Red Butte and dinner with the Pe’as.

This morning we went with Lalitha and Eden to Red Butte Gardens. It was a beautiful day. In fact, Abe and I keep having conversations about how amazing the weather this year has been. I wish this year would just repeat over and over for the rest of my life weather wise, but since I can’t count on that, I just have to try to make the most out of every gorgeous day.

IMG_9908 IMG_9909 IMG_9912 IMG_9915 IMG_9918 IMG_9923Then we went grocery shopping with Lalitha and came home. I was the only one who napped, and when I woke up, Lydia informed me that she and Mary climbed onto the piano. I guess that means no more naps for me, or at least no naps while my children are awake.

I spent the rest of the day cooking. We had FHE with our friends, the Pe’as. Since we’ve been reading a lot of books about Halloween, Lydia has become very confused about what ghosts are. We decided to brush up on the doctrine of resurrection and our beliefs about how the spirit and the body are related to each other. Afterward, the kids pictured colors of ghosts.

IMG_9925 IMG_9930Abe and I have been trying to get around to folding four giant baskets of laundry for almost a week. We are going to try to fold some tonight while watching Stardust. We have a new habit to squeeze in movies: ten minutes a day! I wish I were kidding, but that’s actually what we’ve resorted to.

P.S. Mom and Grandma, Paige sent me some cute pictures from our hike Wednesday. If you want to see them, I added them to that post (link here).

Wee Witches

This morning we went to Gardner Village for Wee Witches Weekend with the Pe’as and the Andersons. I have a ton of pictures, so without further ado:

Left to right: Lydia, Ada, Mary, Natalie, Liv

Left to right: Lydia, Ada, Mary, Natalie, Liv

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There was dancing!

IMG_9804 IMG_9813 IMG_9814IMG_9797IMG_9800IMG_9815 IMG_9815 IMG_9816 IMG_9817And hand holding:

IMG_9822 IMG_9824And bubbles:

IMG_9832As we were leaving, I ran into one of my new friends from culinary school! It was a treat to see her and meet her beautiful children. Then Abe and I headed to the farmer’s market before coming home to crash.

After naps, we went on a bunch of errands. We bought enough chili for 200 people at Costco (Abe is in charge of the ward Trunk or Treat), checked books out from the library, grocery shopped, ate junky fast food, and played at the park:

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Abe explaining the game of Tag to the girls.

Abe explaining the game of tag to the girls.

dinner prep

Today I basically spent the whole day preparing for my primary dinner with Judy Jardine, Lira French and her two kids. I decided to do something simple, but it ended up taking the entire day. While Lydia was at preschool, Mary and I shopped almost the whole time, although we managed to squeeze in story time at the library.

Mary loves to say, “Oh, nooooo!” during books, and during story time she went crazy with that expression. The librarians kept looking back at her and smiling because every time something bad happened in story time, she’d say, “Oh, noooo!” in her darling little voice. We were all enchanted.

Then we came home and I fed the girls lunch.  Afterward, Lydia and I made cake together.IMG_9439After Lydia and I made cake, Lydia played in the dining room until she fell asleep on the floor.

IMG_9442Grandma, she was wearing the attire she told you about on the phone the other day. She thinks those teething balls make a really great bracelet.

After dinner, I vacuumed, cleaned the kitchen, sanitized the upstairs bathroom, and polished all the hard floors downstairs.

I came upstairs to find the girls playing sweetly in the closet. Mary looked up, grinned at me and said, “Big mess!” She pulled down a small tower of toys as she said that.

"Big Mess!"

“Big Mess!”

Then Abe played chase with the girls to try to tire them out. They are still awake two hours later, so I kind of think we’ll have to try a more soothing approach in the future…

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Industrious, laziness, friend and family-liness

After I steam cleaned and vacuumed all of the floors this morning, I figured I had earned a vacation for the rest of the day, so I finished The Mists of Avalon. I’m glad I got through it, but I’m also glad I’m done! That fictional world was a little too crazy for me, and I’m glad to be firmly back in my own paradigm.

In the late afternoon, Lydia asked me when I was going to “wake up” since I had been reading in bed for hours. I decided I could read just as well outside, so that’s where we spent the rest of the afternoon.

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The Andersons invited us over for dinner, which was wonderful because I was busy reading and hadn’t prepared a thing.

Lydia was tired. When we unloaded her from the car, she curled up on the grass and tried to go to sleep.

Lydia was tired. When we unloaded her from the car, she curled up on the grass and tried to go to sleep.

Paige made delicious pizza. I was carsick from reading in the car and didn't think I was hungry, but this made me want to basically never stop eating.

Paige made delicious pizza. I was carsick from reading in the car and didn’t think I was hungry, but this made me want to basically never stop eating.

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Then we went to Tom and Suzanne’s for FHE. They read to the girls a ton, which the girls loved. Abe did another puppet show–he’s the best at those!

sep15pic1 sep15pic2Then Lydia begged to come home and go to bed. She has preschool tomorrow, so I was very amenable to her pleas.

