Today is a good place to be.

Monday, September 27, 2010


I wanted to assemble a little book for Kathryn and her hospital stay with pictures of her family.  I was going to do a mini-scrapbook, but she likes to tear my existing mini-scrapbooks apart.  My sister suggested I try a photo book, which I have always wanted to try.  She sent me a code to get a free 20 page book for my first time try- all I would have to pay was shipping. 

So, I got to work and started picking out pictures.  I had about 100 photos.  So I seriously started cutting down.  I made a book of 24 pages. I got the discount of $39.99 and ended up paying around $16.  I am looking forward to seeing how the book looks in person.

I love to scrap-book.  I love paper.  I love lay-outs.  I love the process of assembling my creativity and getting things put together just right, and then enjoying it over and over again while reviewing the finished product.  I feel its like a puzzle- there are limitations set by the number of items I desire on a page, and I have to figure a way to make it pleasing to the eye.  There is also the constant need to have something new and exciting in my collection. 

Digital scrap booking hasn't proven challenging enough for me, however there are aspects that I do like- the fact I don't have to have all my pictures printed out.  I can also manipulate the photos, zoom in, make larger, change color and even correct all with a click of a mouse.  Some programs have cute little add-on embellishments(not this one however)This book I was able to choose a theme which meant I wouldn't run out of a paper theme.  Oh- and the fact I can sit down on a Sunday afternoon and start to pull together my ideas and have a book ordered by Monday evening, that is very nice.

To see the book online check out the link(You can even buy a copy if you want!):

So anyway- go to and make yourself a book.  Use code:  1FBLGB-7W  and get yourself $39.99 off your first book and see if you are as satisfied with your product as I hope to be!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Third Time- Tri-athlete!

Third time is the CHARM!  And definitely FUN!

My Aunt Renetta, who sucked me into all this tri-non-sense, helped her stake put on a tri-athlon for the women in her area.  There was no way I was going to miss this one!  This was a fun race.  My sister Amy and I spent the night with my dear friend Melia and three new friends from the Hillsboro area and we enjoyed each others company and enjoyed the race experience.  We had fun singing primary songs and church hymns out on the bike route as we passed the other ladies on their way back in.  The group effort at this event was unique as my other two events were very personal and solitary.

All of us felt a little insecure with our training--or lack there-of-- but we knew we wanted to complete another sprint tri-athlon and I think we are pleased with the results.  I had an especially hard week suffering from a week-long migraine and other physical pain issues.  But, recovery after this third event is definitely a lot easier than at the first one(but don't tell my husband because I am definitely using this as an excuse to lay around and not change diapers and blog). 

I have found that even though I may be carrying around extra weight and don't look or feel how I want to, that I am still capable of setting physical goals and achieving them.  I have found that despite any physical pain I am in, I am able to focus and relax and enjoy the moment at hand.  I have found that although it might not be very pleasant, the reward for endurance is sweet and gratifying.  I simply found a strength inside of me that allows me to keep going.  The power of prayer is huge, and I am grateful to have it on my side.
I think I can becomes I know I can. 
My goal is now a reality. 
I feel good about myself and my abilities. 
Thanks to my friends and my dear sweet family for supporting me and believing in me too.

Monday, September 20, 2010

What will you do with all your time?

This happens to be the question of the year.... Nathan is in kindergarten, Leila in first grade... life has gotten a lot quieter around here during the day.  Here is one day in the life of Kathryn and Mommy:

Soyou can see... lots of fun... lots of play... lots of smiles.... and just a few tantrums:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

9 years... but who is counting?

9 years ago today I woke up in the guest bedroom at Squirrel #1 in Sunriver, Oregon.  My mom was disappointed I didn't sleep in longer, but I was too excited about my day.  (According to today's standards, I would count that as sleeping in... but that was a different life ago, right?).  My parents, two of my sisters, two nephews and two nieces were all staying at this home.  They wandered over to the home the Conser's rented where Carl had made a grand breakfast (his specialty) and they brought me home a plate.  I wanted to wait to get ready once the photographer showed up, but I couldn't wait-- I was too excited. 

In the master bedroom my two friends joined my mom, my sisters and I and we laughed and giggled.  My very pretty feminine floral underwear showed through my very beautiful handmade(that very week by wonderful mom) ivory wedding dress.  I won't tell you if I decided to go without(although the girls in the room will remember what happened).

