Sunday, October 31, 2010

Concerts, Snow and Halloween...

Not a lot of time to write this week.

Main highlights:

Taran's Chamber Choir Disney Concert so fun for Family Night thanks to all the family who supported it!
First snow of this fall/winter on Wednesday
Gwen's indoor Halloween parade at preschool because of the snow
Taran and Timo's Fall Concert~this was all the choirs at the high school, it was amazing! Just a little late...
Halloween costume frenzy the night before dressing up at school
Friday straightened Taran's hair for his 'costume', younger kids trick or treated Tim's work
Emily had play practice most of the week and her last Flag Football game which they won and placed 3rd!
Halloween Parade at the elementary school, Gwen and I enjoyed it
Planted 10 raspberry plants and daisy plants all starts from a great neighbor
Had our Halloween weird food menu Friday night...worm sandwiches, goblin toenails, chicken brains and bat eyes...
Watched HP 1 Friday in preparation for HP 7 part 1 that comes out on Timo's birthday
Tim and I went Christmas shopping--yes we did. We are almost done with our kids!
Emily and younger trick-or-treated the grandparents, by the time we got home it was pouring rain...check out Gwen in her cape/cloak, Izak & Micah and friends with black plastic bags over them, Emily went to a Halloween Party, Taran went to 2 parties and Timo trick-or-treated the wealthy side of the valley with friends and were fed Hot Dogs, hot chocolate and large candy bars! Little boys watched Private Eyes with their friends and had pizza, apple beer...
I started HP2 once I thought trick or treat-or-treaters where done and folded laundry
Today for actual Halloween we had a yummy salmon feast and cupcakes and "boo shakes"
We also had a lesson on gratitude and we are really trying to ramp it up this year and be more grateful! Happy Halloween and Happy November!

PS Micah is the cow master, yeah whatever! We didn't get around to carving our pumpkins... muddling!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Freedom Friday

Tuesday is an important day for all Americans. So get out and vote! Don't know who to vote for? Read about each candidate on their own website or talk to them. Find out what principles are the foundation of their paradigm. These are what they will use to base all their policy making upon. If you are still confused pray about it, or better yet pray before you study the candidates. And then get out and vote, get your neighbors to vote and your family. Midterm elections have a poor turn out rate. It is your duty as a citizen to vote, don't take it lightly! Our freedom depends upon those we choose to represent us in our own states and nationally. Here is a link to a great article, it's not long so check it out! CharleyReese

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's almost Halloween...

So next week is Halloween, wow! Life really doesn't stand still does it? Monday Gwen went to my mom's while I helped at the school. Zane ended up coming home with me because his tummy hurt. He was fine the rest of the day but you never know! We picked up Gwen and she and Granny had made Halloween sugar cookies. That was really nice of my mom since I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love eating them but the waiting while they chill and cutting them all out seems to take FOREVER! So I don't make them as often as my kids would like. She also supplied us with extra dough and the decorations. I didn't get around to that until Wednesday! I took my scouts up the canyon to check out the native plants and it was beautiful. I included a couple of pictures from that of the leaves and their beautiful colors! I wish I could have taken my kids back to explore and soak it all in! Emily had flag football practice. For FHE we celebrated Gwen and Emily with videos of their birth and their favorites.

Tuesday Gwen and I got our weekly shopping in early so that was nice. Micah had scouts and they went to a fire station, he is close to finishing his Wolf. Taran and Timo had their last flag football game so I went. Micah had his last soccer game and Tim wanted to see it. They lost and it was the only team they have lost to this whole season. We just don't understand why they are the only team we played twice! Owell. Emily also had play practice but it was over before the games that night, tender mercy! Wednesday Gwen had preschool and Taran and Emily had a dermatology appointment for their acne. My friend Steph covered picking up Gwen in case I didn't get back but I did get back in time but I fed Emily and Taran lunch and took Emily back to the junior high. So Stephanie dropped Gwen off and she played with Sophie. I ran some errands while I was out that way. That night was meet the candidates so Tim went since I got to attend other things over the summer. Timo went to the temple and Taran had YM and Emily had YW. I missed a scout committee meeting I had because I do not trust Izak and the 2 other boys for very long. I am glad I stayed since they were wild!

Thursday Stephanie watched Gwen so I could go to the temple. I enjoyed going but was a little uncertain because I had tummy issue. So I just did initiatories. She kept Gwen longer and I was able to finish getting all the meds for Emily--she has 3 and there is a problem with the insurance approving Taran's so hopefully that will work out soon! I also got a bunch dumb little things done around the house that had stacked up. That was a relief. Stephanie is a great friend---and not just to me! Emily had her last flag football game. I had planned to go but my tummy was not feeling great again so I stayed home with the little kids. Timo was studying with friends and Taran had work and choir practice. He actually practiced every night and lunch for this Disney Concert fundraiser---they are hoping to get to NYC. Tim took Emily and they found out they had another game for a tournament Saturday morning at 8 AM. Later Thursday night Tim was gone visiting with the EQ President to some families.

