Friday, February 29, 2008

Boiling toilets and name calling

So, the other day I was in the kitchen finishing up preparing lunch when I heard a blood-curdling scream and Aleece running down the hallway to find me. She runs into the kitchen to exclaim that there is water all over the bathroom. Super. So I run to the bathroom and lock myself in there so that the girls don't decide that the water looks inviting and start to clean everything up and plunge the toilet. Ah, the excitement in my life. Well, it only took me a few minutes, and as soon as I came out Aleece wanted to know why the toilet was boiling water. What? I guess I had never thought of it that way! But we've taken such caution as parents to make sure they don't get anywhere near the stove or anything extremely hot, for fear of something splashing on them, I guess that is why there was so much panic in that initial scream. After explaining to her what was really going on, I couldn't help but laugh!
Madelaine has learned to say Aleece's name. It is so cute. Generally Aleece goes to bed before she does and as soon as their bedroom door shuts, Lainey goes running down the hall, yelling "aleece, aleece". It is just too cute. She is getting so good at using her words. Another of my favorites is when I ask her what she needs and she responds with, "ummmm..." like she needs to think about it before telling me. I tell ya, they just grow up to fast.
I don't want to have to knock on wood or anything, but the month of February will officially come to a close at midnight, and we have managed to stay away from the hospital this year! Hallelujah! Aleece does have a cough, but I think we just might manage to avoid our yearly trek to the hospital this time! That is a huge blessing! I don't think my pregnant body could handle sleeping on a hospital couch!
Being pregnant has definitely had a strong affect on my emotions this time around. Some days everything feels so completely overwhelming and I don't know where to begin the days tasks, but everytime I look into one of my girls faces, everything seems clearer, and I can't help but want to continually be better for them! It's funny to realize the connection this little boy inside me already has to his sisters. He is most active when he hears their voices, or when they are sitting next to me leaning against my belly. It is such a wonderful feeling to feel life moving around inside of you and to already have such a strong bond with them. Being a mother is my calling in this life, and I am thankful to my mom for instilling in me the values and knowledge I needed to be able to do this great thing.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Au revoir

My little brother Clay enters the MTC (missionary training center) today out in Utah. He will be there for nine weeks, learning to speak French, before heading overseas to the beautiful country of Switzerland for 2 years. He is doing such an honorable thing and serving the Lord for 2 years as a missionary for our church and we couldn't be more proud of him. He has become such an incredible young man and it will be hard not to see him for two years, but we all know he is doing what he is supposed to be, and I wouldn't want it any other way. I know the next two years will hold some truly amazing experiences for him, and I know he is going to grow immensely. It's hard to say goodbye to someone you love, for so long, but I know in the grand scheme of things, this is just a few seconds of our eternal lives. So really goodbye isn't the right thing to say, I guess. I'll just say, have fun, keep the faith and we'll see you in two years! We love you Bubba!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

So proud

Today Val and I had one of those moments, where it's like everything stops and you are truly able to take a mental picture of what is going on around you. We realized that our first born, sweet baby girl isn't a baby anymore, she's not even a toddler--she's a little girl. The primary sang in church today and Aleece went right up on the stand, stood proudly, smiling on the front row, and sang "I am a child of God" so beautifully. It is her favorite song, and she melts my heart everytime I hear her sing it. It was so amazing for me to sit and watch her smiling face up there singing, and to see how far she has already come in her short life. If she has already grown this much in 3 1/2 years, where will she be in the next 3 1/2 or 10 or 20 years? I can only imagine. Val wrote a really touching blog about today's experiences and I encourage you all to read it. You can link to his blog on the right hand side of my page. It really touched me, and he is so much more eloquent than I will ever be. All I can say is that I truly love being a mother and I cherish each and every day with my children. I am so blessed to be there mother and I thank my Heavenly Father every day for allowing me this opportunity.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The results are in......

And the boys have it!!! We are proud to announce that our next little addition will be a boy! We are very excited! His heart rate was about 159 and he weighs in at about 9 ounces so far. He is growing right on track and he looks healthy and strong! Here are some pictures for you to enjoy. There is one of his profile and another of his boy parts. And like that picture wasn't obvious enough alone, there is a nice little arrow pointing to the important stuff in case you missed it to begin with. Although I don't see how that is possible, he is obviously not shy! :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008


