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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Just stuff, sans pictures. Sorry.

Dear Jessa ~

It's been a really long and tiring day.  So hopefully this email isn't too disjointed.  I started to type up the details of today, but realized it was far too long and depressing and you just didn't need to read all of that.  So I moved it to my journal instead.  Suffice it to say that I am tired. And emotionally drained.  Somedays there just has to be really bad days with kids to balance the really awesome ones.

On Wednesday evening Abby got a fever.  She was super cuddly, which is nice by itself, but sad when you know it's because she's sick.  The fever stayed over 101, even with medicine, through Thursday and it was low-grade Friday morning.  But then the rest of Friday and Saturday it was gone.  Hooray!  But her fussiness stayed.  [sigh]  So let's hope that's gone by tomorrow.  :D  Poor girl.  We ended up canceling a date on Friday due to sick Abby and lack of older babysitters (I prefer my babysitters to be a little older if they're dealing with bedtime).  So instead we bought Zupas to go and had a picnic in the backyard, which was fun.  Though, turns out, soup isn't a great blanket picnic food.  Haha.  Hooray for washing machines!

The garden is doing great!  BJ shredded one zucchini up for me yesterday (and then he made a chocolate zucchini cake for me!  Because he loves me.  And because we were supposed to take one to the family reunion, but due to a massive storm and lightning that knocked out power in Hobby Lobby while I was there, and at least 3 stop lights, and Costco taking more than an hour to get my pictures printed, there was no way I'd be home in time to make it myself) and it ended up making 16 cups of shredded zucchini.  So now I have 7 bags of zucchini ready to make chocolate zucchini cake all winter long.  You should be jealous, as that's apparently all I'll be eating all summer.  I already had 4 bags out there.  And who knows how many more zucchinis there will be? (Though, maybe this problem would be solved by picking and eating them earlier.

My lawn is not doing so great.  There are several dead spots.  The weeds, however, are doing fantastic. So I spent much of Friday night testing sprinklers and getting soaked to the bone (Kessa, too).  Then Saturday morning was spent mowing, applying weed and feed, and pushing all the good wishes into my lawn that I can.  And hoping the dead spots aren't due to grubs.  We may need to re-seed parts of my yard.  [sigh]

Thank goodness for being able to chat with a customer service rep instead of talking on the phone. I can have a screaming baby and still "hear" what is said. And turns out, I'm a lot more bold and confrontational in writing. No, I really and truly don't want to add television. Really. I don't care how many different ways you word it. And yes, I am willing to be transferred 3 times and chat for more than 45 minutes (and counting!) to save $10/month. There is no way I'd do that on the phone.  Sadly, I never got my $10 and never got resolution.  I have to wait until my next bill to see.  [sigh]

Post on Facebook:  Don't worry, folks. I've researched yet another problem for you so you don't have to. If your 4-year old severely overdoses on probiotics, she'll probably be fine. She may get a tummy ache or burp a lot, but nothing to worry about. Most likely she'll just go outside and play with friends all day. ‪#‎firstcalltoposioncontrol‬ ‪#‎mommybadge‬

Ok, enough of the depressing stuff.  On to fun things.  But quickly, as it's past my bedtime and I'm going running at 6:30 am.  :S

I did a training breakfast for two new primary presidencies this week.  It was really fun to get to know them.  Part of what I trained on was the resources on  Holy cow, Jessa. THERE IS SO MUCH ON THERE!  So many things I wish I had known when I was in the ward Primary.  (Or maybe they're new since then?)  Things like each lesson having a supplement web page that has coloring pages and talks and activities that are all pertinent to that lesson.  Holy cow!  Someday, if you have time, you really should go poke around on  It's great.

I joined a freezer dinner group this month.  So I made 7 bags of chicken cacciatore and came home with one of those, lasagna, enchiladas, italian chicken, chicken flautas, taco soup and chili.  Awesome.  Especially as most of my grocery budget went to food/snacks for Island Park.  :)  Hooray for meals for most of the rest of the month!

We had the Goddard family reunion up at the flat last night.  The girls loved it.  Kessa and a couple other little kids grabbed some apples that had fallen off the apple tree and used them to throw up and try to knock down more apples.  Awesome.  Also, Ali, the daughter of… Marsha?  Mary?  I don't remember exactly… anyway, she was talking to me and she said that a year or two ago you played a lot with her kids and they still remember you very fondly and were very sad that you weren't there this year.  Nor will you be there next year.  I thought I'd pass that along.

We bought Hale Center Theater season passes for 2014!  I'm so excited!  Wooo!  We've been wanting to do this for 5 years now and we finally did it!

There was a special priesthood training at church today.  Priesthood met for both the 2nd and 3rd hour. But I'll make BJ tell you more about that next week.  (He's already up in bed, waiting for me to finish this.)

BJ decided that those hand-drawn pictures I put up on the wall a year or two ago just had to go.  (I see what he thinks about my art.  [sniff])  So he hung up a bunch of our family pictures.  I printed some more off at CostCo and picked out frames, but the power went out and then they could only accept cash.  So I'll have to go get those tomorrow.  I'll take a picture when it's all up.  We're putting them in the hallway and letting it just be a growing wall of pictures.

