Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Patriots Win!!

On Saturday Zacks football team, the Patriots, had their 3rd game this season and it was the first one they won. Yeah! They played the Moorpark Saints, who were suppose to be a really good team, but our boys played better. They looked like they really knew what they were doing and they kept up there momentum the whole game. You know when they are losing I always say it is OK as long as you know that you played your best but whose fooling who, it is not OK and it feels really good to WIN! The boys were so jazzed so hopefully they keep their excitement going. Zack had some great tackles unfortunately I never did get a picture of him playing (he did get to play alot though) but here he is looking so cute on the sidelines. He loves when I call him cute in his costume (uniform)....not!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Healthy Breakfast?

Matthew and Zack got so spoiled on the cruise that just the normal breakfast of cold cereal, eggs, bagels, pancakes won't do. Every morning on the cruise they had waffles with a creamy, yummy chocolate syrup poured on top. It is not just your regular chocolate syrup but as Zack described it "It's like a Symphony milk chocolate candy bar melted." I did not try it 'till the last day of the cruise when the boys insisted that I do and it was wonderful! To say the least they have been missing this scrumptious waffle from breakfast heaven so this morning I came home fomr picking Matthew up at seminary to Zacks own creation. He made up the waffle and put some Hershey syrup on it, actually he drowned it in the stuff. He did not like it because the chocolate was just not the same but Matthew liked it so he finished the plate clean. Next time we will have to get a Symphony candy bar and melt it:) Such a healthy breakfast!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I was able to go to Utah to visit my Dad in the hospital this last weekend. I was able to drive up there with my good friend Jo and to say the least the trip went so fast because I don't think that there was not even a pause in our talking. Thanks Jo it made the trip so enjoyable. :)

When I got to Utah I was informed by my Dad that his cancer was spreading..so it was not very good news at all. He was checked out of the hospital Friday night so it was nice to have him home and resting comfortably in his own bed. He is such an amazing man and such a man of faith because he knows that whatever may happen is Gods will and Gods will, will be done. He is not giving up hope and neither are the rest of us so we hope that we can find the right treatment that can conquer this cancer. It was nice to have all of my siblings there also and many of the grandkids and great grandkids were able to come by also to visit with my parents. It was nice to have the family rally around in this situation and be able to pray together, laugh together and cry together. It is always a great comfort to know that the family is eternal and to know the plan of salvation. I do not know how people handle trials on this earth without that knowledge and also without the help of the Holy Ghost. I could not handle it, we have definitely felt the Comforter. It will be an emotional few months ahead and a trying one as we find what can be done for my Dad but at least we have the comfort of the Holy Ghost and the knowledge of our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ to help us through. Life is not always meant to be easy.

I am so grateful for the people that I have around me that buoy me up and help support me when times are hard. Thanks to all my friends for being there for me (you know who you are), you don't even realize how much you help me on a day to day basis and thanks for all the well wishes and prayers. Your awesome!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Emotional Week

It has been a very emotional week! Starting with my birthday last week which is always emotional for me and it doesn't help that it is on 9/11. (I did have a fabulous birthday though, thanks to all my friends and family who made it special) I did get a phone call from my Dad to wish me a Happy Birthday and he informed me that he was in the hospital and had had surgery that morning. What?? I guess he had been in alot of pain and was having some bleeding and complications from his prostate cancer so they needed to do surgery. It has been a hard week for him and he is still in the hospital as of today. He has had, I believe 3 surgeries and 7 blood transfusions this last week and has had problems even if with his kidneys. He is hoping to be able to leave the hospital today because they have been able to stop the bleeding and his kidneys have started to function on their own. It has really been hard not being able to be up there but my sisters, Mimi and Teri Lyn, have been there for my parents and I am getting to go this weekend to help out. He has started radiation for the cancer and hopefully that will take care of the cancer without doing much damage to the rest of him. I sure do love my parents and it has been a hard year for them health wise but through it they have had such amazing faith and strength. They amaze me, I feel so fortunate to have them as my parents and I am so looking forward to seeing them.
I also have been having some medical issues and in fact I need to go in for my own surgery in the next couple of months. I had an appointment with the surgeon this week to discuss what will happen and Adam really wanted to come with me but of course I did not think that was needed since it was just a consultation. No big deal, I did not want him to take time off work. Well I had to reschedule my appointment this week because I could not go on Friday and Adam did not know that I had rescheduled it. He happened to have a meeting in Ventura on the day of my rescheduled appt and happened to come home for lunch before heading into the office so when he found out that I was leaving for the dr appt he called into work to take the rest of the day off and insisted on coming with me. I felt like he did not need to be there but boy I was so wrong! I am so glad that he knows me so well because I was getting so nervous waiting for the doctor and this was just for the consultation, it was so nice to have Adam there. He asked so many questions and found out so much from the surgeon that I realized right there that I needed him more than I knew. He is my rock! It was just one of those moments where you realize how much your husband takes care of you and it felt so nice. Love him and I did need him, I always need him, I need to remember that.

