Saturday, January 31, 2009

More 11th month pics

I'm so glad I documented about Spencer's guurrr-la but he won't even say it now! If Kurt and I did say guurrr-la he will correct us, "gggirl." I'm so glad he's making progress and growing but I miss my gggguuurrr-la too! The bitter-sweet of raising kids. Here's more of my beauty girl at 11 months.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Most Anticipated Pic

Austin catches the bus at appropriately 7:13 am. He doesn't get home from school until 4:08 pm. It is a long day for him. At the beginning of the school year he would fall asleep on the way home from school EVERY day. Since he had a nap on the bus he wasn't tired when it was time for bed. Therefore he went to bed later than he should making it so difficult to wake him up in the morning. It was a vicious cycle that I didn't think we'd ever break! About mid-November he started making it all the way home without falling asleep. That progress was ruined over Christmas break. The bus driver suggested one day that I should get a picture of him sleeping - a perfect idea b/c it's a great document of his kindergarten school year. So every day for 3 weeks I took the camera with me when I went to pick Austin up. He would either be awake or awake up just as the bus pulled up to the house. But finally after taking the camera every day for 3 weeks I got his picture on Wednesday! I'm so glad my persistence paid off.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rooster Guuurrrr-La is 11 MONTHS old

I love the way Spencer pronounces the word girl. guuurrr-la. It ends up sounding a lot like gorilla. Kurt spent a good portion of last Sunday trying to teach him the correct way to say it. He's doing so much better! He says it really slow in order to remember the right way to do it. It's adorable. But honestly I miss hearing him say guurr-la. Especially Rooster Guuurrrr-la.

Today she is 11 months old. It is so surreal to me. Sunday is the first of February. The month of her birth. What a crazy fast year. Part of me is feeling guilty b/c I've never had so much going on in my life and it affect everything. Ruth has just gone and done everything because she HAD to. It makes me feel guilty but at the same time she was always so amazingly great. What a blessing to me as a tried to keep up this lifestyle but also to everyone who has the opportunity to interact with her. The sun really does rise and set on her (as my wise friend Tessi put it so perfectly.) I'll save all these emotions for next month b/c I KNOW I won't be able to suppress them then!

Rooster is speed crawling. She is crusin' furniture and can climb up ALL our stairs (there are a total of 14.) The kids were playing downstairs when I started to practice my violin today. As soon as Rooster heard me she started up the stairs babbling the whole way. When she reached the top she came over to the piano and starts plunking away at the keys. She's always with me when I practice, it is so precious. She is still grumpy pants with 2 more top teeth trying to come in. Her hair is trying to lay down a little bit more. She adores her older siblings (and vice versa!) goes crazy for bath time and gives great snuggles.

Here's to celebrating 11 excellent months with our Rooster Guurrr-la! We love you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Emma's New Adventure

Emma has been taking ballet ever since she was old enough which in Vale is age 3. One of the most motivating factors for starting The Studio was to provide opportunities for my own kids. So the second they were old enough let's get dancing! I love little girls in tutus prancing around. Can you think of anything more heart warming? And I'm pretty committed to the clogging world too. Dancing is so much fun!

My kids are suppose to think so too right?

Last fall Emma started having issues with ballet. I can't tell you exactly what it was or what day it happened but ballet was causing her a lot of anxiety. Wednesday morning she would wake up crying because she knew she had ballet, she would have stomach aches all day from the anxiety. We tried everything I could think of to make it a positive, stress-free situation for her. When it came time for the dress rehearsal (during class time) for the Christmas recital they had to get on the stage and she froze and the water works started. In order to avoid a major-life-scarring-event-for-the-rest-of-her-life we didn't even GO to the recital due to the level of anxiety it was causing her.

The Christmas break free of ballet was good for her (and me too.) The day class was to start up last week so did the anxiety. It wasn't worth the effort!!! Ballet is suppose to be fun, not traumatic! So I decided that day that at this point in time Emma and ballet didn't need to co-exist. Mom needed to give up her idea of Emma taking ballet. I minute I told her she wasn't going to do ballet anymore you could SEE the relief flood her face.

