Sunday, October 26, 2008

GROSGRAIN MINI STORE OPENING NOVEMBER 6!!!!! AND BIG PREVIEW GIVEAWAY!!!!

GROSGRAIN MINI STORE OPENING NOVEMBER 6!!!!! AND BIG PREVIEW GIVEAWAY!!!!

This is my first link for a giveaway - but this lady makes darling stuff in Grace's size - and I would love to win her giveaway. Check it out!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thank you Grandma Cherie!

Can you believe that I am posting AGAIN today? I can't! But, our package from Grandma finally arrived and it was definitely worth waiting for. The kids were so excited to find the adorable Halloween shirts and baskets for collecting treats. We had to take some pictures.

I told them to "put their heads together" and this is what I got.


I'm not sure what Grace was contemplating so seriously.

He would smile at his brothers, but not at the camera. I should add a note about the pumpkins - they are each "posing" with their shirt from Grandma on (Jonas' shirt lights up - the ghost has flashing red lights), their treat basket from Grandma, and the pumpkin they picked out last week. You will note that Sam insisted on their pumpkins being appropriately sized, meaning that Mom and Dad's is the biggest, then Sam's, then Isaac's, then Grace's, then Jonas'. The kids all went along with this as though they would never have thought otherwise. As a result, Jonas ended up with a tiny little thing that would normally be destined for a centerpiece. But, he likes it :)


Grace was laughing at Sam jumping up and down behind me. She got the cute pants and hair bangles from Grandma as well (you can't really see the hair thing, so you will have to trust me that it is cute!)

Isaac was "drumming" his pumpkin. Isaac picked one of the ugliest pumpkins I have seen in a while. He loved that it had some red in it (orange and red are his favorite colors). It is bumpy and odd, but I hear that this type are great for cooking.


My Sam - being himself. Gotta love him. The bat on his shirt glows in the dark.

The audience!

I was just reminded by two insistent children that I forgot to post the picture of THEM at Sam's recital. They were a good little audience and they were very proud of their big brother.

Pink Lady



Much to her Father's chagrin, Grace loves pink. Head to toe. She was so excited to get her pink coat out yesterday ( it is getting cold and the windbreaker - also pink of course - just wasn't cutting it).


Some pics

Here is Samuel playing at his first recital! He is learning the Suzuki method, and he played his "Twinkle variations." All six of them - it is a long piece! But he did great. I was playing the piano accompaniment.

He takes lessons from a young woman in our ward, and her family put on a recital at their home with their children, some other families from the ward, and the students of their daughters. It was really neat, and the kids loved seeing all different instruments (piano, voilin, cello, harp, trumpet, bagpipe, and voice). The highlight was the "Petrie Family Song" - I wish we had video of that!

I have added two videos - I hope I did this right. The first is near the beginning, the second is the end with his little bow. Our camera isn't working great, sorry.




video






video

Samuel and the Marigold

There was once an adorable first-grader named Samuel. His class was learning about plants. They learned about all of the parts of a plant and how they grow. They each got a marigold seed to plant in a little paper cup. Samuel planted his seed in the black soil with care. He watered it and watched it begin to sprout.

The Friday before Mother's Day (2008) he brought it home in a pretty bag he had decorated and gave it to his Mother. He was so excited to show it to her that he just couldn't wait until Sunday. He tore the bag in his excitement and presented her with the tiny seedling. They placed it in the kitchen window and together they watered it and watched it grow.

Ever so slowly it grew taller. By mid-June it was about two-and-a-half inches tall. It was time to plant the flower garden behind the garage, and Mom and Samuel decided that this year it would be a marigold patch. They went to a local farm and purchased 17 small marigold plants, and plotted out 18 spots. Each spot was carefully prepared, and each plant was lovingly planted in the waiting earth. Samuel's little marigold looked quite pathetic. The other plants were bushy, strong, 8-inch tall monsters. Samuel's marigold was so tiny and skinny that when it was lightly watered it fell to the ground. Mother contemplated just tossing it into the woods to die - it looked pretty sad next to the others. But, together they decided to let the marigold have its day in the sun.

The marigold LOVED the sun. Soon it looked healthy and strong, though still very small. As the days and weeks past it started to grow taller, finally catching up with the other marigolds. However, while the other plants boasted beautiful blossoms of yellow, gold, and orange, Samuel's marigold still had no blossoms, or even buds. Each day Samuel would run outside to water his flowers and check for buds on his plant. Each day he found nothing.

