Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's Eve!!!!


Mom and dad left this morning :(. They missed a great dinner! We'll have to do it again. We had a nice day at church and a very good dinner. A roast that slow cooked while we were gone. The house smelled so wonderful when we walked in tonight. We made cinnamon swirl cake and the kids got to handle their own cake pan. Each child put in their own small pan of cake to bake. It was pretty cute. They each helped by adding the powdered sugar to the frosting for the cake. That was our celebration dessert. They had fun. The kids had a special celebration drink tonight at dinner....kool-aid and gingerale. I love to see how excited they get when we bust out drinks like that. I better go and enjoy my new years eve. Maybe a good movie before midnight:) I wish you all a wonderful eve and New Year's Day. Let's all make 2007 the best year... full of fun memories for our families.

Christmas Pics....a little late :)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Fun Surprise/Ellie's First Tooth

Well, today was just beautiful outside. It was definitely warmer than yesterday :). I had to sit in the car yesterday at the park while Todd and Aunt Nancy played with the kids. It was too windy and stinkin cold. My face was hurting. I sat with Ellie in the warm car. Ahhhhhhh!

Aunt Nancy left today. She stayed for a week and we really had a good time. I always hate when family leave. It's like the party is now over. But then my mom told me that she and my dad were going to come up for the weekend. YEAH!! That was such good news. I was so excited! They got here around 9 tonight. Hopefully, the weather stays nice and we can go do something outside tomorrow.

Today we were returning some items at Gottschalks and I happen to go look in the "home" section...bedding, pillows, etc. I found such a beautiful set for my bed. I will have to take a picture of it tomorrow and post. It was such a good deal. It came with a comforter, bed skirt, 2 shams, and 3 decorative pillows for $79.00. I was in shock. That was for a queen or a king. I grabbed it up and just love it so far. I put it on tonight and Mitch came into my room saying,"Mom, it is so pretty, so pretty, so pretty." He asked, Can we lay in your bed to watch tv?" I am glad that he appreciates something that is pretty. Hopefully, he will acknowledge the pretty things to his wife. They also had flannel comforters for the boys twin beds for $15.00. I couldn't believe it. And it was only 27.00 for a king. I feel like we got quite a deal.

To document....Ellie is getting a tooth! I can feel the little sharp splinter that has broken through. It is so cute and so fun. What will she look like with teeth :)? She is doing better around the house staying occupied with toys. She got quite a few fun toys for Christmas that really have been fun for her to play with. She isn't constantly crying unless she is held. It did help that I pulled out the Jumperoo that we got with Emily. Ellie loves it. I really can't believe that in January she will be 6 months old. 6 months was always a milestone it felt like in the past. Where is the time going???? Before I know it she will be walking around. She is a sweet baby and so happy. Casey really wins her over. She loves Casey. He can make her stop crying with his high pitch voice that he uses to calm her. She will start laughing with Casey. He is really a good babysitter. He likes to feed her a bottle and does a very good job. Emily fed her an entire bottle today and did such a good job also. I love to see all of the siblings taking care of each other. It was really sweet of Mitty tonight and what he said about Casey. I have the boys in sleeping bags in the office while my parents use their room and Mitty said to Casey, "Don't you just love being together?" Mitty went on further to say "I just love you Casey." It was so cute to hear them speaking so sweetly to each other. Casey agreed and said he does love being with Mitty. That made me feel like I am really doing something right to have them saying that about each other. It was joy to a mother's heart!! I better get to bed. I just wanted to make sure I documented these cute things that go on day to day around here.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Mom, I couldn't pass up this day to say Happy Birthday and write down some thoughts about you. Wow, you are almost 60...haha :)

I can hardly express in words how much I am truly grateful to have you as my mother. I have so many fun memories...remember taking me to Disneyland for my b'day..just you and I. I think it was just you and I. The many games of Chuttes and Ladders that you "had" to play until I would win. :) The many nights up late talking, eating, watching tv, the time spent together doing Taekwondo, the late nights out to the store when the guys were down in San Diego, the countless batches of molasses cookie dough (my favorite) made for me and Barbie, the late night popcorn (yours is the best), the many hours spent on the phone, the many laughs, the many hours spent packing up houses/apts. to move, the 4 times spent at the hospital while I had my kids, and the list goes on and on. I am so thankful for your willingness to put your family above anything else. I have always felt loved and cared for by you. That is a blessing. I know many who don't feel that from their mother. The time that you have put into each one of our lives and our children's lives is just amazing. You are truly a soldier to be where you are at today and still marching. I don't know how you do it.

I love knowing that I can call you with just about anything and you will have a good answer or help me through whatever the issue is. Thanks for all of your help over the many years. I am so grateful for you and the time that you spend on me. I love you and wish you the best year. I can't wait for you guys to come up. I hope you had a happy b'day.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Fun Christmas!

