Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Hope you all have a wonderful day celebrating the birth of our Savior.
Love you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Weather Outside is Frightful

It snowed again. This time I took a few pictures. I really wanted to get some pictures of the house covered in snow but I didn't feel like venturing out. This is my backyard. I opened my back door just enough to stick my camera out--snow fell into the house--and you can see that it's STILL snowing. It hasn't stopped since last night.
This one is from my front door. Those footprints are where Hunter and I trudged into it to get to church this morning. Apparently some wards in the Kennewick and Pasco Stakes were cancelled today...but not in the Richland stake! I'm so glad because the Sunday before Christmas is a wonderful Sunday. As music chairman it's usually a very busy Sunday for me. Last year I wrote the program, sang in the choir, played my flute, and played piano for someone. This year I knew Jason would be working so I assigned everything out and had a very relaxed Sunday. (Well, when I wasn't chasing my kids around, that is.)

Hunter noticed me taking pictures and wanted me to take some of him. Hence the following...

Speaking of Hunter, here's a funny story about my funny boy.
I was reading my scriptures this morning when Hunter interrupted me and asked me what I was doing. I recognized a teaching moment so I put my arm around him and told him I was reading about Jesus. His sunbeam class was in charge of sharing time today so we'd been practicing his response to the question, "How can I be like Jesus?" I wanted to talk about it some more so I told him I was reading about when Jesus was born. I pointed to the nativity on the dresser and decided it would be a good moment to remind him about the reason for the season.

Me: Christmas is when we celebrate when baby Jesus was born. Do you know what Jesus did when he grew up?

Hunter: He got tall.

Me: Yes, but he was also nice, and he shared, and he helped people. So how can YOU be like Jesus?

Hunter: I don't want to be just like Jesus.

Me: (Concerned) Why?

Hunter: I want to be a policeman just like Daddy.

Me: Well, you can be a policeman AND be like Jesus too. Policeman help people. Jesus helps people.

Hunter: I don't want to be like Jesus.

Me: WHY????

Hunter: I don't want to be tall.

I had no response to that.

I hope you all had a wonderful and spiritual Sunday. I need to go talk to Hunter some more....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Apologize...

I just reread my last post and I got really annoyed with myself. I was whining and I apologize. The snow is fine. We're fine. I've remembered how to drive in it, I've pulled out my snow boots and got rid of my "wussy-itis" as Jason calls it. It is still REALLY cold, but we really don't have anywhere to go. Hunters preschool was cancelled again today (which is so sad since today was his last day and the Christmas party. He cried about it and it broke my heart.) My voice students come to ME and my friend's husband shoveled my front walk. We've got a fire, the IL DIVO Christmas CD, and lots of hot chocolate. I'm good.

Here's some Santa pictures I wasn't going to post, but now that I look at them they're kind of funny. Saturday was our ward primary activity where the kids got to meet Santa. Santa has always been kind of a traumatic experience for Hunter and usually ends in crying. Last year was the WORST experience so I wasn't really expecting anything this year. (All I really want is a PICTURE!) Hunter LOVES Santa in theory and on paper, but in living color....not so much. This year we didn't have screaming and crying. We had tolerance. I think their faces accurately portray their attitude!

McKay wasn't very impressed.
Hunter wouldn't say ONE word. Santa just wanted Hunter to whisper what he wanted for Chritmas, but Hunter wouldn't cooperate. He wanted his treat bag and then he wanted to GET AWAY.
The crafts weren't much better. McKay likes attention from the pretty young women in our ward so he tried to cooperate. Hunter's snowflake didn't get made because he couldn't cut through the thick paper. He enjoyed spending time with his favorite babysitter Allison, but didn't get much else done.

Oh well. Maybe next year we'll get some excitement and some pictures worthy of a Christmas card!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snow Day

It is one of those days to stay home. The temperature is between 15-20 degrees. Snow has filled my driveway. It's piled up in my walkway so that if I opened my front door it would fall inside. The wind is blowing. And it's STILL snowing!
Hunter's preschool was cancelled--which is a bummer since he looks forward to it so much. Don't get me wrong--I LOVE snow--as long as I don't have to go anywhere or drive in it! The problem is that I have to trudge outside to take the garbage can out to the curb AND I really need to run an errand today!!! I have to pick up ONE more thing and get it mailed before Christmas. Crummy weather!

