Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Early birthday fun

Ammon chose to go to the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay for his birthday (since we had 2 free kid passes from the library). Brady had to work yesterday and today, so we decided to go after school on Thursday since we didn't have any other plans. The boys loved it. Zenock was really freaked out by the crocodile because he was right up against the glass, but once we got past that part he was fine. We saw a couple of sea turtles...they are HUGE! We pet some rays and horseshoe crabs, saw a really cool octopus, some parrot fish, a really big puffer fish, some huge starfish, and many sharks. It was really fun to take the kids.

There was a glass bottom section of the floor. Ammon was waiting for a shark to swim under there. Eventually he saw the ray shark and some fish. Zenock was really nervous to walk on it at first until Ammon showed him how fun it was. Then they started having races across it.

More evidence that I need a new camera. This picture hardly does the turtle justice.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Ammon's special day

Today is Ammon's 6th birthday. I can't believe how much he has grown and changed over the years. He is such a social butterfly now, always wanting to play with friends and cousins. He loves to share with his brother...even the new toys he got for his birthday. He has already lost 2 teeth too! We love having him as part of our family, and he does such a good job being a big brother. On the day he came home from the hospital.

This morning at 7:30 am. He got to open the present Zenock picked out for him. It's just what he wanted, he said, because he needs a steam roller to build roads in the rocks. When I took the toys out of the box he immediately let Zenock have some too so they could play together...I love how good he is with his little brother!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Carving pumpkins

Monday for FHE we carved our pumpkins. The boys each cleaned out their own pumpkin, and they did a great job! Brady scraped the sides for them so they could get all the guts out better. We had quite a pile of pumpkin guts at the end. They also got to choose what shapes to have on the face while I carved it out.

Ammon's is on the left and Zenock's on the right. Ammon wanted some triangle eyes, a triangle nose, and a smile like his with 2 bottom teeth missing. So the gap between the two teeth on the bottom is supposed to look like there are teeth gone.
Zenock wanted triangle eyes too like Ammon's, but I wanted them different, so they got turned at an angle. The nose he wanted to look just like his own. So that is my interpretation of a human nose on a pumpkin. And then he asked for a squiggly mouth. We had so much fun doing this.
It brought back memories of me getting to clean out and carve my pumpkin as a kid. I remember all 6 of us working on our own pumpkins. The kitchen table was a mess!!! But the activity was so much fun.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rain, finally!

Today's weather was AWESOME! It rained before we got up this morning, and then I thought it was done for the day. While Ammon was at school the clouds rolled in, and by 4pm it was raining again...or should I say pooring! I love it! Temperatures have been in the 60's today, and it's so nice to have a break from the warm weather. To honor the weather we had clam chowder for dinner. Zenock LOVED it! So anytime I can find a food he actually eats, and eats quickly, I get really excited. It's dumb, but just one of those rare things I look forward to. Here's the recipe. It's adapted just a little from my favorite one my mom makes.

2 cans clams
1 bag frozen mixed veggies
3-4 potatoes cubed in bite-sized pieces
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 cups milk

In pot stir clams, clam juice too, veggies, and salt and pepper. Let simmer. While simmering, in a saucepan combine flour, butter, and milk. Wisk together and keep stirring until thickened. Pour into clam mixture and add more water as needed for desired thickness. Simmer until potatoes are tender. Serve and top with crackers of your choice and shredded cheddar cheese.

Seriously, we started eating less than 30 minutes ago, and EVERYONE is already done. I love it! I wish Zenock would eat like that every day.

Zenock's Birthday

The infamous demolition derby cake. While I was making dinner he decided to play demolition derby in it. So the frosting looks horrible because he drove the cars through it. I guess that made it even more authentic.
Zenock had so much fun yesterday opening presents and playing with cousins. We were going to take him to BounceU, an indoor inflatable gym across the street from us, but he took over an hour to eat his dinner, so we didn't have enough time before family came for cake and presents. He chose french toast, sausage, scrambled eggs, and orange juice. I cut the bread into halloween shapes with cookie cutters, and they thought that was awesome! Ammon was just as excited the whole day for Zenock. He kept asking when Zz could open his presents, and Zz let him help open some of them. I am so glad they get along so well. It makes most things much easier for Brady and I. This top picture is him opening presents from Grandpa and Grandma Deitz that he got in the mail.

