Friday, October 29, 2010

There and Back Again & Baby Food

the goodies! (plus a cute hat for Joseph)
Thankfully, my in-laws returned safely from Ecuador around 2 on Thursday. They brought us some yummy goodies: real vanilla, cocoa, and these wonderful wafers with a Nutella-like filling. (They're gone already, of course.)

I made Joseph some baby food to freeze and used my food mill for the first time. It was so much fun! It reminds me of those Play doh toys where you squeeze the dough through to make hair, only you're doing it with food. I don't think I've seen many things that look nastier than mashed up peas. To make food for the whole week, all I had to do was cook one carrot, a handful of peas, and a half a cup of oatmeal. Total time: an hour. Cost? Well under a dollar. A good friend of mine recommended a wonderful website that has all the information that anyone could possibly need on making baby food. I'm so excited to save lots of money!

James in his new jersey and pants
By the way, the website is

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It Builds Character

I really liked the talk from Conference about building character. It often seems that we have endless lists of good qualities that we need to have before we pass on to the next life. I think that there's really only one: charity. Charity is the last quality listed in any long list found in the scriptures. It is the ultimate good quality to have. However, I don't think that it is merely some conglomeration of a bunch of other good stuff. Charity is one word that describes perfection, yet we lack the resources in our language to fully describe it, hence the long list of other qualities. If we fully understood the word "charity" then we wouldn't really need the long list before it to really define what it is. Language is a funny thing. The more I've studied it, the more I realize how imperfect it is sometimes in describing the things of God. Only a language of God could fully do that, so that it why He speak to us through revelation and the Spirit.

In D&C 121:45, this process is described as "distil[ling] upon thy soul as the dews from heaven." What an interesting way to phrase that! To distil means to "precipitate in drops" or, interestingly enough, "to appear slowly or in small quantities at a time." (Merriam-Webster dictionary) That's exactly the way that knowledge of a doctrine comes. The more we are obedient, the more "drops" we receive. And what happens when we've received enough of those "drops"?

We never thirst again. I'm still thirsty, so I have work to do! :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Busy, Pt. 2

I can't believe that the 2 weeks are almost up! My in-laws will be back on Thursday, which means I get to go home. I am so happy! It's not that it hasn't been fun, but it's never the same when you're not at your own home. (Ironically, this will be my home soon enough, but not in the same way. I'll be in an apt. upstairs and not be in charge of all the kids!)

Joseph has really started enjoying solid food. He had bananas for a couple of days, so now we're progressing to squash. I blend it up with a little milk, and he just can't get enough of it! He's been sleeping really well at night too. Last night, he slept for 11 hours! That's definitely his record so far. It's really nice to get a full night of sleep (or close enough to one) since I've been running around so much.

It's finally looking like fall, with forecasts of snow today. I guess I'm still in denial, since we've made it for so long this year without any wintry weather. Oh well. It's inevitable.

Joseph has something to say:

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Friday, October 22, 2010


Bananas all over that chubby face :)
Okay, just a little. Let's just imagine that you have one child and all of a sudden have four (though this gig is only for 2 weeks!). Maybe it's just that Fridays are usually a little more relaxing for me. I've come to realize why my mom loved it when we were all in school and almost dreaded summer vacation. It's easy to keep track of my own schedule. When I was single, I did what I wanted. Then, I got married and added in James's schedule. No biggie there either, because he can at least drive! This week has flown by in a blur of play practices, driver's ed, homework, mutual, breakfast, lunch, dinner, brushing teeth, making sure the kids get some sleep, diaper changes, trying to squeeze in dates, family prayer, scriptures, and keeping the peace as the baby cries in the background 'cuz he's hungry again or somebody is unhappy with somebody else for some silly reason. When James is home, he has lots of homework. On school days, he's not home till 7.

I will definitely live. There are a couple things I'm going to do...

Thank my own mother. She did (and does) more than a human is possibly capable of doing without going insane.

Thank James's mother for also not going insane.

Only have 2 kids...20 years apart.

Okay, I was just kidding on the last one. I'm just so tired! Thank goodness that tomorrow is Saturday!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Nomming the water bottle :)
Anyone who knows me knows that patience is NOT my virtue. Until today, I never realized how little patience I have with myself sometimes.  Each day, I feel that I have to do a certain amount of work to feel like I'm worth something. If my schedule of plans doesn't work out, it can be really frustrating. In the words of Pres. Packer, "Not so!" It's by the small and simple things that great things are brought to pass. I can't do everything, but I can do enough for my home and family. All of these small things will eventually bring to pass greatness. The hardest part is just waiting to understand that big picture and not just see the small, seemingly unimportant details of everyday life.

