Saturday, October 31, 2009

12 Freakin' Miles!

12 Miles!!!!!!!!
We did it this morning--at 6 a.m..
It sucked.
I hated it.
I whined.
I complained.
I am sore and tired.
I seriously would rather poke a large needle into my eye
than run this race in two weeks!
But WE DID IT!
The End.

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Trip to the Zoo...


Ashlie's preschool class got to go to the zoo this week on Wednesday, so Jack and I tagged along with them! It was a beautiful day, the first chilly day of the year! Seriously--the weather around here has been wacked out! It was 90 the day before--then 60 the very next day for the high! Welcome fall--finally! We got out our sweaters, and hoodies and had a great day with all of Ashlie's friends. Jack's favorite was the giraffes. He loved climbing up on the treehouse thing where you could be at the same height as them. Ashlie loved the monkeys, she especially got a kick out of the baboons. She was like, "Mom, you can totally see their BUTTS!" So funny! Thanks Dawn for the great field trip, and for letting us tag along!

Halloween Recital...


My girls had a Halloween piano recital this week on Thursday that they were just THRILLED about! They were supposed to wear costumes, and get dressed up and play these fun halloween songs. Ummm...yeah, Abby was okay with it, but I literally had to DRAG my teenagers along to the recital, and force them into doing it. They made so many negative comments, that I decided that it's easier to laugh at them than to fight with them. Here are some of the better ones:
"Just shoot me now..."
"I'd rather slit my wrists than be here..."
"I am NOT going in there..."
"There is no one here over 8 wearing a costume..."
"I look SO GAY..."
"This is RETARDED..."
"No, really, just shoot me NOW..."
"Can't I just quit piano...please???"
"I HATE recitals..."
"I hate YOU..."
"Why do you make me do this???"
"Piano is SO stupid..."
"I am SO quitting piano..."

Yeah, this night was a ton of fun for all involved! Someday, my children will look back at this and laugh--then I hope they thank me for putting up with all this crap and not killing them! Seriously--I was like, "you little ingrates--get up there and play your stupid song and quit whining or I might beat the crap out of you!" Actually, I was laughing pretty much the whole night at the situation. Here I am doing something that I don't feel like doing--making my kids do something that they don't feel like doing, because I know it's good for them sometimes to do things they don't want to do. Does that make any sense at all?? The funniest part of the night was when Erin asked if she could take off her tu tu for her fairy costume (that she made--not my creation!) since she didn't feel like any of the kids her age there were dressed up. The problem? All she had on was a t-shirt and a pair of black leggings. Emie leans over and goes, "Yeah, take it off--then you'll look like you came as a hooker." I almost lost it--I was laughing SO hard. Sometimes in these situations--you just have to laugh! Emie was wearing my t-shirt from last year at Halloween that says, "I like being witchy." It was particularly fitting for this situation! Abby was adorable as always, and just going with the flow. Thank goodness for my Abby! All went well, until the next wonderful recital! I love you girls--good job!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Seriously??? 1900 Pages???

Do you trust these people? Nancy--(crazy woman) Pelosi, Steny Hoyer (really, what kind of name is that?), Pete Stark, Henry (rat face) Waxman, Charlie (I don't pay my taxes, but you should) Rangel, and John Dingell (really? How did he get elected with that name--people must've felt sorry for him or something...). These are the crafters of this beauty: (which I'm sure that none of them actually wrote--nor do they plan to actually read it, frankly I'm not sure they're intelligent enough to read it).
Here it is:
OVER 1900 pages of Government Bureaucracy! Aren't you chomping at the bit to read this? The good news--your elected officials are all pouring over it--reading EVERY WORD this week before they vote on it umm...next week. Trust them--they will take care of you. Or maybe they will kill you. It's not too late--CALL OR WRITE!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Training HARD!!...

