Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas In Dixie II

We went to Atlanta for Christmas. It was great to be with family. Everyone is in their Christmas PJ's here - a tradition that both Lars and I grew up with.

A funny holiday story that I want to remember: Another tradition that we and most people have is to open Christmas clothes the night before Christmas Sunday. I warned Toby that it wasn't going to be a toy. But as soon as he opened the present and found a sweater inside he started to cry, threw the sweater on the floor and yelled "No, No, Never!" So much for gracious children. I'll have to work on that....

Christmas In Dixie

The boys school put on a Christmas program this year. Trey was a wise man and Toby was an angel. Toby cried the whole way through the performance - the more he saw our encouraging faces, the harder he cried. Trey was quite the star and had fun carrying his camel with the other wise men. Baby girl was a star in her Santa dress. We also put on a Christmas program at our church the next night, but those pictures didn't turn out. Toby must have warmed up to the stage because on that night he was more than happy to stay on the stage and pretend to sing songs (perhaps because I was on the side of the stage helping...)

The next day we had a Christmas dinner with our good friends and opened some gifts from Grandma and Grandpa!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

For my sister

I told Natalie I would post a picture of Julia Karen's room (yes this is the same room as seen in a previous post, we just cleaned out all the junk and made it safe for a baby - we really are responsible parents - just don't ask my kids what they ate for breakfast!)

Natalie spent the summer in this room and by the way Nat, I doubt your digs in the Netherlands will be quite this cozy.... I'm just sayin....

Happy Birthday

Julia Karen turned one month today - we had a great Dr's appointment where we found out she is up to 9 lbs and 14 ozs. That is music to a breast feeding moms ears. She is the sweetest baby and she showed off that sweetness at Lars' work, where she was held and cuddled for quite some time.

We are working on sleep around here but it is a guessing game each night as to how crowded our bed is going to be and which bed Lars will wake up in.... Oh the joys of three!

Friday, December 12, 2008


So I mentioned in a previous post that I have had a rough time after the birth of Julia Karen, while I am not ready to reflect on the last three weeks and the struggles that I have had, I am ready to put in writing some of the things that have helped me through this trying time. These are things that I am eternally grateful for:

Christ's Atonement. Through these last weeks I have leaned on the knowledge that He not only suffered for our sins but for our pain also.

Prayers. There have been hard days when I literally ran to my knees and I have felt his comfort immediately

A Prophet and his Apostles. I know that God has given us a prophet and apostles on the earth today - and their words have strengthened and comforted me.

The Scriptures. They have brought me peace.

Lars and my Mom. I hate that they have to go through this with me, but they really do save me. Hour by hour they have held me and loved me. They have cried with me and helped me to believe that this will pass. I could never put into words how much I need and love them.

Family and Friends. I am very blessed to have my family and Lars' as well as the love of fantastic friends. I know that I am blessed. I hope that I can be half the daughter/sister and friend that others have been to me.

A closeness to my Dad. Most people know that my 'real' dad passed a couple days before Trey was born. I grew up with two dad's and my relationship with my real dad was at times strained. I didn't understand the choices he made in his life. Through these weeks of struggling I have felt a knowledge of the pain that my Dad struggled with here on Earth and I have grown closer to him.

So those are some of the things that I am grateful for through this 'time of trial'. And just in case anyone is wondering if I have missed the thing I should be most grateful for I posted the above picture so that all will know that Julia Karen is worth all of it. She and my boys are my joy. For whatever reason I have gone through this post-partum period, but I am learning and growing through it and I can almost (ALMOST) say that I am better for it....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Time

It's Christmas time, or so I have been told.... Life is crazy with our new little one and so my Christmas cheer seems to be lacking this year. Good thing my mom came and decorated our house and has set up 25 days of Christmas suprises for my boys. The other day Trey said that December is the best month ever! Every morning the boys look in their Christmas bags, then run to get into the avent calendar for a morning sugar dose followed by a search for the "Elf on the Shelf". Lars has been taking care of all of these things and for that I am convinced he is Super Dad!

Here are a few pictures, our church did a fantastic Interfaith nativity display that I helped a tiny bit with - It is one of my favorite things about living here in Montgomery. We have also been to see Santa a couple of times at the 'Boat Shop' as Toby calls it. It's the Bass Pro-Shop and it is great! I hate to say it but it is kind of a Red-Neck Christmas paradise with BB guns and bow and arrow dart guns for the kids to shoot and the Christmas Story playing non stop - the kids love it there, the other day I asked Toby where Santa lives and he said "at the boat shop".

