Tuesday, December 30, 2008

it's a......

Today was ultrasound day! Yaaaaay! And, drumroll please, it's a girl! (Maybe I should have put the pink footprints AFTER the post to play up the suspense...or been really mean and put up blue footprints...hahahaha!) I was getting pretty worried because Whitney would just not accept the fact that it could be a boy. When I asked her if she would still love the baby if it were a boy she was pretty sure she wouldn't. Her excuse was, "But Heavenly Father really wants me to have a little sister!". Who knows, maybe it's big sister's intuition. After all, she named the baby Kate the day we found out we had another one on the way. I really think these two girls are going to have a special connection.

We've decided to name her Kate Rebecca Brimhall. I have just had the darnest time finding a middle name that sounded good and felt right. I was half way tempted to bribe Whitney to let me re-name her so I could find a name that was easier to find a middle name for. But, when we were at the temple doing baptisms with the youth I had been praying to find a middle name that would be meaningful and beautiful. I was actually praying about a name of one of Michael's converts in Mexico with whom he is very close to and just got that stupor of thought after the prayer. It sounded pretty together...but it just felt empty. Then, right in the middle of the stupor I heard the name "Rebecca" being read from the font. My eyes shot open and suddenly the light went "ding!" and I knew that was the name she should have. I was even more in awe because that is Rachel's middle name and I really had wanted to name her after Rachel somehow. (But, to name her Rachel would just be confusing and McKayla has the middle name Rachel....so....yeah) And it feels so good to have a name for this baby! It's a wonderful name and I just can't wait to hear her name when she is blessed. : )

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

ultrasound drama

Oh yeah! I forgot to tell you about the ultrasound drama. So, two weeks ago the OB said the ultrasound clinic would call me to set up an appointment for the next week or so. Two weeks later, still no call. So, I called the OB and they said my records never got faxed. Then, after spending all morning on the phone calling between the OB and the clinic and finally getting my records faxed, the lady at the clinic tells me she doesn't have any openings for the next 6 weeks!!! I about died! Thankfully, she was merciful and squeezed me in on the 30th. So, I'm trying to be patient and just consider it the best late Christmas present ever! I can't wait!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Drumroll Please....

Merry Christmas, everyone! Here's the long awaited belly picture! This is at 5 months along. :)
Thanks again, Mandy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Picture


My AMAZING friend Mandy took this AMAZING picture of the kids for me today. I was over at her house because after my previous post she offered to do belly shots for me. (They'll be up soon!) Can you believe this is at her house just sitting in front of the tree? I swear it looks like a studio picture. She is so talented! I couldn't wait to share it with the world! Thanks, Mandy! :) Oh my gosh, I just LOVE my kids!!! *sigh*

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Joy To The World! No, Seriously!

Lots of good news today! We'll start with the most recent. Yesterday around 5:00 p.m. I looked outside and couldn't believe my eyes. It was SNOWING!!! Yes, that's right, SNOWING!!! I started screaming and jumping up and down like a little kid, I seriously started to cry! The kids were so excited to go outside and play in it. It wasn't very much, just enough to coat everything, but it was still just as exciting! Whitney had fun making snow angels on trampoline and trying to catch them on her tongue (probably not the cleanest snow here with all that pollution...oh well!), and poor Aaron was just getting frustrated that his hands were cold and his pants were getting wet. I tried to put gloves on him and he freaked out...poor little Texan boy who doesn't like the cold. It was even more beautiful after the sun went down and I stood by the window and watched the flakes fall in the light from the street lamps. Ahhhh, it was gorgeous! And hot chocolate never tasted more delicious! (Or could it be that I used whole milk, three scoops of cocoa, Nestle French Vanilla creamer, Amaretto creamer, and whipped topping on top?)

Second, and even more wonderful is that I had such an amazing Fast Sunday last week! That morning I had said a special prayer that I would be able to feel the spirit and would be able to be happy about this baby and Heavenly Father heard me. We had a beautiful lesson in Y.W. about the personality of Heavenly Father and how He knows and loves each of us individually because we are His children. I mean, I know we've had this lesson a hundred times, but it's never really sunk in like this time. And I felt the spirit so strongly! This time it wasn't about how much Heavenly Father knows and loves me, this time I could feel how much Heavenly Father loves this BABY and how He KNOWS this baby. And suddenly it became clear that I'm not just carrying some random human being, I am carrying a precious little child of God! This is a baby with a special spirit who has been saved for the last days and has chosen to come to me because they LOVE me! Suddenly I felt so incredibly humbled and loved and just sooooo grateful! I have had a complete change of heart and it has been so amazing! Every time I feel a little kick I smile. And at night when I'm trying to fall asleep and the baby's hiccups are keeping me awake I don't get frustrated. I enjoy laying there feeling it's every little movement and think about what they will look like, what it will be like to hold them for the first time...allll happy thoughts! :) I am so grateful for Heavenly Father's tender mercies! I've always loved the stories in the scriptures where people have had a complete change of heart and always wondered what that would really be like. And now I know. It really is a miracle. :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

PICTURE TAG!


This is a picture of Whitney when she was about a year old, Me, Grandma Tove, and Grandpa Horst. Wow, this picture makes me miss them soooo much! I haven't seen them in almost three years. *sniff sniff* They are so wonderful and I am so very blessed to be a part of their eternal family! I love you Grandma and Grandpa!!!


Picture Tag!

1. Go to your pictures

2. Go to your fourth folder and upload your fourth picture

3. Post it!

I tag Jessica, Mandy, Callie and Melissa and whoever else wants to be tagged. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hello everyone! I have been so bad at blogging lately! Some weeks it's like I have something to say every single day. But the past few months have just flown by and I just haven't gotten around to the blog. Let's see...where to start. Um....OOH! I went and saw "Australia" with my friends Mandy and Pearlette. It was SOOOOOOO good! Oh my gosh, I think it's my new favorite movie. It was funny, and romantic, and action packed...everything you could want all smooshed into a 2 hour and 45 minute movie. Just remember that it's 2 hours and 45 minutes, and half way through the movie when you swear it's just about to end and you're like, "oh, that was such a good movie! But what ever happened to that one guy???" and then the movie keeps going you won't be suprised. There is the cuuuuutest little boy in the movie, he just melts my heart! Seriously, it was such a good movie. Then, to top off a great night we went to Cheesecake factory for a little 800 calorie snack and called it a night!

I went to the doctor this week and everything looks good. I'll be getting the "BIG" ultrasound here in a few weeks so that's nice! I have to admit that this pregnancy has been a hard one. I thought I'd be really connected with this baby already like I was with Whitney and Aaron. I used to talk to my belly and lay in bed just so happy to know that this sweet little baby was going to join our family. I haven't felt that with this one...I don't know why. I really struggle with being pregnant again and the change that's going to come and I just hope that the baby doesn't know that I feel this way. Anyway, I'm hoping that after I have the ultrasound I won't just picture this little alien looking creature taking over my belly and I'll get excited about a new son or daughter and find joy in pink or blue. Oh, and I've been getting a lot of requests for belly pictures. Um, about that...yikes! As a Christmas gift to all of you I'll put one up. After Mike gets me a camera for Christmas! (Got that, Michael?)

We had a nice Thanksgiving. We went out to Dallas to spend it with some of my relatives and it was nice to be with family! The drive went really fast and it was so beautiful! It actually LOOKED like fall! The trees were orange and red and yellow, it made me so giddy! The food was soooo good and we had fun playing the Wii and Guitar Hero and looking at the Black Friday adds! We had to cut the trip short, but I'm glad that we got to spend Thanksgiving with them! Thanks Chris and Brant! :)

The kids are doing pretty good. I babysat a three year old boy for one of the ladies I visit teach last week for 10 hours and his mom didn't happen to mention that he was sick with a cough and cold and needing breathing treatments because it was so bad. So, when he showed up and I heard him hacking up a mucus storm and snot flowing freely from his nose I was soooo close to telling her that I was terribly sorry but I just couldn't babysit him like that because of Whitney's lung problems. And I should have! Now, Whitney AND Aaron have it and I had to start breathing treatments on Whitney last night because she was wheezing and said she couldn't breath. It was a long night. I hope she can get through it okay...grrrr.

