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Saturday, April 30, 2011

beach picnic

This evening we had a very fun picnic with some of our friends. We met at the beach on base and ate. The most fun for everyone was the nice beach and the water.

It was not really warm, in fact all the adults had sweatshirts and light weight jackets on...but the kids were "not cold" and would not stay out of the water :)

I found a great rock that is shaped like a heart.

My favorite sound in the world is the sound of surf pounding the shore. It's so peaceful. It was a very nice evening.

sport Saturday

Big was soccer mom today. He took the kids to their games by himself since I was at Christmas in April. Bub's team won again. He sure loves soccer.

Lu also loves her sport and is having a lot of fun learning how to play lacrosse.

Christmas in April

The Laurels and Priests were given an assignment by the Bishop to participate in the community service project, Christmas in April. We met early this morning at the home of an elderly couple and painted, planted, cleaned and scrubbed.

It went very well. The youth had a good time and the service was meaningful and appreciated.

After we had lunch and everyone went off to finish their day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

This is my favorite picture of the day. The little page boys and flower girls were really cute. A little royal wedding watching was a fun part of my day. I loved the parade of ugly hats.

Today we had soccer practice and a soccer game. After we went to Cici's.

This and that

This is my little corner of the world where I spend my days enlightening little minds and sharing my love of literature.

cute Tate and Tal dancing at Greg's birthday celebration:)

E got accepted into STEM.

J had her last orchestra competition, they went to state on Wednesday. I wish I could have gone to listen.

Stake leadership was last night, it was a really good meeting. We talked a lot about strengthening families.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

My sweet baby

Jenna got some photos done yesterday for her announcements. Here's a sneak peak. I can not believe she is all grown up and going to college in less than two months. She is such a good girl, and talented and beautiful and thoughtful. I will miss her.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Last day of spring break

Our break went too fast. Today we cleaned and vacuumed then treated ourselves to some brusters! It's 86 degrees out and feels like spring!

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Happy Easter!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

the end of the trip

Rain boots, umbrellas and flashlights were placed by the door and we turned in for the night hoping not to need them. 2am brought a familiar groan from our rogue vomiter. E dashed for the door and threw up over the deck. I don't know why he randomly barfs but he does. He went back to bed and since I was now awake I needed to pee and headed up the hill to the very chilly bathroom.

4am. Mom?? (groan) yes? I need to go to the bathroom. So we geared up and went out in the rain to the chilly bathroom again.
That is not the best part of camping.

Today we woke up to more rain, and lots in the forecast so we packed up, checked out, and went to Bob Evans for an end of vacation breakfast.

Vacation was a delight. One thing I found so interesting was we gave each child $20 at the beginning of the trip and told them they could buy whatever they wanted but when the $ was gone they were done spending. We would buy meals and admissions to what we were doing but anything else they wanted was up to them. Watching them spend and choose was fun. Lu found a package of lip gloss at the camp store minute one. She wanted it but didn't buy it right way. She used it as a measuring rod for all other purchases. Did she want whatever she was looking at more than the lip gloss? In almost all cases the answer was no. She did pool some money with Ethan to buy Tatum a present, and she did buy Ethan a pack of cards from the Disney store. This morning we went back to the camp store and she got her lip gloss. E spent most his money day one. He bought Tate a present and he bought me a cute baby stuffed owl. He spent the rest of his money on playing games at Hershey. He likes to throw balls at things. I would not have chosen that but he loves it. H saved her $ until we went to the outlet mall and then bought some jewelry and a bag at aero. E was the only one who asked for more money, he spent most of his on others and gave his prizes to Lu, he is very generous. He just wanted to play more.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hershey park

We missed the rain!! The radar showed rain all over all day but this morning we had a sliver of sunshine and decided to go for it. Unlike many park goers today we had the right clothing and we bundled up in many layers and headed out. It was cold but we had a really fun time and it didn't rain until late in the afternoon.

The kids loved the scrambler and the comet best. Lu was a little worried about the first drop but after that she liked it, E was apprehensive but in the end said it was fun. We ate park food and looked at shops and were so happy to be dry and that we brought our gloves!

