Friday, December 30, 2011

Favorites of 2011

So it's the end of the year and I like to reflect on what has happened...I always enjoy reading lists that others post of THE Top 10 Movies, and such even if I don't agree with THEIR lists I like thinking through what were my favorites...So here I go:

Favorite new find: Pinterest, I could do a post of all I have learned from that!
Favorite new song: Junk of the Heart by the Kooks, sounds weird but it is super fun and makes me smile (check it out free on Grooveshark)
Favorite new food: Naan, Indian Bread, our Walmart sells it--who knew?
Favorite movie I saw this year: Soul Surfer (why don't I own it?), and the last HP, the end of my favorite book series
Favorite book: Sun and Moon Snow and Ice by Jessica Day George
Favorite new author: Kristyn Crow, who writes picture books and we met
Favorite adventure: going to NYC with Julie and Taran's choir
Favorite new activity: watching June
Favorite new quote (from Pinterest): I may not be perfect but parts of me are AWESOME!
Favorite milestone: 20 years married to Tim, he's amazing
Favorite pastime with family: using our Pass of All Passes: 7 Peaks & Trafalga
Favorite weird thing: Taran's roommate's Body Rollz YouTube Video

What I am looking forward to next year:
1. more sleep, not sure how I am going to do that
2. more exercise
3. more organization
4. less overeating
5. less clutter
6. Taran's mission call
7. Gwen starting Kindergarten
8. Going to Girls Camp, it's been decades
9. Going to Youth Conference, it's also been decades
10. Last but not least: going to Brian Regan with Tim in January!!! My favorite present from Christmas!

Farewell 2011, you've taught me a lot! Happy New Year everyone! May 2012 be your best!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Catching Up on the Holidays...

We've been busy! As I am sure you have to so you probably didn't notice that I haven't blogged the last 2 weeks! As the year winds down I want to be up to date as much as possible! I usually find time on Sundays but we had a family thing and Christmas these last 2 Sundays!

