Wednesday, March 28, 2012

First Youth Trip To The Temple!

Yesterday I accompanied the youth in our ward (church) to the Denver Temple to do baptisms.  It was my first time as a leader,and it was Kamy's first time as a youth.  In preparation for this, I couldn't help but think back to my first time going to the temple, when I was 12 years old.  I knew that we were supposed to wear our best.  I remember looking through my closet for something that was appropriately labeled as "my best".  My regular church dresses and skirts just didn't seem to have the magnificence I was looking for.  Then, my eyes beheld a prom dress.  Yes. That was certainly the best!

I remember my mom asking me to show her the clothes I had prepared. Since it was an overnight trip because the temple was 7 hours away, I had a little duffel bag full of clothes. I pulled out the prom dress to show my mom what dress I would be wearing to the temple.  She vetoed it right away.  "But we are supposed to wear our best!"  My mom then explained that our regular church dresses are plenty good enough, and it's more that our thoughts and reverence should be clean and pure, thereby our actions and mannerisms are 'the best'.  Oh!

So I fondly told Kamy that childhood memory of mine, as I instructed her to be her best.  It was wonderful to be able to share that experience with Kamy, as she participated in the ordinances of the temple.

If you would like to know more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or our Temples, then please follow this LINK.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Break {equals} Spring Cleaning

I have big plans for our Spring Break this year.  It's time to teach the kids about Spring Cleaning 101.  I told them that if they worked for me half the day, everyday, that they would  have  the other half to do fun things.

We started a day early last week, by thoroughly cleaning and organizing our basement, including my sewing area and the board game area, which had gotten hugely unorganized.  After we were done, Keaton said "This place looks amazing, mom!  We should keep it clean like this all the time."  Ya think?

After a breakfast of cheerios, for the kids, in which Kimble thoroughly enjoyed eating/slurping it, it was time for cleaning out the garage (or at least making a big dent) and cleaning out the van.  All the kids, even Kimble, joined me in the garage to clean and sort through all the junk.  Today's mission was simple cleaning and organizing.  I hope, later in the week, to actually sort through the bins of stuff and get rid of most of it.

We made a big garbage pile, and a big donation pile, and the kids discovered a lot of forgotten treasures. I found a few pairs of pants that might fit me now.  I also discovered the ice chest that The Husband had used to brine our Thanksgiving turkey was still filled with the brining liquid and the turkey juices.  If I had thrown up into the liquid, it wouldn't have made it worse.  I was so completely disgusted as I called The Husband, and explained how gross that was and how it was  That ice chest will now be discarded at the dump, with all the other oversized crap we had in the garage.

While I was finishing up the garage, Kennedy had brought inside a huge bag of flour that was supposed to have gone in the garbage.  It wasn't long before Kimble found the bag and realized what a fun mess it would make.  He was not very happy when I found him.  Correction...he was happy...until I found him. Then he was in much despair.

With the kids only having two months left of school, I've noticed a trend in all the boy's pants.  They all look like this, with  huge holes in the knees.  Anyone else have the same issues?  It's so hard to patch the knees (I can't really fit the legs through to sew it on my machine) but I don't want to buy them all new pants.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Livin' the 2 year old life

Kimble is learning and growing and accomplishing so much lately.  He longs to go outside and play; to be free of holding hands or restraints of any kind.  If he makes it outside, he runs for it!  Barriers or boundaries mean nothing to Kimble.  He will try to run into the street, walk off a platform at the park play structure, take off in the opposite direction you are trying to go, and pay no attention when his is called back, or encouraged to stop! danger!.  In essence, he is a two year old!

He doesn't get very many opportunities  to play outside, but I'm hoping to change that. Now  that our weather has turned more mild, I'd like to take him out more.   His doctor encourages us to let him test his limits, and what better way than by playing in a park or a big field, or walking behind him on a trail through the meadows.

Meanwhile, he has a strong imagination and he certainly enjoys himself at home. His newest obsession includes hats.  Hats of any variety. He'll wear them and instantly become the appropriate character. He didn't know for sure what sound to make with this big sunhat he found, but when he puts on a baseball cap,  he pretends he's playing a sport.  When he finds a cowboy hat, he says "Yeeehaaw!" and when he finds a pirate hat, he'll say "Aaarrrh!"

We still have to hide the markers, paint, glue, crayons, pens, pencils, and watercolors from him.  We can always tell when he found something, because he'll color his hands and as he makes his way through the house, he'll leave his handprint as evidence that he was into something  naughty.

Kimble now recognizes when he has pooped his diaper, and he'll come to me, turn around so his back is facing me, and say "Stinky!"  I'm hoping to be able to potty train him this summer, once he is more able to recognize the process of it all.