Abby is starting to learn to eat with a spoon and fork.  She's quite insistent.  And she's not very good.  But I guess she'll never get better unless she tries, right?  We just try to do it mostly with finger food so when hunger overrides interest, she'll just eat with her fingers instead.  Doing it with soup?  Less effective.

Abby repeats pretty much everything she hears, which makes it hard to tell which words she knows and which words she's just repeating.  But I think I can confidently tack "phone" onto the list.  She sees any phone (especially mine), including toys and will say, "phone, phone."

Kessa starts preschool on Wednesday and her teacher is Mrs. Smart!  Haha.  We actually go meet her and see the classroom tomorrow.

Ok, this week won't have pictures or videos.  I'll tack them on next week.  But I really need to get to bed.  I haven't gotten enough sleep as is.

Kessaisms (but this week mostly BJ and Tianna-isms):

  • Kessa: Jesus is an impressive guy. He does things we can't do.
  • Kessa: Jesus can see our skin even when we can't because we have clothes on. He's very special.
  • Me: What was I working on? Before I got sidetracked to Middle Earth?
  • Me: A passenger on a Royal Air Maroc flight from Casablanca, Morocco, to Bologna, Italy, gave birth to a boy mid-air.
    BJ: What nationality would the baby be?
    Me: I'd guess whatever nationality the parents are. Or, what sea would that be over? Mediterranean.
    BJ: Mediterranean actually means Middle Earth.
    Me: Are you saying the baby's nationality is Middle Earth?
    BJ: Yes, yes I am.
  • Me: I'm pretty sure no where in the scriptures does it say, "I'm a pot head."
  • BJ and I were talking about needing to get 1-hour photos at CostCo, specifically about the timeline of picking them up. BJ: Well, walk into CostCo, an hour will disappear, and your photos will be ready!

<3 Tianna

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Idaho week!

Dear Jessa ~

Wow.  So much to tell this week!  And I guess it’s a little more than a week, as I left all of Idaho for this letter.  So I guess I’ll just go chronologically this time.

BJ and I managed to get a week up at the cabin in Island Park. We thought the girls might go crazy with a week of no friends, though, so we invited our friends Mitchell and Melanie Harris to come up with us, and bring their kids.

One of these two cows is Voldemoo.
Friday night BJ took our girls, Mitchell, and his daughter Audrey (age 3) up to my parents’ house in Idaho.  We are splitting a cow with them (and Travis), so they needed to do some farm work to pay for my dad’s labor raising the cow. On the way up they left Abby’s sippy at Arby’s.  You know, the only sippy she would drink out of for a long time.  Though, I can’t talk.  I lost the other one at the zoo.  In good news, we learned that she’ll drink out of other sippies this week!  Hooray! The rest of us would have gone with them, except I had to go to stake baptisms Saturday morning.

Kessa and Audrey
So Friday they left and for the first time in weeks I got to sleep all night long!  It was bliss.  Saturday morning I was up around 5:30 to finish getting my things together and to get to the church around 6:45 to start setting up.  Setting up was a little insane with only two of us and no one showed up to help set up chairs, so we ended up stopping a basketball game to make all the sweaty guys come help us.  :)  My favorite was the guy helping me set up the chairs in the YW room, “I’m pretty sure hell is an eternity of setting up chairs.”  Hah!  But he was great and helped anyway.

Saturday morning BJ and Mitchell got up and helped build a fence.  Can you just see BJ out there digging fence post holes and drilling posts in the ground?  Yeah, Mitchell’s the same type of skinny, nerdy guy.  Awesome.  They also dug up old fence posts, pulled kids around on a board on the flooded lawn (well, Mitchell mostly did that), and helped Damian do some carpet cleaning.  And maybe something else in the middle that BJ can’t remember.

Meanwhile Melanie and I left around 11:00 with her twin boys, Reid and Redick, who are just over 1 year.  After stopping to go grocery shopping for perishables in Idaho Falls, we made it to Ririe and spent most of our time keeping 5 kids, age 4 and under, out of everyone’s hair, and helping to do some housework.  When the guys finally crashed, Mitchell did an excellent job of talking genealogy with my dad (Mitchell works at Ancestry) and Melanie and my mom got along great.  When we left Sunday afternoon, Melanie told me that she really enjoyed my parents.  Which, of course, makes me happy.

Sunday morning we went to church with my parents.  Sunday School and RS were both excellent.  My mom took Abby to Nursery and stayed with her during SS, so I actually got to listen at church.  Novel concept, really.  It was great. After church, we drove up to the cabin. They don’t do nursery at Island Park, so we’ll have to wait till the next week to really get her used to it.  Hopefully she’ll warm up quickly.

