Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Were You There On That Christmas Night? by Natalie Sleeth

Were You There On That Christmas Night?
Where you there? Where you there
On that Christmas night?
When the world was filled with a holy light?
Where you there to behold as the wonder foretold
Came to Earth?

Did you see? Did you see?
How they hailed him king?
With their gifts so rare that they chose to bring?
Did you see how they bowed as they praised him aloud
At his birth?

Did you hear how the choirs of angels sang
At the glory of the sight?
Did you hear how the bells of Heaven rang
All through the night?

Did you know, did you know
It was God's own son?
The salvation of the world begun?
Did you know it was love that was sent from above
To the Earth?

Did you know it was love that was sent from above
To the Earth?

--Natalie Sleeth

I sang this song in choir in I think 6th grade, and it's still one of my favorites.

I thought I'd post a few of the christmas crafts I've been doing, so without further ado, here's what we did today in preschool:

These sheep are made on empty thread spools. I hot glued pipe cleaner legs (each pair of legs is a V shaped pipe cleaner) and felt heads on, then let the kids wind the fuzzy yarn wool on. Winding wool between the pipe cleaner legs holds them in place.

Here's a project I made for my Sister in Law Marcelle to share with her kids. I also made a set for our family. Each night we put a piece on and sing a song that relates to the piece.

This image has both sets together to show how the pieces look in the pockets, and also in the stable above.

Here are the templates if you want to make one yourself. Look at my colors, or choose your own.

This is a page I altered from one I found online. It's another fun project to do with kids at Christmas. The rest of the project can be found here

Monday, October 25, 2010

Grandpa Roly

The Battle Cry of Freedom

Mary had a little lamb, its fleece was white as snow,
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!
And every where that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom

Hurrah for the Mary, Hurrah for the Lamb
Hurrah for the teacher, who didn't give a particle
If all the lambs in Mary's town went marching off to school
They'd be shouting out the battle cry of freedom!

Mary had a little lamb she tied it to a well
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!
She took a stick of dynamite and blew it all to -- pieces
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!


Mary had a little lamb she also had a bear
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!
I've often seen her little lamb. I've never seen her bare.
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!


Mary had a little lamb, a little beef, a little ham
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!
Mary had a little cake, and Mary had a stomach ache.
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!


The elephant's a funny bird it leaps from bough to bough
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!
It makes its nest in the rhubarb tree and barks just like a cow.
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!


I eat my peas with honey, I have done it all my life,
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!
It makes the peas taste funny, but it keeps them on my knife.
Shouting out the battle cry of freedom!


-Anonymous Scout song based on songs by George F Root and Sarah Hale

This song was a Scout song that I learned from mom, who learned it from Grandpa Roly. I didn't hear him sing much, but when he did, it was generally songs like this one. Another of hi favorites was "More Work for the Undertaker" which I ought to post here someday, but I think it's a bit morbid for my post today.

Grandpa Roly Holt died this morning. He had gotten sick while on vacation with my parents, and he spent the last month or so in the hospital getting progressively worse each time the doctors thought they had fixed or at least stabilized the problems. Mom says that at the end, he was peaceful, and the doctors had made him comfortable, and he slipped away at about four this morning with Mom beside him telling him how much we all loved him.

And Grandpa Roly was loved. It always surprised and pleased him when people did nice things for him, so it was fun for me to do things like plan his birthday party last year. Mom was in Ohio, so I put together a simple family party with cake and candles, and balloons and streamers, and a few presents I had picked up at the DI. He was as pleased a punch, and immediately went into his room to show me which suit he intended to wear the tie with. He even wanted to open up and share the Snickers bar I got him.

Grandpa Roly loved to talk, and could find a connection with any person he ever met. He remembered even the most obscure acquaintances, and could tell you the personal and family histories of the people who worked in the store where he bought the suit that went with that birthday tie (and WOULD, at great length, every chance he got).

He was a bit obsessive, and repetition comforted him, so it was often very easy to predict what he'd say in any given situation.
  • Even when we were young, we knew that when he had his extended family around, he'd sing "Boys and Girls Together" and say, "A real slice of life!" as if having us around was like eating a piece of pie or cake.
  • He loved to eat pie and cake, and anything with gravy on it. In fact, every time there was gravy at dinner, he'd tell the story of when he was young, and they were eating Meat and potatoes, and he'd asked for some gravy to go with it. "Whaddaya want gravy for with meat 'n potatoes?" his dad Harry Holt asked him. Then shaking his head, he'd said, "Boy, you'd eat gravy on ice cream."
  • When we'd finish our vacation, and get in the van to drive home, his last goodbye would be to give the car's hood a couple of good whacks, as if to tell the car, "take good care of them." In later years, the kids would be whispering, "Hit the car! Hit the car!" as Dad was getting ready to pull out, almost worried that he'd forget, but also, sure that he wouldn't.
  • I think that One of the reasons Mom was happy to leave the cat behind when they moved, was that every time he saw her, he's say, "Miss Kitty Cat. Your name is Kitty, and you're a cat, so your name is Miss Kitty Cat!" Every time he said it, it was as if he'd discovered a clever idea for the first time, and it honestly drove Mom up the wall.
  • The newspaper also had a nickname. The Deseret News, which he wasn't fond of, but had to subscribe to in order to get the Church News was the "Deserted News" and the funny pages were always the "Educational Section"

Most of us grinned and rolled our eyes when he'd say these things for the gazillionth time, but Lizbeth hadn't learned these habits yet. Every time he'd call her "Daughter of Zion" or "Miss Liz" or "Mis Ahlstrom" or "Darlin'" or any of his other nicknames, she'd say, "No. I'm not Miss Ahlstrom. I'm Lizbeth." After a while, I think she decided it was a game he liked to play, so no matter what he said, she'd contradict him. "No. Not good morning." I think it's interesting that after he had been gone for a week or so, on this vacation, she spent a day insisting that we call her Liz because, "That what Grandpa Roly says."

Elizabeth was a little wary of him at first, when we moved into the Salem House, and wouldn't go up to him, or submit to be hugged whenever he decided to grab her (his timing on hugs wasn't always convenient for any of us). As time went on though, he realized that if he let her come to him, he'd get plenty of hugs on HER terms. Just like most good things, he was surprised and pleased whenever she would come up and give him a hug and kiss and say, "I love you Grandpa Roly." She would sit on the couch next to him, or in his lap when watching movies, and even got him to read to her sometimes. I always though it was cute to watch him read to her because even with books that we'd read so many times we had them memorized, he was discovering the book for the first time as he read it to her, and would look at a picture and say, "Oh! Look. There's the monkey!" or something like that.

He also adored Bridget. I let him hold her in the hospital when she was only about a day old, and he discovered that he was good at holding a baby. From then on, every time we'd walk into the house, his fingers would start to itch, and he would happily hold Bridget for hours on end while she cooed and gurgled at him. He'd stick his finger into her hand and say, "Grabba Holt!" and laugh at his little pun. He loved looking at baby fingers, and would say, "Look at those little fingernails!" in a hushed, awed voice every time he saw tiny fingers.

