29 December 2006

In a Week

Next Friday morning I will arrive at the hospital at 5:30 am for my scheduled c-section. You'd think that by #3 I'd be ready....but I'm really nervous this time. Far more nervous than with the last one. I think it's because I'm in a new place with a new doctor and a new hospital.

21 December 2006

Christmas with kids

Why I love Christmas with kids:

Me: Dogger, what do you want for Christmas?
Dogger: Santa.


-----------------------------------------------------------------
Goosey is learning lots of Christmas songs this year. My favorite one to hear her sing is "Deck the Halls". She sings the first line like this:

"Deck the house with thousand holly...."

05 December 2006

Keeping it Together

I like to organize. You probably wouldn't guess it by looking at the apartment right now (everything goes to heck during my pregnancies), but there are a few things I do to keep everything straight:

  • I make out a weekly menu (it's laminated and hangs on the fridge), then write my grocery list from the menu. This eliminates impulse purchases, eating out too often, and the "what are we going to have tonight" problem.
  • Each month I write out a list of all bills, their due dates and amounts. I make two columns--one titled "paid" and the other titled "money" (which means entered into the register). I check each column when completed. This way I never miss bills and know exactly what my fixed expenses are that month.
  • I pay my bills online.
  • I never schedule appointments during nap time.
  • I balance my "checkbook" daily. This may seem tedious, but it takes two minutes to compare my account online to Quicken (or MS Money if that's what you use). And, no surprises!
  • I have a file folder box full of FHE lessons. After we've done one it goes to the back of the box so that we don't repeat too often.
  • When my kids move to a new clothing size I buy a storage bin, put all the too small clothing in it and label it with the size and gender, i.e., 2T Boy. Now when the next boy is ready for that size I just have to open the one container, and there's everything.
Those are just a few in my bag of tricks. How do you keep it all together?

30 November 2006

Thanksgiving Highlight


A belated, but very emphatic, WOOOOO-HOOOOO!!!!!

And a big thank you to my father-in-law for ordering an additional sports package on his Comcast Cable just so that we could watch the game in Spokane.

The collective SCREAM woke my father-in-law who was asleep upstairs, in his room, at the opposite end of the house.

And, if there's any doubt (which there shouldn't be), I will be rooting 100% for the Cougars, and not at all for my home state Ducks.

GO COUGARS!!!!!!!

09 November 2006

House Hunting

I saw 13 houses in 4 days. Finally, one measured up. We put an offer in......cross your fingers!

03 November 2006

The Dropsies

New with this pregnancy
The Dropsies!

In the past 2 1/2 months I have dropped (and broken) the following:

2 glasses
1 dinner plate
and, today....
1 Pyrex casserole dish

31 October 2006

Am I aging?


Overheard at the ward Halloween carnival:

YW 1: So....what's your brother supposed to be anyway?
YW 2: A Ghostbuster. We saw the movie like once, and he's totally in love with it.
YW 1: look of confusion

24 October 2006

Pumpkin Festival

This Saturday we went to the Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire. There were thousands of jack-o-lanterns (and more arriving by the minute).
Some were traditional.....

And some not so much.

19 September 2006

THE Game


To begin, I want to thank the Boston College community for being excellents hosts. The entire game experience was pleasant (even with the loss).

The off-site parking with complimentary shuttle to the stadium was a breeze--and a bus ride through some of the most lovely little neighborhoods I've seen in the Boston area.

Boston College fans were friendly and kind. They said hello and welcomed us. They answered questions about the campus, the students and Boston in general. They smiled and told my children how adorable they were in their BYU outfits. Their language was clean. They didn't gloat over the win. What a charming group of oppposing fans!

Our seats were great. No, we didn't get to go down on the field, though the picture looks like it. That was the view from where we were sitting. We could hear most of the BYU cheerleaders' conversations, we felt like we were IN the game.

The kids were great....Dogger was a trooper despite the fact that the game was during lunch and nap time.  Goosey stood in the aisle and did every move with the cheerleaders. We were surrounded by BYU fans. Such a fun time!

