Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Little Gym - Show Week!

Anna and Rob both got to take classes at The Little Gym of Olathe this past semester - and they absolutely LOVED it! A lot of that had to do with their instructor, Miss Delinda (who is also the owner of the gym). She's incredible! She so much fun, knows how to challenge the kids no matter what their motor skill level is, and encourages them to do their best and to have a great time doing it, too. She's awesome!

At the end of each semester, The Little Gym has a Show Week where the kids get to show off their new skills and receive medals. Here are some details about what Anna and Rob loved and lots of fun pics, too.

Anna

I was amazed at the things Anna was brave enough to do! Walking on the high balance beam, hanging on the uneven bars, flipping on the uneven bars, doing forward rolls on the balance beam . . . the list goes on and on. I'd have to say that Anna's three favorite things about The Little Gym are . . .

1) Forward Rolls. She really gets on a "roll" and does them over and over and over at the gym & at home.

2) Running around the big red mat during warm-ups. That girl can really get her tiny legs moving. She's one fast chick! She must be taking lessons from Isaac!

3) Bubble time at the end of class. Hey - what 1 1/2, almost 2 year old, doesn't love bubbles?

Didn't I say she loves those uneven bars?


I'm a comin' through the tunnel, here I come!

My beautiful brown-eyed girl.

Yoga bubble time!!!

Anna's class and their medals.


Rob

Rob is my four-year-0ld and let's just say that he loves The Little Gym for different reasons than Anna. He loves the tumbling and dare-devil tricks. His favorite three things about The Little Gym are . . .

1) Rolling around the uneven bars, and swinging off in a grand finale!

2) Cart-wheels and more cart-wheels!

3) Jumping, running, and falling onto soft mats. You know, the ones that cushion your tushy when you go BAM!

Seriously though, I was once again impressed with the gymnastic skills Rob demonstrated and caught onto so quickly. Here are some fun photos from Rob's show . . .

Singing hello with Miss Delinda.


Warming up with some monkey jumps!


Having fun with the parachute.

These are pics from Rob's tumbling routine. Rob's backward roll.


Rob's cart-wheel.

Rob's hand-stand.

Rob's balance beam routine was about a butterfly's life cycle.
Here he is the caterpillar, crawling up into his cocoon.
I don't have a picture of it, but Rob actually did crawl up into a ball position on the beam.

Here the caterpillar has come out of the cocoon
and spread his wings nice and wide!
Our camera wasn't taking pics fast enough, but the butterfly
walks down the beam, turns around to show off his new wings,
then "flies" away by jumping off.

Showing off on the uneven bars.
Rob in an unassisted front support hold.

An unassisted bucket hang. My little guy is very impressive!
Rob's favorite way to dismount is to swing back and forth,
then let go & land on his tush on the mat.

Medal time! We rock!


Hey, Mom & Dad . . . check out my awesome medal!

And now, for your viewing pleasure - two videos. One that's quite cute . . . the other is just funny, funny, funny!


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I hope you enjoyed our update on our classes at The Little Gym of Olathe!

Baptism Day

I'm getting behind on my posts - but for good reasons. We've had family in town for our oldest daughter's baptism. I'll try to post several things over the next few days, but for today let's concentrate on MJ's baptism.

In December, MJ was asked to give a talk about being a child of God. While she was preparing her talk, she asked me how I knew I was a child of God. We talked about when I was sixteen and took the discussions from the missionaries. That was truly when I understood I was a daughter of Heavenly Father. I was baptized on Sunday, January 23rd, 1994.

MJ was totally cute and said, "I'm getting baptized in January, too!"

"I know," I replied. "Isn't it cool that our baptisms will be in the same month?"

A few days later, MJ asked me if she could be baptized on the same day I was. Is she awesome or what? So on Friday, January 23rd, 2009 - exactly 15 years since my own baptism - my daughter was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was an incredible day, and a very tender moment for me. MJ is named after my mom (Marjorie) and my sister (Cheryl Jeannette). My mom and I were both baptized together (along with my younger brother). My mom passed away eleven years ago. It'll be twelve years in March. I miss her so much. At times like this, I miss her dreadfully. But it was a tender moment when I got to think about my incredible mom, our journey to this new faith, and to see her namesake baptized as well. MJ is truly one awesome little girl. She's so kind, compassionate, and a smarty-pants, too. Sometimes that last one is good, and sometimes not-so-good. But hey, she's only eight! :) I'm very proud of her though and love her very, very much.

Here are some fun pictures from her baptism day.

MJ & Anna being silly before going to the Church.

John (my hubby) and MJ before the baptism.
Poor MJ. The water in the font was icy cold! Brr!

After her baptism, I took some fun pictures back at our house.

Hands full of kindness.

Pretty toes and sturdy feet to follow in His footsteps.

