Friday, December 12, 2008

Yum Yum

English Toffee Anytime is having a giveaway!! Go check it out and get yourself a pound of free toffee!! I hear it's awesome!!

Click here for details.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

11 years

11 years ago today I rode home from the hospital with my brand new baby boy "stuffed" into his carseat. If I can find the picture I'll post it. We've learned a lot about how to buckle a baby into a carseat since that time.

A couple of days ago he turned 11. He got to spend his birthday having a blast. Playing football in the wind, rain and mud. Those boys were sliding all over the field.

I was wearing a poncho, so that kept my center dry. But from my biceps down to my fingertips and my thighs down to my toes were absolutely drenched. I should have worn my rubber boots!!

The boys did a great job in the weather. They have now won their first 3 all-star games and will be playing the championship Saturday morning.


My husband woke me up at 4:45 this morning. He said, "I'm sorry to wake you, but there is something you don't see very often." So, I'm thinking that the boys did something really cute in the middle of the night. Then he said, "It's snowing."

I think that is kind of cool, but do I really want to crawl out of bed to squint really hard to see a couple of tiny flakes falling out of the sky. However, we are in Southern Louisiana, so that was enough to get me up.

I couldn't believe what I saw. It is really snowing outside! The meteorologist on our local news just described it as a moderate to heavy snowfall. Here. In the deep south. I think it's been twenty years since I've seen this here.

I immediately wanted to wake my kids. When we first left Kansas they kept asking us when it was going to snow. We had to tell them the sad truth. It doesn't snow here. They were not happy with that news. But today it is snowing, and they were too tired to get out of bed to see it. Hopefully it is still snowing when they do wake. I have the news on waiting to hear of any school closures. I actually hope there is!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Jon Michael

Jon Michael Humphery, 30, of Moss Bluff died after a short, untimely illness at 3:15 PM on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 in a local hospital. Jon was born April 29, 1978 in Lake Charles and has lived in Moss Bluff for over ten years. He was a 1996 graduate of Iowa High School. Jon has worked as an offshore captain for Aries Marine for the past 16 months. He was a member of St. Theodore Catholic Church and served as a volunteer firefighter in Moss Bluff. He was very involved with his children's sporting activities; coaching numerous recreational football, baseball, and soccer teams in the Moss Bluff area. He enjoyed barbequing and loved spending time with his friends, family, and especially his children. His children, wife, and friends were his life and his love. Jon will be missed dearly by many. Jon is survived by his wife of ten years, Angie Reeves Humphery of Moss Bluff; sons, ****, *****, and ***** Humphery; parents, John Humphery and wife Faye of LeBleu Settlement and Dionne Hine and husband Todd of Lake Charles; half-brother, David Humphery and wife Laura of Seoul, Korea; grandparents, Clifford and Inez Humphery of Moss Bluff and Rose and George Louviere of Welsh, LA; and numerous close family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Norman Reeves; brother-in-law, Jeremy Reeves; and uncle, Wade Louviere.

For the past two weeks I haven't been able to think about much else. Just Jon, Angie and their boys. They are a wonderful family with huge hearts. My heart aches for this family. They laid Jon to rest yesterday.

Thursday, I went to a Catholic Rosary for the first time. It started with a scripture service and then the rosary followed shortly after. I enjoyed the scripture service. I don't think I really understood the rosary. But I wanted to go to honor my friend, so I went.

Back to the scripture service ... The priest (I assume that's what he was) talked for a little while. He said "The circumstances surrounding Mr. Jon are unusual. One week he is having migraines. The next week he is in the hospital. The following week, we gather here." He's right, it doesn't make any sense. But our Father in Heaven has a greater plan. And He was calling His son home.

Yesterday morning was the funeral. The feeling was so opposite of what I felt at my grandmother's funeral. I was so happy for her. But this time is different. A young widow and her three children are now trying to figure out how to move on without their husband and father.

Bobby was off of work and able to attend the funeral with me. As we waited for the service to start there was a low roar of friendly chatter. Lots of smiling faces as friends greeted each other and embraced. Then a song began to play. Bobby turned to me and said, "Music is amazing. The whole feeling of the room just changed." All of the music was on CD which I am not used to. My favorite song that was played was this one.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful #16-18

#16 - I am thankful that my husband is getting to see cousins that he hasn't seen in years today. And meet their spouses!

#17 - I am thankful that Bobby has a good job that supports our family. We have everything we need.

#18 - I am thankful for Monica. She has a place set up at her home for working on food storage. She welcomes everyone from the stake to use the canner and sealer anytime. She finds great deals on rice and beans and orders tons (literally). Her husband drives to Houston willing to pick up food in bulk for anyone who orders it. I don't know how she keeps everything organized, but she does a great job!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One word Tag

1. Where is your cell phone? here
2. Your significant other? loving
3. Your hair? brown
4. Your mother? sick
5. Your father? retired
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? devastating
8. Your favorite drink? OJ
9. Your dream/goal? happiness
10. The room you're in? living
11. Your fear? kidnapping
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? graduated
13. Where were you last night? in-laws
14. What you're not? artistic
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. One of your wish list items: a miracle
17. Where you grew up. Louisiana
18. The last shopping you did? milk
1 9. What are you wearing? blue
20. Your TV? off
21. Your pet? fish
22. Your computer? slow
23. Your life? blessed
24. Lost any Emails? probably
25. Missing someone? yes
26. Your car? gone
27. Something you're not wearing? shoes
28. Favorite Store? sale
29. Your summer? kids
30. Your favorite color? blue
31. When is the last time you laughed?yesterday
32. Last time you cried? my dream
Now it's 4 answers
34. FOUR PEOPLE WHO E-MAIL ME: Mom, Emily, Jen, Laura
35. FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:chocolate, shrimp, fajitas, lasagna
36. FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW? cruise, Hawaii, Disney, California

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful #13-15

#13 - I am thankful for the nice weather we've been having. Sure, it gets pretty chilly in the morning, but the afternoons are perfect.

#14 - I am thankful for our Stake President. He has faithfully served in the church for years as Bishop, member of the Stake Presidency and now as our Stake President. I'm sure his family has sacrificed a lot of time they could have spent with him. I just want them to know how much I appreciate everything that he has done.

#15 - I am thankful for Primary. I was having a rough morning and was not in a very good mood. The Primary children are so sweet and have such beautiful spirits. They truly helped lift my spirit. I left church this afternoon happy and smiling.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thankful #10-12

#10 - I am thankful for Brian. He enjoys a good day's work. If we have a project to work on, he is right there ready to learn and help out. He loves to work with his hands and can keep us motivated. He also says exactly what it on his mind.

#11 -I am thankful for colors. They make everything much more interesting. Could you imagine if we only had shades of gray?

#12 - Bobby's fortune cookie tonight - "The reward for having feelings is great joy." I read this today after leaving the hospital visiting a friend whose husband is in critical condition. This was a timely reminder that without pain and sorrow we can never feel pleasure, happiness and joy. It is the tough times that make the good times so much sweeter.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

Okay, so that none of you think that I can actually play the piano, I will share a story from earlier this week.

I took lessons as a child, but could never play with my left hand. I have tried over the years to teach myself more. I feel like I have gotten okay with my right hand if there aren't very many sharps or flats. I have been trying to include my left hand in a couple of songs. I can even play a couple of hymns in the simplified version.

