July 25, 2008

Babies Loving Babies

Jacob LOVES babies. So when I wrapped up one of his favorite stuffed animals in a blanket and handed it to him, he just broke out onto smiles and giggles as he hugged, loved, and squished his little baby bear.

Hugs and Loves
Kisses and Squishes
Such a proud daddy!

July 24, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Covet

But its okay to really really want something, right? A few weeks back, while I was at the park with the kids, I saw the most amazing thing, a quad stroller that looked normal! I actually went up to the girl who had it and asked her about it. She showed me all the cool features and gushed about how much she loved it. (she had two kids then twins) She said her husband was not happy about her buying it since she already had five other strollers! I about choked! I'm still using the single stroller we got for Savannah and it can sure be a pain when all three of the kids want to ride in it. She said you can find them on Target.com, or of course Amazon or Ebay. When I asked her how much it cost she said, "oh, it really isn't that bad at all! Its only about $440! I must say it took quite a bit of self control to keep myself from saying, ONLY!? I mean, I know the price is about right, most strollers are about $100 per seat, and there are quad strollers out there for $1000 but still, after five strollers it was ONLY $440! 
Well, if $400 ever fell from the sky and we didn't need it for anything else, I would get the stroller in a heartbeat. (sigh) In the meantime, I'll just drool and wish a little... okay, maybe a lot.




Oh, and by the way all my Wymount friends, we are going to be in town next week so watch out! We are going to come crash Wymount next Wednesday and Thursday!

July 22, 2008

Some People Have All The Answers

I'm all for suggestions and advice, really, I am. But I draw the line at know-it-alls. I was in Walmart the other day getting a few things, one of which was black licorice. Not really being a fan of it I was buying it based on the fact that someone suggested it to help with the morning sickness that comes after you eat something so as to tame the urge to go visit the ever present porcelain king. Like I said, I'm always open to suggestions so I was going to try it out. Joseph had the bag at check out telling me he wanted some. I was trying to explain to him that he probably wouldn't like it and it was for mommy to help her not feel sick. 
Instantly, the lady's head in front of me snapped up and she inquired, what sickness? To which I replied, morning sickness. I wasn't quite prepared for the full attack of, do this' and do that's, and, no one knows what they are talking abouts! But obviously, she had all the answers. After a little while of this, the cashier asked what we were talking about. The other lady of course volunteered the information then the cashier, saying that she wouldn't know anything about it since she wasn't married, proceeded to give her friend's accounts of their pregnancies. 
I was trying to be polite and give my "uh huh"s, "oh wow"s, and "I'll have to try that"s. I suppose if it had been my first pregnancy I could have understood the attack of information, but with three little kids in my cart I confess I was a little surprised. 
I suppose I should be use to that type of thing by now. For some reason, when I was pregnant with Jacob, I was given quite a few lectures by people I had never talked to before in my life on how crazy I was, or how young I looked to be having three kids. Someone even offered me some reading material just in case I didn't know how the birds and the bees worked. I admit that I was completely thunderstruck at the suggestion that I had no idea where my babies came from. There are times when some people should just keep there know-it-all advice to themselves. 
However, in the case of morning sickness I really will try anything suggested to me! Its just, there is no need for an attack, really, there isn't! 

Well, after writing all that I'm sure no one will want to leave me any input on my new digital collections that I did for Latter-Day Village! LOL  But I really would love some feedback, it is always helpful to hear from other people. Debbie, the lady who owns the website, always adds some cool special projects and things. It always fun to see what she comes up with. So, click on the links and let me know what you think!