Remember to love one another.

MJ Ferguson
A precious daughter of God.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Some Seriously Awesome Dance Moves - Take Two

I just loved that first video Evolution of Dance. When Dave Beck told me there was an Evolution of Dance 2, I had to go look it up. It's not as awesome as the first one, but it's still makes me LOL.

As a side note - Can I just tell you something? I'm totally jealous. This guy can seriously shake his hips. My hips just don't work like that. I've always wanted them to, but they just don't have the "get down" rhythm - no matter how hard my brain tries to tell them what to do. So yes, my brown eyes turn a bit green when I see those hips work it. Man. Maybe I should take a belly dancing class. Do you think that would help?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Singin's and Laughin's

We are a family who likes to sing and laugh . . . sometimes all at the same time!

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Here are John, Isaac, Rob, and MJ singing camp songs. I didn't know they were so entertaining. Maybe I should sign up for Cub Scout Day camp.


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Anna Banana loves to sing, too. Her favorite song is Five Little Ducks. Her preschool-aged brother taught it to her. This video gets us half way through the song.


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And the grand finale - the Daddy Duck!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Contests and Writing Opportunities

It's time for the 78th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition! There are several categories and the entry fees are very reasonable. And this year, you can even submit your entries online! Very cool! You can find out more information about this awesome contest here.

Have you purchased your tickets for the LDS Storymakers Writers Conference? If you're an LDS writer (LDS or National Markets), this is the place to be! You get to interact with LDS and National Market authors from a huge variety of genres. There are also agents and editors available for pitch sessions. My favorite part is boot camp! It's awesome! In conjunction with the conference, the Storymakers host a First Chapter Writing Contest. There are several genre categories. I love getting feedback from published authors on my entries. You don't get that from any other contest which makes it totally worth the entry fees!

Do you like to write short stories? Then check out the LDS Humor blog! Authors Nichole Giles and Cindy Beck have posted a call for short stories for the sequel of their humor book, Mirth from the Members. The deadline is August 2009.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Some Seriously Awesome Dance Moves

I don't know about you, but I need some good laughs right now. Especially since about the time you're reading this, I'll probably be sitting in my dentist's chair, listening to the drill make not-so-happy music. Do you think they'd mind if I took my iPod with me?

Anyway, my hubby showed me this video Monday night. It brought back lots and lots of youthful memories. Enjoy and have a few laughs on me!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Wish I May, I Wish I Might . . .


Friday night, my little guy Rob wished upon a star.

His wish?

"To learn to read so I can read all the different sorts of books in the house."

He just melts my heart! I guess it's time to get out our primary reader books!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Food Storage Sale

Hi everyone! Just wanted to give you a heads up that Emergency Essentials just announced a sale on some of their food storage items. They are:

Potato Flakes - $5.99
Freeze-dried Spinach - $12.99
Cornstarch - $6.99
Brown Sugar - $7.99
Powdered Sugar - $6.99
Iodized Salt - $7.99
White Flour - $5.99
Refried Beans - $7.99
MRE Side Dish Variety - $20.99

Prices are good until Jan. 31st, but supplies are limited.

God Understands . . .

Some of you may have seen this video before. But for me, it's new. A dear friend of mine emailed it to me and it brought tears to my eyes. What incredible faith this little boy has - and what incredible love his Father in Heaven has for him, too.


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Thursday, January 15, 2009

An Isaac Update

On Tuesday, we had our appointment with the pediatric surgeon at Children's Mercy Hospital - Downtown Kansas City. His name is Dr. Snyder. I meant to post earlier, but all of the information has been swirling around in my mind. With more research via the internet, I am beginning to understand more of what's wrong and the procedures needed to correct it.

The consensus is that Isaac has a Pulmonary Sequestration on his right lower lung. I could write a really long explanation of what that is, but I'm not going to. I found two different sites that explain it really well. Check them out here and here.

Isaac's surgery was scheduled for Monday, February 9th.

Dr. Snyder is going to start with a thoracoscopic surgery. He's not certain this will work because of the location of the sequestration. Not only that, but they need to find the artery that is supplying extra blood flow to the sequestration or there could be massive blood loss. If they're not able to find the artery using the scope, then they will remove the scope and perform open surgery. The open surgery will involve an incision starting a little less than mid-way on Isaac's front right rib, around his side, stopping a little less then halfway on the back of his right rib. This is quite a hefty incision. Dr. Snyder is going to see if they can remove just the sequestration, but also told us they may need to remove the entire lower lobe of Isaac's lung.

Depending on which surgery works, he'll be in the hospital for up to four days. Then home for recovery for an additional week to ten days. The surgery itself is supposed to take about three hours. After the surgery, Isaac will be monitored for infection. His lungs will be monitored as they could fill with fluid and collapse.

