Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I wanted to wish all of my friends and family a very Merry Christmas! I sent out my first Christmas cards this year and this is the picture I used. I took it after the kids and I had finished decorating the Christmas tree one night. I collected all the cards that I received last year and used those addresses as my contact list this year. So if you didn't get a card from us, then I didn't get one from you last year. Sorry! I had to start somewhere! Of course I might mention that I threw away all the old envelopes and then mailed out my cards WITHOUT remembering to write down all the addresses. Have I mentioned that I am losing my mind? Seriously, I can be such a bonehead!
Anyways, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. I absolutely love Christmas and the Spirit that is all around this time of year. I love to read the heart warming stories about baby Jesus and wise men and shepherds. I love to have the children dress up in nativity clothing and act out that special night long ago. I love getting together with family, playing games, and just talking (and eating!) I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, for being born in such a humble way and doing such extraordinary things for all of us! We owe him more than we can ever repay or comprehend! Let's all show our gratitude by trying a little harder to be kinder, more loving, and happier!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Dance Recital

Ressa had her first ballet/tap dance recital on Saturday. She was supposed to wear black pants and a Christmas shirt and she had nothing like that. I was up to my elbows with Carson's diarama for his book report, so I asked Chad if he would take her to Walmart and get her something. He didn't put up a fuss and gladly took her and Jackson. Well after some considerable time I realized that Chad hadn't called to ask for her size or to say he couldn't find any black pants. So I called to see if everything was o.k. He said they were on their way back and that he had found the clothes just fine. "You didn't think I could handle it?" "Well, how did you know what size to get her?" "I just looked at the label on the clothes she was already wearing." "Wow. Good thinkin', honey!" I didn't tell him that the clothes she was wearing were hand-me-downs and one size too big. They are play clothes so I don't mind. So when Ressa got home I was curious to see what they came up with. The black leggings were actually boys sweat pants and the shirt is red with Rudolph and his red shiny nose that lights up for real! So funny! I had to roll up the waist band on the pants and roll up the shirt sleeves, but you know I was so grateful to Chad for helping me out. And wouldn't you know that there were two other girls with the exact same shirt at the recital! Ressa was so happy about that! She did such a good job and had a big smile on her face the whole time! I was trying to upload the video but I can't figure it out. Oh, well!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Daddy's Money...

I just had to tell about this converstation I had with my kids. I apologize for the length of the story... The background story is that my children have recently started riding the bus to school. They absolutely love it and I love not having to take them all the time. Win-Win situation! At this new charter school the hot lunch is $2.5o, double the price at the public school. They have a choice of 5 entrees everyday plus a soup and salad bar, but still the cost is outrageous when you have 3 children in school. Having said that, I have decided the the price is worth it since my kids need all the food they can get and I can't keep enough lunch food in stock PLUS snacks for when they get home. So one day I was checking their lunch balances online and notice charges that said "breakfast meal" and saw that they started around the time the kids started taking the bus. So my children are eating breakfast at home, then riding the bus to school, arriving early, and eating breakfast AGAIN with the early morning care students! HELLO??!!
So I had a little chat with all three children and told them they are NOT allowed to eat breakfast at school anymore, that money does NOT grow on trees! I also told them that when they get hot lunch or breakast and don't eat all their food, it is like they are taking money out of my wallet and throwing it in the garbage.

Yesterday morning I drove the children to school because we were up late because of the PTO movie night at school. Ressa brought up the topic again of not eating breakfast at school and how it was throwing mommy's money in the garbage.

MOM: Ressa, you are not throwing money in the garbage if you eat all of your food. If you just take one or two bites THEN you are throwing away mommy's money. Actually, it's daddy's money you are throwing away.

RESSA: Why is it daddy's money?

MOM: Well, your daddy goes to work each day and works very to make the money we use to buy our food.

JACKSON: Well, you work really hard to spend daddy's money.

MOM: (huge grin) Yes, Jackson. I sure do!

