Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Visit with Santa

We took the kids to see Santa last Friday night and they had a ton of fun. We've been going to the same Santa for a few years and I have to say that he (and Mrs. Claus) are the best! Every year, their present to each other is to play Santa and Mrs. Claus to all of the kids in their neighborhood. They have tons of lights and decorations, and he decks out his garage and all of the front windows to look like Santa's Workshop; his beard is even real! This year they weren't too busy when we showed up, so after trying to take a picture of the kids with Santa while Margaret screamed, he walked around with Margaret for a long time showing her all of his toys and decorations until she finally warmed up to him. I think she even gave him a smile towards the end. And Steven! So cute; he had his wish list written down on a piece of paper and he ran right up to Santa and stuck it in his hands. This is the first year that he hasn't been scared of Santa and I know it's because he's getting so into the children's christmas spirit. It's so sweet to hear him talk about Santa and Rudolph as if they were so real! :) But I've also been constantly stressing the importance of the Savior during this season and I love hearing him talk about Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus whenever he sees a nativity. I didn't think my Christmas memories could get any better than last year, but I'm glad to be proven wrong. This year has been so fun! Merry Christmas, everyone!


Well, at least Steven was having a good time

Here he is going over his list with Santa and insisting that he has been a good boy


She really was smiling just before the camera took this picture

Merry Christmas from the Sabins!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Margaret's Piano Debut

Here's the video of my little Margaret playing on the piano. It's a little long, but if you can make it to the end you get to see a perfect depiction of how she goes from calm to crazy in .7 seconds. My favorite part of the whole video is at the beginning when she turns around to look at John and, while still looking at him, starts to move just her fingers and play some more. You'll see what I'm talking about!

video

Don't you just love when she has so much energy and she doesn't know what to do with it so she starts swinging her arms everywhere? That's my little girl! Did you see what I was talking about at the beginning? It's too funny!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cute Kids

I just wanted to share some cute pics of the kids decorating the tree and enjoying the piano that we just got from John's parents. Happy December!


By the time Steven was done, that one spot on the Christmas tree was covered in ornaments while everywhere else was bare. Classic!




If you can't tell, the kids didn't really want to take this pick; they just wanted to get back to eating their candy canes.



Our mini-Chopin right there!




She can be Clara Schumann; I love her pose!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Projects

I know, I know... it's been a while since I've posted anything new. Is anyone else feeling the way I feel about blogging lately; that it's more of a pain than its worth sometimes? If not, then just ignore that comment and pretend that I LOVE TO BLOG!

I just wanted to share some of the crafts that I worked on last month to celebrate Thanksgiving/Fall. I got the idea from a friend a few years back to make a Thankful Turkey and list blessings that we are thankful for on the feathers. In the past they've always been 2-D on our fridge, but since I'm not very good at drawing I decided that I wanted to try a 3-D one this year. This is what I came up with:





I used two different sizes of styrofoam balls and wrapped them with two different colors of yarn (that part took FOREVER). Then I connected the two balls with a craft stick, added a face made of felt, cut out feathers, glued them to craft sticks and poked them into the large ball (body). The kids loved it and it was alot of fun to make together! Here's where I got the idea.

My other major accomplishment for November was sewing eight Fall patchwork placemats for our table. I've never been able to sew to save my life but I've been attending a sewing club each month through our Relief Society and learning lots of great skills. Thanks to alot of help from a great friend, Angel, I was able to finish them in time for Thanksgiving. Thanks Angel!




I had alot of fun putting these together, though it was a challenge for me (since I have zero sewing skills.) The tedious part was cutting the different fall fabrics into tons of little strips and then sewing them together to make the long strip that goes across the bottom. Once that part was done, the rest of the project flew. For this project, I got my idea here.