One sister was at home on bedrest with a niece not ready to be born yet and she listened by phone to the ceremony.  We kissed as husband and wife and then enjoyed our time with family and very close friends.  It was a special day that we will never forget.  We ate barbecued salmon, had shrimp, salad, goodies.  We had an amazing cake.

Jeremy whisked me off to a fancy hotel in Bend right on the deschutes river and was mistaken for a bell-boy when he went to get our stuff from the car.  He didn't respond very nicely, so we are sure the hotel got a little complaint about their employees rudeness.  He didn't care because they had lost his reservation and we were lucky we had a room complete with a spa bath.  Rather they were lucky, cuz we would not have been happy.

The next day we headed back to Sunriver to stay at 30 Kinglet- our family favorite- and my parents had stopped over to bring our left-over food(and cake- lots of cake!) and presents.  We snuggled under our marriage quilt my mom worked very hard on.  We had the unusual experience of being married the Saturday after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  This made us not only more thankful for each other and for our families, but it also gave us a much needed break from the TV and Radio we had been constantly listening too since the Tuesday before. 

This year is our 9 year wedding anniversary, which is 3 days and 3 years after the anniversary of our first date(that means we have been together 12- years!  Gasp!).  We celebrated early- on Saturday- by going up to the Gorge and hiking the triple falls.  Jeremy's lovely sister was available to watch our kiddos and we enjoyed our time together.  Its amazing how a few hours away from our wonderful kiddo's can give our relationship the much needed renewal and remind us of our friendship and commitment to each other.

Here is hoping for another 9 years.  I love you Jer!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Surgery Questions and tender moments

The kids have been thinking a lot about Kathryn's surgery next month.  I under estimate how much they overhear me talk about it- and they hear me talk about it over and over since I have updated several friends and family over the past week, so it must feel huge and scary to them.

Tonight Nathan asked Jeremy if Kathryn would have a scar.  Jeremy told him yes.  Nathan asked if it could be shaped like a lightening bolt.  I told Jeremy to remember to ask the surgeon that.

He came in a bit later to talk to me more about Kathryn's surgery. 
Nathan:  Mom, how will they open her up mom?
Me: They will use a scalpel that will be sterile and clean to open her.
Nathan:  Is it like a knife?
Me:  Yes.  It is like a knife.  The doctor is very good at his job and will take very good care of her.
Nathan: Is it sharp?
Me: Yea, I think it is pretty sharp.
Nathan: Will Kathryn cry because it hurts so bad?
Me: No, Nathan, Kathryn will be asleep and have special medicine so she won't remember the surgery.  She will wake up and feel some pain, but won't remember anything the doctors did to her.  She will probably cry after the surgery, but not during.
Nathan: Will you be with her at the hospital?
Me:  Yes.
Nathan: Where will we be?
Me:  Your Grandma(not sure which one yet) will be here with you in the morning and take you to school.  After you get home from school Daddy will come and get you and bring you to see Kathryn at the hospital.  I think she will like to see you.  You make her happy, and that will brighten her day.
Nathan: That makes me happy we can see her Mom.  She sure must love us because I sure love her.  I hope she is going to be OK mom.
Me:  Nathan, she has very good doctors.  Kathryn will have a blessing the night before.  Mommy and Daddy love her and you and Leila so much- we will always take care of you to make sure you will always be strong and healthy.
Nathan:  I love you mom.  We will keep Kathryn in our prayers every day.
He then kisses me and bounds off to bed where he relays our conversation to Leila in the top bunk.

This conversation took place with him nestled in my arms, squirming around, his eyes big and concerned.  The love he has for his sister is moving.  We will get through this-- as a family-- and be stronger for it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Meal Planning = Saving Money!

I am a list maker.  I love my calendar.  I write out things I am thinking through and I have my own little methods to compartmentalize and deal with my issues.  I am not the most organized person in the world, but what I do brings me great comfort. 

Money has been tight lately and I am panicking with the future of our bills increasing and my income decreasing.  So, I started making several lists--  Sunday I did something I haven't done all summer long:  I made a meal plan, with my grocery list to the right of it.  I got all the way through next Week.  Yay for me! 

