Sunday, January 30, 2011

Temple Visit

Can you believe January is almost over?  Only one day left until February.  Princess M has been begging to put up Valentine's Day decorations, and I've been putting her off by saying not until February.  I don't think I'll be able to get to the 2nd without covering the whole house in hearts. 

Then end of January, means the end of my turn at teaching preschool every Tues & Thurs.  Yea!!  I taught my last class last Thursday and am looking forward to just dropping M off at someone else's home for the next couple months.  It wasn't hard really, and the kids were a lot of fun; but it was just a constant "To Do" on my mind all Jan & Dec; that I am glad to have gone now. 

Especially glad it's over because February is the last month before I'm due to bring this new princess into the world.  And I'm starting to feel it too.  It's time to cut down on the "To Do's" and concentrate on getting ready for this little girl to take center stage.  I had a little hiccup last week at my mid-wife appointment, that didn't really scare me per say, but that made me think I was going to have some additional challenges to overcome with this one.  Due to a malfunctioning blood glucose reader, we began to think that I had developed gestational diabetes.  After a day of buying supplies and groceries, and looking up diabetic diets to get this thing under control, so I wouldn't have to be transferred to an OBGYN, my midwife discovered the error in the tester.  And after a couple days of self testing my glucose levels before and after meals with my new (free after rebate) blood/glucose tester, I can now sit here in front of my computer, eating ice cream and drinking my fruit and sugar tea confident that my body is still processing sugar just fine.  I could have stuck to that diet for a month and a half if I had to; but as it is, I'm very grateful I don't have to; because I really do love my carbs.  (and my sugars too for that matter.)

Speaking of carbs, we just had one of the most amazing desserts yesterday at P.F. Chang's.  It seems that every restaurant has their version of a double or triple layer chocolate cake that just looks heavenly.  However, I'm always hesitant to get it because it's such a gamble whether it will be really moist, rich, and wonderful like it looks, or dry and disappointing.  More often than not, they seem to be the latter, so I usually resist the temptation.  Well we gave in at P.F. Chang's yesterday, and not only was the cake moist and wonderful, but it was also laying in a bed of deliciously tart raspberry sauce and garnished with wonderful fresh berries.  Really, it was amazing.  It's a good thing we don't have that restaurant here in Sierra Vista, or I would be there all the time just for dessert.  If you live near one, you've got to give this dessert a try.  Mmmmm.  Suddenly, my fruit tea seems a little bland. 

We were there yesterday actually, because we were in Phoenix for Friday and Saturday, visiting my Aunt and Uncle and attending the Temple.  The Mesa Temple really is gorgeous I must say.  It's so majestic and stately, especially being one of the older, large temples.  We couldn't help but chuckle a little at the inscription in the stone above the front doors that said "The Arizona Temple."  At the time they built this temple, there's no way they could have foreseen that there would, before too long, be many temples in Arizona.  Especially at with the new smaller temples and the ability we have now as a church to bring them to the people at a much quicker pace.  No, this was one of the first, grand, very large, and majestic temples; and they probably thought it would be "The Arizona Temple" for a long, long time.  It really amazing to see the intricate and ornate details that went into these earlier temples.  I don't really know the history of the Mesa Temple, but it must have taken some time to build.  It's gorgeous.  And as with any temple, it's always so rejuvenating to "come home" to the temple and escape the world for a few hours.  What a marvelous blessing we've been given!

It was also really nice to spend a little time with my Uncle Wayne and Aunt Sue too.  They're so gracious in opening up their home to us; and my girls love them already and are looking forward to visiting again.  And I must say I'm so envious of her growing season too.  Not only does she get a wonderful climate in Phoenix for growing her own oranges, lemons, pomegranates, and almonds, during the summer, but she gets a nice long winter garden season too for broccoli, and spinach, carrots, etc.  She never has to stop growing things for the winter.  I've always admired how self-sufficient, and healthy they have become with their use of the space and time given to them. 

