My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Little Girl

Today is Mary's Birthday...the big 4.
For some reason or another, this has been the most sentimental Birthday she has had, for me.
All day, I just keep pondering on her birth, her infant life, her toddler years and now her cute little preschool years. I guess it is just shocking to me that she is actually growing up...and fast...too fast.
Because of my reflective mood today and in light of her Birthday, I guess I will write a few of the things I have been reflecting on about Mary.

She was born in Rexburg, Idaho on one of the coldest days that year. I think it was in the negatives. My snot literally froze when I walked from the car to the hospital doors.

I labored for 14 hours with her and pushed for 2 of those hours. Mary went into distress and so did I. We fought together and made it through. She was a BEAUTIFUL baby! She came home on Christmas Day in a cute red dress. What a gift!

Mary was the most energetic infant I have ever seen to this day. She was CONSTANTLY moving her head, her arms, and her legs. She was very very alert. She had dark brown hair for about a month, and she was a CHUB! Oh man, she was adorable!

Mary had 8 ear infections (no tubes), strep, thrush, and so many horrible colds that we couldn't tell one from the next, in her first year of life. We later learned that mold under the carpet in our appt. was the culprit. We moved soon after. We went to the doctor a lot. We also discovered her allergy to penicillin that year as well. She is a fighter. She was also allergic to milk, which we didn't know until she was 9 months old. Like I said...she is a fighter.

As an infant, Mary LOVED rides in the car and the stroller. She also loved her swing. As long as she was moving, she was very happy. She also loved to be sung to. I made up a song for her that was so fun to sing. Kind of dorky, but cute. I loved to just hold her close and sing to her.

As a toddler, Mary was soooooo dang cute, and also incredibly strong willed. She LOVED to be outside and moving all the time. She got a sense of humor really fast and had us cracking up all the time. She is a very fun-loving child. She loved to just play, play, play. She was such a good sport with Ben and I both being in school and Ben working. She just rolled with the flow and had a good time.

Mary is now in gymnastics and preschool, and is growing up fast. I am shocked every day with the tricks she learns in gymnastics and with the educational things she learns in school. She has a big love of learning and trying new things. She accomplishes what she sets out to do, but she also has a lot of fun along the way. Such a great quality.

Mary has grown to be a beautiful, fun, happy, smart, athletic, and precious little girl. She lights up our lives in so many ways. She is such a sweet big sister to Sam and she has a big heart. She is very determined and is as quick as a whip in that head of hers. Nothing gets past her. She is so full of love and sunshine, and is the first one to spread the love around to those she comes in contact with.
We love Mary so much. Our lives have been so blessed and enriched with her in them. She is such a precious gift from above.
Love you baby girl!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The adventures of Mr. Ribbit

Some of you that have been following our blog, may remember my post about Mr. Ribbit, our bullfrog. We didn't know he was a bullfrog at the time we got him. We just figured he was an ENORMOUS tadpole.
By the time we discovered that he was a bullfrog and watched the sickening mutation from tadpole to frog (nasty), it was too late. We aren't allowed to sell him or give him is illegal. We can only donate him to a school lab once he is full grown. Bullfrogs ruin entire ecosystems, because of their huge appetite.
Right now, he is up to eating about 5 crickets a day (live crickets), but sooner than later, he will be moving on to mice and then birds. After three months, I finally got up the guts to feed him the crickets last week..out of necessity. Ben was gone. I really don't think I will be able to stomach the mice or the birds.
I cleaned out his little tank today, and realized that he is already getting so big, and he has only been an actual frog for three months. He is bigger than any full grown frog in the pet stores!!!
Supposedly, he will grow to be the size of a dinner plate. Hooray for us. Does anyone know where we can get a 10 gallon tank for free???? He needs a bigger home pretty quickly here. I was told that we will actually need a 30 gallon tank, if we want to keep him alive when he is full grown, but for now, I am just looking for a 10 gallon tank.
Anywhoo...somehow this frog is beginning to grow on us, and we kind of like him. He is quiet so far, and just does his own thing. I can only imagine what it will be like when the croaking begins.
I am wondering if our Christmas lights hypnotize him, because at night, when I plug in the lights, he just sits on his rock and stares at the lights. He doesn't move an inch. It is hilarious.
So there you you have it, two adults, two kids, a dog and a bullfrog. Can't get much more all-American than that...right?

