Thursday, January 31, 2008

Chinese In Training

How cute are these?! My lovely friend, Jodee was so nice to send these adorable chopsticks to my kids and they LOVE them! I don't know how they survived being Chinese without them! They opened the present when they got home from school and couldn't wait until dinner to use them, so they ate their after school snack of cookies and grapes with the chopsticks. They love using chopsticks, but they have a hard time doing it, so these are awesome. Thanks so much, Jod, you are always so thoughtful!
And I had to include this picture because it makes me laugh. Kylie's friend let her borrow these glasses and she wears them all the time as if they've been prescribed to her. The first thing she did after she got out of the bath was put the glasses on, even before her pj's and as she went to bed she gently folded them up and placed them on her night stand (just in case she needs them to see during a midnight potty run).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Happy Un-Birthday!

While I was getting ready in the morning before we headed out to the Riparian Preserve, Kylie came into the bathroom and brought me an invitation that she had made. It was for a birthday party that she was throwing for Jayden. It was so cute, she had gotten all of the old gift bags and filled them with prized posessions from her treasure drawer. She also had every one of their stuffed animals in attendance. We started out by playing different games, then we sang and had pretend cake, then Jayden loved opening all of the presents. What a sweet sister, I love their cute little friendship. They definately do have their days of constant fighting, so I savor each of these sweet little moments.

As sweet as they are at times, they both have their weaknesses that we are working on--namely lying and censoring. Lately Kylie has had the worst habit of telling little white lies. I can't tell if it's just her imagination running wild, or what, but it's to the point where I have to question everything that comes out 0f her mouth. It's not big things she lies about, it's just small insignificant stories that she comes up with (and she is a very convincing liar too). Like on the way home from church she was telling me how her and Jayden got to go up to the front at primary and help with the singing. Innocent enough, too bad it was all totally false. So I had enough and devoted our next family home evening to honesty. One of my new year's resolutions is to be better about FHE. Monday nights are crazy because Kylie has her gymnastics until 6:30 and Jason usually doesn't get home until after the kids are in bed, so we've been having FHE on Sunday nights and it has worked out really well. So we had a whole little lesson about honesty and I was just hoping some of it sunk in. That night Kylie was putting her pj's on and came out of her room just sobbing. The kind of hysterical crying where I knew something bad had happened. After I got her calmed down enough, she told me that she was crying because she felt bad because she had lied to her friend, Noelle and told her that she had a pet cat. It was such a great teaching moment and I was so glad that something in the lesson had clicked for her. Ever since then she has been working really hard to always tell the truth (or atleast say "just kidding" when the urge to elaborate to comes on) and it was a nice reminder for me of the importance of Family Home Evening.

Jayden on the other hand, is still a work in progress with his latest "weakness". That kid needs a censor button. I'm nervous to take him into public because I never know what will come out of his mouth. It started out earlier in the week when I was at my neighbor's house and he needed to use the potty. I went in to help him as my friend was right outside the door and the first thing he said, rather loudly is "ewww, it stinks in here!" Then continues to talk about how dirty the bathroom was, "It so gross in here!", "Look at all the garbage!", "There's pee-pee on the toilet!" And it went on and on, there was no stopping him. When I came out, I'm not sure who was more emberassed, me or her. Then the next day we were standing in line and Jayden points to the man right next to us and says loudly (of course--the only volume control he comes with is loud and louder), "him looks weird!" How do you recover from that? There's no denying what he was saying or who he was talking about. I thought that was bad, but don't worry, it gets worse. So a couple days later we're in the restroom at the grocery store and as I'm helping him wash his hands, another lady comes and washes her hands in the sink next to us. We are the only people in the bathroom, and the only sound is the peaceful trickle of running water--until Jayden opens his mouth and points that dreaded finger. "Mom, look! Her looks like a boy! Her has on boy shoes! Her has boy hair!" I finally started shoving the paper towel that I was using to dry his hands into his mouth in an effort to put an end to the humiliation. But the damage was already done. Shoot me now. Then yesterday we were driving in the car, so thankfully there were no extra ears around to hear--although I know he would have zero reservations about saying this in public--when he spotted a lady from India walking on the sidewalk wearing the traditional robes and scarves over her head when Jayden says, "look Mom, it's Mary!" In his defense, the scarf over her head did resemble what Kylie wore during the nativity play....I've just made a mental note to myself to avoid getting within ear shot of anyone that might peak his curiosity, because heaven knows what might come out of that boy's mouth!

