Monday, December 31, 2007

A Year in Review

As I sit here waiting to start celebrating New Years with my little family and our friends, the Kiddles, I thought that I would write down the major things that happened to our little family this year. . . kind of a year in review!


- got back from the family cruise!! (so much fun!!! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa!!)


- I went on a scrapbooking retreat with my mom (again. . . so much fun!!!)

- Grandma and Grandpa Bennion decide that they like to stay in St. George for about 6 months of the year (I do not quite agree that this is the best way for them to spend their retired years!! I think that they should just stay at home which is 5 minutes away from my house, because I miss them too much!!)


- hmmmm . . . not really a memorable month


- Abby turns 7!! She gets baptized next year!!


- I turn 28

- Jason and Suzanne get married on my birthday (I warned them that the weather would be terrible, but did they listen???? NO!!)

- Anne turns 6

- 2 days before Mother's Day, I find out that our little Bobby has died and I need to deliver him (we had thought it was a boy until then)

- May 15, 2007 our angel baby Robin Jean Comin was born

- find out that Bobby is a girl and change her name to Robin Jean from Bobby Douglas James

- funeral for our little angel (she is buried with my Nana, so I feel better about it)


- Dustin turns 2!!!


- Go to Ottawa for Jason and Suzanne's wedding reception and leave the kiddies at home!!! (SO MUCH FUN!!

- Go to cabin where Abby learns to wakeboard for the first time and jumps off the highest cliff (such a brave girl!!)

- Abby swims to the buoy and back without a lifejacket

- kids catch fishies

- learn all about what Jason's kids are going to be like when they are 2 . . . it's great!! I should post the video

- kids are exposed, yet again, to the speedo

- Dustin participates in speedo and moustache day

- Our friends the Sherwoods come out to the cabin with us and we all have tons of fun (even if the weather sucked!!!)

- find out I am pregnant again (YAY!!!)


- go to farm!


- School starts and Abby is in grade 2, Anne in grade 1, Caroline is in preschool

- It's FINALLY Caroline's birthday and we have so much fun with her!!

- move into the new house


- have Thanksgiving for the family at our new house

- Halloween (the girls are all princesses and Dustin is their knight in shining armour)


- Otto's birthday
- decorate for Christmas

- Abby and Anne's school concert (Abby had a lead role)
- Helped my friend Annette cater her Aunt's wedding
- Two of my cousins get married on the same day
- cater the two cousins' receptions
- have a New Year's party

As I look over this year, I realize that even though we have had alot of ups and downs, what matters most is that we spent this time together. I am so grateful that I have such a wonderful little family and I hope that as they grow up that they will still enjoy spending so much time together as we do now.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!

Right now it is 1:26 am on Christmas morning. I am sitting on my bed, watching a Christmas Carol and Otto and I are trying to figure out a way to empty our cameras so that we will be able to take pictures and video tomorrow. My children are all snuggled in their beds dreaming about Santa and presents!! My in-laws are cozily sleeping away. . . hopefully dreaming about the presents that they don't even know they are about to get tomorrow.

Santa has come. He was very generous!! The kids have been soooo good this year and will be so excited to see what Santa has brought them. We have decided to open our presents on our main floor, right beside Robin's memorial tree. I am so sad that we do not have our little Angel baby with us this year, but we do plan on visiting her gravesite tomorrow afternoon.

I truly believe that everyone should have the wonderful opportunity to experience Christmas through the eyes of a child. Today was a magical day, which will continue through to tomorrow!! It has been nice to have Otto's mom and step-father here with us. The kids have enjoyed playing with them throughout the day and I enjoyed Bob's company while I was baking pies for tonight. I always love getting the kids ready to go to Christmas Dinner and putting them into their Christmas outfits and doing their hair! Then off to my mother's house we went and there we met up with my family, my cousins and my brother's sister-in-law and her fiance. We had a really yummy Christmas dinner. After that we put on the family nativity pagent. My kids had fun doing that, and I really enjoyed being behind the scenes.

Then we had our family talent show. Caroline and I sang "Must be Santa" together. (Dustin decided to join in!) Caroline loves that song and we always sing it together in the car. I really wanted her to sing it tonight so that I could get it on video. Caroline is EXTREMELY shy so I wasn't sure how she would do, and she sang loud and proud and she was ADORABLE!!! I was so proud of her. Then Anne playedher Christmas song on the piano and Abby wowed us all with her cello performance of "Jingle Bells". It was fun to watch her play the cello in front of people. We had some funny songs, jigs, one man bands, and then some spiritual songs, capped off by the tradition of Mary's Lullaby and the Angel's Carol.

There is always some comfort in traditions, and I really enjoyed being at the dinner tonight with my children. When we got the kids home, we opened our pj's and put them on. Then we sang "Happy Birthday" to Jesus and ate cake. Abby and Anne wrote their letter to Santa with the help of Grandma Wilson and then it was off to bed for the kiddies.

Everyone in my household seems to be asleep right now, except for me because I just can't wait until tomorrow morning, bright and early, when I will wake up the kids because I can't stand the anticipation any more. I can't wait to see their faces light up when they see what Santa has brought them!!!

I love Christmas! It really brings me so many feelings of peace, joy and comfort. And even though this is a very sad Christmas for me because I am still mourning the loss of my little angel Robin, I am also rejoicing in the love and excitement that I feel with my kids, especially at this time of year!!

I sincerely wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. May you all find peace and love through the holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


As I am busy getting ready for Christmas to come, I have been thinking about why I am doing everything that I am doing. And the reason seems to be because I love my family.
- It is because I love my Abby that I went and volunteered at her school all day when I had a bizillion other things that needed to be done.
- It is because I love my Abby and Anne that we went out for lunch yesterday at lunchtime and had so much fun together.
- It is because Otto and I love the kiddies that we all went to the Highwood golf course and walked around and looked at all of the lights.
- It is because I love my girlies that I am going to all of their play performances even though I have already seen their play.
- It is because I love my son that I let him play with playdough even though it gets EVERYWHERE!!!
- It is because I love my cousin Matthew that I am getting his food ready and helping his fiance with her hair and make-up on the morning of her wedding (3 days after Christmas)
- It is because I love my cousin Blake that I am making 20 wedding cakes for him and dipping 300 strawberries in chocolate for his wedding reception (the day after Matthew's)
- It is because I love my friend Annette that I am catering her aunt's wedding this Saturday
- It is because I love my mother that I am helping her get ready for the family dinner on Christmas Eve.
- It is because I love my parents, siblings, Uncle Garry, Aunt Judi, cousins and my Grandma Lee that I am making 5 pies (from scratch) for Christmas Eve Dinner.
- It is because I love my children, siblings and extended family that I rewrote our nativity pagent and organized the family talent show for Christmas Eve.
- It is because I love my Grandma and Grandpa Bennion that I am making beans for Christmas dinner on Christmas day.
- It is because I love my husband that I have invited my mother-in-law and her husband to sleep over on the 23rd and 24th so that Otto can spend some time with his mother.

Because I have been blessed by such a wonderful family, I love to do things for them. I love to spend time with them and I love the Christmas Season because it forces me to spend time with the people that I love and do things with them that I wouldn't normally do the rest of the year. (However see my earlier post for my point of view on Christmas Weddings!!).

What so you love doing with your family at Christmas?

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Have you ever tried to accomplish something only to have everything completely fall apart? That was me this morning as I was trying to bake one of the wedding cakes for my cousin's wedding. It started out with me not being able to find my specific recipe (after I have already ordered enough ingredients to make 20 of these cakes). . . I solved that by borrowing the special wedding cake bible from my friend (who just happens to be the person who is going to be making the large wedding cake for them). After that, it seemed as though I couldn't find the chocolate and the butter, and I was having a terrible time with the eggs. Eventually everything sorted itself out and I got the cake mixed and put into the oven.

The wedding cakes that I am making are actually two layered chocolate tortes. A chocolate torte has no flour, baking powder and baking soda in it. Because of this, I assumed that it would not rise. . . . guess what, I was wrong. I filled the springform pans right to the rim because I need these cakes to be 3" tall and that is the height of the pans. Well, while I was baking the cakes I started to smell this wonderful aroma of chocolate cake. So, of course I went to the oven to check it out. I gasped as I saw that my cakes were actually two inches taller than the cake pans, and had started to bake onto the rack above them. Knowing that there was nothing I could do at this point, I shut the oven and prayed for a miracle. . . . it didn't come!! When the cakes had finished baking, I determined that it would probably be easier for me to take the rack above them off than to try and slide the cakes out from underneath the racks. (Remember how I said that the cakes had baked onto the rack above them?) It was working pretty well until I got to the end of the rack where you have to dip the backside down in order to take it out of the oven. As I did this, it dipped right into the cakes and the cakes basically exploded all over the oven. Well, I also noticed that the middle of the cakes were completely not done, so using tongs I scraped out as much of the exploded cakes as I could and I continued to bake the cakes until the middles were done.

Apparently I hadn't gotten all of the pieces of cake out of the oven, so my house got completely covered in smoke! The kids came downstairs and asked what was wrong and I told them that it was no big deal, mommy was just burning some wedding cakes. They seemed to accept this with no argument and went on their merry ways. Well, finally the cakes finished and I pulled them out of the oven. They look great, and hopefully they won't taste like burnt cake.

