Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hobos, smoking teenagers and a visit from friends.

This last week I have been the lucky mom to try and help Taylor and Maddie (not the dog) hunt down plants in Riverside for their Honor's Biology class.

They have to be specific have to be taken of both team members with the plants, and lots of stuff has to be recorded about the plants...

This trip was a quick one after track practice before it got dark. I took them up on the water tower trail behind miller.

The trip was pretty much these two goofing off with me finding the next plant that they needed to record followed by some more goofing off. (what would they do without me ;)

Taylor found this stick, called it Cudweed (which is one of the plants we never found) and said it was his pet dinosaur...

Maddie and Taylor declared this hole as a hobo hideout....

This matress was most assuredly the hobo's bed....they had to jump on it to check for comfiness.

As we were walking back to the car we saw a couple with a dog walking towards us and we said "Look there are some hobos!"

We got closer and laughed because it was our friends the Elsworths who told me about this trail.

They said when they saw us from far away they said "Look at those teenagers, they probably were up behind the water tower SMOKING!"

How funny how we judge from far away!

The next day one of Taylor's friends who lives across from the field asked Taylor "What were you doing up at the water tower with those 2 teenage girls yesterday???"

So I guess I look like a teenager....from veeerrry far away.

Good thing the real story is a lot less exciting than whatever other people had made up in their mind ;)

That same night we had the Nascimento family come and stay with us at the tail end of their California trip. They decided to take a break from Portland Oregon and come and do Disneyland for their spring break.
A trip with rain and snow that made them a day late still didn't curb their enthusiasm.

Audrey is their 6 year old daughter who loved to play with Ashley.

While they were here Audrey brought Ashley into the other room and asked her "Is your Dad one of the seven dwarfs???""

Ashley said "Suuurrrreeeee"

Audrey said "Which one!!??"

Ashley said "Grumpy"

Then Audrey said "I KNEW it! I told my mom he was!!


Our visit was short but long enough to remenisce and take time to go to dinner with Steve and Tahna and talk about old times.

Chris was Jeff's best friend as a teenager and Steve was their scout leader.

We heard all kinds of crazy stories...some of them involving Steve's younger, crazier days.

It's a wonder that they guys survived some of their "adventures"!

Our view from the top of the restaurant.

We just enjoyed the crazy stories and the good food. 

We look forward to seeing the Nascimentos again sometime
(hopefully during a vacation without so much rain)

We stayed up until late talking and then Taylor and I got up at 4:45 the next morning for the Azusa invitational distance only meet.

We left the house at 5:30 to get Taylor there in time. What was nice with this invitational was that there were so many people competing they all got to run with people that were their same skill level.

Taylor ran the 800 and was the front runner for a long time until a super fast guy passed them at the end and the number 2 guy that he battled with the whole time finally pulled past him.

Taylor was happy though because he beat his PR by 12 seconds taking his time from a 2:30 to 2:18.

Taylor getting a snack between races (we had 3 1/2 hour to wait until the next one)

Taylor was starting to tire out as it was time to run the mile and was almost wishing he didn't have to run until he got back from the bathroom thinking they already had called his heat and he missed it. Then he was really bummed until he realized he didn't miss it.

He ran hard coming from behind and taking a wide berth around the runners that had been blocking him in to run the last laps in 3rd position. Just as he was nearing the finish line he heard teammate call to the number 2 guy to hold strong to the end. He saw that the guys was slowing so he came up on him and beat him by a photo finish and .002 seconds to get 2nd place. He improved his mile time from 5:26 to 5:09!

So he ended the day with one 3rd place medal and 1 2nd place medal.

It was a fun day to spend with Taylor, I had fun and I was so proud of him.

Of course Taylor isn't the only one getting awards.

Ashley got an award for being on the honor roll.

And Jacob's award ceremony for getting straight A's (way to go Jacob) is coming up next month.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Stay at Home Working Mom

 I once got a phone call that was supposed to go to Jeff's office instead.

The woman asked me "Do you WORK for Jeff?"

I laughed inside thinking "Yes, I work for him (really with him) just not at the office."

