Saturday, December 5

I've got it in the bag!

After two years of research, scanning, and writing, it's finally done. I've finished and published Bud's life stories book. For six and a half years I've listened to his stories about his life and I've collected them and transcribed them. I went through boxes of old photographs and scanned them in. I matched to stories to the photos and complied them into what will be wrapped and put under the tree for Bud's Christmas present this year. I'm anxious to see how he responds to the book. I'm sure there will be tears. He has for years said that someone should write a book about his life. And now his dream has been realized. The past few years his memory has gone down hill fast and I wonder if when he reads it he will be shocked by the stories or think that I got it all wrong. And then I wonder if I can just show him the book every day to remind him that I know all the stories already when he gets on one of his rants about life...

Here's a preview: But, it doesn't do it justice. To see it in person in my hands it's so much more... It's also interesting to note, that Debbie said that she hadn't see most of the photos from when he was young. My parents have so few that I've seen them all...

Thursday, December 3

Lost, lost, lost....

Okay. If I were a digital camera where would I be?

I lost it! I can't find it any where and with the holidays and a wedding almost here, I really need it. Say a prayer or send good thought my way, I'm sure it will turn up somewhere! Maybe when I clean out the car...

Friday, November 20

Ash is Super!

I just finished a project with one of our new products! I super excited about it! It's our new swatch book. I'll be keeping this bad boy in my purse to show off whenever I can. And yes, I'm one of "those" mothers... Look!

Monday, November 2

Around the dinner table:

Jenna: Mom, could you pass me some cheese pizza?

Mom: Yeah...

Jenna: Oh! Yeah, give it to the big boss!
Ashton: -beat boxing in the background-

Jenna: give it to the big boss! give it to the big boss

Mom and Dad: -tearful laughter-

I'm thinking that we should start video taping our dinner conversations. They are truly one of a kind!

On saving...

From the moment I broke out on my own I have had a driving desire to save and be thrifty. And with our latest financial adjustments, it has only caused me to be this way in every aspect of my life. Case in point: When I was in college, I got my clothes for $0.25 each at the annual Women's Association yard sale on campus. Oh, and then the other day, we had used our coupons and gone out to eat while we were out in Destin. Randall didn't finish his lemonade, so I saved it. (but I forgot it in the car) The following day when we were out, Randall wanted to get a drink and I handed him the lemonade, not even thinking about it...He drank it and spat it everywhere and gave me a horrified look. So, see...the drive to be thrifty is becoming overwhelming!

So, I found this website...it helps me to feel like the thrifty goddess that I am. You see, it's the latest thing. It's called The Grocery Game. The first time I played along, I saved $42.00. This week I saved.......$124.44! Yeah me! Now I've got a freezer and pantry full of food and I'm getting my food storage beefed up...Who knows, maybe next week I'll save even more...

Tuesday, October 20

Oh, Wow!

I can't believe it has been two weeks now since we got home! I feel like I've done enough to have been home for ages more. I cleaned the massive toy explosion in the kids room, again. I cleaned my room, again. I folded all the laundry and put it all away, only to start over, again, today. And I'm beginning to understand the frustration that my mom would have when my room wasn't clean as a kid...

On Sunday, Ashton got his new kitty. He's black and white and named Mr. Fluffybottoms. Ashton named him after some featured kitties on this site that Randall loves. And for the kids it was love at first sight! Something about funny animal pictures has them in stitches! And, when Randall read them the little quips, they memorized them for instant retrieval later. Now there's not a day that goes by that a situation provides the perfect opportunity for them slip one into the conversation. Jenna is really good at choosing the right words for any moment...

And the biggest news of all...BECCA IS GETTING MARRIED!!! I'm really excited about it! While I was on vacation, I got to meet my new brother-in -law-to be. He's a great guy and is the perfect complement to my sister. It's going to be so cool to have Jamie as part of our family. It will make for loads of fun in the coming years! My brother and his wife life quite a ways away from us so, we just haven't had time to get very close and they have much different interests than we do. So, all that to say, I'm happy for them both and happy for me, because I have a new "brother" to hang out with now...

As her wedding present from us, I'm doing the food, with the help of Mom. There are some days that I start thinking that I must be crazy. I've got tons to do over the next 8 weeks that I just don't know how things are going to get done. Nov. 4 is our Young Women in Excellence night, then I'm teaching a beading class at our Relief Society retreat Nov. 6 and 7. Then the 13th is our Fall Festival at the community center, and silly me, I signed up to be the committee head last year when plans for the event fell through. Then Dec. 10 is the wedding and the 18th is the reception. And, some where in the middle of all that, I've got 3 Halloween parties, teaching lessons in YW on Sundays, YW wed. night activities, Stake YW activities, and Christmas and Thanksgiving to plan and prepare for...If I make it to the New Year, I'll call myself a superhero! I'm beginning to believe that's what mothers are, you know...Superheroes...

Now, I've got to go put on my spandex jumpsuit and cape. Up Up and Away!

Saturday, October 3

Scripture of the Day: Genesis 2:18

"And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone;..."

Ah, such true words. Being here with only Grandpa is very lonely. But there are some nice things about being by myself. I can get the house cleaned up for one. Also, I have time to do things like post on this here so-phisticated blog do-hickey. Also, please note my newly updated profile which is now full of deeply personal information like my dislike of pajamas. (My wife has enough pajamas to fill a U-Stor-It, so she more than makes up for my lack.)

Also, I can look for jobs, not that this takes very long. And I can do my computer artwork, which is becoming a big hobby for me. Meg gets back on Wednesday! Yeah!

Thursday, October 1

Daddy, guess what we did today...

video

The zoo was fun, but the kids were done looking at everything in about 20 minutes. (It was tiny, maybe 20 exhibits.) Some of the highlights were the Lemurs, White Bengal Tigers, and the Kodiak bear. But I think the cutest was the baby zebra. All in all, I think it was a bit over priced for what it was.

In less than a week our time on vacation will be done and we'll be home again with you! Tomorrow, we'll be going on the The Great Pumpkin Patch Express. It's a train ride trough the mountains and at the end we get to meet Charlie Brown, Lucy and Snoopy! We'll post another video again tomorrow all about the train ride!

Friday, September 18

I am a G-I-R-L...

It seems that no matter how much pink and flowers Shiloh has on, 9 out of 10 people call her a boy. So, in an effort to reinforce that she is a girl, I have decided to create some hair bows for her. It seems I've always got ribbon lying around the house anyway...So today I made a couple to up the cuteness factor. One in browns and pinks and the other in white and pink. I can't believe how completely easy these were and how totally girly Shiloh looks, bald head and all...

Monday, September 14

Death...

Oh...Yesterday was a bit crazy. Randall had to work until 3am on Sunday morning and then after only 4 hours of sleep had to go and speak at church. So, we loaded everyone up and were about to pull out of the drive way when I looked over at the pig pen (Lewis has baby pigs and several chickens now) and I noticed that Ranger is in the pen. Not outside patrolling it, but trapped inside it. So, we drove over to investigate. I made Randall get out to see what was going on. Ranger got in the pen and killed both of the pigs. Well, this cemented his death sentence. We couldn't really do much dressed for church and all so we left him in there and took off. On the way, Randall called to tell Lewis and was told that he was going to shoot him and after church he'd have to go and bury all three.

