Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lee finished his last day of school today! YEAH!!! We were all invited for a little lunch at the VA. They had Papa John's pizza, chips, salads and cookies. It was yummy! I really enjoyed meeting the people that Lee has been working with the past few months. Thanks!


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yes, you guessed it, I have to bring it up again…Lee graduates THIS WEEK!!! Friday at 3:00 pm to be exact.

In preparation for graduation, we of course need to move. Since we didn’t want to drive our van packed full of our things from Memphis and then back to North Carolina or come back after graduation and move out, I took almost everything to my parents’ home this week. I did a bit of packing on Monday and then Tuesday hit it hard, and Lee had the van all loaded by about 9:30 pm. Wednesday morning I took off with the kiddos and headed to North Carolina. The drive is about 6 hours, which includes a ½ hour stop. The kids did great (and we don’t have a portable DVD player. J) Wednesday evening Daniel and Amy and family came over and I made them dinner. For dessert we had brownies and some yummy strawberries from my dad’s strawberry patch.

Thursday when the girls took their nap, I unloaded the van. The boys loved playing with their new toys—their toys that have been in storage for 8 months. After lunch we went to Daniel & Amy’s and had a fun visit.

As I was leaving Daniel’s, I saw a magazine on their bookshelf. I read the title of the feature article out loud, wondering what it was about. “ ‘Cooking with Chumby’?” To paraphrase, Daniel casually said, “Oh, yeah, that’s my article and Chumby is great.” I thought that was sooooo cool. Great job Daniel! So, check out the May 2008 Linux Journal…feature article by Daniel Bartholomew. But I was wrong, and it's called "Adventures with Chumby"--on the website anyway.

We left Friday morning, well basically 11am, and arrived back to our place at about 5:00 pm. The drive from Boone, North Carolina to Elizabethon, Tennessee is so pretty! Mountains, rolling hills, with a shoreline of a lake in view from the road, flowering trees…just gorgeous! I enjoyed seeing you Dad and Amy and Daniel and kids. The girls slept really well at my parents—and even slept through early-morning seminary which is held upstairs where we slept. I also had fun with the DVR at my parents and recorded American Idol, plus some other shows.

On our drive home I was hoping to stop once, off the side of the road for a quick potty-break and feed the girls lunch. Well, we did stop. I “knew” the boys would have no problem “picking a bush” and I could wait to avail myself. I was totally wrong. Clark for some reason couldn’t go off the side of the road, but wanted to use a toilet! I didn’t have my double stroller because I left it at my parents’ house, and I didn’t have a single stroller either because I left it at our apartment. You may think, so what, you don’t have a stroller. Well, the thought of holding two babies and having my boys trot after me into a nasty public bathroom was what I was trying to avoid! (Cal is potty-trained but still needs assistance and it’s hard to do when I’ve got my “hands full”. Thus my reason for stopping at the side of the road! So I pull into a gas station and hold the girls in my arms and we trot into their bathroom. Luckily it was just one big bathroom and not a lot of stalls. Picture this: of course there isn’t a stool in the bathroom for little kids to stand on and the toilet is too high for Cal to just stand up and go, so I’m holding two babies with my left arm and barely holding Cal up with my right while he uses the toilet. AND during my 60 seconds of walking in and out of the gas station at least three people told me “You’ve got your hands full.”

After this little story, I must relate to you my shopping trip to Target this past week, on Tuesday I think it was. It was a pretty normal shopping trip. But I thought I would tell you what a normal shopping trip is like. One guy stopped me and asked how many kids I had left home. At another point, a wife walked by and saw the girls and said to her husband: “Oh honey, you have to see the babies!” Then on the way out I overheard a conversation about my kids, but all I picked up was the good stuff: “They all are gorgeous kids.” Then as I was putting away my cart a lady asked me if “they” were all mine. After saying yes she was quite shocked and said “If it were me, I’d be in an institution.” I have never heard that comment before.

Going back to our moving/packing. I packed up almost everything from our kitchen. Dish-wise and utensil-wise, I left a can opener, a slotted spoon, a spatula, a knife, some baby utensils and a saucepan. I should have left a few more things. Friday night when we cooked dinner, we had to cook in shifts, using the same pan three times. And we currently don’t have our microwave either.

