Thursday, December 1, 2011

Funny things from our life...

The other day Gabe wanted to finish watching "White Christmas" when he got home from school. I asked him to please wait, because Tommy and Asher were both asleep on the couch and I didn't want the tv to wake them up. Gabe got really upset and told me, "you are just breaking down my heart!" Another time I was getting something out of the office and I saw Gabe's teddy, Baby Bear behind some boxes. I yelled "Daddy! Daddy!" in the highest, whiniest voice I could (my best impersonation of the voice Gabe uses for Baby Bear). Gabe immediately came running up the stairs yelling, "I'm coming sweetheart!" and Tommy from the other room said, "Baby Bear? Is he okay?" I thought it was hilarious that they both instantly recognized the voice of baby bear. Tommy loves to play Spiderman. Only, I don't think he actually knows who Spiderman is. In his world, Spiderman is the bad guy, and he is always chasing Gabe or Asher around. He puts on his toughest scary face and growls, "I'm spiderman!" It's pretty funny to watch.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eternal Droning of the Endless Whine

Tonight we had a somewhat rough bedtime. It got started a little late, I was already tired, and the boys weren't listening super well. When I asked Gabe what song he wanted, he asked for, "Down By the Bay", which wasn't surprising since that has been his pick for, no joke, the last three months. Are you familiar with it? It goes,

 Down by the bay 
Where the watermelons grow 
Back to my home 
I dare not go 
For if I do 
My mamma will say 
"Have you ever seen a whale with a polka dot tale?" 
Down by the bay!

 And so on, inserting various silly rhymes for the last part. After we sang a few verses of that, I asked Tommy what bedtime song he wanted. He asked for the dragon song. This also happens to be, "Down by the Bay" but with modified lyrics by Ontario, as follows:

 Down by Dragon bay 
Where the dragons grow 
Back to my home
I dare not go 
For if I do 
Mamma dragon will say 
"Have you ever seen a cat, wearing a hat?" 
Down by dragon bay! 

So I sang a few verses of that. Then the endless whining started. Gabe was so upset that I sang him "Down by the Bay" when what he really wanted was, "Down by Dragon Bay". The conversation went something like this:

 G: "Mom, you just did something that wasn't very nice"
M: "I did? What was that?"
G: "You sang Down by the Bay, but I wanted Down by DRAGON bay"
M: "Well, I just sang that"
G: "But you just sang that first and you missed your chance to be nice and sing the song I wanted!"
M: "Gabe, you asked for Down by the Bay, and then I sang both of them, so you got to hear it"
G: "I just asked for Down by the Bay as a joke! But then you SANG it!"
M: "Well, you didn't tell me it was a joke, you just asked for it"
G: "But if you don't do what I say and be nice and make me happy, then I will just say that I hate you!" M: "I will be sad if you say you hate me, but it's still time for bed."
G: grumble grumble *endless whining* mumble dragon bay mumble I just didn't WANT that grumble mumble you just shouldn't have DONE it mumble mumble....

Only, make this whole conversation continue for another 20 minutes. This was also after our conversation earlier today when I told him we were going to do a fun activity after lunch and he came slumping into the kitchen saying, "Just whoever cares what you say!" Yeah, I don't have a four year old. I have a teenager.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I just came across this talk in my personal study, and I was really touched by it. I have a lot of friends and family members that can relate to this in many different ways. I love the clear doctrine that he teaches, and the reminder of the work we are doing when we are serving the handicapped. I would really encourage you to read this talk, it's awesome. The Moving of the Waters by Elder Boyd K. Pcker.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


"Mom, could you please come help me find some clean underpants?"
"Sure, Gabe"
"Thanks, I made some but they were too tight"
"You made some?"
"Um, what did you make them out of?"
"It's okay, they were just too little and tight, so I just need other ones"
"Yeah, I will find you some cloth ones, but can you show me the ones you made?"
"Okay, these ones!" (holds up a piece of paper with pieces of tape stuck to it)
"Yeah, I can see why those didn't work as well"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


So, I have a few projects I have really been wanting to tackle. Unfortunately, the only power tools I own currently are a drill. I suppose I should say the power tool. There is a lot I can do with that, but not either of the large projects that I have on my project list. Here is what I would love to get finished as quickly as possible:

1. A sideboard for the dining room. This has to be homemade, because our dining room is actually a small breakfast nook. I can't just find a good sideboard and stick it in there. I want to build two small shelving systems that fit on either side of the radiator, with a long counter area that stretches across them. Oh, that would be lovely.