I really do like snow. I mean, I've lived in Wyoming and Utah for goodness sake! However, in Wyoming and Utah people are prepared for a lot of snow. Snow plows are plentiful. The roads are salted. People KNOW how to drive in it. Here---not so much. My kids don't even have snow boots or snow pants because snow isn't a given every year and WHY would I shell out money for snow boots and pants if it MIGHT not even snow?

Ok. Enough complaining. I'm done. Really.

My friend Morgan (who I kind of hate right now because she lives in Vegas-- warm, warm Vegas) tagged me with this mommy tag. I think I'll tackle it now while I'm waiting for it to stop snowing.


1.What time do you wake up?
- When McKay wakes me up--usually around 7:00 am. Hunter gets up earlier but knows that mommy isn't a morning person and he leaves me alone. Someday McKay will be old enough to learn that...

2.On a good night what time are your kids in bed?
- 7:30 pm. Their bed time isn't until 8, but now that it's dark SO early I can get away with 7:30 most of the time.

3.How long have you been a mommy?
- 4 years, 2 1/2 months. And they have FLOWN by. (Unless you count pregnancy. Then add 9 months to that.)

4. How old were you when you became a mommy?
- 23. Just barely. (Unless you count pregnancy. Then I was 22).

5. What is your favorite chore?
-Cooking/Baking. I LOVE food. I love to create meals and treats for my men.

6. What is your favorite meal to cook?
- It depends on my mood and cravings. I'm pretty good at making a variety of things.

7. What are 5 things about being a mom that make you smile?
-Family cuddles and wrestling on the bed.
-Hearing joyous laughter throughout the house when Jason is playing with the boys.
-Listening to McKay learn to talk. Especially when he copies what we are saying.
-Watching McKay clap his hands and say "good boy!" when he is proud of himself.
-Listening to my 4 year old READ and feeling proud that he is SO smart!

8. If you could take your kids anywhere, where would it be?
-Somewhere with fish or animals, like a zoo or sea world. They LOVE animals and fish and we don't even have a zoo here!

9. When was the last time you went out without your kids?
-Our friend Scott had a surprise birthday party last week and we got a baby-sitter for that.

10. What was your most heartbreaking moment as a mommy?
- When Hunter was 3 months old we moved him out of the bassinet into his room and a big crib. One night the batteries in the monitor died and in the morning I realized that he had woken up and cried in the middle of the night and I hadn't heard him! I was SO sad about it and didn't get over it for weeks.

11. When was the last time you told your kids you love them?
- Last night before they fell asleep.

12. When was the last time you were told "I love you"?
- Last night when Jason said good night to me.

I tag anyone named Angie.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Easy Treats

KRAFT scores again! If you don't get the Kraft magazine go to the website and sign up! Everything in it is EASY and delicious. This is my favorite treat from it to make this year -- mostly because it is SO easy I don't even have to turn on my oven. That's because they are actually RITZ crackers dipped in minty chocolate. Really. Try them -- you'll be pleasantly surprised!

Mint Thins
*1 pckg. (8 squares) Bakers semi-sweet baking chocolate
*1/4 tsp peppermint extract
*1 sleeve ritz crackers (36 crackers)
*1 peppermint candy cane, crushed (or crushed andes mint -- it's not as pretty but it tastes better!)

Melt chocolate in microwave as directed on package.
Stir in peppermint extract. Dip crackers and place
on wax paper. Sprinkle with candy cane (or andes mint) bits.
Let dry (or refridgerate until dry) and enjoy!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time

I haven't blogged in awhile! It's that busy busy time of year I guess. Plus it seems like I have LESS time since Jason's been home. Since Thanksgiving I've been occupied turning my home into a Christmas wonderland for my children. I'm not done so no pictures yet-- (the garland for my fireplace won't light up and I'm trying to decide if I REALLY want to set up my North Pole Village- it's A LOT of work). If you came to my house it would be obvious that this is my FAVORITE holiday. I kind of go NUTS!

