Friday, November 30, 2012

Hole Progress

The kids have spent a lot of time outside playing.
The weather has been beautiful.
So nice, I almost felt bad pulling out the last of our garden but I had the time and frost is on its way sooner than later.
 Lily loves the trampoline!!
 The hole that the kids have been digging in the garden has grown. You can see Jon's head sticking out of it.
He is sitting in it.
 Joey is the most serious digger. He usually uses Peter's big shovels. Today the different trucks were different Pokemon's of his own creation. I love imaginations!
 A better picture of Jon in the hole. 
And a final picture of Lily with dirt and boogers on her face- a happy child. She also loved talking to the gecko we found in the little blue bucket.  She packed the bucket around to each of us over and over tapping us and then pointing to the gecko, jabbering on and on!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Beginnings

We decided to try something new this year.
We bought the kids their own tree.
I am hoping that Lily will decide to only play with this one and leave the big one alone.
Since I needed a nap before work on Sunday afternoon, we pulled it out and let them decorate it. 
 They cut out a bunch of presents and other things that are under the tree that you can not see.
They were also going to make some ornaments with the popsicle sticks.  In the end they made a star for the top and convinced Dad to make swords, ninja stars, and windmills for them. He sure know how to make kids happy!
 Lily wanted some of my socks on and I gave her my sparkly Christmas socks.  They stayed up pretty well as long as they were pulled to her knee or above.
The amazing dad- who also finished dinner and helped Joey make a banana bread recipe from the Friend while I was sleeping. I am blessed each day to have him and my great kids!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I can not believe I did not take more pictures. 
We had a fabulous and delicious Thanksgiving Dinner.
We had our friends the Ostermiller's and the Palmer's over as well as the missionaries.
I took these pictures before the rest of the food arrived.
 I wish I had a picture of the turkey Peter smoked. It was his best ever! So tasty and so juicy!
We made this jello and it was a big hit with everyone. 
We had ham, turkey, mini pigs in a blanket, jello, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, green rice (broccoli, cheese, and rice-yum!), olives, celery with cheese spread, butternut squash, rolls, and cranberry sauce. 
Do not forget the pies: pumpkin, apple, banana cream, raspberry cream, and pumpkin bars.
We were stuffed and had a great time visiting with friends. 
I am so thankful for this holiday this year it has helped me to keep my focus on the many blessings I have in my life. This year I am most thankful for: the plan of salvation, the Savior, the Atonement, Peter, my children,  mine and Peter's families, and good friends.
I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pictures that were Missed

Lily loves to climb in things like laundry baskets.

 Peter was packing for a camping trip and Lily was trying to hard to open the door and climb in so she could go too.
 Jon and Arabella spent a whole Saturday converting a diaper box into a spy kit and then using it's contents.
 The result of a night in sponge curlers and this is after church!
 Lily looked really funny in Arabella's witch's cape.
 For 2 days the kids played with the play doh. 
 They played so well together!
 We have an old face around our house for the week. We are dog sitting Sasha. Lily thinks she is great unless she is barking.  The kids have enjoyed her and she has behaved well.
 Lily recently discovered our outdoor wagon and loves to ride in it. We thought she might like to pull things around in this block wagon but she thought it would be more fun to ride in it. She will try to put toys in with her too even though it is a tight fit.
My kids make me smile and warm my  heart.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Dallas Zoo

I had been telling Arabella that we would go to the zoo and Monday was the day.
It worked out nicely because they boys were out of school too so they came along.
We decided to get a pass at the Dallas Zoo this time.  I believe my kids like this zoo better than the Fort Worth Zoo and I am not exactly sure why but I don't mind- it is easier to get to in my opinion.
 We played on the elephant statues.

 Playing in the jeep by the cheetahs.
 Predator encounter. I love the wide open mouth!
 Lily was pointing and jabbering and loving being close to the cheetah.
 This was to show the size of the bullfrog in comparison to the boys' heads. Huge!
 Arabella really wanted her picture on the butterfly bench.
 Riding the hummingbird.
 Pony with jewels and sparkles.
 Riding the okapi.
So happy to be on the triceratops!
The kids loved that our new pass includes unlimited rides on the monorail and the carousel.
They were really well behaved! I look forward to more trips to the zoo!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our Peanut is 4!

I cannot believe it has been 4 years since our beautiful Arabella joined our family.
 She loves princesses!
She has the best primary teachers- Brother and Sister Rogers!
They brought her this amazing cake and helped us to celebrate her special day the night before her birthday.

 Lily gets a picture in this post since she made the best mess of the cake.
 Wednesday morning she came into our room a bit before 6:30 and climbed into bed with us.  She told us about the things she would like to do for her birthday.
We started the day with Dad's famous pancakes and bacon.  She drank apple juice in the special glass.

