To those of you who have not heard or had the chance to see Mark in his "announcement onesie", we were told last Monday that we are having a boy. I made a shirt for Mark that said on the front, in bright pink, "Oh no...", and on the back in blue it said "I get a bro!" It was so much fun to see the reactions of my parents as well as my in-laws, especially since everyone thought that he was going to be a she. Because the doctor had to cancel all of his appointments because he was delivering a baby, I talked the nurse into doing the ultrasound. She spent 15-20 minutes just showing me my baby, it was awesome! I get to go back in on the 9th for another ultrasound so the doctor can do all the measurements. I don't mind looking in on James again.
Recently Idaho Falls did a community production of the play Annie. It ran for 4 nights and they did one matinee as well. Each night it was a packed house, not sold out but the place was packed, and I have to say that was in part because of the person who played the dog catcher and of course the dog. Charlie, the Schwieder's family dog, was asked to play Sandy. They needed someone to take care of the dog so they asked Brett, Brett's sisters Shanalee and Tammy traveled up from Utah to help as well. Both Brett and Charlie did a wonderful job. (By the way, don't you think Brett looks stunning with an inch of make up on?)
Christmas is one of my most favorite times of the year! I love Thanksgiving as well, it is just here in Idaho we have to put up our Christmas lights before it snows or the lights don't get done. Things just get a little cold and slippery to be messing with lights. So last Saturday Brett got on the roof and dutifully put up the lights they are going to look so great! However, even though the lights are on the house they will not be turned on until after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving and Christmas, this truly is the best time of the year!!!
Markie was going to be a tiger this year for Halloween. The costume is a 24 month size costume and so it was a bit big but that made it just that much cuter. I put him in it a week or two before Halloween and Brett and I had a great time. Yet this poor little tiger would never get to see Halloween because that morning Mark woke up with a fever of 102. Poor little tiger, those swine decided to attack him to.
Yet never fear, Brett to the rescue. While Mark was in the bath relaxing and trying to get his temperature down Brett decided to put on Mark's costume. I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I do! Happy Halloween. (A little late but that's ok)
Why couldn't they call Swine Flu something cuter than "Swine Flu"? It hasn't been any fun telling people that I got "Swine Flu", so I started to say that the pigs are flying at my house, or I am grunting like a little pig. Because of the seriousness of swine flu nobody thought I was funny, oh well, I still do. :) Yes, for those who haven't heard I some how got swine flu. Now before you all send me posts asking if I am alright, you know I am because I am posting now. The funny thing is I was debating on getting the H1N1 vac. for about the past 3 months. Many people were telling me I should get the vac. others were saying it hasn't been fully tested who knows what it will do to your baby. I was going back and forth and finally on Tuesday I decided that I was going to get the shot at my next doctors appointment, which was on Thursday. I must have waited too long because I came down with swine flu on Tuesday--go figure. If you had asked me how I felt that day I would have said I understood why they call it swine flu--because you feel like a herd of ugly, smelly, fatty swine have just trampled you on their way to a 7 course meal. Tuesday was definitely my worst day--but after that day I haven't felt all that bad. I do have to give all the credit to Heavenly Father on that. On Monday, before I started flying with the piggies, I had the feeling that I needed to look up the symptoms of Swine Flu. Thanks to the wonders of the internet it only took a few minutes. Because I followed that feeling when I started to feel yucky the next day I knew exactly what was going on and I was at the doctors office before I spiked a fever. I was able to get on the meds right as I came down with the flu, and that has made all the difference. I also feel that because of many people praying for me and the baby the flu was tempered so it wasn't as bad as it could have been. My testimony of prayer and the fact that the Lord is watching out for me really grew this week. I am also greatful for the blessing we have of the Holy Ghost which can prompt us and give us feelings of things we can to do protect ourselves and our families. Things would have been different if I hadn't felt that prompting on Monday, I probably would have suffered a lot more. Sometimes I think we suffer a lot more then is needful because we are unwilling to listen or not tuned in properly. We have so many things going on in our lives that we have a tough time stopping just to listen. During the past three days I have had the opportunity to read most of 1st Nephi and part of 2nd Nephi, there are some beautiful promises and verses in Nephi, if we could just remember and apply all the wonderful gems that Nephi and Lehi are teaching just think about how much better our lives would be. We truly are blessed to have the scriptures at our fingertips.
