Monday, November 30, 2009

This Years Christmas Card

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Here's our Christmas card for this year. I know it's probably so tacky to just do it through email, blog and facebook...but this year this seems to be about all I can handle! How about if I just lie and say I decided to "go green" this year and save the trees? :) It still turned out pretty cute, though! Thanks to the once again AMAZING Mandy Lyon for the family picture, I love it! She was so patient with us, through Aaron's crankiness, all of us swatting at ferocious mosquitoes between and during shots, and all of the fun that goes with getting pictures taken. She still makes masterpieces!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Homeward Bound

What a month! I wasn't "allowed" to write about what's been going on, but now that things are finalized I have the green light. A few weeks ago, I took Aaron to the Ear Nose Throat doctor on a Tuesday and was told he needs his tonsils and adenoids out. So, I scheduled his surgery for that Friday. When I got home, Mike was there and said we needed to have a talk. He told me he had just gotten laid off. I had to cancel Aaron's surgery an hour after I scheduled it! We've been worrying about this happening and praying that it wouldn't. But, God has other plans for us and thought we needed a serious lesson in humility.

Fluor, the company Mike has been working for, has been struggling with the economy because power plants and oil refineries have been pulling out on contracts-they can't afford to get things made or fixed. So, next up on the money blood sucking food chain come the workers at Fluor. So far, about 2,600 employees have been laid off. They held on to Michael for as long as they could, though, which meant a lot.

I keep looking around at our house, knowing it's probably the nicest house I'll ever live in, and kicking myself for ever thinking I "deserved" more. And what are our landlords going to say when we tell them we have to terminate our lease 2 months early? We don't have money to pay the "early termination fee". And every time I drive through Sugar Land I think about what a nice place it really is, and how blessed we were to live here. I have made some of the most incredible and amazing friends in the world and it kills me to think of leaving them. How will I survive without my Mandy?

Michael's dad offered him a job back home at the machine shop doing quality control. I am so grateful for his offer. Part of me is so excited to move back home to be closer to family. I love the mountains and the smell of sagebrush when it rains. I love four wheeling and shooting and camping and sweaters and hot chocolate and green chili. I love the slower pace of life and Colorado summers. I love the small town parade during Stampede and making fun of the low rider and tractor "floats". I love the holidays at my parents house. And just think of all the free babysitting! Plus, my AWESOME sister-in-law, Kathy lives there, and she has kids that are the same ages as mine. Born to be best buddies! So, there are some of the reasons I'd love to be back in the San Luis Valley.

But..... then the other part of me dreads it. I'm so used to living in the city where everything is only a few miles away and anything and everything you could ever want is just down the street! The biggest and most exciting store in the valley is a Walmart. No Pei Old Hobby Lobby...oh, I'm tearing up already. I think the hardest part is that moving away from home made me feel like I grew up and made something of myself. I got a fresh start. And housing is a completely different thing. No HOA's to make sure the neighborhood stays well kept. You can have a really nice house next to a run down ghetto house, and many of the houses are over a hundred years old, so finding one that isn't falling apart will be fun. We'll live with Mike's parents for a while until we can either save up for a down payment to buy a house, or we find a decent house to rent until we can save up for a down payment. (There is only one apartment "complex" there, with about 20 units. And, at $250 a month, you get what you pay for...shady shady shady.)

Anywayyyyys, back to trying to be positive. We're moving by Thanksgiving so I've been busy trying to start getting things boxed up and set aside. God knows what he's doing and everything will work out!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I did some 4 month pictures with Kate in our living room....these are a few of them! She did pretty well and I have to say, I think they turned out pretty good considering I did it with a regular point and shoot camera and I know very little about photography. I think I'll have to save up for a "real" camera and learn more about photography. I'm hooked!

At 4 months, Kate weighs about 13 pounds and is doing great! She's in th3 30th at least she's on the charts! I think she might be teething already, though. She's really cranky and drooly and chews on everything. Or is that just how babies are? I don't remember! Isn't it strange how after each kid, you feel like you have to learn a lot of things all over again?

School is going great. I'm feeling much better now that we have things established and the first day of school excitement is over. I'm actually wishing Whitney had some friends that I could homeschool at the same time and have my own little class. That would be so much fun! She's moving right along. And, I think that since it's cooling down (it's been in the 80's this week!) I'll start taking them to the park every day to play. It'll be nice!

Oh! And I've decided to not do my shop anymore. I've dropped the prices on everything and I'll just sell what I have listed and that's it. I'm really relieved about it, actually. It was a fun run, I learned a lot, and now I have lots of cute stuff! I've just decided that it has been the one thing that has sort of tipped my sanity scale, and my kids' attention is worth way more than that shop could ever give me!

