Thursday, October 28, 2010

Two New Updates


Another update from me (Amy isn't really feeling well enough to do this these days). There's only really two things to report of significance. Here they are:

1) We're going to California. Tomorrow morning we are leaving to go to California (San Luis Obispo). I'm driving them out tomorrow and Saturday (going to make it a 2 day trip). Amy and the kids are going to stay there for a few weeks (probably till around the weekend of December 10th). This is their annual stay with the grandparents and lately, it's been when Amy is pregnant and sick. Grandpa and Grandma Brundage are amazingly generous and always willing to help out. They'll help take care of Amy and the kids for the time they are there - while Amy is sick. the kids love going too as they get to spend time with the grandparents and other cousins. Unfortunately it means that we'll be apart for Halloween and Thanksgiving - a big bummer for me. I fly back to Utah on Sunday morning.

2) On Tuesday morning I lost my job. I had been with AtTask for the past 3 1/2 years. It's been a Jekyl and Hyde kind of job for me as I've had to adapt to 11 boss changes, three different roles, and long 12-16 hour days for most of the time I worked there. Yet, I learned a lot and gained some great friends there, so that has been good. I knew this was coming, but didn't think it would happen for a few more weeks or longer. Anyway, overall I think it was a good thing for us. I really needed a change and this presents an opportunity for growth with a new opportunity. We're not sure what we'll end up doing or going, and we're pretty open minded about it at this point in time. It's going to be a good experience to discover new things and perhaps new places. Who knows.

Well, that's it for now. We'll try to keep updating you on things a little more often.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

An update and a secret message...

Pay attention folks - there is a secret message in this post...

Anyway, it's been a long time since I posted on the blog. I thought I'd update everyone on things.

We've been living here in Elk Ridge now for about 2 full months. Here is an update on everything (hang on, it's going to be a little long).

Amy and I got callings as primary teachers. We're teaching the 8 year olds (Valiant 8). We have 6 kids in our class (5 of which actually come to class regularly). It's pretty easy cause the kids are really good and they can read - much different than when we taught sunbeams. Anyway, it should be a pretty good calling. It's always fun to frame the gospel in a context that an 8 year old can understand. Odd how we also then tend to get it more sometimes as well...

Amy has already been assigned and fulfilling a visiting teaching assignment. I have yet to hear anything about home teaching and I don't think we have home teachers yet either - but I'm sure it will happen soon (maybe?).

Today we were asked to speak on Sunday - subject of "enduring to the end". I am an odd one and love to speak (I don't get to speak very often, though). I am excited to both study and share what I can about this subject. Amy won't be speaking though - due to sickness.

We've been blessed to have pretty good health. Grace does have eczema, but it's not too bad and we've been able to keep it under control pretty well. Henry is the healthiest of us all and seldom gets sick. Ella gets small colds once in a while, but nothing else too major. We all got flu shots for free through my work and we hope to escape the flu this winter all together, although it won't matter much for Amy, as she's getting in all her quota (ok, much more than that) of throwing up right now.

In January I really scared myself by standing on the scale. I was a few pounds (like 2) from 300 pounds. Scary. So I began working on losing weight. I began just cutting calories and doing some exercise, but after 20 pounds down, I gained 10 of it back by April. So I decided I had to get drastic. We were recommended by one of our doctors to go to a guy named Dan Wilcox, at Total Health and Fitness. I met with him once, discussed the program he runs, and decided to go for it. We paid for a 24 week program up front and I began full force. It's been a great program and although hard at times, I keep plugging away at the pounds and getting in shape. I meet once a week with Dan and he weighs me, measures my body fat, measures my body, and helps me design a workout program and meal plan for the next week. Then I go and do it. Dan has been great to work with! I am down about 55 pounds total and have cut my body fat % by almost 15%. My goal is to lose about 30 more pounds and 12 more % body fat by January. Then, I will attack my fitness, flexibility, and shape with vigor. I want to ride the Lotoja this next Fall (a very long bike ride from Logan to Jackson Hole). Anyway, it's been great to lose all the pounds. My clothes don't fit me very well and one of my belts is now at it's last hole, but I love how I feel and look forward to finishing my goal. A total of about 80 pounds this year will be good - gosh I have a lot more work to do...