I have lots of fun ideas in my head ready for this month: a purse/diaper bag, crayon rolls, a christmas tablerunner, and christmas placemats. Now I just need the courage! ^_^

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Family Tree

We went to my dad's house this past weekend and while I was there we started going through alot of my grandma and grandpa's old pictures/albums/papers. I've had this huge desire lately to work on my family history, so I was pumping my dad for as much info as possible. One of the jewels that we came across was my grandma's baby book that her mother had made for her. I can't read most of it because it's in german, but she did write a little in english too. My favorites are two poems that she wrote to my grandma, both of which happen to be in english. I was so excited to find these because, as some of you know, I love to write poetry as well (though I haven't really had the chance lately), so I felt this immediate connection with her. I just wanted to include the poems that she wrote because they are super sweet and really well-written.

"May Future with her kindest smiles
Wreathe laurels for thy brow;
May loving Nature guard and keep thee
Ever pure as thou art now."
My Dream of You
"I had a little Dream of you,
before you came down here,
A wonder dream so very true,
My own, my baby dear.
A little dream so tender sweet,
It brought a smile, a tear -
Love's rainbow flashing out to greet
And welcome you my dear.
'Twas but a dream, a fancy flight,
For since I hold you near,
The joy of you through day and night,
No dream could tell my dear."
Something else that I learned is that my grandmother (whose name was Margaret - yes there is a direct correlation) was called Gretel by her parents. My sister keeps razzing me about giving Margaret a nickname and insisting that it be Mags b/c that's what my grandpa called my grandma all of the time. As much as I love my grandma, I really don't love the name Mags; but Gretel is entirely different... I could get used to Gretel... We'll have to see; I really can't see (my) Margaret as anything but Margaret right now... and Margaret is a beautiful name.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ahhhhh...

I have to apologize for being such a slacker lately on my blogging. I've started work again and I've been spending just about every minute of the day trying to meet a really hard deadline. Thankfully, I JUST finished and now I get to take the rest of the week "off" so that I can focus on Young Women In Excellence. I just have to say that I have the most wonderful husband in the world. I would never have been able to finish my work if it hadn't been for him taking over with the kids in the mornings. Thanks hon, I love you!

Nothing new has been going on with us lately. The kids are starting to get excited about Christmas (partly due to the fact that I'm listening to Christmas music already - I can't help myself - and b/c there are christmas lights up in front of the library.) Steven talks non-stop about how Santa is going to come and bring him some presents. In fact, he even sings songs about it, though they're not any songs that I've ever heard before! Margaret is our little talking machine and has really fallen in love with books (more than usual.) After putting her to bed at night (with the mandatory 2-3 books) I'll hear her "reading" to herself for a good 10 minutes before she actually falls asleep. It's way cute! They are starting to play really well together, though they both have their days, and I have to say that hearing them laugh together has got to be one of my favorite sounds in the world! I'm so blessed to be able to stay home with my kids. Sure, there are plenty of times that I could just pull my hair out (you know what I'm talking about), but when it comes to the end of the day I feel so much love for my kids and know that I'm the luckiest mom in the world!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What a Disappointmet

The election results are in and Obama will be the 44th US President come January 2009. Can I just say that I am so disappointed in our country and more than a little scared for its future. I really can't believe that so many people were taken in by his smooth talking and crazy politics. Now I'm going to be forced to send my kids to preschool when I'd rather teach them at home, among many other things. Arrrgggghhhh... I HATE big government sticking their noses where they just don't belong!!!! Maybe I can talk John into moving to Canada...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Fun Day in the Park

I had the great opportunity to go to Six Flags yesterday with the youth in our ward... it was so much fun. Granted, even though I had an extra hours sleep last night, we still didn't get home until after 11:00 and my body feels like a train wreck today... especially my feet! Maybe I'm just getting old, who knows. There was only one ride that actually scared me, but on some of the others I didn't want to ride them again for the simple fact that I didn't feel too hot afterwards. Like I said, I must just be getting old. Anyway, it was a really great opportunity to get to know the girls a little better, and I even had the chance to meet a few of the boys and get to know them better as well. And of course, I have the opportunity to serve with some of the most amazing women that I know, so it was way fun to hang out and play with them all day, too!



