Wednesday, January 29, 2014

10 Months

Another month has flown by. Macie has 2 more teeth. They came in January 3rd and 5th. There her top ones, but not the top ones in the middle, the ones next to the middle ones. So really we dubbed her our vampire baby. I'll have to take a picture.
 She's finally sleeping through the night again this past week. The week of Thanksgiving she had started waking up in the night from various sicknesses, then going to Utah and California, then teething, and more illnesses. Now that we're home and there is some routine and she's healthy again, she is sleeping through the night and I am definitely happy about that.
 She started standing this month without support. She took one step on January 25th. She likes her daily walks in the stroller, eating more people food. She likes avocados and fruit most, I think. She said her first word besides "mama and dada." On January 19th, I was talking to a neighbor and when I was done, I said bye and then Macie is "buh-buh." It was so cool!

She looks so big in her carseat. Her hair is starting to grow. The top looks completely straight, and the back of her hair looks wavy. She's a happy girl who likes to get around, explore, play and loves me. She doesn't like when I drop her off at the gym or when others try to hold her. She's comfortable with only Jeff and I. I hope she gets over this separation anxiety thing soon. She's growing so fast and we're enjoying everyday with her!

The Crunch Bar Lesson

Yesterday Sydney learned a very important life lesson. It was difficult to learn the lesson, but I'm glad she did. One reason why public school is good--real, life lessons. Sometimes you have to experience something to learn the lesson. This was one:
Toward the end of the school day, Sydney had found a Crunch Bar, just lying around, I guess. She knew it wasn't hers, but didn't know who the bar belonged to. I really don't think she thought much about it, but her and another girl opened the bar and ate it. Then a boy comes along and asks where his bar went. That's when I think Sydney realized she did something wrong. The 2nd grade boy was rightfully upset (he earned the bar). It was reported to an adult and the adult said Sydney and the girl would see THE PRINCIPAL the next morning. Needless to say, Sydney came home upset. She was afraid she would get expelled. She was disappointed she had "sinned." She wrote the boy an apology letter and bought him another Crunch Bar to give to him. She was so worried about talking to the principal the next day. It was a good time to talk about repentance, the atonement, forgiveness, making right choices, being accountable, accepting responsibility, etc. After she left for school, Jeff and I were seriously hoping the principal was a nice guy, we don't know him well since we just started at this school. Thankfully, everything went well and they were pleased that Sydney had written a note and made the wrong, right. She came home sad because the office was going to give him another crunch bar too, but didn't since Sydney bought him she thought she wasted her money. But we talked again that she did the right thing and that making the wrong, right (restitution) is part of the repentance process. In the end, I think she'll remember this experience, and if she doesn't, well, I documented it, and experienced learning from our mistakes.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Bahama Buck's

It's probably about time I write about Bahama Buck's in my blog since it IS happening. Clear back when Macie was just a few days old, Jeff and I would walk around the block with Macie in a baby carrier so she could calm down and be close to me and enjoy the outside. During these walks we came up with the wild idea to own a franchise. I came up with the idea of Bahama Buck's. We researched a few and finally decided on Bahama Buck's. About a year later, this March, our idea will be a reality and will be up and running. We purchased the building and franchise. The paperwork was a headache (I'm speaking for Jeff here. He did all the realtors, bank, underwriters, loan people, architects, contractors, and more). It was questionable wether we would actually get the loan, but we did. Construction started a few weeks ago. In case you don't know, because Bahama Buck's is mostly in Texas, it is a shaved ice dessert place, although we also sell smoothies, specialty sodas, sno-basts, lemonades, frostalattes, and snowballs. Our building is off Warner and Cooper in Gilbert. It is a free standing building with a drive-thru. It use to be a KFC. We are grateful for the opportunity and feel we've been led to this point. We're excited, hopeful, nervous all at the same time. We're learning a lot and know we will learn much more over the next year. Right now we're starting with the hiring process. I'm taking a food-handlers manager online course and this week I will learn a lot about quick books since I will be doing all the finances stuff along with other duties too. It should be a fun and interesting journey with lots of stories that come out of it. We hope our kids will be working here when they are teenagers. Here are some pictures of our building and the progress. Now that THIS IS HAPPENING, I'll post more pictures as things progress even more.
Before Pictures 

