Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Santa and Mrs Claus

We visited Santa and Mrs Claus at the library this year. Gracie was really brave! Ellie and Addie had a hard time. Mrs Claus was so kind and tried hard to make them feel comfortable. Ellie would not let me leave her side. Gracie and Ellie both asked for surprises this year!

Gracie wrote Santa a note after sitting on his lap at the library and he sent her a postcard back in the mail! She was thrilled!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I bought matching dresses for winter! I thought the girls looked so cute!

Gracie lost her first tooth on December 5th.

She is only 5. I was shocked! She was excited for the silver dollar and the quarters she received from the Tooth Fairy!

She lost her second tooth on the 8th. WOW!

Halloween 2008

Halloween was a lot of fun! Gracie was a cheerleader, Ellie was a princess, and Addie was a pink animal (I honestly cannot tell if it was a cat, dog, etc. I bought it for Ellie when she was Addie's age).

The elementary school had a carnival during the school day. I watched a friends' kids while she helped and then I took all the kids to the carnival later. Gracie had a great time! The PTA really does a great job on their carnival!

I am on the community Library Board and they asked me to help with the Halloween Story Hour in the afternoon. They lent me a witch costume for Story Hour so I actually had a real costume this year.

Bart dressed up as a tourist for the Ward Trunk-or-Treat Party. We enjoyed dinner and CANDY. We then made a couple stops at friends houses and turned in for the night.

Ellie was also able to dress up for Preschool the day before Halloween. They had a Halloween Party and even went trick-or-treating to the neighbors!
Ellie's cousin Oliver is sitting next to her in the Spider Man costume. The sun was really bright! At school it seems that they are pretty well inseparable! She sure loves Ollie!

Way Behind!

I just downloaded picts from our camera and realized I am way behind on posting a lot of cute picts. Hopefully you will see a lot of blogs in the next few days.

Monday, December 1, 2008

I am Thankful for:

This is in no particular order, just typing randomly:
(WARNING: this really is quite long)

  1. Bart. He really is a great match for me. Sometimes I am amazed at how he knows the right thing to say. He is so helpful. He is a great support.
  2. Three sweet girls
  3. Our house!
  4. Our van that is PAID for!
  5. heat
  6. a fire in the fire place
  7. a good book
  8. the Friend and Ensign
  9. a stash of food storage
  10. My testimony
  11. knowledge about the gospel of Jesus Christ, He lives!
  12. laptop, with wireless internet access
  13. reading with my girls
  14. treats, usually including chocolate
  15. a gourmet meal made by Bart, he is a GREAT chef!
  16. Prayer and knowing Father is listening
  17. the promptings of the Spirit
  18. Inner Peace
  19. Music, a variety
  20. various forms of entertainment, ie watching the girls dance around the front room, a great play, movie, etc
  21. my Mom, she has taught me a lot about developing good habits.
  22. my Dad, who taught me to work for what I have, and pay with cash.
  23. my great siblings, spouses, and nephews and nieces; I appreciate their various examples
  24. Bart's parents, they are so HELPFUL. It is sure a blessing living close to them. They are awesome grandparents! They are always happy to have the girls! They definitely like the girls more than they like us!
  25. Bart's bros and spouses, and nieces and nephew. It's fun to have Luke and Julie's family close.
  26. a great heritage
  27. NO student loans, now only appreciating asset debt (real estate)! This barely happened in June!
  28. great examples all around the community
  29. a LIVING prophet, President Thomas S. Monson and the brethren that serve with him. I love listening to he and the others in General Conference. I'm EXCITED for the Christmas devotional on Sunday.
  30. a small town where you know most people. It really is a blessing.
  31. Lights
  32. My vision
  33. hearing, and of course, the technology to make hearing aids for Bart
  34. the use of my hands and feet
  35. a healthy body
  36. Great extended family on both sides, including our girls's only living great-grandparents, Bart's Grandma and Grandpa Turner. They have been great examples for us, in many aspects: religiously, living the retirement life, relationships with their family, etc.
  37. Stars out at night
  38. Playing games, I'm a GAMER, it's true!
  39. Sleep. I sure appreciate a good solid night's sleep and even a nap some days!
  40. Being warm and cozy watching a rain storm, the smell of rain is awesome!
  41. Sense of smell
  42. The feel of soft green grass
  43. Snow. I love a fresh fallen snow when nothing has disturbed the beauty.
  44. Taste buds, I love good food!
  45. Cell phones, I feel much safer traveling with one

The list really could go on and on...but I'll end for now!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Child's Prayer

Last week, Ellie was starting to fall off a chair. Bart happened to be at the right place at the right time and was able to grab her arm to prevent her from falling onto the hard tile. Initially, she was crying. She thought Dad had hurt her. I explained to her that her arm may hurt a little but she would have been hurt really bad if Dad hadn't caught her. Shortly after she blessed the food, the only other item mentioned was "Please bless that dad catched me!" I got teary eyed knowing that she understood that Dad really did help her. I love her childlike-ness in thanking Heavenly Father!

