Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ellie's Prayer

   We have a nightly family prayer together. Tonight was Brielle's turn. Ellie has always said prayers, but she talks so quickly and quietly you have to strain your ears just to get the gist of what she is saying. This night was different. When Ry asked her if she would like to say the prayer, she smiled, folded her arms and spoke loud and clear. The mystery of what she may have been saying in some of her prayers was revealed! Here is a brief recap.

   "Thank you for the grass, our washing machine, the car, our walls and cribs." Very sincerely, "Thank you for keeping us safe from the big bad wolf and for helping the bad guys to not get us. Please help Keiko's (our dogs) feelings to not get hurt when he wants a treat!" By this point Ry and I were smiling, but also amazed at her prayer and the amount of time invested into it.This had to be a record breaking moment for the longest prayer ever spoken by a two year old! Brielle continued by naming every relative she could think of and then sat there for and a moment and said,
     "And...that's all I got!" Ry and I looked at each other and held our breath, but Zoey didn't hesitate to burst out in laughter. That was the end of holding back. We all laughed our hearts out, including Brielle.

     Two days later Ellie said a prayer over the food and ended with her attention getting grand finale, " And......That's all I got!", but before I could chime in, Zoey burst out, "B-Elle, you so funny!"

This is Brielle pretending she is Zoey's baby! She's taking her nap in her doll's crib. The crib is literally 1ft. by 2 ft.! 
 Brielle is a sweetheart and her special gift in the family is peacemaker. I didn't know a child was capable of sharing, like I have witnessed on a daily basis. She truly cares more about her sisters than herself.  In fact, Daddy has to be careful when pretending to gobble up Zoey, because Brielle's mouth will literally drop open, gasp and begin pleading, "No Daddy. Don't eat Zoey. No!"  Zoey is lucky too, because Brielle has saved her a time or two from being left in the house. Rylie's school drive is only minutes away, yet I give Zoey at least twenty warnings, half an hour before we leave to please put her shoes on. Yet, it is Brielle's pleadings that always save her. I really need to find a new consequence that won't traumatize Brielle more than Zoey! Ellie also has a knack for puzzles, making up her own songs, and loves cuddles. My little tender heart is my best sleeper and according to dad is a natural wrestler! Ellie thanks for making our home a more peaceful,loving place.

      Last Sunday, during the passing of the sacrament, Brielle burst out in song. An Ellie original, that went something like this:
     "My Mommy, mumble.....mumble, Nice, mumble...." Second verse, loud and clear! "My Mommy is mean to me, when she puts me in time out. La lalala la laaa!"
     Yes, there was a lot of rubber necking, smiles, and comments throughout the remainder of church. Hey, I told you that I had a ruff week in my last post!

    Brielle has been placing the word "ever" at the end of most of her sentences. For example: "I don't want cheese on my taco shell, ever." or "Don't take that Rylie, ever."  When I ask,
     "Brielle can you please come here so mommy can do your hair?" Brielle's response is, "No, not,ever." Then she'll come up with something like this ten-barrett-Medusa-head, hair do!
Brielle, "My tummy hurts, momma."
Mom,"Oh no! Do you think it is saying,"I'm hungry"?"
Brielle lifts her church dress up, touches her belly button, and with a crinkled nose says,"no tummy talk, momma, my no tummy talk!"

      I love these independent quirks that come out in each girl's personality. I don't know if they'll last long, but I want to remember.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Living to my Heart's Theme

         For the past month or so, life has chewed me up, swallowed, and then spit me back up again! Wow, that sentence was dramatic. But life has been painfully hard and interestingly enough, other happenings in life have been far worse, yet I coped better.

        A continuous amount of stress, followed by three independent girls, mixed with guilt of knowing I need to do better, created this dilemma. Basically, Ry is gone before I awake and home just as I put the girls to bed. It feels like Houston life, but at least I have the nighttime with him. I have unpacked at least 20 boxes a week and we are still getting settled (How did I accumulate so much junk?!). Rylie just started a great new preschool. We are in the process of making new friends, finding new places, and all of the other fun adventures that come with moving. We have had strep throat twice. My kitchen sink flooded my house. I have two extremely independent two year olds, who won't let me help them with anything. Their pants are on backwards, shoes on the wrong feet, hair  messy, and if you buckle the car seat for them, you will hear a high pitched squeal, sure to make your ears ring for the next half and hour! And finally, I am trying to be the perfect mother.