I have yet to download all of my pictures from Christmas so they will be coming. It has been busy, messy, more food clean up, more cleaning, enjoying Christmas name it. I have enjoyed the time spent with family this past week. I did miss being at our big family party this year. Maybe next year. It is hard to travel with 4 kids for Christmas. We had fun here. We have watched movies, enjoyed wayyyy tooooo muchhhhh fooooooddddddd, and goodies.

Since Christmas Eve was on Sunday and our ward meets at 2:30, I made potato cheese soup before we went so it would be easy to heat up and easy clean up. It turned out great. Very tasty. I had a big night ahead of me of wrapping and organizing. I hadn't wrapped anything before hand. Not too bad. I think we got to bed at 1:30am. The kids were really good about going to sleep so that wasn't a problem.

Christmas day was a really nice day. The weather was nice....slightly warm, but beautiful! Emily didn't wake up until after 8:00. The boys were dying. We all wait until everyone is up to go open gifts. Casey slipped out at about 6:45 and saw his Heelys. He came running in to tell Todd that Santa brought them. He had a wonderful day. I have to say it has been really nice since Casey got his Heely's and Game boy. There has been no fighting between the boys. They even are sharing games and trading Game Boys. Emily was thrilled with her Pink bike and girl stuff. My sister in law got her a pink/purple baseball glove to play with the boys. It is the cutest thing you have ever seen. She loves it. She got out there today to play catch with dad and the boys. She loves to play with her brothers. The kids really made out and they are enjoying every bit of it.

I made a turkey dinner for Christmas and it was delicious. There is a lot of work for about 10 minutes of eating and then you are stuffed. It was all worth it. The past couple of days we have spent returning/exchanging items. It has been fun to have Todd's aunt here. She has been a big help with the kids. It is so nice to have an extra hand with all of the kids. Thank you Nancy!! I realize having a Nanny to come in and just help with whatever needs to be done would be so awesome. Almost just having company around (adult conversation throughout the day) is really nice.

I will be happy as soon as we can get our tree out. I feel like once Christmas is over the tree turns into clutter. It just starts to look messy and I want to get everything clean again. I am up to my ears in laundry of course so I am trying to catch up tonight. Looks like I'm really doing that. This is more fun!! I had a great Christmas and wish all of my family was here to be together. I guess they were together down south. I just missed out :). I will post pictures later.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Another busy day (mentally)

Today was a nice day except for the hour at the grocery store with all of the kids. They were just wild and full of energy. It was a bit painful. I guess I looked pretty bad or the situation did because I had 2 people on different occassions ask me if I needed help. I said once I get them buckled in their seats I'll be good to go. I was able to beat the rush of the weekend shoppers at the grocery store. I can't stand a packed grocery store. It drives me crazy. I am always the one moving out of everyone's way and not getting any shopping done. As you can see I am up late. I went to Wal-Mart for some last minute stocking stuffers....I was in there for an hour and a half. Not what I had planned but standard for me. Once I can get out of the house, I can be somewhere quite a while :). I think the busy part of the day was spent in my head. Thinking of everything I still need to do, what I need to get, clean my house for guests, fold clothes, and do more laundry. And deal with the kids which were much better once we got home. They watched Mr. Kruegger's Christmas tonight. They really love that one. It came out in the Ensign last year at Christmas.

This is the package that I received today in the mail from my mother in law. She made us stockings!! Yeah. I love them. They really turned out cute. They are huge....more for Santa to fill. She has made every family their stockings (all of Todd's siblings and their families). It took a while...oh say 8 years to get them but I am very happy with the material she picked and how cute they are. I love that they have her touch and it is something we can have forever. I better learn how to sew so that I can continue this on for my children. I am so happy!! My sister in law has a friend that saw the stockings and had Carol make them for her family this year. We tell her to make and sell her stuff on ebay. She makes beautiful quilts and then has done these stockings for many. I am so thankful for her and the time she put into it. It really means a lot to me.

I better get back to work. I love working when the house is quiet and children are asleep. It's the best time for me to work.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stayed Inside Today

Today wasn't bad until later this afternoon. The kids were antsy from being home and I'm sure were tired. I had the missionaries coming for dinner tonight as well. Casey babysat Ellie and did the best job. He has the touch with her for sure. He carried her over to the couch, laid her down on her tummy and then sat next to her patting her back softly for like 20 minutes. I'm not even kidding. I was trying to make the dinner and have everything ready when the missionaries got here. It seems like the house starts falling apart quickly right before they get here. Anyway, it worked out....I'm totally tired but feel good that we were able to have the missionaries over and give them a decent meal. The one missionary was just visiting from the singles ward. He said he gets a lot of food that is not good. He said people are always trying out new meals on them. That has got to be the worst. To have to eat nasty food. The kids were in true form....nuts and loud and showing off and all of the above. They go crazy when the missionaries are here. Todd ended up putting on Polar Express for them and turned it way down to occupy them with something else. It worked. Here is the picture to prove it. I thought it was so cute they cuddled up together to watch.

