Thursday, December 30, 2010

I wish vacation would never end!

You know me... I love to cook. I tried this hummus my friend had at her house from Costco- it was totally green and spicy, and she said to just make regular hummus and then add cilantro and jalapeños to it. So this was my lunch today (okay...I shared a little). Mine wasn't that green, but I loved it!
Our vacation project was making this storage bench. I'm proud to say that I made it up, measured, bought the wood and supplies and then Pat helped me saw it since we don't have any electric easy saws, and then used his drill to get it all put together, and then I stained it and VIOLA! It's slightly over 6ft and fits 5 food storage buckets plus extra space for whatever and people can sit on it, or lay on it, and we are going to draw car tracks, like a whole neighborhood on the top of it for the kids to enjoy. The only part left I have is to make the top cushion seat. I liked doing it so much I've decided that I want to make my own entertainment center since ours is falling apart. Then they'll match and be just how I want them. But I'll wait a while. It was a bit difficult to make the bench, which is just a box! I'm going to actually have to plan the entertainment center out well. In the picture below, the bench is actually going to be along the right wall under the window.
And I just had to lock this into memory- Dal's Christmas card to his brothers. He made games! I don't even know how he did that word search, but I found my name in it!

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Thank you Santa! I told Dallas and Sam when we got an anonymous package containing the below, "I REALLY don't know who sent this". (I didn't want Dallas to think it was us.) "Who could it be from?", he asked. Sam said, "Santa Claus", in his matter of fact way. Wow. He sure was right.
I am overcome.

This picture shows the gifts we received. We are so thankful for all of them! (Wii, games and the flannel story board!) The boys also got a new book each, and a small transformer and some emergency supplies in their stockings. It was a very simple Christmas. We are all mostly better now. I was worried (we never even got out to buy candy and the stockings were pretty empty), that the boys would be disappointed. I am happy to report that they never showed the slightest disappointment in their gifts, or the lack of gifts. It made me cry, I was so pleased with them! And then the icing on the cake, the last present they opened was what Pat and I were pretty sure was going to be a Wii from some unknown generous person, and when they opened it they were SOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bless you Santa, wherever you are. Here's Leia Nora with her gifts. Three books and a little dog that she LOVES from Papa Scott! Also clothes from Elle!
Dallas made Pat and I this card below. He also made cards for his brothers and gave them each a dollar. He is so neat.
Merry Christmas everyone! May God bless you and your families. We can't thank you enough. I feel so loved, and I can honestly say that I BELIEVE in Santa Claus!

I believe.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The best thing about Christmas...

...may be the music!!!


Here's a gem I found from Pat's cousin Ryan's blog. I wish I was a part of this group.

Funny conversation with my mom recently:
I was so pleased that she is tutoring a neighbor's child in exchange for the neighbor (Joe) taking care of her yard, and I was telling her so. She also told me of some twin girls of a family that moved in that she tried to talk to when they were out riding their bikes, but they refused to talk to her. The rest of the conversation went SOMETHING like this...
Me: Well, you know Mom, you do look pretty dangerous.
Mom: Yea, ever since I got my mow hawk...and tats.
Me: (laughing) And they thought once you retired you'd just sit around and do nothing. You sure showed them.
Mom: (More funny stuff that I can't remember- use your imagination.)

I am thankful for my sense of humor and that it is similar to my Mom's. I mean, this is the woman who after falling flat on her face and while being collected by the ambulance people to be taken to the hospital with broken bones, tried to hit on the ambulance guys. She is nuts.

Warning: Depressing post

Well except for some parts, like these cute pictures! Early Christmas present from Papa Scott and Janis- matching jammies that we wore to our ward Christmas breakfast this year! (Pretend like this picture came in an envelope with a fantastic Christmas letter right to your mailbox!) Merry Christmas!
And Miss Leia Nora above is sporting a dress by Kreutzian's, shoes by Romero's, bow by Gibb's, and tights by my brother Jeremy, Kim and Elle! What would we do without gifts!

