Friday, November 16, 2012


My brother Sheldon's wedding is around the corner and I better get updated before the big event! It will be very busy this weekend...we'll see how much I get done. I am making a wedding gift for Ciera, which I hope to bring to the wedding. I also want to finish Christmas letters before I go. And I just remembered we need to get our leaves ready for pick-up too.....busy, busy!

Our fun news is that pictures were taken of us while voting. (I am very sad about the presidential outcome though, by the way.) Lee was awesome and woke up early and even jogged over to the polls at 6 am. The kids didn't have school that day, so I was lazy getting out of bed. I realized later that I probably should have voted in the morning before Lee left for work. I did not want to take the kids voting with me. He was quite busy that day (YAY!) and couldn't take off time during the day for me to go over and vote. I didn't want to go in the evening as our evening time together as a family is so limited already. And, who knew what the polls would be like anyway! Well, I bit the bullet and took them. I brought a bag with books and some cookies in case we had to wait in line for a long time. I told the kids to bring their coats and gloves too. It happens that we were able to walk right in, and no one was in front of me in line while I "checked in"! There were about four people in front of me for the line to use the electronic voter. While we were in line I saw a photographer with two big cameras. I admit, I figured he would take pictures of us. One mom with five kids in tow...I am not sure one sees that every voting time, ha ha. Someone handed a sample ballot back to me while waiting in line. Instead of just looking at it, I secretly helped the photographer to get a good picture and held the ballot in front of Cal and showed it to him. I don't know why, but it makes me smile to think about it. I totally was posing for him and he didn't even know it.
Ruth Election day ft page

Ruth Election Day DNR 3

Anyway, voting went very well with the kids. After we voted a lady came up to me and complimented me on bringing all of my kids with me to vote. And then outside a lady was handing out suckers. She had four, and asked how many I needed. She said to wait while she got one more sucker so all of my kids could have one--which was very nice! I must say, since having kids, I have been pleasantly surprised with people who comment on my kids, or interact with them. They are always nice (or at least tactful) or shocked at the number of kids I have--never rude. And I don't think I have "a lot" of kids. Back at home I set up the timer on the camera and tried to get a picture of all of us with our "I voted" stickers. Take your pick.
Nov 6 2012 Ruth and kids voting (3)

Nov 6 2012 Ruth and kids voting

Nov 6 2012 Ruth and kids voting (2)

Last weekend my cousin Heidi and family came down again. We enjoyed having them here for a few days. Last Saturday Lee had a "booth" at a local health fair. We stopped by to visit. Nov 10 2012 Lee and Elden Shanna health fair

Nov 10 2012 Lee & Shanna health fair

Later that day Lee's mom Christmas package arrived. Every year she sends Christmas ornaments to every child and grandchild. We had fun opening it together and seeing the fun nativities and bookmarks she included. Thanks Mom!
Nov 10 2012 Clark Cal Lee Haley Shanna

After going to the park and eating dinner, we roasted marshmallows outside. I made chocolate chip cookies to use in lieu of graham crackers and chocolate, for s'mores. Nov 10 2012 Lee Shanna Cal Marc Simonsen

Nov 10 2012 Clark Haley Shanna Lee

Nov 10 2012 Lee Ruth

This week I went on two field trips. Shanna and Haley visited a grocery store, but their classes went on separate days. Elden hung out at Lee's office for Shanna's field trip and then my neighbor came to the rescue to babysit Elden for Haley's field trip. I was going to take my camera when I went with Haley, but completely forgot. I am sure you can all imagine what a grocery store looks like, ha ha. I think my favorite part was the meat department. It reminded me of my dad in his different meat labs. They showed the kids how they grind up meat too. I also thought it was fun that each kid got to scan something.  I used to always want to work at a grocery store because I liked scanning stuff. Yesterday after Haley's field trip I helped out a little at Lee's office. I quite enjoyed it and I wouldn't be surprised if I helped out more there when Elden goes to school. We'll see. I really want to teach Dave Ramsey's finance class to high-schoolers too. Lots of options for the future, that's for sure. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! My next post will be even longer I am sure!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween 2012

We hope you all had a nice Halloween. In a way Halloween is almost like the beginning of the holidays for me. Now it's already November. Thanksgiving is around the corner, then Christmas, of course followed by New Years. We participated in our usually Halloween activities. First up, the ward Fall Festival/Trunk-or-Treat. My cousin Heidi and her family are out East for a couple months for a work training her husband Marc has. They came down last weekend and met us at the church building. We had a great time with them and can't wait to have them back next weekend!
Oct 26 2012 Sunny Doller

The trunk-or-treating was amazing short. There were some fun games inside though for the kids afterwards. I enlisted the kids to put together their own costumes--just like last year. We do not have a great selection of playclothes, and their costumes reflect that. Next year I am going to have to sit down with them all the first of October to see what costumes they want to wear.
Oct 26 2012 Linda Hartman Oct 26 2012 game (9) Oct 26 2012 game (5) Oct 26 2012 game (3)

I love Heidi and Marc's shirts!
Oct 26 2012 game (2)

After the party we drove over to Walmart. Lee went in with Heidi and Marc to show them his office and gave Heidi an eye exam. I stayed with the kids outside.
Oct 26 2012 Marc, Peter, Kate Simonsen Oct 26 2012 Shanna Elden Haley Oct 26 2012 Haley Cal Clark

Marc and Heidi and family spent the night at our house. Before bed we played the Europe version of Ticket to Ride and then talked. It was really fun. The next day I also watched my friend's girls. The kids had fun outside with the leaves. The big tree in our year still has lots of leaves on it. I really don't want to rake until they've all fallen off.
Oct 26 2012 Hannah Hurd, Elden Clark Oct 26 2012 Shanna Elden