By the way since I mentioned my surgery, I am having part or all of my thyroid removed because they did a biopsy last month on it and there were some suspicious cells that could be cancer but more than likely it is not but just to be safe they will remove that part. I think that it will all be OK but surgery is never fun. So I am really not looking forward to it.
Hope this next week sees my Dad getting better and resting comfortably at home. It needs to be a better week!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Forgotten Items

I have many pet peeves and someday I might take the time to make a list of them but one of my pet peeves is when one of my boys forget something at home that they need at school; a book, gym clothes, a lunch, homework, etc. I don't know if anyone else has this problem with their children but mine seem to forget things frequently. Now being the good Mom that I am (or stupid Mom) I always take the items to the school office for them, the office ladies know me well, so that they won't go without or get a lesser grade. I always think that most Moms work and would not be able to bring the forgotten items so maybe I shouldn't. But I figure that I am fortunate enough to be an at home Mom and I am able to do this for my sons but at the same time maybe this is why they forget things because they know that Mom will bring them what they need. So what do I do??
The situation just came up last week (already) when Zack forgot to take his drumsticks to school. He remembered as I was dropping him off at school....actually he didn't remember on his own I had to ask him if he had them. So he wouldn't get in trouble for not having them, I went home picked them up and took them back to the school office so that he would have them for Band. OK, it really is not a big deal but it is one of my pet peeves and for some reason it really bugs me. I thought that I could just stop taking their forgotten items to them and they would just have to deal with the consequences but I just have a hard time doing that. I don't want it to affect their grade and I don't want them to go hungry for the day. But I have to come up with some kind of consequence so that they learn not to be so forgetful. So I have made the decision that when I need to do this for them they need to pay me $1.00. Maybe this will help them learn. This new consequence just went into effect and I explained it to the kids this weekend so they have been forewarned. Well it is Monday and I am already $1 richer! Zack forgot his drumsticks AGAIN! Luckily he remembered half way to school so we were able just to turn around and get them. I did not want to go back into the office with them again! But Zack knew that even though he remembered earlier he still owed me a dollar because as he ran in to get his drumsticks he told me he would get my dollar! Hope this new consequence helps but at least if it doesn't I can probably go out to lunch with the money I make :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Poet and Didn't even know it!

Matthew had to write a 30 line poem, about anything, for his English class. I remember him working on it for an hour or so but I never did see the finished product. I did not proofread it before he turned it in but when he got it back from the teacher he told me he had gotten an "A" and that the teacher commented that it was "thought provoking" and "very good work". So out of curiousity I just had to read it, I wanted to see this "thought provoking" poem. Was I ever blown away! I think he has a real talent for writing and I never knew it. It is very deep, so I thought that I would post it today-


Two very different views collide
Their dark discord destroys us
Their feud is a knife
It slices us apart
It exposes the worst within us
The scars it has left
We will never forget
If only they knew
Their fanciful frays only hurt us
Their selfish needs restrict compromise
Confusing causes boggle the mind
Religion, race, gender, political views
It is an immature squabble
That often involves mature adults
Like a vase that’s broken
A smashed society cannot succeed
We decide the future
Conflict’s counter, unity we may choose
Can we fix shattered shards?
Can we correct corrupt cowards?
Can we douse fiery flames?
Can we reverse century-long conflict?
Can we agree with our environment?
Can we prevent problems?
Can we deal with trials?
Can we accept all people?
Can we refrain from judging?
Can we allow freethinking?
Will we? No one can truly tell
But can we. Yes!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Little Drummer Boy

