Tuesday, March 31, 2009
This is my first ever customs paper! This was my first time out of the country and hopefully not the last.
Our hotel was great! We stayed at the Inn at Laurel Point which was about a 2 minute walk from the ferry docks. We were able to check in early since we upgraded to a better room that was all ready to go; So we didn't have to lug our bags around with us at all, which was nice. The room was very nice and my favorite part was the bathroom. It was floor to ceiling marble tile with a large soaker tub and more bottles of soap, lotions, and creams than I have ever seen in a hotel room at one time. There were even bath salts and an exfoliating mitt. Another great plus was the bathrobes. They were absolutely heavenly! So so so soft! I wished I could have brought one of those babies home with me. In the end we didn't even have to pay for the upgrade! When we went to check out of the hotel at the end of our stay we noticed they hadn't charged us for the upgrade so we mentioned it to them. In the end they ended up giving it to us for FREE! I guess it pays to be honest "EH"
We had a king sized bed and get this! We were able to sleep snore free! Maybe all Dan needs is a new pillow. It was very comfy.
Our room had a nice balcony and view of the harbor and of the hotel's Japanese gardens. It was great!
We saw lots of sea planes while we were there too. They were constantly coming into the harbor.
There were a bunch of these little trolly boats that took people from one side of the harbor to the other so they didn't have to walk all that way. Aren't they the cutest little things!
We thought it was pretty funny going out to eat at McDonalds. They had what was called a "double big mac." How crazy is that! They didn't taste anything like our regular big macs either. Believe me, we tried one just so we could say we did it.
The highlight of our trip was probably our trip to Adrena Line Ziplines. It was sooo fun! They took us for a 10 minute ATV ride up to the top and we ziplined our way back down on 8 different lines and 2 suspension bridges. It was snowing while we were up there in the tops of the trees so it was pretty cold, but fun none the less. I took a short video of myself going down one of the lines. I hope to get that posted as well.
We also made our way to the famous Buchart Gardens. They were beautiful! We were still there in the off season so not everything was in bloom yet but it was still very pretty. If we ever go again we'll have to plan it for 2 to 3 months later in the year so we can see the rose gardens in bloom.
While we were there it rained a bit but the park had umbrellas everywhere for their visitors. They made for nice photo props too I thought.
On our last day in Victoria we went to the Royal BC museum. It was pretty fascinating. We learned a lot and the exibits were sooo well done! They put the tiniest details into the displays that they didn't look fake or staged at all. Check out the fish market picture below and you'll see what I mean.
After the museum we had planned on taking a walk to another nice park in downtown Victoria but we ran out of time before we had to make our ferry so we took pictures in front of the museum instead. We had our tripod along and I wanted to get some cute couple shots. I think they turned out pretty nice.
Then we headed back to Seattle. The weather was beautiful! I got some shots of the water from the deck of the ferry and a shot or two of some nearby sail boats.
We had lots of fun and hope to do something like this again in the future. When we arrived back in Seattle we got stuck in line for awhile. We soon learned the reason was because someone was arrested and escorted in handcuffs. We watched as they escorted her out. It was interesting and we wish we knew the whole story of why.
Thanks mom and Kayla for staying with the kids! I know they had a lot of fun with you and I am sure you had fun spoiling them as well.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I am soooo blessed in my life. I see others around me who don't have what I do and wish I could hand it over. But the one thing I am most thankful for in my life is my testimony of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful of the knowledge that I have of him and his plan for us. I often wonder what my life would be like and where I'd be without knowing that I will one day be with him again. I know that one day I will too see other members of my family that have passed on. Life would be so sad and uncertain if I didn't believe that. I know everything in life has a purpose. Have you ever wondered what might have happened differently if you made a different choice than what you actually did at one point in time? I know I have. But I also know that what has happened, and what is to come, is more exciting and wonderful than I can even know now. I know my Heavenly Father loves me, and that he has a plan for me. I know that his Son Jesus Christ came to this earth and that he suffered and died for me. To know that someone was willing to do that for me is humbling and touches me deeply. It makes me want to do my best in this life to make that sacrifice worth the effort. I know the scriptures to be true and they are a blessing in my life. I love my family and look forward to spending all eternity with them. I have so much in my heart that I wish I could write.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
This Monday we did the lesson on being happy. We talked about how when we see people smile it makes us happy and when others see us smile we can make them happy. We sang "if you chance to meet a frown..." and "if you're happy and you know it.." Then it was time to pray. Kiera wasn't cooperating and was whining and pouting so I reminded her what our lesson was on.
