Friday, December 26, 2008

Mom's Wedding

Our family flew to Salt Lake City last Thursday to attend my Mother's wedding on Saturday. The night before we had a large family dinner where we were introduced to our new step family. We gained two new step-brothers and two new step-sisters as well as Dexter's mother and sister. We had fun getting to know them all. Everything was beautiful and all went well. The best thing about it (aside from her happiness of course) was that I was reunited with my whole family for a few short days. I was asked to make the cake and the rest of my sisters all gathered to make and design the bouquets. (There is a reason I do the food and they do all the creative stuff!) Here are a few of the many pictures that were taken. (Somewhere there was a bit of confusion and 4 different people were thinking they were the photographer?????) After the wedding we came back to my sister's house and all laughed and talked and played games. We especially enjoyed all the fun honeymoon essentials that my sisters and their husband provided to the wedding couple. I will spare you the details, however we did have a good laugh about it. We were so happy to be a part of this and wish them joy and happiness.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

First Snow of the Season

We woke to white this morning with our first snow of the season. We are expecting a big storm this weekend and cold temperatures. Here is a shot of the boys watching the neighborhood kids playing in the snow and wishing they were joining them. Joseph very sweetly told Sam that today was Sunday and that we don't play outside today because we go to church to learn about God. He then reminded Sam that we were going to Utah in a few days and that there would be lots more snow that we could go sledding in! Its a good thing the kids will be getting snow pants for Christmas.

On the down side the weather is only supposed to get worse tomorrow which means there is a good chance that school will be canceled. This will make getting all those last minute errands done that much harder as I will more than likely have to take all 4 kids with me. At least we still have power! This means I get one more chance to practice for the big wedding cake, we are making a small version of it today. I'm sure the kids will not complain.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Book Review

Our book club this month is reading "The Memory-Keeper's Daughter". Usually I don't review books online as I attend a book club for that. However, this book has stirred some emotions in me that I'm not quite sure about. Maybe its because the book is soooo sad (which I didn't know about before I started it!), or maybe its because my own parents divorce is still something I am coming to terms with, or maybe it was watching a family literally torn apart in such a distructive way when things could have been resolved so many times over. My heart broke for all the characters in this story, for a time when health problems like Down Syndrome and mental health problems in general were something people didn't deal with pretty much at all. I still don't know if our society deals with mental health problems "well". I still get teary just thinking about this book.

Don't get me wrong, this is a good book, rivetting I would say! However, its a tissue box book. Be prepared! Its a book that has made me re-evaluate people and things in many ways. It has certainly made me think about lots of things in my life. However, now I need to read something that is happy and upbeat, something that leaves a bounce in your step, especailly going into the holidays and preparing for my mother's upcoming wedding. Any suggestions????????

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

New Duds

So I decided I was tired of our generic blog and wanted to spoof things up a bit. What do you think. I'm not sure I'm done with it yet but we'll see what else I can come up with.

Turkey Day

We had a great Thanksgiving this year. I meant to take a picture of the yummy spread we had but I forgot. Shocking I konw! We usually don't travel for this holiday as we don't really have family close enough to get to in a reasonable time frame and I really like to cook all the goodies. We do however love to have family and friends join us. Sorry, I guess I'm a little selfish that way. My father Blane took us up on our offer this year and drove up from California. We had a great time with Grandpa and he is looking good. The kids really enjoyed making belts with him. We also visited a model train show, the movie theater, and the donut shop. Like I said, the kids loved having him here!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Joseph's Lost Tooth!

Joseph informed me a couple weeks ago he finally had a loose tooth. (He has watched all his friends loose a few and has been patiently waiting to join the club!) He worked diligently during that time to wiggle and pull it as much as he could. Ron and I have noticed that it was very loose and needed only a good tug to pull it free. He wanted to be the one to pull it free. Ronny wiggled it last night and finally broke the last bit of root still holding on. Amazingly it didn't come out then so Ronny told Joseph to give it a good pull. Joseph came down shortly there after to show me his tooth. He was so proud, it was adorable! I told him to put it under his pillow so the tooth fairy would come. He wanted to show his tooth in show and tell and was so worried the tooth fairy would take it. I informed him the tooth fairy and I were good friends and that I would let her know that he wanted to keep it. He was very much relieved!