This Saturday is the Primary Talent Show and Sis. Morris really wanted some of the teachers and leaders to participate somehow. Brian has had 3 lessons now and wants to play one of the songs that he has learned. I thought he was being incredibly brave and maybe I should try a song also. I started practicing a song this week. I feel like I am doing pretty good with the right hand only. When I include the left it goes slower and with more mistakes, but I am improving everyday. Really I am.

A couple of days ago I was practicing when the kids got home from school. My niece walked in a listened to me for about a minute and said, "I feel like somebody died!"

It couldn't have been that bad!! Could it?

Thankful #7-9

#7 -I am so thankful that Spencer's surgery went well yesterday. He slept for hours and hours afterward, but then woke up a happy boy. Today he is running around and having a good time. :) (He had 2 preauricular tags (ear tags) removed from just in front of his right ear. They used general anesthesia because of his age.)

#8 - I am thankful to know that my friend Angie is surrounded by family and friends who love and support them. Her husband is not doing very well right now. Their family has been wonderful to us and I wish I could do more to help her right now. Bobby has known them a very long time and rushed to the hospital as soon as he heard.

#9 - I am thankful that we have a piano in our home. Thanks Mom! Brian just started taking lessons, so I have started practicing more too. There is a man here right now tuning it for us. Brian will be so excited! He has been asking when it will get tuned ever since our first meeting with the piano teacher.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thankful #4-6

#4 - I am thankful for Matthew. He is a ray of sunshine. Always beautifully smiling, full of energy and excitement, and he will talk your ear off. He says "I Love You" a lot and gives about a hundred kisses a day. After he was born, there were a couple of days that I thought we might lose him. He was very sick. I thank Heavenly Father all the time that he recovered so well and has no lasting side effects.

#5 - Men (in general) who take an interest in women and children's health. I just got off the phone with my husband who called with an odd question.
Him:"What's the name of that shot that pregnant women get if they have a negative blood type?"
Me: "Is someone's wife pregnant?"
Him:"Yeah. Well. Um........I'm not really sure how we got on the subject."
It's funny to think about a bunch of blue collar, plant operators sitting around talking about RhoGAM shots. haha
I do appreciate that this group of guys seem to take an active interest in the health of their families. :]

#6 - I am so thankful for friends who encourage and give good tips about bargain shopping. Now I just need to take a more active roll in that. I ordered a subscription to the newspaper this morning, so that I can have the sale ads and coupons delivered to my house. That's one more step in the right direction.

Monday, November 17, 2008

What a great idea!

Yesterday we were late for church. Again.

It seems like the last month we have been about 15-20 minutes late every Sunday. Since Bobby has been working a lot of Sundays and Spencer will never sit through an entire Sacrament Meeting, we have headed straight to the Primary Room to turn on the speakers and listen from there.

Let me just say that we go to the Primary Room because if we walk in late, we are very disruptive (in my opinion) if we walk into the chapel and find seats. Only to have Spencer start fussing 15-20 minutes later when we have to file back out and disrupt those around us again. You see if we were on time, we would only have to be disruptive once. :) Until the day when Spencer surprises us all and decides to sit through an entire Sacrament Meeting.

Yesterday, as we pulled into the parking lot, Shawn asked me (with a slight tone of disappointment), "Are we going to the Primary Room? Again?"

"Well. We should go to the chapel. But we are late. Again."

Suddenly his face lights up. He has a great idea. You could almost see the lightbulb on top of his head. "Next week we should hurry! We could get ready faster."

I almost laughed. What an awesome idea! I wonder why I didn't think of that! ;]

****A few weeks ago when we were late, I decided to let the older boys go into the chapel without me. I told them they could go sit with Paw-Paw. IF there was room. They walked into the chapel and didn't come back out so I assumed there was plenty of room next to Paw-Paw. Next thing I know Aunt Shannon comes out of the chapel with her two youngest to bring them to the bathroom. But then I noticed that she didn't return to the chapel. She stayed out in the hall with us.
I decided to peek into the chapel to make sure my boys were behaving. That's when I saw that there was no room for Aunt Shannon to sit by her other kids! When I told my boys that they could sit by Paw-Paw IF there was room, they must have squeeeezed everyone into that row until Aunt Shannon lost her seat! Oops! Sorry Aunt Shannon!!

Thankful Hearts

Bro. Dunn, our Stake High Councilman, spoke yesterday about having more gratitude. After hearing his talk I was inspired to join in with listing things I am thankful for each day this month. I am a little behind, so I'll do 2 or 3 a day.

#1- I am so thankful for my husband. Right now I can hear the chainsaw as he is outside cutting down trees so that we can have firewood this winter. I'm so excited, I can't wait to start using the fireplace this year!

#2 - I am so thankful for a neighbor who wanted his trees cut down and said we could have the wood if Bobby did the work!

#3 - I am thankful that Andrew has a great Webelos den leader. Andrew has 3 weeks left to finish working on his Arrow of Light, the highest award given to a cub scout. I am thankful that Bro. Anderson is willing to work with us to make sure Andrew finishes in time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ronald Reagan for President!!

The 1984 Presidential Campaign - I was 7 years old and in the second grade. I remember how exciting it was to "vote" at our school for the President of the United States. Ronald Reagan was our current president and everyone seemed to love him. He definitely won the vote at our school and so I was thrilled to find out that we were right! Even secretly wondering in my 7 year old head if we had influenced the real vote!

Three of my boys came home from school Monday with "I VOTED!" stickers. They were so excited they got to vote for John McCain. And "HE WON!" I listened to my 7 year old second grader and remembered how I felt back then. It was almost magical. Too bad, McCain didn't win. I wonder how he feels about that.

I am happy that my state chose McCain. We did what we could. Now we have to live with the rest of the nation's decision and vote again in another four years. But what's done is done. I am glad I have until January to get used to the idea. :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

The 6th picture in the 6th folder

My friend, Lisa, has the cutest picture of herself at her 2nd birthday party on her blog from a photo tag. The tag is :

Go to my pictures on your computer go to the 6th folder and choose the 6th photo in that folder.

I think I may actually have posted this before, not sure. Anyway, I also posted two so that you could get a real sense of just how dirty Andrew was. This is how he came home to me after playing with the kids in the neighborhood.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Go Gators!

Andrew is in his 3rd year of Recreation Football (tackle, not flag). His team is the Gators, as in the Florida Gators. He has been on the same team all three years (next year he will move up to the older group of boys). The first year they were the Longhorns. But then the coach's son decided that he like the Florida Gators better, so our entire team had to change. Seriously!!

Anyway, since he would be on this team for two years (coach promised he would not change it again) we decided to get the team apparel to support our team. Now, being that we live in Louisiana, most people don't appreciate the fact that we would wear such things!
I have heard comments such as, "Did you get that shirt on Clearance? (with a look of disgust). Is there nothing else you could have worn." and "You need a new shirt!" (again - the look of disgust).

But I wear my shirt with pride! Because I know that I am not supporting the college football team, but instead the group of young boys that we love so much. (Even though it really is a Florida shirt with their logo on it.)

I even had to wear my shirt to Enrichment (because I left the game to go to church). The timing was not good. It was only 2 days before the real Florida Gators would put a beating on the LSU Tigers. Ouch! sad, sad, day Ironically, two days after the college game, my little Gators would play the LSU Tigers. We cheered our boys on to victory as the Tigers suffered a shut-out. sad, but true

In fact our boys have done really well this season. They are 5-0 and have only had one touchdown scored against them all season!

