Thursday, May 29, 2008


Tuesday was a really scary day for me. For the first time in three pregnancies I actually had something abnormal happen to me....I started bleeding. Of course I only imagined the worse. I thought for sure that I was losing the baby. I called the doctor's office right away and they scheduled an appointment for me on Wednesday morning. It was the longest night of my life. Much to my relief, everything was just fine. As soon as I heard the baby's heartbeat, the tears came as the relief rushed throughout my body. They actually did an ultrasound as well just to make sure everything looked good. I couldn't believe how big the baby has gotten. Unfortunately, the legs were crossed so she couldn't tell if it's a boy or girl. Cory swears he saw a little "pecker" in there, but I think it might have just been the umbilical cord that was between the legs. Hopefully, we will find out next week for sure!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008


YEAH!!! After a long wait and much anticipation, it is finally time favorite show EVER...
So You Think You Can Dance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so disappointed though, I didn't realize when try-outs were, I was so going to try-out with my infamous robot dance (mixed with a little ballet). Oh well, there is always next year. :)

P.S. For all who have been asking....NO belly shots! I promise it is not that cute, especially when my sister-in-laws who are due within a week of me are not even showing yet! So not fair. I am now officially feeling the baby all the time now and I LOVE it! I find out the sex of the baby on June 6th...I'll keep ya posted.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Abinadi Painting

In Sunday School yesterday, we talked about one of my favorite Book of Mormon prophets, Abinadi. During our class discussion, a comment was made about this particular painting that was done by Arnold Friberg. I was really interested in learning more about Friberg and this painting so I went online yesterday and found some more info about it. I was so excited about what I learned that I just had to share it with all of you....

Abinadi before King Noah (Mosiah 11–13). "I composed it the opposite of the well-known principle in art, the 'principle of the Jewel.' . . . It is like a jewel setting—the central figure is the most interesting part. You use the strongest color and the strongest and most vibrant contrast around the center of interest, and then it goes into surrounding neutrals. I reversed it here for the purposes of this picture. Against the simplicity of Abinadi in his grey prison garb was the opulence of the court. The richness of the colors set off this simple, humble man.

"And the jaguars—I spent days studying them at the zoo. There were several reasons for putting them in. One thing, it gives a royal touch to have the animals chained to the throne. They are not leopards; they are jaguars, which are more compact animals than leopards. Jaguars are found only in Central and South America, so they sort of help define the geographical setting. Animals are very sensitive to supernatural power. . . . The jaguars are snarling because they sense the awesome power that is surrounding Abinadi.

"Then there are the priests of King Noah. I had somewhat in mind the man back here at the right might be young Alma. He was mightily impressed by the courageous testimony of Abinadi, so much so that he became a prophet."

This is the artist's favorite painting of the entire set. The figure of Abinadi held special meaning for Arnold Friberg. When his family was converted in 1921 in Arizona through the missionary efforts of a Brother Altop, Arnold was seven years old. He was baptized the next year and remembers fondly the missionary teaching his family received from Brother Altop. As Friberg was at work painting this picture, Brother Altop visited him in Salt Lake City. Lean and muscular from years of working as a carpenter, the revered friend was immediately put to work posing as Abinadi.

(The above info and even more fun facts about Friberg and his other paintings are found here)

Three GREAT movies!!!

Apparently, this weekend was a movie weekend. We ended up seeing three movies by the time Saturday night rolled around. The crazy thing about it though was that I loved all three of them, which doesn't happen too often because I'm pretty picky about movies.

The first one Cory and I watched on Friday night. It was The Great Debators. It was SO GOOD!!! I loved it! It was very inspiring and at one part I was bawling and had chills running all up and down my arms. I very highly recommend it!

The second one was one that we watched as a family on Saturday afternoon. In downtown Asheville they have a little Pizza and Brewery place where you can watch a $2 movie while your sitting at little tables eating pizza. It is such a FUN place!!! Anyways, we watched Horton Hears a Who. SO GOOD!!! It was so funny and it had such a GREAT message behind it!!!! And yes, I was bawling like a baby at the end. :)

The third one Cory and I watched on Saturday night. ( I promise we don't just watch movies all the time) :) We watched First Sunday. I was really hesitant about this movie because I hate crude humor, but it wasn't like that at all. It was really funny and again, it had a great message.
And I think Cat Williams is hilarious!

