Saturday, October 23, 2010

Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes?

The kids were off school on Thursday and Friday for MEA. Thursday morning, after we all happily slept in, we piled in the car and went out to breakfast at Perkins. (Obviously a special occasion) By the way, if anyone is interested in opening up a breakfast place here in Minnesota, it could be quite lucrative as our breakfast options are few. Anyone? Anyone? I digress. While waiting for our meals, Nathan became quite restless. Coloring wasn't going to do it this time. So we started playing the favorite 'Name the Body Part' game.
Me: What's this?
N: Nose
Me: What's this?
N: Cheeks
Me: What's this?
N: Ears
Me: What's this?
N: Chin
Me: What's this? (I'm holding up my hand)
N: High Fives!
Me: (Chortling. Laughing some more.)
Me: What's this? (Holding up my fist and pointing to my hand)
N: Knuckos! (Knuckles, as in fist bumps)
Me: I give up! (laughing)
N: OK Mom (laughing)
3 minutes later I try again...
Me: What's this? (This time wiggling my fingers slightly to pull his attention to the fingers/hand)
N: Tickles!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Attack!

Today was a day sans soccer for the Memorial weekend so we took advantage to run some errands. We drove out to the Albertville Outlet Mall (30 miles or so) to get some shorts, sunglasses and flip flops for the kids. After we were done, we stopped at our favorite restaurant out there, Space Aliens Grill & Bar. Think the "Crash Down" from the show Roswell, but way better. They seriously have my favorite ribs which are simply 'out of this world'. The place is full of alien ware and pictures. The ceiling is painted in an outer space theme and on occasion we are lucky enough to be visited by an alien. He is about seven and a half feet tall and walks throughout the restaurant waving at the customers. We had met him once before but this time Nate was unimpressed. He covered his ears and kept them covered for the next 20+ minutes, long after the alien had left. Understand that said alien made absolutely no sound. Nate did not cover his eyes even once, but the ears remained covered. This became a real problem when his dinner was brought out. He finally decided he could let go of one ear while the other held the spoon.

Nate keeping a close eye on our friend as he left our area


Too Close (for comfort) Encounters


The kids were all such great sports throughout the day and all the other errands, we stopped for Icees on the way home. After we got home and finished off our treat, we sent the kids out to play in the backyard. (I am pretty sure they were nearly outside before I finished the suggestion) Eric and I got to work filling squirt bottles, guns and a Super Soaker attached to a 2 liter bottle. We snuck through the basement and quietly opened the door a crack. Eric opened fire and the screams started! :-) After we got them all pretty well soaked, we shared some of our weaponry and they got us back tenfold. It was a wonderful day.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Samson No More



My sweet baby had the most beautiful golden curly locks. It was time to lose the curls and let him look like the sweet little boy he is. Nathan did great during the entire haircut with just two exceptions. The first was when the stylist stood in front of the Barney video he was watching and the second was when she had the 'audacity' to turn on the clippers at the end. Nathan hated the sound. In fact he was in mid cry when she finished and the cry ended the moment she turned it off. He looks so handsome. (Much to my relief, when his hair gets wet the curls show up again)

Before....


The locks I love...




Watch the ear lady!


After....


I am not convinced it was worth it...but my Mommy says I look handsome!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring Break in Spokane

We had a wonderful time in Spokane! We were able to spend time with everyone. The kids were spoiled and loved it of course.
Some of our favorite memories in completely random order:
*The kids piled on and around Brandon watching Disney's Robin Hood on You Tube.
*Katryn and the girls doing crafts with Aunt Michelle and Katelyn
*Playing Blokus (a tradition now)
*The kids went to Chuck E. Cheese with Aunt Michelle, Brandon, and Katelyn.
*Going swimming with Aunt Melanee, Uncle Mark, Aaron and Ryan at the YMCA.
*Going to Riverfront park with the Malmoe's, riding the Carousel, sliding on the Big Red Wagon, feeding the 'goat'
*Pedicure with Nana
*The best Donuts ever at Donut Parade
*Decorating Easter Eggs with Nana, and spilling 3 of the 6 colors...
*The girls all working on a collaborative art piece with Uncle Arlon
*Linds and Katryn went to the Children's Museum with Aunt Melanee
*Nate wearing his newspaper pirate hat Papa folded for him
*Trip to the White Elephant
Spokane Slide Show Snippet :-)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

9 is Fine!