Bobby would like to burn our Florida Gator things when the season is over. I think my friend Angie took offense to that. She said, "It means something to Andrew and to the rest of us"
She's right. Maybe I'll just give my shirt to Andrew. :)

So for the rest of the season I will wear my shirt with pride and say,

They call him the Streak

Here he comes, look at that, look at that
There he goes, look at that, look at that
And he ain't wearin' no clothes

Oh, yes, they call him the Streak
Look at that, look at that
Fastest thing on two feet
Look at that, look at that
He's just as proud as he can be
Of his anatomy
He goin' give us a peek

Oh, yes, they call him the Streak
Look at that, look at that
He likes to show off his physique
Look at that, look at that
If there's an audience to be found
He'll be streakin' around
Invitin' public critique

The Streak by Ray Stevens

I was excited to get to go to Enrichment last Thursday. I had to leave
Andrew's ball game early (but they were winning 38-0).
Spencer came with me and headed to nursery. One of our young
women were in there with two other little boys.
We were having a lesson on 72 hr kits (emergency preparedness)
when I saw the speaker turn her head toward the door and let out a
gasp. I looked toward the door and saw a little blond head bobbing
along. When he finally came around the table full of women to where
I could see him, I understood. Spencer was wearing nothing but his
little t-shirt. My sweet little two year old boy was happily (almost
skipping) streaking all of the ladies. He was delighted to be free of the
sitter and his diaper.
Of course the room was full of mostly mothers and grandmothers,
so they all thought it was hilarious. Very entertaining. It was the
highlight of my evening.

I can't say that I am totally surprised. Okay, maybe surprised that he
did it at church. But we are having trouble keeping his clothes on him
at home. The stake president was at my parent's house one night and
Spencer walked into the living room with everyone and started stripping.
He was trying to tell Grandma that he wanted to go swimming. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

When it pours

My dear sweet husband had the morning off. He, my father and a few other men volunteered to help fix someone's roof this morning. As far as I can recall it really hasn't rained very much, or at all, since Hurricane Ike. My husband reminded me of this a few days ago when the Christmas tree growing in our front yard died. :(
So he got up quite early and headed out to do a good service. Right now, it is raining. Not just a little drizzle, it is really raining. Quite hard. It has absolutely been pouring for over an hour. I wonder what he is doing right now. As we listen to the thunder and lightning. I just watched my neighbor's trash can float across my front yard. I couldn't even drive down my street right now if I wanted to.
So what does he do? Does he climb up on someone's roof in this weather? Or does he sit back and watch the rain pour in? I don't know yet. I'll just sit hear listening to the thunder and wait for him to call.

Update: When he got home he was completely dry. Apparently, they were finished with the roof by the time the rain reached the part of town where he was at. By the time it hit, he was sitting down in Subway enjoying an early lunch.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Sweet Life

Shawn turns 9 tomorrow! He is so excited about his birthday. I saw today that he is really living the sweet life.

He came home from school and got his homework done right away. Then he enjoyed some time on his Nintendo DS. I walked into the living room to see him lounging in a big, comfy chair playing his game. His 5 year old cousin, Kaylie, was standing behind him massaging his shoulders as he played. He looked quite relaxed! :)

I grabbed my camera to capture the moment. Unfortunately, it was a 35 mm camera. They are not nearly as fun as they used to be. I'll have to snap some more shots so I can get them developed.

Happy Birthday to my sweet Shawnie!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

My grandmother, Edna Butler, passed away a week and a half ago.
My Maw-Maw Nina. That's what we always called her. She was an amazing woman.

I remember countless trips to the Audubon Zoo. We loved it! My grandparents kept a membership there so we could go anytime we were with them. My Paw-Paw would make corned beef sandwiches to take with us. Yum! I still love those sandwiches.

During my elementary and jr. high school years, we lived about an hour away from them. So, we got to see them quite a bit. I would lazily walk home from school each day, but if I spotted their maroon Oldsmobile in our driveway I would break out into a run.

Memories I love.

  • Hanging clothes on the clothes line
  • Trips to the Esplanade Mall (the biggest mall I had ever seen as a kid!)
  • Making cookies and brownies in her big, pink, mixing bowl.
  • Going to church with her. She always lead the music. In Primary, Sacarament and Sunday School opening exercises. She would stand up and say, "Good Morning!" And everyone would answer back in unison, "Good Morning Sister Butler!"
  • I loved learning and hearing stories about all things Irish, English and Scottish. She was born in Belfast, which is part of the UK. She and my mother even got me involved with Scottish dancing when I was younger.
  • Her grandfather clock, chiming all night long, when we slept over.
  • She would hand us little dixie cups and a bag of M&M's. We would count them out one by one to make sure everyone got the same amount.
  • She always had tons of stories to tell. She had a fantastic memory.
  • "Swimming" in her jacuzzi.
  • Saying prayers with her at night.
The summer before I started high school we moved. We were now three hours from my grandparents. They were getting older and by the end of my freshman year they moved in with us! I loved it.

I remember one time my parents were out of town and I was sick. I felt absolutely miserable. She sat on the edge of my parent's waterbed ( not always the most comfortable place to sit for too long). I held her hand and then placed it under my cheek and fell asleep. When I woke up again, she was still there. That still amazes me. She stayed there the whole time while I napped because I loved the way her hand felt on my face.

She has been very hard of hearing as long as I can remember. I loved to talk to her about things that were going on. She wanted me to tell her all my secrets, she promised she would keep them. Of course I believed her, but considering how loud I had to talk so that she could hear me everyone in the house would already know! :) So then, I had to wait until everyone else was gone.

She died on Tuesday, September 16th. My mother called me that morning to let me know that she thought it would happen soon. When I got there, two of my brothers were there. I have one brother and one sister that live in the Houston area, which had just been hit hard by Hurricane Ike. My brother's house still did not have electricity, but he and his wife are both school teachers and didn't have any school all week as the city tried to recover. They wanted to come as soon as possible, but the lines at the gas stations were 3-4 hours long. Knowing that they had a 3 hour drive ahead of them, they couldn't wait that long. They had to siphon gas from other vehicles so they would have enough to make the trip. They made it in time. Maw-Maw Nina was surrounded by family who loved her dearly when she passed.

A couple of days ago someone told me, " I'm sorry about your grandmother." I just smiled and thanked her. But then I think to myself, "Have you heard about my grandfather? He got the love of his life back. One year, four months, and two days. That's how long he waited to be reunited with his eternal companion." I can only imagine the joy he felt that night. We cried, but I'm sure he was smiling.

My grandfather's funeral was really hard. I think that's because he was the first to go. Her funeral was different. I alternated between feeling sad and smiling. To me it truly felt like a celebration of her life and good-bye for now. My parents had bagpipers play as they put her in the hearse and at the cemetary. They played two of her favorites, Amazing Grace and Danny Boy. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful service.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remember Rita

That's what our local officials are saying. Remember the storm that ripped through here 3 years ago. I don't want to remember Rita. I don't want this thing to be anything like Rita.

