Friday, December 9, 2011

Holiday Letter

Normally I like to send out a photo card with a letter to family and friends for the annual Christmas letter tradition.  However, this year with the recent events in car repairs and the lack of job, I couldn't justify the cost of printing about 100 cards, $40+ in postage, and the cost of the stationary.  I really would prefer to send one to each of you, but this electronic version will just have to do.  Below you will see the letter I planned to send out and a few pictures I would've made into a collage on the photo card.

Dearest Family and Friends,
    Again we celebrate the wonderful season of love and sharing.  We reflect on the past year and remember what has made this year special.  In January Canon and Kat flew to Chicago to visit family.  In March they flew to Maryland to see a high school friend of Kat’s. Early June brought a tornado right through our town, leaving horrible destruction in its path just a few streets behind our house, but our house was hardly scathed.  The rest of June was spent cleaning up from the tornado and packing up the house to move.  In July our little family moved from Massachusetts to Utah.  This trip allowed us to spend Independence Day with family in Chicago and then Pioneer Day with family in Utah.  In August Mark and Kat attended Education Week on BYU’s campus, and we got to have a little bit more time with Kat’s parents before they went back to Chicago.  October brought Canon’s first Halloween where he actually understood what was going on, carving pumpkins, and dressing up, and learning to say “trick-or-treat”.   That’s also when we discovered Kat was pregnant.  Canon turned 2 years old in November and we announced to family and friends about the baby Dahl soon to join the family this coming June.  For more details, you can visit our blog-
    With all that’s been going on in our home, Kat somehow found time to make 3 quilts for 3 new babies this year.  Mark has been searching for a job through much of the year and has started his own law firm to try to earn some money while he still searches.  So far he’s had a few interviews, but nothing has panned out.  Pretty soon he may end up going full-throttle with his business and hopefully end up being a huge success.  Canon has been growing and learning so fast.  His language has improved immensely since we moved to Utah, and he absolutely loves having so much family around. 
    The Lord has blessed us so much over this past year, and even though we’re not where we pictured ourselves to be 5 years ago, we have all that we need.  We have a wonderful marriage, a healthy family, food to eat, a roof over our heads (albeit, the roof belongs to Mark’s parents), and the Gospel of Christ that brightens our lives.  With the many gifts we receive each year, we are forever grateful for the most precious gift of all- the gift of our Savior, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the World.  May each of you feel the gift of God’s love at this special time of year!
                       Love- Mark, Kat and Canon Dahl

Merry Christmas from the Dahl Family!

Catch-up on Random Thoughts

Sorry, this might be a little long, and there are no pictures!

For those of you who prayed for us, thank you.  The job in Duchesne told Mark that he'd know in about a week, by the very latest on Dec. 1st.  Well, they never even called him back.  We assume that's another "big fat no," but it still would've been nice for them to call.  So, Mark has continued on with his law practice, and we keep praying for some sort of success for him.  Right about now, we don't really care which kind of success, whether it's finding a real job or his firm really taking off.  The only thing is that we know it would be so much easier if he could find a job that included health benefits.  (Maybe that's the reason he hasn't been able to find one, because it's the easy route!)

I few weeks ago our bishop called us into his office. (I wanted to make sure I got record of it somewhere.)  The bishop wanted to give us a little bit of counsel because he had been thinking of us.  He said that we just needed to remember what to do what we're supposed to be doing, to be extra stalwart... you know, all the things that we've heard before.  However, what made this visit special was that our bishop promised us that if we're patient and do what we're supposed to, that the Lord will give us what's in store- and it will be "wonderful!"  I always knew that He'd bless us, but the fact that he said, "And it will be wonderful!" really hit me.  Apparently it's not going to be something acceptable and bearable.  That we'll figure out how to just make do.  That gave me a little more hope than I was feeling before the visit.  Is that silly of me to attach hope to such a small word?  Anyway, after the little bit of counsel, the bishop switched around our callings a little bit.  Instead of being the Primary teachers over the CTR4 class, Mark is now the companion of the little autistic boy in our class.  Now Mark doesn't have to prepare any lessons, and they've called a new couple to be the class teachers.  He then called me to be the ward chorister and the assistant choir director.  Honestly, I was super excited because I loved doing that in the last ward.  This time I don't have as much responsibility, but it's still doing what I like.  Our choir director is going to be out of town for Christmas, so I get to direct the choir for the Christmas Program.  :)

