Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Good Old Fashioned Apple Picking Fun

On Tuesday I took the kids apple picking at a not entirely far away produce farm that lets you pick some of your own produce, but not all of it. I really wanted to pick my own dang plums, but apparently that's not ok. Anyway, fun was had by all. Except possibly Emma who had to hide in my Homestar Runner hoodie. This was made necessary by the rain that pounded us nearly the entire time we were picking. I thought it was great fun! I'm pretty sure Megan and Jeremy loved it, too. But poor Emma, I didn't want her getting wet.

I had her in the Snugli and then put Homestar on over her and myself, making me look about 20 months pregnant. Or maybe like an upside down turtle. I'm not sure what I looked like, but it wasn't pretty with her in my hoodie, my hair wet and all down in my face, no makeup (of course, I only wear makeup like, what, once a month?) and me and all of my 5'3" self trying to reach the apples that were way out of reach.

We went with a girl from our ward and her two kids. The kids caught on pretty quickly that they weren't supposed to pick up the nasty apples from the ground. And am I gross that I like the sound that the apples on the ground make when you step on them? I think it's one of the coolest sounds and feelings. I love hearing the crunch and feeling it explode under my foot. Well, I guess it is weird that the next time we go apple picking, I want to go when it's raining again. It was just so much fun in the rain!

In the end we picked 92 lbs. of apples. The girl we went with is going to do an applesauce demonstration for our Relief Society cooking club Wednesday night and then if people want some of the jars, they can buy them from her.

Before we left I had to buy a quarter peck of Jonathons. They are my favorite apples because they are CRISP and TART! Love 'em. But one thing about apples, after I eat one, I'm STARVING! What is it about apples that makes me hungry? You'd think that eating healthy wouldn't make your stomach rumble in empty agony. . . . As I was walking up to the register I saw the plums and grabbed some of those, too. And then at the register (they are so evil putting all these yummy things in one place) they had flavored honey sticks for twenty cents so I picked up three raspberry flavored honey sticks for the kids and Nathan. While they taste good, I don't do honey. No reason why. I just don't.

I used to really not like apples. I'd eat them when I had to, like when there's nothing in the house but a box of baking soda in the fridge, but I always had to spread peanut butter on them. When Nathan and I were first married he got some Jonathons from his grandpa and suddenly it was like the world was reborn and apples got transformed into something edible. Something good. Something actually quite Yummy!

There are apples I refuse to eat. Like the Red Puke-licious. Those are like eating an apple that's been beaten to a pulp (no pun intended) and had all the natural sweetness robbed from it. All you're left with is bland mush with a bitter peel.

Not Appetizing!
No Nasty Mush Apples Growing On My Trees When I Make My World!

I Am . . .

I'm Back, But Not Now

Oh yeah. I'm back. Posting again, I mean. But not right now, what do you people expect of me!?! It's freakin' 2:06 in the morning!
Kellie is tired and going to bed now. It's 2:03 A.M. I've been working on a dress for Megan and it is almost finished. Sometime Tuesday I'm going to buy some cute buttons, measure Megan's shoulders, and finish it up. But for now, I'm going to go snore and get kicked in the gut by Jeremy who is in my bed because he dreamed that something bit him. I couldn't understand him when he was trying to tell me what it was. Good night.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Just Heard A Song That Brings Fun Memories Into My Rememberance

When I was at Ricks College (It's Ricks, not BYU-Idaho. I just can't refer to it as BYU-I.) I took a clog dancing class. I felt like an idiot the whole time, but loved it. At the end of the semester there was a MASSIVE clog dancing contest where people from all over the world showed up. Yeah, who'd have thought people from all over the world would go to Rexburg, Idaho for a clog dancing contest? Certainly not me. . . . Anyway, some people in my group wanted a lame song for our group's dance (our class was required to take part in the contest and so we split off into groups, I certainly wasn't about to volunteer to make a fool of myself in front of hundreds of people) and I nixed each song that came up. There was no way I was going to clog in front of a ton of people to a stupid song. I brought a couple CD's of my own. Yeah. I'm old. CD's, not MP3 or iPod or something else more technologically advanced than a boring ol' CD. Anyway, I brought the soundtrack to The Wedding Singer and played Video Killed the Radio Star. My group loved it and it got picked as the song we would dance to--sweet!

And because I nixed all the stupid songs, and because I brought a totally cool song, and because we were just awesome--we won.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Someone tie my hands together so I can't type anymore, please!

So much for my blogging hiatus. I can't seem to stop posting. Well, this is my first real post. The other first one was pictures because Jess asked for them and the second one was a video. So this one doesn't count. Right? Ok, I'm shutting up now and going back to work on my book. I actually got a lot done with characters today while I was at the dentist. It was pretty sweet. Two hours all to myself with pen and paper. Oh, I guess Adam, the dental student was there, too. But it was a lot of paperwork stuff. I didn't actually have to open my mouth much. I just sat in the chair and worked on my characters for an idea I've been batting around my brain for a while. Ok, now I'm shutting up. I promise. Really. For a few days. Bye.

Fun Stuff

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Pictures as Requested

As requested by Jess, here are some pictures of the kids.

Emma on the boppy.

Megan loves to be in pictures, so when I was taking pictures of Emma,
she just popped right in there and smiled.