2. A bed. I have very specific requirements for a bed, and once again it's something that I need to just make myself.

I have a lot of other smaller projects, but those two would really be awesome to get done. Luckily, I just talked to my MIL, and she said she would bring some tools when she comes up this weekend, so I might actually get some of them done. Woo hoo!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nothing important

It's raining right now. Hard. I opened the blinds to show the boys, and it looked like a mini niagra outside our window. I showed Gabe and he asked where the waterfall was coming from. I told him the sky. It makes me happy, because I love rain, but sad, because I like rain especially when my husband is here to enjoy it with me. He has been on a business trip for the last two days, and won't be getting back until after midnight tonight. I am missing him. I should think up some wonderful welcome home surprise for him, but it might end up just having the house clean. We shall see.

I went to the temple this morning, and it was wonderful. It was my first time going to the Manhattan temple, and I just loved it. All temples are beautiful, but this was one was especially lovely. I got to go with a good friend, so that was extra nice.

I am working on a more interesting blog post, reviewing my top ten alphabet books. I have to make one ore two more library trips and then I will be able to finish it. How wonderful are public libraries? They are some of my favorite places.

Well, I am going to go read stories with my kids and maybe clean my room a little. Hurrah!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I got featured!

This post is way overdue, but I just wanted to let you all know that a friend of mine featured one of my recipes! Check it out at her blog.

In other news, I just got a Cuisinart 14 Cup PowerPrep Plus Food Processor and I. Am. In. Love. In the last two days I have made hummus, pizza, salsa, cheesecake, grated cheese, sliced veggies, and a fruit syrup. It was all delicious, especially the hummus and the cheesecake. Yum! Do any of you have favorite recipes or tips for using a food processor? I have never had one, so I am still figuring out all the things I can do with it. :)

Also, many of you may know that right before we moved, my phone got lost. So my sweet husband got me a new one for Christmas, that I ended up dropping in the toilet two weeks later. I was without a phone for 6 weeks, and then I got a hand-me down phone from my sister-in-law. It's been having some issues (the front piece dropping off and the buttons falling out) for a few days, but yesterday Asher totally killed it by actually ripping out the microchip. Amazingly, earlier that day Tommy had found the cord for my old (new) phone from Christmas and wanted me to plug it in. So I woke up to my old phone alarm, on a phone that had amazingly decided to resurrect itself! So I had a phone again! Hurray!

Until now, when it keeps shutting itself off and acting weird. So maybe it didn't recover completely from it's potty bath. Anyway, if you are having a hard time getting ahold of me just know that it's not you, it's my phone.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I love Craigslist!

This is the AMAZING armoire we scored on craigslist yesterday. The best part? It was FREEEEEE!

Points of awesomeness:
1. Solid wood construction, really well built. Also super heavy, but that's what you get with quality!
2. Paint job. It's black on the outside, and olive green on the inside. I really like it.
3. Made in Italy, specifically Florence, my home away from home. Yay!
4. It's designed to be used for clothes OR electronics (note the place for a curtain rod or electric cords), so it's extremely versatile
5. It's pretty. It is a style I would have chosen if I was actually shopping for something, and not just emailing every available armoire on the free section of craigslist
6. Did I mention it was free?

Anyway, I am super excited. I was originally going to use it for food storage, but I like it so much I kind of want to convert it into my desk area. Or possibly my sewing nook. The boys have been using it as a sweet playhouse, as evidenced by the last picture. I haven't decided what it's final job will be, but I am happy to have it be mine!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Potty Training

Well, I am finally buckling down and doing it. I stocked up on skittles and M&Ms, I found a Thomas the Train chart online, I went to the thrift store and scored a couple of Lightning McQueen toys, I have the potty training pants that my good friend gave me, and this week we are going to do it. I think Gabe and Tommy are both ready, honestly Tommy a little more so. But the toys are a big motivator for Gabe, so I think he is more on board now.

In other news, Tari will be working out of town for the next three weeks and only home on the weekends, I finally got a calling (yay!), and we have Uncle Johnny staying with us this week which the boys are loving.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Casting of "The Hunger Games"

So, my friends Mel and Lizzie posted their versions of a dream cast for the Hunger Games trilogy. I decide to do my own post in their honor, so this is dedicated to them. I think the casting speaks for itself...




