Monday, December 29, 2008


I know I haven't written in awhile. I feel as though I have gotten caught up in a whirlwind of activities. It seems as though in one moment presents are flying past my head, and the sound of wrapping paper tearing is happening all around me and then the next moment there are toys everywhere and items to step on. I've been able to spend so much time with all of my family members and friends and so I feel as though there are people constantly moving all around me.
This is the kind of whirlwind I love! It is so much fun to be able to spend so much time with my friends and family, so I am actually dreading when this whirlwind stops! However, it doesn't leave much time for writing, so maybe when this fury of activity dies down I will get some time to catch up on everyone's going ons!
Until then. . . I hope that you have all had a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

This is it!

Well, this is it!!! This is the most wonderful day in the entire year . . . .followed closely by tomorrow of course! I have always loved Christmas Eve! I look forward to it every year. Why? Well I love the excitement and the fun and the laughter that comes with Christmas Eve every year!
We have some great family traditions for Christmas Eve, which I think is part of the reason that I love it so much! This year we are going to be going to my mom'a house for dinner with my Uncle Garry's family. After dinner we will act out the Nativity and then have our yearly family talent show. Abby wants to sing a duet with me that she learned in choir, Anne is going to play the piano and Caroline and Dustin are going to be singing Jingle bells complete with actual Jingle Bells!
Part of the talent show will include the song, Mary's Lullaby and the Angel's Carol. I will also be giving my Grandma Lee a special present that I have been working on for a few months tonight. It is a memorial book about my Grandpa Lee. I am so excited to give her this gift and I know that she will love it!
After that, my cousins will go home and we will be staying at my mom's house. We will open our Christmas Eve PJ's (yes, Otto and I will get some too) and then we will read the nice box and enjoy some cookies and punch. After that we will write a letter to Santa, put out stockings and put the kiddies to bed. Once the kids are in bed we will do some of the traditions that I did growing up.
We will carry out the presents and put them under the tree. We will then each do a recap of our year for the video camera. My sisters will then have the option of going to bed and Otto and I will put out the stockings and Santa will come for the kiddies!
I just LOVE Christmas Eve! I love the excitement and the anticipation for Christmas Day that accompanies Christmas Eve. I love how magical it is for my children and how excited they are going to be tomorrow when they see what Santa has brought them! There is nothing more magical to me than watching a child on Christmas morning!
So Merry Christmas to all of my dear friends and family! I hope that your holidays are wonderful and magical and I will be thinking of you and missing you (if I don't see you) this Christmas season!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I can't wait for Christmas!!!

Now that the kids are home from school, I keep on asking Otto. . . is it Christmas yet? There are only 2 days left to go on our big green advent calendar and I can hardly wait! This year we are going to be sleeping over at my parent's house and so yesterday we took all of our presernts over there. With the kids home from school, my Christmas shopping all finished and wrapped and 2 days left until Christmas Eve, I can hardly stand the wait!!! I think that I am going to go crazy with excitement.
I don't think that it helped that I was able to see most of my cousins last night. I mean, Christmas just isn't Christmas unless I get to hang out with my cousins! It was so much fun to joke around and play with my cousins kind of like we all used to do on Christmas Eves while we were growing up! What a blast!!! It just got me soooo excited for Christmas.
Today on the calendar, it said to take some toys to Toy Mountain. For those of you who do not live in Calgary, Toy Mountain is a charity thing where people donate new, unwrapped toys to the poor children and it creates this huge mountain of toys. Every year we try to do some sort of service project for someone less fortunate and so we have decided to donate these toys this year. I hope that it can teach the children to look for different ways to help other people instead of worrying about themselves all of the time. We'll see!
All I can say though is . . . is it Christmas yet????

Saturday, December 20, 2008

As I proudly watched

So I haven't written anything since Abby and Anne's play, and the reason for that is because I have been CRAZY busy!!! I have taken a ton of pictures of Abby and Anne's performances in their school play, but I am not going to post them today. Maybe tomorrow.
I did want to write about the performance, because it really made me feel as though I was the luckiest person in the whole world! You see, my girls go to a school where they learn Spanish. This school is INCREDIBLE!! The principal is FANTASTIC as well as the teachers are FANTASTIC!!! I just don't think that my kids could be getting any better of an education, even if they went to a private school!
Now, one of the great things about this school is that because they are teaching the kids Spanish, they really strive to teach the kids about the Latino culture. I mean, it isn't hard when the teachers are coming straight from Colombia, Mexico, Chile, and Venezuela. It is always fun to go to the assemblies (even if I only understand about 1/3 of the entire assembly) and watch my children be dressed in traditional Latino costumes and singing and dancing traditional Latino dances. It is so wonderful to watch my girls completely understand and speak a completely different language. However, I think that my most favorite part about the school is that they have not followed the ever growing trend of not celebrating Christmas. In fact, not only do they celebrate Christmas, they celebrate the birth of Jesus and they teach the kids about it. This is pretty much unheard of in my city. The other schools aren't even allowed to call their "Winter Holidays" Christmas break, and here my children are with nativity scenes up in their classrooms.
It was so nice when I went to go see my girls perform in their school play. Abby is in the school choir (an alto like her mama) and they performed 4 songs before the play started. All four of these songs had to do with the birth of the Savior. Abby asked me if I cried, and I told her I did. I didn't cry for the reason that she is thinking (she thinks that I would cry because she sang so beautifully and she did) I was crying because I felt so lucky that in the world today where we are really not even allowed to talk about Christ without the worry of offending someone, my oldest daughter was able to sing 4 songs about the Savior in a place other than home and church. It was probably one of my favorite moments as a mom.
The play that the kids did was "The Littlest Christmas Tree". It was a great play, even if I didn't understand a word of it because it was entirely in Spanish. The songs, however, were in English. My personal, favorite part was when Santa and Mrs. Clause came onto the stage. I think that Mrs. Clause was the most beautiful and perfect child on the stage. . . .because she was Anne! Anne was perfect for the part. And my heart swelled every time Anne recited her lines in a perfect Spanish accent. It was just so beautiful (plus we had spent 1/2 an hour curling her hair so she really was beautiful!!!). It didn't matter that I had no clue what she was saying, I was still the proudest mama in the audience!
Yesterday, I volunteered in both of my girls' classrooms because they both had their Christmas parties. I have to say, another great thing about this school is that because they are a Spanish school, they have imported experienced teachers from the Latino countries. This really makes a difference! Abby's teacher used to be a principal in Mexico and she is AMAZING! She has the most incredible parties where we come and completely decorate the room and the kids go around to different stations and do crafts and activities that are both fun and educational! The best part about Abby's teacher, though, is that she really really knows her students and she really really cares about them! I have never met a teacher that is more concerned about her students than Senora Wilkinson.
Anne's teacher is also amazing! This teacher really knows her stuff! She is an incredible scholar in Math and Science, and that makes her the perfect teacher for Anne. Those are Anne's strenghths too, and so Anne loves her teacher and Senora McCruden has the perfect teaching style for Anne.
As a mom, my children's education is very important to me. I worry about it constantly and I think about it a lot. As I have watched my children the past few days and spent so much time at the school this past year, I have really come to appreciate how lucky I am to have the rights and freedom and choice to be able to send my children to such an amazing school! I just wish that there was a better way for me to show my kids' teachers how much I appreciate them!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mrs. Clause