We made sugar cookies this afternoon. All of the kids took turns using the Christmas cookie cutters. After about pressing out 4 cookies Mitty and Casey were gone. I guess they have graduated from doing that part of making cookies. They really weren't interested. Emily stayed and loved rolling out the dough and cutting them out. She was in heaven. I enjoyed it and hope they did too. I am hoping to see Charolette's Web one of these days over their vacation. I think we will all watch Polar Express tomorrow with a nice serving of hot choc. Todd has Friday off so his Thursday night will really be like a Friday night. Postum for me!!:)

Emily was dealing with a bit of a cough/cold today. Not fun at all for her or me. I gave her the nighttime cough syrup and then she went to bed. Literally 15 minutes or so I hear her coughing and coughing . I go in there to find a bed full of throw up. UGH!!! I can't stand the smell. It is the worst. I put her in the bath while I cleaned up the bed and some blankets she was on. I made her a bed on the floor in the office (right off of my room) and dried her hair. She was fast asleep. I am hoping it was her cough that made her throw up. Cross those fingers. I can only hope!!!!!!!

It's going to be a cleaning day for sure if Emily is not feeling well tomorrow. What will I do with the boys in here agian for a 2nd day??? Yikes. I'm glad today has come to an end and it's time to hit the sack. Goodnight!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Full Day!

Wow, it has been a full day of events. We spent 3 hours at the park with friends this afternoon. It was fun for them and for us girls to get in some social time. Don't we all need that?!! We hurried home after the park to brush teeth, change diapers, refill the bottle and head out to the dentist. Mitty had a cavity filled and did so well in the chair. I have to brag for just one second...the dentist told me he was just the model patient. He does do really well at the dentist. He always has. I have Dr. Lonnie to thank for that. He is the greatest dentist. He is in Mission Viejo if any of you in the area are looking for a pediatric dentist. That entire office made the child's experience so awesome! Mitch started going at 2 1/2 because he needed some work done. All of my kids like the dentist. Then after the dentist, I had to hit the post office with all of the kids. At least I had 2 in the stroller. I was finishing up what I volunteered to do for the Bishopric in our ward....get stamps and mail out the Christmas letter from the Stake Presidency. It wasn't bad. There happen to be a girl behind me in line that caught up to me after I bought stamps and asked if I needed any help putting stamps on the envelopes. I hesitated not knowing who she was but then gave her half of the stack and she said, "Oh, what ward are you in?" I thought that was so nice of her to do that. She probably saw my garments and knew I was a member. Or saw that I had the 4 kids and needed some assistance in getting the stamps on quickly. That really helped me out. Checked that off of my list and then we were off to see Santa at the Mission in SLO. It was so cute. Santa's house was adorable and the kids were just so excited to see him. Mitch kept asking me what was on his list so that he would remember. He felt he wasn't remembering everything. On the other hand, Casey told me that he is only asking for 3 things because then he knows Santa will bring all 3. Pretty smart kid. I hope he continues that thinking throughout the next many years. Emily is holding to the pink bike and a game boy and then she says, "And that's it." After Santa, we went to get ice cream cones at McDonald's that I had promised them all day. How can you beat paying $1.50 for all three kids to have dessert. That is the greatest!! By the way, has anyone tried the Asian Chicken Salad at McDonalds? It was so good. And for those on WW...I think it is 6 points. Well worth the points. Todd met up with us at McDonalds and so he took the girls home and me and the boys made one more quick stop at Mervyns. They were getting antsy and it was a bit hard but they were good for the most part. No big issues. I was so happy to then be going home at 8:00. The one nice thing about being away from the house all day is that I don't eat and there is no mess to clean up in the kitchen tonight.

I made sugar cookie dough last night so that the kids could use the Christmas cutters. What is Christmas without homemade sugar cookies and frosting? I really want to make their Christmas vacation fun. One to remember. I have tried having something fun for them to do every day. I have 3 weeks of vacation....yikes!!!! Tomorrow I think will be a day in baking and frosting cookies. Maybe some hot chocolate. Todd sure stocked up on whipped cream. He lives for hot choc. in the winter. I enjoyed my time spent with the kids today. It was a good day because they had friends to play with and I had friends to talk with. Hopefully, they will all sleep in tomorrow. :)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Monday...not so bad

Today is cool, slightly windy but sunny! I love it. I have never appreciated the sun as much as I have since living here. On days where it just feels so cool, I can always find warmth and relaxation from the sun through a window or on the porch.

