Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sweet Sophia

Sophia is our little ray of sunshine. She loves life. She loves to laugh. She has a beautiful smile. She is has a fun personality and is fun to be around.

She is happy and carefree. One example: On our mad dash to catch our airplane to Utah, she ran the whole way from parking to the ticket counter, holding on to my hand, giggling. Each step of her run included a skip up, with a little flutter of the legs.

She is tenderhearted and tries to help those in need. If someone gets hurt, she thinks food or drink is the way to help them feel better. She hears a sad cry, and comes running with a drink of water. She watches out for other people.

She loves to wear dresses, she loves to wear shorts. She loves to match her mom. If I wear my gaucho pants, she puts on hers. If I wear my jean skirt, off she goes to change into hers. If I am wearing my big flip flops, she sports hers too. She just loves clothes period. She hates to have her hair combed, but loves to show off a new hairstyle if she agrees to undergo the brush.

Sophia is a good listener. As long as she is well rested and fed, she is a peacemaker. She loves to say prayers, and says nearly every meal prayer and family prayer in our home. She does need some prompting to say more than just, Please bless Daddy, but she's learning.

I love Sophia and I am so grateful to have her in my life!

* photos by Kelsey Call

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sophia's Birthday

We celebrated Sophia's third Birthday on Saturday. I can't believe how old my little girl is getting! We started with a birthday party in her honor. We kept it simple, inviting a few kids her age.

She wanted a flower and butterfly theme (she selected that over Dora and Princesses). We played her favorite game, Ring Around the Rosie. We also played Flower, Flower, Butterfly (duck, duck, goose). We had a flower hunt for flowers with candy taped on the back (kind of like an Easter Egg hunt). Then we played Pin the Butterfly on the Flower.

The kids brought their swimming suits and played in the little pool and in the sprinkler. They ate hot dogs for lunch, followed by cup cakes. We finished with opening presents right before the parents came.

Birthday Dress from Granny

Lemonade Stand

We followed up the party with one of Sophia's favorite activities... SWIMMING!

Happy Birthday Vaughn

As I was writing about Vaughn's visit, I realized that I never wrote a birthday tribute to him... His birthday was the first part of August... He's catching up to me in age... ha!
Vaughn has the biggest heart, he loves people and he loves animals and he loves life. His laugh is contagious. He is full of personality (I think he got my share!) He has an uncanny way of cheering people up. He is a hard worker too. I love you bud!

Unusual House Guests

Last week consisted of a slew of unusual and unexpected house guests. Sunday brought the unexpected and last minute arrival of the mother of one of the families Doug used to home teach (the family has since moved away). She flew down spur of the moment to help her daughter and grand-daughter who still live here flee a dangerous and volatile relationship. I spent all of Monday driving them around, trying to locate a vehicle in which to move possessions back to Utah. We were glad to be able to help.

Two nights later my brother called en route to Utah from Florida to say he'd be arriving at 3:30 am. I had hoped he would stop by, but just didn't know when. He brought with him a buddy and his buddies pit bull puppy.... I am not such a fan of dogs period... but a pit bull! The kids sat in the living room, and had great fun admiring the puppy through the window. My brother and his buddy slept till 11, ate and then took off again. But I was glad to see my brother, even if it was a short visit! He met Preston for the first time, so that was fun!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Big Dreams

My brother Vaughn rolled into town in the middle of the night on his way from Florida to Utah... As he was leaving Sophia and I were standing in the drive way next to his car while he got himself situated for the next long leg of the drive. Sophia looked at his car, leaned over to me, and whispered into my ear with fascination, curiosity and hope in her voice, "Mom, can we get one of those?" Great... my girl loves clothes and cars!

First Day of Kindergarten!

Today marks the beginning of a new era in my life... a child in school all day long!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sophia's 3 year stats

Height-      34   in.                        4th %
Weight-     27  lbs. 5 oz              25th  %

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What Not to Wear

My last post has got me thinking about clothes... and about one of my favorite shows, TLC's What Not to Wear.

