Monday, December 14, 2009

HOMEWORK HELP!!!!

Blake was working on a revision for a 5th grade research paper about Belgium and Hungary. After a brief discussion about the word ginormous, we came across this sentence and thought we should share a laugh with all our friends and family...

"Although Belgium and Hungary are similar in many different ways the differences are similar in many different ways the differences are unexpected."

I think we might be up a little late working on this sentence :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Family Picture

Thanks to my awesome sister for going out with us to take some fun family pictures. Here is one of my favorites.

Friday, October 9, 2009

I dream of...

I loved watching the show "I dream of Jeannie". It was the best and I can't even think of a good reason that it was except for the dream part. Didn't we all wish that we could cross our arms, blink and whatever we wanted would appear?! Even with only 32 years of experience I have already learned that that would be disastrous (although that was probably the fun part in seeing how disastrous it always was for Jeannie). Even when we wish for good things there is a plan in place that is better than anything we could come up with on own. I have found that the Lord likes to remind my stubborn and independent person of this on a frequent basis.

Today I would love to blink my house clean. In fact at this very moment I should be elbow deep in laundry folding, vacuuming, and comet...but here I sit! My house has taken a beating from some neglect over the past 3 weeks. The neglect comes from a hard lesson in trusting to a plan. And the realization that, if we allow, our Savior can make any moment a teaching, testifying, and faith building moment. I am grateful that the Lord is patient in teaching, and that Jade will make a full recovery.

For those of you that don't know, my friend Brenda dropped her 14 month old little girl at my house to run up to an appointment. I put her soup in the microwave and ran upstairs to pick up for a few minutes leaving my 8 year old to watch her with crackers and milk. My son wanting to be helpful took her soup from the microwave and put it on her tray, where she promptly put her hand in and screamed. I was there in seconds to get her out and run her hand under water, but the damage to her sensitive baby skin was done. Almost 10 days later she was released from the hospital. Brenda had a calm peace from the start that everything would be okay. For me, after 6 days of praying for a miracle, crying, agonizing over what if's and why's, finally fasting and asking for a blessing, I knew that everything was going to be fine, I just needed a little more faith. It was a hard lesson in how fragile life really is, but a great knowledge that there is a plan that is better than anything we could come up with or wish for. And most importantly that we don't have to walk alone.


p.s. After 4 kids, I would settle for Jeannie's body:)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dreaming...

Just dreaming about having enough time to do everything I need and some of the things I want to do. My friend just sent me a new link to her blog and I realized I hadn't even looked at my blog for weeks...
For those of you that know me well, you would know that calling me at midnight would be preferred to 7am. I am just not a morning person. I am frequently vacuuming the house at 11pm. Plus if the house is clean at midnight it is the longest stretch of time where everything is clean because everyone is asleep:) Anyway, I decided that I needed more FAITH. So after reading some great talks on faith I realized that I need to be more OBEDIENT. So it is finally time for me to become an early riser. Plus it is enticing to think that I can have exercised, read my scriptures, gotten ready for the day, made breakfast and have the kids up and moving all before 8 am if I would exert myself!! So the alarm has been set for Mon thru Friday, for now.
So...I am off to bed. Morning comes quickly:)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Luke is 5!!!

Our little boy is growing up!!
Here are some pictures and words to describe him.

L - lovable - How could he not be! He is very friendly with everyone and very loyal (ask his primary teachers from last year:)

( 6 months)

U - unique - Thank goodness there is only one of him.

( first haircut)

K - kisses and hugs - There is no leaving the house with out them.

(He was laughing hysterically when you pulled the toys apart)

E - excited - He is very animated.

(His blanket and binkie)

R - rough - He has to be with two older brothers!

(stitches he got when his brothers "helped" him learn to walk)

O
- ornery - He wants it his way or no way.

(Daddy's boy all the way)

B - bubba - nickname:)

(A disaster waiting to happen)

E - extraordinary - We've learned to expect the unexpected.

(Swimming with uncle Brandon)

R - redonkulous - This is what everything is that is silly or ridiculous.

(Just being Luke)

T - t-rex - he loves his dino's!!

