Thursday, December 17, 2009

Random Quick Takes - Vol. 3

1. I'm a little late on this, but Marc and I spent Thanksgiving weekend in Spokane and Chewelah visiting with his younger brother and two older sisters and their families. Besides really enjoying Marc's family, I enjoyed attending Mass Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday and so Saturday didn't feel left out, I went to reconciliation. You really can't top that! I also had fun swimming in Lori's indoor pool. It was my secret weapon against gaining Thanksgiving weight. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:
This was taken as we were heading out of town. The nail polish is there just for size comparison. I was wondering...when did yogurt parfaits gets so tiny!?

Marc with Jill and her three kids right after nap time.

While at Lori's we played a pretty intense game of Monopoly. Not only did it last forever, but it was pretty true to real life. At one point, people started losing their houses and the bank ran completely out of money. At that point, the game went to Marc!

Here is Lori's youngest, Zach. I guess he is trying to send his mom a message.

2. I'm really enjoying Advent this year and looking so forward to the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. I have my very first ever advent candles and have been working on lots of fun projects with the girls.

Marc cut some greens from my backyard to make it look a little more festive.

An Advent Calendar I made for one of my nanny families. Each cone has a slip of paper on it with something to pray for and perhaps a tidbit of teaching followed by an activity.

This is one of Eleanor's projects from the calendar. After talking about St. Joseph and praying for her dad, Eleanor was supposed to draw a picture of St. Joseph and baby Jesus. She also included Mary on right. :) In one of her later pictures I was surprised when she drew flowers on Mary. Precious!

Another art project. Note Eleanor's angel on the third row, right side. :)

I guess Eleanor wanted to make sure Mary made it to the Nativity Scene.

3. Family Time. I do not spend enough time with my family as I should and I'm trying to make more of an effort to do so. Last night I hung out with my grandma and had a great time. I think it might be the most I've ever laughed with her. I also learned that her and my grandpa met on the dance floor. :) Apparently she had had her eye on him for awhile and she thinks he'd had his on her too...insert my grandma's half laugh, half giggle. So cute! She also converted him to Catholicism. I never knew! Way to go Grandma! I don't have pictures of grandma, but I do have a few of the my nephew and niece.

Riley playing with Bebe, my first doll. :)

Jaden posing with the Holy Family after helping my dad put up the Nativity Scene.

Hanging out with the Holy Family will make you awfully holy.

4. My mom and Marc received one of their Christmas presents early. My dad and I took them out to dinner and then surprised them with tickets to the Coats Christmas concert at Benaroya Hall. We had a great time. One of the highlights of the evening was a surprise for all of us. The elevator in the parking garage got stuck between floors on our way to the concert. We spent 45 minutes with 4 other couples. Lucky for us, they were all very nice and positive. We made the most of our time. We also avoided waiting way longer by calling the fire department ourselves after the garage attendant told us it would take the "elevator guy" 45 minutes to get there. The fire department responded in just a little over 5. Thank you fire department!

One of the firemen took our picture before pulling us out. :) We even caroled a little bit in there!

Marc and me during intermission.

5. Happy Birthday, Brent!!

6. Tomorrow I am headed to Waterville, WA for the funeral of Joe "Pop Pop" Mullen. He is the grandpa of my best friend and because both of my grandpas died before I was born, I think of him as closest I have. I also put one of the church ushers in that category, who has been bed ridden for quite some time now. Please pray for the Mullen family, the repose of Pop Pop's soul, and usher Bill. I'm looking forward to celebrating Pop Pop's life tomorrow and partying it up Mullen family style. The reception is a "barn" and there is sure to be a great "Pop Pop talent show," which includes many of the aunts, uncles, and cousins giving various beautiful and funny performances.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Few Things I've Been Up To

General Session Managers for HS Convention 2009: Louder Than Before

Return appearance of Sensaria for morning Catholic exercises

Date Nights!

We also went to see A Christmas Carol this last weekend. It was excellent and so fun to be out on another date. :)

Pineapple Classic

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day!!

I love any day that honors our military. Along with a lot of common courtesies, respect, and etiquette that seem to have been lost in our culture is the loss of respect and pride in our men and women who fight for us and give up their lives. And I'm not just talking about the fallen, but about the daily lives that are given up to clean equipment, go on long marches, run obstacle courses, clean barracks, press uniforms to perfection, and all of the seemingly mundane tasks that go along with the job that make disciplined, hard working, obedient men and women. All of this while often away from families and friends and all the comforts of home.

They have left behind all they know to follow and to serve.