Monday BJ and Mitchell took Kessa and Audrey out on the canoe.  At first they (well, mostly Kessa) were a little scared, and then went back and forth between loving it and being done.  By the end of the week Kessa was begging to go out again.  I think she went out thrice.  Then after naptime we went out to Big Springs.  Apparently the fish don’t come up for food anymore (except sometimes maybe for corn), because the seagulls eat them.  Sad!  So we fed seagulls instead.  While there, Audrey was swinging her arms and hit the wooden rail and ended up with a giant splinter under her fingernail.  :(  So I rushed her and Melanie back to the cabin to doctor her up (well, Mommy nurse, as Melanie really is a nurse) while the menfolk took care of Kessa and the babies (who, let’s be honest, aren’t babies anymore.  They’re very much toddlers).  We met them back at the Johnny Sack cabin, which was interesting, but nothing I’m dying to see again.

Tuesday we went to Mesa Falls between naps.  We took a double stroller for the boys as far as we could, but then carried the babies down all the stairs.  It remains a beautiful waterfall.

The original plan was for the Harris’ to leave Wednesday, but they were having so much fun that they ended up staying an extra day.  So Wednesday was pretty chill.  There may have been another canoe ride?

Meanwhile, during every nap (which there were two/day) and after bedtime, we played games.  Lots of them.  They’re big gamers, too.  (They’re the ones we have to thank for Stone Age.)  So it was filled with Ticket to Ride-Asia, Settlers-Cities and Knights, Smallworld-Underground, Wizard, Stone Age, Pandemic, and another game they introduced us to called Evo.  I plan on buying it sometime, so we’ll teach you when you get back. Basically, you have dinosaurs who have to travel between regions as the climate changes and get as many dinosaurs as you can without dying or being attacked by other dinosaurs, Smallworld-style, before a comet comes and makes you all go extinct.  It’s fun. Promise.  Anyway, I tried to count after the fact and I think we got in around 15 games with all four adults.  Pretty impressive with 5 kids and less than 4 days, huh?  Plus there were a handful of games played with only 2-3 adults at a time.

After they left, Kessa wanted to play the “dinosaur game” (they left Evo here for us to play), so I pulled it out, thinking I’d make up some very simplified rules, but ended up teaching her the real game (slightly modified (for anyone who knows the game, I removed the unique mutation tokens, and we’d put out 4 mutations, even with only 2 players, so we never really did bidding)).  Jessa, she is so smart.  She could tell me every turn what climate was safe for the dinosaurs, how many exceptions there were for which climate based on which mutations you had, and which dinosaurs had to die.  She learned how to figure out which coins she got at the end of her turn (so, 4 coins she’d get with a 3 and a 1), she learned to turn the climate counter clockwise or counter-clockwise (based on an arrow), and was even perfectly happy when her dinosaurs died, because that’s just how the game goes.  I was really impressed.  We did have to take breaks every 15 mins or so where she would just play like a little kid while I read on my Kindle, but then she’d decide she was ready to play a grown-up game again and we’d continue.

The next day we taught her Ticket to Ride, but did a 1-player game.  We helped her pick tickets, then we’d put markers on the cities she had to get, then would help her connect them, figuring it would be easier to move on to a multi-player game once she knew how to play. At first, we had her drawing two cards every turn, but when every turn is your turn, that doesn’t really make sense. So she basically had to look at the board and figure out what track she wanted to build next in order to connect her cities. Then she would draw cards (either from the face-up cards or from the top of the pile) until she got what she needed. Then she’d play it, put the trains on, and look up how many points she had to move. It took her a few times to figure out the point chart, but she got it. And she totally figured out double routes and wilds. She’s a smart girl.

End of chronological.  Now I’ll just talk about whatever I think of.  :D

Speaking of Kessa, her favorite game is to be a baby.  Seriously.  Anytime she is playing with anyone, the first thing out of her mouth is “You be the mommy/daddy, I’ll be the baby.” She’ll declare her age randomly and try to act accordingly. “Mommy, I’m a newborn baby” and then when she’s tired of sleeping and not walking/talking, she’ll declare, “I’m 1 year old!” and will crawl around, then becomes a 2-year old and can walk and climb ladders.  For the most part it’s not a problem, except it can get really annoying when she will say one word repeatedly, all day long.  “Cookie!” (which sounds like goo-gie)  Or has to be carried everywhere or won’t pray, go potty, etc. by herself.  Today we finally had to lay down the law and tell her that there are certain times that she has to be a big girl.  When she prays and when she goes potty being in the top two.  The funny thing is, when I was a girl I always declared that I wanted to grow up to be a baby.  But not because I liked to act like one all the time, but because I wanted to be able to nap all day and when I cried have people drop everything to help me.

Abby adores outside.  More than anything else.  The second she wakes up she starts saying, “Side?  Side?”  She’ll run to a door every chance she gets and beg to go outside. Then cry if we don’t let her.  BJ is a wonderful dad and takes her out on long walks every day.  They’ll go down to the river and make BJ dip her feet in the river.  It’s funny because she wants her feet in there, but then it’s so cold that she wants them out.  So she’ll willingly go back and forth for a while until her feet are too cold, and then she throws a tantrum because she wants both warm feet and her feet in the water, but can’t have both.  Sometimes Kessa goes with and they’ll both have a grand time throwing leaves in the water and watching them float downstream.

