Saturday, May 26, 2012

School happenings and Lake Perris times 3

This last week I was gone every day either subbing or volunteering so I wasn't able to update the blog. Sleeping in on a Saturday morning after a busy week is blissful and waking up before the rest of the family to update the blog is even better :)

Last Friday I had the chance to go to the family fun day at Ashley's school. Parents can come on campus and eat lunch with their students. Ashley put in her request "Wendy's kids meal" OK so I brought it for her and she ate every bit of it. 

She then invited Kyra to sit with us. Kyra is from Mexico and just got here a month or two ago so she doesn't know any English. Ashley has made it a point to be a friend with her even though they can't communicate much. It amazed me as they were putting stickers on her kids meal airplane (she's holding in her hand) and enjoying each other's company they communicated without talking. Every so often Ashley points to something and asks Kyra what the word is in Spanish but mainly you can tell they are trying hard to be friends and eventually the words will come later.  

Saturday the boys were at Lake Perris for the Father's and Sons campout. That day was also the air show at March Airfield. I had been hearing them practice for the few days before. They flybys were impressive and loud! One day I was driving home on the freeway and everyone had slowed to a crawl to watch the aerobatics. Cars were pulling off to film it on their phones and I was late picking up Ashley from school because the traffic was so bad. 

Since the boys came back from their camping mid-airshow and were tired just Jeff and Ashley and I drove over to a dirt area across from the Airfield to watch the planes without getting stuck in the crowds. We came for the Thunderbirds finale which was running about 40 minutes behind. 

Luckily we had friends over in the thick of the airshow we called and asked what was going on. They let us know when it was happening so we stayed long enough to see the Thunderbirds.

It's really hard to get pictures of fast moving airplanes...and try to watch them at the same time....they are way in the distance. 

This is the best shot I got...and it isn't centered but at least they are in the frame ;)

Jacob was home perfecting the finishing touches on his own high flying contraption. He had to build a bottle rocket that could stay up in the air for at least 7.5 seconds to get an A. If it fell out of the sky faster than that your grade went down. 

We took it seriously so we looked at on-line tutorials. We cut up a perfectly good file folder to get the right materials for the wing, and we experimented with the weight for the nose cone...which wasn't right at  first. Jacob had the idea to use play-doe plugged into 1/2 of an Easter egg to weight the nose cone correctly which ended up working.

The day of the launch came and went. Jacob said pretty much the whole class had rockets that stayed up for 4 seconds and they got a C.

His rocket stayed up for 7.02 seconds...which was an A minus. Way to go Jacob.  

Tuesday for mutual night was the annual trip to Lake Perris for the combined activity. Here are 3 of the Laurels I get to teach on Sunday Emily, Gloria and Sierra. Love all my Laurels and I'm sad that some of them are graduating soon and moving on!

Luckily the night was warm and even Ashley liked playing in the water.

I don't think Jen was prepared for how much Porter would like the water. He wanted to be in it and he wanted to eat the sand. Once he got a taste of it he wouldn't stop putting it in his mouth. I think Jen is still waiting to see if he gets any kind of intestinal malady from the questionable water from the lake. 

Jeff was the grill master....the whole time he was cooking hot dogs for everyone. 

The boys had fun even though some of them were just here a couple of days before for Father's and Sons. 

The most fun part was the boating. There were two generous dads that brought their boats so the kids could go inter tubing. Jacob had his first experience intertubing!! Taylor went with him and practically held him on but they had a lot of fun!

Jeff said everyone went through every last one of the hot dogs!

This week I got to substitute for Ashley's class. The nice thing about that was I was able to plan for my end of the year gift for her teacher. I took pictures of all the students and tried having them write her letters and draw her a picture.

Well the class had been going good for the first part of the day, I was even telling Jeff at lunch how well it was going...but after lunch....good luck getting them to do anything. I think it's kinda that time of year.  I got less than 1/2 of the letters and I'm worried I'll never get the rest.

Ashley told me that even their teacher had a hard time getting them to do work a lot of time and she said they were better for me that morning than they normally are for subs. OK that made me feel better. 

