Friday, February 28, 2014

New Beginnings

I am a counselor in the Young Women's presidency at my church-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It is an organization for young women ages 12-18.  In young women's they participate in activities, service projects and learn new skills--all to develop and strengthen their testimonies of Jesus Christ. Also it's to help them prepare and enter adulthood, and ultimately go to the temple and endure faithfully. Every year the youth program in our church has a theme.  This year it's "Come Unto Christ".  For New Beginnings the new young women that will join us when they turn 12 were spotlighted, and keeping in mind the new theme, our particular theme for that night was diamonds in the rough.  We learned how diamonds are created--with incredible amounts of heat and pressure. With all the heat and pressure of our lives, if we come unto Christ and apply his teachings, those things will shape us into the women Heavenly Father wants us to be.  It was a great night and I really enjoyed feeling the spirit and being with the young women, their family members, and the other leaders.

I snapped a couple of pictures with my phone.  This one was super quick, thus extra blurry, of the table up front.
Feb 19 2014 New Beginnings (2)

Feb 19 2014 New Beginnings (3)

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Beth made these awesome Oreo cupcakes.  So delicious!  She brought some cute dishes and a cupcake holder to display them.  I found the cute napkins at Target...on sale too!
Feb 19 2014 New Beginnings

There are some exciting things happening in Young Women's this year.  We're doing a March Madness read-a-thon...reading the entire Book of Mormon in one month.  Also, the leaders are going to do personal progress with the young women.  I need to get started!  I looked over the Virture value last night and think I'll get started with that one since the "project" for Virture is reading the Book of Mormon.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day seemed like it happened a long time ago!  I hope you all had a fun day.  I enjoy days like Valentine's Day-I love how the everyday normal is switched up by doing fun, special things.  

The day before (and the prior evening) was when it snowed over 15 inches here.  The kids were kind of sad that they didn't go to school on Valentine's Day, but all of them had their class parties at later dates.  That morning we had cinnamon sticks and hot chocolate for breakfast.  The kids had fun building me hearts out of Duplos and Legos.  I enjoyed them! Cal did a great job with this big heart, and little hearts surrounding it.
Feb 14 2014

They also had fun playing for hours outside.  They are at a neighbors house in the following pictures with their little snow forts.
Feb 13

Feb 14 2014 (2)

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This is a tiny snowman with huge sunglasses on. It was SO bright out that day that I wore my sunglasses around outside.  It was such a warm day too--great day to play in the snow!
Feb 14 2014 (5)

That night our friends Jenny and Dan and their family came over.  We had dinner together and talked.  The kids played a little bit and watched a movie and some of the Olympics.  It was great having them here.  One drawback to where we live is we can't see our other friends as often as we'd like! This is how the kids crashed that night.....
Feb 14 2014 (4)

Speaking of the Olympics, it was SO fun watching them!  It would have been fun to watch more of them.  Seeing all of those amazing athletes is definitely inspiring.  My friend Brittany posted something about Noelle Pikus-Pace showing her wearing her young women's medallion! So cool! 

For our Valentine's "date" we went out to eat at a bbq place close by.  A teacher had given me a gift card to the restaurant as a thanks for helping out with copies and such.  It was fun using that!  We had about $0.60 leftover on the gift card and just left it there because we didn't know what to do with it.  I had a little extra bbq that I wanted to take home.  I boxed it up and then completely forgot to take it.  Oh well.  After dinner we did a quick stop at Michael's to pick up some things for young women's and then headed over to a local high school for their production of Oklahoma.  One of our young women was the main character-Laury.  I enjoyed seeing her perform.  She did a great job.  Here are some bad cell phones pictures at the high school.  We saw several people there that we knew, which was really fun.  My friend Hannah snapped a few pictures for us.  I forgot to bring my camera that night!
Feb 15 2014 Oklahoma

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Just for fun, here is Haley earlier that morning. Every Saturday (sometimes Fridays) my kids rotate through different lists of jobs.  One of Haley's that day was to clean the upstairs bathroom.  I thought it was cute that she wore her sunglasses for her jobs.
Feb 15 2014

Every year my mom sends Valentine cards to her kids and grandkids along with some money to buy treats for the grandkids. I had a lot of fun picking stuff out!  I received her cards on Valentine's Day but was too busy to do anything with it, so I waited till Tuesday to buy some things for the family and the kids. (Mainly because that is when I was going into Harrisonburg.  And school was two hours late that morning!)  I loved that the candy was on sale because I bought it after Valentine's Day! I also bought some ice cream with the money and we had that last night for our Family Home Evening treat.  Thanks Mom!
Feb 18 2014

Next year Elden will be bringing home goodies from his Valentine class party at school.  So bittersweet.  More like 99.9% bitter and the 0.1%, um, sweet? I guess the 0.1% is the part of me that doesn't want to homeschool.  I am sad he'll be heading off to school!  Kindergarten registration is in March.  AH!

