Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Teaching Moment (???)

So Kat told me that I had to share this story with everybody.  Mainly so we won't forget.

Tonight during his personal prayers Canon prayed that he would learn to not listen to the Devil and be nice to each other.  So I thought I would take a moment to teach him about how God and the Devil speak to us.  The following dialogue occurred.

Mark: So Canon, did the Devil tell you to do anything today?
Canon: Ummm?? No.  I didn't hear anything.
Mark: Well, does that mean you were good the whole day?
Canon:  (No answer).
Canon: When I try to talk to God it's a little creepy because I don't hear anything.
Mark: Oh.  You know you don't hear him with your ears right?  Usually you feel it in your heart.  Do you feel warm in your heart when you talk to God?
Canon: (holding a stuffed Minion from the movie Despicable Me next to his chest) Well. Sometimes. . . . But maybe it's just his butt!! (Gesturing to the Minion and speaking with a normal non-joking voice)
Mark: (Trying not to laugh) Oh.  Well, when I talk to God and he talks to me I feel warm in my heart.
Canon:  (no response)
Mark: Ok. Goodnight.

Some errors may be in this transcript due to poor exact memory.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Canon's 4 Years Old Now!

Canon turned 4 on Nov. 1, and I threw him his first real birthday party ever... not including just family...  I let him invite 4 friends because he's turning 4.  Well, since 1 of his friends he wanted was Cameron&Megan&Lily (his cousins) I decided that letting him invite only 1 other "friend" would make that one friend feel a bit out of place.  So, I let him think of 3 other friends to invite.  When all was said and done we had 8 kids attending his party, but only 3 were not Dahls.

I made invitations to his "Finding Nemo Party" and made 3 activities to go with that theme:

1. I made star-shaped sugar cookies so they could decorate their own starfish.

left to right: Sam, Zack, Canon, Mommy, and Ralph.
Canon was the only one who ate more than 3 bites of his cookie before getting down to go play.  Geesh, and I made enough cookies for them each to have 2.  Oh well!
Canon with his cousins Megan and Cameron, with Ralph hanging out on the left.
2. I printed and cut out a picture of Nemo so we could hide it somewhere in the living room to play a version of hot and cold.

    My Nemo cut-out that they searched for.

    3. I took a blue piece of fabric and a "fishing pole" and let them fish for a prize, which was from Cadence's Halloween candy.

    Overall, the party was a success.  Mark went and got Little Caesar's Pizza and they ate every slice.  Then we had Canon blow out the candles on his cake and opened his presents.  With all of the Spiderman toys he got, you'd think I was throwing a Spiderman party.  Oh well!

    The whole party crew, except for cousin Lily and sister Cadence.
    left to right: Ralph, Megan, Cameron, Canon, Sam, and Zack
    Canon is so happy about his birthday presents, even though he doesn't show it much here. :)

    Now, let me tell you about all the hassle I went through for Canon's cake.  I had searched on Pinterest.com for an idea and Canon told me he wanted this cake:

    There were tons of much more complicated cakes that I knew I would not be able to do, but this was the one that Canon chose, which made me happy because I thought that I would be able to work with that idea.  However, to make this cake, I'd need a football shaped cake pan, and I didn't have one.  I decided I'd try to cut a round cake into this shape and use extra pieces for the fins, but when I experimented with a paper circle, I knew that it just wasn't going to work.  So I decided to just cut it our of a rectangular cake and use the left-over cake to make cake pops.

    On Wed, Oct 30th I decided to bake the cake and cupcakes at my friend Eliza's house (Ralph's mom) because she has an extra fridge and extra freezer where I can store it all without having to transport them back and forth.  (Since Halloween was the day before his party, and I would have to babysit both Thursday and Friday, I figured it was best to do them early and freeze them for Friday.) 

    So I started by baking the 2 boxes of confetti cake mix into 12 cupcakes (to serve the kids on Friday) and make the 2 rectangle cakes.

    The materials I used to make my creation...at least, what I intended to use.  I drew this Nemo by tracing it from my computer screen.

