Saturday, June 28, 2008

Who doesn't love FREE stuff?!

So a friend of mine (thanks, Michelle!!) posted this on her blog the other day and I think it's too great not to share! I think Sudoku is fun, but Jason L.O.V.E.S it! So I got it for him. I just got an email that it's already shipped and it didn't cost me a dime!! Anyway, here it is:

Here’s a fun travel activity for kids and parents…a Sudoku electronic puzzle game, regularly priced at $49.99, and on sale this week for $10 from Use the Google Checkout promotion discount of $10 and pay $0 out of pocket. Great for road trips, plane rides, and all-around entertainment anywhere, and it even comes with batteries!

1.) Click HERE to access
2.) Click the Weekly Advertised Deals tab at the top of the page
3.) Click on the $10 Sudoku Electronic Puzzle Game image to display the product details
4.) Add the item to your cart
5.) Select Google checkout to receive the $10 discount
6.) Select free shipping. (If your total isn’t $0, you’ve missed a step (unless you live in the sales tax states of California, Massachusetts, or Tennessee.)
7.) Receive your free Sudoku Electronic Puzzle Game within a few days (usually much faster than their website indicates). allows one free Google checkout item per email address and credit card. (You’ll have to enter your credit card information to check out, but once the Google Checkout discount is applied, your item will be free.)

P.S. Expires June 30th so hurry up and take advantage!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lots of Upcoming Changes!!

Jason had his third and final interview and an orientation for this job he's been applying for with Schlumberger (an oil company) yesterday morning in Salt Lake.

We've been amazed at how this opportunity seemed to fall into our laps and how all the little pieces have just fit together in this LONG process. He was able to get the morning off work without risking losing his job (I'm sure they wouldn't be too happy to know that he's applying somewhere else). We were a little nervous about that, but it worked out just fine. Applicants were narrowed from 50 to 5 candidates (although they have several positions available) and Jason turned out to be the most qualified for the job. They actually want to start him in phase 2 of training, ahead of the other new hires. Assuming his criminal FBI background check and drug tests all come back okay (I think we're safe there =D) he'll start next month.

We are pretty sure we've decided on Rock Springs, Wyoming. A lot went into that decision. We researched our brains out for every location. But Rock Springs is the one that just felt right, so that's where we'll go. It's definitely not where I would have EVER imagined myself living, but most of my life isn't how I imagined it which has led to me being happier than I could have ever imagined.

So Jason will go to Rock Springs next month for a 30 day trial. He'll have on-the-job training while still on the temp agency's payroll. The kids and I will stay here at my parents'. The company pays for his food and housing for that 30 days, so we'll be able to pack away some more savings, which will be wonderful!!

At the end of the trial he gets to come home for a few days. And then assuming they decide to keep him on (which I can't see why they wouldn't) they'll send him to Oklahoma for three weeks of more intense training. Benefits, 401K, and the likes start immediately. And again, the company pays his expenses, flight, housing, food, etc.

He'll have a few days home again where we'll pack to move. Then Jason gets up to another 30 days to find permanent housing for us where the company provides housing, etc. Hopefully we can get into a place quickly because I'm sure we'll have had enough time apart at that point! Although because Rock Springs is only about two to tow and a half hours away, hopefully we'll be able to be together as a family on weekends during that first thirty days.

Apparently there isn't much in the way of rentals in these little podunk towns. At least not at a decent price, anyway. But we'll probably take what we can find for the first year or two, feel out the job and location and save up for a big down payment before we buy a house.

Who knows how long we'll be there. The company wants a long term commitment and we're completely willing to do that. They do have several locations all over the world and we could transfer at some point if we chose to. There's a TON of room for Jason to grow within the company and he's thinking he'll probably retire there. They seem like an amazing company. They did 23.5 billion dollars last year, so we're feeling like it's as safe and stable as it gets. No matter how green the world gets we'll always need oil.

The position, in case you're wondering, is driving out to well sites and fortifying the oil wells. It's a lot of physical labor, which is what Jason likes. He's good at it. The hours are pretty intense and he'll have to work every other Saturday and a couple of holidays a year, but the compensation is worth it!

This is not the path in life that either of us ever would have expected. Jason never grew up thinking this is what he would want to do for the rest of his life. But it's the path that the Lord has put before us and we're so excited to start down it! It's going to open up so many opportunities for us as a family and we're really looking forward to it.

