THE END

I have run out of room. My blog is finished.
You can now find me at
Too Many To Count Two

lanamarieblog.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

stuff

Today was a half day of school. This is a lucky day for me. On half day the am pre-Kers get to go all day and eat lunch at school. The pm class doesn't get to go. After school Layla and Cole came over to play. The girls made cookies, the boys played Wii and climbed the dirt pile.
Lu had gymnastics today! She loves it.

S cut H's hair. It looks uber cute!


like mother, like daughter

This morning I saw Dani's blog and cracked up. Little Tate looked so adorable and so just like her mom. The top picture is Dani dressed as a little pink bear for her first Halloween 1987~ crying.
Tatum in her little witch tutu 2009~ crying.

random Sunday morning 1987, Dani crying


Can't wait to see them both in a couple of weeks!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sidewalk side dining was a fun afternoon date for Beloved and I this weekend. Our downtown square is quite charming and we had a yummy lunch together. That day we also went to Brother's soccer game (they won~ and he scored!) and I went to the women's broadcast and dinner. It was wonderful. I very much enjoyed driving with some of the sisters in my ward and talking with them and sharing a meal and spiritual message. It was pouring rain but there was sunshine in our hearts :)
My list of things to do while Lu is at school hasn't been going quite like I planned. I decided to learn how to make jam and made these yummy grape jams the other day. It was really fun and I was happy to share some with the sisters I visit teach. I've been cooking and cleaning and the time just flies by! I do have a book idea...maybe, and I am planning on exercising more. I've been walking, I have also had a stuffy head and cough for a week or so and that makes it harder.

Snapped this picture this morning, it's getting cool in the morning and evening now.
Last weekend we took a lovely walk in the woods behind our house. The kids LOVED exploring.



I saw this cute square wreath on a blog and decided to make one. It was fun to do and came out nicely. Yeah for fall!


Saturday, September 26, 2009

some fav rides

video

Fair report

The fair was sooo super fun. Maybe the best fair I have ever been too. The kids had so much fun! We meet Colleen and crew and watched the lambs being judged then headed off to the rides.
We split the kids and she took Jeffrey and Lu and I took the big kids and we headed off to ride. Later we switched. It was perfect because everyone could ride what they wanted. Brother's favorite was the bobsled, Lu loved everything, H loved hanging out with Chelsea.


Shortly after we got there J found some friends to go off with.


We bought drinks, Jeffrey shared with Lu. We ate popcorn and funnel cakes. A great dinner!





After all the rides H left with Chelsea's family and the rest of us went to look at the displays. The vegetables and the poultry were my favorites. The ice sculpture really caught the kids attention. E and L also played a couple of fairway games and won treasures.




Funny, J eating chicken on a stick tauntingly in front of the chickens.
then at three am Brother came stumbling into our room, threw-up on Beloved, then made a throw-up trail on the carpet to the bathroom, and all over the bathroom. Nice.

Friday, September 25, 2009

cotton candy, tractor pulls and other fair fun!

school is closed today. Why? Well, it's time for the country fair! Can you believe it?! I think it's a splendid idea and off we go to meet some friends, look at some pigs and ride the ferris wheel!

Lucy's only experience with a fair is watching "charlotte's web", which she loves. I am not sure what she expects but she is excited. H and E tell me they've never ridden a ferris wheel (what kind of mother do they have?)

So, we're off!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

she works so hard :)


?

After going to volunteer training I had to go to Wal mart for two things. A can of pumpkin and guinea pig food. I went and they were out of one. Guess which one.... the pumpkin. They were also out last week. How can that be? I would understand if it was the day before thanksgiving and I was ill prepared but in September? What could be causing this dearth?
Annoying.

Also, why did they stop making the cute metal lunch boxes that actually kept lunches from getting squished? Now we have soft sided ones and have to buy sandwich keepers to keep our sandwiches nice and little containers for grapes and whatever else gets mooshed...and what about the nice thermos that used to be in the lunch box?

Pumpkin Cookies


1 box spice cake mix
1 small can of pumpkin
chocolate chips.