July 21, 2008

Stinky Business

I apologize ahead of time, I truly don't mean to be crude in any way, but this post is about diapers... poopy ones. I'm sorry, but what is this, national poop week? It seems like I'm changing something very stinky that turns my stomach every 10 minutes! My heavens, isn't there on off button somewhere? I think when the new models come out for babies they need to have an instruction manual and a "turn poop off" button. Or better yet, a warning sign that flashes right before the dirty deed is done so you could just stick them on the toilet!
I don't know if I'll be able to get Joseph potty trained before the new baby comes. Three in diapers... oh joy. Well, on the bright side of things, I sure am glad they have disposable diapers now!
I took the garbage out today, three bags of it, and one was a full 13 gallon bag of diapers. As it turns out, I made it to the dumpster at the same time another lady did so she held the lid open for me. So, I put the two other bags in first, then, with both hands, proceeded to swing my bag full of diapers back and forth until I could get enough momentum to get it up into the dumpster! Diapers can be quite heavy. The lady just looked at me and said, wow, that looked heavy! To which I replied, yup, they were all diapers. She smiled and said, that would do it alright! 
Well, even though their ends can be quite stinky, they are also so dang cute! The kids played in the bathtub tonight and when I took them out, the boys took off running around the house in the buff. I'm sorry but I just died laughing! Their little bum cheeks a wigglin' and a jigglin'! Actually, I think Jacob has four bum cheeks he's still so chunky! All my kids were super chunks as babies. 

Savannah at 3 months

Joseph at about 2 months

Jacob at about 2 months

Gotta' Love the Shoes

I hear this slow, "clomp, clomp, clomp" followed by a quick, "tap tap tap tap"  It seems Savannah preferred my winter boots, while Joseph seemed to favor my heels (all of which are D.I. specials by the way). It was highly entertaining to watch them tromp around the house. Even Jacob thought he'd have a go at it.




video

July 18, 2008

Mindful Parents

I found this blog post on SuperMom Central and I loved it! It was written in response to the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty (which is awesome by the way) which is a campaign put forth to try and enhance young girl's self-esteem and self-image.
Self-image is a very sensitive subject for me for very personal reasons and also one for which I feel very strongly about.
I heard someone say once that girls check out girls more than guys do. I believe that to be a very true statement. It almost seems inevitable that girls will take in another's appearance and compare it to theirs. Its almost as if you just can't help it. I have had more conversations with more girls than I care to remember on their own personal struggles with their bodies. Everything from being too skinny to being too fat. The strange thing is, most of them were brought on by completely different reasons. Some for sure was peer pressure, others stemmed from "loving teasing" by their own parents and family members, while others, started from some sort of emotional trauma. It seems strange that a negative self-image could stem from so many different backgrounds and I have thought long and hard on why. I suppose, just naturally, girls want to be pretty and liked and it seems as if, for most, when they aren't quite sure how to deal with their issues they are left with nothing but the mirror. I suppose that comes from a life-time of the world telling us that beautiful is this one stereo-type and no matter how hard we try, it is an ever present issue lurking in the back of our minds.
I don't know if I will ever truly, deep down, recover from my past issues but I most certainly will never let those pass on to my children, girls or boys. I often look at Savannah and wonder if she will be able to withstand the blows the world is sure to deal out to her. Sometimes being a parent can be so overwhelming.
I also feel so strongly about teaching our sons this same truth, real beauty is not what is seen on a magazine cover. I remember as a teenager hearing one of my guy friends make fun of one of our girl friends because she had put on a bunch of weight. Not only did it upset me that he would do such a thing, but it also made me wonder what guys said about me when I wasn't around. Even now I find myself getting angry when I hear someone picking on another because of their looks.
I have found it so completely amazing that SO many girls consider their worth by the amount of attention they get from guys! I suppose it is kind of natural and of course we have the media to thank for that. For many of them, that is where the struggle started. It took me a while to grasp this because at the time of my struggles, I didn't really care what the general male population thought about me. I find that in this particular case of trying to impress the male population, the father makes the biggest difference. Those who had strong, healthy relationships with their father, their issues didn't stem from peer pressure or for a desire for male attention. They had that at home and had no need to go looking for it elsewhere. However, I did talk to a girl who's father, even though they had a good relationship, use to tease her about her weight. That played a huge role in her problem.
We tend to think this is a women's problem and the mother's should take care of it. I beg to differ! The role men and father's play I would almost say is more important. They underestimate the affect they have on their girls.
So, having said all that, I hope you will check out these links so we can all me more mindful parents and adults.

http://parenting.kaboose.com/behavior/bodyimage.html
http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/parents/experts/kelly.htm
http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/talk/body_image.html
http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/News/Promoting-positive-body-image-in-our-kids.aspx?articleID=7925&categoryID=news-poh2
http://www.womenshealth.gov/bodyimage/kids/