Other people know more about his years of dedicated service in scouting, as bishop of an enormous ward, and as the best clerk and executive secretary that any ward leaders could wish for. I'll let them share those stories. What I know best is the way he treated me.

He was a kind, gentle man, and he loved me unconditionally. In college, I was often depressed, and went to visit Grandma and Grandpa when I was having trouble coping. Grandma would cook for me, and we'd watch old movies together, and do crafts, but Grandpa would just get a sweet sad look on his face and give me a long hug. I never saw him angry except when he felt like somebody he loved was being hurt. He'd defend Grandma from her sisters when he felt like she needed it, and the two times I was badly hurt by people close to me, I could tell that he really wished he could give those people a piece of his mind.

Grandpa Roly will be greatly missed in this world, but I know that he will be greeted with joy in the world to come. He missed Grandma Fawnie terribly, and now they can be together forever. Goodbye Grandpa Roly. We love you.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Baby by George Macdonald

The Baby

Where did you come from baby dear?
Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get those eyes so blue?
Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin?
Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear?
I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth and high?
A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm white rose?
I saw something better than any one knows.

Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?
Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear?
God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?
Love made itself into bonds and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?
From the same box as the cherub's wings.

How did they all just come to be you?
God thought about me, and so I grew.

But how did you come to us, you dear?
God thought about you, and so I am here.
--George Macdonald

Bridget Ellen Ahlstrom was born at 10:15 Sunday morning. She was 7 lbs 9.6 oz (one pound less than Elizabeth) and 19 1/2 in long (just the same as Elizabeth).

I woke up at about 5:30 that morning and while I was using the bathroom, my water broke (which was VERY convenient for me mess-wise). We called Mom to come stay with Lizbeth, and since I wasn't having strong or regular contractions, waited till she arrived before heading to the hospital in Provo. We got there at about 7:00, and checked in without much hassle. Contractions were still light and irregular, so they started me on pitocin. I wasn't thrilled about that because it makes the contractions more intense and I wanted to try to avoid both the epidural -- which made me feel useless during Elizabeth's delivery -- and the narcotics -- which tend to make me feel out of control.

About three hours later, things were really going strong. The contractions were coming hard and fast, and I would have taken the narcotics, but the nurse said it was too late. Thankfully, it was not too long after that that I felt something change, and knew that Bridget was coming. I remembered from the lamaze class we took before Lizbeth was born that you can't push while you're huffing, so I switched my breathing to that while the nurses rushed around getting the bed ready and the doctor in the room. Once they told me to push, I was doing OK until the bed got pushed up so far that I was being squished between the backrest and the stirrups/ "It's too much!" I yelled desperately. "No, no." The nurses said, thinking I meant the pain and contractions, "You're doing fine!" "The bed!" I insisted -- not finding the words I wanted. When they finally understood what the problem was, we discovered that I had been the one pushing the button with my own elbow. I thought it was pretty funny, even in the moment.

It only took about three contractions of pushing, and Bridget was out and into the world. She was there on my chest, all covered in gook, but beautiful nonetheless. It all happened so fast at the end, that I didn't notice most of what was going on around me. Soon after she was toweled off, they took her away to clear her airways because she wasn't crying like she should. I was kind of in shock -- shaking like crazy, and kind of confused and sort of noticed as Peter called the grandparents, and posted to Twitter and facebook. They brought the baby back to nurse and bond, but she didn't seem very interested in sucking when breathing was such a challenge. Helena called Peter, and asked if he could post a picture, which he did with his spiffy iphone. After about an hour, they took Bridget away to give her eyedrops and have someone evaluate her breathing.

They moved me to a long-term room, and made sure I was able to walk, etc. Then I settled down to wait for Peter to bring Bridget back. Several hours later, I found out that they had taken her to the NICU, put surfactant in her lungs, and had her on oxygen. They had here there all day Sunday, and most of Monday too. It was hard to have to ask whether it would be all right to hold my own baby, and even harder when they said no. At the same time, everybody was cheerful and treated her case as something temporary and routine. Her O2 saturation was good even when she was off the CPAP breathing tube, she just wheased a lot and it seemed like it was hard for her to breathe, so they decided to give her a little help.

Monday morning, when she was still there, and not likely to come down soon, I tried pumping -- since they said, "Oh! if you don't do it in the first 12 hours, you could have trouble having enough milk supply." Well Shortage of milk was never my problem with Lizbeth, and it didn't look like it's be a problem this time either. I took two whole ounces (60 ml) of colostrum up with me to the NICU for my first visit of the day. When the Doctor saw it she burst out laughing, and told the nurse, "I wrote on her chart to give Colostrum as available, but you'd better not try to force all that down her throat at once. Just give her about five ml at a time."

Mom brought Grandpa Roly and Lizbeth to visit, and so the two sisters got to meet for the first time. Lizbeth was impressed for about 30 seconds, and then was done with the baby and wanted attention from Mama. Grandpa Roly admired her fingers and tiny fingernails, and said, "Grabba Holt" as she held his finger, much to his delight. Monday evening, They let her leave the NICU and come to my room.

We had annother visit from Mom and Lizbeth on Tuesday, and then early that afternoon, they suddenly said we could all go home. It was great to have our whole family together in our new house. We love Baby Bridget, and are thrilled to have her here with us at last.

We got a lot of good wishes from people, and I wanted to document them here.

Karen Stay Ahlstrom water just broke -- waiting for Mom to come and watch Elizabeth, then we'll head to the hospital. May 30 at 5:32am

  • Kirsa Van Dusen I hope everything goes smoothly! May 30 at 6:07am · .

  • Patti Harvey good luck! keep us posted!! May 30 at 6:28am · .

  • Tina Moore Ingles Yay! You'll do great I'm sure! May 30 at 9:09am ·

[TPMOTD] water just broke -- waiting for Mom to come and watch Elizabeth, then we'll head to the hospital. prayers for a safe and easy delivery would be nice

-Karen May 30 at 5:30am

  • How nice! Just 20 minutes ago I woke up and prayed that you'd have a safe delivery soon.
    When I told Rachel, she said "Yaaay!" and Elliott started clapping. We're all excited for him to have another Ahlstrom cousin!
    Steve and Rachel and Elliott May 30 at 5:40am

  • Good luck. We will keep you in our prayers.

    Doug lesli daniel May 30 at 5:58am

  • Ooh, exciting! Good luck!

    --Helena May 30 at 8:36am

Peter Ahlstrom We're heading to the hospital in about 25 minutes. Would appreciate prayers for a safe and easy delivery. May 30 at 5:45am via Twitter

  • Megan Kauffman Well, you got out of California, that's a point on your side. Prayers for all of you, and remember women have been having babies for thousands of years - don't let the doctors make you forget that. May 30 at 6:19am.

