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Too Many To Count Two

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!

The big girls are at church. They are having a spaghetti dinner and then driving to the fireside. They'll come home with friends and we'll play games and watch movies and have snacks. Watch the ball, all the traditional stuff.
In the meantime the little kids couldn't wait so we put on their hats and are going to play Pictionary Jr. They think the'll make it to midnight. We'll see, we might end up blowing horns at 10 and at 12 :)
Our neighbors were lighting fireworks so H and I sat on the porch and watched. Happy New Years to all!

the last day of '06

We have sickie coughers in the family so we after sacrament (where you sit with your own family and don't cough all over the kids in primary) DH took the three littles home.
Since it's a 5th Sunday we had a combined RS/Priesthood lesson which the Bishop taught and since Lucy wasn't with me I got to listen.
She's old enough for nursery but will she go???NOOO. That, however, is a different post.

We had a great lesson. He started out talking about taking his family out to a state park this past week to ride their ATV's. They had been there before and were familiar with the terrain. There is a large pond on the premises which is deep in the middle, and in which if you drove your ATV you would have to swim out and the vehicle would be stuck. So he told his kids not to go there. Bailee, their 11 year old, loved to ride around the edge getting closer and closer to the pond. Then he likened that experience to our earthly life. What kinds of things do we do that are too close to the edge and put us in jeopardy? There was a good and lively discussion about the evils of driving with a cell phone, the importance of remembering your personal worship, going to church, reading the scriptures, avoiding drunkenness and immodesty, etc.

Then we discussed things we needed to do to keep ourselves safe and on the straight and narrow.

He talked about many things. One really stuck home with me.

For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.
Alma 37:44

I think it's really easy to feel overwhelmed with all the things we need to do. I know I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking it's too hard and I'll never make it, how can I do all I need to do! Whine, Whine, Whine. It's easy to be scared about what the future holds and our ability to measure up. It's easy to think our lot is hard, the commandments unreasonable and out of date, and just too much. But the Lord tells us it's easy to listen to him. It's easy to find eternal bliss. As easy as looking down at a compass and following the way.
I felt such peace and happiness at that verse. I want it to be easy and if I rely on Him, and obey Him and place my burdens at His feet it can be. What a lovely promise. What a lame-o I am. The things we are asked to do are simple. All I need to do is take each of those simple steps each day. Yeah!!

* I don't really think it's going to be all that easy but it will be do-able and isn't that good news all in and of itself. The steps are easy. It's easy to sit and read the scriptures. The hard part is making the time to do it. Each little step is easy. Putting them together is our challenge, overcoming our weaknesses and frailties is the hard part.

Food for thought anyway!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Boonshoft Discovery Museum

Dinner at Grandma B's!

home again home again jiggity jig

We made it! We got in the car yesterday morning and started driving. It was going reasonably well and we decided we couldn't stand the thought of stopping, taking stuff out of the car, and sleeping in strange hotel beds one more time so we pressed onward and pulled into our driveway at around 2am TX time.
It was a long drive. No one threw up although there was a lot of coughing.

This morning we're happy to be home. We'll spend the day cleaning up, unpacking, doing grocery shopping and enjoying the familiar.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

the end of the vacation

Tomorrow we travel....Sigh....

Our trip has been very fun it's just the getting there that is the pits. In a couple years when Lucy is bigger it'll be better.

Yesterday we went to Grandma B's for dinner. We had been running around and playing all day and by the time we got to dinner the kids were in rare form. They were wiggly and loud and they worked up to onery and obnoxious. We finally had to gather them up and take them home. I felt bad. They are really often well behaved although spirited, but this was not their best night. E and H fought, E bled, Lucy touched everything in the room and wiped chocolate fingers on every surface.
Today everyone is feeling ill, which might explain why yesterday was bad. Several woke up not feeling well but after some Triaminic we decided we could brave the day after all. We had lunch with Grandpa Tom and then went to Boonshoft Children's Museum. The museum was wonderful and everyone had a great time. When we got home the kids wilted and it looks like we will drive home with coughing, sneezing, sad and cranky kids. Goody!

Did I mention I am dreading the drive?

It's a real bummer to live so far away from family. We always want to see each other and have a great time when we do. But someone has to travel to make it happen and that's hard.

When we get home we'll have to turn off all our screens and detox our little addict! He and Abba and Dad have been playing x-box every free minute.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I have a great husband

This morning when the babies got up he got up with them and let me sleep in! I am usually the getter upper so this was a very nice treat.

