Sunday, November 30, 2008


We have had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend. We started off at Grandma and Grandpa Reed's for the Thanksgiving meal. She was so excited to have us there and we had a great time stuffing our bellies with yummy food and playing a hilarious game of catch phrase. Grandma and Grandpa are terrible clue givers. Grandpa kept trying to do the categories, like for 'plants and animals' he kept saying "daffodils and dogs..daffodils and dogs!" instead of pushing the button to get the actual word he was supposed to be doing and poor grandma just had a heck of a time but we laughed so hard and I am so glad we went. After we left the Reed's Rodger and Terry and all of us went to Rich and Steph's to hang out. We took over Fred Clause to watch but that's hard to do with four kids in the same room so we mostly sat around and chatted. A terrific ending to a terrific day.

Friday morning my mom and I got up bright and early and headed out for some shopping. I didn't see any great deals in the ads but it's our tradition to go so we couldn't stay home. We started at Macy's and found a few good deals then to the Blue and Orange store where they had no good deals, unless you wanted an ugly fiesta bowl hat for $1, which I didn't and to the Children's place where everything was 20% off. I went a little crazy on accessories for Em. My absolute favorite purchase from there were fingerless gloves. They are adorable. I wish we would've gone downstairs because I missed Pottery Barn and the Disney Store. It was early and I wasn't thinking. Oh well. We then made our way to Target and my mom and I got the last two portable DVD players they had on special. I didn't go there for that because I figured they would be gone but I asked and the guy took me and they had one left. I got it and was telling my mom what it was. She said she wanted one but I told her I got the last one they had. Just then the same guy walks by with a single screen player in one hand and a two screen in his other and says "Were you the one that was wanting this?" and I said "no, but I'll take that one" and ,voila, my mom had her portable DVD player. After Target we went to Cost Plus and Fred Meyer. The sock deals aren't really great at Fred Meyer but I did find several multi pair sock packages that were a very good deal at half price. My mom and I had both been sick so we decided to call it a day about noon. That sounds early but when you think we'd been out since 5:30 we definitely put our time in. We got home and my mom was supposed to be taking Emily home with her but Rob and the kids weren't there. Rob left his cell phone at Rich and Steph's so I couldn't get a hold of him. To pass the time we went to Walgreens to pick up a few deals.

Friday afternoon Terry wanted to do a thanksgiving meal of her own so we went there to eat more food and watch the BSU/Fresno game. It was a great game and another wonderful meal. I definitely got my turkey/mashed potato/stuffing fill this Thanksgiving.

Yesterday I started sewing my pockets onto my advent calendar. It is looking so cute. I love it! I also had plans to meet up with Steph and Erin, while she was in town, for coffee and a little shopping. She took us to this great out of the way place that is Graples-esque but a little cheaper. It was a fun couple of hours spent hanging with those girls. When I got home there, sitting in my dining room, was my new table. Rob had paid it off and brought it home while I was gone. I was so happy to walk in and see it sitting there so pretty. I was not happy to see our ugly dining room chairs with it. I didn't think they would look as bad as they do. I may be thrift store shopping sooner than I think so please excuse the ugly chairs and the candle holder with only two candles.

Since we had a busy weekend I wanted to go to church Saturday night so we could just relax Sunday. Rob agreed and we went to church with about 50 other people. Not the larger crowd it usually is but the sermon was a good one on being grateful. On the way home we made a side trip to Cabelas, grabbed Wendy's for dinner and watched The Holiday to end another good day.

And that brings me to Sunday. As I sit here in my bathrobe, coffee cup next to me, I am overwhelmed with all the things I have to be grateful for. A house, two cars, good health, food and a family that loves us to name a just a few. We are so blessed. Now, with nothing planned for the day, I am off to finish my calendar and feed my coupon obsession.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Girls night out

Last night Steph, Skye and I flew the coop and had a girls night. Just what I needed. We started the night at Mongolian barbecue where we feasted on noodles, noodles and more noodles. YuM! It has been a long time since I had been to Mongolian and I do believe that I am craving it today. We were going to see Mamma Mia then decided we would rather talk so we headed to Starbucks, by way of TJ Maxx, to talk the night away. Next time we will have to pick a place that stays open later cause they kicked us out at closing time. We had a great night though. Lots of laughing, gossiping(gasp!) and fun. Let's do it again soon.

