Saturday, November 29, 2008

Today, Aidyn got baptized.

Hi. It's me, Aidyn. Today I got baptized. I got baptized at my church. Now I'm a full member of the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My family came to see the event. My mom, sisters, dad, Grandpa Ross, and Rich came to see me. Also, the Knights were there, Dallon and his mom, a girl from my Primary class named Maja Lorimer and my Primary teacher. There were some other people, too. And my Bishop. The water was warm and then it changed to cold, and it kept changing. It wasn't that deep. My dad baptized me and confirmed me. He only dunked me for about 2 seconds. When I came out of the water I felt like a new person. Now that I'm baptized and confirmed I have the Holy Ghost with me. The Holy Ghost helps me do the right things. That's all for now.

He is a man of few words, but perfect none the less. Aidyn has always been so easy going and good-natured. He's always been mom's special boy and we are really close. What a blessing it is to see my son make the choice to be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Today while we were on the way to Costco to get his Baptism Cake (a family tradition) he talked to his Aunt Nuber on the phone. She asked him why he wanted to be baptized and Aidyn replied, "Because Jesus wants me to." I am grateful that he has such a desire to be like his older brother, Jesus Christ and to obey his Father in Heaven. I can't believe he is getting so big. Addy said the opening prayer, Grandpa Ross gave a wonderful message on baptism, Bishop Liddell talked about the attributes of the Holy Ghost, and Uncle Rich gave an extremely sweet closing prayer. Today was a day I will always cherish.

Dear Aidyn,

Today I felt the spirit as I watched you make one of the most important choices you will make in this life. I felt the spirit warm my heart and testify to me that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is on this earth, and that our Heavenly Father loves us. As your mother, I feel blessed beyond measure to be given the opportunity and challenge to raise you in these Latter Days. I promise you I will always do my best to teach you correct principles, and to give you the time, attention, and love you deserve. You are and always will be my most special boy. Thank you for being you.

Your Loving Mother,

We had a fun November. Madeline and Katie came down from Overland Park, KS to visit us the weekend before Thanksgiving. We did some shopping at the mall (which, shockingly, both Madeline and Addy love) and then went to the beloved Dallas World Aquarium on Saturday. These two cute and crazy girls stayed up til the wee hours of the morning chatting, gaming, and being best buds. We love those Connors! They are the best kind of people and ALWAYS welcome to come stay with us ANYTIME!!!

This past Tuesday, Aidyn had his first pack meeting with his new pack of cubs! He recieved his Bobcat award. We were so proud! He is very enthusiastic about Cub Scouts and is already making plans for which badges he wants to earn. It's like Pokemon, only real!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Oh yeah, it's fall. Time for pumpkin pie, football, leaf turning, long sleeves, family togetherness, and......swimming? If you live in Dallas, y'all, you betcher Long Horns and Levis! With the pool nearly finished, and the weather still between 75 and 80, the kids think it's time to don the suits and jump in for a splash. Our pool is in the final stages meaning it just needs to be filled up, cleaned up, and tested. When we got home from the Dr.'s today (flu shots, yippy!), Addy and Aidyn ran out to watch the mesmerizing water-filling. Oh the joy that water coming out of a hose brings to children. Come to think of it, I need to get one of those corded spayers for my kids would want to shower every night!!! The cleanliness!!!! Anyway, they both immediately started wading in the water and before I knew it, Aidyn was pulling on his swim trunks and slapping on his goggles. Let me point out that the water is only about 1 foot deep right now. But that didn't stop him! Sometimes I watch my sweet children and wish I could get back some of that innocence that makes the simplest activity so exciting and fresh. Pause for nostalgic memory. I couldn't help but snap a few shots. Did you know it takes 24 hours to fill a pool up??? How crazy is that! I had no idea. BTW, Avery fell asleep in the car on the way home and was napping on the couch during the fun.

Speaking of the older A's, both of them brought home straight A report cards yesterday! I am so blessed to have kids who enjoy school and have a desire to do their best educationally. I thank my Heavenly Father for that every day. Addy's teacher told me at teacher conference last month that Addy actually reads at a high school level AND that in all his years of teaching 5th grade (9 to be exact) he has never had a student with her language and reading abilities. BOOOYAAAHHHH! Go Addy! Aidyn is also readying amazingly well. In second grade they chart student progress with each report card (we get 6 a year). The chart come home with the report card and shows progression starting from a 1st grade reading level up to a 5th grade reading level. Progress is charted by words read allowed per minute paired with accuracy. His teacher explained to me that upon his first reading, Aidyn had already scored off the chart so she would probably not send the chart home again. Redunant. I'm so proud of both of them. They are great kids and really, really try their best 99% of the time. Household opportunities to serve falling into the 1% best trying margin, and we are working to erase that percentage all together! Check out our pool progress! When are YOU coming over to swim?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Confessions of a Harried Housewife, Chapter 2

