Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wow, the time has flown. Okay, a few updates, very quickly:

Raegan turned 18 months!- Nursery, here we come! Yes, Brian is so excited. I am excited in a way and sad in a way. I still can't believe she is so old. I feel she is still my little baby. These are some fun things she does:

* says hi and waves to just about anyone
* yells mommy at the top her lungs until we give her what she wants.
* jabbers and jabbers, and we have no idea what she is saying most of the time.
* Loves puppies!
* Loves a good walk and will just keep going...
* Favorite foods: string cheese (yes, she still loves it), apples, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese. Pretty much anything dairy.
* Gives awesome hugs.
* Oh how we love her, she has brings so much joy to our family!






Brian's Birthday- Brian turned the big 33 last Sunday. I tried to take him Go Karting the day before, but I couldn't find it, so we went and got his favorite food instead (Ribs). On Sunday we had a little family b-day party, and I TOTALLY surprised him with a Wii. He was so excited and he kept saying he just couldn't believe it. I know that sounds wierd, but a little background... Brian loves to play video games and I am not a huge fan of them. Once I told him, "when our kids are all grown up I will buy you whatever video games you want." So basically, he thought it would be years and years. I guess I had a change of mind and realized that my kids are just not the type to stay in all day playing games. Plus, I know Brian well enough to know he's not going to use all his free time playing games. He just wouldn't do that. So, I decided to go ahead and do it (he totally deserves it!) and that's how we ended up with a Wii in our house. I know family, please don't die of shock... (:








Thanksgiving- It was great. We had some friends (the Browns) come over for it. The one down side was that the night before I got the stomach flu. Luckily, I had all my pies made the day before. So, on Thanksgiving day we called them and asked them if they would be willing to come anyway (I would just stay far away and not do any of the food prep) and they said they would! We were so glad to have friends come, and we got to try out the Wii for the first time with friends. The food was yummy (Brian did a wonderful job!), but I didn't have an appetite, so I missed out. Oh well, the leftovers were great.

Christmas tree- Monday we went and cut down our Christmas tree at a grove called Triadelphia farms. This was the first year that we have actually cut it down ourselves. So, we usually get our tree on the first FHE after Thanksgiving, so we headed out as soon as the girls were out of school because we had a bit of a drive. Well, we got there just before it closed so we ran out as fast as we could to the grove of trees and tried to find a good one, before we couldn't see what we were doing. We finally agreed on a cute one (so we thought, but it was getting dark), but after we finally got it cut, we realized it has a crooked trunk. So, we packed up our car and our tree and trudged home in the mud and put up our crooked little tree. Hmmm...oh well, it will be a tree to remember right?




Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight, the movie

Okay.... Twilight.

Well, I went ahead and went to the midnight showing with a bunch of friends (with a little prodding from my cute husband whom I really don't think wanted me to drag him to it the next day). Yes, I'm glad I did. It was very fun hanging out with crazy people, (hee hee), eating Nibs, and listening to all the gasps and laughs throughout the movie. You just don't get that at a 7:00 showing on Saturday night! I felt just like a teenager again. It was great.

As far as the movie goes.... it wasn't my favorite. Actually, I was very disappointed. I knew in my mind that nothing would compare to the book, but did it have to be so cheesy? I felt like they slapped it together as fast as they could, not realizing that if they put a little more into it, it could be a great movie! The characters weren't built up half as much as they should have been, and the music wasn't anything great (the music can make or break a movie). I guess I had too great of expectations.

So, the last couple of days I have been telling Brian about all the funny parts (that weren't really supposed to be funny), and now I can't wait to go see it again!! This time I have less expectations, so maybe I can go laugh at it.... (:

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ashtyn's Nutcracker



Saturday was the long awaited Nutcracker performance for my Ashtyn and her friend Marielle. Ashtyn started ballet a couple of months ago and has loved it! She begged me for ages to put her in, and I'm so glad I finally did because it has been what she looks forward to all week. It helps that she has her good friend in there with her.

So, every Fall the ballet studio does a performance, the Nutcracker. The girls were so excited to do it and so I couldn't resist, but the down side is that they have to practice on every Friday night for about two months! It's so, so over crowded in the small room with all the families and they only practice for twenty minutes, but it takes so much of your Friday night.

