Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My friends and the onion.

               My friends came over!  Amanda, AKA Manj, is AJ's older sister, Jake is her husband and Zemri is their precious baby girl.  They have been living on the other side of the country for the last year, for Jake's internship, and now they are back on the correct side of the United Sates.  The side where everyone else, most everyone, lives.  It was a blast to see them again!

Samuel snuck into the kitchen while we were chatting with Manj and Jake and he came back munching on an onion.  So we did what any parent would do … we videoed it.

Last time we saw these two Samuel was a year old and I was almost 20 weeks pregnant, and Manj was 10 weeks behind me.  Look at our little ones now!!

These two are less than 3 months apart.  Can you believe it?!  Lily and Zemri are going to be best of friends.  I just know it.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The best gift ... of all time!!

AJ bought me a gift…

A special gift.
An anniversary gift- for our, you know, anniversary.
And it is the best anniversary gift of all time … like, ever.  Seriously.

Do you want to know what it is?!
Okay, okay, okay!!  I will show her to you.

(Drumroll please …)

TA DA!!  She's a sewing machine!

Ain’t she a beauty?!  I just love her to sewing heaven and back.  What do you think I should call her?

I was thinking something classy, like Phyllis or Augusta or Franny or … Eleanor.  Hmmmm.  Maybe Eleanor, because it makes me think of sewing and it makes me think of Merida.  And Merida is awesome.

Okay, I made up my mind.  Everyone.  Meet Eleanor.  She is my very own, personal sewing machine, and I love her.  Check out what Eleanor and I made together.  It was our very first project.  What do you think?

Bonus picture:

My sweet baby Lily couldn't stay out of the way of my picture taking, so I took a picture of us instead.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How old is Arizona?

It was close to midnight and I was riding in the cab of the truck with my parents.  Everyone else had fallen fast asleep in the camper long ago.  Our conversation had been jumping from topics like, the recent election to regulating bowel movements to Becca’s soon-to-be fiancĂ©, for a while.  We were chatting about anything and everything that came to our minds; to keep Dad awake.
An Arizona Centennial sign passed by and I silently questioned, “How much tax money did it take to put up all those darn centennial signs?!  There are millions of them … all over Arizona!”  And since we were voicing whatever thoughts came to our minds, I said it.
                “How much money do you think they spent on those signs?”
Mom and Dad looked at each other with a did-you-see-the-sign? face.
“What signs, Em?” Dad asked me.
“You know, all those signs they put up for Arizona’s 100th birthday this year.  Haven’t you noticed?  They are everywhere!  How much tax money do you think they spent on those?” I answered.
“Too much!”  Mom declared.
After a short rant about taxes and how ridiculous this tax is or that tax is, Dad brought the conversation back to states.
“You know,” he started, “Arizona was one of the very last sates to join the Union- number 48, I think.  Most of the other states had been states for over 220 years or something.  Twice as long as Arizona.”
WOW!”  Mom and I said incredulously.
There was a short pause in our conversation, for Mom and me to ponder the overly impressive information Dad had just impressed upon our sleepy minds.  “OVER, two hundred and twenty years?!” I thought.  “That is such a long time.  How long has Arizona been a state?
“So … how old is Arizona then?!” Mom and I wondered aloud to each other.
“Don’t ask me.  I don't know.” I stated, verbalizing my complete cluelessness on the matter.
Dad sat quiet and unbelieving, a skeptical look in his eye, while Mom and I tried to figure out how old Arizona could possibly be?!  We debated for a minute or two before we were interrupted by giggling.
“What are you cackling about, Charlie?” Mom probed.
Dad responded simply, “100.  Arizona is 100 years old.”
Mom and I sheepishly looked at each other and bust out laughing.  We had been talking about Arizona’s CENTENNIAL sign!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sloganmaker Fun - Date idea

I first heard of Sloganmaker from a friend of mine and I just had to try it out.  So, AJ and I sat down, during the kid’s nap, and spent like TWO HOURS laughing our pants off!!  Everything was just SO witty.  Here are a few of the gems we thought were hysterical.
Don't play with fire, but play with the Smith's.
Pure Smith family.  Pure power.
Smith's forever!
The Smith family, always the same, always good.
The Smith family is GLAMOUR.
Made like, taste like ... Smith family.
The Smith family makes the world go round.
Smith family - radiating elegance and quality.
Good mornings begin with the Smith family.
Okay, so maybe they are just hilarious the first time around, but they still make me giggle.  Go grab your husband or a friend and make a date out of it!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

FIVE Generations

Great great Grandma Mae, Great Grandma Glee, Grandpa Charlie, ME, Samuel & Lily

It is a rare thing, for four generations or more to be alive at once.  Very few people now-a-days, live to be great grandparents, let alone great great grandparents.  My children are some of the few who have a great great grandparent- amazing right?!