I really want Christmas to be great for the boys like it was when I was a kid. My mom used to go all out and I've been trying to keep up.

Cookies have been baked.
A gingerbread house has been decorated.
Festive candles are lit every night.
Christmas music has been blaring--dancing has occured!

She also used to have a "Christmas fairy" visit us every night in December to leave a treat as a countdown to Christmas. Well, the tradition continues! My mom came for a visit last week and brought the boys an advent calendar and some treats for me to use from the Christmas fairy. Every morning the boys open the door on the calendar and find a treat or a note telling them where to find it. The treats have been everything from Christmas socks to coloring books, to Christmas Captain Crunch cereal. They absolutely LOVE it!

Ok, picture time. Here's my tree--it's done except I found a spot on my tree skirt so I have to take it to the cleaners today.

Our house is merry and bright! Jason is amazing--he did this almost all in one day.

The boys have their fuzzy, soft holiday pj's! It is so fun having Jason home to play and goof off with them! Here they are playing with light up snow globes. (Thanks Christmas fairy!)

It has been really weird---and wonderful---having Jason around ALL the time. He's been feeling pretty good so I put him to work. He reorganized his side of the closet, purged some of his old clothes, and has been watching the boys and cleaning the house so I could go Christmas shopping with my mom and to the gym almost every day. On Thursday I returned home from the gym only to shower and go straight to a Relief Society luncheon. When I came home 2 hours later to a clean house I said to him, "Jason, I don't EVEN deserve you." He agreed with me. =) My adorable boys! Christmas time is more magical when you experience it with your children. McKay is actually old enough to enjoy the treats that keep coming into our house. Hunter can't WAIT for Santa. And I love dressing them up like this!!!! It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Academy Graduation

Happy Thanksgiving!
One of the things I am most grateful for: Jason is done with the academy! (And home full time since his surgery.) Here are some of the pictures from that day:

Jason's parents and Craig and Angie came with us to Seattle -- we spent the night on Monday then spent Tuesday at the academy for an entire day of activities.
Hunter and I got to pin Jason's badge on him. (Well, Hunter started and then I finished.)

This is the whole gang. Jason's two best friends from high school flew up from Utah to surprise him.

This is the dorm that Jason lived in for the last 4 months and this is his roommate Dave. Luckily Dave is an awesome guy and they became good friends.

These are Jasons best friends Hollis and Bart. I'm amazed I was able to keep their attendance a secret for so long! He was so happy that they came to support him.
Jason's TAC officer (Nowacki)gave the boys little police dolls. They also loved the sticker badges.
This was Jason's final inspection--so he was actually allowed to smile as the training officers said goodbye to him.
It was a great day and I'm so proud of him. It was obvious the academy wasn't easy and he did a great job getting through it. Now he can't wait to get back to work.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Curve Ball

Needless to say we've been very busy this week, what with Jason's graduation and his return home. I was excited to have my husband back and he was excited to start work. Things were going to plan, and so naturally we were thrown a curve ball.

Thursday began with Jason reporting for his first day of field training and ended with him in emergency surgery.

He made it through his first day of work but called me at lunch to tell me that his stomach hurt and he thought he was sick. By the time he got off of work he was in a lot of pain and felt like he was going to throw up. He drove to his parents house (they are currently out of town) and threw up violently for awhile. The pain got worse so I told him to call his aunt Sue (she's a nurse) who told him to get to the emergency room. His brother Craig picked him up and rushed him to the hospital in Moses Lake where they determined he had appendicitis and began preparations to remove his appendix.

As soon as Craig, (who had been diligently updating me), let me know what the verdict was I threw a bunch of clothes and diapers in the car, pulled my sleeping kids out of bed, (by this time it was 11:30), and drove to Moses Lake as fast as I could. I dropped them off at my sister-in-law Heather's house, (at 1:00 am--bless her--she's a school teacher!), and then spent the night in the hospital with Jason.

