We're livin' it up on the U.P. - that's Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Punkie is 6 and LOVED Kindergarten! Isaboo is 2 and she's a smiley whirl wind. We also call her Busy-Isi. This year we welcomed little Lorenzo to our family.

Life is great!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Resolutions (NYR's)

I know, some people are nay sayers when it comes to NYR's. 
They say, "Why does the new year have to instigate change?" 
Well, I say if anytime is as good as the next than WHY NOT at new year's? 
It's a NEW year! 
What better way to convince yourself you can have a new fresh start!

Nontheless, this is for those who do not like New Year's Resolutions.
Saw this on Pinterest and it made me laugh. I had just started this post and was wondering if anyone even cares about other people's resolutions?
 For the record I love to hear about other people's resolutions.
I like to hear what they are changing...maybe a little bit about why...and definitely how!

I'll be the first to admit that I don't always accomplish my NYR's but I don't let that stop me from setting them...and setting a lot of them.

Every year I organize them differently.
Here is how I did it this year.

STOP:
Drinking Soda
We don't usually buy it and have it in our house, but over the holidays we did.
When we eat out, which still is maybe once a week, I like to get a soda.
No more.

Watching so many shows by myself.
I gotta watch The Biggest Loser by myself, Nathan doesn't like it and I love it. That is the perfect show while folding laundry.
Remember that big list of shows I was watching.
Well, some I just stopped watching some...for my health.
Some I finished out the season (to see who won) but, I'm not picking up the new seasons. 

START:

Keeping track of every penny. 
We are already pretty good about keeping track of our pennies but we are going to really track it and see where we can save more.

Read the Book of Mormon daily
I seem to be on again off again a lot....more off than on.
I'm ashamed to say I only got through 1st and 2nd Nephi in 2011.
I want to be more consistent.
And it will help that Sunday School [Sr. Primary] is covering the Book of Mormon this year.

Reading the Children's Friend and Ensign Magazines from cover to cover each month.
December 27th I read half of the January Children's Friend and the next morning I read the other half. 
I can't tell you how much inspiration I got for Primary for the new year. 
What a blessing.
Following a schedule.
Some people hate schedules...sometimes I do. 
But, if I make myself a schedule then I won't get lost and sucked into the internet so much. 
(Blogs, Pinterest, Hulu, Netflix, etc.)
The schedule is flexible but, having a plan is better and safer than no plan.
(Include: hobbies ~ photography practice and tutorials, photoshop practice and tutorials, organization, calling, cleaning...notice cleaning is LAST!

Organizing and dejunking and archiving.
Project room: condense containers by putting stuff in binders, throwing stuff out, and completing projects. 
Books: We have a lot. I need to got through them and get rid of the ones we aren't in love with.
Nathan may or may not be building me a nice sturdy book case...it will help, a lot!
 
CONTINUE:

Reading more books!
My goal is to read 24 books this year!
We will be purchasing a library card in the Soo! 
I think I'll blog about that another day...but it means I can read MORE books!
Family Indexing
I was doing this really well before I got sick.
Each week I would set a goal and would often exceed my goals.
Need to get back to that.

***

I've been thinking about these resolution ideas since Christmas.
I like them. I think they are attainable.

Have you read the first article in the January Ensign.
So positive and uplifting and inspiring.
Go read it, if you haven't.
Here's the first paragraph...

"At the advent of a new year, I challenge Latter-day Saints everywhere to undertake a personal, diligent, significant quest for what I call the abundant life—a life filled with an abundance of success, goodness, and blessings. Just as we learned the ABCs in school, I offer my own ABCs to help us all gain the abundant life."

That article by our beloved Prophet is why I make changes in the new year.
I want a more abundant life!
An abundance of success, goodness and blessings!
Sounds great!
I'll take it!

Friday, December 16, 2011

List of Books I Read In 2011

So here is my 2011 list of books I read: (FYI, my favorite reads are youth/young adult books)





LOVED IT! Easy read and very enjoyable story! I remember it being pretty funny at times.















Good Read! Really enjoyed it. WWII, Germany. 















I'm not posting these in the order I read them....this was one of the first of the year and I could not remember what the book was about. I had to read the synopsis on Wikipedia. I remember now. I really liked this book. It was a good read. Interesting.










