Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday Morning Clinic

This morning we were playing in the basement. I ran upstairs for 2-3 minutes. I left Alice laying on the carpet and told the girls to "be gentle, I'll be right back." When I came back this is what I found:

Can you tell which is the real baby and which is the doll?

In the time I was gone, they had gotten the dr's kit stuff out and set up their own little Saturday Morning Clinic. It was funny to watch. Alice seemed exicted about all the attention although I had to supervise a few procedures. And of course the appointment ended abruptly when a stethescope hit her in the face...opps! Don't they go over that in medical school?

Dr. Hayley and Nurse Maya

(they are both very thorough about taking notes during all the procedures!)

"No, please don't give me a shot!"

Since I know how much Hayley hates ripping bandaids off I thought it was thoughtful of her to put Alice's bandaid on her shirt.

You'll be happy to know that we have a very large baby: weighing in at "84 and 5 lbs"!

What great drs they'll make.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Letters to My Missionary

My little (but taller -than-me) brother, Paul is serving a mission for our church in Ireland.

As a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Paul devotes 2 years of his life to serving people in the area he is assigned (Dublin, Ireland) and teaching those that are interested about the gospel of Jesus Christ. During that time we communicate with him mostly by letters. He has a short amount of time once a week when he has access to email to send us brief updates. He also gets to call home on Mother's Day and Christmas Day.

We miss Paul but are so proud of him for dedicating 2 years to helping others to "Come unto Chirst."

Paul has been on his mission for almost 1 year. I haven't been the best of letter-writers and always have that nagging guilt that I should write Paul a letter. I just solved the problem! Paul has received 2 letters with fun stories and cute pictures in the past 2 weeks and it hasn't taken more than a couple minutes out of my time--so I hope that he is excited about the solution too!

The best part is you can join in the fun (if you know Paul or have a missionary of your own.)

Print your blogs! It's that easy...just go to file---print---ok and wahlah! A letter! I print them double sided on a black and white printer and have a whole bunch of envelopes addressed and ready to go. I'm sure they'd look better in color but I'm sure Paul isn't complaining. I love that he'll know more about what's going on in our lives and some of his crazy sister's thoughts.

And since he'll be reading this blog too...Here's a big HaLoooooooooo to you Paul!

Scraped Knees and Owies

Do you remember scraping your knees over and over as a kid? I remember how it stung. I remember mom always making it better and then running back out and doing it again!

Yesterday, as we were enjoying the good weather, I realized that scraped knees and owies must be a sign of summer's time to stock-up on bandaids and those magic kisses that make everything all better.

Maya fell and hit her head in the middle of her forhead. As she was running over to me crying she fell again and this time I heard the crack as her head connected with the sidewalk! Ouch! One of the bigger goose-eggs I've seen.

Some ice, kisses and a nap and it's all forgotten!

I think watching knees get scraped and kids fall is more painful for me than them sometimes! That awful sinking feeling as you watch what you know is going to turn into an owie. I have to look away as they run haphazard down the sidewalk or they'll miss out on the carefree moments of not knowing that they're about to hit the ground. I'm just glad that I'm the one with the magic kiss power now!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Romantic Dinner for 5...

Ryan and I celebrated out 8th wedding anniversary on Monday, May 12th.

What a wonderful 8 years it has been.

This past month has been particularly busy for us. Ryan has traveled to Texas to be with his dad twice now (and is there right now). When he's here he's squeezing in long work hours and time with the kids. So we scrapped any plans we had thought of for actually doing something to celebrate our anniversary...just meeting everyone's needs seemed more important this week. So when Ryan rolled in the door late on Monday evening I decided I'd make a stab at creating a romantic dinner.

Hayley loves to use the word "romantic" whenever she can. She doesn't fully understand what it means so sometimes the sentances she comes up with are pretty comical. When I told her and Maya that I wanted to create a romantic restaurant for mommy and daddy and they were to be the waitresses she was so excited! "So romantic!"

Here was my plan:
-Change mommy into some dressy clothes and get make up on by the time daddy got home (it had been one of those days!)
-Make BBQ Chicken salad and (leftover) homemade rolls
-Set a seperate table with candles for us
-Make the craft table into the kids table (with their own candles of course)
-Put the kids in aprons and have them meet daddy at the door and welcome him to the romantic restaurant.
-Have quiet music playing to create "the mood"
-Enjoy a semi-quiet conversation over dinner before it was time to do dishes, baths and the bedtime routine.

Considering, I came up with this plan at 4:30pm and I was in sweats and was planning on leftovers for dinner...things went pretty well.