Now the depressing part:
It happens every Christmas.
We are sick.
Evan sick all week last week, and Pat being out of town all week and being snowed in.
I didn't get any gifts in time to be mailed. Pat got his family, but that's it.
I don't even know what to do about my kids. I don't have any presents for them. Sam is 100% sure that he's getting a Wii. Why? "Because I asked Santa for it", he said simply. I need to keep my kids away from Santa.
I spent ALL day Monday trying to do all the shopping and mailing for my far away family (with my crew).
It was an awful day. We all wanted to go home.
I was sick. None of the presents I hoped to find appeared.

Leia got a fever- so I opened up a new bottle of Tylenol and gave her the dose right in the store so I could keep shopping. She never complained unless I tried to set her down in the cart. She just laid her head on my shoulder and cooed this tiny high pitched sound non-stop.

I regret doing this. My kids are more important.
On the other hand, I regret missing the chance to do something for family, friends at church and neighbors.
I never remember to go out right after Thanksgiving... but I should...get it done early.
Lessons learned.

Sam wrote me a letter when we got home because I was so upset. It said, "Meary Crisis" (perfect), and "I love you MOM." It made me feel better.
The boys all wrote nice cards for their teachers on Sunday and all the kids in their class, and they wrote such nice things! Except for one of Sam's teachers. He wrote, "Dear Tario, I like you. Make sure you bring snacks." Hmm... I wonder what was important to him in class?

On a happy note, we had a fun girls night and I didn't get home until 2am Sunday morning. My friend Chantelle who drove me home got pulled over for going like 3 miles over the speed limit, and the cop said, "You guys look like a bunch of moms." It was hilarious... Balderdash...

...and mere hours after that, the primary/Christmas program is done and we (the primary and I) had a lot of fun on Sunday. (Wore myself out- performances and puppet show- which is probably why I'm sick.)

And after church I was given a blessing to help me do a new job they just asked of me. I'll be doing the food again for girls camp. I bless my Savior for giving me this opportunity. It will be difficult in many ways, but all I could feel was deep gratitude and just a real spiritual connection with the aged High Councilman who asked me. It was a deeply spiritual conversation- we just connected and talked of many things (his music loving mother who had just passed away) and as he laid his hands on my head, he said that my presence at girls camp was very important, and not just for the food aspect, but for my testimony and for who I am. That means a lot when sometimes you don't feel like much. I hope it works out that way. When I did the food for girls camp before, it helped my testimony grow and was a blessing to me.

... and I cannot run faster than I have strength...
I just hate feeling like everything flopped... and I can't make plates of goodies for my neighbors that I had planned when I'm sick. (Who would want them?)

But I have such great neighbors... I hate not doing anything...
for the third year in a row! I have so much Christmas spirit, and being ill just snuffs it out! I'm hoping things will brighten up soon!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Oh, the things these kids do...

Evan: Mom, do you know what bad guys do when they're really bad?
Me: What?
Evan: (In a very serious tone) They drop kick sheep.

I was confused until I saw the page he was looking at in his book. It's a good book with silly pictures. This part is about the Book of Mormon story where the great missionary Ammon offers himself as a servant to the Lamanite king, and is consequently put in charge of the kings sheep, and then other Lamanites come to scatter the kings sheep, which is what is happening in this picture. Isn't it great? You've got to enlarge it to see it good.

Leia helping Sam with his math.
You know that Disney cartoon movie, Robin Hood? Remember the part where that monk dude says, "Quiet! It's the sheriff!"? That is the same voice that the boys used one morning when I told them to quit being silly and do their work. "Quiet! It's the boss!", I hear them saying to each other, and then shushing each other like the picture below. "Get to work!", I say.
"Yes master", they reply. They crack me up.

Speaking of school... we've been learning about space rocks, and every day they write in their journal what we learned and draw a picture, and everyday, Sam has been drawing me with meteors, comets, asteroids, all about to land on my head. I know he does it because he likes seeing my reaction (I usually act really surprised and scream and stuff)... but I said, "Sam, if I do get hit by a space rock, you'd better not laugh at me, you'd better help me."
"Mom", he said, like I was really dumb, "if you get hit with a space rock, you will be dead."
Thanks- I didn't know that!

