Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ski School

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The little girls LOVED ski school.

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The first day they ran into the condo yelling "Can we go back tomorrow? Please! Please! Please!"

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So we sent them back the next day.



When I showed up at the hill to pick them up, Lilah had gone up on the chair lift with her instructor for her first run down the hill.

Zoe loved to go down the hill FAST. But didn't want to figure out how to stop. The girl is fearless.

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*Abby and her friend Sydney, who has joined us on our trip.

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Everyone else who skied had a great time, although the snow was very wet and heavy.

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We only had a few incidences. Eli ended up with four stitches in his knee, after hitting a rock. Luckily, Daddy brought some sutures along.

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Abby ended her last run by catching her ski and going over the edge of the mountain, dropping about ten feet and twisting her knee. But she was more scared then anything.

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Today, we drive seven more hours to Henderson, Nevada.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Temple Square

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Yesterday, a few of us headed into Salt Lake City to visit Temple Square.

I have read a few fictional books about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and so I was very curious to see the Temple and also visit the Beehive House.

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The latest book I read was The Nineteenth Wife. It is 1875, and Ann Eliza Young has recently separated from her powerful husband, Brigham Young, prophet and leader of the Mormon Church. Expelled and an outcast, Ann Eliza embarks on a crusade to end polygamy in the United States. A rich account of a family’s polygamous history is revealed, including how a young woman became a plural wife.

Soon after Ann Eliza’s story begins, a second exquisite narrative unfolds–a tale of murder involving a polygamist family in present-day Utah. Jordan Scott, a young man who was thrown out of his fundamentalist sect years earlier, must reenter the world that cast him aside in order to discover the truth behind his father’s death.

And as Ann Eliza’s narrative intertwines with that of Jordan’s search, readers are pulled deeper into the mysteries of love and faith.
*taken from Amazon.

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We walked the grounds and it was beautiful. The trees were all in bloom and flowers were planted last week.

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You are not allowed to enter the Temple, unless you are a baptized member of the LDS church. But the above photo shows what the inside of the Temple looks like.

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The Temple is architecturally stunning.

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We also took in a short pipe organ concert and visited The Lion House.

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There were a lot of LDS members walking around the grounds and buildings that were very friendly and kind and willing to tour us and answer any questions that we had regarding the history of Mormonism. I am not going to get into the differences of Mormonism and Christianity here, that would be a huge debate of itself! But I will say that I do admire the fact, that they teach their children throughout their lives INDEPTH knowledge of both the Bible and the book of Mormon, they send their children out as missionary's by the thousands and thousands... if we as Evangelical Christians did this with our children... how many millions of people could we reach with the Truth?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Road Trip

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We left at 8am on Saturday morning. We have driven through Alberta, Montanna, Idaho and Utah.

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By 8:39 we heard our first "are we there yet?"

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Ten hours later we were.

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At the US border, Zoe asked "Is this China?"

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*sorry Abby -- she will hate this photo!

Actually, our kids travel very well. You might ask "How do you fit all those kids into your car?". We recently ordered a additional seat from Little Passenger Seats. Our Suburban now seats 11! I laugh every time I say this! We have one extra kid this trip... as we brought Abby's friend Sydney along.

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We spent our first night in Helena, Montana. And after 8 more hours the next day, we reached Park City, Utah, where Tim and the kids will be skiing for a few days, and the rest of us will relax and explore. The little girls will be doing a ski camp tomorrow.

All of these photos were taken with my small, cheap camera and are completely unedited, as all of my photos will be this trip, due to a broken laptop!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Abigail

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I am in the process of packing for two very big trips. We head out on a two week road trip for spring break -- where we will both be skiing AND spending time in our desert getaway.

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I can get very worked up and stressed out. This girl of mine keeps me grounded. She makes me laugh everyday. I want to capture everything about her in my photos... and yet I can't!

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So many people say teenagers are so hard. But this one is simply amazing.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bubble Baths

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Somedays I resort to bubble baths in the middle of the day, especially on a somewhat whiny day like today! It is a good distraction, especially when they can bath in my tub, which is a rare treat...

