Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mardi Gras and King Cakes

It's been 18 years since I was last in New Orleans and I'm excited to be going back. When we moved to Texas, I thought, "we're only like 8 hours from New Orleans, we're so going to Mardi Gras." And so we are next weekend. I thought that it would be fun to take the kids to see some real parades, we are going the week before Mardi Gras. You see, in New Orleans, the parades start 3 weeks before Mardi Gras, so we're going for the second weekend. My mom and dad are joining us from Springville, UT and my little sister is coming over from Atlanta. Needless to say, everyone is excited.

We're going to see 2 parades and go to the zoo. The zoo in New Orleans was awesome and my kids love the zoo, so it'll be a lot of fun.

One of the traditions with Mardi Gras is the King Cake. It's basically a big cinnamon roll braided and made into a circle. You can get plain or they can be filled with anything. The tradition is to hide a plastic baby inside the cake. Who gets the baby will be "King" the following year and gets to throw the Mardi Gras party. At school, getting the baby meant you brought the king cake the next week.

So to get ready for our trip, we tracked down a King Cake. The King Cake isn't as nice as the ones in the Big Easy (New Orleans) but it was OK. Jon said that he wanted the baby Jesus when he saw it. Do you see the baby at the top on the huge crown. The baby was molded to the crown so we couldn't put it in the cake. I was highly disappointed. oh well, we'll get a real cake at Gambino's in New Orleans.

Shellie's really excited too, to be able to see the city that my family has talked so much about. We truly did enjoy our years there.

The King Cake that we got served another purpose too.

Can you see it? Look in the middle. There's another baby there too. That's right, we're expecting number 4. Shellie is due August 16 and we are really excited.

*Addition by Shellie to Peter's great post: We are very excited and anxious as can be. Peter has been so good to calm my nerves on a daily basis. I should add a picture of a needle to this becasue after the last baby my doctor did a ton (like 14 tubes worth) of blood work. It was found that I have a clotting disorder. So, I take a daily injection of a blood thinner. My belly, where I give the shots is now covered ironically in green, yellow, and purple little bruises from the shots. I am thankful for a good doctor and modern medicine. We will continue to pray that all will continue to go well and that we will continued to look forward with the peace and hope we have felt so far.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wood Badge Beads

Friday night was the Blue and Gold Banquet which Peter has been quite excited for mostly because he was going to get his Wood Badge Beads. His Wood Badge course seems so long ago (May 2009) but he worked hard and finished his ticket items even with a move that changed some of what he had originally planned.
We were able to join in the presentation. Brother Woodwell from our stake came to present the beads and award.
He brought a Kudu horn which is blown during the Wood Badge course.
After I took off his old neckerchief, Joey got to place his beads around his neck and Jon checked to make sure they were really cool!
I was lucky enough to put his new Wood Badge neckerchief and knot on. Peter may have to make an addendum to this to correct some of my terminology or explanations.
So happy and so proud! I am so proud of him too! He loves scouting and because he does our boys do already. I am so grateful for the skills and knowledge he has gained through being a scout and being a leader. FYI: the average length of time that an LDS scout master holds that calling is 82 days! Peter reminded our bishop last night he wanted to be in for at least another year so he could get the cubmaster knot.
After Peter's award, the party began. They did a knights of the round table sort of thing. We had turkey, potatoes, corn, beans and an amazing dragon cupcake cake.
Then there were catapults (yellow things on the tables) to play with, wooden swords, a real suit of armor to play with, jousting as seen below and they could try to make some chain mail if they wanted too.
Great food, great scouts, great husband, great friends, great night!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Unsure Heart

