Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another fun Nana Visit

Nana came to visit over Memorial Day weekend and we had a great time. We went to HOP at the dollar theater, ate at our traditional restaurant, Angelina's, and went birthday shopping. Mostly though, it was just nice to visit and spend time together. Thanks for coming Nana! We'll look forward to your next visit!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bak to Primary

I served in the primary most of the 5 years that I lived in Birmingham and loved it!! Here in Texas, Brett and I have been teaching the Young Single Adult Sunday School class. That has been a great calling and we got to know some really great people and have some good lessons. I learned a lot and it was actually really good for me to be out of primary for awhile. Well, as members of our class have left on missions, went to school, and moved away it has gotten so small that it has been disbanded. I guess they thought we were doing okay team teaching though because we were immediately put in as co-teachers of a primary class- -the 9 year olds. It looks like its going to be a fun class and I am very excited to be back in primary again!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Emmeline-Dancing Queen

On May 21 Emmeline had her first dance recital. It was a pretty big affair. She had to go to a dress rehearsal the night before and the recital itself lasted almost 3 hours. Emmeline got to sit in the balcony with her class and watch the other dancers and she really liked that.

She looked beautiful in her little costume and she loved getting all dressed and makeuped up. I also let her sprinkle glitter over her hair and shoulders.

Her dances were really cute and she did a great job! Her tap dance was to the music "Who Wrote the Book of Love" and her ballet dance was to "All the Pretty Little Horses." She also participated with Brett in a Daddy/daughter dance. (They had several practices before hand which was neat for Emmeline. Brett told me how she held his hand the whole hour for each extra practice and one time they stopped and got ice cream. So those were neat little daddy/daughter date opportunities.) On the night of the recital, they had all the dads assemble near the front 5 dances before they were to go on. Then I got to watch Em and Brett dance together to the song "Cinderella" by Steven Chapman. The song is about a little girl who is growing up and dances with her dad throughout various important moments in her life, starting as a young girl playing "princess at a ball" and then finally leaving after her wedding. The dance was sooo beautiful. The girls who participated waltzed with their dads and did various lifts and stuff. Then at the end the dads each gave their dancers a rose. Watching Emmeline dance with Brett and seeing how fast she is growing up and listening to these beautiful lyrics. . .I was bawling through the entire dance (as anyone who knows me will not be surprised to learn.) It was really neat and I'm so glad that they got the chance to do that together.

A quick note on Mabel. She also did very awesome. I thought she might get a bit jealous at all the attention that Emmeline was getting. . .but she didnt act sour at all. She was happy to hold the flowers throughout the recital and give them to Emmeline at the end. Granted, three hours is super long for a three year old and Mabel did get a little bored by the end. But despite being bored out of her brains, she was good and quiet. I was really proud of her and her willingness to support and cheer for her older sister. (We got a babysitter for Madelyn :) )

Overall it was a fun afternoon.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Emmeline Dance Recital 2011

Here is Emmeline in her first dance recital, which was on May 21, 2011. She has really enjoyed taking ballet and tap lessons this year. (This is actually the dress rehearsal since we couldnt film at the recital).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Joseph Smith History Verse 17

A few weeks ago Mabel (age 3) recited a scripture in primary. I blogged about the experience in another post but thought I'd include a video. Here it is. Isn't she awesome!! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Family Walk

Here are some pics of a family walk we just took. We love to walk across the street and walk around the duck pond. I especially love to do this during May when there are so many baby ducks and geese swimming around. Spring is the perfect time for our family walks.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

First Field Trip

Emmeline had her first school field trip on May 12. Of course I had to volunteer and go with her. :) We went to the Children's Museum in Fort Worth. I think that Emmeline was especially excited about the bus ride and since we were driving to Fort Worth she had a pretty lengthy, hour long ride to enjoy. On the way there, she rode on a seat with two of her classmates and I sat with another mom. However, on the way back, Emmeline and I sat together at the very back of the bus. It was soooo bumpy. I almost fell off the seat a couple of times. I think that "roller coaster" bumpy ride was the highlight for both Emmeline and me.

There were several fun things to look at in the museum. (However, I didn't like it nearly as much as the old McWane Center in Birmingham.) And I did have to run around after one of the boys in our group who liked to wander. . . Overall we had a great time and it was especially fun to see Emmeline with her school friends.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Girl Trip!!

My sister Lucy has been working at DisneyWorld for the past 5 months and as a perk she got some free entrance tickets. She graciously gave some of those tickets to my sister Lydia, my mom, and me. Yeah. Girl Trip. We all flew to Orlando on Thursday May 5th. We all arrived late at night, my mom was the last to arrive at midnight. We rented a car and drove to a cheap hotel for that night. Originally the plan had been to pick Lucy up the next morning, but we decided we wanted to get her that night. After we got Lucy picked up and back to our hotel and finally settled down to sleep it was about 3-4 in the morning.

