Thursday, December 31, 2009
- my mom sewed matching pajama pants for the kids and they looked adorable
- we got the set of Harry Potter books (thanks to Swagbucks, we got a lot of them for FREE!)
- Elisabeth loves her play-doh and pack of 12 lip-glosses
- the boys got some more video games, which makes them happy
- we gave Abigail Zac's ipod shuffle, and she is excited beyond words
- we had a fun time at our family get together
- and I got PARCHEESI, which I was really hoping for this year
Anyway - that's just a little bit of our Christmas day for you.
Have a Happy New Year's!!! (our 2 oldest are intent on staying up til midnight tonight - we'll see how that goes) Cheers :)
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
We have decided to maybe hopefully start that yummy german dinner as a new annual Christmas family tradition!! This year we made it for Christmas eve - and I decided to show you some pictures of the feast this time (forgive the truly awful photos. Obviously, I have absolutely zero experience in photographing food. But, you get the idea at least.)
So, here we have the spaetzle (noodles) with Gouda cheese and ham:
This year we made pork schnitzel instead of bratwurst. It was so good!!
And Gurkensalat (cucumber salad)
Saturday, December 26, 2009
We've never been there, and they have also special things going on for the Candlelight Christmas, so it was a lot of fun. They had things such as a "train" decorated in swags of evergreens to ride,
an old-fashioned Father Christmas to visit
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
(p.s. Click here if you are curious to read more about the temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints: Temples)
Monday, December 21, 2009
Anyway - I will probably mostly stick to posting just pictures and quick summaries of our activities this week. I am going to try not to think too much for the next week or so. What a relief! :)
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I woke up sporting this absolutely amazing ensemble:
And we met at the Bountiful Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where we were married.
Happy Anniversary Zac.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
It's deceptively simple. You merely open the dresser drawer seen here:
And, ta da! The pair of underwear falls out onto the floor!
In other news:
Elisabeth has been getting in lots of trouble lately. No big surprise, really. One day not long ago, she colored her fingernails with a red magic marker. I'm really not sure if she was trying to make them look pretty or just scary. Because it turned out looking kind of like freaky bloody fingertips. Today she found some of the christmas stocking candy and raided it while I was in the shower. She cut off some of her hair the other day (inconspicuously, thankfully!). She has dismantled pieces of our artificial christmas tree and scattered it around the room. And she keeps having accidents wetting her pants nearly every day. Every. Single. Day. She is just so independent, it doesn't even seem to faze her. She just changes her clothes, and goes on her merry way, and leaves the wet things on the floor somewhere for me to find later. It's driving me crazy. She may have potty-trained earlier than the other kids, but the other kids hardly ever had accidents once we considered them "trained." Elisabeth, however, continues to surprise us with her own way of doing things. Grrrrrr. . .
- I won the Thanksgiving Point Membership from the giveaway on MormonMommyBlogs!! I know I mentioned it on Facebook, but I am really just so excited. I honestly couldn't believe it!!
- I have been a bit stressed lately. I've mentioned that, right? Along with the normal day to day stresses, we have the added mounting stress of Christmas preparations. We finished nearly all of our shopping for the kids a month ago, but then it occured to me that I forgot some small details - like shopping for Zac and our parents and stockings - and I still want to do some fun holiday type activities. And I still haven't decided whether to send out Christmas cards or not? Etc. etc. etc. I know there is a lot of buzz about reducing holiday stress, simplifying, toning things down and all of that, but really I just do the best I can. It will always be a little stressful. For me, at least. Maybe it's just because I am so easily thrown off kilter. Who knows. But I may as well accept it, I think. And then last week I thought that there was a possibility that something might have been going on with me physically that should not have been going on. And if it had been going on, not only would it have been unexpected and unprepared for, but it could also have been dangerous and even life-threatening. So that was quite worrisome. But it was unfounded. So that's good at least. And Zac is getting a pay cut come Jan 1st along with an increase in health care costs, and I cannot foresee any way at all that we can come up with the rather large chunk of money to make up the upcoming deficit in our monthly budget. I try not to think about it too much. But it is quite stressful (maybe I'll post more on that later and get your ideas on major budget stretching). And then there has been an extremely difficult situation going on with my extended family. Because of the people involved and the nature of the circumstances, I cannot talk about it (which is torture for me) but it has been very very difficult for me and I have had to make some heart-wrenching decisions. Anyway - so if you live near me and have seen me and I've seemed a little out of it or distracted, that is most likely the reason why. And if you haven't noticed, then I guess I am better at hiding things than I thought. And I guess sometimes that's a good thing. I had to kind of push these personal things aside for a bit so I could get that giveaway out there (even though I felt even slightly dishonest for posting something so lively when I really didn't feel like it) and to try to get other things done. It's hard for me to pretend that I am doing well when I am not (you may have noticed). So I guess that's why I'm confessing now.