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There isn't much a hot bath can't cure!

Friday, March 9, 2012

108

So after 108 days...

After document number mix ups...

After the letter making its way to Saskatchewan...

Then to Alberta...

After almost losing my mind...

I finally got the call...

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To come and sign our Letter Seeking Confirmation...

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Now it is time to get busy...

And plow through my very very long lists of things to get done...

But I am just so grateful, that in May, Silas WILL be coming home!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Touch of Class

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Abby was all dressed up for A Touch of Class at her school this morning. She looked so beautiful, I had to grab my camera and get some shots while she drank her coffee.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie and Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar

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1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
1 pkg Double Stuffed Oreos
1 Family Size (9×13) Brownie mix
1/4 cup hot fudge topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well to thoroughly combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, then slowly incorporate into the mixer until the flour is just combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread the cookie dough in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish that’s been lined with wax paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Top with a layer of Oreos. Mix together brownie mix, adding an optional 1/4 cup of hot fudge topping to the mix. Pour the brownie batter over the cookie dough and Oreos. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for an additional 15-25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting — brownies may still be gooey in the middle when still warm, but will set up perfectly once cooled. Enjoy!!
To half this recipe for an 8×8 brownie mix, simply half the chocolate chip cookie dough ingredients.

This is a great snack for those of us who are stress eaters! May not be healthy... but hey... God did invent chocolate for a reason!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Medical Updates

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Today, Zoe saw her plastic surgeon and the cleft lip/palate dentist. The plastic surgeon said that we could do a minor nose revision anytime, it would be a quick and easy day surgery. I am undecided on this right now...

The dentist said he doesn't need to see her until she is seven. They will start dental work at that time and then a couple of years after that they will look at doing the bone graft in her gums. She has a severe overbite and a very narrow mouth, so it is likely she will have a lot of teeth pulled.

But I am thankful that I don't have to worry about her for the next few years, other than her weekly speech therapy sessions, which are now going amazingly well. We switched to the therapist at the University Hospital and it has made a huge difference. Zoe is very willing to self correct, we just need to encourage her to speak clearly and slowly.

When we showed up at the hospital, there was a very large puppy in the waiting room. One of the surgeons recently performed a cleft palate surgery on the dog, so they brought him by to see the kids.

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Lilah also saw three different plastic surgeons today. We were expecting that Lilah would need surgery this spring to put some bone into the cleft in her face, but after seeing how big of an improvement she had with her eye surgery last year, he has decided that it isn't needed right now and we can look at it again when she is a teenager and has finished growing.

This is great news, as it is a big surgery and I wasn't sure how it would all work with Silas coming home.

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With the next surgeon, we talked about taking her ear cartilage to fix her right nostril, but that cartilage still isn't quite firm enough and he wants to wait a couple of more years to get the best results. This may take a couple of tries to get right.

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With the third surgeon, we discussed fat injections. He thinks it would improve her appearance to inject some fat into her cheek below her eye, so it looks more level with the left side of her face. This is a short and simple day surgery and she is at the age that it is best to do it, so I expect that will be fairly soon.

So, all in all, it was great news. With Silas coming home and us expecting many doctor appointments with him in the first while, it will be good for the girls to have a bit of a break!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Oh, the things they say!

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Micah: Mom? Can we get a dog?
Me: Dad says no.
Micah: Well, you should ask your mom. Call Grandma.

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Eli: Mom? You know Grandpa Riegel? You know how he sells drugs?
(just let me make a note here that Grandpa Riegel is a Pharmacist)

I don't even remember the rest of the conversation! I was laughing too hard...

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Eli: Mom... can I drive the car sometime... like... just off of the driveway.
Me: Sure. When you get your license.
Eli: It's really easy though. I had a dream I did it.

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Zoe: I cleaned up my pyjamas... check!
I brushed my teeth... check!
I got dressed... check!
I pooped.... check!

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