Google Analytics (invisible)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Harry Potter and Family Farms

Jessa ~

I think this will be another split effort between BJ and I.  It was 4th Sunday dinner, and we didn't get home until almost 9, so I don't have as much time as normal.  I could have done it before we went to Riverton, but I took a nap instead.  :D  So I'll do as much as I can, then hand it over.

Our Harry Potter Party was Thursday this week.  I was really nervous.  I knew I wasn't up to doing a lot of cooking or anything.  Or cleaning.  So I knew it'd mostly be put on BJ and Travis' heads.  But they agreed, so we went for it.  My friend, Melanie, was sad that she'd miss the party, so agreed to do a pre-party and help me cook for it.  BLESS HER BEAUTIFUL HEART.  We ended up making more than I could have hoped for.  And by "we" I mean, "she and her sister, Eileen".  Because I was super lame and was like, "Man, crimping these pasties shut with a fork is so hard.  I'd better go lie down."  And then they made us dinner.  Even though they were leaving the next morning at 5 to drive to California.  Seriously.  She is amazing.  I owe her big time.

But even that wimpy effort on my part overdid it for me and I spent Thursday all day laying on the couch, looking at my messy, messy house, knowing I still l had to make the filling for the custard creams ... and doing nothing about any of it.  Even knowing that an unknown amount of people were coming to my house for a party gave me no motivation to clean or do anything.  So once again, Superman BJ came to the rescue. He spent his lunch break doing some cleanup.  Then when he got home from work he said, "You go buy dinner.  I'm going to clean up."  And he did!  I love him.  And getting out helped me feel a little better, so by the time I got home, I was able to help Travis finish cooking and do a little cleanup.  (After eating, of course.)  It wasn't perfect, but it was good enough.  We had a small, but eclectic turnout.  We had 3 board friends, Kristy who I knew from the Board and the COB and her friend, Heather, two people from my first BYU ward who I haven't seen or heard from outside of Facebook since probably 2005 or 2006, and a handful of neighbors.  It was actually a good turnout, for the way I was feeling, though.  So I feel good about it.  Except we made WAY too much food.  I need to figure out how to get rid of it...  I don't have pictures of all my decor, but I did give you what Travis took.  If I get motivated or get Trav back over here, I'll get pictures of the rest.  And the food pictures are thanks to Kristy.  Thanks, Kristy!

Saturday I was feeling much better after sleeping the morning away, so after Abby's nap, we went to Evan's Family Farm.  Which is kind of like Cornbelly's, but smaller, and way closer to me.  Like, around the corner.  We could have walked there had we wanted.  But we didn't.  Kessa LOVED it.  There was a pony ride and a little train barrel ride and a hay ride.  There was a straw bale maze for kids and a corn maze (which we did twice, letting Kessa lead the way).  There was a hay stack they could climb on with a slide on it and two tunnels through the middle.  There was a corn box (like a sand box, but with dried corn instead) which Abby particularly loved.  There were animals!  A donkey, bunnies, goats, a small pig, turkey, ducks, dogs, a cat.  It was way fun.  Kessa has asked several times today if we could go again tomorrow.  But I told her it was $20 (largely because we paid extra for the pony ride) and it was too much money to do again tomorrow.  "But we could just not take Daddy.  Then it would be cheaper."  "True, but it'd still be about $15."  "Then we could leave Abby home!"  Clearly she just really wants to go and doesn't care about who goes with her...  haha.

(Passing off to BJ.)

On Friday, we decided to do something fun as a family. We talked about going to the farm, but then it was getting too late (hence why we went on Saturday). So instead, we told Kessa that after Abby went to bed, we would play a game of Ticket to Ride as a family. Kessa was really excited. She learned the basics of the game up at the cabin this summer, but hasn't really ever played a full game. She did great! We helped her pick some routes that seemed reasonable, and we let her use double routes when we couldn't, but other than that she did everything by herself. She figured out which routes to claim, and figured out how to go around when we occasionally blocked her. She completed all her tickets and actually ended the game. I had a pretty terrible game; I took one route that I didn't have enough trains for and then didn't have enough time to complete a couple others. Tianna did better, but Kessa actually beat us both! I got 53, Tianna got 81, and Kessa got 121! She loved it, and we had a great time playing together.