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Oh so sweet

Here are a few more shots of Julia Karen. Trey has stopped calling her a catapillar and both the boys have adjusted pretty well. I on the other hand have had a butt kickin dose of post-partum crap - more on that another time! She is a fantastic baby and I can't imagine life without her.
My mom is leaving this weekend so say a prayer for our sanity around here!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

She's Here

Julia Karen arrived on the 17th of this month. She was 7 lbs and 9 oz. She was 21.5 inches long and she is BEAUTIFUL. We are all so excited to have her here. She is the sweetest baby - she rarely cries and has taken to a pacifier, nursing and bottles like a champ! The boys were hesitant in the hospital to touch her but now they love to give her kisses and pat her head. She and grandma have become best friends - especially during the 4 o'clock am feedings (thank you grandma)!

I hope to be better on keeping up this blog - she will make for some great posts!

Thanks everyone for your well wishes!

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Crock Pot Love

This post is in honor of Miss Elizabeth, Trey's teacher and my great friend.

During the fall and winter I LOVE using my crock pot because it is easy and provides warm homemade meals with out a lot of fuss. And seeing as how I feel ok in the mornings and terrible in the late afternoons and evenings, a crock pot meal is just want the Dr ordered, so here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Creamy Chicken

4-5 Frozen chicken breasts
1 packet Italian Salad dressing seasoning packet
1/2 cube butter

Let all of these cook in crock pot on high for 4 hours - then shred chicken and add

1 can cream of chicken
1 brick of cream cheese

Let these cook together for another half hour. Serve over rice or egg noodles

Italian Beef

1-2 lb. Beef chuck roast
1 (4oz.) can green chilis
1-2 beef boullion cubes dissolved in 1/2 cup water
1 onion chopped (I am pretty sure you could use dried minced onions)
1 Tbls. minced garlic
1 tsp Adobo seasoning
6-8 peppercorns
1 tsp dry mustard

Put all this in crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Shred and put on some crusty bread with provolone melted over it. This recipe is from my freezer meal group here. We all loved it.

Crock Pot Lazagna

1 Jar Pasta sauce
1 Jar Alfredo sauce
Uncooked Lazagna noodles
Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese

Put 1/3 of pasta sauce on bottom of crock pot. Put a layer of noodles on top of that (will have to break them to fit). Then layer 1/3 of pasta sauce with 1/3 of Alfredo sauce on top of that. Place another layer of noodles on top of that and follow with 1/3 of pasta sauce and then 1/3 of alfredo sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top of that and cook on low in crock pot for 4 hours. If you want this meaty, I have added sausage of hamburger to my pasta sauce.

Friday, November 7, 2008


**8 Favorite TV Shows - in no particular order
1. The Office
2. How I Met Your Mother
3. Bill O'Reilly
4. New Adventures of Old Christine
5. 90210 and Priviliged
6. House Hunters
7. Arthur (my kids love it, so I love it)
8. Lost

**8 Favorite Restaurants - in no particular order but based on where we have lived
1. Cheesecake Factory - my favorite will always be the one in downtown Chicago
2. Bandera - Another favorite in Chicago
3. Brick Oven Beanery - Boise favorite
4. Roasted Artichoke - Center Street in Provo
5. La Madeleine - the one next to the hospital in VA where Toby was born will always be a fav
6. San Fransisco Brick Oven - Next to our home in VA
7. OK Cafe - Atlanta and Julia favorite
8. Panera - an everywhere, especially here in Montgomery favorite

**8 Things that happened yesterday - in order
1. Took Trey to Preschool
2. Came home with Toby and cleaned the bathrooms
3. Met Lars for lunch at his favorite mexican restaurant
4. Went to Lowes for craft projects
5. Wasted time on blogs while kids watched cartoons
6. Played outside with the boys
7. Made dinner for boys - Lars ate candy for dinner, his choice
8. Watched the office with Lars