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Husband Tag "

I've had a couple of friends who have done this on their blog and I thought it was so fun to read because I don't know their husbands at all. You always hear about me and my children and really Cory is the most important person in my life and so I thought I'd let all of you get to know him a little better. So here I go...

What is his name? Cory

How long have you been together? We have been married for 8 years in August.

How did you meet? I moved to Arlington when I was 14 and he was in the ward we moved into, the Arlington 4th ward. After my first Sunday at church, I came home and told my parents that of all the boys in the ward the cutest ones were the Mann boys; Cory, Sean, and Richard (their cousin who was living with them). Cory wanted nothing to do with a youngin' like myself, besides he was too involved in all of his other girlfriends. So... I decided that he was a jerk because he paid no attention to me for a couple of years.

How long did you date? We started dating when I was 16. In fact, one of our first dates was his senior prom. He went on a mission about 7 months later. We wrote while he was in the MTC but then once he got out to New Jersey he wrote me and said that he didn't want to write anymore because he needed to focus on serving the Lord. I thought my life was over....until I went to college and met tons of other boys that kept me least until he got home. :)

Who eats more? It depends on what we're eating. If it is steak, shrimp, or chips he eats more. If it's fish, ice cream, or chocolate than I eat more.

Where do you like to eat together? My favorite place is Olive Garden. His favorite is Outback. But we also LOVE Mexican food.

Who said I love you first? He did.

Who does the laundry? I do most of the laundry. He does his when I am too far behind and he is out of clothes.

Who does the dishes? Me. He does help occasionally. He always helps when I ask him to or when we feed a lot of people.

Who sleeps on the right? He usually does, but right now I am because I am closer to the bathroom (a necessity when I'm pregnant) :)

Who pays the bills? We split them up. There are certain things that he is over and certain things I'm over.

Who cooks dinner? I do on weekdays and on weekends we do it together or he does it. He always cooks a huge DELICIOUS Saturday morning breakfast/brunch. It has become one of our favorite family traditions. He is an EXCELLENT cook!!

Who is more stubborn? Depends on the subject.

Who kissed who first? He kissed me first. He was actually getting pretty impatient though because I wouldn't let him kiss me for quite awhile. Although he was lucky because I made the boyfriend before him wait for 7 months before I'd let him kiss me.

Who proposed? He did. Do girls really do that? Not this girl.

Who has more siblings? him- 2 amazing brothers and 2 beautiful sisters

Who wears the pants? Again, depends on the subject.

Where do you fit in birth order? I'm the middle child and he's the oldest.

Who is older? He is by 2 years.

What does he do for a living? He works for a company called CBL. They own and manage malls throughout the country (and in some other countries). Right now he is the assistant general manager at the Asheville mall. He is actually in training to be a general manager which means we will move somewhere else probably within the next year or two so that he can have his own mall. Basically, he is in charge of leasing out spaces throughout the mall. He does a lot of traveling and makes a lot of deals. He is really good at what he does. I think he could sell ice to Eskimos. :)

Where is he from? Born in Utah, lived in Missouri for a couple of years and then moved to Texas.

What does he like to do? He loves any and every sport known to man. In high school, he went to state in swimming. In fact, I always tell him that I fall in love all over again every time I watch him swim the butterfly. He lives to play basketball every Thursday and he has worked really hard to get a pretty big group that goes each week. He loves to play with his girls (all three of us)!!! He loves to golf, shoot guns, camp, run (well I don't know if he likes running, but he does it anyway), travel, play games, snowboard, snowmobile, sing (in the shower especially) :), be in charge, laugh, watch movies, pack :) (he is really OCD when it comes to packing, but that is a story in itself), and just have FUN!!

