Friday, October 29, 2010

Field Trips

Week Two or Tow depending on how I type it.... both are applicable.

Monday I had a Parent Teacher Conference at the Elementary School, with his mom.

Wednesday I took Gran to the dentist. We drove to Matthews and back. (and then again without Cam!)

Thursday he accompanied me while I went Visiting Teaching. We went to see Jen S. at 9am, Jen M. at 10am, and Michelle at 11am. (That was too much for the adults let alone the toddler!)
We went home and he took a short nap before it was time to pick up the kids at school(s) for dentist appointments. Then we went to the dentist where we colored (he's 19 months old and needs help!) and ate snacks (him, not me)

Friday was the best day of all. It was a teacher workday. That means my boys are home but Cam's mom (a teacher) is at work! My boys have been so excited about our plans for today.
We discussed taking Cam to the Discovery Place Museum but our plans changed because the weather cooled down. It finally feels like Fall so it was the perfect day to check out the Charlotte Nature Museum.
We saw Live Owls, a possum, a skunk, a crow(?), turtles, snakes, spiders (eeew), butterflies, fish, and birds (Quail to be exact). There were plenty of dead things (stuffed and skeletal remains) too, hence the Museum part of the name. Cam wandered about exploring and seemed to have a pretty good time. So did we. Here are some photos to prove it.

Noah and Camden on our Nature Walk.
We found LOTS of acorns for a future project.

Cam investigating the quail eggs in the incubator.
Pretty boring really which explains
the "what's the big deal?" expression.

Evan outside on the trail.
(I LOVE this picture of my boy.)



Camden digging in the sand.


After we got home and Cam had a nap
he wandered to the pots and pans and
started drumming with pencils ( not sharpened!)
The kid has some skills.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week One

When I was a young mom (young in years, experience, and patience) there was nothing that would have convinced me to watch another person's child(ren). None!
My sanity was hanging on by a thread and how was I to know that that kid wouldn't have scissors?
Anyway, now that my kiddos are all in school and I have been child free during the day for 4 years or so, I have my sanity tied up real tight (though it threatens to unravel daily around homework time) I am loving having Camden here with me during the day.

Last week was our first week and it went off without a hitch. We had a playdate, took" field trips" to Walmart and Michael's (cuz that is where all toddlers want to be), had a parent/teacher meeting at the middle school, and had a nap everyday. Well, I did nap with him a couple of times but not everyday. (oh, the life!)
On Friday afternoon when Camden's mom came to pick him up he had a fit. I'm talking a drop to the ground, feet kicking, screaming fit when it was time to go. Did you read that? He didn't want to leave!!??
Needless to say, we had a good first week.
(that light saber didn't leave his hands,
he even took one home Friday!)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Answered Prayers

I LOVE how prayers are answered.

As of late we have been in a financial bind. For those of you who know me finance's make me CRAZY. I recall a time early in my marriage (college students with a baby to feed and clothe) when I curled up in the fetal position, sobbing while my sister brushed my hair back from my face and shoosh'd me. (BTW, thanks Jess!)

Anyway, I had been praying to find the way to keep a budget and make a dent in our debt. I thought about how next year (after I finish my year as PTA President) instead of going to school I would have to get a job. But what job could I get with my minimal education that wouldn't require working on Sundays (Chick-Fil-A), and that would still let me be here after school with the kids (substitute teacher, oh, but the school system isn't taking applications anymore)?
AS I mulled my dilemma over in my mind I continued to pray.

I went about my daily routine ignoring the money mess in order to keep the shred of sanity I had left. Laundry, PTA, pick up my son from Driver's Ed, make dinner, check my email... you get the idea, no?
I read thru the email from my son's teacher.... her son is sick (again, poor guy) and she won't be in today... math facts test postponed... looking for an alternative for daycare...
I was in automatic pilot when I shot off an email offering to watch him. After I hit send I started thinking "yeah, sure, like she'll want me watching her kid... she taught one of mine two years ago and is currently teaching a second...".