I am not perfect nor have I ever claimed to be (much). But sometimes, my behavior is so spectacularly un-stellar that I even disappoint myself. Now that the Inner-Circle has been enlightened on Monkeys and Ass-Goblins, I am confident that not much I say or do in the realm of non-mainstream disciplinary action for my children will surprise you. Today's incident will rate in the top 10 hall of fame Worst Moments of Child Rearing for me, myself, and I. Really, this Harried Housewife Moment ranks up there.

All weekend I was sick with a virus. John brought it home last week and was sick for a day. I get it and I'm nauseous for 4. Nice. Bitter. Saturday, I had committed to a shopping outing with Addy. With high hopes of mother/daughter bonding time, the two of us planned to head downtown and explore the posh Northpark mall sporting the likes of Oilily, Neiman Marcus, Salvatore Feragamo, Anthropologie, Armani Exchange, BCBG, Dooney and Bourke, Hannah Anderson, J.Jill, Urban Outfitters, William Sonoma, White House Black Market, and about a billion other tres fab stores that just oozed boutique-ee scrumptiousity (i made that up). Amy joneses for shopping trips of this caliber. Amy joneses for her daughters to jones for shopping trips of this caliber (okay, someday I hope to get to the point in my spiritual growth where I no longer jones for such trivial and materialistic placation-just not there yet). BTW my shopping weakness is the reason I have a lingerie collection rivalling any Victoria's Secret model's. Love is the only language John speaks after a 5 hour trip to a mall like this one and the receipts to make it reality. Ok, you are catching my drift. For me, this is a day made in heaven. And Addy was actually ecstatic! She wanted to go! She picked an outfit to wear the night before, she talked incessantly about it for several days, she was on fiya. I wake up Saturday morning and I'm fully afflicted; so miserable that I actually don't want to go shopping(shocking! I know!). Bitter. However, being the selfless mother that I am, I slap on my mall jeans, new Charlotte Reusse blouse, and spike heel boots, pop some Ibuprofin, program the tele-nav and we are off. Inevitably we have a fabulous time and spend way too much money (and I am frankly a little worried about that since John couldn't pay me ENOUGH money to don the lingerie later that evening in said stricken state). When we get home my head is ready to explode and not from uber shopping vibes. I feed the kids dinner, wash my face, and hit the sack. Oh yeah, first I studied my Primary lesson cuz I had to teach a CTR5 class the following morning in Primary. Ugh.

CTR5 class. This is my new calling. I love it! I love being in Primary-it is my favorite place to serve in the church. Watching the seeds of young testimony sprout is second to none. Because I have been traveling the last few weeks, I have missed my own ward meetings for 2 consecutive Sundays so even though I am sick-QUEASY sick-I will go to church and teach my class Sunday morning like a good Mormon girl. Isn't guilt grand? Of course, the whole morning I am a complete stink-pot, I am grumbly, I am bitter, I am exhausted. All I want to do is crawl back into bed with my puffy allergy face, my nausea, and my fatigue, pull the covers over my head and sleep the blessed sleep of the undead. I don't know how it works at your house, but at my house, I am the Sunday Morning Motivator. I get everyone up. I get the church clothes on the church goers. I get the breakfast on the table. I get the Stevens' train out the door. Yay me. If Amy doesn't set the alarm, we all stay home. Chalk that up to my sum-of-reasons-to-be-bitter for the weekend. Church is "fine"....accept I thought our Primary Program was the weekend B4. I told my kids not to worry about memorizing their parts cuz we would be in Kansas; I told the Primary Pres we wouldn't be there so not to plan on my kids or myself participating. Durning the presentation we sat in the foyer and listened to the beautiful music and I watched my poor sweet children singing the songs they had worked hard to learn all themselves. Yay me. Sigh. After church, I went home and crashed for 3 hours. So tired. So annoyed. So bitter.

