Wednesday, August 31, 2011


 You've had a birthday shout hurray!! We're going to sing to you today! One year older and wiser too! Haaaaapppppy Birthday, TO YOU!!
 Today is Dani's 24 birthday!!!  How grateful I am that this beautiful young woman is my daughter.  She is amazing and resilient and wise beyond her years.  I love how honest she is, how open she is to the world and friendships and adventure.  She is an amazing, thoughtful mother, a great big sister, a loving wife and a lovely woman with a great million dollar smile (you are welcome ;) )  She is creative and smart.  She makes good choices.  24 years ago I could never imagined the person she would turn out to be, and if I had tried the reality now is so much better than I could have hoped for.  I love you Dani girl.
 So I spent some fun time looking at photos of Dani on facebook.  Some I had never seen before, like this one with Dumbo and her roommates from the year she was married. 
 and this one of Dani and Greg at a fancy Vivint event.
 And this one of Dani and Tate on the merry -go-round!
 I love the pink! very fun!
Me and Dan and Tate this past spring.

So I have a friend who's mother is turning/or turned 80 this year. In her honor he decided to run 8 marathons this year (which I personally think is cRAzy) but it got me to thinking and I decided in honor of Dani's 24 birthday I have decided to lose 24 lbs.  That should be doable, I think.  Not sure who will have the harder time Bruce or me but none the less I am off (ha ha).  (Don't worry Dani, I sent you a real present as well!)

So have a great day dear girl.  I wish we were celebrating together and I love you forever.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

kool aid stand

My friend Jen and I have been saving each other's bacon.  Our kids have been playing together a lot.  This is good.  When children play together the mothers can do laundry :) 

Today they were at Jen's house and she let them set up a kool-aid stand.  Each girl made $2.  Pretty good business. 

Then they came to our house and put on a lot of make up and I took them to the pool.  Lots of kids were out at the park and the pool.  It's beautiful out.

We still have no school, there are many neighborhoods with  no power and many trees and power lines down still.  I am most grateful for our electricity.  Tonight Becky and I went to visit Laurel, she still has no power, or water :(.  We brought ice cream and sat in her dark living room having the best visit. 

August has been quite a month.


Power is back on!! Yeah!! We were all in bed, the kids surrounding our bed in sleeping bags and just falling asleep when all of a sudden we had light!  We all gasped and looked around surprised, then "yeahed".  Someone said "it's like Christmas".  So happy.  We love light!!

Sadly our great joy was short lived because E and R went around turning off lights and checking on things and we found a previously undiscovered flood in Sierra's room.  It was under all her stuff, which was piled everywhere when she left and which I had not yet gotten around to cleaning (in my despair over her unhappy departure I couldn't yet face it).  Bummer.

So today along with lots of laundry, dishes, vacuuming and clean up to get back to normal we also got to drag everything out of her room (making the basement a total tornado) and pull up the carpet, rip out the pad, set up fans and a dehumidifier, make assorted repair guy, insurance guy and builder guy phone calls.

The fun never ends.

Monday, August 29, 2011

electricity withdrawl

Another day has come and gone with no electricity for us.  I've learned some things:

  1. I like lights
  2. It's a lot harder to cook and keep things clean without power than I thought it would be.
  3. Our house is really really dark at night.
  4. The stars at night are gorgeous with no city lights to block them.  We saw  the milky way last night.
  5. My children are really loud.
  6. We  need to buy a generator.
  7. Kids get upset even when they  are okay.
  8. No power means we have gotten to know our neighbors a lot better.
  9. Frogs and crickets are louder than generators when the night is still.
  10. My husband is very good in emergencies.  He has helped  a lot of people very happily these  last two days.
  11. For Christmas I might buy him his very own chainsaw, maybe he'll buy me some canned goods. We are  romantic that way.
  12. Cold  showers are no fun.
  13. I heart my smart phone.

post storm

It's been an interesting couple of days. Yesterday R  spent the whole day helping people with their tree removal efforts.  He started at Pete's house, then he and Pete went to Thomas', then they went to David's then to Calvin's.  He said it was crazy out there.  I spent the day at home with the children and their various friends coming in and out, playing games, eating snacks.  It was crazy in here.  Matthew and Sarah from next door came over and we played phase 10.  Julia and Lu played musical houses, as did E, Webb, Luke and John.  I think the kids actually had a lot of fun.  In the evening R came home and we cooked out and ate on the deck.  The weather has been just lovely.  Still after dinner we had some kid meltdowns.  It's been a stressful week with our mock disaster which really upset the kids, going back to school, an earthquake, tornado watch and hurricane and now no power.  Even though they have been fine throughout it all it's caused a toll.

Finally we got everyone settled down and we had a pretty good nights sleep.

This morning R went to help some coworkers with their trees then went to work.  E and H took Millie for a long walk with the Bicknells next door then we had them over for another marathon phase 10  game.

