12.13.2008

One Last Reminder

I just wanted to remind you all that if you wanted to get any Usborne books from me for Christmas, you need to do it by Monday afternoon.  I'll be putting the order in on Monday evening, to ensure that the books get back for Christmas.  One last time, you can find the website here.  

And thanks to those of you who have ordered, or who will order.  I might be biased, but I really think books are one of the best gifts you can give your kids, and I will definitely be passing some along to mine.

12.02.2008

A Successful Day

So after all of the drama and exhaustion last week that usually comes with the holidays (something about too much driving and not enough napping and regular schedules), I was very excited to get back into a normal routine this week.  And so far, really, so good.  Yesterday we cleaned up around the house, and today I went to kickboxing and I got some shopping done.  The tv has been "broken" quite a bit lately (I unplug it... for some reason Breanne accepts this, which I love), so we've done some projects, gone to see the Provo City lights turned on, and even decorated our own home a little.  I love the feeling of the Christmas season, and having kids that can enjoy it has made it really fun so far.  I just want them to have as fond of memories of the holidays as I do. 

Tonight Breanne and I decorated the mantle, which is one of the reasons I really love this house.  The fireplace is original to the house, and adds so much character, I love it.  The best part about it is the artwork:

Does that not just scream nativity to you?  I love that it's there all year round, too.  

Here's the finished decorated product:


And some of my favorite parts:

(I love this little nativity--it is my favorite one that I own.  Most of the pieces aren't out, but I like the simplicity of just Mary, Joseph, the baby and the animals.)
(I made this one last year for Super Saturday.  It's probably my favorite decoration of all.)


Since our mantle is a focal point in our home, I try to display the focal points in our lives here.  There are usually pics of the kiddos up there too, but considering the season, I thought this appropriate as well.

In other very very very exciting news, today Breanne took a nap *without* her pacifier, and also went to bed just fine without it!  I've been dreading taking it away because I didn't want her to disrupt Janey's sleeping (or mine, for that matter!), but she's done great today.  I didn't really plan on doing it just yet, but when we couldn't find one at nap time, it just happened.  So great!  Now we just need to get that using the potty for reals thing going... always something.

11.30.2008

End of NaBloPoMo

Well, this marks the last day that I'm forced (practically) to write... but I've really enjoyed trying to blog every day.  It's been great for keeping track of what the girls have been up to, but I feel like a lot of my posts have been more of the "talking just to hear myself talk" variety, so I'm excited to get back to just posting when I really have something to say.  I will try to keep up the pace, though--no more week or two or three breaks, if I can help it.  More posts of substance.

To finish things off, I thought I'd just add a new favorite picture of us--and the one I hope to be sending out with Christmas cards, if I ever get around to it (I've been meaning to do it for each year we've been married, but never gotten around to it...).  This is one of the ones taken of us during Cory's family photo shoot back in October.



And just in case you're wondering, Breanne refused to smile in any of the pics, and Janey was doing her best, but still not quite sure what was going on. And it was really cold. Just so you know. :)

11.29.2008

Date Night

Jessie 109
Cory 64

I love bowling, and my sweet hubby who went with me, despite the sore arms.  

11.28.2008

And One For Today

This one is just for fun, saw it on a couple friend's blogs, so I thought I'd try it too. A little bit funny, these results, but they're actually a little bit accurate.

You Are Cherry Pie



You're the perfect combo of innocent and sexy.
At times, you seem a bit naive, simple, and innocent.
But at second glance, you are sensual, seductive, and even a little naughty.
You have people fooled - at least you'd like to think so.


Those who like you enjoy a contradiction.
Either that, or they can't really make up their minds about what they want.
And you can usually give people what they want... as long as you're in the mood.
You've been known to be quite tempestuous, and pleasing others is not high on your list of priorities.

About Yesterday

So I had every intention of writing my post after getting home from Cory's parents house last night. However, we ended up staying late, and left shortly after 11:00, which still would've been ok for writing a post, except that traffic came to a dead stop 4 miles from our house, where we remained for 45+ minutes before the road was clear enough that we could merge down to one lane and drive past the terrible-looking wreck that happened just minutes before we got to it (if you really want to know about it, look here). I was planning on my post being about the usual, I'm so thankful for my family and friends, yada yada yada, but after driving past that wreck, my opinion changed a little bit. While I was thankful for my family and friends before I saw that accident, there is nothing like a crisis to put things in perspective a little bit, you know? So, without further ado, here is my new "I'm Thankful For" list:

I'm Thankful For--

The chance I have to be on this earth
And be a wife
To a wonderful man
Who holds me in his arms every night as I fall asleep

And the chance to nurse/rock one baby to sleep
Who very obviously loves me more than anyone else
And the chance to check up on the other baby who is old enough to put herself to sleep, thank you very much
And her cries of "I just need my mommy!"

