Friday, February 29, 2008

Sunshine is Delicious...

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilirating; there is no such thing as bad weather...only different kinds of good weather."
~John Auskin

I love quotes. I have made books full of my favorite quotes and this is one I found many years ago while I was single living in Boston. The weather there at the time was pretty mild, it was the eve of summer and I was enjoying the cooling off.

Little did I know what that winter had in store for me. I ended up being in Fargo, North Dakota. I had never experienced cold like that before and I have never since. During those frigid long months I would remember this quote. After awhile I decided snow was not exhilirating and that this quote did not apply to North Dakota weather.

Fast forward to this winter. I have lived here for 5 winters now and although they are really rather mild compared to North Dakota winters, I still find myself dragging through January, February and part of March. Every year we try to go on vacation to some place warm to get us through those last miserble weeks.

So this year I decided to say this quote to myself everytime I felt annoyed about the weather. Surprisingly it did help with my bad attitude. I actually did find snow exhilirating (as long as it wasn't freezing and the roads weren't bad). Even though we got record breaking snow falls, I still managed to have a decent attitude...until last week.

I couldn't take it anymore! I wanted to be warm, I wanted to walk Maya to school, I wanted to go to the park, I wanted to go rollerblading, I wanted to wear cute sandals, and run outside in shorts and a t-shirt. I was just sick of the mud that was being tracked into my house and the coats strewn about the house (because no one but me in my house knows how to put clothes on a hanger). So let me tell ya, I was so happy to get out of here and go to California. But like I mentioned in the previous post, the weather...not so nice. Although the rain was refreshing, I just wanted a taste of some delicious sunshine.

Well guess what! I got it yesterday! The minute Maya got home from school, the girls were outside. They were riding bikes, driving their Barbie car and having a picnic! They didn't even have jackets on!!! It was heaven. The only problem is that it took me like 10 minutes just to get their bikes out of the garage because it is such a wreck. Can anyone say "Saturday Project". Well anyway I hope this gets me throught the next few weeks and that you too can get a taste of some delicious sunshine where ever you are...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hangin' with the Fry's

We just spent the past weekend in California. Our good friends Ron and Becky Fry moved there a year ago. We met Ron and Becky 4 1/2 years ago when we both moved into the Liberty Lake Ward. At the time they had two boys, Tanner and Owen, and Becky was pregnant. Becky and I had our babies (Eden and Bailey) just a few days apart. Then Ron left for Afghanistan for a year. Becky and I became good friends over that year. When Ron got back he and Aric became fast friends, we named them "Arica" and "Ronda". A couple of years ago we went to Mexico on vacation, it was more like an adventure, missing flights, wandering through Mexican airports, and zip lining through the jungle...that's a whole other blog...anyway...

It was a very sad day when the Fry's moved away. By then they had just had their fourth baby, a girl, Reagan. We were all sad, Eden and Bailey were buddies and it took months for her to stop asking where she was and when we were going to see them again.

We see their old house almost everyday and it triggers Edee's memory. She still misses Bailey and asks when they are going to have a play date. Well Aric and I decided we needed a play date with the Fry's so we left the girls behind and flew down for the weekend.

We spent Friday seeing the sights, checking out the fisherman's warf and the incredible beaches. We also went to Carmel and Pebble Beach golf course. We drove along the ocean enjoying the views and the wild life. The weather wasn't so nice, it rained most of the time but we still had a great time.(California air not so good for the hair)

We found this dude "truckin for Jesus" parked at the Pebble Beach golf course parking lot. Definitely something your don't see everyday.

In Carmel we ate at "CASANOVA - the most romantic resturant in Carmel"

The food was awesome and so was the company. Unfortunately we didn't get a picture of the "greeter", he was quite the character, imagine a short, french, very gray, Barry Gibb looking guy. He would walk around saying one word statement/questions like....Content? Satisfied? Ron and Aric had a great time imitating him the rest of the trip.

