Sunday, January 31, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.30.10


John, I told you you'd end up on my blog. Bwa ha ha ha.


Abby's baptism was so lovely. Abby is a wonderful, fun, spunky, bright girl. I'm so glad she's part of our family. I tried to get a picture of her at her baptism, but my battery died. This was at the after-party at Eric and Nina's.


We spent the afternoon sledding. Getting ready for sledding stinks. Sledding itself is wonderful. I ended up with more than 250 sledding pictures.

Picture of the Day 1.29.10


I love my Sophie. She begged to do the optional fourth grade science fair with her friend Angela. I said no. I figure we've got years of science fairs ahead of us. Why add an unnecessary year? Angela's mom said no, too. Angela is the youngest of seven siblings, and her mom has had six kids worth of science fairs. And despite parental disapproval, these girls planned the project, got permission to do the project even after the deadline was missed, and spent days working on their display. It's really fun to have a child without my tendency to procrastinate. Maybe I'll learn something I can apply to my own life...


See that egg on the counter? Ben decided to help make the cake. He did a great job of breaking the egg into the bundt pan while I was in another room. It could have been worse... One egg is a lot less mess than a dozen.


Mom and Dad came out with Chelsea and Chelsea's friend Jill for Abby's baptism. We had dinner with the family at our house on Friday night. I love seeing the babies together.

Picture of the Day 1.28.10


My sweet boys.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.27.10


It is 11:00 pm.

I forgot to take a picture today, what with my busy day of sitting around the house wondering what happened to my super exciting life.

So you get my self portrait. And I can't promise it won't happen again. And, at least I made it small.

Calling for All of Your Amazing Recipes

OK, friends. You know how you have those few recipes that are absolute winners? The ones that you absolutely love and work every single time? I'm looking for those. What are you famous for? Do you have the perfect White Chicken Chili (Malisa, this means you)? Are your chocolate chip cookies the best ever? Will you post your favorite recipes on your blog and link me to them in your comment? Or put the link, if the recipe's already online.

What I'm really looking for (but I want it all. So even if you don't usually comment, PLEASE do...):

Chocolate Chip Cookies (although I think I may be very close to perfection with Alton Brown's The Chewy. You just have to use more flour.)
Big, Fat, Delicious, Chewy Gingersnaps
Great soups
Easy breakfast ideas
Whatever. As long as it's really really good.

Here is one of my best ever:

Light Oat Bread I triple it, make it in my mixer, and of course end up using more flour until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It is so so so good.

OK, so send away. My family will thank you!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.26.10


Yesterday Ben and I were running errands, when we saw that dream of all 2-year-old boys: Demolition with large work trucks. An excavator was totally destroying an old fast food restaurant. I will admit that I dug the whole darned thing, too, and postponed entering the bike shop for a seriously long time so we could watch the destruction. No camera, though. Sad. So this morning I headed back WITH camera. The destruction was done, but the excavator remained.

Picture of the Day 1.25.10


Family Home Evening does not always lead to family love and good feelings. Tonight, however, I looked over at my girls while we were attempting to sing "I am a Child of God" for the fourth time (certain family members were boycotting) and saw their sweet little intertwined legs. Does a mom's heart good.

Picture of the Day 1.24.10


We brought dinner to Heber to eat with Dave's mom. Ben was a little terror (a charming and adorable little terror, but still...a terror) for most of the night until we brought out books. And then he was an angel.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.23.10



Reading in bed. Seriously one of life's great pleasures. And I just love how Kate sticks out her tongue whenever she's really concentrating.

Picture of the Day 1.22.10


Ummmm...yes. I still haven't unpacked all the boxes. Malisa came over and helped me attack the office storage closet. I found some amazing things...like my van's registration sticker. For 2009 (!)

Picture of the Day 1.21.10


Ash and Holden came over for a little while today. I love having family members that are such good company. All of my sisters-in-law have become dear friends, and I love having them in my life. And that Holden...don't you want to eat him up?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.20.10


This is Josh's egg car. He will send it down a ramp in science class tomorrow at various angles to see if the egg in the front seat will remain intact or whether it will spew its guts all over the junior high. Josh had nearly completed another egg car this weekend. After hours and hours of work, he decided to read the instructions and found that his egg car was 1 1/2 inches too wide. Luckily for him, he was sick today (or so he said. The jury is still out) so he had time to create another egg car. We'll see how it rides tomorrow. Good luck, little car. May your egg stay whole.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.19.10


I've mentioned my chukars before, but I've never managed to have my camera close while they've wandered the yard. Today we had 14 or 15 hanging out on the back patio. Man, they're cute. The kids and I watched them and took pictures as they walked around exploring.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.18.10

video
My kids went to bed SO late last night that I told them the last one to wake up would get a surprise. Sophie won and SURPRISE...she got to choose what we ate for breakfast. (I know. I'm so super nice.) She chose aebleskivers. I swear, this video was totally uncoached. I just love two year olds. Later, he started calling the aebleskivers "beavers" which was also funny since he was wearing a "Busy as a beaver" shirt.

