Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas our family gives to you...

a link to NORAD Santa Watcher... where is he now?

Merry Christmas!


The Haines Family

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Eleventh Day of Christmas...

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas our family gives to you...

One day of not having to read this blog!
(I know you are thinking... early Christmas Gift?!)

Go, get, scoot.... do some last minute shopping, baking, or wrapping.

Enjoy your day off, but don't forget to check back tomorrow!

We interrupt the 12 days of Christmas....

I hate to interrupt but there is a computer I want to win. I have already entered in the comments section BUT if I blog about the entry I get a second entry!

The computer is an HP TouchSmart 600. It looks AWESOME and I have decided that I really want one. I even know where, in my house, it will go!

Although it will lessen my odds of winning you can enter the contest too. Just click below!

Totally Together Reviews: HP TouchSmart Computer Review and Give-Away!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Tenth Day of Christmas

On the Tenth Day of Christmas our family gives to you...

*Ten Favorite Scriptures
  1. Isaiah 9:6
  2. Jeremiah 1:4-5
  3. Matthew 17:20
  4. John 10:16 (Correlates to 3 Nephi 18:21)
  5. Philippians 4:13
  6. 1 Nephi 20:18
  7. Mosiah 2:17
  8. Alma 32:16
  9. Moroni 7:45-48
  10. Doctrine & Covenants 98:12
If you don't have a copy of the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Doctrine & Covenants (standard works for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) you can find the scriptures online here!
(* These are just a few of the many highlighted scriptures!)

  • 9 Things To Do,
  • 4 New Traditions,
  • The Christmas Spirit,
  • Six Silly Faces,
  • Five Simple Words!
  • Four Christmas Tips,
  • Three French Hens,
  • Two Lame excuses,
  • and a new Video replacing the one requesting some room!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Ninth Day of Christmas

On the Ninth Day of Christmas our family gives to you...

Nine things for your family to do!

  1. Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” together
  2. Go Ice Skating
  3. Play BananaGrams or Scrabble using only Christmas words
  4. Work on a puzzle together while singing Christmas Carols
  5. Go Caroling
  6. Drive around your neighborhood to look at Christmas lights
  7. Watch "The Nutcracker" together
  8. Read about the birth of Jesus in Jerusalem (Luke 2)
  9. Read in the Book of Mormon how the birth of Christ was witnessed in the Americas (3 Nephi 1)

  • 9 Things To Do,
  • 4 New Traditions,
  • The Christmas Spirit,
  • Six Silly Faces,
  • Five Simple Words!
  • Four Christmas Tips,
  • Three French Hens,
  • Two Lame excuses,
  • and a new Video replacing the one requesting some room!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Eighth Day of Christmas

On the Eighth Day of Christmas our family gives to you...

k, this one won't fit within the song but it's a good one (if I do say so myself)

Watch this video and then decide on 4 things (one each night) you can do for others to share the Spirit of Christmas. Try to do something (at least one thing) that is outside of your comfort zone. THEN decide which one(s) you'll do again next year!

Don't forget to tell us what you did in the comments section!

Here are some ideas to get you started...
  • deliver a Christmas Jar,
  • Ding-Dong Ditch some groceries to someone in need,
  • Write down your testimony of Jesus Christ and give it to a friend (if your friend is not a member include a copy of the Book of Mormon or a framed picture of Christ!)
  • Christmas Caroling!
  • 4 New Traditions
  • The Christmas Spirit,
  • Six Silly Faces,
  • Five Simple Words!
  • Four Christmas Tips,
  • Three French Hens,
  • Two Lame excuses,
  • and a new Video replacing the one requesting some room!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Seventh Day of Christmas

On the Seventh Day of Christmas our family gives to you...

The Christmas Spirit

  • The Christmas Spirit,
  • Six Silly Faces,
  • Five Simple Words!
  • Four Christmas Tips,
  • Three French Hens,
  • Two Lame excuses,
  • and a new Video replacing the one requesting some room! (it was removed by the user!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Sixth Day of Christmas

On the Sixth Day of Christmas our family gives to you...