The long awaited recital came on Saturday. Okay, these were the main events:

  • Ashtyn stepped in doggie doo doo right before the Suttons picked her up. As we tried to clean up, she broke out in hysterics and wouldn't calm down.
  • Ashtyn waited in the back with friends for their turn in the performance.
  • Did her part in the first Nutcracker for all of five minutes very well!
  • Broke out in hives all over body with little red boils.
  • Had Bennadryl for the first time and was a little hyper.
  • For second performance (yes, it was a long day for those little kids!) wouldn't let mom out of sight for part of it, and for the other part, I spent chasing her around backstage.
  • Finally let me out of sight so I could take pictures of performance.
  • Did great in her performance!!
  • Ran around again (what does this Bennadryl have in it?) while Brian and I chased her around the theater.
  • Finally Ashtyn and Marielle dressed and we headed for home.
  • Much whining and crying on the way home.
  • Ashtyn finally zonked out on the way home.

Yes, it was a pretty eventful day and so emotionally draining. And I thought it was going to be so nice to sit in the audience and get to watch the performance. Hmm... oh well. The good news is when she finally woke up and felt a little better, she was asking when she gets to do it again. That made me laugh after all the trauma we had.

And in case your wondering, the red, bumpy rash got much worse the next day and looked like little boils all over her body. It didn't hurt her though, but was very itchy. Then Monday morning it disappeared. We are thinking hives, any ideas?










The day before the Nutcracker Vanessa and I had fun taking a few pictures....




Monday, November 10, 2008

Primary Program

Yesterday was the first time I have ever sat and watched my children during our ward's sacrament meeting program in the congregation. For the past six years I have been in a primary calling so I haven't gotten to just sit back and take it in. Well, not only was it great to be sitting next to my husband during the program (yes, usually we are about five feet apart with four kids in the middle of us), but I just couldn't help the emotions come out when all of those sweet kids were singing their hearts out. Wow, the spirit was so strong as all of those kids bore their testimonies.

Yes, my kids did all their parts just great, and that was awesome, but the best part about it is that they loved it. They practiced for days the songs as we would drive in the car (with no prodding from me) and as I watched them sing yesterday, I knew that they were bearing their testimonies. I knew that they felt the spirit and that they love the Savior. What is more important than that?

So, today I am grateful for the primary program. For those great teachers and leaders who teach my kids and help them feel the spirit on a continual basis. Thank you thank you, for loving them and helping them someday to return to their Heavenly Father.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Halloween



Okay, it's about time that I write about Halloween since I am starting to hear Christmas music. So here you go... Tera was a tiger, Shay a witch, Ashtyn a fairy princess (just like last year), and Raegan a purple dragon (I used this for Ashty a few years ago).

So, as the Halloween years have passed I notice that I stress less and less about what my kids are going to be. This year I was thrilled when Ashtyn said she wanted to be what she was last year. I was also so excited to find that Raegy fit into our little dragon costume that we had. Shay wanted to be a witch, so I went to Salvation Army, found a black shirt and skirt, did a a little cutting and there you have it! Tera wanted to be a tiger, so I did buy hers. Yes, it kills me to spend a ton of money on costumes and because I'm not quite the sewer that my mom would like me to be (love you mom!) I decided I better start thinking about next year now. I am pretty darn good with a hot glue gun and I'm excellent at finding sales (especially at Salvation Army). So, we will see.

Trick or treating this year was great. Two reasons: 1. We went with some good friends (Suttons and Walburgers) 2. We went to single family houses rather than town houses so our kids got lots of exercise, but not a ton of candy. My favorite part of it this year was watching Ashtyn and Marielle go from house to house. Ashtyn running as fast as she could (there was candy to get!) and Marielle begging Ashtyn to slow down. Then, when they finally got to each door, Ashtyn would ring the doorbell and Marielle would use her little witch stick and give it a few wacks. They had it down. I know I shouldn't have let her wack the doors, but oh it was too funny, I couldn't stop it.


We then stayed at the Suttons house for a while and talked and ate delicious, spooky food while our kids played and ate candy. It was great. Here are some pictures:





Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall Traditions



Monday was our annual carve pumpkins FHE. I just have to say I was quite proud of myself. I didn't once tell my kids how the pumpkins should look, but we actually let them carve them by themselves!! Yes, it was a little hard for me when I realized Ashtyn was going to carve a tiny teeny face on a huge pumpkin (so I guess I did give a little advice). Anyway, they pretty much did them by themselves and I didn't look until the end, so I wouldn't give my two scents. It was great. The girls were so proud, so there you go!