What's your favorite thing about him? How much he loves life and loves people. He is just such a friendly, outgoing, and fun person. Another thing that I love about him is how romantic he is!!! He is also an incredible daddy. In fact, all of my great parenting ideas are actually his. I always tell him that it is too bad that he is not the housewife because I think he would do a way better job at the cooking, cleaning, and parenting. He's not perfect, but he has a heart of gold and he is the "mann" of my dreams. :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Park Pics

Here are some pics from our weekly trip to the park after storytime at the library. In between Kate and Cloey is their friend Alissa.
While going through some hand-me-downs from Abby, I pulled out some white Sunday shoes that would fit Cloey. She was SO EXCITED about them! In fact, she has worn them ever since (for 4 days now). We take them off of her at night and then she puts them back on first thing in the morning, and of course she has to wear a skirt with them everyday.
This is Eliona. She is Julie's little angel. She is the most adorable little thing. I took like 20 pictures of her just to get one of her wearing my hat, looking at the camera, AND smiling.
I don't know how I am going to survive without her at home to entertain me and Cloey. We will miss her so bad in the fall when she starts Kindergarten, although I will not miss the temper that has been flaring up lately. I don't know what that is all about but she is getting better about it.
This is Eliona with her beautiful mommy Julie who is my neighbor. She is also one of my really good friends. I don't think I could go one day without knocking at her door or calling her. She is not only a great friend but also an incredible person. I don't now how I always luck out with the best neighbors ever, but I do!!!! It has been one of my greatest blessings throughout my married life. Everytime we live somewhere that is far away from family, I always end up becoming the best of friends with my neighbor who just happens to be my age and is always amazing! Annie, Beth, and Julie will always be some of my most cherished friends.

Katelund's New Haircut

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend

Thanks to all of you who have responded and sent me your email addresses so that I can include you in my reader's list when I go private tomorrow. It is so awesome to see some of the people who read my blog that I didn't even know because now I have new blogs to check out and more friends to make. :) If you haven't emailed me yet, please do it today because I really don't want to leave anyone out who wants to be included. Anyways...

This last weeknd, Cory and the girls took me to Myrtle Beach for Mother's Day weekend. We met Cory's parent's there as well. We were also "celebrating" their first weekend as Empty Nesters. We had such a great time!! I couldn't believe how brave Katelund and Cloey were. I was scared to death!!! There were jellyfish all over (okay, we really only saw two...but still...). Apparently, they were the kind that don't sting but I was still too nervous to get to far into the water. At least until Cory and the girls decided to splash me and push me into the deeper water.

We left on Friday around 5 pm after Cory got home. Earlier in the day, I was really debating about calling off the whole trip because I was just having such a hard time getting excited about spending time at a beach in a maternity swimsuit that still doesn't look right (but it does look a lot better than me trying to squeeze into my normal swimsuit). I was just feeling so fat and depressed about how I am looking these days. I know that I have gone through it in some degree with every baby, but for some reason I am really struggling with this third time around. I feel like I am not only expanding in my belly but everywhere else too!!! It is making me crazy!! Before I officially called the whole trip off, I called my mom and cried to her about how horrible I was feeling about myself. In true incredible mother fashion, she validated how I felt with her own feelings when she was pregnant with her third and then she went on to tell me how she feels when she sees girls who are pregnant now that she is past that stage. She told me how happy she feels for them and even though it is difficult at the time, it really is one of the best parts about being a woman and mother. I can't even write to you all that she said because it was just perfect and exactly what I needed to hear. In fact, on Mother's Day as I reflected upon the incredible mothers in my life, all I could hear in my head was my own mother as she once again comforted me and made all of my fears and worries disappear.

I feel so incredibly honored, humbled, and blessed to have the title Mother. I know that it is a sacred and noble calling and I feel so inadequate in so many ways as I daily try to fill such an important role in my children's life. Luckily, children are very forgiving and know how to love unconditionally. I am so grateful for my little girls and for how they are constantly teaching me how to be a mommy. In fact, just yesterday Katelund was giving me such an attitude and so I told her to go to her room and calm down (really so that I could calm down). I said to Cloey, "What are we going to do with your sister?" She gave me a big smile, shrugged her shoulders, and said, "Just love her Mommy". Immediately all my frustrations disappeared and all I could feel was an overwhelming amount of gratitude and love for the little angels in my life.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Going Private

Well, I guess I will just give in. I really did not want to go private because I love the fact that I have made connections with people who I have not heard from in so long. I feel like that is the best part about blogging; the idea that other mothers and friends can be brought together and share their fears, dreams, frustrations, celebrations, etc in a supportive way. I never thought I would have to go private because someone, who I don't really know personally (but I do know and love his family), has felt the need to not "hurt my feelings" but to step over a line when he began to question my values and morals and also to consider me "on a dangerous slope" because of my political views. I'm not saying that I have it all right, and I really am all about learning from others, but I just feel like there are better ways to do it.

