Monday, March 31, 2014

Barn day

Time at the barn + a little sunshine = happiness

Elms Beach

Yesterday it was snowing, luckily it didn't stick.  Today it was still windy and not really warm but the sun was out and that made me feel very grateful as our twice before cancelled Elm's Beach field trip was scheduled for today. I don't know exactly how many elms field trips I have been on but it's at least 7.  Luckily I really do enjoy it.

The third grade trip is all about bird watching, vernal pools and of course saving the bay. I love to  walk about out there.  In the forest it smells all piney and the leaves crunch under your feet.  You have to balance on wooden planks over the pools, and I like to feel the gentle smoosh of moss as you walk through the sunny spots. We spotted 8 different birds and saw a salamander and also egg pods.
On the beach the surf made that wonderful water on sand noise that I love, the sand was wet and hard under our feet and there were lots of shells and rocks to collect. The sun sparkled and danced in between the white caps and the kids ran around and frolicked really.  We needed our jackets and hats but with the right gear we were happy as clams.
testing the water

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Stake Youth Activity

So far the weather has not put a damper on any of our activities.  Last night we were able to go to soccer.  Ethan played keeper the entire game.  The first half was good, the second not so much.  It rained a little, we lost, but he had fun and was in good spirits afterwards.
Hannah went with Alyssa to the high school production of "Little Women".  She said it was great and she loved it.

We debated all night what to do and had a last minute conference call this morning but at the end decided to go ahead with our activity and it went well.  Lots of youth showed up.  The hikes were nice, the rain mostly held off until the end and then we had a covered pavilion to use.  Ethan came although he's not quite 12 and had a great time playing soccer with the boys after, in the rain.  No one cared. I'd say 2 thumbs up!

Friday, March 28, 2014

finally Friday

We've had some more snow and chilly weather.  There were a couple of teaser days that were warm (relatively speaking).  Luckily we didn't miss school but there are a lot of outside activities planned this weekend that are in jeopardy.  Tonight is supposed to be Ethan's first outdoor game of the spring season.  I don't know if it will be rained out.  Also tonight R is supposed to take the teachers quorum biking around the lake.  Tomorrow is our stake youth activity, planned outside at Greenwell State Park.  It's a great activity but the weather is looking really dicey.  

I've been wanting to recover our ottoman.  It's been pretty ghetto.  I found this fabric and it spoke to me so I brought it home and R helped me recover the old one.  I like how it turned out.  My decorating style is very eclectic, if I find something that I love that's what I go with. LOL
On Wednsday we had a half day.  Han brought friends home and we ordered a pizza and made cookies.  The girls had a fun time.  In the evening I went out to Bowie for their New Beginnings.  They had a wonderful program that was very uplifting.

One of the sisters in their area is a geologist.  She came and spoke about how a diamond is formed and then compared that process with the pressure and heat the YW go through to become the "diamond" that they are.  My favorite thing she said was that diamonds don't belong on the earth's surface, they are formed far below (100 miles or so) and are rare and beautiful on the surface.  Likewise our YW don't belong here, not really.  They are here on earth for a short time (100 years + or -) and then go home to our Heavenly Father where they really belong.  They are not earthy beings having a spiritual experience but rather spiritual beings having an earth experience. Loved it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


My iPhone sorts pictures in memory categories.  I love this, it's a sweet word to use.  When we got home from NYC everyone was excited.  The kids and pup were happy to see us and Han was excited to tell her adventures to the fam.  After everyone settled down we watched "The Book Thief" for Hannah. She is doing a book report on it and wanted some movie version input.  It was sad.  I slept for part of it but that parts I saw were sad.  E, surprisingly, watched and liked it.  I like this memory because I'm all jammied up and laying on R, and E and Z are laying on me.  It was warm and toasty and cozy.
Monday Jodie and I took our dogs to Greenwell to walk the trails again and make sure we had two courses that were similar in distance.  We do. Yay.  It was a little chilly out but not too bad once you got moving and the water is always beautiful.  Jack and Ziva did well.

Today I drove through the snow flurries, I know crazy huh!, to the bank, then stopped at BAM to stock up on cruise books.  I got everything in the discount dept and didn't pay more than $4 for a book.  I have a few fluffy reads to enjoy now.  The hard part will be waiting 19 days to start reading them!

Then I came home and did some chores.  I love Lu's cheery room.  The elephant head, Henry, is the newest addition. I got him at FAO Schwartz! He was normally $49.99 and was on sale for $13.00 so exciting!  Of course then we had to schlep him all around times square, including the theater and a restaurant and to church and on the bus.  And when I say we I really mean it cuz he was big and hard to miss.  Lu loved him!  This is most of her herd, none of the wooden, beaded, glass or stone elephants are here but all the stuffies are.  Not dog is in the place of honor in the front and Abby is on the right.  I am not sure which one is Elinore but the others are all George.  

