Friday, January 25, 2008

Sam's Pine Wood Derby

I am from a family of all girls. This Boy Scout thing is all new to me. We got a flyer about a month ago announcing that this months pack night would be the Pine Wood Derby. Sam and Bryon have spent this past month working hard on his car. They went down to Idaho Falls on a Saturday and had Grandpa Joe help them sand down their car. Then Bryon and Sam have been working hard on getting the weights just right, painting the car and adding the wheels. I must say the perfectionist in me couldn’t help but offer to help him get the gold detail on his car just right. Sam informed me, to leave his car alone. He told me I had my chance to make a car in Girl Scouts. So yes, Bryon has put in a great deal of time helping Sam but a majority of the work has been Sam. So tonight was the big Pine Wood Derby. We had talked over and over with Sam about the important thing about the Pine Wood Derby is how much time he and his dad have spent working on this car together and it isn’t all about winning. I have to admit when it all boiled down to it, how exactly Sam would act should his car not be the fastest. Being the humble mother that I am, I was just sure that I wouldn’t have to worry about it because Sam’s car would no doubt be the fastest car there! When we got there, the track was all set up and ready to go. The Scouts were very anxious to see how their cars would perform on the track. Many of them were taking advantage of racing their cars down the track just to see how their car would do. Sam was a little hesitant. With some gentle encouraging, Sam stepped up to the track and set his car ready to race. Like Bryon said the important thing is, his car made it down the track. It wasn’t nearly as fast as I had envisioned it would be. Once pack night began, they had three different stations for the boys to attend to hopefully take their minds off “the official racing”. After seeing that Sam’s car wasn’t the fastest one there, I was really worried about how we would react once the real racing began and his car wasn’t winning. It was soon time for Sam to race his car. He didn’t win. After the race Sam made a point to come over to me and let me know that it was okay he didn’t win, he was having a great time. Sam raced his car all night long. It didn’t win once. Not once did Sam complain about losing. As we were leaving the church and Sam and I were together, he commented about how he didn’t win once all night long but that didn’t matter. So tonight I just want Sam to know how happy he made me about being such a good sport. You are right. Sam, you didn’t win a single race. You won where it mattered much more. You had a winning attitude and that is so much more important than winning any race.

Natalie's 100% Girl

I have always wanted a girl. I think it had a lot to do with growing up with a family of all girls. I just didn’t know what to expect raising a boy. While I am having a total blast raising my boys, I am also really enjoying having a little girl. I just love dressing her up and putting cute little bows in her hair. Natalie has been a pretty easy girl, so far. She turned two in November. I thought we were sailing along pretty good. However the terrible twos have snuck upon us and hit us with a vengeance this past month or so. This afternoon I was busy teaching piano lessons. Bryon who usually is watching out after the kids, was trying to get dinner put together so we could make it to pack night on time. Just as I was finishing piano lessons, Natalie appeared out of nowhere. It was apparent that she had been in my mascara. I gave her a good scolding and then decided that I should snap a couple of pictures. I often say that Natalie is 100% girl. There is no denying that! These pictures prove that she was just trying to do what she has watched me do 100 times. It looks like she needs more practice of getting it just on her eyelashes!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Conner

This is a blog I have been thinking about and planning for the past several days. It's official! Conner turned five years old today. Birthdays bring on mixed emotions for me. I celebrate the day my childen were born and I revel in the memories of all their years to this point. Yet my heart aches for their amazing birthparents who not only gave them life but a loving family too. My heart aches a little more on each of my children's birthdays knowing that their birthparents are missing them just a little more that day than any normal day.

While I do enjoy writing poetry, I found this poem from a friend that I think conveys my feelings so much better than I ever could. However, I have tweaked it just a little to make it fit our situation. This poem goes out to my sweet birthday boy and his birthparents, Steve & Brenda.

I didn't even know you
the day we got the call.
We met five years ago,
inside the agency walls.

We did not know that day,
as we went our seperate ways
that our paths would cross again,
another time, another day.

Though time has passed
since we met again
you are no longer a stranger
but have become a dear friend.

And now today as we reflect
the day that we all met,
I can't help but contemplate
the gratitude -- the debt.

