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Friday, December 31, 2010

A Year In Review

Anna. 
Ensign Ranch.
I miss you Mom. 
Farewell Kansas. 
Welcome to Washington. 
2 months without Ken.
Home School.  
Clarinet. 
Violin.
Piano. 
Organ.
Braces. 
Laundry. 
3 1/2 months of summer vacation. 
The Forgotten Carols. 
2 youth temple trips. 
Bon fires and smores.
Beating my Dad at Othello. 
Personal Progress. 
I hate cats. 
Camp pants x 13. 
Aprons x 9. 
Dresses & Skirts x 34. 
Swimming in the lake and river. 
Goodbye Animal.
tornado season. 
Lists. 
Stay at home mom...again. 
Ward Organist.
Private blog. 
New friends. 


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fun things I may or may not have done today.

  • made 3 black apple dolls
  • researched amish balls and how to make them
  • cut out a secret project to be announced at a later date
  • received a brand new clarinet in the mail for Nicole
  • vacuumed the whole front room with the hose (on the vacuum) (the belt is broken)
  • ate nachos at the mexican restaurant with Matthew
  • did not rotate the laundry
  • did not take the trash out
  • served cereal to my children for dinner. KIX! The horror.
  • made a list of fun things I should blog about
  • mended suit pants and pajama pants
  • played playdoh
  • went on a church tour with the missionaries. (our church)
  • missed 4 phone calls
  • showered at 1 pm
  • researched new cameras on the internet
  • did not learn more about the adoption credit
  • looked up addresses of some of my friends and found them on google maps.
  • also looked up addresses of temples and found them on google maps.
  • researched a town I'd like to move to one day. If I go there I can learn how to make stuffed birds and my friend can learn how to sew dresses.
  • thought about other ways to stalk people
I think that's all.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I LOVE SEWING!

Here are 5 of the dresses I've made this holiday season.  I've had a couple people ask me to post them. It's been fun making them.

This dress is for my niece, Sarah. She'll be 1 in a few days.

 This dress is for my friends daughter. I have to get it in the mail.
 This dress is for Anna for her 5th birthday in July. I made it yesterday.
 This is one of Anna's church dresses.
 This is another one of Anna's church dresses.
There you have it! Photos taken with my cell phone, sorry for poor picture quality.

ps, the books I got Christmas are To The Rescue - President Thomas S. Monson's biography and The Remarkable Soul of a Woman by President Dieter F Uchtdorf.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

P.C.D.

Post Christmas Depression...
Here are the facts.

  • My face is cultivating a zit farm.
  • I feel the need to go shopping for birthdays, Valentine's Day, Ensign Ranch, (my side of the family celebrates Christmas in January) Easter and of course, Christmas.
  • I've taken the tree down and all the decorations, yet tinsel is showing up everywhere...in the laundry, the bathroom, tangled in the vacuum cleaner. It's sweet.
  • I have a lot of work to do and all I want to do is read my new books.
  • I have a top secret plan taking place at this very moment which is and will give me great joy for years to come.
  • I'm really thankful it didn't snow again. Not that it was in the forecast or anything, I just loathe driving in the snow. I love that its been pouring buckets of rain. A beautiful green Christmas was exactly what I've needed for a few years now.
  • My brother, Adam and his family are on their way to my house. They'll be here an hour or so. Cassie and I are going to JoAnn's to buy fabric and make dresses for her daughter, Kaylee. I love going to JoAnn's, making dresses and Kaylee!
  • I made four pounds of BBQ pork this week. Tonight we will feast on Pork Fried Rice and four pounds of BBQ pork with Chinese mustard of course.
I think that's about it. Happy week after Christmas!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Pictures in their entirety...

I'm pretty sure Santa broke my camera. Why you ask? Because I took pictures of my kids last night opening their obligatory Christmas Eve photo receiving new pajamas. Santa took pictures of the kids' things all laid out nicely and of the tree with their presents from Ken and me. Then this morning when I turned on my camera to take pictures of them opening their gifts, there was a lens error. After spending time researching the error on the internet and trying all their 'fixes' we have come to the conclusion, that the camera is indeed dead.  It is a sad day.

This year we did Christmas morning a little differently and I really liked it so we will continue it next year...I think. After Santa filled their stockings and set out his gift to the kids, he ate his treat and took off. Normally he sorts all the gifts from under the tree so the kids wake up to a big pile of loot. This morning, the look was under the tree.

Their 'piles'  were smaller and I thought they looked very nice. Then the kids sat by their things, went through their stockings, then we handed them one gift at a time, which they opened one at a time. We continued this until all was opened. Maybe your family has always done it this way. If so, you're a genius!

Below are the photos we were able to take before Santa broke the camera. :)

note to self; don't make pajama shirts for Nicole and Matthew anymore. Just buy a three dollar t-shirt.






R.I.P beautiful canon PC1309.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I just wanted to stop in and with all of you a Merry Christmas. Our motto this year when shopping has been 'Something you want, something you need, something handmade and something to read.' I feel it has been a success. Each of the kids have 8 presents to unwrap including the Christmas Eve gift (pajamas) their gift from Santa and gifts from Ken and me. Next year we will narrow it down to 4. I learned to saying a little too late in the season, but it helped me from going even more overboard.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas. See you in a couple days. I have some books I'll be reading.

Dedra

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Procrastination or Bust

My Dad read my list of ideas to do while procrastinating and he thought it was all too much work. So, here are some things I have done today while I was not sewing the projects that must be done by Friday.


  • play Tetris on facebook
  • take a nap on the couch
  • practice the piano
  • eat all the rice krispy treats on the goody plate from your V.T.
  • video the kids dancing with no rhythm
Dad, here are some things you can do while you aren't working on whatever it is that you need to be doing. (Christmas shopping maybe?)
  • Do a sudoku puzzle.
  • Eat some of your pistachios from last year. A new crop is sure to be on it's way.
  • Have a piece of licorice out of your church bag.
  • Clip your toenails.
  • Make a loaf of french bread.
  • Research the adoption credit for me.
  • Download ringtones for each of the kids so you know who's calling.
  • Take pictures of things on your cell and text them to Gina.
  • Watch an episode of M*A*S*H.
  • Have some chips and salsa.
  • Make some popcorn.
Okay, get crackin!

An 8 year gap

I am number four of eight children. There is a nineteen year five month gap between number one and number eight. I have three sisters. One is eight years older than me, one is eight years younger than and one is five years older. [I have spelled out a lot of numbers!] Garen, number five also has about an eight years difference between  oldest and youngest brother but I don't have his perspective so I don't know how the age gap affected him.

This is how it has affected [or influenced] me.

Wendi is the best big sister you could ask for. Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he sent her first. She is patient, kind and understanding.

My very first 'road trip' [from Meridian, Idaho to Ontario, Oregon] without parents was with Wendi. She was fourteen, I was six. It was one of the best days of my life. We were gone until it was dark outside.

