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Too Many To Count Two

Thursday, May 31, 2007

It starts tomorrow are you ready?

I've made my choices:

Lunch at the Picadilly by Clyde Edgerson

The Bean Trees by Barabar Kingsolver (I really liked The Poisonwood Bible and I am hoping this is just as good)

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (which I just read this last month but J has to read this summer so I will read/listen/talk with her about it and it's an awesome book so it's on the list!)

and having nothing whatsoever to do with the south but on my list of waiting to be released this summer:

thursday thirteen

Phaedra at Wild Daisy's had this cute Thursday Thirteen button. So I thought I'd play too.

Thirteen Things We are Going To Do This Summer

  1. Swim, swim, swim
  2. have friends over to swim, and BBQ
  3. the girls will go to camp. S to EFY, J to girls camp
  4. watch fireworks
  5. go to the dollar show
  6. eat snow cones
  7. go on our Dream Disney Vacation!
  8. see Dani and Greg, at said vacation
  9. see our family!, also at said vacation
  10. clean the garage and set up the school room
  11. potty train Lucy (laugh along with's okay:) )
  12. participate in the summer reading extravaganza at the library
  13. go to a concert in the Garden and watch the fireworks, we've meant to do that since we moved here (9 years ago) and still haven't so this is the summer.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

skip it

H loves charts. Lately (like the last 71/2 years) we've had trouble getting her to go to sleep. Now that she's big the problem is staying in her bed. She literally will pop out 15 times between 8 and 11 (or whatever time we finally lose our patience and threaten her with the direst of consequences). It is frustrating for us, and not good for her. She also wakes up very matter when she goes to bed. But she is grouchy and uncooperative when she doesn't get enough rest. And 6:30 am find hers most disagreeable and slow to get ready when she's been up late, unless it's a weekend in which case she is up before dawn cracks! ANYway, we made a chart. If she got 10 stickers for staying in bed she could get a skip it, which she has been wanting. I allowed her one "get up" because she just has to say one more thing or get one drink or something and I am fine with that, I don't want her to feel exiled after all. Last night was night 10. Today she got her skip it and skipped away all afternoon very happily.
Tonight she went to bed, hopped up 10 minutes later and came to tell me something. I talked to her for a minute and then said okay, that was your one time. What! you didn't tell me that she exclaimed...but she headed back to bed so maybe?!?

travel bug

Monday DH and brother and H went geo cacheing. They found a travel bug. Jesse wants to visit amusement parks, especially Disney ones. Perfect for us! We brought her home and will take her to DW with us. The kids are excited to log on and see where else she's been and to help her on her travels!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

jam, museum and hypochondria

Another rainy day. Our lakes are filling up and maybe our drought will be over. yeah! It's a small sacrifice, not being able to swim to have enough water.

This morning I was sitting on my bed reading to Brother. We flopped back on the bed and I had this huge pain in my pecs and all around my chest. It was horrible for a few minutes, and then lasted all day. This has happened before twice, doing similar flopping back things. I don't know what it is. I checked my pulse and didn't think I was having a heart attack :) so I just carried on with the day, but it's been inconvenient. It's definitely a muscle thing, because it hurts when I mover my arms around, or take deep breaths.

For one thing I had a bunch of peaches that were going soft. I wanted to make jam and bread. I got the jam done but not the bread. Hopefully tomorrow.

Also my friend Nikko and I had planned to take the kids to the museum to play. We still went and had a very fun time.
I am the queen of having strange and random complaints. I normally just try and ignore whatever it is until it goes away. Today I did take lots of Tylenol and didn't get to everything on my list and I had to cancel on Tori for tomorrow for working out, which I am sad about. I hope it's gone tomorrow and I can help Robin get ready for her son's wedding, and I can get us ready for our trip.

