Monday, June 30, 2008

Having Fun With The Blog Colors!

I'm having fun with our color skeam can you tell? Is it too bright?:) Don't worry it will probably change. I like to mix and change things up a lot. Blogging is my new hobby. Hope you're enjoying our blog. Sorry if you're sick of getting emails. Make sure you let me know if you are!!!!

Crazy Weekend Turned Out Fun! But We're Melting!

Oh my heck! How did we survive Hawaii with no air conditioner? I remember feeling just like I do now. I'm sitting at my computer melting! Luckily we do have two window air conditioners. If we didn't we'd all have heat stroke, literally. But we do, so I need to just say thank you for that and look forward to central air in our next home.

This last weekend was a bit crazy. But it turned out great! We planned ahead and went to St. George to go to the temple. There were supposed to be babysitters set up from the ward. But when we got there they were no where to be found. We wandered around the visitor center for a while and took some pictures. Then we just decided to head north to Alton to visit Leif's brother and family. It is A LOT cooler there. We had a blast!

Leif won all of his siblings over and over again in trampoline games. They even got their mom up there to play. It was so fun to watch them. We started a fire in the fire pit and made smores. Of course we barbecued and Stacy made a Delicious dutch oven cobbler.

We were frustrated when we got there because of our SG trip. But being with family and the beautiful coolness of Alton really lifted our spirits. When evening rolled around everyone sat around the living room and planned for their Sunday responsibilities.

Leif and I spoke in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. Our talks were on reverence. I let Jakob give a little bit of my talk. He did a great job! It turned out to be a nice meeting even though Jakob's actions were an irony! Here were are preaching about being reverent in sacrament meeting and Jakob is running back and forth from the bench to the stand, moving from seat to seat. I finally took him to the back of the chapel, then to a pitch dark room where we discussed how to act while in sacrament meeting. Ahhh, the joys of being parents!

Sunday evening was a pleasant one too. We went to visit some friends who just moved into their newly remodeled home. While we were talking they asked Leif if he could give them a massage. They actually scheduled several massages with him for family and friends. Because of this we will be able to pay some bills. It is a true answer to prayers!!

I especially loved the fact that Leif set up his massage table and gave me a first class spa treatment massage. I can definitely recommend him to anyone!!

Friday, June 27, 2008


Do you ever wonder when the waiting game of life will just settle down? I don't think it ever will... Wait for someone to marry, wait for the new baby, wait for the college degree, wait for the good job, wait for the new house, wait for the kids to grow up, wait for retirement, wait for the mission, wait for grandchildren, wait, wait, wait....

Maybe that's why the best advise in life is simply to just Live It and Enjoy the Moment! Sometimes I get caught up in what I want to happen Next and I stop enjoying what is happening Now! Leif and I know first hand how life can take sudden turns over night. It amazes me how we could go through something so momentous as losing our daughters yet I still struggle with appreciating what I have at the present moment.

I have to stop many times and remind myself that life is NEVER easy. There is always something that is put in our path to teach us something. But, it could always be worse. I could have the trials that my neighbors and family are struggling with... I learned that I only want MY trials! They are custom made:)

I'm babbling... We're doing fine. Just strapped financially. It seems that when money gets tight everything seems tight including the walls of our home and the borders of the tiny town that we live in. But then I wake up and I see the blessing all around me! Our little family, our extended family, the cottage we live in, the beauty around us, the gospel, and so much more!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Send Me Your Blog Addresses!

I would like to link my blog to all of your (friends and family) blogs. Please let me know what your blog addresses are so I can list them. Also, let me know if you have a personal website or something that you'd like me to list.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Family Health and Nutrition

I know this is probably not interesting to any of you. But I need to kill two birds with one stone. I want to document what we're using as vitamins, and I want to blog. So I will make a list of the vitamins and supplements that we need to reorder as soon as we can. We're running on empty. And you can skip this entry if you're not interested:)

Solar Cal D

Sea Vegg
Solar Cal D
Rhodiola Root
Griffonia Seed

Dr. Sears Multi vitamin
Dr. Sears Omega Vitamin

I know you're wondering why in the world we take so many supplements. The answer is; because we need them and they are available for us! I have found that if I do not take my vitamins my body is in severe pain all over. I've decided not to dwell on the pain issue, but to figure out how to eliminate the pain and lead a normal life. That's what these supplements do. They have also helped me continue to loose weight after delivering Caleb. So, I'm not complaining! Leif and Jakob take them because it is a known fact that multi vitamins are highly recommended.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Father and Son Campout

Leif new that his free time with the family was coming to an end this week. So he planned a little camp out with Jakob on the trampoline. We had a delicious tinfoil dinner cookout and roasted marshmallows together. Then I took Caleb up to the barn and Leif and Jakob stayed down.

