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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November 30: Because this time I could have earned Mother of the Year.

My kids were absolutely atrocious today.

Honestly.  They were so bad that Will was actually sent to bed without dinner.  At 6:00 PM. 

I'm not joking folks, it was that bad.  And it wasn't just one of them, it was both of them.

The part I'm grateful for?  I was calm.  And logical.  And loving!  I could tell that there was a greater power helping us out tonight because without it our house would have imploded.  I'm so grateful that I could go to bed tonight knowing that, for once, we actually did everything right.

As a parent, I think you need to really celebrate those moments.

On a completely different note, I've been really grateful for this Gratitude Project.  I know I didn't post pictures every day like I had planned, but that's just the way it is.  It's not exactly convenient to carry a camera around with you every second of every day.

Plus if I were to start taking pictures in church I'm pretty sure I'd be ostracized from my community.

And we can't let that happen.  I digress.

Each day I would start out thinking, 'I know exactly what it is I'm going to blog about today.'  When the day wrapped up, it was almost never what I was expecting.  It was always a great surprise and I found myself being more aware of my blessings.  It has been a great experience and I hope to continue at least the state of mind in the future.

After all, I have a lot to be grateful for.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29: The Things They Say

I was busily getting a dessert ready for Finer Things Club and Annie was wanting to go outside and play.  She asked repeatedly, "Mom, will you put on my shoes?" while I responded repeatedly, "In just a minute, Annie."  I was zoned out.  Annie was frustrated.

And then she says, "You're not listening, Mom.  You're not going to get an iPod Touch."

Santa isn't just watching the children- in case you forgot!

I also had to include this story from a couple of weeks ago:

My kids were in our very small kitchen while I was fixing dinner.  They were tormenting me telling me how hungry they were, as usual.  When we sat down to eat said dinner (steak, rice, green beans and peas) they immediately started whining and telling me they weren't hungry, that they weren't going to eat the dinner, that they didn't like the dinner, and on and on.

After feeling very annoyed and frustrated I interjected a threat, "You can eat this dinner or you can get a spank!!"  (Lovely parenting, I know.  Empty threat + physical force = mother of the year).

This quieted them for a few minutes in which they began to eat some of their dinner... until this:

"I'm not going to eat my green beans, Mom.  Spank me." -Annie

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28: Christmas time is here, happiness and cheer.

Elf kept us company while we hung stockings and wound lights around branches.  Will and Annie decorated the tree this year while I watched.  Our family drank hot cocoa in the glowing Christmas tree light while we read Luke 2- the story of our Savior's birth.  Annie asked me to tell her more about when Jesus was born.  Will asked if our puppy Ozzy (that was killed Christmas Eve 2006) will be resurrected.  It was, all in all, a perfect night.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27: Scripture Study

Our kids are pretty forgetful a lot of the time; they forget to brush their teeth, clean up their toys, make their beds, clean up the table, wear socks, and wipe their bums.  But they never forget family scripture study.  One of my very favorite things in this entire world is to hear Annie's sweet little voice repeat the words from the Book of Mormon.  I wish I could remember what it sounds like for always, but I know my mortal mind won't allow me.  I sure hope when we get to Heaven that we can replay our lives to remember moments like this.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26: Scrabble

I'm a simple girl.  Easy to please.  This must be obvious when I can dedicate an entire "thankful" post to the game of Scrabble.  For about 3 years now I've been playing the game regularly with Grandma Kaiserman and Jenn.  We've all gotten pretty good and when we aren't playing each other then it's pretty easy to crush our competition.  (Did I just brag?  Yes.  Yes, I think I did).  When we play each other- it's an all out war!  There are names called and fists flying (okay, maybe not the fists), and it's a fight to the bloody death.  I will admit on this blog, right now, that Jenn is probably the better player of all of us, but dang it if I didn't beat her by 3 points tonight!!!!

