Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Fun

What a great week this has been. We had such a wonderful Christmas! Just a quick summary of all our festivities-

The boys went to Auntie Ronna's for a cousin get-together that she has every year. She has them over to make birthday cakes for Jesus so they remember the true reason for the season and they also had fun playing hide and seek outside.

Then on Christmas Eve day we joined Adam at work for a holiday party which is actually kind of lame but we enjoy seeing everyone in the office and enjoy being at work with Dad. Every year the boys get their picture with Santa at the party but the line was way too long and we wanted to flee the party so Adam had them just stand off to the side and catch Santa in the was pretty funny!

See...there's Santa in the background! ha haThe boys with Adam in his office

After the work party that ended at 11am we went and enjoyed lunch at the Olive Garden. The soup was absolutely delicious. It was great on such a cold, wet day. Then we went home and got some last minute stuff done before the Christmas Eve festivities began. Adam's family all came over for Christmas Eve (which was the first time we have hosted it) and I loved it! We ate yummy food, we had a program focusing on the birth of Christ, we opened gifts and played games. It was wonderful! After everyone left, the kids were put to bed and Adam and I were up very late wrapping gifts, making up cinnamon rolls for breakfast and getting things ready for Christmas morning.
The boys actually didn't get up 'till 8am. It was great! They are wearing the pajamas that their Grammie gave them on Christmas Eve. She gives them pajamas every is a tradition. Zack wore the Santa hat because his hair was sticking up and he knew that I would be taking alot of pictures.

All of us were delighted with the gifts that we received. Some of the top favorites were: Zack got a cell phone and bongo drums, Matthew got a new phone and a mixer/speaker/microphone system, Adam got a new laptop and Pam was so surprised with a new sewing machine and really surprised with a new Nikon camera with an extra lens. Love it! We were all spoiled this year but most of all me and the boys were...thanks Adam-we love you! We enjoyed the rainy Christmas day just hanging out and playing with all of our new stuff. It was truly a wonderful Christmas!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Busyness

No matter how much you think that you are ready for Christmas, and you think that you have everything done early so that you can relax over the holidays, you fool yourself because you seem to be busier than ever. I really thought that I was on top of things this year and for the most part, I was, but I seemed to fill any spare time up with what I call Christmas 'busy'ness. Time just fills up with shopping, baking, filling out Christmas cards, post office, cleaning, wrapping and shopping again. I can't complain because I have fit in time for plenty of fun, lunches and movies with friends and hanging with my family and let's face it, isn't that what Christmas is all about:) It has been a packed month so far but I wouldn't have it any other way, I do consider myself kind of a party girl so it is great that a month is set aside to do just that.

We did get to go to Zack's first band concert at school this last week. He is playing percussion and so far is enjoying it. They actually sounded pretty good for their first year. He even played a solo at the concert on the xylophone. He played "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay and he did a great job. I was so proud of him.
(Once again, Zack with a serious pose)

This last week has also been a very cold one here in CA. I am sure that it is alot colder other places but for us here it was freezing!! Which I really don't mind because it is a nice change but I am glad that it only lasts for a little bit here. We even had snow on our Simi it!! I do need to mention how grateful I am though, that I get to park in the garage especially on cold mornings when I am taking Matthew to seminary. I would see Adam's car (which is parked in the driveway) and it would be frozen over and it looked so cold. I think the doors even stuck a bit when he tried to open them. And yet I could just climb into my warmer car, still cold but warmer, and back out of the garage without even having to defrost the windows. I am so thankful for the garage and that I have the privilege of parking in it. Thank you Adam!
But also in this colder weather I love to have hot chocolate. A couple of years ago I had purchased this hot water thermos at Walmart for cheap and it was one of the best purchases I have made. I fill it with hot water in the morning and it keeps it hot practically all day long. So whenever you are wanting hot chocolate in my house, just go to the counter and you will find the cocoa, marshamallows and hot water waiting for you and without too much effort, voila, you have your hot cocoa. Love it!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Parties

This last week the Christmas festivities have begun! Last Thursday night we had our Ward's RS Christmas Progressive Dinner. It was such a great time, chatting it up and laughing with the girls all night. My cheeks and my stomach muscles hurt from laughing too much! The RS put together a nice meal for us and a nice slide show and all in all it was a great night. Good food, good entertainment and great friends! Who could ask for more? (Sorry no pictures, I forgot my camera:(

Then last Friday night we had our Ward Christmas Party. The primary kids put on the nativity scene and Zack was able to play Joseph, which will probably be his last time playing it for Primary because he moves up to YM's next year. I remember many times being in the Nativity. I believe I always played an angel (or an animal), I never got to be Mary. Whats up with that? Anyways the nativity was quite enjoyable, really not in a spiritual way but an entertaining way. Can we just say that it was WWF meets the Christmas Story? It was enjoyed by all, at least our table:) Then Santa came and of course I had to get pictures of my boys with Santa, even though they are saying they are too old, as long as they live in my house a picture with Santa is a must. The Christmas season is the best!!
Zack as Joseph

Matthew and Zack with Santa

Blast from the past
Me as an angel and my brother as a shepherd

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What were you thinking?

My Dad loves knights, the kind in suits of armor. In fact, he has a cool suit of armor that stands about 5 feet tall. Well to go along with his knight collection he has started to collect swords and he ended up having alot of them. I do not understand the fascination with knives, swords and such. In fact everytime we go to the Oaks mall, Adam and the boys love to go to the knife store. Whatever! I have been going to that mall for years and I never even knew it was there. Boys and their weapons?!? Anyways, when we went up for Thanksgiving my Dad tells the boys that he would love to have them pick out one of his swords that they could have but he needed to get our permission first. So me being the silly and non-thinking Mom that I am, I said "Sure, you can have one of PaTa's swords." I was thinking that it will be special to them because it is from their Grandpa but it will not be just sitting in their room so that they can "play" with it just anytime. In fact, I will be in charge of it. All I need is sword fights going on with "real" swords. I believe that someone would end up missing a limb.

Then not only did my Dad give the boys each a sword but he ended up giving Adam a sword also. What? I am the only girl in our house and now he has armed all the males in the house with sharp swords? I think that I am the one who needs a weapon. Thanks Dad!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pet Peeve

I have come to realize that I have a lot of pet peeves but this is one that really bugs me and I just happened to catch it on film. I don't know if this happens in your house but it always happens in ours. I can't stand going into the refrigerator or pantry and pulling out something that is empty or basically gone. Finding a milk carton with not even a swig of milk in it, left in the fridge, drives me crazy! Are they really just too lazy to throw the milk carton away or what? The worse is when I look in the pantry and see that there are still Lucky Charms left that I can have for breakfast and I reach for the box and find that there are only a few crumbs left at the bottom. Urghh! I won't mention names but someone (Matthew, Zack and Adam) never finish anything completely off and then throw it away. I find cereal boxes, cracker boxes, milk cartons, etc, with barely anything left in them. Just finish it off already and throw the box or carton away! Is that really too much to ask? Yeah it drives me crazy.


Come on! You can't just eat the rest of that!

All Important Christmas List

Yeah I know that my boys are getting older but I still require them to make a Christmas wish list or what was formerly called their letter to Santa. They know that if they do not write out a list that they take the chance of getting nothing for Christmas or better yet, socks and underwear. Now I have been saving these lists for years and they have become priceless. (Of course I made copies because the originals were sent to Santa;) It is interesting reading the lists through the years and to see how they have changed. Gone are the days of asking and wishing for toys...simple toys. Toys that were fun to shop for and that did not cost very much and yet would bring the biggest smile to their faces. Gone are the days of waiting in line at Toys R Us the day after Thanksgiving walking out with a cart full of toys and not breaking the bank to do so. One of my favorite years was when Matthew had on his list: weapons and vending machine. That is when I realized that times were changing and also that I was dwelling in a definite "boy" house....I think that Adam asked for the same things that year:)
I love also the differences in Zacks and Matthews lists. Matthews are scrawled out on a piece of paper, barely legible, with many crossed out words and messy. Zacks are written very neatly in cursive writing, very legible, adorned with his artwork of Christmas symbols and the word "please" written on the bottom. Gotta love it!
Now their lists are full of very expensive items and ones that are not fun to shop for. In fact I pretty much let Adam take care of the shopping now. He knows this stuff better than me. I do miss the days of the many toys and them having alot of presents to open on Christmas morning instead of now only having maybe one or two because of the cost of each item. I still hope that whatever they may get that I will still see that joy in their face on Christmas morning. I know that Christmas is not all about gifts but I do get that excitement of seeing my kids excited as they open their gifts. It brings joy to my heart!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas!

I love the Christmas season! But then again who doesn't:) Finally, the house is starting to look like Christmas and smell like it too, with goodies baking and candles burning. No tree smell because our tree is fake (and I love it) but I will be picking up a real wreath at Costco so the smell will be here. We haven't put the ornaments on the tree yet but I kind of like it plain because by the time we put all the different ornaments on, it looks kind of messy. No uniform, pretty tree for me. The tree will be filled with homemade, special meaning, kids picked out and vacation spot ornaments. None of the ornaments match but they all have special meaning even the really goofy ones. It is like going through a memory box when we start hanging them. Good times, good times.....I love Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So much to be thankful for......

Thanksgiving was the best!! We were able to go to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with all of my family...all 46 of us now and soon to be 49 with 3 babies being born this next year. It is amazing how it keeps on growing. It was great to see everyone and spend time catching up with one another. My Dad is doing amazing and it looks as though we will have him longer than the 6 months that they gave him to live. His cancer has shrunk and we have definitely witnessed the power of prayer and fasting. We are thankful for every extra day we have him here on earth:)

We had Thanksgiving dinner at a beautiful lodge in Zion's, (courtesy of my parents), that was absolutely delicious! That night we all got together down at the clubhouse in their neighborhood and were able to enjoy dessert and games. All in all the weekend was great. We enjoyed football, bowling, golfing, movies and most importantly spending time with one another. I sure do love my family and feel so blessed to be a part of it. There are too many pictures to post so I am only posting a few-
Look alike cousins

Driving Range

All the return missionaries in the family singing "Called to Serve"


Cool bowling shoes----flourescent!

The boys with their grandparents

Our little family
Thanksgiving dinner
Huge table and this wasn't even all of us!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I am always thinking of new traditions that we can do, whether we do them or not is another story, so this year and hopefully every year after, we are going to start writing down what we are thankful for. Every year we have to say what we are thankful for around the dinner table on Thanksgiving but I thought it would be nice to actually write a list and save them from year to year. So for FHE we each sat down and did this and I loved it so I hope this is a tradition I keep up with. I believe that these lists will be priceless when the boys are older, I only wish I would have started it when they were younger:( But I think they have quite a few "I am thankful for" lists from school assignments to look back upon.

It thrills me when I have the family do something new and someone chimes in "This is great! I like doing this!" Thank you Zack for being so enthusiastic. I wish that I could share the lists that the boys came up with because they really are wonderful and they are not just a list of the things that you would expect, they really took the time and put some thought into it. But I better not because they are private so I will just keep them in our "Thankful" folder.
We do have so much to be thankful for and our family has been very blessed this last year. We are also so blessed by the people we get to call family or friend. Thank you for all that you do for us and we hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Close Call

Today I was finishing up the Christmas gifts for my family that I will be taking to them on Thanksgiving. Yeah! It will be so nice not having to send any packages in the mail. I hate the post office...especially during the holiday season. Anyways, I was finishing framing something and I needed to cut the backing for it so I pulled out the handy Exacto knife. Well it was a little harder than I thought to cut it and while I was struggling and putting all my strength into it, all of a sudden the blade snapped off and flew right toward my eye! I did not even have time to blink!




Could have been a disaster but I am so thankful that it was not. The blade barely missed my eyeball (I actually do not know how it did) and I am guessing it bounced off of my lower eyelid. However it happened, I am so thankful for my eyes and the fact that one of them does not have a blade stuck in it. Maybe next time I use an Exacto knife I will have to wear goggles:)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh...How they Forget

So this week I am helping out at the Book Fair at Zack's school. Now since both boys are out of elementary school and there are no more things as Room Moms, once in awhile I volunteer to help out with PTA stuff. You know I am nice that way....ha! I actually like helping out at the school and getting to know the teachers, staff and other parents but now there are not many opportunities to do that so when I get chance I usually will say "Yes".

Well Matthew seeing me helping this week at Zack's school chimes in and asks "Why did you never help out when I was Zack's age?", "You help out with Zack's classes so much more than you did with mine!" WHAT???? EXCUSE ME? How quickly he forgets the many times that I was his Room Mom in elementary school. The many days I spent running centers in his classroom. The many field trips that I attended with him. The many school events that I helped organize and run. How quickly they forget:( Will he ever remember the many hours I volunteered at his schools? I have numerous Volunteer Awards and certificates to prove it (Yes, I have kept them as proof).

