Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Record Time

Today we got ready in record time.
The goal is to leave by 8:10.

7:45 Woke up with the princess by my side, chatting in my ear,
7:51 Get out of bed, put on yoga pants
7:52 Noah tells me he would like a smoothie. I tell him we are in a hurry. He convinces me that it will actually save us time because although cereal is quick to make, it takes longer to eat. Great reasoning.
7:56 Making a smoothie
8:00 Noah and EJ are happily drinking their smoothies, Ricardo knocks on the door to ask how we are getting to school. He comes in to entertain JuJu while she eats grapes on the floor. Perfect.
8:02 Make Noah's lunch
8:06 Guzzle some smoothie, share some with JuJu
8:08 Put jackets on girls, strap JuJu in stroller,
8:10 Noah says a quick prayer on the back patio
8:11 We're off!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Dear Nutella,

I love you.
I don't know what I would do without you.
You have been a lifesaver to me since moving here to Miami.

The children love you.
I can put you on anything and they will eat it.
Noah loves my whole wheat bread as long as you are on it.
Thank you for making Ella Joy happy for breakfast, then again at lunch today.
The 10 mintues of silence while she stuffed you in her mouth was a treat
to both of us!
You always look so sweet smeared on Julia's face.

Thank you for always being near when I need you.
A quick spoonful of you is just what I need when Noah is frustrated, Ella Joy is screaming, and Julia is whining. You make everything better!

If I was stranded on an island I would definitely want you there.
Surely roots, beetles, or grilled iguana would go down easier
smothered in you.

I love you. I love you. And again I love you

You were just what I needed tonight after a long day with the Princess.
I knew I could count on you to make the last corner of brownie even more choclatey and delicious than ever.

Your are wonderful.
And a constant in my life.


Monday, January 25, 2010

My bedside table

There is a stack of books sitting on my bed side table.
They make me happy.
Ever since Julia's birth I have had trouble finishing books.
I am currently reading about 5 books.
Its nice to have so many to choose from.
I will read a chapter in one then pick up another and then another until my eyelids begin to droop and I fall asleep.
Reading A.D.D.
Maybe but it keeps it exciting and maybe I will finish one soon.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Happiness is reading

When David and I were first married we ate dinner with a family who had 5 small children. After dinner the kids all went into the living room and started reading/looking at books. They were so quiet and calm. The parents were able to talk and the kids were very content. I was so impressed with this sight. I remember thinking I want my kids to do that. Well tonight it finally happened. After dinner and baths I told the kids that it was reading time. Noah read his AR book for school, Ella Joy read her all time favorite book Honeybunny Funnybunny and Julia rolled around on the floor with her Puppy's Tail book. It was a beautiful sight.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

When an 8 year old babysits you...

He may use a bike lock
to slow you down
and give you Goldfish
to eat at your convenience.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Grocery Store Craziness

Does anyone else feel like a crazy person in the grocery store?
I only had to run in for 4 items.
I quickly head to the first aisle.
Julia is calm.
Noah is picking out peaches (not on the list)
Ella Joy has found a plastic ball--the kind they sell at every store.
Why do they sell those at grocery stores?
I try to keep everyone gathered and head to the next item.
More and more items are entering the stroller (things not on the list)
Julia is starting to fuss.
Noah now is bouncing the ball and it gets away from him and lands on the head of a lady.
I pretend not to notice the chaos following me. Maybe they won't make the connection.
We pick out icecream-- Breyers Cookies and Cream, David's favorite.
I have everything I came for, I think.
I go to the self check out line
Julia is screaming.
Noah is trying to help.
Ella Joy is dancing around.
I am just trying to get out as fast as I can.
Scan, put the item in the back, Scan put the item in the bag
I am trying to be pleasant, trying.
But I know I look crazy.
I just want to get out of the store.
We finish our self check out--not so gracefully.
I walk out.
I have survived.
I commit once again to never bring the children to the store.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Another Hummus Lover

Today we had pita and hummus for lunch.
Julia thought it would be fun to dip Goldfish in the hummus.
Not too bad.
When she ran out of Goldfish she just leaned over and licked her tray.
I think we have another hummus lover in the house.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Made it!