Today we started something new for Emma Lynn. I really would like her to have a teacher beside me (preschool) b/c she tends to be quite attached (to me) and struggles to transition smoothly. So Emma is taking art lessons. Today was her first class. I asked one of the Young Women (who is taking private lessons herself) if she would be interested in teaching Emma (1/2 hour once a week.) So today we gave it a try. Emma has been beaming in anticipation all day. During the lesson she ran out both times as soon as her masterpiece was finished smiling ear to ear to show me her work. I cannot even adequately describe the night and day difference (between ballet and art for Emma.) I'm glad we found something that is working, for now at least!

Emma Lynn's first water color sunset

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SSSHHhhhhh, it's a secret!

I've always, always, always wanted to play the violin. ALWAYS. Maybe with the combination of living overseas and not being assertive enough I didn't have that opportunity to learn in my youth.

I was sickly green with envy when my younger sister started learning how to play. She is wonderful and so dang lovable that I couldn't be jealous for long. How great for her that she had that opportunity!

May 25, 2007:
The dream to play hasn't ever gone away and in fact it gets stronger as I get older. So for my 27th birthday I decided to (finally!) bite the bullet. I bought myself a violin and a book and started bowing. I did okay to practice once or twice a week that summer but then a variety of conflicts hit me. Being called as the Young Women's president in our ward, fall semester of The Studio started, and a small detail of being pregnant with my fourth baby!!! The violin went to the back of the closet.

Present Day:
My life as slowed down and I have about 6 free hours a day that I needed to fill with SOMETHING! LOL!!! If you aren't laughing out loud, DO IT NOW! Okay so that really isn't the reason why I got the violin out again. It boils down to a few very basic and important-to-me reasons:

~ New Years Resolution (I'm serious this year!)
~ I want my kids to see me start something that I'm not good at, work hard at it and eventually master it. I want them to SEE that I'm willing to try something new, to go after your dreams and to SUCCEED!
~ I'd like to overcome this never-ending feeling of being average. I want to be AWESOME at something (okay lots of things but for now I'm working on the violin.)

So if it's a secret as the title suggests, me trying to teach myself how to play the violin, than I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Why is she blogging about it?"

My sweet and generous kindergartener was learning about violins in school. He rose his hand so proudly and said, "My mom can play the violin." Blessed his heart because what I'm a currently doing does not constitute as playing in the musical world! Mrs. Wagner called me up and wondered if I'd like to come and display my talent. I explained that my son is very loving and kind and while I do have a violin I'm not sure that my screeching across the strings would be music to their ears. She loved the idea of showing the kids that grow-ups have to try and work at things too (isn't that the truth!) So very humbly I showed up to Austin's class on my regular volunteer day with my violin. I explained the depth of my knowledge on how to play - it was very appropriate for their age :) and then humbly played "Mary Had a Little Lamb." My hands were shaking as I bowed the strings, it was a little rough and D was quite out of tune. At least I did model an adult not being successful and needing to try hard! Did I mention it was a humbling experience?

So in all seriousness I need to thank my pretty amazing son. One for loving me completely and without hesitation or reserve. He has heard my practicing and he still told his class I could play. And most of all he was proud that I came and he thought I did a great job. Second for the motivation he gives me to practice and to master this instrument but more importantly to accomplish a dream. For Austin, and Emma Lynn, and Spencer and Ruth I need to do this. I need to do it for myself. I'm not average, I can become great.

So like all goals it works better if you are held accountable. It started with all of Mrs. Wagner's kindergartners knowing plus all my Young I might as well be really committed and tell you. The secret is out, I'm learning to play the violin! I promised Mrs. Wagner's kindergarten class that I would come back at the end of the year and play another song for them. And it's gonna be BETTER!

So you'll excuse me now, I have to go practice!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The BOSCH arrived on Friday! The girls and I had spent all day shopping in Boise so by the time I got home we just took it out of the box and sat it on the counter. Saturday I cut Emma's hair (see post below) and ran off to the youth temple trip. Sunday was Sunday. And Monday after the chores were done I could finally settle down and check out my BOSCH. I couldn't find my hand wheat grinder and I really, really didn't want to prolong making bread any longer so we settled for white bread. Verdict: Love the BOSCH, Love home made bread, Love it all! Austin came in, "Mom, it looks like real bread (thank you). Mom, it tastes BETTER than real bread!" (Thank You!)