Friday Gwen and I went to the school to help Stephanie with the last of Red Ribbon Week. She was having the kids draw themselves on the playground saying NO to drugs. They got a silly band if they did it. She the cougar mascot there and music playing, was super fun. Poor Gwen was nervous around the cougar. My kids love it when I help at school, I think it's so cute. Sophie's mom Jen came too so the three little friends were all there together! That afternoon the Primary kids went to the church to practice the Primary Sacrament Meeting Program. Emily was at play practice and Taran was at his practice. So it was me and Timo so I read the Ensign! Tim was going to pick up Emily for me but he got stuck in a traffic jam due to a car accident so she got a ride with another kid from the play--our neighbor would have taken her but Emily got stuck at her locker and they were gone when she came out so they probably thought she already had a ride home. Izak went to his friend Bryson's for a late night and had a lot of fun. Emily had a friend over to work on a school project. Zane went to McDonald's and to his friend Spencer's and watched How to Train Your Dragon, which he loves. Micah was with friends to for awhile. Timo went to a friend's to watch the Jazz basketball game. Emily and her friend watched Gwen while Tim and I did a Costco date. Then we went to Maggie Moos after, yummy ice cream! Later Tim and I finished up AVATAR that we had started Thursday night. Okay, I will admit that the movie is visually stunning but the story is so lame and predictable. I can't believe that movie made so much money and cost so much that could have built a few hundred schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan! Sorry if you loved it but seriously ...

Saturday the weather was cold and rainy. So I chickened out of going to Emily's game so Tim went--I actually had gone to more of her games than him anyway and he wanted to go. I stayed and did morning Saturday chores with the kids. Taran went to work since he missed the day before. Emily's team won so they played again the next game. That game they lost and she got back just in time to go to referee with Izak. The 2nd game they were suppose to ref got rained out. Timo went to the BYU vs Wyoming game with some friends and their dad. They had gotten 2 tickets for special booster seating which gave them access to a free food buffet. They loved it!
Tim was going to go with Taran but Taran had to be at Disney Concert practice at 4 PM and he didn't know if he'd make it back in time. Zane had his last fall soccer game at noon and Tim is the coach and didn't want to miss it. He tried to reschedule for earlier in the week but it didn't work out. So that's why Timo took them with his friend. Zane's game ended up a bust since it was raining the other team didn't show--only their coach. So Tim took Gwen, Zane and Ammon (a nephew) to his parents' to watch the rest of the game since kick off was at noon. In between all this morning stuff I had the little boys go through their drawers and pick out their favorite stuff and I limited what they could save. We got rid of 3 bags of clothes. Some clothes were hand-me-downs that they never wore. We are so blessed that people think of us and I feel guilty not using the stuff. I am realizing that keeping one or two items is wiser than all of it because they couldn't see their clothes with so much in there anyway. Tim asked when I was going to do our closet. I ran errands while Emily watched Micah and Izak. When I got back I made sandwiches for the kids. We were going to a Halloween Carnival at my sister's condo clubhouse. It was so fun. The kids dressed up as you see! Micah was King of the Cows--yeah whatever! They had the food catered by Kneaders (a local deli/bakery) ghost and pumpkin sugar cookies, eclairs, giant chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin bread and cream cheese brownies--delicious! Apple cider with dry ice in it. They had games like the fishing booth, bowling pumpkins, witch hat ring toss...and more but they gave out toys not candy. They had story telling and a hay ride. Each kids could choose a pumpkin and paint it if they want to which Zane did if you look at the collage. The rest we put in our car. As we left they gave each kid a small bag of flavored popcorn! It was really well done and the kids had a blast! Thanks Teresa for including us!!! We got home early enough that they showered and started a movie. Harry Potter 1 but it was a bad DVD copy of the VHS we used to have so they ended up not finishing it. Tim went to Taran's Disney Concert to manage the doors and hand out programs. He didn't want to go to the carnival so I volunteered him for that! He ran home after to watch the Giants beat Philly and then he and the little boys watch the Missouri vs. Oklahoma game and Mizzou upset number 1! Timo went and played basketball with his friends after doing his chores and some homework. I watched The Blind Side with Timo and Emily while I ironed. Tim went to bed. I love that movie! Taran got home late because they had to clean up the auditorium after the concert etc. Then he hung out with some choir friends.

Today was the Primary Program. Gwen was nervous so we said a prayer and she felt better. It's always great but I can rarely see my kids because there are so many people in front of them. I was able to see Micah and Izak most of the time. But Gwen was just too little and Zane was directly behind the chorister in my view. Owell, the spirit was there and I liked how they organized it. I especially loved the music chosen for this year's theme. I got to sub in nursery today and that was fun. Today Tim and the boys did their hometeaching, our hometeachers came and they had choir practice. Emily and Tim also had meetings with their presidencies they are in. So a normal busy sabbath day! Tim taught a nice devotional tonight. Time for bed! Have a great week and enjoy all the Halloween festivities!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Freedom Friday Late