On Monday we carved pumpkins and decorated sugar cookies. Next year I think Clark should try his hand at carving his own pumpkin! I carved a mini one for Elden and it was super easy. We saved the seeds from both types of pumpkins and will hopefully plant them next year.
Oct 29 2012 FHE Lee Clark Oct 29 2012 FHE Ruth Shanna Oct 29 2012 FHE Elden Haley Shanna Cal Clark (3) Oct 29 2012 FHE Elden Haley Shanna Cal Clark (2) Oct 29 2012 FHE Elden Haley Shanna Cal Clark Oct 29 2012 FHE Elden (2) Oct 29 2012 FHE Elden pumpkin Oct 29 2012 FHE Oct 29 2012 FHE Cal Oct 29 2012 FHE candy Oct 29 2012 FHE Clark Oct 29 2012 FHE Elden Oct 29 2012 FHE Haley

Haley put her pumpkin in the cupboard...good thing she asked Lee to come and see it! There might have been a big problem on our hands later....
Oct 29 2012 FHE Haley pumpkin

I didn't get any pictures Halloween night. We left later than I wanted and I wasn't very happy about that. I am sure my family wasn't happy with my mood either! After this Halloween I have some ideas to make next year's better. Thankfully there are chances to constantly improve! First we went to the town's Halloween Hoo Doo where kids can trick-or-treat at the local downtown businesses. Like last year, I hot glued some little advertisements on little packs of cookies that Lee handed out. Lee ended handing out candy a little early. We trick-or-treated at a couple of neighbors and then went to another neighborhood. Sadly people around here stop handing out candy pretty early--8pm. But with school being the next day, that's definitely a good thing. Halloween night I finished preparing address label's for Sheldon's wedding announcements. Then I watched a Hallmark-type movie, sorted candy and looked at house plans on the internet. I stayed up way too late!

After about 3 hours of sleep I woke up at 5:45 so Clark and Cal could get to their 7am dental appointment. (I scheduled a 7am appointment so they could be on time for school...of course they were still late!) Sadly Cal has a cavity--his first one. Clark still doesn't have any thankfully. We're private pay as we don't have dental insurance. But I am glad that we are able to pay to get his tooth fixed. I am considering looking into a private dental plan, but the billing lady said sometimes they're not a good deal. I'll see what I find. Recently Haley and Shanna had their teeth cleaned at a mobile dentist that comes to the school here--first time "at" the dentist. Neither of them have cavities either--yay! This service is the cheapest for a private pay patient like me. Last year I didn't have the boys teeth cleaned with the mobile dentist because of my pride--it seemed to me that the bulk of the kids that used the mobile dentist couldn't afford dental care (they won't turn anyone down because of lack of finances). So it's a great program, but I didn't do it and just took them to a dentist that I knew of through church. This year though I bit the bullet and just had Shanna and Haley go to the mobile dentist. And even with paying full price, it's the cheapest cleaning one can get around here (that I know of). Okay, that turned out longer than I thought, ha ha. That's the dental situation around here...that no one asked about. I'm impressed if you read about it! The next big event around here is Thanksgiving and Sheldon's wedding.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fall thus far....

A couple weeks ago our friend came and babysat our kids. She even brought sugar cookies and goodies so the kids could decorate them!
Oct 19 2012 Sadie Liskey and kids

Lee and I went window shopping in Harrisonburg. Two of the stores we wanted to go to were already closed. Before we went home we stopped for ice cream and used up a gift card a teacher had given me last school year.
Oct 19 2012 Lee date Oct 19 2012 Ruth date

The next day was our Relief Society Christmas in October activity. I was running late that morning and had to help set up before the activity. I made it to the church in 24 minutes, which is a record for us! Usually it takes anywhere from 28-32 (or so) minutes. There were lots of fun crafts to do at the activity (thanks to the awesome activity counselor!) and we had a nice turnout. I am glad that the counselor over me is good with crafts and such, because it's not my thing. I should have taken some pictures of the event. I did two different crafts there. I was going to leave a little early, but wasn't done. I am glad I stayed and finished because I am almost sure they wouldn't have been finished at home!

After a run at Sharp Shopper for Lois, I went over to Elkton Autumn Days. Lee and the kids were already by the ball fields browsing the vendors. Before we met up by the school, I walked around and bought a couple of things. One guy sells maple syrup from his own sugar camp every year. This past spring Lois' family and our family drove out there too see the sugar camp. Sadly production had ended early this spring for maple syrup so we didn't get to see it being made in action. Anyway, I bought a tiny jug of maple syrup. It will be fun to buy more next year. I also saw a couple people at Autumn Days that I know. I like going to community things and seeing people I know!
 Oct 20 2012 Elkton Autumn Days Oct 20 2012 Elkton Autumn Days Lee & Ruth (2)

After Autumn Days we headed up to Lois', went to the temple and did sealings. The sealer used to be the Washington, D.C. temple president. His daughter, son-in-law, grand-daughter and grand-son-in-law were there in too. It was so fun. The sealer was excited and eager to help his grand-daughter understand the sealing ordinance--where in temples, husband and wife can be sealed for eternity (not just "death do us part"). It was a great instruction time as lots of questions were asked and answered. It was a busy Saturday, but also a good day. A little side story, when we left Lois' that night I drove home. I made it all the way to Shenandoah and had to pull over. Funny thing, Shenandoah is only about 6 minutes from our house. I fell asleep very soon after Lee started driving (and of course had to wake up very soon after that!)