Yesterday was a bit challenging at church. Ellie is really starting to use her voice. She just starts getting too loud for Sacrament or RS when the teacher is giving her lesson. We had to get up and down a few times and then I peek over to our pew and the boys are underneath. I thought oh no, don't even think about doing that. Once I sat back down they were up in their seats, no problem. The RS lesson was on preparing for the Second Coming. Wow, that was such a good lesson. It always helps to hear the same thing over and over. One sister brought up how do we teach our children about it without frightening them. It really struck a cord that I need to talk more about that with my children. They have some knowledge of it but I could definitely talk in more detail now that they are older. I think it is important for them to know about it. After the lesson, I felt very anxious for the Second Coming. I thought to myself, there is no reason to feel like I have to be just perfect. He knows I'm not perfect and accepts me that way. As long as I am trying and keeping the commandments I can expect to be happy and prepared. There is such comfort in knowing that.

Today has been a good day. Better than I thought since the kids would be home all day. I was able to vacuum, do some laundry, sort laundry, hang pictures, make lunch, clean up the kitchen. That's good so far since it is 1:15. The kids have been getting along and playing together pretty well. I am really trying to do some deep cleaning. I have about 4 more loads of laundry to do...ugh. It never ends. Ellie just went to sleep again so I better get to work.

For Family Home Evening, we are going to deliver about 10 bags of toffee that are ready to go. It is so yummy!! This is my 3rd year doing toffee and I have now mastered it. I was so impressed that all of my batches turned out this year...even without a candy thermometer. I made about 6 batches and I think I will have to make one more for Todd to have here for the weekend. What I love is that it is fast and there are only 4 ingredients to the recipe..butter, sugar, vanilla and a little over a pound of Milk Choc. Hershey bar. Since there isn't much to the recipe, that means no mess in the kitchen. :)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Productive Day :)

I woke up at 8:30 this morning....I couldn't believe it. Ellie hadn't been awake yet either. I could hear her talking though. She doesn't cry when she wakes up. She raises her head so high and starts talking. Looks a bit like a very cute turtle. Yes, I put my babies on their stomach to sleep. My babies would not sleep on their backs. Anyway, the day started later than I thought but was so happy that I didn't have to get up and rush to be somewhere. Todd got up and made waffles with the kids. They live for Todd to make breakfast with them on the weekend. Actually, Mitch made the batter for the waffles. He has done it a couple of times now and does a good job. He will tell me, mom I will know how to cook someday because you will teach me, right? Of course I will. They help me sometime with dessert recipes but it can get crazy in the kitchen because if one wants to help that really means all 3 of them are wanting to help. Hovering over the bowl and touching every single thing that goes in it.

I did get up and shower, straightened up the house, cleaned the kitchen and mopped the floor, made 2 more batches of toffee, bagged it all, and then spent 3 1/2 hours at Target this evening. I didn't think it was possible. Todd took the 3 kids out with him to go get lunch and that is when I made the 2 batches of toffee. I realized how nice it was to make it because nobody was here. Ellie was sleeping and it was so peaceful.

I had not done any shopping up to this point except for the cousin's gift exchange. I am now pretty much done except for a couple major items that Todd will take care of. Of course, I will think of many more things we just have to have before the weekend I'm sure. Todd's aunt will be coming for the weekend and Christmas day so it will be fun to entertain with a good Christmas breakfast and dinner. I think I'm going to do a Turkey dinner for Christmas. I'm not a big ham kind of girl. Maybe a roast would be good. We'll see. Does anyone have some good recipes or ideas for a yummy Christmas breakfast or dinner? My sister told me about the cheese egg souffle that they have every year with her in-laws. Sounds good! Maybe too high in points for me. I can't give in just because it is Christmas. If I did, it would mean a 10 lb. gain. Not even kidding.

Now, I just need to wrap and mail off a couple of packages on Monday. I will be cleaning and wrapping all week I'm sure. And I still have to get Todd something. That will be online. I have done online shopping in the past and will do some for a couple of items that are left but I didn't do much of it this year. I was into the one stop shop right at my favorite place...Target. How different the experience is there vs. Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is good for many things but I lovvvvvvvveeee Target. It is a better shopping experience if you know what I mean.

The kids have loved the packages that have come in the mail from relatives. Thanks April for all of your packages!! That was really sweet of you!!!! Emily just loves to sit and look at her box.

I'm so excited that Todd doesn't have any meetings this week and his meetings don't start until 12 noon tomorrow. That will be so nice for me to get ready for church while he is still here to help with the kids. YEAH! I better go straighten the house before bed. You all know how it gets when dad is home with the kids by himself. :)

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Day is coming to an end :)

I am feeling rather beat this evening. I stayed up until 1:45 last night finishing all that I needed to finish including house work. I made a batch of toffee, baked cookies, packaged up gifts for the teachers, folded about 3 loads of laundry, started more laundry, did dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. It is showing in my eyes now. I have had a headache today that has kept my head feeling clouded a bit. I ended up taking Sudafed since I started feeling the pressure in my head. I just said last night to myself that we were lucky not to have had any sicknessess this fall. I usually get my annual sinus infection. It is feeling like that is coming on. Nice Christmas break....home sick.