I've been fighting another illness this week. Not so much a cold as a large frog that has set up camp in my throat. I don't feel bad but I only have a partial voice. Good times.

When Emily gets home we are going to lunch with Rob. We don't get to go out with him very often so I know the miss will love it.

I am totally excited for Thanksgiving and my favorite part other than dinner...the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I can do without the balloons and bands but I cannot do without the Broadway musical numbers. I will sit on the couch for three hours just so I don't miss even one. Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wasn't so bad

My second first time singing in choir wasn't so bad. Saturday night was a little scary. You see my mic partner who shall remain nameless(she's also my sister in law and has the initials SSS) decided to ditch me. I know! Can you believe it? I was petrified to have to stand there and hold the mic by myself. We were practicing before service started and Doug noticed that three people next to me were sharing and I was holding my own so he moved one of them with me. Thank you Lord! I'm sure I was as stiff as a board but I did it. And that's what I wanted to do. I did both services Sunday, feeling much more comfortable having my beloved SSS with me, and I still may have looked stiff but I wasn't really nervous. I had a few butterflies but nothing that would've kept me away. Now I focus on Christmas music. And can I just say that I love what we are doing. I was organizing my scrapbook room last night and listened to the CD about eight times. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Rob started a project last night. We have talked about putting in a fire pit for a long time and he finally decided that we would put it on the side of the house by our covered barbecue patio. It was freezing out last night but he decided that right then he was going to start it. He outlined where he wanted it and started digging. He even had his first fire in it. There is a long way to go till that side is the way we want it but, in the meantime, the kids had fun roasting marshmallows over a dirt fire pit on a cold fall night. Me? I was in the house where it was warm. I went out to take a few before pictures and scurried my booty back inside. I'm no fool. Rob also finished our Christmas lights. I know it's early but it sure beats putting them up when it's 20 degrees and windy, which is what usually happens.

I went to Costco on Friday and picked up a few Christmas and birthday gifts. I got Em some rain boots for her birthday that are adorable. She is gonna love them. I also got her a Christmas dress. They are so hard to resist.

One last this bag not adorable?

I may just have to get her book.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

sing...sing a song

I joined choir again. I have always loved singing but am on the bashful side so never really did anything with it. I was in choir about five years ago but with three small children and the youth ministry I just ran out of time for it so I quit. Since I'm not really doing anything else I talked to Steph about it a while back. She kept telling me I should join and I wanted to but then the shyness would creep in and I wouldn't. She finally talked to Doug for me (gotta love her) and before I knew it I was in.

Last night was my first practice. I was on my way when she called and said she wasn't feeling well so she was going to turn around and go home. What?! Are you kidding me?! Oh no! Maybe I'm not feeling well either. stomach is definitely having issues. Then I told myself to buck up. It's not like I don't know anybody there. It was a little nerve racking walking in the room and trying to figure out where I fit in but it was good for me. She got me most of the way there but I had to get myself to the finish.

The Christmas program is only three weeks away so they practiced that first. I don't know the songs so I just listened. Then they practiced what they are doing for Sunday. First they practice in the modular then they go to the auditorium to get their places set and run through the songs a couple times. I was just going to watch when Doug said something about me finding my place for Sunday. Wait! You want me to sing...on stage...mic in hand...this weekend? As in three days away? Talk about jumping in with both feet! It's not like I don't know the songs. I have heard them all before. But I always had the words in front of me. If I'm up there I have to know all of the words.

Can I confess something? I am one of those people that makes fun, usually to myself but occasionally to Rob, of those people who are on stage and don't know the song. They are up there singing away but their lips aren't matching anything that is being sung. It looks ridiculous and I just want to say either learn the song or don't go up there. It's just not good.

So, that being said, I know there are others out there like me and I would prefer not to be the one they are snickering at. So I got a CD and listened to it on the way home last night and in the shower this morning. I will probably be listening to it all day for the next three days just to make sure I have all the words down. Then, just when I think I do, I will get up on the stage and forget all of them and then still end up looking like a fool.

Wish me luck. Only two days to go.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Let the Christmas shopping begin

I feel like that is all I did this weekend. Friday Rich was doing an open house for some adorable town homes he is listing. As part of the open house they had a bazaar set up so Steph went down to see if it was any good. She said it was and I should go down. They had tons of cute stuff and I ended up getting a couple gifts which made my trek there worth it.

