Sunday, November 28, 2010

Makes My Monday - Birthday Makeover!

To go along with my impulsive, yet long overdue, haircut and color that I got on Saturday (a promo at Ulta for $50 - Happy Birthday to me!), Abby insisted on giving me a beauty makeover when I got home. Noah got in on the act too. A rainbow pedicure, golden fingernails, purple eyeshadow, glittery pink lipstick, a tiara....I was looking good!

Of course, Abby wanted a makeover too. Noah was putting a little blush on her when Daddy swooped in and told his boy to come into the living room and watch some FOOTBALL! (Nice save, dear. I'm sure Noah will thank you one day.)

Good thing that Daddy didn't see Noah with the Hello Kitty fingernail polish earlier. Still, sporting multi-colored toenails (around the house), courtesy of my kiddos, will definitely Make My Monday.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I found out today that a friend of mine from a former life - Dixie College days, worked together at Taco Time, got married a week apart from one another - passed away. I literally felt my heart drop into my stomach as the tears started to flow.

We had lost touch over the years, but we had reconnected on facebook about a year and a half ago. It was neat to catch up, see pictures of her five beautiful children, watch the progress on the building of their new house, etc...

It seems surreal. I keep thinking of her children. The youngest one is five - just a little bit older than Noah. It's heartbreaking. And although her family has such great faith and knows they will see her again one day, I can't even imagine how much they miss her. And how much she must miss them.

I held my kids tighter today. I asked for extra kisses and hugs. I didn't get bent out of shape about the huge mess they made in the living room (again). We read a second bedtime story. I laid with Abby for an extra long time tonight because she couldn't fall asleep and sang her songs and tickled her arm. After they were in bed, instead of grumbling about doing another load of laundry, I thought about how grateful I am to have their little clothes to wash. How grateful I am to be their mom. How each day I have with them is a gift.

And for that I am truly thankful.

Friday, November 19, 2010

WHAT was I thinking?

Usually, I don't tell my kids that they are going to get shots when we go for our yearly check-ups. Honestly, because I'm not really sure of the shot schedule (which I should be) and also because I don't want them freaking out the whole way to the doctor's office.

Today, however, I knew that most likely Noah would be getting those dreaded Kindergarten shots - the same ones that I didn't know Abby would get at her four-year-old appointment until the doctor came in and said, "She'll need to get four shots today." Nice.

But today, I expected that may be the case so I thought maybe if I prepped Noah a little bit and told him that he might have to get a shot today and that if he was brave we would go to the dollar store and he could pick out TWO toys, maybe it would help to lessen the drama.

Um...nope. It didn't help one bit. He freaked out. He did calm down finally and was fine during the drive to the office and for the first part of the appointment. He was so cute with those headphones on during the hearing test, pointing to his ears. But as soon as the nurse mentioned, actually spelled the word S-H-O-T-S in the doctor's office, the boy went ballistic.

Abby needed to get one too (surprise!) so she immediately cowered behind me, gripping the tail of my shirt, tears streaming down her face.Usually, Daddy comes to these check-up appointments with us for this VERY reason. I've only held Abby for shots once when she was a baby, and that was it for me. I feel so bad that they are upset that I want to cry right along with them. (A wimp, I know.) But for today's appointment, I thought I'd be able to handle it. The kids are older. I can reason with them better. I can bribe them with dollar store toys and ice cream. It should be fine.

It wasn't.

Abby went first. I had to coax her out of the corner and wrap myself around her like a pretzel. She screamed when the needle went in, but then it was done. So much for putting on a brave face for little brother. Then with was awful. He's scrambling to hide under the chair. He's flailing his arms. He knocks me over as I'm bending down to pick him up. He was inconsolable. Poor kid. I wanted to bawl my eyes out too. I tried to laugh instead, but I could feel the lump in my throat. Why, oh why, did I not have Pat come with us? What was I thinking?

But I forced myself to stay strong. These are booster shots for heaven's sake, it's not like he's losing an arm! Get yourself together, woman!

So I did. It took three of us to hold him down, but I laid over Noah and kept telling him "It's okay. We're almost done." I even started to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". His favorite. I barely got to "Cracker Jacks", and it was over.


It took us a few minutes to recoup. Poor Abby was watching the whole thing and feeling major sympathy pains along with the sting in her arm. But it was nothing that two lollipops, a Barbie and Mega truck sticker, a trip to the Dollar Store, and baby cone with "sprinkles and candy eyes" couldn't cure.

I even got a scoop of Oreo ice cream for myself.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A little comic relief...

Noah was putting up a stink about eating his dinner...again. This has become kind of routine lately. You'd think I was trying to feed him brussell sprouts every night. That night it was chicken nachos and black beans. He wouldn't eat it.

Abby decides to enlist in the effort of trying to convince Noah to eat his food (since the bribery and threats from Mom and Dad weren't working). They are going back and forth, and then she asks him, "Noah, don't you like beans?"

He looks up from his food and says to her, very matter of fact, "Yes...I like JELLY beans!"

Oh, that boy of mine...
Chicago Trip 9/10

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Just had to share - Pumpkin Squares recipe!

I promised my sister-in-law that I would send her this YUMMY pumpkin squares recipe I found in my Oct.2009 Family Fun magazine so I thought I'd share the link here too for any of you who LOVE FALL and pumpkin treats as much as she does. They were so easy that I actually let Abby do a lot of it by herself (with supervision, of course).