I asked her where her smile was. She still pouted...then I asked her if it was in her pocket. Still no answer....I said Kiera where is your smile (trying to get her to smile) She said, "in my teeth" That was pretty funny. Then I said, "let me see it. Where is your smile? Can you find it?" She said, "no it's in my pocket" It was soo cute that Dan and I started laughing. I then went up to her and reached in her pocket, pulled her smile out and placed it on her mouth, and TA DA she was smiling from ear to ear! " I found my smile!", she exclaimed. We were then able to say the closing prayer and everyone was happy.
Ever since then she tells us "I found my smile!" And shows us her smile and we tell her that it makes us sooo happy. I think it was a success. What do you think?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I’m thinking about you today as you are so far from home. I keep going over things in my mind. I have had your lifetime to prepare for this time, sometimes wanting it to come quickly and sometimes hoping it would never come. Most of the time though, I have been preparing myself and preparing you, by madly gathering life’s questions and answers in the hope that I haven’t forgotten anything. I keep revising the list inside my head; checking off all the things I know I’ve already told you – so many times. Protecting you and preparing you has been such a big part of who I am – it’s hard to redefine myself and accept that my job is done.
I remind myself that this is about you, but as usual, here I am making it about me again. Slightly neurotic, I find myself wanting to explain or apologize or gain some kind of forgiveness from you. I want to go back into your history and call myself to your attention and wipe the slate clean of all my mistakes. I do admit that I have been less than I should have been at times, and I don’t want you thinking it was your fault or that you didn’t deserve better. Yeah, yeah, I hear you say ‘Don’t worry about it, it doesn’t matter”.
I have such an urge to tell you of promises I made, as you slept below my heart all those years ago. So very real and profound to me, and so intense I’m sure I’d weep if I even tried to tell you. You of course, would shift from one leg to the other and endure my disclosure with patience.
Pictures of first steps, first words and first everything else’s consume me—Tooth fairies, Santa Claus and Easter bunnies, little trophies, wall posters, art projects, dress-up clothes, and Lego buildings. I’m indulging myself, it’s my prerogative. I want to reminisce. I’m going back to the baby and you are going forward to the woman. You have freedom, independence and adventure on your mind. I know you are ready; capable, competent and smarter than I’ll ever be.
My attitude shifts as I accept that you don’t need any precautions, no more moralizing; no more “You know what you should do…” And even though I have represented myself as parent and teacher, I see so clearly that I have also been the pupil. I have learned so much from you, you have played such a large part in molding me into the person I am. You have taught me well and I thank you.
I love you with all of my heart!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
The other part of the plan would take place when she got up. When Kiera got up I told her it was her turn to go to the potty when the timer went off. She happily did so, but only once! All the other times that I tried to get her to go, she would refuse and throw a fit. So since then we have gradually tried to get her excited again. Every once in awhile she'll ask to go on the potty but we haven't had any luck yet. She does however haul her "Sarah Bear" everywhere and she loves to wear her skirt around during the day (we usually end up putting it on over her pants). What are some things you've done to potty train your little ones?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Ok, let's get in the crafting spirit! Leave me a comment telling me that you're going to do it too. The first five get something amazing from me!
Sometimes we all need that little reminder of why we mothers do what we do. Thanks everyday mom!
Friday, March 13, 2009
Chugga chugga choo choo
And the little one said roll over...
Ethan and his pushcart
My little climber
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I have had some time lately to sit and think about this question. So what are we supposed to be learning from all this? I know many people who have lost their jobs some are friends and others are close family. Many more people are being affected by the economy. It is scary to watch and it is stressful to about. These are really hard times. It makes me wonder what we are all supposed to be learning from this. Maybe it is Gods way of telling us we need to pull together more. Maybe he's telling us to focus on the more important things in life. Whatever it is, I know the experience may be hard but we'll pull through it somehow.
I'd like to hear from any of you who are experiencing similar trials. What have you learned or what are you learning?
Monday, March 9, 2009
I did name my car once. I thought it was silly to have a name for a car and that only silly, obsessed men named their cars. But in high school it was no question that my car deserved a name. I had an old '76 Dodge Aspen that was painted maroon. You know the kind built like a tank and made of real metal.
It came with an AM radio and a broken drivers seat. So my mom and I fixed it up to make it suitable for a high school seniors pride. We put in an updated AM/FM radio (woohoo!) and fixed the drivers seat by putting an old camping foam pad over the top and buying some seat covers. We even updated the outside by replacing the old rusty hubcaps with some cheap plastic ones from WalMart. Pretty pathetic by today's standards but to me it was a "cool" car. Besides I had a car to call mine and that was worth it all by itself.
It used to be my grandmas car and she sold it to my parents who in turn let me drive it. I dubbed him "Forest" He never stopped running! He had his quirks and hiccups every once in awhile but he kept on going. Notice I gave it a boys name instead of the usual girls name.
