Wednesday, January 28, 2009


All Ainsley wanted for Christmas was Biscuit.  She started asking for him back in October.  Biscuit was a really big gift and I asked her if she would be happy if Santa ONLY brought Biscuit and no other toys.  She originally told me she wanted Santa to bring other toys too.  But as the weeks went on and she would see things she'd like - I would ask, "Do you want this more than Bicuit?"  The answer was always NO.  She really really wanted Biscuit!
(I love the innocence and literalness of children...on a side note... One day Ainsley came home saying she wanted a gameboy like her friend Courtney had.  I asked her the standard question - saying that Biscuit and a gameboy were both big presents and Santa usually only brings one big present.  She said, "No No Mommy - Gameboys are really little."  AAHH - the innocence of youth!)
Back to Ainsley - She has always loved animals - all kinds - even bugs.  She loves dogs and playing with other peoples dogs.  Whenever asked if she has a pet - she always replies that her Dad and brother are allergic and we can't have pets.  My mom told me that when they were living here for that month that Ainsley would crawl in bed with her in the morning.  Then they would make up stories together each adding a little bit more one at a time.  She told me every one of Ainsley's stories was about a little girl who couldn't have a dog because someone in her family was allergic. (So Sad!!)  Biscuit is certainly a special gift for this little dog lover.  And to tell you the truth - it's the best kind of dog there is.  Very realistic, no need for vets, no food, no walking at night with a baggie.  We are all loving this dog.

She even sleeps with this dog sometimes.  It takes up more room in the bed than she does.  This is how I found her the other night but I bet she couldn't be happier.
Sorry you'll never get the real thing Ainsley but it seems like Biscuit is a pretty good substitute.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

She Was Supposed To Be Asleep!

She's grown older and taller but she still has this need to line things up.  It was at least an hour after she'd been put to bed and I had to go to the boys room for some reason.  As I passed her door I heard some quite noises in her room so I peeked in.  By the dim glow of her nightlight she had taken every plaything in her room and lined it up.  That included a dried out wipe, a cardboard insert for a package of tights, paper with a list written on it, lots of play food, littlest pet shop animals, a baby doll and stuffed animals.

 Oh Miss Ainsley.... I love you!

Monday, January 19, 2009


We finally got our first real snow... the kind that actually covers all the grass and doesn't melt off the sidewalks and driveways right away.  We didn't get much - two inches, three at most.  It was so pretty watching it fall most of the day.  Big fat fluffy flakes.  My kids actually didn't beg to go out side and play in it, which I'm glad because they always make such a big wet mess in my laundry room and kitchen - and I mopped my kitchen floor and did many loads of laundry today.  I know they will want to play out there tomorrow so I'll finish the laundry and make room for them.  And I will try to keep towels down in my kitchen so I don't have black slush footprints all over my clean floor.
I'll enjoy the silence outside tonight too because it feels as if the whole world is muffled.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Band Concert

On December 21st we went to Chase's first band concert.  He's been playing the trombone for about a year and 3 months.  The concert was much better than I thought it would be and you could really hear the trombone parts in the band.  It was great!!  I took a minute and half video with my still camera but apparently it's way to big to upload.  Can anyone tell me how to compress the size of the video so I post it on here?

Chase had to get there a half hour early to warm up.  I walked the halls of the school with Piper until the concert began so she would have to sit for the shortest amount of time possible.  She liked sitting on this stuffed giraffe outside the school counselor's office.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Spy

I spy a cute little doll with a green barrette.  
Piper and Ainsley are into making giant piles of stuff lately.  Which is fine - if they would clean up after themselves and put it all away.  I have found a pile of books which included all the new books anyone got for Christmas, plus all our magazines, catalogs and coffee table books.  Another day I found lots of the clean laundry mixed with books, pillows and blankets piled high on the couch.  Last night I found the trundle pulled out from under Ainsley's bed with every spare blanket from the closet piled high.  AAAHHHH!!!  I LOVE that they find things to keep themselves busy (something other than TV).  But I HATE putting it all away.  How do I deal with this?
This day they had collected EVERY stuffed animal in the whole house and made a giant pile of animals and babies.
Also - Piper has been so grouchy and defiant lately other times she can be so sweet and cuddly.  I keep thinking she must be getting teeth or she's starting to get sick.  Whatever it is...she's starting to earn a nick name around here - TWO FACE!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Christmas Wreaths

Yes it's January 13th and Yes, we made Christmas wreaths last night for FHE.  Our sweet neighbor in Oklahoma used to make these for us every Christmas.  This year I was really missing them so I called her and got the recipe.  I had intended on making them the Sunday before Christmas but we made Peanut Blossoms instead.  Then Dan came home early, Christmas and company and it just got away from me.  We still had all the ingredients so we gave it a shot last night.  We all loved them and I think it might be put on the annual "Christmas must have" list.
Marshmallow, butter, green food coloring and cornflakes
Piper liked eating red hots the most.
Lots of butter rubbed onto wax paper and fingers dipped into the butter.
Piper kept wanting to dip her fingers in the butter bowl.  She would say, "Please pass the soup!"
You needed a little icing to make the red hots stick.  The one thing I forgot was green icing in a tube, but don't worry - we had purple.  We tried to hide it well.  The icing was soooo hard to squeeze out of the tube.  Maybe it had been in the cabinet too long.

