Friday, February 27, 2009

Ursuline Centre

I don't know why I'm fascinated with religious denominations other than my own, especially Catholicism. Maybe the unfamiliar is intriguing. I suppose I'm just interested in how other people worship and pray. So when Vessel and I went to the Ursuline Centre last month it was quite the fun experience. Mostly we just went because it was within walking distance of our house, and when you're stuck at home without a car, sometimes you're desperate to find something to do. :)

Here's V all bundled up before our walk.

Here it is in all it' It's about 100 years old.

The things I'm kind of fascinated with are the statues. But I have to be honest, sometimes they are a little eerie, especially statues of Jesus on the cross. Kind of gives me the heebyjeebies.

Here is a nun mannequin in her habit. It was sweet. What was even sweeter you ask? The fact that I saw a real life nun there, in the flesh! The sister said she was 92! But I didn't get a photo. Blast!

After getting a full tour we went into the chapel. Now this is what I thought was pretty cool, although my pictures really don't do it justice. I'm a big fan of the stained glass windows and painted murals. And lucky for us, V and I were there right as they started Mass. Did we leave you ask? Nope, we stayed for Mass and listened to Father Thomas preach and lots of old people shout "Amen" and "Halleleujah" and do the sign of the cross. I couldn't bring myself to partake of the communion though (not that they'd let me anyway, since I'm not a Catholic.)

V and I had fun, and hey, we killed a good 2 hours there. So by the time we got back it was V's naptime! Yay! Here is the cutie on our way back home.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


~I got a paper cut on my lip. My lip! Ridiculous. It hurts like a mo-fo.

~Mike found a gray hair on my head yesterday. I made him pluck it out. No, no, no, no! I will not embrace getting older.

~Vessel locked himself in his room the other day. I didn't think he'd actually figure out how to do that. I think it might be best to change the doorknob on the door to his room so he doesn't freak out again that he can't get out, and I won't freak out that I can't get in. Aye, aye, aye!

~So I saw this advertisement for a thing called Mozy where you upload all your files online in the event your hard drive crashes or your laptop gets run over by a semi-truck. Seriously, who would do that? Put all your important info out there on the interwebz? It seems a bit risky to me.

~The dry air of Montana is wreaking havoc on my skin! I've never experienced such dry, cracked hands before in my life.

~I know it was a week ago, but I can't believe Jason let go of Jillian. I really liked that broad!

~I'm feeling a little out of sorts. I swear if I didn't know better, (and the test was negative) I'd say I was preggers.

~Tom Jones is a lady killer!

~My son is now addicted to the hampster dance thanks to Mrs. Harker!

~For breakfast I ate tortilla chips with fiesta ranch dip powder mixed with sour cream. And I don't regret it, not one single bit. In fact it's the only thing I've eaten all day.

~I'm guessing places like Blockbuster and Hollywood video will go out of business within the next few years since you can watch pretty much whatever you want online for free anyway.

~I'm so excited for this Saturday because Mike got tickets to the "Cowboy Sweetheart Hoedown." Besides dancing and drinking, there is going to be a bachelor auction to win a dinner and a date with a "Real Cowboy!" This is going to be the funniest thing I've seen yet! Mike and I have made it our goal this week to get us the best western cowboy get-ups possible. I'm thinking boots, chaps, hats, buckles, the whole nine yards! Wish us luck in our search!

Monday, February 16, 2009


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
(based on the novel by John Boyne)

