Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Binkie Fairy

The Binkie Fairy finally came.

What is the Binkie Fairy you ask?

About two months ago I introduced the idea of a Binkie Fairy to Audra. I talked the Binkie Fairy up really well- that she would bring presents to Audra, and take her binkies because Audra was a big girl and doesn't need a binkie anymore.

For the past bit, Audra has said every night, "did the binkie fairy come? I don't think so. I don't see any presents." And then she will even say, "Why hasn't the binkie fairy come?" and such.

So, today I decided it was time. After bath time, Audra walked into this:

 The Binkie Fairy wrote this letter:
Dear Audra,
Today is a special day. You are such a big girl now that you no longer need a binkie! I took it to give to a little baby named Makenna who needed a binkie, but I left you presents in return. You are such a BIG girl- even bigger than me!
The Binkie Fairy

It is fitting that the binkie went to Baby Makenna (who Audra was decided was a baby binkie fairy) because ALL of her dolls and bears are named Makenna, after her cousin. It's really funny.

She immediately put on the tutu she got:

She and Claire also enjoyed the headbands and socks she got. For some reason, a couple of weeks ago, Audra fixed on the notion that the BF had to bring her headbands. I am not sure where she got that, but she did.                                                                          
For 15 minutes Audra ran around as excited as you have ever seen anybody- so excited that she got a tutu. She told us all sorts of things about the Binkie Fairy that we never knew, and she was incredibly excited that she is now a big girl and doesn't need a binkie. It was cute. Actually, it was one of the cutest things in the world- I wish I had a video camera. Have you guys noticed how much she likes to dress up?

And, she went to bed nice and easy- no tears at all. She did insist on wearing her tutu to bed, which was fine. I am hoping she'll sleep through the night without waking up. She has been known to wake up in the middle of the night, and unable to find her binkie, to cry and cry. So, we'll see how tonight goes.

But overall, I think it went really well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This Is Awesome!!!

My dear friend took the picture of Audra in her "wedding" dress and did this with it:

Isn't that AWESOME!!!! She explains how she did it here:

Yes, I will definitely be crying about this someday!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Funny Things The Kids Say

Claire's top three sayings:

1. "What's that?"
2. "No way!"
3. "EEE, EEE!" (said whenever she wants something- especially water. We can't get her to say "water" no matter how hard we try)

Then, yesterday Audra was looking at my socks and she said,
"hey, that's a Nike swoosh."

For those of you that know me, do you find it odd that my 3-year-old daughter knows brand name labels? Because I think it is. I asked her how she knew that and she said, "I think Aunt Beth told me."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snow Day!

It's been a funny weather week. Last Saturday it was in the 60's, then Tuesday and Wednesday were COLD days at the local school districts- there was no snow, but it was so cold the busses wouldn't start so they cancelled school. Then, yesterday it really started snowing, and this morning we woke up to about 10 inches of snow and cancelled church. You never know what to expect in Denver- we get it all in a week!
Here are some pictures of the girls playing in the snow. It's a little deceiving, though- Claire lasted literally about 3 minutes. She HATES being cold, but thinks she wants to be outside. So we spent 20 minutes bundling up, then went outside and she immediately fell in the snow. Her gloves wouldn't stay on, and after a couple minutes we came back inside. Audra was a trooper, though, and she and Ben played for about an hour outside.

 This is her snow castle- you can kind of see it on the right side of the picture.
 Believe it or not, this is Audra's first snowman (or snowbear). She loved playing outside!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are?

I haven't watched this show yet, but now I really want to. Why? Because I finally started doing some geneology!

In our church, geneology is HUGE. The very last scripture in the Old Testament, Malachi 4:6 says: "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." We believe that has to do wtih geneology, and we apply that in several ways, but two of them are:

1. By knowing our past, we know who we are and how we fit into the eternal plan of our Heavenly Father,
2. We literally believe that families are forever. We do not say "till death do you part" in our marriage ceremonies, we say "for time and all eternity." We believe if you have a child who died, you will have that child (and all your other children) back in Heaven- in their perfect form. We believe you will be married to your spouse forever (good thing I really like Ben, huh?). This is one of the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that I love the most. But really, there are a lot of doctrines of our church that I absolutely love- how could I choose? So it's just in the top 10, or 15. Hee, hee!

Anyway, my sister and I have tried to do geneology work in the past to no avail. All of our lines (and Ben's lines) go back to the pioneers, so there have been thousands of people on both sides- including several professional geneologists- who have been working on our lines. That does not leave us a lot of options, and has led to some great frustrations.

2011, though, is my year for family history. 2010 was the year of food storage, and now it's family history time. I can only do one major thing a year- I'm just not that good to do it all at once.

I met with a friend who has experience doing geneology and she showed me several tricks. We beat our head against a brick wall for days. I prayed and prayed that I would have some success, but I did not. I was very much ready to give up because EVERYTHING has been done, but then it happened...

I found a line that hadn't been touched! Once that line was opened, I found a hundred names in a week- and I have barely touched the surface! It is unbelievable, and has been such a rewarding experience!