Rita was the first storm I've ever evacuated for. Ever. When I was growing up and a hurricane was forecast, my job was to scrub the tub and fill it with water. So when my phone rang one morning and my mom asked what were we going to do, I was confused. People were leaving and I didn't understand that. After going to a gas station and finding out that they ran out of gas just before I got to the pump, I was in full panic mode. I remember the stress, the tears and trying to get my family ready to leave as fast as I could.
My parents still had Katrina evacuees at their house when we headed out of town. We drove as far as Athens, Texas that night and got some sleep. The next day we made it a little further North into Texas. After the storm had passed, Bobby headed back to help and I went to Plano to stay with a friend.
I remember being in Wal-Mart when Bobby called and said that we had some damage to our porch but our mobile home was fine. Such sweet relief. More tears right there in the middle of Wal-Mart. Tears of relief.
It would be two full weeks before Bobby let me come home with the kids. We still did not have electricity, but my parents did. We stayed with them for a few days and then we had electricity and could go home.
As I drove back into town after people had worked for more than two weeks cleaning up the damage, it was worse than I thought it would be. More tears. This is our home town, our community, our neighbors, our friends. It was so hard to see.
I know that we were very lucky, especially since we lived in a mobile home at the time. So it's not my personal experience with my home that makes comparing this to Rita so hard. It's that I really don't want our community to have to go through that again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My little hummingbird feeder

We had never had a hummingbird feeder before. I never really thought about it. Until one day, several months ago, Bobby came home from Wal-mart with one. I thought, "That's really kind of ugly." But he seemed really pleased about his gift for me, so whatever. We hung it up right outside our big kitchen window where I stand to do dishes.

I can not tell you how much I have enjoyed our little feeder. The boys absolutely love it too. They get so excited when the little hummingbirds come around. It has been quite common to see one or two birds feeding there each day.

Yesterday, when I looked out the window, I could not believe how many I saw. They were flying all over the place. After some had flown off and I was able to get a good count, there were 6. I think there must have been about 10 when I first looked out.

Now, I cannot imagine not having a feeder for them. I love it! Thank you Bobby.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

Matthew and Brian were playing in the toy room and asked to me come see what they had "built". At first glance, it looked like a big mess to me. Upon further examination, I could tell that they had built some sort of wall halfway across the room using various objects. It almost looked like a fortress.
"Mom, look at our wall. We even have Food Storage!
We're listening to the prophet."

It still amazes me what makes an impression on these young boys!

Another one bites the dust

Monday was an exciting day for our household. It was Brian's 7th birthday and Matthew's first day of preschool. Bobby drove the three oldest kids to school so that he could eat breakfast with them. I stayed home with the younger kids so we would be ready to head to Matthew's school when Bobby got back.
I was in my bathroom getting ready when I heard "bang, bang, bang". It went on for about a minute. When I walked into the hall I saw 1 year old Peyton holding my digital camera. My new one. The one I paid almost $300 for just a few months ago.
I quickly grabbed it so I could put it in my purse to get ready for our big morning at the preschool. I then suddenly realized the banging noise was the little boys beating the life out of my camera. Too bad warranties don't cover the acts of curious little toddlers.
I can't even be mad at them! They are 1 and 2 yrs old. Of course that didn't stop me from being in a foul mood for the rest of the morning. Kicking myself since I couldn't even punish the perpetrators.
I am not the best at remembering to take pictures. The camera seems to get in the way of the "experience" for me. I do take pictures, just not of every single event. But I was trying Monday, it was such a big day for my kids. So I grabbed the old film camera and am hoping I got at least one decent shot.
So it's back to square one on camera shopping for me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Another Tag

I was tagged by Valerie. This is so much harder than I had originally thought it would be.

The rules are as follows: List 3 Joys, 3 Fears, 3 Goals, 3 Current Obsessions, and 3 Random Surprising Facts about yourself. Tag 3 people at the end of your post by leaving their names. So here is what I came up with...

3 Joys

  • My Family
  • Being FREE of credit card debt
  • Dancing - but not in front of people

3 Fears

  • I'm still scared of the dark!
  • Failing as a mother - this encompasses a lot
  • My husband dying

3 Goals

  • Spending more time in the kitchen
  • Graduate college ...someday
  • Efficiently obtain, organize, rotate and use a year's supply of food and goods.

3 Current Obsessions

  • Learning more about Food Storage
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Reading Blogs, more so than writing them

3 Surprising Facts About Me

  • I can't go anywhere unless I've showered first. Not even to my mailbox!
  • I've only been to one concert, Ricky Martin.
  • I can hardly stand to drink white milk. Apparently, this started very early. At 6 months old my parents had to put strawberry flavoring in my bottles or I wouldn't drink them. :)

So, that's it. Now, I tag Andrea, Julie, Melinda, Mom and Susan D.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I actually have a minute to blog!

Summer has been busy, busy, busy! Not that I have left the house much. Right now I am actually enjoying a quiet morning alone with just my 5 kids! Amazing. The baby that I watch is staying with his mama today and my niece and nephew are late.
Yesterday when a neighbor boy came over the grand total of kids here hit 13!!!!
Their ages:
Don't worry, that doesn't happen all the time! Just yesterday, we hit a record number. I took pics but don't think I have time to post them. I didn't get any laundry done yesterday, so I need to get started on that soon.

What have we been up to?
Bobby has worked an average of 67 hours a week since school let out. He also started a diet 4 weeks ago and has already lost 20 pounds!!!
Erin has been wiping noses and dirty bottoms.
We have started going on walks around the neighborhood. Exercise for us and time away from electronic entertainment for the boys.
For the Fourth of July (Bobby actually had 1/2 a day off) we took the boys to a water fountain to play in, stopped at Wendy's for frosties and then to Grandma's to swim and play games. Uncle Greg entertained them that evening with fireworks!!!

They have been swimming the last two evenings when Bobby gets off work. They would LOVE to have a pool here. But Daddy says NO! When I think about it rationally, I agree. Nothing is fenced in, and with so many kids running around it would be too easy for an accident to happen.

Anyway, that is my quick update. I must get back to the kids now. It will be great and yet sad when school starts again. They have been a lot of fun!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Can I Be?

Thanks Leah!
I found this song today, thanks to Leah. I like this version because it has another verse. I really, really like this song now! Enjoy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Did we really do all that???

So after reading Lynetta's list of everything they've done in the last week, I thought, "Holy Cow!" They stay super busy. I guess we don't do enough.

Then I started to really think about it. What have WE done since school let out?
Well, not much really, just...

-Michael's birthday party

-We had Matthew's birthday party here.

-3 baseball games.

-2 closing ceremonies (on seperate nights)

-1 more closing ceremony tonight

-3 sleepovers

-a week of VBS

-babysat 4 kids all week

-babysat Greg and Missy's 4 kids one night

-Andrew went to New Orleans for wrestling camp

-Four of us headed to Houston Sunday (my nephew was ordained a Deacon)

-Bobby and I had Swedish massages and dinner last night. :)

- And tomorrow we head to Baton Rouge.

Whew! We did more than I thought we did.

Hey Baby!

So, I knew my van was dirty. I really did. But I was trying to wait until all of my trips to the baseball park were done before washing it.
Well, last week I had to drive into town and as I got ready to hop in the van, I noticed this.....

Not "Wash Me" or my children's names (which I am accustomed to seeing). No. I drove all over town with "Hey Baby" on the back of my mini-van. I hope I gave at least one person a laugh. :)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In an effort to blog more often, I do have to "imitate" my friends. I know I'm pathetic! ;) But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It just proves that I am reading your blogs.
LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

So, hubby's last name is not too popular in the U.S. Of course, it was kinda funny when we lived in Kansas. In our home town we take for granted that everyone knows how to pronounce it AND spell it (as long as you let them know what letter it starts with, two completely different spellings). But in Kansas, no one knew it! Then again, when we moved to Kansas I will still unsure of the correct way to pronounce it. So trying to teach our friends who had never heard it was difficult for me at first. I have come to believe that we do pronounce it wrong, but everyone does, so it's okay. haha

Brian is our most popular kid. Sharing his name with 26 people in the U.S! Spencer's result is 1! One person in the U.S. with that name. Everyone else falls somewhere in between.

