February 27, 2014

My Kids Talk

1.  An interchange on Valentine's Day:
"I love you, Emily."
"I love you, Andrew."
2.  Emily, after drinking the sacrament water, said at the top of her lungs (as is her custom at church):
"Vegetables!  Num num! Deeeeeeelicious!"
3.  Andrew, out of the blue:
"I love spending time with you.  I realllllly love spending time with Emmie."

4.  Said by Emily, during church, really loudly:
"It is so quiet right now.  I need muuuuuuusic."
5.  Andrew said this when we were walking by a man in the gym.  I almost died:
"That's the biggest tummy I ever seen!!!!!  Right, Mom?"
6.  Said by Andrew, when I tried to cheer him up by showing him something Charlie was doing:
"That's cute and all, but I don't want to be happy right now."
7.  Andrew to Charlie:
"Here you go sweetheart honey little baby boy.  Here's a cheerio."
8.  Emily to Charlie and me:
"Come on kiddos!  Come follow me!"
Our "baby"
9.  Andrew has some interesting words that we aren't really sure what they mean.  He talks about today, tomorrow, and to-later.  He also has categorized all of his pants as either fuzzy or spicy.  I'm pretty sure if it has a button and zipper, it's spicy.  He'll wear whatever we give him, but he always prefers "fuzzy pants."
10.  Me: Emily, what's your favorite color?
E:  Chocolate milk
11.  Emily, after seeing Charlie push himself over in his chair and hit his head (he's ok).  She was very upset and frantic.
"Oh, Mommy!  No, look at Charlie!  Keep holding him!  Poor Charlie!  OH NO!!!!  Poor Char........ooooooooo" She was okay from that point on because during the "ooooo"she realized that his cereal was abandoned and she could eat it in his absence.
12.  Charlie's answer to every question:

February 25, 2014


I took this picture of Emily watching t.v. the other day, and immediately gasped when I saw it.
 How this immediately popped in my head, I'll never know, but she looked exactly like the elf on Ernest Saves Christmas when they're in disguise trying to get the reindeer.  Tell me I'm wrong.

February 15, 2014

Doughnuts: A Successful Failure

Michael and I decided to start a Valentine's tradition.  Every night when the kids go to bed, we'll make a new dessert that we haven't tried before.  This year was doughnuts.  We were going to do something fancy, but doughnuts were just speaking to us.
We had a really fun time making them.  It wasn't hard, except that I forgot to get a thermometer, so we basically had to guess on the oil temperature.
 We had the hardest time rolling out the dough after awhile, so Mike tossed it, pizza style.
I tried it on a little bit of dough....
And let's just say that piece didn't get eaten.
They did turn out well, but we really didn't think they were that good.  We'd rather spend the money to have other people make them for us.

Be Mine

For Valentine's Day, Mike and I covered the kids doors with hearts saying what we love about them.  It was late, and we were both really tired. 
Most of them were pretty good.
 Some were a little weirder.
 I do love that husband of mine.
 Our little family, in heart people.  Andrew made his (in the middle) and included pants and a shirt.  He is so stinking cute.

Snow Bunnies

The weather here has been so bitterly cold that the kids haven't really gotten to play outside much.  Luckily, the other day was nice enough for us to go out and play while Charlie was napping.
This may be my favorite picture of them, ever.
They love eating snow.
Daddy and the kids made a little snow family.
Mike wasn't exactly dressed for the weather.
Charlie, Daddy, Andrew, Emily, and Mommy.
Other fun we had:  being pulled in the sled, snowball fights, throwing snowballs in the tree, and finding animal footprints in the snow.

February 14, 2014

1st Birthday Fun!

Charlie had his first birthday a few days ago.  He is growing up so fast!  He had his 1 year checkup and was very healthy, except he had an ear infection.  :(  He's on antibiotics and will feel better soon.  He weighs 23 pounds (and Mike and I can attest to that - he feels like a brick) and is 31 inches long.
  We are amazed at how alert and aware he is now.  I was putting cans away in our storage room, and he toddled up to me and started trying to put them away, too.  Then Andrew and Emily made butterflies out of paper and were making them fly around the room.  Charlie went and picked up a little squeaking monkey and flew it around, too.  He is just getting so big, and is so smart.  What a cutie.
The kids helped me color some pictures and we took the monsters my very talented sister Amy made for Andrew a few years ago and put them in the kitchen.  It wasn't very fancy, but it was cute and the kids all loved it.
In honor of one of the best days in my life, February 11th, we threw a party.  That was the day I met one of the joys of my life.  The coconut cream pie from the hospital.  Seriously, I know something else happened that day, but.....oh yeah.  The pie.  It tastes amazing!  I made chocolate chip muffins also, because (and I was right) I didn't know that the kids would like it.  They definitely like the muffins, though.  Andrew helped me ice them and added sprinkles. 
Charlie liked it, but wasn't super excited about it.  He was getting tired.
His favorite part of the whole celebration was the balloons.  He has had such fun with those things.
We got him two little stuffed animals to take to bed with him.  He loves stuffed animals and gives them kisses whenever he finds one.  He is such a doll.