Stir cake mix and pumpkin together. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 15ish minutes. Eat :)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

story time

Today I took little miss Lucy to story time. I am a veteran story time goer. I have been to great story times, and not so great ones...some times a program is so terrific that I arrange my whole week to make sure we go, other times we bag it all together for the opposite reason. I guess this is my last year to go since Lu will be in full day Kindergarten next year and I am happy to say that the program at our little library is wonderful. The leaders were fun and they sang and read engaging books and had games. Lu loved it. Yea!

After we spent a little time on the computer, chose some books and headed home.

Lu had a great day, pre-K, which she adores, story time and gymnastics :)

Unfortunately S didn't have as great a day since her car broke down..again. We've been having trouble with it ever since someone smashed it in the drive way. Today it wouldn't start:( and she had to walk home from school.

Right now J is at mutual, luckily she was able to get a ride and Beloved and S are over at the college figuring out what's wrong.





on being happy


this picture has nothing to do with the post, I just liked it...and it's my blog, so there you go :)
"Bloom where you are planted" not just good advice but a Divine edict I believe. The last couple months as we have begun our life here in Maryland I have had a number of people comment on how well we are adjusting and how happy we seem. And we are. However that is a decision that we made. Happiness is a choice, and making our way in a new place and new circumstance requires choosing that route.
We have found many nice things about living here. I love our home, it's spacious and beautiful and I feel grateful to have it. The grass here is really soft and wonderful to sit on or walk in (unlike TX). The soccer field where Brother plays his games is quite nice, with a playground and actual bathroom instead of port-a-potties. The school offers many enrichment programs that the kids are benefiting from. Our neighborhood is friendly and fun. We have met wonderful people in our ward who I am sure we will have warm and long lasting relationships with. There are interesting historical sites to visit and crabs to eat. Every place has wonderful things about it, and neat people to meet, and food to eat. You just have to look.
It's an odd kind of a thing because we do miss Texas a lot. I liked living there. I loved our pool and our house and that the bus stopped right at our mail box. I loved our schools and going downtown and the museums and zoo and shops that were nearby. I loved that our ward was small in geography, and the wide open spaces. Most of all I loved my dear friends who I miss every day. I think about Deana and wonder how she is doing, being treated for cancer, a second time, it's so unfair, yet she is positive and steadfast. I wish I was there to bring her some brownies. I worry about Ruth, who is so strong and wise and will be just fine, great really, but is facing life as a single mom, not in her plans. I wish I could be there when Kriste welcomes son #5 into her family, or when Tori sends Holly off on a mission. I miss Debi and Angela and our awesome childcare arrangement, and our friendship and laughter. I miss Marcia, my birthday twin and sweetest friend who is always willing to solve the worlds problems during a mid day phone call. I miss Robin, who's example I always treasure and try and emulate, and Alison who is so put together, and so generous with her time and talents...and I could easily go on and on. I miss the wonderful, irreplaceable good friends that J had. Her life here is really different, not bad, just different. She too is choosing to be happy to find the good and has made friends, and joined clubs and loves orchestra.
I'm getting a little rambling now:) The human heart is interesting. It can miss and mourn, and look forward and make new at the same time. Funny. What a blessing.
So we chose to be happy. Chose to make new friends and have new experiences. Chose a bright fun future.
Come what may, and love it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Fall Y'all!

Tomorrow is the first day of fall. Lucy came home from pre-K on Friday and announced it, then counted down. I love fall, it's so festive and it marks the start of the holiday season. I think this will be an interesting year for us because we will have four seasons, the air here is already crisp in the mornings and the leaves are turning colors, fields are being harvested and advertising pumpkins and corn mazes. Lots of fall fun. This morning my neighbor and I were walking back to our homes after dropping the kids at the bus and talking about how different it is here. She is Nigerian and told me the first year she lived in the US she couldn't even go outside in the winter it was SO freezing to her! :)

I did my weekly shopping this morning and found these fall treats! I am a sucker for packaging and the creme bruelle candy corns called my name, as did the cute Halloween oreos. I also got pumpkin soap at Bath&Body! Love it!!!