Now Julia is back over playing, E rode off on his bike with Webb and John and Hannah and Matthew and Sarah are in the woods gathering firewood so we can make smores tonight.  I have been very grateful for water, a stove top we can light and cell phones that can be charged in the car, and nice weather.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

the sun always rises

morning brought with it the welcome light of day.  We spent a not very restful night, R  and I got up many times to check on things.  The children slept well. This morning we found all well in our home.  We have no power but are grateful to have water.  Not all our friends and neighbors fared as well, many have trees down on their roofs or cars.  Lot of flooding and debris.  Some roads are closed. R is off helping clear trees.  The kids and I wandered the neighborhood to see how everyone was, flooded basements and downed fences seem to be the primary complaint. E is off on his bike rounding up some kids to come play.

On this Sunday morning I am grateful that the Son of God always brings light to us and atoned for my sins and shows me the way to live so I can return to Him.  I know He lives.  I love Him.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

good night already Irene

We are hunkered down in the basement.  Most of the day was uneventful, rained and rained.   We were under a tornado watch, church was cancelled and phone calls made.  We had  an emergency ward council meeting to get our disaster plan assignments and we took the kids to Salsas for lunch because it was open and we were close.

Around 6pm we lost power:( , ate dinner by candlelight because it was already dark.  Set up camp in the basement and then I read to Lu for two hours til she fell asleep.  The other kids were here too but not listening the whole time.  She stayed awake for a Junie B book, the Bunny Book, Little Red Riding Hood, a book of nursery rhymes, and Frosty the Snowman.  Finally I broke out the writings of Joseph Smith and read that outloud and she conked out.

It is blowing out there.  R and I went upstairs a litle bit ago and it feels very much like being on a cruise ship, water sloshing in the toilet bowl, house rocking a bit.  The dam downstream from us is in imminent failure and debris is falling.

The good news is it's not hot, we have  water and everyone is fine.  It promises to be a long night.

Storm Watch

we woke up to a cool morning...and three kids piled on top of us.  When I peeled my eyes open R was on his ipad next to me, E was squished in the middle TV remote in hand, Lu was laying on my other side (literally~ legs sprawled over the top of me, elbow in my cheek) playing ant smasher on my phone and H was on the far side, I don't think she had anything electronic with her.    It had started to rain, gently for now.  We are "ready", whatever that means.  I am mostly ready to have it behind us.

Lu cracked me up this morning, later on, she and E were still on our bed now watching "Phineas and Ferb".  R and I were discussing ham radio stuff in the bathroom and came walking in the bedroom to find them cracking up.  Lu glanced up at me and then turned back to E and kind of quietly said "did you see them K.I.S.S." (someone on the cartoon). 

um, yea, does she think we can't spell??  Funny.

Friday, August 26, 2011

party princess

Tonight Laura threw a great party! It was a celebration of them living in beautiful Southern Maryland for a year.  I have no idea how many people were there but it was full full full.  There were people sitting around the campfire, people sitting on chairs around the deck, men standing around the grill, kids jumping on the trampoline, kids running through the woods, people sitting in the dining room and in the living room and kids playing in the basement.  There was tons of yumm-o food.  We had a great time visiting with our friends.  E ran around so much he was dripping with sweat and looked like he jumped in a pool.  Lu brought her new squinkies and played with Addie when she wasn't running around outside.  Hannah hung out with the other middle schoolers.  Everyone talked about the hurricane, and did we have generators and water and food and how did we do on the mock disaster, and did we feel the earthquake, and would church be cancelled on Sunday. 

First week of school went well for everyone. We have to get into a routine but so far it's been good. I've been trying to get Lucy into bed early, like before 7.  Even still she sleeps until 6:30-7:00 in the morning, this is probably a really good time for her because she's been waking up cheerfully and getting ready fine.  We've been reading Junie B Jones which Lu thinks is funny.  I wish we could get her into bed every night but many nights we are  too busy. 
E and H both like their teachers.
J and S are ready for school too.  J  moved back into her new dorm and is meeting her new floor mates.  Emma is in Utah for Beauty School and J is happy to have her.  They hiked the Y and went to the cougareat.  
D and J helped Sierra get set up in her new apartment.  Class starts for the girls on Monday. 

This morning I went out for gas and food.  The lines were crazy, all D batteries were sold out, generators were sold out and the shelves were made me wonder a little what people eat when there isn't a disaster heading our way?  They must eat something but the shelves don't get cleaned out. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

report of the day

How I really spent my day:
while at the bus stop some of moms said they were going on a bike ride and invited me to go.  I thought about it for a minute but then said yes.  So we rode to the wharf, then struggled back up the hill and stopped for a drink (oj) and then back home.  It was a lot of fun.  Sort of :)
Then I watched an episode of Gibbs, showered and headed off for emergency supplies.  Filled the propane tank, got some water bottles and batteries.  Now hopefully Irene will bring just gentle breeze and a little rain.  I always hope to prepare and not need it. 
Then I came home and did some laundry and cleaned up a little and started picking kids up from school.

H reported that her day was fine.  She likes her teachers and has friends in each class.  She wants to go to the dance on Friday and survived with her less desirable back pack.

