Wednesday, April 30, 2008

meet my two new best friends

My life has been changed DRASTICALLY by my two best friends. My aunt introduced me several weeks ago to them. She became acquainted with them, saw an improvement in her quality of life, and now I love them too! I love them because they know how to do their job well but be completely silent about it. I love them for the wrinkle protection they provide. Much less ironing for me! Most of all, I love them for their large capacity. I (seriously ladies...not overstating here) used to do 12-15 loads of laundry every single week! I was having to do it everyday. It was torture. After talking to Aunt Sharon, it started me thinking... and researching. After several weeks of setting up a good argument to win my hubby over (we are "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without people"). I told him how much money we could save on our utility bill and how much happier I would be if I wasn't a slave to my family's dirty clothes. He consented. The next week these were delivered. Why am I telling you all of this? Well, today is laundry day and I will be doing all of my laundry in 3 maybe 4 loads! I feel lik eI have been parolled from a life sentence! That, and my electricity bill was 30 dollars less last month...what more could a girl want?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Brady catches a monster fish

When Brent was Bishop and the kids felt like they never saw him, we started a tradition of having him rotate the kids through "daddy dates" on Monday nights after family night. They got to pick the activity of their choice to do with him and they would usually end the night with ice cream or some other treat of their choosing. Well, Daddy dates are back due to a high volume of requests. We started them off last night with the littlest, Brady. Brady wanted to go fishing in our pond across the street and practice riding his bike around the circle. After 15 minutes, McKinley ran in,"Mom, Mom, Dad needs the camera!" Apparently, Brady caught this (Dad helped reel it in a little). He called it his "monster fish". Of course, our pond is catch and release so Brady was a little disappointed we weren't going to be eating it for breakfast this morning.

Monday, April 28, 2008

All About Us
What are your middle names?
His: J. not a name -just an initial (strange, but true)
Mine: Lea (depending on my mood I use my maiden name which is Stevens)
How long have you been together? married 18 years in June
Who asked who out? Are you kidding me? He was just short of being a stalker! He showed up on my doorstep when I was at BYU on the very night he got home from his mission. Totally freaked me out.
How old are each of you? I'm 38 and he's 40. My son told me we are middle aged.
What are your astrological signs? He's a Leo. I'm a libra.
Who’s siblings do you see the most? mine, although I don't see them as much as I would like to. (long story)
Do you have any children together? 5
What bill is hardest on you as a couple? piano tuition, just 'cuz our kids don't appreciate it and we have 3 - soon to be 4-who take piano so it is kind of a hefty amount to pay for someone who doesn't appreciate it. someday they will thank me, i know.
Did you go to the same school? no
Are you two from the same hometown? I feel like we grew up in different worlds sometimes. He grew up in Huntsville UT. I grew up here in Dallas.
Who is the smartest? common sense: him. book learnin': me.
Who is the most sensitive? him.
Where do you eat out at most as a couple? it's shameful how much we eat out. we frequent so many places i can't keep track. Ernestos is a big portion of our monthly budget, however because it is closest.
Where do you shop the most as a couple? Supertarget..hands down. He calls it my mother ship.
Where is the furthest you have traveled as a couple? Utah. Brent travels all the time for work. I don't really like to sleep anywhere but my own bed so we haven't done alot of traveling.
Who has the best group of friends? we are both lucky to have great friends.
Who has the worst temper? me. especially certain times of the month....
Who does most of the cooking? Me. He grills occasionally.
Who is more social? Without a doubt..ME! Brent is not anti-social but he doesn't NEED friends.
Who is the neat-freak? ME! Ask anyone who has been to my house. I am weird about it,
Who is the most affectionate? I would say he is more "romantic" but I am constantly "lovin" on the kids.
Who is the most stubborn? Him. I think he would admit to that too.
Who hogs the bed? i dunno. not really an issue.
Where was your first date? I honestly can't remember..He is the romantic one, he would probably remember. I know one of our first dates was to a Van Halen concert. (LOL)
Who said I Love You first? him
Who has the bigger family? he does (6 siblings) I am technically an only child, although I have a half brother and a half sister.
Do you give/get flowers often? actually, yes. Sometimes I pick fights just so I will get them. JK. Like I said, he is romantic.
How do you spend the holidays? Usually with my family. Either my dad's side or my mom's.
Do you have little pet names for each other? I call him "beej" (his initials are BJ) Sometimes he calls me "SLA" ( my intials)

