August 31, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy

Soccer and football started this week. I'm not sure how I'm going to survive this season. T, M, and S are all playing soccer, and T is also playing football. Soccer is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. How am I going to get 3 kids to 3 different soccer games on 3 different fields, at the same time? That is the big question. T plays football on Wed. and Sat. So, that's 8 games per week I get to go to, not to mention my own co-ed game once a week. We also get to juggle in scouts, homework, ballet, PTA, enrichment (I just called to be the leader), friends, FHE, and any other unexpected event that happens to pop up. We are going to be busy, busy, busy. But, I'd much rather be busy than bored.

Today is my first activity as EL. We are having an emergency preparedness olympics. I hope it'll turn out as good and as fun as it sounds. We are touching on 5 areas:

Earthquakes - We are going to have an earthquake drill, and then have someone from the ambulance to come in to talk about what to do in case of an earthquake. Then we are giving dust masks as the hand outs.

Financial - The bishop is coming in to talk about the importance of being financially prepared; getting out of debt, paying your tithing, etc. Each person will get a Pay Day candy bar with a scripture attached.

72-hour Kits - We are having a relay race where you have to dial 911, flip the breaker switch, turn off the water, roll up a sleeping bag, put together a 72-hour kit, and then put it all in a back pack. Then we'll talk about the importance of having your kits put together before an emergency happens. I put a package of top ramen, a water bottle, and an emergency blanket in a bag and wrapped them all together as the handout to give ideas of some things you might want to have in your kits.

Food Storage - My friend is coming in to talk about food storage; what to store, how to store it, where to store it, and how to use it. For this handout, they are getting salt, granola bars, and hot chocolate. All things that can easily be stored.

Spiritual - For our last station we will have our teacher give a short lesson on being spiritually prepared, and how important it is that we be ready. Each person will get a scripture pencil, with a scripture attached.

For refreshments we are having samples of things you could make from your food storage. I know there'll be pinto bean fudge, which sounds totally disgusting, but I've heard it's actually pretty good. I'm not sure what other samples our "food lady" decided to make. Then, we'll also have some normal food: a fruit tray, and a veggie tray.

Then, we'll have closing prayer. Afterwards the people who signed up will stay and put together 72-hour kits. We've got a full evening planned and I really hope it turns out okay.

So as soon as the kids get home from school, we'll do homework and then get ready for our crazy evening.
T - soccer practice 5:00-6:00
M - soccer game 6:00 - 6:45
S - soccer game 5 :15 - 6:00
Me - drive everyone everywhere and be at the church by 6:00 to set up
DH and I - softball game 7:30-8:30
DH - work meeting at 8:30

I'll be able to manage everything except making it to my own game, and DH will have to leave our game about 15 minutes early. Other than that we should be good! And then we'll all be ready to crash so we can do it again tomorrow.

August 30, 2006

Works for Me Wednesday - How to Store Meat

I couldn't get a great picture, but I think the idea is great and it works so well for me. When I buy ground hamburger, it's usually in bulk. So, when I get home I open the meat and divide it into portions that equal about a pound or so. Then I put the portions into gallon-size ziplock bags and flatten the meat out. This way they stack so nicely in the freezer and the thawing time is only about 15 minutes! It's much better than when I used to just divided the meat and then wrap it in foil. It took much more room in my freezer and took forever to thaw. Works for me!

August 29, 2006

Now That's A Banana Squash

This morning I asked my
friend if I could get some peppers out of her garden. She said sure, but warned me that it was full of weeds and I might have a hard time finding my way around. Well, I got my peppers and on my way out found about 6 or 7 of these!! Check out the size of that banana squash. I couldn't believe it. It's huge. I asked if I could have one, and she said go right ahead. So, now I have this huge squash, and when I say huge, I mean it's fatter and longer than my thigh, which is not a small thigh by any means. I only know one way to cook it, so I'll do that, and then I guess I'll go to other sources for more recipes. The crazy thing, my friend doesn't know how to cook it, she said that she always forgets to come get them, or picks them and doesn't cook them. What a waste. I love fresh garden veggies, I'll take 'em any time. I guess we'll be having a lot of squash for the next little bit!