Growing up I remember my dad leaving each of us kids a Little Debbie treat along with a Valentine card for each of us. Lee continues the tradition.  This year I cut out some hearts and he wrote a personalized note to each child.  During the day on Valentine's day I went out the back door, left the treats (Little Debbie heart shaped treats) and the notes at the front door, knocked and ran. I actually slipped going around the corner. They all thought Lee had left them at the front door.  I thought it was funny because he was at Harrisonburg that day, and it was in the middle of the day that I did this. 

Normally I don't make requests on Valentine's day, but I did this year.  I told Lee all I wanted was some chocolate bars from Aldi.  I LOVE their milk chocolate bars with almonds!  I really like their plain milk chocolate and dark chocolate too.  I wasn't sure how he would get them as we don't live by an Aldi. He thought of a great sister Lois picked them up for him and mailed them to our house.  Lee said something was coming in the mail and truthfully I thought it might be an Ina Garten cookbook (I love her cookbooks!).  I was really surprised when I found out that the package contained four chocolate bars!  YUM!  This is all that is left of the hoo....
Feb 25 2013

This is the Valentine card he got me.  We are reading a marriage book together, Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. (We are making very slow progress I might add.  I thought it would be fun to read it together and talk about it while reading it.  I keep checking it out from the library because we aren't making much headway!).  Anyway, if you read the book, you'll get the card (and you won't have to read very far into the book to get the joke!).  It was pretty funny.  Lee had slipped in a handmade note so I didn't notice the front at first because I just opened the card right away.  It was a fun weekend!
Feb 25 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014


We finally received a "decent" snow fall this winter.  Apparently it's being dubbed "Snowchi". We've had snow here and there this winter but I don't think it's completely covered the grass out here in our town. And if it did snow, it melted pretty quick.  In January my kids had a total of five whole school days the entire month!  There have been a lot of delays and closings ever since Christmas break.  February hasn't been an exception either.  I still don't think we've had one full week of school with full school days, yet this year! 

Since the beginning of the week there was a winter storm warning for Wednesday night with about 12" or so of snow predicted.  Well, they were right!  Last night church activities were canceled and snow started coming down pretty much right when they said the snow would start, about 6pm.

Oh, and as a side note, here is the awesome antenna our friend Steve made for us.  We've had it for over a year but it didn't work on our old TV.  I was telling Lee that I was sad about not being able to watch the Olympics and that next time the Olympics come around I want to get cable just for a month.  Lee mentioned that he wanted to try the antenna we had.  It totally works!  It's been so fun watching the Olympics.  Sometimes the picture gets blurry, but it always straightens out.  
Feb 11 2014

It started snowing last night, of course.  All of the kids had a fun time playing in the snow at night.  It's kind of magical in a way...sort of like night swimming.  I think it's so fun to go swimming at night.
Feb 12 2014 Big Snow of the winter

Yes, they were riding on the street.  I made them ride on the sidewalk and then I think I just told them to put their bikes away.
Feb 12 2014 Big Snow of the winter (2)

See how much snow we had at about 7:30?
Feb 12 2014 Big Snow of the winter (3)

And here we are the next morning!  It's so fun waking up to a thick blanket of snow! Our kind neighbor came down the street with the snow blower and blowed out a path for us and around our Honda.  Which apparently last night when Elden went to the van to get his coat he turned a light on inside.  It was on all night and now our van is dead.  Yeah, not much chance of jumping the van anytime soon, unless we dig it out. Blah.  Oh well, I don't have to go anywhere.
Feb 13 2014 Big Snow of winter

There is our new swing set!  Lee is almost done with it.  There are a couple more things he needs to attach to it.  We were going to get a lot bigger one, but that didn't happen. I talked about that in a previous post if you want to find out the rest of the story.  I shoveled off the trampoline today.  It snowed about 15 inches and the trampoline was sagging a lot.  I like shoveling and figured the weight of the snow wouldn't be good for it anyway.  I also shoveled our back porch and front porch and redid the walkways.  Lee took Clark and Cal and went to his office.  No one came in, but a few people called.  Clark and Cal did some shoveling for Lee and earned some money. 
Feb 13 2014 Big Snow of winter (2)

