Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Being Thankful

This is the season for reflecting and thinking about all the things we have to be thankful for. This year I find myself being a little emotional when I think of all I am thankful for. I have three (true) stories I have been thinking about constantly and wanted to share them. They have been unwilling to leave my mind and have truly changed my perspective!

#1 After a few hours of picking up wet soggy leaves, Carson, Hannah, and I headed off to our local 7-11 for a well deserved slurpee. I didn't bother changing my clothes or cleaning up at all and needless to say we weren't looking our best. Carson had a dirt smudge on his face and dirty wet knees from kneeling on the grass. Hannah had red watery eyes from being outside and wet knees too. We were all wearing our work clothes which were now pretty dirty.

We ran in the store grabbed our slurpee and went to the cash register to pay. The total popped up and I started digging through my purse. I was certain I had enough coins to pay the total and continued to rummage. I could have easily slipped the cashier my debit card or the $10.00 bill I had, but you know how it is-I didn't want to use those for my 1.92 tab. I still needed to find 5 cents when the man behind me reached over and provided the nickle. He said to me "Here you go, don't worry about it. I've had hard times too."

I turned to look at him and embarrassingly explain "Oh no, I have the money..." but I stopped. This man looked as though he had lived through hard times and they weren't over yet. In my imperfect eyes, I thought I should have been giving this guy some money not the other way around. I simply smiled and said "Thank you" and he smiled back and cooed to my baby.

My heart was humbled and it reminded me of the story of the Widow's Mite (Mark 12:41-44).

I have much yet I give little.

#2 We have been feeding the ducks at Beus Pond as often as we can. On this particularly week as we were getting out of the car, a disabled man was unloading the trunk of his car-which was FULL of bread. The man saw Carson and asked Carson if he wanted some more bread to feed the ducks with. Carson happily accepted the bread and we took our arms full of bread down to the feeding dock.

The man continued to tell me that every day he goes to a different set of stores and asks them for the bread that is expired (that they would normally throw away he said) and brings it all to feed the ducks. He said he worries about the ducks and wants to make sure they are getting enough to eat.

You all know I have a soft spot for animals and this made me want to cry! I couldn't imagine all the time and effort it took this man to go to the stores, gather the bread, and bring it to the pond each and every day. I know they are "just" ducks but they are also one of God's creations. It made me think we are all in this same big world, just trying to do our best each day, and make a difference somehow. This man made a difference.

#3 Another money story. A few nights ago Cam and I were discussing money while Carson was drawing at the kitchen table. We were not arguing. The conversation consisted of Cam trying to convince me that we should invest in another rental property with me trying to talk him out of it! It wasn't really about money as much as it was about the time it would take Cam away from being home.

Carson got the impression that we needed more money to be able to buy the rental property. He tapped us on the shoulder and slipped us this note. My son knows only to give.

Click to enlarge.

I am blessed. I am grateful. I can do better. I want to do better. I can give. I can make a difference. I am thankful for these small stories to help me see what is truly important and just how blessed I am. I have much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hannah at 16 months old!

Note: I have had this as a draft since 11/18-and just got around to finishing it!

I was only planning on doing a Hannah spotlight every three months now, but she has learned so much more and I wanted to document it! So here's Hannah....

She can fold her arms when we say the prayer and she hollers her own "Amen" at the end. It sounds nothing like amen but she says the exact same sound after every prayer.

Loves, loves LOVES to dance-she is so stinking cute when she hears music. She has a new move now too...a little squatting motion -it is hilarious.

Still only 8 teeth and no signs of any molars yet...where are you teeth?

Everything is Mama, Dada, or Brother (sounds like Ba-ber). She always says "Hi Ba-ber".

New words include (things that sound like)- "good girl" and "peek-a boo" and "here." She will hand me things and say "here mama"

She has also now learned the word No. I think she picked it up from singing Three little monkeys jumping on the bed. (You know the part where it says "NO more monkeys jumping on the bed) because she only says NO after we sing that song.

Carson has been trying to teach her how to count and she can chime in with "twoooo"

She is fascinated with other babies and other little kids. She just looks at them and acts like she wants to touch them, but at the last minute changes her mind and pulls her hand back. It is very cute.

She is an animal lover. Especially our cat and small dogs. She doesn't know what to think of bigger dogs yet. Animal sounds she can mimic are:

"oof oof" for a dog barking

"mooooooo" for a cow

"ack ack" for a duck quack

"meowww" for a cat

She has been waking up VERY early around 5:30 or 6:00 (if I'm lucky!) in the morning (an hour earlier than her usual wake up time). She is still going to bed at the same time. When I tried putting her to bed later it only resulted in one more hour of night time unhappiness and a very happy baby at 6:00 am.

She will occasionally smile on demand with the cutest little scrunched up face that you can't help but smile back at. She is a little stingy though and will only do it when she feels like it!