Six silly faces

If anyone out there knows how to make a mosaic with photos (erin?) will you please let me in on the secret. This post looked SO much better in my head!

The Fifth Day of Christmas

On the Fifth Day of Christmas our family gives to you....

5 simple words!

Oops I did it again! (I forgot to post for the day!)

recap? nahhh it really isn't that hard to remember is it?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Fourth Day of Christmas

On the Fourth Day of Christmas our family gives to you...

Four Christmas Tips!

Here are some tips to help keep your holiday Holy.
  1. Remember that Christmas isn't about all the gifts, it is about THE gift. The birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
  2. Focus on giving, not getting.
  3. Spend quality time with friends and family.
  4. If you find yourself stressed out... Stop, Look, and Listen.
    Stop what you are doing that is stressing you out.
    Look at what it is you are doing... Are you focused on the Savior?
    Listen... listen to the Holy Ghost and you will feel the Spirit of Christmas.
recap -
  • Four Holiday Tips
  • Three French Hens
  • Two lame excuses
  • and a video requesting some room!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Third Day of Christmas

On the Third Day of Christmas our family gives to you...

Three French Hens!

Did you know that the Three French Hens represent the Three Theological Virtues; Faith, Hope, and Charity? Read 1 Corinthians 13:13, Moroni 7, and this.

  • Three French Hens
  • Two lame excuses
  • and a video requesting some room!

The Second Day of Christmas

What, you actually expected me to blog on each "day of Christmas"? Yeah, me too.

I could try to come up with something clever... but instead will just give you...

Two Lame Excuses..... sick kids and errands.

Let's recap (come on, you have to sing it to get the full effect)

On the second day of Christmas our family gives to you....
  • two lame excuses
  • and a video requesting some room! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The First Day of Christmas

On the First Day of Christmas our family gives to you....

One video "Do You Have Room?"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Slowing Down

Is it just me or does time seem to speed up between Thanksgiving and Christmas? I don't mean "my watch is fast", fast I am talking about "Warp Speed", fast!

This year I was able to get the advent calendar slips planned and printed before December 1st. (WooHoo) Friday, Dec 4th our task was to decorate for Christmas. We didn't start until yesterday. (Dec. 8th) I think I'll be able to finish this weekend.

As for Christmas shopping... I am almost done. I have one online shopping cart still full, but it should be on it's way on Friday. I also have a few odds and ends to pick up but nothing that can't wait. My hubby and I have said for years that we were going to scale our Christmas budget (and amount of gifts) back considerably. We were never successful. THIS year we told the boys not to expect much... 3 gifts and a stocking. They seemed put out at first, but the more often we talked about it the better their outlook became.

I made a decision earlier this year to focus on needs and not wants. I have told myself "we can't afford it" when I see something shiny and distracting at the store. It didn't seem so at first, but it is really quite freeing. To add to that I made the commitment not to purchase anything but gifts this Christmas. I have passed by candles (I have so many already) and tinsel and though I am sometimes tempted by those darn end caps at the store, I know that I will not make the purchase.

At this time of year it is easy to fall into the "gimme" trap. We have been better this year about shifting our focus to what we can give others. With the Spirit of Christmas (giving, not getting) in our hearts and home we are more likely to focus on the really meaning of Christmas and feel HIS love for us and others.

My point with all of this? Time is still going by quickly, but I am better able to roll with it. :)

Merry Christmas!

Star Wars in Concert

Evan is one happy kid!

We sure love Star Wars so when Star Wars in Concert came to Charlotte we HAD to go.


Here are some overdue photos of Halloween.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potato souffle, green beans, carrots, whole wheat rolls, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. Sound familiar?