This afternoon we went sledding.  Shanna's neighbor friend came too. Even though the sledding hill is about six blocks away I didn't want to walk.
Feb 13 2014 Big Snow of winter (3)

Hardly any people had been sledding so we had fun making new sledding paths.  I got snow in my face several times.  Lee found some work boots he purchased for helping with the Hurricane Katrina clean-up when we lived in Memphis. I wore them and my feet stayed so toasty!  I loved it!  They of course were a little big and heavy, but kept my feet nice and dry. This is actually my regular cold-weather running outfit, minus the scarf.  I need to get another pair of running pants! These are actually my track pants from high school.  The lining is falling apart inside, but they are comfortable to wear running.  Though they don't keep my legs warms at all. 
Feb 13 2014 Big Snow of winter (4)

Here they are trying to make a jump.  It didn't work out too well, ha ha.  It did work a little bit though. We have great hills here to go sledding on!
Feb 13 2014 Big Snow of winter (5)

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Feb 13 2014 Big Snow of winter (7)

Our van was stuck by the sledding hill.  We didn't want to park on the road, so Lee drove off to the side where someone else had been earlier.  The snow under the van was too high and even though the wheels were dug out, we were stuck on top of the snow.  After trying to get out for about five minutes, some people stopped and helped push us out.  I love that people are kind! Poor Shanna and Elden kept crying too because they were so cold.  I should have been more sympathetic...
Feb 13 2014 Big Snow of winter (8)

We enjoyed some hot chocolate when we got back, and some kids took a warm bath.  Lee and the older boys went to our friends house to shovel them out a little, and Lee helped our neighbor across the street dig out his car.  School is canceled tomorrow too.  Apparently it's supposed to snow another foot tonight!  Crazy!  I am looking forward to another snow day.  Thankfully our washer is washing, our dryer is drying, and our electricity is on!  Those things make snow days fun.  Plus I have a stock of chocolate chips.  What's not to love?!  Well, it would be more fun if Lois could have made it down here before the big snow!  After it all melts I'll be okay to do without snow till next winter though.  I am looking forward to the summer heat!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Art Night

Every year our school has an art night.  There are a bunch of crafts for the kids to do, pottery making, face painting, caricatures and free dinner!

Right before art night started there was a short PTA meeting.  I am the treasurer so I read my treasurer's report.  Thanks to a great community our PTA is able to raise a good amount of money each year.  I was able to say the prayer too at the PTA meeting, which was great. It was fun too because one of my friends said she liked to hear me pray.  I said just one prayer before at a small PTA meeting over a year ago.  I guess she remembered it?! 

Shanna and her neighbor friend, and Haley.  Shanna wanted her and her friend to dress alike so the friend wore Haley's shirt that night.
Feb 6 2013 Art Night

Shanna is quite the social bug!
Feb 6 2013 Art Night (2)

Shanna won 2nd place in the first grade for a school art contest.  She told me what she drew but I can't remember.  It was fun for her to win a prize!
Feb 6 2013 Art Night (3)

Here is Cal getting his caricature done.  I had all of my kids get them done this year.
Feb 6 2013 Art Night (4)

Clay pots activity.
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We had a fun art night.  For dinner they served hot dogs, chips, cookies, water and tea.  We don't drink tea or coffee so of course just had the water.  I don't eat hot dogs so I put my chips in a hotdog bun and ate it that way, ha ha. I stayed and helped clean up a little.  I love my kids' school!  I love how they have prayers at PTA meetings. I love how the principal helps with all sorts of things, like cleaning up after art night with the janitors and haul in a load of copy paper--about 110 boxes of paper (I was making copies when the paper was delivered).  I love that the teachers want parents involved and to come to the school.  It's great.

