Sunday, December 31

Happy New Year

Here's to a new year, new opportunities, and a new you. Or me, as it were. Today is New Years Eve. The day when most of the country will get so sloshed they won't even remember ringing the new one in. The day when parties and gatherings abound, and much simultaneous kissing will happen at 12:01 am. Tonight, we are having a few close friends over to celebrate the passing of 2006. We are going to play games, eat food, and enjoy one anothers company. And yes, at 12:01 am, I'm sure there will be some kissing. Today is also my last day as a primary teacher. Although I had expressed a half-formed desire to be released when approached by the primary president, I am struck with some very mixed feelings today. These children that I have nurtured throughout the past year, today are going to be moving on without me. We have been through a lot, our little class. I started teaching them on the very first Sunday of the year, and have since then seen one of my students lose a mother to death, another go completely inactive, and still others grow and blossom in ways I didn't think possible when we started down this path. I am going to miss these children, our weekly confidences and giggles as we learn the gospel together. I'm going to miss their little faces so happy to see me after sacrament meeting, and their eager voices telling their parents what we had learned in class that day. I comfort myself with knowing that I've done the best I can with these children. I have tried to guide them and teach them the things that they need to know. When I get sad about leaving primary, I remind myself that it is the kids I am going to miss, and these children are leaving my class whether I stay in primary or not. Anyway, I hope this evening finds each of you in good company, warm and secure in the love in your life. Welcome, 2007!

Saturday, December 30


All is quiet at my house. I mean, completely silent. The two elder boys are snuggling on the sofa in the living room, and my baby is sleeping soundly in his bedroom. I'm feeling that slow, comfortable kind of tired that you get after a long rest. I've been sitting here in front of the computer for a while, going back into the archives of this blog and re-reading old posts. It's been quiet a journey that we've been on, readers! You have all been with me through some fairly exciting things, and I'm really grateful that I've kept up with this blog. It's a really great resource on my life, and the things I have been doing. I hope that everybody out in the world is enjoying my ramblings as much as I've enjoyed posting them. It seems like this winter is dragging on, even though it is barely beginning, and I've enjoyed this outlet. I am lucky enough to be blessed with a really fantastic family. My two boys are smart, healthy (mostly), and full of life. My husband is thoughtful, kind, and loving. My life is truly a joy, even though I find it easy to get caught up in the small inconveniences that we experience. We have been given opportunities at every juncture to make the most of our difficulties, and we always seem to come out on top. I can't deny that the Lord has had a hand in everything that we do, and I keep telling myself that there is a eternal plan for our little family. I'm glad I took the time to go through the archives today, it's served as a reality check for me, and today I'm going to go out with a smile, and spend time with these wonderful people that I've been given for a family. In case I don't get around to posting tomorrow, I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. I hope that 2007 finds each of you happy, healthy, and making the most of your life.

Friday, December 29

Merry Christmas

Okay, okay. I know I'm really late in posting some Christmas pictures, but I've been really busy this week. I'm sure I was doing really important things every day during the time that I am usually blogging. Okay, so that's a flimsy excuse at best, but here I am, belatedly posting some photos. This one is Kadon discovering his stocking bright and early, at 6:45 in the morning. In his stocking he received a new hooded towel that looked like a dog, a Mr. PotatoHead accessory kit, and the usual assortment of goodies. He immediately dived into the apple-cinnamon rice cakes that I had added.

Pajama Time

This is a fairly good photo of the pajama bottoms that I made everybody for Christmas. I was very brave this year, and decided that I am going to teach myself to sew. After being forced to purchase pre-made Halloween costumes, I vowed that by next autumn I would be comfortable enough with a sewing machine to make my kids costumes. The pajama pants, which I made for the entire family, was one of my first ventures, and I have to say they turned out really well. They're just the right size for everybody, and I think we all look adorable. I wish I had been smart enough to take a picture of everybody in them on Christmas morning, but c'est la vie.

Grand Finale

The grand finale of the morning was definetely the large Castle and Knight set that my sister found online for the kids. If some of you regular readers remember me posting earlier, Jeremy had very specifically requested a castle and knight set from Santa, who promised that it would appear on Christmas morning. Luckily, as Ammon and I had long since finished our shopping and exhausted our funds, my sister stepped in and saved the day. The kids haven't stopped playing with the castle yet!