Me: "Time for science!"
Dallas: "Can you decipher this code first?"
It's a code he made up, and it made me smile.

The joy of having a boy in scouts. Mom! Can you sew all these patches on for me RIGHT NOW!? (Scouts was starting later that day, which is about how long it took me to sew those darn things on. I really need a thimble.)

Let it snow!

I really need to get out and do Christmas stuff, and I've been waiting for Pat who was gone all week on business to get home, and now I am completely snowed in!!! I love the snow! I'm so glad for the water for my trees! I just feel the pressure of Christmas being NEXT WEEK!!!!

Pat spun out into a ditch last night in Edgewood trying to get home from the airport and our wonderful neighbor Warren went and brought him home! Actually Pat was running an errand for me on the way home from the airport (picking up some food from someone's house I'm supposed to cook for the ward party tomorrow). We really need to switch Pat's car out for something that can handle bad weather since neither of our cars can. Living out here we need at least one, so we don't get stranded like at present! But it's is beautiful. The kids have been out snowballing each other, and sledding!

P.S. I'm going to get to Ireland! I promise!!!

Evan wins sickest child award!

The above picture show an attack by the bullies/brothers at Leia's school. Those older kids actually took the pants off this youngster and put them on her head! Fortunately she is too little to know that it was anything but a great time!

Just some cute pictures!

Poor Evan got so sick, last Saturday, that finally on Wednesday I took him to urgent care because I feared he needed an IV.

He had been throwing up, diarrhea, wouldn't drink ANYTHING, and kept having nosebleeds. He was feverish, and completely lethargic. He even stopped talking to me at all, and there was no reaction from him (crying and such) when I said we were going to the hospital and they were going to put a needle in him. I was completely freaked out. I had just talked to Pat on the phone and mentioned how Evan had only had maybe 1/2 cup of liquid in the last day or two and he said to get down to urgent care immediately. Evan couldn't walk, I had to carry him and Leia at the same time with Dallas and Sam carrying the bags and throw up bucket etc. Evan had had about 5 really bad nosebleeds in the last two days, and his body was just shutting down. So at 7pm we left for urgent care which is right at the hospital a 45 minute drive from our home. Me and ALL THE KIDS because Pat was out of town for work, and I just didn't feel like calling someone and arranging where to put kids. Plus it seems everyone at church was throwing up last Sunday, and I didn't need to expose my kids or anyone else's to more bad stuff.

In the end it was a huge waste of time and money. I got there and it always bugs me that they don't live up to their name "Urgent Care"- yea right. After waiting an hour in a room packed with sick people and their families all mingling together with no place to lay Evan down, they finally saw us, and the doctor basically said, Well, he needs an IV (after they tried to make him drink something and I told them it wouldn't work) but to tell you the truth, we are closing in about an hour, and the IV will take longer than that, and since we can't stay late, I'm going to have to send you to the Emergency Room. But just to warn you, they will see him as a low priority since his eyes aren't sunken in yet, so you could be there all night. Or you could come back tomorrow when we open at noon and we'll do the IV.
I knew I could not do the ER with all the kids all night or come back the next day- Evan was too sick to wait that long. I knew if I didn't get help soon we'd probably end up at the ER before noon anyway. I took the medicine dropper filled with 10cc's of gatorade that they had given me to try and feed him, and forced it into Evans mouth and shot as much in as I could before he spit it everywhere. The doctor just watched. Then the doctor walked out, and an overly perky girl came in to fix the computer and kept asking us why we all looked so sad. I didn't know if I was supposed to stay or go. I remembered something I had failed to try... Evan?, I said... Do you want a popsicle? He weakly nodded. (Note to self: When juices, sodas, jello, straws and everything else you can think of fails...try popsicles!)

So I gathered up my crew, Evan in one arm and Leia in the other and we walked out. I made a big scene because apparently the doctor was coming back, so I had the doctor and nurses and techs watching me as I said, "I'm sorry, I've waited long enough, I need to get my kids to bed, I'm not trying to be rude, but you said there was nothing you could do, so...", (I need to get a popsicle now!) I stopped at the first store I saw which was a Walgreens and got popsicles, and he slowly ate most of one as we drove the 45 minutes home.

