Friday, October 31, 2008


Almost every Thursday I get together with Hayley, and we do something fun.  This week Brittany could come too!  

On Wednesday I went visiting teaching and saw a note about a school field trip to Pumpkinville on Richmond Road.  I figured it wasn't far, so I found it online and called.  Guess what?  It's free to go!  You only pay if you buy pumpkins, so Hayley and Brittany and I decided that would be our Thursday outing.  We dressed up our kids for some cute pictures.  Poor Luke probably never wants to see that stupid leopard costume again!

Luke in front of a bean bag throwing game.  He had just woken up, so he wasn't very excited yet.

Brittany's little boy, Benson, loved the pumpkins.  He was hiding behind this one, and we couldn't get him to come over for a group picture.

Luke and Emiline (Hayley's little girl)

Jared says this picture could go on a Jones soda bottle.  A little neglected forlorn kid in front of a random huge pirate ship.  He does look pretty forlorn, doesn't he?  He was actually staring at the rocks.

Hayley, Emiline, Brittany, and Benson in the corn maze.

There were wagons at the pumpkin patch that you could take into the field to pick pumpkins or just use them to load up at the little store.  I put Luke in a wagon to take a picture, but he didn't like it.

Luke and Benson in the field.  Most of the pumpkins were already picked, and the ones that were left weren't very good.

The best pumpkins were in this little store area.  Luke loved the little ones best.  He would pick them up and throw them. 

I took his binky out for a minute to try to get a picture of him smiling.  He started sucking on pumpkins and eating hay, so it went back in.

It was a pretty good day.

Halloween Parties

Tuesday night was our ward's Halloween party.  It ended up being quite the bummer for me.  Jared had a meeting that night at school.  He said that he could get to the church by 7:30, but Luke usually goes to bed by then, so I was planning to leave around 7:15.  I thought about not going, but then I thought, "Jared is probably going to be busy our whole married lives.  Am I going to just sit at home and miss out on things when he can't come too?"  I figured I'd just get into the habit of bucking up and going to things anyway.  

But then Luke fell asleep on the way to the church and wouldn't wake up again.  I got to the church and carried him in.  Since he was asleep, I just sat down at a table and watched families come in together.  People were nice and talked to me.  Trisha Otto and her family came to sit by me and were really friendly.  I also talked to Amanda who (whom?) I visit teach.  But I still felt out of place and on the verge of tears.  I really don't know WHY I was so upset.  I've done things without Jared before.  But that night, I had really wanted us to be together for Luke's first Halloween.  So I guess I do know why I was upset after all.

I mostly went because I wanted to get some pictures of Luke in his costume.  I mean, for someone as small as Luke, they're whole Halloween is the church Trunk or Treat.  I had someone take the picture below and was about to leave when Luke woke up for just a little bit.

I got one picture with Luke and I and Brittany and Benson.  Brittany and her husband Tristan offered to help with Luke so that I could eat, but I just decided to go.  Luke was cranky because he was still tired, and I still felt a little stupid.  I guess I can't Cowboy Up as well as I was hoping.

But...when I got home, Jared was there.  He just busted out laughing when he saw Luke in his costume.  Since Luke was so cute, we decided to take some pictures of him with his dad at home.  Halloween really is just about the pictures anyway, right?

I know Luke was going to be a Colonial.  But the weather got pretty cold this week (in the 50's).  Nora had found this little leopard outfit at the thrift store for 5 bucks, and since it was so much warmer, I decided to dress Luke in it for the party.  I'll get some more Colonial pictures later.

It's so hard to get Luke to smile for a picture these days!  He gets entranced by the camera and just stares at it.  To get him to smile, Jared had to bounce him around a little bit.  Those are Jared's thumbs.  He's holding Luke up in the air.

Jared tickling Luke to get him to smile.  Can you see his teeth?  He has four on top now!

Look at his cute little tail!  I really need to learn how to photo shop so that I can take out the junk I have left on the floor.

The little leopard crawling around.