NEVER AGAIN!!!!!



Emily and Taylor

(Even though she might look like a youth, Emily really is our YW President.)


Emma and Darci


Taylor and Darci

Carissa and Emily

Taylor and Emma

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Rest of Our Busy Week

Now that the week is almost over I'm finally at a point where I can write about the REST of our busy week... last week.

Last Friday was our ward trunk-or-treat party and it was lots of fun. There were tons of people that I haven't even met before, lots of great chili (mine happened to win 2nd place... thank you, thank you), fun games to play, and of course lots and lots of candy. Here are the kids enjoying their spoils:





The next day I took Margaret to get her very first haircut, during which she cried nonstop until the stylist gave her a sucker (her weak spot.) I forgot to take an after picture, but the stylist took one with her camera and stuck it on a little certificate. I didn't have anything major done to her hair, just a trim (it was starting to look really scraggly in the back.) In fact, I don't think anyone can even tell that her hair was cut besides John and myself, but just knowing makes all the difference. Or in the words of G.I. Joe "Knowing is half the battle!" :)



And finally, because this was the last week that we had to make Halloween crafts we really threw it into high gear. We started off by painting our pumpkins on Monday (a tradition in our house) and then putting fun stickers on them when they dried. We had some other pumpkins that we were going to carve later in the week, but being the genius that I am, I put them outside to make the yard look a little festive until we were ready to carve them. When I went to leave for mutual Weds. night, they were gone! I'm still pretty upset about it, especially because I'm pretty sure that I know who did it. Moving on... We also painted handprint ghosties, made scary paperbag puppets, and decorated our mantel with egg carton spiders (thanks to Bethanne for that idea.) Here are some of the pics:

Steven's pumpkin


Margaret's pumpkin



Our really scarey puppets


Steven and Margaret's handprint ghosties

Mr. Spider

The Spider family

They're taking over the house!

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mummies and Ghosts

Alot has happened over the last few weeks that I haven't had a chance to blog about yet. Last Saturday we took the kids to a Halloween party given by some of our friends from our old ward; they had such a blast. We hadn't gotten their new costumes yet, so Steven wore his Buzz costume again and Margaret didn't have anything.)

Here's my beautiful little girl, unable to stop playing with her tongue for two seconds.


One of the games we played was a race to wrap the kids in toilet paper like a mummy. The first one to finish their roll wins! Steven and Daddy did a great job!


Margaret and Mommy... not so great. The picture is blurry because she kept running away from me. Everytime I really got going she would run away and break the line of toilet paper! And I'm very competitive, so you know I was chasing her around with my roll and wrapping her every haphazard chance I got!


The kids also had a chance to break the ghosty pinata. Steven took it very seriously; just look at that face of concentration.

My little ham, on the other hand, was laughing the whole time.

I'll have to post more later about the rest of our week, but right now I've GOT to go to bed. Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Leah!

This is a post just for Leah. Steven and I are so sorry that we missed your birthday party this morning. We were running a little late and then when we got close to the park, there were policemen making everyone turn onto a different street. We drove around for a very long time trying to find another way to the park, but I didn't know the area very well and nothing worked. At 11:00 we finally tried to go around a completely different way, but everyone else had the same idea and cars were backed up almost to the tollway. We wouldn't have even gotten there until after the party was over anyway. We're very sorry. But Steven wanted to make this video for you to let you know that he loves you and to wish you a happy birthday!




video

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Recent Pics of the Kids

Another thing that I haven't been doing very well this year is taking pictures and videos of my kids. That's not really something that I can add to the schedule, though, so I guess I'll just have to try harder to think of it on my own (it used to be so easy!) Here are a few pics that I did happen to take over the last few months. Enjoy!


One of the few days that I tried to get away with a clip (you can see it dangling in her hair.) This is why I always try to have her hair fixed... but other than that, what a cutie!

I absolutely love Margaret's bed head when she's had a bath the night before... it's so smooth and full of body! And don't you just love Steven's expression!

Margaret taking a ride on Daddy's legs.