 Before: inside building, taken from the side door where you walk in.
 Picture below is from side door looking at dining area.
 The picture below is taken inside the counter looking back towards the kitchen.
 In just 2 days the construction crew demolished everything: tiles, vents, counters, tables, etc. Picture below is behind the counter looking towards kitchen.
 Picture below is view from side door looking at what once was the dining area.
 Bahama Buck's sent us these window decals to stick on. Jeff had 4 boys from church to help us stick them on. Getting the word out there and people excited for the anticipation for the new location.

On one of the doors we have a paper to direct people to an electronic application.
 New cement was put in for what is going to be our outside patio.
 Sydney wrote "SHAW 2014" in where we're going to put a pre order board in for the drive thru.
 Now the framing is done. This view is from the front door. We plan on being able to sit 60 people inside and another 25-30 outside on the patio.

Friday, January 24, 2014

a simple picnic

I grabbed my camera because I specifically wanted to remember a simple picnic Levi and I shared a few days ago. It wasn't anything too exciting, he didn't reveal anything profound or exceptionally funny to document. It was just a warm, feeling I had. Enjoying a warm afternoon with my only son in our backyard. Enjoying his 3 year old messy face, cute conversation and speech, little body, and observing his happy, innocent spirit. He makes me stop and enjoy the simple an ordinary picnic.

Pretty sure I'm gonna be sad when he goes off to school all day, so for now I'll enjoy his company. We like to play puzzles together, play Blokus, Aggravation, Candyland, and yahtzee. He likes me to read to him, play games with his Sight words, he also like to jump on our trampoline, drink hot chocolate, and take warm baths during the day too. He has a pretty great life I think.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gilbert Temple

On Monday we went on a tour of the new Gilbert Temple. Jeff remembered in Alaska, before we new we were going to move to AZ, that I had shown him a picture of this temple when they put up Angel Moroni and he thought to himself how lucky people were to live in a warm climate and be so close to a temple. He said he was kinda jealous. Funny. I didn't know or didn't remember that. We ARE very blessed to now be living 5 minutes from a temple. That's been a dream of mine. It's here and we're all super excited.  It's fun to be "part of it." Jeff is in the youth and is participating in the temple youth celebration. The kids were excited to finally go inside the temple. We've been driving by it consistently for over a year. We had to reserve tickets for the open house. They expect 500,000 will walk through the tour. It goes without saying that the temple is EXQUISITE, stunning, awe-inspiring, beautiful, and magnificent to name a few. After I asked the girls their favorite thing they saw. Sydney mentioned the "crystals" aka chandelier in the celestial room, Levi mentioned the tiles in the baptismal font (those are really cool), and Jordyn agreed with Sydney. I liked the paintings as well, the stained glass, the temple grounds, and the ceiling moldings. We can't take pictures inside so here are some I took outside the temple.

 We'll go again with the kids and hopefully with some friends we've invited. Seeing these pictures with blue skies and warm weather actually makes me feel guilty for the people experiencing the crazy, freezing weather in half the country.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

