Friday, November 28, 2008

Each Saying Thank you in His Own Special Way

I didn't get to half the things that had I hoped to record in my little Gratitude Project. I've decided to make a partial list. I'll try to upload pictures as I take them.

Of Course I am thankful for my family, friends, country, home, and religion (and all that implies), but for this project, I wanted to count the little blessings that I tend to over look...

My bed! I love my bed and in the winter months I love, love, love my mattress-pad-heater. I used to have to take the hair dryer and run it over the sheets before I'd even consider getting into it.

Which reminds my I'm thankful for my hair dryer.

And the heater in the house.

I so grateful for our basement. For those of you who live in basementless regions, you need to understand... There's a space underneath your house, the same size as the floor above it, that you can do whatever you want with. It can be storage, a play area, a place to hide messes (after all, who expects a basement to be clean?) If you don't have one, get one!

I adore public libraries. Especially the MPLS Public Library where you can check out passes to a museum. Imagine, the Zoo, free!

Little Ceasers pizza. Every Friday night...I don't cook!

I'm grateful for how Legos and Hotwheels keep my boys happy.

I love to eat chocolate __________ (fill in the blank) after my children have gone to bed, so I don't have to share.

I'm full to rejoicing every time we get a great chick flick in the mail from Netflix.

I think David's booming laugh is the best sound in the world.

To be continued...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Continuing on my Gratitude Project...

We love Miss Tammy! She is Enoch's kindergarten teacher. She is the most happy and loving woman I've ever met. Enoch begs to go to preschool every day and is disappointed on Mondays and Fridays, the days he doesn't go.
I am so grateful for all of the teachers my children have. School teachers, Sunday school teachers, coaches and even family & good friends.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Martin Quote

Mom [while driving home from grocery store]: Taran did you bite Emma?
Taran: [No response.]
Mom [annoyed!]: It's a "yes" or "no" question. Did you bite Emma?
Taran: It's in the middle of "no" and "I tried".

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Notes

Our week started with building the new table (see last Weekend Notes) for Family Home Evening. Of course, because it's from IKEA, there was either a piece missing or broken. Happily, that's easy enough to fix because IKEA is just a 15 minute drive (jealous Kirsti?), so what really happened was Family Home Evening was spent hanging out at IKEA.

Ironically because David finished the table late Monday night (and wasn't able to get to some work he needed to finish), he missed eating on it Tuesday night when we had the missionaries over to dinner for some delicious please-don't-pick-the-peppers-out beef fajitas.
Because it was the first meal on our table, I got a picture of it. (That is, it's the first meal if you don't count breakfast for Calvin and Enoch, in which Enoch took an unused metal key and scrapped it across the brand new wood surface. C'est la vie!)

I title this picture: The First Supper.

P.S. I meant to get a better picture of the table than this, Michelle, but every time I went to get the camera the table was dirty. So I'd try to clean it first, but would end up doing dishes or making PB&J sandwhiches or some other random thing in the kitchen instead. Sorry, I'm sure you know the drill. Suffice it to say, it's a very plain table, but it's a LOT bigger. We can now fit all our children and the food! Before they (children and food) were literally falling off.

Before they came, Calvin helped me bake a cake...

What would I do without him?

Enoch's still got his sunglasses.
An' he jacked a belt to enlarge his chill factor. Here he flaunts it all in da 'hood.
Posted by Picasa

At some point in the week, Emma got a hold of the camera.
I now give you the artistic renderings of one young girl with a digital camera. Shall we call it Martins in the Raw.
Posted by Picasa

The week ends and begins, as it always should, with a little something yummy and some relaxation after church.

Carmel Corn!
I don't know how to put links in, but here's the recipe from my friend Jen.

Some snuggling and a book.

Have a great week.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Continuing on my Gratitude Project...

I totally and overwhelmingly appreciate the YWCA! This is my little bit of paradise. For two hours, three days a week I am childless. I read silly magazines, go swimming, and zone out to books on CD. My children are happy too. It's love.

Calvin on the "Jumping Rock" outside the Y.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Continuing on my Gratitude Project...

I am grateful for my stretchy belt! I love it and it loves me. I found it at Savers (a Salvation Army like store for you West Coasters) and ever since my pants actually fit.
This belt has kept me up through each stage of my pregnancy. And even before baby it helped to close the gap (you know that annoying gap in the back) between me and my pants. Every woman should have such a wonderful accessory.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fear and Faith

[This just goes to show that General Conference can help in even the small crisis of life.*]

The horrible truth is I have developed spider veins and varicose veins. I don’t know how this could have happened to a person as good and kind as me. I’ve never even had a sign of them in my last 4 pregnancies. Nasty morning sickness in the beginning and massive swelling at the end is my due for bringing a baby into the world. Not to mention stretch marks, weight gain, hormone fluctuations... But ugly purple and blue veins belong to other well meaning and long suffering women. I do not DESERVE this!