Mrs. Everdeen







President Snow:




Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tommy and I are both in the recovery stage of a nasty cold, so we stayed home from church today (Asher also stayed home, by default). The boys went down for a nap, and I decided to look through what pictures we had on the computer so I could update our profile. There were a lot that Ontario had downloaded from his phone, mostly from the last six months. There were a lot of things documented: Gabes birthday, visiting the pumpkin patch, Johnny's wedding, trips with family to various locations, the move, playing with cousins, just pictures of the boys being cute. It was fun, and also a little sad. It made me really homesick for Utah, especially for the friends that are now too far away for us to play with regularly. It made me grateful for the relationships we have with those people, and the knowledge that it is easier then ever to stay in touch. It also made me laugh, remembering a lot of the things that we did. One of the funniest things was finding pictures of the boys helping out by decorating the day before we moved. Luckily, my good friend was there helping out and it all cleaned up surprisingly well. I just have to post them here, since it's very true that in this case a picture is worth a thousand words...

In other news, the oven repairman told us that the problem is with the main breaker and we have to call an electrician and in the meantime we shouldn't use the oven, and then the stove "repairman" took out the old range, threw it away, and THEN found out that the new top didn't fit. So we are trying to figure out what foods can be cooked in the microwave, and enjoying this new adventure, that hopefully won't last any longer than tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New Years Resolutions 2011

I just want to begin this post by saying that I have three adorable and charming children. Ahem. On to the blogging!

So, I am not usually one for making New Years resolutions. In general I feel like they are a way to start off the year with failure.
However, Ontario's family has a meeting every year to set their resolutions together. They have 6 categories, and they are supposed to set a goal in each one. The categories are:

1. Physical
2. Financial
3. Emotional
4. Spiritual
5. Education
6. Career

So, this year I did it with them. I set goals in each of those areas. I was actually excited about it, because all of these were goals/areas of improvement that I had already been thinking about. I liked having time to sit down and write out specific goals and ways to accomplish them. Also, I am approaching it differently this year. These are my resolutions for 2011. I know that I will not do them all starting now, but I do want to have these accomplished by the end of the year. So instead of getting depressed and feeling like I am failing, i am just excited about having a plan for improvement that I can implement slowly over the course of the year. I am posting my resolutions on my blog for a few reasons. First of all, I want to remember them. Writing them down reminds me what they are. I am also going to print them out so I can hang them up somewhere visible that I will see them often. Secondly, I will feel more accountable if I know I have TOLD people what changes I am planning to make, instead of just telling myself it's okay that I haven't. Third, this makes a blog post, which have been sadly lacking in these parts. So, withour further ado, here are my New Years Resolutions for 2011, including comments on each section:

1. Lose 10 lbs, get more toned
2. Improve personal and family diet
3. Exercise 3x a week

I am not really as concerned about my weight as a number, this is just one way of measuring my goal of becoming healthier. I am actually much more concerned about changing and improving our diet as a family. Here are specific things I want to do to help accomplish these goals. Menu planning and careful shopping, increasing my knowledge of health and nutrition, calendaring in my exercises, looking for small ways to be more active , drinking more water. I think I want to start exercising during naptime, so I don't have quite as much help!

1. Pay off all debt
2. Create new budget and stick to it
3. Save $10,000
4. Plan long term financial goals
5. Create babysitting fund

These ones are a little fun. Ontario's new job will definitely help, and so will the wondeful blessing of our house, which my in-laws are letting us stay in for a very reasonable rent (It's not actually reasonable, it's an insane rate. They are not getting anything out of this deal, except the knowledge that they are helping their children). My specific goal is to have our emergency fund ($1000) and debt all taken care of by the end of March. Then I am going to start really putting money into savings. I think I am going to plan a special "financial date" when Ontario and I can sit down and map out some of our longterm financial goals. Right now our biggest goal is buying a house. I want to be in a position to buy a house within the next year or two. Writing out a specific budget will help all of those goals.

1. Get enough sleep
2. Schedule sewing time
For me, getting enough sleep means getting to bed by 10:00. The biggest help for me is having the goal of turning off all electronics at 8:30 (computer, iPad, iPhone, tv). That usually means I need to have all my computer stuff done by 7:30, since that is when I want to start the boys bedtime routine. If I turn everything off and put it away in the cupboard (so it's out of temptations way), then it is really easy to get my bedtime routine done, and even have some relaxing time before lights out.

Scheduling sewing time is one I am still working on. Sewing is something that I find very relaxing, but I haven't had very much time for it in a long time. I also don't know exactly what I want to sew...quilts? Clothing? Curtains? This is a goal I will be thinking about and working on later in the year probably. One thing is finding a good sewing area...that is another thing I am still figuring out.