Laundry and dishes and dancing with the stars round out the rest of my day.  

Sunday, March 23, 2014


We found a ward building where we were able to attend sacrament meeting. The girls were embarrassed to come wheeling in with our bags but we were not the lone visitors, in fact it looked to me like half the congregation was visitng. They had everyone raise their hand in the beginning to be welcomed if they were visitors. Both of the talks were on visiting teaching/home teaching. I am a terrible visiting teacher. I enjoyed the talks and felt very motivated to improve. It was really nice to go to sacrament. There is such a feeling of belonging to me. I love the simplicity of our chapels and the sacredness of taking the sacrament. There is joy in singing the hymns and peace in participating. 

The chapel shares the building with the temple. It was such a sharply contrasting feeling seeing the angel Moroni as we were walking down the street looking for the building. We were all excited and looked up and smiled. Yesterday we walked around Times Square and saw tons of ads for every product, show, and form of entertainment. That was fun, this was joy.

Point of interest: the high council speaker was Robert Comstock, the fashion designer. 

After church we hurried and caught a cab to the bus...and then waited 2 hours outside in the cold since the bus was late. The silver lining was that we ended up with the best seat on the bus. We have a table so the girls can do their homework and we are all seated together.

I hope Hannah thinks this weekend was as special as I do. It's very much a treat to spend one on one time with the children. This trip especially was a once in a lifetime!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Day 2

What a fun and exhausting city! We have been walking everywhere which has been really fun.
This morning we found a little corner grocery and had breakfast then we went and watched Divergent in IMAX. It was as good as the book and really neat on the giant screen.
Then we went to Macys the largest department store. We rode the wooden escalator and saw the beginnings of the flower show and gawked at the largeness of it all.
Our next scheduled stop was the tkts office to try and get some "cheap" tickets for a show and we met Mark who told us about this "life changing pizza", which we tried and I'll tell you my life has a new top ten worst restaurant services experiences to add to the list. Seinfelds soup nazi has nothing on these guys. We did get Cinderella tickets and the pizza wasn't bad

We spent the rest of the afternoon in Central Park and walking through some cute shops. We went to Tiffany's, where they had a person to push the elevator button for you and to Barnes & Noble where they sell books ;). I enjoyed peeking at the zoo and we all liked people watching.

For dinner we ate at Ruby Foos. The dim sum and the sushi were both tasty and the bathroom had an attendant that you tipped. 

Cinderella was great. The seats were a little cozy and the leg room lacking but the sets and costumes and singers were amazing. They had a fun twist to the story which we enjoyed as well. 

Fun day!

Friday, March 21, 2014


Hannah and I have been wanting to go to NYC together for a long time. Finally the right opportunity came up and we jumped on it.  Aubrey and Jodie came with us and today was our first day here.  I was worried because yesterday I didn't feel well.  When I took my temp. it was 101.8 so I put myself to bed, said a prayer and went to sleep.  Today I have been fine, although I find myself smelly and hope I am not offending my friends.  Strange.

Anyway, we caught the megabus, which is an awesome deal.  We missed our scheduled bus but got on the next one and had a pleasant drive.  Once here we found our hotel, which is old and the rooms are small but it's clean so that's great.

We dumped our luggage and started our fun.  It was a great day.  We walked around looking at stuff, shopped, gawked at the city...
Ate at Ellen's Stardust Cafe, where aspiring actors work as singing waiters.  Our waiter was Frenchy and we loved him. He even came and sang to our table.

We went to a 4 story Forever 21 where Hannah and Aubrey both found things to buy.  Surprise.
Then we went to see Wicked, which was just as amazing the second time!!!
On the walk home it was so crazy.  It was 11 pm, yet the streets were just as crowded and just as light as day.  We got some street food to bring back to the hotel and enjoyed a yummy middle eastern dinner in the lobby before turning in for the night.

Day One = Super Fun! I'm so glad to get to do this with Hannah and with our friends.  

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Tonight for YW Hannah's class planned a handcuffed dinner followed by a talk by Bro. Castro. I was invited to come, which was very fun.  The dinner was very funny to watch.  The kids cooperated well and almost none wore spaghetti on their faces!

This picture is from the dance a few weeks ago. Joseph and Hannah having fun. 

Poor Han went to the orthodontist today and got rubber bands on her braces.  Now her teeth hurt :(

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I <3 Sierra

I love when Si's friends post pictures of her on Facebook. I miss this amazing, wonderful, funny and kind daughter. Can't wait to see her this summer!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St Patricks Day!

