Friday, May 29, 2009

Good Friends = Good Times

I am not a person who has a TON of friends. I have a lot of acquaintances, but I don't really feel completely comfortable around that many people. However, the few close friends that I have, I have forever. I am one of those people who are really loyal to my friends and even if I haven't seen them in 10 years, when I do it was as though nothing has changed.
Tonight Otto and I and the kiddies hung out at a park with our really good friends. We all got married at around the same time and our kids are close to the same ages and we have just always gotten along really well. I find that it is rare to have another couple that are really good friends with BOTH Otto and I. Usually one of us is better friends with the couple than the other one. This is not the case with this couple, I could hang out with the wife, or with the husband and it is great. The same thing goes with Otto. It makes things so nice! We didn't do anything very spectacular or special, we just hung out, cooked hot dogs, had a campfire and the kids played. But it was nice.
Don't you think that sometimes the best times are just hanging out? I really love it when you can be so comfortable with people that you don't really have to be doing anything at all in order to be happy and have a good time. Those kinds of friends are the best ones to have. I sure hope that all of you are lucky enough to have friends like that. They really do make life a lot more enjoyable!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Blog

Hey there everyone. So because I am training for this silly race in August, I have decided to start another blog that records my thoughts, progress and obstacles. Please feel free to check it out and make comments/laugh at me!
You can find it at .
Leave me a message so I know that you stopped by!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Do Run Run Run

Alright! I am doing it! I am going to be running. After those of you who know me stop laughing and pick yourselves up off of the floor because you fell off of your chair, just hear me out. I want to see if I can participate in a 10K. I just want to say that I did it. I know that I am the world's most uncoordinated person when it comes to running and I usually trip on anything and everything, but I am going to try and endure it. Hopefully I won't get too hurt. I fully expect to come in last, but I am going to do it.
So, wish me luck. I will DEFINITELY need it!

Monday, May 25, 2009

She'll Remember It

I was talking to a friend yesterday and we were talking about Anne's baptism. I told this friend (who has a son who will be baptized in December) how incredible it is when your child gets baptized and how much it affects you. He agreed and we started talking about how weird it is when your child goes through something that you know that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
In our church, we baptize our children when they reach the age of 8 because we believe that at that age they are old enough to be accountable for their own choices. So, Anne got baptized on Saturday and it was great. She got baptized with a friend of hers that was born a day before her. In fact, we saw each other in the hospital when our girls were born. Both of our girls are these sweet little blond haired, blue eyed girls and they are actually quite good friends. When I found out that their daughter would be getting baptized with Anne, I was quite happy with that because I knew that everything would run smoothly.
It was beautiful. The talks were great, Anne's cousins were there, all of my family was there and most of Otto's family was there. We even had some good friends show up and both Anne, her friend and all of their sisters sang a beautiful song called "Baptism" and I really felt the Spirit there.
Afterwards there was a family dinner at my parent's house and we had a BBQ, a bouncy house, a trampoline yummy cupcakes and lots of family there. I really appreciated my sister and her husband driving down from Edmonton to be there and my brother, his wife and their brand new baby for coming. I always feel so honored that my siblings make such a big effort to always be at the big milestones for my kids. They have no idea how much that means to me.
So after family, parties, presents, food and general good times, its neat to think that Anne will remember most of what happened on Saturday. I am so proud of her for making the decision to get baptized. One thing I love about Anne is that she never does anything halfway. She always puts everything into whatever she does. I know that she is going to grow up to be an amazing woman and I still can't believe that she is old enough to be baptized. The time is really flying by, but I sure am enjoying having her in our family. I know that Saturday will be a day that Anne will remember for the rest of her life.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Moms are not allowed. . .

. . . to get sick. Its true! I was sick all last week and I know that it was not only hard on myself, but on my family. It seems that everything sort of falls apart when I get sick. The kids are miserable, I am miserable, my hubby is miserable and the house gets sooooo messy! I always feel bad for Otto when I am sick because he is such an angel and he tries to take care of everything by himself. I know that it is hard with his work for him to have to come home and help out around here, but he is so amazing and does it anyways.
But now I am better and I feel ready to take on the world again. I just got another catering job that I am VERY excited about because I love both the bride and the groom (no they are not related to me) and I am SOOOOOO excited for them. The mother of the bride is a chef, and we have talked alot over the years and so I am excited to work with her to figure out the food for her daughter's wedding.
It's just amazing to me how much your health can affect your outlook. If I had gotten the request to cater last week, I probably would have felt overwhelmed, but because I am now all better, I am excited and I have something to look forward to. So, hopefully I can say "goodbye" to my basket of medicine and "hello" to my chef's hat!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Anne

