Thursday, March 31, 2016

Grace day

Hannah has school today but the other two do not. Grace and I got up early (for a vaca day) and drove out to the painted turtle to make beds. She wasn't too excited to go and doesn't really like bed making but once we got going she was good. We talked a lot about serving others and the kids who go there. Also Sybil was so supportive to Grace in her efforts. We had a good morning and decided to continue the fun when we were done.
We went to the library and to the movies. We saw Miracles from Heaven, which we both loved. Grace was surprised by the church scenes as they were very different than our more subdued worship. She said it looked fun but not reverent.  We were both touched by Anna's faith and I by her mom's struggle. Struggling is part of growing. It was definitely a two thumbs up from us both.
When we got home Grace wanted some sewing machine lessons. I had it out since I needed to hem some pants for Rob last night. We decided she could make a little bag.
It turned out pretty cute! And will be perfect for carrying a book and some sunscreen on the beach!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Our RS had a challenge to have 100% visiting teaching this month.  So in true stalwart fashion my partner Lori and I went visiting teaching today, and we have our last appointment tomorrow.  The last two days of the month.

Poor Sawyer got to spend quiet an interesting day with us.  He came over and they (H&S) wanted Ethan to go adventuring with them.  They always double date or in this case date with a chaperone.  He (E) didn't want to go.  After much coaxing and a coldstone bribe he did go with them.  Then in true Ethan fashion he complained the whole time. In this case it wasn't 100% his fault, they marketed the outing as a desert adventure and instead went to Trader Joes and the pet store.

After that fun time they came home and hung out for awhile and then when I left to VT they took Grace to feed the ducks at Apollo Park.

While we were all gone Han texted me to see if dad and I wanted to double to the Harbour for dinner.  We agreed and went out to sushi.  Which I thought was both tasty and fun.  Ethan and Grace got to have chicken fajitas with rice for dinner and Ethan also got left-overs when we got back so win-win.

Unfortunately some bad grades came to light this afternoon and he (Sawyer) got treated to a bit of a grade lecture on the drive home.  In our defense you shouldn't have bad grades. Ever.  And he's over enough to be on the chore rotation and to get to hear the behind the scenes of the family.  Not our finest parenting timing admittedly, but I was upset and didn't want to just blow it off.  We have smart kids so it's frustrating when they aren't living up to their potential.

This evening we went through every one's grades to double check that our understanding was correct and then everyone, with good grades or bad, got a grade/success in life lecture.  Fun times.  It's critical to give 100% to everything you do.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

nieces and nephews update

 Katie is a cutie.  (22) She's all grown up, going to college, working and getting ready to move to Texas to be closer to her true love.  I think we'll hear wedding bells soon!
 Scarlett is 2.  She's a character and full of energy.  She and Michael went on her first ski date a couple of days ago.  She's soon going to be a big sister and we can't wait to meet the new little guy!
A throw back.  Kenz is 16, Jordyn is 13, Spencer almost 15 and Tanner 18.  They are awesome and lots of fun for my kids as they are the cousins closest in age.  We are all excited to hear where Tanner is going on his mission and super proud of him for earning his eagle! Val's kids are always busy and always doing good things.  Love those kids!
newer but still old.  Val needs to post more pictures:)

 Joneaux (6) and Deo (3).  So handsome and smart.  Love those boys.  We need a mimi date soon!!

Noah (2) and Reggie (5) are living in warm AZ.  We haven't been out to visit them but it's not too far from us so we need to make a trip.  These little brownies are adorable and so handsome!

Jakob (4), Tal (7) and Malachi (baby). They just bought their first house! With their mom and dad of course.  So sweet and obedient and cute.  I love my little chickies (all)and am glad to be their auntie!

sickies, funerals, airports, projects

Chelsea went back home today.  She and Hannah both cried.  It was a really fun visit. Hannah had to go to school, she didn't want to but of course you gotta do what you gotta do, so it was just Grace and I that drove her to the airport. I think it's really strange that the elementary and middle schools get two weeks of spring break while the high school gets one week.  Although even more weirdly they have tomorrow off and a half day on Thursday?  I don't know why.