By August his plant was twice as tall as any of the others. Mother began to question whether this was really a marigold at all! It was growing so tall, but not really becoming "bushy" and still had no signs of flowers. The leaf shape and color was so similar to the others that she thought that it must be a marigold, but wondered why it did not flower. Was something genetically wrong with it? Had they harmed it in planting it? Was it not getting enough ... something? Sun, check. Water, check. Good soil, check (at least as good as could be expected in New Hampshire). The other marigolds in the bed were thriving. Though still small and squatty compared to Samuel's growing giant, they had beautiful flowers aplenty.

Finally, in late September, after most of the flowers and vegetables in the gardens around the house had met their end, a single bloom was spotted. In excitement Samuel announced to the whole family that his marigold had finally produced a lovely yellow bloom. Everyone was "encouraged" to come examine and praise this remarkable achievement. As the days passed, and in spite of the colder nights, more blooms appeared and the plant continued to grow ever upwards. Mother and Father had never seen a marigold so large, which may have something to do with the fact that there has never been a marigold that has been so loved and prayed over by such an earnest young man. Now 7 and in second grade, Samuel continued to care for his special plant (although Mother began to neglect dead-heading the others in the plot as the gardening season came to an end).

Sunday, October 19, 2008 Mother decided that it was finally time to get a picture of the boy and his plant, before the frosts destroyed the beautiful flowers. So, here we present Samuel the toothless gardener and his special marigold. No longer a 2-inch weakling it has long since surpassed Samuel in height!


Notes: First, I wish that I was a good writer - I should have Nate write this into a storybook for the kids. He has a much better gift for that than I. Second, yesterday I reading the October Ensign, and specifically Elder Nelson's article on abortion. As I wrote this story I was thinking about the parallel - this tiny struggling plant truly seemed to have no shot at survival, and look at it now! (He tells the story of a mother who had German measles or something like that in her first trimester and was strongly urged by her doctors and family to abort what would surely be a very "damaged" baby. She decided not to, and gave birth to a wonderfully healthy baby who suffered total hearing loss but grew into a wonderfully accomplished woman.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

10/18 Update

I know, I can't believe it either, but I'm finally posting! (Sorry Martie and Rissa, I know that I promised to do this days ago!) So, while a number of deep thoughts have indeed passed through my mind over the last 12 days, at the moment I can't recall any of them, so I'll do a quick rundown (for posterity and any insomniacs out there).

Our visit with Uncle Van and Aunt Debbie was great - and they have inspired us to do a little more exploring here in New England (it is a little embarrassing when people who live in Idaho Falls have seen more of Maine than we have!) Nate had a quick trip to Chicago (good meetings and too much good food), and while he was gone I had a crazy long Thursday. Errands, getting ready for company, a leadership training meeting for all of the Young Women's Presidents in the Stake (which went well, but one of my counselors had to work and my secretary was out of town - although she made super-cute favors before she left - Thanks Becky! - but which left me talking for most of the meeting and my other counselor doing EVERYTHING behind the scenes - Thanks Dawnett!! You are amazing!!). If you know me this won't surprise you (I am NOT crafty/creative/etc.) but about 3 hours before the meeting I realized that we hadn't thought about a centerpiece. The previous Stake YW President was really creative and always did really cute things and as her counselor I never had to give it any thought. So, I started thinking about it, realized I didn't have anything particularly nice to use or time to pull it together, and emailed Dawnett to see if she would be stopping by her house and had anything that would work. She shows up (after a long day at work at a very busy job I might add) with a great autumn setup - cloths, straw, pumpkins, arrangements, etc. etc. etc. ... and more stuff for the refreshment table. I've got to tell you that there is NO WAY that I could do this calling alone. Every member of our Presidency adds so much and I just feel blessed to be a part of the team.

My sister-in-law Lora lives in Boston and met me at the church so that she could take the kids home and put them to bed while I was at the meeting (Thanks Lora!). She got a little lost on the way from the church to our house. Sam (7) got her most of the way there, but then they missed a crucial turn. He kept assuring her that she was going the right way (which she wasn't). Finally Isaac (4) said "this is not the way to my house!" Lora was pretty sure that he was right, but not completely convinced until she got to the dirt road ... Sam assured her that "we go on the dirt road all of the time" (nope, not true), but Lora knew that they were lost. Right about then she noticed that the gas light had turned on. Luckily, she was able to find the way to our house without running out of gas in the dark with four young kids.