I made it through the parties at school today. All in all it was a good time. I am sure glad that is out of the way. Now on to Christmas shopping. That is going to be awful since I waited so late in the year to shop. Oh well, it wouldn't be Christmas withou a little chaos in the stores. My kids lists are short so that helps!! maybe we will go see Santa tomorrow in SLO. Why would I do that to myself on a Saturday???

I am literally falling asleep at the computer. Time to lay down. I laid out a big blanket by our Christmas tree and me and the kids laid down on it for a little bit. I got Casey to do his famous massaging and Emily helped too. I'm glad I can lay down in my bed tonight and think about nothing. I hope I can relax some this weekend.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mad Dash to get everything done for Friday

Today is gorgeous here. I just got back from driving up the coast to SLO. The air is so clear and the water is so blue. I would take a picture but I'd rather keep us alive. It's on the 101 so it's just 2 lanes each way right there. I'm loving it because I threw on a skirt, flip flops and a short sleeve shirt and it's perfect. I think it's about 74 degrees. Not very December like in most places but definitely California December weather. :)

I'm trying to get everything done for Casey's and Mitch's class holiday parties. Of course I agreed to bring stuff to each class. I need to make many batches of toffee, get ribbon, put a package in the mail, go by Wal-Mart, wrap up the teacher's gifts, and clean up the house. Thank goodness I went to bed early last night so I feel up to all of this. It's hard to do all of the running around with 4 kids. I would have done 1/2 of those things but Emily and Ellie both fell asleep on my way home from SLO so I thought I would let them sleep instead of getting them in/out of their carseats. I think I hear Ellie now. They are in the car in the garage. It never lasts long.

I better get to work and get the girls out of the car.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas is now official :)

Today was a good yet busy day! I was all over the place and just busy with everyones schedules. I'll start with last night...Me and the kids met Todd up in SLO at the Home Depot to get a Christmas tree. That was fun for a second until my hands were so stinkin cold they started to feel numb. On our way home, we stopped at Costco, next door to Home Depot, and picked up a few slices of pizza and ate it in the car. It was too cold to eat it out on the tables. It gets windy in SLO. I couldn't believe how neat the kids were eating their pizza in the car. I love it when they behave like that. We got the tree up and in the stand but waited until this morning to decorate. It was too late for the boys to stay up any later last night to decorate. This morning me, Emily and Casey put ornaments up. The kids just love this part. They were so excited to be helping that they were so nice to each other. They spoke to each other so politely and full of love toward each other. It was quite a moment for me to hear that. I know it's in them just why not more often can I hear them speak and act that way? I love having a tree up and decorated. Now Christmas is official with the tree up and decorated. I could have a Christmas tree up all year long. I love the lights on a tree. There is something peaceful about looking at a lit Christmas tree. Maybe it's just the fact that it's night time when I am enjoying the lights on and the kids are fast asleep....which means no noise. I don't know!:)

I picked up our Christmas cards at Costco and will stuff them tonight so they are ready to be put in the mail in the morning. I am done dealing with the whole worry of getting our Christmas cards out in the mail. It was a nightmare picking out a picture that I felt everyone was smiling and looking halfway normal. It really shouldn't have been such a big deal. I make things a big deal. Check that off of my list. I was able to take a gift over to a friend for her b'day. It feels so good to check things off of a list. Casey had a Christmas program at the school tonight. It was so cute. They sang for 30 minutes! I was surprised that the kids lasted that long just singing. I guess when it's fun and they have hand motions for a bunch of the Christmas songs the kids enjoy it. Casey loves music and he sings all of the songs and isn't shy about it. It was really fun! There is nothing like Kindergartners. They are just darling!

I have to write out what the hand out was in Relief Society this last Sunday. It was so cute I thought for sure someone else might enjoy reading this or talking about this with their children.

Santa whispered, "Teach the Children the true menaing of Christmas"

The Star: A heavenly sign of prophecy fulfilled long ages ago - the shining hope of mankind.

Red: The first color of Christmas symbolizing the Savior's sacrifice for all.

Fir Tree: Evergreen - The second color of Christmas shows everlasting life. The needles point Heavenward.

The Bell: Rings out to guide lost sheep back to the fold - signifying all are precious in the eyes of the Lord.

The Candle: A mirror of starlight reflecting our thanks for the Star of Bethlehem.

Gift Bow: Tied as we should all be tied together in bonds of goodwill forever.

Candy Cane: The shepherd's crook used to bring lambs back into the fold - A reminder that we are all our brother's keeper.

