Thursday, August 28, 2008

Paper Chains

It means only one thing.......... a COUNTDOWN!

We got Steve's travel plans this past weekend and we have great news. He'll be home in 27 days, more than 2 weeks sooner that we were planning. The kids made their paper chains Monday night and the first thing they do in the mornings is make their chains shorter.

Mason has one too, even though he's clueless, he just didn't want to stand on the stool to take a chain off for a picture. 7 months has now become 27 days! The countdown that never existed, because it seemed so overwhelming, now exists because he's almost home!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Denied Blog

I have been denying my blog. Not that I have wanted to. The thought of blogging has crossed my mind more than once each day, but for some reason I have felt like Adult ADHD has set in and sitting down to blog has seemed impossible. So I am letting the dishes sit in the sink and the laundry go unfolded for now so I can catch up on JoJo's MoJo for my own peace of mind!

"Back to school" came at a great time for our household. This year I was ready, unlike other years. The kids were driving me and each other crazy. At one point I made Preston and Taylor hold hands while they were in time out. You notice that PJ"s were still on, they started early that morning!

Part of the reason they were at each other so much was the fact that it rained constantly and even dropped into the 40's one day. Dealing with wet clothes was a lot easier than dealing with unhappy kids, so they played in the rain on more than one occasion.

And despite being couped up for a few days, the rain did make everything green and beautiful. We decided to freeze our raspberries for when Steve gets home, raspberry shakes are his favorite.

When Liz and her family were here we drove up to Mt Evans, the highest paved road in the US. I was freaked out the entire time. I really didn't know what I was getting myself into and there was NO turning back. We had to take 2 cars so I drove my car and I will never do it again! This is the type of driving I leave up to Steve and I sit in the passenger seat with my eyes closed.

We had a great time with Louis, Liz and their kids. Louis even watched all the kids one night while Liz and I went out. And I'm not saying we got the kids ready for the evening and then went out. He did the whole evening routine and didn't complain AT ALL. I told Liz she better make it up to him! They were here for almost a week and we got to do a lot of fun things together, including seeing Dark Knight, totally loved the movie. I think I was the saddest when they left. I really miss her!

Olympics! Need I say more!

Ashley took Preston up to the Academy to Matt's football practice. How old is your youngest sister Ashley and are you opposed to arranged marriages?

She'll be loving this year's school pictures 15 yrs from now!

Taylor discovered how to catch bugs, needle nose pliers!

Mason has been hanging out with me!

Jen was my roommate and best friend in college. I was so happy when she called to tell me she was coming out! We had a great time together, as always. She is so much fun and of course it's always fun to reminisce about our crazy college days at Long Beach State! YIKES!

My girlfriend and I took our boys to the park last week. They both love trains and if you look closely you can see the train in the background. Despite them putting their hands over their ears and hiding in the play tunnel when the trains came by, it was a fun afternoon. But the highlight was when this guy rode his bike up to the picnic table and put his hand on Sherrelyn's purse. My instincts kicked in and I yelled out "Hey, get your hands off of there" and started quickly over to the table. He took his hands off and walked away. That'll be one of those stories we'll be laughing about 20 yrs from now!

I went to Salt Lake City this past weekend to see my awesome sister and her family. The best part, I went WITHOUT my kids! How did I do that? For Mother's Day Steve got me a babysitter so I could get away for a weekend. I decided to use it BEFORE he got home, I'd hate for such a great gift to go to waste. I had the BEST time and it was just what I needed. I even took a 3 hr nap on Saturday (the first in 6 mos) and slept in until 9:45 am Sunday morning with no interruptions!! It was FABULOUS! Need I say more!

Oh, oh, oh, how can I forget................ I finished Breaking Dawn last week. LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT! Totally happy with the ending. Can't wait for November 21st! It's already on my calendar. Thank you Audrey for getting me hooked last year and thank you Cory for convincing me that we needed to go to the BYU bookstore

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Day of School

The first day of school came at a great time. This past week has reminded me of episodes of "Tom and Jerry" except replace the characters with Preston and Taylor. They weren't as ready to go back as I was, but they loved their first day, their teachers and their classmates. Taylor is in all day Kindergarten and loves that she can eat lunch at school. Preston is in 2nd and is staying true to form with taking a ball to school on the first day.

That leaves this cute kid with me all day! He had to wear his backpack like his siblings and asks about them during the day. I had to redeem myself yesterday. When I got him from the childcare at the gym he was upset that he had to leave. My plan was to go home, eat lunch and then put him down for a nap. I felt so bad that instead of going home, I took him to McDonald's for lunch and let him play (which is huge because I can't stand McDonald's play area). Instead of napping, he hung out with me while I worked in the yard, we played football, jumped on the trampoline and he rode Taylor's Barbie car. Today when I got him from childcare, there was no redeeming myself

I was hoping to read Breaking Dawn during Mason's nap, that obviously didn't happen. But no nap means earlier bedtime. The kids were all in bed by 7:15. Instead of cleaning, like I usually do, I grabbed my book and sat on my porch reading and enjoying the quietness and the view.