Home Life
Living here in Elk Ridge is an adventure. Living with family is always interesting. It's been good, however. The living space is pretty good and it's hard to be a more beautiful place. The kids certainly like the additional space to run around both inside and outside. We still have some projects to do: replace outlets, put in a few light fixtures, put up curtains, and other items - not to mention that we still have some boxes to unpack and organize.

We've been really happy with the flooring and paint that we did before moving in. It's nice and comfortable. Winter will be a challenge with the drive I have (35 minutes to work and nearly an hour coming back in traffic).

The kids are doing great. Henry just turned 5, Ella turned 3 in June, and grace just had her 1st birthday. Henry is enrolled in Karate and really seems to enjoy it. Ella continues to be the funny, party-girl that she's always been and says lots of funny things everyday. Her and Henry spend a lot of time playing together. Grace is still light as a feather - even though she loves to eat just about everything we give her. Since we moved here she has had a pretty difficult time sleeping, however, which is hard (mostly on Amy). Grace is crawling (mostly army style) fast and now can stand up while holding onto the couch or something else solid. She is still has big, bright eyes and is always smiling.

I've been at AtTask for 3 1/2 years now and not sure when that will end. It's a good job, although it is full of drama sometimes. I've had something like 10 boss changes in 3 1/2 years with 8 of those in the past 2 1/2 years. Yeah, it's a little crazy sometimes - trying to re-adapt myself to a new boss with all new ideas and ways of doing things. I just keep working hard and surviving. One of these days either AtTask or I will decide it's been long enough and I'll be on to new things, but I'm really not sure when that will be. I continue to work on ideas of my own as well and one day I'll actually take a chance on one of them.

Well, I think that's about it. I hope all of you reading this are doing well. Feel free to drop by anytime. Oh, and yeah, in case you're wondering...early June.


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Henry's 5th Birthday

We celebrated Henry's 5th birthday on September 29th. Henry had a great day!

He opened presents in the morning:

He ate lunch at Pirate Island:

And he had Provo friends up for a BBQ and cake in the evening:

(in case you are wondering, the glasses are protective eye ware for nerf gun play)

All in all a great day.

Happy birthday, bud! We love you!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Clarks are MOVING?

Yep - we are moving on Saturday. It's been somewhat of a whirlwind because we just decided to do this for sure about 2 weeks ago. We are moving down to Elk Ridge to live in Adam's parent's house. We will have the basement pretty much to ourselves and we will share the upstairs living space. The Clarks are very generous to let us move in! There are 3 of them and 5 of us and so hopefully we won't turn their world upside down (too much, at least!).

This is our cute little house and it has given us some great memories. 6 1/2 years ago I bought it and moved in as a single woman. 3 weeks later I met Adam. 5 months after meeting Adam we were married and he moved in. And since then we've been blessed with 3 wonderful children. A huge part of our lives has happened in this house! As cramped as we are in here, we will miss it terribly and we will very much miss our good friends that live around us.

We found some good renters - a young family with one 3 month old daughter - and they will hopefully be signing the contract and sending it back to us in the next few days. They have agreed to a 2 year contract and they seem like really nice people.

We know this will be a good move for us to save money and to prepare for the next phase of our lives. We are excited for what the future holds for us.

Elk Ridge here we come!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Hooray for Adam's Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Adam!

We love you and we are so grateful for you. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to your family and your job. You are appreciated. You are loved. Enjoy this day - it's all for you!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Things we've been up to

Here are a few things we've been doing the last few weeks -

Celebrating the 24th of July at South Fork Park:

Swimming lessons:
The kids are doing so well which is a relief because last year was somewhat of a disaster!

Gracie is 10 months:
She has 2 teeth (hooray) and she will hopefully get her helmet off in a few weeks (we're keeping our fingers crossed). She has also learned to army crawl and she's getting better and better at it every day.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Butterfly Garden

We've had a butterfly garden for the last few weeks. The butterflies are painted lady butterflies to be exact.
We started out with 5 caterpillars; 3 were healthy and happy and we set them free to live on their own; 1 was sadly damaged by a curious 4 year old and so he remains with us for the remainder of his days; 1 had problems and so never successfully hatched out of his chrysalide. It's been interesting and the kids have had fun. I'm not sure if I'd do it again, though, because it's just so sad when things don't go the way you expect them too (sad for me - not necessarily sad for the kids)!

