Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 30.

Heaven knows I love my girls…

But I am thankful for bedtime tonight!

They are crazy/hyper/fun/silly/emotional/demanding little girls from the moment they wake up.  Add that, multiply it by three, and mix in a typical busy day, and you’ll have one tired mom at the end of it all.

I am thankful for the usual ease in our bedtime routine, to end our day with family prayer, tuck-ins, and kisses all around.  Family prayer is something that we happen to be good at.  It draws us closer, reminds us of the love we have in our home, even after a crazy day.

I am also thankful for the quiet (and sometimes uninterrupted) time I have with Merrill after they are all in their own beds (or sharing with big sis).  Dinner time, is not the time for Merrill and I to attempt to have a conversation.  There are too many people excited to talk to him then, fill him in on the happenings of their individual days.  No, we need the “us” time to catch up on all that we want to.

(But I do enjoy snuggles from little people in my bed too.)

I am thankful for the satisfaction I feel when I lay down after a full day.  I sleep so much better!  I feel tired and I look forward to the rest.  I also look forward to seeing how much more I can get accomplished in the next day.

I just heard someone get up for fourths on the “bedtime drink”.  Better go put the smack down..


Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 29.

my finest friend

Tonight was the first FHE for this Christmas season.  We sang Ashley’s favorite Christmas song from primary (she requests it every time she is in charge of the song though), discussed some things we’d like to do as a family, both fun and service oriented, and we talked about what Christmas means.  To finish off our evening, we watched, “Mr. Kruger’s Christmas”.  It has been a favorite since we were kids, and we are so thankful that the church has out it out on DVD.  We’ll probably watch it 100 more times this season, and I will cry more times than that just thinking about it..

I am so thankful for this time of the year, for the lessons I re-learn every year.  I am thankful for those gentle reminders of what life is all about.  I am thankful to be reminded of how personal my relationship is with my Savior.  That is what this movie does for me. 

While he is praying, imagining that he is right there that sacred night, Mr. Kruger says some very heartfelt things.  He begins by introducing himself, but then adds quickly, “You already know that.”  He talks about how Christ has always been there for him, during the darkest times, the loneliest, he hasn’t been alone.  He acknowledges that the Savior has walked with him many times. Even when he didn’t like himself too much, he realized that the Savior loves him, and that is enough.

My favorite is when he says, “You are my closest, my finest friend…”

This all hits me, every time.

He knows me personally.  He has always been there for me, even when I wasn’t doing everything perfectly.  He has been there, walking with me during the hardest of times.  His arms are around me when I feel the loneliest.

I need to know this every day, because not every day is easy.  They aren’t all ever easy for all of us, we all have our rough spots.  Those days when it just seems too tough, when we don’t think we can make it through, we need to realize that He is right there beside us, helping us along.  We need to remember, when we feel that all have abandoned us, that He loves us.  When we feel those feelings of abandonment, when thoughts arise that there is no other friend left, He is our friend.

I am making it a goal, to have Him be “my closest, my finest friend”.

This world is a cold harsh place a lot of the time.  We have friends that we think are our world.  Those friends come and go, but He is a constant.  I want to nurture that relationship.  What better gift could I ever give myself?

November 29th..

The start of some old traditions…

I {heart} faces: B&W Scenic.

We should all know how much I love B&W photographs..
We should also all know how much I love Lake Powell, the beauty there.
So it’s only fitting, that this pic be my submission for I {heart} faces this week.
Take a look what other submissions are there.

I am thankful for this…

Collin Kartchner is mostly known for his sarcasm and wit around here, but today, he made me cry.  Speaking so beautifully of feelings, truth, knowledge, and emotions with which I am well acquainted, he managed to hit the jackpot on my tear ducts today.

Need a good cry?

Want to see what life is all about?

Need a little comfort?

Grab some Kleenex, go here.

It also helps if you have a toddler on your lap, watching it with you.  Just when I thought the tears wouldn’t stop, Peyton farted on me.  Nice little distraction.  It reminded me of the three sweet ones I do have here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fun new products..