So, given Ashton's previous record, we weren't telling him. But then once Chris and Belle got to church, everyone in the whole church knew. When it came time to sit down for sacrament, Ashton wasn't around and Chris piped up that he was balling in the gym. Chris told him all the gory details. Ashton was so upset that it took most of an hour to get him to even look and Lewis or Debbie. But, he eventually sat on Debbie's lap. But, even after church he told Lewis that he wasn't going to forgive him unless he got him a cat...

One of our neighbors has kittens that were just born not too long ago and so, Lewis is going to take him over there and let him pick out one that he can have when they're old enough to be away from their mom.

And the pet saga continues...

Tuesday, September 8

Mischeif managed.

Oi! Wednesday was a ton of work, but in the end, the girls loved it and so did the parents. We had an appreciation dinner. It was cute and fun. Here's some pictures of the decor. For the center pieces, we made delicate paper flowers from tissue paper. We put them in vases and then surrounded them with seashells the kids collected. Judy, my councilor, helped us get bibs for everyone at Red Lobster. For the "chargers" we cut 12" pieces of wrapping paper.

Since the theme was appreciation, we didn't give anyone utensils to get their spaghetti dinner with; so that they would appreciate the fork when they ate their dessert. Then we commented on how we appreciated the tines of our forks as much as we appreciate those around us and all their talents. When we gave them the forks we also gave the parents poems about appreciating our moms and dads. We also gave the dads a Mr. Goodbar and for the moms we made rosette corsages from ribbon. Then, to top the night of as a YW presidency we wrote letters of appreciation to each of the girls and gave those to them. The girls loved it. The parents loved it. And we're all one more step closer to accomplishing our Personal Progress goals. (This event passed off Individual Worth #3)

Speaking of Personal Progress....I started a queen sized afgan for my bed. It's going to be my Divine Nature Value Project. And I'm using it as my 1000 yd Stashbuster challenge. Here's my starting picture.

Tuesday, September 1

Wow!

I can't believe that it's been a month since I posted any updates here! It's been a whirlwind month with life running away at full speed. The first weekend we went up to Thomasville, GA and celebrated the life of a man who was noted as one of the best Father-in-laws by my m-i-l. Randy Jones was one of Randall grandparents, who after a valiant effort at making a life after a stroke, finally found rest at the end of a full and eventful life. I think I only able to spend time with him once or twice, but I remember him being a very gracious person who tried to find the best in all situations.

I came back and jumped back into to Young Women's. I got a new councilor and secretary and so I was training them with what they needed to do. I did one of the funnest lessons for the girls the other day. I was on resisting sin. I made them some Kryptonite and read them the story of RAYAD and made little petite fours for them to eat. Here's a picture of them before I took them to church and they were devoured!

They were fun to make but very tedious. I don't know that I'll make them for anything again, but it was fun to learn how to do it and the end result was that my lesson really struck home with them and it will be something that they never forget.

Then it was time to start school. And since we home school, that meant I needed to plan and prepare to have things ready for last Monday when it was the official first day of school here. And after a week, I think we're starting to settle down into a routine and things are smoothing out. We've already planned a field trip to the mountains to ride a train and go to the zoo while we visit with Nanny and Grampy and then drive on over to spend my mom's birthday with her and see my sister and her new beau. So, it's a full schedule ahead...

On the knitting front, I have decided I need to finish my Modern Log Cabin Blanket that I started. I recently taught myself how to knit continental style and it goes pretty fast now, so I think I could potentially have it done by October. Which is good because I need to pass it off in my Personal Progress manual. It's going to be one of my value projects. I've got a little less than four inches to do on a baby blanket that Shiloh loves. so, maybe after I get the stuff finished for our parent appreciation night tomorrow night, I can bang that out and make a little baby very happy. ( she likes to chew on it)

I was going to post a video I took of Shiloh mimicking Ashton, but it's too big for my dial-up connection. So, you'll have to be satisfied with a few pictures from the past month.

Tuesday, July 28

Diaper Bags...

I really believe that most of them are completely in adequate for me or any breastfeeding mother. Most of them look like a baby quilt. All of them have pockets for baby bottles. All of them are bulky and awkward if they are roomy enough to hold anything that you'll actually need in a day of running errands with a baby in tow. All in all, I've always been a bit disappointed in them. Especially if I am in a crowded space. I'm always worried I'm going to whack someone with it. So, all this discontent lead me on a search for the perfect bag. Something that didn't look like a diaper bag, had oodles of pockets for baby and me while still being sleek enough not to take out the whole east coast should I choose to turn around. Well, my friends, I found it. I've been hunting for 4 months now in every purse/bag department I've been near. And yesterday I found it at Cato while we were waiting for the doctor's office to reopen after lunch. It has 3 separate compartments each with it's own zippers and pockets. So, 1 for diapers and wipes in their new container (we'll talk more about this soon), 1 for a blanket, burp rags and gripe water, and then 1 for Mama- complete with cell phone and wallet pockets and a zipper for the keys. I'm loving it! I used it today to take the fam to story time at the library and then to run a few more errands around town. For once I didn't hold my breath while I picked up my bag and turned around a few times to make sure we had everything before we left. But, to top it off, I found some yummy colored purple vinyl to myself a Poopy Clutch. Take a look!

I found the vinyl at Walmart for $3.77/yd. And one yard looks like I'll be able to squeeze out 6 of these clutches. So, guess what is going to be on my baby gifting list from now on? And since it's the no-sew version it only took me about 5 minutes to make. I did make a change from the directions though. I used a large snap for the closure instead of the button she uses.

Randall thinks it's a bit unnecessary but I adore it. Go on now, you know you want to make one...

Friday, July 24

Life is good...

Because I have a new camera! It came in the mail yesterday evening. So, I've been able to take pics again and right out of the gate I got a great one of Shiloh. She's getting her own look about her now. At first I totally thought she looked like Ashton, but then when she smiles she looked like Jenna. Now, she looks like Shiloh.














But on other fronts. While Randall is gone to work, I try to make the time fun for the kids. Last night we made Butter Beer. ( When you click on that link, be sure to look around, she's got three or four recipes plus links to where you can find other Harry Potter treats.) And if your a Harry Potter fan you know all the kinds of fun this entails. The kids loved it and asked for more. And who could blame them it's super tasty! Heather Bailey is sure to impress you with all her craftiness and beautiful pics. I love her blog! One day I'd love to be as crafty as her...

Here are the pics of our Butter Beer fun.

Tuesday, July 14

Something cool ...

...to tide you over until get pics of all the sewing I'm doing. I've been cruising around this "sew" awesome blog. It's called Little Birdie Secrets and I love all of their inspiring ideas. Most of them can be done in an afternoon (or nap time ;) ). Take a look and I think you'll agree! Although, sometimes I catch myself saying, "Why didn't I think of that?" and I'm always glad that they did! Some of my favs are the nursing cover-up ( the ones that are so popular now), diaper changing pad, fairy princess wand, cool giveaways....and the list goes on and on. Just check it out, you'll be glad you did!