I saw this film last Friday and was deeply moved by it. It is the story of a young German boy named Bruno who is required to leave his home and all his friends when his father is promoted as a high ranking official in the German military during WWII. The new home the family moves to is in the "country" and is walking distance from a Nazi concentration camp. Bruno is unaware of what the camp is or what it is for. During one of his times of loneliness, he disobeys his parents and decides to go explore the area surrounding his home. At the back of the camp near the fence he meets a Jewish boy his age named Shmuel. They quickly become friends and Bruno goes to see him everyday. Bruno asks why Shmuel wears striped pajamas and Shmuel replies that the German soldiers took their clothing and made them wear the striped uniforms. Shmuel also tells Bruno how horrible the camp is and that he is always very hungry. Bruno begins to question his father's goodness as a soldier, but is then relieved when he accidentally sees a movie depicting how wonderful the camp is. Throughout the movie you get to see the boys' friendship develop, though they realize they are supposed to be enemies. Bruno still likes Shmuel even during times of confusion when he is getting "brainwashed" with anti-Semitic literature and propaganda from his in-home tutor. The plot thickens as the tension between Bruno's family grows and grows. Bruno's parents are constantly fighting because his mother doesn't agree with the war crimes that are occuring practically in her own back yard, while the father feels it is his duty to serve his country by whatever means it takes. Bruno's sister is fed the same misinformation from the tutor, but unlike Bruno, she sucks it up like a sponge and becomes a radical Nazi like her father.

Okay, I'm going to stop here so I don't give away any more details of the movie, in case you want to watch it. :)

The part about the movie I loved was the innocense of the two young boys. They were told they were enemies, but they didn't understand why. These children could not have understood the complexity of the war, they just wanted to be friends. It makes me believe that hate is a learned concept. The movie doesn't show in great detail the violence and abuse towards the Jews, but it is implied. Anyone who knows about the Holocoust is aware of the horrific tragedy the Jewish people experienced. I've been to the Holocoust museum in New York, I've seen pictures, watched several movies and have read many accounts about the historical event, but it never gets any easier to see and hear things about it. By the end of the movie my stomach was literally heaving. However, I think it is a good film with a great moral and would recommend it to any of you.

El Weekendo

This past weekend we took a trip up to Canada land so we could go to the temple and visit some friends. Our friends, the Harkers, are incredible hosts. We enjoy staying with them whenever we are in the area. We drove up on the 13th after Mike got off work and was there in time for a wonderful dinner. Kathy makes the best meals and is so hospitable. We got to meet Roy and Kathy's son and his wife and their daughter. Those two were fun because they joke around just like we do!
On Saturday we woke up to the smell of pancakes for breakfast. The pancakes were pink and shaped like hearts, which was fitting for the occasion, being Valentine's day and all.

Here is the V-man enjoying his morning orange juice.

Later that day the Harkers watched Vessel so Mike and I could attend a session at the Cardston temple. This temple is really beautiful, but also very unique and different than other temples I've been in.
After the temple, Kathy and I drove into Lethbridge city to do some shopping for things I can't find in the States. I got some scrapbooking items and some of my favorite shampoo. :)

That evening Kathy and Roy planned a romantic candlelight Valentine's day dinner for all of us, complete with chocolate fondue for dessert. I was in heaven. Afterwards we played a fun game and just talked before calling it a night.

Also, that night Mike gave me a pretty non-traditional V-day gift. It was a cutting board made from cedar and strips of African padauk that he made with the help of Roy in his woodshop. I've needed a new cutting board so this was a perfect gift! (To see what I made Mike click here. )
It's nice that we live so close to the Canadian border and we can make trips like that every so often. Thanks to the Harker family for their kindness and hospitality. We all had a fabulous weekend!On a sidenote, please try not to stare at my double chin or the fact that I'm wearing yellow. Although this particular mustard color isn't so bad, most yellows don't look so great on me. But I got the sweater for $5 and couldn't pass it up. Don't judge me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Self Discovery 1

Entry: I KNOW
I've really been reflecting on my life and trying to figure out what I can do to be happier. I've come to the conclusion that I need to let go of the past. And in order to do that I need to forgive previous hurts. I've been racking my brain and I'm determined to make amends with those who I might have unresolved conflicts with. I might not be able to get in contact with all of them, but I'm going to try hard to. __________ is one of them. __________ is another. There's also a handful of other people. Today I wrote __________ an email. He wrote a really nice email back to me. I think we can be friends again. It feels so good to make amends. I've been praying to Heavenly Father for some time now to help me feel Christ-like love towards others, especially those I've been hurt by. I want to forgive. I KNOW it is the only way to be happy. And to forgive and show love and compassion takes a lot of prayer and hard work on my part. I KNOW I can't expect to be forgiven for my shortcomings if I'm not willing to forgive others of theirs. I'm striving to make several improvements in every area of my life. And I KNOW that some of this I can't do on my own. Much of it can only come from the grace of Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No more entertainment corner

Hey guys,
I imported my entertainment blog into this one because I figured it was too hard to keep up with it and if I ever want to give my input on a movie or music I'll just do it here on this blog. Aight? Aight.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Is this normal?