Saturday my neighbor Judy told me Graples was having their annual Christmas open house. They have so much cute stuff that it was hard to be good. I grabbed just about everything that I thought I might want just so I would have it then before we checked out I went through it all and narrowed it down. I ended up only spending a little over $20 which is a little sad but I couldn't justify spending more money on things that we don't need right now. I also had to take into consideration that that evening was the Craft Warehouse open house that we were also going to. My mom and aunt joined us and we spent about 3 hours strolling around the store. I was good there too and only spent $33. I didn't really need anything but I got a picture frame that was 40% off, Yankee Christmas votives, some fall things and a couple other misc. things.

Sunday we had to run by Fred Meyer to grab some candy($1.88 a bag for Hershey's candy with Fred Meyer coupon and the newspaper had a coupon for $1.50 off when you buy three bags just in case you need to stock up for Christmas) and while we were there we decided to look around for a few minutes. I got Steph a birthday present that I know she will LOVE so it made that trip worth it too. That and the candy that is filling my cupboards.

Today I was up and out the door by 8:50. On my list was Target for items to fill up our shoe boxes, which I got, but I also got Emily two velour outfits for a little over $5 a piece ,a Christmas gift and some flannel sheets for Austin, Toys R Us for Littlest Pet Shop sets(they have them buy two get one free) and Walgreens for my weekly deals(they have great deals on stocking stuffer candies this week...39 cents each). I did it all and was back home with time to spare before Emily got here.

I have been working on my advent calendar and am about 95% done with the pockets. I need to finish them so I can sew them on this week. I also have the list of activities and things I am going to put in each pocket. It took some time to come up with them but I think they are good and the kids will love them. The most difficult activity is cutting down our own Christmas tree. It sounds like fun but I need to find out where the best place to go is. I don't want some sad Charlie Brown tree. If you have any suggestions I'm all ears.

I am thinking about putting our chrismtas decorations out this week. It doesn't feel like christmas but if I wait until after thanksgiving we will only ahve them up for four weeks. Hardly seems worth the trouble's a thought I'm kicking around.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Guess what...

I won this kit from Lisa. Guess I'll be making my cards this year.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Five months ago? Day 11

It's been five months since our Philippines mission trip and I was so good about getting my trip documented until the last two days. Somehow, and I'm not quite sure when it happened, five months have passed. I have been thinking a lot lately that I really need to get those days down for posterity's sake so here I go.

June 16

Today is the grand opening of the youth center. It is such a privilege to be a part of this because I remember when Greg came to our church several years ago and told of his vision to open up a youth center down the street from one of the largest high schools in the world and here we were watching that dream come to life in person. We didn't have to wait until Greg came back to the states, we didn't have to hear it through a letter, we were there watching this whole thing unfold. It was truly amazing.

Before all of that could happen we still had some prep work to do. We went to one of the satellite schools to hand out fliers and invite as many students as we could to the center. It's always so much fun when they get out of school and we get to hang with them for just a few minutes before they go home. They are so friendly and most are quite interested in what we are doing there.

We stayed there for a while before catching a jeepney to the church. We had ridden a trike, walked our little legs off and traveled by bus. This was our final mode of transportation to try. It was a short ride but now we can check that one off our list of things to do.

When we got to the church we had enough time to go to the store and get last minute things set up. Greg's plan was do the drama several times in a row when the students started coming down the street. That would get them interested then we could invite them inside to see what else was going on. I really hate to complain but we did the drama outside in a small parking lot. I had shorts on so my knees took a beating since Chrisanna and I kneel for about 2/3 of the drama. I also fell by a puddle of old oil my first time through and my hand landed in it. I had to lay there with motor oil under my nails. Quite a treat. We ended up doing the drama four times in about 30 minutes. After, we went inside to be grouped with a few students to take them on a tour of the upper floor of the center. We also had food and drinks in case they needed a little more coaxing.