On Thursday, Kessa's Joy School class had a Halloween party. They all dressed up in their Halloween costumes, and for the last half-hour, then did a little Halloween program for parents. They had a parade with Halloween music (mostly just going back and forth between the kitchen and family room; really, it was more like a catwalk.) Then they sang a Halloween song and brought out some Halloween-shaped cookies. It was cute. Kessa's loved serving cookies to people, and did a great job of playing with the other kids, not competing against them. It's fun to see her grow up.

Abby's been getting very picky lately. Not about food so much, but about songs. She used to love music; she'd calm down as soon as we started singing. Then she started saying "no song! no song!" So we'd just shush her or something. Lately, though, she'll have a preference about which song to sing. I'll start singing I Love to See the Temple, and she'll say "No song! Twinkle star!" So then I'll start singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and she'll be happy for a couple lines, and then say "No, doggy song!" (How Much is that Doggy in the Window?) It's a bit exhausting getting her ready for bed. In good news, she can recognize songs and name them! She's even able to sing part of Twinkle Twinkle all by herself.

Our kids are starting to play together, not just along side each other. Abby's figured out Hide and Seek, so Kessa will hide in the other room and say "Abby! Come find me!" Then Abby will march down the hall and look all around. She's only starting to figure out identifying sounds by direction, so sometimes she looks all over. But when she finds Kessa, she beams and says "Yay!!!" Then Kessa hides again, and we start all over. It's adorable. I love watching Kessa take on the role of big sister, and I love seeing Abby learn to play along. Being a parent is fun.

Kessa is getting really good at reading. She can figure out most three-letter words now, even the ones with letters she hasn't learned at school yet. Watching kids learn to read, though, you realize just how messed up English is. S says "ssss", except when it says "zzzz". Th is often voiced (as in "this" or "that"), but is sometimes unvoiced (as in "thank" or "with"). E is usually silent at the end of words, but sometimes K is silent at the beginning of words ("know"). She's got an alphabet song that says "I know the letter A says 'ay' and 'aaa'", but it can also say "ah". O is worse. Check out the different sounds it makes in box, cow, come, or, lone. Seriously. And that's ignoring diphthongs like ow and ou. It's kinda tragic that we teach kids this language. But Kessa's figuring it out, and starting to gain the intuition for how to pronounce some of these things.

Kessa's also having trouble deciding what she wants to be for Halloween. Ever few hours, she switches between wanting to be a princess and wanting to be a witch. (She's been picking up on Tianna's love for Harry Potter.) I think we should just send her as a pretty pink princess with a black witch hat. :)

Answering your questions:

  • It's just habit to say that BJ comes home from work.  I really mean he comes up from work.  Kessa calls me on this All. The. Time.
  • Good!  I'll help you become a gardner!  Hooray!
  • BJ is technically still on the Board.  He's been doing more programming stuff lately, trying to update it to the latest stuff.  He's still technically a writer, but he goes in spurts.  Usually he doesn't write.  The Board is doing pretty well.  They're mostly all writers I've never met, which is weird.  But I guess just the nature of the Board.  If we could ever find a volunteer programmer that's at BYU, BJ would pass the buck and move on.  But... we just never seem to.  Alas.
  • Audible is a subscription service for audiobooks.  So like, you can pay a certain amount every month to get 1 credit that you can exchange for an audiobook.  (And it's yours to keep.)  Or you could pay more and get two credits.  We payed a lot once, then got 24 credits for the year.  That's how I got all of the Wheel of Time audiobooks to listen to.  But there are other ways to get books.  You can just buy them (at a discounted price for members).  Or sometimes they'll run a deal where they say, "Spend 4 credits in this period of time and we'll give you a $10 credit."  So I'll often do that and get the credit.  THEN I maximize that $10.  Audible is owned by Amazon, so they run deals together.  There's a whole big list of Kindle books (also owned by Amazon) that are in the public domain (like Pride and Prejudice).  So they're free.  But if you buy them, then you can buy the Audible version for only $1.  So I'll buy 10 of those and end up with 10 audiobooks and 10 Kindle books for free.  It's kind of awesome.  Which is how I've bumped my stats up so high.  And why I've been reading/listening to more books like Heidi and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.  Because I got them for free.  And why my stats are so high.  haha.  (I haven't even listened to probably half of what I've gotten, either!)