Then when I did get up he said he was giving them a bath. So instead of helping I went to the fridge grabbed some leftovers from last nights dinner at The Cheesecake Factory and spent a few minutes catching up on blogs. How nice!!

Yesterday we did some shopping. Everyone except Lucy, Uncle Brian and me went to see 'Night at the Musuem' and we ate at The Cheesecake Factory. It was very fun. Ohio is very cold, Brrrr!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

what are you going to do now?...

I am SOOOOO excited! We are going to DisneyWorld!
I grew up in So California and we went to Disneyland every few years when I was a kid. When I had kids I took them every year and it is really the happiest place on Earth. It was so fun and magical. I always wanted to stay at a disneyland hotel and go more than one day in a row.

We've been talking about this for some time and now last night we booked our dream disney vacation for the whole family! Thanks Abba!!!!!!!
We are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge! WooHoo! It'll be so great. The kids will love it, the teens will love it, the newly weds will love it, we will love it and the grandparents will love it.

We are lucky, lucky, lucky.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Baby

Today is S's 16th birthday! We had a surprise party for her this summer but couldn't let the day pass without a birthday cake and giving her her presents and singing to her (about 4-5 times)

I'm not home so I can't put up a baby picture but trust me she was the cutest baby ever.

In keeping with tradition here is her birth story.

Christmas Eve we went to Grandma Joyce's house. It was really cold that year and pipes around town were bursting. The pipes at our ward building broke and the bishop called us to go help clean things up. S's dad went and I stayed with D to celebrate. I wasn't feeling great and wondered if things weren't beginning. When he came back to get us and we were loading the car with our stuff I told him "we might have a christmas baby".
We went home and put D to bed and then went to bed ourselves to try and sleep. I actaully went to sleep but was awakened at 4am knowing this is the real thing. We called grandma to come over and gathered our stuff. When she arrived we headed out into the quiet dark christmas morning to the hospital. We drove by houses lite up with lights and it was calm and peaceful. I was having contractions the whole time and had to pause in the parking lot, in the ER, in the elevator, at the desk, ect. The nurses checked and said we were staying, which I knew, and we quickly got changed and into the bed. At that point things happened fast and furious and at 6am on the dot our little Christmas baby was born. The doctor said "it's a girl!" I was really hoping for another little girl. My closest in age sister is 10 years younger than me and I always thought it would be so fun to have a sister close so I wanted that for D. We had a name picked out but changed her middle name to Noel in honor of the day. She was so sweet and peaceful and calm and really beautiful. I had a great delivery and felt great.

We spent the day in the hospital. Family came to visit. Grandma Natalie brought D to meet her sister and she ate jell-o with me on the bed and admired S.
We went home that night after dinner. S was great and has always been easy going and sweet. She was my best Christmas present ever! and I am so blessed to have such a sweet daughter.

Merry Christmas!

Tis the season for waking up early, over eating and hanging out with your family!

We had a very fun day. The kids actually didn't wake up at the crack of dawn, I guess they're tired too. They got up around 8am and opened stockings. Soon all the grown-ups were up too and we went to the living room and began our present fest.
Everyone got things they had been really, really wanting. S got a cell phone, yeah! That was on the top 10 list for sure. J an iPod. H got the dancing Genevieve she wanted and a whole family of penguins. E was thrilled with his electronics and his pirate ship and Lucy has a couple new babies!

Of course we were totally spoiled. There was a lot of laughing and oohhing and aahhing. We got a crazy roboreptile that is hysterical and many nice gifts.

A little later Great Grandpa Tom and Great Grandma B came over. We had a wonderful meal, the kids played, and it was an all around terrific Christmas.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

when you just can't wait

After the littles were all jammied up and bouncing off the walls wondering how they could ever fall asleep we decided to let them open one gift each.

This turned out to be a good idea. They were thrilled and they enjoyed the item that they got quite a bit. They played with it and then played with each others and had a wonderful time.

Sometimes Christmas morning is a little overwhelming and they can't really see and enjoy all they get.

One year when brother was two and a half he got a millennium falcon. He loved it. It happened to be the first gift he opened. He refused to open any others, instead he sat and played with that for hours. It wasn't until much later in the day that he was interested in looking at some more gifts. In fact he opened things for a few days a couple at a time.

We finally got the kids settled in their beds and the grown-ups spent some time assembling. Now the house is quiet and it's time to get some rest before the festivities begin bright and early tomorrow!

