Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

We love you all and hope you have a Merry Christmas!

http://standage.public.iastate.edu/christmas2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Belated Thanksgiving Update

Thanksgiving in Cincinnati with Stephen and Laura Beth.

Heather at the playground with cousins.

Heather's cousins Michael and Maren.

Family photo at the Krohn conservatory.

Happy to see the Christmas train display at Cincinnati Museum Center.

Stephanie and the girls playing with some toy trains.

Heather looks good in a sari, don't you think?

The Air Force museum in Dayton was pretty amazing. Heather still talks about the "bih bum" (big bombs).

Happy to be home again after a long drive.

Yep, Stephanie's still pregnant!

My due date got pushed back to March 19th after a closer examination of the ultrasound results. Great. This gives us even less certainty about when Josh is coming. If he comes early according to the original due date, he may come at the very beginning of March. However, if he comes late according to the new due date, he won't be around until the end of March. Talk about suspense!

In other news, Daniel and I were sustained today as ASL interpreters in our ward. We have never felt so inadequate for a church responsibility before. Don't get me wrong, we've enjoyed learning so far, but this takes it to a whole new level. Keep us in your prayers!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Heather's Bedtime Songs

For those of you who don't participate in the Facebookosphere, I posted this note on my profile tonight. It's actually my personal journal entry for tonight, but I thought it was too good not to share.


Stephanie and I have done the same bedtime routine with Heather for a long time. We probably started getting consistent with it when she was about 6 months old, maybe even before that. Needless to say, we've done the same bedtime routine for over a year now. All of us read together from the children's scriptures, then Stephanie bathes Heather, then I dry her off, get her dressed and read her a story. Finally, we say a prayer together and Stephanie sings Heather to sleep. The same 5 songs every night...in the same order! We feel strongly that kids need structure and consistency, and we've been working very hard to provide that for Heather.


Although we have our "assigned" bedtime routine tasks, I've filled in for Stephanie enough times to know the whole bedtime routine very well myself. Between Stephanie's responsibilities at church and our ASL classes, I have been doing the bedtime routine by myself at least once a week for a while. And at the end, I sing Heather to sleep...the same 5 songs each time...in the same order, just like Stephanie!


Tonight I had a wonderful experience as I was singing Heather to sleep. I decided to do a little experiment. As I was singing one of the songs, I decided to stop right before one of the words we've been teaching her to say and sign. "Temple" she filled in. So I sang a little more and came to another word we've been teaching her and stopped. "Day" she said. I must have done this at least 10 times between the 5 songs, and each time she said the correct word--clearly too! I was impressed enough by the fact that she could say the words we've been teaching her ("temple", "day", "heart" to name a few), but she also said some words we haven't been teaching her ("Spirit" and "true"). Mind you, this isn't something we've been practicing--I just tried this out of the blue and Heather was perfect!


I'm not going to pretend this is because Stephanie and I are such great parents. Heather is so bright and special in so many ways. But I can't help but wonder how much the consistency is helping her learn and grow. Stephanie is a wonderful mother and has been so consistent in so many of the things she does with Heather--she is the reason we have a bedtime routine in the first place! I'm so thankful for the two girls that I have been blessed with!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

This was the first year Heather was able to really appreciate the fun of Halloween. Our ward had a trunk-or-treat activity on Wednesday, and despite wind and cold, they kept most of the activity outside. the excitement of decorated cars and excessive amounts of candy gave the kids (and adults) enough gumption to brave the blast.

Heather was a clown and mom wore her 50s poodle skirt.
Heather again with daddy in his doctor outfit.
Halloween itself fell on Sunday this year, and the die-hard Iowa State fans would never be happy if they had to choose between trick-or-treating and a Cyclone football game on Saturday night, so the community decided to celebrate Halloween and do trick-or-treating on Friday night. Our neck of the woods didn't get much action for some reason though. Oh well, Heather really enjoyed the 5-10 houses we went to.

Scooping out the pumpkins with mommy. We miss doing this tradition with family!

Heather scoopin' and daddy carvin'. You can see the nice window treatments Stephanie finished sewing the other day.

Daddy and Heather going out for trick-or-treating, daddy as a doctor and Heather wearing a different clown costume!
We hope you all had a fun Halloween! Don't start your Christmas music too early now, we've still got Thanksgiving to celebrate!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's a...

I'll let you check it out for yourselves. :)

I think most of us were right! His name will (most likely) be Joshua Christian Standage. We are excited to have a bouncing baby boy to love!



Oh how I love the little toes!

On a side note, my mom had her baby this morning at 6:47am EST. His name is Isaac Stanley Coleman. He weighed 10lbs 5oz! He was 21 inches and some change. (A VERY big, chubby baby.) I still can't believe I have another sibling! I think Joshua and Isaac are going to be best buds...they probably planned it. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Half way there!

