Google Analytics (invisible)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Two weeks in a row of writing on time! Be impressed!

Follow-up on the Missionary broadcast

BJ writing here...
So, last week we mentioned our speculations about the missionary broadcast. I was right about some things, but not everything. (Surprise!) But we're excited about the changes. It makes sense to let missionaries contact people online, via Facebook, etc. And they had a few videos that showed missionaries using an iPad to do various things. A digital area book makes so much more sense than the old paper ones. Being able to see a map of what members live closest to each member, for example, would be awesome. Honestly though, Jessa, we're not sure how much of the changes will even be applicable in your mission, where it's such a poor region. I'm not sure I can see them giving you all iPads there.But for other areas, it will be nice.

They also encouraged members to become Facebook friends with the missionaries in their area, which was cool. But the most unexpected thing (at least to me) was that they're going to be opening meetinghouses for public tours by the missionaries. I think it's an awesome idea; a great way to get people comfortable in the church without the pressure of everyone seeing them come in and all the expectations that will set. So yeah. Exciting stuff.

End BJ, start Tianna


So, this week it was officially decided that I am insane.  I'm sorry to inform you that your nieces are being raised by a crazy person, but, alas, it is true.  Let me explain why, and you can decide for yourself.

Thursday I decided I wanted to can some more chicken broth.  I only had one pint left.  Normally this isn't a big deal.  But one chicken only gives me 7 pints of broth.  And where some recipes use up to 3 pints, I go through them fast.  Plus, my canner can can (wow, that was a lot of cans all together) up to 18 pints, so I wasn't letting it live up to its full potential.  So I asked my neighborhood group if I could borrow some crockpots.  I got 5 (including my own).  So I went to Smiths and they happened to have whole chickens on clearance.  So I bought 8 (read: all that they had on clearance).  Because I'm insane.

Now, this wouldn't be such a huge deal, except that night was Grandpa's viewing, the next morning I had a presidency meeting at 9, then the funeral at 11 up in Riverton.  Then that night was our mini-float parade that we helped build the float for (we ended up not going).  The next morning was the grand parade that our float was in and we were in charge of walking with our float, then Saturday night the family went fly boarding with Nick.  So… somewhere in there I was supposed to fit in 8 hours of crockpot, picking chicken of bones, straining broth, and canning.  Hahahaha.  Yes, I'm insane.  I know.

I got everything but the canning done before the viewing.  We went up to that where Kessa squealed with delight at getting to see Chelsea again (first time since New York) and Abby wanted nothing more than to wander the halls.  We came home, BJ put the girls to bed, and I started canning.   While the broth canned and the girls slept, BJ and I started to clean up the messy kitchen.  BJ worked on washing 5 crockpots and the other misc. dishes that had piled up.  I decided to take the 3 chickens I didn't cook out to the freezer in the garage to cook another time.

And… our freezer had decided to stop working.  It was completely warm.  One roast, one steak and 3-4 stew meats completely defrosted.  And all the blood had dripped down to the bottom, making a nice pool.  And all the subsequent drops of blood splattered all over the walls, doors, and shelves.  Just what I wanted to see at 11:00 at night when I'm already exhausted and know I have to wake up early.  So I spent the next hour scrubbing down the freezer and throwing things away.  The chicken went back in the fridge.  [sigh]

And I only canned half the broth that night.  18 pints.  Which is all that fits.  So then I had to make room in the fridge for the giant stock pot holding the rest of the broth.  Luckily, I'm the master at fridge Tetris.  But then I had to find more time on Saturday to can the rest.  I ended up with 34 pints!  I think I could have gotten one more, but I ran out of lids.  :)  So I put the rest in the fridge.

I'll tell you about the funeral and the parade later, but there's one other thing I wanted to note in this section.  So, that was all Thursday night, right?  Saturday afternoon when we got home from the parade, BJ happened to notice something disconcerting.  He pointed over to the door and wall leading to the garage where I noticed that it was completely splattered with what appeared to be dried blood.  Jessa!  I have no clue how that happened!  If it was from the freezer, which is the only thing that makes sense, I'm at a loss.  I did most of the scrubbing down in the garage.  The few things that came upstairs with blood still on them were two shelves and a bag of bread (I know.  Sad.) and I can't fathom how those items could do so much damage.  The shelves didn't have that much blood.  And I don't recall fanning any of those items at the wall/door.  Some of those drops of blood reached as high as I could reach to clean up while on my tiptoes!  IT WAS INSANE.  The other ridiculous thing about this theory is that it means that we went two days going in and out of that door without noticing.  At all.

The only other option that I can think of is that some creepy person broke into our house while we were at the parade and did something creepy to splatter blood all over the door and wall (but not a drop on the floor or ceiling!)  This scenario is far too creepy for my liking, so I'm forced to believe the first scenario, even though I have no logical explanation for it.

Also, it's now Sunday and my freezer still doesn't work.  :(  I'm going to have to call in a repairman to figure it out.  Luckily it's still under warranty.


