Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

Well, Christmas was a little different around our house this year (seems like I've said that before). First of all, Craig had to work Christmas Day :( So instead of opening all of our presents that morning when he would be gone we decided to open them on Christmas Eve with him. Actually it was kind of fun because the kids (and Craig) got to play with their fun new toys all evening before bed. Christmas morning we woke up to a note from Santa saying that he had delivered our presents to Grandma & Papa's house. In years past my parents have always come over early in the morning to be here when the kids opened their presents from Santa, but this year we decided to take Christmas to them so they didn't have to be up and around so early. So me and the kids jumped in the car and headed to grandma and papa's. Sari had asked for a new cell phone but mom and dad gave that to her so Santa brought her a new digital camera. Ashlie asked for a new baby, instead she got twins that talk to her and to each other. Can you guess what Tyler asked for??? I know it's tough, a train! So Santa brought him an electric train that has currently taken up residence in our front living room. I got lots of fun new socks and a new black dress jacket! And tons of other fun goodies. And since Craig has been such a very good boy this year I decided he deserved the iphone he has been begging for :) Even though Craig was working we had a wonderful day. We made sure that when we added Sari to our family plan for her phone that we all have unlimited texting which has already proved to be very needed. One of the funnest family gifts we received was Rock Band for the Wii. I wasn't overly interested at first but Craig assured me we would have a great time. So far it seems I'm the one that keeps turning it on. I even went on Tour by myself on the drums :)

One tradition I've started with my kids is beginning December 1st we have a red notebook that we read from each night instead of reading out of our scriptures. For each night there is a series of scriptures, a story or poem, and a song that goes along with a piece of a paper nativity we put on a back drop. I started doing this several years ago with the girls and they really get into it and enjoy looking ahead for what piece goes on the backdrop. Some of the songs they've learned to play on the piano so now they want to

accompany our scripture time with the piano. This year was especially fun because Tyler was able to participate more. He really began to understand the concept of Christmas. He loved to look at all of my nativities I have around the house and would point out Baby Jesus in each one of them. So it was really fun each night as we would read to have him ask questions and to tell us what he had learned about Jesus.

Christmas is such a magical time of the year. I am thankful for the opportunity recently to be able to reflect back on my life and to find the things that are most important. While opening presents and enjoying the good food is fun it is not what is most important. More than keeping with the traditions we've created, I found that more than anything I just wanted to spend time with my family. And while I focused more on just spending time with my family, I
found that this Christmas was just as magical if not more so than all of the others filled with gifts and toys. I hope that I can pass on the Christmas Spirit to my children and help them realize it is not about what we get, but about what we give to others.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Horse Back Riding

Sari's dream has finally come true. We have talked about it for years but never made it happen, so we signed Sari up for riding lessons. Of course she is thrilled beyond belief. She has already had two lessons. The second one was on Christmas Eve. She spent about 4 hours that day out riding and cleaning etc. She is having a great time. Here are some of the first few photos. The horse she is riding in these pictures is named Riley.

Making Santa's Cookies

As a child growing up one of my greatest memories was of Christmas baking with my mom. We would bake the entire day and at the end of the day the kitchen would be filled to the brim with goodies to share with anyone and everyone. As we've gotten older my mom has continued the tradition with the grandkids. This year was just a little different (seems like this entire holiday season has been a little different). This year my mom came to our house and helped the kids make some cookies here. We didn't go to quite the level my mom does but we did have enough to share with some friends and family and more than enough to eat ourselves. We had lots of fun and I think Santa really enjoyed his cookies because he ate 5 of them!

The kids had fun helping out also. Ashlie and Tyler both had tons of fun decorating the cookies. They both did pretty good with the cookie cutters too but I had to be careful with Tyler because he would do a cut out in about 5 different directions on the same cookie if I didn't catch him soon enough. Sari decided she was not quite so interested in cookie making this year so I put her on camera duty. However, she was quite interested in eating our cookies :)

Christmas Pictures

About a week into December I checked the mail one day only to find a very fun surprise, the very first Christmas card of the year. What a fun day. However, I realized that I had failed to do my own Christmas cards yet. So that Sunday before we left for church I set the kids in a couple of poses and was able to get just enough for the Christmas cards and even one good enough to frame for the grandparents.