The kids went to school the 12th-16th. Gwen and I took Taran a Finals Survival Kit that morning before we watched my dad. Later Gwen had a little pre-Irish dance demo for grandparents and parents. Granny and Daddy came and she actually danced! She is going back in January. That night for family night we went to Walmart and shopped for a child in need. Timo also bought a toy for a thing his teacher was doing at the high school. It was a fun activity, we wish we could do it for all the kids on the tree! Tuesday Luke and his family were sick so I drove them. I was going Visiting Teaching that morning so my mom picked Gwen up for me. We actually took our ladies out for breakfast at Kneader's it was a yummy time! Then I went and got Gwen. I did not make it to the temple since I had no one to watch Gwen--my mom had something later. Gwen had made a graham cracker house you can sort of see it in the collage. It fell on our way home from my mom's so it's not in top form! That night was Timo's Choir Concert. He had down played it but it turned out great! Wednesday Gwen had the craft for her preschool Christmas party so they made glitter cookie cutter ornaments--she had to teach it so we went with easy! I made creamy fudge and cracker candy for the Young Men and Young Womens combined activity that night. Well, also Micah had a scout party and had to bring a treat to it as well. Izak had a scout thing that night too. The activity was a presentation by a couple in our ward who are a doctor and nurse and do Humanitarian work for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was so neat to hear how the church is helping babies through neo-natal resuscitation training! They have had many amazing experiences! They are young so they will be doing it for a long time! Thursday I drove for the preschool field trip to the mall to see Santa. I was Gwen's first time so I paid for her photo. Somehow I missed putting it in the collage. She enjoyed it! Tim works near the mall so he joined us for lunch since the kids in our car all ended up going home the teacher or parents after it was 'over'. We had Luke who we had all day since it was our day. We had fun but they weren't up for shopping so we left after lunch. Thursday afternoon a lady in our ward whoes husband sins in the MoTab offered Tim tickets for that night's MoTab Christmas concert so he and Izak went. They had a great time. Friday was the last day of school of 2011! I helped with Izak's class party. Gwen came with and it was fun--we made graham cracker houses and did some other activities. We split them into 2 groups so it was a little easier to do it all and then switched. June came over just after we ate lunch. That way I could be there when the kids got home and she could do what she needed to. That night was the Christmas Dance. Timo and his friends went to a pizza place for dinner, had a white elephant exchange and played games until the dance. They had a lot of fun and then "Buster" the Chevy Lumina he drives died! Luckily he was able to run home and grab the big van and drive his date home. We were at Emily's play at the jr high A Christmas Carol as a radio show in the 40s. They did a great job. Apparently they wrote the play themselves--of course it was mostly Dickens' words! We tried out the new Arctic Circle on the way home--I got a peppermint shake it was amazing! Saturday I went to the temple, I just woke up and went. Tim and Timo towed the buster back to our house. The transmission went out in it. It's a 20 yr old car so time for something newer! It was Holly's birthday so my mom picked up Emily and Gwen to go with my mom to lunch with her--her request. We met up with them later at Charl and Katie's for ice cream cake and presents. It was fun. The kids didn't want to go since there were some college bowl games on that we do not get on our tv. Owell...Timo got asked to Preference somewhere in there--notice the hand in the butter...she buttered him up to pop (popcorn later) the question if he would go! Messy! Saturday night I went and got Taran from BYU. He had moved to his new place but needed a ride back here. We filled the car. His new digs are sweet! Sunday we had planned to have the kids play some of the Christmas songs they had learned on the piano for the grandparents. We usually have it at our house but my dad isn't leaving home much these days so we had it there and we picked up Tim's parents since they prefer to not drive in the dark. It was a fun evening we potlucked dinner and then the kids performed. Taran actually played carols on his guitar and we all sang along. Timo played See The Light from Tangled. Gwen played Twinkle, Twinkle...It was fun. After we got home that night Tim, Taran, Timo and Emily figured out how to do a He is Born, it's an A Capella Christmas song. I would post it here but it seems my videos never work here. They were getting ready for the Pew extended family FHE.
Monday there was no school but I still went out to my mom's since she needed to get some shopping done. I brought Gwen with. I visited with my dad. Then I was looking at a present for Izak long story short I needed to go to SLC to get it so my parents drove me up. We dropped Gwen off on our way up. I helped my mom look for presents at the store there and we stopped at a couple more on our way back. I had to quickly get the mashed potatoes made I was suppose to bring to the Pew FHE. It was a fun time. We ate, some performed, Tim's dad read Luke 2 and then we made painted sugar cookies. Those took the longest but it was fun to be together. The guys watched the first Jazz game that night while we made the cookies. That night Tim was sick with some kind of flu thing. He stayed home from work the next day. I went to the temple. I also did some shopping later. We were suppose to go to SLC to Temple Square to see the lights and go out to dinner. Timo ended up going with friends. The kids were disappointed but handled it well. Wednesday Tim was well enough to go to work. I worked on the neighbor gifts. That night we picked up Teresa and met Charl, Katie and kids to go through the lights at Thanksgiving Point. It was fun. A new feature this year was a frozen fountain--it's in the collage. Afterward Teresa had all of us over for Hot Chocolate. Some watched Elf, I chatted with Katie and Charl they were telling me about Katie's talk. Thursday was Emily's white elephant party with her friends. Taran helped me deliver the neighbor gifts so they were out of the way. The kids got most of their friend stuff delivered too. Emily and her friend Emily made creamy fudge and chocolate fudge which both turned out yummy. They made a big mess but did a good job! I also made a few other things for the party. They had a lot of fun. Taran went to the BYU Basketball game with a friend. Timo made himself scarce as well--they didn't want to be there around the jr high kids! Like they weren't there once! The party decided to play fugitive in the FREEZING cold. Actually it has been a very mild winter so far. Emily begged Tim into it. I finished a book I was reading. Friday Tim had off of work so he ran around shopping. I needed to go but waited for him which was a mistake and I forgot my phone. That night in honor of Joseph Smith's birthday we had a progressive dinner and a some detail from his life at each house. It made it different and interesting but also long. We ended with a white elephant exchange. I love this tradition. Joseph has taught us more about our Savior Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father than most post Jesus followers. So that is why we celebrate him. Not worship.
Christmas Eve was mostly getting things ready for Sunday and Christmas. I spent most of my day making a book for my dad. I had him go through old black and white from South Africa, and I wrote down the info on the back of the photos in pencil. Then I mounted them on paper and typed up the info and put it on. It took me a long time! We had our simple dinner on the floor in the family room by candlelight--cheese, crackers, juice, nuts, dried fruit and grapes. Then we watched the reading of Luke 2 by Michael York and watched the last song Angels from the Realm of Glory by David Archuleta and the MoTab. It was a nice simple evening. My parents came and Teresa. My mom wasn't sure if they would make it but they did. We were done by 7 PM and they went home. We unwrapped our pjs. The little kids bathed and went to bed. Teresa, and Emily watched While You Were Sleeping--Tim and I watched a bit. Taran and Timo delivered stuff to their friends. Timo's friend put the wings on his car that he had made for it for Timo's birthday! See the collage. Taran taught himself a few more carols on the guitar. Tim helped me with my dad's book and did most of the Santa stuff. If I hadn't waited to do my dad's present we would have been in bed early for once! Maybe next year! Sunday the kids got us up at 6:40 AM. I think it was 7 before we actually got everyone else up to open presents. By 8 AM we were done! Everyone seemed to enjoy what they got. Timo wasn't feeling well and went back to bed. The rest of us ate our favorite cereal--I bought everyone their own box of cereal. This is a realt treat since most of the cereal I buy is high fiber. After that I rested/slept read my scriptures and the kids played with their gifts. Tim and the 3 oldest had choir at 10:30 AM. So we got Timo up to shower which he did and he felt well enough to go. Sacrament Meeting was mostly music. They had an older couple share their testimony which where very sweet and simple. The bishop closed with his remarks which were also good. We came home after briefly visiting with a few neighbors on our way! We wrote our gifts to Jesus for the coming year and out them in a box that we keep with our decorations. We changed and packed up our stuff and left the Pews. We had lunch there, we brought some stuff to share but she had ham and fruit salad and stuff. It was yummy and we were first so we enjoyed spending some one on one time with them. Just as we finished the Espinozas arrived. They ate then we did the gifts since we weren't sure when Amy and family would come and the kids were anxious. After playing with gifts I think our sleepiness set in and we sat around and watched WALL-E. It is so cute. Taran, Timo and Tim had never seen it so we stayed to the end. By then Amy and family were there but we needed to leave for my mom's. So we had a brief visit and left. We had dinner there. It was yummy too. Then we opened presents because Keith and Amber needed to head over to her family. So our visit with them was brief as well. We enjoyed the gifts and especially giving the gifts. It was a nice night but we were tired. Anders wanted to sleepover so we let him and Holly. After we got home we watched the First Christmas a Liken the Scripture video that we enjoy. Then we went to bed. I crashed! That's it for now. So grateful to spend time with family and the blessing of the Christmas season for the love we feel from God and his son Jesus Christ.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

So I got the second tree decorated as you can see in the collage! Other than no real snow yet it feels like we are getting into the holidays. Emily had her Choir Christmas concert and I always enjoy those! Unfortunately I forgot my camera but I am getting ahead of myself.

