Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Merry Christmas

We traveled to Rexburg for Christmas this year. As expected, there was a lot of snow. We stayed in the house the whole time because of how cold it is there. Clara loved playing with most of her cousins. This is a picture of Clara and Hyrum (3 months younger than Clara) playing at the top of the stairs. They were so cute to watch play together.Clara enjoyed Christmas morning. Santa gave her some pretend food to play with, and she knew just what to do: She enjoyed playing with what came out of the wrapping paper, but I don't think she quite understands what a present is yet. She was so tuckered out from a long vacation that she slept most of the way home. I am so grateful for our little girl. She brings us so much joy. She shows me everyday how to be more Christlike.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sledding

We took Clara sledding for the first time on Saturday. She had so much fun. She was on this baby sled for a while, but then Jeremy took her down the big hill with her on the sled with him. She loved that too and even giggled when she got to the bottom of the hill. It was a ward activity, so we were borrowing sleds from other people. She enjoyed the first 15 minutes of it. She is too much like her mom. As soon as she got cold, she was done and ready to go.We had more blessings come our way this week. I so appreciate all of Santas who left gifts for Clara and our little family. We feel so blessed. We are having the best Christmas we have ever had. We truly have great friends.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Huge Blessings

We had a very long day yesterday, but upon arriving home, we found a small gift from our landlord on our door. In it contained a card that had the biggest blessing we could have received this Christmas. She told us that some of our friends (who want to remain anonymous) paid for our January rent! I was amazed at the friendships we have that someone would be willing to pay our rent for us. I wanted to write this post in hopes that we could thank our amazing anonymous friends. Jeremy and I both feel so blessed. We are so appreciative that we can save that money for a later use. I wish I was more eloquent with words because I don't feel like I'm expressing how great our gratitude is at this moment. Thank you so much!

The reason we had such a long day was because we drove up to see our newest nephew Timothy. The bad weather hit shortly after we had left home. So a trip that normally takes 30 minutes turned out to take an hour since we could only drive 15 miles an hour on the freeway. It was a crazy drive, but we are so glad we made it. The roads were better when we left the hospital, but people were still only driving 10 - 15 miles an hour.
We also stopped in Lehi to watch another set of nieces and nephews while their parents had a date night. Even though our day was a long one, it was filled with great blessings.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Ward Christmas Party

This has been a fun week. Last Friday, we were able to attend the sealing of Jeremy's cousin. It was wonderful to be around family and friends for a whole day. I was so excited to be able to witness the sealing of Brian and Melanie. Thanks for inviting us!
Saturday was our ward Christmas party. Jeremy got to be Santa and have all the little kids sit on his lap. The littlest kids cried, but guess who cried the most: Clara. It was so funny. All the adults were laughing pretty hard, myself included. It was fun to see all the kids get so excited that Santa was there. One family had both their girls sit on Santa's lap at the same time. Their youngest girl is 1 month younger than Clara, so she was crying. Their oldest girl is 3, the perfect age to be excited that Santa is here. It was cute to watch the 3 year old trying her best to calm her little sister down by saying, "Don't worry, it's SANTA!" This picture was taken after Clara got off Santa's lap. She clung to me like that for the next half an hour. Jeremy's grandmother made a doll house for his oldest sister. That sister decided to give Clara the doll house. Clara loves it. She plays with it frequently. It's so fun to see her act like such a girl, even at a young age. Anything that can be worn as a bracelet or jewelry is. Clara has now found a purse that she likes to carry around with her. I think I have my job cut out for me!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Another Week Gone By

