Thursday, October 30, 2008

Frugality Part 2

I know that I showed you what I have been able to get as far as personal products and stuff using rebates but I wanted to show you just what you can do with the grocery store. You don't get tons of stuff for free like with the personal items but you can still get things for less. This is all stuff that I would normally buy and use. I don't buy things on sale just because I can get them cheap. Well, I normally wouldn't have bought the Lucky Charms and Cookie crisp but we use it on special occasions like birthdays and also for on the go snacks.

Here is what I bought today Total regular cost $63.19I paid: $23.45

I use a combination of price matching at Walmart and weekly adds plus coupons that can be found on the web. Luckily we have a stocked pantry so I can buy things when they are on sale. All the coupons are ones that can be found on the web. I'm not going to go find them all and link them up but if there is one you want let me know and I will find it for you if its still available.

  • Potatoes (reg price $2.97) price matched 5 lb bag for 99 cents
  • Libby pumpkin (reg price $1.08 per can) used a $1.00 off 2 cans coupon found on web
  • Tomato paste (reg 46 cents each) used a $1.00 off 2 hunts products coupon therefore paying me 8 cents
  • Evaporated milk (reg $1.06 a can) used a $1.00 of two cans coupon
  • 8 yoplait yogurts (reg 58 cents each) used 2 coupons for $1.00 off 4
  • Artichokes (reg $2.50 each) Price matched them for 89 cents each
  • Roma tomatoes (reg $1.00 a lb) Price matched them for 69 cents a lb
  • Lettuce (reg $1.44 a head) Price matched it for 99 cents
  • Progresso soup ($1.50 a can) Price matched it for $1.25 a can used 2 coupons that were $1.10 off each can. I only paid 15 cents a can
  • Lays chips($2.88 a bag) price matched for $1.88
  • 2 boxes of Honey nut Cheerios (reg $4.49 a box) on sale for $1.88 a box, used 2 $1.00 of a box of Cheerios coupon, total price 88 cents a box
  • 2 boxes Honey nut Cheerios, 2 lucky charms, 1 cookie crisp (reg $4.49-$4.69 a box) on sale for $1.88 used a buy 5 GM cereals and get $2.00 off
I could have price matched the cereal but sometimes I feel like if a store is offering an amazing deal like that I should go to that store, plus we had time because Caleb was in Preschool.

Makes me pretty happy! Plus gas finally really started to go down in the last 2 weeks. Today it was $2.67 at Costco..YEAH!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What a MAN!

Well, I think its pretty safe to say that Davis is potty trained! Today he has been in underwear all day while we were out and about and he just told me when he had to go and we went and he was dry the whole rest of the time. Then at home he would just come and say "AHH!" and pull at his underwear when he had to go and I would take it off and he would run in, do his business, and come back to get his underwear on! In fact he gets mad if you try to take him when he doesn't have to go.

Not bad considering a week ago he would cry at the sight of underwear!
I do have to say that both of my boys have freakishly huge bladders as toddlers and hold it for at least 3-4 hours which makes things incredibly easy. Oh wait, I mean I'm just such a great mom...he he he!!!!!!!!!!! Well, at least Davis thinks I'm funny! Cant you tell?

Updated: Perhaps I was a little hasty in my post. Today Davis has spent the day with Daddy and hes had 3 accidents....but funny thing Daddy just left and now Davis is with mommy and without being asked hes gone potty 3 times (2 of those which are number 2) So I feel I have to ask myself if maybe he is only potty mommy trained? We shall see...

On another good note, my neighbors have gone the extra mile with dinners and with watching the kids and in the past 2 days I really haven't had the contractions or tightness I was experiencing. So I think it will be a really good idea for the kids to go to CA even if I will miss them terribly!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Updates

First off:


Today the Dr had me come in for a non stress test and they wanted to just run one more test since there weren't huge contractions but a few little ones. The test they ran doesn't mean a whole lot if its positive but if its negative there is 0% chance that I will have the baby in the next two weeks. Great was negative! So for the next 14 days I am in the clear. My Dr said that I can be doing normal light activity. I cant mop my floor on my hands and knees but I can do things like cook dinner.

With things still up in the air I think the kiddos will probably end up going to CA for a couple of weeks and that should get me even a little further! I really love my family. When I first heard the bad news I called and let my parents know and I was talking to my Mom and she said that my sis in law Kate and my bro Brian would be willing to take the kids for a little bit and they would be willing to come up and stay with me and take the kids to CA and I just felt so bad. My moms response was, "Honey, were family!" My Dad beeped in so I switched over to talk to him and he said the same thing. That they will do what needs to be done and when I said, I know but I feel bad. He responded with, "we're a family." It really touched me and I'm so grateful. After everything they did to help with Caleb's pregnancy and now with Beckham it just makes me appreciate my parents even more...and makes me realize that you never really stop being a parent! And Kate and Brian are troopers for being willing to have 5 kiddos in their house!

