Thursday, February 28, 2008

Favorite Things Thursday

I had another idea for my blog and thought on Thursdays I would share some of my favorite things. This week I have two finds. One is for myself, the other for my children. Sorry, Bryon!

The first is a pair of houseslippers my mom and dad gave me for Christmas. To be honest when I opened them on Christmas, I was a little disappointed thinking why would I need a pair of houseslippers. I already had three pair at home in my closet. I am now eating my words. These houseslippers rock! They have a hard sole on the bottom and so I have worn these in the car when I went to pick my kids up from school or therapy. They are so easy to clean. You just throw them in the washer. There is also "foam" on the inside and so it molds to your feet. These houseslippers are so comfortable and warm. This product gets two big thumbs up from me.

The next product is a recommendation from Conner and his preschool class. Although I have not tried this product personally, it came highly recommended by a five year old and his preschool class. They had these new crackers from Townhouse the other day at preschool. It was a huge hit with all of the kids. The kids all told their teacher to write it down and send it home with them so they could all have their mommies buy them some. The teacher bought them at Wal-Mart but I found some at the Associated Foods grocery store this morning. Conner really likes "the cheese kind". From what I understand it is a pretzel on one side and a cracker on the other. Anway my kids love them and are a huge hit for snack time around here!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I know the point of "Wordless Wednesday" is for me to simply post a picture. I can't help but posting just a little background on this puppet. Sam has wanted this puppet for a couple of months now. I was not willing to pay $15 for a puppet, not to mention if I bought him one he has three other siblings who would also want one. He has been saving his allowance money and was finally able to come up with enough money to buy it last week. He really is pretty funny with this puppet. I couldn't help but notice the resemblance (minus the blue eyes and mustache of the puppet)!

Pass the Torch Tuesday

Today I want to highlight my three year old son on reaching new levels of personal development.

Kids grow so quickly, yet we tend to miss so many milestones because they are so gradual for us who live with them all the time. Sometimes I step back and realize just how big my kids are growing by remembering how small they used to be and the times when they couldn’t do what they now do with ease.

Most of you know Logan was a little older when he came to us, fifteen months to be exact. When he came to us, he wasn't even saying the simplest words, mama, dada, etc. His speech has come but it has come very slowly. We have him enrolled in private speech therapy twice a week. His speech therapist has diagnosed him with apraxia. This basically means that he couldn't remember how to form words. He would also say just the last syllable of a word. Even as recently as this summer, he was struggeling with simple two syllable words. When we would try to have a conversation with him he would answer yes to everything. It has just been recently that his speech has really sky rocketed. I am not sure I have noticed because I am with him all of the time but friends and his therapists have commented about how well he is doing. He now says two and even three syllable words (sometimes he need cued on how many syllables he is supposed to say) and is stringing words together and even says very simple sentences. He answers yes and no questions appropriately. Every once in a while, I catch him slipping back into his old ways and saying yes to everything. That is when I slip in a stupid question just to see if he is paying attention. I will say something like, "did we get hit by a train?" He will come back with this disgusted no, like you stupid mom! His latest thing lately is knock-knock jokes. He will say, "knock-knock." When I say, "whose there?" He will say, "Logan". I will say, "Logan, who?" He will then say, "Logan Darrell." He obviously hasn't gotten the jist of knock knock jokes but thinks he is funny nonetheless. It is something that I have taken for granted but have recently realized what a milestone this has been for him. It truly has been a struggle for him. I am so proud of him! He spends countless hours in therapy every week and he meets each therapy appointment so determined to work so hard.
So today, Logan, I want to let you know how much I love you and honored that I am to be your mommy. You have taught me so many lessons in the short time you have been in our family. I am so proud of all of your hard work in learning to talk. You really have come along way!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking

Okay I have a question for all my digital scrapbooking friends. I really think I would enjoy digital scrapbooking, considering I have a TON of scrapbooking to get done. I spent at least a good day unloading some freebies. I have also bought one Halloween kit online. Then I got way frustrated. I am currently using ScrapbookMax. I am really liking it and my free trial ends in three days. I see all of you with such cute pages but I am not cranking out anything I am just thrilled with. Could you please tell me what websites you have found useful, any tips or tricks you think I could use. Here is my latest digital layout. I am not thrilled with it and am not sure what I should do differently to it.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

P.S. Yes, I am the witch!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What I Have Been Up To

