Thursday, December 31, 2009

This is the best day ever!

Last night as it started to snow *again*, Dallas said, "I'm so happy when it snows. It's like little pieces of joy falling to the ground." (He said this to his Dad and it cracked me up because it's something I would say.)

I just feel like today is the best day ever!! We just had a great visit from Rick and Sunny and Dean for the last two days!! We really enjoyed having them visit and wish they would drive across the country more often. It was our first time meeting their son Dean. Dean is the most easy going baby, and soooooo cute!! (He even was sick and throwing up while he was here, and was still in good spirits MOST of the time.) He is definitely a keeper. (As in I may keep him myself, thank you very much!)

I am starting to cough slightly less, and have a bit of a voice!!! (Although Evan did just come down with our eye infection.) It snowed a ton last night and it is beautifully sunny today!! Pat is home, and was able to sled with the boys!! And have snowball fights!! I just made rolls!! I shoveled the front walk!! We have a warm fire and we just watched three episodes of Avatar- The Last Air Bender, which we love!! We cleaned up the Christmas mess last night!! We did a ton of school work today and it was so fun- reading, handwriting, work books, history, math and art all because we enjoy it and it only took a couple hours!! I can just see the kids countenances lightening as they learn and do good!! I LOVE doing school at home on my own watch and not having to rush kids out the door to school. If that makes me weird, too motherly or crazy, then so be it. I am not looking forward to school starting again. The cold, the rush, the constant shuttling to and from, blah, blah... and missing the best part; being with my kids and actually knowing what they're doing all day!!!

I just love a day like today. All the family together. Accomplished a lot, and played a lot, and just feeling happy! I wish every day were like today!!!
My shoveling job, early in the morning before the sun came out.
D trying to shovel, and the sun it emerging!
Sam's super icicle!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!!

Our dog Bella, wishing she was a new Christmas present like last year. She loved sleeping under the tree where the boys couldn't attack her.
I had a small window of 3-4 days where I wasn't sick to do shopping, mailing of packages to family, school stuff with our friends, the party for Dallas' class, and the Christmas program at church. The two weeks before that and the entire week of Christmas after that, have been nothing but sick. Miserably sick. All week Pat and I have been trying to see who can cough up a lung first, and yesterday he went to get eye drops since we both woke up with our eyes sealed shut. We are thinking of lighting a ring of fire around our home so no one will ever come in contact with us again both for our safety and theirs. Yesterday I spent the whole day washing every blanket/pillow case, and disinfecting everything I possibly could AGAIN.

I never got plates of goodies, or the ornaments Dallas helped me make to anyone at church or any of my neighbors which made me really sad, because I love to do that. But by some miracle I decided the Sunday before Christmas (before I got sick) to send out cards, and actually got them out to most everyone. I didn't make them cute like all my scrapbooking friends, and yet it was still a ton of work, and expensive, which is why we don't usually get out Christmas cards each year. So that was a Christmas miracle!

Despite all this, we had a really nice Christmas. The boys loved everything, and it was relaxing which is what we needed most. More about it later...

Dallas turns 7

I can't believe I'm so behind! Our family is really into Avatar: The last air bender (the cartoon, not the movie that just came out). So I made an Avatar Aang cake decoration out of frosting all on my own, and it looked AWESOME. I froze it on wax paper, and then the time came to move it carefully on top of the cake and somehow I managed to ruin it. I was so heartbroken to lose so much hard work. But the more I tried to rescue it, the more it smeared and broke, etc. The only way to fix it would be to do it all again directly on the cake, and I didn't have the energy to do it, plus the baby was killing my ribs. So Pat, using my leftover frosting, hurriedly made this and saved the day. It might be a candidate for Cake Wrecks but at least the cake was still cool to Dallas. (I wish I had taken a picture of my Aang before I destroyed it.) I'm still upset, can you tell?
Here are the church clothes Grandma bought for D when she was here on Thanksgiving. He had grown out of his pants and shoes, his belt was broken, white shirts not white, no tie, etc. It was perfect because he had to give a talk in Primary the next Sunday, so he looked decent! Thanks Grandma!
Here is Evan getting ready for church too, and embarrassed because he's having a little trouble. I just had to include this picture because it cracks me up.
Here is the electricity set we got for D's birthday. He and his brothers love doing the projects.
Bren'mama and Papi got him Avatar stuff that he loves. The sword was Aunt Steph.
Lego set.
Sam shooting Evan with the bow and arrows thing Aunt Steph got him. Evan wearing the Shield of Faith to block the fiery darts of the adversary. The boys and I made those so Sam and Evan would have a gift to give to D. We made all the pieces out of cardboard covered in foil.

Dallas had a pretty great birthday as you can see. And Sam and Evan just loved the box your gifts came in Aunt Steph! Best present of all!
We took everyone out to see the lights for D's birthday down at the Biopark in Albuquerque.


My mom flew out this year for Thanksgiving which made it extra fun. Unfortunately this is the only picture I took the whole weekend. We even used our China that we got at a thrift store which was great until Pat broke a piece!!!! The boys didn't want her to go home and they all kept saying they wished she could stay with us longer. It was very relaxing in spite of all the cooking we did that I don't normally do. While pregnant, almost every night I have zero ideas about what to eat for dinner because none of it sounds good to me and I feel exhausted. Thankfully this dinner tasted great to us, and Pat handled the raw turkey and lots of other stuff for us, and everything was great!