Well as you can see, our candlelight dinner went over very well! The kids loved being able to order chinese food and eat it with no lights on!
Tonight is Abby and Anne's school play. I am really excited because Anne is going to be Mrs. Clause in the play and Abby is going to be in the choir. I love that my girls are so into music and acting. It brings me back to my own childhood where I would be in school plays and choirs and I would always make up plays for my parents to watch.
The only downside to this play is that it will be entirely in Spanish, so I won't understand a single thing. However, all of the songs are in English, so maybe they will help explain the play!
You KNOW that I will take pictures, so tomorrow you will be able to see my little Mrs. Clause!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time for a Little Treat

My piano recital went really well last night. All of my kids knew their songs and I just love it when almost everyone can play their songs from memory! I am always so proud of the kids after the recital! I am always so excited too, to not have to teach piano for a couple of weeks! It will be a nice break!
Tonight we are going to do one of my most favorite things that is on the calendar. Tonight we are going to have our candlelight dinner. This was something that I loved to do as a child for two reasons:
#1- Dinner by candlelight. . . sooooo cool!
#2- Ordering chinese food. . . . MY FAV!!!
I am excited to do this with the kiddies tonight! They know that we are having a candlelight dinner, but they have NO clue that we are ordering Chinese Food.
That will just end up being a nice little treat for them!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

$3 Dinner

So as you can see our $3 was a hit. I mean Dustin wishes that we could have a $3 dinner every night because it had all of his favorite things. . . pizza, fries, cookies, pepperoni sticks, chips. . . I wouldn't be considered a bad mom if I let them eat this stuff every night right????
Anyways tonight is my piano recital and then I get a 2 week break from teaching!!! I didn't used to realize how excited my piano teacher would get for our

Monday, December 15, 2008

Chuga Chuga Choo Choo

On Friday, the calendar said to go see Santa. Normally I would have tons of photos of that, but since Otto ended up going to the hockey game and the big girls were at their friends' house until 9 pm, we didn't end up going. I actually think that everyone has forgotten and so because they got to go see Santa at the ward party, I am not complaining!
On Saturday, the calendar said to have Egg Nog and Strawberry Ice Cream. This is a favorite in our house and since I had a staff party to attend it was the perfect night for the others to enjoy this special treat!
On Sunday the calendar said to make a gingerbread train. I picked up this kit at Walmart and it had enough cars in it for each of the kids to do one. So it was really fun and I think that they did a great job! It was the girlies first time to use a piping bag and I think that they did FANTASTIC!!!
Today is one of my most favorite activities! The calendar said to have a $3 dinner. This is a fun time where we will all go out to the grocery store and every person will get $3 to try and find something that they like to eat that we can have for dinner. We did this growing up and we would end up with some very interesting dinners!! We would have things like bacon, egg nog, hamburger helper, ice cream, pancakes and noodles all in the same meal. I am very excited to see what the kids come up with. It should be a fun FHE!
I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday, December 12, 2008

We did it!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Preview

Ok, so I will admit that I am not quite as on the ball as I would like to be. I am sending out the Christmas cards today, but I thought that I would post the Christmas Letter so that you all can read it, in case you don't get it before Christmas. Also, I do need the addresses of the following people so that I know where to send your letters. . . you can email me your address to
Michelle - you moved. . . where the heck do you live now???
Suzanne - I have yours, but I need your parents' address
Amanda - Your in-laws please
Lahni - Care to pass along your new address so I can send yours again???
Ashley - I don't even have a single address for you. . . do you just live in cyberspace????
Thanks all!
oh and P.S. you can click on the letters to make them bigger if you actually want to read them!

A Step in the Right Direction

So I went shopping with my mom yesterday, and it was FABULOUS!!!! So much fun! We went to 3 stores and got all of the shopping done! Yay!! The kids are going to have such a great Christmas this year!!!
After shopping, I came home, and you will never believe what I saw! I saw our missing tree sitting right inside of the door! Yep! That's a great first step to finally getting this thing decorated! Now, all I have to do is make sure that Otto stays home tonight, and make sure that I stay home tonight and this thing might actually get decorated before Christmas!!!
I am not making any promises, but I do feel bad for the kids because I keep on telling them that it says to decorate the tree on the calendar, and now this is the 3rd time that I have used that line and I don't think that I can get away with saying it any more. So maybe tonight???? We shall see!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another day . . . Another tree NOT Decorated!

So, I guess by the title you can figure out that we didn't end up decorating the tree last night. Turns out that Otto had to go help a friend move some furniture and then he did some tutoring. The kids were a bit disappointed at first, but I mean we do have 4 other trees already decorated in our house. Otto keeps on trying to convince me that 4 decorated trees are enough and we don't need the 5th one. Maybe he is right! I am just a bit frustrated that it still isn't done though, especially because I know how much Dustin will love the bubble lights on that tree.
Today, the calendar said to decorate Christmas Cupcakes! YAY! Okay, I will admit that it actually said to open a present (which was supposed to be the Tinkerbell movie) but I didn't have time to go pick up the movie or wrap it, and I just happened to have a ton of icing and decorations left over from our cookie decorating at the ward party on Friday. So, cupcake decorating it is! I am thrilled that the kids got so excited when they found out! I am especially thrilled because I won't be here to endure the mess because I will be shopping with my mom. . . .so it will be a win/win situation for all of us!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Attempt #2

So, don't tell the kids, but originally on our calendar it said to make Christmas cards. . . but. . . well. . . . it seems to me that tonight would be a great night to attempt (again) to decorate our Christmas Tree. We still don't have it, so I guess that all of this will depend on me remembering to ask Otto to pick up the tree from our Activities Committee Chairperson.
I am actually hoping that he will (by some miracle) just read my blog and then remind me to give him the address when he calls at lunch. . . cross your fingers!
(Oh and on a side note, Caroline and Dustin don't know this yet, but Santa has written back to them. . . we got the letter last night. . . ooooooh they are going to be so excited!!!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Watch a Christmas Movie

I thought that maybe I should post a pic of our advent calendar since I have been talking about it so much. The great thing about it is that I was the one who was able to put the activities into the calendar and so I was able to plan it around our busy schedule (well except for the Christmas tree decorating. . . .). So today the calendar says to watch a Christmas movie. . . aka. mom is teaching a class tonight so dad and the kids need to do something quick and easy. I mean Who doesn't love a good Christmas movie??? We now own most of the classics like "How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman 1 and Frosty the Snowman 2 (yes there was a sequel), Muppets Christmas, Muppets Christmas Carol. . . and of course My Little Pony Christmas and Disney Princess Christmas, and Bell's Christmas."
I always used to like watching "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" every year with my family and so it was the first Christmas movie Otto and I bought when we got married. It is also the movie that I will make the family watch tonight to remind them that presents are just a fun part of Christmas but it is not the real reason that we celebrate the holiday!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Decorate the Christmas Tree???