I have been meaning to blog for quite some time now. However, ever since last Thursday it seems like I have been running my "keester" off and haven't had five minutes to myself. So here is what we have been up to:

Last Thursday, I got a phone call from Health & Welfare. They were wondering if we would consider taking a seventeen year old girl with a six month old baby for a week to give her foster home a break. You have to understand, we haven't taken in any foster children since Logan and Natalie. Health & Welfare has been calling us lately because our foster care license actually expires within the next month or so and they need to come out to get us recertified. However, Bryon and I have been talking in great detail lately about whether or not we were actually going to renew it. It seems like whenever either Bryon or I feel like quitting foster care, the other one of us isn't ready to throw in the towel quite yet. However with the additions of Natalie and Logan we are finally feeling like our little family is complete and now would be an ideal time for us to quit that part of our lives for a season. So when this phone call came last week, it took us a little bit by surprise. We agreed that we could do it for a week. When the worker called me back that afternoon she informed me that there had been a slight change and they were only needing us for Thursday through Sunday. I said that would be fine and I would just wait until the first part of the week to hear back from them about the details. That is when the kicker came. They were talking about this Thursday, Valentine's Day. I just about fell through the floor. I had been working so hard on getting Sam's class party put together as well as my little Valentine celebration for my family that I had totally neglected the housework. Not to mention with this girl coming, I would have to rearrange the bedrooms in order to make room for her and her little baby. They sure don't believe in much notice! Luckily Bryon was home when they came to drop her off because I was in the middle of teaching piano lessons. While she was here, we let her sleep in Natalie's room with her baby and we put Natalie in Logan's room with Logan. I wasn't about ready to throw out the celebration that I had been planning for my family and so we proceeded with our Valentine Party. She helped clean up the dishes while I worked on homework with Sam and getting the other kids in bed. This foster girl had dropped out of high school and has since gotten her GED and is attending the local beauty college. So she attends school from 8:30 until 5:30. That means that I was responsible for watching her baby while she was gone to school.

Friday was a little interesting. I was late getting Logan from preschool because I have forgotten how long it takes to buckle an extra car seat in the car. When we got home from getting Logan from the school, Natalie's therapist from the Child Development Center was here waiting for us. Then my friend, Valerie came by for lunch. After she left, I started working on getting dinner put together so Bryon only had to put it in the oven. Bryon and Sam came home from school about 3:00. When they got home, I went to Church Distribution. My mom gave me some money to put towards a temple dress for Christmas. I have been looking but haven't found anything I am quite willing to settle on. Well today was my lucky day. I bought a new temple dress and a new slip. My friend, Brenda, bought me some cute white Sketchers (shoes). So I am all set! I was cutting it close and only had time to run home and grab my temple bag before it was time to meet up with the youth at the church. It was neat to go to the Rexburg temple to do Baptisms for the Dead. I wore my new dress and shoes. However, my new dress is a little big and I need to get it altered before I wear it much more. I spent most of the time we were there working in the dressing room. Towards the end, I was able to go and sit in the chapel and watch a few of the youth be baptized. I really like how you can watch the baptisms take place from the chapel. I really think it helps with keeping reverence. When I got home, Bryon had things under control. However, he needed to go back out to the school to move his office to a new room and so we put Natalie & Logan to bed and Sam, Conner, and I watched "Game Plan." Our foster girl had a bath and went to bed.

Saturday I was scheduled to work my volunteer shift at the temple. I really enjoyed my time there. I worked in what is called "Family File." I went to the various rooms to pick up the names for who the temple work was being done. I then took those names into the office where they were entered into the computer. Then I was responsible to stamp them each with the date. Then if it was a family name, I took those names back into the temple for the patrons to pick up and then I started my rounds all over again. I was supposed to work 9:00-11:00. However, we got busy right at the end of my shift and then I was trying to train three ladies and so I didn't get out of the temple until almost noon. On my way home, my friends Linda & Valerie called me and invited me to lunch with them. Little did we both know that we were on the same road with only one car between us! I ended up just going to lunch mostly to just visit because Bryon and I had plans to go to dinner later on that evening. After lunch, we went to Sally's Beauty Supply and Wal-Mart. One thing they mentioned at the temple when I was there on Friday was that they didn't have very good white rubber bands for the girls. So I bought white elastics and some crochet thread and I am going to crochet around some elastics to make hair scrunchies for the baptistry.

