Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Christmas boy!

This year we weren't snowed in (a first!) so I was able to buy supplies for a real cake! After changing his mind (Spiderman, Batman, Sheriff Woody, etc.) many times we broke out the Woman's Weekly birthday cake book and picked....

Christmas FHE at the temple

Each year we go to see the Nativity scene at the temple for a Family Night. We bring the DVD player and watch the Nativity (Luke 2) video muted, and synch it up to Amy Grant's "Breath of Heaven" and enjoy the sweet spirit it brings. It's a beautiful song and it matches up to the movie wonderfully - it's uncanny. And check out the frozen temple fountain!

First Vegemite

Also first scrambled eggs - both were a HIT!

Christmas Program

Christmas Party with Santa

Here was our chance to take our pictures with Santa - we missed the memo that dinner was supposed to be Sunday dress. Oops! Ash and Nathan are very contemplative!

El Paso

We went to El Paso to visit Kurt for Thanksgiving. First pic is behind his home on the road to through the Pass. Second pic is driving along the border near downtown El Paso looking at how close Juarez really is.

Ashlyn in November

Just so she gets some facetime this month. : ) Here she is coloring - her fave. And yeah - mommy went crazy and gave her some cute girly hair. I wish mine would be so lovely!

Nathan's a Wampanoag

From his preschool's Feast Day. Nathan brought cookies to share.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas List

Hey all! Are you wondering what to get us for Christmas? :) Well, helpful me - here you go.

Rick: the boy always needs clothes. Mostly we always ask for jeans, because he goes through them like paper undies - but this year we are going for something new and exciting. He needs any kind of clothes. It has literally been years since he's had new clothes. He need shirts (long and short sleeve - L), and the ubiquitous request for jeans (32x34), and undies - the Holy kind :o) if you know what I mean (Med and 32). Now of course we plan on making sure he has the means to get dressed in the morning - we aren't desperately begging or anything. But this way you know what he needs. And as for wants, Home Depot gift cards, Mountain Dew, yummy eats.

Kids: really - they are good. Grandma is picking up Sleeping Beauty from what I understand. Movie-wise most new stuff is trash now (I'm talking the animated stuff - made for kids but with adult humor - what's up with that?) so we like to pick our own stuff to be safe. Clothes are fine - Nathan is a 4T bottom, 5 top, 11 shoes. Ashlyn is a 7/8 top, 6 bottom, 13 shoes.

I bought some Leapster games for them (ya I gave in - but at least it's not an Xbox or something - they're EDUCATIONAL, big difference!) and I'd be happy to put your name on one. They were $15 (normally $25) if that's what you'd like to spend. That goes for Nathan's B-day too (poor kid). They do not need playthings - at all. We are already having to purge what they've accumulated in their short stint on earth.

Lauren is a baby and only needs a desire to nurse. Or clothes (see previous post about Ashlyn's lack of hand-me-downs). We just spent way too much on clothes for her so she's good right now, but extra cute things are fun. Or socks and solid color onesies. She's 9-12 or 12mo .... 9 mo just barely fits her right now. Or maybe you want to buy for spring/summer. Should be 12-18.

And of course, as we said before, if you wanna pop for swim/gym/soccer/etc. just let me know and we'll arrange it. They really do think this is cooler than a gift!

Me: Really, I need nothing, except to get off my butt and exercise. If you've found a solution for that I'm all ears. Nothing I want is cheap (wanna buy some food storage for me? gym membership and a babysitter?) and I have all the toys I need. Thanks though! Give Rick a shirt for me. :o)

Friday, November 21, 2008

"I'm a real boy!"

Well, a real engineer anyway.  :)  Rick will officially no longer be a Mechanical Engineer, Associate on Saturday.  He's now Mechanical Engineer, Senior - so be sure to comment when you see his sig change on his emails.  ;o)

Yay Rick!  We are SOOOOO proud of him and are so glad that he can feel that same appreciation that we feel for him confirmed and his hard work validated in such an awesome way by his peers.  Congratulations babe!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blog reader, blog reader, what do you see?

I see the work of Nathan looking at me!

Or you will soon....

I asked Nathan to go to the bathroom and wash up before nap. He was taking a long time and after a while I could hear that he had filled the sink with water and was splashing around. I told him to wash his hands, empty the sink, dry his hands and get into his bed. ... Nothing... A few more minutes went by (I was busy folding laundry and not checking on him).

ME: Nathan, what are you doing?
N: Cleaning up.
ME: What are you cleaning up?
N: Um, squishy stuff.

Oh no, what could "squishy stuff" possibly be!?!

So here's what you see...

two rubber duckies, hair brush, Q-tips, 2 wash cloths and an Aussie Olympic platypus toy in the sink - with water of course.

What you don't see - the rest of the cotton balls from that empty jar and more Q-tips in the sink.

Squishy stuff.

And I should mention that the reason there are cotton balls in the jar is because Nathan was putting them back in - "cleaning up" as it were. Those are soaking wet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

If you visit my blog...

