Friday, September 30, 2011

Get Ready!

Today is a very big day.  We are closing on a house today!  It's going to need some TLC, and as we've been deciding what to do first and how to go about doing it, I thought I'd take a look at the last fixer-upper we took on.  I made this little video of some of the before-and-after pictures just after we sold the last place, in 2006.  It was super gross at first, so if you have a weak stomach, be forewarned.  :)  This house sat empty for 8 months after we finished fixing it up, so I taught my group piano lessons there (that's why there's tables and keyboards in the living room)  :)  I think my favorite memories of working on this house are of our crew - we couldn't have done it without Nathan, Enoch, Doug and Daryl!!!

So here's to house projects!!!  May they be completed in a timely manner with only 3 more Home Depot trips than anticipated!!  Wish us luck!!  :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Best Day Ever.....Family

I don't know if you ever have those days where you just understand intrinsically what really matters family.  These last two days have been like that for me.  Yesterday throughout the day I caught these glimpses of Tara as she'd be walking, or talking to someone, and she'd smile, or as she'd make some funny face - and time just seemed to stand still for just a moment and I was able to capture it and enjoy it...and yes of course I thought "she's hot".  Today I asked her out for lunch.  As I sat across from her, all I could think of was how lucky I am - she is amazing.  I also got some good time in with Baby "A" who joined us for lunch, she sat next to me and we chit chatted as we tried different foods - Baby A decided that a pile of salt was her favorite..she was very particular about us not putting any food on top of it and corrected us when we did.  Luckily she made it through more than just a pile of salt!  It was so pleasant to be with them and I really soaked in the moment and went back to work on cloud 9.  I came home as soon as I could from work and played soccer with J-boy - he loves to play and tonight I taught him a few new moves - he amazes me at how he learns them so quickly.  The best moment though was when he laughed so hard that he fell over and couldn't get up.  I love those moments with my son.  His laughter is pure joy.  Then we ate dinner together as a family.  It was nice to be all in one spot together.   On Monday nights we make an extra effort to hang out together as a family.  K-lady showed off a science experiment she'd seen at school and then we ate ice cream together and played a game.  The kids love to sing, so we sang some songs.  It was a blast.   These last two days reminded me of the things that bring me the greatest joy - my family.  I believe in the family, and that if centered on the principles taught by Jesus Christ, that it can be the greatest source of strength and joy in life. It is for me - From Joseph

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A few more moments from July

 This guy celebrated a birthday - we decided a party was in order!
 Using my sister Heather's darling tags and party ideas from earlier in the month, we threw together an ice cream buffet.  I should have read the instructions on the ice-cream-cone-cupcakes more carefully - they were overflowing messes.  But still delish! :)  I hung about 100 B&W pictures of Joseph around the house.  I love pictures!  Sometimes I'm really bad about taking them (ie, @ a party when there are PEOPLE around, and all I remember to photograph is the grub), but I never regret it when I do.
 Heidi and her girls joined us for a little stay-cation for a few days.  We mostly tried to figure out fun things to do INSIDE because it was sweltering outside.  :)  The BBQ pizza was a fantastic.
Heidi brought these two matching PJ's.
 We spent some sweaty afternoons at the Farmers' Market - hurrah for local watermelon!
And a little crafting for my high school best friends new baby - I think this little lady is my favorite Black Apple Doll yet.  (the pattern is  somewhere on the Martha Stewart website if you want it)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

10 years

10 years ago I rented my wedding dress. Somehow this picture (w/o my permission, or the permission of my photographer) ended up in a Utah Valley Bride magazine with the caption, "Can you believe it's a rental?" Classy, right? I didn't know whether to be flattered or furious. :)
We went to the temple in Salt Lake City on August 18th, and at 9:40 in the morning we were the 36th couple to be sealed together for time and all eternity. Busy day at the temple! I remember being amazed that the celestial room (the room that represents heaven) felt so peaceful even when my mind was reeling and my emotions changing every second. We sat there for a few quiet moments before we were ushered into a sealing room where we knelt at an alter and promised God we'd take care of each other forever.

