Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Christmas is done!!!

...On my side of the family that is!
I have spent the past 2 weeks and many, many hours working on Christmas gifts & projects and I am pleased at announce, I AM DONE! My fingers were blistered, burned & very tired after I finished making 91 satin flowers for the ladies (Only my mom reads my blog,so I'm not ruining any surprises here!) Yes, 91 flowers! I had my Mom, G-ma,sister & sisters in laws- and the flowers are darling so I wanted them to have some- 13 of them. I know I went a little crazy at the craft store but they had to have all 13 colors!
Because I'm crazy here's the insain math:
91 flowers=
546 cirlcles cut
546 circles individualy burned
273 pearls glued in the middle
91 pins glued to the back
35 hair clips added
an entire pack of glue sticks used
2 1/2 candles burned through
several burned fingers
many blisters from cutting
but hopefully 7 happy ladies in December!

I was able to put some gifts together to save on space (because a mini van is only so big, ya know!)and I am happy to say I fit it all in 11 boxes!I feel so good now knowing there are only 17 family members on Trav's side left to take care of! VICTORY!

And just so you know, I am my Mother's daughter, she informed me that she has C

hristmas gifts for me to bring back too!

Why Not???

Just 3 more days. Just 3 more days...
that's what I keep telling myself and then I can forget about "real life" for awhile as we travel to Seattle. I love vacations because I'm out of my eliment- and all I can control is how clean the van stays while being limited to the amount of cleaning I can do at Mom's. It's actually heaven not to worry about anything for awhile, I think it's the only time my brain takes a little break- I NEED A VACATION!!! Just 3 more days...

I think I'm getting worn out... I think I'm on the verge again and when I am (about every 2 months) I get ANOTHER nasty infection of some kind. I am no stranger to UTI's and the amazing bladder infections, so it's no wonder yesterday at 4:45 AM I could feel life starting to get REALLY painful. Hours later I wanted to cut my lower half off (but gross!) but there was a little problem... I had no car to get to the Dr. nor did I have car seats even if I did! I knew my in laws where at the temple, so they were out, my sister in law is pregnant with # 5 and homeschooling, a friend had family in town, 2 other friends lived too far for me to feel comfortable bothering them- but I knew I couldn't wait until 3:15 when Trav came home either. Luckily my sweet friend and neighbor- Lisa, let me borrow her car & watched my girl's while I flew as fast as I could to the Dr's office where I've practically lived this past year. I was in and out in 10 min and picked up my meds at the store a hour later. Oh sweet relief...lets talk about how fun it is peeing into kid diapers, wash cloths, towels and maxi pads all day- but it not being enough. Lets talk about the joy of peeing yourself and soaking through your clothes like a 2 year old, or having your maxi pad be so ginormous it's clearly evident through your pants as you stumble through Wal Mart so embarressed that you have no other option but to tie your sweatshirt around your waist like you did in 5th grade. It was so gross sitting in my own pee but I happily paid for my drugs and got the heck out of there! Lisa swears I didn't soak through her car seat, but she's too sweet and wouldn't tell me if I had- and although it felt dry, I don't want to know. I don't do so well with these things, it's what sent me into early labor with Grace- so they are definatly not welcome in my house- but why am I cursed??? Once again, thank you Lord for amazing drugs, I definatly would have died in 3 seconds if I'd lived "long ago."
And not to worry... I do keep my Depend wearing moments in check- I know this is tiny compared to everything going on in the world, but let me say, when your husband comes home with Depends and you open them up and realize your entire family could fit in's a sad day.

**And just as a side note the reason I'm peeing into diapers & other amazing things is because with UTI's, there is this intense pushing and need to use the potty EVERY SINGLE SECOND. Seriously it's wild and crazy,So instead of sitting on the pot ALL DAY for HOURS and bruising my bottom like I did with Grace, I choose to wear something so I'm still able to get up and move around, the down side is I'm like a 2 year old wearing man diapers peeing myself!.***

...and the bug... they called to inform us that the breaks are in trouble... Why not???