  • Stefan Rauch Good luck May 30 at 7:39am.

  • Peter Ahlstrom Karen says: "Half of those women died in childbirth. Well, maybe not half, but a lot of them." May 30 at 7:57am.

  • Megan Kauffman *cringe* I won't argue with a woman in labor but that's not the best attitude to have going into it. May 30 at 8:03am.

  • Tina Moore Ingles Good luck! Take good care of her! May 30 at 9:08am.

  • Suzie Irby Great! Prayed for a safe and easy delivery and you've got a great attitude! I can tell you've done this before :) May 30 at 9:42am.

  • Peter Ahlstrom Megan: the idea is that she's glad there's a doctor there. :) May 30 at 11:02am.

  • Kathi Russell-Rader Prayers and well wishes for a safe delivery on the way, Peter. Keep me posted. May 30 at 11:09am.

  • Suzie Irby Peter, you are very correct. Not only did lots of women die in childbirth but lots of babies too! For the life of me, I cannot imagine why people want to get back to all that mess. May 30 at 12:04pm.

  • Peter Ahlstrom Bridget Ellen Ahlstrom has arrived! She's holding my finger right now. Karen is (I hope) getting some rest. May 30 at 12:11pm.

  • Megan Kauffman Congratulations! Snuggle that baby for me. May 30 at 12:37pm

It's a girl!

10:15, 7 lbs 9.6 oz, 19 1/2"

Karen's doing fine. They're making sure baby's lungs and passages are

Peter May 30 at 10:31am.

  • Hooray! Happy birthday!

    --Helena May 30 at 10:35am.

  • Congratulations!

    May 30th is a good birthday. May is a good month for birthdays, right, those of you with may birthdays?
    Lesli May 30 at 10:56am.

[TPMOTD] Bridget Ellen Ahlstrom
Welcome to the world. (Picture)
May 30 at 10:58am.

  • She is so cute. Her nose looks like Elizabeth's when she was new. That was super fast for a picture! Ellen Lynn Summerstay is what we were going to name daniel if he was a girl.
    Lesli May 30 at 11:01am.

  • Congratulations! What a great name, too! She's beautiful.

  • She does look like Lizbeth!

    Congratulations! :)

    --Helena May 30 at 11:02am.

  • Yay! Congratulations!

    We were trying to park at Niagara Falls when you called; it took like an hour. Then when I listened to your message I could only understand a few words here and there, but I got the idea when I heard the weight. Yay.
    -Betsey May 30 at 9:38pm.

  • Yeah! So glad to hear that she made it safely. -David June 1 at 10:29am.

Peter Ahlstrom It's a girl! 7 lbs 9.6 oz, 19 1/2". Mom and baby are doing fine.
May 30 at 11:00am via Twitter

  • Eric Neve Congratulations May 30 at 11:01am.

  • Brandis Pennington Congrats!!! May 30 at 11:01am.

  • Vanessa Kennington Christenson congrats! May 30 at 11:02am.

  • Christopher Wheat Wonderful Peter! All the best to your family! May 30 at 11:17am.

  • Eric Lake Congratulations! That's awesome. May 30 at 11:18am.

  • Kathi Russell-Rader Congratulations, Peter. How wonderful. May 30 at 11:21am.

  • Sabrina Pratte Congrats!!! May 30 at 11:23am.

  • Josh Walker Congrats, Peter! May 30 at 11:36am.

  • Eric Lake What's her name? May 30 at 12:13pm.

  • Peter Ahlstrom Bridget Ellen. May 30 at 12:15pm.

  • Valerie Hill Congrats!!!!!!! Enjoy the newborn stage and treasure every moment.... It wont last long enough! May 30 at 12:18pm.

  • Abby Grimshaw Dawe Congrats! Glad mom and baby are doing well. May 30 at 12:57pm.

  • Suzie Irby Congratulations!!! May 30 at 1:15pm.

  • Devin M. Taylor congratulations!! May 30 at 1:27pm.

  • Fen Eatough Woohoo!! Congrats! May 30 at 2:18pm.

  • Christina Feinauer Jones Congratulations! Fun to have two girls! May 30 at 2:54pm.

  • Patrick Sullivan congraturation May 30 at 4:21pm.

  • Lincy Chan Congratulation! She looks really cute! May 30 at 5:36pm.

  • Matthew Bushman Congratulations! May 30 at 9:41pm.

  • Diann T. Read Congratulations! May 31 at 7:03am.

  • Ta Nessa Carter Congratulations! May 31 at 8:03pm

Peter Ahlstrom . It's a girl! (Picture) May 30 at 12:03pm via Facebook Mobile

  • Michael Johnson Congratulations! May 30 at 12:15pm.

  • Valerie Hill Shes a beauty!!!! Better go ahead and by the shotgun so you can go target practicing! May 30 at 12:21pm.

  • Kristina Kugler Congratulations! May 30 at 12:24pm.

  • Karen Gonzalez Congrats! She looks a little like Elizabeth. May 30 at 1:03pm.

  • Suzie Irby That was fast! May 30 at 1:17pm.

  • Mi'chelle Trammel AWWW!!!! Peter, she so cute! Uber congratulations! May 30 at 1:25pm.

  • Joseph Zuehl Geesh, weren't you just on your way to the hospital? Man, in any case congratulations!! May 30 at 4:12pm.

  • Peter Ahlstrom We got up at 5:30 (water broke) and then she was born at 10:15. Karen was not in active labor when we got to the hospital (mild contractions every 20-40 minutes) but since her water had already broken they felt pitocin was a good idea. So once labor started it was less than 3 hours. And the final push came on rather suddenly--and the doctor we were expecting to use was in a c-section, so we had a surprise doctor. May 30 at 4:23pm.

  • Vanessa Kennington Christenson Whoa! Carl Earnstrom (you remember him, Peter? He was the editor at TLE before me) his wife had a baby today, too! How's that for coincidence?

    Oh, and she's a cutie! Congrats! May 30 at 4:27pm.

  • Deanna Hoak Congratulations!! May 30 at 5:19pm.

  • Jeffrey Creer Congrats to you and Karen. May 30 at 5:39pm.

  • Laura Duffin Congrats, Papa (& Mama)!!! :-D :-D May 30 at 6:55pm.

  • Charisa Player Congratulations! May 30 at 7:51pm.

  • Kalyani Poluri thats an angel of a baby.. Congratulations.. :) May 30 at 11:20pm.

  • Melanie Benabides Congratulations! :D June 1 at 1:58pm

Update from Peter. The baby was born this morning at 10:15 and is named Bridget Ellen. 7 lbs 9.6 oz, 19.5". Right now they've got her in the NICU due to her working slightly harder to breathe than they'd prefer. She may go to Karen's room anytime but it's hard to say.