Those who once rocked me to sleep
And held me tight
And loved me more than I ever realized
And told me "it's not all about you" with my best interest genuinely in mind

And those who teased me mercilessly
And spun me around by my ponytail
And now face difficulties of their own
And love me despite all our many differences

And the family that I've married into
Their quirks, and loveable traits
Their quickness to love all around them
And make them feel like family.

11.26.2008

Pumpkin Cheesecake

A few years back, Cory and I got into a cheesecake craze of sorts. We made homemade cheesecakes for pretty much every occasion we could come up with... including Thanksgiving in July, September, January... you name it, we did it, probably. We haven't made cheesecake in quite a while now, mostly because I realized a slight correlation between cheesecake eating and fatness of myself. However, when Cory's mom asked us what we wanted to bring, and mentioned they still needed desserts, we knew at once that a pumpkin cheesecake was in order. So we made it tonight, and it is baking as we speak. (Yes, at 11:36, we have a cheesecake in the oven. It's best made the night before, and we needed the girls to be in bed.) I'm pretty sure it's not legal for me to post the recipe, as it's out of the Lion House Desserts Cookbook, but if you want it, give me a call or drop me an email. I'll try to post pictures later or tomorrow, whenever I get a chance. Let me just say, though, it is delicious! and I am so excited for tomorrow! I will also be making a peach pie... one of my favorites, and I love the turkey and sides that Cory's family always prepares, so it will definitely be a great day of food, and good company.

My only regret is that there isn't really any good way to spend the holiday with all our family. I'd much rather that than this trading holidays thing, but I just can't take all the traveling, and neither can the girls. Holidays should be about quality time, not shoving in every possible visit, I think. So please understand that, even if we aren't visiting you tomorrow, that we love you, and will be thinking of how thankful we are for you, as well.

11.25.2008

Capabilities and Activities

So lately Breanne has been making me doubt my mothering capabilities. All she wants to do is watch tv and play video/computer games, and all she wants to eat is ice cream, it seems. I'm trying my best to introduce her to new activities, and healthy foods, but she has just become so adamant about things lately! If I tell her no (like when she tells me she wants a Scooby Doo Ice Cream Push Pop for breakfast...), she cries and cries. Same thing if I turn off the tv. Eventually she'll agree to do (or eat) something else, but those 10 minutes of sulking every hour or so are really starting to wear on me. I try not to tell her no all the time, because I don't want her to think she never gets to make choices, but sometimes her requests (demands?) are just totally unreasonable. Most of the time I try to distract her with something else she might want to do, but she's grown out of that distractable stage... oh how I miss that stage... I've also tried the choices method, but she always tries to choose something that isn't actually a choice. As in, I say "Do you want cereal or waffles for breakfast?" and she says "no, I'n ise-neam" (ice cream). I tell her we don't eat ice cream for breakfast, she cries, I ask again if she wants waffles or cereal, eventually she tells me she wants cereal, and we eat. How do I avoid all this crying? I want her to learn to make good choices, and be happy with them. How do I teach her this?

And on a similar subject, I'm looking for good activities for her and Janey. Things that we can do in and around the house would be best, as it's hard to get out much because Janey still naps 2-3 times a day, but we're open to other things, too. Breanne and I are going to make a countdown chain of activities we can do until Christmas, but we need more activities. Right now on my list are the following:

1. Make snowflakes
2. Make sugar cookies, give out
3. Make Christmas cards, send out
4. Read about the original Christmas story
5. Make candies
6. Make ornaments
7. Make a nativity
8. Build a snowman
9. Make snow angels
10. Shovel the walks
11. Put up tree and lights
12. Visit elderly friends in our ward
13. Listen to a Christmas CD and learn new songs
14. Wrap presents
15. Make presents

I have several specific crafts I think Breanne and I should be able to do together, which I think will be fun for both of us, and then some of the bigger projects on the list I hope we can do as a family. I am really excited about the holiday season this year--Breanne and Janey are understanding more than ever, and I think we can really make this a wonderful time for our family, if we put a little bit of effort into it. What are your favorite Christmas traditions that you do with your family? Anything you loved doing as a child?

11.24.2008

Usborne

I've also been meaning to mention the new button on my sidebar that links to my Usborne Books page--www.kilgerbook.com. As most of you know, I've been selling Usborne books for over a year now, and I still love them. They are such great quality books, and they've really taught Breanne so much. She knows all of her colors, numbers, letters, animals, shapes--all kinds of things, and a huge part of the reason she does is because we've gotten so many of the Usborne books, and we read them regularly with her. I'm excited to teach Janey in the same way as she grows and learns. I really like all their fiction (like the "That's Not My..." series), but what I really love from them is their non-fiction--they have so many great learning aids, and just interesting books in general. If you're at all interested in getting books for anyone you love this Christmas, I would encourage you to take a look around my site. Not because I want your money, but because I know these are a great product, and one worth having in any home. There really is something for everyone, too, not just the kids--I know that I have a personal wishlist that includes the recipe cards, and the encyclopedia set. Anyways, if you're interested, but overwhelmed by the site (there are 1300+ titles to choose from, which can be a little daunting, I know...), just let me know--leave a comment, drop me an email, or give me a call, and I'll help you figure out what those in your life might like. I'm going to place my last order on Dec. 10th, so I can make sure to have everything here by Christmas. If you would like to place an order, I'd recommend you do it by then as well, just to be safe. If you have any questions or requests, please just let me know. Happy shopping! :)

Yummy Stuff

So today I made a new recipe--Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup. I thought it was delicious. The site I found it on, if you aren't familiar with it already, is entitled "A Year of CrockPotting," and it's run by a girl who is making something in her crockpot every day. I've really enjoyed looking at all the things she's made, and trying out a few of the things myself.

