Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter at Kimbie's House!...

This year, we continued the tradition of spending Easter with my family.  Kimbie's neighborhood throws a big Easter Bash--and it's FREE!  Funny thing?  She calls up to RSVP for her kids and mine and the conversation went like this:
Lady:  "What is your child's name?"
Kimbie:  "Ummm...do you want ALL of their names?"
Lady:  "Well, how many children do you have?"
Kimbie:  "Well...I have 8 children, and my sister has 6 children, so 14."
Lady:  Awkward pause......"Well, I guess I don't need their names, but we may need to buy more candy."
Bahahaha!  Too funny!  We always shock people when we show up places together as a family.  We are more than a little outnumbered!  Anyway, I took WAY too many pictures as usual--add to that my dad and sister taking way too many pictures, and well--even with collages, there are still WAY too many pictures!  Oh well--skip them if you like, but we sure do have some adorable kiddos, and they sure do have tons of fun together!  The petting zoo was especially entertaining this year!  They set up about a 10 square foot space and started letting the animals out of their crates as the children watched.  First they took out 3 tiny little baby chicks, and let them start walking around.  Next, they let out a duck, that immediately snatched up one of those little baby chicks in it's mouth and started throttling and shaking it back and forth.  The children started to scream, and the guy managed to get the chick out of the duck's mouth and put both of them away.  Still not sure if that little chick made it.  I think it may have some damage...shaken baby chick syndrome?    Anyway, so the guy proceeds to let out two bunnies, who start to....ahem, how do I say this?  Do what bunnies do when they want to make baby bunnies...  Ya, THAT.  Now, the parents are all looking on in horror--hoping their children won't ask what the bunnies are doing since it took a few minutes for the guy to see what was going on and separate them.  WOW.  All of that seriously happened in the first 4 min. of the petting zoo!  Then they opened the gate and let about 40 children into that 10 square foot space--all at once--and boy did I feel sorry for those animals!  Poor bunnies--they knew their time might be short once that gate opened--they were just trying to enjoy themselves while they could!  HA!  Anyway, we had a great time, and ate WAY too much candy, and stayed up WAY too late, and just had tons of FUN!  Thanks Kimbie for having my crazy family at your house!  We love you guys!

P.S.  We bought a cool book called "Easter Walk" this year, about an Easter Scavenger Hunt.  It was very appropriate for Easter Sunday, and a cute way to bring the conversation from Easter Bunnies, and eggs, back to the real reason for the season--our Savior, and his sacrifice.  The kids loved it--and wait till you see what Erin & Journey brought in the house when they were sent to go find "something wood".  Oh my!  Next year--we are hoping to try a new tradition on Easter Sunday--and have an authentic Jerusalem dinner! I'll let you know if that pans out--or if the kids decide to fast instead of eat that stuff & it's a bomb...you never know!











 Jack found this Batman costume and he was in HEAVEN!  I couldn't rip that costume off him all day--not even when he fell asleep.  I picked him up off the floor--laid him in bed & tried to get it off, since he was sweating.  He FLIPPED OUT!  Nevermind...keep it on!
 We LOVE these Dudley's Spin an Egg things.  We bought like 3 of them this year, since we tried one last year & loved it so much! The kids just drop a few drops of color in, spin the thing around (like a salad spinner) and VOILA--painted egg with virtually NO MESS!  LOVE IT!


 Haha--look at Erin & Journey's "wood"--They brought in a whole tree!  Oh--and what is that that Cole's holding?  He was supposed to find "something dead" so he brought in a dead beetle.  AWESOME!

My Mom & Dad
 All Dressed up for Church!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Josh is a WOLF!...

Josh is SO lucky--he has his MOM as his Wolf Den Leader!  So wouldn't you know it--we are on the ball (most of the time) when it comes to cub scouting!  HOORAY! In our last pack meeting, Josh received both his Bobcat, and his Wolf awards.  For the Bobcat, he got to "BOB" for an apple to get his award.  For the Wolf Award, he got to "WOLF" down a donut hanging from a string--YUM!  You might notice that Josh is in his baseball uniform.  For you crazy strict cub scouters out there--this may bother you.  I was just glad he made it, since Todd is helping coach the team--and they just got there in time to walk in & get the two awards!  They made it by the skin of his teeth--no uniform--oh well!  For some reason, Todd got to hand him the awards--I guess since I had the camera.  Again, we aren't following the rules very closely.  Oh well, Josh was happy to get the award--and I am happy that I don't have the pressure to do Cub Scouts all summer!  YAY!  Love you buddy, CONGRATS!