I was able to attend the baptism of an 8 year old friend on Saturday. It was so fun to see "family" I hadn't seen in quite a while. Before I was married, I had no family in Utah. This family took me in and made me feel like I did have family here in Utah. It is always fun to see this family grow and change. The mother of the 8 year old is just a few days older than I am. This is also her second child. I can't believe how time flies. I know that even though Clara is 1, she will be 8 before I know it. I just want to enjoy the moments I have with her now before she changes. I guess that is why I take so many pictures of her.
This week didn't have anything else too exciting going on. I keep myself busy with tutoring for 1 - 2 hours a day, along with babysitting 4 days a week. It seems like everytime I tutor someone, Clara then needs my undivided attention. After I'm done it takes me just as long playing with her before she's not fussy anymore. Sometimes I love that she loves me so much and other times I wish she didn't have to be doing everything I'm doing.
Clara has really started to talk a lot on her own. It's all in her own language, but she jabbers all day long. She really does make me giggle. She tries to copy everything we are doing, and it makes playing with her so much fun.
We get together with the parents of the girl I babysit almost every Thursday. This Thursday they were nice enough to take pictures of our family for our Christmas letter that I will be writing soon. While we had the camera out, we took pictures of our little girls playing together. Clara is so good with Addi. She wanted to "dance" with Addi after a little prompting from Addi's dad. A little while later, she decided it would be fun to pat Addi's head. Silly, sweet little Clara. We love you!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Blessings

This week has brought so many wonderful blessings into our lives. I am so amazed at how many dinner invitations have been made to us. We've also gotten several offers from people who "have too much food to eat before it goes bad" and gives us a lot of their food storage. I haven't had to go grocery shopping in 3 weeks! Even though this is a difficult time for our little family, it is also the best time we've had in a while. We are able to see the Lord's hand in the very details of our lives. I feel so incredibly blessed lately. Especially because of this little one. Who couldn't love this face: She also likes to distract daddy when he tries to ignore her and do his homework. When she doesn't succeed in getting him to play with her, she'll turn his pages for him as he reads. Too bad he can't read as fast as she can turn the pages! :) Our little Clara is also getting so strong. She loves to push anything that moves, including her high chair. At least she's entertained with small and simple things! The last thing we've been blessed with this week is that my mother sent a lot of figurines to complete our Nativity. She spent quite a bit of money, using the excuse that it's because I helped her so much with her math. I'm just grateful we have a beautiful non-breakable Nativity that Clara can play with.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Jeremy and I were able to attend the temple 3 times this past week. Last Friday, we went to the Salt Lake temple with the Young Women to do baptisms. Jeremy went as our priesthood leader. It was great to have him come along. We went the next day to the Provo Temple and did sealings. We went again yesterday to the Jordan River Temple and did a session. I have forgotten how wonderful it is to be able to attend the temple so much. The spirit is always so strong there. It is such a blessing to be able to feel peace when our lives are up in the air right now. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves us so much that he gives us so many opportunities to be close to Him.

Clara officially started walking this week too. She's been taking a few steps here and there, but last Saturday she really took off. She still crawls a lot, but at least she is willing to walk across the room if needed. I love watching any little kid when they first walk. I think their teetering back and forth is so cute. Enjoy the not-so-great quality video of a very cute girl walking. I love how excited she gets when she walks. It doesn't matter where we are, if we put her down and let her walk, she starts giggling.
video

Friday, November 21, 2008

Peace, Be Still

Since I know pictures are the most important for my readers, I'll post those first and then write all the "boring" stuff.

We turned on the Wizard of Oz a few days ago, and Clara stopped playing and just sat and watched all the little munchkins. She was mezmorized by it. I thought it was so funny with how still she was.A while later, we looked over and found her like this: I wonder how that could be comfortable for her!This week has been a hard week for Jeremy and I. The storms of life seem to be raging all around us right now. Not that anything happened that is horrible, but just that it made me think of the scripture in Matthew 8 where his disciples are in a ship with Jesus. A great storm arose, but Jesus was sleeping. Upon awakening Him so that He could save them, Jesus said, "O ye of little faith." Jesus then caused a great calm. Even though this storm seems to be raging all around us, there is a great calm in my heart. I am so grateful for the trials that bring us closer to our Savior. I am so grateful for the things that allow us to prove our great faith to our Father in Heaven. I know He is watching over us. I know that "if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." I am so grateful for prophets whose words can guide us to the things we need to do to be prepared. I am so grateful we listened to our prophets so that in this time of trouble, we are not afraid. I am so grateful for our scriptures, and for my daily scripture reading. It has helped me so that as these challenges come up, I can think of the scriptures that I can read for comfort to help me and guide me safely through them. We truly have so many more blessings in our lives than struggles. I think we all need to focus more on our blessings rather than our set backs. When we do, our set backs seem insignificant and easier to pass through.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Great Attitude

