Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fatherhood, Football, and Turning Forty -- by Chris Crowe

Fatherhood, football & turning forty Fatherhood, football & turning forty by Chris Crowe

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved reading this book. As it's a book of essays, it had been my quick pick-up book...when I had some spare time, I'd read an essay. It was always enjoyable and it filled my time. I had run out of some of that spare time, so it sat on my bookshelf for a few months. Today I laid in bed with a sick child, holding her while she slept. During this time, I finished the book. It was so fun. My first question to the author (someone I'd like to call my mentor), is if he laughed out loud as he wrote? Surely he must have. I was laughing, all along worrying that I'd wake up my little girl. Each essay is very real as he writes about emerging nose hairs to insecurities of being a father. Each essay is also very relatable. I'm not a father, I didn't play football, and I'm only 29, but I loved reading this and plan on buying it for some of my friends for upcoming birthdays -- my brother being #1 on my list. The LDS culture references are great, because really, we all know what he writes is true. Great reading for LDS anyone.

View all my reviews.

We Love Grammy

We love our pretty Grammy!

Marcus's family came out to visit over the Memorial Day weekend. It was fun. Thanks for visiting family. (More pictures to come.)

Some highlights:
* Manito Park
* Swimming in the pool
* Shopping at Gymboree!
* Dining out at the Mustard Seed
* Bryan, Colin, and Analisa spending the night with us
* Of course seeing Grandpa and Grammy
* Avatar: The Last Airbender

(You know I'm officially hooked to this anime-like cartoon when I am disappointed in Jet and feel it a bit of a compliment when Bryan says I'm the real life Katara.)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Toy Box

While my parents were here, they bought me/us/the girls a toy box that I love love love. I just realized I don't have a picture of the finished product, but you can check it out here. (Ours is much bigger than the one pictured, it's black, not white, and the top is flat. AND, we got it for the same price as the little toy box.) Anyway. I love it. It fits perfectly in our family room and it looks great. I wanted a toy box that didn't look like a toy box -- one that could maybe grow with our family -- so one day it wouldn'y be a toy box, but maybe a chest of some kind. When I went and looked around, they were all pretty small. And then I heard angels triumphant. I turned and there it was...a blanket chest...that we currently use as the girls' toy box. It's classy and just perfect. Thanks Mom and Dad, and thanks Marcus for the assembly time! I love it!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Water Therapy

So, here we are again....talkin' about water therapy. But really, I just love watching Sammy in the pool. She loves it! Marcus has never been able to go, so a few weeks ago I took some video for him to watch.

In this first video, Sammy is starting to kick her legs instead of kicking them together like a frog would, she is beginning to kick alternating the legs. This is big progress and we're really excited about that!

Working on balance and stepping up and down. You can't really tell here, but Sammy has a weight wrapped around her waist (under the skirt of her bathingsuit). When weight is put around her tummy, she has to compensate with her back muscles. This has strengthened her whole trunk area and as a result she stands and walks straighter.

When Sammy works on this pink floater thing, it's normally another way to work on her balance and core/trunk strength. Sometimes though, she roams off, and Leanne lets her do that. Because of it, she has learned some water safety. For example, she'll really start to hold on tight because she knows if she lets go, she'll go under. The other day, she let go, started to go under, but started to kick her legs to tread water so she wouldn't go under. We were so shocked. Of course she didn't know she was treading water, but she did make the connection that if she wants to stay up, she's going to have to do something for it. She's really learned a lot in water therapy and I'm so so so glad we're doing it.

After a long workout, there's nothing Sammy loves better than to get rinsed off. Good work Sammy Samkins!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Today was the best birthday ever. Thank you Marcus and all who attended my surprise party...thanks Amanda and Tim for hosting and for the super cute, that was probably just Amanda, though I'm sure Tim was supportive...My husband sure knows how to make me feel special. Turning 29 has never felt so sweet.

(Pictures to come, when we get our camera cord that is.)

"Ishey" anyone?

We don't have our camera cord, so until we do, here's one of the last pictures I took of Sammy walking around in her physical therapy/theratog get-up.

Some of you may argue with this claim, but I'd like to propose that my daughter is a genius -- at least for today. Today after Sammy's speech session, Carly came out so excited. I like when she comes out excited because that means Sammy did something good during therapy.

"I think Sammy said 'fishy.' I mean, I really really think she did."


"Yeah. I mean, really. So, I was holding up 2 cards -- one of a bear and one of a fish. I asked which one she wanted, and she reached out for the fish and said 'ishey.' I thought 'Was that for real?' so I did it again, but moved the cards to the floor. She reached out for the fish card again and said 'ishey!' So I did it one more time, holding the cards up high above my head, and Sammy stood up, reached up, grabbed the fish card and said 'ishey!' It was very intentional. Had I met her for the first time, I would have marked down that she knows how to say fish!"