She is very independent and a little busy body. She loves to explore, open and shut cupboards, take things in and out of drawers, look in any possible hole or corner she finds......

The girl loves to bathe or shower. She runs in the bathroom any time she hears water running. She tries to lift her little leg up and over the bath tub to jump in! She takes as LEAST one bath or shower a day-depending on who can't stand to see her cry when she doesn't get in and lets her join them!

She is very good at following directions. You can ask her to get her shoes, or close the door, and many other things-she will always do it. I am amazed at how many things she knows and understands.

She loves to play on playgrounds and can now (and she now wants to!) "push" herself to go down the slide. She giggles and laughs when she gets to the bottom.

She is so cute and happy.

She loves to color (or scribble!) she always wants to have a crayon or pen in her hand. I swear she has "crayon detector" in her little body. No matter how well I think I have put ALL the crayons in the house away she always manages to find one and come walking around the corner with one in her little fist!

Oh how we love this little baby.

P.S. My mom made her sweater-isn't it so cute?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our Day in Numbers

89... # of times Carson asked when Mason was coming over.

3:00 time he actually did come over!

1 Mom



1 loaf of bread

24 slices in the loaf

50+ ducks and geese we fed

5... minutes... how long the bread lasted!

1 walk around the pond with a...

90 minute detour at the park

2 "secret" trails we discovered and explored

56...degrees...very warm and sunny for the middle of November!

32 pictures taken by the 1 picture crazy mom.

4000 lbs or Tons! ...the amount of fun we had!

Leaves For Sale!

We have SO many leaves at our house and we have been slackers at getting them picked up this year! First of all, our trees shed their leaves a little later this year than usual and just in time to get rained on for quite a few days. Cam kept telling me that we would let them dry out for a few days before we raked them up. Well that day never came, it would rain again or we had something going on, the list of excuses could continue...

Finally, after feeling like we were "the trashy owners who didn't care" on our street, I started raking the wet soggy leaves. I set a goal of picking up one section of leaves a night, which is all I could manage before Little Miss had had enough. I completed 3/4ths of just the front yard until I ran out of bags today. On Saturday Cam Cam did the back yard and side yard. I have everything raked up and just need to get some more bags and then our leaf problem will be over for the year!

So far we have 28 bags of leaves and I figure I need 8 more to pick up the remaining piles!

Okay, this post is very boring and I am sure you were all dying to know about the Greener's raking up their leaves so I will end now with the most important part-pictures! :)

Carson and his baby blues..

Check out Hannah's face in all of these pictures. She pretty much hates anything to do with leaves...touching, stepping on, looking at...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I heard this on the radio today...

"There will be many more times we spend without our children than there are times we have with them."

I just want to bottle them up and keep them little forever. I love my little ones...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall (Change) is in the air...

Fall is definitely my favorite season and it always reminds me of change. The leaves changing and falling off the trees, weather changing, the time change (yuck to this though!), the beginning of school, and on and on. This year is no different. Fall is in the air and change is happening at the Greener household.

This Friday is Cam's last day at JD Clark and Company. He has accepted a position at Goldman Sachs in SLC, as their new Tax Manager. Leaving JD Clark has been a difficult decision filled with sadness, anxiety, and tummy aches!

Cameron has worked there since 2003-his first job-using his degree. He has been successful and JD Clark has been good to us. JD Clark is less than 3 miles away from our house. It is also "family friendly." Cam can come home early to tend the kids so I can be to work at 5pm, he could pick up Carson at school if I needed him to, attend activities, etc. Again, JD Clark has been good to us.

But change can be good and we hope this change is. Cameron is excited for his new job and new opportunities. He feels like this is a step in the right direction, when he thinks of where he wants to be in five years...

With this change, I have cut back working even more (if that is even possible!) I used to work 3-4 days a month, and now I am working only my required call each month (18 hours). Besides call, the next time I actually work a shift is on Jan 6th!

Cam will be spending (a lot!) of time in NYC training for his new job, and we are making a little family vacation out of a few weekends of it-which I can't wait for.

This change is also making us think about relocating. It wouldn't be for awhile (bad season and time to try and sell a house!) but it doesn't make sense for Cam to drive to work and for me to drive to the University of Utah for school...We really love our house though, neighbors, ward, Carson is in the best program at school, the list could go on. If and when that change comes it is going to be difficult.

But what change isn't?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hannah's no good, very bad day

Hannah's day started off not too bad, we went for a walk and then came home and got ready for Hannah's follow up appointment with her pediatrician. Hannah has had a cough since the beginning of October. It has progressively gotten worse, where you can "hear" her breathing from another room. She sounds like a purring kitten sometimes or a pack a day smoker-you get the idea.

At her well child check up on October 15th, I talked to the Dr about it, and she said Hannah could have a cough for 4-6 weeks after a viral illness. At that time the cough was not too bad, but like I said over the last week it has gotten much worse.