She and her husband had been praying for a solution to their problem of finding an alternative to daycare as he has been sick constantly since school started and Mom went back to work.
And so, the Lord in all of His goodness heard and answered our prayers.

I will have a job that meets my needs and they will have a place to send their son where he won't be sick or on antibiotics every other week. And as a bonus I will have a little buddy again. :D
Eli is very excited. He said to me that he is glad we'll have Camden around because he hasn't had a little brother to play with. Awwww, what a sweet boy. He gets to be a big brother to Cam.

Now... what about PTA? Thankfully, I have a fully capable and dedicated board. I will still be involved and will take Cam to the meetings I have to attend, it can be done.

I start "work" on Monday!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I am a WINNER! (I have proof)

Bryant and I often dream of the day we win the lottery. Imagining a life free of debt, the boys' missions and college expenses set aside, a retirement we can actually live on, and the kitchen/master bath renovation makes us giddy.

BUT

It is impossible to win the lottery when you don't play the lottery. Nope, not even those fun little scratch offs. I have been known to throw a couple of raffle tickets in a bag if the cause is good, I know I'll never win. I do play BUNCO with the girls at $5 a month but I'd pay more to go out to a movie with the girls and we'd have way less fun so it's hard for me to call that "gambling", ya know?

My point is, it is difficult to "win" when you don't "play". This time I "played" (for FREE) and it paid off!

I commented (one of 570 people) on C Jane Enjoy It 's blog in hopes of winning a CD by The Lower Lights and I WON!!!

I am almost giddy. I can't believe I actually WON!!

C Jane wanted to know why we, her readers living outside of Utah, thought we deserved to win one of the 10 CD's she was giving away.

This is what I said...
"I live in the South, the Bible Belt. In an effort to keep the spirit of peace with me daily I try to listen to the variety of Christian music stations but the music is twangy, or whiny, or LOUD, or too ummm... different than the hymns of praise I am used to. The music of The Lower Lights is familiar and the Spirit speaks to me in small whispers. Please pick me, fingers and toes crossed."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Autumn Things

I liked to say this was my favorite time of year but I'd be lying. I love every season. Really and it isn't just the "people pleaser" in me. I love hibernating through the Winter eating soups, stews, and homemade bread. I love when Spring makes it's first appearance with warm breezes, budding leaves, and bright green grass. I love the LONG HOT days of summer at the beach, homemade ice cream and field trips with the kids. As for Fall, I love that school starts and we get a routine again. I love the cool breeze, cold mornings, and the warm sun on my back.

Here are more of my favorite things about this season...

Candy Corn


Cinnamon Rolls
(I know these are a year-round thing but they are great on those cold mornings!)


The CRUNCH of leaves, under foot and in the breeze.

Oh and these too!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

FOUND!

After a couple of days of waiting for Little Mouse to return on her own with no results, I decided it was time to go looking for her.

How do you find a small mouse in a large house? I didn't know so I Googled it. eHow said to make a trap with a bucket, food and books as stairs. Ideally the hamster smells the food, climbs the "stairs", and falls into the bucket and is trapped. Wow, easy enough. I decided to set one up in the bonus room. This was, after all, the place we found her last time she escaped. As I was finishing some of the details I saw a little fuzzy nose and whiskers poke out from under the *printer. Ah-HA! I made a trail of treats to lead her all the way out in the open and then I grabbed her!

I put her into the bucket (cauldron) and brought her downstairs. I was going to put her back into her cage when I realized how dirty it was. No wonder she made a run for it. While I washed out her cage (no small task) I kept her in the bucket. She had stuffed all the food she could into her cheeks and tried like mad to escape.

She almost succeeded.

She is now locked in her cage with food, water, and bedding. She'll get out again I'm sure but let's hope she waits awhile.