Luckily his appendix had not yet ruptured so the surgery was quick. Jason was pretty out of it the rest of the night but I still wasn't able to sleep much. In the morning he was more lucid, finally realized I was there and what had happened and then immediately got mad because he couldn't go back to work! His police department was very understanding, put him on sick leave, and postponed his field training. The surgeon did the surgery laproscopically so he won't have a large scar and the recovery time should only be about 2 weeks.

Once I was assured that everything was going to be okay I then focused on how incredibly blessed we are. For one thing, we have amazing family members who just stepped in and did what was needed. I appreciate my selfless sister in laws Heather and Angie who took care of my kids without hesitation. My dear mother in law (who was feeling quite helpless in California) was on the phone with us all night until she was satisfied that the surgery had gone well.

Another reason to be grateful is that this didn't happen last week. If it had happened any sooner Jason would not have been able to graduate and would have had to re-do part of the academy.

We brought him home (to his parent's house actually) from the hospital last night and for now he's going to focus on resting, healing, and some exciting football games.

At least now he'll be home for Thanksgiving....

Jason putting on a brave face for the camera. He was very anxious to get out of the hospital.

Monday, November 17, 2008

He's Done!

Jason is graduating from the academy tomorrow! I can't speak for him, but I feel the last 4 months has gone by quickly and fairly painlessly. I adjusted to being alone most of the time and I really didn't have any major problems. I feel that I was blessed with friends and family who I knew I could count on and whose prayers are most appreciated! Now I know I can handle ANY crazy work schedule that is thrown at him. I am definitely ready for him to be home more, and the boys are wearing thin of the situation. McKay had regular meltdowns on Sunday afternoons when Jason left and the last few weeks Hunter has started bursting into tears over the tiniest of things saying "I want my daddy!"

Today we are off to Seattle and tomorrow we will be busy with an entire day of graduation festivities. The best part is that when we come home Jason will come with us!

***Of course then he only has one day off until he starts field training! Oh well, anything is better than the academy! ***

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Battle

I don't usually like to discuss politics, especially since so many people have such strong and varied positions about different issues. I think people have a right to their opinions and so I usually leave them alone about it. That doesn't mean, however, that I don't have my OWN strong opinions about the way things should be.
For instance, Proposition 8 in California. Half of my family lives in liberal parts of California and I have watched them battle for Prop 8 over the last few months.
Our church is under attack due to it's immense support of Proposition 8 and homosexuals are in an uproar about the suppression of their rights. I know that passing prop 8 was very important and it saddens me that we have to fight to protect the definition of a righteous family. However, I often feel that during the last days we are eventually going to lose this battle. Lately I've started to feel apathetic towards the situation. Why keep fighting when eventually things are going to go downhill anyway?
This morning during my scripture reading I came across a verse in the Book of Mormon that gave me the attitude adjustment I needed. It is Moroni 9:6 which is actually an epistle from Mormon to Moroni. He was describing the wickedness of the Nephites (who were once a favored people- sound familiar?) to his son with great sadness and disappointment. He was frustrated that they had forgotten the Lord and would not listen to him:

"And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God."

I don't like to discuss politics. But sometimes there is right and wrong and no middle ground. The battle will continue and may eventually be lost, but that doesn't mean we can stop fighting it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Scrap Camp

I was able to get away for three days and go with my mom-in-law and Angie to the Mt. River Lodge outside of Easton, Wa for a scrapbook retreat. My mom-in-law has gone every year for the last 3 years and I've always been jealous but either pregnant or nursing a baby when she goes. This year Angie and I went with her and some other ladies from Royal City. We met lots of new friends too- here's the whole group:
The lodge was beautiful and we all had ample space to make a mess and get some scrapbooking done!
When we arrived we each had an assigned table with our names and some supplies. We were able to spread out our stuff and we didn't have to clean up until Saturday.
The dining room:

Throughout the retreat we could earn raffle tickets by completing scrapbook challenges and I ended up winning a cute supply backpack and some supplies.

These are the gifts we got from the scrapbook gift exchange.
Here are some of the pages I got done. I finished 23 pages total!
We had so much fun I'm planning to go again next year. I loved the friendships and the silliness at 2 am (we got really creative after midnight!), and all the new tips I learned.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tagged- 8 Things About Me

My beautiful sister in law Angie tagged me. Here we go.

