Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Leia Smiling

Today Leia started crinkling her nose when she smiles big, it's really cute.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Evan is missing.....

But we found him after half an hour, just at the point of a Karisa meltdown. I think every semi-large family that I know has a story like this. That's Sam's bed he's under, he didn't even have the consideration to fall asleep under his own bed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A bunch of little things...

Pat and I were hungry and sometimes I just throw things together that turn out fantastic and I think I'm so neat... he he. I made a quick sweet dressing, and had these wonton wrappers that I fried quickly, and cut some chives from the garden, and chopped up a head of cabbage, and threw in some sunflower seeds, and viola! I know there are a lot of recipes like this, but it was my first time trying one! Pat hates cabbage and he kept going back for more, and almost wouldn't share what was left the next day with me.

Normally for family history, I print out the years worth of photos and put them together simply in a photo album labeled 2008 or whatever year. Now I say SIMPLY because I don't get all fancy and scrap book the year (I dislike scrap booking), and yet cropping photos and writing things next to them still takes HOURS of work to finish that years book. I usually take an entire day where I tell everyone not to bother me for anything over Christmas break to get it done. Uughh!

Now that I started blogging, we heard from a friend that we could print out our blog as a book! I was a bit behind, so here is our first book (2008), and Pat did it all for me. There were a few issues with transferring the blog and therefore some arranging to do, but all in all SO MUCH EASIER! And 2008 is done, and soon we'll print out the blog for 2009 and be all caught up! It was all under $100 with shipping, for about 350 photos (which is what we normally pay just for the prints and then I have to arrange it all), plus all the blog entries, plus all of it bound together in a beautiful book! Yea! (Also others can purchase your book if you let them, and if they care to pay that much, and you can pick all different sizes/styles, etc, and some pictures inside the book are a full page size without having to pay extra) Anyway, here it is... isn't it neat?!

Front

Back

Glimpse inside

Thursday, August 19, 2010

School house rock!

I was wondering what happened to these old videos I remember from my childhood... so I looked online, and it just so happens that Amazon is selling the whole collection for 15 bucks!
Just thought I'd share!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What to do with the time that is given to us

I want so much to go to the non-political gathering on August 28th (8-28) on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. I've been trying to work it out and it seems impossible for our whole family to go which is what I really want, and impossible for me to go with Pat's one free airline ticket since we can't find any flights to Dulles, New York, Virginia, or anywhere near there. It is very important, and I may get crazy and just start driving. (Or hop on a bus that is passing through from Arizona.) I really don't want to miss this for many reasons. If you have the means to go, please go! You won't be sorry! This may be one of the last times a gathering like this is ever allowed. (Which goes against the right to peaceably assemble, but I digress.)

I know lots of people read my blog and don't ever comment, because I have spoken with them and they told me so. Some people just don't like to, and I'm fine with that. My blog is for me, and I also started it for family since we live all alone out here and my kids are growing up without any family seeing them, so my blog is the best I can do to share with everyone the stories, the pictures, the moments.

I especially notice that I never have comments on anything political that I write. I wonder if I offend people, but oh well if I do. My blog.

I just have one question. Have you woken up yet? Do you ever watch the Glenn Beck stuff I recommend? Once again I don't have cable, so I have to watch the portions of his shows on Fox News internet that they put up, but have you watched them?

He just did another great history lesson on Calvin Coolidge on Friday 13th- go watch it!
And a great summary of the perfect storm we are heading into and the only way to solve it on Monday the 16th's show. Please go watch it.

I feel a urgent need to get out of debt (I honestly wish and am trying to cancel my Ireland trip), and to store food, and to pray, and befriend my neighbors, and learn history and our founding and the constitution. I am too busy to do everything I am trying to do, and it is very frustrating when your car breaks down (3 times last month), and your toilet gets cracked and your roof is leaking in three spots and you are trying to do so much....
I get it.
I understand we are all busy.
"She's so political, it's no fun talking about that stuff", someone once said. (Not about me, but still.)
Does anyone think I WANT to talk about this?!?
These are the TIMES I have been given on the earth. You as well.
It's about to get ALL POLITICAL up in here because these are the times we are in!
So if you hate my political posts, then I hope you'll forgive me, because I can't help it.
As President Reagan said, "Those who lose freedom, never see it again."
This IS the last stand on earth.
It will be long, and our children will have to continue the fight...
I don't care if you comment at all, or think what you want to about me,
I'm just trying to get the word out, because I know that Satan is real,
and more than anything... he does NOT want us to wake up.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sam is six!?!

