Friday, January 30, 2009

How to de-clutter in 5 minutes, Rachelle style!

This is truly muddling! We had an appraiser coming this morning--we aren't moving just refinancing to a 10 year combining our basement loan into that. So I was frantic last night after dinner getting the teenagers' rooms clean so I didn't worry about the 10 loads of laundry in my room. After helping them I worked on the laundry. Then this morning after making a big breakfast--what was I thinking? I cleaned it all up and the accumulated stuff. But 1/2 hour before he was to be here I had to jump in the shower. When I got out I still had junk on my kitchen desk, my bedroom nightstand and my dresser--those who have been to my house know this is normal. (I know I should do something about it but I have come to a lower standard of order that I can live with right now.) I didn't have time to de-clutter so I got my IKEA bag and filled it up (and to some of you perfectionists it probably still looks cluttered! So there you have it. It fit nicely in the corner of my closet, buttoned shut. So I promised myself that I'd go through it tomorrow after I recovered from today! Well, we'll see. . .

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jr Jazz Basketball

So we are almost a month into it but I finally remembered to take photos of the kids who are playing. Timo's jersey says American Fork because that is the program where we registered him. Tim is coaching Emily's team and helps with Timo's team. It's Izak's first year playing and he's a little frustrated with himself. He is a pretty good player but he expects more from himself. Emily is pretty good too. Timo is Timo, good at most things. They all seem to be enjoying themselves for the most part. Taran is playing ward ball and this is the first year they've had a pretty good team--a new kid moved in who didn't make the high school team but he has moves! It's fun to and watch them and see how much they are learning. I especially like that it keeps them active during the winter.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Science Fair Winner!

My little Emily is moving on to district science fair competition! They didn't give out placements like first, second, etc. they just announced to the whole school these students will be moving on to the district. She was surprised, we were too. Not that she didn't follow the scientific method but she did it on tissue which is the most absorbent and soft of the 2 national brands and 3 store brands. It's just not earth shaking stuff! Thanks to all the neighbors and relatives who participated!!!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Calling All Concerned Citizens

Are you discouraged by the news of a trillion dollar stimulus package? Is it really going to help the people who NEED it? Not likely. Let's get together and let our voices be heard. I have already emailed my representatives. The budget goes to the house first if it passes then it has to go to the senate to be voted on so emailing both is a good idea. How did Reagan turn around the economy after Carter? He cut taxes. Our corporate taxes are higher than Sweden--a social government. We need to encourage limited spending not creating more by creating departments to oversee the stimulus funds and how they are spent! Let's comprise by beefing up the unemployment. These are the people who are going to need help relocating, retraining and/or finding a new job. So please share your ideas with your reps, it takes maybe 5 minutes! If we all try it may give them courage to stop this wreck less train of spending!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Amazing Ice Castle

I took this photo with my cell phone camera as I drove by! I see this all the time, it's on the canyon road from Purple Turtle in PG going to where we live. It's on the west side. I never remember to take a photo when Tim is driving but today I knew I was going to pass it. I'm in awe I did it!!! Tim is amazed I didn't crash! If you want to see some truly amazing photos of it check the website it also has a link to a Youtube video where the guy shows you how he made it! If I hadn't taken the photo we wouldn't have seen the sign with the website!!! Can you tell I'm excited? Show your kids they will love it! Maybe it will help your winter be a little less BLAH!

Snow capped mountains and Icicles

Okay I took these photos a few days ago. I am not sure they turned out like I was hoping. But I just love seeing these mountains outside my door covered in snow-- they are so amazing to me! Icicles are also something I find very fascinating in the winter. They are so beautiful, the diamonds of winter. We haven't had a storm in almost 3 weeks. We got rain last night and some today. It cleaned up the air so that is nice and all the parking lots look like my kids spilled their rootbeer slushies! Sunday we are suppose to get another storm, time to sled again! Or read a good book!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My most challenging time of day

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I don't really know why I decided to post this, maybe it's my way of explaining my lack of order in my home. I decided to take photos of yesterday afternoon since I find this time until my kids are bed a challenge. I basically walked around with my camera and in between helping with homework and keeping some on task I got these photos (there were more but you'll get the just of it). You will see some drama and some plain chaos. Some people complain that all they see on blogs are perfectly clean rooms so here you get your fill of the opposite at my house. This is typical, this life and I am glad even though it can be tiring and totally ungrateful it's mine!

