Thursday, February 28, 2008

What a trooper!

Last week Abbie was so sick, suffering with a fever, sore throat, and a cough. She stayed home from school on both Monday and Tuesday. This is what she looked like around noon on Tuesday.Tuesday afternoon was supposed to be her Jr. Drill Team halftime performance at the Spanish Fork High JV game. I knew she wouldn't want to miss it, but she was SO ill. I didn't think she could even get herself out of bed long enough to get dressed for it, let alone get out there and perform. I told her she didn't need to do it, but I'd help her get ready if that's what she wanted. Well, that's what she wanted! She pulled herself out of bed, got dressed, ate some food, and let me do her hair. All this time she kept telling me, "Mom, I need a blessing!" Laren called from work and when I relayed this message to him, he headed home, grabbed a neighbor, and together they gave Abbie a blessing. Oh, how thankful I am for the faith of this child asking for a priesthood blessing. And how thankful I am that her daddy is worthy to administer that blessing! Afterwards, she seemed to get better by the minute. Here is her happy face just before her group walked out to perform...She loved dancing with other girls her same age. I know these pictures are dark, sorry about that!After their performance, they all went back to the dance room and watched the movie of them performing.I don't think I heard a word of complaint from her throughout the entire day. When I asked her if she was glad she decided to dance, she assured me that she definitely was and that she'd had a great time! This is the happy, trying-to-be-healthy girl we know and love so much!Love you, Abs!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'm "IT"

I've been tagged by Jana, so here it goes:

20 years ago -- February 1988
I was attending Westridge Elementary School ("Go Wildcats!") as a 4th grader. My teacher was Miss Broadbent, who I was and still am convinced did NOT like me. Not sure why, though. I thought I was a pretty good student...maybe that was the problem!
10 years ago -- February 1998
Laren and I had been married for 6 whole months! We were living in a cute apartment above a garage in Orem. We were both going to school (me at BYU and he at U of U). He was working at La Quinta in Orem and I was working at America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses, where I stayed until Abbie came a year and a half later. We also had just bought our first car together, a tan 1996 Mercury Mystique with leather interior and a sunroof. We were in heaven!

5 years ago -- February 2003
Christian had just turned one and Abbie was 3 1/2. We were living in Nibley, UT (just south of Logan). Laren was student teaching and going to school, and I was working at USU as a secretary and teaching violin lessons. We were getting excited to hear if Laren would be hired by CES.

3 years ago -- February 2005
We had been living at my parents' for 6 months and were finally about to move into our Salem home. It was like Christmas pulling our stuff out of storage. The kids loved it and we were happy to be on our own again. I was in the last trimester of pregnancy with BJ and in a lot of pain. I'm sure I complained to anyone who would listen. I spent the days painting walls, playing with "new" toys with the kids, and soaking in our jacuzzi tub. Laren was working at Spanish Fork Senior Seminary (where he still works) and loving it! This is also the time when we really started spending time with our friends, the Harris', who had also bought a home just down the street from us. Abbie was in kindergarten, starting the year at my alma mater, Westridge Elementary, and ending at Mt. Loafer Elementary.

1 year ago -- February 2007
The month of February seemed to go by painstakingly SLOW because I was VERY pregnant with Amelia and in even more pain than with BJ. (I think I cried every day at this point, feeling sorry for myself.) Abbie was in 2nd grade with Mrs. Findlay as teacher and I was going in to her class to be "mother helper" every other week. Other days I was home with my boys, watching more movies than we should have. This picture is with my cousin, Adri, at another cousin's wedding. Notice my bulging belly.

So far this year --
We were sick almost the entire month of January and some of February, but now are healthy and hope to keep it going. We lost our beloved pet, Meg, but gained 2 other dogs, Jax and Chester. Both are Jack Russell Terriers and adorable. I have become a "dog person" despite attempts to avoid it. We enjoyed a trip up to Rexburg, ID, to reminisce about old times and see the new temple there.

Yesterday --
I took the kids to Walmart to buy some essentials and spent way too much money, so I feel a little bit hypocritical, considering I'm the CHICK. I taught two violin lessons, went on a walk, ate dinner, read scriptures, family prayer, kids' bedtime, and then flopped onto my bed to watch Biggest Loser and American Idol (my 2 favorite shows of all time...and, yes, I do watch them both simultaneously). My sweet hubby rubbed my head and put me to sleep.

Today --
I need to go get a shower, but I decided to post this instead, so a shower will have to work its way in somewhere in the day. I am going to try to get Mia to drink more bottle, less me. I will take care of the kids, the dogs, and hopefully still have some energy to take care of the house. Wish me luck with this one!

Tomorrow --
Laren has Parent-Teacher Conferences and I am supposed to go to GNO, so I'm not sure my part of that will happen, but I'm going to try.

This year --
I look forward to a year without a pregnancy - because I have pregnancy issues. I hope to keep my goal of reading the Book of Mormon before May 10 in honor of President Hinckley. I'm excited for April (or earlier) to find out if we will be getting transferred to another area or not, so that I can move on with my life either way. I am thrilled that next school year I won't have to deal with half-day always makes it hard to do anything outside of Salem and still make it to school on time. And my biggest goal this year is to start running and get my body back in a shape that somewhat resembles what it was before 4 kids. I'm going to need more luck with this one than you know!