Other than that, they're doing good. Every day Whitney asks if it's Christmas yet so I think it's going to be a long month. I went and bought one of those advent calendar things so help her to count down the days to Christmas and that seems to have helped. I got it from Target and it's super cute! It's this one:

which also matches the colors of our Christmas ornaments this year! (by the way, are you supposed to count up to 25 or count down to 1???) There. Now I've added a picture to my blog and I feel complete. Well, there's the update for ya! I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and are now enjoying the fruits of your leftovers! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

URGENT GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING:

DO NOT SWALLOW YOUR CHEWING GUM!

See what happens?




Sunday, November 9, 2008

Time Out For Women

I just found this post in my drafts and realized I totally forgot to hit "publish post"...


This weekend I got to go to San Antonio for this years Time Out For Women with a group of friends from my ward. I have to say, Satan worked on me pretty hard to try to get me to back out of going, but I stuck to it and went and I am soooo glad I did! I had one of the best times of my life!!! The talks were all really good and I learned something from each of them. (Accept for the one guy who had the really soothing voice that I slept through...but that was mainly from the 3 1/2 hours of sleep we got the night before). Hillary Weeks was there and I had heard a few songs from her, but didn't really know anything about her. She was absolutely amazing! I was just in awe every time she sang. Plus, we got these SUPER cute tote bags from it...always a plus.

San Antonio is such a beautiful city! I'm looking forward to getting to go there again to play tourist. "REMEMBER THE ALAMOOOOO!" The streets are sooo confusing though. Seriously, they have an upper level highway and a lower level highway, so you just have to sort of take a gamble to see which one goes where. Here's a shout out to Mandy for getting us there alive! If I were driving, I'm pretty sure we would have arrived there dead...which totally doesn't count as getting there...so again, Mandy, YOU ROCK!!! :)

We got there Friday night and the Friday night events didn't get over until 9 p.m. (and oh my gosh, it was FREEEEZING in the convention center!!!) so then we went to the hotel after that and we were hungry. So, we ordered some pizza from some random place and it took them an hour to get it to us! We didn't end up going to bed until 1 a.m. and then the alarm from someone's watch went off at 4:30 a.m. (which now we all laugh about...not so funny that day though). I was already up, because I had been dreaming about Santa Anna's armies taking over the hotel...and something about all the bathrooms backing up so I wanted to get up to take a shower before our shower backed up...I don't think I was quite awake and sane yet. To make a really long, drawn out, incredibly detailed story short...it was a great day! We were all tired and cranky by the time we got home, but we still couldn't stop laughing. I didn't get to take any pictures, as usual...but I know some of the other ladies took some. Maybe I can bribe them to email me some...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

comic


HA HA HA HA HA!!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

When Hell Freezes Over...


Yaaaaay! Remember how in my previous blog I was bummed out about it still being hot? Well, today the HIGH was like 60! And tonight we're under a FREEZE WARNING!!! Hooooray! Jack Frost is coming to town!!! I mean...that's sad for everyone with gardens...but I can't help but have a little bounce in my step when I feel the cold air. It just reminds me of home and cute sweaters, hot mugs of apple cider, snow on the peaks of the mountains, and knowing that the holidays are just around the corner. Oh, and guess what I had for breakfast this morning??? Hot chocolate with peanut butter on whole wheat toast. It was fabulous! One and a half packs of reduced sugar cocoa, some amaretto creamer and a little bit of Pero all mixed together with a dab of whipped cream on top. Mmmmmm. I even got to turn the heat on because our house was so cold when we woke up. Aaron climbed in bed with me to snuggle and he had cold little feet! That was a new experience for me. Anyway...I just had to share the good news. Today I heard someone jokingly ask, "Does this mean that Hell is freezing over?" And I couldn't help but laugh.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

E-mail

My dad sent me this e-mail and I thought it was very insightful! I have been so stressed and worried about these elections for these reasons exactly! Unfortunately, it sounds like Obama is probably going to win, and this may be the future we have to look forward to. The people of America are shooting themselves in the foot out of blindness and wickedness and the issues of economy and tax cuts have overshadowed the issues that really matter. The issues that should really make us shiver and shake and stand up for what's right. Anyway...here's the article. It turned out kind of weird since I just copied and pasted it from my email and no matter what I do I can't make it look normal...so bear with me. :)


Why I Can't Vote For Obama By Huntley Brown

Dear Friends, A few months ago I was asked for my perspective on Obama, I
sent out an email with a few points. With the election just around the
corner I decided to complete my perspective. Those of you on my e-list
have seen some of this before but it's worth repeating... First I must say
whoever wins the election will have my prayer support. Obama needs to be
commended for his accomplishments but I need to explain why I will not be
voting for him. Many of my friends process their identity through their
blackness. I process my identity through Christ. Being a Christian (a
Christ follower) means He leads I follow. I can't dictate the terms He
does because He is the leader. I can't vote black because I am black; I
have to vote Christian because that's who I am. Christian first, black
second. Neither should anyone from the other ethnic groups vote because
of ethnicity. 200 years from now I won't be asked if I was black or white.
I will be asked if I knew Jesus and accepted Him as Lord and Savior. In an
election there are many issues to consider but when a society gets
abortion, same-sex marriage, embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning
to name a few, wrong economic concerns will soon not matter. We need to
follow
Martin Luther King's words -- don't judge someone by the color of
their skin but by the content of their character. I don't know Obama so
all I can go off is his voting record. His voting record earned him the
title of the most liberal senator in the
US Senate in 2007. NATIONAL
JOURNAL: Obama: Most Liberal Senator in 2007 (01/31/2008) To beat Ted
Kennedy and
Hillary Clinton as the most liberal senator, takes some doing.
Obama accomplished this feat in 2 short years. I wonder what would happen
to America if he had four years to work with. There is a reason Planned
Parenthood gives him a 100% rating. There is a reason the homosexual
community supports him. There is a reason Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro,
Hamas etc. love him. There is a reason he said he would nominate liberal
judges to the Supreme Court. There is a reason he voted against the
infanticide bill. There is a reason he voted No on the constitutional ban
of same-sex marriage. There is a reason he voted No on banning partial
birth abortion. There is a reason he voted No on confirming Justices
Roberts and Alito. These two judges are conservatives and they have since
overturned
partial birth abortion. The same practice Obama wanted to
continue.God help him. There is a reason Obama opposed the parental
notification law. Think about this: You can't give a kid an aspirin
without parental notification but that same kid can have an abortion
without parental notification. This is insane. There is a reason he went
to Jeremiah Wright's church for 20 years. Obama tells us he has good
judgment but he sat under
Jeremiah Wright teaching for 20 years. Now he is
condemning Wright's sermons. I wonder why now? Obama said Jeremiah Wright
led him to the Lord and discipled him. A disciple is one in training.
Jesus told us in Matthew 28:19 - 20 'Go and make disciples of all
nations.' This means reproduce yourself. Teach people to think like you,
walk like you; talk like you believe what you believe etc. The question I
have is what did Jeremiah Wright teach him? Would you support a White
President who went to a church which has tenets that said they have a
...1. Commitment to the White Community 2. Commitment to the White Family
3. Adherence to the White Work Ethic 4. Pledge to make the fruits of all
developing and acquired skills available to the White Community. 5. Pledge
to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening
and Supporting White Institutions 6. Pledge allegiance to all White
leadership who espouse and embrace the White Value System 7. Personal
commitment to embracement of the White Value System. Would you support a
President who went to a church like that? Just change the word from white
to black and you have the tenets of Obama's former church. If President
Bush was a member of a church like this, he would be called a racist.
Jessie Jackson and
Al Sharpton would have been marching outside. This kind
of church is a racist church. Obama did not wake up after 20 years and
just discovered he went to a racist church. The church can't be about
race. Jesus did not come for any particular race. He came for the whole
world. A church can't have a value system based on race. The churches
value system has to be based on biblical mandate. It does not matter if it
is a white church or a
black church it's still wrong. Anyone from either
race that attends a church like this would never get my vote. Obama's
former
Pastor Jeremiah Wright is a disciple of liberal theologian James
Cone, author of the 1970 book A Black Theology of Liberation. Cone once
wrote: '
Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified
totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and
against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill
him.Cone is the man Obama's mentor looks up to. Does Obama believe this?
So what does all this mean for the nation? In the past when the Lord
brought someone with the beliefs of Obama to lead a nation it meant one
thing - judgment. Read 1 Samuel 8 when
Israel asked for a king. First God
says in 1 Samuel 1:9 'Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let
them know what the king who will reign over them will do.' Then God says,
1 Samuel 1:18 ' When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the
king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.' 19
But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. 'We want a
king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king
to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.' 21 When Samuel
heard all that the people said, he repeated it before the LORD. 22 The
LORD answered, 'Listen to them and give them a king.' Here is what we know
for sure. God is not schizophrenic. He would not tell one person to vote
for Obama and one to vote for McCain. As the scripture says, a city
divided against itself cannot stand, so obviously many people are not
hearing from God. Maybe I am the one not hearing, but I know God does not
change and Obama contradicts many things I read in scripture so I doubt
it. For all my friends who are voting for Obama, can you really look God
in the face and say: Father, based on your word, I am voting for Obama
even though I know he will continue the genocidal practice of partial
birth abortion. He might have to nominate three or four Supreme Court
justices, and I am sure he will be nominating liberal judges who will be
making laws that are against You. I also know he will continue to push
for homosexual rights, even though You destroyed
Sodom and Gomorrah for
this. I know I can look the other way because of the economy. I could not
see Jesus agreeing with many of Obama's positions. Finally I have two
questions for all my liberal friends. Since we know someone's value system
has to be placed on the nation, 1. Whose value system should be placed on
the nation? 2. Who should determine that this is the right value system
for the nation?

