hear about. She didn't follow me around or anything. We were usually playing together anyway so she didn't have to follow me around.
She was one of the three little ones with me and my brother. We did the dancing and such. I don't know if three other siblings had as much fun as us. We really enjoyed one another's company.
When I first left home and went to college my sister and I wrote to each other frequently. Mostly we emailed. When I wrote her I didn't have to give her a log of my activities or anything like that. We could write silly things to each other that nobody else would get. It was good for me to feel like I fit when I didn't know anyone around me and I was shy. We continued to email through my second year and then when I went away on my mission she wrote me letters. Again they were mostly silly letters. We would write poems and funny things like that. If someone read the letters they would think we were weirdos but to us they made sense.
When I got back from my mission we hung out that whole summer and then went to college together. We shared a room again. It was fun. I really do wish we could live closer but sometimes I think maybe it's better if Ruth and I don't live too close. Our whole lives would become nothing but silliness all the time and everyone would think we were crazy. We get each other so well, that we would read each others minds and be way too involved in one anothers lives. So even though I miss her so much I enjoy waiting for those special moments when we can be together at reunions and such. Absence makes the heart grow fonder right? Or is it abscess makes the fart go Honda? I can't remember. I cherish the phone calls and emails. So, keep them coming. And that is my sister Pinky.
And this ladies and gentlemen concludes my blogs on my family and their nicknames. Here is the recap; Monkey Wrench, Matinee, Prank, Ipod, Hopscotch, Uncle Remus, Roulette, and Pinky

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Roulette

I named my younger brother Roulette. This guy is always willing to take a risk. He is also very lucky physically. He was accident prone growing up braking bones and bursting ear drums and things of this nature. His eyesight wasn't very good so I'm sure that accompanied by his active nature and willingness to try anything ended him in the emergency room a few times. He also was involved in several car accidents. Every time he was able to walk away. It always could have been worse and this boy is just good at dodging bullets. I also thought the name Roulette sounded pretty cool so it fits him.
As my younger brother we spent a lot of time together along with our younger sister. Our mom dubbed us The Three Little Ones. We were usually playing nicely and I don't remember us fighting very often. As we grew to teenagers we still liked spending time together. He was a fun kid and he was a good brother.
One summer we were in single adults together. Some of my favorite moments were spent that summer with him as we hung out with friends and really got to form a special bond between us. I think as his older sister I feel like I want to protect him from things. I also want him to know how terrific he is. It's interesting the strong feelings being an older sister can invoke in a person. Right now he's serving our country overseas. I love hearing from him and I'm happy when he's happy. I can't wait for him to come home so we can get together again.
Some things about my brother that people should know is that he is a great listener. If you need to talk to someone he is the perfect one to talk to. He is very kind and his sense of humor can always cheer you up. He also tells you how it is. I remember once during the aforementioned summer I was having a hard time with TMJ. Sometimes it was really painful and I complained. Since we spent so much time that summer I'm sure he had enough of my whining. So one day I was having a pity party and he told me to just buck up and be happy. He was right. Being in a bad mood about it wasn't helping. I respected him for saying that and it really helped my mood.
My brother is also silly. We had so much fun at college, us three little ones, being silly and goofy. We were never bored. One more thing about this guy is that he can dance. When we were in youth many of the leaders were impressed with him because he was the only guy out there busting a move. Us three little ones would just dance our little hearts out having a blast. I miss those days. I just don't move like that anymore. As an adult when I would chaperone dances for the youth many of the leaders I had back then were also in attendance. They'd come up and talk about my brother and how they needed more young men like him. They would talk about what a great dancer he was. I would think, hey, I was out there too. But it was true, he was a great example that a young man can be cool and dance at the same time. Just watch Footloose.
We also sang together a few times. I always liked those moments too. I remember once we performed a duet at church for R.S. or something. I was so nervous but he held us together. We also sang in a group for solo and ensemble and us three little ones sang together at church a couple times. He has a good voice.
So you see this is one awesome guy. Hopefully someday when he's out of the army he'll settle somewhere close to me so we can see each other now and then. For now I pray for his safe return and that he will be protected on a daily basis.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Uncle Remus

I have one older brother and the nickname I gave him is Uncle Remus. Samuel is the type of person who everyone gathers around at a party to hear what story he's going to tell. He's very funny and he really knows how to tell a joke or a story. He's also very kind just like Uncle Remus. Samuel would give you the shirt off his back. He's a very good friend. I'm the type that is friends with the people who I'm around. Sam stays friends with people forever. He is good at staying in touch and getting together with old friends. I think that shows how loyal he is. He is also a great worker. His employers always love him and his fellow employees sure enjoy having him around. I love hearing tales of his workplace because Samuel can make it sound like the funniest place on earth.
Samuel has been referred to as a momma's boy. I don't think he minds that at all. They say if you want to know how a man will treat his wife look at how he treats his mother. I can see that between Samuel and his wife. He's a great husband.
Samuel has had some tough times with his health. He's had some scares, but he continues to be positive. There are some things he can't do like swimming. He can't because of a catheter he will always have. Besides keeping him from swimming it's also a pain in the neck. He has to keep it clean and drain it and all that stuff. To me I'd make a big deal out of that. But he just sees it as a part of his life and leaves it at that. His attitude is what amazes me.
One time I think about a year ago, Samuel and I got to go out to dinner with some friends. We hadn't seen each other for awhile before that, but we just could not stop laughing. Nobody else at the table got the jokes but we could not control ourselves. It was so funny and it reminded me of old times. Sometimes it's bad to get Millers together because we can get into some giggle fits especially during church. I seem to remember one patriotic Sunday and one stake conference where us four little ones really lost it. Good times.
So anyway, Uncle Remus, my brother, holds a special place in my heart. He's a good honest man who has a good reputation. He can make anyone smile, which makes him very special. I'm also lucky because he lives close to me. I'm thankful for that. If you don't him you're really missing out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Different

