Saturday, June 26, 2010

The WORST part of a vacation...

We are going HERE tomorrow!  I am SO excited!

Today I was so motivated--I just had to do a FEW things to get ready to go to Lake Powell tomorrow.  Yeah right--Just take a look at my day:
8:00a.m.--get woken up by my sister Kimbie--she is coming down to go to the temple today!  YAY!
9:00--shower & get ready for the day--need to go shopping before Kimbie gets here...
10:00--go down to the store to meet with our new photographer--Dalene Griffin (you can read about her on our Old Jerusalem Treasures website--click on the link on my sidebar) to get some ideas on what to do with her beautiful photos that we bought for the store!
11:00--head out to Costco, the Post Office, and Albertsons to buy food for the Family Reunion (they have a great deal on blsl chicken this week--$1.67/lb.) I am in charge of Friday night's dinner for 110 people!  I already cooked & shredded about 20 lbs. of chicken yesterday--I am cooking the rest today! 
1:00 p.m.--FINALLY return home--my sister & her kids are swimming, feel bad for leaving them here for an hour while I shopped, but I DID hurry.
1:30-- Help make lunch and clean up after our 14 kids--YEP--I said 14!  Put 24 chicken breasts in 2 crockpots to cook the last half of the chicken.
2:30--Hold the baby to get him to go to sleep so we can go to the temple...I think this, and the temple are the only time I sat down today!
3:30--get to the temple--aaaaaaaaahhhhh!  LOVE the temple!  So peaceful, So QUIET...zzzzzzzzzzzzz....WAIT--I need to wake up!   Aaaaaaaaahhhh So peaceful, SO quiet...zzzzzzzzzz.  Boy is it hard to stay awake for a whole session sometimes!
6:00--get some pizza for the kids & we go out to Carrabbas for a YUMMY dinner!  Treat my sister since she is watching Jack for me for a few days so we don't have to worry about him at Powell...he is just SO busy!  Kimbie--you're amazing!
8:00--get back from dinner, Kimbie leaves (already miss my Jack Jack) , start cleaning, and packing. 
10:00--done packing the kids--but realize we still need some things at the store...ugh...I hate going to Walmart late at night--can you say CREEPERS!
12:00 a.m.--leave Walmart--yep--CREEPERS!
12:30--put away the rest of the food, fold a load of laundry.
1:00--shred 20 lbs. of chicken & put it in bags--fold a load of laundry
1:30--make homemade salsa to take with us since I have tomatoes that are going bad...start cleaning the kitchen...
2:30--STILL cleaning--GAD--it still looks like a BOMB went off in here!
3:00--sit down at the computer to finish typing up a reunion agenda for the family reunion next week--okay--I said I would send it out on Friday--and technically it's Saturday now--but c'mon--it's been a long day!
3:30--check e-mail, check Facebook--because you know how NOT important that is...but c'mon it doesn't even make much sense to go to bed now does it?
4:00--sitting here BLOGGING because I seriously can't believe I can make it through days like this and not go INSANE!  Wait...that's not entirely true!  I mean if I was completely SANE--I could NEVER do this crazy job called motherhood!
The WORST part of a vacation???  It's the GETTING THERE!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oceanside 2010!

Our favorite week of the year has come and gone once again--and this year it went WAY too fast for me!  This summer has been like a whirlwind so far--and it's not slowing down anytime soon!  This year Emie and Erin were at Girls' Camp the week of our beach vacation, so we missed them SO much!  It's the first time we haven't all gone to the beach together in 16 years!  WOW!  Time flies!  I took WAY too many pictures, and couldn't bear to delete many of them either--so you may not have an interest in the next 100 pictures below!  We have way too many adorable kids in our family and I just love them all SO much!  We are so blessed to have a family that gets along so well, and enjoys spending time together.  Our kids are not only cousins, but they are best friends!  Thanks for a great week guys!  Until next year...we LOVE you!

