Sunday, February 28, 2010

Can you smell it?

The girls and I baked bread this morning. My house smells wonderful, and the girls & I worked so well together! I didn't announce anything - just got the ingredients out of the pantry - and Becca said, "What are we making Mommy?" I was thrilled that Becca knew I wanted her & Mary-Gail to help me, and therefore associated that we all were going to make something. The last time I made homemade bread was 4 years ago when Lovey & I lived in Charleston, SC; the dough literally wound up around my KitchenAid and I thought I had burned up the mixer. It sat atop my dryer for weeks until I decided to clean all the dried bread dough off it and put it away.

This past Thursday I attended a Provident Living mini-class about making bread. And our teacher, Bethany, was wonderful! She used to be my Visiting Teacher, and I've worked with her in the Activities Committee - let's just say she is awesome! Bethany, number 5 of 10 children (!!!) just had her first baby a month ago, and opened up her home to a dozen women to teach us bread making skills.

Becca and Mary-Gail took turns adding ingredients, and Becca manned the KitchenAid mixing speed. I got to measure the ingredients & handle the spatula. :) We decided to use our mini-loaf pans to make more loaves so we could share our delicious homemade bread. I whipped up some honeybutter, and viola'! Thank you Bethany for sharing your skills with us! Now, if I could only trade-in my KitchenAid for a Bosch - right after I trade-in my "Mini-Ultra" sewing machine for a Bernina!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Today we played

Outside!!! Oh, it was such nice weather today - made me ask myself out loud, "Is it really February 27th?" To which my two daughters responded emphatically, "Yeah, it is!"

I felt like I haven't seen or played with my littles since I started working over a month ago. Today was our day (Lovey was at a shooting competition all day). I was amazed at how easily we three girls fell into our "old" routine - knowing that I didn't have to skip out to work today made our morning so easy going & relaxed, instead of the rush & hurry that we've experienced since I started back to work. We rose early, like usual, except today Becca made me & Mary-Gail breakfast - Eggo Waffles. We did our chores, showered & dressed, and then cut outside for errands. Oh how I miss running errands with my little girls!

We got home, Becca raced to the door to let the doggies out, and almost immediately Pixie copped-a-squat on the grass and began basking in the sun. With that I announced, "We're having lunch outside today! Hooray!" My cutie cutes shouted their agreement with "Hoorays" of their own. Lunch never tasted so good.

A neighborhood boy came cruising down the street on his Razor, and he gave Becca & Mary-Gail rides along the sidewalk. Becca & Mary-Gail love LOVE the neighborhood kids! And I am grateful that this 7-year old boy wanted to hang out with us & offer rides to my girls on his scooter. His friend (from the cul-de-sac a few streets over) came over on his bike, and we venture into our backyard to play. All four of them - my 2 girls, and these 2 boys - jumped on the swing set rocked it off the ground! We tried our hand at kickball, but it quickly turned into a contest of whits between me and the two boys - a mad game of dodge ball.

Becca & Mary-Gail fetched the balls for me (luckily they weren't struck by the wayward throws of these 7-year olds). Not surprisingly I beat the boys! They gave up ;before I made them cry "Uncle," I couldn't help but rub-it-in that I spanked them (I know, very childish of me, but I hardly win at anything, so I couldn't help myself!). The boys left vowing for a re-match. I have a feeling they're going to round up the rest of the neighborhood posse to help them defeat me. Highly unlikely!

I miss being home with my babies. Today was a wonderful day - such a teaser too, as Monday will come all to quickly...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

3 beautiful girls (& 2 more beauties that are hiding)

Reese & Carly's cat, Kai

JoJo & Reese flew to AZ the first week of February to see our baby sister CarCar. Reese was super excited, especially since she got her plane ticket for Christmas. And JoJo was equally excited b/c she could finally put an end to Reese's questions of when it was time to go see CarCar!!!

JoJo is an excellent organizer, decorator, finisher-of-all-things, and so it was great to have her help put CarCar's nursery together and organize everything. Reese was in heaven - she LOVES CarCar, and loves telling everyone that her name is Reese Carly (which it truly is).

I delayed my flight until CarCar's twins are born. Car is amazing - she's been on strict bed rest since 12 weeks - UGH! She just passed 29 weeks prego - 2 weeks longer than I was w/Becca & Mary-Gail!

sometimes you just want to dance on top of a mountain

This is what the title and tag lines say:

"...This is a video of the Norwegian Alpine ski team dancing to "Beat It" by Michael Jackson. It's four guys alone on a snow-covered mountain dancing their hearts out. It's amazing."