Reid is in blue and Redick in green
I was a little nervous about how Abby would interact with the Harris twins for more than a couple of hours at a time.  She’s so calm and they’re very energetic (seriously.  We speculate that they climb the equivalent of Mt. Everest every day.  Up on chairs, the table, benches, and even the ladder!)  Usually playdates end with them ganging up on her to steal her binkie while she just sits there trying to figure out what in the world is going on.  It’s sadly funny.  But after the first day of trying to figure out what was going on, she started to stand up for herself and they started treating her as one of the guys.  They got along great.  They would run back and forth down the hall or play with toys (and fight over toys, mostly Abby being selfish, honestly).  They just laughed and had a great time.

What I didn’t expect was how long it would take Audrey and Kessa to figure out how to play nice.  They’re just such good friends at home. At first they were both extra tired, which makes things worse, of course, and we had a couple of instances of Kessa provoking Audrey and Audrey hitting Kessa.  (Both times with a pencil.  The second time on the bridge of her nose, next to her eye.  :/ )  But it went two ways.  After we got the hitting calmed down, Kessa took her turn.

Kessa and Audrey were playing when Audrey started screaming. I looked up to see several strands of Audrey's hair in Kessa's hand. After a long time out until Kessa could calm down enough to talk to me (the second she realized I wanted to talk to her, she thought she was in trouble and broke down in hysterics), I went in to figure out exactly what happened. Long story short, this is what I got:

Audrey and Kessa were playing with a one-player toy. They both wanted it. Audrey picked up a piece Kessa wanted and Kessa thought, “When I get hurt and cry, I drop what I'm holding. So [I'll pull] Audrey's hair so [she'll] drop it.”

That is an actual quote from Kessa's mouth. (Adapted to fit the present tense.)

Holy critical thinking, Batman! I had to give her credit for that, even in the middle of telling her that pulling hair is Not Acceptable.

Abby loves hats.  A lot.  Remember how she’s a diva?  Yes, still.  I made Kessa a sun hat on Friday.  As soon as Abby realized what it was, she started yelling, “Hat!  Hat!” and wouldn’t leave me alone until I let her wear it around.  Of course, it was still in progress and her running away from the skein of yarn still attached to the hat resulted in me having to redo several inches of stitches…  haha.  So after she went to bed I sat down and made her a smaller version.  It took me just over 2 hours.  I was pretty impressed.  Naturally, she adores it, and has worn it half the day.

Speaking of things Abby can say, her vocabulary is exploding.  Here’s a list of things BJ and I can think of that she can say, but I know the list is bigger than this: banana (na-na-na), strawberry (stwawbewwy), bath (bat), towel (sounds remarkably like cow), hat, hot, cold, cheese (which might possibly just mean all food), outside (side), daddy, mommy (sometimes, but more often than ever before), binkie (inkie), doggy, shoe, sock, help (though she doesn’t know what it means), up, down, NO!!!, ok, Kessa, eat, water (wa-wa), drink (we think?), uh-oh, stinky, cereal.

Abby remains way more adventuresome than Kessa.  Being around the energetic twins did nothing to calm her down.  Haha.  Unfortunately for the poor girl, despite being younger, they have way more experience climbing and such.  So while she watched them learn to climb the ladder all week (one got to the point he could climb 3-4 rungs before freaking out), she can’t do it.  Which she learned much to her detriment.  Within minutes of the Harris’ leaving (I think they might have even still been in the driveway), she attempted to climb.  She made it to the first rung and fell off, bonking her head.  She keeps trying, but usually instead of standing on the bottom rung, she puts her legs behind it like she’s trying to sit on it, then gets mad because she’s not going up.

But Audrey (who is as energetic as her brothers) seems to be wearing off on Kessa.  You will not believe this, but Kessa started going down the ladder by climbing down until she could hang by her hands (no feet), then putting one hand on the rung below (so she’s momentarily hanging by one hand), letting go with the top hand and falling until her hands are on the same rung again.  Then repeat with the other hand. All the way down.  I know you don’t believe me, but I have video evidence!  Which, sadly, you can’t watch.  But it can be proof that I’m telling the truth and you can watch it when you get back.  Seriously.  What happened to my cautious girl?

(video below)

Moosen.  Jessa.  So many moose!  The first one crossed the river while everyone but the twins and I (they were all sleeping, so I stayed in the cabin) was out on the dock.  It walked just downriver of them, maybe 30-40 feet away, then went up into the bushes.  I went out to see it (they called me), but it was already in the bushes.  Then the dads took the older girls out on the canoe, and Abby wanted to walk around, so we started back up the path.  Suddenly I heard a large animal sniff (I grew up around cows.  I know the sound.  You probably know it, too.  Horses make it.) maybe 10 feet to the side in the bushes where the moose had been.  So I calmly picked up Abby and started back to the cabin swiftly.  Of course, she wasn’t pleased, so she started screeching her displeasure, which apparently was enough of a warning to the moose to stay her distance.