A loving Father let you leave
His loving, caring arms
to come down to this mortal world,
where I would be your mom.

But unlike others, your path here
would lead you to another.
One who would give birth to you;
she's your dear birthmother.

How I wish to tell her
the joy you bring each day.
How your family loves you
in all you do and say.

It doesn't matter how you came
though to some it may seem strange.
Both your mothers love you so
And that will never change!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Conner's Birthday Celebration with the Roskelley's

This past weekend my parents and my sister Alyson and her two children came up to attend the open house of the Rexburg Temple. While they were here, we celebrated Conner's fifth birthday. Since we did not celebrate it on Conner's official birthday, Conner said it was "his fake birthday." We went out to dinner at Bajio's. Then we came home for Spider-Man cake and ice cream. My parents gave him and a new outfit and two Nerf guns with balls. Alyson gave him a cute dinosaur. While the outfit fit him and is adorable, he has totally loved playing with his Nerf gun and dinosaur. There was no school yesterday because of Martin Luther King Day and no school again today because of the freezing temperatures, we have had three days of feeling like we are in a war zone because he is always chasing someone with his gun. For not being sure what toy to get him mom, you SCORED!

Rexburg Temple Open House

Saturday we were able to attend the open house of the Rexburg Temple. What an awesome experience. My parents, my sister Alyson and her two children as well as my husbands aunt, uncle, and three of their children all came up to attend the open house with us. Our tickets were Saturday morning at 10:30. It was a busy Saturday for the open house with it being a three day weekend. We went into the chapel to wait for a room to view a video that talks about the importance of temples. We really didn't have to wait long. I was so touched by Elder Holland's comment about heaven not being heaven without his wife and children. I feel the same way, I cannot think of heaven without thinking of being there with Bryon and my four children. We then walked through a maze of tents to take us into the temple. The temple is such an awesome building. It is so beautiful.

I think our oldest, Sam, was very touched. I was very young when the Logan Temple was worked on and then an open house was held before the temple was redidicated. All I remember about that event was holding my Grandma Roskelley's hand as we walked from room to room. So although Sam may not remember a whole lot about the Rexburg Temple Open House, I hope he too will remember holding his Grandma Roskelley's hand as he walked room to room and the special feelings he felt while in the temple of our Heavenly Father.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

All About Me

Okay so first things first. I went into L.A. Weight Loss yesterday. My two days of eating chicken, broccoli, and oranges paid off. I lost 2 ½ pounds! So for lunch yesterday I went and had a hamburger at Wendy’s (yes I can have one on the L.A. plan). I never knew a hamburger tasted so good. Last night at dinner I had a microwaveable dinner. After all was said and done I still had two proteins to eat and three vegetables. It being so close to payday, the only vegetables in my house are the broccoli. So at 7:00 I broke out 4 tablespoons of low fat peanut butter and 3 cups of broccoli. Yep you guessed it. I dipped my broccoli in the peanut butter. Not bad! I didn’t get my exercise in last night. I had a really long day and three nights of insomnia are catching up to me. But this morning I was up at 5:30 to put in a half hour on the elyptical machine.

I mentioned that I had a really long day yesterday. Both Conner and Logan go to preschool out in Sugar City. I have to drive out there every day. Well on our way home, I noticed flashing lights in my rear view mirror. I have no idea how long that cop had been behind me. Conner was yelling at me about the DVD player not working and my mind was a million miles away. The cop asked if I was in a huge hurry. I didn’t have any good story to tell him. I could barely remember my name. He clocked me going 72 in a 55. I could have been nailed. I tried so hard to pull my driver’s license out of my wallet but my hand was shaking so bad I couldn’t get it out. He let me off with a warning thank heavens!