If the baby is a girl, her name will be Annabelle--Ann(a) for my middle name, and belle because that was my dad's nickname for me. If the baby is a boy, his name will be James Haroldsen--James after one of Brett's great uncles on his mothers side, and Haroldsen because that is Brett's middle name and because Brett doesn't like his first name for a middle name and he doesn't want a junior. Before Brett and I got married I told him that our first son would have to be named Mark Taylor after my younger brother who died when I was in kindergarten, and our first girl would have to be named Annabelle. I asked if that was ok with him and he agreed thus Mark Taylor, and if this baby is a girl Annabelle. Anybody want to make any guesses to whether the baby is a boy or a girl? I won't find out for a while but it would be fun to know what you think.
With all this baby announcement stuff, and the fact that I don't like birthdays, I have let my birthday slip past without saying anything. However, Brett gave me something for my birthday that I just have to tell everybody about. Brett knows that my favorite thing in the whole world is to spend time together as a family. Well with soccer and other school responsibilities the morning of my birthday he said that he wouldn't be able to be home until around 9:30 that night. I was rather bummed, but I knew that responsibilities needed to come first. Well, at 1:00 I went to answer the door and standing there with a gift in has hands was Brett. I was confused and asked what he was doing at home in the middle of the day, and he said that he decided to use some personal time and take a half day off of work. He called in a sub, told his student teacher she was in charge, and he came home to spend the day with me until he had to go to soccer, but by that time I had to go to mutual. We didn't do anything much--we rented a movie from Red Box for a dollar, and played the Wii together, and then our neighbor said she would watch Mark so we could go out to dinner. Like I said we didn't do much but it was the opportunity to be together that made it so special. I really have a great husband!!!
Markie has learned the word "no". We have a rather large plant that Mark likes to play with, he takes the dirt out and dumps it on the carpet. Brett and I tell Mark "no", yet he still continues to do it. A few days ago, Mark had a measuring cup in his hand and before I could stop him he had filled the measuring cup with dirt and dumped it on the carpet. Once he saw the mess he made he began to point at it and yell, "no, no, no." Not very easy to discipline in the middle of a giggle so we cleaned up the mess together.
Yesterday, I was working on a Christmas gift at my mother-in-laws house. I had been sitting in the same chair the whole time. Mark wanted a cracker so I got up to get him one. As I was returning to my seat Mark ran over to the chair, barred my way, and said "Noooo." My mother-in-law and I couldn't help but laugh. Mark thinking he had done something good, smiled his best smile and then continued to say "no". You can imagine his look of frustration and defeat when I went around to the other side of the chair and sat down.
You know you live in a small town when for Homecoming the city allows the different classes to block off a section of road and then paint it. To kick off Homecoming week Idaho Falls High School has the opportunity to paint the street between the school and the parking lot. A theme for Homecoming is chosen and each class designs a picture to paint. The theme this year is "The Walls of Troy will Crumble when Tiger Nation Rumbles." The school provides the paint and the students map it out and have a great time. Brett was the advisor in charge of the street art this year and here are the paintings the students did.
I don't know about you but when I was in Young Women's I really disliked doing Personal Progress and I didn't really understand why we were doing it. I was excited to get the Young Woman Recognition Award, and I loved wearing it for the feeling of accomplishment I got but it didn't really mean a lot to me. I have now been serving in the YW organization in my ward for 2 1/2 years and I have finally gained a testimony of Personal Progress, and the inspired program that it is. So seeing I wasted my time as a young woman and didn't get all that I could out of it I have once again begun to truly earn my medallion. I have been doing this for the past month and a half and I have seen such a change in my life it has been amazing! I am having so much fun with the value experiences and the 10 hour projects are awesome. Some of the 10 hour projects I have started or have done are go to the temple every week for 3 months and focus on and gain a better understanding of the ordinances, make a quiet book for Mark for church, and can/bottle, dehydrate, or freeze things that I have grown or that I can purchase for food storage. A lot of the value experiences have you talk to your mother or a leader about important things mothers need and as a new mother it is awesome to think about these things.