As I was looking through the pictures on the camera that afternoon I was thinking back to just a couple of years ago. December 2005 to be exact, Tyler's first Christmas. I had the brilliant idea to take a picture of the kids in front of our tree. It couldn't be too hard I thought. Well, about 150 pictures and 3 hours later with 3 very tired children I finally had one I thought might work. Funny how we've progressed over the years. First of all, I'm a lot less picky on how the picture turns out, as long as everyone is facing the general direction of the camera and there are no crazy faces it is a good one. Second of all, the kids have become a little bit easier to pose.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ashlie's Christmas Dance Recital

Tonight was Ashlie's Christmas Dance Recital. She did a great job in all 3 of her dances. She puts a lot of time and energy into her dance practices and even practices at home whenever music comes on. She is quickly able to adjust the speed of her dance to fit the beat of the music. This year was quite enjoyable even with Tyler in attendance because he sat on my lap the whole time and loved watching all of the dancers. Of course his favorite dance was the one to that was to one of the Polar Express songs. Thanks to Sari for the photography while I contained Tyler and Craig handled the video camera :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Dog Bread House aka The Gingerbread House

I've been reading on all my friends blogs about their gingerbread houses so I thought it would be fun to do one with the kids. I hadn't exactly decided how, but I knew I wanted to do one. Just to my luck I was at Costco the other day and found the entire kit for $10. It included the premade gingerbread forms for a house, a tree, and 2 gingerbread men. It had all of the frosting and tons of different kinds of candy. I couldn't believe my good fortune. So yesterday afternoon when the kids started getting grumpy and restless I pulled out the kit. Sari decided she wasn't interested in building the house at all but Tyler and Ashlie had a blast. Sari has decided she is too big for many holiday activities this year :( So, Tyler, Ashlie, and I all sat down at the table and began. I did the "gluing" together with frosting of the basic pieces and then gave it over to them for the decorating. They had so much fun. The only thing I really didn't understand was why Tyler kept calling it a "Dog Bread House". He said it several times and I just had no clue. I kept correcting him and he would say it the right way and then the very next sentence he would refer to it as a Dog Bread House again. Finally, I figured it out. Our dog's name is Ginger. So he had thought of it in reference to the dog. So he turned Ginger Bread House into Dog Bread House. Funny!!! We had a very fun time making it and Sari spared no eagerness when it was time to begin eating it :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

2008 Annual Christmas Piano Recital

Last night was the Annual Christmas Piano Recital for the girls. They both did an excellent job. This was Sari's 4th recital and Ashlie's 1st. Ashlie played "Golden Trumpets" and "Silent Night" and Sari played "Entry of the Gladiators" and "Joy To The World". Good job girls. And of course Tyler had to pose since the girls were posing. Last year at the recital I spent the entire time out front with Tyler throwing a fit so this year being able to stay inside the whole time was wonderful.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Decorating for Christmas!

As wonderful of a holiday as Halloween is, even I know there is a time to take down the pumpkins and witches! (The only reason I can say that is because I now have my Halloween laundry room year round :)) We sort of skipped the entire month of November. Most holidays I think that you can skip the decorating if life throws you a curve ball, but not Christmas. Especially when you have little kids. I always dread the end of Halloween because I have to take down all of the fun stuff but I decided that since we were well into the first week of December and I could go straight into my lights and Nativities I thought it would be okay. So yesterday was the day. We decided we would attempt the outside first. While I set out all of the cutesy things on the ground Craig worked on the house lights. Things went relatively smooth with the biggest mishap being that all of the little plastic hooks for the lights to hang from the rain gutters were snapping in two, luckily we had extras to spare. The outside only took about 2.5 hours. Then we came inside and the festivities began. My mom and dad came over to watch us set up the Christmas tree since they won't be doing one of their own this year. The girls played Christmas songs on the piano as we got the tree set up and all of the lights on. Then we let the kids put all of the ornaments on. Sari did a pretty good job of getting them to the top, Tyler did an excellent job of getting the bottom decorated, and Ashlie seemed to focus on the side that faced the window. I managed to get a couple of pictures of Sari and Tyler, Ashlie gets plenty of other pictures posted so I think she'll survive. I managed to get a couple of Craig atop the roof putting up the lights on the second story. Most of the lights he can reach from the roof of the first floor but there is one peak over the entry that he had to get from the top of the 2nd story. A bit alarming for me but he did it with no stories to tell :) After we got the tree set up it was time to get ready for our Christmas party so I elected to save my nativities for today so I could take my time and get them perfect. It was a perfect Sunday afternoon activity. I also included a picture of Ginger wearing the reindeer antlers from the Christmas parade. Needless to say she wasn't too excited.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