This is a tribute to my favorite cosmetologist in the whole world, my sister Katchie! She has cut my hair for, I think, at least the past five years, and always makes it look just right! I believe I have only had it cut by someone else one time in those 5 years, due to my living 1100 miles away, and it was completely traumatizing! I hated what the lady did and vowed never to do it again unless absolutely necessary. Well, necessity knocked on my door. I was looking like a shaggy dog, and thanks to my now living 1500 miles away from my sister, I am unable to get my hair cut as often as I would desire. So I finally got my haircut today--mind you, I went in with a picture of myself after Katchie had cut it, and was hoping and praying that I wouldn't come out of there a complete disaster. It went better this time around, my hair doesn't look too bad. The lady who cut it was about as southern as you can be (her name was Melva Rae--I mean seriously!) and was VERY chatty. I would much much rather have Katchie cutting it! I have always had complete faith in her, and I know she would never let me walk out of her salon looking ridiculous! If anyone needs their hair done, she is the one to go to! She has an amazing talent, and can even make a mullet look good! :) And that takes A LOT of talent! So I guess, I'll just have to beg Katchie to move to Memphis! Katchie, Jeff?? Any takers? :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

ABC Find out me

Thanks to wonderful traditions we were raised with, we have been able to pass them on to our sweet children. On Valentines Day every year, ABC Find out me, would drop off a package at our front door with a little gift for everyone. It was always something fun, and the excitement and anticipation didn't diminish with age either. Well, ABC Find out me dropped a package off for the girls last night, and they thoroughly enjoyed opening their little presents. Leecy T got a magnetic Island Princess book and some lip balm, and Lainey got a Bambi book and some Hippo bath toys that squirt water. They had to open them up right away and test everything out and that is always fun to watch! These girls are so easy to please! Hope everyone had an enjoyable and memorable Valentines Day!

Lainey after opening her ABC Find out me gift.
Leecy T opening her gift.
Lainey enjoying the moment!
Leecy T with her fun stuff.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day <3

Valentines day has a way of making you reflect on all of the reasons you love those that are important in your life. There are so many people in my life that I love very much and am so thankful for. My desire is to be able to show them this all year long, not just one day of the year when people are feeling especially lovey-dovey!

I love my husband so much for all that he is and stands for. He is a wonderful husband and father and treats me like a queen. He makes me want to be better in all that I do.

I love my daughters so very much, for their sweet spirits, their innocence, their laughter, their smiles. The list could go on forever.

I love my parents so much for their unconditional love and support. There example to me is truly amazing.

I love my sisters so much for their wisdom, support, and sassiness! They bring so much to this world and are always there when I need them.

I love my brothers so much for their strength. Not just physically but emotionally. They have grown so much over the years and are truly remarkable young men.

I have a great deal of love for so many others--esecially for their examples to me.

This list could grow and grow and grow. I just hope all of you know how much you have touched my life, and I am thankful for the places you hold in my heart.

I was tagged by a friend and thought it would be fun to do today.

answer these questions for you and your spouse/significant other)
1. Your Song: One by U2--our wedding song.
2. Your favorite feature of his: His eyes--they are a piercing blue and he has these tremendously long eyelashes!
3. His favorite feature of yours: my smile
4. What drives you crazy about him (not the good stuff): His stocking caps! :) Although now we are in a much warmer place, so he doesn't wear them as often! :)
5. What drives him crazy about you: That I expect him to know what, where, why, when, and how about everything I'm thinking.. (thank you Steph for putting it perfectly!)
6. Favorite trip you've taken together: So many! We have traveled thousands of miles throughout our marriage and I have fond memories of every single trip. It's been wonderful to see the country with him!
7. How do you picture your lives in fifty years: Val being retired and us enjoying our many grandchildren! Probably serving a mission and living life to it's fullest!
8. What was your last fight over: I honestly don't know! I'm sure something totally lame!
9. Most romantic thing he's ever said to or done for you: Val is a romantic at heart! When we were dating it was flowers and songs he had written for me, since we've been married it's been a multitude of things. He always makes sure my needs are met!
10. Favorite "down time" activity: Movies. We love to sit together and watch a good movie that we can discuss afterwards.

**Bonus** post some of your favorite pictures together
At Val's graduation

Seals and Seals concert

I tag: Katchie, Patty, Mary Rose, Noelle and Becca

Happy Valentines Day!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Growing up...

