Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let it snow...

Let it snow! I finally got around to my Christmas wrapping today, mostly because we are stuck in the house yet again and it's either that or cleaning... I have been putting off wrapping gifts this year because of Austin the Destroyer. I can't imagine how long they will stay wrapped but at least I have an extra large roll of paper from Costco in case I need to redo anything.

I usually wrap early in the season. It is one of my favorite parts of decorating the tree and it just doesn't seem like it's complete until there are some bright packages with ribbons and bows under it. This year was no exception. It also was a good moment for me to stop and appreciate all that we have. It always seems like things are so tight, especially this time of year. There never seems to be enough time, money, etc., and I never know how I am going to get it all done. But as I hauled the gifts out from my secret hiding place, I stopped and realized how fortunate we truly are. Not only for the gifts we were able to get for people, but for all the people those gifts represent. We are blessed to have a truly amazing family, and I am so grateful for the relationships we have with each and every one of them. My kids have amazing relationships with their cousins, and Brian and I feel like our truest friends are our siblings. We have been blessed with wonderful parents as examples and support systems, and I am thankful to my Heavenly Father every day for the true gifts we have been given!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's been a year...

since I started blogging and I am not exactly closing the year out with a bang. My sister jokingly calls my blogs my "quarterly posts" because I get to them so seldom, and this one seems to be no exception. I have actually jotted down a few ideas thinking they would be so cute to blog about but I never seem to get a chance to sit down and do it. But this is one that I thought was too cute to pass up:

I was having a conversation with Jacob about driving, mostly clearing up the fact that, no, he doesn't get to drive at 8 when he gets baptized. He then asked me how old you had to be, and the following conversation ensued...

Me: You have to be 16, like Maygen is.

Jake: Do I have to do girl stuff like Maygen does?

Me: What do you mean?

Jake: You know, go in your room, try on shoes, change your clothes, go to dance class, live at Aunt Jens forever. Girl stuff! 'Cause I don't want to do that...

Today I made the boys sit in the car while I ran into Clear Signal to pick up my weekly paperwork, and when I came out, Jacob had a trouble making grin on his face.

Me: What are you two doing?

Jake: Just talking...

Me: What about?

Jake: You know, boy stuff. Big boy and little boy stuff...

I have officially decided that I had children for entertainment purposes!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Austin! This afternoon, my husband called me to the bathroom to bring him a towel. Jake called out that he would do it, but Brian told him I needed to. Thinking Brian was trying to preserve some modesty, I grabbed a towel from the laundry room and headed in. No, he wanted me to see this! Austin, perched on the bathroom counter, rubbing toothpaste on his Spiderman toothbrush and brushing his teeth twice, before re-loading and starting all over again. As you can see, he was very proud of himself! Apparently he had climbed up there on his own while Brian was in the shower. Let's hear it for good dental hygiene...

Austin is the craziest kid. For the first 9 months of his life, I would tell people he was going to be my thinker, because he was SO mellow. He would just lie there and smile at you, with no real desire to crawl, walk, etc... How foolish was I! He has turned into the biggest ham, with the hugest personality. He is in this new phase where he pulls the strangest faces - kind of reminds me of my brother, who Mom used to call Rubber Face because of the expressions he would come up with. He is stubborn and just sure that if he doesn't want to do something, you can't make him. But he has the brightest smile. He was being so naughty the other night - 9:30 pm and still not in bed. We would put him down and out he came. Brian got really firm with him and told him to go to his room and get in bed or he was getting a spanking, and he just put on this 1000 watt smile, climbed up on his dad and said "Love you Dad, I sit with you"... what a little manipulator! The hardest part is, when he smiles at you like that, it's sooooo hard to stay mad at him. Mom, I finally understand what you went through with Greg!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fall means...

Beginnings. And changes. To me Fall has always been more of a beginning than January, mostly because of all those years of school. This year was no exception, because Jacob started Kindergarten on the 9th. What an experience. He was definitely far more ready than I. On the first day I took the morning off and took him to school and picked him up. He was so excited! But, he informed that I did not need to take him inside in the morning, and that "Schools need humans to do things on their own". So on day 2, I dropped him at the curb and let him walk in the building all by himself. I should say strut, because it was far more than a walk. I have never seen a little boy so proud and excited to do something on his own! He rides the bus home from school, and that may be his favorite part of the day. I can't believe my little baby is growing up!

And speaking of babies growing, Austin is 2 going on 10. He is pretty much ready to give up naps, because anymore, when he takes one, he is up til 10:00 at night! He also has decided that he is not interested in sleeping in his bed anymore. At first he would migrate from his bed to the floor sometime after I put him down, but now that's where he starts the night out. He has placed his pillow and blanket on the floor between the foot of his bed and Jacob's, and that is where he lays down at night after he has said his prayers. Crazy kid! And call me a too relaxed mother, but if he sleeps through the night and stays out of my bed, I don't care if he sleeps in the bathtub!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

You're it...

Tag! About a month ago, Jennifer tagged me... how sad that it has taken me this long to sit down and do it!

