Monday, August 25, 2008

Putting your best foot forward

One day last month I got a phone call - at 5:15 in the morning! I, of course, was sound asleep when my phone rang. I didn't even look at the screen, I didn't care who was calling that early, if it was an emergency they would call again, right? A couple of hours later, as I was driving the kids to school, I listened to the message. Turns out it was my mom calling. At first I thought - oh maybe it was important, but no. She was calling because she and her friend Barb were at Target and there were a bunch of girls' sandels on clearance and she wanted to know my kids' shoe sizes! So I called her back and let her know the sizes - because what kids can't have too many pairs of sandels, especially here in Hawaii? But I also kindly reminded her that when she is called from Indiana there is a 6 hour time difference and that I would prefer not to be called at 5 in the morning in the future.
A couple of days later she said that she did indeed find some cute sandels and that she would be sending the package from Michigan before she left my Grandma's house. This was over 3 weeks ago.
Well, the package FINALLY arrived. It was mailed on July 29th - hows that for priority mail!?! Usually things shipped priority from anywhere on the mainland take more than the normal 2 or 3 days to get here, but 3 weeks? I was beginning to give up hope. But the wait was worth it. The kids were so excited when they saw I was carrying a package out of the office today after school. They knew what it was.

So I thought I would share a few photos I took of my silly children and their new shoes.

First, Abby and Danielle, they're both girls and can appreciate a good thing when they see it. They promptly put on the pair they fancied most and wore them for the rest of the day. This is quite a feat for Danelle as she usually plays outside without any shoes on.

Isaac had the regular boy reaction - he got really excited, put them on, but then they were cast off again as soon as something cooler came along, in this case back to back episodes of Phenius and Ferb on the Disney Channel.

But Juliana's reaction was by far the best - shoes, I don't need no stinkin' shoes! But I love these new toys you bought me.

Thanks Grandma for the new toys, er - shoes that you sent. Maybe someday soon Juliana will actually let me put them on her feet.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Living is a Distopic Society

Well, I spent a good portion of the day doing 2 activites.

First, I finished reading the last book in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, Breaking Dawn. I was really good - in fact it's my favorite of the whole series - I was not disappointed. I may just have to read it again! OK, so we all know that I will anyway. I won't give anything away, because that's just lame to spoil a good read for someone else, but I do have to say that there was much I wasn't expecting, meaning I was pleasantly surprised by the storyline, and she somehow managed to end it without feeling like you needed more. I don't think JK Rowling was even able to do that with Harry Potter - she resolved the story, but peronally I still wanted more of Harry. Here Stephenie Meyer was able to resolve the story - or stories, as the case may be - and even though there could be more story (and hopefully someday will be), you fell like it was a good place to end. At least I did. Needless to say - I loved it.

The other thing I did today was actually get stuff put away! It's amazing that I actually did it. I kept telling myself each night - tomorrow's the day, I'm going to get to work - and yet I never do. But today I did. And the living room actually looks put together, like we really live here, not like our lives just happened to explode here and no one's bothered to pick up the rubble yet.
In my D&C class this summer one of our lectures was spent on the subject of Zion and living in a Utopic Society. We were trying to define what that might be from the early saints' point of view. First our teacher, Bro. Williams (visiting from BYU-Idaho, great teacher) read us the dictionary definition of utopic. And while I don't remember most of what he read, I do remember that he said the opposite of utopic is distopic. And I said to my friend sitting next to me - that's what I live in, a distopic society! Well, it's true, our lives are usually in some form of chaos, not that that's even a bad thing. We are a young family and I know that life is going to be crazy. And we're even lucky to be the family that we are. I have so many friends that have had parts of their family taken from this life, or that wish they had more parts to share this life with. So really I'm blessed to live in such a distopic society and I need to remember to be grateful for it everyday. Someday I will have a house that looks how I imagine "Holly Homemaker" or "Molly Mormons" house to be, but until then I will settle for lots of loud pounding feet (pitter-patter, yeah right), dirty dishes piling up by the ton, stray spaghetti noodles stuck to the walls, sopping wet bathroom mats, and bedroom floors covered in microscopic lego pieces. That's what life is all about, right?

