Sunday, February 23, 2014

Arabella vs. the Onion

While making dinner tonight, Peter told Arabella he would give her $10 if she would take a bite of a raw onion like an apple and eat it. We did not think she would even consider it but she asked him if he really meant it and then tried to sink her teeth in to a whole one but stopped thinking it was still a joke. I then pulled out two $5 bills and laid them on the counter. She said she would do it. We gave her an onion that had already been cut so it would be easier to bite into. She swallowed most of it but the last bit would not go down. She is brave!!!
She told us she is buying toys with her well earned money!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Flashbacks Part 3

 One thing I have thought often while scanning these pictures is that there are a number of them that would have been deleted and a new one taken due to strange faces or being blurry or any number of things. Also we take a whole lot more pictures now then we did then.

Anyway, after I came home from Guatemala, it was time to dive head first into wedding planning. We were married 18 days after I came home. 
Peter had the chance to propose to me again with the actual ring 2 weeks before our wedding. 
He took me out to eat at Chili's my favorite restaurant at the time. 
We then drove up to the parking area at the base of the Y and looked out over the valley. He then gave me 5 dozen roses. They were beautiful! Then he gave me a rose dipped in gold. I said just the right thing, "Oh that is so beautiful it will last forever!" To which he replied, "Just like a diamond." And then he gave me my ring. You can not see it in these pictures very well but he designed it and I loved it. 
The only request I had made was that it be flat so that I could easily get gloves off and on while working. I had watched plenty of my fellow nursing students struggle with gloves and their wedding rings. 

These were actually taken the next day. The funny part is that in the first picture you can see the boxes of wedding invitations on the table. In most cases, the proposal and ring are before invitations are ordered but we have never really been worried about protocol. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Flashbacks Part 2

Peter came home from  his mission and I left about 2 1/2 months later for a study abroad. I really wanted to go and have this experience but I believe it was also my back up plan in case somehow I felt Peter was no longer the guy for me. Well, that was not true because he proposed at the airport which he barely made it to because he had gone to tell his dad that he did not care if they (his parents) wanted us to wait, he was going to ask me to marry him. He asked as they were making the final boarding call. I didn't say anything but stood up hugged everyone good bye started to cry and boarded the plane. Maybe I thought I said yes but I am pretty sure I said nothing. I assumed Peter would tell my parents on the way home (since we picked him up there- again he was talking with his dad) but  no he did not.
After a long flight and no phone or internet for a few days, I was finally able to check my email and he had proposed again via email to which I quickly responded yes! I then sent an email to my parents. It was all kinds of craziness! 
I did have a most wonderful time in Guatemala. 
I learned some Spanish and saw things that were amazing, beautiful, heart breaking, testimony building, humbling, and life changing. 
The experience actually helped me to understand Peter a little bit better post-mission. He had served in Peru and had seen these same humble and amazing things that I was now seeing. It had changed him but not in a bad way. I just could understand him a bit better after my experience. 
 Teaching the kids in a local school about good nutrition and hygiene.
 Helping to make breakfast for the kids. I am crushing this nutrition pellet stuff that they mix in with a soup. 
 One of our last weekends in Antigua there was a festival. There was live music and people were just standing around.  Well we crazy Americans started dancing and soon more people were dancing.  Then a police officer came up to me and started talking to me. I thought we were in trouble because I could not understand him. No, he wanted to dance with me! I do have a picture of this and will post it when I find it because I  am laughing so hard while dancing with a man that was probably 5 inches shorter than me. 
 There was a local orphanage we spent time at. This is where kids with disabilities or kids who their parents could not raise were brought. It was a nice place and the people who ran it did the best they could for these kids but it was still heartbreaking!
 Oh, riding the buses was such an experience. They are old school buses from the US that have been painted and decorated. They will pack these buses with 4-5 people per seat and the aisle full. The man standing in the doorway is the ayudante or helper. He would collect your money after the bus was going. It was easy when the bus was not full but if the bus was full he would shove his way down the aisle or I even saw one climb out one window and in another while the bus was moving along a freeway!!! It was also not unusual for someone to have a basket full of chickens or some other animal. It makes me smile just thinking about it. 

