Sunday, June 24, 2012


 Tomorrow is my boy's birthday.  He will be 10.  This will be the first birthday he will have where I won't be with him.  Hannah and I are leaving for camp in the morning.  We had a family party tonight and he was a pretty spoiled boy!  We'll have some friends over after our summer's gallivanting around and celebrate again.

He is a good good boy and makes his parents proud every day.  He's smart and kind and funny and athletic.   I am grateful for the gift of being his mom and look forward to seeing him grow into a good, valiant, righteous, hard-working, honest man.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


We have these beautiful hanging fuchsia plants on our front porch.  R was watering them the other day and a bird flew out...then he discovered we had a nest with 5 light blue speckled eggs.  So fun. 

This morning we went to see Brave.  I loved it. 

This afternoon we ran camp errands.

Tonight we went to Stake Conf w/ the Zawadas, we stopped for dinner on the way (which we need to stop doing because this time and last time we were late because of slow service)

Conference was really good.  I really enjoy the adult session.  My favorite talk was by Sister Eden.  She spoke on Finding Joy in the Midst of Hardship.  She did an excellent job and was so funny and relatable and spot on in her advice.  She said there are 10 things you should do to find joy.
  1. Joy is a choice.  Act like you feel joy.  Walk with your head up, shoulders back and with a smile on your face.  It will send a message to you and others that you are joyful.
  2. Embrace Gratitude.  Speaking your gratitude is empowering.  Say it out loud in prayer, to yourself and to others.
  3. Stop taking responsibility for others.  You can only change one person, yourself; and it's only with the Saviours help that you can make any headway in that.
  4. do something each day to make you better
  5. Pray for your enemies
  6. Count every small success.  "I woke up alive today, success.  I did a chore before work, success.  I read a verse of scripture today, success.  I thought of Christ, success." Count everything not just the big stuff.
  7. Trust Christ
  8. Give the pain of your challenges to Christ, he's already carried it.
  9. Submit to the Saviour,  I am not very good at managing my own life, and neither are you, turn it over to Him.
  10. gargle with salt water.    When you are sick and have a sore throat gargling helps you heal and feel better.  Still no one wants to do it.  Do that things that are good for you even if you don't want to.  They are good for you.

Friday, June 22, 2012

River Concert Series

 By the time we left the vets office late this afternoon it had begun to rain.  This was such a bummer, well we need the rain and welcomed the cooling weather but we had outdoor plans tonight that I was worried would be cancelled.  We (read: I) wanted to go to the river concert at St Mary's College.    After some discussion we decided to give it a try and I am really glad we did.  It was raining for the first half but then it stopped and the whole family had a really good time wet or dry.

We got there and set out our chairs then went in search of food.  Everyone was starving (read: grouchy) but luckily they had some great vendors.  I got pancit and lumpia that was most delicious.  R and Lu got dogs and fries.  E got a BBQ sandwich and he and I shared some crab balls.  We also had kettle corn and pop and cheddar peppers.  A cornucopia of culinary delights. 

We brought our umbrellas and sat in the grass eating and listening and staying kind of dry (ish).  Jessica and Katelyn Lyons played a beautiful number Spanish Dance for 2 violins that was just delightful.  They had a wonderful singer from Czechoslovakia, and I loved the last piece The New World Symphony by Dvorak.   We saw some folks from R's work, our next door neighbors and some friends from church which made it extra fun.

