Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sam's first day of school

Today is Samuel's first day of preschool! We were teasing him this morning telling him that it is the first day of 22+ years of school if he decides to follow his chosen career path - he wants to be a doctor like his dad. I think if I were him and I actually realized how long that is, I would be running away to Never Never Land about now. Instead, he is living in the blissful present where he gets to be a big boy and go to school with his friends. He is so proud and excited. Man, I hope he likes it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

a day of peace

Yesterday I had the most remarkable day - it was completely peaceful. I woke up on time to get myself and the boys ready for choir practice and church. There was no feeling of rush or stream of complaints from the boys, just a steady flow of calm around all of us. Even the 20-25 minute drive through the city (surrounded by the country's worst drivers) to get to church didn't phase me. Choir practice started late -as usual- and although I made a mental note to send emails to remind everyone to be on time, it didn't bother me. My whole day went like that. Things that normally would bother me or cause mild frustration didn't even register. I even took care of a friend's son during sacrament meeting along with my own two boys and enjoyed it.
Why, you may ask, was this such a remarkable day? Because I can't even remember the last time I felt this kind of peace, much less an entire day! It feels like for the last few years I or someone in my family has been in crisis. Be it Tracy in Iraq or Keri and I diagnosed with depression, Jared job hunting, the kids, various illnesses, whatever, there was always something burning in the back of my consciousness, knawing at my well-being and energy. Yesterday, all of that was gone. I was wrapped in a coccoon of peace. I don't know how else to describe it but remarkable. I'm hoping for another such day sometime soon...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

have you heard these words before?

A friend of mine just sent me this. I laughed so hard I knew I had to share.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

how old are you really?

Tyler and Becca sent me this fun link. Apparently I am only 11 (way too young to have 2 kids!) and going to live to be 91. Check it out.

Enjoy the survey while I finally stop procrastinating and start painting my house. We do want to put it on the market sometime this century. Ack!

Friday, September 21, 2007

sibling relations *sappy warning*

I am the youngest of five kids. My whole life I remember trying to measure up to my brothers and sisters. At some point, however, I realized that I would never be as patient and kind as Lisa or as organized and driven as Keri. I also knew I would never be as fearless as Jared (although that is probably a good thing) or as intellectual as Tyler. I learned to be myself and be happy with that. For the most part I am happy - although I could still use some of Lisa's patience in my parenting skills!
It is interesting watching as my kids get older how their personalities develop and how they relate to one another. Samuel is timid and intelligent. He picks up way more than I give him credit for! He is fascinated by the world and asks millions of questions. He is teaching me to be creative with how I answer him. He doesn't ask easy questions. Lately - thanks to a recent primary lesson - he keeps asking me how Jesus created things (froot loops, lucky charms, toys, cars, etc.). What exactly do I say to that?! Is he too young to hear creationism vs the big bang theory? He is also very bossy and competitive - a true firstborn.
James is my wild child! He loves playing outside- he actually cries when I tell him it's time to go inside. He is all boy - he loves swordfights, sports, running everywhere he goes, trains, climbing anything and everything and mimicing his big brother. When Sam played tball this spring it was all we could do to keep James off the field. He was more interested in playing than Sam was. He tackles Sam on a regular basis just for the fun of it. John thinks James is going to be a linebacker for the Eagles, heaven knows they could sure use one! He loves to read but isn't as interested in general learning like Sam was at that age, he just wants to move. He is also very much a youngest child - although I try not to spoil him too much.
They are so different but they love each other fiercely, even more fiercely then they fight. Yesterday while they were sitting at the table eating yogurt and cereal, out of the blue Samuel said "I love you James." James replied, "I love you too, Am (he can't say his s's yet)." And that was that. I just hope they stay that way.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tracy is Home!

My brother-in-law, Tracy, returned home from Iraq on Sunday. Well, technically he's not home yet - he is debriefing at a base in Kansas or Missouri or something - but Lisa and the kids are there with him and MOST IMPORTANTLY he is on American soil. Man, it has been a long year! I don't know how Lisa did it- but it is safe to say we are all breathing a little easier now. My heart goes out to everyone who still has family and friends serving in Iraq and I will keep them in my prayers for a safe and speedy return.
Just as a side note... Nathan, Lisa and Tracy's middle child, decided to celebrate Dad's imminent return by falling off the monkey bars at school last week and breaking his arm in 3 places. I think if Tracy hadn't come home soon, Lisa was prepared to go over and drag him back!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

reunion take 2

I leave to go home for my high school reunion a week from tomorrow. Although I am so excited to see my mom and Dwane and Jared and Steph and their cute baby girl, I am starting to have crazy dreams about high school. Am I starting to get anxious? I mean, who really wants to relive high school anyway? All I remember is a series of embarrassing incidents and a few good friends. College was much more my speed. What will it be like to see everyone again?
A couple of weeks ago while I was teaching in gospel doctrine I backed up to show the class something I had written on the chalkboard, tripped over the wheel of the chalkboard, caught my heel of my shoe in my long skirt and landed on my back side. Had this happened in high school I would have been completely mortified. As it was I cracked some joke about being grace itself and continued on with my lesson. I am such a different person than I was in high school and yet all of my friends whom I haven't seen in years are all stuck in my mind in that awkward, self-conscious phase. It will be interesting to see how everyone has turned out - and if we all revert to who we were the last time we were all together.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