 The market was a great place to buy produce. We were responsible for our own lunch and I would often go here and buy some bananas or fruit of another kind and eat that with crackers from the grocery or one of the many little shops like the one below. The produce there was huge- I still have never seen such large papaya or avacados. 
 If you bought a soda they would pour the glass bottle out into a bag and stick a straw in it and hand it to you. This way they could send the bottle back to be refilled. I only did this a time or two since I am not a big soda drinker but I had to document it.
 The woman in the middle was my Spanish instructor. Half of us were spanish speakers and the other half were not. We were paired with each other. All of us took spanish classes, non-speakers took 4 days per week and the speakers still had to take 2 days per week. Mariella during my first week of classes started asking me questions about the church. I had very limited spanish and she had questions about chastity and a few other topics that my limited spanish struggled to explain even with the aid of a dictionary.  The other girl in the picture is Kim Proffit- an amazing woman! She had served as a missionary in Guatemala a few years before this.  With her help and the help of the local missionaries Mariella took the discussions. She moved out of her mom's house (her mom did not approve) and she moved to Guatemala City. She planned to continue learning about the church there but I have no idea. It was a very powerful experience for me. I remember feeling the spirit so intensely during the discussions even though I did not always know what was being said. 

This is the house we stayed in. It was owned by a couple who lived in Texas during the school year and then had this house where they had housed nursing students for years. They were very nice people. I can not remember his name but her name was Mercedes Benites (I believe that was the last name).  I will always remember her saying to us girls, "Now listen hermana...."

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Flashbacks (in multiple parts) Part 1

As part of preparing for baby, I have been sorting through two file boxes full of pictures and negatives.
Yes, you remember those days of film.
It has been so much fun to look through these past times of my life. We borrowed a machine that converts photos and negatives to a digital format. I quickly figured out that doing negatives was much faster since the contraption you put into the machine holds up to 6 pictures in negative form and only one actual photo. 
The negatives come out a bit more washed out but I love that I will have these memories digitized and on my external hard drive in my fireproof and waterproof safe. 
I did not really know where to start in sharing some of these memories and since I have not done any 
pre-2000 photos yet I will start there.
I had 3 friends get married within about 7-10 days that Spring.
Peter was recently home from his mission and we were in that awkward stage of so we still really like even love each other so now what?  We obviously figured it out.
 Jeni Puckett and Brad Neel. Her dream was to have lilacs (her favorite flower) at her wedding. She was married the very beginning of May and so her wish came true.
 Jenny Anderson and Marcus Boyer. We have known each other since we were in elementary school and were on the same soccer team. We became good friends once we were in middle school. I still consider her one of those people who I could pick up the phone today and have a great conversation with even though we have not spoken in years. 
Paula Hatch and Miklos Kremser
She was one of my roommates. I did not know these 5 (Rachel is missing because she was on her mission) girls at all when I moved over to BYU my freshman year.  They had all gone to high school together.  I was nervous but they accepted me immediately and they are my most dear friends. We have all gone different ways and have lived all over the place but we could still have a great time together, especially if it were a Thursday night. That was the night of the week that always seemed the hardest to focus on studying and we usually ended up doing something other than studying.
Paula and Miku live in England now. I wish I could go visit her. She is one of the smartest, most photogenic, sugar loving girls I have ever known. 
Peter tagged along with me to most of these wedding festivities. This was taken after I believe Jenny's wedding luncheon. Oh we were young and in love and truthfully both wishing it were our wedding we were doing all of these things for.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day

Arabella does not have school on Friday's so her class party was on Thursday.
 It is unfair that I caught her just as she was putting a handful of goldfish into her mouth but she is still so cute!
 Lily even joined in on the lunch eating fun!
 Peter surprised her by showing up too.
 The whole class + Lily!
 My Valentine's "box" of chocolate.  When I came home from work on Thursday morning Peter presented me with a cookie sheet of homemade "BYU" mint brownies. He is the BEST! They are delicious and I have eaten a fair amount but I had been sharing too.
 I took my camera with me to Jon's class party that I helped with but I forgot to take pictures- doh?!
We had a delicious candle light dinner (it was easier to serve with the lights on) of chinese take out! 
Then Peter helped the boys with a flag scout fundraiser they have been doing together and I took the girls to deliver treats to the ladies I visit teach. Are we romantic or what?! I then went to bed earlier since I am working a day shift today. I think what matters about Valentine's is that those you love know you love them and you do something different to make it special. So check and check on that! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Belt Testing