As you will recall from previous posts I had a huge presentation due in my biology class the same day as my dad's surgery. I was able to talk to my teacher and turn it in early, however I only had about 2 hours notice that I would have to turn it in 3 days early. Thank goodness I am not that much of a procrastinator so I had it most of the way finished but not quite. Especially because the weekend before it was due I had a big craft fair I was participating in, my dad went in the hospital, and it was the primary program (I'm chorister). So even though I had it pretty well planned out I still had to kind of throw it together at the last minute. I wasn't really sure how I was going to do on it since I didn't feel like I was able to put my best work into it. Then, the week after my dad's surgery (he was still in the hospital and I had spent several days running back and forth to the hospital and trying to keep life somewhat functioning), I had a test in biology. I normally get in about one weeks worth of studying for each test, this test I got in about 3 hours. To say I was stressed was an understatement. So, today was the day to get my grades back on my project, my test, 4 other homework assignments, and the current overall grade in the class. Much to my surprise I got 96/100 on my presentation and I was able to pull a 90/100 on my test. After factoring in all of my homework assignments and such I have a 98.6% in my biology class. I just knew I was going to drop to the B range. Craig laughs because he says I am anal about getting an A. I guess my thinking is that when I was in school before (13 years ago) I had a lot of fun. And my grades are proof of the fun I had. So now that I am older and more mature (haha) I think that if I am going to spend the money and the time in going to school then I want to get a grade worthy of the time I put into it. So far so good. Craig also chuckles at me because I like to tell people how good I'm doing in class. I don't do it to be smug, I like telling people how well I'm doing because I work so hard at it. I certainly don't breeze through any of it, I work hours and hours and when you work so hard and so long on something sometimes it is nice to get recognition for the hardwork. So that is why I am pleased to tell you that while I didn't get the highest grade in my class on either my presentation or my test, my over all cumulative grade is the highest in the class :) So, my thoughts before my presentation and again before my test were simply that maybe Heavenly Father would bless me for my efforts with my dad and help me out in my class a little. I think it worked :)

Potty Training!

Okay, so I realized that I'm a little bit behind in my blogging! I'm not sure why!!! :) So Craig was talking to his mom last night and he made mention that Tyler is now potty trained and I realized that I had yet to blog about this momentous occasion!!! So here it is, Tyler is now potty trained, I think :) You know they really are never completely potty trained, I'm not sure when. I still find my girls dancing and have to tell them, "Go To The Bathroom!!!" Lol! However, Tyler is officially in underwear, night and day!!! We've gone back and forth for several months, actually almost a year with him. We graduated from diapers to pull ups and then would be very consistent for a couple of weeks taking him to the bathroom every couple of hours and hoping he would respond by starting to tell us when he had to go. Or even tell us if he had an accident, but no! He would wet and would walk around in it and would never tell us. So then we would give him a break for a couple of weeks and basically treat the pull-up like a diaper. We never criticized, we kept it all very positive! So every time he went in the toilet we made a very big deal out of it. Then after a little break we would start trying to take him back to the toilet every couple of hours but he just showed no interest. After doing this for probably 8 or 9 months we finally decided just to relax. Give him a break and see what happens. So this time we waited a couple of months. It fell over summer time though when we were traveling quite a bit so it worked nice to not have to find a bathroom constantly for him. About 4 weeks ago we decided that maybe we would try again. He is almost 3 1/2 and we thought that maybe he had a little more maturity (can 3 year old boys be mature???). So we put him in underwear. We still have to remember to take him but now he gives us warnings before he goes to the bathroom. What fun!!! Although sometimes it is a rather short warning, it is still a warning. He does still have the occasional accident, maybe once a week, but he is in underwear full time now. What a very big boy!! The next thing to teach him is how to stand to go to the bathroom instead of sitting :) I'll let Craig work on that!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Christmas Parade