We have done away with the high chair we had, since Kimble refused to sit in it any longer.  He would just dump his food on the ground, and when we got him down from his chair, he'd climb up to the kitchen chair and try to eat off someone else's plate.  Plus, he was eating his other meals at the table, when all the other kids were at school, so it was an easy adjustment for him.  However, he refuses to be boosted up via a booster seat or an old phone book. He either stands (and is way too tall) or he sits) and is way too small).  Nevertheless, he is happy to be part of the family, around the dinner table.

Kimble still likes to search out his own snacks.  He'll push the chair to the counter and get whatever he sees. His favorite by far, is oranges.  He'll eat the whole thing, and not even wait for me to peel it.

There are some foods that he is so happy to eat.  Pumpkin Pancakes (see sidebar, under recipes) is at the top of the list, second to meatloaf. Yum.

He loves playing games with his siblings. Their most frequent game is like tag, but him and Georgie will run back and forth across  the main level, trying to beat each other to the opposite wall.  Kimble finds it thrilling, and all the kids are so careful to run slow enough for Kimble to stay caught up.  Plus, it gives him great exercise.

Another fun game for any toddler, but most especially for Kimble, is  to play "yeehaw" with his big brothers, or if he's super lucky that day, with his daddy.  Heath will get on all fours and let Kimble mount and dismount, all the while whooping like a cowboy.

He isn't satisfied until his horsie turns into a bucking bronco, and Kimble holds on for dear life until his horsie gets down on all fours.  Then...they do it again.

Kimble has started taking an  interest in brushing his  teeth. Up until now, he fought me every time I brushed his teeth. Now, he voluntarily opens up and says "aah" and "eeh" as I brush his teeth.

"Shoes!" Shoes!"  He loves to have us put his shoes on.  He loves hearing/seeing the trains go by.  He likes to give kisses, and likes even better to make them perfect kisses centered exactly on the mouth.  He loves to drink water, and loves even more to take a whole mouthful and then spit it on the ground.  Baths are exciting to him, and he even likes getting washed.

That's what has been going on with Kimble lately!  He's a busy boy and I love seeing him learn more every day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Haircut Changes Everything

Well, since Kennedy has been so insistent upon getting her haircut, I asked her once again Saturday night if she wanted it cut.  She was adamant that she wanted it cut to her neck.  Because she hadn't changed her mind about that for months, I decided to cut her hair.  First, she took a bath with Kimble, and got all clean.  Then we took her before picture.

I sat her upon my bathroom counter, with her feet in my sink, and I cut straight across her hair, while having flashbacks of my mother doing a similar thing to my hair, when I was in second grade.

Next, I layered her hair and made it a bit sassy.  Kennedy happily smiled the entire time.  After it was dry, I styled it a bit and asked her what she thought.

She loved it.  "Like, seriously Momma.  Everyone is going to just love my new haircut!"  She bounced around the house for the rest of the evening, happily swishing her short hair back and forth.  The next day at church, she got a lot of remarks about her hair being so lovely.  One person said to me "Kennedy looks like you now!"  I guess we both have similar haircuts.

She also enjoyed showing off her new haircut at school today.  I think she looks adorable.


Keaton is such a good boy. He tries so hard to be good and make other's happy.  He recently has been spending time with his buddy Brenner, at church. They have a blast together in cubscouts, and Keaton often walks the halls with Brenner at his side, wearing his friend's suit coat or sweatshirt.  (I thought only girls shared clothes like that!)

Keaton has been proud of his accomplishments in school, and has really been working on his writing skills.  Previously, when his teacher has given out writing assignments, Keaton has turned in work that is very condensed and to the point.  His teacher wants him to expound on his writing topics.  Last week, Keaton wrote four pages from one writing prompt, and was very proud of himself, especially because his deskmate Alaina, who apparently rules the class with her detailed writing prompts, only wrote one page.

Keaton asked me last weekend, if he could start reading the Harry Potter series.  I made Kamy wait until she was almost 11, and so Keaton has had to wait too. However, I didn't really have a reason why he shouldn't read them, especially since he's seen all the movies. So I said "sure" and before I could even finish saying the word, Keaton was running down the stairs to get the first book.  Since then, he's had his nose in the pages and is thoroughly engrossed in it's writings.  So much so, that I have found him trying to read at the dinner table, when he's brushing his teeth, and most especially, in his bed after I've called for lights out.  However, it's hard to punish for such academic exuberance.  I quite like to read too.

Turning 12

Kamy's birthday began with a surprise for her the day before her actual birthday.  I took her to a beauty school to get her hair cut in a salon for the first time.  She has been telling me for a while that she wanted her hair cut, but in the end, she ended up only getting the bottom trimmed, and a few long layers put in.  Above is the before picture.  Below is the after picture, after I curled it.   We brought Kennedy along with us, for a girl outing.  She pleaded with me to get her hair cut as well, but this was Kamy's day.  So instead, Kennedy watched every cut that was made, and essentially got in the way more than anything, but her enthusiasm for her sister was wonderful to see.