Last week I attended a Time Out For Women. I was listening to one sister who told a lot of personal stories and she was really funny. As I was listening to her and listening to everyone laughing I began to feel uncomfortable. I couldn't relate to her. She was speaking as if she represented women and we should know what she was talking about. I agree she was funny but I didn't agree with what she was saying. I was talking to someone else who attended about it and they said they were right with the lady and they couldn't believe how right on she was. I felt like maybe I was just a weirdo. Then I said no I'm not. I knew that the way I feel about things though they may be different than how other women may feel, is right for me.
This realization has been on my mind. Then today at church it was reiterated. Someone came to our ward today and stole someone's purse. They then went out and spent thousands of dollars before church was even over. Luckily the sister who lost her purse cancelled her cards, made a police report, and did what she needed to. They got a picture of the woman who stole the purse from security cameras and they will probably catch her soon as they also got a picture of her license plate. Anyway, I was talking to the sister who lost the purse thinking she might need a hug or something. She didn't want one. She was angry. She said if she could get "that woman" she would. Now she won't have to pay for the items bought with her cards. She may have to buy a new purse and make new copies of keys if the purse never gets found, but that will be the extent of her inconvenience.
I was a little surprised to hear her saying how angry she was. I mean, we know the lady will most likely get caught. Police were looking in the area she was shopping and they have her plate number. I don't think she'll get away with it. I would be happy in knowing that and call it good. So again I felt out of touch. But others would be like her, and be angry that they were victimized. It's all a difference in personality. I'm not saying I'm better than her, because with as angry as she was I'm sure that she will show up at that woman's trial and sentencing and make sure justice is served. I think we need people like that.
Recently I've had some blows thrown my way but my reaction to them has been to remain calm. I know there is reason behind it. I have faith and a testimony to rely on. Others will give me advice and their opinions but I have to step back and really think about what I'm doing. I know that what they would do is not what I would do. I'm different. Perhaps this is why I am different so that I can handle stressful situations calmly. I admit there have been times when I may have gotten a little worried but now I know that everything will be fine.
It reminds me again of how special each of us our. How the trials we face are meant specifically for us. Some people can handle a very hot refiner's fire while others may need it to be very mild. I know my trials are very light compared with most others. I must keep it in perspective and realize that I am the way I am for a reason.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hopscotch

Have you ever had that aunt who is always having fun and actually plays with the kids? This is my sister Rachel. I called her Hopscotch because I could totally see her out enjoying a game with a bunch of kids. I also named her that because in order to play the game you must first get out there and draw the board. My sister is an artist and she enjoys drawing and using chalk and anything like that. She even does wood burning. So I liked the artist part of hopscotch as well. My sister used to live near me and we talked like everyday. We either chatted over the phone or went somewhere together or I'd be over at her house hanging out. It was nice to have family so close. She moved away though, and left me out here without a sister. So sad.
I think my favorite memories of my sister will be those years when we lived close to each other. We were always there for each other. We had a lot of things come up where we needed to depend on each other. We both had to make trips to the hospital and the other would stay with all the children. She also watched my kids so I could go to girls camp and youth conference and things like that. I probably depended on her way too much, and perhaps that is one reason she moved. I guess I'll never know the truth because she's too nice to tell me that, but I do have my suspicions.
I even had to call her and her husband sometimes to come over late at night because I thought I heard a noise. They came and checked things out for me. She also was there for me to talk to. I think it's good to have somebody who knows just about everything that's going on in your life so they know how you're doing.
Another great thing about her is she is multi-talented. She can do the arts and the crafts but she can also sing, dance, act, play instruments, write stories and poems, take photos, and make up stories right from the top of her head to tell to crying children to help them calm down. She also likes parties as much as I do and it seems like we were planning events a lot. Sometimes they were for birthdays, sometimes reunions, sometimes just for fun, sometimes for a fireside at church, and sometimes for our kids. It was fun planning parties even if sometimes we never even ended up having a party. It was fun to plan anyway. See one of us would come up with an idea and mention it to the other. Then our imaginations would start driving us and we'd feed off of each other with all these great ideas until we had a fantastic thing planned. Maybe the world just wasn't ready for our dynamic duo.
Another thing I love about her is that she genuinely loved my kids. They loved her too. She always had a fun activity for them to do at her house. She would be the perfect preschool teacher because she has all these creative ideas. I would sometimes mention them to someone else and they would say that they once had a teacher like that or an aunt or leader or something. I was lucky to have a sister like that who lived so close. I know that now she's probably doing the same thing with my other sister and my mom. They are soooo lucky.
Also if you know Rachel you know that she doesn't seem to get embarrassed very easily. She has no qualms about dressing up like a clown and going out in public. She would happily make a fool out of herself if it meant others could have a great time. This is an admiral quality to have. I think it stems from her ability to act. She knows that she's just playing a goofy character and therefore she needn't be embarrassed. None the less she's a blast to have around. Kids enjoy her as well as adults. She is just funny.
I miss singing with her. We used to sing together, her soprano and me alto. Our voices blended well together. She is a great soloist as well and I enjoyed hearing her sing by herself too. She also has a great imagination and encourages it in her children. She lets them believe in fairies and leprechauns and the like. It's fun for her kids and even for her. She basically just enjoys life and making life fun. I bet you could go up to her right now and ask her if she'd be interested in a game of hopscotch and she'd say sure. She's a great sister to have. I miss seeing her everyday but maybe someday we'll live close again. I hope so.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ipod