Christmas Eve

We packed our bags, left the house sort of ready, and made the L.O.N.G. drive to Ohio. The scenery is lovely but it was wasted on 5 kids who were tired of traveling. Lucy threw up, we watched videos and ate beef jerky and finally made it here after two days in the car and one miserable night in a hotel where no one slept.

Today is a new day, however, and it was a good day. Our dear friends the Butterfields drove up from Columbus and we spent the day together. We went to church and the service was lovely. They had lots of musical numbers that were awesome! Then we came home and changed our clothes and took the kids to play at the park.

After some park fun we had lunch and just hung out and visited and let the kids play. It was a really nice day. It's good to be with friends and family.

In the evening we gathered the little monkeys and read Luke 2 together. The kids acted out the parts and amidst a lot of laughing and the bleating of two little 4/5 year old sheep it was very sweet. My favorite moment was when the angel (Lucy) hopped over to the manger and gave the baby Jesus a big kiss on the head and the tried to save him from his cradle.

Then too quickly it was time to say good-bye. Reunions are always sweet. It makes me think of the joy we will feel when we are reunited with our loved ones in the eternities, knowing that we won't be separated from each other again. How blessed we are that a little baby was born those many years ago. And that He lived a perfect life and atoned for our sins. And that He lives again now! And that we can too. This is the good news, the real miracle of the season and the blessing that is ours if we want it. For that I am grateful.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Preschool Christmas

It's our week for preschool and today we had our little Christmas lesson.
We found lots of our Christmas books and put them on the fireplace. Brother and Lucy had a great time looking through them while we waited for our friends to arrive.

After all the kids got here we had lesson time and then they decorated cookies. After we piled into the suburban and took them to one of their Sunbeam teachers. It took a long time to strap down six car seats and six wiggly excited little kids but we made it! Sis. E showed them Megan's pet lizard, which was really the highlight of the day.

We stopped at the playground on the way home to play a little.

When we got home we had time for snack and cleanup. The day went quickly. As it often does.

My friend Nikko came to pick up her little guy and we were visiting for a few minutes when I heard water running. Luckily I went to look because the sink was on and plugged up with TP, don't ask how that could have happened, and was over flowing the counter and the floor. Even the bathroom drawers were holding water. We caught it quickly and hopefully everything will dry out soon.

Now I can cross preschool off my list and I can focus on getting the ward party done and packing to go out of town.
We're a little too busy this month, I'm tired. We're getting enough sleep it's just the emotional energy of planning all these things and trying to make everything nice. I'll be glad when it's the new year and the kids are in school and I have no events so I can go back to my normal routine of sitting around eating bon bons and surfing the web all day :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cookie exchange

Tonight I went to a fun cookie exchange hosted by my good friend joyismygoal. It was just the right pause in a busy season that I needed. We played a few games. My favorite was a Christmas carol game. We were sitting in a circle and one person sang a line to a Christmas song. The next person had to sing something that had the last word the person next to them sang in their line somewhere. It was fun. We have some good singers, and some not so good, but I think everyone enjoyed it. We visited and ate and laughed.
At the end we all went home with cookies for our families.

This morning we took Millie to the vet. It went well. She behaved well and Lucy and Brother enjoyed looking at all the animals at Petsmart.

Tonight when I got home the kids were up playing with DH, waiting for cookies, and enjoying each others company. After everyone got to try a cookie I started to clean the kitchen from dinner and the kids continued to rough house in the living room. Somehow brother managed to kick H in the jaw and she chipped her two front teeth. It's not too bad but that is my nightmare, to damage my teeth. I hate the dream where my teeth crumble out of my mouth or other catastrophe. I feel so bad for little H. I hope we don't have deep damage and that's it just a superficial chip. Darn it.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Billy Bobs, Nachos and First Flight

Last weekend JSF or F-35 as it is now known had it's first flight. It was a historic day in military aviation and a big deal at our home. DH has been working on the program for a number of years as a flutter engineer and he was so excited to see it fly. Brother went with him, Lucy and I actually started the morning with him as well but it was delayed and we had to go do wedding stuff.

It was really fun. We have lots of friends at church who work at Lockheed and they were all stoked about it. We also know the test pilot because he is the stake president in the next stake over so that's exciting too.