Okay, so I know this probably doesn't look normal. But he always wants to do everything I do, which includes doing hair and make-up. The other day he saw me putting my hair up in a pony tail and insisted he have a pony tail too. Then I started to put on my make-up and he was adamant about joining in. So I got him all dolled up. Mike might kill me for posting these, but let's be honest, they are pretty funny! The boy child looks like a little geisha. I also love the fact that he was posing and giving me some big mama fish lips!

So here is what I'm really wondering about. Is it normal for your kid to go through a screaming phase? Because my usually calm and mellow kid is now constantly belting out this high pitched scream that drives me crazy! He especially likes to do it when I'm on an important phone call. He is also very moody lately and tantrums are a regular thing. I'm sure this is normal and just part of the age he's at. Right?

And here's another thing. Is it normal for a 2 year old to be able to draw this well (without coaching?) I know most people use their blogs as a brag spot for their lives, but c'mon, I have bragging rights on my kid. Maybe he's not special. I don't know, I've never had a kid so I don't know what to compare him to. I just didn't think he'd be able to draw like this until maybe 3 or 4 or 5.

He's really into drawing faces and lately he's been adding legs and feet to the heads of his faces. What kind of worries me is that all his faces are frowny, like he's all sorts of depressed or something. Egads, I don't need that.

Check this out. This face has some great features. Squinty eyes, a single hair, legs and feet, and is that tears he drew under the eyes?

More sad faces. I think my kid has gone "emo" on me. Pretty soon he's going to start wearing black and listening to My Chemical Romance.

Oh yay, here he cracks a smile as he shows me a picture of a guy with "cwazy teeth." Yeah, the grill he drew on that face is pretty kuh-raaaazy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A year later....

Last February I wrote this post. This is what it said:

Something happened. I got caught up in the day-to-day. I don’t even know who I am anymore. This reality just hit me like a ton of bricks. I often feel like life becomes a routine and I lose sight of my goals, I lose sight of myself, and I plateau. I think when I hear something over and over again it becomes so ingrained in me that I stop attaching meaning to it. And this is what I need to overcome. I need to find real meaning. I need to center myself and take a deep look at what’s under the skin. What defines me? What drives me, inspires me, motivates me? What am I passionate about, if anything? What are my beliefs and why are they so? What do I value? How strong is my faith? What experiences and ideas have brought me to this point? What am I good at? What do I know to be true without a doubt? These are all questions that need to be answered before I can feel very confident and comfortable with myself. This is going to be a year of reflection and learning. A year of self discovery. And hopefully a process that will allow much growth to come of it. There are some parts of myself that I have tucked away for too long because I was afraid. I want to be more fearless. I want to learn to embrace my quirks and idiosyncrasies instead of hiding them away shamefully. I want to stop relying so heavily on opinions that don’t matter. I want to find out who I really am. I know this sounds crazy, like why shouldn’t I know myself after almost 26 years? But I don’t. I’m determined to figure it out though. So, the quest begins.

It's almost been a year now and I feel like I have actually learned a lot about myself. So I am going to start a series called "Self Discovery" and post things that I have come to understand and know over the past year(s) about me and my life and all that fun stuff. So look forward to that in the next coming days.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

2 years and 3 months ago....

...our little Ves-dawg came into the world. You know, I think every mom out there probably has the same feelings towards their own offspring, but I seriously LOVE this kid! He is amazing and I didn't think I could love a human being the way I love Vessel. Some of you know I had a hard time when he was a newborn. Being my first child I had no idea what to expect. The first couple of months were very difficult for me. I thought, "Is this the wonderful experience everyone talks about?" Those first months were a hard transition. But I got through them and I grew closer to my little one and realized that motherhood REALLY is one of the best experiences ever invented. Now I can't picture my life without the little booger! I learn something new from him everyday. He also teaches me to be more patient and loving. He makes me smile and laugh with the cute things he says. He is full of life and he brings an incredible amount of joy to our family. I thank Heavenly Father everyday for blessing us with him!