When I get pictures from his birthday I will post them. He wanted a t-rex cake but I talked him into a volcano with toy dinosaurs climbing it. Much easier!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

ABC's of me...

A - Age: 32
B - Bed size: King
C - Chore you hate: Anything that I have to do more than once on the same day!
D - Dog's name: dog named Bo but we want to change it
E - Essential start your day item: pretending I don't have to get up yet
F - Favorite color: Blue
G - Gold or Silver or Platinum: Platinum
H - Height: 5'6"
I - Instruments you play: used to play piano, violin, and cello
J - Job title: Family therapist, taxi driver, house keeper, education director, event planner, organizer, nurse, Domestic Goddess
K - Kids -Blake 10, Caleb 8, Luke 5 next week, & Sydney 2
L - Living arrangements: house that needs organizing
M - Mom's name: Marit
N - Nicknames: Genie Weanie when I was a kid or Margarine
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Appendix
P - Pet Peeves: reading the end of book first
Q - Quote from a movie: And this is where the flying moron crashed into the star - Stardust
R - Right handed or left handed: Right
S - Siblings: 4 brothers and 2 sisters
T - Time you wake up: 7
U- Underwear: YES:)
V - Vegetable you dislike: Okra and asparagus
W - Ways you run late: When I think I can do one more thing before I head out the door.
X - X-rays you've had: teeth, neck, and spine
Y - Yummy food you make: way too many to list, that is why I want to lose weight:(
Z - Zoo favorite: tiger and gorillas

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

8 THINGS


Time to tag it up a bit...this one is from Cheryl...

8 Things I am Looking Forward to:


1. Not being sad about leaving YW:(

2. A clean house

3. Meeting my new sister-in-law and her kids:)

4. Reading a book (really lots of books!)

5. A temple in KC

6. A few movies this summer

7. A date night

8. Less stress


8 Things I did Yesterday:


1. Took Luke to speech for the last time w/ Ms Karmen

2. Made dessert for YW

3. Talked to Kim & Kaylene

4. Took Blake to Baseball (Only caught the top of 1st), Caleb to Scouts

5. Went to last YW activity

6. Got sun burned at Field Day

7. Did some PTA Stuff

8. Cried

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:


1. Be a better mom

2. Lose weight

3. Decorate and work on my house whenever I want...with no thought of expense.

4. Keep my house picked up

5. Be more supportive of others

6. Lay on a beach and read books for the rest of my life

7. Go to Disney World!!

8. Be better at healthy criticism of self

8 Shows I Enjoy: (this one is tough for me...I don't watch much tv)


1. Weather Reports

2. Sadly if one of those shows like Inside Edition happens to be on I watch it.

3. Backyardigans

4. Burn Notice (at least last year we watched the dvd's)

5. Really I would rather read a book. Now 8 books I love would be...

1. Jane Eyre

2. Anything by Jane Austen

3. Harry Potter

4. Hunger Games

5. Women in White

6. Twilight and The Host

7. Goose Girl

8. Most of Gail Carson Levine's books (Ella Enchanted, The Two Princesses of Bamarre)

This list could go on...



8 Friends I am Tagging: (I'm trying to not tag someone who's been tagged)

1. Janelle

2. Wendy

3. Chrissy

4. Abby

5. Kelli

6. Christina

7. Diane

8. Meghann




Off to start the day....I'll be watching for your 8 things!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Books on Vacation

My great plan on the little get-a-way I took with Jason was to read books by the pool and not cook or clean. I was able to do all of that and could have easily stayed a few more days! One of the interesting things about going on a business trip with Jason was seeing how all these people know him by name. Like when we walked in the smoothie shop and they said "Hi Jason and this must be your wife!" Or we walked into the hotel and he greets the lady behind the desk by name. That's when you know you have been traveling way too often. So Jason has been staying at the same hotel every other week for almost the past two years (part of the contract is that he has to stay within city limits). When we walked into the hotel one of the first things I noticed was a room off the main lobby that had books in it. I asked Jason what it was because it didn't look like a bookstore. He said "I don't know I have never been in there". I shouldn't be surprised by that, the kids didn't get their reading tendencies from him. But I at least thought he might have just stepped in out of curiosity. So the next day I went in to investigate...