(Jen- I'm soooooo sorry I missed your shower! The entire time, I kept thinking- I should be there instead of peeing in this oversized thing! I'll drop your present off soon!)

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Bug...

It's a good thing I'm not one of those girls who gets her hair done, nails done, has super cute clothes or designer purses. It's a good thing I like to shop at thrift stores and yard sales and use a kabillion coupons to save money too.
I'm SUPER low maintaince and I'm REALLY good at letting myself go too- here is what I've come to realize: I LIVE in my black pants because I don't have a pair of jeans that fit anymore, my sports bras are no longer white- they are some hidious color I am ashamed to even look at anymore, my slippers are torn and are losing the stuffing as I type, my only white tee shirt has a stain and so I took white out to cover it up, my black shoes have a hole in the toe & are ripping at the seam, and I'm still wearing clothes that are at least 10 years old.
I guess my point is: it's a good thing I'm this way because I make up for it with my VW repair bills!!! My poor bug had to go to the shop- it was getting almost impossible to reverse & shift and I was stalling everywhere. Trav was getting stranded on his way to work (so he's been taking the van for a month)and we knew it had to be done. I was praying for a tiny little bill around $ 100 or so- but no luck here folks- how about $ 1250.00!
I almost felt ill. I wanted to swear (but I didn't)and I almost cried. I am grateful for our tax money, but really? We had other bills to pay with that! UGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As I was reporting my VT today, and talking to a sweet lady from church, we started talking about Japan and all the horrible events over there. I was quickly humbled and reminded that although my trials are not always fun or cheap, I am indeed one of the luckiest girls I know. So, I will try to be a little more grateful that we have 2 cars (one being my dream car!)and that is is being fixed so my life can continue to be pretty darn comfortable. I'll take my car problems any day. Thank you Lord for the expensive humbling moment...

Tristin organizes a nature walk & litter pick up activity...

Tristin has 2 more months to complete all of his requirements for his wolf badge in scouts, so we've been working on a lot of them lately & trying to incorporate them into Family Home Evenings, and other family activities. Today after school, we went on a walk and picked up trash around our neighborhood & his school. We had 4 bags FILLED by the time we made it back home. I'm really glad we took the time to beautify our surroundings and make time to be together as a family. Way to go Tristin!


Surprise. Surprise. Like this is news, I know. But I was thrilled to see a yard sale sign on my way to pick up a friends daughter from school. I went home, picked up my kids 7 some $ and then went out to find the sale. I am so thankful that God has given me such a strong desire to go to yard sales, because I always seem to find exactly what I've been needing or secretely praying for. So, I spent a whopping $ 3.50 and got: 2 jeans for Tristin, 2 jeans for Daisy, 3 pairs of shorts for Tristin, 3 PJ bottoms for Tristin, a pair of boots for me, black shoes for Daisy, a dry erase board, 2 back packs, a flash light, and a bunch of FREE stuff they kept giving the kids. I was so happy to find jeans for .25 each! Oh, thank you wonderful yard sale for making me so happy today!

Relief Society B-day Dinner...

Several months ago I was called to be the head comittee member for RS activities. I was thrilled because you know me, I love to throw parties! First I helped with our annual Super Saturday & had the bright idea to try & teach the ladies how to do 15 craft projects- lesson learned: there is only 1 of me and A LOT of them! This year I plan to teach just a few.
On Tuesday night we survived our B-day dinner- but wow, was that a lot of work! Planning, advertising, planning, meetings, sign up sheets, trying to find lots of helpers, more meetings, 3 weeks in a row at the church making copies at night, posters, buying food for 100 people, preparing the food for 100 poeple, reminder calls, center pieces, setting up, decorating, check off lists, and then getting 100 plates of food out the door for the young men & women to serve etc... I think I'm still recovering! My feet were so sore that night and I finally got home by 10:00 PM- almost 6 1/2 hours later.
I think the night was a success, I was in the kitchen, so I hope it went as planned! It was a crazy couple of weeks, but it was wonderful to spend time thinking back over the years abut all the amazing women who have helped shape RS- I am indeed grateful to be apart of something so incredible!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wish me luck...