Now, I read most of my blogs in the email that my blog reader sends to me when there are new posts and I rarely step "foot" in a real blog. To those of you who do the same, I get it. We're lazy by nature. That's why we have a reader! But I'm getting so many hits per day. Not bad for a blog that isn't searchable by web crawlers. You have to come here on purpose - follow a link, type in the address.

So, if you actually visit my blog...
... you should comment. At least once so I know you're here and feel some luv. Just sayin'.

Just one more reason...

...why I have a Label for my blog entitled "I Love Rick". It is for posts when I just want to remind myself of why I am so lucky. Or if I want to brag him up a little. It can also stand for "Why Rick is So Cool - but Sorry He is Taken".

Here is our water storage. I found some water containers that someone was selling in another stake and was happy to pick some up and add some longer term water storage to our supply. Rick has set it up in our food storage room on a rack. That in itself is kinda cool, but wait until you see the other side!

Yes, there are spigots to easily get to our water. But wait there's more! He has rigged this up to our sprinkler system so that each time the sprinkler is run our water storage is aerated and rotated! No wasting a huge vat of water each year when you need to rotate your water! He is a genius and I'm so grateful his crazy little mind works in ways I could never imagine.

The Best

I had the best experience today. I went to lend an FHE lesson I made to someone who is newish (at least to me - but I was in YW a long time) in our ward. I ended up chatting for over an hour. Poor girl - I think she was taking a nice Sunday nap when we stopped by! But anyway, we talked about so many things! And it was just a lovely experience. She asked how Rick and I had met, which led to a discussion about my background (not in the church), my conversion and my philosophy on family and my passion to raise my kids to KNOW. I didn't KNOW anything growing up. I think I had a lot of HOPE, but there is so much more strength and security to KNOW. I got teary (well, she did it first - it's her fault). : ) But she was full of nothing but praise for me and my kids. I don't think there is anything that helps me to do better in my life than having someone completely ignore my faults and tell me how great I am. Because, really, aren't we all great at some things? Focusing on that is so healthy for our souls. I don't mean that we should get big heads and think we can do no wrong, but it is so encouraging to know that someone thinks highly of you. For me, it's a big motivator - a recharge to my spiritual and emotional battery. There is a lot to be said for praise. I need to remember that as a mom and wife.
Being on Facebook has allowed me to "talk" with my best friend Kim much more recently. If you know me at all you know I absolutely hate talking on the phone. HATE IT! (Which is why my new calling is somewhat hilarious - hounding a large list of women monthly to get their VT reports). So being able to post on each other's pages, IM, and send quick msgs has allowed us the chance to to chat quite a bit more. It has made me realize that she does that pep talk thing for me. Without fail, each conversation is uplifting, comforting and loving. I haven't realized how much I have missed that. I had a similar feeling when I went to Doug's to his his newest son blessed. I felt so good about myself when we went home. Recharged and open to the spirit. I felt loved. I wish I could take a bubble bath (in the downstairs bath of course) and just soak in that feeling. I wish I knew a way to make that stay with me - short of moving next door to Kim. I pray all of you can find that too. I really think that's how we are meant to make each other feel.

Funny Nathan

We were in WalMart lamenting the cost of looking at new bikes (Ashlyn looks like a clown in the circus on her little 2-wheeler - it's WAY too small for her) and Nathan (my "I want" kid at the store) was asking if he could have this bike, or this one, or that one, etc.
I said, "No Nathan. You already have a bike. It's a cool bike - it has Spidey on it!"
N: "But I want TWO bikes!"
Me: "Nathan, one bike is plenty."
N: "But, Mom! One is the LONELIEST number!"

:) Rick sings that "One is the loneliest number" song to the kids. Well, he sings that one line anyway. He has actually admitted that he doesn't know any more of the song. But he does like that one line!
We're weird that way - we could bust out in song at any moment! We sing around the house all day long and when there's a sad/mad kid or parent nothing brightens up the mood like a silly song in opera falsetto crazy woman voice.

State Quarters

I know this is random - but that's what my Random Erikaness category is for right?

Rick has the "United States of America Coin Collector's Map" - we found in the dollar spot at Target. It has a spot for all the state quarters that have been released. He is now missing just 5 and I would love to give these to him as a present. He's so hard to shop for - he really doesn't want anything I can afford (new house, large guns, cars/motorcycles, pool table, lifetime supply of Mountain Dew/Alpine Cider/Martinelli's/NesQuick etc.) but I know he would love to finish up his map.

So I'm sending a plea for help - Any chance you have a Delaware, Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana or Hawaii sittin' in your coin purse with nothin' to do?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Owner of a Taggie!

...And so proud! I've never felt so loved and appreciated by one of the kids for something I've made. Lauren literally can't leave it alone!

Anyone can sew one of these - here's what you do (in case it's not obvious...) to make a basic one. Mine above is just a variation on the theme - I made mine larger and added rows of tags on the surface of the taggie instead of just around the edges.

