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Too Many To Count Two

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Guess how much I spent on all this?

Go on, guess.

..okay, you'll never guess. $9.37 and that's because I got Lucy a new crown. It was stressful though, worth it, but stressful.

I have been wanting to coupon...but haven't, because we don't get the paper. Maybe I will now. Today I got an email with some Internet coupons that were too excellent to pass up so I decided to try it out. On the way home from the airport I stopped at Krogers, filled my cart and went to check out. My coupons wouldn't scan. So I told them no thanks and went across the street to Albertson's where I did a test run with one item, that went fine, so I filled the cart again and went to check out. Everything was fine, I got a bunch of stuff and was only going to have to pay $30. I was excited. Then the manager came over and said that Albertson's policy is not to take coupons worth more than $5 and not to take coupons that are for more than the item is sold for. Once they took those off I owed over $100, umm, no thanks. Well I knew that several of my friends had gone to Wal mart, today, and had no problem. So Lucy and I headed to a third store (can you imagine how happy I was about that?) and filled the cart again. They were out of several of the couponed items but I was able to get several things and saved over $100 which was great. I saved less than anyone else that I knew with several (meaning more than 3) of my friends saving $200-400.

Next time I'll go to Wal mart first. And maybe I'll get a paper.

notes from Pres. Uchtdorf's talk

2 principles that lead us to peace, joy and happiness:
Creating and being Compassionate

Creation means bringing into existent something that didn't exists before. a beautiful garden, a harmonious home, the sound of laughter

"make beautiful everything around you, cultivate the earth and cultivate your minds...make the earth so blessed that when you look up on your labors you may do so with pleasure and angles may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations. and in the meantime continually seek to adorn your minds with all the graces of the Spirit of Christ" Brigham Young

the more you trust and rely on the spirit the greater your capacity to create.

the more we serve others the more depth there is to our own souls

work will cure your grief, serve others

as we serve others we will find our own happiness

every sister in the church is of critical importance not only to the church but to our Heavenly Father, there is ample work for all to do.

true words of encouragement require only a loving and caring heart

greatness has little to do with outward signs of prosperity

in the end the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness; but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance. Let us open our eyes and see the heavy hearts, notice the loneliness and despair, let us feel the silent prayers of others around us and let us be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to answer those prayers.
(my favorite thought from the talk)

as you immerse yourselves in the work of our Father, as you create beauty and as you are compassionate to others God will encircle you in the arms of His love. Discouragement, inadequacy and wariness will give way to a life of meaning, grace, and fulfillment.

Happiness is your heritage

Monday, September 29, 2008

good food we've had this week

Creole Stuff Mushrooms (0 pts)
chop red peppers
mushroom stems
add whole wheat bread crumbs
creole seasoning and turmeric
stuff into mushrooms and bake for 15 minutes

Quick Italian Meatball Soup

(easy and SO delicious)

bake Italian meatballs (from the freezer section)


2 cans chicken broth (I used Rachel Ray's and it was really good)

1 can Italian-style diced tomatoes

1/2 cup small soup pasta

5 oz fresh spinach leaves

1/4 cup parm

Combine broth and tomatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir in pasta, boil for 5 minutes until pasta is tender, stir in spinach. Remove from heat, let sit 5 minutes. Serve with Parmesan cheese on top. So Good.

No explanation necessary

the Glamours life of a Goat Girl

Renaldo is doing better. Moving his feeder seems to have done the trick and he is eating and getting bigger. He's a cute little guy and comes running to J when we go to his pen to feed him.
This weekend was change the bedding day...ah, the glamour!

*on a sad note J discovered last week that even though he is not a "meat" goat, he will indeed be slaughtered for food after the sale in the spring. What! The injustice of it all!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Swim Meet

The meet was so fun. Grandma, Sofie, Lu and I went.

Here's J waiting for her leg of the relay. She was in two relays and both time she swam the fasted leg!!

Camp Out

boys + dirt + starry night + camp fire smores + good friends + hiking = lots of fun!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Father/Son Camp Out

This weekend is our ward father/son camp out. With Beloved working his crazy test schedule I didn't think brother would be able to go but then Papa said he wouldn't mind taking him. Yeah! and then Beloved was able to arrange his schedule so he had Sat. off this week so he drove up late after work on Friday to meet them.