Randall should be taking his certification test in the next week and then we'll be one step closer to realizing our dreams...

Friday, July 10

I should have...

...posted this yesterday, but I was busy playing with the baby! Any who. I've been making little booties for Shiloh and I'll share pictures of those tomorrow when I get them all done. I'm sewing several pairs and figuring out with ones fit her feet and stay on the best. I've got just two more pairs to sew, too. They've all been very easy so far, so keep your eyes out for all that info and more in a few days.

But, what I really want to post is the coolest dinner idea I've ever had, and my husband LOVED it to boot! I'm going to call it Dump Chili. And the story goes like this. It's a Wednesday night and I'm rushed as usual. I've got to get to the church in 10 minus 4 and counting, but I need to fix dinner. A girl's got to keep up her energy you know! It's raining outside and I love chili and cornbread when it's a cold and dreary day. So, I get out some cans of beans a big can of tomatoes and dump it all in a pot with some seasonings. Chili, check! Now, it's time for the cornbread. Oh boy! It would take too long to cook for me to leave on time. So, I get a fabulous idea...Cornbread dumplings. So, I whip it up and dump them in one beautiful spoonful at a time (adding just a bit more water so they'll have something to cook in). And in about 15 minutes I've got dinner made and set on the table. I ate and left for church to teach tie dye to the young women, but when I came home...

I was hailed as nothing short of a hero! Both Ashton and Randall loved the chili. Randall told me that I should make it a permanent staple at the dinner table. And from Ashton I got, "Mom, that was the BEST! I have the best mom ever!" And he told me that in the middle of watching Monster Quest with Randall, so I know it was really heartfelt and nothing that they rehearsed together to make me feel good. So, I'm feeling like a total kitchen genius now...

Something else that has me feeling like I scored big time is the new way that I have organized my life. I've tried many things that have come and gone over the years. I had a palm pilot, I used a dry erase board, I've made endless lists. All have come and all have gone. I've realized that I need to have a tangible experience with my calendar. So, I went to wal-mart and got a cheap $6 planner and I write down any important events and then fill in what needs to be done each day and then what I want to do each day and then ( here's the key for me) there's no pressure to get everything complete, barring absolute appointments. If I don't finish then it goes on the schedule for the next day. I love it! It seems simple I know, and most of you out there have probably already figured that out, but I'm loving it! I've got all my handouts done for my lesson on Sunday. Which usually waits until Saturday. I'll gather everything up at 10pm on Sat and hope that i have everything together for Church the next day. But this week I had it all done by Wed night. Which reminds me I want to post my handout here. This week our lesson is from Manaul 1 #24 Prayer and Meditation.

Saturday, July 4

Progress

Well, I hunkered down and finished a few things last night and this morning. I put the buttons on the friendship bracelets and I finished sewing the purses for the girls. What do you think? I love the bright colors the girls picked out for their bracelets. As for the fabric of the purses, I picked those out standing in the fabric section at wally-world.

For the bags, I found a tutorial/pattern online. They're called Japanese Knot Bags. And the pattern for the bracelets can be found on Knitty.


Friday, July 3

Chaos...

...is my mantra. At least I feel like it should be since it seems that is the state of things here, continually!

Last Friday Randall hit a deer coming home from work in the wee hours of the morning. It bashed in the driver's side headlight and dented the bumper only to swing around and bash in the driver door. Randall was fine, except that I don't think I've seen him that mad in a long time! So part of this week we've spent talking to our insurance, the repair shop and blowing a ton of money driving around Bud's truck in order to have our new van back to us in it's perfect condition once again. I'm waiting now for the call to go and pick her up this morning...Pray its done before Randall goes to work today!

On the home front, I've recently fallen in love with my sewing machine...I'm making things for Jenna and Shiloh and other babies yet to be born to friends and family. My mind is about bursting with ideas for gifts and useful things for my own babies. I put my green shawl on hold because Jenna requested that I make friendship bracelets for her and her two best friends, Hannah and Lorilie. I've knitted them and all that's left to do is to put on the buttons. While I was making those, Ashton asked for one with dragons on it. And me being the ever-pleasing person that I am for my children, searched around Ravelry until I found a pattern that would work. And, now Jenna wants matching purses for her and her friends to share. I'm happy to accomidate because this is probably the last few months she'll be able to see them. They are both a year older than her and are starting kindergarten this fall, so getting together is going to be much more limited...

I've also started knitting a baby blanket for a dear friend who is going to have a little girl in just 36 days. And I'm planning and getting ready to cast on for a baby blanket for my brother who's wife having their first boy. They already have 3 girls, so I'm thinking that this little boy needs to have a boost of testosterone with a boy colored blankey. since Josh and Leslie are into celtic life and design, I'm using a celtic knot pattern for the blanket. Hopefully it will come out nice, we'll see. Maybe I'll have photos of all my progress in a few days...(I'm still going to have to borrow a camera...)

Wednesday, June 24

Well, our camera is looking more like we need to just buy a new one. Easier said than done, of course! If it were working, I'd have pictures for you of my lovely swiffer pads that work so wonderfully. I'd also have pics of my latest project. I started a new shawl. This morning when I added my project to Ravelry, I found out that this will make the 25th project I've posted. And I think that at least half of them are unfinished...oops! Well, in my defense, I find it hard to knit wool in the middle of a Fl summer! Any way, my new project...it's almost done and it's going really fast. I started it on Monday and I just have to more pattern repeats and an edging to complete and then I'll block it and barrow a camera to take pictures of it.

Lately, Shiloh has been doing the craziest thing! She's just three months old and she will already answer simple yes or no questions by shaking or nodding her head. I'll have to take a video of it for you! It's the darnedest thing! Do you think that kids who have older siblings grasp things more quickly? Jenna was an early talker because, I think, Ashton was already talking and running around pedal to the metal when she was born. It's always amazing to watch what unfolds here each day...

Thursday, June 18

What did we do before?

Attetion!...Breaking News Alert!...Congrats to my cousin Krista! She won the shawl and it will be winging it's way to her very soon!...And now bake to our regularly scheduled blog...

I feel very bummed that my camera, for whatever reason, has decided to go to pot. I think that it's just time to buy a new camera. Ours is one of the first digital cameras and it has a whopping 3 mega pixels. You can get a similar model now except that it has 8 mega pixels for the same price that was paid for this one. Any way all this blather to say, I finished some more knitting yesterday and I wanted to share it with you, but alas, you'll just have to use your imagination...

I made a reusable Swiffer pad. It's a beaut too! I use 100% cotton yarn in a purple and green variegated ombre. It has buttons to keep it on the Swiffer and when I'm done sweeping the kitchen I just toss it in the washing machine and it's good to go. I have to say, these have been a long time coming and I don't know why. It took me a whole two hours from start to finish and it was a completely useful result! And I did just buy the swiffer in order to make the pads. I had one when they were new and I hated the waste it created. But then I found this pattern and PRESTO! all it right in the world with my new favorite cleaning tool...

Tuesday, June 9

It's done!

