Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Adventures of Burtle the Turtle

I am adding an explanation to this entry. Catherine's kindergarten class has a "turtle" (a stuffed animal) that is sent home with a different kid each weekend. They get to take Burtle (her name) with them and document what they did together. Catherine was ecstatic! She was so excited to have burtle with her. Here is what she entered in the Burtle Journal.

After school on Friday, Burtle and I rode on my bike to Learning Express. She rode in her backpack and I peddled. We went to Learning Express with my mom, my sisters Julianne and Catherine, my brother Adam, and my Nana and Grandpa who were visiting our family this weekend from Utah. Burtle loved going to Learning Express and she liked trying on bracelets. That night at my house, Burtle had some pizza with us and then watched a movie – The Trouble with Angels. After the movie, Burtle snuggled with me in my bunk bed. We slept on the bottom bunk. My sister Julianne sleeps on the top bunk.

Saturday, we went to the Oil Ranch with my family and Nana and Grandpa. Burtle had lots of fun as she got to feed the cows, ride the ponies and the train, and ride on the Indian swing. My dad pushed us on the swings as we held onto a big bean bag. Oops, we even fell off the swing. But I was okay and so was Burtle. We also went to the petting zoo to feed the sheep and chase the chickens. Before we left the Oil Ranch, we got to pick a pumpkin and Burtle got one too!

Saturday night, Burtle went with us to La Centerra and Johnny Rockets. Burtle loved watching the waitresses dance to the music. I had chicken strips, French fries, and a chocolate milk shake. It was delicious. We even got a balloon. After dinner, we went to some of the stores. Burtle had fun with me looking some clothes at Limited Too. She liked the sparkly shoes, but they did not have her size. Back home that night, we went right to bed. We were so tired!

Sunday, Burtle helped Grandpa make pancakes for breakfast. I like my pancakes just with butter. My sisters love to have maple syrup on theirs. We went to church and I wore a pretty outfit – a white shirt with diamonds on it, a black velvet skirt, and black fancy shoes. At church, we had the children’s program where all the kids presented in front of their parents. I read my part, that “we can read our scriptures with our mom and dad.” In our primary (kids) class at church, we had some yummy cupcakes. Burtle had one too! She liked the frosting. After church, we had dinner at home with the whole family – lasagna, salad, corn, and bread. My favorite was the garlic bread.

It is Sunday night now and we have been reading stories and getting ready for a new week of school. Burtle will sleep with me on the bottom bunk tonight. And tomorrow, she will get to ride with me on my bike back to school. I love riding my bike to school since I love to see the beautiful lakes and look for ducks on the way.We had a great time this weekend. Thanks Burtle for all the fun!

Of mice and men

It has been fairly entertaining lately listening to my nieghbor's mice woes. They have had 4 (yes, four!) mice caught in traps. Eeeeewwwwww! It was nice knowing as she spoke that our mice woes were in the past. . . or so we thought.

Trent's parents are in town. We have had a fun, long day. Trent and I were both watching TV and on our computers and they were dozing, but pretending not to be. They finally decided to call it a night. They said goodnight and headed up the stairs to our guest room. Not 3 minutes passed and they were both back downstairs.

Nana said, "I think there is a mouse in our room! We can hear it scratching." We all ran upstairs and we could all hear it. We weren't sure if it was behind the bed, in the nightstand or in the wall. After placing towels over all the appropriate doorways, we ventured to look and quickly realized that the mouse was in the wall. Trent banged loudly on the wall (I asked him what good that was gonna do and I got the "you're not helping" look).

Trent headed up into the attic for a closer look. He yelled down to ask if we could still hear it. We could. But all the yelling back and forth woke Julianne up. She asked what was going on. I told her we could hear a mouse, but it was not a big deal and she should go back to sleep.

A few moments later, Julianne called out "Mom" again. I ran in there quickly (so she would not wake everyone). Julianne was sitting up, wide eyed and said, "Mom, you can use Serafina if you need to and she handed me her stuffed plush webkinz cat (whose name is Serafina, (named for the cat in the Barbie movie "The Princess and the Pauper"). She was serious!

We read out loud to our children each night. For several years we have been working our way through the Little house Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We are currently in book 7, "Little Town on the Prairie" In one of the most recent chapters, the Ingalls family is plagued by mice so severely, that the mice are eating the family's hair during the night. They are so grateful when another local homesteader's cat has a litter of kittens and they are able to get one. The chapter title is, "The necessary cat."