However, the results are not accurate at all. My maiden name doesn't come up at all! I have always known that it was a very unique last name, especially since I had never heard it except in my own close relatives. So when I entered my father's name which is also his father's name, the result was 0, and I can think of 26 right off the top of my head. Oh well! It was fun!

Thanks Lisa!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Let's Race!

64 words

Speed test

So, I tried and I tried. This was the best I could do. I'm pretty impressed with some of the numbers y'all have been achieving.

Then I found Type Racer. It is similar in the fact that you type as fast as you can to improve words per minute, but better. You actually race against other people. Making it more fun and more addictive. You type a paragraph, so they make you correct your mistakes, and use punctuation and Capitalize. Yes, while you are racing.

I thought I was doing pretty well in my races, placing 1st or 2nd frequently. Then suddenly I scored 66 wpm in a race. I then found out that I was bumped up to the mega-racer category. Holy Cow! I consistently placed last. I wanna go back to the slower group where I was doing better. I just can't compete with 137 wpm! I mean really, that's more than 2 words per second.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Field Day

When I was in elementary school, there were certain days that were highly anticipated. Just like today. I loved the last day of school before holidays and the parties we had, field trips, the very last day of school and Field Day! Preparing for Field Day, the hall would be lined with papers on the wall where you would choose the events you wanted to sign up for. And there seemed to be a wide variety.

Field Day at my sons' school is just not what it used to be. It is class against class. Their entire class participates in every event, relay style. At the end of the event, the coach announces which teacher's class won that event. The kids spend a lot of time sitting around in the heat waiting for another grade to compete in an event, then it's their turn, then sit in the heat and wait again. The whole thing takes about three hours.

But the kids (most of them) make the best of it and have a lot of fun. My first grader refused to participate in the water events and was the only child in his grade to sit on the hot concrete sweating it out while the rest of the kids got soaking wet with cool water and loved it. I even brought him a changed of clothes and a towel, but he was determined.

Andrew's field day was Monday. Bobby took Spencer with him, who of course entertained the girls in the class. We missed Shawn's on Tuesday, because Spencer got sick. Then on Wednesday it was Brian's turn. So, Kaylie and I went. She was miserable. Hot, hungry, thirsty, tired. She was very grateful when we left and headed for the air conditioning. I was too, I love a/c!

I remember being little and loving the last week of school. As a mother, I still love it. The school is so open and welcoming to parents this week!

Hooray Yankees!

Matthew had his last Wee-ball game on Saturday! He has so much fun playing ball. Which is totally opposite of me, I always saw playing sports as a chore. But he loves it.

They hit the ball off the tee and run to first base. Everyone stops at first base, runs one base at a time and no one gets out. They don't even keep score. The kids are learning the fundamentals of the game without worrying about who wins or loses. That comes soon enough with T-Ball.

When they are on the field, no one sits the bench. They have a catcher and a kid on each base, then the rest of the kids are scattered throughout the infield. There really is no need to have them in the outfield. When the ball is hit, three or four kids will run toward it and pile up fighting for the ball, as the coach is trying to yell out who "should" have the ball so the others will back off.

We started with four of our kids playing baseball. One down and three to go! We should be done next week! Yippee!


Last Friday, we had our end of the year Cub Scout Pack Meeting.

Nick Pietz received his Bear. To the sound of the drum beat, Nick's face was painted with the symbols of the bear and the journey he's been on.

Shawn was awarded the Wolf badge and was painted with the corresponding paw print.

As Dave Anderson was presenting Andrew with his awards he asked for the paint. I thought, "Hmmm, I wonder what he's going to paint." Well, Andrew and Ty both received the "traveler" activity pin, so they got tire tracks on their foreheads! So funny!

Then Tristan received his "Arrow of Light" (again). It was better this time! He then "crossed over" to boy scouts. It was a fun evening!

Incredible Edibles

Yummy! Yummy! Our first trip to the sno-cone stand this year. Don't you just love it when you promise the kids a special treat after dinner, but don't tell them exactly what it is because you would like it to be a surprise. Some have trouble swallowing their green beans but are semi-willing to do so because they're gonna get something good! So all the kids start coming up with their own ideas of what it could be. "Are we going for ice cream? I know, we are going to Sonic. Hey guys, we're going to Chuck E Cheese."
As we pull out of the driveway, they have convinced themselves that we are going to Chuck E Cheese. So when we pull up at the sno-cone stand we hear cheers, "WaHoo!"
Except for one little boy. One little boy who bursts out crying, "Why aren't we going to Chuck E Cheese???" Oh well, he soon got over it and we had a pretty good time. Even with a rough start.

I forgot how much I like sno-cones! I even got cream on mine, which I haven't done in several years. Yummy! Of course, we had to show off our brightly colored tongues!

Happy Birthday Matthew!

Today is Matthew's 4th birthday! In a lot of ways it seems like it's been a lot longer than that. We were still living in Kansas then and that seems like a world away now. Matthew was so sick when he was born, but you would never know it. He is a very energetic and happy boy!
He is at Disney World right now, having an awesome time with his cousin, Christopher, and his Grandma and Grandpa. I wanted to make sure that he knew he would be gone for his birthday so that he wouldn't get upset. He said, "Okay. Can you save me the last piece of cake?"
ha ha ha He thought we were actually going to have his party WITHOUT him.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Hot Shot

My two-year old "baby" got his first haircut this week. Bobby has wanted to get it cut for a year now, but I was finally ready.

So we called Mr. Richard, the man who has cut Bobby's hair since he was 5. He has also given three of our other sons their first haircuts. The kids like Mr. Richard because he always has a huge tub of bubblegum and calls the little ones "Hot Shot".

Well, my little "Hot Shot" was a little squirmy but loved "hamming it up" for the camera, until it was time to go and he was cranky for the "after" picture. He is slowly making the transition from baby to little boy. (sniff, sniff)

For Liz and Thomas

My cousin Elizabeth, whom I love, wrote this to bring awareness to congenital heart disease. She has two children, a daughter and a son. She asked that we pass this on to help spread awareness.

As many of you know, Thomas' and I have a son who was born with a heart defect. Our son is beating the statistics that are against him.
Thank you Jesus!

Most kids born with this defect are in heart failure by 4 months old. And many of them die by there 1st birthday. Lil' Thomas is now 7 months old and thriving. There are no signs of heart failure. We couldn't be more blessed. For those that don't know, he was born with three holes in one wall of his heart. Something they call a swiss cheese effect.

I am writing this to help bring awareness to congenital heart disease. 1 in 250 kids are born with it. If you think it can't happen to you it can. It has taken a whole lot for me to get over the bitterness that I have felt that some crackheads have healthier children than I did. I did't drink, I didn't smoke, I took my vitamins. Please be aware that it can happen to you.

Congenital heart defects kill more children than all the childhood cancers combined. And there is little or no awareness about it. We are encouraging you to support the American Heart Association or other related organizations that support heart families. There are orgs that help pay for places to stay and fly to surgeries. Orgs that help pay for treatment. The treatment these kids need is usually financially prohibitive.

My sons cardiologist has a foundation called Louisiana pediatric Cardiology Foundation. And they give grants to help families with he financial need associated with surgery. They are great! They do much more than that also.

