Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Love my job!

This morning as I got the girlies off to school, feed the baby, and had a funny little conversation with J-man about how proud he was that he didn't wet the bed, I had a continuing feeling of gratitude for being a mother. Today has started out just like most days, but for some reason this morning the spirit has reminded me of what a blessing it is to be entrusted with these sweet little spirits! There are many times that I feel like a failure as a mom, but I know Heavenly Father knows I can do this with his help. I am so grateful to be a stay-at-home mom, last year around this time I went to school 40 hours a week for 4 1/2 months, MAN that was hard!! I hated not being home with my little man and kindergartener during the day and not being home when my sweet Mac got home from school. It killed me not being there! I am so glad that is OVER. That experience did teach me some very important lessons though. I learned how hard it is to work full time and be a mother, I learned that being able to stay home with my children is a huge blessing, and I learned that no matter how hard being a mom can be, being home with my children is exactly where I belong.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I mustache you a question...

J-man and I made some fun Valentines today. It was super easy and free. I used a picture of him and edited it on the website picnic to add the wording, hearts, and mustache. I think they are pretty cute and I am excited for him to get to hand them out with his treats next week at preschool. You could print these from your home computer or have them printed as pictures from walgreens or another photo center. The girls have come up with some funny ideas too, so we are going to work on theirs tomorrow! Stay tuned :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Goodbye Grandma...

Early this morning my moms mother, Juanita (Nita) passed away at the age of 87. She has had very poor health over the last several years, sever problems with her feet her entire life making it very painful and difficult to walk, and has spent the last 7 or 8 years in a wheel chair. Her passing is a blessing in the fact that she will no longer be in pain and for that we are grateful, although she will be missed dearly.

My grandmother was (is) a HILARIOUS women. She was witty, spunky, and full of Irish-Catholic feistiness!! My grandma was tough as nails and faced some huge trials in her life. She said what was on her mind and taught me to stick up for myself. I always knew that my grandma loved me and I am so grateful to have had such a great relationship with her.

One of my most treasured memories of her was her coming with me to pick out my wedding dress and having her buy my veil for me. My mom had been in town shopping for wedding dresses and we just didn't have any luck finding the "perfect dress". My mom was pretty heart broken to not be there with me to buy my wedding dress. My mom suggested that my grandma go shopping with me, so that at least she could be there when I picked out my dress. I can vividly remember my grandmother picking me up at my Provo apartment to go shopping. She was so excited to get to do this with me. As soon as I got in the car she asked if I wanted to go to breakfast. We ate together at Village Inn in Provo and we talked about the wedding plans as we ate our breakfast. Afterwards we headed to Walker's bridal. I can picture my grandma right now parking the car and struggling to get out of the car, I remember having her hang onto my arm as she slowly walked into the bridal shop. It always made me so sad for her that she had such horrible problems with her feet and legs. Once we were inside we looked around for only a few minutes and then I spotted the dress I had to have. I told my grandma, "this is THE DRESS" and she kept asking me over and over again if I was sure. We picked out the veil and a pretty jeweled hair piece to go with it. We also found some pretty high heals as well. My grandma always wished she could wear high heals, but with her foot problems is wasn't possible. When we got ready to pay my grandma took the veil and hair piece from me and told me that she wanted to buy it for my wedding gift, I thought this was so sweet of her.

Just a few weeks ago when my parents were in town for my cousin Megan's sons funeral I had an overwhelming impression that we needed to stop by the care center to see my grandma on the way home. My grandma had come to the viewing the night before but my family wasn't in town yet. I am so grateful that I listened to this prompting from the Spirit, this was the last time my mom, dad, and siblings saw her. It was such a great visit, she was a hoot, cracking jokes, talking about when she stole my grandpa from her friend, and even calling my dad by name (this was rare). It was such a fun visit. She loved seeing the baby and especially loved when we reminded her that we had given the baby her middle name. She had us all laughing hysterically. Randomly in the middle of our visit, she whipped her head around and told my dad, "geese, you are so handsome, Ron". I will always cherish this precious time we had with her.
This past Thursday after I dropped J-man off at school I headed to her care center to spend sometime with her. When I first got there she was peacefully sleeping. I sat by her, talked to her, kissed her forehead, and told her how much I loved her. About an hour later I was in the other room feeding the baby and talking with my Aunts, Grandma started yelling out in pain and we all hurried into her room. The hospice nurse had turned her on her side and it was very uncomfortable and painful for her. My Aunts got her situated but she continued to try to talk, they couldn't hear what she was saying so they asked me to listen. As I put my ear close to her mouth I heard her whisper a few words, the things she said will forever be precious to me. I started to cry, I kissed her forehead one last time and then whispered in her ear to please hug my baby brother for me and tell him how much I love and miss him. The spirit filled her little room and I know angels were present. I could have stayed for hours longer talking to her and holding her hand, I didn't want to leave(but the kids were getting out of school.)