Here is a little update:


*Recently learned about ambulances. While at the store the other day with Daddy they saw an ambulance with it's lights and siren going. Mike explained what was going on. When they got home Mike said, "Vessel, tell mom what you learned about." And Vessel said, "Saw a amu-lanz. Person got hurt, need a band-aid." It was so sweet and cute!

*Loves to raise his arms and make me smell his armpits. He thinks it is so hilarious when I pull a face and pretend to pass out!

* Today during sacrament meeting, one of the missionaries got up to bear his testimony. The congregation was quiet until Vessel started to point at the missionary (who happens to be black) and yell clear as day, "Barack Obama!" Mike and I looked at each other in embarrassment while trying to get him to pipe down!

*Can color in the lines surprisingly well.

*Loves to read books over and over again.

*Is crazy about robots ever since watching "Wall-e."

*Talks a lot and can carry on simple conversations.

*Copies everything he hears! A few weeks ago some stupid J.G. Wentworth commercial came on and after hearing it Vessel would not stop screaming the phrase, "It's my money and I need it now!"

*Likes to pretend he's a frog in the bathtub and jumps around saying "ribbit, ribbit!"

*Always wants to help me with everything from washing the laundry to making dinner.

*Will get something in his head and say it all day. The other day he was dancing around the house singing "coo coo clock, coo coo clock." I don't even know where he got it from.

*Loves stickers. I'll give him stickers throughout the day as a reward when he goes "pee pee" in the toilet. He usually plays with them until they've practically lost their "stick" and then he'll just leave them on the floor. By the end of the day I've got 4 or 5 stickers on the bottom of my socks!

*Loves playing with Legos. He will contently build towers and houses and robots all morning!

*Loves to eat fruit snacks.

*Loves to say family prayer.

*Is a milk drinking machine! We go through 2 gallons of milk a week.

*Loves to sing the Happy Birthday song and Wheels on the Bus. (especially the part about the babies going "Waa waa waa!"

*Is so unique in the way that he loves "boy" toys but also likes caring for his little stuffed animals and dolls and putting them to bed.

*Somehow knows if there is candy in the house, even when I hide it.

And here are some recent (and not so recent) pictures of the boy child:

This picture was taken a week or so before we moved last summer. See the "Bobby" pillow to the right? Well, a few mornings ago I went into his room to find Bobby's remains covering his bed. He had killed his favorite and most beloved possession ever! The fabric from the pillow was so worn from all the washings I gave it that it ripped and so he decided to pull all the stuffing out. I looked at him in horror while he excitedly said, "Comes out, huh?! Marshmallows!"

Vessel loves to "spider swing"

It's a little blurry but I love this picture of when Vessel spent an afternoon with Daddy last summer.

Vessel stealing Daddy's Orange Julius.

Sometime after Halloween, one of the stores we went into was having a gigantic sale on Halloween stuff. We found this wig and put it on Vessel. This is what my kid would look like with a black mullet.

He could be a member of an 80's hair band, am I right?

This is the picture that's hanging up in the nursery. (photo courtesy of Lesa)

I love this kid's dimples. (photo courtesy of Lesa)

Hmmmm, I wonder what he is thinking? (photo courtesy of Lesa)

Vessel and Daddy on Thanksgiving. What cute boys! (photo courtesy of Lesa)

While we were trying to find Mike a pair of glasses Vessel decided he wanted to try some on too.

Buried in the leaves this past Autumn.

Okay, so this is pretty amazing for a 2 year old (I think anyway) and not just because he's my own child. He drew this face without any help from me or Mike. He drew little eyes, a squiggly nose and a mouth. I made him pose with his masterpiece.

He also drew this one a few days later. NO HELP at all! I was kind of blown away by it! I think we've got a little artist on our hands!