Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Things I've Been Wanting to Blog About

Several things have been on my mind but sadly I never seem to find the time to blog/journal as much as I would like. So here goes: briefly and in no particular order.

What a momentous day. Regardless of how you voted or what your particular feelings are regarding his policies, what a remarkable moment in history. I watched it on TV and felt such a weight and presence in the moment that he took the oath of office. Abi watched it at school, Kris watched at work, and I DVR'd it and we watched with Talmage that night. I want my kids to understand the significance of the moment, to honor the office of the president and we pray for him to lead us in this uncertain time.

My handsome and awesome husband bought me a Wii Fit for Christmas. This really was a thoughtful gift because he knows I enjoy working out but can't get to a gym right now in my life. It's really fun to get on and see my Mii as well as track my weight and BMI. The yoga is fair, good for beginners, but I do like how it helps you focus on your balance. The strength training is remarkably good. I'm terrible at the balance games but they are entertaining and my kids like them as well. In aerobics you have to work up your time, so 3 minutes of step or running is not really a challenge for me but I do enjoy a good Hula Hoop.

Fife Girl's Day Out. This is a tradition that sadly we have not done often enough. Here are all the Fife Girls - my mom and 2 sisters, nieces and my girls. We enjoyed lunch at the Snakebite, a little window shopping at Lemon Meringue and Pandora's Baubles and Beads, and then went bowling at Bowlero.

Tal and Leah are so fun together. She loves to play with toys now and Tal is really good at helping her. He pops up the popper and she puts the lids down and then we all clap for her.

My winter therapy. I dream and plan and make wish lists. And then I have to pare them down to what I can really afford and accomplish in a year. This year I want to finish my garden around our fountain in front and make a perennial border to go along the front of the house. It's on the north side so my options are limited but I'm dreaming of bleeding hearts, Solomon's seal, hostas, lilies ( I hope), lenten rose and cranesbill. If you have any other shade loving favorites, let me know.

Leah is just so darn cute in the tub. She loves her bath toys that Abi and Tal bought her for Christmas. She is such a wonderful baby. She has such a sweet tempermant, sometimes I wonder if she is really my child. I just love her to bits.

Tal started Tae Kwon Do this January as a Christmas present. I am really impressed with the focus and respect he is learning. He is picking it up quickly and already has 2 stripes on his white belt. He loves doing power punches and front kicks, but is very good about NOT practicing on people.

"There is no charge for awesomeness." Not only is he handsome, smart and funny. He is a great husband and father. He took Human Rights Day off from work to stay home with the kids and I. He is very helpful around the house, doing dishes, folding laundry and picking up. Abi, Tal and Leah adore him and squeal "Daddy" when he walks in the door. (I don't get that :) He loves to play Wii with them and is getting really good at Guitar Hero. He works really hard at his job and is a great provider. He honors his priesthood and is the leader in our home. He fulfills his calling as EQP and is really concerned with the people in our ward. And our alone time: M-m-m.
I love you babe.

Friday, January 16, 2009

High School Memories Tag

If I can get my scanner hooked up I'll try and post a pic later.

1. What year did you graduate? 1995
2. Did you date someone from high school? Yes, married him as well. :)
3. What kind of car did you drive? Car #1-Blue Buick Sommerset #2 Black Honda Accord my dad fixed up my senior year - sunroof and everything.
4. What was the most embarrassing moment of high school? My bra strap broke in the middle of a Humerous Interp Speech. (Arms came down and no more movement after that.)
5. Were you a party animal? No.
6. Were you considered a flirt? Hardly, my mom always told me I scared the boys away. Kris was one of the few brave enough to ask me out.
7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? I tried out for Troyalairs but was not good enough. I sang in Girl's Choir as a Sophmore but discovered Debate instead.
8.Were you a nerd? Yip. Debate, NHS, and AP classes.
9. Where you on any varsity teams? Cross Country Sr. Year - but then everyone who ran was. l10.Did you get suspended/expelled? Nope - I did skip school 1 time though ( wild side.)
11. Can you still sing the fight song? I can do the actions.
12. Who were your favorite teachers? Mrs. Kissinger - Debate - My true love in HS. Mrs Brown- AP English. Mr Clark - Anat and Phys.
13. What classes do you wish you would have taken? Spanish - German is a bit useless.
14.What was your school's full name? Rigby High School
15. School mascot? Trojan (read "The Illiad" -Thanks Mrs Brown.)
16. Did you go to Homecoming and who with? Jr Year - Jaron Ball
17.Where did you go on "Senior Skip Day"? Lagoon.
18. Were you in any clubs? Debate, NHS, and Jr Miss
19.Who was your prom date? Kristopher Meek. Go figure.
20.What do you remember most about graduation? I was excited to move on but nostalgic that everything would change.
21. What advice would you give yourself? Don't worry so much about what other people think!22. Are you planning on going to your reunions? I got roped into planning the 10 and I'll probably go to 20 if I'm free.
23. If you could go back and do it again would you? Hahahahahaha... No.

I tag anyone who wants to do this.