Right before Ryan got home, Alice woke up starving. Dinner wasn't quite ready. I managed to push play on that music and the girls met Ryan at the door in aprons. Can't say it was quiet and romantic though....high pitched screaming, occasional fighting, and running around with excitement. I told Ryan we were short on kitchen help and sent him to finish chopping a few things while I fed Alice. As the sweet waitresses hung on daddy and made all sorts of loud noise I heard Ryan yell to me...."This is so romantic!" We had a seperate table so once we all did sit down and eat you'd think we could have a couple minutes of quiet conversation. Oh no, Maya wouldn't stay on her chair and we had a constant dialog going on with the other table. Okay, well we tried!

I guess the lesson learned is...dinner for 5 just isn't romanitc!

But it'll make for a fun memory to laugh about when we celebrate our future anniversaries. Someday, we may even miss the fact that there are no little girls to get giddy and wound up because Dad and Mom are eating at a perfect "romantic restaurant"!

And for those of you that may think I'm this season of our lives, I'm okay with the fact that our anniversary may never include lavish weekend get-a-ways (although it doesn't hurt to dream!) but I sure am glad that I'm married to someone that can laugh with me at our feeble attempt to be romantic!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Caterpillars & Butterflies

There have been so many caterpillars outside our house last week. I have to be careful not to step on them. Mom almost stepped on one when we came out of the store one day. I love caterpillars and butterflies. Butterflies have pretty wings. I like to watch them fly. Caterpillars turn into butterflies. One day we made pretend caterpillars and butterflies and put them in our yard. They looked so pretty.
(Note from mom: these were such fun crafts to make...the caterpillars are just egg cartons, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, and pom poms. The butterflies are made out of coffee filters--use water-color paints and they bleed into each other, or if you use markers just sprinkle with water after you color. Then paint clothes pins and clip them in the middle then spread their wings. You can clip them onto curtains, lamps or whatever. Keep a pile of those coffee filters in your craft drawer--I'm always coming up with new uses for them--they make the best snowflakes.)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Veldon's Blog

Ryan's Dad (Veldon Messick) has been fighting cancer for over 4 years now. We are so grateful for every day we have with him. Right now he is very sick.

We're creating a new blog to post information and status about Veldon. It's:

If you would like to post something to this blog, send an email to Ryan and JaNae and we'll post it. Hopefully this will be an efficient and effective way to share information.

-Ryan and JaNae

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom!
Thanks, Mom, for being my friend as well as my mother.
Thanks for being such a great example of the joy of motherhood.

Happy Mother's Day to my Mother-in-law!
Thanks for raising such a wonderful husband for me and loving me too!

I feel so lucky to have such wonderful mothers...
and so happy for my children that they have such loving Grandmas!

"I Am a Mother"

I borrowed this book from a friend and read it this past week. What an amazing book. I think I need to read it at least once a year. It inspired me to really view all the mundane tasks of motherhood differently. It's always good to be reminded that what we do as mothers (and fathers too!) is so very important. I am a mother and a stay-at-home mom by choice, but there are times that I forget that I wouldn't want it any other way! A few of the thoughts that I had while I was reading it were:

-I am an example of motherhood to my children. Will they want to be mothers by watching me or will my outward frustration with the daily grind of motherhood make them want to be anything but moms? I want to show them that I really do find joy in motherhood by having more patience each day and finding more humor in life's frustrations.

-The author brought up the point that in world today we, who value motherhood, have the ability to be a great strength to one another. But so often we become each other's greatest source of pain as we compare and judge ourselves and each other. We need to remember that we are all trying our best to be "good moms" using different aproaches and techniques. But we all matter because "a mother's work is God's work." I want to be a better support to my peers who are also trying to fulfil their role as mothers.

-So many other thoughts...but I'm out of go pick up this book and enjoy!

Friday, May 9, 2008

All My Dreams Come True!

I turned 30 today! Pretty crazy. It sounds so old and yet I'm so happy with where I'm at in life that I can't really be depressed. I am so blessed to have a wonderful husband and three little girls that I love with all my heart! Life is good.

I had a wonderful day. Ryan and the girls made sure they spoiled me. I had requested smoothies instead of a cake so the girls made me a play-dough cake so I could still blow out all my many candles.

But the most exciting part was that all my dreams came true...let me explain...

About 2 years ago I was a little shocked at how far I had come down the "mommy-road" when I admitted that my three biggest material desires were

1. A mini-van (yes, I really really wanted one!)
2. A wheat grinder
3. A Bosch mixer

Not the same list that I had 10 years ago I admit!

In the last 2 years we have bought a van:

and a wheat grinder: the final wish was granted!

