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Monday, May 31, 2010

Idahoan ramblings

I'm in Idaho this week.

Kessa is trying to go to sleep, but crying instead.  There's nothing I can do (I suspect she'll go to sleep within minutes) so I decided to blog to take my mind off of it.

BJ, Kessa and I drove up on Saturday.  We had a really rough night that night with Kessa not wanting to sleep.  I was drugged, so really BJ had a rough night with Kessa.  We went to church, but then we came home and all three of us napped.  It was wonderful.

See?  Kessa has already stopped crying.  Hopefully that lasts.

Sunday afternoon we went with my parents to Island Park.  My sister-in-law's family has a cabin there and my brother and his family were spending Memorial Day weekend there and invited us to tag along.  So we did.  There was game playing and food eating and bug squashing.  I lost miserably in Wizard, and then I won fantastically in Wizard.  Then was Phase 10 where the first half of the game was ridiculous.  It took me 3 rounds to get my first phase, the second phase was easy, then the third phase took me five stinkin' rounds to complete.  But after that, life was great.  I got every phase right away.  To the point that I ended up taking 2nd place.  BJ and I both finished Phase 10 at the same time and he was only 25 points below me.  So, I guess the lesson is, if at first you don't succeed, keep playing until you do.

I miss BJ already.  He drove home today.

Sunday night ended up great.  Kessa slept in the same room as me, which made me nervous, because usually the noises we make getting in bed wake her up, making another hard night.  But she did great.

Monday we drove back to Ririe where we went graveyard hopping.  First was Ririe where my sister is buried, as well as my Grandma and Grandpa Lovell.


Next was Milo where my Grandma (Hall) and Grandpa Guymon are buried.  Plus a lot of other relatives.   (Sorry, no really cute pictures here.)

Last (ish) was Rigby where my Grandpa Hall is buried.

It was a long day for Kessa.  So when we got to Damian's house, she went right down for a nap.  Which surprised me because a) it wasn't a very dark room, b) it was a new place and c) she didn't have her toy owl which she always sleeps with.  In fact, she slept so well that 2 hours later, when BJ left, she was still asleep.  She says bub-bye, Daddy.  (It was probably more along the lines of "Dadada, YESSS!!!")

After the nap, we went to Idaho Falls to take Aunt Janet home and to go to two more cemeteries.  (Hooray for a Family History nut father and many, many cemeteries with family members within 15 minutes of my house.)

After we got home Dad plowed the garden and made furrows and he let Kessa join him for a moment.  (Don't worry, he didn't actually drive with her on there.)

And now she's asleep.  Hooray!  (Pray it lasts, please.)  And I've spent the last hour chatting with BJ (he made it home safely!), trying to fix stuffs on my parent's computer so I could get the pictures to finish this blog.


PS - Did I mention that I miss this guy?  Isn't he just awesome?  Not only did he build this domino tower on a rickety table with four small children running around, but now he's adding to it, Jenga-style, with the help of a 5(?)-year old boy.  And succeeding magnificently.  Love you, Bj.  Get lots done.  And don't stay up too late.  ;)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Misc posting

So we got our garden in and it was all happy and warm without a chance of freezing for weeks! Then one morning, without warning, we woke up to SNOW. Like, there were three inches on BJ's car when he went to work. It was heavy snow, too. One of the trees out front is now permanently leaning so far down that you will run into it if you walk down the sidewalk. (Yeah, that's fun while carrying a baby.) And when I mean we had no warning, every weather report I could find showing the current weather said it was at least 42 degrees with a good chance of rain. No mention of snow anywhere. And it kept snowing for hours. Luckily it melted by that evening and we're pretty sure the garden survived with no ill effects. Except maybe it killed our onions. But they were dying anyway.
Here's Kessa with Grandma Lovell. That flower on her head is actually a clip. This is proof that she DOES, in fact, have hair. Enough to clip a flower to, anyway.
Here we have Kessa and BJ playing tug-a-war with the washcloth we washed Kessa up with after her meal. BJ thought he'd make the game more fair by using his teeth instead of his hands. I think Kessa ended up winning.
Kessa loves the thermostat. Every once in awhile I'll notice that it's ridiculously hot and find that she's changed it to be 90 degrees or something. Typically it's not much of a problem because she can't reach it on her own yet. But come to find out she has more muscles than I gave her credit for. In this picture she used me (I was laying on the couch) to boost herself up, then when I moved, she kept herself hanging on long enough for me to get up, get the camera, and take a picture.
Kessa also loves being tall. If she can get up higher, she wants to. She'd rather stand than sit (obviously, since she can't sit); she'd rather walk (with help) than crawl; she'd rather be held in our arms; she'd prefer it if we were standing while holding her. Now her greatest height ever: Daddy's shoulders.
Here's her infamous car model pose! (I often take off the couch cushions so that she can play on the couch without crawling off the ends of the couch, which she has done before.) She hates to sit, so when she plays with toys (or remotes) she'll sit like this instead. I love the crossed feet.
Oh wait? You mean toys are supposed to go in here? But I just took them all out!
See? Here are the advantages of being tall! You can eat towel hooks!

