Friday, February 27, 2009


That's how old my Grandpa Jones turned yesterday.

Amy and I packed up the baby, two preschoolers, picked up the kinders and headed over for a "pizza party." The kids were super-thrilled; they always are when we visit G&G Jones.
This was their "happy birthday song/dance." As they were setting up, we told them to all stand in a line so Grandpa could see all of them but they quickly informed us that it was all part of the dance. Pardon us. The younger two popped out during the song and it turned out great. I have no doubt Savannah orchestrated the whole thing.

We arrived and G&G were still out running errands so we took advantage of the green grass and beautiful Arizona weather and took some pictures.
heads on a wall.
Reagan LOVES Aidan and Aidan LOVES Reagan.
They have a bond -- every time she sees him, she laughs.
Reagan spent her whole time doing this -- crawling away from me.

p.s. for those of you who want to know who Dr. Bates is, don't worry, he's not my thereapist or anything (I don't have one), but only a random commenter on my "Breathe in, Breath out" post.

p.p.s. if you didn't notice, I'm going private next week so leave your email address if you would like to be invited.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sooner or later

. . . it was bound to happen.

I am going private next week. Nate and I have discussed the issue numerous times, but I always put it off. Dr. Robert B. Bates helped to finally push me over the line. So if you want to still check in on the family, then just leave your email address and I'll invite you to continue viewing the blog.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Best Date EVER!

So Nate and I had a date last night.

I looked forward to it ALL day.

It was a P90X Date!

I am on my fifth week of the lean program and love it, but yesterday morning my P90X partner , who is also my awesome next-door neighbor, texted me at 5:30 and this is what it said:


I am just impressed that she still keeps coming even though she's expecting, she rocks.

I had just gotten up with a cranky Reagan and Nate was up getting ready for work. He suggested I snuggle Reagan and sleep a little longer and he'd work out with me that evening.

Cardio? I asked.

Sure he replied.

And so the date was made.

And I looked forward to it all day.

Well, the date didn't occur until 8:30, but it was the best date ever!

Nothing against Megan or anything, but I so enjoyed sneaking glances at my honey during the workout. We've never worked out together and so this was a first and super-fun. Plus, I think he has a new appreciation for how hard this program really is that I've been getting up at 5:30 to do for the past month!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Breath In, Breath Out. . .

I get a lot of emails. Some of it is spam like the "Do you want a hot wife? Get a Russian Wife!" Yeah, that one has been coming in nearly every day and it makes me laugh every time. Some of them are legitimate things I signed up for at one time and don't read/need anymore like Flylady (who sends hundreds of emails) or my old Pampered Chef lady. One that I don't recall ever signing up for comes about once a week nevertheless and it's some sort of beauty tips email. Usually I delete, but today I read with interest. The title read:

Simple Deep Breathing Exercise: Techniques That Can Reduce the Effects of Stress on the Body

I had to stop watching the news everyday because it stressed me out so badly.

So then I turned to reading which hasn't turned out well either because I'm currently reading The 5,000 Year Leap. It's an AMAZING book, don't get me wrong. It's written by a man who was frustrated that most people don't have a grasp on what the Constitution actually says let alone what the Founding Fathers believed in and how those beliefs helped them form this great nation.

For 5,000 years, life had remained pretty much the same on the earth until these Founding Fathers created an environment of "free-market economics that allowed science to thrive in an explosion of inventions and technical discoveries which, in merely 200 years, gave the world the gigantic new power resources of harnessed electricity, the internal combustion engine, jet propulsion, exotic space vehicles, and all the wonders of nuclear energy."

Basically, in 200 years, the human race had made a 5,000-year leap.

Why and how?

Through the amazing structure of our American government that the Founding Fathers created from numerous philosophies and principles. This book goes through those ideals and the philosophies of the Founding Fathers. I love it. It's easy reading and yet I feel I understand our country so much better.