Yesterday morning at 5:30 brother popped up. Is it time to go? He was ready. He was very insistent that his friend K and M were skipping school to get a head start on the trip and he would be sooo late. As it turned out I saw them getting off the school bus the same time as E and I am sure they did not skip school :)

At 4:00 we took Papa, the tent, some s'more fixin stuff, a bag of apples, some homemade chocolate chip cookies, flashlights, camp chairs and a VERY excited 6 year old boy over to the Cooks so they could ride up together. (Beloved had the rest of their stuff stowed in his truck to bring up later). I hope, although have no doubts about it, that they are having an AWESOME time!

H was invited to a girl sleepover and J had a football game so Grandma, Lu, S and I went out to dinner together. We went to Friday's where the restaurant was way too cold, the food was just okay and there was no TP in the bathroom. Kind of a bummer but it was still fun. We went to Wal mart after then watched a movie.

Today we have a soccer game, our first swim meet and the Women's Broadcast.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

two days and a complaint

  • got up
  • got kids bathed, breakfasted, lunches packed, out the door at 5:50, 6:15 and 7:20 and then 8:00.
  • picked up bedrooms, made beds
  • cleaned bathrooms and mopped them
  • vacuumed
  • Dad cleaned kitchen and mopped
  • took Lu to play at Austin's
  • went to the store for some forgotten things
  • came home and got ready for luncheon
  • signed up to be H's room mom in response to a pitiful email sent out by her poor first year teacher (who is so sweet and doing and awesome job)
  • Lu came back
  • Friends came over for lunch (had a nice lunch and visit with friends coming to say good bye to Grandma)
  • cleaned up again
  • fixed dinner for the missionaries
  • ate with the missionaries (we had a fun dinner full of laughter and talking)
  • cleaned up after dinner
  • worked with H on her PACE poster
  • went to bed and watched Biggest Loser from the DVR
  • to bed


  • got up and got kids bathed, dressed, breakfasted, lunches packed and out the door
  • cleaned up for luncheon take 2 of friends coming to say goodbye to mom
  • watched Jarom
  • worked on dinner groups with Holly
  • fixed brownies for lunch
  • had friends over for a lovely visit and delicious food (which BTW did you realize how many pts cheese has??? ~yep, trying WW, again)
  • cleaned up after friends
  • took H to ballet with Karlee (bring a friend week)
  • dinner for kids(of sorts)
  • soccer practice in the back yard
  • requiring baths after
  • apple project with E
  • math homework with H
  • solved swim team warm up issue with J (solved it by sending her to Grandma to hem them)
  • ate a cucumber (darn cheese) for dinner
  • blogged
  • bed

Here comes the complaint, my sister got a job and now has no time to talk to me on the phone. It's very sad. Finally after not talking for 3 days we got to talk while I was waiting for the girls to get out of dance, using minutes (I used to make her call me on the land line but who knows when she'll be free again). Quit your job Val and spend your days talking to me on the phone...please! :) (before this week we normally talked on the phone a couple times a day for maybe a half hour or longer and then some scattered "real quick" phone calls for a recipe, a funny kid story, a reminder to set the DVR for something important, etc.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Goat problems

Papa and J are off to feed Renaldo, and his bully pen mates, Donatello and Edgar. Grandma is on her way to Wal mart.

Poor Renaldo is having trouble with his pen mates. They aren't letting him eat. We were there yesterday and saw for our selves that when he went to the feeder they pushed him out. Very sad. Frank (Sophie's dad) moved one of the feeders to a different spot so hopefully he can gobble down enough before they scarf theirs and head over for his. He is a little dairy goat, and they are both big ol mean meat goats so he is out numbered and out sized. We are worried about him. If things don't improve he might have to move out and find a new friend to share a pen with.

Train Park

Today we went to the Trinity Park and rode the train. It was an enrichment activity that was well attended. We had a fun time visiting with many of our friends.
Papa pushed Lu on the swing and played with her on the playground. They will be here for a few more days and then we won't see them for two years so we are trying to enjoy the time we have together.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

1000 words

Our Weekend

Powder Puff

Soccer Game

Sunday School
(Putting on the Armour of God)

a little Bollywood

Friday, September 19, 2008

a question?