She was falling asleep on the potty before bed.

She was falling asleep on the potty before bed.

juice burn-out

I was pretty energetic from my juice cleanse this morning. I got up at 5:30, spent an hour studying my scriptures, steam cleaned and vacuumed the entire downstairs, dusted, organized, fed the children multiple times, and had a fun (picture-less, sorry Grandma!) play date with Misty and her adorable kids.

Lydia and Mary played chase while I cleaned the house. During the process, Mary's pants fell down. Even though she's about to turn two, these 18 month sized pants are just way too big on her.

Lydia and Mary played chase while I cleaned the house. During the process, Mary’s pants fell down. Even though she’s about to turn two, these 18 month sized pants are just way too big on her.

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Then I crashed. I proceeded to lie in bed lethargically until I decided I needed to eat something. It had been a day and a half by then, and I was starting to obsess over food in my head. It didn’t feel healthy.

I wasn't the only one to crash. I came downstairs to discover Lydia passed out on the floor.

I wasn’t the only one to crash. I came downstairs to discover Lydia passed out on the floor.

She proceeded to nap for the next two and a half hours. The child really NEEDS to nap, even though she's refused to do this for a year.

She proceeded to nap for the next two and a half hours. The child really NEEDS to nap, even though she’s refused to do this for a year.

After Abe came home, we ate dinner and drove to Red Butte Gardens…only to discover they were closed. No matter. We headed over to Sugar House Park so the girls could still see ducks and then play on the play ground. I had a lot of fun chasing Mary around (in spite of my ankle, which didn’t enjoy the chasing as much as Mary or I).

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Abe and I are having a homework party. He has hours and hours of extra work to do for his job, and I have a ton of homework to do. It works! Except for the fact that I am exhausted and slightly nauseous from the juice experiment. Hopefully we can finish soon and get some sleep at the start of this weekend. We had a pow-wow to plan tomorrow hour by hour because it is so packed. I really hate Saturdays that don’t feel free, but it looks like tomorrow will be one of those days…

school clothes, a date, a Miner party, and my new steam cleaner does it all

Mary has been waking up at 4:30am a couple times a week recently. I have conflicted feelings about this. I miss not sleeping through the night, but I absolutely adore cuddling with Mary. Last night after I rocked her, I was so awake I couldn’t fall back asleep. Finally at 7 am I leaped out of bed to get a head start on the day.

I raced to the market and Tony Caputo’s for produce and cheese, then headed home to pick up the girls. Abe had an Elder’s Quorum move this morning, so I took the girls to get Lydia some more school clothes and her new preschool uniform (which she has to wear every Tuesday).

They were best buddies in the car.

They were best buddies in the car. We spent a ton of time driving around, and we talked and bonded the whole time. I sometimes tune Lydia’s talking out, but today I determined not to do that–and it was great! We had a lot of fun.

At the mall. The girls raced around and had a lot of fun together.

At the mall. The girls raced around and had a lot of fun together.

After that outing, we drove home, ate lunch, and took naps.

When we woke up, Suzanne came over to pick the girls up for a Miner family party.

aug23pic7 aug23pic6 aug23pic4 aug23pic3 aug23pic2 aug23pic1 aug23In the meantime, Abe and I went on a date with an Amazon Local deal to one of our favorite restaurants.

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Ichiban Sushi. We love this place.

Ichiban Sushi. We love this place.

Then we bought Lydia more clothes, because honestly, she is growing so fast and I just can’t keep up. Once we’d purchased a whole new wardrobe at Kid-to-Kid, we went grocery shopping.

Suzanne dropped the girls off, and while Abe bathed them, I steam cleaned the carpet in their room. I am in love with the new cleaner! I cleaned the house for the next three hours (with the neighbors’ permission), and our floors and carpets have never looked cleaner. Once midnight was upon us, I stopped steam cleaning and just vacuumed, but still–it looks great, and I can’t wait for Monday because I can steam clean every last inch of the house that I didn’t get to today! Yippee!!

Abe gets a new calling

Today Abe got sustained as the new Elder’s Quorum President. He will be wonderful, I’m sure. It will mean a lot less time home with family and a lot more time out doing visits and giving service, but this is how I feel: God gave me Abe. If God wants me to give some of Abe back to Him, I’m very happy to do that. As long as my husband is alive and healthy, God can have all the Abe he wants and I will just stand by and be grateful to be married to such a faith-filled man.

I had to conduct Primary today. Even though I’m supposedly a trained teacher, getting up in front of people is hard for me. The children were very nice, though. Josh Geiger, my visiting teachee’s son, was very nice and volunteered to say the opening prayer when I realized our scheduled child wasn’t there. He gave me a reassuring wink as he headed up to the stand, and that made me feel happy. I have an ally in Primary!

We were up until 1:30 am last night visiting with Jon and Shirley, and we enjoyed every second of that. It was so hard to stop chatting, but we finally decided to be responsible and say goodnight after two and a half hours flew by without us even realizing it. They stopped by again for a short visit after church and saw the girls. We are so grateful to have such wonderful friends in our lives.