How is it possible that my Sam is six already? Here are the pic's from his birthday recently! He is really into Mario (now he's more into Zelda but I had already planned Mario) so I made him a Mario cake. It is one of the funnest ones I've done! He's been counting down his birthday for over two months!
The cakes totally fell apart trying to get them out of the pans and I had to smoosh it all back together, so they are pretty crooked, but luckily I am NOT a perfectionist. Sam picked strawberry for the inside, and we all thought it was too sweet. Good but sweet. Here's Sam getting his first look!



And below are a look at the gifts... UNO from Pat's parents (and his Superman cape)...
Mario chess from us (which I used to help decorate the cake)...
The magnifying glass that cost one dollar was the biggest hit. "I've always WANTED one of these!", and then he spent the rest of the day looking at everything through the magnifying glass. He even inspected the cake for germs and declared it germ free.
Levi, Tyler, Billy, Seth, Casey, Rachel and Marlena were invited and most were able to come. I told them no presents necessary or under $5.00, and so Sam got a lot of fun stuff from them also! I sent them on a quest faintly resembling Zelda, and I was throwing it together that morning. It didn't go great since I had to hold Leia and do everything (Pat at work), but I think the kids enjoyed it. I didn't get any other pictures either, but at least I got one! Luckily one of the moms was able to stay and helped since LN was supposed to be sleeping! Here are some of the kids are enjoying the water...
So the kids arrived and played, and then I fed them tuna sandwiches and cheetos and cucumbers to get energy and then we were ready to play the game. Bad guys destroyed the princess' castle and so the kids had to rebuild it (large castle puzzle we have), then walk down the windy tunnel (hallway with big fan on), then balance on wood around the fire pit, then defeat the robbers (three large stuffed animals we have), then ride on the slippery snake (the slip n' slide), jump in the lake (mini pool) and retrieve gold coins, power hoops and the keys to the dungeon, then go out to the magical tree and get their master swords to fight the wizard (foam swords from Walmart that they got to keep), and lastly, defeat the evil wizard (Dallas in a wizard hat with his sword and man o' man did he get attacked and he died really dramatically), and then go into the dungeon and rescue the princesses (big box painted black with paper princesses inside). They got hearts for completing each task and were supposed to get four to win, and the robbers took away some, but I had a hard time handing out the hearts with Leia, but I told them they all did good, and then they just played in the water stuff and had ice-cream and opened presents and sang Happy Birthday and the 2 hours was up! Happy Birthday Sam!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Feeling frustrated...

My congressman has not held a "town hall" in the year plus that I have been following him. I would love to go to one to hear his reasoning on many issues because he votes YES on anything that Pelosi and Reed and Obama want, but he's too chicken to have one. I write and call and finally I got signed up to meet with him in September... for 5 minutes... time enough to ask one question, and for him to blah blah uselessly about it, and whoops, gotta go! The staffer asked me what I wanted to talk about, and I said I'll come up with something... I think this is why people are so uninvolved in politics, because honestly what's the point? (Okay, I know the point, but aagghh!!) Of course I'll keep calm, but if I could say what I wanted to it would go like this...

"Why is it that as a Mom I have to spend time worrying about our representatives not REPRESENTING the people? The majority of Americans are fed up with out of control government spending and yet no matter how much we call and make our voices heard, you people in congress just continually jam through sweeping legislation further binding us, trampling our liberties and taxing us. Obama said if we passed the massive stimulus that we would never see unemployment go above 8%, and now it is hovering around 10%!!! Why do I have to spend time that I want to spend with my kids to try to protect their future from YOU! Our children's children's children will be paying the price of our debt, or we will lose our republic and be owned by China and other dictatorships. Why would you willing weaken our nation so? Why would you so trample the Constitution? Do not pretend to me that you actually had time to read what was in that massive health care bill. Pelosi said we have to pass it and then we'd find out what was in it, and so you followed blindly along, selling the American people out. For what?! I will actively campaign against you because I believe in America and I believe people like you are destroying it. And people like me far out number people like you, so I will fight with everything I have before I throw in the towel and start teaching my children Chinese. Just kidding. I will never give in. (At this point I'll start shouting, "Death first!!!" and then they'll drag me out.)

And if you know me at all, you know I wouldn't actually shout and get dragged out and that I was joking okay?