I'm sure your family will tell you more details about the funeral.  My favorite part was Cher's talk where  she bore a very strong testimony about the Spirit and the gospel.  I was in tears.  But as you'll get better details from your parents, instead I'm going to tell you more about it from Kessa's perspective.

When Grandpa first died, I told Kessa.  I told her that Grandpa and Heavenly Father had decided it was time for Grandpa to come live with Him again.  She accepted that without thinking.  But when I told her that he died, her eyes got really big and concerned.  Probably because we talk about all the things Abby shouldn't do (or Kessa shouldn't do to Abby) lest she die.  I had to explain to her that we all die and that Heavenly Father tells us when it's our time and then it's ok.  That it was happy for Grandpa to die because he had been very sick and had been wanting to go home to heaven for a long time.  And then she was ok with it.

On the way to Riverton (the girls stayed with a babysitter at your mom's house during the funeral) we were trying to explain the Plan of Salvation to Kessa.  We were explaining that while our spirits go to Heavenly Father, our bodies stay on earth.  So we have a funeral to honor the person, and then we take them to a cemetery where we bury the body to protect it until the resurrection when our perfected bodies and our spirits come back together.  Kessa asked, "Protect them from what?"  "Umm.  From animals."  "Yeah.  Like from bunnies.  When the resurrection comes, there's going to be piles of Grandpa Goddard and bunnies!"

Later she told us, "He couldn't take his body because he couldn't climb the stairs to heaven!"

After the funeral we went back to your parents' and got the girls and took them up to the cemetery for the graveside service.  We were running a little late, so I was watching everyone on Find My Friends.  Resa's flight didn't come in until 1ish, so we were hoping she'd make it to the cemetery.  As I watched, I noticed her getting closer to the cemetery so I commented that she would probably make it there about when we did.  Kessa piped up from the back, "We are so lucky!"  Confused I asked why.  "Because we get to see Resa!"  Awww.


So, remember how I told you that we got called to our float committee?  Well, it's finally done and over!  Except tearing apart the float.  We haven't done that yet.  We ended up staying at your parents' house after the funeral and playing a game with your mom (we didn't get home till 10 pm!) so we didn't go to the parade on Friday night, but as we were in charge of walking with the float on Saturday, we figured we should probably be there.  So Saturday morning we packed up the girls and headed out in 100ยบ weather to walk a mile or so in a parade.  Great fun.

Kessa got to ride on the float (she was the only one on her side) and wave (very shyly) to everyone.  It was cute.  And she did great!  We had to remind her to keep waving a couple of times, but overall she did great.

Abby got to ride in the stroller while I pushed it behind the float, which she was happy with, as she was tired and hot and thirsty (so she guzzled her sippy cup the whole time) until about 1/4 mile or so from the end.  Then she cried and flailed until I took her out and carried her while pushing the stroller.  Great fun.  :D

And BJ got to help pull the float.  (Our floats had to be man-powered.)  And sometimes dance.  Yes, dance.  Let me tell you about our float.


The theme of the parade was "You saw what?"  We interpreted that to be YouTube.  So we made a computer, complete with keyboard and mouse, then printed a sign that looked like a YouTube screen.  We cut out the actual video portion and put a mirror behind it, so as we went by the crowd, it looked like they were on YouTube.  Then we played 45-second clips of three popular YouTube songs (such as Gangam Style (sp?)).  One of our YM leaders danced like a crazy man as he walked along, and eventually recruited BJ to dance with him.  (After BJ tried his best to hide from him, but eventually failed.)  After awhile of that our bishop happened to be walking by me and saw BJ in front dancing and commented, "Wow.  BJ is dancing without any inhibition!"  Next thing I knew, bishop was up dancing with them.  Then some of the youth.  It. Was. Fantastic.


Jessa!  Our garden is SO HUGE!  We get comments on it all the time.  It strokes my vanity wonderfully.  (Hey, at least I'm honest.)  But mostly it just makes me happy and giddy.  Especially after last year's failure.  We've already eaten two yellow squash and a zucchini and given two more zucchinis away.  And both are growing at least a half dozen more right now.  We've got lettuce, spinach and kale coming out our ears.  We've got tons of basil, parsley, green onion and sage (though the sage is mostly just for pretty).  We've eaten one giant cauliflower (I believe I put in a picture last week?) and we've got another big one out there now and another on the way.  Plus some broccoli (though not as big.)  Our strawberries are finally starting to come out of shock (partly) and we're starting to get strawberries growing.  Kessa's already eaten one.  But they have awhile yet till they look like they're doing well.  I got four blueberries off our bush yesterday!  I walked over to check it and found them just laying on the ground.  They were tasty.  :)  Though, a couple were still a little tart.  Hooray!  AND, I got pictures this week!  Yay!  You can tell that part of it is the soil we used (Miller's Mix) because we planted two of the exact same tomato on the same day, maybe 3-4 feet apart, but one was in our garden box with the good soil and one is just outside (I ran out of room).  They both get watered by a drip line on the same station.  But the one outside is still tiny and the one inside is huge.  (The top right picture below.  The tomato in front is the small one and the giant bush behind it is the big one.)