So I am definitely a working woman...just a stay at home one. And, I don't get a paycheck...thats tangible at least.  Paychecks come with self pats on the back, a fed family, a clean(er) house, the personal satisfaction of a job well done and the occasional thank you. :)

So this last week I had the opportunity to leave my housewife kingdom to go out in the world and offer my services...again for intangible paychecks.

It is Book Fair time again! While I don't live at the bookfair like Simone does at this time I did spend a lot of my morning on Monday getting all the flyers in the teacher's boxes and then Tuesday was spent setting up for the book fair.

In the end a lot of teachers complained that they never got their much so that either sabotage was going on or I really missed something. Maybe they'll fire me next time.

Wednesday I signed up to help sell concessions at Ramona during school hours for Jacob's band festival. I felt bad for the mom in the meeting that only had 2 parent volunteers to help.

The night before I asked Jacob about the permission slip to the band festival because I hadn't seen it.

"Mom I'm not going. I'm in intermediate band, only Advanced band goes."

So I was just now doing it for the good of the school.


The day was crazy and tiring and within an hour I had to find a bank and get more change. In the morning all the kids were paying for their $1.00 muffins with $20s! It was nice to just have a cash box because I knew that we wouldn't have to make sure the money matched the register total at the end. I got pretty good at adding up totals and giving change in my head (nobody thought to bring a calculator).

A little later I was thinking maybe it wasn't so good to just have a cash box because one of the other moms with me kept freezing and not knowing how much to give back as change. She said "I don't know how to do this I think I'm ether shorting them or shorting us every time." After that I would 1/2 listen to her transactions too so I could help if needed!

I made the mistake of not eating while I was there and I wiped myself out because right after I got home it was Taylor's track meet.  

This time Jeff got there in time to join me and we were able to watch Taylor compete. Jacob was at play practice and Ashley was at activity days, so just Jeff and I got to cheer him on.

Taylor ran the 800 and beat his last PR.

Right now Taylor is the 2nd fastest Freshmen in the 800. Way to go Taylor! 

Thursday I was back at the concession stand for another day of working.

I got to see all kinds of kids from junior high and high school including the kids from Miller and Rubidoux (my old high school)

It's always funny to see how much different the kids look from junior high to high school.

This time I took time to eat lunch and actually ate one of the burgers we were selling :)

Friday my job was field trip chaperone for the 3rd grade trip to the Long Beach Aquarium.

I agreed to go on the bus with Ashley even though a nice couple that was driving offered me a ride. Ashley really wanted me to come with her and since I knew it wouldn't be too much longer that she would WANT me to hang out with her on field trips I went on the bus.

I regretted it.

Of course she sat with her friends.

I ended up in the back of a bumpy, loud bus.

That wouldn't have been the worst of it but I guess we were following some "no parent left behind" policy and spent 45 minutes of the field trip time sitting on the side of Van Buren while one of the buses had to turn around to get a parent who complained to the principal that they had missed their ride.

This did not help the patience level of the children...or us.

I was very glad I had brought a book to read.

Here is some of Ashley's school friends. Glad to be done with the 2 hour bus ride. Now they were ushered into a 45 minute movie.

We got to wait outside for them.

I went around and checked out some fish on my own so I knew some of the fun places to take them to when they were done.

After their movie we all ate lunch outside.

Then we finally could walk around the Aquarium.

We had one hour before we had to meet for the buses.

(It could've been 2 hours if it weren't for that parent....just sayin)

I sped them through the aquarium so we could get enough time to see as much as possible.

As soon as they got interested in one tank I would give them a few seconds and then tell them about all the cool things that were in the next tank.  That kept them moving along pretty good.

Then we went outside to the touch pool.

One of the boys in my group (Jacob) was scared to touch anything.

He told me "I've never touched an underwater creature!" and it didn't look like he wanted to try.

It's funny because I didn't really know this boy very much before. I noticed him after school about a week before and remember thinking he had a little bit of a tough look, maybe it was his Mohawk and he looked like he always had an attitude. Of course I get him in my group. But I was glad because I got to know that he was sweet, he asked a lot of questions and was scared to touch the sharks.

When we got to the touch pools with the stationary animals, he agreed to try and touch a starfish and a sea anemone. (You would think it was burning his finger with how fast he pulled it away)

By the time we were ready to move on he was ready to touch the rays. I was happy that he had somewhat gotten over his fear but by this time it was time to go back to the bus, and one of the other kids had to use the we moved on.