As a child she taught me my Articles of Faith, made sure I read my scriptures each night (at the expense of the binding on her scriptures,) took me places and simply cared. We had many talks in the evenings that brought comfort and made memories. She also fixed my hair before school clear through 2nd grade.

When I was in Kindergarten I shared a room with Heather and Wendi had her own room. I LOVED being in there. She kept it under lock and key but she gave me a key. I would go in her room when she wasn't home and sit on her bed and look around. It was exactly the kind of bedroom I wanted to have when I was bigger.

When I was in second grade Gina was born. She is 8 years younger. I was given the same opportunity Wendi was to be the best big sister to Gina that Wendi was to me. There was only one problem. [Or three.] I am not patient, kind or understanding.

I secretly took pride in teasing Gina. I made fun of her, teased her friends, caused her bad dreams and pulled her hair when I fixed it.

When we shared a room I made her clean it herself. Sometimes we would 'exercise' in our room - dance around to a couple of songs and then eat beef jerky.

It's not secret, she bugged me big time and I am not good at hiding my true feelings. Good or bad.

Luckily, Gina became a human in the last 5 or so years and we are good friends.

Why am I telling you this?
Nicole and Anna are  8 years apart.
History is repeating itself...again.

Here are the facts from the last 39 days.

Nicole plays dolls with Anna, helps her pick her clothes out and sometimes fixes her hair.  They don't share blankets on the bed. Sometimes she reads to her.

Anna gets in Nicole's things things, copies everything she says and has found many of Nicole's 'buttons' - and pushes them.

This morning I was woken up by them arguing with each other...again. They don't share blankets because Nicole is a blanket hog and Anna sleeps sideways. Apparently Anna had kicked all her blankets to the foot of the bed and was trying to get Nicole's. This caused them both to start crying and feel frustrated. Ken went in [because he was already awake] and told one of them to come get in bed with me. I had to disclose the fact that I was awake when I told them neither of them could get it in my bed. They had to work it out or get up.

They didn't work it out so I told them to get up and get their room picked up. Five minutes later Anna was up and bouncing down the hall. [She bounces everywhere.] I called for Nicole to get out of bed and Anna copied what I said, also telling Nicole to get up. I reminded Anna that the kids don't like it when she copies me like this then I went down the hall to get Nicole up. I walked into her room, turned on her light and told her to wake up. Her response,

'I'm not sleeping. I'm taking deep breaths.'

I totally get that.

So far Nicole appears to be a happy medium between Wendi the older sister and Dedra the older sister. I haven't seen blatant torture occurring but I also never made Wendi cry.  Nicole reads to Anna and tells her to leave her alone. [not in the same sitting.] They like to dress alike. Nicole told me a couple weeks ago she wants to move out and without missing a breath Anna asked if she could keep the bed.

I've been a mom of two for eleven years. The banter that comes with it is not new to me. Throwing Anna into the mix has changed the dynamic. I like it.

Matthew is asking when we are getting another boy.

We're not.  :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I've got your back.

Once upon a time I wrote a long list swear words for my Mom because she 'didn't even know what to say.' That list was not appreciated the way it should have been. (click here for the recap.)

Today I have a friend who is in procrastination mode. Well, I'm here for her! Although this is an unsolicited list of ideas, I feel a need to share them with her. I'm hoping thinking it might be taken with a better spirit.


  • Read your Ensign, New Era or Friend. My new issue came today.
  • Make a list of excellent ideas of where to hide your pickle ornament this year.
  • Look up 'The Elf on the Shelf.' (I wish I would have known about this about 8 years ago!
  • Check Craigslist for a bass clarinet. (Seattle doesn't have one. I've been watching.)
  • Sew! Although it would be avoiding procrastination, it is more fun that the paper work that needs done.
  • Make me a sandwich.
  • Look up the adoption credit and give me a review.
  • Make me one of these please. My friend called it a snuggie with more mystery and romance. I. Want. One. 
  • Watch Napoleon Dynamite.
  • Read 'The Best Christmas Pageant Ever' (I typed pagan first one accident.)
that is all. you are welcome.

Stuff and Things

Post 501 is kind of like the day after Christmas. All the fun is over and it's just a something I do. Lame.


  • I have received a few emails from a friend of mine and the subject is often Stuff and Things. I love that title. Welcome to my first 'Stuff and Things' post. A tradition I am sure to maintain for sometime.
  • I have A LOT of sewing to do today...or tomorrow. Or Between the hours of 10pm and 3 am on Christmas Eve. I'll decide later.
  • My bedroom is an overwhelming mess to me. The whole rest of the house looks great. Even the kids' bedrooms are picked up. Mine?  sigh Today I will give it 15 minutes of my attention and see what comes of it. If I don't see improvements soon, I'm catching it on fire.
  • Do you remember all my OCDs about death? I remembered another one. As much as I don't care about celebrities, their lives, political views or the choices they make, I totally keep up on who dies. I love the tribute videos at the end of the year and whenever I hear about someone famous dying I go in and read everything I can about it. We don't have television in our home and I'm really bad about keeping up with the current events. I just read last night that Elizabeth Edwards passed away - about 2 weeks ago. I'm a little sad about that! She was a really great woman even if she was married to a dirt bag.
  • When I was in first grade I had a dentist appointment to get a cavity filled. After it was done my dentist wrote me a prescription. It was for a free milkshake from the ice cream factory. My dad took me there after we left the dentist. It was my first milkshake that didn't come from Ken's Burger Den.
  • I finally hung out family pictures on the walls. I actually did it on Friday. I'm thankful I didn't hang the pictures of Nicole and Matthew until after Anna got here and we had a picture of her. Three frames in a row look very nice. We don't have a family photo yet but I hung our current one and put a 4*6 of Anna with it. It will work until we get a new picture taken, hopefully soon.
  • We bought new couches in October. They are super cute and I love they fabric. They are also poorly made. We special ordered them from England Furniture, the same way we did 12 years ago when we bought our first set. Their quality has not been maintained. At 2 months old they look like we've had them for 2 years and we are not rough on our furniture. We are sending the couches back.
  • I have been informed that I am on the naughty list.
  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is one of my favorite books. The first time I heard it I was in 3rd grade and my teacher read it to us. I think it was also read to my class in 5th grade. Since then I have read it a handful of times. I checked it out from the library last night and then read it after the kids were asleep. I love it even more now. I'm going to read it to my kids over the next couple of days and maybe make it a tradition. It is better than any of the Christmas movies I have watched this year.
  • Happy 4 more days until Christmas.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holy Smokes Batman! 500 POSTS!!


In honor of my 500th post, I'm going to share with you a couple of our family's favorite holiday recipes. We have been making treats lately, both for some of the people Ken and I visit for church and for Ken's work party which we hosted in our home on Friday evening. These 2 recipes happen to  be what we leave for Santa each year. Sweet and Savory truly is the best!