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Mary was naughty and ran into the living room while I played the piano. She's not supposed to leave the kitchen while she's eating, and she gets a real thrill disobeying that rule.

Mary was naughty and ran into the living room while I played the piano. She’s not supposed to leave the kitchen while she’s eating, and she gets a real thrill disobeying that rule.

Abe reading a note from Jon and Shirley after they'd gone. They are the sweetest.
Abe reading a note from Jon and Shirley after they’d gone. They are the sweetest.

Ode to Isabella

Abe and I have a lot to give thanks for today. He had a fantastic day at work and I had a wonderful day at home. Well, actually, I spent a lot of the time at yoga because Abe’s cousin is now on the babysitting market, and she charges the same rate as my gym childcare. Lydia has begged me to let Isabella babysit her, and even though I was initially hesitant because Isabella is slightly on the young side, I finally relented.

When I got home from yoga, not only was Mary peacefully napping, but Lydia and Isabella were happily chatting away in Lydia’s clean room. That’s right. Isabella and Lydia cleaned while I was at yoga. Isabella found her way to my heart strings today. I should have snapped more photos of Lydia hugging Isabella, which she did spontaneously and with great affection multiple times, but I was just too busy trying to do laundry and deep clean the house. Isabella hung out with us for the rest of the day, and when Mary got up, we all went to the pool for a little bit.

Then we came back home and ate dinner. Abe took the girls to buy a present for Sophia’s birthday party tomorrow, and I stayed home and “cleaned.” (I actually spent most of the time eating banana bread.)

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We held FHE when Abe and the girls returned. I gave a little lesson on the flag and then we drew pictures of the flag on Sophia’s wrapping paper.

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Cleaning marathon

Aside from taking my girls to story time at the library and then going to the gym for a swim, I literally cleaned all day long. Well, I took a forty-five minute break to play the piano, and I fed the kids a couple times, but other than that, all I did today was clean (and bake cookies). I don’t think the house has ever been this clean, and I feel so happy! The only thing I wish I’d done is mop all the floors, but at least they’re all swept or vacuumed.

I have another final project to do tomorrow, and there’s nothing I hate more than doing school work in the middle of a mess. I anticipate highly enjoying my project tomorrow thanks to today’s efforts.

And, best of all, my friend Candace is coming in tonight and will stay the weekend with us! She got a mini-pass to the Alt Summit to hear Martha Stewart present. I was supposed to buy a pass and go too, but I never had my wallet with me when I was at the computer, and by the time I finally got around to it, the event was sold out. I was bummed. But at least the good news is that, as I mentioned before, I have a final project (and a final exam) tomorrow. I’m pretty sure I would fail both if I were going to see Martha too.

Here are today’s pictures:

The girls woke up and wanted to build a nest for themselves in their princess tent. They had a blast.

The girls woke up and wanted to build a nest for themselves in their princess tent. They had a blast.

I told Mary to say "Hi Mommy!" She opens her mouth pretty wide when she says "hi".

I told Mary to say “Hi Mommy!” She opens her mouth pretty wide when she says “hi”.

The girls were really affectionate with each other this morning.

The girls were really affectionate with each other this morning.

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Oops! (A tumble.)

Oops! (A tumble.)

We have gotten our money's worth out of this dress. Lydia wears it at every opportunity.

We have gotten our money’s worth out of this dress. Lydia wears it at every opportunity.

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Mary makes life pretty easy for everyone by putting herself in voluntary time-outs so she can have her binkies. She's only allowed to have them in her pack-n-play, so she spends a lot of time like this.

Mary makes life pretty easy for everyone by putting herself in voluntary time-outs so she can have her binkies. She’s only allowed to have them in her pack-n-play, so she spends a lot of time like this.

Also, I’m linking to my favorite Christian song of late. It’s called “Build Your Kingdom Here,” and this is what got me on the Christian rock kick.

Field trip

Misty scheduled a tour of the fire department today for our preschool group (the one I dropped out of). We joined in for the fun and then had a picnic in the park with everyone afterward. The firemen were so nice and let the kids sit in the fire truck, tour the fire house, and taught them about fighting fires. Lydia now wants to be a fireman when she grows up.

20140421_112650 20140421_112705 20140421_112743 20140421_113702 20140421_114829Then I went to school and made: vada pav (an Indian sandwich), a Southwestern turkey wrap, lamb pita, blackberry yogurt soup, chilled tomato soup, and fried veggie chips. There were a lot of dishes to wash…

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The other fantastic thing that happened today centered around the new book I’m reading. It’s entitled, The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education. It’s basically the Bible for many homeschoolers, and everything I read made me want to home school. I just don’t know if I have the energy to do a good job of it. Also, I worry my kids won’t have friends. On the other hand, school can be a vicious place, and I still feel like I’m dealing with the aftermath of social trauma that happened at school. Maybe sparing my children the pains of that wouldn’t be a terrible thing. I’ll have to think a lot more about this, but this is the very first time I’ve ever remotely considered home school. There’s a lot to think about!