I'll quickly update my blog for those of you who have been nagging me (hmm...Marni). So I pose a very serious question. A couple of weeks ago Jeff was babysitting for our friends and their daughter is potty trained, but needed help wiping after she went poops. Well Jeff has never helped someone go potty before so he was pretty clueless. So Jeff gets a couple squares of toilet paper and starts to fold it, and she told him not to fold but to bunch it.

When Jeff was telling this story I started laughing and said that he was probably one of the only people who folded their toilet paper. He disagreed and now the question is posed to you.
ARE YOU A BUNCHER OR A FOLDER???????? Leave your comments here.


A Message from Lauren

Laruen: "I need to blog. (While hitting random buttons) Oohhh I blogged."
Me: "Do you want to say anything else for the blog?"
Lauren: "Ummm two. I turn it on."
Me: "Do you want to talk about your day?"
Lauren: "Balls in playground Mommy. Playground. Playground Mommy. I flicked Mommy's booger. I Flicked Mommy's booger. (She picked my nose while I was typing (it was quite painful)). I bite my arm. I blogging. Mommy blogging."
Me: "What else?"
Lauren: "Battery....Bad to Bone. Bad to Bone. I need Lauren. (That means she wants to see pictures of herself on the blog) My music stuck (her CD was skipping) My musssssic stuck. My musssssssick stuck. I need to blogging. Mommy-O's shirt. I zip Mommy's jacket. (she unzipped my hoodie). Hold on, Hold on (while moving my hands while she tried to hit the power button. I throw it. I throwed the ball. (She threw a tennis ball)

I always think it is funny to listen to Lauren talk. She has a running commentary and easily gets distracted from the task at hand. When I typed out what Lauren was saying I could see how her mind transferred from one thing to the other. Even now Lauren found a pump bottle and is trying to pull my shirt down to make me pump. Ahhhhhh. This is really hard to have her climbing all over me. So goodbye from a crazy mom of a two year old.



Today we had our Stake Conference and Elder Quentin L. Cook was there. Nothing makes you feel more discouraged then having two kids at stake conference on hard chairs, with small rows, and a hardwood floor. Needless to say we spent our time out in the foyer running and stealing other kids snacks and toys. My favorite moment was when our stake president asked all the primary kids to sing "I Love to See the Temple" on the way home from conference with their parents. He then proceeded to quote the words and Lauren said "NO SING TEMPLE." Lovely.

Lauren had reverted back to 15 months old. You know when they are learning to walk and explore. Lauren has re found the joys of unrolling the toilet paper, and dumping everything on the floor. Most often her snacks which proceed to then be smooshed to oblivion. And recently she has turned into a bully. Pushing her friends and McKenna.

(Here is Lauren in her general naughtiness)

But on a happier note. We woke up to beautiful snow. It snowed probably six inches and was made all the more fun because I didn't even know it was supposed to snow. We were mesmerized and Lauren and I watched the snow for about 20 minutes. When McKenna went down for her nap Lauren and I bundled up and played for about an hour. I have never seen anybody Love the snow as much as Lauren did. After about a half hour I was cold and ready to go in, so I asked Lauren if her hands were cold and she said "No" How were her hands warm when she kept putting them in the snow.

(Our humble little snowman who after this picture did get raisins for eyes. I went out later that night and all that was there was the two raisins, the snowman ran away)

On to McKenna (Reese, for those of you whom prefer that name). I think it is safe to say that she is a crawler. She is just starting so she doesn't go far fast, but she will. She doesn't get frustrated with trying like Lauren did. Anyway she is also eating cheerios now. What a big girl so fast.

Oh just in closing. Lauren learned a new word on Friday. No word has ever brought such fear to my heart. Are you ready for this: "WHY?????"

(This is a picture of the cake for Alissa's shower. The more I look at it the less pleased I am. Over night the top layer of cake squished out the frosting in between the layers on the bottom tier so it looks lumpy. Next time I just won't put the top layer on till morning, or I'll have to put dowels in the cake to help support the weight).



I'm so sorry to all of my blogging friends and by that I mean that you are my friends on a much deeper level and in a very non-cyberspace way. I haven't really been that busy, just distracted. I blame it all on Melanie because she has satellite, which will end soon so I'm trying to soak it all in before it is gone.

Other than that I have been reading a lot. Usually 2 books every week or so.

Jeff loves to make pumpkin pie, like cut up a pumpkin and bake it in the oven kind of pie, any other way is an impostor pumpkin pie. He spent all day today making pies and they were great. What a great spouse.