I can't beging to describe how fun it is to watch the mixer do the mixing after mixing it by hand every week for 2 years! We just really love homemade bread in our house and can't get enough of it.

Of course, the girls were more excited about the box that the mixer came in then the actual machine...but that gave us lots of time to whip up some cookies! I guess I need to come up with a mid-life crisis wish-list!

Girls' Week

I just got all the pictures that we took on Nancy's camera while she was here a week or two ago. They pretty much tell all that we did...

We made lots of baby burp cloths for Nancy's soon-to-arrive baby girl.
Now she can burp in style and we hope she spit up lots! (j/k Nancy!)

Peek-a-boo Alice.
This is Alice in a front pack on my tummy--talking and smiling at me. What a cutie!

A friend gave Nancy a darling baby outfit while she was out here for her baby...Alice was kind enough to model it for her soon-to-be cousin.

We went to watch Dean's boys (Nathaniel & Ethan) play their soccer games on Saturday morning. Then had a picnic lunch in the park.

Nancy and I shopped (with our helpers Maya and Alice) all afternoon then we met Dean & Kristen & kids at an Indian Resaurant. Dean thinks that Indian food is "Celestial"! We felt privledged to be able to enjoy his favorite place. Plus eating at a restaurant with 6 kids is always a fun memory! Thanks Dean! Fun day.

Pictures after church with our pretty girls.

We had to take Nancy to our favorite fast food place here: Five Guys. It's this great burger and fries place and every day they display where their potatoes came from that day. It's always somewhere in thanks for traveling thousands of miles to enjoy Idaho potatoes Nance!

Hayley's home! This was the longest Hayley and Maya have ever been apart. They were so cute when they reunited! After a high-pitched scream and big hug Maya quickly turned some loud music on and they had to dance together. Then they both gave each other a present...isn't it great to have a sister!

Nancy and I had lots of fun shopping 'till we dropped! This is Maya in Michaels with us...she was a good little sport to tag along. When Hayley got home she got some good time with Aunt Nancy painting extra fancy nails.

A quick tribute to my Grandma Jolley. If she were still alive I think I'd send her a whole set of these books. I remember when Nancy was born (in England) and Grandma Jolley came to visit. From day #1 she called her "Foncy-Noncy" with her British accent! These Fancy Nancy books have become really popular recently and so we check them out from the library and I read them to my girls. Of course I say it just like Grandma..."Foncy-Noncy" and the girls think of Aunt Nancy. I think Nancy better wear her feather tu-tu and big high-heels the next time she visits!

All in all it was a fun week...let's do it again soon!

Blogging Recommendations and Credits

I've had several people ask me what I used to use to do various things on my blog. I know so much less than most of you but the following is a list of sites that I found useful in personalizing my blog and several other recommendations. I'm still such a beginner in all this and would love any of your suggestions too!

Blogging Tutorial Website that a friend of ours wrote. Has some great start-up tips (thanks Ike!):

Website that helped me learn how to do a lot of the fancy stuff and referred to some good sites:

This one is where I got the code to make it a 3 column blog (I like having the extra space for more permanent things):

This site has tips on different ways you may want to change your blog template (this is how I added the "recent comments" section. They've got instructions to do other cool things that I haven't tried yet like peekaboo posts:

I didn't actually use this site but I looked at it and it has some easier ways to put a different backdrop on your site without uploading your own "paper":

This is where I uploaded my paper images for the background to:

This is a great site with free downloads available if you need paper backgrounds (there's lots more sites like this if you want to search around...but not all free):

I really like Photoscape for making photo collages to put on the blog. I'm still figuring it out but there's lots you can do. It's a free downloaded program. (Google Picasa does a similar collage-thing but I like photoscape's a lot better)

I used to make my slideshows then posted them as a new page element in the columns. I selected “text” then “add to blog”. Once in there I selected edit HTML and copy and pasted the code from into that space and saved the changes. (there’s lots of other slide sites…this was the first one I tried and I was happy with the options it gave me)

I used Adobe Photoshop Elements to make my header.

The only way I can keep up with all the many blogs that I like to watch without spending all my time checking them is Google Reader

I haven’t actually tried this yet but I’m interested in a website I found that prints bound books of your blogs for a very reasonable price. You can download the software to set it all up for free. I’ll let you know how it goes whenever I do get enough content for a book. I’m sure there’s tons of sites like this one so let me know if you have one you like better.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Alice's Blessing Day

We blessed Alice on Sunday, May 4th. It was a beautiful and happy day. We felt so loved and supported by so many friends and family that are in the area and came to share the day with us.

Somehow in all the happy and friendly chaos we only managed to snap a few pictures. I need to put Alice back in her dress and take some good close-ups...but for now I just zoomed in on the group shot.