I love how the fashion coordinators, Stacey and Clint take what they've got... a person with little sense of style, and help this person dress in the most flattering way possible. They don't tell the person, go have an extreme make-over; you know starve yourself, exercise like crazy, and while you're at it shave off part of your nose and cap all of your teeth.

Instead they help the person work with the body they have. They pick flattering colors, styles, cuts, and fits. They encourage the person to dress their age. The person then gets some make-up tips and a new hair cut, and presto they come out looking and feeling great. Anyone who watches the show can walk away learning something they can apply to their life to make them feel better, instead of walking away thinking, the only way I can be beautiful is through surgery. (Can you tell how I feel about the show, Extreme Makeover?)

The first part of every show includes video footage of the guest star submitted by well meaning friends. It's not always flattering, but I think the $5000 clothing allowance, and fashion advice from Stacey and Clint make up for the embarrassment. I don't watch it all of the time, because I find myself always thinking about clothes, but it's a fun show to watch once in a while and as I previously stated I like the approach they take to improving oneself.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

baby blessing

The grand finale of our family reunion was Preston's baby blessing. We all caravaned down to S* to the ward Doug grew up in. There were two stressful parts about the day.

First and foremost, we were still discussing what to name this child. I felt like I had given the name Preston an honest to goodness try, and it just wasn't clicking with me. Doug felt really good about the name. We were at a standstill.

The real problem came when I told Doug the Thursday before that I still wanted to change the name. Up until this point, Doug had been very supportive of this possibility. He just told me we had to have it figured out before the baby blessing. It became very apparent on Thursday that he was no longer supportive. Upon further questioning I realized the reason he had been so supportive previously was because he never really thought I would go through with it. Then I was mad, here I had been so appreciative of his understanding to find out that it wasn't sincere. He was mad because he didn't want to change anything because felt good about the name. What to do... So Sunday morning, we're still going back and forth ... I on my cell and he on his as I am traveling to S*. The end result? I finally decided to accept the fact that Doug named this baby. I named Sophia, and now I have a big card in my hand for the naming of a future child.

In case you're wondering, the other names we were considering were : Lucas (we would have called him Luke, even as I write it I'm still sad about it) and Mason (although I knew all along Doug would never give into this one... if we have another boy though, I'll be merciless about this one).

I hadn't mentioned the name dilemma to my parents. I didn't want to be influenced one way or the other. I told my parents on the drive. The only purpose it served was to get my dad so fired up that he finally started driving fast enough to get us there on time. (He didn't want us to change the name, and despite comments from everyone in the car he refused to go over the speed limit, even though there was no conceivable way we were going to make it on time at the rate he was going... )my other HUGE worry was that we wouldn't have the baby there in time to be blessed. There you have it our family drama preserved forever on my blog...

Doug and Preston

Porter and Doug's cousin Roni, playing 'Crossfire' a game from Doug's youth.

The R* clan... Tom, Tanner (the only cousin my kids have on this side) and Debbie (Doug's sister) T*.... Barbara (holding Preston), Porter (in front) and Jack.... Doug, Angela and Sophia (glued, as she was the whole trip, to my hip)

getting ready for the picture

My mom gave Sophia the dress she's wearing for her upcoming birthday. They picked it out at the store, my mom gave Sophia the choice between a dress and a doll, and Sophia picked a dress. Sophia wore this one nonstop until the sundress was delivered. Funny how soon a passion for clothing can be developed.

Not sure what the exchange here is, but apparently earlier Sophia had been wearing the infamous sundress. Tanner touched it and Sophia looked at him and ordered him to "Stop touching my beautiful dress!"