This is where my weekend got exciting. You see our foster girl's bedroom had a strange odor to it. I noticed it Friday. I wanted so badly to ignore it. However, Saturday it was still there and I noticed that she had slept with the window open. It all looked too suspicious for me to ignore it. So Saturday after my little shopping trip, my two friends came over to see if they could recognize the smell. Linda said it didn't smell like pot because pot has a sweet smell. So after going through her things and not finding anything there, we called on our neighbor who use to be a cop up on campus. He came over and smelled it and said that he agrees with us that he thinks something is going on but couldn't pin point the smell. We called the worker and told her of our concerns. Her reaction floored me. When she brought the foster girl here, she wanted to know our feedback on the situation. However, when we called to tell her of our concerns, she basically said that we shouldn't cause waves because the foster girl would be leaving in about 24 hours. I tend to disagree with her. Number one: this is my house, I have every right to know what is going on under my roof. Number two: I have four very young impressionable children. Number three: if she is doing something illegal I want to know. So this is when we took matters into our own hands. We called Bryon's friend who is a cop. He mentioned that the drug officer was on duty. So we called him. He came over and also "smelled" out the bedroom. He thought it was cigarette smoke or really bad marijuana. He told us he would be happy to come back at 8:00 and give her a really bad scare. We told him we would think about it and get back to him. He then stopped outside to have a snowball fight with Sam and Conner who were outside playing in the snow. The foster girl was going to go to Idaho Falls to help with hair and make up for a play. Bryon and I decided to go to dinner with some friends. We hired a sitter to come and watch Sam, Conner, Logan and Natalie. We took the foster baby with us. The first thing that Sam told our friends was that a cop had been to our house today. So I tried to give him a really good scare telling him he better not say one word about it to our foster girl. However in scaring him, I think I also scared the babysitter. We went to dinner with every intention of beating our foster girl home. We went to dinner at the Relay Station in St. Anthony. Dinner was delicious. Bryon had cod and I had prime rib. Our friend, Neil had ribs and his wife Brenda ordered a chicken fried steak. However upon seeing Bryon's cod decided she wanted cod so she got a to-go-box for her chicken fried steak and ordered cod. She also like my prime rib but that is where Neil drew the line and said she couldn't place any more orders! We all thought dinner was just great! We then headed home about 7:20. We were about halfway home when our sitter calls us to tell us our foster girl was home. We told her not to panick. We then asked her to get the kids shoes on so they could go to her house while we talked to our foster girl without the kids around. Neil and Brenda took the kids and the sitter to the sitter's house. By now the foster girl knew something was up. I confronted her if she was smoking. She told me she wasn't. She told me she would never do that around her baby or infront of my kids. I had to admire that. I really did believe her. Now comes my other frustration with Health & Welfare. They told me she had been going to church up where she was living. Which led me to believe she was with an L.D.S. foster home. However, my foster girl informed me the smoke I was smelling was from her previous foster home. I really did believe her. Bryon went to get the kids. We ended up talking while everyone was gone. She said she loved it here and wanted to stay until she turns 18. She said she would really help around the house. She likes Bryon and I. She really likes the kids and the kids adore her baby. I told her I would talk to Bryon and we would get back to her. After talking with Bryon we decided we aren't going to do it for several reasons. As a matter of fact this whole adoption experience has led Bryon and I to decide we definitely aren't going to renew our license. We just have four very young children who all need our attention. We just feel like we need to focus on our own family for now.

Sunday we all went to church. After church, we came home and had a light lunch. We then got our foster girl ready to leave. She was going to go home to her family for a week. After the week, she will be going to another foster home. Her family came and got her about 2:00. I then had a short nap while Bryon helped get our main meal of the day ready. We then ate. I had to be at the church at 5:00 to practice for New Beginnings. At 6:00 our stake was rebroadcasting the worldwide leadership. Our home teacher sent over his daughter so Bryon and I both could attend. I thought it was an excellent broadcast. With Monday being a holiday, Sam talked Bryon into sleeping with him and Conner slept in my bed with me.

Monday was President's Day. I ran a few errands in the morning. Bryon then left for Idaho Falls around noon. We promised the kids that we would take them to Alvin and the Chipmunks which is playing at the cheap movie. So Monday night for family home evening, we went to Alvin and the Chipmunks. My kids loved it. Conner wants the movie and Sam wants all of their old CD's.

