January 31, 2014

Just a Reminder

I hate summer.  I have grown to not love winter.  It should be cold and snowy up until New Years, and then I would be content for Spring to come until September when fall takes over.
But I am really over this cold weather.  It's driving me crazy.  The kids can't really play outside, we have to bundle up like crazy, and our electric bill is way too high for our house to be this chilly.  (It's fine, I'm just whiny.)  So this is a reminder to myself come the middle of May when it's blazing hot and I'm daydreaming of cold winter nights.
Warm weather means the kids can play outside basically whenever they want.  We can leave the doors and windows open and air out the house.
We can garden!  We can do outdoors activity.  We can blow bubbles and play with chalk and splash in puddles.  We will get dirty and have a great time doing it.
The sun will be nice and warm.  We will start to look a bit less pasty.
Summer foods!  Corn on the cob, fresh garden tomatoes, peppers, mmmmmm!!!
We have two birthdays in June.  Double birthday cakes - YUM!!!!
We can play at the park!  We will zonk out at night.
Cheap produce!!!  All the zucchini and tomatoes you can ask for, straight out of my garden.  Now if only I had a green thumb.
Green grass.  Family outdoor time.  Light.
I'm going to pretend it's warm outside now.  :)

January 29, 2014


I'm not a marriage counselor, and I don't have all the answers, but I have had people comment on my happy marriage in the past and wondered how we stay this way.  This is in no means a bragging post, or a way to make myself look like a smarty-pants.  It's a reminder to myself in a lot of ways.

1.  Go on dates.  GO!  Even if it's nothing fancy or expensive, go out.  It's especially important when you have kids.  Our date nights rejuvenate us and remind us that we are the core of the family.  No matter how much we love and focus on our kids, without a strong core, the family can't be fully strengthened.  Some of our dates are "home dates" where we rent a movie and eat something fun at home, or play games, or whatever.  Some dates are doubling with another couple.  But the majority of them are just us.  I've found that dates are so important.  After all, you fell in love with each other through dating!

2.  Have you ever thought, My husband just doesn't understand what it's like to be me?  I think most everyone has thought this at some point or another.  Regardless of whether you work, stay home with little ones, stay home alone, or stay home retired, we are all prone to feel like our lot in life is hard.  My advice is to remember this - HE DOESN'T know what it's like to be you!  He has no idea what it's like to be you.  You are the only one who really gets that.   But guess what?  YOU have no idea what it's like to be HIM!  It takes mutual respect and understanding.  It's okay to tell him about your bad day, but it's not okay to be resentful of his good day or to compare "who has it worst."

3.  Have a family night.  One night a week, set aside strictly for the family.  We do this with a song, prayer, lesson about the Savior, and then an activity.  I feel like you can work together to make a great night.  The kids will see it, and you will feel it.

4.  Accept compliments.  Even if you don't feel like you deserve it.  Even if you're not wearing makeup.  Even if you just have to smile and say, "Thanks" without feeling it.  Just accept them.  When you don't, it makes the other person feel uncomfortable.  And guess what?  Your husband really does think you look cute when you wake up looking like...that.

5.  Find out what is important to the other person and then try to do it.  It's not always feasible, but when it is, it means a lot.  For instance, I know I'm way less stressed out when the house is clean, and Mike is the same way.  When I can, I like for the house to be at least in some semblance of order and for dinner to be ready or almost ready when he gets home.  It's not always possible.  Sometimes the house is a disaster and at least 3 out of the 4 of us are crying when he gets home.  But when it works out, it's great.  Or buy his favorite cereal sometimes.  Or kiss his cheek, just because.  Little things add up to be big things.

6.  Talk.  Communicate.  And do it kindly.  Don't do it to try to start a fight.  Talk about any and every little thing.  Ask important questions.  Ask silly questions.  Just talk.  You'll be amazed at what you learn about each other.

7.  Listen.  I've heard it said that the most important part of communication is the listening.  Make your voice heard, of course, but listen to what the other person is really saying without trying to think of your response or basically of anything else.  Sometimes it's not easy, and sometimes it's not possible.  But really try to listen.

8.  Don't talk bad about your spouse to anyone!  (There are rare exceptions like if you are being abused or in a bad situation like that, of course)  You will forgive your spouse, but your listener might not find it as easy to forgive and forget.  Feeding off those negative feelings is one of the worst things you can do to a relationship.  Don't give into the wives gossiping about their husbands!  It's not worth it.  Speak kindly of him. 

9.  Talk him up to your kids.  At least once a day, the kids and I talk about what a swell guy their daddy is.  It's true, so why shouldn't I help them remember that?  After all, he doesn't get to spend as much time with them as he wants.