Last Monday I didn't go to my mom's. I stayed home with Gwen got stuff done around here. My mom knew I was tired after a long busy weekend so I was grateful to not drive in that condition. Gwen has another weird freak out at dance so we both left crying. It was very frustrating. She has promised me she will dance tomorrow which is a special day for any parents or grandparents who want to go. Tim is coming and I think my mom so she better! She really is good I know I keep saying that but she and Zoe have really impressed me with how well they follow directions and execute the skills. She dances around the house so I know she loves it. When I asked her why she was freaking out she said, "Satan. It's him." I wanted to laugh but I was too mad! We were suppose to have a special FHE with our nephew Sam who was coming from Texas to go into the Missionary Training Center. He missed his plane and then his connecting flight in Arizona was over booked so he was bumped to another flight. So by the time we were able to get him it was about 11 PM. So we had a simple FHE of a Muppet Christmas Carol which we love. Some of the kids helped me decorate while we watched. Tim had gone to go get Sam with his mom and they were just on the freeway when they got the word that he got bumped so he turned around and took her home and then came home. I took a nap before we left so I might be some help to Tim! It was fun to see Sam. He is such a cute kid and handled the challenges of the day well. We couldn't find his luggage at first but got that figured out that it had arrived on that first flight out of Arizona! By the time we dropped him off and got home it was close to 1 AM. Tim's highlight besides seeing Sam was seeing NBA Jazz player Mehmmot Okur (not sure how to spell it) who is from Turkey arrive before Sam. Tim said, "Hey." And he said, "Hello!" He couldn't wait to tell Timo! Timo ditched FHE to ask a girl to the Christmas Dance (which is this week) and he helped his friends do it too--I thought he's be home in time but they took FOREVER to figure out what to do!

Tuesday I woke up not feeling well like I might throw up or have the other. Later I figured out it was the MUSCINEX I had taken before bed on an empty stomach. I went back to bed after the kids left for school and slept until the phone rang. I felt a bit better but not 100%. I just drank some milk to see how that went. We went to lunch with Sam, Tim's parents, and his sisters Amy and Shellie. It was fun to spend time with them and see him but I had left my camera in the car but I thought I had left it in the van at Tim's work so I didn't even try. Amy took pictures so hopefully she'll post them soon. Tim and I went to the mall after to get a protective shield put on his mom's Ipod as her Birthday present. It is amazing protection and it has a lifetime warranty. We also looked at some Christmas present ideas--we were considering a speed bag for the boys to punch instead of each other. We consider it for their birthdays. Having 3 boys close in age has multiplied our teasing and torturing. I went and picked up Gwen after dropping Tim off and picking up the van. I still felt weird but not as bad as the morning. I took it easy because we had the last night of the Madrigal Feast and I had to help in the kitchen. I did some serious praying because I didn't want to go if I had a bug. I felt like I would fine and it was going to fine. I got there and got things going because the lady in charge was a little late because she had taken a cat nap that went too long--bless her heart they had had 250 people come the night before!!! So I was glad that I was there because none of the other adults knew what to do. Emily watched the little kids--they had pizza. Izak made sure Zane went to scouts and they all went to piano. When I got done I just got in line with some of my friends whose kids were in it with Timo--again I forgot my camera! One of my friends took a photo of Timo and the 'gang' but I guess I forgot to get it off of facebook. We got awesome seats and Timo was one of our servers. My mom came with us. It was amazing, I just love this event and hope to go every year! It was the first time I went with Tim!

Wednesday my visiting teachers came. They are really great about coming and brought me yummy treats and a fleece blanket. It was fun to visit with them! After they left Gwen and I went Christmas shopping. She got Micah's present. We got a bit done which was good before we had to get home for the kids. Micah had scouts that afternoon. That night was Emily's choir concert and my mom joined us. Dad hasn't been doing as well lately. He is pretty miserable. But he lets my mom get out to stuff like this if he is okay enough. It is hard on my mom but she also needs a break from worrying about him. Timo didn't come because he had Iron Chef at scouts. He claims to have won--he did bring home a prize so I guess he must have:)

Thursday I had Luke and then his little sister Sophie came over later. She is just the funnest thing! She is almost 2 and delightful. I planned on hanging with them downstairs but we did do some stuff upstairs. I got some YW stuff done on the computer. Tim took Taran for his EKG at the hospital and his blood test. He is A+. So once we hear back we'll know if he needs more tests or just get regular check ups. My sister-in-law who is also a redhead said that it is common for redheads to have a heart murmur! She had one too. She was tested and it wasn't worth worrying about. Hopefully this is his case so we can be done and get those missionary papers turned in on time! Emily went with her YW class to SLC to Temple Square to see the lights and they went to dinner at the Lionhouse Pantry--soup and salad. They ended at one of the leader's grandmother's condo that overlooks the temple! Emily said that the view was amazing. They wrote letters to their future selves! Cool. Timo and Tim went to Jr Jazz practice that night.