Doug gave Preston such a beautiful blessing, so everyone tells me, as I had to escort a hysterical Sophia out of the room. Upon reflection, I realized she had asked to hold the baby while I was feeding him in the mother's room right before the blessing. I said, not remembering the immediacy of a two year old mind, that she could hold him when we returned to the chapel, and in my mind I thought, after the baby blessing... I didn't verbalize that, thus our terrible miscommunication and the start of another tantrum. Oh well... I am grateful for Doug and his worthiness to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to pronounce a name and a blessing upon our beautiful son.

Isn't my baby cute?

Barbara and Debbie cleaning up after the post blessing luncheon. They did such a fabulous job with the food and party. The food was fabulous and plentiful. Thank you for all of your hard work!

Along with my immediate family, including Mark's girlfriend Annika, also in attendance were my cousins Maria, Cyrina, and Amber (visiting from England...she married an Englishman and is expecting her first baby) and my Aunt Lolita.

Becca E* came too, it was so great to see her and get caught up! She said she'd like to start a blog... I hope she does, then I can keep up with her weekly, rather than yearly! Doug's buddy Zach from high school and brought his wife and three kids. Funny how things change.

Doug' s cousin Roni was there along with Janet and Julie, they are Aunt Edith's daughters... and I think Aunt Edith must be Barbara's aunt... Barb, correct me if I'm wrong.
I love family and friend gatherings. I think this was even more special, because we came from so far to be together on this eventful day.

The Sundress

More Pictures of the Infamous Dress!

Sophia and Erin the seamstress, my ever talented sister-in-law!

Savannah (showing me her sucker) and Sophia (already enjoying hers)

Sophia and Uncle Paul

My Angel

Talent Show

Another tradition of the family reunion is a talent show. This year we combined the talent show with a teaching time, where we shared interesting or helpful things we'ver learned with the family. I really liked this addition to the talent show, because not everyone's talents are so visible.

One of my sister-in-law Erin's talents are very visible. She is so crafty and creative. She made Savannah and Sophia matching dresses. She told Sophia about the dress a couple of months ago, and Sophia has often said. "When I get to Utah, Aunt Erin is giving me a blue dress and I'm going to match Savannah!" She would call Erin from my phone to talk about the dress. She was so disappointed when we got to Utah, and Erin wasn't there yet. It's cute and kind of scary how much my daughter likes clothes already!
For part of the talent show, Erin presented the girls with their dresses.

Steve sang 'Sit down you're rockin the boat' from Guys and Dolls.

Mark taught us some Islamic history that he learned in his history class. Mark is majoring in social studies.

My mom shared her thoughts and inspiration from several books.

Porter showed how mature he's getting by even though he was getting bored, he stayed with us and didn't make a big fuss.
He also showed us several summersaults and attempted a cartwheel. He was going to do gymnastic stunts with granny, but he got a little bit shy.

Laughing at Uncle Adam's stunts

Adam, trying to juggle and take a bit out of the apple he was juggling.

Adam, trying to stuff a whole bag of marshmellows in his mouth. He got to 21 or 22 and I was begging him to stop... His mouth was so full I was scared he was going to choke! We had to have a little discussion with Porter afterwards about what we can and cannot stuff into our mouths. Kind of a "don't try this at home" disclaimer.

Porter loves his uncles, and they love him!

Sophia regalled us with "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam" with her daddy throwing her into the air on every up beat. She also led us in "Ring around the Rosies" The look on her face was priceless as she watched all of us circle up with her. We also sang with her "If You're Happy and You Know It" and "Head, Shoulder's Knee and Toes." All of the above are regular parts of our Family Home Evening, per her request.

Paul and Erin performing "Who's On First"

Doug and I shared our bargain hunting, money saving tips! Did you know it is better to save $1 than to spend $1... You have to pay taxes on the $1 you spend, so saving $1 really saves you about $1.43...

Sophia keeping herself busy when she didn't feel like watching any more.

Porter laughing, and Paul and Adam videoing my dad's lip synch of the 50's/60's rendition of The Lincoln Car song. I'll have to call my dad and ask him the real name of the song. It was hysterical to see him moving and dancing to the music while mouthing the words.