Tuesdays are my run around like crazy (at least until 11:15) days. So after my normal Tuesday chauferring kids from one end of the town to the other, Linda came in to watch my kids while I went to get my hair cut and colored. After my hair appointment I had to go to the D.I. to get a suit coat that I needed for New Beginnings. Once Sam and Bryon got home from school, Linda and I went to check out Scrap-A-Doodle. They used to be across town (closer to Linda). Now they are right downtown so we went to check out their new store. I think we both were impressed because we both spent a fair amount of change there! Tonight at mutual we had New Beginnings. We did it in the form of a news broadcast. We had the girls come up with skits centered around the values for the commercials. It was adorable.

Wednesday was a I-would-forget-my-head-if-it-weren't-attached day. I cannot tell you how many weeks Natalie has had therapy at 9:00 every Wednesday morning. I did have everyone dressed and ready for the day. I was downstairs working on getting some pictures ordered online from Wal-Mart. Once I placed my order, I was going to run some errands. We were just getting ready to go and Natalie's therapist showed up. So we did therapy instead of running errands. After therapy we did run to the bank. We then came home for a bit before we had to go get Logan from school. We then went to the school to get Logan. We came home and had lunch. I had just laid the kids down for a nap and was working on organizing my pictures on the computer when my good friend, Brenda called. She wanted to come over and for me to show her how to make scrunchies for the temple. She had just barely gotten here and Logan's therapist showed up. I seriously didn't remember seeing her on my schedule. However, upon checking my day planner, I realized I did have her scheduled but had just forgotten about her coming. She worked downstairs with Logan while Brenda and I worked on scrunchies upstairs. I had two piano lessons. Linda called for me to fill in as a sub for Bunco. Bryon agreed to watch the kids and hold down the fort at home so I could go. Bunco was a blast. I ended up winning the "basket". It is just a drawing. I won some money, a little candle, a notepad, and some pens. Tonight was the lunar eclipse which we got to see.

Today has been run like a mad woman day. I feel like I have ran all day long. Again I was up at the crack of dawn trying to organize my pictures and order some online. I had an appointment at 10:30. This meant that we were a little late in picking Conner up from school. It is a good thing that Bryon is there to get there if I am late in showing up. However I was only about five minutes late today! We then went to Wal-Mart. We finished at Wal-Mart and came home just in time for me to hurry and feed them lunch. Logan had a therapy appointment at 1:00. Our ward has started a babysitting co-op (a great idea if you ask me). I decided to take advantage and send Conner and Natalie's to someone's house so I could be alone with Logan in therapy. So once we finished with lunch, I took Conner and Natalie's to the sitters and Logan and I went to therapy. After therapy we went and picked up my contacts that I ordered well over a month ago and had forgotten all about. We then went and picked up Conner and Natalie. We made it home in time for me to teach my one piano lesson. I taught my one lesson and then ran to Porter's while Bryon helped Sam finish his homework and watch the other three kids. I was home about 4:30. I then loaded up all four kids and we went to the library. After the library, Sam wanted to go to Porter's. He has been saving his allowance up for a puppet that he saw there. He bought a cop puppet. I think it looks alot like Sam. I will have to take his picture with it and post it for you to see. Tonight was Bryon's night to work at the temple in the laundry. I must say that after running all day, I was really thinking that I could use Bryon's help tonight in helping me get everything done. However, the night has gone smoothly and I am amazed at what I was able to accomplish. I know without a doubt it was because my Heavenly Father was helping me because we are trying to do His will. So we got home from the library and Porters and we had dinner. I then got Logan in bed. He didn't get a nap today and so he desperatly needed to get to bed. I then got in my dress. I needed to go get my temple recommend signed. The neighbor girl came over to watch the kids while I was gone. When I got home, I got Conner in the tub and washed some dishes (Not in the tub with Conner but in the kitchen sink). Then I went and washed Conner and went back and finished cleaning up dinner. You have to know cleaning up dinner is unusual for me because it is something that Bryon does every night. I then got Conner out of the tub and Natalie in bed. Sam got his reading done and it was time for bed. I came down and started blogging to unwind. I then took a break and went upstairs to clean the bathroom. Now I am going to finish this long post.