Ha ha! I made the kids put balls under their shirts and pretend to be pregnant!
I love how Jeremy has his hand on his belly, like he really is pregnant!

Megan decorating her prego belly and Jeremy looks like he's having a contraction.

A friend made these awesome hairbows for Emma!
I can't believe they stay in because she has no hair!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fantastic Contraption

Preliminary Note: Nathan penned this post.

Since Kellie is on hiatus from blogging, I thought I'd surprise her with a new post.

On Saturday, Kellie and I took a 2½ hour drive down to the Columbus Temple. Unfortunately, Kellie had forgotten her book and stitching stuff (mostly because we got up at 5 and were out the door at 6), so she was bummed about not having entertainment for the long drive. We brought my computer with its map software and Kellie was reading directions. Once we got to the main stretch of freeway, I had Kellie open Firefox which had the Fantastic Contraption already loaded. This would become her entertainment to and from the temple (well, that and quizzing me about dental anatomy -- though I probably wouldn't consider that actual entertainment).

And so you ask, "What is the Fantastic Contraption?" It is described as a "fun online physics game." Yikes. Yeah, a description like that is enticing for me, but I can understand that for non nerdy folk (Kellie included), it would be a real turn-off. So it took the threat of a long, early-morning car ride without anything to keep her awake for Kellie to consent to try the game.

The basic premise of the game is to build a machine that will move a thing (circle, square, rectangle) into a defined goal area. The puzzles start out pretty simple and gradually advance to rather difficult conundrums. The most satisfying thing for me was that Kellie not only tried the game, but also had fun doing it.

I was very impressed with some of the designs she came up with. In one case, she solved in about ten minutes a level that I worked on for a good hour and a half before getting it right. See what she came up with here: http://FantasticContraption.com/?designId=1878414. When you open the page, be aware that what she needed to do was get the skinny, pink rectangle that's inside the car into the pink area labeled "goal." The main problem is the huge ball that blocks the way.

A couple other designs she invented are found here and here.

So even if you have never taken a course in physics, try your hand at this game -- you may surprise yourself at what you can invent!

New Quote Monday

Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.

-Oscar Wilde

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Takin' A Break

I won't be posting for a while. I'm taking a break so I can work on my books which I've neglected for too long. Proud of myself, I wrote about 200-300 words today. While it isn't much, it's a lot more than I've been getting lately.

Quirks Tag

Amber tagged me with a Quirks Tag. I've never seen this one before and I'm all about quirks so I thought it would be way fun. I'm supposed to link to her (she's already on my sidebar under Zambersonville) and then tag 6 other bloggers.

Quirk #1: I don't like to breathe in used air. Yes, I know, all air is technically "used" air, but if it is freshly used, like I'm right next to Nathan and he breathes out, I have to hold my breath or breathe out while he's breathing out. I can't breathe in the air he's getting rid of.

Quirk #2: No pen ink allowed on my skin. At all. Ever. I will cry. Even if I'm in the produce section of Wal-Mart, I will cry. Even if a pen touches me and no ink actually gets on my skin it will bug me for at least half an hour and I will work to get off the nonexistent ink. Yes, I am OCD.

Quirk #3: I can't read just one book at a time. I have to be reading at least three or I feel like I'm slacking.

Quirk #4: I can't seem to stop volunteering for things and wanting to help out with various activities and yet, I don't have time to clean my kitchen, make dinner, put boxes in our storage unit, or do anything else I really need to do.

Quirk #5: I won't make rice unless I absolutely have to. I make Nathan do it.

Quirk: #6: When I'm nervous I pull on my right earlobe. I think this is why my right earlobe is detached while my left one is attached. Very weird.

People I'm tagging: Jess, Sara Alger, Janeen, Danyelle (Queen of the Clan), Ali (Girl in a Whirl), and Nicole Giles. Do it if you want, it's fun!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Being Thankful Despite The Chaos

Yesterday was a rough day so I decided to post
some of the things I'm thankful for to help me get in a better mood.

1. Visiting Teachers who came in the morning,
thus making at least the morning part of my day happy!

2. This

and a clean

because it would have been really difficult if I had to eat it by just sticking my head in there.
And don't think I wouldn't have done it. I needed the ice cream.

3. My family is safe from Ike.

4. We are safe from Ike.
(I can't believe all the trees here that were uprooted because of the winds.)

5. My fish with their calming bubbles floating to the top.

6. A loving husband.

7. Kids that are usually sweet and thoughtful.

8. A pair of jeans that I like and almost fit in comfortably.

9. Kids that are almost quiet because I put a movie in and pulled out the hide-a-bed.

10. A testimony of Jesus Christ and His plan.

11. A blog where I can be me and have friends.
(Am I lame that I consider all you people who I don't know, but leave me comments, friends?)

12. Even if we don't have a van and are literally stuffing our
children into the back of a tiny Honda,
we are at least seriously looking at vans
and will buy one when we get our signing bonus from the Army.

13. Good music to sing along with even if I can't hear the song or
myself because children are
in the background.

14. A bookshelf full of good books. Which leads me to . . .

15. Jane Austen and the BBC.

16. Good friends, most of which are in Utah, Texas, and Arizona,
but I'm slowly making a few here in Ohio.

17. Answers to prayers.

18. An oven that won't burn this year's Thanksgiving pies.

19. A two bedroom apartment that miraculously fits a family of five fairly decently.

20. An improving (be it slowly) ability to ignore the chaos and appreciate the little things more.

21. Fuzzy socks.

22. A husband who not only cleaned up the mess, but also wouldn't tell me
just how big the mess was when Jeremy got into the baby lotion.