As for a Davis update the super kiddo is 100% potty trained...only if naked at our house. If you put underwear on him its kind of a different story! He still does good but he cant help but go just a little bit in his underwear. My goal is to get him potty trained in the next few weeks so if he goes to CA he will be okay to go in underwear. We will see though! Hes amazing!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Guess what Davis has been up to....

Here are some clues....

  • Lots of liquids

  • Lots of chocolate chips

  • Lots and lots of nakedness!

That's right hes potty training! We started on Sunday not because he was showing all sorts of signs of being ready but because I am ready! Now, I know what you are all thinking, isn't she suppose to be taking it easy but I don't want to stop because hes doing so good and when I started last weekend I didnt know what I would find out at the doctor. Im so proud of him because hes picking it up so fast! Well, let me rephrase that; if hes totally naked at home he doesn't have any accidents. In fact just tonight he did his first #2 in the potty! Now if we put underwear on that's a different story. He will start and stop himself and finish on the potty but he always starts in his underwear. Ive even taken him into town twice in underwear and the first time he was great. Then today we did the park and well that's just a little to much distraction and he had A LOT of accidents. Hes even been dry during his past two naps when hes waken up.

And because we are mean and decided its time for him to be a big boy we also moved him into a big boy bed two nights ago and he loves it! He will even nap for me in his bed!
Hes such a good easy going kid. Its not even in his nature to fight me at going potty or a big boy bed because hes just so easy going. Maybe its easy too because hes the second so he sees Caleb do all these things! I dont know why but I know that Im glad hes mine!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Beckham Update

I had my 28 week apt this week and it was long and unpleasant!
  • First I had to do my blood glucose test. Yuck! I hate that super sugary concentrated orange drink they make you drink. Turns out it was to high. This was the case with Caleb too. I think its because Ive been less active since I have to take it easy and so my body does not regulate my blood sugar as well. I have to go do the long 3 hour test Sunday Morning at 6:00 to see if I really have gestational diabetes or if it was just a false test.
  • Then I got my flu shot
  • Then the Dr insisted on checking me (something about how if you are on Progesterone they have to check you) and the good news is I haven't dilated, the bad news is that my cervix is soft so all of the contractions have made some difference. So in two weeks I get checked again to see if any more progress is made and I have to start having non stress tests to see if I am contracting harder than I think.
  • He also couldn't find the babies head when he was pushing around to see where the baby was and he said he thought that it might be really low and engaging already. When he checked me he said it was really low, not as low as he thought but enough to give some concern.
So, not my best visit to the OB! To give everyone a little perspective...

*This Saturday would be the day that I was admitted to the hospital with Caleb. The Dr said today that we really start to hit the important weeks here because if I'm going to preterm most women have the most problems now.
*To give you another perspective 3 days before Davis was born (which would be in 10 weeks from now if this were his pregnancy) my cervix was hard as rock and I had him 3 days later.
*At this point Becks is about as long as a dollar bill and weights about 2 pounds. His little fingers and toes will be as thin as a piece of uncooked spaghetti. Babies born this week do survive but with serious health issues and usually end up staying in the NICU for 12 weeks. They still have a high risk of brain bleeds at this point which leads to handicaps.
*In 2 weeks at 30 weeks the baby has a much better chance of being able to function normally even though they will be small for a long time and have some respiratory issues.
*Every day that Beckham stays in usually equates to 2 days he would have to spend in the NICU

Where do we go from here...I'm pretty sure that my house will get messier (if that's possible...Caleb told me today that the playroom is HUGE mess!) I will lay around more trying not to go on full bed rest. I'm pretty sure that the plan is to check me in two weeks and if I have progressed further I think they will put me on some sort of drug like nifedipine and I will probably have to go on full bed rest. I plan on being a very good girl so that we don't have to do that!

Please keep Beckham in your prayers, we really don't want to see him for 8-10 more weeks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Urban Cowboy
These Star Wars people show up to all sorts of events in St George (No, we dont get it either). Caleb has started to have a fascination with all things Star Wars (he reminds me everyday that I NEED to buy him the Millennium Falcon) He was SO excited to get this picture taken.

Our fearless leader Caleb had us out of there in 12 minutes!
Our friend Julie came with us!

They had a corn slide where the kids came down the slide into a whole bunch of corn. It was funny to watch Davis because it was a drop into the corn and just would PLOP down onto his bum.