Charley's 9th Birthday

Charley turned 9 last week. (I can't believe it!) On election day to be exact. She was pretty excited to have her birthday on such an important day. Charley and I went to Salem to the girls scout store armed with her gift card in hand that she earned last year. She had a great time picking out a new uniform, lots of accessories, and a new doll. The boys came along as well, however they were not as much help. We celebrated the night of her birthday with just our family and then this week she held her first slumber party. She was ecstatic! We have a pretty small house so we could only host a few girls (I'm not complaining about that!) and only two were able to come but we had lots of fun! I fell asleep well before the girls did so I am not entirely sure when they actually drifted off to sleep. The boys were up at 7:00 ready to pounce on the girls but we were able to hold them off upstairs for another 1/2 hour. I'm sure Charley will be just as ready for a nap today as I am.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween 2008

Here are the pictures of the kids in their Halloween costumes this year. I opted to only make Charley's this year as the month of October was rather hectic. So you may see a few repeats from younger siblings. Sam and Joseph thought that it was fun having a cowboy and his horse together. Ben pretty much hated wearing any costume until he saw that if he wore it people would give him candy. Charley enjoyed her fairy outfit and I made it big enough for her to wear next year too. Unfortunately I didn't get good close ups of the pumpkins. They were pretty cute this year. It was a fun night but I'm so glad its over. (I sometimes feel like its so much work for such a short event. Especially now that they don't let the kids wear their costumes to school.)

Joseph Can Now Breathe

Joseph has been struggling with his asthma as of late. We have spent the last month doing on average 6 breathing treatments a day with at least half of them being in the middle of the night. We told Joseph he couldn't run at recess and that he needed to take it easy for a few days. He would always come home and inform us he did not run at school, he just played soccer or capture the flag. Apparently he didn't quite understand the meaning of no running. (How do you explain to a 5 year old boy he's not allowed to run in order to breathe?)

His teacher approached me one day and asked if he had any medication at school that he could take as he was having problems breathing just sitting in class. I knew then that this was now the point we needed to be referred on to the asthma specialist. So we called the doctor to schedule an appointment and found he was not going to be in for 2 weeks so we opted for the on call doctor (which happened to be our previous doctor who had retired. yay!). She asked Joseph to take some deep breaths for her. He did his best but was never able to take a deep breath without coughing up a storm. She then ran a pulse-ox (sp?) on him and discovered after his recent breathing treatment he was still only at 95. She gave us 3 new perscriptions (1 for school) and sent in the referral to the specialist and advised us to get him in right away. Thankfully someone had canceled their appointment for the next Monday so we were able to get him in within a few days.

I had never met this doctor but had heard great things from Ronny and a few friends who had seen him. (this is the same doctor Ronny sees for his throat problem) I was expecting an older gentleman as he had previously been a pediatrician before specializing in asthma and allergies. I was shocked when in walked a mighty fine looking doctor! Ronny laughed when I told him this later. Anyway he listened to Joseph breathe, took a pretty complete history on him again, and asked us exactly what medications he was taking and how often. He was surprised at what he was taking and the condition Joseph was in. When I told him I didn't think his medication was working very well he informed me it was keeping Joseph out of the hospital for the time being. When I related to him what the last two weeks were like he told me Joseph probably should have been admitted then. Oops! (That didn't help the guilt factor). He then did a poke test (allergy test) to see what Joseph was allergic to. It came back that he was allergic to mold, grass, and trees. I laughed and said he was pretty much allergic to Oregon. He agreed!

Anyway, Joseph is now on new medication that comes in the form of an inhaler attached to a spacer. No more nebulizer treatments! This was good news to all of us. He is doing so much better. He can now run and play and not worry about coughing. His teacher has informed us he is doing much better at school as well. Hopefully this keeps him out of the hospital when the next cold comes and helps ward of pneumonia this year!

Sam's Birthday

Sam had his 5th birthday last week. With it being an odd birthday he was able to have a friend birthday party. We invited 5 kids and 6 showed up. This happened at Joseph's party a few years ago so I was a little better prepared to handle the surprise additions. Sam decided he wanted to decorate cupcakes for his cake instead of a Pokemon cake he originally said he wanted. This was quite a blessing as I was in no mood to make an elaborate cake this last week. We had a great time playing puzzles, decorating cupcakes, and smashing into a pinata. The party lasted for about an hour and a half which is plenty long enough for 6 crazy 5 year olds with too much sugar in their systems. He had a great time with his friends which is all that matters to me. Happy Birthday Sam!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sam's first day of school!