Lu came home and was super excited she got on blue!  After trying all last year she got it on the first day! She also went to the library and got two books! Ate lunch with some friends! and Sincear is not in her class this year!  Good day.

Last to come home was E.  He had a good day as well, liked his teacher, went to gym, played on the play ground, found lunchtime to be fine, and when ever the Patriots win a game there is no STEM homework the next day...he and John are now Patriots fans :)

When we got home we ate an early dinner and headed off to soccer practice where they got to scrimmage the other rec + team in our area.  We won.  E was goalie and only let in one goal on his shift, then he was forward and scored a goal.  Happy day.

Tried to get everyone to bed early, all lights are now off (9:14) and we are well on our way.

R has an early morning brief (6am) and all the kids are tired.

time stamp

 6:25 am
Hannah is ready for the first day of 7th grade.  She's off to meet her friends at the bus.
 7:45 am
Ethan is off to STEM.  4th grade watch out!!

off to the school for our big first grader!  Lucy and Julia are happy to see each others new outfits.

free at last, free at last!!!

ready for some NCIS.  I "discovered" it this summer and heart handsome and brave Special Agent Gibbs :)  It's a little too much for the younguns but now I can watch all day if I want :) 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

tour of schools

Today was open house.  We started with the middle school and met all Hannah's teachers and found all her classrooms.  She was relieved to find that she had a friend in each class and her teachers seemed nice.  She was greeted by  many exclamations of "your hair!".  I had planned to dye it back to brown before school started but with our simulated disaster this week we didn't go to the store.  Anyway I think she enjoyed her day and she looks cute.  Middle school is an interesting place.  I saw kids wearing all kinds of crazy things like ski hats and shorts, orange hair, silly shirts.  The halls were loud and the kids boisterous.  It is really a season of figuring out who you are, I hate middle school.  Still I hope Han has a great year, she is so disappointed because Nana ordered her a back pack that she has been wanting for her birthday and it arrived today but when she was packing it up the liner ripped so now she has to use an old one and it will probably take another week to get the new one replaced.  She is worried about Algebra, didn't get the art teacher she wanted but is hopeful this one will be great too and wanted to say hi to last years language arts teacher.

Next we went to Lu's school.  She was excited to see her teacher and when we got to the class she had a scavenger hunt set up for the kids.  Lu quickly found everything on the list, saw some friends from last year, went and hugged Ms Myers and Mrs Knight (K teachers) and happily skipped to the car, proclaiming that she didn't like school but smiling.  We shall see, I hope she'll love it.

Lastly we drove to E's school where everything was new.  He had a sad time at Lu's school, saw many classmates who wished he was staying and even went to give Ms Elwell (who is awesome!) a hug.  At the same time he is excited to go to STEM.  We got to his school and R was waiting for us so we could all go together.  We met his teacher, found his desk, he did his first assignment, met up with John who is in his class and found out that there are two other Ethans in their class as well.  I guess he'd better think up a nick name tonight before the other kids do it for him. I suggested "chip" like utz brand chips but he said no.   After visiting and getting busing all figured out we went out on the playground and the kids played.  The weather was perfect, cool and comfortable.

While we were in the parking lot leaving one elementary to go to the next we stopped to talk to the Kosichs (our good friends and neighbors).  All of a sudden the ground was swaying, it took a second to figure out what it was but then I said to Jen, is this an earthquake??  so strange.  It was.  We were about an hour from the epicenter but still felt a good rolling motion, it was a very unsettling.  I didn't even know we had fault lines out here.  Ironic since we are in the middle of a simulated disaster.  When I got home from school I got the call to check on my VT families, which I did.  Everyone is fine. 
Hurricane Irene, right now off the coast of the DR, is heading this way too. It will be here this weekend.  We have some things we need to prepare so tomorrow I will go to the store and get batteries and a few other things, we won't use them or eat anything that I buy so we can continue with our exercise, but if the real deal happens I want to make sure we have propane (currently out), milk (down to one gallon), flashlight batteries (always missing) and a few other essentials. 

Great is the peace the gospel brings.  I am grateful to be somewhat prepared and with the last couple of days awareness of what we are missing we will be much better able to prepare for what may come. 

5 years ago

when did my babies grow??

Monday, August 22, 2011


When Dani was a newborn baby, and really for the first year of her life if anyone asked me how she was doing, or how I was doing for that matter, I would tell them how many times she had gotten up the night before.  I was obsessed with sleep, or the lack there of.  She got up many times a night for the first 15 months or so, then she only got up a couple times a  night for a long while.  I was tired.  One day I went somewhere, don't remember where (I was tired) and got back into the car to go back home, Dani was all strapped into her car seat and we started driving.  I came to a stop sign and stopped, I guess a little abruptly, and her seat scooted forward and bumped into the seat back in front of her.  I was mortified.  She didn't even cry, but I did.  I was so tired I didn't even realize I didn't buckle her in.  Sleep was the only thing on my brain.  Funny. 
Sierra and Jenna slept better, they got up but  not as much, or maybe I was more used to it.  Idk.  Hannah was definitely an awful sleeper and by the time we had Bub I just plopped him in bed and was an all night buffet...but I slept.  It was so great!! 

