Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Family Pics

We recently had some family pictures done. I was feeling a little urgent to get some pictures of the baby since she was over 4 months and I still had not gotten them done. I hope you can't tell from looking at the photos that it was a high of 38 degrees that day, Garth had some kind of flu bug, the baby was totally fussy, and Derek was leery of this stranger telling him to smile. If you can't tell that, then Emily with Mango Ink was worth every penny.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This is Why I Started a Blog

Occasionally I'll have a moment with one of my grandparents and I will think "I need to write this down." Because despite my interest and my desire to remember every story I am told, I forget quickly. This year for Veteran's Day, Carter's school did a music program and invited family and veterans to attend. I was so grateful that Norm took the time to come and enjoy the program. The kids did a great job doing readings and singing patriotic songs. On the way home, Norm started telling me about his time in Korea which was a rare treat. And now, I am writing it down so I don't forget.
This is Norm in "the walking pride of Uncle Sam, the army." He was drafted to go to Korea when he was 18 years old and was there for almost two years. He was in the 7th division. He says he doesn't remember a lot of what happened during that time and that there is probably a reason for that. I suppose that is how you move on and begin to function again. There were guys that he was friends with but nobody he keeps in contact with. He says you get close to the other guys in your division because you depend on them to get home. . . but not too close because you might lose them. The guys who didn't get drafted were considered the "lucky ones" but Norm says he would not trade a million dollars for what he learned in Korea. He learned that war doesn't fix anything. He learned a lot about survival. Not just how to thrive in the cold in a fox hole but how to survive every day life. There is so much more to life than "spilled milk and smeared peanut butter". The things we consider trials and issues are so minute and really don't matter in the long run. As bad as it may seem, there is nothing worse than war.
These buildings were their nice accommodations. I can't imagine living here for any length of time but it beats the fox holes he also spent time in. We were discussing that there are similarities between his experience and those of the men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan (the fighting, the dust, etc). The major difference?. . . Norm was truly cut off from home. There were no skype cameras, emails, video chats etc. He was on his own. He said it was hard to come home after so long (another difference, it seems few soldiers now spend that much time over there without coming home). It was strange to him to see green grass and other small things we take for granted. When he came home, his whole world was upside down but being in Korea was harder.

Toward the end of his time in Korea, he saw a posting about a position for a librarian for the new division library (I guess they started a library to help out the guys). So Norm tells them that he went to University of Washington and had studied literature and that he would love the job. Apparently they never checked his credentials and never found out he was lying, so he got the job. He got to finish his last few months at a desk with an assistant, had a shower every day (instead of every 3-4 weeks) and slept in the same bed every night. That is the Norm I know. Resourceful, quick on his feet, dedicated regardless of the job.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An Anniversary Program

This past Sunday was our 9th anniversary. Where does the time go? We don't usually do much to celebrate our anniversary and this year was no exception. I spent all day Saturday working the book sale at school and we opted out of dinner that night for lack of a decent babysitter who can handle 3 kids and an infant (who doesn't care for a bottle). Garth did surprise me with these awesome pink skullcandy headphones for my ipod. Then Sunday was "the program." Anyone who has been in primary knows exactly what I'm talking about. It is what we work towards all year long. We are constantly teaching themes and songs that will be included in "the program." This year's theme was My Eternal Family. I was smart enough to delegate the responsibility of the program to my counselor Shelli (who is much less flaky than me) and she did a fabulous job. It was written well and flowed so smoothly and there were touching personal stories from the kids. I was sitting in the pew with my family and was grinning from ear to ear. It is so cute to see the kids and their different personalities and wonderful to feel their pure faith and spirit as they say things like "My family can be together FOR-EV-ER" (Sydney's part). I am so glad that Garth and I got married in the temple 9 years ago and started our forever family!

Friday, November 6, 2009

On the Verge

The past two weeks, I have been on the verge of getting sick. I am grateful that it isn't the full blown nasty stuff everyone around me is getting. Just a little more tired than usual, a few more headaches, a little sore throat, minor body aches.

This morning. . .The minutes before school were ticking by too quickly. . .Olivia was crying on the changing table (from being ignored whilst I got everyone ready). . .Carter and Syd were playing/arguing (instead of getting shoes and socks on). . .I was literally kneeling on my almost two year old Derek to get his diaper changed and clothes on while he threw the biggest two year old tantrum ever. . .and I felt on the verge of something else. Insanity? A meltdown?

Deep Breaths.
I Can Do This!

Halloween and a Wedding

Halloween is such a crazy holiday. This year it started on Thursday with Syd's preschool party, then Friday afternoon at Carter's school.

After the school party we ran to my mom's office for some cubicle trick or treating and treats. Then we ran back to the school for the Harvest Festival. It was all a little more than Derek could handle so Garth took him home and I stayed with the older kids.

This is Carter and his friend Carly (she has a major crush on him).
The best part was when Derek won the cake walk!

The fun continued Saturday night with the costume wedding reception for my cousin.
Carter was a vampire. . .
Sydney and Olivia were flapper girls (thanks to Grandma Theresa for making the adorable dresses!)
Derek was Yoda (a repeat from last year. Why buy a new costume when this one still fit?)I'm not quite sure what Garth was. He called himself the "keeper of the ladies." I thought he looked like a pimp. The whole fam trunk or treating outside the country club where the reception was held.
The reception was one of the most fun mormon wedding receptions I've attended. Perhaps the costumes helped people to relax a bit and have more fun.

Kelly was such a beautiful bride. She had an amazing dress (that you can't see very well from the photos.)

Dance, Dance, Dance!

Happy Halloween

From Olivia.
4 months
12 pounds 10 ounces (50th percentile)
24 1/2 inches (75th percentile)
Such a great baby!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NOT in the fan club.

Carter: I am going to be a vampire for Halloween.

Garth: Are you going to be Edward?

Carter: Who's Edward?

Garth: Just ask any 30 year old woman!