Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The truth about marriage...from C.S. Lewis

Just recently I was talking to Krissy, Scott's youngest sister, and we got onto the topic of relationships. I remembered a quote from C.S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity about marriage and it went well with what we were talking about so I shared it with her(and then I sent it to Kelley, his other sister that's engaged!! Yay Kelley and Jericho starting a family!). It sort of lays out the reality of marriage. I think one of the reasons there are so many divorces in this day and age is because of the message the media sends out to audiences all over the world that you find this one special person and you are both passionately in love for the rest of your lives, no work involved, no personal sacrifices made. Then when their honeymoon stage is over they realize that this person has weaknesses and they have problems they need to work through, compromises that need to be made and they think, 'I was tricked, I didn't know any better, I thought I loved him/her but I don't love him/her anymore and there is someone else out there that will be better for me.' So anyways, this talks about the falsehood of that thinking and I like it so much that I want to post it here for me to have forever in my family blog book. So here it is(a little long but fantastic!): Oh and always remember, love is a choice that you make every day. So choose to love, it's such a wonderful thing!

"The idea that ‘being in love’ is the only reason for remaining married really leaves no room for marriage as a contract or promise at all. If love is the whole thing, then the promise can add nothing; and if it adds nothing, then it should not be made….And of course, the promise, made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits me to being true even if I cease to be in love. A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way. He might as well promise never to have a headache or always to feel hungry….

No feeling can be relied on to last in its full intensity, or even to last at all. Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go. And in fact, whatever people say, the state called ‘being in love’ usually does not last. If the old fairy-tale ending ‘They lived happily ever after’ is taken to mean ‘They felt for the next fifty years exactly as they felt the day before they were married’, then it says what probably never was nor ever would be true, and would be highly undesirable if it were. Who could bear to live in that excitement for even five years? What would become of your work, your appetite, your sleep, your friendships? But, of course, ceasing to be ‘in love’ need not mean ceasing to love. Love in this second sense- love as distinct from ‘being in love’ – is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God. They can have this love for each other even at those moments when you do not like yourself. They can retain this love even when each would easily, if they allowed themselves, be ‘in love’ with someone else. ‘Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity: this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run: being in love was the explosion that started it.

If you disagree with me, of course, you will say, ‘He knows nothing about it, he is not married.’ You may quite possibly be right. But before you say that, make quite sure that you are judging me by what you really know from your own experience and from watching the lives of your friends, and not by ideas you have derived from novels and films. This is not so easy to do as people think. Our experience is colored through and through by books and plays and the cinema, and it takes patience and skill to disentangle the things we have really learned from life for ourselves.

People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on ‘being in love’ for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to change- not realizing that, when they have changed, the glamour will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last. "

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy 28th Birthday Scott!


I took this picture about a month ago but decided to save it for Scott's special day since it's so embarrassing! Just kidding, I think it's cute :), but I always think Scott is cute.


This morning I made Scott german pancakes with a special vanilla syrup. It's special because we tried it at a friends house a couple of months ago and loved it and Scott's asked me to get the recipe from them a couple of times but I never did until this week, and I was able to keep it a secret(I know, that's amazing for me, I can't ever seem to keep secrets from him, but I did this time!).


For Scott's birthday present this year I got him a memo photo album and then I organized his shoebox full of mission pictures(to the best of my ability) and stuck them all in this nice album for him. I'll have him go through and make sure they're all in order and then we can sit down together and write captions on the memo side so that he won't forget in his old age :). He's not old yet, but only 2 more years and then he'll be the big 3-0! (any readers who are 30+ please don't be offended)


This evening we're dropping the kids off at a friends house so that Scott and I can enjoy a romantic dinner out at a Pizzeria! Okay probably not romantic at a pizzeria but hassle, stress, and mess free which will be glorious! I can't wait! And it's an authentic Italian pizzeria that we read about in the newspaper so we're pretty excited to see if it really compares to the pizza in Italy(remember, Scott served his mission there and when we were newly married we were able to go back for a visit). It's called Sete Bello.
Happy 28th Birthday Scott! We sure love you!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Teeth

Annabelle has 6 teeth now! Babies look so much older when they have teeth(in my opinion).