Annnnnd, we're going back to Colorado on Saturday and will be staying for a whole week! I can't even tell you how excited I am to go home! I hope the leaves are changing on the trees. I absolutely LOVE fall there! I'm hoping to get to wear a sweater...that would be great. So, I'll have a nice update when I get back! Buh-bye!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Homeschool Diaries...Week One.

Oh my gosh, that was just too good!!! A really good friend of mine is homeschooling, too. She had this video up on her blog and I just about died laughing! I must have watched it ten times!!! I love the part where it shows the kids, "Unique" and then the dad..."Eeeeek."

Things are still going...well, they're going. It was kind of rough last week because everyone else started school here, too. There were a lot of times and tears when I was wondering what on earth I was thinking. All the other parents were so excited, and the kids were all lined up at the bus stop with their new clothes and new backpacks and the look of excitement. We drove by the school and there were kids playing on the playground and I suddenly had this freak out session. Yeah, it was a rough week. Then I read all my friends blogs about their kid going to school for the first time with their cute pictures of their smiling kids...sigh. I've looked forward to that day for so long and imagined Whitney getting on the big yellow bus with her big smile and a wave good-bye in the window...and now to realize that it isn't happening is hard. But...I just keep remembering that I prayed about it and I knew it would be okay.

Another thing that was hard was going out into public the first week of school. I felt like I was "coming out of the closet". Nobody else had their kids with them, accept for some toddlers and babies. The cashier in the checkout line asked (in her deep southern accent), "Girrrrl, why aren't you at school?" and Whitney proudly said, "I'm homeschooling!". And then the greeter lady at Wal-Mart said, "What!?! Isn't she old enough for school yet?" And I was cranky and told her that Whitney had health problems and it was easier to just homeschool. sort of true...but it seemed to satisfy the lady. People told me it would be like this, but I'm sure I'll get used to it and it won't be a big deal.

I'm starting a new curriculum with Whitney. It's called Saxton and it's supposed to be really good. She's doing very well so far and it makes it all worth it when I see her progressing and understanding things, and when she makes a mistake she wants to go back and try it again until she gets it right. She loves doing her science and science experiments most. Oh! And my good friend, Sarah is teaching her piano lessons on Mondays! She loves her teacher soooo much and is really excited about it! I got her a Disney beginner piano book and she can't wait until she can play it.

Well, that's probably enough for today! I hope you all had a great first week of school and have a great weekend!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

So, remember the kid who smashed our car??? We got a call a few days ago and it was his DAD! Turns out, the police tracked him down and the kid told them he didn't know he'd hit the car. His dad is an ACCIDENT INVESTIGATOR for a trucking company!!! So he drove by our house and saw the car and knew right away that there was NO way he could have hit the car and not known it. The kid eventually fessed up that he just got scared and drove away! Now we have their insurance information and everything will be okay. The kid got a ticket...and I'm sure a good chewing out by his parents. Poor guy, it's hard to learn things the hard way.

Of course, I know what it's like to do something really bad and freak out and hide. Literally. When I was...gosh...probably either late middle school or freshman year, I was sitting in the front passenger seat of the van in the garage waiting for my mom to get something from inside. The van was running, and during some freak (okay, not freak, they happen all the time) moment of insanity I decided to see what that big long lever sticking out by the steering wheel did. The drivers side door was still open, and who knew, the lever switched gears on the van and I had "accidentally" put it into reverse! The van started rolling out of the garage and then "CREEEEEEEAK" the drivers side door hit the side of the garage door and bent completely backward until it was touching the front of the van. Then, it kept rolling out into the street and I was able to unbuckle my seatbelt, jump into the drivers side and step on the break. Oh my gosh, I was HORRIFIED!!! I knew death was imminent and nobody would come to my funeral from my family because they'd be too mad at me. So, instead of going inside to tell mom what happened, I decided to take sanctuary in Ginger's dog house. And there I stayed for a few hours until my dear sweet Daddy came by. (I seem to remember his face in the doggie doorway and he was just trying not to laugh). I think he then handed me a letter that said something along the lines of "When you're ready to talk, we'll talk." To make a long story short, punishment was not death and the van did get fixed and I eventually passed Driver's Education class. (Wow, huh!)

But, like I stinks to learn things the hard way. And in the wise words of wisdom from Michael Brimhall, "The best policy is to come clean."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Things are going pretty well for the most part. Our Freestyle got smashed already. I mean, I KNEW it would happen eventually because that's just our luck. But, I didn't think it would happen THIS fast! A kid who just moved across the street came to our door on Saturday and told us that his "friend" had given him a ride home from football practice and when he backed out of the driveway he smashed into our car and then sped off. It really touched me that the kid came and told us what had happened. I worry about him though, being the new kid at school and turning in a fellow football player who, by his behavior, doesn't seem to be the most praiseworthy kind of person. I hope he doesn't get beat up or something. So, anyway, the State Patrol came over and did a report and they'll get the kid at school. Wow. Here's a pic...