Grace always has interesting things to talk about.  She's really been wanting to earn money and always tries to think of ideas.  Her newest idea is to make cross stitched pillows and selling them on ebay.  She started this one and plans on selling it to me and then using the money to buy more kits or to buy stuff to make a wreath to sell.  Which is another of her ideas.   She also is thinking about becoming a vegan.  She thinks people are mean to animals in the food industry.  She has lots of info to share on the topic.
new endeavor
Rob and Ethan went to a funeral in Northern California.  They left yesterday and drove up, making a stop on the way to see "Batman vs Superman" at the movies and to eat some ribs.

Today they were pall bearers.   Rob's grandfather Kaurin passed away.  We went to meet him a couple of summers ago.  At that time he was bedridden but very happy to visit.  He was interesting and very kind and smart.  Rob said his funeral was nice, he had full military honors.

Ethan wasn't feeling well a few days ago.  Today I still am under the weather as is Rob and now Han is saying she kind of feels badly too.  Percy kept me company while I laid on the couch this afternoon and watched "When Calls the Heart", and while Grace was on the other couch working on her pillow.
kitty chicken bag
The weather took a turn for the colder the last few days. Good thing we had our beach days last week.

In other super exciting news Emma Idiart (our cute cousin) opened her mission call yesterday.  She is going to the Moldova/Romania mission leaving in July!  Wow!! That's an exciting call!!  Tanner should know where he's going in a few weeks too, can't wait to know!

Monday, March 28, 2016


Great weather
Yummy snacks
Magical rides and experiences.
Best friends enjoying one more day together.

The down side is I wasn't feeling well and mostly sat and waited on the girls all afternoon. Also we left earlier than planned due to said illness. But it's okay it was still a great day!
We sure will miss Chelsea when she flies back to MD tomorrow.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

selfie squad
Even though it's Easter Sunday today it was also fast Sunday for our stake.  We have general conference next weekend and then the weekend after that is stake conference so today was fast day.  It was different.  The kids didn't wake up early looking for their Easter Baskets as they knew they couldn't eat anything until dinner time.  It was actually a peaceful, quiet morning.  We slept in.  I was asked to substitute for primary so I worked on my lesson, Rob worked on his calling.  Around 9 I got the girls and we watched the women's conference broadcast together.  Everyone got ready for church slowly and then we were off on time.

It did take some thought as to how to prepare an Easter feast, on a fast day, so that everything would be ready soon after coming home from church.  With the girls help I think it went pretty well.  We made mashed potatoes in the crock pot and cinnamon glazed carrots in another crock.  The ham went in the oven on 200 for the whole time we were gone and then we glazed it and turned up the heat for the last half hour.  Rolls and salad and deviled eggs were made after church but desserts were done before so it actually went well.  We sat down to a hot meal and little baskets and chocolate rabbits pretty quickly and everyone ate happily. 

Teaching the little 6-7 year olds was a lot of fun and having testimony meeting on Easter itself was quite nice. I felt the spirit and my feelings were tender and grateful.  It was a wonderful day.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

jiggity jig

beautiful thank you flowers
 I woke up early this morning and enjoyed the smells of morning near the beach.  There is a smell that you can't find anywhere else that is awesome.  I thought about going down and watching the sun rise...but I didn't.  Next time.

After we packed and cleaned up we stopped by Jack's to say hi and thank you.  We got these pretty flowers at the grocery to show our appreciation.  I loved them and thought they were perfect for Easter weekend.

We stopped by the temple on the way home.  Rob needed a few things from the distribution center for his new calling.  While we were there I saw Linda Clark, who I have known my whole life.  It was sweet to visit and catch up.  We are going camping in June at the beach and they will be there too, just like old times.
lunch stop
We stopped for burgers on the way home. It was super crowded, we had to wait for a table, it all worked out and we had spots to sit before our food was done.
This evening we dyed eggs.  Rob and I went on a date to yardhouse. I've been thinking about their street tacos since Nellie and I went and they were just as good tonight!  The girls also took a car and went out on the town.  Their plans were Jack in the Box and a movie.  They aren't back yet so I can only guess that it was fun.  No distress calls so far so I am guessing all went well with the driving (Chelsea) and the navigating (Hannah).
ready for tomorrow
I set the table and laid out some Easter treats for tomorrow.  Rob and I watched the women's session of general conference.  It was wonderful.  So inspiring.  I wish I could be BFF's with Sister Marriott! I love her!  I also liked Sister Burton's talk a lot.    Of course they were all wonderful.
they missed us
The animals missed us.  It's good to be back.  We hired Noah to come in twice a day to walk Z and make sure everyone was fed and watered.  We have a doggy door so I had high hopes that this would be a good system.  Unfortunately Z peed on the bed (Rob's side) and in front of his closet.  Was she sad we were gone?? Dumb dog.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Aquarium of the Pacific