Happy Birthday to my Anne! I love you! I can't believe that you are now 8 years old and are going to be baptized next week! I love your beautiful personality. I love how you can be soooo girly and yet such a science fanatic at the same time. I love your tender heart and your loving spirit. I love how sensative you are and how helpful you are. You have blessed my life in more ways than you can imagine! I can't think of a more wonderful girl than my Anne!
Happy Birthday kiddo!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to my sweet little Angel Baby. She would have been 2 years old today. They say it gets easier, but that's a lie. I feel just as terrible today as I did the day that I had her. I will always miss her. Today is the hardest day of the year.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thanks Otto and Jason

Thanks to my wonderful husband and brother, who have been willing to postpone going out to the cabin for a day, I will have my Big Guy with me on Friday. I know it will make a world of difference. I am still not looking forward to Friday, but at least I know I will be able to get through it!
I love you both!

Monday, May 11, 2009

All jumbled up inside. . .

It is always with mixed emotions that I celebrate Mother's Day. I actually couldn't write this post yesterday because I was afraid of how it would turn out because I was a mess of emotions. It was Mother's Day weekend, two years ago, that I found out that Robin had died. It was two years ago this Mother's Day weekend that I went through the hardest trial of my life! My entire world was changed forever, two years ago and so I always feel a whole mess of emotions on Mother's Day.
After I had Robin I made myself a promise that even though I would always miss my sweet Angel Baby, I would still live for my living children. I promised myself that I wouldn't live in the tragedy that was her birth, but that I would make sure that I didn't put my loss above the wonderful blessings that are my 5 other babies. Even though I still think about Robin almost every single day, I am still able to have joy and happiness in my life. I sincerely hope that my children don't think that I have put her above them, because I have made such an effort to really show all of my children how much I love them.
That is why Mother's Day is so hard for me. It reminds me of the hardest day of my life, but on the other hand, I love that my children celebrate it. Otto made Crepes for breakfast and I got a ton of handmade gifts that the kids did at school and then I got some great Mother's Day gifts (including Bernard Callabaut chocolates) and spent the evening at my parent's house with my extended family. I had fun and it was a good day. I did miss Robin terribly, but I couldn't help by participate in the festivities. It was sooooo much fun!
The only hard part was the fact that I felt just about every emotion that I could feel. It also made me realize that Robin's birthday is coming up on Friday and Otto is going out of town and I don't know if I can get through this on my own. I didn't realize this last week when we all decided when Otto and Jason were going to go out of town to open up the cabin. I don't know how I am going to get through it, but I know that I will have to, and that I will have to do it alone. . . . I just can't wait for this week to be over!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Religion in schools?

So I was reading Mandy's blog and it really got me thinking. She was talking about how she was considering home schooling her son because of a book that she is reading called "The Thomas Jefferson Education". I have not personally read this book, and so I cannot make direct comments on said book, however she wrote about something that I think is an issue that many people take offense to, which I see as not a problem.
The issue is of the topic of religion in schools. From Mandy's point of view she believes that "they" (I believe that she means the school board) are taking taking God out of schools altogether and not allowing kids to make the choice. I want to quote the next part of her blog directly because I want to make sure that you understand her point of view before I comment on it. It reads:

I think the people who are so worried about this (not allowing the teaching of God in schools) are most likely people who have no strong religious affiliation and are concerned that their child will be easily influenced to believe something else. Why should that matter? We live in a country where we are supposed to be able to worship freely, right? So how does controlling the topic of religion allow that freedom to citizens of the country?