Well, after all that I have a creepy/funny story. This last Saturday night, I got hit on at the grocery store! I mean, come on! There is a point where grown men just seriously need help. This guy was pretty creepy, he even followed me out to my car. Luckily I had only bought one thing and I walked fast and had left the door unlocked. There must be something about grocery stores. I was offered a ride to Florida once by a trucker in a grocery store, very scary.
For me, there is nothing more creepy than getting hit on. It happened once when I was six months pregnant! I don't know if it could have been more obvious that I was unavailable but I guess some guys are a little over-zealous.
Once, when my sister had come out to visit we had been out shopping and we stopped at a red light when some guys pulled up next to us and started talking to us... right up until they saw my two kids in the back seat. I hear this, "she's a mom!" and the window was rolled up pretty quickly. It was so funny.
Anyway, I find it all very creepy so this was not said to boast. Whenever it happens it truly does unnerve me, like I almost don't know how to handle it. I suppose I am still dwelling on the idea that girls like that sort of attention. One friend told me she is always flattered when she gets hit on. As strange as this may sound, I really don't understand that.

July 17, 2008

Heavy Drinkers

Its true, my kids are very heavy drinkers. Just look at them sucking down their juice! The way they drink all day you'd think they just walked out of a desert or something. 


Jacob is now at the age where he thinks he's a big boy and he has to do whatever his siblings are doing. First, it was the juice, then they put pull-ups on their heads for hats and Jacob grabbed one, ran up and handed it to me so I put it on his head. He then got this huge smile on his face and tromped off to join the other two as if he was the coolest kid on the block. It was so cute! Whatever it is that Savannah and Joseph are playing, Jacob is starting to get down and dirty with them. There sure do grow up fast.

July 16, 2008

A Little Taste of Heaven

I am exhausted and decide I'm ready for bed. I brush my teeth and wash my face then go into the kitchen for a drink of water. As I do, cracker crumbs and apple bits stick to the bottom of my feet and I crush a Cheerio. I sigh then step over to the fridge to get some cold water and my foot encounters a very sticky spot where juice had been spilled earlier. I quickly look around the kitchen. Dishes are pilled high, pots and pans cover the stove, and the table still holds the contents of dinner that the kids didn't finish. Not feeling even the slightest ounce of desire to clean anything I simply turn the light off and leave. The day before I hadn't been able to get off the couch all day because for some reason, my morning sickness had been unexplainably horrible. Today, I had felt so very tired I actually cried and I dozed most of the hours away. Now, as I look around the apartment, I could see the effects of my neglect. As I pick my way through the toys that are strewn throughout the living room and the hallway, I think to myself, will I ever have a clean house in the next 20 years? I stop outside the kid's door. Slowly I open it so I don't wake anyone up. I always go and check on them before I go to bed to make sure they are covered up, or to pick out any toys they had managed to pull into their beds. Sometimes I have to pick Savannah up off the floor. As I go in my eyes slowly adjust to the dim light and when they do, I get just a little taste of heaven. Actually, this is the second night in a row I happen upon this cute picture. Savannah and Joseph had been playing long past bedtime and there they were, comfortably sleeping next to each other. A smile slowly steals across my face and the mess around me fades away. In that one small moment, I know everything will be okay and that it is all worth it. 




And yes, Joseph is indeed wearing some of Savannah's old pajama bottoms that she has outgrown.

July 14, 2008

Monsters will be Monsters

Update:

Savannah is 3 going on 13. Yesterday, she was mad at Luke so she stomped into the living room where I heard her say... and I quote, "I can't do this anymore, you are ruining my life!" Oh my, where does she get these things from. We don't get TV and Luke and I never say such things to each other so it makes me wonder. 
She also told me today, that she doesn't like it here and she wants to move. (sigh) Please tell me by the time she is actually a teenager she will act like she is in her 20's?

Joseph, in just the last couple of days, has emptied multiple lotion bottles, poured a container of hair spray down the sink, flooded that bathroom at least four times, poured a bag of uncooked spaghetti onto the floor, threw watermelon at the window, got on my computer and re-named a bunch of files, and has told me his opinion about things. It usually happens in the manner of a great scowl, a pointed finger and a very stern, "no mommy!"