The other thing I wanted mention is actually pretty frustrating.  Last week we got the oil changed in our car, and a few days later we took it in to get a glitch in the turn-signal fixed.  Just this past Monday I was driving it a few blocks to do a couple quick errands, and something majorly wrong happened to the engine.  It felt like something came loose and was clanking around under the hood.  The car started sputtering and clanking, and I knew we had to take the car back to the shop.  Turned out that Kent's Auto and Muffler doesn't deal with such extensive repairs.  They suggested taking it to PK Auto because they do more intense repairs.  Our AAA tow guy suggested taking it to a AAA approved shop, McNeil's.  Turns out our best bet is to just replace the whole engine, which will cost about as much as the car is worth.  So it came down to replacing the engine and hoping that nothing else goes wrong with the car, or buying another car that will last us a long time, and will accommodate our growing family.  Looking into it, this wasn't really an easy decision because we can't really afford to do either.  All the money we have isn't enough to pay for the repairs, unless you include the money in Mark's business.  Since we don't really have a job (although I do work part-time at the chiropractor's office) we don't have an income to take on a new car payment.  After all was said and done, we decided to have the car repaired by McNeil's with an engine that has a lifetime warranty.  So we're down a car, but someone is lending us a car for a couple weeks while ours is in the shop.  Ugh!  What a perfect time of year to have such expensive car troubles. Grrr!  Here's to hoping that we won't need any more repairs for a long time!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Plea for Your Prayers

As you may know Mark has been looking for a job for some time now.  He has started his own firm on the side, but so far he's not made any money yet, but that's to be expected at this stage.  He has still been applying to all the probable positions he sees open, but there are just not very many of those.  Fortunately, he does have an interview coming up on Monday for the Duchesne County Attorney's Office.  He is optimistic about this position and his chances since the deadline for the applications is Nov. 22nd and his interview is already set.  We've been praying for a successful interview, and I'd like to ask each of you who are willing to pray for Mark.  We would really like this job, but it's not really up to us whether he gets it or not.  If God be willing, we can use all the help we can get! So many people try to cheer us up by saying that "it only takes one 'yes'" to land a job, but so far we've only had a bunch of "no's!"  Your prayers would be most appreciated!  Thank you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Baby is Now a 2-Year-Old

This week we celebrated Canon's 2nd birthday.  Sometimes it's hard to believe that he's already 2 years old, like the "where did the time fly?" kind of moments.  But most of the's pretty obvious that Canon is 2-year-old...  he's definitely got the "MINE!!" concept down pat.  *grumble grumble*  He is growing so fast, and his language is really fun to watch develop.  I'm so proud of my little guy, and I just wanted to share a few things from his birthday party.
  • All of Canon's aunts and uncles that live in Utah were there with their whole families.  It made for a pretty crowded living room for opening presents with 20+ people, but still fun!  
  • Canon got 2 really awesome trucks from family, and a few of the cousins were more interested in playing with those new toys than playing nicely with each other.  At least when everyone went home, Canon was able to have his own turn with his new toys.  He really does think they are the coolest!!  Thanks for the great gifts everybody!  (See videos below)
Everyone wants to play with the toys
Canon's turn, all by himself
  • I decorated his birthday cake to look like a train track all around it with a plastic train to hold the candles.  It wasn't as cute as I envisioned, but it still worked...and it was promptly eaten, so it didn't really matter.
  • Canon took two blows to blow out the two candles, but he knew exactly what he was supposed to do and was ready to blow them out before I even got the cake close enough for him to actually blow.
  • Mark and I took the opportunity to tell family that Canon is going to be an older brother.  I then made phone calls the next day to inform all the rest of my siblings.  So, I guess the word is out now...I'm due June 23rd, and I'm about 7 1/2 weeks along now.  We are excited about this new addition to the family.  (I'm thinking that I will now turn my other blog into one about this new pregnancy and all the talk about Canon will now be moved to this main family blog.  That way I can more easily compare the different stages of pregnancy and little baby developments.)