We had a great dinner with my youngest brother Andrew and his girlfriend Celeste. The rest of our family (with the exception of Kate at college) was in Alabama at our other sister's house. It was the quietest and slowest paced Thanksgiving we've had in a LONG time. That is a good thing and a bad thing. We had a great easy day, but we missed the rest of the family. :(

We are thankful for: (in random order)
Hopey Dog
our amazing family
food and shelter
God and His plan for us
opportunities to serve
good friends
happy moments

Saturday, October 31, 2009

One down, 205 to go!

With four boys it was only a matter of time before someone broke a bone.

It is that time.

Yesterday afternoon Eli came in from the trampoline crying. He was knocked down by his brother while they were jumping on the the trampoline. He didn't fall off, he fell down. Apparently he landed wrong. He told me what happened and he said his hand felt like it was too heavy to hold up.
I knew it was something serious when the whimpering and whining continued after ice, kisses and a short nap.
I took him to Urgent Care. At first he was holding his arm, then he was laying on it, using it as a pillow. He held my phone while playing games. As the evening progressed I was kicking myself for "wasting" our time and money at Urgent Care. I kept thinking that I should have waited longer for the pain to subside because he was *obviously fine!

The doctor came in, checked his arm, heart and lungs (?), asked him some questions and left to look at the x-rays.

Imagine my surprise when he returned and said "it's broken!"

*what is obvious is that I have no medical training!

Friday, October 23, 2009


I love this time of year. I love the cool mornings, the leaves rustling in the wind, the smell of the air, the feel of the wind on my face.
I love the way I smell after I play in the leaves. I love having to wear a sweatshirt because all of the windows are open and it is just a little chilly.

With all of the things I love about this season there is one thing I don't like.


My depression is manageable. I take daily medications that make me functional, happy on most days. But every fall around mid-October, without fail, I become sad. I want to lay in bed, snuggled up, hiding from the world. I want to sleep the days, weeks, and months away. I want to hibernate like a bear until the spring comes.
Is it the change in the amount of sun I get? Possibly. Is it the added stress of homework times 4? I am sure that adds to it.

I have my good days and my bad days. I am able to function daily thanks to modern medicine.
The thing that always makes me whole again (even for just a minute) is the Spirit of Christ. I felt it today while I watched this:

Lifting Burdens

I know that true peace and happiness is found from only through Jesus Christ. He is my Redeemer, my Savior, my Advocate with the Father. He knows me and loves me.
He has felt my sadness and is there to comfort me. I am sad, but I won't always be. There is hope in Him. I will one day be whole and it is His gift to me.

PS. Please don't take this as a "pity post". It is a post about how I feel. My love of the changing weather and my dislike of hereditary medical issues. Nothing more. Maybe now you'll understand me (and my moods) a bit better.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Young Love

There are milestones a mother waits expectantly for her children to pass...
the first word,
the first tooth,
the first day of school, the list is endless really.
I passed another first today. K, passed isn't the right word... "crashed into" better describes it.

Garrett (my 14 year old) has a "girlfriend". He had mentioned liking a girl. He sees her a few times a year at church youth functions. Apparently it is reciprocated.

Tonight when I picked him up from a youth dance I asked him to point her out to me. I assumed this would be done from a distance... across the gym, through the dim lighting, I would get a glimse of my son's first love. BUT he went to get her and upon their approach they were holding hands. My baby was holding hands with a girl! We were introduced and I remember talking, but the whole time I was thinking... "be cool, don't freak out about the hand holding, be cool" so I don't remember much of what I said.

I was not prepared for this.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The third time's the charm!

My phone is fine. It is in brand new condition.

It still has that new phone smell.

As great as that is, it is also the problem.

Did you know that a new phone has an empty calendar and contacts list? Yup, it is true. You have to add your own names, numbers, emails, addresses, and other important info to the phone to make it your own.

Here's the problem. My phone was backing up my info onto the server in the office. The server that my husband disconnected and then sold on Craigslist. So, I had no info to put into my phone. DOH!

