Tuesday, May 25, 2010

On the Road Birthday

Last Thursday Emma turned two. I meant to post something earlier for her, but being in Utah and having to balance Nathan's laptop on the windowsill with one hand, type with the other, and "borrow" internet from one of his neighbors without a secured wireless internet isn't really conducive to keeping up the blog. However, I'm sure you'll be glad to know that his parents will have a working wireless internet on Friday. When it won't matter for us anymore. Because that's the day of the wedding and we leave for home the next day.

Anyway, my darling Emma who is currently giving me kisses on my arm, turned two. She is learning and growing every day and is as fun and adventurous as possible. She has nearly no fear (except for the rare, I'm only going on this slide if you go with me) and still loves to read.

I love it when she comes running to me yelling, "Mama!" and then when she gets to my feet reaches up for me. Then I pick her up and all she wanted was to smile at me with her big cheesy grin.

Emma's cheesy smile

I love how recently she will fall asleep instantly. I get down on her pillow with her, she's asleep. I start to wipe her face so we can go to the library clean, she's asleep. She's calling my name and playing hard at 11:15PM, she's asleep.

She is nearly always sweet and funny and loves to make her brother and sister laugh. One thing she does that always makes me laugh is try to find the baby in my belly. Sometimes she misses and points too high, then I bring her finger down to the baby bump. Then she brings her finger right back up and instead of asking, "Baby?" she asks, "Fat?"

Emma is also really good at bouncing back. Last night Emma woke up with a stomach ache and threw up quite a bit. Twice in the tent (with so many people and kids at Grandma's house, and us having a tent with us, we got sent outside), and then four more times inside. I "slept" with her in the house after the first two. Something about that kind of mess in a small contained area like a tent. . .ew. By lunch time she was feeling more herself and was ready to play. She did take an incredibly long nap, well over two hours when her normal nap (if I can even get her to take one) is max 45 minutes. But when she woke up she was her happy self and ate a bunch of her favorite food-pasta!

We love our little Emma and feel so blessed to have her in our family! Happy (really late) Birthday, Emma!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

May Vay-Cay

We are currently on our family vacation, thus my being absent from the blogging world of late. It's kind of hard to get internet connection in the middle of Nauvoo, Garden of the Gods, and Arches National Park, ya know?

Anyway, it's been a lot of fun, minus the altitude headaches, the sinus headaches, the constant really-gross-stuff-associated-with-allergies-that-I-won't-name-because-it-really-is-that-gross-and-actually-made-me-consider-a-Neti-Pot-it-was-THAT-BAD, and the weird insomnia. Is it still insomnia if I'm exhausted and my eyes are trying to stay closed because they hurt from tiredness?
Here's a little info dump for you:

At Nauvoo we were crazy enough to do a horse drawn carriage ride (which was not actually a carriage, btw) in 40 something degree weather. Or it was that with wind chill, anyway. They had blankets for us to cuddle up in, which was a life saver, because the ride is almost an hour long and I forgot my jacket back in Cleave Land. I have no pictures of this because I wasn't willing to take my arms out of the blankets long enough to take one.

The kids loved The Family Life Center where they got to make a rope, learn how to make candles, learn how bread was made back in the early 1800's and other fun things.We also went to the school house there, which was also the home of the teacher, a local doctor, and got to tour it. They had slates for the kids to write on and examples of how spelling wasn't always consistent back then.

We also toured Carthage Jail where Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed. The upper window is the one Joseph fell out of when he was shot to death. The last time I was there was when I was 15, so quite a while back. In fact, last time I went I saw the old corner stones of the Nauvoo temple and now, there's the rebuilt temple sitting there. We took a walk around it, just barely missing the rain.
After Nauvoo we drove to Colorado Springs and visited Garden of the Gods. It was a short fun thing to do and prepared the kids a bit for Arches, which they thoroughly enjoyed more because they could climb the rocks at Arches.
At Arches we had some pretty cold, windy, and rainy weather--until our last day. But still, we managed to get a lot in.

Native American drawings
Dinosaur hunting (Jeremy and Megan dancing in a dino's footprint)

Corona Arch (I thought we were all going to die doing that hike. I burst into tears the next day when I told Nathan how awful it was for me.)
On the way back from Corona Arch, we found a tiny new arch.The Windows, Landscape Arch, and Devil's Garden, all of which I have pictures of, but this is already a lot of pictures.

Delicate Arch Oh my gosh, I didn't realize it would take that long to get there. The first arch Nathan pointed out to me on that hike I thought was Delicate Arch and all I could think was, "Well, they certainly took liberties on the license plates, because it looks nothing like this." Then he explained to me it was a different arch and I was informed that I had to keep hiking.