My prayer is this. Don't take having a healthy baby for granted. I didn't and this happened. I know that getting pregnant is a blessing in itself. It's hard enough for that to happen. Alot of things have to come together. And having a healty child is even harder.

Please pass this on and spread the awareness.

Thank you and God bless!
Thomas and Liz Walton

Monday, May 5, 2008

Celebrating Shawn

I spent the second half of my day helping Shawn with a social studies project. They are learning about time lines and had two weeks to make a timeline about themselves. Two whole weeks. So when did we start? This afternoon when he got off the bus. Good old procrastination!

We finished about 9 o'clock this evening. Shawn couldn't believe how long it took us. And I really shouldn't have procrastinated, because I spent Bobby's birthday camped out on the floor working with Shawn. In the end, we are very pleased with the result and had fun. Shawn got mad at me when I started cutting the pictures. I assured him that these were copies, the originals were still just fine. No way I was sending the originals to school!

Here is our finished project. It measures 12 inches X 36 inches.

Olympus Stylus 1010

Thanks for the camera suggestions, Susan, they looked great!
The color accent and color swap feature on the Canon S5 almost had me headed back to the store.
I decided to get the Olympus 1010. 7X Optical Zoom and I love the size. Pocket size, very convenient. I have read some negative reviews concerning the video mode, but overall I think I will be happy.
Besides, she said I have a 1 yr. in-store warranty, so if I don't like it just return it. Awesome!

My camera

Saturday, May 3, 2008

New Background Again!

I love it when I figure out or learn how to do new things. It's that same feeling of accomplishment I get after I spend an hour cleaning something then can stand back and admire my work. :)
Ivy, Thanks for posting the link for the cute blogs. It made it so easy!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Random Thoughts

*I am just weeks away from Spencer being older than any of my other kids were by the time I was pregnant again. WAHOO!!! The older he gets the more convinced and excited I get that this is really the end!

*We are halfway through baseball season! Another WAHOO! I try really hard to like sports for my kids, but let's face it I'd rather be watching a dance show than a ball game. It is exciting when my kids are up to bat though.

*I cannot live without a DVR anymore. I am completely spoiled by it. The DVR records my favorite shows then as I have time like right now while typing the show plays and I skip past all the commercials. I rarely watch a show while it plays anymore or see the commercials.

*My least favorite thing about summer is the sun. I burn easily and so do my kids.

*I have been craving a banana split for the last few days and then remembered that we are supposed to have them at Enrichment next week. I can't wait!

*My digital camera has died. :( I want a new one. Any suggestions? I want one that is quick between pics. I really like the digital Rebel, but it is quite pricey and looks like a lot to lug around. I want something not too big and good value for the money. What camera do you like?

*I am super, super excited that Leah has a blog now!!! Welcome to the blog world.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


It's been a while since I posted. Besides taking care of my own five kids with homework and ballgames plus three more kids, I've planned a bridal shower, partied with the family, celebrated a wedding, my baby-man turned 2, and went to Lord of the Dance with my mother.
The highlight was the wedding. My brother, Greg, married Nancy on Saturday. It was a gorgeous day for an outside wedding. The weather was perfect.
My mother made a video for them.

I just checked my mom's blog. She put together another video with a few pictures she took on the "big day". I've never done a link before, so I hope this works. If not, look to your left at my favorite blogs and click on Belle.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Great Mayo Debate

When we were first married, Bobby and I quickly realized that we had very different views on Mayonnaise. I love REAL Mayo. Yummy, rich, creamy. Bobby prefers the tangy zip of Miracle Whip. Ew! I have from time to time struggled through a tuna salad or sandwich made with it. But not happily.
During the first couple of years it was "The Great Debate." We would even question dinner guests such as the missionaries or friends on their opinion. Always to mixed reviews. One missionary even told us that he did not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip. He wanted to keep it that way so that he could go with whatever his future wife prefered. Smart man.
For years I tried to win Bobby over to the Mayo side, until one day I read the nutritions labels.
Real Mayo - 10 grams of fat per Tbsp
Light Miracle Whip - 1.5 grams of fat per Tbsp
Well, with news like that, I happily left Bobby alone about his Miracle Whip and we have been buying both ever since.
This afternoon, I decided a tuna salad sandwich would be great for lunch. So as I was boiling the eggs, I prepared the rest of the salad. I scrapped the bottom of the mayo jar and it wasn't enough, so I opened the pantry door and grabbed the new jar Bobby picked up at the grocery store on Friday. I knew that he bought one jar of Miracle Whip and one jar of Mayo. So, I grabbed the mayo.
I opened the jar and scooped out the mayo. Immediately, I knew it was not the real stuff I craved. It was too thin. I looked at the front of the jar and it said "Light". Now, light is definitely not the same as "real". So, I finished my tuna salad with what I had. I am sure that when choosing the "light" variety, Bobby had only the best intentions. Light should be better for me and he was probably concerned about long-term health. I won't even mention it to him because he is out of town this week and he loves me enough to go grocery shopping and buy mayo with less fat.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Goodbye Michael....Hello David

Last night we said good-bye to Michael Johns on American Idol. He has been one of my favorites from the beginning. Him and Brooke. I never understood why everyone went crazy for David Archuleta. Until this week. After this performance of "Angels" I am now a fan.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Not One, But Two

Yesterday, my sweet little boy was sick again. I asked my teenage neighbor to come over and sit with him so that I could run to the grocery store to pick up some medicine and a few groceries. Milk, bread, ground meat, etc. Just a few things.
Matthew, Nathan and Kaylie accompanied me. We proceeded to the checkouts and I noticed that the Express Lane was definitely the shortest line. So I quickly counted my items to see if I could choose that line. I had 12 items and the Express Lane said 10 items or less.
I can't stand it when I go to an express lane and the person in front of me obviously has gone way over the limit, especially when I am in a hurry. So I chose the lane next to the express lane and waited patiently. It really wasn't a long line and soon I was the next person in line. While I waited for the customer in front of me to be rung up, I lowered the front of my basket for check-out. (It's hard to explain if you've never seen this kind of shopping basket.)
The cashier in the express lane called out to me, "I can get you over here."
I replied that I had too many groceries. Again, she beckoned me over. So, I started to back up my basket to move her to lane. As soon as I had moved a few inches a gallon of milk toppled out and busted on the floor. It didn't just start leaking out of the top, the whole side busted open. Lovely. I picked up the container and handed it the cashier. The cashier from the express lane immediately started apologizing. I just said, "It was not you. This is not your fault." Still feeling guilty, and because she had no one in her lane anyway, she ran over to help.
Somehow, she knocked over the 2nd gallon of milk. Which did like the first and busted the side open, splashing onto Nathan's pants and shoes. She picked it up and put it back in my basket where it was now pouring milk onto some of my other groceries. Now I am thinking, "Okay, that one was your fault."
We emptied a roll of paper towels onto the mess while we waited for the mop. As the milk traveled under the candy racks and started being absorbed by the cardboard displays, we still waited for the mop. So they started moving the candy racks out of the way. Apparently, they had to rinse the mop out first.
Nathan kept running back and forth between our lane and the next to watch the milk as it traveled. Don't feel bad for him because he got splashed, he found the whole thing pretty hilarious. I agreed with him and could see the humor at that moment so I grabbed my camera and took a quick shot. The manager, who found the whole thing less funny than we did, gave me a puzzled look so I quickly tucked the camera back into my purse.
They moved me to another lane to check out while they cleaned up the mess. The cashier asked me if I wanted some more milk. I said, "No, I think I've had enough milk for today." She insisted that I needed some milk for my kids. "Okay." So, a very nice young man walked to the back and got two gallons of milk for me and gave them directly to the cashier. Apparently we weren't taking anymore chances.
So here to the cashiers and management that were still mopping up two gallons of milk as I loaded up my van and drove away.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Kansas City was so much fun.