Can't we all get along and be civil? I have been thinking about this a lot after several friends posted a link about a man who almost committed suicide because of how he was treated for being gay. Then I hear about how the media is attacking conservative women who are running for political office. You know if it were a liberal woman being attacked or called a whore it would be a an outrage. Then I thought of my daughter who was sworn at and berated on the bus because of her religion. I understand we are all different. I realize we don't have to like the same things or believe the same things but that shouldn't mean that we can't be kind to one another. When we view others as less than ourselves we put them and ourselves in dangerous circumstances. When dehumanizing occurs through name calling, jokes that belittle and such it leads to people believing that that group is that way. It happened in Germany, the propaganda and lies told about Jews made it easier for the people to buy into Hitler's evil plan. Rwanda also began with government controlled media that demeaned the Tutsis first jokingly then blatantly so the Hutus bought into the idea of killing friends and neighbors--this happened in the 90s not that long ago. But here we are in 2010 and the tea party people who come from all walks of life are called racists, violent and terrorists. All you can really say they have done is criticize all the spending and taxing going on in the government. Whereas when Bush was president protesters burned effigies of him during the height of the Iraq War. As I started out can we all get along and be civil? Our family been reading Jesus Christ's as he taught the people he had fulfilled the law of Moses he had a higher law for them. I quote loosely since I am too lazy to find it exactly right now, "The old law said love your neighbors and hate your enemies. I say bless your enemies... pray for them who despitefully use you..." He goes on to condemn even being angry--we are not able to judge righteously enough to have merit it. In a world where we all feel it our right to be mad he preaches this is not so. He has asked us to love God with all our hearts, might mind and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Anyway, we must not allow the media to sway us from following Christ's admonition. This is a challenge, I know, I am guilty of categorizing those who oppose my views as well. But we are all children of God and He and Son expect more from us. I am trying to teach my children to be caring of those in need of friends. We have discussed treated all people with kindness and understanding. Hopefully some of it is sinking in! But reading the scriptures definitely allows us opportunities to discuss these ideas over and over again since these are the teachings of Jesus Christ. Of course one could say this is common sense that we treat others with kindness and love but in reality there are many who do not naturally do this but esteem themselves better or more worthwhile or deserving than others and this falls on both sides of the economic spectrum. But having a clear religious leader whose whole life exemplified these very things where He could have dismissed us as worthless and not atoned for us is a great blessing indeed. I am so grateful over and over again for His example and His teachings. And it makes me want to be more kind and tolerant than I sometimes act. Although I have a natural curiosity about people and want to know about them and always find things I like about them no matter other differences we may have. What helps you be more kind and tolerant of those different than you?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another recycle Halloween decoration...

I wish I could remember the website I found these cute mummy votives but alas I can't but it is not an original idea of mine. These are old salsa, jelly and pickle jars. Once I saw this idea I kept these since I usually throw them away. Check outhere what this gal did with old jars! I used the flameless flicker candles from Walmart for the photo. I wish it were darker so you could really see how cute these are. I am actually giving most of them away. But they are fun and super easy and inexpensive to make. The internet is such a great tool for finding new ways of using things!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Recycle Decorating Idea

My mom showed me this idea from Better Homes and Garden. Go to the local thrift store and buy vases, containers or plates that may not work with your color scheme and then spray paint them! They were actually decorating for Halloween, so they used the black matte finish. But you could do anything really! I love this idea. My friend loved these so much she used them for our church Halloween party in part of her decorations. I love this idea because it makes outdated things usable again, just change the color and... ta, da for a dollar it's a new accent piece! Watch out I may paint these red for Christmas and Valentines Day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Louw Reunion: Day 3 The West Thumb and Old Faithful

The title says it all. I wish I could remember all I read about these sites on our trip, we bought the brochures. The West Thumb photos are all around Lake Yellowstone. We went around the back of Old Faithful and saw a lot of interesting things there. We walked up to Old Faithful just as it went off--what great timing. It was really impressive too so we enjoyed that a lot! If you have never been to Yellowstone, it's really amazing piece of geography and worth the effort!

Two Birthdays and a Funeral

Monday morning at 1 AM my tooth woke me up and I never got back to sleep. Luckily the endodontist had a cancellation and I got in at 11:30 AM. Tim stayed home and took a sick day. He and Gwen dropped me off and went looking for a new washer. It was very painful getting the shots for the numbing but once the numbing kicked in I was feeling a lot better. By then my cheek was quite swollen. Tim got me a milkshake on our way home. I missed scouts since I couldn't talk for awhile. The numbness wore off bout 4 PM. Luckily my co-leader did it at her house so the boys didn't miss out. The rest is fuzzy to me...someone just reminded me that we watched half of Private Eyes--Zane taught a lesson and that was the activity. Tim took me to get some things for Gwen's birthday party the next day.

Tuesday was Gwen's party. She invited 4 friends and her cousin (who is also her friend) Holly. It was a princess party. She wanted cupcakes and I made crowns out of airhead candy--the idea on Family Fun suggested laffy taffy. I should have stuck with the laffy taffy, these got too warm and melted. We made crowns, painted finger nails, made dance ribbons, danced and played games. We ended just in time. It was a simple party that went fast. My mom came and helped out since Tim couldn't get the time off. We had it early in the week because 2 of her friends were gone on her birthday. I chose during school because after school is always so crazy at our house. She had a great time and apparently so did they, so I am glad. That afternoon I started feeling sick. I caught the cold Gwen had caught Sunday. Emily came home under the weather so she missed her flag football game. Tim took some of the kids to Taran and Timo's flag football game. I did manage to get something together for dinner.

