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"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."— William Butler Yeats
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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"It Burns, It Burns!"

So today I was trying to incorporate exercise into playing with my kids. I was lying on my back with my legs tucked into my belly/chest, and I was having Buddha climb on the front of my shins and then hold on for dear life as I extended my legs straight up over and over and over again. After a couple sets of ten (the kid is close to 35 lbs now, in my defense), I told Buddha he had to get off for a minute. Being the wuss that I am, I was already panting and gasping and rolling around on the floor exclaiming, "It burns! Oh it burns the legs!" Buddha, being the genius that he is, calmly replied, "How about sunblock, Mommy?" By the way, I did manage to finish one more set of ten after my meltdown, so it must not have hurt that bad. Go ahead, call me SheRa.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It Was About Time....Now Take It Back!

Well, I finally got a calling in our ward. During the month of October, I was the ward magazine representative - helping make sure everyone had the Church magazines who wanted them. The Bishopric ensured me that they would find me a ward calling as soon as that assignment was over. And they did. Only it wasn't what I was expecting...at all. You see, throughout my young adult life I have been called to various low-key/low-stress callings such as "Mission Prep Teacher" and "Visiting Teaching Supervisor" and "Gospel Doctrine Co-teacher (with The Chief)." As I entered the Bishop's office to receive my new calling a couple of weeks ago, I was hoping that I would again be dispensed a position that would allow a certain amount of anonymity. I like to stay "behind the scenes," so to speak. I don't usually get to know many people in the wards I am in. I mostly know the other women who attend Mom and Me activities. Bishop, however, saw fit to bring this particular socialite way beyond her comfort zone. In one brief interview and with one deft chop, he felled all my expectations of remaining anonymous. "There must be some mistake," I thought. "He must have meant to call someone else to this position," I reasoned. "Surely there is someone who is much better qualified to do this job," I pleaded in my head. No mistake. Yesterday I was sustained and set apart as the new 1st Ward Primary President. I had never felt more inadequate, incapable, young, and humbled as I did after talking with the Bishop two weeks ago. Frankly speaking, I was freaked out. No one knows who I am and vice versa. How was I to choose my counselors? How can I run an entire Primary when I can't even keep my own home running smoothly? I haven't been in Primary since I was in Primary as a little girl (and we all know how much good that does me with my incredible memory)! How could someone lead who had never been a leader before? "Bishop," I wanted to cry out, "I am no shepherd. I am a sheep!" Thankfully, the knowledge that the Bishop is guided by the Lord has been the greatest confidence booster of all. Through praying, fasting, studying the manual, and talking with my mother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law (all of whom have been Primary President before), I have come to understand the basic goals and functions of the Primary. And, after attending Primary yesterday with my counselors, interacting with the kids, singing songs and participating in sharing time, I feel much more confident in my abilities to keep the Primary running smoothly - with a great deal of help from the other members of the presidency, of course. In fact, now I am even getting excited about being with the Primary and I already have lots of ideas for change and improvement. This new presidency is young and, though inexperienced, I now believe we are more than equal to the task. We will bring a freshness to the Primary, I think. At any rate, I have gone from terrified to thrilled and eager. The Lord has given me confidence, for which I am deeply grateful. And when I was set apart, Bishop blessed me that as I lead the Primary and learn to recognize my weaknesses, the Lord will then turn those weaknesses into strengths for me. I can't wait. It's going to be a fun ride. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Feast

Well, it was a feast of family and food today. We had a great time with all of The Chief's siblings and their kids at Grandma and Grandpa's house here in Arizona. Well, a great time with a few memorable moments mixed in for good flavor. At one point during the day, we thought we lost Buddha. This was especially worrisome since Grandma and Grandpa have a pool. It turns out he was next door at Aunt Toradol's house with Uncle T and his boys jumping on the trampoline. Phew! Then, to add insult to injury, I checked on Bugga who was supposed to be napping but still had not gone to sleep. What I found was definitely not pretty. There he sat, in the middle of Grandma's crib, playing with his poop. There was also poop smeared on the sheet, the crib bars, his clothes, his blanket, and his stuffed elephant (which is machine washable, thankfully). Enough with the blowouts already, Bugga! Later in the day I found Bugga munching on a puppy teething bone after which he tried to drink water from the Lily's puppy bowl. That was fun. Ah, but what would family get-togethers be without the awesome stories to tell for years to come? Here are some pictures of the preparations and celebrations. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Good luck to all you insane people who like to take advantage of Black Friday savings. Personally, I'd rather lock myself in a room full of screaming toddlers than get up at 4:00 in the morning just to throw myself at the mercy of a possessed crowd of desperate shoppers. Hmmm...those two scenarios are actually fairly equivalent in torment level minus the waking up early...and that's a big factor for me! Well anyway, you Black Friday lovers don't forget to share your early bird stories with us. I want to know who got the juiciest worm of all.