I'm trying some new recipes tonight, I always tend to do that when I am cooking for others, which totally doesn't make sense because what if it's horrible? Anyway I made Velveeta chicken enchiladas & Mexican salad. Can't wait to taste them, and then my fav 3 ingredient pumpkin cookies.


H started her after school robotics program and came home very excited about that. Lu was very excited today as well because she finally got to paint during "centers"!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Renaissance Fair

Today after Brother's soccer game we went to Annapolis to the Renaissance Fair. It was a lot of fun. There were tons of people there, which is always a little stressful to keep track of all the kids but they did a good job staying with us.

The first thing we did was go to the jousting show. The knights did a great job. I am glad I didn't have to be alive then, it looks very cumbersome to ride around in all that armor.
We walked around and looked at the shops and cool things. Brother got a new sword.

Everything costs money to do, so we did more looking than doing, but each of the kids got to try an activity or two. H and Lu both climbed on "Jacob's Ladder". H almost made it to the top! Brother shot a cross bow. We all went down a huge slide that was really fun:)




This sword swallower was really good. We also watched some jugglers, a story teller and some musicians.



They had a nice kids area where we played.





The kids got to participate in a lawn bowling game. H and E were a team and they won! Lu was a team with another girl and she had a fun time too.



After we went to Friendly's and had some yummy dinner and ice cream!

It was a fun and interesting day. I don't think we will do it again because it was kind of expensive and dirty and smoky, once was great though.

Friday, September 18, 2009

my sweet grandbaby is one month old today! Look how cute and chubby her arms are now. She's grown so much. Thank goodness they are coming to visit next month, I can't wait to see her :)

Last night we had book club at our home. It was a lot of fun. We had 7 sisters here and we had a great book chat. I made chocolate fountain and I think everyone enjoyed that too. Next month we are reading "Three cups of Tea", which I read this summer and really liked. It was especially nice to get to know some of the sisters better.

This morning S, Beloved and I went for a bike ride. Beloved wanted to take us to St Mary's Lake. I didn't really enjoy the ride, or really do it. It was very off road and up and down and lots of tree branches, which I didn't like. I abandoned my bike and walked it...it was a lovely walk :)

S started her job last night. She had a fun time and got $60 in tips!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

so what do I do with my new free time?

Now that I am going to have three free hours every day I need to think of something worthwhile to do with them. At one point in my life I thought that when the day finally came I would take a nap.

I didn't do that:)

Yesterday flew by with errands.

Today Sierra and I went on a long and lovely bike ride. We rode through our neighborhood and looked at the new construction. It's fun to see what the neighbors are up to, what's in the garage, or what they are planting. One unexpectedly fun thing about living here is the sense of community I have found. I think it's because we are all new and the neighborhood is new and so traditions are being formed and things are growing and there is a lot of interest in the goings on. I am excited for our side walks to be finished and to get our tree. So are others around me and we talk about it while we wait for the bus, or get the mail, or are out taking a walk. Then we took the little path through the woods and up the hill (I barely made it..I kid you not) to the library, we continued on to the hospital and rode through the cute established neighborhood there, then headed back. Coasting down the hills, laughing with S and enjoying the cool morning air was so fun. Puffing up the hill, being laughed at by S and sweating wasn't so much but I guess it was good for me.

When we got back she got ready for school and I started the home making chores.

So with my new free time I plan on working out a few times a week, volunteering at the school, keeping up on laundry, becoming a scriptorian, hand making the kids Halloween costumes and writing a book.

bus

Today I got to the bus stop early to pick Lucy up. Yesterday I was late, but it wasn't my fault. I asked when it would drop off and was told 11:35. At 11:25 Sierra and I started walking down to the bus, we were just rounding the corner at the top of the little hill when we saw the bus pull up at the stop, at the bottom. Oh no! We started to run. We were both in flip flops and S kept saying "run faster mom" as she got farther and farther behind me! I raced to the stop and pantingly apologized. The bus driver told me it was 11:28 and that was what time he would always be there.
One of my nightmares is that I won't be there when one of the kids needs to be picked up or comes home. shudder ...and it almost came true.

