Sunday, January 20, 2008


We have been pretty fortunate this winter so far, that it hasn't dipped down below mid 30s very often. However, we had a bit of snow earlier this week...then it climbed to mid50s, before dropping like a rock to mid 20s today. BRRRRRRR!!!! I can't take it! This is when I miss the mild Arizona winters the most!

As I look back on the week, I realize we have accomplished hardly anything. We spent the week trying to sell Girl Scout Cookies (pre-orders, anyway), and (Julie) stressing about a paycheck that was due to come about 3 weeks ago but has yet to find it's way to our home, let alone our bank account. The latter has been a source of great anguish for me...not so much for Brian because he doesn't worry about money like I do. He's too busy earning it. I pay the bills. So when one is expecting an extra $1000 to help with things, and it doesn't come when they say it's going to come, it adds a great deal more anxiety to one's life. The last we heard was that it was mailed this past Thursday, so it should have been here no later than Saturday(yesterday). Guess check! Argh! And with the MLK will be at least Tuesday...if they mailed it when they said they would. So cross your fingers for us, please!

Anyway, about the Girl Scout Cookies. We are having fun with that. The girls are both in Brownie Girl Scouts this year, I'm one of the leaders. We are taking pre-orders and both girls have their sights set on particular prizes for selling a specific number of boxes of cookies. Courtney wants a prize that requires at least 140 boxes sold (she has 60 so far), and Jessica wants something that requires 120, I believe (she's sold 80+). Jessica has proven to be quite an eager seller. She gets out there. Courtney is not so brave, so I'm not sure she will hit her target. They may have to get the prize the other one wants and then switch. Who knows? We haven't even received the cookies yet or done any "cookie booths", so they will sell many more before the end of February. If anyone would like to help support the girls, we'd be happy to ship some boxes...already doing it for some family members! Who doesn't like Girl Scout Cookies? YUMMY (or ask me about "Cookies from Home" for the troops). (That's my one and only plug)

We had a nice Sunday. Brian was actually able to go to ALL of church with us. We drove together. He wasn't post call, or working, or sleeping, so we enjoyed that. For dinner, we had the missionaries over with the lady that I wrote about in a previous blog. Lisa and her daughter, Samantha, came over with 4 Elders. It turns out that Lisa lives in the boundaries for the Chester branch in our stake. So she is being slowly passed over to the Elders that cover that area. We had the two from our ward and the two from the branch. I don't think we have ever had that many people over for dinner at one time. Our apartment is small and not conducive to big gatherings...and it turns out I didn't even have 10 normal size plates for them to eat on. (Jess used a small plate.) Anyway, it was a nice evening. The elders gave us a lesson on "The Proclamation to the World" about the family. My girls and Samantha get along swimmingly!

I hope my coming week is more eventful so your blog reading is more enjoyable next week!
Love to all!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday night and I ain't got nobody...

Well, I thought I would go for a bit of a musical title there, for you oldies buffs. The kids are all asleep and Brian is at work tonight. I do have a little someone keeping me company. We are dog-sitting for some friends who had to go away for the weekend. The dog is an 11-week old toy pug, named Roxy. She is an adventure, to say the least. I have not been around a puppy for a very long time, and when I did have a puppy, I certainly wasn't the one to take care of it completely (thanks, Mom). She has TONS of energy and has some really sharp baby teeth! Luckily, the owners gave us a crate, that I have to say has been a life-saver. I am learning quite a bit about puppies. For example, they are very unlikely to relieve themselves in a crate/carrier, because they are smart and don't want to be sitting in it. She will sleep in there also, but she will not sleep when she's outside of the crate... I mean, wouldn't you rather run around and chew on things and people?

Courtney and Jessica love to watch her. Courtney will pick her up, but Jessica keeps her distance. Ally does NOT like her so much. The only way Ally loves to see the dog is if I'm holding Ally or she is safe in her high chair. She freaks out when I take Roxy out of her crate. Roxy loves to nibble, which actually hurts quite a bit, so both girls spend a bit of time on the couch or on a chair while Roxy is out of her crate. They have bugged us to get a dog for a long time. This is a bit of a practice run for when we have a house. (I am never getting a dog while in an apartment.) So we'll see how the rest of the weekend goes.