Anyway - I think that's all my tidbits for today. I'll let you know if I think of anything else.
And YOU HAVE UNTIL MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO ENTER THE CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY!!! Winner will be announced tomorrow! yay!
until then . . .
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
If you haven't already, you have until Thurs night (that's TOMORROW) 11:59 PM, MST.
You won't want to miss out on your chance for free stuff, now would you? (yes, really, I'm talking to YOU!)
Thanks for reading and good luck. :)
In celebration I thought I would share these pictures of the first of his birthdays that we shared as a married couple. Does he even look any different?!? (hint: the correct answer is YES!) We had been married almost a year. I was pregnant with Abigail. We were poor college students living in a very old apartment and Zac was working nights from 10 pm - 2 am and going to school during the day. I was getting ready to start my final internship, my last semester before graduating.
And, yes, as you can see, I gave Zac a candy bar, an umbrella, and a toothbrush for his birthday.
It makes me laugh to remember how I stood in line at the college bookstore to have these items gift wrapped for him (and the nice old lady at the counter just smiled kindly at me). I won the cake at a church service auction, so I didn't make it either.
Ah, good times. :)
I love this guy so much. Now that I think we have officially entered our "mid-30's" I am looking forward to the years to come. We have come a long way and it's been a wonderful ride.
Happy Birthday Zac.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Everytime I try to put in a hyperlink, it is adding blogger.com before the http I am trying to include! And then of course the links don't work. It's getting very frustrating.
It doesn't show it when I type it in, but then when I publish the post and test out the link, it does it to me.
I've never had this problem before so I have no idea why it's happening.
Anyway - so bear with me as I try to figure out this obnoxious problem. So sorry!
Monday, December 14, 2009
offering to do a small giveaway or product to review on my blog site! I am not even kidding.
And, you may know, I am a sucker for free stuff. So I was really really tempted to get myself a free little something to review on here . . . but then . . . you know, with it being Christmas and all, I thought I would share a little love and goodwill and give something away to YOU!!!
You, my dear faithful readers, however small in numbers, deserve it after all. You put up with my groanings and complainings, endure my babblings and musings, pretend that I'm interesting, contribute your thoughts and insights, and boost my vain ambitions to "have friends and influence people."
I thank you. This blog has been a life-saver for me in many ways and it would be nothing at all if no one read it. Seriously.
So, here's the deal. Here are the items which are being offered as a GIVEAWAY!! (I am just so excited!!!) One LUCKY WINNER will win ONE OF THESE products of their choosing:
1. SilverStone Simply Baking Nonstick Carbon Steel 12 Cup Muffin Pan 2. SilverStone Simply Baking Nonstick Carbon Steel 11" x 17" Cookie Sheet 3. Guidecraft Set 9 Mini Unit Blocks4. Wild Republic Really Wild Bingo 5. Le Creuset Multi-colored Pinch Bowls (Set of 4) (1/4 cup size)
6. Mindscope Octacube 3D Puzzle
In your comment to me, merely mention which product you would like, if you win. I will use a random number generator to choose a winner, and as long as you live within the US or Canada, I will pass on your shipping info to my friendly contact at CSN stores and THEY WILL SHIP IT DIRECTLY TO YOU! (my apologies to Kelli, the only regular reader I know of outside the US) :)
HOW COOL IS THAT?!?
And, as most blog giveaways seem to do, if you post about this little giveaway on your blog, with a link back to this post, then you can receive a second entry into the drawing. Just leave another comment. OHH, YES!!!
The only catch is that you really must leave a comment on my actual blog. So if you are reading this on Facebook or email or elsewhere, click on the little spot that says "view original post" (or something to that effect) and it will take you directly to the blog where you can leave a comment. You can even comment anonymously (well, I do actually have to know who you are - but you are not required to have an account of any kind to do so). Any questions??