Anyways, back to my intent for this post, for those who would like to read my blog once it becomes private, I have enabled the "moderate comments" option and so once you comment and tell me that you want to be on my allowed readers list by leaving me your email address, then it will send your comment to my email and nobody else will see your email address. I know that there are those of you who read my blog but do not make comments, I also know that there are those of you out there that may not know me but have found me through another link (I know because I think we all do it), please let me know if you want to be included, I'm all about meeting new friendly bloggers and I don't want anyone to feel excluded (unless your not going to be nice) :). For those of you who are not familiar with the blogging lingo (i.e. Grandma), all you have to do is click here and you can create your own free, easy, and quick google account so that you can leave me a comment with your email address. I will officially be private next Wednesday. I hope this all makes sense. I am so sorry that I am having to do this, I'm not trying to be petty, I just feel like this is what I should do and I've considered going private for some time now anyways. Jeff and Mark, no hard feelings, just know that I think it would be best to post your political opinions on your own friend's/family's blogs. :) Or, Jeff, since you feel so passionate about politics maybe you should run for office and really get your opinions out there for all too hear.

My LAST post about politics!!!!

I am so sorry to everyone about all of the drama that I have created with my posts about my support for Obama. I guess I just consider my audience in these posts as my friends and people who will give me their opinions and comments but will do so in a loving way, not in a way that questions my values. I don't expect people to now vote for Obama just because I feel like he is a good guy. I promise you that I will save my political feelings for my own personal journal because apparently it is just too passionate of a subject. But, after reading some of the recent comments on that particular posts, I do feel that I need to defend myself, or maybe that is not the right word, I feel that I need to clarify my feelings.

First of all, I have always felt that I was a Republican because I feel that I am conservative in my values. In the beginning of this election, I was all about voting for Mitt Romney. I was really excited for him as a candidate, but after he dropped out I began to wonder if McCain was going to turn out to be that great of a president. So for the first time ever, I decided to dig into politics and research the candidates. As I began to learn more and more about Obama I really liked his message and his goals to unify our country. I listened to him say over and over that we are our brother's keeper and we need to take care of one another. I was really drawn by this because I feel like sometimes in the Republican ideas it is every man and business for himself, and although I know that my children will get a good education and will have parents that are educated and who care about their health and well-being I also know through a couple of very personal experiences that there are so many others out there who are victims of circumstance and what about those people? According to McCain's plan, the parents will be able to choose what schools their kids go to. So I can see it already, you will have the parents who can afford to drive their kids across town to the "good" school and then you will have the parents who don't have the time or money to travel across town so their kids will have to take the bus to the "bad" school that is now full of underprivileged children. I see a lot of problems with that scenario and more than that I just don't think it is right or fair. Although I would love to not have to pay higher taxes, at the same time I feel that if I am paying higher taxes to help those people who truly need help then I'd be just fine with that. And you may ask what about those people who can help themselves but don't because they just rely on the govt? Well I know there are people out there like that but I think of what King Benjamin teaches in Mosiah about how we should give to them anyway because really "aren't we all just beggars, relying on the same God"? (that may not be the exact quote but you get the point). I know that we can give to charities and individually help people in need, but I don't think it is so bad to have a govt who is really trying to assist the needy also. After talking to my neighbor, I see that maybe I am being a little naive as to what the govt programs will actually do, because I know that the best scenario is for the churches, neighbors, and individuals to help one another but we live in a day in age where I feel that sometimes life gets so busy that we don't think often enough about helping others because we get too caught up in running kids around, fulfilling church callings, etc. At least that is something that I worry about.