Clara has started trying to put on her shoes and socks this week. I love watching her figure things out. She doesn't get mad when she can't do something, she just tries again. I love that attitude. I couldn't get a non blurry picture because of her constantly moving that foot up and down. But here's the best one I could take.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Picture Tag

So even though I hate being tagged, I do enjoy sharing little random things. I've discovered that if I don't get the message saying "You are tagged," but instead are invited to continue the tag just because I read it and I think it would be fun, I'm a lot more apt to do the said "tag." So thanks to a friend's blog who tagged anyone who read the blog, here is the 6th picture in my 6th file.It comes from a folder entitled "First Christmas." For those who don't know when Jeremy and I got married, it is from Christmas of 2006. The reason why there is a picture of them is two fold. 1. It was our first Christmas, so I took pictures of EVERYTHING. 2. I made these myself, including spending the hours to cross-stitch the patterns as well as make a pattern and sew the stockings themselves. I made them before I was married, so it's a good thing Jeremy liked them!
In honor of not forcing anyone who doesn't want to, I tag anyone who wants to do this. Just find your 6th picture in your 6th file and post it on your blog.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Info

Clara loves to play in the drawer under our stove. She plays in it at least once a day. She climbs in one side and then climbs out the other. She'll walk all the way around just to climb in the same side and then climb out the other. Sometimes she'll put her toys in there and climb in to play. If she does has toys, then she throws them out of the drawer so that she can climb out to pick them up. As soon as she picks them up, she drops them back in the drawer so that she can climb back in to play with them. She knows how to open and shut the drawer herself, and is always so proud of herself when she does. If any toys go missing, I know right where to look: in the closed oven drawer.Clara loves pasta. Her Grandma Beck took this picture of her when we were up there visiting a few weeks ago. She posted it on her blog, but I loved it so much, I wanted to post it on ours too.I saw this on a friends blog and I figured it was time to disclose some more information about myself. I hadn't done this in a while, so here's my chance. I've highlighted in blue the things on the list that I've done and the things highlighted in red are the things Jeremy has done. And of course, if we've both done it, then it will be in both red and blue.

1.Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby’s diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it.
11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked at the night sky with a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (in my younger days)
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment (a lot more often than a moment)
36. Loved your job 90% of the time (both being a teacher and being a mom)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (not that I've been rich, but I definately had enough to do things I wanted to do)
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files (all my files are alphabetized)
48. Worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone - verbal or physical
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing ( I would wake up periodically, but I was pretty much sleeping the whole time.)
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name (my last name)
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all fours
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where at least four people asked for the recipe.
113. Buried a child
114. Been inside the pyramids
115. Shot a basketball into a basket
116. Danced at a disco
117. Played in a band
118. Shot a bird
119. Gone to an arboretum
120. Tutored someone
121. Ridden a train
122. Brought an old fad back into style
123. Eaten caviar
124. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
125. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
126. Published a book
127. Pieced a quilt
128. Lived in a historic place
129. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
130. Asked for a raise
131. Made a hole-in-one
132. Gone deep sea fishing
133.Gone roller skating
134. Run a marathon
135. Learned to surf
136. Invented something
137. Flown first class
138. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
139. Flown in a helicopter
140. Visited Africa
141. Sang a solo
142. Gone spelunking
143. Learned how to take a compliment
144. Written a love-story
145. Seen Michelangelo’s David
146. Had your portrait painted
147. Written a fan letter
148. Spent the night in something haunted
149. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
150. Ran away from home
151. Learned to juggle
152. Been a boss
153. Sat on a jury
154. Lied about your weight
155. Gone on a diet
156. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
157. Written a poem
158. Carried your lunch in a lunch box
159. Gotten food poisoning
160. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
161. Hiked the Grand Canyon
162. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
163. Gone to the opera
164. Gotten a letter from someone famous
165. Worn knickers
166. Ridden in a limousine
167. Attended the Olympics
168. Can hula or waltz
169. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
170. Been stuck in an elevator
171. Had a revelatory dream
172. Thought you might crash in an airplane
173. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
174. Saved someone’s life
175. Eaten raw whale
176. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
177. Laughed till your side hurt
178. Straddled the equator
179. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
180. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival

181. Sent a message in a bottle
182. Spent a night in a Hostel
183. Been a cashier
184. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
185. Joined a union
186. Donated blood or plasma (every 8 weeks. I've donated 3 gallons of blood so far)
187. Built a camp fire
188. Kept a blog
189. Had hives
190. Worn custom made shoes or boots
191. Made a PowerPoint presentation
192. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
193. Served at a soup kitchen
194. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
195. Know CPR
196. Ridden in a convertible
197. Found a long lost friend
198. Helped solve a crime
199. Shaken hands with a famous person
200. Been on a glacier.

It looks live I've done 102 out of the 200. It sure seemed like I was highlighting a lot more than I really did. I guess 51% isn't bad. Jeremy has done 87 (44%) and together we've done 121 (61%)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Costumes

Here is the post I know you've all been waiting for, pictures of Clara in her Halloween costume.We started Halloween festivities at our ward Trunk-or-Treat. Clara wasn't really sure about what was going on, but she didn't seem to mind her costume. She definitely didn't mind all the candy she got! After she made it around to all the trunks, she played in ours until we ran out of candy. By the time we left, it was dark. But we still had to get a picture of one of Clara's good friends, Taylor the puppy. We then headed up to Mom and Dad's for some trick or treating and the yummy cinnamon rolls Sharon had made. I'm not sure if Clara liked this Halloween or not, but her Mom and Dad sure had fun dressing her up and showing her off!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I obviously don't have pictures of Clara in her costume yet, so those will go on next week's blog. After this week's happenings, I should change Clara's costume. Clara should dress up as a mother. She would make a great one. This week after I was done feeding Addi her bottle, I set it on the floor so I could burp Addi. Clara saw me put it down and immediately went to get it. She then stood up and tried to put it in Addi's mouth. When I was done burping Addi, I put her on the floor so I could take a picture of my motherly little girl. I let Clara play about another minute with the bottle because I didn't want Addi getting mad that there was nothing coming out. After I took the bottle to rinse it out, I came back and found this: Clara had gotten her doll's bottle and was taking turns feeding Addi and then the doll. What a smart girl!

Clara has learned the sign for more this week. She is also learning the signs for thank-you, all done, and shoes. She's signed thank-you and all done a couple of times, but isn't consistent enough yet to make me thinks he knows what it means. It has been so fun to watch Clara catch on to signing. The only problem is that since she learned eat first, she'll sign it whenever she wants something that I'm not understanding. Most of the time she really is hungry, but every once in a while it means something else and she gets frustrated that I'm not meeting her needs even though she thinks she is telling me exactly what she wants. I'm just grateful she is so quick at leaning sign. It has drastically cut down her screaming time.
Have a great Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bishop Maki

I found out this afternoon that a close friend passed away. Terry Maki was my bishop when I was a youth. He influenced my life in so many ways, especially during a time in my life where the decisions I made plotted my life's course. He always believed in me and gave me the strength I needed to make correct decisions. I would have to go get a hug from Bishop Maki every time I went to Libby. He was is a great man and will be missed.He's been sick for years, but still made it to my wedding reception. This picture was taken at my Libby reception. He showed up a little early and ended up helping set up including making a trip to the store to get some needed items that he wouldn't let us pay him back for. I'm grateful to have rubbed shoulders with him in this life.