And that's where the problem with reading begins for me. I turn off the news to not get frustrated and then I go read this amazing book that basically shows me that everything government has turned into contradicts everything that the Founding Fathers held sacred. I bet they are all rolling over in their graves right now - in fact, I know they are from some of their specific quotes I've read.

A few months ago I read a ton of talks from President Benson that amazed me and cemented my beliefs in government's role and the Constitution and now this book is just the icing on the cake from the Founding Fathers themselves. It feels good to be in good company.

hello - that was a tangent!!!!

Wasn't I talking about my emails and the deep breathing/stress email?

Well, I thought it had some good points and I need to relax and take deep breaths more (especially on my non-kenpo days -- kenpo is great for getting out frustration).

So here's what she said - if you feel stress, then I think you'll like it. If you don't feel stress then you must live in fairytale land and I would like to join you, let me know the directions!

"I know you hear all sorts of things about the negative effects of stress on your body and overall health. Even Oprah Winfrey had a guest on her show about how deep breathing could help you look and feel younger since it can reduces stress levels.

They've been researching stress reduction for decades, and the evidence comes back again and again that the most effective, easiest way to counteract stress is through deep breathing exercises. As we grow tense, the tendency is to take shallower breaths.

Understanding Common Breathing Problems:

Shallow breathing means less oxygen getting to the brain and muscles, which increases your physical tension as your body tries to adjust to the new demands you place on it. Ordinarily, we don't notice that we aren't using our lungs fully until something causes us to take a deep breath.

Hyperventilation is the most recognizable extreme of shallow breathing. Brought on by anxiety, breathing becomes so shallow that the sufferer experiences the feeling of not being able to catch her breath: she tries to compensate by breathing faster, and winds up gasping uncontrollably. Hyperventilation has traditionally been treated by having the person breathe into a paper bag: I don't know the chemical reason this would work, but I would surmise that having the distraction of breathing into a bag may be enough to calm the person and turn the mind away from the anxiety that brought on the attack in the first place.

Benefits of Practicing Daily Deep Breathing:

Taking a few minutes once or twice a day to practice deep breathing techniques can lower your blood pressure, aid your digestion, increase alertness and decrease fatigue, reduce tension headaches and migraines, and generally increase your quality of life (these are just a few of the benefits). People tend not to try deep breathing for a couple of reasons. They're afraid it sounds too simple to work. They feel like they can't make time for it in their already over-committed

It is simply a way of resetting the body's stress levels. You don't have to take a particular pose or
chant anything, if you don't want to. For a busy, worried mind, it may help to count each breath in and out ("one" on the inhale, "one" on the exhale, then "two" and so on). Counting your breaths is a simple exercise technique that helps keep the mind from wandering off to more distracting and more upsetting ideas. Ideally, the time you spend in deep breathing is not spent ruminating, planning, agonizing, or scheduling. You should just be breathing.

Deep Breathing Exercise Technique to Try:

To practice deep breathing, you will need ten minutes of uninterrupted time and a kitchen timer.

1. The first step is to give yourself permission to practice deep breathing, forgetting any ideas of multi-tasking. Promise yourself 5-10 minutes, twice a day, every day.

2. Turn off the cell phone, shut the office door (or go sit in your car) and make sure you can give your full attention to doing nothing.

3. Get yourself in a comfortable position. You may be sitting or lying down: it doesn't matter.

4. Loosen tight clothes, and take off your shoes if they aren't comfortable.

5. Set your timer for 10 minutes (or 5 if you're just starting and fear that 10 minutes of sitting quietly may drive you mad. It won't, though, and you can work your way up to it gradually.)

6. Relax your body. Those muscles you usually suck in, let go of. Let your face droop, too (many of us hold lots of tension in our jaws and foreheads. Especially if you're prone to headaches, relaxing your face will be most helpful.