Garlic Rolls

1 package cream cheese, softened
1 cup real bacon bits
5 or 6 garlic cloves, pressed
'leaves' from 1 one bunch of cilantro, chopped
flour tortillas

In a bowl mix together cream cheese, bacon bits, garlic and cilantro until well blended. 

Spread evenly over flour tortillas. [I usually get 5 or 6 tortillas.] 
Roll tortillas and if necessary use a toothpick to hold it together. 

Refrigerate for a couple hours or until time to serve. 

Right before serving slice tortillas fairly thin-a little more than a quarter inch thick. Delish!
[sorry, no photo.]

Oreo Truffles
1 package cream cheese softened
1 package oreo cookies. [The recipe calls for double stuff, I buy regular. You choose for you.]
Melting chocolate

Crush all your cookies in a food processor, with a rolling pin, or in a plastic ziplock that you run over with the car. [We've tried all 3 ways. Food processor is the fastest, car is the funnest, rolling pin is too much work.]

Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cookie mixture and mix the rest with the cream cheese until well blended.

Roll into little balls and freeze overnight. Next day melt your chocolate, dip the 'rolls' in chocolate and before it's set up sprinkle with the reserved cookie. [Freezing the truffle just makes it easier to dip and helps the chocolate to set up more quickly. You do need to chill them so they don't melt into a blob when they hit the warm chocolate.]


Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm not going to blog right now.

I was going to share with you the highlights of the last couple of days but I'm not feeling well again. My throat cleared up for 5 days and has started to hurt again. And I want to throw up. That being said, I'm going to go back to bed and I'll update tonight. adios.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Today, December 15, 2010

*I ate too many chips with salsa at the mexican restaurant.

*I put Anna's ponytail in 10 rollers. Tomorrow it's going to be really curly.

*We fed the kids dinner after they were supposed to be in bed.

*Then Nicole and I watched a movie.

*Matthew got his 6th grade sweatshirt with all the names on the back. He LOVES it.

*Anna put teeth marks in the skipbo cards.

*Nicole had a mean band sub who wouldn't let them sit in chairs.

*Ken and I went on a date to Costco.

*I ate my oatmeal with my lunch (pbj) because I forgot about it.

*I never rotated the laundry.

*Matthew didn't have bad breath at bedtime.

*I had a good day.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Virtual Christmas Card.

I am lame. I am cheap.

These 2 previous sentences are the reason I am not sending out Christmas cards. Most of the people who care about our family read this here blogdango. Those who may not know about it will get a paper copy of the amazingly fantastic poem I'm going to write in a minute.

That being said, Merry Christmas! Here is our Christmas card/letter;


It seems we've all gathered together again,
To celebrate the end of 2010.
Join us as we speak of this year,
With love, laughter & Christmas cheer.

Matthew is 11 and loves his airplanes,
He's happy outside, even when it rains.
Reading, violin and how to take flight,
Keep his attention 'til late in the night.

Nicole is 12 and learning to cook,
She'd rather sew or draw, than read a book.
Piano and clarinet - her musical choices,
In choir she adds to the beautiful voices.

Dedra's at home, teaching 7th grade,
Doing laundry and getting dinner made.
Ward organist is her current 'job',
Writing poems is currently her hob...by.

Ken's job is an undertaker,
Funerals for the Christian, Agnostic and Quaker.
Ward Mission Leader is his calling,
Exchanges, discussions and Elder's he's hauling.

The very best part of 2010?
Our family has finally grown again!
Anna Rebekah is 4 years old.
Adopting a child is worth more than gold.

May 2011 bring you peace and plenty.
May your hardships be few,
And your blessings many.

Merry Christmas!
Ken, Dedra, Nicole, Matthew and Anna

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Slacker

I have been informed by Nicole and Matthew that I am not blogging correctly. Apparently I don't make enough lists and my posts are boring. (more by Matthew than Nicole)

I'd like to apologize to them! In honor of this recent chastisement I have scanned their blog and I'm going to make lists to copy theirs. I love making lists.

Here goes something amazing, I am sure.

(As titled by Matthew)

My top 10 favoret songs (I love many more than this, I think this is a good assortment.)
1. Sissy's Songs by Alan Jackson
2. I just haven't met you yet by Michael Buble
3. Beautiful Noise by Neil Diamond
4. Jingle Bells by Sandler and Young (LISTEN TO THIS ONE!)
5. Popular from the musical Wicked
6. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing performed by the MoTab
7. Row Row Row Your Boat performed by the Backyardigans (LISTEN TO THIS ONE TOO!)
8. Caledonia performed by Celtic Thunder
9. Till You Love Me by Reba McEntire
10. The House That Built Me by Miranda Lambert

8 things why I love airplanes
1. I love that they can get us from one place to another much quicker than driving.
2. I love the interest Matthew has in them.
3. Some of the paint jobs are pretty cool.
4. I like that the windows can't pop out while at 15,000 feet, resulting in instant death.
5. I like the gps screens that show you where you are as you fly.
6. You get a free soda while you fly.
7. I love landing. Not the decent, but actually being on the ground again.
8. Fact: I don't love airplanes or flying. It scares me like crazy and I'm scared the whole time we are in the air.
The End.

Dear Matthew, you don't blog enough period! I love you.

(As titled by Nicole)

12 things I like about Anna

  • She is innocent.
  • She doesn't know I don't know everything...yet.
  • She has a great imagination.
  • Everything is her favorite.
  • Her laugh and smile are contagious
  • She loves to help
  • She loves bedtime...at 6:30.
  • She is strong. She has been through so much and seems to be adjusting better than one could ever be expected to.
  • She thinks ever letter in 'H' and ever number is '11'.
  • She says everything I make for her is 'nummy'. Her favorite is fish!
  • She has excellent manners and is very polite. I credit her adoptive parents for this.
  • She has filled a void in my heart that I didn't know could be filled.

(I've added these but I'm going to make my kids blog them too!

12 things I like about Nicole

  • She is a self starter.
  • She is honest and obedient
  • She is obsessed with the weather and natural disasters, addicted to the weather channel and accuweather.com. (She keeps a running list of the 7 day forecast and gives us reports at dinner. Then she checks it everyday to see if they were correct in their predictions.)
  • She is selfless. I've seen her give up things she loves to make someone else happy.
  • She loves to practice the clarinet and the piano.
  • Her obsession with time keeps my schedule clear and precise.
  • Her testimony of the gospel is growing rapidly right now. She loves personal progress and it working on it constantly, without nudging!
  • She loves making lists and checking things off. 
  • Watching her change from a little girl to a young woman makes my heart swell with joy and a feel a little sad too. 
  • She has started singing in the choir and has a lovely soprano voice...not opera or screechy like when I was 12. She does a nice job.
  • She has be creating clothing for her Barbie lately.  She doesn't like Barbie or playing with Barbies, but she loves sewing for her!
  • She makes me so happy! I am thankful my first child was a girl. We didn't know she wasn't a boy until after she was born. It was the biggest surprise of my life.