Back to the weekly adventures: Friday night we got together with the Mathsons, Nielsens, Smiths and Nybergs at the park, visited and had cookies, ice cream and popsicles. It was especially good for the boys after being in the van for a few hours.

Saturday morning Lee took Clark to Lowe’s and I exercised. That afternoon we went to the Butlers. Lee helped put up some dry wall in their upstairs and we stayed for dinner. It was fun to visit with Brooke and then also with a couple other friends, Mindy and Melissa. Clark and Cal had a lot of fun too. Brooke loaned us a few dishes and it has been a great help. After the Butlers, a stop at Walmart, and putting the kids to bed, we watched “Miracle”. It was a good film. We have a Sanyo DVD player with a TVG thing in it, so it blocks out swear words. We are going to have to fiddle with it a little bit because it blocks out a bit more than we’d like. We miss important parts of conversations. But it’s great because we avoid basically all swearing.

Today was a nice Sunday. Tonight we went to the Nybergs and had a little belated party for Shelly—her birthday was yesterday.

Well, definitely past my bedtime. We’re heading to Memphis Wednesday early afternoon! And for a few days before we leave, we get to enjoy a new disposal!

Hi Everyone! Here are some pictures from our week. A nice long post will come later tonight.

Clark built this at Lowe's yesterday, Saturday

We were at the Butler's yesterday...here are some pictures of the event




Haley and a guest dog

Haley again

Okay, so there are a lot of Haley...she loves to smile at the camera and, well, Shanna doesn't!

Both of them

Haley foreground, Shanna background

Shanna wanting to get free


Clark, Zach Butler and Bronson Smith jumping on the tramp

Cal...moments ago he was in the cow pasture with Emerson Smith, but I didn't get out there fast enough to get a picture of them by the cows

Haley enjoying a toy

For FHE activity this past week we met at a baseball/softball field. Here is Clark with his buddies.

Lately Shanna has been waking up at 4:00 wanting a drink. That's a tad bit early for us, (especially Lee since he's the one that hears her first and gets her) so we have been putting her in the living room after we go to bed. So, to start the night off Haley and Shanna were together in Haley's port-a-crib. As you can tell from the picture, I am glad the girls have their own beds.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

To clarify for Roger, no I never did throw up after eating a whole thing of Ben & Jerry's. Whew! It was a close one! So three pregnancies and only once throwing-up...not too bad, right? I got lucky with the throw-up thing, that's for sure.

Most of you have heard that song about having a bad day..."You've had a bad day"...I don't know the artist's name. Anyway, Clark has been asking me "What is a bad day?" Tonight I was listening to Delilah (yes, I am a Delilah fan!) and that song came on. He asked again, "What is a bad day?" I said something about getting hurt or being sad. Then questioningly, he offered an answer: "When your cookie gets smashed and your toy gets broken?" You couldn't be more right Clark!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

About our Army assignment...we still don't know where we will be going for our first 3-year assignment. Col. Glenesk did call and talk to Lee and gave him an update. We might find out this week...

Good Evening Everyone,

Once again, I want to thank you all for viewing my blog. I’m over 2050 visitors now, and it’s been fun for me to see the statistics on people visiting my site!

And go ahead and check out Lee's blog: nostrebor.blogspot.com

Another item of business: if you are Ginger Parker, or if you know of a Ginger Parker in eastern Tennessee, could you please tell her that there are quite of few people trying to get a hold of her since she has switched phone numbers.

I didn’t write much about our past week when I posted pictures earlier, so I’ll comment some right now.

This week was Nyberg week…almost. J We are trying to get together with more people before we move, so we invited the Nyberg’s over for FHE on Monday. I think I actually already mentioned this. Anyway, they came over and we had a good evening together. On Wednesday we went to the Nyberg’s for playgroup. And today I went over there to upload pictures because I did it at the library yesterday and was all ready to click “publish” and the library internet quit on me………

Thursday Andrea, the other student extern at the VA came and babysat for us. Thanks Andrea! Clark was so excited for his “big friend” to come over. Lee and I had a fun night together. We mainly went window shopping and then got two boxes of ice cream at Food City (one was free). Seriously, any of you living in an area with a Food City or if you visit some place that has a Food City (grocery store) you NEED to buy their Chocolate Velvet Cake premium ice cream. It is so good. We’ve had lots of ice cream and this totally rivals Ben & Jerry ice cream.