The 5K and Why I Run!

September 27th was Fillmore's first annual Apple Fest. The morning started off with a Harvest Day 5K (3.1 miles). I continued running after the half marathon in August specifically for this race. I had been asked (or told :) )to be on the race committee so I began telling everyone I knew about the race and to start training. I was talking to friends that started training for this race. They were telling me the times they wanted to run the race. I did not do strength training like I had intented to before this race so I was feeling a little worried, I began thinking, "I have got to have a great run. They know that I am running regularly, I've run in a couple races, people are expecting me to run fast." (Side note: People were shocked that Bart ran the Half Marathon faster than I did, so I felt like I needed to show Bart up :) )

There were right around 100 people running/walking the race. Bart gladly volunteered to watch the girls (he has been recovering from various ailments that were brought on by the Half). I started out the race winded and hurting but I still pushed through. Bart and the girls set up a spectator spot at about the 1 mile mark, I seriously got teary-eyed as I saw them. It was the fact that they were excited to see me (and all the other people they knew) running. It really gave me a boost! Bart and the girls were also at the finish line, Bart told me that I was the second girl to cross the finish line next to the high school track star! I was so pumped. My time was 25:16!!!! (That's an 8 minute 11 second mile.) I was thrilled! I will take second place to the track star any day!!!! I am almost double her age. That was a fun accomplishment for me! It was great to see my family at the end too. I sure have a cute family in my opinion! This was a really fun race because I was running with a lot of people I knew.

I enjoy running so much in these races because it is a measurable goal. I can work towards the goal, train, track my progress, and run the race. In the beginning my goal was to finish the Salt Lake Marathon, I did it June 2006. The unintentional end results included: a closer relationship with the Lord, gratitude for EVERYTHING, confidence in doing things that I never would have guessed I could do (ANYONE can run if you really want to put the time and energy into it), slimming down without that being my focus, and just feeling in good physical and mental health.

As a wife, mother, homemaker, etc. things are not measurable on an "I'm improving" kind of basis. There is always more laundry, dishes, meals, cleaning, and spiritual improvement to be done. I love my family and I want to take care of them, however, sometimes you need something just for YOU! I needed something just for me, that is why almost 3 years ago I started training for the Salt Lake Marathon. So if you are looking for something to improve YOU think about running. I wouldn't start with a Marathon as a goal as a beginner, maybe a 5K, but a marathon is an incredible goal to attain. Elder Ballard in April 2008 General Conference talked lessening what we do, but making time to do something that we enjoy to enrich our lives. Exercise is my thing right now. I am thankful for a healthy body!

Soccer Sweetie!

This is Gracie's first year of playing soccer. Gracie is doing very well. The season is almost over, it took a few times for her to get used to the game and all the constant running, but she is doing great. The first game, she chose to sit out at the beginning. She was a little worried so she said a little prayer and shortly after was brave enough to handle the game. She is a great example of stopping to pray! She has made a few goals throughout the season and it has gotten her really excited about playing. One of the goals that Gracie made Friday night made me laugh. She kicked the ball in, turned around to look at Bart and me. We cheered wildly and THEN she began to cheer. It was SO darling! What an awesome feeling to have my daughter care what I think and want to make me pleased with what she is doing.

Thinking about Gracie looking for our recognition, gave me some perspective. She is wanting to make sure we are watching. Sometimes my thoughts and prayers probably sound that same way, "Are you watching?" or "Wasn't that cool?"or "Are you sure I can handle this?" What a blessing it is to have a Heavenly Father who is watching me and each one of us. He is wanting to see us succeed and willing to give us aid when needed. I have felt His love and support throughout this week. I appreciate feeling the Spirit, it is incredible to feel it and know what you are feeling!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Three Little Girls

I sure am thankful for my "three little girls". My dad has called me "three little girls" since I was little because I have three names, Lorna Jayne Emma. He has pointed out to me what an interesting similarity it is that I have three girls of my own. I sure enjoy them all!