Friday Gwen woke up with a cold. No fever but she looked tired to I asked Anna if she could bring June here so Gwen could lay around here. Anna was great with the idea. We loads of fun with her but I didn't let Gwen touch her face. I tried to get her to wash her hands if she touched her nose. June took a couple of naps and I was able to move laundry and make banana bread. She really is a delightful baby! Anna and I were visiting when the boys got home from school and they were loving her! It is such a blessing to have family close by to help and support each other and enjoy each other! Tim and Izak went down to register Izak for indoor soccer with his team--they carpooled with another dad and his son which was nice! Then we had the kids do their chores. Once they finished they watched Elf. Emily and her friends had been gone and came back so they babysat. We hope anyway! We took Tim's mom's Ipod to her. We had a nice visit and she had something we got for Tim's dad and I had something I bought for Gwen so we swapped. Gwen really wants this FurReal Puppy Cookie. I got it on Amazon that day with some cashback from Discover and then on our way home we stopped at Walmart and found it there for almost $20 less! So I tried to cancel when I got home but it isn't looking too promising! The one I bought was the same price as the one at our neighborhood Walmart. I think that Walmart sells for a lot less than ours! Timo had gone to the first home basketball game and they won--of course, they are ranked 24th NATIONALLY by ESPN. Crazy!

Saturday we had to be up early because we had our ward Christmas Party breakfast and Nativity Program. I was helping with the costumes. Tim and Timo sang. Emily was a shepherd. It was really nice and the teenagers were great 'actors'. The Primary kids sang a couple of songs at the beginning as well which was entertaining. Tim and I went shopping again--normal stuff and some Christmas. When we got home there was a riproaring football game going on in the backyard. Then they played Quittich and then spoons and UNO. Tim put together some gingerbread houses we bought from a kit while got some apple toffee dip ready and white elephant gifts to go to my cousin's new house. They bought an older home in Provo above the temple built in the 60s. It is in a cul-de-sac. They are in the middle of remodeling it. It's pretty cool. Taran joined us later--he has finals coming so he has been mostly studying the last 2 days. He is able to to get into his new apartment so he has been going there since it is quieter. He got a sweet ceramic chicken from Izak who thought it was sweet! Everyone laughed when Izak said that! Everyone was pretty entertained by the game--Zane was dreading it but came home with a stuffed turtle which he LOVES! We took Taran home after--he dropped off the chicken and we bought milk at the Creamery. Then we took to him to the new dorms. When we got home Timo was there--he had gone to DI with some of his friends and to Dominoes. He was helping his friend who was going to ask one of his friends to Preference. So Tim ironed while I folded and we watched part of a The Christmas Story--strange movie. We were all so tired we didn't finish it before we went to bed.

Tim had 6 AM meetings and I had one at 8 AM at the church, BYC. Izak was babysitting when I got home luckily it was alright. Tim, Emily and Timo had choir practice. Church was great--what I heard of it. I had a hard time not falling asleep. I wrote our missionaries this afternoon besides getting dinner ready. Tonight was our Stake Choirside. So I went with Timo, Emily, Tim and I and Izak was at home babysitting the rest. I felt like they had had enough sitting for a day! Our choir was great and there were a few others that were really good too. The others were still pleasant. I just love all the Christmas music. We sang in between while other choirs changed places. It's just too bad people don't make time to support their ward choir. We had a huge choir in California--I haven't seen a ward in Utah with a choir as big yet. Our ward has come close when more youth came. Timo is the only young man who comes. Izak will join in the spring.

Last week of school for 2011! Crazy! Taran starts finals tomorrow! Then moves this weekend. I have 2 class parties this week to help with and visiting teaching as well. It's all good! A few more gifts to get...I hope you have a great week! Enjoy it!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The end of November and beginning of December...

So can I tell you HOW relieved I am this week is over? Lots of good stuff but it was a lot and I am glad to begin my holiday celebrations wholeheartedly! Monday Tim stayed home from work because he was ill. I went to my parents and dad wasn't up to much. I did some little things here and there for my mom but she didn't leave. Gwen had dance later that day and went--yeah! Then after Izak went to scouts and Gwen and I ran errands. Emily had the last night of the Night in Bethlehem. She signed up to help again next year! For Family Home Evening we watched the short movie Madagascar Pequins holiday adventure and then Joy to the World about Jesus DVD. We had peppermint ice cream with chocolate syrup. I had tried to make these brownie waffles I found on Pinterest . According to the info the waffler needs a setting possibility of low which ours has just one setting. So we had a huge brownie mess which I cleaned up and made the rest of the batter in a pan.

Tuesday Tim stayed home again...he had a fever so I wouldn't let him go to work. I went to the temple first thing and made it back for my YW meeting at 10 AM. Then Emily called during the meeting so I went and got her out of school after my YW Presidency Meeting. After lunch she went to bed. She seemed to feel a lot better when she woke up! That night was Pack Meeting and it was Zane's first since he JUST turned 8. He was very excited and he was in the skit which was really cute. They branded him a CUB. I videoed that part. Micah's group had treats so I made some chocolate cookie bars. I ran to Old Navy that night and got socks for each of young women for next year's birthday gift--60 of them! But it was buy one ($2.50) get one 75% off.

Wednesday I drove Gwen and Luke to preschool. And then I tried to get my house back together. It was in complete disarray with all the running around. Gwen and I went shopping for some Christmas things after we dropped Luke off. That night was a Court of Honor with an Eagle Court of Honor afterward. Timo was busy with the Madrigal Feaste at the high school.
Izak got his Tenderfoot and 2nd Class awards as well as some Merit Badges, five, I think. They did a slideshow of the 11 year old scouts and it was so neat it made me emotional at the end when they thanked me and said that they would miss me. Then they gave a candle and some treats as a thank you which made me cry. It was weird to be there but not a leader but I am beginning to feel more comfortable in Young Womens.