Steven posing with his sunglasses for the camera.


My cute girl and her big, beautiful smile!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Something's Not Right

So I don't usually go this long without posting on my blog, but I'll admit that I just haven't been myself lately. I have NO IDEA what the problem is (probably a culmination of many different things) but my mind has just been everywhere and nowhere at the same time. As some of you may already know, I always tend to get a little down in the dumps at this time of year because it brings back alot of memories of my grandma, whom I miss desperately. But I don't really think that's the case right now. For starters, I'm in desperate need of work but everything that I find is either full-time or just not for me, which has been stressing me out. So if anyone happens to hear of any morning time part-time work (especially working with kids) then let me know ('cause I'm so close to just filling out an application at Target). I've also been super, super exhausted lately (and no, I'm not pregnant... I would be crying if I were), which I can only attribute to the fact that I am so unhealthy right now. So now add to the mix alot of stress over trying to get back into exercising/eating healthier along with being constantly tired and you've got one cranky mom. I've also been super-stressed about my kids lately. Am I playing with them enough? Am I providing enough opportunities for growth and learning? And on and on. I know that this seems trivial, but I'm absolutely serious when I say that questions like these have been keeping me up at night (which just adds to my fatigue.)

My solution to try to deal with all of this? I've created a daily schedule for myself... a serious one. I have every minute of everyday planned out (obviously allowing for unexpected circumstances or impromptu deviations.) In college this was the only way for me to balance rowing practice, karate, working out on my own, orchestra, band, drum practice, bass practice, classes, studying, ect., so I might as well give it a try. I see myself as a very lazy, lax procrastinator and too many times I've been climbing into bed feeling like I got absolutely nothing accomplished today. So in order to meet all of the high demands that I've been putting on myself lately (daily prayer/scripture study, daily exercising, play with my kids more, schooltime for Steven, clean the house more efficiently, improve journal writing, and really getting serious about writing children's books and poetry), I decided to lay it all down on a piece of paper. And I must say, on paper it seems like I can fit everything in. Now don't get me wrong, I don't intend to become a slave to the clock (my personality would never allow for that anyway.) But I've been reading over and over in all of my education books about how children thrive on routine and I was just thinking to myself "You know what, maybe I would thrive on a routine, too." When I've transferred my schedule to Excel then I'll load it up and show everyone my (very lofty) plans. But for now, considering that a key component of my new schedule is to get to bed by ten every night and it is now eleven, I'll talk to you guys tomorrow!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Nursery

I just realized that I never posted this, but Margaret is going to nursery now. She's been in there for 5 weeks and the teacher tells us that all she does (still) is sit in one of the teachers' laps and watch the other kids play. If any of you know my daughter, then you also know that is SO not her. I'm sort of surprised by her nursery behavior but, to be honest, it's alot better than I had hoped for. At least she's not going around pinching and hitting all of the other kids (which is what I expected her to do.) We didn't get any pictures before church because her first day was also the day of the Young Women's Program and I had to be early to church, but we took lots of pics after church (which is why it was so hard to get her to smile... she was ready for bed!)


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Behold Your Little Ones

I just wanted to let everyone know that you can access the new 2009 Nursery Manuals through the church website: lds.org. I have to say that I love this manual. While the old manuals were good, this new manual is excellent. I love how short the lessons are, yet they are still so rich with doctrine. I also love the new lesson topics. Again, while the old ones were alot of fun, the new topics cover so many important things like "I Will Take Care of My Body" and "Heavenly Father Blesses Me Through the Priesthood." I am sad that Steven will be graduating into Sunbeams in January so that he won't have the opportunity to participate in these lessons at church. But one of my favorite resources for our Family Home Evening Lessons has always been the Primary 1 lesson manual, and I'm so excited to get to incorporate this awesome new resource into our lessons too!

Also, I've added a list of links down and to the left that I like to use for planning FHE lessons. There are lots of great ideas at these sites/blogs so be sure to check them out!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Help!

"... I need somebody. Help! Not just anybody."