The pics above are from our chocolate decorating that we did yesterday! It was pretty fun, but the girls started to fool around too much after awhile so I kind of spent the last hour of chocolate making yelling at the girls to get it done! Oh well, sometimes things run more smoothly in my head then they do in real life!!
Today the calendar said to decorate the Christmas Tree. . . however, we leant our Christmas Tree to our Activities Committee for our ward party on Friday night, and they had forgotten to tell me that we were, in fact, lending the tree for both our ward party and 3rd ward's party. I wasn't too pleased when I had gotten out all of my Christmas decorations and went to grab the tree and I didn't have it!!! I called the Activity Committee Chairperson and they informed me of the two wards sharing the decorations and told me that the tree would be picked up from the Stake Centre tonight. When I asked whether or not I needed to pick my tree up from someone after they had gotten it from the Stake Center or if it would be dropped off at my house, the CHAIRPERSON hadn't really thought about it and would call me later today.
So. . . I am now really frustrated because there is no other day that we can decorate this LAST tree, and I have a bunch of disappointed kids because they can't do what the calendar said to do.
Later on this afternoon we are going to go to Anne's piano recital and then to my parent's house for dinner. . . . maybe I can convince the kids that that will be more fun than decorating the tree!!! Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Make Chocolates

Ever since I got married I have had the tradition of making chocolates at Christmas time. I thought that this would be a tradition that my kids would love to participate in when they got older. Well, now they are older and this will be the first year that they are going to be able to help me. In November, I had my sister Jenna come over and we made all of the fondant so today the kids and I will just be dipping chocolate and making chocolate truffles, white chocolate truffles, white chocolate raspberry truffles, ferrero rochets, peanut butter cups and crunchie bars. I figured between those and the cherry, strawberry, orange, lemon, vanilla, maple walnut, amaretto, and rum and butter fondants, the boxes of chocolates will have a variety of chocolates and hopefully some that everyone will like. I will try to take pictures of the chocolates as we make them so hopefully I can add those pics tomorrow.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Go to the Ward Christmas Party

That's what the calendar said to do today. So, I won't actually have pictures of this event until it is over which I will try to post tomorrow. However, I do have pictures of some of my nativities!
Ever since I can remember, my mom has collected nativity scenes. When I was 12 I decided (with the help of my mom) that I would like to start collecting nativity scenes too. And so it started. Every year I would add on a new nativity scene. Then when I got married, I started being able to sometimes 2 or 3 new ones. And so today the nativity scene count stands at 46. This year I had bought 2 from Mexico when we went down to San Diego. My favorite Mexican nativity scene is the one that is made out of paper.
I am always on the lookout for unique nativity scenes! So, at Christmas time, and all throughout the year, whenever I go anywhere I always do a quick check to see if there are any Nativity Scenes that I can buy. My friends have picked up on this and they have helped me get some pretty cool nativity scenes throughout the years.
I can see that this tradition has already caught on with my own kiddies because whenever I start to decorate the house, they always beg me to help me put out the nativity scenes. I always let them because what better reminder is there about the true meaning of Christmas then looking at the baby Jesus?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Decorate Rooms

Today the calendar said to decorate our rooms. Well, the kids' rooms aren't clean so they have been told that they can't decorate their rooms until they clean them first. So, I think that tonight be "clean your room" day and then tomorrow will be decorate your room day.
You may think to yourselves. . . what is there to decorate in the kids' rooms??? Well, each room does have their own Christmas tree. This is yet another tradition that I inherited from my mother. We all had our own Christmas trees and every year we got new ornaments to put onto them. That way when we left home we already had a Christmas tree and it's decorations to put up in our new places. The tree that I had was my mom's old tree. It is made out of silver aluminum and it has always been my favorite tree. Even though I have changed the decorations on it and given it to Caroline, every time I see it I think of my mom.
The other tree that means a lot to me is my memorial tree in my piano room. It is all gold and cream and just about everything on it represents something.
Angels - represent my angel baby
Butterflies - the symbol of miscarried and stillborn babies
Birds - my symbol for Robin
Feather - symbol for the feather's off of an angel's wing, and reminds me of my Aunt Linda (my Uncle Doug gave me this ornament)
Gold - reminds me that my little baby is worth more to me than gold
white - symbol of innocence and purity.
I DID clean the room that I was supposed to decorate and I decorated it in November, so I have put up those pictures! You will see my memorial tree on here. This is both my most favorite tree and the hardest thing for me to look at. I feel so many mixed emotions when I look at this tree. However, I am so glad that I have created this small reminder of my sweet little Robin so that we can think about her every Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Nice Box

Today the advent calendar said to start the "Nice Box". This is a tradition that I learned from my parents. Every year, in December, we would pull out the nice box. The nice box is a box that has a stack of cut up papers beside it. Every time someone does something nice for you, you are supposed to write it down and put it in the nice box. You can not write your name on the paper even if you think that you have done something incredibly nice for someone else.
Then, on Christmas Eve, after dinner has been eaten, nativities have been acted out and cousins have gone home you sit around in your new pj's and eat cookies while mom or dad reads out all of the items in the nice box. It is a really great way to send the kids off to bed because the kids go to bed feeling good about themselves.
This is the first year that we are doing the nice box in our house because this is the first year that Abby and Anne can really start writing sentences by themselves! We'll see how it goes! I hope that it will end up going well.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Write Letters to Santa

Today for our advent calendar, it said to write letters to Santa. There were some pretty classic moments because we just wrote everything that came out of Caroline and Dustin's mouths. I hope you take a quick read. . . they are pretty cute!

It starts . . .

I kind of feel as though I am at the starting line of a race. Today is December 1st and so that means that it is the first day of all of our advent calendars that count down to Christmas! I am both incredibly excited and terrified at the same time. I don't feel ready, but I know that that will come eventually!
I kind of feel like Santa Clause right now because I have a bunch of lists and I keep checking them every day to see what I need to get prepared so that my family can have a fun day and get ready for Christmas. Between all of the family activities, digital scrapbooking classes, Camp Croppin organization, Primary activities, school volunteering etc, I feel as though I have so much to do and so little time to do it in!
However, that being said, I do only have 4 more presents to buy and the stockings and then I am finished shopping and I will only have chocolates left to do. Oh, and where are your Christmas cards, you ask???? Well, they are going in the mail tomorrow, so watch for them to come!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Money Tree

I think I need a money tree. I mean, I think that it would be way easier to simply grow a money tree than to try and find all of the money I need to be able to get everyone the presents they need. I LOVE Christmas, but I hate that I am always looking for money in November and December to be able to buy the Christmas presents. I know! Maybe if the bank and the utility companies just got together and said, "Don't worry about paying your bills this month", then I would have the perfect amount of money to spend on Christmas.
It's not that I buy a lot of expensive presents, its just that I have a lot of people in my family and so that adds up. However, Anne is going to be doubly excited this year because I was able to get a FANTASTIC price on something that she has been begging for all year and so she is finally going to be able to get it for Christmas!!! She is going to be soooo excited!!!
Oh well, I always get like this right before Christmas. I think that this year it is worse because it is already after Thanksgiving and I haven't finished my shopping yet. . . . I know, most people aren't done their Christmas shopping by now, but I usually am so I am feeling the stress! I know that it will all work out though! So I will try to calm down.
The good news is that tonight is my cookie exchange and so I will have all of my Christmas baking done after tonight! YAY!!! I am so excited for that! It is one thing that is going to be crossed off of my list! Now . . . if only I could say that for the other 99 items on that list. . . . *sigh*

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy American Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends and family! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My Love Language

I feel loved when...