Well, my ice cream is gone, and my tea has gone cold.  This post must be more than long enough for one day.  Goodbye January...let's make room for a month of hearts and valentines.  (I think it's going to be a lot of fun this year!)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Years Thoughts

I know that January is now almost over, but I have been thinking about what kind of goals I would like to have for the coming year.  And they say if you don't write down your goals, then they are just wishes.  Which is true; I'm trying to remember what resolutions I had last year, and the only one I can remember is to write in my blog every week (and I only remember that because I blogged about it.  ;)  Which on a side note, I was not perfect in my goal last year, obviously; but I did get much better at it than I had been in the past.  I'll count that as a successful failure in that respect then.)  So you can ignore this post if you want, it's mostly for my own benefit.  Although it'll be nice to know I'll have some accountability for my resolutions at the end of the year, since I'll not only remember them, but everyone has read them too. 

Obviously the most pressing roles I have now are those of a wife and a mother.  Being 7 months pregnant, and starting to struggle a little more with getting off the floor and hauling this big belly around, I've been thinking more and more about how things will change around here with a new baby in the mix.  3 kids is a big change I understand: They will now out number us, in the parent/child ratio.  And Banana Girl is 6 months younger than Princess M was when she was born.  I don't remember having any jealousy issues or resentment of the baby with Princess M, but I'm a little worried about how Banana Girl is going to take the change.  She's still very clingy and even gets jealous of the attention we give Princess M.  So I guess one of my new years resolutions is to spend some one on one time with each of our children each week, to help them know how much I love each one of them individually. 

Resolution 1: Mommy/daughter date night each Wednesday with one of my girls, and one on one time with the other 2 sometime during the week.

We started doing our Family Home Evenings more regularly last year (Frankly we were terrible at it until we told Princess M that allowances would only be handed out after FHE each week.  Now we have a little girl who is great about reminding us to have FHE.)  Anyway, I'd like to perfect that and not miss a single week this year.  So far we're right on track.  I also want to add a little more planning/family counsel to the beginning of FHE and more time at the end for a significant activity each week that the kids could look forward to (rather just a board game and then go to bed.)

Resolution 2: Family Home Evening every Monday night; starting early enough for a significant, fun, activity and including family planning/counsel at the beginning. 

As a wife, I know that Alex is wanting to be healthier with his new years resolutions.  I have 2 nights a week to cook dinners (Alex has 2, Princess M has 1, then we have date night & leftover night) and although I know I can't commit to always cooking healthy (why are the best tasting foods also so not good for us?)  I do want to try to improve the health of our meals as well. 

Resolution 3: Cook one meal each week that would be considered Very Healthy.  (Using my Healthy cookbooks for help if needed.)

Resolution 4: Do my hair and make up everyday.

This is two fold.  One, I've found myself falling into the homely house wife look, now that I don't go to work anymore (sometimes staying in my jammies all day), and I know Alex appreciates it when I make an effort in the morning.  I want him to enjoy seeing me when he comes home.  And two, I just feel more put together and ready for the day when I take the time to spruce up in the morning. 

On a personal note, I have a few things I'm working on.  Alex bought me a guitar for Christmas (isn't he great?) so I'd like to learn how to play this year; at least a start.  I want to get to the temple more; and I've started making some progress on my scrapbooking again (now that I've figured out how to do the digital scraping.)

Resolution 5: Learn to play 10 songs by the end of the year really well (including at least 2 lullabies).

Resolution 6: Visit the Temple every month.

Resolution 7: Finish scrapbooking 2007, 2008, and 2009 and get them printed into books.

Well, that's probably enough resolutions for one post.  As for my blog, I still want to keep writing once a week like I resolved on last year, however, I want to start including more journal posts centered on my thoughts, rather than just a summary of each weeks events.  Not that I want to skip the events; this is the only journal I have now, and will be the basis for future scrapbooks, I just want more of my thoughts and feelings and convictions included for future generations to get to know me better; like a journal. 

I guess that makes Resolution 8.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Road Trip (Part 3): Christmas & New Years in Utah

For the last week of my trip I met up with my dear husband and darling kids in Utah at my brother's house.  Don and Tami very generously let us stay over a week, from before Christmas until New Years.  It was so great to spend the time with them and their family for so long. 

Recognize these, Lynda?  Alex's mother gave the kids these cute fuzzy ear muffs.  Banana Girl loves hers so much, she still wears them around the house as a fashion statement, whenever she finds them.

We all got black & red Minnie/Mickey jammies for Christmas eve this year.  Here's me and my girls hanging out on the couch Christmas morning.  Is it just me, or does Minnie look pregnant too?
 Alex sporting his new jammies and reading.