Trick-or-Treat Festivities

This was the first year that Canon got to go trick-or-treating.  Last year Halloween was on a Sunday, so I didn't encourage, he was only 1 year old at the time...he didn't need to learn about going door-to-door for candy when he hadn't learn to walk just yet.  The year before that I was in the hospital in labor all of this was the first time, and Canon really loved it.  (Thank goodness for good weather!!)

A week before Halloween we carved pumpkins as a family.  It was pretty fun, even though I didn't get good pictures of our jack-o-lanterns in a timely manner.  Here they are so you can see how they turned out...too bad a week is really too far in advance because they start to wilt and curl.

My ghost was already starting to wilt before I took the picture. :(

Grandma Dahl's jack-o-lantern

For some reason the other jack-o-lanterns made the camera flash , but not this one.  At least you can really see how cool it turned out.

Mark's jack-o-lantern
A few days before Halloween, we participated in our ward's Trunk-or-Treat activity.  We taught Canon to say "trunk-or-treat" and he said it to just about every car.  I have to say it was pretty cute, and most of the trunkers thought so too.  We borrowed a fire-fighter costume from Canon's Aunt Tiffany.  I dressed up as a baby because it was simple and I already had all the materials I needed.

On Saturday we went to a party hosted by friends from Boston.  Grandma and Grandpa (aka Mom and Dad) Dahl babysat for us that night.  It was super fun to have a night out without worrying about getting home in time to put Canon down to bed.  Thanks for the invitation to your great party Christina and Rob!!  My right leg was sore for a few days after playing the paper bag game!

On Halloween, we attended a party at a friend's house, and we took the little kiddos around trick-or-treating for a little while.  Mark and I went dressed up as a double pinochle while Canon wore his fire fighter costume again.  

He has learned that he received a lot of candy in that little pumpkin bucket, so now he loves to play with "my pun-kin" whenever he sees it, and he often asks for "treat!"  I think he has discovered the joy of Halloween, and now I have to discover the trick to keeping candy out of his reach and giving him only a little bit every day.

Thank you to everybody who made Halloween such a fun holiday for us this year.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where Did My Free Time Go?

I have spent too long without blogging because I've had a few things occupying my extra time (what little extra I get with an energetic little boy going almost non-stop).   Somehow I've found the time over the past month or so to make a baby quilt for a friend back in Western Massachusetts.  She was due to have the baby sometime in I was trying my hardest to get it out to her by the end of the month.  I got it into the mail on Oct. 31st, so I guess I was close enough to my goal.  

I decided that I wanted to make Callie a quilt because I made one for someone else in that ward who I was not as close of friends with as I was with Callie.  However, I couldn't really justify the cost of buying the materials for a quilt.  I expressed these thoughts to Mark's grandmother, and she offered to give me samples that she had received for free since she didn't have plans to use those fabrics.

If you closely you can see that all seven of these fabrics correlate with the  other two sets of seven fabrics.
I looked online and found a quilt pattern that I thought would be fun.  It's called the flying saucer block, and it creates a four-point star between the blocks.

A break-down on how you put the block pieces together.

You take one quarter of the block...

break it up into its individual pieces...

add the 1/4 inch seam allowance to each piece, and then use those to cut out the fabrics.

This was my paper representation of how I wanted the final product to look!
It turned out that I made too many mistakes in my cutting that I couldn't make it look just like this, but I  rearranged which fabrics I put where.  I still this it turned out cute, but it's not how I originally planned.

This is the backing that I bought.  I couldn't find a fabric that matched precisely to the other fabrics, but this  one looked like it had the right colors, and I think it helps the quilt to look cute and feminine.  I included it onto the front as a border to tie the back into the quilt.

The first step is completed as the main triangles are now put together.  Once all the larger triangles were done, the piecing of the blocks went really fast.

A closer look at the "green block"

the "red block"

the "pink block"

The whole thing pieced and starting the quilting process...

Here I am, modeling the finished product so you can see how big it turned out.

Would you believe me if I told you each block has 40 pieces, and there are 9 blocks?
I'm pretty proud of how it turned out.  I hope Callie likes it!!!

a look at how the back looks with the front!
So, yeah I spent quite a bit of my time completing this quilt, but at the beginning of October, there was something else that was taking over my thoughts and time...