The ride Caleb was on was really cool It was so smooth and he loved it!

Oh man, Im one lucky girl...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thanksgiving service project in October...

Okay I am SO excited! John and I have wanted to do something to help our troops and the people of Iraq and our friend Sarah told us about this opportunity (below). I did want to say that I called our Post Office and found out that you can stop and get the flat rate box, come home and fill it (it has to maintain its original shape) and then take it to the post office and they will send it to Iraq for $10.95! They need all sorts of things like kids clothes, toys, hygiene supplies. I am so excited because now I know what to do with a lot of the free medicines and hygiene supplies we have got through deals! Anyway, I think its a great way to serve. I mean I know things are kind of tight around here but really our tight is abundance to most people of the world and I know we all can find some things at home to share with these people. It will all arrive in Iraq around Thanksgiving and what a great way to show our thanks for our country.
The deadline to ship is Saturday though! Here is what Sarah wrote...

I have an acquaintance, Kelly, whose husband is stationed in Iraq right now, by a city named Bartolla, a Christian town. Here's what he had to say about the city and it's people (from Kelly's blog).

Really, though, yesterday was the best day of the deployment for me. To have an entire town swarm us thanking us and wanting to chat was incredible. The older women did this really high pitched howl/whistle thing and other people banged drums and were just having a party. It was great. The best part was how I told you that they take care of their own town. No cops or army, just beefed up neighborhood watch. I have no issues fighting to help those people. They know what freedom is and anyone who tries taking it from them is an enemy of mine. I wish I could better explain how it was to be with those people. I got watery eyes walking the street trying to comprehend the huge difference in the people there and the people in Mosul.

Mosul is the neighboring town and things are not going so well there. You may have heard about it in the news. The Christians in Mosul are fleeing for their lives. They have been told that they need to leave or be killed. Once again from Kelly's blog:

As some know, by talking to me or just by watching the news, the Christians in Mosul are in trouble.. On the speakers that surround the Mosques, instead of the regular prayers being recited every 5 hours, now there are warnings to any and all Christians the leave the city or be killed. Tyler went back to the Christian city Bartolla, that neighbors Mosul. The same city he visited a couple of months ago when he was overwhelmed with the feelings of hope, love and gratitude they had for the US soldiers. The city has changed. Drastically. Most Christians from Mosul have now gone there to get away from the persecution and murderers in Mosul. There are multiple families per home, and they're running out of food, clothing, and medical supplies.

Tyler asked Kelly for help and she in turn has asked all of us to help. You can get all the info here and here. But basically it's this:

At any post office, you can ask for Flat Rate Boxes. To send the largest size box, no matter the weight, it's only $10.95. If you can, get a couple of these and just fill it with stuff you don't need at home. Old clothing that your kids have grown out of, unused tooth brushes, unused tooth paste, band aids, canned goods, even seeds for planting, just anything. This would be an incredible way for you to have a family project and have your kids understand how important it is to give.

Have them draw pictures- and even stick some colored paper and crayons in the boxes as well.
Anything you send will help more than you could ever imagine. If you send a box, 1, 2, 3.. post below. Let's see how many we can get over there.

Please send to:

SPC Tyler E. Adams

C/O Chaplain CPT Pratel
HHC, 1-8 IN BN
UNIT # 43179
APO AE 09334

Please send your packages no later than Saturday, October 25th. With this date, they will have all the boxes by the middle of November and be able to take them to Bartolla and start organizing distribution.

Updated: Its amazing how much you can fit in those boxes! We had so much fun getting ours ready and just kept finding little things that we thought would be good to send and just shoving things down and making more room. I was so proud of Caleb and how into it he got!

Our dentist was also willing to donate toothbrushes and toothpaste so dont be afraid to ask for donations! Hmmm, I wonder if I called a hotel if they would donate soaps and shampoo...what am I talking about my box is full but if anyone else needs and idea!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Im REALLY going to do it!

I have always wanted to do photography. I just wasn't brave enough for the longest time. Finally I took a class in Seattle and my parents gave me a really great camera for Christmas...and then the world went digital on me. Its hard to do photography using film in a digital world. So I put it on hold got married, kids, Johns been in school, now the time is bad in the economy but John and I have talked it over and we both know that it will be good for me to follow my dreams now, even in the midst of childbearing and small children! Not to sound doomsdayish either but I know that if anything were to ever happen to John this is what I would want to do to support my family. Flexible hours and can be worked around my time.