Friday, April 22, 2011

My GOLDEN Scholar!

We went to Emie's Golden Scholar Academic Night awhile ago--which was actually a pretty LAME event that was held in the morning at the high school.  Very few parents were in attendance (probably because it was at 9 a.m.), the kids weren't even dressed up or anything, and it was just generally a very LAME ceremony for some INCREDIBLE kids!  Are you listening HHS?  Make it better for these kids next year will ya? 
Anyway, to earn the Golden Scholar award, you have to earn a 3.8 GPA or above for the first 3 quarters of the school year.  I think it's amazing that they had over 100 kids in our high school that have those credentials!  As for MY Golden Scholar--Can I just brag on this girl a bit?  Not that you haven't heard me brag on her--but what she has managed to do this year is just AWESOME to me!  Emie is pulling a 4.4 GPA--with 3 honors classes, Honors Math, Honors Lab Biology, and Honors English, she played on both the volleyball, and softball teams at the school, plus, played on a Club volleyball team, and juggled practices and tournaments.  Sometimes this girl would be up until 1 or 2 in the morning getting her assignments just perfect, or studying so that she could keep her grades up.  I am so impressed that as a Freshman, she has that level of determination, and dedication to keep up her grades, plus be involved in so many activities!  That's the thing about Emie though, she knows who she is--she knows where she's going--and she doesn't let anyone stand in her way!  Can I just say too, how many of her good friends were there at that ceremony being recognized?  She has GREAT friends to help her and support her, and as a parent--(especially going into these dating/driving years) I couldn't ask for anything more than that!  Em--your Dad and I are so proud of you, and we love you!  Keep it up girl--with God nothing is impossible!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lawyers, Lawsuits, and the LAW...


I can't say much about our case...(because I'll get sued... see me laughing hysterically), but I can say this:  Lawyers STINK.  If you are one...I'm sorry, but really--normal people don't understand your language!  I'm SO tired right now of the lawyer talk.  Just speak English to me...PLEASE!  Plus, the guy who bought our business is a lawyer...UGH--are you kidding me?  All he speaks is lawyer.  I don't even think he knows how to talk like a real person, and I don't even think he has any feelings like normal people do.  If he did, we wouldn't be in this situation.  The letters that have been going back and forth between our lawyer and that lawyer have been so frustrating for me (a NORMAL person) to read.  They are cordial, and polite, and full of lawyer speak, and it takes 3 paragraphs, 30 minutes,  (and $150) to get a point across when I could have said what he said in 4 words, and they wouldn't be nice words or polite words either. When you talk to a lawyer, feelings can't come into the equation, though, and even if something makes sense to my logical mind--that doesn't mean it means anything to a lawyer.  There is a process that they have to go through--like robots--and they just go through the motions as if it were any other case--but in my case, this is our LIFE!  Can't they understand that maybe I'm upset because no one will speak anything but LAWYER?

Second, Lawsuits.  Lawsuits STINK.  We have been involved in this one now for almost 6 months trying to get the money owed to us, or our business back, or the no compete clause removed so Todd can work & we can move on.  What has happened to date?  A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING!  That's right.  Letters back and forth, posturing, lawyer speak, and nothing else.  At this rate, we may not see the inside of a courtroom until we're dead--if at all.  There is a letter, then a deadline 30 days to respond, then if they miss the deadline, 10 more days to make another deadline, etc.  It is making me CRAZY!  If you know me, you know I am NOT a patient person!  We want to get on with our life--but I'm not sure if this lawsuit will ever get us anywhere...especially dealing with a lawyer on the other side.

