Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't Mess




Don't Mess With Callie



Monday, October 27, 2008

The Last of the Pumpkin Patch

I swear. This is it. The last bit from our trip to the pumpkin patch. When we took our hay-ride, we sat right behind the tractor that pulled us. Samantha loved it. Callie was intrigued, but Samantha immediately loved it. I think it was a combination of the rumbling sound and the vibration from the tractor. This is a small clip, but it gives you an idea of her simple joy during that hay ride.


video

Not So Pretty


Oh so sweet.



And we do think Samantha is sweet, but this ain't so pretty! (But it sure does make us laugh pretty hard.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

In my attempt to start a new family tradition, we drove up to Green Bluff yesterday looking for a pumpkin patch. My idea was to pick out a pumpkin, have apple cider, donuts, and a fun hay ride. We got the hay ride...and good pictures. Where was the apple cider and donuts? No where to be found I tell you! Oh well, probably better anyway.

Marcus with his girls.




In the hay maze.




With those half-crazed eyes, it's as if she knows something that we don't know -- something scary.




Mommy and Sammy



Callie enjoying her throne of pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

First Steps

And....not only is Samantha kissing us on command, but Callie is really taking steps! What an evening of firsts. She's been playing around with steps for a while, moving one foot and shifting weight. But tonight it's the real deal. When holding on to the couch, she'll turn to walk to Marcus. 3 real steps! Oh what a night.

Sammy's First Kiss

Today is a big day ladies and gentlemen! That's right...this is a call to everyone to pucker up because Sammy Lee is officially kissing. This is very exciting stuff because not only is this very cute and delightful, but this is the first time that Samantha has done anything when asked. This is a huge cognitive development and we are thrilled. Here's the story:

I was sitting on the couch, Callie to my left, Sammy to my right. Callie was rather fussy, so I was keeping her entertained by sticking my tongue out at her. She thought it was pretty funny. Then I thought I should probably pay some attention to Samantha. So, I look to my right, smile, and say "Hey Sammy. Give me a hug." She leans in to me and presses her open lips against my cheek. Cute. For the past...oh, long time...every time I kiss her I say "kisses" as to put a specific word with a specific thing. Well, I wasn't thinking that this "first" kiss was a real kiss. Nonetheless, I thought it was important to reinforce her action. So I cheered and said, "Oh thank you Sammy. Thank you for the kiss." Then I kissed her back, because really, I can't resist kissing Sammy. (I think Marcus is embarrassed by how much I kiss our children.) Then I followed up by asking her to kiss me by pointing to my cheek and saying "Sammy, kiss." Sure enough, she leans and puts her open mouth against my right cheek. Wait. Was this really a kiss? So I do it over and over and over again. Every single time, I cheer, clap my hands, she smiles and kisses me more. At this point Callie is pretty tired and getting fussy, but this was prime kissing time. She had to wait for that nap. This went on for about 15 minutes. When Marcus got home, Sammy was a little distracted. She was excited to see her daddy and just wasn't quite into kissing anymore. However, she did give Daddy the last kiss before quitting for the evening.

I really hope she keeps this up. Once again, not only is it super cute, but I want to be able to show all her therapists! This is HUGE people and we couldn't be more proud of our little kisser.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Love My Girls



Meet our one-legged daughter, Sammy.






Callie won't be Cinderella for Halloween. She'll make a great Yoda. BUT, come on, I couldn't pass up an adorable photo op. I had to pull Sammy's old costume out.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Braids!

Check this out!





And it's held up to a day full of play.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today's Thoughts

Today I'm sick. I've been getting sick for about a week, and it finally hit hard today. I didn't sleep all last night, my head is aching, my nose is running, and I'm just feeling sick. Both Samantha and Callie have been great today, so I've allowed a bit of sloth to enter my life -- just for today. During this time of waste, I've had some thoughts.