Since Tuesday was such a bummer and I didn't get that many pictures, I decided to crash the Williamsburg Ward Halloween party on Wednesday night.  Jared and I hang out with a lot more people in that ward than our ward, so I didn't think I'd feel so awkward.  Call me crazy, but I wanted to practice my Cowboy Up skills one more time. (Jared had ANOTHER meeting)

Luke with Kevin and Leslie Grady, our downstairs neighbors.  The Gradys got a job in Dallas, so they'll be moving to Texas this summer.  

Luke and I at the Trunk or Treat.  We just walked around.  We didn't get any candy because...Let's be honest.  Luke can't eat it, and I really shouldn't.

The Beans!  Emiline was a cat, but she wasn't at all happy about the eyeliner on her face.

Surprise!  Jared's meeting was actually NEXT week, so he came and joined us.  Luke and I were SO happy to see him!!!  We ate dinner with the Beans (kind of).  I ate a hot dog, but there wasn't anything vegetarian there, so Jared couldn't eat.  When we got home, Jared put Luke to bed and then we made spinach pizza.  Yum!

Sunday Togetherness

Sundays are always a little bit difficult for Luke because his nap schedule is thrown way off.  He usually goes down for a morning nap right around 9, but because Luke won't sleep well outside of a bed now and we're at church at 9, he usually just skips his morning nap.  By the time we leave, he is so exhausted that it is pretty much impossible to keep him from falling asleep in the car.  If he does fall asleep in the car, he never takes a good afternoon nap either, so Sunday is Luke's crankiest day.

This Sunday, we decided to take him out because that usually curbs the whining.  I uploaded these pictures in reverse order on accident, so our day is going to be described to you backwards.

Word about the picture below:  Jared and I wanted to scope out some things to do when Nathan and his family come, and Jared wanted to look for a biking trail that he had heard about, so we decided to go for a drive down to Jamestown.  It was so beautiful that we stopped next to the beach to take some pictures.  When we walked down, there were a couple people fishing.  One of the groups was an old-ish man and his son.  They told us about some fun stuff to do (like visit the glass blowers shop!) and they were pointing out different points of interest.

In the center of this picture, you can just barely see the outline of some buildings.  That's actually a nuclear power plant.  One of the guys who was fishing was pretty hilarious.  He was like, "What a great place for a nuclear power plant.  Our Nation's birthplace.  Over here is the very first settlement.  And over here is a nuclear power plant."  Okay, just reading that, it doesn't sound that funny at all.  But the guy made it sound funny.  Or maybe it was just his super long Santa beard and goofy flannel shirt that made it funny.  Or the fact that he had fishing poles stuck into the sand and held up with sticks besides his own fishing pole that he was holding.
Jared and Luke on the beach.  Behind them is Jamestown island where the very first English colony was established.  There's a big museum there where you can see artifacts and stuff, but Jared and I haven't gone inside yet.  The glass blowers shop is also over there, and I am really excited to see that.

Before we went driving around, we took Luke to the swings at the park.  He loves swinging.  He scoots way forward and then kicks his legs .  I know that in every picture Luke is sucking on a binky.  That's only because when we're outside and in other public places, I always shove it in to keep Luke from shoving other things into his mouth.  If he doesn't have his binky in, he sucks on the swing or on the chains.  It's really disgusting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


I got tagged by here it goes.  I hope I don't make Jared and I (but especially Jared) sound like total dopes.

What is your husband's name?  Jared

How long have you been married?  About 2 and 1/2 years

How long did you date? We dated for about 8 months before we got engaged, but Jared was in Mexico during 3 months of that time, and there was a brief broken up period as well.

How old is he?  25- I'm a cradle robber!

Who eats more sweets?  For hard core sweets- definitely me.  However Jared can eat his weight in Frosted Mini Wheats and sometimes he goes crazy when there's ice cream in the house.

Who said I love you first? Me--actually I said it a few times before Jared said it back.  So I tease him that it means I love him more.