Sam's first day of preschool was earlier this month. I failed to take a picture of him before school so I vowed to take a picture after he came home. While I was searching for the camera to take his picture he and Ben sat on the couch to watch a movie. Here is what I found when I came back downstairs. I guess he had a pretty busy day! He is so happy to be back in school and looks forward to the one on one time with his Dad on the bus.

The day after school started he came home with a good little cough. I told him I his coughs didn't sound very good. He informed me his "bless you's" didn't sound very good either.

Ronny turns 34!

Ronny turned 34 this month. As always I told him I would make him whatever cake he wanted for his birthday. Little did I know he would pick one that would be 1. so expensive to make, and 2. so time intensive. This little number literally took all day to make. Now that I have made it once I know how I would speed things up if I ever attempt to make it again. This is a bittersweet triple chocolate genoise, wrapped in chocolate praline sheets. Ours boys have not yet acquired the taste for dark chocolate so Charley, Ron, and I enjoyed the vast majority of this cake. Thankfully we had some friends over the next day to watch the BYU game who like dark chocolate and helped to finish the cake off. Ronny had a great day and we had lots of fun singing to him and showering him with love!

A Little Piece of Heaven

Our neighbor searches us out every few months to inform us that she will be making tamales again. She does this for extra money and knows that we will always take her up on her offer of a dozen for $10. Ronny and I both love authentic Mexican food. I say authentic because the farther you get from the border the harder it is to find good Mexican food.

These are pretty good, not the best we have had, but good none the less. The kids love them too and sometimes Ronny and I find it hard to share. One day I am going to recruit a few friends and we are going to try our hand at making these ourselves. I will of course have to find a nice Hermana to school us in the proper techniques!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Funny Sayings

The kids have been saying some funny things lately that I didn't want to forget so I thought I would just jot them down here. Ben has been thinking he was so funny lately by calling me Denise instead of Mom and instead of Dad for Ronny he calls him by Ronny. So I went along with it the other day and asked him what his name was. He said Ben and I said, "Can you say Benjamin?" He mumbled something pretty close. I then asked him what my name was. He said Denise, then I said Denise what. He looked at me with all seriousness and said, "Denise Be Careful!" I laughed and corrected him and then he repeated Denise Be Careful. Apparently that is his version of Bjarnason, not bad for a 2 year old. Bjarnason is tough for most adults. (*Update, he now says Bwarnason)

Sam is getting frustrated lately when he gets interrupted or not listened too. At dinner last night he was frustrated with Ronny about this and slammed his hand on the table and said, "I am talking and here's the story!" Then he informed us why he did not need to finish his dinner.

Every now and again if you look at Sam you can tell he is really thinking about something. He was doing this the other day and then went to Ronny to explain what he thought through. He grabbed Ronny's hand then looked at Charley and said, "Charley when Mom and Dad die you are in charge!".

I think I am going to do this more often, write down their funny expressions. I know I will miss this later.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

First Day of School 08

Today was the first day of school for Charley and Joseph. Charley is in the third grade and Joseph is in the first grade. This is Joseph's first year at this school, first year of full day, and first year riding the bus, and it was also his first time at being a lunch helper. He was pretty excited! He insisted on riding the bus much to his mother's frustration as was his refusal for his mother to comb his hair, but he seemed to be just fine. He came home and announced his new friend at his table is "Shredder". (The boy's name is actually Trevor, I have to hide my giggles at his mistake.) This boy's sister is in Charley's class and also sits at her table as well. Go figure. Joseph already wants to set up a play date. Maybe we will set up one with his sister as well. Sam starts school in October so we only have a couple weeks together (with Ben) before he is gone in the mornings. He was pretty bummed when Joseph didn't come home until 3:00. He kept asking when they would get home and reminded me they were gone "too" long. I agree but such is life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is it really that bad?

