Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spirit of Love Here

Our Christmas Tree-slightly crooked, but lovely as can be! Traditionally we have trekked into the woods to cut down our own tree, but this year my Dad picked one up for us at Smiths while he was here. It was a good thing, especially since all the permits ran out early so we might've been stuck getting a holiday cactus from BLM land.

I feel so blessed this week. I feel the Spirit of love has been in full force, as we've been recipients of so many thoughtful gifts. It seems that each day a little card or gift has come in the mail, reminding us that we are loved. It's been especially nice for me, because I still feel like I'm in this strange transition; still cautiously dipping my toes into the great Salt Lake area, unsure if I'm ever going to dive in and feel comfortable or if we're going move away again? So even though I feel a bit isolated at times, there is love finding it's way from all over, right to our doorstep.

The other night our doorbell rang and when we opened it, we heard the scurry of feet running away into the dark. We then looked down to find a big, basket of secret Santa gifts and goodies. I should have thought to take a picture, but we were so excited, we pulled everything out immediately! The love and thoughtfulness that went into this basket of goodies was overwhelming. Little tears came to my eyes as I thought of the hands that put together this collection of presents for our family; toys for the kids, pumpkin ice-cream and sparkling soda, popcorn and candy for all the enjoy. We still haven't opened all the gifts, except I admit I opened one yesterday (don't tell Zadok he'll get mad I opened something before Christmas!), and it was a book. This book, in fact:

And I loved it. It is a beautiful book that spoke inspiration to me immediately. It is a book about hope, love, sacrifice,confidence, learning from mistakes, and the power to be yourself in a topsy turvy world. It reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, only more sweet and whimsical! It reminded me today to lift up my spirits and live up the rest of the day ahead. What a wonderful, little book that I will cherish forever!

With respect to all Secret Santa's out there, we won't try to guess who you are. We will be happy and grateful that we have friends in SLC who know us and love us, whoever you may be.......

I am also so grateful for this baby. Have I mentioned that his smile fills my heart with immediate happy? I love him so much!

With my brother and his wife's permission they said I could share some pictures of baby Elliott, their brand new baby boy. Him and Jonah are exactly 2 months apart. He looks like the sweetest, most handsome little guy, and I can't wait to meet him someday. For now, I will do what I can, and drool over his photos.

The night I heard they had gone into labor to have him, I felt like a nervous grandparent, waiting patiently yet anxiously for the news that he had arrived. After so many hours I couldn't stand it any longer and called my Mom to see what was happening! Turns out that after 36 hours of natural labor and a popped BOW, his 10.2 lb body still refused to come down the birth canal and they were headed for the surgery room. I remember immediately getting down on my knees and tearfully thanking God for the medical technology we have to bring this baby boy safely into the world. It was an experience that changed me a bit. I've had friends and associates that have been through these things before, but it was never one of my own. This was family, and when it's family, your feelings of empathy magnify completely. I am so glad that Elliott is here, and that he has the strongest, most amazing parents, who sacrificed so much physically and mentally to bring him here. I love you guys!
And merry first Christmas little Elliott!

Lastly, Micah got a job teaching sciences at a middle school, so this is his last week at the therapeutic boarding school. He is really excited. After so many years with that youth population, I think he's ready for a fresh start! So, with some extra days off, we decided to head to California for Christmas, to spend some family time with the Jacksons. Family is important to us, and we are so happy when we get to see our loved ones.
I am also really excited about all the little gifts I have made this year. I have been busily sewing like a mad-woman. I've been wanting to post pictures so badly of the projects I've been working on, but that would give it away. Maybe after Christmas.
p.s. I love my sewing machine, which was a thoughtful gift from Micah, many Christmases ago.....

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope each of you finds the Spirit of love that Christmas brings into your lives!

Cuddling bundles.

Monday, December 20, 2010

little orange

And this boy- He's my little, orangey friend, everywhere we go. Sitting at the table making some hot cocoa in the morning wouldn't be as fun without being something.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

my boy

I can't help but cherish these little pieces of crayon-coloring artwork that Zadok brings home from Primary. I know it's not a mosaic, but they are special to me. I can just picture him kneeling there in class, bending pensively over his chair, carefully calculating which colors would best represent the scene before him.

My favorite part is when he runs to me after class, with that big smile on his face saying,"Look what I got!" And shows me everything he did in his class.

I sure love my boy. I caught him sleeping funny on the couch the other day and had to take a photo. He has so much energy, and so much enthusiasm for life---all the time! When I watch him sleeping he always looks so much bigger to me, but when he wakes up he's still my silly, rambunctious 4 year old again.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Papa-made Crochet

"That's a really lovely purse you have."