We stayed with Bobby's aunt and uncle in their new house. The boys loved the basement where we stayed. It was a "Man Room." It really was pretty cool. A 96 inch High Definition Projector TV, with surround sound that was built into the walls. Then when Uncle Dale started a movie, by remote control the lights dimmed at the same time the movie started. It was like being in a movie theater. The sofa even rumbled with the surround sound!

On Friday, Andrew was a bundle of nerves. We could not get him to relax. He lost his first match, won his second, then lost his third. It was pretty neat that kids in his bracket were from places like Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Idaho.

By Saturday, the Andrew we know and love was back. It was his day off of the competition (while the High School kids wrestled). So, we had a great time playing. We went site seeing at some outdoor stores and met up with some friends that live in the area. We went shopping at T-Rex, a dinosaur themed restaurant. It was really cool, we "built" a toy dinosaur for Spencer's bday, Andrew and Shawn "dug" for dinosaur bones and "explored" a mine".

Then we met up with the other wrestlers at Dave and Busters. The kids had a blast. They told us the wait time for a table was 2 HOURS! So, we played first and then ate. By the end of dinner Shawn (who can fall asleep anywhere) fell asleep at the table.

Sunday. The All-American Rounds and the Finals. The competition started with over 1500 kids and now the top 8 in each bracket were competing. Each kid only wrestled once on Sunday. Andrew was wrestling for 7th or 8th. They started the morning with a parade of the All-Americans. The lights were dimmed, smoke machines, loud music, colored-lights going everywhere. It was a neat environment for the kids, but for the spectators it made it hard to see the kids on the floor.
Andrew wrestled a little boy from Idaho. I had a good seat to videotape the match from, but I couldn't see the scoreboard. At the end of each round, I would look over to a man sitting a few seats to my left so he could tell me the score.
Round 1 0-0
Round 2 0-0
It was a real nail-biter.
Round 3 The man called out. 5-1. Your boy won!

WAHOO!!!! 7th Place

Then the top 8 from his bracket head to the theater where the awards podium is set up. While we waited, Bobby told me that the boy from Idaho is LDS! We knew they were from Idaho and Bobby took the chance and just asked him. I of course thought "Wow! That's pretty cool!" But, I don't think they thought it was as neat as we did. I mean come on, we are from the South. The only LDS wrestler we saw all year, is in our ward. We really enjoy meeting other Mormons just by chance.

Andrew's teammate, a 6th grader from Sulphur, won 1st place in his bracket. A National Champion!

We flew to Houston Sunday evening and made it home by 1 am. Andrew and Shawn made it back around 3 pm yesterday. Just in time for us to get ready and head to the ball park. :( Brian plays T-Ball. He lost 32-9. Andrew's team lost 12-0. Shawn plays Thurs
day and we are hoping for better results. :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Blessing #11

I am so thankful for my health.

After the kids' stomach bugs (also shared by the kids that I babysit, their parents, my parents and my in-laws) and Bobby who never seemed like he was going to get better. He would start doing better then we thought he got the stomach virus which lingered on... He is on his way to the Dr. for the 7th time in three and a half weeks (turns out he had a secondary infection).

I just didn't have time to be sick. I have truly been blessed. No stomach virus, no cold. A few headaches, but that's okay. I am just thankful that with everything else going on we did not have to deal with me being sick.

Leaving on a jet plane......

Headed to Kansas City! Wrestling season isn't quite over for us yet. Andrew is going to a national tournament this weekend. I personally have mixed feelings about this. We went to Kansas in February and Andrew got whooped. Bobby rationalized that it was the hardest bracket in the whole tournament (according to the people who make the brackets, everyone was a state finalist the year before & one kid won nationals). It was also Andrew's first tournament of the season and the other kids were on their 6th or 7th.

It is a lot of money for plane tickets and entry fees. I had to arrange child-care for my little ones and the ones I baby-sit. I REALLY don't want to go all that way to see him lose every match! He does practice very hard and does well in the tournaments HERE, but I believe we as a state are not up to par with the Mid-West.

On the other hand, he is now at his peak, where in February he was just getting started for the season.
And for some reason they scheduled TWO national tournaments on the same weekend. Which means a lot of the kids will be in Iowa. That should cut the competition in half, right?

So I am going with the attitude that anything can happen. I just need to enjoy the experience. Who knows we could come back saying that he is stronger for the experience and will do better next year, or we could come back with a champion. We have no idea who the competition is or what to expect from them. When we go to the tournaments here, we get to know the kids and their families and some matches can be predicted. We'll see what happens!


It's been a while since I've updated my wrestling posts. And I know you are all dying to know how it's going since no one ever comments on the wrestling posts. ;) But I need to write it down lest I should forget.
Andrew went to the State wrestling tournament on March 22nd. Just to recap, Andrew has been doing pretty well this season. Only losing to one wrestler, whom I have nicknamed "George". George won the first three weeks. Then Andrew won the next two. We figured he was on a roll and had a pretty good shot at winning state, although it would not be easy.
Andrew took 2nd at state. George won 1st. I was okay with this, because they are both very tough wrestlers and it could have gone either way. Andrew likes to bring up the fact that our household had been passing around the stomach bug again that weekend and he probably wasn't up to par. Either way I am extremely proud of Andrew for having such a wonderful season.

During Spring Break, Andrew's coach hosted a wrestling camp featuring world-class Coach Rob Hermann. I was impressed when I saw his credentials.

Rob Herman
• 1996 Head Coach- U.S. Olympic Team
• 2000 Asst. Head Coach- U.S. Olympic Team
• 1991 & 1995 Head Coach- U.S. Military Team
• 1995 Head Coach- Pan American Wrestling Team
• 1992 & 1996 USA Wrestling Coach of the Year
• 2000- Present All Navy Wrestling Team
• World Cup Silver Medalist (wrestler)
• 4 time U.S. Open Champion (wrestler)
• 3 time World Team Member (wrestler)

I was excited that he was going to get to work with such a great coach and not have to travel very far.
After the first day of the camp, Bobby picked Andrew up and was talking to another dad there while they waited. Apparently, they found out and it was confirmed that George's father and another parent with George's team had this coach, Rob Hermann, watch tapes of the kid's wrestling so that he could give them pointers.

I couldn't believe it. It was almost funny. These parents needed an olympic coach to watch tapes of Andrew wrestling so that he could tell an 11 year old how to beat him. We have truly entered the world of competitive sports!
So does this change my newly found good feelings towards George's dad? Nope. I was just dumbfounded that they would take it so seriously. :) And it does make Andrew feel better.

Anyway, just when I thought wrestling season was over it lingers on....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Rock Band

Yesterday was my sister-in-law's birthday. My brother called and invited us over for cake, ice cream and to play with her new birthday present. He got her "Rock Band" for the XBOX. It comes with a microphone (to satisfy those who love to karoke), a lead guitar and drums.