We went on Tuesday into Old Town San Diego to see the new Mormon Battalion visitor's center.  It was AMAZING!  They have a totally entertaining and interactive presentation that the kids just LOVED!  If you are heading to San Diego this summer I would highly recommend making the trip!  You might even find out that some of YOUR ancestors were a part of this important group in history!  It was a great day!  It did put a damper on our trip however, when we got home and Jack had an allergic reaction to some cashews that we fed him.  He is not allergic to cashews--but we think they were cooked in the same pan as some of the roasted peanuts, and it was enough to cause a reaction, and a pretty big scare!  Thank goodness for Benadryl, and the power of the priesthood, and after a very long night he was okay!  We have to be more careful--Josh had a reaction this week too when he ate a pretzel, not knowing it was peanut-butter filled!  He knew to spit it out, so the Benadryl took care of that too, but it is still scary none the less!  Isn't it funny that both of my boys are left-handed--and my BUBBLE boys!  Crazy luck!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pain in the...FOOT!

A few weeks ago I was walking into my closet and stepped on something--OUCH!  I looked down and picked up a spool of thread with a needle sticking out of it.  (Funny thing is...I can NEVER find a needle in this house when I need one)!  Anyway, upon closer inspection of the little hole in my foot--and the needle, I realized that the needle was broken and the broken part was still in my heel!  Todd and I got out some scissors, and tweezers and tried to dig it out of there, but it was up too far in, and we couldn't get it out.  It was actually right before we were going to go to the gym, so I headed over there anyway, and had an interesting workout trying to do weighted squats with my one heel up (they were kind of like one-legged squats--and I looked like an idiot)!  Anyway, the needle didn't hurt so bad, unless I stepped on it, so for the next day I waddled around on my toe thinking it would "work its way out".  The day after that, Todd talked to his dad who said we better go in and get an X-ray just to see where it was, and Todd's brother recommended a good foot doctor who might be able to get it out!  We went into his office with the awesome x-ray, it looked easy enough to get out right?  Not really.  The doctor said it was kind of like trying to find a needle in a haystack...literally.  He wasn't sure he wanted to do a procedure in the office to try to remove it, he thought it would be better to go to the operating room where he could do ultrasound and locate it there.  After we begged him (wanting to save money of course--we have a $10,000 deductible) he agreed to try to dig it out with the understanding that we might end up in the operating room anyway, and it might make it worse.  After a PAINFUL shot to numb my heel (Todd had to basically lay on me to hold me down to the table while I digged my fingernails into his arm), the doctor was able to dig a much larger hole in my heel and luckily he located the needle and pulled it out!  HOORAY!  I thought it was great until I saw the HUGE hole in my heel!  Then when the medication wore off, I thought I was going to DIE!  The next two days were not fun at all!  Thankfully it only cost us $800 for the x-ray and the doctor bill--it could have been much worse!  Now it has been two weeks, and I am almost back to full function.  It's amazing how much trouble a little teeny needle can cause.  I am watching where I step more closely these days!  Stupid Needle!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Random Roadtrip Thoughts...

I drove the kids up to Utah this last weekend to go to my nephew Seth's baptism, and to drop Emie off at EFY for the week.  Todd needed to work, plus this week he is gone to scout camp with the deacons--so I was on my own for this trip.  When Emie found out Todd wasn't going she immediately says, "What?  Dad isn't going?"  I'm like, "Nope."  She says, "WE'RE GONNA DIE!"  Thanks for that vote of confidence sweetheart!  Appreciate that.  It's not that I've never taken them anywhere by myself, but usually it's to Thatcher, or somewhere closer to home.  I've never been the type of mom that likes to take the kids & do things myself.  I'm not really that adventurous for one, and for two--a vacation with me and my kids is not really a vacation for me!  I like to have Todd there with me to share in the joys (and the misery) that are a family vacation with young children.  I don't think it's fair to keep that all to myself!  Nevertheless, it was up to me to get Emie and her friend McKessa there, so I set off on my way early Thursday morning.

First revelation...GPS is AWESOME!  You type where you want to go into that thing and BOOM--they tell you how to get there!  Isn't technology amazing?  I remember taking trips with Todd and trying to find the road we were supposed to take on a  map that was too small, and stopping at gas stations to ask for directions when we were hopelessly lost only to find out that we had gone 40 miles out of our way.  That GPS was amazing--it's gave me so much confidence that if I just followed the directions, I would end up where I needed to go.  I kept thinking of metaphors for life--and gospel lessons, and the next time I have to give a relief society lesson or a talk I'm sure that some of it will come from my road trip with my best friend GPS! 

