Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

Our Christmas morning we spent letting the kids open their stockings, which Santa always bring part of our breakfast in. My cute sister delivered a Christmas wreath bread to me the day before. It was amazing. It was our families tradition growing up. It is time consuming, but when she dropped it off I was so excited and I told Jed that was her way of saying I love you without saying it.

Jed made breakfast, and after we got ready for church. Jed and I both sing in the choir and usually I just go to practice but don't preform because it is difficult to have someone come to sit with the kids while we both go sing. It causes too much commotion. However for this performance our primary president who also sings in the choir offered to have her husband and children sit with ours. Her girls sat with my girls on the bench and Steve sat with Eli on the bench behind. It was so sweet of them. It worked nicely as I was also singing in a small group. Our meeting consisted mostly of music with narration. It was such a emotional program for me there would be times that I would have to stop singing because I would get so choked up over the words. Particularly in the second verse of Away in a Manger where it says "But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes. I love thee, Lord Jesus." and also into the 3rd verse "Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever and love me I pray." How many of us don't want that. I love the spirit that was felt. We also sang Mack Wilberg's arrangement What shall we give. You can hear it here. It is amazing.

We came home and opened gifts. Like I said in a previous post, we had secret Santa's who brought gifts that were so special. In particular beautiful sweaters; one for each child. I have no idea where these came from. But they are such a treasure to me and as the kids grow out of them they will be one of those things that get put with special items, that remind us of goodness and special moments.

I got a very special gift from the girls but that deserves a post of it's own. I will also include a picture of the kids in their sweaters because I know you would feel cheated if I didn't ;)

The kids got to play with their things for a little bit and then we went to our spend the rest of the day with our families. We had a wonderful day that was filled with so much happiness and feelings of love for those we are so blessed to call family. I also relished the time that I got to cuddle Brock and Brevin.

Santa brought Eli a swing so that we could hang it in his doorway to help him with his sadness about not being able to go outside. He LOVES it! Sorry it is turned sideways. I always forget that I can't turn it later.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

It was so fun having a laid back day, we did a clean sweep so we would have a place for new toys and such. I have talked a lot about cleaning in my recent posts haven't I? I may be ready to take that subject to the cleaners.

I introduced the girls to The Princess Bride during Eli and Daddy's nap time. They really liked it but did insist that they put the blanket over their eyes during a few parts (the torture machine and when the holocaust cloak is on fire.)

In the afternoon, we made gingerbread houses. Jed helped Ruby and I helped Emma. At first they both wanted to decorate exactly like they look on the box, but we kept telling them that we wanted them to be creative. Each house turned out great, and Eli woke up mid project with his shirt off. He was happy to toddle around and occasionally hit the girls up for a bit of decorating candy.

For dinner we had pizza, and sparking apple juice. Normally I don't like carbonation, but it was particularly choice on this occasion. We opened Pj's, which Ruby asked all day long when she could open them. We ended the evening watching White Christmas. Jed thought he was going to be bored, but it brought a tear to his lovely eyes at the end of the show. For some reason, I like it when Jed cries. I confess, I am a weird Harold.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Emma and E-man

They have moved some of the sunbeam classes around in our ward a bit as need be this year and with that has come E-man being moved into Emma's class. I think one week they played Rapunzel during class (Bless their teachers heart) and ever since then they have been such good little friends.

I wished Emma happy birthday on facebook and I got this comment from his mom: "happy birthday emma! so last night ethan got a fever & we told him he wouldn't be going to church today. "but i need to sing happy birsday to emma! it is her birsday!" he was so sad! it took me a bit to figure out which emma he was talking about...happy birthday from ethan!"