Let me come upstairs, too!

Buddha playing his cousin's Leapster, Leap Pad, Leap Frog thingy.

Grandma's baby - cute little Lily.

Lily and Bugga

I'm so hungry I could eat a stool!

Two beautiful birds!

Grandpa carving the Turkey

Beautiful decorations by Grandma

Grandma and Aunt Sooz preparing our feast

My Mommy takes tons of pictures of me. She thinks I'm sooooo cute!

Sitting in one of Grandma's many, many rocking chairs

What a little ham!

Cousins Zoey and Jessy



The cousins. Of course Bugga wouldn't look at the camera.

Our very own Jim Carey.
This is Aunt Toradol, Miss Daisy, and Uncle Jake

Jake helped me figure out the consecutive shots option
on our camera. Pretty cool!

Cousin Zoey with Bugga

The little ones (and cousin Jake) were driving their cars around and around Grandma's circle coffee table.

Miss Daisy's baby, Sampson (Lily's brother).

I Just Couldn't Wait!

Okay everyone, I know that we haven't even finished Thanksgiving yet (I sure am looking forward to the good food I can smell cooking in my mother-in-law's kitchen...she can cook up a pretty mean Turkey, I'll tell you what!), but I just couldn't help myself. Welcome to our new Christmas blog! :) It's been a lot of fun putting this together. There are a few other things I'm trying to figure out how to do, but I think there's plenty of Christmasy fun on here as it is. Happy Holidays!

Addendum 9:49 PM -
So, the Turkey was as delicious as it smelled...as were the green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn casserole, rolls, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Yum, yum, yummy! I love Thanksgiving. :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

In Honor of Bugga

Here we go again. Only this time, I'm answering for Bugga to the best of my knowledge. Hope you have as much fun reading these as I do putting them together.

1. What is your favorite color? Probably blue. I mean, that's all my mom dresses me in anyway.
2. What is your favorite food? Grapes, definitely grapes. My mom tries to sneak them out of the fridge without me noticing, but it doesn't work. I have grape radar.
3. What are your favorite clothes? My birthday suit and my mom's shoes (I don't wear them, I eat them...the shoes, that is).
4. What is your favorite thing to wear on your feet? Absolutely nothing.
5. What is your favorite real car? I don't think I have one. Let's just say I like to be in whatever car my mom is in.
6. What is your favorite book? Paperback. It's my second favorite food, too!
7. What are your favorite movies? Movies? What are those? I can't stop to watch two seconds of a movie. I'm too busy.
8. What is your favorite cartoon? If there's anything that can capture and keep my attention, it would have to be Curious George.
9. What is your favorite toy? Whatever Buddha has in his hands or feels strongly about protecting, that's what I generally go for. For the longest time I actually thought my real name was "You Little Rascal!" because that's all I heard from my mom.
10. What are your favorite things to do? Eat, nurse, spread blowouts all over my crib for my mom to clean up in the morning, pester my brother, explore the garbage can or the toilet scrubber, cuddle with my daddy, make people laugh and smile, and walk and walk and walk and walk....
11. What is your favorite song to sing? I don't sing yet, but I love it when my mom sings "I am a Child of God." I quiet right down when I hear that one.
12. What is your favorite letter? P - It's what I do all day. Hardy har! Look, I inherited my Grandpa Sombrero's dry humor. You like that Grandpa?! :)
13. What makes you SO happy? Being tickled and played with.