My husband says I have a problem. He thinks that just because I stayed up until 12am to do the final row of knitting on this shawl that I am an addict. Well, if that's the case, let me introduce myself. Hi. My name is Megan Curtis and I'm addicted to knitting...

But, I think it's a good thing. And you might too when you see this butte!


Specs:
Pattern- North Roe Shawl
Size- 68"x 26"
Yarn- Colourmart 100% Silk in Duck Egg

I had visions for better photographs to show of this shawl, but my camera pooped out and quit reading the memory stick. I went do to Debbie's and borrowed her camera to take a few snap shots to show you.

Now for the fun part. I don't often knit things for myself. This time is no different. I've decided to give this one to one of you. So, from now until next tuesday (6/16/09) just place a comment here and you'll get entered. One comment per person please. When you comment, I'll add your name to the pot and then draw one out and who ever it is gets this lovely peice sent to them!

Go ahead, you know you want it!

Monday, June 8

Shiloh

video

Shiloh spends a good bit of time each day talking to us. It won't be long before we'll be able to understand everything she's saying. I can't believe that she'll be three months old on Thursday!

Sunday, June 7

By the way...

This is Randall's new uniform...

Relief

I've mentioned before that I was searching for ways to deal with and overcome my postpartum depression. Well, I've finally found relief...

I have tried to do all the things that helped when I had it with Jenna. I went outside in the sun, I created things (baking and knitting), and I dreamed. All of them helped a little, but nothing completely took it away. Through it all I did continue to ask my Heavenly Father for help and to search for the answer. I've always known that the various programs that He had established in the church were for a reason. I gained my own testimony of the divinity of my Savior, Jesus Christ when I was a young woman at girl's camp. I gained knowledge of ways to care for my own family as I served in Relief Society. But, there was always one program that I struggled with all these years. That, my friends, was visiting teaching.

When I was studying and preparing my lesson for church, I found a link to this blog. And I found an answer to my prayers. I felt inspired that I needed to really do my visit teaching. I have a list with 6 sisters on it. I called and set up appointments to visit with each of them. I studied the lesson and made a handout. I got out some homemade apple butter to give to them as well. I took the baby and in the pouring rain mind you, visited with these wonderful ladies. And the Spirit was at each home. As I left the last appointment, I could not believe the warm relief that had returned to me. I no longer feel the cold lonely darkness of depression any more. I can truly tell you that I now have a testimony of the purpose of visit teaching. While we each can help to lift another, we can also heal our own hearts.

PS- I'm nearly done with the shawl. I've got 8 more rows to go and then I'll post the pictures and the specs.

Tuesday, June 2

A few more tidbits...

Thank you for all your lovely comments about my new hairdo. I terribly excited to get ready in the morning now. It's so easy and fast to make it super cute! Anywho... I thought I'd share some pictures of the cakes that Jenna made in her Easy Bake oven this weekend.

She's used it three times now and I think that she's starting to be happy in the kitchen with me. Ashton has always loved to cook with me, but Jenna would throw a tantrum if she thought that I wanted her help at all. Now, she really likes it. I do realize that it's really all about the food she gets to eat when she's done, more than the making it part, but it's a beginning.

Randall started a part-time job yesterday. I think it's certainly an interesting endeavor. He's doing security work again, which he hates now by the way, but it's a job that pays which is more than what we've had for the past two months. I'm going to see if I can get him to let me take a picture of him in his uniform when he goes to work tonight. If he does, I'll post it and then maybe you'll understand a little more about his reservations...

Sunday, May 31

If you want to feel good...

...see your hairdresser. On Friday I went in to get a new do. The girl next to Mandy (my hairdresser) kept looking at my hair and saying it looks so silky. And Mandy said, "Yep, her hair has always been that way and it feels that way, too." Then the other girl feels my hair and says, "OOhhh! That does feel silky!" Huh. I didn't know that! Really, I just have always thought of my hair as less than fabulous because it's terribly fine and difficult to style for me. So, for years I sat around thinking of my hair as ho hum and blah and I really should have been thinking of it as silk.



This is my hair before.













This is my hair now! I love it! I think Randall was so shocked when he first saw it that all he could say was, "Well, at least you didn't go as short as I thought you were." I had teased him that I was going to cut it as short as Alissa Milano's shortest do. (About 1") He was appalled that I would even think of it. Most people are so attatched to their hair that the idea of having it short makes them sick, but to me, it's just hair. It won't change your character if you cut of a few locks. So, what do you think?

Friday, May 22

I'm getting really excited! This week I feel like I've actually accomplished things! On Wed. it took me all of about 15 minutes to make up the scripture totes that we'll be doing with the Young Women next week. And I think that it would be even faster for us then because we'll be able to make it into an assembly line. I used the instructions I found here. Making them from place mats really makes it real easy! Here's a picture of the examples I made:














Also, in an effort to get rid of my baby blues, I've started a lace shawl. Now, I'll be posting pictures of it real soon, too! I'm hoping to be completely finished with it in another week, two at the most. Then I think we'll do a drawing for it....

Tuesday, May 12

Ooops!


How did I forget??!!? I woke up this morning and did my normal morning cleaning tour of the house and breakfast for the kids. But, I didn't think about what day it was. The last two months seem to be one never-ending moment and I get lost when I look at a calendar. So, a couple of hours into the day and Randall had to come and remind me about our Anniversary. He asked me if I remember what today was and for the life of me all I could remember is the it's Tuesday so it's pre-school reading day at the library! I gues that's the price you pay when you have 3 kids wanting your attention.

But on May 12, 2001 I was married to the most wonderful man. Our whirlwind courtship was amazing for me and shocking for everyone else around me. The night that Randall asked me to marry him, was a mere 4 days after our first date. And it was completely unexpected. On our second date, when we got into the car he said, "I really like you, but since my parents are divorced, I want to make sure I do this right the first time and so, it will likely be awhile before we get too serious. Something like a year might be good..." Okay, I was down with that; I really liked him. But, after spending a Sunday evening at the nursing home visiting with an elderly man, I had promised I'd come back to visit, there was something special in the air. I could see he looked at me a little differently. He says that's the moment he truly fell in love with me. (Who knew Good Works could be so rewarding? And I thought it was just a Young Women's value!) When we got back to the school, we had our first kiss. And I just knew that this amazing man would be mine for the rest of my life. Then, he asked me to marry him and the spirit was so strong. I'll be forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for placing him in my life to be my companion and the best father to my children.

I can barely remember what life was like eight years ago, but everyone of my memories since then has him in it. I can't wait for the next 50 years! If it's filled with half of the wonder, joy, stress, and companionship as these 8 have, I'll count myself as the most blessed woman to have walked the Earth.

Tonight we're going out for dinner and then some time in the next few months, our present to each other is our first house. YES!

I love you Randy!

Tuesday, April 28

Just Breathe...

Oh boy! This week has been an emotional roller coaster. Ashton and Jenna are staying with their Nanny and Grampy in the mountains. Which one would think that it would be wonderful to just have a wee one to take care of. And all was good until the dreaded postpartum hit me like a ton of bricks. And I have to say it felt like it came out of no where. I had it pretty bad with Ashton but it was almost non-existant with Jenna. I had hoped that it would rear it's ugly head this time either. But, I guess with the house being so quiet it enveloped me. I've tried spending time out with friends, but the problem with that is that all of my friends have kids the same age as mine...

