Archive for June, 2007


Monday, June 18th, 2007

Dear Lilah,

I can’t believe you’re four. Or really when people ask how old you are you  just hold up four fingers.  I remember you being little and growing, but I still can’t believe you’re four!

You’re a wonderful daughter. You don’t always listen and you’re testing your strong will but you are almost always helpful towards your sister. At least when it comes to sharing food, getting dressed, and putting her down for naps. There are times that I remind you that you’re the sister and I’m the mother, because you often “mother” Eden.
You love to read. You’ll stop playing if I begin reading to Eden and hop onto the couch to be with us. You love to draw.  You love making up stories and talking on the phone.
Everyone loves saying hello to you, and you are often shy, but you’re coming out of your shell. You now say hi to complete strangers as long as I’m around. You love animals and can’t wait until we move to a bigger house so we can have one.
You ask a million questions about everything. Especially the movies we watch or the shows we see. You always ask questions when it’s time to eat. You love Mommy’s Oatmeal Squares, and I don’t mind sharing with you.

You’re a wonderful daughter. You remind me that I have to share you with Daddy and Eden when I ask you if I can have you forever. That’s true, but I’m sure I won’t mind sharing you as long as it’s for forever.
Happy Birthday.


Lilah Day

Monday, June 18th, 2007

So Lilah day kinda started Friday night when we made her cake. But Saturday was the real adventure.
The moment she got up she started asking to go to Chuck E’ Cheese. We had to explain several times that it wasn’t open yet and we needed to wait so Lilah then started asking if we could go to “Carolyn’s house” and go swimming. (Carolyn wouldn’t it be sweet if the house really was yours and not your boss’s. 😉 ) Unfortunately she had to wait until we were all ready. Lilah dressed herself so instead of wearing the new shirt I bought her on sale at Target she wore a shirt that’s from Katy’s hand-me -downs. Oh well, at least I was able to dress Eden in her new shirt.
We left a little late and had to drop the cake off at the house and in the process we forgot our camera. We borrowed Carolyn’s camera and took pictures at the pool party, but there are none of Chuck E’ Cheese.
For Chuck E’ Cheese Kristi brought her three kids, Carolyn brought Dominick, a boy she nannied that’s just 6 months younger than my nephew Howie and my friend Anna came with her husband Kevin, whom she dragged a long.
Lilah got a crown and a balloon and had a good time. Lilah only wanted Mom or Dad with her though, so Anna took Eden and had fun.

Fun things about Chuck E’ Cheese.

Anna decided it would be fun for Eden to go up the big tube tunnel and go down the slide but Eden isn’t big enough to climb up into it, Lilah can barely do it on her own. So she would recruit kids to help Eden go up. Dominick and Howie helped her up one time and they then came straight down the slide. Then Howie wanted to go play but Dominick wanted to go back up. We asked if they’d be willing to take Eden back up and they said yes. Well Howie just went right in and started climbing up, Dominick was at the bottom yelling up, “You’ve got to help my Howie” referring to help him getting Eden up. (It was a team effort one would be on the higher step and the other would push her up.) So Howie came back down and helped. From below you could see the shadows of Howie going on ahead in the tunnel and Dominick guiding Eden to go places. It was really cute.
Lilah and Jon played air hockey and she was actually pretty good at hitting the puck. Lilah , Eden and me had a picture of us “drawn”. (Picture taken and then transferred to a drawing look by the computer.) Lilah spent most of her time with Jon so I’m not sure what all went on with her.
A few of us got hook on the wheel of fortune game. you get 1-4 ticket depending on where you stop the light, but the goal was to get a spin by stopping it at a blue light. I spent a lot of tokens on it to have a girl come up and get the spin on the first try! I think I was priming the machine. This game got Anna and Carolyn talking about how Chuck E’ Cheese encourages gambling.
Lilah wanted to go swimming but we stayed until 1:30 or so. Eden feel asleep on the way to the house for swimming, and was cranky the whole night. Well. not cranky but sensitive and any time you said no she got upset. We think she just woke up badly since she was in a strange house in a strange room.
Carolyn, Derek, Dominick and I went to Target while Eden slept and Lilah avoided a nap. Then we had Del Taco and people come for swimming. (The Kemple’s, Lee’s , Carolyn, Derek , Dominick and Grampa Harvey) The pool was very cool so I stayed in the spa with Eden and Lilah.
We then had cake and ice cream and Lilah got toys that her parents would never buy. That’s why we have Aunts right?
I think it’s more that we’d never think to buy them. One was moon sand, Dominick picked it out and wanted Lilah to share it with him.
Once we got home there was a gift from Katia and Isabell on our door step, two girls in our ward, and Lilah has had a ball playing with the doll and combing her hair.
It was a crazy day. Jon kept insisting that we would forget something, and we did forget the left over pizza, but that’s fine by me. Hopefully I’ll get the pictures from Carolyn eventually and I can post some.
It was lots of fun and Lilah day was a whole day event.
Eden day will be much lower key. One because we won’t have a pool to go too, two because she’s little.