Wednesday Gwen had preschool and Tim I planned to go check out some washers then. I felt a little better than the night before. After I dropped of Gwen and Zoe we went and the used appliance place we went to was closed. So we went to my mom's to pick up laundry she had started doing on Tuesday and drop some more off. With 9 of us you have to realize that the laundry piles up FAST! But I really could not worry about it at the time because of everything else going on. My neighbor called and needed me to watch her twin 5 year olds while she and her older kids went to Salt Lake to see her husband sworn in as an attorney. Since Gwen's friend Sophie was suppose to come over that day anyway, I figured why not? So we picked them up after getting the laundry and then picked up Gwen and Zoe and then picked up Sophie and dropped off Zoe. They played nicely most of the time. Tim went to Salt Lake to fix some things up there and guys were out of his office at meetings somewhere so he was flexible in the morning. That night was a high school football game since there was no school the rest of the week for Fall Break. Taran and Timo went to that and Emily watched the other kids so we could go on a little date. We actually ended up getting some shopping down for Gwen's birthday. Then we got ice cream after.

Thursday my nephews came over because their mom (Shellie) had to take their brother to Primary Chidlren's hospital for some appointment that took a good part of the day. The kids had fun. The Crane cousins came over for a little bit too. Emily had a friend Tiffany over since Tiffany was going to be gone on Emily's birthday so she wanted to spend time with her then. I was in and out getting stuff for Emily's birthday since we had a funeral on Gwen's birthday. I also had to drive Micah down to Tim in Orem so he could take him to Payson for a soccer game. They won. We would have all gone but the cousins were still there so we didn't. Taran had to work from 6 AM-1 PM so he headed out to friends at 3:30 PM, they were goofing around with music. Timo and his friends hung out.

Friday was Gwen's 4th birthday and she chose donuts for breakfast and chocolate milk. She liked her presents. She went to lunch with Granny while we were at the funeral. An elderly woman in our neighborhood/ward died Monday night. She had dementia from strokes, and it finally killed her. This was a great blessing for her and her family. In the funeral they said that she said towards the end "Get me out of here!" This was amazing because she had not been able to speak for months. Her husband had made homemade ice cream for the kids in the neighborhood so all the children loved them. He asked the children to sing I Am A Child of God. Tim, Taran, Timo, Emily and another lady sang a song he picked as well. So we were all there. It was long and I worried my mom would be waiting with Gwen but we beat them home. I got the kids special lunch for singing and being so good at Walmart--nothing exciting just different! We had macaroni and cheese for dinner with Totinos pizza and rootbeer--4 year olds! After dinner we cleaned up and the Louw side came for cupcakes and ice cream--yes I made more cupcakes. She loved her presents and Emily got hers a day early which she also enjoyed. The kids watched How to Train Your Dragon and us adults visited. It was very fun. after they left we got ready for Emily's birthday.

Saturday I got up early to finish some things for my lessons on Sunday. Yes, I taught 2 classes. Anyway, Emily opened her presents and then Tim took her to breakfast at Kneaders. She got a raspberry filled croissant and a yogurt parfait and juice. Then my mom (granny) took her to lunch and shopping. I picked up my niece Maddie and then we picked up Emily in Orem with my mom at the mall. We headed down to Provo to my niece Erika's beauty school. We were late because I had a MAJOR detour on my way to get Emily--hard not to do now in Utah County these days! Anyway, they got facials and an updo and looked beautiful because the are anyway! Hopefully that was fun for them. We ran to pick up pizza Emily had chosen for dinner. About that time my cold/flu symptoms started to rear their ugly head. I managed to get to Tim's parents and feed the kids. We celebrated not just Emily's birthday but all the Pew side October birthdays. So that meant: Shellie, Daniel, Erin, Gwen and Emily. Highlight was that Grandma made Gwen the cutest pink dress with a pinafore--check it out in the collage. We had cupcakes and ice cream, AGAIN. After cleaning up I headed home and bought Nyquil at our Walmart because I knew I would need it. I came home and took it. The kids watched Diary of a Wimpy Kid while Tim got our laundry room ready for the new washer which was going to be delivered about 9 PM. I worked on a few things I still needed for my lessons. Taran had left the family party to go to his friend Brenna's birthday party that sounded like QUITE the party. Tim and I were asleep when Taran got home. Timo ended up at home since all his guys were not doing anything interesting--at least the ones in town. Emily watched her favorite Lord of The Rings movie--I am not sure which it was, #3? Anyway...

Today I was able to teach the 2 lessons I prepared--I was not sure but showering helped me feel better. I had told my neighbors I would teach for them because I had taught last week. My co-teacher needed me to teach too and I feel responsible to them so I decided to do both esp since they share the same classroom, it was easy. Tim was going to sit with the junior primary class but Zane caught the cold and so he told someone and took him home. I don't think I'll ever agree to teach 2 lessons in a week, it was very hard to feel inspired about either but I think they went well anyway. I came home and crashed after lunch. Tim cooked dinner and did a good job. It was nice to rest and I feel a little bit better. I hope I can really rest tonight and feel even better tomorrow!

