Monday, August 30, 2010

We had another week hanging out at home waiting for Elden to get better. We did do a couple of things, but more towards the end of the week. 

Shanna and Haley played for a little bit with their buddy Talan on Thursday...this is such a great picture (thanks Kristi!).  We LOVE these bibs Cindy! If you ever get bored (ha ha) and want to make us more, we won't mind!
Aug 26 2010 Shanna Talan Haley

That afternoon the girls went to a princess birthday party and loved it! They especially loved having cake and ice cream.

Friday night I took the girls on a date.  We saw Toy Story 3 on base and really liked it.  I think Shanna was ready to leave towards the end, but she stuck it out pretty well.  After we went to the USO for a treat.  I loved going out with my girls. 

On Saturday after a family bike ride, Lee and I went on a date and the kids got to play with Talan while we were gone.  Thanks Kristi and Tony for watching the kids!
Aug 28 2010 Haley Talan Shanna

Cal and Clark with Mr. T
Aug 28 2010 Cal Clark Mr T

Aug 28 2010 Talan Haley Shanna Cal

Aug 28 2010 Haley Talan Shanna and friends

For our date Lee and I saw Sorcerer's Apprentice (pretty fun) was a movie weekend for me!  After Clark gets his report cards we can get these coupon books at the PX!  Some of them are for free movies. So thanks Clark for the date!  We went to the USO beforehand and had a treat.  That night we went to our friend's house and they did a cookout. We had a great time visiting while the kids enjoyed swimming in the pool and playing in the backyard. 

Today we taught the first lesson in the personal finance class Lee and I will be team-teaching for six weeks.  Sacrament meeting went over, so we had about 20 minutes.  Today we focused on how financial preparedness relates to spiritual well-being. I started the class off with a short introduction and then talked about how "The foundation of provident living is the law of the tithe," [from Elder Hales...see below]. After briefly talking about paying a 10% tithe of your income and giving a generous fast offering, Lee highlighted keys points in Elder Hale's talk from the April 2009 General Conference: Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually. (Click on it and you can read it too!  VERY GOOD!)  I finished off talking about a budget, challenging the class to do a budget for September and read One For The Money by Elder Marvin J. Ashton. You can order it here for free--free shipping too!  Next time we will discuss more about the budget, along with money behaviors...something along those lines.  Depending on how the timing works out, we may teach this class a couple of times--which is fine with us! 

We had a great Sunday and enjoyed the combined meeting for the last hour of church.  Lee saw one of his families that he home teaches (he visits 3 or 4 families each month, shares a spiritual messages and finds out how they are doing) and then spent the rest of the day at home. The kids had fun getting into the cereal and feeding it to Uncle Darrell over skype while Lee and I were taking a nap. This evening Lee enjoyed visiting with his parents over the phone. I just finished my weekly skype call with my family.

Have a great week everyone!  My brother gets married this weekend! We can't wait!

Monday, August 23, 2010

This week was the first full week of school! Poor Cal was sick over the weekend and of course he was better in time for school on Monday (last Monday).  After Cal was better, of course Haley got sick, followed a few hours later by Shanna.  Then Clark followed suit on Wednesday.  Anyway, Lee stayed home with the girls and Elden today from church.

Now that I've enlightened you with that dazzling information about our sick children, here are some more highlights of the week.  

On Thursday I briefly went to a little good-bye party for my friend.  It's crazy that they have already gone.  We are going to miss their family.  That afternoon I picked up Cal from school with the bike trailer, and I biked over with him to a community center and we did this:

Aug 18 2010 National Cupcake Day Cal

It was National Cupcake Day!
Aug 18 2010 Cal (3)

Aug 18 2010 Cal (4)

Aug 18 2010 Cal (2)

We had a fun little date.
Aug 281 2010 Cal and Ruth

Aug 18 2010 Ruth

That night as I checked on the girls...
Aug 18 2010 Haley and bear

Friday I pulled out the paints.  The girls enjoyed it!
Aug 20 2010 Shanna Haley

Aug 20 2010 Shanna Haley painting

Also on Friday the Mercury turned 200,000!
Aug 20 2010 '97 Mercury Villager

These two lights frequently illuminate this van.  For the most part, Lee has figured out how far he can drive once the light comes on.
Aug 20 2010 200,000 Villager

My brother Sam gets married next week!  I am so excited to see my family and be there for the wedding.  I am going to miss Mike & Lena and family though. I really wish they could be there.

Next Sunday Lee and I will start team teaching a 6-week basic personal finance class during Sunday School at our church.  We are both looking forward to it and have our teaching plan all mapped out.  Hope it goes well--and you are all invited to come!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


 It's official. We now have a three-month emergency fund! Now on to saving for retirement and a 20% down payment 
for a future house.  

Photo from:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Amazing Base Race 2010

School is almost in full swing and Cal and Clark seem to like it.  Clark is not excited about the homework, but what can you do.  I am wondering how things will go with helping Cal learn to read this year.  I know they will start sending home books soon!  First grade with Clark was easy compared to Kindergarten.