My New Freedom

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

Monday- We went to Sis. Jewitt’s house. She and I had to go shopping to buy baskets for enrichment night this week and then the girls and I went swimming. Lilah loved it there and the youngest daughter Hannah, about 11, had tons of fun playing with the girls.
Tuesday- Dropped the girls off at Sam’s. Went to the DMV and registered the car. UGH, it was soo much money, so we are way over our misc budget yet again. (Sorry honey I totally forgot about registering the car and how much it costs when factoring in misc.) Went to JoAnn’s picked up chocolates and baskets. Baskets for the house chocolates for the truffle making class I would be doing Wednesday night with the Miamaids in our ward. After JoAnn’s I went to Trader Joe’s and then back home to put the milk in the fridge. Picked up girls and we came home for lunch.
Wednesday- Went shopping at Target to get different items and return a floaty swimsuit that got holes in it after one wear. Forgot to get anything to replace it though. Came home had Eden take a nap and then I went to Sam’s to show her how to prepare the truffle center for mutual. I also went through her recipes and now I have to copy tons of recipes so I can have some variety in our very redundant dinner menu. Came home, took naps, made dinner, kissed husband hello, ate dinner, kissed husband goodbye. Taught Miamaids how to make truffles. ( I made them for a cub scout dinner and they were a big hit, so Sam asked me to teach her girls how to make them.)
Came home, made phone calls for enrichment.
Thursday- My first day to watch Naia! Julie dropped her off a little after 9am and then I had to learn what to do with a young baby. She’s pretty well behaved but she got hungry right before we had to leave.( Julie called while she was crying and I felt so bad.) I feed her a little to get her happy and then we got to Lilah’s class about 15 minutes late.
Naia didn’t want to sleep while at the church and only took about a half hour nap. Then she fussed a bit when I laid her down in Eden’s bed, and Eden cried to have a baby put in her bed. Ahh, children.
Tonight Enrichment.
Tomorrow- We have a birthday party for Spencer, a boy from church. We’ll see how that goes because it’s 10-12, the same time Naia’s nap begins.

So I’ve driven somewhere every day this week. I don’t plan on having this be routine since it does cost a lot in gas but man, I was busy.

I’m happy to begin watching Naia. It’s nice to be contributing to the income.
Also great news is Jon got a small raise besides his cost of living increase!
Go Jon! He doesn’t think it was well deserved since he was learning his job this past year, but I say he’s a very hard worker and is dedicated to being an honorable employee.
I think he deserves it and it helps to ease the burden of the budget just a tad more.

FHE zealots

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Last night at a small Relief Society function the idea that Family Home Evening should only be on Monday nights and the support of any activities that occur on Monday night are in essence bad was shortly discussed. The feeling I came away with from the discussion was if you don’t hold family home evening on Monday nights and you support functions that are on that night your bad. Like you can’t hold family home evening on any other night of the week?
The Church has delegated Monday night Family Home Evening night (FHE), so as a consensus you don’t bother other church leaders on this night. Meetings can be held on any other night of the week and often you can find that a meeting or activity is being held on other nights of the week. As a church leader you have numerous meeting to attend and as a member you have numerous activities to attend, all of which will have certain church leaders there. So Monday is the one day sanctioned by the Church for FHE because you may have to do other things all the other days of the week.  I think it’s an extreme to say that you can never do any other activity on Monday.  Some extreme members might even say doing other things on Monday night would be similar to breaking the Sabbath like having a sports function on Sunday or a party.
The problem presented was a change in a school practice that is regularly held on Tuesday night to Monday night.  The mother was upset that there were 7 LDS members our of 9 on this board and 6 out of the 7 LDS member voted it was OK to hold the practice on Mondays, which they were changing so they could get more help from other experts in this field and better the children in the activity. (I know it’s vague, but I’m wanting to keep it vague.) The idea was how could these good upstanding LDS parents allow an activity to take place on FHE night, and what are they not doing that they’re OK with putting the practise first rather than the family. It was also mentioned that the instructor himself was LDS, so why would he want to change it in the first place? I was being timid and not wanting to start a debate, but really do we have to do FHE on Monday? Can’t we say okay we have no school or other activities on Thursday night, this is the night we’ll do FHE and  if something comes up that’s important we’ll skip it or discuss changing it for that week or all go as a family for the activity. I once had an institute leader give the example  of his daughter needing to put up posters for school on a Monday night and they all went as a family to help since it was FHE.
I find it funny that people judge others by the fact that they’re okay with having something on Monday so they must not do FHE. This change was for the better of the kids. I went to school on Monday nights for some of my college classes and we held FHE on Wednesday,  was I bad for wanting to better myself at something just because I did it on a Monday night?
I find it to be an extreme thought that you can only do something on one certain night a week because that’s when it’s been instructed and supported by the Church.  I think that somewhat overshadows the fact that we need to be gathering as a family at least one night a week, the night doesn’t really matter.
Do we have to sacrifice bettering ourselves for coming closer as a family? In which FHE might not really work, even though every leader will support it, but if you have a wayward teenager FHE may do nothing to help the family come closer. Might our children in the end become negative and hold a grudge if they’re not allowed to pursue their dream because it was held on a Monday night? (Yes, it’s FHE so it should be the family night and the argument of being able to do things on Sunday for fear of a grudge might be substituted, but what I’m talking about is a night that you have with your family that does not deal with Sabbath day worship but as bonding as a family and having spiritual lessons)
What if we decide to have FHE instead of having them go to weekly church functions. Are we  bad parents then?