Have a great week! Fall is coming upon us, we had beautiful weather all week and it is suppose to change tomorrow.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Happy Birthday 13th Birthday Emily!

Today was Emily's 13th birthday I think she has had a fun day...breakfast with Tim, lunch and shopping with Granny, updo and facial with cousin Maddie (pictures coming!) and Pew family party after dinner. I will post more tomorrow in my weekly family blog. Emily is so fun, creative, compassionate and talented. We are so blessed having her in our family...with all she puts up with around here I hope she knows she is loved!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Freedom Friday last minute post

I wasn't planning on posting because of Gwen's birthday but I just wanted to get the word out that there is a new documentary out in select theaters worth paying/supporting. It is called I Want Your Money. Check it out, I heard the director interviewed and then a friend saw it today and called to let me know she and her husband really enjoyed it. Here is the website about it: go here

Happy 4th Birthday Gwen!

Today Freedom Friday will have to wait because today is our littlest princess Gwen's birthday. She has brought so much love and joy into our home. People think 7 kids are a lot and logistics wise they are but when you add all the joy that that can mean it is worth it. She has tempered some hard hearts in our home. If they each treated each other like they treat her we would live in heaven! She is a gentle little person, bright and sweet. We are so blessed to have her in our family and we all hope she has the best day!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Louw Reunion: Day 2 Jackson and Jenny Lake

So our second day we left Kimmerer, Wyoming and met up with my brother Charl and his family in Jackson at the McDonald's there. The drive was gorgeous through the beautiful rugged Wyoming landscape. We took a short break by the Snake River just outside of Jackson because Taran and Timo had whitewater rafted that area earlier in the summer. They talked about it and showed us, pretty amazing place to go. They said that the whitewater was a lot higher when they came in June. They said that they had passed the place where we were stopped. They really enjoyed that experience--a good thing about scouts it exposes them to things we may never do with them. From McDonalds in Jackson we went to Teton National Park, amazingly beautiful!!! We went to Jenny Lake and took the ferry to the other side and hiked to Hidden Falls. More amazing beauty! Gwen was a great hiker but it wore her out as you can see in the collage. Zane was nervous about the boat ride but in the end he loved it and wanted to do it again! Later we checked in to our condo in Jackson Hole resort. We had a quick meal and then Charl drove us to Smiths in Jackson to get food for the rest of the week and I realized I needed my swim suit. I found a pair of mens swim shorts to wear and a t-shirt. I am sure if we went to a boutique I could have found one but I had bought an expensive suit already and didn't want another! I just wanted something to wear at the Firehole. In the end I shouldn't have worried because I didn't get in the Firehole! Owell, the condo was a beautiful place with plenty of room for 19 of us! We had access to a pool area with lots of pools, and a tennis court. It's just too bad it was so far from Yellowstone.

Lone Peak Homecoming and other happenings...

This week was Taran and Timo's high school homecoming so we spent time helping Taran and his friends plan their date for Saturday. The guys needed to not spend a ton of money but still make it nice. Us moms convinced them to do dinner at one of our homes. It was quite a bit of work Saturday but well worth it in the end. Unfortunately I did not get photos of the couples that night but I will post those once my friend (another mom) emails the ones she took.

Monday I helped in Zane and Micah's class and I even got to listen to Micah read. I had scouts that afternoon. Emily had flag football practice. For family night we played hide and seek in the dark. Timo had driving range so he missed it.

Tuesday was my turn to watch the girls so Stephanie could go to the temple. Afterward Gwen and I went shopping since we were really low on food. We also delivered her invitations to her princess party coming up this week. Can my baby be 4? Anyway, she has been so excited about this! I hope it lives up to her expectations. Micah had scouts and got to see a horned frog eat a mouse. Yep! That evening Taran went to see Anberlin in concert in Salt Lake City with friends (late night because I can't go to bed when I know my kids are that far away), Timo had a flag football game, Emily did not have play practice, Micah and Izak had soccer games. Tim and I each went to a soccer game. I went to Micah's since I was going to Izak's the next night. Micah actually scored 2 goals! I took Timo to driving range after Micah's game and my tooth started hurting out of the blue on the way home...not good.

Wednesday Gwen had preschool and I had scheduled a meeting with Taran's counselor about graduation and college stuff--at their request otherwise I may never get around to it! It was good and at least one local university will give him a full ride scholarship. She made us aware of other scholarships out there as well. I have wanted him to be doing research on this stuff but he may be more motivated now that it isn't far away. He just retook the ACT in September and got a 32 which we are really grateful for! This opens more doors for him. We'll see...he wants to go to BYU but he doesn't have money to pay for it! They probably will only give him a small scholarship. I picked up Gwen and her friend Zoe from preschool and when I dropped off Zoe her mom (Stephanie) invited us to pick apples, so we went! It was fun and fast and we have more delicious, crisp, fresh apples! I want to dry some but I haven't had a chance...maybe this week. Izak had scouts that day and then his last soccer game of fall. They controlled the game but lost, such a bummer since this was the number 1 team and they only lost by 2. I also had to pick up Emily and our neighbor who is in the musical with her, Alec, Wednesday and Thursday. Tim took the other kids to Taran and Timo's flag football game. Which they won. Timo had driving range again.