"There's no power source for a boombox. So they either lugged a portable one up the mountain just so they could dance along to the music, or they know the dance and song so well that they're doing the choreography in silence. Both scenarios are hilarious."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Caught you!

Becca on the potty!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pappy's "Happy Heart" party

JoJo organized a Happy Heart party for Pappy on Wednesday, February 10th. JoJo made Cream of Broccoli soup (delicious!) and everyone brought a side item. We gathered at Mom’s house – all of ours’ second home – and enjoyed supper with each other.

After supper all 13 kidlets cruised downstairs to Mom’s basement play area, while the adults stayed upstairs and talked about the following week. Pappy was scheduled for Open Heart Surgery on Tuesday, February 16th. We were working out the logistics of being with Pappy while he recovered in the ICU. And amazingly, every day was covered. That is amazing!

Becca & Miguel made Pappy a "Happy Heart Valentine" card with their cute little hand prints on it. I love their cute chubby, little hand prints, and so does Pappy!

Uncle Josh & Mary-Gail. I asked Uncle Josh to see if he could persuade Mary-Gail to eat some grapes, and all the while Uncle Josh told Mary-Gail of me as a baby eating grapes. I would put them in between my toes first, and then I'd eat them. Mary-Gail didn't put them in between her toes, but she did eat them. Thanks Uncle Josh.

I birthed Monkeys!!!

Rebecca & Mary-Gail are monkeys, they just are. They climb on anything, everything, anywhere, everywhere. Take the bathtub for instance. Some families use the built-in soap holder for soap. The Kemp Kuties use the soap holder to swing from. Mary-Gail, who both Tony & I swear has Gecko Toes, initiated this "monkey swing." She holds onto the soap holder, stands on the little lip of tub edge as I fear for her life, then she drops her bottom and swings from side-to-side.

I promise you that if I wasn’t in the bathroom with them when they tub, Mary-Gail would become a tight-rope walker and walk along the tiny lip of tub next to the wall. Like I said, “Gecko Toes.”

Bath Time is so much fun!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My dad is in surgery right now - Open Heart Surgery. This is the 2nd time my Dadda has had to undergo Open Heart Surgery, although this time it was scheduled.

Dad underwent emergency surgery - and I mean emergency - last January. Somehow my strong, healthy, fit, amazing Dad contracted a life-threatening Staph infection that attacked his heart. The Staph ate through 2 of his heart valves, and the docs wheeled him in for surgery as soon as the OR was prepped. And on top of all that, Dad was also suffering from Viral Meningitis! ( This was just one day after Dadda was supposed to run a marathon with JoJo & Carly in Phoenix, AZ. They barely made it home on the plane). JoJo & I didn't make it up to SLC in time to give him kisses, and we were on needles - we were scared that Dad wouldn't recover from such an aggressive Staph infection.

My Dad's heart doesn't make the "Lub-Dub" sound as his heart pumps blood through his body. Instead, Dadda's heart sounds like a "swirling, swishing sound." My Dadda's Tri-cuspid Valve is gone, and the Mitral valve (the valve that the docs scraped off the Staph infection from instead of replacing it) is gone too. Dad's body isn't getting the oxygenated blood that it needs, and Dad is in heart failure.

PLEASE, please keep my Dadda in your prayers today. He will be hospitalized for 10-days, and then we hope he'll be able to come home to recover.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lovey's Words w/Hallmark

When we met,
I never dreamed how much
my life would change...
how much your love could touch
every part of my life.

I didn't realize what I had been missing
I never imagined
how wonderful I could feel,
how truly alive my spirit could become.
You have awakened in me
feelings I never knew existed.
You have helped me see
a whole new world
of possibilities.

Because you came into my life,
my soul is filled
with tender passion,
and my heart has found
the sweetest love
I ever could have wished for.

I love you,

Saturday, February 13, 2010


She makes me laugh!

Lovey & I take our littles to the potty before we head off to bed - we call it the "dream-potty" since the girls are still asleep when we sit on them on the toilet to go pee. So when I went in to scoop up little Mary-Gail for her "dream-potty," I just had to laugh at the sight of her on the floor! Apparently she was reading when she fell asleep on the floor, because she had a book imprint on her cheek!