They both had a great time looking at the "star pictures" as Jakob put it. They also read dinosaur books with the flashlight and played a shock game with the static electricity sparks from the trampoline.

Leif said that Jakob said this to him when they were ready to go to sleep "I have an idea, lets take my blanket and Lucy (his stuffed dog) and go up to the barn and go to sleep." :) Leif said that it was really noisy and kind of cold. He felt like he was covering Jakob all night long.

Our house is surrounded by animals. Our back neighbors have chickens, roosters, and ducks. The other back neighbors have horses. The side neighbors have 1 hound dog and 2 other dogs. And the front neighbors have 2 beagles. So there is a lot of noise, not to mention the crickets and other night sounds. Jakob wasn't too thrilled about this part of sleeping out.

But, they survived and came up in the morning a bit tired but smiling.

Leif's New Church Calling

We are really excited about Leif's new church calling. He is the primary music chorister. His first day was today. He enjoyed it and all I heard from everyone in primary was how excited they were to have him in there. Leif Loves music and he loves to direct music. Children also gravitate to him. So this is the perfect calling for him.

I think it will be really good for our family too. Leif will be able to teach us the songs here at home.

I'm grateful for a husband who is willing to serve!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Life, Work, and Summer Fun!

Have you ever had to put a towel over the dishes in you kitchen sink to stifle the stench until you can wash them? :) I am shamed to admit that I have to do that more often then it should be. Dishes are one of my worst enemies for some reason. No we do not have a dishwasher! But there are people out there with a dozen children and not automatic dishwasher. MADDNESS!! :) I should be able to keep up on our little families dishes. Paper and Plastic! That is my answer.

Well, it's summer and that mean that the beautiful sunshine is in full swing. Our kind air conditioners are working their bests to keep us cool (we have two window units for our studio apartment) They work as long as we don't use the stove for dinner. So we use our "Summer Kitchen" the barbecue. We eat a whole lot of yummy tinfoil dinners. And toasted marshmallows for dessert.

Leif is out of school for the summer. So he gets to work at home with ITV ( and will be working in SG from next week on painting addresses on sidewalks. He will have all of his classes online this coming fall semester. So it will be nice to have him around. Even though he will still be Very Busy! But we're moving forward in life and that feels good!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hair Cuts and House Dreaming

Leif and I cut each others hair the other night. His was just the normal short look. I pulled mine back in a ponytail just at the neckline and let Leif cut it off. He cut about 3 or 4 inches off. I did some layers in the back and I Love It! It's off my neck and really easy to fix. It's cute too. Fun!:)

Coming back to the barn has been bitter sweet. While on vacation we spent the majority of the time staying in places that had at least two rooms, a dishwasher, and a washer and dryer. I WAS SPOILED! Now I'm trying to adjust to the humble life again.

Caleb is a sleep on my bed in his bassinet with blankets wrapped along the edge pushed up against his ears so he can sleep through the family commotion. Sometimes I put him in Jakob's room (I've brought all the toys out of the bedroom, they're in the living room now.) But then I have no where to put Jakob in time out, and if he's not in time out he always finds one reason or another to go into the room Just as Caleb's fallen asleep. Crazy!

I had Leif look at four bedroom two bath houses in Missouri last night. He pulled up at least 7 and they were all just what I was looking for and the price range was between $30-80,000. Can you believe that!!?? We might have to go with a three bedroom. But a four bedroom would be ideal. We would have a separate office and we could fit in it indefinitely. We will grow out of a 3 bedroom. So we'll have to see what happens. There's no chance of moving within the next six months anyway.... DREAMING...