All the sightings are getting blurred together, but I think we saw a mom and her calf cross the meadow outside the big windows. And then one time we were playing a game during nap time when I glanced out the window and saw a big brown thing practically touching the window.  I was confused at first until it moved and then I realized it was a moose!  So I pointed it out and we all slowly made our way to the couch where were were a window pane away from a cow and her calf.  They were just eating all the plants right along the side of the cabin.  Literally rubbing up along the wood.  Jessa.  I was less than a foot away from a momma moose and her calf!  AND THEY DIDN’T TRY TO KILL ME.  It was insane.

Then today (Saturday) my brother, Damian, was up at his wife’s family’s cabin maybe a mile away, so he brought his bro-in-law, three oldest kids and 2 nephews over this morning to do some canoeing.  At one point his bro-in-law had left, Damian and BJ were out on the canoe (with Damian’s son, Parker, and his nephew, Aaron) while I was on the dock with the remaining kids (minus Abby who was napping.  And the Harris’ were gone by this point), when the momma and her calf come down the other side of the river to the east and start drinking.  They’re maybe 100 feet or so to the east.  So far enough I didn’t feel any immediate danger, but close enough that I warned the kids if they walked towards us we were going to go back to the cabin, since mommies are very protective of their babies.  I apparently scared them enough that whenever they would walk further into the river (but straight across, so not towards us at all), the kids would start getting anxious and ask if we could go into the cabin.  Finally all of them were convinced we should go (and I didn’t have to be an overprotective mom!  Seriously, I wasn’t even super doomsday about it in the first place. Just a calm, matter-of-fact, “If they come close, we’re going inside so we don’t scare them and get hurt.”)  So we came in and played TTR with my niece, Lexi, and her cousin, Kade (Cade?).

And while the menfolk were on that canoe trip, they saw a bull moose, too!  (I haven’t yet seen a bull this trip.)

Just so, so many moosen!*

BJ for some reason decided to start making up a song to the Potter Puppet Pals song, but with kitchen-based words.  It’s hard to really write out the words, though, because everything gets said all at once. But it’s the song that goes “Snape. Snape. Severus Snape. Snape. Snape. Severus Snape. Dumbledore!” The lyrics are changed as follows, though:

Severus Snape: “Plates. Plates. Several plates”
Dumbledore: “Silverware!”
Ron Weasley: “Burns. Burns. Burns easily!”

He hasn’t actually figured out Hermione or Harry Potter yet; he keeps trying out new ideas. But he’s been laughing about this all afternoon. He wants to make a video out of it, but we both know that probably won’t ever happen.

Oh, back with the Harris’.  One day the girls were exhausted and fell asleep around 5:30 pm.  We figured it would just be a short nap.  Nope, they slept until 9:30!  Kessa woke up and timidly asked if she could come out of her room.  Before long Audrey was up too.  They played happily while we played a game, so we let them.  Then as a special treat, which we normally can’t do as they’re usually asleep while it’s still light out, we went out onto the dock and looked at the stars.  Kessa told me she saw a box in the stars.  Turns out, she had picked out the big dipper.  It was so fun to just sit out there, probably for a half hour or more, cuddled up in a blanket, and look at the stars.  I’m excited for when she gets older and can stay up later and appreciate the stars more. Maybe someday we’ll invest in a telescope.  BJ would really like to.

Oh, and on Wednesday I wrote this in my journal:

Last night the Harris' and we were playing a game (at the cabin) while the kids were sleeping. At least, the girls were supposed to be. But out of laziness, and acknowledging that it was a sleepover, we decided that we'd let them do whatever as long as they stayed in the room. They did fine for a long time, laughing and giggling, and then Audrey started to open the door and say things like, “I was hurt, but I'm ok now.” Once I heard Kessa tell her, “Go tell your mom that you hit me, but I'm ok now.” And she did! We were trying so hard not to laugh.

But she kept coming out and her parents kept telling her to go to bed. And eventually Kessa started to say that she wanted the lights off and wanted to sleep, so we decided to take action.

Melanie walked into the room and was like, “Woah! Did you put your oils in here, Tianna?!” as she waved her hand over her nose. I quickly checked and my oils were still safely put away. What I had forgotten though, was in the diaper bag (in their room) was a spritz bottle with 10 drops lavender, 10 drops peppermint, and filled with water to dilute.

When it was discovered (and 1/3 empty!), Kessa explained that they were pretending it was hurt medicine. And suddenly all of Audrey's quick jaunts out to tell us one of them was hurt but was better now made sense. They'd pretend they were hurt, spray the “medicine” then come tell us they were ok.

We laughed and laughed while we put them to bed and for awhile thereafter. We had to air out their room for awhile, too. It was so strong!