This past Wednesday I hit the 20 week mark of the pregnancy. We are excited to find out the gender of the baby on Wednesday. Any guesses at to what it may be?


Here are some pictures of Heather. She loves hats and gloves.





Love you all!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sibling Memories

The last few weeks I've been thinking about some of my favorite memories growing up with my siblings. I would like to share a few in this post (special thanks to dad for help with the pictures).


My fondest memory with Stephen is building model rockets. It was a lot of fun to build and paint them, but of course the best part was walking up to the park by Greenwood Elementary to launch them. Stephen had a rocket that he painted black and maroon that he called "the hornet." He bought me one that I painted bright blue and yellow and called "mighty ducks"--how much do you want to bet I had just seen the movie?

Building rockets may not have been the most exciting thing Stephen and I have ever done. Indeed, the picture above was taken during my visit to Utah for EFY in 2000. Sliding down the ice pack on the back of Mt. Timp or the suicide jump at the narrows probably qualify for the most exciting things we've done together. The reason that building model rockets is my favorite memory is because it brings together all of the things that made Stephen a good big brother--his patience and his time when he very well could have been doing something else with friends or on his own.



My favorite memory with Michele is the trip we took to Sedona, Arizona right before my freshman year at BYU. Michele picked me up from Lesa and Eric's and we pulled an all-nighter to get to Sedona. During our few days there, we slept in a tent, we visited the souvenir shops, did some wilderness hikes, and of course, enjoyed some fancy dutch oven cooking. Our pizza crust was a little burned, but it tasted great anyway!

Michele is a great older sister. She was always nice to me growing up, and she was like a second mom. Hearing her play Chopin on the piano is the reason I ever wanted to play the piano in the first place! Our trip to Sedona is one of the few times in my life that we got to spend lots of 1-on-1 time together.



I was almost too embarrassed to share this photo of my fondest memory of Julianne. One year for Easter, Juli "wrote" a "play" that she and I performed for the rest of the family about the Easter bunny--guess who she got to play that part?!?! I don't remember the details much, but luckily mom and dad have a few photos of the ordeal in their archives!

This isn't my fondest memory of Julianne because I had a great time doing it. In fact, I might not have enjoyed it at all! Looking back, it's just funny to remember how good Juli was at convincing me that what she wanted to do was what I wanted to do too. I probably ended up doing a lot of things with her that I didn't really want to do just because I needed some company. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Julianne wasn't a great sister or that I didn't enjoy anything we did together. It's just funny to think back on what she was able to get me to do sometimes by exercising her persuasive powers!

I'll let Stephen tell you his version of the Daniel-and-Julianne story, which I like just as well. You should also ask him about the Julianne-ketchup-on-pillow-while-wresting story!



My fondest memory of Laura growing up is wrestling. We spent a lot of time together, especially after Juli graduated. Sometimes it was hard to come up with things to do together since there was such a large age gap. However, we were able to find some common ground in a few things--Star Wars (which she could quote at a very early age), legos, and wrestling. I taught her a few moves, but her best move (as shown above) is the half-nelson!

Wrestling with Laura is probably my favorite memory because we bonded a lot doing something we both enjoyed. Laura was happy because she some moves and I let her get her fair share of pins, and I was happy because I didn't have to play stuffed animals or watch Jungle Book for the 137th time with her!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Things Heather is up too

Heather has been learning to sing lately. She goes around say-singing "Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby..." all day from the Baby Signing Time theme song. She also has started singing some Disney and Rock songs. She sing-says "Bibobobo boo!" (Bibity-Bobity-Boo), and "Yi-yi-yi" (Big Girls Don't Cry...she also does it to Sherry.) I love it when she sings. It is so cute, and it makes me so happy because I love singing so much.

Here is an example of Bibity...

video

And one of "Yi-yi-yi"

video

I haven't been able to get the baby signing time song on video yet, but I will someday. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Love to See the Temple

With the Winter Quarters (Omaha NE) temple closing for several weeks of maintenance, yesterday was our last opportunity to attend the temple for a while. Stephanie and I took turns going at 8:00 and 10:00 am, and watched Heather while the other was in the temple. It was pretty chilly and rainy, so we didn't spend much time on the temple grounds. I spent about half of my time with Heather in the car watching Signing Time on the computer, and the other half in the visitor's center trying to channel Heather's energy into some of the fun pioneer activities they have there. We made it back between 2:00 and 3:00 in the afternoon, and then crashed for a few hours to recover from the early morning trek.


We thought we would include a baby bump update. This picture isn't 100% clear since Stephanie's black clothes blend in with her shadow, but Stephanie's not growing very quickly at this stage anyway. If this pregnancy is anything like the last one, Stephanie will stay relatively small until the last couple of months and then she'll get really big. We'll see!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Baby Number 2!!