It's quite hard to have a slow shutter speed with wiggly girls!



Two nights ago we went to Lariland farm to pick apples. I have been promising my kids for ages that we would go, and low and behold this is the last week! So we packed up all the coats and hats (did I have to pick the coldest day we have had yet?) and headed on out. It was quick (we were there for less than an hour), but the rain was coming and we had more apples than I can think to do with, so we headed home. Oh, but before we went, we toured their Boo Barn. Which was kind of cute, but definitely not worth two bucks a kid!! Hmmm... oh well. It's for a good cause right, and my kids liked it. So, even though the whole trip was really quick it was fun and my kids even THANKED us for going!! That made me happy.











Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fly Lady, Here I Come!

I'm sure most of you have heard of Fly Lady before. Yes, I have too, many years ago (thanks to my good friend Joni who was crazed about it!). I guess I didn't really understand it in the past. I went on the Fly Lady website and signed up for a few weekly emails, but got really annoyed with them and tried to forget her in my life. Until two weeks ago when she came back... My sister left her Sink Reflections book at my house (on accident, mind you) and I picked it up and can't put it down!! I am finally understanding Fly Lady and her massive organized life. It's really not that massive, but it seems like it if you haven't read the book.

I am kind of a throw a way freak. Yes, I LOVE to throw things away. My kids and my husband just know that if they have something missing, it's probably because I threw it away. But even with my throwing away habit, I didn't realize I have so much clutter still! After reading this, it makes me want to throw away everything. Well, almost everything. The problem is, I haven't cleaned my sink and this is one of the first steps. My favorite thing about her is her need to NOT be perfect. This, I would say, is one of my biggest down falls. Sometimes I just don't do anything because I'm so afraid of it not being perfect. So, her solution is, set the timer for ten minutes and whatever you get done, good. Whatever you don't get done, good too. Yes, I love it! So, here's to putting on my shoes and shining my sink!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Angie comes to visit


Last weekend my oldest sister came to visit. She lives in Emmett Idaho and has six kids and yes, she left them all. She came on Saturday night so we rented a movie and ate banana splits while all my kiddos were sleeping. This has been a family tradition in my family when all the guys go to the priesthood session of general conference, we have a girls night. We pile on the ice cream over bananas and of course get all the toppings. Then we watch the best chick flick we can find. I Love this time! This has been one of the hardest things for me to miss being away from my sisters and my mom. So, it was so much fun to do it with Ang. And no, I haven't caved in and let my girls in on the fun yet. I haven't even told them yet of my indulgence. I even do it by myself most times. I finally decided this time though, that I will make it a rule that they have to be eight years old to join. So, I guess next conference it will be me and my eight year old.

Too bad I didn't get a picture of our banana splits. You would have been impressed.

Okay, so Sunday was conference and it was awesome. This is definitely one of my favorite times of the year when we get to hear our prophet speak. Before it started, Ang helped me get the backing on a quilt I have been working on for ages, and we quilted together while we watched.

Monday, Brian came home from work early so that we could go out by ourselves exploring. Angie has never seen Mount Vernon and she read the Mount Vernon Love Story a while back, so we did that. I have been to Mount Vernon many many times, but this time it was one of my favorites (oh, except I forgot to get the awesome ice cream that they have in the food court!!). It was great to be able to spend all day without kids to hurry and get fed etc. After it all closed, we even ventured out and went to an Indian restaurant in the area. It was awesome! I am totally converted and can't wait to go again. We couldn't even pronounce the names of our dishes, but oh so enjoyed them! Then we ransacked a bakery next door and didn't realize until after that we had gone in while they were closed! No wonder the girl behind the counter didn't seem so happy to see us. Hmm.... oh well.






Tuesday we went to D.C. and saw the U.S. Treasury. This was my first time going there and it was fun. I would say though that it's just a once in a lifetime thing. Not too exciting, but interesting.

We then headed on down to the Native American Museum and spent the rest of our time there. I haven't ever been in this museum either and it was really interesting. We spent a few hours there and didn't even see everything. After getting pushed out, we decided to go home before the girls go to bed so Ang could spend a little more time with them.

