Sunday, December 21, 2008

Evan's Underwear and Sam Sleepwalking

Evan really likes being just like his older brothers so he likes to wear underwear, just like them. He usually forgets the under part though.

Sam has recently shown that he will walk and talk in his sleep. This is great, some of the best memories of my brother Brian from around high school time are from when he was asleep. Last night Sam came out, asleep, while Karisa was in the kitchen, around 10:00. The boys had a hard time getting to sleep last night so Karisa assumed that Sam still wasn't asleep and was coming out again. She asked him what he needed and he said "I'm holding these." As he said that he held up his empty hand and opened up it up, showing her his fingers, "I'm pretending they're my fingers."

Sam ALWAYS wakes up at about 10:30 or 11:00 to go to the bathroom. This would be fine except at night he needs help. About a week ago I was up until 10:45 and decided to wake Sam up so I didn't have to get out of bed to help him. He went unresisting into the bathroom and I helped position him in front of the toilet. He closed his eyes and then with his mouth made the sound "PSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS." After that he turned from the toilet, and started to pull up his pants. I said "Sam, you need to go to the bathroom." He opened his eyes and looked at me in all seriousness and said "I JUST DID!" He was up just after I got warm in bed to actually go.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dallas' Piano Recital

Dallas did great at his recital last night. About 10 kids played from about Dallas' age up to teenagers. The video is about five minutes long. I am particularly impressed that he was able to play so well with people singing. At the beginning Dallas doesn't talk very loud but this is (about) what he says:

Dallas: "Hi, I am Dallas Mullen. I will be playing A Tisket A Tasket, Over the River and Through the Woods (which his teacher K. Mink plays the duet part) and Silent Night."
Karisa: "And what do you want everyone to do on the last song?"
Dallas: "Sing."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Evan's pajamas

Last night as Evan was getting ready for bed I handed him his gray sweat pants to put on. He put them on and then ran over to Karisa and said really loudly:

"Mom, Mom, I put my sweater pants on!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Merry Christmas Baking Everyone!

We did get to go to our ward party, and the primary kids put on a play of the nativity. Dallas ended up being Joseph, with three little friends rotating in as Mary since she's such a popular part, and Sam was a shepherd. They all did so good, especially since it was in front of the whole ward, and my boys are usually too shy to want to participate. They got to see Santa Claus later that night at the Christmas party, and earlier that day at the Santa Fly in. They fly Santa Claus into the airport here and all the kids get to watch and play games and get little presents and treats. I was glad we got better just in time to participate and not miss out on the fun.

My primary girls sang Silent Night in Sacrament Meeting and did beautifully even singing the first verse in German! They are all so cute and kind and wonderful, and I was so proud of them. Our choir songs went well, and next Sunday the children are singing 'Away in a Manger' so hopefully I do a good job leading them. It wasn't the song I would have picked, but I just got put in as chorister, and they had no time to practice something different, so we'll just do our best! I don't like it when they changed how Away in a Manger used to be. The new version is very BLAH in my opinion. But I do like the asleep, asleep part at the end.

And Dallas has his piano recital this Friday. He is the last one to play, and his teacher wants him to ask everyone to sing 'Silent Night' along with him as he plays it. I'm a little nervous- but oh well if he messes up. He's six!!! We'll record it, and try to post it. Dallas gave a great talk in Primary and read most of it on his own! Good job Dallas!

(Jeremy and Kim, the Hershey's Kisses were so you could make this recipe.) I got it from a friend in Utah and they are the best peanut butter cookies I've ever tasted. I like to make them for treats. I use only organic peanut butter, made of just ground peanuts and nothing else. So if you have the regular peanut butter, it might affect the taste somewhat, but I'm sure they'll still be good. Costco has the best organic peanut butter. We ran out and bought some regular stuff and I can't stand it! It tastes like I'm eating peanut flavored shortening! Anyway here's the recipe:

Peanut Butter Cookies w/Kisses
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Whip butters and sugar, add egg and vanilla and whip again. Stir in the rest and shape into 1" balls. Bake 325 for 10-12 minutes. After removing from oven, wait a minute or so and then press your already opened Hershey's Kisses barely into the cookie. (Far enough so they won't fall out, but not too deep. The kiss will melt a bit to help seal it there.) These are soft and peanut buttery, chocolaty, yum!

My other favorite Christmas cookie recipes are all in the Thorne family cookbook. (Russian Tea cakes, Molasses cookies, Brittle, White chocolate toffee chip cookies, and Sugar cookies w/Butter frosting.) If you are not an owner of the Thorne family cookbook and want one of these recipes, leave a comment and I'll post it.

My favorite pies are Apple/Cherry or Apple/Berry- you mix the two fruits together after sauteing the apples in butter and sugar so they are soft, and then bake
Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Pie- I like pumpkin, I like pecan, but I like them combined!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie- I think I've posted this before. The cream cheese doesn't make it strong like a real cheesecake, just make the pumpkin a little creamier, and in my opinion, delicious!