It will be so nice to be in our own place again! As much fun as it is to be around family and have a little help with my kids and to be able to take advantage of my parents' yard and pool, it will be SO NICE to get back into our own routine and have our own space. And I'm sure they feel the same way. Strangely enough, I'm most looking forward to being able to sift through all of our junk! I hate moving, but I love going through everything and just minimizing! I love that feeling of cleaning out a junk drawer or organizing a closet and just seeing the space you've created by getting rid of junk you don't need. And pulling out the kids' toys that are still in storage will be fun, too. It will be like Christmas in the middle of the year!!

Anyway, things aren't completely final until they're final, so we're still praying that everything works out. But it's looking good so far. I'll just be glad this fall when we're all settled in!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jack-a-roo!!

Jack's first birthday was June 15th, Father's Day! So we had two celebrations on Sunday. This last year seriously FLEW by!! It honestly seems like I was pregnant yesterday, which is so cliche, but it just went by that fast. I can't believe we've got one year down already!

Anyway, Jack was spoiled, as my kids generally are. Loads of presents and treats and lots of love from family!

Here are his cupcakes. Made from scratch. Aren't I domestic?
Lots of presents for this little guy!!

Of course, we let him dig in to his own cupcake hoping for the traditional face smashing. On Payson's first birthday we had to show her how to eat it. She was too worried about getting frosting on her fingers and kept asking for a napkin! Such a girl! But Jack dug right in. Payson kept grabbing his hands trying to help him to stay clean and we had to continually remind her that it was okay. Today was his day and he could eat it the way he wanted! Mom was smart enough to remove his shirt so as not to be scrubbing food coloring out of it later! But he sure did a good job of getting cupcake everywhere! He ended up eating two of them. Payson wanted him to have one green one and one blue one. :)

Jack was introduced to our Lethbridge family tradition of singing "Happy Birthday" as completely off-key as possible. He LOVED the lit birthday candle! He kept trying to grab it and eat it. He got some fun new clothes and loads of toys, which sister is making sure he shares!!

It was such a fun day! I love watching my kids grow up! They are at such a fun age right now and I want to just freeze them forever. I love watching them laugh and smile and discover new things. But sadly, they're getting bigger. So I'll just have to settle for a few good birthday celebrations and as many hugs, kisses, and I-Love-You's as they're willing to give me!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Party Poopers...

I know it's only been a couple of days but no one I tagged is doing my fun tag. I like to read fun pregnancy stories and for some random reason (no I'm not pregnant nor will I be any time soon!) it's been on my mind lately, so I'm thinking all the rest of you should do it so I have something to read!! =D

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare." ~ Ed Asner

Lali, who tagged me this time, did this for both kids, so I'm thinking I'll do the same, especially since today is my second baby's first birthday!!

1. WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED? Complete shocker! I mean, not complete, considering we knew that TECHNICALLY it was a possibility, but we were DEFINITELY not expecting it!
WAS YOUR SECOND PREGNANCY PLANNED? Yes. We had been praying and had gone to the temple and just felt like someone was waiting to join our family, even though I was no where NEAR feeling ready!


3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? I couldn't do anything but laugh. That awkward nervous laughter. I think Jason was terrified. And then after a few seconds of absorbing it we were thrilled!
WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? I had been scared out of my mind to start trying, but once we were waiting to see if "it" had worked, I was thrilled! As soon as I knew I was so excited and started telling EVERYBODY!



6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? I had just been feeling weird. I had actually been having morning sickness (all day) but it hadn't occurred to me that I was pregnant. Everything just felt different and something in me knew. So I lied to Jason and told him I had forgotten something at the store for dinner. I didn't know my way around town yet since we had only been there a couple of weeks so he took me. I ran in and used the last $7 (literally) in our checking account (we were so broke when we first got married! I don't even know how we survived!) to buy a generic brand pregnancy test. We went home, I locked myself in the bathroom, and three minutes later I brought a wrapped box out for Jason to open. Surprise!
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? Once we started trying I started taking pregnancy tests every few seconds! I swear, I get way too anxious! So with this one, I finally got a positive test after about three weeks, but I couldn't believe it and the line was so light that I went to my next door neighbor's house to see what she thought. Seriously, how do you react when your neighbor (who you don't know very well) is standing at our door with a peed on stick?

WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? Yasmine. I needed her help coming up with a clever way to tell Jason.

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? Yes! I was too stressed out about not being prepared.
DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? Not with Jack. I wanted to be surprised. But Jason promised me that once we had one of each I could be surprised. We talked about him just knowing and me not, but he can't keep a secret to save his life! So that would never have worked.