10.  Be in love.  Remember why you love your husband/wife.  Be nice.  Be respectful.  Let him know when you need something from him.  Let him know you appreciate his sacrifices.  Don't ever let your marriage grow stale.  Just LOVE each other.

January 28, 2014

Peace, Love, and Homemade Deodorant

Yes, folks.  You heard me correctly.  Homemade deodorant.

My mother-in-law made some and gave it to everyone one time when we were all visiting.  I hesitated using it for awhile, because it seemed.....(I'm sorry, Mom) a little hippie-ish.  I got curious, though, and tried it.

And OH MY GOSH!  It works about a million times better than any deodorant I have ever used before.  It's cheaper, doesn't have any yucky stuff in it (like aluminum), and it does what it claims to do - keeps me from being stinky.  Shortly after trying it, I wore my store-bought deodorant to the gym and instantly had some issues.  (Use your imagination and be grateful you weren't there.)  So, yes, I love this DIY one.

I didn't put in any essential oils, because I didn't have any and I wasn't that fancy.  All it is is equal parts baking soda, cornstarch, and coconut oil (unrefined).  Yeah!  That's it!

Try it, I'm sure it will work for you.  Some people with sensitive skin have problems with that much baking soda, so if that's you, just increase the cornstarch and decrease the baking soda. 


really don't know how to end this very weird post.  Happy Armpits was seriously what I was thinking.  I need sleep.

January 27, 2014

It's All Coming Up Andrew

Andrew and Daddy made a birdhouse!  He was so excited!
 Andrew loves to learn, and loves to teach me things.  One of his favorite shows is "Bill the Science Man" (Bill Nye the Science Guy) and he sat us all down last week and gave us a 30 minute demonstration about cotton balls.  Did you know that they are white?  They are fuzzy? They are squishy?  They can be squished?  They are round?  That a 30 minute presentation is a long time to learn all these fun facts?  What an adorable little teacher we have.
 He loves Ed Emberley books.  He loves to sit and draw for long periods of time.  He really does a great job focusing.
 What a wonderful little kid.

Modes of Transportation

Our sweet little Charlie has been crawling for about 6 months now.  At first, it was all done military style on his elbows and knees.  It was absolutely adorable.  He still occasionally uses this mode of transportation, purely for speed when he's carrying something.
I went into his room to wake him up the other afternoon and he was holding Winnie the Pooh's hand.  Adorable.
 About a month ago, he started crawling regularly.  He still does when he gets tired but wants to get from point A to point B.
A slightly crazed look from Charlie after he got his first taste of a thin mint cookie.
 But now we're on to walking!  He learned to do it last week and mostly used it as an attention-getting device.  He would only do it when one of us was watching him, and then took such small steps it was like he was shuffling.  It was super cute, but he has now decided it's a pretty good way to get around.  He is growing up so fast, and we just adore our little man.

All About Emmie!

1.  Mike was getting her in the car and she looked at him and said, "Oh, Daddy.  So pretty!"  He WAS looking nice that day. :)
2.   Emily calls calendars "calories" and it's so cute.
3.  When she gets mad lately, she will point at whoever she's angry with and say, "YOU!!!!!!!"  I'm not sure where she gets it.  It's a mixture of adorable and annoying.  But mostly adorable, because it's said with that squeaky little voice and stubby little finger.
4.  She loves to play pretend.  When she's taking a bath, she'll say, "Oh no, this whale needs a bath" and proceed to be the whale, or the monkey, or the frog, or about a hundred other animals.  It's, you got it - cute.
5.  She has started telling on herself.  Sometimes Night-Night does it for her, but it's usually her. "Oh no, Mommy, what did Emmie do?"
6.  She used to call bananas "beenas" but has been really trying to say it properly lately and has been calling it "ba-ne-ni-nas"  Close, sweetie.  Close.
There are a lot more, but that's what I could think of right now.

As Andrew said yesterday - "Oh Emmie.  You are so cute!"

January 19, 2014

The Things Kids Say

Here's another installment of cute things my kids do/say.  You're so welcome. :)

  1.  When Mike was putting him to bed, he said, "But Dad, I still got more fun to do!"
  2.  Mike winked at him, and he turned to his little cousin and said, "Bend your eye!  Bend your eye, K!"
  3.  I said something to Mike about, "What if I gave you a million dollars?"  Andrew piped up, "Mom, there's no such thing as dollars."
  4.  Emily was crying for some reason (I think because she didn't want her diaper changed or something) and I looked at my hands and said, "Man, I need lotion."  Andrew, from the other room, said, "Ok, Mommy.  I will get you lotion right after I tie this thing for Emmie to cheer her up!"  He is such a sweet boy.