I remember all that as I report that last night no one came in our room and nothing itched and I slept great.:)  Now it's not such a big deal, in fact we are in the golden years when the teens all live in dorms and I don't have to wait for them to come home in the wee small hours of the morning, and the littles all are big enough to get up in the morning and turn on some cartoons and eat some cereal.  Sleep and I are friends, we can nap, sleep in, go to bed.  Lovely.

This morning we went to a back to school breakfast, the 3rd annual (for us to attend anyway) and it was so fun.  We had a good time "practicing" getting up and out the door, and an even better time eating breakfast with friends and playing.  Around 11am we came home and E brought Eric with him.  They boys walked in the front door, made it about 3 steps when I announced "no electronics" , they froze in their steps and I could feel the disappointment, however they said nothing and headed upstairs.  Shortly thereafter began a 4 hour long lego fest.  They had a great time.  We went swimming for a bit then came home for more legos.  Eric left just as Ethan needed to go to soccer so it was a pretty good day.  They let Lu play with them all day and were very nice to her as well. 

My car died this weekend, we took it to the shop on Friday, got it back today.  $451. later it's working.  R's also had to go in, it's had a wobble since it got fixed, he needs new tires.  Nice.  We are not counting that as going to the store.  Today everyone survived the no store thing which is for some unexplainable reason a huge deal to the kids, even though nothing is even remotely different in their day and we still have milk.  Crazy kids. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

worst nights sleep in a long time

ugh, last night was not a good night. 

I went to bed really itchy, kind of a hurty itch, from the jellies and couldn't fall asleep.  I got up and took meds and lay there for a long time.  It was not really that bad but for some reason really kept me up.  When I finally mangaed to go to sleep it was very inturrupted.  E came in twice moaning and groaning.  I took him to the bathroom, stopped him from peeing in the linen closet, asked if he needed to throw up (he does that from time to time).  Each time we were up a longish while.  R woke me up twice.  Once to ask me if I saw something in front of the TV and once to ask me what I was going to do about something or other that didn't make too much sense.  Lu woke up and came in having had a bad dream, she was shaking and scared and laid on me whispering in the dark for a long time.  Finally she fell asleep, then my arm fell asleep, then I walked her back to bed when I couldn't take it any longer.  Then my alarm woke me up for ward council.  It was not restfull.  I was really hopeful that I could take a nap, however...  after church we got home taught, which was fun, as always.  They brought the kids hogwarts house cups from their vacation which I thought was super super nice! and we were all really excited.  Then R and E went off home teaching and H and I made supper for the Armours who just had a new baby.  We delivered the dinner and got to hold little Sebastian, so sweet.  Then we came home and made the same dinner again for ourselves.  I did fall asleep for about 20 minutes while watching something on TV with Lu, that was just enough to give me a headache and make me annoyed though.

At church today the Bishopric announced a "mock disaster".  Everyone is to avoid stores and restaurants until Friday to see how prepared we are.  It's more of an informational exersise than a command of any kind but we are up to the challenge.  It will be interesting.  I know we'll run out of milk, maybe as early as Tuesday.  We have powdered but....yuck.  Today went fine, we wouldn't have gone to the store today anyway so that's to be expected.

School starts in 2 days.  crazy.

Speel cheker randomy knot wurking...hat that :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Yesterday was busy, I paid some bills, went to buy school supplies and groceries and did some cleaning.  R went to work, went on a long ride and took the kids swimming.  Last night R and I went to the movies and saw "The Help".  We liked it. It rained.

This morning we cleaned the basement and R rode 40 miles, he is training for the seagull century so is getting in lots of long rides. 

Today was our annual end of summer bonfire at the Henderson's.  Something a little different this year is we added some water fun before and started earlier than usual.  We got there around 3pm and the kids enjoyed taking turns on the jet ski, and going out on the Zawada's boat and sailing.  There were some jelly fish in the water so the actual swimming was a lot more cautious, although most of the kids did get in.  I got a little nudge off the dock and must have landed right on a jelly fish, most unfortunate as I got stung on the legs and arm and chest.  It is now midnight and I can't sleep, normally I am a gifted sleeper and have no troubles, even if I am not feeling well.  This is itchy and hurty and while not that bad it is distracting enough that I can not sleep....bummer. 

After swimming we had a great dinner, everyone brought lots of yummy food and we grilled some delicious dogs.  The boys built a big bonfire and we sat around it and heard a great talk on the 6 be's and then made smores.  Some of the kids played basketball, everyone had a good time. 