23. My teeny tiny iPod Shuffle.

24. The time I get to work on my own writing (however small that time is).
hint, hint. hint, hint. (I know you'll read this, Nathan.)

25. We get to go to the temple on Saturday
(hopefully, we still need a babysitter)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Domestic Goddess

I made donuts.
I feel so domesticated.

By the way, Jeremy ate them all when I wasn't looking.

You Take The "Cram"

Have you seen the movie The Sandlot? Of course you have. Well, we've been watching it a lot lately. One of the kids I babysit apparently isn't comfortable at my house until he's watched it, and he isn't comfortable with me being at his house until he's watched it. So we watch it a lot now.

Remember the scene in the tree house where the fat kid is telling Smalls how to make a smore? Yes, you do. Ok, so this is my conversation with Megan during dinner the other night.

Megan: "Mom? Do you know how to make a cram?"

Mom: "A what?"

Megan: "A crrraaamm."

Mom: "Uh, no."

Megan: "Well, first you take the cram . . ."

Do you see where this is going? It gets funnier. Megan's known for her "exotic recipes."

Megan: "Well, first you take the cram, then you pour juice on it. But first you put a paper down so the juice doesn't get on the floor. The you pour sparkely red milk on it. Then you try to put soda on it, but it's too hard so you pour different soda on it and it's not too hard. Then you put the chocolate on it and another cram! That's how you make a cram!"

Mom: "Wow!"

Yes, she is a culinary genius. I know it. No plain jane smores for her! Never!! You must keep those plain marshmellows far away from her crams! They shall not touch her masterpiece of a cram! Only juice, sparkely red milk and soda that isn't too hard shall come near her cram. Oh yes. And the chocolate.

Buckner Family Milestone

We have hit a major milestone in our family.

This is the last of our Flavor Aid. --------->

Why is this momentous???

Because we bought it way before Megan
was born four years ago.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Now I cannot speak, I lost my voice
Speechless and redundant . . .
I'm lost for words.


Are you serious? The Hydration Drink? It's water!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Poor Mom, Poor Mom, Whacha Gonna Do? Whacha Gonna Do When They Pitty You?

I'm an out and about kinda girl. My pregnancy with Emma was probably my easiest one of the three (minus the kidney stone) and so I was always going out with the kids, running errands, and stretching myself too thin with extracurricular activities--like running the ward's book club, offering to have cooking club at my apartment two weeks before giving birth and two weeks after, etc.

Every time I went out with Megan and Jeremy I noticed a strange trend. Everyone who saw me, especially strangers, would come up to me, put one hand on my shoulder and say, "You're gonna have your hands full!"


Can you say something helpful please? Let's not state the annoyingly obvious.

And since when did having three kids become such a big deal in Utah? Is it because I only look ten years older than my oldest daughter that everyone gives me a pitying look as I walk through the grocery store? Oh my gosh! I just thought of something! They probably think I'm like, 17 years old and got pregnant out of wedlock. I mean, while I was prego with Emma my wedding ring didn't fit, so I couldn't wear it. All of Logan, Utah thinks I'm a Whore! Crap!

What's a girl to do when the entire city thinks she's a whore? Seriously, give me suggestions!

Well, now that Emma's been born and has been around for almost 4 months now, every time I go out people still look at me with curiosity, wonder, and pity. I often have people come up to me in stores, the mall, at the park, or even at Church and they do the shoulder thing again (pat, pat, pat), this time with a huge smile to accompany it, "You sure do have your hands full!" I smile and say, "Yep!" I try to look at myself from their point of view.

Wow. She looks tired. She's carrying a brand new baby in a Snugli and feeding her, has a toddler hanging on her left leg who wants to be held and a little girl pulling on her arm repetitively asking for a Little Pony movie. Her diaper bag fell off her shoulder and is hanging in the crook of her arm, half her hair is out of it's ponytail because her little boy pulled it out while squealing, "Fluffy! Fluffy!" Boy does she have her hands full. I should go tell her; she probably doesn't know.

Are you serious people?!? You really think I don't know my hands are full? But still, this cracks me up that it's such a big deal in Utah. Here in Cleveland I'm not as surprised by people's reactions, but still, it's amazing how many people notice me and my kids even when they are behaving perfectly and then feel the need to come talk to me. And they all say the same thing! Come on! Be an individual! Get creative! How about . . . oh, I don't know, you guys come up with something better and let me know. I can't think after midnight.

Now, you know I took up that babysitting job to pay my way to the LDSStorymakers conference next spring. Well, last week I took my kids and the two I sit down to the park. It's a five minute walk, so not far at all. I put Emma in the Snugli, Jeremy in the front of the double stroller, babysitting kid #1 in his carseat (he was asleep) and put the carseat in the back of the double stroller, and then had Megan and babysitting kid #2 hold hands and walk next to me.