It is an antiquarian that has a collection of ancient BIBLES. When I met the operator he told me that this collection of bibles all in one place can only be found here, a Hampton Inn in Goodyear Arizona.

I immediately recognized these names as some of the great reformers that laid the foundation for restoration through their amazing contributions of translation.

John Wyclif - early advocate for translation of Bible into "common tongue". His books were banned and burned and he was declared a heretic. His body was later exhumed and then burned.


Of course the invention of the printing press helped make it even possible that every person could have a copy of the bible for themselves. The bible was the major and iconic work of the Gutenberg Printing press.


Here is a first edition from the first printing of the King James Version of the Bible.


And a copy of William Tyndale's New Testament.


Through the works of men like Erasmus, Tyndale, and Luther, who dedicated their lives to making it possible that every man, women and child could read the bible for themselves, we all have the opportunity to read the bible in our own language.

I walked away from the room amazed at the collection that I had just seen. Priceless was a good work to describe what I had seen. But I realized that as amazing as the books are, they mean nothing if we don't read and heed the words available. The copy that I have and read is of more worth because it allows me the opportunity of knowing what I should be doing and how I should be living. I guess the best way for us to show our appreciation for their efforts is to take advantage and read!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Irony

So we arrive early in Arizona. I, as usual, am putting my makeup on in the car as we drive to Goodyear. This takes skill to put makeup on in a moving vehicle while driving on Missouri roads as they are notoriously bumpy and uneven. So I notice that the roads in Arizona are really smooth. I guess that without the constant change in temperature it saves the roads from destruction. So the Phoenix roads were super smooth making even mascara easy to apply.

Later that day...




I found that there were bad roads in Arizona.

That evening we were headed to dinner and all of the sudden the road gets bumpy. So, I immediately turn to Jason and say, "Now this is more like Missouri roads."

The Irony is the sign I saw just after my comment:





So there I was laughing at the irony and driving back the next day to take pictures for my blog.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Caleb wants what?

Sometimes when you are a middle child you feel the need to find ways to stand out. Caleb, on a weekend visit to his Aunt's house, visited the KU campus. He decided to become a KU fan. It didn't help that a few months later they won the NCAA basketball championship. Now, you might wonder how this would be classed as a stand out behavior if you didn't know that:
1) He was born in Manhattan, KS.
2) Both parents are K-State Alum!
3) The reason he was at his Aunts house in the first place was because Jason and I were at K-State for a football game.

What is a mom to do when, as a K-State alum, her son wants a KU birthday cake?
You make it:) So here is my attempt at the Jayhawk!






I couldn't resist putting my K-State shirt for the pictures though!

I didn't do it!

I wonder who got into the left over frosting?



Notice the shirt she is wearing! I think she should wear it everyday:)

Caleb is 8!!

Where does the time go?


My baby boy turned 8 and got baptized. He is no longer my "silent destruction" (Sydney has taken that mantle upon herself). His chubby cheeks and little boy talk are gone. He is still sweet and quiet, but now his lovable personality has grown into a little boy whom we love so much.



There is something about a suit! Here are Caleb and Jason with their power ties.

And here is the family during all the craziness. If you look closely you can see all the distinct personalities in our family.


I wish I was better at stopping to smell the roses. It was all rush, rush, rush up to the church. Suddenly you blink and it is over. I think time speeds up as your kids get older...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What did I do today?

So what do mom's do all day? With spring finally here my daily completion list is shrinking at a rapid rate. Yesterday I cleaned the kitchen and made dinner for extra people and spent the whole day there. But I do have a clean fridge inside and out:)

Today I couldn't ignore the need to pull out summer clothes for Sydney. That of course leads to the all day task of sorting through clothes to find too small, too stained, and too immodest clothes and get rid of them. I am very grateful though, that all the clothes in this picture were given to me. (I love friends that are done having kids:)

Before:



After:



I also had to get in the attic to fix the fan which is through Sydney's closet. That helped motivate me to put is all back neat and orderly, since I had to pull half her closet out to start the day!

Finished closet - you can't even see that the boxes are packed to the ceiling in there!