1. Not visible - but get a plastic wrapper from a baby wipes refill. Have your friends save them for you! This will form the magic, crackly, fun-for-baby middle of your taggie. If you're not sure what I'm talking about here's a lady who made a video about them.

2. Cut 2 pieces of fleece in a rectangle using your plastic as a guide. I use 1/2" seam allowances so my fleece is 1/2" wider all around than the plastic wipes package.

3. Cut ribbons, ric-rac, nylon straps, double-fold bias tap, elastic, tulle (with a knot tied into the end that hangs out of the taggie), thin braided cording etc. to use as tags. I love the piece of camo material with grommets I have in mine - all babies love to suck on metal. My ribbons are cut about 4 and a half inches long, my ric-rac and cording a bit longer. Eyeball it. Just be sure that a baby can't get stuck or hurt in your tags - not too long, no beading/sequins or pieces that can fall off and choke baby etc. Learn from my mistakes and don't use super thick cording - remember you have to be able to sew through it! Make as many as you like to fit around the edge of your taggie leaving an inch or two between tags.

4. Decide what tags you'd like where and space them around the edges of one of your fleece rectangles until you like the placement. Leave at least an inch between all of the corners and any tags so you don't accidentally sew tags into the seam. (Yeah, I've done that)

5. Now to make your pieces of ribbon into tags. Fold the ribbon in half, tie a knot in the tulle, etc. Take one piece of fleece right side up on a flat surface and pin each "tag" in the spot you'd like it - the edge of the ribbon will be flush with the fabric edge but place your pin farther down - about an inch away from the edge so you can leave it in when you sew and you won't sew over your pins. Face the tags so they all lie with the cut edges flush with the edge of the fleece and the folded part of ribbon laying toward the center of your rectangle. Nothing should be sticking out or when you turn your taggie right way 'round after sewing all your tags will be on the inside and you will be mad.

6. Place the other piece of fleece on top - right side facing the other piece of fabric and the "tags". So the right sides are facing each other. Pin the top and bottom fleece together with a few pins - I use very few, just on the corners and one or two pins in between to keep the fabric from sliding out of alignment.

7. If you trust yourself not to forget to leave a gap to turn your taggie the right way around, just start sewing in any arbitrary spot (I like to start a few inches in on the short side of my rectangle), stopping (leaving your needle in the fabric) and pivoting at the corners.

If you think you'll get carried away and forget to leave a gap, mark a stopping and starting point with pins perpendicular to the fabric's edge - like a wall that says "Go no further unless you want to befriend the Seam Ripper!". Then sew all around the rectangle - leaving your gap and doing some backspacing at your beginning and ending points so your thread doesn't come out. BTW - you'll probably want some tags in that gap later. Don't worry about your carefully placed tags for now - take them out and you can put them back in before you topstitch.

8. Take out the pins pinning the fleece together and carefully (cuz you still have "tag" pins inside) turn your taggie right side out. The little flap you left will now be tucked in. It should have a natural tendency to do that since you've sewn on either side of it. Tuck it in so it's all even with the rest of the side. Put your tags that you want in the gap space in and pin them in place. The rest of the pins can come out. Now start at a corner and do a topstitch (that means just sew - it's called a topstitch cuz it's on top, not hidden inside) all the way around. Do this as close to the edge of the fabric as you can so you look like a pro. No gaps this time - all the way around, overlapping and backstitching when you reach the beginning of your seam so you don't unravel. Take out any pins. You're done!

First snow this season today!

The latest snow on record was the 21st - so we didn't set records but this is pretty late for us! Nathan is already very disappointed that it's melting - already nothing on the roads and the driveway. :) I told him "That's Colorado!"

Lauren's First Snow

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Wow - that was interesting

We tried to get Lauren's pics too - I fed her, put her down for a nap and went out to buy an outfit (opening up our clothes boxes from Ashlyn's time as a baby has been a nice reminder of how poor we were when we had her and how I thought that anything under a dollar at Goodwill counted as a fine wardrobe choice - stained and nothing matches!). I got home and she hadn't woken up yet so I whipped up a bow so she could be all matchy matchy.

There was a lot of snotty nose, a lot of trying to eat all nature had to offer, and lots of finger-sucking (her favorite pastime - I see a battle brewing in our future).

So here you have some pictures representative of our photo session - and her life at this point.

The weather isn't going to be getting warmer so we may just have to make do. Oh well. We can always hope for next year!

Final Pumpkin Pics

Here is the picture of ALL of our pumpkins. They were sagging badly so this pic is out on the compost heap - Care to guess whose is whose?

Happy Baby to Michelle

I bought some material this weekend and finally made my step-sister Michelle's baby gift. She was already the proud owner of a nursing cover so no Hooter sewing for me - so sad! But she does get a diaper case (how I wish I'd had one with Ashlyn - diapers turn into a mess when they are loose in the diaper bag), burp cloths and a changing pad (it's rolled up and tied with ribbon). Yay! I love easy sewing that makes me feel like I can do home-ec-ish things.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Back in the Saddle again!