We were able to go to the Annual Christmas Parade last night. It has been a tradition in our family since as long as I can remember. I remember going to the parade as a little girl and we always had so much fun. We go early to get a good spot to sit and as part of the tradition we eat dinner from one of the restaurants on Main Street. Someone sits on our blanket and saves the spot and the other person goes and gets the food. And we have always thought the more the merrier. So we always invite lots and lots of friends to go to the parade with us. As my sister and I got older we still went to the parade every year as a family. There was one year that I was married living in Idaho and my sister was at school at Ricks and my parents still went to the parade and kept the tradition alive. Since that time my sister and I have both moved back to the area and so we now all go with my parents and our kids. This year was a little sad for me because my parents and my sister weren't able to go. For obvious reasons my parents didn't go but my sister's kids were sick. I was happy that my cousin Christy and her family came and sat with us. We still had a really good time and enjoyed sitting together freezing as we watched the floats go by. Tyler was able to really enjoy the entire parade and sat mesmerized most of the time. The parade was almost 2 hours long so that is an incredible feat for him to sit for that long entertained. Of course Sari's favorite part was the horses, Ashlie had a hard time naming her favorite float. And of course Tyler loved the Polar Express float. Lucky for me it is the season of Santa Claus and so I can now defer all toy buying to Santa's workshop. Every time we enter Target Tyler wants to go straight to the trains. So we've been explaining about how he has to be a good boy and then Santa will bring him a toy for Christmas. So he was so excited to see Santa at the end of the parade last night. Of course I think he thought he was getting his toy there. We always have a good time at the parade and last night was no exception.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Delayed Update!

Hi Everyone!!! Sorry I have been so slow on updating my blog. I guess I've just been so busy with stuff my blog sort of got neglected, however I didn't realize how neglected until I finally showed my face at church today after 3 weeks and was told numerous times that I needed to update my blog :) Thank you all who inspired me to update! First of all, I'm sure what you all want to know is that my dad is doing very well. He ended up having quintuple bypass (that's 5 bypasses). He is home and getting better every day. He spent about 5 days in ICU which was a bit longer than we anticipated but after moving to a different floor he really started recovering quickly. It has definitely taken a toll on him and on all of us but each day gets a little better. The first few nights he was home I was staying the night with them to help out. He still is having trouble sleeping but from what we hear that is to be expected for a while. He is on a tremendous amount of medications for various things and that is quite the job keeping all of that straight. He takes his medications about 7 times a day and so I was able to type up a sheet for my mom that lists each medication and when to take it so that has helped tremendously. There has been a lot to try to keep up with and to learn throughout this situation but we have felt very blessed.

While I would never want to go through this experience again, I am thankful for the opportunity to grow spiritually. It has amazed me how much I have felt the spirit in my life and I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of me and my family. First of all, I was in awe at the outpouring of love shown to me personally and to my family. Several people who don't even know my dad expressed so many kind words and prayers in his behalf and offered so much of themselves to help. When we found out that my dad was going to need a blood transfusion we spread the word asking for those who were willing to donate in his name. We have heard from several people in different states who donated blood in his name! What a blessing for the blood banks! And that was all before the surgery even took place. As we approached the morning of the surgery I was a nervous wreck. I had prayed as much as I could and there were so many of you also praying but I still had such an uneasy feeling. I just did not have peace. The morning of the surgery just before they took him, my sister and I met my mom and dad in his room. It was just the 4 of us and we were able to have a family prayer together. My dad said it and during that prayer I felt the most wonderful peace come over me and I knew that it was going to be okay. The surgery was 9 hours long and I dreaded it. However I quickly discovered that while I thought about my dad my mind was not consumed with him and there was no longer the dread. It was so amazing to feel the peace and comfort from my Heavenly Father at that time. Since that time it has been a true testimony builder for me to be able to feel my Heavenly Father's love for me. My mom stayed with me the entire time my dad was in ICU and we were able to find so many small blessings through everything. For instance, if you live anywhere near here you know what a challenge parking can be at the hospital. Yet, the entire time my dad was in ICU we went down about every 2 hours to see him. We could only stay just a few minutes and then we had to leave so we made many trips to the hospital every day. Every time we pulled into the main parking lot we would find a spot empty waiting for us without even having to search. Mind you this was multiple times a day. The day he got moved out of ICU was the first time in about 5 days I had to look for a parking spot. What a simple thing that made such a huge impact on our stressed out minds. It was like that with everything. So many little things that made such a huge difference. Even the fact that a few years ago my dad encouraged me to take my Drywall Contractor's State Boards (which I passed) and I am so much more capable to help with my dad's business as he recuperates. What a blessing that I have the knowledge to be able to do that.