Of course we camped while we were there and that was great except that we picked the worst place in the world (seriously, I'm going to make up an award and sent it to them) for camping. Who thought it'd be a good idea to put a campground in the middle of a cottonwood tree area? Who thought it would be a good idea to plant cottonwood trees, period? They are awful trees! I'm still suffering the effects of those blasted trees. This picture of Megan and Jeremy playing in the cottonwood crap doesn't even do it justice. It was everywhere. It still is everywhere in the car. And we learned, certain caterpillars love cottonwoods. We had no less than 10 cocoons on our tent when we struck camp. Every time we left camp we had to check each other for caterpillars. They were EVERYWHERE and Megan, Jeremy, and Emma were constantly yelling, "Look, Mom! A caterpillar!" Each time it was as if they'd never seen one before.

Now we are in SLC with Nathan's parents, getting ready for his little sister's wedding. We made a quick trip to Logan so I could get an eye exam from the eye doctor Nathan used to work with when we lived there and will be going back next week to visit friends and hopefully pick up my new contacts and glasses. I've been stuck wearing my glasses for a week, ugh.

Blogging and checking email may continue to be slow for me, right now I'm stealing someone else's internet (and really, who doesn't protect their internet now a days?) to write this post. But I wanted to let you all know I'm alive, the family is alive, and we'll be back in Cleave Land at the end of the month. If you're in the greater SLC area and would like to get together, let me know! I do check my email about once a day (while pilfering someone else's connection). :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mormon Mishaps Blog Tour and Giveaway

My review of the book Mormon Mishaps and Mischief is at the end of the giveaway information.

Don't forget to read all the way through!

Mormon Mishaps Blog Tour and Giveaway

The Mormon Mishaps and Mischief Giveaway and Blog Tour!

In celebration of Mothers, and all they do for us, Mormon Mishaps authors C.L. Beck and D.N. Giles have put together a giveaway in conjunction with a week-long blog tour. If you aren’t interested in winning a fantastic advertising package valued at $150, you can stop reading now.

Wait, you’re still reading. That must mean you want to hear about our prize package, correct? Well. Okay then.

Let me first tell you a little about our sponsors, yourLDSneighborhood.com and YourLDSradio.com.

yourLDSneighborhood.com is an online shopping mall which features innovative products and LDS-based services, and great ideas for your home, all without the worries of questionable content. Shopping categories include Clothing, Music, Preparedness, Family Entertainment, Scrapbooking, Books and Art, Health and Food, Travel and Recreation, Weddings and more! Visit yourLDSneighborhood.com today.

Your LDS Neighborhood Newsletter is a free online newsletter that comes three times a week right to your email inbox. It provides topical stories and insights that set the tone for your day. The newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources, and interviews from around the world, all with an LDS focus. Sign up today by clicking here!

YourLDSradio.com commits to bringing you the best in LDS Music – all day, every day and it is totally FREE to listen! Make them your web-surfing companion. It's free and easy to use and makes for the perfect online companion. Listen for yourself at yourLDSradio.com!

Okay, and now for the prize!

Your LDS Neighborhood has offered a YEAR LONG advertising package which includes space on the Neighborhood website as well as tiles in the newsletter. Were you to purchase advertising with them, this package would cost $150.

Here’s the best part. You don’t have to be LDS to advertise with the Neighborhood. As long as the business, blog, or product you’re promoting is family friendly, this advertising package will benefit you. Neighborhood ads are viewed daily around the globe, and by thousands of people.

So how do you win?

Entries will be accepted between May 4th and midnight, MST, May 16th. On May 17th, (or as close there about as possible) the winners will be chosen and announced on the LDS Humor blog. Although it's not required for entry, please take a minute to read the Mormon Mishaps and Mischief review/interview I've posted. Then, you must do the following four things to enter (but don't worry, they aren't hard):

1. Follow my blog, here.
2. Leave a comment here, at this blog.
3. Follow the LDS Humor blog.
4. Follow the Your LDS Neighborhood Newsletter blog.

Extra entries:

1. Blog about this contest, then come back and leave either a url address or a link in a comment.
2. Follow me on Twitter. (Bloggers, you can hyperlink this to your twitter page if you’d like, or include your twitter username.) And then tweet the contest. (Make sure to mention this in a comment.)
3. Facebook the contest. If your Facebook page is private, and I’m not your friend, I can’t see that you’ve done this, so you’ll need to friend me.(Same goes here.) Be sure to leave the link to where you've FB'd the contest in a comment.

All of these options can be mentioned in a single comment, and you can enter at all the participating blogs, as long as you follow and leave a comment for those bloggers so they know you love them.

You may enter this contest here, as well as on any of the tour posts at the following blogs:

May 4th Rachelle Christensen
May 4th Shirley Bahlmann
May 5th Karlene Browning
May 5th Heather Gardener, Fire and Ice Book Reviews
May 6th Kellie Buckner
May 6th Rachel Rager
May 7th Shauna Chambers
May 7th Heather Justesen
May 10th LDS Humor Blog
May 10th Keith Fisher
May 11th Tristi Pinkston
May 11th Rebecca Talley
May 12th Taffy Lovell
May 12th Kimberly Job
May 13th Connie Hall
May 13th Ali Cross

To purchase Mormon Mishaps and Mischief click here.