After the meeting I went straight to the airport to pick up Nate's parents. It was so great to see them. We had a nice visit and then went to bed in preparation for a very early morning (we were getting up at 4:30 to get going in time to get Dad to his meeting in Braintree, MA. We made it down there in plenty of time (amazing, considering we had to get 8 people out the door and drive two cars right through Boston in the morning). After we dropped him off we went in search of Breakfast, which of course, meant McDonald's. I didn't know the area well, but, luckily, the GPS did. The first McD's we found had no play area - so we let the kids decide if we should go in and get food or try one more. They wanted to try one more time, so we headed off to the next closest one. We were rewarded for our patience by finding the coolest play area I have seen (outside of the Mecca of McDonald's play areas on International Drive in Orlando). They had a ball, including Jonas. They had a cute little area for little ones to crawl around and play, and since we pretty much had the place to ourselves he had free reign of the whole area. I would have taken pictures, but of course I forgot the camera (as usual).

After McDonald's we headed to Plimoth Plantation (located in the town of Plymouth but with the historical spelling). We learned about the early settlers and the Wampanoag tribe that inhabited the area when the Mayflower landed. It was very cool and informative, but not kid friendly. I am really glad that we went, but I think that we will try again when the kids are a little older. We drove into Plymouth for lunch at a great seafood place right on the water and then headed over to the Mayflower II. Mom, Lora, Samuel and Isaac toured the ship while I sat with the little ones while they slept. Then we picked up Dad and headed into Cambridge to pick up Lora's boyfriend. It was time for him to "meet the parents." I think that went well :) He is getting a PhD in particle physics at MIT so he took us on a little tour of some of the cool stuff on campus (we had some time to kill - Nate was flying into Logan at 7:30). We had a good time there and then loaded the kids up and I headed to the airport to pick Nate up. Lora and Teppo (he is from Finland) took Mom and Dad to see her office at HBS (they had a little trouble getting there - neither of them have cars or ever drive in the city, so while they knew how to easily walk there they didn't know how to navigate the one-way streets and bridges). We all got home around the same time and put the kids to bed and enjoyed some more nice conversation.

Saturday we went to Concord, MA. I should mention that this whole weekend the leaves were absolutely beautiful. This was the peak of the colors, and they were amazing. In Concord we toured the Orchard House (where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women - it was really neat, I enjoyed learning about her family), had lunch at a fun diner called Helen's, and toured the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery - which is beautiful - it is very large with winding paths and has crumbling old headstones alongside newer ones. Nate loves old cemeteries, and this one was full of interesting stuff. This is where Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson and many others are buried. There is a massive granite monument erected by a soldier from the Civil War in memory of the 3 brothers who went to war with him and didn't make it home. After the cemetery we went to Walden Pond. It was beautiful. We watched the sun set over the pond while we skipped rocks and enjoyed the reflection of the colorful trees in the water. There were people swimming, but it was pretty cold water (it is October after all). We visited the replica of his cottage there, and then we headed home for dinner.

Sunday we went to visit the Peterborough Branch (I had to go for their Branch Conference, so I took the whole family along. The timing worked better with their flight schedule, and I thought that the drive would be beautiful, which it was.) It was a great day, especially because our new Stake Camp Director was set apart - and I am very excited to get to work with her. The meetings went well and we had a nice "linger-longer" with the Branch afterward.

Nate's parents and Lora and Teppo left that night, and Monday Nate had no work and Samuel had no school (Columbus Day) so we made the most of it and ... cleaned the garage!! Boring, but it was so great to get it done. Then for family night we went to Lull Farm to visit the animals and pick out our pumpkins. It was a fun night.

Tuesday I did service in the temple laundry, which was a wonderful way to spend the day, and the rest of the week seemed to fly by. I had an eye infection for a few days, which was pretty painful and very inconvenient. I couldn't wear my contacts and my glasses have been mangled by the kids (they now only have one side) so I couldn't go to the gym for 3 days, which I missed. But, Friday I was fine and went back for a great class. Friday night was Samuel's Violin Recital. He did WONDERFUL. This was his first performance, and Nate and I have been speculating over whether he would be a "sweaty hands fumbles under pressure" or a "steps up and shines under pressure" kid - he is definitely the latter. I was very pleased with him. We had a great discussion on the way over about how when you have worked really hard and done all the preparation that you can then you can ask Heavenly Father for help and he will help you do your best. We said a prayer and he didn't even seem nervous after that. It was a fun recital and while the kids weren't perfect by any means they behaved pretty well.