I keep thinking that sounds an awful lot like a great disciple. I pray today in thanksgiving for our veterans and those still serving. And for those who need it, I pray for conversions of their hearts, to never fear Jesus because of the jobs they have done, and that they will all hear Christ's call to continue to have hearts that allow them to leave behind everything, follow, and serve.

A special thank you to my Dad, Andrew, Anthony, Uncle Jim, Micheal, Christy, and Aunt Debbie.
And a special thank you in remembrance of my Grandpa, Uncle Rick, and Uncle Ray.
And another thank you to Jared and all of those I know who are still serving. And one more big thanks to the military wives (Kim and Mary!) and husbands and families who sacrifice so much alongside their loved ones and hold them up in their duty to keep on going.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints, Halloween, and Christmas too!

Happy All Saints Day! It's beautiful out today, but even more beautiful to think about all of the men and women in Heaven who are praying for us to share in their feast one day.

I spent the yesterday afternoon out in Graham at my cousin's place. There was lots of food, new goats, a 4-wheeler, and even a potato gun to shoot pumpkins! I enjoyed taking it easy yesterday and having time with my family. Here are some pictures of my parents at the party and Stacey's wee ones later that night.

"What's with Christmas in the All Saints and Halloween post," you may being asking. Well I'm pleased to announce that as of Friday, I am half way done with my Christmas shopping. :) About a month ago, I set a budget and started taking a set amount out of each week's pay to go towards Christmas, which I'm continuing to do. Two weeks ago, I started making my Christmas shopping list. I'm hoping to finish up all of my shopping within the next two weeks and then I'll be set. :) Maybe now you want to know why. Well, I figured if I set a budget and planned ahead it would make life a lot less stressful, but even better yet, I can really enjoy and focus on Advent and Christmas this year. It's so easy to get caught up in the wrong parts of the holiday season and this is just my way of setting myself up to have less distraction. It can certainly be done all together, but I think I just need a little bit of extra help. :)

Thanks Gals!

Many thanks to all the gals who came to my Sensaria party. I had a great time and I hope you enjoyed relaxing as much as I did! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Random Quick Takes - Vol. 2

Some things I've been up to....

1. I finished up my 3 weeks of house sitting and have been home for a a couple of weeks now. It's so nice to be home, but I do miss the 10 minute drive to work. This last weekend, I started going through all of my things and throwing stuff out. I also rearranged my living room/dining room/work out room. I LOVE IT! Come visit me and see. :) Big THANK YOU to Marc who helped so much. THANK YOU.

One of the kitties I watched. Sal, lovingly called Brown Kitty, Crazy Sal, or Cat.

The other kitty, Murcey, Grey Kitty, or Cat.

2. Seahawks Game! Marc and I went to the Seahawks game a couple of weekends ago. We won! :) It was a really fun game up until the end when it became ridiculously boring because we were so far ahead. Good times anyways and it was Marc's first time at a game!

We forgot to take a picture at the game. Just pretend there is a sweet field and fired up fans behind us.

3. The Genocide Awareness Project was at UW again this fall. I spent the second day on campus and had a lot of great conversations. I had pleasant conversations, was cussed us by a guy who was so close to me I could feel his breath on my face (he was also shaking, I may have been a little scared), and also had a few awesome interactions with people who seemed to be having a change of heart. People really struggle with seeing pictures of abortion, but it's a good struggle because it exposes a truth that is hidden so well. So well, in fact, that it can be talked about like it's no big deal. I believe that women should know what an abortion really is before they have one. Pictures speak to that horrific truth.

4. Girl time! I'm having a spa party tomorrow night. Feel free to join in! :) We will be soaking food, having facials, and doing lots of relaxation, laughing, and also eating some yummy food.

Here is a preview of what might be happening:

And what you might get to eat:

5. I can finally say that I have been ice skating! I was nervous for my first time. I don't do too well with out my feet under me. I mean, I get scared! Heights are no good. My last time biking was not too hot (it had been a really loooong time). I don't know. I just like having my balance and being on the ground, but I do enjoy getting past the initial fear and having fun too.

There I go! It was really hard to get started. Seriously, I was asking, "How do you move forward?" I could not figure it out!



Oooh, getting all tricky.


Going under Marc's legs!!

I had so much fun! I was trying to put a little dance into it too. And man, there was a great early 90's mix playing. BLAST from the PAST. And as a note: both the Seahawks game and Ice Skating were purchases from the Gloria's Angels auction. Who wants to go with me to the next one!? :)

6. Marc and I carved pumpkins last night.


My pro-life pumpkin! And only the second pumpkin I have ever carved by myself. :)

Marc was having a little trouble deciding what to do with his pumpkin. I was totally done with mine before he started carving. Poor Marc.

