Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Pictures

We had a fun Halloween this year. We were really busy all day. It was a flex Friday so Jim had work off. Violatte had a field trip with preschool so Jim and I went and took Annee with us so we could help with the field trip. We all met at a park and then walked to a pumpkin patch where they did crafts and had stories. It was really fun and we all enjoyed ourselves, although, I have to say that I am not used to about 30 preschoolers in one small space. It was crazy, but the girls had such a great time. They decorated cookies, colored, made bracelets, and had a great time.

The thing that I enjoyed the most was that it was raining. I love the rain! It smelled good and it felt good. It seemed even more fallish.

Tonight we had a trunk-or-treat at our church. There were so many families there. I loved seeing all of the costumes. I gave out the candy while Jim took the girls around. They played some games and went trick-or-treating. They really seemed to have fun.

When we got home we went to some of our neighbors' houses to trick-or-treat. The girls were so tired, though, so we only went to a few. When we got home I wanted to take pictures. Violatte was happy to show off for the camera, but Annee was a little too tired. (That's why she has her back to me and a pout on her face in the pictures.) Violatte was a unicorn and Annalee was a frog. They were so cute in their costumes! Also, if you notice, they both have very chocolatey faces. They were a little too quick to dive in to some cupcakes, but I guess Halloween is the one day a year kids get to enjoy sweets too much.

Maturango Junction

This past Saturday we went to a big fair thing here in Ridgecrest called the Maturango Junction. The kids got to wear their costumes and be in a costume parade and do all sorts of fun things. I worked a booth for Mary Kay, so they got to spend some time with me there. Their friends (TJ and Ian) were there too and Aimee took a picture of all the kids in their costumes sitting on the curb by our booth. It's so cute. Seeing them all together made me laugh at how different the boys and the girls are. Violatte and Annalee sure enjoy being with their friends.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Operation Gratitude

On the blog of one of my friends she mentioned an idea that I think is fabulous!
If you get way to much candy this year, send it off to the troops. They could probably use a little pick me up and I hear the local kids always beg the G.I. Joes for candy.

Operation Gratitude/California Army National Guard
17330 Victory Boulevard
Van Nuys, California 91406

ATTN: Charlie Othold: 818.437.6201

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

24 Weeks

Here is my 24 week picture. The baby is still really high. I've gotten to the stage where I am really uncomfortable. This little guy is in my ribs all the time and incredibly wiggly. I can tell he is getting bigger and stronger by the day. The kicks are stronger and he definitely has less room. It's good to know he is still healthy.

The other day, when I was at the doctor's office, he said to me, "You are 22 weeks along so that means that you only have 17 weeks and 5 days left!" The crazy thing was that he was serious and congratulatory. I thought he was joking -- seriously -- 18 weeks is forever! But, now we are down to 16 weeks left (and counting).

It's funny to hear some of the comments people say to me. Some people try to be nice and say things like, "I never would have guessed you were pregnant." . . . yeah right! Or there are those people who are actually honest, "You're huge! I mean, you are really, really huge!" There is never an end to the fun things people say.

Annalee and Violatte are really excited about this baby. They say the cutest things to me. Annalee loves to pat the belly and tells everybody that her mommy is going to have a baby. Violatte always tells me that my big baby belly is so pretty. My girls sure make me feel good. It's exciting to see all the changes and know that we are preparing for a new little son to join our home.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Update on My Poor Girls

So, I was able to get a doctor's appointment today for my girls. The doctor said that it could be either allergies or a nasty virus since they've had it for two and a half weeks. She recommended that I try some children's Claritin for the next few days and see if that helps. She suggested that I go with Claritin so it wouldn't make them drowsy. When I asked what would make them drowsy she just kind of stared at me. (Hmmm . . she must never have had sick kids of her own.) Then, if the Clairitn doesn't work, I have a prescription that I can fill for some antibiotics. They seem to be doing better tonight already. They are still fairly congested, but so much happier. Hopefully it'll just get better from here.

My Poor Girls

These last two or three weeks Violatte and Annalee have been so sick. We just can't seem to shake what they have. Violatte missed over a week of school because of a nasty cough and cold and after being back in for a week, she is out again today. Jim was even sick for quite a while. He's finally feeling a lot better.