Anyways, I thought the soup was great--my beans weren't quite done cooking after 6 hours on high, though, which was disappointing, since I also soaked them all night last night. I also omitted the mushrooms, and used (drained) canned corn instead of frozen. Cory ate a bowl full over rice, but didn't love the soup... but he doesn't love many soups. My brother- and sister-in law ate with us tonight, too--my brother-in-law ate two bowls full, my sister-in-law (who is super super picky... :) ate exactly one half a bite with zero beans in it. All in all, I though, I thought it went over pretty well--it wasn't nearly as spicy as I expected it to be, with 2 cups of salsa in it and all, but it had a great flavor. I love using my crockpot, it makes my evening so much easier when I don't have to figure out what to cook at the last minute. I've always thought meal planning was a good idea in theory, but we've never implemented it around here (Cory doesn't like the ridgidity of the schedule...), so I always feel like I'm scrambling for a meal at the last minute. I love it when it's already taken care of.

11.23.2008

Nothing to Say

Lots of late weekend nights lead to not enough sleep, and no time to say anything even if I had anything to say. So I'll say more tomorrow, and try to do it earlier, like during naptime or something, so I have more time. Good night.

11.22.2008

Cory in a Hat

I really literally honestly absolutely do not ever remember Cory ever wearing a hat.  Ever.  Seriously.  Yet while browsing the pictures on my in-law's computer, I found this picture from May 2006:


What on earth is this world coming to? And why does he looks so distraught? And where was this taken? Can anyone answer these very pressing, very important questions?

Also found on the in-law's compy that I'd never seen before:

Janey playing:



and Breanne at Kylie's graduation (I think):

11.21.2008

He's the Man

I stole this from Aliese's blog, because I feel like I'm running low on ideas for blogging, especially on boring days like today when we watched Wall-E at least 5 times. Sometimes I regret that Breanne knows how to turn on the tv herself...

Anyway, here is some info about my Cory, in case you don't know him well enough. Hopefully he won't mind. :)

Five things my husband loves:
1. Me
2. Our kids
3. The Gospel
4. Apple computers
5. Himself

Five things on his to-do list:
1. A transcription of some old piece of music... blah
2. Chess programming project... more blah
3. Talk Radio iPhone app work (it's already in the store, if you want to check it out. :)
4. WordTeach iPhone app work (program he's been working on for Breanne that hopefully someday he'll finish and have in the store, too.)
5. Fix our stairway (way down the line in priority, though, sadly)

Five snacks he loves:
1. Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade things
2. Runts
3. SweetTarts
4. Smarties
5. Bagels with cream cheese.


Five things you may not know about him:
1. He is very self-motivated, and is constantly teaching himself new things and researching new ideas and projects. This is a big part of why you'll so rarely see him without his computer.
2. He is a serious night-owl--often staying up past 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning... though this seems to be dimishing as he's gotten busier with work and school and other projects.
3. He proposed to me at Goose Pond, which is across the street from Walden Pond... makes the English Major heart in me just melt.
4. He served a 2 year mission for the LDS church in Caracas (and the surrounding areas), Venezuela.
5. He was in a band back before his mission, and has taped recordings of his band. My favorite song of theirs is Caffeine... so great. :)




Five places he has lived:

1. Sacramento, California
2. Ewa Beach, Hawaii
3. Endicott, New York
4. Merrimack, New Hampshire
5. Provo, Utah

Five quirky things about Cory:
1. He is a collector, and has a very very very difficult time letting anything go.
2. He has a knack for writing things down on post-it notes or other small scraps of paper and leaving them all over the house for me to collect.
3. He doesn't like to walk around without socks on most of the time.
4. He thinks it's disgusting that I might wear his shoes without socks to take something outside (as in if I slip on his shoes really quick to take out the garbage--that's so gross to him.)
5. He loves me!

I consider myself to be a very lucky girl. While our relationship may not be perfect, I can't imagine a life without Cory. He has been such a strength to me, and has taught me so much. I don't know what I'd be without him. I love you Cory!