Here is a preview of coming attractions - for those on our picture list anyway...

I finally had a camera to go out and take the kids' pictures. I went to the same place as last year but we were too late in the year to catch the beautiful grassy shots. But the rocks haven't gone anywhere! : ) Lauren is too sick to go out just now - I would have to Photoshop out a lot of snot and sick, red eyes so I'm hoping to try on Saturday when the weather is supposed to be a bit better.

And next up - Halloween. Rick took all the pictures this night as I felt pretty yucky, so all but one of them are around the dinner table at the Trunk-or-Treat. So no cute full body shots - but you'll get the idea! They each just picked out something from the dress-up box. Nathan had actually been dressing up most of the week. Mostly in a big plush Tigger, but also a full-bellied Winnie the Pooh (I have never understood that name!) and knight. At the last minute he went for Buzz. Ashlyn wore her fave neon green unitard (the one from Homecoming Week last year if you remember) and was a gymnast for her school parade and party.

And here we have a picture of our bow board. : ) Cuz I like you to know I strive to be crafty. And because I took pictures for my Facebook album - why not share here too? You can't see, but it's 12"-wide board covered with batting and fabric. Three ribbons run down the length of it so I can put on the girls' clips. Nice way to keep things organized! But I think it's kinda full - I'm going to need to make another!

And I got a haircut! You like? I do! I'm not sure if I'll like the length by the time Thanksgiving comes so I want to make sure you all see it now while I'm still in love with it.

Just disregard the puffy red eyes - such is the life of a baby mommy.

Quick election notes - I have been thinking this since, well, forever. Skip through this if you still want to be friends and you voted for Obama. Especially if we share the same religion. Unless you REALLY want to hear my thoughts here...

Can you really profess to believe what I believe and still vote for someone who stands for things that you know are wrong? I was one of those undecideds. Until about 3 days before the election. At that time I made a decision and did a little research. More about that later.

There is a very interesting article on Democrats and political diversity in the church here. Read it before you go on - it's not too long. Notice it's from 10 years ago. I totally agree. From the time of Joseph Smith you will find that church leaders have always encouraged members of the church to vote for the issues, the candidate and to vote their conscience. Don't vote for a Party. Party lines change - I don't believe you can say for the duration of your life that will always agree with a certain party. They are political entities - and I mean that in a bad way. They shift and adjust to what they believe will put them into power. Candidates need your vote and will try and appeal to the broadest base possible. I feel it's disingenuous but inevitable. Perhaps originally the elected officials told you what they really thought. They did what they thought was right. But I don't think it would take too long before people realized that you could get farther if you held your tongue sometimes, courted certain demographics, focused on these issues and tried not to touch these others.

I watched a PBS special this week about both of our major party presidential candidates. It was eye-opening. I think I was a little naive. Obama was groomed to run for office for years before this election. I remember watching him on Oprah not long ago saying that he didn't think he would be running for president, that he was not aspiring to that position. But it seems that was false. From the beginning of his time running for office in Illinois his advisers and the people who wanted him to run were telling him that he needed to avoid hot button issues, to seem moderate, to not do anything that could be used against him in a run for office later. The people who shared this were his advisers and mentors. I suppose that this is normal but I think it's a little sad. But like I said, maybe it's inevitable in our current system. Now don't get me wrong, McCain had similar experiences. And I'm not saying Obama is bad - it's just an illustration of how things work. That things aren't real and honest - for the most party politics are manufactured.

But I digress. Ever since my best friend told me that she was voting for Obama I have wondered - How? I think that you will not find a candidate who espouses all of your beliefs and desires and must choose the one who comes closest. As the article says, you need to give on some issues and stick tight on issues that are most important to you. I think that someone who believes in the Gospel must have some non-negotiables. Abortion and Gay Marriage. Easy peasy and straight forward. Or so I thought. I actually went through and pulled quotes and official statements on my top issues.

Here's what I found...


Human life is a sacred gift from God. Elective abortion for personal or social convenience is contrary to the will and the commandments of God

Church leaders have said that some exceptional circumstances may justify an abortion, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, when the life or health of the mother is judged by competent medical authority to be in serious jeopardy, or when the fetus is known by competent medical authority to have severe defects that will not allow the baby to survive beyond birth. But even these circumstances do not automatically justify an abortion. Those who face such circumstances should consider abortion only after consulting with their local Church leaders and receiving a confirmation through earnest prayer.