Because all of this happened right before we left for church this morning, all during church I could smell burnt cake. It must have gotten into my hair and our clothing. As I am sitting here writing this, I have asked myself what I have learned through this experience. . . . and the answer is. . . NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A LITTLE CAKE!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Weddings at Christmas

I LOVE Christmas. I can't say it enough. I LOVE my family and being with them and celebrating with them. For all of you who are not married and reading this, I am begging you to think about your families when you decide to plan a wedding. I know that it seems as though things would be easier to have a wedding at Christmas when everyone comes home for Christmas, but wouldn't it be more fun if you could have everyone come up again at another time of year?

I am saying this because my sister got married last year, right before Christmas and while I was extremely excited for her, she had one reception right before Christmas and one right after and it felt as though we just did Christmas because we had to and we didn't get a chance to really celebrate it. I vowed that this year I would give Christmas the proper celebrating that it deserves, and then two of my cousins decided to get married right after Christmas and I am catering one of them and getting the food for the other one. Again, I love my cousins, and I am extremely excited for them. . . and I am more than happy to help out in any way that I can. I am just saying that next year. . . and for the following years. . . I would like to be able to focus on Christmas at this time of year and not have to know that my family is stressed getting ready for another wedding. . . . Jenna and Kristin. . . I will pay whatever it takes if I have to fly somewhere to attend your weddings as long as they are NOT at Christmas time. . . . if you do decide that Christmastime is best, I already have plans!!! (just kidding, I will attend, but I might be a bit grumpy!!)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Family is What Matters Most

The one thing that I have learned over this past year is how important my family is to me. I don't know what I would have done without them when Robin was born, when I was putting in new flooring in my old house, when I was cleaning and organizing the old house to get it ready to show, when I moved and especially at this holiday season.
I was very fortunate to marry the most wonderful husband whom I love deeply. We are best friends and we are soooooo very different from each other that for some reason it seems to work!! This past weekend we were able to have Otto's brother Jason and his family come and sleep over for one night. Jason and his wife Lisa have 6 boys and their babies are twins. They came on Friday so that they could take their older boys to go see a Christmas Carol here in Calgary. It was fun being able to play with all of them and to have them here. Otto and I took turns calming the twins down because if one wasn't crying, the other one was until they finally went to sleep at about 9:30. It was fun, but it made me really feel for Lisa and wonder how she ever gets anything done!! She is amazing!! I loved hearing my kids playing the Wii with their cousins and having a fooseball tournament! On Saturday, while I was either cooking or cleaning I would just listen to all of the laughter and the commotion that was going on (Otto and Jason left us with all 10 kids while they went shopping). My house has never had so many boys in it, but all of the kids had so much fun and I really enjoyed spending that time with Jason and Lisa. I was kind of sad when they left because the house got really quiet again and I realized how much I love spending time with them.
On Sunday we invited my family to come over for dinner because I really wanted my mom and dad to see my house all decorated at Christmas time. My mom collects nativities and she loves Christmas just as much as I do and so I was so excited to show her my nativities and my decorations that I was able to do this year. We counted and it turns out that I have 44 nativity sets that are all unique from each other. Some of them come from Cambodia and other countries from the east, some are made out of unique materials, some represent different cultures and some are just cutsie!! I love it when all of my nativity sets are up and all of my lights and garlands are out. It makes me feel all warm and cozy inside. It was so nice to have my parents, Kristin and my brother Jason with his wife Suzanne (yes, both Otto and I have brothers named Jason. . . . ask me about my in-laws name one time and you will see how confusing my life can get sometimes!!) and their little dog Max come over. Max and our dog Zeke are pals and it is so fun to watch them play together. They are like two brothers who play, wrestle and hang out when they get together. It is really fun! My kids may not have any cousins on this side yet, but it seems as though my dog does!
Having so much family come over this weekend has really made me appreciate how blessed I am to have so many loved ones. I just feel grateful that I am part of these two families and having Robin has really made me have a deeper love for them. After having my sweet little angel baby, I have realized that the most important thing to me is my family and they may frustrate me at times, but I truly do love them and I love spending so much time with them.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

I do believe in Santa Clause

My cousin made another post on her blog that has made me think about thing again. She wanted to know whether it was better to "lie" to your children and teach them about Santa Clause, or to be completely honest with them and tell them that there is no Santa Clause. I just wanted to post on my blog what my response was to her. Her question has really made me think, and the following response is what I truly do believe. Let me know what you think because I want to know if I am alone in this out there, or if the world is starting to lose the Spirit of Christmas for "honesty".

Way to go on the controversial topic Michelle!! As the mother of 4, here is my point of view. When I was little, my mother told me this story, and I do think that it is sort of the way that the whole Santa Clause thing got started. . . but has now been forgotten and sometimes can get a little out of hand:
Giving presents at Christmas time is something that started as a way to remember that the wise men brought gifts to the Christ Child to celebrate His birth. From what I was told (by my mother, of course) was that there was a man named Santa Clause who would notice that during the celebration of Christmas there were many poor children who wouldn’t get gifts, so he would go out and get them something that they needed (like new socks, or new clothes or shoes or something like that) and would drop it on their door step on Christmas Eve so that when they would wake up in the morning, they would have something new from someone that they had never met. People found out what this Santa Clause did and started carrying on the tradition. Apparently the Catholic church even made him a saint which is how we get St. Nicholas.
So, when it comes to your debate, when I hear you asking if I should be teaching my kids about Santa Clause. . . I wholeheartidly say, “yes”. Why would I not teach my children about how important it is to give something to others?We spend a lot of time at Christmas, in our house, talking about the story of Christ’s birth. I collect nativities and so the children are surrounded by reminders of the real reason to celebrate Christmas. Since giving and getting presents didn’t originate with the creation of this mythic “Santa Clause”, I do not feel as though I am teaching my children two different messages at Christmas. I feel that the story of Santa Clause coinsides with the story of the birth of the Christchild. I mean, isn’t that what Jesus would do? Did he not come and give to the poor and the needy?
That being said, my children are neither poor nor needy, but there is a magic at Christmas that you feel especially when you are around young children who still believe in Santa Clause. I don’t think that because they are receiving presents from a “mythical” being who symbolizes unselfishness and goodness is necessarily something that will make them mistrust me when they are older. Even after my mom told me about Santa, I believed, as I still do that there is something special about Christmas when you go to bed at night and you feel happy and good, and you feel at peace with yourself and with the world. . . and you wake up with the excitement of knowing that the following day will be filled with happiness and surprises and you get to feel special all day long because people have taken the time to think about you and get you a present that they know that you will like.
As for the whole differences in religion with the Jewish religion and the Muslim religion, it is a simple answer. Different people believe different things. Just because they do not get Santa on Christmas Eve, doesn’t mean that they do not get the opportunity to celebrate their beliefs. From my research, every religion has something special that they celebrate, and it may not be at this time of year, but they do get it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm Done!!

Yay!!! I can hardly believe it!!! Christmas, here I come!! I have finally finished getting ALL of my Christmas presents. . .stocking stuffers. . . . teacher presents. . . presents for my piano students. . . presents for my family. . . presents for Otto's family. . . etc. I finished this morning with my 3 trips to Superstore!!! One for presents/stocking stuffers, one to help my Grandma (whom I love and it was a pleasure!!), and one for my family's groceries (believe it or not, we still have to eat. . . interesting hey??). All I have to do now is wrap this mountain of presents and I will be done!! Otto's brother Jason, and his family are coming up to stay with us this weekend, so I will have to start the wrapping next week. . . but that's okay with me. . . at least I am finished!!!!
Hey. . . how's your shopping going?