Jacob turned his whole mouth green today by sucking on a marker, he has emptied the Tupperware shelf a least a dozen times, he unleashed his great toilet paper artistic skills on the hallway, he took a bite out of my deodorant, and he is starting to figure out how to fight back when Joseph tries to ride him. He really is starting to act like a toddler. He is also learning the art of the tantrum.

Now, don't take the above the wrong way, I love my kids to death! And even though they drive me nuts, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world and they truly bring me great happiness. I just think its fun to record the good, the bad, and the crazy! Perhaps my mission in life is to make other moms feel like they are completely normal in their quest to raise children! LOL

July 11, 2008

Debt Free, Our Story

This post is dedicated to Brittany.  =)  This is our story, in a nut-shell, of how we graduated from school debt free with a fairly decent amount of savings. It will probably be really long so feel free to skip it. Although for those of you who stick it out, you will probably be disappointed by the end of the story since we didn't have some great miracle plan that we used. We mostly just had a few things going in our favor. Like, we didn't do law school or medical school and we never had a single medical emergency. (and no, multiple pregnancies don't count as a medical emergency especially since we had all the kids on Medicaid)
For starters, Luke already had the truck when we got married. He had only taken out a small loan on it since he had paid for most of it in cash and he only had two payments left on it. They were in yearly installments which gave us plenty of time to prepare for them. Other than that, he came into the marriage without debt. I didn't have any whatsoever even though I had been at BYU for two years. My Grandfather had set up some money for each of us grandkids and had put it in the stock market where it grew over the years. When the market started going down, my parents pulled them out and put the into CDs and said we could use it for either missions or weddings. Well, since I went to BYU at age 17 I wasn't looking to do either so I used the money to pay for tuition. And of course I did the normal, take 15 credits and work 20 hours. So, I only used the money for tuition, and then I worked to pay for rent and everything else. 
When Luke and I got married, he said that we were going to put everything I made into savings so we got use to living off of one income, no matter how small it was. He was making about $8.00 an hour and I was making about $9.45 (no, I wasn't working at the Cougareat anymore, I was working in Special Collections in the library)  Not bad for an on-campus job. Anyway, it was pretty easy to do that with just the two of us. We bought cheap groceries, paid rent, went to the dollar theatre, and spent no money anywhere else except to visit family. 
Then, 4 months after we got married, I was pregnant with Savannah. We both worked full-time up until I had her in August. All the while, everything I made went into savings and also, some of Luke's money. Since we had direct deposit we just set it up so certain amounts went into savings automatically so we just pretended that whatever was deposited into our checking account was all we had. 
We got on Medicaid so having Savannah didn't cost us a single dime. Of course, we had to buy all the baby stuff ourselves so we got a really cheap travel system (stroller that has a car seat that snaps into it) which is still the only stroller we have by the way, and a pack-n-play instead of a crib. We had decided that a good digital camera would be a better investment so we could record all our memories. We opted for that over a crib.
By that time we qualified for pell-grants so from here on out we got full-tuition grants. 
I was determined to finish my degree so for the first 8 months of Savannah's life she attended BYU with me. I wasn't working and we lived on Luke's small income, pulling from our saving when we had to. 
Summer of 2005 we moved to Wyoming for an internship. While we were there we got our first crib. Luke's mom knew someone who was throwing one away because it was broken. So, she picked it up for us. Is it ugly? Yes. Do I like it. No. Was I grateful to have it? Absolutely. Do kids really care about what they wear or what they sleep in? Not at all. Joseph is still sleeping in it. 
The Fall of 2005 was kind of rough. I had to take my last on-campus classes since I was pregnant with Joseph and we only had the one car. Since it is impossible to find a parking spot in the middle of the day I had to walk to campus. Not that that in and of itself is bad but we were new to the ward since we had left for the summer I didn't know anyone nor dare ask anyone to watch Savannah. Instead, I had a friend who lived in the tree-streets (the ones across from the creamery on 9th) who watched her for me. Thanks Sara Lyn! So basically, I loaded all my art stuff and Savannah into the stroller, walked a good 45 minutes to her house, dropped Savannah off, walked another 15 minutes to class, did my three hour art class, walked back over, picked up Savannah, then walked ALL the way back up that awful, hateful, dreadful hill, pushing my stuff, Savannah, and of course I'm pregnant, in the middle of the summer heat. I truly hated it. Of course, then it got cold and that wasn't exactly fun either.  It was pretty rough fall, but we did it!
When we got our tax-returns, which included child tax credit, instead of spending it on stuff, we put it away into a CD and pretended like we never got our hands on extra money since we knew we would need it later. These are all short-term CD's by the way.
By the end of summer 2006, we knew we wouldn't make it through the fall. We had depleted our immediate savings (still pretending like we didn't have money in the CD) and we were worried. It had become our goal to graduate debt-free and we prayed all the time for it. I had been trying to make a little extra money on the side. I tried selling my stuff at Farmer's Markets, I was doing on-line surveys and I was getting a little extra money here and there but obviously not enough to do anything with. It really become sort of my spending money so I wouldn't feel guilty for taking it out of the budget. If I wanted something cute for the apartment or if I needed new clothes, if Luke wanted something, or the kids, that is where I got the money from.
Anyway, I had gone to my old-bookbinding teacher for help with a project someone had asked me to do. Anyway, long story short, he said they needed a Bookbinding teacher, there at BYU for the fall. I couldn't believe it! It was an answer to our prayers. It was an evening class for 4 hours, once a week so I wasn't gone much at all and I made enough to cover rent and utilities for that semester. I believe it was about the end of this semester that I also started doing art work for Latter-Day Village.
The following semester, with child tax credit and earned income credit, we were saved again. Of course by this time we had discovered we were pregnant with Jacob. 
Somewhere in here is where the second car comes in. That old Buick actually belongs to Luke's parents. Since everyone had new cars it wasn't being used so we were going to buy it from them but they assured us it wasn't worth buying! LOL! So they offered it to us to just drive. It was a much needed blessing. Especially since it was getting really difficult to make all the doctor's appointments and things playing car tag all the time.
Well, Luke finished his undergrad just before Jacob was born. Now we had grad-school to worry about. We opted to stay at BYU because it was SO much cheaper than anywhere else and with three kids you couldn't beat the cost of living. Luke applied for this half-tuition scholarship and some kind of Civil Engineering scholarship. He got them both. While we still had to pay some tuition, obviously these scholarships saved us. Well, at this time, Luke decided he was going to quit working so he could concentrate on his 13 grad-credits. I was able to teach Bookbinding again that Fall, which of course, saved us. Actually, I think Luke was a T.A. so I guess he worked about 10 hours a week.  
So, we made it through those last two graduate semesters thanks to our savings, me teaching, and tax returns. 