Next revelation...America is the greatest country on earth!  I love to take road trips, the scenery is so breathtaking, and our country is so amazingly beautiful.  Our Father in Heaven loves us so much to give us such an amazing place to live!  I am so incredibly blessed to be born in this country where we enjoy so much freedom, and where we can truly be anything we want to be.  Next time I go on a road trip I want to stop 100 times to take pictures of the interesting businesses and sites along the way.  Only in America can you see some of this stuff!  People make a living off of the most interesting things!  We saw a rock store that the people actually built in the shape of a rock.  We saw a place in the middle of pretty much nowhere at the base of a big mountain called Big Rock Candy Mountain.  We saw little towns where you would think that there was no way to draw people in and make money, but they come up with a catchy name for their cafe, or set up a cute curio or trinket shop that makes you want to stop and see what they could possibly be selling.  It's capitalism at work--and I pray that people realize that there is genius in the way that the founders set up this great country.  It runs because of mom and pop shops like that all over the United States.  It works because of the entrepreneurial spirit of the people that keep the economy going.  It is truly a place like no other on earth!  I love this country--and I love that you can be anything you want to be, and you can make money doing what you love to do--even in the middle of nowhere!

Next, I learned that if you stay awake on a whole 14 hour drive to Utah there is SO much to see!  I've never really done that before!  In fact, usually I am asleep for half of that trip!  I don't stay awake very well on road trips, because I am spoiled enough to have a husband who doesn't make me drive.  This is for many reasons--but mostly because he is a control freak, and doesn't like the way I drive.  It makes him much more nervous to have me at the wheel, so he can't sleep anyway, so he always drives.  Trust me, we will continue this tradition--because even though I enjoyed seeing more of the country, I did NOT enjoy the driving part--(especially at night)!  Oh, and if everyone is sleeping and you are in the middle of a reservation--Sirius Satellite Radio will be your best friend (don't get jealous GPS--you are my first BFF)!  Another thing--if you are sleepy while you are driving, all you have to do is look at your sleeping children right next to you, and behind you, and it wakes you right up to know that these sweet faces want to live to see another day, and so do YOU!  There is nothing that makes my heart swell with pride than looking at the faces of my sleeping children--(because let's face it, they are much sweeter when they are asleep, and nothing rude is coming from their mouth at that moment!).  I sure love those kids--all of them!  I don't know what I would do without them!

Next, I learned that I am not cut out to be a single parent!  Boy do I love Todd!  I do NOT have the patience to deal with all of these children day in and day out by myself!  There were times I was literally praying for strength not to KILL them!  Luckily, Emie's friend McKessa was there, so I had to be the kinder, gentler version of me for her sake!  I didn't want her calling home and crying because she was stuck with the  crazy mean me!  Seriously though...you should've seen the tantrum Jack threw in the mall at Provo on the last day we were there!  I mean kicking, screaming at the top of his lungs, freak out tantrum.  Over what?  He was mad because I took away a ketchup packet because he had already squirted 12 of them onto his fries, and I wanted him to actually eat them.  People were looking at me like I was so horrible.  He screamed at the top of his lungs for a full 10 minutes while I tried to get the kids to ignore him and finish eating their lunch so we could go!  Talk about a freak show!  You would think after 6 children I would be good at this parenting stuff--but here's the thing:  I still don't have a clue!  Not only that, but I am dealing with 2 year old tantrums and 14 year old drama all at the same time!  I really wouldn't want to juggle that all by myself!  I am so grateful for a husband who loves my children and will do anything for us!  I love him so much--and it's never more evident than when he's not there!  I missed you babe!

I was so glad the kids got to spend some time with my sister, and their Utah cousins!  They love them so much!  Our kids get along so well, and sure have a great time together!  I won't tell you about how badly they kicked our butt in laser tag though--it's embarrassing!  Where were you Todd?  You needed to defend our family's honor!  We want a rematch!

Finally, I LOVE Utah--and I really LOVE BYU!  The campus is amazing and beautiful, the people are so great, and there is a spirit in that place that I really don't think exists anywhere else!  It's a long drive, but SO worth it!  I am SO excited for Emie to get to go to EFY.  My friends went in high school, and I was so jealous every year to hear them go on and on about it.  I am so excited for Emie to have this experience!  Just another way for me to live vicariously through my children!  I will post pictures later, since we took them on Emie's camera and she kept it with her.  I'm sure it will have like 1000 pics on it for me to go through when she gets back!  I hope she has a great time!

Now...it's good to be HOME!  (Even though my house looks like a BOMB went off...but that's for another post--another day)!
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