Monday, February 27, 2017


 We had a particularly pleasant Sunday.  I had ward council in the morning, as I do every week.  The kids are big so it's not too hard on Rob to get them ready.  Sometimes it takes a lot of prodding, this day was one of those.  I am sure that is because we all had late nights on Saturday and were tired.

So I left at 7:15 and they left at 8:30 (and picked up Michael Daniels on the way).  It was Ethan's turn to bring the bread for sacrament...and we remembered!   Then we were all there, sitting in our usual pew :)  It's a good life.
The talks were fine.  One was quite good, the other was low on doctrine but not boring.  With no paid clergy you get what you get.  The thing is everyone does their best so you just have to listen with your heart.  Another great thing about living in the south would be if I could say "bless his heart, he did an awful job:) (with a sweet southern smile)".  Id' like that.  It negates the criticism.  (not really but I think it's funny)
Sunday School was fine.
YW is always awesome.  Sister Tilden gives really good lessons.

Then we went home, had lunch, made dessert, took a short Sunday nap (the best), and went to the Evan's for dinner.  We had a really nice time.  The kids all got along and we had lots to chat about.

We rushed home in time for our evening fireside.  (Rachel and the kids followed).  Bro Higa spoke about missionary work.  He shared lots of fun mission  stories and gave the kids lots of how to prepare ideas.  I think it went well.  The youth all love him (he's the YM president)  We had root beer floats and Heather brought snicker doodles for treats after and the kids stood around and visited and had a good time.  Some of the boys helped Ethan move the couches back to their original rooms, we put them all in the living room for some nice seating and then everyone went home.

Then we got ready for bed and I saw that Steve had peed on our bed...again! We locked him in the bedroom because there are a few folks with cat allergies in our group and Steve is no a scaredy cat, in fact he thinks he is a dog and always says hi to people.  This is SUPER frustrating.  Everyone loves the dumb guy and I too have affectionate feelings for him BUT I will not have an animal that pees on my bed.  He's on his last strike.  It's too hard to clean and too disgusting.  If it was me I would have gotten rid of him on strike one but the family revolted and lobbied hard for his pardon.

So then we had a clean up effort.  And then bed.  Rob and I netflixed the first 2 episodes of Drop Dead Diva, which I had never seen but thought was funny.  And we went to sleep.

Sunday, February 26, 2017


 It was a busy day for everyone. Dad and Ethan spent the night in Torrance and went to an all day soccer tournament.  It was a two day tournament, as most of them are, but Ethan's coach has allowed E to be on the team knowing he would be missing Sunday's.  Anyway.  They had two games and then the team went together to watch the LA Galaxy game.  I asked R how it went and he said: good.  They lost one game and tied the other.  It was a higher level of play and lot more red cards than we are used too.  Also it was cold.   I asked E and he said he didn't play very well but it was really fun and he had a good weekend.  They got home around midnight.
In the meantime Hannah and I went to see Neverland.  It was her 2nd bday theater outing.  We had a very fun night.  We got there early and went to the PieHole for dinner.  Hannah had shepard's pie and I had a chicken pot pie.  Then we walked around a bit before the theater opened. The play was awesome.  We LOVED it.  Go see it!  It was sweet and sad and magical and the music was amazing.  We got home a little after midnight...which meant that R was the one who had to drive Patty home since he beat us by 20 minutes or so.
 A little bit of the magic.  There is something about an awesome stage production that is a really different and magical experience.  Not like seeing a movie or watching TV.

So that left Grace.  It was an unfortunate scheduling issue that we all had plans on the same night.  I didn't want her to spend all night alone so we ended up asking Patty if she wanted to come hang out.  The girls ate pizza, watched TV and played games.  They had fun but I think it was kind of long for them.  

Friday, February 24, 2017

weeks end

I've had a strange illness, I guess it's an illness although I don't feel sick. Tuesday I was hoarse.  Wednesday morning I woke up and my voice was gone.  It was crazy.  I felt otherwise fine.  I had to cancel my sub job for the day, which was awesome because I didn't have to sub and not so awesome because I didn't get paid.  Things are tight for us, which is ironic since R makes a lot of money but CA is expensive.  So not tight like we can't buy milk and bread but tight like working really helps.  ANYWAY.
I didn't work all the rest of the week and my voice has not come back.  Now I also have a little cough.  I guess if it's not better on Monday I'll go to the doctor.  Lame.

It's been kind of hard, like I can't talk on the phone.  Which is annoying.  Also I can't order diet coke in a drive through, and I have to walk into the room where someone is and then whisper at them.  

Now I need bifocals, hear poorly and can't talk.  HA! 50 is going to be great!
 Rob got a new suit.  He looks very handsome.  I am hoping he can use it at a job interview, somewhere outside of CA.
A girl can dream right?!