A few months ago, Todd's brother--Dr. Greg, announced to the family that he was putting on a race--a half marathon to benefit skin cancer, here in Mesa. It's called Run From the Sun AZ--the website is HERE, and it's on November 14. Those of you who know me, know that I HATE excercise. Todd is the same way, we both have tried every other way to lose weight without having to do the dreaded workout! I have blogged about it so many times...HERE is a good one called "I HATE Excercise!" Anyway, all of our family has sort of been roped into doing this race to support Dr. Greg--(and so we don't get stuck babysitting while the others run the race... ha ha). Todd and I have been "training" for a few months now--and I am proud to say that we have worked up to running 10 miles! While I am proud of this accomplishment, I'm still going to tell you that running is my very LEAST favorite thing to do--STILL. I think it's sweaty, and boring, and tiring, and all together just UGH. Not only that, but I think we are the only people on earth that could log 20 or more miles per week for the last month, and still GAIN weight. People will say "Oh, that's just muscle you're gaining", to make me feel better--but if you read my sugar post you will know that what's bouncing around on my body while we jog 10 miles is NOT muscle! It is fat, fat, and more fat. Todd's brother David has been coming over to jog with us--and I think I've nailed the reason that none of us are losing weight in this adventure... I caught him stretching the other night before our run. Check this out:
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Ummm...what is that in his mouth? Could it be? Look a little closer:
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Yep...Little Caesar's Pizza!
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Not only that, but someone had brought chocolate chip cookies to my girls as well, so he downed a few of those too! Yeah, about mile 1 he was burping those up like crazy! And by mile 4 he might have burned off a cookie or two of his little pre-run snack! You can see that we are doing some SERIOUS TRAINING over here!! I am trying to do better. I waited to eat my cookies until AFTER the run! And they were mmmmm mmmm GOOD!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Do YOU get it??

My teenager had to write a letter to a senator or congressman about an issue of her choice this week--and this is what she came up with all on her own, (I really didn't write this with her--or it would have been a lot longer, and a little less civil...) with a little research on the internet:

The Honorable Senator John McCain
241 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0301

Dear Senator McCain:

I'll be honest with you; I'm just a fourteen year old Jr. High student from Gilbert, Arizona. However, that doesn't make me oblivious to the issues our country is dealing with, one of the largest ones being President Obama's healthcare plan. The reason I chose to write this letter is to persuade you to vote against any plan that socializes healthcare, and rally any support you can from fellow senators to vote against it.
In social studies, we learned how our government's setup was created by taking ideas from other forms of government that had worked before, and making it work. Doing this has made us the strongest country in the world. So I ask you this: when has socialized healthcare ever worked for any other country? Anyone would be able to tell from looking at statistics of other countries that socialized healthcare causes more problems than it solves. One problem is higher cost which creates higher taxes, adding even more to our 10 trillion and counting total national debt. And what generation will inherit all this debt? That would my fellow classmates and I. At this rate, we'll be in more debt than we could possibly repay in our whole lifetimes. Another issue concerns what our country was founded for: freedom. If people are forced to pay for a healthcare plan they don't want, and punished if they don't, isn't that similar to the government forcing the people to practice only one religion? It would be an unconstitutional violation of our rights to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Lastly, I'm concerned about the quality of the care. I'll use cancer as a an example; In the United States, cancer patients are treated almost immediately. In countries with socialized medicine, the patients have to wait somewhere between 3-9 months just to be treated. Oftentimes the cancer becomes untreatable during this period of time, and the patients die. If something as serious as cancer has months-long waiting period, imagine trying to get something simple taken care of. Will it really be for the greater good?
Again, I urge you to vote against any plan that would make the United States of America another country that has to deal with the pains of socialized healthcare. I know the Republicans are currently the minority party. But facts are facts, and both Democrats and Republicans should be educated on the effects of social healthcare before they make a vote that could change our whole country. Thank you for your time, and I look forward to reading your response.
Sincerely,

Emie Allen

If she can do it--so can YOU! We need letters flooding the capitol before it's too late. If you need help drafting a letter, this website will help you put some of the more important points into it. Click HERE. Most importantly--this is an issue of FREEDOM! If this bill passes, you WILL pay more in taxes, and you WILL get less quality of care, and you will be FORCED to pay for it--or go to jail. PERIOD. Don't let them lie to you--when has a government program EVER worked the way it was supposed to??? And if they say it's going to cost 1 TRILLION dollars--you can be assured it will be 10X that--it always is. Pick up the phone and call--better yet, do what Emie did and WRITE. They need to hear from all of us this week!

1. Be sure to write via snail mail, no email, send it to them with a stamp on a dead tree!
2. House members can be addressed by name at:
House Office BuildingWashington DC, 20515

Senators at:
Senate Office BuildingWashington DC, 20510

You don’t need their room or anything. Go on--WRITE!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Emie is 14~!!

I can't believe my teenager is 14!! In fact, I've been in denial for a while now--thus the reason for posting so late! :) Emie is the best firstborn that Heavenly Father could've sent to this home! She is so mellow, and just goes with the flow no matter the situation. Emie always knows just the right thing to say, and the right way to say it, and even when to say nothing, which is a harder thing for some of us in this family! I do have to say that when I mentioned that Joshua had mastered the art of sarcasm at an early age--there was no better teacher for him than Emie! She is so gifted at the art of sarcasm, she can blurt something ridiculous out and keep a perfectly straight and serene expression, and people have no idea that she is completely joking. She definitely gets that from her father--who still manages to fool me sometimes, even after almost 16 years of marriage! All joking aside--I am so proud of this daughter of mine. She is beautiful, and smart, and amazing! I love her so much, and life truly would be miserable without her in our family! She let me take some pictures of her yesterday so I could post them here. I love the way they turned out--she looks so amazing! We love you Em!