I love this book. This was a book I had read in recent years. I rarely re-read books but I really like this one. I first read it just before we moved to Nebraska and the book takes place in Nebraska. Maybe that's why I love it so much?

Willa Cather is from Nebraska, near Lincoln and when my parents visited us there, we went to her hometown and toured it. 








LOVE IT!!! You've probably all read it, too. If you haven't, you SHOULD!  And see the movie, loved that too! I stole this book from my mom right before we moved and then I let my friend here in the Soo read it before I sent it back to my mom.  My friend loved the book too and she took me to see the movie with her!  SO GOOD!








I enjoyed this book. It's by an LDS author and involves the single life of an LDS woman who works as a private detective for her uncle's quirky business.  It's cute and a good mystery.








I enjoyed this book. I made decluttering and organizing a hobby while we lived in Lincoln and still can't resist some books and websites on the subject. This is a good one. I think I would also enjoy Peter Walsh's book, "It's All Too Much," which was written before this one. Maybe I'll read that one in 2012?








LOVE THIS BOOK!!! This is another I have read before. I think this maybe one of my most favorite. The thing is...it's not for everyone. I have lent this book to two friends and they both gave it back to me after a few months and said they just couldn't get into it. Sad, because it's SO good! But, again, I guess it's not for everyone.












This is another one I stole from my mom before we moved. It was really good. It's the first in a series. The next one is out and it's called Crossed. Not sure when I'll get to read that one. Surely, our library won't get it for another 50 years or so. Mom, if you get it, send it to me!!!

I felt like this was much like the Hunger Games...but not so much that I thought was I was reading the same book. Just sayin.










A friend here let me borrow this book. It's an LDS author. It's a pretty good mystery. An enjoyable easy read.










Same friend let me borrow this one. I LOVED IT!!! Very much! I think I would read this one again.

I would say it's a similar read to The Secret Life of Bees. Loved that book too.












This is a FAT book. I had to take a break at some point while reading it. But, I did finish it. It was good. Very interesting.







Stole this from my mom before we moved. Started it in October and just finished reading it.  It's a fat one too. It's historical fiction and is about George F. Handel, who wrote Messiah. Messiah is an oratorio that is often sung/performed around Easter and mostly Christmas. I don't own the music but would love a copy. It was a good book. I felt it was longer than it needed to be and there were loose ends, I felt, at the end...which I do not like. But it was good and I would recommend it to others.






And one book I started and stopped. Maybe one day I'll read it all the way through.



It was hard to read. I don't like books that are hard to read...not these days anyway. The actual author tries to write like he's another writer, writing about actual places and events. Talks about visiting the places, which are actually fictional places but written about as if they are real. Confusing.  At the same time the story is being read by a grandfather to his sick grandson. Maybe someday I'll try again.  We own it.

I love the movie. We don't own it.









The book I wish I was reading right now. Charles Dickens' The Christmas Carol. I just have a hankerin'. But, we don't have it. And why would our library stock Dickens? No. The real question is why doesn't our library have ANY Dickens!!?!? Seriously, they have no Charles Dickens...not one! And they call themselves a LIBRARY!!!



What I am reading instead is a book lent to me by a wonderful woman in our branch. I started it on Monday and I am really enjoying it.














And that's a wrap!

What is you favorite book? Genre of books? 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Questions...

My Aunt Kathy had a post, How are the holiday plans coming along?
Her post included several questions. 
I gladly and excitedly answered all the questions. 
When I tried to post my "comment"...novel.
It was TOO long.

So here are my answers:

Our Christmas is coming along quite nicely.

Do you have all your decorations up? Real or fake tree?
We decorated the day after Thanksgiving. 
We have the most beautiful 7 foot fake tree. We got it for about $45 on black Friday a few years ago. We're not black Friday shoppers per-say. We got up at a normal time and went to the stores we had scouted out ahead of time through their ads and if they had trees left we'd get one. Shopko did not...Home Depot did not but I asked if we could have the display tree because it was such a great price and such a beautiful prelit tree with red berries and little pine cones. They said yes! I love our tree. Only thing I miss about the real thing is the smell. The first year we had the fakey we got a pine tree smelly thingy...but we never use it because it is liquid and you're supposed to just leave it open on a table. I don't feel good about having open liquid sitting around with Marley...even though she is really good about not touching things we ask her not to...still makes me nervous. What if the smell hypnotized her and it told her to drink it...no...don't like to think of Marley swiggin' on pine tree perfume. 