Potty experiments

Kessa has had a hard time with potty training.  We started a year and a half ago and I'd say, for the most part, she's pretty darn good.  But she still has accidents.  A lot of them.  Probably an average of once/day.  Some days are a lot worse and some days are a lot better.  She's even gotten to the point that if she has an accident, she'll go upstairs and change her clothes without being asked.  So what motivation is there to not have accidents if cleaning up after herself doesn't bother her?

The other day I had a brilliant idea.  I think that part of her problem is that she doesn't recognize the need to go potty.  I'll ask her if she needs to go, she'll say no, then literally two minutes later has an accident.  So I found a way to help her recognize that need.

We set up an experiment.

Whenever I think she *might* need to go potty (either from how she's acting or length of time since last potty trip), I ask her to think about her body and what it's trying to tell her.  Then I have her give me a guess (hypothesis) as to what her body is trying to say.  Then she has to go sit on the potty and find out if she was right or wrong.

Unsurprisingly, the first several times her answer was no.  And then she would be genuinely surprised as she sat on the potty and realized that, "I was wrong!  My body was saying yes!"

Soon her answer was no, then partway to the bathroom she'd change her mind to yes.  "Mommy!  I thought it was no, but then I just felt it and it's saying yes!"

Every once in awhile her answer is, "Yes, no.  That means maybe."

But more and more often, her answer is yes.  And when her answer is yes, she will willingly go potty.  It's a miracle!  Seriously!  I'm so happy!

Yesterday she told me that she didn't want to do the potty experiment anymore.  She wanted to do a different experiment.  I told her we could do other experiments, too, but I wanted her to keep doing the potty experiment until her guess was right every single time.  I figure that by that point I can trust her answer when I ask.  And that if the answer is yes, she'll recognize it and just go on her own.

[crosses fingers]

We can always start up the experiment again if we need to.

Fly Boarding

On Saturday we all went down to Utah Lake to try out Nick's Fly Board. Kessa was thrilled to see Chelsea, and BJ was excited to try out the Fly Board. I stayed on the shore to keep track of Kessa and Abby, and got some craftiness done. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

Here's a video of BJ on the fly board. This was his first run—he did pretty well.


Kessa really wanted to wear my heels.  Rather, she wanted to wear heels, so she came and asked me if I had any "this tall" (which was probably 12-18" tall).  She decided to settle for my approx. 1" heels.  She wore them all over upstairs for probably a half hour.  So cute.

Abby is SO NOT Kessa.  She is way more adventuresome.  For example, One of her favorite things to do is jump from the hand chair to the bean bag.  Now, Kessa does that, too, but I doubt she would have done it with this abandon at 17 months. (video below)

Speaking of Abby being Not Kessa, I'm gonna let BJ tell you about going to the park.

Start BJ:
So, the other day, I took Kessa and Abby down to the "yellow slide park," creatively named after the fact that it has three yellow slides. There's a small, waist-high one for little kids, a ~12-foot tall spiral one for most everyone, and then a ~18 foot tall tube spiral, where you're fully enclosed as you're going down. Kessa's our usual cautious child, but has finally become comfortable with the 12-foot open spiral one.

Anyway, we walked down there for a quick park trip. Kessa went down the spiral slide, and Abby just wanted to follow right after her. So I followed Abby up to the top. When she saw the slide, she was a little nervous, but I took Abby down on my lap, and she loved it. We got to the bottom and she immediately ran around to go again. This time, I sat her in front of me so she was actually on the plastic, and she loved it again.

The third time Abby went down, I didn't even go up with her. I reached up and held her hand as she was going down, and I even let go of that halfway through. She loved it. She was dying to go again, but it started to rain, so we had to head out.

So yeah. Where it took Kessa until age 3.5 to get comfortable with that slide, Abby is doing it at 17 months. Crazy.
End BJ.

Kessa lounging after the parade

Goofy family pic


I think I put these last as a reward for reading all the way through.  We'll pretend that you can't just scroll to the bottom.  :D
  • Me: Who do we learn about at church?
    Kessa: Jesus!! [pause] Bird poop.
  • Me: You're a punk.
    Kessa: No I'm not. I'm not a witch. I'm a Kessalyn.
  • Me: What food should we have for dinner?
    Kessa: You're going to have health food and I'm going to have cereal.
  • I snapped at Kessa tonight before bedtime. When she said her bedtime prayers, she prayed to have Jesus give me more patience.
  • BJ: No, we can't go to the park on Sunday, because we want to do things that help us think of Jesus
    Kessa: We can think about Jesus while we are at the park. We can think about him while we're on the slides and while we're climbing, and all the time. And we'll think about Jesus and how he got dead and came alive again. And we'll think about Grandpa Goddard and God and Jesus.
    BJ: (flummoxed for a bit, but eventually recovering…) But it's not a reverent activity.
    Kessa: But we can go down the slide and the swing, AND fold our arms while doing it.
  • Me, pretending to be Kessa and blocking BJ from going down the stairs: Nope, I'm a gate and go clear to the ceiling. You can't go through.
    BJ: And what if I jump through the fence?
    Me: You might knock it over and break it.
    BJ: oh. That wouldn't be good.
    Me: Nope. Maybe if you say the nicest words you can think of, it'll open.
    BJ, after a long time thinking: Paprika.