We don’t hold FHE regularly. I’m in charge of it now and since we’re together almost every night and I’m with the girls all day long I find it a daunting task and I’m never quite sure what to do to interest the girls. We have been pretty regular in the past, but it’s hard. We try to delegate a night that is FHE and we usually end up watching a movie and having something special as a treat. With  having the Gospel Art Kit I’ll pull out pictures and try to tell a gospel story sometimes. We just haven’t done this lately. So maybe this comes from my guilt of neglecting FHE, but really I think sometimes we miss the mark if we’re focused to much on the little things rather than the big picture.
My kids are young and not involved yet in things for the church like activity days (for the 8- 11 year old girls) or mutual (once you’re in Young woman’s- 12-18), and they don’t have any outside hobbies just yet, besides dance, but that’s once a week when it’s occurring, so maybe as I get older our week might fill up and we may have things every night, and then the weekends are hard because of date night and our girls wanting to go out with friends. Maybe it could then be an afternoon, say Saturday afternoon you spend time with family, it is after all only two hours or so one night a week.
I guess I’m trying to balance the busy world with family life, but in the end I don’t want my kids to be in five different activities or sports and I hope that my callings in church don’t require me to be out 3-5 nights a week every week because of meetings and serving others. I know the goal of FHE is to have time together as a family to look at gospel teachings, but does God care if I hold it a different night than Monday? I personally don’t think so.
I think I might hold FHE on Tuesday’s just for fun, so whatever you do don’t call on Tuesday nights. 😉

The Phantom

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Last night we got a special treat. One of Carolyn’s co-workers gets ticket to The Phantom of the Opera and he had some for last night’s show and we went!
A while back Carolyn asked if we’d be interested in going last minute if Chris had tickets and that she would watch the girls for us whenever it happened, since it would be last minute and late show, it started at 9:30pm and ended at 11:20pm.
It was such a good production and truly a timeless piece. It was the first Broadway type scaled production that Jon or I had ever been too. We also had pretty good floor seats.
It was lots of fun and worth more than every penny we spent, since it was free including the babysitting. 🙂

Carolyn said she had fun with the girls. Lilah kept showing her what she could do, like jumping and once Eden was asleep she was a chatter box.

Carolyn said that Lilah was informing her about all sorts of things, including what people Lilah knew that Carolyn didn’t and then who Carolyn did know. Like Lilah knows Danielle, but Carolyn doesn’t. And one conversation that made me smile was how Lilah said that she knew Anna but Carolyn didn’t. Carolyn said she did know Anna and that Mommy use to work with her. Lilah said that Mommy is a mommy.
Jon thinks it’s interesting how she’s figuring out relationships and who knows who and who doesn’t know who.
I think it’s just one more thing for her to talk about, but I do think it’s interesting to watch her to learn.

No more referrals.

