Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is there a God?

  There have been things swirling through my mind lately about my creator that I wanted to put into words, so that I could figure out what it is I've been thinking and feeling.  I've thought about and prayed for the families of those that lost children in Connecticut.  There are my daily struggles of motherhood that are hard.  There is having a child with disabilities (and extraordinary abilities that others don't have) that I do my best to understand.

Now we've celebrated Christmas and I struggle to help my children understand why it is we celebrate it.  I worry that they'll get lost in the distractions.  I hope and pray with all of my heart that they'll come to know and understand their Creator- their Savior.

I recently was studying about the creation of the world.  Reading the Bible and thinking about the immensity of what he did.  Jesus Christ, under the direction of God created worlds without number.  If you think about how big our universe is- our universe is roughly 16 billion light years in expanse, and there are over 10 billion galaxies.  Then think of all of the planets, stars in that space.  It makes us look pretty small in comparison.  Yet despite that, I feel very reassured that we are known and loved.

So I asked myself:  What kind of experience did the creation give Jesus Christ?  In Moses 1:35 (32-39) it says "all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them."  Not only does he KNOW his creations, He LOVES them!

In creating us and this world that we live on, He gave a purpose and a mission to His creations.  It then became His mission too: To bring immortality and eternal life to all men.  We were also created to show that even in the hard times and in our struggles and in our trials that we would love others and Him.  Jesus' experience with the creation also gave him knowledge and understanding.  Christ said, "My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee." (Abraham 2:8)  Despite having innumerable creations, we are still in His hands, and known to Him!

I trust that Jesus Christ has knowledge and understanding that I don't have.  It allows Him to instruct, guide, counsel, and love His creations.  I also have the very firm belief in my heart that through his miraculous atonement, that all of the bad things in life, somehow, in the end will be made right.  He can turn sorrow into joy.  He can turn bitter into sweet.  He can give back what was lost, and songs that haven't been sung will be sun.  If you're living through a moment that feels pretty terrible or disappointing, I trust that in the end he can make something wonderful out of something that seems so black or terrible.  So through pain, and through happy times, and through struggles, and through my weaknesses I know that He loves me, He can change me, He can help me to feel better.  He can make me a better person.

Is there a God?  I say YES!!!!!!!  He knows and loves us!

Merry Christmas (2012)

 We started off our holiday kick by a very special visit from Captain America (Paolo's friend: Matteo).  The boys had a lot of fun with their super hero visit.  They didn't know it was our friend.  They just thought they got a really cool visit.

 This was from our family Christmas party at uncle Ivo's and aunt Ivana's.  We were up way too late and the kids were a little off kilter the next.  Isabel got a doll for Christmas that she regularly gives hugs and kisses to.  The cutest thing I've ever seen!
Santa's little helpers
Santa's little helpers


Here we are trying out our new Christmas bikes at the park Giardini Margherita.  They had fun!

 It also happens to be cold, humid, and muddy everywhere!  Aaron didn't negotiate a corner too well and landed in this.  I didn't see it happen, I just noticed him cleaning his shoes off on the grass nearby.  After picking up the bike, I took a picture of the mud puddle.
 Jordan being silly as ever.
 Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad

 the 17th was Paolo's birthday.  The boys chose to make a Pirate Hat birthday cake.  To tell the truth it looked nothing like it when he finally got home from work.  It got tipped over multiple times and the white on the front was all a blur.  And then they put their fingers in it so many times....
 Our kids were REALLY excited to make a cake and wrap presents for daddy.  We love this man, and I'm a lucky woman to have him as a husband!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

closing prayer

Today in church, the children did the program for sacrament meeting- the Primary Program.  Aaron got to say the closing prayer at the end of our services.  As he went up to the pulpit, one of his teachers tried to whisper what to say in his ear.  In a very loud and carrying voice he said "No!  I can do it myself!"

He then gave this prayer:

"Caro Padre Celeste, ti ringraziamo che siamo qui in chiesa.  Grazie per Babbo Natale che e` amico di tutti i bambini e ci porta dei regali!  Nel nome di Gesu` Cristo, Amen."

"Dear Heavenly Father.  We thank thee that we are here in church today.  Thank you for Santa Claus who is a friend to all the children and will bring us presents.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

And that was his prayer that he did all by himself!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

boys verses girls

Aaron has started turning into a little boy over the last few days and weeks.  He's all of a sudden started using imaginative play, all the time.  Before it was usually lining up toys, or repetitive play and doing the same things.  Trying to enter into his play was stressful and painful and usually ended in tantrums (even made me want to throw a tantrum after a while of trying to play with him).  It was also just imitating things on TV.  Now it's like a little boy has exploded and he's a very willing participant in playing and pretending, and much more open to letting you in.