So an update...The lady that I met at church last week who is not a member met with the missionaries on Wednesday morning at the church, so I went so she would have a "friend". Our ward's playgroup was also meeting so a friend of mine was sweet and took Ally while I met with Lisa and the missionaries. It was a very good meeting. I felt the Spirit very strongly in that room. She had had experiences in her life that were preparing her for this. She seems to be one that followed the promptings of the Spirit when it told her to do something that led her straight to the church, literally, even though she didn't know what was telling her to do it. She told the elders that she didn't need to pray about it, she already knew. I think that's what the missionaries call a "Golden" contact, right?

We met again on Friday night, this time with the kids, since she is a single mom and, at least for that night, I was too. I also thought it would be good for the kids to get involved a bit, even if was to "just" befriend Samantha. The lesson was supposed to be on the Plan of Salvation, but they changed it to the Word of Wisdom since she's a smoker. It was another good meeting but this time, since the kids were there, inlcuding Ally, who was up past her bedtime and quite cranky at points, it was a different kind of good. :) She will be at church again on Sunday and has promised to try really hard to quit smoking. She wanted us to give us hot chocolate or caffeinated sodas (she thinks those are just as bad...not quite sure why hot chocolate, but okay). In keeping with the "Do's"of the Word of Wisdom, I told her I would try to eat more fruits and veggies for a late night snack instead of chocolate. That's a huge thing for me, so wish me luck! She also expressed desire to get baptized but of course there is a bit of preparation that goes before that, so we'll see what happens, but YEAH! It's fun to be in on the beginnings of someone learning about the church.

So since we are dog-sitting this weekend, we haven't done much else this weekend. I have a picture of the dog on my camera, but having trouble transferring pictures still. I'm so frustrated.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I'll post again soon, hopefully with pictures next time.

Monday, January 7, 2008

"Flyin' high now"

(When my sisters were here, we had our "Rocky" experience with the steps to the Philadelphia Art Museum...yeah us!)

Okay, so I read my previous blog and I know what I'm going to do about the party thing. I just had a moment of feeling bad for my friend. And I don't like to hurt people's feelings so that played a role in my momentary lapse of judgement.

So Sunday was nice. Even though our ward changed times, from 11am, to 9 am, we managed to make it in time for the sacrament. Not in the chapel, but we still were there for the important part. Brian had worked ALL night the night before, had returned home around 5:30 that morning. He woke, to my surprise, around 8:30 and threw some Sunday clothes on so we could go to Sacrament meeting together, in separate cars, of course. He needed to come home and sleep some more. We don't often get to attend church together because he's works A LOT of Sundays. He does have a lot of time just never falls on Sunday. I feel bad for him...and for me. :)

Anyway, he offered to take Ally home with him after Sacrament meeting because she technically needed a nap around that time. I was hesitant to expect him to do that. Past experience has shown that it might backfire and she would not sleep at all, making it so he doesn't sleep. But he insisted...crazy boy. While on my way home, he called to ask where something was and said that she hadn't slept a wink. I felt bad, but didn't really want to say "I told you so". He slept a couple of hours after I got home....Ally ended up not sleeping ALL day. She had some form of separation anxiety or something that day.

I got a taste of some missionary work on Sunday. While sitting in the foyer during church, we saw a lady and her young daughter come in and stand for a while and then sit. Ally made friends with them. I had no idea who they were. Maybe they were there to visit a friend but hadn't made it in time to sit with the friend in the chapel. I didn't visit with them right away. After Brian and Ally left and the other girls went to class, I saw that no one was coming to talk to them, so I decided to be "brave" and go be friendly. I found out they were just visiting, but didn't know anyone. They had decided to come and "see what was up". It became apparent that they were not members. So I put on my extra friendly face and got the daughter excited to go with the other kids. We took her to primary and found her class. She is 9 so ended up in Courtney's combined 9-10 year old class. I was happy about that, because I knew Courtney would be friendly to her. Then I went to the missionary class with the mom, Lisa. I introduced her to the missionaries who jumped right in...

