Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Here's the "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" egg word art that I love.  I printed and famed it for all of my visiting teachees and young women at church.  They were dollar store frames, 8x10 ones would have worked but I didn't like them.  The kids and I painted these.  The sad looking egg was made with paper machet, but the water balloon started loosing air before the glue was dry.  The kids' bright colored ones look better. 

For church, the kids perked up when they heard part of the Easter story they recognized.  It's good, but not reverent to be whisper-talking the whole way through.  I really wanted to hear the talks.  It's difficult to keep the kids from being too casual at church when they're so used to it. 
 Many holidays involve big family meals.  I only really thought Thanksgiving needed a big family meal.  But Steven's family always had a bit Christmas meal, and an Easter meal.  This year, my family was out of town, and so was Steven's, so Steven wanted to do it ourselves.  It's my Grandma's birthday, so I was thinking of making egg salad sandwiches or something.  Steven was looking up honey baked ham recipes though.  He wanted to do it right.  What a good husband:)  He doesn't expect much from me, so all I did was make a yummy salad and heat up some dinner rolls and garlic mashed potatoes.  I offered to do more, but he doesn't like to put me out.  I love that:) 
 It was so delicious!  The recipe called for 1/4C of cloves.  It was fragrant and good, but not the Honey Baked Ham store's recipe.  Steven really basted it every 10 minutes to get the hard glaze on the outside of the moist ham.  He even braved the broiler at the end! 
 I didn't get a group family photo this morning, even though I have a tripod this time, because I could tell it would be too stressful.  I woke up an hour after I had wanted to.  Luckily I made the baked french toast the night before, then heat slices on the stove real quick.  There's no way any of us would have waited for me to cook it this morning!  We also didn't go to the Sonrise service w/ our friends.  I feel a little guilty about that, but I would have felt more guilty if we hadn't gotten a chance to eat breakfast together. 

I considered a family photo after church, but plans changed!  I was in the middle of my Easter lesson at church when I got interrupted.  I was determined to finish the verse I was reading because I don't always get to finish my lesson when somebody interrupts me.  This time, it was "your son is bleeding and won't calm down because he cut his lip open in nursery."  Why did I have to be stubborn?  I handed my scriptures to another leader and ran down the hall to find my crying Isaac with a couple of concerned nursery leaders trying to wipe his chin with baby wipes.  He was holding his chin and mouth and was hurt.  He just wanted Daddy to take him home.  I walked with him down the hall, towards my class.  He didn't want ice, so I knew that would be a lost cause if I went to the kitchen.  I calmed him down a little, but was outside of the men's class and didn't notice the doors were open - oops.  I carried my baby into the class and tried to go into the next part of my lesson.  I had notes on a note pad from a good talk by Jeffrey R. Holland.  I usually print the talks or lessons and write in the margins etc.  My printer isn't working, so I just wrote down the quotes and flow of how I was going to incorporate it.  Well, that was just for me I guess, because Isaac was still a drooling upset mess and didn't just put his head down to rest like I had hoped.  The girls looking back at me were not able to pay attention to anything out of my mouth when all they could focus on was Isaac's mouth.  So I got my purse and left.  Another leader had clearly been inspired to prepare a lesson, so she took over the 2nd half of the class with what she had prepared.  Then my brother brought home my big bag of props/CD player, etc.  So much for a stress free day!  And no family snap shot of the Easter outfits this year.  I'm glad I took them for Easter photos of the two of them before. 

Here's a photo I stole from Jodi from today!  She's the one who informed me of Isaac's mishap.  The kids look fine and happy and organized and cute in their Easter outfits here!  Isaac just had a bad day, he was accident prone from bonking his head on the pew in church to falling off of his chair at dinner etc.  He has good teachers and friends there:)

So, we sat down to a delicious Easter dinner, thanks to my awesome husband.  (You can see Isaac's chin scratches and fat upper lip a little.) 
 Dylan wanted to show off at dinner time and tell us how much he wanted to be healthy and didn't want to eat this, and wanted to eat that etc.  He wanted to go swim for exercise in the middle of dinner and some other antics.  Basically, he had to be excused right after we sang Happy Birthday to his Great-Grandma Rebeck.  She told us of the day she was born.  She was born at her grandma's house, and the doctor hurried it up a little so she could be born on her mom's birthday.  It's cool because then, her son, Uncle Bruce was born on that birthday too!  I learned that my grandma doesn't like cherry pie, but she does like ice cream and Jello jiggler eggs:)  
 The boys and I took much needed naps.   The boys wanted to go swimming, but only two ducks were aloud by the pool today.  We cleaned and played memory match and went to bed.
Happy Birthday to my Grandma, my uncle Bruce, and my nephew Ace,
and Happy Easter everybody!