"Time to get ready for Church"

Whenever you hear, "Blake don't move, I'll go get the camera" coming from the other room, you immediately begin to wonder what is going on.



They were supposed to be getting ready for church. At least they were dressed:)



And this is what happens when you have 3 older brothers. Did Sydney ask to play with a doll? No she wants a nerf gun strapped on her and a scope. I hope I can remedy this later in life. But then again princess is not a word to describe me so I'm not sure who will teach her!



We couldn't even keep the cute purple bow in her hair.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Compromise = Failure

Why do we think that we can compromise our standards and not fail?
Here is the recipe for my failure. I happened to have some homemade caramel sitting in the fridge so I decided to make caramel brownies for the YW who had their camp forms ready to turn in on Tuesday. There were too many left over! I even put them in the freezer to get them off the counter, but then I learned that they are even good frozen:(
Oh well, here is a recipe for failure...
Carmel Brownies

1 package German chocolate cake mix
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/3 cup evaporated milk


Melt butter and mix all ingredients together (I usually do it by hand) just until cake mix is moistened. Take a little over half mix and spread in bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Bake 350 for 8 minutes.

Carmel
25 caramels
1/3 cup evaporated milk


Melt caramels and milk in microwave stirring about every minute until melted.

Take 8 minute cooked cake mix and pour melted caramels on top. Also sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips. Take the rest of the uncooked mixture and crumble on top.
Bake 350 for 16 minutes more. Wait to cut until completely cooled.

Sorry I don't have a picture, my camera is in Arizona as usual.

Why...

Some days I just have to wonder why...
Why do we think we can actually have the house perfectly clean and the laundry all done when we still live in the house and are wearing clothes. (I am pretty sure that they even have laundry in nudist colonies:)
Why do we resist so hard to do the things that do us the most good.
Why don't we listen to those little promptings that would save us so much anxiety and relieve others at the same time.
Why do we think chocolate will make us feel better!

I came across this quote by President Ezra Taft Benson again. I think I have found it many times in my studies so it must be important for me.
"We live in an age when, as the Lord foretold men's hearts are failing them, not only physically but in spirit. Many are giving up heart for the battle of life...As the showdown between good and evil approaches with its accompanying trials and tribulations, Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression.
"Yet, of all people, we as Latter-day Saints should be the most optimistic and the least pessimistic. For while we know that 'peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion,' we are also assured that 'the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst.' (D&C 1:35-36)"

So how do we try to be perfect, and not despair over the impossibility of achieving it even for one day?
How do we not become discouraged over the immensity of the tasks to be done?
How do we stop ourselves from the despondency we feel when we feel overwhelmed and inadequate?
How do we stop feelings of depression when we look at the world around us?

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said this,

"My dear brothers and sisters, aren’t the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and our membership in His Church great reasons to rejoice?

Wherever you live on this earth and whatever your life’s situation may be, I testify to you that the gospel of Jesus Christ has the divine power to lift you to great heights from what appears at times to be an unbearable burden or weakness. The Lord knows your circumstances and your challenges. He said to Paul and to all of us, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” And like Paul we can answer: “My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9)."

(President Uchtdorf is usually speaking directly to me:)

Oh that we could be more like Paul! If we could just be better at allowing the Savior to lift us up instead of trying to do it all ourselves. If only we could "glory in" our weaknesses, and allow the "power of Christ" upon us.

I am probably not going to publish this post until it is buried under others. You can ask my husband and he would agree that this is way too personal a subject for me to be capable of sharing with others.

So I am going to switch the laundry, take a shower, say another prayer, and put on my happy face. I just can't wait for a temple to be closer because if there was I would be on my way right now! I quess today is a survival day. I just wish I had more thriving days.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Compromise :)

I actually went 4 days without SUGAR!!!
That may be a record. Jason and I decided on a compromise. We each get to pick one free day a week and then we both get that day free. That way we go 5 days without sugar for me and soda for Jason, and then two days that we allow sugar and soda in moderation.
This should at least save me from sitting around when I have a chance to read and snacking on skittles or jelly beans. My great downfall in life, snacking while I read:(
Speaking of reading...
What to read next
Fablehaven 4
The Thirteenth Tale
Brisingr
River Secrets
The Hunger Games
I have them sitting on my shelf, I just cant decide which one to start with. Any suggestions?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Something Funny!