Today I spent most of the day up at Zion's Camp in meetings with the YW Presidents and Camp Directors from all 9 Stakes who do Girl's Camp there. The meetings were productive, but VERY long. Nate kept all of the kids and made lots of progress on getting the yard cleaned up for winter. The leaves are falling now, and staying ahead of them is always an uphill battle.

The kids are all doing well. Sam has learned about choices and consequences this week. Isaac has become a backseat driver. He admonishes me often - "Mom, why did you go? The light was red. Red means STOP!" (I'm making legal right-turns I swear). Grace is sweet and her maturity (compared to the boys at 2-1/2) is astounding to me. She knows what she wants and she can be a little pushy if she doesn't get it. Jonas continues to be so sweet. He has a tooth (and likes to use it) says "Dada" and is spending lots of time working on standing up alone.

We are looking forward to a good week - especially because the Gough cousins are arriving this week Hip, Hip, Hooray!! And, we hear there is a package of Halloween surprises in the mail from Grandma Cherie - if the mailman would ever bring it to us :) now, if the boys could just decide what they will be for Halloween ...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Conference Weekend

I only have a minute, but wasn't Conference wonderful?! I do have to admit that due to Nate's half-marathon on Saturday we haven't watched those sessions yet - but, Sunday was great. We really enjoyed watching and spending a whole day together as a family. The highlight was really President Monson's talk at the end of the morning session. We had all been taking notes, doing the conference workbooks, etc. during the rest of the session, but for his talk we put everything else down, put the baby to bed and just sat together on the couch to "listen to a Prophet's voice." It was such a beautiful and inspiring message. I felt loved and encouraged and so GRATEFUL for a living prophet. At one point I said to Nate "we should watch this talk every day!" It just contained so many things that we need to remember! I wish every day was Conference.

But, today we are back to the grind. I hope that you all have a wonderful week, and for those of you here in New England - go outside! These colors won't last too much longer :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

This Week

While I'm at it I should post some updates about this week:

Last weekend's ward campout was cancelled due to rain. The kids were disappointed, but accepted it without too much fuss. We enjoyed a Friday evening at home, and a busy Saturday. We bought a trailer to pull behind my SUV for going to the dump, etc. (since we sold Nate's truck the week before, I already mentioned that, right?). Anyway, we got that and the wood to finish the new shelves in the storage room downstairs, and we got the house all cleaned for the open house that night.

I LOVE entertaining. I love how it forces me to clean more deeply, I love the excitement just before the first guests arrive - making sure everything is set out just right (although my kids were so nervous that nobody would come, they were looking out the window every 2 seconds). We ended up with a houseful. The entire main floor was literally PACKED with people - I was so glad that we could all show the Bischoff family how much we love them and will miss them - there were a number of conflicts that night, but so many people really made an effort to be there. It was great. Right after the party when the last guests had left, the kids were in bed, and the leftovers were put away we just sat and listened to the silence. It felt so empty and quiet. But, it had been loud enough and full enough that we just enjoyed the emptiness and each other. It was a great night.

The next day after church we went to a baptism for a boy in our ward. It was a great baptism - I love how the wards really gather together to celebrate these events. Most of us live far from family, so there is often no extended family present. But, the room is always packed - standing room only - with ward members showing support. Because it was Fast Sunday there were no refreshments - they said to come over to their house around 7 or 8 for treats. Now, by the end of the baptism it was 5 and everybody had a 20-45 minute ride home, then needed to make and eat dinner, and it was a school night, and had been a long day already, so you would think that not many people would go for refreshments (especially because their house is at least 20 minutes from most of the ward). But, you would be wrong. This is the Frischknecht family and they are well known for their desserts. They are GREAT cooks. As Vicki said, "when the Frischknechts are serving dessert you GO and you go EARLY." She isn't kidding. We got there at 7:10 thinking we would be among the early ones and they had already finished off the first trifle and all of the creme brulee's! Luckily - there was plenty more. She had made a "mormon" tiramisu that was AMAZING. I have always wanted to try it, but what with the espresso and liqueur, never did :) She said that you just get a good recipe, soak the cookies in milk, and use cocoa powder for the top. It was like cake in custard - really good custard (and cake and custard are two of my very favorite things). I am amazed that I only had one piece (ok, I helped Grace with hers, you know - a bite for you, a bite for me, a bite for you ....)