Jacob had an awards ceremony this Thursday and received honors for having good grades while he was at Middle School! So proud of him. He got a lanyard and a pin that he can wear at his 8th grade promotion. Can't believe thats coming up soon. We will officially have another high schooler next year!

Friday we were back to Lake Perris again!. 3 times in one week for Jacob!

This trip was his 8th grade end of the year picnic...and it happened to be the coldest, windiest day in the last few weeks. I was cold with pants and a jacket on. I could only imagine how cold the 8th graders were in their shorts and bathing suits. 

There were plenty of them in the water...they said the water was warmer than the air....the problem was coming out of the water and being in the cold wind again. 

Nobody complained much but the goosebumps gave them away. 

I asked Jacob if he wanted a sweatshirt before we left the house in the morning and he refused. The kid never gets cold so I didn't worry about it. I asked him later if he would've like a sweatshirt he said "Yeah. I didn't know it would be THAT cold"  I know he must've been really cold to admit that ;)

I was helping pass out food that day. The PTA president really outdid herself. There were millions of donuts and cut up oranges for breakfast for the students, chips and cookies and water bottles for snacks, a cotton candy machine (you can see the long line in the back) and a Carl's Junior truck for lunch!

I jumped in wherever I could passing out food, answering questions and filling drinks for lunch. The donuts were whittled down until there were just coconut....then kids came and looked at them and said "I've never eaten coconut before" shrugged their shoulders and tried it. Donuts and cotton candy were the most popular snacks of the day. 

I got a few glimpses of Jacob as he wandered from group to group saying hi to people. He barely acknowledged my fact I didn't see the acknowledgement. I kind of got after him for not even saying Hi. Supposedly he said he did...must have been a wave when my back was turned ;(

The longest he was in one spot was getting his cotton candy. 

Even though it was cold I think they all had fun. 

From lake Perris I jetted over to Ashley's school to help put on the end of the year pizza party for 100 mile club. I am one of the 4th grade parent coaches for this year and its been great but busy the last little bit so I'm actually kind of relieved its done. 

There were tons of oranges left from the 8th grade picnic so they sent some with me to the elementary school. The bag was so heavy I couldn't even lift it! There was enough for the whole party, with 2nd and 3rds and more for whoever wanted it. I passed off part of them and I still have 3 big bags in the fridge!

I couldn't believe how many 100 mile club students their were that had earned their shirts! So fun!

Ashley didn't make it to 100 miles but she did make it to 75. She got her last lap the last day possible. She was home sick that day and I had to drive her 1/2 hour away to the last 100 mile club event that evening so she could get her last 1/2 mile in because she wanted to finish. 

She did get a spirit award for always trying her personal best and having a good attitude. Proud of you Ashley. (At least she isn't embarrassed that I'm there ;)

Some of my favorite boys ;)  Lance and Trevon are in the ward and I love subbing their class. 

While we were doing the awards for the students that made their 100 miles my phone was ringing. I didn't recognize the number and the auditorium was so loud I could'nt hear anything anyway. I checked the voice mail and there was nothing. 

Come to find out Jacob couldn't find his carpool and he was stranded at the school after the field trip. He borrowed someone's phone (because he never remembers to bring his) but didn't leave me a message. 

Hmmm mom isn't so bad when you need a ride huh.... :)

Since I had no way to call him back...or even knew it was him calling he had to figure it out. He found a friend to get a ride home with and then called me when he got home to tell me he was there OK. Hmmm maybe he is growing up. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Family, Mothers and candy cigarettes

So after we got back from New York Jeff was off a day later to another convention for New York Life...(who planned that I don't know) 

He got home after our anniversary. It was our 19th anniversary. 

So let me explain this picture. Sweet husband that he is he brought me flowers even though we celebrated it that weekend. 

There are cards on the left...they were supposed to be sent to my visiting teaching people since I was a slacker and didn't get visiting teaching done before our trip...then I didn't mail them in time and got fat 0's for the month. Well it always makes me try harder the next month.