When the kids were all in bed, we got Chinese food and watched Iron Man. Pretty good for a super hero show... The next day we spent the morning with Angie and then I had to take her back to the airport. I think I had more of a break than my sister did. I can't wait to do it again! Love you Ang, come back soon!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Teralyn's Baptism Day



Teralyn was baptized on Saturday as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Wow, I can't believe we have a daughter that is eight years old! Anyway, it was a great day. Tera's grandpa and grandma Whipple flew in from Utah a couple of days before the baptism to attend. She also got to share it with her good friend Hailey from our ward. We were so thankful for our friends and family who shared this special day with us.

The day and the week leading up to the baptism were a little stressful. I'm not sure why I stressed myself out so much to make it perfect, I mean, the ordinance is the most important part right? The baptism itself though was wonderful. Not everything we had planned came through, but it didn't matter in the long run and everything that was important happened.

The two girls (Tera and Hailey) sang a sweet song together "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus" and the spirit was so strong. Tera's grandma gave a talk on baptism and Hailey's grandma gave one on the Holy Ghost. Then we had the baptisms where Brian was able to baptize his first daughter. What an amazing experience!



It's hard to describe the feelings that I have had. I am so grateful for a daughter who has prepared herself for such an important ordinance. I have seen her testimony of the gospel grow almost every day. I pray she remembers this day and time in her life and strives to keep herself clean. What an awesome experience to know that my daughter made the first step to her eternal salvation. I hope she treasures this day as I know I will.





Friday, September 5, 2008

School



I am finally getting around to writing about school. Yes, it has been two weeks since they have started, but better late than never right? So, it's been off to a good start. Shaylee got the best teacher in the 1st grade, Mrs. Scruggs (formerly Ms. McHargue). Tera had her for math and we love her! We were so excited. Teralyn's teacher in third grade is Ms. Pietryka. She has only taught for about two years, but she is young and excited, and I think she'll be great.

The first day turned out just fine. I was a little nervous because things were going so well in the morning and then about half hour before we left, Shay started to get a little sick (the nerves hit in). Last year was a huge dilemma and we barely made it to kindergarten. I thought for sure she was over that, but apparently not. Anyway, at least we didn't have crying this year, just a little upset stomach and when we started walking, it went away (there is something about that walking I tell you!).



They both came back happy, tired but happy and content and we considered that a success. The last two weeks have been about the same. No major complaints yet, but also not a huge excitement. Oh well, what do I expect for school right?

So now, Ashtyn is bored out her mind and I think I have had enough with Polly Pockets,
so we are making charts and counting down to preschool. Just seven days left! Woohoo!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Summer Vacation

Warning: This Is Long! Just skip to the pictures if you like (:

Wow, where has my summer gone. Man, it's been a whirl wind.
Well, I won't kill anyone (or myself) by explaining every detail, but
hopefully I can summarize a lot of it without overwhelming.

It was a rough start to summer for our family. I couple days into it, I was running and had a huge biff on some gravel and sprained my ankle. It looked like a tennis ball and was so painful. I was pretty bummed out since I know how long sprains take to heal, and I had some fun summer plans ahead. Argh! I have sprained my ankle before many times, but I don't remembering going through something like this before. Could it be that I am just getting older? Hmm... I don't know, but my leg ached (especially at night for weeks.) After about six weeks it finally stopped making my leg ache, and now after nine weeks, I feel much much better, although it's still a little sore.

Well, then we had our water pipe break. Luckily, we didn't have water damage, but it cost us a pretty penny to get fixed. Then two days before we left to Utah, our red Mitsubishi broke down. We had to get it towed to a near by auto shop and prayed it wasn't the transmission.

Despite all of our set backs, we hopped on a plane to Utah. Brian with Tera, Shay and Ashtyn on one plane and Raegan and I on another plane (we only had four sky mile tickets, so Raeg and I bought the cheapest we could). The plane was great. Raegan was an angel and despite all our many delays (huge storms in the regions), we all made it safe and sound and crashed at 3:00 a.m.

Utah was awesome. I have forgotten how much I love it. It always makes me a little homesick to think of those big beautiful mountains, but I had also forgotten how dry it is everywhere. Was it really this yellow and dry before? I guess I've gotten used to the green. But, oh it felt good to be back. I have to say my heart is torn in two places now. Utah and Maryland will always be home to me.