I promise to post again semi-soon with pictures. I made a cake this past week for my sister's shower that I am totally proud of and will post of picture of that too.

Loves to all.


Funny Faces

I was just looking through the pictures on the camera and had to post my girls and their cute, and funny faces.

Our apartment is now officially a disaster area (hmm...do you think the government will give us money for that? (a man made disaster)). I packed the pots and pans tonight, mostly so I don't have to cook for the rest of the week. (Maybe I'll just lose that box in the move, sounds like a good idea huh)???

Life is good and we are just trying to wind up our summer before school starts again on Monday. Some of these pictures are of us feeding some geese. Well I actually didn't get any shots of that, but Lauren was so cute throwing bread into water, really it was more like she was dropping it into the water, but either way it was still really cute.

Hope all of your summers have been filled with bliss, I know ours has, and we will really miss our special Daddy-O!!!! Enjoy the rest of our funny faces.

This is was McKenna's first time going swimming, so we had to take a picture of her cute little swim suit. I posted two pictures because McKenna's smile in the first one is so cute, and Lauren's face in the second was just too funny not to post.

This here swing was a garage sale steal at only five dollars. Whoohoo. Lauren and McKenna Love it. And no it was not cold enough outside to warrant a hat, but it was windy that day and Lauren is really sensitive to the wind. So she was just holding her hands over her ears while she swung, so the genius that I am, went and got her a hat to put on.


She actually made an ever better face than this one, but I couldn't ever quite get it. She really holds no love for peas. (And yes Mom, I DID warm them up AND thinned them) Side Note; she is now six months old, I can't believe it.

YUMMM!!!! I'm starting her off right.




This week Jeff and I celebrated our third anniversary. It has gone by so fast and has been so fun and so irritating (at times). We started the day off (or I should say that Jeff started his day off) by taking his classmate and his wife to the airport at 4:30am. He then came home and said that he couldn't go back to sleep and that he felt cold. (Alarms were going off in my head). I got up with the girls and played with them while Jeff slept until 10:00am. (Did I mention that we had anniversary plans at 9:00)? He had a fever and took some medication and then got ready to go to a luncheon for school tutors. The car wouldn't start when he tried to leave, so the poor guy had to walk to a gas station to, obviously, get gas. He then went and got me flowers and a violin bow, and went to a part store to find out about our car. When he got home is was about 3:30pm and was so tuckered out that he passed out on the couch until the girls went to bed.

He somehow suckered up the will to get ready to take me out to dinner as planned and then went to go see the proposal. (really funny p.s.) So all in all it was a semi disappointing day but one that reminded me of what love is really about. And one that reminded me of how much Jeff loves me.

A List of the reasons I chose Jeff

1. Jeff is the most sincere man I have ever known

2. Jeff is the eternal optimist (very refreshing when you are as pessimistic as I am)

3. Jeff is a hard worker (the whole time we have been married Jeff has handled school, me and the girls and usually two jobs)

4. Jeff is a perfectionist (well this is actually a totally irritating trait to me, but I know that if I want something done well, I know who to turn to).

5. Jeff once brushed my teeth for me when I was sick (he was a CNA and I knew then that he would always take care of me when I needed it)

6. Jeff once came and threw rocks at my window and went for a walk in the rain

7. On our first date Jeff made me a bouquet of candy bars.

8. Jeff is a good dresser (shallow, I know, but important).

9. While we were dating, Jeff sent me a dozen roses while I was in Utah. I remember I seat-belted them into the van on the way home).

10. A week before we got married Jeff brought me 7 gladiolas, one for everyday until the big day.

11. Jeff surprised me with a limo ride on our wedding day, because he knew I really wanted to have a limo.

12. Jeff would very occasionally skip class to spend time with me while we were dating. (He put the kibosh on that one after we got married).

13. Jeff would come over while we were dating and he would end up watching a movie with my Mom because I would fall asleep in the first ten minutes.

14. Jeff always helped me experience new things like four wheeling, golfing, rummy, apple cake, and dumb and dummer

15. Jeff does everything in his power to make, and keep me happy. (Except playing ticket to ride on Sundays)

16. Jeff is always giving of himself to others.

17. Jeff has no enemies. There is no one that Jeff doesn't like.

18. Jeff is morally astute.

(Jeff singing Forever, and Ever at our reception)

This is just a short list of the reasons I fell in love with Jeff. He always treats me so well, and not just part of me. He is always conscious of my emotions, my physical comfort, my mental fortitude and my spiritual well-being. Jeff is an amazing person, as all those who know him would agree. I am truly lucky to have a such a fine and dedicated man as my husband for all eternity.