Will he ever remember?

I hope so.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sending them off with a Prayer

In this day and age I cannot imagine sending my kids to school without a prayer. I am so thankful for our morning family prayers to start the day off on a good foundation. Unfortunately we say it together at different times because of Matthew's early morning seminary schedule. I luck out though because I get two prayers, one with Matthew and then one with Zack. Now mind you many of these prayers have been said in the car on the way to school, probably not the most appropriate way. But when we are in a hurry, I would rather say it in the car than not say it at all. These moments are priceless to me and they also give me comfort that my boys will be watched over. Not only that they will be kept safe but also that they can withstand the temptations around them. It makes me sick to think what they are bombarded with on a daily basis; the smut, the language, the crudeness. It breaks my heart:( Many times I think, "why do I send them out into this cruel world?" I want to keep them young and naive. But we cannot shield them from everything and it kills me as a mother, who wants to keep them under my wings.

Many times after sending them off to school with a prayer I find somedays that I feel like they need extra prayers said on their behalf and I find myself praying continuously throughout the day. Those are the days that I am so happy when I pick them up from school and find them doing well. Maybe I am just a worry wart but I am so thankful for the comforting power of prayer and the strength it can give us and our youth in these latter (scary) days.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Zack turns 11

Zack's birthday is today and he is finally turning 11. Yeah!! I remember the day clearly that Zack came into our family, actually I remember the day that we found out I was pregnant with him. It was very exciting because he was an answer to our prayers. We had been trying to have a baby since Matthew was born because we were looking forward to having more kids and I was wanting to have 6 all together. Well when nothing happened, we went to the doctors and they could not understand why we were not getting pregnant. I was getting very discouraged but we just kept praying that we would be able to have at least one more child so that Matthew would not grow up as an only child. Well our prayers were answered when we found out that I was pregnant in February 1997. On November 10, 1997 our miracle was born. Zack is truly an answer to our prayers!

Zack has been such a blessing to our family. He is so full of fun and he is our family comedian. He is such a good kid with such a good heart. He is smart, funny, artistic, creative, athletic, daring, kind, loving, talented, etc. We just think he is wonderful!!

We love you Zack! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Men in RS?

As I have mentioned before, Adam loves his calling in the Young Adult Ward. A part of his calling is that he oversees the Relief Society and therefore he gets to attend RS every week and can I tell you - he loves it! I mean, how could you not like it? I have walked past the door of a Priesthood lesson being given and notice half of the guys sleeping with the teacher sitting on the table in the front (sometimes half asleep himself). Now I am not trying to be rude and I am sure that the Priesthood lessons are very inspiring but lets admit it, men and women do things very differently and that goes for giving lessons also.

Well this last Sunday Adam had the opportunity to teach Relief Society, something I thought I would never see in this lifetime. I had to attend! He did such a wonderful job and he came very prepared and even wrote on the chalkboard. He came with a tablecloth, statue and flower arrangement (all color coordinated) to put on the front table. Ok - he did have a little help from me on this. But he also made up a handout for everyone and he did that all on his own. Now it didn't have scalloped edges and it wasn't laminated and made into a magnet but the thought that he made one was pretty cool. I thought he did a fabulous job and I was so proud of him! (I was going to sneak a picture of him teaching with his nicely made up table and all but I forgot to bring the camera so you will just have to imagine)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Favorite Hymn

What an incredible Sacrament meeting today! The spirit was so strong and the testimonies born were enlightening and inspiring. My favorite part though was the closing song. As I opened the hymn book and looked upon the first lyrics I realized what a perfect hymn this was to sing with all the Prop 8 stuff going on. Then as we begin to sing it, our wonderful bishopric stands, which inspires all of us as a congregation to stand and sing these words. It was truly amazing! To say the least my eyes were not dry and it was so inspiring to look around and realize that we stand together, on the Lord's side, against the adversary. Incredible! I have sang that song before but never paid attention to the words as I did today. I will never be able to sing that song again from this day forth without feeling the spirit as I did today. It was incredible!!