I didn't even have my camera to document the proof, but now I have this post.  So let it be written that on November the 26th, 2011, Amylee Nicoll beat Jennifer Robinson in a game of Scrabble.  (Never mind that Grandma beat the both of us in this very same game...)

Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25: Scootie Dog

This silly puppy.  He is the best dog in the world- he requires practically nothing of me besides refilling his food and water bowl (which Will does) and letting him outside every few hours.  Plus he's cute.  Scooter rediscovered some of his youth today and ran around like a wild dog playing with a toy.  The kids were a little stunned by it because I don't think they've ever really seen him like that before- it positively freaked Annie out.  He's a fun little pup and I'm glad he's in our family.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24: Thanks

My Eternal Family

Crazy Kids!  Left:  Will and Lauren, Right: Alex, Annie and TeAnna

Angel from Heaven.  Honestly.  She is the Salt of the Earth.

Bumpa Traig- Best Grandpa in the world.  Annie begs him to tickle her back (which is what he's doing in this picture).  My Dad will play with the little ones and has such patience with them.

Wilson Grandkids!  Top:  Annie and Tyler (Cami's), Bottom:  Lauren (Cami's), TeAnna (James'), Kenny (Clay's), Will.  Alex (Cami's) was pooped and therefore missed the picture.
Family, hands down, is what I am most thankful for in my life.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23: Firsts

I made my very first pie today! Isn't it beautiful?

Too bad it ended up being soupy. The filling still tasted great over a bed of vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22: The Little Things (Revisited)

Some people need their Diet Coke, and others need their Butterfingers.

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21: Marriage

Every single day I think about how blessed Dallas and I are to have such a wonderful marriage.  We just get each other.  He needs to shoot guns and I need to run.  We both like our alone time every now and again.  He does the outside chores and I do the inside chores.  I can't imagine my life blending so perfectly with anyone else.

At the same time, we recognize that you can't ever let your marriage fall by the way side.  It's something that needs constant attention; it's fragile and should be handled with care.  More than anything, I'm so grateful that we both feel the same way about our very sacred relationship.  No matter what, we are in this together.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20: "I know you not."

No picture.  I'm over it.

To start this I need to go back over a month ago.  We were told in sacrament meeting that a General Authority would be visiting for our Stake Conference and he wanted every adult to prepare a 12-15 minute talk, and every youth to prepare a 2-5 minute talk.

Today was the day.  Were we prepared?  No.  Not at all.  Rather than prepare talks, we came up with a list of reasons we were either not going to be at Stake conference, or why we were too busy to prepare a talk.  These reasons included (but were not limited to):
  • Staying in Boise an extra day.
  • Picking up my kids at my parents house and staying there for Sunday.
  • Will has strep.
  • Annie has a cough.
  • Dallas has lots of homework.
  • Amy has lots of... well...  toys to clean up.
You get the picture.  Boise didn't pan out and my Mom ended up watching our kids in Heber rather than Syracuse.  Long story short- we had no excuse.  We thought about just plain not going to church, but we couldn't bring ourselves to do it.  We knew better.

So off to Stake Conference we went- no talks in hand.  No thoughts formed.  Completely unprepared.  Were we called on to speak?  Of course not.  The experience was something that was for our own growth, and we chose not to grow.


And then during my personal scripture study I read the parable of the 10 Virgins.  All were invited to attend and all awaited the event; some better prepared than others.  When it came time to meet the bridegroom, only half were able to trim their lamps and make it.  The other half were left scrambling, I'm sure well intentioned with a love of the bridegroom, but they were shut out at the door knocking and saying, "Lord, Lord, open to us."

I've been heartbroken knowing that I was one of the five that would have heard my Savior say, "I know you not."

In an odd little twist I'm grateful that we didn't prepare as we should have because now we know we will never let that happen again.  And I'm grateful that we didn't let our embarrassment of not preparing a talk keep us from the meeting.  We learned a very valuable lesson.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19: Home Sweet Home

It's always good to be home. This is the best picture you can get when the family is playing the Monster Game.  Poor Dallas.  He's a human jungle gym.