15 September 2006

BYU v. BC

Tomorrow morning we'll make the trek to Chestnut Hill, Mass. to watch the BYU COUGARS take on Boston College. You can watch for us on ESPN 2--we'll all be wearing blue, Goosey in a BYU cheerleader outfit and Dogger in a footbal jersey. We'll wave, and you'll know that it's for you.

This is a VERY big deal for me because I'm having Cougar football withdrawals....this is the second and last game I'll get to see this season (the first was the opener against Arizona--thank you TBS). I will experience the rest through audio on the internet (like I did last week).

WARNING! Ranting about to start:

I hate this new "partnership" with the CSTV and the MTN network....or whatever they're calling it. It's bad enough that they partnered with CSTV--horrible quality all around--but then they went and created this "MTN" channel thing--only available in the Mountain West Conference area. If the games were on CSTV I could pay extra for that channel....but it's not worth it for the two games that are going to be on there.

See you there and GO COUGS!!!

12 September 2006

Grandpa Sweetie


My grandpa passed away last night. My dad called this morning to tell me. Memories and images have been playing in my mind. So, in memory of:

My grandpa was born in the Bay Area to an immigrant father and orphaned mother. He grew up poor... I love the stories he told of the racially diverse neighborhood where he was raised--color and race didn't matter to him.

Grandpa's dad died when he was 12. He quickly became the 'man of the house' for his mom and younger sister--a caring responsible man who would have those qualities for the rest of his life.

My grandparents met in high school. They attended the largest high school in the Bay Area. They had friends who were dating and thought that Art and Jeanette would be perfect for each other. So, they arranged a meeting: Each year their school hosted "Hello Day" in an effort for the students to better know each other. The rules were that you had to shake hands and introduce yourself to anyone with whom you came into contact that you didn't already know. So, Grandpa's friend arranged to meet him by the 5th floor garbage can at lunch, and Grandma's friend made the same plans. The friends never showed, and the rest is history. Every year, on the anniversary of "Hello Day" my grandpa would send my grandma roses with a card that read "Hello again."

Grandpa spent most of WW II at home, serving as an air raid warden and in other wartime positions. He had a bad knee, so he was passed by when the draft board made their decisions. When, in 1945, the notice came, he was excited to go--so excited that Grandma didn't tell him she was pregnant with baby #3. She knew that he could (and would) petition to stay home since he had three children, so she kept it to herself.

Grandpa was on a ship in the middle of the Pacific when the war ended. He spent his time as part of the occupation forces in Japan. He rebuilt cities and helped children and families to begin healing. He always felt that he hadn't done his part--guilty that he stayed home while his friends lost their lives and left families behind.

When he came home he told Grandma he had seen what war could do to children in cities, so he wanted to move his family to the country. They spent a few years looking, and found a farm in southern Oregon. Rural life was a change for them. Grandpa always had a full-time job--he was an accountant--the farm (or later the ranch) was way of life for the kids. A place for them to learn responsibilty and the value of hard work.

This was how I grew up. We had a house on my grandparents ranch. We worked hard and loved the land. By the time my siblings and I came Grandpa was retired. We spent our summers in the hay fields, building fences, stopping in at Grandma's for cookies and riding into town with Grandpa for a stop the Co-op (that's the Farm Bureau in Douglas County, Oregon) and a burger at the Owl Restaurant before coming home.

Grandma and Grandpa Sweetie were very supportive of us. They came to our band concerts, our soccer games, Grandparents Day at school, and special school and church occasions. I always knew that Grandpa was proud of me. When I chose to go to BYU he told me that it was the "only school where a kid could get a conservative education in this nation!" That was quite a compliment coming from him.

My grandparents weren't members of the Church, but they always respected our beliefs and values--Grandpa especially. When my dad was called to be a bishop he sat down with Grandpa and explained to him that this calling was going to require a lot of time. He wanted to talk about what that meant for the ranch since he was mostly running by that time. My grandpa told him that he should meet his family and church committments first, and the ranch responsibilities would be taken care of.