BTW I read to Gwen and Zane after their baths but no one was around to photo that part of our day but that is one of my favorite so I'll save that for another post!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good Grade Dinner

Last Friday our kids got their report cards. It was good news, all 5 got all A's (or O's in Micah's case) and technically Taran got an A- in his honors class but hey I was thrilled! When I told Tim him said that we should take them all out. Usually we say, good job and then at the end of the school year we take everyone who did well out to dinner. It's a treat for us because it's Wendy's if we take everyone "out to eat". Yesterday, we took them to The One Man Band. It's a 50's style diner that Tim and I discovered one day. He took Taran and Timo there before priesthood so they suggested it. They loved it. So I am bragging but hey at our house that's something to be proud of!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

White Nights, Utah Style

These photos were taken about 2 weeks ago. We've actually had some beautiful days 40 plus degrees this week, it's chilly in the shade and once the sun goes down. The valleys are having inversions--we live near a canyon so our air has been clean.

The snow started heavy the first day back to school in the afternoon--luckily I got kids to piano and back before the worst hit. Poor Tim was stuck in 5 mph traffic all the way home, his Saturn started to overheat because they weren't moving enough. It took him 2 hours to get home. I had Taran and Timo go out and shovel the driveway once I knew Tim was close so he could get up it. We got about 2 feet and we are not a main road so it had not been plowed yet. There was no point in shoveling earlier since it was coming down so heavily. The next day we got more snow and those are the photos of the kids playing on the piles in front of our house!!! Huge! Tim and Timo are in the first photo after Tim had tackled Timo on his way home from sledding. Sledding was fun those first days now it's icy snow.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Guess what we were trying to do?

This may become a regular feature if I remember to employ the camera often enough! So think, it looks like animal charades? Maybe, we are listening to Dominic the Christmas Donkey and acting it out? Maybe she was practicing somersaults and got tired and ran off to her room? All wrong. This is my attempt to put a ponytail in her hair. I grabbed the camera when she was putting her head into the ground and kicking up her heels! Two year olds, I'm too old for this so we may cut the hair! That should be another great photo opportunity.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New Year New Calling

So I just thought I'd share that I have a new calling. I am an 11 year old scout leader now! I work with a couple, they actually teach a Primary class on Sundays too. So I am very excited. I'll be honest when I was a young mother and in a Primary Presidency and I was in charge of the nursery, sunbeams, the Sacrament Meeting program and music I was REALLY glad that I wasn't over cub scouts! It was a HUGE mystery to me. What I remembered from cub scouts from my younger brothers was pine wood derby and spagetti dinners. So the unknown was intimidating to me. Well, once my oldest turned 8 and became a cub scout, I thought, Hey this looks fun!!! I became a WEBELOS leader just as Taran turned 11. It was a blast and I cried when I got released. I was so happy they finally called me to something in scouts again! I have met with the boys twice and they are active but fun and good. I love the Hallsteds they are great people just very busy--more than me! We have some organizing to do but I look forward to lots of good times!!!

This is a photo of me with my WEBELOS my co-leader Jane (and a couple of dads) and our boys as we snow shoed to Stewart Falls--just past Sundance. It was a great experience! Those boys are all 14 now!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A New Year, A New Job and A (used) New Car!

On Monday, January 12th Tim started a new job. He had worked 16 + years at Novell. You may think it strange but unfortunately he did not get laid off. They do a really nice severence package, he offered but they declined--he was too valuable but no valuable that they didn't counter offer the church's offer. The severence money would have helped us a lot. Owell. The church really wanted him, there were some things he was discouraged about at Novell and the economy. We began to think, is Heavenly Father telling us something? I told Tim I trusted whatever decision he made because he was the one that needed to be happy at the job.

Here he is in a suit! He doesn't have to wear a suit everyday only if he goes to the church office building. He had training Monday up there so he had to wear a suit. He normally wears a dress shirt and pants with a tie. It's a sacrifice when he's been able to wear whatever he wanted the past 16 years! He'll miss lunchtime basketball but that isn't until summer. He is testing family history software and works with many friends from Novell.

His car needed so much work to pass the emissions and safety (it's 20 years old)so we decided to put the money toward a newer car. It's a 1998 Saturn. It's in pretty good shape and it's paid for!

So far so good, good year, right until the 20th? Good job and good car! Yeah for Tim!!! BTW He looks really handsome in his new duds!