Elisabeth and Charles like me to take off the skin from their apples when they eat them. But the other day we made these fun mouth snacks(with marshmallow teeth...see it still fits with my post :)) using apple slices with their skins still attached, marshmallows, and peanut butter and the kids ate everything, skins and all!
Oh and just for fun, a cute random picture of Annabelle trying on Elisabeth's winter hat.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

3 Interesting bits of info...

1. We heard on the news last night that this area has the worst air in the country right now! They advise that you keep children and elderly indoors this week as much as possible. Interesting...

2. I wouldn't have thought that a child could give a parent a hair cut without the parent knowing(unless they were sleeping of course) but I was proved wrong this afternoon. Me and the kids were sitting around the table working on crafts, Charles was on my left and Elisabeth on my right and I turned to Elisabeth to help her with something for a minute and when I turned back to my craft I noticed a little clump of hair on the table just under me. At first I thought Charles cut his own hair, I did give him childrens' scissors to cut paper with, but then I realized it was much to long, at least 3-4 inches. It was mine. Luckily I have enough hair that it's not obvious unless you really search and then you can find that short layer.

3. Annabelle can crawl into and stand up in our tupperware cabinet and she enjoys doing this.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Annabelle is 11 months old!

Look! She has learned how to go up and down the stairs all by herself! But we’re still trying to teach her how to sit down and turn around at the top of the stairs so that she’s in a baby-safe position when she goes down(on her tummy).
Annabelle loves to entertain her family. She’ll do anything to get a laugh and if you do laugh she’ll do it a million more times and laugh with you! Here are some of the silly things she does:

1. She likes to get in the yoga, ‘downward facing dog pose’ position. She doesn’t actually know that’s what it is, but I just think it’s funny she likes to be upside down that way.


2. She’ll turn on our stereo and dance for you. If you don’t have a stereo near by just hum a tune or turn on a fan and she’ll dance to those noises too! Her favorite songs to dance to are the ones that you sing about her like,(think the tune, “here comes santa clause”) “Here comes Annabelle, here comes Annabelle, right down Annabelle’s lane.”
This is a picture I took while Annabelle was dancing for us

3. She likes to try on socks, shoes, and all sorts of clothing items including underwear: Elisabeth, we can see your panties! (don’t worry, they’re clean, she grabbed them from my clean laundry mound sitting on our couch downstairs…it’s been there for days)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

RSV....we think

I mentioned earlier that Charles had been sick, but he got all better last weekend, around January tenth. Unfortunately that same day Annabelle got sick. She shared the same sort of symptoms but was a bit worse and I think hers lasted longer. She started out with a mild fever(which came and went over the next couple of days), she had an extremely runny nose and was really stuffed up, and had a pretty yucky cough. Her nose bled too which I think was mostly due to the dry climate. She wasn’t eating like her normal self and she slept terribly, which also meant that I slept terribly. This kept up for five days at which time (Wednesday afternoon) I finally took her into the doctor who checked her ears and everything else and finally decided that she must have RSV. She said antibiotics wouldn’t help because this is a virus not a bacteria. And there was really nothing else we could do at the time besides what I was already doing: draining out her nose the best I could(I ended up buying saline nose mist spray that evening, thanks to Becca’s advice, and it helped a lot even though she HATES it), having her sleep on an incline, using the humidifier etc. When I talked to my mom she suggested boosting Annabelle’s immune system with lots of good foods so we did that too; it’s a good thing she loves steamed vegetables! The doctor also said to watch her breathing, if she’s having a lot of trouble breathing(or if the color around her lips starts to turn blue, scary!) bring her into the hospital and they’ll help her out.

After many prayers and great diligence from both parents on keeping her as comfortable and healthy as possible, Thursday things started to look up. Her fevers were gone, her nose was much less runny , and not nearly as stuffy and then by Friday she was practically fully recovered. Now I just need to try and get her back to her normal sleeping schedule because since she was sick for nearly a week she started routinely waking up each night several times, even if she wasn’t all stuffed up or runny nosed, and I would nurse her back to sleep. I think I’ll give her through this weekend and then try and help her get back on a ‘sleeping-through-the-night’ schedule.

I read up a little more on RSV and apparently 2/3 of kids will get RSV at some point in time but since the symptoms are so similar to the common cold many parents don’t even realize that that’s what it is, I know I didn’t have a clue. Some cases are much more severe than others and children may need to be hospitalized. Generally it lasts from 3-5 days, which was about right for Annabelle, she was pretty sick for about 5 days. I’m so thankful it’s over!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Following the big kids

Annabelle is at the age where she is really starting to enjoy the company of her siblings and wants to be doing whatever they are doing. Every day for a little while I'll get Elisabeth and Charles all bundled up and send them outside to play. I usually try to time it so that they're outside while Annabelle is sleeping since she can't walk and I just imagined it wouldn't be so much fun with her outside. But our timing isn't always perfect. A couple of times this week she sat and watched me as I helped the kids pull on their many layers of clothing and then after they went outside she crawled over to our winter box and pulled out her snow hat and tried so hard to get it on by herself.