Last, the LAW.  The law is only good if you want to deal with lawyers and lawsuits.  Otherwise, it means nothing.  Yes, we signed a contract.  Yes, we are owed money.  But if no one pays, you have no other recourse than to get a lawyer, and file a lawsuit.  Then you WAIT.  And WAIT.  And WAIT.  And hope and pray that somehow, some way, the law will work in your favor.  The law is there to protect us after all, isn't it?  It's supposed to prevent people from ripping you off, isn't it?  Eventually, we will find out--but seeing how long it has taken us to even get this far, I'm just not sure the law even works unless you have the money, the time, and the SANITY, to make it to the point where a judge actually hears your case.  Before this happened, I had a completely naive view of justice.  I actually thought that our justice system was fair, and that if someone wronged you you could get your day in court, and someone would decide your case fairly.  I'm finding out that the process is expensive, slow, and frankly, ridiculous.  Their tactic:  admit no liability (it's all in our head), STALL, STALL, STALL, and make them spend as much money as possible (hopefully we go broke).  If you have a choice, just don't be naive like we were--deal only with honest, upright people, so you never find yourself in a lawsuit.  Wouldn't that be great if you could look at someone and know they were honest and upright?  That sure would have come in handy 2 years ago!  In a perfect world, I guess. 

On another note--when the world is perfect, what will all the lawyers all do?  I guess they will need to learn English and speak like the rest of us.

P.S. I AM really appreciative of our lawyer--since we DO need one.  Lest you think I am full of hatred toward lawyers in general--I know they have a place, and we need them in society--I am just speaking of my frustration with the process in general, not just the lawyers.  So if your husband, or father, or brother, or uncle, or sister, or aunt, or friend, or ANYONE is a lawyer...don't freak out reading this. Most of it is said with LOVE.   Also, you're in a better position than we are--because if you need one--(and I hope you never do...) you know a good lawyer!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Home for Sale...Anyone???...

So, we have had our house on the market these last few months, and we have showed it probably around 25 times or so. It's seriously a TERRIBLE time to be trying to sell a house--especially one you want to sell quickly.  The market here in AZ is CRAP--and it's not a matter of whether you'll lose money on the sale of your home--that's pretty much a given.  Rather it's how much money you'll lose!  There's pretty much nothing worse than trying to sell a house that you're living in at the time.  You have to let perfect strangers come wandering through your house, sometimes at a moments notice, and some of them will look through your drawers, and everything.  You never know when someone might decide to drop by, so you have to keep the house semi-clean just in case & with 6 kids, that's pretty much IMPOSSIBLE! They ask all kinds of questions--some relevant, but some just downright STRANGE.  Todd has even let people in here when the house wasn't clean--and I've had nightmares about exactly who may have seen my house in that condition...was it someone in my neighborhood, or my WARD--heaven forbid someone should know my secret--that we're all a bunch of slobs over here!  There was the best one-liner on "The Middle" tonight (a sitcom on ABC that we LOVE) where the dad says to his teenage son, "Just because we live in a crappy house doesn't give you an excuse to be a pig".  HA!  Love it!