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18: Cole & Santanna Kaiserman

Nothing like a wedding to help you remember all of the reasons you fell in love. Cole and Santanna make a stunning couple and we enjoyed every second we had to spend in Boise celebrating their marriage.  It's always a treat to get to visit with family you don't get to see very often.

I just couldn't leave this little guy out.  Baby hungry?  Why, yes, I think so.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17: Taking A Break

I love them.  So much.  But that doesn't mean that I don't love to be without them every now and again.  We're headed to Boise today so we can be there for a family wedding tomorrow.  I'm grateful for a sweet sister who is very much inconveniencing her life so that she can watch my kids for a day, and for a mother- sick or not- who wouldn't miss a weekend with her grand kids for the end of the world.  Can't wait for some good couple time with Dallas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16: Surprises

I have really sweet and thoughtful friends. Have I mentioned this before? Today my friend Kalie Chamberlain surprised me with a Boston Marathon Qualifier jacket- such a wonderful memento to remind me of my great accomplishment two months ago. I love it so much that I might never take it off.
You see that insignia on my shoulder?  BOSTON MARATHON QUALIFIER.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15: The Little Things

Sometimes all I need is a clean sink before I go to bed and all feels right in the world.

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14: Silly Geese

For some odd reason it isn't until you are grown and gone when you realize that the best friends you ever had were right next to you all along.  Although my little rugrats fight on occasion, they love playing with each other more than anything.  Will is so good to invite Annie to play with him no matter what he's doing, and Annie doesn't think anyone is as funny as her big brother (it's great for both of their egos).

You're welcome for the lovely shot of my linen closet, too.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 13: Giving In

Tonight there were board games, we watched How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and, Heaven help me, we had reindeer cookies.
We couldn't hold out any longer!  The kids were ecstatic and Dallas and I laughed harder at the movie than the kids did.  Why postpone joy when it's at your doorstep?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12: What are you going to be when you grow up?

No picture for this one.  It is, however, something I want (and NEED) to remember always.

This afternoon I went to Target to peruse the Christmas merchandise (and toys!) with my Dad and my kids.  On the way home I attempted some light chit chat with the munchkins:

Me:  Will, tell Grandpa what you want to be when you grow up.
Will:  I want to be an artist and a paleontologist.  Dinosaurs are all dead, but you could also find other things like bugs, and snakes, and lizards...
Me:  That's great!  Annie, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Annie:  A kitty!  What do you want to be when you grow up, Mom?
Me:  A mom!  Or maybe a nurse or a teacher.
Will:  Annie, Mom can't be anything else because she's already grown up.  Plus, if she was a nurse then she couldn't take care of us!

Will was so right.  I don't want to be anything else but the mother of my sweet children.  Right now is the season to take care of my kids.  I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to do so.  The sacrifices that Dallas and I make so that I can stay home with them are minuscule compared to the blessings we receive as a family.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11: My New Job

Isn't he so cute?!  His name is Jack and we get to play with him every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from now on. His dark eyes remind me so much of Will when he was a baby!  He is the sweetest little guy and didn't even mind me taking a little nap with him today.  I just know we are going to be fast friends.   We're feeling very blessed that I was able to find a new babysitting job so quickly.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10: Crazy Carolyn

Can your Grandma make a mean casserole, play Klondike Rummy, and beat you in Scrabble?  Mine can!  Grandma Carolyn is one of my best friends.  When I get an evening to spare, I usually end up at her house where I know I'll be stuffed with food, my kids will be spoiled rotten, and I will most likely be getting competitive with cards.  We are so blessed to live close to Grandma and have a relationship with her. 