 Present time was a great time! All of the kids wanted in on the action and Arabella was really good about sharing the joy.
 This lucky girl is now the proud owner of a pink and purple big girl bike. She is a bit timid but I have complete faith that she will be speeding around in no time. 
 Lily thought it looked like so much fun she climbed up by herself to give it a try and got stuck!
We ate at BJ's for Arabella's birthday lunch.  This is the restaurant we ate at before she was born. So glad they have one here. She had a huge plate of macaroni and cheese with chocolate milk and we all had pazookies for dessert. She chose pizza for her birthday dinner.  We love her and her cheerful, tender, sensitive heart. She is silly at times and really smart too.  She loves her preschool she is doing this year.  She enjoys singing and dancing and really enjoys being a big sister to Lily. They are going to be great friends. 
Happy 4th Birthday Arabella!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Doing Better

It all started Sunday night as I was getting ready for bed.
I had some spotting and knew it was not going to end well.
Tears were shed and a beautiful blessing was given by my amazing husband.
Monday morning I was at the doctor's at 7:50 and Peter was at home being Mr. Mom.
By 8:50 my fears were confirmed, this baby was not meant to be in our earthly family.
After a second ultrasound to confirm and further discussion with my wonderful doctor, I headed home.
Peter and I discussed, I cried and then curled up in a ball and slept for awhile. 
Peter, is a trooper and went to babysit a friend's kids that I was supposed to do-he was so willing to do whatever I needed. He even called my mom to break the news.
We told our kids before bed on that night.  Joey was really upset and cried.  Jon was sad he would not get to see this baby either and Arabella was really trying to make sense of what it meant for the baby to be dead.  Lily was unaware that anything was going on. 
We explained that we were an eternal family and that the baby would always be a part of our family and one day when the Savior comes again we would get to see that baby.  We also tried to explain that sometimes a baby does grow until it is born for different reasons but that maybe all that spirit needed was a body even if it was very small to fulfill it's earthly mission.
Tuesday morning I headed back to the doctor and Peter came with me and then headed back to work.
I was given a natural substance to help move the process along so that I would be prepared for a D and C on Wednesday.  I had this stuff last time and remembered it caused a lot of cramping.  It did the same thing this time too.
The medicine worked very well and I was able to pass the baby and everything that night.  Part of me had just wanted to go to sleep and wake up to have it all be over but in the end part of me was really grateful not to have had to undergo the D and C. My sweet doctor let us call her on her cell phone and she told us to come in first thing Wednesday morning for another ultrasound. 
Wednesday morning we dropped the kids off at school and a babysitter and headed to the doctor. 
Everything looked great! I was feeling physically much better and emotionally we were fine, not great but fine. Peter took the rest of the day off and he helped me get a few things done that had needed to get done this week.  It was nice to spend time together and to be focusing on the everyday things of life.
I have come to realize that Peter and I have similar coping mechanisms.  I realized years ago that if Peter was upset  of any kind (angry, sad, frustrated...) he will clean or organize.  First he headed to the garage on Monday, Tuesday he did some things in the kitchen for me, last night he sorted through some things he has been meaning to for awhile.  I have found myself doing bits of organizing and sorting through those piles that we all have somewhere in our house and putting things away. 
I am so thankful to have had Peter beside me loving and supporting me.  This time around I was far more aware of the fact that the question to be asked was not why me but why us.  This was hard on Peter in different ways than it was on me.  I realized that he was not only suffering the loss of a child we were so excited about having but that he had to watch me suffer through the physical and emotional of this. We have been so blessed to have really good home teachers while living here in Texas.  Peter did not hesitate to call our home teacher and get a blessing Tuesday morning.  I was so thankful for our home teacher.  Peter is able to give that blessing to me but I can not return that favor and so I was so grateful for someone whom Peter felt he could turn to in his time of need. 
I am aware that there will be plenty of hard days to come and many questions that may or may not ever be answered.  But Monday night as we read scriptures as a family a phrase was in our reading that will carry me through this experience. We have been working our way through the Book of Mormon for around 3 years and will finish by the end of the year.  Fate, destiny, blessing or what have you allowed us to read in Ether chapter 12 and verses 26-27 were mine to read.  As I started and felt the love our Savior and Heavenly Father, I could not finish.  His grace is sufficient.  The Father's glorious plan provided for a Savior who through the atonement would be able to allow us to live with unanswered questions and endure our challenges.  
I am uncertain what my future will be like but I do have faith that the Father knows.  I do know that when I have allowed  His hand to guide my life it has always worked out for the best.  I do know that Peter is the best man in the world and I am so blessed to have him by my side as we strive to live the lives our Heavenly Father would have us live. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mountains to Climb

Today I am working to be thankful for my mountains to climb.  
I am having no trouble be thankful for my eternal climbing companion, Peter, who is by me every step of the way. 
Thank you Pres. Eyring for your words that mean so much to me today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Scoutmaster Rules by Arabella

We were driving home after buying food for a scout camp out tonight and Arabella told me that since Dad was the scoutmaster she knows all about them. She then told me the rules for a scoutmaster.
1. A scoutmaster should know all of the rules.
2. No climbing up the walls of the church.
3. No running in the church.
4. Sit in your seat when the scouts are doing a play.
5. Listen to the scoutmaster.
6. Always follow the directions of the scoutmaster.

