Sunday, December 2, 2012


December is going to be a bit of a crazy month for our family. 

Jake is finishing his last semester. So he is busy writing papers summarizing his research, finishing class assignments, helping students for the class he TA's, preparing for finals, working 20+ hours a week at his THREE campus jobs, etc. Lots to do!

I am much less busy than Jake overall. During the days I'm home watching Tim (which does keep me hopping!). Evenings are when I start my running around! I have been volunteering once a week at the Volunteer Care Clinic - a clinic that provides free healthcare for low income and uninsured families in Provo. It is also the busy season for my handbell choir. I have 4-5 performances a week from now until we move.

Oh yes, and we're moving! (So any free time we have is spent trying to pack up our apartment. You accumulate A LOT of stuff once you have kids)

We have to be out of our apartment on December 19th. That's only two and a half weeks, YIKES!

Where are we going?

Good question. We'd like to know, too!

Jake is currently applying/interviewing for jobs. In fact, he has his first telephone interview tomorrow morning  for a position with DowAgro in Oregon. Oregon wasn't our first choice, but a job is a job! So any free prayers you have, send them his way!

In the meantime, we are going to Nebraska for Christmas. The plan is to just hang out there until we have somewhere else to go. Hopefully we won't be in limbo for TOO long. 

December is hectic to begin with, but ours will be even crazier! So as much as I have enjoyed being a bit of a more regular blogger..... the blogging might be pretty sporadic until we get somewhat settled somewhere. 

There WILL be Christmas pictures of Tim though!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Duck Pond

Earlier this week, Tim and I were out running errands and finished up about the time Jake was going to be done on campus for the day. The duck pond is just down the hill from the chemistry building, so went for a visit while we waited for Jake to finish and meet us.

Tim waving "HI" to one of the ducks.


Thanksgiving in Minnesota

So.... obviously I haven't been good about my "Thankful a Day" thing. For a while I was keeping track and meaning to catch up on the blogging.... And obviously I didn't. Now there's just too much to make up for. But, I still thought of at least one thing each day that I am grateful for. Which still fills the goal/point of the exercise. The end.

We went to see Jake's family in Minnesota for Thanksgiving. We flew out on Friday November 16th and came back to Utah on Saturday November 24th. It was nice to have such a long visit!

The weather was beautiful while we were there. We got to take Tim to the park on THREE different days. So he got lots of time playing with cousins!

We all got awesome haircuts from Jake's sister Sarah!

Tim LOVED sitting on his Grandma's lap and watching her play facebook games. :-)

And he fancied himself quite the little pianist.

I hurt my elbow a few weeks before we left, so Jolene magicked it up with some accupuncture needles. Which helped a lot. Hopefully it all goes away within the next few weeks so I don't have to go get something drastic done!

Tim helping me make Swedish Sweet Rolls on Thanksgiving morning.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Month of Thanks - Day 5

Today, I'm thankful for employment. Since most of the employment in the family is done by Jake, I'm mostly thankful for his employment.

Jake is currently working 3 different jobs on campus. 

1. He is still a clerk in the Inorganic Stockroom. He loves the people here and has a good time there.

2. He is a Research Assistant. His lab had a huge paper published in Development. Here is a picture from the University's big press release - see Jake being all sciencey on the right hand side?

3. Jake is also a Teaching Assistant for the Nucleic Acids lab (taught by the same professor he does research with). 

Jake works super hard and put in a lot of hours to provide for our little family. 

I'm also thankful for the little bits of work I'm able to pick up. I don't have regular shifts since we're moving next month. But I am working on-call with several companies that provide immunization services to patients. And every little bit of income helps! 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Month of Thanks - Day 4

Today, I am thankful for fresh and healthy foods and the knowledge and guidance on how to use them.

We are regular participants in Bountiful Baskets (at least on the weeks that I remember to order...) 

I love having fresh, healthy fruits and veggies to feed my family! It's amazing how much you can feel the difference when you are eating healthy foods instead of junk all the time. 