Each year as Thanksgiving approaches I find myself thinking of my blessings and I have always known that I was blessed in so many ways, but this year was so different. I found myself being so thankful for just the basic things that really matter. My dad's surgery has really helped me to put things into perspective and to be more appreciative. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves me. I am thankful for a husband who supports me and who so willingly offers his shoulder for me to cry on. I am thankful for my children who step up and help out and are so patient with me as I try to be so many things at once. I am thankful for my mom and dad, they have taught me so much. I am thankful for my sister and the relationship we have. And then, all of our extended family and friends. It has been amazing to feel of your love for our family during this time. My dad and I have had the opportunity to talk a little bit since his surgery and we have been amazed with the number of people that have reached out to us. We never knew how many friends we have.

So, even though life is crazy right now we know we have been blessed. We are holding life together at the seams and so far the thread is holding. Tyler has missed a few preschool days but he doesn't seem overly upset by it. He was able to make it to church today and to the nursery so he seems happy enough. Ashlie is getting ready for her Christmas Dance Recital and I just had her parent teacher conference where she received very good grades. Her and Sari are also getting ready for their Christmas Piano Recital and have both been practicing very hard. Sari has a Pyramid project due this week which will take some work this week but she can do it. She also received very good grades during her conference. Craig has been working and trying to help out around the house since I've been slacking so much. He has become the main house cleaner, laundry doer, and dish washer. As for me, I'm still in school myself. Only two more weeks before finals. I am still handling the bookstore taking over my mom's portion so she can be home with my dad. I also took over a large portion of the drywall so that my dad can recuperate. I skipped out on my primary chorister the past two weeks but finally made it back today which felt so good. As you can see we are having no problem staying busy. This week is also the Christmas Parade which we are looking forward too. In years past we have always had several friends and family with us. Sometimes there are around 30 of us all at the parade together, this year will be a little different without my mom and dad and my sister's family (they are sick). Sometime in the near future I will have to find some time to get my Christmas shopping started and if we are lucky we'll get a tree up :) Life is crazy as ever but I have felt so blessed with this time to put things back into perspective. What a wonderful season!!! I will try to be a little better at blogging, hopefully I can keep up on things a little better now. Thank you all for your concern.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Update on my Dad!

I just wanted to blog a quick update on my dad! He is doing very well. He is still in ICU but is recovering very well. Heavenly Father is hearing the prayers. They took out the breathing tube about an hour ago and he is breathing on his own and doing very well. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. Keep sending them our way!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pray for My Dad

First of all, I just want to say Thank You all so much to all who have offered your prayers and thoughts. We appreciate it so much and we are so thankful for it. We know that that is the reason we have been able to keep things together and get the things done that have to get done. We know Heavenly Father is blessing our family. My dad will be having quadruple and possibly quintuple bypass surgery tomorrow morning at 7:30 am. Please continue to pray for him and for us. I will try to keep you updated as I make it home to do so.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Biology Presentation

About six weeks ago in my biology class we were assigned a presentation that had to be done. My presentation was on Xenotransplantation (transplanting animal organs into humans). So I've been working for weeks on my project. There was tons of research and then organizing the information and then figuring out how to present all the information on a board. I've been working on it here and there and had it together in my mind just not on the board. My presentation was due this Thursday. I had set a goal to have it completed by this last Monday so that I would have a couple of days to fix anything that wasn't quite right. Well, with the latest developments on my dad I didn't quite finish what I was supposed to. So I stayed up late last night working on it and figured I would get it finished today. We met with the surgeon this morning for my dad's surgery and found out it is going to be on Thursday (the same day my 100 point presentation I've been working on for 6 weeks is due). So I went to talk to my teacher and asked him if I could turn it in early, thinking tomorrow. He says sure, be there at 1:00 today for the lab with your poster (it was currently 11:00 am). So I ran home and managed to glue the last few things down I needed and printed out the works cited page. I did somehow manage to remember to at least take a picture so I could see the final project. I hadn't planned on getting it all done and turned in early but at least now it is done and completely off my plate. Hopefully my grade doesn't suffer from racing through the end.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Tribute To My Dad!