Ever since the first day of Sunbeams Sam has pretty much hated Primary at church. This of course breaks my heart as a former primary president knowing how much work goes into making primary a good experience for every child. Every day Sam comes to me and asks if it is Sunday. On those chosen days that it actually is, Sam immediately goes into the routine of fits, convulsions, you name he's done it, at least that is what I thought until this last Sunday. The last few months Sam has tried to convince us he is too sick to go to church. He has done the standard "my tummy hurts", fake coughs, and asking if he has a fever. This last Sunday he went into the kitchen grabbed a container from under the sink and gagged himself causing him to throw up a small bit. Then he brought it to Ron and I claiming he had the flu and that he needed to stay home. "Is Primary really that bad for you Sam?" He of course said yes.

If I didn't think church was that important I would have given up a long time ago, but I know its important that we go every week and that he needs to be there as much as the rest of us. I pray every week this will get better. In all honesty it has gotten somewhat better. He hasn't cried the entire two hours for the last few months (barring this last Sunday). We have been doing positive reinforcement with him (or in simpler terms "bribing"). If he can get through Primary without crying and needing a parent he gets a treat when he gets home. I had a Primary calling for a while just to see if things would get better. It actually got worse so when they called me into Young Women a little over a year ago it was a relief to both of us. I wish I knew what to do for him. You can bet we will be discussing this at his next IFSP meeting with Early Intervention.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Joseph turns 6 with R2D2

Here's the cake I made for Joseph's 6th birthday. We had lots of fun with this and it turned out pretty good. Of course I can see all my mistakes and I may add more later. Unfortunately you can't see the detail work on the white with this camera, I think it adds so much more to the cake. This cake weighs at least 20 pounds. If I had a scale I would weigh it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Do You Remember When?.. Game!

Do You Remember When. . .
Here is a fun little game I saw on a friends blog. Here are the directions:

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses.

If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Thank You Mother Nature!

So today is my 32nd birthday, hooray! Ronny brought me breakfast in bed complete with eggs containing garlic and onions (yum!) and waffles and bacon and juice. What a great guy! I then flipped on to see the weather. The high today is going to be 77. I can't ever remember it being under 90 on my birthday before. I don't think I could have ordered better weather if I had the option to. Can you guess what we will be doing today, pretty much anything as long as it is outside in the sunshine! We will have to go on a good long walk. Then tonight I have to be in meetings with the stake starting at 5:00. Could there have been a worse time? I guess 6:00 am would be worse but you could still go out for dinner or something. I hope you all have a great day, that would be my birthday wish. Fun for everyone in the sun!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Utah Trip

Last week our family went on a trip to visit family in Utah. The last time we went as a family was when my sister was married a couple years ago and this trip we were able to witness the blessing of her first child, Cameron. Unfortunately our camera's batteries died and so we don't have pictures of our own, so we are patiently waiting for my sister's to send us the ones they took. Until then I will just steal one or two from their blogs.

Our week was filled with so much adventure and just good old fashioned cousin time! My older sister's kids are the closest in age to our own children so we were so excited for them to spend time with each other. Charley and Anna were attached at the hip from the moment they saw each other. Joseph and Jacob and Nathan and Ben also had a great time together, and Sam just had fun playing with all the "new" toys at Jen and Mike's house. He was pretty much in heaven with 3 floors of different things to do not to mention fun outside on the play structure.

Some of our highlights included taking the kids to the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point, making Smore's, rafting down the Provo River, swimming, a baseball game for the boys, going to see "Little Women" with the girls, holding baby Cameron, catching up with our extending family on the Frandsen side, catching up with Dad and Mom and Grandma Halverson, shooting off fireworks, bowling, walking around BYU, and just spending time with my family. I truly miss spending time with my sisters and any chance I get I jump on it! We would have loved to spend more time there and already look forward to our next trip whenever that may be.

Girls Camp 08

June 23 to the 27th was Girls Camp in our stake. This was the first time I have attended camp outside of my girl years so many years ago. I will have to edit this post with pictures at another time when I can scan them in. I was assigned to the 2nd Year Unit as a Tent Mom. It was great and our girls were wonderful! We had 24 campers, 3 YL's, and 4 Tent Moms/Unit Leader. We had the largest amount of girls with the least amount of adults. This seemed to work well most of the time and the girls really bonded to their YL's. I also have to give a shout out to our YL's as they were truly amazing and the cream of the crop! I had a great time getting to know girls from all over the stake as well as making great friends with women in other wards. I sure do look up to them, talk about Super Women!