So, we had done it. Graduated debt-free with a decent amount in savings left over. I really don't know what to say. We really didn't buy much. Every single piece of furniture we own was bought on super clearance. There are only three things in my closet that I have bought in the last 5 years that cost more than $30. I even went and checked so I wouldn't be lying. 
We were on WIC so we got all our formula for free, thank heavens, and of course the little bit of extra groceries was nice.
We have also NEVER once owned a credit card. As strange as this may sound to people, we simply cannot wrap our heads around the idea of spending money we didn't have. It really just doesn't make any sense to us. So basically, if we didn't have the money, we didn't buy it. 
I feel we were very blessed. And when I say that, I do not mean in any kind of way that we were blessed more than someone else. It was just that, since it was a very specific goal of ours and we worked for it and prayed for it, I know the Lord helped us achieve that goal.
I believe people largely underestimate how quickly those pennies build up.  I actually made most of Savannah and Jacob's baby food since it was SO much cheaper to do that than to buy it. I even made her wipes for a while. We always bought the cheapest brand of diapers and wipes. We rarely bought snack foods at the store since they are so expensive, and I don't think we ever bought produce that was over a dollar a pound! We rarely went out to eat unless it was from a dollar menu, we rarely went and saw a movie if it wasn't in the dollar theatre. I have discovered that, for me, since I don't have sensitive skin, shampoo makes a great face wash, cheap make-up works just as well as the expensive kind, and there are so many other female toiletries that are simply a luxury for fun instead of a necessity. For a while, before we had a good savings going we set up a budget and stuck to it pretty tight. We watched every penny and categorized it. We don't really need to do that anymore but every once in a while Luke likes to figure out where all of our money is going so he know where we need to cut back. 
I'm a firm believer that saving really isn't as hard as people think it is. There were times we were only putting $10 a paycheck into our savings but at least we were saving! Its probably just that if you're not use to doing it, it can be hard to stick with. 
Of course we spent money on fun things, its not like we locked ourselves in our apartment or anything. In fact, there were times when we spent a lot of money on unimportant things, but we always made sure it was never more than what we had or could afford.
Well, that's our story in a nut-shell!
Since we are on the subject of money, I just have to recommend one thing, and I don't do this too often. After we moved here to Idaho, Luke's parents gave us a book to borrow. Its called, "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey. The book is mostly about getting out of debt and since and I have never had any I wasn't sure why they gave it to us. But, boy am I ever glad that they did! This guys goes into extreme detail about credit card and debt myths. It seriously is the most amazing book. We almost fell for the now common opinion that you have to have a credit card in order to get credit to buy a house. But he destroys that myth so easily. There were so many other things in that book that have helped us get ready for the future. 
He has a saying, "Live now as other won't, so you can live later as others can't". I would recommend this book to anyone! Whether you are looking to get out of debt, get some savings, figure out insurance, or learn about investing, this guy has it all! I would really, really encourage you all to just read it, that's all, just read it. 
Anyway, I guess I'll get off my soapbox now!  =)