I'm personally having a hard time with this. My mom had lung cancer twice. The first time, I was a junior in high school. Her surgery was much like Isaac's if he has the open surgery. She encountered many complications, such has her lungs filling with fluid and collapsing. I remember her telling me it was like drowning and terrifying. I also remember how difficult it was for her to recover after she was home. As you can imagine, I'm more than a little emotional and nervous about Isaac's upcoming surgery. So please, continue praying Isaac will do okay and that everything will go well. We've appreciated everyone's love and prayers. Thank you so much. I'll keep you updated as we get closer to the surgery and while we're in the hospital.

Monday, January 12, 2009

January Preparedness Deals


Since I love all things preparedness related and get lots of emails with good deals, I thought I'd start posting once or twice a month with good specials I've found.

Today, I'm passing along a tip that there are fab deals on Emergency Essential's Roadwise Emergency Kits this month. They are currently back-ordered, but I've found that if you put in your order, they'll ship it to you ASAP and you still get a great deal.

This Roadwise Emergency Combo Kit is normally about $80, and is on special for $40.99. It includes typical road emergency stuff like jumper cables, but also water and first aid supplies. This is their biggest road side kit. There are smaller kits available that are on special as well. Just search on the Emergency Essentials website.

This month, EE also has some of their Provident Pantry food storage items on sale. The Iodized Salt and White Flour items are currently $2 less per container.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finding Peace

Each day, I make choices. Some of those choices are simple - what outfit to wear or what to make for dinner that evening. Other choices seem like they should be simple, but are sometimes very difficult.

I was recently in a situation where someone sent an email to a group I'm associated with that was rude, cruel, and untruthful. It hurt many group members' feelings. Personally, I was so angry, my arm twitched for over an hour. Even several hours after reading the email, there was a slow burn in my gut. I knew I needed to make a choice - one that may seem simple, but was really quite difficult.

How was I going to react to this situation?

My first instinct was to lash back out, but I immediately knew that would be the very worst thing to do.

My next thought was to calm down, then write an email nicely correcting each issue. I knew that if I did so, it would start a volley of emails, the results of which would most certainly be unpleasant.

I consulted with my husband, who understood my feelings and let me vent without judging my initial angry response. Then together, we talked about choices and consequences. It took several hours of mulling over before I finally decided to do nothing at all. To just let the battle begin and end right there.

I felt better after making that choice. But inside, I was still upset and concerned. The real end of the battle didn't come until I finally got on my knees and prayed. Through tears of pain and anger, I poured out my feelings about the situation. Until finally, I felt peace.

Peace that I had made the right decision, but not only that. A peace that allowed me to find forgiveness for the creator of all the tension and anger, and to just let the whole situation go.

Our lives are filled with choices. Many of them are simple and take very little contemplation on our part. But every so often, we are in a situation that tests our patience and character. The choices we make in these situations are reflected back onto the most important part of our lives - our family.

When I'm angry or hurt, I tend to have a much smaller amount of patience for those I love most - my kids and husband. Is it worth holding onto that anger or grudge? Do I want my kids to learn to react that way?

I'm grateful for the miracle of forgiveness - for the peace it brings to me, my family, and my relationships with others.

This morning, Meridian Magazine included this video about forgiveness. I was filled with peace as I watched it, knowing I was on the right path. Sometimes it's not easy to forgive - but it is worth it. I hope you enjoy this video and that you may be able to let go of any grudges that are holding you back as well.



President James E. Faust's last General Conference talk before he passed away - Forgiveness - The Greatest Gift.


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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mormon Tab Tickets, Anyone?


In an earlier post, I told y'all how excited I was that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir is coming to Kansas City on their next tour.

So, a funny thing happened to me last Sunday (and yes, this is all related . . . )

Our family has this terrible habit of arriving at church early. :) This last Sunday, we ended up coming in two cars. I arrived at church first and had three of my kids settled into a pew when up walks . . . Brother Michie!

Now, Brother Michie is an awesome guy. He's really funny and has an incredible singing voice. He's also on our stake high council over stake activities. For those of you who aren't LDS, a stake is geographic unit that over-sees and leads about six Church congregations. The high council is a group of priesthood leaders who help with leadership and activities for the stake.

So, Brother Michie comes up and asks if I have a few minutes to talk. Of course, I say yes. I mean hey, he's over activities, right? So it must involve something fun!

And I wasn't disappointed.

He asked me if I'd be willing to be the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert ticket contact person for our congregation.

Score! How fun! Two of my favorite things - organizing a project & music - all in one fun activity. I can totally handle that. I'm very excited to help!