I've decided that trying to sell your house in this market is like trying to get adopted.  You clean the house all up so it looks nice, being careful to wash it, and make it smell pretty, (you never know when someone will look behind your ears, or carefully at your scalp--or look in your sock and underwear drawer, or wonder why your garage or pantry aren't very organized).  You make sure you are showing the house in the best light--that all the lights are turned on, and the blinds are open to let the sunshine in, so it looks like a HAPPY place to live (I guess that would be putting on your best outfit)!  You try to point out all the POSITIVES of the house, we just remodeled, we have all new appliances, etc.  And forget about the negatives--maybe the house is haunted, we have had nothing but bad luck since we moved in here, the last people who lived here got divorced and lost their business, etc. (HAHA--I am partly kidding...I don't really think this house is haunted...but then again...hmmm...).  Then...the worst part, you WAIT.  People come by, leave, and you never hear from them again.  What did I do wrong?  Was it something I said?  Why isn't the house good enough?  GASP--maybe they looked in the linen closet upstairs!  I've got to go clean that right away--I'm SURE that's what kept them from making an offer!  Will I ever find someone who LOVES me--and wants to make me their HOME?  Actually, I've been lucky enough to be able to get the heck out of here when most of the people have come by--do I really want to be here to hear their critiques?  NOPE!  My sister in law has the funniest story of selling a house.  Her house was on a lockbox, and some people came by early in the morning.  Her husband had forgotten to tell her they were coming--and she was still in bed...not dressed!  She wakes up to hear people in her kitchen talking about the house--so she decides that she's just going to hide under the covers and hope they don't hear her breathing.  As they walk through the house, she can hear them making comments about her paint choices, and her decorating, how messy the house is, etc., and my poor sister in law is just DYING!  Luckily, they left without noticing her!  I bet her husband got the toungue lashing he deserved that night!  HAHA!  They laugh about it now...but to a woman, her home is her castle--and I don't care to hear about anyone else's opinion of how I decorate, or what color I decide to paint a room!  For now, we just keep waiting.  I'm sure there's a family out there who will be a perfect "match" to our home--the question is, WHERE ARE THEY?  The other question is--will they actually be willing to PAY money for the house--or will we have to pay them for taking it off our hands?  Oh my.  Anyone?  Anyone out there??  Buuueeeelleerrr???

Friday, April 8, 2011

Going back in TIME...

Remember this scene in Napoleon Dynamite?  The time machine?  Uncle Rico says, "Because if we had a time machine...you better believe things would have been different.  We'd have gone pro in a heartbeat.  We'd be making millions of dollars and living in a big 'ol mansion somewhere...soaking it up in a hot tub with our soul mate."  Classic...

Ever wish you could go back and have a re-do?  Because I have... many times!  This last year, though, I have wished we could go back in time more than a few times and change the past.  It just seems like ever since we made the choice to sell our business, our path was unalterably changed--and we will never be the same again.  Don't get me wrong.  I am not saying that we made a WRONG choice.  We sold the business after much prayer and fasting.  We sold because we wanted to get out from under a ton of business debt, and start fresh.  We sold because we thought that we got a good price, at a good time, and we thought we were dealing with honorable, hard working businessmen who would keep up the business, and not run it into the ground.  We sold because Todd was tired of the 24/7 nature of the funeral business, tired of the depressing days, tired of dealing with the death, the sadness, and tired of missing many important events in our children's lives.  When you dedicate yourself to the funeral business, as Todd did, it consumes your life, and your time, and he was just a little burned out.  We looked forward to new opportunities, and a new future.  When we got the money from the real estate--we knew we had money coming for the business part of the deal for the next 5 years...so we went to work paying off debt.  It felt GREAT to be out of debt except for our house, Todd's truck (which was 0% financed), and our boat! We felt fabulous about our decisions, and the next year, we decided to use the money to pay almost half of our mortgage down when we bought our new house (a great deal on a short sale).  Running the numbers, we were planning on being DEBT FREE (including our homes, since we were renting out our other home) in 3 years, and by the end of the note we carried for our buyers, we would have a great retirement nest egg as well.  This was even if Todd didn't have another job--which we planned fully on him having. 


It didn't work out how we hoped it would.  Year two, they missed their first large quarterly payment--and then convinced us to let them make small monthly payments while they tried to get an SBA loan so they could pay us off in full (load of crap).  Then, at the end of this year--payments stopped altogether, and we are now paying a lawyer to try to get the business back (which is taking FOREVER).  And seriously, it seems like EVERY decision we have made since that ONE decision has taken us completely downhill.  We just can't seem to get back on the right track!  The new home we bought needed some remodeling, and we could have taken out a line of credit, but we chose to pay cash since we didn't want to create anymore debt.  The house we left had renters, at first, but they ended up getting a divorce, leaving us paying two mortgages, then Bank of America took over our home loan, and raised our payment--even though they never have been able to produce the actual loan documents to show us where it says they can do that.  It is now in the process of a short sale--the people are paying fully HALF of what we paid for the house.  The new business we started, Old Jerusalem Treasures was a big BOMB.  Turns out, olive wood from Israel, is much more appealing to people--ummm...in Israel!  We really thought people would LOVE it!  But I think when you are over there, you are just so caught up in the fascination of that place--that you spend more on a momento then you would if you were shopping at home.  People would comment all the time that things were BEAUTIFUL--and so NEAT.  But when it came down to it, they would leave the store empty handed not wanting to pay that much for something that we had paid A LOT for. Todd has been trying to find a job--but the job market sucks (thanks Obama) haha--no really, it's just very competitive out there--hard to stand out.  We have the house on the market--in the worst market EVER in the history of housing markets in Arizona.  We will be lucky to get back what we paid for this house on a short sale--losing the TON of money we spent to remodel it. (And that's if we even get anyone in here to LOOK at it in this crappy market).  So at this point--can you understand how it's HARD to make any more decisions based on our track record??  In fact, we feel like George Costanza in Seinfeld where he decides that his life is completely the opposite of what it should be--and that every decision he has ever made is the wrong one.  Jerry tells him: “if every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right”! I think sometimes there is some truth to that!