Ok, here's the review!

This was such a fun book! So many of these stories had me laughing out loud and searching the house for Nathan so I could share them with him. It's had me looking for the humor in life more often, especially at Church:)

I have to mention, in case you missed it in my blog earlier, I have a couple stories in here! It's my first time being published somewhere other than a newspaper, so that's pretty exciting for me.

I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this book. It's funny, well-done, and a really quick read.

Here's a little bit of the cover blurb listing some of the stories inside!

Read about:

*The preschooler who was afraid of being eaten by ‘Sunbeans’

* Establishing Zion in Cougar Stadium

*The ‘oddmonition’ of Paul

*The 14th article of faith

*Doing battle with the “Laman Knights”

*A young women outing that almost landed the class behind bars…and lots more!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Catch and Release and Catch Again

Have any of you asked to be released from a calling? (For those of you not LDS, a calling is something that the bishop of your congregation asks you to do. It can be teaching kids in the primary or leading the music in sacrament meeting, anything at all. Usually it is based upon inspiration, but occasionally desperation is key.)

I have. Once. I felt like I was drowning and couldn't handle that "one more thing" to stress me out. It was a calling that took me out of Relief Society (the women's meeting) at a time that I really needed that spiritual nourishment and help. So the Bishop release me and that was that. Until now.

I've been called to the same. exact. calling. Now is an even worse time than before. I know that there may never be a "good time" for this calling, and that I should just do it and deal with the extra stress and misery it gives me. But I honestly feel picked on. Even after talking to the Bishop and praying, I still feel picked on.

What do you do? Have you (those who are LDS) ever had a Bishop that you just didn't click with and felt like he really just didn't care about you? And just so you know, I base that on more than just him calling me to the same position twice after asking for a release. I just don't want to go into that here on the blog. Email if you want specifics.

Praying so far has left me empty of answers or peace, so don't bother suggesting that, I'm still working on it.

Right now I think I just feel like I need to know I'm not alone in having a difficult Bishop.



A friend gave me a blessing. Nathan felt a little too close to the situation to do it, so we had our friend Ben do the actual blessing. Nathan opted not to tell him about the situation (and I'm 100% sure Ben has been in finals or studying all day instead of perusing my blog). I feel a lot better. I'm not excited about the calling, but I know I can do it now and that the additional stress won't hurt the baby. I don't think my specific calling is what the Lord had in mind, but I do feel that He wants me serving more than my current calling was requiring of me. So I'm ok.

I also went to the doctor today to check on the baby before we leave for my sister in-law's wedding. We are 99% sure we know the gender. The ultrasound wasn't even supposed to be for that, but we just happened to get a good look. You can vote what you think on my sidebar:)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Book Reviews--Little House in the Big Woods and Seeking Persephone

Laura's Early Years Collection (Little House, #1-4) Laura's Early Years Collection by Laura Ingalls Wilder

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
So apparently Little House in the Big Woods is a deep book. Or at least Megan thought so. When we finished it, she immediately started asking me why all kids have a mom and a dad and how it is that kids a long time ago had a mom and a dad, and who fed them (she determined that Jesus must have fed them).

We finally figured out that she was referring to Adam and Even and how they were able to grow up without a mom and dad.

It was an interesting conversation, all sprung from Laura Ingalls Wilder reflecting on what was past and what was present. Weird.

Anyway, at certain points I wanted to quit reading, and at other points I thought it was mildly interesting. It's not a book I would have found worth my time as a kid, but Megan really enjoyed it and even read it on her own at times, leaving me out of the loop and having to catch up to get to where she was. And boy does that girl read fast. I had no idea she could read so fast and retain so much.

Anyway, it was an ok book. If I could give it another half star to make it 2.5, I would. It did spark other interesting conversations about what life was like back then for kids and families. I think Megan appreciates some things more now.

I'm not sure who to recommend the book to. I guess if you like quaint histories, this book's for you.

Seeking Persephone Seeking Persephone by Sarah M. Eden

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a wonderful, clean, regency romance. If you like Jane Austen, you'll like Sarah Eden. If you can't stand reading Austen because she can be difficult to get through at times, you'll love Sarah Eden for being much easier to understand.

This story had my heart pumping for Persephone and Adam. When I only had one chapter left I couldn't imagine that she'd be able to tie up the story in a satisfying way, but she accomplished it well.

This is a self published novel and there were a few times I could tell it needed another editor, a pair of fresh eyes to go through it. But overall I really loved this book. She successfully wove a story with characters I fell in love with and cared about, even a few minor ones like Henry. I loved how she brought Greek mythology into it. I kind of wish it had been a running theme in the story all along the way, but I like how she had Persephone's brother tell the bulk of the story to Adam.

All in all, a very fun, exciting read.

View all my reviews >>