Then after dropping my mom off at the airport we continued to head south until we got to El Paso Texas where Pat's uncle lives. It was a fun and interesting trip. Fun because we rarely get to hang out with all of those cousins (mostly now grown like us with little ones) and interesting because as we drove along the freeway and I looked out the window, suddenly the houses looked like my mission in South America (but only on one side of the freeway). There was a huge city, and I said, "Pat, I think that's Mexico", having no idea it would be that close! Yep, we looked down, and there was just a river no more than 10-15 feet across which we think was the divider. It was Juarez, which is probably the murder capital of the world or close to it. As we were listening to the radio on the way home they said I think 2200 murders last year. Funny though because then the news person on the radio said that El Paso is one of the safest cities, with only 17 murders last year. How does that work? The guy on the radio said it's a lot less trouble for the drug lords if they take people to the Mexico side to kill them. It sounds really sad and scary for the people who live in Juarez. There is a temple in Juarez, and Pat's uncle crosses the border to work in the temple weekly. He seems to see no problem with it. It is their temple district, because the next closest temple is a 4-5 hour drive into our temple in Albuquerque, so Juarez is definitely closer for this area of Texas.

Well to wrap this up, we had a great visit with Uncle Mike and Aunt Shelly as we went to their favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, and miniature golfing (Pat and I scored the highest of everyone there, but I did hit a hole in one on the last hole with everyone watching), everyone but me got to ride the go carts and my boys loved it and went with whoever would take them. The first time Sam went with his Dad he went on the condition that Pat would go really slow. Ten seconds in he was yelling "Go Faster!"
The boys loved playing in Mike and Shelly's yard with the other kids, and playing Mario on the Wii. Dallas and Sam are now saving their money up to buy a Wii. I told them it'll take years, but they keep doing jobs like emptying the dishwasher at .10 cents per load, so I'll not complain about it. (I don't really want a Wii.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

We're behind on posting.....

We have several posts in the works (with lots of pictures) but have been busy, sick and pregnant (well, more Karisa on that last one than me). We just wanted to let you know that we're still here and will get more up soon.

In the meantime a few kids conversations:

Me: Evan, you need to clean your room. Do you want me to help you make your bed?
Evan: No. You can do it all by yourself.

On the way to the church the other night Dallas was singing "Silent Night". He got to the part about "round your virgin" and Karisa and I couldn't stop laughing the rest of the way to church.
Me: Lets try these pants Sam, never mind, those are too dirty....
Karisa (from the other room): Get clothes out of the dryer, not off the floor!
Me: What did you say?
Sam: She said, blah blah blah

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Newsletter and more

This evening we were talking about names for our girl with the boys. Evan's suggestion was "Jimmy the squirrel". Last week I substituted as Sam's primary teacher. I had two boys (in addition to Sam) fighting for lap space for the whole primary time. They were all pretty upset that I didn't bring treats but in my defense I didn't know that I'd be teaching until primary started and their teacher didn't show up.

We do a newsletter for my Dad's side of the family a few times a year. This was our entry for the month (most of this will be redundant for our one loyal blog follower):

We're doing good but sad that it's so cold already, we were hoping for a more mild fall this year. We were wanting to finish up our fireplace before the winter and it's hard to work on it when we have a fire going. With the cold weather we got sick and it seems we haven't been better in a month. Other than that we're doing good. Dallas is in school for this year (1st grade) for some speech therapy and he's enjoying it. He won the citizenship award for his grade level a month into school. He's reading great and can read verses in the Book of Mormon when we do our studying without help for the most part (with the exception of some of the names). He loves reading Calvin and Hobbes and stays up with a flashlight reading those long after he should be asleep. He also loves playing any and all board games with me. Sam is homeschooling kindergarten and gets together with some of his friends a couple of times a week for different lessons. He also goes to Dallas' school on Wednesdays with Karisa when she teaches an art lesson at the school. Sam likes building things and doing puzzles with me when we have time. Evan loves drawing on the whiteboard and at church, he'll draw me and Karisa with different funny things (big eyes, crazy hair, pig nose, etc.). He always wants to learn and begs me to teach him Math when I do it with Sam. Karisa feels crazy busy with both home school and public school this year. They have different activities going every day of the week. She's also put a ton of work into the primary music calling that she's had for about a year now. In case anyone hasn't heard she is due in February with our first girl. My work is going good, I worked overtime all summer and my current 8 hour a day schedule feels positively luxurious. My manager lets me work an early schedule and I'm home by three o'clock every day to play with the boys. I did replace our old Honda with an equally old Lexus that goes really fast and have only been pulled over once in the few months that I've had the car (although no ticket). We miss everyone!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still no name decision...

My sister insists, I comply. She wanted a photo of me pregnant.

Art n' Guns

My days are pretty busy this school year. I really only have Monday's free of things I HAVE to do, although I'm supposed to babysit that day, whenever a friend of mine gets work on Mondays. Tuesdays I do a preschool with two other friends from church. Wednesdays I teach art in Dallas' school class as a volunteer. Thursdays I do Art/Science with my other homeschooling friend at church, and Fridays I try to do visits, etc. Throw into that mix the home schooling I do daily with the kids (Pat does the math and I do reading, handwriting, history, etc) and also piano lessons, and soccer (it just ended though-yea!!!) illnesses that keep going through my family one after the other, and teaching music to the children every Sunday, and you see I am a typical busy mom ready to snap if one more person tells me about a meeting I should go to or a potluck dish I need to bring. Okay...that was just a joke. Heh, heh, hmmm.....

I had a point to this post, but sorry, I got sidetracked singing my praises, and trying to invoke your sympathy toward me. Did I mention Pat is always busy and we will never finish the fireplace construction mess at our house? Okay, good well now you know.

I do plan on quitting nearly everything soon since I am having a baby, but I've been so nervous this pregnancy, that keeping busy is good. I don't have heaps of time to worry. And next year shouldn't be so bad.