Okay, just kidding; this isn't a post about The Beatles. But I really do need help... with how to handle Steven's horrible misbehavior. Here is a snippet (abridged) of what played out during dinner Sunday night:

"Steven, please take a bite of your dinner."
"No! Go away!"
"Steven, that isn't a very nice thing to say; it hurts our feelings and makes us feel sad. What can you say to make us feel happy?"
Refuses to say anything.
"Well, please eat your dinner."
"I don't want to!"
"Then please go sit in your room until you are ready to eat some of your dinner."
"Go away!" While walking to his room.
Slam! Slam! (the door) Bang! Bang! (the walls) then screaming at the top of his lungs (honestly, isn't he too young to be doing this?)
After a stern talk with Daddy, he decides to come back and eat.
"Thank you for making a good choice and coming to eat with us."
"I'm sorry, Mommy."
A few minutes go by when he refuses to eat again (he's only had one bite of dinner!)
"Please go to your room until you decide that you can eat dinner with the rest of us."
Slamming and banging and screaming again...
He comes back again, says sorry, and tells me that Daddy is giving him one last chance to eat or he'll have to go to bed without dinner or stories (the real kicker)
After coercing him into taking another bite, be proceeds to spit out all of his food all over the table... aaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhh!
So he gets sent to bed early without dinner or stories while the rest of us are still eating. What followed was complete mayhem. (I think I have a new understanding of the term "weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth!")

Though Monday night wasn't quite as bad, he still refused to eat anything and wanted to be sent to his room instead of eating. What's a mother to do? Can anyone PLEASE tell me that my kid is not the only one to have ever done this stuff at the age of 3! How am I supposed to react to this kind of stuff without losing my cool but still be firm enough so that he can understand that this sort of behavior is unacceptable? If you've got any pointers, suggestions, tips, advice, etc... please...HELP!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Song of the Week

"Stranger" by Secondhand Serenade

I've gotta say that I think this is the best song yet by the singer and guitarist, John Vesely. It's touching and romantic, like so many of his other songs, but this time around even the music is sweet. An all around beautiful song to listen to. I love the lyrics of this song, but I'd have to say that the third verse is my favorite: "Your beauty seems so far away. I'd have to write a thousand songs to make you comprehend how beautiful you are. I know that I can't make you stay. But I would give my final breathe to make you understand how beautiful you are. Understand how beautiful you are." It's a song that makes me feel beautiful, as I hope it does you too, so of course I had to feature it! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

September 11 is a big day for our family, for several reasons. First and foremost, this is a day to remember those who lost their lives 7 years ago through an act of inhumanity and terrorism.


This is a day for us to remember that evil really does exist and that, no matter how much we might try to deny it or plan against it, evil finds a way to rear its ugly little head (as mentioned this morning by Dennis Prager). That is why it is so important for us to stick together as a country and even more important for us to choose a president who understands this and will do everything in his power to fight evil, in all of its forms. I am grateful for those men and women who serve our country everyday to protect us from the evils of the world and who allow me and my family to sleep safely at night in our comfortable beds. God bless you and God bless America.


This is also an important day for our family because my grandmother died on September 11, 2000. She died from cancer and the decline of her health was very painful to watch. For those that read my tag post a few weeks back, this is the grandmother that my grandfather wanted me to drop out of college to come home and take care of while I was in school. But, being at the selfish stage in my life that I was in, I didn't do it... and I have regretted it ever since. My grandmother, Margaret Ruth Baugh, was one of the most amazing women that I have ever known (which is why my daughter shares her first name.) She had a knack for making you feel like YOU were her favorite grandchild and that her love was for you alone. Every summer I looked forward to spending a whole week at grandma and grandpa's house all by myself; something that she did for each of her grandchildren every year. While there, she made my favorite breakfasts every morning and took me to do fun things and to eat at fun places that I had never been to before. She also taught me how to clean (well), how to appreciate the outdoors, she instilled in me a love of gardening and yardwork and taught me how to appreciate beautiful art. My grandmother discovered very late in her life that she was a skilled painter and I am so blessed to have some of her art work hanging in my home. Some of my fondest memories of her are when we were all older and she would gather us in the kitchen to show us how to make one of her favorite recipes: swedish stolen bread (sort of like fruit cake, but more bready and not as fruity). Christmas time was my grandmother's favorite time of the year and her house was always filled with the most immaculate decorations. The last few christmases that we were able to spend with grandma, she started giving all of us glass ornaments (her favorite) to decorate our trees with when we were older. Those are now my favorite tree decorations and I love to pull them out from time to time and think of her. I love you so much, grandma... I miss you.