We ran by the jellyfish on the way out...

and happened to find the Octopus that Josh was asking about. We got a very cool view of him as we went by!

In the end it was a fun field trip even though it was 7 hours of field trip with only 1 hour spending it with Ashley.

Ashley even met a new friend on the field trip and went over for a play date with her.

While she was there, Jacob was at play practice and Taylor was at track I know had to resume my housewifely duties and clean the house...

Which isn't made any easier during rainy season when I have to keep drying off a muddy dog.

Of course she helps me out when I spill things on the floor.

Saturday night was the New York Life kickoff dinner.

It was at the Mission Inn and we had a whole table full of friends to enjoy it with.



The Gunnells...

and now the Lauritzens!

Jeff got awards presented to him by the new Managing Partner, a good, positive change for the office.

Ethan got an award including New Agent of the Year...way to go Ethan!

The boys got their tangible awards...we wives got a round of applause for supporting them.

I wholeheartedly support Jeff in his career because he always supports me in mine. My "job" might never win me any awards but it allows me to be there for our children in ways that money can't buy....even if my "clients" don't realize how good they have it sometimes.

Monday night was Family Night and I thought I would teach the family my Gospel Doctrine lesson from the day before since none of them were there to hear it. My lessons usually go over well on Sunday...

I even had visual aids...

I talked about the parable of the sower...

The parable of the wheat and the tares...

The mustard seed....

and the parable of the leaven....

It was about at this point that I looked around and saw sleeping, distractedness and 2 family members roughhousing with the dog. 

I announced that I was done teaching since nobody was listening. Everyone assured me that they were listening (even though they could've fooled me).

Luckily the doorbell rang and the mood was lightened when we got "Ding Dong" ditched with treats to start off family week.

Thank you mysterious giver!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bathroom Renovation

If you give a gal a paintbrush....

it will remind her that her bathroom cupboards are looking worn and out of date.

So she'll spend $3.00 on paint and start painting.

When she paints them it will make her think that knobs will make it look better.

After painting the cupboards she will want to update the mirror.

She will buy a mirror for $55.00.

This will remind her daughter that the "other mirror" was a lot better because this one was too small.

The painting job will remind her husband of his upbringing of "painted cupboards" and he will want something better.

The gal will not complain.

So they will go to Costco to look for the vanities they saw last week.

The vanities will have all been clearanced out and sold 3 days before.

So she will go to another Costco until they find what they want for $300.

"Not too bad" they will think, then it will remind them that getting a new Vanity means having to pay to tear out the old one...

Tearing out the old one will mean they'll need to pay someone to fix the floor...

and the drywall....

And of course they will have to pay to have the new vanity installed...

Of course getting a new vanity will mean they have to get a new faucet (the old one won't fit).

When they realize that faucets are $150 to $200 they will start to feel a little sick...

expensive faucets will remind them of the gal will look through e-bay for a faucet that she can buy now, and pick up herself.

So she'll get excited to find this one for $50.00 and drop everything to drive to Ontario to pick it up.

Bringing it home she'll realize it doesn't come with a drain so the workers will have to buy one for her...

Taking out the vanity will make the workers suggest to her paint the whole bathroom since it will be imposible to paint once the vanity is in.

So she will go to Ace right before the Relief Society Dinner so she can get paint.

She will stay up to midnight painting so the room will be ready for the workers in the morning.

The daugher will critique her choice of paint color over and over telling her "it is too dark, it will make the bathroom look too small...I liked it better before..."

Changing the rest of the bathroom will make her realize that she wants a new light fixture...

so she'll send her husband out to get one.

He will do a great job picking out a new one....$60.00 more dollars...

Looking at the old towels will now remind her that they blend in with the wall color and so she'll have to buy new ones.

Her new bathroom will remind her that she needs to make a trip to Tai Pan and the Alley for some decorating stuff...

The bathroom all put together will make her happy but will remind her that her $3.00 project ended up costing about $1,000!

Her new bathroom will remind her about the other ones upstairs...they will get finished slowly...

with a few updates....

and DIY fixes that don't requiring hiring any help!

Fixing the bathrooms will remind her of all the other projects around the house that would be nice to do...