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm such a Hypocrite

So last week I gave my sister, Kerry, a hard time because she wasn't posting on her blog. Her excuse was that she didn't have any pictures to put up, so I told her too bad, write something anyway - which she did. And now here I am, haven't posted in a week! What a hypocrite I am! In all fairness I did have 2 finals and an 8 page research paper to take care of this week - ok, so I was done with all of that on Thursday. Oh well.

So I thought I would mention a little about what's going on with all the kids - I haven't been blogging about them a whole lot lately. Plus they like to see themselves on the computer screen. In fact Abby just asked me if she could start her own blog - to which I said "No!" and she replied, "Why not?" And I didn't really know what to say, so I said, "You're too little." And thought in my mind 'Because I said so, and I'm the Mommy!'

Abigail: Abby started second grade this year - hard tobelieve that she's so grown up. The first day of school here was July 29 - crazy, huh! We have modified year-round school here. Abby seems to be enjoying her new teacher and is making some new friends. Her favorite things to do right now are roller skating and riding her bike. She's also gaga for Polly Pocket, but since we moved, I haven't brought the Polly Pocket stuff downstairs yet as there's really no where for her to put it that the other kids can't get into all the tiny, tiny pieces. She's getting really good at reading and will read entire chapter books on her own and then tell me what they were all about. She's also always been pretty good at math and it excited to be good enough to go to another class room for math time. And she's even got 100% of both of her spelling tests so far (she gets a new list of words each week).

Isaac: Isaac is attending Kindergarten again this year. He only turned 5 at Christmas time, but because of the way the schools are here he quailified, so last year he went as a Jr. Kindergartener and we choose to have him repeat this year. He just wasn't ready socially and maturity wise to go to first grade yet. Besides, we figured better to hold him back now, when he doesn't care, then later when he (and other kids) will notice and make a big deal out of it. His teacher this year is much more structured, which I don't think he would have done well with last year, but I think it will do him wonders this year. She was really good about talking to him about helping the other kids that don't know all the rules and might be scared, since he already knew what he was doing. He started going to half days of school last week, but today was his actual first full day (finally!) and he seemed to like it. He and Abby are walking home now that he's there all day, too, so that's really nice for me. And they would rather walk home anyway - it's only 5-10 min, depending on how much they chat, pick flowers, whatever. And there are no buses to the school here, everyone walks, so they usually have friends to talk with on the way. It really is a blessing to live in a nice small, and safe community. Oh, Isaac loves to draw now, and is pretty good, and he loves to make things with Legos. Sometimes he makes them up, sometimes he follows the directions that came in the sets. And I can't fail to mention that he now rides a two-wheeler - totally taught himself - and he can blow bubbles with his gum, something that he's so proud he has to show us everytime - hopefully that part will wear off soon!

Danielle: Danielle is once again attending preschool through the Headstart program here. She's in the same classroom, with the same teachers as last year. She really likes that she's the Big Girl in class now and do everything herself. She's gotten really good at coloring and can use scissors better than either of her older siblings. He teachers are always trying to find something harder for her to practice her cutting skills on. That girl is destined to be a scrapbooker already. Danielle started school on August 1, from 7:30 to 11:30. Just me and the little babe in the morning.

Juliana: Little Baby girl will be six months old - tomorrow. Man how time flies. She got her first tooth in a few weeks ago, and can now sit up on her own pretty reliably. She LOVES applesauce, and will tolerate whatever other foods I give her, just because she's so anxious to be eating what everyone else eats. If anyone is eating something in front of her, she will just STARE at you until you relent and give her a little bit. I'm not sure that I would call her stubborn yet, but she diffinately has will power. She also loves to eat biter biscuits and these things called Mum-mums, they are like giant flatten rice crispy pieces (not treats, just one piece of rice crispy cereal blown up a few hundred times). They are about 3 inches tall and look like little rice surf boards that disolve when she chews on them. Here are a few pics I took while feeding her carrots this morning. Good thing she hasn't figured out that she can spit the food out of her mouth yet - for now, if I can get it in her mouth she will swallow it down whether she likes it or not.

Notice the ghetto bib - I haven't found where I stashed the bibs before the move....

I was trying to get the look on her face when she tasted the carrots, but she is too mesmerized be the camera (as usual). But it still turned out cute.

Well, if you've read this far, you probably want to hear about Cameron and me as well, right?