AH! Ishey! Ishey, ishey, ishey! Guess I know what we'll be working on this week. Yippee for ish!

Monday, May 18, 2009

One More Reason...

Here's just one more reason why moms and our interaction with our children is so important. But not just any kind of interaction, thoughtful, purposeful interaction. This reminds me to make extra efforts with my kids. If we aren't born with some of the divine mothering qualities, we can develop them. We will be blessed as we do so and our efforts will be magnified -- because I think Heavenly Father wants.

Check out this article Marcus sent me today. It's worth the 3 minute read.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My New Nickname

We have some good friends here who love us so much they have shared this special weekend with us. We've spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday together eating, laughing, and playing Rock Band. See, Greg and Julie are pretty fun people. We like them a lot. And I'm pretty sure, most of the time, they like us too. They have some really close friends who moved out before we got here. We had heard about them -- all fabulous things of course -- and this weekend, the Cleggs came to visit. We finally got to meet them, and they are really fun. We've just had a great almost makes me wish we were here a year ago so we could have all hung out all the time. But, since that was not the case, we've been cramming in as much time as we can in one weekend.:)

Last night, Julie told me that Greg and Rob have a game they wanted us to play. It was their idea, and they really wanted us to play. The game? Eat the jelly belly and name what flavor it is. Immediately I knew where this was going. There was going to be some disgusting flavors in there, and we'd have to eat them. First round was fine. Second was fine. But then the game took a turn. And it wasn't pretty. Time after time, I got the most horrible flavors....pencil shavings, baby wipes, black pepper, vomit, and rotten egg. I felt like we were playing some kind of Mormon drinking game...but with Jelly Bellies of course. I had to keep going. I couldn't back down. I have my pride and I had to represent the Green name. Each time it was my turn, though, it got worse. It got to the point where I'd be nervous, get the little butterflies in my stomach, before I put the jelly bean in my mouth. Yuk! When I got to the rotten egg, that was it. I was done. The horrific rottenness consumed my mouth. Later that night, when we got home, I wasn't feeling all that well, and I blame the Jelly Belly! Was this a way for our "friends" to get rid of us? Oh did they laugh and laugh and laugh each time I crinkled my nose and made a face of utter distaste.

Today, while we were all together, Greg told me I was up for Rock Band. But, he didn't address me as Jenny...rather, he said, "Jelly Bean, you're up." Yes. We are all friends afterall. I have a nickname and that means true bond of friendship. And then they suggested we play the game again, but with the video camera so they can catch my expressions eating jelly bean after jelly bean. hmmm I still think we're friends.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Free from Barnes and Noble

Hey book lovers! Barnes and Noble is offering 9 free audio book downloads. Go to this website, follow the instructions, and get your free downloaded book. I didn't know any of them, but Tom Sawyer is a classic that I haven't read. Why not listen to it? Check it out. You only have until May 16, 2009, 2:59am Eastern Time.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Scardy Cat

I've been known to be a little jumpy. One example that comes to mind is when my brother-in-law, Bryan, came over one day to our apartment. He knocked. I opened the door. Upon opening the door, Bryan swings his arms toward me with a gallon of Creamery chocolate milk. I definitely jumped, may have even screamed. Marcus regularly makes me jump without having to try too hard. In fact, sometimes now he'll warn me before entering the room. "Jenny, I'm coming in the room. Don't be alarmed." It's just kind of freaky when you are facing another direction and then, boom, someone is there when you turn around. Perhaps I saw too many Saturday afternoon thrillers on channel 20 when I was specifically told not to watch, but I'm just a jumpy girl.

I just saw a commercial for the new thriller Drag Me to Hell -- what a title. But I don't even the like the commercial. It scares me. blaaghagg It sends shivers down my spine right now thinking about it. (Wish Marcus were home just about now...and as I type this, I'm sure he'll walk in and I'll jump, maybe scream. Then he'll jump. And he'll say "Gees...Jenny, you have to stop doing that.") So, here's the thing with scary movies. When I was little, hated them. When I was older -- high school through college years -- I loved them. I loved the adrenaline rush that I got. I loved the thrill. Not anymore though. The horrible images of disfigured faces and the sounds of screams just don't do it for me...they get stuck in my mind and it makes me scared. So, there you have it. I'm a big fat scardy cat, and that's ok with me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Sweet Marriage