While H and I were there R took G and E to the soccer pizza party.  The team Leonard Hall and the boys played ball.  I didn't really get to hear how it went but I do know that Scott and the boys came over after and then they went to Wendy's for ice cream and somehow got locked out of the house so when I got home at 9:45 Lu was sleeping in the car in the driveway and R and E were pretty mad at me, because clearly it was my fault that they locked themselves out of the house.  We got inside and got everyone into bed then I cleaned up a mess Millie made and took a shower.  Hopefully they had a good time, I know H and I did. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011


baby girl, cupcake face, sweetie pie, Mimi's little love bug is TWO!!! 
Happy Birthday!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

virtual party

Today is my little sister's birthday. We live on opposite coasts so all I could do was to call and say "happy birthday!!!" I wish I was with her today to celebrate. If we were all together, and I was a magical party princess this is what I would plan:
a long picnic table, sitting right on the beach, with a crisp and clean white table cloth and enough chairs so that everyone we love and miss could have a seat and join in the celebration.

After a gourmet meal we would frolic on the beach, chasing the waves, digging in the sand, dancing with abandon until the moon was high in the night sky and the children were gathered in a sleepy pile around a roaring bonfire begging their moms to take them home. 
Finally we'd gather up the sleepy little ones and go back home.  We'd tuck them in, 2 or 3 to a bed, still a little sandy and salty, like a bunch of little oysters.  Cousins sleeping wrapped up in a blanket of safety and love.  The husbands would similarly go to bed.  But we sisters (me and Val and Anna and Em, Ange and JaNee, Kelly and Mom, Dani and J and S and Kate {who are now big enough to be one of the women instead of one of the kids}), we would sit up around the kitchen table eating something chocolatey and whipering secrets all through the night.  Our laughter would puncture the dark and send sweet dreams to our babies, hands would touch across the table, tears would stream down sun burnt cheeks as Val did her Charla impersonation, or Anna remembered Leonard's lips puckered through the crack in the door trying to admire the "lovely young queen" who had the misfortune to answer it, the young ones would share their romances & the old ones their wisdom, tales would be spun, sorrows spilled and joys relived. We would "remember when", and "did you  know", "would you rather" and "I hope some day" until the sun brought the new day.

another eaglet nudged out of the nest

This a.m. we drove to the airport to take Sierra to her new life.  She didn't want to go.  I didn't want her to go, but couldn't let her stay.  It is time.  I would love nothing more than for my sweet girl to live on the same street as me her whole life.  For her to meet and marry a wonderful east coast boy (in the temple) and raise a precious family with  me close enough to baby-sit and spend holidays and be part of her day to day life for always.  I am proud of her, and love her, and love to be with her.  But I know this is best.  It's been too hard to meet and be friends with people with the same standards, the boys she has dated are not boys that can take her to the temple. 
Sierra is a sweet, kind, funny, brilliant, hard working, wonderful girl.  I hope she will embrace this new experience, that she will make fun and virtuous friends who will help her make great choices.  I hope she will enjoy living near her sisters and niece and aunts and grandparents.  I hope she will continue to be an exemplary student.  I hope she knows I love her and miss her already.

evening outing

Last night I went to book club, I hadn't been in a long time (like a year). In the morning I was at the playground and Monique was also there so we were pushing our kids on the swings  and chatting when the topic of book club came up.  I had actually read this months selection a couple years ago and liked it.  So we talked each other into going, it's  always good to have someone to commit to because by evening I usually talk myself out of going, either the dog is eating the trash, or the kids are cranky or R is gone or something.  Last night was no different but I had to pick her up and I was really glad.  It was so much fun.  I really enjoyed visiting with all the ladies, and talking about the book, and eating Debbie's yummy cookies :)  In the story Cece escapes her problems by reading.  One fun thing we had talked about was our early reading loves.  Baby-sitters club got several nods ( I have never read one).  Nancy Drew was  my gateway book.  Surprisingly Mary Higgins Clark was also a fav.  ( haven't read any of her books either, and knew they were popular but didn't know 10 year olds read them).  Can't wait for next month...if I go.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Last night as the last of the friends were leaving our party we had an interesting moment, a dad, one of our dearest friends, came to get his girls and wanted to talk with R.  Weird.  Men do that?  It was clear that it was going to be a private conversation, again..weird.  So they went to the formal dining room (a fancy word for the room we never sit in, but whose walls are painted a very nice red) to talk...can I say one more time weird. 

Then the last girls mom came, but we weren't quite done with "Soul Surfer" so we sat down at the kitchen table ( a fancy name for the table that is always sticky and covered with paint splotches and homework and shoes (please cover your shocked gasp at the disgusting thought of shoes on the table, I know it's appalling but I am over it) and were quietly chatting in semi-darkness.  She is the mother of 10 and is going back to school (almost done) for her RN and is maybe 10 years older than me.  Why have I felt old my whole life?  She said she was young and had time for another career and was looking forward to ....blah blah blah (read that nicely, she had lots of plans and things to look forward to and to accomplish) and I felt kind of envious and stuck and undecided.  What to do with  my life.  Shouldn't I not only know but be doing it now??

When everyone was gone, the debris cleaned up, the children tucked in and the lights turned off I tip- toed into our room and whispered "Honey, what did M want?"  A sleepy voice answered "mnphn".  So again, because I don't like to disturb a sleeper I whispered "HONEY! what did M want??"  He told me "to talk about his career."  Oh...boring. 