Last Wed. Angie and I gathered our in-laws & parents truck & drove out to Fruitland to the Coca Cola plant to buy some 55 gallon barrels. They were $ 5.00 each so I grabbed 12 & Ang bought 11. Luckily the sweetest man was there to help us load the bad boys onto the trucks & then strap them down. We were there close to a hour and we couldn't have done it without his help. We drove back home VERY slowly and had to stop to secure Angie's load a little better. There we were, on top of the truck, laughing because we had no clue what we were doing! I told her, "We can have babies, but we sure have a hard time figuring out these straps!" We both made it to our homes safely with another fun memory tucked inside our hearts.
Now... to cleaning these little beauties. All I can say is: WISH. ME. LUCK!
(They contain the residue from the syrup used in Coca Cola products & have a 3 inch opening!)

If you are interested in getting some yourself, here's what you need to know:
*CALL FIRST TO CHECK IF THEY HAVE ANY! Call first thing in the morning ( I called at 8:30 AM and they were open.) and get there ASAP. These sell fast! You do not want to waste gas money to find out they are out.
*Plan a few hours for the super fun event!
*Take a friend to help strap them down.
*They had blue & white barrels. (We've heard conflicting stories on what color to get- you decide.)
*They had 55 gallon, 50 gallon & 12 gallon. Will differ each time, and are all $ 5.00 each.

Swire Coca Cola
605 NW 4th St
Fruitland, ID

# 208- 452-5300
Hop on the freeway heading to Caldwell.
Drive forever until you see the Fruitland/Payette Exit.
Take Exit # 3 and turn Right.
Continue for approx a mile.
Turn Right on NW 4th St. (There is a Maverick Station)
The factory is down a little on your Left.

**You will need to check in at the enterance & get a badge.
You go into the office and let them know you are there, load what you want and then pay for it! they only take cash or check- no debit.

If you drive a truck- bring lots of straps, ropes and nets. If you are getting a lot, it is best to load them on their side and stack them like a pyramid. SECURE SIDES AND MIDDLE VERY WELL!!!

The leaves are raked!!!

If you have seen our back yard, you know that is it HUGE! That was one of the many things we LOVED about our house when we bought it. The other thing you might not have noticed are all the GIGANTIC trees we have too- which means- TONS of leaves in the Fall. I mean tons.
Something happens every where and it goes a little like this.
Em: "Hey babe, can you help me rake the leaves today?"
Trav: "Sure."
***Which he does, for about a hour.***
Next week-
Em: "Hey sweety, I could use your help with the leaves again today."
Trav: Silence.

Repeate over & over until I do almost all the raking until I have so many blisters I can't rake anymore & then it starts snowing and I haven't finished and then it bugs me all Winter because it was the 1 thing I DIDN't finish!!!

But guess what? In between our 5 minutes of sunshine here & there, I raked them all! The poor garbage men have about 10 more bags today- but I'm done!
(We are talking about A LOT of leaves people- so this is a little victory for me!)

Feeling Very Blessed...

Before everything happened in Japan- I was noticing how blessed my life was. (Now I know it about a zillion times more!)
I was having those moments were I would just stop and pause, look around my house, or at our cars, our food storage, ginormous amount of clothing,craft supplies, huge back yard, boxes of extra diapers etc...- and think: Oh, my word- we are SO BLESSED!!! Look at all we have! Although money is surly lacking, I had an overwhelming sence of gratitude in my heart. It almost brought me to tears several times and I was so thankful to my Heavenly Father for the incredible life we have.
Although we all face big trials & little ones each and every day- we are all so blessed...

The Park...

At the park...

This is the closest thing to a family picture as we get these days! We took the kids to the park after the party on saturday & you would have thought it was there first time getting out of the house in 20 years! They had a blast and the sunshine felt wonderful!

Party time...

On saturday we took the kids to the Immunization Party at the Civic Center, and I have to admit, they did a WONDERFUL job at putting it on. There were tons of games, different booths, face painting,tons of FREE stuff (stuffed animals, tee shirts & more), prizes (Which we won 1 of!) cake, drinks, cookies, string cheese & a bouncy house. It was 2 hours of fun and I'm really glad we went!