It's this kind of personal integrity, kindness, and committment to family that I want for my children. Grandpa's passing makes it even more important to me that while we are undecided on the first name for baby#3, we have always planned on his middle name being Lewis--my grandpa's middle name.

I laid in bed this morning and remembered sitting on Grandpa's lap while he napped in his arm chair. I would lean my head against his chest, listen to his heart and try to slow my breathing to match the rhythm of his.... Now I pray that I can have a heart as generous and large as his, and that the cadence of my life might be as pure and noble.

08 September 2006

The Poky Little Puppy: A reading by Dogger


Reading to his sister:

"Oh, whoaaaa.........

No no, whoof whoof.
No no, whoof whoof."

06 September 2006

Shore Acres State Park, Oregon

I've been going here since I was Goosey's age.

Dogger's not sure about this.

Japanese Garden

Amazing views

31 August 2006

Don't Settle

My next door neighbor just moved. I'm really going to miss her--she was the Laurel advisor in our ward, a great example for the girls--and a wonderful friend. On her last Sunday she shared her testimony with the Young Women and reminded them never to "settle". That was the underlying theme to the lesson she and her husband taught on temple marriage--don't settle!

Don't settle for less than the man who is everything you want. Don't settle for someone who's not temple worthy. Don't settle for less than a temple marriage.

I've been thinking about this, and I wish that all young women/young adult sisters in the church could have heard their lesson. I want to plead with them, "Don't settle!"

My husband has always said the same thing, but in his own way--he says that you should give yourself every reason to succeed in marriage. That means no "if's". You shouldn't be saying to yourself, "This marriage will work if... " (You can fill in the blank):

...if he joins the Church
...if we get sealed some day
...if she gets over that old flame
...if we make lots of money
...if our in-laws stay out of it
...if he gets his act together
etc, etc, etc....

And so, I say to all unmarried women:
Don't settle! You are worth it! Your Heavenly Father (and your earthly parents) wants the best circumstances for you--counsel with him (and them), and listen.....they love you. But, what whatever you do,
give yourself every chance to succeed!

28 August 2006

Camping

We went camping while in Oregon. This was Goosey & Dogger's first time!

Goosey roasts a marshmallow.

Dogger's first s'more.

We stayed in a YURT.

21 August 2006

I just had this conversation

Goosey: "Here Mom, it's a picture for you."

Me: "Wow, Goosey! Great job. Good drawing!"

Goosey: "It's a picture of you when you were upset with Dogger."

Me:

10 August 2006

The Reunion


Me and two good friends from DHS

Planning a reunion taking place in Oregon while living in New Hampshire was a big challenge....I won't go into the details, but let's just say I'm glad I don't have to do this for another 10 years.

Everything went better than I thought it would, and it was great to see old friends. I was also happy to find that everyone seemed happier and more confident than in high school. I felt like we had really grown up--especially as I watched people visit. It seemed like the old groups had faded a little. Sure, people visited more with those they were closer to in high school, but everyone was friendly with each other. So, overall, a good experience.

Celebrate!



It took 6 academic years while working full-time,
but (2 kids later).....he got it!


The Wildlife Safari

I'm coming out of my early pregnancy yuckies and can now start to catch up. In June we took a family vacation to Oregon. On the to-do list were my 10 year high school reunion, visting family and friends and a bit of sight-seeing.

Our first full day in Oregon was spent at the Wildlife Safari. I grew up going to the Safari and wanted my hubby and kids to experience it too. Here are some highlight photos.



Goosey and Dogger try to fit in.




Dogger makes friends with a ferret.




Goosey and Daddie have a camel ride.

06 July 2006

Hands full

I've made a general observation about New England--the families are smaller and the kids farther between (with the exception of those at church).

So, each time I go shopping I have at LEAST one person say to me, "Wow, you've got your hands full!"