But she's not very coordinated and it frustrated her. So I stepped in to help, we quickly got ourselves covered up and ready and then we went outside with the kids. She LOVED it! Our driveway was clear and the sun was shining on it so she had plenty of room to crawl on the dry concrete and explore. A couple of times she would get really close to a mound of snow and touch it with her glove, but she didn't care for it much, mostly she just liked being outside, crawling around with the kids near by.



Friday, January 9, 2009

Dice game



I discovered this game through Robin, my sister-in-law, and thought we’d give it a try. I made a die with different numbers and colors on each side and then made cards that were color coordinated with the die. Each color represents a different subject or theme. So, for example, if you landed on red you would pick a red card which has pictures of animals and you need to say the name of the animal and the noise it makes. And in Elisabeth’s case, since she’s older, she needs to try and spell it. Blue is prophets and apostles, purple are actions (i.e. do a sommersault, walk back 12 steps etc), yellow are signs(there are about three to four words on these cards that the kids need to do in sign language), orange are shapes, and green are numbers(if they’re older they need to say the number and sign it). And since we’re working on our sign language when they roll the die they’re supposed to sign the color it lands on. So anyways, it’s a fun game for them and I enjoy doing it with them because I get to do some teaching. Thanks Robin for sharing this idea! And by the way, if you’d like to learn sign language but you’ve never watched ‘Signing Time’ you should check out the series of dvds from the library! They are great and totally family friendly. My kids love watching it and we all learn signs together!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Matching aprons


Sunday evening we had Krissy and Kendall over for dinner. While Krissy was in NC for Christmas she made us all matching aprons! They are super cool! And it’s pretty amazing because Elisabeth and Charles had been asking for ‘kid aprons’ so this came at the perfect time! Thanks Krissy(and I think Grandma was involved so thanks to Grandma too!).
An action shot of the kids with their new aprons

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

What a day!

Well it's been an exhausting day for me. I guess most of our days are physically exhausting, but today it was mentally exhausting. Charles has been sick for awhile but thankfully is on the mend. Today he cried and whined the entire day. And that's not an exaggeration. And since he doesn't nap anymore it was just constant throughout the day and it really wore on me. Oh and he doesn't listen, ever. That might be a little bit of an exaggeration, but it's a fairly accurate statement. He's just busy doing things all the time. And he'll tell you that too. I'll say something like, "Hey Char, could you please put your shoes away/clean up your toys/finish your food/stop doing that to Annabelle etc?" And he'll respond, "No, mom I'm busy. You can do it." Well, I'm sure I deserve some of the blame for that response because I might have said it on occassion. But anyways, back to my story. I was very patient and did pretty well, but one can only handle so much.....and when I get overwhelmed by a certain emotion or feeling-whether it's joy, sadness, stress, disobedient children- I cry. So when Scott walked in the door at 515pm, he came over and found me sitting at the kitchen table feeding Annabelle with tears in my eyes. I got up to give him a hug and he said, "The kids?" And I said yes and the tears just flowed. Then I asked him if he would mind if I went out for a little while after dinner. He said that'd be fine and then I told him to just call my cell once the two oldest were in bed. My husband is the best man I know. I love him dearly and am so grateful to have his love and support. I don't know what I'd do without him....probably be crying all day every day. :). No, the truth is we don't have days like this very often. And thank goodness for that! Thanks Scott for taking over tonight. He just called so I'm headed home, and feeling much better.

Happy Third Birthday Char!

On Tuesday January 6 we celebrated Charlie’s third birthday. Unfortunately Char was sick again this year on his birthday(a bad cold, and he did have a fever a couple of days ago) which means he's been sick for all of his birthdays. But he still wanted to celebrate and be in charge for the day. So we opened presents first thing in the morning, ate pancakes, watched ‘Cars’-his favorite movie- we met daddy at Carl’s Junior for lunch, Elisabeth and Charles had quiet time together in the playroom, they watched ‘Go Diego Go!’, we ate dinner, sang Happy Birthday and ate some cake. Charles didn’t eat much dinner or cake because he wasn’t feeling good and he ended up walking to bed by himself a little early. Poor thing. But I think he still had a good day. Thanks Granny and Grandpa for the cash to go in his piggy bank, the cars from, ‘Cars’ and the ‘Cars’ clothes! He’s a little obsessed with ‘Cars’ and loved acquiring all those items! We also got him a Lightning McQueen swimsuit(I bought it at the end of summer on clearance) and a Lightning McQueen board book(which I found for 25 cents at the DI!).