We went to Zion's National Park as a family for a week. During that week we were joined by my sister Jenessa, and her boyfriend, Dan. They had never been repelling before and it made for some fun and interesting times. We went hiking up the Narrows one day, had great fun getting wet and making complete fools of ourselves.
You can hike through Zion's National Park and see a lot of beautiful things, yet the beauties found in slot canyons that you need to repel down are just breath taking. Our camera really does not do the canyon justice.
Brett being he most experienced repeller of the group made his way down the last repel a bit more exciting by going head first. Way to go Superman!!!
Brett and I were in charge of the Mini Schwieder Reunion the year. We had a lot of fun activities planned however those plans had to be scratched because of the weather. Bummer. So we sent everyone on a digital camera scavenger hunt around the city. These are two of the many historical sights that can be seen in Idaho Falls and Iona. The upside down "V" is the Vietnam Memorial, planners decided the "V" should be upside down because people aren't sure if the was was actually a victory. And then the building that Brett is standing in front of used to be an LDS church house, then it was changed into and elementary school where Brett went to school, and now it is the Iona City Building/library.
As part of the mini Schwieder Reunion that Brett and I planned we went to a climbing wall in Idaho Falls. Thanks to Brett working at the YMCA we were able to use their rock wall for free. Brett has been a rock climber for many years, he used to go a lot before we got married but hasn't gone much since. As you can see he still loves it! Looking at on the wall, you wouldn't believe that I was afraid of heights would you?
Isn't Marky Sparky so cute!!! This is how he likes to spend his days either playing at the playground, running from the swings to the slide, or taking all his sippy cups out of his drawer so he can sit in it. What a silly little boy.
"15 tons what do ya get? Another day older and deeper in debt." Well unless the 15 tons are free. Brett has had this dream of doing raised flower beds and creating a place for a bench and a lamp post, I always say we are creating a place for our kids to kiss their boyfriends/girlfriends. Our neighbor said he could get a dump truck load of dirt for us. Which we received a months ago and Brett and other neighbors have had fun wheel barreling it to our planters. Way to go muscles!
Just one of the many reasons why I love summer. I now my garden looks horrible now that it is being over run with weeds, however it has been so much fun tending it this summer. I have grown peas, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, corn, carrots, and onions. I also planted pumpkins and bell peppers but they didn't work out too well this summer. From my garden I have been able to freeze two quarts of peas, and 13 pints of green beans. I have 16 tomato plants and so as soon as the tomatoes ripen up I am going to bottle those as well. If you can't tell because of all the weeds the first picture is of my tomato and potato garden and the second is a picture of everything else.
During the summer Brett takes on a second job working at the YMCA. Last year they paid for him to receive is Commercial Drivers License, as well as work with the kids as a counselor. This year he has been, Bus Driver Brett. He takes the kids to the rock wall, the swimming pool, and each Wednesday he takes them on their field trip. He has been able to see some pretty cool places. Some of his favorites have been the Ghost Town in Montana, Hogle Zoo, and Lagoon. Mark and I had the opportunity to Hogle Zoo with Brett. Since we were already down in Utah, Mark and I visited my parents house and had a great time.
At a Young Women's water activity the President thought it would be fun to fill up surgical gloves with water until they burst. All the girls in my ward participated and they decided that a leader needed to try it as well. I volunteered because I thought it would be fun. Mark was a little concerned each time the girls did it so when he saw me lying on the towel with the massive glove on me he went ballistic. I however thought it was awesome! The anticipation was a killer then...SPLASH...lots of cold water! Talk about refreshing!
We took a family trip to Yellowstone. We were going to bike a few of the trails there, but Brett had issues with his bike tires so we had to come home early. It was Mark's first real camping trip, and he did pretty good. It got really cold so we tried to put him in our sleeping bags and he didn't like that too much. He also didn't really like being confined in the tent, Brett and I have decided to camp in our backyard and hopefully he will do better next time.
For the 4th of July we went don to Utah and had some fun at Grandma Babe's swimming pool.
Brett and I went hiking in Zion's National Park at the beginning of the summer. Zion's was beautiful, it rained while we were down there which made repelling difficult but all the little waterfalls were amazing! Brett's parents and mine shared the opportunity to babysit Mark.