When a child is conceived out of wedlock, the best option is for the mother and father of the child to marry and work toward establishing an eternal family relationship. If a successful marriage is unlikely, they should place the child for adoption


We want to help these people, to strengthen them, to assist them with their problems and to help them with their difficulties. But we cannot stand idle if they indulge in immoral activity, if they try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called same-sex marriage situation. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families

I wish to say that our opposition to attempts to legalize same-sex marriage should never be interpreted as justification for hatred, intolerance, or abuse of those who profess homosexual tendencies, either individually or as a group.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no official position on the moment that human life begins. Further, the Church has not taken a position on the issue of embryonic stem-cell research.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in the sanctity of human life, and is therefore opposed to euthanasia. Euthanasia is defined as deliberately putting to death a person who is suffering from an incurable condition or disease. Such a deliberate act ends life immediately through, for example, so-called assisted suicide. Ending a life in such a manner is a violation of the commandments of God.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not believe that allowing a person to die from natural causes by removing a patient from artificial means of life support, as in the case of a long-term illness, falls within the definition of euthanasia. When dying from such an illness or an accident becomes inevitable, it should be seen as a blessing and a purposeful part of eternal existence.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards the question of whether and in what circumstances the state should impose capital punishment as a matter to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law. We neither promote nor oppose capital punishment.

It was so helpful to go through and make a list of these definitive statements. Many LDS women in my acquaintance voted for Obama. I'm not bringing this up with them because I don't want to have a big ruckus. But really, can you imagine that abortion is something you can compromise on? I just can't see how. Can you knowingly vote for someone who will protect a practice "contrary to the will and the commandments of God"? I actually like many of the principles that the Democrats currently espouse. I think it's a shame that the one issue I need to be firm on needs to overpower everything else in a candidate.

Well, I've told Rick many times, next election I'll be old enough to vote for myself. Now there is someone I agree with.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Have you voted yet?

Rick and I have mailed in our ballots and anxiously (sort of) await the results tomorrow. I'm a bit of a weirdo (as if this is a surprise to you) but I do like the pins-and-needles atmosphere that tends to accompany election night. I like to see the states' results fill in blue and red on the map on the news and hear the predictions and see the percentages change as the results slowly trickle in. Always there is some drama and I think the reality-TV girl in me likes that!

Most of you have already heard, but our kids have decided who they'd like to win in our presidential election and I thought I'd share it with you in case you didn't get Rick's email. And hey, maybe you are undecided and this will be the thing that tips the scale for you one way or the other...

Ashlyn - McCain all the way. Why? "Because he looks more like a president". We had to clarify that this was not a race thing - don't want to be raising kids like that. She said that it is because he's "old looking". Nice.

Nathan - Obama. Me: "What is it about Obama that you like, Nathan?" Nathan: "Change." Not sure what he means, but it shows you that MILLIONS of dollars in advertising work.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My favorite fall cookies

I'm stealing images from online now since we are still camera-less. : (


  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Yellow and orange paste food coloring


In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Divide dough in half. Tint one portion yellow. Divide remaining dough into two-thirds and one-third portions. Color the larger portion orange; leave smaller portion white.
Shape each portion of dough into two 8-in. logs. Flatten top and push sides in at a slight angle. Place orange logs on yellow logs; push the sides in at a slight angle. Top with white logs; form a rounded top. Wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 4 hours or until firm.
Unwrap and cut into 1/2-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: about 5 dozen.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

LDS Cannery in Aurora

OK - I have never understood how this place works and I'm so excited to finally know! Now maybe I'll take advantage of it! At church when I ask people they never seem to have a clue what to do with it either. So hopefully this will be educational for all of us.

It is at 3233 Fraser St in Aurora. It's between 10th and 8th streets west of Champers road. Their # is 303-371-7650.

You can go buy things without going to help with canning. The gal I spoke with on the phone mentioned Potato Pearls (you must buy a case), pancake mix, and 6-packs of pinto beans, rice or red wheat as items that were available to buy. (White wheat will most likely be available at the beginning of the year).

If you want to go and buy things like wheat, sugar or other "dry pack" (meaning they are canned w/o liquid and are dry materials) then you just need to show up Mon-Th from 9-3:30pm and buy what you want and then you pkg it yourself. The price list for dry items is found on under the Family Home Storage section. Here's a link to the form .

If you want "wet pack" items (like applesauce, meat) then they offer those on a set schedule throughout the year. They email out schedules for the next 2 months so just give them your info to sign up to receive the emails. These sessions are 4-5 hours and by appt. only - they almost always offer one evening session at 6pm for these.

It is a church-run cannery, but you don't have to be LDS (Latter-Day Saint) to go. If you want to organize your own group to come you probably do need to get in touch with your local LDS congregation - you need at least 2 people with you who have been certified to run the canning equipment.
And you can find one near you by checking out

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Whatcha doin' Skyler?"

Howdy folks! A lot has been going on - and then again it's nothing new. :) I am really hating life with no camera. It's seriously peeing on my blogging groove I'm telling ya. (nice visual, eh?) But really! I keep wanting to take pictures and I can't! But you are here to catch up with TheOnesInColorado so I will do my part!