Things with homeschool are going pretty well. I can't believe how much Whitney is improving. She amazes me! Here's an example of her handwriting. (We were learning about adjectives)

Not bad for only four weeks of Kindergarten, eh? And I didn't even tell her what to write or how to spell anything.

I've started making beanies for my shop. They're really popular right now, so hopefully they'll sell well! I've seen them selling for over $20!!! So, being the nice person I am and not wanting to rip people off, I've listed mine for $12. Let's see if not being greedy pays off. Though, sometimes with all the dang glue gun burns I keep getting I should try to cover the cost of band-aids and burn cream? Just kidding...just kidding. Here are some of the beanies I've listed.

Annnnd....that's about all I can think of at the moment. We're all doing well and healthy and I hope you are, too!!!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

I used to draw a winner for my Bella Bling giveaway, and the winner is.......

Stephanie Wesley! Congratulations, Stephanie! Leave me a comment to know which item you would like from my shop!

To everyone else who entered, THANKS!!! I really appreciate your support! If you would like anything from my shop, too, I'll give you 25% off of your entire order!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Bella Bling Giveaway!

How would you like to win one of the headbands or hair clips from my Bella Bling shop? Even if you don't have little girls, if you have a niece or a grand-daughter or even just a friend with a daughter this is for you, too! All you have to do is "steal" one of the buttons for my etsy shop, which are located on the left of this page under my pictures of the kids. You copy the code for the one you like best and go to your blog and click on "layout". Then you "add a gadget" and then click on "HTML/Java Script." When you do, it will open a little window. In the content box, you'll just paste the code into the box and hit "save". THAT'S IT!!! Then, leave a comment on my blog (on this post). On Saturday, I'll use the people who have put up a button and use to pick a winner! I'll post a comment on your blog to let you know that you won and then we'll work out the details of what you would like from there!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Where's The Love, Yo?

I am just about in tears. Seriously. I just need to vent a little. You all already know I've decided to home school Whitney. I don't have anything against public school and I don't think that parents who send their kids to public school are evil. I think public school is great! I know the kids have a lot of fun, I know the teachers are wonderful and the kids absolutely adore them. I know they have fun playing out on the playground for recess and playing with their friends. I know there are tons of fantastic things about public school. I absolutely loved my elementary school! But I want to home school, and that's what Whitney said she wanted, too. I asked her over and over if she was serious that she wanted to home school, because if she wanted to go to public school she could. In fact, on our first day of it, we had a really hard time with her penmanship and she was frustrated and put her pencil down and refused to try again. I was frustrated and I just gave up and said, "I just can't do this, Whitney. I think we'll need to send you to public school." And Whitney seriously started to cry and she threw her arms around me and told me that she didn't want to. She wanted to home school and me to be her teacher. And then I realized that this was for real, that this is what SHE wanted and it wasn't so much about my decision at all. So, that is why we are home schooling. I prayed about it and I felt peaceful about it. The part that I'm having the hardest time with is the lack of support. The strange looks from people who ask when her first day of kindergarten starts and I tell them we're home schooling and we've already started. I can't believe how many people, even my friends, who have flat out told me I'm crazy. That Whitney is going to be socially backwards. (Okay, do they even KNOW Whitney? She has NO problem there!) They've told me that I don't have the qualifications to be a teacher. That there is NO way home schooled children can be as smart as other school children. (Again, Whitney has been reading since she was three. She can do addition and subtraction. Obviously I must be doing something right) On and on and on...and it seriously cuts me to the soul! I have spent hours and hours researching different curriculum to see what will be best. I have put HUNDREDS of dollars into supplies and books. I have given up my personal alone and free time that I would have while the kids are at school. I have the responsibility of now being a mom, a wife, a cook, a maid AND a teacher. Shouldn't I get some credit for SOMETHING!?! I'm not some government hating hippie who is convinced that public school is going to slowly turn my child into a Nazi-like spawn. I'm not trying to shelter my child from the world and holding her hostage in my house so she doesn't get corrupted. I just love my Whitney. I WANT to spend the time with her. I WANT to be with her and teach her. I don't want summer to come and to think, "Oh my gosh, I can't wait until school starts again so the kids are out of my hair." I know it's hard work. I know it takes a lot of time. I've thought it over and over and over and prayed about it again and again. I didn't jump into this with my eyes closed and I wish people would just understand that. So, hopefully, through our home schooling experience I can show the rest of the world that home school CAN be a good thing. That kids CAN turn out normal. That we ARE NOT FREAKS. Okay, I need to go finish crying now. Thanks for letting me vent. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Aaron!!!