Then I lay awake.  Thinking (a dangerous past time I know)

R is a real get things done guy.  He knew what job he wanted when he was a boy and kept his eye towards that goal and has had his dream career (well he would have loved to be a pilot but bad eye sight made that impossible).  He's had 20 years doing technical, cutting edge, exciting, freedom saving work.  Now he is moving on to phase 2 of his 40 year dream career plan.  He is like that with everything.  He wants to ride a century and gets a bike and practices and signs up for one.  He wants to be a storm chaser and goes out and takes a HAM class and builds an 80 ft tower in the backyard and does it.  He is a doer. And I love and admire that about him. on the other hand.  I had a dream, once, don't really remember what it was but I know it got derailed by the more important and wonderful responsibility of motherhood and now it's been 24 years and I am just in the middle of said important and wonderful responsibility and wouldn't change it but I'd like to do it and something.  The problem is any something I can think of takes too much time away from the the most important thing...and everything I can think to do that wouldn't take away pays little and is no fun, which is okay I can work at something no fun for a good cause (BYU tuition, flights to see the girls, a possible 2 Disney dream vacay) but that's not really the same thing is it??

I'd like to run a triathlon....but I can't put my face in the water without gagging and I hate to run.
I'd like to be a gourmet cook... but ingredients are expensive so I make top ramen.
Mom and Dad think I should write a book...but I don't have a story to tell.
I'd like to be a counselor or a midwife or a nurse...but my nights are full of homework and soccer practice and I am tired and the tuition we pay isn't for me right now.
I'd like to memorize the scriptures...but instead I know the tv schedule pretty well. 
I'd like to take an art class but then I wouldn't be free to sub (the little pay/ no fun something )

Do you see where I am going?  I am lacking direction and purpose and drive and my baseboards are dusty, only some of my husbands shirts are ironed and with all I sacrifice (cue small violin) my kids are still noisy and sometimes disobedient and think I do a bad job (ouch!)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Party Time

 Hannah's been very excited to plan her birthday party.  We have talked about it on and off most of the summer.  She wanted a "smores" theme and to swim.  We had planned to swim for 3 hours, come home and have dinner and a smore bar outside by the fire pit, open presents, play a game and then watch a movie.
 But the weather did not cooperate.  It was raining and storming. 
I kept hoping it would clear but about half an hour before the guests arrived I realized I'd better come up with a plan B.
 We moved the smore bar inside, and when the girls arrived Hannah gave them their "thank you for coming goodies" right away.  We had made shirts for each girl that said BFF and had marshmallows on a stick with happy faces on them.  The girls changed and then we were ready for some inside fun.
 bottom row: Ariel, Julia, Melanie, Chelsea
middle row: Hannah, Lu, Ally, Ellie, Bethany
top row: Ethan
The first thing we did was play a candy game.  I had a list of clues and they had to write down what candy they thought matched the clue.  For example evil laugh = snickers, or slippery digit = butterfinger. 
The next game was the kids had to put paper plates on their heads and draw a picture Hannah on top of the plate without looking . Then I collected the plates without them seeing and they voted for the best one.  Melanie won.  The kids voted by dropping a starburst on the plate they liked the best, which they thought was fun.
Then I divided them into two teams and put a bunch of ingredients onto the counter and let them create a cake.  They really thought that was fun.  While the cakes were baking I made dinner and they frolicked around the house (read: did each others hair).  Hannah chose Monte Cristo sandwiches for dinner, we severed a very nutritious side of soda and chips.   When dinner was over we played Lous Groups and opened gifts.  Hannah loved everything she got.  Next on the agenda was cake.  I served them a piece of each one and they judged their favorites.  Turns out both cakes were given a rating of "gross", however they loved making them. 
At this point I was running out of last minute ideas and turned on a movie, which they watched for 10 minutes and then ran upstairs to try on make up and make a lot of  noise.  Which was great.  At the end of the party we microwaved smores and said "Thank you for coming!"

So it rained the whole time and instead of some easy breezy hours at the pool with no clean up we had a lot of running and laughing and mess but we had a very happy birthday girl and a fun celebration. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

12 years old

 I spent a delightful few hours looking through some "old" pictures, dating back to the pre-blogging days.  It was so fun to see little Hannah and all the other kids.  It was fun to see R and I looking so young, I didn't realize we were so young.  Crazy. 

I chose a few of the fun ones to share today.  Tomorrow is Hannah's birthday! She will be 12, it's been a delightful 12 years & a hard 12 and they went soooo fast.