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

Now I post this because my point of view as changed and I now see the importance of trying to keep my friends information private because this is what I now want. So if you ever think of me as someone who might like something get the card to the consultant and and I can tell you myself and not waste that consultant’s and my time. Now I’m not upset at anyone for referring me but I just realized that it’s easier if you don’t. 🙂
So I’ve only recently heard of a company called “The Living Scripture”. I was at a relief society function and one women there said how she got locked into the whole set and would be paying $4,000 for everything. I thought wow, a commitment of $4,000 in DVD’s, crazy, even if they are scripture related. I just realized Jon’s parents have a lot of the living scripture videos and I have seen some. I think they can be useful to teach little children but ultimately it should be from the scriptures and Church related publications, I think. Like the Gospel Art kit or Book of Mormon Stories, both which I have and neither do I use often, which just means I’m a slacker. (I’ll link to these church items when they site is running.) Anyways.
Yesterday I had just picked up the mail and I noticed a young man park across the street. I was watching him because he was in an unfamiliar car. I got back in the house and through my peep hole I noticed he had a duffel bag. I wondered who he was staying with. I saw how he crossed the street and was approaching my door. I wondered if he had the wrong address because I was pretty sure I hadn’t signed up for any exchange program.
He rang the bell and I opened. He called me Sister Blake, which I found odd because he was not familiar looking to me. He said he was talking to people in the ward about this product and he asked if he could come in and tell me some info and show a video. I declined and he said for just listening I get a free video. I said I wasn’t interested and he tried to get in by saying he gets paid for just doing a demonstration and he mentioned the free video again as he held three different ones in his hand. I declined and he said how he didn’t know many people and was wondering if I could give him referrals to people in the ward. I sheepishly mentioned one family who lives down the street from us. He asked for more but not many live in my neighborhood and I didn’t want to go pull out a ward roster, that would be out of line. He went on his way and I became a little upset by the situation.
Here are the things that mostly upset me:
1. He called me by Sister Blake and was a sales man. I like using the “Sister” title for church relations, so to call me “Sister” and want to sell me something made me a little upset.
2. He didn’t call first, he just stopped by. Had he called he could have saved his and my time. Also by stopping by I know that people are more likely to get inside and once inside the “foot in the door syndrome” takes place and a person is more likely to buy something. I felt a little guilty that he wasted gas coming to my house, but honestly he should have called first so the guilt I had is gone.
3. He wanted names specifically of those I go to church with so in a way he is able to bypass the whole rule about not using the ward roster for solicitation because it’s always “referrals” to other members of the ward.

I also know from reading this blog, though it appears to be highly biased against living scripture, that they do strange 2 year contracts, kinda like Columbia house, but for a much higher price of $2,000 per subscription and X numbers of videos.
That’s just not what we need.
At one point while I was turning him down I almost pointed to the new car in the drive way and said. “See that car, we just bought it and now our income is much tighter and I don’t need to spend $4,000 on videos.” But he was nice and not so persistent that I felt the need to act like a crazy lady to get him to leave.

Another referral experience I had with a Mary Kay Rep. I had a friend, lets call her Stacey, just start doing Mary Kay, she no longer likes the company, so I don’t feel bad divulging this info, plus it’s no sign that this always happen within Mary Kay, just to me.
Well I went to Stacey’s first party as a new Mary Kay Rep and bought one lipstick because it was way too much money to spend on makeup for me. While we were hanging around eating cake Stacey’s Rep asked if she could call me tomorrow and do a three way with Stacey and just talk about how she did. I thought yeah I can do that and said yes. Well this Rep called and tried to persuade me to join the Mary Kay team. Ya know, list the benifits of half off makeup and having your own hours and possibly earning enough to have them give you the use of a second car for free. Nothing was ever brought up about my friend’s experience or how she did at her first party. I found it strange because this had been my first Mary Kay party ever and I know that was asked while there and no where on my slip of paper did I show any sign of interest for joining Mary Kay. I declined several times throughout the phone conversation and the Rep asked if I would do a “pink pillow” and sleep on it. I said that I would think about it, but just to get her off my back. My friend was so embarrassed. She had no idea that her Rep would try to recruit me. She knew that she was trying to get higher up in the totem pole, but she felt so bad that the Rep called me under false pretense.

So here’s my new thing. I’m never going to give referrals when I’m asked unless I have already spoken to someone and I know they’re interested in the product. Instead I’ll ask for a card and say I’ll talk to my friends and if they’re interested they’ll contact you.

I know a lot of people who do the whole sales thing. I understand you make money off of referrals and if a person is looking into a product and you make contact with them before they just contact a rep, then you get the money and not just some random rep. That’s great, but what I’ve decided is I don’t enjoy turning someone down because I was referred by a friend. If I’m looking to buy a certain product I’ll ask around and see if I know someone who sells X product or if they know someone. If they do great, if not fine.
I already have a hard time going to stores and buying things I don’t need by just seeing them on a shelf. I don’t need a person telling me I need something and persuading me to spend money. I do that well enough on my own.