Blessings, Huntley Brown


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I've been tagged!

8 TV shows I watch
1. Gilmore Girls
2. Scrubs
3. Extreme Home Makeover
4. David Letterman
5. Bones
6. Anything on PBS Kids in the mornings
7. Myth Busters
8. E.R.

8 things that happened yesterday
1. My visiting teacher came over (she rocks!!!)
2. Playgroup at 10 o'clock
3. Strange emotional breakdown starring Aaron...I think I waited too long to put him down for his nap and he didn't want to put underwear back on before I rocked him to sleep.
4. Play time with Whitney
5. I made 2 batches of sugar cookies for mutual
6. Made dinner. Grilled cheese and tomato soup...yummy.
7. Went to mutual
8. Had the rest of the sugar cookies stolen after mutual by some rude, unruly teenage boy. Grrrr. (I promised the kids I'd bring some home for them!)

8 things on my wish list
1. A new camera
2. A trundle bed or bunk bed for the kids so we'll have room for baby. I'm leaning towards trundle because I know Aaron would probably only stay alive for a week with a bunk bed. "To infinity and beyond!!! Wheeeeeee!" Thud. The end.
3. One of those new hdtvs so that in February we don't lose our signal and I don't have to go try to track down one of those little adapter things that are supposedly going to be impossible to find. Besides, it would be so fun to watch movies with!
4. To know what the gender of the baby is so I can start shopping and all the cute little baby clothes on clearance at Target, Old Navy and the Gap stop taunting me!
5. That my acne would go away. :(
6. An entertainment center like those nice ones in Pottery Barn catalogs with the doors that you can shut so the kids can't push the buttons and smear the tv with spit and snot and yogurt...
7. A piano bench
8. I wish I could go to the Temple more often.

8 restaurants I go to
1. Pei Wei (honey seared chicken)
2. Quiznos (tuscan turkey on rosemary parmesan bread)
3. Cheesecake Factory (chicken enchiladas)
4. Red Lobster (anything!!!)
5. Ninos (chicken and cheese enchiladas smothered in green chili)
6. Wendys (frosties)
7. Sonic (pretty much anything...love the drinks!)
8. Sams Club cafe...not really a restaurant, but they have the best pizza ever!

8 people I want to tag....Rachel, Chris, Mandy, Jessica, Diana, Marissa, Olivia and Samantha

la dee da...

Wow, it's been a while. I've sat down and tried to start several different posts, but they all turn out so lame that I just delete it until I have something better to say. Plus, I still don't have a new camera so I don't have any fun pictures to put up of anything...and for some reason I have it in my head that you have to have a picture with your post. Oh well, I'd better get over it!

Things have been pretty quiet lately, not much excitement. It's still in the 80's here and I'm just counting down the days until I can wear a sweater. I hear a cold front is supposed to be coming through, and then they say it's going to get all the way down into the 70's and I just want to sob! Give me the 50's or the 40's at least! Oh, and they had these really cute maternity pea coats on sale at Motherhood Maternity and I got all excited and went to get one and the lady at the store looked at me strangely when I asked her if they had any left. Apparently this place doesn't sell winter coats. I swear it gets cold her in the winter, though...I remember it getting below freezing last year and it was sooooo cold! Michael was saying how people at work were freaking out about driving on the ice and I thought that was just so funny. Anyway, to make a long story short, I ordered one online and it should be here any day. I'll just have to wait a few months to wear it.

Remember a while ago when I said that I wasn't going to have any more kids until Aaron was potty trained? Well, I've started potty training him and I think I just might have it done by the time the baby comes! He's doing pretty well other than overshooting the toilet every time he sits down and goes and not making it to the bathroom in time. A few days ago he went all by himself and left a big puddle on the bathroom floor and Whitney came running in to congratulate him and totally slipped in the puddle and fell down. It was so sad and so funny at the same time...

Things with the Young Women are going very well right now! Our motto this year is Mosiah 5:15 "Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works". So, we decided to make a challenge and asked them to try to reach the goal of doing 5, 515 acts of service (good works) by Night in Excellence. They wrote down the acts they did each week and turned them into me and I made one of those chart things where you color up to the line with the number they were at. I really didn't think we were going to make it, but last Sunay I tallied it up and we are at 5, 460 acts of service!!! I am so proud of them! We are going to write an article about it and send it to the New Era and see if they'll publish it.

This Friday I am going to Time Out For Women with a group of friends from church in San Antonio. My friend Mandy (woo-hoo! Mandy!!!!) got us a nice suite in a Mariott (I think it was Mariott) and we're going to spend the night there. I'm so excited!!! I've never been on an overnighter without the kids and husband, so this will be a new experience. I can't wait! The only thing I worry about is having to run to the ladies room every half an hour and three or four times every night...hahaha. The joys of pregnancy.

Speaking of which, I'm a few days away from being done with the first trimester! Yaaaay! I'm feeling pretty good! I'm already in maternity clothes which seems ridiculous...but what else can I do? I haven't been sick lately, so that's good. I'm just hungry every hour or so. I'm trying to stick to healthy snacks, lots of fruits and cheese sticks and stuff so I don't weigh five hundred pounds by the time this baby comes...which seems so far away....

Well, that's about all I can think of right now. I've got to go try to make sugar cookies for mutual tonight and dinner hasn't even been thought of yet and Michael will be home in about half an hour wondering where it is...eek!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

25 Things About My Mom

1. She dresses so cute! She has always had a great sense of style. She never showed up at my school to bring me the lunch I forgot in a pair of sweats. She always looks her best...even her P.J.'s are cute!

2. She is the one who got me addicted to Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. It's been something she's used since she was little...I believe she said her favorite flavor was red raspberry.

3. She is an incredible musician. She plays the flute, piano, guitar and she sings like an angel. I have fond memories of listening to her play classical music on her guitar when I was little, and playing the piano after the kids were in bed.

4. She used to spend hours and hours and hours making crafts to sell at craft fairs. (She always did VERY well at those!) I have always been so amazed at the things she makes with her bare hands! My favorite Christmas presents were the ones she made us.

5. She always gets her Visiting Teaching done. Not only does she get it done, she makes these awesome treat bags or cute little knick knacks to give them every time! She's so creative!