*8 TV Shows I Like to Watch: (And now with the magic of DVR are all commercial free)

1. The Office
2. Chuck
3. The Colbert Report
4. Oprah
5. Pushing Daisies
6. Crusoe
7. Samantha Who
8. Gilmore Girls

*Favorite Restaurants: (I can only pick 8?)

1. Chilis
2. PF Changs
3. Olive Garden
4. Red Robin
5. Bonefish Grill
6. Famous Daves
7. Mamas Fish House
8. Incas (Mexican)

*Favorite Places to Shop: (Again, only 8?)

1. Target
2. Kohls
3. JoAnns
4. Craft Warehouse
5. Costco
6. Walmart
7. Trader Joes
8. Whole Foods

*Things that Happened Yesterday:

1. Taught 3 voice lessons
2. Had MY voice lesson
3. Went to the Walmart in Richland AND the Walmart in Pasco (long story)
4. Laundry, laundry, laundry
5. Packed a suitcase (Details later)
6. Called my mom
7. Watched the Election Results
8. Watched Gilmore Girls

*Things I'm Looking Forward to:

1. Thanksgiving
2. Christmas
3. Jason's graduation
4. Life with my husband POST-academy
5. A trip with my hubby in the spring
6. A trip with my mom-in-law and Angie tomorrow! (No kids! Really!)
7. My mom coming to visit in December
8. Life without diapers

* Things on my Wish List:

1. A play room
2. A music studio
3. A (cough) umm... (cough) minivan.
4. A swing set
5. A couch my parents DIDN'T own before I was born
6. Longer legs
7. The metabolism of Michael Phelps
8. A girl

*8 People I am Tagging:

1. Megan
2. Morgan
3. Camber
4. Lisa
5. Alisa
6. Kelly
7. Kylie
8. Anyone who wants to!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Very Happy Halloween Indeed

And the winner is....

THE COWBOY! The pirate costume was a little too big so I decided to save it for next year. The superman costume was just plain falling apart so the cowboy costume won, especially since McKay was going to be a cowboy too.
We had a GREAT day, especially since Jason got home early!!! The Academy let him out early so he made it home by 7:00, just in time for trick or treating. We were SO happy, and he was glad he didn't miss the boys in their costumes. Plus I was lucky and the boys had both taken long naps, so they were happy and able to stay up a little late.
And another stroke of luck--it didn't rain! It actually got kind of warm! It really couldn't have been better weather.
I can't believe I got my way. I guess I should complain about things more often!
These were the pumpkin pancakes we had for breakfast using the cute spatula my mom sent me.
Here are the naughty but delicious cupcakes I made. FROM SCRATCH. (Yeah, I really got into it this year.)
Craig and Angie and baby Jack came for the night so the boys got to spend Halloween with their cousin. Such a cute little pilot!

Howdy!Getting ready to go!
We were so glad Jason's parents came too. The boys just love it when their grandparents come to visit!
The only problem with cowboy costumes? The hats. There was a slight wind that kept blowing Hunter's off and McKay just plain decided to throw his a lot.

Hmmm...How many adults does it take to take three kids trick or treating? C'mon, it's fun no matter how old you are! Is it wrong to pose in front of someone elses house? I say no. They have really good decorations....why should they go to waste?
Here are the kiddos admiring their booty!
Let's taste it now...
My little cowboys were pretty happy with their night...and pretty tuckered out too.
Next we decided to carve pumpkins since we just hadn't had time to do it yet. (Mostly we wanted the seeds.) Craig and Angie grew these pumpkins and they were huge. Perfect for carving. (Yes Jason posed like that on purpose. I thought that becoming a cop would make him more serious...apparently I was wrong.)

We let the men use the knifes and Angie and I sorted and cleaned the seeds. I'm not good with knifes...I tend to bleed a lot when I get around them.
The guys decided to carve their favorite teams, so Jason did an M for Michigan and Craig did a Y for BYU.

Well, it turned out to be a lot of fun for everyone and I'm SO glad Jason made it. That just made everything perfect.
Now, if only he didn't have to work on Thanksgiving...