Katryn is 9! Happy birthday sweetheart. I can't believe how fast the time has flown. She is such an amazing girl. Katryn has a very strong sense of fairness and is always looking out for others. On Saturday, the 13th, Katryn and Dad woke up a bit early and went on a special birthday breakfast date to the Original Pancake House in Eden Prairie. Yummy! We celebrated her birthday with some shopping. Katryn decided she wanted a room makeover for her birthday. We went shopping for a bedspread and finally found one she loves. We are still fine tuning the paint color she would like on her walls. She is deciding between a minty color and one with more blue in it.
Katryn had a yellow bundt cake with teal frosting and sparkly green icing as requested. She also decorated most of the squiggles on her cake and the decorative border on the cake plate. She did a beautiful job!



Happy Birthday Katryn, I love you so much!

I will have to post the answers to the 'birthday interview later' including her height, etc.

Yo Gabba Gabba!

I had the chance to take Lindsay and Mackenzie to see the Yo Gabba Gabba Live Show. It was so much fun! We weren't sure what to expect, but all the 'real' characters were there and put on a fantastic show. We danced and sang to all of it. The girls loved when Brobee flew up in the air holding onto some balloons his friends had given him. Lindsay promptly asked if we could get her that many balloons for her birthday so she could fly too! The show dropped thousands of balloons from the ceiling and the girls each took one home. During the last song, I bent over and told Mackenzie it was about to end and she should wave goodbye. She immediately burst into tears. I asked her what was wrong. "It's almost over! I want it to keep going all the days!" Lindsay said this was the best show ever, the best day ever, the best ever!
Thanks for a great show DJ Lance Rock, Muno, Foofa, Brobee, Toodee, Plex, Biz Markie, and the Aquabats!
(The funniest part to me was seeing several '20 something' couples at the show sans any nieces or nephews. Yo Gabba Gabba has a cult following in the college crowd due to their fantastic array of guest bands and hosts.)
We are wearing our DJ Lance glasses!

The Aquabats

The 'highlight' :-) Go Brobee!

Mackenzie and Lindsay with their balloons

The whole Gabba Gang: DJ Lance, Foofa, Muno, Brobee, Plex, Toodee

Dancey Dance Time!


There's a Party in My Tummy

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Grandmother's Testimony

Mantua, Utah
Jan 6 2002

After our lesson today in Sunday School and in Relief Society I decided I wanted to share my testimony with all of you. I have always felt the restored gospel was true but over the years as I have read and learned more AND thought more, that knowledge and conviction has really grown. I feel so thankful for the knowledge we have. The Savior means more to me today than ever. It is hard to grasp all He has done for us. I feel so blessed that I had good parents who set a wonderful example for me. So many pitfalls in life I have been able to miss but along with that there have been lots of challenges also and Heavenly Father has always been there for me. I have always been so thankful for the Savior's love, and for forgiveness, and a new day. When I look back I can see many things I could have done better and certainly one of those is to talk things over with Heavenly Father and not allow my prayers to become just a habit or take the gospel for granted.

The greatest blessing in my life is my wonderful family and each one of you is such an important part of that blessing. What a privilege to be part of this special family. It is such an incentive for me to keep trying to improve. The knowledge we have of the eternal possibilities of families is another one of those priceless blessings we have.

I LOVE YOU ALL MORE THAN WORDS CAN EXPRESS

--Grandmother

**************************************************

The day before yesterday was Grandmother's birthday and I spent it looking at some of my favorite pictures of her and reading her testimony she mailed to the family. I keep it tucked in my scriptures. Thank you for such a special gift. I love you Grandmother.