When the rain came we went to chocolate world. The Hershey story was so interesting, he was quite a visionary man. I'd call our trip a success and we all agreed we'd come back again. We didn't get to see and do everything so there would be lots to still do!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


We rented a rustic cabin for our stay. It has beds and is warm but no plumbing and a fire to cook on so we are kind of camping.

After settling in Big built a fire and we put some beans and dogs on. Little cooked our hot dogs for us and everyone ate up!

Super cute hershey thing: the lamp posts are topped with hershey kisses! Some are chocolate and others foil wrapped with tags, so cute!

spring trip

I've been looking forward to our trip to Hershey for some time. I wish the big girls had come but they both had work and wanted to hang out with friends. It's only a couple months until they leave for school and I will miss them!

We've been watching the weather and it's been calling for cold and rain. We actually talked about not going but decided to take our chances and hope for the best.

Our first day turned out perfect! We drove up and got here by noon. Our first stop was at Friendly's for some lunch...okay mostly it was for the ice cream:) but we also had lunch.

Then we went to Zoo America and to Hershey Gardens. Both were very nice. I loved the zoo. Lu loved night in the desert, Bub enjoyed watching the peregrine falcon and Hannah liked all the owls. Their habitats were so nice you could really see the animals up close.

The gardens were beautiful and we had a lovely time walking through them and enjoying the different plants. I loved the children's garden and the herb garden best. The kids loved rolling down the hill :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

dumpster diving

We had a busy day. Going away to have fun always takes a lot of work. We did laundry and straightened up. Big tidied up the yard and we took the car to fill it with gas and give it a wash. We went shopping for trip stuff and for Easter. We packed and made some lists. Everything went smoothly except Lu is still suffering from a bad case of the grouchies and we had a debit card crisis at the gas station. I swiped the card to get some gas and then stood in my drivers door talking to the kids and cleaning out my purse while it was pumping. When I was done I looked for my card and couldn't find it. We checked my wallet and purse and the whole car and the ground.
Finally I took the plunge and looked through the trash can where I had thrown some papers.
Still no luck.
I checked that trash four times, carefully.
We searched every and I was bummed, no luck.
Finally we went over to the car wash and drove thru and when we got to the vacuum searched again. Thankfully I then uncovered it! We were thrilled and said a prayer of thanks! It would have been a terrible day to lose my plastic.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Maggie and Lucy on the metro

All the kids minus three at the zoo

Why is it that vacation days go by so much faster than work days? Today is already Tuesday! Wait, slow down!!

We went to the National Zoo with some of our good friends. We met at the metro station and rode the train down. For the kids that is just as fun as the outing itself. They especially love standing while we are moving. It was kind of crowded and we stood by a handsome, good natured man who chatted with us and the kids. He asked them where they were going and we talked about different zoos. He is here from Co. Springs area. We asked him if he was here on spring break and he said no, he was here to go to the Cancer Institute. He just finished treatment for a melanoma that had metastasized to his brain. He was hoping for a clean bill of health. Before we parted ways he wished us a good time in our day, and we wished him well with his. I had told him that 20 years ago I had cancer and we high fived to the hope that he would see 20 years from now. Strange little moments. When we got off the train Laura said, he's too handsome to have cancer. I agreed. Someday everyone will be well and whole. Won't that be a blessing. For today everyone has something and no one is spared. That's part of mortality, isn't it.

So we had a good day. We had 14 kids, 4 moms and an auntie on our little field trip. We didn't lose anyone. The weather was perfect, we were worried about rain but didn't see more than a few drops. We were concerned about crowds, but it turned out fine. The kids ran around and looked at animals. We were able to catch a couple of "talks" by zoo volunteers that were so interesting. One on the giant panda, and one on the naked mole rat. Everyone got along and mostly no one whined. One little girl did have a bad start to the day and hated her lunch and was whinyer than normal. She's six and belongs to me.

