Monday, January 30, 2017

Sabbath day

What a delight the Sabbath is to me. It's my favorite day of the week.  We had very nice talks today in sacrament meeting.  Tara Creel spoke on one of my favorite verses and then later in the afternoon my friend Ramona made and posted this beautiful graphic.  How sweet it is that we can know our Savior, that we can be his disciples.  What a blessing to raise our children with that knowledge. 

It's was a 5th Sunday, which happens several times a year, and so that meant we met with the YM. during the 3rd hour.   Bro Higa taught the lesson and he did a great job.  I enjoy working with him a lot and Ethan likes him a lot so that is all I would need from him anyway.  Having YM leaders that the boys like and relate to his huge! Add to that that they are good examples and kind of crazy and bonus!!

It's been so nice having Papa and Grandma here.  We've had a lot of time together.  This afternoon Papa and Rob went hill walking.  This is a new hobby Papa invented on Friday.  He parks his car by the foothills, hops out and begins to walk.  That Papa is now and always has been a little mountain goat!  Side note this grandson is happy to be almost as tall as Papa!

We grilled some burgers for dinner.  Watched a little Star Trek.  Read the scriptures together.  Daisy and Kyle and baby Sydney came to visit. Hannah went to Sam's to work on a psychology project.  Grace cried about wanting a

When I was pregnant with Ethan I thought we would have a 5th daughter.  It honestly never occurred to me that we might have a boy.  Rob really, really wanted a boy and thought that we would have one.   One January day, that the girls happened to have off from school, we all went downtown to have an ultrasound done.  It just happened to work out that it was on a school day off and our plan was to go to the doctor in the morning, and then go to the zoo and spend the afternoon.  There we were, all piled into the dark ultrasound room at my obstetricians office and I was laying on the table, goo on belly, head turned to the monitor.  The girls and dad were crowded around, everyone oohhing and ahhing over the little string of pearls that was his spine, the cute little leg bones, his darling homer simson profile and then the tech (who happened to be the doctor's wife) announced "IT"S A BOY!!!"
The room erupted in cheers! Even the tech; and me... I was stunned.  The first thing I said was "now I have to do cub scouts!", with a little dismay.  The tech assured me that I didn't, not all boys do cub scouts she said.  "But we are Mormon" was my still shocked reply.  I am sure she thought I was nuts.  

Anyway we went to the zoo. Had a great day! And my excitement soon matched the rest of the family's.   With that auspicious beginning in mind when he was just a toddler it was no surprise that I began saving his jersey's, cub scout day camp shirts, and other important tee shirts.  I knew that one day I would be making an Eagle Scout blanket.  

Well now we are close.  He has his project left and I anticipate that he'll be an Eagle by his birthday.  With mom here this week I decided it was the perfect time to pull out the shirts and piece the top of the quilt.  It's so much more fun to work with someone else!  We worked on it on and off through out the week and yesterday finished.  I think it looks awesome!  I wish mom was going to be here for the rest of the project but I am super happy we got to do the top together!

And cub scouts?  I love it.  It's a wonderful program.  I was serving in YW the whole time E was a cub (which is my fav) so I never was called to be in cubs with him...which was a little dissappointing in the end.  I would have enjoyed it.  I did go to day camp every year as a cub walker, and helped at home with all things scouting. It's been awesome!!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Robotics Competition

 After months of of practicing every day after school today was the competition.  We had to get up at 5 :( and drive down to Downey.  There were 40 teams competing and once we were there it was a lot of fun.
Grace's team the "Hawkbots" didn't place but they did well.  They learned a lot and their bot was able to compete 6 times. 

 We were there all day.  Papa came with me and Rob and Grace, which was fun.  Papa and I sat and read between matches.

Here's the whole team: Grace, Andi, Brittany, Trucmai and Sam with Mr. Bice.

Papa and I went to pick up lunch.  Near the school were a lot of restaurants and as we were driving we spotted one with a line going out the door and down the street.  Signs of a good place to try!  It was a cuban deli/bakery called Portos.  So we waited in line to get in the door.  Then we were ushered to another line in which we could order.  Then we waited in a 3rd line for our to go order.  It was really festive and busy and the bakery had a ton of interesting looking treats.  We got lunchs and treats and took them back to enjoy on the picnic tables by the school.
Downey was a nice city, I was impressed with all the things they had, how big and nice the high school was and the sunny weather.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Temple Trip

 Grace has been eagerly waiting to go to the temple for a couple of years.  She wanted to go on her birthday last week but it took a week to get our schedules lined up and every one's recommends in order. We went right after school and had a very special evening together.
our shadow heads look funny!
 A little bonus was President Clark, who's family were instrumental in our family's conversion many years ago, and who lived across the street from us in our little North Edwards apartment, was the one who came to give us a devotional.  It was really insightful and uplifting & wonderful to see them too.