Adorable Addie at 16 months

I am finally blogging about Addie! She has been struggling with molars coming in over the last few weeks. Her bottom two are in, and the top two are still working their way through. Teething with molars sure are a bummer. I really don't remember the other two girls having such a hard time. I wouldn't be a happy camper if I was in pain and uncomfortable, either. She really is wanting to be held almost constantly, I'm trying to enjoy holding her, sometimes it gets a little tricky when someone else wants to be held or a meal needs made. I do enjoy her hugs and snuggles.

She is such a girl. It really makes me laugh at how quickly my girls have picked up on "girl stuff." Addie is almost always found holding a purse, a phone, a doll or any combination of the three. That is a phone in her right hand.

When Addie is really excited she will make a vibrato sound with her voice. It is hilarious! We love it. We have been able to get her to do it by asking her what sound a horse makes and mimicking a "neigh". Once again we are laughing!

Addie is our little cleaner! She loves to grab a dryer sheet as I am folding clothes and wipe the floor. It is so cute. It makes me feel good, maybe she really does notice I clean. She is also good to pick up toys. She loves to help when we sing the "Clean up, clean up" song.

The girls really are creative and enjoy playing together. The girls figured out that they could pull Addie around on a blanket. It was quite entertaining. I'm sure Grandma Carol would be cringing if she had seen it, she crocheted this afghan, it is getting used in various ways!

Addie is creative on her own. She likes to cover herself with a blanket and walk around. Sunday night we were calling her the "Ghost". She was loving the laughter she created. She really is a joy!

Ellie, being the big sister, really likes to help Addie. Sometimes it creates a problem, such as: crying, bumps, bruises, etc. But Ellie does have a big heart for her sister.

Gracie is a great helper with Addie. She can get Addie out of the crib. She is always watching out for Addie. Gracie has been good to help feed Addie on occasion. They have a great relationship. Gracie asks Addie to say a word, and Addie does it. Only recently will she do it for me too! It is sure cute to see Addie sign. She is not signing near as much as the other girls (my fault) but we are still able to understand what she wants most of the time.

The Softball Jinx

Okay, so after blogging about how I can usually get on base I played horribly the night of our final playoffs. We were playing for the top three spots of our league, which meant we could play up to three games on Tuesday night if we kept winning. Well, we kept winning but no thanks to me. We ended up losing the last game in the last inning by one run. It was kind of a bummer but only having 9 players throughout play-offs I felt our team did awesome (you are allowed 10 people on the field). I really didn't help out much, but it was still fun to play. I am glad I had the chance! Bart, of course did a great job. He is quite the athlete. And no, his shirt was not two-toned gray. That is three games worth of sweat and a little bit of rain.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Softball Pro

Bart really is a softball pro. It has been so fun to be on a co-ed softball team with him. I usually play catcher, so I get to hear a lot of comments from the other teams and fans as Bart catches ball after ball in left field. He is an awesome hitter too! He really is an all-around athlete. I am amazed that he can be so good at just about anything he tries. (Snow skiing is the only thing he struggled with since I've known him. I think if he gave it a second try he'd be flying, in control, down the mountain.) It is fun for me to be a part of things that he enjoys, not just as a spectator.

At the beginning of the co-ed season a couple of ladies were commenting on how decked out I was with all the softball stuff. I replied that for my first birthday after Bart and I got married, he showered me with: a softball bat, cleats, batting gloves, left-handed mitt, and a bag to put it all in. He was serious about wanting me to play with him. I have to admit when I first received it, my initial reaction was not sheer enthusiasm, but I am SO glad he gave them to me. He is a really good coach to me. He is very encouraging and always makes me feel like I am the best girl player out there (even though I am not). The only asset I bring to our team is my speed. Which really is nothing compared to a guy. But I can usually get on base. It has been fun to hear the guys in the league comment on how fast I am as I run the bases. I owe it all to training for the Half Marathon that we ran a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ellie's First Day of Preschool

Ellie was so excited to go to school! Last night was the Open House, on the way there Ellie was already telling me that she likes her school. Christy, my friend and running partner, is the teacher so Ellie KNOWS it will be fun. We all went in to Ellie's school today to drop her off. Gracie and Ellie got there before Addie and I did, Ellie was already busy enjoying the activities that were set out for her to do. She was excited to be there and really enjoyed her day. She was excited about the snack, a Fruit Snack. She was worried she got sunburned because they played outside for recess.

There are 10 kids in Ellie's class. She goes Tuesdays and Thursday mornings for 2 hours.