I'm a plan aheader, not always but with a lot of things. Holidays especially. I like to celebrate and I want the kids to remember the fun costumes they wore, yummy foods we ate, fun parties we had, a big stack of gifts, sharing time with friends and family, etc.
So last year we had a backyard carnival in October. I was the ward party princess and wanted to have a Fall Carnival at church but the ward council wanted trunk or treat, also fun, so I planned one for at home.

Teresa helped me and we had such a fun time putting it together and the kids and guests had a great time. (you can search the archives for more photos)

We played games, had a pumpkin decorating/carving contest, ate yummy food, watched a scary movie outside (thanks Robin!) I think it was a success.
So now the dilemma, I have been giving some passing thought to having another. This will, most likely be our most autumn in Texas and probably our last with a huge yard so it's now or never.

But it's a lot of work and expense SO

That brings me to several questions:

a) would it be boring, redundant, "oh no not again", of me to have another?
b) if I did would it be okay to ask for more help?
Last year we asked everyone to bring food and they had assignments, we tried to keep it easy for everyone. What if I asked for a food item and each family to be in charge of a game? (that they were assigned so I would still have what a wanted there)

or should I just take my kids to 6 Flags and enjoy their Halloween work, for probably the same price.


Okay this is sad. I saw on line that someone stole the new Twilight book written from Edward's perspective, which I think is so mean. So Stephenie Meyer put her rough draft of about 300 pages on line to read. That's not the sad part, although I do think that is sad and rude. The sad part is I started reading it last night and this morning was reading after the kids got on the bus (about 7:40). Lu was watching "Martha Speaks" and said she wanted to take a bath before going to play with her friends. I said okay, just a second. Next thing I knew the clock was chiming and I thought "gosh, it's already 8, I better get a move on it", when I looked up however it was 9! I told Lucy to hurry so we could go get ready and when I walked to the bathroom the water was on...and must have been on for quite a while because the tub was all the way full and running out the drain at the top. Thank goodness for that drain or I would have had a flood!

I heart Edward. I finished his chapters, which is good since I don't have time to read something right now that is so captivating. I wish I got so sucked in to reading the scriptures or other things of great worth, I didn't even realize over an hour had passed.

I hope the movie doesn't completely stink.

Glad it's a Friday!

*images thanks toVanessa Contessa and movie posters on line

Thursday, September 18, 2008

have you ever...

I saw this while I was blog browsing and thought it would be fun!! You should do it too!
Just copy and paste the 200 statements then bold the ones you have done!!
Hope you enjoy it!! (and make sure you use a lot of exclamation points, it makes everything more fun)

The idea is to highlight the things you have done out of the 200 items on the list.