I'm grateful for the Word of Wisdom, that gives us guidance on how to take care of our bodies and for the blessings that come from obeying those teachings. 

Tonight for dinner, we made a delicious lasagna! It had fresh onions, peppers, and tomatoes in it along with some Italian sausage and lots of cheesy goodness (Tim even approved!). So right now I am particularly grateful for that lasagna. And the cucumber that I'm about to snack on for dessert. :-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Month of Thanks - Day 3

Today (and everyday), I'm thankful for Jake - my dear and darling husband of almost three and a half years

I loved him incredibly when we were married. After Tim was born, I was amazed to see that love grow by leaps and bounds - more than I thought possible.

Jake is working so hard right now to support our little family. He's working three different jobs in the Chemistry Department and finishing his last semester to earn his Bachelor's Degree. And still managing to spend time with Tim, help out around the house, look for jobs, serve in his church calling... 

He's my superman. I love our life together, even with hard times we've been through. I'm so grateful for the chance to get to spend the rest of eternity with him by my side!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Month of Thanks - Day 2

Today, I am thankful for Tim.

How could you take one look at this little face and not be grateful to have him in your life?

Tim so full of such goodness and joy. He wakes up every morning full of love, smiles, and kisses. (I'm CERTAINLY not that cheerful when I wake up!) I love those first quiet moments in the morning when we all have a chance to snuggle together as he tells Jake and I "Hi!" - even if he is RIGHT up in our face to do it. Usually it is accompanied by a kiss, which sweetens it. 

Tim is a great helper. He loves to put things in the trash can. Occasionally this is problematic when he picks out what he thinks is garbage... Usually, he waits for us to hand him something and ask him to "Put this in the garbage." He loves to help me cook and make dinner. He likes to help stir things. If I'm cutting things up and he can't safely help, he will wait and put  the cut pieces into whatever pot or bowl they need to go into. If we are going outside, he knows to go find his shoes and bring them to the front door. Frequently, he will even bring us OUR shoes to help speed up the process!

Tim loves to greet people and then wish them goodbye. One of his favorite afternoon activities is to sit on my lap by the road or parking lot. We will wait for "cah"s. Everytime one drives past, Tim will jump up, wave to them, and say bye bye! 

Everyday we are amazed at how much Tim learns and how smart he already is. He can work our phones like a champ. He knows how to get to all of his apps, where to link to the youtube videos he watches, how to use the home and back buttons, even how to turn on airplane mode (although he can't turn it off yet, which frustrates him). He knows where his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, bellybutton, "doo-doo" (little boy bits, also the same word he uses for diaper), hair, and feet are. When we read books, he will point out things he knows the words for (hat, puppy, car, ball, balloon.....) He knows what sound a cat, puppy, cow, and turtle make. (Turtles hiss, in case you were wondering). He can "Sssshhhh" himself when he knows he's being too loud. He knows where we keep the cookies and treats - he'll point to the top of the fridge and ask for cookies. He knows more words than I can even keep track of at this point, although some of his favorites right now are "bup" and "dow" (up and down). As an active little boy who loves climbing and jumping off of things, he gets LOTS of practice with these two!

Tim LOVES to talk on the phone with my parents - "Mommy" and "Bapa" as he calls them. He will hold up any little toy to his ear and walk around saying "Hi! Mommy! Hi Bapa!"

Tim is also so inherently GOOD. He loves to pray. He will sit and fold his arms and *usually* sit through the whole prayer. Except for sometimes at church when people ramble on a bit too much for his taste. Jake shared this story a few months ago (Sept 20) on facebook that moved me to tears:

Mary has rehearsal tonight, so I just put Tim to bed  alone. Sometimes this goes well, and sometimes not, but tonight was awful. From the moment we came back in the house he was screaming at the top of his lungs. (right in my ear most of the time) For 15 minutes straight, he was yelling as loud as he could. Through his diaper change, his clothing change, toothbrushing, he didn't even
want to turn the light on and off or play in the pillows. (which he usually loves) Having basically given up hope, I took him into his room, gave him his turtle and blanket, and said a prayer holding him by his bedside. At first he was still howling, but after a minute or so he quieted, folded his arms, and put his head on my shoulder. I finished our prayer, and sang him a lullaby, and he went right to sleep.
This gives me three thoughts, first, God loves me and my son, and my son loves God back. (Which warms my heart in a way not many out there will understand) Second, prayer is very powerful to soothe even the angriest soul. And third (and perhaps most importantly) if I have this problem again, I should pray at the beginning and not wait till the end.