9. DUE DATE? February 18th, 2005
DUE DATE? June 20th, 2007

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? Morning sickness? No. I had all day everyday for the first five straight months sickness.
DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? I threw up a few times in the first few months with Jack, always around ten am. But for the most part I felt GREAT! Other than feeling like I could sleep through the entire nine months!

WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? Nothing memorable.

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? Being sick irritated me. I was home on the couch sick everyday so no one was around to bother me. And we were still newlyweds so every annoying thing Jason did was still endearing to me.
WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? I would just get stressed out over everything an freak out to Jason. He would say at him, I'd say to him.


14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? At first I really wanted a boy, but I just knew she was a girl. And the second the ultrasound technician told us I had tears in my eyes, I was so excited! I've never wished it had happened any differently. What would I do with her? She's the best daughter in the world! (Although I can see myself eating those words when she gets hormones!)
DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? I didn't care really. I knew it was a boy and a little part of me wanted Payson to have a sister close to her age, but I really just knew that whoever was supposed to becoming to our family was coming. And the look on Jason's face when he realized he was getting a little baseball player was priceless! I would never trade my snugly little boy for anything!

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY? With Payson I gained 45 pounds. Yikes! And I had a hard time losing it. In other words, after losing the 20 pounds of baby and stuff, I didn't lose any more.
HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY? I gained 40 with Jack...a TINY bit better. But I lost EVERY pound within two months with him...Now for the rest of PAYSON'S pregnancy weight!

DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER? Yes! And I have to say the Lethbridge family buys the BEST presents!!

WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? Again, no surprise.

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? During the pregnancy I was throwing up to the point that my stomach acid was burning my esophagus and I would bleed when I threw up. It was awful, to say the least. And then at out twenty week ultrasound they saw that Payson had what they thought was a club foot. But after two years of doctor's appointments and physical therapy at home it turned out to be nothing. Then Payson came a month early and had plenty of problems there. Although, for how early she was we were EXTREMELY lucky!! But that's a LONG story, and this post is going to be long enough already.
DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? None. Totally different from the first time around.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? American Fork Hospital in Utah
WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? American Fork Hospital in Utah

HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? 12, but I only pushed for 45 minutes instead of three hours, so that was a HUGE blessing!!


22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? My midwife, the nurse, and my husband
WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? The midwife, the nurse, and my husband


24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? Heavens yes! My water broke and labor stopped so they had to induce me to get it going again, so once I was to 3 cm I was DYING for the meds!! Although, the epidural wore off while I was pushing so I felt that. OUCH!
DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? Yes, but I did SO MUCH better the second time. I was able to make it to 7 cm before I asked for meds. I'm hoping the third times the charm and I'll be able to do with it. But my epidural the second time was AMAZING! I could move everything and feel contractions, but no pain. And I recovered quickly from the epidural too. Heaven bless that anesthesiologist!

HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH? 8 lbs 9 oz...slight difference, huh?

26. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN? at 5:12 am on January 20th, 2005
WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN? at 5:12 pm on June 15th, 2007

27. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? Payson Marie Ralls

28. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY? 3 years and 5 months
HOW OLD IS YOUR SECOND BORN TODAY? 1 year old today! Happy birthday Jack!!

I tag...
Rashelle, Jobi, and Kristin

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The One With the Perfect Husband

Ah, my husband is cheesy. Or to use his word, "chessy". So we've been under a lot of stress lately. Finances have been tight, to put it lightly, and we have been having to make some serious sacrifices and life decisions. We're both losing sleep and rarely seeing each other and on edge a lot of the time and just trying to get by. Luckily, we have amazing family and friends for support and assistance during this weird period in our lives. Anyway, we haven't been on a date in well over a month, maybe two. We haven't had much alone time. By the time we're both home and kids are in bed we're either zoned out or asleep. So needless to say, we've been missing each other.

So today after church while Jack napped and Payson played quietly with her aunts I crashed on the floor for two and a half hours. You don't even know how good it felt to just sleep! Then tonight after the kids were in bed and everything was cleaned up for the night Jason said he had something to show me downstairs. In the computer room he handed me this note.

How corny is he? In case you can't read it, I was instructed to go the the following blog:

Yesterday he was asking me how I actually got music onto the blog. He asked how I put it in different places and what if I wanted to put it in a specific post. He sounded so casually curious and I fell for it. This is an amazing feat because Jason can NEVER surprise me! I always know when something's up and I typically know every gift and whatever before he gets to give it. I'm obnoxious that way. But this was such a surprise! So he put this together yesterday while I was running errands and finished today while I was napping.

