Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Seth!

It has been a long lead up to Seth's birthday. Especially given the fact that he doesn't understand time differences (months, days, weeks...) he has really been looking forward to this birthday. We kind of went with a balloon theme since that was one of his major requests.

Starting at the beginning of October, Seth and I created a pinata. This was something my mom did with us as kids and I loved it! So we mixed flour and water, dipped newspaper strips in that mix, and covered the balloon. After it dries it is stiff and you pop the balloon. We then covered it in tissue paper. We started trying to make the paper all puffy - Seth got about 5 papers in and was tired. So then I had him put them on just flat on the bottom half. He picked M&Ms for a treat and put them inside. It was a really fun project and I think we will make one again with the whole family for New Year's Eve.

This morning Seth woke up and came running to our room. He said, "It's my birthday. There are a whole bunch of balloons in my room - how did they get there?" It was really fun to do this surprise like some of our friends have done. We filled Seth's floor with balloons and have had fun playing with them all day. So we were off to a good start.

Seth and I baked his chocolate cake together in the morning. I decorated it later - again balloons.

At lunch we met Seth's friend Jade at McDonald's. So he got to eat chicken nuggets and chocolate milk and play for about 1 1/2 hours.

Steve came home a little early so Seth could open presents, including Alphie the toy robot. We had dinner - eggs, orange juice, and strawberries like he wanted. Then his friend Ansel (and his family) came over to break the pinata, eat ice cream and cake, and have fun.

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Thoughts 10/23/11

A phrase in two scriptures I read this week stood out to me.

Mosiah 4:27 "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

Mosiah 7:33 "But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage."

The word "diligent" has given me something to think about over the past few days. In Sunday School we talked about Paul and how at the end of his life testifying he could say he stood with a good conscience. I think he was diligent. Then in Relief Society we talked about Pres Eyring's talk about service. This is something I have particularly been thinking about. As many times happens when I think about a scripture, my thoughts aren't fully formed or pulled together yet...but I think diligence is a good aim. We have to make sure to balance our various responsibilities in life. We shouldn't be excessive in any one thing...either too busy or too lazy...but diligent in completing our tasks and service. Anyway, this still gives me something to think about...

Monday, October 17, 2011


On Friday Steve and I had a date. While driving our babysitter I had the chance to talk to her about college and my major and how I chose my direction. I think it is interesting to look back...I loved school and really now feel so lucky to have had so many great teachers. So I think it was fairly natural that I thought teaching would be good.

I took my first math class in college, a little more advanced Calculus than I had done in high school. Now it didn't help that the class was at 7:30 am that first semester. I no longer could get up that early very easy, but I was there every day for class. Right after I had to leave and go to other classes, so it took a few weeks to get to know anyone and get some people I could study with. The teacher was just boring, it was harder for me, and I just really didn't think I could make it through 4 years of college with classes like this. So math was out.

I loved AP English and Mr DeConna and I loved the English classes I had in college. I read Shakespeare and other large anthologies. I really enjoyed the Young Adult Lit class. One of my favorites actually was Phonemics and I was convinced for a while we should all use the phonetic alphabet. So English Education was my major, with a minor in Science Education. I particularly liked the physiology classes and my astronomy class, not so much entomology and catching all those insects.

Then I began teaching. There were challenges with my first years, and yes I did have a panic attack one night when I was super stressed. So I learned to relax a little, and overall I really had fun and enjoyed teaching 6th grade English. Then I taught the one year of 7th grade science. I really hated most parts of that year. One important thing I discovered was that I enjoyed learning about a few parts of science, but I really didn't like teaching science. It was harder for me to feel like I could do it well. And since it was general science there were lots of areas to cover (like simple machines) that I really didn't care as much about.

I was so happy to be done and home with Rhianna and then Rand and Seth. I have time now to volunteer in the school. I like just having that small time to teach and be with them. It is interesting now to think about the future. I don't think I would go back to teaching. I don't know that I would go back to work at all, since I am glad that my mom was home and there for us and I like being around my kids. I do think having Steve work at the university will be a bonus for me because I would like to take more classes now that I was never interested in before. Things like economics or photography.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thoughts 10/10/11

We haven't shared pictures of our new bedroom furniture yet. So I thought this would be a good time. When we first got married, we lived in a furnished house for 1 semester. When we had to move, we had so little money so we just got an aerobed and used that for the semester until we graduated. We then bought a mattress and box spring with the metal frame for only $300. That lasted us 12 years until now.