It was testing for my ATA boys last night and it was a great night!
 Father and son in line, waiting to start. 
 Joey showing off his boxing moves.
 Peter doing his weapon routine. 
 Joey doing his weapon.
 Peter's form. It was fun to watch him do something he has wanted to do for a long time. 
 Joey doing his form.
 Yes, I believe Joey had his tongue out for this portion of his form. Silly kid.
 If you look closely in the mirror you can see just how high Joey was kicking.
 Both of these pictures show really high kicks. Joey could barely kick above his waist about a year ago. He has come so far and learned to push his body to do hard things.
 Peter even got a chance to do some sparring though technically he will not spar with equipment for a few more months. He is moving so fast he is a blur! I was impressed with his high kick too since he is not the most flexible person I have ever met. Way to go dear!
 And the board breaks that caused us trouble last time. 
He practiced in class the day before with wood boards and finally broke all 3 on his first try! He was so elated. Even better is that we had cut his wood boards too big and so they were harder to break but he did it. This gave him the confidence boost he needed to break smaller boards at testing without a bit of trouble!
Above is his hammer fist!
 Round kick
 The elbow strike which was his nemesis for the last 2 months but he went right through! 
Watch the video below. He was so excited he screamed so loud! I wish I could have captured his face but I was at a bad angle- priceless.

 Peter's new belt. It was really fun to see Peter achieve something new that he has wanted to do for a long time. I have not seen a smile of satisfaction on his face like that since he earned his Wood Badge beads for Scouts.
 Joey was so happy about this. He was the first student to sign up at this school when it opened. He came having taken class for awhile in Las Vegas but due to differences in how the programs were run they had him start over again several belts lower than he was.  Either way they said he was their first "home grown" 2nd degree black belt.

 The first degree belt has American Taekwondo Association written on it in Korean.
 A second degree belt is personalized by your instructor. Joey's instructor left unexpectedly in January but since he was supposed to get this in December Mr. Coleman (old instructor) had picked the words to go on it. The two symbols are confidence and victory. Very fitting for Joey. He has had to learn to believe in himself and what his is capable of doing. 

 The girl on the right also earned her 2nd degree. 
Peter, Master Pechacek (6th degree and school owner and instructor until a permanent one can be found) and Joseph Moroni Rabner (that is how he presented himself to the judges-love that kid!).
It really is exciting to see a kid smash through a 9 inch board!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Biggest Loser

During the month of January, Joey's taekwondo school hosted
Biggest Loser contest for the parents of students. 
The parents could attend the adult classes for the month of January for free and then at the end of the month, the parent that had lost the most weight would get a year of classes for free.
Peter has wanted to take classes for quite awhile and this seemed like the ideal opportunity to give it a try.
The classes were good. There was one class on a Thursday night that consisted of a great deal of calf work and Peter walked with a limp the whole weekend.
The point is that he won! He lost 20 pounds over the course of the month. He showed really good self control and endured two separate weeks of the cabbage soup diet.
The kids were very excited for him and very encouraging, especially Arabella.
Now Peter has his own white uniform and casual shirt (shown above- he chose the pink one).
He has also worked hard on learning all of the white belt requirements so that he could test tonight for his next belt. It will be a great night because Joey is testing again for his second degree black belt. Joey has overcome his fear of wooden boards and broke all three on his first try at practice tonight. He will do great because he knows he can! 
I am proud of Peter and look forward to the time I can exercise and workout alongside him for now I will continue to enjoy dessert and snacks! 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Grandpa Bird

 Today is my dad's birthday! 
I am so proud to be his daughter!
He is a good, hardworking, faithful, funny, loving, strong, talented man!
My mom shared the story with me once of when they found out they were going to have their first baby. She confessed she was a bit overwhelmed but happy.  But she said my dad was over the moon happy! 
There are many things I love about my Dad. I have been converting negatives to digital this week and found this gem. I have no idea how old it is but I believe it was before Jana was married so 2003 or 2004. 
This picture shows a few things about my dad:
He makes his salad the same every time at Brick Oven (which is one of his favorite restaurants).
He gets the hawaiian pizza.
He would not dream of having alfredo sauce.
He loves their root beer, or root beer at a restaurant.
Other greats about my dad:
He loves hot french fries.
He tears up when he feels the spirit.
He usually has a joke for you.
He is willing to help those who need it (little red comes to mind as well as several examples of paying for various things for people with no thought of being paid back).
He has a firm testimony in the priesthood and the gospel with all of the blessings it brings.
He loves my Mom- I have never doubted it!
He likes his back scratched.
We loved to take his socks and shoes off for him when he would come home.
He loves a BYU sports game.
If you want to know anything about Disney pin trading- he is your man.
He has always been someone I could turn to.
He has stayed in touch with his childhood friends.
He won my grandmother (my mom's mom) over by being a handyman around her house.
He loves to find ways of helping me still to this day.
He surprised me when I had Arabella by painting my garage- I was thrilled.
All in all my dad is a truly GREAT man!
I hope to be like him someday!
Love you Dad- Happy Birthday!