We checked on her daughter, Samantha, between classes and she told me that Sam loved to sing. I told her primary was the place for her then! Lisa said she would like to stay for the 3rd hour, so we went to Relief Society where the lesson was, of course, on Joseph Smith and the basic timeline of the beginning of the church. She had heard of Joseph Smith before. I'm not sure of her opinion of him. I found an extra manual to give her...she wanted to borrow it, I told her she could have it...Set her up with a Relief Society directory and afterwards, she mentioned that she used to have a Book of Mormon but did not any longer. She said she would like one, so we went to the library and found a copy for her. She seemed very happy and was very grateful that I had taken time to help her and show her around. I tried to introduce her to everyone I could and I had so much fun. In talking to Samantha afterwards, she seemed to really enjoy herself also. I told her that I hoped I would get to see her again.

I talked the missionaries later on and they had set up an appointment with Lisa for Wednesday morning at the church and they invited me to come. So I plan on going. I hope she doesn't back out. She lives in a town near Delaware, so she's not in our ward, and probably not our stake either. I'm not sure why she chose our building but I look forward to seeing her again hopefully.

Today the kids started their first full week back at school and Jessica informed us beforehand that she had a tummyache, like she might throw up. She didn't really look or act sick, so I told her to try to go to school and if she still felt bad, I would gladly come and pick her up. An hour and half later...I had 2 messages on my cell phone from the nurses office (I had an appointment that I had to turn my phone off for.) They insisted that Jessica said she was feeling like she was going to throw up and that she said she's felt that way for a couple of days now. This morning was the first I had heard of it. :) But I went and picked her up (she was not actually in the nurse's office when I got there, she had gone back to class.) As we were walking up our sidewalk, she was holding my hand and SKIPPING. The rest of the day, she did not act sick at all. She ate, she played, she wanted to wrestle and tickle with Brian. I told her "If you are going to fake sick, then you really should fake sick. Moan, groan, pretend to have no energy." Anyway, she's fine and will be going to school tomorrow. :)

I hope you don't find this blog too boring. I'm happy to write about daily stuff that goes on so close family and friends can keep tabs on us!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Oh, what a day!

My mood for the day:

I want to try to write more frequently and let you know more of what's going on in our lives. (WARNING: It's got more of a serious tone in some places and more detail than I usually write, so only read if you have some time.)

I woke up today very "on edge". It didn't help that I had stayed up until 2am and had to get up with the baby at 7am. I guess I just can't live on 5 hours of sleep anymore. So I was tired and moody and I could tell that I wasn't going to be productive or happy or patient or any of those other things that good moms are supposed to be. :) No one had done anything (yet) to irritate me or "cause" me to be that way. I was just well aware that I had to do something quick or everyone better watch out. So I went and said a prayer and took a 5 minute breather before starting to deal with everyone. Brian had worked all night last night, so he was getting home and going to bed...somewhere I wanted to be (not with him, mind you, just by myself in my nice warm bed.)

Anyway, to make short story long, I was accutely aware of my attempts to fight through this feeling of negativity. I read bits and pieces of the Book of Mormon with my girls throught the day. We didn't turn on the tv at all....a huge deal for us. (We don't usually spend too much of a normal saturday watching tv until work is done, but this could have been a day that I said "ahh, forget it. I'm not in the mood to deal with anyone, let them watch tv.") We did not get a whole lot of housework done until later in the day when it was obvious that my bad mood had changed into something more pleasant for all involved. I felt much better by the middle of the day or so. HMMM, coincidence? I think not. :)

Between Ally's naps we ran errands for a bit, getting milk and a few other things, and helping a friend get her car into the shop. I made lasagna for dinner, preparing it during Ally's nap (I find that helps to eliminate some of her angst that stems from me not paying 100% attention to Princess Allyson.) Later, we were getting ready to eat dinner and go to a "Cookie Rally" with our Brownie Girl Scout troop. We thought the rally (a big "party" gearing us up for the GS cookie sale) started at 7, but after calling the woman in charge to make sure, we found out it was from 6-9:30! So much for eating dinner before we left. Brian is the only one who ate any lasagna tonight.