Another random odd complaint: I always sleep well. I go to bed, lay down and sleep until either someone cries and wakes me up or it's morning. Lately, the last few weeks, I have been having trouble sleeping. I wake up and lay awake for awhile several times a night. What is that all about?


a typical FHE around here starts with Papa and Grandma coming over. We have dinner together. Papa always keeps everyone's water glasses full. Brother always wants to play interview. Lucy always spills something.
Then we sing. Depending on who's at the piano the songs vary. This week H sang us several lovely solos. Lou and Brother joined her for some numbers as well. When J plays we sing "Twinkle Twinkle" and other classics from piano books 1 & 2. Snowman is a favorite, as is Popcorn and Army of Helaman.
H has a hard time sitting long as she's quiet I don't care.

After the lesson we have a game and a treat. It's very fun, usually. Sometimes it's chaotic but either way we love it.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day
All Americans honor the memory of the lives that have been lost in defense of our freedom. Our Nation mourns them, and their example of strength and perseverance gives us resolve. We are also thankful to those who have stood by our service men and women in times of war and times of peace. On Memorial Day, we honor all those who have fallen by remembering their noble sacrifice for freedom. We also pray for our troops, their families, and for the peace we all seek.
--George W. Bush
I wonder do all people feel the way about their country that we do about ours? I don't know. I do know that I feel really blessed to live in America. To be part of this great nation that stands for liberty and justice for all, that is a promised land, where opportunities really are available to anyone willing to work hard and we have more freedoms than we probablly even realize or appriciate.
The sight of our flag flying makes me proud, songs about the heartland bring a tear to my eye, and those men in uniform....there is something about them. They look tall, and handsome and brave and selfless.
We have a lot of brave military men in our family. My dad, who was a young immigrant from France, enlisted and served in the Air Force during the war. My brother also served in the AF for about 12 years. He went in enlisted, came out an officer. DH's family is also very military. His Grandfather spent his career in the Air Force and retired a Colonel. I loved reading his grandmother's journal about life as an officer's wife overseas. Now at age 88 he still volunteers at the AF Museum. His two uncles both served as well. Brian retired as a Major and now works for a contractor doing military maneuvers planning (to the best of my knowledge :)), Tom just retired as a colonel and is also now working in the civilian side. DH designs fighters and who knows maybe brother will grow up and follow in the noble footsteps of his family and get a set of wings himself.
So today we hung our flag, talked about the men/women who fought and died so we could be free and cleaned the bedroom and lit the grill but hey thanks to them we can do that and what a tremendous blessing that is, this life we live in this country we love!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

rain rain

a Disney trip in 2001. We've been one time since then, summer of 03, but I can't find the pictures for some reason.

Anyway, counting down is going on in earnest. I've read the guide book, we're very excited. I am a little worried about losing a kid because we have lots and they wander. I got all the littles ID bracelets, which they have on their wrists now in training. I also got matching tees for our three full days in the park to try and make them easier to spot. I am normally a bit over protective and this will be an over drive experience as far as that goes, but we have a good adult to child ratio, and we'll be smart and watchful so it will be great!
In the meantime we're ready, we're excited, we're geared up for the drive, we've got a baby sitter for Millie, someone to take in the mail and now all I need is to enlist someone to dump chemicals in the pool once while we're gone and we're good.

Weekend was good. It poured on Saturday. We caught a small window in the rain and went to pick some peaches at the Bartoseks. We got a bag full and the kids have been munching happily away ever since. If there are any left I'll make jam tomorrow.

Saturday afternoon S and J went to see Pirates. Saturday DH and I went to the temple. After we stopped at Genghis Grill for dinner. It was fun and yummy. Grandma and Papa came with us and we had a fun time.

Today S gave a talk in Sacrament. I thought she did a good job. After church J got her patriarchal blessing. It was very lovely and special. I am very glad that Papa has been able to give all three big girls their blessings while he's been living in TX. Who knows where we'll be flying to see him when the littles are old enough!

Tonight J is sleeping over at Emma's. Also Mariah. The three girls and Tori came over for a little visit and dessert. I tried a new recipe for Black Forest cake, which was good but not great. I won't make it again.
S is at a StarStepper sleep over.

Friday, May 25, 2007

kindergarten in the kitchen

Yesterday was brother's last day of preschool. It was a lot of fun. Jen did a great job, the boys had a party, made scrapbooks, came home with cute new tee-shirts, and lots of other fun stuff.