One of my other, wake up in the middle of the night in a panic, parenting nightmares did come true a couple of years ago. I couldn't believe it and it was SO HORRIBLE. Thank goodness Dani was with me so she could help me fix the mistake, which I was barely able to do.

It is a big responsibility when the magic of childhood and the safety of your little ones lies squarely on your shoulders. It literally wakes me up in a panic from time to time.

Today I was there at 11:25...and the bus came at 11:32.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

little kindnesses

After I dropped off the kids this morning I started on my errands. I needed to go to the post office to mail some bills, the bank to order checks, and Verizon to replace my phone. It stopped charging a couple days ago and I wasn't sure what was wrong with it.

The first two stops went so fast and then I went to Verizon where I found I was still under warranty but that store couldn't help me because they didn't have a technician. At store #1 they told me the store in CA did and I should go there. They said it would be open at 9:30 so I drove down. It wasn't open until 10:00. I wandered around for a few minutes looking at store fronts to pass some time then came back to wait. At that time it was about 10 til and one other man was also waiting. Over the next 5 minutes 9 more people came to wait...now I was nervous. Would I get helped in time? It was a little annoying that they didn't open their doors early with so many people standing outside, and a bunch of employees standing around inside chit chatting. Finally we got in and I registered in the Que then quickly got called. The girl who helped me was nice and friendly and looked at my phone and said they'd replace it but first they had to call Beloved for "permission" since his name is on the account. I don't know why but I found that extremely annoying. I had to wait while they called him and asked if it was okay. I heard him asking how much it would cost and then he said yes. I really had to struggle with not feeling so mad at her, and him (although I know it wasn't his fault at all).
While I was standing there waiting for my phone to be fixed a little old lady got called up. Using her cane she came up to the counter and handed "Josh" her phone and a list of numbers. Her problem was she didn't know how to program them into her phone. He was so sweet. He took her phone and the list and programed them in, then helped her set up speed dial, and she wanted "a song to play when her phone rang" and he helped her with that. The whole time being so kind and not at all condescending. She was sitting on a chair on the side when I was finishing up. His kindness so touched me. I took a little sticky note and wrote on it "you are being so sweet to that cute old lady:)" and reached over and put it on his computer. I didn't want her to hear but I wanted him to know that I noticed and appreciated it. He smiled and we both went about our day.
This small act of kindness completely changed my mood, and I am sure it was wonderful for her too.

Note to self: be kind. It matters.

Pre K

Monday afternoon we got a phone call from the school and they had an opening for Lu to go to pre-K, if we wanted. We were thrilled! we quickly went down and got her school supply list and turned in her shot record.
Yesterday morning we went to Wal-mart and got supplies. She picked a cute pink princess backpack and a purple crayon box:) We also got a "first day of school outfit", then all we had to do was wait.

Luckily her friend Jeffrey came to play in the afternoon. They had a great time playing ping pong, and setting up the train set, and we played Uno. Our only mishap was when they filled the bathtub up to give the stuffed animals a bath, and then hopped in themselves, fully dressed. They looked pretty cute all bubbly and wet but I had to keep a stern face and pull them out. Fortunately Brother has some clothes that he's outgrown so Jeffery changed into them and Lu changed and they kept on with their fun afternoon. Also after school she was invited to play at Julia's house (a little girl in our neighborhood~and that was great fun!) and last night during Brother's soccer practice she played on the playground with several other little girls. All things that helped pass the time quite happily and quickly.

This morning she was up and ready to go bright and early. H helped her take a bath and then they got dressed and came down for breakfast. Everyone was so excited that we were ready a whole half hour early.

Finally it was time to go. Her teachers are so sweet and nice, and the room looked like so much fun. It really is wonderful. I waited for her to get settled and then left a very happy little girl.



Can't wait to pick her up and hear how it all went.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

how wii spent the afternoon

This morning was our primary program. Lucy was SO excited. She's been waiting. Last year she really wanted to participate, but couldn't because she was still in nursery. This year she memorized her part and did a great job. She was so cute and funny spinning on the stage and singing loudly the songs she knew well. There is nothing cuter than a Sunbeam in their first program!