Jammies & panties...

Willow was so cute the other night trying to put panties on. She finally got them on and then wore them around her chest the rest of the night!

Disturbing Dreams...

Like every Mother I know, I have an INTENSE fear of something horrible happening to my kids. I am that crazy obsessive Mom who won't let the kids play in the front yard because the "Scary strangers" will get them. I almost had a heart attack debating whether or not Tristin should ride his bike to school (4 blocks away)twice a week,and deciding if it was ok to let them walk to school 2-3 times a week together (Other kids walk the same route). I am always worring, I am always praying they arrive to/from safely and I keep my phone near me so I can hear if the school is calling to tell me they didn't make it. I pay extra attention to what they are wearing incase I have to tell the police incase they are kidnapped, we talk to them about strangers and "scary people"- but I can't stop freaking out about it!! I seriously have issues and lately, my dreams HAVE NOT BEEN HELPING! They have been terrible, disturbing and frightening! I want my children to have "normal" childhoods, but there is so much evil out there and I'm scared out of my mind!!! I have definatly been praying A LOT to help with some of the anxiety, & I know a lot is SUPER normal as a parent, but the other part that I can't seem to control is driving me nuts!
Lord, please protect our beautiful babies...

(I used to take them to school, but lately Trav has taken the van because the bug is acting up again and he's been stranded a few times on his way to work- so i have the bug!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Crazy? Smart? or Cheap?

It is offical, we are driving home to Seattle in 2 1/2 weeks for Spring Break- so you know what that means??? I have VERY little time to get Christmas presents ready, wrapped and ready to go in about 18 days! This is a wild time for me with so many meetings, parent/teacher confrences, our huge RS birthday dinner next week(I made 140 invites & I'm feeding 100 people, preparing food, plus a 100 other little details. Thankfully I have a helpful committe!, Normal life, packing,food storage projects & now Christmas for 21 people. I do it every year so I save on shipping.(That would be at least $210.00 just for shipping costs if I didn't!!!) but this year we are going home a little sooner than normal, so I'm getting busy on craft projects now! Wish me luck...
Am I crazy?
or all of the above?

Planting trees...

Planting trees at the orchard...

Another reason I love my husband is that he volenteers for EVERYTHING! When they need help babysitting, cleaning the church, helping with RS activities, thinning fruit trees, helping people move, helping with computer problems or planting trees- he's there. He's amazing.
We went out Saturday morning at 9:00 AM and helped plant over 200 trees at the orchard. It was raining & muddy but we all had a great time. It felt good to help especially knowing that the pears I've canned the past 2 years have come from that place. I was in awe of the cute little old men I saw out there with their wrinkled hands, hunched backs,wearing their 1940's rain ponchos and shoveling away like they were still in their 20's. It seriou

sly almost brought me to tears.It was adorable to watch Tristin help one of those very capable elderly men named Vern. It just got me. Probably because I adore my Grandfather with my entire heart & soul and it was him I was picturing out there all by himself. What a wonderful, muddy morning!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Let there be light...

I truely believe that Heavenly Father cares about even the small things in our lives, and when we listen to those "promptings" amazing things can happen.

We have had issues with Tristin's light/light switch in his room since we moved in here 3 1/2 years ago. His light worked for awhile and then didn't. We changed bulbs, had a friend look at it- but nothing seemed to help. We just gave up and didn't have the $ to have someone come out and fix it, so for the past 3 years he's used a lamp instead.

Today when I was changing Grace's light bulb, and I had a feeling to put a new bulb in Tristin's too. Guess what happened??? He has light!!! I have no idea what's going on, but here's to hoping it continues! I love little blessings in life. It's amazing how much you take a switch for granted until it doesn't work for 3 years!

My new favorite things...

Here's a few things that have brought me much joy lately!

1- Hidden vally Ranch. This has pretty much changed my life.