Apparently, Serafina, is our necessary cat. We took her up in the attic (where I got yet another "you're not helping" look). She did not find it. We came out of the attic and Julianne set Serafina guard in their room so that if in the middle of the night, the mouse found a way in, Serafina would get it. She told Nana that she could cuddle with Serafina so she wouldn't be scared. Nana replied that if the mouse got in her room, she was coming to Julianne's bed to sleep with her.

Meanwhile, we are brainstorming ways to get the mouse out, and I am blogging about it. (every time Trent hears the typing, I get another "You're not helping" look. So I guess I better stop. Hopefully we all sleep well.

(scratch, scratch)


(scratch, scratch)
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Where are the shoes?

My sweet, sweet children had a babysitter tonight. When I got home, Julianne, Catherine and Adam were asleep. Only Madelyn was awake. I thanked the babysitter, paid her, and walked her to the door. She looked around the doorway for her shoes and then she said, "Oh, maybe I left them over here. . . " She started looking. I started looking. Madelyn started looking. After 10 minutes I went in and tried to wake up Julianne and Catherine to ask them if they knew where her shoes were. They were impossible to arouse. We kept looking and looking and looking. Finally, the babysitter yelled, "I found them." I came running to see where . . .

inside a lower kitchen cabinet in the back, inside a pan!

Which one of those girls is responsible for this???????

This is becoming a new trend in babysitting. First, they hid one of our babysitter's hats and thought they were so clever, but now shoes???? What's a Mom to do!

(last minute edit -- Catherine did it!)

Monday, October 22, 2007


Adam is still not walking. He is bound and determined to put it off as long as possible. His new talent is just standing up in the middle of a room. He does it over and over as if to flaunt the fact that he is capable of doing so much more!

But crawling is hard on a body. His knees are so calloused. His clothes all have holes in the knees. And we figure it must hurt his hands. . . because this is his new habit. If anyone leaves any shoes around he promptly places his hands in them and crawls away.

It does not matter the style nor size of the shoe. He wears them all . . . on his hands.

If we put shoes on him, he promptly removes them and places his hands in them.

What will he think of next?

(I have stated that a couple of times lately about my kids, but they never cease to amaze me!)

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And a few more camping photos!

Here is Julianne, being silly, but notice how beautiful the weather is!
The Joy of sticks . . . who needs toys with a few good sticks around???

Catherine -- doing the javelin

Madelyn -- chasing a duck (at least they can run fast and fly!)
The many crazy faces of Catherine!

Adam loving his own size chair!
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Camping with Mom (and Granny)

My mother's stake holds an annual Mother/Daughter Campout. For several years they held it at Camp Liahona (the church's property near Cleveland TX). I remember going there in 2002 (when my Mom slept in a slab and me and the 2 girls slept in her van). In 2003, we went and again slept in the van. In 2004 we went (and Madelyn was only 7 weeks old and everyone thought I was crazy). In 2005, they moved it to a "campground" called Almost Heaven. It is in Manvel TX and very, very close to my Mom's house (about a 20 minute drive). I was excited to go to it with her, but for some reason she

could not come. So I went with the 3 girls by myself. I borrowed their springbar tent (and even remembered how to set it up all by myself!) The girls and I had a great time. We were really looking forward to 2006 -- but then it rained and rained and the campground was underwater. . . seriously and literally underwater. So we had a sleepover at Granny's house instead.

These pictures are from that 2005 campout. The girls look so little!!!

But now here in 2007, we were blessed with the best weather ever! And Granny could come too! (it is a good thing, as I do not live in that stake anymore!). Amy (my sister-in-law) and her 2 kids also came along with about 7 other women and their girls. (I never said this was a well attended event -- ). After doing it all by myself in 2005, this year was a breeze! My Mom did all the food!!!! How nice is that??? I didn't so much as bring one edible item . . . and do you know how much time and energy that saved!!!!!! So thank you, thank you, thank you Mom, you are the best!!!!! But then to top it off, when I arrived at the campground, my tent
was already set up!!!!! Combine that with the stunning weather and I am telling you, I could camp every day (ok , every other day, because I would miss my shower).
So, there is a picture of the tent me and the kiddos slept in (or the tent where Madelyn and Catherine slept and Adam cried and Julianne announced she had to go to the bathroom repeatedly throughout the night.).
Here is most of the gang. Granny, Hailey, Catherine, Julianne, Zach, 2 friends, and Madelyn.

Here is Adam. He loved every minute (when it was sunny and time to be awake!)