Later...OK, obviously I don't know how to upload a video properly, because the one I posted doesn't appear to be working well. I'm technologically-challenged. It's funny, though. When I ask Ben what we're having for breakfast, he tries to pronounce aebleskivers twice, then gives up and says "pancakes."


Since the video's apparently not working, here's Ben going to town on THREE (two in one hand, one in the other) totally overbaked (burned) chocolate chip cookies. Before breakfast. I'm such a good mom.

Picture of the Day 1.17.10


Josh (our very cute senior patrol leader) led the Court of Honor on Sunday night, and was awarded his Star. I'm really proud of the things that he's been doing in Scouts. I haven't always been a gung ho Scouting mom, but I've been impressed with his Scoutmaster and the responsibilities he's giving to Josh. It's been a really good experience for him, even the freezing cold backpacking trip they did in December.


Also, we had a great time with our friends Heather (one of my great piano buddies from BYU), Sam, and Garion who were visiting from Colorado. In fact, we had so much fun that they didn't leave until 1:30.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.16.10


Josh decided to make breakfast this morning, and quickly recruited two darling helpers. Thanks to these three we ate wonderful scrambled eggs, toast, juice and bananas.

Go Love Your Babies

I'm not sure if you've followed Natalie Norton's blog since I sent out this request for prayers. If you have, I know you've had your heart broken, too.

Her post today reminds me that I somehow need to rise above the daily frustration of practicing, homework, cleaning, and the omnipresent bickering of my (often) sweet children and just be grateful that they're here with me, making me crazy, allowing me to get one more chance to get it right each and every day. More love. More gratitude. More peace.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.15.10


The day Ben made mischief of one kind and another, his mother called him "WILD THING" and Ben said, "I WANT BROWNIES NOWWWWWW!", and his mother said, "Once they cool down" and Ben said, "I'll blow on dem" and his mother said, "No. We'll wait a few more minutes" and he screamed and cried and threw himself on the ground then ran to his room in tears. When it was quiet for a little too long, this is what his mother found. (I'm sure he'll be up until midnight again tonight, but ahhh, the peace and quiet...)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.14.10


We know that Ben loves his boots (this is his second pair, and he wears them 95% of the time he is wearing shoes), but I have to admit that I love mine, too.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.13.10


Three kids with strep. (Make it four. Ben was warm tonight when I put him to bed. I'm so excited that we get to go back to the doctor!) Long hours of killing time with their DSes, Scrabble and card games (until the fighting began), and reading in their rooms (thanks to the fighting). Thank goodness for the diagnosis of a bacterial infection so I can throw medication at them and they can go back to school tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Resolutions Repealed

When I was writing my New Year's Resolutions (remember that teeny tiny list?), what I was really doing was searching.

For meaning.

For purpose.

For improvement.

For grace.

I felt such inspiration at the beginning of 2009. I knew that Heavenly Father had things He wanted me to do, and it was my responsibility to figure them out. By the end of 2009, I'd forgotten that it took a few weeks and a lot of tears and frustration before my path was made clear.

Enter 2010. My biggest goals met, and no new ones that seemed exciting, I felt off-kilter. Was I supposed to run 1000 miles again? Play another recital? Mostly, I just wanted an answer about why my life has felt so unbalanced since the move.

So I brainstormed all the areas in my life, waiting for that big "yes" that gave me peace last year, that gave me clarity.

This list, of course, was the result.

The clarity? Not forthcoming.

Until I had a conversation with my darling brother Kurt.

And started thinking.

And feeling clarity.

And feeling the big "yes."

And freaking out just a bit, because it makes little sense. Very little. But what little sense it makes...

Makes me extremely, amazingly excited.

What is it?

My new resolution?

Well...here it is. I think I'm going to go back to school. For a Doctorate of Musical Arts. In piano.

Or at least, I'm going to get READY to go back to school. For a DMA. In piano.

Did I mention that I'm extremely, amazingly excited, but totally and completely shocked? This was not on the agenda...