Monday, December 3, 2007

Keep going up

I hope that I don't sound grumpy with this blog, because I actually am quite happy with the result.
I have been having troubles with the bank charging me extra service fees. I had called in the summer and thought that everything had been resolved, but when I was checking my account information today, I saw that I had been charged for the old fees. To give you an idea as to how much extra I am paying in service fees, I will tell you that the difference between what I should be paying in a year and what I AM paying in a year is $180. That is just for the priviledge of being able to have a bank account with the bank. ( and that is the DIFFERENCE between the two!!!) I personally think that this is alot of extra money that I am basically just handing over to the bank for no reason.
In the summer, they said that they were sorry and they would correct the bank charges. I was happy with that. Today. . . well, let's just say that I wasn't impressed. I called the bank and very calmly explained what the problem was and how they had said that it was fixed in the summer and how it didn't get fixed. The lady kept on saying that they had no record that I had even called and that she could do nothing about it. She kept on saying that I must have done it through the branch. I told her, that I did not do anything through the branch because they are the hardest people to try and get ahold of so I had called the main center and they had done it for me. I even gave her exact dates, and detailed descriptions of what had gone on. She kept on telling me that nothing was wrong and that there was nothing they could do.
Okay, now my mother would be proud. . . . here it comes. . . are you ready? She told me that she was going to transfer me to the branch so that I could take it up with them. I told her that instead of doing that, she needed to give me to someone who was higher up than her. She got flustered and told me that he wouldn't be able to see anything that she couldn't see. I told her that that was okay and that I would talk to him anyways. So, I got put on hold for 10 minutes. When she came back, she told me that her supervisor couldn't see anything different and so she was going to transfer me to the branch. I was very frustrated so I said FINE. Well, about 5 minutes later she came back onto the phone and informed me that the branch was closed on Mondays and did I want their number so that I could call them. Ummmmm. . . does this question sound as absurd to you as it did to me? I asked her that if the branch was closed, why on earth would I call them? It would do me no good. I then asked her to tell me why the branch would be able to help me when the main office couldn't. She told me that they had a different system. I then asked her what specifically they could access that she couldn't because all of my files are sent to the main office? She gave me the run around for a minute or two more and then. . . . are you excited yet. . . . she put me on hold.
I sat there patiently. . . there was no way I was going to hang up now. . . I had been on the phone for an hour with her. . . .seriously, I got an entire load of laundry done in the time that I had a conversation with her. She got back on the phone and quickly told me that the main supervisor was also on the line and he was going to take over.
Let me say that there is an angel up in heaven named Neil. He was VERY nice and he asked me to explain what had happened and what I would like for them to do. When I told him, he said that I was a very good customer of theirs and that he valued my business and that my request was very reasonable. He then said he would take care of it personally and he gave me his direct line so that if I ever have a problem again, I can call him personally!
Generally speaking, I am very understanding when it comes to customer service. I have had to deal with issues from customers myself, and so I try to be as nice and as patient as I can. However, I have also been taught by my parents (who both have slight problems with authority themselves) that if someone says something to you that doesn't make sense. . . call them on it because if they don't know, they should just say so and not make something up. Like I said, I try to be as understanding as I can, but if I don't understand why you are telling me something that doesn't make sense. . . I will ask you about it. . . and I won't stop until I understand fully what you are telling me. Does this make me rude? I don't think so. . . my mom would say it is called getting things done!
So what is the moral that I want my kids to learn from this???? If someone tells you something that doesn't make sense to you, ask for someone higher up on the authority chain than them. They won't like it, but it will get things done!

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I have been listening to Josh Grobin's new Christmas CD. It is FABULOUS!!!!! One of the songs on there is called "Thankful". I loved it so much that I bought the sheet music so that I can sing it whenever I want. Another bonus of owning the sheet music is that I get to have a written copy of all of the lyrics. I want to share the lyrics with you because they have really hit home with me:

Some days we forget to look around us
Some days we can't see the joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give

So for tonight we pray for
what we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
what we still can't see.
It's up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond ourselves, there's so much sorrow.
It's way to late to say, "I'll cry tomorrow."
Each of us must find our truth;
It's so long overdue.

So for tonight we pray for
what we know can be.
And every day we hope for
what we still can't see.
It's us to us, to be the change
And even though we all can still do more,
There's so much to be thankful for.

Even with our differences,
there is a place we're all connected.
Each of us can find each other's light.

So for tonight, we pray for
What we know can be,
And on this day we hope for
What we still can't see.
It's up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more
There's so much to be thankful for.

This song is soooo beautiful and it's message is so inspiring. I love that it is on his Christmas album because it seems as though at this time of year, people start to see what is really going on around them and they start to be a little more helpful, and a little more understanding. I really love the first verse when it talks about how we get so caught up inside ourselves that we can't see the joy that surrounds us. I know that this happens to me frequently. I get worried about my contractions, or my kids, or whatever else, and I get bogged down so that I can't see all of the wonderful things that are happening all around me that do bring me joy. I fail to notice how wonderful my family is and how much I love my new house. I forget to remember that the whole reason I celebrate Christmas isn't because this was the day that the Savior was born. . . .babies are born every day. I celebrate Christmas because on the day that the Savior was born, he gave the world hope for redemption. It wasn't Christ's birth that saves us from our sins, it was his Atonement. Without the atonement he would have just been another baby. I love how much hope and peace I feel at this time of year. And, yes, the world does need so much more. . . . but there is so much to be thankful for.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Today was the last Friday Forum that I am doing. I got everything ready for it, and then I started to have contractions. Because I was worried about them getting worse, I called the Institute Director's wife and asked her if she would take the food to the institute for me. She was an angel and she did it for me. I felt bad because I couldn't fulfill my responsibilites that I had committed to, but she assured me that everything went well and I am sure that it did.
Tomorrow is my cookie exchange/family party. It has been hard to get ready for it with all of these contractions, but my wonderful husband and beautiful girlies have been such a big help! Even though it wasn't the way that I would have preferred to spend my Friday night, it certainly is rewarding to be able to walk around and know that the house is clean and that we spent time together as a family to do it. Tomorrow night, my cousin, Katie Bennion is going to babysit the girls and then sleep over. I don't know who is more excited. . . Katie or the girlies. . . I just hope that they all have fun! I am excited for them to all spend the evening together while Otto and I go to his work party. I just hope that my contractions stop because I sure do have a busy day tomorrow and it will be a lot more fun if I am not in pain all day!
Until tomorrow!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Expo Latino

This morning, Abby and Anne both performed in an Expo Latino that was put on by their school. It was put on to show the diverse cultures of the Latino countries. Otto was at work, so I reluctantly took Caroline and Dustin by myself (trust me, this is not an easy task!!). I was early enough to get a front row seat and watch my two beautiful girls do their dances. Abby's dance was actually a bunch of children's dance games that was really neat to watch. Anne's dance was the national dance of Columbia. Both of the girls were dressed in pretty, colorful dresses and both of them looked great!!
As I was watching my girlies dance on the stage, I was so proud of them. Not just because both of my kids have great rythym (which they get from me of course. . . .their daddy is an engineer. . . need I say more?), but because my girls are learning more than just a language. For those of you who don't know, both Abby and Anne attend a Spanish school. Otto served a mission in Chile and felt strongly that he wanted his children to learn Spanish. I was a bit concerned because I don't speak the language, but it has turned out to be great! I am learning more and more spanish every day and watching the girls learn about other cultures makes me so happy. These girls are learning about countries that have different backgrounds than theirs. They are learning that there are people in this world who don't have the same quality of life that they have, and yet they are happy. They are learning about other religions and thus asking more questions about their own religion. They are learning about other holidays and having fun doing it. They are able to taste food from other parts of the world and attend festivals that celebrate these cultures. Having the girls attend a Spanish school has really taught them more about life than just about a language.
When Caroline and I were waiting for the concert to begin, she noticed that there were some blankets on the wall that looked like the ones that we got when we went on our family cruise to Mexico. She also noticed a dress that looked like the one that she also got down there. It made me really want to go back to Mexico with the kids because we had so much fun down there. The girls were able to speak Spanish to the merchants at the markets and everyone wanted to touch their heads because they hadn't ever seen such fair children speak such good spanish. The girls were so proud of themselves when they got to buy their special Mexical dolls themselves and they loved attending a concert that taught them about the history of the Latino culture through dance.
All in all, I have to say that there are many decisions that I have made in my life that I wish that I could change, but sending my girls to a school that teaches them more than just a language, is probably one of the best decisions that I have ever made. Would I do it again. . . . YES!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Naughty or Nice

Okay, I have to write this entry quickly because I have to start teaching piano lessons any minute. I LOVE Christmas!! Have I mentioned that before? I especially love this time of year because of my kids. One of the perks of having children during this time of year is the whole Santa Clause thing. Every parent should take advantage (as I do) of the fact that Santa is always watching to see if you are being naughty or nice. If my kids are being bratty, I remind them that Santa can see them and he knows that they are being naughty. If they do something nice, I say, "Good thing Santa was watching" to encourage them to do it again.
Well, yesterday Caroline was being . . . well . . . a monster!!! (That's what my brother calls her anyways.) I had told her several times to straighten out because Santa was watching her. She didn't care (she is kinda stubborn. . . must get it from Otto). The last straw came when I went upstairs and walked into my bonus room. The ENTIRE room was COVERED in toilet paper!!! Seriously. . . she must have used 10 rolls of toiletpaper to be that thorough. I knew that it was her because the big girls hadn't been home all day, Dustin had been asleep, and I had asked her earlier to bring me some toilet paper for our downstairs bathroom. I asked her if it was her, and she defiantly told me that she had done it. I then informed her that Santa was DEFINTATLY NOT GOING TO BRING HER ANY PRESENTS BECAUSE SHE WAS SOOOOO NAUGHTY.
Hmmmmm. . . .all of a sudden her attitude changed and she decided that she did want presents from Santa. So she started crying and telling me that she promised that she would be a good girl. I was still mad, so I told her No and that it was too late. Santa had seen her being too naughty.
Well, after I calmed down a bit we had a talk and I told her that if she wanted Santa to come she would have to clean up all of the toilet paper herself and be an extra good girl until Christmas and then MAYBE Santa MIGHT bring her a present. Caroline agreed to this and thought that it may work out for her.
Today I had to brave the roads (it was very snowy) and take the kids with me to Ikea. Both of them were really good. After we left the store, I told them how proud I was of them because they were so good and the first thing to pop out of Caroline's mouth was "Will Santa bring me toys now?" I laughed and told her that it would take a long time to convince Santa that he should bring her toys, so she needed to be good for a long time.
I honestly think that every parent should take advantage of this whole Santa thing. . . . Caroline has been an angel all day!! I wonder how much longer it will work?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My Sister