February 11, 2014

To Charlie

  What can I say to you, my little Charlie?  This year has really flown by.  We found out about you just when our lives were the most up in the air.  We were so excited to meet you, and you gave us something that we could definitely look forward to.  Mommy felt like she was pregnant with you forever, but to our family you came.  Our lives have never been the same.
  Charlie, how can one baby be so sweet and adventurous?  You have definitely made it into my top three favorite babies of all time.  I love when you give me kisses and snuggle up to me.  You're such a busy boy, but I really love our quiet times together.
  You do so many funny things.  I can see you looking at your brother and sister and trying to imitate the things you find hilarious.  I see your coy little smile before you do something we will definitely think is cute.  I may be biased, but you are definitely a very smart kid. 
  You look at the world as a plaything.  Everything is to be explored and tested.  You love people and observing all that is around you.
  Little buddy, before you were born we wondered what you would look like, what you would do, and what your personality would be.  It has been so fun to get to know you, and we are excited to spend many more years watching you with pride and happiness.
  We sure love you, little Char-monster.  You are such a light in our lives.

February 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday.  When I told Andrew about it, he decided to make something to send to Grandpa.   I, of course, forgot to send it.  So here it is electronically!  It's a bulldozer with balloons around it, and of course the sun and a cloud.
Happy Birthday, Dad! We sure love you!

February 6, 2014


Emily is getting so big.  She was sitting at the breakfast table the other day and I was shocked at how big she looked!  She is closer to three than two, and I'm weirded out by what a big girl she's becoming.
She's great at talking, and does it.....constantly.  She narrates all that is going on in the house, and when she does something, she says it while she does it.  "Emmie get a drink.  Mmmm, delicious.  Emmie get a delicious drink.  Now Emmie sing.  A-B-C-D-E-F-G...."  You get the idea.  It sometimes gets her in trouble.  "Hit!  Emmie kick!"
She is pretty easy to understand, but there are times when I have to laugh thinking of others trying to understand her. 
"Mommy, Emmie wan some mo.  Emmie need wagert.  And a strum!  A strum!  Emmie need a strum and a wagert.  Okay, sanks.  Emmie wan wash Dan-o Ti-go Ney-o-hoo!"
Translation:  Mommy, Emmie wants some more.  Emily needs water.  And a straw.  And a straw!  Emily needs a straw and water.  Okay thanks.  Emmie want to watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
She is such a cutie.

February 5, 2014


I used to read about the importance of kids doing chores.  I knew it was true, and that it would help my kids so much, but wasn't really sure where to start. 

Here's what I've come up with so far.  Emily still doesn't really have anything she's completely responsible for although she does clean up and fetch things for me now and then.  :)  Andrew, on the other hand, has really started to thrive with his new responsibilities.

1.  Bring all dirty clothes in from his room.
2.  Fold all kitchen washcloths and towels.
3.  Put away his clothes.
4.  Sweep the living room.
5.  Watch Charlie when I'm busy with Emily or using the bathroom.

These are just the consistent ones.  He also helps out with other things when I ask him, and he earns "stars."  All I have to do is say, "You want to earn a star?" and he will usually jump to do whatever in order to get me to draw one on the calendar.  When he gets three, he gets a treat.  Usually it's a few chocolate chips or a muffin or something.  It's part bribery, part incentive.  And it works.

I love watching him learn and grow.  Serving around the house will help him to want to serve his family, his community, his God, and his friends.  I'm glad we've started this.

February 2, 2014

Dear Past Karen

  Hey there.  It's me....you!  I have been thinking about you a lot, and wanted to let you know how things are going, and what I've learned since your time.  I think some of this will surprise you.

You are so CUTE!  Seriously, little 6 year old, you're going to hit a pretty severe awkward stage very soon that will last for quite a while.  Never fear, you will have a happy life and grow out of it....eventually.  Meanwhile, keep having fun.  Run more in the yard.  Pick your friends a little more carefully.  Don't worry so much about what other people think of you.  It really doesn't matter whether or not Kate and Stephanie whisper about you, or whether or not you bring your lunch to school or buy it there.  Just so you know, the school pizza really isn't that good anyway.  You're not missing out on anything.  Keep writing those (non-mandatory) book reports for your teachers.  Learning is fun.  Try not to forget that in junior high.
I love this picture of all the kids with Grandma Rough.  Really enjoy your time with your grandparents, little Karen.  They won't be around forever, and you are really going to miss them.  Write them more.  Learn about their lives.  I'm glad you really loved them, because I think they knew that. 
(Also, you and I both know that you had totally just wet your pants when they called you to take this picture.  It's really okay.  It was basically a onsie and there was only one bathroom.  Just wait until you are pregnant.  You will totally pee your pants again.
I remember this picture!  You really liked it, because you thought your hair looked like a shampoo commercial.  It does!  You look great.  Remember how excited you were to go to Young Women's at church?  I'm so proud of you for going every week and learning more about the gospel.  I live every day of my life grateful that I have my testimony of the Savior.  Really study your scriptures and have heartfelt prayers every day.  It'll help me to stay in the habit.  (I know you're not going to.  I'll get right on that.  I know it's 20 years later, but better late than never.)