So the goal is to start lessons with a great teacher, to prop back up my semi-weak technique, to perform, to read music history to expand that very small part of my brain that still remembers music history, and then apply to begin the program at the U of U in either the fall of 2011 or 2012, depending on family circumstances. And money. And my semi-weak technique.

And to remain healthy physically, spiritually, and mentally. And to put my family first.

It still feels rather unreachable, doesn't it?

But somehow it also feels right.

(Oh, and another thing that feels right...I'm going to start teaching adults again during school hours a couple of times a week. I've got to get my musical brain moving again, and I'm really excited about some new ideas I have for adult lessons.)

Picture of the Day 1.12.10


One thing I actually like about living up here is the wildlife. It's kind of a kick to see deer all over, grey foxes walking by the back window, and I especially love the birds. The chukars are my absolute favorite. They're like big ol' fat quail with super loud voices and they run all around the neighborhood. Today I saw another eagle and we've had woodpeckers on the deck recently. I've also fallen in love with these huge flocks of little black birds that fly around in big groups. (What are they, Christina?) Normally they're down the road a bit in some big trees, but today we've caught them flying around our house a few times. The sound of all the wings, the sight of the black against the (frustratingly) grey sky...I dig them. I just wish I could have caught the immensity of the flock...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.11.10


After school today, Josh reminded me that the end of term is Friday, and by the end of term he is supposed to have attended a concert for his orchestra class and a play for his drama class. Cue panic mode. Luckily for us, there was an empty table tonight at Desert Star Playhouse. The production on tap: Twi-Lite. Sophie begged to come along. Josh agreed reluctantly. Final verdict? I'll admit it. We had a lot of fun. In fact, we even thought we might need to take Nana to Desert Star on her next trip to Utah. The singing and dancing and spoofs reminded me of a roadshow on steroids...just my mom's cup of tea. (I'm hoping we might have killed two birds with one stone...his orchestra teacher said the kids could use one musical per year to count toward their concert total. Now I just have to find out if she'll count Twi-Lite as a real musical...)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.10.10


More game playing fun. This time it's Speed Scrabble. And if you've never played Speed Scrabble with a two-year-old, you don't know what you're missing. In my case, I was missing lots and lots of points, because the two-year-old wanted to make up his own words out of my tiles.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.9.10


Josh, Sophie, and two of Josh's new friends (twins Daniel and Jacob...nice nice kids) played Boggle this afternoon. (I love Boggle. I rock at Boggle. Especially Big Boggle. Did you know they don't make Big Boggle anymore? What a travesty. The world is getting dumber, so they only give us Little Boggle.) My favorite word of the day: nit. I didn't tell them what it meant because it made me itchy.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.8.10


The lotion that broke this mama's back. Somehow Ben managed to not just pour out but somehow spray lotion droplets (and bigger lotion globs) all over my carpet, my furniture, my walls, and my door.

And have I mentioned he's giving up his nap?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.7.10


Yesterday was Epiphany or Three Kings' Day. Normally, the kids put their shoes under the tree on the EVE of January 6 and the next morning they find treats inside their shoes and a present under the tree. THIS year, we decided to put the shoes out on the night of January 6. Why? Because I forgot on January 5th, of course. Are you at all surprised? We like Three Kings' Day...the kids love extra presents, David and I like spreading out the Christmas fun just a little longer, and I love having an excuse for keeping up our decorations.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.6.10


We all love baby Holden. Kurt had to work today so I got to play with him for a couple of hours before Ash got home from work. Lucky me!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.5.10


Ben has been staying up almost every night until anywhere between 11 and 12:30. The fact is clear (although dreadful): he needs to give up his nap. Terrible, yes? Today he managed to act fairly normal until about 5:00. Then he became a mini-monster. After dinner, David read to Kate and Ben. This is the result. Wish me luck tomorrow!

Seeking Prayers

I don't know that I've ever done this, but here goes.

I've been reading a photographer's blog for a long long time now. I love her pictures of families, especially her own, and I found myself deeply deeply moved reading about the loss of her brother, Gavin, a couple of years ago.

Two months ago, she had a baby, and named him Gavin after the brother she loved so dearly.

Last week 8-week-old baby Gavin was admitted to the hospital with RSV, pertussis, and then came down with pneumonia. He is in extremely critical condition.

She's asking for prayers. Since I happen to believe pretty strongly that prayer has power, I thought I'd send out the request.

Here's the link to her blog.

New Year's Resolutions/TMI



OK, just so we've got that out of the way...