Anyway, it was great, but the kids got to bed late again (Sam was revelling in having had 2 parties in a row!) The next night we had friends over for FHE. Yes, we did it - I was so nervous about completing the Bishop's challenge of inviting a non-member family over for FHE, but we did it. We prayed for help, and it ended up being so easy. A couple of weeks ago Sam was looking at some copies of the Book of Mormon that the Elders left at our house and asked us to try to give away. He asked if he could give one to his friend Jonathan. Jonathan rides the bus with him and lives pretty close - just outside our neighborhood. I have talked to his Mom frequently, and the boys play at each other's houses frequently, but I had never met the father. I asked Sam if he thought that we should invite Jonathan's family for FHE. He was thrilled. I ran it by Nate really quick and hurried to make the phone call before I chickened out. She was excited and said that they had plans that Monday, but would love to come the next Monday. They have boys the same ages as Sam and Isaac and an older girl. I was worried that the girl would be bored, but she was so fun to talk to and seemed very comfortable. We played games and had treats. Nate and Jose seemed to get along well, and although we didn't talk religion we told them that we are Mormon and why we have Family Home Evening. They are Catholic, but don't go to church regularly or consider themselves religious. I told her that Sam would like to give Jonathan a Book of Mormon and she said that would be fine. Her only concern was that it would hurt Sam's feelings if Jonathan wasn't excited about it. I think that he will be fine. He hasn't given it to him yet because he wants to write in it first.

So, this made THREE parties in a row, three late bedtimes, and a very tired Sam on Tuesday morning. Tuesday was packed with errands and commitments - the kids and I left the house before 9 AM and other than running home to meet Sam's bus and pick him up we didn't get home until 8 PM. But, I got alot done, including Visiting Teaching (yes, it was the 30th - at least it got done :) Wednesday was a cleaning day, babysitting day, and Violin lesson. Sam is doing well and is ready for his first recital on the 17th. When he is focusing he sounds great - when he is not he sounds like a dying cat. I made the mistake of telling him that the other day. Now he gets great enjoyment out of playing out-of-tune and calling it the "dead cat song." Boys.

Thursday Nate's Uncle Van and Aunt Debbie arrived. Van is Linda's older brother. He is a dentist in Idaho Falls. Neither of them have ever been to New England, so they planned a visit to come see the fall colors. We spent an enjoyable evening with them and then Friday they drove up to Vermont. They are traveling around Vermont, Northern NH, and Maine, and will be back here on Monday evening. Tuesday and Wed they will visit sites in Mass. and they fly out Wednesday evening. Nate's parents arrive Thursday evening so they just miss each other!

Last night Sam and I attended the "Ice Cream Social" at his school. It is a fun fundraiser, and I volunteered at the cake walk for an hour. Then we enjoyed ice cream and came home to watch a movie with Dad (we also had 2 sweet friends with us - Annie and Eliza Gustafson. Their Dad, our Bishop, is out running the St. George marathon, and their older brother was playing with his band at the High School football game. They are such sweet girls - they were a great help with the kids and with dinner, and Sam and I enjoyed having them come to the Ice Cream Social with us. We thought that with all of us we would surely win something from the cake walk, but, alas, we did not.)

Today is Nate's half marathon in Hollis, and then trying to watch General Conference and get to the dump and other Saturday errands and jobs. I finished my last quiz for my course on Thursday and ordered my final exam. Nate is taking the day off on the 13th (Sam is out of school for Columbus Day) so I will take the test then. As long as I get a 62% on the final I will be the proud owner of a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. It will be great to have it done!

Ruth - the kids just left the FUNNIEST message on your answering machine for Noah's birthday today. Enjoy! And HAPPY FIFTH BIRTHDAY NOAH! WE LOVE YOU!

Sleep

Yesterday I put a DVD into my laptop and for some reason I couldn't get it to play. This was annoying because it is a fairly new laptop and should be working well. So, I tried the old "turn it off, count to 30, turn it back on" trick, and, of course, it worked just great. Why does this work? I'm sure that there are sophisticated electronic explanations (my car is having a similar problem, every once in a while the overdrive gets into a funk, but if you turn the car off - wait a minute - and turn it back on it is fine, and the mechanics couldn't find anything wrong with it - so wierd).