**8 Things to look forward to - in no particular order
1. Julia Karen's arrival
2. Black Friday Shopping (planning on Thanksgiving is half the fun.)
3. My mom coming and staying for three weeks - thank you!
4. Thanksgiving with family - mine, my mom, Jan and Kim etc.
5. Christmas music
6. Finishing baby girls room
7. Mardi Gras - anyone is welcome!
8. A trip back to Boise to see my families "new home"

**8 things I love about Fall - in no particular order
1. The weather
2. Bright, beautiful colors of the leaves
3. Jeans
4. Halloween and Thanksgiving
5. Kid parties
6. Football games (not that I actually watch them - but Lars loves it)
7. Pumpkin Cake, Caramel Apple Cider, Homemade Soups
8. The smell of a chill in the air

**8 Things on my Wish list - in no particular order
1. Good Health for my family
2. A safe C-section and easy recovery
3. A flat stomach - HA, is that possible after a C-section
4. An easy and happy baby girl
5. Money to travel as much as I want
6. My family will be happy and good people who serve in their communities and the Lord
7. That I will know Gods plan for me and fulfill it
8. That we lived closer to all of our family so that my kids would never have to say goodbye to their cousins/aunts and uncles/grandparents

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Two Weeks

So Julia Karen is coming in two weeks and take a look at her room. Are you embarassed for me that I am even posting such a wreck? You would think this is quite an improvement if you saw the tools that were in there a week ago. Her room has been a storage area for the last bit while Lars has finished up the kitchen and built bunk beds etc. So here we are two weeks to go - wish us luck - oh and before forwarding this on to DCFS remember the post of the boys room, I promise I would never let a baby sleep in this trap (I don't even let the boys go in there).

And in case you thought we were totally unprepared for her, check out the pictures of her closet - first things first right? The picture of the closet is all of her new dresses, her drawers are filled with onsies, sleepers and little outfits - oh the fun of a girl!

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Trick or Treat

We had a fun Halloween around here. Friends from our neighborhood came over for soup and then we were off to Trick or Treat. The kids loved it and went for a long time before getting tired. Lars and I both commented that Halloween really is a great holiday for kids. After they were done they came to our bedroom, dumped out their candy and just looked at it all. Lars and I both have vivid memories of doing that as kids. In fact I remember sitting in my home in our upstairs living room (before our basement was finished and the family room addition was put on) and Ben, Aimee and I dumping our candy out and trading. I had the good candy piles, the ok piles, and the bad. We had a grey swirl carpet and as I watched my kids looking at their candy pile, I swear it was like I was looking at my pile on that grey carpet all over again. I missed my siblings last night too. There is something about coming home after all is done with your friends and just being around your siblings and talking about your night - good times.

So as I am lovingly referring to myself as gigantor, I am also happy to be bringing another sibling into this world for my kids to be able to trade candy with some day....

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Shool Parties

The boys had fun at their Halloween parties this year. The school did a pumpkin patch that each class took turns going to and picking out their pumpkins. Toby's class decorated them, had treats and played outside. Trey's class had lunch included in their party - I think the highlight for each of the boys was having their daddy come to their party - Lars was one of two men there. Have I mentioned how terrific Lars' job is? Well it is fantastic, they even had a little 'party' for us this last week at the Judge's house and spoiled this baby girl with beautiful outfits and blankets - spoiled the boys too with treats and sundeas!

Hope your Halloween was great!

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Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat Practice

Since Trey was little we have used the Family Home Evening before Halloween (Monday night is reserved as Family Home Evening in our church to be a night to stay at home with your family and learn more about the gospel, bond, and play together) to have a Trick or Treat dress rehearsal. We started this because Trey was not so sure about dressing up in a costume when he was younger (he still has a hard time with it). The kids dress up in their costume and knock on different doors in our house - behind the door Lars waits to give them treats. As you can see by Toby's face it is always a hit. I would recommend this to anyone who has little kids who are still a little unsure about Trick or Treating.