My testimony of families has increased 10 fold. It's as if I can somehow catch a small glimpse of what Heavenly Father has in store for His children: this perfect plan where we have a mother, father, and children who grow in love for each other and for Heavenly Father. That, in turn, has increased my love for Ben and the girls- if that is even possible!

My temple worship has changed as I feel like my heart is being turned to my father's (and my mother's!).

It has been a life changing experience.

Why am I saying all of this? I am now at a point where there is too much work- I have to pace myself to keep up with it all, and so I am at a good point to branch out and help others get started. If you are interested in doing geneology but you don't know where to start, I would LOVE to help you! Seriously, now that I have a testimony of it, I want to share it with everyone so you can have a testimony of it as well!!! And, certainly knowing our ancestors and how we are connected is not limited to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so if any of you out there want some help, please e-mail me!!!! Seriously, I would love to help anybody I can- this is such a huge blessing, and I want everyone to have this sweet experience and be blessed as well!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

All Is Well, and the Silver Lining

(see previous post or this will not make sense)

Our contractor came over today- do you think it odd that we have our own contractor? He has basically rebuilt our entire house.

He did find the pipes, and they had not leaked or burst or anything- so that is a huge blessing. He did say that they were not covered in insulation, though- obviously, not a good thing when they are so close to an exterior wall. So, even though we have 2 huge holes in the ceiling in our garage which he cut open to find the pipes(which we really don't care about, I mean- it's the garage for Heaven's sake), he will be coming back in a couple of days to put lots of insulation along the wall and fix the ceiling. And maybe add some garage storage. I need to talk Ben into that one.

There is a big piece of silver lining in this fiasco: Claire's bedroom is above the garage and it is always FREEZING in the winter and HOT in the summer. Now I know why- no insulation along her outside wall. (the garage has a peak above it that connects to Claire's room, and that is where the pipes are- and the lack of insulation). Hopefully, he will be able to fix that problem and we won't have to use a space heater in Claire's room anymore- something I absolutely hate doing and get totally nervous about.

In the end, it should be a relatively cheap fix, and we should save a lot on our electricty bill in the future by having Claire's room properly insulated- everything has turned out OK. Whew.

Now we will wait until the next major fix (which we really hope is the dishwasher breaking down because we actually really do want a new dishwasher- the one now is so noisy it keeps us up at night)- and wish we were still renting...

I HATE our House!

This is going to be a little bit of a complaning post, but before I start I want to emphasize that most days I absolutely love our house. We live in a beautiful  house in a wonderful neighborhood. Honestly, growing up I never dreamed I would have such a beautiful home. It keeps us warm and protected, and we are truly making our house a home as we make it OURS. We plan on living here until we can no longer go up stairs, and then we will move to a ranch townhome so we don't have to do yardwork or go up stairs.

So, overall, I am incredibly grateful- and in my prayers every night I thank the Lord for our beautiful home.

But today I hate it.

Guess what happened to our lovely home last night? THE PIPES FROZE! We keep our house at 69 degrees during the day, and 65 at night. But we woke up this morning and the water in the girls bathroom won't go on. GRRRR!!! Just what I want- to spend a thousand bucks to have it fixed. Yippee!

This is all just added to a long list of things we have been forced to fix on our house because things break constantly in this house. We have lived here just over two years, and in that time this is what we have had to do:

-Replace the french doors leading out to the deck AND the walls surrounding said door because they were completely rotted out
-Replace the subfloor in our kitchen because there was a HOLE rotted through
-Replace the floor in the kitchen (we didn't have to do the entire main level, but we did have to do the kitchen floor)
-Get a new water heater (we got a tankless water heater which we HATE- I do not recommend them- we have had to have repairman come out 3 times in a year to fix it. It does seem to be working now, though-we'll see how long it lasts)
-Get a new furnace and A/C unit
-Replace a beam in our deck that was rotted
-Replace all the parts to our garage door when it decided to spontaneously break last winter
-Fix/replace several sprinkler heads
-Remove all the gutters from our house and have them cut down and re-hung because the roofers put them on wrong and water was leaking into our house
-Replace a section of wall in our kitchen because of said gutter leak
-Have roofers come out twice to fix our roof

And, now, we get to add frozen pipes.

Correct me if I'm wrong- but does that seem like a lot to you? It seems like a lot to me. This is not counting the things we want to do to the house to beautify and make our house ours- this is the MUST fix.

When we bought the house, we purposely bought it knowing it was below our budget and we would not be house-poor, because we know in owning a house things happen. I did not expect it to be this much, however. It seems every 2-3 months something major happens that we have to fix. It makes me think we should have spent a little more on a house that wasn't completely falling apart. But, then I remember, how do you know if you bought a clunker? What if we bought a house that we couldn't afford, AND it started breaking down? That's my only consolation- at least we don't have to put the repairs on credit card.

I have decided that people tend to have different areas where they end up spending a lot of money. Their car always break down, or their kids always get sick, or one of the spouses can't seem to keep a job. Our lot in life: a house that breaks down.

There are worse things that could happen- I know that. And I am incredibly grateful that the kids are typically very healthy and Ben has a steady job.

But, today I am mad at our house! Don't worry, though, I'll be over it by tomorrow and things will be fine.