Here they are.

Yes, I know I will meet very few of these. Whatever. I figure if I aim for 100 goals and hit 5, I'm still better off than if I aim for 1 and hit it.

Right?

Or is there that slight tinge of failure with every missed goal that maybe I don't need right now?

Should I just make no goals? And then I'll be happy if I manage to change out of my pjs every day? I think this sounds like a good plan.

I just can't decide.

But there is this long and lofty list that I just may try to work through:

Spiritual:

Attend the temple at least 10 times
At least one page of the Book of Mormon every day
Read Old Testament. (I downgraded this from read all the Standard Works, thanks to my friend Krisa and a healthy dose of realism.)
Keep journal of spiritual impressions.

Home Life:

Family scripture study daily
Teach children responsibility (Help here? Any ideas? Is it even possible?)
Picture of the day
Help Josh achieve his Deacon Duty to God
Work on Josh’s scouting. Get ready for his Eagle in 2011.
Kitchen and great room clean nightly
Breakfast on the table at 7:25
Menu planning
Food storage improved
Deep cleaning daily
Teach Josh and Sophie piano every week
Clean desk every day
Clean car every week
Pay bills and be aware of the money situation every week
No fines at the library (is this possible? I don't believe it is. But I'm shooting for it anyway.)
Functioning mudroom
Organized storage room
Fun family outing monthly
At least one family vacation
At least one camping trip

Relationships:

Daily service
Weekly date night with David
Weekend getaway with David
Birthday cards to family (I'm not sure I have it in me, but I'm going to try...)
At least 2 dinner parties a month
Visiting teaching complete every month

Physical:

To bed before 11:15 consistently (as if.)
1010 miles in 2010
20000 crunches in 2010 (and yes, I don't mean only crunches, but all ab exercises.)
5 pull ups in a row (don't laugh. I upgraded this from 3 when David laughed.)
Lose those last few baby pounds (I like calling them baby pounds, but we all know they're really not.)
Run a mile in 7 minutes (I want to make this faster, but I think 7 is pretty attainable, so I'm sticking with that.)
Add more strength training
Run some race some time

Mental:

Read one good book a month
Writing...not sure what yet.
Photography classes. Improve skills to better record family life.

Musical:

Recital? I just don't know. What do you think? Is once a year too often for all of you forced to be my audience members? Would you prefer every OTHER year? Or every FIVE years?
Have 20 pieces memorized
Arrange 2 pieces for beginning piano trio (piano, cello, and violin) (for the kids to play in church)

Financial:

Pay tithing on the Sunday after the paycheck EVERY TIME
Create working budget/envelope system/allowances
Be proactive
Don’t use credit cards
Get out of debt

That's it! I know!

Laughing may commence now.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.4.10


Family Home Evening cookiefest. Ben loves sugar way way way WAY too much.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Picture of the Day 1.3.10


My sweet cousin Steph just moved back to Utah from Arizona. I taught her piano for years and years (years and years ago), and loved being at her new baby Matthew's blessing.

Picture of the Day 1.2.10


David's annual high school friends' Christmas party. White elephant gifts: some unmentionables and a white mouse.

Picture of the Day 1.1.10


David and Kate singing along to Band Hero at 2 am on New Year's Day.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Our Year in Review

First let me just say that

I DID IT!!!!!!

ONE THOUSAND MILES!!!!!!

I'm sure I'll talk about that more later. I know that you can't wait to read even MORE about running, right?

But first, I thought I'd give you our poor attempt at a Christmas card. You're not REALLY surprised that you didn't get one in the mail, are you? I mean, you know me a little too well by now to expect that I'll manage to get out Christmas cards on time. Or at all. Remember, I have half of last year's cards, all of the years' before, and most of 2005 and 2006 in a box in my yet-to-be-organized office closet. So this year, to save grief and guilt, I didn't even make one. So here you go: my virtual Christmas greetings. Please keep me on your mailing lists, though. I LOVE Christmas cards, and one year I may even manage to send one out to EVERYBODY I love.


JANUARY

The beginning of the new year found us at Aspen Grove with almost all of my family for a snowy getaway. Evy is blessed. I make some crazy goals and sign up to be team captain for the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay. I also schedule my first solo recital in 13 years. And I decide I'll try to run 1000 miles. Biggest and best: Sweet Celia is born.

FEBRUARY

We ("we" meaning David and Josh) make an automatic soccer-ball kicker for a science fair project. Big budget cuts at the symphony lead to budget cuts at the Greens'. More snowshoeing and winter fun. Biggest and best: Matt and Ananda's wedding in LA. I love my new sister!