But, the most recent craziness is that Becca was in an accident. She was lifeflighted to Pensacola late last night. She was riding an ATV in the DARK and hit a pine tree. She's stable and all the test results are clear. There was worry of a concusion with possible brain damage since she hit her face and it swelled pretty good. She also beat up her right leg and arm. She'll be so very sore when she gets home, but at least she's alive. To be quite honest, when I got the phone call and the words hit a tree and lifeflighted were used in the same sentance, my guts just about got popped out of me. But, there's something about being a mom that gives you this insane ablity to instantly jump up and get to work-sleep or no sleep. Currently, I've had 2 hrs of sleep and I'm unable to get anymore right now. We got home this morning from the hospital at 4:30 and I didn't get Shiloh back to sleep until 5 and then I woke up at 7:30 and I'm getting ready for another hour and a half drive back out to sit in the hospital til she's dicharged. she so owes me a waffle for this one...But, I love her so much I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, April 18

Now that's funny!

Tonight for dinner i made a veggie casserole that had water chestnuts in it. Randall strongly dislikes those and tonight used orange juice to cut the taste in his mouth. Nearing the end of supper, Randall looked over at Jenna and she had a pile of them left on her plate. This is the exchange...

Randall: It looks like you inherited my dislike of water chestnuts.

Jenna: Yeah. I don't like those.

Ashton: Yeah, it must be because you had a hair in it.

So funny! Still laughing!

Thursday, April 16

I feel productive...

Those who really know me, know that I can't go too awfully long without two sticks and string in my hands. For me my knitting has become as vital as breathing in my life. It calms me. It releases the creative energy that gets pint up inside when I spend days listening to the silly theme songs on kids shows. God created in me this insatiable desire to create. I enjoy learning all things crafting, cooking, home decore and improvement. I guess that's why I so easily became a personal publishing consultant with Heritage Makers. All this to say that I've finished some scarves that I have been working on the last two months.

They are just some basic recipe things, but I've enjoyed the automatic intuitiveness of them with all this craziness here.

This one is made with my first yarns that I spun on my spinning wheel. The tan in alpaca and the teal blend is sheep wool.

This one is some free yarn that I received as a gift with an order that I placed. It's a rayon blend and there was enough yarn to make a very long skinny scarf.

This is a scarf made with a skein of mohair and some of the leftover alpaca that I spun. when I was knitting it the mohair was a variegated green and the tan alpaca. I must say it looked like a set of army fatigues puked up in my lap. So, when I got done I dyed it with some food coloring and kool-aid to achieve this really pretty color.
Not the best pictures, but it's what I could do on my own this morning when everyone was asleep...now back to cleaning.

Easter on Rewind

On Easter we had a nice quiet day in our circus. I was able to get Jenna to wear the new Easter dress that Debbie got her for her birthday. Not only that but I got pictures as eternal proof to boot! We did all of our "Bunny" stuff on Saturday to keep Sun the sacred day that it should be. The kids had fun running all over the yard finding eggs. I didn't take pictures of that but Randall, the camera man that he is, got the whole thing on tape. It was fun to eat all the leftover chocolate that couldn't fit into the eggs. And I did it in record time too!

With out further ado, here's the photos. Shiloh didn't really want to sit with her siblings that day. She just wanted mom...

Tuesday, April 14

Happy Birthday Jenna!

Jenna is 4 years old today. How time has just slipped away. I remember very well the day she was born and I can't believe that she's not the baby that I'm changing diapers for now. My disbelief is probably accentuated by the fact that all three of my children look so similar when their babies.

So, today is Jenna's day. She wanted her whole party to be Spider-Man themed. At first she wanted it to be all Green Goblin (Spider-Man nemesis), but then decided that he was evil and always lost so she had to have Spider-Man since he was good and always won...For her presents she asked for a Kong-Fu Panda game, a bike, roller skates, and a rubber rat. Do you know how hard it is to find a rubber rat at Easter time? It took me weeks, but I found one at the Dollar Tree in town. She got 4 (count them 1 - 2- 3- 4) Barbies today. Which she surprisingly adores each one and immediately wanted to open them when we got home. She'll probably sleep with the necklace on that came with one of them. Maybe I'm raising a girl after all! So, I forgot to take pictures at the party, but I have a firend who did. (Thanks Becky!) But, until I get those you'll have to settle for a picture or two of the cake after we finished decorating it last night.

Saturday, April 11

The Truth about Cats and Dogs...

is that they are mortal enemies. Yesterday we mourned the loss of a great cat. Fluffy was the best cat we ever had and he's now gone on to the great littler box in the sky. Ashton cried, as I'm sure you knew if you've read the previous post about Fluffy. Jenna said, "it's okay Ashton, we'll just get you a new cat." The culprit was our dog Ranger. He got a bit too ruff when he was playing with the cat and he died. So, now Ashton of course wants to get rid of Ranger for killing his cat. Oi...

On the brighter side, today Shiloh is 1 month old! I can't believe it. She's getting so big. I know she'll only keep growing, but there is a part of me that can't help but say, "she'll never be this small again." A part of me is mourning the passage of time already. It's easy to do when I look at Ashton and remember when he was that small and now he's six. I feel like I'm trapped in a time warp. It's like I went to bed 21 and a brand spanking new mom and woke up 27 with half grown babies. But, having older kids is providing me with lots of great picture taking opportunities. I got the cutest ones of Jenna holding Shiloh the other night.

Saturday, April 4

But if not....

I subscribe to the Mercy River newsletter and a few days ago the devotional that was in it was about Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednigo. In the scriptures these young men say to Nebuchadnezzar, that they knew that God would save them from the fiery furnace, but if not, they would not worship the idols for they knew what was right and true. It is interesting to note the but if not. So often we go through life asking for things to work out a certain way. We sometimes forget that God has a greater plan. That he is omnipresent in all things. He knows what we need and when we need it.

Yesterday, Randall lost his job. We had made a plan for our family that didn't have this woven into it. It was our plan that Randall would be able to finish his schooling while still working at his current job so that we'd still have some money to live on. So, we were thrown for a loop. Now we have to regroup and figure out what to do. I'm sure that it is now time for me to prove that I will be faithful during this "but if not" moment.

Today is the begins the LDS semi-annual general conference. I love to hear the inspired words of our leaders. The holy ghost always has something for me to hear everytime. We've listen to the first session already and there were many things for both Randall and I to ponder on as we continue our journey together. But, one constant thread that I know I needed to hear was that the Lord blesses us with/through our trials, especially if we find and take opportunity to bless the lives of those around us who maybe much less fortunate than us. This is something that I learned from my parents and I have always tried to observe in my life. And now that I think about it, it's one of the very reasons Randall fell in love with me. At least that's what he says...But, I feel like maybe the Lord was reminding me of this for something else that might be in store for us. Maybe in the next coming months, we will have the opportunity to bless the life of someone here with what little we have to give and share.