I love seeing what fun new stuff the designers come up with at Jessica Sprague..
Just a couple of things new to the store tomorrow:
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Okay, so part of this one isn’t new, but it’s newish.
Splendid Fiins put out a “Splendid Tutorial” on how to make Silhouettes, from beginning to end, and making them into your own brush!  Pretty incredible, I know.
Tomorrow, new to the store, will be these alternate borders.  You can color them, but I am just boring and left them black.
I made mine into ornaments, and if you click on it, you can see the name and age of the little girl whose silhouette is on there..
I just printed off the finished product, cut it out, rounded the corners, and glittered the edges of some chipboard before I stuck down my silhouette with craft dots.  Add a little rick-rack and you have a cute little ornament!  I would have liked to have diamond glazed it, but ran out of time.
My mind is just racing with all the possibilities with this one!
Queen of Quirk (I love all things quirky..) has “Reindeer Games” coming out tomorrow.  I wanted to use all of the elements and papers on one page, but that wouldn’t have looked too great.  It is all so fun though!
reindeer games
I also used her template.
Stitching, Splendid Fiins.
Fonts, Marcelle Script and Caviar Dreams.
Don’t forget, the great holiday sale is going on there, and prices are slashed by 20%!!  With any purchase over $20 you get a free comp kit, that is pretty fun too..  need to find more time to play with that one…
Oh, and the FREE class starts TOMORROW!

November 28th..


November 27th..


Day 28.

Today was yet another awesome Sunday spent in primary (the best place on earth!).  Merrill and I taught the oldest class in primary, and love those kids.  A couple of them are very well loved babysitters. 
Primary is always an uplifting experience and I am thankful for the great people that are there with my children every week, teaching them and loving them.  You can’t be in there and not feel the spirit.  It is incredible. 
Lynn also had her baptism interview with the bishop..  it’s a mixed bag of emotions there.  She is looking forward to all the fun to come.  I think she’s most excited for the new dress, I am excited to take pics, and design her invite.
It was also another snowy day here, something that we LOVE!  I am thankful to neighbors who help us out.  We pay this one pretty nice (and good looking) guy to take care of our driveway, cover his gas and all, ;) and another neighbor came by and took care of the sidewalks.  It was a nice blessing that made it possible for us to stay in and enjoy the day as a family. 
Merrill gets perks for putting the shoveling off, and I don’t win the argument that we should really look into a snow-blower.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 27.

The day isn’t even done, not even near being over, and yet I am thankful.

The girls have spent the past few days playing together.  It isn’t always perfect and peaceful.  Someone usually gets their feelings hurt, and the pretend plots need to be de-dramatized sometimes.  Sometimes the players need to be reminded that it is just pretend, that we can each have ideas, and take turns playing out our ideas.

As Ashley was crying because Lynn was bored with the Polly Pockets, and wanted to play something else, I told them of what it was like for me growing up…

I had no sisters.  The only people I could play dolls with continually were my friends in the neighborhood.  I didn’t always want to play dolls.  I didn’t always want to play with my friends either.  I was a homebody (still am!) and would much rather play with my brothers, in my own home 95% of the time.

We would spend our time playing G.I. Joes, Star Wars, Micro-Machines, Hot Wheels, Legos, Constructs, or building forts.  Bottom line, we had a blast together.  I loved playing with my brothers.  They were always there, and we always had a fun time.  There were times that I wanted to play Barbies, they knew it.  I remember them building giant “men” using their Constructs, so my Barbie could have some guy friends (besides the Ken doll who had hair issues).  There was one time that Ken, my oldest brother, not the doll, spent a while making a man out of a wire hanger, toilet paper, and duct tape.  We played late into the night with my Barbie and his “man”.  They were so good to me!

They still are..

My brothers are always there when we need help.  Their hands were many of the helping hands when we moved.  They have helped in home-improvement projects, have shoveled my driveway when we were on vacations, and even when I was pregnant or had a newborn.  They have been there for me during the hard times.  They have been a shoulder to cry on.  When others treat me unfairly, they are on my side.  They always support me.  They were on the couch, right next to my dad, “cleaning” guns when a new date came to pick me up.  They are what family a means to me.  We love each other unconditionally.  We have all made bad choices, but we have always been there to support and love one another through them.   They didn’t say a word to me about my “almost marriage”, they just wanted me to be happy.  They were planning on supporting me through it, if that was the choice I made.  I later found out that not one of them really liked him.  “He was alright..  but not good enough for you.”

