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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.

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