Kamy has been so anxious to turn 12 years old.  The biggest reason was that she got to graduate from primary, at church, and now gets to join with 'the big girls' in young womens.  She is now part of the 12-18 year old group at church, and with this provides many more opportunities for activities, socializing, and she also gets to join the other girls at Girls Camp this summer, which she talks nonstop about.

The day after her birthday, as she was receiving her award in primary, all the young women came in to collect her and bring her back with them to young womens.  As Kamy's mom, I thoroughly appreciated this act of acceptance on their part, and it was obvious what it meant to Kamy.  As a leader in Young Women's, it was with pride and humility that I witnessed these girls love and support for eachother, and I was honored that I had the opportunity to work so closely with them each week.

 Back to the day of the birthday, Kamy had requested having a Tea Party. She wanted two friends from our old stomping grounds to come, as well as all of the Young Women  from church.  I explained to Kamy that most of these girls were many years older than her, and might not want to come.  The tea party was also arranged quite frantically and sort of last minute, so I advised her also that these girls probably have other plans for that Saturday. Nevertheless, we made up some invitations and Kamy passed them around to the girls at church.  Most of them said they could come, and were quite excited about it.

That afternoon, Kamy had nine girlfriends who came to celebrate her birthday. Some arrived late, so not everyone is in these initial pictures.  They began the tea party by giving each other facials, made with basic home ingredients.

While they waited the allotted 30 minutes for their facials to set, they gave each other manicures and pedicures with the selection of nail polishes and nail stickers we provided.

After facials were rinsed off, and makeup applied by two of the girls, (and after more girls showed up), everyone gathered around the table for the 'tea party' portion of the party.  We served delicate sandwiches, quiche, fruit, cookies, and juice, served on glass plates and teacups.  They took their time eating and socializing.  Their laughter was contagious.

All of the girls were very thoughtful with their gifts for Kamy, who received many girly things to make her look pretty. From earrings, hair accessories, artwork, and makeup, Kamy was so appreciative of her gifts.

After the girls left the party, we spent a few quiet hours at home, and then we had our own party for Kamy (which probably paled in comparison).  Kamy wanted sausage penne for dinner, which she has requested every birthday dinner for the past 5 years, regardless of the fact that we have it at least once a month.  It's her favorite.  For dessert, she wanted apple crisp with ice cream.

We took our standard birthday family picture, and then let her open her presents from us.  I got her a new book that had three separate fairy-tale type stories in it, rewritten in a modern way.  I told  her I wanted to read it when she was done!  She also got some elastic headbands.

Her other presents she knew about.  After her haircut, I took her to Ross to get some new church clothes.  She is so tall and skinny, that it's been hard for me to find appropriate church wear for her.  Since she was now a 'young women' we needed to help her look  the part. So together, we found a few dresses and skirts (in the junior section...not the little girl section!) that would complete a few outfits for church. She was very happy with her new clothes, and seemed to like the fact that she helped pick  them out, and thus knew what her birthday presents would be.

I must say, Kamy is definitely looking like a young lady now. She seems to have blossomed overnight and isn't such a little girl anymore. There is an air of maturity about her. She longs to be accepted by the older girls and is thrilled with being a part of young women at church.  I'm very happy for Kamy. I think it was a great birthday for her.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Funny Faces

Don't kids understand that when they disobey the rule of "don't play with the camera" that they will get caught? All evidence points to the rule-breaker.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blogging Catchup

Since  I've started my blog, in 2008, I haven't ever gone this long without blogging, and never have I provided such sparse blog posts as I have in the past few months. That should be clue number one that I've turned into a busy lady!

I feel sad that I haven't blogged much, and even sadder that I feel that I don't have much material from which to blog about!  Even though life has been busy for me lately, it's also been relatively quiet  around here.  So what am I busy with?  Church mostly...with a few other things thrown in.

I am over the 12-18 year old girls at church, and thus get to manage all of the activities, planning meetings, training, and all the other things that come up.  It's been even more hectic with two of my counselors temporarily unavailable (one had twins and the other had a crazy work schedule), so with that, my remaining counselor and I have had a lot to do.  As overworked as we have been this past month, we have also gotten quite close.  This has been such a great blessing to me, as she is becoming one of my best friends here.  I'm quite lucky to have best friends from all the places I've lived.  Since moving here just over a year ago, I have developed some great friendships, and now have a few people which I can label "besties".  This makes my frustratingly-insecure-and-constantly-worried-that-nobody-will-like-me-feelings become more muted.  Friends are important to me!