I have come up with some ideas you can look forward to seeing on my blog (thanks to another friends blog). I will be doing "Pass the Torch Tuesdays." On "Pass the Torch Tuesdays," I will take a moment to pause and share something our children did while we caught them being good. In a world full of filth and good being called evil I have a great deal of anxiety about raising kids with strong morals and personal convictions. I want them to be strong enough to stand on their own feet and not be tossed with the trends and pressure of the masses. I know how strong that pressure is and it’s especially hard for teens and young adults. Worse, is that too often when they do stand strong they receive nothing but ridicule and contempt. So it is my hope with "Pass the Toch Tuesdays" that I hope to show them that it is okay to be different and stand up for what they believe. I was going to start "Pass the Torch Tuesdays" this past Tuesday. However, as you can tell we have been extremly busy. Also my kids have been fighting constantly lately. I would really have to dig deep to find something noteworthy to praise them with. However, I have been on the lookout and look forward to sharing what I have found on Tuesday. Also I am going to start "Wordless Wednesdays". On "Wordless Wednesday's" I will simply post a picture that I took during the week or possibly pictures of memory lane. So check back to see what I have come up with!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day Part II

What an awesome Valentine's Day we had!

I was up at the crack of dawn working on finishing the games for Sam's class party. Bryon liked the kisses I had made and wanted me to make some so he could take them to work. This meant I had to make two extra batches. We made one the night before but I still had one more batch to make plus wrapping them all in aluminum foil.

Thursday's are also speech therapy days for Logan and Natalie which means I do a lot of running. So at 9:00 I took Natalie to speech and dropped her off. Logan and I then rode out to the school. I still needed to print off one more page of the words, "Happy Valentine's Day" to put with the kisses I was making. I was having trouble getting our printer to print and so instead of mess with it anymore, I went out to the school to print it off. While I was at the school, I printed off the sheet I needed and then made my grocery list. It was then time for me to go pick up Natalie and drop Logan off. Natalie and I then went to the grocery store to get a few groceries for dinner. While I was checking out, my good friend, Brenda, called. She wanted me to get home so she could come over. So I ran home and put the groceries away and Brenda came by. She had gone down to Idaho Falls shopping. Her and I both will be working in the temple on Saturday mornings. She works in the laundry from 6-9. I work in the office from 9-11. She works every Saturday. I only work every other Saturday. She bought a new white dress and I will be buying a new one in the next couple of days. We have talked about how if we are going to be workers, we probably need something a little more supportive than slippers. She had found these adorable Sketcher shoes at Kohls. They are white with rhinestones all over. They are absolutley adorable. I went to get the checkbook to write her a check and she said, "Happy Valentine's Day!" Brenda really has been such a good friend to me. She didn't stay long and I also had to go back and get Logan from speech. So once she left, I loaded Natalie in the car and we went and picked up Logan. We then drove back out to the school (trip number 2) to pick up Conner from preschool. We then came back home. I hurried and loaded all the things I would need for Sam's party in a basket. I had made arrangements for Logan, Conner, and Natalie to go to a babysitter. I had planned on making them each a sandwich. I ran out of time and instead threw the bread, peanut butter, some chips, and drinks in a sack for the sitter. I ran to the sitter and dropped them off and then it was back to the school for me. If you are keeping track this is my third trip out to the school. I got there about 12:10. Sam's party wasn't until 12:30. I had planned on being there a little early so I could get set up. I got the cake walk set up and the Bingo game set up. The teacher said that Sam informed her that when I got there I would probably be way stressed because I had been working so hard on this party. The teacher came in for a closer look to see if I "looked stressed". The class party was a huge success! I had Mrs. Farmer, the teacher, do the cake walk. The kids loved the rice krispy kisses. I did bingo. Each of the kids got their own box of conversation hearts to play bingo with. I also gave each of them a yo-yo. The other room mom was in charge of a craft and making sugar cookies. When we finished with the class party, we let them sit in their seats and eat their goodies while she read them a book about how Valentine's Day came to be.

I then came back home. I worked on preparing a few things for dinner and getting the table set with China. I then had piano from 3:30-5:30. Once I finished piano, I helped Bryon in putting the finishing touches on dinner. We had shrimp, baked potatoes, green salad, and Jell-O salad. I had also mixed grape juice and Sprite for a drink. Unlike my mom, I didn't make my kids get dressed in their Sunday best for dinner. It isn't that I didn't want to but I knew that meant I would have to get myself plus three kids dressed for dinner and that just seemed like so much work! On each of the kids plates I had put their Valentine's we bought them. We gave Sam the movie "The Game Plan". We gave Conner a part for his Geo Trax. We gave Logan and car from Cars. We gave Natalie a princess DVD. I gave Bryon a pair of navy pants. So romantic I know but he desperately needed a new pair.