Just a little something to get a laugh.

So we went down to Lee's Summit to watch conference at Jason's parents house this past weekend. Something about spending 6 hours at the church to watch Conference with Sydney just didn't compare to relaxing at the Furnell's and spending time with Grandma and Grandpa:)
So while we are driving around Jason turns to me and says something along the lines of "I bet you can't go without sugar for a month". For those of you that know me well, I know you are already laughing. In fact my sisters text in response was, "LOL".
Jason first said that he would give up Mountain Dew also. No no no that was not nearly good enough. He would have to give up soda completely!!
Unfortunately, I am also very competitive by nature and can't bear to lose a challenge.
And a challenge it will be. Here is how the month of April shapes up for me on the dessert front:
-youth fundraiser this Friday that includes a dessert auction (which I will be making lots of treats for)
-Easter
-Caleb's birthday and Baptism (which he has requested about 4 different desserts)
-My birthday
-trip to Arizona

Maybe I can just make it through the day...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls



Here is my favorite cinnamon roll recipe. Its my favorite because it is so easy and always works out:)

4 1/2 cups of flour

1 package yellow cake mix

2 packages of quick-rise yeast

2 cups warm water

In mixing bowl, combine 4 ½ cups flour, dry cake mix, yeast and warm water until smooth. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each portion into a 14-in. x 10-in. rectangle.

Cinnamon sugar mix (per half dough)

3 Tablespoons of Butter melted

½ cup brown sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon



Mix together. Spread over dough. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Cut into 12 slices (I usually cut them into 15 that are not quite so big); place cut side down in greased pan.


*Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.

or

*I almost always make these the night before. You put them in the fridge overnight right after you cut them in rolls. When I do this I put them straight in the oven in the morning and then turn it on so they are in during preheating also. 350 for about 25 minutes. They may not look like they will fluff when you first put them in but they do! Because who wants to get up that early to make cinnamon rolls hot and fresh out of the oven:)


Last but not least...

Frosting (enough for both batches)

4 Tablespoons butter softened

3 cups powdered sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Frost.

ENJOY!!





For Fun


For our Relief Society Birthday dinner I volunteered to make a cake. So I looked around on the internet to find a cute idea and this is what I came up with.

What you don't see is that there is one white cake and one chocolate cake. And that they are three one inch cakes layered together. The chocolate one even had mini-chocolate chips in the layers. Oh and it is obviously not sand but crushed graham crackers:)

I don't need another hobby but this was fun. I wonder what would happen I knew what I was doing instead of making it up as I go!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Sister's Book

The Adventures of Marcy and Sara: Book One: The Magic Mole The Adventures of Marcy and Sara: Book One: The Magic Mole by Martha Kehr


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
I must admit that I was a little nervous reading this book. My little sister wrote it and I really hoped it was good but since it is her first book I didn't know what to expect. It was very creative and interesting. I won't give anything away but I totally thought I would find out about the letter in this book. I guess I will have to wait for the next.

Anyway the book is about two girls that come across a magic way to travel and the adventures they have. They travel to a fantasy land and their adventures get a lot more exciting. I really liked the creativity of Arcadia! Overall it kept my interest and I can't wait to read the next two. It was a great setup for bigger and more exciting adventures.

There were a few typo's and misplaced words but it is a self published book.


View all my reviews.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It was one of those Mondays...