Check this out!  I thought it was thought provoking

2 parents
4 grandparents
8 g grandparents
16 gg grandparents
32 ggg grandparents
64 gggg grandparents
128 ggggg grandparents
265 gggggg grandparents
512 ggggggg grandparents
1,024 gggggggg grandparents
2,048 ggggggggg grandparents
4,096 gggggggggg grandparents
8,192 ggggggggggg grandparents
16,184 gggggggggggg grandparents
32,768 ggggggggggggg grandparents
65,536 gggggggggggggg grandparents
131,072 ggggggggggggggg grandparents
262,144 gggggggggggggggg grandparents
524,288 ggggggggggggggggg grandparents
1,048,576 gggggggggggggggggg grandparents
1,048,576 ggggggggggggggggggg grandparents

(That is 20 generations right there.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

3 years and 2 kids later...

Dark haired boy.
Once there was a young girl, and she loved a red head boy.  Her red head boy was living very, very far away.  “There will never be another that can bring me happiness like my red headed boy”, she thought … but she was wrong.  One warm August evening, she met a handsome dark haired boy.  He made her smile and giggle, and forget about her red head boy.  At first she was so angry at the dark haired boy.  But it didn't take long before she realized she loved the dark haired boy more than she loved her red headed boy.  So, she ended things with the red headed boy, so he could find his own happiness- just like she had.
Working together
"Laughing" together.

The dark haired boy and the girl danced together, worked together and laughed together.  The more time they spent with each other the deeper their love grew and they knew they were meant to always be together.  One rainy September night the dark haired boy softly kissed the girl for the first time- the girl's heart soared.  Not long after that, on a rainy October afternoon, the dark haired boy knelt down on one knee and asked the young girl to marry him.  "Took him long enough." she jokingly thought.  An eager and extremely delighted "YES!!" was her reply.  Their engagement was a short one, only two months, a blink of an eye really.  Early in the month of December, in the Mesa temple, surrounded by dear friends and family, the dark haired boy and the young girl were sealed for time and all eternity.  

Their marriage was a joyful one from the beginning; filled with love and laughter and good food- mostly.  Soon, they learned they were expecting an addition to their small family.  The very last day of August, and the dark haired boy’s second day of school- it happened.  A chunky faced little boy came into their lives and changed everything.  They thought they had been happy before, but nothing compared to the joy of their son.  December came and went with the celebration of their first anniversary, and in August their chunky faced boy turned one.  A week later, to their delight, they learned they were expecting again.  Their second anniversary and the dark haired boy’s graduation passed, then in May their beautiful, bald baby girl was born.  The dark haired boy and the young girl’s happiness overflowed. 
Chunky faced boy
Beautiful, bald girl
Yet again, another anniversary has come for the young girl and her dark haired boy and their young family.  The beginning of another year to fill with memories of their chunky faced boy and beautiful, bald girl.
A special, “Happy anniversary!!!” to my dark haired boy- I love you forever AJ.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cookie Confession

                Okay.  I have a very serious confession to make … about cookies.  I can’t make cookies.  Making the dough isn't the tough part; it is the baking part that kills me.  I've heard all the tricks: freeze the dough before you bake it, add more flour, make sure the butter is the correct temperature, and don’t grease the pan … etc.
I have three different variations of cookies I have mastered:
1.                   Thin as paper and hard as a rock – You know what I am talking about right?  The cookies that begin as separate entities but converge into one crunchy mass while baking.
2.                   "Normal" but under cooked – Luckily these cookies remain separate, individual cookies, but they start as dough and end as dough with an impenetrable shell.
3.                   Kindling- This category includes anything from ashes and coal to slightly burnt cookies.

                You may notice that I am lacking the “fluffy, delicious and perfect” category or the “this is the taste of heaven” category.
Yeah.  I know.
                Well, I decided yesterday to buy pre-made sugar cookie dough.  Maybe the dough was my problem after all?  I simply had to cut the dough into 1/4” slices.  Put the slices on a baking sheet 2” from each other, and put it in the oven at 350°F.  Then 11 minutes later, pull them back out and BAM!  Cookies.  Soooooo easy, right? 
          WRONG!  I still managed to burn them to a crisp.  Still!  So, I decided, as of yesterday, that if I ever, EVER want cookies again, I will buy them already baked.