Who is taller? Jared

Who is the better singer? Jared.  By a long shot.  I can't carry a tune in a bucket.  Sometimes I make Jared sing the alto part at church so that I can follow along.  And sometimes I try to make him sing soprano, but when he does we usually don't end up singing at all because we're laughing too hard.

Who is smarter? I don't know.  We both studied completely different things.  When it comes to common sense, probably Jared.  (He knew what "Photos do not bend" meant)  When it comes to memorizing movie lines, probably me.  And I got a better score on the ACT.  Of course I didn't take the LSAT, but I doubt I would have done as Jared.

Who does the laundry? Me

Who pays the bills? Well, I actually write the checks.  Auto-payment does the rest.  But who provides the money that we spend?  That would be LOAN money.

Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Jared, but he's trying to talk me into switching.  I say No Way!

Who mows the lawn? We don't have one.  But when we do, it will probably be me.  I'll just have to learn how to do it first.  Of course, we won't have to worry about that for at least 5 years!

Who cooks dinner? These days I do.  Jared used to cook a lot when I was working.  He also used to help with the dishes, but I do all the clean up now.  Jared helps a lot with Luke, though.  They have male bonding time every Saturday while I go shopping.

Who drives? When we go places together Jared always drives.  I've had to get more brave about driving by myself though.  I think I've gotten a lot braver since we've been here.  I go on the freeway a lot, and I used to avoid that at all costs.

Who is the first to say they're wrong? Neither one of us has a problem saying sorry.  Usually whoever started the fight apologizes first.  If you want to know who holds onto hurt feelings longer, it would probably be me.  What can I say?  I'm female, and females never forget.

Who kissed who first? Jared kissed me, but I made it REALLY easy for him.  I'M not easy.  Just the kiss was.

Who asked who out? Jared and I would fight over this question.  I asked for his number and invited him to do something first, but Jared asked me out on the first date that actually cost money.  So if you go by hanging out: me.  If you go by a formal "date": Jared.  Although the formal date wasn't all that formal.  He took me to breakfast at the MTC before work.

Who wears the pants? Jared and I both like pants.

Now I tag....Nora and Callie

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Witches Night Out

This beautiful lady, Kelly Crawford, planned and hosted a ladies night in the true Halloween spirit.  We each had to either buy or make a witch's hat, and then we got together for a night of spooky food and fun.  Okay, it wasn't really spooky, but it was fun!

Okay, seriously.  Look at these hats.  Most of the girls really decorated them themselves!  Confession: bought mine at Big Lots for 10 bucks.  I just knew that I would end up with a plain ugly black hat if I tried to decorate one myself (and a bunch of lace that was supposed to have gone on the hat but is now stuck in a drawer of things I don't know what to do with).  Am I sorry?  No.  I accepted long ago (about the time I declined mom's offer to teach me how to knit for the 5th time) that I will never be creative in the sewing arena, and I am happy to let others outshine me.  But I am a little jealous of their talent.  I mean, they won't have to make their children call Mema for their 5th grade play costume, but whatever.  Mema won't say no, right?

Nora and I.  Nora wearing the hat she really did decorate herself.  We went to Hancock fabrics together on Saturday planning to buy things to decorate hats.  Next to Hancock was Big Lots, and since I didn't have a hat to decorate yet, I went in to get one and realized the truth that I probably wouldn't actually decorate one and just bought the hat I have on instead.  

Nora, on the other hand, did get some cool stuff from Hancock and made the hat she's wearing.  She won third place in the best hat contest!  (Oh, and just so y'all know:  that jacket I'm wearing in the was the first time I could button it since having Luke.  Woo Hoo!)

Hayley and I with our witch's hats.  Hayley won second place in the hat contest.  It's actually pretty hard to see her hat in this picture because of the way the shadows lie or the angle or something.  It had toole that hung down the back in really neat looking gathers and flowered-y lace around the brim.  It was really cool.  She also made hers herself.