Flooding Where We Just Vacationed

Originally we were going to go to Nauvoo after the family reunion in Branson. That would have put up in Keokuk and Nauvoo right during all of the flooding that they are having. It looks pretty bad. Last we heard Jim and Bruce were doing okay, although Jim lost a huge tree from the storm and it was going to be a dangerous nightmare to get it out. But that was at the beginning of the week. We need to check on them.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Last week at Branson and Home

The last week of our trip was fun. We enjoyed time with family and time just doing what we all wanted to do on our own. Jakob struggled the last week. His fever lasted around 4 days and his mood didn't perk up until we got home 2 days ago. So that definitely helped us look forward to coming home. But if he felt better it would have been a lot harder to come home. We loved it there. We love it here too. But it was a refreshing change.

We spent a few nights together eating dinner and playing cards or Acquire (which Leif was lucky enough to beat uncle Bruce at once). On Sunday everyone (except for us because Jakob was sick) went to church. They said that it was wonderful. We got together for dinner at Bruce and Chris' condo. We had family home evening (Joseph Karin's son did a short and sweet lesson about repentance.) We then watched a video about David and Goliath. During the prayer that night I really felt grandma's spirit close.

We also had breakfast together one morning and had a mini show from several of the Branson performers. It was long but entertaining. The fun part of the week was the weather and the Kid's Fest at Silver Dollar City. They had three really neat shows that were included in the price of our pass. It rained cats and dogs on Monday so we all decided to take on the rain and go to the shows. The first was a magic show that was amazing! It was a Real magic show where the magician cuts people in half and makes them disappear. CRAZY! (Jakob really enjoyed it because his Papa is always doing little magic tricks with him, but these were really big tricks) The next show was an ice skating circus show. It turned out really neat. We got front row seats because my dad is handicapped. The performers were dressed as different animals and were clearly professional skaters. Most of them were from Russia. I love ice skating. After each show, wherever we went to, Leif always took Jakob up to shake the performers hands. I thought that was really thoughtful and neat for Jakob.

The last full day we had in Branson was Tuesday and it was a Gorgeous day! Not too hot or cold, blue skies and sunshine. Leif took Jakob and went with everyone else and watched a Veggie Tales show. They then hung out together and went on the adult rides while Chris and those who didn't ride the rides played with the kids. My mom and I took Caleb and spent the afternoon shopping in all of the little shops and eating yummy food. I got a Wagon Train Rag Doll for my mother in law and myself and I got Leif another Irish Bowler Hat for Father's Day. My mom got Heather a Wentz Family sign to hang out on their new home. We had a great time!

The last three days were spent traveling. We drove from Branson to Kansas City and slept in a hotel. We were actually quite blessed. The night we spent at the hotel by the airport, there were strong thunderstorms. We also heard it was supposed to storm the day we flew out. We woke up in the morning and the storm had blown away and there was a just clouds. We flew out on time with no problems, and the storm his Kansas City shortly after we left. It was the BIG storm that flooded everything there. We caught a plain the next day and flew to Salt Lake City and spent the night at my parents house. The next morning (Friday) we spent with Heather and had a picnic lunch at the park. We were going to stay another night, but we decided that we were all ready to get home. So we drove home. Lucky we did or we would have missed the Father's Day BBQ with Leif's family yesterday. On the way home Jakob asked "So what hotel are we going to now?":) We laughed and told him we were on our way to our yellow barn. He was happy.

So, today is Sunday June 15, 2008 and I look back already and the trip seems like a dream. Thank Heaven's for pictures and this blog.

We won't forget this trip though. It was more then we could have ever hoped for. It was our first big family vacation and I'm not sure if we'll have another that compares for a long time! It was so neat to be able to spent such quality time with my parents. It was a joy for me to see the relationships between them and my little family strengthen.

We fell in love with Missouri and that whole part of the state while we were there. It rekindled our desire to move out there and buy a house. My uncle will sell us one of his as soon as we're ready. Hopefully next year at this time.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Silver Dollar City - Dino Museum - Jakob's Sick

We've been to Silver Dollar City twice now. The first day we spent with my parents and by ourselves. We all had a really nice time. Jakob's first ride was the kiddy roller coaster. This was his first amusement park ever. So we conditioned him quickly. He survived the ride (Leif was with him) but he didn't want to ride it again. His favorite ride so far is the dumb (hehe Lena really ment Dumbo) ride that goes round and round and up and down slowly. He is just a low key little boy. The craziest ride they went on that day was a water ride. I almost panicked when I realized exactly what the ride was (too late.) Leif and my mom and Jakob went together. They rode a three person raft down a long water slide. Jakob luckily sat in between Leif's legs. They got soaked! Leif LOVED it, my mom enjoyed it, Jakob was pretty much shocked that he experienced it. I was relived that he wasn't traumatized.