The Wreath: A symbol of the never ending eternal nature of love, having no beginning and no end.

Enjoy the season!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Family Temple Trip

We got up early Saturday morning and got on the road for our Annual Arroyo Grande Ward Family Temple Trip. We left 30 minutes later than what we should have but it was a crazy morning. The drive wasn't bad. The weather stayed nice for us. It was overcast most of the way. We got there around 11:30 and met up with the rest of our ward. They provided Subway sandwiches, very good salad, chips, chili, and cookies. It was great because each child was given a sack lunch with a drink. We ate quickly and then headed over to the primary tour at the visitor center. I realized that the kids had never been to the LA Temple (my kids). We lived closer to the Newport Beach Temple and our kids participated and were involved with the building of that temple. Anyway, the sister missionaries took in the primary kids and sang primary songs and played some memory games using church material. After that, they got out the big rope, the "Iron rod" is what they called it and all of the kids held on to that for a tour around the temple grounds. They would stop at different points and talk about the statue of a family, the pool in front, and then stopped and listen to a nativity that was set up. It was really nice. I know the kids enjoyed it. Back at the visitor center they had paper gingerbread men for the kids to color and then tie onto a christmas tree. Well, the sister missionary said that they have to keep adding more trees because of all the kids that fill them up with the gingerbread men. It was beautiful with all of the christmas decorations. We didn't get too many pics. Others in the ward took our picture a few times with their cameras. I did take the one of the kids that I posted. It was cute but the ones I took last week are cuter for our cards. Costco it is tomorrow to get these cards out of the way. We left just as they turned on all of the lights. We did enjoy seeing the temple grounds lit up. The first two pictures that are posted I took out the window as we drove by. It was a nice day! We didn't expect to do any temple work with all of our kids. I'm glad that the kids enjoyed it. I'm sure they won't forget it. We took off for home around 5:00 and pulled in a little after 9:00. It poured most of the way home. It was fun to be in the rain for a change. The kids were asleep and Todd carried them to bed. It was nice to sit and relax before going to bed. The trip was definitely worth it. I love to give my kids that kind of an experience. I am showing them what is important by taking them on these kinds of trips. How grateful I am to be sealed to my husband and if I live worthy I can be with my family forever. What a blessing that is. I am thankful for the temple and the peace it brings into my life. The peaceful feeling pours over me as I take one step in. I love to leave the outside world and get a taste of heaven. I want my children to know how important the temple is to me. I can't express the joy that I feel from living worthy of temple blessings. Children, hold to the iron rod.....never let go. Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to be happy!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Heat is Back!!!!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Not outside but right inside my house. This is heaven. I cranked it up because I could!! It feels so good in here. I am barefoot and my feet feel just fine. I am glad to have that working again. NO more 55 degree mornings in this house. It was pretty brutal. I would have the kids get dressed in the living room by the front windows where the sun would be coming in to help warm them up. I swear it was warmer outside than in the house. And it wouldn't warm up inside ever! I am indeed grateful for the heater working. Especially since it started raining this afternoon while I was in the store.

Today was a bit hard with the kids. I'm not sure if it was any different or because this is the 3rd day I haven't had Todd around in the evenings to help entertain and deal with the kids. We had to run a few errands and it was a bit painful. How do you get a child to stop teasing??? And then how do you get a child to stop squealing at every little thing. I guess it's just time and age on the squealing. I can't hardly take the teasing. The boys are now laying in my bed, showered and watching a show. It is very quiet in my house right now. It is so nice. Ellie is in bed and Emily fell asleep on the way home from Wal-Mart at 5:30. We'll see what kind of mood she will be in when she decides to wake up for the evening. Maybe she will be out for the night. She needs the sleep!!

Now, I'm thinking of all of the things I need to get done before I go to bed. Yikes, the list is long. Our Annual Ward Temple Trip is tomorrow. It is a family affair with a BBQ at the church behind the LA temple and then tours at the visitor center for the primary age kids, the youth do baptisms and the adults exchange babysitting to go in and do a session and/or sealings. I guess this is a major event for the ward. They always get a great turn out. I know it will be a really nice experience for our family. The kids will really enjoy being on the grounds. We will watch a movie in the visitor center and just hang out. I am hoping to get a really good picture of the kids for our Christmas card this year. Todd wasn't so thrilled with the pics I have already taken of the kids together so we are hoping the kids will cooperate. I think Carol, my mother in law may meet us up there to be with us for the day. That would be nice to have another hand in watching the kids. It is going to be an early morning tomorrow. Not really looking forward to that part of it but oh the sacrifice is all worth it. I am excited to see it all decorated for Christmas.

Happy B'day Barbie!!! You are such a wonderful sister to me. I cherish our relationship. I am so thankful that we as sisters have such a special bond, April, Marilyn and myself. I am lucky to have you and love you lots. I hope you have a year full of happy moments.