Thursday a guy came by to appraise our house we are refinancing to a lower rate, we never thought we'd do it again but we should end up on the same schedule we were on only paying less monthly nice! It was stressful for me because I have not been doing well on keeping up with stuff but it was okay when he came except for the teenagers' rooms and my craft room. Owell, I live here right? I picked up Gwen and Luke and worked on a candy advent. I used to make them all the time but the kids would forget to cut off a candy each day so I stopped. Gwen has been bugging me about WHEN is Christmas so I thought now is the time to reinstate it! So far so good! Gwen and I wrapped presents for Hans and Griffin so we could mail them Friday. That afternoon I went to high school to help do dinner prep for the Madrigal Feaste that night. Timo worked there after I left. There were so many students we didn't have a ton to do. I got my Young Women handouts finished that night. I wanted everything done before Saturday.

Friday Gwen and I went to Anna's and watched June. It was fun. Emily wasn't feeling well but went to school because she had a test. I had told her I would come get her after watching June. She ended up feeling better and telling me she didn't need to come home. So Gwen and I ran errands--got stuff for Zane's baptism on Saturday. Emily and a friend who magically showed up after school went to Grandma Pew's to help set her Christmas Village. Nate took them and Maddie since I had to take Zane to a party that was out of the neighborhood. Gwen and I mailed the package after we dropped Zane off. I started making dinner when we got back and cookies. I made 3 batches of cookies. One I realized too late I had only put half as much sugar! Oops! I was getting ready for the baptism on Saturday. I finished at about 10 PM.

Saturday I went early to get my eyebrows waxed and made it home with plenty of time to get ready for the baptism. I wanted it to be fast prep after so I had it all on the counter ready to go but covered it and hot chocolate in the crock pots. Since it was not during a meal this was the plan. It was a nice baptism service. Tim and Emily sang his favorite song I Have Faith, it sounded nice even though they both barely had voices because of their colds earlier in the week. Micah gave a talk on Baptism. Timo baptized Zane and Tim confirmed him and Taran got to help him as well. What a neat experience! Almost all the extended family members came which was really nice and some of Zane's friends were able to come as well. After the celebrating was over Tim took the 3 boys and Gwen to his parents' to watch the BYU vs Hawaii football game. BYU won so it was fun for them! Meanwhile I did a little Christmas shopping then watched While You Were Sleeping while doing my Christmas cards. I started falling asleep so I went to bed so I still need to finish that! I still need to decorate our tree downstairs but it will happen now that the biggest stressors are over!

Today was testimony meeting and Tim, Timo and I bore our testimonies. I taught YW and got a lot of positive feedback. Even Emily said that I did well! I had such an overwhelming strong impression to do the things I did I really hope it helped inspire them! Now we need to eat before the Christmas devotional tonight! I leave you with recent photos of Taran and his crazy roommates! Happy Holidays and remember it's not about the presents but HIS presence. Clever, I saw it somewhere!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Zane's birthday, Thanksgiving and decking the halls...

Well, this week seems like it had a month's worth of activities! Monday I helped my mom in the morning. Then I took Gwen to dance, she wouldn't dance because her bosom buddy Zoe wasn't there. She just loves dance but she can't be brave on her own. This has become somewhat crippling for her and I am not sure what to do. Lots of prayers so far and more to come! Buck and Anna dropped off Da Vinci their turtle for us to watch while they are in Boise all week. We wrote Thank You cards for FHE and delivered any that were close by. It was a good experience we should do it every week!

Tuesday I was going to go to the temple when my friend couldn't go with me I went ahead and got the donuts for the classes that won the reading contest--one winner for upper grades and one for lower grades (it was an average). I also got some shopping done for Zane's birthday party, that night. I also helped my friend who did the awards for the reading program hand them out that day. It took us about an hour. The kids seemed happy about their prizes. I am glad that is over, now I can focus on my Young Women's lesson. I am teaching next Sunday, all the girls. And of course I have big plans...not really but you know I have some specific goals and they are lofty...we'll see. I was able to get the little boys to piano and get the stuff ready for the party. I even mopped which seems a waste but it made me feel good and isn't that the point? We had the boys over for pizza and then we went to lazertag at Trafalga. It was pretty fun but it took longer (standing in line) than we thought and so we only ended up playing one game. Emily and Timo were out with friends so Izak babysat Gwen. He did great with her. He is very good with little kids. The kids all seemed to have fun. Zane enjoyed it so that's what counts! That night I realized I hadn't really shopped for him, waiting until after the party but I had forgotten that so I was a little panicked when I realized that I had to prepare the stuff for the Louw Thanksgiving that night and get his birthday stuff done.

Wednesday the kids didn't have school so they slept in and milled around playing with Zane's new toys. I ran around getting stuff. I was in charge of the smoked Turkey, cranberry salad and the drink. So I got that done when I got home. We met Tim at my mom's, as well as Taran whom my mom picked up. We went a little early to mix the salad and drink--cranberry lemonade. It was all yummy stuff! We had fun celebrating Zane, Timo and Amber's birthdays as well. Teresa gave some of the funniest cards--it's kind of a competition between her and Keith and they are great at it. We missed Teresa that night she wasn't feeling up to it.