Life's Truths

A couple of weeks ago, Lindsay and Katryn attended the same evening birthday party and Eric & I took Mackenzie and Nathan to our favorite local Mexican restaurant. At the end of the meal, Mackenzie went with Eric up to pay for dinner. She flashed one of her "I am just so cute" smiles and the lady promptly complimented her and gave her little pack of Chiclet gum that they sell for 25 cents. After dinner, we all went to pick up the girls from the party. Everytime we go to this restaurant, Katryn begs us to buy her some of that gum. We've never relented, as we have plenty of gum at home. The first thing she sees as she gets in the van is the gum. She starts to have a mumbly fit, it is not fair...yadda, yadda, yadda. In defense Eric explained he did not buy it for her and maybe next time Katryn might be given some. To which Katryn promptly replied, "She's three! How can I compete with cute?!" Needless to say, I couldn't stop laughing. My poor baby, some times the truth can be harsh. :-) Katryn is very cute, and obviously quite smart, perhaps a quarter bribe to the hostess is in order...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Answered Prayers

Well we have had quite a bit of snow over the last couple of days (10+ inches). Of course this is when Eric is out of the country on a business trip. He has managed to escape many 'opportunities' to snow blow while traveling. It is a gift he has, traveling while it snows here in Minne-snow-ta. To be fair, it does stress him out knowing he can't be there to help. The good news: I was able to dig out our driveway 4 times yesterday, help 3 neighbors with their snow dilemmas, and best of all...dig out a garbage truck stuck at the end of our cul-de-sac. The garbage truck was quite fun. I watched for awhile thinking something that big would have no trouble with the snow. I finally grabbed two shovels and headed down. Much to my surprise, the garbage man was not a man at all. :-) She hopped right out, cheerfully and thankfully took my other shovel and we proceeded to get her free. Later my neighbor came home from work and misjudged the snowbank and got her car quite stuck. Fortunately, Katryn saw the whole thing and came to tell me she was going out to help. I smiled, grateful to know where her heart was. We both got our snow gear on and went over. We were all quite a sight, but we were able to get the job done :-) Today, my sweet neighbor came over to tell me, she had literally been praying, saying "God, how am I going to get this car out? It is just me and my son. How can we do this?" when she looked up to see us walking across the street, shovels in hand. She wanted me to know we were an answer to her prayer and that God was looking out for her. The most wonderful feeling came over me. It was three years ago, almost to the day, when Eric was on this same trip, and we had a tremendous snow storm, I had a newborn inside with severe acid reflux, who hardly let me lie her down for more than 15 minutes at a time. I opened our garage to see an amount of snow I didn't think I would be able to handle, even with a snow blower. I silently prayed. "How can I do this? Please help me." I started clearing the driveway. Not 5 minutes went by when I heard this same neighbor calling to me. She said not to worry, she was sending her two boys over to help me. (Schools were closed due to the snow that day). My neighbors were my answer. God was looking out for me and my family. Miracles are around us daily, we just need to notice them and be willing and open to be a part of them.

My Mommy finally let me out!

Today was Nathan's first real experience playing in the snow. I think it was a love/hate kind of experience.

The first impression

So the play equipment doesn't work so well in the snow



My unwilling angel...

I love these cheeks!

Monday, January 25, 2010

I'm a BIG girl Mom!

Mackenzie turned three today! Where has the last three years gone? I remember her birth so vividly. My little miracle. There is something about her personality that amazes me. She know what she likes. She is very decisive. We had a Dora the Explorer birthday party for her today. When asked who she would like to invite to her party she listed everyone in our family. I didn't argue. :-) We did the full on party here with just us. It was wonderful and she was thrilled! Mack and I went to Party City on Saturday so she could pick out what she wanted for the party. We had Dora plates, cups, napkins, tablecloth, balloons, party hats and cake. Lots of accents of orange and pink since these are her two favorite colors. She was so thrilled with the entire evening. Dinner Menu: Mummy Dogs (aka pigs in a blanket), broccoli, steamed carrots and juice. Then it was present time. Since this was a 'Dora' party, she had a 'Map' to show her where her presents were hidden. She had a blast running through the house to find her gifts. Yelling "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for my birthday and my presents!"








Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Words to live by

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Just Desserts

After dinner last night, I had one of my favorite desserts: a bowl of canned peaches with a 'healthy' dollop of plain yogurt. Ah, dessert Grandmother style. If only I had canned raspberries for tonight...

Opportunity Knocking

I love the visiting teaching program through our church. Once a month we go with a partner into the homes of a couple of other 'sisters' who are members of our congregation. We visit, have a short lesson/discussion about a gospel topic, and find out if there is anything they need for themselves and their families. Conversely, once a month I have the opportunity to have two 'sisters' come to my home and perform that same service for me. If you are in a bind, you can always call your visiting teachers for help. Today I found yet another blessing of this program. For those who don't know me well...I am, shall we say, organizationally challenged. Once a month I have the opportunity to get my house in order to welcome these wonderful sisters. Of course there are other reasons and opportunities to do this, but this is one that I can count on. So, here I am blogging and not feeling guilty about it. AAAhhhhh, I love a clean house in the middle of the day. Thank you, my visiting teachers :-)

Today's lesson was on Becoming Self-Reliant. Here are a few things that were taught that struck me.

What Is Self-Reliance?
“‘Self-reliance means using all of our blessings from Heavenly Father to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions for our own problems.’ Each of us has a responsibility to try to avoid problems before they happen and to learn to overcome challenges when they occur. …

“How do we become self-reliant? We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being.” -- Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A Gospel Responsibility
“As we live providently and increase our gifts and talents, we become more self-reliant. Self-reliance is taking responsibility for our own spiritual and temporal welfare and for those whom Heavenly Father has entrusted to our care. Only when we are self-reliant can we truly emulate the Savior in serving and blessing others.

“It is important to understand that self-reliance is a means to an end. Our ultimate goal is to become like the Savior, and that goal is enhanced by our unselfish service to others. Our ability to serve is increased or diminished by the level of our self-reliance.” [ “A Gospel Vision of Welfare: Faith in Action,” Basic Principles of Welfare and Self-Reliance (2009), 1–2.]

I love this topic. I love that we are given gifts to help ourselves and when we do need help, there are those around us who are put into our lives to bless us. I have been on both the giving and the receiving end. I was so struck with the above concept: Our ability to serve is increased or diminished by the level of our self-reliance.

I love my Savior and am grateful for my health, circumstances, and His perfect example. I hope as I work to increase my self-reliance, that I will recognize my ability to continue to help those around me and that the Lord will guide me to do His work.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Times are Changing

I have started to feel immense anxiety building. Mostly, stemming from not keeping up on this blog. I love blogging, it is an escape of sorts but also a way for me to focus on a day or an event. My days zoom by and if I don't stop to journal or blog, they just run into one another. My days seem so similar as I reflect on them as a whole, nothing too exciting to differentiate time passing. Yet, as I stop to record a moment, that day, that time becomes special. Perhaps that is why we have been challenged to journal. Most of us feel we live unextraordinary lives and we do in a way, but the way in which we choose to meet life and live it is incredibly unique. I love hearing/reading how life was different for my grandparents, as well as for my parents. I chuckle when my own children ask, "What did you do when you were a little kid?" My life can't be so different than their right?

January 2, 2010, I was walking through the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport with my children waiting for our flight to board. As we walked, Lindsay asked what this was:
A Pay Phone. :-)

Which led to another question from Katryn. What is that?


A Phone Book. The blurry close up is a picture of Grampa and Gramma's phone number and address! "A book that has everyone's phone number?! That is so cool and helpful! - Katryn

When we got back to the gate, the education continued. Mackenzie asked what are all the empty boxes for?




Newspaper stands with 10 empty boxes. The kids loved climbing in the slots. Newspapers? What are they?

Apparently my life is changing. I had better give myself to blog now before I forget these little stories. My stress is that I want to spend quality time with my ?(insert subject) post. I keep thinking I can't blog about this until I finish blogging about that. At this rate, I will never get to blog again. I am freeing myself from the chronological chain to which I was tethered. Don't be surprised if my 'Christmas' post shows up in July. :-)