11.20.2008

Painting

So as I mentioned the other day, Breanne loves to paint right now.  I found some watercolors (Crayola, nothing fancy) in my art stuff a while ago, and decided that Breanne could use them.  I was a little worried about the messiness of it all, but she really has done remarkably well.  Half the time she just wants to get paint on the brush then swirl it in her cup of water to see what it does.  Or she just paints with the water from the cup.  Or she asks me to paint something specific, then tries to paint over it and copy me.  But still--she's having a good time and keeping herself occupied without watching tv, so it's good.

A few pictures for your viewing pleasure (I feel like I haven't posted pictures in a while, so here you go.  :)






Isn't this a beautiful painting?  Great use of color, I think.  :)

11.19.2008

Crazy People

You all must have missed the header of my last post.  It read "I'm Tired."  I thought that was an indicator that yesterday was not a normal day.  I do not usually clean my carpets, or even vacuum, really.  And I especially don't do all that stuff in one day.  It was all in preparation for a baby shower I was hosting tonight.  I am glad I got it all done, it is nice to have a clean house again, but seriously, I'm no super-mom.  I usually shoot for getting 1-2 projects done a day... and projects in my case refers to a couple loads of laundry, or a load of dishes, or maybe (just maybe) vacuuming the front rooms.  I like to spend my time focusing on my kids more than the chores around me, and I'd like to say that's all I do, but really, we watch a lot of movies (no reception for our tv), and I do sudokus or read quite a bit, too.  We try to get outside everyday, though that doesn't always happen, either.  I am, however, trying to get more permanently organized, so that cleaning doesn't always have to be such a chore.  (If anyone out there is wanting to spend some moulah on me for Christmas, I'd love a good sized filing cabinet that I could store in my basement, and file things away for reals.  This little box we bought as newlyweds just isn't cutting it anymore.  We need more space for filing.)

Anyway, I appreciate all your words of kindness, but seriously... I'm just doing the best I can, but don't be idolizing me.  We live a comfortable, but not quite ideal, life over here.  Pretty normal, as far as I can tell.  We're always looking for new things to do, new activities to keep us busy, and new ways to keep our lives a little more organized, a little simpler.

But I do throw a mean baby shower.  And I make a great apple dip.  Seriously, you should all try this:
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
3/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Cream all together, let sit 2 hours (in fridge), then mix again.  Enjoy.  Seriously, so delicious, and so easy.  I gave out the recipe at least 5 times tonight.  And now, I'm going to go switch over a load of laundry, and head off to bed.  Good night.  :)

11.18.2008

I'm Tired.

Today's Accomplishments:

Kickboxing class
Made my bed
Planned the food and fun for tomorrow's baby shower for a friend (to be held here)
Picked up all the toys in the front rooms
Cleaned the bathroom
Moved the laundry downstairs
Yelled at the cat
Listened to Breanne parrot-ing my yells at the cat, regretted yelling
Did most of the dishes
Moved lots of the stuff I don't want in my house out to the car, to be taken to the storage unit tomorrow
Vacuumed the front rooms and my bedroom
Cleaned the front room carpets
Realized my arms really hurt, and I have blisters, from pushing around the carpet cleaner

I also did normal stuff, like feeding and playing with children (we painted with watercolors today).  And I probably did more, but I can't remember it all now, I'm pretty worn out, and ready for bed.  Have a good night, all.

11.17.2008

Dishes

So today one of my friends dropped by with her kids to play.  We were excited to have new friends to play with (we don't play with them too often), and pretty quickly the kids were all over the house, having a great time, I think.  Breanne was even willing to share most of her toys, once she woke up enough to play (she had been napping before they came, and was trying to decide if she wanted to be awake or asleep when they knocked on our door).  Breanne was a little bit hungry after some playing, so I made some quick snacks of Ritz crackers and peanut butter, which the kids all seemed to enjoy.  When I turned around from doing that, I found my friend unloading my dishwasher.

This surprised me.  In a good way, though.  At first she said that she didn't feel like she really knew a person until she knew where their dishes went.  I laughed, and probably said something about how mine generally went in the sink or on the counter.  Later, though she told me that she wanted more friends that she was close enough to that she could serve by doing their dishes, or laundry, or whatever.  I was just flattered that she wants to be my good friend, and very appreciative of the service.  I had been trying to convince myself to just go do the dishes all day, and she made it fun because we were doing something so simple! and productive together.  Her attitude towards service was so enlightening to me.  I've been pretty caught up in my own little world lately, when this really is the season for giving and serving.  That's what this whole life is about, really.

It sometimes amazes me that there are such nice and wonderful people in this world.  I'm grateful to have a few of those people close to me, both as family and as friends.

11.16.2008

Primary Anecdote

Just a quickie tonight, long Sundays make me tired.

During sharing time in primary last week, the teacher asked the kids what we were and weren't supposed to do according to the Word of Wisdom.  The usual answers, "don't drink!" "don't smoke!" "don't do drugs!" were shouted out, with appropriate responses from the teacher.

Then one sweet little *sunbeam said with much gusto, "We don't eat the sun!"

Without missing a beat, the teacher responded "That's right!  Not only would it probably hurt us, but it's much too far away."