  • Kessa, while sucking on a lime, exclaimed, “It's not burning me up all gone!”
  • (Tianna coughs really hard). Abby: Bless you!
  • Kessa: Mom, because you're not feeling well, may I sit on the table?
(Sorry, Tianna's been taking lots of naps this week, so we didn't record as many of these.)

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Life as we know it

I taught Joy School this week.  I'll admit, I was really nervous, especially as I really have spent at least 75% of my day time on the couch the past couple of weeks.  How was I supposed to teach/entertain 5 little girls for 2.5 hours?!  (6 with Abby!)  But it was my turn, so I prepped and prayed.  I spent part of the time, when I could, laying on the couch.  Like when we read stories.  And I tearfully (stupid hormones!) asked two of the moms if they could come help at the end.  So they came 45 minutes from the end and helped me get the girls all ready to go outside, then we spread half of my recycling can all over the back yard and the girls helped me clean up after the Litterbug.  (We were learning about The Joy of the Earth and our responsibility for it.)  Then on Thursday my lesson called for 50 minutes of going to a garden or supermarket and pulling vegetables for our snack.  I'm sorry, but walking to my back yard and picking off a stem of celery does not take 50 minutes.  So I requested the moms come pick up their kids 30 mins early.  And then I gave the girls an extra free play time.  I feel kind of lame this week, copping out of so much, but not really.  I did what I knew I could.  And I asked for help.  4/5 moms in my Joy School co-op are pregnant, but most much further along than I.  So they totally understand and have been super sweet and supportive.  But can I just say how GLAD I am that I'm not teaching for another 5 weeks?!  If I ever do end up homeschooling, I pray that I don't have to do it during first trimester.  I might die.

Honestly, though, it hasn't been horrible, morning sickness-wise.  With Kessa it was totally miserable.  All the time.  With Abby I was exhausted, but still tried to do everything, which made things miserable.  With this one, I had an epiphany.  A new theory. It takes a lot, a lot of energy to grow a baby, especially in the first trimester when everything is developing and not just getting bigger. The only way God knew he could get women to lay down and rest during that period and thus allow the energy to go to the baby was to give us morning sickness.  And if that's true, then I should be choosing to rest and give my baby the best I can give it.  Because I've been doing that, I've found that overall, I feel a lot better, comparatively.  I'm still sick enough that I feel like I should rest.  But it keeps that nausea at bay most of the time.  The days I feel the worst inevitably follow a day of overdoing it.

I decided to look for a new midwife.  Not that I didn't like Heather, my last one.  I did!  I'm just hoping to find one that's closer.  20 minutes away is tough, especially towards the end when I start visiting her often.  Especially with a nap time and two different school schedules.  My neighbor loved her midwife, so I met with her and really clicked with her.  But she just moved her office to Eagle Mountain.  Which is 20 mins away.  And not because of lights and traffic.  But because she's So Stinking Far Away.  Do you have any idea how big Eagle Mountain really is?  It's insane.  She won me over when I said I really didn't want to tear again and she said, "Then you really should pick me as your midwife.  I really hate moms to tear.  I don't like stitching, either.  So I do everything I can to prevent tearing."  Then the next day I met with another midwife from Saratoga Springs.  She came to my house, which was lovely.  But… I just didn't click with her.  Our conversation was more stilted and awkward.  I don't know if it's because I had the girls with me for the first one, so they filled in any lulls, so I didn't notice them, or if there really just weren't any lulls.  Abby was asleep and Kessa at school for the second one.  But the second one would do all of my prenatals at my house!