The things I have done are in bold print!
1. Touched an iceberg
2. Slept under the stars
3. Been a part of a hockey fight
4. Changed a baby's diaper
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Swam with wild dolphins
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a tarantula
10. Said "I love you" and meant it
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Stayed up all night long and watched the sun rise
15. Seen the Northern Lights
16. Gone to a huge sports game
17. Walked the stairs to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
19. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
20. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Bet on a winning horse
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Taken an ice cold bath
28. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Ridden a roller coaster
31. Hit a home run
32. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
33. Adopted an accent for fun
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Felt very happy about your life, even for just a moment
36. Loved your job 90% of the time
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Watched wild whales
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Gone on a midnight walk on the beach
41. Gone sky diving
42. Visited Ireland
43. Ever bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited India
45. Bench-pressed your own weight
46. Milked a cow
47. Alphabetized your personal files
48. Ever worn a superhero costume
49. Sung karaoke
50. Lounged around in bed all day
51. Gone scuba diving
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Done something you should regret, but don't
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Been in a movie
60. Gone without food for 3 days
61. Made cookies from scratch
62. Won first prize in a costume contest
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Been in a combat zone
65. Spoken more than one language fluently
66. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone - verbal not physical
67. Bounced a check
68. Read - and understood - your credit report
69. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy
70. Found out something significant that your ancestors did
71. Called or written your Congress person
72. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
73. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
74. Helped an animal give birth
75. Been fired or laid off from a job
76. Won money
77. Broken a bone
78. Ridden a motorcycle
79. Driven any land vehicle at a speed of greater than 100 mph
80. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
81. Slept through an entire flight: takeoff, flight, and landing
82. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
83. Eaten sushi
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read The Bible cover to cover
86. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
87. Gotten someone fired for their actions
88. Gone back to school
89. Changed your name
90. Caught a fly in the air with your bare hands
91. Eaten fried green tomatoes
92. Read The Iliad
93. Taught yourself an art from scratch
94. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
95. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt
96. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
97. Been elected to public office
98. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
99. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
100. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
101. Had a booth at a street fair
102. Dyed your hair
103. Been a DJ
104. Rocked a baby to sleep
105. Ever dropped a cat from a high place to see if it really lands on all four
106. Raked your carpet
107. Brought out the best in people
108. Brought out the worst in people
109. Worn a mood ring
110. Ridden a horse
111. Carved an animal from a piece of wood or bar of soap
112. Cooked a dish where four people asked for the recipe.
113. Buried a child
114. Gone to a Broadway (or equivalent to your country) play
115. Been inside the pyramids
116. Shot a basketball into a basket
117. Danced at a disco
118. Played in a band
119. Shot a bird
120. Gone to an arboretum
121. Tutored someone
122. Ridden a train
123. Brought an old fad back into style
124. Eaten caviar
125. Let a salesman talk you into something you didn’t need
126. Ridden a giraffe or elephant
127. Published a book
128. Pieced a quilt
129. Lived in an historic place
130. Acted in a play or performed on a stage
131. Asked for a raise
132. Made a hole-in-one
133. Gone deep sea fishing
134. Gone roller skating
135. Run a marathon
136. Learned to surf
137. Invented something
138. Flown first class
139. Spent the night in a 5-star luxury suite
140. Flown in a helicopter
141. Visited Africa
142. Sang a solo
143. Gone spelunking
144. Learned how to take a compliment
145. Written a love-story
146. Seen Michelangelo’s David
147. Had your portrait painted
148. Written a fan letter
149. Spent the night in something haunted
150. Owned a St. Bernard or Great Dane
151. Ran away
152. Learned to juggle
153. Been a boss
154. Sat on a jury
155. Lied about your weight
156. Gone on a diet
157. Found an arrowhead or a gold nugget
158. Written a poem
159. Carried your lunch in a lunch box
160. Gotten food poisoning
161. Gone on a service, humanitarian or religious mission
162. Hiked the Grand Canyon
163. Sat on a park bench and fed the ducks
164. Gone to the opera
165. Gotten a letter from someone famous
166. Worn knickers
167. Ridden in a limousine
168. Attended the Olympics
169. Can hula or waltz
170. Read a half dozen Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books
171. Been stuck in an elevator
172. Had a revelatory dream
173. Thought you might crash in an airplane
174. Had a song dedicated to you on the radio or at a concert
175. Saved someone’s life
176. Eaten raw whale
177. Know how to tat, smock or do needlepoint
178. Laughed till your side hurt
179. Straddled the equator
180. Taken a photograph of something other than people that is worth framing
181. Gone to a Shakespeare Festival
182. Sent a message in a bottle
183. Spent the night in a hostel
184. Been a cashier
185. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
186. Joined a union
187. Donated blood or plasma
188. Built a camp fire
189. Kept a blog
190. Had hives
191. Worn custom made shoes or boots
192. Made a PowerPoint presentation
193. Taken a Hunter’s Safety Course
194. Served at a soup kitchen
195. Conquered the Rubik’s cube
196. Know CPR
197. Ridden in or owned a convertible
198. Found a long lost friend
199. Helped solve a crime
200. Responded to a NJP newsletter

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ballet Day

Every morning, without fail, Lucy wakes up cheerful. Her eyes are bright and excited for the new day. The first thing she says every day is: "is today ballet day?" One day out of seven I can happily answer "Yes!" the other six~ not so much. Sometimes I can say "no, but your friends are coming over", or "no, but daddy will be home to play today." Sometimes I have to say "no, but we are doing laundry today! Whoo Hoo!" No matter what follows no but she is never pleased about it and always says "I want today to be ballet day, I can't wait".
Today is ballet day! Yeah!
While the kids were waiting for the school bus Lu went and got herself ready.
Now she only has 9 hours to wait.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