After dinner, it was back to the grind. Sam had homework to finish and I needed to bathe three kids. So Bryon did the dishes while I bathed kids and did homework. Once all of that was done, we sat down and ate a huge sugar cookie I had bought.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine's Day Part I

I just love Valentine’s Day. I think I got that love of Valentine’s Day from my mother. Growing up she always went out of her way to make Valentine’s Day the best. We always had a very nice family dinner on Valentine’s Day. We had to get dressed up in our Sunday Best. We ate dinner in the dinning room on the fine china. My mom always made us a shrimp dinner. It consisted of deep fried shrimp, baked potato, toast, a green salad and I can’t remember what else. I also remember that always sitting on our dinner plate was a little gift from my parents to each one of us. I also remember a Valentine’s Day that my parents sent us three girls on a scavenger hunt and we wound up getting Cabbage Patch Dolls. I think that was the year that Cabbage Patch Dolls were in such high demand that Santa was unable to take our order that year and we had to wait until Valentine’s Day to get our dolls. To this day she and my dad still send the grandchildren a Valentine Goodie Box and each of their children money to spend on a night out together without the cI just love Valentine’s Day. I think I got that love of Valentine’s Day from my mother. Growing up she always went out of her way to make Valentine’s Day the best. We always had a very nice family dinner on Valentine’s Day. We had to get dressed up in our Sunday Best. We ate dinner in the dinning room on the fine china. My mom always made us a shrimp dinner. It consisted of deep fried shrimp, baked potato, toast, a green salad and I can’t remember what else. I also remember that always sitting on our dinner plate was a little gift from my parents to each one of us. I also remember a Valentine’s Day that my parents sent us three girls on a scavenger hunt and we wound up getting Cabbage Patch Dolls. I think that was the year that Cabbage Patch Dolls were in such high demand that Santa was unable to take our order that year and we had to wait until Valentine’s Day to get our dolls.

This year I have really tried hard to go out of my way to make this Valentine’s Day a great one for my husband and children. On Tuesday I went to Idaho Falls shopping for Valentine’s presents for not only my husband but for each of my four children. I will have to write more about what they got for Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

For Sam’s class there is just me and one other room mom. I have worked hard today putting together a class party for Sam’s class tomorrow. I am in charge of a “cake walk”. Instead of the winner receiving a cake, I made homemade kisses. They turned out adorable. I made a batch of Rice Krispy Treats. Then I packed them into a small funnel that I purchased at the Dollar Store. They came out looking like this: Then on the computer I typed: Happy Valentine’s Day and printed that out on pink cardstock. I cut those up. Then I wrapped the shaped Rice Krispy Treat in aluminum foil. In the top I stuck in the little tag that said “Happy Valentine’s Day.” They turned out so cute. Here is a picture of the completed project.

I am also in charge of a “Bingo” game. I have spent all afternoon trying to find Valentine’s Day clip art on the computer and making up various “Bingo” cards.

Last year we made homemade Valentine’s for Sam’s class they turned out adorable. This year we decided to try again to make homemade Valentine’s cards. While, they are not as cute as last years, I still think the glow sticks will be a hit. They are supposed to look like an arrow. On one heart I had Sam write: To. On the next heart I had him write “From: Sam”. Then I wrote on the main heart, “Valentine, you make my heart GLOW!” Then we attached them to Glowstick bracelets we bought at the Dollar Store. I am so burnt out of making games and homemade Valentine’s and trying to get Valentine’s Day planned for my family tomorrow that Logan and Conner ended up taking store bought Valentine’s for their little class parties. They have been learning about the post office. They each got to take a field trip to the post office and mail homemade Valentine’s that they had made for Bryon and me from the post office. We got their Valentine in the mail today. They are so cute!

I will have to write more tomorrow about our Valentine Festivities. I better get back to finishing up all those homemade projects.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Rexburg Temple Celebration