It was one of THOSE days. It started with a great plan to get some spring cleaning done and run a quick errand. It ended with me physically and mentally exhausted collapsing in bed. It went like this: My van needed a little tune up done and the mechanic I use is way done south near Lee's Summit. My in-laws just happened to be leaving for a weekend trip to Florida, so it worked out perfect for me to borrow their car while mine was in the shop. On Monday, early afternoon, I was to pick my father-in-law up at the airport and he would bring me down to the shop to get my car. A perfect plan and it was going perfectly. I was on schedule to be back home for my tutoring appointment at 3:00p.
Having just picked up my van I got about 7 miles away from the shop when the OIL light came on. I thought, "This is bad!!" I took the next exit and headed towards the gas station to check the oil. I thought maybe the mechanic forgot to put oil back in the car. I hit a red light just before the gas station and the car died! Completely shut down! At this point I should tell you that my friend wasn't feeling good that day so I exchanged my Blake and Caleb for her 7 month old baby. I figured the boys can just play Xbox at her house and she can sleep and I'll take the baby with me on the drive. So here I am dead on the side of the road with a screaming 7 month old (she didn't like the bottle I gave her), my 2 year old and 4 year old. Luckily my father-in-law was nearby, grabbed some jumper cables and was there in 10 minutes. A young man did stop but I didn't want him trying to push my van through the intersection. I called the mechanic and he was flabbergasted to say the least. Our whole family has been taking our cars to him and we have never had any problems. He suggested that maybe the battery had just completely died. We have had some battery problems with the van so that seemed likely. With a policeman on the scene now I put the car in neutral and let it roll through the intersection and into a parking lot. We switched the car seats once again and headed off so I could drop Jerry off at his office and then run to buy a new battery to install. That would be when...


Jerry got pulled over for speeding. I think when he pulled out his license and the cop saw his prosecutor badge he decided to just give him a warning:)
Soon I was off to Walmart where I realized that Sydney's shoes had not made the switch to the car, so she had none. I carried in the baby and Sydney into Walmart with Luke on tow. We got some bottled water, formula and treats for Syd and Luke. Back in the Tire section we found NO BATTERY for my car. I did what anyone would do in my situation...
I got back in the car and ate chocolate:) (don't tell my in-laws). Jason at this point had offered many times to come but it was just a battery. All I needed was a wrench to fix it. With all the kids happy I ran to Sams Club where they did have the battery I needed. Now I just needed a wrench. I ran back to my in-laws house to grab a wrench. I got back to the van and changed the battery with no trouble BUT...it still didn't start! At this point I called the tow truck. I didn't even cry when they pulled it onto the truck. Luckily that morning I had been listening to Elder Wirthlin's talk entitled "Come What May and Love it". I tried to laugh at the absurdity of the situation and laughed while I talked to various people on the phone. I also looked at the bright side...
1. The weather was beautiful, no rain snow or anything cold. In fact I got a little red on my arms.
2. Cheryl is still out of town so I could keep one of my in-laws cars. (Of course that means I will be picking Cheryl up at the airport on Thursday with a severe sense of de-ja-vu)
3. My insurance will pick up half the cost of the tow.
4. Blake and Caleb had not been left home alone for my quick 2 1/2 hour errand that turned into 8 hours.
5. We were safe:)

I will admit that I was a little grumpy on Tuesday and still tired. I was not looking forward to taking 4 kids to the DMV on Tuesday, but luckily the line was very short!!
I should mention when I called the shop in the morning he told me that the car started right up for him. I asked him to figure out what happened.

I trust that this happened for a reason and I will probably never know why..oh well at least the initial repair had been less than I budgeted for so I am still going to break even.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Look Down

I just posted an edited post I had been working on earlier and it showed up further down the page. So if you want to look at a list of classic books...look down!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

JOY!!

There are definitely some ups and downs in parenting and motherhood! Luckily we have those moment of joy that make it all worth it. Today had one of those glimpses in it.
It was a beautiful afternoon and I needed to get some cleaning done that I hadn't gotten to yet. I decided to go sit outside with Sydney and Luke so they could ride tricycles and scooters and not worry if the bedrooms got vacuumed. (Probably the first step to joy...ignoring housework:) When Sydney saw the bus go by she started screaming and jumping "Blake and Caleb". Of course you can't copy the cute way a she, as a 2 year old, says their names. As soon as the boys rounded the corner she was running to them with the happiest expression on her little face with her arms stretched out for a hug. She got to Caleb first and gave him a hug and then on to Blake. The best part was seeing the boys smile and pick her up hug her. Luke was right behind her. So there I was looking at all 4 of my kids walking together with smiles on their faces happy to be all together. I just wish I had my camera:)
A moment of JOY!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reality Check