14 things we LOVE about Emie:
1. She is smart as a whip--we don't quite know where she gets it, but she is so smart it amazes me! The best thing? She is so humble about it!
2. She is so funny, she says the funniest things, sometimes under her breath, but she can turn a tense situation into a fun one really fast!
3. She is awesome at pretty much anything she tries, now that's amazing!
4. Again, we don't know where she gets it--but she has a beautiful voice, and can sing almost any part, high or low.
5. She is an amazing pianist...I know where she got that one! Thanks to all her teachers over the years--and to Dad for putting up ALL that $$$--but ask Emie, she has had to practice--A LOT!
6. Emie has a great smile! I can't wait for those braces to come off so we see it more!
7. She is a great friend, and extremely loyal. Emie is the type of friend you would love to have. She'll stick by her friends, and she's not a gossiper or a backbiter. I admire that in a person!
8. She is almost done with her YW Recognition--6 projects to go! Making her do all her goals to get her cell phone got her fired up!
9. She is a diligent student--always getting straight A's.
10. She is a night owl like her mother--sometimes I'll go upstairs after midnight, and her light is still on, and she'll be trying on clothes and stuff--crazy girl!
11. She loves to sleep in--hmmm...do these two go together??
12. Emie doesn't talk back, she is very respectful--most of the time!
13. She LOVES her family, and takes good care of her brothers and sisters. She is a great babysitter.
14. She is the BEST daughter anyone could ever ask for! I love you Emie!

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Her "I'm so happy to be here" face!
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Our Seeds of Faith have BLOOMED!

Remember our little FHE experiment--you know the one that actually went WELL??? See that post HERE. Not like my last post about FHE! Well, my Abby planted those little seeds of faith out in our front yard--and much to my surprise, they actually GREW! We have one sunflower that has bloomed so far, and 5 or 6 others that are ready any day to bloom! I am hoping it stays warm for another few weeks so we can see all of our seeds of faith bloom! Good job, Abby--you're a wonderful gardener! They went from this:
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To THIS!!:
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Can you tell how much I adore this sweet little flower of faith?? I love it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The BOY made it to 7!

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Josh turned 7 last week at the cabin--(do you like the 4 candle? That's all we had on hand...) and what did he want for his birthday?? To go HUNTING! Todd took him out with Emie and the guys, and he was in pure heaven! He is SO not like me--this post was my thoughts on hunting--click HERE or HERE. This kid is ALL boy, probably why I have NO idea what to do with him these days! I'm sorry, but to all of you who say boys are easier than girls--I think you're all crazy! Josh never slows down, he's always busy, pretty much always in some sort of trouble (still...), and he never knows when enough is enough! Sometimes I think he's lucky to make it to see another day in our house, because if I don't kill him first, his sisters might beat me to it! I do enjoy the challenge though, and love the fact that at least it's craziness with him without all the DRAMA and tears that come from the girls these days! We love you to death Joshua, and want you to know how happy we are to have such a great BOY in our family--craziness and all!
7 things we LOVE about Josh:
1. He HATES to be called Joshua--even though I do it all the time. I think I'm the only one left clinging to his full name.
2. He always has something smart to say--(sometimes to his detriment)--but usually hilarious. I think all of our children have the special "gift" of sarcasm, and Josh has perfected it at an early age!
3. Josh is a good friend. He loves to hang out with his buddies, and hates to be stuck at home with his sisters!
4. Josh has the best smile! It's a little crooked, and mischievious, and his left eye squints in the cutest way when he smiles. Even in the stage when he had no teeth his smile was adorable!
5. This boy is FAST! I have had conversations with the Lord (no, really I have), "if you're gonna make him small, Lord--please make him fast!" He is one of only 2 boys in our family--and he WILL play football or it might break his father's heart! I'm so glad he's fast so he can outrun those who would KILL him on the field! I will keep praying for that one as he gets older! It did NOT help him in wrestling camp however...I guess I need to pray for strength as well!
6. Josh is smart--he started reading in preschool (thanks Mrs. Carrie), and he loves to learn. He really pays attention well at school, and gets good grades...now if only I could carry that over to HOME!
7. Josh is so much like his DAD! He loves to tease his sisters, and bug them to death. He reminds me so much of Todd and his teasing ways. I love that he wants to be like him!
Happy birthday Josh! We love you!
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Monday, October 19, 2009

FHE=FIGHT Home Evening...