Heather is going to be a big sister sometime around her second birthday!! The "due date" is March 9, 2011. We are very excited, but still trying to make it through morning sickness. This time it hasn't been as bad as it was with Heather. Luckily the bad stuff waited until we were (mostly) settled in. (I'm not gonna lie, there are still lots of things I need to do to feel completely at home...like hang up pictures and stuff.) We decided that this time around we are going to take a picture of my growing tummy about once every two weeks. (I was too embarrassed to take so many pictures of me pregnant with Heather, and I feel bad that we don't have very many.) So here's the first one:

I am actually showing a little (tiny) bit...the other show is mostly fat and bloatation. I think I'm showing a bit anyway. I know that there is something growing in there because I am at that awkward stage where the maternity clothes are still too big and everything else is a little too small. I mostly where t-shirts and Daniel's shorts.

We are super excited to welcome baby number 2, and can't wait to see what it will be like! Love you all!

PS. Cameo, when you asked me if I was pregnant at the Holmes' house I was pregnant, I just didn't know (I found out two days later). Sorry for "lying." Also, the reason I said I hoped I wasn't, is because I really did not want to be moving across the country and throwing up the whole way. (I am so grateful that didn't happen) So...that's my little confession. :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Update

This past week was the first week we've had a significant change in schedule since moving here to Iowa. I began my orientation, which thankfully wasn't as long and boring as I had expected. In fact, the diagnostic test they offered on Friday was anything other than boring! We had 45 minutes to answer 9 questions on subjects ranging from RNA secondary structure to algorithm complexity to systems of differential equations. My coursework at BYU covered all of these subjects, but a few of them were not fresh in my mind. Thankfully, they allowed us to indicate on the test the things we didn't know at all vs the things we would have to review before answering confidently. The purpose of the test was to determine whether we needed any remedial coursework, and luckily I was among the half of the group didn't!

In addition to my orientation this week, we also had the chance to go to the temple. Our ward organized a pretty big temple trip yesterday. We are in the district of the Winter Quarters temple in Omaha, Nebraska, which is about 2.5 hours away. The ward "borrowed" a local ward building to use as home base. The primary presidency organized activities for children and babysitting for young families so that couples could attend sessions together. The Relief Society organized a lunch after the morning session and youth baptisms, and then the bishop held a small devotional over on the temple grounds. The trip was officially over at that point, although many families remained and took turns watching each other's children so they could spend a bit more time in the temple. Heather was really tired and Stephanie felt sick, so we decided to just go home at that point.

The ward does not sponsor big activities like this very often, so our next few trips we will either have to bring some friends and take turns going in as couples or just go by ourselves and take turns watching Heather. Living in Provo spoiled us bad! Not only did we have a temple within walking distance, but we had a lot of friends that were willing to watch or listen for Heather while we went to the temple. It will definitely be an adjustment to make such a big trip every month.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Flooding

This is in response to many of your questions. We have been experiencing a bad flood here in Ames. Luckily, our basement did not get flooded. But the water was awfully close to our house. Although our basement did not get flooded, our neighbor's (in the other unit in our duplex) basement did. I don't know how to explain that...except that we were blessed. We have been doing well despite having to boil our water. We are so grateful that we had a little bit of water storage so that we have been able to drink good water and not heat our house up too much. They also recently started handing out water to the citizens of Ames, so we have been ok. Things should be under control by next week. Although we will probably have a lot of standing water and extra mosquitoes for a while. :)

Here are some pics of before and after the flood.

Before (there are also pics of before the flood in the last couple of posts):
After: You didn't know we lived by a lakefront property did you?












Sunday, August 8, 2010

Biscuits, Baby!

Today I decided to make some biscuits to go along with our crock-pot dinner. I pulled out ol' Betty, looked up biscuits, and found a simple recipe for plain baking power biscuits. They weren't too difficult--the only problem is that I rolled them too thin, so there were a lot and they cooked too fast and got too done. All things considered, they weren't too bad--until we tasted them!

Stephanie asked if I put too much salt in, but I assured her I had followed the recipe exactly. To be honest, I hadn't even really noticed the taste, since I took a bite of a biscuit with each bite of the main dish. When I tasted the biscuit alone, it did indeed taste salty--almost metallic. Then I realized that I hadn't made baking powder biscuits, I had made baking soda biscuits! Yuk! I had already eaten two! I had to lay on my back for a few minutes after dinner while the chemistry experiment in my stomach completed. Luckily it wasn't a repeat of that horrible experience near the end of my mission!

Here are some pictures of our new home in Ames--we will have some more of the interior once Stephanie has had a chance to finish making the window treaments.


Heather in our front lawn. We share a duplex with another young couple. We're on the right.

Another view of the front of our house.