The Five Love Languages

My Primary Love Language is Quality Time

My Detailed Results:
Quality Time: 9
Acts of Service: 8
Words of Affirmation: 8
Receiving Gifts: 3
Physical Touch: 2

About this quiz

Unhappiness in relationships is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. It can be helpful to know what language you speak and what language those around you speak.

Tag 3 people so they can find out what their love language is."> face="Trebuchet MS" size="-2">Check out the Book

Monday, November 24, 2008


Well, it seems as though it is that time of year again. The time of year where I sing in Handel's Messiah. I have done this for 9 years now, but it seems as though every time I sing in the choir different parts of the Messiah touch me. This year I have really been touched by the part that we sing while Christ is going through the Atonement. This has been a really emotional part for me because the reality of Christ's Atonement has really hit home. I almost dread singing those songs because I know that it will stir up a whole schwack of emotions for me that I don't really want to deal with in front of 700 people.
I love music. Music has always been able to touch my heart the way that no other medium can. I also love Handel's Messiah because I feel as though I am privileged to be able to sing about the Savior's life for 3 hours every weekend. The scriptures in the oratorio have taught me things about the Savior that I probably wouldn't have realized by simply reading them. I don't know why music can make things so clear for me, but it can. I am in constant awe of the power that music has.
Every year, before we perform Messiah, we hold a testimony meeting with the choir before we begin and it really helps to bring the spirit into our performance. Last night, for some reason, I felt strongly that I should bare my testimony. I was shocked when I realized that I had stood up and gone to the front of the room. I really don't fell comfortable baring my soul to a bunch of people that I don't know, and I am still amazed that I managed to do it. The spirit was really strong during the testimony meeting, however when we were singing the Messiah and we got to the Atonement part where it says "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world" and then continues through the Atonement, I was a mess! I had tears streaming down my face and I couldn't really see the words. Thank goodness I have sung in the choir for so many years that I pretty much have it memorized, but I really didn't think that I was going to get through it.
However, as I have found out many times before, just when we think that we can't do something, God opens a door and gives us the strength to go on. I was really thankful that He helped me so much last night because otherwise I think that I would have hid in the back corner of the choir seats and not finished singing the Messiah.
When the performance ended I felt so much happiness and peace and I was really glad that I had sung in it this year. This coming weekend we have our last two performances and I am only going to be able to make it to the Saturday performance so hopefully I will be able to make it through the oratorio without falling to pieces this weekend!

Friday, November 21, 2008

4 Things Tag

4 Things Tag

4 things I was doing 10 years ago:
1. Trying to adjust to life as a newlywed.
2. Getting mad at Otto for finding the huge bottle of pure maple syrup that I had bought him for Christmas (we were poor and it was a big deal okay?)
3. Making spring rolls all day with my cousin Amber
4. Working 3 part time jobs. . . Price Integrity Coordinator at Michaels (the brand new craft store), Chef at Silver Springs Golf Course and working at my mom's warehouse.

.4 things on my list to do today:
1. Go grocery shopping.
2. Go teach digital scrapbooking
3. Go to a crop
4. Call my sister-in-law Suzanne to dish about Survivor. . . .man I hope that she watched it last night!!

4 things i love about my husband:
1. He is HUGE! I really wanted to marry a big guy because I wanted to know that if there was ever a fire that he could go into my kids rooms, and pick them all up and carry them out of the house. . . . really! That is no joke!!! I also wanted to marry a big guy so that I could reassure my kids that they never had to worry about anyone threatening to hurt them or our family because their daddy is bigger than any other man (well to them anyways!).
2. I love his dimples! I always tell him that I married him for his HUGE dimples!
3. I love the way that our relationship is. Otto and I are very much a team. We do each have certain roles (like he is the bread winner and I do all of the food and run the house), but we have often switched roles when needed. We also tackle everything as a team. Whether it is raising our kids, cleaning the house, church callings, whatever I have to do he also helps and vice versa.
4. I love that he is the best dad ever!! My kids don't realize how lucky they are to have a daddy who has gone out and found a job that doesn't require him to work a ton of hours! He always makes sure that he is home in the evenings and he always makes a special point of spending time with the kids. Otto is also the one who gets up with the kids in the middle of the night, which I SINCERELY appreciate!!!
4 jobs I've had:
1. Cutting greens and planting trees at Elbow Springs Golf Club. In fact it is the reason that I am completely obsessed with having perfectly straight lines when cutting the grass!!!
2. Painting for Student Painters . . . I really enjoyed painting, however I didn't enjoy the fact that they ended up not paying me! But that was the summer that Otto and I were engaged and it seemed to rain a lot and we both had jobs that you couldn't do when it was raining so we got to spend a lot of time together. . . but we didn't earn much money!
3. Piano Teacher. I can't believe that I have been doing this for more than 10 years now!!! Where does the time go? I love teaching piano and teaching children how to love music! This is one of my most rewarding jobs!
4. Digital Scrapbooking Teacher and Camp Croppin' Coordinator. I got into scrapbooking as a way to be closer to my mom and that is also one of the reasons that I have been doing these two jobs. I really do love to get my photos into albums and digital scrapbooking makes things a TON faster! But the real reason I like these two jobs is because it lets me work with my mom and I really enjoy doing that. I feel as though it helps me bond to her. . . and it has taught me that I am more like her than I had previously thought.
4 Movies I have seen more than once:
1. Cool Runnings (my favorite movie!!!)
2. Titanic
3. Fried Green Tomatoes
4.Lord of the Rings
4 places I've lived:
1. My parent's house
2. The basement suite that Otto and I lived in when we first got married and he couldn't stand up straight in the kitchen.
3. Married Student Housing at the University
4. A couple of other places and now our beautiful home!
4 places I've been:
1. Texas
2. Mexico
3. Belize
4. Winnipeg (yes I had to put that on there because I think that I am still wondering why that place even exists! I was there in the wintertime for a craft show and it is a barren, ugly place!!!

4 T.V. shows I watch:
1. Survivor
2. Grey's Anatomy
3. The Office
4. Desperate Housewives

4 Things you don't know about me:
Hmmmm, since starting this blog I think that you have been able to find out pretty much everything about me, but I'll try!
1. I played barbies until I was 12
2. I would rather be helping at an event rather than attending it.
3. I am scared to death of mice!!! Really! It's kind of sad.
4. I used to pretend that my Aunt Christie was my older sister.