Maybe you had to be there, but I was almost rolling on the floor laughing.  Kids say the funniest things.  I love my calling, but I wish I got to hear more of the lessons (and hilarious comments) rather than running around collecting rolls, knocking on doors, and getting and making lists.

*Sunbeams are 3-4 year olds, the youngest children in Primary, which is where the children are taught.  Just in case you aren't familiar with our primary system.

11.15.2008

Picking Things Up...

Breanne's new stuff--

Speech:

When asked if she wanted to eat her stew with her roll, the response was "No way, Mom.  No way."

When Janey was "attacking" her on her bed (with Cory's help), she stated over and over "No, no!  Yeave me a-yone, Naney!" (trans. leave me alone, Janey!)

Actions:

While giving me a goodnight kiss, she wanted a serious smooch, like mom and dad sometimes get.  She does not.

Her dolls are constantly dancing, singing, asking if they want to take baths, eating, drinking... she loves little dolls.  I'm thinking maybe some little animals would be a GREAT Christmas gift for her.

Cory was reading her a book about Nephi getting the brass plates, and when he came to the part about the pillar of fire Lehi sees, she tried to blow out the fire.  She also wanted to know the difference between Jesus and the angel that visited Nephi and his brothers.  Smart kid.

We went to Disney on Ice today (whole post about that on the way, I need to get some pics from Shi first...), which was SO fun for Breanne--she loves Disney movies (not having any form of cable means she watches a lot of movies...), and she could name almost every character.  She spent almost the entire time with an awed look on her face, so sweet.  However, she did NOT like Monstro the Whale from Pinocchio--even though she loves the movie, when he came out, she started crying (real tears, even), and told me "I wan' go home! I wan' go home!"  It was so sad.  But then more of the other characters came back out, and all was well.

Janey is also progressing.  She says things like "blaGlabadaba," and "hida" regularly.  She is also clapping, waving (occasionally), and playing games like peek-a-boo and so-big.  She sits like a pro (though I have to put her in a sitting position, she can't get into it herself yet), and loves to play the "oops, I dropped it game"... I just keep waiting for that first "Uh-oh" to slip out.  She loves it when Breanne plays the game where she jumps and falls down a lot, and laughs hysterically almost every time.  She is really getting into things now that she's rolling and scooting so well (no crawling yet, just like her sister), and I regularly hear Breanne saying "No, Naney, that's my...(finish sentence with one of Breanne's prized dolls or other possessions)," at which point I usually intervene by having Breanne find a new toy to trade her for.  All in all, I think they get along great, as far as sisters go, and I am so proud of all their new accomplishments.  I love watching them learn and grow.

11.14.2008

This is Ridiculous...

...We are in the process of owning our own home, yet we don't have enough space for all our stuff--I spent 2 hours today getting a friend's stuff moved out of her storage unit, because we have 5 boxes and at least 5 computers over there.  The moving guy's comment?  "Those are some old school computers, man."

...So Cory's been working with this guy on iPhone apps for a while now, and while I love the extra moula it's bringing in, I do not love that the guy calls at 11:36 at night.  Even if Cory says it's ok, it's really not.  Is it?

...How good Papa Murphey's Philly Cheesesteak Pizza can be... talk about delicious!

Ok, well, I'm off to watch Supernatural with my hubby.  Just had to get that off my chest.  

11.13.2008

Fun With Food Contest



All right, I finally decided to go with this photo for the Fun with Food contest... no thanks to most of you! :) The score was exactly tied for both of these pictures after your votes, so I chose this one, just because I love the cheesiness of Breanne's smile. If you'll recall, this is a photo from October, taken after I made Breanne some pb&j's shaped like her initials. She loved them. One last time, this contest can be found here, and you have until 3:00 eastern time tomorrow to enter. Wish us luck! We could definitely use the free $500.00 in grocery money. :)

New Button on My Sidebar

Just thought I'd point out my new button on my sidebar--it's a link to 5 Minutes for Mom, a great site with lots of helpful hints and tips for moms, as well as many many giveaways right now. Thought I'd share the wealth with al y'all by posting the link. Enjoy!

11.12.2008

Movies A-Z

This looked like a fun tag, so I thought I'd pass it along... it's hard, though. Some letters I have a ton of favorites for, but others I can't think of a single movie, so... here is my list of favorite movies from A-Z. Feel free to play along!

Arsenic and Old Lace
Big Fish
Catch Me If You Can
Dan in Real LIfe
Enchanted
Finding Forrester
Ghostbusters 1
Hope Floats
Incredibles
Juno
Knight's Tale
Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, Chronicles of Narnia
Muppets Take Manhattan
Napoleon Dynamite
Oceans Eleven
Princess Bride
Q
Robin Hood (Disney animated version)
Stardust
Transformers
Unbreakable
Vita รจ bella, La (Life is Beautiful)
While You Were Sleeping
X-Men 1
You've Got Mail
Zorro

Seriously, I don't think I've seen a movie that started with a Q. If I think of one, I'll add it later.