Ainsley is saying - "Here Piper - I tried these red hots but they are WAY to hot for me - you can have mine"
See my red hots?  I LOVE THEM!!
Pretty cute final result - huh?

**PS - notice the girls were wearing their Eagles outfits (so were Daniel and Chase who unfortunately didn't make it into any of our pictures) in honor of the BIG win on Sunday!!!  "Fly Eagles Fly"

Friday, January 09, 2009

Seven Pounds

Went on a HOT DATE with my hubby tonight, first one since he's been home.  We went to Macaroni Grill for dinner and topped it off with this movie.  Dan really wanted to see this movie.  I hadn't heard of it but I like Will Smith.  I didn't have even an inkling of what it was about.

Also, I think Will Smith is the best actor in the world.  He is so versatile and it doesn't matter what kind of character he plays - he does it spot on.  He is so good in this movie that you can see his feelings, his inner thoughts and turmoil.  He is so believable!  And from what I read and hear he is a super guy in real life too.

Back to the movie - it was really good if you don't mind needing a box of tissues.  This movie makes you FEEL!  You feel the gamut really - all that is happy and good and all that is tragic and sad.  Everyone should see this... and you'll see the goodness of the human spirit.  I love to see goodness in people and the love they have for each other.  I want to be that way and in the midst of my busy schedule - I try.  I know I could be doing more and I wish for the time and energy.  I'll keep doing my best... by small and simple things - great things are brought to pass.  So I'll keep making dinners, babysitting, making phone calls, writing letters, secret santa shopping, and donating to the causes.  I believe in the goodness of people!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Dad Heard By Audience of Thousands

For those of you who haven't seen it on Facebook or one of my family members sites, I really wanted you all to hear my father sing.  He sung at one of the Sunday night devotionals at the Missionary Training Center while he was there.  There were roughly 2300 people in the audience.  He usually sings for Sacrament meeting (about 150 people).  This was a whole new scale.  He did such a wonderful job though - Here, listen for yourself.

He didn't sign up to sing at the MTC.  He thought it was so lucky to be going to the MTC while his long ago friends were the President and the Mrs. of the place.  Well I guess that worked against him a little because the Mrs. is responsible for musical numbers at the devotionals.  She remembered all the songs she had accompanied him long ago when they were in the same ward.  But just think how many people would have missed that wonderful Spirit if she hadn't of asked.

I did post it on Facebook and was able to have some great conversations with friends from high school about my church, what my parents are doing on their mission and some of my basic beliefs.  Thanks Dad!

Oh And I asked my Dad if he thought the piano player would wait for Ainsley.  I mean she will be 7 and a half when he returns from his mission!!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

So Blessed

For those of you who don't know .... Daniel surprised everyone and got home 2 weeks early. He had been telling me since the middle of November that he was going to see if they would let him come home in time for Christmas. I took his declaration with a grain of salt because he had made requests in the past, such as coming home for Piper's birth or being granted a week's leave for a board review course in the States, and the Army had never granted these requests.

As time moved on though he told me that Commander Shen was considering it. About 2 weeks prior to Christmas he told me that he would be coming home but we decided NOT to tell anyone. 6 days before Christmas he told me there had been some errors in paperwork and that it did not look like he would get out in time... I was very glad I hadn't told anyone or disappointed the children. It was Friday night or Saturday morning when he informed me that he had made it to Kuwait in time to get out on the last flight to the States before Christmas. I felt so lucky. I didn't know until Monday afternoon - (Dec 22) that he would be arriving at 6pm on Tues the 23rd.

The kids didn't know where we were going because we had been out running errands... by the time we got to the airport they were asking questions. I told them that someone had called the day before and asked if we could pick them up at the airport, that they were coming in for Christmas. So I told them that they should keep their eye out for someone familiar. They were happily surprised when they saw Daddy. In fact Piper did not want to be put down even for Daniel to grab his bags off the conveyor belt and she cried when we had to put her back in the stroller to go to the car.

We had an awful lot of fun surprising people. Daniel answered the door when Em and J arrived and when my aunt came Christmas morning. We had fun surprising people at his work and my family when we called my parents and sisters using the web cams Christmas morning. (I received a new camera for Christmas but can't seem to upload the pictures, so more pics coming later) Daniel's parents and brother arrived the day after Christmas so we've been busy visiting all week.
I am especially grateful that Daniel made it home safe. Two days after Christmas Daniel received an email from one of the doctors in his unit (the rest of his unit is due to be leaving Kuwait today). He informed us that a surgeon was killed on Christmas Day in a mortar attack at the base in Mosul, this was the base where Daniel served in 2006. It is in the middle of the city and receives mortar fire on a regular basis. I was grateful that Al Asad, where Daniel was stationed this tour was a much safer base. This surgeon was on his second tour as well, served his first in 2006 - just like Daniel. He was a top trauma surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital (so close to where we live). He had kids very close to the same ages we do 10, 8, and 4. My heart aches for this good man and his family. You can read more here:

Also injured in the blast was Col. Shen (seen here at right) who was the commander instrumental in Daniel's early return. He was visiting the hospital in Mosul and received extensive shrapnel injuries to the lower legs. He is recuperating in Germany. I am reminded of how dangerous these tours can be and am so grateful that Daniel returned home safely.