The side of our house. We have a garage!

Rickety old back porch. It adds..."character."

Heather loves being outside.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ioway!

We are now officially the Iowa Standages--the first in my direct lineage (that I am aware of) that can claim that! We packed up our moving truck on Tuesday the 13th and left the next day. The trip was quite uneventful. We had an army of ward members here in Ames to help us unload the truck Thursday evening, and we had everything in the house 30 minutes after we started! Mom, Dad, and Laura stayed a few days with us, helped us clean and unpack, and watched Heather for us when we needed to make a shopping trip (or take a break). It was nice to have them there. They left Monday morning for Nauvoo and had a good few days there before returning to Utah.

We're settling in ok here. We've got almost everything unpacked and where we want it. Stephanie has even sewn some cute window treatments for Heather's room--they turned out really well, and they have blackout liner on the back, so it's really dark for naps and bedtime. However, we're still waiting on the landlords to make some repairs, so I don't think we'll feel completely settled in until that's taken care of.

We made our first batch of bread yesterday, and it turned out amazing. I will be as bold to say it was as good as one of mom's best loaves! We think what made the difference is substituting applesauce for half of the water. She's tried it before with minimal success, but this time it turned out great.

We have hardly taken any pictures since being here. We will take some pictures of us and the house soon and post them.

We love you lots!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's day to all of the men I know.

Daniel, You are such a wonderful husband and a wonderful father to Heather. You are my hero! I love you!


Dad, thank you for all you have taught me. You are an inspiration to me. You are the best daddy ever! I love you!


Dad Standage, thanks for being such a good example to Daniel. You are a wonderful man. I love you!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

3 Years of...Engagement?

Exactly three years ago yesterday, I proposed to Stephanie on a bench on the east side of the Provo temple. We were married 2 months later at the Mt. Timpanogos temple. This has been the best 3 years of my life! I love you Stephanie!

Yesterday, we celebrated by doing a rough recreation of that day three years ago. We ate out at Cafe Rio, took a walk around the temple, and sat (and smooched) on the same bench where I originally popped the question.

When life gets crazy, it's nice to take time to remember the important experiences in our marriage. I look forward to the experiences we will continue to have!

Monday, May 31, 2010

A Family Reunion of Sorts

Living with my mom and dad for the summer has been quite an adventure. We love being around and really appreciate their willingness to let us live with them for the summer (saving on rent has been a lifesaver). The house has been especially busy recently with extra family in town. My brother Stephen arrived for a visit on May 22nd, and it wasn't long before my sisters brought their families over, making it quite a full house. Here are some picture highlights.

Heather loves to be outside every chance she gets. She loved our trip to Rock Canyon in Provo.

Here is the fam.

On Sunday, the granddaughters helped paint each other's nails. Somehow Uncle Ben got wrapped up in it all. He was a good sport.

We also enjoyed having my grandma around, spending time with Aunt Janet, Donovan and his family, and Aunt Lisa and her family. It's been busy, crazy and hectic, but it's always nice to have family around.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Doodle-Do!!

Heather has learned a new sound...and it is cute!! See for yourself! video

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Graduation, vacation, and other stuff...

Wow! It has been a long time since we last updated. (Sorry!) It has been super busy. We graduated, moved, and left for vacation all in one weekend. Now that we have moved in with Mom and Dad Standage (temporarily), and have settled and gotten a routine down, I feel like I can sit down and blog for a little bit.

Lets start with graduation: WE DID IT!! It was five stressful years for Daniel, and four busy (and SUPER stressful last two years) for me. After hours and hours of studying, some tears, doubts and sighs, (and some shouts of joy), we did it! We couldn't be happier...well, maybe when Daniel is done with graduate school we will be happier. :) Here are some photos of the big day:



After a stressful day of moving, we went on vacation to Washington with my family. It was fun to be with them, and a good way to start our summer. Daniel and I were also able to sneak away for a day and enjoy some alone time. It was great...except I got sick the night before. I was so looking forward to having a nice romantic weekend at the beach, but it turned in to laying in bed and watching t.v. because I felt so sick. It was nice to have some alone time though. Daniel left 5 days before Heather and I did, because he had to work.

While he was gone, I did photo shoots with all of the kids. I have been toying with the idea of photography for a while now, and we finally bought a really nice camera. Doing the photo shoots helped me to develop my style and become a little more confident.

I was really worried about the trip home with Heather, but it all went smoothly, and by the end of the flight, everyone was in love with Heather. Whew! We had a great time on vacation! Thanks for letting us come and veg with you all Mom and Dad!

Here are some cute pictures we took of Heather:

I love this picture!


I love Heather's concentrating look. She just has a cute personality.


Sorry this turned into an epistle, but there was just SO much to say. I hope you all are enjoying your summer. We love you!