Oh, so funny story.  Well, I thought it was. The school has to do two lock down drills per school year.  There was one recently at the elementary school.  Clark was asking me about if the school really had to be locked down.  And they we started talking about how kids are trapped in the school with a crazy guy with a gun for days.  I told him that that wouldn't happen here.  I mean, I guess a crazy gun guy could get in the could and trap the kids, but he wouldn't last more than an hour.  I told Clark to think about our neighbor who is in to hunting and stuff like that.  Would he let some crazy guy hold his kids hostage at school?  No way.  There would be so many dads around here that would swarm the school with their guns and break in themselves and hunt the guy down.  It kind of made me laugh thinking about it because it's sooo true!  Someone would be CRAZY to even attempt to do some sort of hostage thing here in my town, especially at the school.  I told Clark he wouldn't have to worry about that sort of thing---or it lasting for a long time!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Kitchen update

Remember the trim around our kitchen window?  Well, we really wanted it "gone" and have a straight edge.  There was a guy who installed some extra cabinet stuff for us. I was going to ask him to cut off the excess trim, but completely forgot.
Sept 27 2013 (44)

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When the guy was here to redo our floors we asked him if he would also cut off the extra trim.  He said he'd do it for $30.  Sounds good to me.  We don't have the power tools to do it, and we aren't practiced at making big, straight cuts either.  It turned out great!  What do you think?
Feb 5 2014

I feel like it opened up our tiny kitchen even more. 
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Monday, February 3, 2014

It's Official!

Well, our family is now a two-wheeled family!  We are getting older and a little more grown up. No more high chairs, potty-training, or bike training wheels.  Yep, Elden surprised all of us by riding his bike without training wheels on Saturday! Elden has asked Lee to take his training wheels off of his bike a few times already...three or four at least. On Saturday he asked Lee again to take off his training wheels.  Lee almost didn't take them off for him, but Lee went ahead and did it.  Elden then left.  Lee was busy assembling a small play set for the kids.  Next thing we know Cal called out, "Mom and Dad, look!  Elden's riding his bike!"  We couldn't believe it. In the past Lee has helped him maybe about a half hour total with riding his bike without training wheels. Elden is really good on his scooter and I think that has helped a lot with balance and stuff. 
Feb 1 2014 Elden

Feb 1 2014 Elden (2)

Go Elden!
Feb 1 2014 Elden (3)

In other random stuff....  We bought a playset last year, the first part of December.  We actually had bought two others but they were damaged in shipping so our money was refunded.  We decided to try one more time buying a play set online.  And it actually came! We never did put it together with the craziness of December.  Last week it was finally nice enough, without snow on the ground too, to put it together.
Feb 1 2014 Haley

Lee almost finished it.  There is a little left to do but the kids can play on it so that is fun.  They've been enjoying it. 
Feb 1 2014 Haley (2)

We spent a lot of time outside on Saturday which was nice.  The boys built a bike ramp and LOVED it.  Cal had a few accidents, but kept getting up and trying again.  Haley joined in using a different ramp.
Feb 1 2014

I tried to get a picture of them airborne, but I need to work on my photography skills.  And I didn't try very long.
Feb 1 2014 cal

My boys are really excited about the new Lego movie coming out in a couple of days.  Barnes and Noble had a little Lego thing for the kids centered around the new movie.  Really it wasn't very exciting.  My kids liked it okay.  They basically did a word scramble, a word find, figured out a coded message and then got the words to the movie's theme song.  At the end they did get a fun movie poster.  For how fun the advertising made this activity sound, I was disappointed.
Jan 25 2014 B&N

We also went to the library that same day.
Jan 25 2014 Library

Later that same day after Lee was done with work (he worked that Saturday since they other dr. couldn't) we drove up to go to the temple.  We stopped at Lois' place and saw Darrell and Stacie for a little bit.  I also started some laundry. Our washer and its pipes froze that weekend so I brought all my laundry up to Lois'.  I got everything washed and even a couple loads dried. We left at midnight and got home around 2:30.  Our washer finally thawed out.  Lee brought a heater from work and had it running all day Sunday.  It started working again which was great.
Jan 29 2014

It was especially great since on Tuesday Lee, Haley and I caught a 24-hour stomach bug that had been going around our family.  Haley threw up in just the right spot and got a bunch of blankets and bedding dirty...her's, Shanna's and Elden's.  Even though I was sick too I did a bunch of laundry that day.  And good thing I did because the washer froze up again that very night.  We are all better now, thankfully.  I am so grateful for good health. This winter we've had great health which has been wonderful. The last holiday/winter we were sick a lot.
Jan 28 2014 Haley

Here is a fun picture of Elden with his "glasses".  Elden was with Lee at his office one morning.  Elden really wanted some glasses and Lee let him have these.  Lee figured that these wouldn't sale so he let Elden have them, ha ha.  Elden got a Scooby Doo case to boot.
Jan 31 2014

And yet another one of him.  Shanna painted his face one day.  So funny.  Elden asked: "Do I look freaky?"  Ha ha. 
Jan 2014 Elden

Shanna had her friend Brooke and her sister decorate her face.  It was very unique!
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