We always joke about how protective they are.  Joe is referred to as “Sonny” from the “Godfather”.  (That leaves either Ken or Kev to be the “Fredo” and I am not going to do that…)  He can be a little hot-headed..  but so can Ken.  He once chased down a punk kid because he knocked over my snowman.  I was 17 at the time.  Ken was 22.  And then there were the snowboarding trips that Kev and I took.  He always tried to blame me for getting him into near squabbles, but he just got upset to hear other guys on the mountain call me not very nice names when I would ask them to move away from in front of the jumps we wanted to take.  Can you see the hot-headedness?  Geez, but I love ‘em!

I recently got a massive bruise on my forearm after a co-ed volleyball tournament.  It was pretty bad.  I wore long sleeves for the first few days, didn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.  Then I started to laugh to myself.  If anyone knew my family, they would know if Merrill had laid his hands on me..

Have you seen that scene in “The Godfather”?  Sonny goes off on Connie’s husband for hurting her.

Um, that is kinda how my family is. 

When I told Merrill that thought, he laughed at me and said, “You think really highly of yourself..  you think your family loves YOU more than they love ME?”

Because that is how they are.

My brothers might not have all things in common with my sweet (but very confused) husband, but they love him anyway.

I feel a little sad for my girls, that they don’t have brothers like I do.  I am thankful that they have each other though.  This time of childhood, the innocence and the play, is so fleeting.

Someday, they will be reminiscing about all of their fun times playing and pretending together..  I wonder if they are remembering this, as they play Polly Pockets with the Christmas village and Nativity…  amoxicillin snow anyone?

I might just have to buy some G.I. Joes and Legos for Christmas, just so they can have the experience.

I am thankful for the brothers I have been blessed with, and the sisters I now enjoy in my life because they have married them. 

I love you Ken, Joe-Bo, and Kev!

Friday, November 26, 2010

November 26th..


A funny, brought to you by Lynn.

Last night, I was sitting, winding-down after our day, and Lynn came to me.  She had a pant less Ken doll and wanted me to put the pants on him.

Her desired favor also came with a warning:

“Don’t look down though mom, he’s naked, and it’s gross.”

I looked, first at her, to see if she was serious, which she was, completely, then I looked down, at the naked Ken doll in my lap.

Now we all know that Ken isn’t “graphically” naked, he has some molded-to-his-body plastic BVDs on.  I guess, to a girl, it is gross.

Her reaction was comical: “Ewww!!  Mom!  You looked…  that’s gross!”

“I have seen more in my day Lynn.”

“Ewww!!  You’ve seen a naked boy mom?!”

“At least three times that anyone can prove.”

I know of some people who lay it ALL out for their kids as soon as they turn 8.  I think if we did that for/to Lynn, she would go into shock.

Day 26.

I am thankful for the day off today!

We spent it home, as a family.  We got out all of the Christmas decorations, put them up and put up the tree as well.

I am thankful that only one ornament was lost to the hardwood floor.  Peyton didn’t really believe me when I told her that certain things were fragile. 

Besides Ash and Pey having twin coughs, that drove me nuts, it was a great day spent together.

I am thankful to a thoughtful friend who snagged me some black Friday goods, knowing how I treasure my sleep (that and the fact that Merrill had to work last night so we wouldn’t be going out..), and also knowing of some things I have been eyeballing…  she saved me about $50.  (Love you!)

I am also thankful for the leftovers we got to munch on.

I am thankful for Merrill, being home, and being so willing to run out and get things from the store when I need them (sometimes it’s just a little caffeine!), without complaint.

I am thankful for the feeling in our home, I look forward to the coming weeks, that same feeling, and the building of anticipation for the little girls who live here and are already quite excited.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving in pictures.

What’s Thanksgiving without “Easy Cheese”?

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Or olives…

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(I ate the ones with green olives, and grossed my dad out, like usual.)