After the zoo we rode a very crowded metro back to our cars. We were a little afraid for the children and feared that they might be squished in the masses. We made it though, thanks to some very skillful and aggressive mamma bear parenting, then ate at chikfila and drove home. Lucy fell asleep on the way. I love the zoo. I love my kiddos. I love my friends. I love warm weather. I love when you are worried about something and then nothing you worried about actually happens and everything goes well! Sweet :)

Monday, April 18, 2011


Today I celebrated the 30th anniversary of becoming a teenager. Then I was very excited to be 13, I went to Park View Jr High, my BFF was Lana, I loved horses and reading and walking to Winschells for donuts. I loved to watch the Dukes of Hazard and CHiPs and when I could the Love Boat, although I wasn't supposed to. Valerie Dopp was my Beehive leader and the only things I could cook were chocolate chip cookies and instant pudding.

Now I am just happy to be on this side of the dirt:) I cook a lot of things, still love to read and I am the YW leader instead of the YW. I still like chocolate chip cookies....but I have vowed that this really is going to be the year I get that under control.

So we had a fun day. First we went to the movies and saw Rio in 3D. It was cute and snappy. Then we went to Okada. Everyone but Lu enjoyed it. She was scared of the flames, hated the food and was mad that a shrimp touched her plate. She did eat my complimentary birthday dessert. In the evening we went to the Martines' for a fun BBQ. Chelsea made a cake and we had a campfire after dinner. We ended with FHE.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

a sunday in the spring

Sweet Sabbath day of rest. We had a great Sunday. Sacrament meeting was about families and I loved the talks. My favorite was when Sarah and Stephen Henderson, who got married last week, got up and bore testimony about their gratitude for their eternal marriage and their families. It was so sweet.

When we came home we had lunch and then the girls and I went in the basement and made some fun summer skirts and the boys went on a bike ride and played at the park.

When they got home the girls joined them for some more park fun this time across the street at the neighborhood playground and I took a nap:)

After a nice nap I watched Tangled with Sierra, we had some yummy corn bread and chili for dinner. Lastly we built a fire and roasted some marshmallows with the neighbor kids.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

rainy day

Lax was cancelled due to rain, this little girl was very upset. We decided to go get donuts for breakfast to cheer her up. Fortune smiled on us, McKays had a special visitor....

EB! We took a picture, dyed an egg and came home with a new pencil, a balloon and a happy girl.

Our rainy day plans are a cleaning party, then tonight we are going to a wedding.

Friday, April 15, 2011

spring break kick off

Tonight was our first official moments of spring break fun! We had a neighborhood flashlight Easter egg hunt!
Many many neighbors gathered at the playground and the kids ran around hunting eggs, and each other. The parents stood around watching, chatting, drinking. It was a merry time for all.
Lu checking out her haul :)

Looking forward to 10 days of family fun!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


This girl could not wait one more day. She has been begging to dye eggs for weeks. Usually I like to do it a day or two before Easter but then it is sometimes rushed or otherwise not fully appriciated. So I decided that it didn't really have to be done then and so tonight was the night and she is thrilled. I doubt they will last until Easter but we can just eat the chocolate variety then:) Never put the fun off for a better time.

how long will it be before we own a watercraft?

jenna, ashleigh, katie and susanna. Sweet Laurels!
osprey mating season, there are tons of them out and about.
Capt J
where are my sunglasses?
the sail...duh
gorgeous sunset
Tuesday I had sick kids, really we are not yet 100%, but we are getting better. Lu had a fever starting on Monday. H has been feeling poorly for two weeks. She stayed home one day last week and then again on Tuesday. Thank goodness for big girls. S doesn't have classes and didnt have to go to work until later so she stayed home with the girls. J has early release so she covered the afternoon. There was a 45 min gap but we thought H could handle it and she did.

Last night the Laurels went sailing. The weather was a little iffy all week and I was worried but we went and it was perfect. Beautiful and not cold. The girls had a really good time and so did I. I will post pictures as soon as one of our laptops works. My baby sophie is having a break down, it is sooo slow, like back to the days of give a command and come back in 10 to see if it's done, and it locks up still. R's wouldn't talk to the camera, don't know why. Hopefully tonight we (read:Big) will figure something out....or finish our taxes seeing that tomorrow is the deadline.

One more day until spring break!! one more lunch duty, one more night of homework, one more!