BUT...If we do not make a stand as our country and liberties and quietly taken away (always under the disguise of 'we're doing this for you' like with health care) then we will have no one to blame when we wake up one day and find that the government regulates everything and this is no longer a free country. I personally HAVE to do something, and since these public servants will be held accountable one day for their actions, even if they completely disregard me, I still like to give them another chance to think it through. For example, did you hear? We are so in debt (as a nation) that we are now buying our own debt, which means we are printing money to pay for things we couldn't pay for the first time around and the only thing that can come of this is spiraling inflation and the dollar will be worthless. Of course they are trying to find new ways to tax us to death to make up for what they need like taxing our carbon emissions and hiring tons of new IRS workers, and you can bet health care will cost an astronomical amount, but I guess I've said enough so I'll stop now.

I got to talk to one of my friends in our home school group at a bowling activity today and she said because her husband has been laid off, they are going to have to move away. She is Native American and has two children of her own and has recently adopted two more Native American children. We were talking about curriculum and what we were going to do this year and difficulties we were having with new babies, but she filled me with inspiration with her parting comments which went something like this, "I would pay and go through anything to be able to teach my own children the things that I want them to know. When we used to be in school it wasn't a big deal, but now all sorts of stuff goes on in the schools that we just can't... we just CANNOT support." It meant a lot to me, because we both had one child in school last year for different reasons, and even though our school here is great, we are both back to home schooling and glad. I'm sure going to miss her. I was looking forward to watching each others kids grow up.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Un-pleasant valley Sunday

Today Sam had another UN-pleasant valley Sunday...yea..
When Pat asked his teacher how he did, she said, "You don't want to know."

So we got home and after lunch he was forced to write apology letters to everyone he was rude to at church which meant three letters. Of course he thought this was fun, and was very helpful when I asked what naughty things he did that he needed to apologize for. I said, "Like did you hit someone or throw a chair?", and he replied excitedly, "I threw a chair!". Shocked I said, "You did?!", and he said (a bit disappointed), "No, not really." I should learn to keep my mouth shut and stop exciting him with new possibilities. His true letter went like this:

I'm sorry I did not sit in my chair.
I'm sorry I was under my chair.
I'm sorry I didn't listen.
I love you.
I like the puzzle you brought.
I will try to be good.

On the back of his card he drew everything from the Zelda (old school) video game he loves. It was really neat. Master sword, treasure box, keys, fairies, money, snakes, holes you have to jump through- he absolutely covered the card. Sam is a really neat person.

I made Dallas and Evan write a card too just to say thanks to their teachers. Dallas wrote a really nice note by himself, but then when I looked at the very back, he had written, "My Mom made me write this".

Sigh.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

2010 Summer Vacation

Pat and I wanted so much to attend his family reunion in Payson Utah, but it would have taken us almost two days of driving just to get there and he couldn't get the time off work sufficient for four days of driving and at least 2 days of fun, nor could we afford the hotels we would have needed to break up the driving for the kids, so we did a much less exciting, but closer to home weekend family vacation recently to southern Colorado, and northern NM. Actually, I'm sure the activities were just as exciting, but having family and other kids to play with makes a vacation a real winner. We are still sad about missing it... We kept trying but it didn't help that our car was in the shop three times in July... So here we are camping at the Great Sand Dunes in Southern Colorado, eating oatmeal and hot chocolate for breakfast. We got a pretty good campsite with a great view of the dunes.
Below the boys are charging ahead up the dunes while Lei-lei and I bring up the rear. The park people said we could go and camp on the dunes anywhere we wanted to, but they also said that if there was lightning that we should immediately get off of them. Since an immediate evacuation for our family would take an hour, we decided to play it safe and stay in camp where all we had to worry about were bears.
The dunes were fun to slide down and climb on (people had their snowboards and discs), but the best part is the river that flows from the dunes. The river was low when we came, but this is why we came here... it is never very deep and I don't have to worry about the kids drowning... they can just play in the wet sand and have fun. (Thanks for the tip Julie!)



Since the dunes are sitting on the edge of a National Forest we were able to take a short hike to a waterfall that was inside a cave. It was very cold water that you had to climb through to get over all the rocks and into the cave. Pat and I took turns taking all the boys. The entrance is behind Dallas in this picture.
Here's me emerging out of the cave with Evan. Dallas came too.
Three deer that came right to our campsite to eat berries.
Leia seemed to enjoy herself. Her vacation consisted of sleeping through a tremendous thunderstorm where the rain was pelting our tent so hard we had to shout at each other to be heard and constantly mop up the leaks. She also slept in my arms or on the sand when she got tired. What a sweetheart.