You should all be jealous. I know that it is corny and silly and that his grammar and punctuation are HORRENDOUS! He even made up a few words, like "mishalfs"? What in the world?! I laughed out loud. He isn't the most eloquent, the most wealthy, or even the most attractive man in the world (even though in my eyes there is NO ONE sexier!). But I'd bet my life on the fact that no one in this world is loved as selflessly and as unconditionally as I am by my wonderful husband.

And those times he refers to as "not being there for me", etc. Well, that would be my girly moments. Like the other day when the kids were in bed and he was running to the grocery store and didn't ask if I wanted to go with him. I flipped out on him and accused him of not wanting to spend time with me. It was a five minute run to the grocery store. He just didn't think I would care. So I'm just a little crazy. And he made it up with a 30 minute full body massage with lotions and everything. And it would have been longer but I was snoring. There was no point in continuing.

Anyway, be sad that you didn't find him first. And I'll just keep reminding myself how lucky I am that I did!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In the words of Kelli, "Muahahaha!"

Ah, tag. Okay, let's get to it.

How to play this game of tag:

Post these rules on your blog.
Answer these 15 questions about yourself on your blog listing 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions/collections, and 3 random surprising facts.
Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names.
Let them know they are tagged by leaving them a comment on their blog.

1- Of course my family! This includes my prodigious husband, and my astounding children, my parents, my siblings, my aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc. Everyone! I love you all!
2- The Church. As a teenager I never could have seen myself saying that all of these rules bring me joy! But they do! :)
3- And on a lighter note, reading. I love when it's quiet and the kids are in bed and Jason is watching sports and I can curl up with him on the couch and read a good book!

1- Oh spiders. How I loathe thee.
2- Dark basements. I always run up the stairs thinking someone, or something, is chasing me. Admit it! You do it too!
3- That my children will turn out like me. That's the scariest.

1- Oh to be skinny again!
2- To be better at cleaning routinely. Not just when I notice a ring in the toilet. (Sick, right?)
3- To study the gospel more, aside from scripture study. I need to read more manuals and books and be better about reading the Ensign and stuff. Then maybe I won't feel as stupid in Sunday School.

3 current obsessions/collections
1- Blogging. Especially blog stalking.
2- Swimming with the kids. That's my favorite! We've been out EVERY day that it's remotely warm since Memorial Day!
3- Scrapbooking.

3 Random Surprising Facts
1- When I was little I would pretend to speak another language. I'd make up songs and just sing random, horrible melodies in gibberish. One time I got caught and my parents asked me what language I was singing in. I asked my Grandma what language my dad didn't know and she said Portuguese so I told my parents that I knew Pork-a-cheese. I continued singing in gibberish. You should be jealous you weren't as awesome as me as a kid.
2- I love animals, but I am a HORRIBLE pet owner! I hate the extra responsibility. I should never get another pet as long as I live.
3- I can't keep plants alive. If I ever buy live plants, they die. When my mom goes out of town and asks me to water her plants, they die. She always thinks I forget. I PROMISE I do it! I swear! I do it on the days she says, at the time she says, with the amount of water she says. The plants die anyway. I always manage to kill them. I am Al Gore's worst nightmare. It's a wonder my kids are still living.

5 people I am tagging....
Who do I like the least? :) Pax, Mallory, Lali, Haley, and Cymony

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Is it seriously June already?!

I can't believe it is seriously June! I swear it was just Christmas. School is out, less than three weeks until the official beginning of the summer season, and two weeks until my baby is one! Time has been just flying by lately!

On Thursday, my youngest brother, Brennan, graduated from Pleasant Grove High School. That was weird! It really feels like a million years since I was there, but at the same time it feels like it was just yesterday.

Friday was my little sisters' last day of school. They planned a "school's out" party with several friends that afternoon. So we swam and barbecued dogs and mallows over the fire pit. It was so fun! The kids are loving swimming everyday! And so far no one has burned! I'm terribly proud of that fact, considering my children have their father's more sensitive skin.

Payson has discovered the noodles and other floaty toys that allow her to swim freely throughout the pool. She's loving being able to hang in the deep end with the big girls!
Payson and Madie
Jack, covered in drool, but SO HANDSOME, nonetheless!
Maren and her mad sliding skills
Madie with one of her best friends jumping off the diving board together
I can't even tell you how much I am enjoying the warm weather! We swam again all day yesterday. And were it not Sunday, I'd be in the pool right now! As much as I love my family, living with them and cramming everyone and everything into a small space isn't easy. However, there are some serious pluses to living here! I'm sure we'll be out in the water again tomorrow. You should all be jealous!