11.11.2008

Short Post

Do your knees ever hurt when they're cold? Or when you've been driving too much? Or when there's a change in weather? Or when you change altitudes?

Yeah, mine too.

11.10.2008

Cory's New Job

So I still haven't posted about Cory's new job--time to get that one down.

When Cory got laid off from Excel, we both really felt like it was an opportunity for growth, rather than a set-back. Which was really weird for me--I am an excellent panic-er. When it comes to money, there are few things that can get me more upset. Yet I was strangely at peace with everything. As was Cory. And right we were for being so. During the week and a half that Cory didn't have an official job, he was able to work on a few iPhone apps, which ended up paying us more than Excel was. He also got in touch with one of the designers he'd been working with through Excel, and has secured a few projects through him as well, another source of extra income. And last, but not least, he applied with Rivetal.

Rivetal is a company Cory worked with regularly through Excel. They're a media production company (meaning they do all kinds of stuff--for Excel I think they did the dvd menus and things). The day Cory got laid off, I was searching the newspaper for job leads, and came across a job that exactly matched what Cory was hoping to get, and low and behold, it was for a job at Rivetal, and the contact to call was the guy Cory already had programmed into his phone and worked with weekly, pretty much. So Cory gave him a call, told him what he was looking for, and asked a few questions. Later that day he sent in a resume. The next day, he went in to get the last of Excel's stuff from them, made sure they had all the application stuff they needed from him, and then we waited. The following Thursday (Halloween night, I believe) Cory got an email saying that he had a job, but not the job he was expecting. Instead of PHP/development/coding/whatever, he is doing office management, at least while their normal girl is out having a baby, and then they'll renegotiate his contract when he graduates in April. We've also heard that they're excited to use him for production, but he hasn't done much of that. Yet.

So while it might not be exactly the job Cory wants, we still feel like it's great because he is getting even more contacts (all about the networking!). Oh, and it's a 50% pay raise. And he only has to drive 5 miles to get there, instead of 50. So he is home for dinner at 6:00 every day, and still puts in 30 hour work weeks, and gets to leave that job at the office. It is so nice to have him home more, even if he is still working on school projects and other work things (like the iPhone apps and other stuff). The girls love getting to see their dad more, and I love the extra support. Mostly I just love having him around so much, and able to work enough to support us at the same time. Someone out there is taking care of us, and I'm so grateful for it.

11.09.2008

Dancin'

So in an effort to make our house a little nicer, we moved some furniture around last week. Because of this, we ended up moving our beloved record player out into a more open area in our front room, which has allowed us to actually utilize it... something we haven't done in a while. Like since Breanne was born while, I think. Anyways, so as soon as we had everything moved, Cory of course pulled out some old rock records, and put one on, which inspired some impromptu dance moves from Breanne...




Even Hazel, the cat, wanted in on the action:


And Janey was doing her own thing with me over on the couch:




I love nights when we get to just hang out together at home and do what we want. So nice.

11.08.2008

Sometimes Breanne Hurts My Feelings A Little...

I'm sure she doesn't really do it intentionally, but occasionally Breanne will say something that makes me a little sad. Take the following example, for instance. A little background--Breanne occasionally (ok, regularly...) likes to play this game she made up where she takes two objects, and switches their names--ie. she'll call her Ariel doll Diego, and her Diego doll Ariel, and then ask us what their names are, and tell us we're wrong if we answer what their names really are. So the other day we're in the car, and she is referring to me as Dad, and Cory as mom. The conversation went roughly as follows:

Breanne: Hi Mom (talking to Cory)!
Me: No, I'm Mom.
Breanne: No, other mom!
Me: No, I'm the only mom you have.
Breanne: I wan' two moms!

Ouch.

11.07.2008

My Thoughts on Prop. 8

Actually, this won't be much of my thoughts.  Just my agreement with the statement issued from the church today.  I am so tired of people thinking that we mormons are so close-minded, and anti-homosexuals.  While I certainly don't agree with homosexual behavior, my reasoning for supporting prop. 8 was not that I hate homosexual people.  People get to choose what they want in life--that is our gift of agency. No, the reason that I supported Prop. 8 was simply that, to me, the institution of marriage is sacred and divine.  It is what creates a family.  If a child cannot be conceived without a mother and a father, I don't think they should be raised in a family without the same, if possible.  And before I say something that really offends a reader out there, or solicits unwanted comments, I'm going to post the release from the church today.  Please be kind with your feedback.  I am really not trying to offend anyone, I just think the church stated what I am feeling very well.


SALT LAKE CITY-5 November 2008


Since Proposition 8 was placed on the ballot in June of this year, the citizens of California have considered the arguments for and against same-sex marriage. After extensive debate between those of different persuasions, voters have chosen to amend the California State Constitution to state that marriage should be between a man and a woman.