  • BJ: I'm really good at pushing buttons on computers!
  • In the car, Kessa and Audrey were smelling each other shoes, declaring that they were yucky, and then throwing them to the floor.
  • Kessa: Abby! My foot is not a fruit snack!
  • BJ: Dating and not dating is not as simple as Facebook would make it seem.
  • Kessa (walking out of the bedroom while riding a small broom): “I came out of Abby's room. That was Heavenly Father's plan, for me to come out of Abby's room.”
  • BJ and I were playing a game called Evo which is a dinosaur game. There is a birthing phase where you can put new dinosaurs on the board. I had a card that let me steal one of BJ's babies and replace it with my own. Me: I'm an egg stealer! Bahaha! BJ: You sneaky mom!
  • BJ: I love having money in cups!
  • Kessa: Abby is trying to pull off my leg. Abby, I have muscles there, so you can't pull it off.
  • Kessa: That's why we came here [Island Park]! To pretend I'm a baby. And to see the birds.
  • We considered going to Yellowstone Park this morning, but ultimately decided against it. Kessa just told me that she wants to go to Yellow Rock Slide. Haha. (Note: we call the park near our house the Yellow Slide Park.)
  • We put cookies in the oven and Kessa wanted the light on so she could see if they were done yet. After carefully examining them through the glass she declared that they needed their privacy and pulled the towel across the handle to cover the glass.  When I told BJ he said, “Well, they are changing.”
  • Kessa: God doesn't want us to die. He wants us to try very hard not to die in the fire. In the scriptures God is in the fire, so if we get in the fire, God can get in with us. And if it's too high to step into, he can jump!
  • Kessa and Abby are in the bathtub together. Kessa: I'm magic! The binkie came out my bum!
    Me: That doesn't sound like very good magic.
    Kessa: That sounds like great magic, actually!

And now for all the other random photos I took that I didn't find room for above.

Kessa wanted to me to read to her.  She fell asleep in 5 mins flat.

Abby always eats her foods in the weirdest ways.
Like this cookie that she ate from the front.

Mitchell cut the girls' sandwiches one day into a pig (left) and a cow (right)

"Take a picture of me, Mommy!"

Watching the rain.

Abby loves hats so much that she sometimes has to improvise with washcloths.
After losing all of the binkies, we tied ribbons to all of them.  Then she took to carrying all of them around.
Kessa washed ALL of the window panes in the doors and the window to the left (not pictured). That's 24 panes in all!  All by herself!

Oops!  Wrong seats!

Kessa took Nana for a walk at cousins' dinner
Ok, a story for this last picture.  Nana wanted to go on a walk.  Kessa went out with her and told Nana, "Nana, you need help going down the stairs."  "I do?" "Yes, you do."  So Barbara asked if Kessa wanted to help Nana.  She thought then said yes.  So she grabbed Nana's hand and helped her down the stairs.  So Barbara asked Kessa if she wanted to help Nana on her walk and be in charge.  She thought, then said yes.  Barbara then came in and told me.  I thought it was cute and wanted to get a picture, so I grabbed my phone and ran outside.  By this point they were almost past the house next door, where the sidewalk starts to go downhill, so I ran over, figuring that would be a bad place for Nana to walk.  When I got close I realized that Kessa was agitated.  She kept going over to Nana, then would run back towards the house, look back at Nana, then run back to her.  When I got closer I heard her say, "Nana, we have to stop.  We can only go to this house then we have to go back and then we can go to that house."  Which is adorable, because at home she is only allowed to go on the sidewalk between certain neighbor's houses.  She apparently transferred that rule to Barbara's house and was really upset because Nana was breaking the rule and she didn't know what to do.  Too cute.

Well, I think that's enough for one email.  Sorry (but not really) for the picture overload.  I just didn't know what pictures to cut!  And for the rest of my readers (if anyone got down this far), here are two more cute videos:

1) Kessa and Audrey singing Happy Birthday in the car (to Mommy, though who knows which Mommy).  They were constantly singing.

2) Abby playing peekaboo with me behind the table.

*Yes, I know the plural of moose is just moose.  I simply prefer to say moose.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dear Jessa ~