See his cute face peeking over my shoulder!!!

Exactly . . .

We had yet another beautiful day and we all went to the park. The kids were even amicable to having many photos taken. I just have to share these few ones -- because they match the visual image of my kids that I have stored in my brain. These shots are exactly how I picture my kids. They may not be the best portraits ever done, but this shows (and reminds) me about so many of their personality traits.

Julianne -- fun, growing up fast, all that beautiful brown hair!

Catherine -- silly, laughing, blonde!

Madelyn -- sweet, sweet, sweet, smiling, strawberry blonde

Adam -- the boy, already plotting to tease his sisters, happy and content all the time!
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The fun of bike riding

I took my camera on our bike ride the other day. (Riding a bike and taking photos at the same time is not for the faint hearted!) We have finally come into our beautiful weather here! It makes riding bikes an absolute joy!

Here is Catherine, looking back (and thankfully not crashing into anything).

And Julianne, looking back. . .
Aren't those girls cute???

And here is what I see when I look back. Does life get any sweeter than this??? I doubt it. My life is one big irony. I fluctuate between wanting them to grow up and wanting them to stay small. It is hard to always try and appreciate each day with my little angels, but I try my best.

(As a side note, a friend of ours was bike riding pulling a trailer with her 2 girls and looked back to tell them to stop quarrelling and she crashed into a pole, and broke her leg and elbow and had to have surgery. . . so my days of riding and looking back and taking photos all at the same time are over!)

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Thursday, October 18, 2007


Today, we had dinner at a friend's home. It was delicious. After dinner the girls wanted some of the Halloween candy that was in bowls throughout the house. They each had a couple. I wasn't really aware how many they had, none of them seemed to be eating a ton or anything. We said goodnight and went on our way home. The big girls on scooters, Madelyn on a trike, and Adam in his little car. Everyone went upstairs for bath time. Julianne suddenly called to me urgently. "Mom there is chocolate on the carpet." I ran upstairs and sure enough chocolate was on the carpet. I start looking around and soon find one of Catherine's crocs with chocolate . . . but the chocolate was on the inside!!! I found Catherine who was hiding and embarrassed and asked her what happened. She said, she snuck an extra candy before we left and hid it (unwrapped) in her shoe. She then rode the scooter home, ran up to her room to eat it only to find it melted all over her toes and the inside of her shoe. YUCK! We cleaned it all up, she has said sorry and vowed not to be sneaky anymore, and tomorrow she has to say sorry to our friend.

What will that girl think of next???

The Library

Trent has started listening to books on CD as he commutes to and from work. He has really enjoyed it as a change of pace from talk radio and music. You have to plan a head a little though as we learned the last time we were at the library. Apparently lots of people enjoy books on CD and so the pickings are slim. He was able to find 2 books that interested him but I made a mental note to get online at our library and request a bunch so that they will be available to him. I asked Trent his preferences and he said anything by David McCullough. I selected the first four on the list and placed them on hold.
In the mean time he is realy enjoying "His Excellency" a biography on George Washington by Joseph Ellis right now. When we last went to the library he chose this book and one other, but like a man whose eyes are too big for his stomach, in the 3 weeks check out time, Trent has only been able to "almost" finish this one. I got online and tried to renew both of these books on CD for him and was dissappointed that the other book had to be returned as it was requested by someone else. It was some book about the building of the Brooklyn bridge. Trent had both the books in his car and so on his way home from work (at 9:00 p.m.) he had to swing by the library to drop of the Brooklyn Bridge book.
Imagine my laughter when I opened my email the next morning and found this notification.
The item(s) you requested is/are now available for you. See below for the title, pick up library, and the last date the item will be held for you.
The great bridge [the epic story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge] /
McCullough, David G.
Compact Disc Adult (non-fiction)
624.23 MCC
Apparently, I was the one who requested it!!! I can't believe the library cannot see if a person requesting a book has it currently checked out. Oh well, it sure made me laugh.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


My sister, Amber, is about to have her first baby. She is due on Halloween. It's a girl. She is getting everything ready. You can read about it on her blog. My Mom and I got together today and pieced the top of the quilt.

Here it is . . . I think it looks great. My mom chose all the fabrics, and the colors match her crib bedding that she made. I chose the quilt pattern. This is one of my favorites. . . probably because it brought back good memories. The first time I made this quilt I was married, living at Montera Condos in Provo, and I made it with 2 friends who were expecting their first babies -- Kathy (whose blog I just found) and Sarah (who ought to get a blog). They were each making quilts for their cribs. . . and as I have mentioned before, I will do pretty much anything as long as I have friends to do it with.