1. I'm envious if you just bought a house this year. People are snatching up homes 2 and 3 times the size of mine for less than our max price (or what I think would be our max price if we were looking) and 30K or more less than the asking price. I know that's not much of an update but I've been stewing about it. Do I just seem really whiny lately? What do you mean not just lately! ;P I just keep taking deep breaths and visualizing my house DONE. Will that ever really happen? Do we have any rich relatives close to release from this mortal veil who have no greater wish than to make us their sole heirs? Nah - I didn't think so. But who has a mortgage well under 200K - no one I know so that should be what I focus on. In a similar vein, countertops and sinks are 20% off at Home Depot until tomorrow. We are pondering finishing up the laundry room. And I think we are going with a concrete patio (less work than our brick plan) in back. That means I REALLY need a way to get into the backyard besides through my garage, don't ya think? Will a door fit in my tiny kitchen/living/dining room?

2. Can anyone here in the midst of our economic funtimes tell me it's OK for me to stop my E-fund at 4 months' worth and start saving for our next car? Six months' expenses is a LOT! I know, I talk about money a lot. It's to make up for all the people who are too scared/embarassed/cool to do so and perpetuate this culture of not having a clue how to save our money and live within our means. And losing many, many percentiles in our 401K is really just buying low, right?

3. Sorry for all the negative posts/conversations lately. That's just how I'm feeling. There's nothing to show you just how little you can control your life like a kid with a problem you can't seem to fix. Sorry for crying when you ask about Lauren. It'll stop when she's about one or so and we can hook her up to an Oreo filling IV (cuz she'll be old enough for DAIRY!!! Is there dairy in there?). I'll be back to my chipper self when my house is done and I can put away all of our junk treasured possessions.

4. This has been the first week of CAR POOL!!! I'm so glad that I've finally found someone willing to do this. This has been fantastical (all two days of it). I do the mornings this week and then I don't have to mess with our delicate nap schedule in the PM. I'm all for co-op preschool, trading babysitting nights, carpooling, etc. but you can't do it alone! No one has ever taken us up on the offer to share the load before. I think people must just like to spend a lot of money here? Or else my kidlets are staggered at the wrong ages? Or we smell funny?

5. I have started really being diligent about prayer and scriptures - making sure it's done and with some good intent. I used to be much better but I've done some sliding. We usually rock FHE so I think I'm doing my part to lock the Lord in to some blessings. :) JK. I just figure every little tally mark on my board helps!

6. I have been really uplifted by reconnecting to some WSU (Anne and Lanita) blogs lately - and by clicking on some random blog links from those pages. It's amazing how much strangers can do for you. I love those "tender mercies". Cuz really - how could life with the BEST husband, THREE amazing and beautiful children, a roof over our heads, a yard (even if the green lawn is mowed weeds) to play in, a trampoline to bounce on, tons of food to eat, a stable job and enough money to live and play on be that terrible? We are alive and we have the most love I have EVER seen in a family. We are healthy (I'm counting Lauren, doctors are dorks) and have all we need. IN ABUNDANCE. I need to just put up a fence so I quit looking at the grass on the other side. Total character flaw of mine. But you know this by now.

7. $250 for a new camera or $90 plus maybe more for our camera to be fixed?

8. I made more mixes! We now have our own Bisquick and Buckwheat pancakes. I'm hoping that the latter will be like I remember my grandma making us when we visited. Love the Hillbilly Housewife!

9. Nathan must be the most forgiving, easy-going kid ever. After a full afternoon of cranky mommy getting on his case for not listening, a bum swat, time outs, sitting in the garage for a bit, sitting on the steps, fighting over naps and putting him back to bed at least 4 times... I asked him after his bath, "Nathan, are you mad at mommy for being upset with you today?" He smiled and said ,
I'm happy!
Well, I'm a little sad cuz Daddy spanked my bum
But I'm a little happy too.
So I guess I'm a little sad (cock head to left) and a little happy (cock head to right).
I love you."
All this with the most endearing smile as he's cuddling into my chest. Man, you just can't stay mad at him. He's just full of love.

10. We had Ashlyn's parent teacher conferences. She's doing great and is in the highest reading and math groups. Yay! She spaces out and doesn't listen to directions but her smarts are getting her by anyway. Hope she does better with that than I did. Question: When we get her week's schoolwork back how do I go over her mistakes with her without seeming to be disappointed in her and critical? Should I not do it? Maybe I should make up similar problems and not even bring her attention to any mistakes?

Signing off!

New Coverwear sale

Hop on over to the Coverwear Blog for details!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Shelf Reliance at Costco

This is at the SW Littleton location - started yesterday and goes through next week and ends Sunday. The Harvest is cheaper than when they came here two years ago - $269 now. They also have the Cansolidator and 40-can Candensor (sp?) for 20 and 24ish. Just going from memory on the prices, but I'm in the ballpark. They also have a 1/2 size one that's like the Harvest but around $150. Anyway - if you have some money in the budget for food storage this is a great deal! Costco negotiates with SR and the result is a better deal for Costco shoppers than SR employees get.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

First day of preschool!

Nathan's a big boy now! He has been asking when he would start preschool all year long! He is so excited to go and be with Miss Patti and his new friends! He enjoys playing with the cars, singing, going outside on the swings and slide, and playing with his buddies (even a few girls made the list!)