John wakes me up by climbing into bed and announcing it's "his turn". Turn? I didn't realize taking turns was part of the bargain when one of the two parties was SICK. I get out of bed (bitter bitter bitter) and head out to the kitchen to start dinner. Oh, and I still feel like crapola. After dinner, I have work to do. Yes, I typed work. It's the Sabbath and I am working and I will not pretend like that's unusual. Didn't I preface this post with "not perfect" verbiage? Don't JUDGE ME! My hobby is my job and I have an order to mail out that needs to be packaged. I also have some necklaces I have to redo because I strung them wrong in the first place. BITTER. At least I have Dexter to keep me company. Michael C. Hall, you rock my bloody world. Ha! John has sequestered himself in his man-room watching football, so I do the bedtime routine and get the kids down. BITTER. I think he might have helped a's sort of a blur at this point and I would totally loose your sympathy if you start to think he was being in any way helpful, so let's just stick with me as the martyr here. The ailing martyr. I pack school lunches (bitter) and go to bed.

Monday morning, today, I wake up at 6:30, the usual time to get the kids up and ready for school. Bitter. John is gone by that time-he had an event in Houston with his team that was not rescheduable even for a sick wife. Later, I found out it was a golfing event. Bitter! Allergy face, nausea, fever and all, I get the kids ready, feed em', cloth em', make sure their faces are clean, their teeth are brushed, they have all the necessary paper work, and drive them to school. They are totally learning that I am ridiculously annoyable when ill. Does that stop them? Not really. The bitterness has hit an all time high. Since, being a woman I haven't completely processed my feelings of bitterness yet in an effort to evaluate them, I'm freaking DONE. I just want to go back to bed and wallow in my misery for an hour or two. Sick and me, we just don't get along. I don't have time to be sick. When I get back home, I get Avery breakfast (at this juncture I'd like to point out i got her EXACTLY what she asked for-make a note) I tell her to watch her shows for a little bit because mommy's sick and wants to lay down for a while longer; I drag myself to the guest bedroom. Oh! The guest bedroom, you ask? I can't sleep in my own bed because my sweet four year-old joined us in the middle of the night, then proceeded to PEE all over me and the sheets and the comforter at about 4 in the morning. Bitter!! I was doing laundry a lot earlier than I had planned. BITTER!!! The stink of pee and the feeling of nausea are not complimentary. The joys of motherhood, right? Ok, so I go to lay down and within 5 minutes, Avery is screaming she wants "BROWN CEREAL" (which translates to Cinnamon Life). "BROWN CEREAL BROWN CEREAL I WANT BROWN CEREAL MOM GET ME BROWN CEREAL DID YOU HEAR ME I WANT BROWN CEREAL WWHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET ME BROWN CEREAL ARE YOU COMING YET MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMM I WANT BROWN CEREAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!" Sigh. This stretches on for 10 minutes or so.

Me from the guest bedroom: "Avery, I am sick, I am tired, I've been peed on....I just want to rest for a little bit. Did you finish your breakfast, because if not, no brown cereal."

Avery from the family room: "I don't want this breakfast. I want brown cereal. COME AND GET ME BROWN CEREAL. BROWN CEREAL BROWN CEREAL BROWN CEREAL BROWN CEREAL BROWN CEREAL BROWN CEREAL." She's yelling this, hence the capitalization. I am thinking deliriously to myself, "Is she mocking me? Is that a sing-song cadence I am detecting in her mockage?? Is she part of the conspiracy striving to drive me absolutely mad?????!!!!"!!!

I am soooooooooooooooo DONE (and bitter). My heart is racing, my hands and legs are shaking, no amount of counting to 10 and taking deep breaths is going to stop me from making a major parenting faux pas at this juncture. Avery is still ululating (LOUDLY!) for brown cereal. I throw back the covers, leap out of bed, toss my sleeping mask across the room, and storm STORM out to the family room. I punch the tv off, and boy, looking back I am sure smoke was coming out of my ears. I grab my child by the arms hoist her into the air and scream,


I drag her up to her room (crying of course), toss her onto her bed, slam the door, and storm back downstairs where I first throw the sheets in the dryer and the comforter in the wash, then retrieve my sleep mask, and finally fall down on the bed. Huh. Immediately, I am sobbing. Wow. It is not very often that I am this completely ashamed of myself. How often do you dissolve into tears because you have acted like a complete schmuck to your 4 year-old? After about 2 minutes, I run up the stairs to Avery's room, nestle her into my arms and tell her how sorry I am.
"Mommy made a really bad choice to treat you that way. Mommy is feeling really sick, frustrated, and BITTER and I treated you badly because of it. That was wrong. That was a big gigantic mistake. I'm so sorry. Can you forgive me, Avery? I love you so much and I am so, so sorry."