1. Study both the Relief Society and the Sunday School lessons ahead of time.
2. Schedule in specific time for gospel study every day
3. Read the Book of Mormom
4. Write in my journal a minimum of 1 sentence daily
5. 100% visiting teaching
6. Schedule in monthly temple visits
7. Improve Family Home Evening

For my gospel study I went through and wrote a study plan on my calendar. I chose a different thing for each day: M-RS lesson, T-"Teaching No Greater Call", W-SS lesson, Th-"Preach My Gospel", F-Personal Progress, Sa-Ensign, Su-Topical. I gave myself 10 minutes for each study time, plus 5 minutes for reading the Book of Mormon. That might not sound like a lot, but in my world 15 min. of sitting and quietly doing anything is a luxury. I was going to do it in the morning, but I am thinking now that my evenings might be a better time.

The journal writing is a goal I have had before and one that helps me stay much more faithful. Obviously my earlier goal of turning off electronics at 8:30 will help with that.

For visiting teaching I went through and wrote on the calendar to schedule it the first Sunday of each month. I am also going to program in email reminders to make sure I am remembering it throughout the month. I am still trying to figure out how VT works here, since it's a very different dynamic, but I really do have a testimony of the importance of taking time to serve our sisters.

Ontario and I have already started calendaring in our temple visits. We are going to be switching off with Ontario's brother and his wife for babysitting once a month, and then hopefully we can find a couple in the ward to swap babysitting with in the offmonths. I am hoping that Asher getting old enough for solid foods will help this goal happen. We also figured out that with Ontarios new job we could each take turns going to the temple by ourselves once a month, while the other one stays home with the kids. So I will hopefully be going bi-monthly.

Our family home evening goal is one I am very excited about. We went through the calendar and broke up each month so that every Monday would have a different category. First monday is Preparedness, the second Missionary Work, the third Family History, the fourth Gratitude/Service, and if there is a fifth one, that is a bonus where we get to do something special. We even went through and brainstormed a list of topics for our preparedness lessons: Budgeting, Gardening, Fire Safety, Food storage, Stranger danger, etc. I think we came up with at least 14 things we could do for that general topic. Having a plan and knowing what area we need to focus our lessons on is really helping us be more prepared. I am sure we will think of other ways to improve as the year goes on, but so far I am happy at the steps we have already taken. We already did our gratitude lesson this month and wrote thank you notes for Tommy's birthday. It's great to see a plan actually working!

1. Take a photography or a cooking class
2. Read one educational book a month (this can just be any book that teaches me about something)
3. Do 1 cultural activity every month
4. Complete the Financial Peace University

I really want to take some kind of class where I am learning a new skil. Photography and cooking are both things I would love to study. I know that eventually I need to figure out going back to school, but at this point in my life I am happy with just doing one or two classes.

I love reading informative books. I have so many things that I want to learn more about, and I know that the NYPL system will be a great resource for that. I am so happy to be back in the land of Interlibrary loans! Some of the topics I currently am interested in are gardening, home school, Montessori education, home birth, potty training, cooking, personal finance, home decoration, DIY, nutrition, herbology and politics. I am sure there are lots more I can't think of right now, but that should be enough to get me started. Some of those are things I have already started studying and just want to continue learning about, and others are areas that I feel very shaky on and want to have a basic understanding of.

I live in NYC, so doing one cultural activity a month shouldn't be hard. I just want to make sure we are taking advantage of the amazing opportunity we have to live in such a diverse place.

Taking the financial peace university is a goal I have had for a long time but I really want to make it happen this year.

1. Follow my flylady routines
2. Make weekly menu plans
3. Redo my filing system
4. Completely unpack my house

Since being a mom is the career that I have chosen, all of these goals are to help me be better at that. Really, the overarching goal is to be more organized, have a smoothly running home, and not feel like I am running around like a crazy person all day or freaking out at my kids. I have other goals that fall into these categories (be on top of birthdays and anniversaries, send thank you notes promptly, stay in touch with friends and family, have all regular maintenance items scheduled and taken care of) but I will start with babysteps and move up from there.

Obviously all of my goals tie into and effect my other goals, so as I improve in one area it will positively affect the others. I am sure that I will have times that I fall down and feel like a failure, but knowing I have a plan and being able to reference it will help tremendously. Also, I have a lot of resources at my disposal. Here are some of my favorites:

Flylady! One of my all time favorite home organization websites. I love the flylady!
Cozi, a calendar and organization website, I am loving it so far. It has an online calendar, weekly routine schedule, to do list, shopping list, and more.
Dave Ramsey, a financial educator
Jonathan Roche, personal trainer and founder of the No Excuse Workout
LoseIt!, a website for tracking diet and exercise
Meals Matter, a healthy menu planning resource The new church website has tons of resources, including an online study journal that lets you save notes and reference back to talks and scriptures you have been studying.
ZionsBank EZ budget, an online budgeting tool
The New York Public Library

Most of these are free or have free resources available on them, so you should definitely check them out. I am so grateful for the internet and the wondeful resources it offers!