We got to the park and we were the first ones there as it had just opened. It quickly became busy though as other mothers, and a lot of grandmothers this particular day, came with their kids (or grandkids as the situation allowed). Within the first hour all but the one dad at the park and one mom had come up to me to convey their condolences for my apparently difficult situation: watching three kids have fun at the park while Emma slept in the Snugli and babysitting kid #1 slept in the stroller or looked up into the sky, enjoying the nice breeze and never making a peep.

Yes. I had five kids with me all under the age of four. Yes, two of them were under 5 months old. Yes, three wear diapers. Yes, one of them sounds like a squealing pig when he cries, but he's not doing that right now, is he?

Every single person in that park (expect the one mom and the one dad) came up to me and said the same thing, once again. But this time they didn't inform me on the state of my hands. This time it was more of a prayer in my behalf. "God bless you!"

Yes, they asked God to bless me for being such a saint. Two ladies even added, "You look so young!" Well, yes, you see I made a mistake when I was 15, but I'm owning up to it and . . . . No! I'm not in my teens people! I'm almost a thirty something.

Since I'm being blessed now, do you think I could get the Catholics to hold a Mass for me? Do they hold Masses for people who are alive, or are they for dead people? You know, I should know this. . . . It's bugging me that I don't. Mom, do you remember? The last time I went to Mass I was like, 3 or 4. I guess that's what I get for not being Catholic.

Anyway, now I decided to count how many times a day (non-babysitting days) I'm told I have my hands full and how many times a day I am wished (babysitting days) for God to bless me. I think it will be fun to see the results. I've done it before on really busy days where I get to cover a lot of ground. Grocery store, bank, mall, fast food, campus, doctor office. Those there should easily put the score up to 10. One day when I was shopping for Nathan's birthday presents the count got to 7. Let's see if I can break the record this week!

So all of you moms out there and future moms, just be prepared, when you have five kids, you no longer get the happy, but pitying smile with the quirky, "You've got your hands full!" You become upgraded to the raised eyebrows, followed by the scrunched up eyebrows, the tiniest of head shakes, and the almost hopeless, "God bless you." Have your comeback ready. Try something like this:

Yes, my hands are full. My hands are overflowing with blessings. My little baby is so sweet. I love looking at her happy smiles every morning when she sees me come into her room and stand near her crib. It makes my whole day and I can't help but feel happy, too. My older daughter is the funniest little creature in the world, always making up funny stories about mixed fruit marriages ending with one of them getting eaten. I love dancing with her to "oldies" like Cake's The Distance or real oldies like The Beatles' Help!. My little boy is just the cutest thing--ever. He has this thing he does and we call it "Jeremy's New Dance". It isn't really new anymore because he's been doing it for months now, but it is hilarious, let me show you. Oh, see how much he loves his sisters? They hug and kiss all the time. Yeah, sometimes he's a little too rough, but usually it's just because he loves Emma so much. Want to know something that's really cute? Megan and Jeremy like to press our apartment's elevator buttons together. When they do, they always cry out, "We did it together!" and sometimes they start singing the Dora the Explorer song, "We Did It" and try to speak Spanish like her. It makes me smile every time. Yes, I do have my hands full--of blessings. Thank you for noticing.

Ike In Ohio and Ice Cream

Ike has come up to Ohio. We haven't gotten Ike's rain (we just have our own horrible rain storm) but we got a lot of the wind. All day Sunday tree branches and power lines were falling down and our power kept going out. Aside from worrying over the fish (they need the power so their water gets filtered and stays at the right temperatures) my big concern was, Am I gonna have to eat all the ice cream in the fridge tonight? Oh, darn.
Yes, we have Butterfinger, Butter Pecan, and Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and I was trying to prepare myself to sacrifice and eat it before it all melted when the power came back on and my unselfish sacrifice was no longer needed. So now I'm stuck with just my 60 oz. bag of semisweet chocolate chips to snack on while blogging. I do what I can with what I've got.

The Yellow Rose of Texas

For my family in Texas

I'm glad y'all are safe.
I love you!

Roll Over Baby!

I forgot to make this grand announcement earlier:

Dum da da dum!

Emma can now roll over!

She's doing it from her belly to her back. I don't know if that's the way most baby's do it, belly to back and then learn back to belly. I can't remember what Megan and Jeremy did first. It's funny, a few days ago I put her down on the floor, walked out of the room and when I came back I looked down at her and thought to myself, did I lay you on your back? I thought I put you on your belly. . . .

But yay for our Little M!

New Quote Monday

Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics.
I can assure you mine are still greater.

-Albert Einstein

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike Update

Here are a couple emails from my family. For some reason, none of them comment on the actual blog, they just email me after they read them.

Laurie: we are fine and the house is fine, no electricity but the generator is going. thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

Mom and Dad:
I can't tell you how much your prayers have meant to us and how effective they must have been. I spoke with a neighbor this morning and she stated that there is no damage to the house or yard. I spoke with Laurie and like us there was no damage to her home either. Neither of us have electric power, but there are 4 million without power as well. I don't know when they will allow us to return but we are headed home as soon as they give the ok.

Thank you everyone for your prayers! I really appreciate it. I know Heavenly Father heard our pleas and has answered them. Y'all must have some astounding faith!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike

I recently learned a lesson on pride and knowing when to ask for help. Since I really don't want to go through that lesson again, I decided to do this post. I really didn't want to, but at the same time, knew I needed to. So here goes.