My second oldest sister I named Ipod. My sister is very musically talented. Growing up she hogged the piano, I mean she played the piano relentlessly. It paid off because now she can play anything. I named her Ipod because she plays music but also because ipods are cool just like her. They are sleek just like her. Teenagers like ipods and teenagers like her. She is in style. Also, because I know she listens to music a lot, I mean, she listens to a lot of music.
Emma has been a great older sister. She was called Little Mother and she helped watch me when I was little. I remember playing with her and she would tell me what part I was playing and what I should be doing. I was often Tammy and I was just a nice little girl going to school. It was fun playing school with her. She was a great make believe teacher. When Emma was growing up she had a style all her own. Her fashion sense was compared to that of Denise Huxtables. For me this meant receiving hand-me-downs that I just couldn't seem to pull off the way she could. I did my best and treasured every article of clothing.
Emma is a great story teller and when I shared a room with her it was great listening to her tales and tips. She was full of them. She seemed to know everything. When she began working she would take me to the soda fountain for sodas. I loved it. When I got a job at the same drugstore I did the same with my younger sister a few times because I enjoyed it so much.
Emma has always known who she was and she always seemed to be enjoying herself. She had a lot of friends as a result. I was four years behind Emma so as she was leaving high school and young women I was coming in. A few leaders would make comments to me about following in her footsteps. Some even said she was a hard act to follow. I never really felt like I had to try to be like her though. I did some things that she did and some things that she didn't. I never wanted to compete with her because I appreciated who she was and what she did as Emma. Not me. If there was anything that I wanted to copy her in it wasn't her talents, looks, or popularity. It was her ability to lead while having fun. If Emma was in charge, she didn't lead as a tyrant but as a friend working with us. When I applied for a job at age 16 the owner asked me if I'd be okay with having my sister be a manager over me. I said I was used to having her be over me and I actually kind of liked it. The boss lady seemed pleased with my answer and my winning Miller smile and gave me the job.
Now Emma did sometimes have the reputation for being bossy. It was funny because even though she might have been I usually enjoyed being bossed around by her. Here's a funny story about that. One evening I was watching television. Emma yelled for me from upstairs. I ran up to see what she wanted. She was on the phone which was a common occurrence. She asked me if I could get her a drink. I said sure and went and got her a drink. When I returned she noticed I forgot the ice, and told me of my mistake. I went back down for the ice. She seemed pleased and released me from my duties as sister servant. I was only downstairs for a few minutes when she was calling for me again. I ran up and saw her with drink all over the place. She told me she spilled and needed towels. I ran downstairs, got towels, and started cleaning up the mess. When all was clean, she asked me for another drink. Suddenly I realized I was getting taken advantage of and told her no. It sort of bothered me that it took me that long to realize it. She just sort of had a spell over me I guess. I wasn't angry with her though. When I think back on it now, it makes me laugh. I wonder if she remembers that and if she does she probably remembers it differently than I do. Ha ha.
Another story I remember is one year we were planning stake girls camp. Emma was in Hawaii at the time going to school and being pregnant. I missed her a lot and I knew she was going through morning sickness and was having a bit of a difficult pregnancy. Anyway, during the meeting somebody brought up Emma and how awesome she was as a leader. I remembered how much fun it was having her as my leader at camp and also just to have her around. I started to cry and everyone was wondering what was wrong with me. A friend of the family told everyone of Emma's difficulties and they all gave me the chin up smile/frown and then commented on how much they all loved her.
Emma has always had a special place in my heart. I'm not sure where the bond between us came from but it has always been there. I feel like I'm her biggest fan and she's my biggest cheerleader. I'm a very closed person and I don't usually share my feelings. Sometimes with Emma I wish I could. There are times when I'll read her blog and realize that she's not giving herself the credit she deserves. That's when I wish I could call her and tell her how wonderful she is, but I let my shyness win out and I leave a cheesy comment instead. I know that's something I need to work on but I know if I'd call her she wouldn't be able to hear anything from my high pitched overly emotional voice. It's a curse I have.
She's great because she is so kind. She gives of herself so selflessly. She makes others feel like they fit in. She's multi talented. She succeeds at whatever she put effort into. She has the gift to get others to listen and follow. She's funny as all get out. She's gorgeous inside and out. She's a terrific mother. She's a great friend. She feels everything so much stronger than most others. She's brave enough to take a chance and put herself out there. She has to put up with a lot of people who give her a hard time just because they themselves are jealous. She keeps going though, and she knows enough about herself to not let them bring her down. She's loud and she's proud. Best thing about her is she's a good sister and that's why I love her.
So, that is a bit about my second sister Emma. Though I wish we lived closer because I would love to see her everyday and have fun adventures and hear her hilarious stories I know that we can still be close over the distance. We are linked forever.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Prank

I gave my oldest sister the nickname Prank. If you know her you know that she likes to play jokes and she's good at it. Now she doesn't just go around playing little gags on people here and there. She will have a target and then she will come up with a brilliant plan. She usually has cohorts to aid in carrying out the plan. The joke is played and the victim is left feeling gotten. I don't know if the ideas just come to her or if they take hours to come up with. All I know is that they are funny and unique.
Now that you know why I dubbed her Prank, let's move on to some background. Naomi was the oldest of seven kids. I viewed her as the top of the totem pole. She got to do everything first. Sometimes that was a cool thing and sometimes it was a scary thing. She handled it all well and paved the way for the rest of us. My three oldest sisters were clumped together, then a brother, and then me. So I didn't really play with them a whole lot. I do remember watching them though. I would watch them all the time just to see what they were doing. I knew I couldn't do it yet, but someday I would be able to. So it was interesting to me. I remember just watching Naomi doing her hair. She has super curly hair, so it was amazing to watch her do it. I remember her picking through it and then using White Rain mousse in it. I still love the smell of that stuff and it always reminds me of her.
She also was a talented singer and dancer. I guess I shouldn't say was. She still is. She was in choirs and the dance team, plus she would dance and sing at home. She was good enough to be in The Sound of Friends. That was a show choir in our high school. I tried out for four years to be in that choir. I never made it. So I say it was very exclusive. I enjoyed watching her be in it though. They would come to our school to perform. On one occasion they were getting ready to perform. The choir was all standing still and then they began to dance and sing. Some kids around me were freaked out because they thought my sister was a mannequin. I heard them talking about it. They were saying that she was too perfect to be real. She had awesome curly hair, very fair milky skin, she was very thin, and really pretty. I wanted to tell them that she was my sister but I didn't think they'd believe me.
When we get together nowadays, you know a game will break out. Naomi is good at games. You probably want to be on her team. Some of us talk about if our family was on a tv game show and only two or four or six people would be allowed to compete,we would have to make cuts and Naomi always was one of the contenders. She just knows stuff and she's competitive.
My sister is a good mom and wife. Her family seems so happy around each other. That's evidence that she's doing something right. She is just so well rounded. She's got the funny side, but she can also get serious and down to business. She can do anything from crafts to cooking to running a summer business. She's one of those people who you look at and wonder how they must have more hours in their day than you do. She has a family, she goes to school, she has callings at church, she was working and she's planning an internship right now, she does the family business, she works out, she keeps up with all of us via internet, and she looks good doing it all. I mean, seriously, how can somebody be so put together? Well, she is.
I think it all comes down to what kind of a person she is. She is determined. She doesn't ever think she can't do something. If she wants it, she works to get it. Maybe that bravery comes from being oldest. I don't know. Maybe her confidence comes from all her past successes. That's likely. Maybe her desire to always better herself just comes from within. I guess it doesn't matter where it all comes from but she definitely has it, whatever it is.
I know she's setting a great example for her kids, her fun awesome great kids. I mean, she's a mother of a couple teenagers and I have never seen them give her any attitude. Granted I don't get to see them very often, but still, NEVER!!! I think her kids respect her a lot.
Okay, so now that everybody knows how cool my sister is, they can see why I wish we lived CLOSER. I think if I could spend more time with her, maybe she'd begin to rub off on me. That'd be cool. Anyway, you should definitely see if she'll let you in on a prank sometime and then the fun will begin. I love her a lot and I'm glad she's the oldest. She's a good number one. I can't wait to see what she'll do next.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Matinee