Well, I don't normally just blog about my feelings and things but today has been an emotional day and as I sat here I just felt like I needed to say a few things. First of all, the reasoning behind the emotional day is because we found out today that my dad has to have open heart surgery. He was sick a couple of weeks ago and in the hospital but we thought he was getting better. Then this last weekend he was taken by ambulance back to the hospital where they admitted him again and have been doing more tests. Today they found several blockages in his arteries and are going to have to do open heart surgery to fix it. For those of you who personally know my dad you know what a lifestyle change this will be for him and for all of us. My dad is the backbone to our family. He just has a way to make everything okay. And it is so hard to see him and know that he needs us to be strong for him right now. So, I thought I would like to just say a few things about why my dad is special to me.
First of all my dad gives great hugs. I can remember so many times in my life that all I needed to make it through was a hug from my dad. My dad is the most selfless and loving person I know. He would give you the shirt off of his back and the last dollar in his wallet if you needed it. My dad is not rich by any means, but I have never wanted in my life. My dad has always worked and found a way to get us what we wanted. I know he has sacrificed a lot in his life for my pleasure, just because he loves me. My dad is very forgiving. That was always the worst part about doing something wrong because I know my dad would be disappointed, but he was always so quick to forgive us. I remember my dad running alongside my bike as he taught me to ride on two wheels and how he so patiently sat in the front seat of the car as he taught me to drive. I'm so thankful for my dad. I have the best dad ever!
If you would each say a prayer for our family this week we would really appreciate it. We could really use the peace and comfort at this time. Thanks for listening (reading) to my ramblings. I stayed up tonight to get some stuff done around the house that needed to be done so I can try to keep things functioning around here. It will be a bit of a challenge at first to juggle things around, I've just become the number one person handling all of my dad's business affairs. Thank goodness I just got a new palm pilot for my birthday to help keep everything straight. So I guess now that I've cried a whole bucket of tears I better get back to work. Thanks for your prayers!

Here are a couple pictures of my dad. One is of him helping Tyler carve his pumpkin just before Halloween. And the other is last year at the Christmas Parade covering up with Ashlie's My Little Pony blanket. We love you Dad!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I guess I was so excited about my birthday that I completely forgot to blog about Halloween. My cousin Christy and her family came over and went trick-or-treating with us. And we can't forget to mention our adopted daughter Jaqueline, she's the one with her face painted white. This is the first year in about 4 or 5 that we've gone door to door. We usually go to a Halloween party somewhere with trunk-or-treating so this was kind of fun to do it the "traditional" way. We started the evening off with $5 Little Ceasar's pizzas. Then headed into the costume dressing phase. Tyler refused to wear his Thomas costume but loved the hat. I think the costume was a little too restricting for him. He had so much fun walking up to each door and saying "Trick or Treat". We managed to go to about 40 houses I think, maybe more, and Tyler walked the entire way carrying his own bucket. He refused to let anyone help him even when he was dragging it on the ground because it was so heavy. Ashlie also enjoyed herself, just the normal kid trick-or-treating. Sari was kind of funny and it made me realize how big she is getting, about half way through she decided she was done and would just wait on the curb while we walked up to the house. I think she was a little anxious to get home and read her book she had started that afternoon. Guess I can't blame the kid, new book to read on one hand or candy on the other!!! Funny she picked the book. We had a good time and got lots of candy which should last us quite some time, hopefully!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!