Tonight Noah had another game.
Once again it was tied and they went into a double overtime.
It was intense.
I was so stressed.
I used to think the parents who get overly involved were so annoying.
Now I totally get it.
I have never wanted to win something so bad.
There are 4 seconds left in the game.
Noah's teammate passes to him.
He passes it to a teammate and on the pass the other team fouls him.
He gets a 1 for 1 shot because there are 5 fouls in the half.
He steps up to the free throw line.
My heart is racing.
He shoots and it goes in.
I am so excited I can hardly sit.
He gets another shot.
And makes it again.
He is beaming from ear to ear.
This has totally made my day.
We ride our bikes home and stop at the CVS for a victory treat.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Bewitching Hour

At the end of the day we all turn a little green, don't we?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Coral Castle

Today we visited Coral Castle--an odd attraction in Homestead, Florida.
It is a rock garden built by Ed Leedskallinin, a Latvian immigrant.
He built it for the love of his life who called off the wedding and left him heart broken.
He spent 20 years of his life building this as a tribute to the life they never had together.
The exceptional thing about it is that he built it by himself using very simple tools.
It was interesting to see.
Sweet, sad, and a little weird.
The kids loved it.
Afterwards we visited a local farm and had fresh fruit milkshakes.

The entrance. It had a special bell that you were supposed to ring twice.

Meet Ed. He was 5 feet tall and 100 pounds.

The princess of the castle.

A aerial view of the rock garden.

Planets and the moon.

The bedroom which contained a his and her bed, 2 child size beds, and a cradle.
This was the sweet and sad part.

Noah trying out the tub. Perfect fit. Ed would fill it up with water. By the end of the day it would be nice and warm.

Ed built a "repentance corner" where children would go when they were naughty.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lesson #3 Jesus Christ, Our Chosen Leader and Savior

I taught Gospel Principles today.
The class was much larger than usual which is great but a little more intimidating.
Julia hung out with one of her many male friends.
She won't go to women.
She prefers tall bald men.
Thank goodness for several friends at Church who fit this description.
She always has somewhere to go while I teach.
Favorite scripture from the lesson:

"I came down from heaven, not to do mine on will, but the will of him that sent me...And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up on the last day." John 6:38, 40

Saturday, January 16, 2010


This morning Amanda and I ran across the 2 bridges
that connect Key Biscayne to Miami.
The weather was perfect.
Not to hot, not to cold, and a nice breeze.
The view was amazing--looking at the water and the Miami skyline.
Most of all I just love the feeling of running.
Moving your body.
Working your muscles.
Relaxing your mind.
Good conversation.
And water always taste so good when you're done.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wicked Tickets

I just bought tickets to go see Wicked.
A birthday present for myself.
It will be here in March.
I can hardly wait!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Playgroup Fashion

Today to playgroup Ella Joy wore the garter belt from my wedding.
She insisted that it held her hair back better than her bows.
You may want to watch for this new trend on the runways this Spring.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One lizard at a time

Miami has experienced a cold spell and we all have been trying to stay warm.
The poor iguanas are not used to this kind of weather.
Many have frozen.
Noah is doing his best to save every lizard we find.
JuJu found this one frozen on the sidewalk.
Noah wrapped him in EJ's jacket. He stayed their all night.
This morning he had warmed up enough to run off.

This not so little guy was black when Noah found him.
He wrapped him in his jacket.
He layed there all night.
We fed him spinach.
This afternoon we let him go.
He was bright green and running fast.
Nice saves Noah!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's going to be a good day

This morning I woke up to happy children.
JuJu had slept all night.
Noah had made his bed, got dressed, and said his prayers.
Ella Joy was smiling and the monkeys hadn't messed up her hair.
Together they all ate my homemade granola without complaints.

"This is the best day. I love my children so much! Everyone is being so good."

"You think you're gonna keep us, momma?" Ella Joy asked.

"Yes, of course."

Monday, January 11, 2010


We received our first visitors of 2010.
The Blackhams and the Wards, friends from Winston-Salem, stopped by on their way to catch a cruise ship. They left their cars here and I dropped them at their ship.
It was so much fun to see them.
If anyone else is interested in catching a cruise from Port of Miami, Jenny's Shuttle Service is only 15 minutes from the docks.
We'd love to see you!
And Ella Joy will be sure to impress you with her burping skills.
Kim was quite amazed!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Live and Learn

Today a life experience saved David and I from a Church catastrophe.

When Noah was 3 we were sitting in Sacrament meeting and he turned to me,
"I feel sick."
"Your fine. You just didn't eat enough breakfast," I whispered and handed him a snack.
"I don't feel good," he said again.
This time I looked at him.
Did he look sick?
Not really, maybe a little pale.
During my medical evaluation he began to vomit all over David, and David's suit, and the floor. David quickly ran him out of the chapel. But the damage was done. Puke in the chapel, puke on David and Noah. A completely disgusting mess.