One thing that he says that is cute, though, is his prayers. I always love hearing little kids pray and for some reason Jayden thinks that prayers are an opportunity to recount every event of the day. A typical prayer for Jayden is "Dear Heavenly father, bless us today we ate cereal, then I not eat my food and go time out. I go to preschool with mommy and do patterns. (then he opens his eyes and asks, "what I do next, mommy?") oh yeah, I read Duck story. ("what I do next, mommy?")...and continues until the day is complete and then ends with a triumphant, "AMEN!" It's so sweet and I'm sure it puts a little smile on Heavenly Father's face too :)

So yes, my kids aren't always angels, but I sure love those moments where they come pretty darn close!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

President Hinckley

(thanks Kathi, I stole this picture off one of your old blog posts :) My parents just called me and told me the sad news that President Hinckley had passed away this evening. It left an empty feeling in my heart, as if a member of my family had passed away. I am so grateful for a living prophet to lead and guide our church. I know that each prophet is called of God and I love and sustain each one, but President Hinckley will always have a special place in my heart. He, in a sense, is "my prophet". He was sustained when I was 15 and was the one whose talks, example and love got me through those rough teenage years. I love his smile. I love his sense of humor. I love his unconditional love for his sweet wife. I love his unconditional love for the members of the church. I love the emphasis he put on temple construction and temple work. I love his example of service. I love his energy--nothing ever slowed him down, even at 97 years old! What an amazing man. I remember when I lived in Georgia, we had the opportunity to attend a meeting and listen to President Hinckley and his sweet wife, Marjorie. The spirit was so strong the moment he walked in the room, and that in itself was such an incredible witness that this man truly was called of God. I'm also grateful that my kids were able to get to know him as a prophet before he passed away. As sad and heartbreaking as it is to see such a wonderful leader pass on, there is joy knowing that he is with his sweet wife. You could sense the deep love they had and I can just imagine how ecstatic they are to be reunited again... Thank you, we love you and will miss you!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Perfect Day

I am lovin this beautiful January weather! We spent MLK day at the Riparian preserve where we packed a picnic, played at the park, rode our bikes on the trail and dug up dinosaur bones. It was a perfect day, except when the entire Girl Scout troop came and took over. The kids were peacefully digging up the bones with the shovels and brushes that we brought from home when their was this massive invasion of the Daisy troop. They came in and literally took all of the shovels out of my kids hands until they were left with nothing. Kylie was speechless and Jayden started crying. You would think one of the twenty moms that were there would say something, but no. The only thing the moms did was organize a "sharing train" with OUR shovels where after 5 minutes they had to pass a shovel to the girl next to them. Normally I am all about sharing the sand toys and have no problem if other kids play with them, but when they don't even ask and my kids are sitting on the sidelines crying because they took every single one of their toys, then I am a bit bugged. I couldn't exactly leave and come back after they were gone since they had all of our toys and my kids didn't want to play after they got yelled at by daisy scout #12, so we just sat and watched for a half hour. I was bugged. Sorry for that little vent session. Since when did I let plastic shovels get me all worked up? Well, besides that, it was a perfect day.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Music of Our Lives

I love when I hear a certain song and it brings back a rush of memories. I can close my eyes and it feels like I'm back in that certain time period. Like when Janessa and I were listening to that Deana Carter song during Thanksgiving, I could just imagine us sitting in the bedroom that we shared in the basement. Lounging on our sweet water bed with the pink floral comforter, admiring the flourescent flowers I painted on the wall (I can't believe mom and dad let me do that!), which perfectly complimented the teal green carpet. It's amazing how a single song can trigger so many emotions, visual images, feelings, memories and even scents. Here are a few songs that will always have a special place in my heart:

Two Princes by the Spin Doctors
Two words: Georgia summer. We had just moved to Georgia from Utah and I remember spending hours sitting on the counter in the kitchen with Janessa, listening to this song over and over and over. Don't ask me why we chose that location, but many memories were made while lounging on that cream laminate counter top.