    He totally fails at this game.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Look at me writing a whole day early! :)

Dear blog readers ~

So, the last couple of weeks Jessa has gotten short, frantic emails when she got online hours before I expected her to.  So, while she has gotten letters from me, you have not.  I hope to remedy that tonight. But if I don't, here's my apology.  And here is also a full letter for this week.

~ Tianna

Dear Jessa ~

Hi!  Look!  I managed to write on Saturday night.  Aren't you proud?  haha.  Ok, let's see what's happened since my last frantic email.

But first, if you have an email from your parents, you should read it before this one. I don't want to spoil their news.

Father's Day 
I made a video for BJ of a bunch of pictures of him with the girls throughout their lives.  It prompted this post on Facebook: "If you were to judge my family life solely by the pictures in my iPhoto library, you would be hard-pressed to believe that my children have parents."  It's so true.  I'd post the video here (for my other readers), but I didn't export it in the best resolution, so it's really pixelated.  I haven't fixed it.  Sorry.

I interviewed Kessa about BJ.  It was adorable.  I'll post the video, but I'll also transcribe it so you can hear her answers, too.

(Video here)

What's your name?  Kessa
How old are you?  3  (She's actually 4, but it's still new.  She forgets sometimes.)
What's today?  Sunday
What's special about Sunday today? Because it's Father's Day
Do you have a father? Yeah.
What's his name? Daddy.  And BJ.
What's your favorite thing about daddy?  [long pause] I don't know
What does daddy like to do?  Go to the museum!
Do you like to go to the museum with daddy?  Yeah! And with you.
And with me?  [nods]
What is daddy's favorite color?  Blue.  And green.
What's daddy's favorite animal?  Don't know.
What does daddy do for work?  Do his chores!
What do you like to do with daddy?  I love to play with him and my friends.
And… what do you love about daddy?  Because he loves me.
What does daddy do best?  [long pause]  To work hard.
He does do that very well, huh?  And, what does daddy do that makes you laugh?  Say funny things!
What does daddy do that makes you happy?  Plays with me.
Plays with you?  [nods]
What's daddy's favorite food?  Scrambled eggs!
What does… hmm… what's daddy's favorite song?  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, maybe?
Can you sing it?  [she sings it, repeating one line twice and needing help to get out of her infinite loop]
Do you want to tell daddy anything?  What do you want to tell him?  Do you want to tell him I love you?  [nods]  Ok, tell him "I love you daddy!"  I love you, Daddy! Happy father's day.  Happy father's day!  Can I see it?

5th Anniversary (crackpot!)
Can you believe we've been married 5 years?!  In a way that number blows me away because that's a long time!  Yet on the other hand, haven't I always been part of your family?  (I know, totally cliche, right?  But cliche for a reason.  It's totally true!)

To celebrate, BJ and I went up to Park City (Thanks Mom and Dad Homer for letting us use your timeshare!) while your mom watched the girls.  (Thanks again!!!!!) Our trip can basically be summed up like this: We got some exercise, we saw some nature, we got laughed at by Asians, we considered requesting a crackpot, and we ate really well.

More details?  Well, if you insist.  We decided to walk around and see more of Park City.  Park City has some great paths with nice landscaping around them.  So we stopped and looked at flowers and various landscaping (BJ is so good to me).  And we went through a few tunnels with legalized graffiti in them, which was interesting to look at too.  Also they had lots of wind features.  Artsy metal things that move in the wind.  I WANT THEM!  I mean, really, if something helps me like the wind more, wouldn't that save my sanity?  A lot?

We walked a mile or so (uphill both one ways!) to downtown and rode a ski lift up the mountain.  "What?!  Tianna?! Did something as "dangerous" as a ski lift?!"  Well, I will have you know that I happen to enjoy heights.  Unfortunately, it's been so long since I've been on any remarkable height that it took me about 5 minutes before I stopped clinging to BJ for "safety."  I laughed at myself the whole time because, let's be honest, if anything happened and I started to fall, holding BJ wouldn't help at all.  But somehow he felt safer than the bar.  But once I got past my initial discomfort, I enjoyed it immensely.  Except when we realized that it was FREEZING that high, in the mountains, in the evening, with the wind.  And we had left our jackets in the car.  Go figure.