At the Dr. office today, Hannah had a breathing treatment...which as you can imagine she really enjoyed (wink, wink). But it did the trick and she was doing much better. So we now have a rx for Xopenex (at the low cost of $94.00 a box-and yes that is the price after insurance!) and are the proud new owners of a nebulizer. I don't care about the price, as long as it helps Hannah.

Hannah's great day didn't end there, later in the evening Hannah and Carson were playing chase as I was watching them. Hannah was crawling as fast as her little arms could and laughing hysterically at Carson as he was chasing her. The only bad part was, that her little arms could not keep up with her head, and she did a major face plant smack into our hard wood floors.

Her little teeth cut her top lip. There was a lot of blood involved, and her lip swelled to twice its normal size in a matter of 30 seconds. Obviously she would not cooperate to let me check out the damage, so I wasn't sure if her teeth were intact or what. Luckily they were. I also thought she might need stitches, but by the time the bleeding stoped and she calmed down it looked okay.

Poor Carson felt SO bad, and was crying right with Hannah. He thought it was his fault that Hannah got hurt. After lots of hugs, loves, and reassuring he finally understood that it wasn't his fault and Hannah was going to be okay.

Here is my little sleeping beauty about 3 hours after this happened. The swelling had already gone down quite a bit. If you click on the picture, to make it big, you can really see it. FYI..Hannah also has a little rash around her mouth so you can see her rash cream too. Poor kid!

Halloween 2008

I love Halloween, I always have. This year was no exception. Carson wanted to be Indian Jones this year and he played the part well. He had this awesome "whip" that played the Indie them song and made "whipping" noises. Hannah was the cutest ladybug ever-with a costume made by Grandma Newman (AKA professional sewer).

In our neighborhood the houses are close together so our ward does not do the "Trunk-or Treat" thing, and I am so glad. Going from house to house is part of the fun. Hannah was so cute and I think she understood what she was supposed to do. At each house we would help her out of the wagon, she would walk to the door, choose a treat, put it in her bucket, and walk back. It was so stinking cute.

The top two pictures are taken at Cam's annual company Halloween party.

I just wanted to show the back of Hannah's costume.

Our neighbor across the street's house. (She is also a "grandma" to my kiddos) They go ALL out for Halloween so we had to get some pics. Unfortunately Indiana could not escape this adventure...:)

Surfing Utah Style

My parents treated the entire family to a night of surfing at the "Flowrider" in Ogden. I was a little nervous, but it was SO much fun-something that I already want to do again. Cam mastered stand up surfing, but I stuck with kneel on the board "surfing." I tried the stand up thing twice and after my ride of 0.5 seconds I decided to stick to the beginning level! :)

Carson is not much of a fish so after one attempt he was done. On the way home though, Carson said "I wish I would have tried it one more time."

I have the best parents and the best family. Isn't it strange how much you realize this when you are older!?

The best parents and the cutest little girl...

Carson's first and only attempt. :)

Hannah instructing us on how to do it...

These pictures crack me up the top is me after attempting to stand up and surf and the bottom is Cam before he mastered standing up. If you are thinking of trying this, don't worry-I have pictures of us doing this successfully! I just thought these pictures were funny. It took Cam only about 5-6 tries before he could stand and you can easily kneel and do it right away.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Beus Pond

We discovered another little secret in Ogden recently. Carson had been here fishing before with Nana, but I had never experienced Beus Pond before. After coming here for the first time for family pictures with the Greener's I knew this was a place I wanted to come to often!

Beus Pond is a little pond about 4-5 miles away from where we live (About as far East as you can go on 42nd street-above the Dee events center). It has a walking trail around it (probably 1/4 mile in distance) and has beautiful mature trees and a bunch of ducks and geese in the pond.

A few days after pictures, I took Carson and Hannah to the pond to feed the ducks and walk around it. We were in for a little suprise! These ducks and geese have been feed so many times that they are not afraid of humans and are actually quite aggressive when it comes to being feed! Within a few seconds of the first bread being thrown, little Carson was surrounded by birds (especially the geese)! They were getting closer and closer to him as he stepped farther and farther back. One bit my foot which would have hurt I'm sure, if it weren't for shoes! Finally we had to take of running to get away from them! Now we only feed the ducks from the little bridge, so they can't get to us.

We have been to the pond many times now, and each time we buy groceries we buy an extra loaf of bread for the ducks. I love living in Ogden. There are so many things to do, we love our house, our neighborhood, and couldn't ask for more!



Time to RUN!

Hannah loves going to the pond and has learned to "quack" when asked what a duck says! Very Cute!

Pumpkin Picking Pictures

Late, I know but I still wanted to post them. We went to Carlos Market to get pumpkins this year. Carson of course wanted the BIGGEST one he could find. Hannah was just happy to be outside!

Don't their homemade Halloween shirts look cute?