Funny thing is, I went and bought food from my list, which included meats and cheeses among other items that are usually costly, and I spent less than I have been spending.  This means, if I stick to my list and buy the meals I have planed for, I saved some money!  Double Yay for me!

I would love to coupon, but I just can't get it down.  I have friends and a sister who save HUNDREDS of dollars a month on couponing, but for whatever reason I just can't figure it out for me.  So I go to Winco, which has pretty good pricing, and I feel satisfied with my efforts.

So, I know its boring and mundane, but it really has helped make my week easier.  I am amazed at the comfort it gives me to look at what I have already planned and figured out at the start of my day, so I don't have to stress, or even think about at the end of my day.  My kids couldn't care less, but my husband appreciates my cooking.  I usually try to cook up extra for his lunch the next day- and depending on the meal and my ingredients on hand maybe another batch to freeze for a future meal.  Nathan is my very picky eater, so gets salad most days.  I am not a short-order cook.  

Here is my plan:
Monday: bbq chicken & noodles (Super yummy and enjoyed with friends)
Tuesday: tacos(kids will always eat with us)
Weds: Beef stew & Salad(One of Leila's favorites)
Thurs: Spaghetti, bread, salad
Friday: BONUS DAY- Dinner at moms!(I am taking rolls)
Saturday: Chicken & potatoes
Sunday: Soup & Rolls & Salad
Monday: Burgers & Pasta Salad
Tuesday: tacos
Weds: Crock-pot chicken, bread, salad
Thurs:Caribbean Pork & Rice

I think if I could get a good three to four weeks worth of individual meals, I could just interchange them on a fairly routine basis.  But to do that, I need serious help- any ideas on easy menus?

My family has a recipe blog- nothing fancy- but fun for us to look at:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of SCHOOL!

The kids were so excited for school!

Well... Leila was. Nathan wasn't so much.  I couldn't coax a smile out of him for anything.  He and I went and got donuts for breakfast for the family this morning, and that certainly helped.  I am thinking this might become a tradition- he is our early riser and we have plenty of time to go pick out a dozen donuts and be back before the others are up.  

Nathan thinks Kindergarten is boring.  In his words, the only good thing about kindergarten is they got to go outside and play.  Leila thinks 1st grade is just a little bit harder than kindergarten, but mostly the same.  She LOVES it, as we knew she would. 

We took our annual walk down to the school, with all the cars backed-up we are glad we are able to walk to school on first days(and any other day when it doesn't rain). 

It will be a fun year to see how they both settle in.  I can't beleive I had a 1st grader and and kindergartener!  Nathan is going half days thru next week, then he will be in full day kindergarten.  He was also accepted into the two-way immersion program, so expect my kiddos to be speaking some spanish to each other soon!

I love these kids-- LOVE THEM!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sweet Seven

Our sweet Leila turned 7 today!  Its hard to believe I have now been a mom for 7 years.  Its even harder to believe how beautiful she is and how much she has grown.

I always wanted to be a mom.  The weeks and months before  Leila was born I would dream about the moment we would meet face to face.  In my dream my husband would bring her to me and her eyes would look up and lock on mine. 

On Sept. 4th, 2003 that exact thing happened.  She is simply my dream come true.

Happy Birthday Leila!  You are our Angel Girl!  We are crazy about you!

Friday, September 3, 2010

The New "Do"

She grew out her bangs for a long time... and now she has a new do to show for it.  Just in time for a new school year, and a whole new age.
Isn't she LOVELY?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Date Set

We have a date set for Kathryn's surgery- its Oct. 25th.

Its been a very hard week to figure this out.  We have been on the fence about proceeding, or waiting.  Pros and cons with both actions.  We called the insurance and the cost is huge.  We realized the decision would be much easier if cost were no issue and decided to take that out of the equation altogether.  I have been prayerful, I have been logical, I have been thoughtful.  I have been seeking advice from those who understand medical issues, understand my concerns, understand how hard it is to be a parent.  I just wasn't sure what to do.

Then last night Kathryn came down with another UTI and the urgency to get this little girl better is all consuming.  She is hurting and miserable.  As nice as it is to cuddle my baby, its not nice knowing she is in pain and unhappy and damage could be happening to her tiny organs right now. 

So--- the date is set.  We are going to take care of you sweet baby girl.