I have taken a break from sewing for a bit.  It's been a refreshing break.  However, I'll need to get started again soon, so I can be prepared for the summer Farmer's Market.  I signed up to be part time at the market I was at last year, and I'm hoping I can make some appearances at some others throughout the summer.

We've had a lovely week of 70+ degree weather. With that, came a bout of allergies that  just about did me in.  Every few years, I'll have allergies get triggered, and I'm always unprepared for it.  This last week it came on strong and fast and left me with fatigue, sinus pressure, dripping/clogged nasal ducts and constant sneezing.  No allergy medicine was able to manage the symptoms, but it's getting better now.  I can actually breathe today!

In no particular order, here are a few things I've been up to the past month or so.

I have been tweaking many recipes in order to ready them for the cookbook.  Deciding on what things to include, and taking pictures of the finished product, and sorting through my extensive recipe collection to rediscover hidden's been fun.   One recipe in particular, which is generational, I got my momma's help with when I saw her a few weeks ago. It's such a fun project for me.

Kamy turned 12.  This makes me very happy. She is turning into such a lovely young lady.  I'll share her birthday post a bit later.

Kimble has been trying to figure out more words.  He has been repeating things he hears, and he babbles all the day long.  He now says "momma" and "daddy" when referring to us, instead of just saying the words.  It now has  meaning.  He gives us loves and hugs and he plays games with his siblings and he likes to play "yee-haw" with his daddy, which means he gets to ride on his back like a cowboy while daddy tromps along on all fours.  It's a great game, and I love watching them play with each other.

The kids are all grounded from television until school ends.  That should tell you a bit about the misbehaving/punishments that's been going on!

Kennedy is doing great with her reading and writing.  She will occasionally write me little letters and leave them by my bedside.  It's  like a puzzle, trying to read the words she has phonetically spelled out.

I got my legs waxed for the first time a few weeks ago.  My friend (aforementioned) came over and did it for me.  Perhaps it's the pain/laughter involved in waxing that brought us closer, or the late night chocolate/movie watching/chocolate/talking/ice cream escape that we had.  At any rate, it's a good thing.

I have another friend who is a personal trainer, and she has always expressed her willingness to help me with my weightloss goals.  I think I'm finally going to take her up on it.  She will be starting a "baby bootcamp" sort of thing, which she has done before, and even though I technically don't have a baby, I'm still carrying around the baby fat.  So even though I'm nervous, I think it's just what I need to get out of my rut and get to losing weight again.

I've taken some time to read books again. I love reading, and it's been months and months since I've been able too. So, the library has been busy fulfilling my hold queue, and I've been enjoying some teen fiction.

I have some posts coming up.  Stick around.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Family Weekend

Last weekend I got to see every one of my siblings, most of their spouses, and most of their children.  I also got to see my lovely parents.  I'm probably the child they see the least, simply because of location difficulties.  I was thrilled to get to see everyone.  My mom is in the upper picture, and my dad (sporting the white suspenders) is in the picture below  (That statement was probably obvious, but stated nevertheless.)

My sister Kim and I are inseparable when we are together.  She is my BFF, but I love all of my sisters dearly and I was so happy to see all of them!

My sister Shavonne had baby Sam towards the end of last year, and this was the first time I had the opportunity to meet him.  I was thrilled to see them both.

Sister Rebekah and I were also very happy to see each other!  I feel bad that I didn't get a picture with my other three sisters as well. What was I thinking?

This is the group who was able to be in Idaho for the weekend.  We are missing a few spouses, kids, and my brother Ian (and his family) weren't there either, but it's a good size group nevertheless!

My sister Kim and I also had the opportunity to go to the SLC Temple before I had to catch my return flight home. It was nice to have a few hours alone with her, and also nice to catch up with two of my besties, Nicki and Bethany, for lunch afterwards (no pictures...dang!).

My kids have never been in an airplane, so I took these pictures for them, to show the Rocky Mountains, as well as Denver at dusk.

I have a few more pictures, taken with my sister's camera, that I'll make another post about.  I simply can't say enough about how my family rejuvenates me.  I am so happy I was able to see them!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Little Visit

Today I'm leaving town to have a little visit with my family.  I have a niece and two nephews I've  never met (born recently) and I have another niece that is getting baptized.  It was a great excuse for my family to get together, and I am thrilled that I get to join them and see all my lovely siblings.

I've got my bag all packed...two books at the ready...some music to entertain me...and notes left to the kiddos, telling them I love them.  The Husband will take over my housewife duties for the next few days, and he is excited to (ahem) clean the house.

My phone takes crappy pictures, but this is Mr. Kimble  and I as we were waiting for The Husband to shower and get ready.  Now it's almost time to go to the Airport.  Yay for weekend trips!!