While it’s true that I’ll never be a contender on top model, at least everything from the knees down looked pretty good. Not any more, now even that foot and a half on my body will need to be hidden or altered (How? I don’t know, stop shaving? *shutter*).

I’m just so afraid that they won’t go away after baby is born. I’m afraid that they’ll spread in the next three months. I afraid that they’ll be joined by their evil friends stretch marks and cellulite. I’m afraid that my body is deteriorating at a faster rate than it can repair and I won’t have the money or savoir faire to fix it. I’m afraid that this is the beginning of the end!

Then, while trying to slow the clock and reverse gravity, I read this at the gym: “Jesus is the Christ. He is resurrected. He is our Savior and Redeemer. All will be made well when He comes again. This is His holy work. Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, His priesthood was restored upon the earth and His prophet today is President Thomas S. Monson. I so testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.* ” Did you get that? “All will be made well when He comes again.” So all I need is a little faith and patience and in time (I’m assuming a LONG time) I’ll have my legs back. And just maybe by that time I’ll have grown up enough to know life is about more than trying to look like a movie star. Let’s have faith.

*Neil L. Andersen, “You Know Enough,” Ensign, Nov 2008, 13–14.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Now that I'm seven months pregnant...

Naked I look like a fertility goddess.

Dressed I look more like Tweedledum or Tweedledee.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I had meant to post a picture or a thought at least twice a week for my little Gratitude project. Unfortunately I haven't been able to keep up with life. However, my plan is working, I have been thinking about what I'm grateful for a lot more.

One thing that came to mind was Sunday Night Dinner. It's pretty much the best part of the week. We usually cook up a big hunk o'meat and if we use the crock pot then the smell greets us as we come home from church. Ahhhh! We all work together to make sides and a dessert. Sometimes we invite friends to join us.
It's like a mini Thanksgiving every week of the year!

Here's a sample...

Won't you join us?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekend Notes

Just you're average Martin Family week: school, homework, school, homework, repeat. It did snow and melt a couple of times. And we bought a new table (yeah! an exciting, planned for expense) and four new tires (grrr! an unexpected, there-goes-Christmas expense). The biggest and best thing to happen was our church's Primary (Children's) Program. Everyone sang well and Enoch looked cool.

Because I was in charge of taking pictures for the primary after the program, I do have a few pictures...

Here is Emma. She gave a talk on having a Gospel Sharing Home and played the bells for the the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" with her class.

Taran spoke about tithing and the blessings it brings. He also sang "When Jesus Christ was Baptized" with his class.
Please note the gapped tooth smile. He lost another tooth last week.

Enoch sat in his seat for a good half of the program! He insisted on wearing the glasses he found tucked away in his closet.

As a family we sang the song "Home."
At one point I realized we weren't singing as loudly as we ought to so I slightly nipped Emma to encourage her. She turned around and hissed "You pinched me!"
Calvin squirmed while David held him in place.
Taran was SO animated that the congregaton couldn't help but laugh.
And Enoch hid behind the podium.
Yep, "Home is where the heart is, where warmth and love abound. Home is where warm, circling arms go all the way around."

After church there was a big cake to celebrate a job well done and our car had a flat tire. (Last week when we came home from church we had to have the door handle drilled off because we were locked out. The Sabbath is becoming very costly.) After David came back from the auto shop, we ate a delicious Sunday dinner and played the game Bird's of America Memory.

Have a great week!

He won't take 'em off.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Attitude of Gratitude

You may not know it, I like to flatter myself that I hide it well, but the truth is, I'm quite a crank.
Not surprised? Oh well, I guess I don't grumble and whine with the grace I thought I did.

BUT! There is a point to this and HOPE. You see, I'm trying to overcome this slight character flaw with a little bit o' gratitude. And I think November is a good time to start. Not just because of Thanksgiving, but also because I need a little positivity to get me through another pitiless Minnesota winter.

And, having just knocked Minnesota (did you notice the discouraging word "pitiless"?), I think I'll start with how thankful I am to be here...

I'm grateful for the chance to live in the Father-land and get back to my roots.
I appreciate that David is going to a top rated school in his field.
It's exciting to try something other than what I'd always known.
And I LOVE the the fall colors...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Notes

This last week was a wild one! Beyond the usual craziness of life (homework, lessons, friends, and such) we had Henry and Addie come to stay at our house for a couple of days while their parents lived the jet-set lifestyle in Texas (yee-haw!)