Now, the reason for this is not because my kids are running all over the place, screaming at the top of their lungs. My children are actually very well behaved. They sit in the shopping cart, waving and saying hello to other shoppers. Their hair is neatly done and they are well dressed. At first I thought these Yankees found my children offensive in some way. But I've learned that's not it--it's simply the fact that I have two children who are ONLY 27 months apart (as a side note, in Utah, no one even considers that you might be busy unless you have 4 kids).

And so, I've learned to smile, and say, "Yep, we like kids at our house." And, I'm secretly looking forward to the looks and comments I'll get in few months when my growing belly will make it obvious that we're having another one. That's right folks, three kids in just over 4 years! Can the cashier at Target handle it?

01 June 2006

10 Years Ago Today...


This photo was taken several hours after graduation, just before I headed off to my grad party (hence the bare feet, and tired eyes). And, just so you don't think I always looked that exhausted...

25 May 2006

7 Sevens

7 Things I want to do before I die:
Visit all 50 states
Hold public office
Serve a senior couple mission
Live abroad
Go to law school
Play the cello
Speak German


7 Things I cannot do:
Roll my r's
Ghost movies
Sleep on my back
Seafood
Keep up with the laundry
Ernest Hemingway
Soggy bread

7 Things that Attracted me to my Spouse:
His smarts
The innocence
Patience
Compassion
Beautiful eyes
His relationship with his family
Willingness to support me in my decisions


7 Things that I say often:
Yo-mama .com
Goof-ball brain
You're my #1 girl!
Little man!
This is a very interesting situation.
When we're rich, can we.....
I'm not FROM Utah, I just moved from there.


7 Books that I Love:
Pride and Prejudice
Anne of Green Gable series
New England Insight Guide
Harry Potter series
House Selling for Dummies
Little House on the Prairie series
The Pokey Little Puppy



7 Movies I could watch Over and Over:
Anne of Green Gables
Meet Me in St. Louis
Pride and Prejudice (BBC)
Gone With the Wind
Top Gun
Return to Me
It's a Wonderful Life


7 People from Whom I'd like to See 7 Sevens
carblemarble
imsewfunny
wendysue
cjane
3 random stalkers?

19 May 2006

Good for you, Lorelai!

Everyone I know is mad at Lorelai (including the YW in my ward), but I'm glad she did it.

April bugged me from the moment she showed up (if they hadn't tried to make her Rory part 2, it might have been better). And then, Luke started in with the weirdness. Perfect, understanding, reliable Luke...until April.

Luke used to "get" Lorelai. He understood her--like the whole remodeling her house instead of buying the Twickham house thing....he listened to what she meant, not what she said.

That's all over now (case in point, "postponing" the wedding). All he thinks about is April....and worse, he won't even share anything about April with Lorelai. That's right, Lorelai, his FIANCEE!!!!

And so Luke has fallen from my graces. He no longer brings little smiles to my face. Now I dread seeing a scene with him. I know that he's going to be clueless and Lorelai will be in pain.

Should Lorelai have slept with Christopher? Of course not. But let's be honest, we all know that Lorelai is reactionary--she never takes things slowly, she decides how she feels and acts on it without considering the consequences. That's Lorelai.

And so again, I say, "Good for you Lorelai!"

03 May 2006

Dogger the Curious

Earlier this week I was working in the kitchen when I realized that Dogger was a little too quiet in his bedroom. And so I found...

24 March 2006

My Legacy


At an Enrichment meeting a few years ago we were asked to name one thing for which we would like to be remembered. Answers included faith, pioneering spirit, commitment to education, kindness, etc. I thought rather than come up with a "deep" answer, I'd answer honestly. My CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.

That's what I do best--chocolate chip cookies. Earlier this week I gave some to my neighbor for the second time. The next day she asked for the recipe--and she's not the only one. Almost every time I share them, a recipe request quickly follows.

I bet all you faithful, pioneering, educated, kind people wish you were my neighbor!

22 March 2006

Big Heart

Saturday night a family in our ward's house burned down. To the ground. They lost EVERYTHING. Thankfully, they are all safe, and the ward is taking care of them. In fact, by sacrament meeting at 1:00 the bishop had to ask people to channel all offers of help through the RS pres and himself because the family was overwhelmed.