On Thursday Amanda and Dayln arranged for us to all go out to dinner because they were coming into town on their way to Cardston. We went out for chinese food at our family's favorite restaurant. . . Leo Fu's. At the end of the dinner Amanda and Dayln had arranged for us to all open some special fortune cookies that they had prepared for us. The waitress had forgotten, so she had brought us out some regular fortune cookies, and then later she brought us out the special ones that announced that Amanda and Dayln are expecting and they are due in July. Jenna was up in Edmonton, making Thanksgiving dinner for her friends (that's my girl!!) so Amanda had told her the night before. We are all so excited for Amanda and Dayln.
Even though I have known since Thursday, I didn't want to post it on my blog until I was sure that Amanda and Dayln had had the chance to tell his family. I thought that it was only fair. When we were driving home from the dinner, I told Otto that I had a feeling that Amanda didn't think that I was excited for her. I am very excited for her. I have just been going through this whole thing with Robin. . . and I am a little envious of Amanda. When Otto and I got pregnant with Abby, my mom was at a craftshow. We told my dad and he said that he was glad for us. We then called my mom and she said, "Oh. . . put your father on the phone." That was a bit of a downer, but we were still excited. When Amanda announced that they were having a baby, my mom was excited and jumped up and gave Amanda a hug and shed a tear or two. My dad also cried and told Amanda how excited they were and then cried again. I just kind of wished that they had had a similar reaction when we had told them about Abby, and then Anne. With Caroline, my mom was excited and she started squeeling and clapping really fast. . . then she remembered that they were going on a cruise so I got the admonition that I was to have the baby before the cruise (which I did, she left 2 days after Caroline was born). When we announced that we were pregnant with Dustin they acted pleased. But when we found out he was a boy, I thought that my mom was going to pee herself because she was so excited. My parents kind of found out in a round about way that we were pregnant with Robin, so I can't really blame them for not being excited. I had told my Grandma Bennion first, on our family cruise, and she leaned over to apologize for not acting really excited to me at dinner, and good old keen ears Christie heard and said, "What?? You're pregnant? And so my mom said, "What. . . you ARE pregnant?" That was the last I heard about that. With this baby, I was at the cabin and I told my mom very first, and she cried because she was so excited for me. We then talked about whether or not I thought I could do Camp Croppin' for her this year (her major scrapbooking convention that her company holds every year), and we both figured that with a bit of planning, I should have no problems doing it.
Not all of my parents reactions were bad, I was just envious about the first one because ours wasn't that big of a deal. . . that combined with the fact that I am sad about Robin, and the fact that I am pregnant and I am a very grumpy pregnant woman, I am quite sure that Amanda thought that I wasn't happy for her. I am. I am excited that at least Lee will have a cousin on my side of the family to play with so that all of my kids won't be completely bored whenever we have a family get together. I am excited to watch Amanda learn about being pregnant and watch her be a mother. I am excited to hear about all of the wonderful things that are going on in her pregnancy and after their baby is born I am excited to give her tips. I really am excited to have a neice or nefew on this side of the family. My sisters all compete with each other to see who is the best auntie. . . but they haven't seen anything yet!! Just ask my other nefews!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Much Better

It's Saturday morning and as the busy hussle and bustle of the day begins I decided that I had better sit down and write a quick note after my last post. Otto and I took a quick jaunt down to the temple yesterday, and all I can say is, "Thank goodness for the temple!" I feel more at peace now, and everything doesn't seem so overwhelming. I am still worried about a few things, but I am going to try not to dwell on them. With 4 crazy monkeys at home, it's easy to make myself busy so I don't have time to think.
Thank you for your wonderful comments, I really appreciated them. It was really nice to read some supportive words this morning after being at the temple yesterday.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sad and Depressing

This entry is going to probably be sad and depressing, so don't read it if you aren't in the mood. I won't be offended! In fact, I will probably not even know. I have been going through a bit of a hard time lately. When Otto and I had our stillborn baby, Robin in May, we were able to get through it. I have no regrets about anything that had to do with her birth and the way we handled her death and her funeral. I have actually felt quite at peace with everything and I am glad that we chose to do things the way that we did.
However, now I seem to be going through a whole mixture of conflicting emotions and I don't know how to deal with it. I think that some of it has to do with the fact that I am pregnant again and we are getting excited to have little baby Lee join our family, and some of it has to do with the fact that it is getting close to Christmas time and I was expecting to have a little baby to fuss over, and most of it has to do with the fact that she was not born alive, so I never got to really be her mommy. These are all hard things for me to face.
When I first had Robin, I wanted to look at all of her things all of the time. Otto and I bought a beautiful white memorial box to keep her things inside of and it was hard for me when I had to put everything inside of that box. I keep pictures of her on my laptop, which I used to look at every day, and my mom bought me a whole bunch of items to help me remember her, which I had all over my old house. I belong to a bunch of online support groups which have helped me because I have been able to talk about Robin as much as I want to other women who are going through the same thing as me. Otto has been really good about everything and has let me talk about things, even though it is hard for him to even hear her name.
Now, however, things have changed. I want to visit my baby's grave, but at the same time, I don't want to go when the rest of my family is with me, which means that I can never go. Every time Otto goes to the gravesite, he cries, and so I put off going because I can't be strong for him right now, but I feel so bad and guilty for not going. It seems to be one of two places where I can be close to my baby, but we haven't been able to buy her a headstone, so the only thing that commemorates this little child that we had is a stick in the ground by my Nana's headstone. That is also really hard for me to look at because I feel that she deserves more than that. I am scared to look in Robin's memorial box because I know that I will burst into tears, and I don't want to cry any more. I have a hard time dealing with the fact that she is really not here. I haven't been able to bring myself to look at all of the pictures that we took of her at the hospital because it reminds me of how broken her body was when she was born and that breaks my heart because as her mother I want everything to always be perfect for my children and that was one big thing that I couldn't give her.
Being pregnant with Lee has been an emotional roller coaster. I am so worried that something is going to happen with him, but at the same time, I am soooo excited that Dustin is going to have a little brother. Right now I am 23 weeks along and when I was this far along with Robin, she had already died, but I didn't know it so I was still oblivious to the fact that she wasn't alive. It brings a lot of feelings of guilt to me because I still believe that I could feel her move. Whenever I feel Lee kicking, I think to myself that this was the exact feeling I had when I was pregnant with Robin, but she wasn't actually doing anything. It is the weirdest feeling I have ever had because I don't know how to deal with that fact.
I love Christmas!!! I am probably the biggest Christmas fanatic that you will ever meet. This year, even though I am totally excited for Christmas to come, I am also dreading it. I miss Robin so much every day. I am really dreading Christmas Eve because she won't get to be baby Jesus in the family nativity pagent, and when I see Mary holding a doll instead of her, I don't think that I will be able to handle it. I really feel as though someone is missing in my family and that is hard for me to deal with right now.
As I mentioned earlier, part of this is probably just me being pregnant and so my hormones are all over the place. I do know that I will get through this, and even though I am having all of these conflicting emotions, I am usually okay. . . . it's just in those quiet moments when I have time to stop and think about things that I don't know what to do.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pizza and Slurpees

As I was running around doing errands today, I started thinking about all of the things that I need to get ready before December 1st so that we can start doing all of our family traditions. I know that I have already written that we do follow alot of my parent's traditions, but there are a few that are our own. One such tradition is that on Christmas Eve, at lunch time we always have Pizza and Slurpees. I always giggle to myself when I think about it because it makes me remember the origins of that tradition.
When Otto was in school and Abby and Anne were just little babies there was a year when my Grandma and Grandpa Bennion were out of town (we usually have dinner on Christmas Day) visiting my Aunt Christie for Christmas. On Christmas Eve we did the usual dinner with the Lee side (and what a party it always is). On Christmas Day, we did our Christmas thing at our house and then we went over to my parent's house to open presents with them. We had lunch with them and then they asked us if we were going to go home to have naps. Well, we took the hint and we left. At about 4:00, Otto and I realized that we hadn't made any dinner plans for Christmas Day. We weren't going to be able to go to my Bennion Grandparent's house, Grandma Lee was spending the day with Uncle Garry, my parents made it obvious that we needed to be elsewhere, and Otto's family all lived out of town. It was the weirdest feeling. I didn't have any groceries, but we figured that since movie theatres were open on Christmas Day, restaurants would be too. NOPE!! We drove around for 2 hours looking for somewhere to eat. The girls had fallen asleep in the back, but I was getting really hungry.
Finally, I remembered that I had some frozen pizza in the freezer, and we swung by good old 7-11 and picked up some slurpees to go with it. So that year, on Christmas Day, we had a healthy little family dinner of pizza and slurpees.
Otto and I have decided to incorporate this event into our yearly traditions to help us remember that day. I want to make sure that we remember it so that the kids can learn how important it is to 1 - plan ahead and 2 - make sure that no one is ever forgotten. Whenever I think about that day, I always giggle to myself because who would have thought that I would not have made sure that we had plans on Christmas day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Every year I sing in our church's production of Handel's Messiah. It may not be the most professional performance that there is, but we do have strings and a chorus of 185 people. Throughout the years I have had many disappointments in the production because I have auditioned for a solo part and didn't get it, or things weren't conducted the way that I would have done it. Yet, I still continue to sing in it, year after year. This year, I asked myself why and here is the answer that I have come up with.
I truly believe that Handel was inspired when he wrote that music. Every word is taken directly out of the scriptures and every word speaks of Christ. When I sing that music and forget about everything else that is going on, I become overwhelmed. The power of the words in Messiah, combined with the music brings a feeling inside of me that I just can't describe. I feel as though I am truly singing praises to my Savior. Every time I sing it, something pops out at me. I learn something new about the Savior's life every year, and every year I am amazed by it.
This year, I am having a hard time listening to the pastoral symphony because that is supposed to represent when the Savior was born. It is just too hard for me because it makes me miss my little baby. But then we start singing the words to the other songs in the oratorio and I soon forget about my own little sorrow and I start to feel glad. I especially have loved listening to the soprano aria "I know that my Redeemer liveth". The part that I love the most about it is that it says that although worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. That reminds me that even though Robin's body was broken and not perfect, when she is resurrected she will be perfect and when I get to see her again, she will be perfect.
That just makes me want to sing Hallelujah.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come From A Store. . . .

Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. I know that this is true, but sometimes there are things from a store that can make Christmas fun. I have just gotten back from buying all of my kids' Christmas presents and now I can't wait for Christmas to come. Having little children has made Christmas sooo magical. I remember when I was a little girl that I couldn't wait for Christmas. My mom would decorate the house so beautifully, make cookies, make nuts and bolts, do crafts with us, do advent calendars with us, make us do service projects and just make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas Eve was always my most favorite day of the year. We would spend the day playing and then we would get all dressed up and go over to a relative's house for Christmas Dinner, after that we would act out the Nativity (with most of the girls secretly wishing they could be Mary) and have a talent show. After that we would talk with our Grandparents and they would tell us about their childhoods. After we would go home, we would carry out the presents, one by one while listening to Christmas music. We would then open up our Christmas pj's. After changing into our new pj's we would read out of the "nice box" (this is a box that was full of pieces of paper with good deeds that we had done written on them), eat cookies, set out our stockings, and write a letter to Santa.
For most kids Christmas Day is the most exciting day of the year, and I did enjoy it, but with all of the traditions that we did on Christmas Eve combined with the excitement of what Santa was going to bring us made Christmas Eve the most wonderful day of the year. I could NEVER sleep on Christmas Eve, and so my parents had to set a time limit as to how early I could wake up on Christmas Morning. I would wake up every hour. As I grew older and became a teenager and no longer believed in Santa I would still have trouble sleeping because I was so excited for my younger siblings.
Tonight I just got back from shopping for my kids' Christmas presents. I really wish that Christmas was tomorrow because I am so excited to see my kids' faces when they wake up on Christmas morning. For the most part I do the same traditions that my mother did when I was a kid, but there are a few things that we do differently. I really wanted the kids to remember why we are celebrating Christmas, so instead of eatin cookies on Christmas Eve, we bring out a birthday cake, put a candle on it and sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. On Christmas Eve, the kids do not bring out the presents to put under the tree. I keep them all wrapped up in my closet and then on Christmas Morning when the kids wake up, Santa has taken all of the presents out of my closet and put them under the tree. It is really magical, and I love seeing the kids' faces when they see all of the presents under the tree! I still have problems sleeping on Christmas Eve, and by 6 am, Otto has usually had it and he lets me wake the kids up so that we can open presents. I just don't think that this will ever change. I hope that when they are teenagers that there will be some way for us to keep the magic of Christmas because it is truely the most wonderful time of the year!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My Cousin

I was reading my cousin's blog the other day and it really got me thinking. She was talking about fate and choices and what it was exactly that got her to where she is today. I started thinking about my own choices. I know that I have made some choices that are not all that common. I chose to get married at the tender age of 19. I chose to have 2 babies within a year of each other. I have chosen to become pregnant with baby number 6. I have chosen to be a stay at home mom and not advance my career as a caterer. I have chosen to have a family instead of travel the world. I have chosen to help out the Institute of Religion by providing them with food every Friday at no charge. I chose not to attend University and get a degree, but instead work so that my husband could get his degree.
When I say that I have chosen all of these things, obviously Otto was involved in most of them and they were decisions that we made together. I have been thinking about these choices that I have made and how they have impacted my life. I have asked myself, would I have made different choices if I were given the chance? For most of the decisions, I know that I would have made the exact same choice. My only regret is that I have never had a formal education. I often feel inferior because of it even though I know that I have my music and my catering that have both come in very handy when we have needed some extra money. I just wish that I had that piece of paper to back me up. Maybe when my kids are older I will go back to SAIT and get my Red Seal.
The other thing I have been thinking about when it has come to the choices that I have made is: Am I happy with my life generally? I can definately say that "yes" I am very happy with where I am in life. I have a wonderful husband who loves me very much and who is a FANTASTIC father to our children. I have four beautiful living children who make me smile every day. I have one perfect angel who is waiting for me in heaven. I have another little handsome boy on the way. I have a house that I can finally call home and that I LOVE immensly! All in all, I would have to say that I am blessed because of the choices that I have made.
I heard a saying once that has really stuck with me it goes like this: The key to happiness is not getting what you want, it's being content with what you have. I can honestly say that I am at a point in my life where I do feel completely content with what I have. I mean who could ask for anything more right?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday Monday

Thank goodness for husbands who take the day off! That's all I have to say! Otto had decided to take today off because he has extra vacation days and almost all of the kids didn't have school today. It ended up being such a great blessing to me because I had to spend most of the day in bed. Ever since last night, I have been having pains coming up the right side of my abdomen and I have been feeling really crampy. I have been worried about it, and I have been debating whether or not to go to the doctor, but Otto told me that as long as I could feel the baby move, and as long as I wasn't in severe pain, to spend the next couple of days taking it easy and we will see what happens. Otto hasn't been feeling well lately, so it was nice of him to say that to me. He took care of everything today, and I spent the day with my feet up.
My pains feel a bit better, but whenever I walk, I get cramps that feel like contractions. It is quite worrysome for me, and so I have been trying to stay off of my feet as much as possible. I know that most people would want to go to the hospital, but from my past experience, there isn't much that they can do. They can listen to the baby's heartbeat and tell me to stay off of my feet. That is pretty much what I have been doing at home. If anything gets worse, I will DEFINATELY go to the hospital, but for now, I am just going to pray, wait and see what is going to happen.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I have had the opportunity to think about alot of things this weekend. These past few weeks, I have heard rumors about a friend of mine. I didn't know whether or not they were true, and it was bothering me that so many people felt as though they had to "weigh in" on the rumor without even knowing whether or not it was true. This person has always been special to me and we have always remained friends over the years. So, I emailed them to ask if the rumor was true. I felt really akward being so forward and direct about such a sensitive topic, but I felt as though I owed it to them to find out directly from the source whether or not it was true. My friend was very sweet in their reply and answered my question and made sure that I knew how much they appreciated me coming to them. I am glad that I went directly to my friend because after I had my little baby Robin, apparently alot of people were all wondering why I couldn't tell that she had died. Instead of asking me this question directly, I had to hear it through the grapevine and it really hurt my feelings that people wouldn't just ask me that themselves. I know that people are trying to be sensitive when they talk about things like that, but I would have really appreciated someone asking me directly instead of it going around the whole city with no one actually wanting to find out for sure. When that happened to me, it made me realize how hurtful gossip can be, even when we think that we are sparing others feelings.
This weekend, my sister, Amanda and her husband Dayln came down for Friday night and Saturday. My brother Jason, his wife Suzanne, my sister Kristin and her friend Elise all came over and we hung out for the evening. It was really fun. It was really neat for me to realize that we actually do alot of things with my siblings now that they are older and starting to get married. I never thought that this day would come because when we were growing up we were all so different from each other and we fought all the time. I really hope that my kids can grow up to be close to their siblings because it is really important to me to have the family spend time together.
As Christmas time gets closer, and I keep getting more and more excited for the holidays, I have begun to decorate my house for Christmas. Some people have told me that this is a bit early, but then again, they don't know me very well and so they don't know that I have actually been buying Christmas presents since August. Silly people. In my family it has always been tradition to have each of the kids have their own Christmas trees. In our house, we decided that it would work better if each of the kid's bedrooms had their own trees. That will bring the grand total of Christmas trees in our house to 5. Not quite the 7 that my mom had when I was growing up, but give me a few more years and we will see!! For Abby and Anne's room, I bought this gorgeous 7' tall white christmas tree with white LED fiber optic lights from Costco. I then went out yesterday with Amanda, Dayln and Kristin and bought a whole bunch of silver, blue and purple christmas decorations. . . . with sparkly ones of course. This tree is every little girl's dream tree, I think. We have decided to call it the Snow Princess tree because it sparkles so much and we even found sparkling tiara ornaments that are on the tree. It really is a beautiful tree. Caroline is lucky enough to get the tree that I had when I was growing up and all of the leaves on that tree are made out of aluminium. It is a really pretty tree, and I remember how excited I was every year to decorate it. She also gets all of my old ornaments, which I think she will like because they are all pink and silver and white. Dustin's tree is a fiber optic tree that changes color. . . . I can't wait to see him at night once it is turned on!!
I have decided to do a memorial tree for Robin. I call it my Angel tree. I have ordered a bunch of angel ornaments from Willow Tree and I am excited for them to arrive so that I can decorate my tree. It is going to be hard to go through Christmas, this year, knowing that we are missing someone, but hopefully we will be able to feel as though Robin is with us when we look at this tree. It is a really weird feeling that I get inside when I think about Christmas because I am so excited, but it really makes me miss my little baby that I should have had. We will not have an infant to play baby Jesus in the Christmas Eve Nativity this year, and so I am dreading Christmas Eve just a little bit because of that. It will be hard.
Well, I seem to have written a novel today, and maybe that is because I haven't written for a couple of days, or maybe that is because most of my family is now sick and this is the few minutes of peace that I seem to be able to steal away for myself. Either way, thanks for taking the time to read this one.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Today has been a nice day for me. It didn't start out that way because at about 6 am, Anne came into my room complaining of a headache and feeling dizzy. Normally I just tell my kids to go back to sleep, but Anne has been diagnosed with children's migrains, so whenever she complains of a headache I listen. I will also let you in on another little family secret. . . .whenever my kids are sick, you can see it in their eyes, so it is really obvious when they are faking it. Poor Anne's eyes were terrible this morning, so I knew that she really was feeling bad. So, I gave the kid some tylenol and took her into bed with me. . . Otto had already left for work, so there was room for her to sleep.
I let her sleep in and I took Abby to school late. When she woke up, she didn't really want to eat, but I made her eat some fruit and drink lots of water. I then took Abby to school and Caroline caught the bus to her school, as well. I asked Anne if she was feeling well enough to go shopping (I had to get the groceries for Friday Forum), and like the true girl that she is, she said that she thought that she could manage a bit of shopping. . . it was Costco after all. After going shopping, we came home and I put Dustin to bed and Anne and I watched "Meet the Robinsons".
Even though Anne wasn't feeling well, I enjoyed spending the day with her. Last year Anne had morning kindergarten and Caroline had afternoon preschool and Dustin would nap in the afternoons. This meant that I got to spend alot of time with just Anne, and I really enjoyed getting to know my little girl better. This afternoon felt a little bit nostalgic to me because I got to spend some one on one time with my little princess. It's too bad that it took a migraine for me to be able to do it, but I am glad that we got to hang out for the afternoon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