First photo is of Hannah, 3 years old, in "miss E-bon's" (Yvonne) ballet class.  Oh my goodness, she was so cute dancing on her toes, and spinning and doing little arabesques. 
 Here is Hannah and Ethan dressed in matching yellow jammies.  Han was so excited to be a big sister and was always so gentle and sweet to Bub and Lu both. 
We took a trip to Michigan one summer, we visited the farm and lake Michigan.  H has done a lot of travelling in her life and seen lots of sights.  She's been to at least 20 states, maybe more, I haven't counted.  Swam in 2 oceans been north and south and east and west in our great country. 
 Hannah's first trip to Disneyland.  So much fun.  She's been twice, and once to Disney World.  Hoping to take her again sometime in the next couple of years.
This is from Hannah's first day of 1st grade.  She has done really well in school.  For preschool we did a co-op with several friends and she also got to go to museum school which was terrific.  She's been to 4 different elementary schools, gave an unsuccessful go at home schooling and has been to one middle school.  She is an excellent reader, a good artist, quite musical, not so athletic, doesn't like math, enjoys drama & lunch but not riding the bus. 

Hannah is a good friend, has a fun sense of humour, is loyal and kind, doesn't like to do chores, is a night owl and a fashionista, likes movies and books, likes to go shopping, ride the metro and do some sightseeing.  She is a willing helper, loves babies, walks slowly, loves to do hair and to cook.  She is a good secret keeper, crafty and creative and a mermaid in the water.  She has a good testimony, enjoys torturing her brother, loves her niece and Reggie and is super excited to go into YW.   She is silly and goofy and wonderful.

Poor Hannah was a difficult baby.  Soon after her birth she got what we thought was a bad diaper rash.  It got worse and worse and got raised and bumpy and we soon learned it was a hemangioma.  It got very large and covered all under her diaper and part way up her back, it also went down one leg and onto her foot.  It was in her lung, spinal column and pelvis. We don't know if it still is or not but the visable parts are getting smaller and we hope the same thing is going on inside.  It got ulcerated and bleed and caused her terrible pain and anguish and as a result she screamed most of her first year and a half or so.  It was pretty awful.  She still has some issues from that and it may be a life long hardship for her. 

Once the pain was gone we had a delightful, busy, little girl on our hands..who kind of turned into a sassy, disobedient  but still delightful and precocious and cute, little girl.  Well,  really she was a challenge.  Opinionated and strong headed  we spent many hours on our knees praying for guidance, and tried lots of things, and were sometimes too hard on her and sometimes too easy and basically stumbled along, like parents do I suppose.  ( Each of the children have been easy or hard at different times and have kept me on my toes, and on my knees, and sometimes cowering under my covers,  ah the joys of motherhood. )  I have to say she is a real delight now. The last few years have been great.  She's grown up a lot and is mature and sweet and wants to do good.  We love her so much and have every day of her life.  I hope her strength of character and determination will stay with her and that she will always be herself and true to her inner beauty.  She has so many talents and strengths, it's a privilege to be her mother.  Happy Birthday little Muffin.  You are a joy

Thursday, August 11, 2011

a new nephew

my little sister Em gave birth to her son this morning.  He is a cutie!! 
Now I have 5 nephews and 4 neices.  I can't wait until they are all together and can play.  ...someday.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

sleep over

Lu has never had a sleep over friend, we are actually done with sleep overs as a rule.  However we do happily baby sit over night friends when their parents need it, and also happily send our kids off when we need it.  Different than a sleep over.  Anyway, tomorrow is our stake temple day.  R took the day off of work and I am looking forward to a great day together at the temple.  Hannah and Heidi are baby-sitting for us and my friend Liz asked if Izzy could share sitters with us.  We are happy to share and she came over tonight after mutual to spend the night as we are all leaving early in the morning.  The girls are bringing Erica, who is our Hannah's age.  I expect it will be a fun day for everyone and although E will be lone man the twins are awesome soccer players and I expect he'll get some good tips and ball time with them here :)

lazy summer days

This morning Han told me that "we never do anything fun" and all she does is work :(  Poor girl.  We spent the first 8 weeks of summer playing and now that all our guests are gone we are staying home and swimming and cleaning stuff.  R and I cleaned our garage and now he can put his car in it!  Exciting.  I am happy to have that off our list after two years.
 Our poor suffering children spending their afternoon at the pool with friends and books and drinks.

Monday, August 8, 2011

a nice Sunday

We had such a nice Sunday.  I had ward council in the morning before church so R had the children and they discussed what they wanted to fast for and started with a prayer.  I was also fasting but had a different purpose this month and was joining my councilors in a fast.  Anyway when my meeting was over I walked to the chapel and there was the family sitting reverently and happily and dressed properly (so I guess it was a good morning).  Hannah had done Lucy's hair and it was so nice to sit down and join them with no drama.
Testimony meeting was very nice, Sunday School was good and YW went just fine :)  After church I had BYD, so R took the kids home.  We had leftovers from Salsas so the two little ones had that for lunch (they only fast breakfast).  When I got home everyone was playing nicely together and R and I were able to go upstairs and take a nap.  Sweet!

In the late afternoon Hannah and I headed for the kitchen.  She made her famous sage and apple pork chops and I did the rest of the dinner ( cantaloupe, chocolate cake, Italian brussel sprouts, bread and pasta)  E helped set the table and R poured the water.  Sierra got home from work just after the missionaries arrived and we all sat down for dinner.  I have to say everything tasted great and we had a fun dinner.  The cantaloupe was sweet, the chops delicious and the sprouts had just the right crunch.  Almost everyone had 2 desserts.  There is something so yummy about a dinner after fasting.