The one who has had the worst time of it is Annalee. She has been so so sick these last few weeks and it just seems to be getting worse -- not better. We've tried everything I can think of -- tylenol, motrin with cough and cold, and finally, a couple of nights ago I tried Children's Benadryl. It actually was the first night she slept through the night in over two weeks! It was fabulous! We all really needed it! So, now I am beginning to think that she might have some allergies. I know I talked to a friend about her kids having allergies during this time of year -- including dry skin like my girls have. I thought it was just eczema, but now I'm beginning to wonder. I just hope we can figure out what is wrong. So many days she just screams hysterically for hours and I am so worn out I don't know what else to do.

The other thing that helped a lot was a Priesthood Blessing that Jim and some other men in our ward gave her last night. I am so grateful that Jim holds the Priesthood and could give her the blessing! That means so much to me! Even though Annalee screamed the whole blessing, she seemed to be doing so much better the whole evening.

Today we are going to the doctor's office. Hopefully we can figure this out. I just don't know what else to do for these poor girls.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Samuel the Lamanite - my hero

I haven't wanted to say much about Proposition 8 because there is so much out there already about it. However, this picture really describes how I feel sometimes because of my beliefs about Proposition 8. I know a lot of members here in California feel the same way. This picture was created by Brian Andre from Irvine, and I absolutely love it! The name of this is "Take Courage."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My Fall Mosaic (part 2)

I decided I would put my answers for my mosaic up so that it helps to describe my mosaic a little more.

1. What is your first name? Celese
2. What is your favorite autumn food? Apple Pie
3. What was your favorite movie? "Shall We Dance"
4. What is your favorite color? purple
5. Who is your favorite celebrity? Reese Witherspoon
6. Favorite autumn drink? Apple Cider
7. Dream Vacation? Bora Bora
8. Favorite dessert? Brownies
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Content
10. Your favorite Flower? Daisy
11. One word to describe you. Determined
12. Favorite Fall activity. Hiking

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My Fall Mosaic

I love tags because it always gives me something new and more creative to write about. This one is especially creative, and I am excited to be able to try this out. So, anybody who wants to do this, also, please do! It'll be great to see what you create!

So here is what you do:
Create a mosaic based on the following questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite autumn food?
3. What was your favorite movie?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your favorite celebrity?
6. Favorite autumn drink?
7. Dream Vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. Your favorite Flower?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Favorite Fall activity.

The instructions to create the mosaic are:
Type your answers to each of the questions into
Flickr Search
Using only the first page, pick an image
Copy and paste each of the URLs into the
mosaic maker

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Officially Annoying

My children have made me annoying. I don't mean in just one way or even two, but I am now annoying on so many levels!

The worst one is how repetitive I have become. I don't think I can say anything just once anymore. It now sounds more like, "Don't hit your sister. Don't hit your sister. Don't hit your sister!!!!!"

I've also gotten a stutter, it seems: "Don't, Sto-, wait, sto-, leave, don't touch, . . . stop!"

Plus, I think my brain cells are fried enough I can't even get the names right. I always saw my mom do it and I said I would never call my children by the wrong names -- and now she laughs. I even mix in names of my siblings every now and then: "Annicka, Elli, Violatte, I mean . . . Annalee!"

Then, who can forget the phrases that I can say in my sleep because I use them so incredibly often:
"Chew with your mouth closed."
"Be nice to your sister."
"No, it is not snack time yet."
"Say please."
"Be happy with the plate you have."
"Don't whine."
"Stop playing and get back in bed."
"Do you need a timeout?"
"Mommy needs a timeout!!!"

So, as bad as it is to be annoying, I've come to the conclusion that it is one of the requirements to being a mom -- and definitely one of the requirements that I have perfected!

Friday, October 17, 2008

High School Tag!