This is what he came up with. I didn't get to see the final product until today. I was tired and bed was calling my name way louder than his pumpkin.

7. Art party! Tuesday is the day I am hoping to do art projects because I have Eleanor, Madeline, and Georgia for most of the day. Today I also had Jaden. :)

Here is what we did:

All the kids made Ghosts Wind Catchers.

I made a test Bottle Top Spider, but a glue gun was definitely needed. I only had tacky glue and it took me a loooong time to make my spider, so the group skipped that one.

And finally, I helped the girls make some Cardboard Tube Frankensteins!

And a cute picture of Jaden trying to warm up with Marc. I always love when the boys join us.

Friday, October 23, 2009

G says gu , O says aw , D says du. Gu -aw -du . GOD.

Update from my last blog...

I now have confirmation from both of Eleanor and Georgia's parents that they did not put "GOD" in the Word Whammer. It also does not recogize "GOD." Too bad for you, Word Whammer. Maybe the kids will keep planting seeds and you will get it one day. Just you wait.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

God is everywhere...

...even on the Word Whammer.

I found this on the fridge at the end of last week while nannying. Eleanor said she didn't know what it says, which makes me think it some how ended up like that "on accident." Either way, it made me happy and I of course had to take a picture!

I'm curious to know if the Word Whammer recognizes "GOD." I should check it out tomorrow. If it does, way to go Leap Frog on the evangelizing!

As a side note, so far my favorite word that the word whammer has told the girls to spell is "PUB." I thought long and hard for a different definition of pub. I mean, if it said "BAR," I would think of a metal bar or a bar of soap, which is totally legit for a children's toy. But really Word Whammer, "PUB"!?

Perhaps the Leap Frog people are Irish. God. Pub. Irish. That would all make sense.

My Kind of Art!

Yesterday I tried out a new snack with one of my nanny kids, Felix. He claimed it was just a little bit good and he really didn't want it again, but the look on his face and his eating said otherwise. Oh 3 year olds, you are such stinkers some times!

Apple Peanut Butter Sushi

Lindsey told me about it and then I found it on the Crafty Crow. :)

It linked to the site On a Whimm with the super simple directions.

Then I dressed it up with all of the extra apples. Food art is my kind of art! And it's such a healthy, yummy snack.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Art Time!

My friend Lindsey recently told me about a site called The Crafty Crow. It is amazing! I'm not usually very artsy and so I don't naturally come up with art projects on my own. Now that I have this site though, I should be able to provide some fun activities for the nanny kiddos and myself too! You should definitely check it out if you have kids or you are art-challenged like me.

I have already compiled a fun list of projects and supplies to finish off the month. I'm hoping to put together a similar list at the end of each month, in preparation for the next month. This way if any supplies are needed, the moms can grab them early on with plenty of time for fun for us. Yea!

Here is a picture of one art project I hope to do next week:

All you need is a toilet paper roll, a couple of golf tees, googley eyes, markers, glue, and scissors. Simple and fun. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Random Quick Takes - Vol. 1

Fridays can get busy and I seem to keep missing "7 Quick Takes Friday." Thus, I introduce, Random Quick Takes. :) I realize part of Quick Takes Friday was to keep posting something on a regular schedule, but clearly that part of the plan just wasn't working out for me. So here we go!

1. I've been house sitting on Beacon Hill for the past week and a half and have another week and a half to go. The "commute," if you can call it that anymore, is wonderful! I'm typically not much of a cat person, but I must say I rather enjoy the two that I'm watching. Marc and I have nicknamed one "Crazy Sal," but I don't remember why. They are both kind of scaredy cats, especially Sal. Murcey is less so, but still has his moments. And usually when I get Sal to engage with her kitty toys, Murcey scares her off. So things are going well, although they did not start off that way. The first night of three week stay left me with a broken car window and a ransacked car. I hope the loose change (less than 50 cents I'm sure) was worth it, buddy! And please, next time, help yourself to my Lighthouse Catholic Media CD's. I was a little disappointed you didn't take any.

