Monday, May 30, 2011

When Life brings you up

This week we bounced we usually do in life and had a much better week ;)

School is winding down, performances, graduations, programs, parties and plays are scheduled this week and soon we'll be into the full swing of summer (and sleeping in, Yeah!) Seminary is over, homework is winding down (except for Taylor's infernal health class) but life is slowly getting less complicated.

Let's start out with some Mom moments...
  • Last Saturday all 3 children performed in their piano recital! So proud of them so not proud of me because I didn't take even one picture! (I was just racing in from a LPA meeting from Anaheim an didn't bring the camera). Ashley and Taylor did a duet, Taylor played pedal elf for Jacob and then did a beautiful rendition of Clair de Lune (with the music) and then a rounding rendition of Bumble Boogie without the music for the finale. He said nobody commented on his slow song only on Bumble Boogie, I assured him he did great on both but and fast crowd pleaser finale is always more memorable ;)  Jacob sat on the back row with two other boys that were a few years older than him. They all had struggled with their songs some. Jacob flew through his first song no problem but then in the middle of the second song stopped in the middle looked up at his teacher and declared loud enough for all to hear "I forgot!"  What could we do but laugh. He then started again and got it right the second time. One of the boys next to Jacob said this was his last recital, they commented "What, then we can't be the row of failure any more!"
  • When Taylor was getting his x-ray on his leg he had to take off his jeans and put on a hospital gown. I was up getting Jacob's shot so he was on his own. He realized he didn't know how to put on a hospital gown. He's never had to do any kind of surgery like the other two have! He kept fumbling with it, put his head through the arm hole, then thought "this isn't right" and struggled to figure it out. The x-ray tech was outside the door saying "Any time you're ready"  Ha ha. He finally got it.
  • The chinchilla babies are getting bigger and already eating mom's food. They haven't escaped like the other chinchillas learned to but we count heads regularly just in case. The other day just as I was ready to drop Taylor off at school and I look in a cage and I see a tail that looks like it's just outside the cage. Sure enough one of the babies escaped and luckily I caught it just after it happened. (We don't want to know what would happen if the dog found it first!) There was the littlest I plugged it up and we seem to be good. Whew!
  • We were walking into church last Sunday and got stopped by Charlotte Gioux. "Do you sit in the 3rd row at church" About that row, yes. "Well does Ashley have a glittery dress???"  Yes we just got it at Easter. Well her glittery dress has now been banned from being worn to church by Charlotte because she had spent 1/2 hour the day before trying to vacuum glitter off the bench. Ashley told me after we had our talking to "That was embarrassing" (I understood though I wouldn't want to be spending my Saturday morning cleaning up after someone's glitter)
  • Taylor was joking around in his normal bragadocious teenage way, looking at himself in the mirror exclaiming "I could be a model!" I couldn't resist and had to come back with "Yeah, a zit cream model"   Ouch I know, but be we both laughed because we both knew we were joking.
  • We've been grilling Taylor about what he needs to finish for his on-line health class and he was hesitant to tell us. Finally I got out of him that he had to watch 2 1/2 hour videos about human reproduction, one about the girls and one about the boys. He didn't want to do it. For one thing he thought it was embarrassing and for another he didn't want the younger kids seeing it (all our computers are out in the open). He said "why do we have to learn it this way" I asked him if he would rather have to watch the video's in a room full of other students or in the privacy of his own home. Hmmm good point he said but "Why does my family have to watch me learn it?" We shooed out everyone and let him watch his videos (he kept telling me "you can go now mom") They ended up not being that bad ;)

This last week I was on the phone with my sister and all the sudden Ashley came up and said "Here mom, here's my tooth." I asked her how it happened and she said she was pushing on her two loose teeth to see which one was looser and one popped out. It was bleeding so it wasn't a completely easy tooth to get out either. So I held her tooth and kept talking. Literally 2 minutes later she comes back with the other tooth "Here you go Mom here's the other one." She decided to pop out both. Ha ha.