1. Did you date someone from your school? Umm..yeah, but we all have regrets
2. What kind of car did you drive? '87 Chevy Celebrity -- It was a beast! I loved that car!
3. Were you a party animal? Not at all!
4. Were you considered a flirt? That's debatable.
5. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? Band, choir, show choir, and played with the Symphonic Orchestra
6. What was your most embarrassing moment of high school? losing a real gun tucked into my top during a play I was in.
7. Were you a nerd? You could say that.
8. Were you on any varsity teams? I wish
9. Did you get suspended/expelled? nope
10. Can you still sing the fight song? lol, I don't think I was ever able to in the first place
11. Who were your favorite teachers? some of my Seminary teachers were incredible, Mr. Bowen was great at teaching Spanish, and my AP English teacher was also really good. I can't remember names, though.
12. What was your school's full name? Madison High School
13. School mascot? oops, I put the wrong one down originally, we were actually the bobcats (thanks Cynthia for correcting that.) :)
14. Did you go to homecoming, and with who? yes. the sad thing is I had to look these up. Junior - Bill Eskridge, Senior - I don't remember if I went or not.
15. If you could go back and do it again, would you? Only if I could go back with the things I learned and do it differently. If it was the same way -- you could never ever pay me enough to go back and go through that again.
16. What do you remember most about graduation? that I spent a lot of the time praying I wouldn't trip when I went up the stairs to get my diploma. I didn't, so I was good.
17. Where did you go senior skip day? :D I skipped Senior Skip Day. I think they went to Lagoon, though.
18. Were you in a club? yup. National Honors Society as well as speech, debate,
19. Have you gained some weight since then? Sadly, yes. Not much, but some. As soon as this baby is born I am going to get back down to high school size.
20. Who was your prom date? Junior Year- Braedyn Mockli
21. Are you planning on going to your 10 year reunion? good question
22. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself? Who cares what everybody thinks!! As long as you're happy and having fun that's good enough! Oh, and don't worry about not having a boyfriend. You're cooler without one. :D (Aimee, it was too well said, that I just have to say ditto!!!!)
I tag: Cynthia, Lynette, Chelsi, and Tasheena

Thursday, October 16, 2008

To Grandpa and Grandma Howard

Ok, this video didn't turn out too well and the camera memory ran out before we were able to finish, but I wanted to show how cute they are and how much they can't wait to see their Grandparents! It's hard to hear what they are saying, but I'm interpreting, so it helps. :)

Our Boat

This week we were given a boat. It had been left in a storage unit and the guy who was paid to tow it out didn't want it so he advertised it and we were able to get it. It came with the trailer and everything. It does have some damage to it, but Jim is going to fix that. The guy who gave it to us said that he was told a small tornado picked up the boat and made it fly. The damage isn't that bad, though, and should cost very little to fix it. It is a fairly nice sail boat and came with a lot of equipment and things that we were surprised to see.

We are all really excited to try it out once it gets fixed up, but I think Jim and Violatte are the most excited. It's all Violatte has been able to talk about! Jim is so excited, too. I am thrilled to boat because I love boating so very much! I love being out on the water and the relaxing motion of the boat and everything about it. It will be wonderful having something new and fun to do together as a family.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Baby Update

Yesterday I went in the for the thorough ultrasound to check everything with the baby. I am happy to say that the baby is healthy in every way and looking very good. The lady doing the ultrasound checked everything -- the heart, the brain, the organs, the limbs -- and everything looked perfect. It was also very obvious that it was a boy. So, now we have no doubts that we are going to have a son, and he looks wonderfully healthy and strong. I can feel him wiggling all over the place and I can tell he is getting stronger and bigger each day.

The due date was also moved up a few days. The new date is February 14th - Valentine's Day. Violatte was so fascinated by watching the baby on the screen that the nurse asked Violatte what she would like pictures of. Violatte asked for pictures of the baby's feet, so the nurse printed off a couple for her. She is so proud and has even hung them on the fridge. The girls are so excited for the baby to come, just like Jim and I. It will be wonderful to have this new addition to our family.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Everything Fall

It really has felt like fall these last few days. It has gotten so cold suddenly that our house is about 65 degrees in the morning when we wake up. Jim got our swamp cooler winterized today so we can use our heater. It's amazing how it has been only a few days since we had to have the cooler on. I really miss seeing a lot of reds and yellows and oranges on the trees, but, thankfully, we have some bushes outside of our front window that have leaves that are turning red some. It makes it feel very fall now.

Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love everything about it. I love the colors, the cool air, getting to wear sweaters, drinking hot chocolate, the fall food, perserving things from the garden . . . everything! The only problem is that with how cold it has been, everybody has gotten a nasty cold and cough and we just can't seem to get over it. The girls have been esepcially miserable. Hopefully we are coming to the end of it. I know Violatte misses going to preschool and we are all so ready to get back to normal.

This past weekend was a great weekend for all of us. We did some fun fall things. We got a pumpkin and Jim and girls cleaned it all out. We cut it all up and put most of the pumpkin in the freezer. Then, Violatte and I made some pumpkin pie. It turned out delicious! We also made a fire in our fireplace and roasted marshmallows. Annalee didn't like the marshmallows, but Violatte loved them! Mostly, though, we've just relaxed and spent a lot of time together. I wish it could be like this all of the time. It was especially nice today because Jim had work off because of the holiday. It's always nice having everybody home and relaxed and enjoying being together.