Instantly, she forgives. Hugs, kisses, tickles, smiles, all of the good things that make parenting genuinely rewarding. I am always learning the most simple and yet completely profound lessons from my children. Forgive=Happiness

So if you are a woman, you have read this and are thinking, "Gosh, why are men so clueless? I mean when we are sick, they should pick up the slack. They should take care of the kids. They should do the laundry. They should cook the meals. They should get the kids up and ready for church and school. They should offer to teach the Primary lesson. They should wait on you, hand an foot, because that's what they would expect you to do! Where is the intuitiveness!!!???? Where's the homemade chicken soup!??!?!?!?!??


If you are a man, you have read this and are thinking, "Why didn't she just tell him what she wanted him to do?"

DOUBLE Indeed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fun Times in KC

Whew! It's been a busy past few weeks. The holidays are officially upon us, my friends. I spent the weekend before Halloween with my wonderful friends in Kansas City. Karina and I traveled to "Time Out For Woman" in Omaha and found the conference, frankly, a little dry. The conversation, food, shopping, and girl talk could not be beat, but having heard such good things about this traveling production, I can only describe our experience as, "The Not So Joyful, Kenneth Cope Show". Leading a Joyful Life is the actual theme for 2008 TOFW, but it was all pretty mundane info that I was not super inspired by. I wanted new and fresh! There were a few really great messages, stress on the few. I would like to mention highlights of the notes I recorded, but since Karina and I evidentally took EXACTLY the same handful of notes, you can totally go to her blog and read up. No need to be repetitive. Definitely check out Cherie Call, an up and coming LDS musician who's work is original and refreshing. DEFINITELY check out "The Parenting Breakthrough" a wonderfully insightful book by Merrilee Boyack (one of the speakers who could not be there, most unfortunately). Karina recommended her book to me and I have literally consumed it. She has an amazing program for training your children to be high functioning, confident adults that will change your life, and the lives of your children for the very best. Seriously, if you are a parent, do not miss this read. I will be posting pictures of the system our family has created from this book in the next couple of days. Prepare to be inspired!

Karina was a great hostess and it was so much fun to stay at her home with her great family for the weekend. I got to see many of my favorite friends and I really, really enjoyed myself. Weekends with the girls are much needed and so few and far between.

Halloween weekend was also spent in KC! This time, the whole family ventured up to the Sunflower state for good times with friends, parties, candy, and spooky fun. Addy stayed with her BFF Madeline, Aidyn with his BFF Aaron, and Avery stayed with John and I in our hotel, but spent every day with her BFF Mia. I got to hang with Olivia most of the weekend and it was fabulous. We mostly let the kids pull us in whatever direction they wanted to go. The Connors went all out and threw Addy and Madi a Halloween party with all of their mutual friends. What a blast! The Hortons held Aaron's bday party on Saturday night (his actual bday is in mid-November) so Aidyn could be there-how amazingly swell is that! Avery got to go to Friday playgroup, and Sue Hafen had a cute little Halloween luncheon for the kids-crafts and all. On Halloween Eve we went trick-or-treating with several of our friends, as families, and it was great. GREAT! Going home was bitter sweet for all of us and we hope to return soon. Love you, KC friends!!! MISS YOU!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rock the Vote, People

The Ant & the Grasshopper in 2008
Two Different Versions! Two Different Morals!


The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and
plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper
has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

Be responsible for yourself!



The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his
house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and
plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and
demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while
others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering
grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a
table filled with food America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor
grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody
cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where
the news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.' Jesse then
has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that
the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for
immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Hillary and Obama go on national television agreeing that the plight of
the grasshopper is the fault of George Bush.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act
retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green
bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is
confiscated by the government.

Barack gets his old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a
defamation suit against the ant, and the case i
s tried before a panel of federal
judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of
the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to
be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house,
now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once
peaceful neighborhood.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Yay Fall!!!

Ahhhhh pumpkin guts. A sure sign that fall is well under way. Here in Dallas, we are still wearing shorts and t-shirts so it's a lot different than what the past 10 years have conditioned me to. I love it! We usually carve our pumpkins the Family Night before Halloween, but since I will be off on my Awesome Adventure next Monday, we decided to do it this Monday instead. The pumpkins will certainly rot before Halloween gets here, however, since we won't be here to smell their awful stench, we don't care! Viva KC! The kids love carving pumpkin, as you can see. Addy did an amazing rendition of Mr. Cooper (who turned 2 yesterday, btw! Happy B-day Coopie Doo-Doo!!) Aidyn is way into Batman so he carved a Joker pumpkin and a bat, and sweet Avery. She of course wants to be involved with whatever Addy and Aidyn are up to and they are kind enough siblings to allow that. So kind! I really don't give them enough credit sometimes. She can find the girly in any make-believe. When Aidyn plays Spiderman, Avery is Mary Jane. When Addy plays Sonic the Hedgehog, Avery is Cream the Rabbit. When Aidyn plays transformers, Avery is McKayla. When they all play Lego Batman, Avery is Poison Ivy or Harley Quinn. Since Batman is the in thang at our house right now, John helped Avery with a Poison Ivy pumpkin. Her only requirements were as follows: "I want her to look pretty...and can you make her have a green dress and red hair, too???". Sorry Avery, but we aren't even sure we can do pretty. She was really more interested in the pumpkin guts anyway. Check out our creations!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Pictures