My mom I nicknamed Matinee. My mom loves movies. She'll watch anything from an old black and white to the newest Disney film. She watches them at home, she watches them in the theater, she watches them anywhere. I attribute my love of movies to her. Now she won't watch anything rated R or higher so she hasn't seen every movie in existence but she has seen the good ones. Also, because of her work schedule she doesn't typically go to movies at night since that is when she works, hence the Matinee.
Now about my mom. She wasn't the typical June Cleaver. I believe she has been compared more to Roseanne. Well she wasn't quite like Roseanne but she was funny and cool. Growing up the phrase "If mom ain't happy, nobody's happy" was probably accurate. Mom was not someone to mess with. Now sometimes I wasn't sure what the threat was but I know it wasn't good. Sometimes we might be sold to the indians and other times we might get our arms ripped off and beaten with them. I have never seen either of these carried out. But most of the time we tried to shape up, because we did not want to ship out.
As we got older, Mom got cooler. Our friends were becoming her friends. Mom began doing "I'm Fifty" sketches at girls camp. For me things suddenly changed from supposing to be embarrassed that my mom was around, to being proud that she was so "down with it".
Mom also was an example for us. She went to college with seven kids still at home and studied hard and got good grades. She graduated and became a nurse. We actually graduated the same year, me from high school, and her from college. She knew what we were going through with homework and assignments. She probably even had it worse. She definitely taught us the value of education and achieving goals. Another thing I remember is my mom sharing her testimony with us. Sometimes it was on a Saturday afternoon after we spent the morning cleaning and we'd sit around and she'd tell us her conversion story or share experiences with us. Other times is was as things came. Maybe she had a prayer answered or she witnessed a miracle. We all knew that she had faith and if she believed I wanted to believe. I wanted my own stories though, and I had my own experiences and I was able to recognize the hand of God through her sharing her stories.
One other thing about my mom is that she is strong. I grew up never doubting her ability to do whatever she put her mind to. If she wanted to move all the furniture in the house around, she could do it. If she was put in charge of organizing a huge event, she did it. She got things done and if something wasn't right she knew it. She'd pray, get an answer, resolve the issue and keep going. She was a wonder woman. She's still like that. Now if I ever need to do something hard, I call Mom to hear what she has to say. I respect her opinion and experience so much. I know there has been a joke that I take whatever Mom says as gospel. Now that's not entirely true but I do listen to what she says and most of the time she's right. I think I'm lucky to have someone as wise and as in tune with the spirit as she is just a phone call away. One last thing. My mom is a giver. She would do anything for me, my siblings, and our families. She just loves us that much. They say that when you add your children your love grows exponentially. That happened with Mom so now she just has so much love it's unbelievable. I have some friends who have crazy moms. When they tell me stories about things their moms are doing I am in shock. My mom is awesome. I tell them what she does, and they think it's impossible to have such a great mom. It isn't. My mom's for real. She is so not about the drama she is just a good person. I hope that someday my kids will think of me the same way that I think of my mom. That would make me very very happy because I love my mom. I love everything about her. And I'll say it again. I wish we lived closer together. It would be so awesome to have her here to do things with. I'll just have to take the emails and the phone calls, the blogs and the facebook statuses for now. I just want everyone to know I'm not happy about it. But if it's all I can get I'll take it.

Monkeywrench

Some of my family members have recently done posts about other family members. I decided I should do the same. Last year I made up nicknames for everyone in my family and then had them try to guess who was who. It was a lot of fun. I dubbed my dad Monkeywrench because he can fix just about anything. Honestly, I don't think he's ever come across something he couldn't fix. Now the monkey is there because my dad has a tendency to act very goofy sometimes. Two of his idols were Heathcliff Huxtable and Earnest P. Worrell. When I was a little girl my dad even had an outfit referred to as a monkey suit.
I grew up in a small town called Middlebury. My dad also grew up there and knew just about everyone in town. As we walked around town everybody said hi to him. I took pride in knowing that my dad was a respected man. He is a good, honest, man of integrity. The funny thing is, it seemed whenever any kids were visiting he turned into a clown. It was hilarious. He also got that way if he found certain cereals in the cupboard or if we were about to have ice cream. I wish I could show a video clip of my dad's hyper antics. I don't have one though, but it's something that really needs to be seen in person. No words can describe.
Yesterday I drove by Cardinal Bus where he worked during my youth. It brought back a lot of good memories. We lived two houses down and we often went to bother him about something. I also remember calling him at work to ask questions. One time I called and asked for dad. The receptionist asked if I meant Sam. There were other dads there but ours probably got the most disturbances. He never complained about it though.
My mom sure does love my dad and she let us all know it. I remember one time she sang a song to him in front of a large audience. I'm sure he was embarrassed but he humored our mom and was a good sport about it. The girls in our family were spoiled with such an example of what a true man is that I know some of the husbands feel like they can't hold a candle. I don't think my dad feels that way though. He has always been very humble. I think that his humility might be a result of his gratitude. He has had a very blessed life.
I know that I am grateful that he was the patriarch of our family. He had a father's intuition that sometimes amazed me. He seemed to know things that I never told him. He just knew. I wish that every girl could be as lucky to have a father like him. I'm not just talking him up either. He really is that awesome. I think that since most of the people who read this blog are family I don't really need to convince anybody because you already know that.
Now I could go on and on about my dad but I don't have all day so I'll finish it up by saying I love my dad very much and I wish I could see him more often. I know we'll live close again someday and I'm just being patient until he finally moves back out here.

How it's going

So here is my report for my weight loss. I have not lost a ton of weight but I have lost some. Considering I am barely exercising or dieting I think it's great. Losing weight is at least in the right direction. I just need to keep going in that direction and slowly but surely I'll be where I want to be. Oh and I did end up joining the YMCA. I go with two of my friends and we laugh at how bad we are at the routines. We still go though and we have a lot of fun. I think I should mention that while I'm writing this I'm eating strawberry pie. I saw on Dr. Oz that you should eat strawberries everyday, so I think I'm still good. I almost forgot my exciting news. I can fit into some pants that were too tight before and I have other pants that keep falling down now so I had to buy a belt. I haven't worn a belt since I've had babies. How cool is that????

