Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cuteness twinned

I have been getting my SLR camera out more lately. My photography hobby had been put away once the twins came. It is also kind of annoying that EVERYONE is into photography now. But that shouldn't keep me from doing something that I love should it? It is amazing how much more fun it is to take pictures with a real camera. And I can actually take a picture of Cooper that isn't blurry. He is pretty cute hu? I also think this one of Amelia is absolutely adorable. I love it when people say she looks like me--I think she is WAY prettier, so it makes me feel good!

On the second day of Christmas!

I wanted to make some type of paper-craft Christmas ordiment. When I saw a no mess glitter project on No Time For Flash Cards, I knew I had found the perfect one. Unfortunately we did not experience the no mess promise, but we did have a fun time.
"It is shake 'n glitter and I helped!"

I loved how I didn't have any "educational" intentions with this project but both boys started making designs and ended up making letters.

Having a little fun with the 'ol macro lens

 The basic jist is that you cut out ordainment shapes out of card stock. Then you give them some double sided sticky tape to make their designs. After they apply the tape, you put it in a plastic bag that contains glitter. Presto--you pull out a glittery ordainment.
 Add a hole punch, thread some glittery pipe cleaners, and hang on your tree,
Here is the final product!
P.S. Four laps down! Today I did it a lot faster too. Plus I have found that I have been sleeping better . . .

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the first day of Christmas

           I may be a day late and a dollar short, but I want to share my homemade Christmas with you! I plan on posting something everyday that we have made for Christmas. Some might be kids crafts but some of them are going to be presents. So I think I will have to call my Mom and Sister and ask that they don't look at my blog until Christmas. They aren't regular readers anyway but, I might need to ask just in case. 
          So for the first day I am excited to post one of the things we made for my parents.  It is an apron where we used the kids footprints to make snowmen. My friend was telling me about how she had seen this on one of the local morning shows. I have no idea what theirs looked like, but I happen to be in love with mine! I bought the apron at Wal-mart for a few dollars and I have a huge stash of puffy like paints. I just squeezed some of the pain out into a disposable cup and painted the blue and white. I let that dry and Monday night for Family Home Evening Josh helped to make footprints of our crew. That night I pained the twins but the following morning Max and Turner made their footprints into snowmen. Did I mention that I loved how it turned out?? I might have to print off one of these pictures and frame it to add to our holiday decorations. 
          What are some fun things you are making for Christmas?

P.S. Three laps down--I am right on track. You know what? The struggle to make myself do it was a lot harder today but the actual physical act is getting easier! I actually kinda liked it today :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2 down 11 to go!

          That is right folks, I have ran two whole laps on the last two days. I know it doesn't sound like much, but for me it is! As hard as the physical challenge is for me, it is the emotional one that that is the real battle. I know I can do hard things physically--I had twins for crying out loud! If you have never carried twins full term, you probably don't know the kind of pain it brings. The difference between that and my running goal is that I am not being forced to do it!
          I did decide to get pregnant true but I didn't choose twins. Also, most mothers know that we forget how hard pregnancy is in the first place. Once the decision to have another child was made, the difficulty of the pregnancy was no longer a daily choice, I had to do it.
          So now I sit here with another physical challenge before me. Unfortunately I have a choice. I have the choice everyday--do I follow through with my goal or do I give up, and become Gilbert Grape's mom? It is that choice that makes it the biggest challenge of all. I know I can just decide that it isn't a choice and that I will do it everyday--but we all know that we really do still have the agency. So how do you follow through with goals? How do you push yourself when it seems impossible or too hard? How do you follow through when there is nothing "making" you do it? Please please please share, I could use all the help I can get!

Monday, December 12, 2011

I don't ever do this!

          I am one of those people that doesn't like to talk too personally about my fitness. I have been overweight since puberty. There have been times where that weight was lower but, it has been my constant companion. I have wanted to loose weight ever since I could remember. I don't talk about it--it is just too painful for me. I have written about it over and over and over in my personal journals, but not publicly. I don't talk to very many people openly about it. My weight and I have always been "the elephant in the room."
          So I don't know what is compelling me this morning to announce to the whole world wide web that I am setting a fitness goal for myself. Maybe it will help me to stick to it, maybe it will motivate me? More than that, I guess I hope to motivate someone else. Not that everyone needs to lose weight and by no means does everyone need to lose as much as I do, but maybe we all have that personal giant that we need to conquer. I seem to have many.
     So here is the plan--I call it the lazy 5K. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she is doing a lazy iron man this month. She has to complete all of the distances for an iron man but she has all month to do it. I am no where near at that level at this point in my life, but I really like the idea. I like small obtainable goals that lead to a bigger picture. So the first goal is to run a 5K in 13 days (not counting Sundays.) A 5K is roughly 13 "laps" on a track or treadmill counter. So my first goal is to run a lap everyday. I am not in the kind of shape I need to be to run a lap continuously so I will have to break that down everyday. I can walk as much as I need to but I can only count the time I am actually running.
         I know that I can only do this through Christ which strengtheneth me! So here is a strength scripture (or a kick in the rear scripture): Alma 34:33-34  "And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve your time while in this life then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor preformed. Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world."
          So here it goes world wide web--I can't believe I am going to push the publish button on this!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Enjoying a great December day!