 When we were done we took the some pictures on the temple grounds and then Grace choose her favorite restaurant for dinner, Subway.

The traffic was typically terrible on the drive home but other than that small sacrifice the evening was perfect.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

the days go really fast

 When we have guests Hannah's room becomes the guest room and we pull out our handy dandy air mattress, which is actually quite nice especially since we figured out to put on a mattress pad.  Then the air isn't cold underneath you.  Because Steve is such an awesome, trustworthy cat...NOT, we have to put the mattress on it's side against the bookshelf so he won't pee on it.  I don't know why he likes it? Stupid cat.  Anyway, mom and I were sitting in the library the other morning talking while I was working on some YW stuff and Steve jumped from the red chair to the edge of the mattress and then climbed up on the top of the bookcase.   Do you see him?
Last night we had New Beginnings.  I was getting dressed and texted the girls a picture of my cute "pattern matching" outfit.  They said, emphatically, no. I guess I'm old :) but my phone case is cute :) For the record I did not wear it. 

YW New Beginnings went well.  This is a picture of our skit.  The girls were at a "Sleep over". They were funny and fun and the younger girls loved it. Our theme this year is James 1:5-6
5If any of you lack wisdom , let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 
6But let him ask in faith , nothing wavering . For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 

Our NB theme was on seeking wisdom.  We used Owls for decorations (because they are wise) and made the new beehives owl pillowcases so when they go to bed at night they can remember to seek the Lord and say their prayers.  They loved it.  Each of the new girls was introduced to the program and to the group.  They were super cute.  I can't believe Grace is a beehive now. My last one!
We had really yummy refreshments too.  Papa came with us and it was fun to have him there.  He is always a good cleaner and helper:)
So success.

 Tonight we had stake auxiliary training.  Our ward was asked to have some of the girls come to sing.  Hannah and Grace both did.  They sang a new song called "Ask God" and it sounded great!
 I've been doing lots of projects lately.  Here are the grands modeling some of the pajama pants I sent them.  Pants are cute, kids are cuter!!
Mom helped me make pillowcases for the girls at New Beginnings.  Here is Grace's. 

I made this quilt and then crocheted the trim for Cierra's new baby boy.  I thought it turned out super cute.

Mom and Dad and I have been having lunch together and running errands and doing projects.  It's been great having them visit.  Too bad we don't all live close together.
 crazy cat. He likes to keep us company in bed.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


pretty flowers mom and dad brought

Mom and Dad are here visiting for a week.  We are excited to have them.  Hannah is always a good sport when someone comes to stay and gives up her room.
Everyone was looking forward to the visit.  They arrived last night and we had a nice dinner and FHE together. It's great to have multi-generation family nights. I really enjoy having them here and having them share their ideas and thoughts and testimony with the kids.
 playing dicecapades after the lesson
Mom teaching Grace a Russian tongue twister

Today after everyone went to school we had a full day planned. I am making these cute owl pillowcases for the new beehives at New Beginnings tomorrow night so Mom helped me with those and they turned out super cute.

I am also making a tee shirt quilt for Ethan for his Eagle.  I have been saving shirts since he was about 3 and mom and I laid them out and started planning that. I am glad to have her here to help because she is a way better seamstress/quilter than I. And it's fun to work together.

Dad and I walked the dog.

We all went to the HS to drop off Ethan's forgotten tennis racket. Then we went to lunch at Cafe Rio with several old friends of mom's. I always love to go to lunch!

When we got home I took Hannah for her wisdom teeth consult, she's having them removed in March.  Grace had choir and Ethan had tennis.  When everyone was home we had a yummy dinner and then Mom and Dad went to visit Chuck Degner in the hospital, and Daisy (Mom's BFF).

It was a full day.

Monday, January 23, 2017

things that annoy

One thing that is so frustrating to me is the kids homework habits.  This picture was taken at 10pm on Sunday night.  Obviously the best time to work on homework.  I HATE when the kids put it off to the last minute, when it's time for bed.  This weekend it was difficult to find time earlier (as are MANY weekends).  Friday was Grace's birthday and party, Saturday we did chores in the morning and then went sledding.  She could have worked on it in the evening.  Sunday we went to church and then she watched "just add magic" all afternoon, a cute show about 3 girls who find a magic cookbook.  All the while ignoring her homework.  Then at 8;30 she "remember" that she had homework, even though she was asked about it earlier and answered no she didn't have any. Grace is not the only one guilty of this behavior, she just happened to be last night's perpetrator. It makes me really annoyed. 

In their defense they get very good grades and are excellent student but that's not really the point.  It is a matter of priority: doing the important tasks first and then relaxing is the right order, and a good habit and someday it will be important.