I made Aric go shopping with me for a few hours on Saturday at the best outlets ever!!! (no pictures of this)

Then on Saturday night we went to downtown San Jose and had some ridiculously good food at an "Asian Fusion" resturant.We stuffed ourselves and then went to Cirque Du Solei. It was incredible!

I got caught taking a picture, but it was worth the dirty look from the security guy. This picture is of one of two scary looking dudes who ran inside and outside of human hamster wheels going like 20 miles an hour, jumping around and doing some crazy stunts. It was wild.

I wish I could give that show justice in writing but it's impossible. All four of us let out a few screams and gasps. My stomach was in knots the whole time, I was so stressed out watching these people doing totally dangerous and impossible things with their bodies.

Getting to our car was an adventure in and of its self. It was raining buckets and we had to park like a mile away. It was quite a sight, Becky and I in our cute shiny red shoes running through the puddles, Becky carrying her "incredible hulk" umbrella. We are so classy!

It was such a great weekend. It was so good to see Ron and Becky and their kids again. The only bad part was that it made us realize how much we miss them and wish they could move back. We are already planning the next trip...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

What's a Bow-Bah?

When I was pregnant with Eden, we could see her sucking her thumb in my ultra sounds. So we knew we were gonna have a thumb sucker. She got it from Aric who sucked his thumb until he was 5yrs old. He says his parents told him he would get teased at school if the other kids found out, so he finally stopped.

When Eden was about 10 mos old she was crawling around on the floor and found one of those clothy hair ties. It belonged to Maya, but they would never stay in her hair so we put them on her stuffed animals or dolls. Eden put it on her thumb and would rub it between her fingers while she sucked her thumb. (this is a reinactment)

I don't ever remember having a name for them. But when Eden was about 18 mos old and learning how to talk. She started calling them Bow-Bah's(sounds like soda but with a b instead of a d). And thus the word bow-bah was created. She always had one or two, everywhere we went they came with us.

Edee loved her bow-bah's. She had hundreds of them. She would leave them everywhere. One Saturday morning we were assigned to clean the church building with some other families. The lady who was cleaning the nursery came up to me with a dirty, pink, scraggely looking bow-bah and asked me if Edee was missing it. I assured her she wasn't and that the trash was the appropriate place for it.

Everyone who knew us and Edee well, knew about bow-bah's. She always had one in her thumb or on her wrist for a back up. (Don't worry, I washed them regularly) We apparently left one at the Jenkin's because Hannah brought one to Cynthia and said "Look Edee left her bow-bah" She thought that's just what those hair ties were called.

Edee was so excited when she got 50 of them for her 2nd birthday! Can you say ENABLER!

She got creative with her bow-bah's. One day at church in the middle of sacrament meeting she shot it like a rubberband and hit someone a few rows down, luckily it was someone we knew. She also found interesting places to put them, on her dolls, up her nose...

As Eden got older she would wake us up in the middle of the night because she couldn't find her precious bow-bah. So we started putting them in strategic places on her bed so in the middle of the night she could find it on her own. It saved me from crawling under her bed in the wee hours of the morning to find one.

My friend Becky was joking about how when Eden got to college or when she was on her honeymoon she would still be hiding bow-bah's under her pillow. Although very funny, it got me thinking and I decided that when Eden turned 3 she would give up the bow-bah's.

About a week after her 3rd birthday I explained to her that the bow-bah fairy was coming to take her bow-bah's and give them the babies who needed them. We went around the house gathering all the bow-bah's we could find. It was a very emotional night for Eden and for me...That night Aric caught me crying in the bathroom when I saw one of her bow-bah's in my make-up bag. The bow-bah fairy came and took Edee's stash of bow-bah's and left behind a Kelly doll. Eden was thrilled with the trade.(The bow-bah fairy kept a few just for fun.)

Just a couple days ago I was sweeping underneath the washer and found a green one. (don't be disgusted, I'm sure you've got treasures under your washer too) Edee saw it and very excitedly said "Look mom, we missed a bow-bah, we've got to get it to the bow-bah fairy!" I assured her that the bow-bah fairy was good and that we could actually use it to tie her hair back with. She said "A bow-bah in my hair?! That's funny mom!".