I can see and understand her point of view. I have heard it many times. I also know that Mandy reads this blog and I want her to know that I respect her for her opinion and that I am so glad that she has it. I am hoping that maybe I can offer a slightly different perspective on this whole topic because I believe that hearing different opinions actually helps us in the development of our own beliefs.
Before I tell you what I think, I want you to know where I am coming from because that, obviously, influences my point of view. I have a very strong testimony of what I believe to be true. I am an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I do have 5 living children. 3 of my children do attend school, and it is a Spanish school. I live in a city (as opposed to a small town) and I am really involved in my children's school because I believe that I should know what my children are doing all day and who they are spending their time with.
I can understand that people think that they are taking "God" out of the schools, but I don't really believe that they are. People are upset that they don't call "Christmas Break" by that name anymore and now it is merely "Winter Break". But, can you understand it from someone else's point of view? This isn't an issue in our school because our school is big on immersing the children in the Latino culture and so we celebrate Christmas as part of the curriculum. I LOVE it because I happen to be a HUGE fan of Christmas, and my children even learn about why we celebrate the birth of Christ. The catholic religion is HUGE among Latino cultures and so we also learn about Lent and Dios de los Muertos (day of the dead). I, personally, am not Catholic, but I don't mind that my children are learning about those religious holidays because I make sure that I teach them at home and at our church meetings about OUR religion.
I know that our school is the exception and not the rule, however I also want to make it known that I do encourage my children to learn about other religions and cultures. I believe that by learning about them, it can increase their faith in their own religion. I have always been curious to learn about other religions and it has not taken away (in fact it has added) to my own beliefs in my own religion. I believe that the school board is trying to look at the topic of religion as an all-inclusive option rather than "forcing all children to learn about one religion". I can understand why the schools acknowledge Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and Ramadan. Can you imagine moving into a country where you are told you have the freedom to worship the way you believe but then your child is forced to acknowledge a type of "God" that you don't believe in? I know that I would not appreciate it if my child couldn't worship the way that we believed if we moved into another country. I believe that the school board is trying to do what our country claims we believe in and that is to have a freedom to worship as we see fit.
We do have an article of faith in our church that does go along with that and it says that "We claim the privilege to worship the Almighty God, according to the dictates of our own conscience; and allow all men the same privilege. Let them worship how, where or what they may." I am a big believer in this. I don't believe that it is my right to take away another person's freedom to worship how they see fit. I don't think that my children are losing their convictions if they can't learn about God in the schools.
I believe that it is my right and responsibility to teach them at home what we believe and then to help them understand that it is okay to believe something different from someone else. I believe that we do have the amazing right to be proud of what we believe and to be able to talk about it freely with others. The schools have not banned the discussion of religion in the schools, they have simply tried to include the many different religions from the different ethnic backgrounds of the children in their schools. We can look at it from two opposite sides. We can take the stand that our right to worship our God in schools has been taken away, or we can look at it as an opportunity to stand as an example of our faith and learn about other religions and cultures. I believe that this is an amazing opportunity, and one that we should take advantage of.
I am a descendant of Pioneers. I have been to Nauvoo and to Missouri where my ancestors were persecuted. How I wish that they were shown the same compassion and courtesy that we are now able to show to other immigrants and people of different religious backgrounds. I am always saddened that my ancestors had to fight so hard in order to worship as they wanted, free from persecution. I would like to think that the right of religious freedom is something that they fought hard for and because of it they have blessed the lives of millions of people.
So, please don't take offense at this post. I know that it is a sensitive topic and that people can easily internalize this. I am no scholar, I am just a mom. I love the hope, peace, joy and comfort that my religion brings to me and I believe that other people should also have the right to have those same feelings. I do not believe that by not being taught about God in school my children are losing a piece of themselves. I just believe that it gives them more opportunities to learn about acceptance and it opens the door to a better understanding of other religions. I also believe that it puts a greater responsibility on myself to teach them about our religion and all that it encompasses.
I would love to hear your thoughts. I won't get offended if they are different from my own. I love to hear different opinions as I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Last night I went to visit my little niece, Brooklynn. While I was there, I spent some time hanging out with Suzanne and we had fun hanging out and chatting. I sure love Jay and Suzanne's little baby! I am so glad that I get to see her! She is pretty darn cute, and she looks so much like Suzanne that I just can't get over it!
Anyways, while we were chatting, Suzanne asked me if I used my blog like a journal, and I told her that I absolutely did! That being said, I did realize that I tend to be better at blogging when I am on vacation than when I am at home. So I have recommitted myself to writing on here again. I know that I am not that interesting, but at least my kids will have a record of what I was like when I was . . . . GASP. . . 30!
I didn't write about my homecoming from Disney World yesterday, and I really don't know why. Otto and I had a BLAST while we were there and I am so glad that we went. However, I was ready to come home. I missed the kiddies like crazy and I was beginning to get quite homesick. When I got home, everyone was in bed so I went and woke up Lee just so I could hold him! Man I love that baby!!! Oh, and in case you didn't notice, he is HUGE!!! I also realized that little gem while I was holding him. How did my baby get so big????
Yesterday morning when the kids woke up, I gave them all their presents. Each one of them got a special pair of Mickey ears, a present, a candy and a trinket. Of course they were sooooo excited about their stuff that they all had to wear their ears all day and take their presents to schools (thanks to their teachers for being so patient with them!).
So, my trip was fun, but it does feel good to be home. . . . it would feel better if my house was clean, but I guess that that is the next big project that I am going to have to tackle.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The first anniversary of my 29th birthday.

Tonight, I received an AWESOME email from my Dad. It was short, but he has no idea how much it meant to me that he sent it to me. In it he wrote that this is a big birthday for me because it is the first anniversary of my 29th birthday! Seeing as I plan on having at least 50 more of these 29th birthdays I can really appreciate that comment.
I have been dreading turning 30. 30 just sounds like a grown up. I feel as though I have been kind of playing around with my life up until now and I can no longer say, "When I grow up I want to . . ." I am actually here. I kind of feel weird, like I don't know what I am supposed to do next. And that is why I decided to celebrate my birthday in the most childlike place I know. . . Disney World!
My mom and Jenna and Kristin are down here too and so we decided to spend part of the day together! We spent the morning together at Epcot doing Future World and part of the World Showcase. It was really fun and I am glad that we got to spend the morning together. After eating lunch in the Biergardens in Germany, Otto and I spent the rest of the day going around the World showcase and visiting the different countries. It was really fun. I LOVE learning about other cultures and seeing their art and tasting their food and smelling their smells (no seriously. . . I really do notice the smells!!).
Because this is the year of Celebrations for Disney, they have a variety of fun gifts that you can choose from on your birthday. You can either get a free admission to the parks, a gift card for the equivalent of the entrance fee, or a fastpass to 6 rides of your choice. Because we had already bought our passes, we chose the gift card. I am really good at buying gifts for others, but I have a hard time spending money on myself, so this was fun because Otto and I decided that I HAD to buy stuff for myself. So, I bought a nativity from Italy, a Mickey Mouse apron and some gifts for my favorite niece, nephew, nephew dog (I didn't get anything for my OWN pets, but I got something for my brother's dog. . . go figure hey?)and a gift to put in Robin's memorial box. After realizing that I had spent part of my gift card on other people, Otto and I went and bought a cute Disney World frame to put some of our favorite pictures into. I don't know where I will put it, but I am sure that I can find a place.
So, there you have it. We go home tomorrow after visiting the Animal Kingdom and then it is back to the real world. I have had so much fun being here with Otto and celebrating my birthday. I miss my kids like crazy, and it is definitely time to start heading home. I can't wait to see the kiddies and give them all their presents.
It has been a great 30 years, so far, and I look forward to celebrating the anniversary of my 29th birthday many, many, many more times.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Magical Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom is the epitome of Disney. This is truly the most magical place on earth. I spent the entire day with literally thousands of children who were completely captured in the magic of Disney. It made me really miss my own children, alot. In fact, I could barely stand it. I am actually quite excited to go and see them on Monday.
For lunch, we dined with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. Because my birthday is tomorrow, Winnie sang Happy Birthday to me and the characters all signed a birthday card for me to keep. It was so much fun dining with the characters from Winnie the Pooh. I am so glad that we did it!
Because I am such a planner, we didn't have to wait in any lines longer than 5 minutes for the rides. We did, however, promise our girlies that we would do our best to get signatures from all of their favorite princesses for them. So, because we love our girlies, we waited. . . and waited. . . and waited in line so that we could get their signatures! I think that it was worth it though because each of the princesses wrote a special note to each one of my girlies. I can't wait to see the looks on my girls' faces when they see what their favorite princesses wrote for them!
No one does parades like Disney! It was so fun to see the daytime parade and the spectro magic parade (at nighttime it was all covered in lights!!) and we ended the night with the most amazing fireworks show I have ever seen! Apparently the fireworks show at Disney's Hollywood Studios is the best one, but my favorite was definitely the one at Magic Kingdom. When I think of fireworks, I want them big, interesting (the more sparkles the better), and high in the sky!!!! Those are my favorites and so I just LOVED the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.
Tomorrow is the big day. It's the day I have been dreading for the past 29 years. Tomorrow I turn the big 3-0. I am hoping that by spending my birthday at Epcot Center (my favorite Disney park) I will be fighting back the enemy that I like to call "old age" and prolong my youth for a bit longer! We shall see if it works. . . I will keep you posted!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Typhoon Lagoon

Today Otto and I joined up with my mom and two of my sisters and we all went to the Disney Waterpark, Typhoon Lagoon and then ended off the day at Epcot Center. Typhoon Lagoon was quite fun and it really made me miss outdoor waterparks. It is one of the things that I miss most about living in such a cold place and I always LOVE to visit a waterpark whenever I am on vacation! A vacation is just not complete unless you have spent an entire day going on waterslides, suntanning and floating down the lazy river!
And, of course, no one does a waterpark like Disney does! The Typhoon Lagoon has 13 waterslides, including 3 water rollercoasters! It has a wavepool that produces 6 foot waves so that you can actually go body surfing and I have never actually seen waves this big, and I have been to the ocean PLENTY of times! Typhoon Lagoon also has a special watertank that has tons of fishes in it, as well as sharks in it that you can go snorkeling in. Yep, that's right, you can swim with the sharks! Kristin, Otto and I did it and even though my heart was pounding the whole time as fish swam all around me, it was fun and it was something else that I was excited to tell my kids about.
Tonight we went to Epcot Center and it was amazing! Epcot is my FAVORITE part of Disney World and I am so glad that we got a small taste of it tonight and that we will be able to return on Sunday and spend the entire day (my birthday) there visiting Future World and seeing all of the countries in the World Showcase. YAY!!! I am sooooo excited!
Tomorrow, Otto and I are going to be dining with the characters from Winnie the Pooh for lunch. . . I can't wait!