6. I never had to wonder if my mom loved me. Even when I was absolutely horrible to her. She was always there with a hug and a tear when I needed her.

7. She is an amazing cook. Every Christmas Eve she makes this incredible feast of Chimichangas (spelling???), Posole, chili, taquitos, and all sorts of other goodies. To me, that's Christmas, right there. Christmas Eve dinner.

8. She used to make me peanut butter on bread and draw a smiley face in the peanut butter. I thought it was the coolest thing ever! And to this day I swear the sandwich didn't taste as good when I didn't get my smiley face on it.

9. She's a great movie critic. She always knows the best picks!

10. She is an incredible substitute teacher...now a secretary! I swear, claws come out when the other teachers fight over who gets her when they're going to be gone. She is one hot item in the Monte Vista school district! She's so good at what she does and the kids love her!

11. She is such an awesome grandma! Whitney, Aaron and McKayla just adore her. She has a special way of making cranky babies calm down and I wish I knew her secret! She always remembers their birthdays and knows how to make them feel special.

12. She's so funny! She's always ready with some sort of little prank to pull.

13. She used to be a nurse! I believe she was pregnant with me at the same time, too. It was very difficult for her, but she still went and did it every day. She has such neat stories about experiences she had there. And she always has good medical advice!

14. She walks miles and miles for exercise and somehow doesn't get tired! I'm ready to die after mile three, and she's like, "let's just go a few more miles." I don't know how she does it.

15. She takes good care of her family.

16. She chased down some naughty boys who stole a bunch of apples out of our apple tree. It was awesome! Those boys were sure put in their place that day, and my mom was a superhero in my eyes!

17. She used to make the coolest halloween costumes when we were little. Once she made me a paper mache trash can complete with a lid so I could be Oscar the Grouch. It looked so real! And once she sewed this HUGE snake for Josh to be some kind of a snake tamer or something. She made this cool Frankenstein hair/hat thing that was a family favorite for years. See, once again she's a crafty maniac!

18. She's really good at decorating the house. She makes our house in Monte Vista have this neat old country charm. It looks like it came out of a Better Homes and Garden magazine. It just feels like home! And it always smells so good...Yankee Candles. Mmmm.

19. Speaking of Mmmm....she makes killer brownies! Oh man, and when she makes her homemade fudge sauce to go with her brownies and ice cream, it's like heaven! Warm, oozy, chocolaty heaven.

20. She has gorgeous hair! It is so shiny and healthy and thick and I'm so jealous! She has never had a perm or dyed it or anything...so maybe that's her secret. But I've always loved her hair.

21. Whitney wants me to add that she loves it when Grandma reads her stories and sits with her on the couch. And she likes that she "shares her toys because that's a nice thing to do."

22. She makes cute kids. And she had all of us without pain killers. She's amazing! Even when she was in labor when I drove her to the hospital, she was so calm and focused...you'd never know she was in tremendous pain.

23. She is so beautiful! She always has been. She has a beautiful smile, and the prettiest brown eyes, and she has a great complexion (something else I wish I had inherited). I love my beautiful mom!

24. She always makes me feel better. She never tells me I'm crazy or to just stop whining and complaining...even when I know I am. She patiently listenes and tells me it'll be okay and usually ends up making me laugh.

25. I would never trade her for anyone else. Mary Poppins has nothing on my mom! (especially since mom never made us drink cod liver oil... magically cherry flavored or not!) I know I chose her for a reason, and every day I am reminded of why. I love you, mom! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fire Ant Mayhem


I was going to make some peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch, and I couldn't find the honey because Michael decided to re-arrange the kitchen. He had put some of the food from our overflowing pantry into the kitchen cupboards and the honey was now in the cupboard. He noticed that there was a fire ant on the honey and thought that was a little odd. So, he had another look around and discovered that our cupboard had been overrun with fire ants! They were crawling all over EVERYTHING! It looks like they were getting in through the wall somehow, because there was a constant flow of them and there weren't any ant trails anywhere else in the kitchen. It was such a mess. We took out everything that we could and shook off as many of the ants as we could into the sink and chopped them up with the garbage disposal but they just kept coming and coming and crawling out of bags and boxes! I threw away a ton of stuff because it just wasn't worth the fight and then sprayed down the trash can with raid so they wouldn't get out. We got as much stuff out of the cupboard as we could so that we could spray the areas where it looked like they were getting in and then smashed as many of them as we could on the counter and everywhere else trying to not get bitten. Now we have the cabinet emptied out but it seems the dead ants just keep growing and growing in number. There are hundreds of dead ants in there. It's so disgusting! I HATE those stupid little things!!! We can't even play in our own backyard because of them, and now they're invading our house. Not only are they getting into the kitchen, but there is literally a pile of dead fire ants in front of the back door and all along the floor from the door following the wall. Hundreds of them! Thankfully they're dying soon after they get inside, but it's still just frustrating that they keep getting in. These thing are vicious little buggers that cause nothing but trouble and I am sick to death of them! I feel like I'm back in Moses' day and it's the plague that nobody mentioned. We're wondering if they're so bad right now because of the hurricane? Oh! Speaking of, look what these things do when it floods. They all group together in a pile and float around! A friend told me to watch out for floating mounds of ants and I thought she was kidding. Nope....not kidding.


I miss the days of walking around barefoot in the backyard. Heck, I miss just being able to play in the backyard! Whitney refuses to play outside because last time she did she had fire ants crawling up her legs and back and all the way up to her face! Now, she's a little traumatized. (That's why we got the trampoline...which is now destroyed...it was the only way she'd play outside since the ants couldn't get her.) I miss picnics and sitting in the grass. I miss the days of not carrying around benadryl cream in my purse to put on ant bites when we go to the park. (sigh) Did I mention I don't like fire ants???

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Advice From People In High Places....

I feel so much better after a great weekend! I was really feeling like I needed some comfort a few nights ago, so I went to the scriptures. I said a little prayer that I would be able to find something that would bring me some comfort and I opened up my scriptures and totally started laughing when I read the scripture that my eyes first fell on.

"A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world." St. John 16:22

Heavenly Father really does have a sense of humor, doesn't He! "Natalie, just chill out! After this baby is born you'll feel so much better. You won't feel sick, you won't be a pimple head, you won't be cranky and hormonal, and when you hold that little baby for the first time, all your worries will melt away and you will be filled with so much joy! So, take a deep breath and stop complaining....please. Good grief."

Well, I don't think He'd really say it in those exact words...but you get the picture. : )

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Top Ten

Okay. I just need to vent a little, I'm sure I'll feel much better after I get this all out. I've been cooped up too long and things are just so out of whack and I just feel like I'm about to go nutty...so tonight will be a venting post. Here's my life on a not so normal day.

Top 10 Things On My Mind Tonight

1. Where on earth are we going to put this baby!?! There's no room in our bedroom (see #2), the kids' room has no room unless we put the crib in front of the great big window which of course is a really bad idea...and there' s no way I'm putting the baby in the living room downstairs...or the kitchen for that matter.

2. Why did I let Michael kick me out of our master bedroom, master bathroom and even out of the master bedroom closet!?! I've been alienated and he has taken over the ENTIRE master living area all for himself!!! He got this great big weight machine that does all those different exercises, and couldn't put it in the garage because it's too hot and smells like gas. Couldn't put it upstairs in the "club house" because it was too heavy and wouldn't fit. The only place he could put it was our master bedroom. He doesn't want us in there messing things up or getting hurt, so I had to move out alllll my stuff from the bathroom and closet so that I didn't have to go in there anymore and the kids wouldn't follow. So now, our bedroom...HIS. Our bathroom with a nice big tub and two sinks and lots of cupboards....HIS. Our nice big walk in closet with extra storage shelves....HIS. ALLLL HIS. What was I thinking!?! It's not fair!!! I have to share a bathroom with the kids! I can't even keep a razor in the shower to shave my legs with. The only place I have for any of my stuff is the little bitty closet in the guest room (which is the "club house" I was previously kicked out of.) The "club house" is now the master bedroom which has room for the bed and dresser. Barely. The dresser is about a foot away from the bed. I know he's really wanted one of these for a long time and it makes him feel good about himself and I'm trying sooo hard to be understanding...but I just miss things the way they were. Plus, now when he comes home from work he locks himself in his "man room" for most of the evening so I feel like I don't get to see him very much. I'll probably stop complaining when I see those rock hard abs...