Here is a picture of him. I took it while he was in a bowl waiting for me to clean his tank, so the background is all white. Hello Mr. Ribbit.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Grandpa is 90 today!!!

Today is my Grandpa Hanks' 90th Birthday. My mom's side of the family had a HUGE birthday bash for him over Thanksgiving weekend. We weren't able to make it...big bummer. I am so blessed to have lived by and grown up close to both sets of grandparents, and I feel like I know and love them all deeply.
Grandpa Hanks (Wright Capner Hanks) is the last living grandparent I have. I have so many awesome memories with him. He always told the story of The Little Match Girl on Christmas Eve, and always cried. It is so touching. He made it to soooo many of my cheerleading performances, piano competitions, sports events, church events, and everything else under the sun.
My grandma was pretty big about Birthdays and always made them special. After she died (unexpectedly), grandpa kept the tradition going. He has never forgotten my Birthday and always sends the best cards. He came over to our house for dinner at least once a month and would tell so many stories about working a farm and herding sheep up in the mountains for months on end. His dad died when he was very young, and he had to do A LOT at a very young age in order to keep up the family farm.
He is a hard worker, and I have never heard him complain. He is very devoted to any and all church callings he has had, and he is a great example of doing your best in whatever situation you are in.
I love and cherish my grandpa so much. He is a really big influence in my life and I am so grateful for him. Happy Birthday grandpa Hanks, I love you!

This is one of the tables set up at his Birthday Bash. This quilt has all of his kids and grandkids photos on it. Pretty awesome!

This is my grandma's wedding dress and my grandpa's Navy uniform. He was a medic. during WWII. He sure saw a lot of crazy things and helped so many soldiers.

Grandpa Hanks at his 90th Birthday Party.

My mom and my grandpa (her dad)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Party Time!

Tis' the season of parties and we just scratched two off the list. Both turned out great, both were a lot of work, and both were for VERY special people.

We started the day out yesterday with Mary's party!!! We have had a lot of fun together picking out the theme, choosing games and crafts, picking out what kind of cupcakes to make, ect. Mary had an opinion on it all...and I must say, she has good taste for a soon-to-be 4yr old.

Her party turned out AWESOME!!!! We invited 10 kids and 8 were able to make it...well, 9 including Sam. The party was a Jungle Safari theme. The kids made their own binoculars and camo. vests. and took off on a trek, with Ben as the leader, to find the animals in the jungle.

Getting ready to go on a jungle safari...fully equipped with vests and binoculars

The kids all showing eachother the animals they found

They also played pin the tail on the lion (Ben drew an awesome lion!)and a jungle version of hot potato. It was all really cute to see these little kids having so much fun. My heart melted to see my little girl feel so special and to see her having so much fun with her cute little friends.

Mary getting ready to blow out her candles while we all sang Happy Birthday to her.

The party was a great success, and Mary was so happy, even when her hair caught on fire while blowing out the candles. No worries, just a few black hairs, one flame and some smoke. Sure scared me, but it didn't stop her one bit!

This was taken after blowing the fire out of her hair. She blew them all out this time around.

Here are a few of the cupcakes before they were devoured. They aren't the prettiest things, but they had animals on them and they tasted great. I am way more concerned about the Little Mermaid cake that needs to be constructed for the actual Birthday.

When all was said and done, we were pretty wiped out, and of course, had some party clean up to do, but Mary was grinning and we had a really fun time.

After we cleaned up from Mary's party, it was off to the ward Christmas party. Ben was in charge of setting up tables chairs and I am on the activities committee and had stuff to do, so we all headed to the church.

Ben and his buddy set up approx. 26 tables and enough chairs to go with each one. They also moved some other stuff and got the building ready to go for our committee to come in and decorate. Good job guys..way to work those muscles!