I called Chad imediately to tell him what Jackson had said and he agreed and suggested that maybe I shouldn't work SO hard!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Activities Committee

I just want to say how much I love our ward activities committee! It has been almost two years since I was put on the committee with Lois Pew. In those two years we have had so much fun planning a luau, two trunk-or-treats, A Night In Bethlehem, Valentines Dinner/Newlywed Game, BB Q's, a carnival, a thanksgiving feast/turkey bowl, and this last Christmas program. Every event has been well planned and well attended by a supportive ward. I call our committe the dream team because everyone has a vital role to make it successful. Granted, some roles are less important than others. For example, my role is to keep everyone's feet on the ground since we tend to get carried away with our BIG ideas. It's a small role, but it does keep us out of trouble and within our budget. Lois has almost everything you can possible imagine to decorate a church gym. Lisa is a close second in that department. Mike and Jamie are great. Mike can build us anything we can think of, including the spectacular stable we used for this year's nativity! Now I admit none of us have actually "enjoyed" one of these glorious events per se, but we hear that people have a good time. We are so busy running around the whole time and are so exhausted by the time it is over! But I know that it is all worth it, as our ward family grows closer together. THANKS YOU GUYS!

Coolidge 2nd Ward Christmas Program

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rain gutter regatta?

You would never have guessed that I was raised with 7 brothers by how clueless I am about cub scouts. Rain gutter regatta? What in the world is that supposed to mean? All I know is that I gave Chad the boats in a box and he took over. Sanding, spray painting, stickers, everything. Chad has been involved with the scouting program for most of our 9 years of marriage. It is finally paying off now that C & J are in scouts! This Saturday was the regatta and the boys "raced" their boats against eachother, blowing on the sail to make it glide along the rain gutter. Pretty simple! I was decorating for the ward Christmas Party inside the church all morning but I was able to step out when it was the boys' turn to race. Carson got 2nd place which is why he has the red ribbon! I was very proud of how he handled the loss in the championship race. I could tell he was dissappointed, but he masked it very well and was happy for Gavin.

Here is one of Carson's races.

Here is Jackson displaying his hot air!

Gavin 1st place, Carson 2nd place, and Juan 3rd place.

All 14 of the racers and their boats.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Daddy is Home! At least I think it's daddy...

After searching high and low, Chad finally shot his first elk on the fifth day of his 7 days of hunting. Unfortunately, his dad and brother were unsuccessful. It isn't very big but it was the one and only that he saw and it was taking a drink near the road. They were driving in the truck early in the morning, he saw it, jumped out of the truck, and then shot it. Not quite the "hunt" he had imagined, but at least he didn't have to haul the elk out of a ravine or something like that!
They all had a great time and that is what is important. I am so glad to have my husband back! There was no cell service where they were, so it has been hard not being able to talk very much! One time he was able to get through, and Lauren wanted to talk to him the whole time! I finally had to tell her to back off - it was my turn!

Speaking of Lauren, this is what I found when I got back from taking the older kids to the bus stop this morning! So cute! I told Chad it was a good thing he came back a day early so that Lauren was still alive to see him. She has been really missing her daddy and driving me crazy! None of us are incredibly thrilled with Chad's facial hair. Ressa wouldn't kiss him goodbye this morning and I am tempted to give him his Christmas present early, if you know what I mean!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Movie Reviews

Twilight - 2 1/2 stars
Quantum of Solace - 5 stars
A couple weekends ago I went a saw "Twilight" with Sarah, Erin, LeaAnn, and Carrie. We had a great time, definitely laughing more than we should. My friend Erin had already seen it and so she kept snickering throughout the whole movie. I had to keep elbowing her to stop! Overall it was entertaining. I had to give it only 2 1/2 stars because half of me liked it because I loved the book. The movie buff in me , the other half, was tortured by the screenplay, editing, and acting. I have to give 5 stars to the delicious treat that Erin introduced to me! She poured a whole box of hot tomales over her buttered popcorn. It tasted like cinnomon rolls! Yum! I ate too much and felt a little sick. Afterwards we went to an italian restaurant called BRIO my sis-in-law Hollie recommended. It was very tasty! Thanks, Hollie!
The night before, Chad and I went and saw James Bond and I sure was not dissapointed! I loved EVERYTHING about it! I talked about it all the way home and started to drive Chad crazy. The action scenes are incredible and can you believe NO love scenes! This is Bond we are talking about! I mean, sex is implied, and he does kiss a nearly naked women on her back, but that's it! It was a pleasant departure from the typical Bond, but what it lacks in the sack is made up for with violence. I had to give it 5 stars and can't wait for the next one!

Monday, December 1, 2008


When Carson and Jackson were baptised last July, we gave them each their own set of scriptures. They were both excited and always remember to take them to church and take good care of them. About 4 months ago, Carson started reading the Bible from the very beginning. He is a good reader but I know there are tons of tough names and some words that he doesn't know. He started off slow and would read a little each day. He would announce to me that he had finished such and such book and was starting a new one and how many pages this book had and so on. He says things like...