I knew this week and day would come.
For the most part I have been able to keep my mind from focusing on it too much but it is hard not to remember that you were supposed to be delivering a baby this week and won't be.
Joey asked on Wednesday when the baby was supposed to be born. Peter and I looked at each other and I told him it would have been this week. It was actually good to vocalize it somehow.
Joey has on more than one occasion asked when he would get to meet the baby. It has provided for several great opportunities to share with him the greatness of the plan of salvation, testify of eternal families and the importance of temples, as well as what the resurrection means and how it will provide the opportunity for them to meet someday.
Jon has asked when we were going to have more kids to fill the empty spaces on our family home evening board and then why we could not use the baby. He has tried to understand but I think it is a bit hard for a 5 year old to understand how one can be alive but not born and then die without being born. Again, opportunities for love and testifying.
I was proud of myself and my ability to keep it together as a took a meal to a sister in our ward who delivered a baby last Friday and I held her sweet baby girl. It made my heart long for the chance to hold one of my own again.
Today was the day that I shed some tears though. I spent the morning with 2 sisters from other wards putting away some new dishes in our church kitchen. They were discussing how many kids they have; one had 4 in 6 years with a bonus 5 years later and the other 6 in 10 years. It is not that I am not happy for other people who have wonderful families but it did make my heart ache for the baby I have lost and will not see for many years to come.
I have had this internal debate about whether or not it was okay for me to have tears and sorrow this week as I have seen and known this week would come. I decided it was okay and a necessary part of the healing process. I remember feeling anxious when Peter switched our calendar to February a day early- it was as if I did not want it to come any sooner because I would have to face this. I also debated about sharing this on my blog but I wanted it recorded and knew I would not likely get myself to sit down and write it in my rarely used paper journal.
I am still grateful every day for the bounty of blessings that I have. I am so grateful for the three kids I have and the great joy they bring me. As I have said before, I am most grateful for the chance this experience has given me to feel closer to my Heavenly Father and Savior and to strive each day to exercise increased faith in His plan for me. But, I think I will still have a bit of sadness in my heart today and that is just fine.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm a Mormon

I have added a new button to my page and I am proud of it.
So if you did not know there is a website and it has become a great missionary tool for the church. The January issue of the Ensign has a detailed description about it and urges members to get on a make a profile. Well, I did it. was a pilot program in Las Vegas when we lived there but there were not profiles then, at least not that I knew about. It is really interesting to see the many faces of Mormonism.
It is my wish that if you have not already made a profile on there that you do it. It was actually a really thought provoking experience for me. As I typed my answers, I tried to think what I could say briefly enough to keep interest but profoundly enough to convey my true feelings for this church I love so much. Why am I a mormon? Yes, I was raised a mormon but why am I still a mormon. Then you can answer some questions about gospel principles that are frequently asked about our church. It was great trying to share answers that would make sense to someone who does not know mormon jargon or may not even be a Christian.

So my friends and family, make a profile- you may just have a really good spiritual experience. And you can do what I did and use an older picture of yourself because it is better than any of the more recent pictures you have (although I had another one and it came out really pixelated on the website).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Oh, what do you do in the wintertime?

...when the roads are iced over and the metroplex does not have snow removal equipment.
These are a few of the things we have done at our house over the last 2 days since there has been no school due to this lovely monster storm and freezing temperatures.
Fires in the fireplace. (Peter's favorite thing the other night was chopping firewood in the freezing cold. Crazy, yes but I love him!)
I should have a picture of hot chocolate too because it has been a staple.

Made sugar cookies yesterday. This kept me and the kids happy for quite some time. Glad we did it yesterday because we had no power when we woke this morning for 2 hours.

Arabella stayed in her pajamas all day on Tuesday. I figured they were warm.
Taken care of a sick Jon. He has been smiling through most of it. Fever and cough since Sunday and I would have gone to the pediatrician today but they were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Motrin, tylenol and apple juice have been great!
Joey was thrilled to go out and move the snow (yes that is a shop broom). He managed to sweep the snow off of the 1-2 inches of ice underneath but he had fun. No school Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday- I am guessing not Friday either. He has loved watching movies and playing at home.
The backyard Tuesday morning. It was a serious storm during the night. Peter and I had a hard time sleeping through it.

I am not sure why he decided to sweep the snow on the grass but he was having fun and had been sweeping the gutter.