Lovey & I had a good laugh at our little Mary-Gail. She is so silly. And as I watched Lovey scooped up her little body and take her to the potty, I noticed (again) just how gentle and sweet he is with our babies. He is such a good Mom! And rather than get Rebecca for her "dream-potty," I silently stood by and watched my Lovey carefully potty Mary-Gail, then cradle her as he carried her back to her room, and re-tucked her little body in bed. And then, like usual, Lovey showered her sleepy face & head with "machine-gun kisses" - his trademark.

Thanks for being a great Mom, Lovey. And Mary-Gail, thanks for always making us laugh!

Super Sister!

I checked out the book, "Super Sister," from the library over a month ago. Since then I have re-newed it twice! Needless to say, it is one of the girls newest favorites. It's about a girl who calls herself "Super Sister" because she is a super helper and everything she does - well, she does it Super!

And that's my Becca and my Mary-Gail to the 'T.'
Becca's "Super Sister" pose - nice!
I asked Mary-Gail to show me her "Super Sister" pose - she got her leg up.
Even Super Sisters get tired
And this Super Sister has a Super Roar!

(These are pictures from our SuperBowl party.
Lovey & I had Mom & Dad over; I made cornbread & homemade Chili, we ate & vegged on snacks & chips'n'salsa, while Mom & I cheered the Saints on. Lovey made a little cubby for Becca & Miguel behind the couch & set up their show. They were in heaven!)

Friday, February 12, 2010

I'm worried about this little girl

Pixie, I'm worried about her.
I dropped her off at the Vet this morning on my way to work. I just had to leave her there.
She's sick. Very sick. And I'm a mess...

Last night Pixie just wasn't right. Pixie got up this morning around 2 am, and went outside to potty. When she came back, she wasn't feisty like she usually is after coming back inside (regardless of the time of day). And when I got Pixie out of bed this morning - because Pixie and ArlaMae are late risers - Pixie's bottom, hind legs, and tail were all covered in some icky brownish-gold gunk. It was all over the mattress cover, and all over the duvet cover, and even got on ArlaMae.

I ran the bath water and put Pixie in the tub. Mary-Gail was so cute with Pixie. She said, "It's OK Pixie. You're gonna get all clean. Don't be scared." Both Mary-Gail & Rebecca were by my side as I washed Pixie. It's as if they knew I needed them to be strong for me because my mind was racing as to what was wrong with Pixie.

I blow-dried Pixie's hair, cleaned her ears, and sat with her on the bathroom floor. I just held her in my arms - like I used to do 9 years ago when it was just me and her. I felt agonizing pain when I had to set her down and bathe ArlaMae. Pixie is usually my shadow, but not this morning. She was so sad. She looked so sad. I sent Mary-Gail to sit by Pixie while I washed Arla. I could hear Mary-Gail talking to Pixie. My Mary-Gail is a great comforter. She told Pixie, "It's OK Pix. You're my best friend. I love you."

The vet didn't have any appointments, but I could drop Pixie off and the Vet would call me with her status. Pixie was shaking again as I signed us in, as we weighed her (18.6 lbs), and as I handed her leash over to the tech. I gave Pixie kisses, and hugs, and told her I loved her. I told her to be brave.

Now I need to be brave as I wait to hear from the Vet...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Carly & Spencer got some practice

If you haven't heard yet, my baby sister Carly & hubs Spencer, are expecting TWIN GIRLS due around May. I am so thrilled for her I can't stand it. I just think that twins and girls are the best combination possible! Of course, I am biased, but I can't help it.
I was scrolling through the 2007 posts on my blog - smiling at the fun memories of my littles - and came across this posting. Who knew that 3 years later Carly & Spencer would be giving it a go for themselves as parents of twins?!

(I've been having problems with links lately, so here's a copy'n'paste of the post from September 19, 2007)

Why am I so pre-occupied with feeding? I don't know - perhaps because it's something we do 5 times a day and my schedule is wrapped around feeding times. Carly & Spencer thought they'd give feeding the girls a try. Lots of "open wide" and "yummy, yummy in my tummy."

I think Carly & Spencer's facial expressions are better than Rebecca & Mary-Gail's.

Spencer showing Rebecca how to open her mouth :)

Carly giving it a try - notice Rebecca's face....

Carly & Spencer double-timing Rebecca.

I interrupted their play time

I interrupted Rebecca & Mary-Gail's playtime to snap some pictures. From the looks of it, Mary-Gail was less than enthused (she might have thought I wanted her & Becca to clean up...). Not So! Play your little hearts out girls, play, play, play!