I forgot my kid-isms last week!  To atone, I'm putting the last two week's worth at the beginning of this letter.
  • Kristen in the dinner prayer: Please help us to eat safe.
    Travis, after the prayer: How do you normally eat?!
  • Kessa: Yellow m&ms are lemonade.
  • Kristen: “Honky donkey, donkey honky” (repeatedly.  For at least 5 minutes.)
  • Me: But what if I don't want to get up?
    BJ: Then you'll take the girls to the splash pad in their pajamas…
    Kristen: What?! No!!!
    Me: Do you remember when we talked about being gullible?
    Kristen: What's that?
    Me: When you believe everything you hear.
    Kristen: I don't believe everything I hear!
  • Kessa has taken to wearing a white undershirt under all of her shirts, whether she needs it to be modest or not. Today she showed it to me and told me it was her “garment shirt”.
  • Kessa was sitting on Papa Homer's lap watching horse competition videos on the iPad, set to music. Papa asked, “What is that horse doing?” “Singing!”
  • The other day Kessa was standing by the open car door and was supposed to be getting out. She paused, looked at the ground, then said, “Ok body. You have to get down now.” Then she jumped down.
  • Kessa: I'm taking a night bath because it's dark outside. So if I fall asleep, I'll wake up and say, “Hey! I don't sleep in water!”
  • Kessa: Jesus magic--no. God magic made me zero again, because he likes me to be a baby.
  • Kessa: I can't plant weeds yet. Planted a weed; nothing growed! If I planted a weed, a rock would come out
  • Kessa: Mommy! The family room is all cleaned up!
    Me: Yes it is! Do you know why?
    Kessa: Why?
    Me: Because Daddy cleaned it up last night!
    Kessa: Daddy! You missed an elephant and an owl! … Daddy! Pillows go on the couch and I see a heart pillow on the floor!
  • [BJ singing]
    Shawn: Josh Groban sings that.
    BJ: I was singing “telephone” in Spanish repeatedly to the tune of Abba, “Winner Takes it All”.
    Shawn: Oh.
  • Kessa took some baby Tylenol because BJ couldn't find the ibuprofen.  She coughed after drinking it so BJ asked if it went down the wrong tube. "It didn't go down the down tube; it went up the up tube."  She has also refused to take baby Tylenol ever since.  "I need kid medicine so it can go down the right tube."
  • Kessa: I want to get germs on Heavenly Father and Jesus because they can wash them off themselves in the rain!  {editor's note: This is probably my favorite quote in weeks.}
  • While we waited for a car repair:
    Kessa: When is someone going to be in trouble here?
    Me: I hope never.
    Kessa: But I want someone to be in trouble here?
    Me: Why?
    Kessa: Because I want to see them in trouble.
  • BJ: I'm really good at pushing buttons on computers!
  • Audrey (Kessa's friend we're taking to the cabin with us): When Jesus is resurrected, you can come upstairs.
And now for a little blurb out of my journal:

I have a friend from high school, Melissa, whose niece's apartment burned down recently and they lost everything. So Melissa got on Facebook and asked for 4T clothes for her niece's daughter. I explained the situation to Kessa and had her help me choose some of her clothes to give to this little girl. We gave them to her over the 4th of July while we were in Idaho.
Tonight Kessa came into our room, feeling sick, so I was cuddling with her on my bed. She pointed up to our smoke detector and asked when it was going to go off. I told her I hoped it never would because that would mean we'd never have a fire. “Yeah. I hope we never have a fire because it would burn up all my clothes.” 
We spent the next 10-15 minutes talking about it. She continuously declared herself scared, so we prayed to not have a fire tonight and for Kessa to stop being scared. But she still said she was scared. So I told her the story about Peter on the stormy sea and how Jesus rebuked the storm. I taught her that Jesus loved Peter so much that he protected him. And that Jesus loves her that much too and will protect her. 
We also talked about faith and how that means to believe that Jesus will answer out prayers. But that faith and fear can't live together, so she had to choose to have faith or choose to be scared. She chose faith and then happily went to bed. 
Sometimes I just love being a parent.

Warning to readers that are not Jessa: this next section is very much specific to her mission.  If you don't know her and don't care about her mission, I suggest you don't read it.  Just scroll to the next bolded header like this and you'll get back to my life.  You have been warned.

I have to apologize.  After you told me that I couldn't put real names on your blog, I found myself too overwhelmed to post again.  So I went 2ish weeks without posting.  I'm sorry!  I fail!  But then one morning, after waking up, no kidding, at least 6 times with the kids, I found it 6:30 am and me not being able to sleep.  Go figure.  I woke to an email from your mom asking if I needed help changing the names, so I figured it would be something I could do.  So I came downstairs and spent the next couple of hours until everyone else woke up going through all your old blog posts and coming up with pseudonyms for everyone.  I kept a master list that I will email you separately (it seems it would defeat the purpose if I posted the key on a public blog, y'know?) so when people write you and ask about Sister Kayak or Lookpuu Jordan, you'll know who they're talking about.  :)  But it's all done now and your blog is all caught up.  So now I can move on without any problem.  Except that I'm going to be in Island Park for your coming letter (which is why this is posting a day early), so we'll see if it gets on your blog in a timely manner or not.  My apologizes if it doesn't.

But in reading through all of your old emails, I found myself asking lots of questions to you.  So I wrote them all down to ask you.  First, questions about the whole changing names thing.  I want to make sure I do it right.
  • Do I need to change the names of people from home? Like, in your first post from the MTC you talk about E. Quinn, Emily, Abbie, Sam Ruggles and E. Denos.
  • What about names of GAs? I assume I don't need to change the name of Bishop Causse from the presiding bishopric and Sheri Dew and Elder Bednar. Right?
  • What about your mission president? Do I need to change his name?
  • In one email you say Sister Oar and another is Sister Our (Sis. Melton's companion). Was one a typo? Are they the same person?  (Ahh!  I used a real name!  But don't worry; after I post this I will come delete this question and say something about how it self-destructed because I used a real name on the blog.  Hahaha.)
And now, a bunch of other really random questions prompted by previous emails.  Mostly it's information you gave but never followed up on.
  • What did you leave in your Narnia hole?
  • Do you want me to fix typos on the blog?
  • Have you found it difficult not being able to distinguish blue and green in language? Do they even see a difference in the two colors?
  • What ever happened with Frank from Yugoslavia?
  • What about Asorey? You were pushing for a baptism on Resa's bday!  (Again, real names will be changed once this is posted.)
Ok everyone else, this is the bolded header with far too many words that you are all looking for.  You may proceed to read again.