"Thanks,"I say proudly,"My husband made it."

I've been wanting to showcase some pictures of Micah's crocheting. When I first met and dated Micah he was crocheting a purse for himself. He would bring it everywhere he went and work on it while he sat. Where other guys were sitting around talking sports and business, Micah was reading a book called "Crazy crocheting", and learning how to gently weave together soft yarns and colors. And did I mention the purse was for himself?
I've always loved this about him--It's one of my favorite things about the versatile nature of Micah.
Here's some of his Winter weather creations. I love his scarves.They are so soft.

And here's some baby blankets he's made for the boys:

Long before kids and family life, Micah crotcheted a giant sleeping bag. I think he just started crotcheting and couldn't stop. It can fit 3 people!

I love the detail on the top. These are really neat, whatever they are called:

Lastly, I love my Christmas stocking. For our very first Christmas together, we created homemade stockings for each other. Since then I've been making the stockings for the boys, so mine is the only crotcheted one in the family. That makes me feel extra special!

I love all things Micah/Papa-made. People often ask me if I'm ever going to learn how to crotchet. Nah, I say, that's mans work.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Mama Cape

Every morning these boys wake up and put on their warrior gear. Weather they decide to be powerful Jedis, valiant knights, brave warriors, heroic superheroes, or majestic kings, there is always a cape involved. And there is always a battle to win.

They are both at these perfectly entertaining ages, where I can sit back and relax a little, watching them fly, kick, and swirl around the house without much intervention from me. Sure there are quarrels and the occasional tears, but mostly their laughter fills my ears and my heart. I love these little warriors, and they love each other. And Jonah sits in his little chair, watching and taking it all in. Someday soon he will be one of the boys. If he's not sleeping........

I want this house to be place where children can imagine and play, where messes can stay for days and I won't worry about it. I want a house where there is always yummy food, toys and games, and loving arms to run to. I want this house to be a fun place for kids to just be.

Here's Odin below eating some yummy "samples."Ever since we took a visit to Costco, the kids have been real excited about eating everything in "sample" form.

We decided several years ago that we won't have TV in our house, and I am still happy with that decision. The natural noises of a family house just can't compete with the noises of the outside world. The other night we were sitting on the couch when Zadok came running out with a giant sheet over his head yelling, "The Thing is here!" He then put on a dramatic monologue of what that Thing eats, and does, when we are asleep. I just couldn't imagine him being as impromptu and fun if a TV was on to distract him. And here he is below teaching us the FHE lesson for the week. It was all about the Sacrament. He did a great job!

I love my family. Being a Mom is constant work in progress. I am still learning that if something doesn't work one day, I can change it the next day, and the next, and the next, until eventually we find our niche. My good friend Ruby was laughing at me the other day because I told her I was at McDonald's playland, letting the kids eat happy meals and play on the jungle gym. She reminded me that when she first met me
I stated most matter-of-factly,"We never eat fast food!" Ha ha--three kids later.....sometimes a day at McDonalds is okay. I think most days I could really use a cape just to get me through the day!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Death and Truth

I had some time to myself the other night to be alone after everyone went to bed. I sat on the couch and breathed in the silence and peacefulness of a quiet house. It's a rarity around here. I opened up my scriptures and started to read where I had left off from last week.
Our new friend and neighbor here at our apts was asking me the other day why we have scriptures, and why people continue to read them. I told her that they are a witness of God's love for us, and a witness of his reality. People continue to read and study them because as we read them we become overwhelmed with His Spirit and feel the truthfulness in our hearts of His love for us. You have to read them with an open heart and an open mind, and let them teach you. They are hard to understand at times, but the Spirit teaches you what you need to hear. I told her that I never used to read scriptures. I always thought you had to be some hardcore-Bible-banging-super-Christian to enjoy the scriptures. Not so--they are for everyone, even a tired Mama at the end of a long day.

As I sat on the couch with my Book of Mormon, I was reading about Christs' resurrection, and what happens when we die. I was overcome with feeling, once again, that this life is so short and so fleeting. I reminded myself again that I need to be strong and unmoveable in what I believe--in what I know is truth. I know there is truth in the scriptures because I have felt it, and I have felt God's love for me again and again.

The next morning I woke up, and checked my email. There was some very heartbreaking news from my friend that her baby nephew had passed away, just 2 months old, from SIDS (sudden-infant-death-syndrome). Just like that, he was gone; unexplainable, and unforeseen. I've mourned and cried for that family this week. I've slept restlessly each night, holding onto my little Jonah, waking up constantly to make sure he's okay, that he's breathing. I've wept in my prayers, asking God to bring this family peace and healing. I've forced myself to come to my own terms of peace, realizing that anything can happen in this life, and this is mortality, as painful as it is. For me, losing a child is probably the worst pain I can think of. I am literally haunted by the accounts I hear of mortality taking it's natural course on loving families such as this one. You just never know.