Zack is taking Beginning Band this year in Middle School. Last week they needed to tell their teacher what their 3 top choices of the instruments they wanted to play. Zack picked percussion, trumpet and saxophone (it might have been trombone). Anyways, you had to try out for the teacher for percussion and if you did not make it then you would do your second choice instrument which would have been trumpet. Matthew plays trumpet, we have a nice trumpet so that would be great! Little did we know that Zack would make it for percussion and he did make it. Now we did get him a drum set a couple of years back for his birthday but I have never seen him play it real seriously but now he will get more use out of it. So we picked him up his new drumsticks and he was excited and I was excited for him. As we are driving home and his friend is in the car with his new drumsticks they start to drum on their football helmets. OK that is cool, it sounds pretty nice. They are following the beat of the song on the radio so I can handle it. I figure I better get used to the sound because I have a feeling he will be drumming everywhere. We get home and his drumming continues. Nice, but Mom is getting a headache but I let him continue because he is doing his homework by practicing. Right? Ha Ha I think the picture below shows that his nice drum roll stuff will more likely turn into head banging stuff. But it is for school and its homework so he has to do it.....Greeeaaat!?!

At least we have a rule in our house that if you play the drums you have to shut the door. The room is over the garage so you can't hear it that bad. But I do think that I will be having to take alot of Tylenol:)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Train from "b-e-e-p"!!!!

Our cruise to Alaska was setting sail from Seattle, Washington. So we looked into many ways of getting there and we decided that we would take the Amtrak train up there and back. Not only had I heard that it is a beautiful route but it was alot cheaper and I thought it would be quite an adventure. Well we were not disappointed, it was definitely an adventure but not in the way I was thinking!

The trip up there was long (32 hours) but it was so nice to be able to catch the train right here in Simi and we actually had alot of fun. We played games, enjoyed one anothers company and enjoyed the scenery. It was hard to sleep on the train (no we did not get a sleeper car) but other than that it really wasn't that bad, they even had a movie theatre on board! We brought our own food on because the dining on board cost too much especially for what you got. Everything went fine and we even arrived to Seattle an hour early so that was nice.

Well after being pampered on the cruise ship we really weren't looking forward to the ride home on the train but thought, "No problem, we will survive, it wasn't that bad." We did not have food packed for the ride home though because we went right from the cruise ship to the train station so we were not as prepared. But we had been eating like royalty for a week so it was OK not to eat much and if we had to we could eat in the dining cart. We made the train on time but right away we noticed a different calibre of people. There were some very interesting characters on our train, it was quite the contrast from the train ride up. We were also informed when we headed towards the movie theatre that we were not allowed in there or the parlor because we were Coach passengers and not sleeping car passengers. They didn't tell us that on the way up so that kind of was a bummer. Already the trip back home was starting off wrong!

We had boarded the train in Seattle at 9:45am and at 2:00am the next morning Adam is awakened by a girl running down the aisle with blood all over her hands and arms yelling "He's been stabbed!" Freaky!! He wakes me up and we find out that someone has been stabbed in the car right behind us! Now right at first I start thinking of all the people who could have done it because believe me there were plenty of interesting characters on board. Apparently the guy stabbed this other man 4 times in the back and then pulled the emergency brake and fled the train into the middle of the wilderness somewhere in Oregon. Yikes! So of course by now everything is a buzz in the train as we are stuck on the tracks waiting for the ambulance and the policemen. In fact we were stuck on the tracks for three hours while the police investigated and helicopters are looking for the criminal. It was found out that he had just gotten out of prison and I had actually tried to talk to him in the snack bar. To say the least he wasn't talkative back. The worst thing, besides the stabbed victim, is that they checked the criminals carry on baggage and found that he had a loaded weapon packed in it! It could have been so much worse! We feel so blessed that we were being watched over that night. They are not sure of the motive but they did catch the guy in the woods and the man who was stabbed was taken to the hospital and we found out that he would survive. Very scary to say the least.