Which leads me to the Asians.  We were on our way back down the mountain.  Evening was progressing quickly and the wind was not going home.  This time I was clinging to BJ, but for warmth, not for fear.  I was so cold.  And then, coming up the mountain, was an Asian couple.  They were too far to hear, but they were clearly looking at us and laughing.  When they got close enough to talk they asked, "Aren't you cold?!"  Well, yes.  I was wearing capris and we were both wearing t-shirts and we were cuddling for warmth.  Thank you for point it out.  :D  haha.  Really, though, I thought it was great.  Because it was so true.

And then we had to walk home.

The second I got in the room I crawled under the blankets.  I went to cuddle with BJ, but he was just as cold and that was so not helpful.  So he got banished to his side of the bed.  I had to talk to my mom about something, so I figured I'd call while I was thinking of it.  When she realized the situation, she was like, "Tianna.  If I were away on my anniversary trip and was cold, I wouldn't call my mom to get warm."  HAHAHA.  Love my mom.  :D

Later I was looking through the papers they gave us and there was a "Housekeeping Menu" where you could order your room cleaned more often, etc.  There's a kitchen in the room, so they also had a list of complementary items you could use, like a blender.  The first thing on the list?  "Crackpot".  I started at that forever.  I googled crackpot to see if there was a different definition than the only one I could think of.  There wasn't.  It was seriously probably 15 minutes (and a Facebook post) later that BJ pointed out that they probably meant "crockpot".  HAHAHAHA.  Oh my goodness.  I laughed so hard at that realization.  SO HARD.  It was awesome.

And BJ would probably want me to include that for dinner that night we had the most AMAZING chicken ever.  He raves about it every time he thinks about it.  Every. Time.  (It really was good.)  And for breakfast the next morning we had Einstein Bagels.  I'm sure you care.  Then we came home.  And caught up (almost) on Once Upon a Time.  Yeah, we're those lame people who go on vacation and watch TV.  But probably because we never do it at home.  So it's a treat!  (We also watched an episode of Mythbusters where they had to survive in the desert from Point A to Point B, including canyon walls and rafting down a river… with only duct tape and bubble wrap for tools!  It was kind of awesome.)  You may now judge us.

It's not a very good picture.  Sorry.  Next week.
Our ward is in charge of the the float for the Lehi parade this year. The theme for the parade floats this year is "You saw what???", which really leaves things pretty wide open. We decided to build a YouTube themed float. It looks like a big computer screen open to YouTube, but instead of seeing a video there, we have a big mirror so the audience sees themselves in the screen. We'll have music from a bunch of the most popular/viral youtube videos playing as we go. It's been a big project, but just today we got a lot of work done, and it's starting to come together.

Worldwide Training speculation
Tomorrow (Sunday), the Church is broadcasting part of the New Mission Presidents seminar worldwide. This is unusual; usually they just present it in the MTC to the new mission presidents and then send out DVDs to all the other mission presidents. This year, they're broadcasting it to everyone in the Church, via stake centers and online, kinda like General Conference. It's at 4PM local time, and they've asked wards that meet later in the day to cancel part of their meetings so that everyone who wants to attend will be able to do so. They're making a big deal out of this. They've been calling it a "historic event."

Naturally, this has led to a lot of speculation. BJ found a recording online of a devotional given a couple weeks ago by a guy from the Missionary Department. He kept saying "I'm not going to make any announcements today," but kept hinting that it was going to be a big thing, that there would be some announcements that would "change the way missionary work is carried out for the rest of this dispensation." He talked about how the world is changing, and how door-to-door proselyting is far less effective than it used to be, and more and more areas are seeing gated communities pop up where the missionaries can't really even get in. He also talked about how in the early days of the church, most of the converts came from people sharing the Gospel with their friends. In fact, he called it a "social network," like the Facebook of the 1820s. He also said that in this day, the best investigators are often the ones who have read all about the Church online before ever talking to a missionary.

So, we're very interested to see what's coming tomorrow. It sounds like maybe more emphasis on sharing the gospel online, and less door-to-door work for missionaries. We're very interested to see how it will affect what you're doing in Cambodia.  Heck, by the time you get this, maybe you'll already know!

Random kid things

Abby will now fold her arms and (sometimes) bow her head at prayer time.  It's adorable.  We've never tried to teach her, she just likes to imitate us.  It is so stinking adorable!  It's seriously one of my all-time favorite milestones.

Kessa got shrinky-dink for her birthday.  She thinks it's so much fun to color then watch them shrink. (If you don't know… shrinky-dink is this clear plastic-ish stuff that you can color on, and then you bake it, and it shrinks way down. So Kessa colors some ballerinas at a comfortable size for coloring, and then they shrink down to the size of a bracelet trinket or something. Kinda fun.)