The next day we went with everyone in the family. We had a great time playing together and watching the kid's on the rides. I'm not much of a rides person so I was content to carry Caleb in the Moby Wrap and enjoy being with everyone. Although, I did want to go on one ride. It was the rubber tube raft ride through the river. My mom watched Caleb while I rode with everyone. It was a lot of fun.

Jakob started to signs of being sick yesterday while riding the rides. I wasn't too surprised since he was around a lot of kids and riding rides. I knew he was either sick with a bug, or motion sick. He woke up this morning throwing up and a fever.... But I'm getting ahead of myself. Last night we went out to dinner with my parents and then we took Jakob to the highlight of his whole vacation, the Dinosaur Museum. He was in heaven. It was a small museum, but he had a great time exploring. The museum was filled with life sized statues of dinosaurs or dinosaur heads. So he just walked around looking at all the big dinosaurs. His favorite of course was the t-rex. I enjoyed playing with the dino puzzles and books with Jakob. It was a nice family night. We bought Jakob a really big T- Rex. He loves it!

Like I said this morning Jakob woke up sick. So we had to spend the whole day inside. But it turned out enjoyable. We napped and cleaned up, visited with family that came in and out. It was Saturday so everyone stayed away from the crowded areas. So we didn't miss too much. Leif and Jim gave Jakob a blessing this morning. I'm sure he'll be fine. The boys are finally asleep now and Leif and I are going to try and finish our movie (National Treasure) although, the TV just barely randomly shut off (Oh Leif got it working, I'll go watch it with him)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ozarks - Branson MO.

The tornado sirens eventually stopped last night. The storms were just north of us. We did get some wind and rain. But nothing too extreme. Jakob was already sleeping in the large closet in our room, so I put Caleb in there too just to be safe. But all was well enough.

Yesterday we woke up and spent the day repacking everything and started on our way South East to Branson, Missouri.

Once again the drive was beautiful. The Ozarks are very pretty. We are staying in a condo resort right next to Silver Dollar City theme park. The condos are very nice. We have a two bed 2 bath with a kitchen as well as washer and dryer. It is awesome! Especially since we'll be here for another week. There is a back deck that over looks a forest valley with a large river winding through it. It's beautiful.

Last night we drove into Branson and drove the strip as we went looking for a place to eat. Branson is full of theme parks, museums, and lots of entertaining shows. We're looking forward to the week. We're going to a dinosaur museum this morning with Jakob. Then we'll go get our week pass for Silver Dollar City (it's a 1800's themed amusement park.) Sometime during the week we hope to go see a show that is similar to the Irish Dancing of River Dance. We will also be here for the National Kid's Festival at Silver Dollar City. It should be a very fun week!!

This is the week of my family reunion. Everyone is coming in later today. Bruce and Chris, Matt, Karin and her kids, Kevin and his family, Jim and Kathy and Doug, and Joann. It will be very nice to be together and catch up again. We all grew up together so we have a strong friendship base.

Well, I need to get this morning started....

Monday, June 02, 2008

Fun Highlights: Nauvoo to Carthage MO.

We have had a wonderful trip so far. We have accomplished all of our goals, yet been able to get enough sleep and rest to keep us going. I will only be able to write about some of the highlights because I can never seem to have enough time to write details.

The scenery has been one of the most enjoyable parts of this trip. It is so lush and green. Forests and green rolling hills everywhere. Streams and rivers meander through the valleys. Leif and I have really enjoyed looking at the houses as well. The majority have been historic looking farm houses, most of them having barns and farms. The town centers of most of the towns we've driven through have been old historic towns. Some kept up, others not so. The other fun thing is the friendly people that wave as we drive through.

I've mentioned the Amish carriage; that was really neat. We talked about how fun it would be to do another road trip and not plan anything, just drive and stop at the different places that look interesting. There are many antique shops that I would enjoy exploring...

So that's the drive through Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa.