On Friday we went to Universal Studio. . .particularly to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Being a huge Harry Potter fan myself, I have wanted to go see it ever since it opened. My girls are to young for Harry Potter and I was thrilled to go with my sisters who also love Harry Potter and could really enjoy it.

Before we went to the wizarding world, we got on the Hulk ride. We were in line for an hour but it turned out perfect because about 5 minutes after we got in the line it started raining. The line waits inside so we didnt get wet at all. I was afraid they would shut the ride down, but they didn't, and by the time we got off the ride the rain had stopped. Perfect. The one problem. . .after we got off. . .my mom had to throw up.

She felt pretty sick for awhile but we went and had a long, leisurely lunch at The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmead and chatted until she felt better. That leads us to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. :)

We had a great time. For lunch I got the meat Pasties (they sounded the most Harry Potterish) but I think Lucy's dish of bbq pork ribs tasted the best. We also had tons of ButterBeer (in the souvenir mugs of course) and Pumpkin juice. Both beverages were absolutely delicious and I will be searching the web for mock recipes. :)

The Hogswarts ride is AWESOME. We had to ride it twice and I would have ridden it many more times. (I'm not worried, I'll be back). We also rode the dueling dragons, which was really cool. Overall, it was just fun to walk down the street and see the "wizarding world" come to life. I had a fun time looking through Honeydukes sweet shop. It was neat to see how they created all the magical treats from the books. I didnt buy any because I wanted some different souvenirs, but they were really fun to look at. And Lucy did buy a chocolate frog.

As we were leaving we stopped in to see a magic show. We were all impressed by levitating money, disappearing balls, moving lights and everyday items bursting into flame. We also enjoyed walking through the whimsy of the Dr. Suess section and I had to take some pics to bring back home to my girls. They would have loved it.

Universal closed at 6:00 (it was Grad night throughout the weekend. . .so things closed a bit earlier then usual for the public). We headed to our disney hotel, the All Star Sports Resort. It was the cheapest. Lucy was able to get a 50% off discount so that made it doubly the cheapest. :) After checking into the hotel we found an Olive Garden for dinner. Hey, when you're there, you're family.:) After that we just hung out at our hotel. Lydia brought her wax and waxed all our noses. That was interesting and quite hilarious at the same time. Even my mom did it.

On Saturday we headed to Disney. We started out going to Hollywood Studios. I was pretty excited because while we were waiting in line for the shuttle, the worker asked us some trivia questions. She asked who was Mickeys older brother. . .I didnt remember his name (Oswald) but I did remember that it was a rabbit so she gave me a "Disney Triumph" pin which I wore with pride for the remainder of the day. Later I answered another trivia question right, much to the surprise of the disney employee who asked. That question was-what was Mickey's first name. . .the answer is Mortimor. Anyway, enough trivia. At Hollywood studios we rode the Tower of Terror and Rockin Roller Coaster. I had never been to Hollywood Studios before and I enjoyed trying out those new rides. Then we shuttled over to the Magic Kingdom to have lunch at Columbia Harbor House, Lucy's restaurant. We were quite disappointed when we tried to enter and they wouldn't let us. Apparently it was a Magic Kingdom blackout day for re-entry's. Weird. Lucy felt so sad (and so did the rest of us.) She decided to go in and get lunch and bring it out to us. She went in and talked to her supervisor who kindly gave her three of his personal tickets to get us in. It was sooo nice of him!! It was a classic disney "Magic Moment". It was really fun to see Lucy in her element and meet lots of her friends. They also hooked us up with free chocolate cake!! I had the fish basket and it was quite delish. Once again, we had a long, leisurely lunch filled with laughs .

Once we were done we rode the haunted mansion. Lucy told us a "historical" story about the place, apparently they told it to her at orientation, and we were all convinced it was true. Something about this lady who married then chopped off her hubby's head. And then did it again and again before she was finally caught and hung herself. It did make the ride really interesting. Afterwards she told us it was a joke and I couldnt believe it. I totally fell for it. :) We spent some time shopping after that (I certainly took advantage of Lucy's 20% off discount!!) then we shuttled to Epcot. We probably shouldn't have done this (we were super exhausted) and everyone did it for me. (So thanks guys). They had some phenomenal bush sculptures left over from the flower festival.

We had dinner there and then booked it back to Hollywood Studios to watch Fantasmic. We were all impressed with the cool effects and video on water. Very cool and worth the wait. We finished up the night by going on the Toy Story ride. We used fast passes which we had gotten earlier in the day and we pretty much walked right on. That ride was very fun and I'm way glad we got to it.

By the time we got back to the hotel we were all exhausted and a bit grumpy, but it had been a great day.