Our girls were a great team for pretty much most of camp as they were deteremined to steal everyone else's flags, and conquer the obstacle course. The day of the relay and obstacle course our girls went and practiced and were deteremined to be the first unit there to earn the head start on the relay. Their practice payed off as they beat everyone else in the o.c. and earning yet another head start. They managed to get 10 girls over "the wall" in under 40 seconds. It was fun to watch them work together so well. That night two of our girls found smashed raw eggs in their sleeping bags. As leaders we were so worried this would dampen the spirits of our girls, however they rallied around each other and ended camp on a high. We were so proud of them! I will have lasting memories of this week for many years to come.

None of my fun would have been possible without the support of my wonderful husband and selfless neighbors and friends who were willing to watch my children. When I came home all four were happy, healthy, and safe. They relayed their great adventures of the week and specifically mentioned how much fun they had at everyone else's house. So thank you all so much, I can't put into words how much your service meant to me as I was able to spend this time with the Young Women and know that my family was taken care of at home!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Charley's New Haircut

When I was younger I wasn't always able to choose my hair style and I pretty much hated it most of my teen years. I told myself that when I had a girl I would let her choose her own hair style as long as it was within reason (No mohawks, shaved heads, etc.) Charley mentioned she wanted to get her hair cut shorter for the summer. I don't mind trimming her hair, but cutting layers and new styles frightens me a little so we opted for the salon. We looked at some books and she chose the style she wanted. She didn't want me to come over to the chair with her so she made all the decisions herself. (I was a little sad about that!) Here's what she chose.

When she was done and walked back to me I was floored, her eyes jumped right out and I swear she aged about 3 years. Where has my little girl gone too? We all think its a really cute cut and she loves it which is what matters most!

T-Ball 2008

( Joseph sliding into home plate, touching the "T" is not the same as the real home plate to these kids)

I finally remembered to take our camera to Joseph's t-ball game (I'm still working on Charley's softball game). I put Ronny to work taking a few pics of Joseph in his more finer moments of the game. I think t-ball is pretty funny to watch and it only lasts about an hour for the game so its pretty quick. At this age the kids just want their hands on the ball, they don't care yet about actually getting an out. Its pretty much a dog pile and fight to see who comes up with it after each hit. Of course after the winner emerges there is the token throw to first base and of course the first baseman can't catch yet so then they have to chase it down. Its pretty funny and it certainly teaches you patience.I think the proportions of these kids heads with the helmets on compared to their bodies make them look like human bobble heads!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Soccer Ball Masterpiece

This is another blog about cake making so for those of you who are not interested go to the next post.

So I have wanted to try my hand at covering a cake in fondant like all those really cool looking cakes you see on TV lately. However, I really don't like the taste of store bought fondant and its really expensive for that matter. When Ronny told me we were hosting Charley's soccer party I decided to make a soccer ball cake. I have a cousin who is probably the most creative person I have ever met (Lauren that is you!) and saw that her husband made her a way cute birthday cake with fondant he made himself. So I searched the internet for a recipe that looked somewhat palatable. I came across one that is made out of marshmallows and powdered sugar. So I gave it a try and found that is was really easy to make (albeit very sticky), fun to play with, and it even tasted pretty good. So I borrowed my neighbors dome cake pans and cut out hexagons and pentagons from the finished fondant. I colored the fondant in the team colors as I was not in the mood to make black fondant.

Ronny tried to talk me out of making this cake a few times. I don't know if he doubted me as much as he wondered if the process would stress me out too much. In reality the cake was so much fun to make! It pretty much came together rather quickly and in the end I spent about $15 putting it all together. It was fun to watch the girls and their parents reaction when we told them the ball was actually a cake. I wonder what they thought it was? In August I will attempt to make an R2D2 cake for Joseph.

Another one bites the dust!

Yesterday was the last day of soccer for Charley and Joseph. Unfortunately both teams were blown away in their last games, thankfully the kids still had fun. The weather here decided to take an unexpected climb to the high 90's overnight so the kids were pretty worn out by the end of their game. With Ron being Charley's soccer coach we hosted an "end of the year" party for the team. We made pizza for everyone which made us very grateful our community room has a kitchen so that we could bake the pizza in a building with central air as opposed to our house. I made a soccer ball cake (more on that later) which the girls devoured in a matter of seconds and the girls and the parents enjoyed relaxing in a cool building. It was great fun!