As the trip continued the ride just got more interesting. Some scary girl got on in Northern California and she ended up stealing money and Ipods from other passengers on the train and she was arrested at the next stop by the police who were waiting for her. We found out that she was on parole so she was very upset about being caught. I think we might have been the only ones there that did not have a record! We did meet some great people that we bonded with over the whole experience. A great family from Long Beach (who had a sleeper car) smuggled food from the dining room for us and brought magazines back to me to read the time away and there was also Bill "Lumberjack man" who served everyone food that the train provided free to all of us...finally. He stepped up because the workers on the train didn't and served up hot plates of stew and rice to all of us. We just all had to sit back and laugh at the whole crazy situation. It was wild!!

So our train was running behind schedule and I guess when that happens it just keeps getting more behind because freight trains have priority. It was a very loooooong trip! We ended up being on the train for over 40 hours....9 hours late!!! To say the least we had our adventure on Amtrak and we will never be taking the train again! But it was an adventure and one that the boys will never forget. In fact our favorite line from the train trip home was when Matthew woke up in the morning on the train we asked him how he slept and he replied, "After the stabbing I slept like a baby!" Who knew he would ever be saying those words - too funny!

We did call Amtrak and complained about the security (or lack of) issues and also the poor way they handled the crisis, so to apologize they are sending us vouchers for a future train ride. Great?!?!?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First Day (for my boys)

Even though it was actually the fourth day of school for everybody else it was the first day of school for my boys. They were very excited but also a little worried because of what they had missed. Matthew is starting 10th grade and Zack is starting 6th grade and it is his first year at Middle School. I cannot believe that my boys are already this old! No more elementary school for me...it makes me quite sad! As I drove up to the middle school I forgot how scary middle school kids look, sometimes they are even scarier than high schoolers. It is just such a big change from elementary school where you have kindergarteners....oh to have those days back!

So after dropping the boys off Adam and I spent the day together. It was his last day of vacation so we rode our bikes to the gym, played some tennis and worked out, went out to lunch and then rode home. It was wonderful! When we picked the boys up from school we took them out for an ice cream and talked about their first day (a tradition I started a long time ago). They had a great day but reality has hit and they both had alot of homework. Yuck! It is so hard to get into the swing of things but we really have no choice and I know we will get used to it again.

I, of course, had my homework too because I had those many papers that I had to sign and send back. I hate paper.....it clutters my home!!! And as I was signing the many forms I came across one that really made me laugh. I have probably signed it every year but I never even took the time to read it, I really need to get better at that. Anyways, it was titled the RIGHT TO REFRAIN FROM HARMFUL OR DESTRUCTIVE USE OF ANIMALS stating that any student with a moral objection in dissecting or otherwise harming or destroying animals, or any parts thereof, shall notify his or her teacher regarding this objection. So I realize that this is just allowing my children to perform dissections which I have no objection to and of course my boys don't. But it just seemed weird to check a box that states "My child may participate in an education project involving the harmful or destructive use of animals." That seems to be quite a harsh way to put it but I checked it anyways and gave my OK to harming and destroying animals. Too funny!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to Normal

Well now I am back to my regular blogging time now that school has started. Matthew decided to do early-early morning seminary so he needs to be at the church at 6am now instead of 6:30am. Isn't that nice of him? It gets me up even earlier. So today was the first day and of course last night I had the first day of school jitters so I could not get to sleep. I go through this every year like it is my first day of school. I panic thinking I am not going to get up on time and I will be late the first day, I lay awake for hours constantly checking the alarm to make sure it is set right and not for pm instead of am. Oh how I hate the first day of school jitters...I am too old for this!
The boys are excited to get started with school but I hope they don't have alot of work to make up. Yes, we are loser parents and we had them miss the first 3 days of school so that we could enjoy our cruise but it was worth it! I hope that today goes well for them and even though I am not a nap-type of person, I believe that I will be taking a nap today! Yeah for early-early morning seminary!!!!