On to finishing up my duties around here. I have to iron the kids clothes for in the morning, pack diaper bags, snack bags, and finish folding my million loads of laundry. Mother,........where are you. My mom is the best at folding clothes. She can have loads folded up in seconds. Not kidding. I could use that right about now. Enjoy the weekend!! I will take pics of the temple and post.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Crazy Hair Day!!

Today it was crazy hair day at school. The boys were so excited to put the color hair spray in there hair this morning. Emily even had to have some pink hair. I forgot to take her picture...bummer. Oh well, Casey said he liked how all of the kids were saying," ohhhhh, look at Casey's hair." Oh dear, is that any sign for the future? Let's hope not.

I mailed out all of the Arbonne samples/catalogs this morning for those of you that requested. I'm dying to hear what you guys think. I want your feedback whether it is negative or positive.

I cleaned up my house this morning. Ellie went down for her morning nap and made it possible for me to clean up all of the rooms, vacuum the entire house, clean kitchen, & organize papers. I felt great that all of that got done. I'm giving myself about 10 more minutes on the computer and then I have to sit down and fold laundry and start laundry, clean the bathrooms. I always do that when the kids have gone to bed. The kids went to bed for me just perfectly tonight. Ellie started the bunch at 7:00, Emily at 7:40 and the boys at 8:15. I didn't have to tell the boys once to go back and get in bed. That is a miracle. Casey usually has to get out of bed a few times and dilly dally around and be told to go back & get into bed. Speaking of miracles....Last night Ellie went down for what I thought was her evening nap around 5:20. She did not wake up until 7:00 this morning. I fed her and she was back out until around 8:00. I was able to take a shower and get ready before she was up again. That is what I call a dream night. Too bad I went to bed at 12:30. I didn't feel tired today. She has done that a few times where she has slept that long but that isn't the norm.

My hands are freezing as I type. The heater is not working in our house and it is darn cold. I am hoping someone can come and fix it tomorrow. Thank goodness the kids stay really warm. Emily got in my bed in the night last night and kept me so warm. She likes to put her little warm tootsies under my legs. Too cute. Well my times is up. On to more house work. Mainly the laundry!!! Maybe some hot postum under a blanket while I fold clothes with a good episode of HOUSE. We really love that show. Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy 60th B'day Dad!!

You are the big 6-0!! What does it feel like? I couldn't let today go by without writing some thoughts down about my dad.

My dad is the best!!! He will literally do anything for anybody. He will spend his last dime on someone else and literally has many times. He is very generous and wants the best for his kids/family. He doesn't express his feelings very easily but dad, no need. We all know how you feel. He lets his family know by his hard work and his actions. He is the most loyal man I have ever met. He is extremely hard working and I appreciate his example of that.

He has taught me many things. My dad was big on table manners. No elbows at the table, no singing at the table, etc. I am so glad he taught me that. I have passed that on to my kids. My dad knew....what goes on at home is how your kids will act when they go out.

He showed by his example to be early/on time to your obligations. I'm not perfect at it but I always work hard to be. I think it is important too.

To carry out responsibilities. What a big one. He always did.

Anyone can count on my dad. He will do what he says he is going to do and then some more. If he is doing dinner and say 10 people are going to be there. He will literally cook 20 steaks. I have seen it so many times. I love that he is never short of food when there is a party. Right on!! Always potato chips (Lay's brand) and onion dip (Lipton onion soup mix). He is the king of making onion dip. His is always the best!!! And tuna sandwiches. He makes some mean food. He knows how to make it right and have it taste good.

It is so funny to see how Todd has adopted many of my dad's ways in the kitchen. Dad, Todd has now started buying Lay's Classic potato chips. Todd has always been a wavy lays guy. Todd makes onion dip and will have me test it wherever we are at to make sure it is how I like it...just how my dad likes it. It took Todd a little while to adopt "Roger's Taco's", but once he did there was no turning back. He eats them just like dad does. Oh, there is an order to the toppings according to dad and now Todd. Too funny.

I got to know my dad so much better when I started working at RBS, his company, back in 1996. I was there until right before I had Mitty, 1999. I am so glad that I had that experience to be with him and work with him a lot. It was fun down at "the yard". So many fun lunches with the guys. All of the long afternoons that we would just chat it up there in the office. Thanks for those fun memories that I will never forget. He taught me so much about what he does. I learned a lot and have so much more knowlege/experience about something I never had a clue about.

Another fun thing, dad is a Law & Order finatic....gotta love that. I only watch the SVU ones. He really gets into his detective shows.

Dad is a good man and I love him a lot. He has done so much for me in my life. His example is huge and I appreciate that. Dad you are the best!! Happy Birthday, Dad! I love you! Love, Steph

Life is very busy.