I'm so conflicted.  On the one hand, the whole reason I decided to switch was to find someone closer.  So the Eagle Mountain one doesn't make sense.  Except I really liked her.  And she'll do everything to help prevent me from tearing!  But on the other hand, the other one will come to my house and totally solve the distance problem.  And maybe it was just an off day?  And it wasn't that I didn't like her.  I just didn't feel like she invited confidence the way the first did.  Or something.  Or maybe I should just keep looking.  [sigh]  Or maybe I should go back to Heather.  I did like her.  Good thing I don't have to pick right away.  I'm only about 6 weeks along and normal prenatals don't start till about 8 weeks.  And even then are only once per month for quite awhile.  I hate decisions!

I had another freezer dinner group this week!  Hooray!  We're having soup from that tonight.  It's so nice having those for BJ to cook, so I don't feel like I'm leaving him high and dry.  You have such an amazing brother, Jessa.  I can only hope you marry someone as incredible as him.  Seriously.  He has taken over the house for me.  He cleans up.  He gets up with the girls in the night.  He gets up with them in the morning so I can sleep a little longer.  He takes care of Kessa's accidents for me.  He changes poopy diapers so I don't have to.  He not only comes up for lunch, but he comes up and makes lunch.  Then he comes home from work, takes care of the kids, and makes dinner.  He'll often take the girls outside or for a walk so I can take a nap.  And I have yet to hear him complain about it.  I know it can't be fun for him.  And he's given up a lot of his own free time for me.  I keep promising him that someday it will get better and I will be useful again.  But he's done this twice now.  He knows I will.

Turns out though, this round of morning sickness might prove helpful for his cooking skills.  I asked him to make mashed potatoes one night because I wasn't feeling well and the CostCo rotisserie chicken I bought earlier that day suddenly smelled disgusting and I wanted something to eat. BJ: "Ok. I've got potatoes and a pot. Now what?"  Haha.  Turns out, he'd never made mashed potatoes before!  But don't worry, they turned out delicious.  In fact, he's in with Kessa right now making banana bread.  Awww.

So, let me tell you about this banana bread.  Kessa watched a show recently that had banana bread in it.  She's been asking to make banana bread ever since.  I happened to have three overripe bananas, so I agreed.  But I just haven't felt well enough to do anything about it.  Yesterday, though, I actually felt pretty darn good.  (I credit going to your mom's house for dinner the night before and actually eating a full meal for the first time in weeks.)  So when Kessa asked that morning, I promised her I would make it with her.  But the day got away from me and between a nap and an impromptu dinner-out with an old friend and her fiancĂ©, we just never had time to make it.  On the way home from the restaurant, Kessa asked, "Will we make banana bread when we get home?"  "No, it's bedtime."  "But Mommy!  You promised!  And now you're breaking that promise!"  Ouch.  Talk about stabbing me in the back and twisting the knife.  So I promised that we'd make it today (Sunday), assuming I was feeling well.  Well, I wasn't, but she was so hopeful.  So I made myself find a recipe, print it out, and start pulling out ingredients.  But I just couldn't keep standing. So my wonderful BJ took over for me.  Kessa got her banana bread, I didn't break yet another promise, BJ got blessings in heaven (and you got a letter written to you!)  Winners all around!

So, you haven't had a garden update in awhile.  Over General Conference weekend we got a light frost that killed most of my tomatoes, peppers, basil and cantaloupe.  So over the past couple of weeks we've been pulling all the dead plants out.  We've filled 2-3 garbage/yard waste cans thus far.  I think we're finally done with the dead stuff.  But we still have a bunch of hardy plants that are thriving.  Parsley, kale, carrots (which have finally been discovered under the cherry tomatoes.  They look pretty sad.), celery, and onions.  Though, many of my onions are ready to harvest and bring inside.  I should do that.  Oh!  And remember me telling you about my cauliflower regrowing on its own?  And how I didn't know whether or not it would actually grow a cauliflower because I've never heard of cauliflower doing that.  Well guess what!  It did!  I have a cauliflower head!  And a couple hints of more heads.  It's all still small, but I'm SO EXCITED!