My Little Man turned three. I can't believe it! Time has flown so fast, and somehow I feel like I've missed so much because I can't remember every single moment. I remember finding out we were expecting with him and how happy we were. I remember being in the hospital at 36 weeks with a double kidney infection and wishing I could just have him while I was there and get it over with. I remember finally going into labor with him 6 weeks later when he was 2 weeks late. I remember the sound of his first cry and holding him for the first time.

I remember wishing that I would have taken him into Grandpa Wally's hospital room so he could have seen him when we were waiting in the waiting room. I remember him being my comfort when Grandpa Wally died a week later, and how good it felt to just hold him close and cry. I remember having to pull over every 2 hours to feed him on that long drive from Colorado to Texas and thinking the trip would never end. I remember how hyper he would get when he was a chunky monkey baby and he'd flail his arms like he was going to fly away and the sound of his squeaky giggle. I remember him taking his first steps at Grandma and Grandpa Brimhall's house.

And suddenly...

he's 3 years old!!! Oh how I love my Aaron. He is a tenderhearted boy who will cry at the drop of a hat. He was sent to teach me patience, and I'm learning. He loves to snuggle. He loves all things BOY, and loves to play with Whitney. He loves peanut butter and honey bear sandwiches and yogurt. He's my little man and my big helper, and I am so happy and blessed to have him in my life. Happy Birthday, my Aaron! I love you!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bella Bling

I started making headbands and clips for the girls a while ago and I have been getting so many great compliments about them and people asking me to make some for them. So, I finally gave in and started an etsy store! It's called and I'm really excited about it! It's something I love to make, so it's the perfect fit for me! I'm selling them for $6.50 each which, turns out is a great deal. After checking out some of the other sites I realized I could be charging a lot more for them, but eh, what the hay. Who wants to spend $20 on a headband, right? These are just a few of the headbands I'm selling. I have about 35 that I'm listing so far. So, if you have daughters or baby girls or friends with little girls, check out my site!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Yaaaaay! After 2 years of being stuck home with the kids while Michael is at work, we finally have 2 cars again. This time, let's hope Mike doesn't wreck this one, too. (sigh) My WONDERFUL in-laws sold us their 2005 Ford Freestyle Limited, and it's sooooo nice! I'm really excited! I'd be even more excited if I knew that I got to drive it, but I don't think that will ever happen. It has been dubbed Mike's "Man Car", so that means, "hands off, Wife, forget it!". I'm trying to not be's not working very well. :)

Here are some pictures-I stole some pictures off of the internet so you can at least see which kind of car it is. Sorry, I mean, crossover. ;)
This is the Freestyle.

Here's what it looks like inside....only ours isn't all brand spanking new....

Here's what it's like inside. Pretty roomy!

So, that's the newest addition! It's soooo nice to not feel stranded anymore. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finally, an update!

Hi! Okay, I know it's been 2 months since my last post. Sorry! I'm sure you've all given up on me! For anyone who for some reason hasn't given up on me...this is for you! :) Update. Deep we go.

Kate. Kate has more than doubled her birth weight and is now 2 1/2 months old! Aaah! I can't believe how fast the time has flown by. I survived the zombie stage and am happy to say she now sleeps from about 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. straight! She was colicky for about three weeks and would cry from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. and boy was it rough! She's caught up to the rest of the babies and is sure filling out nicely as you can see from her picture below. She's starting to smile and coo and there is nothing more rewarding than your baby smiling at you because she's excited to see you! Her legs start kicking and her arms start flailing and she smiles...oh I love it!!! So, things in the land of Kate are going very well. :)

Mr. Aaron is doing well, too. He had a rough month or so after Kate was born. I had to completely re-potty train him and he got really distant and wouldn't really have much to do with me. He's back to his good old self now and I am soooo relieved! I think the hardest part for me was not being able to rock him and sing him to sleep every day for his nap. That was one of my favorite parts of the day and I really miss that. But he's doing great and has been having a lot of fun playing with Whitney. He loves Kate very much and is usually by my side when it's time to burp her asking, "Mommy, can I pat Tate?" (Yes...he calls her Tate.) I love my little man!

Whitney has been a champ through everything. She is just such a good natured girl, I am really really blessed to have her in my life and I honestly don't know what I would do without her! She's my big helper. Every day for the past month or so she has been begging me to start school with her. I finally gave in and to tie her over until September I've started doing some penmanship lessons with her to work on her handwriting and a thinking skills book. Whitney did an online placement test so I could know where to start her in each subject. She is at the 3rd grade reading level, 1st grade math, and 2nd grade Language Arts. By law we are only required to do Math, Language Arts, and a course in Good Citizenship. But I am also doing some History, Geography, Social Studies and Science with her once a week. It's going to be a lot of work, but it will also be a lot of fun and she is soooooo excited about it!