Kindergarten Boy!

Yesterday was the first day of Kindergarten for S. He was so excited. I was a little worried that he would cry or not want to go. But, he proved me wrong. He walked right into his class like a big boy, found his cubby, put his backpack away, found his desk, and sat right down ready to work. I'm pretty sure it was harder on me than it was on him.

He's been so anxious to start school. He had to wait a whole week after his brother and sister started and that was pretty hard for him. He picked his own outfit out and had it all set up on Sunday night. I'm glad he was so excited and is so anxious to learn. I hope he has a great year at school!

August 28, 2006

Birthday Girl!

My little J turned 4 yesterday. I can hardly believe it. She's such a big girl now. I remember so clear the day she came into our family at a hefty 9 lbs. 2 0z. Now at 4 she's just barely 34 lbs, but she's still big to me. On Saturday she had her first friend party. We danced, played games, colored, opened presents, had cupcakes and lots of fun. It was a big success. She got a little Munchkin cheerleader doll that cheers. It's going to be so much fun having THAT around.

Yesterday we had a family party after church. Aunt A, Aunt E, cousin D, friends S, A, & L were all there for the celebration. We ate more cake and opened more gifts. One of her favorites was her robe. M has a robe and J has wanted one for a long time. She looks so adorable in it. M also has a little Tinkerbell chair that J has been wanting. Aunt A and E got her a Princess one so they wouldn't get confused. She wants to be just like her big sister. She also got a Dora doll, Strawberry Shortcake doll, SS plate, bowl, and cup, gum, and candy. M wanted to give her a present so bad. She got a bag, and filled it with some of her own stuff: a little black purse, some pennies, and a piece of barbie clothing. M was so excited to give it to her, it was so sweet. The party turned out to be a big success!

People always told me to enjoy every minute with our kids because time flies. I'm starting to believe that more and more. I can't believe that my baby is 4. She's not a baby anymore, she's growing and learning so much every day. I've really started to cherish the time that we have together. Happy Birthday J!

August 25, 2006

Who is Lucifer?

The other morning we were reading scriptures and we came to a part where the started talking about Lucifer. I stopped reading and asked the kids if they knew who Lucifer was. J in her sweetest most innocent voice said, "You know Lucifer from Cinderella, the cat?" It was so adorable. Then we had to explain which Lucifer we were talking about and who he was. I wish the only Lucifer was the one from Cinderella!

Gratitude Day - Take 3

Since I started having gratitude day, I've noticed that I have a lot to be grateful for each and every day. It's nice to go back and review what you did each week and have a chance to reflect on the things you are grateful for, no matter how big or small. I'm grateful for:

*freshly baked bread
*the smell of clean laundry
*the soft touch of a newborn baby
*clean children tucked snuggly in bed
*children who have the desire to learn
*a husband with a great sense of humor
*Relief Society
*the scouting program

Gratitude is a positive emotion which involves a feeling of emotional indebtedness towards another person, often accompanied by a desire to thank them or reciprocate a favour.

August 23, 2006

Gifts from DH

Just a while ago DH went to Montana for a softball tournament over the weekend. He's been going to this for the last 5 or 6 years and really enjoys it. This time when he came home, he came bearing gifts. I couldn't believe it. The boys each got a t-shirt, and the girls got a pair of p.j.'s. They loved it. I thought that was it. Then, when the kids were in bed he gave me mine!! I haven't had a surprise like that for a long time. I got a very soft, comfy pink robe, Magnolia Blossom perfume, & mint lipgloss all from Bath & Body Works. I also got a beautiful necklace with a blue topaz stone. I was like a little kid and he was so excited to give everyone their gifts.

Works for Me - Pizza / Pancake / Quesadilla Cutter

I love my pizza cutter! It comes in handy for many things, not just pizza. I have found that it is so much easier to cut my kids pancakes with this handy dandy pizza cutter, and it's so much quicker. They can also cut their pancakes themselves this way. I also use it for quesadillas. I just slice it into little triangles and they are ready to eat! Works for Me!