5 years later. This morning
Once again sitting in Sacrament meeting.
"Mom, I don't feel good."
I turn and look. It is the sick face. Years of experience tell me this.
"David, he's going to puke. Get him out."
David quickly escorts Noah to the bathroom where he almost makes it to the toilet.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Only in Miami

Today me and the Kia raced a bright orange Lamborghini.
It was awesome.
I almost won.
But he cut me off, revved up his engine, and took off.
Proud to say the Kia was in the lead for awhile.

Friday, January 8, 2010

True Love

Ricardo is absolutely in love with JuJu.
Tonight he helped out feeding her dinner.
He was so cute and so excited to feed her.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My little woman

Ella Joy recently started making her own bed.
She loves to do it.
She is so proud of herself.
I love how she pays attention to detail--carefully laying teddy on the little blanket and creatively rolling up her "Scratchy" next to him.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Today Noah had a very exciting basketball game.
Honestly I didn't know the 8-9 year old league could be so intense.
They went into double overtime.
Noah had the ball for the last 5 seconds of the second overtime.
He shot the ball and it was just shy of an amazing swish.
It was so close.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Not easily provoked

As a family we decided that our New Year's Resolution would be to "talk nice."
A very broad goal that I hoped would cover all the varying poor forms of communications that we are trying to improve upon.
Well only 4 days into the New Year and I wasn't doing great on my end. Monday night I sat in bed wondering what I could do to better respond to
fighting, tantrums, crying...
I turned to the scriptures.
One of my favorite Book of Mormon scriptures is Moroni 7:45.
I read it when I need to quickly invite the Spirit into my life and
just BE NICE.

"And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is NOT EASILY PROVOKED, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth and things, and endureth all things."

I have read this verse many times but the words "not easily provoked"
jumped out at me.
There is my answer.
Tomorrow I will pray that I will "not easily be provoked."

Brief overview of the day

Ella Joy woke up screaming for her pink shorts and butterfly shirt.
Calmly found them.

JuJu had an explosive poo.
Calmly took care of that one.

Before 9:00 am Ella Joy had told me that she wanted a new family, wanted to give JuJu to another family, and that I was a really mean Mom.

I kept on smiling.

Noah and his homework.

Made it through without any papers thrown or pencils broken.

Dinner was the true challenge as Ella Joy cried on the floor that she couldn't draw a mermaid. I kindly invited her to help me stir the cornbread mixture, and then the brownie mixture. Then I gave both Noah and Ella Joy the beaters to lick. Ella Joy's chocolate was everywhere-- on her face, her clothes, the floor. She licked it off the floor exclaiming that, "Chocolate is so good!"

Laughed and smiled.

Waited for dinner guests that never showed up.

Not angry

David came home from work late. Very late.

So happy to see him.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Getting Home, getting organized

Today I did about 10 loads of laundry.
And just tried to get settle back in after 2 weeks away.
We are all happy to be back in our cozy little home!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lesson #1

A new year.
A new Gospel Principles manual.
I am so excited about this new book.
Today I taught Lesson #1 Our Heavenly Father.

We talked about the things in our life that testify to us that there is a God.
The answers varied: the order of the planets, the beauty and detail of nature,
the miracle of new life, tiny baby toes, personal prayers answered, feelings of peace, joy, knowledge.
There are so many things that witness that truly we are not alone.
That we have a Father in heaven who loves us and in charge of it all.

Alma 30:44 states it so beautifully:

"All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Fernandina Beach

On our way home we stopped at Fernandina Beach to visit Uncle Gene and Aunt Joanne. They have been living in a retirement community here for about 7 years. We haven't seen them since Noah was 1 and half years old. It was fun to introduce them to the girls. JuJu really took to Uncle Gene. I was worried that Ella Joy would make a scene, but her and Noah both were ecstatic about the free popcorn in the popcorn maker. We continued our tradition of singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" to Uncle Gene who seems to prefer singing over talking. Ella Joy belted it out for the entire retire community to hear. So grateful for her enthusiasm. It was a wonderful visit!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy 2010

New Year's is so exciting!
It is so much fun to think of the possibilities!!!
A new sister--for sure.
New cousins?
New siblings???
New goals!
Fun trips!!
Lots of visitors to our island paradise--hopefully.
Happy 2010.