My family is in southeast Texas in the path of hurricane Ike. My parents and brother evacuated to San Antonio, but my sister and her husband had to stay in Beaumont (she's a nurse and has to stay). I am really scared for my sister and her husband, and while I hate to admit my materialism, I'm scared for my childhood home. I've been doing a lot of praying, but I feel like I need to humble myself and ask my friends to pray for my family, too. I'm not good at asking for help. I hate doing it. But I'm also not willing to go through another "pride goeth before the fall" lesson. So I'm asking all you who read this blog, whether I know you or not (I know I've got readers in Italy and Germany, people! I've seen you lurk on the maps for minutes at a time, post a comment already!) to please pray for my family.

Thank you for your help! I actually feel better just by posting this.

My mom and dad
My sister LaurieMy Brother Daniel (holding Jeremy)

Laurie and her husband at their wedding rehersal dinner
Daniel holding Megan

Thursday, September 11, 2008

[Insert Your Favorite Mormon Expletive Here] Also Known As: Megan's Even Newer Do

So, today I thought the kids might like to take a nap. They weren't really being cranky, I just felt kinda lucky this afternoon and thought it might actually happen. Plus I wanted to blog in peace gosh darn it!

Jeremy got out of bed twice but after I laid him on the big pillow in the living room with a blanket he fell asleep. After thinking about it I remembered his taking a nap is actually a bad thing because he will now be a.) wired for the rest of the night, b.) cranky for the rest of the night, or c.) all of the above. But then I thought about it again and decided I don't care if he does take a nap or even where he does it if it means I can lurk in my favorite blogs. He can lay on the bathroom mat if he'll actually sleep there.

Megan I thought would be easy. If Jeremy falls asleep she's ten times more likely to take a nap without any of the nasty side effects. This afternoon, however, was not as lucky as I imagined. About ten minutes after I noticed Jeremy asleep on the big pillow, Nathan came home (yay!) and got to see Emma in her new duds (which you can't see because she pooped in the jeans before I could take a picture). Not five minutes later we heard a shriek coming from Megan's room. We walked in and sitting on the bed was Megan with the saddest look ever on her face and a comb stuck in her hair. Nathan and I both tried to get it out, but no luck.

She is infamous for trying to "curl" her hair with a comb or brush. Usually I catch her before she makes a really big mess of her hair, but since I thought she was asleep, I didn't see a need to patrol the bathroom or keep the combs and brushes on lock down.

Nathan took Megan to the computer to look at hair cuts for kids and I called a wonderful girl in our ward who cuts hair. About half an hour later Megan was sitting in her professional up and down chair staring at her image in a gorgeous black vintage mirror. I should go back to her house just to take a picture of her hair-cutting room.

Another half hour passes
and Megan's got a new look! ------->

We think it's dang cute.
She really likes it, but was concerned that people may not recognize her now.

She asked if Jeremy might not
know who she was anymore and
contemplated what her friends in
primary would say. "That's not
Megan!" "Yes it is me! I just got my
hair cut!"

On the way home she wondered what
Heavenly Father thinks about her
hair and so she asked Him.

He likes it!

And here's the weapon of mass destruction --->

Kellie Note: Let me explain the first half of the title. Nathan thought it was weird, so I figure explanation is needed. I had plans for Megan's 4 year pictures and they included long hair. Really long hair. And so now, unless her hair can grow like those Play Doh dolls (freaky snake hair!) it's not going to happen. So sad. So very, very sad.

Hip Hip Hooray!

Yay for Emma!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

An Army of One

It's official.

Nathan is officially an officer of the U.S. Army. He received his commission today and is now a Second Lieutenant. I've always has a great respect for our country's men and women who bravely and honorably defend us. Every time I see someone in uniform I want to go up to them and personally say thank you. Of course being the chicken I am, I've never done it, but I think one day I will get the courage to do it. Wow. I'm scared to say thank you and these people put their lives on the line. I need to shape up!

While the Army isn't something I'm unfamiliar with, I'm really not all that familiar with it either. My grandfathers were both in the Army and my dad was in the Army. But by the time I got around to my earthly existence, everyone was out. I've seen pictures and read journal entries and heard stories, but that's it.

A couple years ago one of our previous Bishops in Logan had the terrific idea of inviting soldiers and their spouses from our ward (at one time we had something like 4 or 5 soldiers in the Middle East serving from our tiny student ward) to give a lesson for a combined Priesthood/R.S. meeting. He did this twice for us and both times were very emotional and special for those who attended. We learned so much and gained a new appreciation for our troops.

I'm so proud of Nathan for making this commitment. I know a big reason we did it is because the Army pays for his schooling and specializing will be easier, but we made this decision knowing that there would be a possibility of deployment (however small the chance is). Never, ever did we think the Army would be an option for us, but when Nathan came home about a month ago and mentioned that the Army representative came and talked to the new dental students about recruitment, something went off inside me. A strange mixture of peace and excitement. Somehow I knew this path was our future. We prayed about it and felt it was right for us. I'm so glad we followed the promptings of the Spirit, I know we'll be blessed for it. Way to go, Nathan! Congrats!

Nathan being sworn in

It's a deal!

It's a happy deal!
I actually picked this picture because his face here reminds me of Emma A LOT.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . <@> . . . . . . . . . . . . .