Three Joys
  1. My little family
  2. Sleeping in!
  3. The dollar section almost anywhere

Three Fears

  1. Birds - crazy irrational, deathly fear of birds!
  2. Losing one of my kids
  3. I'm totally claustrophobic

Three Goals

  1. Scrapbooking!! (I'm sooooo behind)
  2. Lose weight - isn't this always on here???
  3. Get my yard done

Three obsessions/collections

  1. I used to collect monkeys - the stuffed animal kind. I don't anymore but the collection is still in the garage in a box
  2. Books - I love to read and envision a wall to wall library in my home some day
  3. We collect mugs and glasses from places we've been

Three Random Facts

  1. I have been featured in the Sports section of the Oregonian
  2. I can tap dance
  3. One of my high school nicknames was Marcio Andretti - I liked to drive a little fast

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Kids say.....

the funniest things! And my sister keeps telling me that these are the kind of things I need to include on my blog, so here goes...

  • I pulled up to the gas station today, handed the girl my debit card and told her what I wanted. Jacob, who thanks to Dora and Diego is obsessed with the Spanish word for everything, asked me if "$20 regular" was the Spanish word for gas...
  • Right now, Jacob's world revolves around the fact that he gets to go to kindergarten this fall. One day I got turned around on my way to Jennifer's new shop and said "Darn it, I don't know where I am going." Jacob asked me if I had gone to kindergarten when I was 5 and learned the right path, and I absentmindedly answered yes. At this point he said "So what happened, you went home from school, went crazy and it fell out of your head?"
  • Last night at Valerie's, Austin fell and hurt his wrist, and we thought for a few minutes that he needed to go to the hospital. After we determined he was okay and were headed for home, I got teary in the car about Austin being hurt. Jacob asked me why I was crying, and I explained to him that I was sad Austin fell. He got very serious and said, "Mom, what do I always tell you when you cry? You need to calm down." Hmmmm Brian, I wonder where he got that idea from.......
  • Austin is starting to jabber a lot, and while he is not quite as prolific in the comedy department as his big brother, he has added a new phrase to his vocabulary this week: Rotten Turd. -----Please bear in mind he is deep in the throes of the terrible twos and is (most of the time) called this completely out of love! :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

The joy of.....

Springtime! Or almost summer, since that is how long it has taken for weather to warm up around here. But today was beautiful! It was 75 degrees and the boys and I headed straight outside as soon as I got home from work. (My poor darling husband, unfortunately, had been puking his guts out all day and went straight to bed.) I love to garden, and yes, even weed. I love the feel of dirt on my hands, the satisfaction of clearing a bed of weeds, and seeing something that I planted grow.

We started in the front yard, where I spent the better part of an hour weeding and chatting with my neighbor, Raelyn. I love living in a neighborhood and having neighbors and a place for my kids to run! Jacob has made friends with some of the neighbor kids - there are 5 of them so I'm not sure which ones. He climbs the apple tree in the back yard and chats with them over the fence. When he leaves to play with Austin or come inside you can hear them yelling "JACOB!!" at the top of their lungs for him to come back, and he just eats that up. Austin is so content to just wander the yard and check out everything. He loves to sit in my lap and weed with me, then wander off to check out a bug or a plant. As I have said before, Austin would live outside if you let him, he loves it that much.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in the backyard, which from my perspective is a jungle. It needs so much work but it is huge and has lots of room to run, ride the quad, play baseball, etc., so I try not to get too caught up in how much landscaping it needs. The kids don't seem to notice. I sat and pulled weeds and enjoyed the sun while watching them play. We have lived here almost a year and a half and I still have to pinch myself every time I get to tell my kids "go out in the yard and play!". After so many years in apartments it almost doesn't seem real, but I love it!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring means...

Soccer! At least it does in our house this year. We signed Jacob up for a parent-tot soccer class (although I hardly think of him as a tot!) Saturday mornings in April and May. At first I thought it might be a little chaotic, just a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds running around on the field, but, it's actually pretty organized. The kids and parents practice skills for the first half hour and then the last 15 minutes they spend playing games with the coach. Brian has really enjoyed getting in and playing with Jake, and Jake loves soccer (with the exception of experiencing his first side ache). Austin wants to play too, of course, and I love sitting on the sidelines, as long as it is sunny! Between my new Victoria Beckham haircut and my sporty new car, I picture my self as quite the "soccer mom", teehee.

It hardly seems possible that my baby is going to be 5 years old this summer and starting kindergarten. He would have started last year if he could have. He wants to learn so badly! He is so smart and has an a amazing memory. Last week he memorized a scripture for Primary, and at night you can hear him in his bedroom reciting it to his brother to help them fall asleep and have good dreams. He is still my sensitive one, and far more emotional than his dad would like. But, we are working on that - his new mantra is "Boys are brave, proud and strong!"