As the activities committee (all five of us), we cut LOTS of paper for the tables (about 48 large rectangles), decorated them with the centerpieces of pine cones, paper bags and crayons for the kids to color with, we taped the paper onto the tables (rectangular paper on round tables), helped get food ready, and just did what people do to get ready for a ward party. The party was a success and all went smoothly. We had a good time.
I was able to grab some food before helping in the kitchen and refilling the water cooler about 50 times, moving the drink table down the hall, taking down tables, refilling food trays, setting up the dessert room, ect. The food was soooo good! We had the right man for the job on that one. He is a great cook!
When the party was over, we cleaned, washed a TON of dishes, got the food donations taken care of and came home. Few!
Before coming home, we rented Lost, and are now totally hooked. Great show! We were up WAY too late watching it, but it felt great to sit back and relax a little. Love it!

It was a really fun and eventful day for our family. Both parties were full of good friends and good people. It makes it all worth it.
We have more parties this week, and this time we are not in charge, so we get to sit back and relax and savor the moments. Yippee!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


In gymnastics, there is a rope the kids try to climb as part of conditioning at the beginning of class. It is approx. 25ft high maybe higher. The picture is not of the rope in her gym, but it looks similar. Most of the 5yr old girls are just starting to make it to the top.
Mary made it to the top today (a few weeks shy of her fourth birthday)!!!! It is very amazing. Go Mary! It was so awesome.

The red card that I took a terrible picture of (yeah yeah, I need a new camera), is called a "wow" card. The coaches give it to the kids when they complete a hard thing or do a new trick. Mary got this one today. It is her first "wow" card since she has been moved up to this class. We are excited!

Some info. and a question.

Wow, I am feeling MUCH better...few! It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but it wasn't too fun either.
I am chipping away at my to-do list, and I think I am actually making great progress! Thanks to a rockin' awesome husband who hung up the last of the white Christmas lights at 10:00pm last night (the red ones have been up for a while, but the white lights make it all come together). Come by and see them some night, they are pretty cute...just ignore the strands that aren't working. ;)
He also came home from work in the afternoon and picked up Mary from preschool and took her to the store, so I could sleep. He also helped clean our VERY dirty house. Now it is all nice and clean and Christmasy, just the way we like it. Thank you Ben! You deserve a gold star and a cupcake!

Ben's mom left the hospital yesterday and is now home. The tumor they removed was low grade cancer, and so far, she is all clear of any remaining cancerous issues that can be found with the tests they have done up to this point. She still has a long way to go with recovery and we wish her the best. We sure love her so much and have CONSTANTLY been thinking about her and we will still be thinking about her as she continues on in the whole process.

Now for my question...
Does anyone one know where I can get pictures (like family pictures) put on mugs for REALLY REALLY cheap! Wal-mart is the cheapest I have found, and they still charge $9.00 per mug! I need like 12 mugs done, so that won't work.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me know if you know of anywhere that does it cheaper, or any way I could do it myself.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What timing!!!

Guess who has the stomach Blah!
This should make the week interesting.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My To Do List this week...look familiar to anyone else??

This week is soooooooo full of fun things and so much to do! I LOVE the holidays and being so busy with great things. I tend to get bored easily, so I love it when I have a lot going on. This particular week is pretty crammed.

To Do:
1.Finish hanging Christmas lights on house, now that Ben is back and can help
2.Plan Mary's Jungle Safari Birthday stuff and put goody bags together
3.Find a way to make a princess cake for Mary..and make it
4.Buy family gifts and ship them
5.Ward party stuff...I am on the is this weekend, same day as Mary's party (only free day we could do Mary's party)
6. Enrichment stuff..I am on that committee too (plan, coordinate and make calendar for 15 mini-groups every month)
7. Mary Kay skin care class
8. Find games to play at Mary's Party and make stuff for them
9. Get Christmas cards ordered and printed off
10. Address and mail Christmas cards (this is actually a big project)
11. Clean the is filthy after our weekend without Ben
12. lots and lots of laundry
13. Make cupcakes for pre-school party
14. order some last minute Christmas gifts online
15. Take care of a toll payment that is WAY overdue..lots of time on the phone for this one
16. Get back into a normal running routine. I have been going 2-3 times a week since the marathon, but now I am feeling totally recovered. Better start 4-5 times a week again, especially with all the holiday goodies coming our way.
17. craft group
18. Babysitting
19. Make and deliver Christmas goodies to friends and neighbors. This one is a favorite for me, and a fun FHE activity for our family.
20. Package and ship out Mary Kay product to some customers.
21. And all of the other normal day-to-day stuff that we do here in our home.