Well, I still have to wait a little because Ive been doing a bunch of research on cameras and the one I want is the Nikon D80....which retails at Costco for $819.99. So...I guess not quite yet since we will buy it with our tax return this year. But that just means I have a lot of time to read and learn, which I have been doing for the last 2 weeks or so. I also have been working on learning how to photoshop photos in Elements since photography now does mean digital editing. Here is a picture (I dont take credit for the picture, its one of the ones we had taken when we did our family pictures) that I worked on using lighting effects and some other little tricks...

First off...isn't Caleb DARLING! I still need to learn how to edit things out, like the blue thing in the background, but like I said I'm just learning and I was practicing lighting this time around.

I'm not shooting to be a REAL professional right now, perhaps someday when we can afford all the right lenses to go with my camera, but for now I want to be good enough to capture our family's happy life and also to provide affordable pictures to families who cant really pay more than $50-$100 for family pictures. Plus its how I want to be able to pay for Christmas each year is by doing fall and Christmas pictures for people. I just want to do the shoot and then give them a CD with all their pictures on it so they can use them on their blogs, send them to family, and print what they want.

I'm SO excited that its really going to happen...and I cant get enough of what the web has to offer me in terms of learning now, so when January comes and I can buy my camera I will be ready!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Family Pictures

We had some family pictures taken and some of them turned out so cute. I say some because 6 1/2 months pregnant and family pictures- NOT CUTE! Just kidding! Anyway, some are for our Christmas cards and also to change up for our blog during the year so I cant reveal to many just yet. Here are a few that are in our header now so you can see them bigger...
I LOVE THIS PICTURE! John is such an amazing Dad and I just feel like you can feel that in this picture. Our boys love him so much and they are truly enamored with everything to do with Daddy. Especially riding in Daddy's truck. What I love the most is how much they are like their Daddy. Both of our boys have such sensitive hearts. Want an of Caleb's friends said something that hurt his feelings and Caleb told me that the "words his friend said hurt his heart."

John is all man but he knows how to feel deeply and be aware of others around him. That is one of the things that I fell in love with the most about John. Hes caring and he thinks deeply on things. I love that our boys are learning from their Daddy and I know that one day that means that they too will be amazing Fathers and Husbands!

Monday, October 13, 2008

If you thought you knew how frugal I was....

I have kind of a reputation in my family for being frugal, I LOVE a good deal! I mean if you saw how little we lived on during college you would be shocked. We make more now obviously but there is still a part of me that feels like if I can get stuff for less, than I can get more of what I need and want. First let me show you the deals I have snagged in the last two weeks or so and then I will get boring and tell you how I got them! All of the prices have the sales tax figured into them so it the cost after sales tax is calculated in.Everything you see in this picture was free, except I paid 25 cents for the aspirin. Plus I have another weeks worth of women's personal products that I didn't want to display.

Walgreen's PAID me $.62 to buy this

Walgreen's PAID me $3.59 to buy this

Just his week at Rite Aid I got all of this (around $95 worth of medicines) for about $4.50 since you have to pay the tax but then I get 1% cash back on our credit card. That's like the cost of the one Triaminic in the picture, which happens to be my favorite cold medicine for the kiddos, and then I got the rest for free!

I found the blog Being Frugal is Fabulous and I'm telling you she has helped me find some great deals. I haven't become one of those that gets 6 newspapers and cuts out coupons. I mostly go for the deals that she can find when something is on sale, with an in store coupon, with Internet printable coupons, or a rebate. The best deals is when she gets you all of them, that is when you are getting paid to buy stuff! I do most of the shopping at Walgreen's and just this week I did my first Rite Aid rebate purchase. Some people find rebates annoying but at Walgreen's they will give you an additional 10% if you load it onto a gift card, these are reloadable so they don't take long to get your money back. Well, gift cards can be used to pick up prescriptions and since my prescriptions cost $70 a month right now and Caleb's asthma medicine costs us about $20 a month I just buy the stuff, redeem the rebates, and then use the card to get our prescriptions.

All the stuff you see in the first picture mostly comes from free samples that I order and get delivered to our mailbox (keep in mind I haven't even been doing this for 3 months). The other stuff is things that Walgreens offers FREE every month though their rebate program. I originally started to do this to help add to our Personal emergency supplies but I don't think I will ever have to buy shampoo, toothpaste, or shaving cream again. There are tons of shampoos that you can get for free and I ran out of shaving cream and now I just use the free shampoo to shave with and it works great.

Some of you may say but will you use all of that? The honest answer is no. But some of it I bought because I know some people who need it, so it now will go in their stockings for Christmas or I will just give it to them. Or how cute would it be if a friend was sick to take them a can of soup and a box of medicine. In reality though we will use most of that medicine this winter and what we don't use we will have in case of an emergency.