Just for the record, the pumpkin patches in KC and Dallas ain't got NOTHIN' on the ones they do in the NW> It's sad, really. Where are the giant corn mazes? Where are the giant hay slides with potato sacks to ride on, that literally SHOOT you out into a pile of hay? Where are the petting zoos? Where are the acorn houses (ie: little log cabins filled up inside with acorns-like a ball bounce-but so much less gross for some reason)? Where are the hay rides? Where are the reasonably priced pumpkins? Where are the helicopter tours? Where are the trains? WHERE ARE THE FREAKING DONUTS AND APPLE CIDER???? Ok, so admittedly, some of the pumpkin patches in KC and Dallas may have one or two of the afore mentioned elements at any given patch. But I want them all in one place! I want pumpkin patch fabulousness! There weren't a ton of things I liked about living in the NW. In fact, I can name 3: The Stevens' family, Kerry, and AWESOME PUMPKIN PATCHES.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

And the Winner IS!!!!!!

Thank you all so, so much for helping me with my market analysis experiment. This drawing was super helpful and fun. I will definitely start doing these on a regular basis, so keep checking the blog for more drawings to enter. Drum roll please!!! The lucky winner of the holiday pendant contest is...oh probably want to know which pendants were most popular so here are the results:

#1 most voted for: Believe, number 9
#2 most voted for: Joy, number 6
#3 most voted for: POE, number 1 (missed the tie for second by 1 vote)
#4 most voted for: Tree, number 5
#5 most voted for: Bells and Jolly tied

And the winner is.........


Hi Stephanie! Thanks for entering and congratulations! Please go to my eboutique, and choose your pendant and pendant accessory. You are welcome to choose one of the seasonal designs, or a custom pendant. After you have made your selections, email me at I look forward to mailing you some beautiful, custom jewelry!

Much Love,

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Drawing is TOMORROW!!!!

Hey Ya'll!!! If you have not yet voted for your favorite pendant, today and tomorrow are the last days!!! Scroll down a posting or two to find the pendant designs and leave your vote for your top 3 in the comments section. Tuesday night I will draw a name for a free pendant and pendant accesory. If you are the lucky winner, you can select the pendant of your choice, with the necklace of your choice to wear it with. I will post the winner on Wednesday. So practice your voting skills, you'll need them soon enough.

Much Love,

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Confessions of a Harried Housewife, Chapter 1

All right so everybody does these different things on their blogs like Flashback Friday, What's on the Menu, the 20 questions with one word answers's all good and I love to read em'. But I want to do something non-main stream. Shocking. I want you to get to know the real me; the me that my husband and kids have to put up with on a daily basis. The crazy-scary Amy that comes out when my nerves are fried, I'm at my wit's end, and my sanity is all but gone. The Amy who, as she sits here typing this, has a 4 year-old trying to crawl onto her lap to play dolls and/or press keyboard buttons, a 10 year-old who keeps "hey mom" ing every 15 seconds for "look-at-me's", and an 8 year-old who is chronicling his sorrows of missing pieces to his Jengo-Fett minifig. Sigh. Life as a mom, right? Ok, so maybe this frustration I'm currently feeling doesn't happen daily exactly, but it definitely happens on a regular basis as a wife and mother. If you are disagreeing with me right now, you are on some seriously high-end Prozac (and you should call me with your doctor's #). When I'm feeling overwrought, I get a little sassy and I do mean things. In my book there is a fine line between mean and harsh teasing and I looooooove to walk that line when I'm in a mood. Let me give you a little bit of background information about each of my kids to help you better understand my motivation for this evenings harried-housewife-mean-thing:

Addy Stats: age 10.5: Positive Character Traits: super intelligent/super Gospel oriented/super good friend/ super charismatic/super creative...
Not So Positive Character Traits: super whiny when tired/super drama queen on rare occasions (also when tired)

Aidyn Stats: age 8: Positive Character Traits: super sweet/super giving/super fun/super good friend/super mad lego skills...Not So Positive Character Traits: seriously, I can't think of any, but he can be a little gullible. He's the easiest kid ever, knock on wood.