Okay, time for a random story—mentioning Ben & Jerry’s made me think of this. I had a c-section of my twin girls in the morning and my friend Ruth came and visited me that evening. She knows I really like Ben & Jerry’s so she brought me some. After a c-section you can only have liquids for 24 hours or something like that. I asked a nurse if I could have this ice cream and she said it would be alright. Well of course I ate the whole thing. Yes, their containers are kind of small, but 2 cups of Ben & Jerry’s is quite a bit of ice cream. I remember talking to Lee on the phone that night and all of the sudden a huge wave of nausea overcame me and I started breathing deeply and concentrating really hard to not throw up. I had not thrown up my whole pregnancy with the twins, nor had I thrown up during delivery, and I did not want to throw up then!

So, one more little story about me being in the hospital after giving birth to twins. With a c-section I had to have an epidural, and they kept the epidural in me for several hours after the surgery. About a day or so later, after the epidural was out, Lee was telling me a funny story and it hurt so bad to laugh! I think I even told him to not tell me anything funny for awhile because my belly hurt so bad.

Back to the present. Friday was a fairly busy day. I was good at got up at 6:30 and exercised. I have been exercising lately, but later on in the morning about 9am or so. Later that morning my friends Belinda and Michael called me and I went and looked at a house that they are interested in. I love looking at houses, and it was fun to see. It is in a cute neighborhood. Then we went to the birthday party that I mentioned below for Emerson. When we came home that afternoon I saw people at the pool and called and found out the details of when it was open, the policy on visitors, etc. After Lee came home we visited the pool.

Saturday Lee made pancakes and let me sleep in. I went to a service project at the Stake Center for a few hours too. There is a couple in the Kingsport Stake that run an orphanage in Guatemala. The service project was for the orphanage. The wards in the stake had been collecting clothes and shoes, and so in one room at the church people were sorting lots and lots of clothes. I helped out with the shoes. In the gym people were making sheets and school bags for the kids. There was a yummy lunch too and I enjoyed visiting with the ladies that I rode with. It was fun meeting a couple other ladies in the Stake, but eventually the conversation would turn to my moving in a couple of weeks. I hope they didn’t think it was too pointless to meet me!

Another interjection—I met someone at the service project and her friend had triplets for her first pregnancy; no fertilization, nothing. And at the park a few weeks ago I met someone who had twins. She told me that her sister also had twins! That is the first time I have met someone or heard of that—sisters each having twins. So, sisters…I can tease you about the possibility of having twins! (For any of you wondering, the answer is no. :) )

We had a nice Sunday and I even got a little nap. Good luck to everyone taking finals. I am so glad it’s not me! And Lee is glad he is long done with his finals at the school. We are really excited for his upcoming graduation. I slipped a note to my friend Melissa at church writing that our husbands graduate next week! Aren’t you glad you get to hear about Lee’s graduation all the time?

Hi everyone! We had a great week. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure. Lee graduates next week. I am so excited!

The weather was in the upper 70s on Friday and the pool was open. We couldn't miss the chance to go to the pool. The water was freezing but Shanna and Clark enjoyed it!

Emerson Smith had a birthday party on Friday. Here is a pictures of the moms.

Melissa Smith--Emerson's mom--has a red jacket on and her husband is graduating med school the same day as Lee. Shelly Nyberg is in the black t-shirt and her husband is a 1st year med student.

The spoils fall from the sky

Haley is going to figure out which way the wind is blowing

Mom B, what do you think of this picture? Is there enough scenery in the background?

Here's one more...let me know if you want a different one.

Melissa Smith makes pinata's for her kids birthday and Nemo was the chosen one this year.