With the onset of fall, we bought a bunch of mulch (probably about 8-10 cubic yards).  It was delivered on Monday and, I'll be honest, I was nervous.  I simply didn't have a lot of energy to devote to it and 8-10 cubic yards is a lot of mulch to move.  And BJ works all day.  And nightfall comes early lately.  Like, he'd have about 1.5 hours to get off work, eat dinner and move mulch.  Uhh… not gonna happen.  But!  Our home teacher's wife was in YW with me and is the biggest sweetheart.  She gathered a force of workers (largely including her family), and they came and worked hard.  They were done in about 1 hour and 15 minutes!  It was incredible!  I am so, so blessed to live in such a wonderful community that people are willing to stop on a dime and come help those in need.  I love this area so much.  And I love the support system that comes with the Church.  We still have a bunch of mulch piled up in our back flower bed that I want to move into garden beds, but the garden beds aren't empty yet.  I figure we can do that a little at a time, as they become available.  And hopefully that means next year we'll have some pretty awesome soil.  :D

BJ's been playing the piano fairly often lately.  And Abby loves to join him.  Which makes things less-than-simple for him, but it's so adorable to watch.  Teresa asked BJ to accompany her for a solo she's singing in church and came down to practice one evening.  (Though, turns out, it's at the same time as Kessa's primary program, so that's not gonna happen.  Shame.)  I was laying on the couch, looking away from the piano, and didn't realize that Abby was crawling over BJ's arms as he was trying to play.  After they were done with that song I commented, "Sounds like you're going to need to practice that song a little, BJ."  At which point Resa started cracking up laughing, to the point of having a hard time breathing.  Turns out, he was actually doing remarkably well, considering.

Someone on the Board asked him to play a medley of his and my 3 favorite sacrament songs and post it.  So we waited until Abby took a nap.  :)  And just recorded the keyboard and his hands, to preserve anonymity and all that.  He didn't try to perfect it, as it was based on a friend's comment about how she loved his impromptu medleys.  So he made it impromptu.  So there are a few mistakes, but overall, he did really well.  I don't know if your mission president would allow you to watch a video that is simply a medley of hymns or not, but just in case, I'm going to link to it here:  And if you can't watch it, at least my other readers can.  :)

Part of my calling is to attend primary programs throughout the stake.  I go to about half of them.  Today I went to one where the kids wrote their own parts. It was very touching to hear their pure, simple testimonies. Totally adorable.  My favorites, though? "Heavenly Father made stink bugs" and "I am grateful for my toes."

Apparently I use Audible a lot. I just reached my first anniversary of it and received these stats in my email:

Your anniversary stats:
52 new items added to your collection
828 hours of entertainment enjoyed
$719.63 saved by being an Audible member


  • We were talking about how Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits. Kessa: I know why! Because our spirits go up to him and he keeps their voices clean.
  • Kessa, on a toy phone: Oh, you need that? That's another thing you need? Everything you need we're coming tomorrow. I'll call you when I call you, ok?
  • I told Abby we were going to Mama Homer's house soon. She started talking to herself about Mama, then she lit up, yelled, “Papa!” then ran to the hallway and pointed out Papa's picture.
  • BJ was telling me about an experience he had in elementary school with Jared when Jared found a help wanted ad for an earthworm grower that made $1000/hour.
    Kessa: Oh! I heard about that! At my school!
  • In my dinner prayer I asked, “and please bless Jessa on her mission.” When I was done Kessa giggled and said, “That bounces up to Heavenly Father, then down to Jessa!”
  • Kessa: Does sour cream have a little sour in the middle?  (This after she ate 3 half-pieces of bread, smothered in sour cream!)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Conference and Morning Sickness

Dear Jessa ~

Well, I decided to make my news public, so I'll state it here, just in case my other readers don't already know.  I'm pregnant!  Due June 6.  Which is Kessa's bday.  Which humors me because she was due on our anniversary.  Combined with Father's Day, it looks like June is going to be a busy month around here.