MARCH

Disneyland with Chad. David turns a year older (42...shhh). Soccer starts again. Josh began his 19 days of fever. Thanks, flu. Liz and I decide to run the Salt Lake Half Marathon in April.

APRIL

Play my April Fool's sister wife joke on the Facebook crowd. Much fun. My parents come up for conference. RECITAL!!! Much much fun. Easter. David's mom's big birthday, Ben turns two, Kate turns six, Lyndsey turns...! Oh, and I hit a pole with my van. Biggest and best: Holden comes to earth. Hooray, Holden!

MAY

Mom and Dad come back to meet Holden. We celebrate Cinco de Mayo with them at Eric and Nina's. The kids have "Informances" at school. Sophie has a violin recital. We get hit over the head with the realization that we're supposed to buy another house and we cry a lot. We put our house on the market. Ben has to give up his boots thanks to pesky blisters.

JUNE

Family picnic in the hail, which results in Kate's enormous fear of thunder and lightning for the next couple of months. Last day of school, which results in more tears. Help Liz and Jeff resod their lawn. Crazy run in hail and lightning with Liz. (June had a lot of hail and lightning.) No one wants our house. I begin to think we won't have to move after all, which is a wonderful thought. My friend Katrina paints a picture of our first house for David's Father's Day present. The Wasatch Back with my dear dear friends is amazing. Our weekly barbecues begin with the neighborhood. Tally has a stroke-like attack and we think we'll lose her. We take a vacation (OK, a staycation) and go to Timp Cave, fishing, and to Lagoon. I get to see my cousin Chris when he comes out from Boston.

JULY

Fourth of July. (I LOVE the Fourth of July). Bri and Celia come to stay while Mike is studying for the bar. Swimming lessons. Time at the Swim and Tennis Club. Green family reunion campout. Outdoor Symphony concerts. Brent comes to visit, and so do my parents and Chelsea. Deer Valley Music Festival begins, and we get a night at Stein Erickson lodge with the kiddos. Our house still doesn't sell. I decide to run my first marathon. Biggest and best: Our eighteenth anniversary and Josh turns 13. A teenager. Yikes.

AUGUST

Barbecues with friends. Swimming. Josh starts practicing with Rush as we try to cover all bases between SLC and Davis County. Thanksgiving Point. Lots of Deer Valley Music Festival concerts. Trip to California for, what else, my twentieth high school reunion. I try to accept that I'm old. I don't succeed. House doesn't sell. Kids start school (Josh: 8th grade, Sophie: 4th grade, Kate: 1st grade and in a class with cousin Will), and I wonder if the wondering will ever end. I'm so ready for the wondering to end.

SEPTEMBER

We drive all over creation for soccer. I decide Bountiful is bad enough, but for SURE North Ogden is too far to drive for soccer. The wondering ends. The house sells. The mourning begins. Sophie turns TEN. (Yes, one full decade old.) I run this little race called Top of Utah. We move six days later. I am exhausted.

OCTOBER

We begin to adjust to our new life. The kids start at their new schools. My parents come to visit. Some form of flu (porcine or not, it's not pretty) comes to stay for a while, too. I turn a year older (cough. 38.) I find my trail. We get my grand! Halloween. Josh's soccer season ends.

NOVEMBER

Kate plays Haydn in her first concerto festival. Sophie plays her Book Two recital. Kate loses her first tooth. Thanksgiving at the new house. David takes on the Human Resources responsibilities at work, thanks to more budget cuts.

DECEMBER

Josh goes on his first backpacking trip. Shiver. We do our first sledding of the year. I get two new callings: Assistant Choir Pianist and Team Teacher for the CTR 5 class. Christmas recitals and concerts galore. We throw two Swedish pancake breakfasts. We get to spend time with Matt and Ananda. Family time, togetherness, and the normal stress of the season find us a little worn out with fun. I run 9 miles to finish my 1000th mile on the 31st. (Nothing like leaving it until the last minute!) We have a New Year's Eve party with our old neighbors and play Band Hero until 2 am.

It's been quite a year. I'm grateful for those of you who have eased our way through it. We count you as one of the greatest blessings in our lives. Life would not be as rewarding, as fun, or as happy without you.

I'd say I can't wait to see what 2010 has in store, but I'd be lying. I'm just going to pretend the new year will give us lots of ease, happiness, rest, prosperity and peace. We can always hope, right?