Ashley's school is working on an undersea play. She tried out for one of the lead role but it went to another girls so Ashley ended up in one of the choruses. But since she's the understudy she's been able to fill in for her a couple of days when the other girl hasn't been at school. (She says the other kids say she does it better at it ;)

Anyway I've been coming into the classroom to help with the backdrops. we ended up letting the students paint and cut out sea creatures and then I pasted them on blue butcher paper with streamer sea weed and brown paper rocks. Her play is this week and I'm excited to see it.

We also filed all the kids outside for a class picture so I can make little autograph books for them...that was quite trick to get them to get in position and hold still long enough to get this and get out of the door in time for a dentist appointment Ashley had (she had a small cavity drilled this week)

On Thursday the Relief Society went over to the Mitchell "farm" and we got gardening lessons from brother Mitchell.

He is very knowledgeable and his garden is beautiful.

It was nice to learn from someone who really knew what they were got me inspired to look into starting a garden.

Our soil is so bad and filled with buried junk in the one spot where we have room in our backyard to garden a raised bed garden is the only kind I would be able to try. We even left with potato and onion souvenirs.

Funny thing about the onion, Mark Mitchell loves his white onions and pulls it out of the ground and brushes it off and takes a bite out of it like an apple. He kept telling us it's really sweet doesn't have a bite to it like other when we went back to the house he cut us all a piece. I had the smallest piece. Yup tastes like an onion. Thats all I had but that little piece of raw onion stayed with me until the next day. Jeff kept saying I had onion breath...brushing my teeth didn't help...mouth wash wouldn't do it....I was in bed chewing gum and it still didn't help and the next morning all I could taste was still onion! I guess thats why I only eat them cooked :)

Friday was a great day of lunch and a field trip with Mary Ann out to Tai Pan to look for dishes.  I never got dishes for my wedding so for the last 18 years I've been using these dishes that my sister-in-law gave me after using them for 10 years and didn't want them. There is nothing wrong with them and they've worked great, and I appreciated them but I was ready to just be able to pick out my own dishes. (Jeff didn't see why I needed to change them :)

So I got these ones for every day that match with my kitchen colors.

And these for when company comes. The dishes were bought by the piece but this set was on clearance and all complete (some sets only had certain pieces to them). So I filled my cart with as many dishes as I wanted out of the set and I was stopped twice by other ladies interested in the set and wanting to know if I was going to buy "all those" dishes in my cart.

I was happy to check out and get them away from vulture shoppers ;)

Saturday Jeff and I split up and I went to Jenn Williamson's baby shower put on by Andrea and Jeff took the dog into her last doggie training class to graduate.

The baby shower was great and Andrea did a wonderful job (sad I didn't bring my camera). I liked her cute games, even won one, but my favorite was turning on the timer while Jenn was opening presents and when the timer went off whoever's present she was opening got the next prize. Cute.

Funny for signing up for the dog training class we got a free 8x10 photo at the photo shoot that was happening at Pet co this weekend. I tried bringing her in on Friday but the photographer ran his hands down her and said "she has a tick" What!!!  It was nasty and I didn't know what to do never dealing with a tick before. Blah! We ended up going over to the groomer's in the store and they got it out for us, which actually made her bleed and then they had to try and get her to stop bleeding. Wow! I was just glad they were there helping me.

After all our separate stuff we packed up and headed out to go with the Stubbs out to Lake Perris to try and ride on their catamaran for the first time.

As soon as we got there Ethan got the car stuck in deep sand. At first Jeff was trying to push the car alone...wasn't helping. They finally got it unstuck when they took off the trailor and Jeff, Taylor, Ethan and two guys that were at the beach all pushed it while Amy drove.

It was a fun day at the lake. It wasn't too hot or too cold and jsut windy enought for sailing.  The girls were exicted about their "fossil" find. (cleaned off fish bones)

The boys were excited for their fist catamaran ride too.

Me and boys got the first ride. I have to admit when I first saw this flat thing which nothing to hold on I was a little nervous (especially with tales of tipping over and such) but it was fine and Ethan was experienced enough to keep us from tipping ;)

Lowen was the cutest and would smile every time the camera was out, even if he had been crying right before. He was a busy boy and kept running all over the beach, Amy had to threaten that there were snakes if he didn't stay near us (didn't help too much ;)

Ashley, Sole and Jeff got a nice long, fast ride and Ashley discovered she Loved it!