Camping with Dad

This is the camping trip that I chickened out of. I'm not sure I'm up to taking Lauren camping! And that may be the last trip for a while. Somewhere on this trip a metal rod crucial to the popping-up of our pop-up disappeared...
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What's a blog without pics?

Not much! Our camera is busted - it won't turn on. So I'm going to send it in. As soon as I work up the courage to. It's just a crazy amount to have them look at it with no guarantee of a fix! It is cheaper than a new camera though, so I think that's where we're headed. Until then you'll just get to read with no visuals. I still have some older pics I could post so I may do that too.

Anyway - time for an update?
Rick - in Alabama again, as you probably know. But coming home today! Has done a fabulous job with the front yard and is working through some projects around the house as usual. We now havea peach and pear tree!
Erika - started running again. I'm starting with shorter running/longer walking intervals and alternating upper and lower body weights/resistance after a run. I just need to feel like I am actively working out again. This time I'm going in with no expectations of change in physique (so I won't be disappointed and quit), just expectations for myself. I hope to get on that treadmill 6 days a week through October. So now that I've told you I'm accountable!
Ashlyn - doing better in 1st grade. She's easily distracted by her peers so we've moved her seats around in class to help her out. She loves recess best and told me she was glad she had early release today because she doesn't have math. Ahem. We'll have to work on that. She's not a fan of the teacher she transfers to for math. She finished all her Articles of Faith this summer and is the youngest I know of to have done so. You might remember that she is the reason there are so many younger kids working on them. When she was 3 (in the youngest class - Sunbeams) she started to work on them without any prompting - they just seemed fun to her. The chart where they keep track of the kids didn't even have slots for kids that age! Now LOTS of Sunbeams are working on them and she is an inspiration to us all!
Nathan - loving Miss Patti's. Did a great job at his mini-performance yesterday for Cowboy Day. Pictures are coming soon thanks to Shelly's generousity! He doesn't mind writing and drawing now since it's not me doing the encouraging and he is just so smart! He blows my mind. And he is definitely the KINDEST three year-old I know. I feel like he totally stands out among his peers. He's on his 4th Article of Faith. He loves his sisters fiercely and is so quick to forgive everyone. He's such a happy kid - even if you're in the middle of a reprimand. He makes it easy and I'm so proud to be his mom.
Lauren - still trying to decide if she likes me or not. :) We give her a bit of formula - probably equivalent to one bottle a day - after she nurses since she just won't eat enough from me. Supply is up (thanks to Fenugreek - I smell like pancakes) but she still doesn't care. I will keep it up though and hope that if I have more milk that she will get more of the good stuff in her quick feeds than if I quit. She is not sitting up - doesn't really care to - but is a pro at squirming around on her tummy and back. Her smile just melts my heart and she is so cute when she's laughing! She'll be 7 months old next week!

Free Music - and a great reminder for me

I don't think I've shared this with you so here you go! I was listening to a CD I burned last night that I made originally to give out to my YW on their birthdays. Since I put music on there that I liked I kept one for me! Instead of a "mixed tape" burned from my library (technically illegal) I found some great resources online and wanted to share.
I especially loved "Day of Tears" by Hilary Weeks.,17631,6611-1,00.html
The seminary songs! "The Olive Tree" is beautiful.

I also checked the websites of artists I liked and downloaded some there. These kind of downloads are usually promos and only available for a short time. For example I love "Healing Waters" by Michelle Tumes, an Aussie Christian artist. I was able to get "Lovely Day", a new track from her album, for free last year. It's no longer available, but just an example of something to look for.

And speaking of "Healing Waters" - here's a link to a YouTube of the DVD where I first heard this song. Our local missionaries presented this at a fireside for the youth and I bawled like a baby! I remembered all the feelings I had felt during my similar journey and I was very touched. Thanks to the San Jose, CA mission for putting that out! The Elders gave me a copy of my own and I (and my kids) love to watch it. It's a nice FHE that you could flesh out for older kids with some discussion and maybe a BoM placement challenge. For the fireside all the missionaries talked about how they did (or didn't) share their faith with others and why we might find excuses to be afraid to do so. Then we watched the video. Anyway - an awesome night and I was grateful to be a part of it! The people in the flick are the actual people involved.