So the boys are gone at a soccer tournament.  It's the first one with this new team and I am bummed that I couldn't go but Hannah and I have "Finding Neverland" tickets for tomorrow.  Looking forward to that.  Anyway I have the bed and the TV to myself tonight and took this random picture.  It looks cozy and cheerful to me.
Hannah's out with Sam and Reagan.   Grace is working on a puzzle. I have freshly painted blue toes.  I guess it's a pretty good night.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Escape Room (sort of)

 We decided that we wanted to do an escape room competition for the YW.  I spent some time a lot of time researching pinteresting ideas.  I even got some on line plans but then I decided it was way to hard, and kind of expensive to put together.  So then I had to think some more.  Finally I came up with a good plan.
Charlotte, Kelly and Camille
The girls had a series of tasks to do that gave them clues or keys to the next task.  They were timed and all used different kinds of skills.

So the set up was they were sister missionaries who were locked in their apartment and had to get ready for an appointment to teach.   They only had an hour to get ready.

On the table was a note from their mom encouraging them to look up (as in have a good attitude, look to God, look forward not back etc.).  When they got all the look up references they actually looked up and there was an envelope tucked into the light fixture.  

Inside it was a sudoku puzzle.  

Once solved they got a clue saying the key was under a chair and then they looked under 20 chairs to find it.  The key unlocked a suitcase that had a puzzle in it.  

After they put the puzzle together they had to flip it over and read the message which said they had to pay their tithing and the money was hiding in the piano.  I had made senines and senums and a story problem about a judge named Mocumo.  They had to find the verse in the BoM that told the conversion between the two types of money and then figure out 10%. 

That gave them a cipher that they had to solve to get the password to the lap top (abinidi) and a note telling them where to go once on it.  They learned our camp song and sang it for their leader and got their last key.  

After a search of the room they unlocked a box with treats and a little cake and frosting.  They were given a scripture reference and had to make a visual aide out of the cake to teach the scripture story.

 This is King Benjamin (Emily is always fun and silly) preaching from the top of the tower.  See the licorice tents and the multitude and the tower and temple?!  They did great!
Hannah's group had to make Capt. Moroni and the title of liberty.

When we got our groups back together they told each other the story, sang the song, did some processing about lessons learned and ate the cake.

Everyone had a super fun time.  

Heather, Brynn and Patty
While Rachel and I were setting up the room our two Grace's were tasked with making signs of encouragement for Paige.  Then we took a picture of the whole group wishing her well.
Bub had his first tennis match.  It was a scrimmage.
Wednesday is a busy day for him .  He has seminary, then school, the after school tennis (today was a game but usually it's practice.  Then straight to soccer practice.  Then straight to mutual.  Busy boy. He has tennis every day.  Soccer twice a week and scouts/YM once a week.

Monday, February 20, 2017


 One of my favorite parts of Sunday's is facetiming with Jenna and Clayton.  They call every Sunday and it's fun to chat.

They have an only child, Abe.  Abe is a funny dog and he is getting HUGE.  This boy isn't even done growing!
 Rosie is not an only child. She's also a good dog, and beloved, but she's just one of the litter:)

We are dog people I guess :)

SO that was our day. Ethan let me take a picture of him after church, because he needed a head shot for his soccer ID.

Saturday, February 18, 2017


 Hannah and I drove to LA today to go to Cookie-Con. It was so green, and as beautiful as I have ever seen So CA (not by the beach) be.  Really stunning.  It's been raining so much and things look SO.MUCH.BETTER.  I love green.  Driving home it was gorgeous too, even more so because it was quite cloudy but the tops of the clouds were pinkish and the bottoms more blueish so they looked like Aurora's gown when she danced with the prince.  I thought about taking a picture but knew it would never do it justice.  Loving the green though.
Anyway, cookie con.  I saw it was coming up and we decided to go and it was tons of fun.  Lots of vendors and samples and cool gadgets were displayed.  They had how-to demos and celebrity guests and cool cakes and cookies and food trucks and cute aprons and spicy salsas and lots of food stuff.

We listened to Burt Ward (the original Batman's sidekick Robin) who is a dog rescuer extraordinaire. He was fun in a crazy I-have-50-dogs kind of way.  

Then we saw Duff, who we LOVE and who was really funny.  He baked chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies and told stories about being a chef, or random stories and he laughed a lot .  