Then all the big boys got the last ride and Ethan took it fast and fun for them. My boys discoved how fun it was to stand on the pontoons and "surf". The first time Taylor was on the pontoon and wasn't holding on to anything Ethan tried to turn it quick to throw him off...he almost ended up throwing himself off...but in the end they all stayed on.

My family had a blast and are all looking forward to being able to go again sometime. Thanks Stubbs!

Yesterday we decided to have Steve and Tahna's family over for a memorial Day barbeque after church. It was our ward conference (I got to give my lesson in front of not only my ward but all the stake leaders as well, which was a little intimidating at first) and then Steve had a jam packed rest of the day. So we had his family coming at 4 and then he came just to make a plate after his meetings and then they were off to seminary graduation.

On the way home from church Ashley asked if she could wear jammies. We told her no because family was coming over.

Jacob likes to lay around the hosue in just underwear in the he asked if he could wear underwear.

"sure, under your clothes"

So then being smart he said "How about underwear, then clothes, then some more underwear" Sure.

He really did it and then kept wearing it so of course we had to take pictures.

After he showed the cousins we made him take them off...I warned him this picture is going on facebook...:)

Happy Memorial Day All!

Friday, May 20, 2011

When life gets you down

Do you ever have those days when life seems to weigh you down?

Things that are sad happening in the world, dissapointments, discouraging things, frustrating things that make you mad, you talk to others that are dealing with money troubles, relationship troubles, worries about their children and difficult diagnosises that mean a life time of diminished health. Your heart breaks and you pray and wish for everyone to feel comfort and to somehow get through tough times to times that are better and at the same time you feel the weight of sadness. 

But life is funny. It's always changing. If you're up you know eventually something will knock you down again and if your down...hang on because eventually things will get better. It always does even if it's just your capacity to deal with it.

So our ups and downs....

Up: We loved that Taylor came up with a brilliant plan to bring some life into a Language Arts assignment by creating a video instead of a boring presentation.

This video was dreamed up on the day before it was due. (how nice)
So mom went to the dollar store to try and find something to represent Odysseus's bow and arrow.
We ended up with a pool noodle and a plastic baseball bat.

There was makeup, and costumes and it was a fun time.

I was proud of Taylor for coming up with it, directing it and editing it all before mutual. He was excited to go back to show the class and especially his study group what he came up with. I was excited because this is one of the classes that he's trying to pull his grade up in and he needs every point.

Here is the youtube link to their video...

There are supposed to be suitors that are trying to win Penelope's heart but they have to string this special bow...none of them can do it until Jacob comes on the scene.

The next day he went to turn it in.

Down: The program he used for the video didn't work on the teacher's computer. No one got to see it, it's now to late to turn it in. They had to use another team members boring power point which words all blended into the background and he thinks they'll get a bad grade.

Taylor left Ashley's grass skirt from Hawaii in the backyard after making the video. We came home to it being destroyed yesterday.

Up: So that stinks but the next day I got to text Taylor in the middle of the day to let him know that the chinchilla had her babies!

It was so sweet Jeff came home to see them and we texted Taylor pictures of them. They are about the size of hamsters and oh so cute.

Baby number 1

Baby number 2

Baby number 3!

Up: Tuesday while Taylor was at mutual Jacob was at a band concert. (he informed me the day before)

He is excited to go into advanced band next year.

He was also very excited about ASB next year and being able to help plan and attend the school events. I was happy that he was following in Jeff's footsteps (he was the president of his junior high). I thought it would be a great experience for Jacob.

In order to get into ASB he had to turn in a letter and have it signed by all his teachers listing his grades. He wrote his letter (which I quoted last time) and then got his teachers to sign it...then forgot to turn it in. The teacher over it is strict and won't accept it late.

Down: So ASB is now out.

Up: Ashley had her friend Daisy over after school on Wednesday to go with her to Girls Activity Day.

