Friday, February 29, 2008

Ward Talent Show

K, I know I just did a song blog, but I have some more for you. I decided to torture the boys by making them sing in the ward talent show on Friday night. They all sang "I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ", and then Steven sang a song by himself that is off of a kids tape. The tape is actually one that me and my siblings listened to when we were young called Obedience. I hope you enjoy their talent.
(Steve always tries to zoom with our camera and it messes things up, but at least you get a closer picture of their faces.)


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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Austria

We had a FUN couple of days in Austria. We left Saturday morning, and come back Tuesday night. Steve had worked 2 weekends in a row, and his work owed him some time, so he didn't even have to take vacation days.
{After Brandon had eaten about 100 crackers, we gave him this bag to play with which worked for a good 15 minutes. Not bad.}

In Europe they often rent out apartments for people coming on vacation, and that is what we found right in the Austrian Alps. It had a full kitchen, a room where the 3 boys slept with a TV, and a separate room for me, Steve and Brandon. I love that they do that here, especially with our size family. It makes it much easier for us to stay and the prices are usually lower than at a hotel.
{This is Steve and I's bed. This is how Austria and Germany and some other countries do their beds. The are actually two separate beds pushed together. The pillows are huge square pillows, they have no top sheet, and each person gets this duvet blanket for a cover. It is so cozy in the winter, but is always too much for the rest of the year. }
{We are standing on the balcony in front of our apartment}

We got there Saturday just after dark, walked around the little village and found a place to eat. Then went back and went to bed. The next day we asked around for a place to go sledding and found THE PERFECT place. The lady who owned the apartment had a couple of sleds we could borrow, and sent us up the hill 10 minutes to this nice hotel, that has a sledding hill behind it. What was perfect was that it had a playground right next to the sled hill, the hill was perfect for the boys although it was pretty steep, and the restaurant of the hotel had wooden tables right outside where you could face the hill and playground while you had something to eat. When the sun was up it shined right there on the tables and kept us nice and warm. It was wonderful.

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{Sorry about the weird sound our camera makes}

{Here is the view from the bottom of the hill looking up. The sun was behind a cloud.}

{This is the view from the top of the hill looking down to the hotel}

{Here are some of the boys sitting at the tables eating some nice hot soup}

Since we found such a nice spot we went back to the same sled hill all three days we were there. The boys were getting pretty gutsy by the time we left. We also went out to eat a few times, and one day we went for a drive around the mountains which was very nice.
{Here is Nathan and Jacob rolling down the hill}
{A good view of the mountain straight across from where we were. Notice that it had no snow on it. Interesting huh? You don't know the people in this picture by the way}

{Relaxing in the basket swing. It is Jacob}

After the first day of sledding Steve and I decided that our Dr. Martens were not going to keep us alive for the weekend, because there was lots of ice in the parking lot and those shoes are HORRIBLE on ice. So not only to save our own necks, but the neck and limbs of the baby we were carrying, we decided to buy us some Austrian boots. OK, the aren't really Austrian, they are just normal boots, but boy did they make a huge difference. I don't think I slipped once after I got the boots. At first I was cringing that I spent 50Euro on a pair of boots, but after some thought I realized that we spend 50Euros everytime we go out to eat, which is often at times. And......I don't think I have bought a new pair of shoes in over a year. So after this realization I stopped worrying about it and enjoyed my new boots.

We all had a marvelous time, and we plan on going back to Salzburg to go camping in April or May. If anyone would like to come, we would LOVE to have you.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Tag

We had a very nice Valentines Day. I have gotten in to this crazy habit of baking something in the shape of a heart for Valentines day and this year it was sugar cookies. These were the BEST sugar cookies I have ever made. There is a lot of flour in them, so they come out as more of a cake cookie. They are really soft and fluffy. And the frosting is s cream cheese frosting that I couldn't get enough of. My frosting was really runny, so I just dipped the cookies in to it, and it saved a lot of time. I made about 45 heart cookies, and then sent them to school with the boys and to work with Steve. We wanted to share the LOVE.{This time when I let the kids help I made it much easier on myself. I broke them all off a ball of dough and told them to do whatever they wanted with it. They could eat it all or make cookies out of it or whatever. I even made them roll it out themselves. It worked out GREAT. That way I didn't have to supervise every little thing they did, because I didn't care what they did. :0 Steven's are they only cookies that made it to the frosting stage. And of course, true to form, he is dressed up for the afternoon. This is his Peter costume from "Lion, Witch, Wardrobe" (Laura- the headband he is wearing in the video is part of the Indian costume he was wearing) }

For dinner we just decided to stay here and we had chicken enchilada's since we are leaving for AUSTRIA this weekend! Yahoo! Steve has really been wanting to take the kids and go for a snow vacation. We are staying in a cabin and are in an area where there are lots of places to sled and play in the snow. I am excited. :)

And of course my dear husband did not disappoint with Beautiful Roses for Valentines Day. What a thoughtful man he is! For the evening Steve and I put the kids to bed and then watched a movie up on our cozy bed with the portable DVD player. The movie is called "Amazing Grace" and is about the man who fought to end slave trade in Great Britain. It was Very good.


Now it is Friday morning and I am getting things ready to go on vacation. Brandon is here helping me of course with his handsome little face. I am so grateful for Dr.'s that can make our children healthy and adorable again.