So there you go...if you are interested I would totally check out the blog...its on the right side of my blog. If you have questions shes great at answering them or I am totally willing too. It does take some time and at first I was not very good at recognising a good deal but now I not only look at what she can offer but I also can look at the weekly adds and find some deals for myself. It just takes some practice and a lot of organization since I think they do these rebate programs hoping you forget or things slip though the cracks.

Don't think this is just limited to these things too. I still price match each week at Walmart and there are coupons on the Internet for food. Just this week I bought food and paid $11 and saved over $20. But this post is way long enough as it maybe that is for another day....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How the economy is affecting Christmas this year...

Ive been around a lot conversations where when discussing the economic state of things people have expressed how things are going to be a lot leaner for Christmas this year, myself included. Ive been doing a lot of thinking on that because yes, there probably will be less under trees this year, but I think Ive come to the conclusion that I don't think its a bad thing.

I know for John and I at least this economic recession does have us worried. In fact it has us so worried that we have found ourselves on our knees more, praying for wisdom and to be taken care of during this hard time. We have felt so much self-reliance in the past that we now are coming to a point where we are remembering that what we have is really a blessing and that we need to be relying on our Heavenly Father and our Savior for everything and not boasting in our own strength and wisdom.

I have found that as I think of gifts I want to give to our friends and our family, because there is less money to spend, I'm giving them more thought. I'm making things, we had a garage sale to add to our Christmas funds, I'm shopping sales and planning ahead of time. With less money I'm putting more into the gifts that were giving and its making them so much more meaningful. Its making me look forward so much more to giving gifts and the joy it brings.

We also are learning that some of our "needs" are really wants. Each year Desert Industries takes nice toy donations and sets them aside for a night where needy families can come and shop for Christmas for their children. Each year we choose some toys that we can do without and clean them up nice and take them down. Its amazing that this year, when there is a fear of having less, I'm finding I want to donate more. We are learning to do without as much and wanting to share more for those that are in worse circumstances that ourselves.

I guess that's what I have been thinking about the most, is that Christmas is a time for Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards men. I wish there was more peace on earth but I also find that my heart is filled with more compassion as I see those around me suffering and in need. Our Savior was born into the most humble of circumstances and I feel that this year perhaps being more humble as a country ourselves, we can be more in tune with what the real meaning of Christmas is.

Regardless of what is under our tree this year, I know that we have grown closer as a family. We definitely have grown closer to our Savior and our Father in Heaven. We will be anxiously waiting for Beckham to join us and the joy that a new life brings. We just appreciate all the things we do have so much more because we are learning to simplify and remember what really matters...Faith, Family, Friends.

So will there be less this year...I'm starting to think that there will be so much more this year and that this will be one of the most meaningful Christmas' ever!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

7 random facts

I was tagged to post 7 random facts about me that most people don't know...
  1. Most people know this but it is always gets a funny reaction. I did not get into Ricks college (the old JC that is now BYU Idaho) but I did get into BYU, which I did not want to apply to because I was sure I would not get in but my Dad insisted that I apply to at least 2 schools. Good thinking Dad, but seriously who doesn't get into a JC and then gets into a very competitive university.
  2. I was an avid hockey fan growing up
  3. I was missing a baby tooth and a permanent tooth and now have an implant that I got when I was 16. And they removed a tooth from under my cheek bone.
  4. When we moved to St George my credit score was 816 and I'm very proud of this. I got a credit card my Freshman year of college and my Dad told me it had to be paid off at the end of the month. It took me a whole year to find out that it really didn't have to be paid but that they would charge you interest. Luckily though I had been on my "own" long enough to know the wisdom in never carrying a balance.
  5. I cant spread my toes...seriously its like I have no muscles in my toes. John can practically open a jar with feet but I cant move my toes a millimeter.
  6. There are so many things I still want to be when my kids grow up...A district Attorney, a interior designer, landscape architect run a little tea place, run a Bed and Breakfast (this is John and my retirement dream), have a little florist shop....
  7. We are thinking of buying me a really good camera with our tax return so that I can start doing photography out of our house this spring.
  8. BONUS fact: I have only met one other Mormon girl besides myself that HATES the Twilight series. Granted the first book was okay but I thought they would get better and I hated them, the way they made me feel...No I will never read the 4th and no I wont ever see the movies. Please don't hate me for this fact either since I know I'm like the ONLY one in the world besides my friend Mandy.
Oh, I tag (only if you want to) Sarah, Mom, Karey, Dianna, Kate, and Stefanie

Its starting to feel like fall...sort of

Its been weird to see all the fall stuff out since its like still in the 80's and we have even had some days in the 90's. But look here's proof...Our tumbleweeds are changing colors!

