Sunday, June 29, 2014

Secret Combinations

We were reading our nightly scriptures and got to a part in Ether of the Book of Mormon where it talks about "secret combinations".  This is basically like the mob, or mafia (or increasingly our government), where people conspire to murder, cheat, and steal, and then cover for each other so no one ever knows.  It is said this was had on the earth since Cain.  It has proved to be the cause for the destruction of entire peoples, like the Jaredites, the Nephites, and countless others.

It's always rewarding to know that your kids understood the teachings they've been exposed to.  Today, Pat cringed and fell to the floor having been cut on the foot by something he stepped on.  He looked on the carpet and found a tack.  Then a minute later, he found a nail.  Then 10 minutes later a bigger tack all in the same place!

I said to Pat, "I guess we'll never know which one it was that got you."

and Dallas said, "Yea, it's like they formed a secret combination."

I was impressed and laughing at the same time!

Recently in the car, I was teaching Dallas about which finger you wear a wedding ring on, and how only that finger means something, so someday when he's in college he needs to look for people to date without a ring on their "married" finger.

But... I said, she could just be engaged, and if she's not married yet, and you really feel like she should marry you and not the other guy, you should let her know that before it's too late!

"But beware", (I was about to explain that there's no good way to get around a difficult situation like this and he needs to really be sure before he does something this bold), "because her boyfriend isn't going to like you, and you know what that means?"

Without hesitation, his fierce reply was, "Agni Kai."

If you ever watch the Avatar cartoons, which we LOVE, you'll know why I fell out laughing.  But if you don't here's the urban dictionary definition:

Agni Kai's are a popular (and violent) way of settling arguments in the Fire Nation. One person challenges another and they both face off in a fire-bending battle often to the death.

After church last Sunday, while our family was visiting, we went hiking up along the crest of the Sandias.  Dallas took his huge walking staff that he got from scout camp.  He was being funny and planting it down firmly in front of us and yelling, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!", you know, from Lord of the Rings?

About the third time, there was a tree stump right behind him, and after shouting YOU SHALL NOT PASS, he fell over backwards.  He didn't get embarrassed though, he just kinda smiled and went with it, sprawled out on the ground.  His acting was perfect, I was weak from laughting.  That kid.

By the way, Evan and I were both diagnosed yesterday with A) Ear infections, and B) Strep Throat, and we are both now on antibiotics which is why I'm not at church right now.  I hate missing church.  This has been and awful week.  We both feel better today, but can still barely talk or swallow.  The medicine is working slowly.  And poor Evan, his eardrum actually burst yesterday, before we got to urgent care, and he has had blood draining out of his ear for 24hours.  Makes me upset that when I took my very sick Evan into the doctor on Wednesday night, they wouldn't treat him and led me to believe that there was no point bringing him back because they're trying not to use antibiotics anymore to treat ear infections, so what's the point in going back in?", I thought.

But the pain meds were never enough for him, and finally I called Friday night desperate for some help, and they said, "you're welcome to bring him in in a day or two if it gets worse".  I was so frustrated and worried about Evan.  We just kept dosing him up with pain meds, alternating tylenol with ibuprofen.

When I woke up Saturday morning I was fed up with my own issues.  Another night of unbearable throat pain, little sleep, and fever, so I showed up on the clinic's doorstep the moment they opened asking for a strep test.  Luckily they saw me without an appointment.  As soon as we found out it was positive, we took Evan to urgent care and got him diagnosed and on antibiotics.  But by then it was a bit too late.  His eardrum had already burst. 

So I wonder, how many more of my kids will come down with it this week?  I hope none, but that never seems to be my lot in life.  Evan and I have been contagious for almost a week.  Blah. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

We've had a Birthday shout Hooray!

And a Baptism too!!!  Happy Day Evan!

(More about the baptism later).
Saw this idea on the internet.  Wasn't sure it was going to work with only one tier, but it did!  The M&M guys are actually a candy dispenser! ($10 Ebay).

Journal, Solar Robot.
We had all the kids pose for a picture, and looking at them was cracking me up.
Charles trying to get a taste.


Wanting more.

Sister won't let him.

A fight ensues.

And gets worse.

I have no idea what D and S are doing.

Evan just makes faces since he's holding the cake and can't move.

Sam can be super happy sometimes.

