Brought to you by the letter B!

Balloons. Berry Freeze. Bundt cake.
(Brown chicken, a green Bean side dish, and Bread. Yes, that 's a stretch. You work with what you got.)

We do a letter of the....until whenever I decide to change the letter. We've done "B" since Hyrum's Birthday, and we wanted to go out with a BANG! Don't be fooled, now. It may seem like I did this for my kids, but I concede; it was purely selfish. It just so happened that Thursday morning I felt that in order to survive the day, I needed something to look forward to. Food. Cake. Fun. Balloons. Cake. Thus the Big Blue and Black Banquet was Born. I looted my mom's closets for materials and she indulged my OTT (Over The Top) behavior by funding the balloon and craft paper run. I think we made some fun memories, despite my egotistical motives.

The Cheese

We had a good day.

It's All In Your Head

A friend of mine recently read Kids Are Worth It by Barbara Coloroso. The book is on my ever expanding TO READ list.
She shared with me a quote from it that had changed her parenting, that has since changed my perspective as well.
It's good for all relationships, but especially for parents of toddlers.
Drum roll please.....

"The purpose of a task is to strengthen the relationship."

I usually think of this quote when I am trying not to be frustrated that Hyrum is taking 20 minutes to put his pants on, and wanting me to watch. Or when he refuses to brush his teeth.

This quote reminds me that the purpose of playing CandyLand together is to strengthen our relationship, that way I can rest easy when he chooses to take his turn for 15 minutes, or not follow the rules, or choose to stop playing altogether.

I vote this quote as a keeper.


Somebody had a birthday!
Hyrum followed several clues to find his missing birthday present. We followed a clue to the kitchen where Ammon had set out the NEW BIKE in the middle of the floor.
Hyrum didn't even see it. He spent a few minutes looking for the next clue, until we finally said, "Hyrum, what's that?" A BIKE! He's loved it!
We started the day with Blueberry Mickey Pancakes, and lots of books about Birthdays! Hyrum got so many fun presents. Thanks to all who celebrated with us!

The Three Year old.

Stories That are Told and Retold

Amusing Toddlers

When I was a toddler I called my dad,
"Our Honey."

My mom thought it was so cute.

It's said that when my dad had a hernia operation I would report to people:
"Our Honey got fixed."

They thought that was really cute.

Mom's Bipolar

By the end of the day I'm all unravelled.

Does anyone else have this problem?
In the morning I am happy, motivated, excited, patient, fun, kind.
In the evening I am the opposite of all those things.

The moment of transformation comes around 4pm.
I'm hoping someone knows of a secret elixir that can hold off Mr. Hyde.

Who is this girl?

I don't know where to start!
I have sat down to right this post several times recently but come up with....nothing.
I have learned so much, but can't seem to share it.

My world has been turned upside down. I am seeing differently in all areas of life.
I've changed.

Some things that I never would have expected:
I'm decided on Homeschooling all the way.
I haven't bought bread since I made my very first loaf. And I love it.
I'm investigating the hazards of refined sugar and flour and experimenting in cooking without. People, I made my own granola.
The idea of going to the gym to get a work out just makes me laugh. A jump rope (actually, I just pretend to have a jump rope) and a 20 lb toddler work wonders.
I can think of one movie I've watched in the last ....3 or 4 months...? I used to be a movie junkie, and I don't even miss it.

None of this is remarkable in and of itself. The remarkable thing is that I am doing these things!? I don't recognize myself.

Which is why I've had such a hard time communicating. My world is confusion, learning, trying to figure out how to be this person I am turning into.

Stories That are Told and Retold...

Why I love Him, But Not Sure Why He Puts Up With Me

The year is 2001. Ammon and I are dating, before mission. We went to Education Week with my parents. This was our first experience navigating BYU campus.
We were late for a class, looking at the map, trying to find the BENSON BLDG.

I'm pretty sure Ammon said we should go one way, and I thought we needed to go another way, there was some tension.

When Ammon announced that we had arrived, I looked at the building marker and said with exasperation and all seriousness, "Ammon, THIS is not IT! This is The EZRA Taft Benson Building, We need the Benson Building!"

I was rather unkind, making pointed accusations of ignarance, while ironically demonstrating actual ignorance in all it's beauty.

Now here is the good part. Think how you might respond in this situation, keeping in mind the growing stress level. This was Ammon's response: He looked at me and said calmly,

"I'm just gonna let you think about that for a minute."

He didn't out right laugh at me, which could have been lethal. He didn't point out my stupidity and label me with it. He gave me time to realize what I said and laugh about it.

His reaction diffused all the tension and madeway for laughter. I couldn't stop laughing. I'm still laughing.

Sometimes I wonder what Gottman would have to say about us.

Stories That are Told and Told Again

The Secret of The Bear
by Ammon

I had a mission companion fresh from the MTC who left a first impression on me similar to the one portrayed in The Best Two Years (Turns out I was the goofier of the two of us).

As he finished unpacking his things the first day in our apartment there was a lone teddy bear sitting on his bed. I was curious but cautious, so I said nothing.

A week or so later we visited missionaries in another city and were planning to stay the night there. An unexpected phone call informed us we were to host two other missionaries in our apartment that evening and had to rush to catch the last train home. My companion was not ready to leave so an Elder from the other companionship joined me for the frantic bike ride to the train stop.

The next evening when I returned to our apartment with my companion I apologized for the visiting Elders who had looked through some photos on his desk. He looked at me a little surprised and said, “Oh no! You found out the secret of the bear.” We had not, so I simply smiled and said, “The bear has a secret?” He explained that the bear was from his girlfriend and had a recorded message from her.

A few months later when his girlfriend had stopped writing and his mother informed him his girlfriend was busy with school and her social life he was saddened. He was a good Elder and didn’t let it bother him much, at least he didn’t show it.

One night after he received a discouraging letter we talked about it for a while. As I was getting up from our conversation I accidentally bumped the bear… Out came the recorded message, “I promise I’ll love you forever.” I felt awful and was thinking over what I could say to fix the situation when my companion grabbed the bear and threw it across the room while screaming, “Liar!!!” Needless to say he wasn’t too bothered by the loss after that.