This morning I went in the laundry room and Steve was there looking for a spot in his box to do his business.  There was not room.  I was mad because Grace is supposed to clean the box So even though it was only 5:15, and even though I knew she was up too late last night, I woke her up and made her go clean it.  I have also been known to get kids out of bed to finish putting their dirty clothes in the hamper, unload a dishwasher or clean up a random mess. It's mean but I don't really care.  Perhaps sometime this will pay off and they will pick up after themselves without reminders.

Lately I've been frustrated with poor work performance.  When the kids set the table they leave off the napkins, or they don't put the plate near the edge of the table (instead they flop them in the middleish), or other careless mistakes.  I feel really insulted by this, If I am making the effort of preparing a nice meal and I value the time we spend at the table eating and talking together and I model what it's like to make a pleasing and inviting table setting why do they not care to do their part nicely when it's their turn?

Other things: not replacing an empty roll of TP with a fresh one...why?
leaving empty milk bottles in the fridge? come on!
taking off their shoes and socks and leaving them where they sit!
stacking clean clothes on top of the dresser instead of in the drawer...and then it gets knocked onto the floor....and then they "clean their room" and pick it up and put it back in the hamper. ...makes me scream on the inside!
driving home from somewhere and then getting out of the car and 1) leaving everything in the car to be cleaned out later or 2) bringing some stuff inside, barely, like just passed the threshold of the home, and dropping it to be cleaned up later (or kicked across the room by a passing sibling)

If I am gone and then come home and I know where everyone sat, what they ate, what they did etc. by just looking around that is super annoying.  I should not know how many soda's Ethan drank by counting the cans lined up on his window sill.

I know I am not alone in these frustrations, and probably the kids will turn out fine but it makes for a lot of silently counting to 10, 50, 100 in my head, and a lot of "MEAN MOM" moments.  
"Why are you so salty mom? I get asked.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


so cute! I love seeing pictures from years ago.  Ethan and Grace were so little and so cute.  They were best friends for a long time and played together all the time.  Now they don't get along as well but hopefully some day it will swing back to the sweet big brother/ little sister friendship that they had.

Ethan gave a talk in church today.   I helped him write it but he gave it and he did a good job.

My good friend Diann has been going thru breast cancer treatment.  She finished chemo before Christmas and had her mastectomy on Friday.  Today she came home and I brought over dinner.  She's been so brave.  Hopefully now that the surgery is over and she's home resting she can recover and just go on with the rest of her life.  There are a lot of challenges in life and I am always grateful when I can help in a little way to make it easier.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


Noah, Travis, Ethan and Zach
 For our combined youth activity we planned to go sledding.  We have had a ton of rain and as luck would have it today was the only sunny one! Yay!  It's supposed to rain again tomorrow and the following days.
We packed 4 cars up with kids and drove up the mountain.  Unfortunately there was a chains required sign pretty soon after we spotted even a little snow so we had to make due with less than a lot.

Audrey and I
It worked out okay though.  There was a little snow, the kids sledded on it or sledded on icy patches of dirt:)  They had snow ball fights, hiked around, goofed off and were cheerful.

We brought a cooler with hot water and hot chocolate packets and cups so we were able to make a treat at the end and I think everyone enjoyed some outside, snowy(ish) play time.

 Brynn and Grace
 Madi and Hannah

Friday, January 20, 2017

12 Years Old!

 Grace is 12! Such an exciting birthday, she gets to be in young women now and she's been looking forward to that for awhile now!  We planned a fun party and invited all the beehives. We ended up with 8 girls, which is a perfect party number.
Grace wanted pizza and an ice cream bar.  She wanted to play games and watch a movie, so that's what we did. 

We played balloon blast, silly smash, "right, left, eat", dicecapades and wink assassin.

The girls hung out in Grace's room. Watched "9 Lives" and ate and played a lot. 

Happy Birthday Gracie!!

 Camille, Brynn, Mia (hiding behind B), Lilly, Grace, Ofelia, Makayla and Charlotte.
balloon blast: the girls put candy in a balloon (laffy taffy) and then blew it up and tied it to their ankles.  When everyone was ready they popped each other's balloons and took the candy.  The one with the last intact balloon was the "winner.

silly smash: we got ice cream cones and put them on the counter upside down.  Hiding in each one was either a piece of candy or a slip of paper with a silly task on it.  The girls took turns smashing one cone and either got to eat the candy or do the task. It was stuff like sing the abc's backwards or win three thumb wars.

right left eat: a game where each girl has 3 pieces of candy.  They roll a dice and if the dice says 1 they pass a piece to the rt, if it says 2 a piece to the left, 3 they eat a piece, 4-6 they put a piece in "save pile". The person with the last piece available for play is the winner, and they ate the candy so win win:)

wink assassin is like "mafia" and dicecapades is a favorite board game.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

long day

I subbed 6th grade today.  I was looking forward to it because days in the older grades are usually pretty good days. but this one wasn't.  The kids were pretty chatty and disrespectful.  This is a huge issue I see in pre teens and teens, sometimes even younger; they value "diss-ing" and "roasting" and incompetence.  They think it's funny to not know things and to be mean and bully.  Not all to an extreme degree but many kids.  It's super frustrating and annoying.  This class was replete with little miscreants that were busy impressing each other with their posturing and stupidity.  What was even worse was the blatant racism I ran into, primarily between African American kids calling each other names.  When I told them it would not be tolerated one little girl said it was okay because it was her race.  I said that it was never okay, to which she indignantly replied that she was going to tell her teacher on me the next day for not letting her be herself.  I told her to go ahead, that I would also be telling her teacher. Sheesh!  Honestly it was a long day and I was surprised at the language they used and the what they thought was okay, I haven't run into that quite this bad before.

After school I had to stop by the HS and fill out forms so E can be on the tennis team. Then I picked up Lu from robotics and took her to audition for the Antelope Valley Children's Choir, which she made!  Then back to the HS to pick up E from tennis try-outs.  Then back to the choir for the parent meeting. Then finally home where Hannah was making a delicious dinner.  Thai basil chicken.  It was so yummy!!

Grace finished her project.  It looks great. Dinner was great and it's my favorite night of TV (NCIS is on and it's a new one) so even a bad day can end well :)

Monday, January 16, 2017


 Yesterday after church Rob and I took Z on a walk on the aquaduct.  The weather was beautiful.  The kids didn't want to come so we had a nice long walk and talk alone.

Hannah picked these pretty flowers and put them in her hair. One nice thing about a moderate climate is the abundance of things that can grow year round.

The elders came over for dinner.  Ethan wanted us to make trash nachos and they were really good.  We also had enchiladas and smore brownies.

We got to talk to Clayton and Jenna for a long time.  He is healing really well.  This morning a cute picture of Jenna and Hannah popped up on my fb.  I sent it to J and she sent one back that she found this weekend too.  Grace has grown a lot.  Wow! J looks the same :)
 Today we had no school.  Yay!  We slept in.  Cleaned up.  Then the girls and I went shopping.
We left with the goal of getting some new church pants for Ethan as we noticed that his were way too short.  I thought we might try goodwill because he's growing so fast. Anyway they didn't have any but Hannah found several pairs of pants and Grace found a cute skirt and some mickey mouse pajamas.  I had to hem them and shorten the sleeves but now they are super cute!

Then Hannah remembered that she had a gift card to macy's so we went there and she got a pan and a pie keep on sale!! So fun. 

These are here dream pots.  And this is her pie keep :)

We did a lot of laundry and Grace worked on her project some more and we had FHE and apple pie.  Tomorrow it's back to school.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Friday the 13th

Friday it rained all day, it's rained for two weeks which is awesome.  I was supposed to sub at Grace's school but I got a call before school started saying that I was being switched to Joe Walker, PE.  It was a pretty easy day.  They played war ball which is a kid favorite apparently.  The only bad part was we were outside for part of every the rain.  I also was not prepared and had my cute suede moccs on, that now are water stained, and I was cold and wet.

When I got home I learned that Einstein had died.  He was under "warranty" so we took his little carcass back and got a new blue bird...who I am calling Galileo.  Idk what Grace is going to call him. The pet store told us the other one probably got too cold so Grace also a little space heater to put on her desk next to the cage.

Today we went to a stake clean up day.  Our ward was assigned an illegal dumping site to pick up trash in, (a patch of desert in the middle of nowhere-ish). It wasn't raining and we picked up a lot of trash.

Then we came home and had family cleaning hour.

This afternoon Rob and I went to the temple.  It was really nice out.  The temple is always nice.  After we went to the Souplantation, which was yummy and in a nice neighborhood.

Hannah and Sam hung out.  Grace worked on her school project, something to do with the Coriolis effect and wind or something.  Ethan played video games.

Now we are watching Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. Pretty good day.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Einstein, Idaho and Inclimate weather

 I like to call these two Albert Einstein and Sir Issac Newton.   Grace calls them Kiwi and Winter.  (lame)...just kidding. We think they might be one of each gender as they are going in the little shelter and trying to lay eggs.
The most exciting news of the week is Kenz got into BYU-I!!! Now the girls can be roommates!! They will be so cute! and have so much fun together.  

I've been subbing a lot this week.  My favorite day was 8th grade history.  We learned about the election of Thomas Jefferson (8 times).  

At YW this week we decided on a camp theme: Super Heros!! Can't wait! I think that's a super fun idea.  

It's been raining every day.

Ethan went to soccer practice for his new team last night and that went well.  Today he and Sam went to the park to practice tennis, they are trying out for the school team next week. Neither of them know how to play tennis but it's worth a shot :)