Sunday, January 20, 2008
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 what...no check! Argh! And with the MLK holiday..it 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
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
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
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.
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!