3. If I don't get to leave the house tomorrow I think I will go crazy. I haven't left the house in 7 days. With the whole gas situation I can't have the car...aaaaaah! I hope things get back to normal soon. I wonder when we'll be able to buy real milk again? I've already taken our last two gallons and to stretch them out, I did them half powdered milk and half regular milk. Not the best tasting...but much better than straight powdered milk. Ever tried "Morning Moo's" milk substitute? Again, not as good as real milk, but MUCH better than regular powdered milk. You can find it online at moosmilk.com. We bought the big thing of it...I think it makes 32 gallons or so.

4. Man, that potato chowder I made for dinner tonight was nasty...I'm never making that again. Turkey bacon...just not quite the same as regular bacon. It freaks me out that they used artificial coloring to make it look like bacon...it's just not right. It looks like a gigantic piece of bacon chewing gum. Nasty.

5. Back to baby.... how on earth am I going to survive that first few months of having a brand new baby on my own? The whole zombie thing is sooooo hard and I turn into Mr. Hyde with no sleep. I sleep on the couch so Mike can get his sleep since he has to work. I mean, it's not like there's anything he can do to help anyway. Then I'm exhausted allll day and have to still take care of the house and the kids and the meals....and do it all over again the next night and day....on and on. I'm out here a million miles from home, mom has to work so she can't come out, I get postpartum depression really bad and there's no way I can get home with two kids and a newborn on my own. Again, what on earth was I thinking? I'm not ready for another baby...I like the way things are now. We have found our groove. I don't want it to change. It scares me that it's too late to turn back. Isn't that sad?

6. I have more pimples right now than I think I've ever had before. The great big painful ones. What happened? Is it pregnancy acne? Stress? I can't do anything about it like putting any medications on it because I'm pregnant...so I just have to deal with looking like a pepperoni pizza....which actually sounds mighty tasty right now.

7. Which brings me to my next thought, what's up with morning sickness!?! Seriously, why don't they just call it all day sickness? It is soooo hard to find something to eat that doesn't make me gag at the thought of it. When I finally find something that sounds okay, I go through the trouble of making it. Then, as soon as it's ready to eat it sounds absolutely appalling and it goes straight into the trash. All I can seem to handle is Slimfast and toast. Blah.

8. Why on earth do I look 4 months pregnant? I'm less than 2 months along!!! It's just not right. I shouldn't have to be wearing circus tents yet. But if I don't, then I look 4 months pregnant and when people ask, "oh, you look so cute, when are you due?" and I have to tell them I'm not due until May. Then they look absolutely confused and start counting on their fingers. It's so embarrassing...

9. Good news, I'm craving fruits. Bad news...it has to be in the form of a dessert. Give me bananas...but it has to be in a cream pie. Give me some citrus fruits...but make it into lemon bars. Give me strawberries.... a strawberry sundae, that is. I'm going to be 200 pounds by the time I'm 5 months along.

10. Remember that TV show from the 90's called "Rescue 911"? I found it on youtube! Whitney loves to watch it with me. So far, she has learned not to run with scissors, not to play with guns, don't talk to strangers, don't jump on the bed near windows, don't car surf, don't fall off of the 8th story of a building, don't play with poisonous snakes, don't climb into the washing machine, don't trip over a cord attached to a deep fryer, don't stick your arm down pool drains, don't swallow pennies, don't fall asleep at the wheel, don't climb under garage doors while they're closing, and don't make a full body cast out of paper mache just for fun. I have learned that I need to bring my kids with me when I have to go potty so they're not left unsupervised for 2 minutes...it's always, "I was only gone for about 2 minutes". Oh. And hot dogs? Very bad...unless you puree them...but who wants to eat hot dog mush? Well, anyway, good show. Though I must say William Shatner is not the stud muffin I remember him to be. Again...what was I thinking!?!

Well, there's top ten things on my mind tonight. I'll probably read this in the morning and laugh. I think I feel a little better...though now I'm craving banana cream pie and pepperoni pizza. Aw nuts. Mmmm. Nuts. Peanuts? Blah...gag. Almonds? Ah, yes. Almond... M&Ms. We don't have any Almond M&M's. They're probably all sold out at the grocery store...along with everything else. It would take a half of a gallon of gas to get to the store. Double nuts. Mmmm. Nuts. Yes, my friends, this is how my brain is really functioning.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Big Sigh of Relief!

Well, last night was definitely one of the scariest nights of my life! We lost power around midnight and it was just soooo dark accept for the flashes of green lightning and blue flashes from transformers blowing. It got REALLY scary around 3 a.m. I have to be honest, I just sat on the couch in the dark and hugged my pillow and cried. The wind was unbelievable! It sounded like there were people outside screaming, but it was just the wind. It was like a high pitched screaming deep rumbing sound...kind of hard to describe. The worst part was when it picked up our trampoline and threw it into the fence! SLAM! I was so scared that the wind was going to blow it into our neighbors house and it would hurt someone. I pleaded with Heavenly Father to not let it blow away and cause any damage and of course apologized for being too dumb to not take it apart and bring it in the garage in the first place. Then it got lodged between the side of our house and the fence and every time the wind would blow it would slam into the side of our house. Michael was so brave and went out in the middle of the hurricane and tied it down. He was absolutely drenched when he came back in and made the comment that it wasn't like standing under the shower, it was like standing under the faucet! It was hard to breath because the wind was so strong and almost impossible to see from the rain bands. He's my hero, that's for sure. We took hour long shifts staying awake to make sure one of us would hear my cell phone go off for alerts since we were on tornado watch. The kids woke up crying around 4:30 a.m. so I went and stayed with them to try to calm them down and ended up falling asleep. Michael stayed up the rest of the time and let me sleep. Bless his heart!

Here's a picture of our smashed up trampoline and the nice little hole in the fence. The green rope is where Michael tied it down.

When the sun came up and I could see outside I saw that the damage really wasn't as bad as I was imagining in my head while I was listening to the wind howl and scream. There are tons of trees down everywhere, fences that have been blown away, and lots of roof damage. Our Bishop and his family had their roof collapse on their house last night, but it sounds like they are okay. That's the worst of the damage from our neighborhoods that I've heard of. I haven't heard much from Galveston and the coastal areas yet because they haven't been able to really get out there yet. It's still underwater.
This is a house across the street with some roof damage...I saved some of the shingles that were on the ground for mementos.

A billboard down the street...I'm actually quite happy this billboard is gone. It was a half naked blond bimbo drinking a martini.

All in all, I must say I am pretty pleased with the way things went. I'm so glad we had the generator!It really made all the difference. We had the window unit air conditioner going so we were very comfortable inside. We had food from a nice cold fridge and freezer, water and the kids watched movies on the TV....really, it wasn't too bad at all. Our generator and air conditioner

We consider ourselves very, very blessed because I know so many people are still without power, people with 6 feet of water in their homes, people who have lost loved ones, people without food or water and people who have lost everything they have.

Oh, on a good note, the people from the barge that I told you about in my last post all made it through the storm okay! I keep hearing these amazing stories of rescues by the coast guard. There was a 16 year old boy who was swept out to sea yesterday evening. He spent all night out at sea and was found and rescued this morning. I love hearing about miracles like this! I hope to hear many more stories like this.