Easter Saturday

We do the Easter Bunny stuff on Saturday.   The kids don't mind that it's a day early, and it leaves Sunday for the real Easter story and lets the day be MUCH less stressful. 

I stayed up late, then crashed on the couch. That was good because I had my little camera handy when Isaac got up out of bed to come down stairs. He remembered that it was Easter Saturday and that the Easter bunny had come, so he surprised me and came down with his Easter basket. I hadn't even tucked him in bed the night before because we had a babysitter for date night.

 Baskets/buckets and books in a row for Daddy, Uncle JT, Dylan, Isaac, and Baby Boy Feger
 Isaac's silly face.
 Dylan woke up next. 
 They got their first ever Cadbury eggs.  
Uncle JT came over.  Our parents were out of town for Lindsey's BYU graduation - yay Lindsey!!  So I figured Jonathan needed an Easter Saturday basket too.  Dylan picked out his book - a big pop up dino book. 
 He helped me hide the eggs in the front yard.  I'm not really into pretending a bunny does all of that. 

 I kind of wish we had done the egg hunt right when the kids got up because the lighting was much less harsh and the purple flowers from our tree on the green grass were so beautiful. 
  Dylan put his shirt on and we headed to their preschool and it's church's Easter Eggstravaganza!  It was free and much bigger than I had anticipated.  It was organized, had live churchy music (not sure what that's called, it wasn't what I would consider gospel music. . . )  We ate free hot dogs, could have had ice cream, cotton candy, done crafts, had BBQ, etc.  We got waters and snow cones. 
 They had like 4 bounce houses, maybe more. 
 Dylan didn't believe me that he had purple lips so I took a photo to show him right then.  The clown gave the kids stickers that read "Clowns bring laughter, but God brings joy."  It was a good wholesome event. 

 Then it was time for the egg hunt.  Chaos!  I tried staying outside of the ropes to let the kids go in on their own, but Isaac didn't pick up any eggs and I could picture him getting lost so I had to go in.  Dylan shared some eggs. 
 Our friends were there too!  It wasn't the easiest place to have a play date though since we all got there at different times and each have a handful of kids.  It was hot too.  We left.  I'm picturing pool parties this summer with all of these kids though! 
 Speaking of pool parties, we had our own!  We had smoothies, luau music, hot sunshine, warm pool, and fun in our own back yard. 
 We even did the limbo when the limbo song came on. 
 I love that Dylan can swim so well now.  Look at his funny swim cap and goggles. 

 He took a little break to be the lifeguard with me. 
 While Isaac got more and more brave.  He went from not wanting to push off of the steps holding my hand back to all out jumping in and swimming almost the whole width of the pool in one day! 
 He does a little hula dance then dives right in. 
 Dylan's tricks range to canon balls, back floats, getting things on the bottom, and swimming non-stop all over the pool. 
 Instead of a nap, we went to Publix.  We had a Wal-mart list too, but I was feeling like I needed a nap to rest my tummy.  When Steven said it would just be Publix, we went along to continue the family fun.  Isaac fell asleep in the car.  I was ready to stay in the car with him, but he woke up so we went in.  I WISH I had my camera with me.  Isaac fell asleep on Dylan's shoulder for the entire trip.  We had a lot to buy.  Dylan was such a good big brother.  I took a nap when we got home, but they didn't.  Steven fed them hot dogs and baked beans and they got to have another Hawaii party with tiki torches this time. 