Mary-Gail isn't keen about her picture being taken...
...and she moves on to play w/her little computer. But "Puzzle Queen Rebecca" isn't stopping

Rebecca is trying to figure out if the puzzle piece is a "6" or a "9."
Those "6's" & "9's" are hard!
Don't you love the look of satisfaction on Rebecca's face after she gets it right!

"Mom, Mary-Gail's on the computer"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My little helpers

Here were my helpers 2 years ago; and here are my little helpers now. With me going back to work, I wanted to share with Lovey all the little things that Rebecca & Mary-Gail do through out the day, so Lovey would know what to expect since he'll be caring for them in my absence.

  • Opens the curtains & blinds in her & Mary-Gail's rooms, as well as the blinds in the master bedroom & master bath
  • Turns on the microwave light in the kitchen (Becca says the overhead lights are "too bright for me. They burn my retinas!")
  • Gets the bowls & spoons out for cereal, and if the milk jug is 1/2 way empty, she gets that out of the fridge too (provided its on the bottom shelf).
  • Takes off the milk lid and MUST put it back on after you pour the milk - a very small, but very crucial part of the morning routine. Let her do this if you don't want your day to start of badly.
  • Clears her bowl & spoon to the sink and rinses them - she'll pull a stool over to the sink to "wash the dishes."
  • Feeds the dogs. She'll try to carry their water dish to the sink to refill it. This is a No-No, unless you want to mop the kitchen floor @ 7:30 am.
  • Undresses herself & picks out her own clothes. Rebecca does a pretty good job matching colors, and will sometimes take your suggestion. She likes to re-hang the hanger by herself, and don't forget to remind her to put her PJ's in the dirty clothes hamper.
  • Sort-of makes her bed, but my OCD gets the best of me, and I have to re-do it.
  • Gets the doggies their treats for after our morning walk (provided the weather is nice & the air-quality is "Green"). Rebecca gives Pixie her treat; Mary-Gail gives ArlaMae her treat.
  • MUST open the front door after coming home from errands. Becca will "man" the door for you too, if you're bringing in groceries or what not.
  • Turns the music on for naptime & bedtime, closes the blinds, and draws the curtains in her & Mary-Gail's room (will need help drawing the curtains, but don't do it for her - let her help)
  • Takes the bathtime toys out of the vanity cupboard. Make sure she puts the empty ship back in the cupboard


  • She likes to pull me out of bed (~6:30 am - 7:00am)
  • Clears her bowl & spoon to the sink and rinses them
  • Helps unload the dishwasher, & puts all the plastic cups, bowls, and silverware away. Watch it though - she likes to push the buttons on the dishwasher and start it after you've emptied it!
  • Undresses herself & chooses a new pair of PJ's to wear. The child loves PJ's.
  • Loves to put clothes in the dirty clothes, and will also put a few toys in the laundry basket too (it's her way of helping clean up her room - silly girl!)
  • Give her a Clorox wipe and she'll wipe down all the walls for you
  • Will help you gather trash and water the plants (trash on Monday mornings; watering plants on Wednesdays).
  • Likes to help sort things - like sorting laundry, toys, cups, and silverware...
  • Loves to help in the kitchen, and tries to be discreet as she finagles with the pantry door to get to her Gummie Vitamins.
  • Puts the bathtime toys back in their ship after bathtime, and puts the ship back in the vanity
  • Chooses the books to read
  • And loves being your little companion!

If it seems like Rebecca & Mary-Gail do a lot, that's because they do. They are very independent little girls, and they take pride in the little tasks they do everyday - it makes them feel important and helpful (these tasks, though small, are HUGE to Rebecca & Mary-Gail and they mean a lot to them). They love to help! They love it! They ARE MY little helpers. I know they'll be Lovey's little helpers now too. Have fun Lovey! And take good care of our little kuties.

Check out the awesome work my big brother is doing!

My brother, Jason Andrew, is so awesome!  Check out a new article written about him, his latest gallery venture, and his curator work.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oh! I'm so excited about "O"

I just finished putting the final touches on my lesson plan: we're learning about the letter "O" and I am sooo - o - o - o - o excited about "O!"  I always have fun, but I think tomorrow's lesson will be the best one yet. Plus, I'm going to set up our Bouncer downstairs for our indoor game.  I'm getting good at this Joy School thing.  Pictures and updates to come!

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier

Kemp Kuties on the Charleston Pier
September 2007