What an awesome experience our family had tonight. You see tonight was the celebration for the Rexburg Temple. The main celebration was being held in the Hart Auditorium on the campus of BYU-Idaho. There were very few tickets available and so most everyone would be watching it broadcast to the various stake centers in the area. They were going to broadcast the live celebration at 5:00 and then at 7:00 they were going to rebroadcast the celebration. I figured we probably should try to be at our stake center at 4:00 in order to get a good seat. It was about 3:00 and I was still in my housecoat. I had just pulled Logan out of the bathtub and gotten him dressed. I had just yelled outside to Sam and Conner, who had been out playing in the snow, that it was time to come in and start getting dressed. No sooner than I had done all this and my good friend, Brenda Floyd called. You have to know Brenda. She is an awesome friend. She has been determined to see the production live. She said she decided to drive up to the college and just try to get in on standby tickets. She told me the line wasn't long and if we hurried, we could probably stand a really good chance at getting in. I have never kicked it in gear faster. We were heading out the door by 3:30 p.m. Brenda was the first one in line. She had been there since 2:00. So we sat there for waht seemed like an eternity to try to get in. Then someone in our old ward came by and had two tickets that they weren't going to be able to use. Brenda and two of her children used those to go in and get seated. By now it is 4:30. We were told they were going to release the seating at 4:35. Bryon and I knew that our chances of sitting together were pretty slim. We picket out a spot to meet at once the production was over. Pretty soon, Brenda's daughter came out with two extra tickets. Another one of Brenda's daughters went in and I took the other one and took Natalie and headed in. The lady taking tickets at the door, asked if I had been in before. It being a church production and all, I decided to try and tell the truth. I told her actually we hadn't. Then she starts looking at my ticket closer. Then she asks how old Natalie is. I told her two. She informed me that everyone two and older had to have their own ticket. I informed her that Natalie was just going to sit on my lap. She said for fire code reasons, Natalie needed her own seat. The ticket lady ho-hummed for what seemed like an eternity. Finally she told me I was probably right and let me go in. I got to sit by Brenda and her son Braden. As soon as I got in Brenda had tears in her eyes as she told me how desperatly she wanted me to see it live. I was still so worried if Bryon, Sam, Conner, and Logan would make it in. What I didn't know is shortly after I went in, they came and told the standby line that they would not be releasing any seats. Bryon figured he had waited there for quite a while already he would just wait until the production started "just to make sure". Pretty soon another guy from the ticket office came and said they had four available seats. Bryon said he needed three. They followed the guy inside. They walked right by me and so I grabbed Conner so Bryon wouldn't have to wrestle three kids.

Our seats were awesome. Yes we were on the bleachers but we were not that high up and you could see the General Authorities from where we were seated. Bryon sat almost directly behind Elder Russell M. Nelson. Bryon wants to watch the newspaper the next few days because he is sure that he is going to make the paper. The paper came and took pictures of him and Logan. I also think if any pictures of Elder Nelson were taken, Bryon stands a good chance of being in those because he was sitting so close to him. The prophet wasn't there but Elder Russell M. Nelson and Elder Bednar were there. It was so awesome. As they came in, everyone stood up. You could feel the Spirit so strong. It was a feeling I hope not to soon forget. The program was wonderful. It had so much fun singing and dancing. I think one of my boys favorites was a dance some men did with sprinkler pipes! I think I cried from the beginning all the way to the end. One thing Brenda and I found amazing was it talked about the Teton Dam flood. The flood happened in June and the city held a 4th of July parade down the middle of Rexburg, just a month after the flood. I loved the ending how a small choir of children dressed all in white sang "I Love to See the Temple" and "The Spirit of God". As they sang, more and more children dressed in white joined them. It was awesome!

Tonight I am just feeling so blessed that we were able to see this production live. I don't think seeing it in the stake centers would do it justice. It was just so great to be there and see it in person and feel of the Spirit that was in that room. I am so thankful Brenda thought of calling us and getting us to go up there. I am also so thankful for having a temple in our town. Indeed, we really are a blessed people.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

What I Love About Logan

I have wanted to write about Logan for some time now. I feel bad that I have wrote about Sam's Pinewood Derby, Conner's Birthday, and Natalie getting in the makeup and have written nothing about him. Over a week now, I have been racking my brain about what I could write about. Logan is my calm child.

Logan is in preschool and looks forward to going to school to play with his best friends Tristen and Zach. One of my favorite things about Logan is the days he does attend school, I have to go and get him. The school has a circular driveway for parents to go when they are picking up their children. I sit there in my car and when class is over either the teacher or one of the aides, walk Logan out to the car. When I see him I open his door and get out to greet him. He always yells "mom" and runs to me and gives my legs a big hug! Such a cutie!

Logan has a speech problem and as a mom, I am really looking forward to the day he can say, "I love you" all on his own. Until then I hang on to a moment that totally melted my heart. We had gone to the bank to do some banking, they always send out a handful of Tootsie Rolls for the kids. I unwrapped one and handed it to Logan. He said, "thanks mom." Keep in mind, he really struggles linking two words together. He also is really good at imitating but to say things on his own is also a struggle. So for him to say, "thanks mom" on his own was a small miracle and it melted my heart.