We are super proud of Evan.  He learned how to ride his bike!!!!  It's not easy with only rock roads to ride on :)  We love you Evan.  Happy Birthday!!!!
Our family visited and left on Monday and Evan and I have been suffering together ever since our company left.  He got an ear infection and we've both had a fever and super sore throat.  Went to the doctor for him on Wednesday night, and might end up there again because it just won't go away!  This is really frustrating since it's the first week of summer we actually had no place to be, and we spent it sick. Sorry if that was a depressing way to end this post, but that is exactly how I feel plus a whole lot of awful.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Looks like Rain- update of life

It seems like it's getting harder and harder to find time to write.  So these posts end up with the quickest note about everything we've been doing.  I always go back and add things in my posts later when I have time.  But for now, lets just be glad there's something.

We had lots of rain a couple weeks ago.  In this picture, I told her that I thought it was going to rain.  Next thing I know she comes out dressed in this cute outfit.  She cracks me up.   Pat made her laugh today and she wet her pants, which happens whenever anyone makes her laugh, and she said, "Dad, you wet my pants".   She and I were laughing the other day and she snorted, so I snorted back, and then she busted up, and that was the day I wet her pants.
Here she is with Charles sneaking food in the pantry.

Charles negotiated this step for a long time.  What step you ask?  That little bump from the carpet to the fireplace.  Scary, man.

For a while he would only sit down and scoot off of it.  Still scary, man.
But then he got brave.  And one day...

He did it!

The first week of June I was gone at Girls Camp and Dallas was gone at a scout camp.    He had a great time, except that they starved him all week.  I'm still really upset about that.  They had 90+ boys show up when they were expecting 50, so they cut everyone's food in half and he was so hungry he was eating moss off the trees.  (They had just taught him that most moss is safe to eat, so, since he was starving, he actually ate moss.  He said he ate so much, it gave him a tummy ache.) A corn dog and scoop of salad is not enough for 11-18 year old boys!  A granola bar is not enough breakfast for hiking, bridge building, swimming, game playing scouts!  Why couldn't someone go to the store?!  This is what happens when the spirit whispers, you don't need to go to camps this year.  Focus on getting out of debt which is your goal.  You don't have money for this God will make up the difference on the things you miss out on. But you stubbornly pay for camps anyway thinking it's necessary because (insert stupid reason of choice). 

Girls camp went well, though I didn't take any pictures.  The skits were hilarious, and the spiritual aspect was amazing.  Seriously.  I've never seen anything like it.  It was a little weird not going as cook (though I helped in the kitchen a lot), but just as a stake leader, taking sick girls home, thinking logistics, etc...  I was really distracted and worried about Dallas the whole time too.  He is only 11 and was gone from home for 5 nights and 6 days, and didn't have a single friend with him.  It all worked out, but it taught me a lesson in priorities.  Thank you Heavenly Father for watching over him while he was at camp, and I'm sorry for not listening to you and just waiting until next years camp.

Sam, too,  got an overnight campout alone with Dad when they went to pick up Dallas the night before he was to go home.  They slept under the stars, and Sam took delight in telling me about all the bugs that crawled over him.  He likes to freak out his mother.  In fact all my boys do.

Here are the two camp song books together.

My life has been lived at the doctor's office lately.  Okay, it always is.  You don't even know. Start with 5 well-child visits per year alone.  Then add in all the sick visits for illnesses, diaper rashes, and other weird things that pop up, and you get the picture.
 Since it's an hour away from my house, these trips take most of my day once all's said and done. 

Here's this weeks installment of thrift store shopping: While browsing at my local thrift shop, I saw this beautiful sofa that is leather and looks brand new.  Never have I seen anything this nice at a thrift or second hand or consignment shop.  My current thrift store couches have finally ripped open and the insides are coming out (they weren't in great condition to begin with).  $300 is a pretty good deal for this well made sofa but it wasn't in our budget so I left the store.  Then I talked to Pat and we decided to get it.  I would have paid at least $1000 more than that to buy it new, which is what we planned on doing in a couple years, so...

I am always amazed at Heavenly Father's blessings.  I pray about the things we need and often He sees fit to provide it for us.  Usually as a hand-me-down, or at a thrift store.  I have had to do that recently for suitcases and duffel bags, a carriage thingy to attach to a bike to haul kids, clothes for the kids, spoons and forks and other kitchen stuff, and clothes for me that people ask me 'where did you get that?' and I tell them exactly where I got it.  The thrift store!  I love finding a nice outfit and spending $4 on the whole thing.   