The bottle is the medicine that Jacob has been ordered by his ENT to take. He failed the school hearing test....twice. His ears are full of fluid, so it's either try and take this medicine and see if they get better or get tubes again. He has to take 6 pills a day...the bottle says don't take more than 1 in 24 hours : /

The cigarette looking boxes are candy cigarettes. Jeff picked them up and brought them home from Vegas for the kids after his convention. He likes to tease Ashley with them. he also likes to tease other people apparently. Jeff walked into his secretary's office with one of them coming out of his mouth and shocked her until she realized what it was and laughed about it.

After Jeff got back from his convention we got ready to host family for a combined early mother's day and celebration for Taylor being ordained to the office of a Priest. He turned 16 and can now start blessing the sacrament :)

Lots of people and lots of food. We spent a couple of days cleaning the house to get ready and a day cleaning the house to recover but relaxing with family and seeing everyone enjoying themselves was worth it. Angela and Robert even came out from Camarillo as well.

It was fun to have the babies around and have lots of people to play with them.

Grandma getting her presents for the day. 

We also played Maffia and other games. My kids have played Maffia at other parties and they said its boring because the only ones that are loud and crazy like our our family. They always love game time.

The next day Jeff left for ANOTHER convention. 


The next day the rest of us went to Scott and Jenn Williamson's to watch the finale and find out that we are officially the winners of the Amazing Race this season...well not us personally but we picked the winning team. 

So now we are the temporary guardians of the Roaming Gnome! We are so proud ;)

This weekend Ashley lost a tooth. 

She said she has officially lost 18 teeth now. 

The problem is they are stuck on her wire because of her braces. It's a pain because we have to call and find a time to go down to the orthodontist's office to have them use the tool to get the little rubber band off and unleash her tooth. 

I didn't really want to do that...besides it was Saturday and they weren't open. 

I tried different things and nothing was small enough to get that rubber band off. 

Then I thought about it and grabbed a sewing needle.... 

pulled out my jewelry making tools and created my own little hook and got the rubber band off and the tooth free! One less trip to the orthodontist!

Saturday at 6:30 I was over at our Young Women's yard sale helping sell stuff so the girls could go to girls camp. We were also making cake balls (the brown and white chocolate covered things). 

They had a LOT of cake balls to make that day. I helped decorate the boxes (in the background) and then I had to leave because Jeff and I had a wedding in San Diego. Luckily all the kids had plans or a friends to stay with that day. Taylor went to the mall, we dropped Ashley at her best friends in Murrieta (she moved and Ashley doesn't get to see her much) and Jacob's friend invited him over and they swam all afternoon. 

We got to the reception and it was a luncheon right by the beach. It was a beautiful day and afterwards we walked along La Jolla just to enjoy it a bit before the long drive back. The purple and blue chocolates are shells that someone made as party favors for the wedding. That would've taken a lot of work!

My mother's day was wonderful!

As soon as Ashley got up out of bed she brought me Mother's Day card she had made me. 

It said "Roses are red, violets are blue, I love you and I need you too. Have I ever said you're the best mom in the world? You're the key to my heart and you make me nice and smart. I love you forever. You're the best mother.  Love, Ashley"


The boys both said "I love you mom" on  their cards. That was enough :)

Jeff got up and made omelets for breakfast (with the new pan in the back) He bought be an attachment for the KitchenAid mixer. Don't know how often I'll use it but it looks like it does cool stuff. 

My favorite present was the lotion that was given to me by Taylor! His first present that he gave to me that he bought by himself, with his own money, without being asked ;)

I loved it. 

I loved even more the story he told about how he bought it and then had to hide it as he came home. His friends were assisted by an overly helpful sales assistant that had them try products in an attempt to get them to buy. 

Taylor told me that she had him try this one lotion and after it was on he saw that it was sparkly! She said "This lotion leaves sparkles on you!!" (probably not a good idea to try on a 16 year old boy) 

Then she had him try this hand soap that was supposed to make your skin all soft. He said it felt like sand was in it. Ha ha, it probably was. He didn't like it and thought it was weird. 