Ronny has mixed feelings about the end. He really enjoyed coaching these girls and learned so much. Yet, he is happy to have time off for the time being. He is looking forward to coaching Joseph and Sam next year. The boys are pretty excited about that. Charley will move up to the next division and have longer games and more rules. We will see how that goes.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

No vacation for Mom!

So after this last week of the huge amount of laundry stemming from our little experience with head lice and Joseph reverting back to wetting the bed every night for some reason, and the need for one of the children needing a clean uniform for some event, I decided that yesterday I deserved a day off from laundry. One day, that was all I was willing to take. Here's what I saw when I went to do today's laundry. I swear the laundry baskets have some sort of gremlin virus that instantly multiplies when it gets wet!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Charley's Softball Debut

Here is the picture of Charley I promised in her new softball sweatshirt. She played 3rd base yesterday and did a great job. She took a hopper in the neck but managed to stop it and tag her base. She got hit both times she was up at bat. We are still working on catching and throwing but she is doing great!

Sometimes the Worst Gifts come in Small Packages

Last Sunday we were sitting in church and Sam quietly laid his head in my lap and told me I could touch his hair. For those of you who know about Sam's sensory issue with his head you will know that this was somewhat of a breakthrough for Sam. So I started to run my fingers through his hair and was telling him how much I liked the blond streaks he had. I looked a little closer and saw something a little odd. I took a closer look and saw strange little dots in his hair. When I tried to get one out I found it was rather sticky. I knew this was not a good thing and although I had never seen lice before, I had a pretty good hunch this was it. I leaned over to Ronny and told him I think Sam has head lice. What I didn't realize at that moment was how much work lay ahead of us.

So for those of you who have not had this little experience in your house, know that it is inevitable, expensive, and very frustrating. Pray you catch it early before it spreads and then pray for strength as it is a long haul! If one person in the family has it everyone gets treated whether you think they have it or not. It turns out Sam and Charley both had it but we caught it before it spread to anyone else.

Ronny was sent to the store to buy the shampoo, gel, and combs. (When it comes to head lice the ox is in the mire on Sunday!) Man I tell you, I plan to take out stock in the RID company because this stuff is pricey. The next several hours of last Sunday was spent washing everyones hair with this insecticide shampoo, combing out everyones hair with the gel and combs, striping every bed of pillow, sheets and blankets, then gathering anything and everything that may have touched someones head in the last couple weeks and boiling them, finding every hat and running them through the dryer, and bagging every stuffed animal in the house. So for 6 people, 1 of which is a young girl with long hair, and 3 other young children you can imagine how much work that was. We finished combing Charley's hair out at midnight that Sunday. Ronny was kind enough to read to us while I combed her hair ( it took a couple hours to get through it). Then Ronny had to comb through my hair which took at least another hour. We managed to crawl into bed about 1:30 a.m. knowing we had a mountain of laundry to tackle the next day. I should have taken a picture of the laundry pile, it was taller than the washing machine!

I called the schools the next day to inform them of the situation and to let them know the kids would not be there. It was then we found out that lice was going around in two of them. Charley's school had 7 kids in her grade alone sent home the previous week with it. What happened to the letter they were supposed to send home? Needless to say I'm a little annoyed with this gift someone blessed us with. I then went through the process of cutting the boys hair. All of Sam's beautiful golden streaks lay gone. If you've read the previous hair cutting stories you will understand why I cried when it was Ben's turn. All his baby hair gone. He looks so much older and nothing like my baby boy.

So we got through this week pretty much in a daze. The instructions on the shampoo say we have to retreat in 7-10 days to kill the bugs that were eggs last week. This morning I went through Charley's hair again (I've done this every day this week) and found 2 more bugs. Grrrrr! Can you guess what we will be doing today?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Opening Day

Yesterday was Opening Day for Little League. Joseph is playing T-ball and is on the Mets and Charley is playing Rookie Softball and is on Splash. For some reason Charley never made it to the door for her picture. So we will have to fix that this week before her next game.