*for those of you wondering why I didn't just move the printer.... this is our printer.
Think small refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mouse Musings

When we got our hamsters we could not come together on what their names should be. When we realized that one was mean and would bite and scratch the other we named them "Mean Mouse" and "Little Mouse".

Mean Mouse died shortly after the naming. We were not that sad, he deserved what he got. Mouse Karma, who knew? (I have always spelled it Kharma, but Wiki says it should be spelled without the h)

Little Mouse was the sweetest little thing, climbing, gnawing, jumping, eating, and escaping.

She is quite a sneaky little hamster. We haven't been able to figure out how, but she can open up multiple pods in her "house" to escape. We have found her in the cabinet under where her house sits, hidden behind an old picture frame. Evan came across her in the bonus room peeking out from under the printer. We didn't even know she was missing and it nearly gave Evan a heart attack. Most recently, one night last week, I was sitting in the iJoy chair hoping a massage would make me sleepy when I saw something move on the floor beside me (in the dark). I jumped up and turned on the light to find our sneaky little hamster doing what looked like the army crawl.

She is gone again. We don't know when she left or where on earth she could be. Well, we have a pretty good idea that she is still in the house BUT we have a rather large house compared to a hamster. We have left her house open in hopes she will return when hungry or thirsty.

Now that we know how good she is at escaping we are clear on what her name should have been...

Hairy Houdini.

We'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another way Axe body spray lingers

Noah's 5th grade teacher has a great hands on teaching method. He is young and fresh and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our kids. In case you don't believe me you can check it out on his website;

http://web.me.com/schoolingwithmra/schoolingwithmra.com/Welcome.html


My reason for this post is not to talk about Mr A, but to tell you what he's done for my son Noah.

Noah came home a couple of weeks ago with the assignment of writing a commercial. To say he was gung-ho about it is an understatement. Writing is not one of Noah's strong suits, but what he lacks in that area, he makes up for in creativity and ingenuity. He decided to make a commercial advertising Bare-A-Cuda man spray (similar to Axe). He and his friend Christopher worked for days on a script and a video. This is what he turned in, early!
(I don't get the tag line "It IS the man" but he's 10. It made sense to him!)


video

Embarrassing Moments

I must say I don't remember many "God, please let the earth open up and swallow me" type embarrassing moments. I have been involved in some embarrassing situations but have a bad memory so I tend not to remember them.

This is the only time when having a bad memory is a good thing.

So here is an embarrassing moment I can remember.

As many of you know I don't have much of a filter. I tend to say things as I see them, honestly, good or bad. K, here we go.

I was a missionary in my first area in Oak Harbor, Washington. My companion and I went to a member's house for some reason, possibly a dinner appointment. This member was a terrific woman. She was very crafty, and a great cook. In fact, she ran a catering business (mostly cakes) out of her home. She was the mother of 3 children the oldest of which was 12. She was busy. When we got to her home she apologized for the mess (laundry piled on the couch in the living room).

k, let me explain a little about my childhood. I am the oldest of 6 children. My mother was a very busy woman and there was always laundry either on the couch or in a basket or both. With that said, I will continue.

I said to this sister, "Don't worry about it, my mom is a bad housekeeper too!"

Yes, I did.

What I meant to say is "Don't worry, we have laundry at my house too" or maybe I should have just said 'no problem".

This BEST part of this story is that I didn't even realize I said it. I was oblivious!
My companion told me later on how I embarrassed her.

How's that? I have another one to share but I'll save that one for later!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What do you want to know?

Okay, I am desperate for a blog post. I can't make you keep looking at Zurg and reading about September 11th.

I have been here for minutes (it seems a lot longer than that) trying to come up with something to blog about. There hasn't been too much happening here. We go to work, school, to school to volunteer, come home, eat dinner, sometimes back out again for scouts or something. But that is it. we are just living our lives here people. Pretty boring stuff if you ask me.

We have celebrated two birthdays this month but have no photos to document. I know, I know!