P.S.  I was too ashamed to take pictures yesterday, and now my phone is dead and the camera is missing.  So just imagine.  It is better that way.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Don't Grow Up Too Soon

October 25, 2012  10:27 AM

                Lately, I have been leaving the back door open, because the weather is downright perfect this time of year.  Samuel has been taking full advantage of his new ability to take toys in and out of the house at will.  This morning, I was sitting next to the couch playing with Lily while Samuel was busy running back and forth between inside and outside.  Suddenly, he brings his tricycle in the house and parks it by the front door- Odd. I think.  He starts saying something about forgetting his hat, and runs to his bedroom.  I hear shuffling of toys and a few loud clangs of toys hitting the wall.  What on earth is he doing back there?!  As I walk in he is proudly placing his little yellow helmet on his head.  I try to ask him where he is headed off to as he starts to mumble about needing keys.  He runs to the kitchen, pulls out the key drawer and fishes around till he finds the pool key.  His face says it all, “Perfect!”
            Confused, I ask again, “Where are you going in such a hurry Samuel?” 
            “School, Mommy.  Going school.” is the answer I get.  At that moment he runs over and gives me a big hug, leads me to the front door and kisses me smack on the lips.
    “Love you too Mommy.” He says.
    “You be a good boy at school Samuel and remember Mommy loves you.” Is my reply.
                Completely serious, he climbs on his bike, ready to go to school, and then he looks up at the door for a moment before turning back and saying, “Help Mommy, me.  Door.”

                This is basically how our mornings play out when AJ leaves for school- the keys, helmet, bike, hugs and kisses.  Samuel loves his Daddy so much and wants to be just like him.  But he’s not quite ready to grow up yet, and I am so thankful because I am definitely not ready to let my baby boy go.  We still have so many more memories to make before he becomes a man, just like his Daddy. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our Fair Weekend

Watching Cars.
                ASU has a "fall break" which is actually only a single day off of school- wow.  We decided that we were going to take advantage of the small amount of time given to us and this last weekend we packed up the kids in our little car.  While Samuel watched Cars, and Lily slept; we made the three hour trip to AJ’s hometown, to experience the County Fair.  Ok, ok.  We actually helped my in-laws run a concessions stand and talent show, but we all still had a wonderful time escaping all thoughts of school, homework and mid-terms!!  I snapped this adorable picture of my sweetheart cuddling our two babies in-between me taking orders from customers and giving orders to everyone else.  We made a really great team.  *Wink, wink*

I sure do love these three!!!
Some highlights of the weekend:
                Changing Samuel’s diaper and finding a toy box full of sand and rocks.
                AJ’s very first … ever, experience of an animal auction.
                Samuel running in circles, driving his Mater on everyone’s butts while we were preparing orders.
                Eating at Hillibertos- AMAZING!!
                Lily refusing to crawl in the pokey grass.
                Me stepping out of her comfort zone and taking orders and monies from complete strangers.
                Sleeping on the hard floor with a nocturnal little boy running a muck.
All in all, we had a memorable weekend together as a family.

Couldn't not share this adorable photo!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dreams ...

                Lately, I have been tormented by horrible nightmares in the early morning hours.  Dreams, I am sure, that most every mother has or will have.  Last night I dreamt that we were on top of a tall building looking at strange new designs of grand pianos and listening to the Piano Guys play awesome melodies on them.  Why we were on top of a massive building- I have no idea.  I notice that Lily and Samuel had wondered off and were getting uncomfortably close to the edge of the building.  In order to protect them from imminent danger I start running toward them as fast as I can, but just before I get there Lily crawls off the side.  I do, however, manage to catch Samuel’s little hand as he tries to follow Lily.  Sobbing, I scoop my precious baby boy into my arms and watch, horrified as my sweet Lily falls down, down, down- while I am helpless to save her.
                Then we are driving on a deserted, windy road; to our left is a cliff jutting upward to unseen heights, and on our right is sheer drop straight into a large, endless lake.  Suddenly, our car lurches off the curved road and crashes into the middle of the freezing water.  We are sinking too fast as I struggle with the straps to the kids car seats.  Water is swiftly pouring in, and as I hand Samuel to AJ, I take Lily and we swim out of the broken windshield.  We swim and swim and swim, but we aren't making any noticeable progress toward the distant shoreline.  It is so difficult to keep the kids heads above water.   We are cold and tired when AJ and Samuel slip under.  I cry out, torn because I can’t save us all.
                There are others and they all have the same sad ending- me failing to save both my babies and occasionally, even my sweetheart AJ.  Someone is always lost.  I wake up unable to sleep, knowing dreadful images dance behind my eye lids, waiting for sleep to show themselves, but I don’t want more heartbreak.                                                         Thankfully, my mother taught me 20 years ago how to find comfort in troubling times like these.  When I was young, whenever I had a “bad dream” my Mom and I would sing a primary song and say a prayer, then I would go back to sleep.  I STILL do this; even last night.  I woke up and I sang, out loud, a couple hymns, said a prayer for comfort and I read scriptures- I read until I was no longer consumed with sad thoughts feelings of inadequacy.  It always works, and I always sleep peacefully the rest of the night.  I am thankful for a merciful Heavenly Father and the blessing of the atonement- which even helps with “bad dreams”.  And my angel mother who taught me in my youth how to turn to Him for comfort from nightmares.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Our Toilet EXPLODED!!