Friday, March 26, 2010

Baseball

There is one main reason that I signed my kids up for baseball instead of football, or soccer. The reason is Koen's shyness. I knew that if he was in one of the aforementioned he would just end up standing on the sidelines. I figured baseball was perfect because he would have his turn to play. I knew he'd be good, he just has to be forced to be good. So last year he did awesome. He really picked it up. This year he will move up to the minor leagues. They had try-outs tonight. Koen had been really nervous about it for awhile now. I wasn't really sure how they do them but I was sure he'd be okay. We are all sitting waiting for it to begin and all the families are sitting on the bleachers while the coaches are lined up against the wall. They then call Koen's name to come try-out. I had no idea they would do one at a time in front of everybody. Even worse, he was first. We hadn't played baseball since last season so he is totally unpracticed.
First they rolled him some grounders. He got all of them and threw them all back just fine. Then they started with the pop-ups. He almost got all of them, but he ended up not getting any of them. Luckily he quickly retrieved the ball and threw them in. The last pop-up he was so frazzled that he ended up throwing it way out. Then they threw another grounder. He ended on a good note. He was so embarrassed. I told him he did great. We stayed to watch three more people try-out before we snuck out. They did just as well or worse then him. That made him feel a little better. As we were pulling out of the school Koen called Tony and told him all about it. Tony gave some words of encouragement saying that he also cracks under pressure and that it didn't really matter how he did tonight because we all know that he's going to be awesome once he starts practicing again. That also made him feel better.
Okay so I learned from the experience that Koen can handle pressure fairly well. I mean it could have been disastrous. I learned that I can watch my kids do scary things without balling like a baby or passing out. I was praying for him though. I also learned that Koen might not be as shy as I thought he was. So it was a good experience all around.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Lists?

In my family the girls like to make lists. I don't really write my lists out but I do make lists in my head. Sometimes I'll go through a phase where I won't write appointments down. I don't know why I do that, but everyday I kind of go through my head of any appointments that might be coming up. I usually don't have any problems as far as missing appointments but I'm sure I'm adding extra stress for absolutely no reason.
One problem I do have is with my daily tasks. I have a mental list of what needs to be done and throughout the day I keep running it in my mind. This often makes me feel overwhelmed and unable to concentrate on the task at hand. Here is an example of my list today. I need to clean the three downstairs rooms. I need to go to the store to get cool whip, heavy whipping cream, flour, sugar, wrapping paper and a box. I need to make plum cake for a dinner tonight. I need to make coconut shrimp for a friend. I want to dye my hair. I need to cut up some tomatoes for that dinner tonight. I want to take the boys swimming this afternoon. I have to go to the R.S. dinner tonight. I wanted to help the boys make some cardboard box cars tonight because they need them tomorrow and I have a lot to do tomorrow, so I don't know if there will be time. I need to take the clothes out of the dryer and switch the clothes in the washer over and maybe start another load.
While I'm constantly thinking of these things, I'm also thinking about things that I want to do that I know I can't do today but they keep running through my mind anyway. The main two are painting the living room and cleaning out the fridge. Of course I need to come on here to get out some stress. But even now, I'm thinking of all the things I need to do. I'm fairly confident it will all get done and I know what things I can cut if needed.
Maybe I should make a list on paper. I don't know if that will help. I think I might still run the things through my mind but then I'll add writing the list and checking things off the list into it. I suppose the solution is to give it a try. If I feel like it helps then I'll keep doing it. If I feel like it adds stress, then I'll stop.
As far as today. I'm done with two rooms downstairs. I already have one car made for Dougan and I'm already started with laundry. We'll see how it goes. Dougan just informed me that I need more milk. Okay, I'll add it to the list.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Amish Dinner


I'm planning another Amish dinner right now. I thought I was getting a late start because I usually like to get invites out 6 weeks in advance. I ended up getting a night scheduled with Aunt Lorene for April 24th. That gives me plenty of time. I already set up an event on Facebook and invited a ton of people from Elkhart. I am so surprised. Some have already responded that they'll go and a lot have said maybe. Plus they have been spreading the word and inviting other people to go. It's so exciting to me. This will be the biggest group that I have going. Now I wish that I didn't plan it for so far away. That's okay, because I hand out invitations to people in my ward and they take forever to RSVP.
I do an Amish dinner every 6 months. That is just the right amount of time I've found. It's usually about the time people start asking for another one. So I've been having one every April and one every October. I really enjoy hosting them. It's fun to see Aunt Lorene and Uncle Leo. It's fun to make the invitations. It's fun to eat the food and chat with friends. It's fun to see people practically having to be rolled out because they ate so much. It's nice to share a culture with others.
Now I just have to wait for about a month to see who all is coming. I can't wait to call Aunt Lorene back with a huge number. It was great talking with her when I called about a date. She said it was syrup time again. She said she had been out there all week cooking it. She called me at about 10:30 that night after just finishing for the day and she said she couldn't wait to get back out there the next day bright and early. I could hear the giddiness in her voice. It was refreshing to me to picture her out there stirring the syrup and Uncle Leo stoking the fire. We watched them do it last year. The boys thought it was pretty neat and the smell was absolutely amazing. She remembered that we saw them doing it last year. I was surprised she remembered because we just sort of stopped by to set up a date for a dinner. She sent us home with a jar. I'm not counting on that this year. But I will say that if she did give us another jar, I wouldn't mind.
So that's one thing I've been up to lately. I'll write another post after the dinner to say how it went.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Just a little stressed

I have some things that I have wanted to blog about but I could not bring myself to sit down and write anything. I'm not even really sure why. The last few weeks have all sort of felt like a blur. I've done a lot of stuff. I made a few things for singing time in primary. I made a blanket for Taygan and one for myself and I have another one ready to be sewn. I also made a lot of leggings. I got Easter baskets and outfits for the kids. I found some great stuff at Goodwill, even a nice pair of pioneer shoes in my size. I've organized my kitchen. I've been keeping up on everyone else's blogs. I've been focusing more on homework for the boys. I've begun mousercising with the boys after school. I've been trying new recipes. I've been losing weight. I've been thinking about getting a haircut. I have been organizing a group for Time Out For Women. I've been planning a vacation for this summer. I've been helping Koen plan his baptism. I've been implementing a new reward system. I've been potty-training Brandis. I've been cooking and baking for potlucks. I've had sick kids. I think I had a bit of a meltdown a two Saturdays ago. I have basically been so busy that I don't even have time to think about anything. So instead of writing blogs about each of these things as they happened which I couldn't seem to do, I'll just clump them all together into one post. Okay, that actually helped. After I wrote all that down I had a moment of clarity. I've actually had a couple of things on my mind. Not huge worries but worries just the same. I think I've been trying to fill my time up with other things so I wouldn't have to face some things. That makes sense. See these blogging things are great. Alright, I'm done now.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Great Find