Well, I am absolutely exhausted. I think I'll go to bed now. We have a busy day tomorrow. After we have a little sacrament meeting our ward is all going out to help people who have been affected by the storm. I think it will be a really neat experience! Thanks again to all of you for your prayers, and to those who offered to take us in!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Update 1

I don't think we'll have power much longer because it keeps flickering, so I'd better do an update now while I can! It was a beautiful evening, the calm before the storm. It was actually really nice and we got our lawn chairs and sat out on the driveway watching the clouds go by and enjoying the strong breeze. There was a curfew set for 8 p.m. so we came back inside and tried to keep the kids up as long as we could. We made our central bathroom our temporary safe-room since it is in the middle of the house and there are no windows. The kids are both asleep in there now, thank goodness! The wind is really starting to pick up now and it's getting pretty loud. I can feel the windows move as the wind hits them. We are under a tornado watch until about 10 a.m. tomorrow morning, so that's what worries me the most right now. Since it's night I can't see very well...so I guess we'll just have to rely on our ears and keep praying that we'll be okay! So far there are about 250,000 people without power and they're expecting it to be a million by the end of the night. They're saying it could take up to two weeks for us to get power restored if we lose it...that really makes me nervous! We've got about 30 gallons of fuel saved up, but I don't know how long that would run the generator. I heard that there is about 40 percent of Galveston who have ignored the mandatory evacuation orders and have stayed behind to try to weather the storm and I am just amazed by their stupidity! They have been asked to write their social security number on their arms in permanent marker so their bodies can be identified later. I saw on the news that one family has a ground level house on the island who are staying behind, with a son in a wheelchair. They said they would be fine because they had life jackets! It literally makes me sick that people would stay behind and not only risk their lives, but knowingly risk the lives of their children. Their last warning was that staying to try to tough out the storm was certain death. How can people really ignore that warning? It makes me so cranky...as if you can't tell.
There are also 20 people stuck on a barge about 90 miles from the coast that were stranded when they lost power and steering on their barge. The Search and Rescue people aren't able to save them because it is too dangerous. Please keep these people in your prayers! This is such a huge, terrible storm and so many people are affected all over this coast. When this 20 foot storm surge hits it will be devastating and I'm sure there will be loss of life.

Well, that's the update for now. We're still doing fine for now, but things should get pretty bad around midnight. Well, the power is flickering again so I'd better get off now. Thank you all for your concern and prayers! I know they are heard above the howling of the winds! I'll be sure to update tomorrow morning if we have power. If not I'll update as soon as I can, and I'll do my best to keep in contact by other means as well. Love you all!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Real Deal

I haven't written anything about Ike, mostly because I was in denial and tired of getting worked up every time something was heading our way. I just found out it's actually called "Hurricane fatigue". I was sick to death of hearing about hurricanes...but now I can honestly say that I'm really scared of this one. Apparently this is the real deal and we are in real danger now. Ike is a huge monster and is supposed to hit Friday. They're expecting a Cat. 3 at landfall, I've heard rumor that it could possibly turn into a Cat. 4...but I don't know if that's just weather forecasters getting a little too excited with too much coffee and not enough sleep. We're supposed to get winds from 80-110 mph here where we live. I can't even imagine what that will be like...well, maybe I can. I can imagine it won't be much fun. The stores are packed, there are gas lines everywhere, and there is definitely a feeling of tension in the air, and this time it isn't exciting...not even for me!

The city officials are talking about evacuations right now. They're kind of stressed because the storm was supposed to hit further south and not affect us as much. But then it shifted northeast and they don't have all the time they need to evacuate the cost. They are asking people in Houston to not evacuate if we don't absolutely need to because the highways are packed and they don't want people to be stuck on the roads in traffic jams when the hurricane hits. After Rita it took people like 30 hours just to make the 5 hour trip to Dallas. People ran out of gas and were stranded on the highways in the heat. It was an absolute mess! This time they will open counter-flow lanes and have supplied gas stations with back-up fuel resources, so hopefully things won't be as chaotic this time for the evacuees. As for us, we're staying put so the people who really need to get out can get out. We've tried to become as prepared as we can, so hopefully things will go okay.

Whitney is pretty nervous, so I worry about how she'll do when the hurricane hits and the winds start howling. Last night she prayed that Heavenly Father would catch her if the hurricane blew her away...poor kid. It breaks my heart that she really thinks those thoughts in that sweet little head of hers. So, please keep us and all of the people here in your prayers. I'll keep you all updated as long as we have power!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Baby Names

A few days ago, Michael and I were talking about baby names. I asked Michael what names he liked. This is the list he came up with. Well, the edited version anyway...

1. Slaughterhouse
2. Guss
3. Cabbage Patch
4. Don Diego
5. Bear
6. Jasper
7. Barge
8. Firehose
9. Doom Machine
10. Zebidee
11. Betty
12. Monroe
13. Giblet
14. Sharptooth
15. Hogwild
16. Gilligan
17. Sparrow
18. Phoenix
19. Woodlouse
20. Yuppie
21. Pogo
22. Tron
23. Blackbeard
24. Gazerbeam
25. Accordion

I've decided that he will not be naming our next child, though this list is pretty entertaining.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Change It Up, Baby!

Okay. I'm sick to death of Hurricane news. So, how about if we change it up!

About a month ago I was taking a nap on the couch while Aaron was taking his nap and Whitney was playing games on the computer. I woke up with the strongest feeling that one of the kids was standing next to me watching me like they needed to tell me something. So, I opened my eyes to see what they needed and nobody was there. But that feeling was still there and I knew that it was one of my children. Then, I realized that it is one that is still waiting for their turn on Earth. It was a really neat experience and I missed that presence after it left. Like when you hold your newborn baby for the first time and then they take it away to clean it up and weigh it and you get that twinge of "hey, give that back!". I wasn't planning on having any more until Aaron was potty trained...but apparently this little spirit was sick of waiting! So, ONE month later........



Yes, it only took one try...guess they were really in a hurry!

When I told Whitney that we were going to have another baby and that I had the baby growing in my tummy, she gave me this distraught look and said, "Mom, that's DISGUSTING!!! We're not supposed to eat babies!". That girl cracks me up! She's going to be such a great big sister! I can just imagine her telling the baby, "I remember when mommy ate you!". As for Aaron, of course he has noooo clue what's going on, but that's okay. I don't think he'll mind until he doesn't fit on my lap anymore!

I'm feeling good so far, just your typical tired, hungry, moody, sore bigger-boobed woman who gets those waves of "blah" throughout the day and who has to use the ladies room every half an hour. I'm happy to be pregnant, though, and can't wait to meet this little spirit who came to tell me that they wanted to be with us and to hurry it up already.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Blah.

Well, the news said that we have a 3% chance of winds from Gustav. I cracked up when I heard that! We were invited to go to Dallas to spend time with some of our Family for the weekend and it was going to be so much fun! But then we got sort of freaked out with the hurricane and everyone talking about how it could shift, or we could still lose power, blah blah blah...and so we decided not to go. And now...I feel like a complete idiot. Never again...never again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice...shame on me. Fool me three times, and I just need to stop watching the news!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gustav update

Here's the latest update on Gustav's projected path. They're guessing the coast of Louisiana will get the worst of it. The Governor of New Orleans was asking to send all of the evacuees here to Houston again, and our Governor had to turn them down. A lot of the reason was because the meteorologists still think there is a chance it could shift more towards Houston, and then all the evacuees would be here and that would cause absolute chaos. Not only would they have to worry about helping it's own residents, but it would also have to be responsible for the thousands of refugees from New Orleans and there would be no room in shelters for our own people. It's kind of sad that we had to turn them away, but I guess you gotta do what you gotta do in a situation like this.

It sounds like we'll still get some winds and rain, but it should be okay. So, please keep the people of Louisiana in your prayers next week, especially those who don't have the money or resources to evacuate. This weekend is the third anniversary of Katrina. We hope that they've learned from Katrina and are more prepared now....but you just never know what will happen.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A few matters of business...

This Thursday our Relief Society is having a 72 hour kit readiness night for Enrichment and the men are invited, too! I hope lots of people go...it looks like it's pretty good timing! The weather forecasters are predicting Gustav to become a major hurricane (catagory 3 or higher) as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. I think it'll curve up more towards Louisiana, but we'll keep a close eye on it.