At our ward Christmas party, we were sitting at a table and his family walked in and he plopped in a seat at our table and asked where Emma was. He sat by us the whole time and I later saw the two of them together right before the primary preformed and he had his arm around her and brushed some hair out of her face. These two really are so funny. I always joke with his mom when I see cute things like this that when ever she is ready to look into wedding announcements we will be at the ready. :)

They occasionally have playdates, and they are just so fun to watch, and also to hear the things they say to each other. I love that my kids have good friends.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

In Awe

I am somewhat of a retrospec writer, because I think about things long after they happen and I like to mull over things. My heart is full of gratitude. I don't like writing about the stresses of our life, because even with those things our life is so beautiful, I like to remember the beautiful things.

This year for us has been difficult, but I have come to understand that there is no shame in difficulty, everyone has such circumstances. But here is where the gratitude comes in. We have grown closer because of them and have learned important things. I would not trade our experience. This year it never fails that when ever we have had a need of some sort that we ourselves couldn't take care of, the need was met. We have always had so many people just rushing to love and support us. This truly has been a year of miracles. Words cannot express the love that we have felt.

-Clothing for the kids. It seems right when we needed these things people would call or text me and ask if I could use a certain size they were getting rid of. Such an amazing blessing, my girls have loved all of the exquisitely cute things they have received. (Much cuter than their cheapskate mother would buy.)

-My sister showing up randomly at my door with band aids, lotion, scotch tape or calling to tell me about a great sell going on that would help me get things very inexpensively. She is the expert.

-A birthday sum given to Ruby to help her achieve her dream of Disneyland.

-My mom noticing that the girls shoes were getting a bit hashed and offering to take them shoe shopping as part of their birthday gifts. My mother is an angel.

-A friend setting up a small babysitting co-op. We have only done it one month but how could they have possibly known that we were desperate for a date or that our anniversary was in November. Truly a tender mercy.

-My sweet primary children who give me hugs and have written me Christmas cards.

-Our Sunday babysitter, who watches the children so Jed and I can go to choir practice for an hour after church. Melia is so sweet, my kids adore her.

-My next door neighbor who checks in on me, even though she has her hands full with 7 children at home. She also let me break into her house the other day with a credit card to borrow a 1/8 of a cup of molasses when she wasn't home. She also lets me spill said molasses on her porch when I try to break in. She is that amazing.

-Jed's parents giving us their couches and table. I am so thankful to have a table big enough to seat our all of our family and also have room for guests.

-A neighbor who we saw when we were out on a walk and Ruby started telling them that we were saving to go to Disneyland. This person reached into her pocket and gave Ruby 5 dollars to put toward her fund.

-Surprises that have shown up on our doorstep anonymously both for the kids and Jed and I. How I wish these incredibly amazing people could see my children's faces on Christmas. I have no words for these kinds acts, just tears. If you are a reader, thank you.

I know that Heavenly Father keeps His promises. He loves us perfectly and cares so much for all of us. Our lives have been so blessed by the hands of others. It is my hope that we can reciprocate the love that has been given to us and share it with others.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The best of friends

Over Thanksgiving we went to T&Chases. Our family stayed in Alyssa and Ashlyn's room. My girls thought it was the greatest thing ever that they got to share a room. After we got home the girls talked repeatedly about sharing a room and would constantly beg to be moved in together. Jed and I were hesitant because we remembered them sharing a room in the apartment. Emma would stand up in the crib and talk to Ruby and Ruby would run out shouting that Emma was keeping her awake. We were thrilled when they got to have their own rooms. They were too.

As they kept asking I kept warming to the idea. I would have thoughts like, "I should be happy they want to be together" "It would be so special for them to being in the same room for Christmas and be able to share their excitement." "When I shared a room with my sister I loved being able to talk to her"

Jed and I were still in chats about it and one day the girls asked again and we set up rules that they agreed to. The thing I worried about the most is that they would have too much time together and it would encourage fighting. After we all agreed the three of us prepped Ruby's stuff for the move. They were so cute and would grab tools and pretend to ratchet the bolts. They were also very good to hold the frame so it wouldn't fall when we were taking it apart. Such good helpers.