What we love about it, is that you can have up to four people rocking together at the same time. My niece is really good at the guitar. We were doing great on the "Easy" setting so decided to give "Medium" a try with my niece on guitar and me on drums. Still, we did pretty good. So, I tried guitar and she took the drums and we failed, miserably. We did that twice.
In the end we decided that if we ever start our own rock band, she'll play guitar and I'll take the drums. :)
It was a fun evening, even though my little one broke a decorative glass bowl just minutes after we arrived. :(

Friday, March 28, 2008

Barn Animal

So, I realized it has been a long time since I've posted. Actually, Vicki pointed it out. :) It has been a busy week and a half and I hope to update soon, right now I just have a couple of minutes.

I've been lonely and missing everyone, due to the fact that I've had sick kids and missed playgroup and Easter Sunday at church. :( So, I invited a family over for dinner. I'm walking around tidying up and went into my dining room, a room we don't use everyday right now, and remembered I still have a barn animal in there.

That's right a real live barn animal....I'm gonna have to move that thing to another place... and soon.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ward Conference - Blessing #10

Yesterday was Ward Conference. Truthfully, I have never really enjoyed ward conference before. But yesterday was different. It was great, even if I had to listen to half of it while sitting in the Primary room. (with my noisy 3 year old)
A man in our ward who I have known since I was 14 bore his testimony. He has a real tough exterior. Stern and gruff with a real hard handshake.
I have heard him bear his testimony before, but I never heard it like this. I don't know if the difference was anything he said or just the way I heard it. He was so tender and sweet. I haven't heard him talk about the Savior and the gospel that way before. I was so thankful that I was there to hear it.
Then, a women's choir sang. And while the singing was beautiful I kept watching the pianist and the chorister. Two beautiful women who I also met when I was 14. They are so gifted with music and have blessed our ward for many, many years. I wondered if there is even anyone in the generation to come who will do as good of a job as these two women have. They are both older women, but still in terrific shape. I found that I was so appreciative of what they do, instead of taking them for granted. I truly saw them for the beautiful talented women they are. Next, we heard from one of my favorite speakers in the stake. (2nd counselor in the stake presidency) He always does a great job. Halfway through his talk is when I had to head to the Primary room. I struggled to listen, through the distractions in the Primary room as our Stake President spoke.What I did get out of ward conference was awesome, and I am honestly looking forward to next year.

Friend or Foe?

I had a lot to say this morning, so that I wouldn't have one really LONG post, I decided to break it down into several smaller posts. More wrestling.....

I don't know how I went from thinking this other kid's dad (I really need to come up with a name for this kid Andrew wrestles against every, so I used to think that George's Dad was such a jerk. The bad call in New Orleans, the fact that he was asking Andrew about his teammates...I just didn't like him. Bobby just listened but told me he wasn't bad. What dad is going to tell the ref to take away points awarded to his son (controversial or not)? Anyway, I now find that I can talk to this man and he is so nice!! We talk about how hard it is to watch the kids and he pats me on the back and says "see ya next week". He is always smiling and seems to really like Andrew, even if Andrew beats his son. I feel so bad now about having hard feelings towards him and walking away from him when he tried to talk to Spencer. :(

The kids are great with each other. They can run around and play, hang out with each other all day, then get out on the mat and give it their all. We see the same kids week after week and Andrew is making some good friends. They are learning wonderful lessons in great sportsmanship.

Andrew is really building quite a fan club at the tournaments. He has been described by older kids as "an animal", "a beast". By other coaches (especially George's Dad) as "very polite", "a good sport", "Tough Guy".

1st place!

Saturday was also our home wrestling tournament, which was very convenient. Since we were so close, Bobby stayed home most of the day and I was able to go pick him up so he could watch the championship match. Andrew absolutely amazes me. He is so tough! Last weekend at his greatest competitor's home tournament, Andrew brought home the gold in his age bracket. The first time he has ever beaten that kid. He also brought home the bronze in an older age bracket, wrestling against 12 and 13 year olds.
This weekend, he did it again! In a 14-man bracket Andrew won 1st place.

It makes for really exciting matches when the competitors are both really tough and evenly matched. Exciting and intense. It is sometimes hard to watch!

Good Weekend!

After such a bad week, it was nice that the weekend turned out so well. Bobby went to the Dr. Friday afternoon and found out that his stone had passed, but had what the Dr. described as a "rip-roaring" infection. I guess that means it was bad?? Anyway, he told Bobby which hospital he would be on-call this weekend in case we needed anything. That had me a little nervous. But he started Bobby on one of the "strongest antibiotics on the planet" - again, those were the Dr.'s words. By Saturday he was already getting some color back in his face. Sunday morning, he told me to leave Spencer home from church with him. :) I think they enjoyed some nice cuddle-time. This morning, I didn't hear the alarm go off and he didn't wake me. He just turned it off and got the boys ready for school. Wow - dramatically different that just a few days before. He goes back to the Dr. tomorrow to find out when he can return to work. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Rude Awakening

So it hasn't been the greatest week for us, but I think I've been doing fine with everything. Until last night. After cooking dinner, I got a headache. So, I sat down and decided I was taking the rest of the night off. I didn't clean the kitchen, tidy the living room, make the boys clean their rooms, set out the boys school clothes for the next day...Nothing. I watched 7th Heaven until I started dozing off and climbed into bed at 10 pm.
Monday morning I said I crawled out of bed at 1:30 am. Well at 3:00 this morning, I heard a noise. I jumped out of bed, screamed and ran toward the bathroom. When I reached the door, I turned around and saw it. My husband was puking on the bed. Right where I had been sound asleep just seconds earlier. It was awful. He said he was "so sorry. I didn't know I was going to throw up until it was happening." Well, apparently I knew a split-second before he did because, luckily, I did get out of the way just in the nick of time.
Then I walk into the kitchen and see all the dirty dishes on the counters and the big mess I left in the living room. So I start cleaning. I'm tidying things up and found something that belonged in my son's room and opened the bedroom door to put it away. It stunk in there. Really bad. So I investigate. My son (I won't tell you which one) apparently did not know he had diarrhea. His bottom half and sheets were covered with it. Poor guy! I had a 5 second pity party and cried, then woke him up and told him to take a shower. This is the 2nd time this week we found a son covered in diarrhea. The first mattress is sitting outside by our garbage can. Sunday morning the gruesome discovery was made with another son. How do they not know?
So, I have been up cleaning since 3 am and decided that now at 7:30 am I deserved a break.
What's left to do today? Not much.
Just scrub the bathrooms, mop the floors, go visiting teaching, clean the boys' carpet, make sponsorship signs for the wrestling tournament this weekend (it's our home tournament so at least we don't have to travel!), move my brother's table out of the way because my new table is being delivered today, Bobby's doctor appointment (he still hasn't passed the stone), I promised one son I would take him to the store after school, and let's not forget the three kids I babysit. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................
Just answered the phone. My visiting teaching companion is sick and needs to go to the doctor. She thinks we should reschedule for next week. Yippee! Don't get me wrong, I really like going, the ladies are awesome. But this morning, probably not the best idea.
As soon as I got off the phone, a truck pulled up in my driveway. I told Peyton's grandmother this morning when she dropped him off at 6:30 about the stomach problems in the household. Both of Peyton's parents have been sick most of this week and his grandmother has been picking him up after work and taking him home with her. Well, she said this morning that his parents were feeling better, but not ready to go back to work yet so they would stay home and disinfect everything. So she called his parents and his dad just came and picked him up! He really is a good baby, just not what I need to be dealing with today if they are feeling better.
Looks like I might even find time to eat and take a shower! Maybe I'll even be able to buy a new mattress this weekend!
Well, break time is over. It's back to work.