However, I know this family will find peace, because they have the scriptures. They have the word of God reminding them that their little baby boy will be resurrected like Jesus, and they will all be reunited as a family someday. As I've been thinking about them this week, I was reminded once again to be strong and unmoving in what I believe, in what I know is truth. Life is just too short to wonder. Life is just too unpredictable to not be grounded in truth.

This is a beautiful blog post my friend wrote about her nephew.
Goodbye, baby Daniel

You can order a free copy of the Bible here
You can order a free copy of the Book of Mormon here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gingerbread People and Cloaks

I have an awesome Gingerbread-people recipe from the Whole Foods from the Whole World cookbook. It is mostly whole wheat, honey and molasses, and oh-so-tasty! I would put the recipe on here, but that might be infringing on copyrights. So, you'll just have to go buy the book....or email me later.....
We made Gingerbread people the other day. The boys wanted us to make "The grandparents and all the cousins." We sat at the table and told the classic gingerbread man story, which my kids love. But every once in a while I would hear someone say,"I'm eating Grandpa Tims leg off! Mmmmmm, Chancellors arm is yummy! I am going to eat Waimea's foot off and Grandma Barbara's head..etc"

Another easy and fun Christmas project for kids: Anything made out of popscicle sticks, round fuzzies and googley eyeballs:

I wanted to share a picture of Odin wearing his new Orange cloak I sewed for him for Christmas. Yah--he got it early. We were just too excited about it! He had wanted a Star Wars cloak just like his big brother, though he picked out the colors and fabric himself. He's so original and cute, I says.

May the holiday force be with you....

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Homemade (Gerber) Baby Wipes

My fellow cloth diapering sister-in-law, sent me a 5-pack of Gerber flannel blankets in the mail. I knew that could only mean one thing: Homemade baby bum wipes!

I started by folding each blanket in half, then cutting them up into sixths. I then sewed around the edges, leaving one edge open. Then I turned them right side in, and sewed the final edge. This was to keep the edges from all fraying and getting tangled in the wash. I ended up with 30 wipes.
In the past I've just cut up old flannel pajamas for bummy wipes and left the edges all frayed. I've had to untangle many a mess from the dryer. I guess this time I was inspired to do something more. Thanks Genevieve! Here they are below. They get thrown in the wash with our cloth diapers.

To moisten the wipes I've made a concoction in a spray bottle that I either spray onto the wipes or directly onto the baby. Some babies hate getting sprayed, but not Jonah. He secretly loves it.
I fill the bottle up with water until the narrow neck. Then I add one Tablespoon olive oil, one tablespoon baby shampoo, and a few drops of a yum smelling essential oil. (I like eucalyptus or grapefruit) And voila!

Happy diapering!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thanksgiving Day with Hawaii Grandpa

We love having family come to town! Thank you, thank you "Hawaii Grandpa" for coming all the way to freezing Utah to see us. And there just so happened to be a very, very cold spell passing through, exactly the week he was here! Hee hee hee. On Thanksgiving morning we went to the Zoo in 12 degree F temperatures. We braved the elements to see a few animals eat some squash. Was it worth it? Ahhh yah! Except I didn't really get any cool pictures, just us standing outside in the cold, watching some barn owls through a window.......

Do I look pregnant? Nah-There's actually a baby all bundled up in there. I kinda felt sorry for the ones out in the strollers. Brrrrrrrrrrrr.

We came home later on and made a big Thanksgiving meal. I had never made a sausage/apple/walnut/cranberry stuffing before (or any stuffing, really) and found it to be....fun!
Micah stuffed and cooked the turkey--it was delicious:

Here are the fruits of our labors, our first time cooking a full T-giving meal:

Grandpa also brought his video game devices, which captivated the minds of our children.

These boys love their Grandpa Bill, and keep asking, "When is he coming back????"

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Clothing Fairies

We have clothing fairies! When a big box of hand-me-down clothes comes in the mail for our boys, we have so much fun digging through all the cute goodies! This last time when we opened the box, Zadok pulled everything out and organized it all into categories. Clothing was strewn all over the house in lines and piles. I'm still not sure what the categories were....but I didn't mind the clean-up. (organizing nicely into drawers wasn't part of his plan).

Jonah also had a clothing fairy send some boxes in the mail recently! We were in need of some baby boy clothes, partly because all the ones we had were getting worn out, but mostly because I had given them all away when I thought I was having a girl(duh). I am so grateful for our clothing fairies. Thank you so much for sharing the love, and the adorable boy clothes!