Garden, part 2

Remember our pretty garden? Well, we decided to make a part two. It's in a good-for-little strip of land to the north of his house. The previous occupants apparently used it as a junk yard, because there was an old satellite dish and a rusted-through grill. And it was just full of weeds. I wish we had been smart enough to take a real before picture of it, because none of you will appreciate the full awesomeness of our hard work. So here is our mid-point picture.


This is after we pulled out all of the weeds and grass. (You can see a pile of sod in the middle, in front of the A/C unit. We were too tired to move it out at that point. (See Travis in the back right corner if you don't believe me.) That stuff is heavy.) We've also put in some edging to keep our pathway (which will later be filled with rocks) separate from our garden. We later put another, much smaller, bit off to the left, about where Casey (the guy on the left, obviously) is standing for a flower bed. The section on the right is for the vegetable/fruit. You can also see the pretty stepping stones that line the path. That way, even when we put the cobblestone down, you can still walk through barefoot. Yeah, we thought that far in advance. We're awesome that way. (Thanks BJ for the advice. :D)

You'll have to wait on more pictures of the after, though. Because by the time it got to the after stages, I got sick and haven't spent much time over there yet. I've only seen the after once. Actually, we're still waiting on irrigation for it to be fully finished. I'll post pictures later.

While I helped Travis lay the edging, Kessa played on her blanket. I left to get the diaper bag once and came back to find this. (She kicked off her pants while she was supposed to be napping and I hadn't gotten around to putting them back on yet.)

This is my attempt at getting the same picture he got. This is by far the best of my three attempts.

I was hoping that Kessa would happily play with her toys on her blanket so I could work. This isn't an insane hope. Up to that point she had been mostly scared to death of grass. But her Daddy had been working on getting her over her fear and turns out a pile of rocks was exactly the motivation she needed to fully conquer her fear. And like the good Mommy I am, I let her chew on the rock so I could get a picture.

And this is what happens when you leave Kessa alone with Uncle Travis for more than a couple of minutes. "I was wondering what I was going to do with all of those Toy Story stickers. And then it hit me! Decorate Kessa!"

Kessa, meet Japan



We've got some friends in Japan that are totally awesome and they bought Kessa an adorable little Japanese outfit. It's kind of lightweight, so I was waiting for warmer weather for her to wear it. Well, the chance finally came. And she was being a stinker about getting pictures of her. Here are the best ones. (And thanks again, Jul, for the awesome outfit!)

Happy! So happy!
Practicing her serious face.
And my favorite

Some videos

Alright. Time to catch up on life. Mostly Kessa's life. We'll start with videos! Wooo.

Here she is playing peek-a-boo. Be prepared to giggle along.
video

Here she's learning to swirl our chair. Not as exciting in general, but for posterity's sake, we like it. (Also, it's really short.)
video

And now for another fun one, playing the piano! Now keep in mind that Kessa does not sit. Like, at all. The pediatrician tried to get her to so he could weigh her and she screamed for the rest of the appointment. She'll sit like a normal person if she has support, but otherwise, she just lays on her side in her car model pose. So seeing her sitting at the piano like this is pure awesomeness. But then she plays and sings, too, which makes it all the cuter.

video

For Kessa the First

Kessa was being adorably cute today, banging on the piano and "singing" loudly.  I was telling Jessica (or Kessa, as she is nicknamed, and where Kessa got her name) about it and decided it needed to be recorded and blogged. So here it is.

video



PS Jess, that means it's now your turn to blog.  :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Moms and Memories

BJ and I have been discussing lately about how we have a lot of memories from our growing up years and we want to preserve those for future generations.  (Because we're sure our great, great grandkids will want to know about sledding on grass and getting out of chores.)  We also wanted to do something extra-special for our moms this year for Mother's Day.  We are brilliant and resourceful children, so we combined the two.

So for anyone who cares about the minute, random details that we remember as children, you are welcome to come along for the ride.  A memory a day from each of us* on two new blogs: Growing Up a Homer and Growing Up a Lovell.

*Guest posts are possible, and even likely.  So don't be disappointed if you hear from some of our siblings.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tiffany

Meet one of my favorite people in the world, Tiffany. I first met her in Jerusalem where she helped me feel like I belonged. She was one of my closest friends there. I loved when we'd go on field trips and she and I would walk and just talk. I laugh when I think back to my first impressions and thought she was maybe 19. And then she shocked the socks off of me when she mentioned her mission in passing. Woah, wait. She's at the very least 22. The tail end of 22. So much for first impressions. (For the record, it wasn't her maturity that made me think that. It's the fact that she just looks so young.) Soon I realized that I had been hasty and foolish. Listening to her talk about the gospel and her love for life was mind blowing and inspiring. She has a relationship with our Savior that most people will probably strive their entire life for. It wasn't long before I felt like a child next to her. I loved spending time with her because she just made me want to be better.

