Friday, January 23, 2009

Baby, Please Wait!

I know! Two posts in one day!

So our baby girl is due on Feb 4th, but she is getting very, very impatient to come and we are taking it one day at a time. I've never made it this close to my due date before so it's really a miracle that she's still in my tummy!

BUT...tomorrow Andy has prophy day (he has to be in the clinic all day helping with cleanings), Sunday I have my first ward conference of the year, and starting Monday morning at 6 am, Andy is on hospital duty all week and on-call throughout the nights. Next Friday brings mock boards, which will keep him busy at the clinic at least until 5:00 that evening and then my doctor isn't at the hospital until Monday morning the 2nd.

SO.

Baby girl...please, please wait just one more week and two more days??? Please? For mommy? Prayers from our many friends and family would be appreciated!!!

The Big 25

Okay...fine, so I'm not really 25...but a few years ago Andy and I decided that we would be 25 forever. So, on the 18th I celebrated my 7th, 25th birthday. You do the math...and then you'll know how old I really am!

Andy and the kids made it a fun day for me. It was a Sunday, which made it even better because we didn't have school schedules to deal with. It was just a nice relaxing day. Brooklynn started out the day by writing down in her princess journal what my birthday dinner menu should be. It consisted of bacon, jello, and rice. Yummy. Andy fixed some crockpot pork chops and potatoes...with a salad. Brooklynn told him that next year she would give him more notice on the menu so that he could do a better job at following it. (Seriously...she's only 4 years old! What are we going to do with her?)

And they also made me a yummy cake...yellow, and then I made my famous chocolate fudge frosting. Y-u-m-m-y. You see, I had the flu the week previous and lost 5 pounds and the nurses were giving me a bad time about it. I was just trying to do my part in gaining those pounds back. Ha ha! Lots of cake and ice cream.

About 6 years ago, Andy bought me an electric blanket for my birthday because I'm always freezing at night. That electric blanket has been used so much that it only heats up on one side and not very well...so one of my presents was a new electric blanket! The kids think we're kind of weird, but I love it. Thanks Andy!

I think what I loved the most was the huge pile of cards and pictures that the kids had colored for me. They wrapped each one of them...and Brooklynn made sure that each of hers was taped very well. She should get a job at the post office or something. Letters could then be guaranteed to be tightly sealed on arrival.

And...at the end of the night, we thought it would be fun to take some pictures of my baby tummy at 38 weeks. So...here it is. Last pregnancy, I had people asking me to post pictures about this point in the pregnancy too...why is it that nobody asks for pictures when I'm fit and in shape? Whatever!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's Sunny!

Okay, I know that it was subzero temps out there this morning and that it's still "bitterly" cold. But...I just can't find it in myself to be bitter about it. I am thrilled that the sun is out! No, it's not partly cloudy, or mostly sun with a little bit of clouds...it's full-out SUNNY!!! It is a beautiful, gorgeous winter day. The snow is sparkly, not gray/brown and slushy...it crunches under my feet...and I have to admit that I'll take the crisp burn your nose and lungs air over the contaminated smoggy/somewhat humidified cloud-covered air anyday. Anyday. To make it even better...the district closed the schools today which means that we now have a four day weekend! Hooray! Life is good. It's amazing what a little sunshine can do.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Brooklynn's Santa Letter

Okay, this was way too cute and too funny not to post. This is one of those treasures that a parent holds onto forever. Brooklynn dictated her letter to me while we were waiting to pick up the kids from school. She made me write in crayon, because "then Santa will know it's really from me."

Enjoy.

Dear Santa,

For Christmas this year, I would like a pink car for me and Matthew to share. A disney tea set and a princess dress up. A princess book, and a mirror that is pink. And I would like my own fake money.
Thank you,
Love,
Brooklynn

Oh, I would also like a fake princess doll. I would like Aurora. Or maybe Ariel's sisters. A remote controlled dinosaur, and a fake candy cane. And a doll that is my mommy that has the name Sherrie.

I like your Rudolph's parents. Have you ever seen a snow monster? How do you get Rudolph's nose so shiny?

Christmas for Boys and Girls

I loved Christmas this year. I don't know why it felt different than other years, because aren't all Christmases great? Maybe it's because this year we didn't have the flu, we didn't have to share our time with anything but enjoying the day together, and that this year Santa seemed to be able to pinpoint exactly what each one of our kiddos really wanted.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when kids get a whole bunch of presents they still usually only play with one or two and the rest go unnoticed? Have you ever noticed that sometimes kids ask for things in their Santa letters that aren't really the things that they'll like the best?

Hmm...this year, Mommy wrote Santa her own letter, sort of editing what each of the kids had written...just to give him some pointers as to what they'd really be interested in.
Some of the things matched up. But for example, Rachel had asked for a skateboard...Mommy sent Santa a letter saying that Rachel would probably enjoy a new dolly a lot better, especially since we won't see sidewalk in Cleveland until.....well, let's not talk about that.
Here's Rachey in her new Christmas dress holding her new doll "Jenny".
Brooklynn asked for fake money...and a fake candycane. No kidding. (laughing) Santa brought her a princess tea set and some clothes for her dolly.