I am so excited because when the big girls come home from school today, thier room will look different!! I have just finished buying everything that needs to go into their room, and so I can't wait to see their faces when they take a look at how different it looks!!
Abby and Anne have a very large bedroom and I wanted to make it cool and different for them. The theme of their bedroom is princess/midevil times. For Halloween I had my cousin Alex take pictures of them in their princess costumes with Dustin being a knight in shining armor. I have gotten those pictures blown up on poster board and I am hanging them around the room. I then bought these cute princess bedding sets at Ikea to put on their bed. Because their room is so large, they have room for a sitting area in it. I have bought the cool hanging chairs from Ikea to hang in the corner (one for each of them) and I got a whole bunch of mirrors to go on the wall behind it. I then have a circular rug that goes in that corner, so they have this really cool little sitting area in their room. Another bonus of their bedroom is that they have a tv mounted on the wall, so they can also use that corner to watch tv. I am getting so excited just thinking about it. I can't wait until they get home. . . only 3 1/2 more hours!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Happy Birthday Sweetie!!!

Today is the 31st anniversary of the birth of my WONDERFUL husband. In other words today is Otto's 31st birthday. Yesterday we had a housewarming/birthday party for him. We had planned on spending the day cleaning and organizing everything, which we did, however we took our sweet time getting everything done. So when our friends came over, I continued to make appetizers while visiting with them. It ended up going over pretty good, and I didn't get any complaints about the food, so I guess that that's a plus!!
Because today is Otto's birthday, I have been thinking alot about him. I know that I can say just about anything I want to about it on here because he never reads it!! I was thinking about how his life was growing up. It was so different from mine. His background is totally different, and I have been thinking about that because I have realized that I am so grateful that Otto grew up the way that he did because it gives him a different perspective on things. There are things that we make sure we do because Otto did it when he was young like teach the kids how to ice skate, put bubble lights on our tree, (you will have to come to my house at Christmas time to see this. . . it's pretty cool!!), and visit the Crowsnest Pass every year so we can eat at a diner called Chris'. I am glad that we have these traditions and that we do these things because it lets the kids see a bit of how their father grew up. His upbringing is very different from theirs so I love it when he can tell them some of his memories of his childhood.
Today I am pretty much just grateful for my hubby. We got married when I was 19 and he was 21 and I know that it made my parents nervous. However, these past 9 years have been great. We have been blessed with 5 beautiful babies with number 6 on the way, and we have made it through some tough times. We have also had some wonderful times, including right now. I am so glad that I was able to find someone who could love me as much as Otto does and someone who could be such a wonderful dad to our children. I sure do love my big guy!!

Friday, November 2, 2007

HELP!!! I'm pregnant and I still can't sleep!!!!!

I figured that since I can't sleep, and since I wanted to use this blog thing as a journal for my kids, I figured that I might take a few minutes and jot a word or two down! It is almost 3 am and so I cannot be responsible for anything that I write down right now.
Today, I let the kiddies stay home from school, well, except for Caroline. . . she still got to go! This morning, Santa began working his credit card magic online to get ready for the holidays, and so I basically let Abby run the show this morning. I know it sounds terrible, but hey, I am almost done my Christmas shopping and I am really excited about that!!! Now if only I could figure out how to harness the energy of my children I would be set. (I think that all of the candy from last night might have something to do with it!!)
Abby, Anne, Dustin and I then set out in the afternoon to the great and glorious land of Costco. We went there to get all of the food for Friday Forum. And we ended up with about $150 for ourselves!! I know that Christmas is my weakness, but those Christmas garlands, and decorations are soooo cute!! They even had these beautiful angels, which has become my new thing since I was blessed with my own little angel this year!!
After dinner, we did homework, cleaning, and made monster brains for dinner. It looked terrible, but it tasted great!! And hey, my kids ate a whole meal of spaghetti squash without two many complaints so I am happy about that!! The trouble is that Anne is my most picky eater and she wants to be a ballerina. I really struggle with that because there is such a pressure for ballerinas to be thin as they grow older, and I really want her to learn how to stay lean and still eat balanced meals! It does give me an edge at dinnertime though. Whenever I see that she isn't eating properly, I just tell her that I will not let her be a ballerina until she eats a balanced meal. . . that doesn't mean that she has to eat all of it, just some of all of the different parts of it (if that makes sense). I don't know how much longer that arguement will hold up, but I plan on milking it until it stops working! None of my other kids have that problem. In fact, if I call a meal something like monster brains, Caroline will go for thirds!!! (Maybe that is why my brother constantly calls her monster!!!)
Dinnertime eventually ended and so it was bathtime. The girls all wanted to have a "hot tub" in my jetted tub. . . so I let them. . . what can I say. . . it even has a sprayer to wash their hair with!!! So, I lit some candles and filled the tub with warm water and turned down the lights and then turned on the bubbles. And do you know what those monkeys did???? They asked why I didn't give them music too!!!! I actually would have, but our speaker in our ensuite isn't hooked up yet, so I couldn't! Dustin would have none of that. He doesn't care for the jets, so he had a bath all by his lonesome and played with dora toys. I guess that some things just don't beat out Dora!!
When I was getting the kids ready for bed, Dustin and I found these really cute costumes that my Aunt Christie handed down to us. I put on the purple dinosaur costume and he ran around scaring his sisters!!! Then he made me change him into the tigger one and the girls loved it!! The only problem was that he wouldn't let me take it off of him when it was time to go to bed, so instead of fighting with him about it, he is currently sleeping in a tigger costume and pj's. He will definately NOT be cold tonight.
Well, now it is past 3 am and I do have Friday Forum tomorrow, so I had better get to bed so that I don't yell at someone tomorrow. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Halloween Fit for a Queen (or 3 princesses and a knight in shining armor).

Yesterday was Halloween. . . . I love holidays, but they always seem to be so much work also. Yesterday the kids had so much fun, and that seems to be what this is all about. I LOVE watching my kids get excited about holidays and I will miss that when they get older!
For Halloween the girls were all princesses and Dustin was a knight in shining armor. It was adorable! The girls all had school parties and I made "Monster Brain Dip" for them to eat there. They all got candy from their teachers, friends and bus driver! Their candy bags were almost full by the time they got home and we hadn't even started going trick or treat yet.
Dustin's highlight of the day was when the two of us went and bought a Halloween cake. It was a chocolate cake and it had a picture of a pumpkin on it. He wouldn't stop touching it and calling it pumpkin cake, so by the time it got home. . . . well it didn't quite look the same. . . . but the kids didn't care!!
This year, instead of candy, we decided to hand out mini playdough. It worked great!! Otto took the girls out with the neighbor kids and Dustin and I stayed home and played playdough. Caroline tired out after about 8 houses, so she came and joined us. It was really fun! We didn't have very many kids come to our house for Halloween, so we still have tons of playdough left. . . better than candy if you ask me!!
After trick or treating was done, we went to my parents' house. It is something that we do every year and my mom seems to really like it. My brother Jason, his wife Suzanne and their puppy Max were there. They had even made a costume for Max and it was adorable!!! It was a little dragon costume!! Max hated it, but we all couldn't get over how cute it was! The kids had alot of fun at my parents house and we didn't end up leaving until after 9:30. So. . . I kept them home from school today because I figure that it will be easier for me to deal with 4 sleep-deprived, sugar high children than it will be for their teachers to have to deal with them. I guess that that is also one of the parts of having a holiday. . . the day after!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Fun Filled Day