Saturday, September 22, 5:04 AM

                I woke up randomly at 5 in the morning on the verge of peeing my pants- not a normal occurrence for me.  Naturally, I went to the restroom, and just as I was climbing back into bed next to AJ, I heard a sudden roaring sound.  It sounded like someone had turned on a REALLY LOUD faucet.  I woke AJ and told him to go check it out, because I was a little creeped out and didn't want a bad guy to get me.  Groggily, AJ went to investigate while I peeked over his shoulder.  We were not expecting to find … what we found.

Old Faithful. (Image from Google search.)

The pipe.
                Our toilet had EXPLODED!!  Standing in the bathroom doorway was like standing next to Old Faithful- loud and wet.  The spray was getting everywhere and we couldn’t figure out where it was coming from.  The toilet bowl?!  The tank?  In a matter of seconds we had an inch deep lake in our bathroom, and it was starting to soak our carpets.  While AJ was getting drenched in the geyser, Gina and I were grabbing towels and sopping up water.  It took AJ a minute to find where the “leak” was coming from and he soon had it shut off.  That little pipe, right there.  Do you have any idea what happens when this sucker breaks?!  Two words- Old Faithful … in your bathroom.  (You should try it sometime- it is pretty exciting.)
                 We had all been so caught up in what we were doing AJ hadn’t realized that Gina was there and Gina hadn’t realized AJ was indecent.  (He had nothing on but his under garments; we had been sleeping after all.)  AJ grabbed a damp towel and wrapped it around himself while we all continued to soak up water and ring out towels in the tub and sink.  It took every single towel we owned to soak up all the water off the floor.  All the while the kids were fast asleep in the next room- they didn't even stir.  Seeing how it was so early in the morning and we had all been up so late, after we were finished we all just crawled back into bed and fell asleep again.  This is, after I made AJ find something dry to wear. *giggles*  The End. 

Some of the many soaked towels.

The ceiling in the bathroom.

The toilet paper mush.

Our trash can.  It is difficult to see but there is 2 - 2 1/2 inches of water down there.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sleeping Beauty

                There is something beautiful about sleeping babies.  It fills every mother’s soul with a tender feeling of joy as she watches her child sleep.  There is something about their peaceful little face that pricks her heart with a feeling of pure love.  Watching their deep even breathing, she is partially surprised that they can be this still and quiet.  And in an attempt to slow down time, she studies every detail of her child's face to capture this moment forever in her memory.  Oh, how I love my precious sleeping baby.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"To solid food, or not to solid food."

                That, is the question.  A good question.  How on earth are you supposed to know when your infant is ready for, or wanting solid foods?!  To be honest, I can’t tell ya because I am still struggling with it myself.  However, I might have stumbled across a discovery- for me at least.  Lily has been super grumpy lately and she wants to eat all the time.  She eats till she is full to the brim.  Full to the brim equals a LOT of leakage … everywhere- not a single piece of furniture has not been spit up on.   Despite all of this she just keeps on eating!  Finally, it dawned on me.  Perhaps she wanted something a little heavier in her stomach, you know, something with a little bit of substance.  Maybe liquid just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  So, I pulled out a box of rice cereal and let her try it.  I was so surprised that she actually ate a full 2 teaspoons!  And it seems to have done the trick- she feels full.  YAY!! I love you rice cereal.  You made this Mamma happy.

First time trying solids- success.