It's so amazing to me to watch my children learn and grow. They literally change every day! Whether it be learning something new, or developing a new facial expression, whatever!
This past week Val decided to teach Aleece the song "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". He sang the whole song to her, with Aleece asking after each verse, "Why?" It's a pretty reasonable question, I don't know why someone would swallow any of those things. When the song was complete, instead of Aleece asking us to sing it again, or commenting on how much she liked it, she replied "What a wierdo." It then dawned on me, that my first born is now much more grown up than I maybe want her to be! When your kids are young you can protect them from just about anything, but the older they get, the more they understand about the world in general and it gets much harder to shield them from the daily woes of life. But I know that it is a part of life, and I smile everyday at the new things Aleece has learned or realized! She also has learned the concept of knock knock jokes. Val thought he could fool her with the old "why did the chicken cross the road?" joke, but Aleece responded with the right answer so quickly, Val was downright shocked! I don't think he realized our babies were growing up so quickly either!!! Madelaine is learning a bit of sassiness from her big sister. I've determined we have used the counting method much to often, because now when I start to count three, I can only get out one, before Madelaine chimes in with "two". I have to admit, it makes me laugh every time. I'm not very good at being the tough parent. It's always been one of my challenges. It's just so hard to try and keep a straight face half of the time when I am trying to use a little discipline! I just love my kids so darn much!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hugs and Kisses

Granny and Grampy always send us packages to let us know they are thinking of us! The girls got some really cute Valentines day outfits and adorable rain boots (wellies, for all of you English people out there!) They were so excited about everything! I got an amazingly comfy pair of shoes that I don't have to tie! Slip on's are the only way to go when you are pregnant! I also got some pretty heart earrings, but Aleece informed me I had to wait until Valentines Day to wear those! And Val got a radio that you can either wind up to use or use batteries! We were so excited about this, because when the tornadoes hit earlier this week and we realized how unprepared we were, this is something we didn't have! So thank you so much Granny and Grampy! You guys are the best! We love you!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Land of Oz.....

Today has been a pretty terrifying experience for me, as well as the rest of Memphis, TN. All of the Memphis City Schools closed down at 12:30 this afternoon. Val was home shortly thereafter. There was talk of extreme inclement weather, though it was still sun-shiney and 70 degrees outside! We ran a couple of errands and within about 15 minutes of our arriving home we were in our closet waiting out the tornadoes. Luckily we have a master bedroom, so the closet is pretty reasonably sized, even with four people inside of it. We grabbed some water, snacks, books and crayons for the girls, a flashlight, and sat it out. We didn't realize how unprepared we were until the moment was upon us! I know I had to deal with tornadoes and hurricanes and such growing up, but it really has been so long, that I guess I forgot how prepared you need to be! We will definately be preparing a tub of essentials for the next time this occurs. We were in the closet for probably an hour and a half total. The girls weren't completely thrilled with this, but we kept them entertained with stories and songs. When it was determined to be safe to come out, we tuned into the local news and watched as they told of all the damage that has already occurred. As I write this we are still not completely out of the woods. They are severe storms and tornado warnings on either side of our county, and we are hoping to not have to bed down in the closet tonight. A mall about 15 miles from here had a wall completely destroyed and many businesses have had roofs cave in, and fires start, and much, much more! A gas station on the state line even exploded! A tornado actually touched down about 2 miles from here and when we heard that my heart was in my throat! I've gotten alot more anxious the older I've gotten. I hate to admit I've developed more fears, but I think that becoming a mother has made me that much more aware of all the not so great stuff that can happen in our world! I know I get my mother tiger instincts from my mother, and I would do anything to protect my children! Needless to say, after exiting our closet I wondered if we were going to emerge into some kind of Land of Oz! An hour and a half in a closet, and being pregnant, makes your brain come up with all kinds of wacky stuff! We pray that we will continue to be safe and that those affected by these storms will get the relief that they need!

Finished product...

Here is my finished King cake! Bon appetit!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Fat Tuesday--a day early!

For all of you who will be keeping up with tradition and celebrating Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras tomorrow, I thought I would post a simple King Cake recipe. We have tried to make one every year, because we have always lived in places where a large portion of people really don't have a clue as to what Mardi Gras even is! It's strange to live somewhere that actually sells king cakes in the local grocery stores! That definately makes my job a little easier, though I may still make one this year, just for the fun of it! The following recipe is actually an "imitation of a King Cake". This makes it far simpler! But if you want to go all out, you can find the "real" King Cake recipe on It's a fun site to help give you a little info on Mardi Gras also!
Anyways, here is the imitation recipe....