Thursday was Zane actual birthday so he had chosen crepes for breakfast but most of them were planning on going to the Turkey Bowl so I convinced him to go with some cold cereal that I don't buy anymore. So Fruity Pebbles, Golden Grahams and apple juice were his choice! After breakfast Tim took all of them over but Gwen to the school for the Turkey Bowl. It's for all the people in the neighborhood who want to come and play football. Emily was the only girl but she had fun anyway! Gwen watched the Maceys Thanksgiving Day Parade. I actually cleaned up some leaves and stuff in the yard. Tim mowed when he got back. It wasn't as nice as Wednesday but it was pleasant to work in. Last year we didn't have a chance to clean up much before we had snow and biting cold weather. The guys showered and watched football until it was time to go to Grandma Pew's. It was a relaxing day. The food and company were fun. We also celebrated Ammon, Grandma Pew, Timo and Zane's birthday. Zane picked pumpkin pie for his 'cake'. Unfortunately I only videoed him blowing his "8" candle out. We stayed until all the NFL football games were over. We saw all the gazillion cars parked at our Walmart, and the surrounding areas. We almost worried that we wouldn't be able to get into our driveway!:) For some reason that kind of thing doesn't appeal to me even though I am a MAJOR bargain shopper! That night the heat bulb we had just replaced on Wednesday was dropped on the carpet and because it was hot it busted so someone was going to have to get a new bulb on Black Friday!

Friday Tim and I went to the Temple after breakfast. They needed patrons for sealings so we did those. It was really nice, of course. Timo went with my mom to lunch in honor of his birthday. Taran did some music recording with his friend Andrew. Tim took Izak swimming to pass off his 2nd class swim. He did it! He has tried before but was so freaked out it didn't happen. Now to get him to pass the 1st class swim! Emily had to be at the Night in Bethlehem at 5 PM so she ate early. She is a Hebrew girl and she and the other children do a dance and act. Timo went to a friend's that night as well and Taran so we had to be ready to get Emily. I also ran to the store for some things Taran needed and there were still some Black Friday deals out! Amazing! Gwen and Zane watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey version). Tim ended up getting the heat bulb for the turtle while he and Izak were out because they went near PetSmart.

Saturday Tim and I went out to my mom's after scriptures. She needed some help in the yard still. We offered Taran and Timo to go or help the little kids with their Saturday chores. They opted to stay home and so it was like a date for Tim and I. Keith and Amber showed up a little after us and then Charl and family. My mom's next door neighbors the Bergesons came over as well. Between us all we had the yard looking good and ready for the major digging happening in January. Because we were so quick we got her Christmas stuff out: outside lights on the bushes and small trees, inside artificial trees set up...She was super appreciative since what we did would have taken her a lot longer than an hour! The kids were done when we got home. Tim had set up our trees the night before but they still needed decorations. He decided to work on the house lights after lunch. It was cold in the shade by then so that made it slow work. I put lights on all the bushes and trees in our yard. We don't have many so it's not too bad. Tim finished at 5:30 PM just as it was getting dark. I helped him as I could handing him stuff. He almost had an accident. The ladder slid and it stopped with about 1/8 of an inch holding him there! I saw it! Freaky! I would work on the tree inside and upstairs while making dinner and checking on him. The kids were in and out and Gwen, Zane and Micah decorated their own bedroom trees. Gwen helped me with the living room tree too. It's a bit of a bummer no one cares about decorating the trees much anymore. So I finished the inside tree after Tim didn't need the ladder. I didn't attempt photos of our outside lights because they never turn out. I think I might try it at dusk tomorrow. We went to the Night in Bethlehem Emily is participating in, a free live Nativity. Our tickets we were assigned were at 8:30 PM. I had reserved 9 forgetting Emily was in it! So my mom used the extra ticket. It was nice to have Taran with us but I forgot my camera! It was really nice and got us into the spirit of Christmas. Maybe we can volunteer to help next year! We put the little kids to bed and then watched Trapped in Paradise on Clearplay--quite a bit of swearing but a wonderfully funny Christmas show! I folded laundry. Tim ironed.

Today Zane had his baptism interview with the bishop so he is set. Timo had his interview so he can baptize him and get his temple recommend. He and Tim went hometeaching after church. Taran went to his ward which only had Sacrament Meeting and it was combined with another ward. He hung out with his one roommate from out of state who was by himself. He came back for dinner and to get all his stuff-he did laundry here. I was able to get some stuff done for my lesson today. I am excited but cautious. I was hoping to get to the other Christmas tree decorated in the basement. Maybe tomorrow. I did get other decorations up yesterday and Friday but I want all the boxes GONE! I enjoyed church the Sacrament Meeting talks were about Scripture Power. This is something I know is true, the scriptures give us amazing power in our lives! They testify that our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ love us, each personally and are concerned about us. That was going to be my Thankful Thursday this week that I am thankful for my knowledge of them. I am not sure what kind of life I would have not knowing about them. They give me peace, comfort and confidence in my future and the power to overcome any trials that come my way. Happy Holidays! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Last 2 Weeks... busy

Well, it was a busy Sunday last Sunday with meetings all day such is my life in the Young Womens! I am enjoying it though so it's all good. I am not sure how much I will remember over the 2 weeks which will be a blessing to those who read this!

Looking at the calendar the week before last was mostly busy with Emily's play. She was in the Jr High production of Charlotte's Web. It was really cute. She got the role of Fern, the girl who saves Wilbur (the pig) from slaughter. She did well.
It was so great to have so many family and friends come to support her. All the grandparents, several aunts and an uncle, cousins and friends and neighbors. She had lots of practices and then four performances. She enjoyed it.