Okay.  Now brace yourself.
  Yes, it is you.  I'm sorry to say that that little girl on the right is you.  You didn't really look so bad, but you feel out of place, and so....you look like a potato.  It won't always be so.  Cheer up, little spud. 
And not to depress you further, but Rider Strong from Boy Meets World is never going to write you back.  And ripping up his picture will not change that fact.  Also, he had a unibrow there for a while, so I'm a little confused as to why you thought he was so handsome.  Anyway, it doesn't matter.
Hey Karen, I'm really proud of you for trying out for that play, even though you were scared, especially about singing in front of people.  It led to a lot of fun times throughout the years.  I know that sometimes hearing that you are ugly, stupid or fat is really really hard.  Hearing it from those poor, self-conscious (yes, they are) "popular" kids sometimes makes you feel like that's who you are.  I know that kids can be cruel.  I look back at us 20 years ago and am sad for you.  I wish I could tell you then what I know now.  Saying it doesn't make it so.  And I'm so glad for a loving family and loyal friends who helped us through those years.  Don't worry!!!! Junior High doesn't last forever.  I promise!
  High school is rough, but you make it through battered but happy.  Yes, you do serve a mission. 
It basically changes your entire life.  You meet people who shape the rest of your life.  You serve and learn to love the Lord even more than you thought you could.  You have so much dang fun.
No, your next door neighbor doesn't actually blow up your apartment, even though he promised to.  Yes, you will survive the winters there in Montreal.  You will eat a lot of Berri Uqam pizza and poutines (that's French fries with beef gravy and cheese).  Your arteries will be worse for wear, but you would have died happily eating.  You will ride on the metro every day and see people from all countries, cultures, and backgrounds.
You will have the best of times.  You will cry yourself to sleep when people don't make the right choices.  You will long for solitude, but love your companions forever. 
You will become more bold.  You will become less self-conscious.  You will learn to make friends easier.  You will learn that Heavenly Father knows you personally.  It will make you a better person, and you will help others on the way.  In four words:  It will be awesome.
   Remember him?  You met him the day after you moved to Salem.  He's basically the best person you'll ever know.  And - spoiler alert - you get to marry that cute guy.  And he will make the rest of your life super happy.
   Now Karen, we have to talk.  You know how you hate to work out?  You hate sweating?  You won't get near a gym because people might see you and that would be terrifying?  Those are merely flashbacks of P.E.  I know it's hard to believe, but you will actually learn to love it.  There's something super cleansing and nice about working up a good sweat.  Also, no one really notices you at the gym. 
This picture was taken 50 pounds ago.  With each pound you drop, you will gain more and more confidence.  It won't just be that you are thinner.  That's not the key to happiness, like you thought when you were in high school.  Since then, I have become more me.  More like the Karen I'm meant to be. 
Your life is going to be amazing.  I've lived 32 years of it, and can hardly believe all of my blessings.  Each day brings new trials, joys, learning experiences, and laughs.  As I get older, I hope I will improve and learn how to become more of who I truly want to be.  In the meantime, I will work a little harder to be a little better, every day.  I'm proud of where we've come from and all we have accomplished so far.
Basically what I want to say, Past Karen, is that you have a lot to look forward to.


Resolution Check-in (January)

I thought I would try to stay accountable this year with my resolutions.

1.  Lose 50 pounds.  If I want to lose all that this year, I need to lose about 4.16 pounds a month.  I did end up losing a little over 4 pounds this month, but I really wasn't as on top of it as I should have been.  (Let's just say that chocolate chip cookies sound SO good on Sunday evenings....)  This month, I need to lose 8 pounds.  That's 2 pounds a week, and is totally do-able.  So I could have done better, but I did technically lose what I said I HAD to, so....check!

2. Read 50 books.  I have read 3 so far.  I need to set aside more time for reading.  That means being faster about cleaning up in the evenings and watching less t.v.

3. Read the scriptures more this year.  Better, but not as great as I should have been.  I will do better this month.

4.  Spend time with kids playing/reading each day.  We have watched less t.v., played more, and done more coloring and other crafty stuff.  They have both gotten much more creative, and I've really loved playing with them.

January=good, not great