Voters in Arizona and Florida took the same course and amended their constitutions to establish that marriage will continue to be between a man and a woman.

Such an emotionally charged issue concerning the most personal and cherished aspects of life — family, identity, intimacy and equality — stirs fervent and deep feelings.

Most likely, the election results for these constitutional amendments will not mean an end to the debate over same-sex marriage in this country.

We hope that now and in the future all parties involved in this issue will be well informed and act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different position. No one on any side of the question should be vilified, intimidated, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

It is important to understand that this issue for the Church has always been about the sacred and divine institution of marriage — a union between a man and a woman.

Allegations of bigotry or persecution made against the Church were and are simply wrong. The Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage neither constitutes nor condones any kind of hostility toward gays and lesbians. Even more, the Church does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches.

Some, however, have mistakenly asserted that churches should not ever be involved in politics when moral issues are involved. In fact, churches and religious organizations are well within their constitutional rights to speak out and be engaged in the many moral and ethical problems facing society. While the Church does not endorse candidates or platforms, it does reserve the right to speak out on important issues.

Before it accepted the invitation to join broad-based coalitions for the amendments, the Church knew that some of its members would choose not to support its position. Voting choices by Latter-day Saints, like all other people, are influenced by their own unique experiences and circumstances. As we move forward from the election, Church members need to be understanding and accepting of each other and work together for a better society.

Even though the democratic process can be demanding and difficult, Latter-day Saints are profoundly grateful for and respect the ideals of a true democracy.

The Church expresses deep appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the many Latter-day Saints and others who supported the coalitions in efforts regarding these amendments.

(This article was originally found here.)

11.06.2008

Old Favorites for New People


Breanne loved this book when she was Janey's age for this very reason... and she still does.  

Sorry I haven't been posting much other than pictures--I have just been too exhausted at the end of every day to say a whole lot.  Both girls seem to be in slightly difficult stages--Breanne is refusing naps regularly, and is just very opinionated in general, and Janey is in a super-I-only-like-my-mom stage, and teething.  So I promise I'll post more about what is going on in our lives another day, just not tonight.  I'm just too tired.  I realized though that I haven't mentioned that Cory got a new job--we're pretty excited about that.  Cory isn't ecstatic about the work he's doing, but it is a great job that works well in his schedule, is 5 miles from our house (as opposed to 50), and is a 50% pay raise.  Plus he'll be getting to do more of the stuff he wants, it sounds like, in a few weeks... again, I'll explain later.  But we are definitely being blessed over here.  Sorry I didn't tell y'all sooner.  But seriously, more on that all later.  I'm going to sleep.

11.05.2008

And One More

Also at the duck park are two really cool playgrounds--we only visited this one, but the girls had a lot of fun, and so did Cory and I... until he called me fat, that is.  Or not.  Whatever. :)  My favorite photos in this collage are of Janey--this was her first time in a real swing, I think, and she LOVED it.  She was laughing the whole time.  So cute.  Also of note--I think there is a picture of Breanne standing in front of every slide at the playground, yet she didn't go down a single one.  For some reason, she just wanted to climb up the stairs and yell at us, but not slide down.  Funny girl.  One last thing--Breanne is pumping her legs while she swings, something Cory taught her to do back around the time Janey was born.  It doesn't do anything for her yet, but she is understanding the concept.  I am loving that she is more and more able to express her desires to us with words! and understand what we are saying in return, and how it can actually help her when she listens to us.

Feeding the Ducks

Last Saturday we went to the duck park.  We figured it'd be getting cold pretty quick here, so we wanted to take advantage of last week's nice weather.  I'm was glad we did as we watched the snow fall this morning.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics of the family, and the ducks.  

11.04.2008

Just glad that it's me...


...that gets to hang out with these great girls all day, even if they have had tummy bugs lately.

Just glad that it's not me...

...that has to pick up all the messed up pieces that this country seems to be in.  Good luck, President Obama.

11.03.2008

I Need Your Help.

Yes, I mean you.  All you lurkers out there, time to step into the light and give me a hand.

5 Minutes for Mom is having a contest for $500 in free groceries for the best photo related to "family, food and fun."  So I'm trying to decide what photo to use--these are the two that I've narrowed it down to, but Cory and I can't decide which to use.  I'd really appreciate it if you'd all weigh in and leave me a comment with which photo you think I should use.  I'll accept answers for the next couple of days, but then I'm going to enter (last time they were giving away a free kids bedroom set and I totally forgot to answer because I didn't do it right when I was thinking about it... very frustrating).  Thanks for your help, and if you're a mom or dad yourself, feel free to enter, too.  

Here are the photos.  (I have better, bigger, cropped versions of them that I'll post for reals later--blogger is being retarded and won't pull up my newer versions of these pics, so these are stolen from the original post at the beginning of October.)