While BJ was gone, nights were hard.  Abby did great, but Kessa was in my room almost every single night.  It was ridiculous.  I ended up making her sleep on the floor because, despite being small, she can take up more room than 6'1" BJ.  RIDICULOUS.  So when BJ got home, we found a timer app that lets her see the timer counting down and we bribed her with circle pancakes (as opposed to German pancakes) for breakfast if she would get in bed and stay in bed.  (Except, as she insists on repeating every time, if she needs to go potty or there's a fire.  Then she can get out of bed.  And then if our house burns down, we can go sleep at Izzy's house next door.)  And miraculously, it worked!  So on Father's Day, I made circle pancakes for breakfast.  As they're not BJ's favorite breakfast food, I also made scrambled eggs.  Which is why Kessa thinks they're BJ's favorite food.  Well, the next night she requested circle German pancakes for breakfast.  Uhhh… I agreed to try.  She stayed in bed, so I cooked them in muffin tins instead.  It was kind of awesome.  They looked like really tall doughnuts until they came out of the oven.  Then they were like little cups.  I think they'd be delicious with berries in them.  Mmmm.

For Kessa's birthday, then to welcome home BJ, we had balloons.  Latex, helium, and balloon animals. They are still all over the house and the girls love them.  Which is why I've never thrown them away.  Despite all of them looking very sad.  Kessa loves to play the game where you try to keep a balloon in the air.  (Which, btw, is surprisingly easier as an adult than it was as a kid.)  Abby loves to give you a balloon, have you hit it away, then chase after it.  Basically, fetch.  She'll giggle like crazy.

Speaking of Abby giggling, she'll giggle whenever she learns a new word.  She pointed to her face this morning so I said "Face."  Repeat 20 times.  Every time I'd say "Face" she'd smile or laugh.  She does this all the time.  She can't say face, but she can understand it a little, I think.  Hopefully she keeps this love of learning.

(Video here)

Abby's new favorite thing to say is "Ashes, ashes".  I think she plays on the trampoline with the other girls too much.  :D  They like to play Ring around the roses on there.

Abby adores the little head scratcher thing that makes everyone squirm like crazy.  You know what I mean?  Here's a picture.  If she's not making us use it on her head, she's putting it on her own head and wearing it around.  You'll also notice that she found one of my nylons and made us put it on.  She walked around like this for quite some time that morning.

Other misc. things
Lehi is getting really low on water.  Our reservoir is only 30% full.  (Wanna send us some of yours?)  So we're now on water restriction where we can only water MWF and spot-water on Sunday.  (The other side of the street has the other days.)  So everyone started using culinary water to water their yard.  Which lessened our culinary water so drastically that they thought we were going to have a water outage within just a couple of days.  So they banned that practice.  Yipes.  We're back in the clear again, but we're still limited for irrigation and have a banned list for culinary water.  It's crazy.  So pray for my garden, k? It's doing so well.  I can't lose it now!  But it really is doing well.  I was going to take a picture today so you can see it growing.  It's huge!  But instead, you can see a picture of the cauliflower I grew!  So big!  I've never grown a full head of cauliflower!  So happy!  It took us two meals to eat the thing.  And it was delish.

For round table we were in charge of making a flag for our stake.  So I delegated and they came back with an awesome flag!  In the words of the Roundtable Commissioners, "Oh wow!  That's amazing!  You've set a new standard for flags!"  I'm a little proud about it.  (Weren't you supposed to write me an essay on pride?) And I didn't even do anything!  Well, that's not entirely true.  I approved the idea and made the PVC stand.  :D

And now, Kessa-isms.  It's a short list this week, sorry.

  • Kessa just put her earrings (she got clip-on ones for her bday) and her cupcake magnet in her wallet so that she's "ready to go to CostCo."  Completely out of the blue.
  • Kessa greeted me today with, “Someone died today on our swings!” Then she wove a tale about our neighbor (no idea which one) dying on the swing. All told in a cheerful voice.
And… I told you it was short.  Clearly I failed at that this week.

And now it's getting late and I've got a lot to do.  Tomorrow we're going to Brandon Jenson's farewell (Minneapolis, Minnesota, in case you forgot).  We've got to be in Bountiful at 9 am.  :S  And probably need to stop at your parents' first to drop off food.  Because after we're done up there, we're coming back to your parents to a) watch the Worldwide Leadership Training and b) make them dinner.  Your  mom has a crazy day scheduled with visiting wards, and as I'm sure your parents told you (and I'm really hoping you read their email first so you don't hear it from me first), Grandpa Goddard died today (Saturday), so her life is even crazier.  I figured I could be of some help and give her a night off cooking.  And… it's almost 11.  So I should get going.

Hope you're having a wonderful time!  Can't wait to hear from you tomorrow!

