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.