Now Jessa, I know you needed time to process my news.  I hope you're feeling a little better about it today.  I know you're sad that you won't be here for the birth this time.  I am too, to be honest.  BJ pointed out today, though, that I'm definitely paying for my "crime."  Haha.  So maybe that makes up for it?  Today has definitely been the worst day of all.  Maybe of all of them combined.  But largely because I had a headache of death and couldn't take anything for it.  Tylenol didn't touch it.  And peppermint isn't good in pregnancy (it could cause menstruation, which is no good while pregnant), so I couldn't take my normal oil concoction (peppermint, lavender and frankincense).  Church was miserable, BJ ended up skipping tithing (bless the ward clerk and bishopric members) to nurse me, and I was pretty much out on the couch All Day Long.  I tried frankincense rubbed into my scalp and ice on my neck.  Both helped a tiny bit.  But not nearly enough.  I threw up twice.  I finally learned about acetaminophen and caffeine and tried that and it was bliss.  It's not perfect—I still feel a little gross—but death is a long way off.  Hooray!  I was afraid I wouldn't be able to blog at all, but here I am.  We'll see how long I last.  I plan on an early bedtime tonight.

It actually hasn't been too bad so far (minus today).  I've found that if I rest (a lot.  I'm talking most of the day on the couch) and eat frequently, I actually do pretty well.  Kessa has been great about it because I can just tell her that my body needs a lot of energy to grow a baby, so I have to rest a lot.  Today was a little more rough.  She's said several times, "I just want the baby to come out now!" and "I don't want to be sick when I'm a mommy."  We've talked a lot about how I do it because I love my kids a lot and it's worth being sick for a little bit.  We've talked about how sick I was with her, but how I'm glad I did it, because I love her so much.  So hopefully we're nipping this fear in the bud.  :)

Abby loves to swing

Things I posted on Facebook:
Well, we think Abby killed her first fly today. By kneeling on it. #rightofpassageinLehi

Guy sitting in Joann's parking lot, windows rolled down, listening to a football game. Classic.

BJ: What does a missionary say when they get hurt? "Mission-owie!"  Yes folks, he made that up all by himself. He'll be here all week.  In case you're curious, we've also got these:
- cats say meow-y
- Frenchmen say oo-oui
- dogs say bow wowie
- flowers say flow-ie
- fox says Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow Ow Ow!
- tables say "silly, tables can't talk"

Confession; I love French fried onions. I eat them straight out of the can. As many as I can justify and still leave enough for dinner.

After a prayer, Abby throws her hands up in the air and yells, "Amen!"

Other Kessaisms, which is just kind of a continuation of the last section, really:

  • Kessa: Do you know what the rules of our house are? Don't throw toys; they could hit us in the head. Don't break toys. And don't stand on the little chair.
    • Me: Say thank you.
      Abby: Thank you welcome.
      (Note: Now she just responds with "You're welcome")
    • I opened a Google image search for “flower” on my computer and listened for the next minute as Abby, sitting on my lap, pointed to different flowers yelling, “Flower! Flower!” She loves flowers. A lot.
    • Abby is convinced that the bear in the book But Not the Hippopotamus is a dog.
    • Kessa: Oh look! It's a baby fly! I wish we could keep it, but we can't. But it's just a little baby fly! [pause] Daddy! Get it!
    • We were walking by the big family picture at the Homer's when Abby yelled, “Papa!” so we stopped and looked. She pointed out Papa and Mama and then… “Jessa!” Looks like we're keeping your image alive!
    • Kessa, in prayer: Please help the flowers to grow everywhere. And please help it to snow soon, because I like snow.
    • Kessa: I can't finish watching my show; my pinkie feels like it has a bandaid on it.
    • Me: Do you think this baby will be a boy or a girl?
      Kessa: A boy. Because I remember when I prayed to Heavenly Father and asked him for a baby brother.
    • Abby loves to jump up, stick her legs straight out in front of her, then fall on her bum. I'm sure she learned it on the trampoline, but I have seen her do it on the couch, the floor, and concrete. I feared for her reaction on concrete, but apparently diapers are sufficient padding, because she laughs every time.
    • Me: Do you want a cow-duck?
      Abby: Pig! Moooo.
    • Preface: I decorated as Hogwarts for Halloween.  So we have a wand out.  Kessa likes to point it at the lights and yell Lumos! or Nox! While we surreptitiously turn on and off the light.
      Kessa: Daddy, I want to use the magic to turn on the light. I need you to stand there and turn on the light and trick me.
    • Kessa, referring to her toothbrush: Hold on. I have to get all the dirty air off first.
    • Kessa, praying over breakfast: And please help Mommy to have a newborn baby really soon who can crawl very well.
    • Me: Hey Abby! I love you!
      Abby: ok.