Cool Photography Website

I have 2 friends named Lisa but this is not the one who turned 40 last month. This Lisa we used to scrapbook together. She has taken her hobby photography to a whole new level and now takes professional photos. Check out her website that website has a link to her portraits. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Random Updates to finish up 2008

I am just adding some more photos of Christmas break that weren't part of the major holidays.

Tim was able to take the two weeks off during that time. We were able to go to the temple together and on a couple of dates. It was my friend Lisa's 40th birthday so a bunch of us took her out for breakfast, it was really fun! We had a game afternoon at my mom's one day after Christmas. We took the kids out to dinner courtesy of some kind soul who gave us a generous gift certificate to Chili's anonymously. Tim and I (by force) organized our closet--not that I didn't want to do it it's just that I wanted some other things done first. I am very happy at the outcome! Tim was car shopping and found a cute used Saturn he now drives. I promise a post tomorrow on it and his job situation. The kids enjoyed playing with friends and their new toys and still sledded quite a bit. We got tons of snow and I am trying the positive approach to it to keep myself happy and it seems to be working. You see I am from California, I know I have lived here awhile but I am still not comfortable driving in the snow and ice. So I just watch the weather and try to get done my errands done before the next big storm. So I still do that but I've decided to join my kids in their wonder of the beautiful white stuff. And maybe because of my back injury and being laid up for awhile I rejoice I can actually walk in it even though I can't sled in it. Taran is not a snow lover and claims that he is moving out as soon as he graduates to a warmer climate. We'll see. So we still have some party poopers. Now if we have snow in May and June like last year I am going to personally FEDEX it to Al Gore, Mr. Global Warming, HA! That's when I say enough is enough!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Years Day, Welcome 2009!

I love the feel of a new beginning whether it's a new school year, a new year or summer break. It's great time to reflect and start new. Of course New Year's Day I didn't worry about what I was eating that day but we had a great time. We finished putting away the Christmas stuff and returning things we hadn't had a chance. We got the teenagers up in time for lunch but they had breakfast. We went to my brother Charl's in the afternoon and continued watching bowl games on his huge TV. The younger kids watched Shrek 2 which I've never seen so hopefully it's okay. Anyway, Katie made homemade pizza dough and sauce which turned out really good. We brought toppings, stuff for floats and any other junk you could feast on. Amber helped us out with putting it all together. My mom made a salad so we did have something healthy. Actually I think the pizza was pretty healthy it's the other stuff. We also jammed to guitar hero with Amber and Keith's play station. It was pretty fun even though it told me I suck! I really did. Tim and I stunk it up but our kids, everyone else did well! It was a lot of fun we just missed my dad who was too tired from one of his resolutions--organizing his computer room!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Year's Eve

So Tim got the camera software working, yeah! But the video clip of Gwen nodding off was too long so it had trouble uploading it--I tried it twice. I will see if I can edit it but with my current rate of success I doubt it! If you are ever over I'll show it to you!!! This last photo is of New Year's Eve breakfast and I don't know the significance of it--sorry Gwen just looks sad!

Here are photos from New Year's Eve. We were very productive that day putting away most of our Christmas stuff and other odds and ends before heading out to Tim's parents. It was a low key party but fun nonetheless. We picked up Panda Express, a tradition we started a several years ago, on our way. Amy and Nate came with their kids too. Shellie and family were partying with friends--I believe, so we missed them. Amy made a yummy frappe and we had stuff for floats when that ran out. We also had lots of sweets and crackers and cheese dip and cheese ball, etc. The teens and adults watched Get Smart--very funny, and the kids watched The Clone Wars. I included a photo of Zane in front of Tim's mother's Christmas village. Tim's mom worked on the 1,000 piece nightmare puzzle we gave her for Christmas. Amy, Nate and I tried to help her after Get Smart. I think I got 5 pieces connected not onto the puzzle but to each other! Owell, it'll keep her busy! Tim took Timo and Taran to friends after Get Smart. Tim's dad and the kids watched Kung Fu Panda while we worked on the puzzle. We got home about 11 PM. We worked on our own puzzle Hans (Tim's brother) gave us of Fenway Park. Then at midnight we cheered each other with Martinellis and sent the kids to bed (Gwen was already in bed). Timo got home at 12:30 AM and helped with the puzzle. Taran got home not too long after. We went to bed once he was home and so did he. Timo stayed up later to finish the crowd in the stands on the puzzle! It was a great way to end 2008!