Feb 23, 2011

Valentines Party at School and Home...

I try to go and help at the kids' classrooms once a week. I enjoy it and love being able to see the kids in their own classrooms with their teachers and classmates. It's a great way to keep in touch with what's really happening there. This week I went twice since I help on Thursdays and the parties were on Friday.


My Friend Sara Ray gave me a GREAT idea. She said she does a Family Fondue Party for Valentines Day. We have had fondue parties with friends before, but never just the kids. Sara was a sweetheart and went and got me Alfredo Sauce from Olive Garden and brought it over. We dipped french bread and veggies in that sauce. I was excited to have this special night. Well, after I saw so much food....I thought "We should share this with some friends!" So...I called a few friends here in the neighborhood...
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The Allens...
The Griners...
The Bowmans...
And Us!....
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We should have called the Mostoskys, Speths, Gaineys and Randalls. There are so mnay fun families here in the neighborhood...I hate leaving people out.

Anyway, We sat outside and enjoyed the company, the fondue and the fire! That is really one of my favorite things to do. We might have to make this a tradition!

Family Bonding...

Sunday, February 13th David was released from the Bishopric....we decided to have a little family fun and make some Valentine Cookies together! We used to do this stuff all the time when the kids were a little younger. I need to be better about taking time to do the simple things. Times that we will remember....moments that "bond" us. Ü And let's admit it, there's something about sugar cookies with yummy frosting gushing through your teeth....THAT totally makes the holiday complete! You will notice some of the cookies are LOADED with toppings. So much fun!



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Feb 21, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday Eli Boy!

Where did the years go? Can it be real? Eli is officially in the double digits! Wow! Time sure has flown! Eli, you are growing up to be such a great young boy with so much potential! I love so many things about you!
Here are some of them....
Your hugs and kisses first thing in the morning...
Your BIG HEART! You try to include everyone and make new people feel included...
Your determination to succeed...
Your constant need to have some kind of ball in your hands...
Your quirky way of needing to touch people's ear lobes...
Your funny sense of humor...
Your cute freckles...
Your OWN sense of fashion...you get stuck on 3 shirts at a time...until I hide them...then you find 3 more shirts! Heaven forbid you wear all the shirts in your overcrowded drawer!
Your loyalty to your friends...
Your sneaking into the storage room to find anything that has sugar in it (yes...I know)
Your love for little kids...I love that you hold people's babies!
Your love of sports. You're such a natural!
Your 3 point shots...
Your example of jumping up out of bed first thing in the morning when I wake you up...you don't need to lay there and have me tell you 3 or 4 times to GET UP!
Your love of breakdancing...
Your smart brain that picks up things and memorizes quickly...
Your imagination...you can always find fun things to do without asking me what there is to do...
Your testimony, you know so much and have known at such a young age!

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This year, Eli's birthday hit on President's Day. We told ourselves that Eli is so special they called school off for the day! How fun to have NO SCHOOL on your birthday! So we took advantage of it!
We tell the kids they can have a bigger present or a birthday party. Eli decided he wanted a new bike, so opted for a family party. He chose to go as a family to AMAZING JAKES. Kinda funny, he found his way around our rule. Amazing Jakes isn't cheap Ü....but we sure had fun. We let him invite one friend, so he chose Brennen Hixon.
Abbie hung out with David and I. She had a ball on the rides there!
Mason wanted Tait to come. So he paid half of Tait's way and Tait paid the other half.
I don't think I've ever seen David eat so much! Seriously. IT's a buffet...so you definitely WANT to eat...just some of us can't keep fitting in the food! He loaded up a tray like this 3 times! We were there about 6 hours. We were just laughing. The kids loaded up once and then would go back every so often to grab a quick slice of pizza, but David would fill up a tray and go to the Sports Area and watch a game. THAT'S the LIFE! Ü
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We just enjoyed the day together. Lots of fun!


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Here's to a great year Eli! So glad you're in our family! We love you!

Feb 20, 2011

Nothing More Constant than CHANGE!

I'm always amazed how things work out in life. When I'm not enjoying something....it NEVER ends and when I wish I could stay doing something, it CHANGES QUICKLY! Ü Heavenly Father has a great sense of humor, doesn't he?