"Did you know that Daniel and the Lions Den is on page 1,099?"
"There are 1,590 pages in the Bible."
"Mom, I finished the Old Testament and am now reading the New Testament."

Carson loves numbers and thinks about them all the time. I know, he must get it from his father, right? Well, now he reads a lot more and doesn't want to do much else. School gets in the way of this, but he will take the scriptures in the car and leave them there so that when I pick him up they are there waiting for him.
He reads standing up before school, after school, before bed. He tries to read during dinner sometimes but I won't let him. I find myself saying rediculous things like...

"Carson, close your scriptures and eat your dinner."
"Put your book down and put on your shoes. It is easier with two hands!"
"Please, stop reading your scriptures and get dressed for school."

Me: "Don't you want to go to your grandma's house while I go to a meeting?"
Carson: "Do I have to?"
Me: "You can take your scriptures with you."
Carson: "I can? O.K.!"

This is such an unusual obsession for an 8 year old, but I don't mind! Carson is such a great kid, so sweet and kind. He is a good example to me. He is now reading the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon, which ironically is where I am at and I have been reading the B of M all year! If only I was as obsessed with reading the scriptures as I was with reading the Twilight series!
I love you, Carson!

Gobble, Gobble!

What a fun Thanksgiving weekend! This year Chad and his dad and brother, Cade, all got drawn for the Elk Hunt this year. The area they were hunting is up near Flagstaff so we had this great idea to have Thanksgiving dinner at Samantha & Tyrel's house. It was that or not have my husband there for Thanksgiving. We bought a used camping trailer, along with Chad's parents, a week ago so that the men wouldn't freeze to death on their hunt. So we all took the camper up on Tues. to set up camp and spend some time together before Thanksgiving. I forgot to take any pictures of that adventure so you will have to use your imagination! The camper sleeps 6 and the 2nd night Cade joined us so we had 9 sleeping in there. Chad and Cade had to sleep together one night so you can imagine all the comments, warnings, and cracks that were made about that! At least we were all warm! It rained the whole time we were there so Grandma, me, and the kids stayed in the trailer and played dominos and watched movies the whole time. The kids had fun but I was glad we were only there that one whole day! Lauren may not have survived another day! Thursday morning we all left camp for Samantha's house where Nate & LeaAnn were also gathered with their families. We had a house full but the cousins all had such a good time and the adults played darts and this new game called "Ticket to Ride" and I loved it! Maybe because I won 2 times! Samantha made a great dinner, no thanks to me for forgetting to bring my roaster, and then the men and Elaine left to go back to camp. I stayed at Samantha's for the whole weekend and we had a great time! Tyrel's parents stopped by for a visit and brought this little 4-wheeler for the kids to ride. Here is a cute pic of Lauren-she loved it!Here are some of the cousins playing outside at Samantha's house. We were so glad the rain was stopped on Wednesday! The weather was so nice and the kids played outside for most the day! Of course, Carson is missing from the picture. He was most likely inside reading his scriptures, but I will explain that later...
Breakfast time is sure easy when all the kids just want to eat cereal. It was great not having to cook the rest of the weekend! My favorite is ham (don't love turkey) and Samantha makes this twice baked potato casserole that is just yummy!
Here is me with my girls! It was so nice to just "hang out" this Thanksgiving as a guest. I didn't have to run around, doing a million things at once. I did get to take some pictures of Nathan and his family and Samantha and hers. They will most likely post them on their blogs. Friday Walt and Tyrel took all the kids on a hike near their house while Sam, LeaAnn, and I did a little shopping. The trail took them up this hilltop that has a few large craters. It was just the right distance and had tunnels and caves and the kids even found a tarantula on the way. Yuck! Sorry I missed it! Flagstaff is really a great place to do all sorts of outdoor stuff!

Here is some of the gang sitting around watching football and looking at the map to see where the best place to find elk might be. I have spoken to Chad a couple times since they left and they have yet to see any elk! The kids and I left Sunday after church a came home. We all miss Chad, especially Lauren. She keeps asking me where he is, hoping I will give her a different answer than "hunting". Chad really doesn't go out of town very often (only for scout trips) so it is strange having him gone for a week. It just makes me all that more grateful for him! I feel so blessed to have such a great family, extended family included. We have such a great time together! My parents spent Thanksgiving up in Vancouver, WA at my brother's house and 3 other brothers came with their families. They had a fun time too, I just wish were all together! That's what you get for having such a big family. I am so grateful for the 3 siblings I have here in AZ and that we get together as often as we do! So much to be thankful for!