Although recently, I was on my last pair of jeans and they were about to rip, and I prayed to come across a new pair of jeans, when lo and behold I received a bag of my friends daughters old clothes, with four pairs of nice jeans, and only one problem... they're a size smaller than me!  It's like God's calling me fat.

These purple flowers have been covering Edgewood for weeks.  I love them!  I've never seen so many carpets of purple!  This picture doesn't do it justice.  Dallas had a party for school friends at a home right around the corner from my home.  Walking there was just purple everywhere, and the friend who had the party just moved here from New York City.  Her thick accent was unmistakable.  Imagine moving here from NYC?!?
We asked Sam to set the table.

We made a goal this summer to hike (more like walk) in the Sandias (the mountain range 20 minutes from our home) all summer.  We have gone twice since our schedule's been so full, but it is so good for my soul.  We love it.

Pat and the kids like to Geocache along the way.
A friend gave us this nice backpack for carrying babies.  Glad we're using it!

Bad picture, but I wanted to not be left out.

We have chicks!
Charlie on the phone.

The face you will see below, is the face Charles makes at us most of all.  We've decided he looks most like Sam.

Swim team wrinkles.  I decided my life was too busy and I could not afford the $10 of gas a day to get to and from swim team/lessons.  Every day.  Practically the whole summer.  Nor could I afford how insane it was making me to get everybody up, dressed and fed, and in the car with a lunch packed by 7-ish to be at swim team by 8am.  I still have issues since my surgeries and the whole having to leave quickly in the morning thing doesn't work so well for me, or all the sitting.  So we dis-enrolled and got our money back.  Sad but happy.
And who needs a pool when you've got a horribly ugly back yard and a two foot wide pit of mud?
(Probably me. Yep.  Just sayin'.)

Speaking of mud and dirt and such.... I am being the worlds meanest mom and not letting my kids play video games or watch tv or have hardly any time at all in front of a screen.  So as you can see, they are finding things to do to entertain themselves, but this is resulting in other side effects, such as mysterious bags of dirt in my car, and incredibly muddy kids.

Lastly, for today's update, we've spent the last week at cub scout day camp.  Dallas as a Den Leader, and Sam and Evan as cub scouts and Leia got to do activities that were really cool in the tot lot while I taught classes the last day.

Since friends of mine were running the camp, I offered help.  I realized later that this was a mistake since I had so much going on already, but instead of teaching the whole week, I ended up only having to teach the last day.  I was in charge of engineering, so I had them build a marble course to see how long they could take to get a marble from the top of a board to the bottom.  I thought it went really well.  The boys loved it, and I had the hardest time getting them to stop when their time was up.  The winner had just over 7 seconds.  I like how creative they all were with their various tracks.

Then at home, with plenty of time, Sam and Evan got it up to 16 seconds.  (Notice, this is a happy mom taking a picture of two kids NOT in front of a screen.)
Now onto Evan's baptism next week, and Pat's week of camp, youth conferences, etc.  Reader, I am wound so tight right now from this non-relaxing summer, that I am about to snap.  My friend wrote this on Facebook, and it's how I feel all the time:

"Do you ever feel like as soon as you start yo get an A in life in one subject, you start to get C's, D's, and F's in other life subjects? If I am an awesome mom one day then I am slacking on cleaning, or exercise, or service, or political activism, or friendships, or family...ships, or me-ships, or church obligations, or something. Or vice versa. I have ready many articles about how you don't have to do it all and we should give ourselves a break etc etc. BUT, I can't help but want to do it all and get A's in all the subjects! I am not having a pity party. Just venting...or something. Carry on."

So my good vibe to end this post is, I'm trying to make sure that I put God first and read my scriptures and pray daily, and yell at my husband.  Oops, that last one might not be useful.  But I do it anyway.  I finished reading Despereaux to my boys and Sam and Evan especially loved it.  Sam would tell me when I was reading parts wrong and he's a good actor.  He'd say the lines way better than me.  Now we're reading the Westinghouse Game (or something like that), and I made dinner, and did a load of laundry tonight.  I can't cross any of the major things of my list of 20 major things I need to do, but...