    Baking 12 cupcakes and 2 rectangle cakes at the same time.  Eliza has an awesome oven!

     Everything seemed to be going according to plan until the bigger rectangle cake stuck to the pan.  It broke into a bunch of pieces and wasn't even salvageable as a single layer.  So I needed to bake yet another cake, and I had more left-over for cake balls than I anticipated.

    This was going to be the bottom layer, so I couldn't start frosting the upper layer until I had another cake baked for the bottom.  Eliza and I did a double batch of a yellow cake from scratch, but that ended up being too much cake, so she made a bunch of cupcakes for herself.  My smaller rectangle cake, the upper layer, broke a little too, but it was still ok for my Nemo shape.

    By the time 4PM came around, all I got to do was bake, not decorate, and I had to leave for a dentist appointment.  At least I had gotten this far, though. (Although, I did decorate the cupcakes with frosting and fish.)

    We had gotten everything in the freezer for me to work on them later, but once my dentist appointment was over, I had to take the kids home to make dinner.  When they were put into bed, I was able to clear a shelf in my own fridge and collected my cakes from Eliza's house.  I was able to frost the cake without any major embellishments and get the kitchen cleaned up by midnight.

    Step 1

    Step 2
    Step 3
     On Thursday I had to babysit, but I was still able to do some embellishments on the cake.  I think it turned out quite well, if I do say so myself.
    The seaweed was from green fruit roll-up that I just cut with a knife.
    The sea anemone is from a red fruit roll-up, but I don't think it turned out as well as the seaweed.
    The rocks are candy coated chocolates a friend pointed out to me while I was at the store. 

    I think I like my masterpiece more than what I saw on Pinterest.
    Here you can see how thick it turned out. :)

    I also had to do something with all that left-over cake: cake pops...but I don't have sticks, so cake balls instead.  I crumbled the cake and mixed the left-over frosting with all of it.  I was able to create 24 balls of mushy cake goodness, but even these couldn't be made without at least one disaster.  I melted white chocolate chips with a few other things to make a chocolate shell.  I dyed it orange to make them look like pumpkins for Halloween, but the chocolate was not the right consistency.  It turned out to be more of an orange gooey glaze.  It didn't look that appetizing, so I made another chocolate glaze from milk chocolate and dripped it over them.  They had to be eaten with a spoon, but they turned out to be pretty awesome too.  (With so many left over, I sent 12 of them with Canon to preschool the next Monday as his un-birthday snack.  It was supposed to be with the theme of Letter D, so I called them "dessert balls" and they were apparently a hit!)

    So, they're not gorgeous, but they still look delicious!

    Friday was the day of Canon's party, and when I saw the condition of his cupcakes, I knew I had to do something about it.  The frosting was just too soft and it started to ooze all off the cupcakes.

    Do these look very appetizing to you?

    How about these?
     So I came to the conclusion that I would be too embarrassed to hand these out at his party, so I scraped off all the frosting from the cupcakes and out of the pan, whipped it with more powdered sugar and a little more milk and food coloring, placed them in new baking cups, and redecorated them.  The end result:
    Much more appetizing, I think!

    Ok, so after having the bottom layer fall apart, too much cake, the chocolate turning to a gooey glaze, and the frosting oozing all over the place, the end results still were pretty good.  I just wasn't planning on spending 3 days to make all the cakes.  Canon, I sure hope you know how much your mommy loves you!!

    Musical Mark

    Some of you may know that Mark has a tendency to sing when he's trying to be silly.  He usually is making up the words as he goes along, so most of the time they aren't very witty or catchy... just fun because he spreads his good mood to those around him.

