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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dear Jessa ~

I feel like this week was packed full, but my list of what to talk about isn't very long.  So we'll see.

I canned some peaches this week.  Because clearly my life isn't hectic enough and I thought that surely canning peaches would remedy that problem.  [rolls eyes]  I ended up doing them on two separate evenings (because half of them weren't ripe the first night).  I ended up with a total of, I think 28 quarts, but I let Travis have 6 for his help.  And because he bought some of the jars.

And like I said, my life isn't hectic enough.  So during daytime of the first of the two canning days I sliced 2 pounds of carrots (8 cups sliced), sliced 1 celery head (4 cups sliced), and roasted and shredded, I think, 14 chicken breasts (something like 12 cups).  I didn't measure.  The next day I mixed that with chicken broth and spices in freezer bags.  Then took it to my freezer dinner group as chicken noodle soup!  (Noodles on the side to put in at the end.)  And I brought back 6 other really yummy dinners.  Mmmm.  Yay for freezer meals!

Tuesday we met with your family to do the September birthday week family dinner.  Jessa, I just like your family.  I hope you know that.  Because it's true.  Papa played chess with Kessa.  Shawn showed her this new fad video made by Norwegian talk show hosts that tried to make a crap song that, of course, got on the Internet and went big.  It's ridiculously stupid and catchy.  It's called, "What Does the Fox Say." With lyrics like, "frog goes croak, and the elephant goes toot."  Yeah.  That great.  :)  Well, now Kessa sings it!  Thanks, Shawn.  Thanks.  :D  Someday I'm sure you'll get in on the … pleasure?

Saturday I took my friend Melanie and went down to Provo (by the Riverwoods) for an Empowering Birth Conference.  I loved it!  I'm sure you're surprised.  :)  So many great sessions and yummy food.  I learned about how chiropractors can turn breech babies and how posture can affect pain levels during/after pregnancy (and in regular life).  All sorts of great things.  I won't bore you with details though.  Just know that I had a very enlightening, relaxing mom day with no kids and a friend.  While I was gone BJ had the girls.  For breakfast he made pancakes (Kessa's request.  And without a mix!) and for lunch he took some leftover corn tortillas and made double decker cheese pizzas.  Then when I got home we had leftovers for dinner.  I guess cooking two meals was just too much.  ;)  (That and we had TONS of leftovers.  We had them for lunch today, too.  And still have some.)

The girls absolutely adore car-carts
That night we got a babysitter and went to the adult session of stake conference.  Between being nervous about my talk the next day and having been sitting All Day Long, I was super antsy and just wanted to move!  I told BJ, "This is why I will never have a general calling.  They have to sit still.  For two hours!  Twice in one day!  FOR TWO DAYS IN A ROW!"  He assured me they have comfy chairs and it's not a problem.  I'm not sure I believe him about the "not a problem" part.  But we were sitting on folding chairs at the time, so… maybe he has somewhat of a point.

Abby is still very into hats
Today was the big day.  And thank heavens, sing praises, they put me first.  Very first.  I didn't have two hours to fret and stew and be nervous.  Just the opening song, prayer, and sustainings.  Perfect.  I had practiced my talk probably 8 times.  The last 2-3 without looking at my notes.  I did a really great job of following my outline and knowing what was coming next, but every time I did that I got at least 17.5  minutes.  Argh!  I was supposed to have 15!  So I said a prayer beforehand basically saying, "If you want this to be 15 minutes, either help me talk a little faster (I was purposely being slow and deliberate in my speech as I tend to talk fast), or tell me what part to skip, because I think they're all important."
Kessa and Abby have Resa blankets now.
Kessa likes both of them

As I started giving my talk it went well at first.  And then I said something that just fit with what I was saying that I suddenly realized I wasn't supposed to say for like 3 or 4 more paragraphs!  So I had to do some quick thinking and make it still flow all together while rearranging my talk on the fly.  In so doing I completely skipped one of the more meaningful stories and didn't realize it until it was almost too late. So then I had to reroute again and put that in later and make it flow well.  By the end my talk was all rearranged (you got the non-rearranged version, as I don't think I could replicate the real thing), but when I sat down, I was at 14.5 minutes!  (Yes, I did set the stopwatch on my phone.  Hah!)  So apparently I still left some things out, but clearly God answered my prayers and helped me to leave out the things that got me down to 15 minutes.