Not too long after we got home, she moved into my ward, which was incredibly fun. Though, Tiffany, we should have spent way more time together. Why did we let boys get in our way? Psh.



We have been trying for months and months now to get together.  We keep planning a date, and then without fail, something comes up that one or the other of us can't make it.  The cosmos were against it, I'm convinced.  Well, the stars finally aligned tonight and Tiffany and her husband, Jared, came over to play.

 Photo stolen from their blog.

We ate Taco Soup, rolls, and Scotcheroos. Mmmm.  We went over and looked at Travis' garden, then talked about the stuff they want to do in their garden space.  (They need a salsa garden!)  Then we played the Wii.  Tiffany couldn't remember if she'd ever played the Wii (which in our book means she hasn't) so we first had them make Miis.  Jared's cracked me up.  Then we pulled out Wii Sports and had a grand time watching them learn tennis, bowling and baseball.  Then came Wii Fit where they did Soccer and Snowball Fight.  Then suddenly, it was past 10.  And since we're all big people now with real jobs (yes, being a Mom is a Real Job, thanks.  Even if I do get to sleep in), we called it a night.  And then they promised to come over and play again.

Tiffany, I'm holding you to that promise.  The cosmos have no choice in this.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My awesome wife

It seems that Tianna's been doing most of the blogging on here lately. Sorry about that. I just had to jump in and mention what an awesome mother and wife Tianna is. Because of her skill in budgeting, we were recently able to buy a second car. Because of her talent for gardening, we're going to get a bunch of nearly-free food this year. Because of her dedication and love for Kessa, we have the most adorable baby in the world. (If you doubt me, it's because you didn't see her tonight.) Tianna is always working to improve herself. She's patient with me and even tries to decipher my nerdspeak on occasion. She accepts my family as her own, she plays MarioKart with me, and even lets me hang Star Wars photomosaics in the front room.

What more could I possibly ask?

Happy Mother's Day, Tianna!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Gardening

Have I ever mentioned how awesome my brother, Travis, is? First, he gave me the greatest Christmas present of ever (which I still need to blog about. Sorry, Trav.), second, he traveled the Holy Land with me for a month, third, he moved less than a mile away from me because he loves me (I'm sure that's the reason), and fourth, he let me commandeer his garden at his new house. We made a deal, I give him free labor and he gives me free food. We're both ok with this deal.

Here's what the space looked like initially. Lots of weeds (some with horrible pricklies on them), a giant burned spot in the middle, and...

… cigarette butts. Lots and lots of them. The guys that rented the house before Trav were heavy drinkers and smokers. We're guessing they weren't allowed to smoke in the house, so they chose the garden to be their ash tray. Ick.

After a lot of weed-pulling (me and Trav), tilling (Casey, Trav's roommate), and mulching (Trav), the fun part began. And Trav left for the weekend and BJ was busy working on a second job. So it was all me. First I fertilized, then I started staking out the garden. We're doing square foot gardening, so I first marked out the paths and the six 4'x4' plots.

Then I marked each of the individual square feet. I realized after I'd already cut all the string that I should have done the individual squares in a different color. Alas. I stuck stakes in the intersections of the paths to clue me in to where I could walk. (Trav is gonna get some vinyl and such to lay down in the paths for us to walk on.)

Then the planting! Wahoo! That's the best part. There is a lot in there, let me tell you. It's not quite finished, but it's mostly there. (The onion sets I got were way root bound, so I couldn't separate them to plant them, so I think I'm gonna go get bulbs instead. And I need to go get some more green pepper plants.) And there's another plot going in once Trav gets home and helps me dig it. It'll be for the vine plants. But isn't it pretty? (See the shadow on the right? Yeah, I was out there all day. 10:30-12:30, then 2-3:30. Ok, so not all day, but it was hot. So it felt like it.)


Here's what we have planted (or will plant):
plant
# of plants
dwarf peas
16
Alaska peas
16
bush beans
126
green onion
48
broccoli
6
chives
32
carrots
160
cherry tomatoes
2
Endless Summer tomatoes
2
Roma tomatoes
2
bell peppers
10
onion
48
zucchini
1
yellow squash
1
beets
128
pole beans
16
cauliflower
4
spinach
27
lettuce
12
red onions
48

We've also planted 8 flowers in there. Some for bug repellant purposes, some for prettiness, and some for edibility. Maybe I'll be more inclined to make salads when I have the lettuce in the garden and flowers to make it look all fancy-shmancy. You think I have a hope?


I'm excited. Very, very excited.