Joseph was 25, I was 21. We were so clueless! I thought I was in love.
The good news is that today I know a little better. Joseph is my one and only. He makes my life sweet. He works hard so I can be a mom. And he understands when being a mom makes me [more than] a little spazzy (that's polite for insane). He is kinder, gentler, more forgiving, more patient today. Wouldn't it be nice if that were true for both of us?? :) We've had some ups and downs, and I know we'll have many more before we're done with this life. Today I look at these photographs and smile indulgently at the newlywed love we had. Today's love is so much better! Thank goodness we didn't give up in year 1 when I was psycho hormonal on birth control, or year 5 when dental school was making us both nuts, or in year 7 when I was pregnant and horrible to everyone with whom I had contact (for the 3rd time). (My sincere apologies if you are one of those people - what's my excuse now, right??). :) I'm so glad that we've learned to keep going, and to hang in there, and that it gets better - as long as we keep that promise we made at that alter 10 years ago.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Library Lovin'

We had a good time this summer at our local library -- they did an around-the-world theme for the summer reading program and had weekly activities and concerts and reading times.  I only brought my camera a few times, but we enjoyed exploring the world from the comfort of our local library.  I love love love to read - and I love seeing my kids get excited about it, too.  :)
The library kicked off the summer activities with water games in the courtyard....

I really loved their Brown Bag Concerts (bring a lunch while you watch) - it was so neat to see the town come out and enjoy it all together.

Hot and sunny, but so fun!

One week we went to the Africa explorer day - the kids made masks, and LOVED trying out all the cool stuff the guest presenter brought along.  J-boy was especially sucked in by the masks and percussion instruments.
 And of course, A-girl wanted in on the photo fun.
J-boy and A-girl fit really well in this one together. :)
 And this one was about 2x A-girls' size. :)
While the other two rioted around playing with the 'artifacts,' K-lady dutifully made her mask. :)  What a sweetie.  :)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Girly A is THREE!

 We ended up with two little celebrations for Girly A - a little family dinner on the day itself, and then a bit of a party with friends the following week.  I completely skipped out on her birthday last year because we were in the middle of our move, so the friend party was totally motivated by guilt.  Yup, that's the good stuff. :)
Anyway, since I knew we'd be doing cake for the friend party, we just grabbed pink hostess cupcakes for the family affair.  Quite sufficient!

 We hide the presents and the birthday kid looks for them - we sing happy birthday loud when she gets close and quieter when she is far from the presents.  Girly A didn't really get that part, but the big kids helped. :)  But she certainly excelled at ripping the wrapping off and being tickled pink about her gifts.
 And for the friend-party, we had her little play group over, plus siblings.  We had a sprinkler, wading pool, and sidewalk chalk in the back, and coloring pages and play doh at the table.  And all the food was served via toothpick.  It takes better that way (scientific fact!).  (aside: Joseph's childhood photo album is full of birthday pictures of he and Jake in their swim suits.  I think Girly A's will be the same. :)

 I tried making a ruffle cake, and ran out of frosting half way through the top.  That's a TON of frosting on that thing!!!  So I just spread it out across the top, and I think it turned out darling.
  Thank you again to the internet for inspiring pretty things. :)

 Make a wish!!!
What a cutie!
At three years, Girly A is talking non-stop, finally potty trained, loves to snuggle, sucks her thumb (!?) and plays with her hair constantly.  She adores J-boy, and is his little copy-cat (much to her parents' chagrin at times).  When she gets hurt (or is disciplined by mom or dad) she cries for K-lady.  :)  She NEVER naps, and likes to sleep in and stay up late.  She is a darling little girl, and we all simply adore her.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Busy as...

 Yup.  We've got bees.  Joseph has been wanting bees for years, and I guess this was the year to finally do it!  They are absolutely amazing!  Joseph ordered 3 bee boxes and all their odds and ends, along with a smoker and a suit and a veil thing.  He got them back in February or March, and eagerly awaited the arrival of his bees (Did you know you can order bees by mail?  We actually found a local-er source, so we just had to go up to the city to procure ours, for which I'm sure the post office was grateful!)
In April we got about 500 little worker bees and one queen.  She was kept in a little cage in the middle of the workers so they could get used to her pheromones and want to stay with her always and take care of her.  It worked!  (I wish that would work for me....  I could use 500 little workers...)
 This is some renegade honey comb they built while Joseph's back was turned for a week or two.  Those little white things on the edge are little bee eggs! (We had to murder them when we cleaned out the unwanted comb - it was kind of tragic, actually.  But I was there for moral support and picture-taking, so Joseph got through it alright, and we didn't squish the queen, so all's well that ends well.)
All the closed up cells have bees that were in the final stages of development.  Sad!
 Mmmmm... honey!