And anytime there's a camera around, there are two posing kids running to be in front of it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


What's better than having your 3 1/2 year old daughter come up to you after family scripture study and say, "I love you mom," and know that she means it? I can't think of a thing.

Nathan's 28 Things

A friend of ours did a list of things about her husband for his birthday, one for each year. I'd told Nathan about it and said I'd do it for his birthday. Oops. I forgot. I guess he was really looking forward to it though because today he reminded me of it and told me how disappointed he was that I hadn't done it yet. Sorry Nathan! I love you!

1.) Nathan loves to play "pile on the bunny" with the kids. Sometimes he puts one of them under the beanbag chair and flops on top of it. Other times they all just lay on top of each other and yell, "Pile on the bunny!!!"
2.) Nathan is the second of five kids, three boys, two girls.
3.) He is in his first year of dental school.
4.) He signed up for the Army to pay for it and we are actually really looking forward to it.
5.) Nathan was recently called to the Young Men's Presidency.
6.) Nathan got his Eagle Scout Award when he was 14.
7.) His two favorite foods are chicken enchiladas with green sauce and shrimp jambalaya.
8.) His favorite shows (and the only shows we watch) are House, Arrested Development, and Prison Break.
9.) He can quote Homestarrunner.com and use phrases from it in everyday conversation.
10.) Nathan loves to make people laugh.
11.) He's good at #10.
12.) He loves to play games, his favorite being Power Grid.
13.) He occasionally talks in his sleep, but nothing ever makes sense. For example, he once told me he was going to get an apple out of the ocean.
14.) He used to sleepwalk as a kid.
15.) He went to El Salvador on his mission.
16.) He is a terrific husband and father.
17.) Nathan is a superb knitter and has taught others how to do it. (This is an infant sweater he made for Megan.)
18.) He can build a computer from scratch.
19.) Nathan's favorite books are the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
20.) With our next boy (assuming we have another boy) he's letting me pick the name!
21.) Nathan always thinks to bring home chocolate or ice cream when he knows I've had a bad day.
22.) He always gives in when we take the kids to get pictures taken and I want to get more than we agreed on before going in the studio.
23.) Nathan set up this blog for me over a year ago, but it wasn't until January (New Year's Resolution) that I started using it.
24.) He has more patience with me than I thought possible for anyone.
25.) He's recently gotten into webcomics. Jump Leads is his favorite.
26.) He is a certified optician.
27.) He is the proud owner of two large fish tanks filled with cool fish.
28.) He's 28! Hope it was a good one! We love you!!!
As you can see, I'm trying to put my poor blog back together. It has suffered great trials these last couple weeks and I'm working on making it a little better. I found a way to alter it so that it now has three columns instead of two. Hopefully I'll be able to find that blog again if I need it. . . .

AI friends, I know your links aren't here right now. Post them in the comments or email me and I'll put them back on. Your links disappeared when I was trying to change everything and the blog exploded. I think chunks of it landed in China. Great. If I ever get it back it'll have lead poisoning.

If anyone else's link to their blog is missing, or you want it added, let me know.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Blog Book

A few days ago I posted about Stephanie and Christian Nielson. I don't know how many of you checked out their story but a couple of the Mormon Mommy Bloggers are putting together a book of funny blogs and all the proceeds from the book will go to the NieNie Fund. It will be published as a physical book as well as an eBook. Right now the working title of the book is Sometimes Life is Funny.

The bloggers are looking for stories to include in the book. The goal of the book is to make people smile, so bring out your funny stories. They can be about anything--a day in the life, parenting, marriage, dating, growing up, work - anything. They prefer new, unposted stories, but are flexible. If you want more information go here.

Hey AI people--I know you're interested, so get to it! A chance to be published (or rack up one more rejection for the contest) and help a family in need, what could be better?


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Happy Birthday Nathan Dear
Happy Days Will Come To You All Year
If I Had A Wish Then It Would Be
A Happy Happy Birthday To You From Me!

Nathan hates this song. So of course I emailed it to him on Friday because . . . da da da duuuuum! It was his 28th birthday. Instead of ticking him off, the song made him smile (awww!) and he thought it was funny since he knew that I knew he didn't like it.

We celebrated by letting him go to school from 8am to 5pm. Then we decided after that much fun, he should probably take it easy -- so I had him watch the kids while I made dinner for a change. For his birthday dinner, he chose shrimp jambalya.

Let this be a testament to my love for Nathan. Not only did I make the jambalya, but I also ate the jambalya, including the shrimp and the celery -- my two least favorite foods in the whole world. However, I have no picture to prove it, so you'll just have to believe me. I just couldn't eat shrimp and celery and smile at the same time.

Apparently, neither can Nathan.

After dinner, we enjoyed brownies and ice cream. As a special surprise, I added Craisins to the brownies. We thought it was good with the Craisins, and Nathan knows I can't leave a recipe alone, even if it was a box.

In order to get the Craisins into the brownies, I had to take the brownies out of the oven. See, Nathan thought he'd be helpful and put the mix together while I stepped out of the kitchen for a minute. When I came back in, the brownies were in the oven already--without the craisins. So I asked Nathan to do something that took him out of the kitchen for a few minutes so I could take the brownies out of the oven, sprinkle in the craisins, mix them around, and then put the pan back in.