Other ways we know fall is here...
  • Stuffy noses
  • sore throats
  • Caleb is back on not only his steroids but also breathing treatments. You have to feel sorry for the poor guy he HATES taking it! I read the side effects and there is like 20 and they are all nasty! Poor guy, but a boy has to breathe...
*How do you know you have lived in the desert for to long... When you put long sleeves on Davis he tugs at them saying "ouch!" and when you tell Caleb to go put some pants on he chooses Davis' (which do fit in the waist but come down right below his knees) because he doesn't like things that "go all the way to my feet."

Lastly and very random we got a call from someone who was calling in behalf of AIG insurance trying to sell us stuff and I asked aren't they having financial issues?
"No they are not!"
Me:"Didn't the government just have to bail them out?"
"No they did not!"
Hmmm...I definitely think we are not interested! Do these people ever take accountability!?! I mean its not like it wasn't headline news or anything!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Out of the mouth of my babe

Story #1
Today while trying to negotiate for something Caleb wanted and nagging over and over I finally said, "Your BIG MEAN MOMMY says no!"

He looked at me shocked and said, "you're not my big mean mommy, you're my big NICE mommy."

Im smiling inside that my 4 yr old thinks I'm nice even when all I say all day is NO (or so it seems).

Story #2
We were in the car listening to President Uchtdorfs talk and he was talking about Hope. I didn't think Caleb was really listening and so when we were almost home he said, "Mom do you know what the ultimate power is?"

I was expecting some answer like He-man since he uses his sword and says, "I HAVE THE POWER!" I just said, "no what it is Caleb." He beaming looked at me and said, "Its Hope!"

Story #3
At dinner tonight John asked Caleb how old he thought Daddy was and Caleb said, "15"
Then he asked how old he thought Mommy was and Caleb said "40!"

Story #4
I couldn't help myself because I found this to be SO funny! I got Caleb all ready to go get his flu shot today and he was ready and brave. When we went in the nurse asked for who was going to go first to sit on my lap. Caleb said "I will!" I'm not sure he was registering at this point what a shot was. He has siked himself up so much that he was not prepared in the least bit. So she jabbed it in and he just crumpled to tears. I gave him a big hug and told him he was brave and he looked at me with anger in his eyes and said, "Yea, but Mom SHE (glaring at the nurse with disdain in his voice) hurt me!" He then got down and shot nasty looks at the nurse the rest of the time we were there. She was kind of a raunchy nurse but his shock and indignation just killed me!

Lastly here is a cute picture of the kiddos. I made these when I was like 6 or 7 and I totally remember loving this art project in school. My mom laminated them and kept them of course. I got them out this year and the kids love to hide behind them and chase each other around the house "scaring" each other!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

WARNING: very long and introspective!

Please don't feel obligated to read this. This blog is in essence my journal and so I have some things that I dont just want to write about but NEED to write about and now this is a safe place for me to write about them. A lot of it is going to be very personal but Ive never been one to shield my true feelings. I use to be embarrassed about this but since marrying John I have come to appreciate this much more about myself since it is one of the things that he loves about me the most. But I'm sure this post may be long and boring for some of you so please feel free to move onto lighter blog reading...I wont be offended!

Growing up I wasn't exactly a tomboy but I did like to have boys for my friends much more than girls. Not for the reasons most people would believe either, I was a VERY late bloomer, who wasted no time in catching up might I add :) Anyway, I just couldn't stand the pettiness of girls. They drove me crazy with their mind games, gossip, and most of all their need to put others down to make themselves feel better (before I offend all of my friends, I am generalising to my experience with the girls at my school). I did find some good friends that didn't play into this as much as others did and they were my saving grace through High School.

I couldn't wait to be an adult where I felt all of this would just go away. That's one of the things that I loved about BYU so much was that even though there were thousands of girls with thousands of talents that I may not have had it didn't matter. For once I found girls that didn't feel the need to try to put you down to boost themselves up. They were just nice! They were even (gasp) happy for you when something went right for you or something fantastic happened to you. It was like freedom I never had found and I loved it! I still had tons of guys for friends but I also had tons of girls for friends too.