Tonight we got to treat her to dinner at our house, and it was a very fun change!  (For the record, I'm certain that I didn't cheat and make more than one "buy" during the last hand of Klondike Rummy.  I think the dealer (ahem, Carolyn) dealt me an extra card.  Therefore, I should have won rather than being disqualified.  It was dealer error, after all!)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 9: Good Reads

I have been reading a book entitled The Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.  I spent an hour trying to read through tears this afternoon.  The book has left me very touched, with a renewed commitment to serve others.  I love it.  I also love reading on a Kindle.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 8: Friends

I have no picture for today.  I know!  But that's just the way it is.

I'm feeling overcome with emotion tonight as I am thinking of my friends.  I am blessed to be strengthened by some of the most amazing women in this life.  From great cooks, patient mothers, OCD organizers, good laughs, hard runs, and beautiful testimonies- my friends are a huge part of who I am.

I learned early on in my marriage how much friends meant to me, so since then I have always tried hard to keep in touch with people and nurture those relationships.  I'm so glad I did.  So glad I DO!  While it's not always easy, it is always worth it.

So, to my friends- thank you for being you, and for loving me.  I am very humbled to know you all and to call you friend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 7: Work

I have a husband that isn't afraid of a little work.  Sunup to sundown he's plugging in the hours, the miles, and the math homework.  He even finds time to show his little man a thing or two about what it means to be the man of the house- yard work.  It's a good thing.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 6: Perfect

The Robinson Family:  James, Brad, Miles, Jenn, John (in lap), Allison
Sweet baby John Clark Robinson was blessed today.  I love this family.  I love that the priesthood power is real and allows us to all be sealed together as families forever.  I love that we got to be there to watch this little boy be blessed by that same power- with all of those Melchezidek Priesthood holders forming a circle of protection around this perfect little being.  I love this sweet little boy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 5: The Seasons

Living in a place with four distinct seasons is a must for me.  I love the springing tulips in April, I always get excited about warm summer nights, fall takes my breath away with its beauty, and winter brings a calm and stillness that I couldn't do without.  The first snow is always magic.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 4: Sleeping Beauty

When Annie was a newborn we would nap together every day; she would fit perfectly snuggled on my chest as I lay on the couch.  Today I got to nap with her again and it was chicken soup for my soul.  I was even lucky enough to slip away and take a picture without her waking.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 3: A bit of Serendipity

Dallas leaves for school by 6:15 AM or earlier every day.  Today, he slept in.  That means we got to cuddle, eat breakfast, and have family prayer together before he left for school.  It was a very fortunate accident.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 2: Plenty

This month I have unexpectedly found myself out of a babysitting job.  This was something we relied on to make things work while Dallas is in school.  As I was doing a bit of shopping yesterday and reorganizing our food storage I realized how much food we actually have.  I'm so grateful!  I feel like we have plenty to get us through until I can find some kids to watch again.  This is definitely a blessing from our Father in Heaven and a blessing for listening to the words of the prophet and preparing every needful thing.

To learn more about {The Gratitude Project} click here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Gratitude Project- Day 1

I'm a visual learner.  I have read Shakespeare's plays many many times.  The sad thing is, I don't remember them unless I've seen them.  I don't relate to the words or feel the emotion unless I'm staring at Juliet's face and seeing her fear of what could happen to her life if the potion she is about to drink doesn't work as it should.  Seeing something makes it real and gives it substance for me.

Enter {The Gratitude Project}.

I'm working on having a gratitude attitude this month- as most of you are.  In doing so, I'm taking my gratitude in a visual form.  I want to really feel why I am so grateful for that particular thing at that particular moment.  For the month of November I will be taking a picture every single day of what I am most grateful for.  I'm not sure where this is going to take me, but, as they say, here goes nothing...

November 1~ Sierra Lynn

She loves my kids. SO. MUCH. She made time in the middle of Pharmacy school at the U, work, and remodeling her house to come up last night just to play with my babies. Thank you Sierra- we love you.