Todd and Meg offered us this bedroom set. It worked out perfectly, we just split up the quilts and there were 2 sheet sets, a rug, and the curtain panels. The girls love it so much and are so glad for this kind gift that Todd and Meg gave them. They are very good about making their beds and keeping toys out of there. I made them agree that it was a place for them to be together and if they wanted to play they could head down the hall to Ruby's old room which is now the toy room.

Jed was suprised that we did it without him. The girls are doing great and are so happy to be sharing their space and they are keeping their end of the bargain. Family relationships are everything and in the words of Junie B. Jones seeing them together makes me want "to clap my hands very happy." They are so good to each other.

They are the best of friends.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Late overs and B-day interviews

As far as Birthday parties go, we allow the girls to have their first party when they are 5 and then they get a party every other year. This year it was our off year for parties but the girls get to have a late over at the beginning of each month. We made it a double and they both got to have a friend over for dinner and a movie. Emma invited Delphia and Ruby invited Julianna. We had waffles for dinner and the girls had a great evening playing and watching a movie. Eli had his dinner but felt the need to infringe on Delphia's. It was pretty funny.

*I feel a little stupid that I threw in the Mommy and Daddy card. I did it with the only thought being that Emma would say Daddy. I was positive she would. Anyway it blew up in my face and leaves me looking like and idiot and that I needed her to clap me on the back because I am such an amazing mama. I will now exit to climb under my rock. Please excuse me. *

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ruby turns 6

6 years ago Ruby was born. It is amazing how much life has changed in such a short time. The one thing that has not changed is that Ruby brings joy to my life.

So often when I look at Ruby, I feel like I am seeing myself. She experiences some of the same feelings I experienced as a child, and still feel as an adult. Sometimes that makes me happy and other times, I hurt for her because I know what she is feeling. With that in mind it is sometimes difficult to know how to best help her. I can a) do what is most sensible and treat it in the same way that I was raised. or b) I try to think what is best to help her from the stand point of "I know exactly what that emotion or feeling is." But sometimes that is even more confusing.

I feel like Ruby is an old soul. She always reminds us to floss, read the scriptures, pray, and do the right thing even when others are being unkind. She truly is a good girl. Ruby loves art and could spend hours drawing, coloring and painting. She loves to sing and very often makes up her own lyrics and recently told me she is in love with "Justin Beaver" I tried to correct her and she said "Bieber is too silly of a last name to be real." We laughed our heads off tonight as we sang the 12 days of Christmas in our operatic voices. I think Ruby's two favorite things in the whole world is being with her family and friends. She loves people and is devastated when she hasn't seen her friends in a whole day. ( I mentioned that we may be getting together with Koen and she lit up like a Christmas tree. :)

Her favorite phrase on her birthday was "Can I do this since it is my birthday?"

I had a music practice on her birthday and I knew that it just wouldn't do to leave for a few minutes on her special day so I brought her along with me and she loved it. Whatever it is, Ruby wants to be a part of it. I am singing with Ruby's first primary teacher in this ward, Amanda Goodman, and it was so sweet of her to remember ruby and brought her a card, candycane, pencil, and a hair clip.

Ruby has brought a sweetness to my life that encourages me to be better and more what I can and should be. She has also brought strong emotions and a temper with her too, and ya know what? We'll take it. Love you Rubes!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mr. Eli

Eli started going to nursery in October. I was so worried that he wouldn't like it or would frustrate the leaders, and that he wouldn't want to sit in a chair. However both are contrary. He loves it, and he leaders are so loving. I am so happy for that. When we go to church the nursery room is the first one he goes into.

He has been able to go up the stairs for a long time, but going down was proving tricky because he wanted to stand up and sometimes his balance isn't the best, and there have been times that he has tried to go down head first. We have had a gate up for a long time and when at a friends home that have three levels I discovered that he won't try to go down unless someone is there. We took the gate down (it screws into the wall.) and after a week Eli has had great success. He likes being able to go where he wants to.