cooking classes

Reagan and McKinley love to cook. I HATE it. Typically, I do it as little as possible, but I know it is part of my job description. I don't think I am necessarily bad at it. I just don't enjoy it all that much. Fortunately, they have an aunt (Sharon) that LOVES to cook. They must have caught "the bug" from her. Whenever they spend the night with her she always has some fun cooking project for them. To them it is better than going to an amusement park! Anyway, I decided to let them take cooking classes from Young Chef's Academy from people who love it and are enthusiastic about it. Miss Leslie is so fun. She greets them at the door and you can just here the excitement in her voice when she tells them what she has planned for them to make that day. They do everything from lettuce wraps with honey-mustard dressing (kiki's fave) to decorating cakes. She has taught them the science behind cooking too. One day they made cakes and left out essential ingredients for each batch (baking soda, oil, baking powder, etc) and then tasted each one to see what difference it made. She is soo great! These pictures are from last week when they learned how to decorate cakes. they loved it! Here is the irony: The whole time they are at cooking classes with miss Leslie, I am at Chili's picking up dinner for the family. Have I mentioned that I hate to cook?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Mommy gets a time out

Took off for Ok. City this past weekend to attend "Time Out For Women" with some best girlfriends. We stayed at our buddy Stacey's house. Aside from just keeping our sanity, we were motivated to go so that we could see our old friend,Whitney, perform with her singing group:Mercy River. (Their new cd is available through Deseret Book.) It was soooo refreshing to get a little time away and spend it with Diane and Catherine who I don't get to see near as much as I would like. #1 photot is MR performing. #2 is Catherine and I with Camille Fronk Olsen - she is a frequent speaker on BYU TV. Photo #3 is Dean Hughes signing my book. He is the Author of the Children of the Promise series, for you all you LDS readers. #4 is Catherine, Diane and I with Mercy River. Last is all of us with Whitney. She really hooked us up. We lunch and sat with the presenters. Loved every minute of it! The best part was the the 6+ hours in the car of chit chat with my buddies without one "can you turn it up?" or "Mommy, she touched me!".

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Brady-the caboose

Brady is our two year old, the baby. He makes me laugh at least a dozen times each day. One of my personal favorites was when we were in target one day and he announced in front of the cashier, "Mama, I like your boo-boo" while he stared at my chest. His favorite things are Sesame Street, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and waiting for his brother and sisters every day when they come home from school on the bus. We kind of have a ritual of waiting outside for the bus and greeting them as they get off. He gets upset with me if I don't wake him up from his nap to greet them. He also loves "best and worst" which is a thing we do at dinner ever night. We all take turns going around the tablet to tell the best thing and the worst thing that happened to us that day. He always gets his best thing and his worst thing confused. He definitely has a mind of his own. He is mischievious too. Did I mention the time he called 911 and the police came to my house?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

reagan- the baby GIRL

Reagan is 6. She is beautiful, fun, and a DRAMA QUEEN. Don't dare wake her up before she is ready to wake up! She will bite your head off! Also, she needs to eat breakfast withing 1 minute of waking up or be prepared for a melt down. I have never seen a child that needed to eat so regularly. In my family we all marvel at how much Reagan reminds us of my baby sister, Lindsey. I am including a picture so you can judge for yourself. Not only do they look alike - they act alike. We love the fact that Lindsey has a lot of attitude and so does Reagan. When Reagan was a baby we called her RED REAGAN because she would get so ticked off that she would scream and yell and cry and turn bright red. One of the things I love about Reagan (also like my sister) is that she couldn't care less what people think of her. If someone gives her the cold shoulder at school (girls sometimes do that) she blows 'em off and finds a new friend. She doesn't lose any sleep over it. Reagan is the spice in our home. She keeps things fresh, exciting, and unpredictable. I wouldn't change a thing about her, though. Man, I love this kid!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Kiki: mommy's girl