How is your shopping going?
Our shopping is mostly done. We are getting one more gift for me this week. Then we are totally done. Still sewing some things for Marley.

Nathan is still working on a homemade gift for his sister. I'm still working on homemade gifts for our parents and my siblings. Hope to get all that in the mail this Saturday.

I can usually surprise Nathan with a gift or two but he has a really hard time surprising me...which I DO NOT mind...but he really wants to surprise me. 
Maybe someday.

I LOVE shopping online and we pretty much have to since we live near outer Mongolia and there is no place to shop besides a tiny JC Penny and Walnast. Can you believe there is no place that has ANYTHING maternity here...except Walnast...and actually I don't know that they do...haven't looked.  ANYWAY. Sorry for the rant. I LOVE Amazon.

Do you participate in a Secret Santa exchange?
We are not participating in a Secret Santa exchange this year. I did last year at my job at the orthodontist. I got the lady a $20 gift card to Maurice's and everybody else got each other Christmas decorations...nobody told me there was a theme to the gift giving. Oh well, the lady I gave to was SOO surprised and SOO appreciative. She probably thought she'd get a plastic reindeer and instead she was half way to a new purse or shirt!

Anyone have a new favorite Christmas song?

I LOVE Christmas music! I listen in the car. There is an oldies station here that plays Christmas music 24-7. But, we can't get that station in our house. Lucky for me I only listen in the car because they claim the most Christmas music...they play it all the time...but you hear the same songs all day....not much variety. 
There are SO many Christmas Albums I want: Michael Buble, Mindy Gledhill, Jason Mraz (not sure if he has a whole album but I love his version of Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland), Barbara Streisand (grew up on her Christmas album and I LOVE it, I NEED it!), ummm...that's all I can think of. There are so many favorites...it's hard to choose but I tend to like the jolly upbeat ones as opposed to the sappy cry-baby ones. Touching I like...cry-baby, no thank you.

I know you didn't ask but one Christmas song I LOATH is Christmas Shoes!  EEWWWW!!!! That song was not written to spur on Christmas joy, it was written to make you feel sad and cry. Plus, we could listen to Christmas music on my mission and one companion put that on repeat anytime we were in the apt or in the car for 3 solid weeks! DO NOT LIKE THAT SONG!

A new favorite? No new favorites. I love Bare Naked Ladies and Sara Mclachlan's version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen...I think they mix some We Three Kings into it...I love it! I own that one and listen to it anytime...throughout the year.

How are your kids doing with Christmas anticipation?

Marley and Christmas anticipation. Well, once mid-November hit a switch turned on inside her (think it was triggered by Walnast's Christmas decor) and she was asking begging to get our tree out and decorate for Christmas. I might have given in but Nathan is adamant about waiting until after Thanksgiving. I tend to agree but, seriously I might have given in, which lets be honest, wouldn't have been the end of the world. Grandma Alger sent us a package with gifts. That made her SO excited! The first gifts under the tree! Every day since, around 10:00am Marley and I have the same conversation.

Marley: Can I open my presents?
Me: No.
Marley: Please, just one?
Me: No.
Marley: Please can I open one present just for a minute?!?
Me: No.
Marley: I just want to see what the toys are...just for ONE minute?
Me: No. We will open one MAYBE two on Christmas eve. Then we will open the rest on Christmas day. We need to wait. It will be more fun if we wait.
Marley: Please just for ONE minute!?!?
Me yesterday: If it's too hard to see presents under the tree and not want to open them, I will hide them and they won't come back until Santa comes and he puts them back under the tree.
Marley: (worried eyes and exasperated voice) NO! DON'T DO THAT!

Can you answer all those questions in 4,000 words or less? Ready GO!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Renaissance Man!

It's Nathan's birthday!!!

The world is right again.
Because once again we are the same age. 
We are 80 days apart. 
During those 80 days he somehow finds casual ways to bring up that I am older than him.
I retort with..."Oh yea? How old are you?"
He can NEVER remember how old he is and if he guesses he is usually a year too old.

