Thursday, September 25, 2008

All alone!

Strange. Quiet. Pressure is on to actually accomplish something in the time I have. So far I:
*ate breakfast while checking the blogs I "follow".

*made 2 visiting teaching appointments for this afternoon

*called the pediatricians office to get Jackson's immunization records

*filled out preschool paperwork

*downloaded pictures

*wrote this post

About 1 hour down so far. The morning didn't go so well. Jillie left for school in tears this morning due to a straightening iron burn (She insisted on trying it on her own.) Kobe left for school with no breakfast. He and Reagan almost missed the bus. Jackson fell asleep after 10pm last night and was up for good by 7:15am. He was awful whiny before we left. But, once we took his picture and got him into school he seemed glad to be there. A little shy and quiet (that's OK with me), but fine with me leaving. No tears from either of us!

Now off to exercise...??? or dishes??? or laundry??? or cleaning bathrooms??? or yardwork??? or napping??? :) (yeah, right.)

Anyhow- here he is:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My name is Nikki and I'm an addict...

Holy Smokes! Blogger is killing me! This new "Following" feature makes it so easy to check on the 50 (yes, I said 50!!) blogs I check regularly. With one click I can see out of those 50 who has posted in the last few minutes. I have become obsessed with refreshing my Dashboard every time I walk by the computer. And if anyone has posted I have to stop, read, and maybe even leave a comment. Doesn't help that this last week has been full of mostly indoors days for me. Even when I get out, I'm so wired with my Blackberry that I've been known to check while I'm out running errands! I guess I need to go stay out in the wilderness somewhere to detox. While this feature is oh so handy, I'm going to have to start limiting my Dashboard visits drastically. Of course this means I'll end up staying on the phone with my sisters for a while every day to get my adult conversation time in. :)

As I think about why I am so anxious to read a post by a family member, friend, or imaginary friend, I decided it's my link to other adult human beings during my child filled days. I remember my mom told me how she used to have on Days of Our Lives (I think that was the one) when she was a stay at home mom- just to hear adult conversation. Blogs are my soap operas I guess, except that they are real life and that is more intriguing to me. I quite enjoy knowing what's going on in someone's head. I get a lot of inspiration from the blogs too. Tonight in fact I made a new recipe for dinner (a truly rare occurrence). Chicken Scampi by Cara of Gardenview Cottage was yummy, healthy, and easy. I didn't use the butter, used 3 chicken breast- because that's what I had, and about 3/4 of the box of pasta since I had less chicken. Good stuff...very citrus-y... a new taste for our family.

Anyhow, my other thoughts tonight are of tomorrow. Jackson's first day of preschool. I'm nervous, sad, and excited all at once. My baby will be gone for 3 hours tomorrow. Now it's time to dust off my list of "Things I will be able to do once all of the kids are at school." I'll probably have to turn off the power on the computers so I don't spend my time on blogs! I'm trying to decide what's most important exercise or uninterrupted deep cleaning. I suppose I could fit in both. I desperately need both! I'm sure the time will whiz by... maybe. I am nervous about him understanding exactly where he is, what he is supposed to do, and being understood. I'm hoping he won't have to go to the bathroom because then they will see how dependent he is on me still for those matters. Ugh. Can't wait til that one clicks. Keep on praying.

So off to bed. By 9am I will have 4 kids in 3 schools around the OP. It's pretty much bound to be a busy morning and an emotionally and physically exhausting day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I did it!