Then Nathan opened his presents. I had given him his present from me a few weeks back because I thought he could use some new "professional" clothes for school. Megan painted him a picture and his mom sent a box with those jelly fruit wedge candies (we just call them "jellies") and an expansion pack for Carcassone, which we played that night after the kids went to bed.

And Emma had fun, too!
Happy Birthday, Papa!

Friday, September 5, 2008

What Was I Thinking?

Right now a five month old's forehead is leaning on my right wrist, he's giving me a hickey on that same wrist and his left hand is trying to help me type. At five months he weighs more than my two year old and is almost as tall as my kid at one year old. What was I thinking?

I'm just trying to keep the kid from making everyone in my apartment building go deaf.

A couple of weeks ago I took up a babysitting job. The mother has three boys, ages 5, 3, and5 months (almost 6). Now that school started, I don't really watch the 5 year old anymore. The 3 year old and the baby either come to my apartment or I go to their house with my three kids.

Now why would I do such a thing to myself, you may ask? Why would I voluntarily surround myself with more children when I already don't have enough time in the day to do all the "things" I "need" to do. Like blog? Or cook? Or write? Holy cow. When was the last time I wrote something. . . . Well, I did do research two nights ago at the library. But that doesn't count. I went there with the intention of writing and when I got there I realized I'd forgotten my thumb drive. No way was I going back home for it. Then I'd never get out. Anyway, I don't have time to do anything, remember? So why would I volunteer for this? It pays.

In Logan, if you babysat it was because you knew the person and their kids, you were friends and you were expected to just be nice. Plus, it was likely that in a matter of weeks the situation would be reversed and you would be the one that needed a babysitter everyday for a few months. I babysat kids for free all the time in Logan and other people watched mine for free all the time (thank you Sarah, Sarah, Amber, Jess, Brooke, Tracey, girl that moved in across from me whose name I can't remember and her mom, etc. etc.).

Here in Cleveland, you get paid! That's right baby! Money coming my way! Now of course I'm still willing to babysit for free. I'm nice after all. (Because being willing to babysit for free makes you nice, it's the only requirement.) But hey, if they're gonna offer, and you're gonna watch their kids two or three times a week for lotsa hours at a time, I'm not about to say, "Oh no. Don't worry about it. I just love kids and yours are so easy!"

Now what am I going to do with my new-found riches you may be wondering? Save. Yep. I'm being an "adult" and making an Amboy account with it. But then guess what I'm doing with it!!! I'm going to pay my way to Utah for the next LDSStorymakers Conference. I've been to them all since I first discovered the Storymakers in 2005. I was really bummed that I wouldn't be able to go anymore with us being so far away, but when I was offered this babysitting job it was like fireworks were lit up in my head. I could have done cartwheels in my living room, I was so excited.

So half my earnings are going in the account for the trip and the other half are going to bills and such. I'm not sure how long it will take to earn enough, but I'm excited that Nathan has agreed to my plan. Of course, I have to take the kids with me. Nathan will be getting ready for his finals right during the conference. So this means I have to earn enough for not just one plane ticket and the conference admission, but three airplane tickets and conference admission. Luckily, I think my in-laws might be willing to take the kids during the conference (right guys? you know you miss them and want some real quality time with them).

So here I am with five kids in my apartment all under the age of four. Pray for me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Nie Nie

If you haven't heard about Stephanie and Christian Nielson, I encourage you to click on the Nie Nie recovery icon to the right. If you have the means to help, please do so.

I'd been reading about Stephanie and Christian Nielson for a while on other people's blogs and felt really bad about their accident. If you still haven't checked the site out and you're out of the loop, they were in a private airplane accident and are in critical condition. Stephanie is one of the most well known Mormon Mother Bloggers and yesterday I finally had a chance to sit down and check out her blog. Within minutes I was transfixed. The woman has an amazing talent of bringing you into her life and you see just how much she loves her family, her life, and the Lord. I was hooked. Nathan came home from school and saw me reading Nei's blog and crying my eyes out. Being a guy, and therefore insusceptible to "womanly problems" was confused as to why I was crying over a complete stranger. But the thing was, I didn't feel like I was crying over a complete stranger. I felt like I was crying over a friend, one I didn't know well, but a friend none the less. Another mother, just trying to take one day at a time and see it for all the possibilities it holds.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Where's My "Minty Freshness" and "Squeeky Clean" Feeling?

Kellie Note:
Adam and Carissa, if you read this, know that even with all the crap in my mouth, it was one of the better dental crises of my career as a dental patient simply because I knew Adam and his peers cared about my oral health. This blog is in no way meant to make Adam feel bad. I wrote it because it's funny to me; I couldn't help but think it ironic.

I went to the dentist the other day. Well actually, I went to the dental student the other day. Interesting though, he's the first dental professional I've visited that I feel did his job.

And why do we say, "I visited the dentist"? It's not like I was invited there to have tea and crumpets. I didn't go there to see how he was feeling or chat (although you're a lovely conversationalist, Adam--good jorb, there), I went because my dang teeth hurt. Although, Adam, had you been having a bad day, I would have felt sorry for you, okay? I just don't consider two hours of having my mouth invaded, a visit. I mean, what host uses one of these on their guests?http://z.about.com/d/dentistry/1/0/P/4/perioclose.JPG

Maybe next week, if you have a crocheted doily and a few sugar-free cookies sitting on a plate that looks like this:

I'll consider it a visit. If not, I'll have to come up with some other kind of word--like Torturefest. Note the -fest at the end. With a suffix like that, you know it's a party!