Tuesday, December 26

Super Messy

See that picture? Take a good look at it. This is a graphic image of what super glue will do to a poor, defenseless hand. A hand innocently squeezing a tube of glue, trying to perform a simple home repair. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a hand assaulted. The attack occurred at approximately 8pm MST when the victim was attempting to repair a knob that had broken off of an entertainment center. She retrieved a small tube of Elmer's brand super glue from the utility bin, and settled down in front of the entertainment center with said tube and said knob. The idea was to squeeze a little bit of the super glue into the hole of the knob where the screw holding the knob on the cupboard is supposed to go. Thus, the glue would hold the screw inside the knob, and hold the knob onto the front of the cupboard. Unfortunately, the tube of glue had other ideas. The glue wouldn't come out of the tube easily, and the victim assumed that the glue was simply stuck in the tip. See, the tube had been sitting unused for several months, and the whole 'glue dried in tip theory' seemed like a good one at the time. However, when the tube was rolled from the end and squeezed again, the glue decided to make it's assault. The glue sprayed from the end of the tube like a fire hose, coating the victims hand in the sticky, fast drying substance. The victim immediately ran to the sink, attempting to scrub the glue off with a vigorous hand washing, while the victims significant other laughed uproariously in the background. As the evidence (ie: photo) plainly shows, this attempt failed. If any of you have any tips for removing vicious, attacking glue from skin, they would be greatly appreciated.

Saturday, December 23

New Ticker

As most of you know, Ammon and I have been trying to eat more healthy and be more active for the past several months. With the holidays coming, I'm feeling some of my resolve slipping, so I posted this ticker as an effort to motivate myself. I'm going to set a goal of 50 pounds, and cheer myself on by being able to watch that ticker slide all the way across the bar. Hopefully knowing that everybody that reads this blog is also keeping track of my weight loss will keep me on the straight and narrow through the difficult winter months!

Friday, December 22


Okay, Mary. It is ten o'clock at night here, and Ammon and I are both exhausted and headed to bed, but I'm posting this just for you, so you can read it first thing when you get up in Lithuania, instead of waiting until morning our time, which is all day for you! Just wanted you to know what kind of daughter in law I am!
Anyway, the performance tonight at the assisted living center went pretty well. We opened with one of our more difficult songs, and it was a little bit rocky early in the performance. The second song we had to completely restart, since the accompanist skipped a line in the music and got ahead of the voices. I missed notes that I hadn't ever missed before, and it was the first time we were trying to sing in front of a microphone, so getting close enough together to get all the voices in the mic was a challenge. That being said, I think the performance went quite well. The audience seemed to really enjoy it, laughed with us, and was moved at the appropriate places. Several of the residences came up to us after the performance and asked that we come back soon, so we're already talking about putting together an 'oldies' springtime show just for them. We did manage to capture the entire 40 minute performance on videotape, so we have it for our posterity.
In a way, I'm actually kind of sad that this program is over. I've really enjoyed singing the Christmas songs that we do, and I've gotten attached to several of the non-Christmas pieces as well. I guess discarding music and moving on to something else is part of being a member in this type of group, but I'm going to miss the feeling of getting ready for a show, and feeling the press and anxiety of it. I'm sure that we'll set up other shows, and we're already planning to come back here, but I'm really glad that our first performance as a group, and my very first real performance in general went well.

Thursday, December 21

Sing, sing, sing!

Well, today was our very last practice before we perform at the Assisted Living Center tomorrow night. We did a final run-through of our program, including an introduction for all of us, and the poems that are being read in between some of the songs. Our little program should run about 30-35 minutes, and is really beautiful. I think it's a lovely mix of Christmas music, and enough non-Christmas music to keep it interesting. I hope the old folks are as pleased with it as we are. If they're not, we still had a good time putting it together, and that's all that counts! Today we also agreed on the clothing we're to wear, got folders to arrange our music, and set up a warm-up time for tomorrow evening. I'm going to try and remember to have Ammon take some pictures, and possibly even videotape the show so we have something to show for our hard work. I won't post the entire show, but maybe if we have a particularly good bit tomorrow night I will post that part. Keep us all in your prayers tomorrow night, as three of the four of us are either sick or recovering, and hopefully nobody else will be struck down for at least 36 hours!