        The last sentence, I have come to understand, is the real problem. It's great to try for perfection, but not by someone else's standards. I used to laugh when my girls accidentally spilled their milk and then finger painted in it. When did life get so serious? When did it become so important to be on time? To have a clean house? Clean laundry or healthily feed your family?
The answer: All have always been important.

        So, what did I do? I was losing patience, with no close friendships, or husband to help relieve the stresses of temper tantrum's and daily life. I prayed. My prayers basically consisted of me begging the Lord to help me be patient with my children. I had been carrying a lot of Mommy guilt, and please help me to get more done, plan better, and so on.

      These prayers continued, usually out of guilt for being short with my girls or just barely getting them to bed and then sprinting to the other side of the house so I wouldn't say something rude. It was awful. How come I could make it the previous eight months, only seeing Ry twice a week, sell and move out of my house, and not loose patience with my children!?
    Then, I happened upon my friend Michelle's family blog, A Dash of Falk, blog post called, "The Hubs..." She had posted her husbands written thoughts and other quotes to celebrate this thankful time of year.

I have read many inspirational quotes that have lifted me up in my lifetime. But the quote I read, rang true to my soul. I had forgotten my joy in life and my daily perception had changed without me even realizing it. You wouldn't believe the relief my heart felt to read these words.

            "NEVER let a PROBLEM to be solved, become more important than a PERSON to be LOVED." President Thomas S. Monson.

         Simple isn't it? Yet, my inner passion for life is refreshed, the loves of my life are priority, guilt free, walking to beat of my hearts theme--Love First!

       God answers prayers and amazingly, it has been a lot easier to be on time and survive daily life, now that I am reminded that NOTHING is as important as treating my children, self, and hubs with love.

      This may seem silly and obvious to many reader's, but I challenge you the next time you have a problem to take a look at yourself and see if you are treating the problem with more attention and love than those involved, even if the only person involved is yourself.

       "They do not love, that do not show their love." William Shakespeare.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I almost burnt the house down

Seriously. Here's the proof.

The crock pot looks repairable, right?!

I was cooking rice and turned the stove off. Checked the rice, it needed more time so, I turned the burner back on and left. A few minutes later, Rylie said,
       "Mom, the food is burning!" I walked in the kitchen to find flames going up the side of the crock pot. The pot was still plugged in and when I had turned the rice burner back on, I accidentally turned on the burner where I had set the crock pot.
In my defense, the knobs are exactly opposite of my burners in Houston. Anyway, I was able to safely put the flames out and the blessing in all of this is; A. We are safe and B. I now know that the smoke detectors in this rental house do NOT work. I'll be calling the property management in the morning. The one good thing about renting is not having to be responsible for EVERYTHING.

Speaking of renting, all of us are enjoying Dallas. It has been a fun new change. We are still missing old friends. Ryan and I team teach in the most wild primary any L.D.S. ward has ever seen. Don't worry though, after today I think the children have a pretty good idea that there's two new sheriff's in the building. After Ryan rounded up the children hiding in the curtains, he looked at me and we almost had to laugh out loud. I have never had to do so much reverence regulating. If any of you have at least spent a day with our family, you know that we are no strangers to chaos! Anyway, back to renting, hopefully we will hear from Ryan's work in a few months if we should start house shopping here or somewhere else. Until then, we are just doing our best to enjoy the ride!

Tonight we have three little popcorn piggy's that seem quite content!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Royal Line Up

Presenting their Royal Highnesses.......
Sleeping "BOOTY"

Rapunzel, Rapunzel!
The first Rapunzel didn't think her hair was long enough, because she couldn't swing on it, so we got her the wig.

Trunk or Treating!
The girls loved to collect candy, but they enjoyed all of the costumes even more. It took us forever just to walk around one parking lot because they were so engrossed in their surroundings. But, then we came home....

The candy feast began!
The girls eached picked out what they wanted on their pumpkins this year and Momma and Daddy carved away! Actually they all did some carving on the backs of the pumpkins, but only the little artists can interpret their master pieces. Rylie did a lot of pumpkin seed scraping as well.