Thursday I called the dentist since I was still having trouble with my tooth. They had an opening when Gwen was going to be at her friend's. My visiting teachers came over that morning. And both brought me yummy pumpkin cookies. I dropped off Gwen and went to the dentist. I have a root that is dying, therefore I am getting a root canal and crown. Not too thrilled with that! Also the vans brakes were making weird noises and driving weird. So those need to be fixed. The mirror that needs replacing the replacement Tim ordered came in and it was broken. So we are still waiting on it. Then the washing machine broke AGAIN. I unknowingly I drove to DI (like Goodwill) and bought some stuff to paint for Halloween. I picked up the paint on the way home at Walmart. I'll post the transformation later--cool! Thursday was mellow compared to the rest of the week. I just had to stay on top of the Ibuprofen for my tooth. That night I went to Parent-Teacher Conferences, Tim was home in time so came along. It was good. The three musketeers are doing well in school which is a relief. Zane teacher had a lot of good suggestions to help him improve even though he is doing well. She's an older lady and knows her stuff! We had forgotten that Timo had his last night of range so he called Tim while we were at the school and Tim ran home. I caught a friend on her way home and she gave me a ride. When I got home Taran and his friends were finalizing their plans for the homecoming dinner and such. Tim and I gave suggestions. They decided what they could do and then I let the moms know what our assignments were. One mom said that she had some nice stuff we could use with another mom so I suggested they plan the table and let the rest of know what they need or what we can do. They did a great job and the other moms brought great stuff to contribute, it came together nicely.

Friday Gwen and went over to the church to help decorate for our ward/neighborhood Halloween Party. One of my visiting teachers is the activity chairperson and needed lots of help so we went. It was fun and Gwen was good just to sit and eat snacks and 'read' Halloween books. We went home for lunch and I asked Gwen if she wanted to go back and she said, "they are nice, but no." Check out the collage, the Halloween decor was amazing! I included only a couple of pictures. My friend Merrily should have done department store windows! The lady in charge went to her for help since her committee where all working during the day and couldn't be there. So we stayed home after lunch and I actually worked on my treat to bring which is the chocolate chip and cream cheese dip ghost. You use Smiths/Krogers graham cracker sticks to dip in it--yummy! My sister-in-law Amber brought it to a family thing and I have been dying to make it since we loved it! The kids were so excited to dress up. Gwen was Cinderella, Zane was Spiderman (our next door neighbor Spencer was him as well), Micah and Izak were BYU Football players and Emily was a Renaissance peasant thanks to our friend Linda Shattuck. The party was fun but Tim and I didn't dress up. I stayed and cleaned up after since there was so much to put away. It took 7 hours to set up and an hour to clean up! Taran and Timo went to the homecoming football game and activities. That day at school they did a spirit competition hence the picture of Taran with stuff on his face. Lone Peak won and it was a close game so super fun!

Saturday I woke up early to get things done. Homecoming preparations. I picked up parfait glasses for the yogurt parfaits I made, and shopped for other items as well. I met the couples at Walmart around 12:30 PM there group picture is in the collage. Then I did a competition--they did not know what they were going to have to do. I gave each couple $5 and they had to buy food for lunch that had a whole grain, fruit or vegetable and a protein. They had 10 minutes. The couple who got done first got 5 more dollars. The rest got a dollar! They had fun--I think and it was very interesting to see what they chose! They headed over to the duck pond park I frequently write about. They ate lunch there--I had stuck blankets and napkins etc. in the back of Taran's car so they could eat a picnic. Taran said that they fed the duck some of the bread they had bought for lunch and that was fun. They made their own marshmallow guns out of PVC pipe and had a marshmallow war. They had a lot of fun. After they dropped off their dates the boys and moms set up for dinner. It took until 5:45 PM to set up. The mom in charge of the tables borrowed Merrily's tents, and several other decorating items. The weather had turned colder so she lent us material that clips onto the the tent and made an enclosure. We put heaters in there and it was just the right temperature. We put lights around the inside, candles and Merrily's hanging light. One of the boys made a walkway with lights from the gate to the tent. Meanwhile Tim ran Emily and Izak to referee soccer, then he picked Taran's corsage, picked up Emily from her refereeing to take her to her flag football game that ended up getting forfeited! Then he went back and got Izak and went to Zane's soccer game. After the soccer game he and Izak went to the BYU vs. San Diego State football homecoming game--which they surprisingly won! Emily helped serve the food--eat little sister served her brother and his date. Originally I was not going to help with the food but in the end it was good all us moms were there to cook. They had a breakfast food theme--Tim's suggestion from a date he went to in high school. Everything was super nice and we had the cereal was in a large bowl fancy bowl with a ladle. They had crepes with several fillings, eggs, bacon, sausage, juice, milk and chocolate milk and my yogurt, strawberry and granola parfaits. The girls were in awe of the tents and set up. The food was a hit as well. They had a lot of fun at the dance and ended up in the tent after for donuts and hot chocolate. We washed all the dishes while they were gone. The boys came back after dropping of their dates and took down the tents, tables and chairs. Taran said that he didn't get home until 1:30 AM! Yikes.