40 Day Fast

Our ward is having a 40 day fast. Every day a family signs up to fast for missionary work in our area. I think we are on week two. Today was our day. Yesterday was the Lee's turn. Last night we went to their home and had dinner with them. She made very yummy spaghetti. The kids had a great time playing with their kids, the Lees are new in our ward so we didn't know them very well, they are awesome and we had a very nice evening.
Tomorrow is the Shuldburg's turn so we had them over tonight for dinner (hamburgers). That way the family that is ending their fast break theirs with meal before the next continue. I don't know who thought of it but it's a very nice idea. We enjoyed both evenings very much, as did the children. They really think fasting is fun now, although none of them fasted.
I hope the work will really pick up and that we will see many blessings from this.

Tonight after dinner Beloved and brother did some yard work. It was so cute to see the little guy wielding his dad's big ol' work tools :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

nothing yucky on my plate

Last night we went to Meagan and Stephane's wedding open house. After we went to dinner, Indian, not my favorite, but it was okay. Then we went to the bookstore, my favorite, and got the best hot chocolate ever. No more Starbucks for me, from now on it's Seattle's Best always.

Today was the primary program. The kids did a great job. H sang in a small group and it was so pretty. E and H both had speaking parts and they did a super job. The primary program is always one of my favorite weeks of the year.

After church and lunch we went to visit Renaldo, as we will be doing every day. Lu brought him some lettuce. He seems to be settling in to his new home just fine.
Tonight we went to Z's birthday/leaving on a mission open house. We had very nice time visiting with our friends, and eating some yummy food. We are proud of Z and his decision to go and the good example he is to the other kids in the ward. I am sure he will be a great missionary!

The littles enjoyed eating outside and jumping on the trampoline and playing basketball. Z has a very fun kid house, especially for a house with no little kids in it. Thanks for having us it was awesome!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Jared Carlito Renaldo

J is taking Agriculture at school. As part of her class she is raising a goat. Today was goat getting day. This is J and Sophia and Renaldo, our little dairy goat. Sophie is raising a meat goat.
Hopefully this will be great, and she will sell her goat in the end and not lose $$.
Funny story, just to show you how prepared and knowledgeable we are about this venture. J picked her goat and we got him settled in his pen and were looking at him when we noticed something odd hanging out of his bottom. Hmm, this can't be good. At this point we thought we had "Jane the little milk goat". So we went over to get the instructor, not wanting a defective goat from the get go. He walked over with us and took a look and we pointed out the "problem". Very nicely he told us that Jane was a boy, and that was his scrot*m. He had been castrat*d, how they do that is by banding the part and then letting it fall off, his had not fallen off yet.
Okey dokey.
Then he walked back over to the where the other instructors were checking out goats and collecting monies and we saw them cracking up and looking our way, of course, we totally deserved it.

We do have some livestock experience. Obviously not a lot though. When I was little we raised rabbits. We got Pinky and Fonzy and put them together and waited for some babies. Eventually we suspected there might be a problem. Finally we sought professional help and discovered that Fonzy was, you guessed it, a girl. And that pairing never makes a baby. We acquired a new male and soon had lots of bunnies.

We also learned that you don't need a rooster to get an egg when we chicken sat for the Blacks.

Learning, always learning :)

This will be a fun way to end our Texas Chapter, a little livestock raising.