I particularly love the moving boxes in the back of this photo.
Below is Ry, working on his perfectly roasted pumpkin seeds, that tasted delicious!

I stuck with the sweets and helped the girls dip their apples in carmel. Ry, followed covering apples in chocolate and nuts!

Good memories with our three princesses!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Living in the Big "D"

Greetings everyone! We have been living in Dallas for a whopping two weeks now and it has been fabulous to be together as a family. It was difficult on all of us to say goodbye to our daddy for two weeks at a time, over an eight month time period, while he traveled for work. Now, it's on to a fresh start!

Dallas is the fourth city we have lived in, in a two year time period. On the plane ride here, Rylie started to violently throw up for the whole plane ride home and then continued on for the next twenty four hours. Poor girl! The experience created a de-ja-vu feeling, until I remembered our move from Huntington Beach. Yes, the exact same thing happened! I even remember that Brielle and Zoey started vomiting a few days later and Ry grabbed our giant blue tarp and spread it across the TV room floor while we each held a vomiting baby in our arms all night long. Aah memories. Anyway, we have found a great after hours pediatric care center,within minutes of our house. All three girls are positive for strep throat and have been on antibiotics for several days, and other than that we haven't seen a whole lot more of Dallas beyond our backyard! The weather is less humid than Houston, but still hot. I guess this is just a little note to let friends and family know we are alive and almost well. Love you all. We'll update soon!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Killer Keiko

Keiko is our dog. In tribute to my new Memory Monday theme idea (We'll see how long it lasts). I would like to take you all back to when I was at least 30 weeks pregnant with twins. Animals are smart and it didn't take a genius to notice that I had some issues getting around. Keiko our 22lb Lhasa Apso already had the mentality of a lion, yet he took it upon himself to become king of whomever he deemed to be a threat. On this particular day our lawn crew had just wrapped up their yard work and were taking a lunch break under the shade of the trees in the park next to our house.
I opened the door and Keiko ran as fast as he could towards the closest group of men. I panicked and started yelling, "kick him, kick him!", but I wasn't too surprised when they turned to look at him and reacted something like this, "Oh, look at the little growling teddy bear."
I waddled over to them as quick as my body would allow, bent down to grab him just as his teeth caught hold of the back of one of the men's flannel shirts. Hysterical laughter was heard from the second group of men under another tree. Enough laughter to distract Keiko and send him on a dead sprint in their direction. If the dog could talk I'm sure he would have been saying in his best Steven Segal voice, "Keep laughing my friends, keep laughing."
Anyway, I waddled between groups as the men danced, trying to keep Keiko off of their ankles and laughing at whomever was being chased at the time. When I would get close to Keiko he would run to the next group. By this point, I was beyond livid. I looked in my driveway, the new phonebooks had just been delivered. With the biggest phone book in hand, I waddled as close as I could to Keiko and launched the phonebook at his rear end! The king of the jungle tucked his tail and ran directly back into the house. Yeah, Keiko was funny, but I am sure the real humor was the woman with the huge belly that couldn't bend over and pelted her dog with the phonebook!

 Squirrel Hunting
 Current update on Keiko. He (and Us) have been through dog training. Keiko has been a work in progress, but has seriously become the best dog. Will he rip someone to shreds if they walk through my front door uninvited? Yes, but I am OK with that.
Flying fur ball going in for the kill

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Concrete Jungle....Top 10 Favorites!

10 Reasons Why I Love New York City

10. The bump and go. In NYC it is perfectly acceptable to tap the car in front or back of you while parallel parking and I could sit on the car horn, if I felt the need.
9.The Subway. The fastest, cheapest form of travel with the most diverse form of entertainment, especially if your a people watcher, like me.
8.Live Music and Dancing. The city's energy is almost palpable, it is so motivating.
7.Food is everywhere! One day I ate a peach at one corner, a shish-ka-bob at the next, and an ice cream at the next!
6.Time is Precious. Buying food or walking across the street, I love how even the small tasks are fast!
5.Crazy Cab Rides.  They're like a roller coaster, I love it.
4.Central Park. This beautiful park has everything! Lakes, hikes, artists, and playgrounds. It keeps the city's chaos in balance.
3.NYC's Mentally Insane. This visits winner was the Italian, Terrets, Secret Agent (it was hard not laugh when he kept plugging up his ear, cussing, then pulling his sun glasses down as he would scan the streets of time square.)
2.New Yorkers say what they think. Quote of the trip, "I don't care if you give me 500 dollars! Get this plane in the air!" This was loudly announced to the whole airplane when the stuard explained that the plane was overbooked and offered one hundred dollars as compensation to give up their seat.
1. This is the place Ryan asked me to be with him forever!