We had a great weekend.  My good friend Kristi called me up Saturday night around 10:30 asking if I wanted to be in a race with her--her other friend couldn't make it and she needed four people on the team. I told her that maybe Lee would want to.  Lee got on the phone and found out about it and decided to go.  I asked Lee about the race after the phone call, and decided that I did want to go.  I had never done a race...outside of high school...and I thought it would be very fun to do with Kristi. When she came over the next morning to borrow Lee's road bike, I surprised her with me coming instead of Lee.  She was so excited!

Don't you love the Major vest?  Thanks Tony for letting me borrow it!  The recreation department on base (MWR) wanted to make sure we were all "safe" during the race so of course we all had to wear helmets--a no brainer--and reflective vests and belts.  
Aug 14 2010 Kristi and Ruth after race

We had a great time! 
Aug 14 2010 Kristi and Ruth

Here is the team: Juan, Kristi, me, Adam
Aug 14 2010 Juan, Kristi, Ruth, Adam

We were team 7
Aug 14 2010 Amazing Base Team 7

This was the race: walk, run, ride bikes (any motor-less transportation) to each check point--you got a clue to lead you to each check point.  Once there, the team had to complete some sort of task.  We went all over base on our bikes to the different MWR facilities.  We rode 31 miles on our bikes!  Here is an example of one of the clues:
Aug 14 2010 Amazing Base
Yep, the clues were pretty simple.  Hopefully you guessed the golf course, right?  One clue stumped us and we really messed up on it, but oh well.  Now we all know where the Special Events building is located!

Each location had to sign our sheet after we completed the task.  We did 10 in all.
Aug 14 2010 Amazing Base Sign Sheet

Here is what we did....if you can read my small writing...I think I enjoyed the kayaking challenge and the paint ball shooting the best.
Aug 14 2010 Amazing Base Tasks

After messing up a clue (for the Special Events center) and Kristi/Adam using a "junky" bike for a few miles, we managed to come in 3rd place!  Not too bad for a team throw together fewer than 24 hours before the race!
Aug 14 2010 Juan Kristi Ruth Adam

Aug 14 2010 Juan Kristi Ruth Adam toughies

Some friends from church were also in the race--Sam, Jenny, Shawn and Jared.  We saw them a few times throughout the morning.  It was fun to do the race with them! After wards there was a BBQ and visiting. I wish I would have eaten three burgers instead of two.  I was HUNGRY!  I won a food/exercise log book.  I am saving it for the girls to color in.  We had a blast and I wish we could do the race again next year!  But I think they are holding it in September, and that won't work for us.  Oh well. 
Aug 14 2010 Sam Boy, Kristi Sexton, Jenny Kuhni, Ruth

So here is the "junky" bike.  I'll call it the Pink Death.
Aug 14 2010 Adam and the Pink Death

Lee told Clark (and us) that this bike was made to be sold, not ridden.  Adam and Kristi would surely agree! During the race we went to the Black Jack club--location number 3 (BJBG).  We were going to ride right by the top of our street, so Lee was kind enough to walk all our kids and his mountain bike up and meet us. Adam switched bikes and rode Lee's mountain bike the rest of the way.  Lee took the Pink Death back to rest up on our front yard.  THANKS LEE!!! Hopefully it will revive sometime and that the person who owns it doesn't like to ride it a lot.
Aug 14 2010 Pink bike

While I was away:
Aug 14 2010 Cal Haley Shanna

Aug 14 2010 Haley

Aug 14 2010 Haley Shanna

Aug 14 2010 Shanna

The kids had a great time with Lee.  They also set up an obstacle course and timed each other.  Obviously this picture is not of the obstacle course.
Aug 14 2010 Cal Shanna Clark Haley

Aug 14 2010 Cal Shanna Clark

Since I hadn't biked enough that day, we loaded everyone up and biked over to the library.  We caught the last few minutes of the end-of-summer-reading-program party.  Cal and Clark enjoyed the water spraying out of the two fire trucks.  Next stop the commissary, where I saw Kristi again!  Thanks for the photos Kristi!  This is our gang and our bike troupe.  We have done several bike rides around base and LOVE it!
Aug 14 2010 Family Bike Ride II

Aug 14 2010 Cal Haley

Aug 14 2010 Elden and Shanna

Aug 14 2010 Family bike ride

After the impromptu photo shoot, we then went on to the USO.  We enjoyed treats at the USO and visiting with another friend, Nadine.  After we arrived home and had dinner, I was so thankful that Lee stepped in like he does every night and cleaned up the dining area/kitchen. Usually we do it together, but I was beat!  I was going to finish the laundry, but skipped that and finished it today.

We started our first full week of school!  I am trying to walk a lot more to school to drop-off/pick-up the boys.  That means I need to wake-up even earlier and have a better time plan.  So far it's working out.  Elden is still only getting half of a breakfast before we leave, but he hasn't seemed to mind! But hey, it's only three days and counting.  Maybe tomorrow I can get his belly full before we leave.

Cal's first painting at school--done today.
Aug 16 2010 Cal Kindergarten

Tonight we had mint brownies for our FHE treat.  I have been tweaking the recipe and changing it up a little from when I first started making them.  Now they are a family favorite and a regular in our house.  They don't last long either.  Right before I took Elden up to bed I picked him up off the ground and he saw the source for the little bites I had been feeding him.  (Luckily he pointed to the brownies a second time so we could get a picture of what happened the first time.)  He know when he sees something good to eat!
Aug 16 2010 Ruth Elden

Enjoy the week!  We have some fun things planned: movie night with our friends' kids tomorrow night while our friend competes in a signing competition, swimming at the pool, going to a friend farewell (which will be fun to visit with her, but SAD that she is leaving!), and seeing Toy Story 3 for free on base this weekend!  I'm very glad we waited to see the movie...can't beat free!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Day of School!

The first day of school arrived too quickly.  Clark and Cal were excited this morning and I was somewhat sad.  Little Cal is now in Kindergarten and Clark, 2nd grade, is growing up too fast.  I woke up early (5:40am) to exercise and get myself and the gang ready for the day.  We met the deadline and were out the door a little after 8:00am.  Well, we almost met the deadline.  Shanna and Elden weren't done with breakfast and I hadn't cleaned the kitchen/dining area after the breakfast rush.  Guess I have all year to perfect that one, right?

Aug 12, 2010 First Day of School Cal Shanna Elden Haley Clark

Aug 12 2010 Cal Shanna Elden Haley Clark first day of School

We got to school about 10 minutes later--we walked, Clark biked.  Thanks Kelly for showing me the shortcut almost 2 years ago!
Aug 12 2010 Clark and Cal at Thayer Elementary, Fort Leonard Wood MO

Aug 12 2010 Cal in kindergarten

Aug 12 2010 Clark in 2nd Grade (2)

Now it's just me and girls and Elden.
Aug 12 2010 Haley Elden Shanna

We had a fun, busy day.  I babysat some of my friend's kids this morning.  The girls had fun with the oldest boy, who is in their Nursery class.
Aug 12 2010 Haley Talan

Aug 12 2010 Tanner Talan Elden Haley Shanna

Soon after lunch we took Elden to physical therapy and then we went shopping!  We picked up a shelving unit at Lowes to store food storage on.  Then to Walmart to buy socks.  And by the way, I love Lowes!  I even get a 10% military discount there. 

After getting the boys from school we met our neighbors at the pool.  What a great day, despite my slight sadness of the boys heading off to school.  This morning before we had family prayer over the phone with Lee, Cal told him about the lunch I had packed for him.  He was so excited!  It was cute to hear his happiness over the goods he saw in his lunchbox.

The papers have started rolling in and I've already had to sign a few things today.  Here's to a great year!

St. Louis Arch + Happy Hallow = Family Memories

We didn't get enough of St. Louis the weekend before last, so we went again last weekend.  Well, that's not completely true, but to an extent.  Lee and I enjoyed yet another weekend going to the temple.  Afterwards I enjoyed shopping (tax free weekend!) and we had fun visiting the St. Louis Arch.  Sadly something we hadn't done yet.

We first drove around getting our bearings.  The Mississippi River was a tad bit high. 
Aug 7 2010 Mississippi River

Kind of creepy....this statue looks as if it wants you to come and rescue it.
Aug 7 2010 Mississippi River (2)

A wedding party getting wedding photos at none other place than the Arch.
Aug 7 2010 wedding under St. Louis Arch

Aug 7 2010 St. Louis

We found a spot to park, for free of course! and walked on in.
Aug 7 2010 The crew

Aug 7 2010 The crew again

At the base of the Arch!
Aug 7 2010 Clark Lee Cal

Aug 7 2010 Elden Clark

Aug 7 2010 Elden

Aug 7 2010 Elden (2)

Aug 7 2010 Cal Clark Haley Lee

Aug 7 2010 Shanna Clark Cal Haley

Aug 7 2010 Shanna Haley

Aug 7 2010 Shanna (2)

We ventured into the underground museum that is between the bases of the Arch.  There were animatronics at a few displays. Fun and slighty creepy.
Aug 7 2010 Ruth Elden Clark Haley Shanna Cal

We saw a handful of "stuffed" animals too.  Lee and I loved the little signs that went something like this: "Do not touch.  Only real animals can grow hair." 
Aug 7 2010 Arch Museum

Can you guess what it is?
Aug 7 2010

Tuesday we visited yet another place on base that I've never been too, Happy Hallow.
Aug 10, 2010 Lee Cal Shanna Haley

Aug 10, 2010 Lee Shanna

Aug 10, 2010 Elden

Aug 10, 2010 Cal

Aug 10, 2010 Lee

Aug 10, 2010 Lee again

Aug 10, 2010 Haley

Aug 10, 2010 Lee Shanna Cal

Aug 10, 2010 Clark

Elden found what he wanted.  He was quite pleased even if he doesn't look it.
Aug 10, 2010 Elden (2)