Today we went to the aquarium. It's super fun there and we were excited to see some of our favorite exhibits again. 
Grace loves the lorikeets. We got some nectar and enjoyed feeding them. We were there first thing when they opened so the birds were excited to see food!
I like the sea lions and the puffins a lot.
It's always fun to touch the sharks!
After the aquarium we took a harbor cruise. There was some complaining by the hangry masses but they ended up enjoying it and we fed them after so that was good. We went to Bubba Gumps.
Super tasty!
The weather was beautiful. When we got back to the house we went to the beach. Rob went fishing. Ethan stayed home, he isn't feeling 100%. 
The girls made dinner in the evening and we ended another awesome day!
Love some beach vaca time! We are lucky ducks!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Long Beach

Jack Thacker lent us his beach house for a couple of days. We've all been looking forward to the trip. On the way down we stopped at the temple. Rob got called and set apart as a temple worker. He'll be working every Thursday evening.
We packed up the car with way too much stuff, hired Noah to watch the animals, and got to the beach at lunch time. 
It was a good first day. Rob spent many hours "fishing", no fish caught but one rod was broken. Grace had a great time with him and spent it all in the water. The rest of us thought she was nuts, it is not warm in that water!
Eventually the rest of us went to the little harbor side shpping area. Super cute and touristy.
We BBQed dinner and played cards in the evening.
Of course no beach trip is complete without a night walk!
What a fun day and how grateful we are for Jack and Sharon's kind generosity. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Devil's Chair

Yesterday the girls went adventuring with Sawyer.  They went to Apollo park, the aqueduct, had a picnic and went to the movies.  When they got home we watched "Brooklyn", which I thought was really cute. While they were gone the rest of us had a day at home.  Ethan's favorite.  And I ironed clothes.  Rob got back from his trip to TX, which he said went well.  He was happy to visit with the Dukes and Rob Black.

Today we went hiking at Devil's Punchbowl.  We did the devil's chair hike and it was a little easier than last time.   A little.  It was still hard.  We also had some challenges.  Grace didn't want to go so I let her stay home with Hannah's cell phone but she never answered it so I ended up worrying about her.
When we first got there Ethan and Sawyer asked if they could go adventuring.  We said yes as we were stopping at the bathroom and saying hi to Ruthie and Squints (the owls).  We didn't know what that meant and when we went to collect them they were no where to be found.  We hunted and called and debated what to do.  Finally we told the ranger where we were headed and left a note on the car and took off on the trail.  They knew where we would be.  Nonetheless we fretted and back tracked and wondered out loud until we finally got a hold of them (horrible cell reception).  They had run down the trail and followed the creek up and eventually met us about 2 miles into our trail.  They were happy as clams and thought we had all agreed to this plan.  The truth was we did agree, we just didn't understand what we were saying and what they were saying.  It worked out fine in the end and I shared some wisdom about men and women and how they communicate high on a mountain top with the trapped teens.
Actually I was only mildly concerned for them.  I figured a)they were together, an eagle scout and a life scout.  b) they aren't babies and c) they were faster than us and could catch us easily.  It turned out that way.


two girls wondering where the boys were

all was forgiven

snack break
Once we were reunited we hiked along happily until the very end when we "lost" Ethan, and still couldn't get Grace on the phone and there were some worrisome not fun moments for me.

Then Chels found E and we got ahold of Grace and all was well and we hiked back.  8ish miles for the girls, maybe 2 more for the boys, one dirty dog and lots of fun later we were back in the car and starving.
We stopped for fish tacos on the way home, found Grace just fine, and that was that.

Now tonight the girls are going on a double date with Elias and Sawyer to Mulligans, a mini golf, copes course, lazer tag, arcade family fun center.