<3 Tianna and Co.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

In which I write while truly exhausted and the Discovery Museum

Jessa ~

I'm going to assume that I'll have an email from you when I wake up in the morning, as that's how it happened last week.  So despite desperately wanting to be in bed, even though it's only 9:30, I'm going to write you.  That's how much I love you.  :)

Why am I exhausted, you ask?  Well, for one, this weekend has been insanely busy with Primary stuff. I think even BJ is starting to be exhausted with all the slack he's having to pick up from me.  And you know BJ.  He's totally long-suffering and all that, so when he's starting to show wear, you know it's getting busy!  But in good news, I think it's going to start slowing down.  This weekend was just the climax of everything. Thursday I met at the church for baptism orientation where we meet with all the baptismal candidates and get them fitted and have them fill out a spotlight and give them a tour of the font.  It's kind of fun.  Friday morning I had a presidency meeting.  Then Friday night one of my counselors, Jan, and I went and cleaned the font.  Then Saturday morning I had to be at the church at 7:30 and didn't get home until 10:30 or so.  (And it was insane!  The people who come fill up the font forgot it was stake baptisms so when I got there, the font wasn't filling and it takes 1.5-2 hours!  So I had to start filling it up (thank goodness I borrowed keys because I don't have mine yet) and it finished maybe 10 minutes before we started.  Yipes!)  Then we had about an hour and then we went up to the Children's Discovery Museum, which I'll talk about later.  And then today I got about 2 hours after church while BJ was doing tithing, then I went to visit a Primary and sat through two hours of adorable children (after my 3 hours of church) and then had a 30+ min meeting with them.  And then I got home and realized that I forgot to take the baptismal clothing (which I spent last night washing) back to the lady with the keys, so I had to leave again and run those over.  Whew!  It's been so busy!  I'm really ready to just drop.  (But in good news, I'm really feeling like I'm getting a handle on this calling.  Finally.  I've still got a long ways to go, but I'm getting there.)

But before I catch up on this week, I realized that I forgot to blog about other things last week!  So let's catch up a little.

BJ working at home has been awesome!  Seriously.  I love it.  One time I needed to go to a garden store, so when Abby went down for a nap, I took the monitor downstairs and Kessa and I drove down and shopped and got home before Abby woke up.  I did that Friday, too, when I needed to go clothes shopping.  (Because, turns out, I'm going to be wearing a lot of dresses.  And now that I've put away maternity and winter clothing, I have somewhere around 2 dressy shirts.  Yipes! But so far I like my new options.  Two sleeveless dresses (one grey, one teal) and three shirts to wear over them.)  It's also nice that when I want to talk to him about something, instead of spending 10 minutes texting, I can run downstairs and figure it out in two.  And get a kiss.  Awesome.  And when it's 5:00 and I'm so done being a single parent, and I say, "BJ, when are you going to be done?" and he says, "Two more minutes," that means he'll actually be with me in two minutes.  (Well, 3-4.  He struggles with time sometimes.  :D)  Not two more minutes plus a 45 minute commute.  HOORAY!  It's so wonderful and I love it.

I'll let him tell you about his perspective.
Okay, BJ here. So, working from home is nice. It's nice to be able to spend more time with family; I get to eat lunch with them, see Kessa playing outside the window while I'm working, and come home sooner. It makes my life feel a little more family-centered. Which isn't surprising, because I am spending a lot more time with my family.  
In fact, that's one of the things that concerned me at first; I was worried I might end up craving more interaction during work hours. So far, though, it hasn't been a problem. I'm able to focus more, and I can still keep in touch with people in our work chat room. It's different, but I do feel more productive most of the time. 
We'll probably need to get a fan down there as the summer heats up, and I admit that the unfinished basement area next to the furnace isn't quite as nice as my old office. But it's quiet and easy to focus, so overall it's a good thing.

Btw, you got a job offer in the mail the other day.  Are you sure you want to be on a mission?  You could be making $15/hour doing who knows what in Sandy.  :)  Oddly, it came to my house.  Weird…

And a video you can't watch, but everyone else can, and I forgot it last week.  Abby saying shoes!  It's so cute.  :)

And… now I think we're caught up.  Whew!  Well, caught up to last week.  Now we need to catch up this week.

Huh.  Actually, it looks like most of my catchup was done in that first paragraph talking about primary stuff.  Haha.  There's nothing else in my Facebook or calendar other than the Discovery Museum.  And when I look through my iPhoto, it's mostly the Discovery Museum and videos.  Which is kind of lame for your sake, as you can't watch videos.  So, for your sake, I'll put all the videos at the end, so they don't have to taunt you throughout.

Ok, here's something.  The other day Kessa begged to go to IKEA.  So I packed up the girls and went. Kessa went to the play place and where I have nothing really I was buying (in fact, I was specifically not planning on buying anything) I decided to let it be play time for Abby, too.  So she and I went upstairs and just let her wander wherever she wanted.  She loved it.  She learned the word "cool" there.  She was obsessed with the different light fixtures and I guess I must have said, "Oh yeah, that's cool" a lot, because then she started to point at lights and say, "coo!"  Haha!  We only stayed about a half hour or so, though, because Abby was exhausted.  Guess I timed that poorly.  But we had fun while it lasted.  Aren't I just a cool mom?  (Hah.  Cool.  No pun intended.)  :)