Who’s on the Lord’s Side?, no. 260
1. Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?Now is the time to show.We ask it fearlessly:Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?We wage no common war,Cope with no common foe.The enemy’s awake;Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?
[Chorus]Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?Now is the time to show.We ask it fearlessly:Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?
2. We serve the living God,And want his foes to know That, if but few, we’re great;Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?We’re going on to win;No fear must blanch the brow.The Lord of Hosts is ours;Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?
3. The stone cut without hands To fill the earth must grow.Who’ll help to roll it on?Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?Our ensign to the world Is floating proudly now.No coward bears our flag;Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?
4. The pow’rs of earth and hell In rage direct the blow That’s aimed to crush the work;Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?Truth, life, and liberty,Freedom from death and woe,Are stakes we’re fighting for;Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A very different Halloween

It was definitely a bitter-sweet Halloween this year. Halloween night found me alone with Adam (which I love), kids gone, watching Adam eat pizza and watching the Science Channel (not a big fan) and periodically answering the door to trick or treaters. Can it get any worse? OK it wasn't that bad but it was just weird for us to be both home passing out candy, with no kids around and it was also kind of nice. Matthew had gone to a Halloween party at his seminary teachers house and Zack was trick-or-treating with his friend, James and hangin' out at his house...both of them were having a great time! I have a feeling that this is how our Halloweens will be for now on. We are off the hook of taking our kids out I said, it is bittersweet!
I was thinking that we so should of had a Halloween party since Halloween landed on a Friday night for parents such as us with no kids at home or even parents with children and they could trick-or-treat around our neighborhood together. I think that it would be so much fun! Oh well there is always next year - Halloween will be on a Saturday night. I will start planning it now:)

But a funny thing did happen last night and as always I am such a dork! I went to pick up Matthew from his party and when I took him to the party I had followed someone there so I really wasn't sure how to get there. But as I was driving there at almost 11pm, I believed I had remembered the street that their house was on so I didn't even look at the street sign to make sure. I knew the address of the house was 511 so I found the house number and went to the front door and knocked. I did not get a good look at the house earlier that evening when I had dropped him off but the house seemed a little different but I didn't think anything of it because it was the right address, 511. The house was dark, which surprised me, but there were some lights upstairs on so I thought they must be up there watching a movie and they could not hear me knocking. So I continued to knock louder and louder. I start to really bang on the door. No answer. By this time I am looking in the front windows, ringing the doorbell and getting very frustrated...I was practically calling out Matthews name. I went back to my car, pulled the stake directory out, looked up their phone number and gave the house a call. They answered and I asked them to send Matthew out front because I was waiting for him in the car. So there I sat, waiting for him to come out, but still no Matthew was coming. I am a bit irritated by now. I double check the address, yep it is the right house number but I decide to check the street name so I drive to the corner and what do you know, oops, it is the wrong street. I felt like such a fool and those peoples door that I was banging on were probably in the process of calling the police to let them know there was a crazy lady outside their house, harassing them. Oops! I preceded to drive to the next street and lo and behold there is Matthew waiting on the curb with a look saying where were you? I am such a dork! I am just so glad that those people did not open their door, I would have really felt like a fool! To say the least, we had a great laugh over it!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Fun

I have got to admit I use to love Halloween so much more because I had control over my boys they do their own thing. Whatever! These are some of my favorites from Halloween pasts---

Matthew as my little caveman
My 70's flower children
Matthew as a pirate

Recycled costume - Zack as a pirate
Count Matthew
Frankenstein Zack (He's playing the donut game)

Matthew a pirate again/Zack as my little skunk (love it!)

Too cute!!

OK so we recycled that pirate costume alot but everytime we used some different variations. I am not one for buying a costume, I like to make costumes from things we have at home or something we can find at Goodwill. But now the kids have their own ideas of what they want to be and I have got to admit they are usually very creative. Zack so wanted to be a banana this year..what's that? I could not believe it and I fought it the whole way but we did buy the costume but fortunately after all my complaining he decided he did not want to be that so we were still able to return the costume. Yeah! So here is what they ended up being this year-
Matthew and friend Trevor/Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy
Zack ended up filling in as Barnacle Boy because Trevor was not at the Ward Party. I think that Zack will probably end up being Gilligan or something for actual Halloween night.
The Young Adults had a "Super Hero" themed Halloween party so this is what we came up with because I just can't see me in a Wonder Woman costume. Yuck!! Adam and I as Lois Lane and her Superman, Clark Kent. The boys hate this picture of us, they say it looks dorky but come on it is Lois looking lovingly at her Superman.

Happy Halloween Everyone!