12 things I like about Matthew

  • He LOVES all things gross and stinky.
  • He calls me mother when he's trying to get my attention.
  • He still snuggles and wants kisses - everyday.
  • He hates practicing the violin and piano but has quit complaining about it and just gets it done.
  • He loves to learn and every night when I tuck him in he tries to teach me something new.
  • He thinks Grandpa Anderson, my dad, is rich because he has a water jug fill of change.
  • He sings really loud and off key. He likes to turn beautiful songs into something horrible.
  • He can sew fairly well. He made Nicole a pair of pants this summer and she wears them all the time.
  • He doesn't care about what he wears but he combs his hair everyday.
  • His Christmas stocking is made from his baby blanket, named piggy. In 2006, when the threads were all going one way, I salvaged a small part of it to make that stocking. I found new 'piggy' fabric, made him a new blanket and told him it was piggy's cousin. He rejected it. In October 2007 he lost his original piggy on a trip to Utah. He now sleeps with and loves piggy's cousin just as much as he ever loved piggy. He'll be 12 in June.
  • He LOVES airplanes. A LOT!
  • Children are difficult to come by in our home. I never knew I wanted a boy and as soon as this little guy was born I knew I could never live without him. He truly is my BEST boy.


(Back to Nicole's lists)

8 things I love about Washington
1. Rain, Rain and more Rain!
2. I live less than 4 hours from all but 1 sibling, my Dad, many of my aunts, uncles, cousins and my Grandpa.
3. Tall evergreen trees are my favorite.
4. 8 lane freeways
5. I can breath better here...literally. I have a lot less allergies in the beautiful evergreen state.
6. From my house, there are 2 LDS temples withing 2 hours of driving. The Seattle temple is only an hour and 10 minutes in good traffic.
7. Good radio stations
8. This is my home. There's no place like home!

Monday, December 13, 2010

When I grow up I want to be a stay at home mom.

Here are some things I have encountered lately as I carry out my life's ambition to stay at home.

Huge wads of toilet paper (thankfully clean) have been randomly showing up in the kids bathroom and the hallway. This started approximately November 18, 2010. We aren't sure of the culprit yet. :) I did suggest to one of my children that it's a good idea to stop playing with the TP. We'll see how it goes.

I helped Matthew clean his room today. I found a casket a key, an ID tag for a dead person (which Matthew made for himself last time he went to work with Ken, including his day of death - which thankfully has already passed,) and the top half of a sock. Apparently there was a big whole in the sock so he cut the bottom off and said the top part fit perfectly on his arm. There were several other 'gems' but those I thought deserved mentioning.

I am not a psychic. I don't have eyes in the back of my head. BUT, I know when you are sneaking out of your bedroom to play in the water in the bathroom. How do I know? I can HEAR you!

Nicole can almost play 'I Lived in Heaven' perfectly. She's been practicing it a lot. I'm so excited for her!

Matthew brought me a polaroid of him at age 1 at the Mexican Restaurant in a sombrero. He asked me if he was a Mexican. I told him yes. He started counting in Spanish but couldn't remember 10. (Diez) I told him he was a dumb Mexican. He called me a racist.

Being a stay at home as a child meant I got to stay home from school and watch TV all day, even though my mom did A LOT more than that during her life as a stay at home mom. The laundry was always done! folded and put away too.

Being a stay at home mom as a stay at home as the mom means cleaning up the same messes over and over again, day after day. Always having 2 more loads of laundry to do and wanting to take a nap way more often than you actually get to. It means hugging your child goodbye in the morning, missing him all day when he's gone and being so excited when he gets back home at the end of the school day while working on 7th grade at home and learning everything you can about fractions, number lines, graphs and grammar during my school day. Recently I've re-added teaching the alphabet, musical alphabet, counting and coloring in the lines to my list of requirements.

I'm so tired I can't keep my eyes open. It's 100 times more work than I did when I worked full time in the classroom. It pays A LOT less.

I'm pretty happy with my position.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

YouTube Videos.

This post is packed with a whole lot of NO INFORMATION. Unless you count awesome YouTube Videos I've stumbled across as awesome information. I for one, do!  Please give up a few minutes of your life to watch a couple YouTube Videos. Some of them you may already know. I don't think you'll be disappointed in any of them. Thanks and have a good day!

If you only have time for 1, the first one is my most favorite. I've watched is A LOT this week.







Well, what do you think?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

FAQ

Some of you may have noticed my clever profile description written by my clever self.

 I am a Wife to 1, Mother to 4,
Daughter to 2, Sister to 7, Aunt to 23,
Niece to 20 and a friend too.
Amway Jason from the Gym
is NOT one of those friends!

The FAQ I will address today is Who is Amway Jason from the gym.

When we lived in Great Bend, Matthew had a friend in his class named Matthew. They liked to play together after school. They also liked to greet each other. Hi Matthew! Hi Matthew! How's it going Matthew? Great Matthew! See ya later Matthew! Bye Matthew!  They thought they were sooo clever. I actually thought so too. 

One evening, approximately 1 day before Thanksgiving, my Matthew C was playing over at Matthew E's house. Ken went to pick him up. He was there for a loooong time. When he got home he told he had made a new best friend. He said Matthew's dad is so funny. They have so much in common. I invited them over for dinner. Tonight. (Me: WHAT?!?!?!!?!?)

That evening Matthew's family came over for dinner. His mom was really nice. A manager at Walmart and a hard worker. His older brother was a 15 year old teenage boy. He didn't really want to be at our house and we didn't really have anything to offer him for entertainment except our Xbox. He kindly deleted all our profiles and made his own. He had a little sister who was 4 years old. We all know how awesome 4 year old girls are. I just wasn't interested in 4 year old girls that evening, so we allowed her to torture Nicole the whole evening. His dad, Jason, was a whole other story. He walked in telling really bad jokes and laughing hysterically at them. He kept telling me how uncanny is was that he and Ken were so much alike. (They are nothing alike.)  He was self employed and spent much of time managing the 6 games on facebook that was publicly addicted to.

Oh, the whole time this conversation was taking place, Ken wasn't home. A lady decided to die and he got a free ticket out of this impromptu dinner party.

When they left LATE that evening (past midnight) I kindly informed Ken that he and Jason were NOTHING alike and then I told him I'd pray for him so he might get a better sense of self.

Time went on and Ken invited their family over for dinner a couple more times but sadly they couldn't come because being a manager at Walmart during the Christmas season left little room for eating dinner in stranger's homes.