Well, Kate is up from her nap and calling for me. I'll try to do more of an update soon about my family coming out and all that good stuff!!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Top Tens of this week:

1. Kate finally fits into Newborn clothes and diapers! Yaaaaaay! She's filling out nicely and I don't think it will take long for her to catch up. She's still as cute as ever, even when I'm in zombie mode.

2. I got to get away and see Night at the Museum 2 with Mandy on Saturday night. It was soooo nice to get away and the movie was hilarious! Michael took care of Kate and she was fed and sleeping away when I got back.

3. Snow cones are one of the most wonderful things in the whole entire world! There is a snow barn a few blocks away and I am completely addicted!

4. I'm trying to figure out how to get Aaron to stop pooping in his underwear...not working so well. I am about to go crazy! I have figured out, however, that hosing him down with cold water in the shower does not deter him, instead it traumatizes him and makes him afraid of taking a bath. :(

5. Michael has been SUCH a big help lately! Seriously, I don't know what has changed, but he has been absolutely wonderful!!! He cooks, he cleans, he rocks Kate to sleep and holds her in his "special hold" that somehow calms her down when she has her 9-12 colic fits at night...he's the best and I love him!!! Without him, this zombie just wouldn't make it.

6. There is a job opening back at NREL in Denver and Michael is thinking about applying for it. I can't decide how I feel about it...we're praying about it. It would be WONDERFUL to be back in Colorado and close to family, but this place has really grown on me, too. I would really miss my friends. We'll see what happens.

7. I fit into a pair of my pre-maternity pants...barely. But still...that's exciting! I won't be wearing them in public any time soon, though. Unless I am on a horse or in a tractor, which isn't likely.

8. Oh, did I mention I love, love, LOVE snow cones???

9. Mike got me Rock Band for Mother's Day! He's a born pro....I stink...but we've had so much fun playing it together. :) It's like date night at home.

10. My family will be coming out in June and I CAN'T WAIT!!! I haven't seen them in a whole year, I miss them soooooo much!

Well, that's what's going on here at the Brimhall's!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bittersweet Farewell

It has been kind of a rough week. My Grandma Nora passed away this week and it has been such an emotional roller coaster. She had been in and out of the hospital for the past year or so, and the last few times were really hard because we didn't think she would make it. So, we'd come to grips with the fact that she's going to die, and then she'd pull through and go back home and we could take a sigh of relief and thank Heavenly Father that she made it through it. Then, a month later she'd be back in the hospital. My heart just ached for her and for my family. It's so hard to be so far away and feel like there is just nothing you can do other than pray your hardest and put names on the temple prayer role. This time, Grandma said she had had enough. She really wanted to be back with Grandpa again. It's an interesting thing to be on your knees, pleading with Heavenly Father for a tender mercy...and then when your prayers are answered, your heart still breaks. It's like being torn in two. One half is rejoicing that she doesn't have to suffer anymore, and I know she is having the most beautiful reunion with dear Grandpa, her mom and her other family who has already passed on. The other side of me is having the hardest time dealing with the idea of her really being gone. Not being able to say good-bye to her, not being able to go to her funeral and get the closure I's just really tough. It somehow doesn't seem real yet. I can't imagine her not being at her house sitting in her favorite gray recliner, or not getting to hear her voice any more (well, for a long time anyway...) and the family going through their things and deciding who gets just hurts so much! The last words I heard her say were "I love love love you." I can't think of any better last words. I'll miss her so much, but I am so grateful for the knowledge that families are forever. I know we'll be together again. I know she is soooooooo happy right now and I am so grateful and blessed to be a part of such a wonderful eternal family!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

One Week Old

This picture is from my cell phone, so it's not the best quality...but it's still cute! Here she is one week old today! I can't believe it's already been a week! It's gone by sooooo fast. My mother-in-law went back to Colorado on Saturday. It was so nice to have her here! Michael is back to work and back to Kenpo, so life is back to normal. She's been sleeping really well at night so far. I've been getting 5 or 6 hours every night! She hardly ever cries, it's just little squeaks when she's hungry or poopy. And she falls right back asleep when I'm done feeding her so I'm not feeling like a zombie. Hopefully it sticks! She is just such a sweet little baby, we love her so much!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Special Delivery!

She's here!!! They induced me on Tuesday morning and everything went very well! We had to be at the hospital at 4 a.m., which I thought was a joke at first...but she was serious. So, we got there at 4 and they started the pitocin around 5 a.m. The contractions started sometime around 6:30, and around 8:30 I decided it was time to try an epidural. I hadn't gotten one with Whitney or Aaron, so I was pretty nervous. Turns out, it was one of the BEST things I've ever done!!! I didn't feel anything, not even the numbing shot! Then, an hour and a half later it was time to push. I pushed for about 10 minutes and she was here, just as cute as can be! Seriously, it was like, the best labor EVER! I can't believe I just had a baby...I feel great! (We'll see if I'm singing a different tune in a few days when the zombie stage hits.)