If you don't know that I also call Farmer Freitas, The Renaissance Man, you might want to read this birthday post.
 Happy Birthday To my My Renaissance Man (December 14, 2009)

Basically, it's because he will try almost anything to be self reliant. 
He would rather fix, build, or grow things instead of buy them.

And if you want to know more about Nathan and our courtship you might want to read this birthday post. 

But, if all you have time for is THIS post, the one you are reading...here we go. 
Here is my Renai Man fixin' the dryer. 
Which does indeed work now!
It took three tries...replacing three different parts, which I think ALL needed replacing.
This was the first try.
 (Below) The black things on the left are the old nasty parts...top ones are made from a thin cork and did not look like cork at all. 
The two bottom things once looked like that blue thing on the right. 
They were worn OUT!
 We borrowed this rivet tool from our friend Gary. 
Now, of course, The Renai Man wants one.
Oooo! 
I should write that down for a future gift idea!
 It is a pretty cool tool!
 Oh man he is SO handsome!
 So the main problem turned out being the motor. 
Nathan tinkered with the old one and found it needed a new capacitor.
I asked him, "A Flux Capacitor?!?!!!"
Sadly, he didn't get it...do you?
I refreshed his memory and then he got it...and then he said,
"You are weird! How do you remember that stuff?"
Then he hugged me. = )

Anyway, he also found that if your capacitor is out, your whole motor is out.
No replacing just the capacitor.
So, he ordered a new motor. 
Replaced it.
And BAM!
Working dryer!

SO VERY NICE!

He predicts the next thing we will need to replace in the dryer is the heater.
Ummm...never thought about a dryer having a heater.
But, duh...probably does since it heats the clothes up. 
So far it's heating up fine...hopefully we'll be good for a couple years.
~fingers crossed~

He is still trouble shooting the car's engine light problem. 
He has tried several things. 
Cleaning, replacing parts, cleaning more, attempting to replace more parts and finding they are the wrong parts. 

It's annoying...mostly to him because he just wants to fix it himself. 
Last night I offered to take it to a mechanic so he wouldn't have to worry about it anymore.
He got a smile on his face and said, "No, I can't let it go yet."

I don't mind. I am surprising myself with my patience in the matter. 
I do like that he is trying so hard to fix it himself. 
So, far we are still ahead of having a mechanic fix it ($300+ ahead)

We are still driving it around, it's our only car, but we do try to keep it to a minimum. 
But, we did that before the engine light, just because of gas prices. 
Nathan has ridden the bus to and from work pretty much everyday since we moved here.

I'm not worried about it stalling or breaking down.
And even if it does, we have excellent road side coverage through our insurance. 
We'll be fine. 
THEN and probably only then it will go straight to a mechanic. ;-)

 ******

He will be SO mad at me for telling you this but, he yelled in his sleep last night.
HA!

Guess what he yelled?

"MARLEY!!!"

It was WEIRD because he NEVER yells at Marley...I DO!

And I couldn't tell if he was sad/scared yelling or mad yelling.

I turned over really fast and put my hand on his chest so he would wake up. 
I was pretty sure he did but I couldn't ask him about it because, you know, he is completely deaf without his hearing aid and with the lights out (can't read my lips).

I turned back over and wondered as I fell back to sleep if he was mad or sad at Marley, in his dream.

This morning I didn't ask him about it. But, he asked if he scared me, yelling in his sleep?
I said, yes! and asked him if he remembered what he yelled. He did. Then I asked him what it was all about and he couldn't remember. He did remember it was a mad yell though. 

HA!

A couple hours later he was running in our bed...just for like two seconds but it was funny!

He didn't remember doing that. 

He is sick today...he didn't feel very well yesterday and I don't think he slept very well. 

He's staying home...in bed....so far.

I love that guy!
So much.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I read books...

I did not enjoy reading when I was a kid. I liked being read to but, I didn't like to read. There was ONE book I remember reading when I was a kid and I read it over and over.  The Doll In The Garden by Mary Downing Hahn . It's a spooky mystery with a creepy ghost cat and a ghost girl. And the girl(s) in the book were probably about my age, when I was so obsessed with this book.