So yesterday I was tagged by Holly. So here we go! Four jobs I have had in my life: 1. MOM 2. Piano teacher 3. I ran my own daycare for several years 4. I worked as a teller at Key Bank. Four Places I have lived: 1. Rexburg, Idaho 2. Logan, Utah 3. Rexburg, Idaho (while going to college) and 4. Burley, Idaho. Five Places I have Been: 1. California 2. Utah 3. Montana 4. Colorado (sorry I am not that adventurous) Four Favorite Foods: 1. Anything but chicken 2. Prime Rib 3. Shrimp 4. A Bajio’s Flauta Salad, A Winger’s Sticky Fingers Salad or an Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad. Four People I Would Like to Get to Know Better: 1. Myself 2. Jesus Christ 3. Princess Diana 4. Some ladies in my neighborhood (we have lived here over a year and I still feel like I don’t know anybody.) Four Reasons I love Being Me 1. I am married to the world’s greatest husband 2. I have been blessed with an amazing family and great friends 3. I am blessed to live in a country where I am free to be me 4. I have a good sense of humor and am usually fun to be around. Four Classes I Wish Were Offered to Me and I could Participate in Right Now 1. How to Keep Your House Clean Once You Get It Clean. 2. How to Get Your Children to Obey the First Time You Ask, Everytime 3. I have always wanted to take a class that taught me how to style my hair and now I have a little girl, I would also love to learn how to braid. 4. I have always wanted to take a photography class. I am tagging: 1. My mom, Lori, Alyson, and Linda. I know some of you don’t have a blog spot so post your answers in the comment section of my blog. I look forward to reading what you come up with!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New Year's Resolution Leads to Two Days of Chicken!

Okay so whose New Year’s Resolution isn’t to eat healthy and loose a little weight? So I think that has been my New Year’s Resolution for about as long as I can remember. I joined L.A. Weight Loss about two years ago. I have done really well and then something happens and I fall of the band wagon and it is so hard to get back on. I am determined this time to loose the weight for good. Also at Bryon’s work they are doing a Biggest Looser contest. If you sign up, you contribute $15 to the pot. At the end of the month, the person that has lost the most weight gets $100. At the end of the school year, they are going to do the overall winner and that person will win close to $1,000. So there is nothing like a little money to get me motivated. So I swallowed my pride and went into L.A. Weight Loss Monday. The lady that worked with me is so nice and is one of my favorites there. L.A. Weight Loss does a “take-off” that is a big shock to your system and shocks your system into loosing weight. Because I am insulin resistant, I cannot do the “take-off” because I can’t drink their drink because of the prescription I am on. So this lady tells me that I can do a mini take-off. So for the next two days whenever the diet says to eat a protein, the only protein I can eat is chicken. Have I mentioned that I am not a big fan of chicken??? I would rather eat a steak or prime rib any day of the week! Then she said for the next two days when it says fruit the only fruit I should eat is oranges and the only vegetable I should eat for the next two days is broccoli. So remember I am determined and figure I can do anything for two days. So I go to this guy in Sugar City that sells fresh fruit and vegetables at a cheap price. I bought me some oranges. Then I went to Albertson’s and bought fresh broccoli and a rotisserie chicken. When I get home, I have four ounces of chicken and cut up two cups of broccoli and steam it. Not bad! Well when dinner time rolls around, I heat up four more ounces of chicken and steam two more coups of broccoli. Let’s just say that the chicken did not taste as well heated up. Meanwhile, my family is having a wonderful dinner of homemade fettuccini and homemade breadsticks. I have to keep reminding myself their dinner is called a “heart attack in every bite” for a reason. Still I couldn’t keep from drooling over their dinner. So I already mentioned that today was a snow day. At lunch time, Bryon suggests going to Subway and getting us Subway sandwiches. I was so tempted. Don’t get me wrong , I can have Subway but for the next two days I am to stick to chicken. So I tell Bryon that actually going to Wendy’s would be better for me. He had a hard time figuring out how Wendy’s is better for you that Subway. I explain to him that I can have Wendy’s chicken sandwich which would stick to my two days of chicken thing. I have to say my chicken sandwich was a nice switch over two meals of rotisserie chicken yesterday. So all day long I am dreading dinner. Bryon calls me on his way home from work and I tell him to stop by the grocery store and get me a rotisserie chicken because I couldn't be creative and figure out anything else to do with chicken. YUCK! The thought of it was already making me gag! I made the family chicken fried steak, corn, and yams for dinner. I meal I would much rather eat than my rotisserie chicken. Have I mentioned that I am not a big fan of chicken so this two days of chicken is about killing me. So Bryon stops at the store and brings home chicken for me for dinner. I get the family their dinner and we sit down to eat at the same time. The only thing I am partially excited about is I get to have a whole cup of yams with my steamed broccoli and rotisserie chicken. Sam was the first one to see me measure out my rotisserie chicken. He asks if he can have the leg. I tell him that I am short a protein and so instead of four ounces of chicken tonight I have to have eight. If there is any left over he is welcome to it. I had a hard time gagging down four ounces yesterday, I am not quite sure how I am going to get through eight ounces of chicken. Now eight ounces of steak or prime rib would not be a problem at all! There ends up to be quite a bit of chicken left-over. Sam eats his fried steak and then Conner starts in on how we wants to eat chicken instead of his fried steak. What is wrong with this picture? Here I am gagging over the chicken and my kids are thinking it is the best meal they have had in a long time. Then Logan starts eating the chicken and totally enjoying it. The whole time I am sitting at the kitchen table, I am chocking down eight ounces of chicken and two cups of steamed broccoli and for some reason even the yam didn’t taste quite as good as it usually does without a half a stick of butter on it! Then there sat my kids saying how delicious it was and how we need to have chicken more often. YUCK! It took all my strength from not throwing up right there on the kitchen table. So tonight was my last meal of two days of chicken. I am so excited to in to L.A. Weight Loss tomorrow. I swear I am going to scream if these two days of chicken and broccoli have been in vain. Also I am probably going to rebel a little bit and while not going off the diet, I am not going to eat one ounce of chicken tomorrow! Well I better go get my 30 minutes on the exercise machine done.