So where to go from here?  Who knows.  There is no going back in time...we see how well it worked for Rico!  I don't wanna try that time machine!  That being said--it's easy to see how one decision, sometimes even what seems like a good decision, made with the best of intentions can affect your life in a profound way.  Because I have faith in a loving and kind Heavenly Father, I also know that ALL of these experiences, each and every one, as we read in one of the most powerful sections of scripture ever written, D&C 122, "shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good".  In these verses, some of the worst things that could ever be imagined are mentioned, and He doesn't say SOME--He says ALL of them will be for our good.  It's hard to see, with limited vision, and limited faith, how some of these things are going to work for my good--but at the same time, I am learning to more fully rely on, and trust in my Heavenly Father.  I am understanding, at least in a beginning way, what the Atonement means in my life, and what my Savior did for me, so that He can carry my burdens, and lift my spirits.  I am falling more often to my knees in prayer than ever before, and searching my scriptures more diligently to try to find answers and know God's will for me, and for my family.  I have found myself at the temple more often, listening for inspiration, and pleading for comfort.  I have felt the prayers of family members in our behalf, and had amazing friends who have not only comforted me in my sorrows, but have cried with me as they have offered their support. In that way, I can see how these trials are working for our good--and how when I look back on them (even though it may take a LONG time), I will be grateful for them, and for what I learned from them. 

I found this quote--which I loved this week:  (part of the reason for this lengthy post...)

“One day at a time--this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.”

I have to tell you--my present IS beautiful.  I have an amazing husband, who LOVES me, I have beautiful children, who TEACH me every day.  I have family who CARE about me.  I have too many blessings to count!  Here's to living in the present!  It truly is a gift...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's HARD to be 3!...