Other news, yesterday I was in the pantry getting out stuff to make lunch, and I noticed there were ants in the marshmallow bag. Then, I looked on the walls and there were ants crawling up the walls! I was so mad! We just had to pay the the pest control guys $75 to come and spray because fire ants were crawling all over our kitchen floor and the carpet in the living room. They sprayed all over the house, and still, these annoying ants still get in! I had to empty out the entire pantry (which took forever!) and spray the walls and floor with raid, wait for it to dry and then put everything back in (which also took forever!) Hopefully that takes care of them.



We went to Quintana beach on Saturday with a few other families from the ward and had a lot of fun! The weather was great and the water was warm. These kids sure are water babies, they had so much fun playing in the waves and throwing shells and rocks into the water! This is the best picture I could get...I think Whitney's eyes were closed in every single one!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Random Events

Okay, I feel really lame that I haven't posted in a while. I couldn't seem to think of anything cool enough to put on here. And then I realized that if I'm using this as a journal of sorts, it doesn't necessarily have to be cool...because let's be honest not all of life is cool. (Which gets me thinking, how on earth did we get "cool" to mean anything other than describing a temperature?")

So, let's see. What have I been up to. A week or so ago my good friend Sarah called and asked if she could babysit so we could go on a date! (Seriously!) So, of course I said yes and she came over and watched the kids while Mike and I went to the bookstore so he could browse without having to chase two kids around and trying to keep Aaron from ripping pages out of any books. It was nice to get out and just be "Mike and Natalie" again, and to suddenly realize, "Oh my gosh, I have a crush on my husband!". I think maybe we need to go out more often...

What else...oh! I painted our entire living/dining room area! It's a nice tan-ish neutral color called Harvest Wheat and it looks great! My wonderful paint job lasted almost a week before Aaron got to it and drew me a beautiful purple mural. Now I get to re-paint two of the walls...wait, no, make that three walls and 2 doors. But, every kid needs that picture of his childhood masterpiece on the wall to laugh at when they grow up. So, now he's got his...and I'm a lot more careful about making Whitney put away her markers when she's done coloring.

Mike's uncle passed away last weekend. He is a police officer in Salt Lake City and he was doing a routine traffic stop in the Provo canyon when he collapsed at the passenger's window. The woman he pulled over and a passerby did CPR on him, but he didn't make it. He was such a funny and amazing guy, he will be missed! Once, he pulled over this big fancy sports car that was speeding by quite a bit and it turns out it was Steve Young! Steve said "Hi, I'm Steve Young, I'm the football player..." and Mike's uncle said, "Hi, I'm Scott Hathcock. I write tickets, here's yours." Gave him a smile, and that was that! He also pulled over Robert Redford once, and Robert didn't give him any trouble. I mean, really, these guys are millionaires, so why complain about a thirty dollar ticket, you know?

Oh yeah! And remember how my dear, sweet husband put my craft stuff out in the garage so he could have his "man room"? Well, I went out yesterday to get my scrapbook paper (it's in one of those big organizer bags) and it had been over-run with spiders! Yuck! After seeing all of the spider webs and little baby spiders crawling out of it I was furious, and decided that those dumb little spiders could have it. There was no way I was reaching in there to find the mama. Grrrr.

And that, my friends, is what you've missed. If only I had matching pictures for all of this. Man, I have GOT to get a new camera........oh man. I smell a dirty diaper. Guess my time is up! Until next time, Ciao!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Edouard 's Belly Flop

Have you ever gotten yourself all hyped up for a movie that's supposed to be really good, and it turns out to be a total flop and you feel like an idiot for ever going and spending $15 on that popcorn and soda? Well, that's the story of Tropical Storm Edouard. Usually, I track these things as soon as they turn into a tropical depression out in the Gulf, but I got lazy and didn't find out about it until I was checking my email and Yahoo News said "Tropical Storm Edouard Barrels Down On Texas". Boy did I feel dumb! How could I have missed this? Luckily, I knew we already had our water and emergency supplies so I didn't have to worry too much. I stayed tuned into the weather channel and accuweather.com, and they got me all hyped up that it was going to turn into a category 1 hurricane (winds 74 to 95 mph) and that there would be power outages and tornadoes and to bring all our stuff in from outside so the strong winds didn't turn them into projectiles. It was supposed to make landfall pretty close to us, so I was thinking, "Wooo-hoooo! We're going to get to try all our stuff out for real!". I even went to Wal-mart to get an air conditioner and a camp fridge to hook up to the generator if the power went out. It was such a rush, even from the Wal-Mart parking lot. It was absolutely packed! We're talking day before Christmas packed! People were scurrying around looking for grocery carts because there weren't any in the entrance, and those that did have grocery carts were loaded up with water and Gatorade, food, batteries, tarps, etc. The water isle was completely cleaned out! So, of course that got me even more worked up! I was like, "Man, if these people are this hyped about getting emergency stuff, this must be a bad storm heading our way! They obviously know something I don't!" It was awesome. Then, all that night I dreamed about hurricanes and windows breaking and hooking things up to the generator and trees blowing over.
Yesterday morning, around 6:30 I woke up and heard rain. I got so excited! I got up and ran to the window...and the trees were standing absolutely still. And that's all that happened...allll day long. Just a nice little rainy day. No wind...no trees blowing over...no power going out...nothing. The storm didn't hit where they thought it would hit, and it didn't reach hurricane strength either. Which, I know is something many people are counting their blessings about. And silly me, I'll just have to wait to play with my toys another day.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I AM MOM

Today I was flipping through a magazine that my friend gave me, and there was this really great advertisement for a (really cool) jogging stroller. On the advertisement was a quote:

"I AM NOT a woman whose hair looks perfect all the time, makes a home-cooked meal every night, and knows exactly how to answer all my children's questions. But I am strong. I am invincible. I AM MOM."

I soooo needed that quote today! I have been feeling pretty down lately. I think I go through these emotions every few months or so...where I just get tired and fed up with my life's routine. We only have one car, so I stay at home with the kids allll day long. Any woman with kids knows it is a full time job, and though we get paid in blessings in heaven, some cold hard cash or a big fat salary wouldn't be under-appreciated. Then, I have to fix dinner for the husband. Then I have to clean up dinner and the whole mess I made for dinner and then put the kids to bed...all while the husband goes out to do Kenpo (karate) with his friends until 10:30 or 11:00. This happens on Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays. Wednesdays I have mutual, so I don't get to see him till Fridays.

I don't think it would be so bad accept for that it seems nothing I do lasts. By the end of the day, I don't really have any proof for what I've done. By the time Mike gets home from work, you'd never be able to tell that I have been straightening up the house allllllllllll day. You'd never know that I did a load of dishes already and I swear the kitchen had visible counter tops during most of the day. You'd never know that I really did put on clean clothes this morning and I swear I put on make-up and did my hair. And deodorant for that matter. You'd never know that the pile of clothes thrown across the floor had been clean and neatly folded and ready to put away just five minutes ago. And I swear I did make the bed this morning, and no, I was not eating cookies in our bed...those crumbs aren't mine! (which would explain why the kids were so quiet while I was moping the kitchen floor...) I swear I did watch the lady at the cash register to make sure everything rang up at the right price, but when Aaron attacked Whitney and spit her lip open in the grocery cart I looked away, so I didn't see that the $2 coupon off of the cereal didn't make it through and that I was charged twice for that same bag of cereal (Grrrr!). I promise I vacuumed earlier today...but that was before the bag of cheerios I gave Aaron twenty minutes ago to try to hold him at bay until dinner. I'm so sorry about the crayon on the wall...I thought I had put all the crayons away....but that was until Aaron remembered he had hidden one of them in the VCR. (Which also would explain why our VCR hasn't been working all day...and the slight smell of burning plastic.)