Perhaps BYU gave me a false impression of what life would be like, it seemed that HS was a thing of the past. One of the hardest adjustments that I have had to make as an adult is that not everything can be talked out, not everyone wants to solve problems. I can honestly (and proudly) say that when I left High School, I LEFT High School. I cant think of one time since HS that I have done something that I thought might hurt someone else's feelings on purpose. Now, I'm not saying that I have never hurt anyones feelings since then but I have never done it intentionally. I can also say that I have never been not happy for someone if they got something that I wanted. For example, I had a lot of friends who got married before me and I was never not happy that it had happened to them and not me. Heck my friend Rachel and I shared crushes in college and when something kind of fun would happen for her with one of those boys I never once was angry and I know she felt the same way because we would totally share and squeal with each other over things like this. (Maybe it helped that Rachel was raised with 7 brothers and no sisters)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that for some reason I have not been asked in this life to deal with jealousy, envy, and spite as a temptation. In fact I have been blessed with a very tender and sensitive heart (don't think I'm not aware of the problems and temptations that I do face, I'm just saying these aren't some of the crosses that I have been asked to bear). So its hard for me when things happen or when I encounter people who, in my opinion, use and manipulate situations that are innocent and try to for whatever the reason turn things around. Ive experienced this with two specific groups that I have in mind that I have encountered at different times in my adult life, that no matter how hard I tried there was just no solution to walk away from the situation with it actually resolved. In fact it seemed the more you talk the worse things get.

Its very hard on me and very hard on my tender heart. If you know there are people who do things on purpose to hurt you, how do you deal with people like that? I just cant seem to come up with any solution that works and Ive been trying to figure out that balance between being Christlike and continuing to put myself, and now our children in situations where I know some people may just not have the best intentions.

Whats even more frustrating is both groups also have done the exact same thing in trying to turn the situation around and blame you for the exact same that they themselves cant deal with. I remember studying this in my MFHD classes I just cant come up with the term right now but in essence its mirroring. For example one of these groups that I have in mind was a houseful of girls in my Seattle singles ward who in my opinion loved and thrived on drama. When I did try to finally talk things out with one of the girls she accused me of purposely doing things to cause drama and stir up trouble. In this situation is was laughable because it was so obvious but sometimes its not just that black and white.

Its always been my opinion to not go and tell everyone the situation but then others don't always play by those rules and so you wonder if others are only getting one side of the story and who knows what that side is. My wise friend Amy from Seattle once said, that "its a mighty thin pancake that doesn't have 2 sides." That's always stuck with me and I try to always remember that when I hear things, but still assumptions are always made. Perhaps that is one area where I struggle more...

See, whats driving me crazy is that this all sounds like that HS drama again that I felt I had left behind or at least should have! Isn't that one of the freedoms of being 30! I cant believe that as an adult I'm having to deal with issues like this and its driving me crazy! What are my obligations to people like you just cut them off entirely as not to disturb the feeling of rest and peace that I try so hard to cultivate in our home? Perhaps this is another area where I am weak is that I open myself up so much to people around me that I cant close parts of me off when they are around. So no matter how hard I try, these people disturb my feelings. I cant keep them emotionally at arms length and just put on a brave face. Ive never been one to pretend or hide my real feelings.

Anyway, I guess I just needed to vent these feelings off. To throw these questions and my problems to the expansive world of the World Wide Web, to not let them fester inside and cause my body to contract. See that right there shows how deeply I feel things. My heart feels things so deeply that it causes a physical reaction in my body.

Until I am perfect I will continue to pray for the ability to be both kind and wise at the same time as the Savior was when approached by people who had malice in their hearts. He had such a gift for not causing problems but just laying things to rest in such a simple and perfect way.

Its funny how one thing such as openness, honesty, and candor can be such a gift, as it is in my marriage to John. Tenderness of heart and pure intentions can be a gift to my children and to a friend who is in need. But then in a situation like I find myself in now it is not only the catalyst for getting me into something that seemed so straightforward and is then used against me as a weapon....

I guess I just have to remember that one day I will have to stand before God and be judged according to what is in my heart, for only he knows. And in that day it wont matter what others thought but only that I feel and my Heavenly Father and Savior feel that I have done my best, with my best intentions of heart.

Updated: At first I was reluctant about his post but now I'm so glad that I did since I received so many answers to the questions that I pose in here. Its a miracle that is now documented in this simple blog of ours. Thank you Elder Hales for being aware of me and my struggles months ago. I love Conference and all that it offers us!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lets have a moment of silence please....

Yes, its so sad but we have sold our BYU Homecoming tickets. We did it for a variety of reasons...Ive had some contractions and also just to save the money since things are so freaky with the economy right now. We know its for the best but that doesn't mean we cant pout about it right?

If only they didn't have to be so stinking good it would lessen our pain a little bit. What if they go undefeated this year and we could have said we went to the Homecoming game that wonderful 2008 season....