Okay, now it's Mommy talking. Here are some of Bugga's quirks, personality traits, and funnies:
- Bugga freaks out sometimes when he hears a car going by outside or a neighbor using a power tool. He'll start breathing really fast and get this extremely concerned look on his face as he's booking it to Mommy or Daddy's safe lap.
- Bugga loves to imitate people. All you have to do is make a sound, then point to him and say, "You do it." His current favorite (and mine, I must add) is that he'll say, "Boo! ... Ahhh!" It's so awesome. He'll also make monkey and elephant sounds. So cute!
- Bugga loves touch. He loves to hug and cuddle. He loves to rub my bare arm. He loves to flop down on the floor on his belly, spread his arms and legs out, and "feel" the floor with his mouth. I guess I should thank him for helping me clean.
- Bugga has such an inquisitive nature. He's always pointing at things and saying, "Dat? Oohhh."
- Bugga loves to take baths. And by "loves," I mean he'd probably live in the water if he could.
- Bugga is such a happy little man...and so expressive! My favorite expression of his is when he scrunches up his face and breathes really fast through his nose with his mouth wide open to show off his cute little teeth. It's such a cheesy little face that you can't help but smile and scrunch up your face to do it right back at him.
- Bugga is also a very sensitive little man. He cries at the drop of a hat. Sometimes I feel guilty because I think his crying/upset face is just as cute as his other "faces," so I often laugh at him and try to take pictures while he's expressing his frustration with me.

- Bugga is a smarty pants. He's very good at carrying out verbal commands like, "Roll your arms. Clap your hands. Pat your head." He can also find my nose and my mouth. And he'll point out a light anywhere if you just ask him, "Where's a light?"
- Bugga loves to roam free, but each day he'll make regular trips to home base (that being me) to cuddle with me, hug me, eat my face, swat my glasses, hug some more, pinch my arms, have squealing contests with me, love me and then squirm out of my arms for another adventure away from "home." I love our little time outs.
- Bugga loves to pull all the books off the bookshelf. Every day, all day long, I'm always without fail, picking up books off the floor to put back in the bookshelves. It's a tedious habit to pick up after, but fun to watch him do...until he goes after the big books and lands them on his feet for a nice little owie that has him howling for a while.
- Bugga is such a joy! He's exuberant, opinionated, vibrant, happy, smiley, goofy, cuddly, and sensitive. He's also very mischievous. He loves to dart in to mess up his brother's parked cars and then beat a hasty retreat when he sees Buddha racing to the rescue of his beloved automobiles. He stands by watching the recovery with an innocent little expression on his face that always makes me laugh. I think he must have a bit of a comedian in him, too, because he loves to make people laugh. I am his number one fan, I must admit.
- Here is a funny Bugga moment:

1 - A couple weeks ago I was cleaning the vacuum filters in the bath tub. Bugga, of course, came racing to my side as soon as he heard the bath water turn on. He kept reaching over the side for the tiny bit of water in the bottom of the tub and suddenly just plopped right in, jammies and all. I hastily removed him and he started crying. I'm not sure if he was crying because I wouldn't let him stay in the water with the dirt, dust, ash, and dead spiders being cleaned out of the filters, or if he was crying from the shock of falling in the bathtub unexpectedly.

Here's our comedian in action. I love this picture!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Our Little Angel

Our Veterans Day Surprise

Well, I finally got around to posting this. It's a miracle. There's just so much going on! On Monday, The Chief surprised us by coming home from work early. We let Bugga finish his nap and then we packed up and headed for Sea World. The Chief called it our Family Home Day. :) I, of course, brought along our new "toy" so that I could try out all the different settings. As you can see, I went a little crazy with the dang thing. :) But, I did get some great pictures, so no complaining! We had a great time visiting the shark exhibit, the penguins, and the Wild Arctic. We passed through the tide pool and the Flamingos on our way to catch the only show left that day - "Believe" (aka Shamu). Buddha loves this show because he gets to help the whales splash the audience. I love this show because I get to watch pure delight suffuse Buddha's innocent little face. Win-win. Bugga just had the best time walking all over the park, holding onto my finger. He was in heaven. There's a short video at the end of the endless pictures. I shot the video after Shamu's show was over. Buddha was still a bit distracted. :) Thanks for taking half a day off, Papa, it was great!
Penguin exhibit

Watching the penguins

Buddha and Bugga looking for Beluga Whales

Watching Beluga Whales from above

Making sure the glass is still there :)

Daddy and Buddha in the bear cave

Lazy Polar Bear

All my boys in the bear cave


Bugga watching the Beluga Whales from under the water

I think these are such graceful creatures!

My worst fear!!!!

Gotta love the Flamingos :)

Look out, Buddha! You might be next! :)

Tide pool treasures

Daddy and Buddha watching "Believe" (aka The Shamu Show)


"Shamu! Shamu!" Buddha helping Shamu splash the audience.

It worked!

So proud! So happy!

Surfing on Shamu! Buddha loves it when the trainers do this.
He gets excited every time! :)

Clapping along with the music and the trainers

The End

Here's the video clip: