Friday, August 27, 2010


This is not a complaint just airing my thoughts.  What do you do as a stay at home mom, when you really want to be involved at school with the parent club and in the classroom, at church not only in your calling but help others as well, exercise, craft, help throw celebrations, take care of your kids...I am exhausted and I haven't even done anything yet.  In fact my next goal is to clean my house so it will be ready in the morning for a baby shower.  None of the jobs I take on are overwhelming, and if I were an organized individual it would not be an issue.  I am a procrastinator, and a little on the lazy side too.  This is NOT humility speaking it is fact.  Will anyone who comes to my house please give me a "True Dat!" (Tara that was for you!)  My house is not clean, infact it is rarely picked up with the exception of the 10 minutes before Jeremy gets home until I am left alone with the children again the next morning.

Again I am starting to get stuck in the rut that I hear my self repeating the phrase "If I can just get through this week."  On my list of commitments, there is not one thing I want to scratch off or feel I need to scratch off.  I am very fortunate to have friends who are willing to swap sitting with me so I can be available for my kids at school (I love my friends!)  I am grateful for a husband that would prefer the house be clean, the laundry done and dinner on the table when he walks in the door, but roles up his sleeves, takes a deep breath and gets to work...some more.  I have help, I am not doing this alone.  But man I am exhausted.  I am absolutely positive this has nothing to do with staying up until 2:00am having a great time chatting it up with some friends!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Wonderful Saturday

It was a wonderful day for me, not so much for Jeremy.  He worked really hard cleaning up the garage.  While I read the piles of old letters that I wrote him starting in high school, then moving on to college, while he was on his mission, then after I said good bye as he moved to Utah to go to school fully expecting to get a letter saying he met his future bride.

I loved reading the letters and seeing how he has always been my best friend.  There were letters telling him about relationships, problems at home, stressful days at work, questions of my future.  I just couldn't help reading it and know that we were supposed to be together.

One of my favorite lines was when he was on his mission and getting close to coming home.  I was asking about his plans and I said something like this "You'll come home, go to college, get married and have a million kids. You always have goals and you always achieve them!"  When I read it I thought how funny that it was me he had about a million kids with.  Another line was saying that the girl who finally gets her hands on him would be extremely lucky.  Again, who knew it would be me.  To this day I still love him and feel so blessed to be married to a great man.

Also in the box was a key chain that contained these two pictures.  They were taken when we started dating in December of '98, the second time is how I refer to it, since we dated in high school too.

So young huh?  He looks a little more tired now and I a little more round, but we are still this much in love!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Creative Cousins

It seems like the last little bit we have not seen the cousins very much so we were especially surprised when we got the call asking if Gwen and Spencer could come over for a little bit.  Of course we are always willing to have some fun with them.  LA is just too far away!

As the girls were sitting around wondering what to do I asked if they wanted to sew something.  Being that they are both new to the craft I tried to think of something that would be easy, and cute.  So we decided to make monsters, well sort of.  Using the craft stash from Grandma June, the girls picked out this super cute fabric.  I gave them paper to draw the shape of their monster, creating a pattern.  Next they got to cut them out.
Putting right sides together they sewed the pieces together.  Gwen said that sewing was a lot easier than she thought.
Miranda on the other and said she thought it was harder.  Both girls quickly got the hang of it, although applying the correct pressure on the pedal was the hardest part.
Then they turned them and stuffed them.
Next came the hand stitching.  They stitched the  hole closed, then sewed on buttons for eyes.  Grandma June had the biggest button collection.

Then they cut out mouths and sewed them on to the face of their monster.  Meanwhile a little monster who will remain nameless, let her own creative juices flow.  
This is powdered sugar.  The funny thing is when I saw the bag on the counter last night, I thought 'I should put this away.'  Then about 15 minutes before this discovery, I thought 'where is Lauren?'  Too bad I have yet to act on those promptings.  One of these days Heavenly Father will get through to me!
 The mouth got a little skewed but I think she did a great job for it being her first sewing project!  I didn't get a picture of Gwen's before she left, but it was equally as cute!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Houseparty Rocks

I hosted my third House Party.  Just a quick  back ground, I have done a Ziploc one, lots and lots of great products, then I got chosen to do a Hasbro Game Night, where we got about $80 in games to add to our closet, including the just released Trivial Pursuit Bet You Know it!  If you want to try it out come over and play.  The most recent was a Boboli Pizza Crust on the Grill party.

They sent me 8 $5.00 coupons to purchase bobolui pizza crusts and I provided toppings.

We heated up the grills and started whipping up pizzas.  I made 2 Pepperoni, 1 cheese, 1 Lime Chicken and Cilantro (the recipe came in the party pack), so yummy! I made a BBQ Chicken Pizza, with bacon, tomatoes, green onions and a Garlic Ranch Sauce.  A meat lovers, pepperoni, canadian bacon and crumbled bacon then one with slice tomatoes and Basil over a Garlic Ranch Sauce.  The last one was pepperoni and was all that was left for the toppings.
It looks like I am the only one working but I totally put my guests to work.  All the ladies helped while the guys played with the kids.  I can totally see why the men typically take on the grilling responsibilities!
I am sure it was a good change for the Dad's too! Unfortunately, Jeremy's highlight had nothing to do with food (serious, I am not jesting!) early in the day he acquired a toy from his youth.  A Spin Jammer, it is a frisbee that has a little cone in the middle so you can spin it or catch it on your finger tip.  Jeremy said it is awesome for tricks!  I think he may be caressing it in the above picture

The most awesome part was the food tent.  It is awesome for BBQ's I think all the ladies would have traded their super cool Boboli reusable totes for this bad boy! (It is the little red tent over a pizza.)

Over all I think it was a success.  Thank you and Boboli!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

There and Back again!

Sometime early in the year some friends put together a camping trip to Yosemite.  Jeremy had been and hiked Half Dome with the guys but we thought it would be so much fun to experience it with the family.  We looked forward to it for quite some time.  The week before we were going to go, Jeremy informed me that he couldn't leave work for several important reasons.  I was upset.  We had really only planned this one vacation, of the eight families (I think it was seven) we were already down to 4 including us and I REALLY wanted to go.  I asked Jeremy if I could go with out him, to which he quickly replied no.  For the safety of our children and myself, not because he was sad to be missing out on the experience.  After much pouting on my end, he reluctantly agreed.  Then I pleaded with my friends to see if they would be willing to help out with the kids while I did stuff like set up the tent (and help with this part too!) and cooked.  They wholeheartedly stepped up to the plate.

So Tuesday morning, I had the car all packed and we were off.  Honestly I wasn't too nervous, but I knew I had a good support system.  The drive there went smoothly, with no incidents.  There is one part that I probably almost wet my pants, it was scary.  You go up this super windy (as in lots of turns) road.  I think you change about 1500 feet in elevation in 5 miles.  It is crazy.  Luckily I knew when it would end and I was watching the odometer when I got the chance.

Once we got into Yosemite Valley we stopped and walked to Lower Yosemite Falls.  It was beautiful.  I can not tell you how amazing it is to be in the valley of Yosemite.  It is so beautiful.  It was really hard to watch the kids and take pictures so my options are limited.  Here is the group we caravan-ed with.  The three that aren't mine played, carried, watched chased, etc.  my two little ones pretty much the whole time.  They were so good with all my kids.
I tried to get one with just my kids and this was the best I could get.  I finally got Lauren to open her eyse and Logan closed his, oh well!
At about 5:30 we arrived at our campsite where the other two families were already set up.  We quickly got to work and people helped me set up my tent.  My friend John, blew up our air mattresses then helped me for at least 30 minutes rearranging poles until we were satisfied.  Even my friend Tim helped, he put two stakes in the ground, then disappeared (I am kind of take charge and bossy).  In his defense he ended up getting Jackson out of the car and holding him while I was setting up.  My friend Eve was in there as well getting her hands dirty.  After that was set up I pretty much relaxed, and the kids ran around.  They were in heaven, and I just prayed the owies that the kids got could be taken care of with a band-aid!  The campsite was awesome.  The kids had a few big rocks they could climb on, they never got bored with that.  For dinner that night, the Porter family cooked some pretty amazing chicken, pasta salad, veggie tray and watermelon.  For dessert the Crowe family made a fabulous dutch oven peach cobbler, I think I am a sucker for that dessert.  The Crawford's shared some delicious cupcakes, even though they were coconut, they were fantastic as Tara would say!  I on the other hand contributed more mouths to feed, it is a tough job but some one had to do it!
I love this picture of Lauren.  She had so much fun running around, sometimes with the pack of kiddos and sometimes with her imaginary friend that she talked with.  In this pictures she is "shakin' it!"  We had a great campfire talk and were even told to be quiet, in a not so polite way.  If they heard what I heard they would probably be laughing too!

We had all checked the weather before we left and were planning for a fabulous 80 degrees during the day and a perfect 50 degrees at night.  We were not taking into account the fact that the weather was for the valley not at the elevation (above Bridalveil Falls) that we were at.  It was FA-REEEEZZZZZZZZZ-ING! One of my friends said in the morning there was about a foot and a half of ice along the bottom of our tent.  This picture was taken after about 45 minutes of cooking, can you see the frost on the propane?

 The Crowe Family, with help cooking from John and Todd, did breakfast and it was another all out meal, these people know how to provide a meal for the crowd.  They served up pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream, cheesey eggs, bacon and dutch oven biscuits.  As you can tell it was a hit with my family, again I contributed to the consumption of the awesome spread.
This day we went on our one hike.  We talked to the ranger and he said it was perfect for strollers and it was a fairly easy hike, with a little house at the end for the kids to play in.  Awesome.  We start out and it was pretty good.  I had two little ones in my stroller and Lauren wanted to walk.  Eventually the path started becoming a little less maintained then it was pretty near impossible to get through.  After about 45 minutes, Todd ran up about a mile and knew we had missed the turn.  We ended up heading back to camp to grab lunch.  The hike was supposed to be easy enough that we didn't need our lunch just snacks.  On the way back I walked a little more leisurely and was able to appreciate the surroundings.  There were meadows of wildflowers that I didn't notice while my head was down and I was pushing the stroller like a bulldozer.  It was a good walk and I am glad we did it.

We headed back to camp and that is when the Park Ranger volunteer told us to not pick the wildlfowers.  Oops!  With  7 girls we had about 5 bouquets, the oldest two were not interested in the flowers as much.  After lunch we decide to go out to Glacier Point.  WOW!  Is that a beautiful place to view the Yosemite Valley!  I wish I had my camera (turns out I did it just happened to be on Miranda's back, who pretty much ditched me every chance she got!).  Some friends took some pictures and I will get some soon.  My friend Heather said it so well with one word "Majestic!"  You just stare in awe, it is so beautiful.  It makes you feel small and insignificant, but what a place to view the Lord's beauty that he created for us.
This is me and the kids at Glacier Point.  Right behind us is Half Dome.

We came back to camp and it was starting to get cold so I changed all the kids into pants and their sweaters if they wanted them.  Lauren continued to play and run around, then I look over and she is kneeling on the ground grabbing hand fulls of dirt and pouring them all over her lap.  This picture does not do her dirtiness any justice.
I love her facial expression in this photo.  She had such big round eyes and her cheeks are to die for!
When she saw this picture when we got home she said "Soren so sad."  The Crawford's prepared dinner this night.  It was grilled chicken fajitas, with black beans.  I think I almost killed myself eating two, but they were so good!  It was topped off with S'more's,  It made the camping trip complete.  I think roasted marshmallows are a symbol and necessity of a perfect camping trip!

Jackson was so happy when I let him run around.  This isn't the best picture but I thought it captured his attitude when he was free.

Thursday morning, our final day, we were up at 6:00am, by we I mean me and the kids.  The Crawfords had to leave to a fancy schmancy car show in Carmel, the Doll's left the night before due to a work commitment and the Porter family were still asleep.  It was so stinkin' cold and there was no wood for a fire so after having nothing warm to offer the kids, I loaded them in the car and put on a movie, while I started packing up some stuff.

 The next morning I did breakfast.  I provided homemade blueberry crumb muffins, banana bread, oatmeal (note for next year oatmeal IS NOT a good idea!), Sunny D (which despite the name does nothing to warm you up!), gogurt, milk and bananas.  It was a little on the wimpy side compared to the great meals from the previous group meals.

At about 10:30 I was done packing everything up (with help), Lauren repeated the dirt performance from last night, and I was exhausted from not getting good sleep, and being nervous for the crazy five mile windy road ahead.  We had planned to go walk around Mirror Lake but I couldn't do it anymore and just needed to get home.  When clarifying directions, I lost it and started to cry, so the Porter's said they would go home too so I could follow them.  It was such a blessing to me but I feel bad for cutting their vacation short as well.  Needless to say the drive home was pretty uneventful, except for the boy potty break when they spotted a baby rattle snake.

So that is my adventure.  It was amazing and I hope this is an annual trip.  I know there would be very little that would keep Jeremy away next time!

Thank you to the Porters, Dolls, Crawfords, and Crowes for all your help and making it a really nice trip for me.  You all were amazing!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

She is spirited

Surprise I am talking of Lauren!  We were at Jeremy's work and it was the first time his new boss met the children.  Within a minute, she spotted Lauren and said, which one of these is not like the other? and chuckled.  I am not sure if she has heard of Lauren or simply by her stance that it was obvious.  Maybe I said something like "Kids this is not a playground, they are working and we need to be quiet."  She may have had defiance written all over her face..I don't know what it was that caused the distinction.

Tonight at dinner she said yet again "Mine tummies hurt!" This is her excuse for not eating dinner, her excuse for needing milk, for being hungry, for not being tired.  Her tummy always hurts.  As I was sitting at the table yet again hearing the same line, I was thinking I need to put my foot down and make her eat something so her diet contains more than stolen chocolates, 3 cups of milk and as many go-gurts that were sneakily removed from the fridge.  I can't deny she has good taste...well in the chocolate stealing department anyways.

I was thinking how she has this strong spirit about her that is pretty amazing.  As a parent it drives me bananas.  With Lauren you can not make her do something she doesn't want to do, it is pretty much impossible.  So to bed I sent her.  Then I had to practically man handle her into her pajamas, at times she was laughing and others telling me that she was no longer tired.

After getting her dressed and rolling her in her blanket, I put my arm around her and she started screaming, kicking, karate chopping my throat.  Then she proceeds to scream "bye, bye."  I asked "you want to go bye-bye?" "No" she clarified "You go bye-bye" "Where do you want me to go?"  "Outside!"  With tears in her eyes (like an ocean mind you) and my eyes starting to fill up, I thought of how our Father in Heaven feels about us.  Then I thought what examples in the scriptures teach us how to deal/love/serve a difficult child.  I am sure there are many, but I so badly want her to conform to the mold I already have.  Knowing that is what I want I then feel guilty because all these things that make her difficult, are the reasons that she is special and that I love her.

I hope when she grows up she remembers the times when the movie ended and she got up and danced.  The times when she asks for "fast kisses", or gives us good strong hugs or the laughter that is usually always present in our home.  I hope the moments when she is screaming and yelling at me to go away and I am doing everything in my power to be calm, and reassure her that I love her and I know she is just tired, that she doesn't think that I didn't love her or that I was indifferent to her pain.  I hope she knows when I look into those eyes puffy from crying that my heart hurts too.  I want her to keep that spirit but I also want her to obey.  I guess that is why we have agency...than again she is 3.  I really hope three is easier than two, if not, then I deserve to have her as the easiest teenager/young adult ever!

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