I think I'm going to go soak in the tub and cry to a sad movie

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Confessions of a Scaredycat

I have tried for years to put on a brave face but those who know me really well know that I am terrified of being alone at night. Ive been like this for as long as I can remember . Please no words of comfort like, "Fear can keep you up all night, but Faith makes one nice pillow..." Ive heard them all and its not God I'm afraid of at night its men and what they do with their agency because lets be honest, sometimes bad things happen to good people...Plus just in case some of my sarcasm doesn't come across in type, while this is a real problem, I'm poking fun at myself here...

The first thing I can remember that might have started this "problem" is when I was about 6 and at my friend Penny's house, who had older brothers. They were watching Friday the 13th and we were playing dolls in the corner. I wish my Mom had been there to tell me to look away you REALLY don't want to watch this but I was 6 and not very smart at the time and well it was.....terrifying but I couldn't look away!

The second thing I can come up with was a playground rumor that the Night stalker (serial killer in so cal in the 80's) had struck in my neighborhood. I'm not sure if this is really true but it really stuck with me. I'm sure my parents thinking they were helping me as a child told me he never went into houses where the door or windows were not already open. Since ours were always locked I had nothing to worry about right? At least I know where my fear of sleeping with a window open comes from, much to Johns dismay, and let me tell you if I even suspect a door has been not locked I have to check. Sometimes, twice.

Then we moved out to Brea where we lived by the foothills. See in my mind I thought, shoot there is only one house between ours and the hills, would they stop at our neighbors or come to the bigger house next door? It didn't help that I have one very vivid memory of a helicopter with a searchlight looking at those hills by our house one night.

Then there was the coyotes that hunt at night and no matter what we did (music, my mom singing to me) you just cant block out that sound of barking and yipping...oh yeah and one of my friends went into a very vivid description of how coyotes hunted so with my imagination I could see the hunt in my mind...oh and I lost quite a few cats to those coyotes too.

Then there was the time I started to walk back from my friend Joni's house (if I remember right Mark was here with me on this one so it just wasn't me) and her older sister and boyfriend were parked across the street, doing whatever in the dark so I couldn't see who it was. They saw sweet innocent little me and he decided to say, "Hey little girl want a piece of candy." In a deep scary voice. I did exactly what I had been told. I went right back into my friends house and called 911...on her sisters boyfriend.

So somewhere around 14 or 15 I stopped babysitting, most people thought it was my busy social calendar but actually I was just to scared to do it anymore!

Why do I tell you all of this, just to help explain that all of this explains my insomnia through the years. Its like I think I have to be my very own ADT. No burglar is going to catch me sleeping innocently! When I went away to college I moved into the 3rd floor of a building of like 300 girls and I was in the middle room on our floor...its the best year of sleeping Ive EVER had!

NOW for the REAL point of why I told you all this....Normally I don't wake up when John goes to work early but now that I'm pregnant and peeing every 2 hours I wake up a lot. So I told him no more leaving before 6 because I just cant take it right now. Due to NO fault of his own, his boss said they weren't going for a bid and then changed his mind yesterday, and the bid had to be delivered around 8:30 so he had to leave for work at 3:30. This is still a time when I wont sleep if I'm alone.

Instead of staying in bed I just get up and work on some things. Unfortunately Caleb also woke up so I told him to go crawl in our bed and I would be there soon, thinking he would go back to sleep on his own. No luck so I bravely decided today is the day, I WILL go back to sleep too.... On my way in I check on Davis and come out and there is the biggest blackest weird bug on our wall, like a mixture between a beetle, spider, and cricket. Well, I know I wont sleep with that crawling around. So in my tired 4 in the morning mind I get out the fly swatter to kill this thing. Direct HIT! Where the heck did it go!!?! I couldn't find the stupid bug anywhere. I knew there was no chance if I didn't find this thing for me to go to sleep, so I keep searching. All of a sudden I feel a crunch under my heel! I scream and wipe my foot on a towel...still no bug. I know I stepped on it but its disappeared again, but seriously I was not worried at this point because what bug could survive under the heel of a woman 6 months pregnant!

I climb confidently into bed with Caleb (leaving a few lights on for extra security) and about a minute later the coyotes in our neighborhood decide to go in for a kill! Honestly! I have heard them only once since we moved in WHY does it have to be this morning!

Caleb is scared and he cuddles up to me and says, Mommy I'm so scared. I in my very strong Mommy voice tell him there is nothing to worry about and NO reason to be scared....He falls asleep kicking me and swinging his arms all over while Beckham kicks me and swings his arms all over inside and I stay awake, their very own ADT alarm and don't fall asleep until somewhere around 6:30...which is when Davis decided to get up this morning!