Karen has recovered quite a lot. She sent me home where I can actually get some sleep. We will keep you posted. May 30 at 6:06pm

  • Janice West Warren Congratulations!!!!! May 30 at 6:14pm · .

  • Tina Moore Ingles Congrats and I'll be praying for the baby! May 30 at 6:52pm · .

  • Phyllis Kimmel So glad to hear about Karen and Bridget Ellen. My prayers for all of you... May 30 at 7:04pm · .

  • Kirsa Van Dusen Congratulations! What a beautiful name! I hope she gets to go stay with Karen soon! May 30 at 7:59pm · .

  • Martha Holt Henderson Congrats! Wow, early and everything! Keep us updated, you'll all be in our prayers. May 30 at 8:39pm · .

  • Jill Pavic Whoo hoo! Congratulations! May 30 at 8:39pm · .

  • Linda Stay Danielson Congratulations! Hope all continues to go well with the baby and Momma. May 30 at 9:20pm · .

  • Dorothy Brown Larson Wonderful news! Congratulations. May 30 at 10:26pm · .

  • Vanessa Kennington Christenson I love the name! Congrats May 30 at 11:09pm · .

  • Judi Moore Blessings to Bridget and Karen, and joy for Peter and Elizabeth!!! May 31 at 12:31am · .

  • Jaime Predmore Congratulations Karen and Peter :) May 31 at 6:32am · .

  • Ethel Pastron Congrats!!! I hope all continues to go well. May 31 at 7:55am · .

  • Marci Stay Stringham I am so happy to hear the good news. Give Karen all my best and congratulations to the both of you. May 31 at 8:21am · .

  • Kathy Bradley congratulations. Hope Karen and Bridget are home soon. May 31 at 9:34am · .

  • Peter Ahlstrom She's out of the NICU now and will be here in Karen's room in a couple of minutes. May 31 at 4:52pm · .

  • Peter Ahlstrom And she's here! May 31 at 5:12pm · .

  • Julie Anna Wagner Covey Congratulations to your family!! May 31 at 5:57pm

Peter Ahlstrom My parents, my sisters, their husbands & kids all have odd-numbered birthdays. My wife & I, toddler, & new baby buck that. Consistency yay! May 31 at 2:32pm via Twitter

  • Helena Ahlstrom Jole Whoa, I had never noticed that. May 31 at 3:03pm.

  • Peter Ahlstrom Barb reminded me of it last night. I think she has paid the most attention to this curious statistic. May 31 at 5:19pm

Peter Ahlstrom Baby's out of the NICU. Hooray! May 31 at 4:42pm via Twitter

  • Karen Gonzalez What's her name? And yay 4 getting out early. How's Karen doing? May 31 at 5:39pm.

  • Peter Ahlstrom Bridget Ellen. And Karen is doing well. May 31 at 5:58pm.

  • Kathi Russell-Rader Congratulations Peter. What a lovely name. My youngest niece is a Bridget. May 31 at 8:07pm.

  • Mark Ahlstrom I hope all of you were able to get some sleep. June 1 at 5:51am

[TPMOTD] Bridget is here

She's had a really good day so they've brought her down to the room with Karen. They have her on antibiotics that they need to give her until tomorrow, after which they'll do some blood work. If it looks at that point like she's not trying to fight anything off, she'll be going home with us.

Peter May 31 at 5:11pm.

  • That's great!

    Why is she on antibiotics? Was she in icu?
    LesliMay 31 at 5:12pm.

  • She was in the NICU until about 4:30 today: she was having a bit of trouble breathing. Over 95% oxygen levels, but huffing so they had her on O for a while, then just on air with positive pressure. They took that off this morning and she's done fine. They may be doing an antibiotic just becasue of all the lines they put in?
    Rebecca May 31 at 5:57pm.

  • That sounds like Daniel. They said with him that whenever newborns have trouble breathing they start them on antibiotics immediately and do tests to see what's causing it later, because if it's pneumonia or suchlike, if they do the tests first, they could get into a very serious condition by the time they get them on antibiotics. So they put daniel on them immediately, and then found he didn't need them, but they have to taper them off slowly, so he was on them for 3 days, and in nicu for three days, even though he was only on oxygen for the first day. They said the trouble breathing was because he had trouble transitioning. He was grunting too.

    I never found out his oxygen levels, but i think they were pretty low at first.
    I'm glad she's doing fine. THanks for the pictures. She's cute.
    Lesli May 31 at 6:46pm.

  • Elliott didn't go to the nicu, but he also had to get oxygen right after he was born. He was just grunting and not crying when the pediatrician did his routine checks on him.

    I'm glad Bridget doing fine. She's adorable.
    Rachel June 1 at 5:26am.

You are invited to view Rebecca's photo album: Bridget May 31 at 6:04pm.

  • She's adorable. What's the pink stuff on her foot? -Steve May 31 at 8:15pm.

  • Probably tape: she has an IV in one foot and they put a sensor on the other and also take blood out for tests. -Rebecca May 31 at 11:57pm.

  • the pink is red light shining through from one of the sensors -- the one that reads pulse rate and oxygen saturation. in an adult it would be clamped like a clothespin on your finger. She also had a temperature sensor, blood pressure cuff, an IV, and EKG electrodes to get heart beat and respiratory rate. The thing I was most impressed with was the velcro headgear for keeping the CPAP breathing tube in place on her nose. With so many things just taped on willy nilly, Bridget's feet and ankles are in sad shape with her sensitive skin dry and cracked where it hasn't been poked or rubbed away entirely. This headgear though was obviously well designed for function and comfort.

    Lesli's explanation about them givinng antibiotics first and looking for infections later was exactly what they told me for Bridget.

    It was hard not being able to hold her much that first day, but the NICU staff all seemed so calm about everything the were doing with her that at no point did I feel really worried about her long term health.

    -Karen June 1 at 4:41pm.

  • Yeah-- it is really hard not to be able to hold them that first day. I hate to say it, but it was a little easier with Levi than with Anna. I guess I wasn't expecting to be able to hold or cuddle him much the first few days since that's how it was with Anna. In fact, I think his birth was a little less joyful for me than Anna's since the whole time I just knew I wouldn't get to touch him for 12 hours. But without such high highs, there weren't such low lows so there was a lot less crying in the NICU with Levi :)
    -Heather June 1 at 6:03pm.

Peter Ahlstrom Doctor says we can all go home in a few minutes. June 1 at 1:56pm via Twitter

  • Helena Ahlstrom Jole Yay! June 1 at 2:42pm.

  • Peter Ahlstrom And we are home. June 1 at 3:16pm.

  • Mark Ahlstrom w00t! June 1 at 3:24pm.

  • Suzie Irby Nice! June 1 at 3:25pm.

  • Stacy Whitman I didn't realize you were still at the hospital when I emailed yesterday! You're just as busy as anybody right now. June 2 at 9:30am.