Ups' and Downs'

Today had been a surprising and disappointing day. I won't go into all the details, but it involves a car not starting, Jeff being gone, walking in the heat of the day, and Hy-Vee AND Walmart NOT having "17 Again" at red box.
But on the up side, we had a really great time with Scott, Kim and Tyson who bailed us out of car trouble and invited us to dinner. YUM! They are really such wonderful friends (thanks again).
Another happy thing is when Lauren and Jeff were leaving to go to the park this morning, Lauren blew a kiss to McKenna and said "I Lub you McKenna." So adorable. I thought Lauren was handling things really well when we first brought McKenna home from the hospital, but as I look back a pictures she always has a blank stare on her face, or a slightly confused onCheck Spellinge. I can really tell that she is back into her happy, exuberant self (even though I didn't realize she had been missing until yesterday when I had this epiphany).
More happiness is that we are making fried ice cream tonight. I also re-stocked my Swiss Roll stash tonight so I can have a fix when I have days like today. Hope all are well.


Go With the Flow

Today when Jeff got home from his busy day we went to the mall to get a new charger for my phone. The guys was selling us a car charger, which was fine, when Jeff said "yeah we have this one, but the thing broke off." So the guy just gave us the replacement piece for free. Totally awesome.

While we were there I saw my old spanish teacher Senora Johnson from when I was a freshman and sophomore. She is really the only teacher I would ever go up to and say hi, but that is because I always helped her shop at Younkers when I worked there.

Well actually the whole point of this blog is to ask for your opinions; while at the mall we stopped at the play place. There we about twenty kids running around and jumping (a lot of them were about 9 (which by the way totally annoys me)) and Lauren is just not very good at going with the flow. For instance there is this one toy that could be a slide either way you go (if that makes sense) but the kids today were doing it backwards than the way Lauren usually plays with it. It didn't make a fuss, but would still just try to go her way, which meant that she would be trying to climb up while others would be sliding down.

I sat there and wondered why some kids are just so easy going and could just change directions because that was the flow, while my sweet Lauren was so insistent that it be her way. Is this something that I need to work on with her; to just kick back and let it be? And if so, how?

This is really just one example of Lauren's insistence. Another good one was when everyone in the room had their socks off except Jeff and she noticed and told him to take his socks off too. When he said that he liked his socks on, she went over and started to take them off for him. Is this behavior obsessive.

Anyway just wanted to know your thoughts on my sweet little lady's temperament.


Upload Mania

So this is a very long post of our summer fun. Jeff goes back to school in 2 1/2 weeks, and we are so desperately going to miss his presence, and adventurous spirit.

I'll do this in chronological order. May garage sales were good to us as we found this stellar table and chairs (with a leaf) for $125. Thank you Stacey and Greg for loaning us your table for the last three years (and sorry about the crayon/paint/glitter on your table).

McKenna Reese had her first bath in the big tub with Lauren in the month of May. It is a little tricky because McKenna is such a stander.

Our first visit to North Platte this summer saw a couple of projects; The picture above is building a swing set. (Which Jeff did very little of, since he only worked on it one day). And also fixing up an old pick-up truck his Grandpa gave him. It had been sitting outside for pretty much 30 years, so basically it is a piece of rust. Or I should say that it was. Jeff, Calvin and Bill took it all apart and sanded it down to nice shining metal. (Well, two fenders and the hood). I got to help for a while and it was pretty fun using power tools.

Just a side note on Jeff's projects; He has a rocking chair sitting in my parent's garage that he has sanded and primed and started painting for Lauren's room (well it was for Lauren's room when we were going to buy a house).

Side note B- Much of our Summer was devoted to the process of buying a home. We found one that we really liked and made an offer. We didn't get approved for the loan that we wanted, but we did get approved for an FHA loan. We prayed and fasted about it and decided that we should just wait, after all we don't have an income. After all the phone calls and the faxing and the questions, we were a little bummed about not getting a house. I joked to Jeff that maybe an older couple in our ward would go on a mission and let us live in their house. I used this same joke when we were on a picnic with some friends from our ward (What can I say, if it is good joke I'll use it more than once) Anyway our friend called me the next day and long story short, Jeff and I are going to house sit while her husband is in Iraq (she'll be living at her Mom's in another state). So many blessings.