The time to share recipes has come! All entries welcome. Thank you in advance!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bob is back

Last week Emma asked me to cut her hair. It was quite random but her hair was getting longer and a bob is always fun and cute (hey, that's the only hair style I've been sporting for year now!) So Saturday morning before I took the youth on their temple trip we cut her hair. This is Emma's third hair cut. Always from long locks (the other times her hair was much longer when we cut it) to short shoulder/chin length bob. She is adorable, the style is easy and a change is fun. As we were sweeping up all the hair I commented on how much hair we cut off. Emma's response was simple and mature.
"Yeah, but it's hair. It'll grow back." So true. In the meantime the BOB IS BACK!

Half way through, showing both styles


After with clothes but not styled. It looked really cute yesterday at church. I'll have to take some more pics.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


1) Choose the 4th Picture Folder on your Computer.
2) Choose the 4th Picture.
3) Explain the Picture.
4) Tag 4 More People to do the Same.

This is Austin on his 3rd birthday. We were living in Blackfoot, Idaho at the time. Kurt and Austin were putting together a Curious George puzzle (thank aunt Elaine!) Half way through Austin told Kurt not to help any more, "I can do it myself Dad." Even at 3 he was an independent genius.

So I had to check out the 4th picture in the 4th folder of all the other years. I spent a lot of time looking ........remembering........cherishing and really trying so hard not to cry (since my husband was sitting right next to me and I didn't feel like explaining my overly sensitive, hormonal feelings at the time.) MY KIDS HAVE GROWN UP SO MUCH!!! I try very, very hard to live in the moment and enjoy the journey today so I won't look back on my life and feel like I missed out on my kids or have major regrets in life. And I think I came to this realization more than ever, no matter how much you soak up your kids/your life it can NEVER be enough! TIME IS PRECIOUS!

Since this is a "T" tag I'm tagging: Tiniel, Tessie, Traci and Tracey!

Have fun remembering:)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mommy Date

One of my goals this year is to be consistent with my mommy dates with the kids. I loving having individual one-on-one time with them. Great memories and a renewal of my affection & admiration. Each kid will have a mommy or daddy date each month. We will alternate months for example Austin and Emma are both having mommy dates this month. So in February they will have daddy dates and Spencer will have a mommy date. In theory it sounds perfect, hopefully the fulfillment will be also.

So on Saturday (the 10th) Austin and I had our Mommy Date. And let me tell you, it was a very fun and expensive way to start out the mommy date year! It will be a hard act to follow. Obviously we had a fab-U-lous time!

We went to the show "Walking with Dinosaurs." Ever since I heard it was coming to Boise I knew it would be perfect for Austin. He loves the dinosaur thing and is constantly pouring over his favorite dinosaur books. I love to give my children opportunities like this. Not to mention I'm a SUCKER for shows. A great Broadway musical is a piece of heaven. But the tickets were outrageously priced so I tried to win them a variety of ways (through different radio shows.) I was not successful. Finally the week of the opening Austin and I got on the internet to really check it out, to see if it was worth all the money. We were both impressed and I immediately booked out tickets.

The plan was to leave Saturday when Kurt got home from work (noon.) Austin was standing by the door with his coat and shoes on (usually he is the HARDEST to prod to get ready on time!) wondering where Kurt was. "Can we call him and ask when he's coming.?" He was anxious. Luckily for both of us Kurt came home shortly thereafter and we were on our way.

The moment we found our seats the lights dimmed and the show began, what perfect timing! We were captivated. It was a great show, especially for the true dinosaur lover. If it comes near you make the effort to see it. Here is why I'm recommending BBC's "Walking With Dinosaurs."

1. I was impressed with how educational it was. It gave a great over view of the span of the dinosaurs, the different eras, the changes happening in the world & how it affected the dinosaur. I loved walking away from the show with the pleasure of good entertainment AND enriching my mind. Austin and I both learned a lot.
2. I loved the staging creativity to portray so many different changes that happened to the earth (earth quakes, droughts, ocean, lightening, volcanoes, etc...)
3. The dinosaurs were so well done! They were HUGE, and so life-like, loud and so HUGE.

We did quite a bit of shopping afterwards (Austin was a major trooper but I did butter him up pretty good with an amazing show before hand!) At his request we stopped at Red Robin for dinner. He was great company and a super date (he even let me hold his hand and cuddle him after dinner!) I'm blessed with a great son. I'm excited to see what we'll do together in March! Love you Austy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

End of December Recap Part 3 - Dear to my Heart & Play time

I'm having MAJOR trouble uploading pics. Is anyone else experiencing technical difficulties or am I the difficulty? So hopefully when it is all resolved I'll post the pics that go with this post...