During this same time, Ken and I decided that we were going to give weight loss another go and join the local gym. We successfully joined the gym and unsuccessfully accomplished weight loss. Ironically, Matthew E's parents had a membership to the same gym! While Ken and Jason used the elliptical machines, Jason educated Ken about this amazing sports drink he was using. He asked Ken in if he's be interested in trying and Ken said sure. There was just one catch. It couldn't be bought in stores. Luckily, Jason has a business on the side, (because his main focus was facebook) and we could buy the sports drink from Jason. Ken thought that was interesting and asked what the business was. The answer...Amway.  Actually, quickstar, but it's the same business with a new name, all internet based.

Ken listened to his spill, speel, speal ? (no idea, help Rhonda!) I told Ken NO WAY. We weren't buying from him, I wasn't talking to him, we aren't going to his house to listen to a meeting, I don't want to borrow a CD. Jason was relentless.

Each evening when Ken and I would go to the gym, we would take 2 cars because if Jason was there I wasn't going in. Hence the name, Amway Jason from the gym.

Every year we have a New Years Eve party. (Except this year, our first year in 10+ years w/o having one.) We invited some of our friends from the ward and their families. It is a child friendly party. About 4 days before the party Ken told me he invited Matthew E's family. I was really mad. See response to when he invited them over to dinner the first time.  Ken told me not to worry, he didn't think they would be able to make it. I felt a little relieved but not completely. On the day of the party, Ken told me he'd finally heard back from Jason. Their kids were going to spend New Years Eve with some of their friends and his wife had to work late, but he would be able to make it.

He.Came. Alone.

Our plan was to play Apples to Apples, eat a lot of food, laugh a lot and then at midnight ring in the new year and say good night to our guests by 12:15. Sometimes this happens, sometimes the party goes till 5am. We were hoping for the first because of AJFTG, not our other friends who are completely fun and awesome.

The party started at 9. Only one other family was able to make because in a ward with large boundaries you don't always live just down the street from your friends. We did live down the street from most of our friends, those streets just happened to be 20-45 miles long.

Jason showed up almost on time. Through out the entire, LOOOONG evening, he kept telling us how hyper he was feeling. He would tell jokes, that weren't funny, and laugh at himself. Then he would explain that he is normally funnier and he didn't seem to understand what was happening. Maybe it was because he was so hyper.

He successfully ruined a game of Apples to Apples. It was NOT fun. At. All.

Finally, midnight came. Our friends ditched us with this guy at 12:01 am.  Okay, about a quarter after.  Then all that was left, was Jason. The horror!  At 1 in the morning, when he was still talking, Ken sat down on the couch, and FELL ASLEEP! Leaving ever so eloquent and caring me to listen to this guy. Faking interest is not my strong suit. If I don't care, I. Don't. Care! At 1:30, I woke Ken up and told him to go to bed. Then said I was going to go to bed also. Jason kept talking....At 2, Ken stood up and walked down the hall, leaving me alone. Again. At 2:15 I stood up, opened the door and said to Jason, It's been real. Have a good night. I'm tired.

He left 5 minutes later. I slammed the door...on accident. But I was happy it closed so loudly.

I tried to never speak to him again. When I accidentally saw him at the gym, I turned the other way immediately. I wore ear phones, even when I didn't have my music.

I am not Christ like.

And that, is the rest of the story.

ps, I'm going to write a book series kind of like Curious George.

AMJFTG goes to Walmart
AMJFTG does Disneyland
AMJFTG gets fired from facebook.

I like the sound of it.

The stuffed plush will be of a guy who wears high tops with gray sweats and dirty T-shirts. Reddish brown hair and a greasy face.

Anyone with deep pockets interested in backing this venture? Call me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

25 of the most interesting facts you could ever wish to learn

My SIL tagged me. Gracias Andrea.

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged.

1. I have a pathological fear of waterfalls. They freak me out! Last week I took the kids to North Bend and we left town a different way. I  missed my turn and ended up by Snoqualmie Falls. I had a panic attack. I was really scared.

2. I am a little OCD. I wish it was in a good way like having to have a super clean house but it's not. I can't go to sleep at night until all the doors are locked. Sometimes I have to get up 2 or 3 times to make sure they are locked, even when I locked them myself. I can't really explain why. I also check on the kids a few times before I finally fall asleep.

3. The other thing I'm OCD about is the fear of death. Ironic because of Ken's profession, I know. Ever since my grandma died when I was 11 years old I've been terrified about losing friends and family members. At night when I say my prayers sometimes the fear will be so intense that I can't sleep until I have prayed for each member of my family by name, including parents, brothers and sisters, their spouses, their children and sometimes aunts, uncles and cousins. I've been so scared of death for so long that losing my child and my mom were actually not as bad as I thought they would be, even though both events have been life altering for me.

4.Fabric softener makes me feel claustrophobic. Nothing like a downy soft towel to make it difficult for me to breathe and need to wash my hands or take another shower. I don't fabric soften my clothing. (more OCD? maybe)

5. I love to sew. I know I've said this before. But it's true! I love finding fabric and creating things with it. I love that I can make my own patterns and that they actually work! Store patterns are like recipes for me. Guidelines to help my creativity take over.

6. When I was a junior in high school my friends and I went bush jumping. There was a huge bush on the church grounds and after mutual one night we took turns running and jumping into it. It was fun.

7. I wish I knew my cousins better...on both sides of my family.

8. I take pretty much everything personally. Most times I can get over it quickly. I really do care.

9. I was uninvited to a private blog...of a relative.

10. I like tall skinny Christmas trees as opposed to full and fluffy ones.

11. This year for Christmas as well as all Christmases to come my motto when shopping for my family will be:
Something they want.
Something they need.
Something handmade and
Something to read.

More stuff does not make it more magical.
(taken from someones status update on facebook)

12. I don't know how to knit or crochet.

13. I love to throw parties and have people over. I don't love cleaning my house and getting ready for said parties.

14. I have 2 original paintings, painted by my grandma. I treasure both of them.

15. I love going on road trips to places I've never been. Spontaneity only makes them more fun.

16. I wear my bathrobe over my clothes. A lot. It is long and fleece and it keeps me warmer than a sweatshirt. I call it my fancy coat...an obvious misnomer.

17. I am going to see my niece get baptized on Saturday. I'm going to ask her sister, my older niece to repaint my toe nails. She did them a couple months ago and they now look like a french manicure. It's pretty special.

18. I'm in a book club and I never read the assigned book. We have a meeting today.

19. My favorite kind of snowman is the kind that are on green grass because all the snow around them melted.

20. I could easily become a person that never leaves their house. I love being at home and with my family. A random road trip here or there is, of course, acceptable and encouraged.

21. When I'm done with this blog, I'm going to fold 3 loads of laundry. I'm willing to bet there isn't a pair of matching socks in the pile.

22. Did I tell you I read the Great and Terrible book series? 6 books, they were a little too suspenseful for me but I finished them. I hated the ending. Did anyone read them that wants to discuss it?