An ISPY bag made by my sister. He wanted me to open it up and dump it out so he could play with the toys inside.

Opening Thomas books and Lightning McQueen clothes.


He waited all day to hear us sing Happy Birthday to him. In this picture you can't really see his face, but he had the BIGGEST smile on the whole song. It was so adorable!

Blowing out the candles

Opening presents. This one is a Trio set. It's the airport connecting blocks set. Ammon got to open his too since they were from Cicely and she has to work on Ammon's birthday. So now we have some "legos" as the kids say. Zz also recieved a build-it-yourself monster truck kit, How To Train Your Dragon movie, some knight guys, and a solar system for his room. We got him the RC car from Toy Story (he's been asking for a remote control toy for quite a while now), a helicopter to paint and put together, coloring book, and batteries for the car. I enjoyed having everyone here to celebrate with us. Thanks everyone for showing your love to Zenock on his special day!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birthday boy

Today is Zenock's 4th birthday. He has grown so much from this picture in the hospital four years ago today. Time flies! He woke up this morning and asked if it was his birthday and if he could open presents. I let him open the ones Ammon picked out for him. He LOVED them! After he opened them he wanted to call Brady at work and tell him. The first thing he said on the phone was, "Dad! It's my birthday!" It was so cute. I love to see the kids excitement about things like this that are really special and only come once a year. It just gets more fun for me as they get older too.

This is Zenock this morning at 8 a.m. Ammon gave him some army guys, an aircraft carrier that drives like a hotweels car, and a stealth bomber (just what he wanted). He told me the army guys are just like the ones in Toy Story. (But they came from Dollar Tree, not the bucket of soldiers from Walmart with the Toy Story label on them for $13. And he likes them just the same!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A thought on President Packer

I saw this on a blog from a link in Neighborhood News. The site is: She gave some great insights into the controversy of President Packer's General Conference address a few weeks ago. I echo her opinions about what he was really saying, and if you go back and read his talk, he doesn't pinpoint any specific thing like homosexuality. He talks more specifically about how to use the Atonement to heal yourself from ANY sin. Enjoy!

"I’m perhaps dipping my toe into a pool of controversy, but I’m going to try to express some thoughts I’ve had amidst all the reaction to President Packer’s recent conference talk. First of all, many people have assumed that he was referring to a single issue (homosexuality), when a more careful study reveals that he was addressing many and any of the plagues that men and women struggle with. He acknowledges that they are tragically difficult and promises that the power of the priesthood can help God’s children find their way out of dark places.

I believe the underlying message (not only of his talk, but of Heavenly Father’s plan for us) is self-mastery . . . with God’s help.

Our eternal destiny as children of God is an immense and incomprehensible concept, but I think it can be simply wrapped up in 1.) our sanctification through the blood of Jesus Christ and 2.) our roles in eternal families. Jesus Christ and family (which by default, includes marriage) are key elements of our exaltation. God has given us both commandments and covenants as guideposts toward all the blessings that both can offer us.

Therefore, it seems obvious that some of the greatest challenges we face in our life are temptations designed to remove us from the Spirit of Christ and distance us from righteous family relationships. We are human– spirits in temporal bodies– and we “naturally” have desires, urges, impulses, laziness, etc. that make it easy for us to give into temptation and ignore commandments and covenants. Unfortunately, for this reason, “the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. (Mosiah 3:19)”

A basic restatement of “putteth off the natural man” is to resist the temptations and desires that take us away from God, and “becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ” is simply a reminder to repent, be forgiven and recommit.

The natural man is something we’re born with (it’s part of mortal experience), but so is the ability to overcome it. There is no inborn automatic, uncontrollable surrender to temptation. There is, however, an inborn spirit child of God with a remarkable power of agency.