Remember how Kessa was sick with a fever until Sunday, but then got feeling better?  Well, maybe you didn't know she got feeling better because she still had a fever on Sunday when I wrote you.  Well, she did.  And Monday and Tuesday acted completely normal.  But then Tuesday night she went to bed with a fever again.  And kept a fever over 100ยบ through Wednesday when I finally called the doctor because this was now a week from start to present with a little break in the middle.  And fevers shouldn't last that long!  They told me to come back in Friday if she still had a fever.  I told them we were going out of town.  So they told me to come in Thursday if she woke up with a fever.  So I gave her medicine and when our home teachers came Wednesday night we asked them to help BJ give her a blessing, which they did.  She woke up Thursday with a mild fever that a dose of ibuprofen ("kid medicine") completely dispelled.  I tried to keep her resting, but she'd have none of it, so I ended up letting her play outside a little, which she loved.  But then her fever started coming back that late afternoon, so we gave her more medicine and then she was fine again.  Thursday night her fever finally broke.  I snuck into her room on my way to bed and felt her forehead and she was fine!  Hooray!  Today she woke up without a fever and has been blissfully happy and fever free all day long.  Hooray for blessings!  Cross your fingers and say your prayers that she'll stay healthy while in Idaho, k?  

While she was sick she would go to bed in her room, then around 3 am would wake up crying about something.  She wanted water.  She couldn't find her doggy.  Something minor.  We'd go fix it, then she'd ask if she could sleep in our room.  So we'd bring her, doggy, Resa blanket and pillow in and lay her down on a blanket next to my side of the bed (there for that purpose) and she'd immediately go to sleep (after making her go potty).  Then she'd wake up again somewhere between 5 and 6:30 crying or whimpering, so I'd make her go potty again, then she'd go back to sleep.  After a week of this, I was quite exhausted.  But then last night (the night the fever broke) she only woke up once for water, then went back to sleep in her own bed and stayed there all night!  HOORAY! 

BJ took the girls (along with a neighbor guy and his daughter) to Idaho tonight.  I'll follow with the guy's wife and twin boys tomorrow after I go to stake baptisms.  I have to admit, I'm greatly looking forward to sleeping all night long.  Haha.

Part of the price of our house included landscaping in the front which included two trees.  When they were doing our lawn I asked them if I could choose my trees.  They said no, they usually just get two varieties that they'll come plant in a bunch of different yards at once.  I showed them a picture of a flowering tree I saw in the neighborhood (it almost looks like a white mini tulip) and they said they'd see what they could do, but doubted they could personalize.  So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that my flowering plum variety flowered just like I wanted!  It wasn't the same tree I had asked for, but close enough for my immense happiness.  I'm sure I've blogged all this before.  But it gets better!  "How could it possibly get better?" you ask?  Well, dear Jessa, that is an excellent question.  BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST A FLOWERING PLUM!  It also produces fruit!  This summer we got to enjoy a handful of plums the size of cherries.  When we first saw them growing we thought they weren't going to be edible. But they are!  And they're delicious!  Hooray!

We went up to your parents' house for Resa's birthday.  We played Settlers with her and your dad and Shawn (and your dad completely destroyed all of us in his quiet, behind-the-scenes way.  While we all thought that birthday girl Resa was winning.  Haha.  Poor girl.)  We had very yummy dinner (of course.)  And Abby learned to say brownie.  "Wownee"  Awwww.  I rushed her upstairs so Grandma could hear her say it and entertained myself by asking her to say several different words and she would repeat them.  Then Shawn burst in and in his energetic way asked, "Can you say gobbledegook!?"  (Or some other such nonsensical word.)  Abby looked at him and in a perplexed/condescending tone yelled back, "Nooo!!!"  It was hilarious.  At that point she refused to say any other words and whenever anyone asked, particularly Shawn, she would yell the same, "No!"  It carried the tone of, "No, you fool!"  The longer it went, though, the more she started to laugh and smile while still refusing to perform for him.

I had my last day of my cake decorating class on Tuesday.  We learned some new roses and how to write on a cake.  But I didn't know what to write on my cake.  It wasn't a holiday or anything.  I had a primary meeting right after, planning a cub scout training, so I considered doing something scouty, but I wasn't getting anything clever.  I started to write, "Take the Cake" when I had the stroke of ... genius?  (That's probably going way too far.) and wrote, "Eat me."

And... now I'm in Idaho and I've got a headache, so I'm going to be done now.  But I'll tell you all about Idaho and the cabin next week. Deal?  Deal.  But here's a sneak peak picture for your pleasure. (Also, sorry about the lack of pictures.  Apparently we were lazy this week.  We have a few videos, but I'm too headachy to deal with those today.  Next week maybe?)

<3 Tianna