Back to side note A- Jeff also bought an outdoor glider on craigslist for $25. It needed a lot of work so he has been working on it in Jeremy's garage while they are out of town. (Sounds like we need our own garage, huh)? Jeff is a very good wood worker and strives for perfection.

Our first trip to North Platte also saw lots of fun, here are the cousins at the rodeo. It rained for the first twenty minutes or so, and it made the ground all muddy and soppy. I HATE MUD.

We went to a fun little water park, Lauren loved, loved, loved it.

Here is evidence.

Here is a picture of Marlene with all of her grandkids. Lauren Loved them so much. And still a few times a day she'll say "Connor far away" in a really sad voice, and continue through each of her cousins saying that they are far away.

In between trips to North Platte my brother Daniel and his wife Jessica and kids came to Nebraska for a visit. It was so fun to see them. We roped Jessica into taking some familia pictures for us while she was here. A couple of weeks later my nephew Dillion was in town and went house shopping with us and gave his expert opinions (the house we made an offer on did meet his qualifications).

Now for the second trip to North Platte. We went for the family reunion and one of the days we went to the lake. Lauren as you can see preferred to eat her fish on the sand then to play amongst them in the water. (I don't blame her though, lakes have the funniest smell). She did one time go on the rope swing with Jeff.

Lauren got so dirty everyday that we were there and when I would tell her that it was time for a bath she would recruit her cousins to take a bath with her. Here is one very crowded tub.

The 27th was Jeff's birthday. He started the day off right by going golfing with Calvin and his Dad. It started pouring on the 7th hole so they came back soaked and were welcomed with omelets that I made. (I'm not sure if that was a treat or a punishment, I had never made omelets before).

Later he got to do an experiement. You'll have to go to his blog for the science part of it, but here is a little teaser for you:

This is a picture of Jaylin and I (you can't really see it, but we are sporting Zac Efron rings that came on the high school musical cupcakes that I bought Jeff for his birthday (okay so they were more for me)

And here is a picture of our photographer.

Sweet Ava was in love with McKenna and loved to hold her. One morning McKenna decided to just take a little nap in Ava's arms.

And this last picture is just for a laugh. We were getting ready to go somewhere last night and I came out of the bedroom and Lauren had packed everything we needed into McKenna's carseat; four pairs of jammies and two pairs of shoes. Looks like we were all set.

I'm sure that has been more summer fun, but at the moment they allude me. So this will have to suffice on our summer journey-ings thus far.


Lauren's Language

I was just thinking of all of the adorable things Lauren says and the words that only we know. My Mom told me to write them down or I would forget, so here goes:

Lauren's Words Translation

E-E= Blanket

Pa-a =Pacifier

Pa-Ha = Grandpa

Buckle-lo = buckle it

Cow Milk= Chocolate Milk

Daddy-O =Dad

Tiss = Kiss

Trey Diper = A pampers diaper vs. a huggies diaper (beacuse this is what kind Trey wears)

Shut Door = Anything that involves closing (like McKenna's eyelids, or the hymn book)

baaank = she wants to play with the piggy bank

La La's car= Basically any car

Ringer = Ring around the Rosies

Awake = She's not going back to sleep (even if it is a one in the morning. I had the unfortunate experience of asking if she was awake when had woken up crying at said time, and she hopped up and said "AWAKE")

Oh No, Oh NO = You don't have your seatbelt on. (I have never taught her this, but every once in a while when I start to back up without my seatbelt on first she will notice).

Hold You/ Hold Mommy = "I want you to hold me"

Dono= Donut

Tinna= McKenna

Lauren really is a sweet girl with a very logical, imaginative mind. It is so fun to see her reason and place concepts together.



Hey everybody; Jeff has started his own blog. It is listed here on the side as Jeff's science blog. They are experiments that he has been doing with Lauren over the summer. Also it is his big money making idea since we are income-less, because he put the "ads by google" sooo if you feel so inclined give it a click.

P.S. I'll update soon. It isn't because I have nothing to blog about, it is because I have so much to blog about. Since our last post we have taken 80 pictures. Sometime I''ll get on the ball. Hope this finds everyone well and happy.


Hot Air Balloon Ride

Well everyone else is updating their blogs so I thought I would join in. For those of you privileged to be around me, you have probably heard me talk about our hot air balloon ride. After two cancelled attempts, we finally had a nice enough night to fly. So here are the pictures to prove that we went (in case you thought I was lying).