Scott helped me decorate Char's train cake! Thanks honey!




Pictures from Carl's Jr.



I followed Annabelle around and took lots of pictures of her. I probably shouldn't let my 11 month old baby crawl around on dirty fast food play area floors; but I do.



Blowing out the candles





Happy Birthday Charles! We sure love you!


Fun facts about Charles:


-He LOVES the movie cars and he loves playing with cars


-He's very independent


-His favorite food besides sweets is probably macaroni and cheese and hot dogs


-He doesn't nap anymore(I wouldn't really call this fun but it is a fact so we'll include it)


-He's totally day time potty trained and almost completely night time potty trained...every once and awhile he'll have an accident at night


-He loves playing with his family


-He loves to play with Annabelle and help her out(though sometimes this causes more hurt than help...in fact a couple of weeks ago he was trying to 'help' keep her in the play room and accidentally smashed her fingers in the door, one of which is the finger she sucks at night needless to stay he stopped her finger sucking habit but it makes falling asleep time much more difficult for both mommy and baby)


-He has a very nice singing voice and knows lots of songs


-He knows the alphabet and their sounds and he can sign quite a few words(this is something we're all learning together)

Charles will have his 3 year old wellness check up in a month at the same time as Annabelle's one year old check up. I'll post his weight/height stats once I get them.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Random

Some random thoughts:
1. I’m one of those people that likes to dip their french fries in shakes/ice cream. I also like to dip potato chips in ice cream…Scott thinks this is unappetizing. But I think his peanut butter and jelly and Dorito sandwich isn’t very appetizing either. Oh well, we’re all different and like different things. (We don’t do this often because we rarely have chips, French fries, or ice cream in the house…but we do have them for the holidays!)



2. My sweet neighbor Betsy gave us this ‘Believe in the magic’ sign for Christmas and I love it! Thanks Betsy and Michael!

3. We just finished painting our upstairs main bathroom...it'll be the same color as the rooms in the basement, I'm boring that way, I like all the same boring tan colors everywhere....and we had extra paint from doing the downstairs that I didn't want to waste so that's what we're using! It's hard doing projects like this with three little kids running around trying to get into and touch things. So we tried to be speedy and efficient: we primed it and put on the first coat last night after the kids went to bed and then this morning while Annabelle took her nap we put on the Polar Express movie for the kids and finished the job!


4. Charlie is going to be three years old this Tuesday the 6th! They grow much too fast! He sure is cute and he’s getting so independent(in the picture below he had pulled a chair over to the counter, climbed up and got his own bowl). Stay little please! I love you just the way you are!
5. We had bought all the ingredients to make chocolate and white chocolate peanut butter balls to add to our plate of goodies for Christmas but then we got tired from all of our other baking and decided to wait until another time....that other time was New Year's Eve, and Elisabeth was such a good helper! And they are SO yummy!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Elisabeth's lamp

Elisabeth got a lamp for Christmas from Granny, which is something she has requested for awhile. I’m going to jump back a little and give you the story on why she wanted a lamp.

Each night after we put the kids to bed, we would go upstairs to our room, turn on our lamp on our headboard and then we read and write and talk until we go to sleep. Elisabeth will occasionally get out of bed once she’s been put there for the night(I know, surprising huh? What kid would ever do that?) and so she knew about our lamp and our night time reading and writing. And so now Elisabeth has her princess lamp on her headboard and after I sing her a song and give her kisses for the night, she turns on her lamp, grabs a book or two from her headboard and sometimes her little journal and pencil and will stay up a little while longer…I’m not sure exactly what time she falls asleep but so far it has always been before Scott and I get to bed.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Puppy

Having Annabelle is kind of like having a puppy: She crawls around on all fours and gets herself in weird places, and she will find whatever may be lying around(socks, mittens, chap stick etc.), grab it up with her teeth and lose it for you. She also eats food remnants that have fallen off the table and onto the floor, and she’s not much for talking yet. We sure love our cute Annabelle.