While I am thinking about what to post about go to the comments and tell me what you'd like to know about. I'll choose one and blog about it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Never Forget


Nine years ago today my son Evan turned four years old.
Bryant was scheduled to teach a class at the business college in the evening so we celebrated his birthday at breakfast. We had birthday muffins (instead of cupcakes) and there was a candle in his. We sang happy birthday and he blew (spit) out his candle. He opened his miniature "Toy Story" action figures (complete with Zurg, his favorite). Then we kissed dad goodbye for the day, sent Garrett off to school and went on with our morning routine.
That is as "normal" as the day would be. I turned on the televison to watch Good Morning America a little before 9am to find a LIVE report of a fire/explosion in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Diane Sawyer was reporting in the studio that the cause of the explosion was unconfirmed but there were witnesses that said a plane flew into the building.

The North Tower

I was curious and continued watching. At 9:03am I watched LIVE as a plane flew into the South Tower. I was shocked, confused, and sick. I immediately called Bryant who was working for a large defense contractor in the Washington DC area. He let me know that there wasn't much work being done in the office he was in as they were all watching the news via their computers but, he was safe. At 9:37am a plane flew into the Pentagon which was no more than 6 miles from my husband's office building and just over the 20 miles from our home. I was no longer a spectator, I was a victim. Of course I had been a victim all along but at hearing the news of the crash at the Pentagon my perspective changed. I knew this was no longer an accident, this was an attack. Bryant called on his way out of his office to let me know he was on his way home. He was one of the first to leave the area so he missed the traffic and he was home in record time. I remember my concern for my sister-in-law and my uncle who both worked in Manhattan. I remember the way I felt; violated, stunned, shocked at the chaos, unsure of the future, sad. The day is a blur except that I remember watching as the video of what I saw LIVE was replayed over and over and over again until I finally turned of the TV. Little good it did, I could still see it in my head. My sister-in-law had nightmares due to what she saw and heard. I still remember vividly the sick pit in my stomach and the vulnerability I felt that day.
I don't know where you were on September 11, 2001 but I know that I will NEVER FORGET.

Friday, August 27, 2010

You Know What We Did Last Summer?

It has been a LONG time since I have blogged, sorry 'bout that.

My excuse?

I realized after about a month that I should post something. Since it had been awhile I wanted to make the post a good one. That was my problem. My creative gene was on hiatus. I thought for a long time about how to make my new post SPECTACULAR but nothing came to me.

Then before I knew it the Summer was almost gone and we were on our way to the beach. I might as well wait until I had some good beach photos, right?

Beach photos = spectacular post

So we got home from the beach with some pretty good photos (nothing spectacular) and the PTA school responsibilities hit.

Here it is three days after the first day of school, two weeks after our beach trip, seven weeks since Garrett's week at EFY, eight weeks past Grammy's visit, 10 weeks since Cub and Boy Scout Camps, 11 weeks from the start of Noah's debilitating leg pain, 12 weeks since we said goodbye to the Williams after their visit.

Yeah, it was a pretty uneventful summer.... NOT.

Since we had a SPECTACULAR summer I don't need to think up a SPECTACULAR post!

phew, I can get away with just this photo mosaic! :D
Don't worry, I'll put more up sometime.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Discovery Place

We took a field trip Friday to Discovery Place and had a blast!



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Break 2010

Our usual Spring Break vacation includes camping. One year we went camping over Easter weekend and the Easter bunny was able to find us. The kids still remember that the Easter bunny used REAL grass instead of the yucky plastic kind.
A couple of years ago we treated our family and went on a cruise for Spring Break. SO FUN!

This week we aren't camping. We aren't cruising. We are staying.

HERE


We made a list of fun local things we could do. The list included a trip to Brattonsville, SC, Discovery Place Museum, Carowinds, Uptown Charlotte to have lunch with Dad, and/or The Raptor Center.