And lastly, we celebrate September 11 because this is my nephew, Andy Barney's, birthday. He was actually born just a few hours after my grandmother passed away, which helped to relieve some of the pain of that day. Andy turns 8 this year and he'll be getting baptized (I can't believe it!) I remember when that guy was just a little baby and I was still the "cool aunt"... man, how things change! Happy Birthday, Andy! We love you!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Song of the Week

"Spam" by Save Ferris

I love ska and I love this song. It's so lighthearted and downright silly, but very catchy and fun to sing to. Ska at it's best! :)

My New Blog!

I just started a new blog dedicated 100% to music called Audible Infatuations. It's still in the beginning stages, but come and check it out!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fender Bender

I like to consider myself to be a safe driver... fast, yes but very safe. But even fast, safe drivers are bound to have accidents. For instance, before yesterday the only collision I had ever been involved in was when I was hit by a house. I kid you not! An 18-wheeler was pulling half of a double-wide mobile home around a corner (that was obvious to everyone watching he wouldn't clear) when the house started getting really close to my car (I was stopped on the street that he was turning onto... a very narrow two-lane road.) I tried to back up, but there was a line of cars behind me. Rather than stopping to wait for me to move, the driver kept right on making his turn and sat there and watched while my car was slowly pushed off of the road by his house (during the process of which my windshield was broken, side mirror dislocated, front bumper removed and side door given a new, very stylish concave design.) Fortunately, my mom and I were fine and the driver's company just paid for everything up front rather than having me file a claim with their insurance. No harm done.


But as luck would have it, I had another accident yesterday (also while I wasn't moving... I'm noticing a pattern here.) But the real kicker? I wasn't even driving my car! I was test-driving a brand new Saturn Outlook! I wasn't even planning on buying one (yet), I just love the car and decided to take one for a spin while mine was getting an oil-change and inspection. I was in Lewisville, about to get on the service road to I-35 to head back to the dealership when, just as I started to pull out, this black car shot out of nowhere and almost crashed into the car that I was going to pull out of behind. Well, any SAFE (and sane) driver would apply the brakes so as not to RUN INTO that little black car or the car behind it that had to slam on his brakes. Following which there was a nice little SLAM! sound as our car was pushed forward several inches by the SUV behind us. Fortunately, there was more damage done to his car than the Outlook (especially since the cop asked in a very joking manner "So, is this one of those "You break it, you buy it" kind of deals?" (ha, ha.... nice one) But the thing that really got to me was when the guy WHO RAN INTO US proceeded to yell at ME and tell me in some very strong language that there was no traffic and that I need to learn how to drive. I tried to tell him in the nicest voice that I could muster that, as far as I'm aware, the rules of the road state that, at a yield sign, you can't go unless the car in front of you goes... period... the end. (He didn't like that too much.) Those of you who know that I don't like confrontations also know that it isn't because I'm afraid of them but because I always rise to the occasion and make matters worse. I must say that I'm very proud of my performance yesterday. Given the circumstances, I only yelled back at him a very little bit (I mean, don't tell me that your running into me was MY fault, but if you're going to insist on it, at least take your stinking bluetooth phone piece off of your ear before you do it!!!!) Needless to say, I sat in the car while waiting for the police officer to show up. What's the moral of this story? I give the Saturn Outlook 5 stars on its safety features as I have tested them personally! :-)