Friday, September 12, 2008

one of my wasteful indulgences

I love bath and body works soap. I do, and I can't help it. It's such a pleasure to wash with the nice fresh scent and the little bead thingies that are in them. Yesterday I bought three bottles of the new fall scent. And I love it. I wanted to buy the one that looked like a pumpkin, so cute, but it was $10 for one and I couldn't in good conscious do it. However I do happily pay $10 for 3 bottles instead of the more frugal $1 at the dollar tree for a much bigger bottle of another soap. From time to time I buy the cheap-o one and I am always disappointed. I wash my hands a lot, whenever I am in the bathroom for myself or for one of the littes, when I clean something with a harsh chemical, many times during the cooking process, which happens many times a day here. I try and be a frugal mom but rarely can walk by B&B without some nice soap to brighten my sink and my day. BTW, I am still on track with my 20pages a day, which is a shocker. If anyone remembers my new years resolution of 7 pages a day~ well that lasted about a day. I am finding great joy in my more in depth reading. With the hurricane off the gulf right now and everyone preparing for the worst I have been reading in 2 Nephi and have been struck by the parallels that I can find. There are great warnings and calls to be prepared before the great and dreadful day. Everything looks fine, in fact Satan lulls us into thinking "all is well in Zion", but the day will come. Right now as I look out my window our day is sunny and warm, yet the storm front comes. Some people will prepare, others will think there is not danger. I hope to be prepared for the storms of life, both physical and spiritual. I am so grateful for the knowledge of knowing what to do, and where to be, and what is important.
We have a busy night tonight. E has a birthday party to go to, H has her book club, J has her homecoming football game. Hope the weather is good.

rambling along

Last weekend the girls went to CA to attend Mark's wedding (their father). They had a fun time seeing all the cousins and camping in the woods. Dani has some cute pictures on her blog covering the happenings. They were gone from Saturday until Wednesday, which means they are both swamped with make up work this week and will be probably through the weekend.

On Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call that so surprised me. It was Craig Weber, Mark's best friend and my old friend, who I haven't seen or talked to in at least 12 or more years. This has been blast from the past month for me. A few weeks ago I got an email from Stacy Webb, she had found my blog and sent a comment and we were able to e-chat a bit. Stacy was my friend when I was very small. I don't remember when we became friends but I do remember one year on her birthday, she was in 4th grade and I was in 3rd, her mom let her pick a friend to take to Magic Mountain for the birthday celebration. She picked me. I was so excited. I had never been, although we had been to Disneyland (the happiest place on earth) several times by then. She picked me in up in cool station wagon with the wood panelling on the side, which I still like (hello ~can we say child of the 70's?) and drove down. We spent the day riding rides and having the best time. About a year later Stacy's family moved to a nicer part of town, and my family moved to their old house, which I loved and my parents then lived in for 30ish years. Stacy's bedroom was decorated in green gingham, the wall paper, curtains and bedding all matched and I got to have that room! Whoo Hoo! I loved it. Very frilly and girly, which I was not so much a girly girly but I loved the room. The best part was that it had a secret safe in the floor. Lana and I loved to open it up and look for "clues", we loved Nancy Drew, and we also would try on Mom's jewelry. It was a fun room. It also had a great window that was easy to hop in and out of, as did the boys room next door, a practice I might add that I do not advocate. Outside of the window was my favorite tree. It was a great climbing tree and it also stood tall and big like a brave sentinel outside the window keeping watch. It was so fun to hear from her.

Fast forward a couple weeks and the phone call from Craig, also so fun to hear from him. He and Mark were the "older, cooler, handsome priests" in the ward when I was a wee Merry Miss and Beehive. Everyone had a crush on them. After Craig's mission he came home and married Renee, also from our ward and the nicest girl, and he was my seminary teacher one year. Which was fun. Since I was dating Mark we doubled from time to time and then after Mark and I married they were our "married" friends. We even went to visit them in Hawaii when he was going to BYU out there. Eventually we lost touch as they travelled around the world in pursuit of an education and career and then the divorce. He sent me some photos of the wedding, which I thought was so nice. Maybe we'll actually visit face to face some day. One thing that makes me sad is that he left the church long ago. His boys grew up with out the gospel. I don't know what happens in some one's life that they decide the truth is not for them and that they will be happier outside the church. I have had a number of friends through the years who have done that and I always feel so sad for them.

I guess racking up some sadness is part of the experience. As I was looking at the pictures of the wedding and the festivities surrounding it it was fun for me to see Mark's family, the little nieces and nephews all grown up and his brothers and sisters. One of the sad parts about divorce is losing that family that you have loved. Even though the feelings you once had for your spouse have changed the feelings of love for the family don't, or for me didn't anyway, and I have thought often about the little kiddos that I knew and hoped they were doing well. I always love hearing news of how their lives are turning out. I have felt bad for the girls because they haven't had the close relationship with their cousins and aunts and grandma and uncles that they would have otherwise had. There is a heavy price to pay, one that the world discounts as par for the course, however families are so important and so sacred and special that the losses are hard hitting and the effects long reaching.