I went to the apple store to retrieve the data from my old phone. The miracle is that they still had it in the back of the store. The really infuriating part is that the "genius" deleted the info on the phone in an attempt to transfer it from old phone to new phone. It was there... in the palm of his hand and then **poof** it was gone.

I am now starting over from scratch (no pun intended).

If you read this and I know you please send me your contact info! If you read this and I don't know you... give it a shot, what can it hurt?

Bad things DO happen in threes... at least I hope so.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just My Luck

I heard somewhere that bad things happen in threes. I sure hope that isn't true.

About a month ago my iphone fell in the toilet. oops. If I close my eyes I can see it happen again in slow motion.
I reach for the handle,
I flush,
I see the phone fall from my other hand,
spinning, falling, spinning,
I remember grabbing it before it got flushed and thinking I was home free!

I was WRONG... a few minutes later the screen "melted" and I knew it was a goner.

Today, while being a good mom and taking my kids to the park, it happened again. kind of.

I did use the port-a-jon, but left the phone on the open magazine to hold my page. (I've learned the hard way that phones and toilets don't mix)
BUT on my way back to the table my son was smacked in the face with a football.
After applying a makeshift icepack to his face I decided it was time to go. I went to the table and grabbed the closed magazine.
See here is the tricky part. I left the magazine open and the wind blew it closed. I didn't remember that my phone was there!
As I lifted the magazine my phone fell face first onto the concrete below. After it landed, I once again fooled myself into thinking that I had dodged a bullet. There was no shattering and scattering of pieces. It looked fine... until I picked it up.

Good news: the phone still works! I called my hubby with it to share the bad news.

Bad news: the screen is shattered. I need a new phone.

My hubby is coming home early tonight so we can take my phone and get it replaced. I am considering immediately walking to where we parked the car, placing the phone behind a wheel, and backing over it. It would take away the suspense (paranoia) of waiting for my phone to have another (the third) accident. AND we would save gas and time cuz we'd already be at the store!

Hubby wouldn't go along with it. He said the next time I break my phone... it stays broken. :(
I bought a case to help protect it.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Random Trip Photos

This shed? was being moved.

While I was reading, Kate started to laugh. I looked up to read this catchy slogan. What? Really?

While in Burlington, Iowa we went to dinner at "Gators".
The food was good (no alligator on the menu, thankfully).
We found this poor guy in the lobby.
He didn't have room to turn around in the tank.

This is view of the Nauvoo temple from the "Trail of Hope"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

ROAD TRIP - Day Four

Day Four: Cheyenne, WY to West Jordan, UT
448 miles, 6 hours, arriving at my final destination, priceless!

During the day we went from grassy plains to grassy plains with rocks...

to rocks with grassy plains...

to rocks with a little grass

to rocks with brush


I don't have all the photos we took today (Kate's camera) But I will explain why I don't have a "Welcome to UTAH!" photo. There wasn't one! Lame, I know. I had the camera ready and waited, and waited, and waited... nothing.
I discovered something about myself. I like variation in landscape. I like rolling hills, trees, mountains, anything really that breaks up the monotony of grassy plains. And at the risk of offending those who love Wyoming, I must say I don't care if I never set foot (or wheels) again in Wyoming. Been there, done that, not too exciting.

Friday, September 4, 2009

ROAD TRIP - Day Three

We woke up early this morning because we knew we had a long drive ahead of us. 815 miles is what Google Maps said it would be. We did it! We drove from Burlington, Iowa to Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Here are some of the things we did or saw on the way.

The view from our hotel room

What you do when you pack your camera charger in your suitcase, in the trunk!

"I spy something green." "CORN!"
(we said this often... always green, always corn!)

silly girl!

"Oh, look! A missionary truck!"

After the cornfields of Iowa and Eastern Nebraska comes... Western Nebraska.

"Home, Home on the range..." No longer corn, but cattle!