Avery Stats: age 4: Positive Character Traits: super out-going/ super energetic/ super social/ super kind...Not So Positive Character Trait: likes to push buttons when she is bored/tired. Beep, Beep.

Ok, so don't think I'm a horrible mom for pointing out more flaws in Addy than the other two. Actually...think what you want, it's a free country. Bottom line, she's very vocal when annoyed and getting close to pre-teen years means that vocality is increasing. Hence, chapter 1....

We are driving to Aidyn's basketball game tonight which means 20 minutes of fun car time. John is out of town so it's just me and the kiddies. Avery is in her car seat singing a song, totally typical, she loves to sing. At four, she hasn't been vocally trained and all though I thoroughly enjoy hearing her sing, Addy does not. She asks Avery several times to stop, stop, STOP. I am talking on the phone to my friend, Karina,trying to schedule some much needed girl trip time and trying to ignore the dispute, hoping they will work it out. Finally, Addy screams at the top of her lungs, "Avery!!!! STOP IT!!!!" at which point, I politely excuse myself and get off the phone.


me: "HELLO!!! I'm on the phone!!!"
Addy: whimpering "She's so annoying! I asked her to stop singing like a million times the nice way and she won't stop!!! She's just doing it to annoy me!! It's so frustrating!!!"
Avery: "But I just like to sing"
Addy: super mean "No you don't, you just like to be annoying".
me: "Ok, Addy, enough. Avery, you have been singing for 10 minutes. Take a break. Addy, learn a little patience. Avery can sing if she wants, she's doing it because she enjoys it, not because she wants to drive you crazy."
Addy: super whiny "But she is driving me crazy."
me: "Sigh. Addy, learn a little patience. Avery, if someone asks you nicely to stop doing something, it's polite to stop. End of conversation, let's play the quiet game."

Quiet Quiet Quiet

We get to the basketball game, Aidyn joins his team, Avery and I sit down to read some books, Addy starts reading her book.

30 seconds later

Addy: super whiny voice "Mom, can I go somewhere else and read? It's too loud in here."
me: "No, Addy, you have to stay with me. I want to watch Aidyn's game and I can't see him if I leave with you."
Addy: super super whiny voice "I hate coming to his games. It's sooooo boring."
me: "He's your brother, you need to support him. Remember that Zac and Cody episode we just watched? How Zac totally supported Cody by going to watch his speech even though that was ultra boring?" (you might want to add watching Disney sitcoms with your kids and then referring to them as life lessons to your repertoire of fine parenting skills)
Addy: super super super whiny voice "UUUUUGGGHHHH!!! I just hate this!! That buzzer is so loud and everything is just LOUD! I want to leave! How long do we have to be here anyway!"
me: "Games are 45 minutes. Just read your book and it will go by fast"
Addy: you get the point "MOM. Can I please just go right outside the gym door??? The noise is driving me crazy. I can't concentrate on my book."
me: "I said no-not safe, not happenin"

more arguing about loudness and leaving.....

10 minutes later

Ok, I have officially reached my melting point at this juncture. I hate to argue more than just about anything else. I'm not good at it and I tend to give in easily. Addy is the queen of negotiation in the form of arguing (she gets these mad skills from her daddy). She will make a great defense lawyer someday.

We are almost to the mean harried housewife part. First, let me clue you in on a conversation that we had earlier that day while walking home from school. Addy is talking to her friend Olivia about a search and rescue operation she took part in while visiting Vancouver, WA last month. A boy about her age with autism was lost while camping with his dad. Olivia asked Addy what autism was and Addy asked me to explain it. So I tried as best I could to explain that autism is considered a mental illness where those who suffer from it have a hard time with social interactions and communication. Most of the kids I have met with autism are great kids, highly functioning and extremely smart.

This is where the mean comes on if you dare.....

Back at the basketball game I am fed up and ready to kick Addy in the rear. Can't I have a moments peace to enjoy my sons ever-so-slowly budding basketball skills??????

me: "you know Addy, your senses are really easily overwhelmed. That's a symptom of autism. This has been happening more and more frequently lately, especially the noise thing. Maybe we should make an appointment with your doctor to see if you need to be tested."
Addy: super worried voice "you think I have autism?!?!?"
me: "Well don't act all bent about it, I mean I just worry when you get so freaked out about stuff like this (I really do, actually)."
Addy: super super worried voice "you think I have autism?!!?!!?"
me: "I'm just saying that if you are constantly feeling this overwhelmed by loud noise, maybe we should see if there's something to it."
Addy: super super super worried voice "you think I have autism?!!!?!!!?"
me: "I didn't say I thought you had anything, I just said maybe we should look into it."