The turn out for today was pretty great. I don't know the number of students who came through the center but I know that each person that walked through the doors heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. We couldn't have asked for a better day.
We also couldn't end the day better than at the Green Spa. We worked hard and we deserved a good rub down. I showed you Chris and my outfits so I couldn't leave out the guys and theirs. I will show the one where their chests are covered to save you and them any embarrassment. We nicknamed these shorts "shants" because a certain someone who shall remain anonymous, robert dorcheus, brought several pair of man capris and another kid was making fun of them and piped up, "nice shants" because they aren't shorts and they aren't pants. Unfortunately for him his shants became the butt of way too many jokes. So here are the boys in all of their glory. The best part of this trip to the spa was when Rob and I were just getting started with our massages and Chrisanna comes in and says, "Rob, you have to trade rooms with me. I just saw Kris in his underwear". We laughed and laughed and laughed. What a sight to behold.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Update

We made it through our long weekend and I feel ready to take on a new week. Emily had a five day and the boys had a four day weekend due to parent teacher conferences. Here's how they went.
Emily-Mrs. Cochell says she made a super easy transition into school. She says she is quiet but not so much so that she doesn't participate. She has a couple good friends but plays with everyone in her class. She scored a 3 on the IRI and is doing great in all of her other subjects. Her class goes to three specials a week: computer, visual arts and music, and she is loving each of those.

Taylor-Mrs. Duthie says that she loves having Taylor in her class. She says he is a very sweet and curious young man and is well liked by all of his class mates. He scored a 3 on the IRI and is reading at 130 words per minute which is already above what he needs to be reading for the end of the year. He is doing well in all subjects but excels in journal writing. She said it amazes her how much he writes every day. He is having a little trouble in math but he is still where he needs to be for third grade.

Austin-Mr. Price and Mrs. Stevenson are Austin's teachers this year. We had a very good conference. Much better than I expected. Austin has never been a lover of school and only goes because he has to. He is doing pretty well in all subjects. Not excelling but not failing either. They took the ISATs and he scored lower than expected in reading and language and higher than expected in math. I love both of his teachers and they are both very patient with him and are helping him to be a better student.

I was very pleased with their conferences this year. Something my mother in law was told years ago and she passed on to me is "Never brag about your own kids. Let other people do that for you." I have tried to stick by that and never toot my own horn, even though I think my kids are the greatest ever. So it makes me more than proud to hear from their teachers, and other adults, how kind and helpful each of them are. Makes me feel like I am doing something right.

Because it was a long weekend Austin was gone for two nights and so was Emily. What fun it was to spend so much time with Taylor! Rob and I took him to see Wall-E on Friday night. I had already seen it once but I forgot how cute it was. The older Taylor gets the more that child talks. He starts as soon as he wakes up and doesn't quiet down till bed. He almost always has a football in hand or within arms reach and is continually showing me different plays he can do. I usually only hear and see half of it because he is running in and out of the room. He also already has as touchdown dance that is hysterical. Not so showy he's gonna get a penalty but enough to get his point across. He is one cute kid.

Rob, Tay and I made a trip to Albertsons on Saturday morning. Andrea wrote a blog about a promotion they are doing and I saw the ad but totally would have passed it by had it not been for her. Basically for every $30 you spent buying certain advertised items they would give you $15 to spend on your next purchase. To make it even better you can use coupons on your purchase so you can actually spend less than $30 and still get the $15. I spent at least an hour putting together two lists of things that I actually use and then more time perusing that had a lot of coupons for the things I was buying but found it to be time well spent. They had to be separate transactions and they went like this...
Spent $27.41
Saved $28.54

Spent $14.83
Saved $34.36 by using coupons and the $15 from my first transaction.
Received another $15 for my next purchase.
Total spent $42.24
Total saved $62.90
I was giddy when we left the store.

Saturday night was Rykon's 2nd birthday party. It's hard to believe that two years has gone by since he made his entrance into the world. He is such a sweet boy and we were so happy to celebrate with him.

Sunday morning I helped with the high school's day of unity. I got there early to help set up breakfast then, after church, headed out to the barn to get lunch ready. It was easy, just sandwiches, chips, salads and cookies, but it was so fun getting to hang out with everyone a little without the responsibility of being there all day. I love this side of youth ministry.

Last night and today Steph and I were on the hunt for felt. We found an advent calendar and a card holder that we are jumping into. We have no patterns and no idea what we are doing but we are excited to begin. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

History in the Making

President Obama.

Not something I thought would happen.

Well, I can't say that.

I had a feeling it would happen but I hoped it wouldn't.

But it has, so now we deal.

My saving grace is that I know that God is still in control.

He knew the outcome of this election long before any of us were even thought of.

I believe this was His plan. His will.

I don't understand but it's not for me to understand.

So I will continue to go about my life and pray for the country in which I live.

A country to which I can still say I am so proud to be a citizen of.

I pray that doesn't change in the next four years.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Birth and Election Day.