Normally when the Elders come for dinner they eat and we have a short visit and then they leave.  Yesterday they had a bit more time I guess and they had a fun lesson for us.  We made paper airplanes and threw them off the deck (Ethans' flew the farthest), then came in and had a good gospel discussion.  They stayed for our family scripture reading, we have been working our way through the gospels and enjoyed reading about Christs miracles and sharing miracles we have had in our own lives. I really know that God is actively involved in our lives, it's just up to us to recognize His hand and the many blessings we receive.  Then we prayed together and R left with them to do some visiting and to take them home so they wouldn't have to bike in the rain. 

Lu got jammied up and we went down to the basement and took turns reading books to each other for about 45 minutes, then I tucked her into bed. 

After that I was ready to settle onto the couch for some NCIS, E and H joined me and we watched an episode or two while we waited for R to get home. 

What a nice day. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

beach party

 Today was the annual beach party on the town square.  We have gone every year since we moved here and it's always so fun!!  This year was not a disappointment.  There was fun music, lots of food, lots of people, cool cars and crafts and great games for everyone!
 It's so fun to watch all the people who come.  Little kids running around in the fire truck spray down, or crying over balloons that get away from them.  Dogs and their people walking around.  Families eating kettle corn or funnel cakes.  Old folks being pushed in wheelchairs by younger family members.  There were lots of pregnant bellies, fatties, kids and teens, and families.  Mr and Mrs Claus were there, spending their summer vacation in picturesque Leonardtown I suppose.  The mayor was out, as were police officers, bank tellers and teachers.  We said hi to lost of folks we know and some we didn't know.  It's a small town event at it's best.

 Sometimes we will go 6 - 9 months without going to the theater to see a movie, maybe even longer.  This summer we have been several times though, lots of fun summer movies out I guess.  There is still even one more I want to see :)  Last night R and I went out to  see Captain America.  It was a cartoon to movie style movie but completely entertaining and fun.  I can't wait for the Avengers to come out next summer.  In the meantime I guess I need to see Thor since I don't know anything about him.

We had a productive day.  R has a few days off, unusual, and he actually wanted to drive to Ohio to see his folks and go on a bike ride.  I reluctantly agreed.  I love to go to Ohio and to spend time with family, it was just going to be $$ and a long drive for a short visit.  In the end he decided it was too much as well and we stayed home and cleaned our garage! whoo hoo!!  Actually we were both pretty happy to get it done, and pleased with the results.  When we finished we took a load to the dump and swung by Brewsters for a reward.  We even had time to spend a couple hours at the pool with the kids before dinner.  I'd say that was a good day.

Today R is off on a 30 mile bike ride while we go to the store and then tonight we are going to the beach party on the square.
Dani and Greg had family pictures taken and they turned out sooo cute!  Look at this big girl! I love this picture!  She's almost 2 and is so precocious.  This just captures that little twinkle she has.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


We took mom and dad back to the airport last night. I  have never been so sad to see them go.  We had a really nice visit and I will miss having them here.

We went to Ledo's so Sierra could be our server and then drove in the rain to DC.  We drove back in the rain and went straight to E's soccer practice, which was not cancelled just because of a little rain.  He loves soccer and is glad his break is over and a new season has started. 

Hannah went to her last activity days last night, her birthday is coming up and she will move up to the YW program.  She can hardly wait.  We have a fun little birthday party planned for her.  E went to cubs after and they felled a tree and dug up some shrugs, he thought that was fun. 

This morning it is raining and we are expecting a few days of rain, which is fine.  We have some cleaning up to do (always), a car to scour looking for Hannah's missing cell phone, some cub work to do( gotta get going on that bear award) and some projects that have been waiting.  I have a can of paint that needs applying, Hannah wants to sew something to enter into the fair, and we need to go to the college and figure out the swim team.  The kids are interested in joining and I need to know hours and $$.  Sometime in the next few weeks we need to gather school supplies, start piano for the girls and take Sierra to the airport.  R and I also have the fun project of evaluating our budget planned.  Good times.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

i heart skype

 "look what I got Mimi, a new princess ballerina Ariel and Tiana"
 "my princesses can dance!"
"love you!!!"

Monday, August 1, 2011


 We got invited to go boating for FHE and we were so excited!  What a fun way to spend the evening.  Now, E was very upset when he found out.  He really wanted to go to street soccer and meet his new team.  That boy lives for soccer.  He complained and cried as if we were taking him to the dentist.  In the end he didn't even have to come with us because Papa, who isn't a water person, was just as happy to take him to soccer as go to the bay.  Perfect. 

So they went off to soccer and the rest of us went to the water.  We had so much fun!!  Even Lucy who was scared to try tubing loved it once she got on :)
I wanted to put a picture of R and H on but they were all blurry :(
Anyway, here is Amber, Lu and me.  So fun.
We ended the evening with some pizza at the Zawadas.  Thanks guys! We had a blast!