The sunset. Do you see the little smiley face in the clouds? It is directly above the road.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


We didn't drive too far today.

We left this morning from St. Louis, MO to stop in Carthage and Nauvoo Illinois. After such a long day of driving yesterday we were moving a little slow but it really didn't matter because we knew we wouldn't get many miles in today.
Carthage Jail
Did you know that this was also where the jailor and his family lived? They had 7 children in a 1 bedroom (k, the kids bedroom(s) were in the attic closed to the public) 2 cell house.

We had a quick tour in Carthage and made it to Nauvoo to see a few things before most everything closed at 5pm. It is amazing to me how hard people worked during that time period. They made their own candles, thread, cloth, clothes, shoes and boots, rugs, bricks, wagon wheels, tin pie pans, pretty much everything. And then to build and rebuild their lives as they (the Mormons) were forced out of town. (Towns that they established and built!)
The schoolhouse.
Did you know that at it's prime there were 15,000 people living in Nauvoo!?

This is the "shoe store", it measures 16 feet by 16 feet, and is the cutest building in Nauvoo.
The sign above the door says "Cheap Boot and Shoe Manufactory".
Did you know that there were no right or left shoes? Both shoes were made from the same cob.

I have it so easy. I drive to a Target that is reasonably within walking distance.

Last night we decided to stay in Burlington, IA. We stopped at the Fairfield Inn and asked for a room. They were booked, and so were most of the other hotels in the area due to some event. So, it was 8pm and we faced driving for hours until we found a decent place to stay. It wasn't ideal, but we knew we could do it. I asked if we could use the bathroom before we left. When I came out of the bathroom, minutes later, the desk clerk told me that they had a guest check out early (3pm) after housekeeping left. If she could get someone to come clean the room then we could have that one. YEAH! So Kate and I went to dinner and when we came back our room was clean and ready to go. We had a much needed sleep in a comfy bed. :)
God is good, all the time!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Day One:

Drive to St. Louis, MO was on my list of things to do today.

  1. Get boys off to school
  2. PTA Board Meeting
  3. Media Center training
  4. Drive to St. Louis

Just another thing on my list to check off. (That is how I envisioned the trip at 10am.)

As the day progressed the "vision" changed... a few times...

We made it to Hendersonville in 2 hours... my sister has a lead foot, we'll be there in half the time!

Our first State line crossing... we did it!

Second State line...
I actually said "Bucky Kentucky" (in my mind) as I saw this sign. No lie!
I'll give a stick of gum to the first person (over the age of 20) who can tell me where that is from.

Third state line...
(not our photo. ours is on Kate's camera)

Are we there yet? Really? How many more miles? Check again. Just over half way there?

The St. Louis Arch (not our photo either)

Funny Story - I am driving into St. Louis and Kate says, "Look the arc!" I look at billboards in the direction she is pointing.
"What?", I asked.
Kate says,"The Arc! The St. Louis Arc! "
As the Arch comes into my view, I shake my head and say, "The Ark? You mean the Arch, ch makes a 'cha' sound, 'arch'."
She was thinking arc (like in geometry). I heard ark (like in Noah).
The conversation continues... but I won't bore you.

I was seriously looking for a billboard with a picture of an ark on it! (k, silly I know, but it was late and I was focused on where we were going)

Tomorrow we are off to see some church history sites. More site seeing=less driving!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The MOST wonderful time of the year!

Yes, today was the first day of school! Our morning went relatively smoothly. I had everything to make lunches except 2 of the 4 lunch boxes. Apparently they took a trip on the last camp out and are still somewhere in the supply mess. (not my camp out, mot my mess) I will make lunches tomorrow with or without the lunch boxes. We have plenty of shopping bags. (ghetto, I know, but it isn't MY lunch!)
Everyone was picked up and dropped off (eventually) by the correct bus and delivered to/from the correct school. They all went to the correct classrooms and brought home the correct homework (for me) UGH!
And in the meantime I was able to vacuum, mop, launder, wash dishes, and get in a little nap!
I give this day a 100% with a big smiley face.