First we stayed a few days with Brian's parents. Then we headed on up to Idaho to have a family reunion with my family in Emmett. It was themed the "Incredibles" and we even had matching shirts. Talk about a reunion though, it was amazing! We went white water rafting (where I flew off the raft into the rapids and literally thought I was going to die), some of us went on a three day hike, we went wave running at a nearby reservoir, had an awesome girls night out at a Thai restaurant, had some trivia games, guess who the person is games, and even did a fun craft where we sewed hand towels. It couldn't have been more fun and my kids were so excited to sleep in a tent with their cousins. We were all exhausted by the end.

 
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All the Ashby cousins, don't they look Incredible??


So the next two weeks we spent at Brian's family's house. We had a great time. We hiked to Ensign peak one night, roasted smores, went the temple square to show our kids and just enjoyed talking and reacquainting with cousins.

Ensign Peak

Raegan was miserable though. She spent all of these two weeks getting over a nasty virus that she had caught. The last three days that we were there, she threw up for three days straight! We couldn't keep anything down her. When we finally were able to get some Pediatlite in her, she started to improve.

Brian had to go back to Maryland to work for a couple of weeks. We stayed with the Whipples for a couple more days and then headed down to my parent's house in Tooele. The girls were in heaven with their own bunk beds and room. They made us feel so welcome. We had a lot of fun. Hmmm.... let me think, this is what we did...

Played games. Yes, we played a lot of games, and my girls were loving that their grandma and grandpa would play with them.
Went fishing- Grandpa and Brian (when he returned) took the girls fishing one morning. Shay caught three fish, Tera one, and Ashtyn had a few nibbles.
Swimming- we went one afternoon swimming with my sister Erin and her cute kids. It was a blast and I was shocked that my girls went down the slide on their own!!!
Canyon- One evening we went and roasted hot dogs for dinner in the canyon. The kids weren't thrilled about all the bees around though.
Ammon and Liz's house- We went up to Ammon and Liz's new town house in Spanish Fork
Dawn and Ray's house- We also went to South Jordan to see my sister and her fiance's new house.
Thanksgiving Point- My parent's have a pass at the dinosaur museum. We had a great time trying to find our kids in the millions of other kids that were there that day (:
The Sandy Aquarium- where we saw an octopus, sea horses, lots of snakes, etc. etc..
Hale Theatre- We went with all my siblings and their spouses to the Curious Savage. This was where we first met Ray (my new bro. in law), then we went to Leatherbys afterward.



The day before my sister's wedding I took my girls to Tamara and Steve's (Brian's sister) house in Salt Lake so they could watch our kids while we went to the wedding for my sister the next day. I was supposed to pick Brian up at 10:30 that night, but it turned out his flight was delayed and he didn't get in until 3:30 the next morning. Ahh!! We were so tired, but so relieved that he made it since he had both of our temple recommends in his back pocket.

The next day we all (except the kids) headed up to the Manti temple and watched my sweet sister and her husband get sealed. It was very sweet and the spirit was strong. It was so wonderful to see all us (six kids) together with our spouses in the temple. Never before had this happened. I was so glad to be there.
 
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My cute sisters, sister in laws, and mom

OH, I forgot to say, we even got to eat at Fat Jacks before the wedding. Fat Jacks is an awesome pizza place in Ephraim. We grew to love it when Bri and I went to Snow College years ago. Then, after all the pictures and the wedding luncheon, we headed on over to Snow college to take a look around. We had a good time reminiscing. Yes, this is where we first met (not first started dating mind you).

The reception was the next day and it was beautiful! It was held in a reception center in South Jordan. We spent the first part of the afternoon getting family pictures, and then changed and got wedding pictures. It was so good to be with my family again! It's been two years since we have been home and oh have I felt it!! The wedding and reception was perfect and I am so happy for my cute sister!!
 
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Oh, and one of my favorite things that we got to do in Utah was when we got to see our good friends the Joni and Jeff and your cute kids, Julie and your family, and Lani and your family. We just wished we had more time (and better transportation) to see more people. Thanks guys for coming to see us, we sure miss you!



Okay, this is longer than I meant it to be. Well, we are now home and after a red eye flight for Bri and my girls. It's amazing how quickly we all recovered (oh except Brian has a major ear infection that just won't go away). We are slowly getting back into our routine and although I was happy to return to my home and things, I miss my family already. I guess that's when you know you had a good time...