We quickly got ready to go to the YMCA where the cookie rally was being held. The activities were swimming (who can even think about swimming when it's this cold, even if the pool is indoors?), pizza, games, crafts, and lots of line/party dancing, with a DJ. Brian had to work again, so I had to take the girls and the baby. I'm one of the leaders, and the only one who could go. I did arrange for other parents to come and help out for the second half so I could get the baby home at a somewhat decent hour.

Now a bit of background to lead into my next internal struggle. I have been blessed in my life to not have too many temptations to break many of the "big" commandments. I have many, MANY things that I leave out or forget to do, but I don't smoke, drink, steal, kill, injure, commit know the ones. I've even been pretty good about keeping the Sabbath day holy. Until now. Well, no, I'm still pretty good about it, but now I'm having some small issue with it.

We live in a very interesting area. Largely Catholic but also very Jewish. My girls are 2 of the only 4 LDS kids in their school. And birthday parties are plenty out here. Everyone invites everyone in their class. If you miss one, chances are there's another one just around the corner. Can get pretty expensive. Anyway, many of them have been on Saturday and we've been able to go to a lot. See where I'm going with this? With the Jewish population, many parties are on Sunday. We've not had a problem turning almost all of them down. The kids are sad for a moment but they understand the reason and know that another party will come along. However, recently we had a very good friend who had a party on Sunday. They really tried everything they could to do it on Saturday just so my kids could go. However, due to the dad's work schedule and the only open time slot for the facility they were using, the party ended up being on Sunday. They asked if there was any way we could go "just this once". I was really torn about it, only in the sense that I wanted to stick to my guns but didn't want her to be upset, or think I was being "holier than thou". I did not want to set the precedent for my kids that it's not okay to go to a party on sunday, EXCEPT for (fill in the blank). It makes it hard to say no the next time. Anyway, we managed to get through that one and still have these people as friends. (It also made it easier that the party was during our church block and there was no way we were going to miss church to go to a party.)

(See I told you this was going to be a while.)

So that leads me to tonight. ANOTHER very good friend, asked me tonight if I would consider "letting my kids have fun just one sunday". Those were her words. I was as nice about it as I could be but I think I hurt her feelings by saying we just really couldn't. I don't think she has a lot of friends and she is divorced and shares a weird custody schdule with her ex husband. She has also really helped us out quite a bit, so I am feeling a bit conflicted about this. I see either way could be good for a different reason. Perhaps she could see that I'm serious about my faith and trying to do what's right, or maybe it would be good to do some more fellowshipping with her, if that's the right word for it. It doesn't conflict with our church meetings. But I would also feel bad if my other friend found out we went to this party and not hers.

So now I'm sitting her having a debate with myself and while it's partially helping that I'm typing everything out, I still am a bit torn. So if anyone has any ideas...

Anyway, the kids got a ride home with a friend after the Cookie rally, getting in about 9:45pm. Very late for them but especially Jessica. She gets very tired. They each took a very quick shower because we start going to church at 9am tomorrow, as opposed to 11. Two hours earlier is a HUGE difference when you need to get 3 kids moving and ready. I will have to write about how it goes. The kids are in bed and it's almost midnight now, so since I didn't get too much sleep last night. I am going to end this (whew!) and go to sleep! I promise not all of my blogs will be this long, but there might be some. I can be a bit detailed in my writing and talking, as anyone who knows me can attest to!

Have a great SUNDAY/SABBATH! Love you all!

Friday, January 4, 2008

And...We're Back

A few people have been after me to update my blog and after, what seems like an eternity, we finally have a computer again! Thanks to my dad and mom, we received a computer for Christmas! YEAH! So we are back in business, as far as blogging goes. The one other catch that might affect future blogs, is that my camera software is wigging out on me and I don't know if I'll be able to post too many pictures after this blog. We'll have to see how it goes. This particular blog is chalk full of pics so we can catch you up on the happenings of the Page family. (Caution: because it's been a while and I've forgotten how to organize this, the pictures are not in any order.)