I tag --
Vanessa, Mindy, and Jennifer

Monday, February 25, 2008

Boy's Best Friend...

Our sweet Megabyte passed away on Saturday afternoon after suffering from a congenital defect called "persistent right aortic arch". She was an incredibly sweet dog. In the 8 short months that we had her, she stole our hearts and made all of us love more than we ever thought we could love a dog.Her biggest fan, though, was Christian. He took care of her every day, without a complaint. He fed her, washed her, played with her, slept with her, and even cleaned up after her when she couldn't keep anything in her sick stomach. I learned a lot about his dedicated spirit by watching him care for her. It was especially hard on him when she died. He tried his best to be tough, but has a very tender heart and couldn't keep his emotions hidden. We're glad Meg was able to be with us for a short while. She will be missed, but we like to think of her running around heaven on the big fluffy clouds!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Over the river and thru the woods...

There's nothing like spending a day at Grandma & Grandpa Ottley's cute Kaysville Kottage. And if any of you know these wonderful people, you'll know how absolutely amazing they are. Lunch is always a treat...And the company is even better!Amelia enjoyed playing with the table coasters...While Grandma and BJ drummed with pencils.We love you so much, Grandma & Grandpa!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Valentine

I love you, my wonderful Valentine!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Don't Drink Beer

It was this funny song that I was singing all night long last night! Super great!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Tony vs. Paul

I had to share this video from YouTube. Like me, you might have heard about it or seen clips, but I had never seen the entire thing. It's awesome! Enjoy!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Only 2 months behind!

I know I'm late. But I also know that I promised that I would post pictures from Christmas at our house, so here I am following through with that promise. I know the magical Christmas feeling is much lessened now that it's February, but just bear with me!Here's BJ with his horsey, cowboy hat, and sword. He also got holsters and six-shooters, but wasn't very enamored with them. Since Christmas, this poor hat has been chewed to bits and thrown out.We were thrilled to be able to share our wonderful Christmas with Jesse and Danielle. They were such fun with us and endured constant "hanging on" by the kids. They never complained about the lack of quiet in the house, even though we knew they would have rather done a little more of this...
Mimi and Abbie enjoyed a Christmas day nap as well. Notice Abbie's new iDog in her hands!
Christian and BJ loved their Spiderman jammies/costumes from Mimi & Papa. And Christian didn't mind me taking a picture of his coolest superhero pose!Amelia loved the presents she got, especially her new Zoobie Pet, but her favorite part about Christmas morning was the fact that so many people were there to make her smile!I love this picture of my cute mom and Mia. They are the best of friends and really share a special bond!

So there you have it. I could add more pictures, but that would mean finding my old camera and downloading the pictures from it onto my computer...and, honestly, I'm tired. So there.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cute brother...NEW sister!

My wonderful, not-so-little brother, Jesse, is engaged and making wedding plans with his adorable fiance, Danielle. They will be married on April 25 in St. George. My sisters and I have always said that it would take a very special girl to steal our little brother's heart AND fit in with our family. Danielle has done both beautifully! We can't wait for her to officially be our new sister! Yay!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Moving Ahead...

Although change is hard sometimes, I was thrilled to hear the announcement of the new Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and counselors in the First Presidency, Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I have loved President Monson for as long as I can remember. He will fill the position of Prophet incredibly well. And I also have ties to both President Eyring and President Uchtdorf. While at Ricks College, I was invited to attend and perform at a meeting featuring Elder Eyring as a speaker. Afterwards I was able to visit with him and to see up-close what a truly genuine and sweet person he is. Years later, Also, when Laren and I were going through the seminary teacher hiring process, we were required to have an interview with a General Authority who happened to be Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Seventy. We weren't very familiar with him at the time, but enjoyed the time we were able to spend in his office visiting about the gospel. All three of these men are noble and humble men of God. I support and sustain them fully!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hinckley Challenge

I just found out about this and thought I'd share because it's such a great idea! Join me in this fun and exciting challenge as a tribute to our beloved Prophet! I will be tracking my progress here------------->

As most of you know, our beloved prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley passed away last week at the age of 97. I was thinking of how I could honor his legacy and I came up with an idea. My friend and I have created a challenge for those willing to accept it: Read the Book of Mormon in 97 days. We are trying to get everyone to start on the same day. Here are the details:

Go to and create an account (free, of course). On Feb 4, 2008 (the Monday following the funeral), have an FHE lesson on the Book of Mormon and begin your reading. Each day you read, record what page number you are on by going to

We would like this challenge to be heard all around the world! Please tell everyone you know! We would love to see over 1 million pages of the Book of Mormon read by the time this challenge has ended.

Do you want to show your support? Do you want to follow the prophet? Do you want to get rid of all of your excuses for not reading and become a warrior? Then join me in this challenge!!!

We are going to spread this throughout the news media (TV and radio) and we've already contacted Fox news, KSL, CBS, and ABC. But we cannot get the word out to everyone without your help! Please tell everybody you can!
--Join by clicking here--