23. I'm starting to get excited for Christmas...finally. I got a note from Santa and he told me he's ready to deliver his gifts to our home. Now I need to finish getting my part of the presents purchased.

24. When I get too cold I dry heave and throw up.

25. I am consistently inconsistent.

bonus

berber carpet is my favorite.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In other news

We bought a new can opener.

After much debate and actually trying out a couple different can openers, we narrowed our decision down to the pampered chef can opener and the red kitchenaid can opener.

I really liked the pampered chef can opener. A lot. Then yesterday I got a coupon in the mail for Kohls. $10 off a purchase of $10 dollars or more. Ken and I went last night and found the kitchenaid can opener on sale there. With our coupon, we got it for $4.75. As a bonus it matches my kitchenaid mixer. I think I need the toaster now.

Nerd Fest 2010

I LOVE MATH! It's seriously my FAVORITE!

Today while I was teaching math to Nicole I came across a chart filled with tricks for figuring out single digit factors of divisibility.  I knew the tricks for 2, 5, 9 and 10 (which is not a single digit...I know.) BUT, I did not know there are tricks for 3,4,6 and 8. SO, I'm going to share the awesomeness with you! You are welcome.

TESTS FOR DIVISIBILITY
a number can be divided by...
2   if the last digit can be divided by 2.
4   if the last two digits can be divided by 4.
8   if the last three digits can be divided by 8.
5   if the last digit is 0 or 5.
10 if the last digit is 0.
3   if the sum of the digits can be divided by 3.
6   if the number can be divided by 2 and 3.
9   if the sum of the digits can be divided by 9 (or if the equal nine with adding all numbers until a single digit. 2439 2+4+3+9=18 1+8=9.)

There is no simple test for divisibility by 7.  LAME!

But how awesome is that?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Quotes from our home to yours...

  • Please don't use Matthew's toothbrush...again.
  • Please don't use Nicole's toothbrush...again.
  • Please use your own toothbrush!
  • You're a good friend most of the time.
  • Don't stretch your mouth out.
  • Santa is giving you a spanking for Christmas.
  • I want to move out.
  • I'd like Santa to fill my stocking with chapstick. Response...I want mine filled with a beaver.
  • I just bought myself the best present of MY LIFE! (It cost more than was spent on gifts for the whole family by said quoter.)
  • I'm on the superior list for Christmas. That's why I'm so cool.
  • Matthew is the best puppy we've ever had.
Favorite quotes from Christmas movies we've watched this season...

Lucy: I know how you feel about all this Christmas business, getting depressed and all that. It happens to me every year. I never get what I really want. I always get a lot of stupid toys or a bicycle or clothes or something like that.


Charlie Brown: What is it you want?

Lucy: Real estate.
***
We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. - Buddy the Elf
***
I thought maybe we could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands. - Buddy the Elf
***
Nothing out of the ordinary to report. I think I've had strep but it didn't click until day ELEVEN of having a sore throat. I figured it would just get better soon. I am starting to feel better finally.
 
ttfn

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Merry Christmas Momma!

To fully understand this post, if you haven't been reading my blog for a while, just click on the label 'Willow Tree Figurines'.

The short version, My mom thought willow tree figurines were creepy because they don't have faces.


 The last picture I had taken with my mom. January 22, 2010. Cancer has already metastisized. We didn't know. She was gone 34 days later.

Walking on broken glass

Once upon a time, last Christmas, I didn't have any Christmas spirit. I was looking at the same ornaments on the same tree that I'd been looking at for MANY years. To some this is comforting. To me, for many years, it was comforting. Not last year. I hated my tree. I hated the decorations. I wasn't happy with the weather. I didn't know what we were going to give the kids as gifts. It just wasn't a great year. Christmas kept getting closer and closer, as it always does, and I was not getting excited. I was homesick and unhappy.

Christmas morning arrived with little fanfare. We were woken up early by children who were excited and for the first time that season I was excited and happy! Then it was over. I was even more sad. I left my tree up until New Years Eve. I NEVER do that. I like it cleaned up on 12.26 before lunch.

When I finally got around to packing everything up I decided I was done with all the non-homemade ornaments. I had looked at them enough years. It was time to move on.

Some people donate old stuff when they are done with. We donate a lot of stuff we don't want anymore. But not breakables. Some people don't like the sound of broken glass and actually cringe a little. I LOVE IT!

It started when I was a baby. glass bottles + split entry stairwell with a rod iron railing = happy baby...until all the bottles were gone and mom didn't buy more. boo.

When we get new dishes, we find an empty dumpster and throw the glasses in one at a time. It's music to my ears.

I've digressed...30+ years!

Matthew got a bb gun for Christmas and was shooting at anything he thought he could get away with. When I was done packing all the Christmas stuff up, I asked him if he wanted to shoot the glass bulbs. Of course he did! We took over 20 minutes of video and I made it into a montage of sorts. The only thing missing was it the song, walking on broken glass. I was going to post the video from you tube so you could hear it, but the video is weird!   Anyway, here's the montage.

Hind sight, being perfect, I am glad I got rid of those old ornaments and we started something new this year. This is the first year with out my mom. I haven't actually spent Christmas with my family in many years, but I no longer the option with mom. This new tree, or the decorations rather, is (in my mind) a new start on an season that may never be the same for me.

That being said,
HAPPY FESTIVUS!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Tree then and now

by then, I mean at 6pm.
by now, I mean now.

Watch this video. It's of an ugly tree and a cute girl. gracias.



So I'm not going to say I love it now. It is definitely better. I can't actually believe we have a colored lights in our house. We haven't had any in over 10 years. Ken and I went on another date to walmart tonight and bought all the junk you are looking at now. good times. Also, take special note of our dinky little Christmas tree. I bought this tree when I was 17 to put in my room. We are too lame and cheap to replace it. We may have to soon though, because the kids are tall enough to know it's not big anymore. haha

First Things First

Here is a picture of Anna's Christmas stocking. 
Below is a picture of all three of the kids' stockings in a row.
That is all.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Update

  • Our walk through with the social worker was today at 1:15. It went perfectly. I cleaned like crazy for a couple hours before she showed up.
  • Our tree is decorated. I hate it. I don't regret shooting all our Christmas ornaments last year with Matthew using his bb gun, but I do dislike what the tree looks like right now. I'm searching for new ornaments that I will love.
  • I  made Anna's Christmas stocking today. It's super cute. I made it instead of cleaning house. That is why I was in a mad rush right up until the worker showed up.
  • Playing the pedals on the organ is not getting easier. (As I practice. I'm not brave enough to try during church...yet.)
questions or comments I have for some of my readers that I never remember to ask them when I'm on their blogs or facebook accounts.

Kate, how did the primary program go?