I have also gotten really crafty lately. The girls and I spent a lot of time this past weekend working on scrapbook pages. Violatte especially loves to help me with that and is always so proud of the finished product. (I have to admit that I feel proud, too -- it's a big accomplishment for me to be creative!)The other thing that I am absolutely proud of is that I sewed this nightgown for Violatte. Now, I have to admit that sewing is something that I'm not only terrible at -- I don't like to do it. It is so discouraging for me and I can never get it to look good. I had decided to sew the girls some nightgowns for Christmas and decided to get started on them. Halfway through making this one I realized that it looked really really bad and I decided to give it to her now and try to do a better one for Christmas. So, if you notice, it is big because I thought it would be a few months until she would be wearing it. She loves it, though. It sure made me feel good how happy she was to wear it.She loved the big sleeves a lot. She said that she is a "mortician" (she means a magician) and she kept going around casting spells on Jim and Annalee. I think we have found a Halloween costume! Now, all I need to do is make her a sorcerer's hat. I can't wait to see the faces of people when she tells them she is a mortician. I don't think I'll even correct her. It's too cute!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Final Result

So, here is the final result of my haircut. (Not my best picture, but it'll work.)
By the way, if you ever are looking for a great hairstylist in Ridgecrest I recommend Marilyn at Madison Avenue -- she was fabulous! Jim is even happy with it and thrilled that it is not too short. All in all, I think it worked out great!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

And the winner is . . .

After counting up all the votes, the majority vote (including the all-important husband vote) goes to the Reese Witherspoon look. My haircut is tomorrow. I will have pictures up tomorrow afternoon, hopefully! Thanks everybody for your input!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hairstyle Options

I have been wanting to cut my hair for a really long time. So, I decided to look up some options and have you all vote on what you think I should do. (Thanks, Aimee, for the idea.) Let me know which one you think I should go with!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Family Time

Today we watched the General Conference and listened to the Prophet of the Lord speak to us. The main thing that he talked about that really hit me was as he talked about how children grow up and move away and how a parents often feel pangs of regret for not doing more with their children.

I also had watched a special program before the closing session of Conference called "Real Families, Real Solutions." This episode was about Protecting Family Time. As I watched I could feel how important it is to have family time together and how much it means to the children. I made a commitment right then to spend more time with my children.

Now, I have to say that this is not an easy thing for me to do. I like to keep busy and get things done. When children help with anything, it takes so much longer. Also, if I take the time to play with them I am not getting work done that I need to.

But, I decided to commit to it so today I decided to try it out. I had gotten the ingredients to make a special cheesecake for Jim. Cheesecake is his favorite and I found an amazing recipe that I wanted to try out. The girls and I giggled in the kitchen as we made this "surprise" for Daddy. They were so excited! We even added a little decoration on top. It turned out to be so much fun and I noticed the girls were happier all evening than they had been the rest of the day. Jim even had a fun idea to put a candle on it and take turns blowing it out to celebrate our "un-birthdays." The girls thought that was such a great idea. We all made a wish and blew out the candle.

Not only did I spend time with my children, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! Families truly are the center of God's plan and I know that is where we will find true happiness.

My Favorite People

After working outside all day on Friday the little girls were so tired and fell asleep with their Daddy. I loved seeing all three of them together. It makes me so happy to see my wonderful husband with our children. As I watch them I realize how truly blessed I am.

Beautifying our Yard

We spent a lot of time on Friday working in our yard. The weather felt wonderful and we spent quite a few hours outside as a family. We all loved it, including the girls.

This little palm tree was planted in our front patio area.
We planted this palm tree in our backyard. It is so cute! You can see how small it is compared to the girls. Violatte was especially proud of this tree because she had her little shovel and was helping her Daddy plant it. She was such a big help.

My favorite project was our garden. I love having a garden and I have missed having one for the last couple of years. This is our little garden. On Friday we planted carrots (Violatte's favorite), tomatoes (Jim's favorite), and peas (my favorite). Violatte is soooo excited for her carrots to grow. She can't wait to see them. On Monday we are going to plant some peppers and tomatoes. It's so wonderful to have a garden again. The girls helped so much moving bricks and planting the seeds and watering. I love doing yard work as a family.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Scorpion Sighting

The other day Jim found a scorpion in his cubicle. It was a very little one and hopefully you can see it in these pictures. It is in the jar. It's kind of crazy looking.