Friday, December 31, 2010

Ideas Please

I have a new calling at church, and I'm pretty excited about it. I was new to the Enrichment Committee in Relief Society and a couple of weeks ago they called me as the leader. I'm looking forward to it  because I have tons of ideas -copied- that I think all the ladies will love. I already have the year planned, I think (haven't had a meeting where they explain my calling yet) there are 4 big activities and small monthly ones as well as special interest groups, like playgroups, walking groups, a book club, etc.

The first big activity (AND THERE WILL BE BABYSITTING AT EVERY ACTIVITY! even if I have to bribe the husbands with cookies) will be speed friend shipping, thanks for the idea Anna!  It will be perfect for our not-so-friendly ward that has lots of people moving in and out. Us old-timers will actually learn about the ladies we've said hello to in the halls for years, newbies will meet everyone, and shy people will have a reason to talk.

Apparently a summer social is a tradition and I'll have to figure out a super-Saturday craft day before a Christmas something.  Maybe going out and volunteering instead of sitting around listening to the Christmas story.

I would love to stress learning new things for the monthly get-togethers: canning, sewing, crochet, knitting, gardening, etc. There are lots of talented/older ladies that can teach and plenty of newly marrieds/young moms that would like to learn.

The main reason for this post is to ask for your ideas. If you've had any fun/educational activities, please let me know.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas

We were lucky enough to have Brian's parents here; apparently Christmas is quite boring for empty-nesters.  Eli was as happy as I've seen him with Grandpa as his playmate for all his waking hours. He also made a gingerbread house with grandma, her artistic talent and Eli's careful, detail-oriented nature produced a beauty we haven't been able to eat yet. Esme really took to opening presents, even ones that weren't hers.

It was a perfect Christmas with family. The kids were angels, no melt-downs and warmed up to Grandma and Grandpa quickly.  We're so glad they came and are sad it's over.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Brian, As Of Late

Waiting for Eli to finish decorating his gingerbread man 
at the Swiss Christmas Celebration in Midway.

How about a Brian update. He has some serious Christmas spirit. I'm more stressed about getting gifts made and he's constantly wrapping presents (even the ones in the stockings!), making gingerbread, reading Eli Christmas stories and even wants the two of us to read The Christmas Carol together. I know he said he's make a cookbook for our family gift to people, and even though it didn't happen, he did spearhead Project Christmas Cards which will be coming soon.

I'm glad he's now taking a couple week break from Soo Bahk, the 3 evenings a week it kept him out late, 8 being late for me. But in the Spring he will be hosting his region's Black Belt Test, in which 4 of his students are testing for their black belt. This will be his first generation and he's working hard to make sure they're the best candidates the testing board has seen. He's having a party soon where the 5 of them come to our house, eat Korean food, watch his first black belt test and go over their forms and board breaking and such. Hosting the test in Salt Lake will be another ordeal, arranging transportation, lodging, restaurant for a banquet, and sign-ups as well as gifts for the Masters (testing board) from Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, and Montana. No stress.

At work he's in charge of film-ordering so people around the world can get geneological records in the form of micro-film/fiche sent to them and he just launched, quite smoothly, in Europe.

When the Bishop was looking for a calling for him at church, I warned him that eventhough he works at, he DOES NOT DO GENEOLOGY. We were worried when he got his calling, but aparently the Bishop really does know what he's doing since Brian will be the "family history consultant" that teaches the class, so people can learn the process and new technology to help them. If hard questions come up he can just ask the experts at work. The other older guy with more experience actually searching and compiling family names are the actual consultants there to help people in the ward.

In his spare time on the weekends he's helping me out by cleaning the bathrooms, taking the kids, and making dinner. Isn't he too good to be true?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Eli Lately

Eli's surprising us a lot too these days. Mostly because his speech is improving and he's finally saying those crazy things that little kids say. Like "Me yes want to go temple and marry Kitty," or just when I thought he'd be bothered by a lumpy batch of cream of wheat he said "mmm, squishy rocks" but these things don't happen too often because he's still a quiet, almost serious kid, with occasional goofiness. He loves to take care of his sister, although when she's "on the crawl" he always closes the door to his room so she doesn't wreck anything. If I need to get something done I'll have him "watch" her in her room with the door closed to keep her away from the stairs. Her room is usually a disaster when I return, but the other day it wasn't. I was so appreciative. I kept saying "Eli, thanks you so much for watching Esme and not making messes so I could clean the kitchen" and he looked down at it and said "thanks for cleaning your kitchen mom." His manners are amazing these days. After two years of training he consistently says thanks for whatever meal he just ate and puts his dishes by the sink. I love it! Finally some appreciation, forced or sincere I'm not sure, after 4 years of doing everything for this kid, not that I need it, it just feels nice. His sweet words are often melting us.

His toys of choice lately? Trains, as always, and a trio of stuffed animals-rat, cat, and dog. Of course his absolute favorite "toy" is a fish his dad caught that he can splash around with in the sink. I wonder if he even sees his kitchen and play food as a toy or if he really thinks he's cooking. He loves to play lions with his dad, where they reinact some sort of Simba/Scar battle. A real treat is to do Soo Bahk (martial arts) with Brian. He takes his turn telling his dad which stretch or kick to do. He just finished a tumbling tots class that I hoped would get him ready to begin martial arts in January. Change is hard for him and I thought the class structure and physical activity would be a good warm up for the timid boy about to start Brian's loud/serious martial arts class. We better talk it up. Brian will be so sad if he refuses to do it.