4 People I tag:
1. Jamie
2. Michelle
3. Emily
4. Christie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Science Geek!

Today I got to spend the entire day with Anne on her field trip to the Calgary Science Centre. My Anne is such a science and math geek! You would never know it, but she craves math problems and science experiments. In fact, today we were talking about the type of Christmas tree that we are going to get for her room in a couple of years when she has her own room and she wanted a math and science tree. Ok. . . now where on earth am I going to find math and science decorations??? Lahni??? Got any to spare???
I had so much fun today with Anne's class. It was so cute because Anne was excited all day that she had me all to herself. She is in the most wonderful stage where she thinks that I am the coolest person in the whole wide world (and who am I to argue with that???). She kept telling her friends how cool I was and how I used to be a chef at a restaurant (apparently that's really cool) and how our group will have the most fun. Well, I think that we did have the most fun. The two boys in my group were. . . well. . . . boys and they wiggled the whole time, but it was so much fun! Anne and the other girl in my group were really good and we made sure that we touched and played with everything that we could possibly find in the Science Centre.
We finished off the day by watching an IMAX movie and I almost fell asleep (that's what happens when you put me in a nice warm room and turn off the lights).
My kids are growing up so fast and I realize that I don't have many years left before I go from being the coolest person to the most terrible person. I made it my goal when Abby started kindergarten that I would always volunteer for field trips because I know how much it means to my kids and it is lots of fun being able to spend that time with them.
So spending all day with Anne was a blast. I loved being at the Science Centre with my own little Science Geek. Hopefully I will get the chance to spend more time with her on her field trips before I become uncool. (Which we all know will NEVER happen right???)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas, Christmas Time is here!

Well, at least it's here at my house anyways. I LOVE Chrismas! It's my favorite time of year. Iove having my house decorated and covered in nativity scenes. I love listening to beautiful Chrismas music (Josh Grobin and Celine Dion Christmas CD's are the BEST). I love how excited my kids get every Monday and Thursday when the flyers are delivered to our door and they get to see all of the toys that are on sale for Christmas.
There just seems to be a magical feeling at Christmas that I just can't deny. People seem to be nicer and I seem to not mind the cold as much. It almost feels as though there is magic in the air. Having children really makes Christmas a fun, exciting and magical time. There is nothing more wonderful to me than seeing Christmas through the eyes of my children.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Family Fun Night

A couple of years ago Otto and I sat down for a chat. We really want our children to learn how much fun being a member of a family can be, so we decided to try something out for a year. We decided to have a "Family Fun Night". This family fun night would NOT replace our Monday Family Home Evenings, but it would be a special time where our family would set aside time to do something together. Family Fun night takes place on the weekend and sometimes it is a whole evening, sometimes it is just a few hours, sometimes it involves the whole day or even the whole weekend. We have done everything from getting ice cream cones to ice skating. Every week it is different and every week we have had so much fun that we have just kept on having Family Fun Nights even though our year has long since passed.
The kids really love Family Fun Night because we all make an effort to make sure that it IS fun. Sometimes we surprise the kids, and sometimes we let the kids come up with the ideas as to what we should do. Well, today was Family Fun night. It actually started at 1:30 this afternoon when we went over to one of Otto's best friends from High School's house. They were having a dessert party and so I brought some pumpkin brownies and we all had a blast! It was nice to see Frank and Andrea and their son Callum again. Callum has autism and he was born on the same day as Anne. It was really neat because Frank called us the day he was born to let us know and we were able to tell him that we had had Anne too! I think that Callum is like 8 hours older than her and so it is always nice to see their family.
After spending the afternoon over there we then headed down to Mountain View bowling (where I spent many an evening as a teenager) and we went bowling with our friends Craig and Joanna Nadeau. We have been really good friends with the Nadeaus since we all got married 10 years ago and we lived blocks away from each other. We usually have a double date night together once a month and tonight was supposed to be that night, but all of the youth in our stake are at a Stake Youth Conference and so there were no babysitters to be found! However, it ended up being a really fun night. We all bowled (and Abby beat me the first game, but I pulled out the win in the second game on the very last set!) and then we went to Wendy's for dinner! It was great! It was so much fun to be able to hang out with a family that we have known for so long and get along with so well!!
So I would definitely say that today's Family Fun Night was a huge success! We spent the whole day as a family and we were able to have tons of fun with a bunch of friends! YAY for Family Fun Night!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This is NOT supposed to happen!!!

Ok, for those of you who haven't seen my baby Lee, I just want to start off by saying that he is HUGE!!! He is the biggest monster baby I have ever seen! You don't believe me? Well listen to this . . .
The other day I tried to fit Lee's 18 month clothes on him and they were too small! That meant that I had to get out the next bigger size of clothes and can you guess what size they were??? Yep! A size 2. My 8 month youngest son is now wearing the clothes that his 3 year old brother wore last winter.
Now do you believe me????
Seriously! This kid is HUGE!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For a moment . . .

For a moment time stood still. The endless lists of all of the things I needed to do were forgotten and the plans that I had made for tomorrow were put off. For a moment I was able to sit still, frozen in time in a place where the memories of the past intertwined with the hopes for the future. For a moment, I got to spend time with my grandmother who is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and I got to relive some of the memories of her life.
For a moment, the forgetfulness that she experiences disappeared. I got to hear stories about my dad and my grandfather. I got to listen to her laugh and she talked about her grandchildren and I got to cry with her as I relived the passing of my Aunt Linda, her only daughter. For a moment I was able to see my Grandmother as a little girl laying in a bed, fighting for her life and the gratitude and the love that she felt for her step-grandmother who would stay with her whenever her mother had to go out.
For a moment I was able to see my own father as a child, walking around and causing mischief. I was able to see how much fun he had with his brothers and sister. For a moment I got to watch my Aunt Linda take care of her younger brothers and convince them to do things that she wanted them to do.
For a moment I was able to relive those fabulous Christmases spent with all of my Lee cousins acting out the nativity. For a moment I was able to chuckle at the continuous inside jokes that we had about Grandma buns and Grandpa with hair. For a moment I was able to almost smell that delicious smell that accompanied my Grandma Lee as she brought freshly baked Grandma buns to whatever family dinner we were having.
For a moment I was a child again eager for a chance to play with my Grandpa. For a moment I swear that I could hear his fabulous laugh again and listen to his hilarious jokes and stories. For a moment I could almost feel him slap me on the back and say "You did good kid."
For a moment I could hear the music that had been sung on Christmas Eves throughout many years. I could almost hear the Angel's Carol and see the tears well up in my Grandpa's eyes. For a moment the love and the laughter that always surrounded me at family get togethers was there welcoming me with open arms.
For a moment I was able to see how much my grandparents truly loved and cherished all of their grandchildren. I was able to see pictures of almost every single one of their grandchildren being held in the special blessing blanket that my grandmother had made for them. For a moment I was able to see how my grandparents came to all of their grandchildren's special occasions from baby blessings to baptisms to priesthood ordinations and weddings.
Tears welled up in my eyes and I saw the moment that I was able to capture my Grandpa Lee cherishing my daughter Anne. For a moment I could remember him being there holding her and kissing her even though he was sick and frail.
For a moment I wanted to stay there, wrapped in my memories and sitting beside my grandmother whom I love very much. I wanted to be a child again and see my Grandpa and my family. I didn't ever want to leave.
But, alas, time is fleeting and moments do not last forever. But on this Remembrance Day I am grateful for the moments that I was able to spend today remembering.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

But I'm not dancing!