Zane was the spotlight one week so Gwen and I went in and brought a treat and talked about Zane and he shared the poster we made--need to get a photo of it! Micah did a diorama of a Goshuete winter dwelling. The kids always enjoy these projects. I helped by making the salt dough and helping him figure out how to do it. He got a 100% so he did well!

Taran has been getting his mission papers ready. Over these past 2 weeks he has seen the dentist and the doctor. Dental was fine. He needs to have his heart murmur checked. He had it checked when he was 12 yrs. old. The doctor said that if he reads the report and finds it thorough enough he won't need an EKG. We should know Monday. Other than that he just needs his blood tested. Once that's all done he can turn the papers in on January 1st. That is 120 days before his availability date. He is going winter semester so he put May 1st. How do I feel? I am actually pretty excited. Having served a mission myself I remember how happy I was to be getting ready to go. I can tell he feels that way too! What else would I want for him? As much as we'll miss him, college has been good prep for us. He has grown so much and he is really being prepared to serve a mission. I did get a little emotional when my friend--the mom of one of his friends mentioned how this would be the last normal Christmas for us since our kids would start leaving. So true! Life is all about change and growing and moving on! But it's all for good which makes it less bitter and more sweet.

I also have spent some time giving my scout stuff over and getting stuff for Young Womens. I am teaching next month on the first Sunday and I have this big project for it but I feel it's what I need to do. This has been confirmed by meetings since I felt impressed to do it. Unfortunately, I have been also busy with the elementary school reading program. That will end in the next couple of days--the competition part is over we are just tallying for awards. I am also helping with a couple of other things so I have been relying on the Lord to help me and He has, it is always amazing to me! Why? I am not sure but I really need to trust him more than I do!

I was able to go to lunch with my good friend Julie for he birthday--we did scouts together. She is an amazing lady it was fun to spend time with her! We had a great Relief Society dinner for all the women with a Christmas program by a group of women who perform for free for anyone! It was very uplifting. Although it was early I appreciate one less busy night in December!

One day I took Gwen and Luke to the duck pond--boy were those ducks starving! They freaked Gwen out she was crying. Luke and I couldn't feed them fast enough. It made me sad for them. I wish I could go every day and feed them. There are a couple that are injured/maimed that can't migrate and I guess the others don't anymore? I am not sure!

Beauty and the Beast is being put on by the high school this past week and into this week and I went with Micah's class. It was amazing! The talent around here is amazing! Emily and Gwen went yesterday to the matinee. They loved it!

Lone Peak won their State Football Championship! Tim took Emily and the 3 little boys and their friend Mason--Gwen and I stayed home since it was a very cold day. They had a lot of fun--see the photo!
Timo took the spirit bus up and back and had tons of fun!

Yesterday was Timo's 17th birthday so we surprised him with pizza and friends while he was at work--he missed it for the Lone Peak football championship game. Taran had come home for a friend's birthday so he helped him and made sure they were there for the friends. He was anticipating a lame birthday so I am glad we did it. After pizza they went mini-golfing which he enjoys. He actually got after me later for doing it since he knows most of his friends don't care for it--he would rather do something they want to do. Owell! It was also my niece Anna's birthday so we celebrated later with her and her friends and other family members.

Gwen and I did the usual watching helping my mom on Mondays and watching June on Fridays and it has been super fun!

Granny took Zane out for his birthday lunch yesterday since Timo was being surprised. And Zane's birthday is Thanksgiving Day!

Today Chad Lewis spoke in our Sacrament Meeting--yes, Chad Lewis who was the tightend for the Eagles NFL team. All the talks were good but I especially was touched by his words and testimony that if we are on the path back to Heavenly Father trying to do our best we will make it. I know it doesn't sound profound but combined with his stories and thoughts etc it was powerful! Here is Gwen in the skirt Teresa bought Emily on her trip to England when Emily was 6, so cute!

That's basically it! We still had scouts, piano and homework, science fair project...normal stuff too! Have a great week! Remember to be grateful for all our many blessings during this Thanksgiving holiday!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday...

Family sometimes you can't live with them but you can't live without them! Even with all the randomness our family has in our immediate and extended family I am grateful for each person. Each person in someway or another has blessed me with their love and example. They are brave, good people who are trying their best. I am so grateful for all they do for me and how much they have enhanced my life. Life is hard but family can bring many joys too it if we let them. Family doesn't have to be perfect to be meaningful and I am so grateful for mine!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thankful Thursday...late

Well, I blew it after one post last week and missed it yesterday. But hey with it being Veteran's Day what better day to post my thankfulness to our armed forces. Just because I am grateful to them doesn't mean that I don't know that some have been less than moral, etc. I am grateful to those who have volunteered or volunteer and those who willingly went when drafted. War is ugly but unfortunately the only way to stop some unreasonable leaders. I am also grateful for the families who sacrifice while their family members serve. It is truly a thankless job. They give up so much and get so little in return. Thanks a million and know that we pray for you everyday! Yes, we do and for your families. And may God Bless America!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween and the first week of November...