    This morning, however, he came up with one that I had to write down.  Canon was throwing a tantrum because he wanted me to put syrup on his French toast, but he wasn't asking me very politely. In fact, he was downright rude and refusing to ask.  So I refused to pour his syrup until he learned to be polite about it.  Canon went on to pout and cry silently to himself while Mark, Cadence, and I ate our breakfast.  I could tell that he wanted to eat, but no way would he give in and pour the syrup himself.  He wouldn't even let Daddy pour it for him.  And how dare I think that he should eat it without syrup.  Then, Mark tried to convince Canon that saying "please" would be a good idea by creating his own tune with this:

    "Please" and "thank you" are magical words.
    They can make Mommy do almost anything.
    "Please" and "thank you" are magical words.
    They can make Mommy do almost anything.
    If you say them nicely and bat your eyes,
    you might be in for a big surprise.
    "Please" and "thank you" are magical words.
    They can make Mommy do almost anything.

    When we finished giggling and repeating this little ditty, Canon got up from his chair and walked around to my chair.  He climbed up onto my lap.  By this time we had all finished eating except for Canon.  I think he was still hesitant to ask politely, but after a few minutes of cuddling he finally gave in and asked with a "please" for some syrup.  Mark poured it on Canon's plate, and then all was good for the rest of breakfast.

    Sometimes music makes my heart smile!  Mark, thanks for finding a way to get through to our little pouty boy. :)

    Uncle Alex's new girl

    Back in July we gathered with family to celebrate Independence Day.  I was a little more excited this time because we were meeting Alex's (Mark's little brother) new girlfriend.  At this point she had met much of the family and they all said they liked her much better than the last girl... and I'm not really sure if they were officially a couple yet by this point, but it was a happier situation than he had the previous year.  One of the first things I learned about her was that her parents brought her and Alex skydiving in Ogden just a few days before.  They were looking for someone else to join them, and ALEX DIDN'T EVEN CALL MARK.  We live in Ogden, and Alex didn't even think to call us!!??!!  Oh well!  Taylor (that's her name) smacked Alex when she found out.  Ha!  Yep, she's a keeper!

    Canon's trying to play with a sparkler... turned out that they were really crummy, I don't think they were really even sparklers.  This is the 4th of July at Aunt Colette's house.

    Canon looking happy about playing with a sparkler.  You can see a not-so-good picture of Taylor sitting next to Mark.

    Canon is getting glow sticks to play with, while Taylor is trying to stifle a laugh.  (Sorry these aren't the best pictures of her!)

    It was fun to get to know Taylor over the past few months.  She joined us for our annual Dahl Family Water Wars for our Pioneer Day celebration. I think she even came to our cousin's mission farewell in South Jordan.  In August she came with Alex up to Ogden to listen to me sing in Relief Society (where I totally started crying before I started singing so it was really hard for me to actually sound good while I sang! ha ha), and then they joined us for dinner that night.  It was at dinner that they told us they decided to get married in October.  I wasn't terribly surprised, and I tried to warn her what she was getting into.  Ha ha!  She seemed to be ready for the change and prepared for what lay in store.

    Lo and behold, all went well with the preparations.  She passed "the Test" that every girl entering the Dahl family must go through at her bridal shower.  Her family (mom, sister, and Grammy) seem to enjoy conversation with all of us, and Taylor seems to be absolutely perfect for Alex.  So the wedding happened at the Salt Lake Temple on October 12th, and it was a beautiful thing to behold.  I was lucky to be able to attend because when we were 20 minutes away from the temple, I realized that I had forgotten my recommend in my temple bag.  At least I was able to get in touch with my bishop, and when they called him he was ready to give them his permission for me to enter the temple.  *wipes forehead* phew!  You'd think that with my sister-in-law having forgotten her recommend at my wedding I'd be sure to remember my recommend.  Oh well!  At least being a slight idiot doesn't keep you out of the temple... all the time.  :)

    Here are a few pictures, but I'm sure that there are better ones out there from other cameras.  These are just the best ones that I have for now.  I'll probably post some better ones when the wedding photographer's pictures are given to us and we can see all the awesome shots he got.

    All the cousins waiting for the bride and groom on the temple grounds.

    I COULD NOT get a good picture of Cadence.  She didn't get a nap and it was getting late into the afternoon.  At least she was happy exploring all the people and sights to see. (I made her skirt to match mine.)