The whole atmosphere was just enchanting.  Ethan and Grace spent a lot of time running around the grass catching fireflies.  (we sat in the heavy socializing section).  I spent as much time people watching as listening.  This cute little baby was dancing next to us and laying on the wet wet grass watching frogs much of the evening.  I enjoyed watching the old people in front of us with their picnic baskets and wine glasses sitting and listening, and the young people on dates, and the families with kids.  One cute boy had a pink bow tie and was with a pretty girl in a polka dot dress.  It looked like they were on their first date.  They were both kind of shy with each other and their hands bumped into each others while they shared an umbrella and chatted quietly.  Eventually their heads we leaning on each others and big smiles were on their faces as feet tapped to the music.  E & Lu blew bubbles that made a bubble army on the grass and a few  couples danced in the square.  Eventually the rain stopped and people put down their umbrellas and the frogs joined in the gypsy melodies.  The campus was beautiful and very "private school/new England looking" (read:charming and expensive), the boats on the water behind the stage bobbed happily (which honestly I saw more in my minds eye during the concert since the view was blocked by the enormous Sidney Opera House style blow up concert stage but that I actually saw on the way in and the way out and that I know were there just out of sight during and knowing is just as good as seeing sometimes :) ) and though the stars were hidden by the clouds and it was a bit sticky I don't think it could have been a nicer night.

Cub Camp Finale

 Last day of cub camp for Ethan, ever.  It's been three good years, he's had a lot of fun, learned some things and become a pretty good marksman.
 Today was family day.  Which meant basically that we all got to enjoy a sweaty morning in the sun.  They had a pirate demonstration that was pretty interesting and funny.  They sang songs, played games, told some pirate lore and demonstrated black powder shooting.
Grace and Keean playing during the piratey fun
After we all had pizza and the boys gathered up all the wonderful things they made and did and we headed home.

We had some errands to do and when we got home found Millie sick.  She got up last night 3 times for me to take her to the bathroom, which is very very unusual.  This morning she was sleeping when we left and when I came home I found her not improved.  We discovered that she hadn't eaten in a couple days.  We took her out and saw she was having bloody stool.  So off to the vet we went.  Poor Millie has colitis, she is on 3 medications and a special diet.  Hopefully she will feel better.  I was surprised at how close to tears I was at the vet thinking something was really wrong and that our time with Millie was drawing to a close.  She is 9 years old and we are hoping for a few more good years.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


 I do not know why she is wearing leggings.  I was hot and wishing that I was nak*d, or in the water. 
Camp continues to go well for everyone.  Yesterday Ethan made some cool stuff and enjoyed archery more.  Lu and I went shopping for camp stuff, ate at Chickfila and then came home and she invited Julia over, then went to Julia's house.  It was a playing day.
 This morning we got everyone out the door and did our morning cleaning and workbooks. Then Lu and I went to try and find a watery spot to take a picture of our little sailor.  We had to try a few places then we spotted them. 
Hannah is loving sailing.  She now wishes a) to sail around the world and b) to become Catholic so she can go to Ryken that she loves and thinks is such a lovely campus and has a sailing team (see a).  The hold up is not actually the religion thing because anyone willing to pay the tuition can go, it's more the fact that we are not paying for high school the same that we pay for BYU when she can go for free.
Cute mama osprey and baby.

We went to the library after our sailboat searching and got some books and Dumbo.

This afternoon will be pool time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

should I start saving my pennies??

7:02 pm

 What a fun and exhausting day!  It was hot at cub camp.  The boys had a lot of fun.  They made cool crafts like a pirate flag and a wooden cannon.
 They got to shoot bows and arrows, bb guns, learn about animals, play games and do skits.
 At lunch time the firetruck came and the kids got to run in the spray.  Lucy ballerina got to come too, she had  fun at siblings camp.  She had a great time playing with the other girls, doing some of the activities the boys did and making her own crafts.

our little band of pirates

sharp shooter hit 2 more bulls eyes and some clay pigeons

cub wash fun
Hannah also had a good day.  She said she wasn't a very good skipper but she was good at looking for little puffs.  Unfortunately when she got home she wasn't feeling well. 

It was such a hot day that we went to the pool as soon as we got home and jumped in.  It was freezy but refreshing.

Now Han is taking a hot bath, Lu is almost ready for bed, E is waiting to watch Lord of the Rings, R is heading home from the funeral and I am too tired for the party so am just relaxing with the family.

7:02 am

The air is cool and pleasant and the day promises to be a nice one, although hot.