#1 I love the
Cosby Show. You know, there is so much on tv that corrupts our minds and wastes our time. But Cosby? I love love love this show. I told Marcus that one day I would like to have the seasons of the Cosby Show on dvd. There's not a season I don't like, and it's just pure, clean, funny stuff. I don't know one person who doesn't like this show and there is a reason for it. Plain and simple, Bill Cosby's comedy makes me happy.

#2 I am so blessed. Despite the Lord's knowledge of all my faults, He continues to copiously bless me. I've been mostly thinking about my family when it comes to blessings today, though there are other areas in my life where I've been blessed. Out of my list of things I want to do and accomplish, being a wife and mom were the most important things to me. In Young Women I had written down my list of what I wanted in a husband. Well, not only am a wife now, but Marcus has far FAR exceeded my expectations that I had written down many years ago. I'm a pretty independent person (this can be good and bad) but I really can't imagine not having Marcus by my side. I may choose to do some things alone, but I never want to be alone, without Marcus. And, because of the blessing of eternal marriage, and I know I won't be. Blessing.

I am now a mom as well. Those who have children feel the same way I'm sure, but my life has become more complete since having Samantha and Callie. These are not the children I envisioned in my future family picture. They are more beautiful and perfect. Blessing.


Sammy on the Gonzaga Bulldog

Samantha continues to teach me how to improve my faith, patience, prayer, humility, hope, charity, and how to properly organize my priorities. She is our little star. She is a visual reminder that miracles are real and still happening, large and small. She is my sweet little girl and I love her more than I ever knew possible. Blessing.

Sammy on the swings

When we got Callie came quickly. I immediately fell in love with her, though it took time to feel like she was my daughter. With each passing day, I believe that bond grew, but it was one day in particular when I felt a special closeness to her. I felt a motherly love for her. That bond has grown so much stronger. When she cries or says "ma ma," my heart melts. I know Samantha thinks it, and that is special to me, but to hear Callie say it and seek my comfort..well, it's something that I've been waiting to hear for a long time. I have always felt that Callie was supposed to be in our family. And now we are sealed and she will forever be in our family. Blessing.

Callie loving graham crackers

Callie definitely made our family more complete. It's hard to explain that feeling, but there is a feeling of, um... more completeness. I don't feel like the family is done, but getting there. That brings peace. Blessing.

"No Mommy. You're the cutest."

Since moving to Spokane, Samantha has received therapies superior to what she's ever had...and we loved our past therapists. She gets physical and speech therapy twice a week and occupational therapy once a week. Her physical therapist is one of the best in the city. She is also getting craniosacral therapy about every other week from #1 and #2 in the city. I've already seen improvements. Blessing.

#3 Change is good. It's great in fact. Sometimes it's hard, but it's a great thing that stretches us. I have a list of things I want to do in life and sometimes circumstances make it so I can't do some of those things...travel, write my many books, start a business, run a marathon, continue my education. That doesn't mean that the change that doesn't allow us to do some of these things is bad. I didn't get my masters because I got married and had kids right away. Does that make my family a bad thing? No. It just means my masters plans will change and may have to come later. Or, the book I've started has to go on hold because Samantha has 6 appointments in 5 days. My time is stretched to the limit and writing isn't my priority on my spare time. That doesn't make Sammy's therapies bad; it changes the situation. Change, ultimately, has been a good thing, if not a blessing throughout my life. I'll get to those places I want to travel to, I'll get my books written, and I'll finish that marathon or triathlon one day. It'll happen, when the tides change. Until then, I adjust to this new change in my life, love it, and learn from it. And along the way, I'm sure new opportunities will present themselves.

(** I can't get the fonts to match up and it's driving me crazy bringing out some of my obsessive tendencies! NOT a blessing.)



Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Halloween Party

I may have taken on a little too much this month, but at this point it doesn't matter. I just have to get it done. And I need your help.