Tonight I taught the lesson from the Ensign about the lies that Satan tells us--and how we constantly think that we are not worthy of the blessings that the Lord wants to give us. It talked about how we shouldn't compare ourselves to others, and how the Lord doesn't compare or have his children compete for his love, he loves us equally. It talked about Satan always makes us feel inadequate, unworthy, and like we can never measure up. It talked about how those things can make us discouraged, depressed, and despondent. It was a really good article--you can read it HERE.

I always feel like teaching a lesson to my children is kind of like standing up in sacrament meeting and giving a talk. You look out at the audience, and some people are yawning, (Emie), some are nodding off (ummm...Todd), some are fighting, (Erin & Josh--though I have to give her credit for trying to make him listen), some are just plain in la la land somewhere and haven't heard a word that you said (Abby), some are running around biting people (Jack), and tonight we had 3 extra kids (David and Jessica's kids) to add to the mix. I guess I sort of bit off more than I could chew when I decided to teach a 15 minute lesson, instead of a 5 minute one, but I feel like my teenagers and older kids really need the "meat" of the gospel--instead of the 5 minute "mini" lessons lately. I really feel like they are missing out sometimes when I focus on the little ones and don't dig deeper to teach real gospel principles. Man, within 2 minutes I was almost begging for someone, anyone, to listen to me. Within 5 minutes, Todd had grabbed Josh and the look in his eyes told me he was going to throttle that kid to death if he didn't at least sit still for a minute or two. Within 10 minutes, I was SCREAMING at people to listen (no really, I mean literally screaming)--boy, if that doesn't invite the spirit to be with our family--I don't know what does!

So another family night down the tubes--and guess what is popping into my head?? "What a terrible mother you are--you can't even get your kids to sit reverently for 10 minutes..." "I bet other mothers have obedient children...where have you gone wrong..." "You might as well just throw in the towel--family night just isn't worth it, no one is listening anyway..." "Maybe if I was as creative as _____ (insert just about anyone's name here--they are all more creative than I am), I could give lessons that would actually capture someone's interest..." "This son (who just turned 7 a few days ago), might not make it to 8..." You get the picture.

Man, isn't it amazing that even after trying to teach my children about the lies Satan tells us--within a few minutes my whole mood had changed, I was discouraged, despondent, and depressed? That is how powerful he is, and how easy it is to let my guard down and let him into my head. The truth is, my Heavenly Father is proud of me for my effort. He is proud when I try my best to teach my children. He is patient and kind and loving when they make mistakes--and I should be as well. He will bless me if I try and do what is right, regardless of the outcome. He loves me for who I am--temper and all. He loves each of my children for who they are--even when they're rotten! There is always a second chance, and a third, and a fourth and on and on. He will never give up on me, so I won't give up either.

We'll sit down next Monday night and give it another shot, because I'm not going to let Satan win--not when my family is at stake.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fun at the Cabin...

What have we been up to this week? FUN--that's what! Take a look:


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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's GREAT to be 2! (almost...)

All in one morning--Jack's into the mascara, and the cheetos...
Meet "LiTtlE AdOlF!!" Ha Ha
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One CRAZY Girl!

Abby on crazy hair day:
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So, so much fun to tease and make it crazy--so NOT fun to comb & wash out! But isn't she the cutest! Love you AB!

Emie's Choir Concert...

Emie had a concert last week on Tuesday, and their choir dresses came just in the nick of time--the Friday before! The only problem?? It was about 6 inches too long! Thanks to an amazing friend--(thanks again Kathy!) we got it hemmed on Monday, and she looked great for her concert! The choir did a great job, and had an awesome version of Amazing Grace, with part of it a capella. It sounded so beautiful, I love that song. Good job Em--we love you girl!
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mea's Birthday!

We celebrated Mea's 3rd birthday last week at our house--with a ton of cousins. We had a great time eating pizza, and playing. Mea was so excited to just PLAY! She loves having all of the cousins around, and the big crowd that is our family! She got lots of fun gifts, a ton of dress up clothes and barbies. All the kids had a great time--especially when we broke out the pinata and let them go at it! The only problem was that there were about 20 kids who wanted a whack at it, and Kash broke it--only the 4th or 5th kid to hit it. We let the other kids hit the stump of the pinata until there was pretty much nothing left of it! Man it is nerve racking to have kids swinging a stick around as hard as they can, and trying to keep 18 other kids away while they do it! Pinatas can get pretty violent! Luckily no one was hurt! :) Happy birthday Mea, we love you!

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(Sorry again for the lousy pictures...I finally figured out how to post big nice pictures on my blog--then my camera breaks down. A new one is on my list of things to do...)
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