Yay for Easter holidays with family, friends, and back yard fun:)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Real Easter for my kids

I love traditions and finding reason to celebrate anything.  I like wearing sombreros for Cinco de Mayo and green for St. Patrick's Day.  Easter has some fun kid activities like dyeing Easter eggs and spring photos, but how do I teach my kids that this is an actual significant holiday to me and to us?  Each year they get older and smarter and that means that I need to be a step ahead of them.  I like this blogger and her last year's Easter post, so I spent a long time on Monday looking through the comments and ideas.  I got some from here and here

Luckily, my parents raised me with traditions that I like - so I don't have to reinvent the wheel entirely.  We would open our Easter baskets (that my mom made) and do the eggs and bunny stuff on Saturday so that Sunday could be reserved entirely for the REAL meaning of Easter.  Well, I like celebrating the entire month sometimes, so I should go over the real meaning more than just on Sunday. 
Here's our Wednesday Easter lesson.  (I really wish I had done something for Palm Sunday last week, but I'll do it next year . . . )

We made resurrection rolls from this blog post.  I was going to do an Easter basket with the symbols of Easter like she did over the days leading up to Easter, but instead I just talked about it and used photos.  I started with the stories of Jesus the week before his death, and when we came to the part about his burial, we took a break to roll the white/pure/"Jesus marshmallows" in the "burial oils and spices" (melted butter and cinnamon/sugar) then wrapped them each in the crescent roll "burial cloths." 

 We then placed them in the sepulchre and closed the "big stone-like" oven door and waited 3 days while the soldiers stood guard.  (Pay no attention to the marbles and bouncy balls under the tomb.) 
 And after the 13 minutes, He had risen!  He was resurrected!  These were actually still hot, but the white all melted away before they cooled down.  All that was left was the burial cloths - amazing! 
 Then Isaac really wanted to see one of the photos again.  He told me how it was dark inside like the picture.  He's right! 
 Success:)  (Side note: Dylan has been a jungle man lately, so Steven got him some jungle undies yesterday.  Dylan wants to be strong and woke me up this morning by telling Isaac to turn off the cartoons b/c Dylan wants to be smart and strong.  He also wanted to be healthy and didn't want to eat marshmallows when I bought them at the store this morning.) 
In talking about the atonement at the Garden of Gethsemane, I used the idea from this post. I talked about how Jesus didn't do anything bad ever, but he took upon himself the sins of the world.  Dylan really was interested in the red "blood" food coloring.  It has started picking up color already. 
 I came back into the room to see Isaac studying the pictures.  It's so sad, but the Easter story is that He lives again!  I remembered Lori Emery's lesson in a teacher improvement course put on my Maribet Martin about the lesson not being worth much unless it's sealed with a testimony.  I used the opportunity to let my kids know that I know this all really happened and it makes me happy and we can all be happy too and can go live with God forever because Jesus atoned for our sins even though he didn't do any bad things himself. 

 I'm not sure how to put these in order, but while the rolls were baking, we talked about the last supper.  I happened to have some left over (unleavened) pita bread from lunch the day before and we had cran-something in the fridge.  I was going to just do the pita, but Dylan asked "how do we drink the blood now - what does that taste like?"  I hadn't even gotten to the blood part, but why not take advantage of the opportunity!  I got out a clear cup that kinda looks like a giant's sacrament cup and poured juice in it.  I told them that this was just like what Jesus used when he told them about the first Sacrament meeting.  I explained that we use water now because they always spill on their white shirts.  Jesus didn't really use blood either, or his flesh.  He used symbols like we are using, just like Jesus isn't really a marshmallow in the oven:) 
I explained how the fun Easter eggs and things still remind us of the wonderful holiday but we should always remember that they should help us remember that Jesus lives again and he is risen!  It brought back memories of memorizing the set of verses Jesus asked Mary, "why weapest though, whom seekest though?"  when she thought he was a gardener.  I read those and honestly, reading right from the Bible held their attention and curiosity a little more than the photos and object lessons.  I love that kids are ready and want to know. 
I've been thinking a lot lately how I should run my home more like other organizations with a good balance of learning, fun, and service.  It takes organization, which is more difficult when I'm only directly noticeable accountable to myself.  So I started this morning with a list.  And guess what - I checked everything off of that list! 