Walk on the Ocean by Toad the Wet Sprocket
My mom decided to try homeschooling us (it lasted a year) and so we took a family trip to Pensacola, Florida to buy the books. This was the first time that I had been to a real beach. I remember hearing this song on that trip and I can still visualize that beautiful ocean whenever I hear this song. (I dont know which is sweeter, our ghetto "surround sound" that we hooked up in the van or Janessa's red diamond sunglasses :)

It's the End of the World As We Know It by R.E.M.
One time at a church dance these boys could sing every word to this song and I thought that it was so cool (I mean, who wouldn't?). So I recorded this song off the radio and then (I'm emberassed to admit this) I would listen to a phrase, pause it, then write down the words. And repeated this throughout the whole song until I had every word written down. Then I practiced and practiced until I had the whole thing memorized. That is so pathetic, but to this day I can still sing every word of that song. (hmm, I've got some nicely toned arms in this picture, what happened??)

New Testament Soundtrack
Growing up, Janessa was always the good one and I was always a little on the rebellious side. I remember that we would get in so many fights because she would only let me listen to this music (or any other church songs) while driving to seminary so that we could get in a spiritual mood (it's a great idea now, but come on I was a teenager, give me a break :). I would get so mad. I still remember when she told on me for listening to 99X on the way to seminary. Despite my innappropriate music listening habits, I still graduated seminary and this picture is of my amazing teacher. Every day she would bring in hot chocolate and was just the sweetest lady. She passed away from cancer several years ago, but she'll always have a special place in my heart.

I Can't Stop this Feeling... (or the Hukachaka song)
I'm not sure what the real name of this song is, or who sings it, but I can still remember every word and almost every move in the dance that we made up for it. At EFY they have a talent show and Wesley, Nicole, Janessa and I (with Rachel as our "manager") all went to the thrift store and came up with these hideous disco outfits, put on some pretty scary make-up and did the sweetest dance ever at the talent show. I remember spending hours in Nicole's bedroom perfecting every move to the dance. It was such a hit (in our minds) that we volunteered to perform it at the ward talent show. This time Nicole sported this bright orange corduroy dress. It was hot.

What a Good Boy by B.N.L.
Nicole. She learned how to play this on her guitar and I thought that she was so cool. I remember camping out in somebody's backyard and she was playing this inside the tent (it was the same night Wes got her convertible, remember?) She sang and played it so good and I remember thinking that she could get any guy she wanted. I still think you're cool, Nicole and I always think of you when I hear this song!
The Wedding Singer Soundtrack
I went with some friends to see this movie right before my nose surgery and loved it so much that they got me the CD as a get well present. Now whenever I hear these songs I so fondly remember laying in my bed (the same pink floral, sweet water bed) in so much pain and strung out on meds, just listening to this CD.
Jock Jams CD
So my sister and I had the pimpest ride in high school. It was a Ford Granada. The name says it all. I don't even know how to explain the beauty of this car. It was a 1970's beige nightmare. The heater was broke so we had piles and piles of blankets inside and I would always hide under the blankets when we would pull into the parking lot at school and my sister would get so mad. The radio was also broken. Every station was so staticky, but we discovered a cool trick that if you tune into a certain station and honk the horn, then the horn would come out of the speakers. Since the radio didn't work, we got this little portable radio that we hooked up to the cigarette lighter. It was pretty much as ghetto as they come. So I was so excited to find this CD with all of the classic hip hop songs (you know the ones that get played 20 times at every church dance) and every morning on the way to high school, we would drive by my brother's middle school and hold our portable radio on the roof of the car, blasting "Jock Jams", with the horn blaring out of the speakers and yell at him. I don't know why we never realized that we were emberassing ourselves more than him. (I could not find a picture of the Granada anywhere, I can't imagine why we never took a picture of I settled for the next best. Yes, that is really us. Yes, we really looked like that on the first day of school. Yes, I know we looked hideous. Yes, I know blush is not meant to be applied 10 layers deep. Yes, we are sporting some serious red fros. Yes, I can not believe I am actually posting this picture. Now just picture these fine beauties in the Granada and I think we have a deadly combination on our hands. Somehow I think that the radio out the window wasn't the true source of emberassment for my brother. I can't blame him). Sorry to drag you into this Janessa, I probably should have asked permission to post these, but I knew you would say no, so I went ahead and just posted them :) Love ya!

