Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Book of Mormon

A few months ago, Alexis asked me if she could take her Book of Mormon to school with her to read during free reading time. She got a lot of questions as to what she was reading by the other first graders in her class at the beginning. Months have passed and she still takes it with her. If she forgets it...which is rare...she will remember in the car and she gets so sad she forgot it. About 2 months ago, she came home from school with an important question:

"Mom, I can't believe Nephi put on Laban's underwear!"

"What!? He didn't! He put on his clothes to look like him so people would think he was Laban."

"Nuh-uh. It's says in the scriptures...he put on "Laban's Garments?
(She lets out a loud giggle) Isn't that his underwear?"

Super funny...but definitely needed some explaining on "garments" having 2 meanings.

2 thoughts:

1. My 7 year old daughter reads the Book of Mormon on her own...with NO push from us.

2. My 7 year old daughter really reads it...and pays attention to what she's reading! What?

She amazes me!

Alexis' 7th Birthday

We woke her up bright and early before school to give her our present on her birthday, December 8th.
A jewelry box she's been begging for. Now...she just needs some jewelry.
I worked on her birthday AGAIN! Alexis was really upset I was working. And to be honest, I was really frustrated too because it seems I always have to work on my kids birthdays. When my sister found out Alexis was so upset...she volunteered to split 1/2 day if I'd split with her the next week. DEAL! It made her so much happier. I picked her up from school and had her 2 cousins, Emily and Chelsea come home with her. They pretty much played in the jacuzzi all was great.

She really wanted to go OUT to dinner on her birthday. She picked Ruby's on the pier. We never go there so we were surprised she thought of that. It was really good. But how can a dinner not be good when it's paired with a shake? Can you tell she was a happy camper? She and Carter were doing some sort of happy dance walking down the pier towards Ruby's. Then, later that weekend we celebrated her birthday with Chad's family. Alexis got a really cool art set from Chad's parents with chalks and all sorts of fun things. Chad's Dad and sister are incredible they were showing Alexis all sorts of tricks with chalk., oh, my...Alexis is in a dress up outfit. A daily occurance in this house!
We celebrated both Chad's sister, Katie's birthday and Alexis' together. Alexis told me what ice cream cake she wanted: Yellow cake, Thrifty's Chocolate Malted Crunch Ice Cream and Chocolate frosting. YUM! I think she enjoyed herself. What we love about Alexis:

-She is often found laughing and giggling. She seems to always get that award at school. I even found a note from a boy at school in her backpack the other day that she had no clue about that said, "Dear Alexis, Why are you always laughing? Love, ----" (I can't remember the boy's name.)
-She is a huge help with Owen. When I was pregnant with Owen and we found out we were having a boy...Alexis threw herself under the dinner table crying. Now, we are having another boy...and her response is typical of her these days: "I don't care if it's a boy or girl...It's a baby and I just can't wait to hold him." She begs to be the one to get Owen out of feed him and ride him on her scooter. It's the best relief a mother could ask for.
-I can really trust her. She's so good with Owen I know I can leave her in charge of him in the playroom while I get dinner on and she will watch and play with him. She's going to be a great babysitter when she's older.
-School's seems to come pretty easy to her. She's self motivated and does most of her weeks homework in the first night.
-When I pick her up from school she is the last one out. The teacher will call her name a few times before her teacher will either apologize to me or she will tell Alexis she doesn't have to keep helping and that she can go home. Pretty much every time...she is getting all the chairs up and on her hands and knees picking up trash when all the other kids have gone. To be honest...I can wait all day if it's for things like that. It's not because she's in trouble and there's never a reward from her teacher. Her and her cousin do it just because.

We LOVE you Lexi-lou! You make our family happy...and always keep us smiling.

The Christmas Tree

Usually it takes us a little while to pick out a Christmas tree. This year we drove a few miles further where all the trees on the lot are the same price. (Cheaper than Home Depot.) As you can tell by the lack of didn't take us long to pick one out. Good thing we have this burly man's backside to document him strapping our tree to our swagger wagon. (Which I LOVE...well, all 3: the car, the tree and the man...not in that order though.)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Surprise Package

December was a very busy month...not that November wasn't!

The kids had their OCMCO concert on December 2nd. But after their Dec. 1st dress rehearsal they came home really late at night and found a package on our front door.

It was so fun.
Buddy, our elf would fly home to the North Pole every night while the kids slept to report to Santa Claus on how they did that day. When he came back he would move to a different hiding spot for the kids to find him. We had a super silly elf that tried to trick the kids into thinking he didn't ever leave by hiding in the same spot as he did the night before on numerous occasions. (Not to be confused with anyone's forgetfulness!) Good thing the kids knew he was trying to be tricky.