Merry Christmas baking everyone! I'd love to know what your favorite holiday must haves are. You know I like to cook, and I read cookbooks like novels.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Latest pictures of the boys

Two pictures of Sam since his last picture wasn't so great. I wish you could see the cleft in Evan's chin. It's so cute! We always sing the song from the Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast, about Gaston..."No one has a small cleft in his chin, like Gaston!", inserting Evan's name in instead. Do you like the nice touch of the ladder in the background?

And His name shall be called Wonderful!

I am surprised and happy to report, that after throwing up, everyone seems happy and healthy for the last day, so maybe we'll attempt some festivities.

Also the doctor said the baby is doing fine, and I've now lost 5lbs from when I got pregnant!!! That's what being sick will do to you, but she said no worries. (I wasn't worried.) I'm almost 16 weeks but I'm sure Christmas will get me ALL caught up. Usually by 20 weeks, the halfway mark, people are wondering if I'm due soon. I won't know until the middle of January if it's a boy or girl.

I wanted to tell you the story of one of my favorite composers- G.F.Handel born in 1685. Interestingly he and Bach were born in the same year and lived close and were both blind in their old age, and have often been called the 'twins of music'. Yet their lives were different, music different, and they never met. (All the quotes I insert will be from a book titled, "A Story of Music" by Harriot B. Barbour and Warren S. Freeman.)

Let me first explain that I love Handel's Messiah. Recently I was feeling so tired, and so overwhelmed with housework, nausea, etc and I didn't know what to do. It was late at night, and I really needed to do the dishes and yet had nothing in me to give to them.

I prayed for help. Suddenly the thought came to my mind, no doubt from my loving Father who knows each of us so well, "You would really like to listen to Handel's Messiah."

I got excited as I realized, yes, I WOULD like to listen to Handel's Messiah. I wouldn't mind doing dishes at all if I could listen to that! I fished for my record only to find out that the kids had broken the record player. But Pat found a recording on the internet and started it. I was overwhelmed with emotion as the first song sang of the coming of the Savior. I was so emotional, that Pat did the dishes alone for a while so I could recover.

I used to only recognize two songs from "The Messiah", but last year I sang in a community choir in a nearby town and learned most of them. The words are so powerful, there is very little I don't care for. Usually the solo's are kind of boring. But the majority is wonderful to listen to, and even better to sing!

So I began reading this book, and expected to find out that Handel was a great man, but was thoroughly unimpressed with him. Even let down as he seemed to live his whole life trying to impress rich people, the nobles, and all the petty disputing that goes on in that kind of lifestyle.
But eventually, the nobles turned on him, and did everything they could to ruin him, and they succeeded. He went bankrupt, his mind gave way, and part of his body became paralyzed so that he could no longer play. He was a broken man.

He could have given up. In time, a good friend, showed Handel some verses from the Bible for an oratorio to be called "The Messiah". It was composed of the noblest verses referring to the coming and life of Christ. Handel took the challenge and composed the music as an act in the worship of God. He worked "at a white heat of religious feeling, finishing this great oratorio in just 22 days. As he was writing the music for the sad words, 'He was despised and rejected of men' a servant found him weeping over his work. And as he reached the grandeur of the 'Hallelujah Chorus' he said, 'Methinks I did see all heaven before me, and the great God himself."

Then he decided to perform "The Messiah" for the benefit of charities, keeping nothing for himself. It was such a great success that they had to make traffic regulations, though there were no cars at the time, and ladies requested to come without the hoops in their skirts. "The hall was said to hold 500 ladies with hoops and 700 without." But instead of just catering to the nobles, the Messiah was open to rich and poor alike, and many people stood happily in the back for the duration of the concert if they were too poor to afford a seat.

In London, "During the 'Hallelujah Chorus' the King, in his enthusiasm, rose to his feet. When a king stands, everyone else in the room must stand, too. So the whole audience rose, and ever since that time it has been the custom for audiences to stand during the singing of the 'Hallelujah Chorus'".

"No other oratorio has ever been so well loved or so often sung as 'The Messiah'. It is still the favorite of singing societies in every town in England and America, especially at Christmas. Though it was the greatest success of Handel's life, he looked upon it as a gift to God and turned over to charity every cent he made from it- even at a time when he sorely needed money to pay his debts.

When a nobleman once complimented Handel on the "noble entertainment" of "The Messiah", Handel answered, "I should be sorry if I have only entertained; I hoped to make men better."

I think Handel's life is a great example of how when we rely on our own strength we may have great success, for a time, perhaps even for the duration of this life. But how much better are we made when we give ourselves, and our talents to God, because he can make us a infinitely better than we could ever make ourselves.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas is coming and we are too sick!!!!!

Starting last Sunday, we Sam, Evan and I (Karisa) got really sick. I'm the new primary chorister, and feel so bad not being there to do all the Christmas music with the kids! But as I was on the phone getting a replacement on Sunday, Sam threw up on me, and I knew I had made the right decision in staying home. But I'm sad because I know I'm going to feel like I missed half of Christmas this year. I'm missing my Messiah concert from the community choir, all our church choir stuff, all the primary Christmas stuff, and all our ward Christmas festivities!!!!!! That is torture for me.