It has been a whirlwind trying to get the uniforms in place and ready to go. I spent all morning on Friday running to 3 different stores trying to get all the needed pieces for each of their uniforms. I even managed to make it to JoAnn's for ribbons for Charley and her teams hair. The ribbons turned out pretty cute! (So unlike my kind of thing but it was fun.)

Saturday morning started off with an early morning phone call from the Head of AYSO soccer informing us that their morning soccer games were canceled due to the 1/2 inch of snow outside. It was then we pulled up the blinds. Crazy!

The weather was pretty crazy all morning and so we weren't sure what to expect when we made it down the the baseball fields. The sun made an appearance so things were a go. All the teams lined up and were ready to be introduced. Once all the teams were paraded in and standing in their designated spots the announcer began to give some info on the games that were scheduled for the afternoon. That's when the hail started to come down. At first it was just a few hail balls here and there. Then the heavens opened and chaos ensued! The hail came pounding and the coaches quickly had all the kids huddle together doing their best to protect them. Then all the parents swarmed in with umbrellas and jackets and anything they had to protect the kids. (needless to say not many pictures were taken at this point) The downpour lasted for about 15 minutes and stopped just as it had started. We all stood up and looked around at the 1/2 - 1 inch of ice pellets all around us. Then the sun broke through and the announcer canceled the rest of the ceremony. The decision to play the scheduled games was left up to the coaches discretion and of coarse they all wanted to play. Unfortunately Charley's game was before pictures so by the end all the girls were muddy.

Charley was the first to bat and belted one into center field (that's my girl!). She also made two outs on 3rd base in the 2 innings the teams played. After an hour in the mud and rain the coaches finally called the game.

Joseph's team showed up but the team they were scheduled to play didn't. I felt bad for Joseph but he seemed to take it in stride. He really enjoyed watching his sister play and cheered her on. We start 2 games a week per kid from here on out so we will be busy. We also have soccer on Saturday morning for the next 4 weeks. Here's to hoping the weather improves!

Technology has its curse!

As much as I love that we have new gadgets and gizmos to stay connected in many different ways it has its price which for the most part is pretty expensive on our extremely tight budget. Our computer (which was 5 years old) decided last night to stop recognizing any mouse whatsoever. It had been acting up the last few months but we were always able to turn it off let it rest and eventually it would cooperate. After questioning Ronny, somewhat like an interrogation, if we could find some way around this problem that resulted in NOT having to buy a new computer, in the end we broke down and went to the computer store. After hearing so many complain about Microsoft's Vista I knew I did not want to deal with that, so we headed to the Mac store. We have officially become an Apple only family. We bought a little Mac mini. Thankfully we did not have to replace the monitor, keyboard, and everything else, which made the purchase a little more doable. Ronny spent all day and night (literally) frantically saving our files and pictures to cd's and setting up the new unit.

I love that it fits in the drawer under the monitor and it is soooo quiet compared to what we dealt with before. I also love that I can sit here and not worry the computer is going to randomly freeze up on me. Now however, I must be schooled in all the new buttons and widgets and whatever else they call things on this system, then I have to teach the kids. That ought to be an adventure!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thank You Teacher Carla!

Meet Spotty and Goldy our new goldfish, compliments of Joseph's kindergarten teacher Teacher Carla. Grrrr! Its never good when you go to pick up your kid from school and the teacher has promised the kids they can all take a fish home at the end of the day. Then your kid and the teacher do everything they can to guilt you into taking them. Of course your other son is there as well and wants one himself. So now we have two goldfish at home. I don't have a goldfish tank and I refuse to buy one because I know as soon as I do they will die. So, they are swimming in one of my crystal vases. They have lasted a week, much longer than I would have guessed.

On a side note, Joseph received his T-Ball uniform yesterday. He is on the Mets and is blue and orange. When we were getting in the car Charley asked what team Joseph was on again. I reminded her it was the Mets. She then asked why there was a NY on his hat. She didn't know why I was laughing, so I told her that her Dad and I have lots more to teach her and Joseph about baseball.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Eeeeewe, Gross!