Snow Day!

Today there was no school on account of the district’s first “snow day” of the school year. I am still a little bit confused about why there was no school. Granted the wind was blowing and we do have quite a bit of snow on the ground. Last week it did a lot of freezing rain and so the snow we do have is crunchy and isn’t going anywhere. They did close the road from Driggs to Newdale. Like Bryon said Newdale makes up a third of their school district. I am not complaining. I love snow days. We were already up and going when they decided to cancel school. It was nice having Bryon home to drive Natalie and Logan to speech while I was still running around in my pajamas. Natalie wanted her nails painted and her hair curled and so we took the time to do that before she went to speech. Once Bryon was done running Natalie and Logan to and from speech. We worked on painting Natalie’s bedroom. I tell you her room is a work in progress. Bryon hung beadboard late this fall. I had painted it all white but got this brilliant idea to paint the little quarter of an inch (if that) between the boards purple. I think it is going to be cute but my perfectionism is going to kill me on this project. I get the purple painted and then go to touch up the white and get white on the purple so I then go fix the purple only to get purple back on the white. It is a vicious cycle. Not to mention I think there is a shortage of painter’s tape in Rexburg now because of all the tape I had to use to do that project! So today I worked on the beadboard while Bryon worked on the normal painting. Above the beadboard we are painting the wall up to the ceiling a shade of purple. I had painted some of it previously. Today Bryon took some wallpaper stripper and washed the top of walls down. Then he painted a primer coat and a first coat of purple. I would like to get the painting done before my parents come this weekend but it isn’t looking good! Natalie hung out with us in the bedroom while we painted. The boys had a blast this morning playing with Geotax. For those of you out there without little boys, Geotrax is a brand of play train. My boys love them. Conner had a set, Logan got a different set for Christmas and then Conner spent his Christmas money buying more track for the set. While all of them are completely different sets, the tracks can still hook together. So they had a seriously big train going down there this morning.

Bryon took yesterday off. He had to work in the parking lot of the Rexburg Temple Open House yesterday. He then took the remainder of the day off. We are still trying to get social security numbers for Logan and Natalie. He went down once over the Christmas vacation. He didn’t have the papers they needed. So he was going to go on New Year’s Eve day and we totally forgot about going. So yesterday he took the day off so he could go back to the social security office. He couldn’t find their birth certificates and so called the 800-number to see if what he was able to find would work. He drove all the way down there, waited for a half hour for his number to be called only to find out he was mislead on the phone and DIDN’T have what he needed. When he got home, we tore the house apart looking for Natalie and Logan’s birth certificates. We finally found them. So today he left early for his part time job. He was going to go to the social security office one more time. He told me if the people at the social security office had the nerve to tell him he still didn’t have what they needed, I would probably have to come down to bail him out of jail! If he still had time before he had to be to work, he was going to take a box of clothes of Natalie’s that I have sorted through and try to sell them to Once Upon a Child. I have never sold anything there before so I am not sure if it is worth my time to make sure the clothes don’t have stains on them and that they are freshly washed. I guess I will know better tonight when he gets home.