One observation: Now that I have tried home school and public school, I firmly believe they are an equal amount of work. I guess if you are the type of parent that can ignore your kid, and let them get themselves ready and off to school where they get breakfast and lunch, and you never invest any time in their homework or volunteer at the school THEN maybe public school is easier. But most parents aren't like that. The amount of time I spend making sure Dallas is clean and dressed nice, lunch packed, homework done, tests studied for, and either walking him to the bus stop or driving him to school (both take about 1/2 hour there and back twice a day) and volunteering at the school so that he actually gets art, and so that I can be a part of his education, well, all this time adds up and is easily the same as taking the trouble to home school. All that busy time could have been spent planning the lesson and setting him off on his task, and we don't care if we have holes in our jeans at home and we eat leftovers or whatever we find in the fridge without having to spend time and money packing a lunch. Dallas loves both home school and school school. I am fine with simply home school. I just wish I could have some recess added into that. Oh well... I got side tracked again.

Yes, there was a point to this post. So as an art volunteer, I'm in charge of D's teachers classroom. We are supposed to do four art projects for the year, one per quarter. They don't seem to be the most organized group, but we're getting along. In fact we never did anything in the first quarter so I asked D's teacher if she would like me to come in anyway and do art with the kids on my own until they got going. She said sure. So we've kept with the school theme of passports/around the world, and done a couple art projects from different places that I knew wouldn't be duplicates. We made didgeridoo's from Austrailia, Lei's from Tonga. The kids made really big, colorful lei's, but here's Evan's practice one, and the didgeridoo that Dallas painted.

Then they finally trained me (in the 2nd quarter) for the first quarter's project. Of course now we have to hurry to get the next two projects done on time.

So following instructions I'm to teach them about ancient Assyria, and the king's conquests which were sculpted on the palace walls. I thought that was a bit strange, but hey, at least Dallas knows about ancient Assyria, since we are learning that at home in history. I had slides I was supposed to show and many were pictures of the ancient king killing a lion. (Sword through the chest, spear in the mouth, arrow in the head- poor Lion right?). I showed these, and taught the kids the things I was supposed to say, and the substitute teacher that day let me know how upset she was about all the violent Lion pictures, but I just shrugged my shoulders and explained that that was the program and I was just following orders.

Then yesterday I took the clay in and the children were to sculpt their own hero's. It was really hard for first graders to sculpt bas relief, but they did their best. One boy struggled with his clay because his hero's arm kept coming off. It was holding a gun. When D's teacher saw it she very seriously said to the boy, "No guns in school", and then looked at me. My heart went out to the 1st grader, who I'm pretty sure wasn't going on a shooting rampage any time soon, and he was already near tears because his clay kept falling off. It was hard to not laugh after all the lion pictures I was told to show. I just looked away and sighed.
I really like D's teacher and principal and school, lest anyone mistake me. There are just times when things are so ridiculous, you can't do anything but sigh .

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Naming a baby...

I had about 5 plus boy names picked out. Can I use those names? No. I am having a girl. (Although I could turn my Charlie, into a Charly.)

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about anything EXCEPT the difficulty of picking a girl name. I would like something more simple than my name, since it has been misspelled and mispronounced all my life. Plus, there is an unsettling trend lately it seems, to change spellings and make every name as difficult as possible on the poor kids lately. Or maybe it's just parents trying to come up with something extra original. Examples from Dallas' class:Isabeau, Ellama, and ooo there's so many other good ones, but I can't think of them right now. I'm all for simplicity, but it doesn't have to be an old time traditional name necessarily. But it'd be nice if there were some family history...

Now problem #2...
I have a fairly large family, with a lot of girls. Girl Aunts, (as opposed to the other kind) girl cousins, and girl cousins having more little girls. That uses up a lot of girl names that I like.
Pat has a family that makes mine look like a quaint tea party as opposed to a full banquet hall, and so pretty much every girl name has been used between our two families. Pat told me tonight to say goodbye to having a name that is original (meaning one of our cousins isn't already named that).

For example: Two of our favorite names are Andrea, and Amanda. Unfortunately those just happen to be the names of two of Pat's sisters (and my cousin). Beth, Cherie, Kathryne, Marian, just happen to be the names of two more of Pat's sisters, and his cousin. The only name I have that I like well enough, and no one has used is Embry, but Pat doesn't like it too much. I keep thinking the right name will come along, but I am getting really impatient. Now that I know it's a girl, I'd really like to think of her with her name. It'd be nice if it went with Laura (our first daughter's name) and maybe started with a letter not already used in our family (no P, K, L, D, S, or E names). Are you feeling the dilemma? Maybe I'll just pick an attribute, like Charity, Felicity, or Happiness. Pat and I had a friend once named Happiness.

The only person in this house who is sure of a name and has been since the day we knew it was a girl, is Sam. He really, really wants the name Paige and he never waivers.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Piano Recital

Dallas had a recital on Friday night, here are his two songs. Karisa couldn't go because Evan was too sick. Dallas' hat blew away as we were walking in, he didn't notice and I was dealing with Sam so I didn't notice. He didn't find it until we were leaving. His piano teacher is behind him and to the right. My favorite costumes of the night are also right behind Dallas, Spock and some sort of beast man.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Mario, Scarecrow, and Spiderman hope you all got lots of candy! Everyone loved Sam's costume which he came up with on his own. (I'm glad he changed his mind. At first he wanted to be He-Man who is essentially naked with a furry loin cloth and some belts across his chest.) Evan is keeping the Spiderman costume tradition alive. We've used it 4 years in a row now. And Dalls loved acting like he had no brain, and being his usual goofy self on steroids. Evan had a fever but still wanted to trick or treat, but he didn't like the scary houses.


We've had our stove burning non-stop almost for a week. It suddenly decided to be winter here. Here's D's first snowman of the season! And S and E with some icicles.