And that's pretty much my day. Some days I think it would be so nice to get to put on some nice clothes, get all dolled up and go to work in an office where I would be recognized for my hard work and feel important. A place where colleagues don't throw themselves to the floor when you refuse to let them eat that entire box of gram crackers. A place where you can stand in the lunch line without your colleague shouting, "Hey mom! That's a big fat black lady!". Or some sort of a middle eastern person and your colleague shouting, "Hey mom! It's one of those bad guys from Daddy's video game!". And then I realized that suddenly there wouldn't be any more of the "Hey mom, can I sit on your lap and you can read me a story?" or "Hey mom, when I grow up I want to be a mommy like you!", or "Hey mom, can we get a turtle that doesn't eat fish? I want mine to eat jellyfish." I don't think any paycheck or expensive shoes and purses or memos at work could ever compare to that. Anyways, the point that I'm trying to make is that it's so easy to get frustrated with being "just a mom." Until I take a step back, look at all that I have, and realize that I'm not "just a mom". I'm "NOT JUST A MOM".

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hello Dolly!

It's about 5:30 a.m. and I woke up to rain, thunder and lightning....and now I can't seem to get back to sleep. All I could think was "sounds like Dolly's knocking on the door." I'm so glad it wasn't a direct hit! It sure is nerve wracking to track these things when they first start up as a tropical depression and wondering how big they'll get and where they'll hit. Thankfully we haven't been hit by any while we've lived here! And hopefully we won't be!

When we first moved to Houston, our Relief Society President came over and the first thing she said was "make sure you have all of your emergency supplies in order! You WILL need them here." Naturally, I was totally freaked out since it hadn't been all that long since Katrina, so I of course think the worst. The good that came of all of this is that we got our 72 hour kits together in a jiffy (uh, did I just say jiffy?) and are building up on our food storage. We're pretty set, and it feels so good to know that if anything does happen, we'll be able to provide for our kids. At first it seemed like such a daunting task, but then I decided to just buy one thing for our food storage every time we go to Sam's Club. And then I found BePrepared.Com and it's my new favorite place!

So, anyways... being prepared and helping others to get started is my new passion! I was even thinking about starting up an online business selling 72 hour kits tailored to individual families needs...with diapers and that sort of stuff. Not the generic "here's a few water bottles, a flashlight, band-aids and granola bars." We'll see if anything comes of it...but it would be so much fun! So, if any of you need help getting yours started or even just want your food storage needs calculated for your family let me know!

Hmmm. Well, sounds like the thunder woke Aaron and Whitney up. Guess my time is up! And if this post is lame...blame it on being up before the crack of dawn and Dolly!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

sorry!

okay, so I don't know why the layout of my next entry is so weird, no matter how many times I went back to edit it to make it look normal it kept switching back to the retarded layout with the pictures all weird and everything all spaced out. So...sorry...I tried!

We're Baaaaaaack!

We're back from our great big vacation to Colorado and New Mexico. Though I have vowed to never make that 17 hour drive ever again...well, at least not until amnesia takes over and I forget how long and awful it is with a little man going into his terrible two stage, it was so nice to go back home and see all of the family! Rachel was there with McKayla while Mike is getting things settled in Michigan. I just looooove that baby girl! She is just the cutest little baby! I couldn't get enough of her! And there's nothing like seeing Mom and Dad for the first time when I haven't seen them in such a long time! Dorothy was right, there's no place like home!!!

On Friday we drove up to the mountains and had a picnic with Michael's family. It was a beautiful day and the air was crisp and cool and it smelled like mountains. (Go figure)





Whitney had fun wandering the trails and picking wild flowers...and weeds.













While Michael had fun wandering around with Aaron throwing rocks and trying to keep Aaron from "playing" in the river!






First, we did Michael's Brimhall reunion. We went to the Sand Dunes on the first day of the reunion...which I kind of sort of forgot about the camera there. It was neat to meet all the relatives that I hadn't met yet, and hear all of the amazing family history. There is a building at BYU named after one of Michael's ancestors! Cool, huh! I also got to meet Sean's girlfriend, Lauren, which was really fun. Hopefully someday soon she'll be a permanent addition to the family!

Then we spent the next few days playing around.



Michael took the kids for rides on the 4 wheelers.
Whitney wanted to drive, of course...until it got too fast.









Aaron thought that was about the coolest thing ever! (Until Daddy somehow finds a way to give him a ride in a fire truck...then that will be the coolest thing ever)





Then Grandma Lola babysat while Michael and I did some shooting which we used to do a lot when we were dating.We would shoot stuffed animals, rotten fruits and vegetables, cans, pop bottles....computers....whatever we could find that would be fun! It was just like the good old days. He's such a handsome devil...I love that crazy man...even when he tries to give me dirty looks!


Then it was off to Albuquerque for my family's Chatwin reunion. Our family is getting soooo big! I couldn't believe all the cute little kids running around. Whitney made lots of new little friends. It was great to see Grandma Nora again, she is such a sweet and beautiful person! I won her huuuuge box of recipes at the family auction! (Much better than my little brother's tarantula that he won.....ugh!) Oh! And my brother Matt made a surprise trip from Provo to come to the reunion! I totally freaked out when I saw him because we all thought he couldn't get off work to be there. I didn't think I'd get to see him for another 2 1/2 years when he comes home from his mission! It was a great day. We were supposed to stay in a camper at my Aunt and Uncle's house, but Whitney was starting to wheeze after only being there for 15 minutes, so we thought that might be a bad idea. We ended up staying in a hotel about 10 minutes away. On the 4th of July we went to the Los Lunas parade and then to the Aquarium and Zoo. (Where I discovered that I had broken our new camera's LCD screen with a battery...seriously!) Thankfully, my sister and cousin took some pictures for us!




Whitney liked the shark tank and these really cool jellyfish that were lit up by a black light. I tried to get a picture of that but it didn't turn out too well.










And here's us on the train at the zoo. Whitney was in the back with Uncle Brett...we didn't kick her out of the picture on purpose.




That night the Texas Chatwins did a yummy Texan style barb-q and there was birthday cake and fireworks while Aunt Carolyn played guitar for a while. It was a wonderful birthday! We had to leave the next day. Michael went paint-balling with the guys early that morning and we left shortly after he got back. It was really hard to say goodbye to the family. Who knows when we'll all be together again? Rachel, Mike and McKayla are off to Michigan, Matt is off to Rome....it's so strange that we're all growing up and going our own ways.

It was a nice trip! Lots of wonderful times and memories. And now, I leave you with our almost really great family picture.....

No captions needed.

Friday, June 20, 2008

No Girls Allowed

My dear sweet husband decided he was tired of my craft room. While I was at mutual he took all of my stuff out and put it in the garage! Now, he has his "Man Room" with his guitars and recording stuff, a TV and his Playstation 2, his computer desk and man junk, and his huge bookcase with all of his school books. Silly boy. If his sign weren't so cute I'd be a little more offended. I think for revenge I'll paint his Man Room pink and put up some frilly ugly curtains while he's gone to Kenpo! Ooh! Ooh! And hang up a life size Zack Effron poster.....mwahahahaaaaa!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The 4's of ME!

I just realized that I was tagged a few weeks ago by my dear sweet Twinks, (Sorry, Whit, don't know how I missed that!) Anyways....

4 JOBS I'VE HAD
1. Cashier at ALCO
2. CNA at a nursing home
3. Cashier/waitress at a bakery
4. Nanny

4 MOVIES I'VE WATCHED MORE THAN ONCE
1. Armageddon
2. The Jason Bourne collection
3. Zorro
4. Napoleon Dynamite

4 PLACES I'VE BEEN
1. Mount Rushmore
2. Yellowstone
3. Taos
4. Sand Dunes National Park

4 FAVORITE FOODS
1. Pei Wei Honey Seared Chicken
2. my mom's cheesecake
3. Chicken Enchiladas from Cheesecake Factory
4. home-made popcorn with salt and butter....mmmmm.

4 PLACES I'D LIKE TO VISIT
1. The ancient ruins in South America and Mexico
2. I'd like to go see Paris, where my dad served his mission
3. All the American history sites...like Gettysburg, or Boston...
4. All the church historical sites...like Palmyra, the Sacred Grove, Nauvoo, etc.

4 THINGS I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR
1. Our Chatwin family reunion in a few weeks!!!
2. The Brimhall reunion next week!
3. The beach trip in August
4. our next youth temple trip

Now, I'd like to tag...um...whoever wants to be tagged since I'm giving my usual people I tag a break...