As I sit here and head is pounding from a headache. Then why I am typing at the computer. I didn't realize so many days had gone by without me posting. I have been very busy. I have been working on this new business venture with Arbonne. I am sending out the catalogs and samples to those who requested tomorrow morning. I can't wait to hear your feedback. I guess so much has been going on at school with the kids also. So many darn papers to fill out and return by certain dates. Casey's teacher had me working on a project for their class (cutting out material for 40 banners). Just time consuming things.

Todd left today for a training up in San Francisco....lucky guy. He won't be back until late Friday. I am really dreading holding this fort down alone for the next few days. Thank goodness the kids all went to bed early for me tonight. Casey was even out by 8:05. Emily was 7:45. It is so nice!! After a full day, I have to have some quiet time. I don't even turn on the tv. TV is just more noise to me.

Today was crazy. I was running all over town. Todd forgot his wallet and phone so I took that up to him at lunch. We ate at Tacos de taste. Best tacos ever. My mom says there is one in Santa Ana. Not sure exactly where but if anyone is ever close by and loves Mexican, try it out. Tomorrow is crazy hair day at school and so the kids want to spray a color in it. I thought the dollar store might have something. I have never been into a dollar store. It was crazy in there. I did buy some really cute gift bags with cute tags for teachers gifts. They had them in a pack of 3 for a $1.00. The place was a mess and that is hard for me to shop in. I let the kids pick out a tree ornament for each of them. They didn't have any hair color spray. So we were off to Wal-Mart. Found some spray and of course Emily wants pink in her hair and the boys want orange. I will have to take pics of their hair tomorrow and post. I will let them do their own hair. They will be in heaven to do something funny with it. It's just exhausting to shop at multiple stores with 4 kids. I had to put out about a million fires. Too much work some days.

I am sitting here waiting for my 3 advils to kick in. Then I have the kitchen to clean, laundry to fold, laundry to start washing, Arbonne stuff to organize/file and then hopefully bed. My pillow is going to feel darn good tonight. I will miss Todd tonight. He always warms up the sheets. Mom, I guess I will be using your bright idea....use the hair dryer on the sheets before getting in.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I am very excited about my new undertaking. I have decided to start my own business as an independent consultant with the company Arbonne. I am sure some of you have heard of it. I am so excited about the results that I have seen from using their anti-aging line of skin care products for the past 6 months that I want all of you and others to know about it. I absolutely love the way it makes my face feel after using it. I have tried some other products and are so happy with how they make my skin feel that it is hard to not share it with my friends.

Arbonne is a health and wellness company that offers pure, safe and beneficial products for the skin, hair and body. All of their products are made with plants and herbs. They don't test on animals and do not use animal products or animal by-products. I was surprised to know what is in so many of the products you and I use everyday.

I am excited to take on this new adventure. You can go to to learn more about their products. Let me know if you would be interested in trying any samples or even receiving 35% off any of the products you see online.
Today was beautiful!! This morning was our annual Ornament Exchange Party in our ward. It was really fun. It was the first time for me. They had a brunch and then started the exchange. Our plates were numbered and that was the order we picked a gift. There were some darling gifts and cute homemade ones. I had the last number which put me in a good spot. I got to pick which ever one I liked because they had all been opened. I ended up with one that I really wanted. A sister in our ward is a wonderful quilter/seamstress. She made this ornament in the picture below. This is the one I brought home.

That was a couple of hours and was so fun to get out and chat with friends. I had a good time and was glad that I went. We then had to watch a horrible mess of a game.....USC vs. UCLA. The darn bruins won. That is awful around here. :)

Tonight was our Ward Christmas Dinner. It turned out to be really nice. The boys had to dress as Shepherds. The primary kids sang a few songs in the program. It was really nice. They had one brother who plays the guitar play and sing O Holy Night. It was awesome! The food was good. Each table prepared a turkey dinner. Kind of funny since Thanksgiving was last week but it was tasty. We helped clean up and then got home around 8:30. It was a fun day. Casey kept telling Todd, " I love Saturdays." Casey loves to have dad home and be doing stuff. I did get out the good 'ol Christmas decorations box. The kids just love it. I have put some stuff up and it is feeling more like Christmas. I love Christmas decorations. They are the cutest. I think we will get our tree next weekend. I can't stand a dead tree before Christmas. Anyway, today was full of festivities. Fun, Fun!

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a good day. I hate that I really only have one day on the weekend with help at home. Todd is not home on Sunday's. And now tithing settlement is here which means he is there for a couple of hours longer on Sundays. That is rough for him!! I feel for the bishopric. I now know why the bishop stashed the big bag of good candy that I gave him to replenish his basket for the kids because they bust them open during their meetings. Too funny. I'm tired and am ready for bed for sure. Let's hope for some kids to do some serious sleeping in tomorrow.