I am glad that they now have a new step mother. She is a lovely woman. We have had occasion to spend some time together a couple times now and I always find her gracious, and warm and bright. I know they love her and have fun with her. She is a "wondeful cook" and outdoorsy and loves her dogs. She gives them a different experience and POV than I do, which is a good thing. The girls told me that after the ceremony she turned to them and said "my daughters" and hugged them, which I thought was so nice. It's kind of funny but I feel no jealousy about her, which I think some people suffer with in remarriages, I am just grateful that she loves them and that they have someone else to care about them. You can't have enough people loving you. All my personal experiences with step parents have been positive. My Uncle Nick, who I do not like, even now that he is dead, but I do hope he finds himself happy on the other side, married my Aunt Sonya (from El Salvador) and she had two kids. Aunt Sonya was a beautiful, funny, crazy, loving woman and she and her kids became our family. I, for one, was thrilled to have cousins my own age. Michael Blue and Gina were great and we spent many happy hours in each other's company when we travelled up to SF. Nick and Sonya divorced after Michael and Gina were grown but I know that Gina always considered him her dad, and loved him. They maintained a relationship until his death. To me it's kind of like having a mother in law. I have been blessed to have two wonderful women to be my mother in laws and I love them both. They have taught me things, supported me, been friends, and grandmas, and confidants. It's been a real blessing, and a step mother for the girls will be much the same. It's just an added measure of love and family.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

per brother's request

Mom, mom come to my room and take a picture. This call came to me quite some time after the "official bedtime" had passed. Brother had tucked his webkins in for the night. And thought they were so cute I guess :) Today we played pet hospital as Grandma took needle and thread to several of our friends who were injured in battle. Pink death was near decapitated, and Super Frog had a ripped leg. Also Lu's purple baby elephant had a wound that was leaking beads. Grandma fixed them up and they are as good as new now.

waiting for her sibs to get off the bus

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

solving the 5'oclock mystery

Breakfast: eggs, bacon and a biscuit left over from last night. Big glass of milk. Yummy
Lunch: purple capri sun, grapes, apple sauce, ham&cheese sandwich, grahmy cookies.

both figured out before 7:15am.

Now I have to solve the 5 o'clock mystery. What to cook? what to cook?

Answer: Padre Island Shells

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

what a difference a day makes:

this morning, 8:02 am, E and H have caught the bus and are at school ready for their day's adventures. They are both buying lunch, it's Big Daddy's Pizza. The only day E chooses to buy ever. H buys from time to time.
Lu and I are in the den, I'm eating a bowl of oatmeal and catching up on some blogs before we start cleaning up and getting to our list of the day.

The list:
clean up for mom and dad to arrive
make soup
wash sheets
take J's physical form to the doc to have it signed so she can swim
call Holly about dinner groups
hope the email gets back up (it's only been 5 days so I should be patient)
exchange J's pants
read 20 pages (day 3 and going strong :) )
go to the airport

Lu has finished her waffles and is now watching Elmo. She wishes it was ballet day, or her friends were coming over, but has resigned herself to picking up toys, running errands and the light at the end of the tunnel? seeing Grandma tonight!

That was a different story. Monday is my day to have our friends over. I have two good friends who have decided to work very part time, like me, if I ever get my transcript in the mail. Side note: I took my diploma (for my BA) and my teaching credential to the district office with my application to substitute teach and they "couldn't accept it" as evidence that I had at least 60 hours of college credit. Which I thought was a bit ridiculous. I have 5+ years of credit, but whatever. Hopefully this week.
Anyway. On Monday the kids come here, Wed to Debi's and Friday's to Ang. If I sub on a T-Th I have to make other arrangements but I have that covered and hope it will go smoothly. This lets each of us work two days a week and watch each others kids one. A perfect baby-sitting co op!
So I had the kids yesterday and it was a bit crazy, as in fun and active and noisy crazy. While they are here I try and do a little lesson time, just because I like to and we have a lot of time to pass so why not? :) Yesterday we read "The Little Red Hen" and then went to the kitchen to make bread. We pulled chairs up to the counter and I gave them each a little scoop of wheat with the instruction to put it in the grinder and watch it go down the funnel and turn into flour. I warned them that the grinder was noisy. So they had their scoops in one hand, one hand over an ear, faces bright with anticipation and I turned it on. They collectively screamed, wheat went up in the air, little feet jumped off the chairs and ran out of the room. It was SO funny! Eventually they came back, although no one was willing to get any where near the grinder :) We made bread in a bag and then ate it. Made puppets to act out the story with and learned a song about grinding wheat and making bread. All that took about 5 minutes (an exaggeration) and the rest of the day they ran amok, built towers, played babies, had battles, sang songs, rode the roller coaster, ate Popsicles, played in the backyard, listened to stories, played candy land (a very labor intensive process for the mommy helper), and memory. Whew! After school K and P came to play so we had friends all day, which the kids love, and so do I. But it's not a formula for a neat and tidy house. It is a sure fire formula for a fun filled home though.