Kids are hilarious!
Here are the boys playing with their gifts. Taylor and Daddy were putting together his remote controlled airplane while Matthew was busy giving his new fisher price school bus a complete overhaul.
And while the boys were busy with tools and such...the girls were busy in the living room playing with their dolls and having a tea party.
I absolutely LOVE how different boys and girls are! I had so much fun watching them throughout their Christmas vacation playing with their new toys.
And for those of you who have personally witnessed the sight of Andy on his "scooter"...you'll really enjoy this t-shirt. I couldn't pass it up. It says "Real Men Use Duct Tape". Well, I guess Andy is a REAL MAN!!!!! And thanks to all the duct tape he uses, I think the scooter will last until May 17th...then it's going on the tree lawn. (for those of you who are confused about "tree lawn"...I'll post later on Cleveland terminology for your reading enjoyment.)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

What We Did on Christmas Eve

Yes, I know. I'm still way behind. But I've been enjoying my vacation from kids' and Andy's school schedules way too much to do a lot of blogging! All right, Christmas Eve...
So when I married Andy I was informed that every year for Christmas Eve the Thuernagle's had Oyster stew and Beef Noodle Soup. Um....yuck. That just sounded so NOT appetizing at all. My family had always gone to my great grandmother's Christmas Eve party. Soup did not sound party-like to me. (typing this out just makes me giggle) But, keeping an open mind, I asked Andy what the tradition was all about, and he told me that his grandma Thuernagle liked Oyster stew...and that his dad always made homemade noodles for the soup, and that they started making both types of soup because most people didn't like the oyster stew.

Well, year after year as Christmas Eve gets close and I'm buying groceries for all of the yummy pies, dips, salads, etc. that I like to make for Christmas dinner...I also buy groceries for Beef Noodle Soup. After 10 years of it...it still sounds just blah and yucky to me...but Andy and I have done a few things to the tradition...tweaked it a little bit to make it more meaningful and we've also perfected our own soup recipe and although the thought of soup doesn't get my tummy rumbling beforehand, it always tastes so good when we sit down to enjoy it!
This year, Matthew was Daddy's big helper with the noodles...
He was there from beginning to end...making sure Daddy was doing it right.
And he was also doing quality control...yep Dad...the flour's good.

And here are the other three...coming out to help hang the noodles to dry.

What did we do to tweak this tradition?

We decided to make our Christmas Eve soup dinner a "Dinner At The Inn." We thought that if you were to have gone to an Inn in Bethlehem all those many years ago, that you might have been able to buy some sort of soup and bread. So, we serve soup and homemade bread with honey and butter, and we drink milk and have slices of cheese out as well. We serve it out on all of our regular dishes, not the china or anything fancy, because hey...would an Inn in Bethlehem have china? Nope. In a few years, I'd like to have a set of wooden bowls to serve it in...but that will come later. And we make the whole Inn atmosphere complete by dressing up in our nativity costumes. It really makes it a fun night.

I don't know what they're looking at...probably something silly that either Brooklynn or Matthew is doing.Matthew being the silly boy that he is.

After dinner, we have our nativity play. We used to just read it straight out of the scriptures, but a few years ago I decided to make it more of a play so that it was more interactive for the kids. So, I took the script straight from the scriptures and split it into parts, added a narrator and stage directions...and then added hymns and primary Christmas songs into it at appropriate places. At the end, the Narrator has a chance to talk about why we celebrate Christmas and then to bear his/her testimony of the birth of our Savior and of His divine mission here on the earth. Then we open it up to anyone else who would like to share their testimonies of Jesus Christ. We end by singing Silent Night and having family prayer. It brings such a wonderful spirit into the home, and a nice calm and peaceful atmosphere. This year Taylor asked to be the narrator, and it was sweet to listen to his pure testimony of Jesus Christ.

Taylor as the Narrator.

Brooklynn wanted to be Mary again this year. Her costume kept changing throughout the night...Here she is...ready to deliver...but where is Joseph?
Well, little Joseph was being silly again. In fact, one of the shepherds (Mommy) had to go find him and help him find his way to the manger. When we finally got him to go with Mary to Bethlehem, he actually crawled into the manger first and didn't want to get out. Can you tell by the changing of clothes that some time has elapsed here? After Joseph saw that we were putting a baby to bed in the manger, he had to go to his room...take off the big t-shirt he had on over his pajamas, and then come back out with his own pillow and blanket. It was hilarious.Here is our sweet Rachel, playing the part of the Angel.
Andy and I played the parts of the shepherds and the 3 wise men, and Joseph control, and assistant narrators, and song leaders, etc.
Andy and I have been very careful about traditions in our home. Many habitual, routine, and time-consuming activities can become traditions...but they hold little or no meaning and then can actually bring contention and vice and stress into a family. We've tried very hard to make sure that the traditions we spend precious family time on bring our family closer together, and provide learning and growing opportunities for all involved. I'm glad that this tradition has evolved into what it is. It's been very enriching for our little family, and I think that it has helped our children to really understand and love the true Christmas Story.