Well, I know that as an adult it is kind of odd that I love my birthday as much as I do, but I just can't help it!! I have always loved my birthday. I don't know why, maybe because my mom always made such a big deal of our birthdays, always going out of her way to make us feel so special, or maybe it was because everyone always decorated and had parties around my birthday, or maybe it's just because IT'S THE COOLEST DAY EVER!! Whatever the reason, I love my birthday!!! Fall is my most favorite season with the cooler weather, all of the beautiful colors on the trees, and pumpkins!!! I remember growing up my mom would always do Halloween theme parties for me. We would rent scary movies and bob for apples. And my mom always made me a brownie in a round pizza pan, then she would frost it orange and use candy corns to make a jack-o-lantern face. As I got older, the games and movies changed but it was still a fun party all the same. After I got married, somehow Craig has picked up on my enthusiasm and he still goes all out for my birthdays. Half of the fun of my birthday is the annual countdown which usually starts around October 1. For some reason I've always wanted to make a paper chain in orange and black to do the countdown but I have never remembered in time to do it. So this year, the party was just as wonderful! It all started with breakfast in bed from Craig and the girls (Tyler's contribution was sleeping in :)). Craig made his famous pancakes! I went to work at 7am, lots of fun!! I had class at 9, again, lots of fun!! I got back to work at 10:30 and when I walked in I had a beautiful bouquet of flowers (all fall colors) from Craig (picture included). I stood chatting and admiring my flowers for a few minutes then walked to my office and found that my sister had decorated my doorway and my whole desk with streamers and Happy Birthday signs and had a bouquet of balloons waiting for me (picture included). That was very fun!!! I worked til about 12:45 when my dad treated me to McDonalds for my birthday lunch. (On a side note here, I have to give my dad credit that he wanted to go somewhere else because neither of us are particularly fond of McDonalds, but I had to be in class in 15 minutes and so I ended up eating in the car anyways! So thank you Dad, it's the thought that counts!) So off to class I went with a cheeseburger in hand! After class I headed home with my stash of goodies from work only to pull in and notice that the miscellaneous items along the side of the garage had been moved around. I didn't think too much more of it. I came inside, Craig was gone with all of the kids. So, I sat down and started making more Prop 8 phone calls. I got to read for a few minutes and relax which was quite nice. While I was relaxing I got a very fun phone call from my nephew Ezra (he's only 2 so it was with the help of my sister). He sang Happy Birthday to Auntie! Craig told me we were going to dinner so we got the kids all ready and headed out the door. As we were leaving I realized that the cords that normally run in front of the front door for my fish aquarium were no longer there. My wonderful dad had come over during the day (while I was in class) and surprised me by putting in a new outlet on the wall beside my fish aquarium. (The wires came from the garage on the other side of the wall, hence the stuff in the garage being moved). So, I no longer have extension cords running in the walkway. (Thank you, Dad). Off we headed to the Olive Garden for dinner. We met my parents, my sister and her family, my cousin Christy and her family, and our good friends the Wrights, along with our adopted daughter Jaqueline (Sari's friend). We had lots of good food and fun visiting. Craig got me a bike for my birthday (I really wanted one). Sari got me a Willow Tree Angel holding a bushel of grain (for the Fall), Ashlie got me a Willow Tree Angel holding a cat (for Affection), and Tyler got me a new palm pilot. I'm pretty sure Craig had to help him out financially with that one because he doesn't earn an allowance. Along with the rest of my gifts I got a toddler seat for the back of my new bike for Tyler so we can go on rides, a triple plug for my new wall outlet, a beautiful Liz Lemon Swindle picture, and a very fun cupcake stand. And of course I can't forget to mention all of my birthday wishes via email and facebook!!! I don't think I've ever had so many people tell me happy birthday!!! I had lots of fun!!! I've decided that getting older isn't so bad. I think I've learned a few things along the way and I have certainly made lots of friends to share in the fun. Thank you everyone for making my birthday so fun!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carving Pumpkins!!!