As for me I have three piano lessons this afternoon and all the jobs I neglected this morning while painting are calling to me (the kitchen and bathrooms). Not to mention cooking dinner, and working on homework with Sam. Although he didn’t have school today, he still needs to read for 30 minutes as well as do a spelling test.

The boys are currently watching a movie but informed me that they still have big plans to play with their trains this afternoon.

So although the sun out my window is shining bright and the winds have died down, I am glad for the chance we had today to have a snow day. A day to relax. A day that I was able to get a little bit of extra help from Bryon in Natalie’s bedroom. A day that we were able to just break out of our routine and play, even if just for a day.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Hats Off to Working Mothers Everywhere

My hats off to working mothers everywhere! This past week I worked at the elementary school administering the IRI test to children in kindergarten through third grade. This meant we would have to leave our house no later than 7:15 in order to take two of our children to the babysitters. Then the other two would ride with us to the school. We would get to the school about 8:00. We were home every afternoon about 3:00. Upon getting home, I still had at least two piano lessons to teach. After piano lessons were over, I still had the responsibility of helping Sam with his homework and piano practicing as well as cooking dinner, bathing children, and getting them to bed only to do the same thing the next day. Don’t get me wrong. I loved getting out of the house. I also loved being able to see Sam and Bryon more throughout the day. I am thankful to a great babysitter who was so responsible to getting my children who were at home, to their therapy appointments, and picking them up from preschool. I never had to worry a minute about that. My sitter was also fabulous about washing the dishes and straightening the house so I didn’t have a messy house or a sink full of dishes to come home too. However, I really did miss just hanging out with Conner, Logan, & Natalie. I missed hearing Conner’s little Connerisms. I missed being the one Logan ran too when he got out of school. I missed being the one Natalie would cuddle up with her blanket. With the IRI testing done, I look forward this week to being able to just stay home with my children and going back to being “just mom!”

Monday, January 7, 2008

First Sunday in January

Ah ! The first Sunday in January. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the first Sunday in January means a couple of things. First of all, it usually means a change in the time we attend church. Second of all, for primary age children it means advancing a class and getting a new primary teacher. For us both of the statements are true. We have been attending church at 12:30-3:30 but our new time has been moved to 8:30 a.m. I didn’t think our church started services that early! I have had mixed feelings about the new time change. I am way excited because Sundays have always been a struggle with the younger children not getting their afternoon naps and being thrown off their schedule. So on the one hand I have been way excited that we will be home at a decent time, I can fix them lunch and we can all actually have a nice Sunday afternoon nap. But on the other hand, I have really been dreading it. Seriously, 8:30 a.m. Any one who knows me knows that I usually spend a while in the bathroom getting ready. So I have really struggled worrying about getting myself to church let alone getting four little children dressed and out the door. I am thinking of making a chain like little children do that countdown to an event that they are really looking forward. Only my chain would be a countdown to how many Sundays we have to be at church at 8:15. With our first Sunday behind us, I can honestly say it wasn’t that bad! We even got to sit in the chapel and not the overflow (which means we made it to church with time to spare!). I have to pay tribute to my DH. I really couldn’t do it without him. He got all the kids up and fed them breakfast, except Sam who we were trying to encourage to fast just one meal with us. He got all of them dressed, including Natalie. All I had to do was Natalie’s hair. Most of our children our early risers and are usually pretty happy when they get up. Sam is use to getting up early for school. Conner on the other hand, loves to sleep later but doesn’t mind getting up when he is asked. Logan isn’t a heavy sleeper and so consequently he is usually awake the minute he hears the first person get up. Natalie on the other hand is a whole different story. She would sleep until 8 or 9 if I let her. Well when we got her up at 7:00 to feed her and get her dressed she threw a fit. She was unpleasant most of the morning until it was time to go to church. Let’s just say a Sunday afternoon nap did her some good!