So I was watching the news for a little bit last night. They had a clip about this peeping tom who was videotaping a high school girls dance group routine. He apparently had multiple camera's including one under his arm to get under their skirts. Well some of the dad's noticed this and followed him outside where they confronted him. They just called the police and held him until the police got there. Nothing dramatic the boy was arrested on voyeurism charges as he should have been. Yeah for the dad's for paying attention and not using violence as retaliation. So, not going into the horrors that will probably be that boys future if he doesn't get help, the real reality check was when they interviewed some of the dads of these high school girls. THEY DIDN"T LOOK OLD!! I mean they looked about my age, and they had high school girls. What does that say about me? I am getting old!! So for all my friends with high school kids and my young women moms, YOU LOOK GREAT:)

PS. I did NOT sit on the counter of my bathroom for 20 minutes right next to the mirror picking gray hairs the other day. NOT ME!
(I think I will be dropping by Shari's tomorrow:)

Monday, March 2, 2009

100 Things to do in Life

I got this from another friend.

100 Things To Do In This Life...

How many have you done?

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (Full orchestra counts right?!)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland (Disney World should count)

8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a Praying Mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (can’t imagine ever doing this!)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (high school counts right?)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (I’ve seen one in person at least!)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (only on the Wii)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a

44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (kind of, the sound of the surf coming in in the darkness was terrifying. We walked on the other side of the dune.)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in movie
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (only as a baby)
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

100. Talked your way out if a ticket.


I only have 46. So at my current pace I only have to live to be about 69 years 3 months:) Although I think I will be okay if I never brake a bone!



25 Random Things

25 Random things, facts, habits, or goals about me:

I have been slowly working on this list:)


1. I love to play Disney’s Toontown online. It’s really funny but I think that it’s mostly parents on there anyway. BTW I have 2 toons that are very powerful!!

2. I am planning on running a half marathon this year. I might make a goal for a full one if I can do the Disney Marathon in 2011.

3. I would love to be going to Disney World this year. If you are seeing a pattern you can blame my husband and in-laws because I only knew Disney had movies until I married into this family.

4. I am severely challenged in many areas, mainly any kind of decorating.

5. I love To Do lists. I don’t feel like I accomplish anything unless I have lots to do.

6. I could spend hours doing math problems. I seriously think its fun. Ask my sister, I was helping her study for the GRE and after 11 hours I was still like, “let’s just do a few more problems!”

7. I love to read. But only books that don’t have a lot of crap in them. I don’t like to read about social issues or deviant behaviors or critically acclaimed… I just want happy endings with a good conflict. I can watch the news if I want to be depressed.

8. I went to State in Track and Field for both 4 by 1 sprint relay and shot put.

9. I have 4 brothers and 2 sister and am the middle child.

10. I can’t handle static noise. Example, if the stove fan is on my tension level steadily increases.

11. I played the cello, which has the most beautiful sound of all stringed instruments! One day I will relearn.

12. I love to bake and none of it is good for you. (I think that is the real reason I have 15 pounds to lose.)

13. I’m happy to spend an hour everyday reading scriptures. I really think that people haven’t changed, just the details.

14. I love Wild Berry Skittles. I can’t find the big bags anymore in this area so my friends are on alert to inform me if they ever see them.

15. I did 56 hours of college between January and December of one year. I only had 1 B and 1 C. (refer to #5)

16. I love cashews and potatoes!

17. I believe strongly in choice with consequences.

18. I got married at age 19 and still graduated from college just weeks after turning 21.

19. My checkbook has to balance to the penny.

20. I am trying to teach myself how to play the piano.

21. I want be better at keeping my house picked up.

22. I procrastinate but work better under a deadline anyway.

23. I like car trips.

24. I do not express my feelings well or like to talk about my personal life but I hope I don't sugarcoat my life either.

25. And last but not least, my sister used to let me take her car out when she didn't want to take me places. I was only 14! But other than that I was an extreme goodie goodie:)

Got Books?

Just a tag from a friend on facebook.

The BBC believes most people will only have read 6 out of the 100 books here. How do your book reading habits stack up?
I just thought it was interesting. No big deal though guys.