This was one of those times we decided to pay for quality. We got a nicer bed frame, dark wood on the bottom with a leather headboard. The leather is called elephant and really is a mix of gray and brown and looks slightly different depending on the light. We also got new side tables. We decided to do like we have seen on many home shows and got 2 different tables, both in the same dark wood as our bed frame. The mattress we found at a mattress outlet, so it was a new king size high quality but not nearly as expensive.

Then we needed to get new sheets and comforter. We looked at some very nice ones, but the price of those covers was still too much for me to decide what I would like and want to spend so much on. I really love blue colors, and that is what we have on the wall, but I also like other colors and want to have different colors in our house. At Bed, Bath and Beyond we found several options that we liked. This comforter was a great one that has the blues as well as the grays and browns - and it wasn't too expensive. I really like the mix in our room - the geometric pattern on the walls with the floral on the bed, the white on the cover with the darker wood.

The bed is great and should last for a long time. So in the future maybe we can paint the walls and get another new cover. I like thinking about colors. I know that I especially don't like oranges or yellows much. Maybe we could have other colors like rose or the right shade of green or purple or other reds/pinks. My room growing up was a light blue with rose in the floral print and burgundy on the chair upholstery...and those are still some of my favorite colors.

PS - We also got a great new rug with a circle pattern - and yes it is blue too!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Crazy Hair Kids

Last week we had a few fun things. Rhianna went on a field trip to see the play Treasure Island at the Pima Community College. Then on Thursday night our primary had a talent show. The kids brought some things to display (flower hair bows for Rhianna, Lego creations for Rand, and toilet paper binoculars for Seth) and they each wanted to do something. It was fun watching them do their best. Seth was cute since he had never done something like this before. He was smiling and excited and hugging me and I could tell maybe a little nervous. But he got up by himself and told the story of the 3 Little Pigs with just a few pauses to figure out what he was saying. Rand read part of his Worst Case Scenario Survival Guide about avoiding an erupting volcano. It was funny to see the little smirk come on his face just before a part he thought was funny. And Rhianna played 2 songs on the piano. She is getting better and better and really likes fast songs.

Friday was Crazy Hair Day at school. Rand's hair is getting longer and so we spiked it up. Then we used make-up to draw on a beard. Rhianna wanted a whole bunch of braids and pigtails and lots of her flowers. They both looked pretty cool. I told Seth we could draw on his face later...but he didn't want to miss out on the action and so did it himself and came out saying he was a vampire.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Thoughts 10/3/11

One of the great things for me about being in India this summer was that (I think for the first time ever) I read through all of the General Conference talks. In the past I would only sort of look through them and maybe read a few that I actually remembered. We did bring scriptures with us to India, but at first I was finding it hard reading them since they didn't stay in my room by my bed. I had brought the Ensign and kept that by the bed so I decided that each night I would read at least one talk. I had the chance to read the talks more than once and really felt like they helped me.

We just had Conference again this weekend and got to listen to all the apostles and prophet speak. There were many thoughts I had as I listened, but one phrase from Sunday that stood out to me came from one of the apostles, I think Elder Oaks, when he spoke about the different names and characteristics of the Savior. So I looked it up today and it comes from John 10:10 "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

I think there are probably so many ways to think about just this scripture. Through the resurrection, Christ gives us life again after we die. But we also might have life more abundantly if we follow him and have eternal life with him and our families. But in also thinking about some of Elder Uchtdorf's talk to women and not forgetting to be happy now, I think it also applies now. That because of Him, life can be/should be more hopeful and joyful now. I think too often I get annoyed or frustrated at minor things. I am especially working on this as it relates to my kids. I feel worried that they might get hurt or irritated at some very kid-like repetitive behavior. So I am trying to let more of those things go that really don't need my interference, let them play and experience life, and reduce my negative feelings. Many times in the moment I feel the negative aspects more and it is when I step back that I really realize all the good I have and enjoy. I want to have life more abundantly and enjoy all the good things more.