After two days of camping we began the drive home, making sure to stop at this cool park/waterpark that we heard about in a small town. It was the boys favorite. The park had all these retro play equipment things and it was SO AWESOME. Why don't they do that anymore? Also I started talking to some people there who were also on vacation and asked them about Taos (a city in northern NM that I wanted to see) and it just so happened that they were from Taos and told us the best places to stay and eat and visit while there. Yea!
Here's the boys when they were done with the water park and all dressed. It started out a really cold day and we didn't think we were going to be able to do the water park, plus all our clothes were ruined from the rainstorms that came daily (we hadn't packed for cold weather at all). Leia needed a snow suit it was so cold, so we stopped at a dollar store and they just happened to be having a sale, so we got LN some warm dry clothes and all these outfits for the boys for less than $20.00! By the time we got back to the water park the sun had made it's appearance through the clouds and Pat and the boys had a blast. I loved watching the boys have so much fun, and holding Leia while she was finally warm and asleep. It was a great day and so nice to get treats after some hard swimming, and so nice that Pat earnestly thanked me for holding the baby during it all. We will definitely come back here! (Southern Colorado on I-25 but I don't remember the name of the small town.)
So on to Taos! Up until this point we had camped for two nights at $12.00 a night and brought all our own food that we eat everyday so besides gas there really weren't really any extra expenses worth noting. So we decided to stay in Taos in a hotel that night (hot water and showers and beds). So we left the water park and drove through the beautiful forests including the Boy Scout Philmont place that you always hear about, and arrived in Taos around dinner time, got a hotel and went to the pizza place that was recommended (Outback Pizza). It was AMAZING! If I hadn't met those people we would have never seen it, because it really is "outback" behind another shop. They had a house salad that was healthy with an amazing tangy pesto salad dressing and I ordered just a slice that was so big it completely filled me up. But I still recommend the crumbled cookies topped with ice-cream like a big sundae, and Pat totally recommends the cheesecake! What a great place.
Taos just happened to be having a festival called Fiesta that I guess they do yearly when we got there. I have to go back to Taos sometime because I didn't get to see everything I wanted to see. What I liked about it was that all the city looked like the picture below... the adobe looking homes and buildings (which we see all the time), but instead of desert landscape all around that, it was all green and tall trees and beautiful flowers and just gorgeous! It is a very artsy, neat town to visit. We walked around the plaza and saw some dancers and bought some honey at one of the booths, and went to the toy store called Twirl because they have a great play area, and the kids rode on a free spinning ride like at the fair (kind of like a merry go round) that they had set up for Fiesta, and I looked at all the jewelry and dreamed about a fancier, classier me, and then we left to drive through Madrid another small town and home finally.
We made it home safe and sound and I just have to say that I have really great neighbors. Mike (who Pat carpools with) and his family were going to watch Bella for us while we were gone (Dallas just watched their dogs for them while they were gone for several days and did a great job and even got paid!), BUT after we dropped her off, she kept escaping their yard and showing up back at home. Finally Mike watched her and she was climbing over their fence which was amazing. Pat said don't worry about it, here's a key and you can just stop by once a day and feed her which we knew would make Bella sad, but she'd be fine. I called my other neighbor Toni and talked to her husband and just let him know that we were going to be out of town so they could watch the house, and he offered to watch Bella AGAIN and I swear that dog was in heaven over there with tons of other dogs to play with, getting groomed and loved way more than she does at home. It's amazing she even wants to come home to us. Thank you wonderful neighbors!
A few last things about the vacation:

Dallas is a mosquito magnet. None of us got even a bite, and Dallas was covered and he is allergic and each bite swelled up and made him look deformed and was extremely painful. Poor guy. I did some research once we got home and some people have skin that just smells better and so they are preferred by mosquitoes. Dallas was very brave and after going down the water slides at the water park with Dad, he did them by himself and LOVED it!

Sam spent a lot of time being grumpy because he is Sam and he woke up on the wrong side of life. But he had a lot of fun too. Sam said his favorite part was the water park playing in the river. He and Evan were stuck in the back of the van together whenever we were driving and they were extremely silly together.

Evan got bit by a big red ant and since I've been bitten before I know how much it hurts for hours even, and I was really worried. We prayed for help and the pain never got worse and went away. Evan said his favorite part of the vacation was when I pretended I had to follow everything he did and I kept saying, "Yes Master", and he led me over rocks and under bushes and up and down hills all around our campsite and it is really hard to follow a small person everywhere he can fit, but I did it, and he was laughing hysterically... especially when I'd jump exactly like him off a ledge and look silly.

Our family barely fits in a hotel room. The one night we stayed in a hotel, the three boys slept in one bed, Pat and I in the other, and Leia in a drawer. We don't think this can last.