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Peyton grossed us out using “other” methods.

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Mom’s semi-homemade stuffing..

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The next set is for those who love to eat the skin..

Grandma would freak out whenever we ate the skin..  “You’re going to die of a heart attack just like your mother!”

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Our favorite tradition (second to eating skin) is making gingerbread houses at Grandma and Grandpa Pitcher’s.

Peyton enjoys eating them…

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Day 25: A Day of Thanksgiving.

I found myself thankful for many things today..

- Spending the morning with my girls, eating breakfast, watching the Thanksgiving Day parade together.  Seeing their excitement at certain floats (Sesame Street, Cookie Monster really..  Buzz Lightyear..).

- The girls wanting to go visit the cemetery to “see” Grandma, even though Grandma’s headstone is covered in ice and snow.

- Spending part of our morning with mom and dad.  Talking cameras with dad, talking everything else with mom.  I am thankful to have their help, interest, and support.

- Seeing my brothers and their families.  (Missed you Kev & Rand!)  It’s not often that we are ALL together, it has been a while.  I was thankful to see my nephews, be shot by them, to hold my sweet niece (who is suddenly too big..) and to enjoy a face-to-face (as opposed to phone-to-phone, or facebook message-to- facebook message) with my sweet sister-in-law (who is more like an actual sister to me).  I am thankful that we all live so close, that we can see each other often.

- Being able to come home and prepare a Thanksgiving meal for my little family.  I am thankful for all that my mom taught me, for all that my grandma taught me, so I would know how!  I am also thankful for the desire I have, that I enjoy being a homemaker. 

- I am thankful that even though Merrill was working today, he is close enough, that we could go spend some time with him while dinner was in the oven.  I am thankful for the job he has.

- I am thankful for three little girls who run when they hear the garage door shut, running to attack their dad with hugs and kisses because he is home.  (Even if it was just a little over an hour since they last saw him..)

- I am thankful for a husband who offers beautiful prayers everyday.  For the prayer of Thanksgiving he offered before our dinner tonight.  For his gratitude for all our Heavenly Father has given us, for asking that our family continue to be blessed.  I am thankful that he invoked the spirit to be in our home this Christmas season.

- I am thankful for the sweet things my girls said they were thankful for at the dinner table..  family, parents, home, sisters, good food, strong bodies, the earth, Christ & Heavenly Father, themselves.  Ashley was so cute, “Aren’t you thankful for yourself mom?”

- I am thankful to have a sweet husband, who helps me clean up dinner.  Who helps me to pick the turkey clean.  (All while watching “The Godfather”.)

- I am thankful for the traditions that continue on with our extended family.  For Darlene always gathering us together to laugh and create.  The girls ALWAYS look forward to making gingerbread houses (Peyton looks forward to eating them..) and grandma always comes through.

- I am thankful that I am always greeted with a kiss to the forehead and a hug from Dixon.

- I am thankful for the rest of this holiday season, for the feelings in our home, for the life that becomes more centered on our Savior. 

We have truly been blessed, we continue to be blessed.  At times I feel totally undeserving, but then realize that that in itself is a testimony of how much our Heavenly Father loves us.  He wants to, and waits to bless us.  I am so thankful for the gospel in my life, for the many blessings my family enjoys because of it.

November 25th..

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She gets the love of good turkey skin from me!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November 24th..

Lynn is 8! 072
One for you too, mom and dad.

Day 24.

Today, I am thankful for this little girl, that we are so blessed to have her in our life.

I am thankful that we were able to celebrate her!

She chose to get her ears pierced for her birthday.  Square CZs for this girl.  As she was prepped for the piercing, there were zero nerves.  Zero.  She didn’t scream, wince, or cry.  She just blinked.  I didn’t even know it was done until the gun was moved!  She is on cloud nine.

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When I asked her what she wanted for her cake, she answered, “Carrot cake.  I had some at Grandma Pitcher’s and it was yummy!”

When I asked her what she wanted it to be decorated like, she answered, as if I were an idiot, “A carrot…”

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Birthday dinner of fettuccine alfredo and grilled chicken.