I was busy but when she wanted to make bracelets I thought I'd stop and help the girls. I got all the stuff out and then Ashley wasn't interested and kept going back to the TV. Daisy wouldn't do it by herself. I asked Ashley if she wanted to make a bracelet she said "No I probably wouldn't wear it."  (true, there is a drawer full of stuff I've tried to make her and she never wears it)

Down : So I made Ashley come back so she could make a bracelet for one of her friends. She got a pile of beads together and said "Mom you make it." I sighed and started to help. Then right before we had to leave for activity day Ashley tried to help Daisy measure her bracelet and all the beads fell off to the floor. Daisy told me to just make something and give it to Ashley to bring tomorrow. So I left the house a mess and we went to activity day.

The girls made cards for the missionaries.

and english muffin pizzas. I think more peperoni was eaten than pizza but the girls had a fun time.

Down: Ashley had a stomach ache after eating too much peperoni.
She didn't eat dinner.

Up: But her friend Daisy would like to come back again.

Down : The next day was wall to wall appointments. I picked up Jacob at 11:00 for a dentist appointment to get his and my tooth drilled.

I tried to bring in his shot record to the office so they would stop calling, writing and e-mailing about him needing his whooping cough vaccination. She looked at his card, nope he didn't have it. 

So I had to tell him that not only did he have to get his tooth drilled he was going to have a shot later in the day at Taylor's doctor's appointment.  

The up-side was the dentist dimissed me and said my tooth wasn't bad enough to drill. He had been out of town and his assistant right out of dental school had diagnosed me. He's more conservative and said my tooth might stay that way for 10 years before it gets worse so he was going to leave it. Whew.

Jacob's cavity was small enough that it was drilled quickly without novicane.

Later that day Taylor had an appointment for his pediatrician and x-rays on his legs. They still aren't getting better and we don't know whats wrong :(

While we're in the room Jacob finds out he needs not one shot but 3!

Not a happy camper.

I wasn't a happy camper because according to some new policy instead of just giving Jacob the shot (which they've always done before) they made be go back up to the front, pretend that Jacob had an appointment and sign him in and pay $25.00 more dollars. Of course I didn't know this until it was yelled to me by the nurse from outside the room  in a very irritated manner after waiting in the room for 20 minutes for someone to bring the shot in.  I guess the nurse was bugged (probably for not setting up a proper separate appointment to get a vacination) because she wouldn't look at me the rest of the time and sent someone else in to take care of Jacob.

Before the nurse wrote me off for the day she let Taylor and I know that he'd better run down to get his x-rays because it was going to be a horrendous wait. 

While we were at the doctor's I was able to arrange a carpool for Jacob to go to the last Miller skate night for his school...but he had to be home to get picked up in 45 minutes. I called Jeff and luckily he was at a store not too far away so he came and picked up the two younger kids so they wouldn't have to wait and Jacob could be home in time.

When I went downstairs to go wait for Taylor....he was already done. Sorry Jeff, what a waste.

Taylor and I got home with 25 minutes to spare before we had to go to his Track Awards ceremony.

The upside was getting to eat dessert and see his friends. We sat at the table with the Merrils who is a neighbor we home teach and visit teach but goes to another church. I was glad to see her so I could check and see how she was doing and she was glad to see someone she knew to sit with. The rest of the table was students.

The down side was 2 1/2 hours of non stop talking from Coach Corona :)

And also the dissapointment of a track season cut short by injury and the frustration that Taylor felt at still not feeling better and not knowing what is wrong.

I've had my own dissapointments these last couple of weeks. More than one opportunity that seems promising, exciting and the next direction for life to be snuffed out before it began. Just enough time for you to get excited about it, just enough time that you are forced to mourn for what is not to be.  Not once, not twice but over and over. I know how dissapointment feels and the feeling of "Now What?" Again this is life.

I read one of the talks from this last general conference about patience and pain, both physical and mental. "The Atonement Covers All Pain." Great article that helps put challenges into perspective.

I also keep thinking of the tag line thats in all my nephew's letters home from his mission. "Keep pressing forward it's all we can do."

One last down: Taylor is taking an online health class and it's been really hard to get what he needs done finished. He has to have all his tests proctored by his science teacher which means he has to go into her class before school and at lunch to try and take the tests he needs. He keeps forgetting and so I've been trying to find creative ways to remind him.

Literally he forgets right after you tell him, text him and have Jeff remind him.