This morning he woke up and told me that now that preschool was done he was ready to start kindergarten.
He was very insistent so after book club (we read "to kill a mockingbird" this month~ which I had read before but really loved again. Atticus is so good, I just love him. I also love Scout and her bright mind and good heart.) We came home and put Lou down for her nap and started on his work book. He worked for 1/2 an hour and wanted to have "recess", which meant he wanted to see if Sponge Bob was on. After about 10 minutes he came back and worked some more. In that time he did 36 pages in his work book. One page had mistakes on it.

Tonight I went to a bridal shower for Brittany. It was very fun, lots of people came, and I won a prize :) Before I got home E called to tell me that he had finished his workbook.

It's going to be tough to keep him with enough work, he loves to play school and works quickly. He understands things quickly too.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Middle School Awards

Earlier this week we got an invitation to J's school awards night. I asked her if she was getting any awards, she said no. Then she said she didn't want to go because it was going to be boring. Okay. That was fine with me. I am not big on walking up on stage and getting awarded something myself.

Fast forward to today, an hour before the awards ceremony. Mom, maybe I might be getting an award and I want to go. What?!?

The kids were a wreck, the house was a wreck, S was gone with the car, DH was at work and I was supposed to go to Sandy's as soon as everything "settled down" to help her get ready for her realtor tomorrow.

So, J went with her friends Siara and Sophia and their parents...and things never settled down but I went to Sandy's anyway.

J was awarded a President's Education Awards Program Outstanding Academic Excellence Award, signed by the President.
A Citizenship Award and an Outstanding Achievement in Math Award. Whoo HOoo!!

Sandy, Debi and I schlepped boxes, painted cabinets, touched up walls, wiped down stoves, shampooed carpets and readied up the house...which now looks so lovely.

It was a good night.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

waiting for dad to come home....

The kids wanted to go swimming this afternoon. However it was not hot, and the water was certainly not hot.
They thought if they got in their suits they might be able to persuade DH to swim when he got home.

While they were waiting they played on the fort. Lucy just learned how to use the climbing wall.

*they didn't persuade him, but he did play soccer in the front yard after dinner. And they found the side walk chalk and we traced their outlines and then they colored in clothes and accessories, well the girls did. Brother made his kick a soccer ball and roller skate.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Top Cat Award

H got a top cat award for academic excellence. That means all her grades were in the 90's for the year. She was very excited. The kids were instructed to get in their Sunday best and come to the cafeteria for the evening's awards ceremony.
Here she is getting her award from the principal.
H and Mrs. Miller after the ceremony

We had a very nice evening at the awards. After we came home and played in the yard a bit and then ate won ton soup and noodles. It was yummy and fun.
I've been browsing the guide book. Did you know that DisneyWorld is 43 square miles! huge!

summers getting closer!

Watermelon is so yummy!
Count down's getting closer!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

nothing if not random

Picture of brother having an awesome time at the jumping party.
We found a new home for Jack this weekend. I feel sort of sad about it. He was a really cute little dog and I miss him. Still I think it was best. S wanted the dog but really is too busy for a pet. She didn't feed him or train him or really do anything but hold him on her lap during family scripture reading. He did typical puppy stuff, chewing and jumping. He also did really well in the house breaking dept for the first month or so he was with us, but then he digressed and I am sure it was our fault but still. A few weeks ago I told the girls he would have to go and they promised to work with him, take care of him and train him. Days went by and nothing changed. We have been thinking about what to do. We are moving next year and will have to down size so one dog is probably going to be plenty. Also I feel like we have lots of kids and dogs running around and it's kind of chaotic at times so one less dog would alleviate some of that. Lastly he's still a really cute small puppy and if we were going to get rid of him now seemed like the best time to make sure that he could find a new family and be happy. So Saturday DH went to wal-mart and within a minute a family took him. So now we miss him, and part of me wonders if we shouldn't have tried a little harder, and part of me feel like this was best.
S and J (and because we are their parents DH and I) are joining a new all girl venturing crew. I don't really know a lot about it yet but it will be very fun, high adventure skills for life scouting stuff. I am on the parent committee, well technically I volunteered to chair it. DH will probably be more involved going on outings and camping trips and what not. The girls are excited, so are we it'll be a good thing.

Indonesian Honey Baked Beans

2 cans (Bushes~a superior brand and way worth it) white beans
2 apples diced
1 small onion diced
2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup sweet relish
1 T mustard
1 t curry powder

Combine all ingredients in casserole dish. Add just enough water to cover (I forgot that step) Bake at 300 for an hour and a half. (I didn't have enough time so I did 325 for 1 hour.)

the weather is warm, the pollen is in the air, ahh spring

Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.
Helaman 10 4-5

This is one of my favorite Nephis. I need to remember him and do the tasks which the Lord has given me (raising my family, teaching my sunday school class, VT, etc.) with unwearyingness.

quick summary of the weekend:
  • smoothed a lot of concrete
  • poured a lot of rocks
  • went to a baby shower for sweet Caroline who is expecting her first baby
  • had Mitchell and Emmaline for a sleep-over with E and H
  • took E to a birthday party at the jumping place
  • made Indonesian Honey Baked Beans (my favorite)
  • went to a good-bye party for Quinn and Sandy
  • did all of that while sneezing my head off and having itchy ears and watery eyes and popping allergy meds every four hours

Saturday, May 19, 2007

once upon a time

we thought it would be so lovely to have a pool. And it is. We LOVE it! We designed it ourselves and put a lot of thought into just what would be the most fun. There is only one thing we would change. When we had the fence put it we didn't have it meet up with the decking. In a temporary lapse of reason we forgot we lived in TX and thought it would be so nice to have landscaping and left planting areas inside the pool gate.

It's been a bit of a challenge to keep the weeds out and it's never looked like we envisioned it.

We've tried different things. Like that black landscape fabric, planting things that are supposed to spread and make a lovely, lush and full ground cover, and putting down river rock. Still the weeds won.

Finally we decided to dig a trench around the pool, fill it with cement and make a barrier for the weeds to keep them out.

That's what we did this weekend.

Everyone helped. After the concrete was down we sprinkled pebbles and river rock around to make it look intentional.

Two days, 2 trailer loads of cement, countless rocks and 20+ bug bites each and we are done. Hopefully it'll work!

Lou helped a lot. Then she got hungry and when I came inside to look for her look what I found.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

will work for electricity.....

Our electric bill is sky high! It's unbelievable and sooo sad. When we moved to TX we bought a cute house in a normal neighborhood. We wanted to put in a pool, and one of us wanted land. Eventually that one wore me down and we moved not far from our house but to a place with an acre and a half and lots of room for a pool. It's been great (the pool). The land has been a lot of work and a lot of expense. I will be happy when we move and can go back to a small lot. The other day we were driving to school and J was looking out the window and she said "can you imagine what it would be like to have to mow that little patch of grass?"DH likes to grow things, however we live in TX so.... Luckily he's gotten to the point where he wants free time more than a big lot so I think we'll be looking at the same thing in MD.

After preschool K stayed to play. Usually the two boys get along great. Today E wanted to play x-box and spent a lot of time whining about that. Finally I gave them a bucket and some sponges (left over from our lesson on water cleans things) and put them to work washing the windows. That turned out to be great fun. The windows aren't any cleaner but we did find out that if you get a sponge wet and run and throw it it will stick up high on the glass. Very cool!

Preschool was fun. It was our last turn. The boys like building a ship out of our blocks and then putting guys on it. Our guys are our favorite toy. Sadly Yoda went MIA last week during the rain. The boys took the guys out to battle in the "swamp" and Yoda never made it back. I think he's sunk in the mud some where.

We made cookies and learned about water washing things, and baptismal water washing away our sins. They were cute.

Every day after calendar we have a boy hold the flag and we salute and then march and sing "Yankee Doodle Dandy". Today I let Lucy hold the flag. She's never had a turn before and was sooo excited. She had a big smile and after we said "for all" she started marching and waving without me even telling her.