Tonight in celebration Lockheed rented out all of Billy Bobs (the largest Honky Tonk in the world). It was very nice. DH and I put on our cowboy boots and got kids all settled then headed over. There were TONS of people there. They had drinks and heavy appetizers. We visited with people that DH knows from work. There were speeches and at the end of the evening Pat Green performed. People danced and ate and visited. We enjoyed the evening a lot. It was fun to get out unexpectedly on a Tuesday night!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Getting in the spirit

When it's 78 degrees outside and you've been preoccupied with wedding stuff it's hard to really feel Christmasy. We have done several Christmas activities and we have some decorations up in our home. Despite this I just don't have that sparkly magical feeling that usually comes with Christmas. I haven't done any wrapping and we haven't had boxes arriving at our doorstep. We haven't decorated our tree or even sent out Christmas cards. The kids are excited but even for them it seems almost like an afterthought.

Now the time is growing short and the wedding is done and we're trying to catch up on all that we haven't done, and hopefully we'll feel the Christmas spirit. I have ordered most our gifts on line and had them shipped straight to Nana's house. I guess I'll have plenty of wrapping to do when we get there :) Today we did go to the mall to buy a few things that we couldn't get on line. We fought the crowds and got our packages. Then we stopped in the play area to take a break. We bumped into someone we knew and had a fun visit catching up. I only have one gift left to buy. H wants a stuffed penguin and, oddly enough, I haven't been able to find one.

Tonight we went out and delivered goodies to some of the families DH and I either home teach or visit teach. We have a few more to do tomorrow. In a few minutes I'll go address our cards and get them ready to send tomorrow. The list is getting whittled down.

Then maybe I'll read Luke 2, and listen to some quiet carols. I really do love this time of year when the whole world seems a little more focused on peace, and doing good one to another.

We are looking forward to seeing our family, although dreading the drive. We're spending Christmas Eve with our good friends who moved away this summer and are really looking forward to seeing them too. Although dreading the drive.

So, Merry Christmas...only 6 more days!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

a day of rest

We had so much food left over that I told DH to invite some friends over for lunch. We ended up having 5 other families, ourselves, Dad, some extra friends of J's and *2 missionaries over for the afternoon. We ate and visited, the kids ran around. It was very fun, very casual and relaxing.
One of our missionaries is Irish and the other from Tonga. They sang some Tongan Hymns for us and it was really lovely.

Now a lot of our extra food was gone and it was such a fun way to end the weekend.

Time to look ahead. I have the ward Christmas dinner to plan and execute, packing for our trip to Ohio, Christmas shopping to do and preschool to teach this week. It should be low key and stress free :)

*the missionaries were only there for about an hour

Whew! We made it through the wedding festivities!

Since we've gotten back from Utah it's been very busy. The girls had a lot of catching up to do at school. We had our open house to get ready for here and there's something else at the end of this month I need to pay attention to...what could it be? Oh yeah, Christmas. So not ready for that.

We spent the beginning of the week unpacking and washing a mountain of laundry. Then I shopped for the Open House. On Thursday my friend Tori and her daughter Emma and I went to clean mom's house. We spent a couple hours and it looked so nice when we were done.
Here was the weird thing, I went back the next day to do some decorating and it was still clean. Crazy. My mom had a cartoon on her fridge when I was a teenager and it said "cleaning the house while your kids are awake is like brushing your teeth while eating an Oreo". I discovered the secret however, I should clean one house and live in another.
Saturday morning my good friends Tori and Marcia showed up to help again. We chopped veggies and did some final decorating including lining the walk way with luminaries, which turned out so pretty.

D and Greg got back from their cruise and had a couple hours to change and get ready for the Open House. It was very fun to hear about the trip. Bob and LuAnn came here too and I was really glad about that. We had more time to visit and get to know one another. I really like them both and am glad that D will have such nice in-laws.

We had too much food at the reception, I never know how much to buy, but other than that it was just lovely. Lots of her friends came and lots of friends from the ward. It was nice to visit with everyone and I know it was fun and exciting for D.

After almost everyone left D and G opened their gifts. It was fun to watch. Lucy tried on D's boots and thought the were great!

Then we cleaned up. (Thanks for all your help Tori!) And we went home. Greg was a good sport and played x-box with brother. We sat up and talked a while and finally collapsed into bed.

This morning everyone went to church and I drove "the kids" to the airport. Their visit was way too quick, they have jobs and school and life to get back to though.

Everything went so well. I am so grateful for the help and support of dear friends and it was so fun to have everyone celebrate with us. Our friends Al and Ellen, who introduced DH and I years ago came and it was fun to catch up with them. The little kids had a wonderful time running around and blowing out the luminaries and the food was yummy.