 We are finally feeling back to normal at our house after our power adventures. Today was such an nice day! We went over to tri-city nursery for their festivities there, but we a little early so we headed to the park! I was amazed that I was comfortable in just a sweatshirt. But, you can tell by the runny noses in all of the pictures that there was still a nip in the air.

When Milzy sees a camera she pulls this face and says "tease (cheese)" It is so funny!

The only one I got of both of them smiling and it had to be blurry! Well, when in doubt, go black and white :)

I love this little baby bum! Too-Toop is wearing jeans that Josh's mom made for him when he was a baby! They have made it through a slew of Thomson boys, but I think Toop might just wear them out since he still isn't walking!

I can't resist putting two of Buddyr up here, he looks so happy in both of them. Of course to get him to smile, I told him to tell me a joke, so he told me a joke about a monkey pooping (which wasn't a joke at all!) Boys! Boys! Boys!

We made it to tri-city nursery and they had face painting. He cried when I washed it off tonight.

Here are the Thomson 4! Buddy did not want to have anything to do with Santa! He had just got a letter from him this morning, delivered by our friendly scout elf, and he still didn't want anything to do with him!
I hope that everyone is enjoying the Holidays! I am busy busy busy making gifts. I am not sure that anyone that I am making them for reads my blog, but I better be careful just in case! I will post my projects for the kids--when I get around to making those :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What a girl can learn in 86 hours!