Oh and just in case anyone is wondering how we tied this into a gospel lesson - we didn't. Although it would have been a good idea to teach Trey that sometimes we just have to smile and take what we are given. At our church's Trunk or Treat he would tell people no thanks to M&M's and then when people tried to give Toby a candy with peanut butter in it he would tell them that Toby was allergic... So now Lars and I are without Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, what makes for a sad batch of candy in my eyes.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Boys

I love my boys. They are my world. I am excited to add a girl to the mix, but there really is something special about a mom and a son, maybe it's because I know that someday there will be another woman that will become their everything, so for now I treasure them. A few things that I want to remember about each:

Trey is so sensitive and kind. He is exactly like his daddy in his obediance. He loves school. He loves to laugh and tease. He hates vegetables but loves apples. He will always cuddle. When Julia was sick he would sit on her bed and play puzzles or look at books for hours just to be near her. He is very smart. The other day he said in regards to Toby, "I can't wait until he turns four so that we can stop playing this guessing game of what he is saying". He loves being outside and climbing his tree. He says his best friend is Daddy and he wants to live in Boise. He won't wear/eat/drink/ anything with eyes on it (cartoonish things). He won't be around the color pink and refuses to eat girl birthday cakes.

Toby is the funniest little boy. He didn't talk until he was 2 1/2. Now he knows his colors and is learning his alphabet. His facial expressions are priceless. He is like me and has OCD tendancies. He has to do things in his way. He is the biggest helper you will ever meet. He loves to wrestle with Trey and is a total dare devil when it comes to jumping off things. When he gets mad he can throw a fit that is like no other. Lately when he is upset he puts his hands under his armpits like he is going to do the chicken dance and stomps his feet and his eyebrows furrow together - it makes us laugh. He loves vegetables, especially green ones. He, unlike Trey, loves characters and would dress up like any of them. He is obsessed with spiderman even though he has never seen a spiderman cartoon of any kind.

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Sleep Sweet Sleep

Since we got back from our tip to Idaho this summer, Trey and Toby have been sleeping in our bed with us. It is a king, but come on now - I am huge (see previous post). We had to come up with a solution. This is what we came up with...

Lars found a great deal and put this together in one night - that might give you an idea of how desperate we were for a good night sleep! I was shocked that he put it together so quickly, because I swear it took him longer to put together this dresser. Now we are going on six nights with no kiddos in our bed. And just think I have 3 1/2 weeks to enjoy that before baby girl is in bed with us....

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Friday, October 17, 2008

We still got it

So we just got back from a Rockband party. And since I am doing this blog as a way to journal about me and my family I just have to say for posterity sake that boys, your mommy and daddy still have it! Lars is great on the guitar, which is no surprise since we own guitar hero, but he picked up the drums right away. I on the other hand decided to stick with the guitar and singing. Lars refused to sing, but I promise you as soon as we get our version for the Wii (which Lars informed me he ordered weeks ago - news to me) I can guarantee you he will be belting those songs here at home. So while I was the youngest one at the party tonight it certainly didn't show - 30's, 40's it's all good at Rockband parties in Fungomery!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bring it On

So I like to celebrate things. I have been known to buy a cookie cake for the opening BYU game, for elections that we have been directly involved in and now I want to go buy a cookie cake for this last debate! I love it! I will say though that I fell asleep during the last one so I am hoping for some more sparks during this one. I love the debates, but I also love the post debate discussions where each camp tells us why they won. Hmmm, who will win? Who will say what? Will he go there? I just can't wait to watch - please entertain (I mean inform) me tonight!

On another note, here in Fungomery we have enjoyed some local forums and debates. Our neighborhood did a Potluck forum at our local park and I was even interviewed. Good times. Lars and I will be attending a debate for a hottly contested seat in congress in a couple of weeks and I am already looking forward to it, maybe I will buy a cookie cake for it....

32 Days to go

So, we are getting close. I am getting nervous, excited and huge! Really, I thought I was doing better with this baby, but nope - looks like we are going to be heading into the hospital at the exact same weight as Trey and Toby. 9 months up, 9 months down I guess, but all these similarities have me very nervous that Julia Karen might really be a boy! I have had 3 people confirm it is a girl, but I am still freaking out, I am also obsessed with the worry that she only has one eye - weird I know, but these are the things that keep me up at night! I once knew a girl that had dreams every night that she gave birth to a bird, so I guess we all have our things....

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We love the Pumpkin Patch

We went to the pumpkin patch this weekend - it was a blast, the kids loved it. Hayrides, tractor rides, pumpkin picking - it was all fun. Toby just kept staring at everything, he was definitly overwhelmed. Trey on the other hand was all about every place, his favorite was the hay bales that you could play on.

We love the Fall! Oh and by the way we found a fantastic Halloween costume for Trey at Costco. Their costumes are GREAT! Thanks for the idea of looking there Cindy.

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