Gwen has a cold so she stayed home from church. I stayed with her. Emily and Tim came home from sacrament meeting so I could go teach my class. Emily had a cold too and was just going to take Airborne and go back but ended up staying so I could have stayed and gone to RS. I would have gone back but my tooth is spaztic and hurts at random moments and I actually cry it hurts so bad--even on Ibuprofen so I thought I'd stay. I got Gwen lunch so it worked out and I wrote this. As I do I feel my mouth getting swollen. We have dinner at my mom's tonight with my dad's cousin and his wife who are here from South Africa--they were set apart by Elder Holland Thursday to be temple president and matron in the Johannesburg South African Temple. It should be a nice evening.

Hopefully we can get our van fixed, my tooth and decide on fixing or replacing the washing machine! Have a great week...we have fall break and 2 birthdays the end of the week! Fun times!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Freedom Friday a little early...

An economics teacher made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The teacher then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on the socialist plan".

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the teacher told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

***So I tried to find the source. I looked on Snopes which said that it's a legend but I think it illustrates the flaw behind the socialist thinking. Capitalism and free market succeed best when the population adhere to common morality, and ethics. That is our problem we must change ourselves so that we can be free and prosper. When we choose to live above the law those actions actually take away our freedom and that of others, it limits our options.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Louw Reunion: Day 1 on our way....

We decided to leave right after Tim, Amber, and Keith got out of work on Friday instead of leaving early Saturday morning--break up the drive a bit and rest well! So we drove to Kimmerer, Wyoming. I packed the car. Izak rode with Charl's family--help keep the kids entertained. Charl's family drove to Katie's sister's in Idaho Falls and they had fun there--they left early in the day. Teresa took Taran, Timo and Micah and left earlier as well but they stayed in the same hotel as us. They swam and relaxed while we just leaving--they ate dinner in Evanston at the 'fancy' McDonald's! We got to Kimmerer about 9 PM. The Best Western there was amazing. The facilities were some of the best especially for the price. They have an indoor pool open 24 hours because it's not near any rooms. The exercise room was also open 24 hours. Tim took the kids swimming (my dad and Keith went too) and I exercised and so did Teresa and Amber. The kids watched some of the Disney channel before going to bed. The breakfast the next day was super yummy. Emily and I got up early to beat the rush. We left by 9:30 AM and got to Jackson Hole at lunchtime. That will be my next post on the trip.

Catching up at home...