One of the games we played was a murder charades  game where we had to choose one paper from each of three categories: who, where, and with what method and then act out who, where, and how a person was murdered.  I was pretty good at guessing but not as good at acting.  I got Marilyn Monroe at the mall with a lamp.  I didn't quite get the "no pointing or using objects rule" because I just started pointing at the lamp in the room.  Confession: I did hear someone shout that it wasn't allowed to do that, but I ignored them.  Sometimes I'm hard of hearing.  I have to say that I did a pretty good Marilyn Monroe impression of "The Seven Year Itch" classic "white dress blowing up because I'm standing over dirty sewer air scene".  My team won, and the prize was these great eye thingies that actually hurt when you wear them, but I love them because they remind me of that scene from "A Cinderella Story" when Fiona is just getting out of the tanning bed.  It made me miss Amber really bad.  I put them on and said, "You're not very pretty, and you're not very bright.  I'm so glad we finally had this talk."  Amber would have gotten a kick out of that.  I was actually afraid that no one else would get it, but apparently Amber isn't the only grown-up who likes that movie.  In the picture, it's me and Leslie wearing the winning eyes.

Some very beautiful witches.  Left to right: Nora, Elizabeth, Leslie, and Kelly

Leslie won top prize for her hat that had actual lights strung inside it.  She was wearing a battery pack tucked inside her hat.  It had tinsel, sparkles, and well...a lot of effort.  She deserved first prize!

Random side note: Elizabeth (one in yellow) has a little boy named Atticus who is about 20 months old, and Luke loves Atticus.  He will crawl around after him just laughing away.  Atticus is really gentle with Luke, and sometimes he will even get down on the floor and crawl too so that Luke can keep up with him.  Elizabeth is due with her second in January, and Atticus will be a really good big brother.

Our Little Colonial

Luke is going to be a colonial for Halloween.  He isn't a big fan of the hat, so taking pictures was a challenge.  He spent most of the time pulling on his tights or chewing on the hat.  We got about 3 pictures of him in the whole outfit (where you can see the whole outfit) but for some reason those pictures wouldn't upload, so I'll have to add it later.

Luke in his super cute hat.  They only come in medium and large, so it's too big.  It actually fits me.
You can see his outfit in this one.  The only thing missing is his shoes.  Hayley is making him some black felt booties.  You can kind of see Luke's new car seat.  He is over the weight limit for his infant seat, so we had to get a new car seat just a little bit earlier than planned.  This one can be rear facing up to 35 pounds and front facing from 20 pounds (and 1 year) to 50 pounds.  It's bigger than his other one, though, so I don't know if it will fit into the Jetta rear facing.  We'll try it because he doesn't turn 1 for a little over a month, but if not...oh well, I guess he'll be front facing.  He weighs almost 24 pounds, so I think it will be okay.

I know this picture doesn't really show his costume well, but I think Luke looks so cute!

Yes! I didn't waste my money!

So that toy that lay forgotten for awhile has finally been appreciated.  Luke can't turn the knobs yet, but he likes pushing the animals down.

Just look at that concentration!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sleep Stress

Luke is a baby--no doubt about that.  And he really knows what he wants, and he wants things HIS way.  Not that that's always a bad thing, but sometimes what he wants for himself isn't always the best thing--like how he wants to chew on people's dirty shoes for instance.  

One thing Luke really doesn't like is sleeping through the night.  When he was six months old, right after I quit working, we decided that we would let him cry it out at night so that he would learn to sleep through the night.  It was horrible!  It took 4 nights of screaming before he learned, and each of those nights I was in tears and feeling like a terrible mean mother.  But he finally learned.  Then, when we moved here, things got thrown off.  He was waking up once a night, and I fed him so that I could go back to sleep.  But lately, he's been waking up several times, sometimes every 30 minutes for several hours.  I couldn't take it anymore!  I was so tired, but also dreading going through the tears and frustration again.  I hate feeling like I'm ignoring, hurting, damaging my child.  

