Sunday, March 30, 2008

More fun with Ma











I dread when mom goes...little Zac has such a special bond with her. I swear it breaks my heart. He lays with her at night...he traces her face, pats her and says "I love you Ma", then rolls over only to roll back in a minute to do it all again...like he's checking to see if she is still there. I know he will be heartsick when she goes. And that just really makes a lump grow in my throat. It's hard to see him missing her and looking for her. I am glad that he loves his Ma and that they have a special relationship that grew when he was just a wee thing. It was probably those evening when she'd rock him... few spoken words, just humming, rocking, and a lot of love. When she'd come over, she was always a hug and a smile with attention for just him and Jenna. He felt her love and loves it back. We will all miss her, but are thankful for the web cam, phones and airplanes!
Anyway, be thinking of us Tuesday when she heads back to Indiana.

But before we are sad, there is fun being had (look, I am Dr Seuss).
Mom is already through Twilight and onto New Moon, we went to St George to an awesome community park on Saturday- the weather was awesome!- and have been having fun with playdough and crafts at the apartment. Here are some pix.

China update

Steve is still in China. Today (it's already Monday there, they are 14 hrs ahead) they are traveling 2 hours away to work on the 2nd audit. They will see the Great Wall of China before they start work on #2. They finished up the first audit yesterday and were able to be tourists for the afternoon, they visited the Forbidden City and shopped some. If you want to see the first hotel they stayed at it is called winterless
He didn't bring a coat because the weather was supposed to be similar to here- anyway, apparently the business people made a fuss over it, and the Chairman offered him is traditional Chinese red robe to wear. He accepted it and wore it for the evening. I hoped that he had a picture of that. He said there are few Americans in the place where they have been doing business and so to see a very tall white man with a traditional red robe drew a lot more attention.
Anyway, we miss you babe and are proud of you.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

BABY LAMBS AT THE FARM

I thought that the kids, esp Jenna, would love to go to the SUU farm when Ma came to visit. I have a friend from the hospital that has her Bachelors in Nursing and Agriculture. She takes the month of March off during "lambing season" and spends all day on the farm. She has been working on the farm for 8 years....
Anyway, she was so good to have bottles of milk ready for the kids when we got there. The kids had fun, Jenna bawled to stay. We even saw a baby lamb be born (not to mention it was dead! but Jenna doesn't seem to be scarred for life). There were horses there too. It was fun. On the drive home we all stank of manure. Zac said, "I stink like poop!" We all did.
Thanks Victoria.

At the park....

This park is awesome, but it was ma that made it awesome-est. The kids, especially Zac loved to show Ma the "big park". He took her down the slides and wanted her to be in arms length. This little boy is attached to Ma. Bless his heart...
Thankfully he napped for 3 hours today to give mom a breather- she's not complaining though.

Mandy to Steve: "...Where are you going on Thursday for a week?!"

Beijing, China!

"Ni Hao. I am a tall white man from America."

Steve is almost in China by now after his 15 hr flight from San Diego.
Steve is having some great experiences at his new work. He is on an audit for some big companies in China. He never thought he'd see the Great wall of China.

Pray for his safety and wish him luck.

Thank you in advance to Lissa for saving the day! I mean really what would I do without you?...she is coming to get the kidos to and from daycare while I work next week! Love you Liss, thanks a lot! You really are a hero!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!





Happy Birthday to you....
Hope you had a good day! We love you.

Happy Easter





Happy Easter!
We hope that you had a great Easter!

We are grateful for the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kindergarten

My heck. Today was kindergarten registration for Jenna. I am glad that they canceled me on Same-Day surgery, and that a good friend called to tell me that it was today!
So on the way to registration, I heard a song on the radio....I am not sure what it is called, "Cinderella" maybe. Anyway it was about how a dad's little girl had grown to be a woman, but that to him she'd always be his little girl with a stained face, anxious to play, riding her bike for the first time, etc, etc......I think that is where it begins. The song set the mood. I took Jenna for registration (and she is SOO excited to be a big Kindergartener like Mason), we talked to the ladies who did their thing, then I promptly called Steve and cried. I parked on the side of the road and got out of the car to cry so she wouldn't be suspicious. (Who am I kidding?). I got back in the car and told her that I was proud of her, and that I was sad that she was growing up, all the while, I had wet eyes, a streaky face, but a quivering smile. She smiled back like an understanding friend. Then she said, "I didn't think grown ups cried like that!"

Little Houses

This past Sunday, Lissa and Christian came down to see us for the night and Scot and Julene (Steve's parents) and Brandon came over to visit from Blanding for a couple of days. At about 9:30pm-ish, I said good night to the crew that was scattered about in our living room, there was Lissa and Christian, little Christian, Scot, Julene, Jenna (still going strong), Brandon and Steve in the living room watching Rush Hour 3. They were smiling and talking, some laughing and catching-up.... it was just a good feeling to have them here. I am glad that they would come to our house and the lack of space wasn't a major deterrent. Somewhere in my brain, the song "Little Houses" emerged. This song is a country song by Doug Stone from the early 90's. I remember that my mom loved this song and bought the single on cassette of course, and would listen to it in her car as we drove places. Because she liked it, I too grew fond of it. Still when I hear it, good feelings come to my heart, and memories flood my mind of back home, in the summer, in the house I grew up in, with the family that I love. The chorus goes like this....
"Love grows best in little houses, few walls to separate, you can sleep so close together you can't help but communicate, oh and if there was more room between us....think of all we'd miss. Love grows best in houses just like this."