Last night the girls had a nice time at mutual. J's group did an environmental project and then went swimming. I made J buy a one piece suit, which she hates. Then all the other girls wore tankinis so she was sad. I told her when we are in FL we would go to Wings and buy a second suit. Hopefully they will have something cute and inexpensive. I remember that store as fun, beachy and cheap. It's really hard to find a one piece at all and there really are no cute ones available so it's a challenge.
S's class met at Sherry's house (the YW president). She had a chocolate fountain for them and Sis V came and gave a talk on RS. She gave each of them a cute Cinderella shoe with a little saying "Step into the future" Very cute! Then they went sailing on the lake. S had a good time. It was perfect weather yesterday.

Speaking of Cinderella. Nana, Abba and I spent some time on the phone last night clearing up a potential Disney disaster! D&G hadn't received their luggage tags and they need them because they are flying in and need the shuttle. Turns out we had their old address on the reservation so I called to switch it and while talking to our Disney Fun Director she told me it's important to make reservations for any restaurants with table service, otherwise they might not be available. Gasp! So we spent a long while looking through the 15 pages of restaurant listings and today I had to call and make it so. It'll be so fun! We are very excited.

J is learning to play the piano. She asked me to teach her a couple weeks ago. I said sure and we got out an old book one. Well she's been playing every day, several times, and has 2 songs left in book one. I think since she plays the violin it's easier to pick up a second instrument. She is doing great though and making exceptional progress.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

new towels, ice cubes & orange candies

We had preschool here today. Our theme was water. We learned about how water is a solid, liquid and gas. Then we played with ice cubes, let them melt and watched them evaporate. We made a book about the three states of matter.
We painted water creatures, made water pictures. Got cotton balls (clouds) and felt how light they were, then put them in water and felt them get heavier, then squeezed them to make rain.
The boys also played outside.

Brother got to go to K's house to play after. Lou napped so I got to clean the kitchen and mop the floor and do the bathrooms. It was great :) This afternoon the kids and DH went swimming and tracked dirt all over the clean floor. It's like brushing your teeth while eating an Oreo.

Lou found the baby carrier in the closet and talked S into giving her a ride. S is very sweet big sister.
We had FHE twice this week. Last night we had it because DH thought he might have to work late tonight. Tonight Papa and Grandma came over, and he was able to get home on time. Last night our lesson was on the Priesthood. Tonight Papa divided the kids into two teams and they played a game. It was really funny to watch them. The winner got two orange candies each, the rest of us got one. It was a lot of fun.

After FHE was over J and I had an emergency shopping trip to Target. She needed a swim suit. Last years model had a rip in the bottom and she has been swimming in a mis-matched tankini. We got a one piece so she could wear it to mutual and camp.
They also had cute towels on sale so I got one for her and one for H. E has a great shark towel and also a Star Wars one. The plan is to get everyone a lovely towel of their own that is unique. Then that is their pool towel for the summer and they can manage it as they see fit, which hopefully means hanging out to dry in the sun and washing it 1 or 2 times a week.
We have a horrible towel maintenance problem that gets much worse in the summer. It doesn't help that friends come to swim without towels much of the time but hopefully this will help with our own usage.

TX weather

5:15ish Monday Night

5:45ish same night

If you don't like it just wait five minutes and you'll get something else!
The girls were swimming in sunny weather. Then we heard the thunder.
They got out when we saw lightning and 20 minutes later it was pouring rain and hail and our power went out.

Monday, May 14, 2007

middle of May

Lucy is such a little mama. She loves her babies and spends hours playing with them. She likes to dress them, feed them, stroll them, sing to them. It's very cute and sweet. You would never think that this little sweetheart would get into EVERY thing all the time. But she does. Last week while I was making my bed, and she was brushing her teeth in the adjoining bathroom she crawled up the tub and onto the counter and opened a child locked bottle of Triaminic and spilled it all over. I went in minutes later and found her and the mess. Since I didn't know how much she drank, or even if she did, I had to stick my finger down her throat and make her throw it up. She was fine but it was scary. Yesterday she played with our pool testing kit. She's a very busy explorer!

The kids looked cute all spruced up for Mother's day. Poor S was sick again and had to miss church. The primary sang w/ Tori and it was very beautiful.