We stayed in Keokuk, IO. That is a town that is on the opposite side of the Mississippi river from Nauvoo. The drive along the river into Nauvoo was very peaceful and beutiful. And the smell in the air was delicious. It smelled like lilacs, honeysuckle, and rain covered trees.

This trip has been peaceful. Nauvoo was a quiet calm place. We went at the Perfect time. The first day after we flew in Jim and Kathy (my aunt and uncle) met us in Keokuk. We then followed them to Carthage, Il. where we went to Carthage Jail. There was definately a humble spirit there. It was nice to be able to walk around with Jakob and read the different placks that tell the Joseph Smith story. It was also humbling to walk around the jail and hear the story of the marterdom. I felt the spirit reconfirm to me that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

That afternoon Kathy arranged for Leif and I to take the kids to a babysitter near the temple so that we could all go through the temple. My parents and Jim and Kathy did a session. Leif and I did sealings. The Nauvoo temple is beautiful! They built it and decorated it in the timeframe of the 1800's. It is beautiful. It had been a long time since Leif and I did sealings. There was a peaceful spirit.

As you walk out of the Nauvoo temple you are blinded by the bright light that reflects from the sun off of the white temple as well as the cement. The grounds around the temple are beautiful too. There is a statue of Joseph Smith and Hyrum on horseback leaving Nauvoo. We went and picked the kids up and brought them back to take pictures. Jakob was disapointed that he wasn't able to go into the temple. But he was happy to play around on the hills of the front grounds.

We also went to the Lucy Mack Smith home together. Her house was actually built for our relative Joseph Bates Noble. He occupied the home for several years. He had several wives and owned several homes. But obviously this home ended up being preserved beause Lucy Mack Smith lived in it.

Come to find out, Leif had relatives that lived across the street from the Noble family. It's a small world.

During the few days in Nauvoo we spent the time visiting a few of the sites, shopping, eating at the Nauvoo Inn, learning about our family history in Nauvoo, going to the Sunset on the Mississippi show, and going to the show about Joseph Smith in the visitor center, walking the Trail of Hope, and skipping rocks along the rivers edge.

We decided that there are two ways to visit Nauvoo. One is to skim the surface and enjoy the peace of the beautiful Nauvoo; the other way is to dive in and immerse yourself in the history and all that Nauvoo has to offer. We chose the first way, and when you have two very young children that is exactly the best way to do it. we had a wonderful time. I love the history and the people and because of them it brought more beauty to an already beautiful town and scenery.

It has been fun to see the interaction between Jakob and my parents as well as Leif and my parents. Their relationships have grown and it has been a sweet experience.

The last day of this leg of the trip we went to Hanabal, MO. This town is the birth place of Mark Twain. We spent one day there and had an enjoyable day. We started by letting jakob play at the park. That saved us. He needed to be able to play. We then caught the river boat named Mark Twain and floated down the river while we listened to stories and music that represented the days of Mark Twain. Jakob thought it was a fun thing and we all enjoyed the relaxation too. From there we ate lunch and then went into the historic area of town and toured a few of the houses and museums. They were neat, but not exceptional. I think it would have been a lot more fun if we had kids that were 10 or so and we had just read Mark Twain's stories and then came to the town.

The scary event of that day (and that leg of the trip) happened while Leif was pushing Caleb in the stroller. I had put Caleb in the stroller but I didn;t strap him in. This is not too unusual since the car seat is secured to the stroller. But it is a a mistake! When Leif went to tip the stroller back to push it up a step to the sidewalk, Caleb slipped right out of the carseat and fell onto the ground. We were all SHOCKED to see him laying there on the ground. He was screaming. It would have been worse if he was silent. We looked for any cuts, and was happy that there weren't any. But a few minutes later we noticed a large bump on his head. It is definately unsettling to feel a swollen bump on your 7 week old baby;s head. Luckily it was not a black and blue bruise. We tried to get a hold of the doctor but could only reach his wife and the mother of their eight children. She agreed that we didn;t need to worry unless the bruise started to fill with blood or his eyes dialated. We just sneggled him for a while and it comforted both him and us. We felt terrible. But he was fine.

(Side Note: 9:31 PM June 3, 2008 the tornado sirens are going off. But we don't have any sign of a storm... checking the TV.)
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