  • Peter Ahlstrom Well, there is a lot of time just sitting around at the hospital. Thank goodness for wireless Internet. June 2 at 10:48am

Karen Stay Ahlstrom Home from the hospital with baby Bridget June 1 at 3:14pm

  • Kirsa Van Dusen Hooray! June 1 at 3:58pm · .

  • Tina Moore Ingles I'm so glad she's here and safe :) June 1 at 5:23pm · .

  • Howard Tayler Congratulations! June 1 at 5:23pm · .

  • Martha Holt Henderson Glad she's here safely! Let me know what I can do to help! June 1 at 5:32pm · .

  • Phyllis Kimmel Best wishes, Karen. Bridget Ellen is getting a great family. June 1 at 9:53pm · .

  • Rachel G Hunsaker Congrats!! June 1 at 10:50pm · .

  • Michele Beachler Congratulations to all! And I think it's cool she was born so close to her mom's birthday :) June 2 at 6:05am · .

  • Jen De Sart Harris love the name! Feel better! and enjoy! June 2 at 2:25pm

[TPMOTD] We are home
Forgot to mention it earlier, but we are all home. Bridget is doing
well. And do is Karen.

Peter June 1 at 6:01pm

  • Hooray! -Heather June 1 at 6:04pm

  • Great! I'm glad everyone is doing well.

    Peter, how long will you be able to take off work?

    --M (Kathey) June 1 at 8:17pm

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Spirit of God by William W. Phelps

The Spirit of God

The Spirit of God like a fire is burning!
The latter-day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning,
And angels are coming to visit the earth.

We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever, Amen and amen!

The Lord is extending the Saints' understanding,
Restoring their judges and all as at first.
The knowledge and power of God are expanding;
The veil o'er the earth is beginning to burst.

We'll call in our solemn assemblies in spirit,
To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad,
That we through our faith may begin to inherit
The visions and blessings and glories of God.

How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion
Shall lie down together without any ire,
And Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion,
As Jesus descends with his chariot of fire!

We'll sing and we'll shout with the armies of heaven,
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever, Amen and amen!

--William W. Phelps

I am one of the leaders for our Ward's Activity Days program (girls 8-12).  Every so often we have a Show and Share night so the parents can see what the girls have been doing. When we planned the activity we had tonight, it was supposed to be in March, so I suggested that for our theme we could do Lions and Lambs.  On one hand, there's the little saying about March, the it comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, and on the other hand, there's plenty of Christian symbolism to lions and lambs, especially if we were going to do it just before Easter.

Well, with several Wards meeting in our building, there are serious scheduling issues, and we couldn't get the gym until tonight.  That meant that the March part of the theme was toast, but since nobody felt like coming up with a new theme we just went with "And the Lion shall lie down with the lamb." 

I had two assignments.  The first was to do centerpieces for the tables.  I thought it would be really cute to just gather up all of the lion and lamb toys we have around the house, and arrange them artfully.  I knew that Lizbeth had a lot of little lambs, because she likes them almost as much as kitties.  I got a couple of big lions for 50 cents each at the DI, and then went through the toy boxes to pull out the other random ones we had. I put them all in one of the big boxes that bulk diapers come in, and it was full to overflowing by the time I was done, and I know of several that never made it into the box.  With the Easter grass and plastic eggs that we also decided to use even though Easter was weeks ago, it really looked good.

My other assignment was to give a short lesson talking about the theme and why we had chosen it.  Since I actually typed up what I was going to say beforehand, I thought I'd post it here for you to read.  I wanted to fit in something about Aslan in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I couldn't gind the right place for it.  I could also have mentioned Lambert the Sheepish Lion, but that just would have been silly. I only mentioned in passing the stories in 1 Kings 13 and 1 Kings 20 where people are eaten by lions, but if, like certain of my brothers, you enjoy reading really odd Old Testament stories, they're worth looking at.  Anyway, here it is:

I've been asked to talk a little bit today about our theme: The lamb shall lie down with the lion.

We sing about it in the hymn The Spirit of God: How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion shall lie down together without any ire.

Scripturally, it comes from a passage in Isaiah chapter 11 verse 6 where he's talking about the peace that will come after the wars and Judgement Day at the end of the world: The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

When I looked that up, I was surprised -- there are a lot of animals mentioned in that verse, and though the lion and lamb are both there, they aren't particularly close together, and yet in the song, and all kinds of Christian art, they're the two animals shown lying down together in peace in the millenium.

After doing a bit more searching, I found that the connection came from another prophecy about the end of the world, this one in Revelation chapter 5. Sitting there by God's throne, John sees a book that's sealed with seven seals. It's called the Book of Life, and everything everybody has done is written inside so they can be judged. But John is sad because there's nobody worthy to open the book and read what's inside. Then in vs 5 it says, And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. 6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain... 7 And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.

So here in John's vision, in one verse, Jesus is called the Lion of The Tribe of Judah, and in the next, He's suddenly called the Lamb.

We're used to thinking of Jesus as the Lamb of God. At Easter we remember how as part of His great atoning sacrifice, He fulfilled the Law of Moses by allowing Himself to be sacrificed as the Passover Lamb to meet the demands of Justice and forgive all our sins if we would repent. John the Baptist said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29). When the Angel is explaining Nephi's vision of the Tree of Life in 1 Ne 13, he constantly refers to Jesus as The Lamb or The Lamb of God.

And it's easy to see how he's like a lamb: Meek, Pure, Innocent, in Isaiah 53, it says, 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

The lion is a bit harder at first, but becomes easier to see as you look more closely. A lion is known as the ‘king of beasts’ He is majestic and strong. These two characteristics in themselves can be applied to the Lord. In ancient days, the King was the one who made the laws, and often acted as the top judge in the land as well (think of King Solomon and his famous wisdom in judgement).

In the Old Testament, Lions are often a symbol of God's Justice. Some people are killed by Lions after disobeying the prophets, and other prophets talked about Babylon and Assyria coming to take the Children of Israel into captivity as ravening lions. The most famous Lion story is about Daniel. Because he obeyed God's law, and even the king knew that the law of the land was unjust, the lions that were the instrument of justice had no power to devour Daniel.

Christ is the King of Kings, and therefore, the only one qualified to open the book and sit down and Judge everybody on Judgement Day. It's interesting though, that when he does it in Revelation, He's called the Lamb. One of the great problems with God's plan was that everybody who came to Earth would sin, and no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God. Alma says, in chapter 42 vs 25 What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God. But because Christ, the only perfect, unblemished, innocent Child of God was willing to suffer and die for our sins, the demands of Justice were satisfied, and He could be merciful at Judgement Day.

And if you go back to Isaiah 11, where this whole journey started, you'll see that that's really what that chapter is all about. It talks about how he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:  4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

He's the perfect Judge. On one hand he's merciful to those that try to be righteous, and on the other hand, those that are truly wicked and oppress others will be destroyed. At that point, Justice and Mercy don't have to be at odds any more.