Baby Kate was born at 10:37 a.m. She is a tiny little 5 lb. 14 ouncer, 18 inches long, and has a great set of lungs. She's absolutely precious and we just love her! I can't believe how tiny she is, every time I pick her up I'm just amazed. She has to wear preemie diapers and clothes! The take home outfit I brought her was about twice her size, it was hilarious!

Michael absolutely adores her and has nicknamed her Nano-Kate and Microbaby. Which, if you can remember my previous post about his list of baby names, are quite tame. He's such a great dad, it's so cute to see him with her, it make me just melt! :)

My mother in law is here to help out and I don't know what I'd have done without her! The kids absolutely adore her and it is just such a blessng to have her here! Speaking of the kids, they seem to be adjusting well. Aaron was kind of weirded out yesterday and it took him a little while to let me hold him or hug him, but he seems to have bounced back to his good old crazy self. Whitney is my big helper and she loves Kate to peices! So, things are going very well and we are so happy to have Kate here. Speaking of....sounds like my time is up. :)

P.S. Once again, the amazingly talented and wonderful Mandy took all the adorable pictures! Thanks, Manders!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mandy the Magician newborn pictures yet...but close! Mandy did a belly photo shoot with me since I'm just about to pop, and I just HAVE to put the pictures up because they are sooooooo amazing! Would you believe these were taken in my garage!?! Seriously, she's AMAZING!!! I tease her that she turned an elephant into a swan. And she sighs and rolls her eyes at me...and that's why I love her! Thanks again, Mandy! You really are the BEST!!! I love you! :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the nothings of happenings

Wow, this is my 100th post!!! I should have some sort of animated streamers or fireworks or something going...wish I knew how to do that...oh well!

Well, I have three more weeks until my due date! Yaaaaay! Things are going really well. I had an awesome baby shower a few weeks ago, thrown by my Visiting Teachers and my Beehive Advisor and my bestest friend Mandy. I wish I had pictures, but I sort of forgot my I always do for anything important.

I'm feeling pretty good! I'm the proud owner of a 43 inch waist, how exciting! My feet are finally starting to swell. In fact, just a few days ago Whitney was having fun leaving indents in my feet and said, "Wow, Mom, your feet are like playdough!" it was hilarious! Atleast she enjoys it. I'm having an ultrasound next week to make sure she's the right size so that will be nice to get to see her again before she's here.

Other than that...really...not much going on. Hopefully my next post will include pictures of a newborn. :)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Well, after much prayer and years of stressing and going back and fourth between choices, I have decided to homeschool Whitney! I finally feel at peace about it and know it's the best choice for us and I'm actually really excited about it! It's going to be so neat to get to be her teacher and get to be in that part of her life. I've been doing home pre-school with her and it has worked so well and we've had so much fun with it. I love being able to teach her the things SHE'S interested in and being able to take as much time as we want to teach it. That girl absolutely loves to learn and read and I know we'll have a lot of fun.

We're still trying to decide on a curriculum. There are soooo many great resources and programs out there! It feels sort of like being a kid in a candy shop. I'm looking into some online acadamy programs that have attendance guildelines so I can't slack off. They also do progress reports each week so I can make sure she's grasping everything she needs to. Annnnd, they send you the supplies you'll need like science kits and health kits for when you're doing those units. They have lots of fun educational games online and workbooks and then I can just supplement whatever else I want to add in to the program.

I know it will be a lot of work and dedication, but I know that it will bring some wonderful rewards and blessings! I'll get to be the one to see the excitement in her eyes when she accomplishes something, or finally grasps something. I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rub My Belly For Good Luck!

Happy St. Patricks Day! It was seriously SUCH a great day today! Mandy got me this hilarious shirt and everyone has gotten a good kick out of it! Then, on top of that she came over and took pictures for me. :) So, my friends, here you go! 8 months along. Woo-hoo! Thanks Mandy! You're the best!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Third Trimester Trouble!

See this picture? The gorgeous woman in the green dress...Angelina Jolie, pregnant with TWINS shortly before she gave birth. See the panda in the background? That's me pregnant with one baby at 7 1/2 months along. Seriously. Okay, well, actually, the only difference between me and the panda is the panda's preggo boobs aren't three cup sizes bigger than they were 7 1/2 months ago! And I can't do kung fu....