Yesterday I got to go on a field trip with Abby. Alot of things went wrong in the morning, but they eventually got themselves worked out and we got to go to the science center. I had alot of fun with Abby and she really seemed to like having me there. I have never been able to volunteer at the schools very often because I have always had lots of young children at home, and my girls seem to have a hard time with that. So this year, I decided that I would make sure that I at least went on the field trips with them. I also happen to be the parent classroom volunteer coordinator for Anne's class, so I get to work a bit more with Anne's teacher. I realized that my kids were getting older and one day they won't want me to be as involved in their lives, so I had better do more now. I am so glad that I went with Abby because we did have a lot of fun, and it was so much fun to spend the day with just her. . . well, and 20 other kids that are in her class.
For Family Home Evening last night we carved all 6 of our pumpkins. . . . or rather, I carved them and the kids and Otto emptied them out and chose what they wanted on them. Abby chose a silhouetted cat, Anne chose the words "Trick or Treat" (in the hardest font I have ever carved but it looks awesome!!!), Caroline wanted a moon and stars, Dustin wanted 'Thomas the Tank Engine (I actually pulled it off and it looks soooo cool), I used a drill to make some cute stars and Otto has like a frankenstein looking pumpkin. . . I think he was jealous that I used his drill and so he had to use it too! It was alot of work, but we had fun and the pumpkins look great! I can't wait to see them on Halloween!!
Yesterday was a fun filled day! That's good because today seems to be. . . well . . . Tuesday. . . and I HATE Tuesdays because nothing ever goes right, and today is no exception!! Oh well, only 10 more hours until I get to go to sleep and then it will be HALLOWEEN!!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Farm

This weekend we had a ward temple trip, and so we decided to spend the weekend at the family farm. I always love taking my kids there because they always have so much fun. We went to the temple on Friday night and had fun seeing Otto's brother Jason, his wife Lisa, and their 6 boys. Our kids always love playing with those boys.
On Saturday, we spent the day playing at the farm, petting the horses, playing with the baby kittens and going to the park with the longest slide that I have ever seen. We had a lot of fun and it was nice to spend the day there. At about 4 we went back to Otto's brother's house and Otto's mom and her husband came over and we had a nice family dinner of Costco Pizza. It was fun, and it was great to see Jason and Lisa again. One of the nice things about going there is that our kids each have a cousin to play with. I always feel bad, though, because their oldest son is 11 and he is way older than my kids, so when we go over there, he gets bored because he has no one to play with. Abby LOVES their second son Grant. In fact, when we called everyone up for dessert on Friday night, Abby and Grant were holding hands and arranging places to sit together. . . or rather Abby was organizing that. It was pretty hilarious and I had to make sure that Abby knew that she wasn't allowed to marry her cousin. . . as cool as he may be! There is Ammon who is really close to Anne's age and they play great together. This kid is a riot because he really likes to joke around and tease. That is right up my alley!! Then there is Tyler. We call him and Dustin. . . Double Trouble. Dustin just follows Tyler around and the two of them just get into constant trouble. . . they are going to have so much fun together as they get older. Jason and Lisa then capped off their children with a set of twins! Yep. . . she went from 4 to 6 boys . . . if there is anyone who can do it, she can. Lisa is amazing!
Today we decided that since we were close to it we would take the kids to the Crowsnest Pass and go and visit Otto's Grandmother Pierzchala. We don't often take the time to go and visit her and I was really glad that we did that this time. I don't know how many more times we will be able to see her before she dies. We took a little trip down nostalgia lane for Otto. . . I tried to keep the kids interested, but it only worked for so long! Then we went to Otto's favorite childhood restaurant in the Pass. . . Chris'. Otto loves the food there, and I think that it is mostly because it reminds him of his childhood because the food there is really not that great. On our way out, I told the kids to use the bathroom because we weren't stopping until we got to Calgary. They assured me that they found the bathrooms and that they could go by themselves. Well, I went into the bathrooms a couple of minutes later and the girls were nowhere to be found in the ladies washroom, but I could hear their voices. . . so I went towards the men's bathroom. . . which was labled 'Gents' I figured that the girlies had thought that it said girls so I called for them. As luck would have it, they were in there. I then proceeded to tell them that they were in the boy's bathroom and I have never seen them run so fast. After picking myself off of the floor from laughing so hard I helped them find the girls' bathroom. It was sure fun teasing them about that all the way home. I knew that I had to write it down so that I wouldn't forget it. . . . ahhhh kids. . . without them my life would be soooo boring!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Well, it finally happened. It finally snowed last night. I was sure glad that I had all of the kids' winter things for them to wear to school today. That stressful day of shopping for everything sure paid off!!!
I guess that some would consider it snow while others of us would call it flying ice. It was REALLY painful to be out in the storm last night! The wind and the ice felt as though it was snowing glass. I was surprised that I didn't have any cuts on me when I got inside. . . but being pregnant, I did still send Otto out for my evening slurpee. . . .for some reason he got himself a hot chocolate. . . .wuss!!
As I was sitting in my Bonus Room watching the ice fly at my windows, I was mentally going through a checklist to make sure I had all of the candles and flashlights where I needed them and to make sure we had lots of extra blankets in case the power went out. I was glad that the kids were asleep because they would have been really freaking out. . . especially if the power went out. You see, last year on the night before Halloween we were supposed to have a couple of families over for a Halloween party. I was also supposed to cater the next day. Well, as luck would have it our power got cut at about 4 pm. Our house went dark and the kids started freaking out. Otto was at work and I couldn't get ahold of him and so I started to freak out myself. I called the power company and they informed me that it had been several months since I had paid my bill and so they had to cut off my power. I then (ummm we'll say politely) told them that I had, in fact, been paying my bill and that I had record of it coming out of my bank account. They said great! Fax it over to them. I then (again we will say politely) informed that that would be quite difficult since the confirmation was on my computer and the fax machine and computer both do not work without power. They said that I would have to figure it out. So I did!! I called my parents (who were also having my grandparents stay with them for a few days), quickly explained the situation and asked them if I could bring the kids over for a sleepover because I didn't have any power and the kids were quite unsettled. My parents said yes (of course) and then I started to leave for their house when Otto showed up. I told him to get into the car and when he protested I just yelled, "GET IN!!" As we drove, I informed Otto about what was happening and then he proceeded to question me about how the electric company wouldn't have received our payments if I had made them. I informed him (ummm. . . politely) that I couldn't really figure it out in the car so it would have to wait until we got to my parent's house. He then asked about the Halloween party and I informed him that I had already called all of the families and canceled the party. . . . I'll bet that you can imagine how well that went over with the kids. They did eventually get excited about sleeping over at Nana's house. They didn't think it was very fun to sit in the dark and be quiet while Mommy made a whole bunch of phone calls and packed up all of their stuff. By the time I got to my parents' house, I was a wreck.
Well, I eventually got everything sorted out with the electric company and my Grandma Bennion helped me cook all of the food for the event that I had to cater for the next day. I had to pull and all-nighter and my sweet grandma stayed up with me until 2 am and then did the dishes for me the next morning (she is a saint!!! What can I say?) and it all got done with 10 minutes to spare. So we got to go home for Halloween and everything turned out fine.
The only problem now is that whenever there is a power outage (it has happened about 2 or 3 times) the kids always freak out and ask me why I didn't pay the electric bill. As much as I love them, I always tell them (well. . . politely) that I had paid the electric bill last time and it wasn't my fault that the electric company cut the power. I sure do love the kids, and I do feel bad that they got so scared, and every time there is bad weather or a power outage, I always think back to that day before Halloween 2006 and think about how grateful I am that we made it through that mess!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Activity Days

I have the BEST calling in the whole wide world!! I am the Activity Days leader for the older girls in our ward. We have 25 girls in Activity Days and we generally don't seperate them into their age groups. The ladies that I work with in this calling are amazing and I love working with them.
Tonight we are having a Daddy/Daughter Fall Festival for our Halloween party. I am in charge of it and I have had a busy week so I haven't really been able to work on it until last night and this morning. We are having a dinner (we start at 5:30 and so we figure that the dads will be racing to get to the church so we decided to feed them) which will be pumpkin chili in a bread bowl with caesar salad. I know that pumpkin chili sounds weird, but it is my FAVORITE!!! It is also really healthy and a little bit sweet and spicy. . . . a combination which I LOVE! We are then playing the mummy wrap relay race where the dads will have to completely cover their child in toilet paper from head to toe! After that we are having a donut eating contest where everyone will have to eat hanging donuts without the use of their hands. We are finishing off the evening with a cute little halloween riddle game and dessert. By the time everyone goes home they will be full of food and hopefully they will have had fun.
I love working with this age group of girls. I can't wait until my girls are this age so that they can go to Activity Days. Abby will be able to come up in April and I hope that I still have this calling at that time. I remember when my mom was my Merry Miss leader and I have used some of the activities that we did when she was my leader with these girls. The only part that I am not that appreciative of is the fact that right now my house smells like delicious pumpkin chili and I can't eat any of it because it is not done. . . and because I should probably save some for the girls!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Am I the only one or are Tuesdays the hardest days of the week? I always seem to sleep horribly on Monday nights and so my Tuesdays I am usually groggy and cranky. Today I just seem to feel as though I am not on top of anything. . . . but yesterday I thought that everything was wonderful and great. . . crazy!!!
Today I had another doctor's appointment but this time it was the OBGYN. I am glad that I am in that clinic because they really give you alot of attention. We couldn't hear the baby's heartbeat AGAIN (so far I am 4 for 4) and instead of me having to schedule yet another ultrasound and drive all the way across the city, I was able to sit there as they wheeled in their own ultrasound machine so that we could just take a quick look right there. That machine was a dinosaur. . . I seriously think it was made in the 60's but it worked and it saved me about 2 hours today.
This afternoon Dustin and I went to Costco. There is the CUTEST santa there that climbs up a ladder with christmas lights. I HAD to get it. Every time we go there all the kids want to do is go and see the Santa. I can't get anything done until we see him. I am so excited to try and figure out a spot to put him. Also, I am trying to find some angel ornaments because I want to do an Angel Christmas tree in memory of my little Robin. . . if anyone knows where I can get some, I would really appreciate it!!
Tonight Abby is going to accompany me to a Salt City Candle party. I love that she is old enough to come with me to things like this. It makes it a really nice evening when I can spend time with her and enjoy it without having all of the other crazy monkies around!!! I have to teach piano today so we are going to be going after my last piano lesson, which will keep her up past her bedtime, but I don't think that she will complain much!