My Sunday school class was very quiet. It's because they got in big trouble and the Bishop and Robin both sat in my class, which made me nervous (not Robin) and was a bit of a nightmare. Hopefully next week will go better.

I got a package today in the mail. These cute new shoes. Now my feet are ready to hit the streets of Downtown Disney and see all the sights!

This week is my last turn for preschool school. I need to do some lesson planning and make it a special week.

TAFA called and they opened another Suzuki 1 course so H will get to take violin this fall after all. Yeah!

Two topics I've been asked to clarify.
1. We are moving, but not for a long time. DH works on F-35. He's an engineer. He's been on the program since the beginning which is very exciting and now "his" variant is going to PAX River for flight testing and he will go with it. This won't happen until fall 08. We are excited to live near DC and all the neat things there. We are sad to leave our good friends and nice home here. So for now it's life as usual, as we get closer I am sure it will get crazier!
2. Home school. We are going to do it next year. It's been a long process and a lot of thinking about it to come to this decision. Actually when D was small and ready to go to Kindergarten I didn't want to send her. I didn't know there was a such thing as homeschooling but I wanted to keep her at home and teach her there. My MIL, mom and D's dad were all against it so I didn't and I sent her off.
Later I became a public school teacher. I am not anti public school. In fact I think that many teachers really try hard. I also know it's impossible to reach everyone, to teach everyone and that the very bright sometimes get less attention.
Fast forward a few years, from the time H was born DH has wanted her to be home schooled. We have talked about it a lot over the years, read about it, prayed about it, debated about it. I have been the hold out. I just wasn't sure that's what I wanted to do. Oddly enough all of my kids, except D, have wanted to home school. As a kid I would never had wanted to. Brother has been adamant that he wasn't going to school, he wanted to do kindergarten in the kitchen.
Fast forward to now. Again it's been the topic of much talk, debate, prayer, consideration, and study. E wants to, DH wants us to, and H wants to. I finally decided that I need to hearken to the council of my husband and give it a good try. The kids are super excited. We have been getting ready, getting stuff together,thinking and figuring. It'll be fun. The great thing is we can look at it every year and look at our circumstances and decide what we want to do. I am going to use The Well Trained Mind as my guide and hopefully they will learn sooooOOoo much and the kids will love it. I have some worries and I am excited so we'll see how it goes.
Lastly, can you believe that lame-o Dreamz didn't give Yao the necklace?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mothers Day

This morning DH and the kids woke up and made me a delish! pancake breakfast. I got some lovely homemade cards and a poem from DH.
Happy Mother's Day

May 12

DH's birthday. He's 37 now. Whoo Hoo!

We had a good day, not very birthday-ish, but he didn't really want a big celebration. In the morning we had family cleaning hour. DH spent a lot of time in the yard mowing and doing pool stuff.
We had hot dogs for lunch (his choice) and opened presents. The kids chose some new swim trunks and "Night at the Museum" for him.

In the afternoon he went and helped the Howards move some food storage in preparation for their move. The Bishop is not moving now, which we are glad about. I went with J to DOTS, her new favorite store where she spent some baby sitting money and got a lot of cute things. We also stopped by Robin and Rachel's. I had a little something for them. We miss Meridith and talk about her a lot, I didn't know what lame thing I could do to be thoughtful but I figured doing something was better than doing nothing. It's hard to believe that she died a year ago.

Last night we went out. We saw Spiderman 3 and went to dinner.

So Happy Birthday Sweetie!

fish face

Friday afternoon we went to the Japanese Gardens. It was very lovely. The gardens are beautiful, and the kids love to feed the Koi, walk on the bridges and paths and enjoy the outdoors.

About 1 second after this photo Brother slipped and got wet. It was nice out and he didn't get soaked so we carried on.

Friday morning Tori and I went to the curriculum fair. It was fun and overwhelming. So many books, so many vendors. I did find the Spanish curriculum I was looking for and a geography one that just looked like so much fun. Also the History of the World that I wanted. It'll be fun to get started. The kiddos are excited. We have a lot of work to do this summer to be ready.

*more on the homeschooling front later.