I do not believe in abortion and I do not support it. As I talked to my Dad when I first began to wonder about where I stood politically, I asked him if he thought it was wrong of me to like a Democrat even if I didn't believe in abortion. He kindof reaffirmed to me what I was thinking, abortion is going to happen no matter what and just by voting for someone who is pro choice does not mean that I am supporting abortion. Besides, what Republican president has banned abortion? But, after reading some of the comments, I apologize greatly for making any of you think that I am supporting abortion by liking Obama. Maybe I am wrong for thinking that I don't have to agree with every single thing that a candidate believes, but in that case I guess none of them will work because I disagree in some way with each one of them.

I guess I just don't know who to vote for at this point. I want to be an educated voter who is voting for the best person with the best ideas to help our needy country, but in the end I am finding myself frustrated, confused, and wanting to just not vote at all. I love our country and I want it to be unified I want to have a govt who truly cares about it's people and to have healthcare available to people like my sister who seems to just fall into the cracks because of her health issues. I'm sure that I am being idealistic, but a girl can dream right?

Again, I am so sorry for the contention I have caused. This will be my last political post on my blog. Jeff and Mark, again, I am so sorry to have offended you both. Andrea, Lena, and anonymous, thank you for your love and support. :)

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Story of the Faithful Wives

This weekend our stake had a Women's Conference. It was so good!!! They had a musical play that was performed that really made the parable of the ten virgins come to life. It was so amazing!!! Apparently you can buy the music book, spoken parts, and the CD at the LDS bookstore. It really hit home to me any many ways and made me realize that too often I find myself as one of the unprepared virgins as I get so distracted in the everyday things and forget about the essential things that I need to be doing everyday in order to fill the "oil" in my lamp. After the play, we had a guest speaker come and she spoke about becoming a woman of light. It was such a good talk!! At one point she told us a German legend that I LOVED, so I found it on the internet so I could post it for all of you to enjoy as well. I know it's long, but if you have a couple of minutes to spare, it is worth it!!!

One day in the royal court in Germany, nearly a thousand years ago, the Duke of Welf accidentally brushed the foot of the Queen when he bowed before King Konrad III. Enraged at this insult, the King upbraided the Duke in front of the Duke's men. Offended and embarrassed, the Duke declared he would never again pay any tribute (tax) to the royal crown. Furious, he stormed out of the palace.

To punish the Duke, the King sent his royal army to surround the Duke's castle. In those days, dukes and other powerful men lived in castles with their whole families, servants and followers. King Konrad III knew it was only a matter of time before the people trapped inside would run out of fresh food and water. Then they would have no choice but to surrender.

Meanwhile, inside the castle, the Duke of Welf, whose ancestors traced back to the noble family of Charlemagne, was ready for a long siege. He had already stored a fortune of gold and silver inside the castle, and they were well supplied with food and other provisions. At night, he planned to send scouts through secret tunnels to the city of Weinsberg to buy whatever they needed. The Duke hoped his friends in Weinsberg would send word of his plight to opponents of the King and they would muster a force of soldiers, come to his aid and rescue them all.

King Konrad III and his troops, after waiting impatiently for a few weeks, sent a messenger to the Duke demanding the surrender of everyone in the castle - all of the Duke's men would have to die by the sword, but the women and children would be free to go. The Duke of Welf flatly refused these terms. Furious, the King ordered all roads and pathways surrounding the castle to be barricaded. He sent soldiers to search for tunnel entrances and when they were discovered, he filled them, blocked them, and stationed soldiers by each one.

Back inside the castle, food and other provisions were running out fast. The Duke had sent young spies at night to buy food and provisons, but they were unable to return because the tunnels were blocked and guarded. From the top of the castle the Duke could see that soldiers guarded all the pathways. A quick inventory revealed that the once-ample stores were nearly depleted. In fact, all that remained were two barrels of beans. The outlook was grim - the people inside the castle knew they faced starvation.

Furious that the Duke hadn't already surrendered, King Konrad III sent another message. If everyone in the castle did not surrender that very day by nightfall, he would set the entire city of Weinsberg on fire and subject all its inhabitants to the sword. Now the people inside the castle were truly desperate. Not only was their own doom sealed, but innocent residents of Weinsberg would share the same horrendous fate.