The dry hurricane of 2011 is how I will lovingly refer to the storm that came upon us late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning. The winds were over 100 mph as they rolled down the Wasatch Range and into the valley. They flicked shingles off roofs and toppled 100 year old trees. The winds peeled off siding like a child unwrapping a gift, and sent fences flying like kites. In some instances, it lifted corners of roofs off of houses and made tresses hover above the home they were designed to protect. Electric poles toppled like dominoes, sending sparks that resembled fireworks across the sky, and left the east part of a county in the dark.
The electricity flickered through the night, and by the way the winds were howling, when it turned off at 6:30 am Thursday morning, I knew it wouldn’t be for only a moment. I did expect it to come back on before preschool started at 9am though. I looked out the window that morning after my kids woke up and saw our 50 year old pine swaying like a daisy in the wind. I feared that it might come down on top of our home, so I gathered my kids like a hen gathers her chicks and herded them into the basement. I was so thankful that I had been inspired to stock up on candles at the local thrift store the weekend before. We ate cheerios by candle light and waited out the storm. The storm didn’t stop by 9:00 or 10:00—it wasn’t until 12:00 that I finally felt safe enough to emerge from the basement.
I first noticed the pine tree across the road that toppled and crushed the fence of the neighbor. I had no clue of the destruction that had spent the communities around me. I was grateful for my gas stove and cooked up some grilled cheese for my kids. We played Chutes and Ladders and enjoyed the day. The battery in my phone was going so I decided to take a drive so I could charge it in my car. It was also getting very cold in my house and I wanted to warm up my children. Josh had been nervous about me building a fire, because he was afraid it would smoke us out and then we would really be in trouble.  During the drive I realized the damage that this storm really had done and realized that it might be a long while before we got power back on. I wasn’t prepared for it taking 3 ½ days though!
I did end up making a fire, (and my skills are so good that there was no smoking us out—credit given to girls camp, and mostly my Thompson Falls days in MT) and we are fortunate enough to have a fireplace insert that heats the basement very efficiently. I was planning on making foil dinners to throw into the fireplace that night but as we drove by Arctic Circle, on our way to pick up the meat, the lighted windows, warm place to run around and the promise of not having to clean up in the dark, lured us to indulge in fast food.
Arctic Circle (a local hamburger chain—with a playground) was one of the few restaurants that had electricity. It was full of other families, just like ours, making a retreat from our cold, dark homes. I noticed several other moms sporting the mom ponytail (you know, you gather your hair and twist it in some type of pony tail without even looking in a mirror or combing your hair first,) and quite a few kids still in their PJs. At one point, someone came in and announced that the Honda mini-van had its door open—and I wasn’t the only one who stood up. Don’t worry, it was mine.
That night we had a slumber party in the basement around the fire and we weren’t cold for a single second. Without TV to watch, a sewing machine to do projects, a computer to blog, we all went to bed around 8pm. Josh got up and went to work the next morning, business as usual for commuters. After we ate cheerios in the dark again, I was getting bored and I felt very isolated. As I looked out the window upstairs, I noticed a group of neighbors hacking away at the tree that had fallen across the street. With four kids in tow, I didn’t feel like I could be of much service. After thinking about it for a little while, I decided that if nothing else we needed to go for a walk.
I only made it across the street. My neighbor’s girls played with my kids and I helped out. It felt so good to be part of the community and working together to help people out. I was very warm physically and emotionally as I worked side by side with neighbors and friends. I was able to lend tools, and provide some service. There is nothing like watching a community come together and support each other. I worked outside as long as I could. By mid-afternoon the twins were ready for a nap and their feet were freezing. I attempted to put them down by the fire, but with the rest of us hanging out, there was no sleep for them.
A little while later, my husband called and told me to pack a bag because we were staying at a hotel. I reminded him that we didn’t have the money to do such a thing. If we did that, then our kids wouldn’t have Christmas this year. He then told me that my father-in-law’s boss had paid for a hotel for us for a couple of nights. It was a suite with two bedrooms and a kitchen. It was heaven sent! We were able to check in, get warm, and sleep in nice comfortable beds. I couldn’t believe that someone would do that for us. It was such a blessing. We stayed at the hotel until Sunday morning when we had to check out. By this time we had quite a few friends and family that now had electricity so we just needed to figure out where to go.
We went to church and our local leaders encouraged everyone to go out and help clean up all of the debris, as another wind storm was expected that night. I dropped my kids off with a friend and went to help my Mother-in-law cook. We cooked over 15 gallons of soup and 250 bread sticks for everyone in need of a warm meal, especially those helping to clean up in the cold. It was amazing to drive through the streets and see literally hundreds of people helping one another. The national guard had been called in and business owners had donated trucks, trailers, dump trucks and employees to help with the clean-up effort.
After the soup dinner, we went back home to gather our things to stay at a neighbor’s and the electricity came back on. It was quite the miracle! There were several things that I learned in my 86 hours without electricity.
1.       People are amazing in times of crisis. It was so wonderful to see how many people were looking out for each other, checking on the elderly, filling the streets to help and making food for each other. Of course, and then there was my father-in-law’s boss who paid hundreds of dollars for us and my in-laws to have a safe, warm place to stay.
2.       D&C 38:30 “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear.” Now this disaster wasn’t as wide spread as some, but I wasn’t afraid for even a moment. I knew we had fuel to keep us warm (our large wood pile) and food for a long, long time. Maybe not a year supply but we had food.
3.       People probably didn’t spend much time living in their basement before the invention of electricity—it got pretty dark down there for most of the day. On that note—I wonder if humans were meant to sleep more in the winter and less in the summer? Before alarms and clocks, I wonder how different sleep patterns were.
4.       Don’t procrastinate! I was kinda (okay—a lot) behind in laundry when the storm hit. That really bit me in the bum big time!
5.       Have more candles than just smelly ones. When you mix lemon loaf, melon, and ginger citrus together—it doesn’t smell yummy. Have quite a few non-scented candles on hand. Make sure that you have some that can be transported when needed (ones in glass jars tend to get hot.)
6.       If your house is in order, you can find things a lot easier. We have been working on this and it made a huge difference. But finding a bag of flour with a flashlight is harder than you would think!
7.       Make sure you have hand crank radio or a battery powered one (with batteries of course.) Luckily we still had cell service, but having to call friends to see what was being reported wasn’t the easiest way to get information.
8.       Have things to do in your 72-hour kit. It gets boring in the dark!
9.       Have your chimney’s checked. I had several friends that couldn’t stay in their home because they didn’t know if their chimney was clean enough to build a fire or not.
10.   I want to have our gas fireplace upstairs converted to a wood burning fireplace that puts out heat! It was warm in the basement but light upstairs. If we could have been warm where there was light, it would have been a little bit easier on us.
11.   Get a battery powered CO2 sensor. There is nothing like going to sleep and wondering if you will all wake-up in the morning.
12.   I *heart* electricity! I am especially thankful for the machines they operate—in this order: My washing machine, my refrigerator, lighting in my basement, the heater, and my oven. (We have a gas stove but not a gas oven . . . hummm??? That might have to change!)
13.   Empathy for natural disaster victims all over the world. This was nothing compared to what some of them go through, but I understand a little bit better.
14.   Most of all, I can weather a storm. I don’t need to be afraid!