Here is a photo of a photo of that first one I made. (that is why the flash is reflecting back at us so glaringly). I gave it to another friend Stacie, who was having her first baby. It really is a fun quilt. Putting it together is a lot like putting a puzzle together and quilting it is fun because the quilting crosses through the middle of each square- That gives it a neat texture.

I liked the quilt so much that I decided to make another one, this time using only cream fabric. The only problem with that one is that Trent took one look at it and stated that it looked like the quilted lining of a coffin. For a long time, we would take one look at the quilt and laugh. We swore it would never be used by any future child of ours. But, well . . . sentiments change and it now resides at the foot of Madelyn's bed, folded nicely and looks great there. (I will have you all know, that no one ever has told me it reminds them of a casket) (but then again, if they thought it, I don't think they would tell me).

As I was looking over quilt patterns, I was remembering how much I enjoy quilting. Technically, I most enjoy piecing a quilt-- seeing how all the colors come together. And I wondered why don't I quilt more often????

Well, after spending the day quilting let me give you a few reasons. . .
1. Kids
2. Kids
3. Kids with scissors (Madelyn only cut 3 of our important pieces and only a small amount of Adam's hair, which she assured me did not hurt him at all)
4. Messes (which are the result of them letting you sew -- all they do while you sew is make messes and then you get to clean up for quite a while afterwards)
5. Because you can't get it all done in 1 day

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Madelyn, Honey, Can you get Adam a few Cheerrios???

Parents, when they first have children ought to be informed of a couple of rules.
1. Never go to the bathroom (unless all kids are accounted for and occupied and then HURRY!)
2. Never take a shower (unless all kids are accounted for and occupied and then HURRY!)

So I was asking for it when, as I walked into the bathroom and Adam was complaining in his high chair because he had eaten all his cheerios I asked Madelyn to get Adam a few Cheerios. Mere seconds later, Adam is perfectly happy; Madelyn has delivered the Cheerios; and Mom is getting the broom and vacuum.

Notice the floor too!

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Rx for a good nap

1. Eat a good lunch. (We had brisket, rolls, 2 corn casserole, mashed potatoes, and a veggie tray.)
2. Follow with dessert. (We had apple pie and raspberry pie with ice cream.)
3. Turn on the Sunday Afternoon Session of General Conference.

Trent and I were upstairs watching conference and I started to get sleepy. I decided to get up and do something. I came downstairs and this is what I found. Classic Huh???? I won't mention who was the speaker. . .
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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Random things

Running : Started again with a friend . . . we are going 3 miles each time . . . our fastest time so far is 37 minutes (i think -- correct me Amy if I am wrong). . . we even ran at 5:15 am . . . and although it is brutal to get up so early I really do love getting it over with. In fact, that is the best part about exercising, having it done!

Weaning : Adam is now one and only nursing once in the morning and once at night. I think tomorrow we'll drop the night time one. . . or maybe the morning one, I can't decide. He doesn't want to drop any of them.

Sleeping : Adam is sleeping through the night. Madelyn is waking up once a night and getting in our bed (sometimes we walk her back to her bed and sometimes we don't). Catherine is sleeping through the night (except for last night b/c she has a cough). Julianne is waking up once a night. We can't quite figure out why. Sometimes she is belligerent. We think she is mostly asleep. One person suggested we start watching a movie with her when she wakes up. It worked well, she was so surprised we were watching a movie, she sat there for a few minutes and then got in her bed. One of these days they will all sleep through the night. I have promised them icecream for breakfast the day it happens. As I am typing I can hear one of them coughing, so I doubt it will be tomorrow :(

Conferencing : I did the best I could watching/listening/reading (the closed captioning) General Conference. I really do enjoy all the talks so much. My favorite was Elder Holland's. He expressed what I so often want to say, that without a doubt the strength of our church stems from our belief that God the father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are 3 separate and distinct beings. That is what the Bible teaches, but moreso it makes Christ's mission on Earth real. He overcame death and was reunited with his body, just as we will be.

Journaling : I also liked Elder Eyring talk about recording our daily experiences where we can see the hand of God in our life. I think those will be for my "actual written in" journal as opposed to this blog, but I think it is a great idea.

Personal Histories : I am helping my Grandmother record some of her stories onto a blog for all of us to enjoy. Check it out.