Monday, April 11, 2011

mormons and muslims

Sunday was the nicest day. The weather was mild and sunny. We went for a family bike ride, Lu is doing really well. We had some really good talks in Sacrament Meeting and Steven B. sang my favorite hymn and did a great job. In the evening we had some friends over for dinner. While subbing I met Suhani, who it turns out has a husband that works with Big. We worked together several times and got along well. A few weeks ago R mentioned to me that he wanted to invite Brian and Suhani over for dinner, I was agreeable and looked forward to it especially since I knew her and thought it might not be all airplanes all night :) All the times we had lunch together I never saw her eat meat so I asked Big to ask Brian if she was a vegetarian, she is not but doesn't eat pork (she's Muslim). I made chicken. No problem :) About an hour before they arrived they called to say they would be bringing a tieramasu. Except we don't drink coffee. Turns out when Mormons and Muslims dine together the menu gets kind of limited :) They brought a fruit bowl instead. We had a fun time, the kids really enjoyed them and we ate and played games and agreed to get together again soon. It's sort of an unlikely friendship, a 20 something Bangladeshi engineer turned substitute teacher and a 40 + mom of 6 but we get a long well. This morning I woke up in a good mood, the weather was supposed to be 80 degrees and I was looking forward to it! It was warm today!! Yeah, spring~ welcome!! J had a date tonight with Brian. He was very nice, for the minute I met him. They are going to dinner and bowling. Lu's class eggs hatched and she got to hold a chickie. E scored the first goal at the practice scrimmage. H and G are feeling poorly, I hope they are well tomorrow. Really hope. recently blogger has not let me format the text the way I want. It's really annoying

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Some time ago the boy came home from school and told me that Webb and Grant went to watch a soccer game. He was amazed, it had never occurred to him that people went to pro games I guess. He asked if maybe we could go to one some time. I told him maybe.

After thinking about it for a while I talked with Big and we decided to take him. It would be a fun outing. I checked the schedule and his favorite team, the LA Galaxy was coming to DC to play. We got 3 tickets and looked forward to going. The only bummer was it was the same night as the cub scout campfire :( We wanted to go to that too but chose soccer for the evening. I think it's safe to say we had a good time. As many forays out to worldly events are it was fraught with excitement, high energy and loud laughter. The parking lot was full of tail gaters enjoying pre game festivities and the stadium was full of anxious fan. We took our seats and watched people and players. The whole event was loud and exciting. We were rooting for LA and they scored early in the game and held off "the dark side" until the last 5 minutes of the game when literally a moment before the clock ran out there was a foul and a free kick that tied up the game. In the 5 minutes they played after the clock both teams powerhoused for a winning goal but the game ended in a tie. I was struck by several things. First of all , those men are not very good sports. There were many fouls, pushes, kicks and dirty playing. If the boys played like that they would be red carded in a second. I was very disappointed to take my boy to see some of his heros and have them behave so poorly. We haven't evolved much from the days of gladiator fights in the arenas of ancient Rome. Also the crowds were obnoxious and many of them were drunk and unruly. It made me a little sad. I know men have a fight reflex or something but it was lacking in dignity and friendly competition and from the spectators? come on, you aren't even the one out there kicking the ball! The athletes were amazing players and it was exciting but for me I left dissappointed in the experience.


Between sporting events we did chores. Lucy helped dad outside. She loves to plant stuff :) We are trying some new veggies in our garden this year and are hoping for great success.
The boy helped me with inside chores. Not his favorite. I really want him to grow up to be a man who knows his way with a broom and some ajax. I find this a very desirable and attractive quality.

Jen and Han did our grocery shopping. It is such a treat to have daughters old enough to drive, responsible enough to take my debit card and willing to do the job. It is very interesting to me though that while the children have all grocery shopped with me since they were days old and I have modeled shopping skills to them all that time they still don't know how to do it. I thought they were learning a lot about shopping, yet each girl when sent to the store has struggled. I get multiple phone calls asking stuff like "where do they keep the chicken? What kind of milk? I don't think this Wal mart has sugar??" They often bring home odd sizes of stuff, brands we don't normally buy and missing items. Which is fine. Teach and reteach. I am just still surprised. It makes we wonder what else I have modeled for them, that I thought they learned, that they really have not...and conversely what have I taught that I didn't mean to.

Saturday, April 09, 2011