Austin is 21 months and so stubborn! I remember thinking when he was a baby that he was going to be my quiet thinker, he was SOOO mellow. What a difference a year makes! He is such a climber and roughhouses with the best of them. Most days all he wants to do is be outside, no matter the weather, his clothing or lack thereof! He is talking all the time now, definite words and some phrases here and there and absolutely lets you know what he thinks. Last night Jake took a 4 hour nap and Austin got to experience a rare moment of being an "only child". He loves being the center of attention almost as much as he wants to be exactly like his big brother.

Spring for Brian and I has been busy as well. Between working fulltime and the kids, we also have a milllion and one projects around the house we are trying to accomplish, as well as working for Jen and Dave and teaching our Primary class at church. Brian tries to get in a basketball game Saturday nights when he can, and I am looking foward to having the back room finished, as it is now going to be my craft room.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

And then there were.....

Four. That being the number of people now living in our house. This last week has been a tumultuous one, to say the least. On Wednesday morning, my oldest step-son Brandon, who has been living with us for the last 9 months, was grounded by his dad for lying and breaking curfew. This was just one more issue in a string of behavior problems we have been dealing with since he came to live with us last summer. After this latest grounding, however, Brandon decided that he was no longer interested in living here because our rules were "so unfair", and took off for school with his bag packed. Brian called his bluff, telling him that if he left, that it wouldn't be an option to come back, and Brandon left anyway.

Over the next 36 hours I burned through a full cell phone battery and who knows how many minutes on the phone with Brian, Matt - thank you for your help, AGAIN! - my mom, Brandon's girlfriend, her mom, the highschool, and believe it or not, Mary, Brandon's mother. (Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows what a monumental event talking to Mary is- prior to this summer I hadn't spoken to the woman in 6 years!). Anyway... I had 5-6 very lengthy, very civil conversations with Mary, we had a police officer in our home to help us report Brandon as a runaway, and I had to explain to my babies, who adore their brother, why he wouldn't be living with them anymore. Talk about breaking your child's heart, that sucked, and just made me more mad at Brandon for putting them through all this.

So to make an incredibly involved story short(er), Brandon officially and permanently no longer lives with us, is in communication with his mother, and will be back on a train for Hanford within the next 48 hours (with girlfriend in tow - don't get me started on that, it's a whole new blog). And while Brian and I are frustrated and disappointed that the situation didn't work out with a better resolution, we know that we did the best we could, and Brandon's choices are just that - his - and we cannot force him to be a different person than he wants to be at this point in his life.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


**10 Years Ago
I was living in Johns Landing near downtown Portland, in a little apartment overlooking the river. I worked at Fred Meyer's corporate headquarters in the payroll department and was 6 months away from meeting Brian.

**5 Things On My To Do List
Paperwork (always)
Grocery Shopping (always)
Prune rose bushes
Rake lawn
Clean out fridge

**3 Bad Habits
Fast Food
Staying up too late
Feeding my kids cereal for dinner

**Places I have lived
Medford, OR
Provo, UT
Portland, OR
Salem, OR

**Things most people don't know about me
I can tap dance
I have an insane fear of birds
I have never been drunk

I don't have anyone else to tag, except maybe Katie. Maybe this will inspire Jamie (I know you're reading this!) to finally get her blog going! :)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

So much for.....

New Years Resolutions! I have flaked twice on my scrapbook group (for legitamite reasons, but nonetheless flaked), and once on my weight loss group, and I obviously haven't blogged in a while! But in my own defense, January has been a little crazy.

We have finally been introduced to the "joys" of having a teenager in the house. Without getting into too many details, it all culminated two weeks ago when his dad was ready to send him packing back to his mother. But, I think we have worked through it, and I have added another resolution to my list - less effort towards ungrateful teenagers! It should go a long way towards saving my sanity.

Brian and I also started teaching a class at church the first of the year. We have 3 kids between the ages of 6 and 8. It actually has been a lot of fun so far, and after just 4 weeks, a little boy who started out the year sitting in the back of the room now starts the day out at the front of the table, participates fully and wants to sit right next to us during "Sharing Time". So, small victories.

So, here is to February being the month I really get on track...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Time for...

New Years Resolutions! The things I swear I am going to be better at in the coming year (and rarely am!). There have been years past when I swore off making resolutions, but this year I feel the need for some motivation in the personal improvement department. The first of which is keeping up on my blog! I have had such good intentions, but the holidays always get away from me and my time is not my own. So here is to better blogging in the New Year!

We had a wonderful Christmas. It was busy - 6 gatherings in 3 days - but we were able to see all of our family on both sides, so it was worth the go-go-go. And the kids were in seventh heaven, opening presents and playing with cousins for 3 days straight. Next year I hope to start the preparation a little earlier and enjoy a little more at the end. (Hey, there is another resolution!)

Another resolution I am looking forward to is making time for myself. My girlfriends have invited me to be part of a once-a-month scrapbook group and I really want to do it. I committed to it, and hopefully I will be able to carve out the time to stick with it.

This is also going to be the year for a healthier me. I'm not going for a crazy crash diet massive workout resolution, just more activity, less McDonalds - or The Dinner Store, as Jacob so lovingly refers to it!

Wish me luck - I hope all of you find success in your resolutions as well!