    Cadence congratulating Uncle Alex!
    Canon giving Aunt Taylor a hug.
    My handsome boy actually giving a good smile for the camera, for once!  :)
    Canon moving to Uncle Alex now!
    Alex can't help but to pick up his nieces and nephews!  
    "Don't hug me too tight, Alex!" 

    After the event we had a lovely dinner at a country club for the family and close friends.  Honestly, it was a wonderful event that was spoiled for me because Cadence was basically screeching the entire time.  They weren't necessarily all sad or angry sounds, although some of it was.... but she was certainly loud through almost the whole time!!  Ugh!

    For an example of all the pent-up energy, see this video.

    The next Saturday was their garden reception at Tuscany.  It was a beautiful scene, and a really nice time spent with more family and friends.  This event was outside, so it didn't really matter that Cadence was loud, and she was able to run around a bit more.  :)  Happy baby = happy mom!

    Here are a couple shots I got on my phone, although I'm waiting to see all the other fun shots the photographer got at this event too. :)

    Canon is actually understanding the concept of how to smile a cute smile the a camera now. :)

    Blurry, I know, but this was an action shot of Cadence and her cousin Evelyn giving each other kisses.

    Cadence is just enjoying her time in her big girl chair!  :)
    Congratulations to Uncle Alex and Aunt Taylor!  We are so happy that it all worked out, and you've started a new happy life together!  Welcome Aunt Taylor to the craziness that is Dahl Life!! :)

    Friday, November 8, 2013

    Just a Little Something I'd Like to Remember

    This post is not meant to be taken as me complaining or anything... just a reminder of what motherhood is like.

    A few days ago I had a chiropractic appointment because they had my info and called me to offer a free x-ray/screening evaluation/30-minute massage/consultation which would be over the course of 2 appointments at no charge to me.  In meeting with the doctor about all my symptoms and complaints, I basically said that I didn't really think there was much to complain about, but I guess I never know what is caused by what, and an adjustment might be helpful.  We discussed mid-day fatigue, bad sleep, numbness in my hands while I slept and how it often would hurt so badly during pregnancy that it would wake me up but never outside of pregnancy, my feet falling asleep while running on the elliptical machine, and my back hurting at the end of the day if I've been standing a lot during that day.  After all was said and done, I realized maybe there are more things that need fixing than I originally thought.  (During the x-rays, the doctor told me I have an extra vertebra in my neck.  Interesting!) 

    Well, since that appointment (only x-rays and consultations were done, no adjustments) my sleep has been even worse.  I've been waking up even more often than I was before the appointment, and last night at 3AM I was woken up by pain in my hands/wrists just like when I'm pregnant.  NO FAIR!  (I'm NOT pregnant, just in case you were wondering!)  Then at about 6AM, Canon came into our room and climbed into bed with me.  I figured that if all he wanted was to just cuddle, maybe he'd just fall asleep and so could I.  However, he just kept fidgeting.  He would roll, so I'd hold the sheet up, then he'd kick, then adjust his arms.... not good sleeping partner habits.  I asked him if he needed to go potty.  He shook his head.  After a little more fidgeting I asked if he was going to just fall asleep or if I should bring him back to his room because I couldn't sleep with him like that.  He told me to bring him to his room.  Fine, so I picked him up and laid him in his own bed again.  

    Within 15 minutes I heard Canon get up again, turn on the lights, and go potty.  I thought it was so good of him to go potty in the middle of the night, and it totally explained why he was fidgety.  After a short while, I saw that the light was still on.  What could be taking so long?  I got up (at about 6:30AM now) to see what Canon needed.  He just said that he didn't like the dark and he wanted his light on.  I suggested having the hall light on with his door cracked open, but he wanted his bedroom light.  I asked if we needed to buy him a better nightlight and then if he could even sleep with that light on.  Well, Canon insisted, so I left it on for him and shut his door, at which time I heard Cadence cry out, but she was still sleeping.

    About 10 minutes later I heard Canon shouting for me.  "Mommy.....mommy...."  So I got up... AGAIN.... and asked Canon what he wanted. "My tummy is grumbling,"  he said.  I just replied that he was probably just hungry and that he should have a drink of his water and wait until breakfast.  I still wanted to be sleeping!