Enterprise (we switched after 15 years to Geico and saved a bunch of $ so I had to take the car in to get the mileage checked)
Publix (I forgot the lettuce for tonight's salad and tomorrow's grilled chicken so Steven had to go after work too, oops)
Make/drink smoothies for lunch
Tow kids behind my bike
Wash the car in the driveway
Work on the oil stain on the driveway a little (it worked - dish soap - Steven's leak is fixed so we should clean the driveway.)
Clean the pool (I was going to take Isaac around more, but got irritated and made us go inside for me to cool off and calm down) Isaac did get brave and jumped in a little and swam a little near the steps, then swam w/ Steven later while I was at church.
Tiny nap
Check my church distribution order - sure enough my order was still in the cart.  Dang, that's why my Gospel Art picture book, conference CDs, and some other things are. 
Easter lesson complete with object lessons, scriptures, board book, photos, and applicable hands-on treat
Paper machet Easter eggs
Make a garden salad per Dylan's request complete with cut up carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli etc.
Present a "table talent" at church and admire others' talents
Take a shower (I didn't dry my hair but that wasn't on the list)
Unload the dish washer (I should load it after blogging . . .)
Clean the upstairs bathroom (I didn't do the downstairs one, but it's okay for now)
And finish the wedding album for a client, upload the photos, set up the gallery, and send the email
Blogging wasn't on the list, but man - what a little planning can do! 

Good people I know are list makers.  My mom has a notebook but I didn't take note 'til recent years.  Betsey puts everything in a notebook and that inspired me.  Steven makes grocery lists and home improvement lists etc and checks them off.  He's always been a good goal achiever.  I have a notebook w/ things I need to do, and I occasionally look back and see how I'm doing.  Today was a surprise, really.
And I'll do the dishes tomorrow - they can wait.  It's really late early. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

my two new picture frames

There's no other love like the love for a brother.
There's no other love like the love from a brother.

-- Astrid Alauda

*Journal entry warning* Stop reading, there will be no more photos, but I have lots on my mind so I'm editing this post to add words.
I was going to leave it at that, but my mom/family are all at work now, so I can't talk out all of my thoughts.  I have plenty.  I couldn't get to sleep last night b/c I wanted to be prepared . . . for a girl.  I was worried I wouldn't know what to do w/ a girl and lots of girly things around my house.  But I was bracing myself and getting more excited.  I was wondering how to announce it and had lots of random brainstorm ideas for photos.  I wasn't coming up with anything great, so I blogged regular posts of some of our past week.  Then I went to bed.  I was hoping to have girly dreams, but don't remember anything. 

I woke up and didn't go back to snoozing.  The kids woke up on their own like usual a little bit after.  I picked out both red and blue shirts for them with plans on turning their red ones pink in photoshop for the internet revelation.  On the way there, Dylan asked Isaac, "Why do you want another boy, we already have enough boys in this family?"  Isaac just chanted that he wanted a boy and added his common back seat chant, "and I want Taco Bell."  I laughed and so did Dylan.  Dylan said "well I want a girl and I want Uncle Donalds."  (Malia's way of saying McDonalds.)  Then Dylan asked why we didn't laugh and only smiled. 

We went to the appointment and the usually bubbly talkative accommodating ultrasound tech was clearly annoyed by the presence of my 2 boys and husband.  I told her that we were all excited to find out the gender.  She quickly told me that she would go through about 10 min of measuring and we probably wouldn't recognize anything at all.  Then, routinely, she asked, "At the end of the measurements for the doctor, if I can tell the gender, would you like me to tell you?"  I was still happy and excited so I pretended it wasn't the world's dumbest question and said yes.  I pointed out to my kids the head, and how she was measuring the circumference and the baby's toes and how the baby was stroking "her" cheek with "her" cute hand while the tech was silent.  (Yea, I slipped and started pretending it was a girl.  I said "him" with the first ultrasound because that's all I knew and was used to it.)  Anyway, the tech warmed up and saw that my kids weren't climbing all over things I guess and she relaxed enough to show us one angle of the "it's a boy" image.  She did print copies of a profile this time and others - doubles even so Steven could take one to work.  I think I was just extra emotional or on nerve.  She's usually the most friendly tech I've worked with.  She probably had a bad experience with crazy toddlers or something. 

Anyway, so instead of taking a photo of us in our blue or pink./red shirts for my blog announcement, because I couldn't keep my mouth shut with what date and time my ultrasound was, people were already texting ME while I was at the OB appointment.  So we texted back our family the exciting news. 

Good reactions.  2 people thought we had the baby just now and were worried.  Others were surprised.  Steven said that people at his work feel sorry for me.  I don't like that.  I mean it's no secret that I was anxious about it being a girl, but it's just that.  Most people assumed I was hoping that the third one would be a charm so I could stop.  I've always said that I would have one and see.  Then another and see.  Now I say the same thing - we'll see how this one goes.  I have 3 little brothers, have babysat mostly boys, and 2 families with 3 boys each, and I love how the brothers fight, play, and share together.  I can picture that, and it's probably what I'm cut out for.  It's all of this assuming that's getting to me I think. 