Logan loves to listen to the radio in the car. If a song comes on that has a dominant guitar sound, Logan grabs his air guitar and strums away. He can play a mean air guitar!

Logan has found a hat around the house and lately has walked around with this huge hat on his head. It is the funniest thing! I couldn't help but snap a picture.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Winter Wonderland

This has been the craziest winter weather we have had in a long time. Two weeks ago Bryon and the kids for two days for temperatures that dipped below negative twenty degrees. Then just Friday they were out again because we had a huge snowstorm the night before that made driving conditions difficult and even closed freeways and highways.
I remember as a little girl visiting my grandparents in Cache Valley. I remember the snow being so high. I even have pictures to prove that this really happened and just isn't an over-exageration of my mind. Bryon and I have talked a great deal lately how it just doesn't snow like it did when we were growing up. We are eating our words now! This morning I went out and snapped some pictures of our yard. I can't believe how much snow we have. This is what we have been praying for in this area for quite some time. All this snow truely is an answer to many local prayers.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

A Fond Farewell to Our Beloved Prophet

Today we watched the funeral proceedings of our beloved Prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley. I was shocked last Sunday, when my sister called to tell us the news of his passing. I know that each of our prophets are called by our Heavenly Father, but President Hinckley has always been close to my heart. I know this is going to age me but President Kimball was the prophet while I was growing up as a girl. Then it seemed after he passed away, President Benson and President Hunter both served for such a relatively short time. I also remember them being sickly while they served as prophet and so a great deal of the responsibility fell on President Hinckley. He has just been a favorite of mine: so people oriented, so well-rounded and so divinely inspired. I think my feelings were much like everyone else’s. I am certainly going to miss hearing him speak as a prophet of our Heavenly Father but know how happy he is to be reunited with his dear wife. When we told the news to Sam on Monday morning, he took it harder than I expected. I couldn’t help but turn my thoughts back to when I was a young girl and hearing about the passing of President Kimball. I couldn’t help but think is feelings were very similar to those I experienced as a young girl. This week I got an e-mail from a friend with an article that was published in the New York Times. It was such a well written article. I couldn’t help but be amazed at all he was able to accomplish in his time as serving as President. Here is a link to that article if you are interested. Tuesday, I met a friend for lunch. In visiting with her, we began talking about the dedication of the Rexburg Temple that was supposed to take place this weekend. I jokingly commented that he really messed things up. My friend laughed and said she believed he was giving us one final test as Latter-Day Saints to see how well we can adjust. She had heard him talk one time about our need to be flexible and accommodating and she felt like this was his last test to us. I have thought a great deal about that comment and can’t help but agree with my friend.

I am not one to cry. I haven’t shed a tear all week concerning the Prophet’s passing. However, watching the prophet’s funeral on television today, I couldn’t help but shed a couple tears. One of the pictures from the media showed a picture with Elder Monson sitting in his chair and Elder Irring sitting in his chair. There was an empty chair between them where President Hinckley has sat for many years during conferences and other church proceedings. My heart was touched to see the empty chair.

It seems like all week long, I would hear comments such as this “if the church holds true to tradition, President Monson will be the next prophet of the church.” How comforted I was to hear Elder Boyd K. Packer talk about that there is no doubt who the new prophet will be, our Heavenly Father has established the order of His church in the Doctrine and Covenants. How comforting it is to know that with the passing of our prophet dear, our Heavenly Father has not left us alone. He has left us divine guidance about who the next prophet will be. I was also so touched during the closing song. What a beautiful song. I also found humor as President Monson talked about his and President Hinckley’s doctor asking him to talk to President Hinckley about using his cane for walking purposes and not as a stick to wave. I think the funeral was perfect and exactly how President Hinckley would want it: a memorial to our dear Prophet, laced with doctrine and touched with just the right amount of humor.

Digital Scrapbooking

I can't believe it has been a whole week since I published.

I have found a new love. I am in love with digital scrapbooking. My friend, Holly, is into digital scrpabooking. She is always doing the cutest layouts. I have never given it much thought. After all I have a whole office full of scrapbook supplies! The other morning I got looking into it a bit more and after talking to Holly on the phone, decided to give it a try. I have enjoyed spending my free time the past few days downloading all the freebie kits and seeing what I can actually do with digital scrapbooking. I know I still have a lot to learn but here is a sample of what I have been able to do.