It's been really hard to watch my body change this past month. New stretch marks are appearing alongside the previous two sets of stretchmarks. Spider veins are showing up on my tree trunk legs (crossing my fingers that they don't turn into varicose veins by the end of this pregnancy). As previously boobs no longer fit in the NURSING bras from when Aaron was born...and if anyone remembers how humongous they were then...yeah...and I haven't even started nursing yet! Aaaaaaah!!! I don't even recognize my own rear end with these wide hips! My hips feel like they are breaking, my sciatic nerve is on the fritz, Kate keeps kicking my bladder, my shoes don't fit, and my maternity shirts are getting too short!

I saw some pictures of me from a few weeks ago and I couldn't believe what I saw! My face is huuuuuge! (Yet again, resembling Po the panda...) I always seem to forget how hard the third trimester is....the swelling, the not being able to breath, the not being able to roll over in bed, the heartburn and it seems like every week drags on forrrrever!

So, the reason for this post is to ask for all your help and advice on how you got through your third trimester. How did you keep from getting depressed? How did you pass the time? What did you do to keep yourself excited about the pregnancy instead of having panic attacks that the baby would never come?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

R.I.P Little Fishy!

Remember about a year ago when I posted about how Whitney saved up her money to buy a fish? Well, yesterday we got home from dropping Michael off at work and a "quick" stop at Target to find our little Coral belly up. We had known it was coming for a while because the poor thing was having a hard time swimming and would just lay on the bottom of the bowl on it's side...but I didn't know what to do about it and I didn't want to kill we just patiently waited. Poor little Whitney, though! She was just heartbroken! It was the first time she's ever had a real emotional meltdown like that, and it was just so sad to watch. She wanted to call Mike at work to tell him and she just sobbed on the phone. We've never had a pet die before, so I wasn't sure how you're supposed to handle it, so my first method was to throw a Coral party. We had cake and ice cream and celebrated that she was now in animal heaven with Ginger (who was my family's dog growing up) and Guido (who was Michael's parent's evil cat) and of course Nemo's mommy and she was so happy there! I think Whitney felt a little better after the sugar high. Then we made a little box to bury Coral in and Whitney decorated it with stickers and wrote "I'll miss you, Coral!" on it. It was really cute and I wish I would have taken a picture of it- I tried but the camera died. We buried it this morning in the backyard (should have done it yesterday because it was already starting to...nevermind). Anyway, I just love my little tenderhearted Whitney. This has been a hard time for her, but it has given us a good chance to talk about death and life and how families are forever! And Coral will always have a special little place in our hearts. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day! I hope you all had a wonderful one! Ours was pretty great. I set up the table the night before so that when the kids woke up and came down the stairs they would see special valentine gifts for each of them. I LOVE the sound of their excitement first thing in the morning! Whitney shouted, "!" (totally sounded like a teenager) and it was just soooo cute! It's so fun to do special little things for them to let them know how much I love them and to bring their lives some joy. (Speaking of joy, the kids are playing outside right now and keep running back in with handfuls of clovers and dandelions for me...). Michael was pretty excited about the new drill he got this year (yes, that's a drill in the red gift bag, not lingere.) After they were done reading their cards and eating their chocolates, I made pink heart shaped pancakes with strawberry topping and whipped cream for breakfast. It was so fun!

I can remember waking up on Valentines Day when I was little and my mom always did something like this for us. She would make the cutest little heart shaped cakes and leave them on the piano for us to find in the morning, and every year for as long as I can remember she would give us those little heart shaped boxes of Russel Stover chocolates. She still sends a Valentines Day package for us every year with treats and chocolates. I'm so happy to have Valentines Day, and get to celebrate that wonderful thing called LOVE!

LOVE - a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker. ~Author Unknown

Saturday, February 7, 2009

No Fear of Flying

Today we decided to take a little family trip out to Galveston to the Lone Star Flight Museum. It was a gorgeous mostly sunny day, 77 degrees...perfect! It was really interesting to drive through Galveston and see all the damage. It was just crazy! There were so many parts of it that were just completely trashed and abandoned, it was really sad. I wish I would have taken some pictures...

The museum we went to had been damaged, but was able to fly out the planes that were in flying condition before the hurricane. The ones who couldn't fly had to stay behind and get flooded. So, half of the museum was still closed so they could fix the planes. We got to see some pretty cool planes anyway. Aaron LOVES airplanes, he's pretty much obsessed with them so it was really neat to see his face when he woke up from his little nap in the van, looked out the window and saw an F-100 Super Sabre!

You can't really see it very well, but seriously, just look at that big smile! It was like being in a candy store. Here they are in front of one of that actual Navy Blue Angels F8F Bearcat! These were designed to defend against the Japanese airborn kamikaze attacks in the 1940's. It was a pretty sweet little plane!