Now, it's not like it was completely terrible. I ended the "visit" with a renewed sense of pride. You see, it was necessary to make impressions of my teeth. This is not a fun experience. Before getting the impression gunk ready (a type of plaster of paris for teeth was my impression of it, ha ha ha! Ok, I'm done with my stupid joke now), Adam asked me if I gag easily. Um, yes. However, I was able to refrain from throwing up. I gaged a few times when he did the upper teeth and none when he did the bottom. This took great concentration. You must understand the great personal triumph that was experienced by myself. I had to stare at a dot on the wall, about four inches from the ground. I had to not think about the fact that I felt like I was choking and I had to try really, really hard not to cry. I just sat there, with Adam holding it in my mouth until it was set enough for him to take his hand off, drooling all over my nice, sunny yellow bib. When the impression material came out, my teeth were covered in the stuff. Little bits of it were stuck in my teeth and on my tongue. It was nasty. And instead of cleaning my teeth and face off, he had to put more nasty stuff in my mouth, this time is was purple! Ooh, fun! This one was to measure my jaw alignment or bite or something like that. Whatever it was, it's off and the head dental lady will suggest to me at my next appointment that I wear braces. (Thanks for the heads up, Adam!)

This was an especially great triumph for me because I'm a little bit OCD. Now I know, everyone thinks they're OCD, but I really am. I won't give you the gory details, but trust me, I was a psych major and one of my favorite books is The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing. Having all that stuff on my face and in my mouth was extremely difficult for me and I have to say, I was quite impressed with myself!

So there I am at the end of my "visit" and instead of running my tongue over my clean, fresh teeth, I was picking plaster out from between my teeth, trying to not think about the less than minty fresh taste in my mouth, and wondering just how much plaster was left on my face that people were sure to see as I walked out of the dental school. Usually when I leave the dentist, despite feeling ravenous, I don't want to eat and ruin the perfect cleanliness of my mouth. I want to savor the smoothness of my teeth and the minty fresh breath from whatever treatment involves a minty flavored something. It just felt weird to leave the dentist with a messier mouth than when I arrived.

Next time, I'm taking a toothbrush, toothpaste, and some floss with me when I visit the dentist.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Thrill Ride

The last time I went to an amusement park the rides didn't look like this:

Instead, they looked more like this:

On Saturday we went to Cedar Point, an amazing amusement park about an hour and a half from us. Anyone who knows anything about roller coasters knows about Cedar Point.

We'd never heard of it.

Which is really funny because Nathan loves to play Roller Coaster Tycoon, and the game is based off of Cedar Point.

It is America's Roller Coast. They have the world's biggest roller coaster collection and a terrifying array of thrill rides, such as this:

which I will be going on next time we go--if I don't pee my pants just looking at it first.

Some time between my last visit to an amusement park and Saturday, these parks adopted a similar rating system to that which ski resorts use for their mountains.

We started off easy with the carousel and roadsters.

Then we decided to be adventurous and went for the

and then finally we dared to embark upon

This pirate ship was a lot of fun. Nathan took Megan on it and then she wanted to ride it again, so I went with her. Jeremy wasn't quite big enough for this one. Next summer, bud! While we were on this one, Megan yelled out, "I felt my tummy being left behind!" Isn't she cute!

The kite eating tree.

The rating system is interesting because most of the kid rides were labeled as 1 or 2.
But this ride:

This ride was labeled a 2. They really need to rethink the label here. The kids went on this one at least four times and at the end of each time, Nathan and I were sick! The kids loved it. Nathan and I were completely dizzy. The hot air balloons can turn around and around as they go around in the larger circle and the kids kept yelling for us to go faster. In my view, it's like the Spinning Tea Cups at Disney World, but on drugs. According it Megan, it simply "tickles my belly."

Here I am getting ready to be sick.

And yes, Emma was with us. See!

I promise it's her behind that blanket.


Nathan and I took turns going on the roller coasters and thrill rides. We actually only got to do two rides each because we wanted the kids to experience the park, not wait for us to get through lines for a 30 second ride. The lines really weren't bad for the rides I picked, but Nathan had a long wait for one of his. The rides were awesome! We did The Wicked Twister, the tallest and fastest double-twisting impulse roller coaster in the world. It's 215 feet tall and goes 72mph. Nathan apparently forgot to breathe while on this one and couldn't understand how everyone else had enough air in their lungs to be screaming. I couldn't get enough air to scream, either, but I can't remember if I was able to breathe or not. I pretty much just had this image stuck in my head the whole time

Then Nathan did The Raptor.

Here's its description from the park's website:

An inverted roller coaster, Raptor has seats similar to ski lift chairs, suspended below its inverted track. Riders see nothing but the sky and track above them, and nothing but their dangling feet below - just a few feet above the ground! Raptor passengers also tumble head over heels six times!

Yeah, he pretty much loved it.

Then the last one I got to do. The Corkscrew.

It was almost 10 PM when I rode this, so it was pretty dark. I was also in the middle, so I couldn't see what was coming up at all. I was so scared! It was a great ride and I'm glad I went on it, but holy cow! Next time in daylight!