Monday, October 22, 2007

The new me!!

On Saturday, I went and chopped off all of my hair and dyed it a totally different color! Yep, I am not even lying!!! I was feeling like a FRUMPY old pregnant woman and I was acting like a FRUMPY old pregnant woman and so I called up my very talented cousin (who I ALWAYS get to do my hair) and she fit me in on Saturday. As the hair came a tumbling down, my self-esteem shot up. Now I feel like the good old Megan that I used to be. I know that my siblings think that I am ancient, but I am only 28, and now I only feel 28.
After getting my hair done, I went shopping at IKEA to continue to get things to organize my house. Several hundred dollars later I had things to organize closets, bedrooms, kitchen cabinets, the laundry room, a new bed for Caroline, and the cool hanging chairs for my big girls. So I have spent today cleaning and organizing the house. It is amazing how rewarding it is to be able to find a spot to put everything and not just have things laying around the house!!! I can't wait until I can get everything I want to get for the house and get this thing set up the way that I want it. I never had the chance to do that in the old house, so I never really made it a home. THAT WILL NOT BE THE CASE WITH THIS HOUSE!!!! I am going to hang pictures and find knick knacks if it kills me!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Me and My BIG Mouth

Okay, so I do Friday Forum at the Institute, and generally speaking, I do love doing it. I get to help out the Institute and I get to see all the University Students and be so grateful that I do not have to be there every day. I love the spirit that is in that building, and seeing all of the guys and girls flirting with each other. I also love getting the gossip on who is dating who and who is engaged. It is kinda fun.
Well, last week it was kind of stressful to get the food there on time, and Dustin was sick and so I was a bit grumpy. I usually know that when I am grumpy to speak as little as possible because I usually end up hurting people's feelings. Well, last week there was this boy and I think that he is a lot of fun, and he is a great kid. I have known 3 of his brothers and they are all fun! Well, he wanted to get his meal for free, so he was told that in order to do that, he would have to help out with the dishes. I was really grateful because there is usually only me and 1 or two other girls doing dishes afterwards. The problem was, he just couldn't stop going on and on about how much hard work it was and how he really didn't want to be there because he wanted to play ping pong with his brother. He also kept on complaining that the dishes were too big and we needed to not have to wash them. I didn't say anything for what seemed like FOREVER. . . and then, I couldn't take it any more and so I finally said,"You know what. . . I am sorry, but I have no sympathy for you. What you don't understand is that I have been up since 7:00 this morning making your lunch with a sick baby. While I was doing that I got to do the dishes twice and then I got to load all of the food into my car by myself. After that, I got to drop off my sick kid at the babysitter's house and then drive to the Institute where I got to unload my car, prep the food, and set out the food. I now get to do the dishes with you and then when I go home, I get to unload everything from my car and clean up my kitchen one more time. . . . so I really don't understand where you are coming from." I KNEW I shouldn't have said it, and I knew that it was mean, but as I said, I always end up hurting someone's feelings when I am grumpy.
Today, after Friday Forum, the Institute director asked why this boy wasn't helping do the dishes and the girl that was with me told him that he decided not to do them today and he paid his $3 instead. I immediately knew why he had done that, and I felt like such a moron. I wanted to apologize to him, but I couldn't find him, so now I am going to feel guilty for another week. To make matters worse, I jokingly said to the girl, "Oh, I scared him off did I?" Well, she turned red, and avoided eye contact and just stood there . . . .AKWARD!!!!! I KNEW I SHOULDN'T HAVE SAID SOMETHING.
I will make him a special treat next week and hopefully we can call a truce . . . . so if I ever tell you that I am grumpy. . . that is code for "I am not responsible for what comes out of my mouth!"

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Halloween Tag

Okay. . . now this is going to be an adventure!! I have just barely started my blog, and my Aunt Christie goes ahead and tags me. . . . actually it sounds kinda fun, so here goes!!!

The rules - answer the questions and tag 5 friends :) Happy Halloween!!!

What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
I have to say that my absolutely most favorite costume in the whole wide world was my Minnie Mouse costume!!! This thing was AMAZING!!! My extremely talented grandmother sewed it for me, but you have to see this head!! It was like 2 feet taller than my actual head and stuffed. . . complete with bow and all!! It also had the token red and white polka dot dress with white gloves and these slip on covers for my shoes to make them look exactly like Minnie's. I have no idea how long it took my grandma to make that costume, but I LOVED IT!!!!! No one has EVER had as costume as cool as that one was!!
What was your least favorite Halloween costume as a child?
One year my mom made me be a clown because she found the costume for cheap at Walmart. . . it even had a hoop in the middle, so I couldn't sit down on anything because my hoop would hit me in the face! Oh yes, and I also had the matching rainbow wig!
What was your favorite Halloween candy as a kid? Is it still your favorite?
Okay, so I think that I must be the weirdest kid around, but candy really has never been my thing. I used to collect my Halloween treats and put them in a box and then use them throughout the year to bribe my younger siblings into doing things for me. . . come to think of it, I do still do that to this day, except that I buy the candy now!
How old were you when you stopped trick-or-treating? Do you miss it?
I was 12 when I went for the last time. . . I would have been allowed to go for one more year, but the New Kids on the Block were playing a concert on Halloween and my mom let me choose whether to go watch the concert or go trick or treating for the last time. After that year, my job was to hand out candy, and my mom would just buy me a whole bag of twix bars (which I then saved and used as bribes as stated above!!). I have never really missed it. I actually enjoy staying in my nice, warm house and giving out the candies so that I can see all of the cute costumes on all of the neighborhood kids.
What's the scariest movie you've ever seen?
I saw, My Boyfriend's Back when I was like 9. I wasn't allowed to watch scary movies because I have always had a vivid imagination, but I went to my friend's house and we watched it without my parents knowing. . . I was afraid to leave the house after that.
And - have you ever dressed up in "matching" halloween costumes with your date? What were they????
2 years ago for a ward party we had an adult party and we met at someone's house. We had to be dressed in costumes, and Otto wasn't too keen on that. So we went as a Camper and S'more. . . . Otto was the camper, of course, and I got to be the S'more (see, even my costumes are food related). It was pretty fun, and Otto liked that he didn't really have to dress up, although he wanted to go as a football player and a cheerleader (I didn't think a cheerleader outfit would be that flattering on him, since I obviously wasn't going to wear it!!)

Okay, now since I am new to this whole thing, and I have no other blogger friends except for my dear aunt, I am going to tag the following people to participate in facebook!! Jenna, Amanda, Kristin, Jamie and Michelle. . . tag. . . you're it!!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The house

Well, today was an exciting day for us because we FINALLY got our driveway poured. The bad news is that I won't be able to drive on it for a month, but at least the kids will stop tripping on the rebar. That has been a huge hassle!! Well, that and the fact that Dustin thought that the sand on the driveway was his own personal sandbox. . . to make matters worse, we just happen to be keeping his sand toys in the garage, so he has gotten out his shovel on several occasions and happily played in the dirt on several occasions. . . . and you know what? I let him!! It was the only way I could carry in all of the groceries without worrying about him running onto the street!!!!! What a good mom am I hey??
Some other really exciting news for me is that starting yesterday evening, I have really been able to feel this baby move. Little Lee seems to be as active as his big brother. I am so grateful for this because I was starting to wonder what was going on in there. Even though I can feel him moving all around, I am still completely nervous because I had thought that I could feel Robin move too, even when they had induced labour to get her out, I still had that little bit of hope that they had been wrong, but unfortunately, they weren't.
Also today, Caroline and I made some spiders and ghosts to decorate our house with for Halloween. I don't generally like to decorate my house with crafts, but it seems as though I make an exception when it comes to holidays. It was really fun playing with all of the glue!! The only problem was that Caroline kept on getting mad at me because I couldn't make the ghosts look like girls!! Do you know how hard it is to make a girl ghost????
Well, tonight I think that I am going to start looking at blinds. I mean, we really need them (I am sure that all of the people driving by behind our house enjoy the view when I am changing!!) and we can afford them, so I might as well get them! Oh and speaking about getting things for the house, I have been thinking that maybe I should have just ordered me up one of those self-cleaning houses. . . . it seems as though I still have to clean this house because it doesn't clean itself. . . . I knew this house was defective!!!