I wanted to throw a Halloween party for the kids in the complex...that's at least 50. They love Samantha and Callie, always coming over to play with them, etc, and I just thought it would be fun for them. But, what will we do? These are some of my ideas:

1. Relay Race -- with silly things they have to do.
2. Scavenger/Treasure Hunt
3. Halloween Pinata
4. Bean Bag Toss for the smaller kiddos

Any other suggestions? This will be about an hour. It can't be longer because I'm doing a Halloween dinner that night -- plus the kids will probably go trick or treating anyway.

Esme

I'm a Esme! I found out through TwilightersAnonymous.com. Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!



I saw this on Tara's blog and thought...why not. So, I'm also an Esme, which makes sense to me. BUT, I have to say, this actress who is playing Esme (I don't know her name and I'm not taking the time to look it up) bothers me. I didn't particularly like her on Grey's Anatomy and I saw about 5 minutes of her new show Ex List -- or something like that. There's something very manly about her. And I really don't see her playing Esme...another vampire perhaps, but not Esme. I could be alone on this, but oh well.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Daddy Daughter Outing

A few days ago, I (Marcus) was eating a simple dinner together with Callie and I told her that green beans were on the menu. She politely refused, reminding me that she had eaten her fill of antioxidants earlier in the day as she had eaten squash for lunch. I gently chided her, and reminded her that I was her father and she needed to obey. Angered slightly and feeling a little "saucy", Callie decided take this opportunity to confront me over her curfew (8:00 on weekdays, 8:30 on weekends), but I stood my ground on this issue as well. The conversation quickly escalated and soon Callie had challenged me to a "Agni Kai," or a battle to the death that originated in ancient China, and was traditionally invoked by a family member when he or she had been "dishonored" by another family member. Admittedly, I was a bit surprised, but, bound by tradition, was obligated to fight for my life, . . . or die trying.

Here is Callie during the battle, filled with rage, moments before lasers shot from her eyes.

A close up of Callie during the fight.

Soon after we began the fight, and after Callie had permanently crippled a local groundskeeper with an errant laser beam, we realized the foolishness of it all and laughed and laughed. Callie and I were thinking about escorting the injured groundskeeper to the local hospital, but it was getting pretty late.


(Callie and me, right after the fight and on our way home)

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Favorite


Last night we went to Friendship Park -- just a nice stroll down the way from our place. We took the opportunity to take some pictures and this is my new favorite of Samantha. As frustrating as she can be at times (she's screaming in her crib right now because I needed a break), how can you not love this girl? Look at that face! AH! She makes my heart melt. I think I'll take her out of her crib now.

Callie too!

So, Marcus told me not to post any more video because "people may not think our kids are as cute as we think they are, and maybe they aren't as interested as you think they are." He's right. I know. But, I told him that I didn't care because I want our family to see these little videos but I don't know how to send them via email. So I have to post them. Besides, you don't have to watch the video if you don't want to. We have gone a little video crazy lately, so I'll try to calm down.

Callie has been so cute lately. The same night that I got Sammy on tape while she was eating, I got Callie too...and boy was she all giggles.

The next day Marcus was playing with Callie. He does this growl, and it startles her, so she crawls to me, looks back to see if Marcus is coming, and just smiles waiting for him to swoop her up and tickle her. Of course they were doing this for about 15 minutes before I decided to tape it. The cutest stuff isn't on tape, but you still get an idea. We sure love our girls.


video video

Friday, October 3, 2008

Too Tired To Eat

Oh, how funny! Tonight Marcus got invited somewhere to watch the BYU football game...without me. :( So, while I was feeding Samantha mashed potatoes for dinner, she was getting awfully sleepy. When she gets tired, she doesn't swallow her food and she giggles easily. Before this video was taken, she was laughing hysterically. Of course when you bring out the camera it stops. Ignore my loud voice. This is definitely her tired laugh.


video

Now I Get It!