Monday was Halloween...why does that seem months ago! The kids dressed up of course! I helped my mom go through photos and stuff. Then Gwen and I went to Izak's class Halloween Party--I'm the room mom. Luckily one of the moms that signed up to help did all the games, the teacher came up with the treat on her own so I really just showed up! Gwen and I ran one of the games. Then I took her and Zoe to dance, they got to dance in their costumes! Then we ran home and met up with the kids. We went to Tim's parents' when Emily got home. Amy brought Ammon and Jeremy so we saw them. Erika was doing Grandma Pew's hair while we were there so we saw her too. Then we went to my parents'. My mom had invited us for dinner. She made Navajo Tacos, pizza and homemade donuts which were delicious! Charl and Katie brought their kids. Tate didn't want to dress up but play with the football. It was lots of fun but they were anxious to go trick-or-treating with their friends so didn't stay long. The traffic was horrible so I took back roads to get home and beat Tim by a half an hour! He was behind us but didn't see where I actually going or he might have followed. Owell. It was gorgeous weather so we had lots of trick-or-treaters and the kids went longer than usual so they got lots more candy than usual. I mostly sat on the porch and handed out candy. Tim took Gwen around. Some neighbors made homemade donuts and hot cider for the trick-or-treaters. Fun! Timo had to work so after work he and his friends went to the wealthy part of our area--not where we live. They got mostly large to Kingsized candy bars. Emily didn't go trick-or-treating but went to a party at a friend's. There was some drama there so it wasn't a fun night for Emily. Once the little kids were done getting ready for bed Tim showed them the Halloween book by Jerry Seinfeld while we listened to it best Halloween book EVER!

Tuesday we let the little kids sleep in and then they went to school once they were rested. Tim took a sick day for the kids, so I could meet with the principal and go to the temple. I met with the principal to solidify the reading program and the kick-off assembly for it on Friday. By the time I got home all the kids had gone back to school and Gwen was at Luke's. Tim and decided to go out for lunch. We went to Chick-Fil-A since I had a free salad there. I love their lemonade! Tim got a sandwich. We got home just before the kids. Zane had his last flag football practice and Izak worked on the Geocaching merit badge with a group from the neighborhood. He loves it! I worked on some reading program stuff that night.

Wednesday I picked Gwen up from preschool (and Luke). After we dropped Luke off we went to Costco for gas and other stuff. Then we went to Ross and I found a cute dress and some cute black boots for reasonable so I got them! I also got some Christmas stuff--as in presents and new bath mats as well. That night we had Zane's last flag football game, a meet the candidates and a choir board meeting. Tim went to a meet the candidates and I did the rest. Zane's team did well and my friend Lisa took this great picture of the team.

Thursday I took Gwen and Luke to a PTA meeting at the school to explain what the Reading Program was going to be this year. So I took them to the park right next to it to play. At first they mostly explored the empty creek--which seemed to have a stream of yellow through it instead of water! they enjoyed gathering leaves and throwing them in the air!

Tim and I took Emily and her friends to the semi-final of Lone Peak 8th grade A team vs. PG 8th grade. After we dropped them off we went to Kneaders so I could get Pumpkin Bread for the author coming to the school the next day and the librarian. Tim had to do stuff at the church that night so I was prepared to pick up the girls but they got a ride home. Lone Peak lost so they were crying--even the boys!

Friday morning Gwen and I watched June for Anna. We took her to the park for a little bit. Gwen loves to swing so I decided I should get a photo. After that we went home quick so I could grab a quick lunch and head to the school. Gwen ate a lunch I had brought her. We were greeting the picture book author Kristyn Crow. She has had 4 books published so far and lives in Utah. I thought it might inspire the kids to read for the reading program if they met an actual author! The librarian had read her books to the kids all week so they were a great audience as well! Kristyn did a great presentation. She told the kids how she decided as a kid that she wanted to write books. She shared some stories she wrote--hilarious and clever! She also read 2 of her books and used instruments and students for the final book. This was one of the books the librarian read to the kids so they were really into it! She was really great to sign Gwen's book Bedtime at the Swamp which she loves! And let me take their picture together!

That night Tim was going to take the kids to the Lone Peak Semi-finals/last home game but made it back too late. So he took them to Trafalga and then Wendy's for dinner while I cleaned. I had told them I would do the cleaning since were helping my mom on Saturday work in the yard. I got a bit done. Timo missed the game since his friends didn't have money to go and then they had a birthday party after the game.This is him--I guess he and his friends dressed up 80s or something? Whatever...

Saturday Tim dropped Emily and her friend Emily off at play practice which was ALL day. She has had practice all week and now into this week it will intensify as the play starts this week. Timo had a breakfast at his YM President's house and then he had to go to work. We worked at my mom's from about 9:30ish until almost noon. They are fixing to cover the canal behind her house so they will be in her yard 18ft. Anything she wants to keep needs to be moved by January--why they just told her, I don't know! It would have been nice to have all summer to move stuff! Charl and Katie stopped by after we finished and visited. It was fun. I went back to cleaning when we got home. Tim took me to dinner because I had worked so hard (and wasn't done yet)! I finally quit about 10PM and Tim and I watched Captain America--Tim and Timo fell asleep part way through but I watched the whole thing. I enjoyed it! Emily had hung out with friends and watched Thor, I think she liked it.

Today I got my new calling as YW Secretary--they didn't change anyone else in YW. I taught my class for the last time. They were cute. The boys didn't seem to care but the girls who did realized I will see them just not as much. My scouts are in good hands. I went to YW today, the first time in 26 years! It will definitely be a change. I am sure I will learn a lot. I will get set apart next week--they redid the whole Primary Presidency too. They will be great. Now trying to get the kids to write in their journals, work on scouts and Faith in God, Personal Progress...Tim is doing PPIs. I am so grateful for the daylight saving change and slept in a little! I had forgotten about it.

Have a great week and remember to be especially thankful this month! Even though we can justify losing hope or being down because of the events going on around us we do have so much we can be thankful or grateful for and it will heal our souls to do so!