August 22, 2006

First Day of School

It's that time of year when we all send our kids back to school. I can't believe that time is here already. This summer flew by. School is a bittersweet time for me. I love having my kids home and all the fun things we get to do together. On the other hand the past couple of weeks the summer boredom was starting to hit, especially for T. I think being on a schedule will be good for them. Yesterday we got to go meet their teachers. We got all the information that we need, signed up for "mother-helping", and got ready for another year of school.

The kids woke up so nicely this morning. They got ready on time and without any complaining. Oh, how I wish that would last throughout the whole school year. But I know I'm only kidding myself.

T is in 3rd grade this year. I can't even believe it. Time really flies. He's going to be busy with all the new things he'll be learning this year: times tables, cursive, advanced spelling, reading, and so much more. On top of all the new learning, he's playing soccer and football right now.

M is in 2nd grade now and acts like she's already a teenager. She always wants to wear make-up and perfume. She wants to make sure she doesn't look ugly. I think I'm going to be in for it when she actually becomes a teenager. She is excited to be back in school and is anxious for all the new things she'll be learning this year. She is also playing soccer and when that is done, she will start dance again.

S and J were sad that they didn't get to go to school today. S starts Kindergarten on Monday, and J starts Preschool in a couple weeks. I can't even believe all four of them will be gone at one time for a couple hours. My house will be so quiet. I'm excited for this school year and for all the new adventures and growth the kids will experience.

August 21, 2006

A funny moment, or a tender one?

S has really been interested in Joseph Smith lately. We've been reading about him, watching movies about him, and looking at pictures about him. Yesterday at church he told DH that if he was praying in the woods and Satan tried to kill him, that he would tell Satan he was God. DH started cracking up in the middle of sacrament, only until late last night did I find out why. DH had to tell S that he wasn't allowed to tell people he was God. But in S's mind if he said that he was Satan would not try to kill him because God can do all things. This goes back to my post on the faith of a child. Things are so simple to kids. Say this, and this will be the result. Although hilarious that he would think of something like that, it was also another sign to me that children really do have great faith.

August 18, 2006

Gratitude Day - Take 2

This week has been one of the more relaxed weeks we've had this summer. As I think about what we did, it makes me grateful for all that I have. Just a few things that I have to be grateful for this week:

*the sound of children playing together nicely
*the men and women who serve our country each day
*good friends
*a home-cooked meal
*great neighbors
*fresh veggies from the neighborhood garden
*a roof over our heads
*the generosity of the church
*the blessings that come from paying your tithing

Gratitude: a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation.

Such Talent

For some reason whenever my family gets together we discover what unusual talents each other has. Like: who can roll their tongue like a hot dog, who can put their foot over their head, who can wiggle their ears, flare their nostrils, flip their tongue upside down, pop their thumb out of joint, OR hang a spoon from your nose or a knife from your forehead!! How many goldfish can you shove in your mouth at one time (I think I won that one at about 100 or something like that). For my brothers, who can make a spit wad go the farthest, or who can burp the loudest. Over the years, we've learned very interesting things about each other. Who would've thought that one family could be so talented in so many different ways?!?

August 14, 2006

The Faith of a Child

The other night we went to the baseball fields to practice hitting the ball a little bit, before our co-ed season starts. We were only there for about 20 minutes before it started raining. So, we headed home. When we woke up in the morning J, T and I were covered in mosquito bites. I hate those things. I think I have 8 on ONE of my arms. J and T have a ton too. Today they were really bothering J and she asked for "some of that stuff to make it stop itching". So, I got it out and she put it all over her little bites, and then on some of mine. Afterwards she told me that she hated those bites. The next thing she said, was one of the cutest things ever. She said, "Mommy can we tell Heavenly Father that we don't like those things and we don't want them anymore." If only we could all have the faith of a child. She didn't even hesitate to say that. As far as she was concerned he would make those bites go away.

It's amazing to me where we learn our lessons. Today I learned a great lesson on faith from my little 3 year old. Heavenly Father does care. He cares about the big things in our life, and he cares about the small. Even as small a thing as a mosquito bite. All we need to do is have faith. With faith in our Father in Heaven all things are possible.