The reason for our trip to Utah was my beautiful sister's wedding. I'm not sure how much to say without getting too drippy sappy with raw emotion.

Elaine is amazing. Hands down, completely, unselfishly, totally amazing. She has had some difficult trials in life and the way she tackled them was amazing. Not to over use the word, but seriously. Not once did she complain but looked forward with faith, searched for forgiveness and gave. She is a rock and inspiring to everyone who knows her.

I cannot think of anything more joyful or perfect than Elaine finding love and being sealed for eternity. So to have that come true 2 days after Christmas was a blessing beyond measure. The spirit was sweet and the couple so deserving. Elaine in the sealing room is probably one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. She is gorgeous, and peaceful and radiant!

I love you! Congrats.

Monday through Wednesday we stayed at my Grandma Karen's house in Clearfield, Utah. My parents, and brothers Sam & Tim where also there. Monday mom, grandma, Lorna, Emma and I went to HSM 3. FINALLY! I've waited forever to see it. It was super cheesy and great as to be expected. The boys went to a more manly movie, their lost. We set goals for FHE that night.

Tuesday Joseph and Maren came down and we went into Salt Lake to the Discover Center. It is an awesome hands on museum. The kids had a great time exploring, & discovering. After a few hours we were all exhausted and hungry (it's hard work to play!) We ate at Applebee's and then walked up to Temple Square where we met up with my parents and brothers. We had a little bit of time before dark so we went in the church history part of the Joseph Smith building. The adults crashed while the kids played on the toys there. The lights were gorgeous and the weather not too cold. Naturally we made a stop at the visitor's center with a climax stop being the statue of Christ in "the universe" as my kids say. Great opportunities to teach (if you have enough energy by that point!)

Wednesday we went down to Thanksgiving Point to see the largest dinosaur museum in the world! It was a steep price to get in (at least I thought so.) But a really great museum. We were surprise how many hands on exhibits they had. They were definitely a hit with the kids, and highly recommended by the Romans family. If my parents end up moving to Provo we will surely have to get a yearly family pass. We said good-bye to Joseph and Maren (thanks again for making time to see us - you are fabulous and we LOVE you!) We stopped at Cabelas and Ikea on the way back to grandma's. We didn't buy anything, just looking (or torturing ourselves!) I was really starting to feel sick by this point (cold, sore throat, fever, achy, etc...) I had a New Years party planned for the kids when we got home. But I put Ruth and Spence to bed and crashed right along with them. Those that stayed awake had a 10 minute party at 10 pm. Happy 2009!

We had the pick-up packed and loaded by 10 am on Thursday morning. More good-byes, lots of thank yous and endless LOVE. It was a Terrifically Amazing trip. Thank you one and all.

I still felt horrible so the drive home was long, for me at least. Kurt and the kids did great. Kurt was also super helpful with the kids when we got home (You're the BEST, thank you and I LOVE you!) When my fever broke on Friday I could start moving again and life hasn't slowed since.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Domesticated Bliss

So for the first time since Preschool started I used some of the "income" for something besides preschool. I bought a BOSCH! Scream with me now!!! So I really feel a little bit silly in a giddy sort of way about this new appliance that will soon be mine. Dreams of grinding our wheat from our food storage in order to make delicious home made bread & pretty much just mixing and blending up a storm have been consuming my mind. I really must be a domesticated mama if an appliance brings this much joy!

We are definitely back to life, back to reality around our house. Jump right in with both feet I guess. But a break is always good because I wasn't dreading going back to the routine. Austin is very excited to sleep in tomorrow though! Amen to that.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

End of December Recap Part 1

It's been so long I'm not sure I know how to do this any more. I'll stumble through it somehow. So the suitcases are unpacked, ALL the laundry is done (and I'm not joking - new years resolutions are AWESOME!) Christmas decor is cleaned up and put away so now I can officially sit down and blog.

aaaaaahhhhhhhhh. It feels good to be back.