Thanks Grandma

I inherited material from my Grandma through my mom. Very funky, 70's material, all cut out in squares, ready for quilting.
Maybe someday I'll make a quilt, but so far, I've made a puppet show out of some of them, and my latest was these bean bags. I can't claim credit for the sewing. A nice sister in my ward offered to do it for me since it is for Primary. It makes me happy when I pull them out and use them with the kids, because it makes me think of Grandma. Thanks Grandma!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


With the prospect of maybe having some family pass through here in the coming weeks/months, I suddenly realized how old, ripped, uncomfortable, dirty and broken my two couches are. I have never purchased couches in my almost 9 years of marriage, because we have always gotten hand-me-downs, or garage sale/thrift store stuff. That's still how I buy most everything in my house. I just keep checking back and months (or years) later, the piece I need is found and I get a great deal. And it's great because I have 3 boys who destroy everything, so it's nice to not have invested real money, or care much about my furniture.

However, we are trying to finish our fireplace (yes, still working after a year...) and then we can finally paint over our destruction, and it would be nice to complete the living room with a couch that looked nice and matched finally too.

So I went shopping for a couch. Sorry SOFA. The hope of getting out for 400 was quickly snuffed out, as I learned the cheapest thing on the floor was about 600. I found a couch for that price that I kinda liked, durable, really well built, which may be why it looked like it was from the 70's and was orange.

I brought Pat back later after work, and in 1 second he dismissed my choice. He can't sleep on it, the arms are too high. Okay, I say, "Show me one that you like."
He picked ones with hardly any arm at all, just a tiny pillow thing which made up the arm. Those would be great for sleeping, I told him, but I need to lean my back against something. You know how I like to sit! (All this while, the saleslady is getting more and more annoyed with us, and especially our kids for having to sit on every single couch. They'd never been in a furniture store and kept telling me that they wished this was our house.)

Finally after searching the whole place we found a really comfy sofa we both liked. It was amazing. Like the stars aligned. This had never happened to us before. It was thrilling!

It was 800 dollars, with an almost 100 dollar delivery fee. I couldn't do it. I'm sad today, but not as sad as I would be if I had gotten it, knowing my food storage is severely lacking, and savings, and home repairs, etc. But, oh, the pain... I even went to a thrift store today with my fingers crossed, but no luck.

Then online that night we found the exact same sofa for 575.00 at a store in Ohio. Road trip anyone? Actually it had a 250.00 delivery fee which would still make it cheaper than the one here...hmmm.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Activities

I've had a cough for a week now that keeps getting worse every day. I played hooky from all my meetings at church today to get some extra sleep and while it felt good it didn't seem to help too much. Karisa and I have slept separately for the past three nights because I keep her up with my coughing. Evan stayed home with me and beat me in Candy Land a couple of times between naps.

We finished our fire pit a few days ago and today the wind was mild enough we got a fire going. We had trout cooked in tin foil and roasted marshmallows afterward for S'mores. Sam was a bit grumpy about having his picture taken.

When Sam was going to bed tonight he came out and told Karisa about his "Honkey Tonkey" (walkie talkie).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week in Summary

Dallas finally lost his remaining top front tooth. He bit into his sandwich in school and he says it stuck in the cheese. With the tooth Sam knocked out and the other tooth he lost from getting hit in a face with a soccer ball (neither of which were loose at the time) he's missing three in a row on top. Here's his goofiest smile. All he wants for Christmas are his three front teeth (and a bicycle).

When we were at church today Sam and Evan were tired and fighting and wouldn't go to their classes. I was sitting in the foyer with them after unsuccessfully trying to get them to sit good in Priesthood. The primary was practicing their program in the chapel and we heard Karisa over the speaker system. Evan started yelling to his brother (at the top of his lungs) "Mom's in the speaker! Mom's in the speaker!"

We pulled out our Uno deck this week and played four games with our whole family. Evan won all four. Tonight he asked if we could play "the game he wins".

Dallas was writing a letter to my parents and in it he said "I hope we see you again." (Sorry Mom and Dad if you get this before the letter). It's hard living so far away from our families.

It's been a hard week. Everyone in our family is going through a flu and a cold in rotation. I think the kids are over everything (fingers crossed) although Sam will probably be sleeping with us tonight (again!) as his cough is almost gone.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A couple videos

We have nursery rhymes up in the boys room, Evan has *mostly* memorized them. My favorite part of the first one is Sam's interpretive dance in the background. Also note that that is not the camera jiggling, it is the boy. Dallas refused to be recorded.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What does this mean?

I received this shirt from someone, maybe it was Lacey. I can't remember. It always struck me as funny. It says, "Don't ask when."  Like, I have no idea who the father is, or when this happened? Is it clear to you?

 (I'm 3 months pregnant here.)

Field Trips

Keeping my ties with the home school group. We took two days off of school last week and went on 4 field trips. Above was the state fair tiger show. We got in for free with free parking, so I wanted to go, and we never spent a dime there. Great for us! Below, is a raspberry farm that we went to to pick raspberries, though there weren't very many. We ate lunch here.

Then we went to a fish hatchery, but it was not exciting enough for me to take pictures. The one is Sacramento is awesome. Then we went to an Alpaca farm. 1 skein of yarn = 65.00!!! The kids got to feed them, and there were a bunch of babies, and it was fun.

These Alpacas know when it's feeding time and they are very insistent, and demanding. But they don't bite. They can't; they have no upper teeth!

Preparing for winter...

Pitiful Garden

I tried a garden this year. It was a ton of work. It wasn't worth it cost/work wise. It was worth it for the experience of trying a garden in this climate. Hopefully we'll do better next year (but probably not). If this was California, we'd have had vegetables coming out our ears. As it was, we got about 10 tomatoes from our 6 tomato plants, and several zucchini. Then the frost came last week, and killed most of our garden, with all these baby zucchini's just starting, and this cute baby watermelon.