Fun in the Sun

Today, the kids and I went up to Rexburg with my friend Michelle and her kids to this little splash park. Its great because its free! My brother-in-law and his wife took our kids there once before but they still loved it! Well, okay, Savannah loved it and took full advantage of the freezing water. Joseph liked it until he got cold, which was pretty quick, and Jacob would have absolutely nothing to do with it. It was pretty funny actually. Anyway, here's some pictures from our little trip.




Oh ya, like the tattoo?  Savannah's favorite thing to do is put them on herself and her brothers.


Since Jacob wouldn't go in the water, he stayed behind and ate most of the Cheetos. By the time Savannah and Joseph got to them, there was just enough left for them to fight over... and they did!
 


Okay, these next pictures (I am truly sorry so many of them are of me) Savannah took. I let her take a picture and that was it. She took pictures till the memory card was full. She would hold the camera up and say, "Okay mom, smile pretty!" She was so cute. When we were looking at them together later I told her I would put some up on here on the blog and she said, "No, you need to put ALL of them up." Well, I picked just a couple otherwise you would be looking at a whole bunch of pictures of me and people I don't even know.







At any rate, I didn't think she did too bad! This last picture is gray because the original is bright pink. What a camera.
Anyway, I promise my next post will be our story of how we graduated from school debt-free.

July 10, 2008

Baby Talk

One of my favorite things about my kids growing up is when they start to talk (notice I said start cause once they get good at it they just get sassy). I love it! So, here are a couple clips of some of my favorite words.
You'll have to forgive the quality. Our camera really is going crazy.

video

Translation:
Trampoline - Trampowee-wee-wee
Jacob - Weetub
Monkey - Up until I took this video he always said, Hoo-ha. You know, when you teach your kids what sounds animals makes a monkey says ooh ooh ah ah. So, that was his word for monkey. I'm kind of sad he grew out of it... not that I want him saying that in college or anything.

video

Jacob LOVES apples. If I hand him a whole one, by the end of the day the WHOLE thing is gone. I'm talking, core, seeds, everything.

video

Jacob is really starting to pick on Joseph-traits. Here he is making gun noises. What I think is so funny about it is he makes the noises through his nose!

July 8, 2008

Not quite sure what this post is about!