In the picture below: My brother Dean and his three boys (Nathaniel, Ethan and Jonathan). My cousin Darrin Thiriot and his wife Monica and 4 kids (Kaitlyn, James, Madilyn, Jacob). Our friend from SLC Anne Rowley and her husband Blaine. Our friend from BYU-days, Scott Larson. Not in the picture--Andy & Krista Allphin and thier kids Carly and Parker were also there.

We had fun going to church together then enjoying dinner and an attempt at conversation with some pretty wound up kids running through the house! They were all best-buds really fast. Guess "loud" get togethers is what we get at this stage of life! Thanks everyone for your support.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Goodbye Ryan & Hayley....Hello Nancy!

Talk about a great daddy-daughter date...Hayley got to go to Texas with Ryan for about 6 days last week. Ryan's dad has cancer. He wanted to go spend some time with Veldon without the chaos of all of us tagging along but didn't want to leave me stranded with all the kids either. So we came up with a happy medium. Hayley went with Ryan and my little sister Nancy came and had a girls week with Maya, Alice and I. We all had a great week!

Goodbye Daddy & Hayley...
saying goodbyes at the airport...such cute sisters!

Hello Nancy...

I'll start with a report on the Texas side of the week...all pictures (and collages) must be credited to my mother-in-law, Joyce.

This was Joyce's narrative on the following pictures...I couldn't come up with any better...."Just look at this concenration. Writing a story using words with three or fewer letters is tough work. Reading what you wrote is tougher."

Hayley got spoiled by Grandma and total attention for the week. Ryan got to spend time at Home Depot, trying to complete a "honey-do list" for his mom. He learned some great stuff that I'm hoping will benefit my honey-do list someday! Thanks Joyce!

Back here on the home-front Nancy and I played so hard we wore ourselves out. Nancy is expecting her first baby (a girl) next month so we had lots of fun baby-projects to work on plus some post-baby clothes shopping for me! Ryan had our camera in Texas so as soon as I get the pics from Nancy's camera I'll post more about what we did. It was a fabulous & fun week....thanks for visiting Nancy Fancy.

Bird in the house!

About 3 weeks ago we had a dove fly into our house.
It was a beautiful day so I had left the back door to the deck open and was out in front of the house visiting with a neighbor while our kids played. When I heard Alice wake up I started walking into the house to go get her. Suddenly I heard a bird flapping in the kitchen! Instead of remaining calm I screamed and ran back out of the house doing a "panic dance" (not good for all the kids watching!) Then then mama bear in me kicked in and I somehow got worried that the creature in my house was going to find his way upstairs and into Alice's I quickly did a panic dance up the stairs to rescue my baby. Not a good move...Maya was freaking out at the sight a of a crazy mommy. I was telling her not to come in the house as I ran up the stairs and our neighbor was keeping her out. I have since realized how much my panic traumatized her.
Once Alice was out, we had a hungry, crying baby on our hands plus a screaming Maya that thought we were going to die. Thankgoodness, my neighbor, Irene was there to help me figure out what to do. Whenever we tried to creep towards the kitchen to assess the situtation we would hear the bird flap and crash into the windows. At one point I thought it had fallen behind the kids computer--alive but injured--oh, ugg! But thankfully he wasn't injured and after a while seemed to calm down. Eventually, we got 2 windows open but I couldn't get the screens out (the door was around the corner and the bird couldn't seem to find his way back there). So, while I went and tried to feed a starving Alice, Irene got the screens out and the bird flew away to safety!

Moral of the story #1: don't leave your door open without a screen!

Even three weeks later we are paying the price for my not-so-calm response to the bird. Maya now thinks all birds want to come into her house. Whenever she sees a bird on the tree that is right in front of our big front room window she takes whatever toy she is playing with and bangs as hard as she can while sternly reprimanding the bird. Her new terror of birds has also been transfered to all bugs and squirrels. "Bird! You no come in my house!!!" It's funny at times but also sad that the same birds that we used to love to watch eat from our bird feeder are now such a threat to her safe little world!

Moral of the story #2: a mom must always remain calm!

Weeds and love

I know that someday I will miss the little vase of weeds that so often sits on my table. I love you too, Hayley and Maya!

Professional Pictures

I'm going to go back about 2 months and do some catching up on pictures and stories...these were pictures taken the beginning of March when Alice was 1 month old (in her blessing dress). Since the girls' birthdays all fall between the end of Jan and April we just go in once somewhere in the middle and get everyone's annual picture. So these also count as Maya's 2 year old picture and Hayley's 5 year old...pretty efficient, huh?