Wednesday, December 20

Family Pictures

We got our family photos done early last week, just in time for Christmas. Everybody in the family is giving my grandmother framed family portraits for Christmas this year, so we got in just under the wire to have them back by Friday in time to frame it and have it ready when we see her on Christmas Eve. I didn't want to buy any new clothes for these photos, so we rummaged around the house and decided we all had black shirts. I like the matching pictures much better, but I wish Jeremy had something to wear other than a black t-shirt. Anyway, I thought you guys out in cyber-space would enjoy these, so here they are! Below, I'll post a couple other pictures from our sitting, so be sure to check those out as well.

Ammon and Kids

This is my favorite picture out of the ones we ordered. Jeremy is making kind of a funny face, but we did this one toward the end of the photos, so getting a natural smile was getting a little bit difficult. I think my little boy crew looks wonderful together, and I'm glad we decided to get this picture taken on a whim.

Victoria and Kids

Ammon made me order prints of this picture, I think it was retaliation for me ordering the prints of him with the kids. I really am not a fan of this picture, and will probably avoid actually hanging it up in my home, but at least we have it and Ammon can feel vindicated.

Tuesday, December 19

Caroling we go

Last night for Family Home Evening a group of us went out caroling. It was a lot of fun, and we made it to several houses in the ward. We only sang for about 40 minutes, as it was bitterly cold, and also my voice was starting to give out. I was trying my best to sing gingerly, but I have missed songs so much, I couldn't help but really try to do my best. It didn't sound very good, I was able to sing my part but it sounds very gravelly and not much like myself, but I enjoyed it all the same. After our trek around the neighborhood, we all ventured back to our house where we had hot chocolate and donuts, and sat around and talked for about an hour. All in all, it was a very pleasant, if very COLD evening. The temperature is supposed to plummet again today, and when I looked at the weather report, the temperature is currently 10 degrees, and we have a lovely high of 29 today! Looks like we got out caroling done just in time.

Monday, December 18

Medical Miracle!

I've been posting about how nasty this cold is, and today I finally went in to the doctor to get it taken care of. Apparently the cold that is going around requires an antibiotic in order to kick it for good, and I didn't want to wait around anymore. Also, since my voice isn't improving at all and I really want to be able to perform on Friday, I was hoping he could give me some tips to help restore my brutalized vocal chords. Well, not only did he give me a beefy antibiotic, but he also took my whimpering to heart and gave me 5 days worth of a steroid that will reduce the inflammation in my chords, and get my voice back to normal! Yea! Within a couple hours of taking the medication, my voice sounds almost normal. A little bit weaker and trembly, for sure, and I haven't tried to sing yet, but at least I can speak, and that's a bonus! I'm going to be careful for the next few days, so I don't injure them after not using them for so long, but it looks like the show will go on, after all!

Saturday, December 16

Date Night

Last night Ammon and I went out on a date. It's the only time all month that we've been able to coordinate getting a sitter, and had a little bit of funds to be able to go out. We went back to our favorite Indian place, and then saw a movie at the cheap theatre. We had discussed going somewhere where we could interact a little bit more, but we have both been struck down by this nasty cold, so the idea of planting ourselves in front of a movie screen was pretty appealing. I've been whispering for about two days in order to conserve my voice, so the idea of not having to keep up my end of the conversation was really nice. Today we are planning to get some grocery shopping done and generally take it easy for the weekend. Ammon's been working extra hard trying to make extra money this month, so we're excited to spend a day mostly at home and not doing much!

Thursday, December 14

Kadon's Specialist

Yesterday we took Kadon down to Primary Children's Medical Center and had him checked out by an asthma specialist. The doctor agreed that all of his symptoms combined sound like asthma, and gave us a detailed action plan to follow, along with about 5 new prescriptions for new medication. We're hopeful that with all this new information and the new treatments, we won't have any more major problems. We were very comfortable with the doctor, and feel really great about the treatment options that he presented to us. Kadon also seems to be getting over his latest ear infection, so hopefully we'll all be healthy for a while, that is if I ever get over this cold, right? Hope things are going well for all of you, and the blessed end of the week finds you well!

Tuesday, December 12


It's a good thing I don't get sick very often. I have come down with a particularly nasty cold the last two days, and I feel like my head is going to explode and my nose is going to fall off. Last night I was smart enough to take some NyQuil before I went to bed, and I slept like an angel....until about 2:00 am when the drugs wore off. If I were a smart woman, I would have gotten up and taken more medicine, but since I was warm and comfortable in bed, I stayed there and suffered. Ammon was nice enough to stick around this morning and make us a hot breakfast and put away the clean dishes for me, and suggested that I put in a movie for myself and relax today. I might do that, but I really should be getting the laundry done and unearthing my newborn clothing for my friend who is having a baby next month. I think I'll just take it easy for a little while, and then hopefully tackle my chores after a movie.