Sorry, I haven't updated in a couple days. Seems like if I miss a few days in a row people start wondering if I'm okay. Perhaps that's what I get for posting all the mishaps that go on around here. I can just image the questions.... 
Do you think she lost her sanity and jumped off the balcony? 
What if she got buried in the mess and they can't find her? 
Maybe the kids tied her up and locked her in the closet! 
No wait, she must still be trying to hire a dump truck to make personal stops by their house everyday to pick up the bucket load of diapers! 
Just kidding. In truth, nothing terribly outrageous has happened as of late. I mean, I'm getting rather good at catching Joseph in the fridge before he pulls things out, I can keep Jacob out of the toilet paper by locking the doors, and as long as Savannah gets to boss the boys around, life is good! And I don't count a hurricane coming through my home everyday as a mishap. 
Still, I would like to comment on the difficulty of having a phone conversation while having kids around. I was talking to my sister-in-law today and she has five kids. A normal line of conversation goes something like this, "So, how have you... Joseph! Get off of Jacob right now! He's not a horse! Sorry, so how are guys? No, put that down that's daddy's and you are not suppose to touch that! Sorry, what did you say?" (grunting on the other line while she says) "Sorry, I'm trying to get this toy animal out of the VCR... no, guys, not right now. No, put that down!  Sorry, so ya, we're doing fine just... oh no, Adam can you go help him in the bathroom!"  
I'm beginning to wonder if it's really is possible to hold a normal conversation with anyone anymore? I wonder if people who don't have kids find it to be rude?
Anyway, so here's something cute! On Sunday, Savannah and I were sitting on the couch just chatting, I think we were talking about families when she said, "When we go to the church and feel it in your heart (she even put her hands on her heart) and get married in the temple when you grow big and tall." It was just so cute I jumped up and grabbed a pen and started writing it down. When she saw that I was recording what she was saying, she repeated herself and then said, "That's right mom, you write it down, its very important!" Oh my, what a cutie!
Well, Brittany, I'm sorry I haven't written about the post you requested yet. In truth, I feel kind of silly writing about how "thrifty" Luke and I have had to be since he doesn't think we are. Plus, I don't want people to think that we think we are better than anyone else. I do get asked a lot how we both managed to graduate college with three kids and no debt whatsoever. But would people really be interested in that? I don't know? But its kind of fun to get requests! 

July 5, 2008

Minty Fresh

There are only two things you need to know about this picture.

1. Joseph had JUST had a bath.
2. That is toothpaste.

God Bless America

We had a great Independence Day! We took the kids to see the parade in the morning and then to see the fireworks at night. They did really well at both events so, we had a lot of fun!



Granny would be so proud! Look at my little Miss America!



Jacob got a lot of attention from parade participants. There were a few who came over to try and shake his hand or get a "high five" out of him. Jacob just sort of looked at them like, what are you doing?




Savannah got really into the parade at the beginning but slowly the enthusiasm wore off when no one was throwing things to her. Joseph was scared of the noise. When the fire engines blew their horns or when the cars revved their engines, Joseph would run to daddy and make him cover his ears.



Just in case you are wondering why Savannah is wearing Joseph's shirt while he himself is topless, we had brought pizza to the fireworks show for dinner. Savannah found that little container of garlic butter that they stick in the boxes and she wanted to know what it was so she opened it! But she also succeeded in spilling most of it onto her shirt. So, Joseph, being the manly man that he is, graciously gave up his shirt for her. =)


Jacob loved the fireworks!



God Bless America!





"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." ~Edmund Burke
"America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." ~ Alexis de Tocqueville
"I never believed there was one code of morality for a public and another for a private man." ~Thomas Jefferson
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin
"I know not what course other may take, but as for me: give me Liberty, or give me death." ~Patrick Henry

July 3, 2008

Independence Day

Unfortunately I am not referring to the 4th of July. This is about a two-year old boy, declaring his independence from the confines of toddlerhood... or something like that. It was a sad day indeed, just a few days ago, when Joseph learned to climb out of his crib. Yes, that fateful day has arrived and now I know longer have a cage to contain the beast in. He keeps trying to sleep in Savannah's bed so I guess it is time we upgrade his sleeping arrangements from a cage to an open invitation for trouble.
Another... wonderful... little declaration of independence that has taken place has also been Joseph's new little trick of opening the fridge to help himself to what he wants. Something he learned from his big sister. But the trouble is that the kids don't really pull food out (I guess I should count my blessing there) but the drinks! Their ever sensational and ever unquenchable desire for liquid is quite something. 
The big problem with this is that they pull out what they want and then carry it to where ever I happen to be. I have been in the back more than once when Savannah walks in carrying a jug of milk. Well, the beast's big desire is for juice. Just yesterday he carried, the completely full container, of course tipped down since it was too heavy, onto the carpet. Luckily Luke caught him before anything disastrous happened. But today, I was not so lucky. Joseph had pulled the still full container of juice out of the fridge and this time, the top wasn't quite so secure. See picture below. The funny thing is that he had just spilled all this juice and he still carries the mostly empty container into the living room to hand it to me. I caught him before too much was spilled on the carpet. I'm not sure I like this kind of independence. But despite everything I love that little monster to pieces. Its amazing how that works!  =) 