After letting things go last week, basically just feeding everyone and making sure the dishes and clothes were clean I tried to get back on track. Well, it didn't happen until Friday! But that's okay. I helped in Zane and Micah's class Monday. They had piano after school. Later Taran and Timo had a flag football game, so I took everyone but Emily who had her flag football practice. We had a short family night after dinner. Tuesday Izak and Emily have piano before school. I was able to go to the temple since I trade with my friend Stephanie. That was nice and I am getting better at staying awake. When I went to get Gwen she and Zoe were in these cute Dalmatian costumes. Stephanie took some cute photos of them with her camera--this one I posted Emily took. Micah had a soccer game that night, Emily had flag football and Izak had soccer practice. Micah and Emily won their games. I tried to get some photos of Emily playing but they were too far away. I'll try again. I am impressed with how good she plays. Wednesday Gwen had preschool. As I was leaving my sister in-law Shellie showed up with this cute cupcake tier for my birthday! At our last family party we celebrated all the summer birthdays and she was misinformed on that and was working in the court out here so took the opportunity! It was so sweet of her and we have enjoyed them! I bought a cool red and white planter with a gift card she got me too! After that I took my friend Linda shopping--she's epileptic and is in chemo now for breast cancer. Yes, she keeps me grateful. She just wanted to get some things that she thought might sound good to her after her treatment Thursday morning. She is doing well and has only one more treatment to go! Yeah! I had Gwen's friends over after preschool I took them to the duck pond and boy were those ducks hungry! They ate all the old bread I brought. Sophie brought crackers too. We had a picnic and they ended up feeding the ducks some of that too! It was really fun and they played on the playground afterward.
That night Taran and Timo had another flag football game, Zane had soccer practice, Emily had play practice and YW early and I had the Court of Honor. So I drove around a lot getting people places. Teresa stopped by for a couple of things and helped me out by browning the meat for burritos. The Court of Honor was nice a quick--1/2 hour. It seems like I had something important to do when I got home but I don't remember what it was. Thursday I went to my mom's to help her paint her hallway. My brother painted her living room and entry and stairs but she hasn't had time to get to the hall. My dad's cousins are coming from South Africa next week so she felt like getting done in time for their arrival. Unfortunately this kind of thing sets my dad off even worse than usual and he is practically useless--he used paint stuff all the time for her. When I got to my mom's she said that the carpet cleaners called and she had written down the wrong day--she thought Friday! So we quickly got it done and just as we finished they showed up! Tim and I had taken the van for inspection and of course it had some issues--our year to stimulate the auto industry economy! We actually knew everything that would need fixing. So hopefully we get it done soon! So I took him down to the place to pick up the van and then we went back to my mom's and had Mexican take out on her deck while they started cleaning her carpets. I got home in time to change out of my paint clothes and pick up Timo to go to the orthodontist. Taran was home so he watched Gwen--yeah! Thursday night was Pack Meeting and Izak got his WEBELOS, yeah! It's kind of weird to think he will be in my scouts in less than 6 months! Micah got some awards too. Not sure what else I did after Pack Meeting. I have still been going to bed early and getting up early and exercising so I am sure I wasn't up too late. Friday I got into the groove and tore out all the garden except tomatoes since we are still getting some. I filled the rest of the garbage can with all that. I got 2 pumpkins despite all that was working to kill them off! We have had a warmer fall the last week than we had in June! I mopped the kitchen, entry and bathrooms upstairs, did laundry and made zucchini chocolate cake. Gwen helped me a little--she likes using the mop bucket part that squeezes out the water. She had borrowed the Princess and the Frog from my mom so she watched it while I finished up. So we are looking better around here but still have a ways to go. Friday afternoon I had my scout fall camp out. Tim got his flu shot at work and came home early so that helped me a lot! Micah had soccer practice and I got Emily a ride home from the neighbor whose son is in the musical with Emily. He made dinner (I had bought Totinos on sale), and took the kids Emily and younger to his parents for the BYU vs Utah State. BYU is hurting--Utah State hadn't beat them in 10 years! Taran and Timo opted out of the BYU game to go to the AF vs LP game at AF. Taran and Timo go to Lone Peak and they won. Much more fun to watch than BYU! The camp outs are always fun but we do A LOT. After setting up tents we have the older boys in the group teaching skills to the younger ones. We were rotating so only a few were getting taught at a time but some of the boys hadn't reviewed what they were teaching so we had to step in and do it. That was disappointing and made it slow and hard at first for the newer guys--until we helped. In the end it was good and the older boys were able to start remembering some things! We have the camp out in my co-scout leader's backyard and her husband set up his amazing telescope to see Jupiter! The boys enjoyed that too! I got home just before Tim and gang. Saturday I was up early and we made breakfast before everyone had to leave the camp out. We were done by 7:30 AM. Some boys had football or lacrosse games. So I was home by 7:45 AM because we had everything cleaned up. We had our neighborhood earthquake emergency practice at 8 AM. I am glad we do these so we get into the habit of what should be done instead of panic! We went over some first aid procedures and were done. They time us to see how long we take to check in as groups. I have a feeling this week was not our best time. We worked on chores until conference started then I sent the kids outside so I could listen! I told them they could stay, be quiet and listen or go outside. I know some people make their kids watch all the sessions but I feel like Saturday needs to be their choice--this is waht I told the kids that morning. Taran, Timo and Emily chose to watch the Saturday sessions. Loved conference--I so look forward to it! Zane had a soccer game in between the sessions Saturday. I was planning on going but my neighbor Melissa who moved to Boise for 2 years was down and stopped by on their way to his parents. We had a nice shat--she was checking out her house she is renting out. It was fun to see her and her family for a little they are coming back the end of the week to visit again. Izak and Emily had refereeing at 4 and 5 PM so I missed the end of Elder Scott's talk to get them there! Tim took Taran and Timo out to dinner before Priesthood Session and went to see it with Tim's dad and brother-in-law. They went to Tim's parents' after for ice cream. Meanwhile I had the kiddos at home and they had gotten their allowance so they wanted to see some stuff at Target--they get their fill of Walmart! So I picked up Emily and Izak and then we picked up Wendy's on our way to Target. Some were more successful in finding what they wanted than others! I was able to take some shirts back to Old Navy that Taran and Timo didn't want and pick something I found for Emily's birthday while she was in the car eating with the kids! They went straight to bed after that and I worked on putting my laundry away. Tim bought some of the MOTAB DVDs of their Christmas performances that we don't have and the one we went to last year with Natalie Cole. So we watched the one with Audra McDonald (Tony winner) and she is AMAZING! What sound, wow! I was so tired I wanted to get to bed early but I just kept liking the songs so I stayed through it all! Last night Gwen woke up 2 times so we were so tired this morning we did not get up early! We have enjoyed conference, Tim took the kids for walk in between sessions. Now they are getting dinner ready--we had a a lot of snacks so I am not dure how hungry anyone is really going to be! We usually get together with family over this weekend but my mom is trying to keep her house in order so she didn't want anything at her house and I feel like I am just getting things back together and didn't feel like I could do it today! You know when you say, I have done a lot this week (and last week) and I need to chill. That's how I felt. I also don't like being out late on a school night and we just have a hard time breaking away early so I felt this was best. I can only hope to finish the organizing and cleaning I have been able to do! Have a great week and happy October!