So, here's the really funny part. My hubby showed up just as church was starting. He and our son got settled onto the bench. Before I could talk to him about my conversation with Brother Michie and my fun new assignment, a member from the Bishopric stood up to start our meeting. As he went through his list of announcements, he made the announcement that the Choir is coming and if anyone in our congregation is interested in tickets, please contact Sister Ferguson (that's me!).

I watched from the corner of my eye as my hubby's head whipped over to look at me like, "What? Did you know about this?" (seriously, after ten years we can read our facial expressions very well). I just slightly nodded my head. He nodded back, then went back to listening to the announcements.

His reaction still puts a smile on my face. :)

So, if anyone wants to purchase tickets to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on June 25th at the Sprint Center, give me a call or send me an email. If you aren't LDS, you're welcome to purchase tickets through me and avoid extra fees from an online ticket company. The ticket prices are actually very reasonable. And the concert is going to be incredible!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Stress and Food


Stress wrecks havoc on my life. I get knots all in my shoulders and neck. Right now I feel like I have one continuous knot starting from the back of my right shoulder, traveling all the way up the back right side of my neck. It's painful. Ouchie.

The other area stress causes pain and suffering is my waistline.

When I'm stressed, I crave comfort foods - mashed potatoes and gravy, fluff-filled donuts, cherry-vanilla cokes, cocoa krispies . . . and the list goes on and on. Have you noticed that all these foods involves sugar or starch? My waist and tush have.

Seriously, since Isaac's hospital stay, I think I've gained five pounds. I say I think because I'm too chicken to get on a scale and actually weigh myself. Add this to the ten pounds I've gained over the fall months of less exercise - and I'm now out-growing yet another pair of jeans.

Let me give a more depressing example - This past summer when I was painting, always wore an old pair of jeans I had to cinch super tight with a belt to keep from falling off. Yesterday when I put them on to do some painting, they were a tight fit. Is that not super depressing or what?

It made me crave my friend Robin's homemade cheesecake, which unfortunately I had made the night before to take to a Girl's Night Get-Together.

So now I'm depressed. And I hate exercising when I'm depressed. Which begins the never-ending cycle of weight gain and even more depression.

What am I going to do?

I'm going to force myself to get up a little earlier in the morning to use our exercise bike downstairs.

At my last Girl's Nite, I talked with a few girlfriends about getting together a few times a week for some group exercise.

Another friend invited me to join the YMCA with her and we could go exercise together (our schedules are even compatible!) I'm going to go check out her gym when the kids go back to school on Wednesday.

I'm going to buy more grapes and Wheat Thins and cut back on my sugary treats.

I'm also going to drink more water. I'm a terrible water-drinker. I can go all day on just one glass in the morning and another glass at dinner with no other drinks in between. I need to start tracking my water intake, especially with exercise.

Next month, I'll re-evaluate and see how I did. Hopefully, I'll have more energy and be a little lighter on my feet. If not, I'll do some re-thinking and adapt my plan accordingly.

With Isaac's surgery coming up later this month, I'm going to be tempted to eat. Does anyone have some suggestions of what to do when I'm tempted? I could really use them!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Another Cell Phone Bites the Dust



I was so excited when John became a Sprint employee. Not because of all the late hours he gets to work . . . nope, I was excited about our fabulous new phone plan!

After checking out all the phone available, I decided to go with the Razr. I really wanted it in pink, but it was only available in red. Such a tragedy. Yes, my friends - look is much more important to me than cool gadgets.

Well, in one year, I've gone through TWO of those red Razrs.

After about eight months, the first phone decided it only needed to set off my morning alarm every once in a while. Let me tell you, we had some pretty crazy mornings! Then I mad my hubby set an alarm on his phone (for some reason we don't use our actual alarm clock. I can't remember why . . . ) So I learned to live with the alarm working only sometimes. But then, it stopped ringing. Not all the time . . . just sometimes. So I'd miss calls, texts, etc.

Time for a new phone.

My hubby took it in to the employee store and the replaced it with another red Razr.

Two months later - adios telephone.

This time though, it was my four-year-old's fault. I had my cell in my church bag. Apparently my four-year-old wouldn't stop running around my classroom, tripped and fell on my bag. His knee had excellent aim and totally smashed the cell's front screen.

So, back to the employee store. But this time, we got good news. I was eligible to get another phone! Yipee!!!!

Now I'm the owner of a very pretty PINK Katana. So far, I really like it. It's very musical - seriously. Each key has a different note, just like a piano. It's really fun to listen to when I text. Very melodious. :) This phone also has way more ringers to choose from - and ones that I'd actually want to use, rather than having to purchase a ringer to download.

And that's the end of my little cell phone story. I hope everyone's New Year has started out on a fabulous first day. I know at my house, my hubby worked on my desk we've been "working" on since May. We made progress. Progress is good. And the best part was our traditional lunch & dinner of hot dogs, mashed potatoes, and sauer kraut. Yummy!!!
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