Tuesday, September 28, 2010

7 years for Joey

Joey turned 7 on Saturday. He has been planning his party for months, really he has been planning his cake. Which you see below.
This is Craneasaurus from the book Dinotrux. Peter did a great job making it but the neck just struggled. He built two out of rice krispy treats but they fell off and then we did one using cupcakes. It held and looked great until shortly after the guests arrived and we found it had fallen over again, pulling out the wire it was held by this time. But it tasted good.
We actually had Joey's party on Friday night and had several games planned and were going to be in the backyard for most of it but it rained off and on the whole time. Here they are playing feed the dinosaurs. We also made volcanos out of play doh which we baked and then did the baking soda and vinegar (tinted red) to make lava.

Happy Birthday dear Joey!!! Happy Birthday to you!
The kids all wanted to eat the ding dongs and not the cake.

Joey opening presents! Everyone was excited for this part.

Saturday, Joey's actually birthday, we spent most of the day at a parade. We first went to the boy's Karate school and helped them decorate a trailer and then there was judging and then the parade at noon. It started to rain when we got to the school and then stopped just before the parade started- not good for the crepe paper but the kids were in good spirits. This little girl got so much candy! Maybe that is why she is smiling so sweetly!
But it is likely because there were all of these and some horses and quite a few of ...
these. You can't really see it but the one has on a tiara. Arabella laughed at their hats.

I loved these scouts with their snake.
This has to be the biggest cowboy hat I have ever seen.

But this was my favorite "float". You can not see Peter but he walked alongside the trailer and handed out water bottles with the school logo on it.

And there is the birthday boy! He was so dilligent in helping with the water bottles and chanting ATA. After the parade and getting changed we went to Sweet Tomatoes (Joey's choice) for a late lunch earlier supper. Then he played with all of the Legos and Ben 10 things he got.
I am so proud of this boy. He is growing so big (49 inches at the pediatrician today). We gave him his own set of scriptures for his birthday and we hope to help him read the Book of Mormon before he gets baptized next year. We love you Joey! I am personally thankful for how hard he tries to do what is right and he is quick to obey and to try and help others obey too.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FHE Activity

On Monday, Joey was in charge of picking our FHE activity. As you can tell, he wanted us to build a robot with legos as a family. It was actually really fun!
Jon wanted a picture where he could see his eyes, so that is what the above picture is for compared to the one below.
Happy builders!
Arabella and I built these two cars. The one has flowers on it, we had to make it a bit girly.

I finally found Jon's first day of school picture. It was pouring rain so his hair is plastered to his head despite having an umbrella. His teacher is the best, Mrs. Ban. She is from Romania. She is so wonderful with the kids and she is always telling them they are the BEST! It is just what Jon needs to feel like he can do whatever is asked of him.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Summer Homework Reward

So we are those mean parents that make their kids do homework during the summer. A few years ago, I found these great workbooks that have a page (front and back) a day for the summer and it is based on grade in school.
This year summer was just long enough that the kids had to do a page every day but Sunday to finish before school started. The book is made so that they can be rewarded at the end of month (or 20 day section). The boys decided that instead they wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese as a big reward at the end of the summer. We went on Wednesday night and there were hardly any other people there. We played games, won tickets and picked out prizes. Joey chose some glow in the dark vampire teeth and a plastic scorpion; Jon chose the scorpion (he did not have as many tickets); Arabella got two pretty rings and a tiny tootsie pop.

First Day of School (a month late)

He was so excited to start school!
This is a picture of family home evening that night. The kids were being so silly! Dog pile on Joey! Arabella is the queen of the mountain.
(I can not find the picture I took of Jon on his first day. I will find it, just count on it.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Utah--Part 2

I have got to get caught up. I have first day of school pictures for both boys and Joey has been in for almost 3 weeks.
Well, Monday of our 2nd week I spent the morning with the kids at an old friend's house. It was great to visit with her and see her cute family. That afternoon, I froze/"put up" corn. I think we did some insane amount like 15 dozen ears of corn. It was fun to spend that time with my family doing what has been a long standing tradition in my family. Yes, most of that frozen corn made the journey back to Texas to be consumed by my little family.
While we were doing corn the kids played. Jon and Sadie decided to try out the dress ups. They were putting on a show and gave us all tickets. Jon wore shiny pants. I know you were already amazed by the red cape that is on backwards.
Well, there is little in this world that compares to shiny pants, aka shiny flesh toned dance tights from many years ago; especially pulled on over your swimming suit. Don't you love his pose to.