Love those eyes!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things I Love: Samuel Edition

10 Things I LOVE about Samuel

1. I love how he wakes AJ and me up in the morning by yelling, “Wake up!” and then he follows with, “Sleep’d good.  Morning.”  Translation:  “Wake up Mom and Dad!  I slept great so you must have too; now get out of bed because it is morning and time to party.”
2.       I love how he gives me, Lily, Daddy and himself kisses when we get hurt.
3.       I love it when he dances or makes funny sounds and faces to make Lily laugh.  And once the laughing starts they pass the laugh back and forth for a good 5 to 8 minutes- I love that sound.
4.       I love the way he laughs and screams while running in circles, trying to decide if he should find a place to hide to scare Daddy or not, when AJ is just about to walk in the front door. 
5.       I love how excited he gets when he realizes that we are going to Grandpa and Grandma’s.  I also love that he assumes we are headed to Grandpa and Grandma’s house if we have been driving for longer than 5 minutes.
6.       I love it when he puts his arm around Lily, smiles at me and says, “Friends.”
7.       I love the way his hair swirls around his head.
8.       I love to hear his innocent prayers, and it cracks me up that he will yell, “Prayer!” at anyone before or during a prayer that has broken “prayer form”.  Which are folded arms or clasped hands while kneeling.
9.       I love the way he pats the seat next to him as a command invitation for me to sit next to him and watch a movie with him.
10.   I love that if I sit down to read a book or have been reading for a short time he will either 1) attempt to replace my book mark and then shut my book and try to take it from me or 2) try to shut my book while repeating, “Wake up Mommy.  Wake up.”

Monday, September 17, 2012

Things I Love: Lily Edition

10 Things that I LOVE about Lily

1.       I love her adorable old, bald man hairline- a little hair on the sides and nape but nothing on top.
2.       I love her funny “swimmer arm” she does while she is nursing.
3.       I love the special laugh that she saves for Samuel when does something she thinks is hilarious.
4.       I love how her eyes light up when she sees me for the first time in the morning.
5.       I love the way she falls asleep cuddling me every night.
6.       I love her dimples when she cracks one of those ear to ear smiles I adore.
7.       I love her “baby stretch” she does when she wakes up in the morning and after a nap.
8.       I love how she always blows out her diaper when we aren’t home and/ or don’t have a backup outfit.
9.       I love the feel of her soft head against my cheek.
10.   I love the way she tries to suck on my lips when I give her kisses on her chubby cheeks.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

4 months already?!

      1st month:

      2nd month:

      3rd month:

      4th month:

                Can you see how much my little girl has changed?!  She is growing up way too fast- she isn't a newborn anymore.   My Lily has the sweetest ear to ear grin you will ever see.  She can roll over both ways, and she can get up on her hands and knees.  Before I know it she will be crawling all over the place; although she can get herself most anywhere she wants to go already.  I love to hear Lily’s babbling- she is a talker.  And it melts my heart how much Samuel and Lily love each other.  Samuel can just look at Lily and she cracks up over and over again, AJ and I have to do backflips and stand on our heads.  Having these two precious children is an absolute joy!

See what I am talking about?  You can't not smile.

Friday, September 14, 2012

While Daddy is Gone

                I suddenly find myself with a lot of time where it is just me and the kiddos, with AJ at ASU so much now-a-days. We all wake up around 6:30 to 7 AM and AJ is gone by 7:10.  That doesn’t give us much time to anything more than eat and pray.  Then, I have 5 hours before lunch and nap time to fill in with activities. 5 hours is a long time when it is spent with a 2 year old who is done with something after 15 minutes!  That is 20, 15 minute, intervals till lunch. So I came up with a list of fun things to do to keep us busy.

  • ·         Outside time (walk and playground)
  • ·         Reading books together
  • ·         Singing primary songs
  • ·         Bath time
  • ·         Coloring
  • ·         Counting Games
  • ·         Letter Games
  • ·         Shapes and Color Games
  • ·         Jesus Movies (Living Scriptures)
  • ·         Snacks
  • ·         PLAY time

Here are some fun pictures of our adventures yesterday morning:

Samuel put on his own shoes this morning and he is ready to GO!

This little Lily of mine is TOO cute!  (She is trying to eat the camera.)

                We went on a walk around our apartment complex ... well; I walked and carried Lily while Samuel rode his super cool Lightning McQueen buggy.  We also decided to stop by the playground in our apartment complex.  Samuel had a blast sliding down the slides while Lily and I played with the rocks and felt the grass with our feet.