He is also signing a few words now. He can sign eat, more, milk and want. We are slowly working on adding more. We have a speech therapist that is coming to see him to in hopes of helping him move along verbally. That is where his biggest frustration comes from, he knows what he wants but can't communicate it to us. Signing has helped but it is a new thing even though we have been pushing it for months. When we stopped pushing it he did it on his own. His speech therapist believes the delay in speech is from his seizures, and asked if we thought it was possible that it was genetic. At this point that is the only thing that makes sense, as everything comes back normal. I don't know of any other family member who has seizures, but my grandma is adopted and I have often wondered if it comes from the family info we know nothing about.

Eli is a bright boy, he loves to be with the girls, being outside, wielding the light saber, things that make sound, being on the bed. This Eli and his friend Reese. Love this handsome little guy.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Emma turns 4

We spent Emma's 4th birthday in Cedar at T and Chases home. They blessed their sweet twin boys that day. I had so many people ask me if it was hard for Emma to share her day, and the answer to that is no. Teresa gave Emma the spotlight right before the lunch and she got to blow out a candle shaped like a 4 on a box of strawberry ice cream, her favorite. It made her feel so special even if she seems serious. On the way home she told us that the best part of the day was being with her cousins.

Emma is such a vibrant girl, she has so much personality and knows what she wants to do and does it, even when it means it will end with her sticking her nose in a corner for think time. She loves to share what she has with others, dance and play with Ruby and her friends. I am thankful they include her. She is part of the crew. She is so sweet to Bubba and is a big helper and night when Ruby reads. Bubba likes to be where we are but is such a wiggle worm. Emma is so good to play "I'm going to get you" and chase Bubba even though I know she wants to be on the couch with us. She has become my little companion while Ruby is at school, and is also very good at helping cook dinner.

A funny story about Emma recently happened while I was changing Bubba. She asked me why his bum "looked like that" because her bum "doesn't look like that." I explained that all boy bums look like that. "Daddies bum doesn't look like that." She assured me. We went back and forth for a few minutes until I told her to go ask Daddy if his bum is the same as Eli's. She marched off to confirm that she was right and I was wrong. She rapped on the bathroom door and asked Jed the pertinent question. He informed her that they were the same and that was that. She turned around and shrugged and said "Daddy was right. Their bums are the same." In Emma's mind Daddy is always right unless it is regarding think time or bedtime.

Emma is my little love, and she loves to preform for the family, especially when Ruby is at her side. If there is a crowd she gets shy. Emma is such a joy, and she is the cause of many eye rolling moments at our house but we love her so much. Grateful Heavenly Father sent us so much gusto and spark in such a little body.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving weekend fun

Our initial plan for Thanksgiving was to be with my family, but we got a call from my mom on
Thursday morning informing us that she had the flu and that it was best if we made other arrangements because she felt so awful and had a really bad night. How grateful I was that the first thought that came to was that I knew we could call Jed's mom and dad and they would make room for us even though it was last minute. I love that about them.

The kids had fun with the cousins and dinner was delicious. I was in charge of rolls at my moms house and I was trying a new recipe that you make the dough and then let it raise over night in the fridge. I made the dough and ran to my sisters to borrow a crockpot and when I came back this is what I saw. I was only gone for 30 minutes. We cut the losses of what touched the fridge shelf and continued on with the rest. I LOVE this recipe so delicious and so easy.

My mom and dad had us come pick up their extra turkey and pumpkin pie, since there was no way they could possibly eat it. They had two turkeys, so Friday we spent the morning making stuffing (that was one of my other assignments.) and cooking a turkey. Ruby enjoyed a turkey leg.

We also got to work on putting up our Christmas decorations. The kids were so excited and then sort of fizzled after fluffing a few branches. I got the lights strung and the tree ready and then they helped with everything else.