A book I loved hearing was The Indian In The Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks. A cool cupboard. A little key for the cupboard! Toys come to life when you put them in the cupboard! What's not to love?

I found both books at the Lincoln Library sale a couple of years ago. I had once owned The Doll In The Garden. I was so glad to have found both favorites for my collection. I read them and wrote comments in the margins and then sent them to my sister Julie. She read them and was able to read my comments as she went along. It was fun!







 I didn't like to read in high school either. I blame the fact that I never got to pick the book I HAD to read (some I remember The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Christmas Carol). I think most of the required reading I got in high school was usually half read and then skimmed and then finished off by reading the last chapter. Just enough to write my report.  From what I hear they let kids pick the books they read for reports, these days.

The one book I got to choose to read was for a biography report. I chose Howard W. Hunter. That was the biggest book I had ever read and I read it from cover to cover. In that class we also had to give a presentation on the person we chose to do our biography on. Mrs. Navaro found my subject very interesting but my presentation was too long. Oopsie!








I started to love reading when I started college. I LOVED reading my text books and sometimes felt like I got more from them than from my professors. In some cases this was the intent of the professors, most times not. I almost  always read the text though. Loved learning that way. My reading comprehension isn't the best and like everyone my mind would sometimes wonder. I had to read some pages over and over.

(at one point each of these images were in a nice row on one line...blogger!) 












We have been moving several textbooks every time we relocate. One day I came downstairs and Nathan had textbooks piled up all around him. He was searching the web for where he could sell the books and get the best price(s). He was trying to sell mine too. At first I was sad...I kept them for a reason...reference...someday. Plus, we've both been out of school for 5-6 years and I didn't think we would get anything for any of them. But, then I recalled hefting HEAVY boxes full of these books every time we move and I got over it. The highest buyback price was $34 for one of my Speech Language Pathology books. Booyah! We ended up sending in 9 books and getting a check for about $66. Also, shipping the books in was free...we just printed a label provided by the site we sold to and they paid the shipping. (Can't remember the site we sold to, and neither can Nathan but if anyone is interested, let me know. Nathan is willing to look around to refresh his memory, after work.)

I also started to enjoy recreational reading while I was in college. I don't even remember any of the books I read while in college, they were few and far between, except all the Harry Potter books. I remember looking forward to reading "stories" as opposed to textbooks, on my college breaks.

After college my sister made me join her book club. She has a great book club because those ladies are such good friends too and they ALL happen to share a deep love for books. They have great discussions. Her club got me even more into reading. I wouldn't say I love it so much I always have a book in my hand, but I love it more than I ever have.

A few years ago I made a new year resolution to read a least one book a month. That year I read above and beyond 12 books...I think it was something like 35!  Every year I have the same idea, at least a book a month and I usually read more. This year, I read exactly 12. I wasn't even keeping track and I counted the other day and bam! Exactly, 12. It might have something to do with our area having THE CRAPPIEST public library system. Or it might have something to do with the tv show addiction I had this fall. Nonetheless, I just barely made my goal this year. 

Posting the list Friday.

POST EDIT:  I read 13 books this year....just figured that out while preparing list for Friday. ;-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Argh! Blogger is making me angry!!!!

Just wanted you to know that I don't want our header picture that big!
I edited the photo a little so I changed the other one for the edited one.
But, now it's HUGE!
And I'd really like it centered!
But, no. 

Finally figured out how to fix the blog title so it won't cover the picture...
but now our blog title may show up as "~" for you. 
Where it says, "Farmer Freitas' Wife" now is actually the blog description.

Used up all of Nathan's photo space...I guess I just post too many photos.
Seriously considered making a new email address and starting a new blog...but was too lazy/annoyed,
so, I bought 20 more GB for $5.
And even though I realize that is an excellent deal, 
I still felt like I was selling my soul. 
Why?

Because blogger doesn't do what I want it to...
I love and hate their new interface...
there are aspects that are wonderful and make things easier....
there are aspects that are stupid and won't let me edit them the way I want them....
or I just don't know enough to make it do what I want...
that's probably it. 
But, still I'm mad at blogger.

AGGGHHHH!!!!!

Whatever!