 This also includes him adopting new personalities and being them for a while.  Lately he's been Santa Claus.  He's been taping a paper mustache and beard to his face and been preparing presents for a while.  On Saturday he asked me to write this note and tape it to his door.
Translation:  This house belongs to Santa Claus.  But the Reindeer doesn't go in Santa's house.  The Reindeer go to their house to eat.  The little reindeer eats a small salami, cheese, and hot dog sandwich.  HO HO HO! Merry Christmas!

It turns out that Isabel is the little Reindeer and she's not invited into Aaron's/Santa Claus' house while he's playing.  I just had to smile and shake my head.  It warms me inside to see my little baby come out of his shell and turn into a real kid.  Merry Christmas to me!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

picking olives

 Paolo's uncle has an olive tree in his yard that produced a lot of olives.  We picked the olives with Jordan's help and had lots of fun doing it.  I learned a few things about olives.  They are very bitter when you pick them and they are only good after being treated- with salt.
 We had 2 baskets!
 And Isabel managed to grab her yogurt while I was trying to get food to the boys, and man did she have fun!
Jordan wanted his picture taken too.  Silly kiddo.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Welcome December

 I love December and Christmas time.  It also happens to be the birthday month for my little sister.  I saw this awesome tutorial by Colleen (used to go to the same quilting group together) on making this star and then how to put it in a piece of material.  I've was itching to try it.  So it turned into a pillow case for my sister's birthday.

I'm not in love with the way I quilted the pillow top, but that's ok.  Good learning experience, right?  So cross my fingers that my sister doesn't look at my blog before it arrives in the mail. :)  It's on the way now.
So I'm not a professional photographer, but these are some pretty poor pictures.  It's been raining pretty non-stop and couldn't go outside to take a picture.  Isabel made it even harder.  She kept pushing around our clothes hanger and kept moving it while I was trying to take a picture.  Love my one year old!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

 We have a friend from church, Patrick, that has been married to an Italian woman for a long time and they've lived in Italy for a long time.  They've been building their dream house, and it's getting closer to done, so he invited us up to their mountain home for Thanksgiving dinner.  It was amazing!
 We had lots of fun.  The kids loved running around in the wide open space.  They have two boys too (ages 7 and 9).  Their boys were very good about playing with our kids.
 Took this picture with my back to the windows.
 And this is from the stair case.  I have to say that one of my favorite things about their house is the view from these windows.  Gorgeous!
My adorable hubby. ;)

The only hiccup in the whole evening was Isabel barfing A LOT in the car because she drank too much milk.  Milk curdles, freshly reproduced from a babies stomach is pretty darn stinky, especially when you get to breathe the fumes the rest of the way up the mountain!  Lucky for us they had a washing  machine in their house and a fire going in the fire place in front of which we could dry her car seat cover in time to go home in less smelly conditions.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Il Mondo Creativo (The World of Creativity)

 This weekend I went with two friends to a fair called the World of Creativity.  I've been dreaming about this for weeks and weeks.  We had the stomach flu at our house, and I was lucky enough to escape the vomiting, but did wake up more than one morning with it encrusted on my face and hair. :)

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture with my friends, and after they left I went to the part where the cakes were being displayed and remembered that I had a camera in my bag and that I wanted to take pictures.

Let me add that little miss Izzy was a trooper despite being her stroller for a very long time.

 Yummy chocolate.  Didn't buy any though.
Oh fabric, how I love thee!  Unfortunately prices in Italy are outrageous.  It was 14-21 euros a yard, and 4 euros for a fat quarter.  I did find one stand that had a very limited selection of fabrics for 7 euros a yard.  Being a sucker for a deal, I bought 3 half yards.  Hoping to use the material to make some pillow covers as Christmas presents.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The mommy club

If you don't like stories about EMESIS (that's medical lingo for barf!), stop reading now.  If you don't like stories about brave mothers, that get battle wounds, stop now.  This is not a post to read.

I feel like I'm officially part of the "Mommy Club" if the last 5.5 years and 3 kids, and sleeping about 5 nights total in those years through the night haven't been enough for such a qualification.  Two nights ago Jordan got a case of the pukes.  Lucky for me I decided to sleep with him in his bed and every 30-40 minutes he'd start moaning and then I'd grab him and run for the bathroom.  Lucky for me I have a small house and it was a quick trip to the bathroom.  Gradually the time between barfing got longer and by the morning the puking had stopped.  Didn't even get the bedding.  Pat on the back to this mommy.