The tomatoes were absolutely heavenly though I must say. Even the "on the vine" ones at the store don't come close to tasting like a real tomato, unwaxed, ripened in the garden. They were so good, that as soon as we picked them we all (even the boys) devoured them immediately. We didn't even wait to use it in a salad or whatever. It was perfect just plain. So delicious!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Family Picture

This was the best (complete) family picture that we'd had in a while. This is from a primary activity at the temple last month.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy Friday

Dallas was presented an award today in an assembly for being a good citizen. His class voted and the 1st grade teachers too. It was basically saying he is a good friend to everyone, obeys the rules, works hard, etc. Yea for Dallas! He was so cute going up too. He didn't know I was in the audience, and he walked grinning hugely, and shook the Principal's hand and it was really cute.

Sam's funny for today...
Sam, referring to the hanger in his hand, "Dad, look at my hooker!"

I just made rice krispy treats for the first time in my marriage, and I think the second time in my life. I think since I'm not a fan of marshmallows I don't make them, but I love homemade rice krispy treats and their so easy and good! The family just ate a 9x13 in 10 minutes. Yum... My new old discovery!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Evan's Knock Knock Joke

Evan: Mom, Knock Knock!
Mom: Who's there?
Evan: Pooh!
Mom: Pooh who?
Evan: Pooh, aren't you glad I didn't say banana!

Friday, September 11, 2009

What will we do with her?

Mom: Isn't anybody happy?
Evan (in the sweetest brightest voice): I'm not happy!
Sam: I'm not happy.
Dallas: I'm not happy.

I look over at Pat and can't tell if he's joking or not, as he nods in agreement.

And this is the response I get when I tell them we are having a GIRL!

I haven't mentioned it yet, but I am pregnant again and having a girl in February.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sam's Observation

I work in an area at Sandia where no family is allowed to come in ever. Sam is forever sad that he can't see what my office is like. Today we got 8 cords of wood delivered and Karisa was talking to the boys about how when they are older they can help Dad move wood and be big and strong. Sam said "Maybe when I'm older I can WORK! Then I'll know what the inside looks like!"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Dallas's story

Dallas wrote this in school last week.

Karisa really likes Dallas hiding behind the tree. Belu is supposed to be Bella, our dog.
We all saw a big coyote walking around our fence and staring down into our yard. He's been watching our yard a lot lately. Kinda scary. They aren't scared like people say, they don't only come out at night, like people say, and they can climb horse fence, which is probably how our last chicken disappeared. Bella barks a lot, but she's so much smaller than the coyote, that I wouldn't be surprised if he was after her too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Feeling tired, but happy

This weekend we had our 2nd annual ward chili cookoff, and Elders Quorum put it on which means we did a lot of work since Pat is the EQ pres. Our bishop kindly let us use their house again, which has the best yard to do relay races/sack races, ultimate frisbee, etc for the little kids and lots of other outdoor games for the bigger kids/adults. (I didn't win a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place trophy, even though I thought my chili was rockin' good!) We had a great turn out and I think everyone had fun. I just walked around serving and helping, because I always want people to have a good time and I always think, would I want to be at this activity? But towards the end, I ran out of steam and I just sat and talked and weakly waved goodbye to people as they headed home. Then I got home and looked to see if any part of my house did not look like it had gone through a hurricane. I finally found a spot. There is one clean closet.
As far as the games: Dallas won all three races for his age group, and Sam ran at the wrong time accidentally and was so upset/embarrassed that he wouldn't run when it actually was time, so he missed out on everything. Poor guy. He's just sensitive like his mother. Today he got a gushing nosebleed at church, and was thoroughly embarrassed again with all the attention. People couldn't help it though, since his shirt was covered in blood, and it looked pretty alarming.

My kids, still tired from last night, were behaving horribly today at church. I was extra patient with them, because I knew I had asked a lot from them yesterday. Evan and Sam kept fighting, Evan screamed and cried for a drink and then when I took him out to get one, he refused to walk and refused to drink, and so after 15 minutes of him wearing me out, I took him back into the meeting and he started crying so loud again that Pat had to stand up immediatly and take him out. Then when he got back he spent the rest of the meeting laying on the floor in the isle with an attitude. He started picking his nose (in front of everyone) and I told him to stop and only do that in the bathroom if he had to, and then to spite me he would not stop, and started wiping whatever microscopic bits he got on the carpet for all to witness and then digging for more. Then for the closing prayer Sam decided to try to hit everyone and I held his arms down softly, but firm enough that he couldn't continue to swing at people, and during the quiet of the prayer he says loudly, "Stop hurting me!"
(I have nothing more to say on the subject of church today.)

When we got home, Pat decided to make some cookies. The paddle for our mixer has been missing, and when Pat remembered, he figured he would just give up and not make them. Dallas chimed in, "I know where it is Daddy! It's outside!", confused Pat watched as Dallas looked for it outside. Dallas couldn't find it, but Sam eventually did. Buried in mud.
Doesn't everyone keep their kitchen utensils out back packed in mud?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dallas in school

We have put Dallas in public school for this 1st grade year because he needs speech therapy, and there is a 6 month waiting list to pay for it ourselves (and paying for it doesn't sound so great to me).

I'll tell you more about it when I'm sure what's going on over there. School has been in for 2 weeks here, and his first grade class has 30 students!!! Not impressed. I like his teacher, but she said they are hiring another, and then they'll split the two first grades into three, and I'll have to re-evaluate at that time if it gets any better and if we'll continue or not. Dallas is fine either way. He's having fun at school, but the work is, I guess, what I should have expected it would be... and how could his teacher possibly see to his needs with that many kids?
Where is the GATE classes we had when I was in school? It doesn't exist here. Dallas is in chapter books, and they are reading 5 sentence stories! It is driving me bonkers. What little he does learn, I could teach him in 5 minutes (like sentences end with a period), instead of him being gone 6 hours!

Anyway, he made a friend the first day, but now he hangs out with different people and I asked him today who he played with at lunch. He said a group of boys. I said what did you do? He said, "We went around catching girls and putting them in jail, and I was the best because I could hold four girls!"