This is Allyson just hanging out first part of December. She is so much fun these days. She is happy, loves her sisters, knows how to communicate through some sign language. Her favorite signs are "where" and "please". She has discovered baby dolls and loves the cat, who really couldn't care less about Ally. She folds her arms when it's time to say prayers. Ally just turned 15 months in December.

In October, Julie's sisters came to visit and one of the days there were here, we took a day trip to NYC. Everytime I go, I forget how chilly it is in the city so we weren't exactly dressed quite right for it. The Aunts had to buy the girls some beanies to keep their little heads and ears warm. We survived, but next time, we'll be more prepared. This is Jessica, Julie and Courtney at the one and only Rockefeller Center.

This was our Ward Christmas Party where Santa made a visit. Courtney thought that since Ally had met Santa last year and didn't cry, that she wouldn't cry this year. Oh, the sweet naivity of a child! Ally wanted nothing to do with him, but we managed to keep her long enough for a picture. (You can tell she was trying to squirm away cause her pants are pulled up!)

At the historic Wanamaker building where Macy's is, in downtown Philadelphia, they have a special display they call "Dicken's Village" There were some murals on the wall of an old village. Then when you walk down the hall, there is a walk-through display of figures and scenery, (like a museum, I guess), that is the story of "A Christmas Carol". (I dont' have the right words for it, but hopefully you get what I'm trying to say.) We weren't allowed to take pictures in that part, sadly. It was very impressive though. Lots of details to each scene of the story, with the statues and props and stuff.

At the end of the Dicken's Village, Santa was waiting again for us. Thought we'd try again to get Ally to smile, but as you can see, no such luck. He was kind of an old-timey Santa. The older girls always enjoy seeing Santa and telling him what they want for Christmas. It's always something different this year.

Okay, we jump back a couple of months. Halloween brought us a veterinarian, a cheetah, and a baby in a candy corn outfit. Julie is not creative enough to get a baby, who's not going to be trick-or-treating, into a costume. Maybe next year. The girls had fun. Aunts Karen and Valerie were still here for that. They didn't dress up. :(

This is Aunt Karen and the girls in Central Park after lunch. (See I told you these pictures were not in any order).

Just a bit of the loot from Halloween. The Great Pumpkin came later that night and took most of it, leaving behind some "Webkinz" as a trade. The girls get to keep about 20-25 pieces of candy and the Great Pumpkin gets the rest. They are so generous to share. And we don't have kids asking for candy every day till Christmas. They get SOOOO much here, including full size candy bars.

Here's Ally folding her arms. This was right after she learned how to do it, just from watching us do it. It's amazing what they pick up even when you are not trying to teach them anything.

Jessica learned how to climb a tree recently. This is the only somewhat decent climbing tree in our apartment complex. She's sad that it's now too cold to spend a lot of time outside climbing it. She loves 1st grade and is doing a wonderful job of reading. She asked for scriptures for Christmas and loves to read bits and pieces on her own.

I took lots of pictures during the fall. We had an exceptionally long and warm fall so I was snapping pictures all the time. I thought this was one of the best ones. This is a major reason I love being on the Eastern part of the country. SEASONS! My favorite seasons are Spring and Fall. I'm not used to it, so it is such a novelty.
Carving the "Magic Pumpkin". Every year, somehow we get a magic pumpkin. Candy inside is what makes it magic. The kids still can't figure out how we manage to pick out such and exciting pumpkin every year. This year it had Kit-Kats. YUM!
Valerie, Karen, and I took a day trip, on my birthday, to Hershey, PA and Chocolate World. Just the three of us. Brian was off that day, so he stayed home with the kids. It was nice to go out with just my sisters. We were so stylish that day, wearing matching 3-D glasses. (we saw a 3-D movie about chocolate.)

So those are a few of the highlights from the last few months. We hope everyone had a great Christmas and New Year. WE DID! We are finally back to a normal routine, the kids went back to school on the 2nd. They waste no extra time here away from education. Tat's a good thing, I think. Brian is a year and a half away from finishing! YEAH! we should start the job hunting process in a year or less. SCARY, but very exciting. We have no idea what the future holds. But then again...who usually does!?? HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!