Ben and Liz, yes, Anna came to our family so we could be related in a few years. Anna already know she wants to be married in the temple. We can work out the logistics later. We still have some time.

Angie, thank you for the email and the song recommendation. I love that one and you are right, I love it even more right now.

Dear reader who never comments. Will you please comment so I know you are a reader. It's okay if we aren't friends. I stalk other people too.

Good night people, I'm going to eat pie and then go to sleep. It's only 7:19 pm. I am lame. I have friends in Kansas who are still up.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You threw off my groove.

Watch from 1:55-2:10 please...or you may watch the whole thing but take special note to those specific 15 seconds.


My groove has been thrown off.  Big Time. and I want a theme song.

Life has taken some amazing turns this month. It started out uneventful. We attended band concerts, parent teacher conferences and gone to the park a few times. (I consider going to the park with the same regard I use when speaking of band concerts and parent teacher conferences. I don't heart the park. At. All.) We've make cotton candy for the holiday bazaar at the school to earn money for the science club and we made it again at the church for the primary carnival. EIGHT people in our family had birthdays this month. I hosted the book club in my home and we've had some friends over for dinner. I'm still playing the organ in Sacrament Meeting but Ken got a new calling. Ward Mission Leader take 5. That's right people, it's his 5th run. (Insert evil laugh here.) All uneventful.

Going to bed on a Friday night after a full day of house cleaning, book club hosting and having friends over for dinner only to wake up to a call from my friend Becky--amazingly life altering.

We were gone for 5 days. We left in a rush after Ken went to the leadership broadcast at the church. While we were gone we met with the social worker and talked about home studies, walk threws and other boring but mandatory things. I told her I could just call my neighbor and have her let them in. I didn't even need to clean first, unless it's a against the rules to have one bedroom that looks like a hoarder lives there.  Another time, another post. Anyway, no walk through was necessary, we were able to come home.

We were home for FOUR days before I vacuumed again. Have I vacuumed since? Umm, that would be a big fat no. Laundry is piling up. School has been non existent. My explanation for that is winter weather and Nicole's had the flu, but still, we could have done something. My shower is happening later and later, there seem to be toys in every room in my house and I've have made a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
My friend Kelly described Anna as 'Just what I never knew I needed.' It's SO TRUE. It is awesome having 3 children. I thought since Nicole and Matthew were so much older that #3 wouldn't be as hard as everyone has told me. Maybe it hasn't been as hard as could be, but I still doubled my capacity by 50%.  It is hard. I'm repeatedly thankful she is 4 and done with bottles, diapers and all the comes with infants. I love 4 year olds. One 4 year old specifically.

I have been in contact with the social worker from Yakima County and one here in Thurston. They are going to do the walk threw of my house tomorrow. No big deal right? Don't even call, just come over. NOT ANYMORE! I'm freaking out. Now my whole house looks like a hoarder moved in. I will be cleaning all day today...if I can pull myself together.

Maybe I will take before and after pictures and somehow count this as a value experience for my personal progress.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

We left for my brother's house on Thursday morning at 10am. We just needed to make 1 quick stop by my sister's house on the way to drop off some music. The roads were clear and the drive was going by quickly.

Then I took their exit and the roads to my sister's home were not so good. There was snow floor and it was a little bit slick, but nothing I couldn't handle. When I turned onto the last road before her street they got a lot worse. I slowed down to about 25 MPH and still had to keep slowing. When we crossed the freeway overpass it was pure ice. We got off the over pass and I tapped my breaks to slow down so we didn't miss her street and the car was not stopping. I continued tapping the breaks and continued sliding. We missed her street and we weren't slowing down. I said a verbal prayer for help stopping the car as we were sliding down the hill and just before the road hit an even steeper grade our car came to a stop. It was clearly divine intervention.

I turned the car around and started back up the hill we just slid down and could not get enough traction to get up the hill. They say when you are moving a little bit, do not stop the car because you won't be able to get it going again. I was not moving a little bit. Tired were spinning and the car was fishtailing. I put the car in park, pulled the e-break and let Ken take over.

By this time, I was emotionally done. I can handle a lot of things, but car trouble and bad road conditions leaves me crying in the corner and seriously wanting a blanket. I was scared. When I got out of the car so Ken could drive it up the hill, I walked to my sister's street. I would not have been a comfort to my children, so I did not get back in the car. (I know this was probably not a comfort to my children either, but in my state of mind, I couldn't see that was the fact at the time. I know, I just earned another degree of crazy to my resume.)

I called my sister and told her we were stuck. She and her husband came in their truck to help us. A stranger came along and helped Ken push the car up the hill to Wendi's street and Matthew steered and gave the car gas. (The best day of his life if you ask him.) They got the car to her street, then Wendi, Larry, Matthew and I pushed it while Ken gave it gas, so we could get it onto the road. We drove to Wendi's house, I used to restroom and cried and prayed, and then we invited ourselves to Wendi's for Thanksgiving.  I called Ryan and let him know what happened and told him we weren't going to make it to his house.

We were disappointed but I didn't feel comfortable trying to get back to the freeway. I also knew we had 6 hours of above freezing weather ahead of us that day and that alone would improve conditions on the roads. My assumption was correct. The drive home was easy.

So we had an unexpected change of plans but we still got to spend time with family  We also got to eat with Wendi's mother in law, Linda. I've loved her since I met her when I was 14.  Larry's brother, Aaron and his family were there too. It was a fun day, filled with good eats and a lot of laughs.

Here are some pictures from the day.

We watched Toy Story 3. I had never seen it before and it was cute.

Zachary was really good with Anna. He played with her and helped her find things to do. It was fun to watch. She told us at bedtime that he's a good uncle. We're still working on cousins, brothers, uncles etc.






Devon doesn't like his picture taken. Here's his foot.
Nicole likes pie with her whoop cream.
 Ken and Devon's hand. I actually did get a picture of Devon's face but he clearly didn't want me to have it.
 Anna and McKenzie. McKenzie is one of Larry's brother's daughter. Anna loved playing with another 4 year old girl.
 She also loved the pumpkin pie.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving and a little more...

Happy Thanksgiving! This is the first time in 6 years that we will be spending Thanksgiving with family. We will be going to Pt. Hadlock, about 2 1/2 hours from here, to eat dinner with my brother, Ryan and his famdango. I'm excited to see them and a little sad that we won;t be eating with the Carltons and the Drapers...our holiday buddies in Kansas. I love them!