The "Monkey Bread" way (a traditional Louisiana treat)

4 cans of buttermilk biscuits

2/3 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 stick butter
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 large plastic bag

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Seperate biscuits and cut into quarters. Roll quarters into balls. Mix the 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon in the plastic bag. Place the biscuit rolls into the cinnamon sugar mixture and toss until coated. Place the biscuits in a Bundt pan or shape into an "O" on a cookie sheet. Pour the extra sugar mixture on top of the biscuits. Mix the brown sugar, the butter and the other tsp. of cinnamon in a saucepan. Boil for one minute. Pour over biscuits. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. When the cake is done sprinkle colored sugars (green, yellow and purple over the cake in alternating sections. (You can simply die regular sugar with food coloring! Don't go out and buy the expensive colored sugars) If you feel like it, and have the time, place a little baby into a section of the cake. Whomever gets the baby will have good luck for the rest of the year! I may put a baby in each piece! Heaven knows we can all use a little luck!

I know this is far from healthy! I have done the King Cake in the past with frozen bread dough and a cream cheese filling also! Forget the calories and live a little! :) You can diet the next day! Enjoy and Happy Mardi Gras!!!

Laying Eggs

This weekend as we left the grocery store, Aleece noticed the funniest thing. A little silver car parked across the aisle from our vehicle, had 2 eggs laying on the ground, right beneath the tail pipe. They weren't broken or even cracked. 2 perfect eggs laying there on the ground. Aleece informed us that it looked like the car had laid some eggs! That began the beginning of quite the humorous conversation. Leading to what those eggs would hatch amongst other things! Kids have the greatest imaginations. I'm sure had I been walking out of the store by myself I wouldn't have even noticed the eggs! It makes me wish that we, as adults, could take time out of our days to notice these little things, that bring smiles to our faces!
Aleece also noticed yesterday, as we were sitting on the couch, that we have the same hands. She kept picking mine up and would look closely at them, and then at her own, and determined that ours were identical! She always knows how to bring a smile to my face!
Madelaine has learned how to say "I love you!" It is so sweet to hear her say it! She is also awesome at giving kisses! She has the sweetest little personality and such a great smile! She also has learned how to climb on to the couch, the computer chair, her sister's bed, the glider....pretty much everything! You wouldn't think someone so little could manage all of this, but she is determined to do everything her big sister does and won't stop till she has accomplished the task at hand!
What a great job I have---being able to raise these two wonderful girls! They sure keep me on my toes, but I wouldn't want it any other way!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

The best is yet to come....

It's amazing to me the tremendous spirit that can be felt, even in someone's passing. We had the opportunity to sit as a family today and watch the funeral of President Gordon B. Hinckley. What a touching tribute and remembrance of a truly great man and beloved prophet, in these latter days. President Monson referred to him as a "giant among men". He was a giant of knowledge, of love, of so many things. He was efficient and funny and he had a great love for each of us. I hope that we can each live our lives as giants, constantly trying to be better, to do better and to always remember, as Pres. Hinckley loved to say, that the best is yet to come.

Friday, February 01, 2008


I've been thinking lately that I am not all that efficient when it comes to blogging, and I wish I was. I think this is a great way to keep myself informed of others and vice versa. It's also kind of like a journal for me. I enjoy looking back to old posts to see how much the girls have changed, and to see how different are lives are now, from just 6 months ago. So I am determined to push myself to be a better blogger. And while some of my posts may be completely random, very much like this one, I am hoping it will keep me motivated in sharing my thoughts, however obscure with all of you.

About a week ago I looked out into our backyard and discovered the most beautiful cardinal I have ever seen. It was this brilliant red color and it would hop from tree to tree against our back fence. I attempted to get some pictures of it, but I think I must have been too noisy, because I didn't have much luck. Here is one of my attempts.

Much to our delight, he has taken up residence in our backyard, and we generally get to see him several times a week! He is a beautiful bird!

Aleece has been working really hard this week learning to write some of her letters. Being the little genius that she is, she has been able to recognize her letters for at least a year now, but I decided now would be a good time to learn to write them out. She has perfected the letter A and she also enjoys calling me teacher now. I'm not sure if that is a good thing! :) As my mom would say, she always makes my heart smile!

Madelaine is learning new words every day. Her newest addition to speaking is saying "Thank you!" She is so polite, and to hear her say please and thank you just melts my heart! She is still a little peanut of a thing, so it is kind of funny to watch her talk! People are always so surprised to find out she is 15 months! But great things come in small packages!

I am a little shocked to realize that it is already February! I seem to lose track of time and before I know it another month has gone by! I'm crossing my fingers that this will be a "healthy" February. Every year since Aleece was born, she has ended up getting really sick in the month of February! Last year we spent Valentine's Day in the hospital. So we are hoping that this warmer climate we live in now will prove to beneficial! I guess we'll just have to wait and see!