7. Close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Usually, the chest rises when you breathe. In deep breathing, your stomach will rise. Feel your stomach rising and falling. If your mind
is racing, count your breaths. Otherwise, just concentrate on your breathing. Usually, your mind will wander, so when it does, gently remind it that you are just breathing now and will think of other things later. Don't get mad at yourself, and don't give up after only a few tries.

And that's all there is to it. When your time is up, the timer will ring. If you've managed to fall asleep, it may be because you've been so tightly keyed up that releasing your anxiety for
a few minutes gave you some much-needed rest. Don't feel bad about that!"

I know I won't do it 10 minutes twice a day (my over-active brain would never settle down that long), but I can start out with just a few minutes and maybe then I can handle the news again.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


On Friday Amy invited us over to make sock puppets from a kit Aidan got for Christmas. Everyone chose what they wanted and we set off with good intentions of making them with the kids' help. Upon realizing only a hot glue gun would do the job, we sent the kids out back and made the puppets ourselves. So they had a blast outside while Amy and I had fun making puppets. Savannah (my artist, remember) was the only child disappointed that the craft wasn't more "hands-on" for the kids. She is the craft queen.
Davyn's snake. Savy's butterfly.
London's superhero -- with an "L" on her cape for London. The hair is super cute although it took me forever to make. I never got a close-up picture of Aidan's alien, but you can see it below.
Super-puppets! Reagan wasn't big on getting attacked by the super-London puppet.
She did, however, love being out back watching the kids play. This is what she looks like when I don't fix her hair in the morning! Crazy! Aidan came running and in asked to put on his soccer clothes. Then Savy came in and told me she was being a "soccer mom", watching Aidan. They are so cute when they all get along and play well together.

Friday, February 13, 2009

First Tooth - finally!

Crusty nose, dirty face, unkempt hair -- and she's still a cutie!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The latest on the chicas

Call me biased, but I just can't resist this girly. In these pictures her hair looks a little crazy, but it really is curly-curly in the back (almost tight riglets). Dark hair, blue eyes and I've decided she inherited Nate's nice olive skin. That makes two olives and one whitey like me (poor London). I love taking her to the store because every time I take her out, people comment. Saturday just she and I went grocery shopping and I was stopped three times to hear how cute she is -- one couple even kept me talking a few minutes about her. And then there were about four other people that cooed to others about her as they passed by me. I just love it that other people think she's darling too and not just her biased mother. Just look for yourself - how could you resist her????

Reagan's still giving out the besitos.

Enough oozing about my baby. Her latest is her new tooth (yes, only one). She constantly wants her binky in her mouth, but when I take it away she just babbles and giggles at nothing in the air. She uses anything she can to stand up and the other day she let go for the first time and balanced a few seconds before falling to the floor. I've seen her do it a couple times since. She's also figured out how to crawl up the stairs although she's still not good yet and that's scary. She's curious and more and more difficult to watch. Everything goes in her mouth and hence the binky obsession - I prefer that in her mouth so that I know I won't find her sucking on some clippy or rubber band, which has happened a couple times and I'm grateful I got there in time. Mostly she likes to just suck things in her mouth though and not swallow, which has been a life-saver more than once for this girly who has two older sisters who don't quite understand the concept of picking up little things (no matter how much their mom threatens them). Cupboards are no longer safe and my kitchen constantly has bowls and various things on the floor - just follow the wake of destruction and you'll find Reagan. It's great fun.

London is still obsessed with cleanliness (as much as I wish this phase would pass). Almost every night I see the bathroom light switch on in the dark hours and hear her washing her hands. The nights that I do get up to help her back to bed, she's like a little half-asleep zombie. And yet she still concerns herself with cleanliness in her zombie-state. Crazy.

In fact, as I'm writing this, she came in and asked me to help put on her panties after using the bathroom. I helped her put her legs in and then told her to pull them up and she refused because she didn't want to get her hands dirty and wash again. . . should I start thinking about counseling? I'm not joking.

And she's full of more spunk than ever.