You have until midnight this Thursday night, Dec 18 2009 to enter. I will announce the winner Friday morning and then, if you're lucky, you might even get your prize by Christmas!! YAY!
Free Stuff, Free Stuff!!! :)
And be sure to check out some of these CSN affilliated online stores:
There's some great stuff!
PS - ANYONE is certainly invited to enter - even if this is the first time you've ever visited my blog. You don't have to be a "regular faithful" reader. Just to clarify. :)
Friday, December 11, 2009
The point of the meeting was to discuss my objection to Isaac being kicked out of speech therapy without sufficient reason last year. So I requested more data proving that his speech issues aren't "adversely affecting his educational performance" (the requirement of the IDEA sp ed law to qualify for services).
Well, I won't go into all the details, but I knew going in that they were going to do all they could to prove to me he didn't need speech, and since I have already expended a lot of energy in even putting up this fight to begin with (it's taken almost 3 mos. of pushing to get this meeting set up), I had decided that I wasn't going to continue fighting. It was enough for me that I made my point. I still think it's unfair that they kicked him out before he had accomplished his IEP goals. And I still don't think that the data they showed to me is truly sufficient in proving that his speech isn't affecting him socially and in other areas besides academics (all that they proved to me was that it isn't affecting him academically which is really only a portion of what "educational performance" includes). Sigh. But anyway - they did provide me with more data than they had to begin with. And they will (hopefully) work with him a little informally and help him fix the last few articulation problems he has and officially "graduate" him from speech, since he didn't get to do that last year (and Abigail got a certificate and huge candy bar when she graduated from her speech therapy. yeah).
My final advice in this matter, though, is this:
If anyone in a similar situation is presented with a decision that you haven't been prepared to make, take the paperwork, do some research, think about it, but DON'T SIGN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU ARE SURE (no one informed me beforehand last year that they wanted to kick him out of speech and I felt sort of pressured at the meeting to sign the agreement to take him out. The biggest mistake I've made in this process.) It might not have made any difference in the end. But it would have been a lot simpler to make all the arguments before agreeing to anything.
So, as always, I only hope someone might be able to learn from my mistakes.
Oh, just one more item of venting: the principal stated in her letter of opinion that "articulation problems would affect the student's spelling performance." And they had a stack of all Isaac's 100% spelling tests to back up their view. And I don't know where she got that from, but it just doesn't sit right with me. All the kid has to do is memorize the spelling words!!! Would speech issues really be reflected in that?? My unqualified, unprofessional (but still somewhat experienced) opinion is that that's a load of crap. I might have to do a bit of research into that to make myself feel better.
But anyway . . .
I'm done now. Thanks for listening.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
She said that we could put another set of tubes in (the 4th ones) - which would equalize the air pressure and allow the ear drum to move properly again. But the only way to determine if that will be effective is to do it. In other words, we won't know for sure if it will even help until after it's done. yikes. And she agreed that she is reluctant to do surgery without knowing for sure that it is necessary.
So our plan for now is for him to come back in 8 wks and check his hearing again to see if it remains the same and then go from there.
A 20 db hearing loss is the very edge of mild hearing loss, and it is only in one ear (I think) - so it's not a major thing, I guess. Except that with all of his speech issues, we sure do want him hearing well so that he can learn to speak well. It's kind of important, don't you think? So I was quite disappointed to find out that he isn't hearing as well as he should.
Other than that, he and Elisabeth were positively monsters in the dr office - twice when I was talking to the receptionist (before and after our appt), I had to interrupt her to get Samuel to either A. stop screaming and pushing his sister, B. chase after them out the front door to get them to come back in because I wasn't ready to leave yet.
And then I made the BIG mistake of taking them to the store where I hoped to pick up just a couple things for Christmas and they ran around the aisles and climbed up shelves etc etc. And then after we got back home, they proceeded to continue getting into trouble ALL DAY LONG.
Tomorrow I am meeting with Isaac's school director to discuss test results relating to how they kicked him out of speech therapy last year.
And that's what I'm up to. There are also some other things stressing me out considerably right now that I can't talk about.
So, in a nutshell, I'm just a wee bit stressed out. Cheers . . .