The next 24 hours have been me slowly nursing him back to health. The next day, he allowed a sip of water, then about 1/4 c. of broth, then another popsicle, etc...etc..., and suddenly yesterday afternoon he got off of the couch where he had been since Saturday, and sat next to us at the table to paint Chinese calligraphy with us for our History lesson! And he started talking again! And making jokes... and jokes... and's nice to have him back!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Funnies...

Teaching Sam to write. His topic was Dal's baptism.
He wrote, "Then dad put Dallas under the water, and at the balloon fiesta I saw a mushroom."

Evan: "Mom! I know the three things that suck! (After a thoughtful pause...) No, I know the FOUR things that suck!"

Me: Okay...

1)Whirlwinds (he means like tornados),
3)Straws, and
4)The Medicine Things (like the droppers that suck up medicine and deposit it in the mouth).

Me: Yes, Evan, that's right! (It really sounded like he had given this LOTS of thought. I didn't want to throw him off by mentioning the vacuum.)

Evan: But MOM! Whirlwinds suck EVERYTHING! They can even suck your house.

Me: Yes.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dal's Baptism Birthday!

It was a wonderful baptism, and very emotional... at least for me! Grandpa's confirmation was very powerful and full of the spirit. The talks by Grandma Brenda and Sister Ellibee were wonderful. Sister Mink, who I always tell Dallas, is really an angel here on earth just in disguise, played piano for us, and those who showed up to show their love and support for us just made my day- Dallas' teachers and friends of ours- I tell you, I am such a cry baby. Our primary president expressed her feelings about what a special boy Dallas is, and how he is one of the reasons she loves her calling. We just all felt what a wonderful person Dallas is, and I think the Spirit just knocked us over testifying of that fact and of the truth of following Christ and being baptized into His church. When Dal came out of the water, he immediately hugged Pat and said, "Thanks Dad!", in just a really grateful tone. What a sweetheart. We got him a journal and everyone wrote in it, and Dallas wrote a full page all about his baptism and it was very detailed about how he felt and every thing that happened. It made us so pleased yet again.
I had some great one on one time with all my boys this last week. Sam and I went running together with Kathryn (Pat's sis), and Dallas. After we ran out a mile, Sam and I walked back together just talking. Evan and I made the birthday cake together, and he worked the beaters all by himself while I cracked eggs in and poured chocolate in, etc. Dallas and I raced and he can definitely outrun me now. We also went to his speech therapy together and he told me jokes from Calvin and Hobbes. I have no idea how he can remember them word for word. So below was the one he told me that cracked me up and made us laugh a lot. I decided to put it onto his cake... but first here are the baptism pictures. I just love how the pictures turned out! We were so excited to have Pat's parents here and Brian, Kat and Beth too!

Now later that day since it was D's birthday, we had a party. I did an entirely green party because Dallas' soccer team was green and he was a star player, but also because I thought it would be fun to do one color! We did have a piñata and it was hilarious to watch the kids whack it around! Sam and Evan especially!

Here's a Top Ten (or more) list of things Dallas likes:

10. Baseball, swimming, Star Wars tapes, Riding Bikes, and Reading (The Great Brain, Spiderwick, My Father's Dragon, etc...)
9. Piano and music
8. Building clubs and forts with charters, rules, schedules, etc.
7. Service- he is always helping
6. Church friends... and he is a brand new SCOUT!!! We just went to our first pack meeting and he understood nothing but is excited!
5. Mario and Zelda and other video games.
4. Soccer!
3. Calvin and Hobbes
2. Avatar- The Last Air Bender (more the cartoons than the movie).
1. Baptism!!!!!!!!
The comic strip starts with what is on the cake, where he has just walked up to Susie, and said:

Calvin: ME, TARZAN! KING OF JUNGLE! (Hitting his chest-Thump! Thump!)
Susie: Nice underpants. Does your mom know you're over here like this?
Calvin: I don't think Jane EVER said that to Tarzan.

Family Fun

Two sisters, my mother and one brother (about the tenth time through the song):