new school

After much thought and prayer, Jeff and I decided to put the girls in a new school, the public school they're suppose to go to. We picked their current school (a charter one) very short notice and in a hurry because we didn't realize schools start much earlier in Arizona than Alaska. We knew it may not be easy on the girls but we thought it would be best for them in the long run. One of the major reasons to switch is so the kids will have a group of friends when they start the public Jr. High and HS. Other perks is the school has a library, comp. lab, friends from our church, bus transportation, and the school is awesome. We also felt like there are opportunities to facilitate the girls to becoming more well-rounded people.  I feel like the school is a home away from home. It's warm and cozy inside. It may sound like silly reasons but we felt strongly this was going to be good for our girls. As expected Jordyn didn't want anything to do with it. Sydney was happy with it. She looked forward to seeing her friends at church more and riding the bus and being the new girl. On the last day of their old school, both girls came home crying not wanting to change schools. Jordyn went on crying for a solid 30 minutes. For 3o minutes I questioned our decision. Back to Jordyn, after crying, sometimes screaming, she came to me and said, "Chocolate will make me feel better." It was the greatest idea I heard all day so I delightfully gave her some chocolate. The kids started after the Christmas break. Jordyn came home and said, "I love my teacher." She has since excitedly looked forward to school everyday since. The kids have assimilated better than I could have imagined at Quartz Hill. We're so grateful and look forward to many wonderful years at Quartz Hill.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sydney's baptism

Sydney has been eagerly waiting for her baptism for a year. She's been reading the Book Of Mormon everyday for the last year. We read it with her in the morning, but she's not content about just reading it, we have to explain what's going on. She also started planning out her program for her baptism about 4 months in advance. The week before her baptism she was beside herself; she couldn't stop saying, "I wish it was my baptism this morning." Here's her announcement and pictures in front of the Gilbert Temple.

Well her baptism morning finally came, January 11th at 9am. My parents, Jeff's parents and grandparents came and two of Jeff's brothers. Sydney was smiling the entire time. Her Uncle Chris said the opening prayer, Grandma Karen talked on Baptism, then the baptism (witnesses were Grandpa Koehler and Grandpa Tim), then Sydney played the violin and sang for the musical number after her baptism, Gammie talked on the Holy Ghost, presentation from Primary, and the Bishop gave remarks, and then Uncle Tyler gave the closing prayer. It was cute when I was helping Sydney changed after she got baptized she said, "I was smiling even when I was under the water." Then she said, "I'm excited for the treats at home, but I know that's not the important thing. Getting baptized is what is important." So much wisdom to this little girl. She had decided to play the violin at her baptism a long time ago. It wasn't until the week before that she told me she was going to sing too. She's so brave to do  that in front of some many people. The RS room was full of family and friends. Her musical number definitely brought the spirit to the room and made the occasion so much sweeter.
I'm so happy for Sydney that SHE made the chose to enter the waters of baptism and follow Jesus Christ. She is so obedient, enthusiastic about the gospel, and a great example to her younger siblings and Jeff and I included. So far since her baptism I have heard her say, "Mom, Jordyn is bugging me and I don't want to hit her and sin. Can you talk to Jordyn." I've also seen her jump on the trampoline and then see her stop jumping, fold her arms and pray. Once she said she prayed because her leg was hurting her. I love this girl to pieces!
After we had a get together at our home. In November I saw a book called, The Holy Ghost is like a Blanket, and thought it would be cool to make her a quilt and give her this book. I told her I wanted to make her a quilt (my first one) and asked what colors she wanted and it would be a surprise how it turned out. She picked red and turquoise. I made it and put CTR in the middle. That color scheme then inspired colors for the rest of the food at our get together. She loved the quilt and so did I. My friend Kirsten finished the quilt on her machine. I had another friend make the cool CTR cake and then I made the CTR cookies and CTR pretzel rods. Sydney was excited for all the attention, goodies, and getting baptized and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a wonderful day for a wonderful girl.
 The cool m&ms
 So excited to have her own scriptures now.

 "What my name too!?"
 CTR in cursive on the pretzel rods.
 The quilt I made for Sydney hanging up.
 This cool cake my friend made. Isn't that amazing?
 jelly beans

 Someone said her smile was "infectious." She greeted everyone and made sure she talked to everyone who came to her baptism.

 Gammie and Grandpa
 Her friend Londyn from school

 Great grandma Marianne and Grandpa Gordon
 Grandma Karen and Uncle Tyler
 The violinist. She played the song, "I like to look for rainbows…."
 A sweet kiss from her great grandma
Grandpa Tim