Gracie went to Miss (she really is married, I think she feels it's easier for the kids to say Miss rather than Mrs.) Christy's school 2 years ago...and felt Christy might want her help. Gracie asked Christy, she said Gracie could stay anytime she wanted to help. Gracie stayed today. Christy did say Gracie was a great helper because she knew what to do and could show all the kids.

Ellie sure is a little lady. She is very polite. She always says “no thank you” if she doesn’t want something. She tells me “I love you” out of the blue. She loves Addie and tries to help her as much as Gracie does. She ends up getting in trouble for being too helpful and hurting Addie at times. She likes to dress up. She always wants to wear skirts. She loved getting make-up for her birthday, we still need to supervise her applying it. She is such a joy to have in our family. I am so thankful for her. She talks with a darling little lisp, yet talks in such an adult manner, she is becoming more mature all of the time. She loves to help me when cooking or with the laundry. She is really good at folding washcloths and dishcloths. She really is a great helper. There are challenges throughout the day when she is eager to do whatever Gracie is doing even if she is too young/small. She loves to feel big. She is learning her alphabet pretty good, she knows probably one third of the upper case letters. She is doing great! She loves to sing. I enjoy her singing with me as I sing at bedtime to Gracie and Ellie in their room. Since Ellie’s 3rd birthday, she has been wearing panties to bed. She has had a couple accidents but is truly doing great. Way to go Ellie! I love you!

Gracie's First Day of Kindergarten

Gracie was very excited about Kindergarten. She goes to Mrs. Janene Monroe's afternoon class. I took her into the classroom the first day and she was very comfortable. I told her goodbye when I was leaving and it didn't even phase her. Little does she know, it definitely phased me. My oldest child is 5 and in KINDERGARTEN. I can hardly believe it. My eyes watered as I walked out of the school. She is such a big girl.

Before school started we talked to Gracie about getting a blessing from her dad. She was not interested. Finally over the weekend, after her first week of school, we talked about how ALL of us could get a blessing from Dad. Gracie was a lot more willing to get one after she knew I would get one first. Ellie and Addie also received blessings from Dad. It was a great experience in our home. Gracie even said "I kind of feel warm inside, I think that is the Holy Ghost." (Requoted by Gracie sitting right here by me.) It is fun to see her recognizing different feelings inside.

Gracie is such a great help. She is a great big sister and enjoys helping her younger sisters. She really is a blessing in our family. Her heart is so close to the Spirit. She tries hard to do what is right. She is quick to offer a prayer if she is scared or hurt or has lost something, etc. She is a great example, even to me. We have been taking our next door neighbor, Austyn, to church with us because Gracie wanted to invite her to church last winter. Gracie is very good at making her bed and emptying the utensil tray from the dishwasher. She is eager to do extra chores around the house to earn quarters. (She has to empty utensils and make her bed before she can do anything to earn money.) She says she wants to save her money for a pink 4-wheeler. Thanks for being you, I love you Gracie!

Bart's Big 33rd Birthday Bash

Bart's birthday weekend began on a trip to Logan, UT with Christy and Brandon Cummings with anticipation of running the 13.1 mile Top of Utah Half Marathon the following day on Bart's actual birthday, August 23rd. (He agreed to it, with very little coercion. He thought it would be a great way to stay in shape, maybe lose a little more weight.)

So 5am birthday morning, Bart and I get ready for the race. Brandon dropped Christy, Bart and me off at 6am at the designated shuttle pick-up location. We stood together in preparation for the run, then as soon as the mob thinned out Bart took off. Christy and I ran together. Each aid station we grabbed water/gatorade and orange slices. Between mile 9 and 10 I decided to venture out on my own. I floored the accelerator and zoomed. I really felt good about the last 3.5 miles, I pushed myself more than I normally do for that whole distance. Towards the end I felt a familiar pain on the outside of my right knee. I got a little worried. (I had problems with this spot during the marathon training 2 years ago, I ended up getting a cortizone shot so I could finish the training and run the race.) I kept praying that Heavenly Father would help my knee last so I could finish this goal that I had set. He answered my prayer, nothing snapped (like I thought it might) and I finished in 2:08:50. Bart had finished at 2:05 and Christy came in at 2:16. Bart said the first 7 miles he felt great, but he probably pushed himself too much the first half so he didn't have as much to offer the last half. However, he really did do a great job!