Gettin Jiggy With It by Will Smith
Jason and I went wakeboarding together the first summer that I met him and that's when I fell for him. We were riding home in his friend's truck and this song came on and Jason was doing this little dance thing with his hands, I can't explain it but he seriously looked so cute doing it. Whenever the song comes on now I make him do that same little dance.

Mayonaise by Smashing Pumpkins
When Jason and I were dating he loved Smashing Pumpkins. He used to play this song all the time on his guitar and there is something about a guy playing the guitar (especially my guy) that makes me melt. I can still picture us (you probably can too, Kelly :) sitting on the little couch in the kitchen of my dorm at Heritage Halls while he seranaded me...If that's not romantic, I don't know what is.

Particle Man by They Might Be Giants
While we were dating Jason would take me snowboarding all the time at Park City. The radio loses reception while driving through the mountains to get there and his car (good old Euzer, rest his soul) didn't have a CD player. Jason had this one cassett tape and since that was the only source of music, we would listen to it over and over everytime we would go up there. I particularly remember listening to it while driving up there one night to go stay with our friends at a cabin. Do you remember, Tara? We went snowmobiling and you got mad at Nate because he refused to go since he had just wrecked your parent's snowmobile? Jason and I had the best time many fun memories.

Everything I Do, I Do it For You by Bryan Adams
Jason is from Vegas and so we would go down there alot while we were dating and I would always lay on his lap and fall asleep while he was driving (not very safe, I know, but I was in love and didn't care). I remember one time while we were driving home this song came on and I was looking up at him and he told me that was the "solidifying" moment when he knew we would get married. Awwww, too bad it's such a cheesy song :)

Rainbow Cadillac by Dannity Kane and "the" Blackeyed Peas song (you know which one I'm talking about :)
Jodee. Everytime I hear these songs I think of driving in the car with you. The Rainbow Cadillac reminds me of driving to the city when we visited you in San Francisco and Blackeyed Peas reminds me of our girl trip when we kept getting lost because I was navigating. Don't forget the nasty truck driver and running across 6 lanes of traffic with your pregnant belly and my high heeled shoes!
Let's Get it Started by Blackeyed Peas
My kids!! Every Monday evening when we drive home from Kylie's gymnastics class we roll the windows all the way down and blast this song while the kids and I are all singing and dancing. It doesn't matter how hot or cold it is outside and it doesn't matter how many strange looks we get, it's just one of those moments where you're having too much fun to care.

Oh what fun memoris....there are so many more. I could go on forever, but I think I've sufficiently managed to emberass myself enough for one day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Higher Education

As I was putting Kylie to bed last night she asked, "oh mom, did you read my black skinned man book that I made today?" It caught me off guard so she continued to explain to me all about Martin Luther King, jr. and related a kindergartener's version of the freedom movement. In her words: "Martin Luther King's birthday is on Monday, so we have to think about him because black people used to ride in the back of the bus and now they can sit wherever, isn't that cool? They couldn't go to the same school or the same restraunt because the black people didn't have enough money. They were sad because the black people and the white people were best friends and they couldn't play together anymore. Wouldn't that be sad if I had to go to a different school than Noelle because I'm Chinese? The black people wanted to kill the white people (hmm, should I be at all concerned about what they're teaching her?) so Dr. King had marches. My teacher calls him doctor, but I don't think he was a real doctor. So, they had lots and lots of marches. And because of all the marches everyone is free. So now anybody can sit where they want on the bus. And I like black people too. I play with Jariel and Gavin even though they're black (they're actually Asian and hispanic, she's just a little sheltered here in Gilbert). I even love Daddy even though he's black". There you have it. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Oh, she also told me that three boys had to go to the principal's office today because they kept drawing hearts with her and her friend's names in them and even drew arrows in the hearts. Oh help me, it's just beginning.