Monday, January 12, 2009

BYU Jerusalem Center 10 year Anniversary

It almost seems like a dream that 10 years ago I was in Jerusalem Isreal living at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. It is such a beautiful building in a beautiful city that I have such a love for.
Can you believe that this was the view from my balcony? Gorgeous!!! Somedays I just long to walk down the hill into the old city again, to cut over to the Garden Tomb and read or ponder for a while, to buy falafel or macaroons from the little stands in the city, to awaken to the call to prayer, to smell the bogenvia blooming near the Sea of Galilee. Oh, how I wish I could go back and drink more deeply of that experience. Sadly it seems that when thrust in the midst of the experience we don't have the wisdom or the view to enjoy it most fully. So many people express that precise sentiment to me about the days of young motherhood. I guess that each time in our lives brings particular blessings, the point is to enjoy and be grateful for them in that moment. Thankfully I asked my mom to save my e-mails so that I have a journal of sorts. Reading in it the other day helped awaken those wonderful memories. Shalom.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Super Couponer

Like so many of you I have fairly recently become a couponer. Oh I started small about a year ago clipping the coupons of products we used and I'd take them with me on my usual trips to Walmart or Winco. I felt proud of myself saving $5 or so, enough to pay for our subscription to the paper I would tell myself. There are spots on TV about families who "grocery bill in half'" using coupons or "all of this" for some insane amount like $1.00. I was skeptical but interested. One friend introduced me to the Coupon Mom and another to a blog titled " Being Frugal is Fabulous" I was introduced to Walgreen's and the great deals you can get there however I didn't use most of those products but I did save a ton on the few I did buy there. I believe in couponing but only to buy things I want to try or already use. I'm not going to buy X air fresheners just because I can get them for 9 cents. Also, if I have a coupon for 40 cents off brand X but the generic is still less expensive, I'm buying the generic. It all comes down to the bottom line.

My grocery budget is $350 month for 4 + Leah (who doesn't eat much yet but cereal, baby food I make myself, a little formula in the cereal, and those banana puffs). That's $11.30 per day for all of us or $2.82 per person per day. Most of the things I buy there are no coupons for (apples, lettuce, meat, flour, sugar etc.) or are less expensive to buy the store brand vs coupons + brands.

But today I had a coupon epiphany (Aaaaaaaaaaaaa). The Albertson's sale: Buy 30 dollars worth of listed products, earn $15 dollars toward your next purchase. ( Now I don't normally shop at Albertson's but sometimes they have great sales.) Plus I had manufacture coupons. Double plus, Albertson's had double coupons for 6 coupons up to $1.00 each.

8 boxes of Cereal 2 for $4 plus coupons plus double coupons.
6 boxes of Hamburger Helper ( sorry Kris, it's for those crazy nights and food storage) 3 for $5 plus coupons plus double coupons.
3 Minute Maid Juice boxes 3 for $10.
3 Cake Mixes 3 for $5.
Grand Total 33.99 for savings of 42.20.
But then I also earned $15 dollars off which I promptly used on the rest of my sale purchases of chicken breasts, cheese, eggs, spices (50% off by the way), oranges and pork chops. So if you subtract the $15 from the cereal etc., my cereal purchase was $18.99. Yipee.

I realize that won't happen often, but it sure was fun!!!!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Seven Months and Soooooo Big

Our little Leah grew so much and learned so many new things this month. She's still a little featherweight at 13 lbs 12.5 oz but she is getting tall at 27 1/4 in. This month Leah learned to sit up on her own and it has opened a whole new world for her. She loves toys now especially her stacking cups which she bangs together, touchy feely books and her pop up toy. We push the buttons to pop the little animals up and she closes down their lids. She has 5 teeth now, you can see the bottom 2 in the picture above, and another one just on the verge of breaking through.
She has learned to clap which she does when she is happy or pleased with herself. And to Kris's delight she no longer growls but babbles "Dadda dadada dadda". She can also blow raspberries which mom thinks are the cutest. She loves her Baby Einstein movies, and mom loves that she can grab a shower or work on dinner while one plays. For lunch and dinner Leah has grown fond of banana puffs which she can pick up but can't quite get them to her mouth yet. It helps keep those fast little hands occupied while mom feeds Leah fruit and veggies. She doesn't like to snuggle much anymore while awake, she squirms around in your arms until she is facing out to see everything going on. But in the middle of the night she somehow manages to wind up in bed with mom and then snuggling is just great.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Memories

Christmas was filled with so much fun and joy for our family this year. Here are just a few of the fun memories we made.

Tal shoveling part of the 10+ inches we got just before Christmas. Our gingerbread house that we made for FHE. The next week we went to the Museum of Idaho's Old Fashioned Christmas and Nativity display for FHE.

Christmas Eve we spent first at Grandma Hayes's and then at Nana Meek's. Leah quite enjoyed opening presents, but then again she thought the paper was the most fun. Two of our Christmas traditions are new PJ's and reading "The Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve. The next morning the kids were so excited that Santa had come and brought them a Wii. Lucky kids.

Leah really got into presents on Christmas morning. The 3 little Meeks in their PJ's with cards from great-grandpa and grandma Meek. One of Tal's favorite presents is 5 weeks of Tae Kwon Do. ('ll keep you posted on how that goes.)

Another tradition is Christmas breakfast. I've taken this one over so that we don't have to drag our kids around all Christmas. This year we had an omelet bar for omelets in a bag, cinnamon and orange rolls. Christmas afternoon we headed out to Nana and Papa Fife's for dinner. Another favorite with the grandkids is Christmas Bingo as my mom always spoils them with cool prizes. Our annual Christmas photo which I make my family take every year (and they love it :)

Abi and Gabby are twinners in their new Christmas outfits. What little fashionistas. This last one is just too cute of my dad ( Papa Fife) and Leah. She got a hold of his pen and wouldn't let go.