Thursday, February 14, 2008

All You Need Is Love

I love holidays, I love a reason to celebrate. Maybe it's because it gives me an excuse to decorate my house all cute and fun. Maybe it's because it gives me a reason to buy things I normally wouldn't buy for my family like candies, silly socks, t-shirts etc... But the real reason is because it gives me a chance to create fun traditions and wonderful memories with Aric and the girls. It brings me so much joy to see my kids feeling special and teaching them that there is always something to celebrate.

So about a month before Valentine's day we hang up these heart pouches and over the next few weeks we fill them with little love notes or drawings. The night before valentine's day the girls get their valentine's t-shirts and after they go to sleep I put fun little gifts in their hearts.

Valentine's morning they grab their hearts and empty them on our bed. They read their special valentine's cards. The ones from mom are usually sweet and sentimental...

The ones from dad are usually kind of silly...(hey mom, you can double click on the pictures and it makes them bigger)

Valentine's breakfast is pretty fancy...any kind of cereal can be festive when it's in a festive bowl. And who can resist heart shaped muffins.(remember this is fancy for me). Lunch is special when your sandwich is shaped like a heart. Eden was so excited about her heart sandwich that she forgot to complain that it was "meat and cheese" sandwich day.

Party #1 was in full effect by 10:30. It was my turn to teach this week, so I got to host the partay. We played games with candy hearts, frosted cupcakes and ate them of course. There really was some learning going on, we focused on the letter V.

We had about 40 min of down time before party #2. I am the room mom in Maya's class so I get to oversee all the parties in there. It went by fast and the kids had a great time.

I told Aric the night before that I was out on dinner. I knew I would be partied out by dinner time. I had planned homemade heart shaped pizzas...and he made it happen!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Albrecht's Babysitting Service

Having my sister live close has it's benefits, the biggest one being child care. We've also been blessed with many dear friends that are like family to us. It's so nice to have free babysitting when you have a temple night, date night, classroom helper day, doctors appointments etc...So when it's our turn to babysit we try to make sure the kids have a good time with wholesome activites...

On a recent visit to our house my neices and my girls painted each others faces. They loved it, very wholesome, very fun.

Sometimes we have a hot chocolate party, sometimes they play beauty parlor or dress up and with the all the snow we've had we don't hesitate to send them outside to play.

Sometimes they get a little messy, but look how happy he is!

Sometimes we don't have the right clothes when they need a wardrobe change, but look how comfy...(Aidan's pj's say "Daddy's Little Girl" and pink is definitely Jack's color)

And you know what, sometimes, a sweet liitle boy wants to be a princess, and we are not about to crush his dreams. So of course we do our best to accomodate...Look how precious!(If only I could get the video to work so you could see Seth dance and sing)

So remember us the next time you need a babysitter, your child will be in good hands and very entertained. We may even be able to make their dreams come true.(But we are not responsible for future cross dressers)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oh Yes It's Ladies Night, Oh What a Night!

On Thursday night I was invited to a "Ladies Night". We all brought our wedding albums and videos. It was Bethany's lovely idea...

So we basically looked at each others albums and videos and reminisced about the sweet days of the young love we had all experienced once upon a time.

It was so fun to see what we all looked like and how our husbands have changed or not changed...We talked about what we would have done different and why we did some of the things we did. For the most part we all decided that we wouldn't have changed our choice of spouses. In fact I think it made us just appreciate them more. It also brought up some great discussion on how we met our husbands, other guys we dated, proposals, wedding/reception fiascos and of course the in-laws...

I got to make a wedding cake in honor of our little gathering. Stacey helped me cut the cake and we couldn't help ourselves we had to do the smashing in each others faces...we had to!