And if you're interested in the actual DVD ask your Elders/Sisters if they have it. I went to tell a friend about it and it turns out she had seen it a while back when her ward's missionaries showed it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Missionary Tales

Rick is gone again to Alabama and so I thought I'd pass the time remembering how cool he is and reading his mission diary. :) He was an amazing young man and I love to hear how excited he was and how committed to his mission and to serving the Lord. I found some funny stories in a book put together by his mission president. The missionaries wrote in weekly to the Pres to report and share what had happened that week. There were 80 some pages so I didn't read the whole thing but there were two that caught my eye as I was skimming:

Elder & Sis. Woodbury - Rockaway 1 - Dec 11, 1994 - "NEW CONVERT ADVERTISES - HAS 5 ATTEND HER FIRST FHE - We had just given Tina Jordan the second New Member Discussion, ending with the commitment invitation to "organize and conduct a family home evening next Monday."
Tina lives alone. She runs her real estate office from her home. Her only daughter, Debra, died at the age of 14. Tina's husband ran off with a woman from Japan. Bur fervent and imaginative Tina believes that if living Apostles ask her to do something, God will open the way for her. So last night as we reviewed, she casually apologized for mis-timing her first FHE, but resolved to do better next Monday evening. Puzzled, I asked if she had held it alone. "No" she said, "I just told the group that next week I would be better organized." I asked "which group is this and how many?" She said "Five!" "You mean you had five of your relatives come and share FHE with you?"
"Well, no," she apologized, "I just advertised and got only 5 people off the street, but next time I'll have more." Tina apparently not knowing that it wouldn't work, wrote with a crayon on the side of a cardboard box that each Monday night from 6 to 8, she was holding FHE, a gospel discussion, and that anyone wishing to share it with her was welcome to come. She taped it to her front window. She was late getting prepared, but right at 6 pm, a man from Trinidad, with his wife and teenage daughter, knocked on the door. When she was a little slow to open, he ran around the back and knocked again. He was anxious for FHE. After a brief introduction and planning for the following Monday, as they were leaving, two other young women knocked on her door. Now she has 5 for next Monday. How many more may come.
Next time any member says that they can't hold FHE, because it is too hard to get all the family together, I will relay this story and ask "Have you tried advertising?"

Elder Mavy/Nicklaus - DL - Uniondale 11 Sp - Oct 3, 1994 - "NO FEAR - BIKE ACCIDENT AND BIKE THIEVES - A car knocked my bike out from under me. Both myself and the bike were OK. Then about 30 minutes later, I was held up by a couple of teenagers with a knife, who wanted my bike. I started asking them "find out" questions and they eventually gave up saying "You ask too many questions!" and lost interest. I never once felt afraid for myself or for losing the bike, which I had no intention of ever giving over. I felt that the Lord protects us when we are obedient and hard working."


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Sometimes I wish I had just 2 kids. This little girl is the hardest thing I've done in a LONG time. It's a battle to keep her latched on - she fusses and cries, kicks, pinches, pushes etc. I literally have to keep her body pushed against mine (for the 2 minutes she's willing to nurse). This stress isn't helping either of us and lately the issue has come to a head. I've said before that she doesn't nurse long on either side but until now she's still done fine with her weight gain. Not so any longer. I've been worried and dreading her 6 month check-up. I knew it would be bad news. It was. She is not gaining weight like she should. We are thinking that the quick nursing has tricked my body into thinking she's weaning herself and my supply has dropped substantially. So at her last appointment she'd only gained 1/2 lb. in 2 months and dropped to 4th percentile in weight. She's not even on the charts anymore. I have a month to try and get her weight up before the doctors will start testing to see if she's sick. So I have been trying to pump after each feeding - but there's nothing there to pump. And manual pumps need some priming (liquid coming through) in order to get good suction and really work. And I don't have that. It all seems like a vicious circle. I pump to get more milk, but I don't have milk so the pump won't work. Lauren needs more food but she won't eat. Aargh. Rick has been occasionally able (3 times total now) able to get her to take some formula but she won't for me and I'm the one who's home with her all day so I'm not sure what to do. I try and feed her as long as possible and switch sides when she starts her freaking out cry but after side #8 or so she is done and won't latch on. The doctor said the issue now is getting her weight up with calories so we are feeding her 3 times a day with as many solids as she will take. So frustrating! I just don't think we are going to have a turnaround within the month and I am nervous for our next visit in October. I know she's not sick but unless she nurses it seems like the only option is formula unless I miraculously start getting more milk in. Any ideas besides caramel popcorn (thanks Shelly!)?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Last ones!

Still more...

Here the boys are on their favorite ride. I think we went on 3 or 4 times. Buzz Lightyear!
And here's MY favorite ride - Pirates! I was the last one on before the park closed. Lauren loved it too obviously.
Fun with dad in Tomorrow Land.

A ToonTown story...

You all know Rick is built like Superman - an upside triangle for a torso. He has otherworldly upper body strength. That's part of why I thought this was so funny. So here he is in Toon Town. There are lots of cute photo ops around and I got him to play along with me and take some pictures. I had seen some boys push down on the TNT handle and cause a big boom and fireworks and smoke and I thought that would make for a fun picture.

So I had him pose and push. Imagine our surprise (well, you don't need to imagine Rick's just see the next picture) when Rick made no boom - no fireworks. What he did make is a big wah-wah-wah-wah sound like when you die in a video game.

And so of course he had to try again, and again and again, each time earning buzzers and other assorted "You're a wussy loser" sounds until finally...

We have smoke! And of course a big bang! Brute strength isn't everything! Especially in Toon Town!
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