Monday, December 11

Candy Making

Today we are going to my grandmothers for our annual Christmas candy making. I have missed it for the last couple of years, and I'm really excited to be able to go today. We always make toffee, fudge, cherry no-bakes, and the grand finale is peanut brittle! We use my great grandmothers recipe, and it is a huge celebration when the peanut brittle is correct. Usually we call my great grandma at least once to ask her a question (which we don't really need the answer too) just to make her feel included. I've really missed being part of this tradition the last couple of years, so hopefully today is great, and hopefully my children behave so I actually get to cook instead of just chasing them around.

Saturday, December 9

Visiting Santa

Today we visited the mall to have pictures of my kids taken with Santa. I was impressed with how well both of my kids did. Jeremy was so animated all the way to the mall, telling me that he was going to ask Santa for toys, and asking me where his sled would be. He wanted to know where Santa lived, what kind of house he lived in, and even how his sleigh traveled because there isn't any snow. It was really cute, even if it was a little bit annoying to be answer his questions at rapid fire pace for the entire 25 minute drive. When we arrived at the mall, we found Santa's Toy Shop to be reasonably busy, but the wait was only a few minutes. When it was his turn, Jeremy gingerly climbed up in Santa's lap, and proceeded to keep his eyes downcast for most of the interview. He told Santa that he had been a good boy, that he has been keeping his room clean. Now, when it came time for Santa to ask what Jeremy wanted for Christmas, it was time for my little boy to really light up! He asked for a brave castle with knights, like the one he played with over at his friends house the other day. Santa asked if Jeremy liked knights, to which Jeremy incredulously replied "Yes!" Shouldn't Santa know that EVERY little boy likes knights?! Anyway, it was really cute. When I put Kadon on his lap, I barely had time to snap a picture before I was afraid he was going to burst into tears. Kadon at his best is merely wary of strangers, and at his worst he buries his face in whatever body part of mine that he can reach when they speak to him. I had very low hopes for his visit to Santa, so the fact that we got out of there without any waterworks was pleasing to me. All in all, I would say it was a successful afternoon except for one small detail: the big guy promised my little boy his castle and knight set. I guess he didn't get the memo that our Christmas shopping is already done, and he won't be finding one of those under the tree! I guess it's off to DI I go, in search of a 'brave castle with knights' for my fearless little boy!

Thursday, December 7

Tampa Bound

My husband left for a business trip on Wednesday, which is already not any fun, but to add insult to injury, he traveled to sunny Tampa, Florida! He called me last night when his flight got in to report that it was a balmy 80 degrees. Oh, and he's also less than ten minutes from the beach. Big dumb jerk. When I talked to him this morning he was telling me the high was supposed to be in the 80's, but in an effort to make me feel better, he added 'But it's cloudy." Like that's supposed to make me feel better when we're here freezing our tails off?! I was not pleased. Anyway, just wanted to vent my very COLD emotions toward my husband right now. All I can say is that he better bring me back a great souvenir from this trip!

Tuesday, December 5


I'm feeling really grateful today for my husband. Not that I'm not grateful for him every day, but I'm feeling especially grateful for him this day. We had some bad financial news yesterday. The kind of bad news that turns your entire world upside down, and has far-reaching, catastrophic implications. As I was sobbing and wondering where we would go from there, my dear husband marched out, with sword and shield drawn, and fought for us. He managed to make the situation not nearly as terrible as it could have been, and did it all with a smile on his face. Now, during the month that he is meant to be taking some time off, he is going to be forced to work full time and take at least 1 business trip to make up some extra money to pay these unexpected and large expenses. Instead of getting angry, and being depressed, my husband is taking care of the situation and in the process, making me feel so secured and loved that I think we might make it through this trial after all! I'm grateful that he has the kind of job that he can just 'put in more hours' and get some extra money, but I'm mostly grateful for his dedication to our family that he is willing to do what it takes. So many other men would simply throw their hands in the air and give up, but not my husband. For me, it's just another affirmation of why it is I married this wonderful man.