Haley again

Clark very happy about his spoils

Clark just had a turn and is waiting for Bronson to finish off Nemo

The boys were waiting for the party to begin

Nemo again

Haley and Shanna taking a little nap

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We are doing well and enjoying the nice weather. Today it's supposed to be in the high 70's. We are at the library right now. We brought Clark's friend Bronson with us so Clark can have a friend in story time and I don't have to go in with him.

Monday we had the Nybergs over for Family Home Evening. Lee did the lesson and talked about the new First Presidency. He also mentioned the past 2. And of course he used the trains again. First he showed Gordon, James and Thomas. Then Gordon, Thomas and Henry. Then Thomas, Henry and Dieter--(aka Derrick). We also played a couple rounds of boggle.

Yesterday we went to play group and we ended up meeting at the Nybergs. We had a great time.

Last night we went on a walk in a really nice neighborhood. It's a quiet neighborhood with nice, but modest homes that all look different. I would love to live in a neighborhood like this one. When we were loading up into the van a guy was mowing his lawn with a push lawn mower. He asked me what it was. Hmmm...I think we have been living in apartments too long.

Still no word about the Army. There are more spots to fill and optometrists to place than the Colonel anticipated. We should find out before the end of May though.

Have a great Thursday! Tonight we are going on a date and tomorrow afternoon we are going to a birthday party. Should be lots of fun! 8 days left.......

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hello Everyone,

We arrived back to eastern Tennessee VERY early Wednesday morning. (2 am).

We really enjoyed staying in a house (or you could think of it as a HUGE hotel suite) while in Memphis—thank you Winters!

We had a nice trip and Lee’s tests seemed to go fine. I will feel like school is “over” when we find out his test scores. And of course that won’t be till the middle of June. His clinical test was Sunday morning. Then Monday he had a PAM test. He had to look at 40 patient cases and answer questions about them. There were pictures and or medical histories attached as part of the problem solving process for the cases. Then on Tuesday he took his Nevada law test. He was the only test-taker in the classroom.

It was great to see and visit with many friends and we hope to see even more when we come out again in a couple weeks. Close to 2 ½ weeks left! At the end of April we’ll be moving out of our apartment, traveling to Memphis again and then the first of May heading to North Carolina to mooch off of my parents for the summer.

We enjoyed conference very much and are looking forward to reading/viewing the talks again. Saturday we watched conference at the Stake Center. The nursery there is right by the foyer. So I propped the door open and Lee and I sat on the couch and listened while the kids played in the nursery or crawled in the foyer. On Sunday we watched it at the house where we were staying. We made it there in time on Saturday so we could each sustain the Prophet. How wonderful that was!

Enjoy the pictures I posted earlier today. They are for your viewing pleasure.

Oh, and one side note. The other day Shanna was kind of fussy and agitated while I was feeding her. I didn’t really think much of it. But while I was holding her over the sink to wash her face and hands, she threw up! Poor girl…but I must say, that was the best throw up experience I’ve ever had. Right in the sink. Great shot Shanna!

Okay, one more side note. Tomorrow we are canceling our “free” time-wasting internet. We signed up for a 3 month trial and the three months are about up. So we may be out of the loop for a little bit. There are several of you I need to email, and I will soon! I promise! Lee will for sure be able to get daily emails at his extern, so feel free to email. We just won’t be able to respond as quickly.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Here are the pictures from our trip. In three weeks we will be back in Memphis again. I really can't believe it!

This is the Mississippi River. You might be able to tell that it is flooded. The trees out in the distance usually don't have water around their trunks.

We made a quick trip to the Memphis Botanic Gardens. I went their last summer with Teresa and though it was hot and sticky out, I really enjoyed it. It's free on Tuesdays and you can buy a small bag of fish food at the desk for $1. I really wanted Lee to see it--especially the gross fish!

This is the house we stayed it. It worked out great being there. Thanks Ben & Mamie!

Some pictures being with the Whitemarsh Family

Ruth & Ruth holding babies

Since Cal is recently potty-trained and a bit small for a normal toliet, we'd thought we'd take his little toliet seat on this trip with us. I put the seat in a bag and tied it up. Next thing we know Clark got the seat out of the bag, found the hook it hangs on (I didn't even know the hook was in the van!!!) and got it situated in our van. It was so gross, but we had to take a picture.