Here are the kids letting 2 of them go:

Check out the curled tongue on this one!

This is Limpy - he's the one that stays with us. He was originally just "hurt," but then eventually his wing fell off. Sometimes we take him outside to sit on the grass. Poor little guy (or girl, I guess!):

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Our Bicknell Trip

This last weekend we went to Bicknell, UT with Adam's brother's family (Jess, Jen, Abby, Leah, Lauren). Jen's grandpa lives on a ranch down there and they love to visit. The opportunity came up for us to go with them and we took it! (Thanks Jess and Jen)

Here are some pictures of the weekend:

Abby, Ella, Leah and Henry the night we arrived.

Ella on the beloved swings!

Adam and Ella going on a 4-wheeler ride.

Jess, Adam, Abby, Henry, Leah and Lauren hiked to the rock at the top of this picture.

Henry on the hike.

Henry sitting on the rock at the top of the hike (check out the beautiful valley!).

Leah, Abby, Lauren and Jess on the way down the mountain.

I was able to have a little visit with my friend Vanessa - she lives in the near vicinity (thanks, Vaness!). PS. Henry took this picture if you're wondering about the low angle...

Henry and Ella with Vanessa's kids (Nate, Kyle, Ryan and Katie).

We had a great time and it was great to spend time with family and friends. AND it was fun for me to finally see some of Utah (15 years later...).

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

June 9th is a special day

June 9th has been a special day for our family for the last 3 years.
June 9, 2007 - Ella Mary Clark was born:

June 9, 2008 - Ella turned 1:

June 9, 2009 - Ella turned 2:

June 9, 2010 - Ella turns 3 today:

Thanks to everyone that helped us celebrate this special day!

Happy Birthday, Ella!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Gracie's Helmet

Grace got her helmet yesterday. This has been a really long process and I'm glad we finally got to this point because we will only go up from here.
Yesterday was hard for me. Our appointment was in the afternoon and in the morning if I would think about it I would cry. I know, I know...but I couldn't help it. I just knew it would be hard for her and I was so sad about it.
She didn't like it at all when they first put the helmet on her, but it surprisingly didn't take long for her to adjust to it. I was expecting her reaction to be much worse. They warned me that even though she may acclimate alright during the day that she would have a hard time going to sleep that first night. And she did. She cried for about 2 hours, poor little thing.
She has to wear it 23 hours a day. We can take it off for an hour each day and we have to wash the helmet and her head.
Her head is super hot. It's dripping wet all day long. That's one of the saddest parts to me. She probably wonders why her head is so hot all of the time.
All in all she's doing great and I hope her head changes quickly!

This picture kind of shows the flat spot on her head:

Here she is with the cast (she was so sad!):

Here she is just before we left for the appointment yesterday:

Here she is after the appointment with her helmet:

There you have it. Gracie sure is a trooper, I'll tell you that much!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

I've just finally downloaded pictures from the last little while and so I'm going to do one post to cover a few events from that last few weeks.

Here are the kids on Easter Morning:

Here is an example of one of Ella's outfits (she likes to dress herself - sometimes it works out, sometimes it's funny):

Here are the kids being silly:

Here is Gracie in her highchair (I know, she looks like a boy with the blue bib...just ignore that part!):

Here we are celebrating Grandma Chris's birthday:

Here is Henry's "graduation" day for his second year of preschool (we still have one more year to go!):

Here we are at Lincoln Beach on Memorial Day:

Stay tuned for another post next week when Gracie gets her helmet!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

We saw fighter jets!

One thing that we all love in this family (not just Henry) is fighter jets. One of our favorite 4th of July traditions is to watch them fly over our house in the morning (during the parade) and then we watch them again fly over stadium of fire (we sit outside the stadium, of course). This picture was taken during stadium of fire in 2008.
Well, the reason I'm writing about this was because yesterday they flew over our house a few times - it was SO cool! You can hear them coming because they are so loud and so as soon as I heard them I yelled "everyone outside now!" They flew right over us twice and then they flew back and forth in the distance a couple of times, although we couldn't see them as well then (but we could sure hear them!). I was talking on the phone to my sister in law, Gillian, and she was driving on the freeway and they flew right over her, too!
We love fighter jets!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Anyone for raw milk?