The question we should ask ourselves now that we know all this, is which side of Jesus do I want ot see at Judgement Day? Do I want to meet to Lion, who will judge me guilty for every thoughtless thing I've done, or do I want to meet the Lamb of God, who has already paid the price for my sins and will forgive me if I repent and do as He commands?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A-tisket. A-tasket as sung by Ella Fitzgerald

A-tisket. a-tasket
A-tisket, a-tasket,
A green and yellow basket
I bought a basket for my mom
And on the way I dropped it
I dropped it, I dropped it
Yes, On the way I dropped it
A little girlie picked it up
And took it to the market
She was truckin' on down the avenue,
Without a single thing to do
She was peck-peck-peckin all around
When she spied it on the ground
A tisket. A-tasket
She took my yellow basket
And if she doesn't bring it back
I think that I shall die
(Was it red?) no,no,no,no,
(Was it brown?) no,no,no,no,
(Was it blue?) no,no,no,no,
Just a little yellow basket
--Anonymous nursery rhyme (as sung by Ella Fitzgerald)
Here's another long post full of facebook updates with some photos and videos thrown in.  Feel free to skim.
  • Feb 22 Elizabeth has figured out that singing a song means having sustained notes, and not just reciting the lyrics. She has not figured out how to carry anything like a tune yet though. That means that Mama gets to listen to Aaaa-Beeee-Ceee-Deee-Eeee-Fff-Geeee! and Puuuut Heeeerrrr iiinn aaaaa pumkiiiin sheeeelllll annnnd ...theeeeereee heee keeept herrrr veee-ryyyy weeeelllll in a very loud monotone for hours on end today.

  • Feb 22 By dinner time Elizabeth's stream of consciousness had degraded to "Diddle diddle diddile blablablablablablabla Blah!!!! lalalalalalalal bl-ey-bl-ey-bl-ey!" Will I never hear silence again?
  • Feb 24 Lizbeth quote of the day: "I want a credit card too!"
  • Feb 25 Lizbeth was playing with my jewelry while I got dressed and brushed my hair after a shower. When I finished and put the brush away, Lizbeth looked at me in the big mirror and said, "Mama -- how pretty she is!" Some days I don't mind when she talks.
  • Feb 26 Elizabeth keeps saying, "Patient song! Patient song 'gin Mama! I want the patient song!" Can you say ironic? (click the link to hear the song she means) looking at the words now, I realize I've been singing it wrong -- I sing the last line as "Love and help each other be patient kind and true." So that''s where the "patient" comes from.
  • Feb 28 Lizbeth's latest non-sequiter: "Hooray! I'm happy. Hooray for Lizbeth."
    ok, so she then went on to quote one of her favorite passages from the book All My Little Ducklings -- "Pitter patter scatter" -- four or five times, then suddenly shouted, "Oh! Oh my!...said Lizbeth" and when that got laughs, she said it a few more times, complete with dialogue tags.
  • Mar 4 Elizabeth has been deciding more and more often recently that she just doesn't want to wear clothes. She'd rather go around naked and snuggle with super-soft micro fiber blankets. How do you explain modesty to a two year old?
  • Mar 4 Showed Elizabeth some of Mary Poppins tonight for the first time. Bored by Mr. Banks' song, entranced by the chalk drawing sequence, and rubbing her eyes and yawning during Stay Awake. I think we've got a winner.
  • Mar 6 I think Elizabeth ate three bites of her dinner tonight, and no amount of cajoling would convince her to eat any more. The rest got spat out, played with and thrown on the floor. Needless to say we're a bit grumpy this evening.
  • Mar 9 When Lizbeth stripped naked and started rolling in blankets today, Grandma offered to make pants and shirt from a blanket so she could stay dressed and still feel the super soft stuff on her skin. Lizbeth danced with glee at the idea. And though she pulled the pants and shirt up and down to get the feeling of it over... and over, she did stay dressed for the rest of the day! :)
    In this video, taken Apr 3rd, she is wearing the blanket pajamas and playing with her blue blanket. This is a game Elizabeth made up today. She put the blanket on her head and said she looked like a baby (since that's how I swaddle dolls). Then she said, "and I have two wings like a bee!" and was so impressed by the idea that she played baby bumblebee for about an hour, buzzing, dancing, and repositioning her blanket wings and hood.

    Another cute photo of the baby bumblebee in blanket pajamas

  • Mar 14 Lizbeth woke up crying hysterically. When I went in to comfort her it took a couple of minutes just to stop and breathe. I asked her what she was dreaming about and for the first time, she was able to give me an answer: "It was a frog." what was the frog doing? "It was hopping out of an egg." she tells me it wasn't scary, but it wasn't happy and it wasn't fun either.
  • Mar 17 had a long busy exhausting day. Kept Elizabeth happy and energized with gummi bears. The zoo was great, and Elizabeth is finally going down slides again. Wore my leprochaun socks, but ate Indian for dinner (sorry St. Pat!).
    Our trip to the zoo was a lot of fun. It was the first really warm springy day we'd had that we actually got to go outside for a long time. Elizabeth had a lot of energy and spent a lot of time running around on the playground, doing things she had been timid about all winter.
    This is about her third time up this rope ladder. The first time she needed a lot of help, but she quickly gained confidence and skill.

    At the bottom of the rope ladder

    At the top of the rope ladder

    At the top of the twirly slide. Notice what the static does to her hair.

    Trying to get a cute Easter greetings photo. This is the best one we got. I have about 20 of the top of her head or with her climbing in or out or looking away from me.

    Enjoying the snake slide. You have to go up a couple of flights of stairs to get to the top of this slide, and Lizbeth enjoyed it so much she went five or more times in a row.

