Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jessie's Debut

Here's part of Jessie's school's morning kindergarten Christmas program. The only portion I recorded, since I actually like to watch performances while they're going on, lol! Jessie is the one in the front row about a third from the left in spring green pants (along with her Christmasy dress!). And yes, you can tell I had a niece next to me on the bleachers who was dancing (and shaking) to the music. =)

Merry few days after Christmas!

I love Christmas! I love everything surrounding it as well. I love the anticipation building as the air gets colder; I love the lights, the carols, the candy, the baking, the sharing, the laughter, the parties, the shopping, the wrapping, the hiding, the secrets, the time with friends and family; and most of all, I love the focus on our Savior. True, it's not always there, but still it's on a much grander scale than the rest of the year!

I loved watching my kids as they went throughout the whole holiday season this year. They have the best little smiles and they are so loving and giving that this whole season just fit right in with their personalities. Not to mention the time they get to spend with cousins goofing off and being silly.

And for those of you who wonder -- no, Dad did NOT put up a trap this year. I guess he figured that since the youngest home was 24, he could forgo it this year. Ah, but what he didn't know was that there had to be SOME sort of trap! So my friend put together a setup with a really obnoxious buzzer (think air horn-type sound) and pull string trigger. No, I really don't have a head for that sort of thing, but I at least am able to set something like that up correctly and out of the line of sight! It was beautiful! No one heard me in my nighttime operations, and come 8 a.m. Christmas morning, a nice loud alarm shattered the air. Of course, it was Mom instead of Dad (she'd forgotten I'd warned her about the trap), but still . . . it was so nice to hear an alarm going off Christmas morning that wasn't triggered by kids!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Girls Night, Baby!



So here we are at FHE this week. Yes, we do total crazy things when it's just us girls, no grandparents in sight. Like making gingerbread boys (sigh -- they're already boy crazy!), playing hide the candy (then eat it when you find it!), and of course, paint the nails . . . twenty per girl. The girls both said they felt prettier with their nails painted. Yes! I've done a good job on them! Oh wait, I don't wear nail polish! And all of this by candlelight (though only the first picture was taken by candlelight, lol). I think Marina counted and said we had 28 candles lit. And those are just mine, not even borrowing their grandma's or my scented ones, come to think of it. Yes, I love candles and candle holders! We ended the evening with a sing-along DVD and scriptures for a bedtime story. Ah, that every night could be like this. Way fun!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Treadmill Talent





It's funny how when you're a kid, exercise is a blast! I guess I should be proud of myself that I exercise enough that my girls want to do what I do, but . . . it's still work! Today after I was done with the treadmill, Jessie begged to use it while I did my weights. So here's little Miss Ham-It-Up doing her version of a workout. Complete with a strenuous mountain climb, followed by surfing! =)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Turkey Time


So I love pictures, but I never seem to get everyone in! Ah well! This is all from Thanksgiving, with at least all six of the children that were there represented. =) The cousins had great fun together as one might expect, but hey! What else is going to happen when you get four little blondies together? Of course, the toddler only wanted to be with his daddy, and the baby was adored and hugged and held by everyone except his parents, but it's all good! Unfortunately the last of the visitors leave tomorrow, so baby will finally get much more parent time. Too bad, in a way. Why are babies such fun to cuddle? And why on earth do we all sound like idiots when we talk to them?? Even my girls were telling me how much they loved the baby and that they wanted one. Ahem! Yeah, let me tell you girls, it ain't happenin' any time soon! You'll just have to borrow cousins. =)

Friday, November 16, 2007

SHE'S SEVEN!!




I cannot believe my oldest daughter is 7 now! How can I have been a mother for 7 whole years? And yet, how can it have been only 7? =) Marina was so cute today as she said that 7 was a special number because it was only one away from 8, when she'll be baptized. Ahhh.

But we've been busy lately. The SPED department at USU had a social last night, so my friend Alli and I grabbed my girls, had dinner together at Wendy's, then went bowling with the rest of the SPED crowd. Well, a lot of them anyway! You'd never guess the girls had just met Alli that afternoon, the way Jessie was running up to her (and all over her), and generally treating her like a long-lost favorite aunt. =) The girls were a little shy about meeting the kids of the professors who showed up (my professors have YOUNG kids! And only about one of the professors is relatively young.); but the girls really didn't have trouble talking to Ben, our head of department and killer instructor, since he was bowling on our lane with us. Fun stuff! And appropriately enough, Marina beat the socks off the rest of us in our group. Go birthday girl!

I let the kids sleep late today since they were up late bowling, and then I simply took them to school . . . and later picked up Marina after school since it was her birthday, she wanted me to, and I didn't have class today. I'm such a pushover sometimes! Ah well! Jessie and I had fun getting ice cream before we got Marina, and then they both had fun playing with Marina's little friend who came over to play. We just had a real simple party, with the girls grabbing a neighbor boy who was playing outside when it was cake time. And yet still, just playing party director was exhausting! Marina got the prettiest locket from my parents, and we were able to put in pictures of Jessie and me before the girls went down to their dad's tonight. Here's hoping they get to see their new baby cousins (twin boys) that their aunt just had this week!