Like I mentioned earlier, we made it to church with time to spare. I was curious going at 8:30 what different people would look like. I thought especially the teenagers would come like they were dragged out of the shower. We also have a pretty big ward and the chapel always fills up pretty fast. I also thought for sure that the chapel wouldn’t fill up until after the sacrament and we would have a lot of stragglers. As I sat there in our pew watching people come in, I was amazed. The chapel filled up pretty fast and there wasn’t a whole bunch of late stragglers. Everyone, that I noticed, looked dressed nicely and hair styled perfectly, unlike what I was expecting. The thought occurred to me once again that our church is true. How many families in other religions would go to church at 8:30 a.m? If they do go, how many of them would also take the time to get their young children ready and at church at that time in the morning?

With the first Sunday in January also comes the change in Primary classes. Sam was pretty nervous about getting a new primary teacher and informed us he wouldn’t know where to go. As I was trying to get the younger children to where they needed to be, I saw Sam wandering around trying to figure out where to go. He later informed me that he figured it out because the room number was printed on a sheet they handed out with the church bulletin during Sacrament Meeting. His new teacher is Sister Erickson. She encouraged the children to bring their scriptures every week because they will be using them a lot this year. Conner is now a CTR. He is so excited about his new teacher. Her name is Sister Verslysus. She gave them homework to work on at home this week (a page to color) she also included a little treat for Conner once he gets it done he can have the treat. She also gave him his first CTR ring. Because Conner refuses to let me resize the ring, he has already lost it a couple of times. She also gave them each one of those plastic bracelets that are so popular. The bracelet says CTR. Since Logan can’t communicate much, I am not sure what he thought about the first day of Primary. He is now a Sunbeam. I do know when we walked right past the nursery, he arched his back and refused to go any further. It wasn’t until I got him seated with his new primary class and started leaving that he finally thought things would be okay. His new primary teacher is Sis. Myers (she was Conner’s teacher last year) and then Sis. Rubio (she was his nursery teacher).

Bryon and I didn’t get a new teacher! But the lesson in Relief Society today was on Joseph Smith. We will be studying him in Relief Society/Priesthood for the next two years. What an awesome prophet. I am really excited about the opportunity we have to learn from the teachings of Joseph Smith.

As for the good Sunday afternoon nap, I have been looking so forward too it didn’t quite happen. Bryon and Sam went down to Sam’s room to have a rest. Conner was in bed with me and Natalie and Logan were each in their own bedrooms. Bryon and Sam ended up wrestling and laughing most of nap time. It carried through the vents of the house and I am not sure how many of us got a nap! Oh well! It was fun to just lay there and listen to Sam and Bryon having so much fun together. There is always next Sunday to catch that Sunday nap!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Welcome and Here's To a Great 2008

Well last year, I set it as a goal to start blogging. Well, I guess if you can count one blog entry, you can say I accomplished my goal. I became very frustrated because my blog didn't appear exactly as I had envisioned it. With the help of a friend and spending the last couple of days experimenting, I think I have finally started to figure out this blogging thing! Sure, I still have a few things I would like to tweak but I think I am well on my way. I am excited for our family to have a blogging spot. This way hopefully we can stay in better touch with friends and family. We look forward to hearing from you and "seeing" you here occassionally!

I know as the new year came in, I definitely found myself reflecting on the past year. The past year was an awesome year for us. We had the addition of two new children: Logan & Natalie. We were able to finalize their adoptions and then concluded the year with taking them to the temple to be sealed to us. What an awesome experience! We are blessed beyond measure. We are blessed with great families, great friends, a nice home, a job that meets our financial obligations, we are all healthy, we live in a free country, we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives. The list could go on and on. We have been truly blessed! I hope this coming year to use this blog to not only record the events of our lives but to also help me remember all of the little blessings in our lives. So here is wishing that 2008 is great not only for our family but yours as well.