It truly must have been national mess day or something. Savannah spent most of the day in the bathroom playing with water with Joseph joining her so, once again, I had in indoor pool. I think I'm pretty much use to that so it doesn't really bother me anymore. I just let them do their dirty work, than I mop up later. It provides hours of entertainment so, I have learned to appreciate its good points.

Then of course there was dinner. The kids actually did quite well tonight. Well, except for the little beast. He decided he didn't like his potatoes! It was obvious that he didn't care that I had just mopped the floors yesterday, so he decided it would be the perfect place for his dinner! This picture does not do it justice at all... but you get the general idea.


Well, here's something kind of fun! Well, maybe not for those of you who've had one for years, but for me, this is big! For the first time in my life I have my very own cell phone! Yea! Look at me moving up in the world! Luke decided when he came home from work that it would probably make it easier for us since the only phone we had was the one cell phone and no land line. So, there you have it, my exciting news!

July 2, 2008

The Wonder-Tee

So, this will be a very silly post but Brittany, you inspired me to write about my Wonder-Tee faddish. =) I have received many comments on these shirts, mostly on how frequently I wear them. And really, on average I probably where them 5 out of 7 days. LOL, I'm not sure if thats just sad or down-right awesome!
I guess you have to understand one thing about me, I am not stylish. I never really have been. I don't wear styles because they are "in".  If I don't like it, I don't buy it! But even so, my "style" has changed very little over the years. I still buy the same type of jeans, never got into the skinny jeans nastiness (not to offend anyone who wears them or loves them, I just simply don't like them) and my tops have always been pretty much, solid colors, simple cut... always! As a teenager my friend Mindy use to give me a hard time whenever we went shopping because she said I always bought things that looked the same. She was much more fashionable than I ever was. I only have a handful of shirts that break away from the norm. I'm not sure why, but I always felt silly whenever I wore something fancy and nice. I just felt like it always looked out of place on me... like an 90 year old trying to relive the young days by wearing mini skirts! LOL, stylish just doesn't fit me.  
I finally discovered these Wonder-Tees when I was pregnant with Jacob. I use to see people wear them all the time and thought they are super cute. Well, I was so sick of wearing maternity clothes I thought I would try my hand at them. So, my first shirts were indeed Shade shirts that I bought in XL so I could wear them while being pregnant. I got the ones on clearance so they were only about $6. Well, I was hooked. After I had Jacob and started to loose weight I would just buy them in smaller sizes as they came on clearance at DownEast or wherever. The thing that I love about them is the are comfortable, cute, simple, stylish, can be dressed up or down, all at the same time! To be casual, slip them on with a pair of jeans and bam! Cuteness! If you want to dress up, just add some jewelry and, bam, you're good to go. Of course, I'm not really into jewelry either. I LOVE earrings, always have! But I have never been into necklaces or bracelets or things like that. Which is another thing I love about the shirts, they stay away from my neck! It is one of my big pet peeves, to have things touching my neck! Which is one reason why I don't like wearing necklaces, that and I always feel over-dressed when I wear them. Collared shirts? No way! Not unless I have to.
So, there you have it, I'm a jean and tee shirt, flip-flop loving kind of girl (although I have converted to heels over the last year). I guess that's why I love those shirts so much!
These pictures should be pretty much in order from being pregnant with Jacob (oh, that one picture, mm, not so flattering), leaving the hospital, etc. up till recently. I'm wearing a Shade shirt or Wonder-Tee in every single one! So, ya, they pretty much are my staple.  =)



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