    Which reminds me.  Abby says "Ok" all the time.  It's the way she says yes.  "Do you want to go on a walk?" "Ok."  It's adorable.

    (BJ's taking over here, because Tianna's out of energy and going to bed.)

    I really enjoyed General Conference. We watched most of it up in Riverton, but came back for Sunday Afternoon, because Tianna's parents were coming over right afterward, where we hosted a mini mission reunion for them and a few of the members who were in town from their mission in South Carolina. To me, it felt like there was a strong emphasis on Home Teaching; I'd been feeling that emphasis even before President Monson spoke about it in the Priesthood session. I don't know if that's just a reflection of what I needed to hear, or whether everyone else felt that was a big topic too, but it sure spoke to me. More generally, I love hearing from our modern prophets and apostles. I can feel my spiritual batteries recharging, my testimony growing more firm, as I listen to them.

    The kids did pretty well with Conference; Kessa actually watched most of all 4 sessions. She had some coloring pages she got at Primary, but she was definitely listening; she'd occasionally repeat one of the phrases used by the speakers. Abby was less interested, but she mostly just wandered or slept.

    Kessa watching Conference.
    I've been trying to share the Gospel more online lately. I'm fairly active on Twitter, and have almost 500 followers. But, I know most of them follow me because I post interesting stuff about programming. If I just started posting about religion non-stop, I think most of them would be disinterested and stop following. I do think, though, that it's important for me to make my beliefs part of what I talk about. It's an important part of my life; I shouldn't have to suppress it when I post things online. So far, I've had mostly good feedback. A couple people asking questions, or sharing their own differing opinion. Nobody has acted highly offended.

    Kessa had a fever for a few days this week. When Kessa is sick, she is grumpy. She was crying loudly and dramatically over any disappointment or inconvenience. She screamed for 40 minutes in the bathtub because she didn't want a band-aid to get wet. It's hard as a parent to see your children sick, because on the one hand, you really want to take care of them and help them get better, but on the other hand, they can be maddening, and sometimes you just need a break. Poor girl, though, she had a fever of 102 degrees a couple times. She's better now, and we're hoping she'll avoid getting sick for a while.

    Tianna's brother Damian and his wife Kim came down for the BYU football game this weekend, so we watched their four kids for the evening. The oldest, and the only girl, desperately wants a little sister, so every time she comes down, she's thrilled to take care of Kessa and Abby. She loves doing hair and holding crying kids… it's great! Even though we had six kids in the house, we enjoyed having them; they mostly just played with each other while Tianna and I did some work outside to clean up the garden.

    Speaking of the garden… we were supposed to be getting a large delivery of mulch on Saturday afternoon, so we were trying to clear out the garden so we'd have room to put the mulch in. We pulled out most of the plants, as frost has started coming. It's amazing how much plant matter grows out of those little seeds! Unfortunately, a bunch of the cherry tomatoes fell off while we were pulling it out, and before long we had hundreds of flies swarming around the smashed (and slightly rotten) tomatoes. It took a couple hours to clean all of those up, but I think we got most of them now. It's looking much nicer now. Of course, after we did all that work, the mulch delivery guys got running slow, and now we won't get it until Monday. But at least we got the cleaning work done; getting the mulch in should be much easier now.

    Kellie Johnson got married down in St. George this week, so Mom, Dad, and Resa went down for that. We couldn't go because we'd already agreed to watch Damian's kids, so we ended up babysitting Jax too. It's funny; even though it's been years since we lived up in Riverton, he still knows exactly where to sleep: on Tianna's feet. Kessa and Abby loved having him here. Kessa especially loves to take him on walks. She's getting strong enough that we don't have to worry about him running away from her, but sometimes they get into a tug-of-war over where they're going to walk next. :) It's cute.

    And finally, a couple more pictures of our kids, just because they're adorable.

    We love you!