Look a like follow up

KSL Studio 5 just announced their Sarah Palin look a like winner. And the winner is... (insert drum roll here) Stephanie! Thanks to all of you who voted for her just because I asked you to.

In other exciting news, Clara took her first unassisted steps last night! We are so proud of her.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sarah Palin Look Alike

Stephanie Harris is in YW with me. I am also her visiting teacher, so I feel the need to help her win. :) Stehanie decided to be Sarah Palin for Halloween and she ended up being in the top 5 for a Sarah Palin look alike contest. The contest was state wide, so she is in the top 5 in the entire state of Utah.If you think Stephanie looks like Sarah Palin, please go to: http://studio5.ksl.com/?nid=23&sid=4539170 and vote for her.
The voting ends Sunday Oct. 26 at midnight, so please vote now!

Learning

I am amazed at how much Clara is learning. Clara can now give kisses when asked. She always gets a smile on her face as she gets to give Mom, Dad, or her baby a kiss. She has also learned how to click her tongue. She is very proud of her new sound, and continues to click as she happily plays. Clara has also learned the sign for eat. She will now do it when she gets hungry, which makes my life a lot easier.I love that she is making connections. She is starting to watch our every move and do things like we do. When I give her a spoon to eat with, she tries to use it correctly. She hasn't been able to get it right yet, but she it trying to!

Friday, October 17, 2008

First Snow

Jeremy and I were given tickets to the BYU game on Saturday. It was supposed to snow while we were there, so we dropped Clara off at Keri's house and packed all our warm winter attire to the game. Thanks Keri and Jon for watching Clara so that we could enjoy the game. Luckily the skies were clear the whole game and there was no snow.Notice how you don't see very many people behind us. We were at the very top of the stadium. There was only one row behind us! I'm amazed at how well we could see the game despite our nose bleed seats. We had so much fun. The snow came that night though. We woke up Sunday morning and found this:I love the first snow of the year. It seems so clean and fresh. I love crunching the snow beneath my feet as I walk on it. There is something about leaving the first snow prints that gets me really excited.

By the end of the week though, it was sunny and warm. It was up into the 70s! Silly weather.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Clara's First Birthday

Clara's great day was a busy one. We celebrated between conference sessions. She had a great time until her actual party. I guess we held it too late or she really doesn't like big crowds. Either one, it was hard keeping her happy. She cried through most of her party. I felt bad for her and all the guests. Oh well, it's her party and she'll cry if she wants to.During the day, we had her practice opening gifts by having her open her birthday gifts from Jeremy and I and those that came in from people out of town. She caught on really fast.But by the time her party came around, she didn't care anymore.

Oh, finally a gift that stopped her from crying!Thanks Uncle Michael and Aunt Genevieve. She loves her doll. It's the first toy she reaches for. She pats it, hugs it, and even tries to play patty cake with it.

When it came time to eat cake, she threw her cupcake off to the side and didn't want to have anything to do with it.I finally gave her a piece of it, but she spit it right out. I even had her try the frosting. So in pictures of her with cupcake on her bib, she got the cupcake there by spitting out the piece I gave her to try, and not because she got messy from enjoying it.

She did however love Daddy's ice cream.One of the few smiles we got from her that night was when Uncle Matt said hello.Even though she doesn't like cake, she loves cheesy chicken and rice! She downed it in a matter of seconds.I couldn't believe it. She'd rather eat real food than junk food. (Really that is only true when the junk food is a cupcake.) Then the other night we had some very yummy chicken. I put both chicken and green beans on her high chair tray and she would only eat the green beans! I just hope these eating habits stick!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Clara is 1

My little baby turned 1 yesterday. I can't believe how fast this last year went. She is getting so big. She does so much on her own now, and even gets mad at me when I do things for her. I'll post more about her party and things later, but I wanted to show pictures of her through the last 12 months. Happy Birthday little Clara!
Newborn
1 month2 months3 months4 months5 months6 months7 months8 months9 months10 months11 months1 year