This is us in front of a B-17 Flying Fortress. These are one of my favorite planes. Can you imagine the rumble of the formations of these beasts flying overhead with their 4 engines? Sooooo cool!!! These bombers were amazing. They were used in WWII to bomb Germany and during the Pacific war to bomb Japanese ships. They dropped more bombs during WWII than any other bomber. They could defend themselves and they could get back home even after being all shot up. Seriously, these planes were AWESOME!!! Ever see "Memphis Belle"? And, if you look reeeally closely, you can see me in all my pregnant glory. haha. Yes, I am standing next to the B-17 to make me look smaller.

Here's us with a B-25 Mitchell. This plane was actually a very humbling experience to get to see. This is the plane that they used in the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo in April of 1948. Don't know what I'm talking about? If you saw "Pearl Harbor" (the one that came out a few years ago with Kate Beckinsdale and Ben Affleck), remember at the end they had to fly those planes off of the back of the battle ship with an insanely short takeoff? They launched 16 of them and 15 of them crash landed somewhere around eastern China. The men who flew these knew it was most likely a suicide mission, yet they still went and defended their country. Thankfully, of the 80 men on the planes, 69 of them eventually made it back to U.S. lines.

Well, there is your history lesson for the day. It was so nice to be able too get away for a day and do something as a family! It's something I think we'll do a lot more often. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh my gosh, I'm soooo sorry! It's been a month since I last posted!!! I don't know where the time went. Things are going okay. The main goings on in life have been that our lease on the house we're renting expired and I was reeeeeally hoping to find another house to rent so we can get away from our noisy neighbors. I can't remember if I've told you about our noisy neighbors...well, more like neighborhood. I don't know how to tell you about it without sounding like a racist...but I'll try. Okay, there is our nice new neighborhood which was built in 2006. We live on the last street of our neighborhood. Behind our neighborhood is a neighborhood in an area where the Mexicans live. Most of the houses are trailer houses. There is a pack of dogs that runs around the neighborhood barking and chasing the poor girl dogs around. They drive big noisy trucks with annoying horns (seriously, their horns play entire SONGS!!!) There are roosters which crow all the time (I hope they're not used in cock fights...). We occasionally hear gunshots at night (scary) And they ride their 4 wheelers and dirt bikes right by our back fence and speed through our neighborhood all the time (totally illegal and they're going to run over a little kid one of these days). Those parts I can deal with (though shooting the pack of dogs with the bb gun at 3 a.m. when they've been barking for 2 hours straight right next to our fence doesn't sound so crazy sometimes). It's the parties and the music that are sooooo loud on the weekends that send me into the Incredible Hulk mode. I swear, I turn into some sort of monster with no sense of reason. Usually there is more than one party going, and the music is SO loud!!! I don't know how they stand it! It's that Mexican polka sounding stuff with the accordions and the heavy base and the yipping and yelping...oh I can't stand it! The drunker they get, the louder the music gets. And it seriously starts before sundown and doesn't end until 4 a.m. or later. No matter how hard I try to lay in bed and pretend I'm on a vacation in Acapulco, I still lose it. There's no way to drown out the music, I've tried. Sometimes it's so loud it buzzes our windows. I have been so tempted to get up on the roof and build a catapult and launch things at them....but that's not very Christlike, now is it. On Christmas Eve they had a HUGE neighborhood party with a DJ that went on until about 5 a.m. and Michael had to give me a blessing to calm me down because I was so distraught. So, I just wanted to get away from all that. Anyways, our lease finally ended and I was counting down the months until we could get out of here. We looked at some houses and there just wasn't anything that would work, and we just sort of felt like it was a bad choice so we decided to stay here. With the economy the way it is, and people starting to do layoffs (Mike's work just laid off 40 people from another department) AND we would have to pay about $3,000 for another deposit and first months rent (hello, can you say down payment on a house??? Why are we still RENTING!?! Okay, no more side notes in parentheses, I promise) It was a big bummer, but I know that if it was supposed to work out then it would have. But I hope Heavenly Father blesses me with the patience and tolerance that I'll need to get through the next year with a new baby, no sleep, and noisy neighbors up partying and drinking all night.

Then, a few weeks later Michael started having some health problems and the medical bills are adding up and it's SUCH a good thing we didn't spend all that money to move to a new place! It's interesting how things work out in life. When you think YOU know the best decision and are sure things will work out. Then, you don't get the answer you want during your prayers and you're like "WHAT!?! Why not!?! Seriously, how could this be a bad choice?". But, you do what Heavenly Father tells you to and then something happens in life and the light comes on and you realize, "Oh! I get it now. Thanks for watching out for us-that could have been bad!". It just makes me realize how much Heavenly Father really is in the details. He is the Master Architect in our lives and he really does know what's best for us and when we trust Him everything will work out for our good.