So I was thinking about this as I was contemplating how THOROUGHLY EXHAUSTED I have been the last few days. The kids are not sleeping well, Jonas in particular - I think he is starting to get teeth - so, as a result, I am not sleeping well at all. Since Wednesday I have been just dragging, and I am finding myself grumpy and completely devoid of willpower. Yesterday all I wanted all day was to curl up in front of a fire with hot chocolate, a book, and my red velour blanket. Of course, I got none of that, but I didn't get much productive done while I was daydreaming about it all day. (I am also having a bit of a hard time adjusting to the low temperatures, if you know me you know that I am happiest at 90 degrees with lots of humidity. Florida is perfect for me - but it about killed Nate. I love the seasons, and the colors here are breathtaking right now, I just wish it could be beautiful and WARM at the same time :)

Back to sleep - I think that I am like my computer. If I don't get to completely power down every once in a while I start to forget how to function correctly. I obsess over silly things, I forget important things, and I just don't function at my peak.

So, while the rest of you girls probably have all sorts of fun planned for tonight while the men are off at the Priesthood session, these are my plans: Simple dinner for the kids (Nate is going to a "Bratwurst Fry" at the home of our Young Men's President before the session), early bedtime for all, including me, and curling up with that book.

I should tell you - "that book" is Breaking Dawn. I have already read the spoilers, and I didn't really plan on reading it anytime soon, I just don't have much time. But, I was at the library on Thursday and as I was checking out they said they had a book on hold for me. When I put my name on the list for it I think that I was number 382, so I thought that I would get it sometime next year - they must have more copies than I thought. So, now I have it, and I can't NOT read it, so I know what I'll be doing before and after conference tomorrow. Hopefully I can finish it by tomorrow night, because we have a busy week next week and the last thing I should be doing is reading. But, maybe tonight and tomorrow will be enough to "restart" me back into proper working order.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

50 Questions and Answers

I want to do a new post, and every day I have these thoughts about what would make a great post - until I sit down at a computer. Then I always feel like I have nothing interesting to say. So, I'm going to copy some of my friends and answer this 50 question thing.