Kiki is 7. She spends her free time playing outside any chance she gets. She loves the monkey bars, mastering her cartwheels, reading chapter books about animals, and shopping for clothes. She loves animals. We have a hamster, two parakeets, and a dog - all because of her. She is constantly wanting to add to our flock. I wouldn't be suprised if she grows up to work with animals. She is extremely responsible and if I ever need to remember something I just ask her ot remind me, she never forgets.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tanner- our oldest boy

Tanner is 12. He is such a great kid. Brent and I sometimes marvel at how in the world we are parents to such an amazingly good person. He wants to do the right thing. He has a great deal of charisma. Other kids are always drawn to him. I remember taking him to McDonald's play area when he was 5 and he would make a friend within the first 5 minutes of being there. Two weeks after we moved here to our new town, he was elected Student Body president at his school. I love hanging out with Tanner. We like the same music. He would rather listen to my ipod than his because he likes my music so much. We also have a ritual of watching American Idol together. If I am gone on the night that it is on, he tapes it and waits to watch it when I get home. It is so sweet. WE also like to shop for clothes together. He has a definite opinion on clothes and style. At the risk of making him sound like he is perfect - he is not. He is forgetful at times, never seems to get his dirty clothes in the hamper, and sometimes when I am talking to him I feel like he is in another world. Regardless - he is alotta fun. He keeps things exciting at our house.

a preteen rite of passage

Poor Tanner experienced a rite of passage most pre-teens go through and most of you can relate to. He got braces today. To make it worse, his mother takes along a camera to document the whole thing! What bad luck for him that I just happened to start a family blog yesterday! LOL. For all you young moms out there - this is what you have to look forward to in a few short years. In fact, our first grader (McKinley) will start phase one in a few short months so it is lliterally around the corner for a lot of you. Here are some pics.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Jensen - the oldest

Here is a picture of Jensen. She is 13 and in 7th grade. She just joined the Tennis club at her middle school and even though she considers it a learning year - she enjoys it because two other girls from our church are in it with her. She is the best babysitter anyone could ask for. Very responsible. She loves children. The thing I love about Jensen is that she is always happy. She pretty much always has a smile on her face. Ok, maybe not so much at 6:30 am when we wake her up for family scripture study - but usually by 7 she is her chipper self! She has a lot of friends. Honestly, so many I can't keep their names straight. She loves to read, watch Hannah Montana, and go to the mall. She is absolutely positively irrationally fearful of shots! She is also not good about taking medecine. She would pretty much rather be sick than take medecine. Also, she has a total panic attack if she thinks she is going to throw up. She is such a funny girl. She has the best heart of anyone I know and I seriously think she is THE MOST PATIENT PERSON I know. I guess having 4 little brothers and sisters will do that to you. She is a qt and a sweet kid. This is a picture we took of her and I last year when we went to the Hannah Montana concert. Yes, I got her tickets. Most days I would have to admit that I am a fairly mediocre mom but on that particular occasion I was feeling pretty happy with myself that I scored those tickets for her birthday. She was so excited, especially because it was her first concert...but HANNAH MONTANA, I mean - I am so sure - what more could a pre-teen girl ask for!

virgin blogger!

This feels like the first time I tried to peddle my bike without training wheels. Everyone I know has a blog and atleast a dozen people have told me lately that they wish I would start one so here goes. I have always been reluctant for fear that my life is entirely too boring. Oh well, I plan to start by introducing each member of my family over the next week or so. We will see how it goes. Here is a picture of all of us. Running clockwise from top the crazy cowboy fans are : me (shahna); Brent (sweet heart husband); Jensen (oldest, 13); Tanner (12); Reagan (6), McKinley (7); and our little caboose - Brady (2).