It really was fun to see the kids excitement about our little elf. I highly recommend it.

Our New Puppy

Meet Roxy.

Chad had been bugging me for months to get a dog. I finally agreed to looking online. We were originally looking at black labs...but they were sooo expensive. I've always loved Weimarainers so naturally I was looking at them too not thinking Chad would agree to getting one. They are family/hunting dogs just like labs but can be a little more difficult to train. So, when Chad said, "Let's go see them" I was shocked. I knew 2 things: 1) If Chad liked them...we'd come home with one and 2) If I liked what the parents looked like...we'd come home with one. I've seen some weird looking weimarainers so I wanted to see what the parents looked like. Fortunately, they were on site.

We surprised the kids after school, packed a lunch and told them where we were heading. We wanted a girl dog so out of 3 liters (about 15 puppies total)...there were 4 girls all very different. A red (more like a chestnut color), a black, a charcoal gray and a tradition light gray. They were all beautiful. Alexis wanted the black one. I wanted the runt charcoal gray one initially. As we spent time with them we fell in love with the older light gray one and finally came to the conclusion she was the right one for us! She wasn't frightened of us but not overly playful. We took her home that day...1 week before Thanksgiving. She's been lots of fun but lots of work too. Just in time for the holidays.

I will say this...if you want to get to know the people in the neighborhood better...get a dog. You can walk your kids to the park...and people will say hi. But if you have a dog & kids...people think you are the bomb and stop and talk to you forever. I know A LOT more people around here because of Roxy. It was shocking but in a good way.

I need to take more pictures of her too. She's grown a lot since this one was taken.


Thanksgiving was really low key this year. Usually we do a huge extended family get together but not this year. In the morning we walked & rode our bikes down the 'green belt' to my sister's house and played soccer and football.
Actually, Chad and Alexis played. Carter's face was still really swollen so we made him take it easy. Owen and I hung out on the sidelines with our new puppy, Roxy.
I just made myself fatter on the sidelines as I ate my sister's homemade cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate. After that we went home and got ready to go to Chad's parents house to indulge in more food and lounge around. Traditionally, I make homemade rolls but my life got busier than expected so my wonderful sisters pulled through and offered to make me extra batches of rolls while I was at work. How could I decline? I did stay up after we celebrated Chad's birthday the night before and made a Rainbow Jello.
(This isn't my picture...but I thought I'd show you what it looks like if you've never made it. It's time consuming but so yummy and the adults love it just as much as the kids. I always looked forward to having it on Thanksgiving as a kid. The only difference is I do the opposite and put purple on the bottom and red on the top.) Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same without it.

All I have to show for Thanksgiving are these pictures. Pathetic! I need to be better about taking pictures on the holidays.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chad's Birthday

Chad's turned 31 years old two days before Thanksgiving. His brother and sister were coming in town the day after his birthday so he decided he wanted to wait to celebrate it. This was a big undertaking on his part...seeing as I work on Wednesdays (the day he wanted to celebrate). So he made his own birthday dinner and dessert. I planned on helping him out but my help would be limited seeing as Chad was baking from his recipes from his mission to Italy. Unfortunately, for Chad...I was no help since Carter's face swelled up that same morning. (see previous post)

Chad's family came over for an incredible homemade was amazing. Then we got to enjoy Chad's homemade Tiramisu. (But with hot cocoa instead of coffee.) Once again...AMAZING. I should make my husband cook more often. Plus, if you look closely...the kitchen isn't even very messy considering how many different sauces he made from scratch. He's so opposite from me.
What I love about Chad:

-He is the BEST Dad ever. He's got it down...from playing with them, to helping Alexis with her homework, to cooking, to cleaning, to yard work, to making my things out of wood when I have a project that I don't want to spend a lot money on, to disciplining our kids when they need to be put in line, to making them work out in the yard with him on Saturday's. He's teaching them so many great things that will help them in the future.
-He's a good listener. I guess you'd have to be being married to me. But he doesn't always let me run my mouth...there's always the "Amber, get to the point!" just as I begin. He keeps me in line.
-Owen is absolutely obsessed with him. When I'm not looking he bolts upstairs and bangs on Chad's office door calling "Da-da?" For some reason Owen loves to snuggle up to Chad and watch Dora the Explorer. I keep telling him it's not fair since Owen only wants me when somethings in the middle of the night. But Owen has been a Daddy's boy from day 1.
-He's a hard worker. He does yard work every Saturday with no complaints. Not to mention how hard he works trying keep his small business alive in a declining economy.
-He cares about my needs. So often I get so busy...I lose it. Somehow Chad has been able to tap into my needs before I lose it. He's often saying..."Amber, you have to get to bed early tonight!" or he's even handed me the phone..and said " need to get out and have a girls night. Go to a movie tonight with your friends! Call them now." You'd think he's say these things as I'm having an emotional outburst or losing my mind...but he has knack for seeing when I'm running myself thin...even before I notice myself.
-He NEVER expects much. Like his birthday for example. For most people that day would have been so frustrating but he never ever complained and was happy with what he got. This is something that attracted me to him in High School. He has always been happy with what he has in life and never complains that he feels jipped.