I was glad Bart was willing to run. I have enjoyed running for the last few years and it was fun to have the same running goal, to run a half marathon. We didn't stop to walk, not even Bart, whcih was a huge accomplishment, the longest distance he had run before the race was 6 miles. Most training runs he had stopped to walk some part of it so it really was a great accomplishment for him. We went back to the motel, showered, grabbed lunch at Fire-House Grill where Bart got free dessert for his birthday and so kindly shared with me, then headed to Provo. Bart was feeling sore and in quite a bit of pain. Both knees and his hip were bothering him. Bart and I were both grateful Brandon was driving, we napped on the ride. Loyal and Tonia, Bart's parents, had the girls overnight at their house in Scipio. They met us in Provo in the afternoon as they were heading to Salt Lake. We ate dinner with the girls at Outback Steakhouse (Bart's choice) and once again enjoyed a free birthday dessert. Bart was pretty sore and ready to come home (rather than really have a big bash) so we made one shopping stop and headed home.

Sunday afternoon we had a birthday lunch with birthday singing and cake eating...check out all the candles!

Happy Birthday to Bart! I am thankful to be "twain" with him. He makes me look like a great spouse because he is so great. He is my best friend. I appreciate him listening to me and helping me. He always knows the right thing to say to me when I am feeling bad about something. He sure makes me laugh. He makes life fun. He is a great cook, dinners are always yummy, I am amazed at how well he multi-tasks! He is a great dad. I still have a whole lot to learn from him. I am thankful he is mine for eternity! Bart, I love you!

Just Beginning at 30

I turned 30 on August 16th and I am ready to begin blogging with this new chapter of life. Being 30 really is great! I am the smallest I have been since High School and I am loving it! It has taken work, but I feel great! I have a great husband and 3 darling little girls. We have great extended family and friends. I really am very blessed!

I was a little worried about the big 30 but I really felt spoiled and loved throughout the birthday celebrations. Bart likes to point out that I had 4 (I felt there were parts of 5) different days of a birthday, it's only because of great friends and family, Bart included of course. About 2 weeks before my birthday, my mom invited all my family with August birthdays to enjoy lunch and an afternoon at the spa. Bart passed up on the invitation, he didn't feel like he should miss work. Erica, Mom, and I began the day as a part of the Good Things Utah Studio Audience. I had given my Mom the gift of attending the show for her birthday one and a half years ago December, so I made the necessary arrangements to get there, finally. We had a great time at the show, then we met up with Ben for lunch at Olive Garden and Mom left us for a doctor appointment (she is recovering from carpal tunnel surgery, in addition to seeking medical attention for neck and back problems). Alicia joined us for the spa as an early November birthday present. We all received massages. It was heavenly! This was my 3rd annual massage, I intend to keep this an ongoing tradition. I sure enjoy them.

The day before my birthday, 3 friends (Christy Cummings, Mary Loertscher, and CJ Alldredge) and I took a day off from kids and headed to Salt Lake to celebrate. We attended Good Things Utah together (my sister Alicia and a friend met up with us for the show), they helped me purchase home decor for my front room at Tai Pan Trading, we ate lunch at Chili's, performed initiatories at the Provo Temple, and shopped! We had a great time! (I had a great time, that is...aside from my eye burning throughout the whole day. I must have scratched my eye and my contacts kept irritating it. By evening I looked like I had been crying, HARD, my eye was puffy and the right side of my face was red. Thinking back I'm sure my friends had to hold back the laughs whenever they looked at me.)

The day of my birthday, I ran 6 miles pretty much downhill in 55 minutes. It was motivating to have had such a great run the week before the Top of Utah Half Marathon race in which I had signed up. When I got home the front room mirror was decorated with colored balloons and a sign that said "Happy Birthday Mom" (Gracie's creation!). Bart and the girls made a great breakfast. We went up the canyon for a picnic lunch and then napped before Bart and I went on a double date with Greg and Sue Roper to Salt Lake. Loyal and Tonia brought a gift and yummy brownies and watched the girls overnight. The Roper's, Bart and I visited the incredibly delicious Ruth's Chris Steakhouse! The food was PERFECT! It really was a great dinner...pricy yet fabulous! Afterward we enjoyed a walk around Temple Square.
Sunday and Tuesday were also highlights. Friends and family stopping by on Sunday and Tuesday was a night out with the ladies for dinner to celebrate another friends' birthday as well as mine.

The day of my birthday Bart started spouting off a lot of things I have done in my first 30 years, various trips including Europe, New York, Boston and New England Cruise, Mexican Baja Cruise, education, temple marriage, running races, 3 beautiful girls. I'll have to add more to my list later, I really do feel very blessed to be where I am right now. I am thankful for the Lord’s tender mercies in my life and the feelings of encouragement I feel along the way when it’s really needed.