I've been thinking A LOT lately about changing the food we eat to be more organic and natural. It's something I've been working towards for a while now, but I've been reading this book called "Master Your Metabolism" by Jillian Michaels. This book has pushed me and my thinking a little further along. She is very extreme in her thinking and she is all about natural food (to the extreme). I don't want to necessarily adopt all of her practices, but I have learned a lot from her book and it has given me a lot to think about. One of the things she thinks is important is eating dairy and meat that are from grass fed/range free type sources.
So today I went to check out a local health food store called Real Foods Market. I was hoping for a regular size grocery store that happens to be natural and organic, but it turned out to be another tiny one - actually even smaller than the others. But their big thing is their raw milk. It's unpasteurized and it's from grass fed cows. The sales associate told me how amazing this milk is for you and so I thought that I could just give it one gallon of a try. It was super expensive ($6.29) and you also had to sign a waiver saying that you understand that buying unpasteurized milk is risky. But again, I just wanted to give it a try. Oh - and I also got some range free eggs. Those were expensive, too ($5.99 for a dozen and they had a buy one, get one free, so I got 2 doz).
The kids and I have tried both of these things today and I'm not so sure I like either of them, actually! The milk is okay. It's thick and rich (it is whole milk) and the idea grosses me out just a little bit. It doesn't really QUENCH your thirst like regular milk does.
The eggs...I had a harder time with those. I'm kind of funny about eggs to begin with and so these are hard for me to eat. The yolks are a different shade of yellow and one of the eggs I cracked was bloody - that one had to go.
The kids liked both the milk and the eggs.
I don't really think I will be re-purchasing either of these products. Although there may be another version of extra-healthy milk and eggs out there to try.
SO - have any of you ever tried these kinds of products or anything similar? What have your experiences been?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thoughts on Ty's Funeral

A family in our ward lost their 4 1/2 month old son, Ty, on Wednesday to SIDS. I just wanted to take a minute to express some of my feelings about the situation and about his funeral.
This experience has been a really hard one for me. I don't know if that is due to me being a woman or because I am a mother. Maybe it hit home because Gracie is only 2 weeks older than Ty. Or maybe it is because of all of those things.
I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around the whole thing. I knew that Ty was okay and that they would someday be with him, but I wasn't really FEELING that that was the case. I was only imagining and feeling the grief and despair that I imagined they would be feeling.
But then I went to Ty's funeral.
It was so sad. I cried the whole time. The coffin was so tiny. But there was a beautiful spirit of comfort in that meeting. Erica and Dan (Ty's parents) gave his life sketch, which actually surprised me. I couldn't have thought that they would be able to do such a thing. They spoke of the comfort and strength that they had been receiving. They spoke of how he had made them better people and how they wanted now to live their lives to be worthy to be with him again someday. Dan told intimate details of his last night with Ty and how special it was to him. And the interesting thing was that they were comforting and strengthening all of us. We were there to support and love them, and they turned around and did the same thing for us.
Being at Ty's funeral has made me a better person. It has strengthened my testimony of many things. One, of the eternal nature of our Heavenly Father's plan. How blessed we are to be able to be with our loved ones again someday. Two, we can be comforted and strengthened even in our darkest hours. We can truly seek after and find relief from the pain. Three, the Relief Society really is an organization that provides relief to those in need. So many sisters from our ward banded together to make that funeral happen. The Elders helped, too, but the Relief Society really seemed to be the backbone behind it. I'm grateful for the caring, compassionate nature of woman and what that can mean in the lives of those in need. Four, I was reminded of the covenants we make at baptism - "to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort." I have never before mourned for someone else's sorrows the way I mourned for them. And I know that is Heavenly Father's way.
This experience has been a hard one, and it really has had nothing to do with me. My heart brakes for Dan and Erica as they will be faced with the reality of Ty's death every day for the rest of their lives. And after hearing their thoughts yesterday, I feel peace in knowing that they will be okay. I pray for their continued comfort and strength.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Underwear party at our house!

I've been recently motivated to potty train Ella by my sister in law, Jen, and by my neighbor, Kandice. It's just such a task that I tend to push it off until a "better time," which rarely actually comes. So today I decided that even though I'm sick, we're doing it!
So far we've had one little success and Ella has found that if she is wearing big girl underpants, her babies and her puppies need to, too. If you look closely in the picture, each doll/stuffed animal is wearing a pair of Dora underpants. Ella is too cute, I tell you!