The invitations of the natural man are many, and are often tailored to individuals:

substance abuse
obsession with distractions (pop culture, computers, gaming, motorcycles, other hobbies, etc.)
and the list goes on…

What makes me uncomfortable about all the lashing out regarding the homosexuality issue is that it completely diminishes the struggle that every single person is trying to make to overcome their temptations of the natural man. There are married men who look away when scantily-clad women walk past on the sidewalk. There are single men who turn off the computer when they feel tempted to look at pornography, and they exert themselves greatly to keep their thoughts clean. There are women who struggle to overcome alcoholism and dig deep to find the strength to do what’s right when they really, really want to take a drink. There are single adults, both male and female, who resist sexual advances because, even though they would love to feel loved, they believe in and live by the law of chastity. Others do not marry because they are not presented with an opportunity to do so in the way they feel is right. For many of them, this could mean years and years of celibacy and some significant loneliness. There are those who struggle with social anxiety, but try to overcome their fears and do their home teaching and reach out to others in service. Each of these carry a burden that is intensely personal. All of these people have “natural” desires to give in or give up, but they don’t. Many of them may have struggled with these issues since childhood and, yet, they strive to master themselves because of their love for Christ or family or even self. They have a testimony of commandments and covenants, they sacrifice for the things that matter most to them, and they obey.

It is “natural” that when we desire to do something, we want it to be our right to do it. I believe President Packer was saying, in part, that we should all spend more effort doing what’s right, and less effort trying to redefine what is right. When it comes to commandments, there is no double standard. Regardless of the audience, each commandment is affixed to blessings and consequences. The Lord asks obedience of all his children because he wants to bless all of his children; he does not target certain populations. Gay, straight, married, single, avoiding, recovering, poor, wealthy, all– He expects us to use our powerful gift of agency to choose obedience over temptation.

Self-mastery is hard. It is never the easy choice, but it is the easiest way to be blessed. Like President Packer said at the conclusion of his talk, the Lord will work with us as we try to master ourselves. He will even heal us where we are wounded, and He will do so with great kindness, tenderness, mercy and love. He is, after all, the greatest Master that ever lived."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Crafting and more!

This is a long post because I finally found some batteries for the camera so I could put more pictures on here. We have been pretty busy the last 2 months, and the next two weeks are going to be even busier. I have to figure out how to make a demolition derby birthday cake for Zenock on Tuesday, we have a fall carnival at Ammon's school on Friday, trunk-or-treating the next week, and Ammon's birthday on the 29th, then Halloween, then I start going to the doctor every two weeks for a checkup on me and the baby...only 14 weeks left!!! I have been busy making Christmas presents for family, and I have included some of the pictures of stuff in here...but you'll have to guess who they are for because I am not telling! For the grandparents
Zenock didn't listen to me when I asked him to stop running. He fell and got a nasty carpet burn on his elbow. He was so distraught about it he thought he was sick or something. So he said that to make his owie better he had to sleep on the couch with his big blanky, pillow, and hippo. He complained about it hurting for couple of days until it started to scab over.

Helping vacumn turned into a sword fight in my room. No one was hurt during this playtime!

I made a fort for the kids one night because we were bored.

Ammon coloring his own Halloween decoration

Zenock coloring his own Halloween decoration. I love $1 crafts!

Playing in the sand at the "sand park" as they call it.

Mr. Batman riding his bike with Ammon's Harley helmet and pads.

They play like boys, the dirtier the more fun they have. They play in these rocks by the sidewalk to our house all the time. I can't seem to keep them away from it. I think we need to make a sandbox or something in our back patio so they stay out of this stuff.

A fall wreath I made. I think for the fabric, leaves, and wreath I spent less than $7 all together. Love cheap crafts!

Made this for like $2. It's the back of another saying I made for Valentine's Day. I made the letters from a font on Word and used my exacto knife to cut them out. I only had to buy the 3D sticker scene.

Someone's Christmas present!

Zenock has the best (or should I say worst) chocolate milk mustaches sometimes. Sorry for the blur, my camera isn't very good sometimes.