    In the turtle shell
  • Mar 18 Grandpa Roly was watching the BYU game while Elizabeth ate lunch. She paid particular attention to how he sat on the edge of his chair and yelled at the screen. When he went to change the laundry, she climbed up in his chair and started shouting, "Yes! No! Yes! No! Okay! Whoops! Nuts!"
  • Mar 18 I clipped Elizabeth's fingernails this morning. As we were heading downstairs for naptime after lunch, she looked at her stuffed kitty and said, "Clip kitty's ears. Clip kitty's nose nails." I said, we have fingernails and toenails, but no nose nails!" She looked at me smiling at her, tapped my teeth with her finger... and said, "Mama has mouth nails!"
  • Mar 24 We were talking with Lizbeth about the new baby sister that's coming this summer, and I asked her, "do you know where Baby Sister is right now?" Lizbeth thought for a moment and answered, "At the DI?"
  • Mar 26 RemoveKaren Stay Ahlstrom Said, "Do you want to pick out a shirt?" Lizbeth said, Kitty wants to pick out a shirt. She has hands for picking out." Then using the kitty's paws as pincers, she grabbed a shirt out of her drawer. "Oooohhh! Kitty picked out a lovely shirt!" she said as I put it on her. After breakfast, when she picked up the kitty ...again, she said, "Oh Kitty, Look at this beautiful shirt."
  • Mar 26 Driving home from a long day of shopping, Elizabeth kicked off her boots and socks and was making wired singing noises in the back seat. When she giggled at something she had said, I thought I ought to pay attention. This is what I heard: "This little kitty had roast beef, this little kitty had none. This little kitt...y went wee wee wee all the way home. I said the piggies were kitties. That's funny! Ha ha ha!"
  • Mar 27 I asked Peter, who is working on a tight deadline, "Are you playing catchup or getting ahead on work right now?" Peter answered, "I'm not getting ahead." Lizbeth said, "Daddy is getting ahead. Daddy has Daddy's head." as if this should be obvious to anyone with eyes.
  • Mar 28 Today in nursery they gave Elizabeth cutouts of Jesus, the tomb, and a stone to block the door. Much of Sacrament meeting was spent rolling away the stone and letting Jesus come out. Good Job Church Curriculum Department! :)
  • Mar 28 Just before we went upstairs for lunch today, somebody started a music box that played, "I'd like to teach the world to sing." It reminded Elizabeth of the Happy Birthday song which she insisted we sing to her. When we got upstairs and put her in her chair, she said, in an injured tone of voice, "We have no cake!"
  • Mar 30 Peter posted this video of Lizbeth on Brandon's facebook pages and got tons of funny comments from his fans

    My two-year-old finds some of the manuscript of THE WAY OF KINGS by Brandon Sanderson (turn up volume).
  • Mar 31 Tonight, Elizabeth fell into the too-hungry-to-be-rational-enough-to-put-on-a-bib-sit-in-her-chair-and-eat-something trap. I managed to get a little beef and barley stew and applesauce into her after much weaping, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then I tried to see what else she might be interested in. I began with some old standby favorites.
    "Do you want some frozen peas?" I asked.
    "No" she answered.
    "Do you want some turkey?" I asked.
    "Nooo" She answered.
    "Do you want some ham?" she asked.
    "Do you want some ham?" I asked, playing along, hoping that she really did.
    "Noooooo" she answered.
    "Do you want some roast beef?" she asked.
    "Noo-oo-ooo" she answered herself.
    "Do you want some barley and potatoes? Noooooo"
    "Do you want some Applesauce? Nooooo"
    "Do you want some milk? Nooo"

    By this time, all I could do was sit and giggle at her. Peter got out his phone to take video, but toddlers are quantum creatures, and recording them changes their behavior, and she started hamming it up for the camera:

    "Do you want some ham? Nooo"
    "Do you want some ham Daddy? No"
    "Do you want some ham Daddy? No"
    "Do you want some ham Daddy? No"
    "Do you want some ham Daddy? No"

    And that was all we could get out of her until she asked if Daddy wanted some frozen peas, which he did, so then she decided she did too, and eating resumed.
  • Apr 1 Tonight Lizbeth demanded a new song entitled "Jesus has a Blue Blanket" After she rejected the slightly modified "Jesus Jesus Rest your head, you have got a blue blanket" I sang the following: Jesus has a Blue Blanket, Blue Blanket, Blue blanket. Jesus has a Blue Blanket, and He shares it with Lizbeth. When I finished, Lizbeth sighed contentedly and said, "Yes. He shares it with Lizbeth." I justified it doctrinally by saying that everything we have comes from Heavenly Father and Jesus, and we're thankful that they made such a wonderful world with good things like Mamas, Daddies and Blue Blankets in it.
These were taken on Palm Sunday. Mom is out of town helping Heather with her new baby, and was disappointed not to see the Amaryllis bloom. So these shots are for her.

Here's our Easter Secular Saturday celebration photos:
Dying eggs

Drawing on eggs

Smile for the camera!

Here is a long video of Elizabeth's Easter Egg hunt. We all had a lot of fun dying eggs, then hiding and searching for them with Elizabeth. It was especially cute when whoever was searching wasn't fast enough to find the eggs she had hidden, so she picked them up and put them in their basket herself.

If you're wondering how my life is going, I'm feeling more and more pregnant (30 weeks now) and getting more and more annoyed at people who tell me I'm so tiny.  It's hard to sleep, and hard to walk, and hard to sit, and I'm pretty sure my hip got dislocated for about a day.  I am in pretty good spirits most of the time, though with Mom gone and Peter working long hours, I'm feeling rather isolated and anxious and getting frustrated with Elizabeth more easily.  I'm really enjoying our ward's quilting group, and we've been having more friends come over to play with Lizbeth lately, so that helps some too.  I've been looking at apartments and rental units so we can move closer to Peter's work, and out of Mom and Dad's basement, but I only found one that really looked like someplace that I'd want to move to on purpose, and it got rented to somebody else, so that's on hold again for a while.

Well, that's all for now.  See you in about a month, unless I get around to writing about Elizabeth's favorite games (as I've been meaning to do for about a week now).

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep by Mother Goose

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full;
One for the master,
And one for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
--Mother Goose

Elizabeth loves sheep right now. For some reason they make her happy. They're even giving the kitties a run for their money for favorite toys. She doesn't have any black sheep though. All of her toy and stuffed sheep are white (except for the new pink valentine sheep that Grandma gave her). So even though she loves this song (and Mary Had a Little Lamb), I usually have to sing Baa Baa White Sheep instead. And when we put some glow in the dark sheep on the wall of her room for her to count and help her sleep, I had to sing Baa Baa Glowing Sheeps for a few nights. She's such a funny girl. We love her a lot.

I know that not all of my blog readers are also facebook friends, so I thought I'd post some of the cute things Elizabeth has been saying here as well as there. If you are one of my facebook friends, then sorry, there's not anything new here in this post until the photos.

Feb 20: Somewhere upstairs, my mom just blew her nose. Downstairs in the basement, Elizabeth perked up and said excitedly, "That's Grandma!"

Feb 19: Overheard Lizbeth singing to herself: As Grandpa loves you love one another...'notherone likes you...Grandpa becca loves you

Feb 18: Putting Lizbeth down for a late nap, I said, "I need to go make dinner so you'll have something nice to eat tonight. She said, "Oh! That was nice of you."

Feb 17: Grandma tells me that Lizbeth waited in the bathtub, laying in the water, till it had all run out. Grandma asked if she was ready to get out since all the water was gone, and Lizbeth said, "No. I sleep here in empty tub."

Feb 14: On the way home after another long Sacrament meeting. Lizbeth: I love the church. Peter: I'm glad you love the church. I love the church too. Mommy, do you love the church? Karen (wearily): Oh yes, I love the church too. Lizbeth: No, Mama does not.