Princess M and her cousin A, who is just a little older, were thick as thieves the whole week.  In fact we hardly saw her from sunup until sundown, while we were there.

Banana Girl with her gift from her sister.  It's just a little Winnie the Pooh figurine from the dollar store, but Princess M bought it with her own money, and Banana Girl loved it best.  (Now if I could just find a way to keep a pair of pants on that girl...)

We got to spend a couple nights at Great Grandma Kidman's house and with Jared & Maryle's family.  We also took an evening to go see the lights on Temple Square and share some hot chocolate & appetizers at Denny's.  Denny's gave us a private room to contain all the kids.  It was really a lot of fun. 

After ringing in the New Year with games, movies, and family; we took off the next day for home again.  It was sad to say goodbye, and we're so grateful to everyone that hosted both me and my family over this whole trip.  It really has been quite the adventure; and just so good so see so much of the family. 

We're finally now getting back into a rhythm here in Sierra Vista again.  I've been called as the Ward Choir Director, and am busy trying to figure out all that I need to be doing.  Alex is out of town this week with work again.  So it's just me and the girls for a little while.  They really are good girls most of the time though.  I appreciate how much they are willing to help me out.  I've really been blessed.  I need to remember that when I start losing my temper; which happens more often when Alex is gone.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Road Trip (Part 2): Colorado

We took a couple day break in Colorado with my brothers' families.  We spent a lot of time just hanging out together and enjoying each others' company. 

Here's two of my beautiful nieces, who were thick as thieves.  We had just enjoyed a tasty spaghetti dinner and they were reading books together on the recliner. 

I can't believe how big this girl is getting...and I don't mean Rachael.  Aren't they both gorgeous!

Apparently there was a new Verizon store grand opening, where they were giving away ALL of their phones for free.  The whole Colorado crowd had new Droid (or similar) phones.  So this was a common view while we were there.

It was great to see everyone again.  All too soon, we had to be on the road again.  This time our final leg to Utah! 

Road Trip!

I was gone the last half of the month of December, which may explain a little my remiss in posting for a while.  Alex's mother generously offered to load us the use of her car for a while, seeing that she just bought herself a brand new Lexus and wouldn't be able to drive them both back to Mexico.  Catch was that I'd need to fly to Maryland and pick it up to drive back to Arizona.  Being a little sporty car, there is no room for car seats in the back, so I would need to go alone, while Alex stayed home with the kids.  My gorgeous sister, below, so obligingly agreed to meet me in Baltimore and help me drive the car back. 
We planned the trip for just before Christmas to coordinate with her husband's time off school and the trips we would both be taking anyway to Utah with our families for Christmas.  So we met in Baltimore, spent just a little time with some of Alex's family out there. We got to see my twin nephews who were born a couple months ago.  They are absolutely adorable!  I can't imagine the work that must go into caring for twin newborns.  God bless their parents; I'm sure it will be so worth it all in the end.  

Next we drove up to upstate New York, where my parents are serving their mission in the Palmyra Temple.  It was wonderful to see them again.  We got to attend a temple session with them the first night we were there, which was wonderful!  

We followed that up by meeting up with my little brother, Mike, at his place of work, for some awesome buffalo wings and a little karaoke.  I haven't seen Mike since the last family reunion, so it was really a treat (and hopefully we'll be forgiven for taking our missionary parents to a sports bar.)  And who knew he could sing so well!!  You should hear his Johnny Cash!  It's amazing!  I got to sing a duet with Mikey too.  "Summer Lovin'" from Grease.  We rocked the house!

We spent the weekend with them, played some canasta, visited the local Amish goods store, toured the Christmas lights, and enjoyed another evening with Mike and his girlfriend, Amber.  Maryle and I also sequestered ourselves for a few hours to make Mom our Christmas present.  Since she couldn't take her wall of pictures of her grandkids with her on her mission for lack of space, we created a family tree for her on corkboard for her to pin wallet sized pictures to.  It was really fun working with Maryle, and how our ideas melded into the final product, which I think turned out awesome! 

From there we drove to Maryle's home in Indiana, where we met up with her family and caravaned together to Colorado.  Watching Maryle be reunited with her family made me really start to miss my own sweet little girls and loving husband.  We got to talk everyday on the phone, and that helped a little.  I couldn't wait to see them all in Utah though.