The birthday greetings go to my much older brother. He turns 35 today! Yikes! That means I am only eight years from it.

OK five.

Fine! Two and half. Happy?

I also want to wish everyone a happy election day. It has been a long time coming and I want this day to be over with. I want some closure. I want to know what our country is in for over the next four years. And I want to stop seeing political commercials and debates every time I turn the TV on. Enough already!

Last night on the way home from a fun filled trip to the store as a family (remind me to do that again soon and please read with as much sarcasm as you can muster) Taylor was having a smart mouth. I told him if he didn't be quiet he was going to get hot sauce when we got home.
**disclaimer-- No I don't shovel hot sauce in my kids mouths every time they are sassy. Taylor has only gotten it twice in his whole life and Emily once. But it works because when I tell them they are going to get it they close the mouth.**

It was red ribbon week last week so they were learning a lot about drugs.

Taylor says, "I don't even know why you would give me that, mom. Hot sauce is a drug."

I am a little confused about what he is saying. "What do you mean" says I.

"It's called TOBACCO, moooom."

Oh yeah. We got a big kick out of that one. Try explaining to a tired eight year old that it is called Tabasco not tobacco.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trick or Treat

We had a full Halloween night. The kids were in costume by 4:00 so we took pictures with Matt and Jake. Emily is pre Ariel hair. And I'm not sure what was up with her hippy pose. That's all she would do.

Post Ariel hair. I was going to try and actually make it look like Ariel's hair but once we got the colored spray on it was all I could do to get it up like this.

Steph wanted to go to Harrison Blvd. to trick or treat so we decided to do that together and then go to trunk or treat at church. **Can I just say that this was the most beautiful Halloween night I have ever experienced. It was so warm that the kids didn't have to wear coats all night.** I love Harrison Blvd. Every time we go skiing we drive down this road and I covet each house and think how great it would be to live there. Enormous old houses with so much history and life. And they are all beautiful. This one is my favorite. This one would be mine if
a-it were for sale
b-we had several million dollars just sitting around
c-one of us were born into the family and it was passed down to us just as it had been for generation.

Since none of those are true I will just have to keep dreaming that Emily was walking home after a long night of trick or treating and not just going up for seven seconds to acquire more sugar. I was also very disappointed that they were on the front porch handing out candy. I was hoping to get at least a glimpse of the inside when we rang the bell.

This turned out to be a really great idea. Next year we will be there at 5:00 though. We got there about 5:45 and it wasn't too bad. By the time we left at 7:15 there were more people than I could count. So bad that the kids had to stand in line to get candy. And it's hard to keep track of your kids when there are that many people and it's dark.

After we got our fill of door to door we made our way to church. Emily has had a cold for the last week and wasn't feeling very good by that time so she hung out with my parents at their booth while we walked around with Taylor. The really great thing about having family running a booth is they just throw candy in our bags and we don't have to spend the entire night getting it one piece at a time. Emily had her pumpkin almost full and she sat in one spot all night. And my fabulous mother in law knows how to hook me up. She saves the good candy and drops it by the hand full as I walk by. Love that.

Last night we went to the McKay's for dinner. It is hard to believe that we have been neighbors for six years, our kids play together every day and we have never gotten together. Sad. We had a great time and will be doing it more often for sure.

Emily and I stayed home from church today. She was up till almost midnight because she was coughing and her throat hurt. The boys were gone so Rob and I watched the replay of the BSU game and she laid in bed with us till she fell asleep. It took longer than I thought because the child would not shut up. She was actually watching the game and commenting on it. She finally snuggled up and was out in no time. I love sleeping babies. She looked so peaceful and I just wanted to snuggle up to her and let her sleep there all night. Then I remembered how much I hate having my kids sleep with me so Rob put her in her own bed. It was nice for a while though.

On a totally unrelated subject I am dying to make this sweater.
Can I do it? Probably not. But I am so willing to try on the off chance that it's a success.

I am also fast getting into the Christmas spirit. I was at Fred Meyer yesterday and they were putting out Christmas stuff and I was actually excited about it. It made me want to come home and crank up the Now That's What I Call Christmas CD. Of course we don't have many choices. We only own two Christmas CDs. Our other is Boyz II Men Christmas Interpretations. It's my next favorite :o

It's now noon so I better shower so I can make baked beans for another birthday celebration tonight. Happy Sunday!