I can also make up a jingle to the same tune about how the song might go if the stay of the 10 of us in this little apartment was too long.

There is no real point or moral to this post, just that it was a good weekend with family.
The kids really enjoyed Grandma and Grandad and Brandon. I know they had fun and were sad to see them go this morning...isn't that the way it should be?- excited to have them come, sad to see them go, anxious to see them again, and until then, smile over the fun had by all.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Easter Crafts with Jenna





Jenna loves crafty stuff. Last night I knew that they didn't need me at work, so I told Jenna we would do an Easter craft. My mom gave me a book when Jenna was like 1 year old that has a whole gob of ideas of activities to do with Toddlers. It gave a list of stuff to just have in your house. Last year, I bought about 50 bucks worth of things that we have used for crafts- like pipe cleaner, cotton balls, rubber bands, glue, scissors, construction paper, pompoms, feathers, beads, paints, paint brushes, popsicle sticks, etc. It has proven to be money well spent...Anyway, we ran to Roberts for yellow pom poms, I busted out the craft tupperware, stole some ideas from a magazine that I get in the mail, Family Fun Magazine, and Jenna and I went to crafting during Zac's nap. Jenna is so pleased with herself. The best part about the little pompom chicks is that she could do it totally by herself after I made one for her.
When we were done she said, "that was hard work!" and ate a Peep like she was simply famished!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Blogging

What is a blog without a picture anyway- just a thought I suppose. Here is something on my mind...last night I read an article from a magazine called Wondertime.
Jenna kept saying, "what is it? Let me see. What are you laughing at?" It was an article about us bloggers. It talked about how women all over the country spend their days with their kids and cleaning and cooking and running and working and this and that, and then after the kids are finally in bed, they get on the computer and tell about their days with their kids and cleaning and cooking and running and working and this and that. How we make a post and anxiously check back for a comment, not because we are desperate, but because we love the validation- that we aren't alone in this journey of life and it's follies and joys. We love the community and connection of the blogspot with others. I thought it was so darn true! I find myself after working 13 hours, up another 4 getting things squared away for bed, that I fire up the blog and make time to look at the blog and my friends' blogs, even though my back aches and I have to get up again at 4:45am. That may be an addiction, no? Though I admit that I could pull back on the reigns some, I am over all very grateful for the blogspot. It has proven to be therapeutic- my time, my project.

How slow to remember...

It seems like over the past several weeks I go through mini-crisis. I panic because I feel like I am getting old, I want more kids, more money, a house, a back yard, a better vehicle, no debt, to work less, more education, more sleep, more discipline, more church activity, better parenting skills, more ideas for dinners, more time with Steve, a better retirement, ...blah blah blah, then the next day comes, and it is not overwhelming anymore. I feel better.
Well last night after Steve and I were thinking again about homes and our plan to get one in the future, and we were both highly frustrated as we talked about money and what we don't have and want. We gnashed on about the pitifulness of the situation, then very suddenly Steve's attitude changed, and he started to ramble off all the good stuff. What a peaceful feeling came to my heart. A feeling of relief. It is so miserable to be negative. How endearing to hear him talk about our blessings- and humbling too! (What a brat I was being!) Right before lights out I read a little piece of an article by Dallin H Oaks. The title of the article was "Good, Better, Best". As I pondered those things that Steve said and what Dallin Oaks said, I thought "how slow I am to remember and how quick I am to forget the blessings of the Lord." Somewhere in all my desires, though they are not bad desires, I forgot what was Best- that is my family- my husband and kids, teaching my kids good and righteous principles. Having fun with them and spending quality time together. I am grateful for our health, safety, opportunities, family and friends.
Not to say that I don't still want those other things to happen, it just put things in perspective.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mason Thomas, this is for you!

Dear Mason,
Ma told me that you look at this on the computer every Monday after school. I thought it would be cool if Jenna left you a message on the web site. Cool, huh?
We miss you and your brothers and dad and Carrie very much. Please remember that we think of you and pray for you. You are very special to us, and we can't wait to see you in June! Uncle Steve wants to play videos games and Jenna just can't wait to hang out and play! Be good. You are awesome!!! Tell your brothers that we love and miss them too!
Love, Aunt Mandy, Uncle Steve, Jenna and Zac-y.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Kangaroo Zoo

This weekend Steve worked a couple of hours on Saturday, and when he got home we were determined to do something together as a family that would be fun. We decided to head up to Orem to see Lissa and Christian. Lissa found out about a great place for little kids called Kangaroo Zoo. This was so fun! It was relatively inexpensive, and the kids loved it! Jenna spent the ride back to Lissa's crying because she was sure we would never go back! She must have thought that would be too good to be true! On the contrary, we thought that we would go up to the "zoo" pretty regularly! It was so fun. It was really hard to keep up with Zac especially, and Jenna loved it just as much. It was fast and furious, but surprisingly non-stressful. I am glad that little Christian loved it too.
Thanks again to Liss and Christian, who are great hosts. The food was good and the sheets smelled so good. You do awesome keeping up with your gorgeous home, Lis. Everything is so nice. We always enjoy you guys.