We woke up to many inches if sNOw and no school. The kids were thrilled of course, and Papa and Grandmas travel plans were ruined so they "had to" stay one more day. It's been a nice day actually.
This morning we had green pancakes for breakfast. For lunch I made mulligatawny soup that was really tasty.
All the kids have friends, John came over and he and E worked on science and kicked the ball around then they took off to find other guys to kick the ball around with. 
Maggie came to play with Grace and after a few hours they got geared up to go to the park and find some recruits to snowball fight with.
Alyssa came over and she and Hannah are in the basement. Hannah's been sewing skirts lately and she's doing a great job!
Tonight we are making Irish food and Jodie and Aubrey are joining us for dinner. H is in charge of FHE.
Cute picture of Alec, my not one single drop Irish brother!
hot chocolate and popcorn break!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


It's forecasted again! I!!

Tonight we went to have dinner with our good friends.  The kids had a great time running around.  Joseph and Hannah built a fire that everyone enjoyed sitting around.
These two are so silly together!

Saturday, March 15, 2014


 We went on a long hike this morning. I was tasked with finding a good spot for our next stake youth activity.  I think we found a winner and we had a lot of fun! After we went out to ice cream!
Tonight is stake conference. The weather is beautiful.  It should be a pretty great weekend all around!

Friday, March 14, 2014


pi day, one of our favorite made up holidays! Tonight we went over to the McCombs and the Danvers were also there.  We had a great time chatting and eating a variety of yummy pies.  I brought an apple pie but ate lemon meringue and some of Frannie's smore cake, which isn't pie but whatever:), it's a made up holiday we can celebrate it anyway we want.

Also today Mom and I went for pedi's and out to lunch.  I took her to Jerry's, the bestest, freshest, most deliciousest seafood around!  Yummy foody day.


We wanted to take a trip to DC.  The day we picked turned out to be very cold, but it was the day we had so off we went.  Mom decided to stay home, she's been having a lot of pain in her legs which it turns out is coming from a back issue.  Hopefully she will be able to get that fixed once she gets home.  Walking is very painful for her and she didn't want to do the trek with us.  As soon as we go the kids to school and the dogs walked we headed out and drove down to the metro.  We rode in to the Archives stop and then visited the Archives.  We saw the Declaration of Independance and the Constitution and some other pillars of democracy.  After a quick visit there we bundled back up and trudged across the mall to the Air & Space Museum.  It was a lovely day.  We enjoyed some #1 combos from McD, and some great museuming, and some fun chatting.
This picture of us is poor of us both, I look particularly ridiculous but like the weather it was what we had so there you go.

We made it home before 5 and then spent the evening with the family.  We went to Chinese food, dad's favorite, and watched a movie.  It's a wonderful part of each night to gather around the living room and read the scriptures and pray, I am enjoying having mom and dad here for that part too.

Lu is getting The Cold.  It deserves caps because it is pretty miserable.  I sent her to school with Tylenol and cough meds in her and feel bad for her.  Sadly, if recent history proves correct it will be over a week before she feels well so she has to carry on despite.
Dani's been instagraming TBT's. I was so surprised to see this picture.  We took swimming lessons together with Val and Brittan.  The other Dopplets also took lessons in a different part of the pool.  It was really fun.  Dani was a cute little mermaid, despite the worried look on her face!  The crazy thing is I remember being worried about how "fat" I was and having to be in a swimsuit in public...could I please have that fat bod back??!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

hump day

We've been playing Mexican train at night.  Grace really likes to play. She gets very crazy.  Today I won.
Mexican train fun
My cute friend Sarah had her 3rd baby girl on Monday.  Tonight we made dinner for her family.  We made double for ourselves and peanut butter cup bars for dessert.  It was tasty!
mitt loaf and potatoes
We met mom's BFF Daisy's sister, Charlotte for lunch. While we were there Z had a spa day.  She looks so cute all bowed up when she's done.
post spa trip
and lastly, some photos from Utah this week.  The little girls went to play.  Penn is getting so big!
Provo Beach Fun
Jenna is such a trooper, she is taking tons of credits and working and volunteering and whatnot.  She wanted some cookies so I sent a box to her and one to Si.  I wish I could bake them and deliver them but this will do.
I'm such a good mom
Sierra always is having lots of fun.  Sometimes there is a picture on Facebook so that's pretty fun!!
Sierra and friends at karaoke night

Ethan's been doing homework all day. He made a design in pro D and then had to make a actual model of said design

Monday, March 10, 2014

a beautiful afternoon!!!!

 We had some errands to do for mom today.  She needed an american phone.  While she was doing that I bought a swimsuit for our cruise!

This afternoon the weather was lovely!  We went to the barn for a lesson and Grace had the best time.  She went over an 18 inch jump and her trot is really getting good.  Papa and I went and sat and watched all the riders and enjoyed the sunshine.
Tonight David Duke came over for dinner, he's working at PAX for a week.  Papa prepared FHE and we ate burgers.  It felt like summer.  ....well, not exactly but better! Yay again.

Also today is my sister Val's birthday.  Happy Birthday Val! Can't wait to see you in one month!!!!!!!