Sparkling cider too, this is a special occasion. ;)

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She was so excited to open her gift (a second opening, Peyton got to it first!) from Grandma and Grandpa Pitcher.  She loved it all.  Thanks Darlene!  Dixon tried to take credit. ;)

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It was fun to watch her read her cards..

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She was more than excited to get her own scriptures, with her name on them!

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We surprised her with a new bike.  One that she won’t look like a giant riding a miniature bike, when she rides.  She was quite surprised.  Ashley kept telling her we bought her new socks and underwear.  She did go into the room where it was, didn’t notice a thing…

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We hope all of your birthday wishes come true Lynn!

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We love you!!!

8 is great!

I can hardly believe it…

She is really 8!!


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Lynnie, you are more than excited to be 8, and you should be!  What a great time in your life (what a great time in ours!!).  There are so many great things that lie before you, and we are excited and so thankful to be able to share in them with you.

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As I went through all 468 pictures we took, of just you (and some with me), today, I kept saying prayers of thanks..

I am thankful for your spunky and silly personality..

I also cried, like, a lot.

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For the obedient spirit you are.

For how many times you say um and like in one sentence.

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For the love you show your sisters.

For how you want to sleep with them EVERY night.

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That you are always making me laugh!

That you know just when I need a hug.

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I am thankful to have been able to watch the transformation in you this last year, to see just what 8 does to a little girl like you.  To see you learn and understand so many things.  To see the excitement in your eyes when you learn something new, to see the satisfaction when you understand a new concept.

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You are my helper.

(You also have your sloppy moments…  but we get over them!)

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You care about every ones feelings, you are such a good friend!

Your excitement for everything that happens in life makes us that much more excited.

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I look back, and remember the days before your birth as we were preparing for your arrival.  We were so excited (and a little sacred!), we couldn’t wait to meet you.  When I watched your little body enter this world, I had never been so thankful.  You have changed our lives. 

You made me a mother.

I am so thankful to be able to hold you in my arms everyday, kiss your sweet face, and hug and squeeze you until you beg me to stop.

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We can’t wait to see what else 8 has in store for you.

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I love you Lynnie-lou!

Love mom.

One buck Wednesday!

As usual, on Wednesdays, there are some fun deals at Jessica Sprague..
Just a couple of those are:
Elle’s Studio Christmas Gift Tags
elle's studio christmas gift tags
These are so fun!  I usually make my own every year, stamping and punching, coloring sometimes too..
These guys are already all dolled-up for you.  They come in three different colors, different sentiments too.  I layered mine with a scalloped center piece.
Another beautiful product available for one buck today are Christmas card templates from In the Making Design.  She has used her “Frostbite” papers to make these lovely cards.
I LOVE Linda’s stuff.. it is always so gorgeous!
ITM_Frostbite_photocard2  There are five to choose from, all for one dollar!
With a bunch of fun sales coming up, don’t forget the one at Jessica Sprague, going through December.  20% off most products, not to mention a bonus with $20 purchase.
Ohhh!!  AND the FREE class!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 23.

I am thankful for the kinda-sorta “blizzard” we had for a second today.  I am thankful for the excitement and fun it brought.

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They (the meteorologists) sure talked up a big storm, and we were excited!  But, it wasn’t as big as we’d hoped for…  it did pile-up outside the door.

I think there were some people praying that it would putter out.  We were praying to get snowed in, for the power to go out, have to live off of our food storage, use the lanterns and flashlights for a night (or two), cook dinner on our camp stove, sleep underneath mounds of blankets snuggled closely to each other to keep warm.. 

You know, an “adventure”.

We had fun while it lasted…

After dinner, as I sat down to finish Lynn’s birthday shirt, Merrill came in my craft room, looked out the window, rubbed his hands together, and said to the girls, “Let’s go out and run in it!”

We were all down.

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Soon, everyone had on snow gear, and we were out in it. 

We made a few snow angels, chased each other and even had a couple of tackles and white-washes.

After that, it was inside for hot baths, hot cocoa & homemade doughnuts, and snuggling while we watched a movie.

What a great day!

Maybe the next storm will pan out the way WE want it to (sigh..).

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