Each load of laundry matters. Each diaper matters. All those moments that I try to make a successful home matter. It might not be a perfect home, but it will be enough. That in itself is all that really matters.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Adventures in Babysitting

Isn't babysitting a funny word? I'm currently at my in-laws' house while they are in Ecuador for the next 2 weeks. The only baby here is mine, so we're technically just taking care of the teenagers. Really, I'm doing the same thing I usually do during the day but pretending to be in charge and following a nicely-written out schedule. I guess that by definition, I'm teenwatching and not really babysitting, even though I do a certain amount of sitting during the day.

(Don't we all?)

I started another blog to put my recipes in. It was just weird to put them in this one. The link is on the side, if you're interested. I make no claims at being a gourmet, exotic cook, but cooking is certainly one of my favorite things to do. :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Joseph's First Swim

We went to Green Canyon on Saturday. Did I mention that I love that place? The water is the perfect temperature, a nice 95 degrees, so there are no blue lips to be found.

We went with James's family and grandparents. Joseph got to sit in a little floatie that was almost too big for him. He was expressionless and first and just kind of sat there, but he started splashing after a while. He's never minded his baths too much. It was really funny how he'd splash, get it in his eyes, blink with a confused expression, and then start over again. What a cutie! I wish I'd gotten a picture.

We ate dinner at Green Canyon before coming home. Yum! Cornbread with chili is so delicious. :)

"Bad things happen to good people,"

is a quote I've often heard accompanied by a sympathetic look and the shake of a head. But do they really? I believe I've mentioned this before, but I think I could go into more detail. (By the way, this idea is from my dad, who has many great ideas.)

I'd like to state the phrase in a different way: "Good things always happen to good people." However, that doesn't always mean that these things will be pleasant. There have been many good, yet painful things that have happened in my life. Most recently, I think about the birth of my darling baby. Most would not argue that this experience is both painful and good. Through the Atonement, Christ suffered for all the pains of the world, yet this was a good thing that yielded wonderful results for us. Without a sinless life and willing heart, it would not have been possible "to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)

It is through the things we lack that we come to appreciate what we do have. God giveth, and He also taketh away. The story of Job is often quoted to show the development of Job's character. God wasn't trying to destroy Job's faith. He let those painful (but not bad) experiences happen to Job to further develop Job's faith. I love the happy ending of the story. Not only does Job regain everything he had, but he receives double of his worldly possessions. The only thing that doesn't appear to be doubled is his family, which is a great testimony of eternal families. His family was doubled, because his deceased children would be waiting for him on the other side!

I believe that it is good to be a on both sides of "giving" and "taking". Sometimes we lack worldly possessions, so it takes more faith to give. No matter how little we have, there is always something we can give. On the flip side, no matter how much we have, we can always be grateful for the blessings we receive.

Christ gave his life for us, so what have I to complain about? Nothing, really. Such a sacrifice is not required of me, so I should never complain about the few things I give up, namely sleep, time, and energy. My contribution is such a small one, but like all others, I'll never be able to measure its effects.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Apple Pie and My Cutie Pie

I've been meaning to go to the BYU-I orchard for a very long time, because they have apples for 50 cents a pound. Unless you have a tree in your yard, there's nothing cheaper. I brought home 15 lbs! After making a pie, eating some (of course), and dehydrating 2 batches in the dryer, I didn't have many left. I'm thinking of going back soon so I can make James some applesauce. I was really impressed by the orchard. There are so many different types of apples that I've never seen or heard of. I never liked apples, but I definitely do now! The dried ones are really yummy plain or sprinkled with a little cinnamon and sugar. My favorite dried apples are the Granny Smith. :)

15 lbs. = about 2 grocery bags full

I couldn't believe some of the colors I saw!

I had lots of fun (possibly too much) in using this gadget.

The scraps made a wonderful pie.

Only 9 apples left!

I got about 5 quart-sized bags of dehydrated apples. YUM! 

Joseph had a checkup yesterday, and he's doing great. He weighs almost 15 lbs. now and is 26 inches long. He also had his shots this week and did great. He wasn't too grumpy and only cried for about 30 seconds this time. I'm not sure when I'll start feeding him solid food, but he's technically old enough and probably ready. It will probably be some time this month. I'm actually really looking forward to it! It's not going to cost much either, since I'm going to do what people did for thousands of years...make my own baby food. :)

This past week has really flown by. I just need to figure out what I'm doing this weekend. James is in FA 100, so we're pretty much booked for the rest of the month, but this week is still free. What to do? As long as it doesn't rain like it did yesterday, I think we have lots of possibilities with this beautiful fall weather.

The house smells like apples and cinnamon.

I love fall.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Impressions on Agency

This weekend was definitely an accomplishment for me. I stayed awake for all 8 hours of Conference! I didn't even feel sleepy! This was with no help from Joseph, who is still apparently going through a growth spurt. He keeps waking up every 3 hours at night. Luckily, he's only awake for 15 minutes at a time before going back to bed. It's much better than when he took 40 minutes to eat as a newbie!