"Mommy, I stuck!"
BJ, your mom and Resa all said that they had no idea that I had been rearranging.  Everything just flowed smoothly.  Hooray!  More confirmation that it was all inspired.  I've had several people say some very nice and sweet things about my talk.  It makes me feel really good.  I need to do better about complimenting people on talks I really like.  Because I could tell that most of the compliments were sincere, and it really means a lot, especially after all the work I spent on it.  But even our neighbor girl, who is 7, paid attention through the whole thing and told her mom about it afterwards!  Talk about a compliment if I've ever heard one!  What 7-year old pays attention in Stake Conference?!  Hah!  Love it.

Sometimes, you just have to let your
kids dress themselves. Even on
school days.
And then we had 4th Sunday dinner afterwards, which was swell, because I didn't have to cook or stress over what to cook/buy when I was trying to plan a talk.  And, of course, dinner was delicious.  (But your mom forgot a salad!  Jessa, your mom is human!  I know, right?  ;)  )

I was going to wait until October to talk about this, but Travis spilled the beans on Facebook (he was bragging about me, so how could I be mad?  Plus, he had no idea that I hadn't told anyone yet) (and no, I'm not pregnant) so I might as well tell you now and give you more details in October when there's more to show and tell.

So, for Halloween, I decided to be ridiculously awesome and turn my house into Hogwarts!  Well, not exactly as I don't have 7 floors, nor a lake, nor a forest, nor a whomping willow.  But to  incorporate Hogwartiness into our house.  I am so stinking excited, I can't even tell you!  I crocheted a sorting hat the other day, which is what Travis bragged about on Facebook.  I also plan on having a broomstick, snitches (one going through my window), wand, potions ingredients, candles, house scarves laying about, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quiddich Through the Ages, and a Slytherin journal that Travis got me laying out.  I got a semi-realistic looking owl that I'll use to set up an owelry, complete with quill, ink bottle and a scroll.  And I'm hoping to use my old iPod or maybe the iPad to make a framed family picture with us moving in it.  JESSA!  IT IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!  Don't worry, Travis has promised to document the whole thing.  And next year I'll add more to it, and you'll be around to have our 2nd annual Harry Potter Halloween party with us!

Kessa is loving math problems.  Here's a sample from the other day:

BJ: How many legs does a bird have?
Kessa: 2!
BJ: If two birds were on the playhouse, how many legs are on the playhouse?
Kessa: Hmm… 4!
Me: Good job! What if there are three birds?
Kessa: [thinks very hard for a few minutes] Six!!!

Yes, my 4-year old just did multiplication. And loved it. #proudmama

  • Kessa's bedtime prayer: “Please help daddy get a new car, because he keeps driving the old one and it's falling apart.”
  • Me: Please make sure you put the bookmark back in.
    Kessa: I already knowed that. Because God told me. Because he hear-ed!
  • Kessa: I'll bet Papa is going to say, “Are you here for my birthday?”
    Me: He might. And if he does, what will you say?“
    Kessa: Thank you!
  • Kessa: Do you know, if we get in a crash and our car gets to be in all pieces, there's a truck that will come pick them all up.
    BJ: Do you know what that truck is called?
    Kessa: Nobody has telled me yet.
    BJ: It's called a tow truck.
    Kessa: Why isn't it called something else? Like a pick up truck?

Oh, and maybe I should answer some of your questions you've asked.  Rowling is very involved.  She actually suggested the idea, since she knows so much about about Newt Scamander.  So it'll really be awesome!  Plus, I don't have Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them memorized like I do the other books, so I don't think I'll be disappointed if they change anything.  It's a win-win!

And you asked something about sack cloth and ashes once.  I'm not finding it right away, so I hope I answer the question correctly.  Feel free to clarify if I totally miss the point.  During periods of mourning, the Israelites would show their grief by replacing their clothing with sackcloth and smearing ashes on their faces.  (An ancient version of our wearing black.  And far less comfortable.)  It's a very visible sign of grief and misery.  It was pretty much required when there was a death, etc.  I don't recall what scripture story exactly you were talking about, though, so I can't specifically address it.  If you want more clarification, let me know.  

Happy Sabbath!
~ Tianna and Co.

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