Well, to stick with my goals I am going to post this and then go put away my electronic devices for the night. I certainly seem to swing between never posting and then posting way too much! Good night all!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update on the last four months

So, I haven't really updated since October, and a LOT has happened since then. I know I can't blog about it all, so I am going to just do a list of bullet points:

-Went to the pumpkin patch with friends (my last real post)
-Had Gabes birthday. It was so much fun with a train theme. I still want to post pictures, I just have to figure out where they are on the computer. :)
-Alice got baptized. Yay!
-We decided to move. It was pretty sudden. Even though we had been talking about it for a long time, the actual decision was pretty quick. Not only that, we decided to move to the Bronx!
-We visited MD and NY for a family wedding. We are really happy to have Bridget as part of the family now. It was a lot of fun, and we got to go and see our new house. So pretty!
-Ontario was working on his contract of building the iPad app for the BYU MOA Carl Bloch exhibition. It turned out amazingly and I am so proud of him!

-We started packing and decluttering.
-Thanksgiving dinner with friends at Krissie's house. It was the perfect last holiday with friends (well, not last, but the last for the foreseeable future).
-We both got released from our callings
-Finished packing and loaded our pods for the big move
-Said goodbye to all of our amazing friends and family in Utah. The hardest part of moving has definitely been all the people we are leaving behind. I have just been praying that I will be able to find the same kinds of friends here in NY.

-Started the trip from Utah to NY. Drove 583 miles on 5 hours of sleep. That was a long day.
-Visited friends and family in Colorado, Indianapolis, and Ohio on the way to our new home
-Arrived in NYC and started unpacking
-A week later we had visitors Alice and her sister JiHae come to spend some of Christmas break with us. We got to take them around to see a lot of the NYC sights, and had a little Christmas morning celebration with them before we left for our own family Christmas
-Went to MD to spend Christmas with Ontario's family. We stopped in PA on the way to meet up with Ben and Robin, and make the rest of the drive with them.
-Spent two weeks in MD visiting family. It was such a fun, relaxing Christmas. It was the first year that all of the kids were home, plus we had new spouses, kids, and other significant others to add to the mix, so the house was packed! It was so much fun being with everyone. We did miss having Nathan and Hunter with us though. :(
-Celebrated our fourth anniversary! It hardly seems like it has been that long. I am so grateful to be married to such a wonderful, fun, righteous, loving guy. He is my favorite! I can't wait for the next four years. :)
-We also did our third annual Iron Chef competition as a family. It was a lot of fun, and super yummy! Our team lost, but we ended up getting to eat lots of yummy food, so I think it was worth it. :)
-Celebrated New Years with games, food, and the ever popular chocolate fountain!
-Celebrated Mama Brittons birthday. So glad to have her as my mother in law!

-We returned to New York and got back to work settling in.
-Chrissy came and spent her winter break with us, so we got to do lots of fun things with her.
-We visited Little Italy, which was lots of fun. I got to bust out my italian, and we got some amazing bread. Yum!
-Spent the weekend with Ben and Robin to celebrate Tommy's birthday. For the party we had everyone decorate cupcakes, using the awesome books Tari gave me for our anniversary. We did the creepy crawly bug ones, and they turned out so cute! It was so much fun, I think I have a new hobby! Grandy, Papa, Chrissy and Annie also were able to make it, which was so great. Tommy loved all his presents.
-Tari started his new job teaching iPhone development classes for FMC. It is really the perfect job for us right now, and he is loving getting to teach and not having to fill up his time with contract work. So far he has taught in NY, Boston, and tonight he is leaving to teach a class in Washington D.C. I will miss him, but we are hoping we can drive down and visit him during his stay. I want to take the boys to the Natural History Musuem to see the dinosaurs.
-This weekend all the family is coming to visit for Ben and Johns gig. It will be fun hosting everyone here for the first time. I definitely need to do some more unpacking to make sure we can fit them all in though!
-Throughout this month we have also had 3 or 4 big snowstorms, and Asher has learned how to army crawl!

So....that is the rundown on what has been happening in our lives for the last few months. I have another post that has been brewing in my mind for awhile about my new years resolutions. I might get that done tonight, but we will have to see. :) Life is good. Ontario likes his job, we are enjoying our new ward, we are having fun with the adventure of living in New York City, and our kids just keep getting cuter. Hopefully I will be updating this more often during 2011!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Too much to post about, so you get this instead...

I came into the library to find Tommy waving half a skeleton (leftover Halloween decoration) up and down and saying, "Jesus! Temple! Jesus! Temple!". Still not sure what exactly that meant....