I think we're going through a middle-child-syndrome stage at the moment. She goes from tantrums to super-sweet-baby-talker. The baby talking drives me absolutely insane! I think I'm ready for her to be in kindergarten next year because everyday she asks me if it's her preschool and the majority of the time it isn't since she only goes Tues/Thurs.
Savannah is Savannah. Still obsessed with her looks and fashion more than school. I get so frustrated doing homework with the girl, but we're making it -- and she's improving (and I'm improving my patience). I just keep reminding myself that she's in an advanced school and will be done with k and 1st grade curriculumn by May. So I try to not get so frustrated. Although I've noticed that if she has a good incentive, she'll do it fast (and right) on her own without my help. Math is our biggest problem. BUT, she did get an award 2 weeks ago for not missing a single day -- 100 days of school. She was so proud to get an "award."
Savy is also the best big sister ever. She always gives up toys for peace-keeping sake with London or helps her do things and I can always trust her with Reagan (unlike Miss London). Reagan lights up and giggles just looking at Savannah. She does with London too, but there's just a touch of fear because London does end up making Reagan cry every time they're together.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


"A state of mind wherein a person,
through awareness and sensitivity,
frequently finds something that is better
than the thing he was seeking."

I have always like this word (and the movie). The other day I was reading an essay by Richard M. Eyre, author of Teaching Your Children Values, and I loved his section on Serendipity and thought I'd share a little to 1. give you something to think about like it has me and 2. for my own memory sake.

This essay was written to summarize and introduce the reader to his new book, The Three Deceivers which actually looks quite interesting and I may have to read (I sensed some eternal principles in there).

The three deceivers are control, ownership and independence. Those don't create happiness, but rather unhappiness and the concepts we should replace those with are: serendipity, stewardship and synergicity ( a combo of synergy and synchronicity).

He writes:

"The alternative to the deceiver of Control is Serendipity, an attitude that pursues pro-active goals but stays open to surprises and looks for the spontaneous, the unexpected, and the adventure in life and welcomes them all. Let me tell you a story:

. . . That summer, I had an internship in Hawaii, with an airline. I would fly to one of the outer islands each weekend and hitchhike. One Saturday, on the big island, I got a ride with a bona fide Hawaiian couple. They picked me up in Hilo and off we went for Kona, on the other side of the island. They kept stopping to show me a waterfall, or some big lilies, or an old volcano. All day they delightedly showed me their island, and at sunset, we pulled into Kona. I thanked them and said how lucky I felt that they had been going all the way to Kona. "Oh no," the man said in his pigeon English, "We were not going to Kona, we were going grocery store."

I stared at him in amazement and he explained, "We can go grocery store tomorrow--cannot take you to Kona tomorrow!"

The Serendipity alternative to the Control deceiver simply means that as we pursue our goals and check off our lists, we take off our blinders and see other people and their needs and the opportunities that come up unexpectedly. We relish rather than resent surprises and we look for chances to meet new people or go in new directions that we couldn't have predicted or planned. We accept the fact that we don't (and can't and wouldn't want to) control everything, and thus each day becomes an adventure.

I just love that story and the last paragraph because, as you know -- I am a list maker (and checker-off-er). I need more Serendepity in my life and I'm looking to "bring it on" in 2009!

Monday, February 2, 2009

London's Art from Primary

London's version of the First Vision.

I love this drawing because:

1. the topic.

2. London does not usually draw actual things - she's more of a scribbler even though I know she's quite capable (proven here) of more. So this is a rarity for her.

3. I know she really put a lot of thought into this drawing -- the tree, three people (Joseph Smith is the large one on the right, smiling), the grass, and even some "glow" coming off Heavenly Father. Love it.

4. It shows me that she really does listen intently and learn in Primary. Every Sunday she tells me details of the lesson and I am so impressed that she's learning the gospel so well and loves it.

5. Her name started and interrupted (by the tree) 3 times. The back has two full names to make up for those on the front.