  1.  Emily, Andrew, and Mike went into the bathroom for bathtime, and she started getting really upset saying, "Oh no!  My picture!  It's gone!"  Andrew swung into action instantly and said, "It's okay, Em!  Here it is!" and put a little hand mirror in front of her.  She smiled and was happy from then on.  She apparently couldn't see the mirror without the stool. :)
   2.  She has been so insistent lately that "Emmie hasta go ta wok."  I'm not sure what work she has to go to, but she really wants to go.
  3.  Emily was crying in her bed, and when Mike went in to help her, she was shaking her blankets.  She said, "Oh, Daddy.  It's so hard to find Night-Night."  (her stuffed lamb)
  4.  Apparently Emily is a superhero.  She was running around with her arms out to her side saying, "Mommy, I a supah-hero!  Zoom!  Zoom!  Supah Emmie!!!!!"

Charlie -
  1.  He has started to try to walk here lately.  He's gotten a few steps here and there, and is so proud of himself.  He will only do it when he's sure someone is watching him.  Andrew and Emily may be even more impressed with it than we are.
  2.  He now shakes his head and says "nanananana."  This is usually when he's doing something he shouldn't be doing.  Andrew says he learned it from him.
  3.  Yesterday I dropped something and said "uh-oh!" and I heard from across the room a little "uh-oh".  He sounds so adorable when he does it, and he does it a lot. :)
  4.  He LOVES kisses.  He loves to give them, and when if I'm not showering him with enough of them, he'll press his little cheek or forehead to my lips and said, "Mmmmmm-wah."

January 10, 2014

My History

Lately I have been thinking a lot about my family and our ancestors.  This is partially due to me scanning in old family letters and pictures and partially due to my parents getting into a car accident earlier this week, resulting in lots of bruises, soreness, and a broken finger and sternum on my dad's side.  (Webster's dictionary describes this as painful.)  We are so glad they're "okay" and love them to pieces.  Here are some great finds from my grandparents on my father's side.
Some cute ones of my dad.  The bottom middle one is with his big brother, David.
I've learned a lot about my grandparents, just by looking at old letters, pictures, and the like.  My grandma had kept all the birthday and anniversary cards that he had sent her throughout the years.  Tears came to my eyes when I saw that he ended a lot of them the same way I do often to Michael "Love, Me."  It was such a simple thing, but made me feel that I knew him better somehow.
Here is a telegram she sent to her parents after she got married.  I think of the way I feel about my own husband, and again, I just feel closer to them.  Plus, it's super cute.
And speaking of super cute, here I am I on the left with my brother Aaron and sister Jeanette.  Andrew saw it and said, "Hey, it's like me and Emily and Charlie!"  I love that they have each other, just like I had my own siblings.
And speaking of siblings, here I am (hiding behind the chair) with my 3 sisters.  And we all look SO much like ourselves.  I don't know why that's weird, but we do.
ADORABLE.  I love my parents' wedding pictures.
And speaking of cute people in love, here is my grandpa's brother David with his wife Kay.  Mike and I got to see them a few years ago, and just adore them.  They were so sweet to us.
My grandpa and David.
Here is a sweet one of my grandma (Ruth - right) and her sister Mary.
I especially loved the back!  (Another one of her with her friends said, "Just a couple of cheesecakes." HA!)
My cute grandpa.  I sure miss him.
Don't you love learning about your past?!  It makes life so much more enjoyable now.

January 9, 2014


Proof that I have the cutest kids ever, in the form of a video.


January 5, 2014

Life With Kids

Baby locks are no problem when you have super skinny arms, you are super inquisitive, and you are determined to get the cookie cutters.

I walked in on this scene - Andrew reading Emily books while she bites on a coat hanger.  They each chose their outfits that day.
Charlie is such a happy boy, and such a cheeseball.  When the camera comes out, he smiles like crazy.  I took about 15 pictures like this in a row, and he would smile until I took it, then went back to normal until we took another one.  It was pretty funny.

Another one.

Did I mention he's a happy boy?

Trying to take pictures of the kids.


This was our best one.

Although I kind of like this one, too.

And, I'm not even sure what's going on here.  I'm just glad they were happy.  :)

January 3, 2014

Best of 2013

I know this is kind of picture overload, but here are some of my favorite shots from last year.  It really was a good one for our family.  We had happiness, heartache, rest, fun, messes, and all that comes with life.  We met people who opened our minds and our hearts, and lost some who left behind a hole that can't be filled, and a joy that came from knowing and loving them.  We loved each other, we loved our life, we loved others, and we truly loved 2013.