{Jump Johnny Jump}

Monday, February 11, 2008

auf Deutsch

Here is a video of Steven's German skills. It is a little rhyme they taught him in school last week. Of course it doesn't rhyme in English though.

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And since I had the camera out, Nathan and Jacob both wanted a turn. So I humored them and here they are.

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I am not sure I would agree that "now he knows his ABC's"

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And here is my sweetie pie who is finally getting to be a cute boy and now has a face the color of a tomato. The Dr. said to put hydrocortisone on it, so that is what we are doing and we will see if it does the trick.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Fasching/Karneval/Mardi Gras

or whatever you want to call the holiday that is celebrated on Fat Tuesday. The Europeans have big celebrations on this holiday and we get to join in their fun. I remember writing the blog about Fasching last year and it is unbelievable to me that it has been a whole year since that post.

Anyway, again the kids got to dress up at school and have a little party.
The first day, which was Monday, was a clown theme, so everyone dressed as a clown. Steven goes to a different school so he is an Indian. I didn't get a good picture of him with his face paint on. He leaves for school so much earlier and I forgot to get out the camera. The day this picture was taken he didn't have school, but was dressed up anyway.

This is our neighbor Ronya. Isn't her Mom talented with the face paint? I think it looks so cool.

I thought he was the cutest clown. The Germans really know how to do face paint.

The second day of Fasching celebration which was Tuesday, the kids got to dress however they wanted. Jacob is spiderman wearing PJ's that Nana got for Steven 2 years ago. Can't beat that for an easy costume.
And here is Superman.

On another note.....
A couple of years ago Jessica mentioned to me that she likes to give something up during Lent just like the Catholics do. I decided I was up for that kind of challenge and have half heartedly given something up for most of lent the past two years. :) This year I want to try again. I was deciding between drinking nothing but water for the next 40 days. Or not eating anything with chocolate in it. Well, when I woke up yesterday morning, I couldn't decide, so I decided that for the day I would do both and I was successful. Today, I still can't decide, so I guess I will have to keep it at both until I decide which one I want to do. Wish me luck.


Here is a little face time for the baby.
K, this is hilarious. I gave Brandon this duck to play with, and when I looked at him a couple minutes later the duck was sitting here. I DID NOT put it there. I guess he just reached up above his head and let go. Too funny!


For the past two weeks Brandon and I have had the worst dry skin. The worst for me is on my hand, and wrist. It itches and stings. Poor Brandon has it all over his face. He even has a sore in one spot where the first layer of skin is off. I have tried so many different things on his face and none seem to have taken it away. I finally made a Dr. appt for him to see what he has to say. We go tomorrow morning. But, for the past couple weeks, all Brandon's pictures show some really bad skin.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Treasures

I have a couple of treasures I would like to share with you.

1. For a Christmas present I have been telling Steve for 2 years that I wanted a jewelry box. Last year he attempted to get me one, but it was a quick buy at Walmart and not what I was looking for. So, I took it back and asked again this year. He was looking for one at all the Christmas markets that he went to with his parents, and couldn't find one. So...he decided to make me one. He started it 2 days before Christmas and had it almost done by Christmas morning. I am thrilled with it. I love that he spent time on it and put thought in to it. Those are always my VERY favorite Christmas presents. He did an amazing job on it and it will always be a treasure to me.
{Isn't that cool how he did the corners all professional like!}


2. This past summer Steve and I have had a change of heart in how we want to live our lives. We have realized that the leaders of the church give us council for a reason, and our lives will be much happier if we apply that council to OUR lives, instead of thinking it is directed at everybody else. In July we began reading the Book Of Mormon together EVERY night. We read it on days we were out late, on days we were jet lagged and could hardly keep our eyes open, and on days when we forgot to read and remembered at 1am when we finally decided to head up to bed. I think we only missed maybe 3 days in the past 7 months and I think that was because we were away from each other for the night. We each read half of the chapter out loud and would mark the verses that stood out to us as we read. Then we went back and told why the scripture stood out to us. We just finished reading it on Thursday night and it was Amazing! I have such a greater love and understanding for the Book Of Mormon now and for the valuable lessons it is teaching us. I also have so much enjoyed hearing Steve's testimony and bearing my testimony about gospel principals on a daily basis as we told what the verses meant to us. It has been a wonderful tool in bringing Steve and I closer together. The Book Of Mormon is a wonderful treasure that I hope I never take for granted.

3.Steve had to work unexpectedly tonight so I am home alone. I put the boys to bed early because of a rough night last night, and decided to look at lds.org to see if I could catch President Hinckley's funeral. Lucky me, it had just started. So, I sat and listened to it and enjoyed it tremendously. I felt a strong witness that President Hinckley and the men he worked with are leading the Lords church. I am so grateful for President Hinckley's service and awesome example. The way he made people feel was amazing. So many people have expressed similar feelings to me when they heard about his death. I am so happy for him to be with his wife again, and I can't imagine how many people were waiting to greet him in Heaven. I feel such a tremendous peace because I know we are being led by the Lord through a prophet and that I can have my answers to life's difficult questions answered for me. One of my friends said that President Hinckley was the only prophet she ever knew. I heard tonight that church membership increased by 31% while he was the prophet, so I guess he is the only prophet a lot of people knew. My testimony of having a man of God lead and guide Christ's church is a treasure to me that I plan on always nourishing.