Here is the inflating of the balloon

This is all of us in the basket (There was literally no room to move) The lady with the hat (whom you cannot really see) on was celebrating the end of her chemotherapy for her brain tumor and the other lady is her daughter. It was really sweet the nurses at the cancer center bought the balloon ride as a present for her. I just want to mention how hot it was up there. Not only because it was a warm day, but because the burners are really hot. I was the tallest one in the basket and I could really feel the heat on my head and neck. I thought it was going to fry my hair off.

Here are some cool pictures of the view:

These are pictures of our shadows/reflection. During our flight we had a maximum speed of six mph and height of 1500 feet. Rich, who is an avid balloon competitor told us his max. height was 18,000 feet and his max. speed was 97 mph (which was a major disappointment because he wanted to go 100 mph) He holds a record for the longest flight time (23 hours, which was also a disappointment because he wanted to go 30 hours). His flights are in the middle of winter because the fuel is more efficient and this year he hopes for -40 degree weather. What a nut.

We were in the air for about an hour and during the flight we had an unexpected visitor:

The landing was really the coolest part, mostly because it was the scariest part. We landed on the highway. Yes literally cars had to stop for us. We landed and then the chaser dragged us into the grass. We landed pretty soft but Rich the flier said on one of his solo flights he landed going 37 mph (he said it was pretty much a wreck). Once you land you have to wait a little while for the balloon to steady and cool off. You get off one at a time as instructed, I guess if the balloon wasn't cool enough you'd take off again. It was hard to fight the urge to just bail once we landed.

Here is Jeff and I happy to be back on the ground safe and sound. We did have to sign our lives away to go on this ride. I'm serious.

Here is the deflation of the balloon.

This is a picture of us all helping to put the balloon back into the bag. It was kind of fun that we got to be apart of the ground crew.

I just thought that is was amazing that the chute all fit into this little bag.

After the balloon and basket are put away safe and sound it is tradition to drink "bubbly." Rich instructed us to kneel down and he poured us all bubbly. We were supposed to hum America the Beautiful while he recited the balloonists prayer which goes like this: "The winds have welcomed you with softness.The sun has blessed you with his warm hands.You have flown so high and so well, That the gods have joined you in your laughter and set you back again into the loving arms of Mother Earth." When he finished we were supposed to pick up the bubbly with our teeth and drink it.

And when we bent down Rich dumped bubbly on our heads. Luckily I was last and saw what was happening so I missed the sticky fluid.

It was really a fun adventure and we were blessed with a beautiful night.


Bragging Rights

brag, bragged, brag⋅ging, noun, adjective

–verb (used without object)
1.to use boastful language; boast: He bragged endlessly about his high score.

–verb (used with object)
2.to boast of: He bragged that he had won.

3.a boast or vaunt.
4.a thing to boast of.
5.a boaster.
6.an old English card game similar to poker.

Consider this your warning that this is going to be a bragging post.

1. Jeff
2. Garage Sale deals
3. My Cake
4. My Girls

1. Jeff- Some of you may know that Jeff is pretty much a genius (or really, really blessed (well actually it is both)) so you can imagine that he did really well in medical school. Yesterday we got a letter in the mail telling him that he is a REGENT SCHOLAR. Which means that he is top seven in his class, and means we don't have to pay for tuition next year. (a.k.a 20,000 less debt). Congratulations, your girls are so proud of you.

2. Garage Sale deals- This is actually due to popular request that I post pictures of the amazing deals we've found.

This here dresser, two nightstands and a mirror cost us only $65. I know, gape right?? We've also picked up a little slide for Lauren, some fun dress up clothes. A 10 dollar golf bag for Jeff and a cake stand for me. I love garage sales.

3. My Cake- I recently helped throw a baby shower for a girl in my ward, and the theme was "Born to Be Wild." I made the invitations and offered to make the cake. I realize that the cake is by no means perfect, but I do think that it turned out pretty well. What am I saying, if it's on my brag list than I must think that it is fantastic.

4. My Girls- also due to popular demand (okay well only Natalie) a picture of each of my girls.

This one of McKenna wearing her hat is of Lauren's choosing. Yes McKenna is a huge finger sucker. Which is nice because it means we won't have to look for lost pacifiers.

And this one of Lauren is with her little boyfriend Corbin. They are so cute; we were at the zoo looking at the monkeys and she and Corbin were off on there own eating fruit loops. Later they held hands back to the gates. SOOO CUTE.

Anyway that was my brag blog post. Are you jealous???