Friday, June 27, 2008

6 months cute!!!!

this is Emery - on june 29th I turned 6 months cute... I mean old! :) I just wanted to report my fat stats and some of my new tricks (in the last couple of weeks), so here they are!!

weight: 16 lbs 6 oz
height: 26 in
head: 44.2 cm

new tricks:
  1. no more swaddling - i've been struggling to sleep through the night for 2 months and my mom couldn't figure out why. well, she finally did when she realized i'm WAY to old to sleep swaddled anymore. i'm sleeping like a baby once again and i don't wake up cranky and frustrated because i can't use my arms. silly mom. she's new at this.

  2. my first 2 teeth broke through. my funny mom didn't even know i was teething and she cried when i bit her and she felt my teeth for the 1st time. something about "she's growing up too fast..."

  3. i rolled over for the first time (from my back to my tummy). boy was mommy surprised and daddy and grandma loved when i did it for them too. i'm still kind of sneaky about it and i only do it when i feel like it.

  4. i can sit up! yahoo!!! freeeeedom!!!!

  5. i love to mimic. my favorite is to mimic my grandma wimmer singing but i also mimic when people shake their head "no" and other noises.

  6. i grunt and growl to tell mom and dad when i want something. i'm very opinionated.

basically i'm not a baby anymore. i'm a big girl now, but don't tell my mommy and daddy because it makes them sad that i'm growing up so fast!

fun at lava point

This last weekend we were able to go camping at Lava Point - a beautiful little spot on the mesa past Kolob and overlooking Zion. Once we got unlost and some nice canyoneers took pity on us and let us share their campsite, help us set up our tent, told us how cute Emery is and even fed us dinner we had a lot of fun! :) (We're normally very self-sufficient campers, however, it was getting late and the mercy and help were greatly appreciated since Emery was soooo ready to be out of the car.)

The next morning we went and saw the condors - endangered birds whose wingspans can reach nearly 10 feet - about 30 of which (out of only a few hundred still alive) live right near lava point. We also enjoyed visiting a ward in La Verkin, UT. They made us feel more than welcome and were mostly just sad that we were visiting and not there to stay! (It seemed like they don't get new ward members very often.)

Emery was a happy camper once again and it was fun to explore a new place we'd never been to together before. I love my family! :)

I know this looks like blank sky, but enlarge it and you'll see 2 condors flying! Pretty cool!

Emery overjoyed to be out of the car seat and enjoying sundown, a fuzzy blanket and the cool grass at Lava Point.

A short 5 minute walk from our tent and we had this beautiful view of the start of Zion canyon from the top of the mesa.

Our 2 favorite things in the morning - a view of the "outdoor woods" from our tent door and our beautiful daughter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chicken Pepper Pasta

Cooking in Las Vegas is FUN!! As part of the deal of living with my parents, they won't let us pay for rent or for food, but we won't let them eat out every night like they normally do, so I get to cook. Since I also clean the house, you can just call me the maid. I love cooking in my mom's big, state-of-the-art kitchen and I've been able to make some really fun things since my mom is paying for the food!

So, for those of you Costco and Sam's Club members (like my mom), have you ever wondered what you could make with those beautiful bags of yellow, orange and red peppers they carry besides make fajitas? Me too, so I made up this yummy recipe and then tried to figure out what was in it and wrote it down (as per my brother's request so my sis-in-law can make it after I leave). Let me know if any of you try it! :) We all love it so I just thought I'd share.

Chicken Pepper Pasta
1 1/2 Tb fat-free Italian dressing
1/2 Tb olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 large cloves finely chopped garlic
3 peppers (red, yellow and orange) chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 cups chicken broth
4 oz (1/2 block) 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 cup parmesan
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
garlic salt, pepper and cumin
16 oz penne pasta, cooked

1. Combine Italian dressing, olive oil, black pepper, onion and garlic in large saucepan. Brown until onion is semi-soft.
2. Add peppers and chicken broth to saucepan. Simmer for about 10 minutes until peppers are semi-soft.
3. Add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add parmesan and stir until melted.
4. While your sauce is heating, pan-cook or grill chicken breasts coated in a little bit of Italian dressing and olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt, pepper and cumin. Cut chicken into thin slices.
5. Combine sauce, pasta and sliced chicken in large bowl. Serves 4-6.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Emery's 1st camping trip!

We took the little rugrat camping and climbing in Mount Charleston (beautiful alpine scenery unexpectedly just 45 minutes from the greater Las Vegas area and 20 degree cooler too. ahhh.). It was great to escape the heat and enjoy the wonderful mountains with our little girl. She was a good camper too - though it took her a while to fall asleep. She wasn't fussy - I think she just thought it was weird to sleep in a tent outside. :) She'll get the hang of it!

Thank you, thank you to my sweet hubby who rearranged his day off at work to spend a Tuesday with his girls! Thank you for being so good to us! We love you!

My two favorite camping buddies!

For those of you who doubted that Emery would love rock climbing like her parents, examine this picture carefully. Is that a smile I see? We think it's growing on her.