I dropped the cute kids off at their preschool where the teachers shared mixed reactions.  Some said that I have the cutest boys and she's just so excited to see the next little stepping stone of cute babies, but one said that she needs to teach me how to make baby girls, and she whispered how to "do it" in my ear!  Really?  I've heard about people not wanting their bellies to be touched, but you can rub my belly all you want as long as you don't give me sex advice on how to make babies!  I'm pretty sure that no matter what you tell me about when, where, how, etc - it's still 50/50. 

So, next on my list was to go to Stellie Bellie's to buy something.  I was going to buy pink, of course, but I don't really need much blue.  I mean I do.  Here's another emotion coming on.  I still want this baby to be fresh and new and get new (second hand) things.  I was excited to start fresh.  I'm really happy that I don't have to - I kept a lot of things, but I'm not as excited to go through all of it b/c I'm not that organized and it's all in boxes shoved in the closet in the office/nursery.  I gave away lots of things and the clothes I do have have been through 2 boys, or even got borrowed by other little friends.  It was like the whole girl side of the store was off limits to me.  I was ready to get excited about butterflies and leggings.  That was weird.  I hurriedly went to the back of the store and bought myself two pairs of maternity jeans and a skirt.  I bought a shirt for Isaac, which will eventually be for the baby. 

Then I got hungry.  I have gained 10 lbs already.  I don't really know if that's good or bad, I'm not paying attention.  I wanted a smoothie.  I almost went to Taco Bell for their sugary smoothie-like ice drink, but we'll save Taco Bell for a day when I take Isaac.  I should be healthy for this little boy in my belly.  I went to Planet Smoothie and didn't really want to go home yet to the nursery.  So, I went to Target planning on registering for something blue since I was going to go and register for something pink.  I didn't get the registry gun.  Instead I decided to go buy water balloons for a Friday craft project, scotch tape b/c we're running low, and a picture frame.  I was so happy to see the "brothers" one.  Really, I was.  I started thinking of when I was pregnant with Dylan and didn't know if I wanted a girl or a boy, but kept thinking of how I absolutely loved when my little brothers would wrestle on the floor, or how my dad and his brothers kid around and have good childhood memories, or how the Szasz boys are go good together and how I always kinda wanted a big brother.  And I was happy.  I bought the frame, printed a 4x6 right then at the corner CVS, put an ultrasound photo in another frame, and took the above photo.  I had this boy closer together to the other two than planned, so I'm really glad that they can all grow up together as brothers. 

I'm still not ready to deal with the disappointed looks from friends and the reassuring thoughts and random advice on how to plan my family and the questions on how many we're going to have - BUT I think I'll go take a nap and will work on the nursery.  I'm SO glad I still have the Pottery Barn crib bedding from Chrissy, Tina, and Lacey.  I was going to sell it.  At least I have a healthy wiggly baby boy inside of my tummy.  I've been feeling little kicks and punches for a week and a half now.  I cramped up really bad after that water slide party - but it was because I was dehydrated.  I still felt the baby kick so I wasn't worried. 

Now for the hardest part of this pregnancy - what to name this little guy?  Isaac and Dylan had girl names picked out - Sophia/Sophie, and I can't remember Isaac's name he picked out because he liked Dylan's pick. 

Underwater Easter Egg Hunt

It's our 2nd year attending the St. Pete Beach Pool's underwater Easter egg hunt.  I called ahead to see if they were going to raffle off prizes again or needed sponsors because it's exactly the event that Fishy Face Photography should be involved in!  The director said that yes she still had my big banner and yes I could turn in a gift certificate that could be a prize for finding a golden egg.  Perfect!  You can imagine my dissapointment when the banner wasn't up for the 300+ people.  We had fun though. 

 The eggs aren't really underwater, but next year I think I'll go with a weight belt to get some underwater images. 
They have a zero depth area (that goes down like a beach) for the little kids, and the water is heated.  What good memories. 
 Lindsay and I might have been a bit more excited than our kids.  They stayed because it's free to stay and play after the two hunts are over. 

There are trinkets inside the eggs, no candy.  I love it.