The fact that he endured the Bath and Body store and came out with something for me was the greatest mothers day present ever.

Being a mom myself makes me appreciate my mom that raised all 5 of us girls! Thank you mom!! Love you!!

Last days in New York

Today was our free day in New York and our last day here. I started getting texts from home for things that needed to be done when I got back so real life was creeping in but for one more day I thought I would enjoy.

I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This is my 3rd time being there and I love it. 


I am alone here....not everyone loves it. 

Thats OK I just went at my own pace and have taken pictures of some of the things I thought were the most odd or interesting.

In the ancient Greek section I thought these perfume bottles were odd....who would want to pull their perfume out of a severed foot...makes you wonder what the perfume smelled like???

This was a giant safety pin to help keep all those robes together. This thing was big enough it would've covered my whole shoulder...interesting. 

I've seen ancient greek pottery but I don't remember seeing "eye" bowls before.

Proof that not every subject of Greek statues were beautiful, young men and women...this was one of an old lady who wasn't so attractive.

I loved this Roman room that was brought to the museum just as it was originally. The painting on the wall was fascinating. 

Lets move to more parts of the world where they would make crazy masks

and these poles which were about 12 feet tall and carved for celebrations where the people who died in the tribe were remembered.  They kind of looked like people coming out of people, on top of people and signified their posterity. 

These earrings came from South America. There was no back to them, the big rod would just poke through your ear and then hit your neck to keep it in place. You can't tell but these were very large and looked uncomfortable!

My favorite were the entire rooms that were arranged as they would have been in their original country and time. Instead of individual pieces you can see more how they fit in with how people lived at the time.

Sorry it's sideways. 

This rosary had 1/2 a man's face and 1/2 a skull on one end and then goes through his whole life and has a 1/2 of his face and skull on the other end. I guess so he can remember how close death is at all times???

The armor section was interesting too but none of it looked very comfortable. 

They even had a whole Egyptian temple right inside the museum. 

It even had it's own grafitti....we all now know Leonardo came and visited in 1826 and contributed to the grafitti...

When I came out to head back to the hotel. I hit rush hour traffic. Try crossing the street without getting hit by one of these guys! I found out even if you have a light in your favor to walk across the street it's no guarantee that a car is not going to run right through your path. 

After a dinner of thank yous gifts and goodbyes and awards....

We headed to our show to see Spider-Man.

We picked Spider-Man since we figured they probably would never bring it to LA so if we wanted to see it we should do it there. 

The show was impressive on special effects and action...not as impressive on plot or singing but overall we liked it. We kept thinking the kids would've loved it. 

We had front row seats!!! Way to go New York Life for scoring us good seats. 
We were so close we were getting spittle on us from the actors.

All in all it was a great trip and I was happy to be able to meet more good people from New York Life as well. 

I laughed when I got home and wore my Canal street scarf for the first time to work. I wore it over a  white shirt and when I went to the bathroom 1/2 through the day I looked in the mirror and was shocked thinking "I didn't wear a blue bra" (It looked like I had a blue bra showing through my shirt)....I realized it was the dye from my scarf rubbing off...everything was blue by the end of the clothes, my neck and my hands!

And then we bought this souvenir book when Jeff and I went to the 911 memorial. (Sorry again for the sideways pictures) We liked that it had a picture on the back of what all the towers were going to look like when they were completed. 

Then when I got home and started reading through it I was shocked. It's full of errors, words that I don't even know what they are supposed to be and grainy pictures. It was printed in China, obviously without a proofreader...

They even misspelled Pennsylvania! 

Towards the end they told the stories of a couple of guys and their account of what happened that day the towers went down...then they showed pictures of them selling this book on the street! So basically they made the book and were trying to sell them, then they thank all the news reporters at the end because they got most of the pictures from the TV! (no wonder they were so grainy!)

Reminded me of the time we bought a puzzle of the US states and capitals from a street vendor in Tijuana. We got home and looked at it and there was so many wrong spellings, wrong states listed and even wrong cities listed as the capitals all you could do was throw it away! Ha ha.