2. 40 Days for Life has been up and running for 16 days now and already 174 babies (and their mothers and fathers) have been saved! I have participating at the Seattle site conveniently located just down the road from where I work. It sometimes hard to put in an hour when it's soooo early in the morning or I feel like I have so much to do, but it's always worth it in the end and it turns out I'm just a big baby when I'm thinking "it's hard." An hour of my day given to pray for the conversion of hearts and to actually save lives is really just as much a gift to me as it is to those who are helped. That being said, I have skipped a few days this week because I've been sick. I'm looking forward to getting back out there this afternoon!

3. Speaking of life, I believe I have mentioned on here that I am chairing St. Vincent's Respect Life Committee. It's been a great experience so far. I'm definitely learning and a bit intimidated at times, but I'm really excited to be both a part of the group and leading it too. We have some amazing people on our committee and it I really enjoy working with them. This last weekend, we hosted coffee and donuts. October 4th was one of three Sundays still open for serving. The other two dates were not until later on in 2010. Shortly after signing our group up, I realized that October 4th was Respect Life Sunday. Thank you Holy Spirit! He made another big move for us in what at first seemed like an annoying situation that left me frustrated, but sometimes you just have to trust. Our third coffee and donuts, after the 11:30 AM Mass, was cancelled because of a Confirmation meeting in the hall. This is the biggest coffee and donuts! After putting a few emails out to cancel on our volunteers for that hour, someone in the office spoke with Father about compensating a loss with two tables in the narthex after all five Masses. This gave us the opportunity to reach even more people with the addition of our presence at 5:00 PM Mass on Saturday and 5:00 PM Mass on Sunday. We had fetal models, tons of resources, and 12 week precious babies to give out. It was a hit and definitely a huge blessing to have the 11:30 coffee and donuts cancelled. It gave me hope to see so many people respond positively to our materials and to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit at work with our group.

4. I haven't said too much about work lately. Nannying is going wonderfully and I still love it. This fall brought a lot of changes. There was the recent addition of Baby Xavier to my Wednesdays (also known as my "boy day") as well as schedule, number of kids, and dynamic changes due to school starting. Veronica started kindergarten this year in a class that goes a full day, 5 days/week! Eleanor and Madeline are now in preschool half-day, 3 days/week, and little Georgia is even at preschool/daycare 2 days/week (although, I don't work with the Skov family on those two days). I know basically have Georgia alone on Mondays and Fridays after school drop-off and Madeline alone on Thursdays (until we grab Eleanor to go to music class). It's weird going back to a one kid world!!! But it's also fun to have one-on-one time and build our relationships in a different way. I've also picked up some hours Wed. morning with Xavier, while Felix and his mom are at co-op, and another little brother, Christopher joins us too. Whew! It's almost like I have a whole new job, but really kind of a lateral promotion with different responsibilities. I also value my time with Veronica even more before and after school, usually spent reading Narnia books. :) I'll still see Eleanor for a full day on Tuesday, but as she is my first in this bunch, she's kind of my nanny baby and I miss seeing her as much. All is well though and it's so fun to watch the kids growing up!

5. The Young Adult Women's Group started a bible study a few weeks ago and it's going amazingly well. We even have had six new people join us. I've really made a place in my life for scripture in the last year and have realized what I've been missing out on, but I still have so far to go. I'm excited to be in a structured study with an amazing leader and others who are trying to figure out the whole reading, praying with, studying scripture thing. This sums up how I'm feeling:

When I found your words, I devoured them;
they became my joy and the happiness of my heart,
Because I bore your name, O Lord, God of hosts.

--Jeremiah 15:16

And I think I'll eave it at 5 takes for today. :) I hope you all are well! Please remember me in your prayers!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How 'bout them weddings?

I find that the longer I wait to blog something the less likely I am to do it. Because I did not totally want to ignore my best friend's wedding, even if she doesn't follow my blog, I've decided I must do it now....with pictures. :) Enjoy!

Dena, Julianna, Me - long time friends!

Ready to be a housewife, eh?

Bride & Groom

Juje and her parents

With the bridal party


Cute kids

In front of St. Aloysius - gorgeous church!

Marc & Me

the Party

Best Friends since 1st grade :)

Hehe. Making Marc do my favorite pose.

Down the aisle

Mr. & Mrs. Yamamoto

With my nanny kiddos - Georgia, Madeline, Veronica, and Eleanor


Precious. Julianna & PopPop

I got another boquet!

And here is the dance portion of my toast (sorry, it's not the best version, but it will stop moving around like crazy):

And Jeremy's Wedding....

Congrats to Jeremy & Rickie!

Boquet - check!

Marc & me getting ready for the long drive home from Twisp

Jer, Andrew, Me - the boys are all married off!

And just because it is super cute...

Jaden & my punching bag :)