Here are some of the adventures of JACK of late:
* He LOVES the new movie Tangled...but hates the part at the end where he cuts her hair.  When it comes to that part--he is no where to be found!  HA!
* He still loves to sing IRONMAN!
* He still will NOT wear underwear...and refuses to even wear a pull-up.  I'm not sure how I'm going to potty train this kid when he is so freaky about having his diaper on exactly the right way.  He freaks out if it's not tight enough on him.  Oh well, maybe this summer he'll have to go NAKED!
* He loves to say "Superman, TO THE RESCUE!" when he's in his towel after a bath, or when he has on his Superman pajamas!
* He still loves Toy Story, and BUZZ!
* He has a new babysitter that has been coming on Fridays so that I can go to the temple...(believe me, she has been sent from HEAVEN)!  She is from Peru, and married her sweetheart, and left her family, but needs a job, so I have been having her babysit Jack for me.  He ADORES her!  Plus, he sounds like a pro when he speaks Spanish with a perfect accent.  Love hearing him say "Como estas!"
* He has the WORST habits because of my laziness in dealing with him as the last baby!  He won't go to sleep unless he's in my bed.  Even if I put him in his bed while he's sleeping, he's usually back between us within an hour or two.
* He eats whatever he wants, whenever he wants, just because we're happy that he'll eat ANYTHING!  The boy is nothing but skin and bones!
* Last night he watched Monsters Inc. before we went to bed, and he was laying in my bed under the covers whining.  I was like, "What's wrong?"  He says, "I'm SCARED".  "Scared of what?"  I ask.  "Scared of the DOOR!" , he says pointing to my shut door.  I'm sure he thought the monsters were coming through it at any moment!  Oh the 3 year old imagination!
* Some days, usually right before bedtime, or scripture study, this is how we find Jack:
Have I told you that we LOVE this boy!  With his wavy brown hair and his sweet face--who wouldn't love him! (That sneaky girl next to him with those gorgeous brown eyes is pretty cute too...I'm just sayin').   Even though I'm glad he's my last, I just wish time would slow down and he wouldn't grow so FAST!  Man, those people who told me it goes too fast were RIGHT!  I just want to remember how much I do love this stage, and how adorable a 3 year old really is (when they're not in trouble...which is fully 70% of the time).  More importantly, when I hear the thud of him getting out of bed above my bedroom and the pitter patter of his little feet RUNNING across the floor, as he makes his way down the stairs and I hear him slam my door and run over to my bed, I can't tell you how much LOVE I feel for this little guy!  As he snuggles in, I hold him close, knowing that this won't last--and I didn't snuggle my bigger ones nearly enough.  Man, do I regret that.  They all sleep in their own beds now...wouldn't you know it, and I don't hear from them in the middle of the night much.  I want to soak it all up, and drink it all in--life is too short...and the longer I live, the more I realize how true that really is!  I found this little story today and thought it was my life in a nutshell--(except for the coffee--but you can just substitute "Coke Zero)...
If You Give a Mom a Muffin

If you give a mom a muffin,
She'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
So she'll pour herself some.
The coffee will get spilled by her three year old.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she will find some dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do some laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer,
She'll trip over some snow boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper for tonight.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With a Pound of
Hamburger.)
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill which is due tomorrow.
She will look for the checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her three year old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the three year old.
While she is changing the three year old the phone will ring. (Of course!)
Her five year old will answer it and hang up.
She remembers that she wants to phone a friend to come over for coffee on
Friday.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some.
And chances are,
If she has a cup of coffee,
Her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.
Written by Kathy Fictorie
I LOVED that!  Truth is, my life is CRAZY, and HECTIC, but I wouldn't change it for the world!  Did I know what I was getting into when I signed up for this parenting thing?  NOPE.  Do I regret it?  NEVER.  Truth is, my children make me proud every day--every one of them.  I am so grateful to be a mother!  My cup truly runneth over...(can you tell today was a VERY good day)!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

General Conference Fireside!...

So this has been a tradition for General Conference in Todd's family for as long as we can remember.  You take notes in conference, write down your thoughts & we all meet together & share our favorite talks or quotes from conference.  Even the littlest kids get up and share something they have practiced (unless they're named Jack, and they choke and won't say even a word that you rehearsed with them...)HA!  No, but seriously, Grandma and Grandpa bring candy bars and each person that shares a thought gets a candy bar.  I LOVE this tradition!  Even my teenagers are diligent in taking notes so that they don't look like an idiot up there & they know their stuff!  The cutest this year was Karin's 4 year old Stosh--who got up and sang "Follow the Prophet" all by himself!  He was adorable! This year, we were gone to sporting events during Saturday conference, so on Sunday, we had a Conference MARATHON at our house & watched all 8 hours!  What a spiritual feast!  I especially loved President Hollands talk about what a MIRACLE General Conference is!  I am SO grateful that twice a year we get to listen to instruction, suited for OUR DAY from a Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and Apostles of the Savior Jesus Christ.  There were so many talks that spoke directly to my heart, and reassured me that everything will be ok, and all I need to do is continue to be faithful, and trust in the Lord.  I was reminded once again, that I need to live in FAITH and not in FEAR.  Even with the turmoil going on all around me, all I need to do is live the gospel, and do my best to serve others and keep the commandments, and I know that my Heavenly Father will protect me and bless me. I am so grateful for the gospel, and for General Conference!  Here are a few pics of our LITTLE get together...(okay, so 50 people isn't little...is it)!