Nobody told me that potty training little boys was different from potty training little girls. So for those of you who are out there, it is VERY different!!! Once my girls were trained, that was it! There were no accidents and there were no messes where there was pee on the floor or wall! With Dustin it is very different! Dustin REFUSES to just waltz into the bathroom and go. In fact, let me show you a little conversation that we had recently:

It's 9 am and Dustin has been awake since 6 and I realize that I have not seen him go to the bathroom yet since he woke up.
Me: Hey Dustin! Why don't you go to the bathroom?
Dustin: No.
Me: Dustin, I really think that you should go to the bathroom because you haven't gone yet this morning!
Dustin: But I'm not dancing!
Me: (after trying to stop laughing) I'll give you a gum ball.
Dustin: (no hesitation whatsoever) OK!

Seriously ladies! I just want to say this is very different from when I had my girlies. Yes, some of them would wait until the last possible second, but they didn't have the added . . . ummm. . . how do I say this politely. . . how about. . . appendage that would allow them to pee in every direction. This has been quite the challenge for me and it seems as though we go through so many pairs of underwear that I have had to buy out Walmart's entire stock on Thomas the Tank Engine underwear and Bob the Builder underwear just so I can get through my usual two weeks without doing laundry.

So to you other mothers of sons out there. . . PLEASE let me know. . . am I the only one who has this fire hose challenge??? Is it only my son who won't pee unless he is dancing??? PLEASE say that there is at least one other mother out there going through this too!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

What am I teaching my children?

Last night I went to a teacher training meeting held by my church. In my church I am part of a presidency that is in charge of teaching the children. Our president thought that it would be a good idea for the three of us and all of the teachers to attend this meeting so that we can learn how to be better teachers for the children in our care. Well, besides us, only one other teacher showed up and so the president was disappointed, but I still believe that it was a very interesting night.
There were lots of different teaching methods shown in the class and lots of great information given. However, the one thing that I really took home with me was the question that I kept on asking myself the whole night. . . What am I teaching MY own children and am I teaching them enough?
I have 5 beautiful living children who are living in such an ugly time. I just get a sick feeling inside whenever I think about what my children are exposed to and what they will be exposed to. I want my children to be able to grow up with a sense of worth and a sense of well being and I just don't think that I am doing enough to give them this. I know that it is now time to sit my oldest two girls down and talk about the facts of life. They are in second and third grade, but I am scared that if I wait too long that someone else will do it first and I believe that I need to teach them about the morals and standards that come along with the knowledge about sex.
I know that my girlies are going to learn about all of the socially acceptable views on sex in school and I want to be able to teach them what WE believe the standards are when it comes to this. I don't want my children to grow up thinking that sleeping around is okay and I don't want my children to think that just because we believe that others have the right to make their own choices that those choices are necessarily the right ones. They need to learn at a young age that just because society says that it is alright that it isn't. I know that my children are being taught about all sorts of things that I don't agree with and I just wish that I had more time until I had to protect my children.
I have been waging a silent battle in my mind for quite a while about this. I have heard and seen children accepting the lack of morals and values for too long. I need to teach my children who they are and where they come from and where they are going. I need to arm them now with the tools that they will need when the time does come that they will be taught something in school that is contrary to what we believe. I need to arm them with the knowledge that just because an adult says that it is true, it may not be true for them. I need to teach my children that the one person who will never lead them astray is the Lord and that they need to ask Him for help when they are faced with two conflicting points of view. I need to teach my children how to love the scriptures and to not just read them. This was not something that I was taught as a child. I was taught that we needed to read the scriptures and I remember being constantly challenged to read the Book of Mormon. However, I was never taught how to STUDY the scriptures and I believe that that knowledge is a great tool in the defence against all of the crap that is thrown at us every day.
I need to teach my children NOW. I feel a sudden urgency. I don't know why I feel it, but I do and I know that it will not be easy and it is going to get uncomfortable for a little bit, but how can I stand before God when I die and tell him that I did my best as a parent when I didn't do everything in my power to protect my children in these days??? These are my children and my family and I need to do whatever I can to protect and help them.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

J Lee 103

For those of you who don't know. . . . JLee103 is my brother's gamer tag. We call him this sometimes. Today is my little brother's birthday. Normally I don't write a whole lot about Jason, besides the odd mention here and there, but I thought that today I would write 10 things I love about him because if I were to ever die, I would want him to know these things.

1 - I love his sense of humor. My brother is always coming up with hilarious jokes and doing funny things. I always laugh when I am around him.

2- I love that he is obsessed with finding new ideas on ways to make money. I always love hearing about his latest venture and it is actually quite interesting to listen to.

3 - I love how much he is obsessed with his dog, Max.

4 - I love how well Jason treats his wife. I love watching him be tender with her and taking care of her. A lot of people don't know that Jason has a soft side because he likes to joke and tease and play around so much, but it's one of my favorite parts of Jason. He can really be a sweet guy.

5 - I love how Jason has taken a special interest in my daughter Caroline. I have had a lot of problems with Caroline because she has been so delayed in her speech and learning, but she always knows that no matter what, Uncle Jason thinks that she is special and he loves her. He calls her his Monster and she used to HATE it when he did that and now she loves it and uses it to her advantage. She also has the same sense of humor that Jason has.

6 - I love that Jason is so dedicated to the church. My brother is currently working with the Young Men in his ward and I know that he does a great job. I know that Jason loves the gospel and I know that he is doing a good job. I have no doubt that those Young Men love Jason because he is such a fun guy.

7 - I love how Jason can turn just about every event into a party. Just having him around makes the whole event more fun!

8 - I love how Jason still loves to play basketball and nintendo after all of these years. This is the Jason I knew growing up and I am so glad that he still does them. I remember going to numberless basketball games to watch him and his friend Jordan play and I remember fighting with him over who got to be Mario and who had to be Luigi in the Super Mario Brother's game.

9 - I love how much Jason does for his family. I know that he helps out my parents a lot. My dad used to tell me that if anyone in our family needs anything that we need to make sure that we drop whatever we are doing and help them out. I know that Jason has really taken that to heart and I know that he would (and has) do anything he can to help one of us out if we were to need it. It meant so much to me to have him and Suzanne come to the hospital after I had Robin so they could come be with me and come see her (right after they got married) and they have babysat for me a couple of times when I have had emergencies come up. Jason has even climbed up to my really high pitched rooftop to put Christmas lights up there for me. Man I love that guy!