The first to be checked off the list was "lunch with Dad". Friday we rode the train into uptown Charlotte and met Dad for lunch at Brixx Pizza. It was fun and a nice change of scenery.

Since then we have been working on things around the house. Mostly to avoid the unseasonably HOT weather. (I caved and turned the a/c on yesterday) Things like...

early morning prepping the garden for planting

Getting contacts and then being frustrated when we have a hard time getting them in. (no photo for fear of increasing frustration)

Reading books on Pirates,

assembling a ship,


and then pretending to be pirates.

Finishing school projects that are due next week. (again no photos due to frustration levels)

photo coming soon

we are currently without faces

Rocking our faces off with our amazing ROCK BAND skilz!

We are ready for the rain forcasted for tomorrow. We want the 65 degree weather so we can enjoy a day at Carowinds.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Random Photos

I have taken a few random photos in the last week or so. I thought I would share...enjoy!

Ezra enjoying the bubbles!

a Sunday activity with Banana-grams

Noah came home from school and made this poster.
He wanted to sit at the end of the street with the posters to collect money to "save the tigers"
After acknowledging that the tigers are important and their cause needs to be heard, I told him that most people are donating for the humans in Haiti!
I promised I would put this photo on our blog to get the word out.
Consider yourself informed... tigers need saving!

Eating beets makes your tongue pink... see?
(the photo doesn't do it justice!)


Hope asleep with her head hanging off the landing!
What a wacko. She usually sleeps with her head resting on the step to the left.



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The ZIT

We celebrate a lot of things in this house. We especially like "firsts". The first tooth lost, the first girlfriend, and now the first ZIT!


Here it is up close!


Eight is Great!

Eli turned eight a few weeks ago and in our family
EIGHT is BIG!

Eight means there will undoubtedly be a baptism. We've done this before (3 times to be exact) so this was old hat except for one thing. This baptism was our last. My baby boy was being baptized by his dad the same way my other boys were. I remember when my first boy was baptized. I was stressed out. I was happy but also sad that we had hit this milestone so quickly. This time I was relaxed. I was happy and not sad. I am so grateful that all of my boys have embraced the Gospel of Jesus Christ and made the decision to be baptized.

Something that goes along with being eight in our house is new scriptures and joining Cub Scouts! The latter is something Eli has been looking forward to for a long time. With 3 older brothers he has been to a lot of pack meetings and camp outs!

How cute is this card that his friend Bennett made for him!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Faith

I'll admit that I am happiest when I am helping, serving, and lifting others. That is not the reason I do it though, just a benefit. I serve others for many reasons but the most important is because Jesus Christ served His whole life. He gave His life for others and by doing so He set the perfect example for all of mankind. I made a covenant at baptism to be more like Him and so I serve to make others' burdens light.
I realize that many people don't understand or have been misinformed about my religion. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of my church are often referred to as Mormons. I hope that while I am serving in the community I can help others understand who I am and what I believe.

I just watched this video and was amazed at how little the people interviewed knew about us, one of the largest religions in the world.

Will you please watch it and let me know if there is something I should be doing to help others better understand my faith?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Hand Sanitizer Reality Check


With all of the FLU hullabaloo this year we have used our share of hand sanitizer. Okay, I am a germophobe and we'd use it even without the hullabaloo. Anyhoo!
This year I have sent in more than my fair share of tissues, hand sanitizer, and Clorox wipes to our classrooms.

Yesterday I went with Eli to Sam's and I was considering buying another extra large "price club" sized bottle of hand sanitizer to donate to the classroom. I asked Eli "Do you think Ms. *Teacher needs more hand sanitizer?"
"I don't know" he says, "she keeps it in her desk."

"In her desk?" I asked.

"Yes," he replied. "The health inspector said it has to be put away, it can't be out on the desk because it has chemicals in it."

"Well of course it has chemicals in it. That is what kills the germs!" I said in a louder than usual voice.