I don't think I have ever posted a picture of our tree but I love it because a lot of the ornaments are homemade. Ruby and I made the wreaths and gingerbread men the first year we moved in. Jed's mom made the snowflakes. She is amazing! When she was in second grade she discovered her talent for snowflake making and I am pretty sure she was recognized for it and got to visit the principle. These are my favorite ornaments on our tree. I get really excited for the years to come when the kids bring home ornaments they made. I am sentimental like that and they will always grace our tree.

More weekend adventures to come.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Our Thanksgiving Tradition

I got this Thanksgiving idea from Angie and I love it so much! I would like to think that we have done this every year except for last year. It got put on the back burner when Eli was having his steroid treatment.

Jed's family each Thanksgiving has a tradition that each person gets 3 kernels of corn on their plate and then we go around the table and say 1 thing we are thankful for each of kernel and then we place them in a cup and pass it to the next person. I love this because each November I start thinking of things that pertain to the year specifically that I am thankful for. Angie's turkey idea gives us the opportunity to continue the tradition even when we are away from the family.

Our 3 thankful's go as follows:

2. Atonement
3.Sports and the stress relief it provides.

1. Mr. Romig
2. Ward Family
3. Memories

1. Daddy plays with us
2. Savior
3. Family

1. Barbie


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our weekend

We got snow Friday night and so Saturday morning came and I went on a grumpy cleaning tirade. I let things go for a long time and then something in me snaps and *I just have to* organize the toys that have been bugging me but I just close the door on them for a later time. So I corralled the poor citizens of our home and told them no snowman making until things are picked up and mommy's nerves were settled. I am sure I stomped a little too. After my cleaning grumpies had passed everyone but Emma was allowed to go outside, because I decided I couldn't make the rest of the family wait until she picked up her portion. (When you look at the pictures you will notice she is outside in her pajamas and snow boots. She snuck out side when I was videoing Jed and Ruby. And I just let her stay.) Eli was all dressed for the weather, but hated the feel of the snow suit so he got to come inside and then someone nameless person left the door open and he kept coming to the door crying and was quite pantless. Yes dear readers, I believe in being on the ball, meeting everyone needs immediately and making home a heaven on earth.

The kids had fun and our afternoon turned out to be quite pleasant. The girls had a birthday party to go to that was "Pinkalicious" themed. Jed and I attempted a nap only to have Eli wake up from his 5 minutes later and ended up doing dishes and playing with Eli.

At 4 we dropped the kids off at the neighbors and returned home for our anniversary date. It was lovely. We have dated at home for years but there is something quite nice about not having to do so after the kids are in bed. We made dinner together, played hand and foot (which I lost horribly) and cuddled and watched a movie. It was a great evening. We have been married for 7 years. I love my best friend. More than anything I look forward to our letter exchange every year. It is the best.

Sunday we did our usual drill of church, lunch, and naps and spent the evening playing dominoes with the girls. Emma won the first round and was waving her little fingers in the air saying "I won! I won!" I asked her how victory felt and she paused for a moment and said "He's my boyfriend." she is a hoot. After our game Ruby read to Eli on the couch.

It was such a fun weekend. Since we got the snowman up the girls have been constantly checking frosty's status. Today I was out on a walk with Eli when I noticed a boy in our yard destroying the snowman. I had a friend with me and she gave me the courage to do something about it. The boy saw me coming and hurried back to his friends. I called him over and made him fix the snowman. I know that it was just a snowman and it was melting anyway, but I knew my girls would be upset. I sat outside and watched him fix it for 15 minutes and basically told him to respect other peoples things, and then I told him to go. I am a mama bear.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November Student of the Month

At the beginning of November Ruby came home with a sealed note from her teacher. She gave it to me and wanted to know what it said. After reading it, I told her that it was just a note for me.