Tuesday we met Peter's parents and brother Jared in Salt Lake for dinner and they took the kids and Peter and I went to celebrate our 10 year anniversary, kid free!
We first saw the Joseph Smith movie at the Joseph Smith Building. It was incredible. If you go and have not seen it, I suggest you take some of the tissues they have by the door as you walk in. I finally resorted to using my sleeve, yes gross but it was getting bad.
My heart was so full with the spirit of the early saints and all that they endured. What a heritage we as members of the church share in these early saints and Joseph and Emma. He truly was a prophet.
Then on Wednesday morning we slept in and went to Deseret Book. Then we met Peter's brother Jared and his girlfriend Natalie for lunch at the Red Iguana- we saw it on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and it was so totally delcious. I had a strawberry mole that was so good.
After that, we toured welfare square. WOW! I have had the chance to get to know the welfare system of the church better through my calling and it is incredible. The storehouse in Salt Lake is so big and they have so many things. I could go on and on but I am telling you if you want to feel really good about how the church uses your fast offerings and helps the poor and needy then tour Welfare Square sometime. 3400 lbs of cheese is made each day (except Sunday of course) there- I am telling you it is amazing.
Then we went to the beautiful temple picture above and did a session. Neither of us had ever done a session there and it was a wonderful experience. We were the witness couple and to see it live was so powerful. I think these intense spiritual experiences were gifts from my Heavenly Father to prepare me for what was coming. He knew that I would need an extra spiritual boost before facing the trials that have since come. He loves me there is not doubt about it. We were not quite ready for dinner by the time we came out so we went to the Church History Museum and there was a great display about how the Tabernacle was built. Peter was really amazed by this. I loved the Hall of the Prophets with the memorabilia and facts about the great men that have led us in these Latter Days. For dinner, we ate at The Roof restaurant and were seated by the windows so we could watch the sunset behind the temple. It was such a beautiful day but he best part was spending it with my most amazing husband!
Peter has always been so strong even when we were just friends in high school. It was his testimony that truly attracted me to him, of course his looks did not hurt but his testimony made him stand out. He loves the gospel and the Lord and that makes his love for me feel even more powerful and true. I am grateful for the man he is and the father he is to our children.
We got a really good deal including our meal at the Joseph Smith Building as a midweek special at the Anniversary Inn. Our room was great but the funnest part was the outhouse for the toilet, pictured above.

Another shot of our room with that handsome husband of mine.
On our way back to Springville, we stopped at the Humanitarian Center and were blessed to have another amazing experience seeing the unbelievable amount of charitable work the church does throughout the world. Most interesting to me was that 85% of what is donated to DI is turned around directly and donated to the Humanitarian efforts of the church. Again, I recommend you go if you have the chance.

After we made it to Springville again, we headed to Thanksgiving Point with Peter's parents and the kids. They loved it. Nana and Papa had taken them to the Zoo the day before where all of them had a really good time.
This is at the sand and water table area but she had more fun washing and drying her hands at the sink. Whatever, silly girl!
Jon was in heaven with all of the dinosaurs.

That night we had a barbecue with Peter's family and it was so fun to visit and laugh with them. We headed back early the next morning. We had a bit of a rough start but otherwise the drive went fairly well. We stopped in Amarillo for the night and were so glad to sleep. Getting home was wonderful! We were all so glad to be out of the car until we walked in the house and it was 98 degrees inside but that was better than the 104 outside. We had turned the AC off.
Jon said he did not want to go back to the grandpas houses because it was too far away but then a few days later he told me we could just move there and then it would not be too far except it would take a few days to move. He has it all figured out, I wish it were so simple.
Coming soon....First day of School!
PS Peter and I are doing well. It has been a sad week but we have been shown so much love by so many people. It is the gospel that will see us through this and together we will be stronger for it. Thank you all for kind words, phone calls, and all sorts of other messages of love.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Lord Giveth

I know this is usually followed with "and the Lord taketh away" but I don't know that I feel that way exactly. My world has kind of been turned upside down over the last few days.
Tuesday afternoon I went in for what I thought would be routine 2nd trimester testing. I expected just lab work which was done but, I also had an ultrasound that showed our baby had died about 2 weeks ago. There was no heartbeat and it was measuring small.
Wednesday, I saw my doctor and it was decided that the best course of action would be to induce labor and have the baby pass that way.
Thursday, Peter and I spent 12 hours at the hospital inducing labor, delivering our tiny angel boy and recovering-well somewhat.
As I drove home from my appointment on Tuesday, my mind was racing with all sorts of things. I spent the evening with Peter trying to wrap my head aorund this. I should say that both Peter and I had a slightly off feeling about this pregnancy. We were excited but I just kept feeling something would go wrong. But I had 2 ultrasounds and had seen the baby's heartbeat and seen the baby move and I would have been 17 weeks today so I could not deny that I was pregnant and not share it with those around me. My greater fear/anxiety became that I would carry this baby to term and something would happen at delivery and I did not know how I would be able to deal with that.
I have been able to deal with this through the power of the priesthood and a sure knowledge of our Heavenly Father's plan of salvation and plan for me. And so the Lord has given me: a wonderful husband who is a worthy priesthood holder and loves me so very much; three beautiful children that I get to hold and love each day; a body that is able to have children; life experiences that have lead me to know that each test and trial is for a reason that will make me a better and stronger person; extended family who though they may be far away their love can be felt in our home; a ward family that has served us in so many ways-especially my Relief Society sisters; temples so that I have been able to make sacred covenants that allow for an eternal family as long as I prove faithful; and most importantly a Savior that through his atonement and resurrection makes it possible to have this sweet spirit again to raise in the eternities.
I am sure that I do not fully understand what this healing process will be like and I know I will carry this with me for the rest of my life but a scripture that has given me comfort for years is in my mind this morning: D & C 24:8 "Be patient in afflictions, for thou shalt have many; but endure them, for, lo, I am with the, even unto the end of thy days."