I've never read these books before, but I couldn't get my hands on the book for our book club so I gave them a try.  Oh my goodness!!  I got so sucked in!!  I think I read all four books within 2 weeks, and if you really knew me, you'd know that's a huge feat.  I've never thought of myself as a reader, but I just couldn't get enough of these books.  I gave myself headaches because all I wanted to do was read, read, READ.  Yeah, now that I'm done with them, I almost want to read them over again, but I know that would be a waste of time.  I'm kind of sad to be done with them because I was really enjoying them.  I've been wanting to watch the movies again because I now want to see how they differ from the books...but there's no one around me who seems to want to watch these movies right now.  (Too bad I'm not in Illinois where my mom's group of friends are doing a movie marathon right before going to see the next movie in the theaters!!) 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Remembering 9/11

I feel that I'd be unpatriotic if I didn't at least say something about this tragic event of ten years ago.  I was a freshman at BYU.  I remember going to my first class and seeing a note written on the chalkboard that class was cancelled due to the events of the day.  I had no idea what it was referring to, but since I didn't have class for quite some time, I headed back to my dorm.  Along the way I ran into my Relief Society president.  She looked like she was having a nervous breakdown, saying something about having flashbacks of the Oklahoma bombings (she's from OK!) and I really didn't know how to help her.  I didn't have any comforting words, so I just walked with her to our building in silence.  When I got inside I saw the news on the TV in the lobby.

My first thought was it was horrible prank that was being played.  I couldn't actually grasp onto the fact that it was REAL.  Planes really did crash, buildings of people really were destroyed, and it was a terrorist attack.  I think it honestly took me almost an hour for it to really hit me.  I don't remember much else of that day other than sitting in that lobby glued to the tv.  I do remember that several girls from my dorms walked to the Provo Temple and had a little candlelight vigil on those holy grounds.  We brought hymnbooks and candles and sang in honor of those heroes lost and their families.

After that horrific day, I felt a renewed appreciation for the country that I called home.  There was a renewed hope and faith in us as a nation and that we can make it through anything.  We were all proud to be Americans, and we were proud to be neighbors to each other.  Reflecting on experiences of ten years ago, I still feel a deep appreciation and love for my country.

God bless America!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another Month Gone By

Now that Labor Day is fast approaching, I realize I should probably post something fun for everyone to read.  Unfortunately, I don't think I have anything really fun for you'll just have to suffer through a few boring ramblings that happen to come to the mind of Kat Dahl.

Rambling #1-  Mark is still searching for a job.  He's applied to basically every posssible legal position he'd be qualified for in the state of Utah that he finds online, and there's just not much luck.  He had an interview to be a Provo City prosecutor, but they decided to "continue interviewing."  He's getting a bit stressed about this whole ordeal- being well qualified but just not finding an opening to fill- and has considered starting his own firm right away, but he's still hoping to find a position at an "already established" firm because the start-up costs are just too high for someone without any form of income right now.

Rambling #2- Mark and I just got called as Primary workers to teach the CTR 4 class.  Today we sat in with our class while the old teachers taught one more time.  They're a lively little group, but it will be fun.  They seem like a good group of kids.  We haven't even met them all yet because they weren't all there.  We were hoping to meet the autistic child while there was still a familiar face there with us.  Oh well...I guess we will just have an adventure getting to know him by ourselves.

Rambling #3- Living with Mark's parents is a lot easier than I was expecting, and I almost feel like I'm not pulling enough of my own weight sometimes.  I used to be in charge of all the cooking, all the cleaning, all the baby tending, and now I feel so lazy.  Not that Colleen does it all...but enough of it for me to just feel like a mooch.  I don't know about you, but I don't really like that feeling!  I want to be useful!   But at the same time, there's also the feeling of "It's not my house; does she not want me to do this?" At least I still feel in charge of Canon overall...she still asks me if I want Canon to have this or that before just giving him things.  I'm happy to feel like they respect my wishes in regards to my child. (Thanks, Mom!)

Rambling #4- Canon has really adjusted well to being here in Utah.  He's meeting so many cousins and friends, and he just thrives on all the attention.  His language continues to grow, and he imitates more new words that he hears.  He's still not quite stringing 2 words together, but he's really learning a lot.  He's totally obsessed with cars and trucks.  About 50% of his words are either "car" or "RRrrruck" and he could play with them ALL DAY LONG.  He must be a little boy or something!!