PS - Yes mom, I will try to make our picture smaller so you can see if I have posted without scrolling down. But, not today. Carl's angry!

And here's a random picture, just because I CAN!

Are you ever frustrated with blogger? 
How do you get it to do what you want it to? 
I see that you can!
You're blog is beautiful and perfect!
Are you using the new interface?
Do you use a blogger template?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TOTALLY thought we were having Twins....

Nope!
Nathan knew the whole time. 

TOTALLY thought we were having a boy!

Nope!
Nathan knew the whole time.

It's A Girl!
Guess who is SO excited to have a sister!

"Is this balloon for me?"
 "Yes! What color is it?"

"PiiiiinK!"
 "Ahhhh!!! I'm so excited!"
 "Yes! Yes! Yes! Ahhhh!"
 "Ok, hold still so I can get a picture of you and the balloon being still."
 "Oh, turn the balloon. Smile big!"
 "Oops! The balloon is fuzzy, hold still. Smile big!"
 "Let the balloon go."
 "ah! The balloon turned!"
 "Mom! Can I just play with my pink balloon?"
"Fine! Go ahead!"

I really did think we were having twins.  
A boy and a girl. 
One third of me would be dead serious to Nathan and insist there were two in my tummy, to scare him, never worked. I would even try to think of "scary" situations like: "Oh my! How are we going to fit in our car with twins!" or "Oh my! We're gonna need two cribs!" He would always calmly retort with very viable solutions. And shake his head at me.

One third of me hoped, so we could grow our family faster.
One pregnancy and two labors, back to back. 
Sounds good to me!

AND

One third (the biggest one third) hoped we weren't. 
Two infants!
Two babies!
Two toddlers!
Yikes!

Twins would be awesome!
And yet so scary!

My head bows to all my friends and family who have had twins.

I must confess, I was hoping for a boy. 
And it all comes down to the hair!
I hate doing my own hair.

Doing Marley's isn't so bad.
Well, after I catch her:
"Marley! Time to do you're hair! Come here!"
"Can't catch me!"
and lately it's
"Ha ha ha! Can't catch me I'm the ginger bread man!"
"Ginger bread men don't have hair. This is not a game, get over here."
Ok, sometimes I chase her...which doesn't help with the times I don't want to chase her.

 I usually just spray leave-in conditioner in her hair and let her have it down with beautiful curls. 
Or I put a piggy tail in it, either on the back or up top.  

I like the piggy tail up top the best because it keeps the hair out of her face and even after putting on her winter hat, it still looks like I did her hair. 

But, she likes it on the back of her head or just down. 
With both of those styles, once she puts her winter hat on 
BAM!  
looks like I didn't even do it!

Please don't get me wrong though...I'm excited!
And last night I had a dream I held our new little infant girl in my arms...she's beautiful!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I thought I might mention...

This month, Nathan & I have been married 5 years. 
We celebrated simply. 
Marley & I surprised Dad at his cold office with a peppermint hot chocolate & two spicy breakfast burritos.
Nathan spent several breaks at work over several weeks making me a beautiful paper flower. 
It was so unexpected and thoughtful.
I love fresh flowers but, they never last.
This one will last. 
 
 That afternoon we picked Nathan up early from work, which is actually a Friday ritual.
Then we went grocery shopping.
Nathan & I sneaked a frozen cheese cake into the cart. 
One of those with 8 slices and every two slices are a different flavor. 

That night after we put Marley to bed we busted that cheesecake out. 
Mmmmmm....

Usually, Nathan makes a caramel pecan cheesecake, this frozen one was easier....but not as good.
And the following three nights after our anniversary we ate cheesecake after Marley's bedtime. 
Hee hee hee! 
We lay in bed looking at Pinterest together. 
That night we clicked on the "humor" category and we laughed harder than we have laughed in awhile.
Tears and high pitched squeeks.
And of course I had to cross my legs.
That kind of out of control laughter.
We have been planning to buy new sheets for our bed as our gift.
We should have gotten them that night, but we didn't and we still have yet to get them.
Soon!
 It was a lovely day.
You know how it goes. 
Part of me can't believe it's already been 5 years!
The other part of me can't believe it's only been 5 years!
Either way, I am so grateful to be married for time & all eternity to Nathan.