Ok, so that totally shut down the complaint fest. On the one hand, I felt really good about that cuz I could veg out on basketball in peace. On the other hand, I felt like a total schmuck for resorting to that type of manipulation to get Addy to shut it down. I admit that it took several minutes before I started feeling like a schmuck. And just for the record, I don't think autism is something that should be made light of or joked about. I have fully disclosed that I was mean; this is my form of therapy/admitting I was wrong. I am being honest about my weaknesses.

Ok, it's not exactly "monkeys" or "ass goblins" (past harried housewife tactics), but it was pretty close. I pinpointed what I knew would bother her, and I totally used it as a weapon to my advantage. Pretty crappy, right?

When I got home I apologized and told Addy I was a big fat donkey, and that it was totally wrong to do what I did. I then spent some time reflecting on finding "Joy in the Journey"
(go to this link and watch for President Monson's talk on finding "Joy in the Journey" for clarity on that fabulous quote:,6353,310-1,00.html)
and admonished myself for feeling like my life was anything but pretty darn awesome.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Free stuff in the form of AMAZING JEWELRY, that is. Here are my pendant designs for the holiday season. Choose your top 3 favorites, email them to me at, and you will get your name entered into a drawing for awesome and attractive jewelry! Yes, awesome AND attractive! You can choose your favorite pendant and a matching sterling silver necklace to go with it. To pre-select your necklace (cuz ur totally gonna win!!!) go to Here are your the pendant designs......

Thanks for your time!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What A WEEK!

Hey Ya'll,

We are finally moved in and feeling slightly more settled now that everything is unpacked. Whew, it's been a long hard week. John and Aidyn were visiting family and friends in the NW from Tuesday to Saturday which left the girls and I (ok, so me) to get-r-done. If you know me at all, you know that a)I can't stand to sit around and do nothing b)I can't relax when there is a load of crap to get done, and c) chaos completely overwhelms me. So you will not be surprised to read, that all that's left to do is hang the curtains and put up a few pictures. In the immortal and always appropriate words of London Tipton, "Yay me!".

In just the handful of weeks we have been here, I have found out that two friends from back home in P-town live within a short drive from our new home! Lisa Anderson Stubbs lives in Frisco and Lisa, I just want to say that I was at Ikea last week thinking of you. Email me soon so we can get together!!! In addition to Lisa, I just noticed a comment on my last post from another old friend. Actually she is a friend of my sisters whom I used to baby sit. Hi Jenny! It was so great to get your comment! I can't believe you live in Highland Village! We are seriously neighbors. Lantana is about a mile west down the 407 from you. Email me at and I will give you the scoop. We really love this area!

I didn't do a quote of the week last week because I was too crazy busy. I just finished a book that had a couple I could use, but I am going to go with an Ensign quote in tribute to my BFF, Kerry. She was going to come and visit this week, but she is so sick being pregnant with her 3rd child, she can barely leave her house and had to cancel. So Sad!! A week or so ago on her blog she posted about missionary work and the pressure we feel as Latter Day Saints to be missionaries. I had literally the day before (or maybe 2 days before) read a great article in the September Ensign on missionary work. I like this article for the simplicity of the message I took away from it: missionary work is not something that you choose to do as a member of the LDS church, it is something that you are doing all the time be your example good or not so much. Of course there are other ways to be a missionary, but the example we set is probably the most influential on a daily basis. Anyway, read the article, it's called "Be A Missionary All Your Life" by Elder Quentin L. Cook. The non-preachy ones are my favorites. And here is the quote by this inspiring elder, "Missionary work is not just one of the 88 keys on a piano that is occasionally played; it is a major chord in a compelling melody that needs to be played continuously throughout our lives if we are to remain in harmony with our commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ." I even gave you one with a that's love people.

And for your weekly viewing enjoyment, here are a few pics of Addy as a mini-munchkin I recently re-scrapbooked digitally. Oldies, but Goodies! Can you believe she's 10.5? Oh, and that's not Addy getting married, btw. That's my adorable brother and his gorgeous wife, Lori. It just happened to be on the same page as the Addy scrapbooking for some reason.

What Kind of Shoe R U?

You Are Sneakers

You are creative, funky, and forward thinking.

You are cool, but you are still approachable.