Speaking of Abby learning words, she can now say doggy, cheese (though she hasn't said that for a long time), tickle, shoes, woah, uh-oh, hi!, Kessa (maybe?), cool, and Jesus.  In fact, Friday when I had my meeting, she came up to me and was all upset about something.  Like she wanted something.  I couldn't figure out what it was, so I finally just picked her up and stood up.  She reached over my shoulder towards the picture of Jesus on the wall and said, "Jesus!  Jesus!"  And then she was content.  Hah!  She just wanted to point to Jesus!  She is JUST SO PRECIOUS and I can't get enough of her.  It's also cute when you tickle her, then stop and pay attention to something else and she starts saying, "Kickle!  Kickle!"  And she is mobile!  Oh my gosh.  During Sunday School and Relief Society today, she just made the rounds and walked around the room, looking and smiling and talking to everyone.  Of course, everyone was enamored.  :)  But had I been one of those moms that needed her right there every second, I would have been frazzled.  Instead I figured that so long as the doors were shut, she was fine. There were basically dozens of moms and grandmas keeping their eyes on her.  I would keep a basic idea of where she was if I couldn't see her, and I was fine and she was happy.  And I got to pay attention to most of my meetings!  End of July will be nice, though.  Then she goes into nursery.  (Here's a happy fact for you.  While it may seem that you're gone for most of my girls' lives, Abby will still be in nursery when you get home!)

Kessa bonked her head the other day.  She was running away from BJ (she didn't want him to choose her cereal!) and turned to see if he was following.  She tripped and hit her head on the trim of the cupboard door and got a nice scratch down her forehead and bruise on her eyebrow.  It was really sad.  So she got a bandaid on it.  A nice bright one.  And then, of course, we took lots of pictures that day and then today in Primary they sang Happy Birthday to her.  Haha.  Nice and public, that owie is!  (It's not that bad, either.  Just a scratch.  A deep scratch, but just a scratch.  It didn't even bleed.)  But Jessa!  She's turning four on Thursday!  Argh!  What happened to my baby girl?!  I've really got to figure out her party.  She wants a Dora party.  I'll let you know how that goes next week.

Ok, Discovery Museum.  So, have you been there?  Up at the Gateway.  My cousin, Amanda, is staying in Bountiful for about a month with her daughter, Addison, who is about 6 months older than Kessa.  So we decided to get together and play.  So we went to Litza's Pizza, then off to the Museum.  It was really fun!  Kessa and Addison did a class where they learned about atoms and how they're made of protons and neutrons (which form a nucleus) and then surrounded by electrons.  They got to look under a microscope, draw a helium atom, then fashion one out of wire, beads and pom poms.  Then they talked about chemical reactions and let them pour water on polymer beads and watched as they changed colors and grew to make "snow".  It was fun.

Abby loved this wind tunnel thing.  Almost the entire time we were in the class, BJ was out with her.  There were a bunch of paper things around, you put them in the bottom, and then the wind blowing up through it blew the papers up and out.  Over and over again.

There was a playground full of giant foam pieces.  The girls built things and just ran around and had fun.  BJ took Kessa into a helicopter.  She was a bit nervous, but enjoyed it.  (Amanda tried to take Addison who wanted nothing to do with it at all.)  There was a water feature that they could play in that was fun.  A kid-sized house and grocery store.  And a little toddler area that both Kessa and Abby loved and stayed in for ages.

When we were done we went out to the fountain area and let them play.  Kessa, predictably, didn't really like it and wanted to stand out of it.  Abby loved it and kept running through the water, even getting a couple of direct hits.  She was soaked by the end.

Over all, it was really fun.  I really enjoyed it.  We applied our fee to a 3-month pass (it cost us $11 more), so I guess we'll have to go up at least a few more times.  Kessa keeps asking when we're going back to the "moo-seem".  And it was really fun to see Amanda again and get to know Addison better.  They live up in Idaho so we don't get to see them often at all.  I'm trying to get her to be brave and drive down to Thanksgiving Point so we can go to the Dinosaur Museum, but she's a scaredy cat of Utah traffic.  ;)  I'll figure it out somehow…

And now, Kessa-isms!
  • Kessa: Did you know that cherries grow on Brand. New. Trees?
  • Me: What grows on old cherry trees?
    Kessa: Old cherries!
  • Me, incredulous: You have a school hymn?
    BJ: You barely had a school; you can't laugh.
  • A dog was wandering through our neighbor's yard. Kessa: Did he get a toy dog and it grew like a real dog?
  • Me, singing: Oh, I want a hippopotamus for Christmas…
    Kessa: No mommy!  We can't have a hippopotamus!  They eat *everything!*  They'll eat our plants and food and lightbulbs and paper and table and everything healthy for hippopotamuses! 
Wow.  There weren't a lot this week.  Sorry!

  • BJ, cleaning up toys: Do you ever feel like our house is being taken over by the alphabet?
Have a great week!  [hugs]
~ Tianna and Co.

Kessa pushing Abby on the swing

Kessa and Abby playing together

Discovery Museum: Stacking huge blocks

Discovery Museum: Abby playing with the wind tunnel

The girls a little scared of the fountain

Abby playing in the Gateway fountain

That's all!