Instructions:
Look at the list and comment how many have you read.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austin
2. Lord Of The Rings - JRR Tolkien

3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter Series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. 1984 - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12. Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 - Robert Heller
14. Complete Works Of William Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18. Catcher In The Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Elliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War And Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevski
28. Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind In The Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles Of Narnia - C S Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austin

35. Persuasion - Jane Austin

36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - C S Lewis

37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs Of A Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie The Pooh - A A Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years Of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer For Owen Meany - John Irving
45. The Woman In White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne Of The Green Gables - L M Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord Of The Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense And Sensibility - Jane Austin
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time - Mark Haddon
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice And Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count Of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude The Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Francis Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Inferno - Dante
77. Swallows And Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackery
80. Possession - A S Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchel
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. Remains Of The Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - E B White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom

89. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart Of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. Confederacy Of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

I am a quarter of the way. Some of the books I doubt I will ever read but I should try Dickens. I can't believe I have never read one.
I might have read Moby Dick in middle school, but since I can't remember I doubt I should count it:)

I wonder if it counts that I have read some of them multiple times?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Opening Day


Here is a picture of the Goodyear Ballpark in Arizona. Home of the Cleveland Indians Spring Training. This is where Jason goes and spends an exorbitant amount of money on travel. At least I don't pay for it:) Anyway this is the end result and everyone is excited with the final product! So in honor of the opening Jason planned a little boys trip to catch the home opener, and slip in a Royals game in Surprise. It is good to have connections. He got all the tickets free and all the hotel rooms using points. We didn't have enough free flight for the whole group just our family. The only downside was that Jason's brother Brandon wasn't able to come.


So here is the whole group: Uncle Dan (Meghann's husband), Blake holding his signed ball, Uncle Dudley (Stephanie's husband), cousin Noah, Caleb holding his signed ball, Jason and Jerry (Jason's dad).


Here is Blake holding his signed ball. He got Coco Crisp, Mark Teahen, Zach Greinke, Kevin Seitzer, and Jon Buck to autograph his ball. They had a great time at the Royals game against the Texas Rangers. The Royals even won! In fact...


Here is Caleb getting a signature from Hall of Fame Rangers pitcher, Nolan Ryan.


Then they had some fun at a Western themed park. They watched a gun battle (dramatized of course). Climbed a rock wall, they loved that!


Rode a bull

And got to go behind the scenes and see all the stuff you never get to see at the game. So besides the fact that they forgot sunscreen the first day and fried, they had a great time!! And within 12 hours of their arrival home from sunny Arizona, it had snowed 5 inches:)

Friday, February 20, 2009

BRRRRRR

When I got up this morning I realized that it was a little cold in the house. So I thought I would turn the heat up a little while we got ready for school. So I cranked it up and nothing happened. That is when I looked at the current temperature and saw that it was in the low 50's!!!! No panic yet!
So I tried to think of reasons that the furnace would not be working. For the last few weeks I have had a few little fix it jobs around the house that I keep transferring from one To Do list to another and I decided to just get them done and over with. One was to tighten the water line to the fridge so I could open the valve and have decent water flow on the fridge. The water line breaks off from the main line in the furnace room. Sydney was helping me:) On the furnace there is a power switch. It is a light switch just at the perfect level for little troublemakers to reach. So apparently before I kicked Sydney out of the room for swinging on the water pipes (I mean hanging and swinging while saying weeeeee!) she flipped the switch and the furnace has been off since yesterday early afternoon.
Thankfully, the thought occured to me to check the switch this morning (I'm not that smart so it must have come from a higher source:) which was off. I would post a picture of Sydney all bundled up in blankets by the fireplace after I got her shivering from her bed but my camera is in Arizona with my husband. (Where he informed me it will be 78 today). This would also explain why all 3 boys came and crawled in my bed last night. So the house is about to crack 60 and we have the firplace, and space heater going. I am truly grateful for central heating :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Little Stinker

So we have all these leftover cupcakes from YW on Tuesday night and the kids have been doing their best to take care of them. So this morning Sydney gets one and promptly leaves the kitchen with a RED one. As soon as I see her I say, "Get back in the kitchen!"



Without missing a beat she puts it behind her back and says,"Where did it go?"



Little stinker!!