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sam's Bird Eggs

Happy 5th Birthday to Sam! We had a family party this year, and went to a jumping place together (see video clip). My sister got him a trip to Build-a-Bear. He got to pick out the bear, clothes, stuffing amount, heart, sound, etc. I LOVE the bear he made. He picked clothes that were not together and came up with this builder bear. Really cute. We had just come from a fun church activity where Sam had snuck so much candy that he threw up in the parking lot of the mall. He felt much better after all the candy ooze was out of him and luckily he didn't do it in the mall.

I made his castle cake since he's been into knights and castles lately, and he got some plastic knights and horses to play with. Pat got him a rocket that they went and shot up out in the front yard. It went very high, and when the parachute came out, it floated far away, but we found it in our neighbor's yard so we can shoot it again later. I got Sam a watch that he wanted, and Pat got him some new shirts and underwear. The clothes were in three different packages, and they were the first ones Sam opened, and each time he saw clothes, he said, "Awww, that's not what I wanted!" It cracked us up. By the third package (the underwear) he said a very UNenthusiastic, "Thank you", as if this was the worst birthday anyone had ever had. It was great. Grandma got him a gift card, and he picked out a truck that carries tractors and a piggy bank with that. He has been very happy and knows everyone has been thinking of him and loves him! Evan keeps wondering when it's his birthday again...
The unstuffed, undressed bear.

The finished product.

You get the idea. This went on for a couple of hours until all the boys were dripping with sweat.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Arts n' Crafts

We mostly took a break from everything over the summer, but these are a few of the art projects the kids did. Evan tried to write his name on the orange tree. I can find the E, V, two A's, and a sideways N. Can you?

Saving Money

The other day, Pat was backing out of the driveway, and ran over Dallas' bike which he had left right behind the car. It is totaled.
We've been trying to teach Dallas to save his money (like the money he just got from the tooth fairy) and that way he can buy better things, or keep it for more important things.

So after Dallas saw his bike he commented how he is going to start saving all his money until he can afford to buy a new bike. That's a good idea, we told him. It may take a while, but it's worth it."
"Yes", he said, "And it's a good thing I still have a lot of teeth left!"

(I guess besides his birthday, that's the only time he ever gets money!)

Evan is finally starting to potty train. Well actually he's been peeing and pooping in the toilet since he turned two, but saw no need to make a habit of it. He's been three now for a couple months, and that is the latest of any of my kids. (He's really milking the baby of the family status.) So as much as I don't want to deal with the poop in the underwear, I am doing it. Yesterday he was accident free, including the night, and this morning he woke up again dry, and is doing good! We bought him new Spiderman underwear, and told him Spiderman does NOT want to be pooped on! (Lacey's idea) Once when Evan messed his pants, Pat just took the underwear and made a big deal out of throwing it away because Evan had pooped on it, so he couldn't have it anymore. Y0u know, if you buy cheap underwear, they cost about as much as pull-ups, and I think pull-ups was our downfall. I had never used them with the other boys, and I made a mistake using them with Evan. They are a crutch, and an expensive one. Since switching to underwear last week, he has improved dramatically. Yea!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


This is a picture of our Honda's odometer just before I sold it. I did manage to get it to 200,000 miles before getting rid of it. It just had too many issues to fix. I was going to drive it to the ground but found someone willing to give me some money for it and another friend that had a beat up car (missing inside door panel, a few dents on the outside) that runs great for pretty cheap. The combination was too much to resist and I am now the proud new owner a 1995 Lexus Sc400.

Karisa tells a funny story about how I got the new car. She says she came home from girls camp and Viola! we suddenly had a new car and there was no communication before that ever. I'll let that story stand since it's partly true and it makes me laugh.

We're going to miss our Accord. It was Karisa's car before we were married. It passed 100,000 miles on the way home from our honeymoon. We had a lot of fun with it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Socialized Healthcare

I have been interested in politics and listening to what is going on out there with our elected officials since I was 18. I have never felt like America and her free people were being assaulted from a hundred different directions at once, like I do now. It is alarming what is going on. It has made me get on the phone, on the computer, and show up in person.
PLEASE DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO STOP HEALTHCARE FROM PASSING. If you don't know enough about it to feel comfortable calling/writing, then learn!

Please contact your rep's. Do the work. Find out who they are. It's not hard. If Obama and the far left liberals pass healthcare there will be no going back and government will stand in between us and our doctors and make decisions for our healthcare. They have promised to force it through using whatever means necessary. See BeetleBabee's blog (to the right- top listing under friend and family) for some great posts on healthcare, including highlights from the actual pages of the bill. You will not believe the level of control they are seeking to grab. We will all pay in the end. (There is info on that blog about a march being organized for Sacramento if you live in California.)

I've called, and emailed my congressmen and senators. I will send letters too, and show up in person. It is that important.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Today's thoughts

We went for a family hike this evening after dinner through the hills just behind our house. We came to a particularly steep downhill. Evan stopped at the top and was looking very nervous. I asked him if he wanted me to hold his hand. He said yes, then paused, then continued "But Daddy, don't make me fall!"

In church today the children sang a happy birthday song to Sam since his birthday is coming up. I asked him after dinner if he thought it was fun, he said it was. I then asked if he was the only kid with a birthday this week, the only one that they sang to. "Yes, I was!" he said. "But there were two others too."

I bought some new games about a month ago. One of them is called Dominion, which I think is very fun. You can look it up if you want but Dallas beat me at that game for the first time today. He's getting pretty good at games. Another one that I picked up is called Agricola. We play that one less because the setup time is a bit longer. We last played it with Eric when he was here, Dallas won that game too.