Abby has been into putting on her apron and baker's hat lately and doing "a cooking show". She narrates it and everything. I may have a little Julia Child on my hands - definitely doesn't get it from me. She tried to convince me that she could put the pan in the oven too, but I wasn't quite ready to let her take it that far. I should have taken an "after" picture too of the finished product, but they were so good, we ate 'em up before I had the chance. We'll have to make them again closer to Thanksgiving along with these chocolate marshmallow pilgrim hats we made a couple of years ago - good stuff!
Since the kids are older now, maybe the process won't be quite so messy this time around...MAYBE.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's easy to forget...

A couple of weekends ago, I went to an AMAZING Time Out for Women event presented by Deseret Book. Boy, was I in need of a "time out" to recharge my battery. Between the kid who got a bloody nose during dance class the week before (that was a first!), running here and there and everywhere, my battery dying at Sonic, never-ending housework, and keeping up with school stuff, I was feeling kind of deflated and ready to be pumped up!

This year the tour centered on the infinite power of HOPE. The messages from the speakers and musicians - Hilary Weeks, Michael McLean, Amanda Dickson, Emily Freeman, Merrilee Boyack, Mariama Kallon (to name a few) - were completely inspirational. I laughed. I cried. I sang (- gotta love audience participation). And I SLEPT uninterrupted in a nice Marriott hotel room that was completely free! YAY for a friend with reward points! As an extra bonus, we got to bring donations and help put together HOPE kits (full of hygiene items & a written message of hope) for a local women's shelter during the lunch break. The goal for the event was 120 kits, but with all of the donations and women on the "assembly line", over 300 kits were made! Awesome.

Everytime I go to one of these events (this is my fourth), I take TONS of notes. I have a little Time Out journal that was one of the giveaways a few years ago - along with those cute tote bags. It's all about the free tote bag, ya know. :) I really want to remember the spiritual messages shared and "a-ha moments" that I have during the talks and performances. For me though, it's the music that always seems to touch me the most. And this time around, Hilary Weeks performed this song - one that I've listened to it on CD several times before, but to see it performed only five rows away, at this time in my life, was a whole different experience.

All the Good
by Hilary Weeks

The minutes tick by, lost in the moonlight

As the day echoes through her mind
She wasn't enough
She wonders if she ever will be
Mistakes are all she sees in the shadows of the night
But she forgets when the guilt fades from memory
She forgets about...

The good things she's done
The kind words she's said
The tiny victories that no one sees
And the changes she's made
And when the count comes in
As she's adding up the day
In the midst of the "coulds" and "shoulds"
Help her remember all the good

I've given my all
I've run until I'm weary
And I reach up every time I fall
I know who I am
I feel it deep within me
But the best of me hides
While my weaknesses all shine
And I forget until He patiently reminds me
I forget about...

The good things I've done
The kind words I said
The tiny victories that no one sees
And the changes I've made
And when the count comes in
As I'm adding up the day
In the midst of the "coulds" and "shoulds"
Help me remember

He looks on the heart
Fills in the missing pieces
And we can be sure
That He knows and won't forget

The good things we've done
The kind words we've said
The tiny victories He surely sees
And the changes we've made
As the day comes to a close
And we've done all we could
Look through the mirror of His love
And He will show us
All the good

How grateful I am for the gift of music to gently remind us of how much our Father and our Savior love us and of all the good (and potential) that They see in us.

It was just what I needed to hear.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I know, I know...I'm "such a teacher"

When I was a kid, I loved sorting through my stash of Halloween candy after a night of trick-or-treating. I'd count out all of my Snickers, Crunches, lollipops, etc...and then try to hide my bucket in my bedroom so I could dip into anytime I wanted to. Oh, that sweet tooth of mine. Must be in the DNA because now those childhood traditions have been passed on to my kids. Sure enough, as soon as we walked in from our Trunk-or-Treat on Weds. night, Abby dumped out her bucket in the middle of the living room floor and took inventory. She even counted Noah's loot. Then my inherited-sweet-tooth boy hid his bucket in his closet for two days before I realized it was missing. No wonder Noah was spending so much time in his room. Geez...

Since we're doing the homeschool thing this year, I thought I'd use the candy to our "educational advantage" and do a math activity with Abby. On Thursday morning, I had her sort through her candy again, create categories, and helped her make a simple bar graph on large tablet paper. As she sorted through those 67 pieces (which she counted exactly), we talked about words to describe the candy & wrote them on index cards for our "Adjective Word Wall" - chewy, sticky, sweet, hard, crunchy... - a little twist on the Savoring Food activity from Fishful Thinking that helps promote Emotional Awareness and Optimism:

Select various food/snacks... Eat one of the items you selected and notice all the different tastes and textures. Take turns naming out loud something you notice...Repeat this with the other foods. Take an index card and list as many attributes of the food as you can.

An activity using Halloween candy that builds math, language, and positive-thinking skills all at the same time, and it was fun too! If only all of our school activities could be like this...

Next up, I think we may need to do a lesson about SHARING Halloween candy. I swear, it was like pulling teeth to get the kids to give Mom and Dad a measly little Hershey bar.