I had three people recommend the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" to me, so on Thursday I bought it.  I am so happy I did!  I was using my scripture marker writing all over it and making notes.  One of the things it recommended for getting your child to sleep better through the night is putting them to sleep earlier.  I tried it.  I put Luke down at 7:15.  He slept until 2:00 am.  Jared and I had decided that he should be able to go at least 8 or 9 hours before feeding, so we had talked it out and decided that I wouldn't feed him until after 3 unless he cried for more than 30 minutes.  (He's never cried for more than 10!)  So I was ready for a hard night.  But he fussed for about 15 then quieted again.  He started fussing again at 2:45.  I was planning on going to get him at 3, but I fell asleep!  I NEVER sleep when he's crying, so that means, he STOPPED!  He went back to sleep until 6:45.  And last night, he did it again!  Just look at the difference!

Luke when he doesn't get enough sleep (ie. up every couple hours)

Luke when he's slept through the night!

Okay, so it was the same day.  But really, he's been in a better mood in the mornings, and I feel so much better too!  I think one of the main things is that this time, I took prayer into account too.  I've been praying that I would feel okay about our decision and not beat myself up with guilt.  The book helped with that.  It was good to have a doctor telling me that I'm not hurting Luke by letting him cry for a little while.  Also, when he is crying I've read the Book of Mormon for 15 minutes, and that helps me stay calm.  I've also prayed that Heavenly Father would comfort Luke and help him settle himself and feel safe so that he can sleep.  

The point is Woo Hoo!  Yeah for Luke sleeping through the night.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Look at that Balance!

Luke can stand for almost 10 seconds now!

Long Weekend, Fun Weekend!!!


On Friday, I went with my friend Danielle to Ikea to help her get some more bookshelves.  Ikea is almost to D.C.  It's a pretty long drive, but we left earlier this time so that we could do some sightseeing on the way back home.  We went to Scotchtown, the home of Patrick Henry from 1771-1778.  The house has had a lot of repair work done to it.  It was left empty for several years, and lots of the valuable things (like the brass doorknobs) were stolen and some damage was done.  They had it decorated like a house in that period would have been with a few pieces of furniture that actually belonged to Patrick Henry or his family.  There was a gentleman's parlor and a lady's parlor.  We saw bedrooms, and in the basement, there was a room where Patrick Henry's first wife was kept until she passed away.  His first wife suffered from a mental illness that I guess was pretty severe.  They don't know what disease she suffered from, and it's sad to me to think that there were no medications to help people who were suffering from mental illnesses.  The woman giving the tour showed a picture from the mental hospital (I know that's not the correct term, but I can't think of what is) functioning at the same time.  Patients there were kept like prisoners in barred rooms with only straw mattresses on the floor.  The tour woman felt that Patrick Henry must have done the best by his wife that he could have.

The back entrance to Patrick Henry's home at Scotchtown.  The front entrance looked pretty much the same except with a pretty walkway.  I didn't take a picture because Luke was throwing a fit.  Actually, he was pretty squirmy the whole tour.  Danielle had her two kids with her as well.  We were about the worst people you would ever want on a tour because we kept yanking our kids away from furniture they were trying to touch, and the kids were just a little whiny and rambunctious after being cooped in a car for a couple hours.  Luckily, there was only one other couple on the tour--an elderly couple from California.  They were so nice and understanding!  They talked about their own kids and grandkids and said they admired us for giving our kids culture.  What a relief to meet people like that!  

Luke playing outside Scotchtown. 

The kitchen at Scotchtown.  The little girl in the shadows is Danielle's daughter Eden.