I still feel VERY blessed. Heavenly Father has given me three wonderful sets of parents and multiple grand-parents who support us and love us and are examples to us. He has given us three beautiful children who we are in awe of and learn from everyday. Life is good. He blessed us to be in a financially secure situation when we had this loss occure. So, now we will sit back and see what more He will bless us with and in what ways we can be His hands here on earth.

Thursday, April 2

I Am Blessed!


On Sunday, we had much to celebrate. We had my parents come down from AL. and we celebrated the birth of Shiloh by blessing her at church. Then we celebrated Randall's birthday. Shiloh is the second one we've had that we were able to bless that close to Randall's birthday. When Ashton was born we had our entire family there to share our joy. Sadly, though we were missing part of them this time, but they'll be here soon for a visit.

This year, as every year, for Randall's birthday, he got to choose what was for supper and dessert. He of course asked for pizza and Boston creme cake. The cake was "yum-o" and I'll definitely be making it again! Randall is ecstatic!

I'm feeling truly blessed now. I have beautiful kids who are the loves of my life and make me constantly happy. And to top it off, I have the most wonderful man as a husband. One of my closest friends reminds me of it every time she tells her daughter that she needs to find a Randall for the both of them. I. AM. BLESSED.

Monday, March 23

It was a good day after all...

Well, Saturday was my birthday. (Thanks to those of you who emailed, posted, and phoned your well wishes!) I must admit, turning 27 with out anyone around was unusual. Randall had to work 12 hour shifts all weekend, so I was worried it would be a dull, almost suckish, kind of day. But, it wasn't too bad. I got up and made my cake and in the few hours we had together before he left for the day, we had a small birthday party, just the 5 of us. Jenna colored a picture that she had Randall draw:It truly made me smile. The lamp is for my three wishes...she told me I could wish for anything I wanted:) Ashton told me I was the best mommy and that he would do anything for me the whole day. Randall actually gave me my present early. He bought me a rocker/recliner for feeding the baby. It's absolutely the most comfortable chair I've ever sat in, too! But, he did get a card just to remind me how much he loves me. I tell you, I married a real-life Romeo.

After Randall left I let the kids watch a movie while Shiloh and I took a nap. It was really nice to have such loving kids. I was Queen Mommy for a whole day; what more could I ask for? In the evening, I made some Pot Lasagna for dinner. That's something that my mom always made when I was younger. Debbie brought me a very yummy White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and very sweet card. And then Becca came over after work and brought some nice tulips and a cute card and chocolates. It was nice to be remembered...But, I have to admit, what takes the cake is something else that happened this weekend:

Wednesday, March 18

1 six year old boy + 1 three year old girl =

Chaos. At least it seems that way lately. Since the baby and I have been home, it seems that the kids have found a new vigor in life.

Last night, we had the missionaries over for dinner. As we were socializing after, the kids were playing quietly in the living room. How quiet they were should have gotten my mommy senses tingling, but I guess I'm really just worn out these days. Any who. They were in the living room behind the giant blue recliner with....(wait for it)....a pair of scissors.

Ashton, very pleased with himself, came over to show off his new hair do. It looked like he got in a fight with a weed eater and it won. Huge chunks were whacked off into an oblivion. Upon seeing him, my gut reaction was to get out the straight razor, cuz that's how short it was. Bald came to mind, too. Jenna also had to show off her handy work. Luckily, she didn't get as crazy, but she shed six inches in random spots all over.

Now this was not the first time this happened. Ashton did this very same thing about two years ago. But, at the time he really butchered his sister's hair and it went super short. So, after a good scolding from Dad and lots of tears from Ashton- thinking that he'd be bald, we were able to creatively fix the duo and this is what we have:


Saturday, March 14

I’m sooo over it!

I'm over living with a man who is losing his grip on reality! That's the only reason the man is still alive. If I have to hear about how fat I am one more time, I might not be able to hold back the surge of hormones! The man might just end up with a broken nose.

Okay, I couldn't really hit an 86 year old man, but ooooohh I hate being told that I'm fat. Mister, you have a baby and see if you don't get a tummy! What I really could use is my own house, which is one more reason why I love my hubby. He's working so hard studying for a new career, so that we can afford to work our dreams into reality. There are many times that he says he wishes that we could have started our "life" already. But, in my opinion, God has a plan for us here. We've been here helping for six years now, and in light of recent unforeseen events who knows when things will actually pan out. But, school will be done in a few short months and the Lord will place us where He needs us.

Wow. I think I'm hormonal. I'm all over the board today.

Thursday, March 12

What a wonderful world....

Oh, yeeaahhh! Isn't it amazing how God created our bodies? The fact that I can create and grow this perfect little person who has this incredible body that can do some pretty interesting things, has me standing in awe. How awesome is it that He chose me to give that divine gift to and then to send to me three of the most terrific children that I have ever known. It's definitely a wonderful world!

Shiloh is now one whole day old. I've learned much about her in that time.

1. She is much different than the other two, not that they are much alike either.
2. She is very laid back, much like her daddy.
3. She needs to be swaddled to enjoy life. If she's not, life isn't enjoyable for you either.
4. She is a champion eater. A gold-medalist, I'd say.
5. She's not big on hats. She'll wear them, not that she's got much choice, but she's happier with a bare head.
6. She likes to have something in her mouth always. It's kind of a pain that the hospital only has one type of pacifier and it's a bit big for her and so she doesn't like it much.

When Ashton and Jenna say her yesterday, they fell in love with their little sister. I think it's going to be interesting when we go home tomorrow, to see just how we are going to handle mommy time boundaries though. Jenna wanted to be sitting on my lap holding the baby for most of the time. I just don't think that's going to work very well when it's time to nurse the baby. The first thing she said when she saw her was the she was sooo sooofftt. And Ashton, ever the boy, held her for a little while and gave her a kiss then he was on to figuring out how everything else in the room worked.

So, night one is down and we did good. We're both alive and rested and I've got a plan for tonight to make it even better.

Wednesday, March 11

And now, in the center ring, Shiloh Eden Curtis!


Last night, at 1:08 am, our lives were blessed by the arrival of our newborn baby girl, Shiloh Eden Curtis. We had arrived at the hospital only two hours and fifteen minutes earlier. Megan had some heavy bleeding around 9:30 so we bundled the kids off to Grammy's house and took to the road.

When Megan finally got hooked up to the machines she was already 6 cm dilated and having heavy contractions every minute. The doctor actually had to give her a shot to slow the contractions down! Did I ever mention my wife has the firmest handshake in the world when she's in labor?

Megan got an epidural but then had the baby almost immediately afterword. The anesthetic didn't work this time and only succeeded in numbing her legs not any areas that were in pain.

Our child is very beautiful now that she is all cleaned up. She is healthy and resting with mom now. She has a whole new wardrobe knitted for her by my wife and is the most stylish baby. We have been taking pictures and video of her, one of which I will post now.

Sunday, March 8

Oi!

"Baby, when are you going to be born?" said the mama as she rubbed her gigantic belly as it rolled and bucked under her touch. "On her birthday!" matter-of-factly stated by the independent wild three year old sitting next to her.

I tell you what, I'm completely enamored by the things that constantly come out of her mouth…

Saturday, March 7

Words: Take 2

"Mama,"

"Yes, Jenna,"

"I love you! You're as beautiful as a summer blossom!"