I could go on but I'll leave it at that. I love him. I love him for his commitment to our family, for the love he shows us, for the example he is to us and for his humble attitude with life.

Carter's Bad Day

See his swollen face...let's back up 12 hours before this picture was taken.

The day before Thanksgiving I woke up and got ready for work. Carter kept coming in my room complaining about a canker sore. After repeatedly telling him there was nothing I could do about a canker sore...and an extremely sad face on his side...I decided to take a quick peak at it before leaving out the door.

To my surprise...the inside of his cheek was slightly swollen. (Something so minor I'm pretty sure unless you look in peoples mouths wouldn't notice.) Being in the dental field...I immediately knew what that meant. But I still checked for a canker sore even though I knew I wouldn't find one. His tooth had absessed and the infection wasn't finding it's way out so it spread into his cheek and was swelling there. Most people get a little zit like pimple by the root of an absessed tooth so it drains. Not Carter. I was so scared his would spread into his neck and turn into something called cellulitis.

I called my brother immediately...he was on his way to work. I felt horrible because being the day before Thanksgiving Matt and I were supposed to get off work early at noon. But he already had a ton of emergencies...and was working until 3pm. In fact...he was overbooked. He didn't even hesitate to tell me to bring him with me. He saw Carter first thing and made all his other paying patients wait...isn't he the best brother ever! Poor Carter was in excruciating pain by then but loves my brother and thinks he's the best person ever for helping him...even during the process. No joke.

As I left work I told my brother I was concerned it would still turn into cellulitis even though he had opened up the tooth and relieved the pressure. He agreed it was something I had to keep my eye on.

After a few hours his swelling in his cheek was getting really bad and spreading down under his jaw. I was so nervous. I took him back to my brother before he left for home and we called the oral surgeons who were all closed. So my only hope was through Kaiser...our medical coverage. Upon seeing them, they told me they wouldn't open up the wound (meaning cut open his face) for 24 hours after the swelling had started. I wasn't sure how I felt about this. I didn't want Carter to have to be cut open...but I didn't want his infection to spread...nor did I want him in pain. Plus, I didn't really want to wait it out till Thanksgiving morning to take him into the ER to be cut open.

So, luckily the Doctor understood my concerns and gave him a high dose antibiotic shot to help jump start the healing process. Plus, he started him on a stronger dose of oral antibiotics.

Thankfully, the swelling didn't get worse...nor did Carter's pain. So we dealt with this swelling for 4 days and it finally went down.

And my brother was the best comfort in the world. He called me 3 times on Thanksgiving to check on Carter even though he had his wife's family in town. Plus, he borrowed stuff from a local Pedodontist to do the pulp cap (a baby tooth root canal) himself to help save us the money.

Definitely, not something I want to go through again. And it REALLY showed me how genetic teeth problems can be. I have no guilt on my part considering...I brush, floss and give my kids fluoride mouth rinse every night. We are not immune to dental problems even if I do everything preventative I can. Such is life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


While I was cleaning teeth this morning...I was thinking how Thursday afternoons become so crazy. Trying to catch up after working 2 days or trying to sneak in a nap from getting up so early. Either way...the kids never have much fun. So I decided to make a picnic basket the minute I got home so when I picked up Alexis up from school I could surprise the kids with a picnic at the park.

When I got home and told Chad...he said he'd like to join us for the picnic too. Bonus.

The kids had smiles on their faces and it made me wonder why I don't do this more often. It's not like it takes a lot of time or cost anything!

So while we were eating and talking about our day I decided to ask the kids a random question.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Alexis: "You know. What you do...clean teeth."

Carter: "A baseball player. But I wonder what Daddy wants to be when he grows up?"

Laughter from Chad and I. (Because apparently working from a home office...doesn't count as a job in a child's eyes.)

Chad: "Retired! That's what I want to be when I grow up."

Carter: "Huh? What's that?"

Alexis: "It means he's "tired" of doing everything!"

Lots of laughter from Chad and I.

Chad: "I guess that's one definition of RETIRED."

Why don't we do this more often? I love laughing.