I love my grandmother so dearly, she has made a HUGE impact on my life and I am so grateful to have been blessed to be her granddaughter. I don't even know how to put into words how grateful I am to my grandmother for converting and becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints. I can't imagine my life without the knowledge of the Gospel, the knowledge that families can be TOGETHER FOREVER through covenants in the Lords Holy Temples. Death does NOT part us, our family is Eternal and we will be together in the next life. My faith has sustained me through my biggest trials and my faith in the Savior Jesus is unshakable. I have my grandmother to thank for joining the Church and making it possible for me to have this knowledge. My faith makes up who I am, my purpose in life, it is the center of my life, family, and home. Grandma, you have given us the MOST priceless gift!!!

I love this quote... "When you save a girl, you save generations", this is most definitely the case for our family.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Oh boy!

We're in trouble!! This $100 budget thing for ANYTHING extra this month is turning out to be MUCH harder then we thought. Looks like we are going to need to just stay home the rest of the month so that we aren't so tempted to spend!

So here is how we have spent our budget so far...

Wednesday night Courts boss invited us to the Jazz game at the last minute. Courts mom was awesome and came to watch the kids (and did all of our laundry why we were gone, I am so lucky to have a TERRIFIC mother-in-law).Royce (Courts boss) bought us dinner, he is so great to us, he is always taking us to games, out to dinner, etc...
We couldn't resist and did buy a big old ice cream cone at the game, it was YUMMY and worth every penny. We figured going to the Jazz game was our date night for the week, so $6 on ice cream wasn't so bad!

Thursday was a rough day, kids were crazy, baby didn't sleep, I thought I wasn't going to survive. Normally on a day like this Court would come home with a diet coke for me, but since we aren't drinking soda he brought home candy instead. AHHH, bad, bad, bad. I am trying to LOOSE my baby weight, but I CAN NOT RESIST candy when it is starring me down in the face! So I ate the candy (all of it) and there went $3 more of our $100 budget.

THEN last night, Friday, I worked until 5:30pm, then drove home in some crazy rush hour traffic. By the time I got home it was already 6:30pm, baby was starving, kids were starving, I was starving, and we had NO FOOD in the house. SO we ended up going out. BAD, I know, it was only day 3 of our $100 budget month! We went to a yummy Mexican restaurant, it was soooo good. We had a coupon for buy one get one free adult meal, so that helped keep our cost down. Plus now that Mac is older she doesn't love to eat off the kids menu, so her and I usually share. All together with tax and tip our meal came to $29. Too bad at all for dinner for our whole family, but still a BIG chunk of our budget.

SOOOOO out of our $100 we have spent $38, leaving us with just $62 for the REST OF THE MONTH! I still need to buy the kids valentine cards and treats for school and a little Valentine gift for each of them. LOOKS like we are going to need to be extra careful!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

We love to ski

On Tuesday Court and I gave the kiddos the day off school and took them up to the Canyons Resort in Park City for a day of snow skiing lessons! The girls have both only missed one day of school this whole year due to being sick, so we figured missing one more day wouldn't be the end of the world ;).

January is Utah's learn to ski month and there are lots of great deals for locals. The kids were able to take a 5 hour lesson that included their lunch, ski rentals, and lift ticket for only $39 each. Normally this package is $198 PER KID!! We just couldn't pass up a chance for them to get to do this at such a great price. I have to admit leaving J-man there was a bit of a challenge for me. You drop your kids off at ski school at 9am and don't pick them up until 3:30pm! I was kind of panicking about how he would handle this. Since Court and I weren't skiing we hung out in the Lodge, got some breakfast, and watched for the kiddos. We finally spotted J and he wasn't doing so well, the teacher couldn't even get him to put his skis on. Court walked over to the ski school hill and gave him a little pep talk. After that he put his skis on, headed up the lift (they call it a "magic carpet" because the kids stand on it and it pulls them up the hill) and then he went cruising down. It was so fun to watch him, he picked up on it so fast and was having a blast in no time.

We looked and looked for the girls but couldn't see them. Finally Court asked the people in the ski school office where they were. Turns out they had already gone WAY up the mountain to a different part of the ski school. We really wanted to watch them for a little while but just the ticket to ride to the top was $15 each! So Court talked to them, told them we weren't skiing and that we just wanted to take pictures. The lady printed us some passes for free and we headed up the mountain with the baby. We sure got some looks when we had a baby up at the top of a ski resort. I felt like wearing a sign that said, "People we are not stupid, no we are not skiing with our BABY". Seriously people asked me if we were. There was another lodge up at the top of the resort that over looked the ski school, so we ate lunch, drank hot chocolate, and watched the girls.

After I knew that all of my kiddos were safe and having fun Court and I headed back down and went shopping at the outlets for a little while. We mostly just looked around and then got a few things for the baby.