The kids came home from their camps with many exciting things to say.  Hannah loved sailing.  She got stung by a "herd of jellies", scraped her legs on the barnacles under the boat, capsized and "looked like a walrus" trying to get back on, ran out of water and had to swim "a million miles".  Still she claims to love it and is excited to go back today.  Yea!

Ethan was happy his friend Zach was in his group, got the top marks in bb gun shooting, tied (w/ Zach) for farthest ball kicked and looked pretty happy.  We stopped at the little outpost they have set up to buy Weblo stuff, which made me pretty happy because now I don't have to drive to Baltimore to get it.  He bought some marbles and he and Lu bought candy bars. 

R and I had a last minute(ish) dinner with some of his workmates.  Dave is in town and about 14 of us gathered at Outback.  It was fun and the food was good.

This morning R woke me up an hour before my alarm.  He was looking for some paper work.  I really was sad about that hour but he did look super handsome in his white shirt and tie (he's going to a funeral after work) and I did find the paper work.

Today I am a den walker.  Should be nice and hot.  Looking forward to hopping in the pool when we get home, and going to Monique's jewelry party tonight. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Lu's favorite songs...right now

a list

1. dropped Hannah off at sailing camp
2. dropped Ethan at cub camp
3. took Lu to McDonald's for a fancy breakfast out
4. came home to clean the house

still to come:
piano lessons
pick everyone up
Lord of the Rings, we are watching the trilogy this week.  R is the only one who's seen them all.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers Day

Happy Father's Day!  This picture is from Aug 2004 when my sister Anna got married.  It is a really bad picture of all of us and it made me laugh when I was looking for a picture for this post. 

I have an awesome dad, despite his rather ridiculous offspring.  He is loving and wise and selfless and hard working.  I have always been so proud to be his daughter. 

I can't wait to hear where he and mom will serve their next mission.

I also have an awesome FIL. 
Jenna, Abba and Hannah
He is tons of fun, patient and adventuresome.

Then there is the dad of our house, R.  Here he is 2002, with baby Ethan and little Hannah.  He's a sweet daddy, hard working, a spiritual leader in our home, thoughtful and caring.  (FYI, we still have this ugly chairs ugly twin in the is very comfy)
and this is a picture of Lu when she was a new baby, because she wanted me to put it here

Happy Fathers day to all the great dads in our lives!!!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

lots of fun, no pictures

Oh what a busy fun day.  Full of adventures we have had.
This morning we all slept in a little.  I think it was near 8am before the first mouse stirred in this sleeping house.

First thing in the morning E and R left for rec + soccer try outs.  Ethan did great, he will make the team.  While they were gone the girls and I went shopping . I have a long list of getting ready for camp things to do, additionally we have cub camp and sailing camp starting on Monday and we had to get stuff for that.  We went to the library. 

Everyone met back at home at noon ish and I took Han to Ariel's good bye party.  She is moving to Orlando (one thing about living in a Navy town is lots of friends come and go).  R took Lu boating.  They had a great time.
Then I picked up Han and Alissa and took them to the beach party.  I had the boy with me and we ended up staying so he could play awhile.  We stayed long enough for him to swim, get stung by a jelly fish and eat a hamburger.  Then we went home and I picked up and he showered and I took him to Chebi's house for a birthday party and went back to pick up the girls. 

Then we had friends over for dinner, I had to leave early (from my own house) and go pick up the boy, where it took me an hour to drag him away from the backyard fun.

Cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the children, tucked everyone into bed.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Lu is learning a new song, Puff the Magic Dragon. When she gets a new piece she always thinks it's too hard.  After a day or two she plays it well and then she plays it to death.  Very fun.  She has a little repertoire of nice pieces now. 

Yesterday was a learning day for us.  In the morning we went to Laura's house for crochet lessons.  Lu is working on a blanket for Bootsie.  I am working on making a stitch :)  Just kidding, I made a flower.  Pretty sweet!  It's fun.  Laura is making these cute toys.  Maybe I will get good enough to make stuff too. 
Then we went to the library.  Then E went to play with Eric and Han went swimming with Alissa.