Right after I got home from my trip with Danielle, I bathed Luke and changed him and then Jared and I dropped Luke off at Hayley and Greg's so that we could go on a date!  This baby-sitting trading is the best!  Friday night, we went to see "Cry Witch", a night program at Colonial Williamsburg where you watch a real witch trial from 1706.  It was awesome!  The characters did an amazing job with the acting, and they have to be pretty quick on their toes because the audience gets to ask them questions during the trial.  Jared and I found out a lot about witch "evidence" for the times.  I thought the trials were a bunch of lying eye witnesses, and there was one of those in the trial, but most of the evidence was based on actual "tests" with laws around them.  For instance, the floating test was explained.  The witch was tied and then put in a lake.  She was only considered a witch if she floated in an unnatural manner like a bubble on top of the water.  I still don't think it's a very good test, but it was good to see some distinction.  They also talked about black marks on her body that were poked and did not bleed.  This was also a test that determined if someone was a witch.  It was a lot more cool than I making it sound.  It was so intense and engaging.  At the very end of the trial, we had to vote on her guilt or innocence according to the law of that time.  Jared and I hung her.  Call us criminal, but the evidence of the time was against her.  If anyone comes to visit (and you all should), we'll take you to see it.  It was so awesome!!!


Saturday was a lame-O day in a lot of ways.  All our plans fell through.  Jared got up early to work as a translator at a...well, I can't remember what it's called.  I think it's kind of like a "law fair" for firms and also for the school who are looking to represent people for free.  (How do you spell pro-bono?)  He was going to help with the interviewing process.  He walked all around the school and couldn't find where it was.  When he got home, he checked his calendar, and he got the week wrong.  So he went to meet the guys for football, and no one showed up!  Then, we went to meet some of his school friends for apple and pumpkin picking at a farm near here, and the farm was closed!  It was a pretty irritating, but also ironically funny day.


Normal Sunday


Monday and Tuesday were Spring Break, so Jared didn't have class.  Since he hasn't yet seen much, we decided to take him to some places that I (and Luke?) like to go.  On Monday, we went to Jamestown Settlement to see the Indian village, ships, and forts.

Outside one of the Indian hogans.  That little barrel is where they would crush corn.

The inside of one of the huts.  they have tons of fur.  I'm still working on pictures to send to Franklin for their Indian and trapper units.

One of the ships at Jamestown.  I think this one is the Elizabeth that we went on.  

Blogger was acting up, so the rest of our Monday and all of Tuesday is on the post below.  Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Monday and Tuesday


This is one of the hold areas on the ship.  Can you believe how short these bunks are?  This picture actually makes them look bigger than they really are.  They were only about 4 feet long.  Either people slept really scruched up, or they were the size of the Oompa Loompas.

Jared, Luke, and I on the deck of the Elizabeth.  This is one of the first three ships to bring new settlers to America.  All of the first people were men, but married women and their servants came a few years later.  I know this doesn't directly match the picture, but I found out how Virginia got its name.  It was named after Queen Elizabeth I who never married.  She was called the virgin queen, and instead of going right after her name, they went with her purity.

After we saw the ships, we went to the Fort.  By this time, Luke was getting pretty tired and fussy, so we didn't stay long.  It was really crowded on Monday.  I forgot it was Columbus Day, and I guess lots of people thought that the first colony would be a cool place to go on Chris's big day.  

Jared, the Warrior, and his little soldier in training


On Tuesday, we went to Yorktown.  Jared had never been.  Even now, we haven't seen the coolest stuff there.  You can do a driving tour of the Battlegrounds and see where the British surrendered.  Luke hates being in the car, though, and it's about a 30 minute drive just to get there...before you ever even drive the tour.  We didn't think Luke could handle it, so we just walked around, and I showed Jared everything that I'd seen.  The only sight he didn't appreciate was the Ben & Jerry's.  No ice cream for us this time.  Boo Hoo.

Henry Nelson's home.  He was the first governor of Virginia.  His house still has battle wounds from the last stand.  That's a cannonball stuck in the brick at the top of the house, and the picture below shows a cannonball stuck in the brick nearer to the bottom.  I heard that the house was hit while the family was eating dinner.

Jared and Luke in the gardens behind his home.
The front of his house.  Wouldn't it be fun to live in a house like this?  So much history and so beautiful too.

Jared and Luke next to the Ben & Jerry's.  Luke needed some wiggle time outside of his stroller.