Getting ready for School

On Friday our new school desks arrived. We wanted a place that was their own for working and keeping supplies and finished work. The boys got all their school stuff ready and put everything in the desks. Five times a day since then Sam has sat at the desk, opened his box, pulled out all the pencils, erasers and scissors and put them all back in again. Dallas wants to know why we can't start school now (Mom and Dad aren't quite ready yet) and Sam is just happy playing with everything and counting down to his birthday.

In the following picture Sam was very, very happy until I pulled out the camera at which point he put on his serious face. I eventually got him to give me a "I'll smile if you really want me to smile but I don't really mean it" smile.

Since we never seem to get Sam at his happiest on here, check out his Aunt Stephanie's blog...she has some videos of him when we went home for Christmas.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Final Countdown

(I just watched that 80's song on youtube. I miss the 80's.)

As shy as Sam is, he is REALLY excited about his birthday. How do I know? He woke up one morning but was still half asleep, and walked past me on the way to the bathroom, and said, with his eyes still closed, "Nine more days until my birthday."

And it has continued everyday since them. "Eight, Seven, etc." I don't even think about it until that time comes every morning when he lets me know how many days are left. He's really cute. His hair is long right now and he has half curls in the back. He wouldn't let me take a good picture though.

Moments Moms don't like

Everyone was playing normally until I heard a terrifying scream from Dallas coming from the room where he and Sam were playing.
I ran to the scene, knowing that this wasn't a normal "he hit me" cry.
I found Dallas with blood filling his mouth. He was freaking out and so was I.

Suddenly he spit out a tooth, and then I was really freaking out.

When he could talk, he told me that he and Sam's head collided and his tooth which wasn't even loose, was knocked out. (At least it was a baby tooth!)

He cried a lot, until I laughed and said, "Well at least the tooth fairy will have to come and give you money tonight." That really brightened him up! (This is going to make speech therapy harder- sighhhhhh.)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fortune cookies

We got some Chinese food a few nights ago, and Dallas was the first to open up his fortune. It read:

God can heal a broken heart, but He has to have all the pieces.

Okay... that's not really a fortune, but.... whatever. Dallas was just confused.
(We could laugh and add 'in the bathroom' onto the end at least.)

Then Evan opened his fortune and pretended to read it as follows:

God broke my heart.

I think he was upset when we laughed really hard at his fortune.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Snake fight

Dallas went out to get the chicken eggs, and came running to me and said that a snake was eating the eggs. So I went out, and sure enough a 4 foot long bull snake was in the chicken coop and had it's mouth wrapped around one of the chicken's eggs. The chickens kept walking calmly into the house, and then they'd see the snake and run out squawking, and 1 minute later, it was like they forgot, and they'd go calmly back in and get the snake shock as if for the first time, as run out squawking again. They did this so many times, it was really stupid and funny.

I didn't want to kill this snake because I know he's harmless, even though he hissed a lot and rattled his tail, PRETENDING to be a rattlesnake, and I know he eats gophers and I am on a mission to kill all gophers.

So I got a shovel and got him off the egg and shooed him away. He ignored me after a while and came back and wrapped his mouth around the egg again while I stood there and watched.

So then using the shovel I picked him up and put him into a bucket. Just as I was about to put the lid on.........HE JUMPED COMPLETELY OUT OF THE BUCKET IN ONE MOVE!!!!!

That terrified me and Dallas. And what did he do next? Went right back in that chicken house and wrapped his mouth around the egg again.

So I decided he had to DIE. He obviously knew where the eggs were now, and was going to come back. Summoning all my courage, I stabbed him as hard as I could with the shovel right on his neck. Now I know from experience that killing snakes is like killing a chicken... they'll keep moving a long time. So as his tail wrapped around my shovel and flailed everywhere I kept a firm hold. After ten minutes I was tired and thought- he must be nearly headless by now, and I lifted the shovel slowly and he slithered into a corner looking completely unharmed.

Now I'm really spooked. Pat was out getting scrap sod for our yard and so I sat waiting for him for 1 hour never taking my eyes off the snake because I didn't want to lose him. I called animal control and they didn't care. I called another animal place while I waited, thinking surely someone wants this snake to live right? That place called me back 2 days later.
Meanwhile, the snake goes again and wraps it's mouth around the egg!!!! This time I let him. Soon Pat and Joey show up, and Pat just reaches into the chicken house and grabs the snake like he's grabbing a soda, and they put him in the bucket, no problem, and Joey takes him home.

In the end, WE ate the egg. After all, I fought a snake for it!

Girls Camp

I learned my lesson about doing the food for girls camp. I'll just say, that once I GOT to girls camp everything went smoothly, beautifully, and wonderfully. The skits were hilarious, and the firesides were exactly the spiritual boost I needed and the girls were great! I had my own tent and I love sleeping in tents, so I caught up on my sleep in all my spare moments. Everyone loved the food. Yea Yea!!

At home, BEFORE girls camp, I was pricing, and buying tons of food, and then I was cooking 7 gallons of sauce, 360 meatballs, 20 batches of spaghetti, 10 batches of brownies (and then I individually wrapped them), cutting up fresh fruit and vegetables for 120 people, frying 240 pieces of bacon, etc, etc, etc. I went completely loopy berserk. I was angry and I was crying. I thought I would try becoming inactive. And I'm not kidding. And I had 3 boys who got very ignored and I felt very helpless. I was up most of the night before the morning I had to leave, finishing the food, with only Pat to help me. Yes, people had offered to help, but I didn't need help until 10pm-4am. It's hard to plan things when you've never done it before. (I did mention that in the future I think this is a job for at least 3 people.) Or maybe someone who has less demands on their time, or just has things more together than me.

But like I said, once I got up there, they took such good care of me, and carried all of my 20 or so coolers, and set up my tent, and took it down, and put more oil in my car, and all the other stake leaders manned all the stations and during most of the meals I just stood around receiving all the praise.