10 - I love the relationship I have with my brother. The two of us have always gotten along really well. We don't always see eye to eye, but we really respect each other. Jason and I have never really fought. I can actually remember pretty much every fight we have had because if it does happen it is pretty traumatic for the both of us because for some reason if one of us says something mean to the other one it cuts pretty deep because we have such a deep respect for the other one. I love this relationship and I know that not everyone has this type of relationship and so I feel blessed to have Jason as my little brother.

So there you have it. 10 things I love about Jason. Jay I hope you have a Happy Birthday and I am so excited that you are going to be a DADDY soon!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is the birthday of two people who are both very important to me. The first one is my Cousin Michelle. This is a big birthday for her and I am so sad that I am not closer to her so that I can go and pick her up and we can skip Young Women's and listen to Green Day in my van while head banging and drinking Slurpee's. Happy Birthday Beautiful Cousin!!
It is also my Big Guy's birthday. He is now 32 and I LOVE teasing him about being so old because I am not 30 yet, but I won't be able to do that much longer as I will be 30 this May. I have always said that I have been so lucky to have such a wonderful husband. We got married really young and we hadn't known each other for very long, but I knew that he was THE ONE!!! Otto is my very best friend. He is the best father I have ever known and I have never complained about how much he helps around the house or how much time he spends with the family because it seems as though he is always here, helping out. The kids have started to dread when Otto gets home from work because they say that he makes them clean, but I have to say that I really appreciate it because even though my house is never quite spotless, it isn't quite a pig sty either. I love that he is an engineer and so he fits into my family quite well. He gets along very well with my grandparents and my cousins. My hubby rarely complains about things and if he could just be with the kids all day he would do that.
I love how much time Otto sacrifices to come and support me when I am singing or performing. He is tone deaf and has never really had an incredible love for music like I have, but he has always made a point of making sure that I am involved in anything that I would like to be involved in.
My Big Guy is a wonderful example to my daughters of how their husbands should be when they are old enough to get married. He treats me and the kids wonderfully.
I sure hope that my hubby has a wonderful birthday and that he knows how much we love him!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Recent posts by some of my friends in their blogs have made me think about things. It has made me think about my religion and my values and about whether or not I am someone who could stand up for what I believe in if I had to. I used to think that I would always be the type of person who would stand tall and proclaim what I believe to be true if I had to do it, but now I am not so sure.
Don't get me wrong, I am very strong in my beliefs and my values, however I am also someone who HATES to hurt other people's feelings and I am someone who likes to stand back from a situation and look at it from all sides before I decide how to declare my alliances. This recent topic has conflicted me because I believe one thing, however I have a good friend who lives differently from me and I love him and I would always want this person to be happy. I feel torn and conflicted and grateful that I don't HAVE to do anything about it at this time because it doesn't directly affect me.
I still don't know how I would react if I had been told what to do on this issue, but I am interested to see how it all pans out. It did surprise me when I couldn't just jump on the band wagon with this issue because of the love I have for this friend. It changes everything.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Day After . .

It seems as though I always write a post the day after a big event. Maybe this is because I am so busy during the day OF the big event that I don't get time to actually write.
I LOVE Halloween! I know that it is a day of scary things, however it is still one of my favorite holidays. Maybe it's because it's a day where you can pretend to be anything that you want. Maybe it's a day where you get bagfuls of free candy. I don't know what it is, but I love it!
It's interesting to me that now that I am all grown up I actually find that I love Halloween more than I did when I was a kid. I love helping my kiddies choose out costumes and try to create a "theme" for our family. I love doing a costume photo shoot in the beginning of October so that we can have fun pictures for Christmas time. I love doing my girlies make-up and hair really special so that it looks great on Halloween. I love volunteering in the girls classrooms at their school so I can spend as much time with them on this fun day as possible. I love handing out candy at my door so that I can see all of the neighbor kids' costumes and say "hi" to my friends. I love to sit with my kids and go through their candy and watch how excited they get when they see their favorites. I love taking my kiddies to my parent's house and then visiting their next door neighbor every year. She gets so excited when she sees them and she always saves them a special treat. I love going to my mom's house and drinking apple cider and showing her my kids' costumes.
It's just so much fun right now with my kids at the ages that they are at to be able to celebrate holidays. This year the weather was INCREDIBLE! It was 16 degrees and so the kids only had to wear sweaters when they were trick or treating. It brought back so many memories of when I lived in Dallas and I didn't have to wear any coats when I was trick or treating. I have NEVER had this kind of weather in Canada on Halloween. Because it was so nice, Dustin had a lot of fun and he lead the way for the others to go trick or treating. When we were at my parent's house he just kept on opening candies and eating them. He loved it!! I have a feeling that today he will spend the entire day eating candy. That's okay with me. I love making my kids eat all of their candy on November 1st because then it gets it all out of my house!!!
So now it's time to start looking forward to the next big celebration in my house. . . . Otto's birthday! It just happens to be on the same day as my cousin's birthday which is on Tuesday! So I have a feeling I will be creating another post at that time!!!
I hope you all had a Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE having daughters??? I know I may not say that when they are teenagers, but right now I LOVE having daughters!!! Yesterday I surprised my two big girls by taking them out for dinner and then to High School Musical 3! It was so much fun!!!!
I have always loved musicals and so I love the High School Musicals that Disney has put out. But it was just so much fun to be sitting in the theatre with my two girlies and dancing in our seats and loving the movie together! I am also a big fan of HSM and Hannah Montana because I know that my girls can watch those things and they are clean! Disney has always done a great job with producing clean programs for the kids to watch and so I have no problems that my girls are huge fans of HSM and Hannah Montana!
I think that Disney definitely did a great job with this movie and I can't wait until I can get it for my girlies on DVD!!!
Thanks for the great surprise Disney!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Na na na na. Na na na na. Hey Hey Hey. . . GOODBYE!!!

Yep, I have now bid adieu to 20 of my least favorite pounds. The good news is that I don't miss them one bit. Now I am trying to find a few more pounds who want to get lost. I think that I will look in my butt region. . . I know I have plenty to spare over there!