You are stylish and edgy, but you aren't a slave to fashion.

You tend to put your own spin on trends.

You tend to have a fast paced, busy lifestyle.

Not a lot of people can keep up with you!

You should live: Near nature

You should work: In a job that keeps you on the go

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quote of the Week

I've decided to add a new element to my blog. It's no biggie, but it's representative of who I am, so like it darn it! I love to read and always have. Reading is one of my guilty pleasures at this phase in my life. You probably don't know this about me and it's kinda silly but I keep a book in my purse and read whenever I have a spare moment: at long stop lights, while I wait to pick my kids up from school, if I am waiting for an appointment of any kind, when I exercise, while my kids swim in the pool, when I have time before I fall asleep, any other period of seconds or minutes that is unoccupied by other responsibilities. I think I read about 1 book every 10 to 14 days because I love literature so much. Right now I am reading "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. It's excellent and was recommended to me by one of my best friends and fellow book connoisseurs, Olivia Wallace. Good choice Oli! My quote for this week is:

"In years to come, he would be a giver of bread, not a stealer-proof again of the contradictory human being. So much good, so much evil. Just add water."

"The Book Thief"

Do you have a favorite book? If you do, I would love to read it! Leave a comment to this post that includes your favorite book and why you liked it. There are only two rules to follow: First Rule-check my Shelfari book shelf and make sure it's NOT something already on there. Second Rule-it can't be a book from the Twilight series, people (just in case you are cheating and not checking my shelfari). We all love that series. The fabulousness is known. Recommendations are my favorite way to find the next book I will read. I still remember the first recommendation I ever got from a friend. One of my best friends from high school times, Amanda Teare, recommended "Follow the River", an amazing piece of American historical fiction. I have since read that book 3 times and love it each time I read it even more. It remains one of my very favorites of all time and rests as a permanent resident on my non-virtual bookshelf. Thanks Amanda! So leave your favorite as a gift to me. Thank you in advance!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One More Week!

We had our first walk through on the new house this past Thursday. Nothing major to finish up, just odds and ends so we are still set to close on the 19th of September. Since I have had numerous requests for pics, here are few I took this evening....

Before the house visit, we went downtown to the Dallas World Aquarium. It was our second visit since we have been here in DFW. What a cool place. They have a great variety of animal life both land and sea. Avery was really hoping to see some buffalope (buffalo). But unfortunately, she had to settle for Karin and Oswald, the giant river otters. Here is a video we made in the car on the way to the house...Bummer. It's too long. If your video clip is longer than 100MB, you can't publish it on Blogger!!! That's kinda sucky. Oh well, it was way cool. Sorry you will miss it. If I had video editing software on my laptop, I would totally shorten it for you, but Windows Movie Maker is the closest thing I have and it won't work. Here are some awesome pics of our awesome aquarium adventure instead! I will take a shorter video clip tomorrow and post it in the evening because I feel guilty now for getting you all excited about big fat nothing.

Ahhh, animals are so fun. I just love em'. If my allergies weren't so crazy bad and animals didn't poop, I would totally have my own zoo/aquarium. Maybe someday I can have an OUTDOOR zoo/aquarium and I could hire someone to clean up the doodoo. Hey, a girls gotta have a dream.

The cute manatee you see in the upper right pics just came right up to the glass. He sat there and watched me take pictures of him for like 3 minutes! I was so flattered! One of the 3 toed sloths was out for viewing but he kept his little face hidden so the only pics I could get were with him tucking his face down in his lap. Still pretty cute! Addy loved the burrowing owls the best, Avery loved the jaguar, manatees, and giant river otters, and Aidyn loved the monkeys, snakes, and crocodiles. Ginormous crocodiles! John is a fan of the jaguar and me, I love the river otters and manatees. I could sit and watch them all day long. I know, easily entertained.

In Stevens' news this week, Avery continues to love dance class. She can shake that booty with the best of them. You should see her learning to shuffle-ball-change! It's precious! Aidyn started baketball and continues to amaze John and I with his utter lack of athletic ability. He can run like the dickens but that kid cannot catch a freakin ball to save his life. Oh well. Maybe he'll be a track star. Addy insists on swimming and piano so she will have to wait until the pool is done and we have a new piano to start her extra curriculars. I think we are looking at mid to late fall for both. Cooper is his normal loveable Frenchie self. I have decided that he needs elongated soft pallet surgery and I'm not very excited about the amount of money it's going to cost me to pay for that. Sigh. John is on a diet and back to the gym-anyone wanna take the over under on how long that lasts? I give it 2 weeks tops. Hope y'all are well!