And Christmas, I must talk about it. He must've inherited his excitement for Christmas from his dad who loves all the decorating and movies and songs. He's waiting patiently for the day, reminding us each day to open that day's drawer in the advent calendar. And it's not just the candy or toy that he wants, he loves the song and scripture too. Also, he's very consistent, having us sing the same two songs for nap and bed time for the past year and he just recently wished for Jingle Bells to join the mix. The other night Brian was noisily wrapping some presents and the boy came in to say we were being too loud when he spied a book. I stopped him, saying it was his Christmas present and so he chewed Brian out for leaving the presents out and ran to the closet to hide it. He's very excited for Grandma and Grandpa to come and sleep at our house for Christmas.

Learning. He has a better memory than me. I will only tell him something once or twice and its in there.  We're working on the alphabet, how to write it and the sounds the letters make and it's really teaching me patience.  For some reason the second I start he gets hyper and starts bouncing all over. I have to get him to focus, stay positive and make it fun.  So far he loves stars as a reward next to a nicely-written letter.  And I started closing my eyes while he wrote the letter because it was just too painful to watch, but turned out to be another way to make his writing lessons fun, he likes surprising me with his creation. Wish us luck. Tomorrow is D.

I imagine he will be a good student since he's very thorough with whatever he does and is reserved in his class at church. Hopefully he inherits homework habits from his dad who used to start an assignment as soon as he got it, where as I would wait until midnight the night before it was due.

Tonight we realized he's growing up when he insisted on sitting away from us with his friend Curt and got mad at Brian for kissing him in front of his friend. It better not get much worse than that.  We're pretty attached.

Esme These Days

Esme's been growing up so much these days.  It all goes down hill after the first haircut.  Luckily, and obviously,  growing up doesn't necessarily involve getting less cute. Now that she's getting bigger, her friendly personality is coming out more.  Whenever someone compliments her on her distracting adorableness, she always gives them a big smile, like she knows what they're saying. A few weeks ago, she got the ultimate compliment, one I never thought I would actually hear.  The owner/chef of our most-visited Korean restaurant actually said that Esme is cuter than her own little daughter.(!)  I still can't believe she said it, and I don't think it was just so we'd order an appetizer. I could go on about this subject all day, but I'd better move on.

As far as eating goes. I've made a new discovery.  If I get her starving hungry, as in wait an hour or two after she wakes for a meal instead of feeding her right away, she will eat at least twice as much. It's so amazing. She grunts and leans for that buttery cream of wheat like it's the best thing she's ever eaten. And she even LETS ME SPOON FEED HER.  It's pretty much exhilarating when she opens for a greasy bite of mush. "Honey, watch this!" and we both sit back amazed. 

And learning.  The copying has begun. She is speaking so soon, trying to repeat almost any word we emphasize to her. Today, on her own, she said "moe" when her buttery cinnamon cooked apples were gone. Today at church, Esme noticed a wife rubbing her husband's back, so she leaned forward and rubbed his back too.  And a couple of weeks ago, I was spying on the kids during a prayer and realized she was folding her arms! One little hand placed on top of the other. She does it all the time now.  She must be trying to melt us,  just like she's kissing up to the nice people that compliment her. Books are her favorite thing, and books with animals are her most favorite. Especially when we make the silly sounds.  So far she moos like a cow and pants like a puppy. 

Play.  Her favorite hangout is the stairs. Not to use them to go up to her room or down to Eli's. After she melts me during the prayer, and excites me by eating well, she tries to give me a heart attack by climbing on the stairs. I take her up or down and she just gets right back on. When we block them she gets mad. So the second half of dinner I'm usually on the stairs with her and my plate of food. She does love a roudy game of peek-a-boo with her dad, although her tiny hand usually just covers her nose. Brian loves to hold her arms up and point out that her hands barely reach over her head.

We love having this girl around. I can't believe how lucky I am to be with her all day long. She's starting to get a little clingy and I don't even mind, especially since she prefers me to her dad. Sorry Bri.  I always smirk when he has to hand her back. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Eli wants an owl for Christmas and has been into the bird/egg/nest idea. So I copied another idea from someone on Etsy. It was just too perfect. I added the little bark texture and a couple of wooden eggs. Brian says I should make these things to sell. Only took me so long I'd want to sell it for like $50. The lady on Etsy, only $30. A steal. Now I know.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


So a couple of days ago my friend Wendy invited us to her girls' (twins) birthday party today. For gifts I like to ask what the birthday kids are into so my hard work is more likely appreciated. Even better, Wendy said she was making the girls a puppet theater for Christmas and that puppets would be good, so the girls get a present and mom can check a couple of things off her to-do list. I went to my favorite craft blog roundup and entered in "puppet" and found the best tutorial, stopped looking as soon as I found it.  The amazingly talented/creative lady at Just Another Day In Paradise put an Old McDonald Puppet tutorial for a competition. I love all the detail, even the back of the animals are fun.

Okay, gotta get ready for the party.