H had to miss. She was home sick. Day 3. I think she's doing better though and hopefully she'll be back to school tomorrow.

This afternoon we played Wii Sport Resort. Beloved has had a long afternoon nap. S has been watching football, J doing homework and the littles and I have been in the basement for hours honing our canoeing skills, dog fighting, table tennis, and other wii games. It's been fun and "wholesome family entertainment" :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

soccer

the beginning of fall brings with it soccer (and football if you are S who likes to watch it on TV, or J who goes to the HS games). Today was our first game. Our team, the Fireballs, won 2-1. It was a fun game.
This is brother's first season playing with a goalie and with off sides. He likes both.


The park where our games are is beautiful. After we played on the playground for a short while. H had to stay home because she is sick, again. Poor girl.
This afternoon Lu and I went to the Fall Follies on the square, a craft fair. We cleaned the house. Beloved mowed the lawn. We took a walk. S and J went to the mall.
Tonight Beloved and I are driving a suburban full of youth to the stake dance. We'll hang out then drive them home. Should be fun.

Friday, September 11, 2009

mushrooms


one nice thing about the rain is it brings out lots of mushrooms. They are so interesting. In our yard we have black ones with frilly tops. In front of Old Navy today we saw some that looked like little stacked houses, two stories high. We've seen some with stripes and some that are big. Some cluster together and look like a fairy village and others just stand alone. I am enjoying looking at the different mushrooms we spot and seeing how pretty they are.

i rememeber

It's been a lot of years now and life is different in a post 9-11 world. Flying is different, America's innocence gone, the idea that nothing can hurt us is certainly gone.

It's a rainy, cold morning here in "beautiful Maryland", appropriate weather to take a moment and reflect on the atrocities of the past and the hope of the future. I am grateful to live in a land of freedom, to be blessed with the ability to choose. I was talking the other day with Shayna, who served a mission in Estonia and she was saying that the people there have no freedoms and that even the old women dye their hair crazy colors like purple because dyeing their hair is one thing they could chose to do. What a sharp contrast from our lives where we can be anything and do anything.

I hope we always value and protect our free agency and make choices that allow us to stay free, personally and as a nation..and as a world.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

screws and pizza and stuff

Yesterday went well. Sierra liked her classes & she got the job at Ledo's. It won't be a lot of hours to start with but if she does well she'll get more.

Lucy had her first gymnastics and LOVED it. I was really glad. We went to playgroup in the morning and that wasn't a great fit for her, all the other kids were a lot smaller than her and she wanted to go home not long after we got there. I was a little bummed because I like the other moms and it was fun to visit with them and also because I want her to find a friend and be happy here. I actually went so far as to call preschools in the area to see if they had any openings after we got home. I was shocked to find one that did..however it came down to it being quite expensive and by morning I decided not to pursue it. I will have to be more fun to play with during the day. I am crossing my fingers that at some point during the school year she'll get into pre-K. It's a slim chance, but you never know.

Beloved has been really busy at work, which is good for him.

It rains often here, so strange.

This morning I had a flat tire, a screw was in it. After we got the kids off to school Lu and I went to have it patched. We took a cool walk to look around while it was being worked on and enjoyed some hot chocolate at Starbucks. When you live in a construction zone you get the occasional nail/screw/ whatever induced flat.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

CSM

First day of college. She didn't want me to take a picture but I insisted. She was excited, and I am excited for her. College is fun, plus having stuff to do is great! She also has a job interview today. Things are falling into place :)

Scenes from the day

After running some errands this morning, including getting S's book, which cost a small fortune, we came home and Lu and I had tea.
While I was fixing dinner for the missionaries I heard the happy sounds of laughter coming from the back yard. Not a welcome sound moments before we had dinner guests. I opened the door, called the kids and saw this :( Tons of mud every where. Now I get to clean the drive way, and try and get the clothes clean...this is why we need a trampoline...or a ping pong table....or something.






Some after dinner wrestling, the traditional post scripture reading activity ;)






seeking refuge from the sibs on attack!







A quiet moment together before bed.