It was a fun night filled with yummy appetizers, good conversations and lots of laughs. It has inspired a wedding blog, but it will take a few days to get all my pictures together. So look forward to a fun wedding post...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Late, Lonely Nights + HSN = Unnecessary Purchases

So a year or so ago, Aric was away on business. I was at home with an awful head cold. I had a migrane and took some heavy duty Tylenol. It was late and nothing was on TV, except HSN of course. There is this crazy old lady that wears sweatbands on there and she sells sweatshirts with ducks and poodles embroidered on them. She cracks me up so I was seeing if she was on. Well she wasn't. Instead there was this other lady selling green produce bags. I watched for a few minutes and before I knew it I was dialing and ordering them for $34.99. The phone call was very fast. So fast that in my drug induced haze I thought that I didn't really buy them. About five days later Aric was home and my bags got delivered. The good news is that they actually work. My bananas stay good for like 2 weeks!

Well a couple of weeks ago Aric was gone. Yup you guessed it, it was late and nothing was on. I was checking HSN for the crazy lady but nope...she wasn't on. Instead it was my good fortune to catch the last 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the midnight special...a computerized singer sewing machine. If I ordered it in the next 2 min 30 seconds I could get free shipping, a long arm extention and get this, not one, not two but three bonus feet! All for 300 dollars less than retail price! So I naturally called Aric.

Me- Hey honey can I buy a sewing machine?

Aric- What are you talking about?

Me- It's on HSN it's the midnight special, it's a great deal!

Aric- How much

Me- XXX.xx Regular price is XXX.xx I have to know right now I only have like 1 minute left to buy it.

Aric- Do you really want it?

Me- Yes, I really do.

Aric- Okay, I'm such a good husband aren't I...

Me- Yup. Thanks. Gotta go.

So I called HSN and after punching in my zip code and pushing 1 a couple of times I got me a good deal on one fabulous machine. Once again totally surprised by how easy and fast it was to buy something.

So here is where the story gets really good... About 2 1/2 years ago Aric was out of town for work. He couldn't sleep and it was very late. Being the upstanding husband that he is with high moral standards found himself with nothing appropriate to watch on TV except for...HSN. Esteban (a guitar legend) was on selling his famous guitar and guitar lessons. Aric had always had rock n roll dreams and Esteban was there to nurture Aric's hidden passion. Before he knew it he was buying the dream. A week later it showed up on our porch. The guitar has only been taken out of its case three times, one of those times was so I could take this picture.

So once Aric had put our information in the HSN system we were in. I can buy anything in like 30 seconds and have it in like 5 days. The lesson here...if you have to stay up late all alone....skip channel 84.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Deep Thoughts...

Every now and again I will post a deep thought...yes I do have them.

With the recent death of President Hinkley, the Prophet of my church, I have had many deep thoughts lately...

I am so grateful for my faith, and for the peace that I have in my life because of it. I know that President Gordon B. Hinkely was a prophet of God. I know that he loved Jesus and that he was a true disciple of Christ. I will miss him terribly. I was at BYU when he was called to be our prophet. I have always known President Hinkley because as far back as I can remember he has been a general authority. I have learned so much from him. I will treasure his teachings and continue to teach my children what I have learned and try my best to live a life as dedicated to the Lord as he did.

Aric also has a great love and fondness for President Hinkley because he was the prophet when Aric joined the church 10 years ago. Aric bore a beautiful testimony at church on Sunday about what President Hinkley and the gospel means to him. Since Aric doesn't publicly bear his testimony often it was very special. Our girls loved President Hinkley too. When we first told them that he passed away Maya said, that means he is in heaven with Heavenly Father and Jesus. Edee chimed in...and he's with Abuelita Tina too! (She is my great grandma who died when I was pregnant with Eden) They knew who he was and that he was a prophet of God.

I know that Heavenly Father has called President Thomas S. Monson to lead His church. Aric and I watched the news conference this morning when the new leadership was announced. We both instantly felt the spirit testify to us that Elder Eyring and Elder Uchtdorf, along with President Monson are men of God who will continue to guide us and teach us according to God's word. They are men of faith who are true disciples of Jesus Christ and give us wonderful examples to follow.
"The things of God are understood by the Spirit of God. That Spirit is real. To those who have experienced its workings, the knowledge so gained is as real as that received through the operation of the five senses." ~ Gordon B. Hinkely