The following Monday we got to go to the school to see Ruby receive her award in class. Jed made it home just in time from his meeting. We were a smidge late, and as we walked in the door, the principle was sitting there, and the teachers aide said to me "I knew you wouldn't miss this, that's why I had them wait." I was very grateful.

Ruby was chosen as student of the month, and this is what her teacher said about her. "Ruby completes her work in class, and is proud of the work that she does. She isn't afraid to work hard. Ruby is very caring and wants to make sure everyone is taken care of and that their needs are met. She shows respect to her teacher and to her classmates. This is why I chose Ruby as student of the month."

Ruby's teacher was at a conference the day she received. The lady in the picture is her substitute. Sorry for my poor picture taking. The look on Ruby's face would suggest that she is getting in trouble, I think she was feeling a bit shy. though.

Ruby was surprised. She won an award, pencil, and a certificate for a free taco. She was very excited about this and used the taco coupon along with her Red Mango coupon she earned for reading so she and Jed could go on a daddy daughter date. (We love freebies.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011


As with usual Halloween the kids change their minds about a trajillion times and as the holiday was getting closer I decided for sanity's sake decisions had to be made. I called for a "powwow" and I laid down the law in true mother fashion. The children agreed, we shook hands and called it a success. Here is what they ended up being.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A return from my idiotic break

So after multiple failed attempts to get my pictures to upload, I solved the "mystery" which could have been solved weeks ago. I despise writing in retrospect because it isn't as fresh.

So back in the end of September (I think) we had a few weekend visitors. I love it when people come to stay and visit. Dallen is a tri-yearly visitor for us. He is willing to squeeze in a visit when his school and work schedule align and he can spare us some of his precious time. Dallen and I have always been close and I think that all growing up and even now(chances are we haven't grown up at all) we drive my blessed mother kazoo with all of our banter. We think it is downright hilarious but she thinks we are fighting even though we assure her we are not.

I am so glad he comes to visit. The girls love him and Ruby cries every time he has to leave. When he comes we usually do some baking, play games, watch our favorite movies, and just catch up. Dallen may kill me for posting these pictures, as his Kenny G hair is no more. But here's to the memories and I doubt he reads me anyway.

Another favorite visitor at our house is Mjieta (?) Anyone care to correct me on the proper spelling? She comes to visit us occasionally and my kids are in heaven. Especially Bubba, he loves just coming up to her and slowly leaning his little face forward, getting a few kisses and then will walk away. And the cycle repeats. He loves her, and she is very patient with him. She is the one reason I would ever consider a dog. She is the sweetest and smartest dog I have ever met and she is so so sweet to Bubba. If anyone could ever sway me on getting a dog it would be Bubba.

Friday, October 7, 2011

FHE and the boy

It has been so fun having the girls teach Family Home Evening this past weeks. Jed and I just let them teach what they wanted to and we just let them do it without any planning or coaching them on what to talk about.

Ruby taught about each of us being children of God, among other things. It was so fun to hear her testimony on this subject. She did great!

Emma taught hers on choosing the right and following Jesus Christ. Here on earth and also how each of us chose to follow him in the pre-existance. Jed and could not help but smile at each of the girls enthusiasm. Emma was so eager about it that she became a one man band. When we would ask her to call on someone for the prayer, leading the music, or the closing prayer her little hand would pop in the air and she would proudly say she was going to do it. She wanted to do it all. We finally were able to coax her into letting Ruby say the closing prayer. It was pretty great!

We have had the same crib set for all three of the kids since it is in green and red. Each of the kids have had a rag quilt made especially for them and the girls have always liked those and become attached to them. Eli on the other hand has become very fond of the blanket from the crib set. When he wants to cuddle he drags it to you and gives it to you, it really comforts him. I can't help but smile about it since it has lace on it. He just loves it. We take it in the car with us and he is always shuffling it around. Once second it will be on his lap, around his shoulders, over his head and then he will pull up the front so he can see you and just smiles. We loves him lots.