As I picked tomatoes from the garden this weekend, I realized that this time we had too many. We've been able to eat through the tomatoes we've harvested, but not now. Many would go to waste. I really don't care too much because I'm not loving these Celebrity tomatoes. (I'll blame the tomatoes and not the gardener!) :) I mentioned how many I had to Holly & she encouraged me to get canning. I haven't canned on my own before- used to help mom do it when I was growing up though. I didn't want to commit and buy a bunch of canning supplies. Holly explained to me how easy it is- that I just needed the canning jars. So I figured, experimental gardening calls for experimental canning I suppose. Funny how the memories came rushing back from my childhood as I peeled skins off warm tomatoes. (Good memories, Mom.) :)I have no idea how these will taste, but I did it. The seals are popping closed as I type! :)

By the way, today it just hit me that fall is here. Dang it!! Pressure is really on now to get my summer posts done before the leaves start to fall! AHH!! Can I get by on even less sleep?! Stay tuned... :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

52 Blessings Project: Week #33, #34, #35, #36

Family Pictures

iPhoto & iDVD on my Macbook
Recordable DVDs

All this together made it possible for me to compile a DVD of my Grandpa's life in pictures & video to share at the funeral... and make copies of it for any family member who wants one. It was a blessing to be able to do this as it taught me new things about him and helped us to remember all of the good times. And bonus: I feel like I did a little family history work!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fun at the Funeral

We pulled in from our trip to Utah at 4pm Monday. We cleaned clothes, repacked, ate, slept (some of us more than others), and drove Tuesday morning to Michigan for my Grandpa's funeral. It was hard to see my grandma looking SO, SO sad and worn out. It was hard to see my grandpa laying in the coffin. It was nice to hug everyone & know we're all sad for ourselves.

Today, 2 weeks since he's passed, it makes me emotional. Holly did a wonderful post about the funeral that I love and expresses my thoughts exactly. I couldn't do a better job... so I'll let hers speak for me too. I just can't go back to the sad stuff right now, but there is always a fun side to these kinds of funerals. Seeing so many family members and friends feels good. It gave us some fun with the funeral!
Tuesday night was the viewing and 2 great ladies from Grandma's ward come over to Grandma's to watch 11 of the kids. So nice for the kids- they had SO MUCH FUN!

So nice for the adults to be at the funeral home & talk without the kids around too. I enjoyed talking with many friends ( I won't call them "old" friends- just friends from back when I lived there...) :)

1- Funeral home, 2- The Harmon's, 3- my mom w/Sharon Leach, & 4- The Jones' (our stake president who apparently becomes Amish when you try to take his picture!)

It was great being with family- for comfort and for laughs!

(1- Holly & Nathan, 2- Uncle Andra, Hyrum, Derek, Sunny, Aunt Linda, 3-Uncle Mark, Aunt Tami, 4- Aunt Val, Kay, 5- Michael)

Of course the cousins knew their time is short together so they begged for a sleepover...

The funeral was attended by more friends and family. The luncheon afterwords gave us time to visit with everyone. I want to include pictures to help me remember all who were there

1-Friend & blogger Leanne & her Eva, 2-Aunt Jane, Craig & his wife, 3- Holly & Sunny with my cousin Jeannie & her Celia, 4- George, Aunt Char, & Larry, 5- my cute smiley husband :) 6-Michael & Mitch
1-Michael & Danny, 2-McKenna, Alex, Jillie, Ethan, Reagan & Derek, 4- Armstrongs & Aunt Jane, 5- Grandma & Aunt Barb, 6-Mom & her cousin Larry(?), 7-Mom and her sisters Tami & Val, 8-Dad & Jackson, 9- Sunny, Holly, Tami & I, 10- us sisters

We took the Myckowiak, Avery, Tangren & Garrick kids outside for a picture...

When it was time for goodbyes, Jackson ran around giving everyone hugs and kisses. He was VERY outgoing on this visit. I tried to get pictures but it was hard to keep up with him!

(Jackson with his Uncle Derek, Papa, Grandma, Great Uncle Mark, & Uncle Nathan.)
It was hard to leave because I was reminded how much I like my family and how much I miss them when we're not together. I'm really glad we were there to be with them all during this sad time... and that we managed to have fun and make more good memories.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rise and shout!

Rise and ShouT the CougaRs (Garricks) are out!
(**Warning! travel post= extremely long post with lots of pictures- but I swear not even a fraction of what I took!!**) 

For Labor Day weekend we took a quick trip to Utah for the BYU Football home opener. It was so exciting to be back on campus- especially when all of the students are coming back to school. We spent Friday (dragging the kids) around campus. Jackson LOVED the bowling alley in the ELWC, and just couldn't get past the fact that we were not going to go bowling.