While Dan's parents were here the DVD shelf finally recieved its doors. While Dan and his dad were attaching the doors they had to countersink some extra screws in the side to put the shelf together a little more and fill in the gaps. I will say I was a bit disappointed and was frustrated that I couldn't check this project off my list. I now have to go back and touch up the putty holes on the sides. Grrrrr. I hope it looks ok when I am done. We will have permanent circular spots on the side now. Hopefully Dan will let me put a piece of skinny trim on to cover them up if it doesn't work out. But other than that I am very happy with how it turned out. Oh yes and nobody enjoys the little white ornament hanging on the front more than I do. No more picking up the movies over and over!
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I am learning patience and flexibility. These next few weeks are going to make me stretch a little. I am taking on new tasks and will try to see what I am to learn from them. Hopefully I get it right.
Some of you are probably thinking, "why is she writing this?" Well, its as simple as this...I want my children to know that I am human too and I am not perfect. I am here to learn too. I think too often adults try to cover up their flaws and expect the children to live up to the half truths. It is hard to admit you need to work on certain character traits, and I think it is good for the children to see an adult admit those things and try to change them instead of thinking they are perfect all the time. I am not perfect and I do need to work on my flexibility and patience. I am used to order, or at least that is what I strive for and that is just not possible with 3 toddlers. How do some of you do it?!
I am so thankful for my husband, in that he can usually tell when I am getting to the breaking point and will take over. When he got home I was able to escape to the gym to work my exhaustion and stress off from my long day. Thanks love, I really needed that.
whew... Enough whining now.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
So I know there are many out there who don't have a clue what to do when it comes to staining furniture. But let me tell you, I was no expert either. I learned by doing. My first project was when I was about 15 or 16 and I wanted to refinish my bright pink dresser! Yes... it was bright pink and it was complete with blue puff paint (the kind you used to decorate t-shirts in the 80's) and that was around some fabric hearts that were glued on. Believe me.. it was hideous! My mom got it from a yard sale somewhere, and it had a matching night stand and toy box to go with it. But one mans trash is another mans treasure. Or at least we'd hoped.
So began my project. I started with the toy box, then the night stand and finally the dresser. It was a lot of work! I took off what seemed like 50 layers of different colored paint. First pink, then lime green, then gray...and on and on. It took some major sweat and blisters to get it down to the bare wood. I also learned that when you are using stripper chemicals that it isn't a good idea to do it in direct sunlight. You need to be in the shade or your chemical dries up and does no good at getting the paint off. By the time I finished stripping the night stand, and toy box I was pretty tired. But I still need to finish the dresser. I got most of it cleared up but something happened in my life that kept me occupied and I didn't have time for it anymore. We moved houses, I started at a new high school, and I got a job. I knew it would be awhile before I could focus my attention on the neglected dresser again.
Weeks, Months, and even years went by and eventually, the still unfinished dresser followed me into marriage. It looked awful but it worked for what we needed it for. Today I don't know where it ended up. When we graduated from college we sold the dresser because we didn't have room for it. Maybe today it is repainted with yet another coat of what I tried so desperately to get rid of, or some loving soul gave it to a new life with a beautiful stain.
After that, I found a new love. Starting from scratch! My husband built me a bookshelf with a cabinet on the bottom for Mother's Day. We built it together in a dark, moldy, basement on an unlevel floor. We could hardly see what we were doing but when we finally brought it out into the sunlight so we could carry it up the steps to the front door we were very pleased. From then on Dan and I have been trying to come up with other projects to work on to add to our collection of furniture. So far we have built a bed, (yes, Dan built a bed! complete with four drawers underneath) a dvd shelf, a rocking horse, and a kids table and chairs.
We are planning on building a coffee table for the living room, and maybe a cedar chest with a rounded top. There is something about creating something all your own and seeing it from start to finish that gives you such a sense of accomplishment and pride. We were meant to be creators.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Click below to see the video
Soon to be Walking Video
Why is it that as soon as you are sure you have baby proofed everything possible, they figure out how to get into something else?
Ok, so I knew I was asking for trouble when we put the movies on an open faced shelf, and I knew we needed to get the door for it put on as soon as possible. But now I have finally had it. I am tired of picking up the movies 5+ times a day that the kids have strewn all over the house. And now Ethan has figured out how to open the movie cases; it is definitely time to do something about this.
That is why on Saturday Dan and I started (or I should say continued progress) on the cabinet doors. We built a DVD/movie shelf for the living room and we were originally going to just stain two 1X6 boards, add some hinges and hardware, and call it good but it just didn't look finished. It looked more like a tall skinny box. The door faces needed some pizaaz.
So on Saturday I took a white grease pencil and drew the lines of the design I wanted and then Dan followed them with our RotoZip/router. It is going to look fabulous! Dan says it reminds him of some of the woodwork you find in the Portland Temple. I will admit it probably isn't as well done as that, but for a first try it does look very nice. I put the first coat of stain on them today and it is now drying in the garage. One more coat and we should be all set!