It was such a fun day. I loved getting to spend it with my hubby and I loved that my kids got to try something new. I LOVED skiing with my mom growing up and can't wait to take my kids with me. They definitely need a few more lessons before I will brave taking them on my own. Hopefully we can find another great deal and take them once more this season!

Dear Baby Girl...

My sweet little E, you are 5 months old, FIVE MONTHS! Time really is flying by dispite my desire for it to slow down. The past five months with you have been a PURE joy! You are precious in every way and I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sent you to our family.

I was looking back at the timing of your birth and the timing of your sisters and brothers births. The Lord sure knows what he is doing. You were each sent to me at a specific time, when I needed you the most. Your precious, pure, and powerful spirits have helped carry me through the biggest trials I have faced in life. Each time I have had a big trial to deal with I have for some reason always had a new baby. I think that Heavenly Father knew that I needed your strong spirits and connections to Heaven to get me through. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father blessed me with four beautiful children. I love being a mother to each of you and I am so grateful you have been entrusted in my care.

Little E, you have the sweetest little personality. You are ALWAYS happy and so much fun to be around. You smile at everyone you meet. You get so much attention, all of your hair and those big eyes, people can't help but comment on how beautiful you are! I can tell that you are going to be just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside. Your spirit is strong and I can feel that. I am in owe of you, I love to just hold you, cuddle you, and stare at your beautiful little face. You are my baby, you always will be. I know that you are my last and the thought of never having another baby of my own to hold and love is very sad, but I want to be a GREAT mother to you and your siblings, and for me part of being a great mom is knowing my limitations. Four is my limit.

Five months old is such a fun stage. You are loving toys right now. You love anything soft that you can grab and stick straight into your mouth. You also love things you can shake and make noise with. You love to sit up, you aren't doing it on your own yet, but you love to sit in you bumbo and watch what everyone is doing. Most of the time you are very quiet and always observing what is going on around you. Recently though you have started growling, I'm not sure what happened to your sweet cooing, but you have replaced it with growling at it is pretty funny! You love to growl with your daddy, you take turns with him and you both growl back and forth at each other. It is dang funny to hear growling coming out of such a sweet, tiny little girl!

You are still so petite and I love it. I love that you are my last and you are staying tiny!! You are not even 12 pounds yet, but you are really long, just skinny. We started you on rice cereal and you aren't too sure what you think about it. You are getting better about taking it as time goes on. The Doctor asked us to start you on baby food as well since you are so small and not a big eater. We gave you green beans for the first time a few days ago. At first you didn't like them too much, but you are starting to like them now.

I love you so much my sweet baby girl. You have brought so much joy and love into our home! Your sisters and brother think you are are greatest thing in the whole world. You are definitely the little princess of this family! J-man is so sweet to you, I love seeing him read you stories and play with you. Your dad is just as crazy about you as I am, you are his precious baby girl! Now, please, STOP growing up so fast!!

I love you to the moon and back!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

$100 budget challenge

Court and I have been talking a lot recently about finances and saving money. We aren't BIG spenders by any means, but we could be much more careful with our money. We would really like to buy a home again and need to save a sizable down payment. SO we are going to buckle down, be smarter with our money, and hopefully be in a new home within the next year!!

To kick start our better budgeting and less spending we are going on a $100 "extras" budget for the month of February. We obviously have our bills to pay, groceries, gas, etc... This $100 budget is for all of the extra stuff. As we have been going over our budget and spending habits we have realized that we spend too much money each month on JUNK... eating out, little trips to the gas station here and there, random things that we really don't NEED, etc... SO this month aside from our regular bills and expenses we will ONLY be spending $100. Any eating out, family activities, date nights, craft projects, trips to the gas station for a treat, redbox rentals, clothes, valentine cards & treats, etc... will have to come out of this $100 budget! Eating out is definitely one of our biggest money wasters, so we will be eating-in most of the month!

I don't think this will be easy for us to stick in this $100 budget, but I know we can do it if we are really careful!! I am hoping by doing this we will not only save money, but time as well since we will really only be going to the store for gas and groceries!

With this small budget I have come up with a few ideas on how we can stretch our money further this month and still have lots of fun as a family!

*Homemade Valentine dinner
*Date nights at home (put the kids to bed early, make dinner together)
*Trade baby sitting with friends / go to the temple (free date)
*Swim at the rec-center as a family (we have a family pass, so no additional cost)
*Go to the Library -check out books/movies -attend story time/classes/puppet show
*Play at the Children's museum (we have a pass, so no additional cost)
*Go to another rec-center in SL County (included in our pass, so it will be free)
*Visit Temple Square and Visitors center (free)
*Go to the dollar movies on discount day (.75 cents per ticket)

STAYED TUNED TO SEE HOW WE DO! I will share how we end up spending every last penny of our $100. Wish us luck :)