Monday, September 08, 2008

my friend Kathy asked "what are you looking forward to"

This is such an awesome time of the year. I love the beginning of the holiday season and the fall fun that is coming up. Kathy posted some things she is looking forward to and asked what we, her loyal readership, were looking forward to. What a fun question.
So in on particular order:

Yesterday in RS my dear friend Joy talked about reading the Book of Mormon before conference, in order to prepare to feel the spirit and get the most of out conference. She actually said that Brenda Woodruff did it several years ago and she always remembered that. As she was talking the idea resonated with me and I decided to give it a go. I haven't read the whole thing yet this year and if I read 20 pages a day I can make it. I did last night, 1 down Whoo Hoo! Dieting. I am looking forward to losing a couple pounds before the holidays, you know, so I can find them again during the high eating festivities.
For Thanksgiving we rented a cabin in Oklahoma. We are all really looking forward to a couple quiet days in the woods, sitting in the hot tub, hiking, eating turkey outside. Fun!
Conference, and the Women's Broadcast and Nikko's soup thing. One of my favorite fall events :)

Christmas! Love it. All of it. The true meaning of it, the commercial trappings, the music, the movies, the food, the gifts, the time with family. The whole kit and caboodle.
and #1, even though I said it's not in order, in November Dani is coming to spend a week with us!! Yea! Can't wait to have her here and to spend some days with her. BTW, she'll be doing haircuts in the kitchen for $10 a head while here so if you are nearby and want a great haircut put it on your calendar!
...and dinner groups, and a fall carnival, cold nights to snuggle under the covers with Beloved, and soccer games, swim meets, a movie or two.


Brother and I are reading "the Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCammillo. This morning we were ready a few minutes early so took it out on the porch to read while waiting for the children's bus. We were almost done and the bus came! Oh NO! Now I have to wait he has to wait until the end of the day to find out if the King believes Despereaux and finds the poor Princess Pea hidden away in the dungeon by the evil rat Roscuro! and to find out what happens to poor, misguided, tragic Mig. It's going to be a long day :)
This was a wonderful book, thanks for recommending it Colleen :)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

sabbath day

Today we had a good Sunday. Church was nice, the kids were freezing in the chapel for some reason. It's always cold in there. I bought Lucy and H white sweaters to wear over their dresses but we didn't bring them today so we had three kids trying to squeeze into the warm spot in the middle of Beloved and myself. Other than that the testimonies were nice and both RS and Sunday School lessons were good.

When we got home the girls and I watched Ballet Shoes. This movie is definitely a two thumbs up. It was very sweet and heart warming. It's the story of three orphans, Paulina, Posy and Petrona who are raised by an eccentric paleontologist explorer and his niece. He left on an expedition and left money enough for 5 years. 12 years later...I won't give anything else away but it was a treat for us all. H watched it again a second time right after we finished the first time through. Apparently it was a book first, but I have never heard of it, I'll go looking for it now. I am sure H and I would enjoy reading it together.

E had homework. He had to make a time line of his life. We had a very fun time looking through pictures and choosing which ones he wanted to use. His timeline turned out really well.

Here's a sample picture, one that didn't actually make it on the time line but that I think is so funny. E, at 11 months old, enjoying some blueberries.

After dinner H and I made peanut butter cookies with Hershey's kisses pressed on them. Yummy. I got the recipe in a Paula Dean magazine this last Friday when Beloved and I went to the library.