He just looked at me with a "Don't take it out on me, I am just the messenger" look.

I asked and it was true...it seems the health department thinks the risk of kids being poisoned by ingesting (eating? really?) hand sanitizer outweighs the risk of kids spreading germs like the flu!

REALLY? Have you ever tasted hand sanitizer? By accident of course... eeew!

*I am sure his teacher (who is a lovely woman) would rather remain anonymous.

I do realize they are still allowed and encouraged to use it, but to put it away, out of sight!?
Who woulda thunk.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

We woke up this morning to this winter wonderland.
It is perfect snowman making snow too! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Can you guess?

Can you guess what is happening outside?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Busy in BizTown

Noah had a field trip today to JA BizTown and I was able to help as a volunteer.

While I was supervising at the Newspaper Noah was busy making deliveries as a Package Handler.


What can brown do for you?



Here he is at one of the town meetings.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another Drama Geek

I know that title sounds harsh... let me explain.

I grew up in a big family. I am the oldest of six and we all had different talents, interests, and abilities. I was involved in drama and choir. One sister played softball but was really a Literary type. My brothers liked (and excelled in) baseball, lacrosse, soccer, and music.

My father loving referred to us as "drama", "poetry", "sports", or "music" geeks. He has a weird sense of humor that thankfully all of us have inherited.

With that said, my son Evan has a little of my drama geek gene. At the end if his 9 week drama class this is what he and some friends presented to the parents. (I cut it to just his part 1 min, vs. 7 mins)


video

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where'd he learn that?

As the mother of four I am in a constant state of baffle-dom (is that even a word? It is now!)

I am either baffled by my children's stupidity or by their genius.

Yesterday it was genius (so refreshing!)

I was complaining about Hope and her appetite. She can never seem to have enough food in her tummy. I usually feed her once in the morning and once in the evening but she never fails to give me the "I'm hungry" stare at 2pm. I thought I would outsmart her by spreading the wealth out thru the day via breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It didn't work. She gave me the stare all afternoon, but I didn't cave, I was strong.

Anyhoo! As I was discussing this with Eli (7 years, 10 months) he said "it looks like she went over her budget of food". Since I have been actively listening to my children (see here) I heard this and then said "what did you say?" (not because I didn't hear him, but because I wanted him to say it again to make sure I heard him correctly. BUDGETING?)

Yup, I heard him correctly. My 7 year old knows about budgeting. (he didn't learn it from me!)
I asked him if he was learning about budgets in math... "no", "Did we discuss this in Family Home Evening?" I asked. "No".

Apparently he just knew! (I wish he'd teach me!)

CRAZY!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I was talking to someone the other day about the resolutions I had made. She shared one of hers. It wasn't one I'd heard before, but I liked it.

Are you ready for it?

She isn't going to bring another plastic bag into her home. Not from grocery stores or department stores! As she told me this, I went into my thoughts and wondered what I would use to line my bathroom trash cans or pick up the dog poo? I don't like them either, but I do re-use them.

My question is...

could you not bring another plastic bag into your home?

Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

K, I realize it is the 7th of January and I am a little late with the salutation.
We are still trying to get back into the groove of real life after a wild week long party at our house.

We are still working on our 2010 resolutions. I want to post them all but here are a few just to keep me honest.
  1. Lose Weight. (I know you are surprised.) My weight loss calculator says I will have to lose 2 pounds a week to be back to my newlywed weight by July 12th. Yikes! (unofficially my scale says I have lost 2 pounds already this week)
  2. Listen to my children when they talk to me. I am guilty of uh-huh-ing my way thru most of a conversation only to have to stop and ask them to repeat it all.
  3. Spend more quality time with my family.
  4. Watch less tv.
  5. Read more.
  6. Exercise regularly (ideally 3 times a week)
  7. Better manage my time.
K, this isn't the whole list. I will be working on these for the first few weeks/months and will let you know how it goes.