2- 30 Rock. It is pretty funny. I think the writing is brillant although a few characters drive me a little crazy. Trav and I have had some good laughs.
3- Albertsons cookies. Where have you been all my life? I'm on my 3rd bag. I've accepted that I am self medicating with food. It's all good!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A sleepless night...

Last night was one of those super special nights:

Trav & I stayed up until after 1:00 AM having one of those "heart-to-heart" conversations (you know the ones... that last until after 1:00 AM!)

Of course he fell fast asleep and I laid there for another hour listening to the sounds all around me: his snoring, my stomach rumbling, the scary sounds outside and then I started pleading with God, " Please, oh please, let me fall asleep, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO tired. Please God, I'll do anything." It was almost 2:30AM

Well, I think God was helping someone else because that's when Willow decided to wake up and start crying for the 3rd time that night. I waited and she put herself back to sleep. I was so grateful and closed my eyes to drift away...but she woke up & started crying again! She stopped once more, and I closed my eyes again thinking: What else world??? (never ask that.) I was just about to fall asleep when I heard a child getting out of bed and making a mad rush to the bathroom. I looked at the alarm and it read 3:00 AM . The light flipped on and all I heard next was violent rushes of vomit hitting the bottom of the toilet bowl. I got out of bed and saw Daisy hanging over the toilet throwing up her chicken nuggets from dinner hours before. I held her hair back and rubbed her back- the poor girl. She brushed her teeth and then went back to bed. I crawled back in too and closed my eyes for the millionth time and just as I was about to fall asleep- another mad rush to the toilet & even more vomit. It was 3:30. We cleaned up & brushed teeth again. Just as we walked out of the bathroom- Willow started crying AGAIN! Oh, someone help me! I laid down and waited for the crying to stop. I just laid there waiting for the next thing to keep me up and guess what it was??? The alarm, happily beeping away at 4:45! What a wild few hours.

Don't judge me...

You know the quote: "One man's trash is another man's treasure..."

Well, I've been needing a short dresser to fit in my closet for a very long time now, (because my adorable, silver, 3 basket thing from IKEA broke forever ago.) My tiny side of the closet just wasn't working anymore so I looked on craigslist to see if I could find a $ 5.00-10.00 dresser. I almost choked on the prices I saw: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I know everyone is poor right now, but really, those prices were shameful people! So, I kept hoping I could wait until yard sale season to score a little one.

I was on my way home from picking up the girls from a b-day party on
Saturday and I drove home a way I normally never do- and guess what God lead me to that day??? You guessed it- this ugly brown dresser!!!
When I passed it, it looked like a bookshelf (because all the drawers were out of it.) and I thought to myself: I wonder if that would work in the closet? I quickly thought: No, probably not, so I kept driving. A few blocks later I turned around and drove down the garbage alley were it was because I had to check it out. I looked all around hoping no one was witnessing what was about to happen next, and with no peering eyes staring at me through windows- I hopped out of the van. I looked it over and thought: You know, this might work! And to my surprise, the drawers had been thrown right next to it in a crazy upside pile. It was clearly garbage: sitting right next to the trash can with drawers thrown to the side and a broken piece of something right next to it- so I quickly tried to make my get-a-way, but it didn't go that way.
I opened up the trunk and lifted up the dresser to realize I left a huge tote of clothes in the back, my carpet shampooer and 12 bottles of pop. I tried rearranging stuff but I kept getting caught on stuff and I was certain by this time some crazy person was going to have me arrested for stealing their garbage. I finally got everything thrown in the van while the girls were yelling as loud as they could, "MOM, WHAT ARE YOU DOING???
I drove away with my heart beating wildly in my chest & a smile on my face. Oh, what a marvelous day! And guess what? It fit perfectly in my closet too! We cleaned that puppy right up and then sprayed enough Lysol on it to kill a small village. Although I HATE the color and HORRIBLE handles on it- I'm super happy that it was free and didn't go to a landfill! Now, one of these days I will paint her black and add some super cute silver handles on it!

I was definatly not in the room...

Here is what I found after the kids were playing with my camera...