Last week I was exhausted. I didn't understand it. By the time I put Samantha and Callie to bed, I was ready for bed. Really. I went to bed a few nights at 9pm! Talk about the being and old worn out mom. Today, I scheduled an appointment for Samantha. As I wrote it down on the calendar, I noticed that she has 6 appointments within 5 days! No wonder I'm pooped at the end of each day! There's the every day stuff, then each day I'm packing up the kids and literally carrying them from place to place (which is tiring enough alone), presidency meetings, church activities, etc. I'm tired. If the girls would sleep in longer than 5am that would help me a lot too. But at least Samantha and Callie are both usually sleeping through the night. That has helped. Sheesh. Life gets busy. How do moms who have more than 2 kids do it? I just don't know.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Handbags Galore!

Who doesn't love a good bag? Jessica Alba apparently loves hers. Handbags are functional while giving a pop of style. Right? Right. Handbag Planet is launching their new website and to celebrate, they are giving away a FREE handbag every hour on the hour! Hello!!!! Go to their website and sign yourself up ladies...or gentlemen (it's a great free gift for your wife). All you have to do is plug in your email address and you're in the drawing. How easy is that? So dear friends, click on the link, add your name to the list, and you just may win a free bag.

As a side note, I couldn't help but put this picture up. Her arm looks about a mile long and her hand is bigger than her head! Is this what the new fad in Hollywood is? If so, well sign me up. Stretch out one of my limbs until I can take it no more! ha

www.handbagplanet.com

Halloween Is Here

I think Halloween is a fun time of year, and it's not just because of all the candy. It's just fun. Plain and simple. I debated for awhile trying to figure out what the girls should be for Halloween. Samantha was Cinderella and then Tinkerbell for her first 2 Halloweens. I definitely wanted Callie to be something cute and pretty but was completely unsatisfied with what I found. This Halloween may scar Callie for years to come...but this year the girls are being:

Samantha as Princess Leia


Callie as Yoda


Yes, we are going with the Star Wars theme. So will Marcus and I dress up following the theme? IF we dress up this year, I think it would be fun to be the Star Wars family, but I don't know. Who should we be? I found this test to see what Star Wars character you are. http://www.gotoquiz.com/which_star_wars_character_are_you_1 I thought, How wonderfully perfect. A test will just tell me what character I should be. My results?

Jenny as Jar Jar Binks

And though Marcus wasn't here to take the test, I answered for him and his results were...


Marcus as Luke Skywalker
hmmm? Any suggestions? Though Jar Jar is quite happy and amusing, I'm not sure how I feel about dressing up as an incomprehensible blubbering reptile/amphibian-like creature.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Super Yummy Santa Fe Chicken Sandwiches

So, several of you asked for this earlier, so I took a picture of the meal to put up with the recipe...then I kept forgetting. In my picture, the peppers and onions are falling off the sandwich, but oh well. Here you go...Santa Fe Chicken Sandwiches. It's a bit spicy, but not too bad. Marcus doesn't like spice but loves these -- so the heat is definitely manageable. And as far as I can tell, this is a healthy option for dinner. Protein, good fats with the olive oil, peppers and onions, mmmmmmm.

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large green pepper thinly sliced
1 large onion thinly sliced
olive oil to saute the peppers and onion

Marinade:

2 T. chili pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/3- 1/2 c. olive oil
1/3 c. vinegar
4 oz. French dressing (1,000 Island)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
juice of 2 limes

Directions:
Marinate the chkn. breasts for at least 3 hours in the marinade ingredients. (I just make it up in the morning and let it suck in those fabulous flavors all day.)

Either preheat the grill or oven to 425. Saute the peppers and onions in the oil. Bake chkn for 20-25 minutes, turning frequently and basting with the marinade. (I just leave it in the oven and baste periodically -- no turning over for me. That's too much work.)

When chkn is thoroughly cooked (no longer pink) serve with warm, toasted onion rolls or the roll of your choice. (We used whole wheat or multi-grain buns.)

I topped the chicken with a bit of shredded cheese, then the peppers and onions. mmm mmm good. Some other good toppings for this type of sandwich may be tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, red, yellow, and green peppers, red onions.

Enjoy!

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