11.02.2008

Carving Pumpkins

As promised, the pumpkin carving photos:

Breanne wanted to make her own face, a "miley-face" she kept telling us... so Cory let her draw what she wanted him to cut while I scraped out the guts.
What Breanne's face came out looking like--there are definitely two eyes, a nose and a mouth there, so that's what Cory cut... with a little artistic license, of course.


Janey's big job was to sit in her high chair and be happy, which she did well up until the end, when she was getting hungry. She was lounging a bit, putting her feet up, as seen in the photo below. Funny girl.
Sorry, apparently we missed pics of the actual carving--my hands were too covered in goop to take pictures of Cory. But believe me, he did a good job. Or just see for yourself:

Cory's Pumpkin:

Breanne's Pumpkin (turn your head a little sideways... isn't she a creative genius? :):



I love silly traditions.  They just add so much to the simplest of holidays.  I was worried we wouldn't get to the carving this year, because we seem to stay so busy, but we really had a lot of fun with it all.  The two pumpkins we carved were purchased, btw, if you were wondering.  I grew a TON of pie pumpkins, but they're much smaller.  My jack-o-lantern vines did wonderfully, but I didn't get a single pumpkin off of them.  Weird.  Next year I'll have to use a different brand and see how they do, I guess.

11.01.2008

Trick Or Treating

It doesn't seem like Cory ever gets too excited about holiday festivities.  Food yes, festivities not so much.  So when he gets excited about Halloween, I am more than happy to let him get as involved as he wants... which means he gets to take the girls trick-or-treating while I stay home and pass out the goods.  I love when he tries to make the holidays so fun for our girls.  I'll post more about the pumpkin carving and other festivities later, but for tonight, here are a couple cute ones of the girls ready and a raring to go:




Shot of the whole porch, so you can get some idea of what our home looked like...


Cute little kitty-cat. Cory thinks she did better with the trick-or-treating thing last year... this year she was scared of some of the other kids (lots of masks around here!) and the decorations, and more easily distracted... maybe next year will be better.


My happy little chick, not that you can really tell, she looks a little upset here. By the time they got back, I think she'd definitely had enough.


Aren't they cute?

P.S. I love Old Navy's costumes. So warm, and reasonably priced, especially when they're on sale, and you know you'll use them for several years each. I was planning on making costumes for the girls this year, until I realized I'd spend more $$, and they still wouldn't be as cute or warm.

10.31.2008

To Remember for Next Halloween...

If the pumpkins are still green next year, put them out anyway.  Actually, they're even better green, apparently.  The kids all think they're awesome, and will tell you so.

More with pictures to come tomorrow.  November is NaBloPoMo, which means a post every day for the month... we'll see how well I do at that.  Wish me luck.

10.28.2008

Goo Goo Dolls

I love the Goo Goo Dolls. They're in my top 5 rock bands, for sure, though I'm not even really certain who else is on that list. So naturally when my buddy Ashley told me that she was going to their concert on Saturday, I told her that if for some reason they couldn't make it to the concert, we'd gladly take their places. To which Ashley responded that actually she'd just see if she couldn't score us some tickets instead, since it was a concert being sponsored by Nu Skin, her husband's employer. And sure enough, Josh, her hubby, was able to get us some tickets! So Cory and I went to the concert while my parents watched the girls (thanks so much!), and had a really great time. I took a few pics, but they're from my phone, so you'll have to excuse the poor quality. Oh, and they're mostly pictures of the screens on the walls, because that was the only way I could really see what was actually happening up there.  Anyways,  Cory and I knew all their songs but 3 (I think all 3 of the ones we didn't know were new), so we really enjoyed singing along with almost the entire concert.  What a great night.  Thanks again Ashley, Josh, Mom and Dad for allowing us a great date night!

The Stage/Lead Singer, John

Did you know they had a saxophonist?  Neither did I!  But I'd like to point out that he plays tenor, by far the most superior sax.  Or at least the most versatile.  He also played keyboards in the back.  Sweet!

Because it was a convention crowd, people were filtering out throughout the concert, allowing us to move up and get better seats... in this one you can actually see the performers!


Singing "Name," my favorite of their songs.

Proof that they do in fact have 2 singers... I'd always kind of figured they did, since they have 2 different sounds, but had never researched it.  Turns out their bassist was the original singer, but then they started having the guitarist sing, and that was when they made it big.  I much prefer the voice of the guitarist, but the bassist was a pretty entertaining guy too, so... whatever.  I'll take it all.  Like I said, I love the Goo Goo Dolls.


Seriously, such a great concert.

10.27.2008

Things I Love To Find

So the other day I left Janey and Breanne in their bedroom for a minute while I went to do some laundry or something, and when I came back upstairs, the girls seemed to be happy in their room, so I left them there to do a few more chores. When I finally peeked in on them again, this is what I found:



I helped Janey sit up, and they continued to play for another half hour or so--I love that they are such sweet sisters, and that Janey is getting old enough to play with Breanne. I just hope that they will continue to be friends as they grow up--I know nothing about keeping sisters happy... but I'll do my best to do so. I want more of these sorts of pictures.