And THAT concludes the saga of Marina's birthday. Now here comes Christmas! And Thanksgiving! (Grin!) Bring on the turkey!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Aladdin, part 2



Happy Halloween! The girls were lucky enough to be allowed to wear their costumes to school, but before they left, we got a picture of them with their pride and joy. Yes, Aladdin is officially off the vine now, and already he's going places. Well, at least he went to the ward Halloween party and won a ribbon for being one of the three biggest pumpkins there. His ribbon says "big." As opposed to the largest pumpkin, which got a ribbon saying "biggest." =) So thanks to the loving care of two little girls who planted the seed, Aladdin is now a 78-lb pumpkin. Let's hear it for the junior farmers!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pumpkin Walk










Yesterday we hit the North Logan Pumpkin Walk, where people have made a bunch of different scenes/people/animals, etc., out of pumpkins and other produce. It was fun, though the girls both said their favorite part was getting a cookie at the end! =) And the witch who was sitting in a chair there as well. It felt kind of like going to see Santa Claus, just wrong season. And the witch only asks the kids what they're going to be for Halloween. Phew! If they tried to start "Halloween presents" to go with Christmas presents and how they're trying to push the whole "Easter gift" thing, I think I'd scream.

But it was a fun day to be outside, too, with the fall colors, a bit of wind, and a nice gray sky. I love fall! Autumn is my favorite season, especially when it FEELS like fall!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Fall Is In The Air



Just had to share, but this will be quick!

The girls and I had a blast with our craft project the last couple days. First, I made a full-sized scarecrow (stuffed with newspaper so it isn't messy or smelly), and the girls helped me put it in their grandparents' bathroom on the (closed!) toilet. It got Mom and I was there to see Dad start laughing when he saw it later! Yay! Then today we made a small scarecrow to go with our larger model, so now we have the mom and kid. Fun stuff what fall brings out in you! Although I must admit, the putting the scarecrow in the bathroom wasn't my idea . . . as much as I'd love to claim credit, I had help. =)

Anyway, just thought I'd send this out into the cosmos. Happy October!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Me and my big mouth . . .

Of course, just as I admit how much I love my car and don't want it totaled, guess what the insurance company wants to do? Yeehaw! Anyone know a good deal on a nearly new compact car? =) Guess the damage was more expensive to fix than I thought.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Honk honk, rattle rattle rattle, CRASH, beep beep


Weird week. I was on my way home from my teaching practicum in Smithfield on Friday when I had to stop for some construction. Not a particularly unusual thing, but what was different was that the car behind me didn't stop. I saw this car coming up behind me way too fast to be stopping, and as I got hit from behind and felt my car domino into the car front of me, I was thinking, "This is SO not happening!" (Did I mention this was a day I would be taking my girls down to Provo?) Turned out to be a four-car accident, but the car in front of me only had a cracked bumper and the one farthest forward just barely got kissed. I tried to pull off the road but though my engine sounded fine, the car wouldn't move. I got out and saw that my bumper was hooked on top of the car behind me . . . and when the wrecker pulled them apart (with help front a firefighter in the back car putting on the brake), my whole back bumper was ripped off except for one small section. And I probably could have ripped that part off without too much trouble! =) Unfortunately, there was some hard plastic jammed inside my exhaust pipe, so my car had to be towed. And I now have a Saturn Vue, courtesy of Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Allstate Insurance (the other driver's insurance). Poor girl was getting married the next day (today) -- hope this didn't affect that! Fortunately, no one was injured as far as I know. It could have been a lot worse. Now I just hope that my car can be fixed relatively quickly (and not written off as totaled). I like having a car that's paid off, and I REALLY don't want to have to go car shopping again. Although this Vue is really spoiling me! =)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007

School!!




Hey! It's official! Jessie has joined the ranks of the school-going crowd! She's had a great first couple of days, and Marina has been a big help in seeing that Jessica gets to her room and knows where to put her stuff. Funny how there's only been one year in between when Marina first went to school and now Jessie, but it's a whole different feeling from when your oldest goes to school when it comes time for your youngest to go! Weird! =) I love the pics that show Jessie clearly nervous at first, but both her sister and their friend Max helped her deal with that. Now I just need to stop her ripping her nails when she's nervous!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Much moose