I had to laugh and feel like I had my initiation rites into the "Mommy Club" when I noticed emesis encrusted on my hair.  Then a little later as I was washing my hands, I noticed in the bathroom mirror that I had some smeared on my face.  I know, I know.  Waaaaaaay too much information, and totally gross.

Well last night as I was getting the boys into bed it was Aaron's turn.  The only problem is that Aaron is a lot bigger than Jordan and therefore has a greater reservoir of food to barf up, resulting in a lot more barf.  Not only was given another initiation rite into the club, we were both covered in barf.  Seriously.  Even Aaron had it encrusted into his hair.

After a quick bath/shower I had Aaron on the couch and was cleaning him up when I heard Isabel start barfing.  The first about 4 times of throwing up it was simultaneous.  Aaron would start, and then I'd hear her retching.  After that they took it in turns.

Needless to say I've got barf in my hair again this morning, and I've used every clean sheet in my house, plus multiple PJ's and almost all of my clean towels.  I've got a lot of laundry to do. :)  Unfortunately for my husband he woke up at about 11 p.m. to see what's going on.  So I told him.  He gets up around 2 a.m. to go to work, so he headed back to our room.  Less than a minute later I heard him retching too.  He had his own initiation rites, or sorts.   Poor guy!

Sorry folks, no pictures this time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's Fall

 This week it's turned into Fall time here in Bologna.  All of the leaves feel like they've changed this week and I'm surrounded by vibrant reds and yellows.  It's warming to see all of those colors.  It's also been overcast or raining non-stop and we really haven't had a glimpse of the sun.  That's autumn around here.

On a vain note, I loved Isabel's hat and tried to take a picture of it, but I'm now in the phase where it's hard to get her to hold still long enough to get a good picture of her.

Is it a 3 year old thing that you can't just smile and look at a camera.  Spiderman was disguised as a fireman this day, but he's still got the Spiderman moves!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

My brother's a genius: Flip n'Grip Wallet

I've got a brother, BJ, who is about to finish his Master's in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Utah.  He's always really been good with his hands and making things.  With a friend he's developed a wallet made of metal, indestructible and can block those RFID scanners that can rip off your credit card information.  It's called the Flip n'Grip Wallet.  In attempt to help him out getting started, I wanted to show everyone a link to my wonderful brother's website where you can read about it.  He mostly just wants to get word out about it.

Note: this video is not the same product as my brother's, but has the idea from this.  It's just to give you an idea.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Color wheel Quilt

 This is one of my favorite blankets so far that I've made.  I made it from a charm packs of a color wheel swap that my good friend Kati so kindly sent to me as a pick-me-up present shortly after moving here. I've obviously sat on it for a while.  Then I was inspired by a tutorial by Leigh when my quilt guild I used to belong to hosted a dresden ruler challenge.

I really wanted to have it done and ready for when Karla came so that she could take it as a surprise present for Kati.  I worked a LONG time on it into many nights, but it was complicated and technical and it wasn't ready when Karla came.  I also couldn't print the pattern for it, and made my own pattern.  Don't know if I'd recommend this.  It was way faulty and I couldn't get the squares to match up.  It has LOTS of flaws, but that's ok.  I learned a lot.

I did some echo quilting of the meandering path, and then used yellow as the back ground.

I'll make a confession, I love this quilt so much that it's going to sit at my house and get used until I go home this summer or next and give the gift.  I hope that Kati doesn't mind a gently used gift. :)  I really had hoped to post this after she had it in her hands.  Next time, right?

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A few more memories

Karla just emailed me a few pictures and I HAD to post a few, mostly for me and for my reminiscing.  Karla and Brad are seriously the salt of the earth, and I'm so grateful for them!  I'm never ever forget their kindness and goodness, and I'm so glad that they came to visit!


 Eating pizza in Lucca

 Halloween costumes
 Going and seeing Paolo at work.
 Pizza in Lucca

Then men shopping.  Really I wish I could have been a fly on the wall and witnessed this, I guess a picture will do. :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oh, she's so beautiful!

 Yesterday I was feeling really lousy (still am today) with what I think is bronchitis, and so I stayed home from church and Isabel stayed with me.  When Paolo and the boys came home from church they were sitting at the kitchen table.  Jordan noticed Isabel in her dress and declared "Cosi` Isabel e` molto bella!"  "Oh Isabel is so beautiful like that!".  Random comment that I wasn't expecting, but it sure made me smile.
 I tried to get a picture of how cute she was, but she wouldn't hold still long enough to get her picture taken. (Thanks again to Heidi for bringing the dress to me, and thanks to Traci for giving it to me).
 And also in an attempt to kill the boredom, we made mustaches and the boys pretended to be Captain Hook.  Aaron has an obsession with him right now, and is always drawing Captain H.