Recently I was asked to be a guest blogger on Simply Sweet Marriage's blog. I was asked to write about how to maintain the spark in a marriage when you have the stresses of a special needs child. It was an interesting assignment because we really don't know any differently. Samantha was our first child, so we had to figure out how to make time for each other right away. And, I feel like this is an issue for all first time parents -- especially moms -- anyway. It's so easy to consume yourself in your child. You are responsible for their eating, sleeping, growing, learning, developing, etc. That's a heavy responsibility, and quite frankly...I know I felt like that was my most important duty/job/responsibility for a long time. And then, Samantha had a lot of other issues that we were working with. Over the past few years, I have realized, however, that though it's an extremely important job, Marcus is my number one priority. Our marriage comes first. So, anyway, I was happy to write this little blib for this blog. If interested, check it out and leave a comment for them. If anything, there's a cute picture of Sammy on it.:)

Why I Love Being Their Mom

Mother's Day was great. Marcus made me breakfast and dinner...very nice. And I got to spend the day with Marcus, Sammy, and Callie. It was nice. Oh, and, I mean Samantha and me some Bill Cosby cds to listen to in the car. How fun!

As I thought about Mother's Day, of course I thought about my mom. She has always been such a good example to me of what a mother should be. She has always been my biggest cheerleader and has always been there for me. When I was in elementary school, there was one day when she was supposed to pick me up after an activity. She was never late. And I was waiting around for awhile. I decided just to walk home. After all, I walked to school, so it wasn't like it was that far. When I got home, my mom wasn't there. I was locked out. So, I waited outside. About 15 minutes later, my mom came rushing down the street, pulled in the driveway, and upon seeing me, flew out of the car and proceeded to yell at me. She told me how she was so worried about me and that I should never leave, even if she was late. Perhaps this isn't the most beautiful picture of my mom...yelling at me...but I didn't feel reprimanded as much as I felt loved. I had never heard so much concern in her voice before. For all she knew, I had been kidnapped or hit by a car, or something horrible. That memory is quite special to me.

And that's a special something when you care that much about someone else...when you care so much that it makes you sick. Samantha made me a mom. I have had experiences when I have poured my heart out in prayer for people. There have been times when I cried for someone else. But Samantha, she's surely something special. My life changed the moment she was born. I have never felt so sick in worry before, and strangely not want to be anywhere else, or worry about anything else. I'd rather wrap my arms around this little bundle of uncertainty than to ever have her replaced by anyone else. I love being her mom.

And Callie is just a pure delight. Everyday she does the funniest things that helps me forget about some of my worries or problems. All I have to do is put on some music and she's off, doing her little boogie moves. She loves life and reminds me of the things I need to be focusing on. She more fully completes our family. I cna't imagine our lives without her. She's a loving little sister who shows increasing amounts of sympathy towards Samantha. I love being her mom.

The other day, the girls were playing and I was cleaning up. All of a sudden it got quiet. I went into our bedroom where both Sammy and Callie were sitting in our closet. I watched as Callie kept giving Samantha kisses. It really was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed!

And though Callie just started throwing a rather loud tantrum, I still feel extremely blessed to be their mom.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On The Road -- Jack Kerouac

On the Road has been on my list of books to read. I think it's because my older sister, Lisa, liked 10,000 Maniacs, and I too became a fan. How do these two connect? Natalie Merchant's deep and mysterious voice sang about the Beat Generation -- singing about Kerouac, Burroughs, and Ginsberg in one of their earlier songs and it sparked an interest at a young age. "Hey Jack Kerouac, I think of your mother and the tears she cried, she cried for none other than her little boy lost in a world that hated and dared to drag him down." How sad. So, 20 years later, I picked up On the Road. And, honestly, I really disliked it. I think I understand why it's famous. It's reminiscent of the time I suppose -- the Beat Generation -- and that's great. But it just wasn't for me. I'm surprised I made it through. I listened to it in the car, and really, if I had been reading it, I think I would have put it down. The main problem for me is that I didn't care about him. I wasn't interested in his life. Instead of reflecting any real development in his character, it was a travel log that just didn't interest me. If I had read this book in 1951 when it was originally published, or if I were young during those days, perhaps it would be more meaningful to me as I could possibly relate to the cultural changes and how jazz, drugs, and poetry were beginning to have a larger impact on the nation. But as I was born in 1980, I didn't connect. I'm normally not so shallow as to say that if it doesn't relate to me, it's trash. Even so, critiquing only literary aspects of the novel, it was flat. I didn't feel there was anything special about the writing and so I depended on the story...and I just didn't do it for me. A big disappointing "Ugh!" from me, which is all too bad. 10,000 Maniacs made it all seem much more intriguing than the book really was. And though he's written others, this one is deemed his most famous and best...and if this is the best, I'm done. Sorry Jack. I'm sure you're a good guy though.


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