Feb 14: Grandma put some Valentines in Elizabeth's room, including a pink stuffed sheep, for her to find when she woke up. Elizabeth was suitably excited, and showed me the cards with Pooh Bear, Princess Aurora, Joel's red car (Lightning McQueen), and Woody and Buzz. When I asked "Where did the sheep come from? Who gave it to... you?" she said, "From the DI?" I guess she knows where I get all her animals!When I told her that the sheep was from Grandma, and that it meant that Grandma was saying "I love you" she pulled the sheep's arms out and made it give her a hug. So she did really understand after all

Feb 10: while addressing Valentine cards just now, I heard some suspicious noises coming from the playroom. Lizbeth had taken the giant box of Goldfish crackers and poured them ALL out on her little table and chairs and floor. Mama: "Don't pour them all out!" Lizbeth: "I'm putting dems on the table." Mama: "OK, but that's too many!" Lizbeth: "But I want to eat too many."

Feb 8: Last night, after Lizbeth's bedtime, Grandma went downstairs and heard her crying hystreically in her room. While being carried upstairs, Lizbeth said, "I'm cleaning my nose with the blue blinket." and demonstrated by wiping off some snot. I came to hold and comfort her, and asked what she needed. Lizbeth choked back a sob and said, "Kleenex."

Feb 7: in my last week as nursery leader, half the kids didn't show up. of the three that did, one crawled under a table and slept through the entire class, another slipped on a napkin and split his lip open (blood everywhere), and the last was Elizabeth, who had a complete breakdown in sacrament after nursery. sigh.

Feb 5: Peter: "Lizbeth, say 'I love you Daddy'" Lizbeth: "I love you...Me!"
The night before it was Peter: "Lizbeth, say 'I love you Daddy'" Lizbeth: "I love you...Grandpa!"
This morning it was Peter: "Lizbeth, say 'I love you Daddy'" Lizbeth: "I love you...Song!"
(She did say "I love you Daddy" a couple times later that week, so perhaps she's done with that game now.)

Feb 4: told Lizbeth to come put her shoes and coat on for a walk with Grandpa, then got her boots out of the closet. She looked confused for a moment, then said, "Boots are kinda like a shoe." then she nodded her head and let me continue.

Feb 4: Right now, she's especially interested in books based on disney movies like Winnie the Pooh, and Sleeping Beauty and Pixar movies like Finding Nemo and Toy Story. We got a picture book of Toy Story 2, which she hasn't seen, and she will often tell me out of the blue that Woody and Buzz were riding on the horsey, or that Woody's doggie came to help him.

Feb 4: woke up late to find Lizbeth up and waiting for me. The first thing she said was, "Oh, I need a piggie." that accomplished, she said, "I need a little bag to put the piggie in. Just the right size for the piggie." I found one of those too, and she put the pig in, and was satisfied. She abandoned the piggie and started playing with balls. I have no idea what was going through her mind, but it was important to her.

Feb 3: This morning Elizabeth told me, "I need to take off da clothes and be warm in da blue blinket." She managed to get her pants off, but no amount of tugging at the front of her jumper would remove it, thank goodness.

Jan 31: Today at church I was entertaining Elizabeth with a Bible ABCs sticker book. Angels, Bethlehem, Christ Deciples, Eve Fruit, Gethsemanie, Hands, Israelites, Joshua, etc. We were putting stickers on the Water and Wine page when Elizabeth said, "Go back to Gethsemanie. I realized after some confusion that the speaker was telling the story of somebody's dream of seeing the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemanie. It made me happy that she had been paying enough attention to the book to learn the new word, and enough attention to the talks to hear the word she had just learned. Kids pay a lot more attention to stuff than we think.

There's a lot more of this kind of thing on my facebook wall, if you want to friend me and go back and read older posts.

This is from New Years day. Lizbeth's friend Joel decided to throw a snowball at her head, and she decided to laugh at it. I'm so glad she has a sense of humor around him because otherwise his boyish energy could get intimidating at times. As it is, she loves going to Joel's House and while she's there they chase each other around and laugh and laugh and laugh.

Here's another one of them together. Elizabeth loves to pretend like she's sleeping, and wrap herself and anything else that's handy up in blankets to keep warm. Just as I was taking this photo she said, "I am sleeping with Joel." I just had to laugh.

More of the sleeping game. She will seriously spend hours doing this. She wraps herself, her stuffed kitties and sheep, her golf balls balls, Mama's head, Grandma's big Snoopy dog, or anything else within reach then snuggles for about five seconds before getting up and rearranging everything.

Here the poor girl is in the hospital with croup on her birthday. She totally lost her voice, and none of us got much sleep for several days, but she came through like a trooper.

Later that day opening a birthday present from Aunt Shirley. It's a baby that swims in the bathtub and blows bubbles. Of course if you turn it over so the air intake hole in the back of her head is under water, then she spits a magnificent stream of water all over the bathroom and makes your tired sick girl gleeful for the first time in days. Thanks Shirley!

I wanted to make cards with handprints on them for Valentine's Day, so here we are fingerpainting.

When Elizabeth made this smudge, she got excited and said, "An A'gator!" As she can talk more, it's easier to see that she has quite an active imagination.

Here she is at the park by the pond. She's so cute.

At the zoo with her cousin Anna. Heather's plane was late, and we stopped at Wendy's before getting to the zoo, so we ended up arriving something like two minutes before they closed the gate for the day. Luckily, they'll let you wander around for about an hour after that without bugging you to leave, so a serious crisis was averted.

Grandpa Randy went and bought more than a ton of coal to add to his emergency supplies and eventually run his steam engine with. He was very pleased when it snowed a few days later and he could make a snowman with two eyes made out of coal :)

Here are Lizbeth and Anna feeding the ducks with Grandma Becca at the pond. The girls ate almost as much of the bread as the ducks did.

Another cute photo of Elizabeth wearing a hat Marcelle made for her. Isn't she pretty?

Chapter 11 by Isaiah

Chapter 11
    1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
    2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;
    3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:
    4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
    5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
    6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
    8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
    9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
    10 ¶ And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
    11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
    12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
    13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.
    14 But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
    15 And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod. 16 And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.
by Isaiah
Today while playing with blocks, Elizabeth decided that the arches looked like beds, and that it would be just the right size for her Little People lamb (one of her favorite toys). She put the lamb in, and put another arch on top for a "quilt" and was very pleased with the result. Then, out of nowhere, she said, "A lion! A lion! I need a little lion!" I got the Little People lion and handed it to her, but she didn't like him, and kept asking for a "little lion." I saw this tiny stuffed lion on the floor and handed it to her, and she put him into another arch bed right next to the lamb. I thought it was just to cute to pass up getting a photo of, so here it is.

I thought you might also like to see how she has been playing lately, so I took two long videos. She can go on like this for quite a long time, playing, talking to herself, singing snips of songs, narrating what she's doing, and giving praise like "Good job!" and "That's pretty neat!" Most of what she says is in complete sentences now (or at least as complete as the rest of us use in conversation), and it's really fun to see what phrases she has picked up.