In other news...
  • I still don't have batteries for my camera. My rechargeable have dropped off the face of the earth which means Matthew probably put them in the xbox controllers...again.
  • We saw the Forgotten Carols last night. It was a very touching show.
  • I am adjusting well to having 3 children. Anna is doing GREAT. To many of you who have more than that it's probably a walk in the park, but I've had 2 for many years now so 3 is taking some time.
  • I have forgotten to blog a few times this week. See previous bullet.
  • We got a few inches of snow on Monday night so they canceled school on Tuesday and Wednesday. That being said, Matthew went to school in November 8 times. Nicole went 6.  For the whole month.
  • Nicole has a nasty flu bug.
  • I'm excited for black Friday. I LOVE being the crowd at 5 in the morning. It makes me happy. It's also the only day each year that we go out to breakfast. The kids are excited about that part.
I think that is all for now. Have a happy Thanksgiving. Travel safely. Eat a lots of food. Take a long nap. and happy shopping tomorrow!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

While we were gone:

*Ken turned 35 on the 15th.
*My mom would have turned 63 on the 16th.
*My kids missed a week of school. (and they are still hoping for a snow day tomorrow.)
*I ran 2 minutes straight on a treadmill barefoot. I'll start my 'running' again tomorrow as long as the roads are clear.
*My testimony of personal revelation was strengthened 100 fold.

Two quotes from Anna:

I need to take a bath because my toes are dirty.
I have a big tongue.

One quote from Matthew:
Now you can't call Nicole your best girl because you have two girls. But I'm still the best boy.

One quote from Nicole:
Having a little sister is even better than I thought!

That being said, it's a little after 9 and it feels like it's midnight. I'm going to bed! My goal for this week is to find my rechargeable batteries. I don't have any for my camera and it's dead.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Long Story

Ken and I want more children.  We never had any intention of stopping at two. Or three counting our baby Robert. Year after year we hoped it would be the year I would be able to get pregnant but it has now been almost 9 years since Robert was born and passed away and we haven't been able to have another baby, even with several rounds of fertility treatments.

Ken has be pressuring me suggesting that we do foster care for a few years now. I have always had serious reservations. (I don't really enjoy other people's children and I was never sure I'd be able to love someone else's baby that way I love my own.) 

Our first inquiry was less than 2 years after Robert died, when we were living in Grandview, WA. The application freaked me out and we never turned it in.

When we lived in Troutdale I had a dream. The four of us were having a little family party and I looked out our front doorway and there was a little girl standing in the doorway. She wanted to come to the party but wasn't invited. She just stood there and watched and I was too tongue tied to invite her in. She was old enough to speak fairly clearly but was not the age of my children who were in 1st and 2nd grade at the time.

After I had that dream I was certain it would finally be the year I got pregnant. It wasn't. Ken told me he got the inpression that it meant she would have to have to come into our family through a different route if she was going to 'invited to our party.' Then he suggested again that we look into foster care or adoption.

I ignored him for two more years.

I finally caved agreed to take the classes as long as I could choose when we started allowing extra children into our home.

We started foster care classes while we lived in Kansas and dropped out. I was having too much anxiety over it.

After we dropped out, Ken didn't drop the topic. He randomly added the subject into casual conversation, leaving me with a desire to pummel him on a regular basis.  I had convinced myself that the number two was perfect. As it was, we were set to empty nesters before we were 40. AWESOME! haha.

Fast forward a little while and we decided to move back to Washington. Ken left 2 months ahead of the kids and me.  One thing I didn't miss was the foster care/adoption conversations. The silence didn't last the whole 2 months. Ken started bring it up again on the phone. I think I only hung up on him once. I did agree to pray about it though.

As I prayed I told Heavenly Father I would do whatever it was that he wanted me to do and I also expressed all of my reluctancy about the whole subject.  My final request was that if I was supposed to be involved in foster care and adoption that the thoughts would come to me at random enough times I would know it was from Him and not Ken.  I had thoughts a lot. I ignored them.

Once we were here in WA and settled, Ken started pushing again. I hadn't told him about the thoughts I  kept having. Finally, sometimes this summer I was driving home from the store with my kids in the back seat and I was feeling frustrated about then arguing and the thought came to me as clear as a regular speaking voice, 'Look into foster care.'

Okie Dokie. That was random enough I guess. At least it got my attention. the next day as I was saying my prayers, I told Heavenly Father that I am going to be obediant. I repented for ignoring His promptings and asked what the next step was. When I finished I asked Ken for a priesthood blessing. I told him I needed specifics because I was really nervous about the whole topic.

He gave me a blessing and it was so specific I hoped he would stop. He described a little girl, all her 'problems or issues' and went into more detail about a perfect stranger than I felt comfortable with. When it was over I told him I'd do foster care. He ordered the info packet that day.

A short time after that I was talking to my friend, Becky and I told her about that blessing. I felt like I should tell her the whole thing and after we talked about that, our conversations easily moved away from it.

Ken and I started the foster classes. We went to orientation together. I went to one class with Nicole and I HATED it. The next day I didn't go to class because Ken had something going on and I didn't want to go alone. After that, we just never worked out the dates that we would go back and I never brought it up. I didn't want anything to do with those classes.

Last Saturday, our home phone rang at 7 in the morning. This struck me as odd for a couple reasons.  #1, only 1 person has our home number., my dad and he never calls us on the home phone. When it stopped ringing, I called him to see if he tried to call our home and he didn't. While we were on the phone, the home phone rang again. Ken got out of bed and answered the phone and it was my friend Becky. She lost my cell number and called information to get our home number. Good thing Ken answered.

She told me the about Anna's history and what was going on in her life at the moment.  It's not a pretty story and definitely not one that needs to be published on the internet. The important part is that life in her adoptive home was not going well at all and the family was done trying. That's where we came in. DSHS asked Becky is they would take her. Becky and her husband Scott have 6 children and didn't feel that it was right for them to adopt Anna, even if they wanted to. But she said as she was praying that Ken and I came to her mind. I immediately said we'd take her but she had to talk to Anna's mom and see what they thought.

We were requested to come for a visit as soon as we could by the adopted mom, so we left that evening. What started out as an overnight visit turned into 5 days of anxiety, stress and emotions ranging from the highest highs to the lowest lows.

We met her adoptive parents, the social worker and many people in the area that are in Scott and Becky's ward that know Anna. We heard good stories about her as well as bad ones. We saw raging tantrums (not by children) and pure Christlike actions.

Anna's adopted parents turned over their rights to Ken and me on Wednesday evening. Thursday morning we met the social worker on Thursday morning and we were able to ask any questions we had. That afternoon at 3pm there was a meeting at DSHS about Anna's family. One of the decisions that had to be made was whether Anna could go home with us that night or if we needed to clear it through superior court first.

After waiting for 2 1/2 of the longest hours of my life we got the verdict that Anna was gree to come home us. Under no circumstances would they let her go back into the care of her adoptive parents and we were free to higher an attorney and persue adoption.

So, we left E. WA. 10 minutes after that phone call was over and brought our new family of 5 home. I may be leaving things out. Feel free to ask me questions and I'll fill in any blanks that I may have left out.

Sorry for the typos.  I'm not proofing this. I'm tired and want to get it posted. Below are some pictures of our sweet Anna Rebekah.  We love her!