The Annual WWW Family Reunion - Kansas City Style

My wonderful Wimmer Grandparents fund an annual reunion every year for their 6 kids (my dad being the oldest) and their families. It rotates between the home cities of their kids every year. The rotation this year hit the Alan and Heather Wimmers who recently moved to Prairie Village, Kansas where they live and my uncle rides his bike across the state line into Kansas City, Missouri every day to practice one of the many things he does best - electrocardiology. We went 2 days early to tour the LDS church sites at Adam-ondi-Ahman, Liberty Jail, Indepedence and Far West with some of the family until the rest of the bunch showed up for the big party... which included lots of good food, good company, catching up with family and a family talent show - which may have to be a yearly event because, man, was it fun!!! :) Thanks to Uncle Al, Aunt Heather, Mariah, Eliza, Willa and Wyatt for being wonderful hosts. Especially to Willa for letting us steal her room for a few nights. We love you guys and can't wait until next year!

Side note about Kansas City, KS vs. Kansas City, MO - they are very different, we came to find out. There is a road called "State Line Road" - a 2 lane road that literally divides the two - and KS maintains their side of the street while MO maintains their side. The KS side is very clean, green grass, they plow their snow in the winter, etc. The MO side, however, the grass is dead, the street is dirty and they apparently don't plow their snow in the winter. Interesting.

At Adam-ondi-Ahman... hopefully not the last time we'll be there! :)

Aaron and "Emery Teresa" during the talent show. Man, that girl loves her daddy!

Mariah, Eliza and I doing a dance to "Thriller" during the talent show. I wish I would have been more fun when I was their age so I guess you could say that now I'm making up for lost fun!
Uncle Bry (a.k.a. my little brother) with Emery and Miles squished into our rental van

A Tribute to My Sweet Grandma

My sweet grandma, Ila Mae Britt, died a few weeks ago at the ripe old age of 86. You may recognize a few parts of her name because she is both Emery Mae's namesake and my own - something I am very proud of and wanted to pass on to my daughter. She was very special to me and we were very close and to celebrate her life and her passing on to the next I want to share a few special memories - mostly recent ones - of my Gramma.

  • Though Gramma and I didn't share a common religion, we shared a common faith. Much of my testimony or faith, the power of prayer and the goodness of God came from watching her and her relationship with God. She was and angel of prayer to me and to many others, as it was easy to see how her relationship with God blessed those around her. Her prayers for her family and others were answered. One of my most cherished memories of my Gramma will always be a conversation we had a few months ago on the phone about the world's declining morals and the things families need to do to stay strong in this scary world. She will be much of my inspiration in that quest to protect my family.
  • Gramma and Emery had a very special relationship. Because we were close, she always wanted to be alive to see my babies. When Emery was 2 months old we took a trip to Vegas just to make sure Gramma got to meet her (since her health had been declining for quite some time) and we got to spend much more special time with her in her last month as we were living near her assisted living home. One thing I will never forget is the way Emery studied Gramma. For those of you who have been around Emery at all, she doesn't study anyone. She's too "busy" to make eye contact for more than a second, except for with Gramma. She studied Gramma and looked at her like she was telling her something and would always just lay calm and still by her side whenever we visited her. Gramma was in the hospital for a few days up until she went home the day she passed. Even though she was no longer responsive, my mom had been telling her that Emery was coming to visit her once she left the hospital and got back to her room. When we visited her that day, Emery put her hands on Gramma's face, held her hand and laid next to her. Just 20 minutes after we left, Gramma died. I think she was waiting to say goodbye to Emery.

  • Gramma was spunky. I happened to be there on her last coherent night, just a few days before she died. My mom, aunt, sister-in-law and I surrounded her bed and were giggling and telling her that she was spunky and though her eyes were closed, she started chuckling. A few minutes later she opened her eyes for the last time, smiled at the 4 of us, glowed for a short minute at having some of her girls surrounding her and then closed her eyes again. On the spunky note, another fun memory is a game of Scrabble I played with Gramma and my Aunt Sheri a few weeks before she died. Even in her dwindling physical and mental health, she came alive when she played Scrabble. She was unbeatable. This game was a relaxed one though and Gramma made up rules, played funny words, had us hysterically laughing and STILL beat us.

I miss my Gramma so much that it still hurts, but in this 1st experience of losing a family member, I'm thankful for our Heavenly Father's plan of salvation and that I know I will be with her again. Because of her I'm also sure there will be Scrabbe and chocolate in heaven. :) I'm also thankful for the cherished memories we made together and that I will be able to pass her memory, her testimony and her spunk to my children to keep her alive always.

Emery and Gramma sharing a special moment

The 4 generation photo we took about a week before she died

Monday, June 2, 2008

Emery Mae's 5 month birthday!!

In an attempt to redeem ourselves as parents, we remembered to take the traditional monthly picture of Em for her 5 month birthday a few days ago. (We forgot at 4 months.... whoops!) All we have to say is man, she is one cute girl. Being her parents is our favorite job, hobby, past time and what we look forward to most, all at once. We love you, little whale! Happy 5 month birthday!