Cameron just applied for a job at the University of Hawaii in their financial aid department. They are hiring counselors right now, which is the part he likes to do the best. So keep him in your prayers. It would be about an hour commute (we'd still live up here), but worth it if he can get a good job that he enjoys. In the mean time he's been hanging out with the kids while I go to class - nice that I don't have to find a babysitter for now.

I'm out of school for a week and a half. I still don't have my fall classes figured out, but I will soon. I just need a few school-free days to recover. I did manage to finish my research paper titled 'Women Who Followed Christ'. It was about the important role of women in early Christianity that is often overlooked and/or forgotten. Pretty interesting topic, but again, sick of it at the moment. If anyone is interested I would be more than happy to share my paper, but really, it's not my best piece of writing by far. Wrote most of it in a hurry. It could have been so much better if I had taken the time earlier in the term. You know, with all the free time I have everyday:) I'm also trying to work on my scrapbooking/stamping business. I've still a Close to my Heart consultant, and I love it, but again, haven't had a lot of time. But I really want to get restarted. I have absolutely NO competition here, I could do really well. And now we have a little more room, so maybe it's possible.

Well, this was way longer than I was planning. And Juliana has passed out in my lap, so I should put her down and do something more productive with my time:)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Living in the Age of the Blogger

So I'm in the kids' room, tonight, with all 4 children, getting ready for bed. The older 3 have all been fed, bathed, pajama-ed, even had their finger- and toe-nails trimmed. They're all being a little bit silly and between the 4 of us, we manage to get Juliana laughing pretty hard. Now she giggles a little here and there and has recently begun screaming in delight (which is cute, but gets old real fast), but she doesn't get to laughing real hard a whole lot. So we're all enjoying her laugh and laughing with her, which of course makes her laugh harder.

All of the sudden Abby says, "Mom, we have to put this on your blog!"
And Isaac says, "Yeah, on your blog."

PS - Though Cameron wasn't there in the moment, we did a fairly decent reenactment for him shortly after the incident, but of course Juliana wouldn't laugh for us.... sigh. Oh well.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Round and Round we go and the downside to losing weight

Can you all tell that I have a research paper due? It seems that when I have school assignments that need to get done, I also tend to blog a lot - I think it's called procrastination. At least it helps me to catch up on my entries.

So round and round we go - as some of you know, I've been taking a jogging class here at BYU Hawaii. Actually I've taken it a number of times. This summer is my 5th time taking it. Last spring, when I took it for the first time, I wasn't really excited about it - you see the class in 4 days a week, Mon thru Thurs, at 6am! Yep, you heard right. And to add to all that - it's only worth one stinkin' credit! And while I wasn't too excited to be running, I was excited to have time to exercise that I couldn't put off. I had to show up for class.

And I was still trying to reach my weight loss goal of losing 20 pounds from Jan 2007 to June 2007 - one new year's resolution I was determined to make. And I did it. I'm not ashamed to admit that I had reach the unbelievable weight of 187 lbs - that's where I was in Jan 2007. I'm not sure how that happened, and some of you will say, but you're tall, you didn't look like you weighed that much, but the truth is that I did. And I didn't like it - I really didn't like to see pictures of myself. So I decided to try to do better. By June I had done it - I was at 170 lbs and lovin' how my clothes were fitting me much better, but I still wanted to lose more - wanting to get down to pre-children weight would be fabulous.

So I signed up to take that jogging class again in the summer that year. Unfortunately I didn't lose anymore weight, but it wasn't because I wasn't exercising, it was because I found out I was pregnant! When I was about 14 weeks along, I finally realized that while I didn't really miss my little monthly friend, she hadn't come a-knockin' for a few months! Oops! While I wasn't losing anymore weight, I wasn't gaining either - a nice little equilibrium, the baby could gain and I could lose. This was my "skinniest" pregnancy yet and I love every minute of it.

Of course, towards the end of the pregnancy I did start gaining weight, it was inevitable - and when I hit Jan 2008, guess where my weight was? Yep, right back where I started - actually about 192. While I was happy that both the baby and I were very healthy, it was a little bit of a bummer to be right back where I had started last year. But I tried not to let it bother me (well, too much) and just concentrated on having a healthy baby.