I went to bed with a dirty house and it didn't even bother me. Last night was the most sleep I've had since Steve's been gone. I was asleep by 9 pm and awake by 7am. The one thing I'm going to do when he gets home, SLEEP IN!

Speaking of Steve, he gave me a tentative date of his return. Until I know for sure, I'm still counting on the beginning of October. But I'd much rather have his tentative. He leaves Sunday for his R&R (rest and recuperation) in Qatar. He gets to be there 4 days. The kids and I looked it up online, definitely different from Iraq. The first thing I noticed, the beach. Not too sure if he'll be there very much, he may want to stay as far away from the sand as possible! When the countdown starts, you'll all know!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Taylor lost another tooth the day after we returned from CA. She tried to pull it out while skyping with Steve in Irag!
But we got a picture of it to send to him
Loves the missing front teeth

And of course had to show her dad her big muscles (wish I had that definition)

Love this girl!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I have been wanting to post about our California trip for almost 3 weeks now. But every time I sit down to do it, I have a complete writer's block and I use the delete button way too many times. The only way I'm going to be able to do it is by writing multiple posts! This may be long and boring, I know, but trying to sum up LA for 3 weeks is going to take more than a paragraph and picture of the beach. Especially when I have over 500 pictures, and that's after I deleted the ones I didn't like!

I love Los Angeles. It is one of my favorite cities, and not just because I grew up there. I love the fast pace, the accessibility to everything.....i.e. shopping, entertainment, the ocean, the desert, the mountains. When I go back, I feel like a tourist because there are so many things that I miss and want to do. So many people ask if I would ever move back. If the opportunity presented itself and depending on the area and schools, I would have been back yesterday. So from the time we get off the plane and make our first stop at

In-N-Out until the time we get back on the plane, not without stopping at In-N-Out one last time, it is nonstop going. So here is what our 3 week trip to California looks like.

Family and Friends are the reasons why we make it back to Cali so often. I love that my parents are still there and I've told them they can never move. I only have 1 out of 3 siblings still there. We were the only ones at my parents this trip! I don't think that has happened in a long time, it was nice

Nani and Grandpa with the kids at Disneyland

Taylor and Great-Grandpa after we hit up the ice cream truck at the park

While we were there we got celebrate my nephew's, Hunter, 4th birthday on the 4th of July

My mom and I took my kids and my niece and nephew to the Bass Pro Shop one day. The kids got to see all the animals, played in the tree house, loved the fish, camped out in a tent and pretended they were hunters (I pretended too)

Either the game was broken or I have horrible aim

Hunter, Taylor and me at the Grove in Los Angeles

My friend Liz came over with her kids to hang-out for the day. We had so much fun until Mason hit his head on the fireplace and had to have 2 staples! This was the only picture we got of us. We were in the water most of the day and it was right before she was leaving, no make-up, hair not fixed and as you can see, my white shirt is proof of Mason's injury. I didn't realize heads bleed so much, now I know. (she and her family just left our house a few days ago and in 5 days I am proud to report, no serious injuries)

Mason and Addison (Liz's daughter) in the spa - before his accident

Matt, a cadet from the Academy, and his Fiance, Ashley, came out and stayed with us for 5 days. Here we are on the 4th of July

Heidi and I have known each other since birth! She was at her parents visiting the same time I was there. We had to laugh because our moms knew our schedules before we were out and coordinated the only afternoon we would be able to see each other. Heidi said "They're still planning our play dates." I miss her sooooooo much!

Our friends from Colorado were visiting CA the same time we were there. Taylor and I got to spend the day with them at Disneyland.

It's not always easy to see everyone we want to when we're there. Sometimes we see a lot of people, sometimes we only see family and a few friends. So if we weren't able to catch up with you this time, I promise we'll be back!

My favorite place in the world would have to be The Beach. I would spend everyday there if I could. In college I would schedule my classes early so I could be at the beach in the afternoons or schedule classes all day so I could have days off to spend at the beach. So you have to understand my excitement when I see sand and waves!
We took the kids to Santa Monica beach and to the pier to ride the Ferris wheel

Taylor covered in sand when a wave came up

She loved the water and wanted to be called "fishy"

Mason did not! Which is not so bad when your 2 because he was easy to take care of. Anytime the water got close, he'd turn and run away. It made for a more relaxing experience!

We took the train to San Clemente beach for the day

The ride was a blast, even though we missed our stop on the way back and were stranded for over a hour. After living in Boston and DC, I should have known better. If you aren't at the door when the train stops, you won't make it off. Not sure why I was thinking LA would be any different.

Mason running away from the water. Although this time he did have lots of seagulls to chase and feed, a chair with an umbrella and plenty of chips and chocolate, courtesy of Nani

Here is Taylor, she was either in the sand or in the water, that's my girl

Taylor and I met one of my friends from college at Seal Beach We ate at the end of the pier at Ruby's. If she'd send me her pictures, I'd post them....hint, hint!

While we were walking on the pier we met this guy. He made a pretty simple offer, too bad I was already taken!

I was able to go to Newport Beach and go to the LDS Temple there for the first time. Look at the sky, not a cloud in sight. It was beautiful