Inexplicably and rather inconveniently, at the same time, nesting hit hard!
I just HAD to finish up Emma's room before they came and while they were here, I spruced up the basement, until 2am. Crazy pregnant psyche.

Our week started with Family Home Evening. Taran had a project for us all, decorating a turkey for his classroom.

I just can't resist putting this video in. David was hot gluing leaves ("shooting the paper") to the turkey ("chicken"). when Calvin began to sing and dance, something I can never get him to do on camera.

We all contributed. Isn't he a beaut?

We also talked about the coming election. To understand what was going on (and just cause it's fun) we nominated, campaigned, and voted for our choice of Dinner with side and Dessert in the great Martin Dinner Election 2008.

Emma was able to push her will and won with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Fries for dinner and Ice Cream Sundaes for dessert.
The fries were a comprise she made with Taran who wanted to elect straight Fries and catchup as dinner. Emma offered to accept them as a running mate if Taran would support her Grilled Cheese. She then campaigned hard for her candidates to win. Let me tell you, grass roots action works!

The sweet, sweet victory! Tuesday November 4,2008 Election Day.

Then as I said, I pushed to finish Emma's-soon to be The Girls'-room like a crazed woman.
Here is Emma's bed. We changed the wall hanging from pink to yellow because when you're in the fourth grade, pink is sooo out!

And with David's help we painted the wall a light green--green is the new pink. Mostly it covers the artwork that Calvin had done earlier.

Then the Meyer's arrived! Hurray! Sadly, I got very few pictures even though the four little ones were doing something cute every other minute. Actually, they seemed to have a system where they would alternate between 2 cute naughty things and then 1 cute adorable thing.
After 3 days of 4 children under the age of 5 I now really appreciate moms who have their children so close, (Dawn you ROCK!) It's nuts! But fun nuts.

Here is Addie drilling Calvin. Sorry it's so blury but it's still hilariously blog worthy.

Here, now friends again, Addie and Calvin display their Nutella faces.

I never got a picture of Henry (SHOOT!), but I did get a photo of where he had been!

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Martin Quote

[What I heard upstairs after David finally went downstairs to see what the kids were up to.]

David: You can't eat the Marshmallow Mateys right out of the bag!
You have to eat them off the floor!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weekend Notes

Halloween Week! One of the greatest days in Kid-dom!

We began this week by carving our pumpkin for Family Home Evening. Emma, Taran, and Calvin drew their designs for what the Pumpkin-Should-Look-Like Vote.
Enoch was doing his own thing in the background while David cut and scooped out the innards.

We gather around the finished Masterpiece.
Explanation of picture:
Taran is trying to be the pumpkin body,
Emma is giving it bunny ears,
Enoch is still doin-hiz-own-thang,
David is trying to hold it together,
Calvin watches it all in wonder,
and I despair that I'll ever get a straight family shot without bribing and/or threatening first.

Oh, and of course we serenaded our pumpkin with the traditional Mr. Jack O'Lantern song.

Here's our scary pumpkin all a-glow.
p.s. David's design won the election but not without much wheedling, pandering, and downright crookedness.

p.p.s. Sadly, the "Scarrry Paa-kin" didn't last to Friday. He was mush by Thursday.

Sometime during the week Emma penned this little note before heading off to school. It reads...
"Moms are loving and kind. They love us more than almost anyone!
Dads are awesome and fun they love you so much and one of the best things, have fun."

And it warmed my heart.

Spooky Halloween Night
Pre-trick or treating pizza. (Five buck Little Cesar's Pizza is a Friday night institution in the Martin house.)

The little pillagers dressed, ready, and waiting to sack the neighborhood.
Notice the paper bag luminaries, a quick substitute for a pumpkin.
Posted by Picasa

They Martin Halloween Ritual:
The kids bring their candy to the basement and dump it out on the floor, Mommy checks it, then we put in the movie Monster House and eat until we can't eat anymore (Calvin never reached that point. Emma went to bed with a bucket "Just in case.") After the movie is over, the candy disappears. It's Halloween Trickery at it's best.
Oh, can you find Enoch in this picture? He's hiding behind David. Monster House is painfully scary for my kids.

Even though we got to bed late on Friday, the four Martin kidlins were up and at 'em early Saturday morning making forts out of the furniture. It drives me nuts and makes me marvel at the same time.
We spent the rest of the day cleaning and recovering from Halloween.

And Sunday ended, and the week began, with a cake that Emma made almost entirely by herself. It's Snickerdoodle Cake and it was, in Calvin's words, "Nau-mmeee!"