After we went to Roscoe's for dinner.  Hannah loves it there and has been wanting to go back since she went the first time.  It is in the ghetto.  The one we went to is on Pico Blvd.  We got there around 3, which we though would not be crowded since it is not a meal time.  We were wrong.  It was packed.  The folks who live in LA are a very diverse group.  As we sat outside the hole in the wall restaurant waiting our turn we were with at least 30 other people also waiting.  And one bouncer guarding the door.  Our skin tone definitely made us the in the minority.  Also our "normal" attire and hair color/style did too.  
Waiting right across from us was a lesbian couple who were very affectionate with each other.  (it was hard to know where to look) They may have been celebrating a special occasion as they were very dressed up...or maybe it was a regular day, who knows?  Also while we were waiting a transvestite man with super high heels and a very big louis vittan bag, and some splashy make-up on,  came with his old but super glam mom came to wait too. They joined the gang members, bright orange hair couple, super super fat Mexican family, several tourists, some college students and us waiting on the street to get in.
The wait was worth it.  (okay who am I kidding the wait was super entertaining to the people watcher in me) The restaurant was PACKED and colorful and loud and the food was really really good.  Even President Obama ate there once, (we saw his picture on the wall).

So it was a good day.

Friday, February 17, 2017


 It's raining pretty hard today.  Here's the view out the sunroof of the flex while E and I wait in line to get french fries at Carl's Jr.  Look at those big drops.

Sadly that meant raining day schedule at school.  I worked all week, and I work the beginning of next week, in the same class.  A second grade class at Anaverde Hills. I like the school, it has a really nice campus and the kids wear uniforms.  It's a little farther from our house, which Grace hates because she has to wait a long time to be picked up. It's been pretty okay.  Some of the kids are pretty cute.

I am looking for something else to do as a part time job.  I don't love teaching. It's ironic that I ever got into teaching in the first place.  It was always top of my list of jobs I did not want, growing up and as an adult.  When the girls were little I was going to school at AVCC and I liked that a lot but I wasn't really sure what I was going to be.  One night Joyce came over and we had a chat.  She knew things were not good in Mark and my marriage and she wanted to help me finish up school.  This was the single nicest thing anyone has done for me.  Without her support I don't know how I would have finished and I have always been so grateful.  Anyway she suggested that teaching would be good, especially for a mom so there you go.  Actually in CA, at that time anyway I don't know if it's still the same, there was no undergrad degree in education (for which I will ever be grateful) so I got a degree in Social Science. And we ended up divorced. And I ended up working on base, which I liked.  Then one day, literally out of the blue, I got a phone call from a school principal.  CA had just mandated that grades K-2 have only 20 kids per classroom and schools were scrambling, tons of teachers were hired, untrained and uncredentialed.  My friend Beth, who was a teacher, told her principal to call me and she did.  She called my work phone and asked if I'd like to teach.  Even though I actually liked my job, and actually didn't want to teach, I did want to have a schedule that matched the girls and I felt inspired to say yes.  So into the classroom I went, and back for my 5th year of college, and I met Ellen who introduced me to Rob (which got me out of the classroom and out of CA!....but now I am back:( ) and the rest is history.  I completed my credential and taught for 3 years. Since that time it's been a convenient way to make a little money, subbing that is.  And thru the years there has always been a desire for a little more $.  Sometimes it was for Christmas gifts, or a trip, or a wedding.  Now that we are back in CA, and living in a pretty pricey home it's for bills.  Things are expensive here.  We are blessed beyond measure with great means, we just also spend a lot although that is something we've really been putting a concerted effort at changing. And subbing now doesn't feel like something I am doing for some extra "disney dollars" but something I need to do to help with our financial goals...and seriously I can not.  I don't really passionately hate it but I kind of hate it. So hopefully something else will work out.  And in the mean time I am grateful to be able to work, even if it's not something I love.  So yay, 2nd grade.  Two weeks.  (shaking head).  If I did have to teach I would definitely teach older kids.  Middle school days usually are awesome. (relatively speaking...not awesome like going to the beach awesome, or staying home awesome, but awesome enough)
Travis, Garrett, Preston, Jayce and David
 Our youth activity was "heart attacking" people.  The kids came over and made huge hearts and then divided into groups and went to different homes and taped them to garages and front doors.  I know for sure that a couple of the homes they visited were really glad.

Then they came back for treats and talking.  Weirdly I didn't take any pictures of my own kids:)
Kayla, Emily, Heather and Shelby

Patty and Rachel and Chloe
Yesterday Hannah and Madi and Sarah went hiking, they took Z.  Madi and Hannah came back here after and ate dinner with us, then made cookies and sang loudly to Moana.  It was a lot of fun! Hannah got her track assignment for BYU-I.  She is going fall, spring.  Which is great because she will miss the coldest, Siberian like, months.   Kenz got fall/winter.  So they will be fall roommates!

So happy it's Friday.  And a three day weekend!!  Whoo hoo!!