So....Last week, we had a new Bishop called...which means that David was released from the Bishopric. He really enjoyed that calling, although it was ALOT of work! But you know, that's how we grow and learn is through service. He grew so much during this last year and a half. As soon as David said he was going to be release, I had a sinking feeling that my calling wouldn't be for much longer. You see....I LOVE my calling in the Primary. I play the piano. I have to say it has been one of my FAVORITE callings ever! I will admit, one BIG reason that I love it so much is it's SO EASY. Ü No planning, no practice, no extra meetings, no time commitments, and I get to see my cute kids faces singing songs, and the Spirit is always so Strong. What's not to like? I would tell David to make sure I stayed in that calling as long as he was in the Bishopric.

I remember telling a friend that I was nervous about what was around the corner because David was released...and she likened it to Jonah, how he didn't want to go and do what he was supposed to do. I just had a feeling I was heading into the Relief Society. Well, Saturday...Bishop McLaws came over and extended a call to the Relief Society Presidency as the 2nd Counselor. I am excited to work with this Presidency. It's full of wonderful women, but I couldn't help miss my kids in the Primary.

Well, at the end of church, (the last 5 minutes) The Primary came to get me and when I walked into the room, the whole Primary started singing to me....Here are the words and the music was "I love to see the Temple"
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I Burst into tears! I just love those kids! They know I really loved them too! I really tried to have fun with them in there. I would look over the piano to see if they were singing and if they weren't I'd give them a hard time and then they'd start to sing. Music is something I love and I will always treasure the memories of being with my kids in Primary.....

Feb 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day! Here are 20 Things I Love!

1. David
2. Mason, Eli and Abbie
3. Going on Trips! Wish I could travel all around the world!
4. The Temple...I have noticed a big change since I try to go once a week Ü
5. Homemade Bread
6. Smell of Rain
7. Good Girlfriends
8. Going out to Lunch
9. Chocolate and Diet Coke.....I think I need them everyday.....
10. My parents and siblings....
11. Having the firepit out on the driveway with friends
12. My neighborhood/neighbors....we all get along and watch out for each other! It's such a blessing to be surrounded by great people!
13. Our Ward....GREAT people and friends that we'll have for LIFE
14. Playing the piano...It's therapy for me
15. Smell of Laundry just out of the dryer
16. Doing Hair. I love making people look good and I love the friendships that have formed from seeing these people every couple of months. I love that I can work from home and still be a mom.
17. A good chic flick! It's so fun to go to the movies when it's a GOOD movie! I'm a little picky on what I'll see. No science fiction or scary movies for me!
18. The Great and Terrible Series by Chris Stewart! Those books were AWESOME!
19. The Gospel and the Priesthood. Don't know where I'd be without them. My life is more full having these in my life!
20. Backrubs, footrubs...you name it, I love massages!

Feb 11, 2011

Premenopausal at age 39? Really?

So.... when I had Abbie at age 31, I had other complications which led me to having a partial hysterectomy. You know, I thought I'd have like 5 kids. That's a whole other story. Well, for the past 5 years with stress and everything, I have been experiencing a whole lotta stuff I'm not happy to say I've experienced or happy that I experienced them. Maybe this is too much information to put on a blog, but this is really the only journal I keep.

I have had MOOD SWINGS galore. Ok...ok...I know women are known for having mood swings....but I feel like I experienced more than your normal hormonal woman. I am constantly having to talk myself into being nice and not getting angry. I hate that I have to even coach myself. I am a pretty fun and easy going person. Well, generally....
INSOMNIA I used to hear people talk about not being able to sleep and thought they must just not work hard enough during the day to be tired enough to sleep. Well, I am now having a hard time falling asleep and feel exhausted! I do nothing but go all day. (guess that's what I get for judging, huh?)
WEIGHT GAINI've never been an Olive Oil skinny lady or anything...but I haven't really changed the way I eat, but seem to keep gaining more and more weight and when I try to be good, and exercise and eat better I hardly lose anything. I do have some thyroid problems, so I thought it was because of that.
ANXIETY ATTACKS How embarrassing is that? The first time I had one, I thought I was having a heart attack. I had the paramedics here in my living room the night before a trip at 2am. In the end, they told me I needed to stress less and enjoy myself.
FUZZY THINKING Ummm....yah.....I forget what I'm saying, people's names, what I was talking about, etc....
TIREDAll of the time! I mean all the time! Seriously, that is the most frustrating feeling. I have so much to do and don't have time to be tired. So what do I do? I drink caffeine and eat sugar. That gives me a quick UP and then a quick DOWN.
There are a couple other symptoms I won't list. Just use your imagination. Ü So with that all said, I have felt less and less like myself for a while now. I want to fix it but don't know how. When we first moved here I went to the regular doctor and he said I needed to exercise more. Ok...did that...don't feel better. I go to a LADY doctor and she says "Could be Thyroid"...yep...that was part of the problem. Start having anxiety attacks, go back to the doctor she says I have a nodule on my thyroid....I go to an Endocrinologist. (Had to wait 4 months to get in to him) and he says my thyroid is "normal" with the medications I'm taking. GREAT. I'm back to square one. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? I want to feel well and with lots of energy!
My friend Sue sent me to a female OBGYN and she did more blood test and what do ya know? I need ESTROGEN because I am premenopausal! I feel so validated! I am NOT making things up! I can already feel a difference. I still have crazy cravings, and am tired, but I feel like at least I know what is going on and can try to start fixing it.
Anyway, I'm mostly hoping for these symptoms to subside so when I get the umph up to try to tackle myself again it will actually HAPPEN!
It'll still take a lot of work, but at least I'm aware of the culprit now!