Lu asked 7 friends to come play, no one could :( so that was kind of sad.  She played with me.  Which was okay. 

In the evening we went to RS.  I learned how to make blueberry jam.  The kids ran around.  Han slept over at Alissa's.

Today was grocery shopping day.  Han is still gone and E&G are playing at the Marshs' so I am home alone.  When everyone gets home we'll head to the pool.

Tonight is date night.  We're going to take Miss Hannah with us.  She's been very helpful and good lately and we want to give her a treat.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

sum sum summer time!

This makes me smile :)  I am really happy my girls live near each other.  If I could change one thing in my life it would be to live near my sisters, and daughters and mom but since I can't I am very glad they live near each other.

We had a happy day.  This morning we cleaned the basement, washed the sheets in Si's room, got it nice and spiffy.  The kids made beds and we did some laundry, cleaned the kitchen (given).  Then we headed to the library.  Everyone got books, I am happy that they are all readers.  When we came home Chelsea and Eric Martines came over.  It was calmer than yesterdays crazy fest!  Han and Chels did nails, went to the pool, looked at stuff on line, did hair.  Their usual.  E2 made up a game with paddles, multiple bouncy balls and running around, went to the pool and played soccer.  Lu had a great time at the pool and played with a bunch of other little kids.  Sweet.

Tonight Han had a camp meeting and E had cubs, his last week as a Bear.
 Last night Dani called me and told me Southwest has an awesome promotion going.  Tickets for $139, each way, this fall! Whoo hoo!!!  I got on line and bought a flight for Sept. when baby Bootsie is arriving!!  Can.Not.Wait.   And as a surprise bonus Boots, Tate and their parents are going to be here for Halloween!! 
Mimi and Tate making cookies 9/12 :)

Best Halloween ever scheduled for this year!

What a happy Grandma I am!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

At the crab festival they sold marionettes.  Lu wanted one.  Of course.  She wants everything.  It turns out she actually had more than a passing interest in one and has been wondering how to make one since.  This morning, 6am, she came in my room with some sticks she found outside, some yarn and her stock yards big eyed stuffed pony.  She wanted to make a puppet.  We did.  She likes it.  She now wants to make more, have dad build a special stand so the strings won't get tangled and put on a show.  Hmmm.

This morning we cleaned bedrooms.  This was kind of a dumb move because when they were clean then the children invited friends over and now...not so clean.
So Lu has Keean over playing, and Han has Alyssa and E has John, Justin and Aidan.  There is a lot of chaos and we have been through a lot of popsicles and crackers and drinks and open and closed doors. 

It's raining.  A curse on a summer day. 

I am making zucchini bread with chocolate chips.  Any guesses how long it will take the locusts to devour it?  I am guessing 15 minutes, tops.

Monday, June 11, 2012

It's officially summer!  Yea! 

This morning Lu and I got up at 4:30 to take Sierra to the airport.  Sad.  I was sorry to see her go, she was glad though.  I think if she had stayed 2 weeks instead of a month she would not have been as glad but she was here long enough to get bored.  She made it safely home to Utah and I am looking forward to seeing her at the end of summer when Bootsie is born :)

When we got home I was super tired so I took a nap.  Lu didn't, she is never tired and never sleeps.

When I got up we cleaned and had lunch then met the McCombs at the pool for some swimming fun.  We ended up staying for 4 hours and everyone is turning brown.

In the summer we try to be productive with our time.  I always get work books for the kids. 
This summer is no different and they went to work on them today.  Lu was funny she was filling in a page that said stuff like "a snowflake is __________" and "a plum is __________".  You were supposed to write in the color.  She found the page annoying because things could be more than one color, for example chocolate could be white, or brown or even black.  A pumpkin could be green if it was just starting or orange or white if it was a fancy one.  She told me "lots of times I know there are more than one right answer but I just put the answer the teacher expects to see".  Seems like a good approach to me.

Hopefully we'll do a lot of reading and some crafting and important skill building this summer.