Monday, October 27, 2008


I have written before about how I believe that there is a very special power in music. I believe that it has the power to influence people for good and even for bad. I believe that music has the ability to help people feel closer to the Saviour and to heal the soul. This was reiterated to me this past Sunday.
This past weekend was really busy for me. I had a lot of things to do on Friday and Saturday and even on Sunday. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around I was exhausted! After church we had choir, and like I wrote last week I love going to choir now that I have Abby to go with me. In fact, we started a trend and now there are 3 other little girls that come out to choir. It was so much fun to see these little girls getting excited about music. Abby is the only one who is singing the alto part, but now she isn't the only child in choir. We even have almost all of our youth in our choir too. I was very happy to see this because I know that music helped me stay out of trouble when I was a teenager. I remember my cousin Michelle coming over and we would get out all of the music that I could sight read and we would sing church songs on a Friday night. I remember my Grandma Lee would be babysitting my family when my parents were out of town and she would come and stand in the room and start crying because she said that she was so lucky because her friend's grandchildren were out drinking and partying on Friday nights and her grandchildren were singing church songs. I didn't realize it at the time, but music really did save me from doing a lot of things.
Later in the afternoon on Sunday I was able to listen as Abby practised the cello. This is only the second year that she has been taking lessons and she is going to be taking an exam in June. I am so proud of her. As I listened to the beautiful deep sounds coming from her cello I felt calm and relaxed. The incredible music that she was able to produce from her instrument just melted all of the tension right out of my body. If I could convince her to do it I would just have her play the cello all day, every day.
Because I had spent so much time away from my family this past weekend I was hesitant to go to the rehearsal for Handel's Messiah. This is something that I sing in every year and this year I was going to not sing in it. Otto told me that I should just go and do it because I really enjoy it and so I did. The feelings of peace and happiness just flooded over me as I sang about the Saviour's life. I felt rested and loved and happy. I always love a good vocal challenge which is why I sing the soprano part in Messiah, and it was fun getting my voice back into shape in order to be able to sing those runs. I didn't try out for a solo this year and so I am able to just go and enjoy myself and have fun singing the music.
So you see, music is a very powerful force in my life. I have always tried to help my children to love music because I know how much it has helped me get through trials and enjoy the happy moment's. Music can uplift me and it can give me energy like no caffeinated drink can!!! I am truly grateful for the wonderful blessing that I have been given to be able to have music in my life.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Time Management

Okay, remember how a couple of posts ago I posted about how I was getting bored? Well I am definitely not bored any more. Now my schedule has finally picked up and I have tons to do! What changed???? Well, I am now the parent coordinator for both Abby and Anne's classrooms. What is a parent coordinator? Well that is the person who is in charge of getting volunteers to come help the teacher in her classroom when the teacher needs help doing things like cutting out things, decorating, hanging things, etc. I volunteered to be the coordinator because this is a way for me to help out the teachers without having to be at the school all of the time. I am glad that I did it, but boy am I busy right now!! Abby's teacher is planning on having a great big Halloween party in her classroom and I am going to get to help her. I just need to find someone to watch my boys while I am there. . . . I think that this will be the hardest part!! Oh well, we will see what happens. It will all work out, I'm sure!
I love to be busy. I think that I get it from my mother and my grandmother. Those two are the two busiest people I know and they are both busy doing VERY different things. My mother is constantly busy with her businesses and my grandmother is busy helping out others. I seem to be a mix of the two. People constantly ask me how I do it and the answer is simple. 1- I put everything into a schedule according to when it needs to be done and then I work on it. This is something that I do all of the time because it is the same principle that works in cooking. You plan everything out so that all of your dishes end at the same time and you can sit down and eat.
2 - I have a wonderful husband who helps me with the family aspect in the evenings and on the weekends. We have Family Fun Night one evening during the weekend where we all go do something fun as a family as well as Family Home Evening on Monday nights. No one messes with these two nights and we all look forward to them!
3 - School and naps. It`s amazing what I can get done when my kids are either at school or napping or in bed! This is when I do all of the things that need to be done so that when the kids come home from school until they go to bed my time is generally theirs. (Except on Tuesdays when I teach piano until 6:15, but one day out of the week isn`t bad!)
So there you have it! For the next couple of months I will definitely not complain that I am bored, because who knows. . . . maybe someone will think of something else that I should be doing!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Adios Amigos

Spanish you ask? Why yes, indeed. It has been a language that I have been learning for 2 reasons. The first reason is because my husband speaks it all the time and he is teaching my children the language. They go to a Spanish school and they say TONS of things in Spanish when they get home. I seem to be the butt of all of their jokes because even though I can speak 2 languages, the second language is NOT Spanish! They think that it is HILARIOUS that I can't speak Spanish, but I just start talking to them in French and they stop laughing because they have no idea as to what I am saying. The second reason I have been learning Spanish is because for our ten year anniversary we have been planning on going to Chile. I never got a honeymoon and so I have been looking forward to this trip for 10 years.
Well, last night Otto and I sat down to talk about the future. We have been worried about the world economic crisis and we have lost some money in our investments that we currently have. Because of this we came to the consensus that maybe it would be more wise to not go to Chile for another couple of years and we will just take that money that we would have used and save it in case we need it.
Yes, we have decided to do the responsible thing. What a bummer hey? I mean who wouldn't rather go to Chile? I know I would! However, I guess that that's what happens when you become the parents of 5 beautiful children who are completely dependant on you. . . . and who knows. . . for our 20th anniversary I will only be 39 so I may finally be able to see my dream come true!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Dream Come True

Ever since I was a preteen I had a dream. You see I used to attend the church choir every Sunday by myself. Sometimes I would get a ride home from various members of the choir, and when my cousins moved into the ward I would often get a ride home with them. I used to feel sad that my mother didn't sing in the choir with me. I used to try everything that I could think of to get her to sing with me. But, alas, nothing worked so I decided to dream. I dreamed that one day I would have daughters and they would love to sing and I could sing in the choir with them.
Well, yesterday my dream came true. Now that Abby is 8 years old and can read I feel that she is old enough to sing with me in choir. She is currently singing in the school choir and I am excited to have her join me in the church choir. Abby's voice is quite deep and so I decided that instead of making her sing soprano (which is the easiest for her to hear), I would teach her how to sing the alto part. I had her sit between me and another woman who is also a strong alto and we worked on the alto part together.
Abby did great! She picked up the notes really quickly (and there were some tricky harmonies in there as well!) and she sang beautifully! I was so proud of her. I am really excited that Abby is going to be singing in this choir with me. I think that it will be good for her musically and I am excited to FINALLY not be attending choir by myself. I finally have a reason to enjoy going to choir again!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Pics

Of course it's that time of year again when everyone goes out to the park to play in the leaves and take pictures. I wasn't planning on taking any traditional pictures this fall, but my mother had other ideas. She called my Aunt Judi and we all met at Bowness Park on Thanksgiving morning to take some pictures. Here they are:

Best Buds!!!

Jen Jen!

My baby sister!
My sister's family!

Every child needs an Uncle who will rough them up a bit!

The Comins at work!

Who doesn't love getting down and dirty in a pile of leaves???

My babies!

These three LOVE to do things together!!! They are my computer babies!!

Jay, Suzanne and Maximus!

My little (okay, not so little any more) family

Mom and Dad

My Family

So there you have it! Our fall family pictures! I was plesantly surprised that we were able to get so many good ones considering it was about 3 degrees outside and the kids were all cold! You can't even see our breath in the photos! WAY TO GO AUNT JUDI!!!
I think that the kids favorite part was going back to Nana's house afterwards while the boys all played football and grandpa went and hit some golf balls. And then we all went out (except for Jenna and Kristin who boogied it back to Edmonton) for dinner at Moxies afterwards.
That was a great way to spend Thanksgiving Day!