Zz wanted to have some underwear on the outside of his pants like SuperWhy does. It's a show on PBS that we LOVE. The kids dressed up like him last year for Halloween if you want to look in the archives for an idea of what SuperWhy looks like. I'm too lazy to find a picture online to paste on here :)

Ammon lost his first tooth on Sunday during his Primary class. He said it just fell out on the floor. He was so excited he had to come into Young Women's to show me. He loved that the tooth fairy left him 2 quarters under his pillow that night. He has another loose tooth that's just about ready to come out again. His permenant tooth under that one has already broken the gumline and is slowly pushing the baby tooth out. It should be out in the next couple of days.

After Brady got home from work on General Conference Sunday we drove to Bullhead, AZ to see Peyton. She's Ronny and Christa's 4th girl, and she's super cute. Ammon loves her...and all babies for that matter. Zenock didn't even want to get close to her. I think when our little one arrives he's going to have some jealousy issues. I guess we'll deal with that when it comes.

Another Christmas gift for someone. I use my mother-in-law's Cricut so much that I decided to find one on craigslist that would fit my budget. I found a personal one that came with mats. I don't have any of my own cartridges yet, but those are much easier to borrow than the whole machine with all the stuff. It's really, really fun to use. I have a couple more gifts to make with it! This time was my first attempt at using vinyl. For a first try I think it turned out okay.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fall is here

At least for this week. That could change next week, you never know! The last few days, and for the next week, we are enjoying some fabulous temperatures and cool breezes. There have even been a few sprinkles here and there. The smell of rain is awesome, especially when I can open my windows and let it permiate the house!

Brady has been very busy with work. He hasn't had a day off in two weeks because when he has a day off he is still on call. Well both Saturday and Sunday mornings he got called in. He said he was glad it was General Conference so he wouldn't miss church and have to find a sub for his Sunday School class. I was able to watch all four sessions this time. I was pretty amazed because in all my years of conference watching (both unwillingly and because I actually wanted to) I don't think I have ever watched all four sessions in their entirety. However, just because I was watching it doesn't mean I wasn't distracted here and know like being a mom and having one or both kids interrupt at any given moment. I was also able to go to the General Relief Society broadcast the week before. I really enjoyed it, especially with no children around to distract me! One thing that really stuck with me was President Monson's remarks about charity and how it is the lack of judgement of others. I loved his story about the wife who was judging her neighbor because she thought she was hanging dirty laundry when in fact, she was looking through dirty windows! It is my turn to teach the Fast Sunday lesson in Young Women this week, so I think I am going to focus on what President Monson said. I made some cute paper ribbon handouts that say "In the Lord's eyes you are ALWAYS number one." Hopefully the girls will judge others a little less and love the way they are a little more.

Over the last couple of weeks I have also been crafting like crazy. I have been working on Christmas gifts for family members, kids and adults. It has been so much fun!!! The only challenge I have really encountered thus far is keeping my kids from "helping" me. Seriously, sometimes I don't have that kind of patience, you know? It's just easier for me to do it and do it quickly so I can get the table cleared in time to eat dinner on it. Pretty much everyone we drew names for on both sides is getting something homemade. I hope you all enjoy them!!

Our other little man is growing continually, and I can feel him move around in there quite a bit. He is most active from 9 p.m. until I go to bed it seems. It's so fun though, and I love that the movements are sometimes strong enough for Brady to feel with his hand. It's not like that all the time, but I know before this pregnancy is over Brady will be able to feel him kick and squirm a lot. I am really excited to have another little boy in our home. I love my boys, and I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world. Some people have asked me if I am disappointed, and I say no, not at all. It really doesn't matter to me if we have a boy or girl ever; I just want them here safely and healthy. Ammon is getting excited to have another baby too. Sometimes he asks to cuddle with my belly so he can cuddle the baby and talk to him. It's super cute. And Zenock doesn't care in the slightest...hopefully he'll not be too jealous when the little man appears next year. I am almost 25 weeks, so there's just 15 to go!