I made brussel sprouts for the vegetable at dinner the other night. (Believe it or not the kids love them!) Ronny was at soccer practice with Charley so it was just me and the boys. The boys were all doing a good job eating their dinner which is somewhat surprising as it is usually a battle. I told the boys if they hurried they could go outside and play for a few minutes until their Dad came home. Ben was making funny faces as he does sometimes at dinner and had us all laughing. He put a sprout in his mouth and then spit it out and declared, "Eeeewe Gross!" and then laughed and then ate the rest of them and asked for more. It was so funny not to laugh with him. I asked him who taught him that word and Joseph jumped up and said "ME"! Now everytime we change Ben's pants he tells us its gross. We agree!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Have I ever mentioned how much our kids want a dog? Lets say its been a long time dream of our children (especially Joseph) in their few short years on this earth. Joseph repeatedly asks when we can have a dog. We have told the kids we would get a dog when the we "owned" the fence and the house we were living in.

This is Fuego. Fuego is Nana and Papa's new dog. Fuego and the kids did everything they could to become our new dog. Here's the story.

First thing Saturday morning after we arrived in California, the kids headed outside to swing on the swings and explore. I was in the house with Stephanie and she happened to mention they got a new dog named Fuego but they hadn't seen him in a few days (I think 4 to be exact). She said that Fuego had originally been an indoor pet before he had come to live on the farm. He was having trouble adjusting to the new environment, especially the lack of attention and having to compete with another dog.

Shortly after this conversation Charley came in the house and announced she had found Fuego in the cabin. He had been in there all week without food or water. He came out, did his business, and drank several bowls of water. Sam saw him and they immediately bonded. Sam sat with him most of the day while he lay recouping in the shade. We were worried he wouldn't make it, and I was a little worried he would pass away while we were there.

Then the trouble started. The three older kids really took a liking to this dog and the dog to them. Anytime the kids were outside the dog was with them. Anytime we went to get in the car the dog tried to go too. He loved the attention and the kids loved the idea of maybe talking Mom and Dad into bringing him home. Joseph had a few private conversations with Dad on the cell phone and begged me all week to take him home.

The day we were leaving I had left the sliding door open and the car door open. Fuego decided to follow the kids inside. When Papa discovered he had come in, he ordered him out. Fuego didn't move. I told Joseph to go get the dog out of the house. Joseph walked up, took him by the collar, and gently told him he needed to go outside. Fuego listened to Joseph. When we were getting the kids in the car to start our journey home Fuego decided he was going too, and promptly jumped in the car and made himself comfortable in the back with the kids. When we tried to get him out, he wouldn't budge. It took several minutes to get him out of the car and a few tears by the boys. They really wanted him to come home. Unfortunately we are not able to have a dog where we live. If we could I am sure Fuego would have come home with us.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A week Off in the Sun! (Spring Break)

We had a great time at Nana and Papa's during Spring Break this year. They were wonderful hosts and went out of their way to find new and fun things to do with the kids. Mom loved having an extra hand or two and some quiet moments to read a book or two. Here are some highlights.
We spent Easter Sunday at Barbara and Jared's for Easter dinner and fun with cousins. As if the great egg hunt at Nana's wasn't enough the cousins had another one after dinner.

Family night was spent at the park. We picked up Chinese food and headed over for dinner, park fun, and ducks! The kids had a blast and the adults laughed as the 4 kids decided to become their own flock of ducks and chased each other around hollering quack all the while. It was hilarious to say the least.We spent one day at the miniature golf course and arcade and another day shopping. Papa also volunteered to help with bedtime stories and flashcards! (Charley helped by correcting Papa when he mispronounced the names of the dinosaurs and forgot a few multiplication facts.)

On Thursday Papa declared he was going to teach the kids how to tie dye. Stephanie and I volunteered to hold down the fort inside the house while Papa took the kids to the shop to get to work. After about 20 minutes Sam was sent back inside much to the pleasure of all parties! Charley and Joseph had a great time and the shirts turned out really cute. Papa decided the kids should all wear them to Friday Night Date Night.

We were actually supposed to travel home on Friday but the Northwest got hit with a snowstorm that day so we opted to stay one extra day. The kids and the grandparents were both very happy. Mom was too, however she knew she would miss her day to get things back together at home before school started again. Besides, who would want to pass up a day spent playing in the mud! Friday Night date night started with dinner at Home Town Buffet and another night playing at the park and chasing the ducks. We all had a lot of fun!

The trip home went as well as could be hoped for and I thank the Lord he blessed us with good weather and much patience!