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
So this would be perfect if I could win a membership! Another year of the Dinosaur Museum, Children's Garden, Farm Country, and the Gardens . . . sigh . . . it would be wonderful.
Anyhow, to get an extra entry in the giveaway I needed to post it on my blog.
So here we are.
MormonMommyBlogs Thanksgiving Point Giveaway
(I've entered several giveaways before and have never won anything! I'm really hoping this might be my first. It's worth a shot!) :)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I checked all the usual spots - the top of my closet, under the bed, in my drawers, in the storage room - and they are just nowhere to be found. ARGH!!!
I know the kids won't miss the books if somehow I just never find them.
But I feel like I'm losing my mind!!!
(just thought you should know)
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I am stuck once again in a circle of questions regarding diagnoses, labeling, whether to seek help, where to turn for help, what is helpful and what is not. I have been trying to talk to whomever I come in contact with who might have experience with this stuff, or might have an opinion, or advice or anything. And I am sometimes surprised, sometimes enlightened, sometimes baffled, sometimes relieved at their responses.
The reality is that it is a personal decision. It's a tough call. And I start to think about one child and what they might need, and then am distracted in my thoughts by wondering about a different child, and then come back to what I need to be doing differently in my life to better meet my children's needs, and then I end up confused, overwhelmed, and anxious. Getting nowhere.
For those who might be new to the sagas:
I have one child who most probably has inattentive-ADHD, one with speech issues and odd social quirks (and hand-flapping), one diagnosed with expressive language disorder, ADHD-combined type, and anxiety disorder, and one who at this point we are just defining as a "very difficult temperament."
Anyway - there were a lot of things I could write about. Different ideas and perspectives I have heard about recently.
But this morning I came across this quote that I did want to share:
Monday, November 30, 2009
Our tree is up and decorated. Wreath is on the door. Lights on the house. And the kids are ready to start the countdown until the big day.
In fact, the morning after we put the tree up, Samuel ran out looking for the presents. Uh-oh. We had a tough time teaching both him and Elisabeth the difference between "Christmas time" and "Christmas morning." And when we got the calendar and showed him exactly how many days he still had to wait before it was time to open presents, he was about in tears. Poor little boy. Hopefully, starting the candy Advent calendar tomorrow will help them visualize and understand how much time there is between now and then.
Yesterday was the 1st Advent Sunday, though. One of my favorite traditions that I picked up during my time in Germany is the Advent Sundays. They typically have a wreath with 4 candles (I finally got one last year!) and the 4 Sundays before Christmas, they light the candles (1 the first Sunday, 2 the next and so on) and eat treats and sing carols, etc. I really like spreading out our Christmas celebrations over these Sundays instead of trying to do everything on Christmas eve, for instance. And I think it makes the wait a little more manageable - the 4 weeks and 4 candles seem to go by much more quickly than counting every single day.
We typically make hot chocolate, light the candles and sit around the table and sing Christmas songs. Then we have some sort of activity. Writing cards, going to look at lights, making cookies, and decorating the tree have all been incorporated into our Advent activities.
So, for MMM today I just wanted to talk about Your Favorite Traditions or Things To Do for Christmas. What makes Christmas time meaningful to you? What's one thing you have to do every year? What do your kids love the most? (well, besides the presents)
What do you do to try to diminish the "gimmes"? What would be your Best Idea for someone new to celebrating Christmas (hypothetically)?
Really, any ideas at all.
Do you make and deliver cookies? Do you do Secret Santa in your family? Do you do service?
Do you try to stay home as much as possible? Do you skip the whole thing?
Even if you think all the things you do are the same things that everyone does, please share an idea! (or 2, or 3, or more) :)
Thank you muchly.
(and now that I have successfully completed NaBloPoMo, I may take a break for a day or so. Phew!! Aren't you glad? - No, don't answer that.
Anyway - Happy December Tomorrow!! Let the fun begin!)
Sunday, November 29, 2009
We admired the view from the top of the hill (that's our house there directly down in that spot between the junipers).
And I took pictures of interesting fungi growing on rocks. (can anybody identify them? I don't know my fungi)
But then Samuel tripped over a rock and fell with his hand on a cactus, the thorns going through his gloves and into his palm in about 5 spots. OUCH!!!
And that was the end of our hike.