I have no photos of today's "event" because I was busy being the Eagle mascot at the school. I think I lost 5 pounds in that sauna disguised as a costume.
Maybe tomorrow I will take some photos. Maybe not. The suspense is killing you, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

R.I.P. Poofy

Poofy the hamster was found unresponsive today. We are all very sad. She was a sweet "little mouse" and she will be missed. A private service will be held in the backyard later today.
Noah and Dad built a box for her and in the box he put a rose and the following letter.

Dear Poofy,

I will always remember you. I wish you were still here, but I know you are happy up in heaven right now. I will miss your tickly little whiskers and the way you stuffed your cheeks full of food and stuff. You were the best little hamster in the whole entire world.



Saturday, August 8, 2009

The brother I never had...

Last night as Eli and I were returning home from an evening of fun (and yummy food, thanks Erin) at my brother’s house Eli was telling me how much fun he and Liam (his cousin) had. He said, “I love Liam, he’s like the brother I never had!” to which I replied, “Eli, you have 3 brothers” His response… “Yeah, but Liam is like the brother I never had!” I tried to explain how that didn’t make sense but after more “I know mom, but Liam is like the brother I never had!” I decided that maybe I was the one misunderstanding. He and Liam are only 14 months apart in age they have very many things in common including vivd imaginations! He and Liam aren’t brothers, so they rarely see each other which means they don’t have to share a room, toys, the Wii or personal space, So in a sense Liam is like a brother without the fighting, bickering and competing for mom’s attention. Translation: “the brother he never had!”

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

15 years

I can hardly believe it was 15 years ago today that I married my sweetheart. Time flies when you are having fun, having 4 children, moving 7 times, changing jobs, raising children, starting companies, running companies, serving in our church callings, traveling for work, volunteering at school, and being madly in love.

I love you,

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Catching Up

I know it has been a long time. The more time passes the bigger and better I think my next post has to be. Well, at least that is what I thought. I decided tonight that no one thing that has happened in the last few months is big enough for a post. Here are some of the things we've done:

We finished the school year out, celebrated Garrett's 14th and Noah's 9th birthdays; Bryant stopped traveling for work and is home now; Mom, Garrett, Evan, Noah, and Eli attended (or volunteered at) Cub Scout Day Camp; Garrett went to Gettysburg, PA, Palmyra, NY, and Kirtland OH for a Youth Conference; Noah had his first guitar lesson; Jessica, Paul, Eliza, Sarah, Leah, and Luke spent a week with us; and probably a lot more that I can't remember right now.
Phew, and that is not even close to everything. If I find photos of some of these (or other) events I will post and blog a bit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Favorite Job!

I have had a lot of jobs in my life. My first job (besides babysitting) was at a Farmer's Market. I've waited tables, flipped burgers, run a register for a dept. store, college bookstore, and a gas station (11pm - 7am shift), scrubbed toilets, managed the night shift at a sub shop, and directed traffic around road construction. I have learned a little about what I don't want to do when I grow up but I still don't know what it is I do want to do.
Tonight at Cub Scout Pack meeting Eli was asked "What job would say your Mom does?" and looking at me he answered "PTA?" Give that boy the GRAND PRIZE ~ He is right!
Last week I was busy with The McAlpine Mile fundraiser (we raised over $11,000), this Friday each class has their Spring Celebration (cookies and juice packs) I don't have to be there but I do have to remind the parents who volunteered to bring the stuff. Now I am heavily involved in planning for the Spring Book Fair. I LOVE my job! Next year my life should get a little easier with the change in position from Co-VP of Fundraising, Book Fair Chair, and Room Parent x 2 to PTA Co-President, but for now I am loving every busy minute of my job! Does this count as a job?

Eli and his first grade class after finishing the McAlpine Mile! (Yes, I made the sign too!)