Rambling #5- My mother-in-law and I engaged in a huge project not too long ago.  We remodeled the main bathroom in her house.  We (with help of relatives, of course) tore out the linoleum, tiled the floor with tiles left over from the kitchen (like 10 years ago), repainted all the walls and the ceiling, got a new custom-built cabinet (as well as one in each of the other bathrooms), new towel racks and TP holder, and re-caulked the tub.  I'm actually really excited about how it turned out.  It is far from looking professional, but it's good enough for a DIY job.  I think it looks pretty good, and now I'm practically itching to do another project.
Looking through the ladder to see me cutting the blue edge

I just love this blue color.  It really looks sharp with the blue in the tile of the tub.

We want the corners to look perfect now, don't we?

Uncle Paul helping us by laying and grouting the tile floor. Thanks, Paul!!
Rambling #6-  Because of the aforementioned itching, I've been working on updating Canon's scrapbook.  I've gotten through August of 2010, which means only a couple months left before his birthday.  Ugh!  Such a long process, but at least it's worthwhile, I find it FUN!  Only 12 months left to go...and then...I have to keep on going because Canon is still growing fast!

Rambling #7- Mark and I really like being back in Utah because we get to spend time with friends that we haven't seen in ages, like the Meservys.  We've already been able to hang out with them twice, and I hope we can make it a monthly event.  Here are some pictures from our little pool party that we had with them.  (Not all of these pictures are ones that I'd consider "blog-worthy", but I'm going to post them all so that Breanne can get all the ones she's interested in from that event.  Also, there are a couple that she posted on her blog from our first visit that I thought were really adorable of Canon.  Enjoy the pictures!)

Meeting Jane for the first time...they were fast buds! :)
Mom, this puzzle is super fun!
Jane braving the cold waters

Canon trying to flick us with water

Saying "please," but I don't remember what for

Mark just splashed him...but don't worry, he looks sadder than he really was.  He was laughing shortly after this picture was taken.

Mommy loves

aw, so sad?

That's better, huh?

What's wrong with Jane, Daddy?

Nothing!  See that adorable grin?

See, when Jane is happy, everyone is happy!

back to the flicking water again

Say "cheese!"

warming up a bit out of the water

See how much hair we DIDN'T cut when he got his last haircut?  
chil-laxin' in the grass
They're in their pajamas, and Canon was not happy to see Jane go.  Good night, Meservys!  Thanks for playing with us!

Rambling #...what number am I on now?...- Mark and I went to Education Week at BYU last week, and it was pretty fun.  My parents go every year, and I figured it was a chance to see them a little more before they went home.  Of course, as it would happen, my parents and I were not really interested in many of the same classes, so I went to most classes by myself, but a few I had someone with me. Mark attended several of the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) classes because that's a really cheap way to earn CLE credits (which he needs to get every year).  So, he spent most of the week with those, although a few classes he came with me. It was a long week with Canon having other people watch him all day, but he did great!  Thanks to Grandma Dahl, Tiffany and her kids, and Mary and her kids for watching Canon that week.  He really seemed to enjoy all the play time with everyone, and it allowed Mark and me to attend Ed Week with no worries.  It was a fabulous week...thanks to you!
     As some of you may ask what my favorite class was, I'll just give a little summary of what I got out of the week.  I was not terribly interested in many gospel classes because I feel like those are topics that we hear all the time.  However, I was interested in self-help classes this year.  A few parenting ones really stuck out to me, but mostly it was a course on how to change anything.   That's right, anything- referring to habits in your life.  Did you know that there are 6 influences to every behavior you have, and your own willpower/desire is only 1 of those influences.  It was so eye-opening to me to learn that in order to change a bad habit, you have to change all these other influences in order to succeed.  I won't bore you with all the details, but I am still strongly considering buying their book.  I just came out of Ed Week feeling a renewed hope that if there was something that I really want to change in my life, I have the ability to do it.  I just have to really think it through first to make sure I consider all the influences.

That's all the rambling for now, but hopefully I'll have something a little more interesting to post soon!