But anyway, it has been a long week. I doubt I'm going to get anything done at all for Christmas gifts, cards, etc, which I'm depressed about, but I don't know what else to do. I forced myself to do something besides lay there, so I tried to find addresses for Christmas cards and could only find two, and gave up exhausted by the search! You know you are sick when searching through paper wears you out. Even if I did get cards written and addressed, they would never make it to the post office! Last year we took goodies to all our neighbors and friends and this year we are barely holding on. It's really lame, because I love doing things for others. I guess this year my service to others will consist of cleaning up barf and diarrhea and washing endless loads of laundry. (I hope we are better before we have to travel.)

Yesterday, I felt slightly better and thought maybe the end was in sight. Our ward Christmas party, and Christmas program are all this Sunday, and I told someone, "I think we'll be there! We all seem to be much better."

Then last night, Evan threw up on me (a brand new illness!), and Sam threw up after not throwing up since Sunday (so probably something new too), and Pat said he felt like throwing up. I still haven't taken anyone to see a doctor, because the 20.00 co-pay usually pays for me hearing, "It's viral, and give it a week or so."

I'm seeing my doctor today to see if the baby is okay. I feel slightly better but really weak. I mostly feel bad that I've been a really sick mom all week, and Evan is starting in on a new illness, and Sam as well as they have already been through a lot. I don't know how they catch these horrible things!! We haven't gone anywhere all week! Except grocery shopping for Gatorade, etc. Here's hoping Dallas keeps escaping by some miracle.

Sorry about the depressing post. If we had anything more exciting, I'd write about that instead! But I guess I'd rather be sick now, than actually on Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dallas and reading

As I was helping Dallas with his reading last night we read the word Oak, after which Karisa reminded me of when he had read that word the first time a few months ago. When Dallas reads lone words he reads the word and then puts it in a sentence.

Dallas: "Oak. Mom likes to eat oaks!"
Karisa: What? I don't eat oaks!
Dallas: "Yes you do, you cook your eggs and then take out the oaks!"

Sidenote - At some point during Karisa's pregnancy with Sam she became allergic to eggs. She can alleviate this a little by avoiding the egg whites and so will often fry or boil an egg and only eat the yokes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas is coming...

The only picture we got of Sam. Sorry!

See that rock wall we did in the background? We've decided instead of 3 weeks, or 3 months to finish, it will take more like 3 years. We are in way over our heads! But the after pictures in my head look really nice!

This is Evan's spot where he hung everything up in one big clump. It's impossible to find a live tree that is pretty and affordable in this part of the country. So we borrowed this fake tree again from a friend at church. I love real trees with all my heart, but I guess next year, we'll have to buy a fake tree, since we can't afford 50-80 dollars every year. The humanity!!!

Arts and Crafts

Here are a few of the fall crafts we did. Lot's of coloring, cutting, and pasting. The boys loved making haunted houses inside a shoebox. They turned out pretty scary! We do art/crafts once a week at my house with our friends who are homeschoolers too. You probably can't see that on each of the turkey feathers they wrote something they are thankful for. Sam has, "I'm thankful for GLUE as one of his."

Happy 6th Birthday Dallas!!!!

The dinner Dallas wanted.

Sam coloring on Dallas' presents.

Quote from Darth Vader, "Your powers are weak old man."

Opening presents!

Evan was supposed to just lick the frosting off. But it seems the candle tasted too good.
(I wish you could see his little teeth marks.)

We had a fun birthday for Dallas, and here are some of the pictures. Having a birthday when his is in early December, is difficult. He really wanted a party, but there are no boys his age at church, and the two girls that are his age, and who he is friends with, had things going on the weekend before and after his birthday. And every other moment this month is taken up with Christmas stuff. The same problems nixed his party last year. So maybe in January we'll try to do a party like Sam had.

Dallas got lots of fun stuff, and thought his dinner and cake were great! He is a joy to have in our family. I think he is so wonderful. He does great at his learning, and can read really well, do math really well, and play piano really well. He plays nicely with his brothers most of the time. He wants to help me clean all the time and most days, before I'm even out of bed, he has emptied the dishwasher (say 6am-ish... it's really noisy, but I don't get mad, because he just wants to help), and he checks for chicken eggs, and helps feed and water the chickens, and is getting to the point where he jokes with me a lot, and is really funny. I wish he wasn't so shy with everyone else, and they knew how fun he is, but that will come with time. He never stops talking at home. (I call him the Blab-a-dor.) Anyway, he is just the most terrific boy a mom could ever have. I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, As long as I'm living, My baby you'll be.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Today's funny comments

Evan said a couple of funny things that just cracked me up today. First, Karisa hadn't cooked dinner by the time I got home so I asked the boys if they wanted sandwiches or (leftover) spaghetti. The responses:

Dallas: "Sandwiches!"
Sam: "Spaghetti!"
Evan: "Spinaches!"

I guess Evan didn't want to be the tie breaker and went half and half. With a tied vote I went ahead and made both. Since I took the trouble of heating up the spaghetti, none of the boys ate it. Later, as I was wresting with the boys Evan's pants got pulled down. Since Evan is in his tattling mode he went straight to Mom:

"Mom, Daddy threw my bottom out of my diaper!"