To some, this list may seem like nothing, but for me, it is pretty busy. I really like it this way though. All of these things...well most of them...are fun.
Yet another reason I love the holidays!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Twilight....for real.

This is what poor little Sammy went through in nursery today. The question I send him back????

You got it folks, that is a bite mark. And no little nip in the arm mind you. It is a full blown, cut through the skin, bleeding, bruised and swollen chomp in Sam's shoulder. The camera obviously didn't get the best picture, but you get the idea.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Update on Jolene (Ben's mom)

We spoke to Ben's dad a few hours ago. Surgery went well, but there was a lot more happening than first thought. Some pretty serious stuff. Please keep her in your prayers.
Looks like Ben, and possibly the rest of us, may be making an unexpected trip to Boise in the next few days.
We love you Jolene..see you soon.

It's Beginning to look a LOT like Christmas!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Sometimes it seems like there is nothing to post I don't post. But other times, it seems like there is way too much to post about. This is one of the times there is a lot going on and I want to record it all. So, I am just going to make one giant post of random-ness. Enjoy.

First of all, I found two great things while blogging the other day...and they made my I will share. Thanks to Jessica and Bethany.

I laughed so hard at this video that I almost fell off the chair. It gets better and better as it goes. Maybe you should finish reading the post and then come back to this.

Have you ever stuck your head out the window to see what side your gas tank is on? Well....from now on, all you have to do is look on your gas gauge. You will see a picture of a gas tank. The side of the tank that shows the gas hose, is the side of your car that your tank is on.

"Where's the tank?" Is your head out the window? NO LONGER!!

Thank you Bethany...I cannot tell you how many times I end up re-pulling up to the gas pump because the tank is on the other side.

So, according to this picture, the hose is going into the right side of the tank, so the gas tank is on the right side of the car. Genius!!

Another bit of news:
Ben's mom was taken to the ER last night with horrible stomach pains. She was put on morphine, had some tests done, and then later sent home. Pretty nerve-wracking for everyone! Today she was admitted to the hospital and they have found some blockage in her intestine. (horribly painful) They will be talking with the surgeon tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with her...please add yours.

More info:
Sam now has pink eyeS (yup, both of em') Meds should start working soon. Poor little fella.

And more info:
Chamonix gets his "lamp shade" off and his stitches out tomorrow!! Hooray! I am so happy for him. He will be feeling GREAT! Can't wait to take him running again.

Last tidbit:
I FINALLY talked Mary out of a princess, strawberry shortcake, or my little pony birthday party. (she loves all of those so much) Maybe next year. I would totally let her do it, and I really wanted to let her, but the friends she will be inviting are almost all boys. Looks like we will be having a Jungle Safari Birthday Party (with a princess cake). Mary found the Jungle Safari decorations at a store and got all sorts of excited. Few!

Guess who has Pink Eye?????

The picture doesn't do it justice. Maybe because he was eating grapes at the time, and I had just cleaned all the gunk out of his eye for the 10th time. ;) I actually haven't seen a case this bad in quite a while. Amazing! At least it doesn't seem to really bug him much. With the flu going around like wildfire, I am grateful it is only pink eye.

What an amazing person...he will be missed.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, the oldest living apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died last night, December 2, 2008, age 91.

Elder Wirthlin had gone to bed at his Salt Lake City home, and died peacefully at about 11:30 pm of causes incident to age. His oldest daughter, Jane Wirthlin Parker, was present. A member of the family had been staying and caring for Elder Wirthlin, whose wife, Elisa Young Rogers Wirthlin, died in 2006.

He had continued to work at his office right up until the Thanksgiving holiday.

To add my own note: I am soooo grateful we have the gospel and the plan of salvation where we KNOW that we will all be together again. Death is only a short period of separation before life everlasting with those we love.