I've been wanting a coffee table or ottoman or something in my living room that I could open and hide some toys. This week Meijer had a leather ottoman that does just that on sale for $69. I went there to buy it but I could not bring myself to pay that much. I left empty handed. Well not exactly empty. I did buy some socks and a plastic St. Patty's day hat. Anyway, I decided to go to the Goodwill store across the street to see if they had any bedding. They didn't but they did have an old trunk for $10. It was perfect. I bought it. I'm excited for Tony to come home tomorrow because I really think he's going to like it. I tell you what though, $10 feels so much better than $69.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Weight

When I got married I weighed about 130 lbs. After my first child I weighed 145. After number two I was 150. After number three 160. After number four 170. After number five I'm at 180. I lost weight after each delivery but not much. Only like five lbs and these are the numbers I was stuck with. Because I was having kids like every two years I was pretty much in maternity pants all the time. I just don't have regular pants that fit. I was size 8 at marriage and now I'm a size 16. I used to go to Plato's Closet. A consignment shop for teenagers and adults. The last time I went, which was right before the family reunion last July, I saw that size 16 is as high up as they go. Even then the selection was very poor. I had a choice of five pairs or pants and only two of them were jeans. I haven't been back since. I've tried the slimming jeans but they just give me a muffin top. I've tried a cincher which was very uncomfortable and the shaper and even the spanx. Nothing can hide my gut.
So I've decided I need to stop trying to hide it and I need to get rid of it. I have never been on a diet before. I don't think I could do it. I really like food and the thought of giving things up sounds way too hard for me. I decided I'm going to do portion control and I have to start exercising. I bought Mousercise and I'm going to do that everyday with the kids. A lot of people want me to join the YMCA. I was a member before I was pregnant with Taygan. I went four days a week and I really didn't notice a difference in weight or muscle or energy or anything. I think I'll only go back if I want to sign the kids up for swim lessons or something. I'm hoping that between the almost diet and the Mousercise plus my Cupid Shuffle while cleaning will do the trick. I just don't know if I can ever get great abs though. I mean is it possible? Can skin ever go back after you lose the weight? I usually got pretty big with my babies and my stomach has been stretched way out. I just want clothes to fit me again so people won't ask me if I'm pregnant again. I can't help it I just have a huge tire of fat and skin around my belly. Sorry to be so graphic. It's true though. Well, here's hoping I will someday conquer my bulge.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Leggings

I made these leggings after everyone else in the world had some. I didn't want to pay the $12 for them because I knew I would want a few pairs with different patterns and colors. So I found a website that taught me how to make them and bought some $3 socks and made these. I think they're adorable.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Sing-O-Meter



Halloween Stuff



Amazing Acres









Sunday, January 31, 2010

Now My Eights

Today's Meme is brought to you by the number 8! It's pretty simple. If you wanna play along, just copy and paste to your own blog, changing the answers to reflect you, and viola!

8 Shows I like to watch:
1- Cake Boss
2- What not to Wear
3- Say Yes to the Dress
4- Toddlers and Tiaras
5- SYTYCD
6- Community
7-Little House on the Prairie
8- Cosby Show


8 Favorite Places I like to eat and drink:
1- Olive Garden
2- Taco Bell
3- OCB
4- Hacienda
5- Pizza Transit
6- China One
7- Chao Cajun
8- Aunt Lorene's

8 Things I look forward to:
1- Birthday parties
2- vacation
3- reunions
4- packages in the mail
5- holidays
6- going out to dinner
7- Girl's night out
8- Sundays

8 Things that happened yesterday:
1- woke up
2- ate food
3- made fruit pizza
4- made handprints of kids in plaster
5- laundry
6- cleaned house
7- went online
8- talked to people

8 things I love about winter:
1- trees are pretty with snow
2- get to wear sweaters
3- sledding
4- wearing gloves
5- possible snow days
6- woodburning stoves smell nice
7- hot drinks; cocoa, boiled custard
8- animal footprints in snow

8 things on my wish list:
1- personal assistant
2- keyboard
3- fabric
4- winter coat
5- an extra kitchen cupboard
6- phone charger for my van
7- a couch
8- new tennis shoes

8 things I am passionate about:
1- music
2- cooking
3- eating
4- planning
5- traveling
6- story telling
7- shopping
8- talking

8 words/ phrases I use most often:
1- I don't know
2- or whatever
3- anyway
4- like
5- just
6- okay
7- I mean...
8- yep

8 things I learned from the past:
1- use your time wisely
2- everything usually works out just fine
3- remain calm
4- sometimes you just need to ask
5- make up your mind to be happy
6- everyone's special but nobody is more special than anybody else
7- be honest
8- don't put metal in the microwave

8 places I would like to visit:
1- Wis Dells
2- Austria
3- Disneyworld
4- California
5- Hawaii
6- NYC
7- Chicago
8- a ghost town

8 things I want/need:
1- a break
2- chocolate cake
3- massage
4- a wardrobe that fits me
5- slippers
6- a bag/purse
7- a mop
8- family and friends

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Blankets

Our ward has been asked to make blankets for people in Haiti. We were only asked to make 13 but they had to be made to certain specifications and they must be done by next Saturday. I was there yesterday for about 4 hours. I had a great time. I mostly did tying. I hated having to leave last night. We only had three quilts completed. I dreamt about it all night. Every time I close my eyes I see the blankets. I really want to go today but I can't figure out what to do with the kids. I'll probably get to go for a couple hours right before Tony goes to work but I know it's going to kill me all day to not be there. I'll probably do some calling around later this morning to give people a chance to wake up and then hopefully I can find someone who wouldn't mind taking them for a while.
Anyway, last night when I was there, I started work on a blanket that one brother had started. Of course he wasn't doing it the normal way so two sisters explained to me his method and I began working. He came back and he worked with me. Then another brother showed up and he asked what he should do. Nobody wanted to give him a job so I said he could come tie while the other brother and I threaded the blankets with yarn. I forgot to mention that the one that started the blanket was using orange thread. There wasn't enough for the whole blanket so we needed to find two more colors to go with it. The blanket itself was a grayish blue. We didn't have a lot of choices and I knew I couldn't use any reds, pinks or browns because they all clashed. I opted for a blue. Then we needed a third color. I held some colors up to it and then chose black. The brother thought that was a good idea.
As the brother began threading the black one sister began throwing a fit. She marched right over there and told him he could not use black. He told her he thought it looked nice. He was totally taking the heat for the choice. I said that I thought it looked nice too. He just kept working even with her over his shoulder shaking her head. It was so funny. The other brother seemed offended that she was telling us what to do with our quilt so for the rest of the night he kept talking about how great this quilt was looking and that the black just really made it pop. I was giggling on the inside. After we finished two sisters came to check our work. They scoured the blanket looking for mistakes. They didn't find any. It really was beautiful. Then everyone there had to admit that the black did look great even the one that threw the fit earlier.
So now you see why I want to get back there so bad. lol.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spotlights