I think they are pretty good rules for scouts and scoutmasters.  
The Scoutmaster- he is at a Camporee where he is throwing tomahawks, battle axes, and knives.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful Thoughts

I am sad that Mitt Romney lost.  He would have been an excellent president.  I told Peter this morning before we checked the final results that if it was meant to be it would be.  He responded with- it is like in the Book of Mormon the Lord always let the people choose for themselves and if they chose iniquity he would not stop them but the consequences would come.
I am thankful for the guiding influences I have in my life to help Peter and I lead our family.  We will continue doing the best we can with what we have and know that the Lord is aware of us and our efforts to be righteous.
I will also continue to both love and curse my budget.  We have been living on a much stricter budget since about May and it has been both a blessing and a curse.  You come to realize just how little money you have and yet I love the feeling of buying only what I have the cash in my wallet to buy.  (Unless, you have to put the $110 worth of medication you have bought in the last week for various members of the family on your credit card because you usually only budget $40 a month.)  There will still be parts of me that wish I could just take my kids to McDonalds when they ask or we are out and about running errands and they are getting hungry but I am not willing to sacrifice the money I budget for Christmas or birthdays each month just for convenience.  PB & J at home will be just as tasty.
I also love food storage and the feeling I get when my shelves get stocked up.  It is canned good sale season around here and I have taken advantage.  I love knowing that I have those items there to help my dollar stretch or to feed us when there may not be as many dollars to go around.
I am thankful to be eating regular food again.  I had the nasty canker sore on my tongue and spent 3 days living mostly on pureed soup through a straw and fresh fruit slushes from Sonic.  The best was the night I decided to nibble my way through 2 biscuits.  When it took me nearly 40 minutes to eat them, Jon said to me, "Maybe you shouldn't have taken so much dinner."
I am thankful so very much for the priesthood and Peter who is willing to bless me and our children with it. Priesthood blessings are the best!
I am thankful that Joey can find peace in the words of a primary song.  His favorite is The Fourth Article of Faith and yesterday as the dentist was numbing his mouth so he could pull a tooth, I sang that to calm him and it helped.
I am thankful for our new behavior charts that will hopefully help us with some of the challenges we have been facing with our kids.
 I am thankful I am teaching Arabella's preschool and she is loving it.  We are learning about he letter G this week and will be making grateful turkeys tomorrow. I love watching her learn.  It is also good for me to see where I can help and encourage her as she will be heading to kindergarten before I know it. (Okay, she still has another year but I know it will disappear.) (The picture above was from the  last time I taught.  We did the letter D and the number 3).
I am thankful for the 31 jars of pickles I canned this week after buying a case of pickling cucumbers from Bountiful Baskets.  My kids better like these because that is a lot of pickles. 
And finally, I will continue to be thankful for my children who love to: steal all of the toothbrushes and carry them all over the house, wear her new cat ears and pink feather boa, each week check out books at the school library with titles like Spiders; Ticks; Snakes..., and for kids who leave their socks everywhere or will hide them behind the pillows on the couch.  I  love each of my kids and the little things they do.

Okay so this is the finally, I love this giant hole the kids worked together to dig all day on Saturday so they could make the "family bench" in the picture above.  It is funny that Lily slid into the hole and could not get out because it was so deep and big.  It is not as funny that she go multiple ant bites on her arms while she was stuck.  I think my kids love when the garden is done so they have a place to dig! I love that they played so well together all day Saturday!
One more- I am so thankful for Peter who has disassembled and reassembled our washer at least 5 times in the last 2 months trying to make it work right.  It is finally really fixed and works like a dream!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween 2012

Monday night we hosted a Trunk or Treat for our ward friends at a park between our house and the church. 
Our local leaders have asked us not to have trunk or treats at the church.  So we just call this an unofficial ward party.
We provided the grill, paper products, homemade root beer, and condiments.  It was a great turnout!
The kids loved playing with each other.  I was not great about taking pictures.
 Lily wandered all over the place but generally stayed near us.
 Arabella loved seeing her friends.
After dinner, we formed a circle on the grassy field and let the kids "trick or treat".  Some kids, including Jon and Joey, were smart enough to go around more than once.
 Finally, on actual Halloween, we went trick or treating around our neighborhood. I had to work later so I really went all out and dressed as a nurse-but my wig is nice!
The kids made a haul and had a great time!
Happy Halloween (until next year)!