On Sunday we had a little breakfast and headed to the airport. I was really worried that I wouldnt make my plane. It was one of those mornings where everything seemed to go wrong. I got off the wrong exit for gas, I got picked for a random screening check, they also searched my bag, my boarding pass wouldnt print right and I had to get a new seat. . which happened to be in the back of the plane so it took me 20 minutes to get off and I had about 10 minutes in Atlanta to catch a shuttle, run up the super steep escalator, and run down the terminal to make my connection. I didn't get a chance to get lunch or go to the bathroom, and I was all red and sweaty, but I made it. So I guess not everything went wrong that day.

I had a great time on my girls trip. I loved the rides and the food. But mostly I just loved talking to and being with my mom and sisters.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

With Relish

We received 10 cucumbers with the co op last week. Neither Brett nor I love cucumbers and even if we cut up one for a salad, there is no way that we would eat 10. Not wanting those cucumbers to go to waste, I decided to try my hand at making relish and canning. I've never canned before and it is something that I've been wanting to learn. It turned out to be very rewarding. It was fun to make something that we'll eat out of something that we wouldn't. It was fun to try something new. . .and now I'm excited then ever to do peaches in a couple of months.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Its a loose tooth!!

There are many firsts in a persons life. Some are more important then others. Well a very important one just happened for Emmeline. Today she got her first loose tooth. :) She has been waiting for a loose tooth for years. As soon as she discovered it tonight she started jumping for joy that she had a loose tooth. She had to call her Grandma and her Nana. It really was pretty hilarious. We will see what kind of declarations she makes when the tooth actually falls out and she gets to put it under her pillow for the tooth fairy. That will be a very exciting day!!

Tummy Butterflies

Today Mabel got to give her first scripture in Primary. She did such a good job. Perhaps it is all of my years serving in primary and seeing what those little kids are capable of or perhaps it was my mom making my siblings and me memorize all of our scriptures and talks when we were little, but I have a firm "memorize your talk and scripture policy." Emmeline has always memorized her stuff and I expected the same from Mabel. However, I thought I might let go of my policy when I saw the scripture Mabel had to memorize. She was assigned Joseph Smith History verse 17, which reads, "It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.One of them spake unto me, calling me be name and said, pointing to the other-This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!" That is a lot of BIG words for a little 3 year old girl to memorize. Despite my skeptism, on Tuesday I started teaching it to her. I was astounded as she actually began to memorize it. We left off the first sentence, and as I suspected, no one in the primary minded. They were all to floored that this little 3 year old was quoting the scripture by herself. She got the whole thing right and I was so proud of her.

There is another part of this story that I want to remember so here it goes in the blog. Little Mabel was soo nervous!! This morning when she got up she mentioned that her tummy didn't feel good. She had not exhibited any signs of being sick and I suspected it might have something to do with being nervous about giving her scripture in front of everybody in the Primary. She declined breakfast and refused to practice her scripture one more time before we left to go to church. (Which was odd, because she had been practicing it nonstop for the past several days). We talked about how her tummy wasnt really sick but she just had "tummy butterflies" which sometimes come when you are nervous about something, like quoting a scripture in front of a large group of people. We said a prayer together and got to the church. She sat on my lap all during the first meeting without saying much at all. When it was time to go to primary, she told me she had to "spit up", which is code for throw up. I told her it was those tummy butterflies again and said they would go away as soon as she was done with her scripture. We stopped by the drinking fountain on the way to the primary room and I let her get a drink. I was hurrying her into the primary room. . .when bless her sweet little heart, she began to "spit up." I rushed her right back out into the hall and into the bathroom (which luckily was one room over) and let her finish emptying her already empty stomach. When she was done, I asked her if she felt better and if she was ready to go give her scripture. She said she didnt really feel better but that she was ready to go do the scripture. We went back into the primary room and she went to sit next to Emmeline (who was giving a talk) up in front of the room. The group finished the last two lines of a song they were singing and then Mabel was up. She went up (all by herself--I just sit in the audience and watch) and recited her scripture perfectly. After she and Emmeline had both finished, I let Mabel come out into the hall with me to make sure she really was feeling better. Brett gave her a little snack and within about 1 minute, she was chatting away. She spoke more then she had all morning and within one minute more the color began to return to her cheeks. I was convinced that the throwing up incident was her nerves. I'm glad I know this about Mabel now and we can prepare for it in the future. :) I was so proud that despite her tummy butterflies, and throwing up, she still got up and recited her scripture. What a wonderful little girl!!

Emmeline got to give the talk today. She went right after Mabel, and she was holding Mabel's hand to support her while they were sitting up front together. I thought to myself that she is such a great big sister. Emmeline doesnt get a whole blog with two giant paragraphs like Mabel does since she has given talks and scriptures before and has always done a good job. Today was no exception. She made her own pictures and she told the story of Joseph Smiths first vision. Her talk was memorized and I enjoyed being able to sit back and listen instead of feeding it to her line by line or having her read it.

Kids really can do amazing things if we give them the opportunity and take the time to help them along the way!!

Good job girls!!