I passed the RS pres in the hall and mentioned that we would be willing to give clothes and toys to the youngest of the four kids (E.) since Goosey is the only girl her age. Yesterday I got a call from the RS pres saying that they did need some clothing for E.

I had already explained what happened to Goosey. We went through her closet and chose new clothes that I had bought for next fall (I buy clearance rack in a size ahead for the next appropriate season--saves lots of $$). We were short one shirt, so I asked Goosey to pick one of hers. She chose her pink princess shirt and told me, "this will be good for E."

In Goosey's book, anything pink or princess is top notch. Put them together, and it's perfection. My 3-year old chose her "best" shirt for her friend, because her friend needed it. I was so proud/touched/thankful that my daughter loves her friend enough to share the things she loves.

When the RS pres came by to pick up the clothes Goosey hauled out her Fisher-Price Noah's Ark and said that she would give it to E. The RS pres told her that they weren't ready for toys yet since they're still in the hotel, but she'll let her know.

So, Goosey is planning which things she will give to E. Today she sent E. a note saying that she loved her and included she included stickers. I hope that Goosey will keep her big, caring heart for the rest of her life.

08 March 2006

An invitation to slow down

In a message to his granddaughters on becoming great women, President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said:

“My dear granddaughters, you cannot do everything well at the same time. You cannot be a 100 percent wife, a 100 percent mother, a 100 percent church worker, a 100 percent career person, and a 100 percent public-service person at the same time.”



Doing things sequentially, he said, “gives a woman the opportunity to do each thing well in its time and to fill a variety of roles in her life.”

06 March 2006

Four for a Gloomy day

Four jobs you've had in your life:
office manager
aquatics instructor
concert security
MTC dishwasher

Four movies you could watch over and over:
Pride and Prejudice (BBC)
Anne of Green Gables
Gone With the Wind
Meet me in St. Louis

Four places you've lived:

Roseburg, Oregon

Brigham Young University

Provo, Utah

Manchester, New Hampshire


Four TV shows you love to watch:
Gilmore Girls
House Hunters
JAG
What Not to Wear

Four places you've been on vacation:
Seattle
The Oregon Coast
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Bremen, Germany

Four of your favorite foods:
blackberry pie (made with wild Oregon blackberries)
my mom's lasagne
mashed potatoes
Grandma Dixie's rolls

Four places you'd rather be right now:

Disneyland

Sunset Bay, Oregon

Spokane, Washington

Europe


Four sites you visit daily:
google
gmail
CNN
weather.com


Four people who you are tagging (okay, only two because everyone else has already done it):
carblemarble
La Yen

24 February 2006

shock

While making dinner last night I heard the news anchor say that a school shooting had occurred in Oregon. I turned up the TV to see what misfortune had befallen my home state when they flashed an image with the caption Roseburg, Oregon. I audibly gasped and froze, causing my 3-year old to ask, "Mommie, what's wrong?"

I didn't go to Roseburg High (that's where all the "city" kids go), but that's the town of my youth. I can guarantee that Roseburg, and the entire county are in shock. Roseburg doesn't have shootings everyday.....in fact, there isn't even a robbery or a serious car accident on a daily basis.

And while I am grateful that the shooting wasn't a general rampage on the students and staff, just a vendetta against one other student (who is in good condition) , I am saddened and disgusted. Never, never, never should this happen anywhere, but especially not at a school.

And so, I am praying for Joseph Monti, the boy in the hospital. I am praying for the students who have gone through so much trauma and for the teachers and administrators. I'm praying for the shooter (still nameless in the media). But, mostly I pray for my children and their peers. Let them learn from these horrific incidents so that in 15 years, when they're in high school, it can be a safe and secure place for them to learn and grow.

20 February 2006

budding artist

Goosey has recently discovered the digital camera. We never know what we'll find when we download the images. Below are some of her recent shots:







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