Today, while I was changing Tim's diaper before his nap, he folded his arms (like we do for prayer) and started saying "Dada, mama, dada". Jake has a big Physical Chemistry Midterm today, so we took the moment to say a special prayer to help "Dada" on his exam. 

With such a good, strong little spirit like this around, how could I not pause and be grateful for the opportunity and responsibility I have to know him and teach him?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Month of Thanks - Day 1

The last few years, I have done a "Month of Thanks" on the blog. Beginning on November 1, and leading up to Thanksgiving (or through the whole month), I focus on one thing that I am grateful for. 

Today, I am thankful for peaceful moments with my family. Yesterday afternoon, we went on a family walk to the mailbox. On our way back, we stopped at the playground. It was a beautiful sunshiney day, warm and breezey. Sitting on the bench in the sun, listening to the leaves fall, and watching Jake and Tim playing on the slides... my heart was at peace. I am grateful for those quiet moments of clarity when I get a better glimpse at   the real joys in life and the things that matter the most.

Halloween Adventures

As you may know, yesterday was Halloween. We started our festivities on Saturday. Tim and I made a (somewhat brief) appearance at the ward party/Trunk or Treat. 

We only went to about a quarter of the cars involved in the Trunk or Treat before Tim got too distracted by the candy he already had and lost interest.

I don't have too many pictures from that night because it was late. And dark. And it is hard to take good pictures when you can't see what you're pointing the camera at. 

Another couple was taking pictures of their ladybug daughter and Tim invited himself along.

Here's what our ACTUAL Halloween consisted of:

Tim picked this gourd out all by himself at the grocery store a few weeks ago. He gave it rides around in his doll stroller.

Grammy McDonald sent us a box (that arrived just in time for Halloween) with some Halloween shaped mac and cheese! There were pumpkins, ghosts, and.... something else. Maybe witch hats? I probably haven't cleaned up/thrown the boxes away yet, so I should check. It made for a perfect Halloween dinner!

We went to visit Tim's Great Uncle Jim first. We stayed to chat for a while and Tim LOVED helping give candy to the trick or treaters that came while we were there. He probably would have happily done that all night long!

Jim and Kathy live on a circle, so we took Tim trick or treating around the circle (only actually going to about every third house or so). The weather was BEAUTIFUL and he was a champ! Luckily, since he was so cute, people didn't seem to mind if he tried to grab two pieces of candy from the bowl or invite himself into their home. Which was good, there's really no way to "practice" for Trick-or-Treating!

We stopped by my cousin's place afterwards. They go all out for Halloween! Smoke machines, strobe lights,  fake scary gates and fences, her husband and one of his friends/relatives (?) always dress up like some sort of creepy grim reapers and scare the bejeebers out of people who come. Her daughters have babysat Tim and they enjoyed seeing him, while he enjoyed running around with all the other kids.

Summary: Tim rocked trick or treating, stayed up way too late, ate too many sweets, and we all had a great time! I'm excited for next year!  

Our costumes. The cowboy family! I made Tim's pants and Jake's vest. I ran out of time to sew my costume,  so we threw this together before we left. I think they all turned out fairly well!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chemistry Magic Show

Last week was National Chemistry Week in honor of October 23, known to nerds everywhere as "Mole Day". The BYU Chem Department does lots of fun activities during the week, and we took part in a few. 

Last Wednesday, we took Tim to the Chemistry Magic Show. We didn't stay for all of it because it was past bedtime, but Tim loved all the balloons. Even the fires and explosions.

And of course, we got some liquid nitrogen ice cream!

Tim loved to clap for everything! :-)