That's just what I needed to hear today. I think it's amazing how kids just seem to know just what to say to keep you going when you need it the most. After an evening of contractions that were five minutes apart, but not strong enough to keep labor progressing, I was sent home from the hospital to labor at home. I'm feeling worn out now. I continued to have contractions for awhile after I got home and some this morning, but they had stopped by this afternoon. Now they've started again, but there slow. So all this to say, I love my children. They have brought me so much joy, especially at moments when I thought I couldn't take even one more step forward. I know that I'll have even more with another little one here to share our hearts, home and love. (Shiloh, any time you're ready, we want you to come out and see us.)

Thursday, March 5

To be or not to be?

I went to the doctor yesterday. If anything, I'm even more pregnant than I was at my last appointment. Shiloh does not want to come out. This could be a very interesting experience over the next few weeks. I'm hoping that she'll come before too much longer as we've already got plans to bless this child on the 29th. (Yes, I realize that's my actual due date, thank you very much.) I'd feel bad if that couldn't happen because I'm still pregnant when family has already made arrangements to be here then. I did get the "you can have the baby any time now" clearance yesterday from my doctor. But, she said that if I want her to deliver the baby, then I have to wait until after the weekend since she'll be in Atlanta on fri, sat, and sun. One of these days, maybe Shiloh will decide it really is okay to come out and meet everyone…Oi!

Monday, March 2

53!?!

Today marks a lot of mile stones, in terms of pregnancy, for me. I am officially 53" from stem to stern and back again, Shiloh is about 7 lbs now, and I'm 27 days from my due date. She's my biggest and longest pregnancy yet. I hoping that she'll come this week. It's getting very difficult to move. I could hardly walk yesterday due to how low she was sitting. Oh, I forgot to tell you! The other day I actually had Braxton Hicks contractions. In the past, contractions were full blown labor but this time it's not, even though I wish it were.

My legs are beginning to show signs of my plumpiness. Big bruises from tripping over things or falling in the tub are frequently in fashion down there. I can't see things on the ground in front of me. I think that I'm walking around them when I'm walking right into them. The kids are the worst for blindsiding me! They like to be almost attached to me. Jenna is just barely tall enough that I can see her over the expanse of belly, but she likes to walk in front and quickly stop to turn a round and give me a hug, which as you might guess, poses some challenges when getting from point A to point B. Ashton is one slick cookie. He likes to cut right in front of me and nearly cause me to topple over him every time.

All topic of conversation has become all about everything that we're going to do when the baby "pops out of mommy's tummy". (They've got the belly button pagged as the point of exit.) They are especially looking forward to going to visit grandparents when the baby's out of mommy's tummy. I've resigned myself to the idea that I'm going to have to work for this one. The other two came out so easily that I enjoyed labor more than I did the pregnancy. But, with this one, I'm leary that she's going to take some pushing on my part to come out. (With the other two I pushed once and twice respectively.) But, maybe not since two weeks ago I had already started to dialate. I'm becoming awkwardly front heavy and I feel very much like a turtle that's been turned over on it's shell when ever I lie down. So, when thinking of me today, PRAY HARD that I have this baby...SOON (today would be a good day *wink*wink*).

Friday, February 27

The Power of Crafts

So, yeah. Yesterday while I was contracting and hoping that the baby would come already, Randall went to Wal-Mart and had the oil changed in the car. While he was killing time, he found this film on sale. It's called Dragon Hunters. I had never heard of it. But Randall thought that the kids would enjoy it so he bought it. This morning, I sat down and watched it with them. The hero of the movie knits. And there's a running plot of him finally being able to settle down and have a sheep farm for the wool once he has defeated the World Gobbler. But, guess how he defeats the dragon in the end… Go ahead, just guess…Okay, well he uses his knitting needles! The world is saved because hero learned how to knit from his mother. Wow! I always knew that there was power in string and two sticks.

Dreaming

When you're pregnant you get some pretty intense and very strange dreams. My dreams last night were strange, but in a good way. March 4 of last year, my grandma past away. But, last night she was living in my dreams. I dreamed I had the baby and when I went to the nursery to see her, but it turned out to be a boy and there was my grandma just loving every moment of holding him. It's comforting in a way to have that vision in my head. Grandma was too sick to visit when I had the other two and I was too poor to take them to see her. But, having the thought of her holding my baby somehow makes the pain I've been having seem more tolerable, like maybe on the other side of the veil she's giving Shiloh one last hug and kiss before sending her to me…

Thursday, February 26

P.S. I Love You...

Garlicky Oven Fries...oh, how happy you have made me! I tried these babies out yesterday and they were soooo yummy. Try em and I'll bet you'll be addicted too! But, beware that the garlic will make the whole house smell like these puppies for hours on end. I had to light a candle to get rid of the lingering garlic...

Wednesday, February 25

Potato Patato

So, the other day I had this terrible craving for potatoes. But, not just any potato recipe would do. I wanted to make Crash Hot Potatoes. You see, when I want to make something I have this blog that I always turn to for inspiration. I found it about two years ago when I completely changed my lifestyle to avoid being put on medication for the rest of my life. I had symptoms that pointed the doctor to Crohn's. They wanted to run a series of tests, tests that I couldn't afford, just to make sure that's what it was. So, being the ever resourceful person that I am, I did some research and studying and decided to completely change my diet and go raw. It was amazing the difference. I finally was able to feel normal. I finally was living without the pain, which had at points gotten so severe that I was limited to my bed for long periods of time. (Not exactly where you want to be as a mother with two very young and active children.) I started the change with a body cleanse and then went raw and then vegan with 80% raw and 20% cooked food.

Vegan Yum Yum saved me from a world of monotony. A world of wonder and culinary success opened up to me. The stellar pictures sucked me in and then the easy recipes hooked me as a devoted reader and recipe tester. Nearly everything she has posted in the last year I has made its way into my heart and kitchen at some point. So, when she posted The Pioneer Woman's recipe for Crash Hot Potatoes, I knew I needed to make them. And I knew it again the other day when I was buzzing around the grocery store in my motorized shopping cart picking up food for this week. I grabbed some small potatoes and giggled with delight at the yumminess awaiting me and my family.

But, when I got home, I realized that I have half a bag of Yukon gold potatoes that need using up be for they go bad. So, I went online and got the recipe for the potatoes and I clicked on the pioneer woman's link in the post and fell in love again. I love everything about her website, from photos to recipes and I found a link to another blog that has me hooked as well. Lottie and Doof, she had a recipe for Garlicky Oven Fries that has won my vote for what to do with those other potatoes before they rot. Crispity, crunch. That's what I'm craving…

Saturday, February 21

Tag- Pay it Forward

This is how it works:
The first FIVE PEOPLE to respond to this post win something from ME! Something crafty or yummy!

BUT YOU HAVE TO DO THIS:

Re-post this to your blog & offer the same thing to your 1st 5 responders.

The 1st 5 who re-post to their own blog will get something made by ME! My choice!

The gift you send can be any price range and you have 365 days to make/ship your item! This means you should be willing to maintain your blog at least until you receive your gift and have shipped YOUR gifts. And remember, it's the spirit and the thought that counts!