    By the time 7:00AM came around, I might have fallen back asleep for a short while.  However, it didn't take long for Canon to come back and ask if he could watch something on the TV.  "Yeah, sure.  Whatever, I don't care!  I just want to sleep."  Then at 7:30AM a friend called me to tell me that she's feeling much better since she had a flu bug the previous day.  

    By the time 7:45AM came around, it was definitely time to get up and going, but I had a kink in my back, I had been TRYING to sleep for the past 1.5 hours, my hands were still falling asleep and tingling painfully while I slept, I had a horrible night's sleep, and I had to babysit today.  I was hoping to be able to sleep in a few minutes this morning because the boy I babysit was coming later in the morning this time, but thanks to my kids I had no such luck!

    I had a really hard time being truly patient with the kids today... but I did my best, I hope!

    Sunday, November 3, 2013

    A Sad Tale

    Back on Aug 3rd, it was kind of a crazy busy day at our house.  Mark and I decided to move all our big speakers out of the front room (since there was no effective way to set up our surround sound, they were just a hazard that took up space). We moved a bunch of furniture around- the audio cabinet from the living room to our bedroom, the speakers to the closet, the big bookshelf in Canon's room (since only 1 of the 5 shelves were being used by Canon's books anyway) moved to our bedroom, we moved the entertainment center to the corner of the living room, and we bought a smaller bookshelf to put in Canon's room for his own books.  I did some major vacuuming with all that was involved too.  

    Later that day we went looking for a shelf for Canon's room at DI, then at Walmart (where we actually got one), and then headed to a festival at a park in Harrisville.  It was a big party with free cake and ice cream, a saw dust scramble where they throw prizes in a huge pile of saw dust and you run in and try to find them before the time runs out, booths with balloon animals/hats/toys/etc., music and dancing, and fireworks at night where Canon and I were rolling down the hill as we waited.  It was actually a really fun family event that was completely free.  I LOVE it when cities do stuff like that!! :)

    Once we were done with the festival, it was way past the kids' bedtime, so we hurried home to get them down.  Then I was finally able to go grocery shopping at WinCo.  I got home just before midnight, and finished putting the food away at about 12:25AM when I realized something didn't feel right.  My ring felt really sharp.... and when I looked down at my wedding ring I found that my diamond was gone!!  

    Ahhhh!  Two of the prongs had their tips broken off, and a third prong was bent to the side.  there was no way for a stone to still be there after that!!  Ugh!  I figured it would probably cost about $1000 to fix it because not only would it be the cost of a new stone, but it would also include having to repair the ring itself.  I was so sad.  After a little while of wearing a ring that a guy from high school gave me, just so that I could have a ring that fit on that finger, I decided to just go get a cheap replacement ring until we can afford to repair the real one.  So I went to Walmart and got a $100 CZ ring.  This is my favorite of the ones they had, but it's not like I'm totally in love with it.  I don't like it nearly as much as my wedding ring.  Honestly, I've never seen a ring that I like better than my wedding ring!  At least I didn't lose the ring, only the diamond... but hopefully I'll be able to have my wedding ring back someday.

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Canon the Comedian

    I know I have a ton of posts that I need to make, but here is something that I found funny that happened a little while ago.  See, Canon likes to make up jokes, and as a 3-year-old, his jokes don't normally make sense, but he cracks up heartily anyway.  Usually they go something like this:

    Why was Object A (i.e. the chair) afraid of Object B (i.e. a door)?  ....Because it was a(n) Object C (i.e. ice cream cone).

    However, there was one that Canon said that had both Mark and me laughing for a few minutes:

    Canon: I wanna tell you another joke. Why was I sitting on Cadence?
    Dad: Why were you sitting on Cadence?
    Canon: Because... it was a number!! :)
    Dad: Because it was a number? (fake sympathy laugh) Ha, ha.  Hopefully it wasn't number 1 or number 2.
    Canon: It was number 2!
    Mom&Dad: Eeeew!!

    Way to go, my little jokester!