Our ward primary decided to do spotlights this year. They had a form for all the parents to fill out for each of their children. I filled out a lot of it but some of the questions I asked the boys. They keep changing their favorite colors and favorite school subjects and things like that. So as I was asking them questions and filling out the form it tickled me some of the answers they gave me. For example, one question was; What is the child's favorite scripture story? I thought I knew Koen's but I wanted to ask anyway. I was right and it was the Joseph Smith story. Eades said he loved the story about Nephi leaving Jerusalem with his family. Dougan said his favorite was about the Holy Ghost. I wasn't sure what he was talking about so I gave him some examples of stories and we decided on Noah's ark. It was just fun getting to hear their answers. Another was favorite song. Koen decided on Smooth Criminal. He wanted Dirty Diana, but I didn't think that would be appropriate. Smooth Criminal isn't much better. I didn't even know Koen knew Dirty Diana. Eades chose Beat It, and Dougan of course was Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
Towards the end it asked what Christlike attributes they have. I got to write about things that I see that maybe others haven't noticed. It also struck me again how different my children are. The last question was anything that I thought they should know that they might not know already. I was filling Koen's in first so when I got to this question my first thought was his webbed toes. Then I thought how that might embarrass him because then everybody would want to see his toes and he doesn't really like a lot of attention. So I decided not to write that down. I'll let him reveal that secret on his own. But yes, it was fun getting to brag on my kids a little and I hope they aren't too embarrassed with what I wrote for them.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kahlua Pork

I decided to share this story in case some of you hadn't heard it yet.
One day when I was in the MTC I was feeling a little low. I sort of hit a wall with my section 4 memorization and I was having a hard time with the language. I was also a little homesick. I was halfway through my time at the MTC and I knew I still had another month. I think I was getting a little stir crazy. So I was sort of in a bad mood that day. At dinner while I was sitting there feeling a little sorry for myself someone walked by and a gust of wind came from nowhere and blew all the trash off of their tray and into my lap. I thought, How could it get any worse?
That night as I was kneeling and saying my prayer I was telling all my woes to the Lord. I realized that in the MTC everyday is pretty much the same. We had a very strict schedule. The only thing that changed from day to day was the menu. I asked Him if it were possible to let me have my favorite meal the next night. I loved the Kahlua pork. It was very tasty. So after my prayer I went to bed. The next day was much better. I was able to memorize more, the language was clicking and I was very happy to be in the MTC. I had forgotten my prayer from the night before. When I went to dinner that night, what should they be serving but Kahlua pork. I remembered my prayer from the night before. I was reminded of how much he cares for each and every one of us.
The more I thought about it my mind really started to get blown. I prayed for such a silly thing. I was reminded that the Lord sometimes works by small and simple means. I was also left with the question, was Kahlua pork put on the menu last minute just for me or had it been on the menu months ahead of that. Did Heavenly Father know that I would ask for it that exact night? For me it was a miracle even as ridiculous as it was to pray for a certain dinner. Why does the Lord spoil us so much? He does because He loves us.
So that is my story of Kahlua pork.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crack

I was talking to my younger sister yesterday. We were talking about a bunch of different things but then we started talking about appetizers. She was telling me about something she wants to make with crackers and I was telling her about a dip that I want to make for an upcoming event. I am really excited to make this dip because it is really simple but very delicious. I have one small problem though. My friends that taught me how to make it call it "crack". I don't think I can show up to a R.S. activity bringing something called "crack" or "crack dip". So I will give you the ingredients and you help me find a good name for it. Because this is for a large group I'll make a full recipe.

"Crack"
5 packages cream cheese
1 1/2 large jars salsa
1 package sausage

That's it. You serve it with chips. Now Ruth made one suggestion. "Salsage" It cracks me up. I'm sure some of you have some good ideas too. Let's hear them. I really do not want to tell everyone that it's salsage crack.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm surrounded

Sometimes when I'm just sitting down relaxing I notice that all my kids are gathered around me. I'm not even doing anything fun. I'll just be sitting there and I realize I have the baby, my 2 yr. old and my 4 yr. old on my lap and the 6 and 7 yr old will be right beside me. I love it. I know there are times when I'm trying to get things done that I want my space but for the most part I don't mind having kids crawling all over me.
I really don't know what that says about their security level or their separation anxiety or any of that. I just know that as I walk around my house I usually have two to three kids following me around.
Lately my kids are changing. Well, I guess they always are but I've really noticed it lately. I've been getting random compliments on my children. I've noticed Koen really stepping up to the plate and helping out. I've been finding time to just play with them. We had a Dance Party USA Friday night. We had glow sticks, a strobe light, a toy guitar, and the music cranked up. We were having a blast and then I realized my neighbors were watching us. I just laughed.
I really enjoy my kids. Today the primary asked me to fill out a form for the three older ones for spotlights. As I was filling them out I realized how amazing each of them really is. They are so different but they all have great qualities. I mean they are just plain cool. I'm not saying I have the best kids in the world and that this is some sort of competition. I'm just saying that I love my kids as I'm sure other's love theirs. As they go through their stages of life I find myself getting excited and emotional. Sometimes just the thought of having them go to dances or on missions or having families of their own is so overwhelming to think about. So I guess it's a little Sentimental Sunday but there you have it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Garlic Solution

My two youngest have had earaches. I took them to the doctor and got them started on antibiotics. I also took Dougan in and he just had a bad cold. So a couple days after that Eades got an earache. It was 11 pm and Tony was at work. The other kids were all still not feeling well. I really didn't want to take all the kids to the ER because I knew it would be awful. I text messaged Tony to wake me up when he got home so I could take Eades in. I figured it would only be a few hours away and Eades would just have to wait it out. But Eades was crying and I could tell he was in obvious pain. I remembered a commercial about home remedies and it said to use a blow dryer. I put it on low medium heat. He said it helped a bit but after I stopped it hurt really bad again. I knew I couldn't just sit in the bathroom blowing into his ear for a few hours. I decided to put the internet to good use and see if there was a way to relieve the pain. I found a website that used home remedies. It said to make some garlic oil. I got out my olive oil and some minced garlic and mixed it together and put it in the microwave to heat up. I then stirred it some more and waited till it wasn't too hot anymore got rid of the garlic and got a dropper. Eades was a little scared about the whole thing but very willing to try it because his ear hurt so much. As soon as I put some of the oil in he relaxed. I massaged his ear and neck like the website said and then we drained his ear. He said it didn't hurt anymore at all. I did it again 30 min. later just because it said you might need to repeat it. He was fine. It worked. Yeah, I was so excited. Eades went back to bed and slept the rest of the night. He went all day yesterday without any problems and even another night. His ear doesn't hurt at all. I don't know why I'm so amazed by it but I sure do wish doctors could just prescribe garlic oil because it's quicker and not as torturous as thick antibiotics twice a day for five days.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oh, why thank you.