This is a boy bee.  There's a special frame that has a slightly larger framework for the bees to build up the bigger honeycomb, and the queen lays the male eggs in it, since they are larger.  I'm not sure how that all works, but apparently it does, cause I watched this guy push off the top cover of his incubator cell and hatch out of his extra large honey comb, and he was BIG.  It was utterly amazing.  I took off my camera lens and flipped it around for a wanna-be-macro, and thoroughly freaked myself out by the size of this man-bee.
There he is learning how to use his legs on the big-fat-man-bee-honeycomb-frame.  But his life was cut short.  In the beehive, the boy bees are just loafers.  No bringing home the bacon - no, they just eat the honey the ladies are working hard to make.  So they've got to go.  Joseph flicked him off and stomped on him (I kind of gasped - I mean, I'd watched his miraculous birth just moments before!)  Then Joseph wrapped up the whole frame in a trash back and stuck it in the freezer to kill them all off.  Right next to the apple juice concentrate.  Makes me shudder, but, hey, it's for a good cause.  (cause:  honey and a happy husband)

Right now we have 2 bee boxes full of bee eggs and honey and the queen and stuff, and another box on top that's full of honey.  There's a little wire frame separating the top box from the bottom two - it's big enough for the workers to get up and make the honey, but too small for the queen to get through and lay eggs.  That top box ss HEAVY, so there must be lots of honey.  The bees need the two bottom boxes to survive through the winter, but we get the top one.  I'll let you know how the harvesting goes.  I imagine it will be messy.  :)

This poor blog has been so neglected, and I have so much to post, but I'm overwhelmed by how far behind I am.  So we'll see what happens.  I'm entirely noncommittal about any future regularity of posting, but I will try to update.  I still have stuff from April.  Ugh.  But I have learned that if I don't put it on the blog, I'll most likely forget it within a year, so I guess I'd better blog it!  Some sort of incomplete record is better than none at all!  Wish me luck. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Damage Control

Sweet Baby A decided to give herself a trim a few weeks ago - here she is, hiding her face in shame. Her hair was finally long enough to just tuck behind her ears (she yanks out pony tails and barrettes and headbands, so tucking behind the ears was actually a really good option.)  And then she gave herself a mullet.  I think this is a first for our family - I don't remember J-boy or K-lady getting fancy w/ the scissors.

I tried to clean it up a bit - curly hair can be so forgiving... But I sure missed her long pretty curls.

We needed to get Baby A a passport, and I decided it would just be easier to take the picture myself. Nope. :) Lesson learned.
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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Family Reunion

 Joseph's extended family enjoyed a reunion in this sweet little spot tucked away in a quiet valley of northern Utah.  Joseph flew out to meet the kids and I after our little visit with my parents, and together we enjoyed some good times, good food, and good company.  
 There were games - Joseph and Jacob won the horse shoe tournament!
 These two were inseparable.
 A little blurry, but it was so sweet to see K-lady greet Aunt Bev - it's been WAY to long!
 She was entranced by the tether ball.  It's the little things, right?

 Taking her little cousin for a ride.

 We enjoyed a few extra days with Joseph's parents and siblings - went to Temple Square and celebrated the fourth of July together.
 I took pictures for my brother-and-sister-in-law's family @ the temple.  Such beautiful folks!
 The kids and dads went on a hike while my sister-in-law and I made a pilgrimage to Ikea.
 They found and killed a rattlesnake, skinned the thing and grilled it on the BBQ.  Ew.
 And watched Tangled during quiet time. :)

 And watched fireworks from Uncle Jared's beautiful balcony overlooking the southwest side of the Salt Lake Valley.

 wobbly camera. :)