On the 16th Kurt and I celebrated our 8 anniversary. I have been blessed beyond description to have found such a kind, righteous, patient, smart, talented and devoted husband to spend my eternities with. As we experience life together, it's ups and downs and work together we are strengthen and our love grows. It just keeps getting better. Traci and Elliot were in town for the Christmas holidays and were gracious enough to watch the kids for us (*Thanks again guys, it was wonderful and you are AWESOME! Love you!*) We did some shopping, actually did a temple session ~together~ (we have been swapping sessions ever since Ruth was born in Feb.) and ate dinner at Texas Road House. We had a wonderful night together (minus the immediate food poisoning I got on the way home, I've never gotten sick so fast!) I'm excited to see what our 9th year has in store for us!

Austin was sick on Monday and Tuesday and missed school. I feel really bad, not only that he was sick but I had been complaining the previous week how he still had a whole week of school left before Christmas break and I how I really, really, really wanted to keep him home (for the sole purpose of having all my kids home so we could play together.) And the irony of it all is that he did miss school but he was too sick to play! I'm just grateful that he got well before Christmas!

We did the traditional caroling at the nursing home on the 17th with the youth. It always brings back so many great memories of my childhood/youth. Not to mention the incredible power of music especially about our Savior. "Oh, Come Let Us Adore Him!"

My mom and Sam arrived on Friday just as the weather started to get crazy. It snowed endlessly. Honestly. I don't think I've ever seen snow come down it such a quiet, steady stream for such a length of time (either that or I have a very poor memory!) It was great to have them come and finally show my mom our "new-to-us" house. I think she loved it almost as much as I do. It feels like home more and more every day (imagine that!)

Saturday Ruth and I tagged along with Emma to her friend, Natalie's birthday party. They had so much fun! Complete with glitter, nail polish, dressing up, making crowns, cake & ice cream, and taking home their very own fairy wings. We left just a little bit early to head to a baptism of Sammy and Amber Duncan (Amber is a Beehive in our YW program.) It was a great meeting and I'm so proud of the girls! That night Kurt and I went on another date (great week for us!) to the Ward Council Christmas party. It was an interesting evening, we'll leave it at that.

Sunday (the 21st) was the Christmas program in sacrament meeting. 2 of my Laurels put the program together. They did a great job and there was lots of participation from everyone. It is so easy to feel the true meaning of Christmas through music. What a true reason to rejoice in our Savior! That evening we had Christmas the Romans' Christmas at Bill and Cindy. All 5 of the kids plus spouses were home (and we all wouldn't be for Christmas so we decided it was better to celebrate early since we were all together.) After a fabulous meal, we acted the nativity (2 years in a row, I think I feel a tradition coming on!) and opened presents. We ended the evening with a New Years tradition: The Newly Wed Game. Since Kurt and I won last year we were the hosts. It was entertaining for Sam and my mom! Congrats to the winners Jeff and Julie, you host '09!

Tuesday morning Kurt, Sam, the kids and I went sledding with the youth. It wasn't too cold and we went down a manuouth hill. Every time Kurt and I went down with Spence we wiped out - ON HIM! He is so tough (as he likes to tell Jeff every time he sees him.) He would cry for about 3 seconds and then then say, in a pretty deflated voice, "weeee." That afternoon my mom, Sam, Ruth and I headed into Boise to pick up my dad and Tim (who were arriving at midnight.) Naturally we went in early to take advantage of the Boise area. We hit some favorites, ate dinner and even had time for a movie. Oh yeah, they made it here safely too!

On Christmas Eve we delivered presents to neighbors (caroling to some) and visited with Grandma and Grandpa Miles. It snowed continuously so Kurt, Sam, Tim and my dad went to shovel the walks of the church - where we were having our Ken and Renae Christmas Eve party. It was probably the best party to date, in my opinion. What made it so great you ask? Well, for one it was nice to have some of my family there. Secondly for the first time ever we acted out the nativity, I love that we actually celebrated the reason we get together. Thirdly my children were all well behaved and have a great time (I was especially proud of Austin had how out grown up in acted in sharing his toys, way to go bud!) And four but definitely not least the large amounts of delicious food! We came home to read scriptures and open new jammies. I love the speed in which believing children fall asleep on Christmas night. That is a Merry Christmas!

Kurt's gifts from the $5 gift exchange: dusting slippers and a 44DDD bra! (Ruth is modeling it.)

This is the best picture I could get of all of them together with new jammies.

Stay tuned for part 2...

Play dates Galore

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