Tonight we did our annual pumpkin carving. We were supposed to do it last night but life happened and so it got postponed til tonight. The bad part about doing it tonight was that Craig had a meeting at work so he didn't get to participate. I'm sure he missed watching the kids faces as they attempted to do their own pumpkins but I'm sure he didn't miss the clean up :) Grandma & Papa came over to help and we all had a good time. Sari & Ashlie were able to do most of theirs by themselves so that was fun to watch them figure it all out and draw their own faces on the pumpkins. Tyler of course still needed some assistance but he was so cute. He would get the knife in and then just saw straight up and down for several minutes "carving" his pumpkin. They each designed their own pumpkins. Tyler chose a heart for a nose. After we got them all carved we all went out and got them lit on the porch and stood back to admire.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I got a 94%

For those of you who enjoy hearing me gloat I thought I would spread the word that I got a 94% on my Biology test I took last week. I was a little sad because I thought that I would of done a little better than that, but then I looked at the scores for the entire class and I was quite pleased to see that not only did I get the highest score on this particular test but I also have the highest overall grade in the class with a 96.2%. That made me happy :) Okay, enough gloating, I know I'm a big nerd cause I constantly have my face in my homework but I love learning. It is such a rewarding feeling to learn new stuff that I can share with my friends and family. For instance, today in lab we played CSI COS (COS is the name of the college I go to for those of you not in this area). We studied DNA fingerprinting. Pretty fun stuff to see how they actually can read the DNA!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thanks to my good friend Amy I have been tagged!!! So my 6th picture in the 6th folder happened to be Ashlie's Dance Recital picture from this last June. So here is my princess Ashlie Ann!

8 Favorite TV Shows
1. It was House until last night there were two girls kissing on it :(
2. The Baby Story (If I'm at someones house with TLC)
3. CSI Miami (Craig does a great impression of Horacio)
4. Eleventh Hour
5. Criminal Minds
6. Judge Judy (It is so hilarious)
That's all I can think of, I really don't watch very much tv.

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. Mama Gina's (Now closed and I am so sad)
2. Panera (love the salads)
3. Olive Garden
4. Chili's (Love the shrimp fajitas)
5. Outback Steakhouse (best steamed broccoli ever)
6. Melina's (Mexican food in Blackfoot, Idaho)
7. Arctic Circle (only in Idaho cause they have fry sauce)
8. My mom's kitchen

8 Things that Happened Yesterday
1. Made Prop 8 phone calls
2. Met with Ashlie's teacher
3. Went to class
4. Tyler went to preschool happily
5. Was on hold for over 45 minutes on the phone
6. Went to the church and practiced with the pianist
7. Started the laundry
8. Made my bed

8 Things I'm Looking forward to
1. My birthday
2. Halloween
3. Top of the Line
4. Craft Saturday
5. Maybe Thanksgiving in AZ
6. Christmas
7. Hopefully family coming for New Years
8. bedtime

8 things on my Wish List
1. Prop 8 to pass
2. To be skinny
3. Bike with a seat for Tyler
4. Diamonds (shouldn't that be a standard???)
5. Maid
6. Potty trained son
7. A dog who cleans her own messes
8. My back to quit hurting

8 Friends I'm tagging
1. Tiff
2. Jen - sister
3. Aisha
4. Utah Chris
5. Margaret
6. Jenny
7. Emmylou
8. Becky

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tonight was our ward halloween party. We had lots and lots of fun. Sari dressed up as a doctor and she was the cutest doctor I've ever seen. Ashlie was a vampire princess (she came up with that on her own) and can anyone guess what Tyler was??? I know it is so hard to figure out, of course he was Thomas. If you recall we had a Thomas in our family last Halloween too! In fact, we were able to reuse the same costume, yeah!!! The kids had lots of fun bouncing in the bounce house, doing the cake walk, and running and playing with all of their friends. Then when it was dark everyone opened up the back of their family mobiles and the "Trunk or Treating" began. Jaqueline (our adopted daughter) even got to go with us :) We had a really fun time and hopefully no one wakes up tomorrow morning with a stomach ache from the candy :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dance Class!!

This is Ashlie's 4th year of dance and she still enjoys it. Twice a year we have viewing days where we can go and watch her dance and see what all of our money pays for. The rest of the time we aren't supposed to go and watch, so we just drop her off at the door and pick her back up an hour later. So it is nice to see that she really enjoys it and she is learning something. She loves to watch herself in the mirror and we used to wonder why she enjoyed that so much but after you go to "Viewing Week" you understand. She is still taking ballet, tap, and jazz.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Laundry Room

So, I finally got my vinyl put up in the laundry room. What do you think??? I'm thinking now I need to get some of those way cool holiday lights that have the orange pumpkins that light up and string them around. Any thoughts on where to go from there?