Anyway, Conference always seems to have some kind of theme to it, or at least something that stands out to me more than anything else. The two themes I noticed this time were faith and agency. I thought it was interesting that the one talk (they're all jumbled now) talked about the friend who didn't have a good understanding of agency. It's such a vital part of the Plan of Salvation. Those who don't understand agency tend to abuse it, and that's definitely the reason that the world is in its current condition. People still want to believe that they are free to choose their actions AND consequences, hence many of the horrible things that are going on. They also think they can get away with their poor choices "as long as it's not hurting anyone else."

I think one of the biggest problems in anyone's life is the way we react to situations. Many times when I don't get enough sleep, I wake up almost wanting to be grouchy. People should realize that I need 9 hours, not 7! I should get breakfast in bed, a nap, and plenty of sympathy! Of course this attitude leaves me feeling horrible by the time James leaves for school. What right do I have to behave this way? None! It's the mere dread of being tired throughout the day that "makes" me feel this way, not that my morning is inherently bad.

The past few days, I tried changing how I felt when I woke up (for the fourth and final time). It's been surprisingly easy to start the day in a good mood and to keep it that way. It's not anyone's fault if I've been grumpy in the past. Nope, only mine. I've come to realize that being happy is worth so much more than sending poor, innocent James off to school feeling like he did something wrong when he didn't. I will always be jealous when I see him sleeping peacefully when I get up in the middle of the night, but that's my job! I choose from this day forth to be a morning person. It's probably going to take a lifetime to perfect, but I know that the world will be a better place when I choose to see it that way.

I am ever grateful for the gift of agency and that the Lord has given me commandments that help me keep using this gift to its fullest. (It's the gift that keeps on giving, right?)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Things Just Work Out

No, I don't mean working out in the exercise sense. I've been slacking in that department. I feel impressed to write about some of the tender mercies that I've experienced in my life recently and over the past few years.

I don't know how or why certain events happen in the way they do, but I'm glad for it. I never knew how much my life would be blessed by coming to BYU-I, but it has certainly been a wonderful 4 years. The Lord has been looking out for me all along.

James was one of the first people I met here. I'm grateful every day for the impression he's made on me, and I'm sure glad that I get to keep him forever. :)

I got a great education in a major I might not have picked, but I found my niche in teaching. Teaching others is what I really love to do, and going to school here made me realize my potential to be a teacher.

I was able to get my degree and have a baby only 2 months later. As much as I loved teaching, I was ready for Joseph to join our family. He is a blessing every day. As I sit here and watch him grab his feet and drool, I have to smile. He teaches me something every day.

We have been blessed with exactly what we need. I stay home with Joseph, so we live on a part-time job for most of the year while James works hard in school. The future is uncertain, but it's bright. Things tend to happen--ER visits, possible root canals, moving to a new apartment--and these things require faith. I am still amazed in the ways that the Lord provides for us.

I'm glad my parents taught me to work hard, pay tithing, and have faith. By always doing those three things, there's no way that we can ever go wrong.

Now, I have a diaper to change. :)

A Good Week

This week started off a little crazy, but it's ended very well. Dad left us on Tuesday, so we got the house back in order and I went grocery shopping. We've been eating the junk food stash that he left with us. :) Too bad it's almost gone already...When it comes to Doritos, I have absolutely no willpower. They must contain some addicting ingredient. I just haven't figured out what that is yet.

James and I had the opportunity to go to the temple last night for sealings. It was great, as always. It always reminds me of the day we got married. I can't believe that it's been about 15 months now. I also can't believe that Joseph is 4 months old! He has changed in so many ways. He loves to grab things and can hold his head up when on his tummy. He has also learned how to squeal. It's the cutest thing! I think he's done with his most recent growth spurt (thank goodness), so I'm getting sleep again. Growth spurts are no fun, but I guess they're a necessary part of a baby's life. It drove me nuts to wake up 3 times during the night when he had started sleeping through the night. I can't complain. I really do have a good baby.

Yesterday was one of coincidences. James went to a meditation class on campus, so I decided to take a little walk to my old home, the Hinckley building. I ran into 2 former roommates (pretty much the only ones still here), a guy from my home stake, and James's best friend who just got off his mission on Wednesday. Considering that forum hour is when no one is actually on campus, I'm thinking that it was an inspired decision to take that walk. It was really great to see familiar faces. I'm already starting to feel out of place on campus. I don't have any more classes to take, and that's a strange thought.

I'm really looking forward to Conference this weekend. I hope that Christian gets the opportunity to go to the Conference center from the MTC. Who knows? It's weird to think that I won't see him for 2 years, that Joseph will be a toddler, and that I might even have another baby by then. I think it will go by pretty fast, though. Christian will be an excellent missionary--no doubt. Hopefully I remember to write!