Ryan and I left our three little sweet hearts with Grandma Robyn and met up in New York City!Our journey started off a little bumpy when, in the airport parking lot, I had to snatch Rylie out of her car seat because she was choking on a hard candy (to cope, Rylie had to call and tell daddy, "It was really serious dad").  Then, on the plane I sat next to a lady who liked to sleep talk fight! Yet, I still felt I was going to go crazy not multitasking and counting heads every three seconds.
 Ryan flew in the day before with a five hour layover in Chicago and got stuck in the New York hotel elevator, twice! I love the unknowns of traveling, it's an adventure every time. 
I couldn't resist taking a picture of the undercover cop car, but it's even better that the cop is smiling at the camera!
The first day Ry and I took the subway to Time Square, ate dinner at a little Irish Pub, and then saw the Broadway show Promises, Promises. The best part of that show was Kristen Chenoweth, the original Glenda, from Wicked. We saw her when Wicked was brand new on Broadway and had to see Promises, Promises as a tribute to her awesomeness!

Then we met up with Elder Steven Swan! He is my cousin serving a full time mission in New York. I love him and the Christ-like work he is doing. It will be good to have you home Steven!
Although I had dreams of jogging in central Park, I couldn't resist sleeping in the next day. Then I did something HUGE. I took the subway from Queens, where Ryan was in a meeting, to Saks Fifth Avenue........drum roll MYSELF!
A few hours later, I met up with Ry and we went hiking in Central Park. The park is so big, I see a different side of it every time. Ryan took me to one of the castles as shown below. I love our flag on top!
Warning: this next story is funny, in a make-you-want-to-puke sort of way.
After hiking in the park, Ryan and I went into the bathroom. It was a typical public restroom experience. Don't touch anything. Graffiti on the walls and try to get out without touching the door handle. Upon meeting up with Ryan, I joked with him about my bathroom experience, only to find I had missed out on a truly artistic master piece. Apparently upon entering the men's bathroom, Ryan was greeted with a giant graffiti mural, painted in POOP! I started to laugh and gag at the same time. Then Ryan continued to describe the effort that it took to create such a look.......dipping fingers in to reapply the artists chosen hue of brown. OK, I'll stop you're probably gagging now too.

If you heeded my warning, start reading again HERE.
That night we saw La Cage, which was really funny, but be forewarned you will see a lot of men dancing in drag! We finished the night off watching the Celtics/Lakers game in the Hard Rock Cafe.

The next day was action packed starting with lunch at a little Colombian Restaurant, a bike ride in Central Park, Ryan laughing as Brooke pushed her bike around the taxi's, refusing to peddal, and thanks to our Verizon friend, we made our way over to the  METS vs YANKEES baseball game!

At the game we looked at every couple surrounding us, each one was rivaled against the other! It was funny considering Ryan and I were too. I was Yanks, Ry was Mets. THREE people were proposed to! One woman sitting by us wasn't even watching the screen and missed the whole thing. Her fiance made up for it though when he got down on one knee and then invited the whole crowd to their wedding.....we fully intend on going.
Blond moment. Brooke, "I can't believe Posada is only 20."
Ryan, puzzled, looks at the giant screen. "Hon, that's his number!"

Our last night down town we were left with a good laugh as a drunk lady made her loudest public announcement, "I am looking for a husband, three thousand dollars for a husband!" It was almost as funny as being asked if we were Jews, TWICE! I realize that a big portion of the white New Yorkers are Jewish, but really as a people, could we look any less Jewish?!

It is so puzzling to Ry and I, why we could love such a place like this? Especially when we are so passionate about the outdoors. On the plane ride home, we finally concluded we love places of extreme culture. Hopefully you enjoyed our trip highlights, like most of our trips, it was a last minute joy ride!