Monday, January 14, 2008

It Came!

I was so excited to get my blog book today. It makes all those hours of blogging worth it and I'm feeling pretty good now that I can say (for the first time in my life!) that all my journaling and scrapbooking are up to date! Yay! The program is easy to use, and check out the cute backgrounds.... So for those of you bloggers who haven't looked into it yet, I would highly recommend it. Just go to and get started--today.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My New Idol/Obsession

Okay, so my friend Chelsea was telling me about this recipe blog that she came across called "the pioneer woman". I thought the same thing that all of you are thinking, "great, yet another recipe for funeral potatoes" But oh no, it's not what you think (she's not even Mormon). I checked it out and I was hooked. Not only is this girl an amazing chef, outstanding photographer, but she is also an unbelievable writer. There's a link on her recipe site to her personal blog and Chelsea and I have been obsessed, to say the least. She's writing about her love story with her husband "Marlboro Man" and we have both neglected our motherly duties and been up until the wee hours of the morning reading this story. It's one of the best novels I've read in a long time :). Anyways, I thought that I would pass on the site just incase any of you have nothing better to do at 1:00 am. Here's the link to the love story, but the rest of her blog is amazing too (and don't forget to check out her recipe blog, it's on my links list)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Pajama Party!!

I decided to let Kylie have a little girl party the last weekend before school started and it was so much fun. It was kind of a last minute thing (okay, really a last minute thing) as I called the moms at 9:00 the night before, but we ended up with 6 of her little friends from school, church and the neighborhood that were able to come. They all wore their pajamas, ate pizza, painted nails, danced and sang every word to the High School Musical 2 soundtrack and Hannah Montana CD (Jayden even got in on the girly fun), and finally settled down and ate popcorn while watching the Barbie Island Princess movie before their parents came and picked them up. There was a lot of screaming,
a lot of giggling and a lot of fun!

Forever ago when we were at Barnes and Noble, Kylie saw these dragonflys made out of chocolate dipped pretzels so I promised her that we would make them the next time we had a party. I spent all afternoon making all different colors of chocolate and dipping pretzels, only to find that they really didn't like eating them. They preferred the purple caramel popcorn that I made, even though I thought that it turned out rather questionable. I tried substituting maple syrup since I was out of corn syrup. Yeah, I wouldn't suggest it. I guess their refined taste buds must not be developed because they sure ate it up.

These are Kylie's two best friends from school. They are the cutest girls and I'm so glad they have become so close. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that they will be in the same class next year.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

During the Break....

I don't remember the last time that we all got to hang out with just our family for a whole week with nothing to do. Usually when Jason has time off from work we plan a trip or something, but I seriously loved every minute of just hanging out during Christmas break at our own house playing with the kids. We stayed up way too late every night and slept in way too long every morning. I felt so lazy, but I'll tell you what--being lazy never felt so good! We filled the time with bike rides, picnics, going to the movies, Peter Pipers, movie and pizza parties, game nights with popcorn and hot chocolate and playing baseball at the park (I love the look on Jayden's face in the picture, he takes his batting very seriously). I also have to give Jason props because that guy keeps going and going and going....I took full advantage of my "vacaction" and hardly cooked or cleaned the entire break, but Jason was so good to spend some time during the break getting some projects done. We've had the materials to put bead board up in the kids bathroom for like a year now but we've never gotten around to doing it. I had convinced Jason that it would only take us a couple of hours to get it up. Even though he knew that it would take longer, he was still nice and gave in. Sure enough, 2 DAYS and 2 Home Depot trips later it finally gets done. Don't let that small amount of wall space fool you, I think that behind the toilet and the rounded corner behind the door put a little strain on our marriage :) But atleast it's all done and I love the way it turned out, thanks hon! He also put together a shed and finished some little projects that were driving me crazy, like fixing broken valances on the blinds, changing light bulbs, fixing baseboards, hanging pictures and shelves, etc. How was I lucky enough to get such a great handy man? (P.S. Honey, please do not let anything happen to you because for the life of me I can not work your drill, let alone hang a shelf straight!)