Dinner tonight was BBQ chicken salad, we also watched an episode of "Little House on the Prairie" and it will be an early bedtime.  4 hours in the sun makes for tired kiddos!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Hannah is facetimeing her grandparents.  The 3 of them are listening to Nana's new iphone tell jokes.  Some are funny.
Then Han got her phone so she could call Nana's phone and they could hear it ring on the ipad.

Update: now the grands are playing temple run and Ethan ran out wrapped in a towel to watch and the two kids are advising the old folks ;)

Update again:  Now Abba is playing temple run, Nana is trying to log onto facebook so she can play words with friends, Hannah is helping Nana and is on her phone and Dad's ipad, Ethan is playing on my phone, Angry Birds in Space and R is playing pirates on his phone.  They all think they are playing together :)

I'm going downstairs to watch a movie with Sierra who leaves tomorrow morning at 5am :(

my fancy schmancy new car

No more suburban for us.  Turns out I am hard on cars.  We had almost 200,000 miles on it and pretty much everything was broken or breaking.  As much as we LOVE LOVE LOVE not having a car payment we had to break down and get one (for a while anyway). 

We have been talking about cars for awhile and nothing really really struck us as the right car.  Then a couple weeks ago R said he and E saw the best car, it was a Ford Flex.  We looked at it on line and agreed that it was pretty neat and what we would like. Kind of end of story.  We weren't really ready to pull the trigger on it.
Then Anna bought one. 

Then the sub started doing this weird shaky, noisy, break not workingy thingy.
And R had a a couple weeks of work stress.
And on a random Thursday night he called me a little before dinner and said I need to go to Salsas and who I am to stand  between a man and his need for chips and salsa?  so we went. 
Then he said he just "wanted to look and see if the Ford dealer had any flexs on the lot", and I said I had a youth conference conference call so we didn't have time.
But I did  have my cell , and my forms and so we went just to look.  We looked for a minute, then I sat in the car on my call.  Then two hours later conference was planned and I went in the office to drag R out and we ended up driving home the flex just to see how it feels.
And now we have a very nice, new, all working, shiny car.  That. I. love.

I hope we can pay it off in a year. 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Crab festival

 St Mary's County Crab Festival!  In the almost 3 years we have lived here we haven't been able to go because it was always on Sunday.  This year they changed to a Saturday so I put it on the calendar and we've been waiting.

It was a lot of fun.  They had crab, and crafts, and music, and drinks, and fancy cars, and a petting zoo (where Lu got bit by a miniture horse), and ice cream. 

It was ho-OT.

 R had to work, which is okay cuz he hates crabs, and crowds and heat.  It would not have been his cup of tea.

Lu is allergic to shellfish, and E thought he liked crab until he was sitting in front of one then he remembered that looking at them makes him light headed (he is a light weight for sure). 

Sierra and Hannah opted for the crab cakes and turkey legs.

I was wishing I had Dani and Jen here, they would have been more fun crab picking company.

 Anyway it was fun sitting at a paper covered picnic table, sweat dripping down the backs of our legs, loud country music being sung on the stage, cold soda sweating on the table, the smell of shell fish in the air, kids and couples and families all around enjoying the heat and the fun.

I'd go again, with different company for sure, but I'd still go.

In the end Hannah was happy because she got a cute charm bracelet from one of the vendors, Lu was happy because she got an elephant painted on her face, Sierra was happy that we didn't stay long, Ethan was happy because Sierra took the kids to the pool when we got home, and I am always happy.
a cool treat when we got home

Friday, June 8, 2012


Last day of school! Whoo hoo!!  Everyone had a good year!  Hannah ended up with a B in one class but that's okay.  E and Lu had only A's.  E placed 8% in the math Olympiad for the nation and got a pin and a patch.  Pretty cool!
When we got home we went to the pool.  Lots of people had the same idea and it was fun to swim with lots of friends!
They, so rudely, have adult swim once an hour while the life guards take a break.  Lu very "patiently" waited for them to blow the whistle :)
Yea for summer!