And so I did have a healthy baby - and I even let myself heal (something I'm not so well known for doing) and when I hit the 8 week, post birth, mark I started up jogging class again. And by the time Juliana was 12 weeks old, I was back to 170! Even with Abby I don't think I lost the weight that fast. And I feel good. I've been hovering right at 165 for now, but I can tell that the running is still doing me good. I think I've just reach that point where the good muscle development and the bad fat being lost are equaling out for the moment. While it's a little disheartening to not see the scale dropping like it has been, I have reached a few milestones that have been keeping me motivated lately:

1. For the first time in as long as I can clearly remember - my thighs do not rub together when I walk - or run as the case may be. True, I am usually clothed with I'm doing these activities, but when I'm wear BYU issue shorts it's easy to tell what is and what is not rubbing together any longer.

2. I can now run 1.5 mile in under 15 minutes. This was my goal for this spring/summer in my jogging class. I've been right about 16 minutes, so I wanted to bring it down. 3 weeks ago I ran it in 14 min 51 sec, but that was by my watch time, so I wasn't totally convinced that it was accurate. But just this week in class we ran it and I did it in 14 min 14 sec! So there's no doubt about it - I've finally reached my goal there and can work on getting even faster.

3. And now for the only downside I've found to losing the weight - my clothes DO NOT fit me! Now, I know that sounds funny, it's a great thing that my clothes are all getting to be too big for me, but I don't have anything to wear! I could even go out and buy a few new things, but I don't want to invest in a new (albeit small) wardrobe just to have it not fit again in a few months. But wouldn't that be nice! So I'm going to wear my too big pants - and invest in a belt - until I can't stand it any longer and then maybe I'll buy a few things.

Maybe if you're lucky I'll post some before and after pics - I haven't taken any afters yet, I need too. And I'm not sure I really want to share the before pics. So we'll see. But it's been a fun, and very cyclical, adventure over the last year and a half - I'm just hoping the cycle part of it is over.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Woman's got the have her Chocolate....

I'm am one of the luckiest gals on earth. I know you all think that at some point (well, hopefully not any guys reading this), and it's a good day when that happens. Actually one of my most recent good days was a month ago now - see I'm so behind on posting. My friend Lorelei (the one with the cookbook - see this post) had told me that she was sending me a birthday present (way back in June when it actually was my birthday) and that she was sure I was going to love it. It made me wonder what she was sending, because while we're pretty good friends, we really haven't known each other too long and haven't even met (in real life, we have through a web cam) - she lives in Canadia (hehe). Anyway, so I anxiously waited for my present and FINALLY found out that it had arrived and was sitting in the office here at our apartment complex for about a week. Anyway - it was Stephen's Hot Chocolate, the cinnamon kind that I love! She sent me a 6 pack - I'm set for a while now. It was such a pleasnt surprise and I've been thoroughly been enjoying it so far.

And then, the very next day I got a mystery package from my mother. Everytime she's in the states she sends a package of whatever misc. stuff she's picked up for me or Cameron or the kids. I never know when it's coming or what's in it, so it's always a fun thing to find in the mail. Anyway - I open this package and what do I find 5 big containers of Strawberry-Kiwi Crystal Light! Yeah baby! Now I'm really set. She also sent along some other great things - I book I really enjoyed by Catherine Coulter (I'm currently reading another of hers), some things for the kids, and the world's great ponytail holders! I'm not joking, they are the best. She sent me 3 of them and I'm still using the first one. Now that may should a little silly to you, but I go through your regular goody ponytail holder at a rate of about 1 per week. I constantly have my hair up, otherwise my neck get all sweaty (I know, nice image), and I'm re-doing my ponytail about 5 times a day, and it's up during the night, too. Probably not the healthiest thing for my hair, but that's how it goes. So you can see that I'm pretty tough on my elastics. I usually use one until it's too streched out or breaks and then I toss it, in about a week. But I've been using this ONE for over 3 weeks! Amazing and it's still going strong. I don't even know the brand, or where they can be bought, or even if you can buy them in the states (I think she got them in China), but they rock.

OK, I'll quit rambling on and on about my ponytail adventures. Mostly I just wanted to say a big


to my mom and Lorilei for thinking of me and my beverage cravings - my tummy thanks you , too:)

Just a Heads Up...

My usual email account has been taken out of service - with no warning, mind you - so if you're getting emails bounced back to you, that's why. For the time being, if you want to get a hold of me you can email me at:

I'll let you know if/when I get a new email up and running.