When you receive your gift, please feel free to blog about it!
I know I will!

Breastfed: The Best Fed

I am a huge proponent for breastfeeding. I was able to give that gift to both my active, healthy kids; Ashton for 17 months and Jenna for 14 months. I came naturally and easily for me. It's a bonus that it helps to reduce my risk of breast cancer in the future, too! And, hey, why else would God put them on women's bodies if it wasn't to be used to further ensure that the generations to come would thrive right out of the gate? It is not for sex appeal as the media would have you believe, that I firmly believe. So, given my stance, I was most definitely planning on doing it again for Shiloh. When I had Jenna I weighted 50 lbs more than I do now and all of the nursing ware that I saved is now not an option, at least not an easy option. Okay, so I packed my hospital bags the other day… (We're down to five more weeks until the due date and I've never gone more than 36 weeks in a pregnancy) and I realized that I'm going to need some nursing bras and some shirts would be helpful too. I had Randall take me to Motherhood Maternity after my doctor's appointment on Wed. to get a few things. Two bras and three shirts later, I had dropped $100.00. I was reeling! The whole was home I kept thinking there had to be a cheaper way. I can sew something, I thought. I came home and googled. I found the best blog. Rostitchery. She has tutorials on how to convert regular patterns into nursing ones. Folks, this got my juices flowing! I couldn't sleep for all the ideas I had floating in my head that night. I printed out a several pages of info from her blog and the next morning I set to work making my own patterns for nursing tops. I cut out one shirt in some jersey fabric I had and then realized, I can't get to my sewing desk. I the midst of preparing for Shiloh to come, I had to reorganize my bed/craft/office room in order to fit the crib in there. Everything that still needs to find a home is in the middle of the room and all over my sewing table and desk. So, I've merely been thwarted, not defeated in my quest to maintain a somewhat fashionable and current modest look while I nourish my baby in the coming year.

Friday, February 20

A Narrow Escape

Today, I wanted to go show Debbie the newest ultrasound pictures. So, I got in the car and the kids came with me and I drove the fifty yards over there. But, on the way, I looked over and saw this black fluffy blob on the ground in the yard. I felt sick. We have a cat that looked suspiciously similar to that blob. And this wouldn't be the first time we've had a cat fall in the heat of battle. Add to that, the love that Ashton has for his cat Fluffy and it would have caused the Hun army to break down and sob at the sight! I didn't say anything. I didn't want to be the one to break it to him. The last time we had a cat die, Ashton found it in the front yard. He came running in and breathlessly sobbed, "Mommy, Airhead Thomas is being eaten by a ton of fire ants! We have to save him!" There was no saving him. He was dead long before he was found. We had a burial service for him in the backyard and Ashton cried and cried and went on for days about how much he loved that cat. The funny thing about it was it was Jenna's cat. All she said at the service was, "Bye, Airhead," and walked back into the house. So, knowing all this, I had to build up the nerve to say something to him because Fluffy is his cat. He came to our family at Christmas. It was his present from his Aunt Becca and everyday he spends hours petting and cuddling him. I've never seen a cat so patient! Ashton grabs him around the middle and smooshes his face in with a multitude of kisses and the whole time that cat is eating it up, purring like I've never heard a cat purr before.

At Debbie's, I called Randall and said, "I think we have a c-a-t that is d-e-a-d." Randall went out to look at it. Yep. Dead. Broken neck, covered in slobber. Dead. Okay. Well, I don't think we need any more cats since we apparently can't keep the neighbor's dog from killing them. Maybe we should move before we try to get another cat. Agreed. So, he sets to work burying the cat while I try to kill time so that the kids don't see it. So, after waiting awhile, we come back home. But, little did I know, it takes a long time to dig a hole to bury a cat in and he wasn't done, yet. So this dead cat is in the front yard and I went to the back to talk to Randall. The kids get out of the car and go straight out front. Debbie was up here and Ashton says to her, "What's that? It looks like Fluffy!" She tries to avoid the on slot tears, too and tells him it's nothing and to just leave it alone. Ashton then goes into the garage and starts looking for Fluffy, because that's where he lives and usually stays even with the door wide open. At that moment, Randall goes and gets the cat with the shovel and rather than quickly burying it, he walks over to the neighbor's dog, which is now in the yard and tries to get the dog to come to him to check her out to see if she was the murderer. Ashton comes out of the garage and says, "I can't find Fluffy! Where is he?" Randall throws the cat filled shovel into the bushes and tries to look all innocent. Then he looks at Ash and says, "Buddy, I've got some bad news…Fluffy is dead." Ashton completely falls apart. Randall picks him up and tries to console him, but there is no end to the tears. Everyone is gathered around trying to help lessen the blow when I hear "Meow". And I think that sounded like Fluffy! I look over and there he is, head peering around the corner looking at us like Dead? Who's Dead? What are you guys blubbering on about?

After further examination, it was actually a much bigger cat that we assume must have been feral because it was just covered in ticks. Although, it did look like it was the neighbor's dog that killed it. But, at least, Fluffy lives to fight another day.

Thursday, February 19

Babbling

At dinner:

Jenna: "Mom, I love shrimp! What's it made out of?"

Me: "Shrimp"

Jenna: "Shrimp is made out of Shrimp?!?!?!"

Me: "Yes, honey. Shrimp is a kind of animal you find in the water."

Jenna: "EEEEWWWW! That's gross! And we're eating it?" and she shovels another bite in her mouth. "Is shrimp, lobster?"

Me: "No."

Jenna: "Oh, good. I like shrimp."

Ashton and Jenna are fascinated by the falling shows: Dirty Jobs, Will Work for Food, Survivor Man, Man vs. Wild, Food Detectives. Needless to say, there is always something interesting to hear and say in our little three ring circus each day.

What the…?

It seems kids will pick up things from anywhere and at any time. Jenna's new thing is saying, "What the…?" to everything. Sometimes it's almost comical and others it's wearing. Ashton and Jenna have both been stuck on a certain Chipmunk song that I've never even heard. Apparently, their uncle Chris has a tape that he listens to and they heard it and love it. So now it's all Randall and I can do to not go insane when we hear, "Hey, Alvin do you want a banana? All I want is a Japanese banana…." I'm sure that the lyrics are coming out somewhat altered from the original as only a 6 and 3 year old can.

To totally change the subject, have you seen Madagascar 2? Well, Jenna earned enough money by saving from birthdays and Christmas to buy it the other day. Needless to say, the kids were eager to do almost any chore for a solid week in order to earn enough tokens to watch that movie several times…REPEATEDLY. There is this one part in the movie where Gloria, the hippo, is dancing with her potential mate, Moto-Moto. She asks him what it is that he likes about her (typical female curiosity) and he says, "Girl, you so plumpy." I've had that stuck in my head just as bad as the kids and their chipmunk song. And now, that I'm in that final inning stretch before the birth of Shiloh, I'm feeling quite clumsy and voluminous. So, every time that Randall tells me that I look hot or pretty or beautiful, it's all I can do not to say, "Girl, you so plumpy."

Words have power…