The only thing that has worked is having his friends remind him once he's at school and distracted yet again, and me writing all over his lunch bag so he (and his friends) see it when he pulls it out of his bag.

Yesterday me writing on his lunch sack didn't work.

He said he never got it out of his bag but just pulled his food out one by one. (I'm thinking because he didn't want his friends to see it and tell him to go and take his test.)

Up:  Neccesity is mother of invention (and creativity)

No excuse for forgetting today....

Not only is it written on his bright red lunch sack...

Notes are attatched to every on of his food items...

like his pretzels...


"testy" peanut butter crackers.


and dessert.


Either he'll laugh or he'll be really bugged at me.

So Taylor got home. I asked him how his lunch was. "Funny"

Did you take your test. "No, the teacher wasn't there."


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nephew Ian's baby blessing

This last Sunday our family got to go up to Camarillo for nephew Ian's baby blessing.

For 3/4ths of the drive we thought we made a miscalculation and were going to arrive at church 20 minutes late (probably missing the blessing). Jeff drove his hardest until I finally looked harder at the navigation. "Jeff their church starts at 1:00 not 12:00"

We were 45 minutes early. Whew, what a relief ;)

Proud papa!!

They look like they have the same hairstyles..but Ian's hair is actually coming in a little they won't be twins for long.

Starting to get out of church clothes right there in the parking lot!
(I think it's time to get Ashley new shoes because these ones were pinching her feet)

Proud mama...look a little closer...

What a cutie....

We were laughing at his toes that kept poking out of his blanket at church.

Uncle Jeff always up for snuggling a baby.

Me too.

And of course Ashley always loves to hold babies.

And for some Mom Moments from the week...

  • Jacob is trying to get on ASB for next year and had to include a letter of why he wanted to do it and why he thinks he would be good for the job. His opening for the letter..."Hi, my name is Jacob. I would like to be on the student council, because I am a huggable loveable young man."  and then... "I can contribute love to all students because I give lots of hugs. With boys, I give hi-5s or “man-hugs”.

  • In the past I bought Maddie a bullie stick…which I found out was beef pizzle (or the male organ of a steer) I thought it was funny. When I told the kids what it was they thought it was the ultimate in grossness and would about gag every time they saw Maddie chewing on it. They claimed it smelled too and begged me to throw it away. So this last Saturday I bought her a large rawhide roll that was probably 10 times bigger than the bullie stick. The first thing the kids asked me when they saw her chewing it was “Is that a bullie stick!!!!”  They were relieved when I assured them it wasn’t. Even this morning though Taylor asked me "Are you SURE thats not a bullie stick?"

  • The week before last we went to see Romeo and Juliet at the high school. Taylor was supposed to get extra credit for it and Becca Nelson was playing in it. The actors did the best they could but they were speaking the same words right out of the book. Very hard to understand especially if you’ve never read the play. Jeff hadn’t and he was DYING. He was falling asleep so I drove him and Ashley home after the first half. The rest of the play went until 10:30. We had Tyler Lyman with us and sure enough his mom calls our house about 10:15 to see where Tyler was (very late for a school night). Jeff was already asleep and answered the phone not knowing what day it was, who he was talking to or where he was. Tyler’s mom was trying to get an idea of where they were and Jeff was dazed and confused. I’m sure she’s thinking “OK so they are home and in bed asleep, where is Tyler??”  In the end they got it figured out but I thought it was funny.

·         We watched a silly movie last weekend. Diary of a Wimpy kid. During the movie Greg puts on a scary movie called “The Foot” instead of the kiddy movie that they were supposed to watch. Of course it scares him and his friend has to go home early. That night Jacob comes to our bed in the middle of the night after he had a bad dream. He ended up staying and sleeping in our bed the rest of the night. That hasn’t happened since he was like 3. I asked him the next morning what his dream was about. His dream was the same as “The Foot” movie in the Diary of the Wimpy Kid movie. Ha ha.

  • Jacob was turning in a report the other day and it was on Iguanas. He was getting ready to go out the door and was putting letter stickers on the front of his notebook. Ashley is watching him put them on all crooked. She asked him why he was doing it all crooked. He said "Because it's more mysterious."  When he walked away to go brush his hair Ashley made me fix those letters because it was driving her crazy. :)