Fifty Questions (and answers):
1. Do you like blue cheese? No
2. Have you ever smoked a cigarette? No
3. Do you own a gun? No - I am very against guns in the house. Unfortunately my husband is for it. We just had a discussion about this on Sunday. He reminded me that we are currently storing his brother's gun in our basement (I had forgotten about that, and now that I remember I am totally freaked out about it- I know it is in pieces and my kid's wouldn't be able to do anything with it, but still, it's a gun and I want it out - Russell, let me know when you will be picking it up :) Nate owns a gun, which is at his parent's house, and our compromise is that he can bring it here when he has a VERY secure safe that this kids could NEVER break into).
4. What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? No Sonics out here (that I have seen), but I like their "ocean water" I don't know what flavors it has.
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointment? No. But I do get nervous before dentist appointments.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Love them. But, only the cheap ones (the ones that are totally made of questionable things that I don't want to think about), and only over a campfire - or in Macaroni and Cheese.
7. Favorite Christmas Song? I love Christmas music. I like Oh, Holy Night, and I often sing Silent Night as a lullaby to my kids. I have a box of Christmas CDs that I get out before Thanksgiving. Playing it makes me so excited. I LOVE Christmas.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Water, Orange Juice (Mom, can you believe it!? Still without pulp though)
9. Can you do push-ups? On my knees. Being able to do real push-ups correctly is one of my major fitness goals. In High School I thought that I could do them, but after the fitness portion of Junior Miss I was informed by my Uncle David that I did them totally incorrectly.
10. What is your favorite movie? That's a tough one. I like movies that I have seen a million times, and Nate likes to always watch something new. I love The Princess Bride and You've Got Mail and The Sound of Music and Just Like Heaven and Return to Me. Those are all great for me to turn on while I'm folding laundry and I don't care if I miss half of it. My favorite scary movie is The Others - for so many reasons - but Nate won't watch scary movies more than once, and I don't like to watch them alone.
11. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? My wedding ring. It is usually my ONLY piece of jewelry. I also love pearl earrings. They are so simple and sophisticated and beautiful and pure. I want to be pearl earrings.
12. Favorite hobby? Reading (someday I'll have time to read again), traveling, doing paperwork/financial statements/taxes. Seriously.
13. Do you work with people who idolize you? Samuel is definitely past that point, but the younger three absolutely. I spend a large amount of time "working" with my Presidency and the Stake Young Men's presidency, and I think (hope) that they all like me, but I don't think that anyone "idolizes" me.
14. Do you have ADD? My Mom is pretty convinced that we all do - and I think that just about anyone can identify aspects of their personality that fall somewhere on the spectrum of ADD. But, I don't think that I have it.
15. What’s one trait that you hate about yourself? Where to start? At the moment I don't like how I don't fight for what I want or need (or my family needs) because I am too afraid to "inconvenience" someone.
16. What’s your middle name? I don't have one. My maiden name (Harper) is now my middle name, which I love except that it sounds weird with Fisher.
17. Name three thoughts at this moment: My legs are sore, I need new workout shoes, I wonder if I can get the main floor cleaned before the baby wakes up.
18. Name 3 things you bought yesterday: An oil change for my Explorer, pizza and salad at Chuck-E-Cheese (right across the street from the oil change place - 1.5 hours with 3 kids under 5, we were NOT going to sit in that little waiting room!), and a scout leader shirt for Nate.
19. Current worry right now? Is it going to rain the entire weekend that my in-laws are here?
21. Current hate right now? (hey! Where was question #20?) Feeling uninformed when I don't read the news and feeling annoyed when I do.
22. Favorite place to be? Wherever Nate is.
23. How did you bring in the New Year? We went to a party at a friend's house, but I the kids and I were tired so we came home around 10:30 (Jonas was born 4 days later).
24. Where would you like to go? Everywhere. My list right now is: Italy, China, South Africa, Peru, Australia
25. Name three people who will complete this? Julie and Cheryl already did, does that count?
26. Whose answer do you want to read the most? Anyone.
27. What color shirt are you wearing? Navy Blue shirt from Oxford University.
28. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? Yes, I think that my favorite is flannel, but I'll sleep on about anything. I LOVE to sleep :)
29. Can you whistle? Nope. Not at all.
30. Favorite color? I usually say blue and red. But, I like them all. I know it is trendy and unoriginal, but I am loving this brown and aqua thing.
31. Would you be a pirate? Nope.
32. What songs do you sing in the shower? I think in the shower. No singing.
33. Favorite girl’s name? Grace and Kate
34. Favorite boy’s name? Nate, Samuel, Isaac, Jonas (I like Nate better than Nathan and Samuel better than Sam.)
35. What’s in your pocket right now? No pockets. I don't usually put things in my pockets. Especially cell phones. I have had 3 bad experiences with putting cell phones in my pocket. It is now strictly forbidden.
36. Last thing that made you laugh? Last night there was a pretty funny line in the chapter I was reading for the class I am taking. I swear this professor has no editor. I showed it to Nate and he got a pretty good laugh out of it too.
37. Best bed sheets as a child? I think that I had Rainbow Brite - or Strawberry Shortcake? Mom?
38. Worst injury you’ve ever had? Nothing major - I have a scar on my knee from trying to show how well I could ride my bike with no feet or hands (feet on the handlebars, hands behind my head, tire hitting the curb, me hitting the pavement). No broken bones, only one sprained ankle.
39. What is your favorite snack? Nachos. (Not the ones with the fake cheese, real nachos)
40. Favorite thing to do on Sundays? Quiet time with my family. Puzzles.
41. Who is your loudest friend? Samuel.
42. How many dogs do you have? None. Never. (Sorry Isaac)
43. Does someone have a crush on you? Isaac. I wonder how long that will last? I don't think that Nate believes in "crushes"
45. What is your favorite book? (where was #44?) So many options. I don't know. I love the Princess Bride, I like anything by Dickens, I enjoy historical fiction. I love anything by Anita Stansfield (she writes LDS romantic fiction - not deep at all - but always a pleasant read. Her books are like comfort food to me.)
46. What is your favorite candy? My Mom's homemade chocolates. Mmmmmm. My mouth is watering.
47. What is your favorite sports team? Boston Red Sox. I LOVE baseball.
48. What song do you want played at your funeral? I don't know.
49. What were you doing 12 AM last night? Sleeping.
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning? Grace was crying because she had a nightmare and came to find us and got disoriented and went into the wrong room. I think that I was just hoping that she would go back to sleep. She did, but she woke Jonas up, so I fed him and put him back to bed (this was at 3am), then Isaac woke up - it was all downhill from there.

That took a lot longer than I thought it would. You should all answer these questions too- I can't wait to read yours!