No one knows who said what to whom in the hastily gathered meeting that took place next, or who it was who came up with a certain plan. It may have been the Duke of Welf or it may have been his clever wife, the Lady Uta. It may have been a sharp-minded servant or one of the servant's wives. But before sundown, a messenger emerged from the castle with a letter addressed to King Konrad III. The letter read:

We, the women of the castle, humbly realize that our fate
is in your hands. We ask only that you allow us to leave
at sunrise tomorrow with our children and whatever we
can carry on our backs. For this we entreat you and submit
our lives to your mercy.

King Konrad III considered the proposal. After all, he had already said he'd let the women and children leave in peace. If they took a few pocketfuls of valuables, what was that to him? They could rebuild their lives and he'd be forever hailed as a wonderful and merciful king. Besides, the vast fortune of Duke Welf would be abandoned inside the castle and he'd add it to his own royal treasury. Plus the whole affair would be over. He sent the messenger back with his royal approval.

The next morning at sunrise, the castle gates creaked open. Out stepped the women with their children behind. But that's not all that emerged from the castle. Carried on the backs of the women were their own husbands, while on the backs of unmarried women were their own brothers or fathers. Each woman staggered under the weight of her burden while the men, sputtering with embarrassment on the backs of their womenfolk, struggled to keep from slipping to the ground.

Astonished at the very sight, King Konrad III laughed. His soldiers, outraged at the gall of these women, demanded that all the traitors be executed at once. The King refused, declaring he had already given his royal word that they could take whatever they could carry on their backs, and "a king always keeps his word." Thus the women of the castle were allowed safe passage and to rescue their beloved menfolk as well.

According to legend, the Duke and his men were so grateful that they renewed their loyalty to the King. King Konrad III renamed the castle "The Castle of the Faithful Wives," the name by which the castle is still known today, should you ever visit the city of Weinsberg in Germany.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Warning; sensitive subject!! :)

Wow, I cannot believe the response that I have gotten the last week from some of my friends when I 've told them that I'm favoring Obama. In fact, I'm really hoping that I haven't ruined some of my friendships because I have a differing opinion. I guess that is why you should avoid politics as a topic of conversation because there will always be different opinions no matter what. I guess the thing that frustrates me the most is when people just go off of what they've heard in the media or through emails. If you're going to tell me that I'm crazy for liking Obama then get your facts right and don't come at me with all of the lies, slanders, and rumors, just do your homework is all I'm saying.

I still am a little nervous about voting for a Democrat just because I don't think that the government should be as involved as they would like them to be, but at the same time I have to choose somebody and of all the choices I really feel like Obama is the right one for me. I have really sought out to study and get to know the candidates. In so many ways I feel like McCain is just wanting to put a temporary band-aid on so many of the serious issues that we are facing as a country. I guess the main issue that really stands out for me is education. Because of all of my schooling and my experience in the school systems, I really do not like No Child Left Behind. In fact, I am pretty passionate about it. McCain feels like the answer to our educational issues is to just give parents more freedom to choose whatever schools they want their children to go to. Really? He thinks that is an answer? How will that change anything for the educational system in our country? How do we expect our children to love learning and feel passionate about it when all the teachers have time to teach are the answers to the state test that they have to pass in order for the school to get more money? Okay, sorry. I'm telling you, I really feel passionate about this.

Anyways, I really feel like Obama is a good honest person, and I trust him. I know that some people believe that all politicians are corrupt and horrible people, but I choose to believe that there are good men out there like Obama who really do want to change the world and unite a country that is divided in so many ways. I refuse to believe that everyone is corrupt and just in it for power and glory. I may be naive, but I'd rather be naive and happy in my world then skeptical, miserable, and have no hope or faith in mankind. I know there are a lot of negative rumors, but I find them to be untrue. I just really hope that we haven't come to a point in our society where we believe everything that we hear from those who seek to slander, degrade, and mislead.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now and I promise I'll stop talking politics because I know it is a sensitive subject, I just had to get that off of my chest.

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