My kids drive me crazy! They are old enough to play together now but that also means they are old enough to fight too. You would think that Sam, being the oldest, would have the upper hand, but one of many James' nicknames is Bruiser. Anyway, daily (usually about 5 pm just before John gets home from work) they start really picking on each other: stealing toys, hitting, kicking, biting, telling each other to sit in time out, etc. I usually threaten to put them in their rooms until dad gets home - yeah, like that has ever happened! Needless to say I usually tend to get a little frustrated with their behavior.
Lately, however, I have been able to let it go -until I see blood, that is. The reason is that I have had a few conversations with friends who have problems having kids or have been unable to have them at all. In light of their stories and my own condition that makes pregnancy difficult, I am dang lucky to have these two little rugrats to drive me crazy in the first place! Being able to have children is something most women take for granted. It is something that we are made to do and we do not usually assume that we will have problems, consequently many women put it off - whether for their job or because they don't feel ready - and then discover one day that they want kids and they can't have them.
I am lucky because with a spiritual prompting, John's medical bacground and some early testing we figured out what was going on and in my case the earlier you start trying, the easier it is to resolve the issue. My recent conversations with my friends just reminded me how lucky I am... which I tend to forget in the midst of poopy diapers and screaming fights. Even when they drive me crazy at least they are my kids and I know that at the end of the day (and sometimes inbetween) I get a big hug and kiss and an "I love you!" from my sweet boys.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the real Marty

My sister, Lisa, just sent me a box of hand-me-downs for my boys. Thank you Lisa! She helps keep my kids dressed. Anyway, in the box along with the clothes she sent was a stuffed animal version of Marty from the movie Madagascar. Samuel already has another stuffed zebra which he had also named Marty. He was so excited to have another one. The first words out of his mouth were "Another zebra! Marty will be so excited!"
Then Samuel proceeded to explain to me that the new Marty is the daddy zebra and the old Marty is the mommy zebra. He than began using his imagination and acting out a conversation with his zebras and his stuffed animal racehorse named Smarty Jones. I wish I had had the video camera set up because that was something that should be preserved for postarity. It was so cute! I love that he has such a vivid imagination.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

my ipod

Just some fun facts for you about my ipod. I got this questionaire off of another blog and thought it was pretty cool

Longest Song: "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin 16+ minutes

Shortest Song: "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" sung by Sam and his cousins on the family cd. So cute! 1:17

Most frequently played: "As Long As I'm Singin'" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Shuffle or playlist: Definitely shuffle. I like surprises. However, if I'm in the mood for a certain set of songs I revert to my playlists.

Coolest song/album: I have John Mayer's Continuum and Norah Jones' Come Away With Me. But I think the coolest one is Tidal by Fiona Apple.

cheesiest song/album: "The Man I Love" by Barbara Streisand

Song I always skip: The B52's "Rock Lobster". I like the song I'm just never in the mood for it.

Song I always crank up: pretty much anything I know the words to and can sing along with.

Song I always sing to: "Criminal" by Fiona Apple

Song that makes me cry/moves me: "Angel" by Sarah McLaughlin also "What's Forever For" by Michael Martin Murphey. Both of them hold special memories for me and give me warm fuzzies whenever I hear them. Of course music speaks to me in a way nothing else does

Song that makes me want to get up and dance: The Rhythm of the Night - off the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge.

Song no one else has heard of: The Girls of Summer. It is on our family cd sung by my sister-in-law Rebecca. Absolutely gorgeous but completely unfamiliar.

Song everyone has: "Livin' La Vida Loca" by Ricky Martin ... I'm not the only one am I ???

Last song to be uploaded: Rachmaninov's "Variations on a theme by Paganini". It is in the movie Somewhere in Time that I just love!

Three most prominant genres: Musicals, Jazz and Alternative

Three artists with the most songs on my ipod: Sting, Michael Martin Murphey, Billie Holiday

Any Classical? If yes which is the most played: Yes, Debussey's "Claire de Lune"

Song that would surprise my friends: "All Star" by Smashmouth

Do my playlists have a theme? Yes. Love songs for those sappy moods, nostalgic, happy and workout.

What song from a popular commercial do I have on my ipod? I have no idea.

Do I subscribe to any podcasts? No.

Put my ipod on shuffle right now. What came up: "That Don't Impress Me Much" by Shania Twain.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

new pics

For a surprise for John on his birthday I took the boys to get their pictures taken. Normally the ordeal of professional photography lasts over an hour and includes a lot of bribery, threats and acting like a complete idiot and that is just the photographer! After we finish getting the kids pictures taken I feel like I have done a triathlon and what do we have to show - two or three mediocre shots. Ugh!! In our Christmas cards last year I was actually laying down on the table and James was sitting on me, it was the only way to get him to hold still. Thank goodness for digital editing!

Anyway, I digress... last month I took the boys to Target by myself to get their pictures taken. Before we went into the studio I reminded the boys that these pictures were for their daddy and I needed them to smile. I don't know if it was the pep talk or some other cosmic anomaly, but this was an incredible photography session. It took less than 10 minutes and I loved almost all of the shots! When I showed up to pick up the prints a couple of weeks later they actually asked me to sign a release for some of the pictures because they turned out so cute! Yes, I know, I am bragging about my kids again - but what's that saying? The proof is in the pudding! What do you think?