Feb 10, 2011

Snow Camping Ain't for Whimps!

Well in my humble opinion, I think regular camping aint for whimps, so camping in the snow seems even worse! But as you look through these pictures you will see the 11 year old scouts along with their dads and leaders had a pretty fun time! This ward has just been SO FUN to be in. It is filled with good strong boys for our boys to grow up with. Actually, we have lived in the same house and have been in 3 different wards, so I'm sure this won't be permanent.....but while we are part of this ward, we will ENJOY every last minute! Ü
They left Friday after school and of course it was cold week here (like high 20's) which is cold for Arizona. I can only imagine what it felt like up in the mountains. So, looks like they have a nice blazing fire for the night!

Kyler Mellor pushing Mason on the sled. Already starting in on the fun!

Ryan Hawkins
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Sam Callahan
Joseph Ritchie
Tait Brown
Inside the Bishop's Cabin...how nice, a little get a way from the snow. Actually this is where the dads and leaders slept. (kind of slept, amid the snoring and all. lol) I have to add that in cuz it's funny. I am the snoring person in our family and have kept people awake before. We really do try to NOT snore, but remember we're unconscious. Ü
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Ryan Hawkins and Brayden Williams
Don't the boys look so cozy in their tent? Glad they have smiles on their faces. They all get along so well. Infact, one of the leaders talked about how well they all include each other. That makes a mom so happy....whether you're the mom of the nice boy that includes or the mom of the boy that doesn't always fit in.


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David is such a great dad! I'm glad he's so involved and part of the kids' lives. He actually loves to camp and since he's married to the bah-hum-bug camper, he loves to find excuses to go camping! Why not a father/son bonder right? Eli has a little over a year before he gets to start going on them. Ü

YEP...That is what you'd call YELLOW SNOW. Pretty disgusting, huh? I guess that's par for the course when you mix a cold night out in a tent and a bunch of 11 year old boys. I thought it was funny that David took a picture of this. Actually, David really did well with taking lots of pictures this time. A lot of times, he takes the camera and comes home with 2 pictures. So, this time I actually feel like I saw how much fun they had! Cuz you know, A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

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This actually looks like fun. They said it was a nice, sunny day and as you can see....they just enjoyed themselves. One of the sleds Mason is on I have never seen before. He said it was super fast and fun! Those saucers are the ones that KILL your bum!

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Bishop Williams...and also Brayden's dad. He's such a great Bishop. David has really enjoyed serving as a counselor under him.



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I LOVE this picture of David and Mason. How sweet is this? Mason is a lot like David, that's probably why they get along so well. He has the same mild manner and is athletic too. It's interesting seeing Mason changing so much this year. He is really trying to gain some independence. Especially from me. I guess that's how I feel anyway. When I go into his classroom to help, he acts a little embarrassed. It kind of hurts my feelings, but I'm trying to remember how I felt at that age. To be honest though, I thought I was cool mom! Dream on, huh? Anyway, my whole point is that Mason seems to be really happy that his Dad is there with him!

Here they are in all their glory. What a GREAT looking bunch! Boys I'm glad for my son to be surrounded by. I'm a firm believer in good friends and how much they influence us!
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Aren't they the most handsome guys ever? I'm not biased or anything. Ü


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Well, looks like we'll have to get used to this being normal thing every month. Glad Mason thinks it's fun, cuz the scouts go ALOT! Have fun boys!