Pat had asked his younger brother Eric to come and visit him, so while I was at camp, there was a truly boy weekend going on at home. They played games non-stop, except for when they swam. Eric was happy to play with the kids and did a good job with them, and Pat and I even got to go on a date! Attached are some pictures of a hike we took him on the night before he went home.

How not to visit teach...

Went visiting tonight some of the other women in our ward (church congregation). One had her granddaughter with her and I used to have her as a primary girl. She mentioned her uncle, and as I though fondly about the times I had met him, I said, "Where is your uncle? What's he up to?" There was an awkward pause, and I suddenly thought out loud, "He passed away. I went to his funeral (last year). I'm sorry."

Yes I am a complete bonehead. It didn't make it any better that my companion (the lady that does visits with me) has just lost her husband in a plane crash here close.

I am so....... ugghhh!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pink Panther Speech Therapy

This video shows exactly how well I'm doing with speech therapy for Dallas. We end our sessions with this line from Pink Panther because it makes us laugh. (Dallas and I fixed a couple things, but I can't get him to say an "s" or "z" sound correctly, and most "r" sounds aren't quite right. Trouble is, at the local school, they said since he reads so well, they'd have to make up some story about him being bullied on the playground in order to treat him. Really?!?)

Love's First Steps

Karisa hasn't written for a while, we've been busy. On the way home from work today I listened to this song all the way home. I always half tease Karisa that this is our song. Before we get into that some background first.

At my house growing up we were enslaved by my parents on an early morning paper route. It was the family duty to help with that. My parents would collect new adjoining paper routes whenever they came available. It didn't really matter, when you're already up at 3:30 in the morning what's another 15-20 minutes of work? When I got home from my mission I was recruited once again...the price I paid for living at home while going to college. Since I was the oldest I got to drive and my younger siblings were subjected to my music. Since I was into Spanish music that's what we listened to. I only had three Spanish albums on tape that we could listen to (Enrique Iglesias "Cosas del amor", Chayanne "Atado a tu Amor" and Alejandro Sanz "Mas") so they heard Enrique all the time. Back then this was a neat song with no special meaning.

Then I started dating Karisa. Have you ever been in love with someone that didn't return those feelings? This is a song that reminds me of those tentative steps when you don't know what reaction you're getting brings back all the fear and the exhilaration. Karisa tried to break up with me a dozen times while we were dating. Each time I talked her out of it I was hoping for a greater reward but knowing as well that I was increasing the pain should it end badly. For those of you who have loved and won, this song's for you.

For those of you who have loved and lost, it's probably more in tune with the tone of this song...this song's for you too.

I've include a partial translation that I've done but one quick note on translations. English is a great language but Spanish is far superior (in my opinion) in catching all the nuances of love. You can say lots of things in Spanish that sound really silly in English. In other words this translation even though it may tell you what the song says doesn't really capture the feeling.

Russian Roulette by Enrique Iglesias

Tell me, ice princess, where are you going?
You are so cold that you burn me.
You are my relief and what makes me hurt,
although you ignore it I'm not made of stone.

I look for your soul, who knows where it could be!
(My fugitive, my jailor)
You kill me and bring me back to life.
Play with me, do with me what you will.
Ready, Aim, Fire! Is it yes or no?

Your majesty, what am I?
Somthing to throw away or to use?
Loving you is like playing
Russian Roulette.
How can I love you?
Your Majesty, what was I?
A puppet, an excuse...
Loving you is like losing
at Russian Roulette.
How can I win you?
How can I love you?

I throw away the towel and get back on my feet,
seeing me wounded you lose your mind.
I can't go on from so much begging,
and dancing to the tune that you play for me.

I want to soften you and there is nothing to be done.
Your heart is like a rock.
You want my life? Take it from me now,
I am all yours, let me hear you ask for it.

Ready, Aim, Fire! Is this love?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Happy Boy

Pat reminded me of some funny things Dallas said.
When we were at the roller coaster park he said, "I've always dreamed of coming here!"
He'd never known it existed before, and we busted up laughing at him though we knew he was completely sincere. It was just so cute!
And at the 4th of July party he said, "This is the best day ever!"
What an enthusiastic happy boy.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!!!!!!!

I am a very patriotic person and felt sad to not have anywhere to go for the 4th of July this year. And then I realized that I like having people over, so why not have a party here? My neighbor Toni had just kindly given us her big pool since she is moving (ugh!!), so we called a few people, and once we got to 25 we stopped calling since we couldn't feed anymore and I had a couple neighbors who said they might stop in. I was starting to get overwhelmed. It took a full week to get the house and yard cleaned and pool set up and ready, and lot's of back breaking work. Here's a snake Pat found when he was moving some wood. We're saving it for you Steph.
When it was time for the party to start, the sky darkened and dumped so much rain on us for about 45 minutes that everyone had a hard time coming up our road. And it was supposed to be a swim party! Instead there was mud everywhere. About 6 kids/teenagers braved the weather and swam anyway, even though it was really cold. And our neighbor Warren came which made me so happy! He's real easy to get along with and I was glad he could join the party. Here's Pat driving his tractor and Warren riding on it while smoothing out the ground for the pool a few days before the party.
The kids of course had the best time swimming, playing in the sandbox, playing with playdough, basketball, laser guns, and doing fireworks. I made Pat read a short essay from a 6th grader that I had clipped out of a magazine about our great country, and all in all I think the party went really well even if I didn't get my dance contest. (It was going to be an UN-Talent dance contest by the way.) It was a good mix of people of all ages. We made lots of fried chicken that turned out good thanks to Pat's mom's recipe. And everyone brought delicious food. My mexican rice was the only thing that didn't turn out. Yuuucckk!! Where did I go wrong? So here's a few pictures. There was one firework that would never end, and Jen and Julie were hilarious as always with their ooo's and ahhh's.

Dallas, Avery, Hiroko, Rachel, Casey

Running up and down the driveway.

The greatest fireworks show on earth!