*As a little side note, I made deep-fried zubana and we dipped it in ranch. Soooo yummy!! Everyone loved it.


Zubana? Is that what you get when a zuchinni plant and a banana squash plant cross pollunate? We have a community garden (one of the benefits of the move) that we get to pick from, and I went out the other day to find an odd shaped, green, almost pumpkinish looking vegetable. My neighbor said she got one the other day and named it a zubana. I wish I had a picture, but my camera is getting repaired. So, I cut into it and it looks more like a zuchinni than a squash. Tonight I'm going to fry it up and see how it tastes!!

No Cavities!!

I had to go to the dentist today which is one of my least favorite things to do. It's been about 8 months since the last time, I know I'm a slacker. Our dentist moved and someone else took over his practice so I wasn't sure how it would go. Luckily it went just fine. He was really nice and really young (which meant he had all the newest technology in dentistry). I got several things done that I never have before. I had no cavities, so that made for a successful trip to the dentist. Now I can only hope that none of my kids have any. But I know that's only wishful thinking because it's bound to happen that at least 2 of the 4 of them end up with some kind of problem. Oh, the joy!

August 11, 2006

Gratitude Day - Take 1

Stephanie from For Better or Worse had a wonderful post on the things she was grateful for. So, I'm stealing her idea. I think too many times, life gets so busy that we take things for granted and don't really stop to take time to be grateful for the things we have. So, for starters,
I'm Grateful For:

*My Husband - No matter what he is always there for me. He is my best friend. He's an amazing husband, father, listener, provider, lover, friend, and the list could go on and on. He has a great sense of humor and knows how to make bad situations good. I don't know what my life would be like without him and I don't want to find out.

*My Kids - I love them to pieces. They bring so much joy to my life. Even when they disobey and are little stinkers, I still can't imagine life without them. They are growing so fast and I hope and pray that I'm doing my best to raise them well.

*The Gospel - Where would we be without the gospel. I've been blessed with a family, a temple marriage, the priesthood in my home, the promises of eternal life, and so much more all because of the restored gospel that we have on earth today.

I've got plenty more to be grateful for, but we'll start with these. I know that when we recognize our blessings and show thanks for the things that we have, our lives will truly be blessed.

August 9, 2006

So Much To Say

So, here I am, finally. Things have been soo soo crazy in my life since my last post. We finally managed to make a decision and are staying here in Utah, but in a different house. Last week we moved just a couple blocks away from our old house. We stayed in the same school, and in the same ward, which is amazing in Utah. Our move before this one was a shorter one, and it put us in an entirely different stake. Crazy. I'm glad though that we stayed the same. We are only renting, which I don't love, but since we had to find somewhere fast, this was what we had to do. Since we knew we'd be renting, and would have to move yet again, we thought it was important to keep some things the same, for the sake of our kids. We didn't want everything in their lives to be changing so often.

I love our new place. It's only 3 years old, and is really a beautiful home. I'll have to take pictures when my camera gets back from the shop. I've been so sad without it. The kids also love it, and we are starting to settle. My goal is to have everything unpacked and organized by the time school starts. So, I have about 2 weeks to get everything done.

DH started a new job. He's just in training this week, so he's a little bored. He's been in the cell phone industry for about 6 years, so he already knows what he's doing, but he still has to do the training. The job sounds great, and it's for a corporate store, so it has more potential than what he was in before. We'll have medical, dental, vision, & life insurance. And 401K. We've only every had medical, and sometimes dental, so this is a big change for us. I think it will be really nice. Also, after the first 90 days they will pay for school for DH. So, things sounds great. Hopefully it will turn out that way.

The only down side to all of this, is that I won't get to be with MSL. I've always wanted to live by her and have the cousins grow up together. It was such a hard decision for us to come to, because of me. I don't know if she'll ever realize how hard it was for me, to say that we were staying, when we had the opportunity to be right there with her. But, we had to do this, and hopefully it'll work out.