This trip to Tony Grove not only gave us a chance to enjoy the mountains, walk around the lake, and see an incredible number of stars, but we also got to really enjoy our animal neighbors. Not only were there the usual squirrels, woodpeckers, hawks, fish, ground squirrels (or as Jessie calls them, "chipsquirrels," since they look kind of like chipmunks with long tails), and so forth; but we also were favored by several moose. Marina and Jessica were all for getting up with their grandfather before 6 a.m. to go fishing, so I agreed to go along as crowd control (I didn't get a license this summer). The girls and their grandpa were ready before I was, so I told them I'd catch up. As I was tromping merrily along my way down toward the lake, I suddenly was brought up short by a snort in front of me. Not twenty feet in front of me stood a moose. No, make that THREE moose: one bull and two cows. Can I just say I haven't been that scared since I don't know when? Not that I'm particularly scared of moose as a general rule, but I have a healthy respect for their size and power. And besides, ever since I was thrown from a horse when I was eight and saw hooves waving above my head, I've also remembered how sharp hooves look. Needless to say, I definitely gave them a wide clearance. Later, as the girls were fishing and catching fish as fast as my dad could cast the lines out practically, it was fun to hear the moose call to each other across the lake. We even saw one come down into the lake at one point! (It's that dark speck in the middle of the tree picture . . . all my other shots of the three together were way too dark! Blow this one up and you can kinda see it.)

To cap it off, when we got back to the trailer where my mom was, she told us she thought she'd felt something brush the trailer on the end opposite where she was. And there, under that far wing of the camper were prints that looked suspiciously like the split hoof of a moose. Fun times!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Creative hair



Ok, so this is becoming a dumping ground, but I loved these pics today! Not only do they display the girls unique tastes in hair styling, but these pictures were taken by the artistes themselves. And yes there is a good reason they are all from the back!

Friday, August 10, 2007

What's that smell?



I have no idea what it is about rodeos, but every time I go, it's like I'm coming home. I love everything about them: the horses, the lights, the bulls, the excitement . . . Oh! And of course, the cowboys!

Last night was the first time I've brought my girls to a rodeo, and at first, they weren't quite sure what to make of it. I mean, Jessie loved the animals ("Look, Mom, horsies!"), and Marina liked the rodeo clowns (especially the pint-sized son of the main clown who also had a part), but still, they didn't care for the sitting and being a little cramped and all of that. But after a while, they seemed to get into the excitement of what could happen (there was a lot of bad luck that night), and when they found out it was OK to scream as much and as loud as they wanted, well! I think that won them over right there. And Jessie has one piercing scream. =)

About half-way through the rodeo, after things had definitely gotten going and several animals and cowboys had come and gone, Marina looked at me and said, "Mom, what's that smell?" Yup, that's right . . . my girls were definitely NOT raised in the country. And when we got home late at night, Jessie said the cutest prayer to "please help all the people who fell off in the rodeo that they won't be hurt bad."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Who needs lessons?





It's official. Some kids just have it. Marina has perfected the art of playing with her food, even going so far as to create works of art! She makes the most beautiful flower designs, imposing volcanoes, and even birds (out of flour tortillas) that really flap!

And Jessie? She has already demonstrated a natural talent for using her God-given feminine wiles. And no, I never taught her! Well, not at first, that is; not until she had already stunned me with puppy dog eyes and batting eyelashes. =)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Aladdin


Well, my girls are so happy their pumpkin plant is doing well; and I'll admit I'm happy I haven't managed to kill it yet. Maybe it's just the inside plants I torment.

So this pic is of their plant they've named Aladdin, or Laddie for short. And yes, the yellow thing is the pumpkin as of today. Grow pumpkin, grow! Aim for October!

California




The girls had a couple weeks with their dad out in California, where they not only got to play to their hearts content, they actually learned how to snorkel. Ahhh, my little girls are growing up so fast! I think I was eight when I learned to snorkel in Okinawa, so they've already got a jump on me. Not to mention they both were actually let on all the rides they tried at Disneyland, including Space Mountain -- how did that happen? They're favorite ride, though, was the "snow monster ride." =) They had a blast, but strangely enough, they're glad to be home now. Always a good thing.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Deep Thoughts


I love the things kids can teach without even knowing it. Last night, as the girls and I were reading scriptures, we got into some pretty deep discussions about different things we were reading, but the one that really hit me was when we were talking about justice and mercy. I tried to explain both concepts to Marina and Jessica, but remember, we're talking about a 6- and a 5-year old here! Even still, I just loved it when Marina got all thoughtful and then said, "So, justice is there to make sure we do right, and mercy is there to make sure we repent because Jesus and Heavenly Father love us." Wow!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Going Fishin'



Well, a couple weeks ago, the girls had their first fishing lesson, compliments of their grandpa. Of course, the day we went it was raining and freezing up at 8,000 feet, but at least Marina had fun! She was so fun to watch, taking it seriously, and holding her pole just right. Jessie, on the other hand, kept waving her pole around, and declared (after five minutes of sitting), "We've been here FOREVER!" Ah, kids! But they loved choosing the color of Power Bait they used, and I discovered a marvelous thing: if you threaten to put Power Bait on Jessie's thumbs, she won't keep putting them in her mouth! Now if we could only keep that up!