P.S. I'm not bragging--but can I tell you that I have the BEST nieces and nephews around?  They are ALL so amazing!  Love these guys! (Oh, and their parents, and grandparents aren't bad either!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

ARMED & DANGEROUS! ...

So a few months ago, I found a new chore system, the link is HERE.  It's a free website that keeps track of your kids chores & you assign points for each one.  They can cash in the points for rewards, or just money.  I LOVE it that I don't have to keep on them.  It is up to them to go in each day & mark off the points they got that day.  It has really been great since we are trying to sell our house, and well, I need a LOT of help around here!  Anyway, last week Josh cashed in 3 months of savings for his very first Red Ryder BB Gun!  He was SO excited!  BB guns scare me a little--I get flashbacks of running through a field from my friends house to my house and Kevin Bryce chasing us with a BB Gun shooting at us...I think we were like 10 years old!  Anyone who knows who I'm talkin about could totally picture that too!  Man those BB's sting!  But I gave in, I mean what's gonna happen...will he shoot his eye out?!?  I think Todd was even more excited than he was!  When I went out to take these pics of Todd teaching Josh to shoot the gun & hit the target, I just loved the boyish look on his face. It was truly like he was a kid again!  I love seeing that twinkle in his eye, and that smile on his face.  Truth is, it's been a hard couple of months (year) around here with the lawsuit and everything. Todd feels so much pressure right now, especially since the Funeral Home hasn't paid us what they owe us for over a year, the store is closing, and on top of that, he can't open a business, or get a job doing what he knows and is trained to do, because of a no compete clause in the same contract that they are breaking.  How ridiculous is that?  He has been applying for jobs, and trying to figure things out, but man, is it a lot of pressure on him.  I sure love him, and believe in him, and I know in time things will work out--it is just difficult to watch someone you love struggle, without really being able to help.  For him to spend a few hours hanging out with Josh, and teaching him the in's and out's of BB gun safety was just what the doctor ordered!  I sure love both these boys! 

P.S. If you're a poor little pigeon...WATCH OUT--this guy's dad calls pieons RATS--and told Josh he could shoot as many pigeons as he wants!  OY!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Cousins Trip to the ZOO!...

I just LOVE that we have such a large family, and so many cousins who my kids just ADORE!  Last week we got to go to the ZOO with the little preschool age cousins (17 of them, all 5 and under)!  It was so much fun just to spend time with people that Jack just LOVES!  Katie set us up for the field trip price and named us C & A Preschool--and because of our large group, we got in for a great price!  The kids had a great time!  One of the highlights of the day was watching the elephant go to the bathroom--they all got a BIG kick out of that!  Another highlight was a peacock that was running around the zoo, and the kids trying to catch it.  Kade got really close a couple of times...but no luck!  The kids also loved stopping at a picnic area and feeding a leftover hot dog bun to some turtles, and a HUGE carp that kept jumping out of the water to gulp down the food before the turtles could get to it!   Jack loved going to see the giraffes, and the reptiles--he LOVES seeing snakes...but then freaks out at night and has nightmares about them!  Silly boy!  Thanks guys for a GREAT day at the ZOO! 



Saturday, April 2, 2011

YIKES!...

The scariest thing about this picture is that the girl sitting in the passenger seat will be DRIVING and DATING in less than 6 months--and I totally remember when it was HER messing around as a baby Jack's age playing with the steering wheel!  What happened?  When did she grow up?  Can't time slow down...just a little...PLEASE???
P.S. I was teasing Emie that night on the way to drop her off at a friends house that "Don't you want to go home and, you know, get ready first?"  She's like "Why?"  I'm like, "Ummm, you're wearing your sweats & a headband & you look like you've given up on life..." (part joking...but part not.)  Too funny!  She tells me, sweats don't mean you've given up on life...they're just comfy!  Do you know how much I LOVE that this girl is comfortable in her own skin & doesn't feel the need to impress anyone, or show off for anyone, or be something she isn't!  I love that she is REAL, and GENUINE, and BEAUTIFUL and all around AMAZING (INSIDE & OUT)!  And I love that I get to be her MOM!  Thanks Em, just for being YOU!
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