We let them play a few arcade games, but then went up to the bookstore to get some new BYU gear! The kids liked it there- well, except for Jackson who kept screaming to "go bowling!!" Then we attempted to walk around campus in 95*+ heat looking at the latest changes to buildings, etc. The SFLC looks amazing- so much better than the old days. The kids didn't find it too interesting, just hot, boring and tiring.

We decided to go down the hill to Legacy Grill for lunch which is where we met up with Sunny & Hyrum.

(I was lucky enough to get to carry {41 lb} Jackson up these stairs after lunch! Ugh!)

I was afraid Hyrum would be a little overwhelmed with all of us and our excitement to see him, but he warmed up fast. After eating we went to Legacy Hall which is basically a BYU athletics museum full of memoribilia.

Everyone had to compare their size with the famous athletes.

(Hyrum has a way to go to catch up with Shawn Bradley!)

(Reagan's hand, Jillie's foot)

(We were excited to see a display about Ryan Denney- a current Buffalo Bill and a member of our ward!)

We had to go over to Lavell Edwards Stadium for the obligatory pictures with the Cougar of course!

We took some time to hang out with Hyrum & Sunny at the hotel

and then went to Derek's office to check out his pretty cool set up there at Omniture and then off to dinner at...

where we met up with a bunch of returned missionaries who served in our OP Ward. It was so much fun to see all of them again!
The highlight of the night for Jillie and Reagan was when Sister Ripplinger and Sister Meredith invited them to hang out after dinner! They took the girls bowling at Fat Catz and out for ice cream. They had a blast hanging out with the college girls! We just love them for doing that!

And by the way- a big thank you to Derek who helped a grumpy Jackson to quit laying on the restaurant floor and cheer up!

Next up: **GAMEDAY!!** WOOHOO!

Man was it ever hot! It was 100* up there in the stands, but oh so fun!

walking to the stadium...

the new Hinckley Alumni Center beautiful & really changes the look of campus
Did you know the touchdown cannon is called, "George Q?" :)
Sunny brought us some BYU blue fingernail polish.
the kids "with" Cosmo

Greg in one of his "happiest places on earth."

Kobe was excited that the band played the Indiana Jones theme at half time!!

a happy afternoon for all!

And for any Cougar fans who wished they could've been there, watch this & sing along...

(You can see in this video how happy Jack Jack is to be at the game.)

And finally: The Last Day

Derek & Sunny invited the kids to sleep over at their place Saturday night- Jillie and Kobe went. Reagan opted to stay with us and keep Jackson company. We went to their ward on Sunday morning and then cut out after sacrament meeting to go to their apartment to change clothes and head to Temple Square.

But before heading north, we went back to Provo so we could take a quick tour of some of the places we had lived like the place we met...

(The Riviera- his apt. #34, my apt. #15)

(Our first apt. #77)

(Our 2nd apartment together)

We didn't go up to Wymount to take a picture of our 3rd apartment though. We moved around a lot while in Provo!

After the kids were thoroughly bored with this tour, we headed up to SLC. We toured the Conference Center. I was reminded what an amazing structure it is. Anyone who is interested in architecture, regardless of religion should go visit this place. Truly beautiful and amazing. Kobe especially liked this amazing work of art...
... and the waterfall that runs from the roof down the front of the building.

(Temple Square seen from the roof of the Conference Center. You can see the construction underway on the other side of Temple Square- the Church's City Creek Center. It will be beautiful, but right now it's just a huge hole deep in the earth.)

I'm glad this place will be fresh in their minds when we watch General Conference (which is broadcast from here) in October.
We also went over to Temple Square but soon the winds blew and the rain fell.

Kobe quickly escaped into the Visitor's Center to watch videos of President Monson while the rest hung back for a few pictures.

And the kids wouldn't let us leave until they could go up the ramp to see the Cristus.

It was a good, but fast trip. More good memories made. :)