I was talking to my friend about how sometimes homemakers just don't get enough compliments. I know that sometimes I don't feel like I'm really good at anything but changing diapers and they don't really thank me for my speed do they? So I was saying for me, it's cooking. I like to cook for other people because they actually compliment me. I will go all out for a potluck or a brunch or snacks or even items for a fund raiser. I admit it's really only because I like the oohs and aahs as I walk in with my masterpiece. The friend I was talking to about this, let's call her Christy, because that's her name, said she hates cooking. She was the type who would bring a bag of chips to a potluck. I couldn't believe it. She says her husband usually does the cooking in their family. Well anyway, for me, my self-esteem is boosted anytime I get to cook for other people.
So Christy said that for her it was being a gymnastics coach. She was great at it and she finally got some recognition for her talents. We thought it was funny because we are both pretty down to earth people but yet we thrive for these compliments. Then tonight I was talking to a sister of mine, oh, let's just call her "Baby Ruth" and she was saying she just got a little self-esteem boost because her blog ideas have been being copied as of late. She felt really cool that others thought she had a good enough idea to do the same on their own blogs. She was so proud of herself in fact that she found herself bragging a little to her husband. I found that so totally something I would do.
So, I think that as sister soldiers we need to make sure we're giving each other that boost. Sometimes nobody cares how fast you can fold laundry, or how much time you put in to study for a final, or even that you manage to make it to church on time, but if we notice something we should give the praise. And when someone gives you the praise, don't do the whole "this old thing" routine. Say thank you and give yourself a pat on the back. You're remarkable. You are uber-talented. You did a bang up job. Then pay it forward and give somebody else the two-thumbs-up or two-snaps-in-a-circle and share the love.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Picky Girl

I don't think I'm a picky person. I usually know what I would like and I don't mind waiting to get it. Sometimes I just don't know what I want so I'll wait until I figure it out instead of making a rash decision and being disappointed later. So the other day I was with my friend Christy. She wanted me to get a winter coat. I knew which one I wanted because I found it online. I didn't buy it when I found it because I wanted to think about it some more. I told her it was at Burlington Coat factory. One day while we were visiting she said, my girls are watching your kids and we're going to get you that coat. So we went to the store. They did not have my coat. So I did not want to get one. She said we were not leaving until I bought a coat. So I started looking at the ski type coats because the one I really want is a wool walking coat. It's a beautiful coat but not good for snow play with the kids. My friend said I could not get a ski coat because they are too hard to clean. She said I had to either get a leather coat or a wool coat. I didn't want to get a wool coat because I knew I would eventually get the one I wanted. I didn't want a leather one because I think I look weird in them. She would not drop it so I went to find a leather coat.
I hated all the leather coats plus they were like $50 and I didn't want to waste $50 on a coat that I knew I would only wear while I was visiting her. So I kept saying that I wanted a ski coat. So we walked and searched and dug through coats aimlessly. Finally she told me that I was too picky and I obviously didn't have 5 daughters. If I did then I would just say, "If it fits, get it". I couldn't believe it. I didn't think I was being picky. I thought I was trying not to waste money. So finally I found a white ski coat that I didn't hate. I didn't really love it, but I didn't hate it. So I decided to buy it, even though she was really against it. Before we got to check out her daughter called. Christy talked to her privately and then said that her daughter had a coat that I could have. Yippee! I put the coat back and didn't buy anything. I didn't really care what the coat looked like, because it was free.
So now I'm all concerned that I'm picky. I remembered when I went to buy paint. I was there for a long time trying to figure out what I wanted. Once I found what I thought I liked the sales person told me I didn't really want what I picked out. So she tried to get me to change my mind. I got frustrated and left. I went somewhere else and bought the paint. I don't really think I am picky. I think I just don't want to be wrong and waste money. I do know that before I buy anything I think about it for a long time. If I want to buy a pair of shoes I look at it for about one month before I purchase it. I think it's good that way because I only bought two pairs of shoes for myself in the last few years. It's because I ended up with what I really wanted. I once found a skirt I liked online and I went to the store to try it on. Then I thought about it. I finally bought it. Then I needed one of a different color. I went online and bought the exact same one in a different color because I knew I'd like it.
I consider myself a wise shopper. I don't want to spend money on something that I'm not 100% on. Is taking a long time to decide what you really want being picky? It's not like I only want the best or the most expensive. I just want something that's me that I won't hate every time I wear it. Do you think I'm a picky girl in denial???

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My 2010 Expectations

I'm jumping on the bandwagon Ruthykins and I'm also not posting resolutions rather expectations.

1. I expect to have my van paid off in a couple of months.

2. I expect to give my kids each a nice birthday party this year.

3. I expect Koen to have a beautiful baptism this summer.

4. I expect to work on some goals such as organization, better parenting, and a healthier lifestyle.

5. I expect to try new things and go out of my comfort zone at least a couple of times this year.

6. I expect change to happen and I expect to let it gracefully.

7. I expect to have a lot of fun and make some new close friends.

8. I expect to keep in close contact with my family even if it is only through media.

9. I expect to be more honest with my feelings and more willing to share them.

10. I expect to write a lot of blogs this year.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Our Big Vacation

I spoiled the kids rotten this Christmas break. First we opened presents early. We did that on Tuesday. Christmas Eve we drove to Uncle Sam's house. We had a great few days there where the boys got to play video games, make gingerbread houses, and play with two very fun dogs. Then we went to the Barclay's where they got to play laser tag, went to a big play place full of balls, went to two arcades, went to the dollar movie, went to two parties, watched a ton of movies, played Rock Band and Dance Revolutions, and some other video games, and just had a blast being with the Barclays. Spoiled huh. They really are, and I was too because there were plenty of adults to help with the kids.